Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Lots of valuable work will get done over the next few weeks. Hopefully the MoD will allow it to be covered as much as security allows.


Although understandably not discussed, wonder whether an Astute class SSN or perhaps a USN LA or Virginia class is routinely assigned as a guardian, while operating in conjunction w/ US forces? Would not wish to be a USN CNO or SecNav accused of allowing harm to come to an RN capital ship while on a jointly sponsored exercise.


SOSUS would tell if any other subs are heading that way. Zero chance of an actual hostile action off the US coast.
In any case the SSN primary job is the ‘real capital ships’ protection , the UK nuclear missile subs. The PoW has its own anti sub helicopters which deploy as they have other uses.

Last edited 1 year ago by Duker

It actually all starts with satellite surveillance detecting any SMs leaving their bases. Then NATzo ASW assets deploy to keep a ‘eye’ on things so to speak. SOSUS or more correctly IUSS as it’s now called is only another surveillance aid when the SMs turn the corner and head South into the Norwegian sea. There are ways around the IUSS beds, but that’s why we have other ASW assets to keep track of things.


Do they still have them along the US coast ?


No idea.

Commonwealth Loyalist

Sorry this one looks to me like an aircraft carrier with no aircraft, we need to up our game rapidly in terms of defense budget, at least an immediate 3% of GDP to be taken seriously.

Tensions around the world are inreasing and we are still talking about no need for actual strength for another 10 years. Please get a bit more serious, in today’s world, defense cannot be revved up in a few hours if a war happens as well as it could in the Falklands war when we had a far inferior adversary and still had a lot more ships in the merchant marine as well as the RN. If something happens in the near future, not unlikely, it will be very fast, and we wil be totally unprepared as usual.



Salty Dog

Morning, does anyone know exactly how many F35B’s are actually in the UK ? Is it something like 21 plus those in the US ? With both carriers sailing, surely HMS Queen Elizabeth would have to take at least a squadron to avoid the embarrassment of having both at sea with nothing but Merlins embarked ?


The impression that has been given is that the QE deployment will be the main F35 event of the year. With the extra F35 deployments to Europe in response to the Ukraine crisis and the OCU training difficulties there have been it will be interesting to see the size of the deployment.

Salty Dog

Could always pick up a few Spanish and Italian Harriers on the way !

Andrew Deacon

Last I saw was only 2 Lightnings in Eastern Europe which can rotate with RAF Marham. Would say 8 would be a reasonable number as on HMS QE last year plus USMC but this is in US waters. In flight refuelling means they can move Lightnings round mid deployment..


Weren’t we also supposed to be getting a second batch of 3 F-35s delivered in the second half of this year?

Salty Dog

I think so but it’s like a long slow Drip Feed.


Seems to be around 28 delivered out of 35 allocated serials.
Maybe the first 6-8 are such early blocks they would no longer be usable

Salty Dog

Interesting link that, Thank you. The first one was ordered in 2012 if I’m reading that correctly. 28 delivered in 10 years !!!


Those numbers sound about right, although we have one less due to the accident in the Med last year. We are due to get another 24(25) between 2023-2026 bringing our numbers up to 48. SoS Def has already stated that there is a funding line to increase those number post 2026 to somewhere in the 70s but is heavily dependent on Blk 4 upgrades coming in sooner rather than later.

Andrew Deacon

We’ve already had both at sea with just helicopters! With one carrier not far from home doesn’t need to be a full squadron as likely to be just training and need not be too far from RAF Marham for ground support.


I’m not sure what you’re expecting but even if she was embarking F35 before crossing the Atlantic they wouldn’t be onboard when the ship leaves port, they’d do so once she’s at sea.

Salty Dog

When it says that the Banshees “May be recovered after descending by parachute”, what does that mean exactly and if after landing in the sea (assuming), are they easily readied for further flights ?

Armchair Admiral

SD. Yes they do land in the sea via parachute…not sure if they have floatation bags or, are simply waterproofed so that they float anyway.
If they are waterproofed then one would assume that a good rinse with fresh water and flushing the engines out has them ready for action again. (Perhaps a bit of WD40 wouldn’t go amiss.
As for the crudity of landing off board, I used to think it was a bit naff, but perhaps this is actually the smart approach. No landing gear (weight), no risk to ship and no impact on flight operation.
VTOL jet drones seem to be a way off, vtol prop drones don’t have the speed, and with Banshee there is no need for all the deck landing paraphernalia which goes with a fast/hard object crashing in a controlled manner on deck.

Salty Dog

Thanks, that’s interesting. Presumably, they are light enough to be picked up by Merlin rather than a ship ? All sounds a bit antiquated but I guess they do the intended job.( just looked them up and now I can see they are tiny and very lightweight, I thought they were more like mini Hawks at first.)

Last edited 1 year ago by Salty Dog

Now they are being equipped with radars for Project Vampire, perhaps when one drops in the water, we can send out the next one to do SAR?

I hadn’t really thought before about the whole waterproofing issue when they carried radar.

Steven Alfred Rake

It is my understanding that the Banshee’s are usually recovered after parachuting on to land so there has to be a suitable area near the launch site for the Banshee to land. If it has to land in the drink (which it has done in the past) it can be recovered but needs an extensive rebuild/service of the engines as they are not designed to have H2O swilling around them. So I believe that if the PoW is operating off the East Coast of America then she will have to stay relatively close to one of the big US exercise areas in that part of the world so she can use the Banshee/s more than once.

Salty Dog

Thanks SAR, that does sound more realistic I guess.

Andrew Deacon

HMS PoW heading to Caribbean is Plan B if HMS Protector proves unsuitable!