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New RN CVFs/ Queen Elizabeth class carriers taking shape (updates)

Colin Parkinson

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tomahawk6 said:
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.
 

Journeyman

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tomahawk6 said:
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:
 

jmt18325

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Colin P said:
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.
 

a_majoor

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jollyjacktar said:
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......
 

MarkOttawa

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HMS Queen Elizabeth off to US east coast to embark two USMC F-35Bs (note those Russian subs, lots of photos at link):

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...

DEFENCE-Carrier-071450.jpg

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

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MarkOttawa

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Excerpt from a post at Thin Pinstriped Line on HMS Queen Elizabeth:
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

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Colin Parkinson

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tomahawk6 said:
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.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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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.
 

Colin Parkinson

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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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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?

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

FA18C-tests-jpals-1800.jpg


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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