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criss

The carriers are great, and both will be even greater,
But I think that with political interference they may well end up an empty shell,
You see, its not the ships of planes etc, it’s the penny pinching amateur incompetent politicians, whom will swear that we are the best and have the best, but in fact we are not, and have not,
Politicians should be made legally liable for their decisions regarding the lives of all whom sail in them,
Like the type 45s they will be fitted for, but not with [something] that may or may not be added later,
At the end of the day, all said and done, it is not the politicians, who will go and fight,
It’s the men and women of our armed forces who end up fighting with substandard equipment just to satisfy political penny pinching and whims
The sole reason we are getting less and fewer is government incompetence,
One suspects that European ambitions in joint military euro army, navy, etc is one reason our government is reducing our independent ability to act unless with the aid of others,

Although in some ways its good to do things with others, you must never become reliant of them and hoping they will come to your aid in a crisis,.
So to end my humble mumbling I would say this,
The carriers are great and so are the rest, but we have to few and need more,
And perhaps a decent government who gives its loyalty to us, rather than others,
That’s just my humble opinion, for all its worth.

John Colclough

Politicians ARE liable in law for the decisions they make and Select Committees and judicial reviews undertake this task on our behalf. The two carriers are to be based at a new defence base being built currently in Oman. That means they will only have one small sphere of influence and may be seriously under-protected in the Arabian Gulf.

Publicus

I generally agree with all the headlined observations. However, the Royal Navy would be better served by not buying F-35’s (which are proving grossly over budget for an increasingly obvious mediocre aircraft). The alternative? The Swedish Grippen – much cheaper, just as capable – you can have bigger air groups for less cost. Use the money saved to build new 1500 ton frigates/corvettes to renew the capability to patrol the seas, perform anti-piracy work, do the day-to-day missions for which the Darings would be much too big.

You also need to start a major lobbying campaign for increased funding. Go to the public – get your allies in the civilian community involved. You have to neuter the influence of the civil service mandarins who want to turn the Royal Navy into a coast guard as part of their effort to remove your country as a Great Power.

NavyLookout

@Publicus Yes we are very worried about F35. Unfortunately the RN is stuck with the F35B since the dubious decision in 2012 to revert to a VSTOL carrier. We cannot use conventional carrier aircraft such as the Rafale or Super Hornet or even the as yet undeveloped Sea Grippen, only the VSTOL F35B. (Even if we could, the Super Hornet would probably be the obvious best solution as we operate closely with the US).

This site is an attempt to lobby for more funding for the RN but such efforts tend to be on a small scale – there is a lack of funds and of co-ordination amongst naval advocates in the UK.

Andy

The Gripen is not and will not be an option it is a land based fighter that would require enormous modifications just to get to the testing phase and nobody knows whether ot would be suitable for carrier ops. Ditto the mythical seaphoon.

A far better solution is a combat aircraft designed and built and tested from the outset as a carrier borne fighter the shear cost to the UK of developing it’s own rules out the Gripen and Seaphoon so that leaves the *FA 18 E/F/G, ***Rafale or F.35B/**C

* 1st choice combat proven, 4.5 generation, buddy buddy tanking and EA18G electronic variant plus the huge benefit of superb support and cross decking training from the USN and a hell of a lot cheaper

**2nd choice or a mix buy with the above as USN will do the same

***3rd choice It’s French!! and the co-operation might be a bit hit and miss

AlNewYork

The Gripen is already design for very short landing/take off. It would take little reinforcement to give it a carrier capability. It is also compact. The design was already underway in the UK (Saab have their eye on the Brazilian carrier). EA18G is not very flexible working on its own – it is best working alongside other standard F18s.

JP

Plenty of food for thought there but my main concern is the F35B. I have heard that the F-35 fleet has been grounded again due to a fuel ( I think ) leak. And which variant did this happen to? The F35B. At this rate you will have the worlds biggest helicopter carrier the only fixed wing will be those hobby model like UAVs with there model aircraft engines buzzing away on the flight deck. Could cats and traps be retro-fitted later on? F35Bs with Super Hornets would be a good combo if Boeing does a good job of the engineering and does not allow shoddy build quality to creep in like the 787 Nightmare liner. The SAAB Sea Gripen could be rapidly prototyped and flying within 3 years and with the inprovements of the Next Generation Gripen and conformal fuel tanks it would compliment the F35B just as well if not more so as being smaller you could get more onboard. I just hope the F35B can over come its problems though or its more national humiliation for britain eg carrier with no jets for it.
BUT all this hinges on BOTH carriers getting into service . If you want to stop terror and defend your nations interests both MUST got to sea. One will not do it , 2 will.
Rant over.

JP

I stand corrected it was a oil leak. But a bigger problem has just occurred a few days ago . One F35 has suffered a bad fire while waiting to take off. The pilot got out ok but the aircraft may be a right-off. Also for those of you waiting to see this thing go through its (hopeful) paces at uk airshows don’t expect the vertical landing trick as the special mats that prevent it blasting a holes in the runway are not available.. It was never this hard with Harrier! I hope the raf chumps who got the ear of cam-moron in order to keep their third rate tornado gr4s are happy with their days work. I see national humiliation ahead with perhaps the flag of Argentina flying over the Malvinas for good!

John

JP,

It is clear that you have no idea what you are talking about. Do not be sensationalist to win an argument. The RAF Typhoons in the South Atlantic are more than a match for the entire outdated Argentine Air Force. We now have the capability to reenforce the Islands direct from the UK with large numbers of Forces within 24 hours. The Argentine forces are in a far worse position than they were in 1982. Oh and by the way, the Harrier could not have carried out the large range of missions the Tornado has had to since 2010.

4th watch

I am interested in the carriers being fitted initially with traps ( arrester gear/wires ) and associated landing aids. Some would say ‘what is the point of this if there are no catapults?’

My answer would be:
1. As night follows day in the future we are going to end up doing this anyway and as its proven technology it can be done early rather than later.
2. The configuration whereby a conventional naval a/c can take off from a ramp without a catapult for training purposes is already seen on the Russian and Chinese carriers. To land it needs wires. Friendly nations carrier a/c can also use our carriers in emergency.
3. The USN have a Boeing drone already flying that is very advanced and will probably be in squadron service in 5-10 years. We must be ready for this. It takes off and lands like a conventional a/c.
4. The first thing that must happen is to reintroduce the angled flight deck configuration. The catapult when bought can then be initially fitted on the angle as on the USN carriers which have one on the angle as well as forward.

IMO this process needs to start now with HMS POW.

Furthermore the RN needs expanding by 30% for the coming sea stand- off in the 20’s and 30’s.

As WSC would pin to his paper….ACTION THIS DAY.

nedguy

My views haven’t changed in the last two years. They are not “aircraft carriers”, just Landing Support Vessels. http://tronline.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/its-not-aircraft-carrier-if-you-cant.html

PAUL MILLARD

two carriers not one. give the navy the tools for the job.two carriers .I pay more taxs if have to for the uk to have two carriers

Phil

Phil McDermott

Gentlemen, We currently have nineteen ships that can be classed as warships. (Bulwark and Albion are transports) To run a Carrier Group in peace time the USA never go below 3 escort ships and a logisitics support vessel. In action that has to double.
The amount of time required for maintenance and refit means that should these white elephants ever enter service they would be seriously under protected.
The Royal Navy used to innovate not scrabble around, tugging the coat tails of other navies, waiting for a foreign power to throw us a bone (Ref: Dog of an aircraft F35)
Lets go small !Cheap ! and plenty ! Lets seriously invest in drones and move into this century like we did into the last (Albeit 15 years late) and push the world back.

UKExpat

Phil+
Some talk rubbish and some talk dam rubbish! Yours was the latter kind of rubbish.

Andy

Drones or UAV/UCAV will never ever replace the manned fighter supplement, yes replace no.

For an example of silly people like you thinking the future was unmanned look into the 1957 Duncan Sandy’s defence review who thought missiles would make manned combat aircraft obsolete and that was 60 years ago

Gil

Would like to know if there was not a British built plane to replace the Harrier on the design table instead of spending all these millions on the f35b which seems to have a lot of problems.

AR

carriers no useagainst terrorists the ship may not be but what it carries e.g the apache is, theres just too much crap on the net thesedys stuff getblown out of proportion, the rubbishabout the t45for example, the same armchair admirals fail to say that the u.s has the same trouble with their latest destroyer. the zumwalt has broken down twice. yet nobody mentions it.