Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Why the Queen Elizabeth flexing between carrier and LHA is a bad idea.

via STRN
The RN is currently developing its concept of operations for the QEC with a broad definition of their purpose called Carrier-Enabled Power Projection (CEPP). CEPP offers four main capabilities – Carrier Strike, Littoral Manoeuvre, Humanitarian Assistance and Defence Diplomacy. The carrier strike role is what the QEC were originally designed for but the requirement to perform the littoral manoeuvre/LPH role has been added and then expanded during their construction. HMS Queen Elizabeth will go to sea without the full modifications for the role and will be occupied working up and operating as a strike carrier with the F-35, at least for most of her first commission. She could be expected to enter major refit around 2025 when she will be modified. HMS Prince of Wales is being constructed with these modifications from the outset, essentially internal changes to accommodation, equipment storage and access for the embarked military force. F-35 trials will be conducted with HMS PoW in 2020/21 but she may then be configured and tested in the LPH role soon after.

The USMC is facing the same issues with the America Class LHA (when did we start calling them L-class carriers?).  Davis is talking about leaving the ground combat element on the dock and sailing with only F-35s.  What that will do to Marine Corps combat power ashore is anyone's guess but he put forward the idea with NO pushback.

Save The Royal Navy saved its venom for British planning but a closer look at USMC plans would show the same issues.

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