Why did we build a huge Aircraft carrier?

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axisusaxisus Frets: 8876
Considering that the main threats these days seem likely to be Terrorism and cyber stuff, why have we built the world's biggest and most hittable target? Seems like some kind of ludicrously expensive vanity project. By all means correct me on my naive view, I'm perfectly happy to be educationalized.
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 2079
    The military industrial complex controls more of the government's decisions than ordinary citizens. Its true in the vast majority of nations, especially the USA where military spending the the largest % of GDP in the world.
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  • GarthyGarthy Frets: 1135
    axisus said:
    Considering that the main threats these days seem likely to be Terrorism and cyber stuff, why have we built the world's biggest and most hittable target? Seems like some kind of ludicrously expensive vanity project. By all means correct me on my naive view, I'm perfectly happy to be educationalized.
    Have you just got a small phillips screwdriver in your tool kit?
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 10138
    If we didn't have a big aircraft carrier then I suspect that we would have additional threats that weren't terrorists. 

    You gotta be ready to down those big flocks of aggressive albatrosses you know.
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2025
    Random thoughts.

    The status symbolism is quite grand. Anyone with the standing capability to sink a carrier (which is typically part of a combat group/fleet while at sea) must also have assets that can be attacked and lost. The planning and design stage is a medium term project with something like this - even now we are still waiting on the offensive part (the aircraft) to be built and commissioned.

    That said I would have thought the sabre rattling days of the UK were over, we have now decided to give up our beach landing vessel capability and replace it with a carrier facility. It enables up to project power and partake in international incidents abroud without putting 'boots on the ground' and risking British lives.

    It's good to know we still have the ability to create a navel vessel at home, so much ship building capacity has been moved elsewhere.


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  • SporkySporky Frets: 11349
    It's really difficult to land on a tiny aircraft carrier.
    Never forget that you are wearing your invisible tiara.
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 2777

    We don't have a plane like a Harrier any more so it's a full size carrier, or no carriers at all.  Small carriers like we had with the Invincible class aren't an option.

    Whether they are needed I'm not sure, but we wouldn't be able to mount an operation like the Falklands without carriers.

    These were conceived before things like drones became an issue.  Not sure how the next generation of warfare will look but it could be very different.

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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1522

    Lack of bingo fields, old chap!

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/4JEoCPXTeMg/hqdefault.jpg

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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 325
    Its out of service due to some significant problems, it has leaks and can't go back to the original facility apparently because of a new bridge which has been built.

    As mentioned above its partly to retain some presence on the world stage and partly for the falklands etc.  Although our navy seems small compared to what it was we still have one of the largest and best navies in the world.
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  • RavenousRavenous Frets: 1233
    axisus said:
    Considering that the main threats these days seem likely to be Terrorism and cyber stuff,

    If we completely get rid of our military, then we'll start to see a lot more "old fashioned" threats re-appear over our horizon. (For those of us who believe in a horizon.)

    Of course it's debatable if we decide to partly get rid of our military, but I'm giving the short answer.  To some extent it is a vanity project as you say, but if you're one of the bigger guys in the playground you won't have every scrawny little git picking on you.

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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 6147
    Wasn't this the one that people said was ordered to appease Gordon Brown's constituents? Something like that. 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 4854
    because if we didn't sensibly invest that money on making politicians looking all hard and stuff then the government would only spunk it away on hospitals or schools or roads or some such rubbish.

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1389
    axisus said:
    Considering that the main threats these days seem likely to be Terrorism and cyber stuff, why have we built the world's biggest and most hittable target?
    The life of these things is easily 20 years, often more, and political situations can change far faster. Who would have forseen the Yugoslav conflict? Remember that the Falklands episode arose, in part, because the Argentines saw the decommissioning of an Antarctic survey ship as a reduction in Britain’s interest in the area. A carrier also has a role in disaster support activities. Then we get onto the subject of manufacturing and support jobs, and continuing ship design capability.

    Remember too that military reasoning does not get discussed in public. There was fuss in the press about the cost of sending one Vulcan to drop a stick of small bombs across Port Stanley airfield. The Argentines filled the holes within hours ... and then moved all of their fast jets back to the mainland. We were expecting to lose at least one of our carriers to air attack, and the Vulcan sortie reduced that risk significantly.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3209
    Are we talking about the Queen Elizabeth ? I did the Christmas gig for the crew of that at the Guildhall in Portsmouth on the 21st Dec ......... the singer got confused about which boat  the punters were from  and kept referring to them as QE2 people  until a member of the top brass came and had a word .... very funny :)

    Aircraft carriers are the key to any war, if you got carriers you can get close enough to bomb them, IF you have planes mind! 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • KilgoreKilgore Frets: 445
    The military industrial complex controls more of the government's decisions than ordinary citizens. Its true in the vast majority of nations, especially the USA where military spending the the largest % of GDP in the world.
    Total spending by the US far exceeds the next biggest spenders combined. But there are plenty of countries that spend a larger % of GDP than the US.
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 2777

    In the new world, I wonder if you could do it on a budget with swarms of kamikaze drones?  Without a human pilot, getting the plane back intact isn't a such a priority.  Could you pack some high explosive into a drone instead of dropping bombs?

    That would have limits, and you wouldn't be able to attack another ship 200 miles away at sea like that, but you could probably put reasonable quantities of drones into smaller ships to get some aerial capability.

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  • Axe_meisterAxe_meister Frets: 1939
    Is a cruise missile not essentially a drone?
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 27491
    edited January 12
    Wasn't this the one that people said was ordered to appease Gordon Brown's constituents? Something like that. 
    Exactly that. To provide jobs in Scotland and specifically in Rosyth.

    While I don't object to that in principle, something far more useful should have been built with the same money and jobs.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 11349
    crunchman said:

    In the new world, I wonder if you could do it on a budget with swarms of kamikaze drones?  Without a human pilot, getting the plane back intact isn't a such a priority.  Could you pack some high explosive into a drone instead of dropping bombs?

    I think you may have just described a cruise missile.
    Never forget that you are wearing your invisible tiara.
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  • RavenousRavenous Frets: 1233
    crunchman said:

    In the new world, I wonder if you could do it on a budget with swarms of kamikaze drones?

    Apart from the cruise missile example a few people have mentioned, there have been studies into using a swarm of small drones. They probably aren't fast enough to threaten fast jets, and they certainly won't hurt armoured ships, but in battlefield use yes.

    (Also some research is going on into using fast autonomous jets for defence, and a small group of these would be good enough to beat human pilots. But that's going off topic as you'd need a carrier to recover these afterwards - too big and expensive to be disposable.)

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  • GarthyGarthy Frets: 1135
    Ravenous said:
    crunchman said:

    In the new world, I wonder if you could do it on a budget with swarms of kamikaze drones?

    Apart from the cruise missile example a few people have mentioned, there have been studies into using a swarm of small drones. They probably aren't fast enough to threaten fast jets, and they certainly won't hurt armoured ships, but in battlefield use yes.

    (Also some research is going on into using fast autonomous jets for defence, and a small group of these would be good enough to beat human pilots. But that's going off topic as you'd need a carrier to recover these afterwards - too big and expensive to be disposable.)

    The autonomous plane that can safely pull 15g but can only react to a situation, vs a human that can anticipate but at a lower performance envelope in an interesting quandary but the military tend to like pilots and operators because they can choose not to fire ordinance.
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 11349
    Can't we all just get along?
    Never forget that you are wearing your invisible tiara.
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  • RavenousRavenous Frets: 1233
    Sporky said:
    Can't we all just get along?

    Floats my boat.
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  • Errr...  Trident

    My Trading Feedback    |    T'Fretboard Jam in't North

    Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you
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  • RavenousRavenous Frets: 1233
    Garthy said:

    The autonomous plane that can safely pull 15g but can only react to a situation, vs a human that can anticipate but at a lower performance envelope in an interesting quandary but the military tend to like pilots and operators because they can choose not to fire ordinance.

    Yes you're right - at least sensible forces would probably prefer to use people who have the common sense to act or not to act.

    My comment about faster jets, by the way, was because I read about a simulated study in the last year or so, where a group of AI-controlled jet fighters could defend a fixed base against a smaller number of well-trained human attackers. Just making the point that these are the sort of things being considered.

    (But I was going off the topic, as the defender group would need a carrier or base to operate from.)

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  • cacophonycacophony Frets: 326
    this carrier highlighted yet again the cancerous nature of our press. when it reported that the carrier was leaking 200 litres of water an hour, and was in real danger of sinking (probably). until it was pointed out that the ship has the capacity to store half a million litres of aviation fuel, half a million litres of deisel, and untold tens of thousands of litres of drinking water, hydraulic oil, cooking fat, and other POL. and that the pumps down in the bowels of the ship can deal with 1000 litres a minute, without even having to switch on the emergency pumping system.


    but. let's not let facts get in the way of a sensational headline eh?, wankers.
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 7097
    ESBlonde said:

    It's good to know we still have the ability to create a navel vessel at home, so much ship building capacity has been moved elsewhere.
    The MoD are probably looking into it.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs.
    Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 4854
    re protecting the falklands (assuming there is an actual credible threat to them and not just a bunch of strawmen) wouldn't it be cheaper just to station some jets down there? It wouldn't take many to show whoever may wish to invade some windswept islands stuck out in the middle of nowhere that we are willing to defend them. Hell, with the savings, we could also afford to buy a dedicated destroyer or something to patrol down there. 
    You know, if the government were serious about value for money.

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • SporkySporky Frets: 11349
    VimFuego said:
    re protecting the falklands (assuming there is an actual credible threat to them and not just a bunch of strawmen) wouldn't it be cheaper just to station some jets down there?
    I'd have thought so, along with some missiley things that obviously don't have the range to get to Argentina, but obviously have the range to make approaching the Falklands with malicious intent a jolly bad plan.

    Also a badger catapult.
    Never forget that you are wearing your invisible tiara.
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 4854
    not sure about the badger catapult, mostly cos I've not seen one before. Is that a catapult operated by badgers or one that fires badgers at the enemy? If the latter I can see the value of that; flying badgers are not a thing to be trifled with (plus they are bio degradable, organic and free range, so the tree huggers will be onside) but I suspect the former would not work well. Badgers have very short and stubby fingers and I suspect would not cope well having to manipulate complex machinery in the heat of battle.  

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 325
    VimFuego said:
    re protecting the falklands (assuming there is an actual credible threat to them and not just a bunch of strawmen) wouldn't it be cheaper just to station some jets down there? It wouldn't take many to show whoever may wish to invade some windswept islands stuck out in the middle of nowhere that we are willing to defend them. Hell, with the savings, we could also afford to buy a dedicated destroyer or something to patrol down there. 
    You know, if the government were serious about value for money.
    The carrier is in case we need to be somewhere other than the falklands
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