back to article Brazil says it has bagged Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean for £84m

The flagship of the Royal Navy, HMS Ocean, has been sold to Brazil for £84m, the South American country’s government has confirmed. The 22,000-tonne helicopter carrier, which returned from her last British deployment to the Caribbean just weeks ago, will be formally decommissioned from the RN in spring this year. Although it …

  1. Jonathon Green
    Coat

    Brazil?

    That’s just nuts...

    1. wolfetone
      Coat

      I wouldn't say so.

      The Brazilians could definitely put a landing strip on top of it if they wanted.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Best not to wax it though, the planes could slip off.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      That's not even half an F35 unless the price has now dropped from £174m each.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        The original (retail?) price tag on the entire ship was less than an F35. Quite a lot of metal for your money , comparatively.

        As I always like to quote Government spending in terms of monthly national debt interest payments - The cash we have gained from the sale is 0.024 of an NDIP. If we sell 41 similar ships we can pay our national debt interest for 1 month. . . one.

        1. pop_corn

          I typically translate the national debt interest repayments (approx £43Bn*) into Wembley stadiums (appox £800M).

          Roughly we could build a new Wembley stadium every week all year long, a new one in every city in England (51) in a year. That's how much money the gov't gives away servicing (not decreasing) ours, our parents', and our grandparents' debt.

          How much debt interest will we saddle on our children and grandchildren I wonder? An aircraft carrier (£6.2Bn) a month perhaps?

          *When interest rates were higher, IIRC this figure was over £50Bn pa.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Argentina

      Better Brazil than Turkey. But Argentina didn't bid?

  2. Matthew Smith

    Whats in a name

    I can remember when Ocean was commissioned, the first ship in a while not to be named after a city. There were several letters in The Telegraph along the lines of 'We used to call our ships Victory and Murderer and WarBastard. Why is this HMS Ocean? What next, HMS Badger?'. I'm not sure what Ocean is going to be replaced with. Probable one of the two aircraft carriers with no aircraft to fly.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      Re: Whats in a name

      HMS Unsinkable II?

      1. David Dawson

        Re: Whats in a name

        HMS Pansy served with distinction.

      2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Whats in a name

        I know this has been done to death by now...but...HMS Boaty McBoatface

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Whats in a name

          It's not a boat, it's a ship. Hence the "S" in HMS.

          Although submarines aren't called HMB, and they are boats.

          1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

            Re: Whats in a name

            It's not a boat, it's a ship. Hence the "S" in HMS.

            Although submarines aren't called HMB, and they are boats.

            I'd assumed that the 'S' stood for submarine in the case of subs

            (Also note that a number of shore establishments, AKA stone frigates, carry the "HMS" designation, e.g. HMS Raleigh, HMS Calliope)

          2. Nick Ryan Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Whats in a name

            It's not a boat, it's a ship. Hence the "S" in HMS.

            So you're suggesting that Tigra 07 should have proposed Shippy McShippyFace instead?

            That's not a bad tongue twister... :p

            1. Chemical Bob

              Re: Shippy McShippyFace

              'Swot happensh when you drink tooo mush - you get shipfaced!

            2. katrinab Silver badge

              Re: Whats in a name

              It would be HMS Shippy McShipfaced. Just don't replace the last p with a t.

          3. PNGuinn
            Trollface

            Re: Whats in a name

            Ok, smarty McPantface - How about Shippy McShipface?

            1. Mr Sceptical

              Re: Whats in a name - I prefer the Banksian naming convention

              Can we not get some appropriately named ships please - they are WARships!

              Iain M Banks had it exactly right in the Culture series - a ship's name should reflect its personality. Or for ships not exhibiting actual sentience (and choosing their own name) yet, how the RN want them perceived?

              I'd like to start with HMS Really Vicious Bastard - any alternative offers?

              Pint for Mr Banks, he's sorely missed by many & long may his writings live on! ->

              1. Grant Fromage
                Coat

                Re: Whats in a name - I prefer the Banksian naming convention

                By this logic and as a Banksian eastender whose uncle served on Ark Royal and Victorious during WWII and up to 1970

                HMS "Don`t fuck with me or else"

                That is a proper Shipname in that universe. and uncle Chas would approve if still here.

                "Don`t start , it will hurt you more than me" also works if PC is more important than keeping things real.

              2. JLV Silver badge

                Re: Whats in a name - I prefer the Banksian naming convention

                damn, should have checked before my own post...

                Attitude Adjuster, anyone?

              3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Whats in a name - I prefer the Banksian naming convention

                "I'd like to start with HMS Really Vicious Bastard - any alternative offers?"

                HMS BOFH. Specialises in electronic warfare, stealthy "hit'n'run" and making enemies disappear mysteriously while making a profit.

                1. Allthegoodhandlesaretaken

                  Re: Whats in a name - I prefer the Banksian naming convention

                  My vote would be for another "HMS Devastation", You know the ship on the front of the England's Glory matches (that are made in Sweden....)

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    If Ireland bought it, they could call it the O'Séan.

                    On the plus side, no more sailors will be sent to the bottom.

                2. Meph
                  Pirate

                  Re: HMS BOFH

                  "Specialises in electronic warfare, stealthy "hit'n'run" and making enemies disappear mysteriously while making a profit."

                  The issue is that it would never actually make it to the war, due to the liberal application of its patented excuse generator. Props for making a warship that runs on pints and onion bhajis though.

                  You would probably also need to start lining up quite a lot of replacement admirals, due to the unavoidable attrition rate.

                3. Mr Sceptical
                  Thumb Up

                  Re: HMS BOFH

                  You've got my vote - thumbs up to you sir!

              4. Not That Andrew

                Re: Whats in a name - I prefer the Banksian naming convention

                HMS Gay Viking?

          4. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Whats in a name

            It's not a boat, it's a ship. Hence the "S" in HMS.

            Although submarines aren't called HMB, and they are boats.

            So whats a boat called?

            1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

              Re: Whats in a name

              McBoatface, obvs.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Whats in a name

              "So whats a boat called?"

              1. A target.

              2. A marine speed bump.

              3. A large enemy fleet that we can't outmatch.

            3. Pedigree-Pete
              Go

              What's a boat called....

              May I refer you to the post of our esteemed colleague Tigra07. Repetition may attract downvotes. PP

          5. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whats in a name

      HMS Badger sounds good as long as we have an HMS Mushroom and Snake.

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Whats in a name

        Some are apparently uneasy about a sale to Brazil given how cosy they have been with Argentina in the past. Rumours that the MoD will paint HMS Iron Lady on the side before delivery have been denied...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Whats in a name

          >Some are apparently uneasy about a sale to Brazil

          Who? We've been selling them our frigates for years.....

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

      2. collinsl

        Re: Whats in a name

        We'd have to have loads of identical ships named Badger though...

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: Whats in a name

          "We'd have to have loads of identical ships named Badger though..."

          Great... stealth naming! Nobody on the enemy side would be able to determine which ship we were discussing! It would also help in obscuring financial package details for the ships, as nobody which know which was which!

          "I'm afraid to report, Sir, that HMS Boat has sunk. But HMS Boat will be picking up the survivors along with an escort of HMS Boat and HMS Boat. The investigators are already loaded on HMS Boat and headed to recover HMS Boat now".

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Whats in a name

          "We'd have to have loads of identical ships named Badger though..."

          Nah, just the one, and move it around a lot because....austerity.

        3. Korev Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Whats in a name

          We'd have to have loads of identical ships named Badger though...

          Good plan, we're all sett now

        4. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

          Re: Whats in a name

          We'd have to have loads of identical ships named Badger though...

          Yeah but we'd have to sink any that venture anywhere near the South West of England. There would be no scientifically valid reason for doing so but it would be done anyway.

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Whats in a name

        History says there was a Badger and a Snake... but no Mushroom, yet.

    3. Christoph Silver badge

      Re: Whats in a name

      Troutbridge

      1. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: Whats in a name

        The RN has had four warships called HMS Cockchafer

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Whats in a name: HMS Ocean.

          I thought it was part of a private sponsorship deal... HMS Ocean Finance.

    4. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Whats in a name

      When the RN was at it's zenith, warships were named after all sorts of things. The before mentioned HMS Pansy was almost certainly a Flower class corvette, all of which were named after, um, flowers.

      It used to be that capital warships were named after famous people, characters from mythology, or an adjective (like Victorious).

      Lesser ships have been named after all sorts of things, like counties, towns, and as you get down to the more numerous ships which followed a letter (destroyers, frigates etc.) like the Amazon class all started with "A", with names from all sorts of word category (e.g. Amazon, Antelope, Ambuscade, Arrow, Active, Alacrity, Ardent, Avenger).

      With the smaller number of warships recently, there has been a desire to keep certain names going (for example Victorious, Vanguard, Audacious, and Ajax), although for submarines, they are apparently following letters as well.

      IIRC, Ocean was quite unusual, as there had only been one previous HMS Ocean, which was a Colossus class aircraft carrier.

      One interesting part of Royal Navy tradition is that battle honors for namesake ships are carried across to the new ship, and I believe that the wardroom silver- and crystal-ware is also moved to the new ship.

      If this is the case, you can imagine there having to be significant storage space for the wares from all the ship names that are no longer in use!

      1. collinsl

        Re: Whats in a name

        "IIRC, Ocean was quite unusual, as there had only been one previous HMS Ocean,"

        There have been 5 previous Oceans, the Colossus class was the last previous one (if that makes sense).

        The first was launched in 1761

        More info here:

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

      2. Mike Richards

        Re: Whats in a name

        We seem to overlooking the potential for commercial sponsorship to help a stretched military budget.

        This war is brought to you by HMS Aunt Bessy’s Frozen Yorkshire Puddings and the attack ship Capita.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Whats in a name

          It's a great idea. But I for one am not volunteering to go aboard HMS Capita. It'll probably manage to sink itself. Or half of its own fleet.

          HMS Rentokill?

          In an Iain M Banks stylee, we should have a ship called HMS We're Only Here for the Booze.

          I also really think it's tempting fate calling your ships things like HMS Invincible. Particularly considering what happened to it at Jutland. That's almost as bad as having an HMS Unsinkable.

          We ought to have called one of the S class submarines HMS Surprise as well. Still, we could always have an HMS Boo!

          1. Korev Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Whats in a name

            We ought to have called one of the S class submarines HMS Surprise as well.

            A pint for the late Mr O'Brian -->

    5. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Whats in a name

      Matthew Smith,

      Seems an odd name to complain about.

      The Royal Navy has a whole bunch of historical names, and a lot fewer ships to pin them on. But a quick check online shows that Ocean is a traditional capital ship name - and was used on wooden ships of the line, then a pre-dreadnought battleship and then a WWII carrier.

      The capital ship names now get used for big stuff like carriers and also submarines (mostly). Though the latest Astute class are using traditional old sub names. But the S and T classes that preceeded were all traditional battleship names.

      It used to be that light cruisers got city names and heavy ones got the county names - while destroyers were a mixed bag of different ones, often starting with the same letter. Or classical mythology. Then in WWII we had the Flower class corvettes.

      Now they pick a rule and some old favourites when they launch a new class of ships - so the Type 23s were all counties, the Type 42s were cities, the Type 22s were traditional destroyer names beginning with B. The Type 45s are D names.

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Whats in a name

        "the latest Astute class are using traditional old sub names"

        HMS Audacious (used on one of the Astute boats) was the original name for aircraft carrier R05 HMS Eagle, and was to be the class name for Eagle and her sisters.

    6. Roq D. Kasba

      Re: Whats in a name

      On the other hand "Big Liz" is a great name.

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Whats in a name

        And the next one is going to be called "Big Charlie" ...

        1. ravenviz

          Re: Whats in a name

          "Big Chaz", shirley?

          1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

            Re: Whats in a name

            'HMS Chazzer' would be more in keeping with modern culture ...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Whats in a name

              A ship like that would need a Rear Admiral.

          2. Christoph Silver badge

            Re: Whats in a name

            "Big Chaz", shirley?

            Big Ears

        2. PNGuinn
          Go

          "Big Charlie" ...

          I'll see your Big Charlie and raise you "Right Charlie".

        3. CanadianMacFan

          Re: Whats in a name

          More like Big Jim (for King James VI of Scotland) or something like that as it's names after Elizabeth I and not the current Elizabeth II.

    7. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Whats in a name

      I suspect the next will be HMS "Sea" followed by HMS "Pond"

    8. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. tiggity Silver badge

    actual profit..

    "It is expected that Ocean will undergo a comprehensive refit in the UK to Brazil's specifications before she departs for a new life under a new name."

    I assume a fair bit of expense in this "comprehensive refit"?

    Which might hit the quoted profit made on this sale to a large extent.

    1. Nik 2

      Re: actual profit..

      Unless it's done at the buyer's expense, in which case it provides an additional boost to the local economy in Portsmouth.

      In addition to any routine servicing of mechanical parts, there will be a lot of NATO-standard kit to remove, and Brazilian Navy gear to fit in its place.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: actual profit..

        Unless it's done at the buyer's expense, in which case it provides an additional boost to the local economy in Portsmouth.

        Still probably cheaper than paying for full decommissioning and break-up.

        Like gettng rid of that old banger you know won't pass the MOT in a year or two,for a few pounds and avoiding having to fork out rather more for 'safe disposal'.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: actual profit..

          Still probably cheaper than paying for full decommissioning and break-up.

          well , 84 million is not to be sniffed at, like selling your 20k car for 10k

          re the banger. The metal contained in the car is currently enough to cover that and get you some cash , a trend i think will stay that way given the worldds dwindling resources. That ship's probly got a couple hundredweight of steel in it as well!

    2. small and stupid

      Re: actual profit..

      A set of lads will go round ripping the nameplates off all the machinery and doctoring the equipment manuals so all spare parts have to go through Artco Marine Spares LLC (Panama) c/o Arthur Dailey Jnr Marine Enterprises (Plymouth)

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: actual profit..

        "Artco Marine Spares LLC (Panama) c/o Arthur Dailey Jnr Marine Enterprises (Plymouth)"

        Nah, Ebenezer Pertwee Enterprises, Portsmouth.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: actual profit..

          No no no no. The money's gotta go offshore.

    3. TRT Silver badge

      Re: actual profit..

      Renamed as MS Pacific Princess. Under Captain Stubing. Profit is in leisure nowadays.

      And THAT'S a formula that's scientifically proven.

  4. small and stupid

    Basic arthimetic

    So: the most useful ship in the Navy is only worth £80m and costs a mere £12m a year to run

    An F-35B costs £50m+ each.

    A type 45 destroyer costs £ 1b

    1. seven of five

      Re: Basic arthimetic

      Yes, but just imagine what an F-35 can do instead: it FLIES! (sometimes, if the wind on the runway doesn´t extinguish its engine (speaking of which, it isn´t included in said 50 meeelion quid)), and it is STEALTHY (somehow "stealth" is wrong in caps, so: *whisper* "stealthy") - oh so *whisper* stealthy, most of the time it it will be completely undetectable in the air. And its DEADLY (caps allright here), it is sooo deadly it KILLS (even its own pilots due to malfunctioning oxygen supply, but hey, kill is kill...).

      I might be wrong on the last point, though, could have been the F22...

      As an evildoing (cia installed) dictator, I´d be trembling all day and crying in bed should HMS fat lady cruise up and threaten me with two dozen bombs per day. Much worse than this old (newer than my car, though), sold rustbucket which is more a glorified cruise shi*knockknock* whos there? ROYAL MARINES DAKKADAKKADAKKA....

      1. Tinslave_the_Barelegged

        Re: Basic arthimetic

        > and it is STEALTHY (somehow "stealth" is wrong in caps, so: *whisper* "stealthy") - oh so *whisper* stealthy,

        You mock, but have you ever even SEEN one of the them on our fabulous carrier? THAT's how stealthy they are....

        1. Commswonk Silver badge

          Re: Basic arthimetic

          Never mind "Basic arthimetic" how about Basic Spelling?

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Basic arthimetic

            "Never mind "Basic arthimetic" how about Basic Spelling?"

            Yes, when discussing MoD spending (or Govt. in general), it's spelled Arithmetrick, with a barely noticeable pause between Arithme and trick

      2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Basic arthimetic

        "Yes, but just imagine what an F-35 can do instead: it FLIES! "

        big whoop. flyings over rated. I bet the canteen is better in the ship than the F35.

        I bet its got blackjack ... and hookers ....

        1. seven of five

          Re: Basic arthimetic

          Nah, no hooks on hms ocean. Neither on lizzie, bein part of the problem... scnr.

      3. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Basic arthimetic

        @seven of five

        " most of the time it will be completely undetectable in the air"

        Is that because most of the time it will be in a workshop in Turkey having it's parts maintained and won't actually be in the air?

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Basic arthimetic

      small and stupid,

      Ships have a sell-by date. That often gets extended for useful ships, but it does mean ripping out large chunks of the stuff in them at some point, and replacing it all. Engines, machinery, electronics, radars, controls.

      Lots of this is planned. HMS Ocean was built on the cheap. It was built to civilian standards with less damage control, redundency and space for upgrades. To keep using it would mean spending lots of cash. The carriers can cope with the helicopter movements for deploying marines - but specialist ships would have to deal with any boats they wanted to use.

      One of the things they try to build into warship designs is space to put new shiny stuff that hasn't been invented yet. And they tend to plan for mid-life upgrades.

      So often the quoted prices for MoD purchases are actually a total life cost. That is the cost of the ship and all the shiny kit on it, plus a couple of planned major overhauls and often a mid-life total refit taking a couple of years - to be done by the builders. With a guesstimated cost for the new radars and weapons that haven't even been designed/developed yet. Plus new / reconditioned engines and machinery.

      1. small and stupid

        Re: Basic arsemetrics

        Fair point - IF Oceans steel has worn away to uneconomic-to-repair levels (in which case - are the Brazilians blind, bribed, or both? )

        Machinery - doubtful. The 'Civilian' machinery isnt that expensive and the 'Military' stuff has to be upgraded periodically regardless of the age of the vessel.

        I suspect that a decent civilian design can have a 30 year life, and 'military spec' includes plenty of gold-plated nonsense.

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: Basic arsemetrics

          ' suspect that a decent civilian design can have a 30 year life, and 'military spec' includes plenty of gold-plated nonsense.'

          A civilian design can last that long, if used as intended, however navies tend to do more throwing it around style driving and less plodding along in a straight line at a sensible pace. Consequently vessels built to civilian standards but operated by a navy tend to wear out faster. Which was known when Ocean was ordered. Brasil is likely to use her less intensely and also has plenty of cheap manpower to throw onboard, which the RN lacks.

          1. x 7

            Re: Basic arsemetrics

            after 20 years of use, the hull plates will have worn thin.

            choices?

            replace the plates (expensive)

            pump out the leaks (not good)

            fill the double hull with concrete (affects ships weight and balance)

            none of them are satisfactory - scrapping and new build is better

  5. nedge2k

    Wait...£84mil AND a refit? How much is that refit costing? Who is footing the bill for it?

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      The buyer, certainly that's what happened when India acquire Hermes. I've heard it tripled the final cost, but the Indians would have known that going in.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Few corrections Gareth

    Few corrections :-)

    1) The Queen Elizabeth's *are* designed to function as LPH's, with accommodation and "assault pathways" for troops. Given their size, they will be a lot better at it than Ocean, since they can carry more helicopters and launch more simultaneously than it can. The ability to carry 4 LCVP small landing craft doesn't help much, and if you're using helicopters you don't want to be close enough to land things via landing craft anyway: the idea is that you are over the horizon.

    2) The Albions can carry 4 LCU large landing craft each, but the three Bay class landing ships can also carry 1 LCU each.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Few corrections Gareth

      "the three Bay class landing ships can also carry 1 LCU each."

      And a slight spelling change to the class name will make them easier to flog off when the time comes.

      Was this the thinking behind the Amazon class?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Few corrections Gareth

        We'll know for sure if there's ever an HMS Tesco...

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: Few corrections Gareth

          We'll know for sure if there's ever an HMS Tesco...

          Heh, York, from Hyperspace 'bury your husbands, and come enjoy your new branch of Morrisons'

  7. HKmk23

    All I would like to know is.....

    Exactly how much money from trading (anything) have the people responsible for buying this kit in the first place and then selling it at a loss? Ever made? Or in simple terms do they have any business experience at all?

    I appreciate that warships are not exactly the sort of item you would find on Amazon (yet) but surely by now we should be avoiding these seemingly ongoing disasters of buying ships that break down (type 45's), aircraft that cannot take off and land fully weaponised (F35) as nauseam?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: All I would like to know is.....

      If you use something for 20 years, you don't expect to make a profit on your purchase price when you sell it. This isn't trading, it's selling a used car. One lady owner from new, in this case...

      As for the other stuff, all military purchases will always be fucked up to some extent. Because the stuff is complex, there are political factors if you order working old kit from foreigners, rather than new kit from domestic suppliers. Old proven kit may become obsolete very quickly sometimes - if technology changes. The Royal Navy in the late 19th Century were building whole classes of ships, then having to scrap them ten years later because they were obsolete.

      One of HMS Ocean's predecessors was a Canopus class battleship. Entered service in 1900 - obsolete by 1905! Along with all the other battleships in the world, when HMS Dreadnought was built. Canopus itself was basically useless in the fuck-up that was the battle of Coronel in 1914 - because it couldn't keep up with modern German cruisers - that it could probably still sink if they'd only cooperate. It would have been slaughtered by a dreadnought or even a battlecruiser. And Ocean got sunk by a mine in 1915 - when it got used in the Dardanelles campaign, along with most of the other useless pre-dreadnought battleships.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All I would like to know is.....

        One of HMS Ocean's predecessors was a Canopus class battleship. Entered service in 1900 - obsolete by 1905!

        And then there was the Cressy class, much the same. Except they were pressed back into service in WWI to form the livebait squadron, a nickname that proved prophetic. Not the RN's finest hour (a number of relatives lost in that event)

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: All I would like to know is.....

          The armoured cruisers were another failure of design theory - but also victim of technological change. Ships were getting massively faster in the era, so the Canopus class battleships were doing under 20 knots, Dreadnought was about 21 (5 years later) and the early battlecruisers could only do 24 knots. By 1916 the Queen class could do 28 knots, and yet were armoured like battleships - and were still good enough to be effective fighting units for the whole of WWII.

          That speed change meant the armoured cruisers could no longer catch the smaller cruisers they were supposed to have been built to dominate. I guess they didn't want to just scrap such modern ships - but they should have.

          The battlecruiser wasn't obsolete, just too expensive and shiny. It should have been used to scout for, and then run away from big ships - while being able to outrun and destroy anything smaller. Plus be used for dealing with raiders to protect the ocean lines of supply. But they were just too shiny not to put in with the main fleet. And then Beatty was rubbish at commanding them anyway.

          So the Battle of the Falklands in 1915 was their real job, destroying von Spee's German cruiser squadron that had earlier won at Coronel - because instead of sending the proper battlecruisers to do the job, the Admiralty sent the obsolete Canopus and a mixed bag of cruisers. 1 modern, 1 auxilliary and 2 obsolete armoured ones, almost as bad as Cressy.

    2. Spanners Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: All I would like to know is.....

      I appreciate that warships are not exactly the sort of item you would find on Amazon

      There was an aircraft carrier on Ebay a couple of years ago...

    3. HKmk23

      Re: All I would like to know is.....

      Not so much a reply as an addendum. The replies so far seem to refer to ships and deals over 100 years ago....so nothing has changed it would seem. Surely our brave sailors deserve a better standard of equipment without some idiot in Whitehall interfering? Why on earth did we sell all those Harriers cheap to the US Marines (who are still using them)? They would have done nicely on the two new carriers surely?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: All I would like to know is.....

        HKmk23,

        We decided to have less stuff, so we could spend less on defence. Or at least grow the defence budget less fast. Partly because the previous government had committed to ten years of defence equipment procurment that was two or three times as much as our actual equipment procurement budget.

        Plus they'd been spending quite a lot of the defence budget on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - and emergency kit purchases for those (particularly new vehicles). The army now have a lot of shiny new armoured vehicles, that probably wouldn't have been bought otherwise.

        So when the coalition came into power in the depths of the severest recession in 70 years, they decided to cut stuff - I'm not sure it was in the best way for our defence capabilities, but I think they'd hve had to considerably increase the defence budget if they hadn't.

        So cutting some Harrier squadrons, but keeping others, still leaves you with almost the same maintenance and support costs. So they thought it would be a terrific wheeze to dump the whole aircraft type, when they could still get money for them by selling to the US Marines - and obviously that allowed them to cut the carriers early, rather than continue the capability until the first new one became operational around 2020.

        I think the big problem was that a bunch of new kit was due to be purchased at roughly the same time - even though a lot of it will last for 30 years - and the biggest chunk of that was the Navy. Which is why the navy got clobbered hardest.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All I would like to know is.....

        Because the RAF employ more bullshitters than pilots, and "persuaded" the MOD they could do anything the Fleet Air Arm could do.

        Turns out thay cant, and never could, who'd a thunk it.

        BTW, the news that the F35 cannot land while carrying its full weaponload infuriated me, as it was the exact excuse given for scrapping the Sea Harrier, but even worse. The SHAR only had an issue landing fully loaded in the Tropics; the F35 cannot land anywhere.

        Much as I dislike the French, we should have walked away from the F35 and bought either SuperHornets or the excellent airframes the French Navy uses (yup, forgotten the name - blame my meds).

  8. PhilipN Silver badge

    "known unknowns"

    Yup how apposite, quoting as it does a former Secretary of Defense (sic).

    I think that people still do not know WTF he was talking about, however.

  9. x 7

    Well, if we sell to Brazil it'll piss the Argies off

    Are they going to buy any helicopters to fly off it? A few Wildcats would be a nice extra

    1. iainr

      Probably not as the two navies have been fairly chummy recently with the argentinian navy flying aircraft off Brazils last two carriers having disposed of the 25th of May.

  10. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Coat

    Or...

    Step 1: Rename it HMS Trump

    Step 2: Plate it with fake gold

    Step 3: Sell it to the Trump for a billion

    Step 4: Profit

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Or...

      Remember, it's got a nice flat top, so just leave a small helipad - and cover the rest with a nice golf course.

      I also think you forgot the fake diamonds.

      1. K.o.R
        Happy

        Re: Or...

        An aircraft carrier with a golf course on top... reminds me of a game I used to play...

  11. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "valued at £84m sterling."

    That doesn't actually say that that's what's being paid.

  12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "While this refit cycle could potentially continue for more years to come ... ever more machinery on the hard-worked old ship needs deep maintenance or replacing."

    If we followed the F-35 sales model we could get to specify where this work gets done. I don't suppose we will.

  13. Dr. G. Freeman

    Serious Question

    So, do we sail it over to them, the British crew show the new Brazilian crew how it works (as in watch that button- have to press it really hard to work) and either fly back, or get a lift from the new crew ?

    Or, do they pick up from here ?

    Just wondered this sort of thing.

    1. Locky

      Re: Serious Question

      We'll leave it just outside of port, and get the buyers to sign a recipt with "Sold as seen" on it.

      Then you just prey it starts up okay and gets out into international waters and cash cheque quick

      1. CanadianMacFan

        Re: Serious Question

        Kind of like the submarines you sold to Canada, eh?

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Serious Question

      I suspect the Brazilians will send a crew over here to be trained up in her operation, including going through Operational Sea Training with FOST in Devonport. Then they can sail her back ready to go to work. We generally seem to include that sort of thing in the sales package.

      When that sort of thing is going on the trick is to make sure your pilot knows that your ship is the light grey one with the white ensign and not the similar looking dark grey one with the Chilean ensign...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Serious Question

      Could they give a few pointers to the US Navy at the same time? Our ships seem to keep running in to other ships. You knpw: stealth tankers, stealth freighters.....

  14. wallaby

    When the Brazilians came to look at it did they bake fresh bread and put a pot of fresh coffee on ?

    Works when you sell a house.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      RE: Wallaby

      With warships i'd imagine you pile as many missiles and visible weapons on the thing as possible before the buyers turn up. Then when they buy it you strip the thing down to it's shell, even taking the light fittings, copper wire, and batteries out of the remote.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Surely it's not coffee and bread for warships? I'd want the smell of jet fuel and distant explosions.

      Obviiously nearby explosions are a bad sign...

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Mushroom

        RE: I ain't Spartacus

        Greetings ambasssador. We have put a fresh pot of coffee on and launched a nuke at Hull. See the big glowing crater over there? Yes, you can do that too if you buy this ship.

        Sounds like a good deal to me...

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Mushroom

          Re: RE: I ain't Spartacus

          How did you find out this was how the sale went? Security! We have a breach of protocol!

          The MoD just assumed that If someone launched a nuke at Hull, nobody would notice...

  15. rcp27

    Ask the Canadians...

    ...what happens when you get a "bargain" recently refurbished ship from the RN.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      Re: Ask the Canadians...

      Does it come with a Warranty?

      1. iainr

        Re: Ask the Canadians...

        All ex MOD ships come with a 20000 revolution warranty, void on submarines if you sail them in heavy seas with both the top and bottom fin hatches open.

        1. K.o.R

          Re: Ask the Canadians...

          You're kidding, right? Canada has a warship?

          Like... for war?

          ...

          Does Canada know?

          1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

            Re: Ask the Canadians...

            Yes...The weapons have never been used and the ship has "SORRY!" painted on the side.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I remember looking out of my window one day by the Thames and saw this ship floating past. I was taken aback - very impressive and it looked like it could not fit in the river,

    1. Mike Pellatt

      She formed the operational base for the Olympic security operation and air exclusion zone enforcement, moored at Greenwich.

      Took a visit whilst she was there. Apparently there was just a few inches under the keel at low tide.

  17. Potemkine! Silver badge

    It's not the first time Brazil buys an used aircraft carrier, but WTF does it want to do with such a ship? It's a lot a wasted money.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      A helicopter carrier with room for embarked troops is actually a very useful and flexible ship. You can use it to invade places of course. But even if you never fight a war - it can offer military support to friendly governments (as it did in Sierra Leone), but is also great for disaster recovery (something it's done a lot of in the Caribbean after hurricanes), plus anti-piracy operations in the Red Sea. I think we also used it to help out with the Ebola epidemic 2 years ago - ferrying people to hospital ships and medical staff around the affected countries.

      1. Korev Silver badge

        I think we also used it to help out with the Ebola epidemic 2 years ago - ferrying people to hospital ships and medical staff around the affected countries.

        Wasn't that RFA Argus?

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Korev,

          Yup. Sorry. My rubbish memory. It was Argus.

      2. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Such a ship is useful when an country makes overseas operations, something Brazil does not.

        I do not see the interest for a debt-ridden country to invest in military means it will never use.

        1. small and stupid

          The point is that although Ocean is probably useless to Brazil, its still an order of magnitude less useless than a submarine, a jet fighter or a battle tank. It could, for example, go to a disaster area and help out.

    2. Mike Richards

      It shows Brasil’s regional rivals, namely Chile and Argentina, who’s the daddy.

      BTW. I recently learned there was once a battleship race between Chile, Argentina and Brasil with two of the countries buying dreadnaughts from British yards. Argentina chose to buy American.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_American_dreadnought_race

      Perhaps Chile would like to buy the Prince of Wales? (The ship or the man, we can negotiate on price)

      1. Potemkine! Silver badge

        It shows Brasil’s regional rivals, namely Chile and Argentina, who’s the daddy.

        'Mine is bigger than yours'.. a macho attitude which is not the best one to protect effectively a country's interests

      2. CanadianMacFan

        Buy one get the other thrown in for free.

  18. Tubz

    HM Gov selling off our assets cheap, best at what they do !

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      It's 20 years old, and has been heavily used. It's been replaced. The options are to spend loads to extend its life (not a bad idea but the RN are short of crews), mothball it, scrap it, or sell it.

      Given it's 20 years old and needs a major refit - it's probably not worth that much. Oh, also, not many countries operate ships this big. And a bunch of those won't buy ships they haven't built themselves for political reasons. So there are only a handful of potential buyers in the world. Unless someone like Bill Gates wants it as a super yacht...

  19. AndersBreiner

    £84 million is not a lot of money for a LPH (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_Platform_Helicopter) ship.

    The US will be pissed if it turns out that Brazil was acting as a straw purchaser for China or someone like that. Then again China would end up wasting billions making a STOVL F-35B equivalent to fly off the clones of HMS Ocean they'd produce.

    1. Not That Andrew

      Doubt it. Sao Paulo (ex Foch) is getting a bit leaky, so they do need something vaguely aircraft carrierish

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £84M, that won't even pay for one F-35 for our aircraft-less aircraft carriers. I wish I was a defence salesman, ohhh the commission.

  21. MT Field

    Given the Royal Navy's modern role of combat-capable humanitarian relief, should we not be funding, building, and manning replacements for HMS Ocean in perpetuity?

    Also find space on board for a Contact section, complete with special circumstances unit.

  22. Jtom

    Why not the HMS Global Warming? Isn't that suppose to strike fear in everyone, the world's biggest threat, and all who oppose it are evil?

  23. EnviableOne Silver badge

    Ocean was always meant as a stopgap measure between the invincible class and the QE Class (once the latter was delayed) and for the price its a lovely ship, also weve been able to train some staff on a big vaguley flat top. ocean was supposed to be 30,000 tonnes halfway between Invincibles and QEs.

    the PoW wil be called the PoW as the last 6 to wear the name have been.

    Ocean was designed from the ground up for Commando operations, even down to the width of her passageways. I have to admit, i didnt like the idea when she joined, but have warmed to the LPH idea, and now i'm starting to think 3 oceans and the two albions, would have made a better capital fleet, and saved us on the F35 costs.

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