Friday, July 4, 2014

With the Queen's permission, splice the mainbrace!

The day has arrived, and the first leg of a long, adventorous journey has been completed. It has been an exciting ride. At times, excitement has been caused by all the wrong reasons, as the carrier went through budgetary storms and stood in front of attacks coming from multiple directions, even before being structurally completed.
Much remains to do. The fitting out of Queen Elizabeth will begin later this month, after the ship comes out of No. 1 Dock, to be parked into Rosyth's basin. In September, the blocks of Prince of Wales will begin to enter the No. 1 Dock to begin a streamlined, improved build phase that will take a good 12 months less, thanks to the lessons learned.

In the meanwhile, studies and simulation work will be completed, to finalize the flying deck design: DSTL is working on how best to allocate deck spots, as the Royal Navy begins to wrestle with the complexity of Carrier Enabled Power Projection: effectively, merging the carrier strike role and the amphibious assault support. The Flypast, which included the Support Helicopter Force with Chinook and Merlin, is there to remember us that, with no direct replacement in sight for HMS Ocean, the carriers have a big mission ahead of them in the amphibious operations arena as well.

Come August 2016, Queen Elizabeth will be finally out to sea for her sea trials, and in May 2017 she will be commissioned.  Over 2018 we will see the beginning of fixed wing air operations on her deck, with the F-35B.
In January 2019, her sister Prince of Wales will start her own trials, and she should be commissioned later in the same year.

A long road lays ahead still. In the middle, there are an independence referendum, a general election, an SDSR. Storms that will once again send great waves against the carrier's bow.

But for today, as HMS Illustrious guards over her "big sister", let's just take pride and happiness in all what has been achieved. Big congratulations to the thousands of people, all over the UK, who have worked to make this happen.

With the Queen's permission, splice the mainbrace!


  1. Daniele MandelliJuly 4, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Couldn't agree more Gabriele

    As I have been saying on TD, I'm very proud of my country and the RN, anyone who cant deal with that, like the left, can take a running jump!

    Great Britain is somebody, and these carriers put the UK on the map.

  2. BZ to the Aircraft Carrier Alliance!

  3. Daniele MandelliJuly 4, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    Just shown my Wife the aerial shot of Illustrious next to Queen Elizabeth, hoping to impress her with the size difference. Her comment. "Is it an Aircraft? Does it go on the water? " I give up.......

    1. Yeah, i image that would be pretty disheartening...!
      It still was a great spectacle, though.

  4. Anyone spotted where the LCVPs go yet?

    1. Won't be easy to see, as they come up and down openings in the bottom of the sponsons. So, either you are beneath the openings, or they aren't easily seen in photos.

      It'll be ship boats at first, though. LCVPs are apparently "being considered".

    2. Great milestone and looking forward to flood up and seeing her floating in the basin! Does anyone else think the IOC date of 2020 is a bit cautious considering that F35 operations commence in 2018?

  5. Daniele MandelliJuly 7, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    Got to love Government spin.

    They are calling the RWY Armour Replacement Regiment "New"

    Is that the same as the "New" Force Troops, once Theatre Troops.

    Same thing, less numbers, and "New"

    Ridiculous. Do the RWY even actually have any Tanks?

    1. You divide 227 tanks amongst RTR, KRH and QRH and this reserve regiment.

    2. Daniele MandelliJuly 9, 2014 at 1:01 AM


      You then have the 30+ in use at Suffield, and those at the Armour Centre at Bovington and the Gunnery School at Lulworth. Plus reserves.

      My belief was that the regiment had no tanks itself, just provides replacement crews like the 2 other Regiments of the TA that used to have this role. RWY used to be Armoured Delivery Regiment.

      I cannot see Tanks rolling down the streets of Barnstable, Cirencester or Old Sarum.

      I'd be delighted to hear that they do actually have their own complement of tanks. Maybe stored at SPTA? Or just nicked from the RTR for training. Does anyone know?

      Ideally I'd want the reserves to be more than just additional men, like the RauxAF squadrons. I'd like the the equipment too, so the news that the Reserve RAC is being issued with its own armour will be good.

      Til then, it is just spin.

    3. Short on the outbreak of WWIII, how many tanks do you want the UK to have?

    4. Daniele MandelliJuly 9, 2014 at 9:21 PM

      Lol. Your answers to my posts are bizarre, and I'm not rising to the bait. Ok?

    5. Daniele MandelliJuly 9, 2014 at 9:23 PM

      Just to remind original question.

      "Do the RWY even actually have any Tanks?"

      Simple question really.

    6. Go ask MOD. There's your answer. Mean keep speculating,.
      U ARE THE BIZARRE one.

    7. Lol. Putting your words in capitals.

      Interesting that asking questions about HMF on a site devoted to the same subject makes me bizzare.

      I may well ask MoD actually. I send many FOIA requests, and I'm waiting for some replies at the moment! But not on this subject.

  6. Headley Court. Prime real estate in Surrey. That land must be worth a fortune.


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