The Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth Photo: REUTERS
politics

British warships, military aircraft to set sail for Asia next month

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Let's go Brits !!..

6 ( +15 / -9 )

By jingo! It's like 1746 again, gunboats sailing east.

Pitiful...

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

( Wikipedia) (1850s)

*Returning to Nagasaki, Putyatin found that no progress had been made, *and that the Royal Navy had called on Nagasaki during his absence as part of a manhunt to destroy his vessel. He therefore

Out of sheer serendipity, The Royal Navy got to sign lucrative treaties with Japan. They simply were prowling the seas to destroy Russia's Commodore Putiatin, but the Japanese mistakenly thought the Brits had called in for trade deals.

By hooks or flukes , cheers to many more trade deals but without muster and blaster.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Another success for President Biden - reinvigorating our alliances and getting more support in return from our allies....

Do you think the Brits would do this for Trump? Not a chance...

6 ( +11 / -5 )

with eight fast jets on board

Great descriptive writing there, well done.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Traverse the S. China sea and the Taiwan strait.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Pointless exercise. But if it makes them feel good, why not? 8 fast jets? Bet the "enemy" (whoever they are thought to be) are quaking in their boots.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Pretty low standard there. Navy worth its salt? Compared to which other navy exactly?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

There's a smell of something burning in the western Pacific. For the heaven’s sake, No!  NEVER AGAIN!

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

The UK is back on the map! Would be a neat experience as a sailor on that deployment. In my opinion you avoid wars by keeping a strong military.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Sounds like an epic deployment. Fun will be had!

Invalid CSRF

6 ( +7 / -1 )

See another article run also today on JT, that cites an Australian Home Security minister warning his staff of beating drums of war approaching and looming.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Welcome back to the big league RAN. The only nation besides the US with extensive wartime Carrier force experience in modern times and a welcome sight in the Indo-Pacific. Upon return to British waters these ships will be a well oiled and well trained force for peace and disaster relief. A welcome sight for the US forces who have been holding the line of peace to see a large carrier force of an allied nation to help them keep freedom in the region.

Yes the French have a carrier group with a smaller carrier and they have recent wartime experience off the coast of Libya but the numbers of those with such experience are less than the UK and US.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

See also a CNN article, "Britain is sending a huge naval force through some of the most tense waters in Asia" by Brad Lendon (CNN: April 27, 2021).

Is this motivated by the U.K. to restore its image as an erstwhile greater Great Britain? If so, it would only remind China, I'm afraid, of the humiliation it had experienced as the result of the two Opium Wars.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Quite amusing to read the ignorance and misperception above.

Britain is not sending the ships to threaten China so no they will not be shaking in their boots, the purpose is to emphasise and strengthen relationships with friendly and allied countries in the region, it also serves as a shopfront for trade to all our mutual advantage. Very useful training exercise for ships and crews.

Mr Kipling, your history is a bit off, what is loosely termed gunboat diplomacy was a 19th century thing, in 1746 the British Empire was still very much a trading centred operation.

BW, the royal navy never traded in opium.

The purposes of a British deployment to friends and allies in the Indo-pacific region in the 21st century have no relevance to what may or may not have happened 2 or 3 centuries ago.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Glad to see the Royal Navy back in action. To be honest, I hadn't paid much atttention since the Faulkland war. But I know the Royal Navy is absolutely first class, so much so that Japan's Imperial Navy was entirely modeled on it. And for those who think the world didn't exist before WWII, the first military alliance Japan signed was the Ango-Japanese Alliance of 1902.

Today all democratic (and even non-democratic) nations should join together to show that the Chinese dictatorship can not unilaterally claim vast portions of the ocean against the rule of international law. It is not a "threat to China", it is a threat to to it's ambitions of territorial expanson.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Britannia rules the fourth wave

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Hoping they complete a safe round trip. There will also be some surprise missions along the way, we can guess.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

PS Not getting wedged in the Suez Canal!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Peter14, that should be RN (Royal Navy) we have the ‘RAN’.

Good on em!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Going via Suez or Panama would make sense. But I wonder if they'll go round Cape Horn, for old time's sakes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In my opinion you avoid wars by keeping a strong military.

Should that not be, "...by keeping a strong military at home."

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The only nation besides the US with extensive wartime Carrier force experience in modern times 

Not true. The French flew Vought F-4U Corsairs off of a former US Navy light carrier in their Indochina War. Their current aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle has deployed to the North Arabian Sea multiple times to provide air support to NATO forces in Afghanistan when a US Navy aircraft carrier was not available. They were also involved in the fighting in Libya in 2011. AV-8B Harriers from the Italian aircraft carrier Giuseppi Garibaldi provided air support during the NATO air campaign over Kosovo. The French employed Super Entendards off the old Clemenceau against Syrian forces during the Lebanese Civil War and did so with great success. US carrier based aircraft used against the same targets had higher loss rates than the French did. Despite her by then decrepit material condition and faulty boilers the old INS Vikrant of the Indian Navy conducted airstrikes against targets in what was then East Pakistan during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war, attacking shipping in Chittagong and Cox's Bazar.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

AustPaulToday 08:35 pm JST

@Peter14, that should be RN (Royal Navy) we have the ‘RAN’.

Good on em!

You are indeed correct. The RAN has not actually replaced the HMAS Melbourne Aircraft carrier decommissioned in the early 1980's. RAN will be a little league player until then.

The RN is back in the big league with two magnificent conventionally powered Aircraft carriers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Russians sent the Kuznetsov around to Syria but it's airwing flew off and operated from land bases. They didn't conduct airstrikes from Kuznetsov, probably because the ski jump greatly limits payload.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Going via Suez or Panama would make sense. But I wonder if they'll go round Cape Horn, for old time's sakes

Too wide for the Panama Canal. Maximum beam in the new locks is 49 meters. The Queen Elizabeth is 73 meters wide at the flight deck. It will make port calls in the Med, transit the Suez Canal and stop in Singapore before entering the South China Sea. I cannot find any details of its planned route to return to UK. I assume it will simply return by the same route it came but wouldn't it be interesting if it instead crossed the south Pacific, rounded the southern tip of Chile and dropped anchor in San Carlos Water? Talk about old time's sake!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You are indeed correct. The RAN has not actually replaced the HMAS Melbourne Aircraft carrier decommissioned in the early 1980's. RAN will be a little league player until then.

Not true. HMAS Canberra and HMAS Sydney are both larger than the old Melbourne and are designed to carry 12 F-35Bs should the Australians ever decide to buy them (betting they do in time). Melbourne's normal air wing was a meager four A-4G Skyhawks and six S-2F Trackers plus ten Wessex ASW helicopters.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Should that not be, "...by keeping a strong military at home

The worlds oceans are open for all maritime nations to use. A nation that depends on maritime trade has every right to deploy a navy around the world to protect its maritime interests. That in fact is the primary reason to have a navy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A nation that depends on maritime trade has every right to deploy a navy around the world to protect its maritime interests.

That's an interesting point. But would it mean that China or India or wherever has the right to deploy their navies right up to Europe or America?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That's an interesting point. But would it mean that China or India or wherever has the right to deploy their navies right up to Europe or America?

Absolutely. The Soviets kept AGIs, intelligence collection ships, just outside the US territorial limit off major US naval bases. We would encounter them occasionally off the coast and our standing orders were to leave them alone. The Soviets sailed a big naval formation just outside the 12 mile limit off Waikiki once. The US kept and eye on them but otherwise did nothing. Soviet "trawlers" were always trying to snatch missile boosters and other hardware that fell into the sea during missile test events on the Atlantic coast Their Bear bombers would always fly out and overfly our battle groups in the mid Pacific or mid Atlantic. There was an accepted procedure to these. If the carrier strike group didn't intercept the bomber at least 150 nm from the carrier the two star in command of the strike group would be relieved immediately. Three planes would accompany each bomber, one on each wingtip and one aft and below the bomber. The Soviets knew that if the bomb bay ever opened we would assume they intended to attack and shoot them down. Everyone knew the rules, everyone was professional and there were no incidents (no two stars were relieved either that I ever heard of). Soviet ships shadowed our movements frequently and we shadowed theirs. The Soviets knew that if they got too close to the carrier with a ship we'd put ships between them and push them away. I have seen two US cruisers with a Soviet cruiser sandwiched between because Ivan was too close to our carrier. They were so close the wakes of all three cruisers blended together. This was at night btw and the phosphorescence of the water was so bright you could clearly see the Tico, the older CGN and the Nikolayev class in between them. Our strike groups sailed into the Barents and the Sea of Okhotsk. International waters are international waters, though we would try not to be detected doing so just to see if their surveillance was any good (it wasn't). To this day Russian bombers fly out to the edge of US airspace near Alaska, even down as far as California to test our response to them. All perfectly legal. You never hear the US whining about it. The US had a treaty with the Soviets called Incidents at Sea or INCSEA for short that spelled out the conduct expected of each nation's naval and air forces when they encountered each other over water. INCSEA kept everyone professional. There was no place for cowboys. The Chinese refuse to negotiate a similar treaty.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Come on Desert Tortoise fact check please. The two biggest ships are HMAS Canberra and Adelaide (LHDs).

HMAS Sydney (V) is a guided missile destroyer.

I’m also not sure our LHD decks are reinforced to take the VTOL Lightnings but it would certainly be good to have a few in the future.

@albaleo, not sure about the Indians but the Chinese have sailed to Australia before and often sit off our EEZ during exercises.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not true. HMAS Canberra and HMAS Sydney are both larger than the old Melbourne and are designed to carry 12 F-35Bs should the Australians ever decide to buy them

While both HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide are larger ships than HMAS Melbourne they are not equipped nor set up internally for fixed wing operations and the flight deck is not able to withstand the landing of F-35B jets as the deck currently in place would melt. They could possibly use the Harrier Mk2 like the original ship of class the Canberra is based on, but without a long and very costly refit these ships will never be anything other than Helicopter landing docks, LHD.

HMAS Melbourne was a Majestic-class light aircraft carrier.

Australia needs to acquire one or two (perhaps design and build domestically) Light Aircraft Carriers that are purpose built for sustained fixed wing operations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Come on Desert Tortoise fact check please. The two biggest ships are HMAS Canberra and Adelaide (LHDs).

HMAS Sydney (V) is a guided missile destroyer.

I’m also not sure our LHD decks are reinforced to take the VTOL Lightnings but it would certainly be good to have a few in the future.

@albaleo, not sure about the Indians but the Chinese have sailed to Australia before and often sit off our EEZ during exercises.

My mistake. Sydney was the RANs first carrier, later converted into an amphibious transport. The Juan Carlos class LHDs were designed to operate Harriers and F-35s. The Spanish operate Harriers from theirs. They are putting off their original plan to buy F-35Bs for her. The Turks were going to fly F-35Bs off of their Juan Carlos class ship TCS Anadolu but they were kicked off the F-35 program.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

While both HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide are larger ships than HMAS Melbourne they are not equipped nor set up internally for fixed wing operations and the flight deck is not able to withstand the landing of F-35B jets as the deck currently in place would melt. They could possibly use the Harrier Mk2 like the original ship of class the Canberra is based on, but without a long and very costly refit these ships will never be anything other than Helicopter landing docks, LHD.

That is not true. The Juan Carlos Class is designed for use with the F-35B. Both Spain and Turkey planned to operate F-35Bs off their Juan Carlos class ships. Spain has put off buying F-35Bs for the time being and is flying AV-8Bs off the Juan Carlos. Turkey was booted from the F-35 program so it cannot buy them. Australia's ships are quite capable of flying F-35Bs and you will almost certainly see the US Marines doing so from both.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

When Great Britain left the world's seven seas as a great naval power, it bequeathed everything military to the new comer U.S.A. The time now seems for the U.S.A. to be doing the same, albeit slightly differently.

The U.S. is asking its allies, the Five-Eyes and Quads, to assume a larger role in defense matters for the hitherto sole super power, the U.S.A.  It is even asking Japan and South Korea to increase their share of base maintenance costs for U.S. forces deployed to the respective countries.

Does this mean the American Age is over? And is this the last-ditch efforts on the part of the U.S. to remain as a dominant world power?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is not true. The Juan Carlos Class is designed for use with the F-35B. Both Spain and Turkey planned to operate F-35Bs off their Juan Carlos class ships. Spain has put off buying F-35Bs for the time being and is flying AV-8Bs off the Juan Carlos. Turkey was booted from the F-35 program so it cannot buy them. Australia's ships are quite capable of flying F-35Bs and you will almost certainly see the US Marines doing so from both.

The design was based on the Juan Carlos but was heavily modify to encompass the desired uses as a Helicopter carrier and amphibious transport.

Brabin-Smith and Schreer estimated in 2014 that it would cost $500 million to convert one LHD, including adapting the deck to handle the heat generated by the F-35B’s engine.

https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/should-australia-follow-japan-and-take-the-f-35-to-sea/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

not sure about the Indians but the Chinese have sailed to Australia before and often sit off our EEZ during exercises.

DesertTortoise, AustPaul, thanks for your replies.

I accept that the Soviets, China, whoever, sail their navies close to various countries. But I'm still wondering whether the purpose is linked to protecting maritime trade. That idea was what prompted my comment.

I can see that US naval ships in the Persian Gulf might have a connection to protecting maritime trade. But not so much Chinese ships close to Australia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Brabin-Smith and Schreer estimated in 2014 that it would cost $500 million to convert one LHD, including adapting the deck to handle the heat generated by the F-35B’s engine.

The material in The Strategist and other open sources is almost always inaccurate speculation, just based on what I have read regarding systems I have personal hands on with. Those sites do not have access to the truth because in most case the truth is classified. I have seen no authoritative material from any source stating explicitly the Canberra's cannot handle the F-35B. All I have seen is a lot of speculation. There was similar speculation regarding the two Izumo class carriers along with chatter that their elevators were too small, the hanger too short, etc (same for them carrying the Tilt Rotor) that also turned out to be false. They in fact need very little work to accommodate the F-35B and they have already operated Tilt Rotors from them. They fit the elevators and hanger just fine as they were designed from the outset for them. Their flight decks are already stressed to handle F-35Bs and that is probably because even if Japan had not chosen to operate their own F-35Bs from them the US Marines certainly would. Considering the Juan Carlos and Anadolu's flight decks were designed for the F-35B and the Spanish operate Harriers from theirs I have a hard time seeing any cost or technical advantage from reducing the strength of the flight deck on the Australian ships. Show me something authoritative, not speculation by laymen with no access to the people who designed the ships.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What the Canberra's are missing for the F-35B is not the flight deck. What it is missing will be all the equipment necessary to accomplish mission planning for the airplane and for it's several precision guided weapons. It's not just kick the tires and light the fires any more. With an F-35 all aspects of the mission are planned out ahead of time with targets assigned to the weapons. The weapons also get a mission plan to get from the airplane to the target. The electronics and consoles to accomplish this are significant. The pilot has to have cockpit information telling him or her when/where to release specific weapons to accomplish the mission plan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I can see that US naval ships in the Persian Gulf might have a connection to protecting maritime trade. But not so much Chinese ships close to Australia.

Most maritime nations guard their rights to use international waters jealously. But it is, unfortunately, a case of use it or lose it. There are always nations looking for ways to encroach on international waters and assert control over them for their own national benefit. If other nations do not push back by deliberately sailing all international waters asserting their right to do so despite the claims of the nation trying to assert control, then you hand that nation effective control over what were formerly international waters. This is why the UK is sailing a carrier halfway around the world to the South China Sea, and why the US, Japan, Australia, France and other nations likewise make a point of sailing the SCS routinely. China dearly wants to assert total control over that body of water. The only thing stopping them are the efforts of other maritime nations to challenge China's unlawful claims by sailing there often. The same was true with Libya's "Line of Death" in the Mediterranean Sea that made a big chunk of international waters off limits, or so they thought. The US Navy put an end to that nonsense. Similarly the US Navy just recently conducted a freedom of navigation operation targeted at India. India requires prior consent for military exercises or maneuvers in its exclusive economic zone or continental shelf, a claim inconsistent with international law, so the US Navy sent a DDG to sail about 130 nm west of Lakshadweep Islands inside India’s exclusive economic zone without requesting India’s prior consent. The waters of an EEZ beyond the 12 nm limit are international waters for the purposes of navigational rights under centuries old international law, regardless of what India might claim.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What the Canberra's are missing for the F-35B is not the flight deck. What it is missing will be all the equipment necessary to accomplish mission planning for the airplane and for it's several precision guided weapons. It's not just kick the tires and light the fires any more.

What was modified on the Canberra class ships was internal spaces to maximize light and heavy vehicle storage and numbers of troop berths. There are no radar systems for fixed wing aircraft, no internal storage for fuel and munitions for the ordinance required for sustained flight operations and without significant modifications of the vehicle decks no room for more than a handful of F-35B's. The deck was not coated in the material to absorb the heat from the F-35B's during construction. The actual strenght of the flight deck was not reduced. Many issues need to be resolved to make one of these ships capable of acting as a dedicated fixed wing aircraft carrier.

Dont get me wrong, I firmly believe Australia should have one or two light carriers for fixed wing missions to project a little power and provide protection for Australian forces without going cap in hand to allies looking for what we need. But these ships were designed to be amphibious warships for helicopters and troops and land vehicles including Abrams tanks. The storage deck was split into two levels for tanks on one level and jeeps and smaller vehicles on the other. F-35B height is not catered for anywhere but where the Helicopters are now stored, reducing their number to carry fixed wing craft.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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