CVF Construction

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it's all veeery confusing but this is a new quote from the man with his neck on the line (well one of a group).

He says we can't afford to undo the QE and puts EMALS on her but we can afford to put them on the 2nd carrier....

So if they order the C then they are guaranteed terrible headlines now with the loss of a hull....?

Where as if they revert to the B then the argument gets more complicated and the pros and cons of B versus C will be lost on most people (but the government can say that it increases the chances of getting 2 carriers at a later date)....

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10 years 2 months

Posts: 487

it's all veeery confusing but this is a new quote from the man with his neck on the line (well one of a group).

He says we can't afford to undo the QE and puts EMALS on her but we can afford to put them on the 2nd carrier....

So if they order the C then they are guaranteed terrible headlines now with the loss of a hull....?

Where as if they revert to the B then the argument gets more complicated and the pros and cons of B versus C will be lost on most people (but the government can say that it increases the chances of getting 2 carriers at a later date)....

It all comes down to a clack of clear direction and any sort of competence in the UK defense procurement process. They should have designed the adaptable design to be more adaptable than going the cheap way out. They not have the choice between spending a ton of money to partially rebuild ships or going with a plane which may be to heavy and maintenance intensive to actually work right.

Profile picture for user Jonesy

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It all comes down to a clack of clear direction and any sort of competence in the UK defense procurement process. They should have designed the adaptable design to be more adaptable than going the cheap way out. They not have the choice between spending a ton of money to partially rebuild ships or going with a plane which may be to heavy and maintenance intensive to actually work right.

You do have to accept that the ship was designed to the requirement that drove the acquisition of the ship in the first place.

Seeing that requirement was 'Carrier Strike', nothing more ambitious, and it was conceived to be a mostly RAF run operation on the air side the choice of the ship and operating technique was an obvious one. The design was adaptable for reasons of future proofing and STOVL failure insurance. A decade later STOVL still hasn't failed despite continual predictions of precisely that.

Quite apart from a lack of clear direction the issue is that the excellent work that set out the, clear and appropriate, original requirement has been lost sight of and the result, following the CATOBAR shift, is a god awful mess with a carrier and airgroup that do not match.

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You do have to accept that the ship was designed to the requirement that drove the acquisition of the ship in the first place.

Seeing that requirement was 'Carrier Strike', nothing more ambitious, and it was conceived to be a mostly RAF run operation on the air side the choice of the ship and operating technique was an obvious one. The design was adaptable for reasons of future proofing and STOVL failure insurance. A decade later STOVL still hasn't failed despite continual predictions of precisely that.

Quite apart from a lack of clear direction the issue is that the excellent work that set out the, clear and appropriate, original requirement has been lost sight of and the result, following the CATOBAR shift, is a god awful mess with a carrier and airgroup that do not match.


That is not an accurate representation of the original requirement for the design of the carrier, nor of the reasons for it.

When BAES and Thales were competing they were asked to produce a design for CATOBAR and a design for STOVL. When the time came that the MoD promised to make a decision they delayed it. When the new time came they asked for a STOVL design that could be converted at any time before, during or after the build to an EM based CATOBAR. However as there was no design for EMALS at that point (or even a selection of which EM catapult) the industrial designers could not really do any more than leave space (an amount guessed at).

There has never been a time when the requirement was solely for a purely STOVL design. The option for conversion was not for future proofing. CATOBAR was always preferred, but steam cats were too expensive and EM catapults were not mature enough. Hence the 'fudge' to allow us to convert when they matured - a decision which the MoD/govt made at the appropriate time before working out the cost

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What happens if they pick the F-35B and go STOVL, then after the US elections the F-35 is canned? Are there any other planes on the planet that could be used with ski jumps and no arrestor gear...apart from buying back some third hand Harriers

Profile picture for user 19K11

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What happens if they pick the F-35B and go STOVL, then after the US elections the F-35 is canned? Are there any other planes on the planet that could be used with ski jumps and no arrestor gear...apart from buying back some third hand Harriers

Are there any YAK-38s sitting around anywhere?

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That is not an accurate representation of the original requirement for the design of the carrier, nor of the reasons for it...There has never been a time when the requirement was solely for a purely STOVL design.

Yes it is and I never said there was a time when STOVL was selected without a nod given to CATOBAR. I said that the actual requirement driving the ship design was no more ambitious than Carrier Strike for the very clearly considered and appreciated reason, at the time, that that it did not need to be anything more.

That call was obviously the correct one as here we are, in 2012, nearing the point where, had original schedules been adhered to, the first ship would be nearing her commissioning date. There is, right now, no blue-water threat, and none very far along development anywhere in the world, that we could not deal with using our SSN's. I said that, for our Carrier Strike requirement - the way we would be trying to make it work, that the operational advantages of STOVL made it a clear and obvious choice. Even 30% increase on range didnt get near making up for the training complexities inherent in CATOBAR .

When the new time came they asked for a STOVL design that could be converted at any time before, during or after the build to an EM based CATOBAR. However as there was no design for EMALS at that point (or even a selection of which EM catapult) the industrial designers could not really do any more than leave space (an amount guessed at).

Agreed.

The option for conversion was not for future proofing. CATOBAR was always preferred, but steam cats were too expensive and EM catapults were not mature enough. Hence the 'fudge' to allow us to convert when they matured - a decision which the MoD/govt made at the appropriate time before working out the cost

Nope. CATOBAR was always viewed as the most capable....not preferred. We can see why there was such resistance from the RN with the outcome of the determination to shift to single-carrier CATOBAR with CEPP. 100 sorties per day, pretty much straight off the bat as soon as the full airwing becomes deployable with STOVL. CEPP brought a maximum commitment initially of the NSW alone. I didnt appreciate this but MoD reported that single deck time at sea, with CATOBAR, was anticipated to be able to support the training and continuation requirements for 12 aircraft only in the near term to support sustained ops of about 20 sorties per day. The RAF never gave, as far as I can see, a commitment to maintaining a readiness squadron with swing-role deck rated pilots. Carrier Strike the way we were going to do it, as it was understood to be then and still is now, incompatible with CATOBAR. STOVL wasnt selected because it gave us a cheap carrier, though that was obviously important, but because it was key to making the whole thing work.

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10 years 2 months

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That is not an accurate representation of the original requirement for the design of the carrier, nor of the reasons for it.

When BAES and Thales were competing they were asked to produce a design for CATOBAR and a design for STOVL. When the time came that the MoD promised to make a decision they delayed it. When the new time came they asked for a STOVL design that could be converted at any time before, during or after the build to an EM based CATOBAR. However as there was no design for EMALS at that point (or even a selection of which EM catapult) the industrial designers could not really do any more than leave space (an amount guessed at).

There has never been a time when the requirement was solely for a purely STOVL design. The option for conversion was not for future proofing. CATOBAR was always preferred, but steam cats were too expensive and EM catapults were not mature enough. Hence the 'fudge' to allow us to convert when they matured - a decision which the MoD/govt made at the appropriate time before working out the cost

CVF started out as a 40,000 ton pure STOVL design looking a lot like an America-class LPD. As things evolved, it got bigger, and concept designs were submitted by BAE and Thales, one each in STOVL and CATOBAR. The design eventually chosen was the Thales CATOBAR design. Steel is cheap and its a lot easier to bolt a ski-jump to a CATOBAR deck if you need a STOVL jet than it is to do a post WWII-style rebuild on a STOVL design. Pretty sensible thinking to that point. Then the politicians started to meddle and kept changing the design.

What happens if they pick the F-35B and go STOVL, then after the US elections the F-35 is canned? Are there any other planes on the planet that could be used with ski jumps and no arrestor gear...apart from buying back some third hand Harriers

Nope. Of all the STOVL projects, only the Harrier and the Yak-38 ever saw service and the Yak sucked enough where the Soviet Navy pulled it off of their ships.

F-35B gets canned, you either have the world's largest helicopter ships or will have to end up paying more and waiting longer for EMALS conversion than you are now.

Profile picture for user mrmalaya

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although the end of the B is less certain than it once was surely?

If LM are forced to cancel the B then the USMC/UK/Italy/Spain and others are stuffed.

That might seem likely if you love the C and loath the B but I don't think we are there yet.

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11 years 11 months

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I don't think anything concerning the reshaping, or not, of the F35 programme will be made public until after the Presidential election. After the election there will have to be cuts and it is hard to see how a programme the size of the F35 could escape entirely.

If it makes sense for the US to cut the B entirely then I don't see them taking UK, Italian or Spanish needs into account. After all they could make the three the generous offer of funding the continuation of the B themselves. I think that would shut all three of us up pretty effectively.

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... an America-class LPD.

A quibble: USS America is an LHA, not an LPD. An LPD has to have a dock, because that's what the D stands for. America doesn't have a dock.

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9 years 2 months

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CVF started out as a 40,000 ton pure STOVL design looking a lot like an America-class LPD. As things evolved, it got bigger, and concept designs were submitted by BAE and Thales, one each in STOVL and CATOBAR. .

I wasn't referring to concept designs, I was referring to the designs produced by industry to meet the requirements that were funded through initial gate. All sorts of concepts were produced before then, but both industrial teams said that you needed a bigger size for the funded reqt, and as per instructions, both produced a STOVL and CATOBAR design.

Jonesy, I thought by

the choice of the ship and operating technique was an obvious one
you meant that STOVL was the obvious choice. Which is not true (except to you), and that is my point. From IG onwards there has never been a time when the design has ever been STOVL only.

I agree that the reqt is for a strike carrier, I didn't mean to disagree with that, although both teams were instructed to talk to MASC (for AEW) and the reqts did lead to both designs being armoured (later removed for cost saving) so in fact the difference between the reqts and an all-purpose carrier is paper thin

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10 years 2 months

Posts: 507

Looks like Rosyth could be getting rather busy these next few months.

http://www.aircraftcarrieralliance.co.uk/en/media/image-library/2012.aspx

The two parts of lower block 05 arrived but won't be fitted until next year, the upper and lower sections of super block 01 are in situ but will have to await on the arrival of lower block 02 from Portsmouth due next month along with the upper block 02 sections from Cammel Llaird.

Then all they have to do is position them in the right order and position in dock and join them all together, hopefully by the end of the year lower block 04 will be joined to the front half of the ship and we start to see CVF HMS Queen Elizabeth look like a proper carrier coming together during 2013 :).

Maybe this week we will discover if they will be funding the CATOBAR conversion of Prince of Wales or if they will need to cancel the contract amendment and re-include the Ski-jump for Queen Elizabeth.

The good news on the PR12 front is that they are cancelling that annual exercise so no repeat performance every year so big ticket items like this are managed seperately.

Profile picture for user mrmalaya

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....so they will have more certainty of planning?

Profile picture for user J-20 Hotdog

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wasn't the cvf designed to be modular to allow easy swapping of cats and ski jump configs? so where's the problem coming from?

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9 years 2 months

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wasn't the cvf designed to be modular to allow easy swapping of cats and ski jump configs? so where's the problem coming from?

The MOD wanted the ability to swap, but didn't know which (if any) catapult system they would choose (as neither were at that time mature).

They didn't want to fund any investigation unless they were going to swap.

So some space and weight budget were left.

Now we come to convert (or not) and QEC super-blocks are mostly complete. And regrettably, whereas 99% of people look at the hull development and think that is all there is more or less; the reality os more like an iceberg

The ACA need to:
Fit the final design for the equipments into the holes, replacing all the superstructure; ramp, storage etc
Change the deck layout including lighting
Change the aircraft landing system; planning system, workshops and various others
Figure out all the different leads needed for power (various voltages and types); cooling (chilled water and/or air); control cabling (copper and FO) through hundreds of compartments, most of which are already built without impeding, obstructing or impacting any of the thousands of existing such connections or equipments (including EMC effects; heating considerations etc)
Re-work the safety case;
Re-work the manuals;
Update the reliability & availability analysis;
Update the training material

Plus all the stuff I have forgotten
Will next week be OK or are you in a hurry?

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10 years 2 months

Posts: 487

wasn't the cvf designed to be modular to allow easy swapping of cats and ski jump configs? so where's the problem coming from?

That got all lost in the seemingly quarterly redesigns of the ship to save money. They ended with the CATOBAR hull, but no place for cats in the final design.

Profile picture for user Fedaykin

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14 years 10 months

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Well roll on the next short term funding crisis! What bill will force another u-turn, as it stands short termism wins and the MOD budget and procurement process continues to be broken!

Actually I do know one crisis that is rapidly approaching...the abandonment in theatre and retirement of billions of pounds worth of UOR's! Already the services are scrabbling around seeing what UOR procured equipment can be transferred into core budget.

One thing, when Dave announces this farce tomorrow (probably using the - preventing delays excuse) he must say that there is no longer any talk of selling one of the carriers! I have a sneaky feeling he will try and announce something else to lessen the blow to his governments image...maybe a slow burn relaunch of a MPA capability something the coalition has taken much flack over...Maybe a lease of some type?

Finally wave good-bye to Deep and persistent strike RAF! It was a long journey from the dreams of FOAS, the practicalities of F35C and finally death by procurement bungling!

Profile picture for user mrmalaya

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So the Telegraph is backing up my version of events:

To soften the about face, the government line is:

The F35B will allow 2 carriers (with jets a flyin' from them) sooner than the C would allow one.