UK defence issues and the odd container or two

Apache Blade Folding

Thought this would be interesting…

This blade restraint and clamp system is available from Davis Aircraft Products inc although it looks slightly different to the one used in the image above of HMS Ocean during operations off Libya.

Apache blade fold and restraint 01 640x471 Apache Blade Folding Apache blade fold and restraint 02 640x475 Apache Blade Folding Apache blade fold and restraint 03 Apache Blade Folding Apache blade fold and restraint 04 Apache Blade Folding Apache blade fold and restraint 05 640x672 Apache Blade Folding Apache blade fold and restraint 06 640x531 Apache Blade Folding Apache blade fold and restraint 07 640x738 Apache Blade Folding Apache blade fold and restraint 08 640x474 Apache Blade Folding Apache blade fold and restraint 09 640x524 Apache Blade Folding

 

 

 

 

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Think Defence hopes to start sensible conversations about UK defence issues, no agenda or no campaign but there might be one or two posts on containers, bridges and mexeflotes!

8 Comments

  1. Simon

    Questions on a similar note…

    Can HMS Ocean fit four of these abreast in the hangar?

    I assume it can fit three in a row between the lifts (3×4=12)?

    Two aside each lift (12+2×4=16)?

    Is there a maintenance bay forward of the front lift on Ocean (16+4=20)?

  2. ArmChairCivvy

    Imagine if we still had Argus in its original configuration
    - the forward operating base requirements (required shipping and ship-to-shore) must be a fraction of what was needed for Harriers; also a fraction of what a Bay could bring?

    Red Trousers will be happy (if he is still reading the blog)

  3. Peter Elliott

    Maybe once QE and POW are established in a readiness cycle together Ocean could have her twilight years eked out as the ‘Argus replacement’?

    There must be enough space below decks for all the medical facilites you could want. And the ability to put an auxiliary flight deck and hanger forward in an emergency would be very useful.

    No warfare role as such: an RFA crew and the space to host visitng parties of aircraft maintainers etc. If deployed in shooting situations lurks well down-threat and lillipads transport helicopters forward to the Albions. Frees up the duty QEC for a full load of pointy assets and things that go bang.

  4. ArmChairCivvy

    Hi PE, not a bad idea, isn’t it going into a refit again?

    At the time of the SDSR Vince and Ocean were cast in either-or terms. It was presented as if 2016-2018 retirement for Ocean would be a real stretch technically
    - nothing much heard lately about Vince (just out of refit!) retiring in 2014 (as it was put then)

  5. Peter Elliott

    @ACC

    Clearly Ocean and Lusty (not Vince) are currently our two capital ships and in a 2 ship readiness cycle. Effectively we now think they will get replaced with the two QEC on a similar cycle.

    As the dates for the QEC entering service have gone to the right so must Ocean and Lusty’s withdrawal dates. Presumably when Ocean comes out of refit (circa 2014) Lusty will go into reserve and may never come out again. Fair enough. Old ship with old equipment heavy manning requirment and many years of good service.

    Ocean probably drops into reserve around 2018 when QE is operational. And would be due to go out of the fleet altogether circa 2020 when PoW is finished.

    But if the current refit successfully fixes her systems and provied the hull does not get a total flogging between 2014 – 2018 then it might be possible to nurse her along on ‘light duties’ with minimal further investment until 2030 when the Albions fall due for replacement and hopefully the need for an auxiliary aviation ship goes away.

  6. ArmChairCivvy

    PE, ok, no substantial change in dates then “Presumably when Ocean comes out of refit (circa 2014) Lusty will go into reserve and may never come out again. Fair enough. Old ship with old equipment heavy manning requirment and many years of good service.

    Ocean probably drops into reserve around 2018 when QE is operational. ”

    - as the decision of making both QE’s operational is the “stuff” for next SDSR, how would you assess the impact on net manning requirement (as you point out, despite the size difference, the old ones have a heavy manning requirement)
    - if you take the manning over a fifty year life, it plays heavily into the total cost

    Thanks for correcting my slip up with the ship names

  7. Simon

    Isn’t the manning requirement of Lusty similar to that of QE?

    Isn’t HMS Ocean acknowledged as too lean manned? I doubt the 285 crew of Ocean could operate PoW.

    However if you add Ocean (285) and Lusty (685) and divide by two you get 485 which is very near the original 500 expected to man CVF. I think the figure has crept up to 600 (which is hardly a surprise).

    Is 1.5 crew enough to maintain a carrier at sea? I think so.

  8. Ace Rimmer

    I’ll avoid talking about boats as I know little, but on the blade folding kit:

    1. The built in ladders on the Davis system looks useful for servicing ‘upstairs’.

    2. On the Davis system (last pic) it looks as though the blade is completely separated and re-mounted in the folding kit. How does this affect servicing procedures? Will an airtest and blade tracking be required following re-attachment? If so, its a lot of buggeration for folding the blades.

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