back to article HMS Queen Lizzie formally joins the Royal Navy

Britain’s biggest ever aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, has been formally commissioned into the Royal Navy, with Her Majesty attending the ceremony in person. The ceremony, held this morning at Portsmouth Naval Base inside the carrier’s own hangar, saw Queen Elizabeth II address dignitaries and others before the ship’s …

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Joke

“Our new aircraft carrier is the epitome of British design and dexterity, at the core of our efforts to build an Armed Forces fit for the future,”

I know, right? Just wait until we get the planes!

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Who needs planes

Who needs planes, it already has at least one droneUAV (which is apparently so stealth tech that even the people on the carrier can't detect it coming and going), under the command of a brass-balled Scotsman.

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Anonymous Coward

Ladies and gentleman

I give you the new Royal Yacht Queen Elizabeth.

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Anonymous Coward

Lizzie McBoatface

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Absolutely terrible!

I LOLed.

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Facepalm

Hangar?

"The ceremony, held this morning at Portsmouth Naval Base inside the carrier’s own hangar"

They built a hangar to put the carrier in? No wonder the project cost so much!

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Joke

Re: Hangar?

Well, it's not quite finished, obv. They haven't put the wings on yet.

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Re: Hangar?

isn't that the point of the Carrier? To protect the planes when not flying? Now thats a level of redundancy.

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Trollface

Re: Hangar?

Wait, did nobody tell you it was a helicarrier? You've been going around all this time thinking it was just one of those boring floaty ship type ones? Blimey!

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Re: Hangar?

Unfortunately, Helicarriers are managed by Team America, not by team blimey.

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Re: Hangar?

I thought HMS Cloudbase was operated by Spectrum and was the base for the Angel Interceptors?

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Anonymous Coward

"controversy over her £3.5bn price tag"

If all goes well, “Big Liz” will be serving our country for decades to come. That price tag makes her about one third of the cost of the London Olympics, which are already largely forgotten.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "controversy over her £3.5bn price tag"

Chump change if we ditched the unnecessary Trident programme.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "controversy over her £3.5bn price tag"

it will sail gloriously for years to come... until the time of a major conflict when it'll be the first to go down. Well, not the first glorious sinking, mind you :/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "controversy over her £3.5bn price tag"

Sadly, the nuclear deterrent is the only one that is effective any more. Any Nation that wants to remain largely autonomous must have that. For examples look at what happened to the Ukraine and then what North Korea does.

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Re: "controversy over her £3.5bn price tag"

The thinking at the time was that if we were going to pay the locals £3.5Bn in dole handouts then we might as well get something in return. One of the few sensible decisions by Gordon Brown.

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Re: "controversy over her £3.5bn price tag"

Or the £12bn we spend every year on UK foreign aid.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure some of that money is going to great causes, but relatively speaking its quite a lot of money

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Two ways to look at it: Massive overkill or massive target

Massive overkill for projecting power when dealing with hunter gatherers.

It simply does not have sufficient close-in support to defend itself if any Tier 1 or Tier 2 world navy decides to play with it and its escorts.

Chinese have 1000+ see skimming missile in one fleet salvo (by a conservative estimate). An average Russian fleet group has ~ 500-800. Even India has ~ 300+ in one fleet salvo. This exceeds what QE with all escorts UK can scrape for it can defend against by a factor of several times. It takes one to get through for it to lose the ability to launch. Two or more - it will be rusting on the bottom of the ocean. If we assume that the CIWS and missile defences on the escorts is operating to spec, that equates to the enemy not even firing a full salvo in order for enough to get through. A full salvo is a guaranteed kill because there is simply not enough ammo on all escorts UK has to defend against a full salvo from any of the Tier 1 and Tier 2 fleets out there (If we count India as Tier2, it has a bigger fleet than UK nowdays).

At the same time if it is used against used against hunter gathers, it is ridiculously expensive.

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Re: Two ways to look at it: Massive overkill or massive target

Wasn't the same always true for RN or USN carriers since ww2?

Just because some military asset can be destroyed is not a reason for it never to have been built.

That's just stupid arm chair general top trumps.

The perfect indestructible weapon system has never existed and never will. Assets are consumable and you expect to use them up.

Strategy is how you preserve them or choose when they get eaten up.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Two ways to look at it: Massive overkill or massive target

Wasn't the same always true for RN or USN carriers since ww2?

No.

A NATO carrier group would have successfully withstood an "exchange of pleasantries" with a USSR fleet group up to the 1970-es. It would have sunk whatever was facing it and smiled.

This is different from operating anywhere near USSR with the range of their aviation though. It would have run out of ammo 15 minutes into a concerted and sunk shortly thereafter - something NATO planners know very well too.

It is the advent of P500 armed Basalt and P700 Granit which changed the equation. That gave each and every USSR fleet group the teeth to stand on its own against any carrier group anywhere they can potentially meet. P800 Onyx and the later smaller and cheaper missiles like Kalibr made the match significantly more uneven - now even a small Russian fleet squadron has the firepower to take on a anything floating and make it very very painful. Indians have copied it - while they have two aircraft carriers, they also subscribe to this doctrine and even build missiles for it - Bramos is as good as anything Russian have today. Chinese have done it too - the amount of missiles they carry on their fleet is in the realm of the ridiculous.

So going back to my point about QE - it is overly expensive to beat 3rd world governments into submission and if the third word government manages to convince any of the other naval powers to "donate some missiles" or bring in a small squadron it will have to leave the area. Anything else aside this is the issue with having a navy with only ONE(*) big asset. You do not dare lose it.

(*)HM Prince Of Wales does not count as the intention is to operate only one carrier at a time. It is not truly a second fleet core. It is a spare.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Two ways to look at it: Massive overkill or massive target

If overwhelming a target by weight of numbers is the answer, why don't we have lots of missiles too?

It sounds a little like the dreadnought race of 100 years ago, both sides had enough power to destroy the other. Arguably, the Germans won the Battle of Jutland tactically but failed to win the strategic war. War still takes brains and muscle.

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Re: Two ways to look at it: Massive overkill or massive target

Find, fix, strike. That is the order of things when attacking a naval target and of the three, the first two are the tricky ones not the attack itself.

If your scouts are shot down or simply looking in the wrong place then it really doesn't matter in the slightest how many missiles you have. Hence the current focus on stealth tech for the picket ships that provide outer circle cover and the aircraft that would intercept any scouts.

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Re: Two ways to look at it: Massive overkill or massive target

So what you're saying is that the QE is effective against 98% of countries militarily, 100% of trade missions and 100% of humanitarian relief efforts.

Doesn't seem unreasonable. Now you could argue that ten HMS Ocean's would be better value, and I'd agree.

I have a feeling if we're ever in a situation where carrier survivability against the nuclear powers of China, US or Russia is important then things have gone more pear shaped than one carrier is likely able to fix.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Two ways to look at it: Massive overkill or massive target

Find, fix, strike.

All Russian anti-ship missiles in their non-export version and supposedly the Chinese have group hunt mode. The salvo flies low, one goes up picks target, if the spotter is shut down, the salvo elects another one to go up and so on. For the first time introduced with P700 Granit.

If the primary target has been neutralized the remaining in-flight missiles pick up secondary targets in order of importance. Even the ancient by today's standard Granit can pick up an aircraft carrier as a primary target despite jamming and active countermeasures.

So frankly, fix is not an issue. If the location is known down to ~ 30-40 miles count it dead. Its chances of survival are in single digits.

So what you're saying is that the QE is effective against 98% of countries militarily, 100% of trade missions and 100% of humanitarian relief efforts.

The same would have been valid for a significantly cheaper ship leaving more money for escorts and/or more money to have multiple ships in the lead class.

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Re: Two ways to look at it: Massive overkill or massive target

Getting it down to 30-40 miles is still the problem. That's <2 hours steaming in combat conditions so unless your missile platforms are really really close (and how did they get there undetected) then you still need a more up to date fix on location.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Two ways to look at it: Massive overkill or massive target

Blah blah blah, WW3, Chinese missile swarms.

The ship wasn't built to duke it out with any surface or even subsurface combatants.

Its to achieve what all UK armed forces need to achieve in the 21st century.... show UK commitment to some US attack on Johnny Arab.

Steam to somewhere near Johnny, strap some bombs to an aircraft and blow him and his goat to close proximity of what he hopes will be a bunch of virgins.

The plan is going great so far, all we need are the aircraft.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Two ways to look at it: Massive overkill or massive target

The Soviets never planned to kill USCBG's with surface ships.

Several reasons for that:

1) The VMF were not a blue water navy. Their concept was that of operating close to the coast and defend it.

2) The massive submarine fleet would be the aquatic hunters of large surface groups and despite what you might imagine, the possibility of stopping a salvo of torpedoes is fairly low.

3) Targets to be located for the submarines using long range naval air regiments, who also have the ability to strike from a very long old way off of the target. They also have the numbers and missile carrying capability to overwhelm even a US air defence system.

4) All of the above and then chuck in the ability for any single weapon to carry a tactical nuclear weapon - afterall, we are talking WW3 here.

Carrier Battle Groups, perfect for bombing goat herders and rice farmers. Just one big old target for an opponent with an actual navy but bombing goat herders and and rice farmers are the ones needing bombing. Those evil Russians are long gone.

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Re: Two ways to look at it: Massive overkill or massive target

Anything else aside this is the issue with having a navy with only ONE(*) big asset.

FTFY

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Anonymous Coward

is it German built?

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epitome of class, decorum, and what a Leader should be

Glad to see such a vessel named after such a Lady.

this is why us Yanks are so keen to "steal" your Prince Harry/ "Captain Wales" :)

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Pint

re: vessel named after such a Lady.

"As a Yank" you may not know but according to this fine body we refer to as The Commentariat, active warships are not named after current monarchs. This one is named for Queen Elisabeth 1st. /pedant. PP

>>Icon: Friday Eve.

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Happy

Re: re: vessel named after such a Lady.

Pete, you must have been on the beer early. Today is a Thursday.

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Re: re: vessel named after such a Lady.

@Pedigree-Pete

This one is named for Queen Elisabeth 1st. /pedant. PP

Ditto. /pedant.

EliZabeth

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Anonymous Coward

Re: re: vessel named after such a Lady.

He knows what he's doing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: epitome of class, decorum, and what a Leader should be

The pictured Queen also packs more of a punch.

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Re: epitome of class, decorum, and what a Leader should be

"what a Leader should be"

I had it from a member of the Team Trump that the Japanese command "Tora! Tora! Tora!" as heard in the movie of the same name, was actually pidgin Spanish, and the Japanese aircrew making that statement had seen the only example of the she-bull that the Pentagon was reportedly breeding at the time. It had escaped from its pen and was wandering the roads of Pearl Harbor and he shouted it to his crew and the others in his flight who were also pretending to be Mexicans and supposed to be speaking pidgin Spanish ... they forgot and attacked.

Just imagine if they had caught the she-bull in time! (The she-bull sports an impressive udder. It is udderly awesome.)

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Re: re: vessel named after such a Lady.

'active warships are not named after current monarchs.'

You might not want to tell George the V that, there was definitely a battleship named after him while he was alive. Not to mention one named after him after he wasn't.

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Re: re: vessel named after such a Lady.

Actually there are a few more than that. Many ships captured from the French in the pre-revolutionary 18th Century were named as adjectives for their monarchs. Rather than give them the name of the monarch (they would of course have all been called Louis) they were given names such as Invincible (1747), Superb (1710) or Courageous (1761), to name but a few.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Boo

Great Queen, stupid aircraft on order.

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Pirate

I have this vision of the ship sailing up and down the English Channel with a bunch of bagpipers playing on the flight deck, all to annoy the French.

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Actually, the plan is to send it to sail around the South China Sea. Without any planes. To amuse the Chinese, I guess.

They are noted for their appreciation of light-hearted whimsy and have absolutely no negative feelings about past contacts with the British Empire, so it will all go jolly well.

It says here....

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Happy

The Devils in Skirts

with a bunch of bagpipers playing on the flight deck,

A Squadron of fixed wing aircraft would have been better, but I guess we have to make do.

As for men in kilts - a company from the "3rd Foot and Mouth" would be up for it.

Motto: "Always Ready For Action".

http://3rdfootandmouth.yolasite.com/regimental-history.php

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Well... job done then. One carrier ready to go. Pity there's not much to fly off it yet, but that's the way it goes lately. I'm guessing that by the time the aircraft are ready for the carrier, it'll be time to build a new carrier.

I do have to wonder what your government was thinking about when planning this. Not like any aircraft in recent history has been delivered on time and fully operational. There should have been cats and cables for aircraft in the inventory or at least operational.

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They were thinking let's get the carrier worked up and ready and then we can start the flying trials. Once that's done, by the end of next year, we can move on to working up the whole combination of carrier and air group so it can deploy on operations. The RN haven't done proper carrier ops for seven years now, there's no point rushing it and getting people killed through lack of experience. For those interested / unable to sleep Google RA1029 for the details of the approval process to operate an aircraft type from a class of ship. I've seen that take about three months to do retrospectively* for a combination that was already in service so add on the necessary data gathering and you've easily taken up next year with things to do.

Essentially the RN and RAF are introducing a new ship and a new aircraft at the same time, whereas normally only one of them would be untested. Even if we had operational carrier aircraft they wouldn't be flying off the ship until Q2 next year. Which oddly enough is when the rotary wing flying trials start.

*After the regulations were rewritten anything not going out of service within a year had to prove compliance with the new rules.

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What a pile of tosh. Surely it's just a case of (A) fly new "designed for carrier" aircraft, (B) land on carrier, (C) fly new aircraft off of carrier, (D) repeat a couple of times.

Have they not heard of agile methods to speed this up? Why spend time doing lengthy safety and stuff when the military personnel have already kind of given up on life in the first place, simply by joining the military. Sacrificing a few service people for the sake of speeding up the getting it into service quicker will save more people in the long term.

Where do I apply for the job of Admiral? Although I think Sea-Lord befits my stature better.

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wonder what your government was thinking about when planning this

I suspect there was little thinking[1] and even less planning..

[1] Politicians not famed for their critical thinking skills.. Low cunning, yes. Ability to backstab, yes.

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"Where do I apply for the job of Admiral? Although I think Sea-Lord befits my stature better."

If you can polish up the handle of the big front door then you should go far.

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'What a pile of tosh. Surely it's just a case of (A) fly new "designed for carrier" aircraft, (B) land on carrier, (C) fly new aircraft off of carrier, (D) repeat a couple of times.'

I refer you to RA1029, even in war time there're extensive trials for instance Eric Brown spent a lot of the war doing deck landing trials in various marks of Seafire. But obviously I'll bow to your superior knowledge of military aviation safety regulations...

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