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“Vindicates the QE design”??

The key design point was operating numbers of F-35B’s at high tempo in adverse conditions. Flying helo’s proves nothing.


The new American carrier Gerald Ford did the same thing, starting with helicopters operating at length before fixed wing operations. These things are done in stages and with method.


From what I’ve read it’ll be along tome before Gerald Ford can operate fixed wing as the electro-magnetic catapult doesn’t work (unless they let the US Marines use their F35Bs of course!


Actually the Gerald Ford has conducted 3 independent steaming exercises, with the last 2 making extensive use of the
emals systems. To date, over 900 traps and launches have been performed without a hitch. On the last ISE, 2 squadrons of Super Hornets and 1 squadron of E-2 Hawkeyes spent over a week on board trapping and launching in both day and night time operations.

Sir Humphrey

God you naysayers are very dull = nothing is ever good enough, despite there being really good reasons why things happen as they do.


So criticizing the author for absurd hyperbole is now “nay sayers” ???



Anyone who has taken the time to read Sir Humphrey’s blog ‘thinpinstripeline’ will quickly realise he is someone with considerable first hand knowledge and experience in this field. But yes, feel free to dismiss him as an idiot if it makes you feel good behind your computer screen.


He’s an idiot for criticizing something that wasn’t written.

Geoffrey Hicking

Humpf, have you considered any more in-depth posts / articles on the RN’s logistics capability? The ships, the supplies etc? (the rations, the food…. thin pinstriped loin, yum, yum!)

Just wondered.


Have to agree with Ron5.

Although it’s great news, I think it’s a bit early to be using words like vindicate.
After all, we didn’t pay £3.1b for a 1000 ft LPH, did we?


Wonderful seeing it all coming together!

We got lucky with the gap mind. Luck never lasts so I hope today’s comments by Hammond are the start of reinvesting in defence capability.



Iqbal Ahmed

The successful helicopter testing is a good sign they can do what is needed.

Given the small number of aircraft ordered, the type of deck and the various F-35 design flaws, for most of its life, our carriers are likely to be glorified helicopter carriers.

They will likely have a small aircraft strike force for the sake of ‘great power’ symbolism.


Here we go again….

48 on order isn’t what i’d call a tiny amount and will hopefully be followed by more. Yes the F35 has it’s flaws and is expensive, but show me an aircraft that hasn’t experienced issues and been subjected to criticism in it’s early years. The F18 Hornet was called a lame duck, technically flawed, too costly etc throughout it’s development. Costs will come down and issues will be ironed out.

I wouldn’t call 24 fast-jets, a plethora of helicopters and/or a couple of hundred Royal Marine’s on a 75,000 carrier with a 50 year life-span ‘great power symbolism’…..i simply call it power!


Or you could call it an artificial reef.


Or one could call you a scratched record.

Iqbal Ahmed

Or a floating target.

Ballad to a (supposedly) golden yesreryear.


You can tell Russia care about the carriers – funding so many Trolls must be expensive, although judging by competence I guess Iqbal is the student help…


I think he’s the student help’s, help, 3rd class remedial.

(On a good day obviously, and when the student help’s, help, 2nd class remedial is busy or feeling generous).


The more you spout your rubbish, the funnier it gets!! I just laugh at your pathetic comments; clearly from someone who has no knowledge or understanding of how the RN works and is sponsored by one of our country’s enemies.


enemy of the state


Ah grubbie, iqbal but with another avatar. Otherwise just another no hoper with no real time knowledge or experience of the subject matter in hand. Reckon you must struggle to read the daily mirror!


fully agree with Challenger, 48 is the start. who knows what new technology will be developed over the life of these carriers, drones, pilotless jets etc. given the size these ships will prove to be very adaptable.

I also agree with the comments on the F35, who knows how good this plane will be in time. it took years for people to accept the Harrier, the ww2 mustang was rubbish until someone dropped a merlin engine into it . It takes time to work through the issues and come up with a robust package.

The US Navy will make the Ford class work it just takes time and money


The problem is that the aeroplanes are under RAF control. I doubt that you will ever see an effective fixed wing element onboard.
After all the RAF just have to have these short range STOVL aeroplanes to carry out strategic strikes into the heart of the Soviet Union.


Pay no attention to the little man behind the curtain


You are forgetting the US Marine Corps contribution of F-35B’s.


It cant be that bad the US Navy has just deployed on the USS WASP

“Wasp made history on March 5 as a detachment of F-35B Lightning II’s with Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) arrived aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1), marking the first time the aircraft has deployed aboard a US Navy ship and with a Marine Expeditionary Unit in the Indo-Pacific”


You are so funny, you know so little yet love to pontificate on the military matters that are obviously so beyond you ability to understand. Do you enjoy trolling, wearing your crispy and dirty stained track suit trouser, food stained white vest and toilet tissue to hand? Keep on with the comments as I do enjoy seeing the lower end of the food chain desperately attempt to interact.


Hilarious Leigh

Geoffrey Hicking

I’ve heard that the ‘carriers without planes’ thing started due to the MoD waiting longer to buy the planes so they would get more when they did.

Is this true? Did the MoD put this information into the public sphere?


I always assumed it was due to delays/overruns with the F35 project, of which it has had more than its fair share.


The F-35 programme as a whole is running behind, the numbers built is still significant, but the capabilities of a lot of the software isn’t there yet.

But…it’s not as if every modern combat aircraft since the 1960’s has arrived in service fully formed either. Typhoon for example is only beginning to reach its full potential now, a full 10 years after entering operational service. Realistically it won’t be there until the early 20’s when its AESA radar arrives. And the first 60 the UK has purchased will never be able to receive the upgrades necessary so will be retired early. Same with Sea Harrier/Harrier. How many times did we update the Harrier GR.5 in its short service? Tornado F.3 arrived without a working radar, and stayed that way for a fair few years. It was only with the arrival of Asraam and Amraam with its 2 way data link that it finally reached its full potential, ironically just before it left service.

In comparison the UK MoD have actually, for once, been very smart. They’ve purchased enough of the early F-35B’s in order to contribute to the test programme, develop procedures, gain experience, integrate some UK weapons and train personnel (and remember the first 3 UK F-35B will never leave the US or be combat ready, they’re instrumented test aircraft and will remain that way for their careers). In the meantime they’re preparing the facilities (RAF Marham) and ships (QE Class) that will be needed once the UK F-35 fleet reaches operational status. This has meant that the UK has minimised its purchase of the early batches of the F-35B. These aircraft are far more expensive as they are built in low volumes rather than full rate production, and they will all require, to differing degrees, extensive and in some cases very expensive upgrades to bring them to an operational block 4 status. The UK is instead buying just what it needs to prepare for the arrival of the later main orders that will be far cheaper to buy and won’t require upgrade work to prepare them for operational use. We’ve got 15 F-35B to date, delivered over quite a few years. There are a few more on order, but the last 30 of the initial 48 will be delivered very close together.

It’s also worth noting that the first UK F-35B will have a limited choice of weapons to use. Initially it will be Asraam, Amraam and Paveway IV. The real goodies, Meteor and Spear should arrive at roughly the same time as the initial 48 F-35B completing their deliveries and going operational.