Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Can’t see from the pics, did she get her CIWS this stop? If not, anyone know when they’re scheduled for fit?




her missile defence issues should have been addressed by then as well,twin r.i.m 116 systems, cheap at £800000 each would be a good choice especially as they are fitted to the new ford class.and used by at least 12 navies across the globe


We’ll just poodle along at our own pace and hope no one attacks us unexpectedly.

Iqbal Ahmed

Have the concerns about the F-35s that will fly from the QE regarding the Autonomous Logistics Information System (ALIS) been addressed?

My understanding is that-

– ALIS cloud-based system is vulnerable to hacking

– Information from the aircraft is constantly fed back to the US. This means that the US will always be aware as to how and where these aircraft are being used.

– The US will be able to control how allies utilise the aircraft as they have unprecedented control of the ALIS software
and it’s software updates

Even allies have disagreements ref: recent Trumpian antics. Does anyone know if steps are being taken to give sovereign control of these aircraft bought with billions of pounds of UK taxpayer money like Israel has negotiated?


Its only fed back if you allow it to be fed back. If its anything like similar systems that are already in service that Tx data from assets to ashore you will need to do some very specific things.
You will need to connect the aircraft to the ALIS system onboard, download the data to a server on the vessel and then upload via MIL SATCOM to a UK Secure Military Server for onward transmission to the US.
Plenty of stop points in either direction to stop the data .
The aircraft wont transmit anything to anyone…


I read somewhere that the yanks have their own secure communications room aboard both the carriers.
In practice the F35 will be almost impossible to use without American approval, pretty much the same as the “independent” nuclear deterrent.Even the Falklands campaign needed the tacit approval(as well as quite a bit of quiet support) of the Americans.Much easier to deal with but still tricky is the yanks forcing us to get the engines serviced in Turkey.
Lets face it, we’ve been been totally stitched up and the whole programme is fully controlled from abroad.


I do have to disagree with you there, Iqbal (again). I stand corrected, but my understanding is that the US has limited, if no, access to this software. You seem to enjoy stirring up hornet’s nests – We have a number of F-35’s in collaborative training with the US – this doesnt mean that they are not our aircraft. Everything you hear in the press has to be taken with a pinch of salt…..surely you are old enough to know that?

Evan P

I really have no idea how he’s stirring up a hornets’ nest. He’s making a serious point: could the US potentially control our use of the aircraft, and giving his reasoning. By asking a question at the end he is showing that he would be happy to be given different information about it. Yes, the US are an ally, but we must be able to use the F35s completely independently of them, just for freedom purposes in an unforeseen scenario. Israel clearly see that there is good reason to do so, and they are allies of the US too. I think some of you need to stop seeing the name “Iqbal” and making a beeline for the dislike button without thinking about what he is saying.


Your supposition that the US is going to have “control” of British and allied F-35’s is ludicrous and unfounded.


Is there a reason why she is sailing with the Union Jack ?


what’s your point?

James Harrington

Rick, if your in here you know well why she fly’s the Union Flag at this point, and you know when she will fly the white ensign, so be polite and helpful and share your knowledge with PHT who is asking a genuine question. Thanks in advance for your civility.


I thought that the Union Jack was hauled down the moment the ship was no longer moored other than for reviews and other special events. So a genuine question. I would expect the white ensign to be flown but not the union flag


Richard Ash

To answer your question PHT, the Jack is not lowered until the ship either:
A – Last line is slipped as she leaves the jetty or Buoy
B – The towing line from the Tug is slipped

Knotty – x-Bunting Tosser


Thank you – that’s clear


hear, hear, this is not a forum for disrespecting people (except iqbal)


*here, here


This post is slightly of track but I wonder if someone can answer some questions about the QEs that do concern me and that no-one seems to speak about.
The QEs are meant to be operational for the next 50 years and in that time period I can see that the aircraft will change, in all probability the F35 will no longer be in service and pilots could become surplus to requirements. Already the US Navy are looking into the possibility of drones for tanker duties and are testing aircraft such as the X-47B.
With current and these possible future developments in mind I have these questions.
1. With the highly automated ammunition systems on the QE reducing the crew requirements what happens if the ship or the system has a breakdown or receives battle damage, is there enough crew to man handle the weapons?
2. Why is the ski ramp configured for a single aircraft launch, would a double launch configuration not be better?
3. With the ski ramp configured for a single aircraft launch how long would it take for a full strike launch of say 24 aircraft and how would that effect the range of the first aircraft to be launched?
4. At the moment we cannot launch or land for that matter anything that is not STOVL or VL, which is of no use if we need tankers for inflight refueling or god forbid cross deck aircraft from another NATO carrier if they have something wrong or have received battle damage. So what is the future plans for this capability?
5. Can an electromagnetic catapult be fitted to a ski ramp?
6. If yes does the QE have the power available to use such a catapult, if not does the QE have the space to install a designated power plant?
7. Does the QE have the space available to install bolt on traps, if not then why not and if yes is there any future plans to install these?
Yes I understand that it could cost a few hundred million to retrofit the carriers with this possibility, but with a planned 50 year lifespan and the possibility of increasing its aircraft types , combat availability and NATO integration would this not be a good idea. It could mean that a future aircraft compliment would be something like 12 BaE Taranis, 24 F35s, Hawkeye and Merlins or if need be Rafale, Typhoons or F18s. The QEs will not be going into a major refit for at least the next 5-10 years would it not be a good idea to put money aside each year (save up) and then purchase the equipment when the ships are going in for an extended refit.


To answer some of your question the qe was designed to use cats and traps, and at various points went back and forth between being fitted with them or with a ski ramp. At present there are no plans for cats and traps to be installed since with the purchase of the f35b they’re surplus to requirements. In 30 years? Maybe that won’t be the case and then plans might be drawn up for it.


removal of those ugly ski ramps would make them look like aircraft carriers.if you look around on the net there are pictures of what the class would look like without them removal and an angled deck would yards more take off/ landing space.

David Stephen

1. Yes (in theory)
2. Safety. Watch 2 F-18s launch from cats 1 & 2 on a US carrier, they don’t go together but are instead staggered slightly.
3. 15 mins and not sure.
4. F-35s carrying buddy tanks and maybe if we are lucky a few adapted Chinooks.
5. I don’t think so.
6. 110 MW generating capacity on CVF and this must be adequate or they would not have considered the change to emals at all.
7. Fitting cats n traps is indeed possible but far from easy. It would require an extensive and costly (more than a few hundred million) refit, effecting several hundred compartments on board. There are no void spaces waiting for equipment. F-35B will probably be around for most of the carriers lifespan, its a 1.5 trillion dollar programme and upgrades and rebuilds will be rolling out of the factory for decades to come. The first F-18s where delivered in 1978 and new ones are still being built today.


Most of the points have been answered by David Stephen. But I’d like to add a bit:

4) – The USMC looks to be serious about the V-22 as a tanker. But realistically carrier launched tankers are hopeless. The only reason to have them is to provide fuel to aircraft in the launch/landing cycle. With STOVL this ceases to be a concern due to the faster landing/launch cycle (which covers your point 3 as well) and the reduced fuel burn as a result. There are also no BOLTER situations to be worried about, or failures of arresting gear. In reality any carrier launched tanker has a pathetic fuel off load capabiltiy, particularly at range. And that won’t change significantly with the MQ-25. Recent experience has been that land based AAR assets will usually be available if additional range is required.

Cross-decking from other carriers? Most other carriers out there will be STOVL. Certainly in the UK’s vicinity, where US CSG’s are a rarity. So the ability to take other nations STOVL assets onboard and operate them effectively is worth far more than the minimal chance of the CdG or a US carrier taking a hit. Besides they’ve got tankers to get to land….right?

The debate around whether the QE Class should have been CATOBAR seems to be predicated on some rather woolly thinking. The fact is there are a grand total of 4 aircraft types in production right now that are CATOBAR capable. There aren’t likely to be too many more in the future either (zero chance of a CATOBAR Typhoon). They are: Rafale, F-18E/F (and G), F-35C and E-2D. And errr… thats it. There is the possibility of the MQ-25 arriving in the next 10 years but no-more actually in development. Of those 4 the F-35B is superior to the Rafale and F-18E/F and broadly comparable to the F-35C (slightly shorter range, but more flexible). So what it comes down to is the E-2D. Realistically for the UK to purchase, equip and operate a large enough fleet of E-2D it would take the same amount of money as the entire original QE Class budget. An E-2D is c$250m each, the UK would need 12. 2 carriers, 1 shorebase and 1 spare EMALS and AAG, 50 years of support, maintenance and additional personnel on ships and land would top out at over $6bn. In comparison Crowsnest which is more than sufficient is around $300m and uses a platform that the UK already operates and understands. It should also be noted that the radar horizon for Crowsnest is c150 miles, E-2D gets you an extra 60 miles…

The real solution for Airborne Early Warning is going to be cheaper sensors on long range UAV’s. the US is already looking at this for the J-STARS replacement. Imagine 20 x Airbus Zephr T’s with radar, ESM and E/O payloads in a circle around a CSG. $5m each, 3 month sortie duration, 85,000ft operating altitude with radar horizons of 350 miles….thats the real future.


i think we’ve done the CATOBAR thread long enough forget it, its never going to happen


the ramps are ugly, take up deck space which could be better used removal of the ramps, and an angled operating deck would allow the grippen to, with its shorter take off/ landing specs could be used

Lord Curzon

Can we have an update on what is deployed where at the moment? With 3 ships in the Pacific, NATO in the Black Sea, Baltic Ops, FOST and a carrier it sounds like it is a busy summer?


why isn’t she fitted ith her phalanx yet?


i’m sick of all the negativity to these fabulous ships.

andyreeves the q.e without that ugly ramp


Who was standing on the top as she came in this morning. Looked like a priest with glowing gown.