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"No Escorts for UK Carriers? ‘Potentially Dangerous'" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian27 Jun 2018 10:40 a.m. PST

The U.K.'s new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers should be able to conduct warfighting missions without support from allied forces, an influential parliamentary committee insisted last week…


zoneofcontrol Inactive Member27 Jun 2018 11:37 a.m. PST

Yes, that worked out so well for the other HMS Prince Of Wales in December of '41.

Midlander6527 Jun 2018 12:37 p.m. PST

6 DDGs, 8 FFGs with TAS and another 5 or more without, 7 SSNs. I don't see why there is any doubt that the U.K. can't, in extreme need, provide an adequate escort for one carrier group without needing allies.

Obviously it would be better to also have an allied contribution, chances are there would be one and the current and planned U.K. escorts are much less than I'd wish for (I would also wish for more than one carrier or amphibious group) but it is still nonsense to say the whole RN can't escort a single carrier.

Paul B27 Jun 2018 1:23 p.m. PST

Lack of AEW capability is another worry for our new carriers.
If it has to be, and can be be supplied by land based aircraft, then it could be argued that attack fighters also be provided by land based aircraft and we don't need a carrier at all. If however the geopolitical situation is such that a carrier is the only option then the fleet needs some way to provide AEW.

28mm Fanatik27 Jun 2018 1:39 p.m. PST

First it was the scandal about the lack of planes on her decks and now it's the dearth of proper escorts to protect her.

Maybe the Crown should raise taxes so the Treasury won't be so dry. Failing that I hear Go Fund Me and Kickstarters are good ways to raise money nowadays.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2018 2:06 p.m. PST

What does "without support from allied forces" mean?
Some seem to interpret that as no auxiliary vessels st all.
I would interpret it as "no French". That might be a wise decision, as the French may be still peeved at Oran.

22ndFoot27 Jun 2018 2:06 p.m. PST

PaulB – the RN has spent GBP269 million on ten sets of Crowsnest AEW system for fitting to Merlin HM2s for the two carriers. link

Queen Elizabeth will receive her first F35s in the States once she has completed working up in a couple of months. Which, despite a great deal of carping about "aircraft carriers with no aircraft", is a pretty good show.

At the risk of being political, the problem is the size of the Armed Forces in general and the Royal Navy in particular. While the electorate insists governments of whatever hue pour money into the bottomless pit that is the National Health Service in its current form, there will never be enough money for the defence of the Realm. Unless, of course, someone actually finds the magic money tree that so many people seem to think HM Government have hidden somewhere.

Paul B27 Jun 2018 2:38 p.m. PST

Thanks for the info about the Merlins.

Wargamer Blue28 Jun 2018 2:26 a.m. PST

An escort of the finest warships won't stop a Chinese carrier killing DF-21D missile.

David Manley28 Jun 2018 7:29 a.m. PST

Depends whether you have an ABM capability to hand. We don't, yet. We also aren't fixated on a highly unlikely shooting war with China :)

Lion in the Stars28 Jun 2018 10:48 a.m. PST

If the Chinese can build an anti-ship ballistic missile, then so can the Russians, Indians, and Brazilians (and the Americans). And probably the Iranians and Pakistanis. Nevermind who all could just buy DF21s from the Chinese.

So having ABM capability in the escorts is probably going to be mandatory in 10 years.

Oooh, I know how to shut that committee up! Tell them that it will cost several times more than 3 escort ships to modify each QE-class ship into do-it-alls.

I mean, you'd need to add the dedicated AA/ABM radars, make space for about 200 VLS cells somewhere, add the additional electrical generation capacity, add berthing space for the crew to run all that stuff, add some hull bulges for additional buoyancy for the additional 10,000 tons of stuff you're adding…

David Manley28 Jun 2018 2:13 p.m. PST

No you wouldn't. Type 45 is already capable of carrying the weapons, the radars have been shown to be entirely adequate, it just needs some integration money spent (ha!) and purchasing the relevant variant of Aster 30

Lion in the Stars28 Jun 2018 10:17 p.m. PST

shush, you, I'm trying to come up with reasons for HM Government to buy more ships for the RN!

By making the case that it's more expensive than multiple Type 45s to try to fit all that capability into the QE hulls.

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