* Posts by SkippyBing

1271 posts • joined 21 May 2008

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HMS Frigatey Mcfrigateface given her official name

SkippyBing
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@Mad Mike.

We were in Norfolk, VA, once and there were a number of OHP that had had the Mk13 removed and replaced with something less impressive looking, i.e. a small platform where it used to be. We could only assume it was the drive you got if you'd really f***ed up!

Then there was the one that lost a rudder going across the Atlantic. Which is an issue when you only have one to start with...

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SkippyBing
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Re: Towns again....

@Mad Mike.

I'm now going through the ships I've served on, and apart from most of them having been sold or scrapped, only INVINCIBLE and ECHO weren't named after somewhere. ECHO is a pretty good name for a survey ship in all fairness.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Towns again....

I'm torn, I'd like another HMS PLYMOUTH because of her role in the Falklands campaign, on the other hand the complete apathy that city showed towards saving her as a museum ship in the last couple of years* makes me think F**k 'em.

*She's since been sold for scrap I believe.

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SkippyBing
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The USN tend to use the Frigate designation to indicate the ship isn't as fast as a destroyer, I think it's something to do with keeping up with a carrier at full speed. In the RN it's to indicate ASW as the primary role, so although it doesn't have an area air defence missile, that's the destroyers job, it has reasonable point defence. It can also carry VLS TLAM which I don't think the OHP could* and has a comprehensive ASW sensor suite, i.e. variable depth towed array sonar, hull sonar, and a Merlin or 2x Wildcat for extra sensors and/or weapons delivery as well as a 3D phased array radar.

Comparing them to an OHP is quite disingenuous.

*I mean the RN would have to buy some but at least the option is there with the Mk 41 VLS.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Type numbers?

It makes a bit more sense when you know they're grouped by type of ship and if a design study gets to the stage of being assigned a Type number it doesn't get reused even if it doesn't get to the build stage.

So Frigates are currently in the 2X series, having started at Type 11 which wasn't built, through the Type 12, also known as the Leander class etc.

We've had the T21 Amazon class, T22 Broadsword class, and T23 Duke class. The T24 and T25 were design studies which weren't built. We now have the T26 City class, well a bit of one so far.

Destroyers, Anti Air Warfare (AAW) platforms in the RN, started at T41 which went out of service decades ago, and were followed by the T42 Sheffield class. The T43 and T44 were design studies into a T42 replacement which ended up being the T45 D class.

The Type 31 seems to be using the 3X series to separate it from the Frigates as it's intended to be more general purpose than they are, Frigates being Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) platforms in the RN. I suspect this means they won't have towed array sonar. This is different to the Type 8X platforms which were general purpose in the sense they could do the full AAW and ASW roles, the most notable of which was the sole T82 HMS BRISTOL.

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Breathless F-35 pilots to get oxygen boost via algorithm tweak

SkippyBing
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Re: Dreamliners

I believe being made of composites helps them do that, I know it increases passenger comfort both theoretically and from actually having flown on one for 16 hours!

As an exercise for the reader figure out the pressurisation schedule for a 787 flying from Los Angeles to Mexico City (altitude 7382') so that you can open the doors when you get there...

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SkippyBing
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Re: Why oxygen generators?

'Why not just a simple cylinder of compressed air or oxygen '

This has been used in the past, most recently with liquid oxygen (LOX) as it takes up less space. There are however a number of issues with producing and storing LOX*, which increase if you deploy somewhere as you have to ensure everywhere you land, as well as your final destination, can replenish you with LOX. Having a self contained system on the aircraft solves all these problems.

As others have mentioned it also limits your endurance as you can't fly without oxygen for the pilot and air to air refuellers don't transfer that.

*Because it's very cold, and rather inclined to go bang.

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SkippyBing
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Re: I'd have to ask...

'my flying school required that all pupils be taken up in an unpressurised aircraft to a height of 10,000''

Which is generally the maximum height you're recommended to fly without oxygen, so I'm a bit stumped why they thought that would be useful training. I've been higher skiing.

Of course, as has been pointed out, they already had training in recognising hypoxia, it's a NATO requirement, but if the likelihood of an emergency has increased it may be a good idea to increase the training for it, n'est pas?

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

SkippyBing
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Re: sorry :(

'Sadly the Alex Kingston version (3rd River) gave all of her regeneration energy to the doctor following...

You know what, I'm not even going to bother trying to explain that continuity knot.

Basically, she used up her remaining regenerations at one point, which is a pity due to Rover Song being a decent play on her name.'

So they wanted to write her out of the series and came up with some made up b******s to do it?

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SkippyBing
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River is dead after spending twenty years/one night with the Dr.

If only the Dr had some way of travelling through time...

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Stop all news – it's time for us plebs to be told about BBC paycheques!

SkippyBing
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'Really? Just bringing in publically available pay bands etc. doesn't give them gender pay equality. Firstly, how many women and how many men in each band? Secondly, the men can still earn at the top of the band and women at the bottom.'

Not sure about the numbers in each band but I suspect it's proportional to the numbers employed with the caveat women are more likely to take a career break to have children so may advance less quickly. But you go up an increment in each band every year until you reach the top of the band*. You advance to the bottom of the next band on promotion, there's no way to pay a women doing the same job less than a man.

This is also why the public sector pay cap is less of a deal than some people make out, until you reach the top of a pay band you get an above inflation pay rise every year just for being there**.

*This has recently changed in the armed forces to a bigger jump every other year but it's still automatic, there are normally ~5 increments in every band.

**Admittedly it's a pain when you reach a top of your pay band at the point they introduce the pay cap and then don't get promoted for 5 years but hey, career choices.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Don't blame the stars for low pay

Presumably a guaranteed 10% of a smaller figure is better than 0% of a larger figure? Or at least they're only going to put in an effort equivalent to 10% of the potential increase, which is why estate agents will settle for a lower figure selling someone else's house than their own (I think I read that in Freakanomics).

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SkippyBing
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So is the BBC any different to any other similar sized organisation? What about the top echelons of the NHS for example, or the tax office? Or is it just 'let's have a go at Auntie' kind of slow news week?

If they're civil servants they'll be on pay bands, which are publicly available, the civil service and indeed the armed forces have complete gender pay equality. So the tax office will have, not sure about the NHS though...

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SkippyBing
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We’re now managing a situation we didn’t want

I think you'll find most people are Lord Hall. Because I sure as **** didn't want to be managing this poorly acted farce.

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Air, sea drones put through their paces on Solent testing range

SkippyBing
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Re: Can someone just...

They'd probably reply that it's HMS Warrior, not the HMS Warrior.

The exercise name is just a continuation of the X Warrior theme as the multinational exercise in the area is normally called Neptune Warrior.

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SkippyBing
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UAVs?

I can accept the rational for testing roboats there but it's inside Southampton's controlled air space so I'm not convinced it's great for UAV operations. Or have they got some sort of agreement with the CAA?

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Slower US F-35A purchases piles $27bn onto total fighter jet bill

SkippyBing
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Re: "they wouldn't last long in a war against somebody else than a third world country,"

Hold on, are you saying military vehicles are vulnerable to attacks from the enemy?! Quick call the MoD, I'm sure they hadn't noticed...

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SkippyBing
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Re: Acoustic generators

'To mask the noise of the propellors with "acoustic generators" would require a similar amount of power'

Surely that assumes the propellers are turning all the propulsive power into noise, rather than quite a lot of it being used to move the airfield forwards.

There is a system called Prairie Masker which basically hides the noisy bits of ship behind a curtain of air bubbles, making classification difficult. I have no idea if QNLZ has either part fitted.

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SkippyBing
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Re: How many hospitals is that ?

'Why would it have to be a "one-off bump of money"? Couldn't it be placed in a reserve fund and used judiciously in cases of serious need?'

Because the Treasury, you'd have to get them to completely change their accounting rules to allow for a reserve fund to be held over multiple financial years. Also it's not a one off amount to start with so the amount in any one year isn't that big, in government terms, I mean I'd be set for life.

It's also worth remembering they're still trying not to borrow ~£50 Billion a year so any savings from cancelling any government programme are probably going to go towards making that number smaller.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Sea Gripen

'You're forgetting Britain's masters. They say buy this overpriced crap and the Brits say how many?'

You're aware as the only Tier 1 partner not only did we get a say in the key performance parameters, but we also make 20% of all F-35s produced. BAE make all the rear fuselages, RR make all the lift fans for the B, M-B make all the ejector seats, etc. etc. So if it's crap it's partly our own crap.

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SkippyBing
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Re: How many hospitals is that ?

'If we spent 1/2 of that money on the NHS instead how many more lives would we save ?'

I'd guess f**k all. It bears repeating, the NHS budget is 3 times the defence budget, they get through around £500M a week, not buying 138 aircraft over ~20 years is going to make bugger all difference as you're looking at about a weeks extra spending a year. Which assumes having combat aircraft won't save lives in that time period, which might be true if our politicians weren't going to try and carry out any military operations over the next 50 years.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Has no-one done the math?

They're still building F-16s over 40 years after its first flight, so I'm not sure that's a problem. If you were always going for cutting edge you'd never actually buy anything.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Satellites would do just as good a job against surface ships

'I know for a fact that the various drug enforcement agencies are able to track a yacht from the Carribean to Europe without much difficulty using sat's.'

I know for a fact they never bother passing that on to people trying to find the f***ers. And that you don't need a satellite to track a yacht as the couple we flew over in mid-Atlantic at 50' do too.

Of course, it probably helps the yachts don't know the satellite movements...

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SkippyBing
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Re: Sea Gripen

'No Rolls Royce parts in the Gripen programme.'

No but BAE make the wings. I mean you'd have to pay development costs for a carrier version but I'm sure that wouldn't cost loads and take forever...

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SkippyBing
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Re: Russian subs?

Which is pretty much what the 200NM exclusion zone around the Falklands was all about. Outside that we'd check what we were dropping depth charges on, inside that not so much.

Apparently comparing Argentine submarine movements and RN submarine detection reveals at least one rather interesting anomaly.

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NASA flies plane through Earthly shadow of Kuiper Belt object

SkippyBing
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Me too, my navigation is normally only good enough to get me to the correct field around the right time. For very generous values of the word right.

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Juno beams back first closeups of Jupiter's unsightly red acne

SkippyBing
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'The images come from JunoCam, capable of 15 km/pixel resolution on this type of orbit.'

So we're still not sure it isn't made up of millions of fire trucks driving in a circle?

https://what-if.xkcd.com/139/

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Virgin Trains dodges smack from ICO: CCTV pics of Corbyn were OK

SkippyBing
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'They have CCTV. They are required to publish a DPA notice because of it, controller details, purpose of recording, yada yada yada.'

It was a bit rich of Corbyn's crew to try the DPA angle, it's not as if it was a secret he was on the train, he'd told everyone!!

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Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

SkippyBing
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'Electronic Patient Records (EPRs), which have a 20-year lifespan'

Errr.... I was kind of hoping mine might last a bit longer than that.

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Fancy fixing your own mobile devices? Just take the display off carefu...CRUNCH !£$%!

SkippyBing
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Re: Green lobby failure

'we're constantly being threatened with shortages of rare elements'

Only be people who don't understand what a provable reserve is, why mining companies have to state their assets in terms of said reserves, and why no one bothers listing rare earth elements in said assets. There's an article somewhere on this very website about it by one Tim Worstall.

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French general accused of nicking fast jet for weekend trips to the Sun

SkippyBing
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Re: I think it's missing some of the additives needed for a car engine

Jet B is possibly better for cars as it's a mix of petrol and kerosene, mainly to get the freezing point right down. It's basically intended for use in Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions, I think it might actually be banned in the UK due to the low flash point.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Silver Spitfire

It's the best for stuff like that, I bought 5 autobiographies of WW2 pilots for a grand total of about £7!

There was also a silver Seafire on-board HMS Hunter at the end of the war, it was stripped down at some point between the end of hostilities and arriving in Singapore to take the surrender.

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SkippyBing
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Re: I think it's missing some of the additives needed for a car engine

Yes, saying 'some of the additives needed for a car engine' may have been over egging how essential they are! I think it's something to do with lubricants for the injectors which will probably last for ages without it.

The list of acceptable fuels for the Westland Wasp/Scout was occasionally summarised as anything runny and flammable.

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SkippyBing
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Having crossed France a couple of times with an IFR flight plan, they seemed very keen to let us route direct as soon as we contacted them on entering their airspace rather than bothering with airways. Mind you that was in a Jetstream, I'm not sure if they do the same with proper airliners.

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SkippyBing
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It's close-ish to diesel but I think it's missing some of the additives needed for a car engine. So it depends how much you value the car.

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SkippyBing
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Re: I've no problem with this if the general was fulfilling required flight hours...

'The Chief of Air Staff goes on strafing runs with an Apache'

Well no, because they're an Army asset so he'd be more likely to want a go in a Tornado. Or more realistically a Hawk, because they're cheaper.

There is an argument for keeping desk bound aircrew current in flying, in that as you get older it becomes harder to regain currency after say a two year break if you haven't touched an aircraft. With a fast jet trainer like the Alpha Jet there's a good compromise between the performance levels you'd expect and the cost of operating a military aircraft. Anecdotally age doesn't seem to be an issue for aircrew who stay in regular practice, although their reaction times may become marginally longer their accumulated experience more than makes up for it. So it depends what kind of General* he is and what the French Air Force rules are, it may be that everything he's done is legitimate, if a bit pointless if he's never going back to a flying appointment.

*If he's a junior Major General he may find himself in charge of an air base as his next job and might be expected to do a certain amount of flying.

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SkippyBing
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Exactly, when I was going through training one of the instructors had permission to take a helicopter to another base for the weekend, that base being near where he lived. The hours flown came out of his staff continuation training, basically flying hours to keep the instructors current at actually flying the aircraft rather than telling the student what to do. The hours had to be flown anyway so why not do something useful with them rather than just flying circles in the sky.

The base commanders main bone of contention was that said instructor kept managing to arrange it so his trips coincided with a weather front passing through making it impossible to fly back until the Tuesday rather than the Monday morning.

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NATO: 'Cyber' is a military domain

SkippyBing
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Re: Filling the void

'You can't put a gun to every workers' head and demand they change their password every month.'

I'm fairly sure you don't have to, there seems to be some sort of admin setting that makes it happen anyway. Does at my work, and we have guns so it's not as if that option wasn't available.

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NHS WannaCrypt postmortem: Outbreak blamed on lack of accountability

SkippyBing
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Re: Best thing that's happened in years

There's a saying in flight safety* 'Action to prevent the next accident will be taken as soon as it's happened'. Generally it's very hard to convince someone they need to expend funds preventing something they haven't seen happen unless they're well versed in the field. In which case they probably aren't allowed to allocate funding.

*I mean it may be used more generally in safety but there are so many examples in flight safety it seems apt.

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Dixons Carphone stirs PC Curry, reports 10% profit gravy

SkippyBing
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Actually not terrible

I needed an SSD to replace a failed boot drive in my desk top recently and the nearest Carphone Curry World was almost the cheapest way of getting one, about £2 more expensive, and I could actually go and get it then rather than waiting for the next days DPD delivery. Plus if you order on-line to collect you don't have to deal with one of the shop walking sales drones.

I mean it's not a ringing endorsement but it's better than anything I said about the old PC World.

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The 'DUP' joins El Reg’s illustrious online standards converter

SkippyBing
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Disdain of the other devolved nations

Because of course the SNP and Plaid Cymru would never think of asking for a bung, sorry extra financial assistance, in return for supporting a minority government?

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50th anniversary of the ATM opens debate about mobile payments

SkippyBing
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Lend me £50 and I'll show you...

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SkippyBing
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Reg Varney from '70s sitcom On the Buses

Why was someone from a sitcom in the future showing off the first Cash Machine in 1967?

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HMS Windows XP: Britain's newest warship running Swiss Cheese OS

SkippyBing
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Probably not XP according to this

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/no-our-new-aircraft-carriers-dont-run-on-windows-xp/

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

SkippyBing
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Re: Bit stunned to find it's not nuclear

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

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

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

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

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SkippyBing
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Re: curious

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

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SkippyBing
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Re: Gonna be nice

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

*Portsmouth, because matelots.

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

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

'1982 includes some valuable lessons'

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

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

*Carrier Battle Group

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Concorde without the cacophony: NASA thinks it's cracked quiet supersonic flight

SkippyBing
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'The Tu-144 wasn't 'unreliable', it suffered two crashes'

I'd call that fairly unreliable considering the low number of flights it managed to achieve.

Space programmes tend to have a higher tolerance for fatal crashes* so their use by the Russian space programme and NASA don't indicate any degree of reliability.

*The Space Shuttle suffered an appalling fatality/flight ratio.

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