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  • RN Cuts

    If this story is to be believed (it is from the Torygraph after all), then there are indeed very grim times ahead for the RN and by default also the RFA.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... riers.html

    If they slim down to 12 Destroyer/Frigates, 1 operational carrier and no amphibious capability (which includes no RFA Bay class) then you have to wonder just how many RFA's would be required to service the same, no doubt a drastic reduction on the present fleet (which isn't that big anyway).

    If this suggestion is true, then it's not a good time to be on a grey ship - of either variety. Redundancies will no doubt be in the offing, with a logical knock on being reduced/zero recruitment.

  • #2
    Re: RN Cuts

    It's all speculation until the SDSR is unveiled on the 18th. There have been a lot of rumours flying around, and this looks like just another one.

    If you believe this story http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-11497419 it would cost more to cancel a carrier than to carry on and build both.

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    • #3
      Re: RN Cuts

      Speculation yes, but general consensus and financial logic seems to suggest that the Army will effectively come up smelling of roses (seeing as they are the most 'visible' branch at the moment), the RN will get done over, with the RAF coming off even worse (losing a lot of Harriers/Tornados/Typhoons and non replacement of tankers), the only thing still in question being the final casualty lists.
      If the second carrier isn't built (first is now too far gone to cancel - there are already large bits of it in existence), then it will have to be replaced by other work to the same value, due to the contract agreed with the yards by the previous government.
      Of course all fears could be unfounded and the Government may just put sound strategic thinking ahead of short term budgetary issues (i.e. long term lay up for chunks of the fleet instead of outright disposal), but going on previous experience, does anyone seriously think they will?

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      • #4
        Re: RN Cuts

        I'll start off by saying the Telegraph seems to be morphing into the Mail; that article is a dire work of fiction. The expensive lumps for both the carriers, the main propulsion and other long lead items are already ordered and it would cost a great deal in penalty payments to cancel now. The steel boat-shaped wrapper is the cheap bit, 5-8% of the total at most.

        The nuclear scenario is that they get built and sold immediately or mothballed. Not building them isn't really an economically sensible choice. Plus the admirals have basically called the government's bluff by volunteering any and all cuts asked for apart from the carriers. It's all getting a bit silly really. We're going to look a bit stupid when the economy picks up in 2013-14 and everybody asks why we don't have any naval aviation and why we spent ?2billion+ to equip the Indian or Brazilian Navy with a state of the art flattop. What we end up flying off them is anybody's guess; the odds are good for Congress binning the JSF to save money.

        Originally posted by Malim Sahib
        Speculation yes, but general consensus and financial logic seems to suggest that the Army will effectively come up smelling of roses (seeing as they are the most 'visible' branch at the moment), the RN will get done over, with the RAF coming off even worse (losing a lot of Harriers/Tornados/Typhoons and non replacement of tankers), the only thing still in question being the final casualty lists.
        I don't know about that, the disaster area that is the PFI tanker deal with EADS is more or less with us, but it's not much use as the tankers can't be deployed in a warzone(who dreams this crap up? what's next; guns that don't fire and reusable bombs?). It's also wildly overbudget, so is a prime target for a challenge by the ConDems. Hopefully they will also bin the planned PFI porkbarrel(?15billion and rising) that is the Defence Academy at St Athan.
        '... English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't
        just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages
        down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for
        new vocabulary.' - James Davis Nicoll

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        • #5
          Re: RN Cuts

          Originally posted by penfold
          I'll start off by saying the Telegraph seems to be morphing into the Mail; that article is a dire work of fiction. The expensive lumps for both the carriers, the main propulsion and other long lead items are already ordered and it would cost a great deal in penalty payments to cancel now. The steel boat-shaped wrapper is the cheap bit, 5-8% of the total at most.
          Apparently the first carrier (QE) will have to be be built regardless, however the 2nd carrier (POW) is a few years behind and is the one under threat. Apparently it would be financially feasible to either scrap her right now, or basically complete the 'shell' of the hull and put her into long term mothballs and then either sell or scrap her later (just like HMS Leviathan), once public outrage and attention has softened and moved on.

          Originally posted by penfold
          The nuclear scenario is that they get built and sold immediately or mothballed. Not building them isn't really an economically sensible choice. We're going to look a bit stupid when the economy picks up in 2013-14 and everybody asks why we don't have any naval aviation and why we spent ?2billion+ to equip the Indian or Brazilian Navy with a state of the art flattop. What we end up flying off them is anybody's guess; the odds are good for Congress binning the JSF to save money.
          Talking about the carriers is in a sense academic because even if they are built the chances are we'll have nothing to fly from them - JSF is fast becoming a horrifically white elephant, plus the Joint Harrier wing (suitable for ground attack only) is under serious threat, not to mention rapidly approaching being life expired.
          We could quite easily end up with the most expensive helicopter carrier ever built.
          Flogging them off to the Brazilians or Indians, would I feel be a non starter as the Indians have their own carrier programme in place (one homegrown, the other a much modified former Russian), whilst I'd be very surprised if the Brazilians would want to replace their current (ex French) effort within 20 years.
          I'm in no doubt the carriers will be built (esp if the Admirals have anything to do with it), but at what wider cost to the RN?
          It's very easy to enact redundancies and sell off/scrap ships, but once they're gone it takes the best part of a decade to get anything like that capability back again.
          Of course, ditching the infinitely pointless, irrelevant, colossal never ending money pit of cash that will be the Trident replacement would help matters.

          If they have to cut ships, why on earth can't we follow the US example and shove them up Fareham Creek in long term 'safe' layup (i.e. everything dehumidified and machinery cocooned), rather than just sell them to the Chileans for a stupidly rock bottom price whilst sending the rest to Aliaga, like we normally do.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: RN Cuts

            JSF/F-35 is hardly the only option for a carrierborne aircraft. The US will have to fly something from theirs, and if it's not F-35C then there will be another successor programme, or F/A-18E/F, or Rafale.

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            • #7
              Re: RN Cuts

              Quite correct, however at the moment the carriers are being built to take those aircraft or a similar VTOL airframe.
              The design does 'allow' for catapults to be fitted at some point, which would no doubt prove to be a hugely expensive modification if it ever happens at all.
              To go with the JSF was a mistake from the start - why willingly limit yourself to a compromise airframe?
              Conventional fixed wing should have been the goal from the outset - aircraft range and weapons payload is hugely superior, not to mention the other aircraft that can be carried, e.g. AEW. If we are going to go down the carrier route we should learn the lessons from the past and do it properly, not turn out a half arsed fudge.
              Like the T45's and many designs before them, these new carriers will turn out to be a typically British product - an overpriced, severely delayed and compromised design that will only achieve their true potential many many years down the line after further huge expenditure and possibly through some particularly bitter and perhaps lethal experience.
              Twas always thus.

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              • #8
                Re: RN Cuts

                F-35B was chosen for doctrinal reasons, but it's the most likely casualty of the F-35 programme, if any are likely. One of the rumours doing the rounds is that the SDSR will exercise the CATOBAR option to install catapults (how is EMALS doing?) and an angled deck.

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                • #9
                  Re: RN Cuts

                  It'd be good news if it did happen, and hopefully thereafter we'll purchase a job lot of F-18's from the Yanks.
                  I believe EMALS had it's first successful (land based) trial recently.

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                  • #10
                    Re: RN Cuts

                    If any of the new carriers are to be completed and put into service then the RFA MARS programme will have to be activated, as the current RFA fleet does not have the capability to refuel the new carriers.
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                    • #11
                      Re: RN Cuts

                      new carriers are Nuclear powered . thus refueling is not needed only stores
                      Maybe I will never be
                      All the things that I want to be
                      But now is not the time to cry
                      Now's the time to find out why

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                      • #12
                        Re: RN Cuts

                        Bugger! You'd best tell Rolls Royce we won't be needing those MT30s after all.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: RN Cuts

                          Originally posted by Beef1992
                          new carriers are Nuclear powered . thus refueling is not needed only stores
                          Power generation: 2 x Rolls-Royce MT30 Gas Turbines and 4 x Diesel Generator Sets
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                          • #14
                            Re: RN Cuts

                            Originally posted by Beef1992
                            new carriers are Nuclear powered . thus refueling is not needed only stores
                            If only; as it is the fuel bill will be eyewatering. I can only imagine the costing process was deeply flawed and assumed that Brent crude would remain at $25 a barrel for the next 40 years. Gas turbine electric driving 60k tonnes at 30 kts, the burn will be somewhere in the ballpark of 600 tonnes per day, and as the Andrew only use MDO that's a wallet shrivelling $420k a day(at today's spot price in Rotterdam). Suddenly nuclear kettles seem prudent and frugal.
                            '... English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't
                            just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages
                            down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for
                            new vocabulary.' - James Davis Nicoll

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: RN Cuts

                              Initial cost of nuclear plant is higher, as is decommissioning cost. Add to that design cost, unless buying an off-the-shelf US plant, Max speed of CVF is 27kts but of course they are likely to spend much time at a more economical 12-15kts. Max speed is for launching aircraft in light winds and tactical speed ("Torpedo! RUN!!!"). Pulling numbers out of my ass, 200CZ/day seems more reasonable.

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