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  • Liger30
    Armed Forces supporter
    • Jul 2010
    • 901

    Venezuela will present a permanent threat from the air (not including submarines or surface ships) to Queen Elizabeth which is so great, even when there is no war, threat of war, or even international tension, that it will be too dangerous for QE to venture outside British home waters. That idea is ridiculous.
    That idea is certainly ridiculous and i never sustained it, you'll find. Mine is a totally different argument, against always undervaluing the capabilities of the others and thus playing always down the limits of equipment and tactics.
    That is a dangerous game, mostly political, that serves to justify giving less and less money to the armed forces with every year that passes. A dangerous game that has to finish as soon as possible. Was it to finish right now, it would already be late.
    "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

    Comment

    • Distiller
      Talent on Loan from God
      • Oct 2003
      • 4760

      Originally posted by nocutstoRAF View Post
      I think that the emergent arms race in South American might see an ambition for certain countries to field large LHD or small carriers with new build Harriers.

      While I am not saying that Israel will buy Harriers, but they have stated they might consider the F-35B to allow them to disperse them to FOB's, a option which they must have developed in response to Iran. If this holds true for Israel then it must hold true to a lesser extent to other Middle Eastern countries and they are unlikely to be sold F-35B's but they might also like the ability to disperse fighters to FOB in the event that their air fields are damaged.

      I do not think India will buy new Harriers as they invested too much in LCA (N) and want to move away from STOL's, and I cannot say if other Asian countries might not also see the value of LHD's carrying Harriers - but if the price was right I guess they might be interested.

      Are you sure you're not calling for a new production run of Skyhawks?

      There sure would be a market for light naval subsonic strikefighter. Like a navalized M346 or Hongdu L-15. To be operated off STOBAR carriers of the 30.000 tons range, straight-deck style. Good for anyone who wants some aviation capability at sea, also for long-range UAV.
      "Distiller ... arrogant, ruthless, and by all reports (including his own) utterly charming"

      Comment

      • nocutstoRAF
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • May 2010
        • 954

        I love to see new carrier based light strike aircraft, I look forward to LCA (N) Mk II with a new engine becoming all that it promised but so far failed to deliver - I think Skyhawks are a timeless design! But then I also want to resurrect Skyraider for COIN!
        If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

        Comment

        • DaveF68
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Jun 2004
          • 1791

          Originally posted by nocutstoRAF View Post
          The reason I asked is, beyond a study which appears to be in excess of 20 years ago no-one appears to have looked at the possibility of new build Harriers for a while, and it seems timely to look at it again. .......For example if the USMC was to accept that they will not get F-35B's in service by 2012 they could order a small number of new Harriers to replace some of the older Harriers reaching the end of their service lives, likewise if UK follows the "road map" as laid out in the editorial on Navy
          .
          The sheer cost of restarting Harrier production would rule that out surely? Having to re-establish one, let alone two, production facilities, order long-lead time items, produced in a much smaller production batch than originally and re-skill the workforce would make a small batch prohibitively expensive, let alone any 'improvements' in technology since the 90s.

          The Sea Harrier died because upgrading it to do what we needed it to do in the 2010s was too expensive; A replacement batch of Harriers would be even more so. It's a niche aircraft, that's why it didn't have a great export sales in the first place.

          Comment

          • Jonesy
            Neo-conversative
            • Jan 2000
            • 5097

            Liger

            Why worry about SAM then? Why the US is so touchy when S300 batteries get exported? Why the military planners (that hopefully know more than me and you combined) take the presence of SAMs in extremely high regard?
            I dont think you have quite the right idea about SAMs there?. A capable SAM system increases the forces needed to service your target list in a strike plan. They are therefore not welcome things to see in any potential opponents inventory. They are not things that are especially worrisome or disproportionately regarded by anyone.

            Mine is a totally different argument, against always undervaluing the capabilities of the others and thus playing always down the limits of equipment and tactics
            Underestimating capabilities is dangerous, but, over-estimating them is plain stupidity. The completion of a thorough threat-reduction exercise is the first step in any offensive move and a few batteries of SAM's will feature in that exercise, but, nothing more than that.

            The general point is whether an opponent could use the perceived 'weakness' of British military capability, caused by the lack of a radar/BVR fighter on the CVF's to take advantage!. To say this, when the UK military for several years has been stretched near to an absurd degree by concurrent deployments in Afghanstan and Iraq and no opponent has taken advantage of the situation is simply ignorant of reality. The idea that the opponent could wait til CVF was deployed in order to 'bag' a cheap supercarrier kill is just simply a bizarre comment!.

            Distller

            The question of "fleet carrier" vs. "strike carrier" is really artificial. With only two carriers available they will do any job a carrier is needed for. Politics will not make the fine distinction of what job they carriers have originally been "thought for". The will say we spent x billion on the stuff, now go and perform.
            You can always try to misuse a weapon, but, you cant ask a carrier incapable of a task to try and do it. Lesson 1 that came out of the Falklands. People try and say 'ah but the CVS did a strike job down south' which was hardly the true story. The CVS acted as AAWCS flying off SHAR CAP pairs and Hermes did most of the high sortie rate strike work.

            Carrier Strike has no blue water sea control element - its that simple. If it did we'd be building PA2 now. The definition is specific. Frankly its one of the best pieces of original thought I can recall coming out of Whitehall. Build a ship to the requirement of the day with the clear margin left for development as the threat environment develops. I cant see a blue water threat anywhere for a decade that our SSN's cant cope with...why spend the extra for Fleet Carrier capability?.
            Last edited by Jonesy; 17th September 2010, 11:24.

            Comment

            • swerve
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Jun 2005
              • 13612

              Originally posted by nocutstoRAF View Post
              I think that the emergent arms race in South American might see an ambition for certain countries to field large LHD or small carriers with new build Harriers. .
              Who?

              Peru has such vast naval ambitions that it's just replaced old US landing ships with - not quite so old US landing ships.

              Chile is in the market for a smallish LPD, probably an Enforcer 8000 or similar. LHDs? Carriers? No chance.

              Argentina? Might be interested, but we wouldn't sell.

              Venezuela? Similar problem.

              Brazil? Wants proper carriers.

              Colombia? Nowhere near the budget, nor the naval ambitions.

              Mexico? Not involved in any arms race with anyone. Navy is for EEZ protection.

              Everyone else? Too small & too poor.

              You see? Once you look in detail, the possible market disappears.
              Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
              Justinian

              Comment

              • Geoff_B
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Jul 2010
                • 507

                Argentina? Might be interested, but we wouldn't sell.

                Venezuela? Similar problem.

                Brazil? Wants proper carriers.
                Argentina is supposed to be getting the the French Foudre assault ship as some point in the near future and has just bought a pair of Mil Mi-17s for its Antartic flight.

                Venezuela - Thankfully the Russian ship building industry is still limited, but Chavez did get their new patrol ships from Spain so always possible if they had the money they could buy something larger. However isn't Venezuela military stature more one of defence so they could fight off a US attack for whatever reason ?

                Brazil - In the BAE press release promoting a tie up with the Brazillian Navy, as well as the Type 26 and OPV, there was mention of Carrier technology !

                Comment

                • flanker30
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Sep 2009
                  • 517

                  Originally posted by Distiller View Post
                  Are you sure you're not calling for a new production run of Skyhawks?

                  There sure would be a market for light naval subsonic strikefighter. Like a navalized M346 or Hongdu L-15. To be operated off STOBAR carriers of the 30.000 tons range, straight-deck style. Good for anyone who wants some aviation capability at sea, also for long-range UAV.
                  Sea Gripen?

                  Comment

                  • nocutstoRAF
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • May 2010
                    • 954

                    Originally posted by swerve View Post
                    Who?

                    Brazil? Wants proper carriers.
                    I will concede defeat, I would have expected that Brazil's plan's to expand its Navy would be raising tensions and military budgets all across South America.

                    Still it will be intresting to see how Brazil moves forward, and what the impact is in the future on the region.
                    If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                    Comment

                    • swerve
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Jun 2005
                      • 13612

                      Originally posted by Geoff_B View Post
                      Argentina is supposed to be getting the the French Foudre assault ship as some point in the near future ...
                      Argentina turned down the older French LPDs when they were retired. The French have offered Foudre, but the Argentineans don't seem very interested. They're asking for help to build their own new one.

                      Story from Infodefensa.com

                      Originally posted by nocutstoRAF View Post
                      I will concede defeat, I would have expected that Brazil's plan's to expand its Navy would be raising tensions and military budgets all across South America.

                      Still it will be intresting to see how Brazil moves forward, and what the impact is in the future on the region.
                      Brazils naval expansion isn't aimed at its neighbours. They might be scared if Brazil was expanding its army & air force, but probably not. Brazil has no territorial ambitions. Why would it? It has lots of territory. Its historical problem has been occupying & governing what it has, & it has no interest in acquiring unwilling Spanish-speaking citizens.

                      Also, none of the neighbours could win an arms race with Brazil, & they know it. Would Mexico or Canada engage in an arms race with the USA?

                      The navy is wanted to protect its EEZ, which is vast & now, with all that oil, very valuable, & to extend its influence further afield. Some of it's a matter of pride, some a desire to be able to protect its own trade routes, rather than being completely dependent on foreigners (the RN at one time, then the USN) to keep the seas open for Brazilian trade.
                      Last edited by swerve; 17th September 2010, 12:22.
                      Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                      Justinian

                      Comment

                      • RVFHarrier
                        Rank 3 Registered User
                        • May 2010
                        • 105

                        The Foudre isn't that old is it? How come the French are trying to get rid of it?

                        Comment

                        • Liger30
                          Armed Forces supporter
                          • Jul 2010
                          • 901

                          A long awaited news finally confirmed:
                          http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-for-f-35.html
                          The Meteor will fit inside the F35B bays.

                          MBDA has revealed a slightly modified Meteor that would allow four of the beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles to be stored inside the Lockheed Martin F-35.

                          A miniature Meteor mock-up featuring four clipped fins appeared for the first time in the company's display at the Air Force Association's Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington DC.

                          The missile's total fin area is reduced by roughly 20% compared with the original design, says Rob Thornley, MBDA sales and business development executive. The new shape allows the Meteors to squeeze into the space designed to house four Raytheon AIM-120C7 AMRAAMs.
                          There's also confirmation that for now no one has funded integration of the missile with the plane, but MBDA is going to propose it again for Block 5 production F35s, and we can expect that at some point the RAF/RN and Italy as well will fund (hopefully collaboratively) the work of integration since both aim to replace fully the AMRAAM in their arsenals with the Meteor missile.

                          There's also indication that the F35 in air to air fighter role could be fitted with 6 AMRAAM/Meteors.

                          Lockheed has previously shown off a modified weapons bay door that creates enough room to store as many as six AMRAAMs.
                          While MBDA was reported in the past to be considering exploiting the Meteor airframe and performances to develop an air-to-ground anti-radar derivative missile.
                          Was this idea to be confirmed and pursued, it may be the best choice for the RAF to replace the ALARM missile.

                          An anti-radar missile is still and always a vital capability, and an anti-radar missile that fits INSIDE the weapon bay of your stealth fighter makes twice as much sense.

                          Not much point in designing a stealth fighter, with the costs of this capability, if you are forced to fly it with HARM hanging from the wings and ruining your low RCS, after all.

                          I guess the future RAF choise will be either AARGM88 or this possible Meteor derivative.
                          France (and ideally Germany too) should hopefully take part in the development work for the second, ideally.
                          "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

                          Comment

                          • swerve
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Jun 2005
                            • 13612

                            Originally posted by RVFHarrier View Post
                            The Foudre isn't that old is it? How come the French are trying to get rid of it?
                            In commission 20 years, so no, not that old. I think it's a financial move.

                            The MN would probably rather keep her. She & Siroco have huge docks, & complement the LHDs rather well. I hope for the sake of the MN that they keep both. That would enable them to have one LPD & one LHD in general service at any time, plus an LHD doing the training role of the old Jeanne d'Arc. They could reduce operational costs by keeping one of each mothballed.
                            Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                            Justinian

                            Comment

                            • Liger30
                              Armed Forces supporter
                              • Jul 2010
                              • 901

                              Also, they are the "allies that could do what the RN can't do"...

                              Ops, they are cutting amphibis as well!

                              (moment of weird silence)

                              And now...?

                              Sorry, but i couldn't help it.
                              "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

                              Comment

                              • Colombamike
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Nov 2009
                                • 130

                                Originally posted by swerve View Post
                                In commission 20 years, so no, not that old. I think it's a financial move. The MN would probably rather keep her. She & Siroco have huge docks, & complement the LHDs rather well. I hope for the sake of the MN that they keep both. That would enable them to have one LPD & one LHD in general service at any time, plus an LHD doing the training role of the old Jeanne d'Arc. They could reduce operational costs by keeping one of each mothballed.
                                Hmmm...
                                The Foudre/Siroco class were more expensive to operate (220 crew versus 160 for a Mistral LHD) and lack full flight deck.
                                The most ageing ship (Foudre) is expected to be retired soon as the third BPC (Dixmude) enter in service (around late 2012).
                                For "Sirocco", the answer is more difficult because this ship is more younger (1998).
                                Tentatively, the french navy, to reduce operationnal cost, will be tempted to sold both ship at a another navy (maybe Argentine or ?Brazil? or Portugal or a south east asiatic navy ?)
                                Visit my blog on news about all combat fleet of the world !
                                http://combatfleetoftheworld.blogspot.com/

                                Comment

                                • RVFHarrier
                                  Rank 3 Registered User
                                  • May 2010
                                  • 105

                                  Indeed the French Navy seems to be having largely the same problems as the RN right now, Sarkozy made it quite clear early on that the Navy was too big and too expensive and now the effects are being felt not only in France but potentially in the UK too.

                                  PA2's future is very uncertain; instead of the Mistrals expanding an amphibious capabilty that was really too small for a navy of the MN's callibre, they could well just be replacing the Foudres; the Horizons limited to just two, even if the UK's departure from the programme was the main underlying cause; FREMM figures being cut to just 11 from an original 17 and no real sign of any good news unfortunately.

                                  Just goes to show that France is in the same boat (heh) as us when it comes to cuts to the Navy and it also highlights the ever present and increasingly viable option of cooperation between the RN and MN to make up for eachother's shortcomings.

                                  Comment

                                  • Liger30
                                    Armed Forces supporter
                                    • Jul 2010
                                    • 901

                                    Cutting on exactly the same things (aka: amphibious capability and more generally numbers of hulls available and even more generally cutting defence budget) might be what they consider cooperation, it makes you wonder...
                                    "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

                                    Comment

                                    • kev 99
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Aug 2008
                                      • 1535

                                      Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
                                      A long awaited news finally confirmed:
                                      http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-for-f-35.html
                                      The Meteor will fit inside the F35B bays.



                                      There's also confirmation that for now no one has funded integration of the missile with the plane, but MBDA is going to propose it again for Block 5 production F35s, and we can expect that at some point the RAF/RN and Italy as well will fund (hopefully collaboratively) the work of integration since both aim to replace fully the AMRAAM in their arsenals with the Meteor missile.

                                      There's also indication that the F35 in air to air fighter role could be fitted with 6 AMRAAM/Meteors.



                                      While MBDA was reported in the past to be considering exploiting the Meteor airframe and performances to develop an air-to-ground anti-radar derivative missile.
                                      Was this idea to be confirmed and pursued, it may be the best choice for the RAF to replace the ALARM missile.

                                      An anti-radar missile is still and always a vital capability, and an anti-radar missile that fits INSIDE the weapon bay of your stealth fighter makes twice as much sense.

                                      Not much point in designing a stealth fighter, with the costs of this capability, if you are forced to fly it with HARM hanging from the wings and ruining your low RCS, after all.

                                      I guess the future RAF choise will be either AARGM88 or this possible Meteor derivative.
                                      France (and ideally Germany too) should hopefully take part in the development work for the second, ideally.
                                      Any news on whether it will fit in the F35B though? I've seen speculation on a few forums that this new version won't fit the B variant.

                                      Comment

                                      • Liger30
                                        Armed Forces supporter
                                        • Jul 2010
                                        • 901

                                        It fits inside the F35B: the whole point of this research was that with the original wings, the missile could have fit only on the Air-to-Ground station in the weapon bay, but not on the designed Air-to-Air pylon of the F35B because of the smaller weapon bay. Other F35 versions, the A and C both, i believe had no problems at all.
                                        Now, with the wings reduced, the Meteor can be fitted on all four the pylons in the weapon bays (six with the Lockeed Martin proposed configuration), or just in place of AMRAAM/ASRAAM in the designed AA places, so that the two AG stations can carry a couple of Paveway IV. I expect the ASRAAM+Paveway IV combination to be the first standard load for the UK F35, with Meteor being available later on when the RN/RAF find the money to integrate the missile.

                                        Anyway, from the very start it was mostly only a problem of wings and air intake for the ramjet: other than these factors, the Meteor has been designed to adapt to the AMRAAM designed pylons, inclused the fuselage attach points of the Typhoon. So it is roughly the same size.
                                        Last edited by Liger30; 17th September 2010, 15:48.
                                        "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

                                        Comment

                                        • nocutstoRAF
                                          Rank 5 Registered User
                                          • May 2010
                                          • 954

                                          Originally posted by swerve View Post
                                          Brazils naval expansion isn't aimed at its neighbours. They might be scared if Brazil was expanding its army & air force, but probably not. Brazil has no territorial ambitions.
                                          The navy is wanted to protect its EEZ, which is vast & now, with all that oil, very valuable, & to extend its influence further afield.
                                          Okay - but would expect some reaction from other countries in the region as Brazil edges to a modern navy with home built CATOBAR carrier with 24 Rafale M (as a best guess as the F-X2 competition is still on-going), which appears to be Brazil's long term strategy, even if the only reactions are to try to try to acquire fairly modern air defence destroyer's.
                                          If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                                          Comment

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