back to article Blighty's first aircraft carrier in six years is set to take to the seas

Britain’s largest ever warship, aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, is due to sail from her Rosyth dockyard on her maiden voyage today. The 65,000-tonne ship will leave the yard and then wait for low tide for a few hours before starting her own main engines and passing underneath the Forth Bridges, which are just downstream …

  1. wyatt

    It'll be interesting to see the foreign forces monitoring this movement. As you say there isn't much room to hide so you'd hope that assets would have already been identified or counter measures put in place to an extent.

    If a Russian plane flew into our airspace, I wonder if it would be shot down or just be told it's a really naughty boy and please go home?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      so you'd hope that assets would have already been identified or counter measures put in place to an extent

      Like what assets? Between Blair, Brown and Cameron our government dismantled the existing Nimrod maritime patrol capability and the Cameron cancelled its replacement. We'll be relying on the handful of the now rather old Type 23 frigates, and the rather binary threat of our handful of hunter-killer submarines.

      If a Russian plane flew into our airspace, I wonder if it would be shot down

      Very, very unlikely, although it depends how much of a diplomatic incident you want. The more belligerent nations (eg Turkey) are happy to take the consequences, but between the major powers they do try to avoid getting into that sort of situation. Since UK territorial water are only 12 miles from the coast, most of the QE sea trials will be in international waters anyway.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If a Russian plane flew into our airspace, I wonder if it would be shot down or just be told it's a really naughty boy and please go home?

      As long as the Russkies stay at least 12 nm off the coast, they are perfectly within their rights to listen and record as much as they want. That's plenty close enough to get all possible visual, radar, and acoustic signatures.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        As long as the Russkies stay at least 12 nm off the coast, they are perfectly within their rights to listen and record as much as they want.

        Captain Pedant here, although this is hardly a matter of high pedantry. 12 nm would be 12 nanometres, which is really rather closer to the coast than I personally want belligerent Russians to be flying. I believe the correct symbol for nautical miles, which I assume you intended, to be "NM", although wikipedia states "M, NM, or nmi" are valid; not however simply "nm".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Captain Pedant here, although this is hardly a matter of high pedantry. 12 nm would be 12 nanometres, which is really rather closer to the coast than I personally want belligerent Russians to be flying. I believe the correct symbol for nautical miles, which I assume you intended, to be "NM", although wikipedia states "M, NM, or nmi" are valid; not however simply "nm".

          Fresh from the desk of Dr. Proktophantasmist:

          Definition of nm

          1 nanometer

          2 nautical mile

          Source: Merriam-Webster

          1. The First Dave

            Using any American source for spelling/grammar/science is a bit unreliable, shirlye?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Using any American source for spelling/grammar/science is a bit unreliable, shirlye?

              Ah, but how do you know I am not an American (which would make it both reliable and appropriate)?

              Now as it happens I am not - but that does not make me British either, does it?

              Internet anonymity is a precious thing; among other things it forces us to assess others' statements for their content, not for the tribal allegiance of the speaker. Let's enjoy it while we still can.

            2. Aitor 1

              I don't know

              How would you meter the differences? ;)

          2. Captain DaFt

            -Definition of nm

            1 nanometer

            2 nautical mile

            Source: Merriam-Webster-

            So that was the mix-up that doomed that Mars mission!

          3. Cuddles Silver badge

            "Definition of nm

            1 nanometer

            2 nautical mile"

            I don't understand why people are arguing about this. The correct notation is "13228.6508 linguine".

            1. Dave the Cat
              Coat

              Are there other crustacean based units of measurement?

          4. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

            Nautical miles again

            Chambers gives the only options as nm or n mile.

            NM it gives as the abbreviation for New Mexico.

        2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          "although wikipedia states"

          IIRC you are not supposed to use Wikipedia as a source, but to go to the citations.

          1. Captain DaFt

            Re: "although wikipedia states"

            "IIRC you are not supposed to use Wikipedia as a source, but to go to the citations."

            And it doesn't hurt to check that the citations don't just end up referencing Wikipedia!

        3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          I believe the correct symbol for nautical miles, which I assume you intended, to be "NM", although wikipedia states "M, NM, or nmi" are valid; not however simply "nm".

          *Nods approvingly

          Just when you think the younger pedantards are slipping, along comes one to reconfirm ones' faith in the future of pendantry.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Just when you think the younger pedantards are slipping, along comes one to reconfirm ones' faith in the future of pendantry."

            Pendantry ?? Sounds like we have a medallion man in our midst ;-)

        4. gandalfcn

          Captain Pedant

          Captain Pedant you are obviously not a captain or a navigator, nor have you ever been.

          From a real captain.

          1. Louis Schreurs BEng

            Re: Captain Pedant

            define 'real captain' with citations please, not phrom wikipeadio.

    3. Smooth Newt
      Meh

      Russian planes

      If a Russian plane flew into our airspace, I wonder if it would be shot down or just be told it's a really naughty boy and please go home?

      You mean, would the Royal Air Force risk a war, and with a nuclear armed power at that, without asking the Prime Minister's permission first? Given her reputation for being weak and wobbly, what do you think her answer would be?

      In the unlikely event of her seriously considering it, factors she would be forced to evaluate include how supportive our EU partners in NATO would be in defusing another major crisis unilaterally caused by the UK, and how reliable Donald Trump would be if push came to shove. It is entirely likely that the UK would end up being hung out to dry by its allies, and worse than that, many of the UK based Russian oligarchs who donate to the Conservative Party would take their custom elsewhere.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Russian planes

        I'm sure Trump would be a reliable ally to Russia in such an incident, given his alleged involvement in a different type of water sports.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Russian planes

          I'm sure Trump would be a reliable ally to Russia in such an incident, given his alleged involvement in a different type of water sports.

          You know that report was sourced from 4chan?

          Also, it's time to move on. Democarats are starting to notice that harping on about Russia is not a crowd-pleaser

      2. mwnci

        Re: Russian planes

        Inherent right of self defence - You don't phone the PM to give you permission to defend yourself.

        If an aircraft is not on Airguard, not got a Mode Charlie IFF response, flying outside of Airlanes, flying an attack profile, and carrying weapons, transmitting on Fire-control radars etc and breaks our Terroritorial limits. I guarantee, that aircraft will be taken out.

        As a pilot if you stand on, with any 3 of these, you are likely to be shot down - More than 3, you better have your hand on your ejector seat handle, because your ass is about to be blown out of the sky.

  2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Coat

    What's in a (nick)name

    Let's hope Chief Petty Officer Andrew “Sticky” Vercoe doesn't get the ship stuck

    Sorry, couldn't resist, I'll get me coat

    1. Esme

      Re: What's in a (nick)name

      He should be fine so long as lovable Lesley isn't handling the navigationals.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's in a (nick)name

      If so, it's a minor name change to Velcro.

  3. Christoph Silver badge

    men in hi-vis jackets shouting "left hand down!"

    In correct Naval tradition that should be "left hand down a bit!"

    1. AndGregor

      No moving job would be complete without the obligatory "To Me - To you".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        .... and can we have Kevin McCloud doing the jeopardy bit that occurs in every episode of Grand Designs and say "the proect has reached a critcial point - will the ship be abel to squeeze out of the dock entrance ... the plans say it should - but are those plans right - and if it won't fit then they won't be in before winter and will have to say in the caravan with the new baby"

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Korev Silver badge
          Joke

          ".... and can we have Kevin McCloud doing the jeopardy bit that occurs in every episode of Grand Designs"

          You mean the bit before the people building it fall pregnant? All I've got to say is that man is fertile (allegedly).

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        Mandatory "Friends" reference

        "Pivot! Pivot!!!"

        I hope the QE ends up in better shape than Ross's sofa.

    2. EddieD

      Ev'rybody down!

      1. Wiltshire

        Is HMS Troutbridge part of the QE's escort?

    3. Stuart 22

      In correct Naval tradition that should be "left hand down a bit!"

      Only after going "back a bit sideways"

  4. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Why not 'Rick roll' the Russkie subs listening in? Place big sub(!!) woofer speakers on the hull and blare out Rick Ashley 24/7 :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why not 'Rick roll' the Russkie subs listening in? Place big sub(!!) woofer speakers on the hull and blare out Rick Ashley 24/7

      Because the Ruskies wouldn't be able to hear Rick over the appalling racket of any Type 45s that the Navy have in the North Sea.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "the appalling racket of any Type 45s that the Navy have"

        It could be a double bluff. They are really very quiet, but until we need them to be, let's let everyone else think they will hear them coming. Nah, only kidding!

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Or host a rave party in the lower decks...

      1. Wiltshire

        Re "Or host a rave party in the lower decks..."

        How about The Village People?

        They are already on a Euro 2017 tour, scheduled to perform somewhere nearby sometime soon.

        https://www.ents24.com/uk/tour-dates/village-people

  5. Alister Silver badge

    The ship, measuring 39m (128ft) abeam at the waterline, will have just 35cm (14”) clearance either side and 50cm of water clearance between her hull, the riverbed and the surrounding dockyard.

    That's a bloody tight parking space, that is, I wonder what they'll do to CPO Vercoe if he scrapes it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In the RN if a task is critical you give it to a Chief Petty Officer. If it's important but doesn't mater if it gets screwed up a commissioned officer will do it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "In the RN if a task is critical you give it to a Chief Petty Officer. If it's important but doesn't mater if it gets screwed up a commissioned officer will do it."

        I'm here because a CPO hauled my father out of the drink with a boat hook after he had a few too many at the admiral's party following VJ day. So I concur with this statement. CPOs do precision tasks, officers give direction.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >but doesn't mater if it gets screwed up a commissioned officer will do it.

        So - much like the Army then?

        Ohh matron!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's a bloody tight parking space, that is, I wonder what they'll do to CPO Vercoe if he scrapes it.

      I'm just wondering how much entertainment someone would get out of dropping a rock in that channel. Until it gets moving I'd be watching for people with suspiciously laden rowing boats going under that bridge :).

    3. Vulch

      The 1970s version of Ark Royal had similar clearance on its way out of Devonport dockyard. They always had to set out with just enough fuel and supplies to get clear of the breakwater, then load the rest of the fuel, food and so forth with the aircraft arriving as they headed out into the Atlantic.

    4. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Loads of room.

      Shipyards and drydocking staff are used to that.

      For some really tight manoeuvres, find some video of ships entering the Gatun locks of the Panama canal.

  6. EddieD

    Time to grab the snapper

    Since she can only leave the dock at high tide, and get under our three bridges at low tide, and according to this, she's still in dock, there will be a few hours from 5pm to 11pm where some good snaps can be obtained as she sits in the middle of the Forth.

  7. Snorlax
    Mushroom

    Sticky Wicket

    Sky News reports that the carrier’s helmsman, Chief Petty Officer Andrew “Sticky” Vercoe, will have the unenviable task of keeping the ship on course when she squeezes out of the dockyard.

    Watch out for those rusting nuclear subs on your way out Andrew.

  8. wolfetone Silver badge
    Trollface

    I think it was very short sighted of Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker that they didn't build the Forth bridge taller than what they settled for. Could they not see how it would impact on the UK building big huge giant war ships?! Did they not care for the ship builders further up the Forth?!

    They should be sacked!

    1. Alister Silver badge
      Trollface

      Maybe Easton Gibb & Son should have built Rosyth Dockyard below the bridges, as well

      :)

    2. Smooth Newt
      Thumb Up

      Admiral Beatty's Battle Cruiser Fleet

      I think it was very short sighted of Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker that they didn't build the Forth bridge taller than what they settled for. Could they not see how it would impact on the UK building big huge giant war ships?! Did they not care for the ship builders further up the Forth?!

      You are absolutely correct. It caused serious concerns for the Battle Cruiser Fleet during the First World War, since it was based at Rosyth. Much effort was expended in guarding against the (in the end) imaginary risk of the Germans landing a small force to bring the bridge down and preventing this, the fast reconnaissance wing of the Grand Fleet, from being able to get to sea during a critical moment.

      1. Kurt Meyer

        Re: Admiral Beatty's Battle Cruiser Fleet

        @ Smooth Newt

        "... imaginary risk of the Germans landing a small force to bring the bridge down and preventing this, the fast reconnaissance wing of the Grand Fleet, from being able to get to sea during a critical moment."

        Given their stellar performance at Jutland, that might have been the best thing to happen to Beatty and his battlecruisers.

    3. Archtech Silver badge

      They did... within reason

      During (and around) WW1 battlecruisers were based at Rosyth, and regularly passed under the bridge. They were the biggest warships in the world at the time - actually longer than battleships.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They did... within reason

        You'd think a local MP would stick their oar in & make sure govt didn't place any large ship building projects there, really ......

      2. LDS Silver badge

        Re: They did... within reason

        Cruisers were built with a higher length:width ratio, compared to battleships, to increase speed. They had a sleeker look, compared to battleships, especially the older ones designed for less speed but heavier protection/armament. Only the later "fast" battleship came close.

        That's why also some of those battlecruisers were good enough to be transformed into air carriers when the Washington treaty put a limit on battleship and cruisers.

  9. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Well, its good to see the QE going out to sea.

    It would be even better if there was any realistic chance of having a sufficient, dedicated RN escort group for her, instead of maybe 1 British frigate + whatever can be begged/borrowed/stolen from the rest of NATO. I won't even gripe about the air group. She doesn't need that for sea trials.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, its good to see the QE going out to sea.

      It would be even better if there was any realistic chance of having a sufficient, dedicated RN escort group for her,

      Why? In hobby wars against tribals and insurgents there's no need for a battlegroup, as the carrier is simply a mobile airfield beyond their reach. Against any sovereign nation with even the most modest military pretensions, a battlegroup is simple a larger floating collection of targets.

      In the age of high speed anti-ship missiles and supercavitating torpedoes, you simply cannot afford to put a battlegroup within operating range of an attacker who can launch missiles from subs, fast patrol boats, ships, aircraft or land sites. The high speed torpedoes (200+ knots) may be as much of a hazard as the more obvious missiles, and as soon as you start losing capital ships the whole battlegroup concept is looking difficult, as basic escort group is only three to five destroyers and frigates, split between air defence and anti-sub. If the attackers get lucky and disable the carrier, then the whole mission is lost, if they disable the one or two air defence escorts then the remaining group is vulnerable.

      The Iranians have been experimenting with swam attacks, with reverse engineering a British designed high speed boat to take their fast attack craft speeds up to 70+ knot speeds, and are also attributed with an unmanned surface vessel "kamikaze" attack on a Saudi frigate at sea a few months back. That last one is all on Youtube if you care to watch. That's the sort of "drive up" attack a battlegroup really should protect against, but the torpedoes, mines and missiles remain a very high risk threat. You'd really need to have 100% confidence in all of your technical systems to cope with the various and possibly simultaneous hazards, and be absolutely sure that your limited number of big ticket assets won't be outflanked by the far faster, less conventional approaches of asymmetric warfare.

      In this day and age, a big carrier is simply a codpiece for the admirals.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Well, its good to see the QE going out to sea.

        In this day and age, a big carrier is simply a codpiece for the admirals.

        Upvoted. For historical examples, see "Dreadnaught"

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well, its good to see the QE going out to sea.

        So, why China is building and deploying its own carriers?

        Anyway, a carrier is good only up to how good are the planes it carries. The F-35 isn't probably the right one. The F-14 was designed with range, radar and weapons to engage the enemy far away from the carrier group. Then came the USAF and dick Cheney and decided the Navy doesn't need such a plane, just the USAF "cheap" second choice.

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

          Re: Well, its good to see the QE going out to sea.

          "So, why China is building and deploying its own carriers?"

          1. There are lots of countries in the region who don't have the assets to take on a carrier group.

          2. To keep the admirals happy. No, really. The PLA is a key factor in both military and economic matters, and therefore a key factor in politics.

          3. Because they can. Yes, it's a bit of a pissing contest. But it's also a statement of political will and economical power.

      3. LesC
        FAIL

        Re: Well, its good to see the QE going out to sea.

        Upvoted for the use of the word "carrier" as there are no "aircraft" maybe the UK will get their first carrier borne aircraft in the next six years????

        Meanwhile this is just one big target and #1 on the list of any full of C4 boat borne insurgent wanting his appointment with their 100 virgins...

    2. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: Well, its good to see the QE going out to sea.

      How do you "escort" an immense, clumsy, slow-moving target against the threat of hypersonic missiles?

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: Well, its good to see the QE going out to sea.

        With ships armed with missiles that can take out the incoming threat. Also carriers tend not to be clumsy or slow moving compared to other ships of similar size, generally stopping in their own length and turning 180 degrees in a minute are design drivers.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well, its good to see the QE going out to sea.

          @SkippyBing

          Carriers are indeed very fast, but they still suffer from inertia. An emergency stop is achieved by putting the prop into reverse. In my limited RCNC work experience (admittedly many years ago), the only way of stopping a carrier doing 35 knots in its own length is by running into something bigger and heavier.

          1. SkippyBing Silver badge

            Re: Well, its good to see the QE going out to sea.

            'In my limited RCNC work experience (admittedly many years ago), the only way of stopping a carrier doing 35 knots in its own length is by running into something bigger and heavier.'

            In my experience on INVINCIBLE, they could do it the engineers just didn't like it because of the strain it put on the drive chain. But in an emergency, not an issue.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Well, its good to see the QE going out to sea.

              @SkippyBing

              'In my experience on INVINCIBLE, they could do it the engineers just didn't like it because of the strain it put on the drive chain. But in an emergency, not an issue.'

              Well it certainly would put a strain on the drive chain as stopping 22000 tons doing 35 knots in 210 metres requires delivering 500Mw to the reversed prop (assuming 100% efficiency) through a drive chain that is not designed to handle much more than the 300Mw that the 4 Olympus gas turbines can deliver together at full power. But as you only have 300Mw available (actually 312Mw if you include the 8 diesel engines as based on my memories from 1977 I believe you could run everything together) you just don't have enough power to stop that quickly.

              Now if you were only doing 15 knots and had all 4 gas turbines running (i.e. accelerating at 15 knots) you would "technically" have enough power to stop in your own length. But my Naval Architecture days are long past so I can't do the sums to work out if you could do it in practice.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Carriers are indeed very fast, but they still suffer from inertia"

            And high-speed missiles even more. They will have issues to make even small course deviation without breaking apart. That may mean they could be vulnerable to slower, more maneuverable weapons. Their heat signature will also make them very visible.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well, its good to see the QE going out to sea.

          With ships armed with missiles that can take out the incoming threat.

          Some of the time. Israel's Iron Dome system has a much easier job than protecting a carrier against advanced hostile systems, yet still boasts a success rate of only 90% (and there's question marks over that claim). If one in ten anti-ship missiles gets through, then the carrier and its escorts will have a bit of a problem.

          And compounding the "kill ratio" challenge, there's been a tendency towards "cassette" missile installations. Take the Type 45 and its Aster/Sylver air defence missile systems. A Type 45 has 48 shots (and has to pre-choose the mix of long and short range Asters). I'm sure that the Sylver launcher can be reloaded at sea, but with some significant logistical challenges, and certainly not during combat. If that's the escort to the carrier, even if every Aster hits its target, all the opponent has to do is launch a series of fifty low cost sacrificial missiles, and then it is open season. In the open ocean, launching fifty sacrificial missiles would be a big ask other than for a major power. But in the Gulf, or within 150 miles of hostile land, its not much of an ask at all.

          1. SkippyBing Silver badge

            Re: Well, its good to see the QE going out to sea.

            'Some of the time.'

            Well yes, no ones yet invented an infallible missile, or anything else yet which is why you tend to go for defence in depth.

            Interestingly it turns out 48 missiles is significantly more than any of the air defence ships in the Falklands conflict fired. Of course if something like you suggest happened in the Gulf I suspect a large number of TLAM would be en-route to the source before they got close to launching 50.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Well, its good to see the QE going out to sea.

              if something like you suggest happened in the Gulf I suspect a large number of TLAM would be en-route to the source before they got close to launching 50

              You're right (and I also doff my cap to your experience and relevant knowledge) but equally you reinforce my point. Any cruise missile attacks a fixed target. So FAC, subs, mobile ground launchers and aircraft are immune, even if you can destroy their primary bases. Now look at what TLAM can do. The recent attack on a Syrian airfield by 60 odd cruise missiles knocked out a handful of obsolete jets and the airfield was launching warplanes within 24 hours.

              Most military planners are not stupid (although with MoD and the Pentagon I'm less sure), and they know that the US approach is still modelled on "shock and awe". If the Iranians expected anything to kick off, they'd have all their anti-ship missiles mobile, using what are at a strategic level multiply redundant disposable platforms. And they've been taught the lesson of fixed bases the hard way by Israel.

              You make the point that ships in the Falklands didn't fire 50 SAM, but that overlooks the ground launched weapons (a few ManPADS plus around 20 Rapiers fired), and the fact that the attacking force relied solely on air dropped or launched weapons against ships, and had a small number of serviceable aircraft. 1982 includes some valuable lessons, the number of missiles used isn't applicable unless we're refighting that conflict. In 2017, the cost of really rather good missile systems is pretty low, and the availability high, and betting a big lard-arse carrier against them might not get very good odds at William Hill.

              1. SkippyBing Silver badge

                Re: Well, its good to see the QE going out to sea.

                '1982 includes some valuable lessons'

                What I always found odd was the small number of missiles fired by Iraq in either conflict against the West, I think maybe a couple Silkworm in each case. It's not like they had to worry about collateral damage. They hit more USN ships during an exercise when they both on the same side!!

                Realistically though the Persian Gulf isn't a great place for a CVBG* for the reasons you originally stated, it would make the Malta Convoys look like a picnic in an all out war. But it's rare to find a weapon system that's universally applicable, Main Battle Tanks aren't great in jungles from what I hear.

                *Carrier Battle Group

            2. Adam 52 Silver badge

              Re: Well, its good to see the QE going out to sea.

              "48 missiles is significantly more than any of the air defence ships in the Falklands conflict fired. "

              If Sheffield had fired its missiles then it might not have been sunk.

    3. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Well, its good to see the QE going out to sea.

      Guess that'll show the Brusselcrats who rule the waves.

      Will the QE on her maiden voyage be piloted by E.R. a.k.a. H.M. Q.E.II?

  10. EddieD

    Dang, I forgot

    Much kudos for the Navy Lark reference.

    Still one of my favourites.

    "Everybody down!"

    1. Wupspups

      Re: Dang, I forgot

      Just hope luvable Leslie isnt navigating. Or they will need Nunky and his tug

  11. orangepeel

    You might catch something on the Queensferry Crossing webcams.

    http://forth-bridges.co.uk/queensferry-crossing/gallery-queens.html

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      It wants bastarding Flash installed though!

  12. Scott 53

    But

    What would Lewis have had to say?

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: But

      Why don't you page him?

  13. smudge Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Google Earth image

    You didn't have to investigate the ship in the dockyard to establish how old the photograph is.

    The new Queensferry Crossing is missing!

    1. orangepeel

      Re: Google Earth image

      indeed... the FRB tolls are showing and they got removed in '08.

      The Dakota hotel is a field but opened in 07

    2. Baldrickk Silver badge

      Re: Google Earth image

      as for the 2017 date - that's the copyright date, and relates to the year it is being published, which as it is being published directly to you right now, will be the current year (or could be a range)

      1. The First Dave

        Re: Google Earth image

        Copyright _should_ be the year of first publishing, unless there is a major amendment.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Google Earth image

          "Copyright _should_ be the year of first publishing, unless there is a major amendment."

          And since Google Earth is being amended constantly, they probably just claim copyright as starting "now" in terms of the publishing date for the entire "map".

  14. Nobby_uk

    Leaves later this evening. Taken from ukdefencejournal.org.uk

    "It is expected that the vessel will depart the basin around 5:30 this evening and sail under the bridges before midnight."

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Reality disagrees with them, 1520 and she's 1/3 of the way out the gate.

      https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-3.450/centery:56.021/zoom:16

  15. Joe Harrison Silver badge

    Uninspiring choice of name for the ship

    I'd have gone for Shooty McShootface

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Uninspiring choice of name for the ship

      No. ZoomyMcFlyPlane surely?

      1. billse10

        Re: Uninspiring choice of name for the ship

        ZoomyMcFlyPlaneSomeday ?

  16. Wupspups
    Coat

    And in the news today 26 June 26-06-2014

    30 Years after she was first launched the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth gets her first compliment of aircraft. Spokesman for the Royal Navy Captain Ebeneezer Jon Nunky Pertwee said "Today a wonderful day for the Royal Navy and for HMS Queen Elizabeth to get her first flight of Fairey Swordfish aircraft. While not the originally specified aircraft it was the best we could afford"

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: And in the news today 26 June 26-06-2014

      At least the Italians will be bricking themselves.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: And in the news today 26 June 26-06-2014

        At least the Italians will be bricking themselves.

        Just remember, check to see whether the Japanese Naval Envoy is watching..

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Off to the South China Sea...

    ... where it will promptly be sunk by the first batch of anti-carrier missiles from China if it hots up. Oh well. Next!

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: Off to the South China Sea...

      Has anyone in Whitehall asked the US Navy if they're planning on using HMS Brenda to test the defences on China's self-build archipelago?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ma be a silly question

    " the RN can expect Russian submarines to be snooping around trying to record the carrier’s unique acoustic signature."

    Could they not weld a couple of lumps of metal to the props and the hull to change it's sound during trials?

    1. Wupspups

      Re: Ma be a silly question

      They could but that would probably unbalance the props, then FUBAR the propshaft, cause so much vibration on the ship that it will be unbearable to work on. If the vibration is sufficient and of the right frequency expect fitting such as piping to crack and cable racking to come of their mounts.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Ma be a silly question

        If the vibration is sufficient and of the right frequency expect fitting such as piping to crack and cable racking to come of their mounts.

        Can't the Navy just claim under the guarentee?

      2. Wiltshire

        Re: Ma be a silly question

        As experienced by Captain Kirk on the USS Zumwalt?

    2. M7S
      Pirate

      Re: May be a silly question

      Surely playing the theme tune to Captain Pugwash on a loop through some underwater speakers.

      Not only likely to confuse the listening enemy but also possibly to drive their operators quite insane.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: May be a silly question

        Damn you, earworm alert!

        duuum! duh-duh-duh-dum,duh-duh-duh-dum, dum-de-dum-de-dum-de-dum.

    3. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Ma be a silly question

      I suspect they'll be saturating the area with Merlin ASW helicopters to keep anyone from getting close enough for a good listen. Although ironically they won't be able to operate from QNLZ yet so will be shore based.

  19. MattPi

    "Low bridge, everybody down, Low bridge, cause were coming to a town."

    ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxKy1_c6DeM )

  20. graeme leggett

    South China Sea...traditionally not a place that Britain pays much attention to

    Maybe not recently, but traditionally an area of interest for Britain East of Suez.

    Malaya, Singapore, Straits of Malacca, Hong Kong, Borneo, Brunei....

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: South China Sea...traditionally not a place that Britain pays much attention to

      Also there's the whole Five Powers Defence Agreement thing with the UK, Oz, NZ, Malaysia and Singapore. I believe the RN even has a refuelling facility in Singapore, which must be a brilliant draft for whoever gets it!

  21. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Gonna be nice

    seeing a proper ship come into Portsmouth harbour for a change instead of these poxy 20 000 ton toy boats the Navy/ferry companies use at the moment.

    Lets hope it does'nt get loose in high winds and end up in the still and west pub like the last big ship to leave Portsmouth :)

    See HMS Vanguard

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Gonna be nice

      I always thought Pompey* was an odd choice for such big ships, the last big carriers were based in Guz**. I can only assume it's because they'll be close enough to London that they can drag politicos down there to impress them more easily.

      *Portsmouth, because matelots.

      **Devonport, for reasons that are too obtuse to deal with.

  22. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Why don't they just activate the mighty vertical lift fans and fly the carrier out of dock?

  23. bobajob12
    Meh

    Still needed?

    Very cool engineering, and all. I just find it increasingly hard to believe that Britain has any business projecting hard power overseas via this sort of thing.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Still needed?

      These are actually platforms to ship migrants home when the time is ripe.

      Or they can be sold later to some chinese mogul to make a luxury floating hotel/casino.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Still needed?

        Thumbs down?

        Ok, we will wait for some enemy-du-jour to fire a few missiles into it resulting in nice explosions and mucho casualties before the selling action. Ok now?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    curious

    Will there actually be any F35s on the ship?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: curious

      and do the eventually arriving F35's actually interface with Windows XP for warships?

      1. Horridbloke

        Re: curious

        The F35s are running Windows CE.

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: curious

      In due course, but as they haven't started acceptance trials of the actual ship yet it might be considered a bit premature putting them on there straight away.

  25. CentralCoasty
    Paris Hilton

    Good News!

    She made it out of dock and is now being shadowed by the full might of the Royal Navy... ahm... ah... well actually just HMS Sutherland... but no seriously... its super important and the Navy is taking real care that its newest asset gets all the protection it can muster!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Does HMS Sutherland have the Sea Ceptor anti-missile systems?, nope! . . . they seem to defend up to 2500 mph, good enough to counter the fast Chinese or the slower Russkies? oops, nope!

      http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/research/a20604/china-successfully-tests-hypersonic-weapon-system/

      "Unlike a typical ballistic missile warhead however, a [DF-ZF] hypersonic glide vehicle stops short of entering space and glides through the atmosphere at speeds of between 4,000 and 7,000 miles an hour"

      Slowcoach Russians "the Russian Navy anticipates putting the Zircon anti-ship missile into production in 2018, which will be capable of speeds of up to 3,800 to 4,600 miles an hour"

      Yanks were panicking in 2009! https://www.usni.org/news-and-features/chinese-kill-weapon "The Navy's reaction is telling, because it essentially equals a radical change in direction based on information that has created a panic inside the bubble. For a major military service to panic due to a new weapon system, clearly a mission kill weapon system, either suggests the threat is legitimate or the leadership of the Navy is legitimately unqualified. There really aren't many gray spaces in evaluating the reaction by the Navy…the data tends to support the legitimacy of the threat." then there's the swarm attack by slower/heavier ground effect wing systems -

      sigh, at least the QE's XP has the free version of Solitaire for downtime, and there's a lot of great PR things that the RNs QE can do before it gets within 2500km of anywhere ASBM 'hot', hopefully

  26. steamdesk_ross

    Should you really use phrases like "set sail" when you're talking about a boat with no sails? Surely that's a phrase that should be dead by now, gone the way of "dialling" phones and all those other last century anachronisms.

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Probably should have said HTHSHOOTROTDCOTUDCASDAHACBRNS3YSSDCU but then you'd have to explain what that means.

  27. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    Bit stunned to find it's not nuclear

    Diesel, powering generators, running massive electric motors for propulsion.

    Gas turbines for 'auxiliary' poke, but Wärtsilä* diesels for normal running.

    Nuclear rejected due to cost. So, it's range is 10,000 miles - ish. Nuclear would've meant never refuel for 20 years or so. But, it could never visit Japan, as I understand.

    *(Finnish company. Bit odd, that...)

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: Bit stunned to find it's not nuclear

      "Nuclear would've meant never refuel for 20 years or so"

      And then phenomenol costs to refuel, replace, or dispose of ?

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Bit stunned to find it's not nuclear

      I believe the main reason for the choice of power plant was political more than anything else, by which I mean internal UK politics. I think Japan will let nuclear powered warships visit, now the USN don't have any conventional carriers to home port there.

      It's tedious enough dealing with the anti-nuclear protesters* at Faslane but doing it in Portsmouth as well would be a greater challenge due to the much higher level of non-military activity on the water there.

      *You know the carriers aren't nuclear armed, I know they aren't, it just doesn't seem to matter to the protesters.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Bit stunned to find it's not nuclear

        You know the carriers aren't nuclear armed, I know they aren't, it just doesn't seem to matter to the protesters.

        I hear South Sudan is ready to accept anti-nuclear protesters with open arms.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Kurt Meyer

      Re: Bit stunned to find it's not nuclear

      @ Andus McCoatover

      "Nuclear would've meant never refuel for 20 years or so. But, it could never visit Japan, as I understand."

      Andus, the nuclear powered and armed USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is based in Yokosuka, Japan.

      The USN will neither confirm or deny that it's ships are armed with nuclear weapons. The plain truth is that every USN warship of frigate or larger size is nuclear armed, whether with depth charges, missiles, or bombs.

      1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Re: Bit stunned to find it's not nuclear

        You're thinking New Zealand. No ship is allowed in unless it is declared to have no nuclear weapons or nuclear power, which is why the Yanks haven't been welcome since the mid 80s

    5. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Bit stunned to find it's not nuclear

      Gas turbines for 'auxiliary' poke, but Wärtsilä* diesels for normal running.

      Interesting to have it that way around. I suppose might be bit more fuel efficient that way around. And lets face it Wärtsilä does know a thing or two about marine engines (and power generation).

  28. Gnosis_Carmot

    And it runs on XP

    Old power plant, old OS, "new" carrier?

  29. HPCJohn

    It seems obvious, but I read somewhere, probably on an El Reg comment, that the carriers in the Falklands battle group were nuclear armed. They has WXX (what number os XX?) depth charges on board as part of their normal armaments. It does bring into focus why there was an emphasis on making sure they were not sunk and kept back out of air range of the Argentine mainland.

    The main reason being of course that the expedition would fail if they were sunk and the poor matelots would have to paddle home. But I imagine a secondary reason of not wanting to dredge nuclear depth charges from the depths of the Atlantic.

  30. crayon

    So, why China is building and deploying its own carriers?

    China has been constantly accused of not "following international norms". Now China can follow "international norms" and use its carrier(s) to bully the crap out of weak countries?

  31. 22ten

    Russian?? Surely you mean Chinese

    Since carriers really don't pose any threat to Russia, the data they are collecting will be for onward sale, probably to the Chinese given that the US is deploying it to the South China Seas - where if anything gets ugly it will remain as an very expensive artificial coral reef.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Russian?? Surely you mean Chinese

      They might share the data in exchange for something interesting, but they will want it for their collection, just in case.

  32. mhenriday
    Boffin

    Up-to-date

    The venerable Times informs us that this vessel runs Windows XP on its computer system, so no doubt everything is ship-shape and hunky-dory.... ;-)

    Henri

  33. This post has been deleted by its author

  34. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Let's just hope the carrier isn't due to be scrapped before the fighter jets are delivered...

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