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"Britainís largest ever warship has some concerning flaws" Topic

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Tango0118 Dec 2017 8:58 p.m. PST

"There are concerns that the new aircraft carrier will not have enough crew trained to operate her, the ordered fighters for her decks are too expensive and weak, the design itself is flawed and that there will not be enough royal navy ships to protect her.

The Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier is currently under sea trials and is the largest warship ever built by the Royal Navy. The ship has absorbed £6.00 GBPbn ($7.6bn) worth of investment and has taken around 10 years to come to fruition. The Royal Navy hopes that after a long period of underinvestment these two new supercarriers will bring prestige capability and prowess back to the UK's naval forces…"
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Norrins19 Dec 2017 2:57 a.m. PST

And it has a leak too ☺

Vigilant19 Dec 2017 3:33 a.m. PST

Finding leaks and other faults are what sea trials are for. The other problems are the real concerns.

KhivaJoe19 Dec 2017 5:47 a.m. PST

..I thought on a ship they are called "decks" :-)

(Told you it would soon be time for another go Armand – no way the Task Force could be cobbled together again today – except you are even more bankrupt than Britain…)

Caedite Eos19 Dec 2017 5:50 a.m. PST

Apart from the leak that article doesn't point out any flaws in the actual carrier at all, and misses the obvious one which is the lack of catapults. There are lots of sound reasons to go with diesel/turbines over nuclear for the Brits, especially if they don't need steam for CATOBAR.

The F35 is it's own horror show.

Tango0119 Dec 2017 10:13 a.m. PST

Never again my friend!… (smile)

I vote for the diplomacy… even it takes eons… (smile).


Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2017 10:25 a.m. PST

Someone *always* finds faults with new military equipment. Always. And it always sounds serious.

Turns out half the bad-mouthing of the F-22 and F-35 came from Russian disinformation campaigns.

So for the last couple of decades when I see a headline like "newest tank has built in espresso machine but only travels 900m on a full tank of fuel" I just ignore it.

What would *shock* me is if they built something the size of the QE and had no technical difficulty whatever, and everyone loved it. That would be new.

Lion in the Stars19 Dec 2017 1:37 p.m. PST

What would *shock* me is if they built something the size of the QE and had no technical difficulty whatever, and everyone loved it. That would be new.

No kidding.

Heck, even the two boats I served on were very different, even though they were the same class. Kentucky was a little faster (not sure why, and it's a fraction-of-a-knot difference anyway), but pulled to the right at speed (I think they welded the sail on about 1/4" out of square). Georgia was more reliable, though that may have been because she didn't have massive amounts of maintenance deferred pending a trip around the Horn.

Now, as to the QE-class issues:
* trained crew is *always* lacking on first-in-class ships. It's why you steal the best people from every other ship in the fleet in a comparable role to fill out the roster!
* nuclear power can be a huge force multiplier, but only when the rest of the task force is also nuclear powered.
* How does the current design prevent Eurofighters from flying from the carrier? The Russians have managed to launch Su27s from a ski jump.
* how is the lack of escorts the RN's fault? It's Treasury that has refused to build them! Also, the current USN carrier group is 3-4 destroyers and one cruiser to act as the Air Defense commander. If the carrier has the equipment to act as it's own defense commander, you don't need the cruiser.

basileus6619 Dec 2017 9:38 p.m. PST


Problem is not quality, but the price tag. Modern weapons platforms, either you are talking about the F22, F35, QE-class or Zumwalt Class destroyers, are very expensive to produce and maintain. Critics argue that they are not cost efficient, particularly because the number of units that can be deployed are relatively low, compared to less advanced but cheaper weapons platforms -quantity has a quality of its own, and all that-. Time will tell. Historically, some "advanced" weapons systems proved to be duds, that went the way of the Dodo; others -air carriers, for instance- proved to be real game changers.

Caedite Eos19 Dec 2017 11:44 p.m. PST

There's probably not much to stop you launching a Eurofighter off the Queen Elizabeth. The question is can you get it back on again

basileus6620 Dec 2017 3:48 a.m. PST

Then there is the other part of the equation: the economic capacity to sustain the effort. When dreadnoughts started to be commissioned, every power that wanted to have a say in the International arena was forced to have their own. Dreadnoughts weren't cheap, though. Most countries couldn't afford but a couple, at most. It was the same with other systems and platforms: nukes, nuclear carriers and subs, ecc. Even rich economies did struggle to sustain a a nuclear strike force -France and the UK come to mind, and even it can be argued that the USSR demise was accelerated by her incapacity to sustain the economic effort necessary to stay on par with the US military.

Now, QE-class carriers are mighty beasts, no doubt. They have the potential of giving the UK the capacity to project force far away from her coasts. In terms of prestige, QE-class carriers are a testimony of the relevance of the UK in world affairs.

However, the big question is: can the UK to sustain the operations of two carrier groups for the time necessary to win a war or deter a potentially hostile power? Could have been done cheaper, without sacrificing power-projection capacity? I know that economics are not glamourous, but as Montecuccoli said "War requires three things: money, money and money."

Caedite Eos20 Dec 2017 4:41 a.m. PST

Is nuclear really that much of a force multiplier for surface ships? A carrier wing will use up all the fuel in a week or twos worth of sorties. You need a lot of JP5 to go to war, and that's before you start counting bombs.

Admittedly the QE won't have anything like a carrier wing embarked.

Tango0120 Dec 2017 10:58 a.m. PST

Good point Antonio!.


Red358420 Dec 2017 11:26 a.m. PST

And it has a leak too

I suspect that's the bit that my brother in law built in Govan grin

Lion in the Stars20 Dec 2017 2:09 p.m. PST

Is nuclear really that much of a force multiplier for surface ships? A carrier wing will use up all the fuel in a week or twos worth of sorties. You need a lot of JP5 to go to war, and that's before you start counting bombs.

Assuming that the Brits run their engines on the same fuel as their aircraft like the USN does, not needing to burn jet fuel to move the ship is a pretty big deal.

Pretty sure that the QE-class burn about as much fuel as a pair of 747s per hour.

Caedite Eos20 Dec 2017 9:05 p.m. PST

They run on diesel, not aviation fuel. Separate ports so they can replenish both at the same time.

Lion in the Stars21 Dec 2017 3:00 p.m. PST

Well, I know the US military runs everything off of JP8. JP5 is naval jet fuel (JP4/Jet A is a little more volatile, which is not desirable for shipboard use but fine on land), but it was logistically useful to tune the jets and diesel engines to all run on the same fuel. So an Abrams turbine burns the same fuel as a Bradley, burns the same fuel as an Apache, burns the same fuel as a Burke-class destroyer.

Trying to run a ship on Bunker C sludge is nasty, and leaves great big smoke trails to see.

Having multiple fuel ports is good to speed up refueling, regardless of whether your ship engines burn the same fuel as your planes.

Remember, the QE-class has both diesel generators and gas turbines. It's possible to tune all the engines to run on Marine Diesel, but it costs you about 10% power in the turbines (based on the difference between PT6 and PT6AG engines). You're better off tuning the diesels to run on jet fuel and gaining that 10% power there.

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