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Britain Frets Over Cost of Restoring Carriers to Royal Navy
The Wall Street Journal ^ | July 2, 2014 | ROBERT WALL

Posted on 07/03/2014 5:44:09 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

Queen to Christen First of Two New Aircraft Carriers, Second Headed for Mothballs

ROSYTH, Scotland— Queen Elizabeth II is scheduled on Friday to christen the first of two new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy, despite lingering questions over whether Britain can afford both vessels.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is due to start sailing with combat jets in 2020—a decade after Britain suspended its membership in the elite club of militaries with that capacity, one that already includes India and China.

For the Royal Navy's top brass, the carrier represents another milestone in the country's storied history as a naval power.

But amid severe budget constraints following Europe's deepest recession since World War II, the U.K. government has yet to buy jets for the Queen Elizabeth, and will mothball the planned sister ship to save money.

That squeeze means Britain's ability to use its carrier to project military power will be significantly limited.

"Operating a single carrier really only gives you regional power," said Peter Roberts, a senior research fellow for maritime studies at the Royal United Services Institute, a London-based think tank. That is largely because, without a backup, a carrier will be limited to six-month deployments.

"It is a second carrier availability that gives you that truly global characteristic of the navy," Mr. Roberts said.

The Queen Elizabeth and the sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, have a combined cost of £6.2 billion ($10.6 billion). The two, 65,000-ton vessels were conceived back in 1999, long before Europe's economic woes.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: aerospace; cvf; navair; royalnavy; uk

1 posted on 07/03/2014 5:44:09 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

QE doesn’t have the diagonal runway/catapult?


2 posted on 07/03/2014 5:47:37 AM PDT by headstamp 2
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To: headstamp 2

No, but the design accomidates them, and they can be retrofitted if desired, the Brits actually have gone back and forth on the matter at least once since they started building, with predictable resulting cost increases.


3 posted on 07/03/2014 5:52:56 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: headstamp 2

Further, the Brits are planning to operate the F-35B from them, which lands vertically. So no need for an angled deck.

The Kuznetsov class carriers operated by Russia and the ChiComs are STOBAR: Short take off but arrested landing. They operate conventional jets that require an arrested landing, but use skijumps not catapults for launch.

Missing from the picture is India’s “new” carrier, the old Kiev class Gorshkov. Shes been converted from VSTOL to STOBAR, flying MiG-29Ks. Looks like a Kuznetsov Mini-me.


4 posted on 07/03/2014 5:59:48 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: sukhoi-30mki
"Operating a single carrier really only gives you regional power,"

Makes you wonder why they bother with it at all. It's not like they're going to attack France or Spain again.

5 posted on 07/03/2014 6:37:45 AM PDT by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

This is how you fund cradle-to-grave socialism - build a new aircraft carrier, then mothball it. At least it’s a jobs program.


6 posted on 07/03/2014 6:45:00 AM PDT by tgusa (gun control: deep breath, sight alignment, squeeze the trigger .......)
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To: mac_truck

They might need to tangle with Argentina again. And they owe support to their fellow Commonwealth nations.


7 posted on 07/03/2014 7:27:46 AM PDT by Little Ray (How did I end up in this hand-basket, and why is it getting so hot?)
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To: mac_truck
"Operating a single carrier really only gives you regional power,"

Makes you wonder why they bother with it at all. It's not like they're going to attack France or Spain again.

Well, they still have a region down near Argentina to think about.

8 posted on 07/03/2014 8:57:09 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: tanknetter
You got the CHICOMs with their super ASCMs attacking your carrier group from every point on the compass. You got your Russki Bears targeting your carriers with their missiles from 500 miles out. You got every Tom, Dick, and Harry piss-ant country with silent diesel subs.

OK. So 1/50 of these missiles gets a hit. They have thousands. That's enough to screw us up big time. Are we sure that the super-carrier isn't the Dreadnought of 1912 ... way cool ... but useless in two years? F-35 vertical take-off? Sure. But then you need to refuel right away to go on the mission.

Let's talk pre-emptive strike on the CHICOMs, OK? Maybe that way we can wipe out that money we owe them.

9 posted on 07/03/2014 11:19:33 AM PDT by Kenny Bunk (The GOP is dying. What do we do now?)
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To: Little Ray
Argentina has a carrier. They even take it out once in a while and fly planes from it! Go to war with it? ¡No way Señor José, sería muy loco!

Notice that they kept it tied up at the yacht club during the Falklands unpleasantness?

10 posted on 07/03/2014 11:23:31 AM PDT by Kenny Bunk (The GOP is dying. What do we do now?)
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To: mac_truck
Makes you wonder why they bother with it at all.

The answer to that question was in the story:

"The project has been a boon for a mostly British network of defense companies. Construction began in 2009, involving 10,000 workers at sites across the country and more than 700 companies..."

11 posted on 07/03/2014 11:25:43 AM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: Little Ray

The next time Argentina invades the Falklands, will the British have the guts to recapture that piece of crap island again?


12 posted on 07/03/2014 11:33:20 AM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: DoodleDawg

Nice to hear that Great Britain still has the capacity to build aircraft carriers. How many other countries beside the U.S. is capable of doing that. France?


13 posted on 07/03/2014 11:35:11 AM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: Kenny Bunk

Don’t be silly. We’re not going to war with China. If a world war occurs, it’s likely that the West will fight the Islamic Caliphate.


14 posted on 07/03/2014 11:36:47 AM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: Kenny Bunk

“Let’s talk pre-emptive strike on the CHICOMs, OK?”

That already happened. On the recent 24 episode that I watched last night, the USS Massachusetts sank their carrier.


15 posted on 07/03/2014 11:38:10 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Obama lied; our healthcare died.)
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To: MinorityRepublican
How many other countries beside the U.S. is capable of doing that. France?

Spain and Italy have both built small carriers along the size of the old Invincible class. India and China each have one under construction. Russia has built them. I think China and Korea could both do it if they wanted to.

16 posted on 07/03/2014 11:39:08 AM PDT by Lower Deck
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To: MinorityRepublican
How many other countries beside the U.S. is capable of doing that. France?

I have no idea. Doesn't Russia and China have carriers as well?

17 posted on 07/03/2014 11:40:14 AM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: Kenny Bunk

Argentina doesn’t, it’s Brazil that has a carrier. Former French Navy Foch, now named Sao Paulo.


18 posted on 07/03/2014 11:41:08 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: MinorityRepublican

UK military? Sure!
Dunno ‘bout the UK gub’mint, but the UKIP is slowly making inroads, so them, too.


19 posted on 07/03/2014 11:48:21 AM PDT by Little Ray (How did I end up in this hand-basket, and why is it getting so hot?)
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To: DoodleDawg

India has a few.... one of them was launched by the UK in 1945 or something... probably needs to be retired... decades ago....


20 posted on 07/03/2014 11:49:12 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: MinorityRepublican

India?


21 posted on 07/03/2014 11:49:30 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Kenny Bunk

I’d keep my CV tied up, too, if there were UK SSNs hanging around my coast...


22 posted on 07/03/2014 11:49:37 AM PDT by Little Ray (How did I end up in this hand-basket, and why is it getting so hot?)
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To: MinorityRepublican

I bet Japan could build one easily. South Korea might be able to with some work.


23 posted on 07/03/2014 11:50:14 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Kenny Bunk

Battleships were really one trick ponies. They could throw artillery shells out to the limitations of their targeting systems. That could be against anothe battleship, or a land based target (shore bombardment). Dreadnaught was obsolete within two years because bigger and better guns, better armor and better optics (targeting systems) were being developed. But the fundamentals remained, you could see the other guy (meaning he could see you) and you could shell him (meaning he could shell you).

Carriers are a lot more flexible in both what they’re used for and how they’re used. Even with current tech they’re damned hard to detect, unless they want to be.

The truth is, in a shooting war with either ChiComs or Russia, we’re not going to charge in with carriers until we seriously attrit the other guy’s ability to locate, target and attack them through other means. A Bear bomber can’t even get into the air if it, and it’s airfield have been destroyed by B-2s or sub launched cruise missiles. As John Lehman said back the the early days of the Reagan Administration, we’re not going to send the carriers up the Volga River (or into the Taiwan Strait, for that matter) on the first day of the war.


24 posted on 07/03/2014 11:52:08 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: GeronL

South Korean shipyards would have no trouble building a supercarrier. Whether the South Korean government could afford to build and then operate one (or a fleet of them) is a separate question ...


25 posted on 07/03/2014 11:53:25 AM PDT by NorthMountain
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To: NorthMountain
That is true. It is going to take a long time for them to modernize their military with new tanks, fighters and ships.

The 11,000-ton destroyers of the Sejong The Great Class are top-notch. Carrying 128 missiles makes it one of the heaviest-armed ships on the planet along with the Kirov-class (Russia) and the Arleigh Burke Class (US).

3 have been completed at close to a billion bucks a pop.

26 posted on 07/03/2014 12:00:08 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: NorthMountain
and of course we can all see the Japanese have one, more or less, with the IZUMO. It's a little smaller than the WASP and will be able to carrier F-35 (VTOL) naval variants. I think it shows they CAN build a bigger one.


27 posted on 07/03/2014 12:03:05 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: GeronL
Wikipedia (ha ha) lists 20 aircraft carriers in service among the world's navies.

10 of them are in the US Navy. Only the Russians have ever built anything close to the capabilities of the USN "Nimitz" class. Russia has one of them in service, the other was sold partially completed to the Chicoms, who finished it and put it in service. USN, even in its current degraded state under the Communist Mohammedan Usurper, is more navy than the rest of the world combined.

28 posted on 07/03/2014 12:06:18 PM PDT by NorthMountain
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To: GeronL
I think it shows they CAN build a bigger one.

Can and probably will. IZUMO is a classy little ship, but she's only 27000 tons. They have a long way to go.

29 posted on 07/03/2014 12:08:59 PM PDT by NorthMountain
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To: Lower Deck

Don’t forget Japan!


30 posted on 07/03/2014 12:15:26 PM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: NorthMountain

bump

Not too many countries need or can afford a big aircraft carrier. You would need to at least be a regional power for it to make any sense.


31 posted on 07/03/2014 12:30:37 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Little Ray; tanknetter

Thanks for the update. Post-Falklands, the Argies are out of the carrier businness.


32 posted on 07/04/2014 6:33:49 AM PDT by Kenny Bunk (The GOP is dying. What do we do now?)
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To: Kenny Bunk
Thanks for the update. Post-Falklands, the Argies are out of the carrier businness.

You're welcome.

They've done some joint ops with Brazil on Sao Paulo with their S-2 Trackers and Super Etendards. And there was some talk a while back that if Brazil were to move ahead with building it's own carrier they'd order a sister ship. But the Argie economy is pretty much in shambles at this point and even small carriers eat up a lot of money. Just ask the Thais about their t-i-n-y Spanish-built Harrier-carrier/Royal Yacht ...

Brazil on the other hand, is moving to expand it's carrier capability. I think a new deck is off the table for now, but they're having a number of C-1 Traders pulled out of mothballs in the US desert southwest (at one of the private boneyards, I don't think that they were even at AMARG anymore) and rebuilt as aerial refuelers, COD and AEWC birds. There's also some suggestion that the Swedes are proposing a navalized Gripen for them to replace their A-4s.
33 posted on 07/04/2014 9:10:33 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: GeronL
I think it shows they CAN build a bigger one.

Yup, the Japanese are evolving. And signalling. The previous, smaller class of carrier-looking "Helicopter Carrying Destroyers" were named Ise and Hyuga, after two WWII battleships that were converted mid-war into hybrid aircraft carriers.

Izumo's name is interesting. Ostensibly it's named after a turn of the century IJN armored cruiser. But "Izumo (Maru)" was also the original name of a passenger liner that was converted into a carrier (renamed Hiyō) after Midway. That's no coincidence ...
34 posted on 07/04/2014 9:16:34 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: mac_truck

Ah-hah! That’s what YOU think! :)


35 posted on 07/09/2014 3:48:48 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: DoodleDawg

Thailand does too. Sort of.


36 posted on 07/09/2014 3:49:40 AM PDT by Vanders9
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