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Slowly but surely.
This message has been edited. Last edited by: Enssantor,
Just more progress:
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This message has been edited. Last edited by: IrishGuard,
Another update from the TELEGRAPH:
The UK may be getting the F35C instead of the F35B for its new Queen Elizabeth class carriers/CVFs being built.
From the SHIPPING TIMES:
Pics of the ship's bulbous bow being put together at the A&P Tyne yard before they were transported to Portsmouth.
From the SHIELD GAZETTE:
From the MoD website:
Pic of the new carrier's bow before it leaves on a barge on its trip from Devon to Rosyth for merging with other parts of the hull.
U.K. Carrier Effort Could Be In for More Changes
July 6, 2011
LONDON - The Royal Navy's aircraft carrier program could fall victim to further changes if the Ministry of Defence fails to balance its books in the near term, according to a new report by the National Audit Office (NAO).
A conceptualization of the Queen Elizabeth-class carrier. (U.K. Ministry of Defence)
"We are worried that the continuing difficulties the MoD is facing in balancing its budget leave carrier strike vulnerable to further changes in strategic direction as a result of broader corporate decisions taken to address this generic problem," the government financial watchdog said in a report to be released July 7.
The MoD is concluding a three-month review aimed at balancing military capabilities against priorities. The review, which follows last year's strategic defense and security review, is expected to lead to announcements of new cuts.
The carrier project has been subject to numerous reviews, first by the Labour and now the coalition government, which has added time and cost to a project first mooted by the strategic defense review of 1998.
In last year's review, the government looked at canceling the carrier program, the NAO report said. Canceling both vessels would have saved 1.2 billion pounds ($1.9 billion) even after it had paid out 2.4 billion pounds to shipbuilder BAE Systems under business agreements signed by the previous Labour administration.
Yet canceling the program without replacing it with other work would have triggered the collapse of the British warship building industry.
Although the "Department considered cancellation, which was feasible and offered significant medium-term savings, it concluded that this would be unaffordable in the short-term," the report said.
One option looked at by the National Security Council, the high-level body which made the final decisions on the defense review, was to provide BAE with alternative work by building two additional Type 45 destroyers, the report shows.
Instead, the government decided to continue building both carriers. But only one will be fitted with the catapults and arrestor wires required to launch the F-35C version of the Joint Strike Fighter. The British were previously on track to buy the F-35 B STOVL version.
Redesign work and complicated new gear will add up to 1.2 billion pounds to the cost of the operational carrier, which is now estimated at 6.2 billion pounds. In 2007, total cost per carrier was estimated at 3.65 billion pounds.
The carrier program was reckoned by military chiefs outside the Navy to be a "secondary priority" to retaining amphibious capabilities or making significant further inroads in destroyer and frigate numbers, said the report.
All three naval capabilities suffered cutbacks as the government opted for a 7.5 percent cut in defense spending over four years, as well as moving to address a 38 billion-pound black hole in unfunded liabilities over the next decade left by the previous Labour administration.
The NAO said that equates to about a 20 percent reduction in defense spending in the period to March 2015. If funding is not increased in real terms after 2015, as government ministers have said is their intention, the "department will have to make difficult judgments about which capabilities it will need to scale back or forgo completely," the report said.
The carrier's susceptibility to the MoD's deep budgetary problems was just one of the risks highlighted by the NAO report into whether the warship program is value for money.
In particular, the report said it was "deeply concerned" that changes to the program as a result of the government's strategic defense and security review had introduced more technical, cost and schedule uncertainty.
Previously, the Queen Elizabeth-class warship program had been a relatively mature project with understood risks and funded mitigation plans, said the NAO.
The report went on to raise doubts about the way the British intend to operate the 65,000-ton aircraft carrier and said there are "major risks" in reconstituting capabilities around 2020 because naval air strike operations were axed as part of the defense review.
Michael Whitehouse, the NAO's chief operating officer, said the defense review had radically changed the Royal Navy's carrier strike concept.
"It generated 3.4 billion pounds in savings but introduced significant levels of operational, technical, cost and schedule uncertainty. It will take two years for the MoD to reach a mature understanding of the consequences of the decision," he said.
Those savings include ditching the Harrier and the associated Invincible-class carrier force, which will save 999 million pounds over four years; changes to the timing of F-35C aircraft will save a further 624 million pounds in the same period.
"The risks to the delivery of the new carriers are compounded by more generic problems with defense acquisition - notably the MoD's continuing difficulties in balancing its budgets," said Whitehouse.
What happens to the other carrier will be decided after the next defense review in 2015.
Defence Secretary Liam Fox defended the decision to put one warship into extended readiness and operate the other.
"We inherited a massive defense deficit, which included a carrier project that was already 1.6 billion pounds over budget. The defense review put this program back on track and delivered 3.4 billion pounds of overall savings to carrier strike," Fox said. "The NAO has noted that our decision to build the second new aircraft carrier makes financial sense, supports U.K. industry and the significant cost and capability advantages of the aircraft we now plan to fly from it."
Other key points revealed by the NAO report include:
I am not sure if I am allowed to post a picture of the construction work so far, so an article will have to do for now.
An update: the first of the class is nearing completion.
From the BBC:
I thought those concerns had been debated on here and put to rest a long time ago. If the photos have been published in the main stream press, why not here? Unless there has been a "policy shift" by the board admin that I'm not aware of...
British & Commonwealth
No problem with photos but check for copyright issues.
A belated update:
Royal Navy official site
Plus a picture courtesy of the UK Daily Mail:
An update from Defense News:
This message has been edited. Last edited by: IrishGuard,
UK's Largest Aircraft Carrier to Be Unveiled Next Month
A new aircraft carrier — the largest warship ever constructed for the United Kingdom's Royal Navy — will be officially named in a special ceremony on July 4.
Queen Elizabeth II will be on hand to christen the aircraft carrier, which will be named in her honor, according to the U.K.'s Ministry of Defence.
HMS Queen Elizabeth ushers in a new class of aircraft carrier for the Royal Navy, according to the Ministry of Defence.
"The carriers will be versatile enough to be used across the full spectrum of military activity from war fighting to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief," defense officials said in a statement.
The new Queen Elizabeth-class (QE-class) warships will each weigh 71,650 tons and will be capable of deploying the next-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II jets, which are designed to take off from short runways and land vertically. To date, the British Ministry of Defence has committed to purchasing 138 F-35 jets, according to Lockheed Martin Corp., the plane's lead contractor.
Link to Yahoo News RemovedThis message has been edited. Last edited by: IrishGuard,
Pics from the launching today at Rosyth:
British & Commonwealth
Here you go mate, read the following and all will be revealed, it's been there as a feature post since 2008,
Okay...but EVERYWHERE else on this site cold links from non-mil sites are not only allowed, they're encouraged.
It's common courtesy to provide the source that you're quoting from. It allows others to quickly find the entire article and get further details.
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