back to article HMS Queen Liz will arrive in Portsmouth soon, says MoD

New aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth could arrive at her home port, Portsmouth, within the next fortnight, according to the Ministry of Defence. The 65,000-tonne warship, the first true aircraft carrier in Royal Navy service for almost a decade, is currently undergoing sea trials off the coast of Scotland. While the ship …

  1. Tronald Dump
    Joke

    egads, Liz has put some weight on

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Keep your hands to yourself, laddie, or she'll set the corgis on you.

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        "Keep your hands to yourself, laddie, or she'll set the corgis on you."

        A friend of a friend was at a Royal Garden Party (No, I do not move in those circles) and espied some of the corgis. As she approached them the Queen Mother announced "I'd be careful if I were you, they can be a bit boisterous."

        To which a well known voice from behind replied "What you mean, mummy, is that they bite!"

        So...corgis are the equivalents of a carrier's destroyer escorts.

    2. Stuart 22
      Coat

      Shouldn't is be "Betty's Boat" - or when in Balmoral/Faslane "Betty's McBoat ..."

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This looks useful

    http://www.tides4fishing.com/uk/england/portsmouth

    1. Gnomalarta

      Re: This looks useful

      Or this: http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/qhm/portsmouth/port-information/tide-tables, shows % of spring tide - so most likely times a white elephant could float into Pompey.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This looks useful

        On the bright side, the government has just tripled the value of Portsmouth.

  3. James O'Shea Silver badge

    wrongo

    There ain't no such thing as a 'USS George W. Bush', and there never will be. There _is_ a USS George H. W. Bush, named for the youngest pilot in the history of the USN. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_George_H.W._Bush

    If this gross error is not corrected most immediately, we shall dispatch the Mango Mussolini to Britain and make you keep him.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wrongo

      I'll raise you 5 pedant points. As the chap you mentioned was a commissioned officer, he was not a 'pilot' he was a naval aviator.

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: wrongo

      'There ain't no such thing as a 'USS George W. Bush', and there never will be.'

      I'm with you on the first part, the second sounds a bit presumptuous, I mean there's a Gerald Ford and a Ronald Reagan floating around...

      1. gormful

        Re: wrongo

        "I'm with you on the first part, the second sounds a bit presumptuous, I mean there's a Gerald Ford and a Ronald Reagan floating around..."

        To be fair, Gerald Ford went through several battles while serving on an aircraft carrier (the USS Monterey, maybe?) during WWII. I can offer no similar excuse for Ronald Reagan.

        1. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: wrongo

          "I'm with you on the first part, the second sounds a bit presumptuous, I mean there's a Gerald Ford and a Ronald Reagan floating around..."

          To be fair, Gerald Ford went through several battles while serving on an aircraft carrier (the USS Monterey, maybe?) during WWII. I can offer no similar excuse for Ronald Reagan.

          Gerry was in CVL-26, Monterey, until after the damage sustained during Halsey's Hurricane. Ronnie wanted a 600-ship navy and got it. The Navy loved him for that.

        2. IglooDude

          Re: wrongo

          "To be fair, Gerald Ford went through several battles while serving on an aircraft carrier (the USS Monterey, maybe?) during WWII. I can offer no similar excuse for Ronald Reagan."

          Just thinking, it's funny that in a place where the Navy isn't the Senior Service, we've had a high percentage of chief executives out of that service since WW2: JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and George HW Bush, and one more came rather close (McCain). Truman and Eisenhower distinguished themselves (combat and SACEUR respectively) in the Army, and nothing notable since then.

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: wrongo

            Just thinking, it's funny that in a place where the Navy isn't the Senior Service,

            Hmm... official order of precedence (there is some question as the Continental Army was decommissioned but this is the way it is currently): The Navy's precedence was set based on being "active".

            United States Army

            United States Marine Corps

            United States Navy

            United States Coast Guard (when part of the Department of the Navy)

            United States Air Force

            United States Coast Guard (when part of Department of the Homeland Security)

            1. DougS Silver badge

              Re: wrongo

              Ford and Reagan served, so while the case for Reagan may be a bit iffy since he wasn't a Navy man, there's at least some loose justification. It becomes still looser with GW Bush Jr., who had daddy pull strings to get him into the Air National Guard during Vietnam.

              It is well known how Clinton had strings pulled and worked the system to dodge the draft during Vietnam. Trump supposedly had "bone spurs", but you'd have to be pretty gullible to believe someone was unfit to serve despite being a multisport athlete during those years, and walking 18 holes for many rounds of golf in the decades after. Those with rich or connected family always seemed to have a far higher incidence of minor ailments that kept them out of the draft pool versus the poor... Obama was born after the draft so he didn't have to dodge it, but never served.

              Seems unlikely we'll ever see a ship named after Bush Jr, and there would be a TON of controversy if there was ever a serious effort to name a ship for someone who never served, like Clinton, Obama or Trump. Maybe they'd name a shipborne UUAV after them or something.

            2. Kernel

              Re: wrongo

              I believe in NZ the order of precedence is:

              airforce

              army

              navy.

      2. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: wrongo

        'There ain't no such thing as a 'USS George W. Bush', and there never will be.'

        I'm with you on the first part, the second sounds a bit presumptuous, I mean there's a Gerald Ford and a Ronald Reagan floating around...

        Ronnie was Army, but spent time working at an embarkation port in San Fran, so he had contact with the Navy. Besides, he wanted a 600-ship Navy when he was Prez, so all the sins of being a mere Army guy were forgiven. Gerry was Navy. He even served on a carrier, though he didn't fly.

        W was straight Air Farce, and it's been said that Air Farce wings are made of lead. There'll be a USS Franklin Pierce before there's a USS George W., and there'll be a USS Harriet Tubman before there's a Franklin Pierce, and that's just not gonna happen.

        1. collinsl

          Re: wrongo

          How about a USS Donald R Duck?

      3. x 7 Silver badge

        Re: wrongo

        " I mean there's a Gerald Ford and a Ronald Reagan floating around..."

        A bit like Robert Maxwell then....

    3. Roland6 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: wrongo

      >There ain't no such thing as a 'USS George W. Bush'

      But I'm sure if it facilitates matters with getting funding sign off there will be a "USS Donald Trump"...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: wrongo

        "But I'm sure if it facilitates matters with getting funding sign off there will be a "USS Donald Trump"..."

        The USN probably needs a target ship for practice.

        1. smudge Silver badge

          Re: wrongo

          "But I'm sure if it facilitates matters with getting funding sign off there will be a "USS Donald Trump"..."

          The USN probably needs a target ship for practice.

          That'll be their excuse for painting it orange.

      2. Lotaresco Silver badge

        Re: wrongo

        "there will be a "USS Donald Trump"..."

        Given the US emphasis on eco-friendly fuels for naval propulsion in recent years (as in the Dripping Driven Destroyer) it would make sense for the USS Trump to be powered using LNG so that the vessel can fart its way out to sea.

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: wrongo

        "USS Donald Trump"

        As a loud, visible target with negligable value to attract attention while real work goes on in the background somewhere else?

      4. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: wrongo "USS Donald Trump"

        Which will be a remarkable ship, large, bloated, powered by Tweet engines and having the ability to change direction completely and very suddenly without any significant input to the controls.

        1. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: wrongo "USS Donald Trump"

          And an orange flight deck.

    4. Faux Science Slayer

      Prescott Bush Found Guilty of Trading With the Enemy by Senate

      Big Bush was rushed though flight school, ditched his bomber miles from the target,

      killing his two crewmen and returned to save the family name and become a Yale

      Skull & Bones traitor. "Did Geo H W Bush Coordinate a JFK Hit Team" at VeteransToday

      1. James O'Shea Silver badge

        Re: Prescott Bush Found Guilty of Trading With the Enemy by Senate

        "Big Bush was rushed though flight school, "

        ah... no. He did a nine-month (split into three sections, one of one month, two of four) training course in 10 months. I say again, he did the _nine_ month course in _ten_ months. It is entirely possible that the extra month was just the breaks between sections. I doubt that there was a rush.

        "ditched his bomber miles from the target,"

        after his aircraft was _hit by hostile anti-aircraft fire_ he got as far away as possible from the folks he'd just bombed. Japanese troops weren't well known for their forgiving nature, so I suspect that this was merely prudent.

        "killing his two crewmen"

        One was killed by the anti-aircraft fire, one had his parachute fail.

        "and returned to save the family name and become a Yale

        Skull & Bones traitor."

        O-kay. so who peed in your cornflakes?

  4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

    My instinct is that a sufficiently large force of subsonic drones, fitted with artillery shells (the dumb kind. No GPS) on their noses should be able to overwhelm the defenses until at least one points straight down at the deck, triggering the shell as a sort of 1 shot zip gun, blowing out the keel of the ship.

    Such a force could cost several 100 £m to deploy, but when you've just trashed an asset costing several £Bn (What was the final cost? I dimly recall £3Bn, but this is BAe we're talking about) you've just put your opponent back to the Victorian era.

    Better hope the fleets AEW is top notch.

    It's a flying jacket with a high visibility lining.

    1. flearider

      Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

      I'm sure your going to get a knock at your door ..lay face down arms spread and no sudden movements ..

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

        "I'm sure your going to get a knock at your door ..lay face down arms spread and no sudden movements .."

        Sir, can you put your hands in the yellow circles, please?

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

          'QE to a big, expensive, cramped and uncomfortable cruise ship'

          One thing she definitely isn't is cramped, 700 people on a 65,000 tonne ship you can probably go days without seeing anyone else if you want to.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

            "[...] ou can probably go days without seeing anyone else if you want to."

            Especially in the period while she's waiting for the complement of aircraft. Even with folded wings the hangars are probably big enough for all sorts of energetic recreation.

            Reminds me of when the company built a new computer hall. Intended for a large number of mainframes it was enormous with a high ceiling. While waiting for all the mainframes to arrive we made a request to use a vacant area as a basketball court. Refused.

            1. wolfetone Silver badge

              Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

              Well the Royal Navy couldn't sink the Bismark without the help of antique Swordfish biplanes, as the Bismark's guns were so new and powerful they couldn't fire slow enough to hit the biplanes.

              So yes, old technology can really fuck up new machinery if applied correctly.

              1. SkippyBing Silver badge

                Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

                'the Bismark's guns were so new and powerful they couldn't fire slow enough to hit the biplanes.'

                An oddly persistent myth. The actual line is that the predictor gun sights didn't have a setting low enough, but that's completely irrelevant if the target is flying directly at you as they would be during a torpedo run. There are a variety of reasons the Bismarck had issues shooting them down, weather, inexperience, tank like qualities of the aircraft, but the speed of the 'Fish was not one of them.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

              While waiting for all the mainframes to arrive we made a request to use a vacant area as a basketball court

              I have it on good authority that, at a previous employer, night ops staff used to use an empty drive room as a five-a-side football room.

              And, strangely enough, the CCTV in that room used to malfunction regularly.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

                "I have it on good authority that, at a previous employer, night ops staff used to use an empty drive room as a five-a-side football room."

                The tape decks of 2nd generation RCA 501 mainframes were big. The operator console was a large array of illuminated buttons that provided enough light to work with. The public saw that console as their idea of a real computer. Doing long batch runs on the night shift the operators would turn out all the room lights.

                One of the female programmers was something of a femme fatale. It was said that when she was overseeing a run on the night shift then there would be trysts with a handsome shift leader behind the tape decks. No CCTV in those days.

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "I'm sure your going to get a knock at your door ..l"

        And you think that's not happened to be me before?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

      Looks like low tech fishing nets are all that's required to mess up the propulsion, then a sitting duck...

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Thumb Up

        "Looks like low tech fishing nets are all that's required to mess up the propulsion,"

        Good one.

        People are so busy looking out for the Chinese M5 missile they miss the fishing nets.

    3. phuzz Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

      How does the (sub-sonic) artillery shell get through the flight deck, and every deck in between that and the keel?

      You might make a few holes in the flight deck (which would render it useless for a time), but a killing shot is pretty unlikely.

      Instead, find a way to block the Lockheed Autonomic Logistics Information System, and then none of the F-35s will fly (ALIS is a requirement for the F-35), thus transforming the QE to a big, expensive, cramped and uncomfortable cruise ship. After all, what's the point of an aircraft carrier without aircraft?

      1. Ol' Grumpy

        Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

        " QE to a big, expensive, cramped and uncomfortable cruise ship."

        Isn't that how the Russians described it recently when Michael Fallon was blowing his trumpet about the whole thing?

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

          'Isn't that how the Russians described it recently when Michael Fallon was blowing his trumpet about the whole thing?'

          I think they said something along the lines of her not being as well armed as the Kuznetzov, missing the point that arming your carrier with surface to surface missiles implies you don't really trust your aircraft to do the job. And following your carrier around with a tug doesn't display a huge amount of confidence in your carrier.

          1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

            Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

            "And following your carrier around with a tug doesn't display a huge amount of confidence in your carrier."

            As I recall the Kuznetsov is rather overdue for a refit, and with one of those if anything goes wrong you can't just tow it to the nearest Lada - sorry, VAZ - garage. But it happened around the time that the Zumwalt had a highly embarrassing failure in the Panama Canal that resulted in it being towed. Sea water got into the drive shafts. Things happen at sea and it's well to be prepared for them if operating a long way from your base.

            The Wikipedia article on the Kuznetsov is interesting and explains a lot about the background, including its special status. It's worth reading, in my view.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

        "You might make a few holes in the flight deck (which would render it useless for a time), but a killing shot is pretty unlikely."

        Concentrate them into a swarm aimed at a lift. That is the weak spot in a carrier's steel deck. The battles in various sea theatres in WWII were often a war of attrition against aircraft carriers. Many lessons were learned.

        Insufficiently escorted carriers were easy prey. USN wooden decks were too fragile. Lifts were a kamikaze target.

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

          'Concentrate them into a swarm aimed at a lift. That is the weak spot in a carrier's steel deck.'

          You'll note that the trend in carriers is now to have deck edge lifts making that tactic somewhat redundant. You'll also note none of the armoured carriers were sunk by Kamikazes. Or even put out of operation for more than 24 hours even if the lifts were hit, I'll grant you a 2000lb bomb on a lift might call for a return to port though...

          1. WolfFan Silver badge

            Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

            HMS Indomitable took hits from 1870 kg bombs on the way to Malta with the Pedestal convoy. She was still able to conduct (limited) flight operations. Her air group claimed 30 kills.

            1. fnj

              Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

              You guys are all going at this the wrong way. Every ship in the water is as vulnerable as an egg shell to torpedoes, and that includes aircraft carriers. Torpedoes are the way to sink ships. They have antiaircraft missiles to deal with airplane attacks, and CIWS to put up at least some semblance of last ditch defense against incoming cruise missiles.

              But they don't have squat to deal with homing torpedoes. If that thing is coming at you and you can't fox the homing guidance, you might as well cross yourself and pray. If it's wire guided, you don't even have the chance to fox it.

              The torpedo can be delivered dirt cheap from even a small sub. Diesel powered works just as good if it can work into position. Nuclear is a slam dunk. There is also no reason I can think of why you couldn't design cruise missiles that carry torpedoes. It would take CIWS out of the picture.

              The biggest battleships with the thickest armor ever built were sunk by ... torpedoes. In comparison, post WW II ships have essentially no armor at all. And those huge crews, vastly important for damage control, are gone.

        2. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

          Concentrate them into a swarm aimed at a lift. That is the weak spot in a carrier's steel deck. The battles in various sea theatres in WWII were often a war of attrition against aircraft carriers. Many lessons were learned.

          Among the lessons learned: don't put lifts in the middle of the deck. There would be a reason why modern carriers have the lifts on the sides... Go on. Have a look at a carrier, any carrier, in any navy, built since the 1950s. See if you can spot a lift in the middle of the deck.

          And, one more thing: _British_ carriers had steel decks. That was why each and every one of the British Pacific Fleet's carriers continued operations after being hit by kamikazes off Okinawa. _American_ carriers, and _Japanese_ carriers, had wooden decks. This led to unfortunate results at Midway and Okinawa. Starting with the Midway class carriers, American carriers had steel decks and deck-edge lifts. Lessons learned, the hard way.

          1. Adam Trickett

            Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

            While it is true that the British carriers were more resistant to kamikaze attacks than American carriers of the same period, they were also a lot heavier and had fewer aeroplanes per tonne so couldn't put up as large aerial combat force.

            Post war analysis did report that they ships were badly damaged by the attacks, so were prematurely scrapped. But in the heat of action the fact they could soldier on was very valuable, even if they were actually a rite-off in the medium term.

            As you say everyone learnt the hard way and post war designs did benefit from wartime experience.

            1. SkippyBing Silver badge

              Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

              'they were also a lot heavier and had fewer aeroplanes per tonne'

              Broadly true although they were actually a similar displacement it's just more of it was armour making them denser. By the time they got to the Pacific they were copying the USN's method of using deck parks (less desirable in the North Atlantic) and had a comparable size air group ~10 less aircraft I think.

              'Post war analysis did report that they ships were badly damaged by the attacks, so were prematurely scrapped.'

              More on economic grounds though, Victorious was rebuilt from the hangar deck up with an angled deck, steam catapults, 3D air search radar etc. but the post war austerity meant there was just no way the RN could afford to do that to the others in her class. At the same time there were a number of carriers that arrived just too late for the war that were effectively brand new, so why pay money we didn't have to keep the older vessels going?

              Far more on this at the excellent http://www.armouredcarriers.com/

              1. PhilipN Silver badge

                armouredcarriers.com

                Thanks for the that . Absolutely bloody brilliant.

                There ought to be a Nobel Prize (or similar) for websites. That one would be on the short list.

                Now, going back another generation, here's your starter for 10 :

                Why has nobody heard of the Berlin-Baghdad Railway?

                Answer : There isn't one.

                Next question : Why isn't there one?

                Have fun finding out if you do not already know and you'll find another reason for the First World War - and here's a hint, it was long before the (either) Gulf War.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: armouredcarriers.com

                  "Why has nobody heard of the Berlin-Baghdad Railway?"

                  It is likely that the British, French, and Russians didn't like Germany having influence in that part of the Middle East. It had to cross the territory of the Ottoman Empire - which periodically traded off those European powers against each other in return for financial and other assistance.

                  Philip Mansel's book "Constantinople City of the World's Desires, 1453 - 1924" page 340 mentions the railway reaching Adana in 1908. There then appears to have been a Young Turks revolution - which seemed to be yet another the churn of rulers of the Ottoman Empire.

          2. Fr. Ted Crilly

            Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

            Deck edge lifts are placed to allow aircraft movements on the flight deck while aircraft are being brought up from the hanger without having aircraft sized holes in the way of operations.

          3. YARR

            Deck lifts

            Go on. Have a look at a carrier, any carrier, in any navy, built since the 1950s. See if you can spot a lift in the middle of the deck.

            The Invincible (R05) class aircraft carriers and Giuseppe Garibaldi had mid-deck lifts.

            1. WolfFan Silver badge

              Re: Deck lifts

              The Invincible (R05) class aircraft carriers and Giuseppe Garibaldi had mid-deck lifts.

              I think that you'll find that those ships were classed as <cough>through-deck cruisers</cough>...

              Oh, alright, you got me.

        3. Lotaresco Silver badge

          Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

          " USN wooden decks were too fragile."

          I mentioned this to an American (military enthusiast) friend some decades ago. The British Pacific fleet (BPF) did not have as many problems with kamikaze attacks as the USN because British decks were armoured steel. The kamikaze tended to splatter on the deck and once the mess was cleared the flight deck could be used again. Of course the attacks succeeded on USN carriers with the explosion occurring on the hangar deck. The USN liaison officer on Indefatigable commented: "When a kamikaze hits a US carrier it means 6 months of repair at Pearl [Harbor]. When a kamikaze hits a Limey carrier it's just a case of 'Sweepers, man your brooms'."

          Oddly my friend said that the British had no fleet in the Pacific and definitely no aircraft carriers.

          It was odd because the BPF had 21 Aircraft carriers.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

            Or you just organise a strike at the Turkish sub-contractor that is the only place that services the only plane that can fly on it.

            Cue Vera Lyn background music.....

            Tally-ho chaps off to beat the hun.

            Sorry we can't.

            Why?

            We subcontracted the spitfire air-worthiness inspection to an outfit in Poland and we keep getting somebody speaking German when we call them.

      3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "How does the (sub-sonic) artillery shell get through the flight deck, "

        I think you'll find that KE rounds fired from tanks can hit 1700m/s or about M5.

        The challenge is to build essentially a cup that acts as a 1 shot gun barrel to contain the propellant load long enough to accelerate it before it disintegrates with the drone (or at least the shell) pointed at the deck.

        I think a M5 Tungsten Carbide or DU sabot will go through any steel deck thickness a carrier could reasonably carry. There's a lot of deck to cover and every mm extra adds a serious amount of weight.

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: "How does the (sub-sonic) artillery shell get through the flight deck, "

          'I think you'll find that KE rounds fired from tanks can hit 1700m/s or about M5.'

          I think the issue you'll have is without a system to handle the recoil half the energy will be expended by the drone going vertically up at high speed. Adding that will start to make your drone big heavy and expensive, so they'll be less of them, so your saturation attack is less likely to pay off.

          The Germans developed a system along those lines for shooting down bombers, a series of barrels in the rear fuselage to fire a single shot up into the belly of a B-17. At the same time a counter-weight was ejected downwards from the bottom of the barrel.

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            "I think the issue you'll have is without a system to handle the recoil "

            I guess you've never heard the term "recoiless rifle " ?

            The earliest implementation of which was the Davis system in 1918 on a cloth and wood aircraft.

            The downside is the higher propellant load and the limited availability of RR shells over conventional artillery, hence my preference for essentially a one shot gun barrel.

            It's not that much more sophisticated options exist, it's they are also much more expensive and need a lot more development.

    4. kmac499

      Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

      HIre the Swedish Navy with their super stealthy, Stirling engine (via Liquid Oxygen) powered subs.

      Apparently they scored a kill against a US Super Carrier in a recent war game..

      Presumbly the Hot End of the Stirling engine is clad in Pine and doubles up as the Boats Sauna.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

        'Apparently they scored a kill against a US Super Carrier in a recent war game..'

        If they'd never scored a hit against a carrier in a war game, there'd be no point in having them in the war games. In other words war games are where you find out if your plan works without failure being terminal, they also frequently feature scripted elements forcing units together where at least one would be doing its best to be as far from the other as possible.

        You'd have to be really lucky to get a non-nuclear sub in weapons range of a carrier group that could be doing >30kts.

    5. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

      I would have thought torpedo carrying seabots would be a relatively cheap way of taking out capital ships. The should be more energy efficient than UAVs, especially if they could go into a hibernation mode that responded to a passive sensor array, and with a semi-submersible they would have a tiny signature on radar.

      Or even make the seabot torpedo like.

  5. Credas Silver badge

    Never mind the manpower

    the manpower demands on the already overstretched Royal Navy have caused some observers to question whether she is really worth it

    At least you can recruit and train additional people in a reasonable time if the will's there. However with the paltry number of frigates and destroyers available to act as escorts it'll essentially take the entire Royal Navy to protect the thing.

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Never mind the manpower

      'At least you can recruit and train additional people in a reasonable time if the will's there'

      It'd probably be the other way around. You'd could recruit a thousand new sailors tomorrow (voluntarily or otherwise) but that throws the rest of the navy out of kilter as you don't have enough experienced personnel to supervise them when they reach the fleet. It then takes a few years for the best of those new recruits to start being promoted and taking on some of that burden. So if you've got a class of ship in production already you could probably out build your increase in manpower for the first few years, unless you were planning on crewing it entirely with inexperienced personnel.

      Certainly in WW2 the RN was short of pilots and observers until ~42 when the flying training pipeline started to produce people in sufficient numbers. I'd imagine it would be similar for the rest of the fleet depending on the specialisation, e.g. engineers, seamen, etc.

      The required number of escorts really depends on where you're going, there'd be a full threat assessment done as part of the deployment planning. E.g. if you're going to the US East Coast you don't really need one, the Yellow Sea maybe you'd want a bit more.

    2. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: Never mind the manpower

      with the paltry number of frigates and destroyers available to act as escorts it'll essentially take the entire Royal Navy to protect the thing

      Other than as a sacrificial wall, I can't see any likely battlegroup defending a carrier against advanced threats like hypersonic missiles or supercavitation torpedoes. And against a well planned swarm attack they'd struggle.

    3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Never mind the manpower @Credas

      No, what you go after is the fleet train. After all, the carriers are not nuclear powered, so need regular refueling.

      And while all of the frigates are providing AS cover for your stupidly under-performing Type 45 destroyers, which are providing the AA cover for the carriers, there's nothing left to protect your slow, mercantile marine manned, Lloyds of London rules fleet train, which could probably be stopped by diesel-electric submarines, single engine light aircraft or even Somali pirates in inflatable boats if they tried hard.

      As soon as J-fuel starts running low, the carrier will have to leave station so that it doesn't become another piece of flotsam when it runs out of fuel.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Never mind the manpower @Credas

        "[...] there's nothing left to protect your slow, mercantile marine manned, Lloyds of London rules fleet train, [..]"

        The Atlantic Conveyor was such a loss in the Falklands War - and that was part of the battle fleet.

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Atlantic Conveyor

          Atlantic Conveyor was not really fleet train. It was a hastily re-purposed container ship, and the containers were arranged to give some shelter to the aircraft it was carrying. There was fuel and ordnance stored relatively unprotected on the deck in containers.

          The idea was that it would be able to augment the Harriers on the real carriers, and then to fly the Wessex and Chinooks off once a bridgehead had been established on land. It should never have been part of the main task force, and should have been safe further out to sea.

          As a ship under a merchant flag, with a civilian crew, it did not have any weapon or weapon countermeasures installed, as this is illegal in the rules of the sea after disguised merchant ships were used in previous conflicts.

          But I guess it looked a big target to the Argentinian radar, and as the exocet missiles had an over-the-horizon range, the pilots did not see what the ship was before launching their weapons. Even if they had, it probably would have been considered a valid target.

          Once targeted, the nature of the vessel meant that the ship would probably have been sunk, but the fuel and ordnance stored on deck made that almost a certainty.

          Proper RFA ships are allowed to carry weapons, and the crew, although civilian, are permitted to operate the close-in weapons systems, although anything more substantial will be operated by RN, RNR or Marines who are often also on board. They also have some countermeasures installed on board.

  6. x 7 Silver badge

    "Aside from an issue with a propeller shaft, possibly caused by a fishing net becoming snagged in the prop blades, the trials appear to have been successful."

    Was that net a Russian low-tech weapon? Imagine if the net had a mine attached....bye-bye Queen Lizzie

    1. Caustic Soda

      You vastly underestimate the survivability of big ships with watertight compartments.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        'You vastly underestimate the survivability of big ships with watertight compartments.'

        Or even small ones, I'm sure there were destroyers in the war that survived being mined. I mean I'm not saying they had a bow but they certainly got back to port to have a new one put on.

        1. james 68

          @SkippyBing indeed, there were many in fact, some became quite famous (at least for short periods) when sailing into port with essentially half a ship.

          @Caustic Soda you mean like the lauded RMS Titanic? You perhaps overestimate "watertight" compartments, as they only work when the doors are closed and some Muppet hasn't drilled stonking great holes through the walls to pass pipes and wiring. The Royal Navy has something of a reputation in the area of leaving said doors open to facilitate storage and help cool the lower decks, leading to a number of ship losses during WW2. As is well known, once the navy does something just once it becomes a "longstanding naval tradition" and will continue to be done against all common sense and damn the losses.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            said doors open to facilitate storage and help cool the lower decks, leading to a number of ship losses during WW2

            And WW1 - a lot of the fleet lost at Scapa Flow were because of the habit of leaving shell hoist shafts or watertight doors open to aid speed of movement.

            Which is great, right up until the Germans land a 15" shell through the turret armour and the shell flash travels down to the ammunition storage.

          2. Caustic Soda

            Watertight compartments mean watertight compartments. The Titanic's weren't watertight. Nor were Belgrano's. A compartment isn't watertight if you don't close the doors or someone's drilled an unauthorised hole through the bulkhead. QE has got a variety of sensors and interlocks to ensure that her compartments jolly well are watertight, or that someone in responsibility will know all about it.

        2. Ledswinger Silver badge

          'You vastly underestimate the survivability of big ships with watertight compartments.'....Or even small ones...

          If I could remind both of you gents, UK losses in the Falklands showed that modern ships are very vulnerable to single hits. We lost HMS Sheffield to a single missile strike that didn't explode. HMS Coventry was lost to three small dumb bombs in the same attack pass. HMS Antelope was lost to the explosion of a single dumb bomb during an attempt to defuse a UXB. Even Atlantic Conveyor was lost to "only" two Exocet strikes. The South Korean Cheonan was lost to a single dumb torpedo in 2010.

          I'd suggest the evidence is that the survivability of modern naval vessels is really rather poor.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        You vastly underestimate the survivability of big ships with watertight compartments.

        You vastly underestimate the effect of a mine when you are allowed to use nuclear warheads in them.

        1. Caustic Soda

          That's why the RN is the world-leader in MCM.

      3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        WWII ships and armor

        It used to be that pretty much anything above a corvette or sloop used to have at least splinter protection, and most destroyers and light cruisers actually had some armor protection that would allow them to go toe-to-toe with a similar vessel (or often a larger one - see how Exeter, Ajax and Achilles fared against the Graf Spee, ironically in the South Atlantic)

        With the advent of guided weapons, where instead of firing several dozen shells hoping to get one to hit, a missile would be more likely to hit than miss, you could put more destructive potential into each missile.

        As a result, warships built in the last 60 years have had little or no protective armor. There's no point making the ship heavier that it needs to be, as that takes power and fuel to move it around. Where you do have a substantial ship, the thickness of the hull and decks is dictated by the need for the hull to be stiff enough not to break in high seas, and the decks to be able to support what is expected to be put on them.

        Thus, aircraft carriers have several inches of steel alloy as the flight deck, not to prevent shells and bombs penetrating, but to stand up to several tons of aircraft hitting it quite hard (the USN have carrier landing and launchable freight aircraft like the C-2A Greyhound, and have even landed C-130s in trials), not that F-14 (retired) or F/A-18s are particularly light when fully loaded.

        The Royal Navy experimented with making ship hulls lighter with advanced alloys, but found that the aluminum alloys used corroded in salt air, and potentially burned. After the Falklands, the remaining Type 21s were sold off quick because of this. Sheffield (a Type 42) was lost because the insulation on the electrical wiring burned after being set alight by the rocket motor on the exocet as it passed completely through the unarmored hull, and once there was no electrical power to run the pumps, the ship succumbed to water.

        So warships actually can't really take that much damage now. That is why they have CIWS Gatling and shortly even laser weapon systems that are supposed to be able to stop even quite small targets.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An aircraft carrier with no aircraft.

    Do we have submarines with screen doors as well?

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Yawn.

      The ship is still on acceptance trials from the constructor, it's not actually a commissioned warship yet. The last time an RN carrier embarked* aircraft this earlier in her career was HMS Illustrious in 1982 for obvious reasons. Before that was probably HMS Victorious in 1941 when the Bismarck broke out into the Atlantic.

      So first of all they check the manufacturer has built her properly, then they do first of class trials to see what she's capable of, then the crew work up so they can operate her with all kinds of emergencies happening. Then they start doing rotary wing first of class flying trials to makes sure they know where the safe limits are for operating the helicopters. Then they do the same for the fixed wing aircraft.

      Or do you think ships leave the dockyard fully combat capable with a crew fully trained to use them?

      *I'm assuming you're ignoring the helicopters that have been operating from it because you're a simpleton.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You are correct I hadn't thought of Helicopters and thinking about it a bit more I bet it's perfect for launching kites. Our enemies to the east will surely fear our mighty kites. We could even use Mary Poppins as propaganda material.

        Once it's fully operational I doubt the aircraft will be ready but lets see.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Do we have submarines with screen doors as well?

      We had one. But it sank. Someone left the door open.

  8. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    I'm pretty sure that...

    I'm pretty sure that Admiralty will be issuing some chart updates soon as they've been dredging the main harbour entrance and inner and outer channels for quite a while now in preparation for these new carriers which will alter the LAT depths, as well as those for estimated MHWS and MLWS.

    The dredging has entertainingly uncovered quite a lot of UXBs which have subsequently been blown up by Navy Ordnance in the remoter reaches of the Solent. One of them required Gunwharf Quays to be evacuated, but they should have just let it off in situ to be honest as it's pretty rubbish there.

    I certainly wouldn't have wanted that to have had that drop on me during the war though as it certainly made a huge racket when they blew it up and I felt the resulting shockwave over 15 miles away.

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: I'm pretty sure that...

      Here's your missing icon >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: I'm pretty sure that...

        Here's your missing icon >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

        No - that one is reserved for when the SS Richard Montgomery (a sunken ammo ship at the mouth of the Thames) goes up and sends a tsunami up-river..

    2. S4qFBxkFFg
      WTF?

      Re: I'm pretty sure that...

      The dredging has entertainingly uncovered quite a lot of UXBs which have subsequently been blown up by Navy Ordnance in the remoter reaches of the Solent."

      That always puzzled me - surely it should be the Luftwaffe's job to sort all that? (And equivalently, the RAF*/USAF should get tasked with digging up and disposing of everything they dropped on Germany that didn't already explode.)

      (Assume that the 'R' stands for "Royal" or "Russian" as you prefer.)

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: I'm pretty sure that...

        'That always puzzled me - surely it should be the Luftwaffe's job to sort all that?'

        Then you'd have to identify who's ordnance you found*, contact the appropriate disposal team, and then wait for them to arrive. Generally I'd say it's easier just to do it yourself, by the time you've identified it you're probably most of the way there anyway.

        *It might have been German, could equally have been UK or US jettisoned before attempting a landing. Or maybe Italian, although I'm not sure they sent bombers to join in the Battle of Britain.

        1. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: I'm pretty sure that...

          There were Italian aircraft operational during the Battle of Britain. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpo_Aereo_Italiano says that the Italians had _biplane_ fighters, the CR.42s, and not particularly good bombers ('obsolescent' was the polite term) in the BR.20s. The G.50s, the other fighter type used, were monoplanes, but were inadequately armed (just two .50 caliber guns), slow (under 260 MPH, or 100 MPH slower than a Hurricane) and usually had an open cockpit (some pilots went so far as to remove the canopies fitted at the factory to later versions; fighter pilots tended to be crazy, and Italian fighter pilots were crazier than most others). Casualties were... interesting.

    3. _Charles_

      Re: I'm pretty sure that...

      ...Admiralty will be issuing some chart updates...

      There have been a number of Navigation Warnings on the subject - the latest:

      http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/qhm/portsmouth/local-notices/navigational-warnings/2017/1754.

      From memory the Small Ships Channel was modified after the latest Chart 2625. You can tell the leisure sailors who read these things by which side of 4Bar they pass.

  9. TRT Silver badge

    It certainly looks the part...

    with those impressive twin towers and that.

  10. Dr. G. Freeman
    Coat

    Wonder if the HMS Price Philip will be three paces behind ?

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Joke

      Nah, it's been retired already, although the Telegraph did report it'd been sunk...

  11. cd / && rm -rf *
    Thumb Up

    "keen naval gazers"

    Brilliant.

  12. CharliePsycho

    Already There?

    I'm pretty sure the USS George (whatever) Bush was getting in the way a few days ago during Cowes Week waiting to go into Portsmouth

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Already There?

      The George Bush didn't go alongside, in fact I don't think any Nimitz class ever have in Portsmouth. Navigationally it would be quite challenging as, as well as the hull being a bit longer the bridge is significantly further back than on the QNLZ class which would make the pilotage tricky.

  13. a_mu

    tides and sailing ?

    If she needs a specific high tide range to get into Pompy

    will she not be port bound till the next in a few weeks time,

    lets hope noting comes up that needs her to sail sooner..

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: tides and sailing ?

      needs her to sail sooner..

      Surely, she "steams", not "sails"..

      1. fnj

        Re: tides and sailing ?

        @CrazyOldCatMan

        Woopsie, "steam" doesn't work any better than "sail". HMS Queen Elizabeth is combination gas turbine and diesel powered.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: tides and sailing ?

          Chugs or Whooshes ?

        2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: tides and sailing ?

          "Woopsie, "steam" doesn't work any better than "sail". HMS Queen Elizabeth is combination gas turbine and diesel powered."

          In reality, both turbines and Diesel engines are powered by a mixture of steam,carbon dioxide and heated air. It is just that the gases are generated by burning hydrocarbons with oxygen. The "typical" hydrocarbon formula is n(CH2) + 2H, so about equal volumes of both gases are produced.

          If you powered a gas turbine with a hydrogen/oxygen gas mixture, it would be a pure steam engine.

  14. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    ship design philosophy question

    does anyone here know why there are TWO "island" structures on HMS QE? Is the second island to allow enough space for something(s) otherwise unable to fit below the flight deck?

    1. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: ship design philosophy question

      One is flight ops, the other is ship ops.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: ship design philosophy question

        >One is flight ops, the other is ship ops.

        Do they also have segregated canteens and bathrooms?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ship design philosophy question

      Bridge and battle bridge to allow for saucer detachment.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: ship design philosophy question

        "Bridge and battle bridge to allow for saucer detachment."

        ...Lest the cup is destroyed in action.

        It is a British ship...

    3. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: ship design philosophy question

      Multiple reasons. Firstly they contain the up and down takes for the gas turbines that provide electricity to drive and power the ship, if you only had one island you'd have to have more ducting inside the hull which takes up a lot of room due to the volumes of air involved. This would probably also mean moving the forward lift further towards the bow which would make it more exposed. You could move one of the engine rooms but I'm guessing they're where they are for well thought out reasons, noise reduction, redundancy in the event of fire/battle damage/etc.

      Secondly one big island causes more turbulence over the flight deck and astern into the final approach path of the aircraft, which has in the past been an issue with UK carriers as being smaller than the post war US carriers they haven't been able to put as much in the hull. I.e. everything has to go somewhere.

      Finally it's useful having the bridge as far forward as you can get it to avoid having a mile long blind spot when entering harbour.

    4. I am the liquor

      Re: ship design philosophy question

      The front one has the bridge, near the front so the person at the steering wheel* can see where he's going.

      The one at the back has the air traffic control as it's a better position to keep an eye on all the planes being shuffled around ready to take off.

      American carriers have one island near the back, which makes the ship harder to drive, but they don't care because if they crash it into a lighthouse or something they've still got another 10 or 11 spare.

      * Nautical terms may not be strictly accurate

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: ship design philosophy question

        @I am the liquor

        ...if they crash it into a lighthouse...

        That reminds me...

        "This is a lighthouse. Your call"

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lighthouse_and_naval_vessel_urban_legend

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ship design philosophy question

        "[...] so the person at the steering wheel* can see where he's going."

        Err - left hand down a bit. Everybody down!

    5. collinsl

      Re: ship design philosophy question

      It was a design choice for a number of reasons:

      1. Add extra topweight to the starboard side to balance out the heavy port side equipment below

      2. Allow the smokestacks (it's derv powered after all) to be more rearward whilst allowing a better view from the bridge

      3. Keep the flyops people out of the command spaces so they can't break stuff ;-)

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: ship design philosophy question

        Because they're twice as good as other carriers.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: ship design philosophy question

          @Aladdin Sane

          Because they're twice as good as other carriers.

          I am sure someone convinced the MOD that it will make up for the missing catapults

      2. john.jones.name

        Re: ship design philosophy question

        So have the flight ops people sorted their navigation software issues ?

  15. sawatts
    Headmaster

    the first true aircraft carrier in Royal Navy service for almost a decade

    "the first true aircraft carrier in Royal Navy service for almost a decade"

    I'll join pedants corner and point out that the RN has only had "Through-Deck Cruisers" since the last WWII era vessels were decomissions (HMS Hermes, 1984, in service with India until 2017).

    These where definitely not aircraft carriers 'cos HM Gov said they didn't need those anymore. They did manage to survive many releted collisions with aircraft though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: the first true aircraft carrier in Royal Navy service for almost a decade

      I can remember sister ships HMS Eagle and HMS Ark Royal laid up in Plymouth Sound before being towed for scrap when I was a kid in the late 70's. One of Ark Royals anchors can be seen on the approach to Plymouth Hoe They weren't that much smaller than Queen Liz around 55,000T compared to 70'ish Hermes was around 30,000T. Liz is too big to fit in to Devonport I think the biggest RN ship to enter Devonport including the two carriers was probably Vanguard just a little bigger than the two carriers

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: the first true aircraft carrier in Royal Navy service for almost a decade @AC

        Hermes (laid down 1943) was not that much younger than the Audacious class Ark and Eagle, and the design came from a different need.

        Hermes was the ultimate development of the UK Light Fleet carrier programme, which was designed to provide carriers that could be rapidly built, and would be cheap to run (this is why the Colossus and Majestic classes were so widely bought by colonial navies when the UK sold them).

        Hermes had been designed in the era of piston engine aircraft, and when carrier aircraft reached the size of the Buccaneer and Phantom, although it was proved that they could be flown, she was just too small for main fleet duties. She was converted for helicopter duties until the Harrier gave her a short renewed life, but in reality, even the Ark and Eagle were too small to operate more than a modest air fleet of modern jets.

        IIRC, the last catapult jets that Hermes flew were Scimitars and Sea Vixens, both of which we at best 2nd generation jets.

        In order to be the heart of a battle group, a modern carrier has to fly attack, defense, AEW&C, AS and logistics. It's just not possible with anything less than a super-carrier, and without cats and arresters, the UK will have to rely on helicopters for the AEW and AS roles, and just hope that the F-35B is good enough in the attack and defense roles. Logistics will have to be by ship or helicopter.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: Logistics will have to be by ship or helicopter

          Which is why the decision not to acquire some V-22 Ospreys is stupid.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Logistics will have to be by ship or helicopter

            "Which is why the decision not to acquire some V-22 Ospreys is stupid."

            Another one crashed on Saturday in the sea near Australia.

            Quote:

            "The latest incident is the 10th known crash involving an Osprey – an aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter but flies like an aeroplane – since 1991.

            The Japan Times reported on Monday the country’s defence minister had asked the US to stop flying the MV-22 in its air space, because of concerns over safety."

        2. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: the first true aircraft carrier in Royal Navy service for almost a decade @AC

          'IIRC, the last catapult jets that Hermes flew were Scimitars and Sea Vixens, both of which we at best 2nd generation jets.'

          Hermes did also operate Buccaneer S2s, however to do this one of her catapults was lengthened to allow a launch at a useful weight. She did normally only carry 6 of them though rather than the usual 9 due to space limitations.

  16. Daedalus Silver badge

    A Milligan moment

    Spike Milligan was conscripted into an artillery battery with no ammo. They practised by shouting "Bang!" instead of firing the gun. Perhaps the crew of this ark should stand on the deck and shout "Whoosh!" in the absence of any aircraft to launch.

  17. Wolfclaw Silver badge
    Facepalm

    So in other words, some muppet hasn't dredged the approach to her berth and so she is a floating target for anybody that wants to sink her, just look outside for the ship parked up waiting for high tide !

  18. bed

    Scapa FLow?

    Not entirely convinced. AFAIK, since leaving Invergordon, it has been trundling around the Moray Firth and has featured regularly on the FB pages of people on the south side of the Moray Firth, especially those with long lenses.

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Scapa FLow?

      She popped into Scapa briefly (going by the RN Twitter feeds it was only for a few hours) to commemorate 100 years since the first carrier aircraft flight. Also to lay a wreath over the wreck of the Royal Oak.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: Scapa FLow?

        Technically celebrating the first successful landing of an aircraft on a moving ship, previously they'd just ditched alongside as they cost about the same as a 12" shell. At that point Furious was basically a cruiser with a flying off deck where the forward guns would be so the pilot had to fly past the bridge and then slide right to be over the take-off/landing area.

  19. scrubber

    Unofficial name

    Murdery McMurderface?

    Wastey McWasteofcash?

  20. Dave 15 Silver badge

    'True aircraft carrier'

    Who wrote that rot?

    She will be base to a bunch of crippled non-airworthy crocks of shite. Not capable of flying any 'real' aircraft because some muppet was unable to sort out a setup with catapults, arrester wires and a little jump should we decide that it might be useful to have a battle proven harrier or two back.

    These two ships between them boast less firepower than the 3 little carriers they replaced. And lets face it the little Hermes was able to fly real planes (buccaneers and later just to prove a point the crappy American Fwhatevers the egits in government had decided were preferable to building our own).

    What never fails to surprise me is the incompetence of our governments in failing to look back and see that throughout history the yanks have told everyone how superior their crud is only to have it rudely pointed out in a real world scenario that it isn't as good as others...

    'Tommy cooker' tanks in ww2

    Fighter planes that were almost decent once they had the Merlin engines fitted but were still no match for a Hurricane or Spitfire

    Jets that were so late we could have fixed the landing gear on TSR2 and finishde with a plane that is still today more than an equal to the eurofighter or anything the yanks currently have

    And even today they bang on about their tanks, but it is still one of ours that holds the longest tank to tank kill ever.

    The UK government should back the UK and put UK built planes on UK carriers, We should also build another dozen nuclear powered versions of the little carriers with some Harriers - they were better carriers and better planes

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: 'True aircraft carrier' @Dave

      I largely agree, but I would like to point out a couple of things.

      The TSR-2 was potentially a good aircraft, but was not really flight-proven, being canceled before the flight trials of the one flying prototype had been completed. It's configuration would possibly have made it a poor jack-of-all-trades, which is what the government of the time wanted (and the reason the costs got out of hand). The fact that it would have been made with 50's technology and materials would mean that it really would not have been comparable with modern composite, advanced alloy and modern avionics in anything except raw performance, and speed and altitude are not all a war plane needs.

      The problem of the economics were (and still are) the main problem with the UK producing their own aircraft. The size of the UK air fleet, which has been continually reduced, means that our own needs cannot justify the high cost of developing new aircraft. Often, the development costs are a significant proportion of the overall programme, and the fewer airframes you build, the more the development costs are reflected in the cost-per-aircraft.

      At one time, in the late '40s and '50s, other countries bought significant numbers of UK produced aircraft. The Hunter, Canberra, Gnat, Harrier and others all had significant export markets, but in the '60s the UK embarked on a reduction in armed force sizes in all of the services, which stalled the introduction of new planes. This had a knock on effect to the producers who were forced both by the economics and the government of the time to consolidate into fewer and fewer companies. My belief is that this stifled new aircraft design, and the Americans, with their vast armed forces spending continued to develop new aircraft.

      It is ironic that in the 50's and 60's, a very large number of the engines that went into US aircraft were either license built copies or derivatives of UK engines like the Avon, Sapphire and Pegasus. The Americans learned a lot from these, enabling them to produce their own in the '60s (although significant UK technology input has gone into the F-35B engines, none of which is coming back).

      It is clear that the 1960s was a dreadful period for the UK. The finances were in tatters recovering from WWII (and paying back much of the loans that were necessary to fight it before the US joined), with too much needed investment in the country competing for money. The devaluation of the Pound had a serious effect, and made imports expensive. The nationalization of large parts of UK industry by successive Labour governments in grand experiments in socialism, the reduction in UK armed forces and meddling in the arms, space, transport and emerging computing technologies, while all the time professing to support the "White Heat of Technology" is IMHO a shameful chapter in the history of the UK.

      There were valid reasons for some of these actions, but it is debatable whether commercial forces and buy-outs while keeping many of these companies in the private sector might have been preferable to the forced mergers dictated by government. Often, rivalries in the merged companies crippled their performance, and certainly destroyed their abilities to come up with products to sell abroad.

      Maybe colour tinted spectacles over my eyes, but I remember the false optimism in the '60s and the resultant disappointment of the following decade while I grew up, with a glittering recent history sliding into the despair of the '70s. Possibly the UK had an over-inflated self-view, but Britain was Great at one time.

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: 'True aircraft carrier'

      @Dave 15

      Probably best to keep taking the pills.

    3. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: 'True aircraft carrier'

      These two ships between them boast less firepower than the 3 little carriers they replaced. And lets face it the little Hermes was able to fly real planes (buccaneers and later just to prove a point the crappy American Fwhatevers the egits in government had decided were preferable to building our own).

      Sigh. You do know that the British version of the F-4 was fitted with Rolls-Royce Spey engines. The Speys were more powerful than the American engines they replaced and made far less smoke. They also were bigger and had hotter exhausts (see 'made far less smoke'). These facts had consequences. The F-4K and F-4M (for the RN and the RAF, respectively) had to be redesigned for the engines, making them wider. As a result they were actually slower than American F-4s. The hotter exhausts weren't a problem for the Ms, at least not so long as they weren't dodging IR-guided missiles, but were a significant problem for the Ks; the RN had to modify its carriers lest holes get burned in the decks. (This would not be the last time that hot exhausts were a problem. See further F-35B, for example.) There were a number of other deficiencies with the Ks and Ms, notably the lack of a gun, something which the F-4E in American (and German, and Israeli, etc.) service had addressed (the RAF and RN added an external gun pod on the station normally used by the midline drop tank. This increased weight and drag, cutting the speed and range, while reducing available fuel, cutting the range.) Even with its limitations the British F-4s were noticeably superior to the then-standard RAF interceptor, the Lightening, in all ways except rate of climb and sheer acceleration. They were vastly superior to anything the RN had.

      'Tommy cooker' tanks in ww2

      The M4 Sherman was designed to withstand the fire of other tanks of the same class when built. The designers didn't know anything about the Russian T-34s. By the time that the Sherman as in common use on the Allied side, the Germans knew quite a bit about the T-34 from the receiving end. Their tanks had been up-armored and up-gunned; a Sherman could easily handle early versions of a Pzkw IV, but later versions were equals, and in some ways better. The Pzkw V (Tiger) and Pzkw VI (Panther) were simply better. Standard Sherman guns couldn't penetrate Tiger armor except from the rear. Some American Shermans were fitted with better guns, which could kill Tigers, but even at the end of the war at most one in five had the good guns. Some British Shermans were fitted with the excellent British 17-pounder gun, which could kill Tigers without much trouble. All Shermans had problems with the armor, which was addressed in part by applique armor, particularly as fitted to Israeli Shermans, which saw action as late as the Six-Day War. A few even made it to the Yom Kippur War, though they were mostly training machines by that time. A tank which still was able to stand in battle more than 30 years after it was designed cannot be considered to be a failure.

      Fighter planes that were almost decent once they had the Merlin engines fitted but were still no match for a Hurricane or Spitfire

      Sigh. The P-51 Mustang was initially supposed to be a ground attack system, and the A-36 Apache dive-bomber version actually saw action. The P-51A was an excellent fighter at low altitudes (which figures, it was supposed to be a ground-attack machine) but piss-poor at altitude. Replacing the Allison engines with the Merlin (license-built in the US...) made it able to fight at altitude. A P-51A would eat Hurricanes for breakfast at low altitude; the B and later versions, with the Merlin, could out-climb and out run Spits and could turn with them. Hurricane IICs had 20-mm cannon, with limited ammunition; P-51s had .50 machineguns, less powerful than the cannon but with vastly more ammo. Even the last Hurricanes had fabric rear fuselages and simply could not withstand .50 cal fire. Spits usually had two 20mm guns instead of the four that Hurri IICs had, and four .303 machineguns to go with the cannon. The Spit cannon had the same ammo limitations that the Hurri guns did, as they were the same guns, and the .303 machineguns would have had significant problems damaging a P-51. Assuming that the Spit could get in range, that is. (Note: the most maneuverable fighter in the US Army Air Force during WWII was the P-63 Black Widow two or three seat night fighter. It had Fowler flaps, slats, and two 2,000 hp engines and could power through turns no mere single-engine fighter could match. The best fighter fielded by the US in WWII was the F-4U Corsair; Corsairs managed to kill jets over Korea and last saw combat in the Football War of 1969, wherein both sides had Corsairs.)

      The UK government should back the UK and put UK built planes on UK carriers, We should also build another dozen nuclear powered versions of the little carriers with some Harriers - they were better carriers and better planes

      What UK built planes? There aren't any. And nuke carriers cost money, where are they going to get it? The Sea Harrier was an excellent subsonic fighter; in head-to-head action with a supersonic fighter not limited by fuel (the Argentinian fighters were fighting at extended ranges) they'd have had problems. A few F-18s with AMRAMs could stand off at long range and keep Sea Harriers busy while a few more of their friends launched Harpoon and HARM at the ships the Harriers were trying to defend. And there are a LOT of F-18s.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: 'True aircraft carrier'

        It's also worth remembering the old adage about the Mustang:

        The Mustang can't do what the Spitfire can, but it can't do it over Berlin

        In other words the P-51 had the useful attribute of not being out of fuel by the time it crossed the Channel, for some reason the RAF were dead set against increasing the range of the Spitfire.

        Oh and because I seem to keep having to mention it, 20% of all F-35 production is by UK based companies. I.e. BAE make the rear fuselage for all of them, R-R make all the lift fans, M-B make all the ejector seats, Dowty probably make bits, etc. etc. 20% of a 3000 aircraft production run is 600 aircraft, there hasn't been a solely British combat aircraft made in those kind of numbers since the Hunter or Canberra.

      2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: 'True aircraft carrier'

        These two ships between them boast less firepower than the 3 little carriers they replaced. And lets face it the little Hermes was able to fly real planes (buccaneers and later just to prove a point the crappy American Fwhatevers the egits in government had decided were preferable to building our own).

        Invincible class air group contained at most 18 Harrier GR7/9s, with a maximum payload of 8,000lbs each.

        QE class air group will contain 40 aircraft, with current plans for there to be up to 24 F-35Bs, with a maximum payload of 15,000lbs each.

        So Invincible class could deliver 432,000lbs, QE class can deliver 720,000lbs. What's more, the F-35 can land whilst still carrying stores, the Harrier couldn't.

  21. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    "Though El Reg doesn't have a subscription to any tide table websites, [...] "

    You'd think that El Reg, of all places, had access to a Babbage engine to work out the tide tables themselves.

  22. Floydian Slip
    FAIL

    Did they forget something?

    If HMS Queen Liz can only enter harbour on a high tide - how will it leave/return when/if fully laden with the extra weight that a full compliment of crew, all stores replenished and naval aviation embarked?

    She'll be the only ship that can return to her home port when the sun's in alignment with the moon and there's a super spring tide allied to super high pressue

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Did they forget something?

      Or maybe they just want everything in their favour the first time they give it a go?

      The old Ark (i.e. the one with Phantoms and Buccaneers) and Eagle had a similar problem getting in and out of Devonport and frequently scraped their bottoms getting in so it's not a new thing.

  23. niksgarage

    According to my Babbage-designed Tide Engine, the dates toward the latter end of the window are the best for tides. 21st / 22nd.

  24. zaax

    She now playing with George Bush in the north sea, and the dutch are watching

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