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HMS Queen Elizabeth forward island lift

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posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 12:05 AM
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The forward island of HMS Queen Elizabeth has been placed on the ship in Scotland. The hull, complete with flight deck, now starts to resemble an aircraft carrier.

The two carriers are being built similar to how cruise ships are built, in that they are built in modular sections, and assembled in Scotland. The forward island was assembled in Portsmouth, and barged to the shipyard in Scotland, where it was lifted into place March 14th. The Queen Elizabeth is scheduled for sea and flight trials in 2017.





posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 01:00 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Now the British government just has to hope to hell the F35s will be actually ready when they enter active service, otherwise they'll just have two more extremely expensive helicopter carriers...


The Queen Elizabeth is a full length conventional carrier isn't it? Like the US carriers, and not like the Invincible class with the ramp and the Sea Harrier/ VSTOL only capability isn't it?
edit on 16/3/2013 by 74Templar because: spelling



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 01:11 AM
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Nice video, one hell of a crane, what was the mass of the forward island.

Thanks for a great thread

P



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 06:04 AM
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By the time this is actually complete and in operation won't it just be obsolete?

Seems like billions spent on a white elephant to me.



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 06:58 AM
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reply to post by 74Templar
 


Nope it's got a ski jump, no catapults, it was considered to expensive to add the cats and do away with the ramp



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 07:51 AM
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reply to post by maintainright
 


The cats and traps were dropped for the QE class, but I understand that if the need arises they can be retrofitted, at some considerable cost of course. The previous Invincible class had such retrofits happen to it as well, with one of them having it's Sea Darts removed and it's deck lengthened, if memory serves....

To add, the QE class is much larger than the Invincible class, which wasn't really a carrier anyway, but rather a helicopter carrying heavy cruiser, officially designated as a CAH, not CV. The QE class is the largest ship ever made by the RN, much larger than even WW2 fleet carriers.

Anyhoo, I am glad to see that the first of the class is finally taking shape.
edit on 16/3/13 by stumason because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 07:53 AM
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Originally posted by Kram09
By the time this is actually complete and in operation won't it just be obsolete?

Seems like billions spent on a white elephant to me.


Why will it be obsolete? It will give the UK worldwide operational capacity, something very few nations on the earth can claim. In fact, every single of the up and coming nations (China, India etc) is looking at acquiring carriers of their own.



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 11:13 AM
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reply to post by stumason
 





It will give the UK worldwide operational capacity


And we need that because? Let me guess we don't know what threats might arise in the future etc. Wasn't it China who recently successfully tested a carrier killer missile?



In fact, every single of the up and coming nations (China, India etc) is looking at acquiring carriers of their own.


We're not one of those, in fact we're the opposite. China already have a basic carrier which was refitted from an old Soviet one I believe and India are in the process of building one.

The carriers are overdue and are a waste of money in my opinion.

I wonder if in future they will use drones on carriers rather than human piloted aircraft?



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by Kram09
And we need that because? Let me guess we don't know what threats might arise in the future etc.


Exactly. We have worldwide interests and commitments. For example, if the Argies ever manage to mount an invasion of the Falklands and take RAF Stanley, carriers would be vital for any counter-attack. That is just one example of many....


Originally posted by Kram09
Wasn't it China who recently successfully tested a carrier killer missile?


The DF-21? Countered by such systems as found on the Type 45 and other Air defence destroyers you might find in the USN, such as the Aegis.. Also, the Chinese need to know where the carrier is to be able to use it. The system on this missile also attacks a pre-defined area, it has no in flight guidance or target aquisition. With advanced warning, as provided by a T45 or Aegis, would be plenty of time to either engage or simple move out the way.

EADS and MBDA actually specialise in super/hypersonic missiles and we have quite a few toys in development ourselves, including a multi-purpose missile capable of reaching mach 3 which can hit land, sea or air targets, which is being designed to fit into the T45 tubes, turning it from a the worlds most advanced air defence destroyer to the worlds most versatile and advanced Destroyer.


Originally posted by Kram09
We're not one of those, in fact we're the opposite. China already have a basic carrier which was refitted from an old Soviet one I believe and India are in the process of building one.


No, we're not "the opposite". 4th largest defence spender in the world, 6th largest economy, world financial centre, permanent member of the UNSC... What exactly puts us at the bottom of the pile?

As for the Chinese carrier, it has taken them nigh on 20 years to finally get their act together and sort that tub out. They have still yet to develop an aircraft to fly off it or even develop the doctrine and training to actually use it.

India have taken years and years as well, they finally laid a keel in 2008 but it won't even be ready for Sea Trials until 2017 at the earliest. They then too have to figure out the doctrine and training, much less develop the aircraft (in the meantime they have opted for Rafale-M's), to actually use it. Besides, India is a likely ally, not enemy.


Originally posted by Kram09
The carriers are overdue and are a waste of money in my opinion.


Overdue? They are pretty much on time. How do you mean "overdue"? It wasn't until 1997 and the SDR decided to change the RN from an ASW North Atlantic force to an expeditionary one, therefore requiring larger carriers.. The design phase of the carrier began in 1999 and lasted for a few years until 2003 when a design was chosen.

What caused any "delay" was the requirement to upgrade the UK shipyards to actually be able to build and handle such a large vessel, which cost close to £4 billion on it's own. It also was a requirement that VT and BAE systems merge their shipbuilding operations, which led to the eventual creation of BAE Systems Surface Ships. All this took time, as things involving large amounts of money and contracts usually do.

The first steel was cut in 2009 with the ship being "ready" in 2016. That is not a bad lead time for such a huge ship.

In comparison, the USN's plan for the Gerald Ford class (called CVN-78) began (bear in mind they already have the shipbuilding capacity) with a design being selected in 2003, the first steel being cut in 2005, the keel laid in 2009 and not being expected into service until 2015. That is over ten years of construction. These things clearly take time, even for those who know how to do it.

I am unsure as to what exactly you expected, that they select a design in 2003 and have it ready before Christmas?


Originally posted by Kram09
I wonder if in future they will use drones on carriers rather than human piloted aircraft?


Plans are well developed. In fact, when it comes to drones, we are pretty much at the top of the tree thanks to us "borrowing" US tech during the F-35 and to a lesser extent F-22 development (which ruffled many US feathers
), as well as their own drones we have purchased.



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 12:56 PM
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Originally posted by stumason
As for the Chinese carrier, it has taken them nigh on 20 years to finally get their act together and sort that tub out.


As much new Chinese kit seems to look very like existing US equipment, one wonders whether any new Chinese carrier will look like the US equivalent. It would certainly be interesting to see a Chinese CVF, having "found" the designs.


Originally posted by Kram09
The carriers are overdue and are a waste of money in my opinion.


They are a waste of money until you discover you need one!


Originally posted by Kram09
I wonder if in future they will use drones on carriers rather than human piloted aircraft?


I think unmanned will start to appear as routine elements of Western navies within the next decade. I have no evidence of this except the plethora of advanced designs and prototypes being fielded by the US, UK, France, Germany and other advanced nations.

To topic. I cannot wait to see this actually in the water.



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 02:18 PM
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reply to post by stumason
 





For example, if the Argies ever manage to mount an invasion of the Falklands and take RAF Stanley, carriers would be vital for any counter-attack. That is just one example of many....


I knew you'd mention the Falklands. Yes we'd need aircraft carriers in such a scenario - no matter how unlikely it is. Do you have any other examples?




No, we're not "the opposite". 4th largest defence spender in the world, 6th largest economy, world financial centre, permanent member of the UNSC... What exactly puts us at the bottom of the pile?


Times are changing. The United States is in decline and the UK isn't exactly on the up is it? Permanent member of the UN Security Council? And? We're there because we were the victors in the Second World War not because we were appointed to that position. The whole UN system needs reforming but that's another matter entirely. Okay we might not be a third world country but we certainly don't have as much influence as we did. I'd prefer it with didn't act like this was still the late 19th century.




India have taken years and years as well, they finally laid a keel in 2008 but it won't even be ready for Sea Trials until 2017 at the earliest.


Well yes that would probably be about as long as it will have taken us to get our new carriers. We're already familiar with developing and operating carriers those countries are not.





Overdue? They are pretty much on time. How do you mean "overdue"?


My statement about them being overdue came from the wikipedia page on aircraft carriers

Specifically relating to the two new carriers being built by the UK:


The two ships are due to enter service in 2016 and 2018 respectively, two years later than originally planned.


The above statement from Wikipedia was sourced from this BBC News article from 2008.


The Royal Navy's two new aircraft carriers are likely to enter service a year or two later than planned, Defence Secretary John Hutton has announced. In a statement to MPs, he added there would be no delay in construction - but work would continue at a slower pace, sustaining jobs for longer.






In comparison, the USN's plan for the Gerald Ford class (called CVN-78) began (bear in mind they already have the shipbuilding capacity) with a design being selected in 2003, the first steel being cut in 2005, the keel laid in 2009 and not being expected into service until 2015. That is over ten years of construction. These things clearly take time, even for those who know how to do it.


This is not so unusual in the defense industry. The F-35 is a case in point and the Lockheed C5-Galaxy's development is also rather interesting.


The C-5 Galaxy had a complicated development; significant cost overruns were experienced and Lockheed suffered significant financial difficulties. Shortly after entering service, fractures in the wings of many aircraft were discovered and the C-5 fleet were restricted in capability until corrective work was conducted.





It also was a requirement that VT and BAE systems merge their shipbuilding operations, which led to the eventual creation of BAE Systems Surface Ships. All this took time, as things involving large amounts of money and contracts usually do.


Ah yes - the usual suspects. In the end they are the only people who really benefit from these projects.



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 02:19 PM
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reply to post by paraphi
 





I think unmanned will start to appear as routine elements of Western navies within the next decade. I have no evidence of this except the plethora of advanced designs and prototypes being fielded by the US, UK, France, Germany and other advanced nations.


Yes I imagine you're right. I read somewhere a while back that the U.S was developing drone submersibles.



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 10:54 PM
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Originally posted by 74Templar
reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Now the British government just has to hope to hell the F35s will be actually ready when they enter active service, otherwise they'll just have two more extremely expensive helicopter carriers...


The Queen Elizabeth is a full length conventional carrier isn't it? Like the US carriers, and not like the Invincible class with the ramp and the Sea Harrier/ VSTOL only capability isn't it?
edit on 16/3/2013 by 74Templar because: spelling


The Queen Elizabeth class is set up for Short Takeoff Vertical Landing aircraft rather than conventional aircraft. So the vessel is limited to the Harrier, the F-35B and any type of helicopter.

However, the Royal Navy has already officially retired their fleet of Harriers in 2010. So they will not have fighter aircraft until around 2018 or 2020. So when the Queen Elizabeth enters sea trials in 2014 or 2015, she will only be able to operate helicopters.

Now BAE Systems did make a navalized STOBAR version of the Eurofighter Typhoon that could potentially be used on the Queen Elizabeth Class of carriers. But that would require the addition of a ski jump ramp and arresting cable system.

Or there is also the possibility of using the french Dassault Rafale M, the navalized version. Normally these are launched by catapult but Dassault Aviation did a series of tests not too long ago and found that the Rafale M was capable of a ski jump takeoff without any modifications to the aircraft.



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 11:25 PM
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reply to post by stumason
 


Why are we only building two?



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 12:32 AM
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Originally posted by Wide-Eyes
reply to post by stumason
 


Why are we only building two?


Because that is all you can afford to build. Due to cost cutting you will probably only be able to run one at a time.

P



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 03:29 AM
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Originally posted by Kram09
I knew you'd mention the Falklands. Yes we'd need aircraft carriers in such a scenario - no matter how unlikely it is. Do you have any other examples?


It is the topic of the moment, so it is natural that would be an example. Another would be a clash in the Far East supporting our Allies against China's territorial ambitions in the South China Sea, or North Korea, or supporting peacekeeping operations in Africa where decent Air bases are hard to come by. Just another two examples. This is what our planners consider and it's always better to be prepared for all eventualities.



Originally posted by Kram09
Times are changing. The United States is in decline and the UK isn't exactly on the up is it?


The US is not really in "decline", but rather other nations are nearing parity. The US is and always will be a powerful force in the world, barring some highly unlikely collapse which would effect everyone else anyway. The UK, despite your self-defeatism, is still near the top of the pile on pretty much whatever measure you want to use.


Originally posted by Kram09
Permanent member of the UN Security Council? And?
We're there because we were the victors in the Second World War not because we were appointed to that position.


Having Nukes helps to be a member. Regardless how or why though, being a UNSC permanent member gives you clout.


Originally posted by Kram09
The whole UN system needs reforming but that's another matter entirely.


Indeed it does. It was set up by the US partly to ensure the collapse of the European Empires and to gain hegemony over our colonies...


Originally posted by Kram09
Okay we might not be a third world country but we certainly don't have as much influence as we did. I'd prefer it with didn't act like this was still the late 19th century.


You underestimate just how much influence we have, in fact I think you being somewhat naive. Just because we don't go round shouting about it like the Yanks, that doesn't mean we're pussy cats and not respected around the globe.

I'm not sure what the 19th century quip was about though. If you're referring to interventions in LIbya or Mali, for example, or even Afghanistan then this is the sort of thing that the West is damned if they do and damned if they don't. We got immense amounts of stick for not intervening in Bosnia, or Rwanda, but when we do get involved we're accused of being imperialists. What is it you want?


Originally posted by Kram09
Well yes that would probably be about as long as it will have taken us to get our new carriers. We're already familiar with developing and operating carriers those countries are not


We haven't built a carrier ourselves since 1953, with the Centaur class light carriers. The Invincible class weren't carriers and even those were completed in the 1980's, so we didn't really have the design/build skills to hand.



Originally posted by Kram09
My statement about them being overdue came from the wikipedia page on aircraft carriers

Specifically relating to the two new carriers being built by the UK:


You said yourself later that delays weren't unusual, but in the case of the carriers, when compared to the Astute programme or the Eurofighter, is doing bloody well actually. 2 years? Bah, that's nothing... Besides, like the Government said, it gives people jobs...


Originally posted by Kram09
Ah yes - the usual suspects. In the end they are the only people who really benefit from these projects.


The only suspects. All our shipyards were owned by these two companies, so it was always going to be them. And I also think, again, you are being terribly naive by saying that only "they really benefit". Of course they do, along with the tens of thousands of jobs supported by these companies. People, when railing against "corporations" forget the people they employ........

Would you have rather we give the contract to someone else, like a foreign company and lose all those jobs and skills?



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 03:31 AM
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Originally posted by Wide-Eyes
reply to post by stumason
 


Why are we only building two?


The plan is to have them on rotation - one in service while one is in refit, rotating around every 18-24 months. At a push, both could be in service should they required. There is a myth one is going to be mothballed straight away or that we're going to physically share it with the French, both are totally untrue and have been misconstrued in the media.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 04:52 AM
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Originally posted by allenidaho

Originally posted by 74Templar
reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Now the British government just has to hope to hell the F35s will be actually ready when they enter active service, otherwise they'll just have two more extremely expensive helicopter carriers...


The Queen Elizabeth is a full length conventional carrier isn't it? Like the US carriers, and not like the Invincible class with the ramp and the Sea Harrier/ VSTOL only capability isn't it?
edit on 16/3/2013 by 74Templar because: spelling


The Queen Elizabeth class is set up for Short Takeoff Vertical Landing aircraft rather than conventional aircraft. So the vessel is limited to the Harrier, the F-35B and any type of helicopter.

However, the Royal Navy has already officially retired their fleet of Harriers in 2010. So they will not have fighter aircraft until around 2018 or 2020. So when the Queen Elizabeth enters sea trials in 2014 or 2015, she will only be able to operate helicopters.

Now BAE Systems did make a navalized STOBAR version of the Eurofighter Typhoon that could potentially be used on the Queen Elizabeth Class of carriers. But that would require the addition of a ski jump ramp and arresting cable system.

Or there is also the possibility of using the french Dassault Rafale M, the navalized version. Normally these are launched by catapult but Dassault Aviation did a series of tests not too long ago and found that the Rafale M was capable of a ski jump takeoff without any modifications to the aircraft.



I just wanted to add that I have been following the developments around the Sea Gripen, a variant of which will be STOBAR.. I understand the Navalised variant of the Typhoon would make it 25% more expensive than the American option, however if the numbers of Typhoons needed where split with a cheaper Sea Grippen and some Drones.. I am sure we could see a cost saving over the existing plans along with a more versatile fleet air arm.

www.gripenblogs.com...



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 05:02 AM
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Originally posted by allenidaho

Originally posted by 74Templar
reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Now the British government just has to hope to hell the F35s will be actually ready when they enter active service, otherwise they'll just have two more extremely expensive helicopter carriers...


The Queen Elizabeth is a full length conventional carrier isn't it? Like the US carriers, and not like the Invincible class with the ramp and the Sea Harrier/ VSTOL only capability isn't it?
edit on 16/3/2013 by 74Templar because: spelling


The Queen Elizabeth class is set up for Short Takeoff Vertical Landing aircraft rather than conventional aircraft. So the vessel is limited to the Harrier, the F-35B and any type of helicopter.

However, the Royal Navy has already officially retired their fleet of Harriers in 2010. So they will not have fighter aircraft until around 2018 or 2020. So when the Queen Elizabeth enters sea trials in 2014 or 2015, she will only be able to operate helicopters.

Now BAE Systems did make a navalized STOBAR version of the Eurofighter Typhoon that could potentially be used on the Queen Elizabeth Class of carriers. But that would require the addition of a ski jump ramp and arresting cable system.

Or there is also the possibility of using the french Dassault Rafale M, the navalized version. Normally these are launched by catapult but Dassault Aviation did a series of tests not too long ago and found that the Rafale M was capable of a ski jump takeoff without any modifications to the aircraft.



The reason the carriers are 'late' is due to political dithering and in fighting. Once the build was started proper its actually been on track.

The carriers were designed from the start with space to accommodate electromagnetic catapults. They were originally intended as STOVL flying F-35B. However the space was allowed in the design that the american EMALS system could be fitted and the aircraft used to conduct CATOBAR operations using F-35C or any other conventional carrier aircraft.

When the coalition government held their SDSR one of the decisions made was that catapults would be installed and the switch made to F-35C (IMHO the right thing to do), however they then changed their mind and went back to the STOVL and F-35B option.

If F-35B gets canned then the carriers can be refit for EMALS, although it will be more expensive than if it was done in build.

Naval Typhoon is a bad idea. It will be a money pit. Building a carrier variant isn't simply a case of putting a hook on it. If you want a carrier capable strike focused european 4th Gen fighter it already exists and its called Rafale M. Of course if we are going down that road we may as well just buy F-18F/G and ride on the coat tails of the US Navy block upgrade program.

edit on 17-3-2013 by justwokeup because: typo



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 05:43 AM
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reply to post by justwokeup
 


I'd have to agree the Rafale M is the tried and true alternative, or even the better option than the F35B. Is there even a navalised version of the Typhoon? I thought they were Air Force only at this stage. You're also right in saying it's not just a simple matter to navalise any aircraft. Most naval aviators regard carrier landings as a controlled crash, so the airframe has to be up to the stress of carrier life if it is going to even qualify.

The funniest part would be to see French, or even US (the FA18E or even the F as an option) with Royal Navy markings though, considering the British heritage of many of the past aircraft.

Despite all this, I don't think the Royal Navy will shy away from the F35s unless something goes completely awry, the UK has far too much money invested to throw it away on alternative aircraft, even if the F35 winds up being way behind schedule.





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