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The Royal Navy ‘is back in the premier division’ of the globe’s military elite says Vice-Admiral Bob Cooling.

HMS Queen Elizabeth has just arrived in Portsmouth. Now a Captain of one of the UK’s last aircraft carriers, the former HMS Illustrious, has told of his delight at the future flagship’s milestone.

Vice-Admiral Bob Cooling:

“All the maritime community are absolutely delighted to see this magnificent ship becoming a reality. She puts us back in to the first division of major military nations. And it is right and proper her home port should be Portsmouth, which has been the home of the navy’s capital ships and air power ships for decades.”

Former First Sea Lord George Zambellas said:

“When the first of our new carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth, deploys on her first mission in a few years, with fifth generation fighters and drones embarked, she will scotch at a stroke any talk of Britain’s retreat from the world.”

Copyright UK Defence Journal.

What will the vessels carry?

The term now used for the carriers embarked squadrons is ‘Carrier Air Wing’ (CVW). The vessels are capable of deploying a variety of aircraft in large numbers, up to a maximum in the upper fifties in surge conditions.

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Captain Jerry Kyd, commander of HMS Queen Elizabeth, commented on the initial deployment and the gradual increase in air wing numbers:

“We are constrained by the F-35 buy rate even though that was accelerated in SDSR in 2015, so initial operating capability numbers in 2020 are going to be very modest indeed.

We will flesh it out with helicopters, and a lot depends on how many USMC F-35s come on our first deployment in 2021. But by 2023, we are committed to 24 UK jets onboard, and after that it’s too far away to say.”

In addition to the joint force of Royal Air Force and Royal Navy F-35Bs and their pilots, the air wing is expected to be composed of a ‘Maritime Force Protection’ package of nine anti-submarine Merlin HM2 and four or five Merlin for airborne early warning; alternatively a ‘Littoral Manoeuvre’ package could include a mix of RAF Chinooks, Army Apaches, Merlin HC4 and Wildcat HM2. We understand that vessel would still carry at least one F-35 squadron aboard in such circumstances to offer air defence as well as support to the helicopter assault activities.

The Crowsnest AEW&C aircraft will come from a number of the embarked Merlins (any of which can be fitted with the sensor package), the number again scaling with requirements.

Around the time the first carrier deploys operationally, the UK will have 42 F-35 aircraft, with 24 being front-line fighters and the remaining 18 will be used for training (at least 5 on the OCU), be in reserve or in maintenance.

Recently, the Ministry of Defence confirmed plans for the deployment of American F-35 aircraft alongside British jets aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The addition of US Marine Corps aircraft will see HMS Queen Elizabeth sail with 24 or so F-35Bs in addition to around 14 or so helicopters for her maiden deployment. It is understood that the US aircraft will augment British jets on coalition operations.

We understand that the composition of the CVW is a balance between ship capacity and squadron availability. Squadrons assigned or ‘programmed’ to sail on deployment will mostly in the case of the aircraft carrier be unique to it, for example the airborne early warning helicopters that have no other purpose but to serve the carrier force. We discussed this with retired Air Marshal Greg Bagwell, referring to the idea of set numbers being assigned so far in advance he said:

“There is absolutely no need to fix a flexible capability so far in advance – it hems politicians in unnecessarily.”

Another source we spoke to explained to us that the vessels will deploy with the number and type of aircraft required for a specific deployments:

“Where F-35B is based is entirely down to the most suitable basing option for the tasks/missions is being sent to do. If that’s a well-founded host nation base, great; if it’s the Carrier, great; if it’s an austere location, fine. Range, logistics and other ‘enablers’ such as AAR and connectivity will determine what’s the best option.”

The Queen Elizabeth class mark a change from expressing carrier power in terms of number of aircraft carried, to the number of sortie’s that can be generated from the deck. The class are not the largest class of carrier in the world but they are most likely the smallest and least expensive carrier the Royal Navy could build which still have the advantages that large carriers offer.

Copyright UK Defence Journal.

46 COMMENTS

  1. An aircraft carrier is nothing more than a platform, without the aircraft, escorts and support ships it has little warfighting capability.

    We must demand that the politicans fund the procurement of those assets to ensure the potential of the new carriers is fulfilled.

    If they do not then it’s nothing more than expensive window dressing.

    After seeing the coverage of docking of HMSQE surprised at the lack of warships in Portsmouth at the current time.

    • If you read some of the other articles Mike, you’ll realise that that is just about all untrue. Whether there’s enough escorts ro run two carrier groups at the same time is another matter.

    • I think the procurements are there Mike, type 45 is there, type 26 is coming but the type 23 is still a very capable frigate especially with sonar 2087, the Helicopters are there, a new tide class, the Astute is there. The Carrier strike capability has been restored.

      And I actually think in a situation where both carriers are needed the escorts are there as well, 2 maybe 3 type 45’s same amount of frigates, we’ve got the tankers.

  2. Sorry KieranC but we haven’t got the sailors to man the too few ships we have it is that simple. The Navy in particular is on a knife edge with regards to manning. Today was a good day for the RN but as usual they are trying to paper over the cracks. We need some modest investment and vision for the future to return the RN to a well balanced force. Fleet Tankers carrying out Caribbean patrol duties and survey ships rescuing migrants is not a way forward.

  3. I agree with the manpower issue, but we do have enough to deploy 3 destroyers and 4 frigates. We have 6 active now. So in the scenario I mentioned we would be able to do it..just. And obviously 2 carriers being deployed is hypothetical, the only reason we would ever need 2 carriers is a falklands type scenario.

    There was a modest increase in the 2015 review but yes there needs to be investment in manpower. 2 one billion pound destroyers as harbour training ships is nohing short of a scandal.

    There are lots of areas that need addressed but Carrier strike is very doable now.

  4. KieranC The Falklands War kindled my interest in the RN when I was 14 and it has stayed with me all my adult life but unfortunately I do not share your optimism. Our T45s have engine defects and soon all our escorts including subs will have no anti ship missiles. I have relatives who have served in the RN for nearly 20 years and we have very limited stocks of any munitions you care to mention and maintenance has been cut. Carrier strike is not doable unless we order more aircraft and these must be funded along with more frigates, RFA’s and at least one more hunter killer. All that without destroying/sacrificing the Royal Marines, the very force you put ashore under the cover of carrier strike! If you are saying we can parade two carriers and some escorts in the near future then of course you are correct. All the best

    • Hi mate Carrier strike is more power projection, conducting air strikes where our airfield fighters can’t reach etc.

      An American Carrier strike group has about 3 escorts and a supply ship, doesn’t even always have a sub. We will have just 1 Carrier to deploy at a time, out of 19 escort ships we will without a doubt be able to assign 3 to the Carrier. Carrier strike will be happening as soon as she’s ready.

      1 of the destroyers is about to come out of a major refit with the engine troubles sorted. The rest are scheduled in for the refit and 1 has just had a successful 9 month deployment with not one bit of engine trouble. The frigate fleet is halfway through her major refit/life extension, 4 are active as we speak.

      Landing our Royal Marines in a proper fashion will be finished when ocean retires regardless of the Carrier and escorts. Albion and Bulwark can land 1 brigade between them 800 or so men, that’s just not good enough, if there is anything we need most now it’s not more escorts it’s a proper 2 ship replacement for Albion bulwark and ocean, ideally Canberra class capability of a 1000 men. So we can land both brigades we have now with attached army units, which is about 2000 men.

      • A good reply but I think we all know we are several years away from the UK having sufficient F35s. I am looking forward to the mid 2020s when we do, along with some of the T26s in service and the T31s being built around the country. Oh and hopefully some plans for a modest pair of LHDs to replace the LPDs. Eagle and Ark Royal!

    • sjb1968 – I understand your concern but for accuracy the T45 issue isn’t the engines or the RR gas turbines. They have an ‘intercooler-recuperator’ from Northrop Grumman that recovers heat from the exhaust and recycles it into the engine, making it more fuel-efficient and reducing the ship’s thermal signature. Unfortunately this intercooler unit has a major design flaw and causes the gas turbines to fail occasionally. It isn’t terminal and all T45s have completed lengthy operations.

      I also can’t share your pessimism on our naval or other military capabilities. We have what WE as the UK needs with new kit on its way. Trouble is it is very expensive kit. if you want something to study multiply each of the UK’s individual ship type numbers, multiply by 6 and then compare those numbers to the equivalent US Navy ship numbers. It makes for interesting reading. (The 6 factor is because we are 1/6th the population of the USA)

      • Chris I regularly chat with serving sailors and marines and it makes for uncormfortable listening. Studying only tells you that we have some potentially good kit but much of this is compromised by being under armed ie fitted for but not with. The manpower crisis is still and will remain acute until the navy is given perhaps an extra 1500 personnel. If not then retention will also be a problem. Unless things change then the continual hollowing out of all forces will just rumble on. This is not pessimism but a recognition of reality. To stray into the area of expressing an opinion the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have totally distorted and degraded our armed forces capabilities and given the current level of funding it will take another 8-10 years before our forces will stabilise. I just hope for no more cuts and that we don’t get involved in another long term war.

  5. there is a mention of drones being used from the platform in the article. do we have any left or planned that can be used from it, now that scan eagle has gone or going? I haven’t heard of any mention of ones that can be launched from the carrier.

    • Hi Steve

      Taranis is in a fairly advanced stage of testing and I believe the future of the RAF is a F35 controlling 2-4 Taranis. Essentially my view is the F35 and its pilot acts in a standoff capacity and the Taranis (or similar) delivers the strike. I am making a massive assumption here that as an unmanned vehicle the Taranis could land on the carrier.

      If the above could be achieved then I think 16 F35b and 32 Taranis on the carrier would be a ground breaking force (and remember the RN are famous for introducing new innovations into carrier ops).

      This would also be significantly cheaper than a F35 only fleet and take some of the strain off our procurement.

  6. Hi kieranC… Agree we have enough escorts to protect one deployed carrier also taking in to account other friendly and NATO escorts will help to protect our carriers . The one thing i needed to correct you on .. Royal Marine commando group could be deployed using the current one active LPD and Ocean plus a bay class ship more with over stretch (not brigades).. When the Prince of Wales comes into service i think with the alterations that are being made will be able to carry up to 900 marines plus 400 on the LPD and 350 on the bay class would still be able to carry a RM group plus extra support.

    • Thanks John you’re absolutely right looking at the numbers including the Bay class. It could be done.

      So I think the idea is that in the event of a full deployment of Royal Marines, we only now have two commando battalions so one could be on the POW and be flown in via Chinook, and the other battalion could be landed off the LPD’s and the bay classes could then be used for attached army units.

  7. Just to add to my above comments.. I do believe we need a ship purpose built to carry marines once the Ocean goes out of service.. But i have my doubts about this unfortunately. In saying that though at least we will still be able to carry a marine group in the future.

  8. Why doesn’t anybody mention the fact that the QE will only be operated for 3 year, then when the next one comes on line it is scheduled to be sold off.

  9. The UK and RN in particular is blinded by history and they’re not looking to the future. There are lessons to be learned but there is a failure to understand the current character of conflict and that’s a disservice to the taxpayer.

  10. Steve, paul, Mike, do not worry about staffing these ships, my daughter is on the verge of joing the Navy, just waiting for her to turn 17. Then all will be good 🙂

  11. Mike I tend to agree but to be fair I think that is the nature of military forces the world over. Carriers although they look impressive could well be out dated but if so the RN is in good company.

  12. I have no problem with the procurement of these carriers, the issue is that the nations conventional assets have been eroded to such an extent that the idea of a viable UK carrier strike force is impossible given the advances in technology of weapons designed to eliminate large capital ships.

    Our new carriers will only be operate as part of wider US task force, meaning the UK is incapable of independent operations outside our corner of the north Atlantic.

    So jingoistic talk of the UK of being a premier military force is both a lie and wrong.

    • Hi Mike, just because 1 or maybe 2 countries out of 200 may have missiles that can sink a Carrier does not make it not “viable”

      The aircraft carrier is still the number 1 tool for power projection, just like the Battleship before it. America are replacing their 10, China are building then, France had one, Russia would kill for even 1 decent Carrier. They are no way near redundant yet Mike.

      Our carriers will certainly not only operate as part of a wider US task force, and will definitely not be confined to the North Atlantic, that’s absolutely nonsense with respect.

      • The only nonsense is to think the UK is capable of independent global power projection.

        We simply do not have the personnel and equipment to do so.

        To ignore the threat of modern anti ship weapon technology will have dire consequences in any future conflict.

        You name a number of countries that are developing or maintaining carrier strike, care to identify what proportion of defence spending to GDP they make? Should the UK spend a similar amount?

        We in the UK are unwilling to spend the money to have the military force that we profess to have with the introduction of the new carriers.

        Its window dressing pure and simple.

        • Mike when Russia sailed that old cranky Carrier to the Med and conducted air strikes off it, that was power projection, the ability to conduct air strikes or intervene on the other side of the world, that is power projection.

          This isn’t new to us Mike, having aircraft carriers is not some new capability, it’s capability restored and enhanced.It is also vitally needed with the overseas territories we have.

          2% of an economy our size, money spent wisely, is enough to have a strong capable force during peacetime. That can have power projection through the Navy.

          I understand where you’re coming from Mike I do, a lot of stuff is wrong with how money is spent but also a lot of things are right, we do have world leading equipment in some areas.

          In a few years we will send the QE with a decent, highly capable escort to where ever we want in the world, that is power projection.

          • I don’t think you understand that the armed forces should be trained and equipped for war not peacetime jollies around the global.

            History has repeatedly shown that the UK in particular is always totally unprepared for war when it occurs. We lack the strategy, personnel and equipment for warfighting.

            The UK military chiefs need to inform the politicans and the voters the limits of our capability, instead of ignoring them.

            We need pragmatic realism about want we can achieve in times of war. The new carriers without the escorts, support and personnel are highly vulnerable and therefore minimal warfighting capability.

            In 1998 we were told global power projection would require 2 carriers, 12 destroyers, 20 frigates, 11 supports ships and 10 fleet submarines. Well we have the carriers what about the rest?

            The UK will not be able to project global power in times of war and anyone who thinks that it can is either naive or stupid.

  13. Mike as soon as we slipped below the SDR98 force levels you could see any ability to maintain coherent force structures was lost and as a consequence so was our ability to deploy independently on any meaningful scale. This matters because our leaders still talk big of course!

    • I agree, yet the politicians and chiefs of staff still like to talk up our military capability whilst ignoring the truth .

      The truth is our conventional forces are thread bare, operating equipment that is not fit for purpose, too old and unavailable in the quantities required.

      The biggest problem of all is a lack of experienced and suitably qualified. I know for a fact that some front line army units are only operating 50% manning levels and equipment that is over 40 years old not fit for modern warfare with poor availability (less than 50%).

      Yet our lords and masters tell us we are back in the military elite.

      • I also agree and it is not really difficult to correct – the concept of fleet management seems to have bypassed the MOD who seem to believe they are immune to cost control.

        Eddie stobarts dont wait until all their vehicles are knackered before replacing, but the MOD does. It is really doable for the RN to renew and enhance their fleet with a budget of £3bn p.a. This is for new kit only – not support or any other items but cold hard new steel and weapons systems.

        The RN and UKAF need to move away from a set piece strategic view towards an asymmetrical and insertion force structure imho, especially given our force numbers.

        I think we should be looking at 2.5% of GDP as a minimum and need to ensure that we spend 30% on new kit, 40% on support and services and 30% on pay and reward.

        We can refine these percentages a bit but my analysis shows too much is being spent on non-core items and not enough on people and new kit.

  14. Hey KieranC.. Totally agree with you’re comments above about the carriers.. Since the uk’s military capabilities have been cut back having the two large carriers will for sure lift the UK a level or two up again, carriers will be playing a huge role in the world for many years to come.

  15. The QE class will enable power projection for the next 50+ years.
    a 72000 ton carrier deploying advanced stealth 5th generation jump jets simply cannot fail to be a potent weapon system and threat to even the highest end of opponents.
    The QE will succeed as long as protected by an adequate carrier battle group and has enough F35Bs onboard to provide an adequate protective airwing.
    There are some gaps in our order of battle that need addressing. These will not be resolved by voting for Corbyn, labour need to get rid of him if they want to be taken seriously.
    Items needed that will resolve the current perilous state of RN.
    manpower needs to increase by 3-5000 as requested prior to SDSR 2015
    Escort warship numbers need yo go up to 26 frigates and destroyers as a minimum.
    the number of astute subs needs to be increased by 3-4 aiming for 9-10 in service
    an anti ship missile has to be fitted to RN before harpoon goes out of service so NSM seems to be the only viable immediate option.
    The number of F35bs in active service will need to be at least double that envisaged under current force plans for 2024. So more than 24 active jets in 2 squadrons.
    RFA Diligence needs replacing as a forward repair ship
    HMS Ocean needs replacing as a purpose built lphd to enable a real amphibious readiness group. It is madness to propose using a £3 billion QE class strike carrier in a lph role.
    QEs self defence weapons need to be beefed up to guard against proliferation of quiet AIP conventional subs and proliferation of anti ship missiles.
    QE must be fitted with a minimum of 48 cell sea ceptor and Italian anti torpedo anti mine system as per FREMM frigate armament.
    If we cannot afford to do these steps why are we sending £13 billion a year abroad free of charge with no oversight to failed states?
    We either cut foreign aid or raise taxes to pay for a suitably enlarged and powerful armed forces. Happy with either option.

    • Mr Bell

      As you know I am a massive fan of the Karel Doorman class of ship and would quite happily compromise the requirement for dedicated amphibious assets with the need for a multi purpose ship (JSS).

      I think the RN would be better off removing the Bays, Argus, Ocean, Diligence etc with a fleet of Aegir based Karel Doorman style joint support ships. These ships with a tweak or two here and there could achieve everything we need and more whilst having more flexibility. We could build 12 of them and some of these could be assigned to the Foreign Aid Budget as humanitarian aid vessels (shouldn’t we have something going to Sierra Leone now for instance).

      A Karel Doorman with 12 Marlins, 2 Landing Craft, 8 CB90’s and 2 ship to shore connectors and a battalion of RM’s would surely be something to be valued, or is it just me?

  16. Mikesaul our armed forces are well trained, we can never be ready for proper wartime Mike, not even America is ready for total war, I’m talking about a wartime economy, producing ships, tanks and planes by the day and week, you can never know how much you would need so how can you prepare for that.

    The only thing we can do is look at our possible independent conflicts and try to have a force for that. Along with being a strong cog in a coalition of allies, to that we already are.

    “peacetime jollies” actually involve lots of stuff that make our armed forces better.

    Can you tell me what our carriers are short of on a deployment?

    I think some people are under the illusion that an island of the coast of Europe with a sub 100m population with no massive pile of natural resources should have an armed forces strong enough to conquer the world.

    In nearly every major conflict Mike going back to the best days of the empire we have always fought as a coalition, 7 years war, Spanish war of succession, napoleonic wars, the world wars we had help in all of them, we don’t have the population to do massive things by ourselves. We had the largest navy in the world at the start of WW2 and even that was no where near enough to win, we were chased out the Far East.

    The 1998 thing was nearly 20 years ago and that was power projection on top of all our standing patrols. Now what we have at the moment is enough to do either but not both, I agree we need an increase to cover our standing patrols and be able to project power. But maybe it’s time other nations stepped up and patrolled their own waters better to free up our fleet, why can’t Saudi Arabia protect the gulf? Why can’t Israel and Italy protect the med? Germany needs to step up.

    I do agree that we need a modest increase in numbers but the idea that we cannot deploy a carrier with a decent escort is crazy.

  17. Our armed forces are not prepared or equipped for war, that is why some army frontline combat units are only 50% manned, that is why the army still uses 50 year armoured vehicles that are not fit for combat, the RN does not have enough personnel to man it’s ships and the RAF has had no maritime patrol capability for the past 7 years are examples of being unprepared.

    If as you say the UK is incapable of global power projection and that others need to step up to the plate, then we don’t need two large expensive carriers.

    If we became involved in a full scale conventional warfare we do not have escorts to defend a carrier based task force against a well equipped opponent.

    My views are based on my experiences and that family members serving in the military. What are yours based on?

    • You can state as many negatives as you want, but without acknowledging the positives you’re argument is redundant.

      only America is capable of ‘global’ power projection. I said we ARE capable of power projection, not global. It’s really simple, a carrier with 3 escorts on the other side of the world IS power projection, having 6 or 7 fleets of 30 plus ships in every section of the world is global power projection. Two seperate things, only one country on the world has global power projection and that’s the USA like i said. But that doesn’t mean a nation cannot project its own power somewhere through the use of a carrier, and that IS what we can now do.

      I said others need to step up to the plate to make it easier for us in general, I don’t mean so we can have fleets based around the world Mike ffs.

      Ok then you name a well equipped possible enemy opponent, name the lead ship and her escorts, logistic ships, lets say a skirmish in the middle of the Pacific, I’ll go with HMS QE with 48 F35b’s Duncan, Diamond, Dragon, Iron Duke, Westminster, Richmond, Sutherland, Tidespring, Tiderance, Victoria, Austin, Rosalie, Astute, Ambush, Artful, Agamemnon.

      I’ll give you a clue there is only 1 possible country you could be.

      So that’s a great one that is, let’s not build aircraft carriers because we might not be able to beat one country. Great idea 👍

  18. Really interesting discussion going on here and one I think we are all passionate about.

    For me I think the RN is moving into incredibly positive territory and with a few bold moves can rejuvenate capability on a massive scale.

    For me the requirement is to move to an escort heavy fleet as follows:

    The T26 for me is the de-facto Destroyer of the RN for many years to come – add Sampson to it and build 14 over the next 25 years and we have a ready made replacement for T45 (8+6)

    T31 is where the opportunity is at – We need 25 of these and to get that I suspect the MCM/MHVC fleet will need to be retired and the OPV’s eventually. I believe these need to be our main ASW/MCM assets and they will rely on Unmanned vehicles to deliver their value.

    The Submarine fleet need a modest increase in size to 10 astutes (or maybe SSK’s over time).

    The RFA will see the biggest increase with all vessels being Aegir based – 8 Tides and 8 Joint Support Ships providing solid store/mother ship/expeditionary capability.

    Lastly, but actually most importantly is the small vessel classes I believe we need

    CB90’s, Safeboats Mk6, Atlas Arcims MCM, Ship to Shore connectors, Rhibs – these and other relatively low cost “enabling” vessels will bring the capital ships to life and make them task ready.

    I for one am optimistic about the future of the RN – Arcims has been given an initial order, CB90’s could give the RM a real cutting edge with first wave assault being conducted by these with secondary via ship to shore connectors. The beauty is these are relatively low cost (£3m and £60m each and allow for high scale and capability as required.

    As I say a few bold strategic decisions, some disciplined fleet management and we are close to getting a sustainable solution. Let’s purchase 3 major assets per year and 12-20 smaller assets – but it needs to be every single year with no cancellations or reductions as we are at the bare minimum now – but this gives us the opportunity to do things differently.

    • As always a good and well thought comment, there is not a lot I would change with that and I agree it is doable, with some retirements like you said. As you know I have a different view on amphibious assault but I would take yours in a heartbeat if that’s what was on offer.

      The future does look bright if we make the right few choices, the QE class, Merlin & Wildcat, F35b are massive steps in the right direction, the type 26 also, and I have said before like you the type 31 is massive for us if the right amount are ordered.

  19. KieranC I like your positive attitude but Mike is only stating the current and the near future state of the Navy. In the near future we will not have 48 F35b’s whilst Tidespring, Tiderance, and Agamemnon are currently in the hands of the builders. To maintain a ship on station takes 3 in total. Three T45s and 4 Astutes’s in the Pacific is a dream.
    The last time we deployed to the Far East in force was in 1997 for the handover of Hong Kong and we had 17 vessels involved during that deployment. The navy was much larger than it is now so you stating we could deploy 17 ships there now is pure fantasy I am afraid.

    • Yeah I know i only included Agamemnon because it’s the one of the most badass names for a sub i’v ever heard 😉 I cannot wait for that getting commissioned.

      I still think in a conflict with say Argentina again, we could send a sizable task force with the 2 carriers, we would have to really.

  20. KieranC you failed to identify on what knowledge/experience base your opinions are based on.

    You also failed to address the chronic personnel shortages suffered by our military and why the army is using 50 year old vehicles that not fit for purpose.

    If the the UK does have enough resources/assets/personnel to be in the world’s military elite or is incapable of independent military operations outside of the north Atlantic’s then the procurement of two large and expensive carriers is a mistake.

    Always nice to have a debate, but the points needs to be addressed rather acting as an arm of the MOD PR department.

    • Mike you have failed consistently to answer any of my points, you haven’t engaged in anything I’ve said, this isn’t a debate by any means, it’s me who is debating.

      50 year old vehicles for the army doesn’t have anything to do with the subject we have been talking about, which was power projection.

      You still haven’t given any proof that we can’t deploy a carrier outside the North Atlantic.

      I failed to state what “experience my opinion is based on” because that’s a stupid question that doesn’t really warrant an answer. We’re adults mike not teenagers, I don’t have to sing and shout and say ‘oh my brothers in the military so I obviously know more and have a more valid opinion than you’

      My opinions are based on facts, readily available on the internet and other sources.

      HMS QE – built, crew is ready.
      F35b – built, pilots trained/training
      Helicopters – built, pilots trained.
      2 destroyers are on active duty with a full crew.
      1 destroyer about to be on active duty with a full crew.
      4 frigates are on active duty with a full crew.

      That’s just an example of some easily available facts why QE will be getting deployed outside the North Atlantic with a capable escort

      Now it’s your turn, you tell me some facts that help your argument that HMS QE will not be getting deployed outside the North Atlantic.

      • So you have no experience of the military then, yet feel confident enough to utter your opinions.

        I suggest you actually get some experience and knowledge of our armed forces, rather than state opinions that have no value or weight.

  21. Just to make it perfectly clear my opinion of the current state of the UK armed forces is this.

    All bark and no bite.
    All booster, no payload.
    All crown, no filling.
    All foam, no beer.
    All ham, no let. (for you fans of The Bard).
    All hammer, no nail.
    All icing, no cake.
    All lime and salt, no tequila.
    All mouth and no trousers.
    All shot, no powder.
    All sizzle and no steak.
    All wax and no wick.

    Hopefully the hard at understanding will be able to understand at least one of those comments.

    We need a substantial increase in expediture to equip our armed forces with the kit they need and substantial and costly increase in recruitment and retention of personnel if we to become a military elite.

    I see many commentators generate daily wish lists of what equipment they wish to be procured, well folks none of that will happen you are living in a fantasy world.

    All the spin and propoganda about new found capabilities are nothing than a fake veneer covering a bloody mess. Let’s hope not not many of our service personnel have to die before we address that mess.

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