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V-22 as COD for the new QEII Carrier?


Graeme
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Now that the US Navy seems to have settled on a variant of the V-22 for their future COD aircraft, do you think its likely that the RN will also go down this route? There doesn't appear to be anything in service that could reach a carrier in the mid-Pacific, unless the RN was going to resurrect the idea of landing a Herc on board?

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Presumably a 'White Eelephant' is a form of marinised electrical trunking?

 

RN would like Osprey, and there was a lobby confidently claiming that a V-22 purchase was a done deal as part of SDSR15. The problem was that it was noted that there was absolutely no money for this, and the requirement was so small in terms of airframes as to make it difficult to justify reapportioning any budget. The suggestion hasn't gone away, but there are a variety of reasons why it seems unlikely to eventuate in the near term, unless someone finds a pot of cash stuffed behind a sofa somewhere at Yeovilton.

 

 

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2 hours ago, GMK said:

Has the QEII been brought back into use by the Cunard line?

 

Or do you mean the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. 

Good point well made, yes, I did mean QE (it must have taken ages to come up with that name)

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As well as COD, I recall reading somewhere that there was a suggestion of using V-22s as tankers, too. Something to do with the VTOL F-35B not being able to carry a full payload and enough fuel to get it to its target, so they’d depart the carrier with a smaller fuel load and top up before heading off to their assigned targets. 

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The U.S. is developing the MQ-25 drone for its aerial refuelling requirements.

 

There were regular rumours that the U.K. wanted a version of the V-22 to replace the Sea King ASaC.7 in the AEW/surveillance role, but it seems to have gone very quiet....

 

Then there were regular rumours that the Sea King ASaC.7 was to be replaced by a version of the Merlin, hardware was tested, but this also seems to have gone very quiet....

 

Personally, I love the V-22 but I fear there may be too many other projects that need funding for it to happen.

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I think that the AEW version of Merlin known as Crowsnest is still part of the plan.  I assume that Chinook/Merlin will provide COD capability.

George

 

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44 minutes ago, boffin said:

I think that the AEW version of Merlin known as Crowsnest is still part of the plan.  I assume that Chinook/Merlin will provide COD capability.

George

 

Indeed, Merlin based Crows Nest is all ready done and dusted. When the QE sets sail on her first Operational deployment she will have a USMC Squadron of F35B's embarked and by all accounts they will be bringing the V22 with them. Hence all the critics will be able to see what an asset the aircraft is to the carrier and I'm sure a lease or purchase of airframes will follow........

It has been rumoured that UK special forces are already using V22s, but this has not actually been confirmed or denied........ saw a V22 flying over York twice in one day about three weeks back, assume it was a US airframe.

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12 hours ago, bootneck said:

I'm detecting a fair bit of cynicism in this thread, which makes me wonder if the OP would actually be interested in a serious answer.

Yes and Yes...the ship is pointless, and without COD it will have to keep coming close enough to land to allow helicopters to reach it...which is also pointless.

 

The money should have been spent on modernising (and expanding) the Army

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  • Mike changed the title to V-22 as COD for the new QEII Carrier?
12 minutes ago, Graeme said:

Yes and Yes...the ship is pointless, and without COD it will have to keep coming close enough to land to allow helicopters to reach it...which is also pointless.

 

The money should have been spent on modernising (and expanding) the Army

Far from pointless, a QE with 36 x F35B embarked (24 x UK and at least 12 x USMC) will truly be a force to be reckoned with. COD will be dealt with.

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22 minutes ago, Graeme said:

Yes and Yes...the ship is pointless, and without COD it will have to keep coming close enough to land to allow helicopters to reach it...which is also pointless.

 

The money should have been spent on modernising (and expanding) the Army

 

Based on that, I think Graeme is actually one of either Sir Max Hastings or General the Lord Dannatt....

 

 

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16 hours ago, Stealthman said:

Indeed, Merlin based Crows Nest is all ready done and dusted. When the QE sets sail on her first Operational deployment she will have a USMC Squadron of F35B's embarked and by all accounts they will be bringing the V22 with them. Hence all the critics will be able to see what an asset the aircraft is to the carrier and I'm sure a lease or purchase of airframes will follow........

It has been rumoured that UK special forces are already using V22s, but this has not actually been confirmed or denied........ saw a V22 flying over York twice in one day about three weeks back, assume it was a US airframe.

So in effect the ship will be the world’s biggest taxi, for a group of aircraft the UK will have no operational control over?

 

Pointless!

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25 minutes ago, Graeme said:

So in effect the ship will be the world’s biggest taxi, for a group of aircraft the UK will have no operational control over?

 

Pointless!

How do you come to that conclusion? We will have full operational control over all our assets, the USMC will embark a squadron initially whilst we build our numbers up and we'll work side by side as we always have. The USMC are carrying out a large amount of development work (jamming pods for wing hardpoints as an example) on the F35B and sharing it all with us. The future is looking pretty bright.

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13 hours ago, Graeme said:

So in effect the ship will be the world’s biggest taxi, for a group of aircraft the UK will have no operational control over?

 

Pointless!

 

Can I ask how much experience of multi-national operations and 'red card holding' you have, please? 

 

If the answer is 'considerable', you've either forgotten some key bits of how this sort of thing actually works or have failed to mention them for the purposes of trolling. 

 

I don't think it's unfair to say that in pretty much all instances where the QE or PoW would deploy on operations with USMC aircraft embarked, the QE would be part of a US-led operation.

 

There might be caveats about certain target sets the USMC assets could hit if operating from the UK carrier, and possibly over the RoE which would be followed. US RoE tend to be more permissive [that's not a euphemism for gung-ho, but reflect certain different perceptions over when it is appropriate to release weapons, although both sets of perceptions are in compliance with the Laws of Armed Conflict and the like], but if operating from a UK deck, the expectation would be that the USMC aircraft would follow the extant UK RoE, thus avoiding possible instances of the UK government being embarrassed by a USMC aircraft carrying out an attack which wouldn't raise an eyebrow in the US but which might cause some political difficulties when the 'aircraft operating from HMS Queen Elizabeth attacked the convoy, which was believed to be purely military in nature...' type headline appeared the next morning.

 

In instances where the QE was operating as part of a national operation rather than an alliance op, then if - a big 'if' the US aircraft were embarked, then the reverse would apply. The circumstances in which this national op took place would be particularly limited (most likely a NEO, I suspect, in which questions over the right to self defence, etc, make RoE discussions a little less complicated. But only a little).

 

 

 

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While I am a big fan of aircraft carriers, unfortunately I believe these 2 carriers will not last longer than 10 to 15 years (and I ruddy well hope I am wrong!) in RN service due to future defence cuts; as much of the Royal Navy strength has been decimated by cut after cut... so while I would like to see Osprey in UK service it will be very unlikely, the RAF is already dictating a cut back in the number of F-35B's purchased and a preference for the F-35A!

 

The carriers will probably be sold off to India or Brazil in the end...

 

Oh and this ruddy RAF policy of not having squadron markings on the F-35 is ruddy man-vegetables... ghastly that is and disaster for modellers all over the world....

Edited by Uncle Dick
Dementia?
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Back to the “V-22 in RN service” - sounds like an excellent what if. I’d just hope that the paint job would be a bit more creative than the USN white-topped COD scheme. 

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Off on a slight tangent.... I was talking to the crew of a USAF CV-22 at Fairford in 2017.

 

I asked him about the weight of the wing fold mechanism - plus the blade fold.

 

He confirmed that USAF CV-22's still had the mechanism - and that it was just so much excess weight for a system the was not required by AF machines.

 

I wonder how much more a COD V-22 could carry - or how much more range could be squeezed out - if all that excess gubbins was removed?

 

Ken

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11 hours ago, Flankerman said:

I wonder how much more a COD V-22 could carry - or how much more range could be squeezed out - if all that excess gubbins was removed?

 

Ken

Since USAF CV-22s only fly to land bases, then yes the folding mechanisms are unneeded excess weight.  But for an aircraft that will fly out to and from a ship at sea, the folding mechanisms are definitely warranted.  You never know what will happen when you hit the deck.  USN COD aircraft ALL have folding wings, and not just because of what they were developed from.

Later,

Dave

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On 8/6/2018 at 11:13 AM, Uncle Dick said:

While I am a big fan of aircraft carriers, unfortunately I believe these 2 carriers will not last longer than 10 to 15 years (and I ruddy well hope I am wrong!) in RN service due to future defence cuts; as much of the Royal Navy strength has been decimated by cut after cut... so while I would like to see Osprey in UK service it will be very unlikely, the RAF is already dictating a cut back in the number of F-35B's purchased and a preference for the F-35A!

 

The carriers will probably be sold off to India or Brazil in the end...

 

Oh and this ruddy RAF policy of not having squadron markings on the F-35 is ruddy man-vegetables... ghastly that is and disaster for modellers all over the world....

The UK has been considering a split F35 purchase for some time. The RAF never wanted the B variant, and  C purchase would have suited all if Cameron hadn't done an about turn.

The F35B was intended for Carrier use, and should have been handed to the Navy from word go, but of course the RAF weren't going to allow that! The A variant is best for RAF and cheapest of all variants - better for the chancellor!

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Well, here's my tuppenceworth.

 

Why don't we reconstitute our aircraft design and production industry. The likes of Sweden and Fradesign and produce their own aircraft, so with a bit of political will we could do the same and design the aircraft WE need. As opposed to paying billions to the US for aircraft that are designed for their needs.

 

Nothing wrong with the joint projects that produced the Tornado and the excellent Eurofighter. But it's high time that we got back in the design and production game on our own.

 

Successive governments have been talking big but acting small for decades. It's pathetic that we are squandering our tax payers cash on US kit that tries to be all things to everyone but fails to be 'the best' at any one thing.

 

Let's get back to funding and populating our armed services properly and stop buying whatever we are told 'the latest thing' by the US

 

 

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1 hour ago, Stealthman said:

The UK has been considering a split F35 purchase for some time. The RAF never wanted the B variant, and  C purchase would have suited all if Cameron hadn't done an about turn.

The F35B was intended for Carrier use, and should have been handed to the Navy from word go, but of course the RAF weren't going to allow that! The A variant is best for RAF and cheapest of all variants - better for the chancellor!

 

Sorry, but that doesn't really capture what went on.

 

The RAF view was split between the B and the C (as, indeed, it was between the WAFUs!). It was known from even before the decision to buy the F-35 was made that the new aeroplane would be jointly operated and would have a commitment to the carrier [the clue being in Future Joint Carrier-Borne Aircraft, later Future Joint Combat Aircraft]. Putting the aircraft under the control of the FAA wasn't practicable for a raft of reasons; I could - but Chatham House rule precludes - reference several briefings, seminars and discussions involving a combined total of 12 stars-worth of RN rank where it was widely accepted that operating the F-35B or F-35C out of the RN budget alone was nigh-on impossible.

 

Purchasing the A model would have required either the clearance of probe and drogue (at cost to the UK), or obtaining boom-equipped tankers, neither of which was deemed a viable proposition. The debate over F-35B or F-35C then ensued, with both the RAF and the RN reaching the conclusion that of the two, the B-model was the better bet overall (although the C-model wasn't exactly unsuitable). Things such as a reduction in carrier qualification training costs, not needing to invest in cats and traps, etc came into the equation as well.

 

The decision to move to the C was largely political rather than capability driven (I forget the exact phrasing, but the scrutineers' formal conclusion was that the submission justifying the change was 'lacking any supporting evidence', which is code for 'this is a stupid idea the minister has insisted upon'). Had evidence been collated, it'd have been realised that the supposedly cheap and easy move to CTOL was going to be very, very, very expensive and a lot less straightforward than had the decision been made rather earlier in the process.

 

Today, you will find some fairly senior RAF officers who do not believe that an F-35A buy is a good idea and others who are more open to it, although generally as part of a larger overall total of F-35s which would see the 'back end' of the current plan (If it's ever realised...) of 138 airframes being taken up with F-35A and some more being purchased so that you ended up with sufficient airframes for four F-35B squadrons [at least one with an FAA numberplate] and three/four F-35A squadrons. 

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I am still grumpy at Hasegawa for not providing a rear cargo ramp "open" option not to mention a basic interior cargo hold (or that they skimped on the weapons bay on their recently released F-35B) both in 1/72!

 

And just imagine all the combo kits they will release of these 2 aircraft in the future...

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Be interesting to see how many F-35B`s we initially get and operate as i seem to remember we`re only getting X number of them to begin with then poss buying the rest over some many years?

 

As such joint operating could be erm interesting with some unhappy campers as there were in the days of joint harrier ops.

 

My main thought about the carrier is that with ever dwiddling budgets and therefore aircraft numbers (these beasties ain`t cheap!) surely to maintain training needs and maintenance down time very few airframes will be available for ops??

 

As for COD, how was it done in the days of Ark, Lusty and Invincible, wouldn`t it be along similar lines?  V-22 Osprey is an expensive and complex piece of kit to warrant a limited number purchase and to answer the Q about them over York, USAF MV-22`s are often floating around the UK often routing upto the Vale of York area then across to the lakes or Spadeadam way, i would say low level but their not the bravest at that (5000ft over Tebay and not the 500ft they claimed!🤬).  Considering leasing that would yet again be the most financially stupid idea going in fact down the lines of the C-17`s again so thats what will prob happen if we do get them as we love paying for things twice on the advice of beancounters!!

Edited by Armadillos
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With regard to Merlin vs Chinnok, there is an interesting article at https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/osprey-vs-chinook-cost-vs-capabilities/.

 

Whilst primarily looking at the troop transport role, it does also consider the carrier borne mid-air refuelling, Anti-Submarine Warfare and Airborne Early Warning roles.

 

It concludes that where 24 V-22 Ospreys could be bought the UK could buy 48 Merlin HM.2s and 35 Lynx Wildcat helicopters which not only fulfil the same capabilities (except mid-air refuelling) but give a greater fleet size which in turn gives much more force flexibility.

 

I also understand the CHF Merlin HC4s are going to play a role on the carriers, carrying out CSAR and utility roles, freeing up the HM2s for their intended Anti-Submarine Warfare and Airborne Early Warning roles.

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