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Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers Amphibious/Royal Marine Capability

This is a discussion on Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers Amphibious/Royal Marine Capability within the Navy & Maritime forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by StobieWan The WAH-64 fleet has traditionally had about a third of it either parked derelict for spares ...


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Old July 14th, 2012   #16
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The WAH-64 fleet has traditionally had about a third of it either parked derelict for spares or in mothballs - the individual cabs were rotated through to spread the hours across the fleet and there's no reason they can't (with refurbishment and upgrades) carry on for decades to come.

The US is just reworking their entire fleet to Block III capability right now I believe - if the UK finds money to work some of those changes into the UK fleet, they could be around for a long time yet.
I was not suggesting they would be going tomorrrow, and you're right a airframe can be rebuilt extending life almost endlessly. But there comes a time when there are better things out there, and it would be great to see the UK leading the way maybe with something based around a Merlin, in the 14-15t class. It would probably take 15 years to get it operational anyway, so the current fleet would probably have already gone through a few rebuilds by then anyway.

I am sure greater range can only help with shipborne operations.
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Old July 15th, 2012   #17
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I was not suggesting they would be going tomorrrow, and you're right a airframe can be rebuilt extending life almost endlessly. But there comes a time when there are better things out there, and it would be great to see the UK leading the way maybe with something based around a Merlin, in the 14-15t class. It would probably take 15 years to get it operational anyway, so the current fleet would probably have already gone through a few rebuilds by then anyway.

I am sure greater range can only help with shipborne operations.
Hey the next defence review could determine that the Apaches are unaffordable and withdraw them from service over night for sale back to the US for next to nothing. Then again as they have unique engines they will maybe just be cut up and dumped at the edge of an airfield somewhere. This will likely occur a couple of months prior to the UK commiting to a deployment in which the capability would literally have been a life saver.
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Old July 15th, 2012   #18
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Hey the next defence review could determine that the Apaches are unaffordable and withdraw them from service over night for sale back to the US for next to nothing. Then again as they have unique engines they will maybe just be cut up and dumped at the edge of an airfield somewhere. This will likely occur a couple of months prior to the UK commiting to a deployment in which the capability would literally have been a life saver.
So true, I assume the US purchase did not include the old FA2s, I assume they will end up as gate guards, or in a hanger somewhere we are paying to store.
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Old July 17th, 2012   #19
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Hey the next defence review could determine that the Apaches are unaffordable and withdraw them from service over night for sale back to the US for next to nothing. Then again as they have unique engines they will maybe just be cut up and dumped at the edge of an airfield somewhere. This will likely occur a couple of months prior to the UK commiting to a deployment in which the capability would literally have been a life saver.
Ya'll could maybe sell them to a US friendly nation that needs some firepower. Or Gift them as it were.
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Old July 18th, 2012   #20
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Ya'll could maybe sell them to a US friendly nation that needs some firepower. Or Gift them as it were.
They're going nowhere and there are no plans to reduce the fleet size - they've been invaluable in Aghanistan, having confounded the critics somewhat.
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Old July 19th, 2012   #21
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They're going nowhere and there are no plans to reduce the fleet size - they've been invaluable in Aghanistan, having confounded the critics somewhat.
Indeed, from what i've read from pilots deployments in Afghanistan, there's a huge demand for the Apache for CAS, more so now with the Harriers gone.

Last edited by RobWilliams; July 19th, 2012 at 04:09 PM.
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Old November 12th, 2012   #22
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With the back flip on aircraft choice for the CVF and the announcement lately that 12 F35B would most likely be the minimum number of fast jet aircraft aboard at any one time. There quite a lot of arguments about the range and load outs provided using CTOL and STOVL aircraft in RN colour’s


It appears that the USMC are using Forward Army and a Refueling Point (FARP) with great effect in Afghanistan using the AV-8 Harrier to reduce transit times in theater, there is a vast difference in the CONOPS between RN and USMC, by using a FARP element if the situation allows to increase the sortie rate would that be something a future RN in conjunction with CVF be worth considering.

http://www.sldinfo.com/the-harrier-a...-the-op-tempo/

http://www.sldinfo.com/the-harrier-vstol-and-con-ops/

http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...fm3-04-104.pdf

Last edited by t68; November 12th, 2012 at 02:15 AM. Reason: forgot to add links
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Old November 12th, 2012   #23
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It's possible - institutionally, the RAF has a lot of experience in forward basing - I'm not sure how the F35 will take to the task as it's a larger, heavier aircraft but we'll see.
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Old November 13th, 2012   #24
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They're going nowhere and there are no plans to reduce the fleet size - they've been invaluable in Aghanistan, having confounded the critics somewhat.
What were they say about them? They are purpose built tank killers/CAS?
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Old November 14th, 2012   #25
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What were they say about them? They are purpose built tank killers/CAS?
Best read Ed Macey's Hellfire if you can as it's inspiring but basically, the crews are very good, the sensors on the Apache are very handy for ISTAR, and the Taleban don't like facing them at all. Unlike the fixed wing stuff, they know the Apaches will stick around overhead, watching anything that moves (or just stays still in an irregular fashion)


You need both for different jobs as they compliment each other but Apache is doing great work in Afghanistan.
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Old November 14th, 2012   #26
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Or Damien Lewis' Apache Dawn, what those aircraft can do in terms of CAS is indispensable.

For an amphibious operation being able to call on either Apache or F35B for CAS seems like a pretty valuable tool IMO.

12 F35B, 6 Apache, 4 MASC then what 4 Chinook + 10 Merlin HC4 per CVF at a guess? Seems like quite a nice capability to get amphibious forces ashore and give them support, then considering the plan still appears to be that "given warning + in a suitable level of tension" it'll be possible to operate 2 CVF simultaneously.

Chances are if you look at that 'roster' and think "Well that's nowhere near enough!" then it'd be during a "suitable level of tension" anyway.
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Old November 14th, 2012   #27
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Best read Ed Macey's Hellfire if you can as it's inspiring but basically, the crews are very good, the sensors on the Apache are very handy for ISTAR, and the Taleban don't like facing them at all. Unlike the fixed wing stuff, they know the Apaches will stick around overhead, watching anything that moves (or just stays still in an irregular fashion)


You need both for different jobs as they compliment each other but Apache is doing great work in Afghanistan.
Yea i figured. I guess people just feel a need to complain about everything. And everyone is afraid of being seen as redundant.
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Old November 16th, 2012   #28
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There was a lot of controversy over the order, with many feeling that the cheaper Cobra might have been a better bet, and suggestions that it was a make-work program for Westland-Augusta, not helped by the fact that the MOD screwed pooch on the training facilities, resulting in a number of aircraft being delivered straight to storage due to a lack of pilots.

So, it got off to a bad start - in a way, the Afghan war has been their saviour as they're now considered key assets.I believe we're looking at some way of updating them to block III standard now (they started off with a higher level of fit than the US models due to their more powerful engines and a better integrated self protection suite, among other things, but block upgrades since to the 64-D have mostly caught up and block III will be an enhancement over that level)


In other words, a program born in controversy and recrimination, now at least understood to have delivered a very fine working machine with extremely capable crews.
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Old November 17th, 2012   #29
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Pretty nice capability to have whilst trying to get a beachhead established. Whilst the day of contested landings SPR style are pretty much dead, to have a 2 or 3 flights of Apaches on call for the following weeks backed up with ~ 1 Sqdn of F35B and that seems pretty decent.

The Junglie component - whilst not being as glamorous as Apaches of F35B - are really the key to any RN amphibious capacity (with Chinooks) and shouldn't be forgotten whilst playing their part in the logistics chain. Deploying L118 light guns for 3 Commando Brigade is pretty cool too

Although when you really think about it, we won't be able to accomodate every helo type we wish on a CVF at any one time in any meaningful numbers. F35B, AEW Merlin, ASW Merlin, Junglie Merlin, Apache, Chinook which - to me - suggests that an Ocean replacement would be a good idea, It'd be able to provide 3 flat tops in rotation and would allow the other CVF or LPH(R) to be able to sustain the extra rotary component that 1 may not be able to cope alone.

I know I know, some hope. But considering what Ocean cost (looking at Wiki it's supposedly ~230mn in todays money) and how long she's been in service if she lasts to 2022 that's something like 24 years? Roughly equivalent to the projected life of Astute class SSNs? To me that seems like a massive bargain which could - and should - be replicated post 2015 to provide a pretty handsome increase in UK capability. Supposedly Ocean can carry ~800 Royal Marines, that's nothing like any projected figures for the CVF I've seen, i've read numbers around 1800 berths on CVF maximum and with a full airgroup compliment about 1450 will be occupied.

Chances are if the situation comes around the CVF will lilypad Merlins onto LPDs and then onto shore but even then that's still a mighty drop in rapidly deployable troop numbers though isn't it? Factor in that Ocean can carry 4 LCVP which apparently corresponds to 1 RM company per landing of all craft in one go.

In a completely perfect world, i've have LOVED a 3rd CVF but I know i'm in fantasy land on this one
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Old November 17th, 2012   #30
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Pretty nice capability to have whilst trying to get a beachhead established. Whilst the day of contested landings SPR style are pretty much dead, to have a 2 or 3 flights of Apaches on call for the following weeks backed up with ~ 1 Sqdn of F35B and that seems pretty decent.

The Junglie component - whilst not being as glamorous as Apaches of F35B - are really the key to any RN amphibious capacity (with Chinooks) and shouldn't be forgotten whilst playing their part in the logistics chain. Deploying L118 light guns for 3 Commando Brigade is pretty cool too

Although when you really think about it, we won't be able to accomodate every helo type we wish on a CVF at any one time in any meaningful numbers. F35B, AEW Merlin, ASW Merlin, Junglie Merlin, Apache, Chinook which - to me - suggests that an Ocean replacement would be a good idea, It'd be able to provide 3 flat tops in rotation and would allow the other CVF or LPH(R) to be able to sustain the extra rotary component that 1 may not be able to cope alone.

I know I know, some hope. But considering what Ocean cost (looking at Wiki it's supposedly ~230mn in todays money) and how long she's been in service if she lasts to 2022 that's something like 24 years? Roughly equivalent to the projected life of Astute class SSNs? To me that seems like a massive bargain which could - and should - be replicated post 2015 to provide a pretty handsome increase in UK capability. Supposedly Ocean can carry ~800 Royal Marines, that's nothing like any projected figures for the CVF I've seen, i've read numbers around 1800 berths on CVF maximum and with a full airgroup compliment about 1450 will be occupied.

Chances are if the situation comes around the CVF will lilypad Merlins onto LPDs and then onto shore but even then that's still a mighty drop in rapidly deployable troop numbers though isn't it? Factor in that Ocean can carry 4 LCVP which apparently corresponds to 1 RM company per landing of all craft in one go.

In a completely perfect world, i've have LOVED a 3rd CVF but I know i'm in fantasy land on this one
Well now you're talking, remember the cost of Ocean is over 24 years and a CVF should be spread over twice that. Take out the (much disputed) design/set up costs and delays, what is the real deference spread over 50 years? Faced with a general gap in construction...and what would turn the Scottish vote more than the promise of an order for the construction of a high profile 3rd CVF?

I suspect the Scottish vote will get close and if the RN pulled this ace out at the right moment it might work.
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