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Captain Nemo

“It is possible the two ships may briefly sail in company if the timing of PoW’s trials programme and QE’s return from the US coincide”

They should create that CGI graphic in actuality.

Meirion X

An interesting graphic if it was snowing as well!


Ahem….cough cough……… she’s not HMS until she’s commissioned.

Still, as sins go that’s a lot more forgivable than that committed by the Eastern Daily Press, which today called her HMS Prince Charles.


Then I suggest you contact the Royal Navy’s on website which refers to HMS Prince of Wales currently under construction at Rosyth.


Lets hope she sails longer than her predecessor of the King George V Class ?

Gavin Gordon

Less tragically though more pertinently UNDER the RN White Ensign. Over the last week of two I’ve noted her name being associated, in one form or another, with the caveate ‘If She Survives’, including during DSEI. Couple that with the above comments and you may begin to wonder it her prefix should currently be the ‘ISS PRINCE OF WALES’.

John Clark

Wonderful to see PoW alive and kicking and straining against the leash to get out to sea…

Carrier capability is almost back with us guys.


Just a quick question: I’ve read a fair few articles that said POW will be specialised for the airbourne assault / littoral manouvre role, carrying extra marines and a heavier loadout of helicopters etc. I remember some articles saying that there were going to be some modificiations to the design to better work this -wider corridors and suchlike- but nothing recent has said whether these were carried out or not.
Does anyone know if any changes were made?


These have indeed been incorporated. Wider corridors – better accommodation etc for easier troop movement…

Will O

Great News for the UK.
Fantastic to see it get to sea.

Uninformed streams of criticims though? Ha! No I don’t think so.

I still think it should have been fitted with cat traps to launch VSTOL P8 Poseidons, ideally from shore.

I also don’t see why RF/motion sensitive Silver A70s weren’t networked with RS232 enabled Su35Bs & fitted above the bridge in the Port Navigation islands at the back. CAMM 116 C-RAM could have been quadpacked in there very easily, saving the R2D2s for backups & drone use. – A full fleet/squadron of four off-board R2D2s could then be formed with the minimum of changes.


Sea Ceptor plus Sea-RAM (RIM 116 missiles) would be a great addition. Phalanx can be repurposed for the Army as C-RAM (Counter Rocket mortar Artillery Missile – Damn thats confusing having two systems made by Ratheon having the same name when you speak about them lol.) Or as you said Will used for drones.


Launch P8’s?!! I presume this is in jest. Why stop at that, let’s get them launching C17’s, give them 10000 seaceptor and make them fully submersible!


Lets hope so, I know the US landed a C-130 on a Nimitz carrier to see if it would work. No idea how they managed to get it off though. I think a Sea Ram launcher below the main deck would have been a good option, but the RN is adamant they will always be protected by an escort therefore no risk spraying debris all over the flight deck from a missile launch.


I agree with you BB85, they should have some proper defences of their own just for the oh crap situation of having their escorts blown out of the water. A dozen Mk41 VLS or Mk57 VLS (or whatever the RN will accept in service) was what I had in mind. The C130 was landing on USS Forrestal and with some minor mods it worked well. 29 Touch and go landings included. The US Navy only stopped because they considered it too risky

Simon m

To me this is just cost saving there’s no reason a couple of camm box launchers could not be added either side there’s space on the platforms below the deck. With soft launch the debris would be minimal and some measure could be taken to reduce this. Compared to USN RN escorts are hardly well endowed with missiles and rather have them for any leakers


They used strap on rockets fitted just above the sponsons for the undercarriage. They were a one shot deal, allowing the Herc to take-off. However, it damaged the deck in doing so.


The C-130 on the Forrestal didn’t use JATO.

Here’s the video of the trials:

Dave G

It was actually USS forrestal not a nimitz class… the video is great. (About 1:60 in video in link below)

Will O

Jests? Why are there no TSR2s & P139Bs on there, let’s build some of those, haha.

Yes, the conflation of the CIWS was intended lol.

More sensibly; it’s a little baffling that the UK is spending what must be £12bn+ for the two carriers including aircraft? …but then no SeaCeptor or RIM-116 of their own to protect them. Neither of those systems actually need Mk41/Mk56, nor a strike length Sylver lmao. Either could fit the more compact ExLS. Integration of SeaCeptor with CMS & radar has been done already, & the RIM-116 could either be integrated with the ships CMS &/or operate independently exactly as Phalanx does & slot right in.

Whichever way I look at it, not fitting either of those is one choice I honestly don’t understand at all. As a fraction of the overall programme cost, the outlay would be less than 0.1%? The cost of failing to protect them would be astronomical.
By relying only on Phalanx instead of SeaCeptor/RIM116 also intercepting things further out, there’s surely increased risk of debris on deck rather than less?
Is it a Treasury thing? If someone doesn’t understand the importance of mitigating risk, on that scale, then the very last place you’d want them to be is in the Treasury.

I don’t quite understand the logic of not also adding Nulka to the mix either, it’s good enough for the US/Aus/Canada, so why not the UK? Whilst the UK may some very capable equivalent, is there harm in building in redundancy? Why would the UK not be doing absolutely everything possible to protect it’s carriers?
To what extent the UK’s existing RF seducer overlaps with Nulka is probably a bit technical, & probably a bit too secret to be explored publicly, but I do suspect adding a second & differing RF seducer could assist in protecting the carriers?

On that topic, little has been published regarding ESM/ECM, we’re expected to take it on faith that, like on US carriers with their AN/SLQ32(V4), it’s fully covered. I know there’s likely to be some provision, but question is; could there be better provision? If so can it please be fully funded & in good time? I presume they’ll be fitted with Thales Sabre/Scorpion 2? The precise details don’t matter as long as it’s in hand, & to be honest, it’s not clear that it is.
I know for sure I’m not informed enough to criticise lol, but am uninformed enough to be concerned, & that’s merely because I want assurance that the RN has the very best, and in a climate of cuts & compromises over the last decade(s) – nothing is a given.

The UK is very lucky to have ships like these, but they’ll need more than luck, they need to be fitted with the most robust CIWS & the very best ESM/ECM if their survival is to be ensured for years to come. – Preferably before they go venturing out to places like the Pacific.
Protect them from harm before sending them into harm’s way. They’re highly valued, so their fit out needs to reflect that, or well-informed or otherwise, the public, & others around the world, are sure to notice.

Anyway, right now PoW & her sister QE are being noticed for positive reasons, long may that continue.

Simon m

Also missing I believe is any torpedo defence either decoy or anti torpedo torpedoes! Basically if t23 or T26 miss the sub it’s game over


The Gerald Ford class has the Anti Torpedo Torpedoes….The QE needs these too ?


The USN isn’t happy with the CATT system. All of the anti-torpedo torpedoes are being removed as the ships come in for refits. They’re no longer supporting them.


Technically it’s not a two carrier navy yet mate. Good to see the big girl with a boys name sail…


A Brilliant achievement considering this project was slowed down by over 2 years and caused the 2 billion pounds extra cost by politicians. So minus 2 years and 2 billion pounds with two super carrier built in one location, this far out does Navantia. See below…. Navantia are a Spanish state owned, fully subsisdised firm. This arrangement partnership is yet a again, humiliating the UK (who is the paymaster) in making it the junior partner to a senior one who dictates, as with the expensive Tide ships.

BMT say they considered joining the British consortium but they would have derived a very limited work share and they considered the design proposal under development to be be weak. Could this actually mean: BMT did not like the fact they could not cream as much from this project, so got personal and decided the UK consortium design was weak. The Tides were based on a Norwegian tanker design, and what really constitutes a major success? This very website said about how much more in cost the shipbuild part was for these Tide tanker ships, not 452 million pounds but 550 million pounds just for the hull builds. It seems like BMT are a UK government favoured UK firm, but this firm would rather see UK content reduced so for them to have a higher workshare percentage, but what does that mean? Will BMT model the plan the construction/integration and trials phases? But even so, this tails off during construction and in many cases, simulation technology in project and production, planning and control minimize shipbuild modeling in production simulation. BMT feel they can yet again jump into bed with a foreign competitor for their own gain at the expense of the larger UK picture of an industry that has the potential to grow and be a little more significant in the future?

The problem with this false competition is that another element has been brought into the equation, that of design, so if a UK shipyard sides with the wrong design, it loses? The French are are using an Italian design to build FSS types ship in their own Country without the internationally competition excuse being used.

The Cantabria class Combat Support Ships for the Spanish and Australian Navies cost 238 euro or 300 million dollars in 2005 and are in fact oil tankers just as the Tide ships and also the RFA Wave class ships.
Navantia has a few yards and the Australian ships had parts made at the two locations as with the Juan Carlos I Carrier. Note, the ships were dynamically launched from an inclined building berth, not from the Cadiz building dock as shown here. The cost of the Australian ships is anywhere between $1 billion -$2 billion dollars (Aus Dollars, I assume)
The UK has just recently built 2 giant super aircraft carriers which Spain has never done. Who has the kudos?
Lets compare to the RFA Wave tankers to the Cantabria tankers. The Waves were ordered in 1997 for around 97 million pounds a piece in which the pound was worth around 2.260.80 euro. Displacement: 31,500 tonnes approx
Length: 196.5 m (644 ft 8 in)
Beam: 28.25 m (92 ft 8 in)
Draft: 9.97 m (32 ft 9 in)
Displacement: 31,500 tonnes, 25,500 metric (what ever that is) HP, 20 knots, range 10,000 nuatical miles at 15 knots. Capacity:
16,000 m3 of liquids (of which 3,000 m3 aviation fuel & 380 m3 fresh water)
125 tonnes of lubricating oil
500 m3 of solids
150 tonnes of fresh food in eight 20 ft refrigerated container units.

The Cantabria: 19.500 tons Displacement: 19,500 tons
Length: 174.0 m (570.9 ft)
Beam: 23 m (75 ft)
Draught: 8 m (26 ft) Range: 6,000 nmi (11,000 km; 6,900 mi)
Capacity: 8,920 m3 (315,000 cu ft) of ship fuel
1,585 m3 (56,000 cu ft) of JP-5
215 m3 (7,600 cu ft) of fresh water
280 tons of ammunition
470 tons of general cargo

The Cantabria ships do not compare well. The pound has been too high for so many years and does no good for us except for mainly importers years ago until now. May it continue to go down. It is currently at 1.13 Euros to the Pound.
The Porto Real Cadiz yard had not built a ship for many years.
How did Navantia fund this Cadiz facility?
No UK yard has been given the chance to match this, that’s the point.

So as I said before, evolved from another Country’s tanker design which BMT want a huge share in, even though they are not building them!

Why not? If this is what these ships are about the automated system is even more suitable for ships like these to be more efficient and have less cost, If material movements is there main game?

Yes and that shipyard has al the potential to be back in the game, it was only it’s foreign owners that were in trouble which led to this disaster. The Type 31 (e) bid from Babcock Harland and Wolff has won. So possibly this yard yard that could win other work that can lead to many more jobs will become viable again. The Cadiz yard had not built ships for 30 years prior to building Cantabria in 2005-2008.

So again the UK is the junior partner in a big important UK project which is disgusting and should lead to a government being thrown out of office! Lets look at the figures here. £400m with a possible tax back of up to and above 40%, but much UK content here could well be foreign sourced too, like Steel Plate, section and pipes. Lets say 40% back from 400 which is £160m, but £600m for the hull build (I assume) will be net, 600m for just hull build in the UK would be counted as gross! £600m with most material coming from the UK (as the UK government should be buying this also, rather than the contractor who want to profit at the Tax payer expense could be £240m which is more than one hull build alone. Equipment fit out will take place where? With the customization work, this comes to 400 million pounds?! If much happens in Spain does some of this 400 million pounds find it’s way into the Spanish economy too?

The 3 ships could be built in Spain for 120 million pounds for each three ships after a modest 40% tax claw back. So Spain can do a shipbuild for 120 million pounds for 2 ships. So 2 ships before tax for 240 million pounds. Use the currency fluctuations and play about with, if our currency was the same in 1997 as it is now etc. Are we saying these Spanish Government owned shipyards can build each of these 3 ships after tax for 120 million quid or 60% cheaper? Cammell Laird has just built a very complex ship (Albeit less in tonnage and a few years ago) for around 150 million pounds before tax (I assume). The Waves were designed and built with UK content for arund 100 million pounds each when ordered in 1997, but take 40% back and the Spanish ships cannot compete even with the currency rate at that time, let a lone now.

Where is the proof in this idea that build British get two, build abroad get three. I knew this and probably wrote on this very site that this would be used as a tactic, used by certain interests in the UK. Is there any facts with figures in this UK industry damaging lie? Why are we assuming that if built in the UK only two ships would be afforded?

The Navantia/BMT FSS package does not look like a credible solution for a stable UK shipbuilding sector and looks like it will cost far more to build in Spain, I cannot see that there are any merits of over seas bids.

He will considered something else too as this is foolish and will hurt an industry that has potential to grow in this Country. The more I look at the Navantia/bmt package the more it looks less credible when the bigger picture is taken into consideration. This does not happen in Germany, Italy, France Netherlands and indeed, Spain. If Shipbuilding is coming home to the UK, the most meaningful tonnage for ships, sponsered by the UK taxpayer, is the Fleet Solid Support Ships!

10 years in building? Don’t forget, the UK sees a ship start of build with the first steel cut, but in Europe the ceremony happens with the first block laid! Much steel preparation, burning, cutting, shaping and welding and welding of units and blocks happens before then.

History Buff

I just want to say congratulations from across the pond to the RN. Your rich naval history continues with the addition of PoW. The people of the UK have much to be thankful for and proud of in their sacrifice and contributions to holding back the dangers we all face and are yet to come across the globe.