back to article She's arrived! HMS Queen Lizzie enters Portsmouth Naval Base

Britain’s newest warship, its biggest warship of all time, HMS Queen Elizabeth, entered Portsmouth Harbour for the first time this morning. The 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier entered the port at 0710 this morning under the watchful eye of half a dozen tugboats, a small flotilla of police vessels - and crowds of thousands lining …

  1. Steve 53

    Don't you mean microwales

    The whole point of the reg standards is easy visualisation. Surely when you say the carrier is 10% of the same of waves, you'd stop and think... That doesn't sound right?

    It's 0.94 microwales! Not 0.94 wales!

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Don't you mean microwales

      I was starting to worry there, if it was almost 1% the size of a small country you'd have to ask why we kept Wales around.

      Although it is 4% of the area of the Vatican...

  2. PhilipN Silver badge

    Fine photo

    Hats off to the cameraman

    1. MAF
      Happy

      Re: Fine photo

      Did he use a drone?

    2. MrT
      Thumb Up

      Re: Fine photo

      Friend of a friend on Facebook posted this one down in Gosport as HMS QE passed the the Spinnaker Tower - larger version here... It nicely shows the five Merlins on deck.

    3. W4YBO

      Re: Fine photo

      She's a beautiful subject. Hats off to all involved in her creation and operation.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Genuine question

    ...as we've all seen the issue with having / not having catapults and being forced to buy stupidly expensive aircraft.

    Would it have made more economical sense to just make it bigger?

    Would adding (retro-fitted) catapults + cheaper aircraft been cheaper than no catapults and expensive aircraft?

    1. Justicesays
      Devil

      Re: Genuine question

      I figured out a solution. We have two problems

      1) We bought two ships are barely have enough stuff to run one of them

      2) the ships are not long enough normal planes to take off from, and cannot be retrofitted with cat and trap for any reasonable cost (for some reason the contract didn't specify a "reasonable cost" when requiring retrofitting as an option..).

      The solution is simple. Just dock the two ships together to provide one, longer runway!

      Edit: For reference, the combined length would be 560m,

      Specification and Dimensions Eurofighter Typhoon

      Service ceiling 18290 m (60,000 ft)

      Time to 10600m/Mach 1.5 < 2,5 min

      Runway length 500 m (take off under 8 seconds)

      1. SW10

        Re: One ship, not two

        We bought two ships...

        No, you've bought one operational ship for the price of two.

        The Royal Navy already know they will only get 50% uptime from their new toy; and that's before it's encountered the real world...

        1. rh587 Silver badge

          Re: One ship, not two

          No, you've bought one operational ship for the price of two.

          The Royal Navy already know they will only get 50% uptime from their new toy; and that's before it's encountered the real world..

          Which is rather good value if they can make it work considering they normally come in threes. One in deep maintenance, one on stand-by, one at-sea/deployed.

      2. Zmodem

        Re: Genuine question

        it would be more todo with the UK not needing rubbish planes because BAE built the best which is the eurofighter and only needs 300m to take off

        the f35 is rubbish and only used for basic operations

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: Genuine question

          'BAE built the best which is the eurofighter and only needs 300m to take off'

          Is that 300m with a full weapons load, just air-to-air missile, or for a flying display? The latter is great and all but not really why people buy combat aircraft.

          The Typhoon also suffers the slight issue that due to the angle of attack on finals to land the pilot wouldn't actually be able to see the aircraft carrier. Oh and the undercarriage would come through the wings doing a carrier landing.

          But I'm sure BAE could sort those problems out for a very minor fee...

          1. Zmodem

            Re: Genuine question

            "Is that 300m with a full weapons load, just air-to-air missile, or for a flying display? The latter is great and all but not really why people buy combat aircraft."

            the eurofighter would never need a full payload, its built for dogfighting, and risky situations with dogfighting moves with ground to air protection, which is why it beat the lockheed raptor in a dogfight

            the F35 would be used for the basic operations

            1. SkippyBing Silver badge

              Re: Genuine question

              'the eurofighter would never need a full payload, its built for dogfighting, and risky situations with dogfighting moves with ground to air protection, which is why it beat the lockheed raptor in a dogfight'

              Don't tell the RAF then, they keep putting bombs on it to drop on ISIS.

              Your follow on question is why would you buy two types of fast jet to put on an aircraft carrier, doubling the logistics required to keep everything flying, when you could just buy one that does all the tasks you need doing?

              1. Zmodem

                Re: Genuine question

                "Don't tell the RAF then, they keep putting bombs on it to drop on ISIS.

                Your follow on question is why would you buy two types of fast jet to put on an aircraft carrier, doubling the logistics required to keep everything flying, when you could just buy one that does all the tasks you need doing?"

                all the other RAF planes are rubbish and outdated, the F35B is'nt fast, its 800MPH slower then the eurofighter, even though the super cruise speed is classified, you can tell its upclose to max speed with you watch some documentaries by hints and facial expression given

                there is the eurofighter, and the RAF typhoon, both are exactly the same plane, the typhoon will be full of classified BAE hardware the MoD set up BAE for, way back when, all other countries won't have access to

                1. SkippyBing Silver badge
                  Thumb Down

                  Re: Genuine question

                  'all the other RAF planes are rubbish and outdated, the F35B is'nt fast, its 800MPH slower then the eurofighter'

                  You get all your military intel from Top Trumps don't you?

                  Why do you want to go so fast, and how much is your combat radius affected by doing so? How many external stations does the Typhoon lose to fuel tanks getting the same combat radius as an F-35?

                  'the typhoon will be full of classified BAE hardware the MoD set up BAE for, way back when, all other countries won't have access to'

                  Such as?

    2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Genuine question

      Adding cats and traps would've doubled the cost as BAE are involved.

      1. PNGuinn
        Trollface

        Re: Genuine question

        "Adding cats and traps would've doubled the cost as BAE are involved."

        "Adding cats and flaps would've doubled the cost as BAE are involved."

        There - FIFY.

    3. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Genuine question

      You couldn't make it bigger and build/keep it in the UK, there aren't the facilities big enough.

      However it is big enough to have catapults and arrestor gear fitted so that's wasn't the issue. There were issues with the untested nature of the equipment that would have been fitted, it's only just entered service on the Gerald Ford. Additionally when it was said the carriers should be built 'for but not with'* catapult equipment that was a bit vague so BAE just left lots of big spaces under the flight deck, when they were asked to actually do it the cost estimate rapidly went up, presumably because they had no expertise in the matter.

      Conventional carrier aircraft aren't as much cheaper as you'd think if you look at total cost of ownership, the F-35C version isn't that cheap anyway, but even with the F/A-18E which can't carry as much as an F-35B from a carrier, it's hampered by the requirement to return to the ship with a greater fuel load to allow for missed approaches. You don't get missed approaches with a VSTOL aircraft so the F-35B can return with less fuel in reserve. Conventional carrier aircraft also take a lot of abuse in the take-off landing phase so tend to wear out at a similar rate to VSTOL ones, there's actually a limit on the number of carrier launches and recoveries they can do before they're restricted to land bases.

      Although there's a valid argument to be made for having better enabling aircraft, e.g. tankers, AEW, etc. realistically the MoD can't afford to add more aircraft types to its inventory anyway.

      *A lot of UK defence equipment is like that.

      1. rh587 Silver badge

        Re: Genuine question

        Although there's a valid argument to be made for having better enabling aircraft, e.g. tankers, AEW, etc. realistically the MoD can't afford to add more aircraft types to its inventory anyway.

        This was a key argument, and does somewhat hamper possible operations.

        The other thing though is to consider joint ops and end-of-life.

        1. Big Lizzie is conventionally powered, not nuclear. In the past we have sold vessels at EOL to other nations (including carriers). Not being nuclear (which eliminates any proliferation issues), that possibility existed with the Elizabeth Class vessels except that without cats and traps, the only possible buyers would be people both allowed to purchase and inclined to operate F35B. No chance (for instance) of flogging it to India who might operate MiG-29Ks off her. Same happened with the Invincible carriers - no use to anyone who didn't want to fly Harriers off them (or have a glorified helicopter carrier).

        2. Much talk was made when they were being laid down of doing joint-ops with France and working with allied forces. Without cats and traps we can engage in joint ops with precisely one ally - the USMC (and possibly Italy if they go ahead with their order).

        Would joint-ops have happened? Maybe, possibly not - probably just politicians doing their thing. But it does hamper the flexibility, and even if we were not operating fixed wing Tankers/Cargo/AWACs ourselves, it would permit say, transfers between US and British vessels via Greyhound or sharing resources as part of a joint taskforce.

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: Genuine question

          'Much talk was made when they were being laid down of doing joint-ops with France and working with allied forces. Without cats and traps we can engage in joint ops with precisely one ally - the USMC (and possibly Italy if they go ahead with their order).'

          Joint-Ops doesn't mean the aircraft have to operate from the other countries carrier, in fact there's only about one instance of this happening when HMS VICTORIOUS operated alongside the USS SARATOGA in WW2 and the US fighters went to the RN ship and the RN bombers went to the US one. Taking off and landing on the other countries ship is only a minor part of it, you'd need to transfer all your engineering staff and equipment across as well which frankly isn't worth the hassle*. So joint ops in the sense of both carriers in the same task group, yes, in the sense of Aeronavale aircraft operating from the RN's decks on an enduring basis, some politician's pipe dream.

          Re the US Greyhound, they're being phased out in favour of a specialised version of the Osprey, so they could happily drop stores off on an RN carrier. They can even carry more further which I found surprising.

          *I'm not sure the regulations even allow you to use spare parts from another countries supply chain without a lot of paperwork.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Genuine question

            in fact there's only about one instance of this happening when...

            SkippyBing, don't you fell outnumbered here? There's a few people know their facts, history, have relevant experience (well, "few"="one", perhaps), and then there's the rest of the Commentariat, who if I'm honest aren't doing themselves proud today?

            1. SkippyBing Silver badge

              Re: Genuine question

              'SkippyBing, don't you fell outnumbered here?'

              I spend the day surrounded by the Army so I've got used to it!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Genuine question

          No chance (for instance) of flogging it to India who might operate MiG-29Ks off her.

          Mig-29K do not require cats - "just" the arrestors. Presumably these would be easier to retrofit than a cat if it came to that.

          Given that you can get eight Mig-29Ks for the price of a single F-35B, and that aside from the radar cross-section the two aircraft have very similar performance and operational capabilities, it may actually make economic and military sense to ditch the 35B, buy a full complement of 29Ks for both carriers, use some of the cost savings to add the arrestors and bank the rest.

          Not that it is ever going to happen.

          1. SkippyBing Silver badge

            Re: Genuine question

            'Given that you can get eight Mig-29Ks for the price of a single F-35B'

            Your plan would make sense if, and it's a big one, the MiG-29K wasn't appallingly put together. The CinC of the Indian Navy has recently made a lot of complaints about the quality of the aircraft, including sub-par engines and an airframe that needs a deep service after an arrested landing.

            Who'd have thought Russian build quality wouldn't be that good?

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Genuine question

              Fortunately after Brexit, India will have a cheap 3rd world country to offshore the maintenance to

              1. YARR

                Mig-29K do not require cats - "just" the arrestors. Presumably these would be easier to retrofit than a cat if it came to that.

                True, but they'd also have to convert her to an angled flight deck, otherwise if a plane misses the traps, it's landing gear could impact the ski-jump at 150+ mph which wouldn't do it a lot of good.

                Fortunately after Brexit, India will have a cheap 3rd world country to offshore the maintenance to

                I'd say we're already cheaper than India, given that the construction cost of the INS Vikrant has almost exceeded the QE carriers despite being 2/3 the size.

                1. Carl W

                  Doesn't the landing gear impact the ski jump at 150mph+ on every takeoff?

                  1. SkippyBing Silver badge

                    'Doesn't the landing gear impact the ski jump at 150mph+ on every takeoff?'

                    It does, but you'll note the design of the ramp gives a gradual change in pitch, rather than the angle of the deck changing instantaneously. This was thought through before it was introduced back in the Harrier days as obviously you want to minimise any deceleration to the aircraft. Although the Sea Harrier had a slightly longer nose leg Spain, Italy, and occasionally the UK operated the regular Harrier from ski ramps without any issues.

                    I did read somewhere that the top of the ramp is designed to let the nose leg decompress naturally rather than just ending, to avoid a change in pitch as the aircraft leaves the ramp.

                  2. YARR

                    Doesn't the landing gear impact the ski jump at 150mph+ on every takeoff?

                    No, on takeoff the landing gear stays in contact with the flight deck and the ski jump until it has left the carrier. However when a trap/arrested landing fails (because the hook doesn't catch the wire), the pilot applies full thrust to take off again. Since the plane is going faster to start with it doesn't need a ski jump, and may begin rotation or have taken off the deck before reaching the ski jump. However at this speed the rate of ascent is slow and it may not clear the height of the ski jump in time. Landing gears are designed to land on flat surfaces and absorb vertical forces, not to endure a forward impact. If this happened either the plane would be violently jolted up injuring the pilot, or the landing gear would be ripped off and possibly the nose could impact the ski jump. Hence an angled flight deck is necessary to operate an unassisted STOBAR take off like the MiG-29k.

                    CATOBAR carriers (like the US and French) don't need ski jumps because they reach full take off speed (nearer 150mph) where the wings produce enough lift to take off in level flight. In contrast. when the MiG-29k performs an unassisted STOBAR take off it has barely reached stall speed (around 75mph) before it leaves the deck, hence the ski jump is required to angle the plane so a component of the engine's thrust is providing lift.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Genuine question

              Your plan would make sense if, and it's a big one, the MiG-29K wasn't appallingly put together.

              Fair enough. On the other hand, Russians are also perfectly willing to let large buyers to build their hardware locally under a licence (witness Shenyang J-11). That would channel a large fraction of the cost back into the UK economy, let the UK control the build quality to any desired standard, plus guarantee that it would be able to maintain and operate the fighters independently of the Russians or anybody else.

              Again, that would make too much sense so it won't ever happen.

              1. SkippyBing Silver badge

                Re: Genuine question

                'On the other hand, Russians are also perfectly willing to let large buyers to build their hardware locally under a licence'

                I suspect they wouldn't be that keen on letting the UK licence build Russian hardware even if we wanted to, geo-politics and all that.

                As an aside, they weren't that happy when the Chinese broke the terms of their licence to make better versions of the Su-27.

            3. phuzz Silver badge

              Re: Genuine question

              We've had this discussion before. Sod the F35, let's just build a shitload of Sea Hornets (with a modern radar).

              1. streaky Silver badge

                Re: Genuine question

                Sod the F35, let's just build a shitload of Sea Hornets (with a modern radar).

                If the route is dump the F-35's the route might as well be lets just build for a crapload of drones and call it job done. It's about projecting the power to dump armaments precisely on targets anyway, they're not for air-to-air engagements (this is why you have carrier groups so you never have to).

                Carry drones on ships (which can now be smaller and thus cheaper) and have more of them than a compliment of F35's on a carrier. I'd always been a proponent of UK carriers right up until this occurred to me - why even bother having manned attack aircraft on naval vessels in the 21st century?

                1. SkippyBing Silver badge

                  Re: Genuine question

                  'why even bother having manned attack aircraft on naval vessels in the 21st century?'

                  Bandwidth

                  1. streaky Silver badge

                    Re: Genuine question

                    Bandwidth

                    Long as Openreach aren't supplying it..

                    Eurofighter build for *wildly* different role by the way. Lets not confuse different things. Of course it's cheaper, but so is a ford fiesta, but you can take either to war on ships..

                    1. Zmodem

                      Re: Genuine question

                      the eurofighter main role is a strike plane and dogfighting, it was built to commemorate the battle of britain which is why the research alone besides needing to update all of BAE super computers and aerospace simulatioins etc cost £30bn

                      with a seriously massive overhaul, you can build unmanned stealth drones for £5m

                2. John Jennings

                  Re: Genuine question

                  I believe that the carriers will be either in mothballs or be full time drone & Possibly heli carriers by 2030 anyway.

                  The fact was that the timing of the opportunity for the navy to procure didn't align with the technology for drones is the only reason we built what we did.

          2. ZanzibarRastapopulous

            Re: Genuine question

            > Mig-29K do not require cats - "just" the arrestors. Presumably these would be easier to retrofit than a cat if it came to that.

            There's supposedly a plan for a more powerful Typhoon engine which will give it an extremely short take off roll.

            I reckon they could slap some rockets on it though...

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: Genuine question

              I reckon they could slap some rockets on it though...

              JATO units eh? Well, if they can make a car fly, I'm sure that they can make something designed to fly lift off..

          3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

            Re: Genuine question

            Mig-29K do not require cats

            Come on, every ship, including massive 'aircraft' carriers needs a ship's cat (or two). And, if we're returning to the good old days of English naval supremacy, perhaps a cat with nine tails to enforce discipline.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Genuine question

        Easier to stop and land, then it is to land then stop

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Genuine question

        "You don't get missed approaches with a VSTOL aircraft so the F-35B can return with less fuel in reserve."

        Only one problem with that, to be light enough to land you have to dump all your ammunition and any spare fuel in the sea each time.

        At the time they commissioned them they knew they were a waste of money.

        Politicians are just fucking idiots

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Genuine question

          The Harrier had to ditch stores, the F-35B won't need to.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Genuine question

            The Harrier had to ditch stores, the F-35B won't need to.

            That's true. But on the downside, after each F-35B landing, the carrier needs to ditch its warped deck.

        2. Alumoi

          Re: Genuine question

          At the time they commissioned them they knew they were a waste of money.

          Politicians are just fucking idiots

          On the contrary, they are brilliant at spending taxpayers' money with their backers.

      4. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        Re: Genuine question

        There are serious limitations in the payload if you dont have catapults.

        That said, using catapults and arrestor gear does comulative stress damage to the plane.

    4. Microdot

      Re: Genuine question

      From 2013:

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/06/defence_committee_carrier_badness/

    5. gandalfcn

      Re: Genuine question

      Would it have been sensible not to have started the whole debacle in the first place and spent the money on something useful like education and health?

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Genuine question

        "Would it have been sensible not to have started the whole debacle in the first place and spent the money on something useful like education and health?"

        Probably. I can't think of many cases where it has been tried, but over the long term I'd say we were very much less likely to be attacked by a country that knew we paid for the education of its children and the ongoing health of the whole population. (You'd be literally winning hearts and minds.) The only possible fly in the ointment is that, on the evidence of our own schools and hospitals, we don't know how to spend the money.

      2. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: Genuine question

        'Would it have been sensible not to have started the whole debacle in the first place and spent the money on something useful like education and health?'

        The total budget for both carriers is about two weeks NHS budget, spent over about a decade. I'm not sure you'd even notice if it had been diverted there.

    6. Sweep

      Re: Genuine question

      "stupidly expensive aircraft."

      Latest (that I could find) cost per unit (January 2017):

      F-35B (the version we're getting): $122.8 million

      F-35C (the cat and trap version): $121.8 million.

      http://www.defenseone.com/business/2017/02/charted-heres-how-cost-each-version-f-35-changing/135451/

      We're getting 138 planes so for cats and traps to be cost effective off the bat would require BAe Systems to install cats and traps to both ships for under $138 million. Does that seem likely to you?

  4. lglethal Silver badge
    Trollface

    hmmm....

    "It’s a bit like your iPad. You don’t know what you’ll be using it for in two years’ time. Combined with the F-35… her future uses will be exploited to the full.”

    If it's future use is how most people end up using a tablet after 2 years, then we can count on the ships being used as either door stops, dust collectors or ebay tat. Hmm.... considering past Navy activity, either of the last 2 of those looks highly likely...

  5. Milton Silver badge

    Worth it?

    Depends on its purpose.

    If it has to do battle against a competent and decently-equipped foe (Russia, or possibly China) then no, its life expectancy in-theatre will be less than 24 hours, since it lacks anywhere near enough escort ships and subs to keep it alive, and its fixed air wing will consist of the wretched POS that is F-35B—an aircraft with the dubious distinction of being less capable in every respect, save rapidly-obsoleting stealth, than any of the planes it's replacing at well over three times the cost. If you were remotely serious about strategic aircraft carriers and the projection of force you'd have built a minimum of five with CATOBAR systems, full strength air wings and enough escort ships to form proper carrier battle groups. But then, of course, you wouldn't have been able to piss money away on the giant penis that is Trident, which provides such reliably moist dreams for imbecile government ministers. (Here's a clue for morons in Cabinet: Vlad is no more scared of your soon-to-be-obsolete SLBMs, which you rent from the Americans and can use only with their permission, than he would be if you kept a couple dozen or so 100kT sui generis cruise missiles handy: just being able to obliterate Petersburg, Moscow and say Murmansk is sufficient—you don't have to glass the entire Russian landmass. Cruise is cheap, easy and can be launched from non-Trident subs ... but maybe it doesn't make ministers feel macho enough?)

    On the other hand, if the purpose of the QE live targets is really to have milled some steel in Gordon Brown's constituency; to get some bragging rights and a seat, or at least be tolerated, at the Big Boys' Table; and to spend £1.7m per mission, including the cost of missiles, annihilating a Persian shepherd whose $150 pickup truck had the misfortune to share a paint scheme with that of Mohammed al-Baddie (now only #164 in line to be "Critically Important ISIS Leadership") ... why, then you've spent every penny with the judicious competence and wisdom we've come to expect from British governments!

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Worth it?

      'F-35B—an aircraft with the dubious distinction of being less capable in every respect, save rapidly-obsoleting stealth, than any of the planes it's replacing at well over three times the cost.'

      You mean apart from carrying twice as much, twice as far, almost twice as fast, as the Harrier. With a RADAR and an integrated target designation system. That sort of less capable in every respect?

      1. rh587 Silver badge

        Re: Worth it?

        You mean apart from carrying twice as much, twice as far, almost twice as fast, as the Harrier. With a RADAR and an integrated target designation system. That sort of less capable in every respect?

        But nonetheless with a combat radius and useful payload significantly smaller than the Carrier variant.

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: Worth it?

          'But nonetheless with a combat radius and useful payload significantly smaller than the Carrier variant.'

          But it's not replacing the carrier variant. It's combat radius isn't significantly smaller either, especially when you take into account the reserve of fuel the F-35C will have to carry in case of missed approaches back at the carrier, which the F-35B doesn't have to carry.

          The useful payload is smaller, although as it has the same number of pylons and the move is towards smaller more accurate bombs this is less of a compromise than it used to be.

      2. Sandy5252

        Re: Worth it?

        The F35 has limited range in in VSTOL version, limited carry capacity and unlikely to last against a old F16 or similar aircraft. The older F18 is still a better carrier aircraft for a third of the price. The F35 is a very expensive and limited aircraft. The US Navy is keeping their F18 and getting their fleet overhauled rather than buy the F35.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Worth it?

      Unless UK wishes to declare war against Russia or China alone, in a large war these ships would fight integrated into a NATO fleet which would add many of the missing escort ships. Using a common aircraft type will also allows such fleet integrate better. Against small forces, it can easily operate with UK available ships.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Worth it?

        @LDS I think you may find that an 'integrated NATO fleet' is an oxymoron.

        I can't imagine for one minute any other nation ally or not, who would be willi g to put their expensive toys at risk to protect ours. Not in a real war.

        1. IsJustabloke
          Facepalm

          Re: Worth it?

          "I can't imagine for one minute any other nation ally or not, who would be willi g to put their expensive toys at risk to protect ours. Not in a real war."

          I guess it's because you don't understand the way these things work perhaps you should read up on some military history?

          A bunch of countries with different capabilities "ally" themselves. These "Allies" provide different bits of any given task force...

          Country A has a bunch of Frigates (say) but no Air cover, country B has a load of air cover but not many frigates... so country A says to country B "Hey, give us some Air cover and we'll protect you with our Frigates!" That's how being "Allied" works... for other real world examples see pretty much any armed conflict from history.

          For what it's worth, I seriously doubt that we would ever find ourselves in a shooting war with either Russia or China. Russia's only aircraft carrier is followed around by a bunch of tugs and a ship full of spares.

          1. Chris G Silver badge

            Re: Worth it?

            I have an idea of how it works, I was in the army for 5 years and have taken part in a few NATO exercises and joint operations. Mostly it's a case of 'That's your bit over there and this is our bit over here'. I really don't see any truly international fleets happening a y time soon, particularly with Brexit parting us from the economic aspects of Europe. That alone could lead to some grudging cooperation.

            It would make more sense if Britain wants capital ships to build the support that goes with them rather than hoping everyone else will give us a hand, or not.

            1. SkippyBing Silver badge

              Re: Worth it?

              'I have an idea of how it works, I was in the army for 5 years and have taken part in a few NATO exercises and joint operations.'

              Naval operations tend to be easier to make joint, as long as the ships can talk to each other it works fairly well. And the various NATO standard make that fairly straight forward.

              Certainly we've had RN ships as part of US and French carrier groups regularly over the last decade or so, and there have been various multi-national task groups. An RN T42 even shot down a Silkworm missile intended for one of the US Battleships in the first Gulf War.

              So yes naval multi-national operations are fairly common.

            2. Peter2 Silver badge

              Re: Worth it?

              I really don't see any truly international fleets happening a y time soon, particularly with Brexit parting us from the economic aspects of Europe. That alone could lead to some grudging cooperation.

              Ah, we'd better pull out of the international fleets that we are part of then.

              Europe will be wary of annoying us too much as they want to be able to continue to use the Northwood operations base. For reference, Northwood is the HQ of :-

              1) Headquarters, Joint Forces Command

              2) the Permanent Joint Headquarters

              3) the Multi National Headquarters

              4) the Commander Operations for the Royal Navy

              5) the NATO Allied Maritime Command

              This is not because it has a nice cricket pitch. It's because the cost of duplicating the C3 infrastructure there would be similar to buying a new aircraft carrier, and politicans in the EU prefer vote buying schemes to military spending.

              Hence, nations in europe wanting to use our facilities such as the Northwood command centre, and get resupplied on operations by the Royal Fleet Auxilery won't be keen on upsetting us too much.

            3. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

              Re: Worth it?

              I really don't see any truly international fleets happening a y time soon

              You perhaps ought to look up which nations fleet Big Lizzie will be sailing with on her maiden deployment in 2020. Also of interest is which nations flag will be on the side of half the F35Bs she will carry & operate.

              1. Sandy5252

                Re: Worth it?

                We already know that QE will be loaded with US Marines and their F35 for initial deployments. She is scheduled for a Far East trip to threaten China ( dont make me laugh), and will be accompanied by a the recently re commissioned HMS Victory.

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Worth it?

            Country A has a bunch of Frigates (say) but no Air cover, country B has a load of air cover but not many frigates... so country A says to country B "Hey, give us some Air cover and we'll protect you with our Frigates!"

            And all running utterly incompatible combat info systems that can't be integrated. Maybe that's why we still need to keet the morse-code lights..

            Just how do you spell "there's a HVM heading for me, please shoot it down" in Morse anyway?

            1. SkippyBing Silver badge

              Re: Worth it?

              'And all running utterly incompatible combat info systems that can't be integrated.'

              It's called Link 11*, and it's been sharing information successfully for decades.

              *There are other versions, Link 11 is mainly surface and sub-surface, Link 16 is air/anti-air

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Worth it?

        "in a large war these ships would fight integrated into a NATO fleet"

        For about 40 minutes at which point the ICBMs would make the whole thing rather irrelevant.

        Really we should be putting all our efforts into preventing a large war. One way to help that would be to stop buying arms from the US, the second would involve hitting our politicians repeatedly with some handy 4 by 2 until they stopped feeling the need to posture.

        The first isn't going to happen while Liam Fox is alive, if he can help it, and there is not enough 4 by 2 in the world for the second to work.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Worth it?

          For about 40 minutes at which point the ICBMs would make the whole thing rather irrelevant.

          I'm sorry, my Welsh compatriot, but you clearly understand nothing of the principles of deterrence.If I can offer you a cheap and vaguely adequate precis:

          Nobody launches ICBM in the first instance, and nobody goes nuclear over (eg) the sinking of a single naval vessel. So, starting from any small attack, anybody with nuclear pretensions need to be able to escalate at that (and every subsequent) level, so that they win each round unless the enemy escalate. If you can in principle keep that going until the prospect is Armageddon, then no sane enemy will attack as there's no victory.

          To avoid the end of the world, we need to have an escalating tactical response at each level. Imagine a conflict with France. We start off with words. Then we accidentally sink a French trawler. They sink a British fisheries vessel. We torpedo a French corvette. They take out one of our frigates, we attack their carrier, they attack ours, and so forth...but the point of deterrence is that by having the weapons to do so, each "next step" is a feasible response.

          That's why your comment about stopping buying arms from the US is nonsense, because it only through the possession of the escalatory weaponry that possession of a nuclear capability make sense. Buying the F35B is without doubt a waste of money as any form of tactical asset - but having invoked the ICBM argument you've shown the single reason why it could make some sense. As it happens, the UK is currently devoid of an important military asset in tactical nuclear weapons - the sort of thing to take out a tank division or a naval battlegroup. But with only one weak link in the chain, would you take the chance of starting a war with the UK?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Worth it? @ Voyna i Mor

            Re-reading my last post, it comes across as a whole lot ruder and far more patronising than intended. A bit of gentle ribbing was intended, but that was all.

            Sorry mate!

            1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

              Re: gentle ribbing

              Dude, phrasing!

    3. Seanmon

      Re: Worth it?

      "...if the purpose of the QE live targets is really to have milled some steel in Gordon Brown's constituency;.."

      Yes. That.

      Glasgow Govan was squeaky-bum territory for Labour in the face of the rise of the SNP. The QE class, and the 45s before them were a naked bribe to keep jobs in the area.

    4. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Worth it?

      "Vlad is no more scared of your soon-to-be-obsolete SLBMs [...] than he would be if you kept a couple dozen or so 100kT sui generis cruise missiles handy:"

      Given the likely development of completely autonomous submersible drones over the next decade or two, I'd have said that Vlad must be rubbing his hands with glee at the prospect. Once you have *that* technology sorted out, it is a simple matter of manufacturing to construct a fleet of "hunter" drones that give you the ability to find the enemy's subs shortly after they enter international waters. Once found, they are vulnerable and at the moment it looks like the UK's entire nuclear deterrent will be eggs in one basket. Worse, the defender might never be able to prove that their sub didn't just have an unfortunate accident. They might not even be able to find the wreck.

      Nuclear subs = a 20th century weapon.

  6. RedCardinal

    And her aircraft are where....?

    White elephant alert!

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Well I counted five on the flight deck, so there's those.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      5-10 of her aircraft are currently on acceptance trials with whatever they're calling the RAF/RN joint operations lot nowadays.

      I believe we've got another 20-odd on order to turn up in the next year. To give 2 squadrons for operational testing next year. At some point we're then going to borrow 2 squadrons of the US Marine's ones - so that we can both test joint operations, and test what it's like to have a carrier full of 48 planes plus helicopters. So I guess they're aiming for operational by 2019-2020. At which point we'll have at least 2 squadrons operational, plus one or two more in training on their new toys.

      We're then supposed to be up to 150 aircraft by 2028 or something - at what schedule I've no idea. They may have back-loaded the orders, so that the defence budget balances for the next few years, or they may just be taking them to fit the production schedule.

      Normal deployment is expected to only be with only 24 aircraft - given that if they need more for operations, then more can be flown in.

      I don't know if doctrine will change - and we'll end up with squadrons specialising in carrier and RAF ops after trying this joint thing out. But we did operate a joint Harrier force for the last while before it was scrapped - though I can't think of any other Navy that's done it this way. The advantage is you get a larger and more flexible force - they shoved extra planes above their capacity on the 2 carriers that went to the Falklands for example.

      Plus carrier ops are really hard on planes, so they only last half as long as land-based ones. If you mix the ops each plane does, then you'll get a longer lifespan out of all of them.

    3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Joke

      @RedCardinal

      And her aircraft are where....?

      White elephant alert!

      There were 5 Merlins on the flight deck. Now, why didn't some bright spark at the MOD thought of putting a full-size wooden replica of a F-35B on the ramp...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Queen Lizzie enters Portsmouth Naval Base

    ...staggers out, smiling and exhausted, some hours later.

    1. Annihilator
      Pint

      Re: Queen Lizzie enters Portsmouth Naval Base

      God bless her, and all who sail in her...

  8. Alister Silver badge

    limited resources

    It looks like they've only got enough crew to line one side of the deck...

    1. smudge Silver badge

      Re: limited resources

      But they do appear to have Obi-Wan Kenobi in the middle at the front. (It was clearer on TV).

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: limited resources

      It's a curse of lean manning*, it starts to look silly when you line the deck. As an example, the old Leander class frigates had a crew of around 260 so even subtracting the ones who had to be on duty for entering harbour there was still an impressive body of men for Procedure Alpha**. A T23 today has about 180 max and is ~1/3 more displacement so you start to have to compromise on where you stand people.

      The carriers are 30 times bigger than a T23 with only 700 crew so until you get a full air group embarked it's going to look a bit sparse.

      *This is designing a ship to need less manpower through automation, not making them all go on a diet.

      **That's what the RN call it, it originates in showing you didn't have men below manning the cannons when entering a foreign port.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: limited resources

        You could just have one sailor and lots of mirrors

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: limited resources

          Or, taking a leaf out of 'Escape to Victory', each sailor could construct a mannequin in uniform, like Sylvester Stallone did to fool the 'goons' at the daily count. The fact that sly's character in the film constructed an inanimate dummy never fails to come across as ironic, totally mirroring his acting in every single film. Yes, the original 'Rocky' was a classic, but playing a slow, punch drunk idiot wasn't exactly what you would call acting fro Mr Stallone. Going back to Escape to Victory, the dummy would probably have been better in goal than he was, of course. Still there's a bank holiday coming up in a couple of weeks, so we can all re-familiarise ourselves with it.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: limited resources

        Couldn't they feed the sailors extra, so they get really fat, and then it doesn't look odd when they stand further apart.

        I accept that carrier flight decks are very long, so you may need to resort to extra large waisted clown trousers as well...

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: limited resources

          extra large waisted clown trousers as well...

          As in Greek sailor's trousers? Eripadies, Eumenadies!

  9. Valeyard
    Trollface

    well..

    “She will be the embodiment of Britain, in steel and in spirit” - Admiral Philip Jones RN

    in that case an upside-down bathtub with a burberry paintjob and fur trim would've done the same thing these days

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: well..

      Shouldn't it have "Liz - Phil" painted across the front ?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: well..

        Not forgetting the all important furry dice dangler!

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: well..

          If they aren't planning on using the deck for any aircraft they could host Vauxhall Corsas doing donuts

      2. Tom 64

        Re: well..

        Kind of curious why it has ROB painted on it?

        Is he the glaswegian graffiti artist who snuck on board or what?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: well..

      "in that case an upside-down bathtub with a burberry paintjob and fur trim would've done the same thing these days"

      I hope you mean a right way up bathtub, but otherwise I'm building one of those. I'm hoping to flog it to an engineering company in a marginal constituency for finishing, thus creating jobs.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I seem to remember it runs on Windows XP

    I wonder how many times they'll need to reboot this beauty before it leaves harbour?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With this new floating fortress we will surely win the war against eastasia once and for all.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Naval air superiority is a vital part of our operations against terrorists in landlocked Afghanistan

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Well the USN managed more aircraft over Afghan every day than the RAF had in country, so it certainly helped.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Well the USN managed more aircraft over Afghan every day than the RAF had in country, so it certainly helped."

          Helped what? The Taliban are resurgent, there is no genuine functioning Afghan civil infrastructure, and civilian casualties are at a 16 year high. Bombing unstable third world shit holes clearly produces unstable third world shit holes. And in that case, what does it matter how many jet jockeys are polishing their balls in the skies above?

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            How many F35s were lost to the Taliban in dog fights? Very few compared to the Battle of Britain - thus proving the value of the F35's stealth capability compared to the Hurricane.

          2. SkippyBing Silver badge

            'Helped what? The Taliban are resurgent, there is no genuine functioning Afghan civil infrastructure, and civilian casualties are at a 16 year high.'

            But then there aren't any USN aircraft over Afghanistan any more. Ultimately the air power was to provide support to the troops on the ground, whether they should have been there is a whole separate argument.

  12. FireBurn

    Tree falling in the wood...

    Is an aircraft carrier really an aircraft carrier if it carries no aircraft?

    1. IsJustabloke
      Facepalm

      Re: Tree falling in the wood...

      It clearly does have aircraft embarked....

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Tree falling in the wood...

      Carry? Yes

      Take off and land ? That could be trickier

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Garbage

    Can't wait to see her sunk by a 100K EU exocet.

    1. IsJustabloke
      Meh

      Re: Garbage

      sunk by EU missiles eh?

      You're not expecting negotiations to go well then?

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Garbage

      Also where are you getting Exocets for €100K? They're normally about €3M.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Garbage

        "Also where are you getting Exocets for €100K? They're normally about €3M."

        AliExpress.

      2. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Garbage

        Also where are you getting Exocets for €100K? They're normally about €3M.

        EUbay?

      3. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: Garbage

        Also where are you getting Exocets for €100K? They're normally about €3M.

        Nah, they arent that expensive. You can get a MM38 for €400K, a AM-39 for €800K and a MM40 for €1.5M. It costs €3M only if you want to be able to launch it from a submarine (SM-39).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Garbage

          "Also where are you getting Exocets for €100K? They're normally about €3M."

          I've seen them way cheaper than that in the middle aisles of Lidl.

      4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Garbage

        Also where are you getting Exocets for €100K?

        Ebay. Of course, when it arrives it'll just be a large firework with the word "Exocet" painted on the side.. And Ebay will disclaim all responsibility and tell you to take it up with the sender.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Garbage

      "Can't wait to see her sunk by a 100K EU exocet."

      doubtful. it would take multiple missiles, assuming the same *kinds* of watertight integrity that U.S. carriers typically have.

      Even a single ADCAP Mk-48 torpedo would have trouble taking out a carrier in one shot. Disable, sure. But sink it? Most likely not.

      but yeah, I get the snarkiness. You hope they designed in enough armor and redundancy to prevent a single hit from sending it to the ocean floor.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Garbage

        One hit?

        Remember 'Sink the Bismark' - what if the one hit is on the steering gear and you just steam in circles until they finish you off?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Garbage

          Remember 'Sink the Bismark' - what if the one hit is on the steering gear and you just steam in circles until they finish you off?

          That's not really comparable to modern warships.

          Now you just have to take out one network switch and the engine management system isn't able to connect to the license server for the maintenance log and so the engine shuts down

  14. A Nonny Moose
    Thumb Up

    Doing Gods Work

    Good on El Reg for giving us Liz's vital stats in units we can all easily understand. I was most disappointed when the Beeb failed to report how many double-decker buses long she is, but am most satisfied to read that she's a nice round 2000 linguine.

  15. Mahhn

    Drones

    I believe the reason it doesn't need to be to long, is that most modern combat aircraft will be unmanned and expendable. Remotely operated fighters/missiles that are one way trips if in combat.

    They can launch a thousand drones, have 100 pilots flying 100 at a time into targets. As they hit the targets the remote pilot takes over another auto piloted drone and is right back in the battle.

    This is modern combat. It also makes it easier to kill if you only see it through screen with limited resolution/color. Pilots will be sitting in a cube farm, wearing shorts and flip flops, drinking a coffee. Hey Jimmy, take over for me for a min, I gotta run to the bathroom.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Drones

      And then there will be disintegration booths to which people selected by computers as victims will orderly queue....

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Drones

      Yes, unmanned air vehicles are the future of air warfare. Largely because the effort in keeping a meatsack alive (and concious, which is even harder) in a high speed plane really puts constraints on the plane's weight and aerodynamics. Comparitively inexpensive unmanned aircraft can be smaller, perform much more vigorous evasive maneuvers and there are considerably less unhappy people at home when one crashes or is shot down - they also allow the use of "swarm" type tactics.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Drones

        unmanned air vehicles are the future of air warfare

        And are available from your local Amarr or Gallente reseller..

    3. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Drones

      'I believe the reason it doesn't need to be to long'

      You realise it's about the third longest class of carrier ever built right? It's 920' vs 1092 for a Nimitz class so hardly short.

      Still great SF story.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Drones

        The more modern versions are classified https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BAE_Systems_Taranis

  16. theOtherJT

    I hate this ship and everything it stands for.

    This isn't a pacifist thing, or a national pride thing, by the way. In general terms I'm rather in favour of carrier groups - and I certainly think that it's in the UK's best interest to have them.

    No, I hate this ship (And the bloody PoW) specifically because every time I see them I'm reminded that they were built not to be the best they could be for the sake of our national defence, not to be the the best we could afford for the sake of our national budget (and god knows they weren't cheap), but that they were built to make the maximum profit for bloody BAE.

    They stand as a constant reminder that our government - which ever party figurehead sits in number 10 - can't seem to negotiate its way out of a wet paper bag.

  17. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Why has someone nicknamed the tower 'ROB'? Is that a nod towards the shipbuilding companies bill to the UK?

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      If it helps the Prince of Wales has been nicknamed 'R09'...

  18. emmanuel goldstein

    Just read this in "The Guardian":

    "This week a spokesman for the Russian defence ministry, reacting to some boastful remark by Fallon, said that the HMS Queen Elizabeth amounted to “nothing more than a huge, easy naval target”."

    They would say that of course but it does make you wonder.

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      To be fair the Russian navy knows lots about huge easy naval targets. They even sailed a collection of them half way around the world for the Japanese to practice on.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, there's been a fair bit of willy waving from both sides to be fair. Some bloke, probably a politician, said that the Russians would be jealous, and then the Russians said that it'd be an easy target. All fairly childish really, these people are meant to be grown ups, in control of stuff that kills people. Pathetic.

  19. fedoraman

    Reserve fuel load?

    I thought that VTOL (at least)) was very fuel-hungry. I don't see that there will be a big difference in the reserve fuel that you'd need, whether you're approaching the carrier for a normal or vertical landing. In fact, a vertical landing might need more reserve?

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Reserve fuel load?

      Not really, a conventional take-off uses a lot of fuel too, especially if afterburner is used, and the VSTOL mode has the advantage of massively increasing the bypass ratio which makes it more efficient*. When returning to land on a carrier a conventional aircraft needs a fuel reserve for a number of missed approaches, I think 3, plus a tanker** needs to be available for anyone who can't get on in that number. This is complicated by needing to keep the landing weight down as much as possible. It's not helped by fuel burn being highest at low level, which is traditionally where you take-off and land and entering afterburner to get back off the deck if you haven't stopped.

      By comparison a VTOL aircraft slows down, comes alongside the ship, and when ready moves across and lands. There's no requirement to keep a reserve for multiple approaches as they're not a factor.

      *Probably a gross over-simplification.

      **i.e. another one of your fighters with a collection of fuel tanks under the wings.

      1. S4qFBxkFFg

        Re: Reserve fuel load?

        " It's not helped by fuel burn being highest at low level, which is traditionally where you take-off and land..."

        This makes me ponder exactly how much the USS Akron/Macon design could be scaled up.

  20. Tromos
    Joke

    iPad in two years time

    He's right. Most people don't know what they'll be doing with it. They'll have replaced it with a proper doorstop well before then.

  21. qwertyuiop
    FAIL

    Oh no!

    I was feeling quite good about all of this until I read ...Capita, for example, installed 14,000 IP connection points aboard the ship as well as the main round-the-ship fibre optic network....

    I can see what the MoD did wrong there.

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Oh no!

      What are the odds that they've seen who the contract is for and fitted (the admittedly non-existent) British Naval Connectors?

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Oh no!

        and fitted (the admittedly non-existent) British Naval Connectors?

        With a "T" piece and terminator on every one...

    2. Mike Richards

      Re: Oh no!

      Did they actually install that many or did Capita install 14 and bill for 14,000?

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Oh no!

        No, I imagine they probably did fit that many.

        It explains why the carrier cost is £3.5 billion.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Oh no!

        So that's 2000 x 8port switches with the 8th port connected to another 286 switches with their 8th port connected to .....

        And they got a really good deal from Ebuyer with free shipping

        .

    3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Oh no!

      @qwertyuiop

      ...Capita

      No doubt there are TVs on board. Does the ship require a TV licence? Capita's TV licence sales people may try to board the vessel...

      1. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: Does the ship require a TV licence?

        I've got a mate who installed the Sky dish on one of the Type 45s.

        It can track the satellite while going at 30 knots in a force 8 gale or something mad like that.

  22. Potemkine! Silver badge

    No catapult...

    .. seems to be a mistake, by making the ship very dependent of the planes able to land on the carrier.

    What if the F35B is a dead end?

    Also, generally a carrier isn't use for one kind of plane only: will F35B used for all tasks, AEW included? No hawkeye or similar required?

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: No catapult...

      Well the RN have managed since 1979 with only VSTOL aircraft so I suspect they'll cope. AEW is handled by Sea King Mk7 and then, once they leave service, Merlin.

      F-35B is in service with the USMC and due for its first embarked deployment next year so, although it's a risk, the main hurdles have been overcome.

      1. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: No catapult...

        Well the RN have managed since 1979 with only VSTOL aircraft so I suspect they'll cope

        IIRC, RN had to tinker the Sea King in 1982 to get AEW capabilities back...

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: No catapult...

          'IIRC, RN had to tinker the Sea King in 1982 to get AEW capabilities back...'

          Well yes, it's amazing how a war will speed up a programme that had first been mooted a couple of years previously.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: No catapult...

            What if the F35B is a dead end?

            The crew will be instructed to hold their arms out to their sides and run up and down the flight deck shouting "vroom". Following an upgrade to the software in 2025 they will also be permitted to shout "bang".

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: No catapult...

      Initially they'll use Merlin helicopters with an AEW pod. Obviously nowhere near as goood as a handful of nice, slow, fuel efficient prop planes. I imagine at some point the US Osprey is going to look tempting - as it's doing the carrier job for the US Marines. They'll be a tad cheaper in a few years.

      The Royal Fleet Auxilliary have many support ships, often with helicopters, so I imagine that they'll try run their logistics a bit slower - by flying stuff to a nearby port - and the logistics ship can stage over to fetch anything urgent. I'd imagine any carrier battle group is going to have 2 tankers and a general stores ship - all of which will be shuttling backwards and forwards with stuff much of the time.

  23. Tom Paine Silver badge

    Lovely trunk...

    Bags of room in the back, in the space where the aeroplanes would go. And that trendy off-white colour too, just like all the "stormtrooper" looking black-trim-white-paint cars you see nowadays. Bad news for the ants, of course...

    There are those, of course, who say that the CBG is a deathtrap for any part regional force projection, as it's very hard / impossible to defend against a ballistic missile, whether nuclear or conventional:

    http://exiledonline.com/the-war-nerd-this-is-how-the-carriers-will-die/all/1/

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Lovely trunk...

      'There are those, of course, who say that the CBG is a deathtrap for any part regional force projection, as it's very hard / impossible to defend against a ballistic missile, whether nuclear or conventional:'

      And there are those who'll point out the difficulties of targeting a CVBG and the difficulties of launching a ballistic missile without triggering a nuclear war. Hint you can't tell what the warhead is until it explodes.

  24. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    I hope they've learned lessons from history

    In particular, to avoid the fate of her more-heavily armed predecessor, the Mary Rose, and make sure the lower gun-ports are closed when turning.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: I hope they've learned lessons from history

      You forgot the rot. The MR had a lot of rot below the waterline which contributed heavily to hull failure.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: I hope they've learned lessons from history

        rot below the waterline

        That's your problem then, you let it get wet.

  25. Flakk Silver badge
    Joke

    Surprisingly, Google's Automated Conversion System Has Let Me Down

    Each carrier is a perfect 2,000 linguine in length

    Can anybody assist with converting linguine into rigatoni or ziti? Either Imperial or Metric will do. Thanks!

  26. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    National Debt

    Everytime I hear large sums of money banded about I compare it with what we piss away in national debt interest. This carrier cost only 1 MONTHS interest . If we hadnt had doubled our debt over the last 15 years , we could have another one of those boats every month or so!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quote: "Once we see the jets arrive on board next year, it’ll be able to operate seamlessly"

    Not quite right.

    1. The Royal Navy doesn't have enough equipment (or budget) to operate the carrier group required to keep the carrier from harm.

    2. It's not even clear that the F-35 aircraft will work as promised. The software isn't complete today, and there are SERIOUS doubts about the promises made for future software delivery by the main contractor.

    3. Treacherous gossip says the carrier is riddled with Windows XP. "Operate seamelssly" does appear to be a bit optimistic!

    1. Zmodem

      Re: Quote: "Once we see the jets arrive on board next year, it’ll be able to operate seamlessly"

      XP is used for debugging tools and telemetry hooking up to the CMOS and firmwares which would otherwise be a massive security hole in the real time UNIX based OS, everything switches to when it enters service

  28. KX1B

    Nice

    Beautiful ship! May she sail with the wind at her back.

    I had to do a double take. New England and Britain share many things in common especially names of places. We have a Portsmouth Naval Shipyard which is Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire whilst the base itself resides in Kittery, Maine. It's a submarine overhaul base now.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Nice

      New England and Britain share many things in common especially names of places

      Wow! It's almost like one was populated by people from the other!

  29. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Trollface

    Capita...installed 14,000 IP connection points....as well as the main round-the-ship...network

    You had me until you mentioned that. Better make sure she always sails with at least one very large white bedsheet.

  30. kkanalz

    Photo of Admiral Sir Philip Jones' Speech

    Admiral Sir Philip Jones is giving his speech at the BACK (the fantail) of the carrier, NOT the "front" (the bow).

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Photo of Admiral Sir Philip Jones' Speech

      back = stern !

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Photo of Admiral Sir Philip Jones' Speech

        Bow = pointy bit.

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: Photo of Admiral Sir Philip Jones' Speech

          Bow = pointy bit.

          Not on this ship.

          Bow = sticky up wedge shaped bit...

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Photo of Admiral Sir Philip Jones' Speech

      Yes but he's in front of the carrier in the sense you can see him rather than being the other side of it from the audience. Which would be a weird place to give a speech from.

      Also RN ships don't have fantails. They have a quarterdeck, which is at the stern.

  31. Pat 12

    Not nuclear powered BAD purchase decision

    OLD tech - In an era of major atmospheric fossil fuel damage this is a gross polluting oil burner, 8K to 10K miles max., seriously limited range. 100 years estimated life span of burning oil to move this hulk...

    It has no nuclear engines - so major FAIL as can not be built as ALL electric - bad design means major rust problems corroded steam pipes overtime and endless C20th, C19th, C18th valves to repair and replace.

    It can't even protect itself from incoming attack, it needs constant destroyer support to down incoming missiles et al and keep surrounding air theatre free.

    Compared to the CVN78 Ford class self defence systems and unlimited range, let alone ALL electric systems, this is a C20th UK Ford Anglia to the USA's Star Wars Ford Class carrier CVN78 Death Star. Underwhelmed despite propoganda.

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