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Author Topic: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.  (Read 4677 times)

pugwash

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HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« on: February 11, 2011, 08:04:50 pm »

I saw a trailer tonight for the discovery channel advertising a programme or series of programmes
about Arks last trip  -  no date yet given just- coming shortly. Might be interesting.

Geoff
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Colin Bishop

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2011, 11:15:36 am »

She might have another trip to make yet. Thereis a report in today's Sunday Times that there are proposals to moor her in London docklands to act as a heliport and as accommodation for service veterans. It will be very interesting to see if anything comes of it.

Apparently the MOD got no offers for her as a working carrier and is expected to sell her for £3m which I assume represents her scrap value.

Colin
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Bryan Young

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2011, 05:29:20 pm »

Could well be that some very quick thinking has been happening here. The article was a more or less "bare bones" thing in many respects....but could it also be a convoluted way of keeping her in a state of (very) extended readiness? Just a thought. But surely to goodness the same minds must now be wondering if the disposal of many other RN/RFAs is as good an idea as first thought? I refer primarily to the fate of the "Bay" class and the "Bulwark". Just take another look at the schematic on page 14 of the main section. As someone else said earlier...the countries on the N.coast of the Med must be getting a bit twitchy. BY.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2011, 06:07:24 pm »

Quote
But surely to goodness the same minds must now be wondering if the disposal of many other RN/RFAs is as good an idea as first thought?

I quite agree Bryan, versatile ships and relatively cheap to operate. Just what we may be in need of before too long to protect/evacuate our people from countries caught up in the unrest.

Colin
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Netleyned

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2011, 10:56:26 am »

I would have thought that a warship was the last thing to use for accomodation unless the Vets are going to bunk down in messdecks as there is very
little cabin accomodation.
The safety elfins would have something to say about fire escape routes not being of hotel standards and the Firemain pumps would need to be running 24/7
as would all the ventilation systems.
Crash stop ventilation in case of fire would cause havoc in a smokefilled section.
IMHO not a very well thought out idea.
Warships do not have the passenger friendly services of a cruise ship or even a ferry.

Ned
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Circlip

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2011, 11:39:51 am »

Probably have better facilities than some of the MOD service quarters.

  Regards  Ian.
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Bryan Young

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2011, 05:50:21 pm »

Ned, although the idea only came to light yesterday, and you raise some interesting points, surely you can agree that the idea is at least worth looking at.
For a start, only the flight deck would be used, maybe not even all of it. And the traffic control systems are already in place.
I don't imagine for one moment that the helo passengers ("in" or "out") would be looking for hotel accommodation. Perhaps a waiting room, but not much else.
The "vessel" would be on shore power, so no need to have the whole caboodle "up and running" as it were...only the required bits.
If it was required/needed to provide accommodation for the "staff", even on a workaday basis....then the skills of decent mobile home designers could be brought in. No need for mess decks. These are very early days for a notion that shouldn't be just tossed out without a lot more thought. BY.
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pugwash

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2011, 06:11:53 pm »

Hi Bryan I see in the article it was mentioned that it would be a good base for the air ambulance unit and the police helcopter units
both of which are not very central at present so they could use the hanger space for maintainence as it is used at present.
There was also one additional plus point - single engine helos are only allowed to use helo route 1 which is down the route of the river
and not allowed over the central built up areas so anything moored on the river would be ideal.  As they might employ 100 - 150 veterans
they could probably convert all the redundant offices/compartments in the superstructure and only use the hull for any storage.  This could
simplfy Neds worry of an emergency evacuation in the case of fire.  I know it is only in the "what if" stage but some thought has obviously been
given to some of the problems.  Finally it would be berthed very close to the London City Airport which could make it a viable proposition.
Geoff
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Colin Bishop

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2011, 06:18:10 pm »

It seems to me to be an imaginative idea and well worth checking out. Maybe it will not be feasible but no harm in evaluating.

Colin
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Netleyned

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2011, 11:39:41 am »

I agree that the Idea of a floating Heliport in Docklands is quite feasible.
As it has already been said the whole infrastructure for rotary wing ops
are already in place with flyco ,air operations room and comms in the island
and the hangar space and air engineering workshops adjacent.
I was thinking more about the way warships are compartmentised
with watertight doors and hatches to be removed to give ease of access.
The Idea is good but is the money forthcoming.
Personally, if it is the means of preserving one more of our warships
albeit in another guise its all to the good, after all HMS Warrior was an oil fuel depot
floating jetty and pump room for years.


Ned
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Bryan Young

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2011, 03:46:48 pm »

This letter is taken from the “Daily Mail” of Tuesday 22nd Feb. and is reproduced with permission from the author.

       It’s time the Government got a grip on the new aircraft carrier programme. The price tag for these two new ships, originally budgeted at £2.7 billion back in January 2003, has now broken the £5 billion barrier.
       Given the Coalition’s misguided decision to fit launch catapults to these ships, no one should be surprised if the final bill tops £8 billion.
       Add another £5 billion for aircraft – probably nearer £10 billon if the Government retains its boneheaded adherence to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter – and you’re looking at sums we can’t afford.
       But there’s a much cheaper solution which the MoD and UK defence industry have refused to acknowledge for 13 years. We have the option of building in UK shipyards, off plan, two American Wasp-class assault carriers, roughly the same size of the old Seventies Ark Royal, for £2 billion each.
       These ships (already in service with the U.S. Navy) are ideal for what the UK really needs – not unaffordable supercarriers but cost effective, flexible 25 – aircraft helicopter/Harrier carriers offering excellent commando and disaster relief capability.
       We wouldn’t need to buy any expensive new aircraft for these ships – just make do with our existing helicopters and (supposedly unwanted) Harriers for the foreseeable future, with the option of acquiring the STOVL version of the F-35 at some point, once the public finances recover and the technical issues with this aircraft are resolved.
        In this way, the MoD could reduce the cost of the whole carrier programme from the more than £13 billion (including cancellation costs for the two ships), without adverse effect on UK defence industry jobs.
        Team this with a deal to buy four or so American P8A Poseidon aircraft to fill the gap left by scrapping Nimrod and we have a low – risk, cost effective deal with our closest ally, setting the RN and RAF on a steady and sustainable future course.
       The Government’s claim that it’s locked into the existing Bae systems contract is a cop-out. Parliament could overturn this deal and dispatch its rip-off clauses with the passage of a single Bill – and should do so, if for no other reason than to turn over a new leaf in British defence procurement and put paid to the notion that the UK taxpayer will shovel endless funds at indigenous defence projects which fail to deliver.

           
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DavieTait

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2011, 04:09:12 pm »

Wasp class would be a disaster for the navy , they're Landing Platform Dock class with a flooding well similar to Albion/Bulwark and as carriers would be worse than the current Illustrious as the hangers are even smaller than our CVH's they can also only steam at 20 knots.

I was reading about the class just last week and the design uses steam boilers and is really a late 1970's design that would cost an arm and a leg to redesign with gas turbines , changes to the hanger to enlarge it , make it fit for UK use. The delays and costs of that would still only get you a carrier that would be able to use the F-35B STOVL JSF which is very very close to being cancelled completely due to serious design problems and exceptional cost over-runs. Harriers would not be able to operate over a defended country , they have a radar cross section like a barn door compared to modern designs unfortunately

We could have looked at lengthening the Invincible class by 100ft midships and giving them an angled flight deck and buying Rafale jets from France which would have been able to operate from a carrier of that size and overall this would have been billions less in cost than the new ships being built now
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Tutssy

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2011, 09:17:14 am »

I don't think it makes any difference which way the government goes.

They never seem to have the welfare of our service men & women at heart & whatever they do decide to do, it will be too little, too late.  As always.  >:-o

The only thing they seem to be interested in is, jobs for the boys & lining their own pockets.

As for the decomissioning or scrapping of ships, why can't we mothball them?  Then, in times of conflict, all we have to do is unwrap them & install
a bit of new kit (which has been prefabricated & kept up-to-date while the ship is stored) and away we go.  Probably not the ideal solution but, at
least we could be mobile at reasonably short notice.   :-))

Al
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pugwash

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2011, 09:53:54 am »

Al I must agree with you about mothballing the units no longer "needed" (as far as the government is concerned)
Post war this was always the policy and when the Korean War came along several ships were re-activated at very short notice.
They used to have a system where ships could be re-activated within set periods of time - some as quick as 48hrs, other up to a month or more
I know the ships/weapon systems are far more complex these days but at least the hulls would be available for very little cost at a time of emergency.
When I joined my first ship in Jan 63 Portsmouth harbour was absolutely jam packed with every type of warship in some state of preservation.
With our much reduced Navy you only have to have a collision between 2 warships or a couple of major systems failures and a large percentage
of the fleet is out of action.  This can result in the Navy not being able to carry out its basic patrol requirements
There is a cost involved but not as much as losing ships or men because we are having to carry out a mission with insufficient numbers.
These ddays it seems to be the case of get the ships out of commission and either sell or scrap ASAP.
Why????
Geoff
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Tutssy

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2011, 02:40:39 pm »

Maybe it's a case of getting a refund on the empties.

Al
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Bryan Young

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2011, 02:44:44 pm »

I wouldn't dream of arguing with Davie Tait...he may well be correct. But as the author of the letter is a well known and respected Naval Architect I guess he knows better than me! BY.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2011, 07:55:01 pm »

The Government seem to be in some difficulty in evacuating UK nationals from Libya - particularly those stuck out in the desert compounds. Not keen on sending military planes as this could inflame the situation and they would be vulnerable to attack.

Of course if the Ark Royal was stationed offshore with her Harriers offering an escort capability then maybe the situation would be more in our favour given that the country seems to be descending into anarchy. But hey, that sort of situation won't occcur for at least ten years, except that it already has in the space of a week.

Albion or Bulwark with an RFA or two with accommodation facilities wouldn't go amiss either.

Quite what HMS Cumberland is expected to do is a moot point.

Will any lessons be learned I wonder?

Colin
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Bryan Young

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2011, 08:12:50 pm »

I very much doubt it unless the suits in the MoD actually believe that "Cumberland" has the capacity of an ocean liner. The "press" is calling the 1500 ton Iranian frigate a "battleship"....how daft can you get. And also...more or less as an aside....I notice that the "eye witness" reports of carnage in Tripoli are being reported from the "on the ground" reporter in Cairo. Some reportage! BY.
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class37

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2011, 08:45:30 pm »

Amazing how, according to the BBC 6 o'clock news this evening, both France and Germany had used civilian and military aircraft to evacuate their nationals, but no mention of Armee de l'air or Luftwaffe combat aircraft escorting them, or of any interceptions by Lybian aircraft.

Perhaps, not only do Britains politicians lack the assets to do the same, but also the backbone and b***s !

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farrow

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2011, 10:42:34 pm »

When I worked in the MoD, it was keeping to budget all the time, common sense never came in to it as politics and contract/finance suits ruled all. If you wanted to save money by scrapping you did so as quickly as possible so that no one else in authority gets time to question it or Joe public gets wind and objects. Plus I think there are less hulls actually capable of doing anything than is actually declared.
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keef666

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2011, 03:11:31 pm »

Were talking about the U.K here, what do you expect, as for the carriers why not buy off America,
Its sad to think what this counrty will become like in a few years from now, those that can, get out now while you got the chance!
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farrow

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2011, 10:02:24 pm »

I can only say the rich get richer and the poor well you all know how the song goes, good place to live if you are seriousily rich, especially if none national.
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Bryan Young

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Re: HMS ARK ROYAL - The last voyage.
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2011, 12:06:21 am »

I was intrigued by the level of castigation published in most of the UK "Newspapers" regarding the Governments lack of response and so on to the plight of the stranded(?) British people in Libya.
Then....the next day....the same "Newspapers" were praising to the skies the heroism and forethought of the Government in pre-positioning the SAS in areas where they could assist the evacuation.
Too many posts have been placed here, and elsewhere, based on zero information...using Knee-jerk reactions only.
So next time a "thingy" comes up, and the "press" gets all wound up about it, just hold back awhile, and see how it pans out. BY.
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