You think aircraft carriers are expensive...
Wait until you see the final bill for the F-35x!!
Is it possible that the fighters aboard might be more expensive than the ship that carries them?
Today saw her Maj QE2 smash a bottle of Islay malt whisky over her floating namesake at Fife's Rosyth dockyard, as she hailed "a new phase" in Blighty's glorious naval history. The carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is a 280-metre-long behemoth which promises a maritime capability equal to that of its voracious appetite for …
Well thats what you get if you don't build it here.....
At least the Lifting fans/engines are built in the UK for the F35 (rolls royce) but whether the computers will turn on is another matter... I remember at one point the US was refusing to hand over the source code.....
We have a great history of building amazing aircraft here in the UK & Europe, I can't see why we didn't build out own VSTOL fighter, at the very least we should never have sold off our Harriers!
" I remember at one point the US was refusing to hand over the source code....."
Wouldn't surprise me. We're the USAs Bestest Friend Ever when they need something from us (like helping them justify pointless invasions), but when we need something from them and they don't get much from it, its a different bloody story.
"We have a great history of building amazing aircraft here in the UK & Europe, I can't see why we didn't build out own VSTOL fighter,"
2 main problems:
A) We don't have the money and since no other european country has ever seemed that interested in VTOL we'd probably have to cough up for everything which wouldn't go down well with the usual "wot abaht 'ospitals-n-skools!" style of moron voter all politicians seem in thrall to these days.
B) The current crop of politicians don't seem that interested in supporting british industry anyway and when challenged just fall back on the EU fair competition rules. Which everyone else in the EU ignores anyway except us.
"at the very least we should never have sold off our Harriers!"
A textbook definition of extreme short term thinking. Even if we didn't have the money to run them they could have been mothballed with minimum maintenance until we did. But no, Osborne had to sell them off for a pittance. The man should be ashamed of himself.
Shirly if (presumably) your mates in the defence industry weren't such an incompetent bunch of theving vagbonds, footpads and skulking loafers, and could manage to just once fulfil a contract at least in the same decade it was supposed to be delivered in and at a cost within say 5000% of the original estimate, then we could have all the jump-jets and carriers we want... and still have enough money left over for me and the rest of the electorates schools and hospitals.
just a thought.
Check your facts before bleating again - in the UK 2013 budget there was twice as much on education, threes times as much on NHS, and nearly four times as much on pensions as spent on defence. If you had even the faintest knowledge about the way we procure weapons systems you would also know the majority of delays are due to the politicians using the armed forces as a political football, making ridiculous changes to requirements mid-project at the drop of an hat, and then poisoning the chalice (as Labour did with the carriers) when they realise they are not going to get re-elected.
cos killing people is soooooo much more important than say educating the ignorant, or providing sheltered accommodation to the mentally enfeebled.
both subjects I should have thought would be close to your heart* <kiss kiss>
* silly me, old fashioned thatcherite - no heart in the first place.
"cos killing people is soooooo much more important than say educating the ignorant, or providing sheltered accommodation to the mentally enfeebled...." I didn't say it was, I simply exposed the ignorance in your previous post. Nice to see you're maintaining your record as a bad loser.
".....old fashioned thatcherite - no heart in the first place." Always fun watching a Leftie shriek and whine when their fave bleat has been easily demolished with a single factual post.
"whether the computers will turn on is another matter... I remember at one point the US was refusing to hand over the source code....."
Pretty sure not having the source will not affect the computers turning on. Maintenance maybe but not boot up.
"Well thats what you get if you don't build it here....."
Yeah, because our Nimrods worked out so well.
There's no point us making our own aircraft: We only need a handful and the development costs are thus insane. Our new radios and the SA80 worked out so well, too.
The problem with the VTOLs we are ordering from the US is the same problem we'd have if we had made them ourselves... except less-so, because someone else does actually want the same plan (USMC). If we'd have built them ourselves the costs would have been even higher.
'Considering that Nimrods were Comet 1 airframes (yes, the very same that embarrassingly broke up in flight) I reckon they did pretty well.'
Yeah, until one blew up in mid air killing 14 people because BAe Systems lied about the safety case .
'Well thats what you get if you don't build it here'
As I understand it BAe are also making part of the fuselage of every F-35. In fact something like 20% of the total build is from UK industry, which over the course of the programme will probably be of greater value than if we had a 100% UK built aircraft and then only brought a hundred or so of them.
Why not busses? If you sail a carrier packed with aircraft to a foreign land you're really boxing yourself in as far as tactical options go. There's really only so much you can do with military attack aircraft and no matter what Admiral Blueblood says, none of those things are going to be novel, or even creative.
But sail an aircraft carrier full of big London busses to a foreign land and nobody will know what to do. Are the busses a gift? Have the British woefully misjudged the available surface road infrastructure in Kerplackistan? Have the British discovered anti-gravity technology and no longer need their aircraft to be aerodynamically efficient? Are the busses full of migrants? Are the busses Transformers?
See, nearly limitless options, none which justify attacking the bus carrier preemptively. Only a fool would launch an attack on such an enormous what-the-fuck. You can't shoot at things unless you know what's going on and nobody is going to know what the hell is happening when HMS Mass Transit anchors offshore. For a few days, even longer if you refuse to communicate, the British Navy will once again control the Seas.
Looks pretty scary to me, especially if they are using them in a ballistic manor. One route master double decker launched on the steam catapult at your enemy, maybe fill it with school children because they are a nightmare on public transport in packs.
(I mention steam catapults but I can't remember if they were being installed or not).
IIRC they're not being installed. The ship was to be capable of retrofit for convential aircraft - opening the purchase options considerably, but then BAe can back with a silly price for it, forcing the government to carry on with the F35x. (which it part builds)
OT. The caaier is a "shared resource" of the European Rapid Reaction Force. Which may go some way to explaining the distortion of the UK naval capacity that it represents.
If the carrier is a shared ressource, what other European naval force actually uses VTOL aircraft apart from Russia (and maybe some spanish Harriers/AV8's?) The other big european flat-top is the Charles de Gaulle, and without cats & traps, no way to operate Rafale's... I really think that BAe took the piss with their pricing and we are going to end up with an expensive but sub-optimal weapons system :(
No steam catapaults, fullstop.
The option was electric ones (which had yet to be developed) and BAE made it very clear they didn't want to install them by pricing retrofitting them at somewhat more expensive than building a new ship.
Of course having only ONE aircraft carrier won't be much use even if the UK really can pool resources with the French (I'll believe that when I see a Mirage sitting on the deck of the QE).
In typical UK MOD bungling style, it was going to have steam catapults, then it wasn't, then some fancy electro-magnetic linear motor catapult, then nothing. Multiply this sort of faffing about for every system aboard and I wonder it hasn't cost ten times its already staggering cost. Still six years to finish it, so plenty of opportunities to add / delete / add again countless bits of technology. . . .
> One route master double decker launched on the steam catapult at your enemy
No need to throw them, roll 'em out of the back of C-17. Apart from the comedy factor of being hit by a bus, it'd make an awesome airfield denial weapon; make them spend months picking up bits of fibreglass to stop it being sucked into jet engines.
I have a feeling a Routemaster is too tall to go in a C-17, but it does give us something to do with all the old Leyland Nationals.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Routemaster puts the cost of a new RouteMaster (aka 'Boris Bus') as £354,000, so those 470 units would come in at about £170 million (assuming no discount for bulk).
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26124894 gives the cost of an F35 at around £60m per plane (£150m+ if you allocate infrastructure, training, support etc.)
So, somewhere between 1 and 3 strike jets, or 470 buses. Now there's a strategic decision worth pondering, particularly if we could have ex-Gurkhas as conductors and Boris himself driving the lead vehicle through the gates of Kabul...
Kerb weight of a Routemaster 12.65 tonnes
Kerb weight of an F-35 22.4 to 31.8 tonnes
So a catapult should be able to throw a bus further. Give or take aerodynamics. Cheaper, and carry more rounds. With some chutes, may even be survivable but even if we do fit cats to the carriers, I doubt the Navy would let us try.
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