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Does/did The Rn Need Qe Class Aircraft Carriers.


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#1 Chris Werb

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 0824 AM

Here you go Stuart. Fill your boots! :)


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#2 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 0847 AM

Yes.

 

My work here is done. :)


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#3 Chris Werb

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 0904 AM

Stuart Galbraith, on 01 Jul 2019 - 07:45 AM, said:snapback.png

Chris, the F35B has such a monumental blast, its been melting roads. In fact the Marines were engineering  landing pads that are capable of taking them landing vertically.

https://www.snafu-so...-pad-for-f.html

MWSS-374 undertook the project of creating the landing zone in just under two and a half weeks, a task that was projected to take two months. The task depended on the heavy equipment required, to remove four inches of concrete before any other work could be done on the site.
“One of the biggest challenges we face in the construction of a landing zone is getting the sand to compact as needed,” said Staff Sgt. John A. Vasquez, engineer equipment operator, MWSS-374. “It took my Marines 17 long days to ensure the pad was put together.”

 

Good luck with that.

 

Basically, there is no particularly convincing argument that this aircraft can stage from the front lines as easily as a Harrier did. These happy days are long over.

 

 

How many islands have we got off the Kola peninsular? None. How viable is it going to be to stage airpower over Sierra Leone out of Gibraltar? Expensive, and subject to spanish interference. How viable is staging F35 or Typhoon all that distance to the Falklands from Ascension? Not very. You can do it, but your sortie rate is going to be once a day if you are lucky. Sharky Ward openly deprecated the RAF taking Vulcans out of Ascension flying several thousand miles to drop a stick of Bombs on Port Stanley, when he reckoned his Sea Harrier could have done the job just as well flying a few hundred miles a hell of a lot cheaper. I believe him.

 

What if an aggressor launched a TLAM attack on RAF Brize Norton? We would lose the vast majority of our tankers. We would at that point have few realistic means of projecting airpower, other than relying on the increasingly unreliable Americans for tankers, or use a carrier air.

 

Im thinking this probably all wants reserving for a new thread, 'Do we still need aircraft carriers', because I think we are bending this one out of shape again.

 

1. If you read up on this, you will see that the vertical landing feature is primarily for landing back on ships - it is not needed for the vast majority of landings and would not be needed at most dispersed sites. The UK uses "short rolling landings" to overcome the deck heating problem on the QE - something I think is unique to the RN.

2. What is with the obsession with the Kola peninsula? It's distant, it's well defended, it can only be approached from a limited number of directions, it has no facilities relevant to the kind of war likely to break out in Central Europe, and attacking it will promote fears that you are going after their strategic deterrent. If you are going to go there, it would make more sense to used land based and particularly strategic aviation. 
3. If an attacker launched two TLAMs at Portsmouth the odds are we would lose both carriers, irrevocably.

4. We re-took the Falklands without a CV, let alone two. If you have an F-35B, it doesn't need to operate from a CV/N. Seriously though, even if we didn't have F-35B, just look at the kit we have now compared to 1982. Even if the Argentines still had the kit gear operation that they had then, which they don't, you could do a far better job than all the fixed wing air did back then with Wildcat and AH-64s operating from ships and a couple of M270s strapped to their decks (the French have already done this).

5. Sharkey Ward. Groan....  :)

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But it's got electrolytes! They're what plants crave!

 

Stuart posted: 
 

1 Fair one. Although considering how the USMC seem to be building Pads, they clearly envisaged deploying on land this way, just as they do with the harrier. I even read somewhere they were going to far as to develop a portable landing pad so they wouldnt burn through tarmac, which is only of use to expeditionary operations. If you are serious about dispersal, you have to be serious about this method of landing in dispersed locations, otherwise you are little better of than an A10 with its autobahn airstrip. Besides, deploying to the field is going to take a toll of its stealth skin. Its going to be difficult enough maintaining that on ship, imagine doing it in a pig farm. Yes, the USMC is clearly serious about trying, I cannot conceive this method of deployment is going to last. Considering the enhanced range over Harrier, I have to ask why they even really need to. Even in 2003, they were forward operating off ordinary airfields.

2 Because if we end up with a war with Russia, what comes out of Kola is going to be of distinct bearing when it comes to national security. Its unreasonable to assume, if we were attacked, particularly by cruise missiles, we wouldnt try to repeat the favour. SSNs are of course one option, but I imagine in such a scenario they are probably going to have enough to do.

Its a national asset, so figure out a way to use it. Complaining its not useful in a conflict with Russia is precisely the kind of mindset that refused to dig up the Golf Courses at Singapore.  :)

3 If those carriers are in port. I believe the Japanese tried something similar once upon a time and were sorely disappointed.  :D Again, what makes our carriers more vulnerable than anyone elses? They arent always going to be tied up in port at time of threat. And even if they are, there are other dispersed locations about the UK other than Southampton.

4 If you dont like the Falklands example, read 'Phoenix squadron', about the 1972 deployment of Ark Royal to British Hondura's. The argument is, that these things can be done by fixed wing air. The problem is, when that crisis emerged, they couldnt. In fact as late as the Falklands, PM Thatcher asked where the Ark Royal and her phantoms were. I would love to have heard the conversation in the room when she was told she was razor blades.

https://www.amazon.c...=gateway&sr=8-1

5 Yes, he is a blowhard.  :) And yet, on this point, he is unassailable. Look at how many tankers it took to take the Vulcan that far south. And even then they nearly flamed out on the way back. i think it was something like 3000 miles to carry 20 odd thousand pounders, when you could have flown 200 to drop 2. Whilst the sea harrier might have had a simple bombing system, at least it wasnt designed for Lancaster Bombers. From a purely cost basis, Black Buck doesnt stand up. As a demonstration of national resolve however, it was magnificent, but then so is 65000 tons of British Steel.  :)
 

Chris posted.

 

1. I think we should have bought CTOL F-35s, preferably Cs, but we're stuck with Bs now.

2. If we end up in a war with Russia that involved them attacking our home base with CMs, going after the Kola peninsula will really be the last thing on anyone's mind.

3. I think they will have a pretty good idea when they are in port given that they are somewhat hard to conceal and they now have everything from satellites to tourists with iPhones with eyes on. It is highly unlikely that both would be at sea simultaneously. If they put to sea, in peacetime, they would be really easy to tail, as, historically was done to US CVBGs, particularly in the Med. The idea of hiding them in dispersed locations around the UK. LOL!  :)

4. Historically Harriers were deployed to Belize via Greenland IIRC. I've read about that quite recently. Assuming a CV was a better choice than an LHD, which I think it would not be, do you think it's a good use of scarce defence funds to deter the Guatemalans from invading Belize though?

5. I don't think having a whole CVBG deploy to put something as crappy as a few Sea Harrier FRS1s within striking distance of the Falklands makes a lot of sense economically either. Historically what did their bombing actually achieve for the two shot down by ground fire? The Vulcan's bombnav system was entirely adequate to achieve the desired mission objective - the problem was it was dropping unguided unitary bombs. 

 


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#4 urbanoid

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 0908 AM

They may come in handy when you have to retake the Falklands again. Or flex some muscle outside Yurop, in the Far East or the ME.


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#5 JasonJ

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 0919 AM

France has been stepping up maritime cooperation with Japan.
http://www.the-japan...icle/0005836622

They already sent a carrier here for training with JMSDF. They also once sailed a destroyer or frigate through the Taiwan Strait which got its invite in the PLA Navy parade cancelled.

They see a pupose in having a carrier. What are they getting wrong?

Edited by JasonJ, 01 July 2019 - 0919 AM.

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#6 Chris Werb

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 0920 AM

That's their decision and not the topic of this thread.


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#7 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 0920 AM

See my problem is this, and Chris (and I do not mock his self evident intelligence) doesnt see it. I would not, as things stand, buy these. 20 years ago, they made perfect sense. Today, less so. But having made the investment to buy 130000 tons of portable British real estate, the fashionable argument is, well lets get rid of them. Lets spend the money on something we need now, like more tanks.

 

So we sell them, or scrap them. We spend the next 10 years buy Leopard 2's off Germany, then Putin's Russia falls over, and we suddenly have a lot of tanks we dont need. And we have to transition. Again.

 

We never fight the wars we expect to fight with the equipment we need. There is always a lag, particularly when equipment gets more complicated. But having made THIS investment, my view is, find out how to use it for the requirements we need. We still need to strike places abroad. We still need to do humanitarian relief. We still need to keep Russia in check. So rather than us being so desperately unimaginative and throwing away what is presently unfashionable, lets figure out how to use it to best advantage. There is a lot we can do with these, if we free ourselves from the mindset we need a big army (which we also can no longer afford) and the only threats we face are in Europe. Because, they arent. Ask the Australians who the threat is these days.

 

One thing I can tell you, we get rid of these, we wont put the money back into defence. That 20 year investment to procure them will be gone. All the money we will get back will be the running costs. Not inconsiderable, but surely not anything like enough to transition to the big army we need to defend Europe, when best I can tell, Europe seems pretty glad to be shot of us. I look back at all the years we kept an Army defending West Germany, and what did we get for that investment? Not very much.Why repeat old mistakes, when Europe is self evidently up to defending itself, if it feels like it.

 

These are all political arguments, not military ones. But so are the arguments for trimming investment or even removing the capability. The arguments against Britains aircraft carriers always have been.


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#8 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 0929 AM

France has been stepping up maritime cooperation with Japan.
http://www.the-japan...icle/0005836622

They already sent a carrier here for training with JMSDF. They also once sailed a destroyer or frigate through the Taiwan Strait which got its invite in the PLA Navy parade cancelled.

They see a pupose in having a carrier. What are they getting wrong?

Charles De Gaule was primarily a statement, that French reach abroad, and its combat capability, matters. Show for the most part, and yet, show in French politics has had a vitality ever since the 1960's that has airbrushed much of their national decline. There is a political return from such things, our politicians never see. I would argue we saw more return from parking HMS Ark Royal in foreign ports, than we ever did the Royal Yacht. Yet the latter remains remembered and esteemed as a corner of British foreign policy, and the former has been razor blades since the late 70's.

 

Capabilities like this say something about a nation. Its easy to conflate that with jingoism, but in truth, it says something about a countries ability to engage in independent foreign policy. And still retaining a UN security council seat, such impressions still matter. Which is precisely why Russia wants an aircraft carrier, even if it is a rusty old tub fit only for the scrapyard.

 

Look at what we lost, and how attitudes to our capabilities declined thereafter. It arguably got us into at least one war in 1982.


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#9 JasonJ

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 0942 AM

That's their decision and not the topic of this thread.


Well to some degree it may be related because what other countries do or do not do still has an impact. The UK's role in the world decreases as France's role goes up. That means France is more important to the interest of other countries thus may get whatever better deal that may arrive.

Last year there was a number of RN ships making trips here including HMS Albion. But so far for 2019, no visits AFAIK.

Well ultimately it is France call and that is not immediately related but I think it is worth consideration. Afterall to the question whether or not something as large as two QEs is necessary or not is going to call for attention to what kind of role the UK wants in the world and the level of role is partly determined by what others are doing because strength and activities are really values of relativity.

Edited by JasonJ, 01 July 2019 - 0943 AM.

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#10 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 0949 AM

I think it comes down to two strands in British politics, and I dont even necessarily mean Brexiters and remainers. There are those that think Britain, having played such a role in the rise of democracy, has a role to play, admittedly much smaller, in maintaining it. And there are those that thing that we must defend Europe because they are close to us, and we are an impoverished European nation. Ive sympathy with both those views I might add, though I think insularity is always rewarded with decline.

 

And a carrier plays a role in that. In the 1980's John Nott thought we should reduce our carrier fleet, to spend more on defending Europe. Arguably that thinking lead to our only real war of the 1980's. Interestingly even then, he viewed transitioning to more of a role on Europes flanks than defending Central Europe, though the West Germans crushed that with alacrity. Mistakenly I think, because I think this role suits us much better, and always has.


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#11 JasonJ

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 1009 AM

 

France has been stepping up maritime cooperation with Japan.
http://www.the-japan...icle/0005836622

They already sent a carrier here for training with JMSDF. They also once sailed a destroyer or frigate through the Taiwan Strait which got its invite in the PLA Navy parade cancelled.

They see a pupose in having a carrier. What are they getting wrong?

Charles De Gaule was primarily a statement, that French reach abroad, and its combat capability, matters. Show for the most part, and yet, show in French politics has had a vitality ever since the 1960's that has airbrushed much of their national decline. There is a political return from such things, our politicians never see. I would argue we saw more return from parking HMS Ark Royal in foreign ports, than we ever did the Royal Yacht. Yet the latter remains remembered and esteemed as a corner of British foreign policy, and the former has been razor blades since the late 70's.

 

Capabilities like this say something about a nation. Its easy to conflate that with jingoism, but in truth, it says something about a countries ability to engage in independent foreign policy. And still retaining a UN security council seat, such impressions still matter. Which is precisely why Russia wants an aircraft carrier, even if it is a rusty old tub fit only for the scrapyard.

 

Look at what we lost, and how attitudes to our capabilities declined thereafter. It arguably got us into at least one war in 1982.

 

 

Sometimes, I think there is a little more to it than just show. As a statement, it sends a statement to the ally country as well. If things go down, there will be an expectation to fulfill the role of supporting as whatever had been demonstrated in a previous joint-training. There is a political cost should that bluff be called. So the showing of force is backed by political will which is backed by general support of that countries population. And that showing helps influence whatever circumstances that might be occurring. If such a demonstration is not down, than circumstances may turn out differently because the political will by one country is absent.

 

For ability, yes, it shows a capacity to do independent or semi-independent foreign policy as well. That capability doesn't necessarily always make itself shown. But it functions like a BB. Even if the BB doesn't see direct action, its presence changes the calculus of the opponent. If a country doesn't have its own capability, that can be taken advantage of by other countries.

 

Nice video BTW. That size actually probably might be more convenient for the UK today than QE.


Edited by JasonJ, 01 July 2019 - 1010 AM.

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#12 Nobu

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 1346 PM

If you are going to acquire a carrier at all, acquire the best and most capable possible. The costs will be sunk regardless. Smaller, cheaper carriers are pretense for a nation capable of better.
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#13 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 1413 PM

We discussed this on the other thread. What's the point of 100000 ton catobar if you can't afford bombers and tankers to put on it?

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
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#14 Nobu

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 2138 PM

A nation with a GDP of over 2.5 trillion can clearly afford the total carrier package.

 

The question is one of will, not ability, because an island nation that hopes to increase that GDP number cannot afford not to.


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#15 Corinthian

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 2208 PM

I look back at all the years we kept an Army defending West Germany, and what did we get for that investment?

 

Well, for starters, the Soviets didn't cross the IGB....


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#16 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 0156 AM

Granted, but how much of that was due to 3 relatively poorly equipped if well trained mech infantry divisions, and rather more to do with the fact they never planned to anyway?

Looking at the history of the 1980's, wouldnt a couple of large sized RN carriers have proven of inestimable more value in areas like the Med or the Persian Gulf? Grenada, the Falklands, would they have even happened if there had been an RN presence? Perhaps not.

 

I have to look at all the years we spent defending Europe since 1945, and reflect in light of Brexit, we have got relatively little out of that investment. Meanwhile the French who did as little as they could to defend Europe when it seemingly mattered, are now the cornerstone of European politics. There is a lesson there I think.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 02 July 2019 - 0234 AM.

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#17 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 0200 AM

A nation with a GDP of over 2.5 trillion can clearly afford the total carrier package.

 

The question is one of will, not ability, because an island nation that hopes to increase that GDP number cannot afford not to.

 

Well we clearly could afford one big carrier up till the 1970's, when Britains economy was even in a worse state than now. So we certainly have the ability to deploy one. Probably two if we rotate them. The arguments for NOT doing this are purely political. We can afford it, the only question is whether we CHOOSE to afford it. Which again, is pretty much the same arguments that got us out of building the new carriers in the 1970's.


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#18 Rick

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 0457 AM

What were the decisions the British government made that decided they needed two aircraft carriers?


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#19 urbanoid

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 0505 AM

So one is always available? One carrier doesn't make much sense, two is better, three OTOH would be optimal.


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#20 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 0517 AM

The original idea was to have both operational. Although I have to say, even in 1998, that was pretty optimistic.There are still vague comments made that we plan to keep 2 operational at once, though one may (or may not) be used as an LPH. I guess it depends on how the funding shakes down. It was the reason why we struck HMS Ocean.

 

Id have prefered to keep at least one of the Invincibles in repair in mothballs, just so we had three to cover all bases. Although clearly the money obsessed Cameron regime scrapped them all as soon as they could manage. Twat.


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