UK: New Aircraft Carriers: £3.2bn down the swanny?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by edesignuk, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #1
    So we're commissioning 2 new Aircraft carriers (currently) budgeted at £3.2bn although total costs are expected to be £4bn (~$6.3bn/$7.9bn US). HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales (ooohhh, scary!).

    I don't have a problem with them spending the money, we do need them IMO. What I'm confused and disappointed about is the further details I read here.

    For our £2bn ($3.96bn) (per carrier) we will get something that:
    • Gas powered (refuelling costs!?)
    • No launch catapult
    • Carries only 40 jets (which need to be vertical take off - more expensive)
    • 60,000 tons

    For ~$2bn (£1.09bn) £2.2bn ($4.5bn) the US get:
    • Nuclear powered
    • Launch catapult
    • Carries 85 jets (which don't have to be vertical take off)
    • 100,000 tons
    • Bad-ass

    I know the costs aren't as simple as that. Still though, the costs are double, and what you get isn't anything like a match to our US counterparts. If we're going to spend billions, at least get our monies worth, please?

    I'm sure I'm missing some important details, enlighten me?
     
  2. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    The US one costs more like $4.5bn and they get a bulk discount as they've built a fair few of them which reduces design costs ect.

    The nuclear ones also cost over a billion to refuel every 33 months.
     
  3. és: macrumors 6502a

    és:

    #3
    I'm happy it's going to create 10k jobs. I'm unhappy because we need dentists, schools, policing, hospitals/nurses/cleaning of hospitals more than we need aircraft carriers.

    I'd sooner the jobs were created building the schools and teachers to teach in them.
     
  4. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #4
    Ah, I see, you're right (at least according to the Wiki I linked to :eek:). Still though, that brings the cost in line with what we're paying for ours.
    Wiki lists the annual cost at $160m. Where is your $1bn per 33 months coming from?
     
  5. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #5
    Do you have any references (links) for this?

    Another issue, is size and draft. Some ports will not support larger ships. That may be one reason for the smaller carriers due to the world situation today.
     
  6. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    The Mergui Archipelago
    #6
    For that kind of money why not just buy some small countries and put airforce bases there? That's what we do in Australia (i.e. small pacific islands) and why we're such a dominant military force.
     
  7. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #7
    Bases = Static

    Ships = Mobile/Flexible

    Both are useful and have their place. Being able to shift a large force anywhere in the world has strategic value. So the US will continue to build carriers.
     
  8. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #8
    not that there are many countries who could even remotely oppose even those "smaller" carriers
    i suspect most countries spend less on their whole army than the UK does on one of those beasts

    austria spends 1.6 billion pound in the year 2008


    and yeah it's the smaller amount of ships developed from scratch which drives the price higher... also stockpiles of replacement parts need to stored for less amount of ships which drives up costs
     
  9. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #9
    Regarding the launch catapult, or lack thereof, the Navy have specified that the design be modified so that the catapult system can be easily retrofitted should we require it at a later date. As far as I'm aware, there's no need to catapult launch a Harrier, which will still be in service at launch, or the Navy Lightning II later on.

    The only reason it'll require a catapult system is if we revert to conventional versions of the Lightning II, and the ski-jump will then be removed.
     
  10. aLoC macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    #10
    They look all right to me. Put 30 F-35 Lightning II and some radar planes etc and you'll have a fairly deadly weapon there.
     
  11. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #11
    Whatever happened to good names?
    :confused:
    HMS Dreadnought; HMS Warspite and HMS Valiant; the Revenge class battleships HMS Revenge and HMS Resolution; the Bellephoron class battleship HMS Superb; the Orion class battleships HMS Conqueror, HMS Thunderer; the KGV class battleship HMS Audacious; the Royal Sovereign "R" Class battleships HMS Repulse (and Revenge and Resolution); the Majestic class battleships HMS Magnificent, HMS Majestic, and HMS Victorious; HMS Renown; HMS Venerable; HMS Formidable, HMS Irresistable, and HMS Implacable; HMS Triumph.

    Or even these…
    Active, Adamant, Ardent, Blazer, Brilliant, Defiance, Discovery, Excellent, Indefatigable, Invincible, Success, Terror, Venerable, and, of course, Victory.

    Queen Elizabeth? Thats a passenger liner name.
    Prince of Wales? Not a lucky name… :eek: (See Singapore, 1941)
     
  12. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #12
    I wouldn't say they're bad, they just don't seem to be what they could be for the money.
     
  13. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #13
    i recommend looking up some of the upper names which weren't that lucky either .. like the Invincible or Indefigable in ww1 or the Repulse who just happen to be in Singapore 1941 as well .. and ironically was hit later by torpedoes and still sinking before the prince of wales ;)

    and ignoring the fact that it was Prince of Wales who was lucky to get away in the Denmark Strait because the other side didn't reengage... hardly an unlucky ship
     
  14. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #14
    OK OK… thanks for being the anorak. ;):p

    But I think my point has been missed.
    Never mind.
     
  15. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #15
    guessing a big part of the annual cost is the number of people needed on them

    The two British ones will have around 1,450 each where as each Nimitz class carrier has a crew of 5,700.

    you got that a totally wrong.
     
  16. Agathon macrumors 6502a

    Agathon

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #16
    Pretty bad names. The WWI version of the QE missed the battle it was designed for by being in dry dock at the time (it was a pretty decent ship, though – one of the last good ships of British design).

    The POW had a less than distinguished history. It was pummeled by the Bismarck (which had already obliterated its companion, Hood), and would have been sunk by Bismarck had the Germans been bothered. It was then sunk by the Japanese.

    I cannot see any reason why Britain needs aircraft carriers. The Empire is dead. Hell, Britain doesn't even need nuclear weapons, yet vast sums of taxpayer's money are wasted on what are for all intents and purposes white elephants.
     
  17. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #17
    Oh god sod off Gordon, we don't want you :(

    John Major's government seems like a golden age compared to this.
     
  18. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Location:
    UK
  19. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #19
    I'm all for the British Army having what it needs, and I'm all for maintaining the military deterrent. Using it? Well that's another matter all together.

    Does the British Army actually need this? Idk. But if they don't and this is just politics then that's just another of the long list of reasons why Gordon Brown should get his coat.
     
  20. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #20
    Nothing to do with the Army.

    Its for da Navy. :D:D
     
  21. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #21
    Are those the ones with the funny hats?

    *Gets back to his knitting*
     
  22. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #22
    On another note..
    This page http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/Organisation/KeyFactsAboutDefence/DefenceSpending.htm shows that they are going to cost about 12% of the yearly defence budget.

    Thats quite a chunk of change,isn't it? But i think it will probably be a very capable and useful warship when its done, i think its a little early too dismiss it as 'not a lot for the money', maybe it would be better to ask why the American ones are so cheap rather than the UK's so expensive.. I think its money well spent.

    (and don't you know everything is bigger and cheaper in the US;))
     
  23. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #23
    With regard to names, both the first HMS Invincible and HMS Formidable were originally French ships. It was considered unlucky to rename a ship back then, so they kept the names when the ships were captured.

    Still, HMS Prince of Wales is a bit wank isn't it? How about HMS Comeandhaveagoifyouthinkyourehardenough?
     
  24. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Location:
    having a drink at Milliways
    #24
    i agree that the chosen names are very lame, but the majority of the one you mention might have worked back then, but would sound utterly ridicolous on a modern ship.

    -"Look darling, there comes the HMS Excellent! Quite a sight isn't she? Another cup of tea?"
    -"Quite so, dear. I myself do find the HMS Venerable a tad more fearsome, however. May I have a second biscuit with that cup?"
     
  25. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #25
    I still don't understand the need. Did France decide to build new ones or something? :eek:

    I recall a bit in the news about Gordon denying a rumor the French and the UK navy were going to merge. Maybe this is his way of showing that.

    Waste of money in my opinion. :rolleyes:
     

Share This Page