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  • Liger30
    Armed Forces supporter
    • Jul 2010
    • 901

    Actually, it is what many of us, and me in first place, have been advocating and hoping for from when it become utterly clear that the original plan wasn't feasible at all.

    To build both carriers, but have a single complete airgroup that can move from carrier to carrier while one of the two hulls is unavailable. With the second carrier eventually available as a mega-LPH for Commandos as well.
    It is not optimal an arrangement, but it is by far the best one we can hope for, actually, and it would make me very happy, in particular because the cut envisaged by this article for the F35 is a cut of "just" half.
    If around 70 F35 survive the review, enough to at least fill up ONE carrier at a time, we can consider it a formidable victory for how horrible things had started going.

    It will all depend from how many F35 survive the review. It is vital to get at least enough to be able to put at sea a complete airgroup, which means having no less than 3 active squadrons of 12 planes each, and ideally four.
    That will be the vital point Fox has to reach.
    "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

    • Geoff_B
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Jul 2010
      • 507

      The Guardian article actually say cut by 69 aircraft so if thats 138 - 69 that leave 69 F-35s to make up the JCA requirement (no idea if this includes the 3 on order or not ?). So that one full airgroup for a CVF on OCU and spares.

      The Guardian also puts forward the proposal to defer PoW construction back to allow for Frigates to be built instead and then complete the when budget is more able to accomodate it and most likely additional aircraft to make up its airgroup.

      However it is the Guardian so who know how reliable their sources are, and by going off this weeks conference and news snippets it doesn't sound like that have agreed anything as yet !.

      Comment

      • Liger30
        Armed Forces supporter
        • Jul 2010
        • 901

        Hopefully, no. 69 + 3 is my hope, so that the 3 help covering the needs of the OEU or something, since we need as many as possible of the airframes acquired to provide active frontline service.

        Either way, the main target is a full airgroup (3x12) to embark when needed, plus OCU and spares of course.
        Base will still be Lossiemouth as expected, i'm guessing. I don't see a reason to change that...

        The curiosity is to see how they will be given to FAA and RAF. Ideally, i'd like a couple of Squadrons being Navy, so that we are SURE they actually go at sea, not like Harriers Gr9 always fugitive from Lusty's deck...
        But one frontline squadron of F35 has ABSOLUTELY to be the 617. I can't think of a RAF without dambusters!

        If we were so lucky to get 3 squadrons, they could be 800 and 801 NAS plus the 617 and an OCU, RAF owned as well.
        Ideally, the best would have been 4 squadrons, to distribute half and half, but there will never be enough planes to do so...

        Decisions are expected some time along this week, apparently.
        The SDSR is expected to report on 18 October, 2 days before the Spending review, to give a mild illusion of a Strategic Review not dominated utterly by the Treasury's bullying...
        Pathetic attempt, but i don't care so long as the armed forces are spared the disasters that were reported for them.

        As to being able to postpone PoW and build frigates earlier, i have to express my greatest doubts for such a scenario. I don't think it is really feasible, sincerely.
        Last edited by Liger30; 6th October 2010, 07:06.
        "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

        • Bomberboy
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Nov 2004
          • 854

          Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
          As to being able to postpone PoW and build frigates earlier, i have to express my greatest doubts for such a scenario. I don't think it is really feasible, sincerely.
          The above is in relation that It actually reports that a staggering of the carriers is to be considered, but hey didn't they already do that and as a result cost an extra billion or so.

          One way they could save money is so obvious, but nobody appears to have picked up on it.
          build them both to the originally intended programme and save a billion or so.

          Bomberboy

          Comment

          • Liger30
            Armed Forces supporter
            • Jul 2010
            • 901

            It was different back then. The shipyard received orders to slow down the work to drag the construction phase one or two years longer. Saved perhaps 400 millions in the short term, but costing over 600 in the long term...

            Now, for what i can understand, the idea was to have the shipyard build QE, then build some kind of legendary "frigate" everyone suddenly seems to want and later get back to carrier construction to build PoW.
            Weird suggestion to say the least.
            "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 Geoff_B View Post
              The Guardian article actually say cut by 69 aircraft so if thats 138 - 69 that leave 69 F-35s to make up the JCA requirement (no idea if this includes the 3 on order or not ?). So that one full airgroup for a CVF on OCU and spares.
              I strongly suspect that the Guardian got 69 by dividing 138 by 2, on the grounds that if you build one carrier rather than two, you only need half the number of aircraft.

              [edit]Ah. I see Mister Q beat me to it.

              The Guardian is not a credible source for defence-related matters. It doesn't like to employ the sort of people who know anything about defence, & therefore the people it does employ are out of their depth when they have to report on it.

              They're much better on the minutiae of benefit systems, education, NHS organisation, etc.
              Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
              Justinian

              Comment

              • nocutstoRAF
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • May 2010
                • 954

                While it might not work as an idea (splitting the build and inserting a frigate build, unless PoW is to be very different from QE) - I do not think it is fair to call it a "legendary" frigate. You have to admit that the RN lacks frigates to do the job it does now let alone do more which is what David Cameron has said on national TV is what he wants the RN to do. So we need more frigates, and we need modern frigates that cost less to run and have smaller crews. If by some miracle Liam Fox can get the budget to do this and it does not push the cost of PoW massively then I say let's go for it.
                If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                Comment

                • Geoff_B
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Jul 2010
                  • 507

                  Well the odd one is that lots of the components for CVF have been bought as a job lot and will be stored in Scotland till they are needed for assembly.

                  If they decide to put the main building of PoW back to allow the main shipyards of Goven & Portsmouth to do some Frigate work, then its quite possible the likes of Cammell Laird, Appledore & Tyneside may well continue with the PoW blocks so they are ready when the main yards are then free to start the megablocks of the main PoW hull. Afterall you can't see BAE assigning much frigate work to the smaller yards to tide them over till CVF work resumes.

                  We'll just have to wait and see what they come up with i suppose, and what Frigate design they intend to build should they postpone or cancel PoW.

                  Comment

                  • pjhydro
                    Rank 4 Registered User
                    • Apr 2009
                    • 886

                    Originally posted by swerve View Post
                    They're much better on the minutiae of benefit systems, education, NHS organisation, etc.
                    OOOO Handbags!

                    Comment

                    • Liger30
                      Armed Forces supporter
                      • Jul 2010
                      • 901

                      I totally know the RN lacks frigate. Actually, the RN lacks submarines as well, because 10 were the call for them and MAYBE they'll be 7.
                      The RN urgently lacks oil tankers.
                      A replacement for Endurance is also missing.
                      And plans for the future RFA vessels needed to ensure the fleet can work abroad are a total mess and desolation.
                      I call the frigate "legendary" because everyone talks of them, everyone wants them, the navy needs them, but no one truly believes they do exist. Again, hulls already available and with life left in them, like the Type 22 B3, are the most likely immediate candidate for the chop (rightfully so, in a cynic analysis. But does it make sense then to scrap them early and then build new ships that, cheap as they may be, inexorably will cost a lot more than keep the Type 22 to the end of their lives?)
                      And moreover, the money for them does not really exist, until there' a change in policy and someone says, "Ok. It can't be sorted out without losing this capability, that one and this one. For a few years, we are going to assign defence a billion more in the budget to cover the crisis."

                      Which won't happen, because until a war does not start, people can't see the importance of defence not even if you bash their head hard against the side of a Challenger II. In this regard, the Guardian is the greatest example of myopia in this sense, with people always advocating to end defence spending to spend it all on hospitals and schools, and bragging about how the weapon systems are expensive! 5 billions! Oh, jesus! Like the MOD paid five billions all in one go for the carriers, 16 for FRES, and so along! No one that notices ON HOW MANY FRIGGING YEARS THE ACTUAL EXPENSE IS SPREAD and how most of the MOD budget actually goes in (in order of magnitude): Paying the personnel, running CASD, and running the kit in service.

                      Also, we are talking of frigates while suggesting the build of low low-cost hulls that are effectively OPVs, nearly disarmed, at the very best maybe "fitted for but not with", which could be useful just out of Somalia but won't have the range to get there with their own legs unless oil tankers the navy DOES NOT HAVE brings them there with RASs, while being good only as "radar targets" to send ahead of the carrier and valid ships (like it was done in the Falklands to protect Hermes and Invincible) in any scenario of actual conflict.

                      I think we should all get real, starting from the guys at the NSC who are going to make the decisions for real. I can't see years passing between QE and PoW in any case: who the hell would fund the retention of the skilled workforce that will have direct experience of the built of QE, while a much reduced workforce starts assembling a new kind of frigate instead...?
                      BAe, BVT, Babcock... they are not charities. They pay their workers because their work generates money.
                      Also, if the MOD is struggling with an overspend that covers the next 10 years in the best case, how can it be feasible to build QE, then build frigates while also retaining workforce and external manufacture for PoW's future building which would eventually follow in N years time...?

                      Week in and week out, there would be people advocating to scrap plans for the second carrier, for all the frigging time, and the whole mess would end up being a waste of money until thousands of workers are inexorably put off all the same and PoW dies.

                      I just can't see it working.
                      Last edited by Liger30; 6th October 2010, 12:55.
                      "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

                        I do not want to argue with you Liger, but personally I see it differently.

                        If they are going to be able to, at no appreciable extra cost, interrupt the build of PoW and build a run of light frigates (in the same class as the La Fayette - I certainly would not be happy with a less capable hull) that keeps the yards busy, avoids the loss of skilled personnel and provides enough extra hulls to keep the RN from disappearing then I am happy.

                        Hell I would even be happy if this occurred, and PoW transformed magically into a LHD that bears no resemblance to QE (and it turned out to be the real reason for the delay, the desire to carry out an LHD study, and we ending up scrapping the what we have built of PoW so far) as the way things sounded like they where going last week the scenario of keeping the amphibious capabilities, operating 1 carrier, new light frigates, new frigates and a new LHD post 2020 sounds like a dream come true.

                        So until it is ruled out officially I am going to keep hoping there is some sense in all the newspaper articles.

                        PS I know it is impossible but if BAE licensed the La Fayette design, then by 2020 we would have a light frigate which had a range of 9000 nm at 12 knots, crew of 130, had a reasonable sensor and counter-measure fit, could carry a Lynx/Wildcat, operate a Merlin if need be, carry two RIBs, armed with medium gun, 2 x 20 mm guns, fitted with CAMM, possibly Aster 15 (the French are planning to install Aster 15), and 2 x quad Harpoon.
                        If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                        Comment

                        • Liger30
                          Armed Forces supporter
                          • Jul 2010
                          • 901

                          One can dream, i guess...

                          You know well that few would be happier than me if the sorts of the RN were to magically improve.
                          It's just that i'm... a bit more cynical and pessimist, perhaps.

                          I just hope the SDSR does not make me say i was just "realistic", later on.
                          "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 nocutstoRAF View Post
                            PS I know it is impossible but if BAE licensed the La Fayette design, ...
                            A bit late. DCNS is flogging the FM400 now. La Fayette is sooooo 20th century.
                            Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                            Justinian

                            Comment

                            • nocutstoRAF
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • May 2010
                              • 954

                              Then we should get a licence for the La Fayette really cheap
                              If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                              Comment

                              • flanker30
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Sep 2009
                                • 517

                                According to Air Forces Monthly, the Royal Navy is deploying the RFA ship Fort Victoria to the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy operations. The ship will carry a Merlin HM1 to provide route suveillance and deter and detect pirate attacks, while also providing the board-and-search capability. The helicopter can use weapons to neutralise any threat, and can carry Marines for sniping and boarding.

                                The main point is that this shows that the main vessel is primarily a platform, for helicopters and small fast boats, and remotely operated, UAVs, USVs and UUVs. Motherships, not greyhounds of the seas.

                                Comment

                                • Bomberboy
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Nov 2004
                                  • 854

                                  Originally posted by flanker30 View Post
                                  The main point is that this shows that the main vessel is primarily a platform, for helicopters and small fast boats, and remotely operated, UAVs, USVs and UUVs. Motherships, not greyhounds of the seas.
                                  What this really shows is that there aint enough appropriate RN vessels to conduct the job that they need to do in the first place.
                                  Nothing to do with it having to be a platform for helos.
                                  The fact they've got to employ a ruddy great RFA and mish mash ensemble to carry out these tasks speaks volumes and as the RFA is no 'warship' the only way to ensure that they can carry out the task is to have to use a helo, which surprisingly means that a platform is an absolute must.

                                  A warship would not necessarily be reliant on the helo in order to conduct the task sucessfully.

                                  Bomberboy

                                  Comment

                                  • swerve
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Jun 2005
                                    • 13612

                                    Originally posted by Bomberboy View Post
                                    A warship would not necessarily be reliant on the helo in order to conduct the task sucessfully.

                                    Bomberboy
                                    It would, unless it can be spread across thousands of square km of sea simultaneously. Apart from close escort of convoys through the most dangerous zones, everyone does anti-pirate ops by helicopter. Ships without them aren't thought very useful for the job.

                                    Oh, & she'll be replenishing warships while she's out there. Supply ships help the anti-piracy flotilla operate more effectively (less time wasted sailing back & forth to Mombasa or wherever), & doubling up on roles makes sense. If she's going to be there anyway, for refuelling & resupply of patrolling ships, why not use her for anti-piracy ops directly, at the same time?
                                    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                                    Justinian

                                    Comment

                                    • Geoff_B
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Jul 2010
                                      • 507

                                      Yeap Swerve is right, the replemishment mission will actually be the primary task, but whilst there she will also double up to maintain a watch for pirates.

                                      Comment

                                      • Bomberboy
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • Nov 2004
                                        • 854

                                        Originally posted by swerve View Post
                                        It would, unless it can be spread across thousands of square km of sea simultaneously. Apart from close escort of convoys through the most dangerous zones, everyone does anti-pirate ops by helicopter. Ships without them aren't thought very useful for the job.
                                        I didn't say they are not useful, I did'nt say that helos are not an integral part of the job.
                                        I merely stated that anti piracy can be conducted without them whether on a limited basis or not and you give an example of where they can be deployed without them.
                                        Even a helo can cover only a certain amount of square miles at any one time and sometimes the conditions will prevail them from being used at all.
                                        The ship on the other hand does not.

                                        Originally posted by swerve View Post
                                        Oh, & she'll be replenishing warships while she's out there. Supply ships help the anti-piracy flotilla operate more effectively (less time wasted sailing back & forth to Mombasa or wherever), & doubling up on roles makes sense. If she's going to be there anyway, for refuelling & resupply of patrolling ships, why not use her for anti-piracy ops directly, at the same time?
                                        I am aware and had already considered what you say, but where she is so engaged in keeping everybody fuelled up and resupplying, etc etc, then she is not conducting the role that she has necessarily been reported as being sent for which was the reason for flanker 30's posting!
                                        She's actually spending the time doing what her primary role is, is she not?

                                        The emphasis of the posting as I see it by flanker 30 was to intimate that this was the way to go and what I percieved he was suggesting was forget with sharpend warships ("not greyhounds of the sea").
                                        It does show though that those that make the decisions about what ship goes where are still finding it more and more difficult to cover their obligations or whatever with fewer and fewer hard fast warships and I don't necessarily believe that some kind of slow cumbersome 'mothership' with a few small fast boats and a helo or even two is any kind of absolute/appropriate replacement for what we really need.
                                        They have their uses, but they are no substitute.

                                        I'm sure that the vaguries of 'one-size fits all' vessels has been well and truly debated here before and not to a sucessful conclusion and I see this as another of those.

                                        But hey in the end perhaps I know nothing as there are many on here that know it all!

                                        Bomberboy

                                        Comment

                                        • Bomberboy
                                          Rank 5 Registered User
                                          • Nov 2004
                                          • 854

                                          Originally posted by Geoff_B View Post
                                          Yeap Swerve is right, the replemishment mission will actually be the primary task, but whilst there she will also double up to maintain a watch for pirates.
                                          See my previous posting ref the reported primary role as originally posted by flanker 30 and his simple conclusion about what ships the navy should and should not now be aquiring.

                                          Bomberboy

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