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tim dainton

On the face of it, this is extremely good news, but it also creates a lot of questions.
Crewing numbers would be my main concern and reasonable aircraft numbers to put on POW and QE.
Will they operate like Albion and Bulwark, with one in extended readiness?
Will they use one as a Ocean replacement?
How will they use RPV on the carriers? A Freedom of information question i put in, got the answer back that they haven’t even looked at this area yet they have been working on the carriers since 1998.
The navy will make this work, but its only going to give a small, half baked version of what they should have been.
Will they put on an arrestor system to at least give POW a STOBAR capability?

Paul windle.

Have we enough ships to make two carrier groups? or the men to man both? Camoron has lied about most things, dont believe him that we will have two carriers and escorts at sea.


Tim it has been announced in some circles that Ocean will decommision when QE is in service. I suspect as we have seen with ILLUSTRIOUS the crew will then be scattered to fill gapped billets. Not ideal as the majority of OCEANS ships company are Devonport based personnel. Another square peg – round hole process to fill longer term problems with short term solutions.

Arrestor system on POW I doubt we will ever see but I wont say never we are seeing a trend in U turns with this government!

tim dainton

Tris, I put in a FOi on Ocean OSD sometime ago and its sometime around 2019,
I won’t hold my breath on Traps either, but personally will never stop saying both ships need not only traps and cats too.

Watch this space as they say…I’m talking to interesting people in the US this week.


Good news I hope . Or was it all sound bites from cam-moron to make britain look good?
It also makes me laugh when he gives a finger wagging lecture to the rest of Europe to increase defense spending. This from a man who over saw the destruction of the RN fast jet strike wings and the Nimrod MR4 maritime patrol aircraft! Denmark and Norway have maritime patrol aircraft (OK its old Lockeed Orions and modded exec jets) but they DO have that capability to keep a eye out on their shores and near oceans whilst britain does not.
France may have problems with the Charles de Gual. BUT they have it whilst again all britain has is a new (empty) vessel with no aircraft till 2020+. Spain I believe has it in the form of something called the ‘Harrier’ operating from carrier-lite. BUT THEY HAVE IT WHILE UK DOES NOT!! I also hope the new army armoured vehicles announced by cam will have floats so they can patrol the shores and defend the supply lanes.
It must also have raise a few eye-brow in europe when cammers gave the ”ISIS is horrid” speech. It seems the fact that most of them appear to have english accents as a result of the failed experiment in multi-culturism in the UK has past cammers by.
Still when the time comes to cast them out at least the armys of europe have equipped their troops with effective rifles. The british SA80/L85 does not inspire confindence when the ISIS terrorists attempt to move the caliphate to London, Manchester and Bradford.
To the british people my advice is buy some steel tube of the correct size and make Sten SMGs in you sheds. It saved Britain once before maybe it can do it again. And make friends with some RN sailers . Their ships will stop you from starving.


You can use capital letters to do more than just shout! You sound like a Daily Mail article on heat. I have just returned from Afghanistan and I can tell you that our rifle is now amongst the best in the world.


And so Scotland votes NO for independence. The Trident sub base and carrier/frigate programs are safe for now. Also this has slowed britains decline, heaven forbid what the chaos would have been like had the Scots said YES.
The current issue of Warships came too late for the result but there is a interesting article by none other than Cdr Sharkey Ward in which he says britain has bungled its carrier program . Under the sub-title of with ‘the world a rapidly deteriorating and turbulent place’ (well PARTS are like that not all of it) he launches into a much need critism of the troubled carrier project.This is clear for all to see . No cats and traps , a F35 variant which will be hard pressed to do anything and is held back by countless problems. The latest being the stealth coating cracks and falls off like I feared it would. Add to this the near useless RAF with aircraft unsuited for maritime/global power projection . If the raf trys to bomb IS they will have to avoid the nations that may deny over flight thus causing extra flight time and crew fatigue. Add to this logistic /inflight refuelling and the cost soars. The French carrier may have probs but they at least have one un-like the brits who have has only just launched and the one they did have with Harrier GR9 s has long since gone for scrap while the harriers are in museums or spares for the US marine harriers. (Together with a description on page 14-15 of MPA aircraft from Europe visiting the uk airshow scene while britains was turned into baked bean containers perhaps the mag is slighty wrong about Europe being so defenceless). BUT britain is without these assets and that is without doubt of extreme concern.
To reverse the decline I think the following is in order-
Cats and traps for P o W and a block buy of 60 Super Hornets. Two seaters must be wired for Growler if need be and as UCAV/X–47 ops from the back seat (40 of those UCAVs to be bought). Queen Elizebeth can be temped out as helo/royal marines/SF base until it can be modified for cats and traps. Also plenty of the new type frigates and a buy of V-22 for AEW and SAR would be excellent as well.

tim dainton

Agree with all you say about Cats and traps JP. It was a terribly short sighted choice to go for VSTOL and has neutered carrier strike, even if it is claimed that the F35b is a step change over the SHAR- By the way there are at least 9 SHARS still at culdrose at the deck training school, when I last spoke to Culdrose and MoD (N) they said they are taxi-able, but would require a lot spent on them to fly again .
Forget V-22 for AEW though, the props interfere too much with the radar and in any event we would have to wait for radar equipped V-22 to be tested. I would much rather see E2-D bought off the shelf.
There is no reason whatsoever if both carriers had cats and traps, that a flexible airgroups could not be still carried.
As for the flying wardrobe they call the F 35, too many careers are at stake to cancel it, the best that can be hoped for is if Cameron & co actually see sense and put some eggs in a separate basket marked F 18 E/F/G.


9 Sea Harriers you say that are potentially flyable?
Restore 5 of them and name them ‘Faith , ‘Hope’ , ‘Charity’, ‘Desperation’ and ‘OH S…!


I haven’t posted on here before but I am in complete agreement with your thoughts on the new carriers and the need for cats and traps. The way in which successive governments have completely destroyed our country’s armed forces and in particular the RN and FAA should be classed as treason in my opinion. I have been aware of the SHARs at Culdrose for a while and had convinced myself that HMG were blissfully unaware of them. I am sure that if they knew of their existence the airframes would immediately be scrapped or sold to the lowest bidder!


Those Sea Harriers are there to train ground crew and the MOD is well aware. Their are Jaguars at Cosford and Cranwell to do a similar job. I think you all need to calm down a bit, the Sea Harrier was an excellent aircraft but is now obsolete and cannot go up against Gen 4.5 and Gen 5 modern fighters.


JP, The RAF are doing superb work in Iraq. I doubt you have ever been in harms way yourself and your attitude to UK servicemen and women away from their homes serving their country leaves a bad taste.

The French have a carrier as you say, yet they are using land based aircraft to launch their strikes on ISIS. Strange that… The RAF is using Tornado, and Reaper out of the a neighbouring state and Cyprus to good effect and will be able to continue this indefinitely, i.e. a permanent presence. Reccie aircraft are working hard and our tankers are refuelling US aircraft. The US are also using many more land based aircraft now as well. The Harrier was a superb aircraft, but not capable for the full range of tasks that the Tornado is fulfilling over Iraq and from a carrier it did not have the range to loiter for long to provide CAS and the supersonic speed to react quickly to changing situations a distance away. You are showing a large degree of ignorance in your posts.


Tim it is nice to hear we may have a few SHARS at Culdrose but you can bet Lusty will now be removed from sight as quickly as possible. I cannot believe how quickly the Type 22s and the Nimrods were smashed up. Almost like they knew they must get rid of them quickly.

Very sad times I appreciate when any class of ship is decommisioned a family of serving/ex servicemen/women are gutted but the Type 22s I personally feel were the last of the real warships! Brisling with weapons they really did have the edge and although expensive to run they were great assets. Crazy that one of the T22s had not long had a pricy refit and had years left in her.

Lets hope Cameron has had the wake up he needed and wasnt just paying lip service at the NATO summit. Massive capability gaps in the services now and the manpower crisis is gaining momentum with RN personnel feeling very disillusioned with the forced pension changes coming into effect in 2015.


The Queen Elizabeth class carrier is an awesome ship, the largest the fleet have ever had and something that we should be extremely proud of. We all lament a large fleet but we are just not in that space anymore. However our capability with the type 45s, the Astutes and now these is still devastating. That’s why the Argentinians have no intention of testing us again. God bless the men and women of The Andrew.


No. What we should do is complete both carriers in the stovl configuration as planed. We should then abandon the f-35b and spend the money on a navalized tranche 5 sea typhoon. 48 of these would enable 3 x 16 squadrons ready for deployment. 1 carrier could use all available aircraft if needed. In a crisis if both carriers available then they could deploy 36 fighters and up to 50 helicopters of various types. This would also have the Benicia of keeping the FAA jets well away from the raf. And why would the carrier need 9 asw merlin? Surely she would be deployed (in anger at least) with 1 x type 45 and 1/2 x type 23/26, with their type 2087 sonars and 3 x merlin asw helicopters. A full scale deployment would Also include 1 x tide class and 1 x mars fss with facilities for up to 6 helicopters. Mars fss would probably carry 3 x merlin hc2 for logistics support but tide class could embark merlin asw or wildcat up to 3. Tranche 5 typhoon could be ready just when the aircrafts systems are eventually reaching maturity with the ability to utilise the full spectrum of ordnance available.


It seems insane to me that anyone would think it remotely sensible to complete such large vessels without the ability to operate conventional carrier aircraft. So much for plans to cooperate with allies, at this rate only the USMC will be equipped to operate of the QE class carriers. STOVL was a reasonable model for small carriers operating Harriers, but makes no sense for a large conventional aircraft carrier. Sadly the murky world of politics, arms deals and the fact the main contactor is also a major player in the development of the F-35B sees to have more influence on the decision than the real world requirements of the Royal Navy. Cats and traps should be a must and the Navy should be able to procure and operate their own aircraft without the shortsighted self interest of the RAF, but it seems unlikely either of those will come to pass as things stand.


I think the rn should get 13 frigates 6 more destroyers 10 corvettes more subs and after hms queen elizabeth and hms prince of wales another aircraft carrier.