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£3 billion contracts signed for largest ever UK warships

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  • £3 billion contracts signed for largest ever UK warships

    Contracts to build two Royal Navy aircraft carriers, the largest and most potent warships to be designed and built in the UK, have been signed by the MOD.

    The carriers are expected to enter service in 2014 and 2016 respectively; once they enter service they are expected to remain in the fleet for at least thirty years.



    The carriers will displace 65,000 tonnes at deep load, be around 280m long and 70m wide on the flight deck, accommodate around 1,500 personnel and operate a mix of up to 40 aircraft.




  • #2
    Impressive ships. With this signed and the Torys presumably unlikely(?) to curtail defence spending on projects like this, should they get into power, it's increasingly likely we'll see them reach service.

    Would have prefered them to go with CATOBAR, but who am I to tell the RN how to go about their business.

    Maybe they will at a later date.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pym View Post
      Would have prefered them to go with CATOBAR, but who am I to tell the RN how to go about their business.
      Im sure something about CATOBAR was mentioned in an article awhile back. I think they have the option to be converted with ease if they choose so.

      Their is also no way these vessels will be home-ported in Portsmouth, they are far to big. Possibly Plymouth?.
      Last edited by pmtts; 3 July 2008, 16:18.

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      • #4
        Scotland?

        Have they sorted out their issues with the Aircraft?


        Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
          Scotland?

          Have they sorted out their issues with the Aircraft?
          I stand corrected. Ive just leraned they will be based at Portsmouth

          Something is going to have to go to accomodate those monsters.

          As for the Aircraft, It is the MoD we are talking about here

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          • #6
            Ah.

            GR9 all round then.


            Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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            • #7
              Why two seperate "islands"? You said it about the aircraft; the RAF and MoD will argue and **** around til doomsday and the squadrons will end up stretching the GR.9 out til it falls apart.
              regards
              GttC

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
                Why two seperate "islands"? You said it about the aircraft; the RAF and MoD will argue and **** around til doomsday and the squadrons will end up stretching the GR.9 out til it falls apart.
                regards
                GttC
                One for air ops, one for navigation. Sounds like a great idea until the Captain wants to speak to the air group commander personally.

                I recently finished reading "Sea Harrier Over The Falklands", by Cdr 'Sharkey' Ward (CO 820 NAS during the Falklands), and he points out the folly of asking the RAF to provide air defence over a fleet at sea. The GR7 and GR9 are only ground attack variants, they have no radar, and extremely limited air to air capabilities. Since Sea Harrier has been retired, between the time these carriers launch and the F35 is finally put into service the Royal Navy will have carriers with feck all air defence capability, which is a bit bloody stupid. If the Falklands happened again (or a similar situation arose), even with the new carriers, a task force would be extremely vulnerable to air attack.

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                • #9
                  i remember reading over on key publishing's forum that there was talk of giving the GR9s a podded radar and AMRAAM capability, dont know how this is going, but personally i cant see it ever happening!Withdrawing the SHAR is right up there with all the stupid decisions that have been made over the years regarding military thinking!the youngest SHAR was only 8years old when it was retired, would have easily had another 10-15years life left, and there was even birds still flying that fought in the falklands, but had been converted to the MK2!such a shame for such an effective and beautifull aircraft, far more pretty than their shore based GR cousins!

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                  • #10
                    The Royal Navy is expecting their new carriers will be deliivered during 2014 and 2016. Enough of F-35B Lightning IIs will have been delivered by 2018 to provide for two air groups of 36 Lightning IIs each. But even if there is a delay of the ships, the Invincibles will still be available, and likewise if there is a delay of the aircraft, the Harriers will still be available. There will be room available to carry up to 48 Lightning IIs each, along with a full suite of naval ASW/AEW/COD Merlin/Sea King helicopters.

                    The Queen Elizabeths will have two larger lifts with similar dimensions as the lifts on American carriers, capable of lifting two aircraft each. In the past the Invincibles and the old Eagle/Ark Royal had lifts capable of lifting one aircraft each.

                    The F-35 Lightning IIs stealth aircraft are being built to replace both the USAF and USN aircraft, the F-15s, F-16s, A-10s, F/A-18s, and USMC AV-8Bs. Over 3,000 aircraft are planned to be built for several nations. While there has been a year delay with the development of the F-35B aircraft, the overweight problems were sorted out. The first F-35B prototypes have flown for several years, the first pre-production F-35B flew last year.

                    By the time the new carriers have finished their sea trials, the Lightning II aircraft would soon be available. While it would be wonderful for the aircraft to be available with the ship's deliveries, a large number of nations are expecting early delivery of the Lightning IIs. For example, the Aussies want 100 of their F-35As to be delivered by the end of 2016. The assembly line at Fort Worth, Texas, will be capable of building all three types at the same time. The F-35s will be able to carry more weapons, and different types of weapons than any other aircraft, much more than a Harrier, and more than a Hornet.

                    While the carriers are to be based at Portsmouth, its most likely their drydocking will be done at Southampton. The KG drydock at Southampton is large enough, whereas the drydocks at Portsmouth aren't.
                    Last edited by Sea Toby; 14 July 2008, 21:27.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pilatus View Post
                      i remember reading over on key publishing's forum that there was talk of giving the GR9s a podded radar and AMRAAM capability, dont know how this is going, but personally i cant see it ever happening!Withdrawing the SHAR is right up there with all the stupid decisions that have been made over the years regarding military thinking!the youngest SHAR was only 8years old when it was retired, would have easily had another 10-15years life left, and there was even birds still flying that fought in the falklands, but had been converted to the MK2!such a shame for such an effective and beautifull aircraft, far more pretty than their shore based GR cousins!
                      Unfortunately, the Invincibles do not carry enough aircraft to provide for interceptors and power projection attack aircraft. Since the Invincibles usually operate with coalition allies, air defense has been either provided by French or American naval aircrafts. If the RAF are able to win the favor of foreign governments, the Invincibles shall have RAF interceptors in their area of operations via ground based aircraft.

                      Even in another Falkland Islands situation, the GR9s are capable of firing Sidewinder missiles. Analog technology today is not seen in the same light as digital technology, nevermind their beauty and slick lines. Currently, the RAF does maintain a base in the Falklands, along with interceptors. The need for the carriers to do the same isn't the same as before.
                      Last edited by Sea Toby; 15 July 2008, 02:13.

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                      • #12
                        Building two large carriers on the Clyde. Reminds me of Gracie Fields, Shipyard Sally, a wonderful old movie.

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l-7-zxT528


                        Another video of the Queen Elizabeths CVFs with Lighting IIs, Merlins, and Sea Kings

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIEQgBKXkME


                        And this video from the CVF alliance.

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AqHysV7s5Q


                        All we need now is to have a smart model kit, say 720 scale, on sale at our local hobby store. She will be a top seller.
                        Last edited by Sea Toby; 15 July 2008, 09:10.

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