Aircraft Carriers III

Discussion in 'World Armed Forces' started by Jeff Head, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. Obi Wan Russell
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    Obi Wan Russell Jedi Master
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    I knew I'd jinx it by opening my mouth!

    My upcoming 'event' has been put back to August as the person who was to act as our guide/escort has fallen ill! Still as the weather is currently so damned hot and humid here in the UK there's a chance we'd all wilt in the heat, so perhaps the weather will be a bit better in a few weeks...
     
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  2. Intrepid
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    Yes, I remember:
    :)
     
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  3. Jura
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    in case you didn't know,
    Italian aircraft carrier Cavour docks for F-35B upgrades https://navaltoday.com/2019/07/24/italian-aircraft-carrier-cavour-docks-for-f-35b-upgrades/
     
  4. Obi Wan Russell
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    Obi Wan Russell Jedi Master
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    Some close up shots of HMS Prince Of Wales' new badge on the aft island:
    67185602_620479588356489_4027854758646644736_n.jpg 67366406_620479628356485_1221383150161100800_n.jpg 67819778_620479661689815_302104954468827136_n.jpg 67556368_620479698356478_7288343004895510528_n.jpg
     
  5. Obi Wan Russell
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    Obi Wan Russell Jedi Master
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    An article written by a good friend of mine on FB, reproduced with permission. Couldn't have put it better myself:

    QE CLASS AIR GROUPS & ROLE CONFIGURATIONS – UK JOINT AND TAILORED FLEXIBILITY

    The QE class carriers are often directly compared on other media or FB sites to the USN CVN carriers or those in build in China. That’s understandable to a degree but it many ways it’s a pointless exercise - here’s why….

    Most significantly these 2 new RN carriers were designed and procured to provide the UK with its own discrete ability to project air power from the sea for a variety of roles and not as a direct equivalent to the USN and its very expensive nuclear powered carriers and how they fit into that superpower’s maritime dominance strategy and used primarily in the air defence, nuclear strike and land attack roles. The UK has its own sovereign tasks for its carriers but they are often of a more restrained intent than those the USN CVN’s are expected to encompass, and are aligned with the UK’s defence policy objectives and its role and likely tasks in the world these days. Looking at and comparing the number of aircraft aboard each type is therefore of limited value. Often the QE class will be used on operations in an allied response and its size and state of the art capability were specified to ensure it could at least be a potent capital flag ship in such a substitute and allied situation.

    The UK while looking to provide that state of the art strike carrier capability from the QE class has never intended they offer an exact equivalent capability and capacity as the USN Nimitz or new Ford CVN classes. It was the intention however, to offer a quantum increase over the now scrapped and small Invincible CVS carriers which gave the UK an often too small power projection capacity in many situations. The very large QE class however, provide a sustainable air operations weight of effort, survivability and precision firepower and air defence that could be considered a reasonable substitute for our closet ally’s CVN’s in most circumstances. In some ways they represent better capability given some aspects of their design,

    The specific sovereign national tasks for the UK’s new carrier force given their role in providing worldwide maritime based conventional power projection are: Deterrence, Coercion, Intelligence gathering, Joint Service Command Facilities, Precision Proportional or Peer on Peer Attack, Fleet or Theatre Air Defence, Air Assault (Literal Manoeuvre), Protected Evacuation and Disaster Relief including hospital capability.

    To do this each QE carrier is provides over 4 acres of UK sovereign flight deck territory that can stand off in international waters for a considerable period, and is not reliant on political agreements from allies or neutral countries to provide airfield facilities. Furthermore, by operating suitable aircraft from each of the 3 UK services (FAA, AAC & RAF) the greatest flexibility exists to tailor the types and their numbers within an air group for the specific missions and weight of effort applicable to the deployment and operation at any given time. This is a very different concept of employment (ConEmp) to any other aircraft carrier operator. It also reflects the accumulation of experience by the UK in over 30 years of developing similar styles of flexible and joint service tailored air group ops using the Invincible class and HMS Ocean. The QE class and their much greater space provide the significant size and air group capacity increase however that in most situations will provide overwhelming combat power and sustainability to achieve operational goals and mission success. This is significant too in terms of the UK's military standing and perceived ability to act.

    That all said the 10 year UK CEPP Transition-In plan is initially focussed on ensuring the UK can generate and operate a QE class carrier configured for the Strike role. The phased clearance and incrementally increasing air wing deployments are designed to do exactly that. Concurrently other aircraft (helicopter) types have also been cleared for safe operation to ensure the QE class can be deployed in the full Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH) litteral assault role should that be required instead or the 2nd ship working within the same UK Carrier Strike and Assault Group. Ultimately whether for training, exercising or operational deployments then some permutation between either Strike or LPH configuration may often be used. So fixating on one role configuration or another and counting aircraft as though there will always be such a regular standard will be pointless.

    To operate a mixed air wing originating from the 3 UK service air arms is in itself no mean feat and a testament to the many years of joint development and deployment that have ensured techniques, common procedures and readiness requirements have been developed. No other nation can deliver such a flexible and adaptable joint capability from its carriers or LPHs.

    The 2 graphics displayed below on this thread therefore show the RN’s “standard” air wings they believe will be deployed when a QE carrier is either in Strike or LPH/Assault configuration. Take this a as guide for such roles as surely on many occasions this aircraft type mix may vary. Note the size of the QE class ensures in either configuration can carry around 40-50 aircraft as standard. Unlike the CVS there will be few if no constraints in carting the varied mix of types and roles to ensure maximum air power capability. Indeed note that even in LPH/Assault manoeuvre mode the assault helicopter fleet will also be joined by both a flight of Crowsnest ASAC Merlins and a sqn of ASW Merlin helicopters, Such was simply not possible on board HMS Ocean or the Invincible class.

    Expect too in the next few years to see an initial deployment with a strike wing with 36 F35Bs and the relevant Merlin ASW, ASAC and CHF aircraft numbers

    Ultimately this joint tailored approach to QE class air wing provision will ensure the UK has maximum flexibility to get the best out of its QE carriers in any operational situation be it Sovereign or Allied. 67377240_10156245250996481_4532403512008507392_o.jpg 67333520_10156245251986481_2717219413525790720_n.jpg
     
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  6. Jura
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    how is the leek three weeks laters, still there?
     
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  7. Obi Wan Russell
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    Obi Wan Russell Jedi Master
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    Apparently it was requisitioned by the ship's catering staff for a soup...
     
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  8. Jura
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    should be "littoral" (mistyped as "litteral") here; would be a nonsensical use of a giant vessel if you asked me
     
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  9. Jura
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  10. Obi Wan Russell
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    It seems everyone assumes that in the LPH role the ship will drop anchor a couple of hundred yards offshore from the landing beaches, where she can be shot at with AK-47s and pistols.

    No.

    A QEC operating in the LPH role will be well out to sea, over the horizon in fact. Helicopters have a very reasonable range, and the ship will still have a full task force with defensive vessels and at least a single sqn of Lightnings embarked backed by Crowsnest and the Merlin ASW force. It is a core role for the QECs and they will absolutely not be used as defenceless barges to be picked off from the shore. They will remain out of sight and out of reach of the enemies forces, as much as any Navy can, which also explains why no landing craft are carried as with her predecessors in the role such as HMS Ocean and the previous generations LPHs like HMS Hermes, Albion and Bulwark.
     
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