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Dick Van Dyke

Brilliant, utterly fantastic article and Pics, Thanks navy Lookout.

Deep32

Is there not a TV crew accompanying the CSG? If so, will make for good viewing when it returns I imagine.

Dick Van Dyke

I believe that the TV crew, voted to cover Love Island instead……. Well It makes for bigger viewer figures after all…..

Sunmack

Love Island has women with their kit off and the Royal Navy has ships with no kit on. I can see the similarly…😁

dick van dyke

🙂

Deep32

I can see how some would be swayed by such alternative content!!!!😂

Peter

Chris Terrill, who made the Royal Marines training documentary series a few years ago, is on board HMS Queen Elizabeth filming a 6-part documentary series for the BBC

Deep32

That’s the bloke, cheers.👍

graham price

Being covered by Chris Thrall, sure to be spot on.

graham price

Totally agree, excellent.

dick van dyke

Can’t wait to watch the TV program, watched a bit of vigil but what rubbish.

Deep32

‘Rubbish’ is giving it to much credit!

X

Lovely.

PeterS

Despite my reservations about the effect the cost of the carriers and F35s has had on our overall defence capability, this is seriously impressive.

Cam

Ships with lack of gear! One destroyer major breakdown, most are American F35s… But Apart from that yeah it’s impresive. We are British this stuff used to be our bread and butter.

Tim Hirst

But it hasn’t been since well before most of the personnel on this deployment joined the services. The system is being rebuilt but it can’t be done properly overnight. In 5/10 years the U.K. will have a fully built out carrier force with all its elements worked up and experienced.

dick van dyke

At least, that’s what we are all hoping Tim.

PeterS

As I’ve made clear many times, I think we were too ambitious with the carriers and their cost has been a major factor in the reduction of other capabilities. But the task force is undeniably impressive. F35 is only the second supersonic aircraft we have ever deployed at sea. The F35 is more British than the Phantoms were.

Rose Compass

A quarter of a century ago the idea of two 40,000 tonne carriers replacing the Invincibles seemed ambitious. One only has to look at the twelfth still image in this photo sequence to see where we might have ended up – the image shows an F35 athwart the flight deck of USS America: not a lot of room to manoeuvre there and, even given the modest numbers of F35s we might hope to put to sea, such a cramped flight deck must surely be an impediment to a ship of such a size functioning as an aircraft carrier. Alright, a 40,000 tonne carrier designed from the outset as such – rather than as an assault ship – might have incorporated a sponsoned out flight deck, but nevertheless… Already at times, even on this deployment, the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth looks a little busy. At some point hence an exercise may be carried out to see how this class of ship manages a ‘full’ complement of three dozen F35s plus all other supporting aircraft. What this will reveal, if and when it is ever conducted, who knows.

By the way, the Phantoms mentioned were uniquely British, with fuselages adapted for Spey engines and a modified undercarriage to suit the ‘smaller’ Audacious (Eagle, Ark Royal) carriers.

Incidentally, if anyone is interested, I submitted a FOI request earlier this year to determine the actual deep load displacement for HMS Queen Elizabeth for CSG21. The answer came back as 65,300 tonnes – less than I expected, given the load, but then the oft quoted figure of 65,000 tonnes must be the minimum ballasted, trimmed displacement – perhaps!

As for the impact of these carriers on the overall defence budget, dare I utter the word ‘Ajax’? The Army needs to replace its IFVs, but the £5.5bn committed to date – unsuccessfully – would buy a fair amount of navy…

Rose Compass

Please see below, I corrected myself: I should have referred to the Ajax as an ARV, not IFV…with apologies!

Meirion x

The Army should stick to a 15 ton ARV.
To be easy transportable by aircraft.

dick van dyke

Is there an article that shows where this £5.5 billion has been spent ? I just don’t get the figures what with so few actually being built.

Rose Compass

£5.5bn is the intended programme cost, although it appears a further £500m may be needed before a solution can be found to rectify the problems, if this proves to be possible at all. There are a number of articles online, I Googled ‘£5.5bn spent on Ajax’, one authoritative read ought to be that in the FT:

https://www.ft.com/content/4d083de1-df5b-4368-973b-247e6249d62c

I merely meant to point out that each of the services from time to time have big ticket items, some make it to the front line with some success whilst others do not.

dick van dyke

Thanks for posting the link, is there anything that shows what’s been spent/wasted so far ?

Meirion x

With only 14 Ajax test vehicles delivered so far, for about £3.5Bn in development costs. Full production of Ajax has not began yet.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion x
X

Submarines took a bigger chunk of the budget over the same time frame.

Surprisingly there is a school of thought that says if we didn’t have the carriers we would have even fewer escorts. Batty I know.

The main trouble with the carriers is that capability went from being a support to operation to the centre of operations. Hindsight is wonderful. Personally I think we should have built a couple of large LHD’s.

PeterS

The submarine fleet, SSBN and SSN has never been gapped though SSNs are much reduced. The carriers however are in effect a new capability. They go way beyond the Invincibles, which lost their fixed wing in 2010, and even the Eagle class, deleted finally in 1978. Seeing that Ark Royal and Eagle were laid down in WW2, the gap in construction of full scale carriers was 60 years. So I think is fair to look at what overall effect the ‘ new ‘capacity has had on RN numbers.

X

The carriers however are in effect a new capability. 

True. This is something that is not appreciated by many who post on sites like this. As I said above the Invincibles acted in support of the fleet, where as the QE’s are now the centre of fleet. Harrier was a small plane pushed to do remarkable things. F35 is a large proper ‘fighter’. We are where we are. I think war with China will come sooner rather than later. The USN and USMC will find the extra deck space useful.


The submarines were gapped in a sense when the government interrupted the production drum beat which cost much, much more than the supposed savings.

Rose Compass

A quarter of a century ago the idea of two 40,000 tonne carriers replacing the Invincibles seemed ambitious. One only has to look at the twelfth still image in this photo sequence to see where we might have ended up – the image shows an F35 athwart the flight deck of USS America: not a lot of room to manoeuvre there and, even given the modest numbers of F35s we might hope to put to sea, such a cramped flight deck must surely be an impediment to a ship of such a size functioning as an aircraft carrier. Alright, a 40,000 tonne carrier designed from the outset as such – rather than as an assault ship – might have incorporated a sponsoned out flight deck, but nevertheless… Already at times, even on this deployment, the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth looks a little busy. At some point hence an exercise may be carried out to see how this class of ship manages a ‘full’ complement of three dozen F35s plus all other supporting aircraft. What this will reveal, if and when it is ever conducted, who knows.

By the way, the Phantoms mentioned elsewhere were uniquely British, with fuselages adapted for Spey engines and a modified undercarriage to suit the ‘smaller’ Audacious (Eagle, Ark Royal) carriers.

Incidentally, if anyone is interested, I submitted a FOI request earlier this year to determine the actual deep load displacement for HMS Queen Elizabeth for CSG21. The answer came back as 65,300 tonnes – less than I expected, given the load, but then the oft quoted figure of 65,000 tonnes must be the minimum ballasted, trimmed displacement – perhaps!

As for the impact of these carriers on the overall defence budget, dare I utter the word ‘Ajax’? The Army needs to replace its ARVs, but the £5.5bn committed to date – unsuccessfully – would buy a fair amount of navy…

X

A better view of USS America’s flightdeck illustrating your point.
comment image

Rose Compass

Indeed! Thank you for that.

X

As I am fond of saying F35b is far, far more than the USMC needs for CAS. But saying that it is a good deal for us. We have gone from an old Fiesta to a new Mondeo.

Supportive Bloke

I’d say F35B/QEC is technologically more advanced that Mondeo…a lot more advanced…..

F35B + QEC + RM + Chinook + Apache + Albions + Bays is a very, very special package. The spear has a very sharp tip.

X

Oh. You do realise I was the using cars as a measure of scale and capability to illustrate the difference between SHAR and F35b?

Last edited 1 month ago by X
dick van dyke

Posted Twice ? strange things happening here lately !

Rose Compass

Each of the duplicated items I posted has a glaring error it, the most significant is that in the first I incorrectly referred to Ajax as an IFV whereas it is in fact (in the main) an ARV.

The other error was something I corrected before the first post, but left in the second post when I cut and pasted it in from Notepad. Spot it if you will!

I post infrequently although I do visit Navylookout (/its predecessor) daily. I’m sure there used to be a facility to edit before confirming the upload?

dick van dyke

” Athwart” ? I wasn’t being pedantic BTW, I just thought things were a bit funny on here having watched the previous nights silly goings on !!!! The QE class are often quoted at 72,000 Short Tons, which would make the USN GRF class 112,000 tons. Or a Tide class heavier.

Last edited 1 month ago by dick van dyke
X

Athwart means across a hull.

dick van dyke

Oh, Thanks, I never knew.

X

I try not to use technical or nautical language when posting here.

Gareth

Great article, thanks!

Kevin Woolcock

It looks good the R.N a blue water capable force. In the mean time jihadists are coming across the chanel in large numbers Afgans at the minimum 20000 all potential threats to security of young women esp. This whole deployment is a farce when the actual country is being put at risk by ridiculous lack of control on the U.K borders.

X

Did we buy the one with the gun this time? I can’t remember. 🙂

dick van dyke

Yes mate, Phantoms but not before those pesky Migs whupped arse.

X

All good then. 🙂
comment image

ElectricRazor

Let’s build a wall around UK and Mexico will pay for it !

Meirion x

It’s time to build a floating sea barrier in the English Channel, then!

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion x
PeterS

The real issue is the impossibility of coping with such numbers, no matter their country of origin. Cameron wanted to reduce net immigration to a few tens of thousands. He failed and resentment about uncontrolled immigration delivered the Brexit vote. The highest pro vote was in Boston which had seen a huge influx of Eastern Europeans.
The question no politician will answer is whether there is any limit on the number this overcrowded country, unable to feed its current population, will admit. The number of potential entrants is practically limitless: most of the world is less safe than the UK.

dick van dyke

“Boston” time for another Tea Party then.

James William Fennell

Boston is at the heart of the Lincolnshire horticultural growing industry. Did they manage to find any Brits that wanted to pick cabbages?

Stu

I’m sure they could. If we stopped paying people that are able to work to sit around and do nothing. If we stop supressing labour costs by importing thousands of unskilled labourers. If we can address the poor work ethic that some (not all!) in our nation has where they feel they’re owed a living.
Sure, maybe the farmers would have to pay a little extra in wages & this would no doubt be passed on to the consumer but… 10p more for a cabbage? Who cares.

J J

That’s one big target

DaSaint

Great article and images/media! As a regular user of USNI Proceedings/USNI News, this level of imagery is fantastic! We would never have this many images on our blogs on this side of the pond. SMH.

Rob

Excellent pictures and stories. Most enjoyable for an old salty sea dog like me!