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As usual though, I suppose no one is actually going to be held accountable for this £25M debacle.

david anthony simpson

It really is a complex situation given the events and industrial partnership involved that includes MoD itself. This blame game attitude helps no one.


But part of the reason why the Defence budget has so much waste is because there seems to be no consequences for individuals who make bad decisions that end up costing the tax payer tens,hundreds of millions for their mistakes.


Im not involved in shipbuilding but had a background both in design engineering and manufacturing for building construction.
Mistakes always happen, as the design methods are never precise , the software has flaws , plans change but not everyone finds out and a hundred other reasons. While negligence does also happen most arent like that and the people who can resolve these expected issues are real godsends. Nothing is gained for a highly complex build like a carrier to expect its perfect


Funny how the Americans, the Russians to give just 2 examples, manage to take enough care to not make such embarrassing fundamental FUBARs with their flagship technology? Could it be that British Engineering isn’t what it was and that an attitude of “nothing’s perfect” simply isn’t good enough?

Phillip Johnson

It wasn’t really a complex situation. The shaft was out of alignment. It was known it was out of alignment and someone signed off on the ship anyway, assessing that it could wait until the first maintenance period.
The judgement proved wrong. It wouldn’t have cost 25mil if it had been fixed when it was discovered.

Supportive Bloke

The issue is sometimes top down pressure to get a system into service with the dreaded phrases ‘on time’ and ‘on budget’…..rolled out.


Still 25 million seems quite cheap in the scheme of things


 In the scheme of things, 25 million will buy enough 30mm guns FBNW for both carriers

Supportive Bloke

The contracts for the 30mm were placed with the rest of the long lead time items. They are in a warehouse somewhere. There is effectively a fleet of 30mm sets just as there is a fleet of Phalanx that can be fitted when they are needed.

Exposing more sets than needed to salt spray just increases maintenance costs for no particular reason.

The fact they have not been fitted doesn’t mean that they won’t be fitted nor that they can’t be fitted.

But it might mean that the policy has been revised for reasons that have not be announced.


Exposing more sets than needed to salt spray just increases maintenance costs, what a joke, how about just not having a navy?

A 2billion carrier cannot even afford to have some basic weapons

Other navies are armed to the teeth and do not return to port to look for guns!

Supportive Bloke

Maybe the escorts and embarked cabs have the guns?

As a generality RN ships don’t sail with unnecessary weapons on board: it is all risk assessed and appropriate systems fitted for theatre.

It does mean the units are 100% when fitted.

Something had to give if you want a large new build fleet of T45, QEC, Tides, T26, T31 with Mk41 VLS added to T31 and Sea Ceptor and BMD added to T45 as well as 11 sets of NSM – that is a lot of real cash.

You can’t wander around wasting money on having stuff on show for the sake of it. Or if you do you need to trim the shopping list.


More excuses, alibi, apology, and justifications for incompetence.

Weapons on RN ships are more for showing, try to explain to the France, Dutch, and Italian Navies that this is the British way of doing things.


Yes the Russians navy has guns and missiles crammed into every bit of deck-space…
hasn’t helped them one jot.

Supportive Bloke

A few of them might even work!


As scuttling charges perhaps ????


Good point, then I suggest cutting the RN budget in buying any guns and missiles.
After all, weapons on RN ships are only for showing, and Russian warships are no good.
For showing, I suggest bringing back 16-inch guns from the War Museum.

Last edited 2 months ago by Éowyn

Are an extremist I see, can’t differentiate between between unarmed and being unnecessarily overburdened with weapons. Bet you’re fun at parties…


While the alignment issue was the root cause, the failure mode was fairly unusual and occurred after a prolonged period of monitoring where no issues were observed. That’s the complex part.

Supportive Bloke

So true: catastrophic failures are rarely from a single cause.

It is usually a chain of unusual events that are coaddative in an unfortunate manner that leads to the outcome.

I would not be too surprised to find that there were four or five separate causes that played a part in this.


My experience (as a major discrepancy investigator) is that if 4-5 causes are identified some of those are secondary or simply excuses)
e.g.I once read that a collision of a vessel with a bridge tower involving an alcoholic pilot in thick fog was caused by the bridge tower being in the wrong place!
Two causes maybe, three very very rarely and these should properly be in a fault tree whereby all failures must occur to result in the harm. When there are more multiple causes they often cannot be separated with any resolution and so the actual cause is insufficient robustness in the process (either design or operational or both) which is invariably management’s lack of cognizance or control.
Examples: The loss of life when the Titanic sank was due to inadequate radio range to potential rescue vessels 🙂 The Grenfell Tower disaster was caused by Firemen not realizing, quickly enough that the building had been modified outside of proper codes and their written procedures were therefore effectively sabotaged! Oh, and their radios didn’t work well either (These causes are actually offered by the Judges official enquiry). There is usually a huge amount of politics in these official reports.


My understanding is that it was an alignment issue which was within the predicted tolerance for the shaft coupling. What then happened was a failure mode that no one knew about, it happened really suddenly after all indications had been that it was ok to wait until the maintenance period.

While an easy excuse, I think that there was a large element of bad luck in it.

Of course, it shouldn’t have been misaligned in the first place, but the concession around that would have been made on a risk based argument to which a number of senior and experienced personnel would have been in agreement.

Last edited 2 months ago by Chris

It is a complex undertaking to design and commission a kiloton propellor shaft with a several meter diameter and with multiple tapered bearings to rotate within finely balanced, thousandths of an inch tolerance. This was not achieved with either of these carriers at 1st attempt. Why was right 1st time not achieved? Because it’s hard? Asking such questions is important to improving things for next time. Lets hope they got to the root of the problem because so far it has been extremely embarrassing; not helped by idiot ministry of Defence statements about inadequate greasing of said shaft when the shafts are lubricated continuously by ambient sea-water.

Paul Burch

Where’s the debacle? It broke. These two ships are effectively both prototypes. And even if they were part of a larger class, thinks break. The design might be faulty, but more likely something went wrong during manufacture and a part broke when it shouldn’t have. Ever owned a car or a house? Things break. And generally it’s when somethings new or somethings old. In this case it was the former. Stuff happens. The key is to examine, understand and try and avoid it next time. And it’s unlikely to be the result of just one contractor. Often the root of a failure is a number of different points of contact. So the spec, the process, the rejigged process because parts were missing, and a problem during assembly and then the failure occurs. Who do you charge!?


Good to see her back in the water! Hopefully, lessons have been learned…..


Sadly the type of journalists and keyboard warriors who claimed PoW was “being scrapped and stripped for parts” don’t understand the meaning of the word “apology”…

or “fact” either…

So they’ll probably restart with the “carrier with no aircraft” fake news again.


Couldn’t agree with anyone more, top man!


The Daily Mail has another article today doubling down on there bulls**t. Strangely they’ve blocked my attempt to post a comment. It must have been something I said.


Have to take you’re word for it, I tend to avoid reading comics these days…

Andrew Beeber

Smart move; doing the “capability insertion work” ahead of time. That must have saved some time, money and effort. Hopefully we’ll get more footage of SRVL in the fall.


What does the capability insertion work consist of?


HI Guys any any idea when she’s gonna get to Pompey so I can watch it on HMS Warrior cam?

Also agree the fake news channels should apologise for miss information, would be difficult for the BBC they do it everyday!


Wasnt BBC , Daily Mail is more the culprit
Although being cannibalised is part and parcel of naval ships , the headline is flat wrong


Not entirely sure when she arrives down here, probably in the next 3-4 days. Keep an eye Portsmouth QHM movements, they normally publish info for coming 24 hour period of what’s coming in/going out of the harbour.


I’d expect back end of the week. Couple of days in the Fourth getting the marine systems set to work and then a day or two of powering trials before heading south if they’ve got any sense.

David MacDonald

To go off at a (relevant) tangent, what happened to 809 Naval Air Squadron? This year, next year, never…… 


Probably very late this year was I think the last information. But what really matters is the number of qualified pilots and ground crew together with the number of aircraft. The date a particular administrative number is “set up” is very very secondary. This unit will be just the same as the existing one.


As I understand things, 809 will now be ‘Standing up’ this December instead of this July as planned. Something to do with numbers and facilities at Marham being ready!


Anvil 2 has its business case signed off so work will start on the additional space for 809 at Marham. But…there has been some re-profiling of F-35 deliveries (not the UK’s fault) 3 aircraft will arrive later than thought (all 48 will still arrive by 2025 however, unless LM’s recent issues impact that…) realistically means that 809 going fuly operational is unlikel in 2025…the delays in aircraft deliveries must affect their stand up.

Again but….the time required for upgrades required to get the entire fleet to a single Blk. IV standard however, even with the additional 26 aircraft getting delivered from 26-30, will mean that realistically we won’t have 3 full combat capable squadrons until then….they should all have Meteor, Asraam Block VI, Spear and Paveway Penetrator then…perhaps Spear-EW, SpearGlide and MRUSW then as well…


Flight Global says Australia will complete its order for 72 F-35A by end of this year, so its not hard for a customer ready to pay to get the production slots, even when they came on board later and ordered 80% more.

It seems to me the RAF specific squadron planes have arrived and now its the RN squadron specific, its put on the delay- shuffle- postpone routine, despite the Defence funding supposedly on the up in near future


Now that the POW is out of Rosyth, I wonder if the Fort Vic will be moved up there from Leith?


History shows us that warships do sometimes gain a reputation as being ‘unlucky’ (or even unhappy) ships that they struggle to shake off – the previous HMS Prince of Wales being a case in point. Let’s hope this Prince of Wales doesn’t suffer that fate and manages to emerge from the shadow of her now famous sister.

I suppose her crew must be aching to get some real sea time under their belts after spending what must seem like a eternity alongside watching the Queen Elizabeth grab all the head lines.


If you look at HMS Victory she had a even more trouble start to her life, came through when it counted though.


All Sunk

HMS Royal Oak (08)
HMS Barham (04)
HMS Prince of Wales (53)
HMS Hood (51)
HMS Repulse (26)
HMS Sheffield (D80)
HMS Coventry (D118)


Last edited 2 months ago by Harkens

And your point? The RN has had a lot of its ships sunk, over 60 destroyers alone during WW2.

Commonwealth Loyalist

Glad so many of us know how this could have been avoided with 20/20 hindsight. However it was a relatively short outage and anyhow there were no planes available to carry on the “aircraft carrier” even if it was constantly in service. Probably a fortunate excuse for a break giving more time to find some drones or rubber-band powered toy planes to base on the ship! Seems kind of a pity that we abolished the old Harriers, that would have at least given the new carriers soemthing to fly, kinda like the early WWII ones that flew obsolete wood and canvas planes thet turned out to be more imune to the more modern German cannon shells.

More seriously, good article and I especially liked the last sentence.


Why now CIWS installed yet?


A fleet of Phalanx that can be fitted when they are needed.
Exposing more sets than needed to salt spray just increases maintenance costs for no particular reason….. from Supportive Bloke

seawater is too salty, lol, next excuse will be, the water is too wet…

Last edited 2 months ago by Éowyn

@SB is correct in that we have purchased the 30mm cannons for the QE class, but what remains unclear is why they haven’t been fitted yet? It is possible that the MOD/RN have had a change of mind about fitting them and are looking at different alternatives. Of course that might be well wide of the mark and it could just be a case of having a manpower shortage in the ‘gunners’ world that means there is no point fitting them yet!! It could be lots of things, any number of which haven’t been made public.


The question from Jason was why no CIWS (Phalanx)? not enough ‘gunners’?

A carrier’s aim is the projection of power and not as a paper tiger.


Why does she need CIWS while being repaired at Rosyth? Are the Scots that rebellious? The Phalanx’s are rotated between vessels as required allowing them to be maintained separately by Babcock at Devonport Dockyard.


I wasn’t replying to @Jason, but to @Eowyn’s threads, where his original post was about 30mm guns.

And having CIWS fitted fulfills that role in your eyes then does it?


I was answering Jason why no CIWS.
The post on 30mm was not referring to Jason’s post, get it?

If the CIWS is so useless, then why RN bought them in the first place?


Glad you can read then,as posted, your original thread was about 30mm guns further up the page. I just posted on your rehash of your original post to @SB. Hope that clarifies thi gs for you?

Having CIWS fitted (which isn’t the intention) changes the carriers from paper tigers then do they?


When she goes in for refit I hope with QE they add a 12 shot CAMM pod on the stern in place of the ‘hard to see’ 30mm. I dont see there is a problem with debris if its positioned on the stern. At present that place is just a goofing place.


Yes please. My view on a more appropriate point defence using the 40mm mounts. Should not be that expensive or require that much manpower. And all common stuff so economies of scale.

Qe2 CWIS options.PNG

Adding CAMM and even 40mm would differently be a big improvement to the Phalanx CIWS.
The is still usefulness for Phalanx CIWS against mass drones attack as Flakpanzer Gepard has proved in Ukraine.
But it would be hopeless against mass attack by supersonic, hypersonic, and even ballistic AshM.
Some would argue that T45 will do the job of carrier air defense but how many T45 are there available and how many missiles are available on a T45? 48+24?
Russian sent that many missiles and drones in a single attack in Ukraine.


35mm Gepard has much more range than a 20mm Palanx. In performance the 35mm is nearer the 40mm.


There would be 2 problems with that. First it would mean a huge blindspot. Second it would require additional crew to maintain and operate. We are already facing a serious and increasing shortage of personnel. I’m not saying it would not be worth doing in an ideal world but we are not in an ideal world.

Last edited 2 months ago by David Steeper

CAMM dont need ‘maintenance’ as they are supplied in their storage pods which are loaded into launch tubes …and thats it.
The command and control side is integrated into ships tactical system and dont need outside fire control sensors ( except data link) added-as the Artisan radar can handle that- and as theres no other missiles on board that might be the sticking point and need an upgrade. It would normally just be another console in the carrier CIC .

Last edited 2 months ago by Duker

What I find most intriguing about this article is that Prince of Wales is going to train with V-22 Ospreys. Perhaps the RN will indeed purchase some V-22s after all, complementing the long reach of the air group beyond the F-35.


What fine ships these are. BTW I see there are white screens on the QE suggesting they may be fitting the 30mm can someone check this out? If reprogrammed they could be useful anti drone weapons.