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Keep Both Carriers in Royal Navy Service

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by Manmohan Yadav, Nov 3, 2012.

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  1. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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    LONDON — British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has thrown his weight behind the Royal Navy operating both of the new aircraft carriers once the new Queen Elizabeth class warships enter service starting late this decade.

    Hammond said no decision would be taken before the 2015 strategic defense review on whether the second carrier would be retained for use by the Royal Navy, but the “relatively modestâ€￾ additional £70 million pounds ($112.7 million) annual cost of having the two warships available is an “extremely good investment,â€￾ he told the Royal United Services Institute annual air power conference in London Nov 1.

    The British government’s decision earlier this year to switch back to purchasing the short take-off, vertical-landing variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter meant there was now “a realistic possibility of both carriers coming into service,â€￾ said Hammond.

    A second carrier would allow the Royal Navy to have one of its two 65,000-ton warships continuously available for deployment throughout their lifetime, of the assets he told the audience of senior military officers and industry executives. In extreme circumstances, and given a little notice, it would be possible to have both carriers available at once, he said.

    Hammond also used his speech to settle a row between the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy over exactly how many jets should be routinely deployed on board the aircraft carrier once it enters service.

    The British F-35 fleet will be operated by a joint RAF/RN force. The exact number of aircraft to be purchased initially remains unclear, but media reports have put the figure at between 40 and 48.

    The RAF has been arguing for a small number of aircraft to be routinely deployed on the carrier in the early years as the overall fleet of aircraft is built up. The number is unknown, but one RN source said it was in single figures.

    Hammond appeared to end the debate, saying the RN would “routinely embark 12 jets when deployed outside home waters with an ability to surge that number higher in periods of tension.â€￾

    Land-based initial operating capability for the F-35 is scheduled for 2018, with initial flights off HMS Queen Elizabeth set for 2018, said Hammond.

    The defense secretary said discussions were underway on how plans to build a new generation of nuclear missile armed submarines to replace the current Vanguard class of boats, starting 2028, could affect other programs.

    Nuclear deterrent spending would cause cash spikes in the budget in the 2020s and 2030s, said Hammond.

    “The question is simply whether it made sense to defer normal [program] replacement cycles while we spend on nuclear replacement and its knock on effect across other domains,â€￾ he said.
     
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  2. jonas

    jonas Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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  3. Skull and Bones

    Skull and Bones Doctor Death Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Why aren't they going for nuclear propulsion? Given that most of the time their carriers will be deployed in Asian waters, along with US fleet.
     
  4. jonas

    jonas Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    As far a nuclear propulsion is concerned,the main reason was once again 'finance', also the time it would have taken to design/build a reactor specificaly for the CVF. We have never had a nuclear surface vessel and the RN is quite happy to stay non nuclear.
    The French put a reactor in the CdG designed for their nuclear submarines,and it hasn't really been a resounding success.

    In fact we expect the carriers to be employed in the North Atlantic partly,but more so in the Med/Near East and Middle East. This is so that with the US shifting their priority to the Asia.Pacific area we can take up the strain in our own area of influence.

    This will release a US CBG for the Asian theatre, I think this is why the US is so keen for us to keep both carriers in commission,even if one is on a 'high state of readiness' in port.
    I am sure that this was discussed at the recent historic joint chiefs of staff meeting in the US,unfortunately we shall never know.
     
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  5. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel IDF NewBie

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    Because it's too costly to operate nuclear propulsions and with modern engine technology not necessary, especially in the classes below the US Supercarriers. Same reason why even IN might not go for it, but our operational needs are diffent anyway.
     
  6. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    We put two reactors K15 in the CDG. It help us to save space: The CDG is small but is able to embark around 30 fighters. The concept fit with the Rafale because the omnirole capacity allow to realise mission with less planes. I like to say that 2 Rafales can replace 5 Mirage 2000, this means that with 30 Rafales you can project a 75 Mirage 2000 equivalent power. This is significant for a carrier as small as the CDG.


    [​IMG]
     
  7. jonas

    jonas Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    I was not implying that the CdG isn't a resounding success,only that its nuclear power plant is not what it could have been if the time and money had been spent on designing a reactor specificaly for the vessel.

    This is one of the main reasons the UK have stuck with a conventional power source,and I think France will to if and when it decides to go ahead with PA2.

    The only problem with your arguement in that 2 Rafales can replace 5 Mirage 2000's is I suppose technicaly correct,but much like one ship can only be in one place at a time so can aircraft.

    You cut back your aircraft by over a third you obviously then have to look at attrition rates,maintenance etc. I'm afraid the so called third world country's are fast catching up technicaly even if they are having to buy assets in,they will soon be able to nullify to a great deal the advantages western armaments have enjoyed.

    It is also true that quantity over quality sometimes does work a lesson that was taught to both the French and the USA by Vietnam,but somehow appears to have been forgotten. Not to mention the Korean war of the 50's.

    Sorry to have flown off at a tangent,getting back to carrier power. We need France to keep CdG going for as long as possible as it is the only fixed wing carrier that Europe has until the QE is commissioned,and even then it will be some years before she is up to the capability of the CdG.

    My hope is that France will shortly make a decision on PA2,I hope that national pride will not let us in the UK be able to field two carriers and France only one. Let us see what the upcoming French defence budget brings to the market. Hollande (sorry if I have spelt it wrong) says the budget will not be reduced this year.

    I for one am very sceptical,politicians of all nations give with one hand and take away with the other,France is no exception to the rule.

    We are already building parts for our second carrier,so come on France and make a decision. Building Mistrals is IMHO a mistake,put your money into PA2.
     
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  8. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    You could use Mistral with F35 B ?!....
     
  9. jonas

    jonas Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    I have a feeling that you are trying to wind me up.

    Russia is not at the moment very happy with you selling them Mistral,apparantly you forgot to tell them that the fuel they need to operate this vessel in Arctic waters,is not available in Russia.

    Come on and give me your opinion if France will be going ahead with PA2. Mistral is very good for country's that intend invading there former colonies,we have given up on that. Although we do still give you backup in airlift which you need. C17's ring a bell.!!

    You are not going to let get away with this by posting another one liner. Otherwise I shall have to give up !!
     
  10. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    The motor is the more classical part of such a boat, if what you said is true the Russian can use a local one which fit with the local environment. I don't care for the Russian. For the Mistral finally we were wise to develop it because it fit perfectly with our will to invade Mali.

    Concerning the carrier, if PA2 in the CVF-FR version was commissioned in 2008 as planned, its assembly in Saint-Nazaire would be nearing completion and commissioning could have intervened in 2015 to mark the second major technical maintenance of Charles de Gaulle . But as this was not the case, we should now, if the order was signed, wait until the end of the decade to see the ship come into service. Even those who supported the project on behalf of the need to ensure continuity of the carrier battle group no longer believe in: "It's too late now because PA2 would come as the Charles de Gaulle would be already half-life."

    If we want a replacement starting from 2030 it would require starting construction of its successor (or its successors if public finances have recovered by then) in the early 2020s. In this case, the launching of studies would take place before the end of this decade. To enable manufacturers to maintain some of their expertise in the design of aircraft carriers, highly complex toolsit, it would not be a surprise that a budget line is created, on the military planning law starting from 2015, to begin studies of the future aircraft carrier.
     
  11. jonas

    jonas Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  12. GUNS-N- ROSES

    GUNS-N- ROSES Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    i would like to point out the fact which has been visible to defence analysts for quite some time now.

    UK is finding increasingly difficult to maintain decent force levels in terms of naval power. shrinking budget has put up a lot of strain on the acquisiton and maintenance of fleet in terms of expedetionary capabilities.

    with two carriers i m sure they would rather like to guard their own house/strategic interests. the days of UK paying a significant role in asian waters are over.
     
  13. jonas

    jonas Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    I'm afraid you don't sound to optimistic in regards to PA2,do you know when CdG is due for a major refit as that will impact upon your maritime fixed wing op very badly. I imagine you would once again be able to keep pilot skills going by using the US carriers,I believe you did this before.

    In regards to the Mistral's for Russia,this is an article from the Russian media :-

    No Fuel in Russia For French-Built Warship - Deputy PM | Defense | RIA Novosti
     
  14. jonas

    jonas Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    I'm afraid that it doesn't take a defence analyst to see that the UK, along with all other western country's are having difficulties with
    defence budgets. All dating back to the debacle of the banking collapse some years ago.

    We at least are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel,but it is a painfull experience for our forces whilst things are being put back on an even keel.

    You are correct in saying that our days of playing a significant role in Asian waters are over.We no longer have any assets that we need to protect in that area,and the arms race that was once a drain on western powers is now becoming your problem.

    Our main area of concern would be the middle east and the tanker routes from the gulf oil fields,so that is where we would probably deploy our carriers in times of heightened tension.
     
  15. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Normally, the next Charles de Gaulle IPER should come in 2017. But this project is a very heavy and expensive one and may be slightly delayed to drag on the following military planning law, so as not to burden the next LPM (2014 - 2019) (Loi de Programmation Militaire), whose funding will be difficult. It could take 16 to 18 Months to make the CDG operational again (it will be the 2° IPER so we have more experience now).

    If the study of a new PA2 start in 2015-2016 it will be said that the PA2 was not droped and that it is a "restructuration" of the program...
     
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