CVF Construction

Profile picture for user kev 99

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11 years 3 months

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Rumours have been persistent that there were still problems with MRA4, it wouldn't surprise me if they was some truth in it. Shame really but for a little more vision and a little less penny pinching from the Treasury we could have had the world class MPA+ that new builds would have given us.

Profile picture for user mrmalaya

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9 years 11 months

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Conscious that we are off topic (is there a better place to discuss this?) but I don't buy the palletised Stormshadow option.

Is that any more than an early 90s AVPRO illustration? I mean has anyone done any practical work on that since it was first mooted over 15 years ago?

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9 years 4 months

Posts: 507

Back on topic, the two parts of lower block 5 set off on their barge yesterday from Portsmouth, i bet that wasn't a fun start to the trip as the weather was rough and sea very choppy.

Trouble is block 5 will sail up to Rosyth this week, be unloaded and and then sit on the dock till next year when they are due to to be fitted.

At the end of May LB02 is also due to be loaded onto a barge and shipped North. Now June could be interesting as Super block 03 is undocked to allow LB02 to be docked and then they can join the blocks together and start building up what is in effect the front half of the ship.:D

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9 years 11 months

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A question.

Is the high cost of CATOBAR conversion certain to knock the second carrier on the head? Its logical that the extra billion (s) puts the whole thing under much more pressure, but we have no definitive statement yet.

Equally, does going for the B definitely make 2 operational carriers more likely? Or is that just theoretical?

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9 years 4 months

Posts: 507

A question.

Is the high cost of CATOBAR conversion certain to knock the second carrier on the head? Its logical that the extra billion (s) puts the whole thing under much more pressure, but we have no definitive statement yet.

Equally, does going for the B definitely make 2 operational carriers more likely? Or is that just theoretical?

Hard to say on the first as we don't know what that figure actually is and how's it broken down. As to knocking the 2nd Carrier conversion on its head, not really if they decided their is a need then they will convert it, the ship exists its being built but i suspect they will defer that choice to either the next SDSR or the even the SDSR 2020.

Its theoretical, in theory we could field 2 STOVL CVF should we ever have the crews and the 72 available F-35Bs with pilots and ground crew. Planning however is set for just one to be operational at any one time and to be honest thats how they were always going to be run, just like the Invincibles and just like the Assault ships.

Plus by the time we would actually have more than 72 F-35s (if orders ever get that far) then it will be towards the end of the next decade. Therefore in theory should the 2nd carrier be Converted to catobar, then it too would be available by the time we actually got the aircraft to enable operations from both carriers.

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9 years 11 months

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Which brings us back to the concept of buying F35B now (so they can say we will get the carriers earlier and it will cost less- the leak about 1.8billion conversion costs softens us up to the idea that the "ideal solution" is too expensive right now).

And then looking to convert if need be in the future. Its more consistent with the original plan and less politically damaging.

But you can always go with the John_K argument that a delayed conversion is one which will never take place.

I think the first idea will be what happens IMHO.

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11 years 10 months

Posts: 334

A question.

Is the high cost of CATOBAR conversion certain to knock the second carrier on the head? Its logical that the extra billion (s) puts the whole thing under much more pressure, but we have no definitive statement yet.

Equally, does going for the B definitely make 2 operational carriers more likely? Or is that just theoretical?

The decision on conversion/future of the first carrier will not be made until after the next defence review in 2015.

My understanding is that even under the current situation both carriers will be commissioned with the second being fitted CATOBAR. The first carrier will go into a state of extended readiness after the second carrier (CATOBAR) is in service and that they then will continue to cycle with one being extended readiness while the other is available. So how I see it is that this still would be the case if we went with STOVL for both carriers, meaning that at all times a carrier capable of operating fixed wing aircraft would be available at all times.

[EDIT] Hence my support for STOVL

Profile picture for user Obi Wan Russell

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13 years 1 month

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Which brings us back to the concept of buying F35B now (so they can say we will get the carriers earlier and it will cost less- the leak about 1.8billion conversion costs softens us up to the idea that the "ideal solution" is too expensive right now).

And then looking to convert if need be in the future. Its more consistent with the original plan and less politically damaging.

But you can always go with the John_K argument that a delayed conversion is one which will never take place.

I think the first idea will be what happens IMHO.

£1.8Billion is the cost of converting BOTH ships, not one. The differnce in the purchase price between the F-35B and 'C means that buying 50 'Cs saves enough money to cover the conversion of one carrier. Buy another fifty Cs and you can pay for the second to be converted. Going STOVL is most certainly not the cheaper option...;)

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9 years 4 months

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The decision on conversion/future of the first carrier will not be made until after the next defence review in 2015.

My understanding is that even under the current situation both carriers will be commissioned with the second being fitted CATOBAR. The first carrier will go into a state of extended readiness after the second carrier (CATOBAR) is in service and that they then will continue to cycle with one being extended readiness while the other is available. So how I see it is that this still would be the case if we went with STOVL for both carriers, meaning that at all times a carrier capable of operating fixed wing aircraft would be available at all times.

[EDIT] Hence my support for STOVL

Becuase we have only planned for 1 operational carrier and have set the manpower levels in accordance with Future Force 2020 (Lusty & Oceans crew will go into doing QE sea trials and training before switching over to join PoW when she's ready.

Trying looking to see how the Assault ships are operated or the Invincibles when we had 3. Factor in the aircraft availability and you know it aint going to happen and we certainly will be lucky to fill one CVF in the next 18 years let alone 2 !!

Profile picture for user F/A-18RN

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A question.

Is the high cost of CATOBAR conversion certain to knock the second carrier on the head? Its logical that the extra billion (s) puts the whole thing under much more pressure, but we have no definitive statement yet.

Equally, does going for the B definitely make 2 operational carriers more likely? Or is that just theoretical?

Correct me if I'm wrong but I intepreted mrmalaya's query as being whether both CVFs would be more likely to be equipped to operate the F-35 is we reverted to STOVL or whether HMS Queen Elizabeth would not receive a ski jump and either remain in mothballs or be used for helo-only ops as opposed to whether both ships would be operational at sea simultaneously if we went STOVL instead of CATOBAR.

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11 years 10 months

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Becuase we have only planned for 1 operational carrier and have set the manpower levels in accordance with Future Force 2020 (Lusty & Oceans crew will go into doing QE sea trials and training before switching over to join PoW when she's ready.

Trying looking to see how the Assault ships are operated or the Invincibles when we had 3. Factor in the aircraft availability and you know it aint going to happen and we certainly will be lucky to fill one CVF in the next 18 years let alone 2 !!

I’m well aware of this that is why I said one will be in extended readiness while the other is not. By two operational carriers I interpreted this as two carriers capable of operating F35 meaning that at least one carrier capable of fixed wing operations would be available at any one time where as if we converted just one to CATOBAR then this would not be the case. Hence why I said if we went with STOVL we would have two operational carriers. I hope this clarifies any confusion.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I intepreted mrmalaya's query as being whether both CVFs would be more likely to be equipped to operate the F-35 is we reverted to STOVL or whether HMS Queen Elizabeth would not receive a ski jump and either remain in mothballs or be used for helo-only ops as opposed to whether both ships would be operational at sea simultaneously if we went STOVL instead of CATOBAR.

This is how interpreted his question.

Profile picture for user mrmalaya

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9 years 11 months

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quite right gents. I am not talking about logic but political spin.

If the government can demonstrate that getting the B will save 1.8 billion and secure the second carrier then it is better for them.

As things stand, 2015 is not far enough away for us to say the economic picture will allow another 1.8billion to be spent up front for a capability we may get ten years later.

In essence, I wondered if the government can say to the public,

"We wanted to get the C because it was longer ranged and would allow the US to use our carriers" (which is nice for them), "but its too expensive to do so now, so we will go for the B and guarantee a second carrier (contrary to what we said in the SDSR)with the savings."

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12 years

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A bit of a back to basics question here based on CATOBAR design ...

Given that the QE is being built in sections around the country, and brought to Rosyth.

Have the sections where the EMALs internal bits (not the rail or shuttle), been built yet? If these parts were ordered now, could they be incorporated still at this stage without having the tear what's already built apart.

Presumably if PoW is going to have EMALs the internal bits will be included at whichever shipyard is building that section, as I've read that sections are actually being fitted out for purpose before being transported to Rosyth.

Having said that, hasn't work already started on PoW at some sites, that have already completed their QE sections?

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9 years 4 months

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The Upper block sectiosn for QE are either being built or in the case of Block 3 already fitted as part of Super Block 3.

For QE to be fitted with CATOBAR they would complete the ship and then back fit the hardware.

Yes they have started PoW blocks but these are currently the lower blocks, thats whay the issue is coming to point now as the funding is needed in this next year to action the new design before those upper block construction order starts.

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11 years 10 months

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It has been confirmed that the first carrier will be completed in original STOVL form including the ramp. At the moment once the designs are done and the decision has been made to stick with CATOBAR then the second carrier will be completed in CATOBAR form.

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10 years 1 month

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It has been confirmed that the first carrier will be completed in original STOVL form including the ramp. At the moment once the designs are done and the decision has been made to stick with CATOBAR then the second carrier will be completed in CATOBAR form.

Really - must have missed this - is this something new?? If so, and they are adding back the ramp, must surely indicate a change of plan. The only post SDSR announcements I can find categorically state that QE will be completed to the original form but WITHOUT the ramp. Its even confirmed in the programme directors blog. Have we a source?

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9 years 4 months

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Yeap last i saw was the contract adjustment to remove the the Ski jump ramp from the original contract in the MOD procurement in-house mag. Not seen anything to say that contract had been cancelled.

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8 years 3 months

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Well according to AIS the next blocks have arrived in the firth of forth and are now stopped, presumably waiting for the tide, before she goes under the bridge.

Unfortunately the local webcams are blocked by IT here. Anyone fancy taking a snapshot as she goes under the bridge (or is near)?

I think a webcam can be found at

http://www.ukwebcameras.co.uk/Bridge-Webcam/1000130.html

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10 years 1 month

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It has been confirmed that the first carrier will be completed in original STOVL form including the ramp. At the moment once the designs are done and the decision has been made to stick with CATOBAR then the second carrier will be completed in CATOBAR form.

Well this from Wednesday's Portsmouth News, a quote from Hammond (you know..the bloke whos'e rumoured to be the Defence Sec after we lost Dr Fox :()

Mr Hammond said: ‘Clearly, fitting cats and traps to one carrier is an expensive proposition. Retrofitting them to Queen Elizabeth would be a more expensive proposition and that’s one of the issues we’ve got to take in to account.’

I actually took this in a positive light, as it does seem to confirm that they are at least giving serious thought to retrofitting QE once POW enters service, but maybe I am too much of an optomist, for as the News concluded;

'There is speculation the equipment could now cost an extra £2bn, but Mr Hammond was unable to confirm this figure, although he did suggest the government can only afford to fit cats and traps to the navy’s second carrier, HMS Prince of Wales. This would render HMS Queen Elizabeth useless if Britain decided to stick with F-35Cs.'