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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    Uk F4 Phantoms being tested on HMS Eagle 1969

    A short but interesting film clip of the UKicon's version of the F4 Phantom being tested on HMS Eagle. I believe that I am correct in stating that only ever one front line Fleet Air Arm squadron became fully operational with the F.A.A. version of the F4 Phantom and operationally deployed only on HMS Ark Royal.

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    A Collector's View - The SMLE Short Magazine Lee Enfield 1903-1989. It is 300 8.5x11 inch pages with 1,000+ photo’s, most in color, and each book is serial-numbered.  Covering the SMLE from 1903 to the end of production in India in 1989 it looks at how each model differs and manufacturer differences from a collecting point of view along with the major accessories that could be attached to the rifle. For the record this is not a moneymaker, I hope just to break even, eventually, at $80/book plus shipping.  In the USA shipping is $5.00 for media mail.  I will accept PayPal, Zelle, MO and good old checks (and cash if you want to stop by for a tour!).  CLICK BANNER to send me a PM for International pricing and shipping. Manufacturer of various vintage rifle scopes for the 1903 such as our M73G4 (reproduction of the Weaver 330C) and Malcolm 8X Gen II (Unertl reproduction). Several of our scopes are used in the CMP Vintage Sniper competition on top of 1903 rifles. Brian Dick ... BDL Ltd. - Specializing in British and Commonwealth weapons Chuck in Denver ... Buy-Sell-Trade .. Guns, Cars Motorcycles Your source for the finest in High Power Competition Gear. Here at T-bones Shipwrighting we specialise in vintage service rifle: re-barrelling, bedding, repairs, modifications and accurizing. We also provide importation services for firearms, parts and weapons, for both private or commercial businesses.
     

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    Contributing Member Gil Boyd's Avatar
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    How time fies, not only in the change of aircraft on aircraft carriers, but also aircraft carriers themselves......HMS Queen Elizabeth 11 is on sea triais currently in the North Sea she'll have the latest VTOL aircraft on board, like the Harrier.
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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    Legacy Member GeeRam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying10uk View Post
    A short but interesting film clip of the UKicon's version of the F4 Phantom being tested on HMS Eagle. I believe that I am correct in stating that only ever one front line Fleet Air Arm squadron became fully operational with the F.A.A. version of the F4 Phantom and operationally deployed only on HMS Ark Royal.
    Correct.
    The writing was already on the wall when the RN got its first F-4's, and despite the trials being conducted on Eagle, the Govt didn't want to spend the money on doing the refit to Eagle for the water-cooled JBD's needed for the reheated Spey on the F-4's, (which the Ark had) so despite the Eagle being in much better condition than the Ark, half of the RN's F-4's were passed to the RAF (in part to negate the cancellation of the F-111 order for the RAF) and the RN soldiered on with just the Ark for the 1970's (and smaller Hermes as a helo carrier) instead of the planned 3 carrier fleet of new CVA-01 (replacing Victorious), Eagle and Hermes (reconfigured as a Commando carrier)
    Ark Royal wasn't even supposed to go into the 1970's, as she was already knackered, yet the better options were canned and she soldiered on until 1978, when the RN's Buccs and Phantoms were handed over to the RAF.

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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Great to see the Royal Navy getting back into the swing of big flat top operations, seeing two 72,000 ton carriers in RN sevice makes me proud to be Britishicon....

    They make Ark and Eagle look small!

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    Legacy Member HOOKED ON HISTORY's Avatar
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    One of my top favorite aircraft. Looks Mach 1 @ a dead stop.

    Thanks
    Nice post.

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    Legacy Member GeeRam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrclark303 View Post
    Great to see the Royal Navy getting back into the swing of big flat top operations, seeing two 72,000 ton carriers in RN sevice makes me proud to be Britishicon....
    Sadly, the recent NAO report on the RN and its CBG plan paints a less than rosy picture of the future, and post Covid financial pressures will likely make it even worse.

    Key point summary of the NAO report:

    The new Crowsnest system is 18 months late, which will affect Carrier Strike capabilities in its first two years. The initial contracted capability will not be available until September 2021, 18 months later than planned. Further delays mean that it does not expect to have full airborne radar capability until May 2023.
    The Department has not yet made funding available for enough Lightning II jets to sustain Carrier Strike operations over its life.
    The Department plans to reassess the number and type of Lightning II jets that it needs in the Integrated Review, but its ability to use Carrier Strike will be constrained if it has fewer jets than planned.
    The Department has still not provided the necessary funding for logistics projects and munitions.
    The Department expects to meet its target of declaring initial operating capability for Carrier Strike in December 2020, but with a basic(airborne) radar capability.
    Initial operating capability is a single, trained Lightning II squadron (up to 12 jets), able to embark on a joint warfighting mission with appropriate support and maritime protection.
    The Departments policy ambition for Carrier Strike will be reviewed.
    It will assess the impact of ongoing financial pressures and determine its defence priorities, including whether it can fund all the original roles of Carrier Strike, including supporting amphibious capabilities
    The Department faces investment prioritisation decisions to maintain and enhance the Carrier Strike capability over the longer term.
    The Department has not established a consolidated view of the enhancements that are needed to continue to develop Carrier Strike capabilities, or their cost. It will need to make funding decisions in the next 10 years, such as deciding how to replace or extend Merlin helicopters, which are due to go out of service in 2030 (see point one about Crowsnest). These decisions will create added funding pressures at a time when the Equipment Plan is already unaffordable.
    The Department is developing a fuller understanding of what Carrier Strike will cost to operate and support in the future.
    Given the strategic importance of Carrier Strike, we would expect the Department to develop a clear view of support and operating costs. It estimated the additional costs of Carrier Strike in 2017, but this did not include all elements of a carrier strike group. It plans to update this estimate after the first deployment in 2021.
    The Department may not have made sufficient provision in later years budgets to reflect the full costs of operating Carrier Strike
    Failure to make realistic cost estimates creates a risk that the Department will face increased financial pressure in the future, perpetuating the cycle of short-term decision-making that we have seen in our reports on the Equipment Plan
    The Department needs to ensure the revised governance arrangements establish clear responsibilities and cross-command coherence for developing Carrier Strike.


    While the RN is getting on with what its got to do as best it can with what its been given and trying to make things look like they are OK, in the way our Armed Forces always does, the reality of these two new carriers are actually very different. I wouldn't be surprised to see one or even both be sold by the end of the decade, or one sitting in base having been stripped of bits to keep the other going as MOD haven't costed for sufficient spares to keep them both active, as per the NAO report.

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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeeRam View Post
    Sadly, the recent NAO report on the RN and its CBG plan paints a less than rosy picture of the future, and post Covid financial pressures will likely make it even worse.

    Key point summary of the NAO report:

    The new Crowsnest system is 18 months late, which will affect Carrier Strike capabilities in its first two years. The initial contracted capability will not be available until September 2021, 18 months later than planned. Further delays mean that it does not expect to have full airborne radar capability until May 2023.
    The Department has not yet made funding available for enough Lightning II jets to sustain Carrier Strike operations over its life.
    The Department plans to reassess the number and type of Lightning II jets that it needs in the Integrated Review, but its ability to use Carrier Strike will be constrained if it has fewer jets than planned.
    The Department has still not provided the necessary funding for logistics projects and munitions.
    The Department expects to meet its target of declaring initial operating capability for Carrier Strike in December 2020, but with a basic(airborne) radar capability.
    Initial operating capability is a single, trained Lightning II squadron (up to 12 jets), able to embark on a joint warfighting mission with appropriate support and maritime protection.
    The Departments policy ambition for Carrier Strike will be reviewed.
    It will assess the impact of ongoing financial pressures and determine its defence priorities, including whether it can fund all the original roles of Carrier Strike, including supporting amphibious capabilities
    The Department faces investment prioritisation decisions to maintain and enhance the Carrier Strike capability over the longer term.
    The Department has not established a consolidated view of the enhancements that are needed to continue to develop Carrier Strike capabilities, or their cost. It will need to make funding decisions in the next 10 years, such as deciding how to replace or extend Merlin helicopters, which are due to go out of service in 2030 (see point one about Crowsnest). These decisions will create added funding pressures at a time when the Equipment Plan is already unaffordable.
    The Department is developing a fuller understanding of what Carrier Strike will cost to operate and support in the future.
    Given the strategic importance of Carrier Strike, we would expect the Department to develop a clear view of support and operating costs. It estimated the additional costs of Carrier Strike in 2017, but this did not include all elements of a carrier strike group. It plans to update this estimate after the first deployment in 2021.
    The Department may not have made sufficient provision in later years budgets to reflect the full costs of operating Carrier Strike
    Failure to make realistic cost estimates creates a risk that the Department will face increased financial pressure in the future, perpetuating the cycle of short-term decision-making that we have seen in our reports on the Equipment Plan
    The Department needs to ensure the revised governance arrangements establish clear responsibilities and cross-command coherence for developing Carrier Strike.


    While the RN is getting on with what its got to do as best it can with what its been given and trying to make things look like they are OK, in the way our Armed Forces always does, the reality of these two new carriers are actually very different. I wouldn't be surprised to see one or even both be sold by the end of the decade, or one sitting in base having been stripped of bits to keep the other going as MOD haven't costed for sufficient spares to keep them both active, as per the NAO report.
    Well, carrier strike was always a ticking time bomb regarding funding and while they might have been able to fudge the costs during construction, now they are being worked up, the costs must be growing all the time.

    Something has to give, I wonder what it will be??

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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    One would have thought that a logical option would have been to retain at least some "bagger" Sea King AEW helicopters until the new "Crowsnest Merlins" came into service.

    Royal Navy Bids Farewell to the Sea King | Defense News: Aviation International News

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    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    The next major naval war is certainly going to be revealing. I doubt the survivability of surface ships is anything like as good as it will need to be to compensate for the power and accuracy of modern weapons.

    And of course displacement hulls are so slow that their inability to keep up with submarines even in calm seas just keeps getting worse and worse.

    As for aircraft carriers, the submariners know what their fate will be.

    We are now at or close to the point of remotely guided subs, subs with very small crews, or even subs run by artificial intelligence.

    And the "mine" technology must be truly frightening.
    Last edited by Surpmil; 07-11-2020 at 01:50 AM.
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    Legacy Member GeeRam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying10uk View Post
    One would have thought that a logical option would have been to retain at least some "bagger" Sea King AEW helicopters until the new "Crowsnest Merlins" came into service.

    Royal Navy Bids Farewell to the Sea King | Defense News: Aviation International News
    The issue is more that all this money is spent on Crowsnest and by the time its FOC in 2023 (if we're lucky) it will then only have a service life of 7 years, as that's when the Merlin OSD is......and then what?
    Not to mention no procuremnt package of spares for the carriers, no funds for the logistics support of them, munitions supply and everything else to actually support a CBG.

    Its as if the only point of all this was a willy waving jobs for Scotland signed by Gordo Brown with no real commitment to actually using the damn things for the reasons you build them, which has been continued or even made worse by subsequent Govt., because no one wanted to be the one to sign the cancel instruction.

    Given whats going on with China in the Pacific maybe we could flog them to the Aussie's, as with the demise of their RAAF long range F-111's and the demise of the RAN carrier's they are looking a little vunerable with a lot of sea to cover.

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