The Royal Navy Discussions and Updates

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
Remembering at the time all sorts of crazy was going to happen. Including a navalised Eurofighter Typhoon.

In a few decades EMALS maybe a very low risk and cheap option, with considerable power levels. It might make a naval FCAS variation more realistic or possible. Some requirements of scandinavian countries make a carrier type fighter attractive as well.

The UK and the Japanese are looking at Tempest, both countries now with carrier capabilities, and both very much interested in supporting local industry. IMO that is an interesting partnership to explore. Both would have need of something beyond the F-35B. While that would likely still operate off the QE class, Japan could build a larger full sized carrier. I am sure the British would be overtly generous in assistance in that matter.

I don't see carrier power declining in importance in the future. All evidence shows more countries are investing in it than ever before. Carrier tactics may change, their role may evolve, but the still seem to be important naval pieces out to and beyond 2050.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Remembering at the time all sorts of crazy was going to happen. Including a navalised Eurofighter Typhoon.

In a few decades EMALS maybe a very low risk and cheap option, with considerable power levels. It might make a naval FCAS variation more realistic or possible. Some requirements of scandinavian countries make a carrier type fighter attractive as well.

The UK and the Japanese are looking at Tempest, both countries now with carrier capabilities, and both very much interested in supporting local industry. IMO that is an interesting partnership to explore. Both would have need of something beyond the F-35B. While that would likely still operate off the QE class, Japan could build a larger full sized carrier. I am sure the British would be overtly generous in assistance in that matter.

I don't see carrier power declining in importance in the future. All evidence shows more countries are investing in it than ever before. Carrier tactics may change, their role may evolve, but the still seem to be important naval pieces out to and beyond 2050.
Carrier power moving forward, perhaps one of the most important future decisions considering the cost and alarming development of exotic anti-ship missiles. I really wonder about FCAS, France needs a future naval fighter assuming they actually build a new CATOBAR carrier. Will FCAS partners want to fund a naval version?
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I guess there is the possibility (remote) that the carriers could see a CATOBAR conversion down the road but realistically more Bs with the inevitable upgrades seems the most likely path forward. But, if those Frenchies build 1-2 CATOBAR carriers and develop a naval FCAS jet, can the quest for a naval Tempest be far behind along with a EMALS upgrade for the QE class?
Why would the RN want to spend billions converting the QE Class to CATOBAR? They looked at during the design finalisation process and it was going to cost them billions then. It makes no sense. A naval Tempest that's a possibility but that's a long ways down the track and note the Poms never went with a navalised Typhoon.
The French?
I wasn't thinking of them, but they would most likely be interested.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
This earlier article suggests that several options are being looked at in consideration of options for the carriers
They are for UAV capabilities and not manned strike aircraft.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Carrier power moving forward, perhaps one of the most important future decisions considering the cost and alarming development of exotic anti-ship missiles. I really wonder about FCAS, France needs a future naval fighter assuming they actually build a new CATOBAR carrier. Will FCAS partners want to fund a naval version?
It wouldn't surprise me if the French spat the dummy like they did with the Typhoon and Dassault went it alone as they did with the Rafale. TBH there is merit in a EU carrier capability and having a CVN is a decided advantage. However the French tend to want it their way and their way only so that creates problems.
 

seaspear

Active Member
They are for UAV capabilities and not manned strike aircraft.
The final paragraph did refer to the Tempest program developing a carrier-capable aircraft.
"It is possible that the ongoing Tempest project to deliver a replacement for the Eurofighter Typhoon from 2035 could produce a carrier-capable aircraft." of course it does not claim this would be designed to be launched off a ramp as per the Queen Elizabeth class
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The final paragraph did refer to the Tempest program developing a carrier-capable aircraft.
"It is possible that the ongoing Tempest project to deliver a replacement for the Eurofighter Typhoon from 2035 could produce a carrier-capable aircraft." of course it does not claim this would be designed to be launched off a ramp as per the Queen Elizabeth class
The term "it is possible" covers a vast multitude of sins. It is possible to travel at the speed of light to, but whether it is probable or not is a completely different story.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Why would the RN want to spend billions converting the QE Class to CATOBAR? They looked at during the design finalisation process and it was going to cost them billions then. It makes no sense. A naval Tempest that's a possibility but that's a long ways down the track and note the Poms never went with a navalised Typhoon.

I wasn't thinking of them, but they would most likely be interested.
CATOBAR conversation for the QE class expands the range of aircraft. At present there is no Hawkeye and Crows-nest leaves a lot to be desired. The limited range of F-35Bs and no aerial refuelling capability at sea limits where the carriers can be deployed due to long range anti-ship missiles. Now whether fitting in EMALS being affordable, questionable but less expensive than losing the ship to a carrier killing missile. If the UK wants to carry on with carrier aviation then maybe waiting for a new carrier design makes more sense.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
Through the program, remember, PoW was going to be a commando carrier and not have an airwing at all.
No, not "through the programme".

It was initially, as it is now, for two aircraft carriers, so that there could always be one available at short notice. Using the second one as an LPH when both were operational was always an option, but it was meant to be a secondary role. Various ideas have been floated, & under the worst defence minister of recent years, Liam Fox*, completing one (& only one, because money) as a cat & trap carrier was official policy, & a lot of money was wasted on it before it was abandoned, but it was abandoned, & we reverted to Plan A: two STOVL carriers. Fox had ordered it without proper costing, e.g. not asking the Americans how much they'd charge for EMALS, & the bill was scary. When he was sacked, less than 18 months after announcing the decision, his successor (from the same party, but sane) had a good hard look at the cost & reverted to the previous plan.

I remember there being talk of PoW having design modifications to enhance her capability as an LPH, but AFAIK that didn't result in any modifications which would detract from her ability to serve as an aircraft carrier. It was things like access routes to deck for troops being improved, neutral as far as the carrier role was concerned. The idea of turning her into a dedicated LPH has come & gone a couple of times, but the RN seems to have just plugged on getting two F-35B carriers built, except when politicians have butted in.

*One of those people about who one can't help wondering 'how did this person get any position of responsibility'? For example, loudly talking about family & marriage & honesty & clean government while having a much younger male friend & business partner who stayed rent-free in his taxpayer-subsidised London flat, who he took on 20 official visits, while the friend tried to use his closeness to Fox to sell defence-related stuff. Whatever the nature of the relationship, it looked incompatible with Fox's public stance. The friend seemed to have lived entirely by cashing in on Fox's political contacts, e.g. running & being paid by a 'charity' (closed down by the Charity Commission for not doing anything charitable) funded by donations from businesses seeking support from Fox.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
CATOBAR conversation for the QE class expands the range of aircraft. At present there is no Hawkeye and Crows-nest leaves a lot to be desired. The limited range of F-35Bs and no aerial refuelling capability at sea limits where the carriers can be deployed due to long range anti-ship missiles. Now whether fitting in EMALS being affordable, questionable but less expensive than losing the ship to a carrier killing missile. If the UK wants to carry on with carrier aviation then maybe waiting for a new carrier design makes more sense.
It's been reported that the feasibility of fitting a catapult (scaled-down EMALS, or maybe a revised EMCAT) for UAVs is being examined. Among other things, that could enable the carriage of AEW UAVs.
 

Gooey

Well-Known Member
It's been reported that the feasibility of fitting a catapult (scaled-down EMALS, or maybe a revised EMCAT) for UAVs is being examined. Among other things, that could enable the carriage of AEW UAVs.
Swerve, do you have any insight on this feasibility study looking at UAS up to the size of the Boeing MQ-25 Stingray?
As per John's notes, if the QE class were to have an enhanced AAR & AEW/EW/SIGINT capability through this type of UAS, it might address some F-35B range issues and contribute to an increased ISR capability for the TF.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Swerve, do you have any insight on this feasibility study looking at UAS up to the size of the Boeing MQ-25 Stingray?
As per John's notes, if the QE class were to have an enhanced AAR & AEW/EW/SIGINT capability through this type of UAS, it might address some F-35B range issues and contribute to an increased ISR capability for the TF.
Vaguely recall the proposed UAV EMALS is going to be for smaller aircraft. The MQ-25 loaded with fuel would certainly be too heavy.
 

seaspear

Active Member
Tempest according to this article will not be a navilised aircraft but cats and traps may be added for drones as per the feasibility study of the Vixen
The below article in Navy Lookout is more definite on the plans of the R.N in launching drones via cats and traps and even of potential capability
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
I guess there is the possibility (remote) that the carriers could see a CATOBAR conversion down the road but realistically more Bs with the inevitable upgrades seems the most likely path forward. But, if those Frenchies build 1-2 CATOBAR carriers and develop a naval FCAS jet, can the quest for a naval Tempest be far behind along with a EMALS upgrade for the QE class?
Tempest will never be a carrier aircraft - they've specifically stated that and I'm happier for that.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Hard to believe this explanation for the recent F-35B loss although it could explain why no B grounding was deemed necessary after the loss.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
If so, that's a spectacularly expensive bit of carelessness.
Yep, someone is going to be in very deep manure. They will require a steam shovel to dig themselves out. I would ask why didn't the pilot pick that up during their preflight walkaround. That's precisely what it's for. Secondly the flight deck crew should have picked that up as well when the did their pre-launch checks.
 
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