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Author Topic: RN Carrier U Turn  (Read 9805 times)

Colin Bishop

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RN Carrier U Turn
« on: April 17, 2012, 06:03:50 pm »

Looks like the new carriers will be flying the vertical takeoff version of the JSF after all. Cats & Traps are apparently too expensive and the conventional version of the plane won't be available for agea (and that's of they manage to overcome the problem with the hooks).

Seems like Philip Hammond has looked at things a bit more objectively than Cameron. So, yet another government U turn, and once again because they don't really know what they are doing and hope that cleverness will see them through. But cleverness is no match for the Law of Unintended Consequences as they keep discovering.

Should have kept Ark Royal in service after all too.

Colin

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CF-FZG

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2012, 06:48:10 pm »

Unless somethings been announced very recently {:-{

It was announced 4 weeks ago that they were having discussions about whether to go with the 35B of a cat, or the STOVL 35C.

This is nothing to do with Hammond thinking more clearly that Cameron, (that's just cobblers), but .....

I'll quote a friend who knows about these things

Quote
The options are being re-discussed, but it has to be said that the main reason is simply that the US ships for which the electro-magnetic catapault was being developed have been delayed to the point where the QECs would now be the lead platform for the technology. That involves a big increase in technical risk for the QEC programme and changes the criteria for the decision rather than any feeling that the original decision was "wrong" per se (this is why we do risk analysis, after all!).

There are two competing risks here - the risk that X35B won't achieve its weight-reduction targets, and the risk that the electric catapaults will have development issues. At the moment it hangs in the balance - BAES is trying to push a "rational" solution of having cats AND a ski-jump (running the cats up the ramp) so that the ship design can accomodate either aircraft and indeed have a flexible capability for a mixed air-wing, but the navy aren't convinced ATM.

The option of reverting to steam cats (being touted in the hecking press) simply isn't available as the these carriers are turbo-electric powered, and you need either steam turbine or nuclear power to run a steam cat.

The other thing he said was that the 'most likely option' was the ships would be 'catapult ready but not fitted'


Mark.
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DavieTait

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2012, 06:50:08 pm »

They could route the gas turbine exhausts into a boiler to get steam for cats if they had the space that is
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Colin Bishop

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 07:19:38 pm »

Quote
They could route the gas turbine exhausts into a boiler to get steam for cats if they had the space that is

Steam catapults are now obsolete and not considered to be a viable option.

My reference was to the extensive press coverage over the last couple of days. It appears that the decision has been taken but won't be formally announced just yet although the RN is reported to have put out a press release.

Colin
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john s 2

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2012, 07:50:35 pm »

Am i correct in thinking that work to alter the ships had started? If so how much has been spent? What will now be the cost of unconverting? John.
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DavieTait

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2012, 07:58:13 pm »

think the cost of putting the QE back to VSTOL is around £250m ( they'd already rebuild the stern section for cats I think ) work on PoW isn't as advanced so should be no cost in her build
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john s 2

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2012, 08:00:56 pm »

Thanks Davie. What a lot of money wasted. Still it all makes work for the working man to do. John.
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CF-FZG

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2012, 08:03:47 pm »

Am i correct in thinking that work to alter the ships had started? If so how much has been spent? What will now be the cost of unconverting? John.

Yes, but they won't be 'unconverted'
The last line of my post
Quote
'catapult ready but not fitted'
means that the ship will be structurally ready to accept a cat, but it won't be fitted - it's standard practice with modern military orders - it means that the future expansion won't cost as much as a complete retrofit, and in the mean time will still be capable of carrying and launching the F35B.

Trials have been carried out that demonstrate the cat would be capable of launching the F35C, but the UK isn't prepared to accept all the risks (mainly financial) in developing it on our own, (the new USN carriers will be ready after the QEC class carriers so their development is behind ours).


Mark.

Apologies, got my B and C mixed up :embarrassed:
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Shipmate60

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2012, 08:26:18 pm »

CF-FZG,
The actual terminology is "Fitted for, not with".
These carriers were designed to have the catapult fitted to allow the use of a "Carrier converted" Eurofighter.
The other options would be left open.
To me it seems a far sighted decision to allow penalty clauses that would be as expensive to cancel the build.
As has been stated "Call me Dave" and co would have cancelled the project completely.
Not only leaving this country defenceless but ensuring the closure of several yards which would never be replaced.
The Scrapping of the Ark and her Harriers was a complete mistake. Losing operational capability and getting a few £million from the yanks for the Harriers as spares and the scrap value of the Ark.
Even having 1 Carrier operational, there will be a need for a Battle Group to defend them, therefore securing the Type 45 build programme and the development of the Type 46 or Future Frigate programme.
We might have a core RN left after this Financial Meltdown despite the horrendous reductions in our Armed Forces.

Bob
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gbolddak

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2012, 08:48:26 pm »

Looks like the new carriers will be flying the vertical takeoff version of the JSF after all. Cats & Traps are apparently too expensive and the conventional version of the plane won't be available for agea (and that's of they manage to overcome the problem with the hooks).

Seems like Philip Hammond has looked at things a bit more objectively than Cameron. So, yet another government U turn, and once again because they don't really know what they are doing and hope that cleverness will see them through. But cleverness is no match for the Law of Unintended Consequences as they keep discovering.

Should have kept Ark Royal in service after all too.

Colin
they should rename it as well, wot mite they name it mmmmmmmmmmmmm  arrrrr yes  ARK ROYAL     dont let the name disappear in to the history books

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CF-FZG

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2012, 09:24:35 pm »

CF-FZG,
The actual terminology is "Fitted for, not with".
These carriers were designed to have the catapult fitted to allow the use of a "Carrier converted" Eurofighter.

Bob,

Thanks, I couldn't remember the exact wording, but you knew what I meant :-))

There was never going to be a 'carrier converted' Typhoon, (there's another thread where I explain in detail why not), over it's lifetime it would have cost more than buying the F35.  Which, incidentally, has an expected life of twice the Typhoon, never mind the Harrier which had reached the end of it's development, and would unlikely to have been in service when the F35 came into service.


Mark.
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Shipmate60

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2012, 09:40:39 pm »

Mark,
When the carrier was FIRST designed the Eurofighter was the preferred option despite it not being developed then.
It takes years to finally design a naval ship.
The Future Frigate was started while I was in Bath in 1996.
A tri-miran hull was considered which led to the "Triton" being built and tested as a 1/3 Scale ship.

Bob
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CF-FZG

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2012, 10:10:37 pm »

Bob,

Okay, checked with a friend at BAe .....

The Typhoon was designed in the '80s as a land based fighter.
In 1996 the requirements for the future carrier aircraft were released - the only place the Typhoon was mentioned was as a conventional short take off version with rhag equipment, (still a very costly conversion of an aircraft that was going to have a very short life compared with the JSF).

The preferred option was always the JSF, (BAe got into bed with both US competitors to make sure it was going to be involved), due to it's expected capabilities and life time expectations, and don't forget the JSF was the 'next generation fighter' compared with the Typhoon, Rafale, and FA18 :-))

Mark.
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john s 2

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2012, 10:29:54 pm »

If the Harrier was at the end of its developement. Why did the Americans buy ours? What use do they have for them that we dont? Also what fuel does a ships gas turbine burn please? Im guessing a aero fuel type. If so how much more expensive is the vessel to run? Than a crude based diesel.Thanks John.
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CF-FZG

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2012, 10:34:09 pm »

My reference was to the extensive press coverage over the last couple of days.

Colin,

I've looked and searched to no avail, I've asked around - and no-one can point me at any press coverage in the last few days never mind extensive, (even asked a manager at BAe :-)).

Do you have any links that we can look at??


Mark.
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CF-FZG

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2012, 10:45:15 pm »

If the Harrier was at the end of its developement. Why did the Americans buy ours? What use do they have for them that we dont? Also what fuel does a ships gas turbine burn please? Im guessing a aero fuel type. If so how much more expensive is the vessel to run? Than a crude based diesel.Thanks John.

Why - mainly for spares,

What use - see above,

What fuel - usually kerosene, (Jet-A1) - but in an emergency can run on most fuels including diesel fuel oil - I don't know how much diesel fuel oil is so I can't comment, but aviation kerosene, (Jet-A1), is fairly cheap.

I take it by 'crude based diesel' you mean fuel oil or diesel fuel oil {:-{


Mark.
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john s 2

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2012, 11:05:51 pm »

Thanks Mark. I know a bit more now. John. 
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Colin Bishop

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2012, 11:06:36 pm »

Quote
I've looked and searched to no avail, I've asked around - and no-one can point me at any press coverage in the last few days never mind extensive, (even asked a manager at BAe .

Do you have any links that we can look at??


Well it was on the front page of The Times.... Plus if you Google 'carrier U turn' you will get quite a lot of hits including reports from several national and regional newspapers.

Colin
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Brian

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2012, 11:26:12 pm »

Well it was on the front page of The Times.... Plus if you Google 'carrier U turn' you will get quite a lot of hits including reports from several national and regional newspapers.

Thanks Colin :-))

Reading the articles though suggests the expected u-turn is more for short term financial reasons than military reasons.

Don't forget that the F35B hasn't been signed off yet, it's still overweight for VSTOL performance and was still struggling to meet other requirements {:-{


Mark.

Oh, and this isn't directed at you Colin :-))

Someone suggested the Government's actions over the QE Class carriers aren't very good for the country - suggest he looks at who it was who cancelled the last large carrier project in 1966- and respectfully suggest he removes his foot from his cakehole and reconsiders his statement :kiss:
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Shipmate60

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2012, 11:29:15 pm »

Mark,
No idea about BAe but from a MoD point of view.
The Eurofighter was to be developed as an interceptor, air superiority fighter, fighter bomber and carrier based fighter/bomber.
The development costs and time overun killed off the other varients.
At the time of the original contract tender the carrier was to operate the carrier version of Eurofighter and Harrier plus helicopters.
That is why the carrier was fitted for but not with the catapult.
I have no idea what BAe was finally tendered with but do know some of the history of the project as I used to visit the offices where the original tender was being drawn up.
The carrier was also designed with "empty" compartments to allow future equipment to be fitted (as in the Type 45).
She was being designed initially as HMS Ocean's concept was conceived ie a warship built more to commercial standards than the
usual Naval Engineering Standards which allowed a certain amount of battle damage but still remain operational.
I am glad to see that this concept didn't make it through to the final design.

Bob
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Shipmate60

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2012, 11:41:27 pm »

Mark,
You have several things wrong with your posting.
Yes "Typhoon" is the land based aircraft, the other variants were to have other operational names rather than variant titles.
I have no interest who cancelled the last carrier (after building HMS Bristol as an escort)
That comment smacks of pure politics, not military capability.
The TSR2 was also cancelled in favour of the F111 which performed so poorly in Vietnam that the contract was cancelled but TSR2 never reinstated.

Bob
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RAAArtyGunner

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2012, 11:46:42 pm »

To do with the JSF, from Australian Parliamentary committee,
these committees are bipartisan



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Colin Bishop

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2012, 08:57:52 am »

Quote
Reading the articles though suggests the expected u-turn is more for short term financial reasons than military reasons.

My reading is that it's not just a financial issue, although that does play a part, but equally because the timescale and uncertainties of the cats & traps option means that the ships would spend maybe a third of their lives with no planes available to  to operate from them!

The Invincible class have been used for several different roles over their careers, there is no reason to suppose the QEs will be any different. Simply having a large mobile platform that can be used in a number of ways is an asset in itself.

Colin
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Bryan Young

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Re: RN Carrier U Turn
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2012, 09:49:59 pm »

To be honest guys, I've been involved with re-fuelling "gas-turbine" engined ships of many nationalities. Never once did we pump across 3,000 tonnes of "avcat" (I seem to recall that the Yanks call it JP4). The only Avcat we sent over was to fuel the aircraft....perhaps 500 cubes at a time. The "Ark", "Impossible" and "Indefensible" were all fuelled with diesel. Exactly the same stuff as you put in your (diesel) car. Sometimes....when needs must....the bottom dregs of the Avcat tanks would be mixed in with the diesel. Much better than the other way about. Similarly, when we had ships using FFO (heavy Furnace Fuel Oil), the Diesel could be used to sort of clean the pipes, mixing it with the FFO. Benefits all round. BY.
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