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dave simpson

A good infographic. I have seen similar but much earlier versions elsewhere. My only 3 comments are: yet again its evident that the plan at present calls for the (too slow) delivery of the first tranche of 48 F35B. to take so long to acquire the 2 operational squadrons is disheartening to say the least. Secondly, there has been nothing specific about when the 2nd or more main tranches will commence post 2023, taking the type fleet above 48. Your suggestions of when the 3rd and 4th squadrons might be ready post 2030 and beyond is not at all good. Time was when we could roll out 8-9 new fast jet squadrons in 7 years not 20! Finally, a smaller point. Your graphic suggests 17R will expand to 12 F35B indicating it will take on the OCU role. Not sure where you got that from so please advise. My understanding is that a small separately numbered OCU will form at Marham with up to 6 aircraft before 2020.

Tony Rosier

That’s longer than it took to win WW2 your having a laugh. No one would have believed this 50 years ago. India and China are gonna have a better navy than us soon.


Both already do. China for example has around 60 frigates and destroyers of comparible or greater size in service with double figures again under construction, in a fleet of over 500 hulls.


They don’t have a ‘better’ navy, just bigger!


I wonder if someone can help me, although my post is slightly of track it is in reference to the carriers possible aircraft fit.
First I would like to ask can a electro-magnetic catapult be fitted to a ski jump if so can the carriers be fitted with a three wire trap.
The reason that I am asking is because of the future development in aircraft and in the limitations of the F35.
It appears that the QE’s in a wartime configuration would have 48 F35’s however they seem to be short legged and if they have to do a deep strike mission they would need top penetrate air defenses, this is inherently dangerous especially for a limited aircraft capacity.
With that in mind would it not be better to have 36 F35’s and 12 BAE Taranis or X-47B’s to act as deep strike, long range recon and air to air refueling. Only an idea but useful for discussion.


60 months from commissioning to fully operational. No wonder we lost the war.


If it came to the crunch you can be sure it would take less time. This is the cheap but slow timeline. The main problem would be the lack of an effective air group if it was needed urgently rather than later. Now if Cameron had not trashed the Sea Harriers?


By Comparison HMS Illustrious commissioned 20/6/1982 arrived Falklands 28/8/1982. An extreme case. However in the intervening years has something gone wrong?


In my opinion the biggest deciding factors are the lack of clear enemies and a disinterested public. If people were actually aware of the deficiencies in defence and appreciated the danger they are put in as a result there would be far greater pressure to address the problems.


I would say BAE are the reason…..over budget and decades late…..yes Nimrod Mk4 I am looking at you

Michael Watson

Timetable looks good to me, hopefully there will not be too much time slippage . I wonder if the Osprey will operate from the new carriers? My main concern is the slow delivery of the F35B’s


Indeed, I’d gladly swap 18-20 of the planned F35’s for Ospreys, to perform refuelling and AEW, would certainly extend the range of the F35’s & AEW coverage

David Stephen

I wouldn’t. I would gladly take a dozen V-22 but only in addition to all the promised F-35B. Every single one is still not enough. Also I would say we are pretty well covered for rotary lift. The V-22s only real benefits would be A2AR and COD. This being the case I would think 4 per carrier max and another couple to form a small OCU so 10-12 airframes would be more than sufficient. They would really enhance the potency of the F-35B fleet and add a little flexibility to the CVF package but not nearly enough to justify any drop in F-35B numbers. Only as an additional purchase would I have them and I don’t like our chances of finding the cash to buy or run them in addition to F-35B, Merlin and Wildcat.


Is there still a Director of Naval Construction? If Not why not? Can he read what is written on the tin?


As of today, there are 15 RAF F-35s. Why will it take so long to get them onboard? They are on some US carriers like the Wasp.

Fat Dave

Thankfully, if Cummings wins the argument, it will be the more capable F-35A to fulfill the remaining order book


So you would be happy with only a dozen or so f35b for the carriers strike capability. VERY POTENT.


You don’t seem to understand. The UK is surrounded by sea and we trade and rely on the sea. The whole of our defence needs are tied in to the place we find our selves which is suggest is the need to keep the sealanes open with considerable outreach.


F35 # Vietnam # Vietnamese # Donald trump # real Donald trump # real Donald trump # f35 # Vietnam # Vietnamese # f35B # HMS queen Elizabeth 2