"he 65-tonne, 4.5 acre aircraft carrier"
I think you mean 65,000 tonne there.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is back in Pompey harbour having sprung yet another leak. Blighty's biggest ever warship and soon-to-be aircraft carrier was meant to be on five weeks of sea trials but that has been cut short. An MoD spokeswoman told the BBC it was no more than "a minor issue with an internal system". The leak was …
There is no truth that the carrier was returning from conducting sea trials (or any kind of experiment) in, or near Phildelphia. But the ship's managed to displace several thousand tonnes. Subsequent tests may soon enable the carrier to match speed and altitude with the F-35*s, thus making landings safer.
As for picking on the DM, the BBC's no better-
That is not a Javelin in a crate, as Inspector Clouseau may say, "It's a bomb"
*OK, an F-35 could do that now, briefly, if it missed the deck
..and have never heard of cognitive bias
Main difference is the DM relies on clickbait & titilation, whereas the BBC positions itself as the Guardian of Truth. Yet demonstrates considerable bias, and an inability to put 'Javelin missile' into a search of it's photo library, or just google. And it may also be incorrect about French given other news agencies reckon the missiles were originally supplied to the UAE.
What is the point of mixing metric and other measurement systems? Is this a precursor of what is wrong with the world.
Like measuring distances in imperial (miles), fuel efficiency in imperial (miles per gallon), having the size of your fuel tank listed in the vehicle manual as imperial gallons, and then buying the fuel in metric liters to complicate figuring out how many miles you actually do to the gallon? (which is of course utterly unrelated to the fuel efficiency calculated by the car's onboard computer having little relation to how often you have to put fuel into the tank...)
Then again, when doing technical drawings I prefer using imperial scales to the metric scales since 1 meter to 1 centimeter leaves you needing a magnifying glass. My office drawings are faithfully scaled to 1 meter to 1 inch, which is a nice easily usable scale.
In conclusion i'd suggest raising a pint (half liter and a bit?) to the imperial systems longevity. :)
Nice combination of Imperial and metric measures El Reg!.
Personally i would prefer we use one measuring system and that is the Cymru comparison system, so thats 14,500 metric Blue Whales and 8.8 x 10 -7 Wales (Imperial) or if you like 87000 Prince of Wales in Weight and the surface area of 9584 Charle's
Short and long tons are just the American and Imperial versions.
The short ton is based on the 100lb hundredweight. The long ton is based on the 8 stone hundredweight ( 112lb ).
112*20 = 2240lb
100*20 = 2000lb
Because Americans have never used stones.
Quite why anybody would create a unit called a hundredweight and then not define it as eight stone is beyond me...
I've always thought it's odd that they measure themselves just in (a great number of ) pounds.
The convenience of Imperial is that the numbers correspond well to human sizes, eg: a pint of beer, six feet tall, a 1/4 ( lb, or 4oz ) of chocolate eclairs.
336 pounds* doesn't quite fit in that scheme as well as 24st does.
* And that's just the women
The entire design was built around joint US-UK ops in joint carrier groups with US aircraft on British carriers and vice-versa, from day one. Plenty of British pilots operate in the US military. Actual allies, that's what that looks like. Point of sovereignty is actually having the choice, as opposed to it being imposed.
I think I've spotted where you went wrong.
The only way those nice people would come to any harm is if the boat were an 'aircraft launcher', or possibly 'aircraft taker-offerer'. As the boat is an 'aircraft carrier' - see, it's right there in the name - there's no chance they'll come to any harm.
It's like people standing on the top of a car ferry. There's no danger they're going to get driven over by the cars.
There actually is a Ford Galaxy, but it's produced in Europe for the European market, which is why you don't see one in the US (Yeah, you *might* be able to import one, but the rules for importing a vehicle are ridiculously complex.).
And, yeah, the Ford Galaxie was a decent car. I think my mom may have had one of those in the early 1960s.
Which just goes to show that the rate of taking on water is less important than the total amount of water eventually taken on.
If I were to go round a corner in a ship's corridor and find myself threatened by 200 tons of ocean, I wouldn't care how slowly it had seeped in.
Nor, I imagine, did the sailors who nearly drowned.
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That last slow leak was through the prop-shaft seals or something. And was solved by sorting out the packing - a pretty standard problem. And nice and slow and easy to deal with by just turning on a pump.
This one was a seawater pipe letting go. A catastrophic pipe joint failure can get you very wet, very quickly. As it was in a forward compartment, my immediate thought would be something from the fire-fighting system? So you're looking at something like flanged 4" pipe - so while I'm speculating wildly I look up my pipe sizing charts and see that at 3m/s (3-5 bar pressure ish) that's a flow rate of 26l/sec. Or 94 tonnes per hour.
250 tonnes, assuming that's not the total they pumped out but the flooding they had to deal with, is 250m³ of water or a compartment 10m x 5m by 5m tall. Or in Olympic swimming pool terms 5x25x2m - so exactly one tenth of an Olympic swimming pool.
The QE-class carrier design doesn't have steam boilers to power regular catapults, it uses gas turbines to generate electricity to the propeller drive motors. It doesn't have enough electrical generating capacity to provide power for an electric catapult system like the newest American Ford-class nuclear carrier designs do.
Older nuclear aircraft carriers (pre-Ford class USN carriers and the French hangar-queen nuclear carriers) had intermediate steam production for catapults, older British non-nuclear aircraft carriers burned oil to make steam for turbine propulsion and could bleed off that steam to drive catapults.
Which begs the question... given that HMG requested that spaces were made in the original design to enable CAT/TRAP gear to be installed (just ignore that when they returned to ask how much it would cost they discovered that leaving spaces is one thing, but coming back later to fill said spaces with the actual CAT/TRAP kit to make the ship useful meant a huge bill to cut the ship apart) what would Bae have used to provide power for CAT/TRAP?
I've no idea. They might have added a completely separate steam-raising plant to power conventional catapults along with increasing the fresh-water production capability of the existing ship's equipment (a catapult launch uses half a tonne of fresh water per shot). That would have required reducing hangar space or weapons storage or fuel bunkering or something -- perhaps a space-saving return to WWII-style hammocks slung in mess decks for the Jolly Jack Tars to kip in rather than the compact bunkrooms the sailors on the QE now occupy.
Generating extra electricity for an EMALS is trickier -- they need a lot of joules in a very short period so some kind of flywheel/generator accumulator system might work but again the space to put this in would have to be taken out of something else and despite appearances a carrier is as much constrained for working space as a submarine.
Actually we were chucking serious coin at British EMAL technology, until Big and Expensive decided that they hadn't taken the spec seriously and they wanted something like £5 billion to fit each carrier with cats and traps.....Cameroon decided that failure to comply with the contract terms was a non issue...
We'd have been cheaper requesting 2 Ford Class Carriers at this rate.....
Nuclear carriers require big crews -- the Charles de Gaulle, a small nuclear carrier has a shipboard complement of 1300 sailors. The new Ford-class US carriers are a lot bigger but need 2,600 sailors despite heavy automation of onboard operations. The British QE-class carriers have a complement of 700 sailors providing something like 60% to 70% of the operational capabilities of the Ford-class carriers.
The Royal Navy's current manning level for all arms (subs, surface ships, air warfare, helos, land-based establishments etc.) is about 33,000 according to Wikipedia. I'm not sure how we could man two Ford-class carriers never mind find the money to run them. We don't even have any docks big enough to carry out refits and maintenance on such large hulls.
As for EMALs and the accompanying linear-electric-motor traps there isn't the reserve power in the QE designs needed to accelerate a 30-tonne aircraft to 200km/hr in three seconds using an EMALS while pushing a 60,000 tonne hull through the water at 30 knots into the wind and also powering all the sparkly bits. Finding the space for electrical power storage etc. for EMALS wasn't really a goer either given how far the development and design process had gone.
> I'd be interested to see a cite for the lack of reserve power, given that the carriers were supposed to have been designed with the option to fit catapults and those catapults were indeed intended to be EMALS.
ISTR the MoD eventually admitted that they'd lied all along and that they'd never asked for space for catapults, electric or steam.
Yes, in a shooting war, the AWACS, the Tankers, and the Aircraft Carriers will all be smoke after the first 36 hours. Still, an aircraft carrier without airborne early warning is a sitting duck. Aircraft carriers can easily be spotted by satellites with enough precision to launch missiles against them.
I worked on the AWACS radar system back in the late 1970's and I remember the design engineers saying that AWACS would never be taken out by a SAM, if you look at how AWACS is used and what it is capable of, there is never a need to have one operate within range of a hostile SAM battery. They are designed for long range detection, always within friendly airspace, are able to jam any radar emitter aimed at them and with lots of fighter escorts just in case some hot shot enemy pilot thought he might get close enough to hit it was a air-to-air missile. And to my knowledge, one has never been shot down, which has validated what I was told back then. However, recent improvements in Russian and Chinese surface radars might make it vulnerable so the USAF is developing alternatives that would reduce the reliance on AWACS, such as space based or unmanned systems.
My understanding was that QE was never intended to be anything more than STOVL with the potential of the PoW to also have CATOBAR capabilities. Cue Big and Expensive seeing the actual CATOBAR costs being incurred and throwing up hands in horror, hence both carriers are simply STOVL.
In regards to crew numbers the highly mechanised weapons handling system (HMWHS) is supposed to reduce that requirement, although not known by what factor. You also need factor in the Capita Effect on crew recruitment (not enough recruits wanting to join the Royal Navy).
Re AWACS: both vessels have S1850M radar - supposedly capable of monitoring up to 1000 targets up to 400km away. Presumably they can 'daisy chain' off a Type 45 which also has the same capability, thus increasing the range?
No, no, no, you want tried and tested tech for this job. Twisted wet leather is state of the art for mobile catapults.
Also it's a bleeding warship, is there a shortage of exploding stuff to accelerate things? You would need a big hunk of metal to absorb the backblast which might take the displacement a tad over 35 tonnes.
No, they were all sold to the USMC at a bargain price.....
The Marines wanted them cos Harriers are a very effective ground attack/infantry support aircraft, just what is needed for modern warfare unlike say a stealth jet........
And now the Marines are probably planning to fly them off the carrier.
The USMC were already flying their own licenced version of the Harrier, the AV-8B, from their LHA and LHD assault carriers which are separate from the US Navy's nuclear carriers. When the RN mothballed, sold off and scrapped their own through-deck cruisers, the only ships capable of deploying the Royal Navy's Harriers, the USMC bought the planes as surplus to bolster their own capacity. Sadly the Harrier and its derivatives is prone to crashing in training and in use since it's a seriously compromised aircraft design in many ways and buying the RN's Harriers meant they didn't have to restart the production lines for fresh AV-8Bs to replace losses.
The Harrier and AV-8B allowed the USMC to learn how to operate STOVL fighter/bombers from their assault carriers. They are transitioning to the F-35B as it's a much superior aircraft in virtually all respects (range, speed, payload, flexibility, capability, aerodynamics, cost of operation etc.)
It's been reported that possibly the US might sell on some of it's spare Harriers as they move towards using the F-35B.
"Sadly the Harrier and its derivatives is prone to crashing in training and in use since it's a seriously compromised aircraft design"
Given its 1950s tech its bloody impressive that it managed what it did and compromise is the name of the game with VTOL aircraft anyway - you can hardly call the F35B uncompromised either!
unlike say a stealth jet
Is it though, practically might be but in reality if you're fighting some inferior army with old tech that can't catch a stealth jet you got that advantage AND if you are (you probably wont won't be as that would mean open warfare with the russians or something then we're all screwed) it's just all just an arms race which I imagine is "good for business" so in a way it's a win-win (for someone other than tax payers or civilians..or anyone who rebells against the $govenrnment_in_power). What joyous world we live in!
"No, they were all sold to the USMC at a bargain price....."
We have the financial genius known as George Osborne to thank for that along with various clueless civil servants in the MoD. Sure, they might have been an old aircraft but an old aircraft is a lot better than no aircraft. A basic fact which sadly the MoD didn't seem to understand.
Harriers were also used in STOVL roles, the 20s limit to vertical operation (limited water coolant for the engines taking all the strain, no lift from the wings) stopped it from being effective as a "proper" VTOL - it could do it, but you'd run low on your budget very quickly.
French hangar-queen nuclear carriers
There's only one french nuclear carrier. which was involved in a lot of missions, so 'hangar-queen' doesn't really fit.
The CdG has spent over three years in refit since it went into service (it needs to spend a year and more in a dockyard every six years or so getting refitted and refueled). The extra cost of a small nuclear carrier (at 42,000 tonnes it's two-thirds the size of the QE and about the same size as the conventionally-powered US Marine Corps America-class flat-top assault ships which will also be flying the F-35B) has meant the French can't afford to build and operate another carrier to fill in the gaps when the CdG is out of service getting refueled and refurbished. Its track record is one reason Britain ended up building two larger conventionally-powered aircraft carriers for about the same ticket price each as the CdG.
The QE has turbines.
The turbines use superheated steam, FYI.
That steam could be piped to the catapults, losing some power to propulsion, obviously.
That would require extensive piping, insulation and further complexity like counterweights, valves, etc, plus reinforcing the planes and maintenance of all these systems. It also makes the carrier almost twice as useful.
Look, the chinese have a copule of non catapult carriers, and the the fourth one will have a catapult, as they realized how limited they arw without one.
We essentially invented the damn thing yet no longer use it.
We should have catapults installed, it is a shame we do not have them.. same for the propulsion system
The QE has gas turbines, derived from Rolls Royce Trent aero engines I believe, burning the same kind of aviation fuel the aircraft on board use. Those gas turbines drive generators to produce electricity. Most of that electricity is used in direct-drive motors at the stern of the ship that power the propellers. There is little or no use for steam on board the QE, except perhaps in the medical bays for sterilising operating theatre instruments.
This electric-drive system is a lot more compact than a conventional oil-fired boiler setup feeding steam to turbines turning propeller shafts via gearboxes. It requires less technical staff to maintain it, it is easier to fix if stuff goes wrong, it's more responsive to throttle inputs, it can be backed up with diesel generators etc. Most 1st-world navies use this kind of propulsion system in their latest ships. Even the new American Ford-class nuclear carriers don't generate turbine steam for propulsion like their predecessors but use electric drive too.
Every large cruise liner built in the last fifteen years has used this type of electric propulsion. These aircraft carriers are piddling little toy ducks in comparison.
It's well tested, extremely reliable, relatively easy to repair, and takes up far less space in the hull than more traditional systems.
The azipod systems on a few of them are also really quite cool. Sail backwards almost as fast as forwards!
"The turbines use superheated steam, FYI."
No they don't. QE has 2 Rolls-Royce Marine Trent 30 gas turbine generator units producing 36MW, and 4 Wartsila diesel generator units (2 x 9MW and 2 x 11MW). The 3-phase electricity generated is used to power 4 GE induction motors (2 per shaft).
So no steam other than that from the kett;es, showers, coffee machines, and any irate crew members.
You've rather missed a couple of very important points. There are actual reasons why the MoD went for STOVL not cats-n-traps. It's very fashionable to have a go, and there are often good reasons to, but these people aren't actually imbeciles. So reasons, in no particular order:
1. Plane lifetime. Catapult launches and arrestor wire landings are incredibly hard on planes. They don't last as long, so although the F35C is cheaper, that doesn't mean you pay less in the longr-run, because the airframe also won't last as long.
2. It's even harder on pilots. Apparently if you don't do it at least once a week, carrier landings start to become even more dangerous.
3. The above is less of a problem with a dedicated carrier force. But our plan is to deploy one carrier with an airwing of 24 aircraft - and then fill it up to 48 when the need arises. With a limited ability to surge-deploy both carriers with full air wings. That means putting the RAF fly boys on them, as they've got those aircraft the rest of the time. And that would mean killing most of them, if we used cats-n-traps. Basically the idea is to have a flexible joint force of F35s - and this would be impossible if we had the F35C and had to keep re-qualifying the pilots for carrier landings. Equally if we save cash by buying the F35A for the RAF, we then lose the ability to surge-deploy both carriers - the upside being the RAF get a longer range and slightly higher payload in thier normal ops. But range isn't all that big an issue for land based operations, given we have a tanker fleet.
4. Choosing not to go nuclear and go gas/diesel/electric meant we'd have to design round electric catapults, which was an untested technology when these things were specified. They should have done more work on both options, as the F35B was also untested at the time - but the joint pool of aircraft idea made that less attractive.
Tbh we could have went for the F/A18 Super Hornet or the Rafale and saved a bundle on the aircraft (and they'd likely be in service now, not to mention most potential opposing forces are flying aircraft a lot older, even a large percentile of the Russian Airforce dates back to the 70s and 80s....)
We could also have went in with the US on the Ford Class that or went in with the French and run joint crews.
Crewing.....well given there are a lot of fit young men in northern France desperate to get into the UK, then give them an offer - sign on for 5 years and get British citizenship....Not sure how well it would work and the language barrier might be a bit tricky...
Permanently embark the RAF onto the carriers, make that the price for them avoiding serious cuts, that or trim the RAF quite heavily and expand the Fleet Air Arm...(I prefer option 2 personally, there's a reason they get referred to as "Crab Air" and "civilians in uniform"....also makes more sense to have a dedicated air wing permanently afloat)
How to pay for it - trim the foreign aid budget - starting with India, they have a space program, ballistic missiles and are talking about a moon landing last I read. I'd also go for a small hike in income tax, ~2%, under the heading of supporting our troops and giving them the funding to do their role properly, slam previous administrations for starving the military of investment and putting "our boys and girls in uniform" at risk due to insufficient funding.
This lazy bit of work makes it look like there was a simple leak in the hull and fnar fnar isn't that funny and look how stupid the builders are.
Other people might have mentioned a burst high-pressure seawater supply pipe, damage to bulkheads and deck plates and 250 tons of water in a compartment or two. Potentially serious, and slightly more complicated.
Detail is the difference between proper reporting and lazy hack scribbling.
She's not fully operational for another couple of years though, and to be fair this happened on HMS Invincible when I was on her in 2003, so a few decades after she entered service. That was in the Captain's sea cabin though which made it the only time I've heard an emergency broadcast for a flood 10 decks above the waterline...
Three billion pounds.....then half a billion a pop for the F35 aircraft.
No one is mentioning that the RN DOES NOT HAVE THE OTHER EQUIPMENT to form the carrier group needed to operate the carrier in anything remotely like a hostile environment.
Do the math......it looks like £23 billion for a carrier that might be sunk by people in a small high speed power boat! (See report on USS Cole disaster.)
Oh....I forgot.....the RN has another similar carrier on order. No magic money tree!!!!
Actually we do have the kit for a carrier battle group (and maybe 2)
Type 45 Daring Class Air Defence Destroyer x 6
Type 23 Frigates (with replacement Type 26 and Type 30 on order)
RFA oilers and other support ships
Astute class SSN hunter killer subs
Currently Bulwark and Albion LPD
Even without an escort it still has Miniguns, 20mm cannon and other small arms, plus any embarked helos
Probably would have cost us less overall if we'd just bought into the Ford Class Carrier program, though recruiting the personnel is the issue, RN is struggling as is, particularly for engineers, warfare officers in 2010 were mostly serving under 5 years before quitting, some as little as 3. Why? Being away near constantly, better pay on civilian ships, better terms and conditions in the civvy world etc. Only solution would be conscription or some severe sweeteners to recruit and retain (Initial training for officers especially is very much out of step with the fleet, I've heard Dartmouth described by more than 1 as "a third rate private school with delusions of being a military training facility" It all looks great till you start looking closely, tours keep the public away from stairwells etc that haven't been painted in years, telling tours that they had changing facilities in the shower rooms so folk weren't walking to and from showers in only towels anymore (male and females both still were constantly, particularly after hours, but no one touched anyone (well apart from the inevitable sneaking off together in a totally non suspicious way to discreet or sometimes not so discreet places.....some of the stuff that goes on is unbelievable tbh and much of it is turned a blind eye to as far as possible....
We're an island nation (even my wife cannot understand why our Navy is so small when we're surrounded by water), if anything we should have a military prioritised around the navy and amphibious forces
I'd like to see the number of ships doubled (better tripled or quadrupled), the RM expanded significantly, Army working a lot more closely with the RN and army personnel regularly embarked.
All sailing nice and close, within a mile or two - so they can all be utterly destroyed by a single moderately-sized nuclear warhead.
Well, do those people expect a real war or not?
If not, all those naval vessels are a complete waste of money.
If so, all those naval vessels are a complete waste of money and lives.
I think you might want to read up on nuclear strategy a bit. Quite a lot of thought went into it during the Cold War.
Conventional forces can't survive nuclear weapons. Although hitting them with tactical warheads isn't as easy as you might thing, given you actually have to get the warhead to the target. But not much stops a strategic warhead.
Which is why you have strategic nuclear weapons, in order to make that choice so expensive as to be noth worth it.
But you also require conventional forces, becuase the use of stategic nuclear weapons as a first choice is also "unthinkable". Therefore you have to have some sort of credible conventional force as well, in order to be able to pursue lesser objectives that you may wish to fight for, but nobody seriously believes you'd be willing to end the world for. By putting those forces in harms way of course, you now have an incentive to end the world if they are all destroyed in a nuclear fireball.
That's why NATO has forward deployed troops in the Baltic States. What would we do if the Russians seized the place otherwise? We wouldn't re-invade, but we'd also be unlikely to go nuclear. It would be a fait accompli. But if Russia has to kill a few thousand UK/US/French troops to acheive that objective, we have the chance to slow them down enough to get in reinforcements - and they have to deal with the uncertainty of the nuclear deterrent.
Yes it's all (or mostly) bluff, yes the calculations are awful, but no people have actually put real thought into this.
"That's why NATO has forward deployed troops in the Baltic States. What would we do if the Russians seized the place otherwise?"
Pinch ourselves to awaken from the stupid dream? No one wants the Baltics - least of all the poor sods who are living there now.
What on earth would Russia want to invade them for?
* A few more square miles of territory, because Russia is such a tiny country it desperately needs a little more unproductive land.
* A few million people who hate Russia and everything Russian, and who put up statues to commemorate Waffen-SS soldiers and honour them with military parades.
* Countries that produce literally nothing of any value.
The only conceivable reasons for Russia to annex the Baltics would be military. To keep NATO forces more than half an hour's drive away from St Petersburg, for example.
But that doesn't work, either. Parts of Ukraine are as close to Moscow as any of the Baltics. And besides, Russian military doctrine states that any invasion of Russian territory will be opposed with all means - not excluding thermonuclear weapons. So attacking Russia is a VERY VERY BAD IDEA except as a grandiose way of committing suicide - regardless how near or far from Moscow or St Petersburg you start from.
We're an island nation (even my wife cannot understand why our Navy is so small when we're surrounded by water), if anything we should have a military prioritised around the navy and amphibious forces
This was true before the introduction of nuclear weapons. The Navy isn't here to protect the coasts anymore. Nuclear deterrence is here to make an invasion too costly to try.
Navy is used to protect sea lanes and to project power. An aircraft carrier can be used only against third world nation, of she will end as an artificial reef. Does UK such projections? The last example in mind is the Falklands/Las Malvinas war 40 years ago, is a carrier still needed? It may be. However, building a carrier unable to launch a non VTOL-plane seems to be a huge mistake. For instance, how to do early warning and control? A Sea King cannot be compared to a Hawkeye.
Quote: "Type 45 Daring Class Air Defence Destroyer..."
That would be the Type 45 Destroyer which has regular gas turbine cooling failures leaving the destroyer "dead in the water".
That would be the Type 45 Destroyer which has to have the whole vessel side removed to fix the cooling problem.
That would be the Type 45 Destroyer which has had to go back to Babcocks for MILLIONS OF POUNDS OF ADDITIONAL WORK....no....not under contract ("failure to meet the terms of the original contract"), but EXTRA WORK FUNDED BY THE TAXPAYER to fix the original design flaw.
And this is the FIRST ITEM you offer as a credible description of a member of a viable "carrier group"!!!
>No one is mentioning that the RN DOES NOT HAVE THE OTHER EQUIPMENT to form the carrier group needed to operate the carrier in anything remotely like a hostile environment.
That's because they are on the next purchase requistition - justification: Needed to enable our our £23 billion carrier to operate in potentially hostile environment...
As for high speed power boats, Icelandic trawlers proved very effective at gaining respect from RN captains who didn't wish to be seen having to limp back to port, so I suggest "potentially hostile environment" is anywhere outside of UK territorial waters...
Three billion pounds.....then half a billion a pop for the F35 aircraft.
I'm not a big fan of the F-35. And I imagine that the sticker price omits a few options that will be needed. Comm gear, cup holders, weapons, GPS, that sort of stuff. But Wikipedia says you can buy an F-35C -- the carrier model -- for USD $107.7 million. And that includes an engine as well as, very likely, wheels. That's what, 86,000 pounds each?
The F-35 uses one modern 21st-century engine compared to the spit-and-baling-wire engine designs used in previous generations of military aircraft. The F-35's single engine provides more power than both engines in the 20th-century F-4 carrier fighter can produce together while weighing less than one of those older engines and burning less fuel to go further. It takes less maintenance per thousand hours of flight than any previous generation of military aircraft engine, it's simpler to work on and has fewer parts.
Great - its fuel efficient. That will make all the difference. I'm sure its a wonderful aircraft, the issue is that its designed to fight a war we can't win. If we go head to head with a world power the carriers last about half an hour before a hypersonic missile gets lucky. If we go head to head with Isis we are risking £100 million against a few grand of shoulder launch SAM. I guess we might sneak in and take out the Iranian airforce as long as they promise to be nice and symmetrical and keep the fast powerboats and land sea missiles out of play.!
That assumes that any of those parts work in the first place. It had better be simpler to work on because it is rarely out of maintenance. The F35 has been barely able to fulfil its role(s) properly since day one and has been dogged with airframe, systems integration and god knows how many other problems.
Don't get me wrong I admire it as an engineering and technical exercise, it's quite an achievement. But as a front line aircraft deployed both on land and at sea it is as they say, sub optimal. Aircraft Techs have a more choice phrase I believe.
It's an absolute classic product of the military/industrial complex. A $1.5 Trillion (and rising) tribute to pork barrel politics.
'Ah, just one engine over a wide (and deep) ocean, Yes, Minister would call that "courageous"...'
Yes, like the Sea Harrier before it, the Seafire, Hellcat, the Corsair, Firefly, Swordfish, Barracuda, and others. Traditionally the USN prefers an element of engine-out safety, a philosophy long challenged by the other services. In Britain, multiple engines have been a requirement simply to get the desired power levels. This has not been the case for many decades.
And fucking Hopeless*
Tell me what's the point of two islands? One is bad enough for air turbulence (which is why Japanese carriers didn't have them, and uptakes that exhausted over the side). This throwback shitheap is going to be a nightmare to land on. I wouldn't be surprised if it had problems recovering aircraft in both conventional and vertical landing modes. I'm not sure sure I'd like to try and take off in high winds either - turbulence over an aircraft carrier deck is probably the number one cause of dead pilots and this looks like a potential deathtrap.
As for planes I'm sure Duxford might have a few spare. If you're really unlucky they might have a few Fairey Barracuda, the most lethal plane in the navy and that aircraft and this disaster area would be a perfect couple. **
*I really hope *someone* will get the reference.
** The Barracuda was fitted with a full flow hydraulic pressure gauge high on the instrument panel so the pilot could see it easily, directly connected to the rest of the hydraulics. What it wasn't fitted with was a secure connection between the flexible line & the gauge. It had a habit of popping off in flight and spraying fluid into the pilots face at a lot of psi, hard enough to knock them unconscious, and invariably causing an uncontrolled splat into terrain (or water). It's other party trick was leaking like a sieve behind the dash until the cockpit floor was running with hydraulic fluid (and the hydraulics weren't). This would usually be noticeable by wet feet and a smell of sunflowers! - closely followed by a total lack of control and either a swift bailout or an uncontrolled splat into terrain. This happened more than once on ferry flights from the factory in brand new aircraft. The Austin Allegro of torpedo bombers (and incidentally one of the ugliest, if not the ugliest, aircraft ever to fly)
Spurious, Curious and Outrageous - but yeah Fishers Follies I think was another name for them. (Furious, Glorious and Courageous are the official names)
Another RN notable disaster was the K Class fleet submarines - aka the "Killers" or for the more tactful (and possibly higher ranking) "Kalamities" - steam engines and submarines do not mix. Look up the Battle of May Island. Spoilers: it doesn't end well.
Being fair, they were decent carriers - for the era - after conversion (multiple conversions in most cases), and also those "spare" 15" mountings came in useful for HMS Vanguard (I haven't a clue what happened to the 18" ones from Furious)
As "Large Light Cruisers" they were pretty much useless, though.
The K-class subs, oh yes, they were a complete mess up, designed to steam (yes, steam) with the Grand Fleet at 20+ knots, then dive ahead of the HSF and ambush them.
"(I haven't a clue what happened to the 18" ones from Furious)"
One ended up on HMS Lord Clive and one on HMS General Wolfe - both Lord Clive class monitors. The third was to have been fitted to another of the class, HMS Prince Eugene, but the war ended before work could be completed. After the war all three were used for testing purposes at Shoeburyness and Yantlet before being scrapped, two in 1933 and the third - lined down to 16" - in 1947.
Yup, the gun was slung between two ruddy great girders which ran parallel to the barrel. There was about 10 degrees of traverse each side of the centre line, aka 2 shades of bugger all. They could also only be fired at between 22 and 45 degrees of elevation in order to spread the load. HMS General Wolfe holds the record for the greatest range at which a Royal Navy vessel has ever engaged an enemy target, which was a railway bridge near Ostende at a range of 33km or 1500 brontosauruses.
"Tell me what's the point of two islands? One is bad enough for air turbulence (which is why Japanese carriers didn't have them, and uptakes that exhausted over the side). This throwback shitheap is going to be a nightmare to land on. I wouldn't be surprised if it had problems recovering aircraft in both conventional and vertical landing modes. I'm not sure sure I'd like to try and take off in high winds either - turbulence over an aircraft carrier deck is probably the number one cause of dead pilots and this looks like a potential deathtrap."
I would love to see your airflow models - what? you haven't done any? You are basing it totally on gut feeling and ignorance? Do say!
Actually the two islands increases redundancy and reduces turbalance. (https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/the-reasons-hms-queen-elizabeth-has-two-islands/)
Maybe the reason old carriers had one island was that the modelling tools were not available that we have now?
Funny, but I'll believe that when I see it.
The Courageous was converted in three stages from a floating cock up with three 18" guns to a fairly useless carrier.
If I remember and it's a while, a flying off deck aft - then a landing deck was added forward - with the superstructure intact. And at that point people started dropping like nine pins because the turbulence caused by the superstructure (and the need to sideslip into the landing past it).
I have never seen a successfully introduced class of multi island carriers - the nearest being I think the refit lexingtons with a long low after superstructure extension to include the trunking for the large uptakes into one funnel - and wouldn't you know it they were trouble to land on according to "Winkle" Brown.
Any obstruction to an air flow causes turbulence - even a perfect aerofoil - and those two monstrosities are about as far away from smooth as Karen Gillan is from talented. They *will* interfere with air flow on virtually every aspect - which will cause issues simply because if you are making an approach into a carrier landing in borderline or even moderate level the very *last* thing you need is a bloody variable cross wind.
It'll be even more damn fun in a VTOL because as I understand it, and I might be wrong, the F35 doesn't have the same control finesse as the Harrier. So you throttle up and lift while in the lee of one of the islands and then drift into the area between the two with that nice strong cross deck wind that's been nicely channelled and concentrated between the two obstructions, what could possibly go wrong?
This has shitstorm written all over it - but all in all it's academic anyway. All the Russians for example have to do is record the sound signature of this floating disaster and put it into an acoustic seeker torpedo or three - or even an acoustic seeker nuclear torpedo and that's all she wrote.
It appears to have no really effective ship-to-bigger-than-a-small-clapped-out-repurposed-fishing-smack (aka Somali pirate ship) weapons and relying on the Darings is hardly a fantastic move - they're not exactly world class themselves - have they even been fitted with weapons yet?
This isn't so much a white elephant as an albino Paralititan with chronic arthritis and apparently incontinence to boot.
I hope I'm wrong but I don't think I am - 100 years of solid experience is usually a good marker of what not to do, and every advance that's been made in the design of carriers so far has shown that the smaller any obstructions the better. Almost every successive design has had a smaller island & superstructure or in extremity none at all.
'because if you are making an approach into a carrier landing in borderline or even moderate level the very *last* thing you need is a bloody variable cross wind.'
Which is why they always turn the carrier so there isn't a cross wind.
'It'll be even more damn fun in a VTOL because as I understand it, and I might be wrong, the F35 doesn't have the same control finesse as the Harrier.'
Presumably because you're making things up? Having had a brief from Commander Air on Queen Elizabeth the F-35 can manoeuvre at low speeds in ways that would have led to the Harrier crashing, which as he's flown the latter and seen the former during trials on QE I'll take as a more reliable source.
Furious had the 18" guns - a single mounted at each end. Courageous and Glorious had a twin 15" fore and aft, the tried and tested design from the (original) QE and R classes.
IIRC (my copy of Breyer is 300 miles away) Furious was originally given a flying off deck forward with the 18" turret remaining aft, then a landing on deck aft and narrow gangways around the superstructure to move aircraft. Finally, a couple of refits later, she ended up with basically no superstructure at all.
One of them had two or 3 levels of flying off deck forward, so she could launch aircraft off the main flight deck and out of the front of the hanger (a nagging thought tells me it was actually one of the Japanese carriers which had the three levels, and Courageous and Glorious had the two).
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