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Queen Elizabeth Class (CVF) development

Foo Fighter

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Future fitting of even electromagnetic cats would probably result in the removal of the ski ramp which is unlikely to happen and they seem to be wedded to AEW and anti submarine activities being rotary winged. Allowing for the future use of autonomous units imho means that the RN is probably joined at the hip with an all VSTOL aviation group. Not entirely convinced myself but the writing is on the wall tbh.
 

fredymac

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For as long as copyright isn't enforced.

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Rhinocrates

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For as long as copyright isn't enforced.

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Found the first ep in much higher resolution by the usual nontraditional means. I do not endorse etc. Presumably the next two will show up soon - what wicked people there are.
 
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uk 75

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Watching the vid of the first F35s on a UK CV is pretty neat even after what I wrote above.
 

Hood

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The series of CVF configuration studies published in the conference paper, Warship '97 International Symposium: Air Power at Sea, I posted back in 2012 have been lost to time.
I seem to have lost my original scans but fortunately the document still survives in the library so I took some phone camera pics I have re-attached here. I will make some better scans in due course.
 

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Hood

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Another early CVF concept, the 'wordy' bits of the presentation and an early CVF concept island for integrated full electric propulsion (IFEP).
 

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fredymac

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F-35 takes off from Queen Elizabeth while docked in Portsmouth. I wonder if any jet has taken off from a US carrier while docked.

 

TomS

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USN carriers can and have launched aircraft while at anchor. Probably not pierside though.
 

Ron5

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Those diagrams are most certainly not official but just some musings by an internet amateur. Too many fundamental mistakes. Besides the early CV proposals have been well documented, the best being in RINA papers, and they don't look anything like these.
 

FighterJock

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Those diagrams are most certainly not official but just some musings by an internet amateur. Too many fundamental mistakes. Besides the early CV proposals have been well documented, the best being in RINA papers, and they don't look anything like these.
The diagrams might not be official but they are interesting to look at what might have been if the Royal Navy and Government had gone down the route of the CTOL landing aircraft carrier from the start, we might have had the better equipped and longer ranged F-35C and the E-2D Hawkeye AWACS aircraft flying of the carrier deck instead of the Crows Nest system and the F-35B (one can dream).
 

Blackbuck

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AFAIK they are official diagrams found within a JNE pdf "The Design of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales" - S.T.D. Knight, The Aircraft Carrier Alliance, UK.
 

Ron5

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I believe the drawings originated in an article on the save the royal navy website
 

uk 75

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Was a CTOL carrier ever a runner? I always had the impression that the ship was designed around what eventually became F35B.
 

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Was a CTOL carrier ever a runner? I always had the impression that the ship was designed around what eventually became F35B.
The design was actually supposed to be capable of conversion to such relatively easy & cheaply if and when it became desirable. However, when the Coalition government briefly planned to do just that it was discovered that that feature had been deleted from the design as a 'cost saving' measure, meaning that any attempt to convert the carriers to CTOL operation would now be quite prohibitive in terms of both cost and time.
 

uk 75

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I would be interested to know what the bit of the design was that made it possible to install a cat easily. i thought the problem was to do with the expense and delay associated with the electric cat and the CVF power supply.
 

phil gollin

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.

There was meant to be space and empty compartments such that a boiler and arresting gear could be "easily" fitted.

It is amazing that even when Cameron actually had to admit that this optional facility had been deleted he gave no details of when the decision was made, who made the decision, and how many pennies the decision saved !

They have never stated what (if any) additional capabilities the change bought.

.
 

uk 75

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Phil Thank you. This is deeply depressing. F35C and E2 would have made these ships far more useful
 

Ron5

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Was a CTOL carrier ever a runner? I always had the impression that the ship was designed around what eventually became F35B.
The design was actually supposed to be capable of conversion to such relatively easy & cheaply if and when it became desirable. However, when the Coalition government briefly planned to do just that it was discovered that that feature had been deleted from the design as a 'cost saving' measure, meaning that any attempt to convert the carriers to CTOL operation would now be quite prohibitive in terms of both cost and time.
Repeating an urban myth. Nobody at any time claimed converting CVF to CTOL would be either easy or cheap and the idea that it was a "feature" that could be deleted with a stroke of a pen is just absurd. Clearly the design of such a conversion would depend on the form it would take, particularly regarding the number, location and type of cats.
 

Ron5

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Phil Thank you. This is deeply depressing. F35C and E2 would have made these ships far more useful
But unaffordable. No UK carriers at all would be infinitely more depressing.
 

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Repeating an urban myth. Nobody at any time claimed converting CVF to CTOL would be either easy or cheap and the idea that it was a "feature" that could be deleted with a stroke of a pen is just absurd. Clearly the design of such a conversion would depend on the form it would take, particularly regarding the number, location and type of cats.
The option for conversion was explicitly written into the specifications and associated contracts. Unfortunately, the Treasury unilaterally later decided to have this deleted, without bothering to inform the Royal Navy or the Ministry of Defence (while the then Defence Procurement Agency was not quite the Treasury annex that the DE&S is, HM Treasury nevertheless had major influence over the agency, to the point where it routinely had the DPA carry out it's wishes, often without even pretending to consult the MOD & Armed Forces). When it eventually emerged that the attempt to convert the CVF carriers to CTOL standard was stillborn because of the specification deletion, there were calls for a Parliamentary Inquiry, especially when it turned out the change had not saved on, but actually increased overall design and construction costs, even before the abortive and costly attempt to switch the carriers to a CTOL configuration.
 
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uk 75

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I have always been a bit confused by the carriers (I attended meetings about them when the Blair Government did the SDR that gave birth to them back in the dim distant 90s).
Their form (as documented on this site) changed considerably over time and the impact of delays and cuts.
I tended to agree with Healey (even though I loved the ambitious looks of CVA01) that if the RN had to make a choice between carriers or hunter killer subs as its capital ships, the subs were more affordable.
Well, we now have two finished carriers. I still dont see a carrier without cats as a real carrier. Even the old Ark Royal had been able to cross deck with the USN and French Navy
For the money I expect a new RN carrier to be able to do the same, landing F18s and Rafales.
No carrier. Yes, if it had meant a full SSN force and balanced surface fleet.
 

zen

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Thing is the hiatus in SSN design and production proceeded the carriers.

But the argument in favour of two CVs larger than the Invincibles was being made as early as the late Thatcher early Major period.

And while the lure of the carriers was held over the Admiralty, the bulk of all spending was paid during the Coalition and Cameron period.
Well after the Labour failure to fund the full 12 Type 45s and fund the FE/FSC/Make your own meaningless acronym up until we cannot palm the Admirals off any more a.k.a Type 26 was arrived at.
 

Ron5

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Repeating an urban myth. Nobody at any time claimed converting CVF to CTOL would be either easy or cheap and the idea that it was a "feature" that could be deleted with a stroke of a pen is just absurd. Clearly the design of such a conversion would depend on the form it would take, particularly regarding the number, location and type of cats.
The option for conversion was explicitly written into the specifications and associated contracts. Unfortunately, the Treasury unilaterally later decided to have this deleted, without bothering to inform the Royal Navy or the Ministry of Defence (while the then Defence Procurement Agency was not quite the Treasury annex that the DE&S is, HM Treasury nevertheless had major influence over the agency, to the point where it routinely had the DPA carry out it's wishes, often without even pretending to consult the MOD & Armed Forces). When it eventually emerged that the attempt to convert the CVF carriers to CTOL standard was stillborn because of the specification deletion, there were calls for a Parliamentary Inquiry, especially when it turned out the change had not saved on, but actually increased overall design and construction costs, even before the abortive and costly attempt to switch the carriers to a CTOL configuration.
An impressive work of fiction. Both CVF's are fully capable of being converted to cats and traps. The only question being how much would that cost. The idea that the Treasury somehow removed that ability is patently absurd.
 

Ron5

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I have always been a bit confused by the carriers (I attended meetings about them when the Blair Government did the SDR that gave birth to them back in the dim distant 90s).
Their form (as documented on this site) changed considerably over time and the impact of delays and cuts.
I tended to agree with Healey (even though I loved the ambitious looks of CVA01) that if the RN had to make a choice between carriers or hunter killer subs as its capital ships, the subs were more affordable.
Well, we now have two finished carriers. I still dont see a carrier without cats as a real carrier. Even the old Ark Royal had been able to cross deck with the USN and French Navy
For the money I expect a new RN carrier to be able to do the same, landing F18s and Rafales.
No carrier. Yes, if it had meant a full SSN force and balanced surface fleet.
The UK has two carriers capable of sustaining over 100 fifth generation fast jet sorties a day at the same time as maintaining a 7x24 ASW screen around their taskforces with a dozen of the finest ASW helicopters in the world. Also fully capable of operating (not just cross decking) the UK's primary allies fifth gen fighters.

And you don't think they're real carriers???? And the Royal Navy would be better off without them??

As for affordability, the UK spends many more times the cost of its carriers on nuclear submarines.
 

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An impressive work of fiction. Both CVF's are fully capable of being converted to cats and traps. The only question being how much would that cost. The idea that the Treasury somehow removed that ability is patently absurd.
I afraid that you are sorely mistaken. As I already mentioned, they tried to make such a conversion back during the Coalition era, going so far as to beginning the process to change the FAA's portion of the British F-35 buy from F-35Bs to F-35Cs. The entire effort failed miserably, in large part due to the fact that the provision for conversion had been deleted from the design years before. The MOD attempted to carry on for a bit after this was discovered, but it was ultimately deemed that such a conversion was no longer practical, economically or otherwise, in light of the revelation about the conversion option's demise. The necessary major redesign and reconstruction would have just been way too expensive in both terms of time and money.
 
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uk 75

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Let me summarize my reservations:
The only fast jet the carriers can operate is the F35b. They cannot operate F35C, F18 or Rafale aircraft.
They cannot be readily converted to operate CTOL aircraft and are dependent on any F35B successor being STOVL.
Although they can operate ASW and AEW rotary aircraft they will not be able to operate any fixed wing types.
The money and resources spent on the two ships should have been used to maintain an adequate surface fleet of up to date frigates and functioning air defence ships.
The primary ship killing and cruise missile platform of the RN remains the SSN.
 
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uk 75

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This programme must rank as the biggest waste of public money in the Defence field.

The carrier debate was fought and lost comprehensively in the 60s:

The RN does not have the manpower to operate carriers in any useful quantity

The ships that the UK can afford to build and operate are too limited in capability
to justify their huge cost

The nuclear hunter killer submarines became the RN's capital ships and are a capability
that matches that of even the USN. In comparison British carriers are too small and
too specialised. (Yes, I know the b~~~~y Falklands, but if we lose them this time
round and the Argies capture Mount Pleasant airbase it would take the USN to get
the islands back!)

But.... if the Labour Government had to have a job creation programme they could at
least have built a carrier capable of operating Rafales or F18s. What plonker thought it good value to
built huge ships only able to operate a plane that at the time had not even flown (1998)?

With any luck the Chancellor of the Exchequer will stick to his guns and British Aerospace will be told, unless you can put catapults on these suckers within the budget, guess what you get to keep them and try and sell them to India, Brazil or whoever and yes, British Aerospace and not the British taxpayer will pick up the bill.
I wrote this back in 2010. Sadly the Cameron government bottled on the last paragraph, and chose to hollow out the RN instead,a policy which the May and Johnson governments continued.
 
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Ron5

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An impressive work of fiction. Both CVF's are fully capable of being converted to cats and traps. The only question being how much would that cost. The idea that the Treasury somehow removed that ability is patently absurd.
I afraid that you are sorely mistaken. As I already mentioned, they tried to make such a conversion back during the Coalition era, going so far as to beginning the process to change the FAA's portion of the British F-35 buy from F-35Bs to F-35Cs. The entire effort failed miserably, in large part due to the fact that the provision for conversion had been deleted from the design years before. The MOD attempted to carry on for a bit after this was discovered, but it was ultimately deemed that such a conversion was no longer practical, economically or otherwise, in light of the revelation about the conversion option's demise. The necessary major redesign and reconstruction would have just been way too expensive in both terms of time and money.
I am quite aware of the history. There were 2 major reasons why the switch to CATOBAR was cancelled: the cost of converting the ships and the immaturity of the US EMCAT system. What was not a factor was the actual ability to modify the design, that was never in question.
 

Ron5

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This programme must rank as the biggest waste of public money in the Defence field.

The carrier debate was fought and lost comprehensively in the 60s:

The RN does not have the manpower to operate carriers in any useful quantity

The ships that the UK can afford to build and operate are too limited in capability
to justify their huge cost

The nuclear hunter killer submarines became the RN's capital ships and are a capability
that matches that of even the USN. In comparison British carriers are too small and
too specialised. (Yes, I know the b~~~~y Falklands, but if we lose them this time
round and the Argies capture Mount Pleasant airbase it would take the USN to get
the islands back!)

But.... if the Labour Government had to have a job creation programme they could at
least have built a carrier capable of operating Rafales or F18s. What plonker thought it good value to
built huge ships only able to operate a plane that at the time had not even flown (1998)?

With any luck the Chancellor of the Exchequer will stick to his guns and British Aerospace will be told, unless you can put catapults on these suckers within the budget, guess what you get to keep them and try and sell them to India, Brazil or whoever and yes, British Aerospace and not the British taxpayer will pick up the bill.
I wrote this back in 2010. Sadly the Cameron government bottled on the last paragraph, and chose to hollow out the RN instead,a policy which the May and Johnson governments continued.
I'm quite amazed you saved a 10 year old posting that has proven over time so be so inaccurate. I fear you still do not appreciate the role and capability of carriers in general and the UK CVF's in particular. SSN's are very poor at power projection and deterrence while carriers are excellent at both.
 

uk 75

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Ron I am always willing to concede when I overplay my arguments, hence dredging up my old ones.
You are right about the reasons for the catapults not being fitted and the cost issue.
I also admit that the F35B may prove to be better than people like me had been led to believe. The fact that we and the US Marines will be operating the same aircraft does make me feel a lot better, as in NATO and out of area they are likely to be alongside us.
The CTOL bias is showing my age.
Looking at the footage of ships and the fact that they can also operate ArmyApaches and RAF Chinooks without impairing generating F35 sorties is a major plus.
The impressive new F26 and even theF31 should help sort out the frigate problem while once they are refitted the 6 T45s are the most impressive AD force outside the USN in a Western Navy.
I admit my main reservation has been F35B
 

Purpletrouble

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Ron is correct.

The carriers could always be converted. The cost to do so in 2010 was the same as it would have always been.

It was not a feature or a capability (such an idea makes no sense as a “thing”!) and no decision was ever made to get rid of that or make a saving or any such arrant nonsense (especially the treasury directing a DPA somehow outside of MoD!). All there was in the requirements and design was the ability in terms of deck layout and some indicative space/volume. Nothing more than concept design had ever been done because why would you waste that money? It was always known that if you tried to go into detailed design then lots of issues would emerge. All the design had was the inherant ability to solve those problems. Which it could, but at cost and time (which is cost).

Electrical power for EMALS was a new one as this didn’t exist in a known form earlier. The high cost reflected both the lack of effort to design it from the outset and that there had never been much info on EMALS so designing it wasn’t much more feasible anyway - given we weren’t buying it or planning to.
The idea of designing in options for the future sounds sensible/easy, but it rapidly becomes very expensive and compromises the present. Hence why such aims, common on many, many projects are quite loose in actuality and are little more than “we ensured it can be done, give us a large cheque and it will be done”. CTOL CVF was very much in that category and that was always well known on the programme.

The switch to F35 was political, it did not come out of Defence and certainly not the (serving) Navy. It was Fox, his eclectic advisors and ex RN who pushed this. Look what happened to him as the Department explictly shafted him to get rid. As what happened after the decision was the system fought back and reimposed what it wanted to do for very sane reasons of cost, training and a useable operational outcome. An alliance of defence and treasury hence why it succeeded depsite a 2nd major u-turn being fairly rare in any Govt. Cameron’s words were about as relevant to anything as the feelings of that pig. His legacy generally.
F35C and CTOL was fanboy stuff, hence why from the outset it was only ever F35B and STOVL. Anything else was just noise, bluff (especially “we might buy the (impossible) Sea Typhoon instead” and lets not get into Rafale or god fordbid, Super Hornet). Lots of divergence from that by lots of people, but the juggernaut still got to where it wanted.

CVF will be a challenging history to write - so much info is public, but so much change, so much PR and spin and so much opinion and fictional histories.

Hollowing out was inevitable. The other services have had the same but have no flagship to point at. Hence why not quite so bad for them as near 50% loss of surface fleet, amphibious force and SSNs. Lord West has a lot to answer for, (still) completely deluded but played his part for Blair to perfection and rewarded accordingly. There is no difference between Senior Officers and Politicians - both are professionals at the same game.
 

uk 75

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I do recall that the RN impressed the then Defence Secretary and later NATO Secretary General, Robertson, with the performance of their existing carriers in the Yugoslav crisis.
This was reinforced by the RN's deployment in Sierra Leone.
Though I am not sure there is now much appetite in the UK public for overseas military intervention, the CVF will have enough work in NATO to keep it busy.
 

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Really? I assume they omitted all the AMRAAMs and Bombs etc thrown into the Adriatic to get SHAR to VL landing weight...

Plus didn’t 2? SHARs get shot down? I recall a news item that an aircraft had been serial 712 1/2 after two with 713 had been lost !?

Versus no discarded munitions or losses from the aircraft carrier known as Italy. Albeit bit further and rammed airfields.

Sierra Leone another one - the RAF had Jags in (or about to be in?) Sengal, but were prevented for political reasons.

It is depressing that the most useful and effective part of the RN in the last 2 decades of near constant conflict has been the RMs. Yet who has got shafted to pay for shiney ships? Not a lot of sense in the Admiralty me thinks, but a lot of ex ship drivers who wish they were in the USN and are brought up on the Grand Fleet history.
 

uk 75

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Purpletrouble The issue of the Royal Marines and their shipping has been an up and down one since WW2.
The Suez crisis saw them having to bring back landing ships sold to private users.
The two LPD and 5 LSTs ordered in the 60s only just survived in time for 1982.
Ocean was skimped on and entered service after the Cold War.
The saga goes on. Like CVA01 at one point, and the three Invincibles in the 80s, CVF is supposed to br able to carry and helilift RM as part of aTask Group. And she can give them air support.
Putin's Russia is not as big a threat as the Soviet Union and after Corona there is even less scope for more defence spending.
HM Treasury is pretty much of the Nott persuasion: frigates and subs and not much else. I waver between that view (which I dredged up from ten years ago) and accepting that the CVF are a worthwhile asset as argued forcibly here. The debate will go on.
 

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Well we have them now and they are massive multi-purpose assets. Jneed to have something to out on them and something they can do.

The RMs have done more for the country since WW2 than the rest of the RN put together (standfast CASD perhaps) and are the UK’s premier soldiers.
Yet we’ve lost a Bde level assault capability, used in our most recent wars, and almost a 3rd of fighting units.

Meanwhile we have 2 types of martime helos where the USN manages with 1, 2 types of frigates being built in parallel whereas the USN has just 1. 2 types of fleet oilers vs USN of 1. The US of course being 7 times larger and spending 10 times as much.

We built DDGs intended for global service but which cant handle the heat of the operational area that defined the decade prior to and since they were designed.

gah its all quite frustrating!


LPDs and LSDs all recently built, without a hangar despite deciding even frigates should have in the 60s, and ‘82 with a County at South Georgia and the vital role played by RFAs in accomodating helos. Not to mention decades of LPDs doing independent ops globally.

Meanwhile still hordes of admirals each taking it in turns to spend 2 years playing at each role before easing into industry or proper politics. Who are these muppets running the RN?
 
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