Skip to comments.Navy’s new carrier so large the crew need an app to find their way about (Royal Navy)
Posted on 01/17/2014 9:27:24 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Making waves: a CGI of how the 65,000-tonne HMS Queen Elizabeth will look.
They have been joining up the dots almost literally on HMS Queen Elizabeth, the new aircraft carrier, the largest warship built in Britain, which is now towering above the rooftops in Rosyth dockyard.
The five huge sections from different yards for the 65,000-tonne ship have been assembled. In the coming year it will be floated out of the dock, and named by the Queen the first naval ship to bear her name.
Crew members are shortly to be given a special app for their mobile phones to help them navigate around the ship.
Walking through the ship recently on a clear winters day was like walking through the giant set of a sci-fi movie. Cables and wires of all kinds seem to stretch for miles. In all, 12,500 miles of fibre-optic cable will be installed and 18,750 miles of copper wiring. The flight deck space is more than three football pitches .
Captain Simon Petitt, 46, commands the Royal Navy crew of 111 now involved in the construction almost 10 times as many civilian workers are employed. The captain keeps up a steady bombardment of statistics.
The ship is the Navys biggest ever. But it will take a crew of only 690 to drive it and man it this goes up to 1,680 when the F35 attack jets are on board. Alternatively the ship can carry 920 Royal Marines.
The Americans tell me that we are either heroic or stupid, says Captain Petitt, They want to know how we manage it with such small numbers.
He adds: We do it by maximum use of automation particularly in handling ammunition and ordnance.
The handling of bombs, bullets and missiles for the aircraft from the storage bays five decks below the hangars is all done by machinery.
Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship the Prince of Wales are currently budgeted at £6.2 billion to build.
The QE will be able to fly 36 F35 strike aircraft and house Apache attack helicopters.
However, the new design has put paid to one of the quainter traditions of British aircraft carriers, known as the five-deck dash.
The idea is for a crewman to run naked all but an anti-flash mask on his head through five decks without being identified. You cant do that with the complex layout here, said one of the carriers crew. Some guarantee of British maritime security
The two aircraft carriers, Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales, will continue to be controversial as the Government looks at further defence cuts.
The Navy argues that they are of immense value to British foreign policy and security.
Currently costed at £6.2 billion, the whole programme is likely to cost three times that, once the 45 F35 Lightning II aircraft are purchased, and the mission systems to go with them.
They offer a wide range of choice to do anything from flying aerial strike missions, to supporting troops on the ground, as a base for anti-pirate operations, and for disaster and humanitarian relief missions in devastated areas like the mission to help the hurricane-ravaged Philippines.
Some fear that spending on the Navy will mean cuts in the Army and particularly in recruiting and training.
But in the coming years Britain is going to depend increasingly on the sea, its resources and commerce.
A recent Nato conference in London was told that by the year 2050 more than half of Britains revenue will come from trade by sea and by then half the worlds maritime commerce will be conducted across the Indian Ocean alone. The aircraft carriers offer some guarantee of British maritime security. Since fewer countries will welcome the basing of British forces and aircraft, they will be needed more than ever.
Golly, what could go wrong. Malware on a battleship, sounds fun.
Running naked through the ship?
Highly irregular, old chap!
Brits get back to big deck carriers.
LOL. It’s less then 2/3rds the size of a US CVN. How do our sailors manage without an app?
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is nearly twice as big, displacement-wise.
We’ll have to help them eventually...
I am embarrassed for the Brits.
Whats it gonna be when it grows up?
“Whats it gonna be when it grows up?”
Maybe I’m missing something here, but doesn’t the lack of an angled flight deck mean that the carrier can’t simultaneously launch and land aircraft?
Thanks to you, sukhoi-30mki, for all of your postings about military matters.
As an 18 y/o, I was assigned to the USS FDR (CVA-42) in the V-2 Catapults Div. The ship (sister to the Midway and Coral Sea) was over 900 ft. It was designed for a crew of around 3800-4000, but with our air squadrons onboard we were over 5000. ..........The Brits intend to run a similarly sized carrier with only about 700 crew???
I know it was a WW II carrier that was operating in the early ‘60s with a high efficiency rating, and yes we carried nukes.
I joined the ship when in the shipyard for updating, so learned my way around the ship pretty quickly. I can’t even wrap my head around the idea that the Brits think they have to provide cell phone apps to help the twits find their way around their own ship!!!!
One’s for driving the ship, and one’s for handling all the aircraft, so neither team steps on the others’ toes (which is apparently a problem on single-tower ships).
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