UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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popcorn

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Unread post24 Mar 2012, 12:46

Assumng this is legitimate and the Yanks are pushing for a CATOBAR capability, maybe we can infer a possible reduction in the US CVN fleet with the 2 RAN CVFs on-call if needed? Perhaps the next 2 Nimitz-class ships due for new nuke cores get retired early or the 3rd Ford-class CVN never gets built? Potential savings would be in the billions.
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Unread post24 Mar 2012, 12:53

RN CVFs. Yes there is potential for a lot of mix 'n match of flat decks, including the French. It is odd though in that story that there is no mention of the extra cost of changing the CVFs to 'cat/flaps'. It is a weird saga and we have to wait some more now.
Last edited by spazsinbad on 24 Mar 2012, 13:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post24 Mar 2012, 13:20

popcorn wrote:Assumng this is legitimate and the Yanks are pushing for a CATOBAR capability, maybe we can infer a possible reduction in the US CVN fleet with the 2 RAN CVFs on-call if needed? Perhaps the next 2 Nimitz-class ships due for new nuke cores get retired early or the 3rd Ford-class CVN never gets built? Potential savings would be in the billions.


I doubt it - it's more likely that they're simply naturally keen to see Europe get off it's a$$ and provide more for it's own defence. Which is fair enough..

Another article from the Telegraph here..

More "he said/she said" in terms of sourcing but it's an interesting counterpoint.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... sters.html

$400 million in conversion costs sounds more like it to be honest, plus the EMALS/AARG cost.
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Unread post24 Mar 2012, 13:26

That TELE article is mentioned at the end of previous page with some excerpts. The KITE FLYING about what to do is par for the course I guess but it can get tedious AND if only the reporters could be more definitive rather than vague but I guess that is too much to ask. Speculation sells.
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Unread post24 Mar 2012, 13:33

spazsinbad wrote:That TELE article is mentioned at the end of previous page with some excerpts. The KITE FLYING about what to do is par for the course I guess but it can get tedious AND if only the reporters could be more definitive rather than vague but I guess that is too much to ask. Speculation sells.


Sorry - I'd missed that. Hey ho. No surprise I just want C selected and stuff to HAPPEN!
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Unread post24 Mar 2012, 18:04

Even when whenever the announcement is announced and annunciated it ain't over 'till it is over. There will be more unnunciated announcements for the good of all until one day there can be no more and whatever state the CVFs are in with whatever aircraft will be final because that is the way it is. :D
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Unread post24 Mar 2012, 18:56

popcorn wrote:Assumng this is legitimate and the Yanks are pushing for a CATOBAR capability, maybe we can infer a possible reduction in the US CVN fleet with the 2 RAN CVFs on-call if needed? Perhaps the next 2 Nimitz-class ships due for new nuke cores get retired early or the 3rd Ford-class CVN never gets built? Potential savings would be in the billions.


I don't think so, but with sequestration anything can happen. The CVFs that the UK are building will only have a few aircraft embarked, thus are far less capable than a US CVN - they are more akin to a US LHA. But if the US did reduce its carrier fleet, the Atlantic AOR would see the reduction, and that is where the CVFs could fill in.

Mothballing Nimitz class carriers due for refueling is the probably the best way to reduce the the carrier fleet. The Ford class allegedly will have lower operating costs, and will not require modification to operate UASs. Plus it keeps the Norfolk shipyard operating.
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Unread post24 Mar 2012, 19:00

I see a Pprune rumour that CVF power supplies need to be changed (at great expense) if CVF goes 'cat/flap' but probably just a rumour - so please disregard. :devil:
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Unread post24 Mar 2012, 19:43

Seems a bit odd if so, as the whole ship is IFEP and the EMALS power was due to be coming out of a spare GT that there's room for.

But hey, it's a Brit carrier, nothing should surprise me :)
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Unread post24 Mar 2012, 19:46

H/T to SNAFU's 'solomon' (his idea for USMC) perhaps the UK will go feral wid dese BeHeMoths? :roll: :P

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Unread post24 Mar 2012, 20:14

maus92 wrote:
popcorn wrote:Assumng this is legitimate and the Yanks are pushing for a CATOBAR capability, maybe we can infer a possible reduction in the US CVN fleet with the 2 RAN CVFs on-call if needed? Perhaps the next 2 Nimitz-class ships due for new nuke cores get retired early or the 3rd Ford-class CVN never gets built? Potential savings would be in the billions.


I don't think so, but with sequestration anything can happen. The CVFs that the UK are building will only have a few aircraft embarked, thus are far less capable than a US CVN - they are more akin to a US LHA. But if the US did reduce its carrier fleet, the Atlantic AOR would see the reduction, and that is where the CVFs could fill in.

Mothballing Nimitz class carriers due for refueling is the probably the best way to reduce the the carrier fleet. The Ford class allegedly will have lower operating costs, and will not require modification to operate UASs. Plus it keeps the Norfolk shipyard operating.



Couple of things here:

You can't mothball a nuke. You either keep it in service or totally retire it. This is the downside of the technology that gives so many advantages and allows you to run the ship for 50 years. The Nimitz carriers get refueled once during their careers, and the Fords run on the fuel they're built with their whole life.

We probably will see a Nimitz retired early, either George Washington or the Stennis. This is partly because defense is not a particularly high priority to the current Administration, and to make "room" for the next Ford carrier. Not building the next Ford really isn't an option if you want to keep carrier capability, and I'd close overseas bases before I gave that up.

The problem is that the US essentially has no major shipbuilding capability anymore except for what's built for the USN. In addition, many of the skills and technologies needed to build warships, especially carriers and subs, are unique and perishable. If you don't maintain the knowledge, personnel and workflow building carriers you lose the ability to do so and to reconstitute it becomes hideously expensive. For example the Administrations decision to delay CVN-79 by a year and CVN-80 by two (making it the next Administration's problem) will raise the cost of each ship by billions. If they aren't built, or delayed more than that, they likely will never be built.

While we certainly want to be able to interoperate with the nation that is (despite what the Administration says) our closest ally, it would be incredibly chauvinistic and presumptuous of us to assume that their needs will always coincide with ours and that they will always make their CVF(s) available to fill in whenever we want them. Despite how we sometimes act, the RN is not one of the USN's fleets.
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Unread post24 Mar 2012, 22:13

Good answer - we had the same issue when the Astute program got delayed to save money in the shorter term, meaning our sub design skills had atrophied a bit and our currency with the design tools was almost nil.

We were lucky, we had an ally (that's you, Mr United States) to go to and the Astutes turned out just fine with a lot of help.

Start tinkering with build cycles on CVN's and you'd have something very hard to recover from.
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Unread post25 Mar 2012, 21:19

No Easter Bunny (CVF mod announcement) but again here is more news...

New delay over fighter jet choice By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent. 25 Mar 2012

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... hoice.html

"A decision on the choice of the Royal Navy's new combat jet has been delayed yet again following disagreements between senior officers and defence ministers....

...Commanders have formally recommended that the Government buy the F-35B, which operates like a Harrier jump jet, and Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, has asked the Prime Minister to "sign off" the proposal.

But the disagreements between commanders and ministers were so protracted that there is no longer enough time left in the parliamentary calendar to make the announcement before Easter....

Not much more at the jump which has not been said only recently in the other URLs above.
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Unread post26 Mar 2012, 02:55

spazsinbad wrote:No Easter Bunny (CVF mod announcement) but again here is more news...

New delay over fighter jet choice By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent. 25 Mar 2012

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... hoice.html

"A decision on the choice of the Royal Navy's new combat jet has been delayed yet again following disagreements between senior officers and defence ministers....

...Commanders have formally recommended that the Government buy the F-35B, which operates like a Harrier jump jet, and Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, has asked the Prime Minister to "sign off" the proposal.

But the disagreements between commanders and ministers were so protracted that there is no jlonger enough time left in the parliamentary calendar to make the announcement before Easter....

Not much more at the jump which has not been said only recently in the other URLs above.


The USN intervention doesn't seem to have swayed the guys in uniform but has breathed some energy into the politicians seeking to justify the earlier decision to switch.
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Unread post26 Mar 2012, 14:15

I'm not personally convinced the guys in uniform want B however :)
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