CVF Construction

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About the MASC requirement, if the Osprey is unsuitable owing to pressurisation issues what is the feasibility of reviving this project or building something based on it? It would also solve the Russian Navy's future needs in this area.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mil_Mi-12

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/25/MI-12.JPG/300px-MI-12.JPG

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Not going to happen, this government and the RN cannot start giving up sovreignth of naval ships, people are pissed enough at how deep mainland europe has its hands in our pockets, this would cause open revolt, hell even the article says the reality is it wouldn't really work with our often diametrically opposed interests.

I did not say it is going to happen. I did say it would probably be a smart thing. And it wouldn't be "giving up sovereignty on ships".
It would be far better than doing what british press has been stupidly saying for a while, to build just ONE cvf and "borrow" the Charles de Gaulle when the QE is in refit.
THAT proposal is demented, indeed, because, first of all, as things stand, the french planes could not use the QE when CdG is out of service and the british F35B wouldn't be able to operate well from the CdG. An unique lose-lose-lose situation in which shipyard and workforce loses, the RN loses, France loses.

That my DREAm, and i did write it is a dream, is not going to happen it is probable if not sure.
But from there to say that it is a bad solution, i think there's an ocean of difference. It would, indeed, be a massive leap in capabilities to have a RN with F35C, all two carriers, the Hawkeyes and even the capability to deploy on CdG or US carriers whenever it is needed.
I don't think that would be bad at all. Quite the opposite, actally.

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About the MASC requirement, if the Osprey is unsuitable owing to pressurisation issues what is the feasibility of reviving this project or building something based on it? It would also solve the Russian Navy's future needs in this area.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mil_Mi-12

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/25/MI-12.JPG/300px-MI-12.JPG


A V22 based MASC has been envisioned already, and the hypothesis never really was ruled out, but it is higly unlikely to happen.
The Cerberus radar suite has some chances to end up on a V22 Osprey only if the american special forces or marines see the Sea King 7 in action as tactical AWACS in afghanistan and find it impressive enough to think about making their own tactical radar planes. Not impossible, but again, unlikely.
Anyway you can learn about that in the awesome Richard Beedal's Navy Matters website: http://navy-matters.beedall.com/masc.htm

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A V22 based MASC has been envisioned already, and the hypothesis never really was ruled out, but it is higly unlikely to happen.
The Cerberus radar suite has some chances to end up on a V22 Osprey only if the american special forces or marines see the Sea King 7 in action as tactical AWACS in afghanistan and find it impressive enough to think about making their own tactical radar planes. Not impossible, but again, unlikely.
Anyway you can learn about that in the awesome Richard Beedal's Navy Matters website: http://navy-matters.beedall.com/masc.htm

Er, I wasn't talking about the Osprey.

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Regarding UAVs, yes you do still have to worry about a crew. They're unmanned air vehicles, not autonomous air vehicles. Whether the crew is onboard the carrier or somewhere in an office in Portsmouth is a different question as you've still got to have someone watching the radar picture. I would ask whether, assuming technical feasibility, using UAVs means we have to start thinking about bandwidth and possibly putting another comms satellite in orbit?

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Regarding UAVs, yes you do still have to worry about a crew. They're unmanned air vehicles, not autonomous air vehicles. Whether the crew is onboard the carrier or somewhere in an office in Portsmouth is a different question as you've still got to have someone watching the radar picture. I would ask whether, assuming technical feasibility, using UAVs means we have to start thinking about bandwidth and possibly putting another comms satellite in orbit?

theirs another going up in the next few years in 2013 but comms bandwidth is defiantly a problem as is lag in updating the site picture.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8556585.stm
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Er, I wasn't talking about the Osprey.

Yeah, well then to answer your question, i'd say that either the Russian navy issues a requirement and develops a MIL-based AWACS (and i doubt it will since it has got the AEW Kamov and even developed a clone of the Hawkeye years ago) or a revival of a MIL based AEW plane is not going to happen.
And for sure not in the UK.

And jesus, that thing is twice the lenght of an Hawkeye! How are you going to carry it on a ship, also considering that you normally bring around 4 AEW platforms on a carrier...? Over 30 meters long, no foldable wings, no foldable anything... you couldn't carry anything else after loading them on board.
So, the MIL V-12 will never make it to ship-based AEW platform. To say it all, the MIL V-12 is pretty much dead after the prototypes were built, and resurrect it would mean almost starting from scrap again, something that no one has the will or money to do.

And anyway, it would be done for battlefield-cargo roles, at the most.

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Yeah, well then to answer your question, i'd say that either the Russian navy issues a requirement and develops a MIL-based AWACS (and i doubt it will since it has got the AEW Kamov and even developed a clone of the Hawkeye years ago) or a revival of a MIL based AEW plane is not going to happen.
And for sure not in the UK.

And jesus, that thing is twice the lenght of an Hawkeye! How are you going to carry it on a ship, also considering that you normally bring around 4 AEW platforms on a carrier...? Over 30 meters long, no foldable wings, no foldable anything... you couldn't carry anything else after loading them on board.
So, the MIL V-12 will never make it to ship-based AEW platform. To say it all, the MIL V-12 is pretty much dead after the prototypes were built, and resurrect it would mean almost starting from scrap again, something that no one has the will or money to do.

And anyway, it would be done for battlefield-cargo roles, at the most.


Hey, I tried.:o

Actually what I had in mind was a new naval helicopter using the V-12's technology. Much simpler than a tiltrotor, with a pressurised cabin, and it could be configured to have folding sections for naval use. It would be a compromised between the Merlins and fixed-wing planes like the E-2D and the V-22. And joint ventures between Russia and the Europeans have happened before(RRJ, Euromil).

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Genral Atomics advertised, albeit very briefly, a carrier-capable version of their Mariner UAV that would have been similar in concept to a naval Mantis. That would seem to suggest, very superficially, that the problems would not be insurmountable. .

Their jet-powered Predator-C is supposedly to be carrier capable.

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Regarding UAVs, yes you do still have to worry about a crew. They're unmanned air vehicles, not autonomous air vehicles. Whether the crew is onboard the carrier or somewhere in an office in Portsmouth is a different question as you've still got to have someone watching the radar picture. I would ask whether, assuming technical feasibility, using UAVs means we have to start thinking about bandwidth and possibly putting another comms satellite in orbit?

Mantis is meant to have a very high degree of automity built in to it. And if the pilots are in the UK or on the carrier then you don't need to worry about them dying on the mission compared to a FJ pilot. Depending on how they're operated, they may not even need a fully qualified pilot to fly them, which saves money.

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I actually believe that the CVF has been stated more than once to be capable to operate a mix of aircrafts included UAVs. I don't know how much take off run the Mantis needs, but i think it is not unrealistic to assume it could take off from the QE's deck, actually.
It all depends on which UAV/UCAV the UK will choose for its Scavenger requirement (unless it gets cancelled in the budget cuts, obviously): Mantis, Talarion, Reaper and Predator C are all in the game and any one of them could be picked up.
Obviously, the best answer would be Taranis: two engines, 36 hr of stated endurance, british to its bone and ready to be armed as well. But its development is still a work in progress, and without the lately reported interest in a french-Uk collaboration on an european MALE UAV it may be difficult for the MoD to fund the work.

On the other hand, i remind Liam Fox being apparently very fond of the Mantis and very aware of its potential, also in terms of sales abroad... so i have actually pretty good hopes for the Mantis.

And i actually believe it could be a fine platform for AEW work on the carriers, instead... Obviously, it would need a radar fit for the job, replacing the land-focused SAR moving-target indicator radar with a compact version of the Searchwater radar, for example.
The ground control station can't be any bigger than a 20 foot container, and the CVF are stated to have wide space allocations along the sides of the hangar, so it could be possible to bring it on board... Otherwise, the UAV could be controlled from the UK. After all, the RAF Reapers in Afghanistan are controlled from Nevada, US.

At 50.000 feet above, loitering for 36 hours, a Mantis with the right radar would actually be an excellent AEW asset.

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The ground control station can't be any bigger than a 20 foot container, ..... Otherwise, the UAV could be controlled from the UK. After all, the RAF Reapers in Afghanistan are controlled from Nevada, US.

At 50.000 feet above, loitering for 36 hours, a Mantis with the right radar would actually be an excellent AEW asset.


I believe the ground station does fit in a container, as with the Herti ground station.

Controlling from the UK would require a worldwide high bandwidth communications system we don't yet have, akin to the US system used for Reapers.

Can Mantis fly at 50000 foot? That seems very high for a propellor driven aircraft.

Mantis is meant to have a very high degree of automity built in to it. Depending on how they're operated, they may not even need a fully qualified pilot to fly them, which saves money.

From BAe's press releases, it seems that the BAE philosophy of UAV operation is that the machine flies itself. The operator (not a pilot - waste of pilot training) watches, & intervenes only to give such instructions as 'Fly home', 'Change to search pattern B', 'Zoom in on the indicated spot', or 'Bomb that target'.
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I believe the ground station does fit in a container, as with the Herti ground station.

Controlling from the UK would require a worldwide high bandwidth communications system we don't yet have, akin to the US system used for Reapers.

Can Mantis fly at 50000 foot? That seems very high for a propellor driven aircraft.

From BAe's press releases, it seems that the BAE philosophy of UAV operation is that the machine flies itself. The operator (not a pilot - waste of pilot training) watches, & intervenes only to give such instructions as 'Fly home', 'Change to search pattern B', 'Zoom in on the indicated spot', or 'Bomb that target'.


Bae states 36hr endurance and 50.000 feet flight for a production-standard Mantis.
So it also reported in this article: http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/06/30/343880/bae-hails-mantis-uav-success-nears-taranis-roll-out.html that also announces that the Taranis should soon roll out, and it will be very interesting to see it, since it is one of the most ambitious drones ever.

Mantis is higly autonomous, and the Ground Control SYstem most likely fits a 20 feet container indeed. But legal and security questions may require the drone to be actually less autonomous than it could be: a human pilot will most likely be following the progress of the mission all the time, ready to intervene in all sorts of situations.
Anyway, for what i learned, the Mantis is the first completely fly-by-wire drone, and has large degree of autonomy in flight.

What i like about it is the capability to carry weapons: Brimstone dual-mode and Paveway IV are an excellent load, and they would finally end the need for US-Built Hellfire and Paveway II and other weapons for the Reaper, making the Mantis potentially a true all-british system.
And another factor that is never enough pointed at is the twin-engine configuration, which makes the drone far more reliable and survivable: the Reaper has quite poor reliability, and many are lost in accidents and engine failure (the RAF itself lost at least one Reaper because of engine failure already), and this would happen a lot less with Mantis.

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Bae states 36hr endurance and 50.000 feet flight for a production-standard Mantis.
So it also reported in this article: http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/06/30/343880/bae-hails-mantis-uav-success-nears-taranis-roll-out.html

Ah, I see. Thanks for that: I'd missed it when I read the article.


Mantis is higly autonomous, and the Ground Control SYstem most likely fits a 20 feet container indeed. But legal and security questions may require the drone to be actually less autonomous than it could be: a human pilot will most likely be following the progress of the mission all the time, ready to intervene in all sorts of situations. .

As I understand it, BAe expects its UAVs to be monitored in flight by an operator at all times, but not flown by a ground-based pilot.
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Ah, I see. Thanks for that: I'd missed it when I read the article.

As I understand it, BAe expects its UAVs to be monitored in flight by an operator at all times, but not flown by a ground-based pilot.


We're saying the same thing. The operator must be there, so the need for someone capable to pilot the drone still exists, and it can't just be dropped.
I guess that the operator monitoring the flight may be a part of the team for the exploitation of the intelligence data coming from the drone's sensors since the Mantis is so automated... But he will still need to be trained in fling the drone if it is needed, at least basically.
Already a step forwards, of course... And i'm pretty sure that the drone could be entirely autonomous already, but it is not just because of law implications. After all, you certainly saw the hostility of certain think tanks and press against the "assasinations" made using machines.
Can you imagine how they would react to a plane flying autonomously on a war mission or even just across an air trafficked area? The MOD would be crucified immediately and they would all be depicted by the press as crazy, reckless teppists risking to crash a "evil weapon" against a civil airplane or some other idiocy like that.

Because the MOD is full of defects, but the Press and lots of people just love to lash out at the Ministry and the Military in wider sense.

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We're saying the same thing. The operator must be there, so the need for someone capable to pilot the drone still exists, and it can't just be dropped.
I guess that the operator monitoring the flight may be a part of the team for the exploitation of the intelligence data coming from the drone's sensors since the Mantis is so automated... But he will still need to be trained in fling the drone if it is needed, at least basically. ..

Perhaps I should have been clearer. Yes, we're basically saying the same thing, but when I say that Mantis does not need to be piloted, I'm saying it does not need someone who is qualified to fly an aeroplane. The USAF uses pilots - officers who have flown aircraft - to operate Reapers. The British army thinks NCO specialists, who've never sat in a cockpit, can operate UAVs. Mantis is designed to be operated by the same sort of operators, although it's being offered to meet an RAF requirement.

AFAIK the Herti demonstration in Afghanistan showed it could be operated in British army style, although supported by the RAF. It's interesting that the unit publicly (on its website) stated to have supported the Herti demonstration is an RAF reserve photographic interpretation unit, 7010 squadron, which fits your speculation.

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Back to the main CVF focus... i saw on today's press that speculation continues on pooling carriers with the french. Can someone tell the reporters that the french couldn't fly their Rafales from the QE's decks just as the F35B wouldn't be able to operate from the CdG...?
Because to "share" carriers as they say, the point comes always down to catapults. If capatapults aren't fitted to the ships, there's no possible sharing to be made.

Anyway, i read the statements of the First Sea Lord at RUSI, and he made an excellent point reminding another interesting data, the fact that most capital towns in the world are within 150 miles away from the sea and that soon 65% of the world people will live in this coastal area as well. This fact alone widely justifies the aircraft carriers.
Liam Fox keeps talking about "forces" less focused on heavy and more on firepower... What the hell does he mean, it's very unclear to me. But in my eyes, these statements all but justify the funding of the carriers. In particular, the famous "not wars of states, but wars of people"... with 65% of the world's population living near the sea, carriers are the key.

Thus, i hope that the press is widely wrong when they constantly say the second CVF is at risk. It would have no sense at all to scrap it.
And it would make no savings. Not in the next few years. It would merely make the single QE as expensive as the new USS Gerard Ford without being as capable. It would be demented over any limit.

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Perhaps I should have been clearer. Yes, we're basically saying the same thing, but when I say that Mantis does not need to be piloted, I'm saying it does not need someone who is qualified to fly an aeroplane. The USAF uses pilots - officers who have flown aircraft - to operate Reapers. The British army thinks NCO specialists, who've never sat in a cockpit, can operate UAVs. Mantis is designed to be operated by the same sort of operators, although it's being offered to meet an RAF requirement.

AFAIK the Herti demonstration in Afghanistan showed it could be operated in British army style, although supported by the RAF. It's interesting that the unit publicly (on its website) stated to have supported the Herti demonstration is an RAF reserve photographic interpretation unit, 7010 squadron, which fits your speculation.

Also impoirtant to note that this is also how the US Army operates their UAVs. Interestingly they had fewer landing accidents than the US Air Force because they allowed it to be automated rather than having a pilot do it, which led to the USAF changing their procedures to allow more automity.

Back to the main CVF focus... i saw on today's press that speculation continues on pooling carriers with the french. Can someone tell the reporters that the french couldn't fly their Rafales from the QE's decks just as the F35B wouldn't be able to operate from the CdG...?
Because to "share" carriers as they say, the point comes always down to catapults. If capatapults aren't fitted to the ships, there's no possible sharing to be made.

Anyway, i read the statements of the First Sea Lord at RUSI, and he made an excellent point reminding another interesting data, the fact that most capital towns in the world are within 150 miles away from the sea and that soon 65% of the world people will live in this coastal area as well. This fact alone widely justifies the aircraft carriers.
Liam Fox keeps talking about "forces" less focused on heavy and more on firepower... What the hell does he mean, it's very unclear to me. But in my eyes, these statements all but justify the funding of the carriers. In particular, the famous "not wars of states, but wars of people"... with 65% of the world's population living near the sea, carriers are the key.

Thus, i hope that the press is widely wrong when they constantly say the second CVF is at risk. It would have no sense at all to scrap it.
And it would make no savings. Not in the next few years. It would merely make the single QE as expensive as the new USS Gerard Ford without being as capable. It would be demented over any limit.

It won't happen anyway, the press is just being its usual useless and ill-informed self. But FYI F35B could operate off CdG, nothing to stop it.

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Could a F-35B take off using a catapult? Could it be modified to do so? Would that increase its take off load?

Why am I asking this? Well stroies are circulating that the PoW maybe designed as as CTOL carrier with the QE being retro fitted. If the UK split its buy into two with say 30 F-35B followed by a further 30 F-35C, would the "B" variant gain any benefit from using a catapult if able to?