Author Topic: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)  (Read 46373 times)

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Offline S.M.A.

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Slowly but surely.

Quote
DATE:24/11/08
SOURCE:Flight International


UK prepares for carrier operations with JSF
By Craig Hoyle


The UK is making significant advances in its preparations for carrierborne operations with the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and expects to sign a contract by late February to acquire three aircraft to support test and evaluation of the type.
Partners to the US-led JSF project have until 28 February to commit funds to buy aircraft for use by a joint test team during initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) activities, with the Netherlands and the UK expected to acquire low-rate initial production examples.

The UK government is due to make a decision on its IOT&E investment before year-end, and should sign for its three aircraft (F-35A model pictured below, aboard HMS Illustrious) in January, say senior military officials.


Describing test and evaluation of the short take-off and vertical landing F-35B, the UK's selection for its Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) requirement, as "a key stepping stone", Rear Adm Simon Charlier, the Royal Navy's chief of staff for aviation, says the aircraft is the only candidate capable of meeting UK requirements.

"We want a fifth-generation aircraft it would be foolish to spend our money on anything else," says Charlier. "There isn't any other product on the market that can deliver within the parameters that we want." Key attributes include the aircraft's stealth performance and its integral intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities, he adds.

"We have laid out a set of parameters and requirements. The aircraft at the moment is meeting those, and is on time," says Charlier. "While it continues on track we will continue to be committed to it."

To be assigned to Royal Air Force and RN squadrons as a replacement for the BAE Systems Harrier GR9/9A, the JCA will provide the strike force for the navy's two future aircraft carriers (CVF), the first steel for which will be cut in early 2009. With a displacement of 65,000t, each CVF vessel will be capable of deploying an air wing of up to 40 aircraft, including 36 JCA.

Eurofighter programme officials have recently hinted at possible UK interest in a marinised variant of the RAF's Typhoon multirole strike aircraft, but Air Cdre Mark Green, JCA team leader for the UK Defence�Equipment and Support organisation, notes: "We know how to do STOVL operations in the UK." However, he adds that the UK's commitment to the F-35B "will not be set in stone until we buy fleet aircraft".

Preparations for UK operations of the CVF/JCA combination are moving fast, with the RN's 22,500t carrier HMS�Illustrious now hosting advanced trials of Qinetiq's VAAC Harrier testbed. The aircraft is testing a shipborne rolling vertical landing technique, being considered by the UK to boost the bring-back capabilities of its F-35Bs. This work, conducted in addition to extensive simulator-based trials, is expected to report around March 2009.

Synthetic-based exercises using data for the CVF are also continuing at Qinetiq's Maritime Integration Support Centre (MISC) in Portsmouth, Hampshire, with these intended to prove future concepts of operation and de-risk carrier design activities. The vessels - the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales - will enter service in 2014 and 2016, respectively.

An 11-day visualisation and experimentation exercise concluded at the MISC on 13 November. This tested the CVF's ability to sustain JCA operations in a simulated campaign to prevent conflict between two rival nations. Between eight and 12 aircraft sorties were performed each day, using real F-35 programme software. Smaller-scale events have been conducted since mid-2005.

The MISC housed a representative flying control room (below) to manage the movement of aircraft, with additional elements including air traffic control. Some 23 uniformed personnel supported the exercise, along with up to 60 engineers from BAE Systems Insyte, Qinetiq and over 20 small and medium-sized enterprises.




"We need to get people in front of the equipment that they will actually use to see how that information flows around," says Cdr Simon Petitt, carrier mission system lead for the Ministry of Defence. "We can de-risk applications by trialling early, and the concept of operations is maturing," he adds.

"Our goal was to validate the CVF's ability to support JCA operations," says Peter Craig, mission system visualisation experimentation lead for the Aircraft Carrier Alliance. While a full analysis will take several months, he comments: "The objectives we set ourselves have been achieved."

Continued work at the MISC next year will include increased emphasis on mission preparation and planning activities, says Petitt. This will include assessing bandwidth requirements for retrieving ISTAR and logistics data from an F-35B before it returns from a sortie. "The key is to get the information from the aircraft, and at a time of high workload for the pilot," he says.

http://www.flightglobal.c...-operations-with-jsf.html

« Last Edit: January 23, 2010, 10:34:52 by Mike Bobbitt »
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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Royal Navy prepares for JSF flight ops aboard new CVFs
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2009, 15:30:23 »
Just another update:

Quote
Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued January 30, 2009

The Royal Navy's two new aircraft carriers will be assembled at Rosyth on Scotland's east coast in the next decade. Work is already well underway to make sure the dockyard is ready.

If you see huge sections of warship on barges inching their way up the UK coast in a few years' time, chances are they are on their way to Rosyth. Work is underway to prepare the Firth of Forth yard's No 1 dock - originally built in 1916 - to accommodate the two massive 65,000 tonne aicraft carriers to be in service in the next decade.

The yard contains the largest non-tidal basin for ship repair in the UK and Babcock Marine is working to increase the capacity of the dock, as well as widening the entrance to allow entry of the parts and departure of the 280-metre long, 56-metre high carriers. A £15m 120-metre span crane - nicknamed Goliath - is also being installed to straddle the dock.

Up to 150 staff from BAM Nuttall are doing the engineering in a £35m contract with Babcock on behalf of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, which also includes BVT Surface Fleet, Thales UK, BAE Systems and MOD's Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) as both participant and client. There are workers from around 50 other sub-contractors also working on site.

Work on No 1 dock began last March and is set to be completed by summer 2010:


"The project is in full swing and on schedule," said Sean Donaldson, Babcock's carrier project director at Rosyth. "The first parts of the first carrier will arrive in the summer of 2011, so we are not going to be short of things to do in the next few years."

Staff at Rosyth have been preparing for the work for at least two years:

"The work presents some challenges because it is related to old structures and, as the majority is below ground and in a marine environment, the project has significant risks," said Mr Donaldson. "We have spent two years on site investigations and de-risking activity to get to this stage. But working with the MOD we knew that investing the money up front would save us much in the long term."

The first carrier should be in dock for between 18 and 24 months. Assembly of the second will begin soon afterwards. It is a complex logistical process:

"It is a joint team doing the integration, led by BVT, to make sure all the pieces of the puzzle do fit together," said Mr Donaldson. "It is a very challenging timeline but it is in all our interests to make sure everyone comes together. We are all incentivised to work together to complete the project.

"We were refitting nuclear submarines at Rosyth until 2001 and they were massively complex projects. We have also refitted each of the current aircraft carriers. But we are certainly not complacent. We have had a team in place, three years ahead, to make sure we can complete this task."

"The Goliath crane will rest on two uprights either side of the dock and will be a towering icon of engineering endeavour and industrial capability."
Director Capital Ships, Tony Graham

The dock is long enough to accommodate each vessel but its cross- section is unsuitable for modern warship building, the ship's hull being flat-bottomed rather than the traditional V-shape. Huge granite steps, known as altars, that stick out from the side of the dock are being cut back to the width of the top tier. The dock floor will be nine metres wider when they have been removed.

Work is now underway to widen the main entrance to the Rosyth basin from the Firth of Forth. The 38-metre-wide entrance features a sliding gate to hold the tidal water back but is soon to be increased to 42 metres. A 25-metre-deep wall will be installed behind the existing entrance wall to allow excavation work, with the void filled with concrete. This will allow the existing entrance wall to be demolished before the final face of the new entrance is installed. Goliath is due to arrive in August 2010 with handover soon after.

Built by Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery, the 68-metre gantry crane to straddle the dock will be able to lift up to 1,000 tonnes from three hooks, two suspended from an upper trolley and one from a central, lower trolley which will have a capacity of 500 tonnes.

The individual capacity of each of the three hooks provides valuable flexibility in lifting awkward loads and will allow units or blocks to be turned over. Nearly 90 reinforced concrete bored piles are being socketed three metres into the underlying rock on the eastern side of the dock as foundations for the crane, with further piles driven up to seven metres into rock on the western side.

The crane will arrive partially erected through the newly-widened dockyard entrance and will be 'skidded' from ship to shore onto the crane rails. DE&S visitors to the dockyard to see the progress Babcock are making have included the Director Capital Ships, Tony Graham, who saw the works in the autumn:

"This is an exciting time for the CVF [future carrier] project as, around the UK, we make final preparations for cutting of steel on the ships in early 2009," he said. "For stability, the Goliath crane will rest on two uprights either side of the dock and will be a towering icon of engineering endeavour and industrial capability.

"In this sense, it parallels an ever-ready and world-class carrier strike capability, resting as it does on the two iconic ships - HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales - lifting the Royal Navy into a new modern age."


http://www.defense-aerosp...icle-view/release/101895/
shipyard-expands-for-new-royal-navy-carriers.html
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Offline GurneyHalleck

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Re: Royal Navy prepares for JSF flight ops aboard new CVFs
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2009, 21:19:49 »
I read the other day there is a possibility that the JHF will be decommissioned before the UK has even started purchasing serious quantities of JSFs and may in fact be left without a fixed wing fleet air arm for several years. Given that the first new QE class carrier isn't scheduled to be finished until 2014 (estimate 2018 actual delivery date + sea trials before you see f-35s actually flying off these things)

The accountants really are running the UK forces these days

Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Royal Navy prepares for JSF flight ops aboard new CVFs
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2009, 22:12:14 »
Good.

Quote
DATE:16/02/09
SOURCE:Flight International

UK to sign for first F-35 Joint Strike Fighters 'within weeks'
By Craig Hoyle

The UK is expected to sign a deal "within the next few weeks" to participate in the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter's initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) phase, says minister for defence equipment and support Quentin Davies.

Davies and representatives from the UK Ministry of Defence's Joint Combat Aircraft integrated project team visited Lockheed's Fort Worth manufacturing site in Texas in February. During the visit they held discussions with officials from the company and the US armed services.

Topics covered in the talks spanned issues such as operational sovereignty, in-service support, the integration of UK-specific equipment and programme costs, says Davies, who adds that the visit "helped answer some questions".

The minister told a launch event for the UK Royal Navy's "Fly Navy 100" celebrations in London on 16 February that he believes the programme is "well under control, and there are already indications on price schedules that we are talking about. I hope that there will be a very positive announcement within the next few weeks."

As the USA's lone Level 1 partner on the JSF project, the UK has long planned to acquire three short take-off and vertical landing F-35Bs during the IOT&E phase to participate in development testing of the fifth-generation type as part of a joint test team. This will inform the MoD's long-term acquisition plans for the type, and enable it "to make suggestions early enough in the programme where it is possible to improve some systems or performances," Davies says.

"The operational testing and evaluation phase is essential," he says. "Some of the other [JSF] customers are prepared to simply buy the aircraft and take it on trust, but I don't think that's a responsible way [for the UK] to act."

Lockheed requires the UK to sign a contract for its IOT&E aircraft by the end of February, but the investment had recently been rumoured as potentially being at risk under the MoD's ongoing financial planning round. However, Davies says: "I have a smile on my face, and I'm confident we shall be able to move forward."

Industry sources suggest that the UK could eventually purchase up to 138 production F-35s to meet its Joint Combat Aircraft requirement, which will deliver new fighters for use by Royal Air Force and RN squadrons, including from two 65,000t Future Aircraft Carriers.

The RN will mark the centenary of its manned aviation activities on 7 May.


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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Royal Navy prepares for JSF flight ops aboard new CVFs
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2009, 19:58:27 »
Just another update:

Quote
From the RN site:

"Last month Her Majesty the Queen gave her formal approval for the new class of aircraft carrier to be known as the 'Queen Elizabeth Class'. The giant hull sections that will make up the ships have been in construction since December of last year."

http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.15652

 

"In summary, and to add some context, the first CVF will be sailing within 6 years, with the first members of the Ship's Company complementing HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH within 4
years from now."

http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk//upload/pdf/CARRIER_STRIKE_20090123112213.pdf
Our Country
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"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
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Re: Royal Navy prepares for JSF flight ops aboard new CVFs
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2009, 20:02:08 »
Slowly but surely.

Slowly......Yes

Surely..........not so much.

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Re: Royal Navy prepares for JSF flight ops aboard new CVFs
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2009, 22:09:12 »
The caption for the very first picture had me curious, alleging a F-35A (Export, no doubt) flying off an aircraft carrier.  As I recall, the -A is the air force model; -B is the VSTOL version the Brits want for their carriers, and the -C model is the US Navy variant.

That the US is spending $138M to dumb-down the export versions is something that doesn't get mentioned very often in the press...
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Re: Royal Navy prepares for JSF flight ops aboard new CVFs
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2009, 00:40:19 »
dapaterson

Do you have any information regarding the "dumb-down" of the export versions?
I would be interested in reading it.

And to starseed I can not remember where I read it but I remember that they were saying they will keep the harrier GR7A /GR9A and T10 versions around until the JSF are phased in.

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Re: Royal Navy prepares for JSF flight ops aboard new CVFs
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2009, 13:51:27 »
Another major update: the building of HMS Queen Elizabeth begins with the cutting of the first steel in the shipyard today.

Quote
BBC Steel cutting for HMS Queen Elizabeth later today

New carriers at heart of defence debate

By Nick Childs
BBC News 
 
 The construction project is expected to create or secure a total of 10,000 jobs 
A steel-cutting ceremony at Govan shipyard later will mark the beginning of construction of two new aircraft carriers, military vessels that stir emotions among supporters and opponents alike.
What is it about aircraft carriers?

Of course they are big. And they are expensive. The latest estimate is that the Royal Navy's two new carriers, HMSs Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales, will cost £5bn - 25% up on just a year ago.
But it is not just that. Perhaps more than any weapons except nuclear ones, aircraft carriers tend to be seen as a statement of how a country views its military role in the world. And therein lies a lot of the controversy which seems to surround them.
The steel-cutting ceremony in Glasgow is certainly a historic event. It marks the formal start of construction of HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The last time that happened in Britain for a "proper" full-size aircraft carrier was 65 years ago. (The ship then was HMS Hermes, of Falklands fame, still serving now in the Indian Navy as the Viraat.)
But the carriers have also been at the heart of the arguments over the levels of and priorities in defence spending.
Continuing relevance?
Opponents, including some in the Army and the RAF, see them as expensive luxuries of little relevance to the kinds of campaigns Britain has been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
They should, the argument goes, be sacrificed to pay for urgent shortfalls - in army equipment in particular.


HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH AND HMS PRINCE OF WALES Displacement: 65,000 tonnes Length: 280m (920ft) Width (at flight-deck level): 70m (230ft) Keel to masthead: 56m (184ft) Nine decks (plus flight deck) Speed: 25+ knots Range: 8,000-10,000 miles Aircraft: 36 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and four Airborne Early Warning aircraft, plus EH 101 Merlin helicopters Crew: 1,450 (including air crew) Weapons: Phalanx close-in weapon systems; 30mm and mini-guns Source: Ministry of Defence
 
The admirals, of course, disagree. They point out that the ships are designed to last for up to 50 years - and who knows what the threats will be then?
In that context, they insist, they are actually hugely flexible national assets - floating airfields that are not reliant on the goodwill of allies, that could help deter future conflicts, provide vital air support for troops ashore if they do occur again, and be able to perform a whole range of other missions - perhaps as huge helicopter platforms for some future humanitarian crisis.
But the £5bn price tag for the ships themselves is just the start.
There is also the question of the aircraft that they are chiefly designed to carry - the Joint Strike Fighters for both the Navy and the RAF, which will cost some £12bn.


The commitment to the carriers was at the heart of Labour's 1998 Strategic Defence Review. But the sceptics say that the world has moved on.
And with commentators and the opposition both insisting that the Ministry of Defence's current plans are unsustainable, and that the state of the public finances means that there will have to be further savings in areas like defence, there have been growing calls for a new defence review, with these programmes very much in the spotlight.
Some argue that any such review also has to be in the context of a broader security review, beyond just defence, and a foreign policy re-think, that ask questions about whether the country can and should still try to project the kind of military power that the carriers imply.
There have been many echoes in the current debate from the 1960s, when the Navy last tried to win approval for a new class of big aircraft carriers.
The backdrop then was also that of an economic crisis, and questions over what level of international military footprint the country could afford.
There was a bitter inter-service fight between the Navy and the RAF. On that occasion, the Navy lost out. The then Labour government cancelled the carrier plans in 1966.
The Navy's consolation prize was a class of what were dubbed "through-deck cruisers", described as such in part to throw potential opponents off the scent that they were, in reality, mini-carriers.
The first, HMS Invincible, which also served in the Falklands and basically had to perform as a traditional carrier, is now in reserve. The other two, Illustrious and Ark Royal, soldier on for the time being.
Progress
The new carriers will be about three times the size of the current ships, and - at 65,000 tonnes - the largest British warships ever.
Britain's previous biggest carriers were HMS Eagle and the old Ark Royal, star of the Sailor television series in the mid-1970s, at 50,000 tonnes.
The plan is that the new ships will be built in blocks at four different shipyards, before being finally assembled at Rosyth. Officially, it has been stated that the construction programme will help create and sustain 10,000 jobs.
The only warships in the world that are significantly bigger are the US Navy's super-carriers, which weigh in at up to 100,000 tonnes. (They are nuclear-powered, and carry about 80 aircraft. HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are designed to accommodate about 40.)
For the Navy, it has already been a tortuous process to get to this point with the new ships.
There are bound to be questions still about their future, against the current political and economic backdrop.

But, at least for the Navy, they have already progressed further than its last abortive big-carrier effort in the 1960s.
 
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Royal Navy prepares for JSF flight ops aboard new CVFs
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2009, 14:40:37 »
There's an article on the modifications to the JSF for export markets at:

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/feature/106186/reality-check:-jsf-export-variant.html

In brief:  Changes to crypto systems, and protection of critical technologies.  A deliberately vague term.
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Re: Royal Navy prepares for JSF flight ops aboard new CVFs
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2009, 14:51:07 »
Another update:

Quote
Defence jobs at risk as MoD drops jump jet fighter engine
Up to 750 British defence manufacturing jobs are at risk as the Ministry of Defence is expected to announce it will drop a Rolls Royce fighter engine in favour of a cheaper American alternative.

By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
Published: 8:58PM BST 05 Aug 2009
The decision is expected to cost the leading British engine manufacturer up to £5 billion in lost orders over the coming decade and will be a blow to its Bristol-based workforce.
It will come as an embarrassment for the Government after Lord Mandelson made an announcement last month at the Rolls Royce headquarters in Derby that the company was "among the best in UK manufacturing".


In a significant about turn the MoD has indicated that it will ditch the jump-jet version of Joint Strike Fighter in favour of the conventional model, as the planes for its two new aircraft carriers.
The Daily Telegraph has learnt from senior defence officials that an announcement will be made this autumn.
The move, welcomed by many defence analysts and the Royal Navy, will mean that the MoD has wasted £500 million of taxpayers' money paid to Rolls Royce to develop the highly complex engine to allow vertical take-off similar to the Harrier jump jet.
A domestic row is also brewing as Rolls Royce was not widely consulted on the forthcoming decision. The company said it regarded the story as "speculation" and would not comment any further.
But the company faces job losses with up to £5 billion in lost revenue in engine sales if the MoD rejects the "B" version of JSF fighters and goes for the "CV" conventional model which takes off from an aircraft carrier runway.
The decision will also have a significant impact on relations with Washington because it will increase the price of the 350 US Marine Corps jump-jet fighters that have been ordered, forcing the US military to ask for money from Congress.
The about-turn will also mean that the first of two 65,000 tonne carriers under construction, HMS Queen Elizabeth, will have to be redesigned with cost penalties. It is possible the recent £1 billion rise to £5 billion for the carriers might by partly attributable to the change of plan.
But senior MoD sources believe that choosing the "CV" variant over the "B" will give the Navy considerable advantages as the conventional fighter can fly further and carry a far bigger bomb payload. Both variants are built by Lockheed Martin.
Part of the reason for the change is the huge costs of developing and building the "B" version, , with each aircraft coming with a price tag of a projected £105 million with technological issues still to be resolved. The CV version is expected to cost an estimated £90 million leading to a saving of £2.2 billion.
But there have also been strong hints given that considerably less than the 150 proposed JSF will now be ordered with MoD sources suggesting that "greater capability will mean fewer aircraft".
"This will make a significant saving, not a vast one, but more than significant," a senior MoD source said. "The saving is more than worth going for."
"The CV version provides various possibilities as well as disadvantages. We have not yet decided which version of JSF we are going to buy but the CV does have a vast amount of weight lift, a larger payload, longer range and can carry more fuel.
"It also makes combined operations easier as you can land on similar carriers belonging to allies such as the French or Americans."
The political row could be further inflamed as Roll Royce's chief executive, Sir John Rose is said to be close to Lord Mandelson.
Quentin Davies, the procurement minister, told The Telegraph: "We have to take an immensely important decision. The testing and evaluation phase has been ongoing of the first three aircraft. We have to take a decision as to which version of aircraft we shall be agreeing and we shall be focusing on this situation in the coming months."
The Navy has been flying Harrier jump jets off carriers for more than three decades and it is believed the "B" variant was originally chosen as a continuation of this when the Harrier goes out of service in 2015. But the design plans for the two new aircraft carriers always had the possibility of changing to a conventional jet.
A defence industry source said: "This is a massive decision as it changes the whole industrial landscape. This will have a hell of an impact on Rolls Royce because they are part of building lift fan engine for the B version.
"The CV variant has no lift fan so there is a massive amount of technology invested that might not be utilised. That potentially could cost hundreds of millions and hundreds of jobs lost."
The decision also comes with some risk as the Navy will be reliant on the Americans developing a new electro-magnetic catapult to launch the fighters off the carrier.
"This is a real risk because the new catapult design is a major undertaking. It is not just a widget," said a defence aviation source. "If it breaks then the planes can't fly and the carrier is useless.
"Also the UK has no serving experts in this area of carrier flying so it's a real step in the dark."
In an official statement the MoD said: "To maximise the flexibility that the carriers will offer over their service life, they are being built to an adaptable design that can operate both Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) and Carrier Variant (CV) type aircraft."
It added that the STOVL or "B" variant of the JSF remains "our prefered solution".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/defence/5978437/Defence-jobs-at-risk-as-MoD-drops-jump-jet-fighter-engine.html
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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Royal Navy prepares for JSF flight ops aboard new CVFs
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2009, 12:53:04 »
Alright, I'm reposting this from another forum where the initial poster said the CVFs won't fit in any current RN naval base. Wouldn't they have thought about this before starting construction?



Quote
The Royal Navy has unveiled an image of how a giant aircraft carrier will look in its base when it is completed.

The computer-generated image was created to give an impression of the scale of the next generation of warships due to enter service in 2015.

It shows one of the carriers alongside Portsmouth Naval Base, Hampshire, where it will take up three jetties.

The government gave the go-ahead for the new HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales vessels last year.

The move came despite criticism the £5bn cost would be better spent elsewhere in the armed forces.

The carriers will be the biggest and most powerful warships ever designed and built in the UK.



...


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/hampshire/8253285.stm
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RN to sacrifice 1 future carrier as it loses budget battle
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2009, 20:55:58 »
A big blow to the RN's future plans.

Quote
Navy surrenders one new aircraft carrier in budget battle
Michael Smith

The Royal Navy has agreed to sacrifice one of its two new aircraft carriers to save about £8.2 billion from the defence budget.

The admirals, who have battled for a decade to secure the two new 65,000-ton carriers, have been forced to back down because of the soaring cost of the American-produced Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft due to fly off them.

The move is a blow to the navy's prestige and has come on the heels of Gordon Brown's announcement last month that he was axing one of the navy's four Trident nuclear deterrent submarines.

It is too late for the navy to renege on contracts to build the two carriers, the Queen Elizabeth, due to go into service in 2016, and the Prince of Wales, due to follow in 2018. Although the second carrier will be built, it will be used as an amphibious commando ship, with only helicopters on board instead of JSF aircraft.

The move will leave the navy without a carrier when the Queen Elizabeth goes into refit, leaving open the possibility that it might have to borrow one from the French navy. In a meeting with Brown last year, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, had suggested that refits of French and British aircraft carriers should be co-ordinated.

The decision to have only one new aircraft carrier will cut the number of JSFs to be flown by RAF squadrons from 138 to about 50, saving £7.6 billion. At current prices, the aircraft will cost close to £90m each, but this could rise to more than £100m.

Using the Prince of Wales as a commando ship will save a further £600m, the amount that would have been needed to replace the amphibious landing ship Ocean, which is due to go out of service in 2018.
The decision to cut the number of JSF aircraft has been agreed by senior navy and air force commanders in discussions preparing for the strategic defence review.

Both Labour and the Conservatives are committed to conducting a strategic defence review after the general election, which must be held by the late spring.

A senior Royal Navy officer said: "We always knew that the real cost of the carrier project is the JSF fleet to go on them. It would cost us at least £12 billion if we bought all the aircraft we originally asked for. We are waking up to the fact that all those planes are unaffordable. More than half of the £5 billion contracts to build the two new carriers have been contracted, so it is too late to get out of building the ships. This way at least we are covered when Ocean goes out of service."

Since both aircraft carriers will still be built, there are unlikely to be job losses at the Rosyth ship yards, close to Brown's constituency. The JSF aircraft are being built in Fort Worth, Texas, with the involvement of BAE Systems.

The RAF, which had been due to replace its Tornado aircraft with the JSF, will now equip all its frontline squadrons with Eurofighter aircraft instead.

The Conservatives said any decision to axe a carrier would be "absolutely unacceptable" and typical of the government's "chaotic, inconsistent and incompetent defence procurement policy".


Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said the move exposed the government's claim that it wanted a completely independent strategic defence review. "The government is saying it is fully committed to the carriers while at the same time forcing them to be cut," he said.

"It is confusing for the navy, it is confusing for industry and it is completely inconsistent with the whole concept of running an independent defence review."

The Ministry of Defence said Bob Ainsworth, the defence secretary, remained 100% committed to the carriers but "financial circumstances mean some difficult decisions will have to be taken to prioritise our forces' efforts in Afghanistan".

The Royal Navy currently has three smaller 20,600-ton carriers: Illustrious, Ark Royal and Invincible. Illustrious is on a visit to Liverpool. Invincible has already been mothballed



http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6888962.ece
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New British carrier begins to take shape
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2010, 19:21:01 »
An article plus the first pic from the shipyard:




Quote
Build programme 'well under way'...
http://www.shippingtimes.co.uk/item_10274.html

UK Carrier build gains momentum

The Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) is forging ahead on the Queen Elizabeth (QE) Class, having recently made contract awards worth £325 million that will drive momentum into the ongoing build of HMS Queen Elizabeth.
On 14 January, Secretary of State for Scotland, Jim Murphy MP visited Govan to welcome the contracts which have been placed in Scotland. Following the visit, he said:
"These contract awards are great news for Glasgow, the Scottish economy and Scottish jobs. There has never been any doubt how important the aircraft carriers are to Scotland as a multibillion pound project securing thousands of jobs."

The contracts have been awarded to five new suppliers to the Queen Elizabeth (QE) Class Aircraft Carrier Programme and will provide a number of vital services and parts for the ships, including fire fighting equipment and the transportation for the massive super blocks from the build yards across the UK to Rosyth for final assembly.

The award of these contracts by the Alliance is a clear indication of the progress that is being made on the QE Class programme and the momentum achieved in 2009. In total, the Alliance is expected to award around £1.5 billion of contracts across the programme.
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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2010, 23:23:31 »
Pics of the ship's bulbous bow being put together at the A&P yard before they were transported to Portsmouth.

From the SHIELD GAZETTE:



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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2010, 18:57:07 »
CougarDaddy, could you update your photo links please?  Thanks. 

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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2013, 20:00:37 »
The latest pictures from the shipyard: (photo courtesy of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance/ACA facebook page)

The future HMS Queen Elizabeth taking shape...




photo of the rear island (for flight deck ops) still under construction:

« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 00:25:09 by S.M.A. »
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An update: the first of the class is nearing completion.

Quote
Royal Navy's latest aircraft carrier nears completion at Rosyth

BBC link

Assembly work on the biggest ship ever built for the Royal Navy is nearing completion at Rosyth, in Fife. New aerial pictures of the HMS Queen Elizabeth have been released by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance. The images show work well advanced with both "islands"' now in place.

And all that remains to be fitted to the ship are two sponsons - flight deck extensions - and the ramp or "ski-jump"' which give aircraft an extra boost on take-off.

< Edited >

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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2014, 21:43:56 »
A belated update since the "100 days" countdown actually started last March 26th:

Royal Navy official site

 
Quote
Carrier countdown begins with just 100 days until Queen Elizabeth is named

One hundred days from today the biggest warship Britain has built will be officially named by Her Majesty The Queen.

On July 4, the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier the Queen Elizabeth will be named by Her Majesty in a ceremony at No.1 Dock in Rosyth on the north bank of the Forth.

With the milestone date now upon them, the 95-strong ship’s company and some 3,000 dockyard engineers, fitters and technicians are acutely aware of what needs to be done to ensure the 65,000-tonne leviathan is ready for her flooding up.

Work under way right now includes fitting one of the two aircraft lifts – capable not just of moving Lightning II jets from the hangar to the flight deck and back but powerful enough to lift the entire ship’s company – and completing the part of the aft island from where flight deck operations will be controlled.

(...EDITED)
 

Plus a picture courtesy of the UK Daily Mail:
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Another update:

Quote
Mast fitted to tallest warship

(glasgowsouthandeastwoodextra.co.uk)

From the tip of the newly-installed pole mast to the keel, the carrier now stands 73 metres (239ft) tall - taller than Tower Bridge or Nelson's Column.

With a draught of 10 metres (33ft) it means the aircraft carrier - due to be officially named by the Queen at Rosyth, Scotland, on July 4 - will stand 63 metres (206ft) above the waterline.

But at that height, the ship is too tall to sail beneath either of the road or rail bridges over the Forth.


Image From: pinterest.com
« Last Edit: May 26, 2014, 10:37:55 by S.M.A. »
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A belated update since the "100 days" countdown actually started last March 26th:

Royal Navy official site

 
Plus a picture courtesy of the UK Daily Mail:


Looks like the same crane they just built for Seaspan

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But--will in time be familiar for RCN, CCG:

Quote
Aircraft carriers given 'red' warning in Government audit
The Government admits that two aircraft carriers currently being built are at risk of delay and could go over budget
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/10852389/Aircraft-carriers-given-red-warning-in-Government-audit.html

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The Queen to officially name and launch UK's newest aircraft carrier
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2014, 02:14:59 »
The time for the official launching ceremony approaches...

Defense News

Quote
Queen To Officially Name UK's Newest Aircraft Carrier
Jul. 3, 2014 - 02:14PM   |   By ANDREW CHUTER
 
LONDON — Britain is set to launch its first new aircraft carrier in more than 30 years when the queen officially names the warship Queen Elizabeth at a July 4 ceremony at Rosyth dockyard, Scotland.

Technically it’s not a launch but a flood up of the dock where the 65,000-ton warship has been assembled from modules built by maritime construction companies from around Britain.

Queen Elizabeth is the first of two carriers being built for the Royal Navy in a program targeted to cost £6.2 billion (US $10.5 billion), having started at £3.8 billion.

When the first warship becomes fully operational in 2020, it will restore a Royal Navy carrier strike capability axed in the Conservative-led coalition government’s 2010 strategic defense and security review (SDSR).

(...EDITED)

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Queen names new RN aircraft carrier in UK launch ceremony
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2014, 08:05:53 »
An update with carrier porn...  ;D

Quote
Queen names new Royal Navy aircraft carrier in Rosyth

The carrier has still to be fitted out and floated, to make way for the assembly of its sister ship HMS Prince of Wales.

Assembly of HMS Prince of Wales is set to begin at Rosyth later this year.

Work on the two carriers is expected to cost £6.2bn.

More than 10,000 people in more than 100 companies have worked on its construction.

(...EDITED)
 [BBC News] - 4 July 2014

This photo was taken by Moray Alexander Horn. — with Moray Alexander Horn.
-

This photo was taken by Moray Alexander Horn.
-

Pictures: PO(Phot) Ray Jones, HMS Illustrious
source: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier FB Page

 
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 08:18:38 by S.M.A. »
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Re: Queen names new RN aircraft carrier in UK launch ceremony
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2014, 08:30:34 »


Quite the comparison between Aircraft Carriers. 
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More on the 1st CVF's launching ceremony on the previous page:

Defense News

Quote
Queen smashes whisky, gives her name to Britain's biggest warship
Jul. 4, 2014 - 02:00PM   |   By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II smashed a bottle of whisky against Britain's biggest warship on Friday as she gave her name to the new aircraft carrier at a ceremony in Scotland.

The 65,000-tonne HMS Queen Elizabeth is one of two carriers being built at a cost of £6.2 billion ($10.6 billion, 7.8 billion euros) to overhaul Britain's naval capabilities.

But the pomp of the ceremony at Rosyth Dockyard came despite serious doubts about the carrier, which will not be able to operate its US-built jets until 2020.

The 88-year-old monarch, attending the naming ceremony with her husband Prince Philip, said Britain's future flagship "marks a new phase in our naval history".

"Wherever this ship may serve, whatever tasks may be asked of her, let all those who serve on her know that on this day she was blessed with the prayers of us all for her success and her safe return to calm waters," she said.

"I name this ship Queen Elizabeth. May God bless her and all who sail in her."

(...EDITED)

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2nd British CVF won't be sold, says British Prime Minister
« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2014, 11:29:38 »
Good. The future HMS Prince of Wales will not be sold.

However, isn't 3 of a type the optimal number to always keep at least a warship on station? (one on station, one on overhaul, one on workups?)

Belfast Telegraph

Quote
Aircraft carrier won't be sold off

The Royal Navy's second new aircraft carrier, the Prince of Wales, is to be brought into service, rather than sold off or mothballed, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced.

(...EDITED)

Mr Cameron said at a press conference at the conclusion of the two-day Nato summit in south Wales: "This will ensure that we will always have one carrier available, 100% of the time.

(...EDITED)

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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2015, 19:59:31 »
Only a matter of time before the first aircraft land on her...

Quote
HMS Queen Elizabeth begins tracking aircraft as she flashes up her radar
26 August 2015

Navy News (UK)

The crew of HMS Queen Elizabeth flashed up the new carrier’s ‘invisible eyes’ as part of ongoing preparations to ready the leviathan for sea next year.
The S1850M long range radar – the same as those fitted to Type 45 destroyers – is now compiling the air picture of traffic over the central belt of Scotland and beyond.



The Long Range Radar can be seen atop the forward island during Queen Elizabeth's move in the basin at Rosyth

< Edited >
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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2016, 15:57:28 »
Slowly, but surely, the ship is turned over to her crew:

Navy Recognition

Quote
First Compartments of HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier Handed Over to Royal Navy Crew
 
The Aircrft Carrier Alliance has successfully signed over the first compartments of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH to her crew, over a year ahead of when the ship is due to be delivered to the Royal Navy. The six large compartments are the first sections of the ship the crew has taken ownership of and marks an important step towards delivering the nation's flagship.

(...SNIPPED)
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Merlin helos flying from CVF Queen Elizabeth in March 2017
« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2016, 14:32:59 »
An update on the CVFs' air complements:

Defense News
Quote
Merlin Helicopters To Fly From Queen Elizabeth in March 2017
Tom Kington, Defense News 12:55 p.m. EDT July 12, 2016

The Royal Navy’s Merlin helicopters are to start flying from the decks of the UK’s new aircraft carrier by March 2017, a senior official said at the Farnborough air show Tuesday.

The Queen Elizabeth is due to start sea trials next year before its first deployment in 2021, followed by its sister ship, the Prince of Wales.


The Merlins will start “low risk, simple” flights from the Queen Elizabeth next March, followed by first-class flight trials in early 2018, said Captain Kieran O’Brien, the Merlin team leader for the British Ministry of Defence's Defence Equipment and Support procurement arm.

(...SNIPPED)
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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2016, 13:27:08 »
Huh?! A precursor to making the CVFs oversize LHAs without well decks?

Defense News

Quote
British Naval Commander Wants US Marine Aviation on Aircraft Carrier
By: Andrew Chuter, September 29, 2016

ROSYTH, Scotland — The commander of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s new aircraft carrier, would like to see US Marine Corps F-35Bs and V-22s embark for up to nine months at a time once the warship becomes operational.

“We’ll certainly see some footprint aboard the ship. The big question is do they deploy with us much longer term in the future, maybe for six, seven, eight, nine months from when we deploy. That’s what I would love to see,” Capt. Jerry Kyd said.

Confirmation that the Royal Navy’s 70,000-ton aircraft carrier force would embark US Marine Corps (USMC) F-35Bs came during a meeting between UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and his US counterpart, Ash Carter, in London at the start of September.

Fallon said that eventually British aircraft could be deployed on US aircraft carriers.

(...SNIPPED)
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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2016, 13:49:47 »
Huh?! A precursor to making the CVFs oversize LHAs without well decks?

Defense News


Quote
The big question is do they deploy with us much longer term in the future, maybe for six, seven, eight, nine months


I would say that it will all depend on who is cooking and how good that cooking is.    [:D
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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #32 on: September 29, 2016, 14:20:37 »
Huh?! A precursor to making the CVFs oversize LHAs without well decks?

Defense News

They are floating islands.  Mobile versions of Diego Garcia.

What is based on them is at the discretion of the Crown.  It could be any combination of capabilities.

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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2016, 16:03:58 »
Excerpts from UK Defence Journal.

BTW UK gov officially dumped the 'no east of Suez' doctrine about six weeks ago.


British supercarrier HMS Queen Elizabeth to deploy to the Pacific


December 28, 2016


It has emerged that the UK plans to sail HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Pacific in 2021 amid concerns regarding freedom of navigation in the region.

HMS Queen Elizabeth will sail to the Pacific on her maiden deployment in 2021 according to an ambassador.

Sir Kim Darroch, Britain’s ambassador to the US said at a think-tank event in Washington:

“As we bring our two new aircraft carriers on-stream in 2020, and as we renew and update our defence forces, they will be seen in the Pacific.

And we absolutely share the objective of this US administration, and the next one, to protect freedom of navigation and to keep sea routes and air routes open.”

Currently in the final stages of completion, HMS Queen Elizabeth is due to go sea for contractor trials in March. She’ll return to the Forth once those are done for a final period of fitting out and testing.

In addition to the joint force of Royal Air Force and Royal Navy F-35Bs and their pilots, the air wing is expected to be composed of a ‘Maritime Force Protection’ package of nine anti-submarine Merlin HM2 and four or five Merlin for airborne early warning; alternatively a ‘Littoral Manoeuvre’ package could include a mix of RAF Chinooks, Army Apaches, Merlin HC4 and Wildcat HM2. We understand that vessel would still carry at least one F-35 flight aboard in such circumstances to offer air defence as well as support to the helicopter assault activities.

The Crowsnest AEW&C aircraft will come from a number of the embarked Merlins (any of which can be fitted with the sensor package), the number being determined by requirements.

We understand that the composition of the CVW is a balance between ship capacity and squadron availability. Squadrons assigned or ‘programmed’ to sail on deployment will mostly in the case of the aircraft carrier be unique to it, for example the airborne early warning helicopters that have no other purpose but to serve the carrier force.

In addition, we have also been told that we will shortly see decisions like this for the F-35B and maybe a utility helicopter (or tilt-rotor in future) type.

The vessels are capable of deploying a variety of aircraft in large numbers, up to a maximum in the upper fifties in surge conditions.

The expectation that the vessels will sail with around 24 F-35Bs is, according to an insider source we spoke to, because “It is not that they can’t do land based operations, just that there is a need to get the return on investment for the well found forward deployed bases that these aircraft carriers that form the centre of the CSG are” and that “the capacity of the F-35B force in the near years in particular is very limited and it is unwise to do other deployments”.

The impression is that they’re going all out to get as many on the deck as possible and that the earlier figure of 12 was “RAF ambition to maintain flexibility to conduct land based operations” and not the policy position that is developing.

The Queen Elizabeth class mark a change from expressing carrier power in terms of number of aircraft carried, to the number of sortie’s that can be generated from the deck. The class are not the largest class of carrier in the world but they are most likely the smallest and least expensive carrier the Royal Navy could build which still have the advantages that large carriers offer.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is due to start sea trials in March, followed by sister ship HMS Prince of Wales in the coming years.


Whole article via link, here  -  https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/british-supercarrier-hms-queen-elizabeth-deploy-pacific/?utm_source=TW&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_campaign=social

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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2016, 16:21:47 »
One does love five-year plans ;)--wonder if any USMC F-35Bs might also be aboard.
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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2016, 16:27:43 »
Yes.

The final UK-USA paperwork was signed by both SECDEFs a few weeks ago.

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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2016, 16:41:40 »
OTR1: Good--squadron of 12 Fleet Air Arm/RAF F-35Bs alone would be pretty thin gruel.  Story on agreement:

Quote
US Marine Corps to fly F-35s from HMS Queen Lizzie as UK won't have enough jets
It's OK, the Yanks let us play with their ships ... well, we hope

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has confirmed that the US Marine Corps will be flying F-35Bs from HMS Queen Elizabeth on the aircraft's carrier's maiden operational deployment.

He said: “I can welcome the commitment of the United States to deploying F-35s on the first operational deployment of Queen Elizabeth – the HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2021. And in the fullness of time, we expect our F-35s to be welcome on the American carriers.”

Fallon confirmed the deployment while giving a joint press conference on Wednesday at London's Lancaster House with US Defence Secretary Ash Carter.

"We value very much having such a partner in the United Kingdom because that's a commitment the United States shares as well, one that both of our countries, in fact, has stood for together and stood for together 75 years ago this month," said Secretary Carter, "when President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill issued the Atlantic Charter."..

The Ministry of Defence would not comment on the size of the USMC contingent, or how many aircraft would deploy aboard QE, though it could confirm that a mixture of Royal Air Force and Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm aircraft and personnel would be deployed alongside the US Marines aboard the British carrier.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is capable of carrying up to 36 F-35s, though current plans are for the air wing to comprise just 12 of the fast jets...

Deck landing trials aboard QE with the F-35B are pencilled in for 2018, with the RAF F-35B unit, 617 Squadron, scheduled to reach initial operating capability by the year 2019. Alongside 617 Sqn will be 809 Naval Air Squadron, providing the Fleet Air Arm's contribution to the UK F-35 fleet. The RAF will also operate the F-35 Operational Conversion Unit.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/09/09/usmc_will_fly_f35s_on_hms_queen_elizabeth_first_op_deployment/

Mark
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Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

jollyjacktar

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As the Daily Mail call her, "Big Lizzie" has slipped to sea on her maiden voyage.  Fair winds, my Queen.   :salute:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4640214/HMS-Queen-Elizabeth-maiden-voyage.html

Offline gryphonv

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Such a beautiful Ship. Even the racks are pretty glorious by standards I've seen on a lot of ships.

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The CO suite is pretty far aft, no running to the bridge from there, I suppose it's his admin office and used by him when in harbour?

Offline tomahawk6

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Maybe Canadian F-35's will operate from the carrier

Offline Colin P

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Maybe Canadian F-35's will operate from the carrier

I don't think we would get the correct model to do so, I suspect we have been looking at the A model and the carrier would carry the C and/or B version.

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Maybe Canadian F-35's will operate from the carrier

Once Canada buys the obsolete carrier from the RN and renames it HMCS Olivia Chow, circa 2070;  we should have our 5 x F-35s in service for about 18 months by then.    :nod:

Offline jmt18325

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I don't think we would get the correct model to do so, I suspect we have been looking at the A model and the carrier would carry the C and/or B version.

The carrier was originally planned to have the B version.  Then to save money the switched to the C version.  Then they realized that it wouldn't in fact save money, and would cost more, and so they switched back to the B model.

Offline Thucydides

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As the Daily Mail call her, "Big Lizzie" has slipped to sea on her maiden voyage.  Fair winds, my Queen.   :salute:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4640214/HMS-Queen-Elizabeth-maiden-voyage.html

Note the constant harping about the use of Windows on the ship, and potential security risks. I'd find it pretty funny if they have an emulator or fake up displays to "show" Windows just to misdirect hackers......
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #45 on: August 18, 2018, 18:53:25 »
HMS Queen Elizabeth off to US east coast to embark two USMC F-35Bs (note those Russian subs, lots of photos at link):

Quote
HMS Queen Elizabeth: Royal Navy's £3bn aircraft carrier prepares to set sail for the US with protection against 'eye watering' threat from Russia

The Royal Navy's £3 billion aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, dubbed 'Big Lizzie', is to set sail for the US where it will land fighter jets on its flight deck for the first time.

The landmark moment will come eight years since a fast jet last flew from a British aircraft carrier.

The 65,000-tonne carrier is expected to leave Portsmouth Naval Base at about 6pm on Saturday.

During its trip to North America, the warship will embark two US F-35B test aircraft based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, which are expected to carry out 500 landings and take-offs during the carrier's 11 weeks at sea.

Ahead of the crucial test run, navy chiefs pledged to protect the boat from the "eye-watering" threat of Russian submarines...


https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/royal-navys-3bn-aircraft-carrier-big-lizzie-prepares-to-set-sail-for-the-us-a3914596.html

Mark
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Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #46 on: September 19, 2018, 15:13:25 »
Excerpt from a post at Thin Pinstriped Line on HMS Queen Elizabeth:
Quote
In with the New, Farewell to the Old - Carrier Trials and Seaking Retirement
...
 More widely the RN has benefitted from an enormously close relationship and mutually beneficial with the US Navy over the regeneration of carrier capability. Since the withdrawal of Harrier GR9 in 2010, the US has gone out of its way to ensure that RN pilots were able to get places in F18 cockpits, helping build a large cadre of Fleet Air Arm pilots who fly the F18 from US carriers, at sea, as exchange officers (e.g. fully integrated into the ship and squadron and operating essentially as a US pilot, albeit with a nicer accent!).

This has helped retain fixed wing aviation experience in the FAA, and meant it was much easier to begin the transition onto the F35 programme, which will be a truly joint RAF/RN force. More widely though, the US also provided access for ground crew to work on USN Carriers deploying on operations to help relearn the art of working on a ‘big deck’. It is 40 years since the RN operated a large carrier, and 8 since it last took fixed wing aircraft to sea, and the skills needed to work on a huge flight deck are easily perishable.

For some years now there have been small detachments of RN personnel (usually 7-10 strong) deploying on US carriers around the globe as part of wider operations to ensure they are able to work safely on big flight decks. For example, Humphrey was able to spend time at sea on a US CVN in the Middle East, and was surprised and delighted to meet RN crew at all ranks and rates on the flight deck and elsewhere, playing a truly integrated part in the life of the ship.

This level of trust and access is not easily granted by the US Navy, who know that a carrier flight deck is arguably the most dangerous place in the world to work. They would not let a foreign nation put their personnel to sea in any way that could threaten the safety of their ships, aircraft and people. It is another small sign of the intimate trust that exists between our two nations.

More widely, the First Sea Lord tweeted this week about his visit to the US Naval War College in Rhode Island. There were images of him meeting the UK exchange staff who are fully embedded into the US system, where they play a key role in supporting US and UK operations. This is another timely reminder of the extraordinary depths of integration that exist between the two nations. At anyone time there are well over 500 UK military personnel at up to 2* level on exchanges in the US system, usually with US personnel occupying billets back here too.

 The level of personnel exchanges is probably the highest between any two nations anywhere on the planet. It is a reflection that the US place real value in the capability and credibility of UK personnel, and their willingness to let them work as peers and partners in some very complex and sensitive areas. It is this sort of co-operation that helps remind us that for all the talk about the UK ‘not mattering’ to the US, no other nation enjoys anywhere near the same level of access or trust when it comes to exchanges and joint work.

This is also not a one way street. Part of the reason why the US is so supportive of the UK to recover Carrier Strike is the recognition that the UK can in turn provide a huge amount of support to the US system. For example when QUEEN ELIZABETH deploys, she will likely do so on a regular basis with a USMC F35 squadron embarked, or potentially other US assets too [emphasis added].

There is a major difference between ‘cross decking’ when a plane lands and departs shortly afterwards, and long term sustained operations from another nations carrier. To put a USMC squadron onto the QE and then operate it as an integrated part of the airwing is an astonishing sign of just how close the UK and US systems are – no other nation on the planet does this.

While there are odd short term embarkations of aircraft – for instance the French occasionally use a US CVN for training when their carrier is in refit, no other countries are able to embark each others aircraft on a carrier designed from the outset for truly joint operations.

Humphrey has heard consistent feedback from credible sources that the US Navy has closely watched how the UK has brought the CVF project to life, and that they are extremely impressed (and candidly rather jealous in places) of the capabilities of the platform. The QUEEN ELIZABETH class is the closest thing to a peer partner that the US Navy will ever see for its own carrier force, and reportedly the US see them as an extension of their own carrier fleet to the extent that Humphrey has occasionally heard them only half-jokingly referred to as the 12th and 13th US Navy carriers...
https://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.com/2018/09/in-with-new-farewell-to-old.html

Mark
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Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline Colin P

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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #47 on: September 19, 2018, 23:44:29 »
Maybe Canadian F-35's will operate from the carrier

Funny enough, Canada used to finance the RN with the agreement that they would provide naval protection on both coasts. It would be an interesting way of doing things to have a squadron of F35B's that are leased by Canada and other nations that operate the F35, that would operate off the carrier, the lease and pilots/crews would rotate on a 2 year basis or so between nations.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #48 on: September 21, 2018, 08:42:35 »
It's not funny at all, Colin, it's actually factually incorrect.

There never was time where Canada entered into a deal with the UK for the RN to provide naval protection of our coasts.

When the various Dominions were created by the UK, including Canada, defence, foreign affairs and the power to make treaties remained an Imperial responsibility. Thus, the RN provided the naval defence of the whole Empire without any need for either the agreement of the Dominion at issue or any financial contribution of money to fund such defence.

It remained so until the adoption of the Statute of Westminster that finally recognized the Dominions as independent nations wit full international power over their affairs and defence.

In the late 19th century in Canada, however, the government - even without power over naval affairs - was grossly unsatisfied with the coast defence provided by the RN. In particular, the Canadian government thought that the RN was remiss in not confronting the American "pirate" fishermen fishing in Canadian waters illegal. This led to the creation of the Canadian Fisheries service - a coastal navy in all but name, with heavily armed with patrol vessels (such as CGS Canada) that were light cruisers in all but name also*.

The issue of coastal defence, however, became an issue for all Dominions in time, especially when the RN reduced coastal defence as it suffered the financial pressure of an arms race of its own making: paying for Dreadnaughts to keep up with the French, Italian and German. This led to the 1909 Imperial Conference on Defence, where the UK asked, for the first time, the Dominions to financially contribute - but not to their own naval defence but to the Imperial one by financing battleships and battlecruisers. Canada refused and elected to "contribute" financially by creating it's own Navy, dedicated to the defence of Canada's coasts.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Finally, as regards Canadian F-35's serving on the RN current flagship: It's not even on the radar, and for a very simple reason - the F-35's on the QUEEN ELIZABETH are the "B" version, the STOVL type, and we don't have any plans of acquiring such planes. Besides, would that not require a large increase in the number of F-35's we would have to acquire, not to mention require Trudeau junior to admit error and buy F-35's.   ;)


* PS: That is why, BTW, the Canadian Fisheries Service remained an armed service that was para-military in organization until it was absorbed into the Fisheries and Oceans department and their forced merger into a purely "merchant" organization created such frustration in the then serving fisheries officers.

Offline Colin P

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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #49 on: September 21, 2018, 13:23:55 »
Thanks for the history, I was never entirely clear on how it played out, but I do know the drawdown of RN resources here triggered the birth of the British Columbia Submarine Service  8)

As for the F35, I was suggesting a Commonwealth/NATO buy to be able to fly off these ships. The operators and maintainers would cycle through the group of nations involved. Either the aircraft wears a NATO livery or it changes as per operator.

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Re: New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)
« Reply #50 on: September 21, 2018, 16:20:20 »
Between the JPALS system for landing the F35s on carriers that is found in all the F35s (including the -A) and is being touted for wider distribution to shore based aircraft other than the F-35s, along with the high degree of automation involved in the F35s, does anyone have any sense of what the conversion from flying the A to the B might be like? Or, for that matter, teaching an F35A pilot to land an F35C on a deck?

Quote
Precision Ship-Landing System Could Be Game-Changer at Bare Airfields



An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Salty Dogs of Strike Aircraft Test Squadron (VX) 23 tests the Joint Precision Approach Landing System (JPALS) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Stephane Belcher)

Raytheon says its Joint Precision Approach and Landings System, or JPALS, is revolutionizing landings at sea for the first two deployed squadrons of the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.

Now, the company is setting its sights on the Air Force, where JPALs, already installed on the service's F-35A, could help take the guesswork out of landings at austere airfields with little infrastructure, and in bad weather conditions.

Brooks Cleveland, the senior aviation adviser for landing systems at Raytheon and a former Navy F/A-18 Hornet pilot, said Raytheon wants to take a "road show" demonstration of JPALS capabilities to Hill and Luke Air Force bases, two major F-35 operations hubs.

"On the F-35A, [JPALS] is in there and it's turned on, but there's no land-based system yet," Cleveland said. "It will be demonstrating that it's in there and it works as it does at sea, on an aircraft carrier."

JPALS works by enabling communication between a landing aircraft and systems on the ship or ground that can guide the plane in safely and accurately, even on a pitching ship deck or a zero-visibility landing zone. Since the JPALS-equipped F-35B embarked on historic first shipboard deployments with the 31st and 13th Marine Expeditionary Units earlier this year, Cleveland said the system has been 99.9 percent reliable.

"To us on the ships, it's unheard of," he said. "Just off the top of my head, about one out of every three times I came back, the landing systems weren't working, so you're just doing it by sight, which is kind of frustrating, off an eight-hour mission. [The pilots] love it, so that's been very successful."

JW Watkins, a business development manager for Raytheon and a retired Air Force colonel who flew F-16 Fighting Falcons, said the Air Force could put the system to work in the austere environments it operates in all over the world.

"What the Air Force will do is, they'll get the contingency response group to take a very small group of folks into wherever, whether it's a road in Poland or a bare base somewhere in Africa or the Middle East somewhere, and bring in a system like JPALS," he said.

JPALS ground components can be set up within 90 minutes and can offer pilots 50 different possible approaches at multiple airfields within a radius of 20 nautical miles, Watkins said.

Approaches, he said, can be tailored to accommodate challenging terrain or hazardous weather.

Cleveland said it's not just about taking the complexity out of landings; it also offers a level of greater safety to pilots.

"Something like this, it doesn't matter what the weather is, you could launch everybody, knowing that they're going to come back safely," he said.

Raytheon is eyeing sometime next year for the possible F-35 road show demonstration. Watkins said Air Force officials have asked about the possibility of deploying an expeditionary JPALS setup on other planes, including the F-16, F-15 Eagle, cargo aircraft and rotorcraft.

Cleveland said most aircraft have the basic infrastructure needed to work with JPALs, with some modifications.

"It's a task, but not complex," he said. "It's not this massive, huge-scale, 'we have to flight test and certify because we're taking added things on.' But it's still something we have to solve because every airplane has a different radio ... [and] industry partners to work with. It's challenging, but certainly not insurmountable."

https://www.military.com/defensetech/2018/09/19/precision-ship-landing-system-could-be-game-changer-bare-airfields.html
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