GDB
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UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Fri Jan 31, 2003 1:50 am

Finally, after a very hard fought competition, BAE Systems has the lead role in the design, construction and support (over up to 50 years) of the 950 foot CVF aircraft carriers.

The largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy, they will have an airgroup of up to 48 F-35B aircraft, the STOVL JSF.
As well as Merlin helicopters for ASW, SAR and probably AEW.
Should the F-35B get cancelled, the ships are designed to be easily converted to conventional carrier operations, which would mean the F-35C.
Though the official reason was to future proof the design in case future aircraft do not offer STOVL.

BAE and Thales competed for the contract, but Thales did not lose, their design is forming the basis of the CVF, this involves politics, for although Thales has substantial assets in the UK, and would have to build the ships here, it has a large stake owned by the French government, inconceivable France would order such a large, high profile project, to a foreign firm.

But BAE have had a poor relationship with the Ministry Of Defence recently, due to a number a projects being late, and over cost. BAE not winning totally, is their revenge, and a warning.

Although a bit of a fudge, it is probably the best all-round solution, Europe talks the talk about increasing defence co-operation, to avoid wasteful duplication, this contract is walking the walk.
But, good news for the Navy, (the previous big carrier project, CVA-01 cancelled in 1966, did not get this far).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2706727.stm

Now, names!
A traditional capital ship name, better yet, an old carrier name too, suitably imposing for these 65,000 ton vessels, with the frequent RN tradition of ship classes named alphabetically .
How about HMS Furious and HMS Formidable?
(With the involvement of Thales, we could hardly call them HMS Nelson and HMS Wellington could we?)

 
GDB
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Fri Jan 31, 2003 2:09 am

Correction, the airgroup for each carrier is planned to be 40 F-35, 4 Merlin HMA.1 and 4 AEW.
 
trident3
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Fri Jan 31, 2003 3:04 am

Tradition would demand that one ship be called Ark Royal.
"We are the warrior race-Tough men in the toughest sport." Brian Noble, Head Coach, Great Britain Rugby League.
 
GDB
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Fri Jan 31, 2003 3:35 am

Ark Royal is to stay in service until 2015, when the second CVF is commissioned, you cannot have 2 ships in the same navy, with the same name, at the same time.
I would not rule out Ark Royal being converted to a dedicated Commando Carrier, once the first CVF arrives in 2012, this would take it to about 2020.
The current 'pure' Commando Carrier, HMS Ocean, will be replaced in 2018, two new Commando Carriers could replace them both.
Both Ark Royal and Ocean are en-route to the Gulf right now with Commandos and helicopters.
 
FACT
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Fri Jan 31, 2003 5:52 am

Names? How about HMS Valiant and HMS Warspite? The subs of those names should be long-gone by the time these two take to the water (they are already, of course, no longer in commision, but the hulls still exist AFAIK).

Does the Royal Navy really have any "traditional" aircraft carrier names besides HMS Ark Royal (3 ships)? Only other names to have been assigned to more than one carrier as far as I remember are HMS Eagle, HMS Hermes, and HMS Illustrious (HMS Indomitable would have been another, as it was the name originally intended for the current HMS Ark Royal).

Maybe HMS Eagle and HMS Hermes will get the nod ... certainly the latter might have been a shoo-in in years gone by, especially with the Falklands association still in many people's minds, although there seems to have been a move away from Greek/Roman mythology names of late. So maybe the RN will end up with another Eagle/Ark Royal combo ... déja vu  Big grin

Ark Royal's name could easily be freed-up by selling the carrier to another navy, such as India. The youngest in a class doesn't always last the longest, just look at the Fearless and Intrepid as an example.

Interesting that final assembly of the carriers is to take place at Rosyth - I don't remember anything except submarines coming out of there before, or did they build some of the Rothesay/Leander-class frigates back in the 60's as well? I suppose construction will take place in a drydock at Rosyth, so there'll be no traditional slide down the builder's slipway  Sad

/ Andrew D


[Edited 2003-01-30 21:55:11]
there are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary, and those who don't
 
2912n
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Fri Jan 31, 2003 6:31 am

Why not HMS Nelson? It is a whole new class of vessel, one that brings the RN into the future of naval aviation/power projection, much as Nelson himself did. Especially if the hull was to be laid down in 2005, the 200th anniversery of Nelson's victory at Trafalger.

(Did you ever notice that at Napoleon's tomb in Paris they have the names of all his great battles inlaid on the floor? But for some reason it does not include Waterloo....Hmmmm...  Smile )
 
GDB
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Fri Jan 31, 2003 7:09 am

Ark Royal is the most capable of the current carriers, as well as the newest so the RN won't want to lose it before it's time, but CVF 01 will likely replace Both Invincible and Illustrious in 2012.
 
bsergonomics
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Sat Feb 01, 2003 8:53 am

I base these comments on little more than my own personal experience and what one reads in the media (which, as we all know, is entirely factual and accurate 100% of the time..), but...

In the words of an armed robber, "Everybody stand up and hold hands, this is a f*ck up!"

In my experience, Thales has the better management and BAES has the better engineers. To organise the programme the other way round, for predominantly political reasons, is asking for trouble. Entry into service in 2012? Hmm. All pigs fed and ready to fly, sir! But what do I know? I only performed a small part of the research and conceptual studies for a small part of the system.

BAES (which we are sure changed it's acronym so that "British Ars*h*le" no longer fitted) has a history of incompetent management and leadership. That's part of the reason why the 'informed' media have commented on the statements from insiders that the Thales design philosophy must be used, as much as a punitive measure because of the other BAES programme overruns as anything else.

As soon as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrup Grumman or another genuinely effective world leader in defence programmes buys/merges with BAES and sorts out its management structure, some of us may have a little more faith in them. Until then, I'd prefer to buy second hand carriers from India instead of the other way around...
The definition of a 'Pessimist': an Optimist with experience...
 
FlagshipAZ
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Sat Feb 01, 2003 11:07 am

For names, my votes are for...HMS Hood & HMS Vanguard. Two fine battlecruisers of their time. Seems fitting to put them to carriers as carriers nowadays are the first line of offense. And no more battlecruisers nor battleships will ever be built again. Regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
 
GDB
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Sat Feb 01, 2003 3:29 pm

Bsergonomics is probably right, however I view the decision as a severe warning to BAE, until December they thought they had the whole contract in the bag.
The CVF, as well the the MoD refusing to help them out financially over contract problems on the Nimrod upgrade and Asute class subs, has put a rocket up their backsides.
From our own experience with BAE, they probably laid off a load of people which was a factor in the problems with other contracts.
Other potential CVF names;
Resolution and Renown, or Repulse.


 
FACT
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Sat Feb 01, 2003 11:26 pm

HMS Vanguard isn't available at the moment, it's the name of first of the 4 Trident ICBN carrying submarines, and they're supposed to remain in service until 2025 or later. If I'm not mistaken, HMS Nelson is currently assigned to a shore establishment (a "stone frigate").

The name intended for the lead ship of the cancelled CVA01 project of the 60's, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is another possibility.
there are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary, and those who don't
 
GDB
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Sun Feb 02, 2003 4:38 am

That's right FACT, I also understand that Prince Of Wales for the proposed name for the second CVA, if the RN are still even today smarting from that project's demise, they may well be tempted to revive the names.

But CVA would have been too heavy on manpower, relied on cuts elsewhere in other services (the RAF were dead against it for a start), and the design had problems, too heavy (though deleting the inappropriate Sea Dart area-defence SAM would have helped).
Plus the RN were already getting capital ships in the shape of the Valiant class nuclear powered attack subs, as well as the Resolution class Polaris subs, at the same time as the CVA programme.

These lessons have been learnt, through CVF the RAF are getting steathly, highly advanced aircraft in the shape of the F-35B, RAF aircraft will provide some of CVF's airgroup, modern technology helps greatly with manning levels and CVF seems appropriate for UK defence requirements today, in 1966 the UK was withdrawing from extra-NATO commitments, the main role of the RN was anti-sub warfare against the USSR. Plus the UK economy was up shit creek then.

It looks like R/R will provide the propulsion for CVF, hopefully lessons and systems from the Type 45 Destroyer programme can be carried over to CVF.
 
G-KIRAN
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Mon Feb 03, 2003 8:37 pm

I read in Warships international that the most likely name for the carriers would be HMS Hermes and HMS Eagle.I am fine with Eagle,but I would prefer Hermes to be replaced by Invincible.I hope that once we have these carriers that the MOD wont do a Healy or a Nott and scrap after 10 years,as I am thinking about apllying for the Fleet Air Arm instead of the RAF.
 
LMP737
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Tue Feb 04, 2003 8:48 am

What about naming it the HMS Hood in honor of those who perished engaging the Bismarck?
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buckfifty
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Thu Feb 06, 2003 4:36 pm

What about naming it the HMS Hood in honor of those who perished engaging the Bismarck?

That's just bad karma...
 
n949wp
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Thu Feb 06, 2003 7:59 pm

I'm surprised that the names "Hood" and "Prince of Wales" were being floated around. Those two ships represents some of the most tragic moments of the Royal Navy in modern history.

Given the significance of this new class of vessels to the RN, perhaps the illustrious name from another revolutionary vessel from a century ago should be resurrected -- HMS Dreadnaught.

'949
 
LMP737
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Fri Feb 07, 2003 2:11 am

Why would it be bad karma? There have been other ships with the names of previously sunken vessels. Such as the USS Yorktown, USS Hornet, USS Wasp, HMS Sheffield etc, etc.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
bsergonomics
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Fri Feb 07, 2003 8:43 am

I'm surprised that, in the modernist world of the current British government, modern names haven't been suggested, such as

New Illustrious
New Ark Royal
HMS Beckham

or, along the lines of portraying might,

HMS Come On Then If You Think You're Hard Enough (well, it should be long enough to paint that on the side!)
The definition of a 'Pessimist': an Optimist with experience...
 
buckfifty
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Fri Feb 07, 2003 6:14 pm

Why would it be bad karma? There have been other ships with the names of previously sunken vessels. Such as the USS Yorktown, USS Hornet, USS Wasp, HMS Sheffield etc, etc.

HMS Hood was lost, with only 3 survivors out of 1400, from one 18" shell that destroyed it's forward magazine. 3 survivors...any sailor would think twice boarding a ship with it's namesake suffering a fate like that. It's just bad karma.
 
keesje
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Fri Feb 07, 2003 8:39 pm



HMS Arthur Scargill  Smile

Well wouldn't take a very advanced ASM to lock on this one ...
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LMP737
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Sat Feb 08, 2003 2:34 am

Buckfifty:

Yes, I know the history of the HMS Hood. None the less like I pointed out there have been ships with names where the predecessor had heavy casualties.
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Banco
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Sat Feb 08, 2003 7:16 am

I must admit, I've always been surprised that the name Hood has never been used since the ill-fated battlecruiser. Despite its end, the Hood was the biggest and most famous ship in the world between the wars, the de facto flagship of the Royal Navy. The name Ark Royal has hardly had an unchequered history, and anyway Invincible (which is a damn silly name for a ship anyway in my opinion) was the name of the battlecruiser (mmm, that design flaw never was ironed out, was it?) that blew up at Jutland with huge loss of life. It didn't stop them naming one of the current aircraft carriers after it, did it?

My personal favourite for at least one of them has to be Warspite though. Now that was a name to conjure with, and Warspite always was a capital ship anyway, why one earth they gave it to a submarine I'll never understand.
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GDB
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Sat Feb 08, 2003 9:01 am

Because the RN's Nuclear subs, both attack and SLBM carriers, ARE capital ships!
They kept the Argentine Navy out of the Falklands war all by themselves.
When the conventional carriers were retired, they became the RN's main anti-ship weapon, in addition to their main anti-sub role.
Plus, very few nations operate them, like the Battleships of the 20th century.

HMS Invincible was originally designed as a helicopter/command cruiser, hence the original Sea Dart medium-range SAM armament, when the Sea Harrier was approved, the ski-jump added for their operation replaced the Exocet SSMs that were also due to be fitted.
So naming the first of this class after a cruiser was thought appropriate, Illustrious and Ark Royal merely reflected the emergence of the Harrier as part of the airgroup, so it was OK to name them after aircraft carriers by then. (Sea Harrier was ordered in 1975, Invincible was ordered
in 1973, the other two in 1976 and 1978 respectively).

 
buckfifty
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Sat Feb 08, 2003 1:04 pm

The name Ark Royal has hardly had an unchequered history, and anyway Invincible (which is a damn silly name for a ship anyway in my opinion) was the name of the battlecruiser (mmm, that design flaw never was ironed out, was it?) that blew up at Jutland with huge loss of life. It didn't stop them naming one of the current aircraft carriers after it, did it?

Though the Invincible did meet quite a similar fate to the Hood, it is considered by popular opinion that the Hood was, and still is, considered one of the major disasters in naval warfare history. So much so, that many people who have no real knowledge of any war history knows what happened to the Hood.

On the other hand, at least the Invincible proved somewhat effective in battle before her untimely demise (and yes, that design flaw was never ironed out, unfortunately.)
 
Banco
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Sat Feb 08, 2003 9:34 pm

GDB - submarines are capital ships? Since when? I know how important they are, but I've never heard of them being called capital ships before.

Buckfifty, I do see your point. Can I ask if Australia ever used the name Sydney again? After all, although perhaps not as famous worldwide as the Hood, the loss of HMAS Sydney was certainly Australia's most famous naval disaster.

Just as a side issue, Hood was several times intended to go into dock for a refit to strengthen the deck plates, but for a variety of reasons never did. The Hood's loss was both forseeable, and preventable (at least in the form that it took), particularly since the crew of the Prinz Eugen insist that it was their shell that caused the explosion. If Hood truly was destroyed by a cruiser, then that exposes the Admiralty's folly only too clearly.
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FACT
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Sun Feb 09, 2003 2:43 am

Yes, the RAN has "re-issued" the HMAS Sydney name twice already. The first post-war ship of that name was a former RN "Majestic class" light fleet carrier (the original name of which I can't remember), which was later relegated to secondary duties after the commissioning of its sistership HMAS Melbourne. The current HMAS Sydney is a "Oliver Hazard Perry class" FFG, one of the original four built in the USA, and commissioned in 1983.

I'm with the group that thinks HMS Hood is not an appropriate name. Remember, although not for exactly the same reasons, but partly for similar sentiments, there'll never be another USS Arizona.

I'll stick with my original suggestion of Valiant and Warspite!
there are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary, and those who don't
 
Banco
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Sun Feb 09, 2003 3:48 am

FACT, was there not a similar concern about the re-use of the name Sydney? After all, not only were all the crew lost, the never found out what happened to her.

You may be right by the way.  Big grin
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GDB
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Sun Feb 09, 2003 4:54 am

By their very role, the Resolution and the replacement Vanguard ballistic missile subs are capital ships. Battleships were the 'nuclear deterrent' of the first part of the 20th century.
Since the late 60's, the nuclear attack subs have provided the main anti-ship as well as anti-sub, striking force of the RN. Now they have a land attack ability from Tomahawk cruise missiles, the primary 'first day of the war' weapon available to the UK.
Since anti-sub warfare was the main role of the RN from the mid 60's to the early 90's, the subs were the capital ships by default.
These nuclear subs are quite big too!
 
2912n
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Sun Feb 09, 2003 6:38 am

I think that the Arrizona is still considered an "active" ship in the US Navy. Obviously only as a memorial, but since she is still carried on the roles it keeps the name from being reused.
 
GDB
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Sun Feb 09, 2003 7:39 am

Back to the CVF, while many were surprised to see BAE win, with a substantial slice of work going to Thales, they are certainly not having it their own way;
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2736725.stm
This Watchkeeper UAV, will likely include both larger UAV's and smaller platforms, Meggit are well paced to win the smaller UAV airframe.
Elements of Watchkeeper will be deployed from CVF, probably the smaller platform.
 
FACT
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Mon Feb 10, 2003 3:05 am

Banco, I presume by "they don't know what happened to her" you mean that they don't know exactly where HMAS Sydney sank? Because we do know what happened to her - the German commerce raider Pinguin, which had just been "mortally" damaged by the Sydney in a skirmish, torpedoed her. If I remember correctly, Pinguin survivors said they last saw Sydney disappear from view on fire and listing. I think it's a fair assumption that either her magazines blew or her bulkheads suffered a catastrophic failure as a result of the torpedo strike, causing her to sink with all hands. It's possible a Japanese or German submarine might have caught up with and finished off the damaged cruiser, but I know of no evidence to support that theory.

I suppose there would have been a debate in Australia about the use of the Sydney name after that disaster, but I'm not an Aussie  Big grin, so I can only speculate. I would say that they realised that not naming a vessel after their largest city would be a more of a snub to current Sydneysiders (?) than retiring the name to honour the disaster that befell the cruiser.

The name Hood is different in that deciding that there will never be another ship of that name is not going to ruffle too many feathers ... unlike, say for example, HMS London or HMS Edinburgh or HMS Sheffield.

Anyway, if the proposed Type 45 destroyer names are any yardstick (good old destroyer names like Daring, Dauntless, Diamond, etc), expect the MoD to stick to traditional aircraft carrier names.

2912n: You're right about the USS Arizona. That's what I meant when I said not for exactly the same reasons, but partly for similar sentiments - thanks for filling in the blanks for those who weren't aware of this.
there are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary, and those who don't
 
Toner
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Wed Feb 19, 2003 5:40 am

How about HMS Prince of Wales, and Repulse?

The Japanese got them in SE Asia.

One night, a group of our Banshee's mistook HMS Shefield (a heavy cruiser) for our USS Wasp. Blacked out fleet, radio silence. In those days, we relied on the boiling phosphorescent wake of the 4 screws of carriers to lead us to the ship. HMS Shefield out of Hong Kong joined our force, and almost got landed on. Verry embarrasing. Shefield fired warning flares, and shone her lights on the WASP close by.

 
GDB
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Thu Feb 20, 2003 9:31 am

Rumour has it that HMS Courageous and HMS Glorious are favorites, both old carrier names.

I reckon CVF 1 will replace HMS Invincible and Illustrious, then Ark Royal will get converted to a more dedicated Commando carrier, to back up HMS Ocean, Ark Royal is too small to carry F-35s anyway, though it would still carry RAF Harriers as required, until that fleet goes out of service in about 2013-14, (Ark Royal being a Commando Carrier has happened with the Iraq deployment, but more dedicated trooping facilities would be needed for the longer term).
HMS Ocean is due to be replaced about 2018, Ark Royal in about 2015-18, so both could be replaced by new Commando Carriers.
Two Commando carriers are really need to support the Amphibious Ready Group, which are based around the two new assault ships, HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion, with a much expanded number of logistic vessels now building.
CVF's main role would be the aircover for these groups.
 
GDB
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RE: UK Government Picks Team For Aircraft Carrier.

Mon Mar 03, 2003 2:35 am

All you could ever want to know about the story of CVF, so far;
http://richardb.coolfreepage.com/sectcvf.htm

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