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Queen Elizabeth Class (CVF) development

fredymac

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Arrival in Mayport Naval Station (Jacksonville, Florida).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx5C5EyJtFU
 

Archibald

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Hood said:
The bulk of the airgroups of these carriers will be helicopters. Up to 15 Merlins alongside the F-35s in the normal airgroup and in the amphibious role a mix JHC Chinooks, Merlins, Wildcats and Apaches.
For the sake of dozen or so F-35s the cost probably isn't worth it given the V/STOL capability. It's hard to imagine future naval AEW and ASW platforms not being helicopters or tilt-rotors.
This is really stupid (not you Hood: rather the logic you describe).

This is the size of a Forrestal, yet the RN will use it as a glorified Iwo Jima LPH ! See also Moskva, HMS Ocean. It is not even an amphibious ship !

For the cost of such monstrosity the RN could have bought
a) a true Forrestal-size super carrier, CATOBAR
or
b) a pair of 30 000 tons Juan Carlos amphibious ships
or
c) a trio of 15 000 tons Invincible class Harrier carriers
or
d) a trio of HMS Ocean helicopter carriers, derived from the Invincible class

Nobody is building non-amphibious helicopter carriers anymore (such as Moskva or Iwo Jima, at least HMS Ocean was derived from the Invincibles). Except the RN. This is silly !

I think the RN should have decided early on for the V/STOL F-35, then designed a ship to carry 15 or 20 of them, what minimal size and tonnage do you need for such airgroup ?

Let's take the 43 000 tons Charles de Gaulle as a comparison. It can carry 28 to 40 aircrafts, all of them as big as a VSTOL F-35. Now shrunk this to 20-25 aircrafts, remove the CATOBAR gear, and the nuclear reactor, and such a ship should be no bigger than a Clemenceau, that is, 33000 tons. So no need for twice the tonnage !

what's the point of such a big ship ? The RN would have been better served with a 25 000 / 30 000 tons enlarged Invincible class, big enough to carry 20 VSTOL F-35.

Invincible did a pretty good job in the Falklands with a DOZEN of subsonic + AIM-9 + non-stealth Sea Harriers. The F-35 is a huge leap in performance, add some more (12 to 20) and there you go, a good enough aircraft carrier.
 

thefrecklepuny

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Archibald said:
Hood said:
The bulk of the airgroups of these carriers will be helicopters. Up to 15 Merlins alongside the F-35s in the normal airgroup and in the amphibious role a mix JHC Chinooks, Merlins, Wildcats and Apaches.
For the sake of dozen or so F-35s the cost probably isn't worth it given the V/STOL capability. It's hard to imagine future naval AEW and ASW platforms not being helicopters or tilt-rotors.
This is really stupid (not you Hood: rather the logic you describe).

This is the size of a Forrestal, yet the RN will use it as a glorified Iwo Jima LPH ! See also Moskva, HMS Ocean. It is not even an amphibious ship !

For the cost of such monstrosity the RN could have bought
a) a true Forrestal-size super carrier, CATOBAR
or
b) a pair of 30 000 tons Juan Carlos amphibious ships
or
c) a trio of 15 000 tons Invincible class Harrier carriers
or
d) a trio of HMS Ocean helicopter carriers, derived from the Invincible class

Nobody is building non-amphibious helicopter carriers anymore (such as Moskva or Iwo Jima, at least HMS Ocean was derived from the Invincibles). Except the RN. This is silly !

I think the RN should have decided early on for the V/STOL F-35, then designed a ship to carry 15 or 20 of them, what minimal size and tonnage do you need for such airgroup ?

Let's take the 43 000 tons Charles de Gaulle as a comparison. It can carry 28 to 40 aircrafts, all of them as big as a VSTOL F-35. Now shrunk this to 20-25 aircrafts, remove the CATOBAR gear, and the nuclear reactor, and such a ship should be no bigger than a Clemenceau, that is, 33000 tons. So no need for twice the tonnage !

what's the point of such a big ship ? The RN would have been better served with a 25 000 / 30 000 tons enlarged Invincible class, big enough to carry 20 VSTOL F-35.

Invincible did a pretty good job in the Falklands with a DOZEN of subsonic + AIM-9 + non-stealth Sea Harriers. The F-35 is a huge leap in performance, add some more (12 to 20) and there you go, a good enough aircraft carrier.
I agree in general. The QE carriers are too big for what they may be being asked to provide. At 65,000 t, they could support the F-35C comfortably using catapults. But more than this, a CATOBAR ship allows more flexibility. If wanting to save a bit of cash, then F/A-18E/F's are a reasonable alternative. It also means the use of E-2D providing more capabilities than a Merlin based AEW.For STOVL operations, everything is dictated by the STOVL capabilities of the fast jet.

Remember, the QE class is heavier than the old Midway class. Which could carry more tactical types and was not a helo carrier with a fast jet sqn attatched.
 

Hood

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I agree fully that the strategy seems madness but in an age of restricted manpower and budgets its unlikely Ocean will ever be replaced like for like. So the usual Whitehall fudge takes over.

As to size, I wouldn't be so concerned about that. Improved habitability has been a space hog in recent decades, look at how big the Type 45s are given their generous internal spaces (although saying that PoW has altered internals to allow for the troop carriage role). There is plenty of growth space in both ships, if these ships had been much smaller then the dual carrier-LPH role would probably have been impossible to achieve without severe cramping.

The CTOL or V/STOL argument has batted back and forth for years. The basic fact is that the UK was committed to the F-35B to serve both the RAF and FAA from the beginning of the JSF participation. That has been the main driver of the CVF ever since. The Cameron government switch was a temporary blimp (probably inspired by the geopolitics of that particular time). Going CATOBAR at the late stage would have meant construction delays, completion delays, more cost overruns and then breaking up commonality across the F-35 fleet, increasing pilot training costs and there is no way the RN could have afforded fixed-wing AEW like the E-2D. So the benefits would have been minimal.
 

harrier

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In the early.mid 1990s the CVF studies did come up with the answer of a ship with 20 aircraft in peacetime (12 STOVL/8 helo), and a surge capacity of about 30 (18/12?). 35,000ish tonnes and STOVL gave higher sortie rates so you did not need so many aircraft or a big ship.

These were outlined at the Warship 97 conference https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,10673.msg169652.html#msg169652

https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1997/1997%20-%200800.html?search=cvf%20aircraft%20carrier

Then along came the Balkans experience and the 1998 SDSR which sought a big piece of floating sovereign tri-service real estate for Bosnia-type operations, rather than to fight off Backfires in the North Atlantic. A Chinook needs room, as Ocean found out. By making the ship less 'fighty' and allowing it to get bigger it was thought to cost about the same as a smaller one. Air is free, steel is cheap etc.
 

Archibald

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Thank you both. It makes more sense to me now.
 

fredymac

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9JmWak3j34
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4b7t-ua-yU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd5b7T9gJdY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfrbLEDXjyk
 

sferrin

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Jeez that nose gear flexes like it's made out of rubber. :eek:
 

Archibald

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Can't help but thinking that huge fan door makes for one hell of an aerobrake - which is a little annoying for ski-jump lift-off, where the goal is to accelerate as fast as possible (per lack of catapult).
Just sayin'
 

Thorvic

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Archibald said:
Can't help but thinking that huge fan door makes for one hell of an aerobrake - which is a little annoying for ski-jump lift-off, where the goal is to accelerate as fast as possible (per lack of catapult).
Just sayin'

Nope, its not otherwise the F-35B would take off closed up, engine straight back and the Thrust Blast Deflector and go off in ctol mode with full afterburner.
This was the mode originally depicted on the CVF artwork and CGI from 2003 to 2009.
The stovl mode using the lift fan is more efficient and less stressful on the airframes.
 

TomcatViP

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Archibald:
Drag of the door:
S=0.7m²
Max Speed (with deck wind added) at lift-off=200kp/h=55m/s
massVol of air at zero alt: 1.225kg/m^3

Drag= 0.5x1.225*55²*0.7=1320N

Engine thrust: 190kN

% of DragVsThrust= 1.3/190(*100)= 0.007*100=0.7%

The terrible loss endured (for a peak second when the plane go above 90kph to 150kph (add wind on boith side of the equation) is less than 1% of the total thrust available. Given than the gains in term of airflows management have proved to be so significant that LM redesigned the fan doors (it opened sideways before), I doubt that anyone will see this as one hell of a price to pay.

Science is not pedantic (not a personal comment obviously).
 

malipa

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You made one mistake in you calculation which is also very hard to approximate. There is also a flow going down through the fan in front of the door, so i don't think it will be that much drag at all.

I clearly didn't read the comment above correctly. I'm very sorry. The calculation was a nice argument.
 

fredymac

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Interesting view of landing from "flyco" or "pri-fly" for US.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfI1Rhd95A0
 

TomS

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That's just unnatural looking!
 

harrier

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Night trials.

Reminded me of the original 1986 Skunk Works/DARPA concept. Meant to be 'cool'...
 

Attachments

FighterJock

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Harrier said:
Night trials.

Reminded me of the original 1986 Skunk Works/DARPA concept. Meant to be 'cool'...
Night trials already? That is a bit quick, since they have only just started landing on the QE aircraft carrier.

Nice picture though. B)
 

phil gollin

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.

If you look carefully at the video you can see the wires holding the plane up !

More seriously, I think they may need to fit triple glazing.

.
 

fredymac

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Brief glimpse of night ops at 3:10 mark (but not of a landing).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eE_ahJlvtI
 

fredymac

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First rolling/vertical landing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP0rUkDz_Fg
 

SteveO

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Nice video of the RV landing. Looks like a MK3 or 4 Merlin at the end of the video acting as plane guard.
 

Boxman

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With rolling vertical landing eventually becoming a regular occurrence, will there be (or, is there already) a safety barricade system installed aboard the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers?
 

Thorvic

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SteveO said:
Nice video of the RV landing. Looks like a MK3 or 4 Merlin at the end of the video acting as plane guard.
Merlin MK4, the grey ones are the fully navalised versions and the only ones deployed on QNLZ, the MK3 are still NATO green and are used for Training whilst awaiting their turn to upgrade. I think one is currently used on QNLZ as plane guard and COD whilst the other two are deployed ashore with the Royal Marines training with the USMC.
 

fredymac

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F-35B test summary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAQIQdswit8
 

fredymac

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Bomb transport and assembly procedures.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8p1gUL6Yas
 

FighterJock

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Nice find fredymac, now the Queen Elizabeth is now a proper Warship since they have handled ordnance. B)
 

Foo Fighter

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FighterJock said:
Nice find fredymac, now the Queen Elizabeth is now a proper Warship since they have handled ordnance. B)
I wish I could believe that.
 

Flyaway

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HMS Queen Elizabeth to be committed to NATO

The Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, will be made available to NATO under the alliance's Readiness Initiative when it becomes operational in 2021, outgoing prime minister Theresa May announced on 4 June. "NATO will soon be able to call on the UK's Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and F-35 fighter jets to help tackle threats around the world," she said.
This was preceded on 3 June by a British Army announcement on its website that one of its WAH-64 Apache AH1 attack helicopters landed on HMS Queen Elizabeth on 3 June.
The landing of the helicopter, from 656 Squadron Army Air Corps, kicked off three days of platform ship integration testing (PSIT) and evaluation under the UK's Joint Helicopter Command. This will assess the compatibility of the attack helicopter with Queen Elizabeth 's operating systems, including moving it on the flight deck and hangars, maintenance and arming, and using the aircraft lifts.
 
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