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Britain's Largest Warship Hms Queen Elizabeth Nears Completion

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/defence/10723164/Britains-largest-warship-nears-completion.html

In exactly 100 days, the Royal Navy’s biggest ever warship will be named by the Queen, who will smash a bottle of champagne on the 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier’s bow and name the vessel after herself.

The ceremony will mark 16 years of work on the £6.2bn project which now employs 10,000 people at 100 firms working in every region of the country.

When the HMS Queen Elizabeth becomes operational in 2020, she will deliver a radical change in the Navy’s capabilities, with her 4.5 acres of flight deck and 40 F35B joint strike fighters able to deliver bombs with pinpoint accuracy hundreds of miles away.

How does a plane that's not yet produced or work deliver bombs with pin-point accuracy?

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matt2 • 30 minutes ago

Before I answer the main question of this article I would like to say that I am a supporter of capable carrier strike for the UK. In response to the claim that it 'will deliver a radical change in the Navy’s capabilities'.....

Oh no it won't. Unable to use catapults to launch fixed wing aircraft our carriers will deliver very little capability. No AEW (prime lesson from the Falklands war which we nearly lost). F35B which will be scrapped by the next Republican administration has had to have it's published capability reduced to such an extent that most cold war fighters would outgun it. It has half the range of Rafael and a quarter of US Carrier strike aircraft such as the F18. As a result we will be impotent and unable to contribute to NATO carrier operations which rely on US carriers equipped with capable longer range fighters able to carry out multiple tasks and fight at high g, refuelled as necessary and controlled by AEW C3I fixed wing assets launched alongside. F35B's wings will fall off if it has to carry out air-air combat because of the weight constraints being imposed. It'll have to ditch all weapons on return to the carrier if they have not been used. It'll punch holes in the carriers deck plating due to heat. It doesn't have vectored thrust, in the same way as harrier does so a ski-ramp is useless (although it is still envisaged it will use one!). The incompetence of civil servants and politicians in the procurement of this variant of the carrier and thus the aircraft it serves is mind-boggling.

From the comments below. How much of this is accurate.

Still it's all added to GDP so it's win win, apart from the problem if it's needed to fight a war. Once more proving that Labour know feck all about carriers.

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From the comments below. How much of this is accurate.

Pretty much all of it.

1. Without a catapult the carrierS will have to get in closer or its aircraft will have less time Over target/carry less ordanance.

2. No AEW capability.

3. No refuelling capability.

4. The F-35Bs will have a shorter range and will have to carry less ordanance so they will be pretty pathetic especially if the Yanks go ahead and order the F-35C for their carriers. There are rumours of the F-35C being cancelled and the Yanks remaining with super hornet.

5. F-35B is not an air defence air superiority fighter. Current US carrier aircraft can defend and attack.

It beggars belief that we have spend so much money on carriers and planes and have bought the former without catapults.

I did wonder whether it was done deliberately so that the UK would never been able to use them but, alas, I suspect it was just sheer incompetence IMPO.

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More and more countries are cutting back on their F-35 orders actualyl making the cost of each individual aircraft more expensive. The countries are citing the economic climate for doing so but I suspect the main two reasons are:

1. The F-35s have been getting more and more expensive on almost a weekly basis - talk about a project out of control IMPO.

2. I think the penny is dropping with several countries that they can get a lot more bang for buck buying Super Hornets, upgrading F16s or opting for the French or UK fighters.

I think countries are keeping their optios open with the F-35 just in case it does turn out to be brilliant... but are beginning to look around at other options just in case it is the most expensive piece of flying cr*p in history.

I think fear of upsetting the Yanks is playing a big part in all of this and fear of being fully integrated into whatever the Yanks have.

I suspect the F-35 will be it in terms of the last major fighter programme for the West - it is now a farce IMPO.

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Even if the planes aren't that great the carriers might be useful in a few years when serious pilotless aircraft start getting used in combat, I assume they can still be a platform to carry them nearer to the deployment zone. A pilot sitting in a pod somewhere on an airbase in the UK doesn't have to be subjected to 10G+ so pilotless aircraft can be built differently.

Saw a video of a fancy drone taking off and landing from a US carrier the other day, it looked like the future to me. Not immediate future maybe, but soonish.

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Even if the planes aren't that great the carriers might be useful in a few years when serious pilotless aircraft start getting used in combat, I assume they can still be a platform to carry them nearer to the deployment zone. A pilot sitting in a pod somewhere on an airbase in the UK doesn't have to be subjected to 10G+ so pilotless aircraft can be built differently.

Saw a video of a fancy drone taking off and landing from a US carrier the other day, it looked like the future to me. Not immediate future maybe, but soonish.

It will be interesting to see where carrier based drone aircraft go in the future and whether catapults might indeed one day be required for them.

Drones will no doubt get bigger and bigger allowing them more fuel and more ordanance. The benefit will be the lack of the weight of a pilot but they may, one day, be so big that catapults are still needed.

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It beggars belief that we have spend so much money on carriers and planes and have bought the former without catapults.

I did wonder whether it was done deliberately so that the UK would never been able to use them but, alas, I suspect it was just sheer incompetence IMPO.

The reason I heard is that BAE are involved in the F35 project, if the carriers were catapult equiped we could simply buy something much cheaper such as the F18 or maybe even convert some of our existing Typhoons.

BAE lobbied very hard for the F35 option, the other problem is that the contracts were rushed through in the end days of the Brown years and were essentially a way to guarantee work for Scottish shipbuilders. The actual capabilities of the system were of secondary importance.

It was rumoured that the current government tried to change the design to include catapults but BAE blocked this by claiming that the work would cost somewhere north of £1 billion. I wouldn't be surprised if the navy eventually gets someone else to retrofit this at a more realistic cost.

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It will be interesting to see where carrier based drone aircraft go in the future and whether catapults might indeed one day be required for them.

Drones will no doubt get bigger and bigger allowing them more fuel and more ordanance. The benefit will be the lack of the weight of a pilot but they may, one day, be so big that catapults are still needed.

Railgun catapaults?

No pilot to worry about so the acceleration can be as quick as the plane can withstand.

I daresay railguns may only be good for the nuclear-powered ships that can presumably make almost unlimited power to charge them up.

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The reason I heard is that BAE are involved in the F35 project, if the carriers were catapult equiped we could simply buy something much cheaper such as the F18 or maybe even convert some of our existing Typhoons.

BAE lobbied very hard for the F35 option, the other problem is that the contracts were rushed through in the end days of the Brown years and were essentially a way to guarantee work for Scottish shipbuilders. The actual capabilities of the system were of secondary importance.

It was rumoured that the current government tried to change the design to include catapults but BAE blocked this by claiming that the work would cost somewhere north of £1 billion. I wouldn't be surprised if the navy eventually gets someone else to retrofit this at a more realistic cost.

Then they will have a load of w*nk VSTOL F-35Bs.

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I think fear of upsetting the Yanks is playing a big part in all of this and fear of being fully integrated into whatever the Yanks have.

+1

our post-imperial hubris combined with the need to pay tribute to a fading american empire.

what a pathetic waste of resources.

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Great, we're going to have to pick a fight with someone.

Preferably without any modern anti-ship missiles or, ideally, air defenses.

I would take 2 dozen small nuclear powered "catamaran" style carriers armed to the teeth with those taranis thingies any day.

faster,more manoevreable and give greater "coverage"

..but then newlabour were always about big everything weren't they.

they haven't learned that big is not necessarily beautiful...if you're heading toward the iceberg the big supertanka carries enough inertia to make it extremely unwieldy to avoid collision..and too much faith is placed in the "too big to sink", so going full blast at it ain't gonna work either.

FWIW the iranian midget sub programme needs to be watched carefully.

they have gone for speed over size

..(and their corvette missile speedboats are also rather dangerous)......probably the only remedy for that will be a couple of "nuke torpedoes" in the straight of hormuz....not to wipe out the boats themselves...but to create a powerful enough tsunami to let nature do the work and wipe them out with 100 foot tidal waves coming at them.

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More and more countries are cutting back on their F-35 orders actualyl making the cost of each individual aircraft more expensive. The countries are citing the economic climate for doing so but I suspect the main two reasons are:

1. The F-35s have been getting more and more expensive on almost a weekly basis - talk about a project out of control IMPO.

2. I think the penny is dropping with several countries that they can get a lot more bang for buck buying Super Hornets, upgrading F16s or opting for the French or UK fighters.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dassault_Rafale

Should have just gone with an angled flight decks and the Rafale.

I'm guessing upgrading the Typhoon would be hugely expensive to get it to work on a carrier.

Brown well and truly fecked over the country with this crap. Still it's only a few billion and the banks got more.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dassault_Rafale

Should have just gone with an angled flight decks and the Rafale.

I'm guessing upgrading the Typhoon would be hugely expensive to get it to work on a carrier.

Brown well and truly fecked over the country with this crap. Still it's only a few billion and the banks got more.

the rafale is certainly a good plane...most pilots who've flown one say they are extremely user friendly.

but we need to think outside the box a bit here.

VTOL and SVTOL aircraft do have their uses,(which the rafale ain't)

not needing runways(which are usually the first targets to get bombed by an opponent) is one obvious one.

harrier was a bit slow ,had very short range,and only forward facing radar,so was due for an upgrade anyway.(but would still be useful as infantry&artillery air support for nasty terrain like afghanistan..not in an aerial dogfight or first-strike capability..that needs speed and surprise)

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Railgun catapaults?

No pilot to worry about so the acceleration can be as quick as the plane can withstand.

I daresay railguns may only be good for the nuclear-powered ships that can presumably make almost unlimited power to charge them up.

interesting concept.

what about sub-carriers?..ie submarine and drone carrier in one....just detaches the platform from the hull, drives off into the sunset and lets the drones do the rest.

...using modified quad-copters for radar guidance just in case the satellites get knocked out(or in the wrong area)

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vought_XF5U

Vought_XF5U.jpg

Perhaps we should get the plans for this to operate as the eye's and ears? This had virtual VTOL properties, and can certainly land on a short runway.

they are for post nuclear stike when all of the electronics and solid state stuff is fried, and everybody has to return to valves(don't laugh,the russians do have such planes!)

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interesting concept.

what about sub-carriers?..ie submarine and drone carrier in one....just detaches the platform from the hull, drives off into the sunset and lets the drones do the rest.

...using modified quad-copters for radar guidance just in case the satellites get knocked out(or in the wrong area)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine_aircraft_carrier

British_Submarine_HMS_M2%2C_2.jpg

HMS M2

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Great, we're going to have to pick a fight with someone.

Preferably without any modern anti-ship missiles or, ideally, air defenses.

supacat_jackal.jpg

Eliminate the driver with a bow and arrow

WWII equivalent .....and you can't

300px-Humber_Mk_4_Armoured_Car.jpg

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Aircraft carrier = expensive firework if we ever take on anyone who has modern technology and knows what they are doing.

Totally outdated bit of kit.

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Aircraft carrier = expensive firework if we ever take on anyone who has modern technology and knows what they are doing.

Totally outdated bit of kit.

well if by chance we'd managed to perfect anti-gravity propulsion we could have floating aircraft carrier platforms at 50000 feet( or maybe 50 feet above sea level, travelling at 300knots, not 30....

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