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Bloke down the pub

‘ Note the ramp which allows rapid embarkation of troops and the folding tail rotor – key differences between the Merlin Mk4 and ASW Mk2’
I thought the HM2 had a folding tail rotor?

Bloke down the pub

Has anyone seen a reason why the Mk4s were painted grey rather than the olive camo of the mk3

Steve

Wow, fantastic article. Cracking photography and some excellent pictures. Great ambassador for the UK!

Andy

Nice pictures of the world’s most exspensive helicopter assault ship which may one day have a huge 12 F35B to fly from its 4.5 acre deck.
Waste of taxpayers money.

Rick

I just knew you were going to chime in with that comment.

Andy

Well it is true , a chance to give the navy true carriers was missed because of Lord West treachery and Gordon Brown pork belly politics.
The RAF and the Navy require different things from aviation and sharing the F35B fleet will not work , did not work with the Harriers and will not work with the F35B
Taxpayer money has been wasted on the most exspensive assault vessels in the world .
But she is a good looking vessel.

Rick

It is what it is Andy. They are a big upgrade from the Invincibles. The politics are very disconcerting
and irritating.

Anthony D

I’m also concerned out the sharing of such a small pool of f35. It’s quite possible the RAF will only prioritise embarking it’s contingent at a time if war. Hopefully the minimum carry will prove to be 24 and the USMC will work in tandem with RAF to keep this size air wing alongside FAA.

Iqbal Ahmed

Isn’t the small symbolic nature of F-35 purchases for the carriers the reason the Americans will base 24 of their aircraft on our carriers?

So in effect we build a carrier that the US will influence directly regarding deployment. We might as well have admitted these 2 ships are helicopter carriers. Would’ve been less expensive too.

Grubbie

The yanks have their own secure communications room aboard both the carriers. Basically, we are providing disposable launch platforms for the US that we will never be able to send into combat by ourselves.

Gerry

Absolutely. The RN will have to strip every ships company in the fleet to man one pretending to be a US carrier group. God bless the white elephants!

Anthony D

Make the point valid or don’t bother, every ship in the fleet, nonsense. Pressure available personnel, yes. The navy is trying to bring it’s numbers up and decommissioned ocean for this very reason. Nobody thinks this is a rival for a usn cbg and it’s not meant to be.

Gerry

Have you read the view from the bridge? The current co says exactly that is the aim.

Anthony D

You don’t have to look far back in history to see how useful carriers are. Also it will have taken three decades to generate this capability, whereas a need to generate additional frigates can be achieved in any five year period. We need to think about the next fifty years not ten. Maritime security is important but many nations contribute to that mission, few allies contribute what has the potential to be a very capable cbg. Nobody knows what budget will be available in years ahead so aviation numbers are speculative. This is a versatile platform and allies are going to want to work with it.

Bobs Baradur

I think you could fit 35 Martlets and 12 Stringbags on it.
I think Aldi has arrestor wire kits on sale.
Maybe some barrage ballons for AEW ?
At least it beats the USS Ford, a carrier than can’t launch, recover or load weapons reliably.

Gerry

Sorry we are going to park this ship within 3oo miles of a denied coast. SSM or swarm live bait!

Paul Bestwick

I would have thought someone of you calibre would know you don’t park a carrier anywhete, but in port. For fixed wing operations its about wind over the decks.

Grubbie

In port or in dock are where they are going to spend most of there time and where its easy to locate them. The most obvious and likely place that they will come under attack.

Anthony D

Why is that more true of carriers than any other capability, such as SSN and ssbn?

Grubbie

It’s not really and the other easy link to break is the supply and maintainence chain ,hence St Nazaire.However the bigger they come the harder they fall and large carriers,their crew and very complicated supply chain are easier to target. Location is another factor, I’ll leave that to your imagination.

Grubbie

Obviously there is a much greater incentive to focus your attack if your enermy has been foolish enough to put all his eggs in one basket.

Anthony D

I thought larger vessels were more, not less, survivable.

Gerry

Depends how many missiles and torpedo’s hit them.

Grubbie

That’s a complicated subject, but it’s not what counts.Just because it floats dosnt mean it can fight. Its complex and part of a complex system, it could be untouched and unable to fight.

4thwatch

If you park it ,as you say, that is dumb thinking. A carrier can move about dont you know. In- out- shake it all about sort of thing!

Andy

He was pointing out that when in it assault role with usmc embarked it will be stationary and very close to shore which will make it a big target.

This is the foolish part of the QEC program actually designating them as part time helicopter assault ships .
Big ships have no place being close to the coast to many things can go wrong very quickly.

The treasury are itching to scrap bulwark and Albion and designating QE and PoW as helicopter assault ships will give them the ammo to do so .
With in 2 years both will be gone and more capabilities will be lost.

Gerry

4thwatch as Andy said you have to park it to deliver an airmobile assault. Do that in the range of a 300km range battery of same at your peril.

Dave GC

Great article, look forward to seeing the first jets on deck! The QE’s will make superb platforms and the F35 will bring game changing capability to UK defense.

4thwatch

On a related tack I am reading the USN may build super cruisers to counter the Russian battle cruisers. Seems like Grubbie and co should be looking at those; the real white elephants.

Andy

The hawks in the usn have been wanting to build super cruisers for years they usually get stopped by congress.

Andy

I see in the Sunday Times that in return for the Albion and Bulwark not being scrapped the navy must scrap two type 23 frigates.
And so we go from 19 escorts to 17 and that is after the 2010 SDR saying the navy needs a min of 19 escorts.
As soon as the PoW joins the fleet the Albion and Bulwark are history the treasury will make sure of that.

Grubbie

Don’t blame the treasury, the structure and waste designed in by Lord West and co means that the fleet would be unbalanced and unviable if we doubled defence spending.

Joel

How so? I’m afraid I need a bit of catching up!

Grubbie

I read somewhere (unfortunately I can’t remember where) that the ships complement has risen from 679 to over 800 and that final total will be over 900.Quotes from the captain, sounds like more lying from the RN.

Grubbie

Further research, 4 seaslug launched at land targets apparently. See littlewars.