Wednesday, December 07, 2016

HMS Illustrious and HMS Queen Elizabeth

A follow up to my post yesterday.

The carrier HMS Illustrious, last of the "Invincible" class light carriers, sails for the scrapyard today.

The UK Defence Journal tweeted this picture today to remind us "what's replacing her." It shows what I presume is a computer-mashup of photographs showing what Illustrious would look like next to HMS Queen Elizabeth which is due to be based in Portsmouth from March next year after leaving Rosyth next month for her sea trials.

They have had to dredge the Solent to make certain it is deep enough throughout a wide enough channel to let HMS Queen Elizabeth and her sister HMS Prince of Wales in and out of Portsmouth. These are the largest ships ever operated by the Royal Navy.


Jim said...

some cats and traps would have been nice, rather than a bigger "pocket carrier"

Chris Whiteside said...

Your trousers must have big pockets, Jim!

As you probably know there has been a lot of debate, and at least two changes of policy, on whether to fit launching catapults and landing arrestor wires (cats and traps) or use the F35B V/STOL (in this case short take off and vertical landing) version of the Lightning II fighter. The ships are designed to be able to have catapults and landing wires fitted if needed.

The article in UK Defence Journal which I linked to the other day says that the RN is developing, quote,

"the Shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL) technique. SRVL is a process designed to land jump-jet aircraft that uses both the vertical thrust from the jet engine and lift from the wings."

I'm not a defence expert but the most flexible configuration possible strikes me as a good thing to aim for - so it may be just as well that the ships were designed so "cats and traps" can be added if needed.

Anonymous said...

"HMS Illustrious, sails for the scrapyard" - a British scrapyard or a nasty substandard foreign one outside of Europe?

Chris Whiteside said...

She is being scrapped in Turkey.