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Queen Elizabeth Class (CVF) development

uk 75

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CVF does allow us to operate army and RM air.portable infantry with Chinooks and Merlins with close air support and leaving the Bays and Points to carry heavy equipment.
In most of the NATO and other scenarios that a current UK is likely to face, this seems a reasonable force
 

Purpletrouble

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Yes, but the success of that will be drowned out by people screaming it isn’t a mini CVN with hordes of strike fighters on it because of the simplistic way it was conceived and sold.
 

Ron5

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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?
Not that I don't enjoy a good rant as much as the next man but your math is rather off. By my count the USN has 7 helicopter types in its inventory and no frigates. But it does have LCS & Zumwalt (sigh) and plans to buy a warmed over, rather old & second rate frigate design from Italy (sigh again).
 
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Purpletrouble

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Yeah I despair at the RN. I deployed with them and the big thing during my arrival was Second Sea Lord’s new directive changing the toast “...wives and sweethearts” with the classic refrain “may they never meet” to “our families”. Disciplinary action was threatened against any CO or Wardroom XO who didn’t enforce the change.

This is from the “leader” who literally has Victory as their Flagship, and who wears the uniform and rank, with priviledges, of Nelson. No wonder they’ve had only 1 CDS since the Falklands.


RN has Wildcat and Merlin for the same jobs they do with SH60. Yes I’m ignoring Marines :)

yeah but LCS (frigate end of spectrum) stopped and a proper frigate incoming (pity T26 was excluded - seems far more suitable..). Zumwalt very much a T82 in my view... in fact the parallels with 60s RN are quite stark. Escort Cruisers dropped (CG21), LCS being 21st Century T19 as was to be, and now the carrier debate...
 

Hood

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RN has Wildcat and Merlin for the same jobs they do with SH60. :)
The Lynx and the Merlin were designed for totally different tasks. The Lynx was primarily an anti-ship/anti-FAC platform with a secondary basic ASW capability (basically an improved MATCH-concept reliant on ship-controlled interception of submarines), whereas the Merlin was designed for screening with dipping sonar and maritime search and was designed to cooperate with towed-array ships in the GIUK Gap. The Wildcat has simply followed the Lynx mould - it is the anti-ship missile platform for the Navy. The make a nice pairing and allow a mix-and-match approach now that all the RN's escorts can carry both (that was not true at the time of the Merlin's introduction) and the larger Merlin is capable of picking up the AEW role. Wildcat could never do that. While its a shame perhaps that the Merlin will never get Sea Venom or Martlet, there simply aren't enough Merlins to loiter for ASW, AEW and conduct surface strike - which is better suited for a smaller and more agile helicopter. In my view the Crowsnest conversions should have come from the stored airframes to boost the fleet size though.

The SH-60 was more akin to the Lynx in size but with better ASW capability at the cost of anti-ship capability. The USN made no attempt to replace its Sea Kings, relying on the S-3 Viking. As ASW went out of fashion the S-3 went, and the SH-60 has had to solider on. Its a capable helicopter for ASW and is a true multi-role platform but its no long-range screener and it can't do AEW and being reliant on Hellfire for anti-vessel work is no advantage if your going up against something bigger and better defended.
 

Ron5

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Yeah I despair at the RN. I deployed with them and the big thing during my arrival was Second Sea Lord’s new directive changing the toast “...wives and sweethearts” with the classic refrain “may they never meet” to “our families”. Disciplinary action was threatened against any CO or Wardroom XO who didn’t enforce the change.

This is from the “leader” who literally has Victory as their Flagship, and who wears the uniform and rank, with priviledges, of Nelson. No wonder they’ve had only 1 CDS since the Falklands.


RN has Wildcat and Merlin for the same jobs they do with SH60. Yes I’m ignoring Marines :)

yeah but LCS (frigate end of spectrum) stopped and a proper frigate incoming (pity T26 was excluded - seems far more suitable..). Zumwalt very much a T82 in my view... in fact the parallels with 60s RN are quite stark. Escort Cruisers dropped (CG21), LCS being 21st Century T19 as was to be, and now the carrier debate...
Fire Scout B, Fire Scout C & CMV-22B - that's 3 more.

And the Martin Marietta FREMM is a proper something all right :D
 

Purpletrouble

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RN has Wildcat and Merlin for the same jobs they do with SH60. :)
The Lynx and the Merlin were designed for totally different tasks. The Lynx was primarily an anti-ship/anti-FAC platform with a secondary basic ASW capability (basically an improved MATCH-concept reliant on ship-controlled interception of submarines), whereas the Merlin was designed for screening with dipping sonar and maritime search and was designed to cooperate with towed-array ships in the GIUK Gap. The Wildcat has simply followed the Lynx mould - it is the anti-ship missile platform for the Navy. The make a nice pairing and allow a mix-and-match approach now that all the RN's escorts can carry both (that was not true at the time of the Merlin's introduction) and the larger Merlin is capable of picking up the AEW role. Wildcat could never do that. While its a shame perhaps that the Merlin will never get Sea Venom or Martlet, there simply aren't enough Merlins to loiter for ASW, AEW and conduct surface strike - which is better suited for a smaller and more agile helicopter. In my view the Crowsnest conversions should have come from the stored airframes to boost the fleet size though.

The SH-60 was more akin to the Lynx in size but with better ASW capability at the cost of anti-ship capability. The USN made no attempt to replace its Sea Kings, relying on the S-3 Viking. As ASW went out of fashion the S-3 went, and the SH-60 has had to solider on. Its a capable helicopter for ASW and is a true multi-role platform but its no long-range screener and it can't do AEW and being reliant on Hellfire for anti-vessel work is no advantage if your going up against something bigger and better defended.
All true but having 2 different types even if they are better at their niche roles is daft for the logistics and training cost alone. The outcome is fewer helicopters available. Exactly why those spare HM1s are not in use. As you say - all types can take either so there is no excuse anymore. Merlin could easily do what Wildcat does if we hadn’t wasted money on the latter.

If the USN is happy with SH60 (as is Japan) then I suspect it is more than good enough. It could easily take Sea Venom / Martlet. The Canadians are standardised on a single type.

Ron - true but you are killing my argument! Plus lots of people think we should buy a niche force of V22s to add to all our other niche forces! Oh and firescouts!
 

phil gollin

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Not wanting to spend all day I QUICKLY went to "The Wayback Machine" (an Interweb archive service) I put in "Marine Matters" (the Richard Beedal blog/info site - now defunct). I chose a date at random - 27th September 2011, and got this ;



One paragraph of which reads ;

"..... Stage 2 of the Assessment Phase ran from November 2001 to November 2002, during which time the competing consortia concentrated on refining their designs. For much of this stage, a twin-track approach was followed looking at designs capable of supporting the two variants of JSF under consideration for the JCA role; namely a conventional CV carrier, utilising catapults and arrestor gear, and a STOVL design, fitted with a ramp and optimised for STOVL aircraft operations. When the decision was announced on 30 September 2002 to proceed with the STOVL variant of JSF, it was concluded that, in the interests of flexibility, value for money and maximising our investment over the whole of its service life, the carrier should be built to an innovative adaptable design. This will be CV based but modified to operate STOVL aircraft in the short to medium term whilst retaining the ability to be adapted to operate other aircraft types after the JSF leaves service. ...."

( This comes from Source: Select Committee on Defence, Session 2002-2003, Defence - Eighth Report - Defence Procurement Date: 9 July 2003 Memorandum from the Ministry of Defence (May 2003) )



IF one wants to look into the many years of blogs one will find that the idea of convertibility to CTOL was an main design driver. The years and years of "Marine Matters" makes fascinating, frustrating and depressing reading.

Still doesn't answer who it was who cancelled the conversion capability ! !

Good luck looking.

.
 
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Purpletrouble

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Eh? It literally says “retaining the ability”. It doesn’t say plug and play or drop in or swap out or modular or anything like what you and some seem to think this means.

It simply means the ships could be and that the design would not involve decisions that would preclude conversion (eg lift where arrestors to go, or deck too short etc). Doing it means moving stuff, redesigning and rebuilding parts.

In fact as your qoute shows - the main component was getting the larger CV baseline to use for a STOVL ship, which is exactly what happened and why the ship is larger than it need be.

They retain the inherent ability even now and will throughout life. The idea this was a capability deleted like a missile launcher is silly. Hence why you wont find “evidence” it was deleted because it wasn’t!

The closest is the mass of decisions on where stuff does go and thus just how difficult it would be at a detail level. All of them were owned by the RN and CVF Alliance.

Ultimately, doing it was more expensive than they were prepared to pay for the benefits.
 

phil gollin

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You have YEARS of "Marine Matters" to look through.

IF you do you will find that (as the quote states convertibility was a main design feature.

IF however you wish to imagine something other - please do so, people who were around in the 00's remember all the fine words, and also the bitter reaction to Cameron's announcement about the non-easily/economic convertibility of the ships actually being built.

I prefer the facts.

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Purpletrouble

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The facts are there - it says retain ability. It says buy a larger CTOL hull.

It retains the ability now. The larger hull is what we have.

It is still convertible.

It was just considered too expensive to action in detail for the benefits. What is difficult to understand about this?

There is no trick, no scheme, no dastardly devil. Just the reality of a complex and expensive project.

And I was there too, but not writing blogs - part of it!

I’m not sure how anything Cameron ever said has much value to this forum? The bloke was PR in it’s purest form of all style and zero substance.
 

phil gollin

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They are "convertible" to battleships, if you have the time and money - but that was not the original intention.

All you have to do is read all those years of "Marine Matters" - simple.


You obviously didn't even look at this page ;


.
 

Purpletrouble

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No battleships weren’t the intention. Nor were or are they feasible as the guns and armouring are precluded in many many ways by the carrier design we have. So nothing like even an extreme analogy as short of complete reconstruction they cannot do that.

You took the point, tried to stretch it, but in fact broke it.

The intention was a hull able to be converted and a STOVL design that didn’t preclude that. That is what appeared.

The rest is detail and in that grey area discussed.
 

phil gollin

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Congratulations for standing on your head - try reading your posts at the bottom of the previous page.

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Purpletrouble

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Aside from the insulting tone you seem keen to adopt, you make even less sense.

My posts are consistent that convertability was not cancelled or deleted, but was and is there. Just the cost of doing it in detail was not considered worth the benefits.

Btw is quite reasonable to be critical of the need for the CVF project in terms of context to the RN, whilst being very clear that the project itself has not been twisted or derailed in the way you state it has.
 

Hood

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All true but having 2 different types even if they are better at their niche roles is daft for the logistics and training cost alone. The outcome is fewer helicopters available. Exactly why those spare HM1s are not in use. As you say - all types can take either so there is no excuse anymore. Merlin could easily do what Wildcat does if we hadn’t wasted money on the latter.

If the USN is happy with SH60 (as is Japan) then I suspect it is more than good enough. It could easily take Sea Venom / Martlet. The Canadians are standardised on a single type.

Ron - true but you are killing my argument! Plus lots of people think we should buy a niche force of V22s to add to all our other niche forces! Oh and firescouts!
Well it wasn't daft once upon a time when sizeable fleets of both Lynxes and Merlins could coexist. Today the fact we only have a dozen warships left does tend to hamper a sensible helicopter policy.
I suspect much of what drove the Naval Wildcat was a desire for a like-for-like replacement for the Lynx HMA.8 but more importantly AgustaWestland probably thought it would extend the export popularity of the Super Lynx family. Sadly that has not happened and so far Lynx replacements have either been slow to materialise as fleets hang on to their Super Lynxes or they have gone to other cheaper alternatives (there are rumours of intense US pressure and lobbying to scupper a South Korean order) and times have changed - arguably the Wildcat is too small now for naval needs and non-gunship attack choppers are rare.
The NH90 is more of a direct SH-60 competitor, but its hardly been the most glowing of development programmes in its naval form.
 

Purpletrouble

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I agree - but this fleet was decided in the late 90s early 2000s when the direction for the fleet was clear and we knew all future types would take Merlin.

Wildcat was and is a massive waste of money and reflects a classic power of attachment to a legacy mindset. I agree partly motivated by hopes for exports given Merlin achieved so little, but the lack there again reflects the obsolete thinking.

NH90 appears a complete mess and best avoided. A bit like A400. RTM322 S70 was there in the early 90s and is what we should have gone with in many respects.

Or just pick something, anything, and invest in that rather than endless dribs and drabs. Merlins galore and the Wildcat money would have really matured that rather than leaving it put on a limb.
 
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Ron5

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At one time it was reported the RN wanted to go to an all Merlin fleet just as @purple is suggesting, but unfortunately it was unaffordable both in upfront purchase cost but also running expenses. The Merlin is a big helicopter. So Lynx/Wildcat was continued as part of a high/lo mix.

Personally I'm a fan of Wildcat, I don't see it as being too small. The commander of the conversation squadron when it first was coming into service, was interviewed by Jane's and he said his top two wish list items were a data link to avoid the laborious task of reporting contacts back to mother plus auxiliary fuel tanks like the Korean versions, that would extend endurance. Other than that he was a happy camper. His machines would very capably perform their main warfighting tax of providing close in recon/security. The radar was proving to be outstanding.

For those that think Wildcat too small, the aircraft it should be compared to in terms of requirement/mission is Fire Scout.

Two Lynx/Wildcat were operated on a Daring class for a Mediterranean deployment. They clearly showed it could be done from a deck that can only handle one landing/takeoff. I'm curious if any operation benefits were observed.
 

timmymagic

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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.
There's a lot wrong here...

We have 2 types of helos because it makes sense. The US also has 2 main types of naval helo. MH-60R and MH-60S. Both do different roles and are equipped very differently. The R is not as capable as Merlin HM.2 is at ASW, but it does have an 'adequate' air to surface role. Wildcat with Sea Venom and Martlet will be far superior for ASuW. The MH-60S is primarily used for VERTREP and transport. The MH-60 is a good helo, but its a jack of all trades, master of none. And even then as a cost saving measure the USN had to have 2 different versions. The Canadians have standardised on 1 type...but I don't think anyone is seeing that as a great idea...

Personally, I would have sacked Wildcat off and gone for a marinised AW139M or AW149. More room in the cabin for moving personnel/boarding parties, higher vertrep loads, range and with no folding tail rotor boom, the advantages that Lynx had are no longer there. Probably would have been beneficial to Westland as well. The Army could have got themselves a Scout/Cab far cheaper elsewhere.

The US will also soon have 6 main surface combatants: Zumwalt Class, Ticonderoga Class, Arleigh Burke, FFG(X) (US FREMM) Class, Independence Class LCS and Freedom Class LCS and thats if we ignore the 3 current different AB variants and 1 being built (and there are currently 3 variants of the Flight III's being expected)

The RN currently has 2: Type 45 and Type 23. We'll be moving to 4 in 2027 (as T23 will crossover with T26 and T31). The intention will be 3, if we'd stuck with the original 14 T26 it would have been 2. The USN meanwhile is wedded to 5-6 classes (and within those numerous sub-classes) for the next 20 years (6 unless they retire the Tico's).

The USN will shortly have 2 classes of Oiler, just like the RN, as 14 of the 16 Henry Kaiser Class are single skinned, they're not MARPOL compliant, the US is now building the first 2 John Lewis Class Oiler as replacements. With large numbers of Oilers the USN, like the RFA, is bound to have 2 classes in service for a significant portion of time as previous classes are replaced.
 
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RLBH

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If you read between the lines of the NAO report on the abortive CTOL conversion of PRINCE OF WALES, two things stick out.
  • Provision was made at the design stage to fit USN Mark 7 arrester gear, and was proposed for the conversion. It would have fit beautifully and wouldn't cost a fortune.
  • Provision was made to fit Mark 13 steam catapults, but the 2010 proposal was for EMALS. The two have massively different ship impact, and fitting EMALS was where the huge cost and schedule implications came in.
If the 2010 proposal had called for a pair of Mark 13 catapults, it would probably have been much more affordable up front. Until the RN wound up with the only steam catapults in service, when it would be hopelessly expensive.

And yes, the spaces required for this equipment still exist in the design. I've stood in quite a few of them. I believe some of the post-reversion changes to PRINCE OF WALES (I don't know her so well) to improve her capability as an assault ship would make the conversion a bigger job on her. QUEEN ELIZABETH was certainly built to the fully convertible design.
 

Purpletrouble

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That’s the point, I don’t need to believe in version of history, because I actually saw it and know.
 

Purpletrouble

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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.
There's a lot wrong here...

We have 2 types of helos because it makes sense. The US also has 2 main types of naval helo. MH-60R and MH-60S. Both do different roles and are equipped very differently. The R is not as capable as Merlin HM.2 is at ASW, but it does have an 'adequate' air to surface role. Wildcat with Sea Venom and Martlet will be far superior for ASuW. The MH-60S is primarily used for VERTREP and transport. The MH-60 is a good helo, but its a jack of all trades, master of none. And even then as a cost saving measure the USN had to have 2 different versions. The Canadians have standardised on 1 type...but I don't think anyone is seeing that as a great idea...

Personally, I would have sacked Wildcat off and gone for a marinised AW139M or AW149. More room in the cabin for moving personnel/boarding parties, higher vertrep loads, range and with no folding tail rotor boom, the advantages that Lynx had are no longer there. Probably would have been beneficial to Westland as well. The Army could have got themselves a Scout/Cab far cheaper elsewhere.

The US will also soon have 6 main surface combatants: Zumwalt Class, Ticonderoga Class, Arleigh Burke, FFG(X) (US FREMM) Class, Independence Class LCS and Freedom Class LCS and thats if we ignore the 3 current different AB variants and 1 being built (and there are currently 3 variants of the Flight III's being expected)

The RN currently has 2: Type 45 and Type 23. We'll be moving to 4 in 2027 (as T23 will crossover with T26 and T31). The intention will be 3, if we'd stuck with the original 14 T26 it would have been 2. The USN meanwhile is wedded to 5-6 classes (and within those numerous sub-classes) for the next 20 years (6 unless they retire the Tico's).

The USN will shortly have 2 classes of Oiler, just like the RN, as 14 of the 16 Henry Kaiser Class are single skinned, they're not MARPOL compliant, the US is now building the first 2 John Lewis Class Oiler as replacements. With large numbers of Oilers the USN, like the RFA, is bound to have 2 classes in service for a significant portion of time as previous classes are replaced.
Sorry. That is almost entirely wrong.

It makes no sense to have 2 different helos being used for 90% the same role. We have them purely for legacy reasons. The outcome is less helos and neither gets full development incestment. Note we picked a double fleet when we had 40 odd Merlin HMs and were expecting 40+ Lynx/Wildcats. The MH60 S and R are variants of a common platform, not different platforms. Plus isnt CH60 used for vertrep and now the latest alphabet soup V22?

Zumwalt is niche, pretty much the 21st Century T82 equivalent and will probably be used similarly. Ticos will go as AB IIIs come on line. Again, they are variants of a common platform. You wouldnt have said the RN had 3 types of frigates when it had I, II and III T22s. LCS makes no sense anyway, let alone in 2 types.

Lets bear in mind the US is 7 times as large and spends 10 times as much. A full order of magnitude. Thus if we have 2 types. the equivalent would be 20 types. You only got to 6 by cheating :)

We have 2 types of oilers not through any replacement cycle overlap - but because we are institutionally unable to buy more than a handful of any type. One of the reasons being low production volumes pushing up unit costs - foot meet both barrels is our speciality invite.

We actually have 3 of course thanks to the single Fort II we retain. And we want to buy another single class type as a bulk oiler.

Noone has bought militarised marinised A139/149, jack of all trades master of nothing. At least Merlin/Wildcat are good at their core skills and are military spec’d helos as with H60 family.
 

Purpletrouble

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At one time it was reported the RN wanted to go to an all Merlin fleet just as @purple is suggesting, but unfortunately it was unaffordable both in upfront purchase cost but also running expenses. The Merlin is a big helicopter. So Lynx/Wildcat was continued as part of a high/lo mix.

Personally I'm a fan of Wildcat, I don't see it as being too small. The commander of the conversation squadron when it first was coming into service, was interviewed by Jane's and he said his top two wish list items were a data link to avoid the laborious task of reporting contacts back to mother plus auxiliary fuel tanks like the Korean versions, that would extend endurance. Other than that he was a happy camper. His machines would very capably perform their main warfighting tax of providing close in recon/security. The radar was proving to be outstanding.

For those that think Wildcat too small, the aircraft it should be compared to in terms of requirement/mission is Fire Scout.

Two Lynx/Wildcat were operated on a Daring class for a Mediterranean deployment. They clearly showed it could be done from a deck that can only handle one landing/takeoff. I'm curious if any operation benefits were observed.
At a time of a 50% plus bigger surface fleet and helo fleet.

Two Lynx was standard on early T22s as well? Operating 2 helos one pad has been the norm for many many navies for a long time surely - thinking USN and RCN at least.

Its mission is partially ala fire scout, but as you state it doesn’t have the endurance to do it well. Partly because we built a manned thing that is inferior to a UAV at what it’s core mission is. A Merlin + actual UAV offers a much better outcome which interestingly is what T26 will (possibly!) carry.

Wildcat is really obsolete thinking but reflects a lot of that in the RN. Of course, this also got inflicted on the Army.
 
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RLBH

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QUEEN ELIZABETH was certainly built to the fully convertible design.
Sorry, but I'm afraid that you are mistaken there.
Considerable lengths were gone to to preserve the margins provided in the design for the conversion as planned at the design stage. Whether those margins were adequate for a different conversion is another question. Possibly a more relevant question, but a different one.

Fact of the matter is, QUEEN ELIZABETH was built to a design that included space and weight margins for conversion to fit catapults and arrester gear.
 

TomS

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The MH60 S and R are variants of a common platform, not different platforms. Plus isnt CH60 used for vertrep and now the latest alphabet soup V22?
CH-60S became MH-60S. It replaces both the CH-46D cargo/VERTREP helo and the HH-60H search and rescue/special operations helo. The MH-60R started out as the SH-60R, which was meant to converge the SH-60B escort ASW helo with the SH-60F carrier helo (which replaced the SH-3 Sea King). So we're definitely trimming down the helicopter type list.

The CMV-22 isn't really a helo; it replaces the C-2 fixed wing COD aircraft. But it also supplements the one major helo that has been omitted from the discussion of USN types -- the MH-53. Not only used for mine countermeasures, it's also used for fleet logistics alongside the fixed-wing COD aircraft.
 

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The whole reason for the failure of the conversion project was that the Queen Elizabeth class turned out to have not been built to the originally approved plans, unbeknownst to the Ministry of Defence & the Royal Navy, and ultimately much to their dire embarrassment. The spaces reserved for such a conversion had been reallocated or repurposed in the revised design, or simply just deleted as in the case of the space for the catapults. Trying to rectify that particular deletion alone would have extremely costly in both time and money. I should also note that both the provisions for conversion and the actual conversion attempt were based around steam catapults, with EMALS been mooted as a possibility during the latter only briefly due to the technology being considered to be still highly immature.
 

FighterJock

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The whole reason for the failure of the conversion project was that the Queen Elizabeth class turned out to have not been built to the originally approved plans, unbeknownst to the Ministry of Defence & the Royal Navy, and ultimately much to their dire embarrassment. The spaces reserved for such a conversion had been reallocated or repurposed in the revised design, or simply just deleted as in the case of the space for the catapults. Trying to rectify that particular deletion alone would have extremely costly in both time and money. I should also note that both the provisions for conversion and the actual conversion attempt were based around steam catapults, with EMALS been mooted as a possibility during the latter only briefly due to the technology being considered to be still highly immature.
Would the carriers be retrofitted to use EMALS at some point in the future once the system has been fully tested on the US Navy's Ford class super carriers? And return to CTOL carrier operations. I have heard rumours that this is now not going to happen.
 

uk 75

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As long as the US Marines operate the F35B the UK ships will be fine as they are. With their mixed ASW/Commando role they are perfectly suited for our NATO commitments.
Assuming a thirty to forty year lifespan (similar to the Invincibles) or probably longer given their size, a replacement design of fighter/strike aircraft may well be unpersoned and able to take off and land without vstol or cats.
 

zen

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F35B totes more load over a longer distance than the Harrier II on internal fuel. It's frankly superior to Hornet.
It will match sensor to shooter systems integration of F35A and F35C.

So I don't see what's wrong with it.
As is, if you want to surge numbers on deck, RAF can arrive as needed. And land far more safely than arrested or even VL in either Harrier.
 

Grey Havoc

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Would the carriers be retrofitted to use EMALS at some point in the future once the system has been fully tested on the US Navy's Ford class super carriers? And return to CTOL carrier operations. I have heard rumours that this is now not going to happen.
Even if the USN were to ever get EMALS to a truly satisfactory state (I'm doubtful), any hope of being able to convert the Queen Elizabeth class to CTOL operations in the future effectively died when all provision for such a conversion was deleted from the design, unfortunately.
 

Hood

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The F-35B will probably last the lifetime of the ships so I don't really see what the fuss is. If the ships do last beyond 2058 (unlikely) then by UCAV technology might of outstripped the manned fighter anyway, or the British defence budget might only afford an armoured rowboat by then and the carriers will be razor blades. Who knows? For the foreseeable I don't see the fuss with it being a V/STOL carrier. Its not like AEW and COD can't be done by non-CTOL aircraft.
 

FighterJock

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Would the carriers be retrofitted to use EMALS at some point in the future once the system has been fully tested on the US Navy's Ford class super carriers? And return to CTOL carrier operations. I have heard rumours that this is now not going to happen.
Even if the USN were to ever get EMALS to a truly satisfactory state (I'm doubtful), any hope of being able to convert the Queen Elizabeth class to CTOL operations in the future effectively died when all provision for such a conversion was deleted from the design, unfortunately.
So no EMALS for the Queen Elizabeth carriers. We will probably be looking at two brand new CTOL carriers with EMALS fitted from the start in the future.
 

zen

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Would the carriers be retrofitted to use EMALS at some point in the future once the system has been fully tested on the US Navy's Ford class super carriers? And return to CTOL carrier operations. I have heard rumours that this is now not going to happen.
Even if the USN were to ever get EMALS to a truly satisfactory state (I'm doubtful), any hope of being able to convert the Queen Elizabeth class to CTOL operations in the future effectively died when all provision for such a conversion was deleted from the design, unfortunately.
So no EMALS for the Queen Elizabeth carriers. We will probably be looking at two brand new CTOL carriers with EMALS fitted from the start in the future.
Only if it makes sense and we can recover the cost of the current two in sales.
 

RLBH

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The whole reason for the failure of the conversion project was that the Queen Elizabeth class turned out to have not been built to the originally approved plans, unbeknownst to the Ministry of Defence & the Royal Navy, and ultimately much to their dire embarrassment.
I'm not sure how you think that ships are built that such a significant deviation from the agreed plans could go unnoticed for years on end.

The NAO report into the abortive conversion makes no such claim, either. In fact, the NAO is very clear that the initial assumption was steam catapults, that changing to EMALS added 60% to the cost, and that further errors meant a further 150% increase. Of that, only £106 million was due to installation costs – unexpected ship impact was one component of this, but not the only component. That's not the kind of cost you'd see for a sudden realisation that the ship hadn't been built according to the plans.
 

kaiserd

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Would the carriers be retrofitted to use EMALS at some point in the future once the system has been fully tested on the US Navy's Ford class super carriers? And return to CTOL carrier operations. I have heard rumours that this is now not going to happen.
Even if the USN were to ever get EMALS to a truly satisfactory state (I'm doubtful), any hope of being able to convert the Queen Elizabeth class to CTOL operations in the future effectively died when all provision for such a conversion was deleted from the design, unfortunately.
So no EMALS for the Queen Elizabeth carriers. We will probably be looking at two brand new CTOL carriers with EMALS fitted from the start in the future.
Only something to start worrying about worrying about in 30 years at the soonest....
 

Grey Havoc

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I'm not sure how you think that ships are built that such a significant deviation from the agreed plans could go unnoticed for years on end.
Quite simple really. The oversight that was traditionally exercised by the Royal Navy and by the Ministry of Defence over major naval projects and programs was practically all transferred to the DPA (and later inherited by the DE&S). The idea was that using commercial practices rather than military or Civil Service ones would make defence procurement faster and cheaper (needless to say it was a total disaster from the outset). When it came to the CVF program some of that oversight was delegated to the Aircraft Carrier Alliance. Since the design changes were initiated by the DPA in the first place however, no alarms were raised.

The NAO report into the abortive conversion makes no such claim, either. In fact, the NAO is very clear that the initial assumption was steam catapults, that changing to EMALS added 60% to the cost, and that further errors meant a further 150% increase. Of that, only £106 million was due to installation costs – unexpected ship impact was one component of this, but not the only component. That's not the kind of cost you'd see for a sudden realisation that the ship hadn't been built according to the plans.
Forgive me, but are you sure of that interpretation of the report?
 
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