Deck Coatings for Royal Navy Aircraft Carriers Suitable for the F35B

An interesting snippet of news from the Maritime Journal regarding deck coatings for the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

The MoD have reportedly awarded a contract to Monitor Coatings Ltd in North Shields for a

Non-skid thermal gas wash resistant deck coating

After a contract award in 2012 Monitor Coatings have developed a new Thermal Metal Spray (TMS) system suitable for covering the 19,500 square metres of flight deck. The new system is said to be able to withstand the gas wash exhaust and ‘aerothermal environment’ of the F35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (Joint Combat Aircraft) during hover transition and vertical landing.

The scope of this initial 2012 contract was;

the development of techniques required for large scale preparation and application of a Thermal Metal Spray coating (TMS), over an area in excess of 19,500m² and the development of process-technology readiness and manufacturing capability levels acceptable for large scale application and long term support of the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales carrier deck

An enclosed 84m2 test bed was installed at their North Shields site for development purposes;

surface preparation, surface roughness, surface thickness, porosity, deposition temperatures, deposition rates and the development of an automated process that will ensure all deck edges, deck furniture and deck welds can be accommodated in the final TMS process

More fantastic innovation from a small UK defence company, brilliant news.

Have asked for more information.




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September 2, 2014 9:27 pm

At least the shed is of a nice dark shade of blue….

September 2, 2014 9:31 pm

Think you added an extra 0 to the sq m for the flight decks. As i read it i thought ‘bloody hell the elephants are bigger than i thought!’ :)
Even 19,500 is bloody impressive though

PS – captcha insisted 7+3=5?! Sorry don’t mean to nit pick, but thought it i’d let you know to iron out the creases…

John Hartley
John Hartley
September 2, 2014 9:40 pm

Flightglobal has an article on future fighter bomber engines, 45000 lb class. Suitable for LRS-B & F-35. USAF going to spend $1 billion on it over next five years. Follow on from the AETD/ADVENT program. Must admit I would like to replace the RAF Tornado GR4 with either LRS-B or F-35E.

Brian Black
Brian Black
September 2, 2014 10:45 pm

That’s 34 singles tennis courts, or 29 doubles courts.

(I don’t know which is the SI tennis court unit)

Without the clear area around the court it is 99 singles courts and 74 doubles.

Or 21 of the total grassed area of centre court.

Or a little more than one and a half centre court stadiums.

September 3, 2014 1:22 am

Nice the non-skid is sorted for CVFs. One question though: Why not THERMION? Which non-skid is touted to be better? I do not have the Monitor details to compare. :-(

The Other Chris
September 3, 2014 8:05 am

Glad a UK company has got a competitive coating to Thermion.

Brochure details appear comparable. 10 year life vs 3 year, ceramo-aluminium (note the “-ium”!) blend. Suitable for all flight decks, not just CVF.

Ian Skinner
Ian Skinner
September 3, 2014 8:36 am

I assume that they will be coating other vessels and not just the QE class- just in case the F-35s need to land elsewhere?

The Other Chris
September 3, 2014 8:48 am

@Ian Skinenr

More than likely to be used on other landing decks in the fleet, however not because we want F-35 to land there. The coatings from both Thermion and Monitor are meant to be more durable.

Current coatings have to be stripped off and recoated once every three years (ish). These have a ten-year life, so although the first coat is more expensive, it lasts much longer.

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom
September 3, 2014 1:39 pm

@ Brian Black

How many london buses can be parked on it though?

Brian Black
Brian Black
September 3, 2014 2:09 pm

Bendy buses or double deckers, Tom?

Nick Hales
Nick Hales
September 3, 2014 2:51 pm

Is there any effect on noise? Does less energy go into the deck, more reflected back in crew/aircraft direction? Paint is usually a bit flexible but this stuff sounds like it is hard as nails.

September 3, 2014 6:26 pm

One interesting little known fact of the new deck coatings for CVF is each batch includes a few drops of Red Trousers tears to help the thermal surface bond properly to the deck.

Ya boo sucks anti carrier whiners

September 3, 2014 7:14 pm

I wonder whether it will give a worse rash than camrex when you stack it playing flight deck sports?… As it is the size of Wembley, Wimbledon and Twickers plus a few double deckers, this should have been an important part of the procurement process.

On a more serious note, it’s good to know that it is tougher and more resilient than the current coating, which just doesn’t seem to last as long/well as it should. Hopefully fewer occasions of having to tent the flight deck to paint in a December gale in Pompey!

El Sid
El Sid
September 5, 2014 2:51 pm

Just make sure it’s stuck on properly!

On a more serious note, the USN amphibious fleet is really showing signs of strain, they’ve been thrashed over the last few years. You could argue that they’re suffering the consequences of choosing fewer, bigger ships that they want to be in two places at once. The big ships are suited to a peer war, modern-day low-intensity whack-a-mole needs more, smaller ships. They’re talking about buying another San Antonio – arguably they’d be better off using the money to buy a couple of Galicias and forward-base them in Rota.


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Paul hudd
Paul hudd
October 19, 2015 4:56 pm

What I find most interesting is that monitor have never done a job outside there unit no skilled experienced project manager or tms applicators, just bluffing there way to failure, costing the tax payer millions once the coating as with the first ship flakes off and has to be redone, I worked as a blaster on board the qe and watching there operatives work was appalling, less than 6 months experience between the 5 boys and a project leader who didn’t know his ear hole from his asshole joke company

December 6, 2015 11:56 am

Couldn’t agree more Paul, From working on the cutting of the steel to being on deck as a welder, I have never come across such incompetence in all my 30 years in the trades, Lack of experience and knowledge, lead by a project leader that has not a days experience in ship building or project management, Some one has made a major mistake hiring a company with no prior knowledge and as we have seen already unable to complete job on time and willing to blame every other contractor on site to buy time for there mistakes, Ashamed to have been a part of the work with such a poorly run and inexperienced set of operatives! Disgusting to think us as taxpayers are footing the bill for basically a test as the company has no prior experience of putting down deck coatings, Poor management by Aca to allow a company so inept to take on such a large project!!! Curious to know how these operatives have been allowed to work with no experience, I sense a major investigation into the company in the near future.