Skip to comments.ANALYSIS: UK gets ready to rejoin aircraft carrier elite
Posted on 05/01/2018 1:50:00 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Back in November 2010, then-Lt Cdr James Blackmore became the last pilot of a BAE Systems Harrier to launch from the flightdeck of the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, bringing to an end three decades of shipborne short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) operations from the service's three Invincible-class carriers.
In a circuitous arc, now Cdr Blackmore will in five months oversee the re-birth of fixed-wing aviation in the RN, as HMS Queen Elizabeth the first of its two new 65,000t aircraft carriers begins first of class flying trials (FOCFT) with STOVL aircraft of an altogether different kind.
Two fully instrumented Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II development aircraft from the Integrated Test Force (ITF) at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, will join the ship off the eastern seaboard of the USA for two development test periods dubbed DT-1 and DT-2 running through October and November.
The purpose of the FOCFT activity is to validate design modelling and support the production of the full ship/air integration release. To achieve these objectives necessitates operating the aircraft and ship in a wide range of load, motion, wind and environmental conditions, using instrumentation to capture detailed trials data. These individual test points are used to define the limits of the safe operating envelope.
As Commander Air a role that sees him in overall control of aviation operations in, on and around the carrier Blackmore and his air department will manage the FOCFT flying programme from the flying control (FLYCO) office extending out from Queen Elizabeths aft island.
"This ship is over three times the size of our previous aircraft carriers, and the flightdeck is two-and-a-half times bigger," he tells FlightGlobal. "So weve got much more area to park and operate helicopters and jets.
(Excerpt) Read more at flightglobal.com ...
The 65,000t HMS Queen Elizabeth has already performed operational trials with helicopters aboard: its next arrival will be the Lightning II
I know VERY little when it comes to military situations, but I assume this is a very good thing.
Am I wrong in assuming it will take some of the slack off of us protecting the EuroWeenies like France and others?
I look at that ramp and cant help but think a craft will slip off of it during launch.
...one of these days.
I’ve read that the problem is that the British don’t have any aircraft-pilots to use on the carrier.
If its going to be used anytime in the near future US aircraft piloted by US pilots will have to operate off it.
At this time, the Royal Navy's fleet consists of 1 (almost ready) carrier, 10 subs, 6 destroyers, 13 frigates, and 2 amphibious warfare ships.
How many of those are available and ready for missions at any given time? Half?
The French have a nuclear powered aircraft carrier. They and the Brits will be working more closely in defense, thanks in part to the Trump Administration.
That alone should qualify for a Nobel Peace Prize!
That sounds about right by the time we get any actual aircraft on this carrier it will be about 10 years since British pilot operated from a carrier.
“Back in November 2010, then-Lt Cdr James Blackmore became the last pilot of a BAE Systems Harrier to launch from the flightdeck of the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, bringing to an end three decades of shipborne short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) operations from the service’s three Invincible-class carriers.”
FWIW, I think this is more about the UK being able to say it's meeting its NATO defense spending requirement rather than a real desire to defend itself or project power.
Hard to believe the Brits once ruled the seas.
“Hard to believe the Brits once ruled the seas.”
That type of Brit was killed off by two world wars.
After dissolving it’s empire post-WWII England had no use for a large navy and spent that money on rebuilding the infrastructure.
Thank you for the ping, Chode. Not a lovely ship, but I have never been a fan of the twin island concept from and aesthetic point of view even if I understand the purpose.
As of December 2017, there are 73 commissioned ships in the Royal Navy. 20 of the commissioned vessels are major surface combatants (six guided missile destroyers, 13 frigates and one aircraft carrier) and 10 are nuclear-powered submarines (four ballistic missile submarines and six fleet submarines).
Agreed! From the articles that have come out since the recent US-British-French mission in Syria, it went very well. And from the looks of their civilian after action reviews in their media (heh, and very self-critical reviews), both nations will be trying harder to improve their defense capabilities.
Royal Navy’s $1.3bn submarine was locked in a deadly game of ‘hide and seek’ ... (Russian subs)
Why Britain played second fiddle to France in Syria strikes... (no cruise missile ships)
Britain really did great. So did France. The mission showed improvements that need to be made by each nation and showed that we can work together.
IMO, the Brexit was a good thing in a big way (cooperation instead of empire). Hope that our new domestic production and trade directions work out economically, too. We no longer have any other logical choice. It may well be a matter of western survival.
Break for a very pretty Scottish voice.
Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
The same Scottish woman singing a pretty American song.
Camera Obscura - I Love How You Love Me
Just thought the following was interesting. Many Scots look much like the many of the people in the part of the States that I’m from.
Why Scottish People Love America
Peter Hitchens, whose father served in the Royal Navy, has written extensively on the lack of preparedness in the various military branches in the UK.
He’s quoted retired military officers who fear what might happen in a real war situation.
The British don’t spend enough money on defense, its that simple.
They got a new military base in the Persian Gulf the other year because the Gulf Arab oil rich nation of Bahrain built it for them.
Well, we won’t be breaking into any chorus of ‘Rule, Britannia!’, but it’s a start...
The White House Correspondents Dinner folks would be a lot happier now if, instead of that vile comic, they had as their speaker the cute (and funny) little Scottish lass shown in your last link.
So they’ve got nothing.
You’re basically saying they’ve got nothing if they needed a quick call to action.
We played big brother FAR too long.
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