HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales have met each other at sea for the very first time.

HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander UK Carrier Strike Group said:

“Having previously commanded both HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, it was hugely exciting to be present as the two met at sea for the first time.

I know that sense of pride and accomplishment is shared by thousands of others, military and civilian, who have contributed to the Royal Navy’s carrier renaissance over the past decade or more.

HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The strategic significance is profound. Building one aircraft carrier is a sign of national ambition. But building two – and operating them simultaneously – is a sign of serious national intent. It means Britain has a continuous carrier strike capability, with one vessel always ready to respond to global events at short notice.

Few other navies can do that. Britain is back in the front rank of maritime powers.”

HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“The UK Carrier Strike Group is a great symbol of collaboration, both across the Armed Forces and our industry partners. Sailing together through a number of different environments, the partnership will uphold British values and international order.

HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Queen Elizabeth pictured at sea for the first time.
Wednesday 19 May 2021 saw a historic moment in Britain’s carrier renaissance as HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales met at sea for the first time. With two 65,000 tonne carriers in operational service, Britain has a continuous carrier strike capability, with one vessel always ready to respond to global events at short notice.

By leading a large international exercise, practicing its wide range of capabilities, and demonstrating its formidable size, Strike Warrior 21 has proved that years of hard work, training and planning have paid off. The UK Carrier Strike Group is ready to promote Global Britain and confront future security threats of the twenty-first century.”

HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Queen Elizabeth.

HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Strike Group have recently completed Exercise Strike Warrior, an exercise designed to push the Carrier Strike Group to the limits and ensure its readiness for any situation during this year’s seven-month global deployment.

HMS Prince of Wales is in the midst of sea trials and other tests.

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Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
27 days ago

How does it demonstrate its formidable size: just asking?

KeithD
KeithD
27 days ago

BY getting stuck in a harbour entrance somewhere?

TrevorH
TrevorH
26 days ago

Space for 18 fast jets on the flight deck with space to spare

Ron
Ron
26 days ago

How about taking two Type 23s side by side and put them in the hanger and still have space to walk around, or an airfield that can go anywhere in the world via water, does not need international permission to get there and with the two carriers enough airpower to give any nation including China/Russia a headache. All we now need is something I call a fleet escort carrier, not one to carry out strike missions but one to carry say 12 aircraft on CAP. The big carriers carry out land and fleet strike, the escort carrier which could be… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
26 days ago
Reply to  Ron

I was being somewhat tongue in cheek in my comment!

DF’s comment was an open invitation to be TiC (tongue in cheek)

Ron
Ron
26 days ago

No problem, It did get me thinking on why what for and how. Anyway I hope you have fun.

Jon
Jon
26 days ago
Reply to  Ron

We need an escort carrier to trial the lightweight cats and traps on and to work up Vixen. Using one of the main carriers to do that takes it out of serious operations for 5 or 6 years.

Only fit them to the QE class once when trialled on something cheaper.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
26 days ago
Reply to  Jon

And how long would it take to design, fund, build a class of ships? More than 5 years!

Better off using what we have to hand there is impetus to get things done which is great to see.

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
26 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Hi Jon, you mean trial on something like the US Wasp or French Mistral or Italian Cavour classes?

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
25 days ago
Reply to  Ron

The potential of escort carriers is a concept I think too easily overlooked. As long as there is no attempt to make it ‘all singing and all dancing’ a platform of ever increasing costs, one that could carry a mix of fixed wing, rotary and U.A.V’s as required without exposing a critical asset is one I would like to see explored.

Last edited 25 days ago by Barry Larking
ChariotRider
ChariotRider
25 days ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Depends on what you are thinking of escorting. If you are thinking about escorting the carrier with an escort carrier you might as well just put both of QE class in a combined strike group and give whoever is rattling your cage a good hard slapping… To me an escort carrier is all about convoys. If we need an escort carrier you are talking about the potential for the 3rd Battle of the Atlantic. We won the 1st and 2nd Battles of the Atlantic, but we would not even be able to get started in round 3. For us to… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
26 days ago

Well I do hear there are plans afoot to take apart and then rebuild the houses of Parliament brick by brick on the flight deck of Queen Elizabeth. The whole Renaming of the clock tower to Elizabeth tower and now the refurbishment/building work is all a cover for it…… mark my words next refit will see a Parliament with the ability to deploy anywhere in the world and legislate according to any risk to national interest.

Nick C
Nick C
26 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

That really would give a new meaning to Pax Britannica, provided we had enough Victorian era gunboats to back it up!

captain p wash
captain p wash
26 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Personally, I’d just load the whole lot on a “Bovril Boat” and dump it in the “Black Deep”….. 😶

Jonathan
Jonathan
26 days ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Ha Ha I’m pretty sure the EU sunk the Bovril boats…some such nonsense about polluting the seas I believe.

Even so I’m not sure about the concept of send Parliament to the black deep it would destroy the North Sea fishing industry….. after all who would want to eat a fish that may have nibbled on a politician eeeck.

Sjb1968
Sjb1968
26 days ago

A magnificent sight.

Something Different
Something Different
25 days ago
Reply to  Sjb1968

Totally agree!

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
25 days ago
Reply to  Sjb1968

Agree.

Ian
Ian
25 days ago
Reply to  Sjb1968

Truly magnificent….. 4 F35’s parked on POW for the photo would have been very impressive

Nic
Nic
26 days ago

We have the ships , We have crews, But we don’t have the aircraft to make them operational at the same time.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
26 days ago
Reply to  Nic

If we ever needed to have both in play at the same time one would be loaded with F35 and CrowsNest.

The other probably as a helo carrier with maybe a few F35 for self defence.

Bear in mind the plan is to have one available at any given time.

This was setup as a photo op……to send a message….

Nic
Nic
26 days ago

I suppose they would use UAVs as well to support the Carriers if it came to it

stephen ball
stephen ball
26 days ago

If we ever have two out on war operation’s think it’ll be 36 on one ship 24 with 12 USMC on the other.

Do think we’ll have around 80’ish F35b overall.

Last edited 26 days ago by stephen ball
JohnG
JohnG
26 days ago
Reply to  stephen ball

Yes 80 with plans for four squadrons.

Alabama boy
Alabama boy
25 days ago
Reply to  JohnG

Chief of the Air Staff talked about 48 F35Bs aircraft in 4 Sqns for the carriers and attrition buys. I doubt we can afford more. He made no mention of RAF F35s for long range strike attack (replace Tornado) and close air support ( replace Harrier) to the Army. If the RAF get any F35 B or A models the numbers will be very small because MOD cannot afford it – for the RAF everything now depends on Tempest in undefined numbers – watch this space..

TrevorH
TrevorH
26 days ago
Reply to  Nic

They are being built. There are some issues, one being that Lockheed have not yet reached full production rate.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
26 days ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Thank you for pointing out that at the end of the day we are reliant on US production. Yes we could have ordered more sooner. It that would have meant an early technology fit that would have either meant accepting a lower overall capability or accepting the extra cost of updating them later. It’s not our fault that the carriers were completed earlier than the aircraft they will support onboard and this situation could hardly have been accommodated during design and build period could it. If build had been delayed costs would have increased as much as the derision from… Read more »

John N
John N
26 days ago
Reply to  TrevorH

It’s more to do with the very very low UK order rate.

Here in Oz the RAAF had 15 F-35A delivered last year, 2020 (to bring the fleet to 33), there will be another 15 this year 2021, another 15 in 2022 And 9 in 2023, to make a total of 72.

Whilst not ‘technically’ at full rate production, LM is due to deliver ‘more’ than 150 F-35 this year.

TrevorH
TrevorH
26 days ago
Reply to  John N

These are points worth considering. But F35Bs are a minority in the overall make up of the production rate

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
26 days ago
Reply to  John N

As I always point out when someone mentions low order rate. Look at the issues with block IV software. Its proven quite savvy to have had such a low order rate IMHO.

SwindonSteve
SwindonSteve
26 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Yes. On this occasion, jam tomorrow seems to have been prudent.

Andy a
Andy a
26 days ago
Reply to  John N

We don’t want them all yet, they are early block with less capabilities, better to build up 15/20 a year like we are. After all we buy 80 in one go they are knackered all at same time. Every fast jet program ever starts and gets bigger as capabilities are added and issues solved

Last edited 26 days ago by Andy a
Pete
Pete
26 days ago
Reply to  John N

Block 4 software is awaited to allow adoption of uk IP weapons fit which is key to standoff capability Spear 3, meteor etc. #20m per plane to subsequently upgrade current production versions to block 4. Over a couple of squadrons that’s equivalent to another T31.

Joe16
Joe16
26 days ago
Reply to  John N

True, it’s everything to do with the order rate- that and that we gave some of our early slots to the USMC so they could build up their IOC quicker. But (this is not a criticism) the Australian F-35s that are on order are not Block IV software, and likely don’t have some of the hardware upgrades to the EOTS that will be coming with that. That isn’t due for another year or two on the current schedule if memory serves. Australia will have to either pay for those aircraft to have the upgrade, or leave them as less capable… Read more »

John N
John N
26 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Yes I do understand that Blk 4 is important for the UK and the RAF, it’s important for all user nations including Australia, for the RAAF it will add JSM, SDB II, JSOW-C1 (already in service on the F/A-18F fleet). There are valid reasons for various air forces to procure early or late, RAF later because of ‘non standard’ USAF/USN weapons fit, the RAAF earlier, able to retire the 30+ yr old Hornet fleet (as airframes age, sustainment and operating costs steadily grow). There appears to be a lot of assumptions as to the cost of upgrading airframes from Blk… Read more »

julian1
julian1
26 days ago
Reply to  John N

Yes but the As are rather more mature/simple than the Bs so you can ramp up sooner

John N
John N
26 days ago
Reply to  julian1

Julian,

Actually the B reached IOC with the USMC in July 2015 and the A with the USAF in August 2016.

The only reason there are more A than B in global service is simply that there is a larger pool of A operators, therefore a higher production rate.

Cheers,

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
20 days ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Why is Lockheed not in full rate production for F-35B after all this time?

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
26 days ago
Reply to  Nic

The article explains why. 2 vessels so one is always available 365

Ron
Ron
26 days ago
Reply to  Nic

Not yet, if I remember correctly Carrier Strike ability is to be fully operational by 2023. By then we will have 48 F35Bs in front line units. That could or would mean 24 aircraft per carrier plus some for training etc. I am possibly wrong in this but I do weem to remember it somewhere. Combine the 24 F35Bs with 3 Crowsnest, 4 ASW Merlins, 2-4 Royal Marine Merlins and if I had my way 2-4 Apaches that is a combined airwing of 40 aircraft. Its not a QE max load but a very flexible air group able to do… Read more »

TrevorH
TrevorH
26 days ago
Reply to  Ron

In my humble (very) opinion, the FAA should have squadrons of 8 with a ‘wing’ of 3 squadrons. With say 4 planes additional to fill in with availability. So a full wing embarked would be 28. With a routine typical standard serious load of 2 squadrons allowing for rotation, so say between 16 and 20 planes embarked.

Ron
Ron
26 days ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Hi TrevorH first no opinion is humble everyones opinion is as vailid or improtant as the next person. Ok your figures makes sense and for peacetime operations is completly logical. 16-24 F35Bs for normal ops with a surge capacity of 36 per carrier plus helicopters. That is a fairly powerful air wing

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
26 days ago
Reply to  Ron

I’m sorry Ron but you are wrong. The aircraft won’t be available and unless we put in an order soon we won’t be ready even in 2030. This don’t need them yet/ block 4 argument (not yours) drives me nuts. There is absolutely nothing to stop us ordering now and specifying what mark we want.We can have a hugely capable operation with 60 to 70 F35’s.

Peter S
Peter S
26 days ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

What’s stopping us ordering now is the unaffordability of the equipment plan. We have even had to delay delivery of all 48 by 2 years to 2025. The further reference by the FSL to unmanned platforms seems to confirm that F35 numbers will never be sufficient to use the full capacity of both carriers.
They are an impressive sight though.

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
26 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

If anything Peter the UAV discussion supports the argument. Two squadrons of 10/12 F35’s with a squadron of Mosquito drones would provide the kit for two ships.

Peter S
Peter S
26 days ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

If we can get an EMAL system installed without breaking the bank, then I agree that 10/12 F35 plus UCAVs would give a decent air group. I know it’s early days in the ucav project, but I wonder if the aim is to have a cats and traps system on both carriers? Given how much is expected of UCAVs, would a STOVL variant be possible? The F35 is totally reliant on software for landing (the F18 has also had updated software to automate more of the landing operation). So in theory, a STOVL landing should be no more complex than… Read more »

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
25 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

I’ve not been able to work this story out since it broke. A suitable ship by 2023? If it’s a carrier where is it going to be fitted. Low degree angled deck? Ideas anybody?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
26 days ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Hi Geoffrey, I’m a bit with you on this. If it’s just software we’re waiting on then can’t they get building some more planes
started now and update the software when they are finally built? Maybe it’s not as easy as this, but if the F35 is a flying computer can’t the software be added in later or progressively.?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
26 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Correct. 2 Air groups of F35 and Merlin has never been the plan and now, hopefully, UAV can come to HMG aid and a second airgroup can be built around Vixen.

The 1SL has said as such recently, an air group for both carriers being a priority.

Richard B
Richard B
25 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Interesting that the three Merlin HC.4’s and most of the RM’s have ended up embarked on Fort Vic rather than QE- that didn’t seem to be the original plan. I’m wondering whether for CSG21 is QE is close the limits of her standard accommodation (1600 berths) and hotel services. Her core ships crew (complement) has been increased in size to 800, and the Yanks seem to have embarked in large numbers – not just VMFA-211 but sailors from USS John Stennis and even US Coast Guard engineers. The bane every RN aircraft carrier ever built has been a shortage of… Read more »

Richard B
Richard B
24 days ago
Reply to  Richard B

I’ve just watched a CNBC news report of the Queen’s visit to QE, which claims she has a crew of 1700, including 250 US Marines. So much for 4-berth cabins for all Junior Rates! It may have been better if the designers had included some old fashioned messes. Replace 4 cabins (16 berths) with a mess for 24. Because one watch is always on duty and the berths are triple rather than double, you actually can fit in a useful communal area with seating for uckers and tinny.

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
26 days ago
Reply to  Nic

There is a way of achieving two carrier operation. Have a look at East of Suez and the Royal Navy. Click on analysis Opinion. I’m not trying to blow my trumpet but it saves me retyping every time this comes up.

Andrew
Andrew
26 days ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Sorry Geoff, I always thought that from day one, the plan is only for one carrier group to be available? There just isn’t the F35’s/helicopters/escorts to do two carrier groups…. and if we did two carrier groups then any future adversary just needs to wait till they are both out of service at the same time for maintenance before acting…

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
26 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Hi Andrew..did you read my article>. I think it shows that we can operate two carriers given the will to it. We can obviously crew them other wise they wouldn’t be out together.

Andrew
Andrew
25 days ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

To be fair, the POW, isn’t really fully operational, it’s just a photo op….

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
25 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

…but it would be operational if it had the aircrew. That’s the point.

julian1
julian1
26 days ago

Stunning…a sight for sore eyes. Does PoW have a plan for air trials later this summer? As long as one ship is available with a decent air group at all times, I’m relaxed. Hardly any nations will have this capability and even fewer the ability to continuously provide it.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
26 days ago
Reply to  julian1

Yes, I agree.

Nick C
Nick C
26 days ago
Reply to  julian1

I think that she is due to go over to the States in the late summer/autumn to do her fixed wing qualifications, presumably with the test squadron aircraft that are being kept in the US for training. She can work up her helo capabilities over here.

Ron
Ron
26 days ago
Reply to  Nick C

No, from my understanding the F35B qualification is to be carried out in UK waters with UK aircraft. One of the reasons for the limited QE F35B deployment.

Nick C
Nick C
26 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Ok, thanks. Does anyone know if the three aircraft currently being retained in the US are going to come over to be added to the UK inventory?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
26 days ago
Reply to  Nick C

Do you mean the orange wired ones?

If so they might come to Boscombe Down but they may well stay where they are.

They are early production units so very hard to bring to latest spec.

So I suspect they will serve out their lives as T&E workhorses.

Richard B
Richard B
24 days ago

Yes, they will never American shores. The oldest is about 10 years old and will probably be retired soon. Apparently the UK was pressurised by the USA in to buying these 3 aircraft as a contribution towards all the cost-runs. They were an unplanned addition to the $2 bn that the UK paid to be a Tier 1 partner – a status which formally expires when Block 3F is finally certified as complete, and which has already become increasingly meaningless as the USA progresses the Block 4 standard.

Ron
Ron
26 days ago
Reply to  Nick C

No, they are staying State side to carry out intergration tesing for weapons, software etc.

Ron
Ron
26 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Sorry testing.

Lusty
Lusty
26 days ago
Reply to  julian1

Here’s a quote from the 1SL’s message at the Sea Power Conference:

“We are devouring novel technologies and innovation. We will begin to launch drones from HMS Prince of Wales in September and accelerate the transition to a hybrid crewed/uncrewed airwing. My ambition is that we challenge ourselves to create an air wing for each carrier.”

julian1
julian1
26 days ago

I count 17 F35s. where is the last one – perhaps it was the photo ship?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
26 days ago
Reply to  julian1

Maybe in the hangar on in the air?

John Stevens
John Stevens
26 days ago
Reply to  julian1

It’s funny you saying that. When I watched a YouTube video of the US F35’s taking off from their UK base to join the carrier – only counted 9 at the time. But presumed the 10 aircraft would be joining at some point. Hope it’s there..

Still very impressive to see. Wow ! Clap to all involved..

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
26 days ago
Reply to  John Stevens

18 is to my reckoning the largest number of 5th generation jets ever taken to sea by anyone in the world on any one carrier, so far. Someone needs to check that but I think it’s right. If the F35B is nearly as capable as stated it should nullify most enemies likely numerical advantage.

John Stevens
John Stevens
26 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Yes, for sure including the Brit’s.. Figure of 18. Just noticed originally 9 USA F35’s taking off from their base. But, all looks darn impressive to me.

Richard B
Richard B
24 days ago
Reply to  julian1

One of the ten VMFA-211 aircraft went unserviceable. Hopefully it will catch up with the ship at some point as it represents 6% of the fixed wing strength. Just last year it was still widely expected that QE would embark 24 F-35B’s for CSG-21.

John Fedup
John Fedup
26 days ago

The picture second from the bottom has the vessel on the right appearing smaller, an iPhone viewing issue perhaps (currently using)?

Dern
Dern
26 days ago
Reply to  John Fedup

Perspective, Prince of Wales is further from the camera, thus appears smaller.

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
26 days ago
Reply to  John Fedup

A Father Ted Reply might explain.

Herodotus
Herodotus
26 days ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

No Dougal…..the sheep on the hill are a long way away!

captain p wash
captain p wash
26 days ago
Reply to  Herodotus

An “Expert” in Father Ted quotes I see….. 😎

Dern
Dern
26 days ago

HMS Massive?

Springer
Springer
26 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Haha the Massive already commented on this!

https://twitter.com/HMS_Massive/status/1394963835493232641

Capture.PNG
Andrew D
Andrew D
26 days ago

Great to see just need more aircraft and more Escorts ,oops gone back to the 80s again 😷

ERNEST HARRISON
ERNEST HARRISON
26 days ago

No aircraft to speak off. Really buying the F-35B was a monumental mistake IMO. Cheaper and more would have been much better. A fast jet capable of delivering much more would have been more effective…US marines have more jets than the RN when they deploy later this month. That’s sad…

Last edited 26 days ago by ERNEST HARRISON
Jonathan
Jonathan
26 days ago

Could you explain why the F35B was a mistake and which Aircraft should we have purchased and exactly how would we have qualified the mass of pilots needed to sustain carrier opps for cats and traps vs the very easy qualification of a pilot for carrier ops on F35b. Also was there a plan for all the capital and ongoing costs associated with supporting CATOBAR carriers. its the little differences like ability to surge all available aircraft in a short time ( you can’t do that with a CATOBAR carrier) that really make the F35B a better choice for the… Read more »

Mark
Mark
26 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Total agree F35b ability to take off in higher sea states that the F45c makes it a much better aircraft considered our carriers will be used to defend the north Atlantic in rough seas much like the Falklands. If we had not had harrier we would have had little air cover over the Falklands as you just can’t wait for rough seas to clam. The F35b abilities make it a much more cost effective aircraft than the F35c.

ERNEST HARRISON
ERNEST HARRISON
18 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Sorry late answer. The short answer is the F-35 is not as good as the F-35C – The F-35 is fatter/slower and carries less munitions. A Super Hornet would have IMO been better, or if stealth is a must, F-35-C OK I agree in part over swarm but for that to be effective, lote of jets need to be available not just a dozen or so. As for piolets was not a problem for our last CATOBAR carrier, was it? Last the RAF have to share the F-35B – Really not good, they need better jets with more range and… Read more »

Herodotus
Herodotus
26 days ago

Are you an ex Racal employee?

ERNEST HARRISON
ERNEST HARRISON
18 days ago
Reply to  Herodotus

no!

Herodotus
Herodotus
18 days ago

I wondered as Ernest Harrison was CEO of Racal for many, many years!

Mike
Mike
26 days ago

Global Britain, it makes me feel very proud of the Royal Navy.

The Artist Formerly known As Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly known As Los Pollos Chicken
26 days ago
Reply to  Mike

FFS man be careful with that kind of positive talk you’ll be causing outrage and spilled soy latte’s,, upsetting the usual suspects who will require an even bigger supply of new untwisted panties😂

out %&££@€& standing, RN # numero uno 👍🏻👏🏻
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇬🇧

Herodotus
Herodotus
26 days ago

Change the record!

The Artist Formerly known As Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly known As Los Pollos Chicken
26 days ago
Reply to  Herodotus

😂👋🏻 it’s all digital now H records are from the 1960’s get with the times man 👍🏻

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇬🇧

Jonathan
Jonathan
25 days ago

Change the 8 track

Ron
Ron
26 days ago

Question I have noticed in the fourth photo that the PoW has an extra dark area, which I think is a heat resistant area aft, port side. Anyone know why? All in all a good set of naval power photos, only a pity the shot could not take in the support group. When I see the deck layout of QE and her hanger it shows that they can take much more than the 24-36 F36Bs, I do remember reading somewhere that at surge they are capable of 70 aircraft. Oh and by the way they are not 65,000 tons but… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
26 days ago
Reply to  Ron

65,000 tons unloaded and with nothing onboard. 72-74,000 tons full load

Trevor
Trevor
26 days ago

Fantastic photo. I started my working life at a shipyard tendering for the CVA01 contract in the 60s, only to see that cancelled by the Wilson government. That strategic mistake has finally been rectified.

AV
AV
26 days ago
Reply to  Trevor

Spot on.

Ron
Ron
26 days ago
Reply to  Trevor

Hear, hear.

geoff
geoff
26 days ago
Reply to  Trevor

Hey Trevor-that means you must be older than me-just maybe. I thought I was the father of the house!😉 May 22 1949. To think that the bedroom antics of a couple of fairly typical examples of the male of the species, changed history and the shape of the British Defence inustry!. The Tories would no doubt have been re-elected and Carriers,TSR2,Supersonic Harrier et al would have forged onward!

geoff
geoff
26 days ago
Reply to  geoff

..been elected but for the Profumo affair.

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
26 days ago
Reply to  Trevor

Just need the couple of Thousand Aircraft now …… 😅

Andrew
Andrew
25 days ago
Reply to  Trevor

Just think the CVA01/2/3 would be be probably be going out of service now if they had been built….

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
26 days ago

Blinking marvellous. What a beautiful sight.

Patrick
Patrick
26 days ago

Over 20 years of hard work, good job!

Lusty
Lusty
26 days ago

See, I said it would happen, Geoff!

What a fantastic set of photographs!

Rob
Rob
26 days ago

Great snaps but folks don’t go over excited, they will never operate together. We can only operate one air wing at a time no matter how available the flat tops are. If we were forced to operate both together, in extremis, one would have the fleet carrier air wing and the other Commandos and the junglies + maybe some F35s from (6 to 8) from OCU etc for direct support of the Marines – highly unlikely.

Sjb1968
Sjb1968
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

The 1SL seems keen to prove you wrong:

“We are devouring novel technologies and innovation. We will begin to launch drones from HMS Prince of Wales in September and accelerate the transition to a hybrid crewed/uncrewed airwing. My ambition is that we challenge ourselves to create an air wing for each carrier.”

It does seem that we are in a state of transition and manned aircraft may well be soon as thing of the past. An interesting couple of decades ahead and it would be a brave man to guess what an air-group might look like 20 years from now.

Andrew
Andrew
26 days ago
Reply to  Sjb1968

My ambition is to win the lottery…..don’t think it’ll happen though….

Jonathan
Jonathan
26 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

I don’t know, I won a tenner the other week, it’s not that unlikely.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
20 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Hope we won’t have to re-run Op CORPORATE then. We needed two carriers for that.

Springer
Springer
26 days ago

Does look impressive, great to see them sailing together. Looking forward to seeing pictures from PoW starting F35 trials, hopefully soon.

AV
AV
26 days ago

A long time in the making but oh what a sight. Yes there’s obvious issues going forward in the short term but celebrate the moment ….and as part of a longer term plan recognise the achievement. You’d have to go way back to Ark Royal & Eagle with Phantoms and Buccs to get anywhere close to this.

AV
AV
26 days ago
Reply to  AV

Point being, forget a decade without carriers….this is more a forty year catch up.

Jonathan
Jonathan
26 days ago
Reply to  AV

Just a small point, but Eagle had sea vixen in its air wing not phantoms, it’s why it got the chop before Ark Royal ( even though it was in better shape and bigger).

AV
AV
26 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Thanks Jonathan, it was simply an example to illustrate relative air groups. You’re not strictly correct though. All the FAA Phantom trials were actually completed on board Eagle but correct in operational terms.

John Walker
John Walker
26 days ago

Serious national intent is going to war with two carriers not just having two going for an afternoon cruise and photo-op…

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
26 days ago
Reply to  John Walker

Where to begin? The aircraft for them have not been built yet. Should HMS QE remain alongside til 2023 when the initial 48 F35 are available? Or can the RN carry out much needed training, procedures, gain experience, operate with allies, and show the world just what the UK and RN is capable of? No, thought not. Then we’d have people saying what is the point of the ship being built only to remain alongside. HMS QE is about to deploy for the 1st time, that is no photo op and the ability to deploy a carrier group to the… Read more »

Dern
Dern
26 days ago

Good reply Daniele

SwindonSteve
SwindonSteve
26 days ago

I apologise. I have to go and change my underwear.

dan
dan
26 days ago

Welcome back to the big leagues!

Hopefully they can take some of the pressure off the US CVBGs that are stretched thin and overworked.

Last edited 26 days ago by dan
Pete
Pete
26 days ago

They are great photos. I think I know what the British Ambassador in Moscow would like to give Putin as a Xmas present. Would look good in a gold leaf frame.

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
26 days ago

“I see no Ships”, sorry Planes….. well actually I do see Planes, just a shame I can’t see the other 64 UK ones they are designed for (but not with), yet, if at all, oh I know I’m only being silly……. Funny reading all the FB and Twitter comments yesterday, one chap said something about French Planes had gone then ? that was a new one. Anyway, what a fantastic sight, onwards and upwards.😀

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
26 days ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

As a demonstration of size, you should have been in Portland this last few weeks, RFA Fort Victoria was alongside the Norwegian Bliss on Saturday, looked like a Tug Boat……

Jonathan
Jonathan
26 days ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

I have to say I’m never quite sure how the stability of these really big cruise ships works. It does, but it just does not look right to the eye ( sort of like when a jumbo jet takes off….just not natural).

captain p wash
captain p wash
26 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

It’s all about Metacentric Height mate…. But I’m no “Expert” 😎

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
26 days ago

Has anyone spotted the extra bits fitted to HMS Prince Of Wales, Starboard side at the Bow just above the Waterline, I can’t see close enough but they look like “Drain Plugs” !!!!😎

BobA
BobA
26 days ago

A genuine question for the Naval types on here. If we actually went into a shooting war, does the size of the QEC negate the necessity for two carriers operating together? I completely get the requirement that says two to enable continuous availability. But that does mean that we normally on have one available. The only thing is, I was watching a documentary about the Falklands where Sandy Woodward said – you have to have two in case you lose one. All you need is a mechanical failure or an accident on deck and you’ve potentially got other aircraft low… Read more »

Nick C
Nick C
26 days ago
Reply to  BobA

The answer is not necessarily, because a bigger ship gives you more capability in a given hull, as always with ship construction size is useful and not too expensive, it’s the electronics and the other kit ( the air group) that drives up the overall cost. Woodward was right in that a crash on deck on Invincible or Hermes could be catastrophic because they had small decks relative to QE, and as we were all taught burning Avcat can spread very quickly. QE’s deck is so large that it ought to be possible to bring in a VTOL aircraft to… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
26 days ago
Reply to  BobA

As I understand it’s one of those advantages a Queen Elizabeth will have over a CATOBAR carrier, in that an F35B only needs a bit of clear flight deck to be able to be recovered. Where as a Recovery on a CATOBAR needs the whole deck ready.

Last edited 26 days ago by Jonathan
Lusty
Lusty
26 days ago
Reply to  BobA

It would really depend on what the situation is and what equipment is required in order to prosecute it. If the situation was (for example) airstrikes on a nation state or terrorist organisation, one carrier would suffice. I won’t name any names here, but just imagine the Middle East. You could provide the jets, AEW, ASW, SAR and perhaps even a small amount of ground attack helicopters, without the need to fully equip both carriers. This would be advantageous, as you would have one carrier and a group in reserve to take over duties and releive the other during a… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
26 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

The go to answer for naysayers moaning about only 1 airwing.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
25 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

But realistically you can also put some of the helos onto other ships in a task group. All the RFA have big helo decks some of them have a decent hangar. T45 have and T31 will have good aviation facilities. The Albions and Bays have good big decks but no permanent hangars.

OK they are not Ocean but they do all actually exist and are functional.

The other way of looking at it is that QEC is huge and 24 5th gen jets would be a huge force and there is plenty of space of cabs on top of that.

Lusty
Lusty
25 days ago

You could. It’s exactly what’s happening with CSG21 and something I should have noted. I haven’t even factored in STUFT or some of the future additions to the fleet and what they’ll being to the table. It’s true to say that a single QEC is a vast improvement over Vince and Hermes in 1982 in terms of aircraft carried, but the similarities remain. But the only RFA vessels with large hangar facilities are Fort Vic and Argus. The older Forts aren’t certified to operate Merlin (and likely wouldn’t even in a combat situation), and the tankers only offer space for… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
25 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Very interesting and considered response.

JohnG
JohnG
26 days ago

Hello, does anyone know how the rotation of planes and helos between deck and hanger works? I understand that it’s better to keep in hanger than on deck, but only space in hanger for 20, so I envisioned some kind if rotation occurring. Also, anyone know max number of planes and helps that can be on the deck at one time with it still being usable? I would guess 24 and 14, but don’t have a clue. Cheers

Herodotus
Herodotus
26 days ago
Reply to  JohnG

Ask CPW, he seems to be the expert on such matters!

Last edited 26 days ago by Herodotus
Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
26 days ago
Reply to  JohnG

It’s simple really…. We just planned not to buy enough for this question to need answering. 😉

JohnG
JohnG
26 days ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

Cheers for the replies, any ideas where I could source this info? Should be easy enough to find but am struggling a bit.

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
26 days ago
Reply to  JohnG

Well if you just go by historical events from the past 70 years, you might find an ease to your struggling. But heck, what do I know, I’m no “Expert” 😎

JohnG
JohnG
25 days ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

👍

Frank62
Frank62
24 days ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

Excellent wit CPW. It all makes sense now!

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
25 days ago
Reply to  JohnG

Serious answer.

Maintenance is the hangar first priority.

Second priority is anything not being used that needs to be kept out of salt spay.

Anything needed in a hurry is left on deck. CAP, QR, ASW, AEW rotations etc.

Paul.P
Paul.P
26 days ago

FSS order progress.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fleet-solid-support-ships-competition-launched
Foreign companies may compete but significant portion of the build must be in the UK. Navantia in the H&W yards is an option.

JohnM
JohnM
26 days ago

Some great pics on Royal Navy website now. Air Forces Monthly said one US F35 failed to fly out to ship at beginning of May due to a technical fault. Perhaps has still not joined, hence only 17 on deck for photo op.

heroic
heroic
26 days ago

The CDG looks even smaller here UKDJ !

captain p wash
captain p wash
26 days ago
Reply to  heroic

Lol.😂

Ivan Kalot
Ivan Kalot
26 days ago

U no funn DGUK 😂

Ivan Kalot
Ivan Kalot
26 days ago

RAF Luton no wellcum ony eer ven 😆

Rob
Rob
26 days ago

I see, via HMS Warrior webcam, that QE & USS Sullivans are alongside in Pompey riding out the storm. No sign of the ARG or POW. Poor beggars must be at sea getting tossed around a bit. I doubt they would even need the ramp to launch an F35 with 70 gusting up to 90 mph winds over the flight deck!

captain p wash
captain p wash
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Off Portland Race, Inbound to Pompey mate.

Rob
Rob
26 days ago
Reply to  captain p wash

In Exmouth Bay to avoid the rollers. Makes sense.

captain p wash
captain p wash
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

A bit further East mate, Weymouth Bay ….. Would love to see her in Portland or just off Weymouth tomorrow as We are off there again this Weekend.

Rob
Rob
26 days ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Sorry Capt’in, got me Portlands mixed up.

captain p wash
captain p wash
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

lol…. are you Spanish mate ? 😂 They missed it by miles a few centuries back too !!!!!

Rob
Rob
25 days ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Que?

Mike
Mike
25 days ago

I see with some amusement that Johnson has declared the UK as ‘Sheriff of the Seas’, a somewhat inflated claim more closely resembling those made by Trump. I am concerned about this ‘China’ baiting which is going on. I am typing this on a computer made in China, I watch a TV made in China and today I took a home Covid test on an NHS kit made in China. I think Johnson and his friends need to be careful about stirring up something they could have little hope of controlling. It’s good to see well equipped forces. It’s not… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
25 days ago
Reply to  Mike

Must say I tend to agree. I don’t see China’s human rights record is any worse than India’s and they actually make things we want to buy.
The Chinese have offered fighter jets to Argentina and have negotiated a harbour for their fishing fleet in Sierra Leone. They have learned from the British how to build an empire and create a network of foreign bases. For East India company read Chinese Fishing fleet…bringing jobs and making a few local politicians rich. They are self confident and outgoing, western qualities we normally admire.

Frank62
Frank62
24 days ago
Reply to  Mike

China will seek to make a world favourable to authoratarian despots & undermine democracy. The CCP has no plans to reform but entrench its control over all within the borders of the PRC. It is seeking to control its neighbours as well. The wests over-reliance on Chinese manufacturing is an own-goal delivered by greedy western capitalists who prefered more riches for themselves over providing decent jobs to their own people. If I was Chinese I’d be imprisoned for saying this.

Richard B
Richard B
25 days ago

It will be a long time before we see both carriers operating F-35B’s. A lack of aircraft is only part of the problem – the UK has only purchased enough F-35 support equipment for one ship. So when POW takes over from QE as the UK’s strike carrier, it will be “moving day” at Portsmouth for several ISO containers and lorry loads of very expensive equipment, tools and spares. 

MrSatyre
MrSatyre
25 days ago

Why are the decks different in the aft?

Andy Poulton
Andy Poulton
25 days ago

Waiting for the comments about PoW having no planes 🙂

Lusty
Lusty
25 days ago
Reply to  Andy Poulton

SHE HAS NO PLANES!

Seriously, I don’t see a carpenter’s planes embarked. 😉

Frank62
Frank62
24 days ago
Reply to  Andy Poulton

She needs to get over to the U.S. east coast for qualifying for F35 air operations, just like the QE had to. This was delayed by the October 2020 flooding incident & repair work. Repairing that was only completed earlier this month/late April & her current cruise is working-up after that. I expect sailing for the USA will be next, unless she’s still to qualify for helicopter operations first. Lots of time planned to be at sea, working up the ship has been lost while tied up at Portsmouth doing these repairs.