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Carrier Vessel for the Future - CVF

Queen Elizabeth Class
 

Part 2

             Article Parts 

 1. Current Project Status and
     Graphics

  2. Specification

  3. The Project and its Origins

  4. Role

  5. Smart Procurement

  6. Project Schedule

  7. Procurement Process I
      (until Jan 2003)

  8. Procurement Process II  
      (until July 2007)

  9. Procurement Process III
      (latest situation)

10. Management and Industry
       Structures

11. Aviation Operations

12. STOVL or CV F-35?

13. Platform Design ...

14. ... and Redesign

15. C4ISR Facilities

16. Operational Concepts

17. Crew, Accommodation &
       Habitability

18. Propulsion and Engineering

19. Manufacture

20. Build Problems and UK
      Content

21. Basing and Support

22. Costs

23. Air Group

24. Aviation Requirements and
       Facilities

25. Catapults and Arresting Gear

26. Armament and Armour

27. Operations

28. Names

29. CVF Links



 


CVF 'Alpha'  (Source: Thales CVF Team)

 

CVF 'Delta' (Source : Thales UK)


Specification (Provisional and/or Speculative)

The following table gives details for the Alpha Thales (Nov '02) CVF design officially selected in January 2003, the smaller and slightly lower cost Bravo 'optimised' design developed by the CVF Alliance during the summer of 2003, and the compromise Delta design preferred since the end of 2003.  The table represents a filtering and analysis of information on CVF  published by Thales, BAE Systems, Hansard, the UK MOD and French government reports, supplemented by press reports and other sources, and an examination of published graphics. 
  

  Design Solution Designation [1]
Characteristic Thales/BMT - Alpha 'adaptable' concept,  November 2002 [2] CVF Alliance - Bravo design, September 2003 [3,4] CVF Alliance - Delta design December 2003 onwards [5, 10]

Displacement
(metric tons):

Over 65,000 tonnes full load [6]
50,000 tonnes light
(75,000 limiting)

55,000 tonnes full load 64,500 tonnes full load (start of service life)

Limiting 75,000 tonnes at end up service life (after two re-ballastings) [11]

Hull Dimensions (length x  beam):
 

288.5 metres (947 feet) length overall;
74 metres (243 feet) max width at flightdeck [6];

273 x 38.6 metres (896 x 127 feet)  waterline

265  metres (870 feet) length overall;
66 metres  (217 feet) max width at flightdeck
284 metres (931 feet) length overall; 73 metres (239 feet) max width at flightdeck; [11]

263.5 metres (865 feet) pp; 39 metres beam (water line) (128 feet)

Depth of main hull: 30 metres

Draft:  12 metres (39ft)  max Estimated
10.3 metres (34 feet) max
11 metres  (36 feet) max  [11]

Air draft - 47 metres masthead height (including sensors)

Overall height: 56 metres [12]

Aviation Facilities (STOVL or STOSRVL): Single hanger; 2 deck edge lifts capable of 70-tonnes loads (2 x F-35's);  full-length/width axial flight deck

13° bow ski jump;

No arrestor wires; no catapults. 
[Provision for fitting arresting gear and steam or electro-magnetic catapults if required in the future]

Delta only: Hanger area; 4,700 sq m, volume 29,000 m3 ; Flight deck area: nearly 13,000 sq m

Hanger Dimensions (length x  width x height): 180 x 36 x 10 metres
(585 x 118 x 33 feet)
Estimated.
150 x 29 x 7-9 metres
(492 x 95 x 23-29 feet)
163 x 29 x 7.1 to 9 metres
(535 x 95 x 23-29 feet)
Speed: Officially "over 25 knots")
Estimated 27-28 knots maximum
"Over 25 knots" maximum. 26.3 knots maximum [11]
Engines:
[7]
Integrated Full Electric Propulsion (IFEP).
3 or 4 x 36MW Rolls Royce MT30 gas turbines with alternators;
? x 5-7MW auxiliary and harbour diesel generator sets;
Total generating capacity:  150MW (with 4 x MT30's);
Multiple distributed 1-2MW emergency diesel generator sets;
4 x 21.5MW Alstom advanced induction motors in 4 x azimuthing RR-Alstom "Mermaid" propulsion pods, 85MW (114,000 hp) total power consumption, output - c.100,000 shp;
[Provision for fitting auxiliary steam generating plant.]
Integrated Full Electric Propulsion (IFEP).
2 x 36MW Rolls Royce MT30 gas turbines with alternators;
? x ?MW auxiliary and harbour diesel generator sets;
Total generating capacity: ?MW;
Multiple distributed 1-2MW emergency diesel generator sets;
2 x 30MW electric motors, 60MW (80,000 hp) total power consumption, output - c.70,000 shp;
2 propeller shafts; 

 

IFEP with Combined Diesel-Electric and Gas Turbine Propulsion (CODLAG)
2 x 36MW Rolls Royce MT30 gas turbines with 35MW alternators;
2 x Wärtsilä 16V38 EnviroEngines diesels with 11.6MW generators;
2 x MW Wärtsilä 12V38 EnviroEngines diesels with 8.7MW generators;
Total main generating capacity: 108MW;

Emergency Wärtsilä 200 2MW diesel generator set.

2 propeller shafts, each with 2 x Alstom 15-phase electric induction motors (rated at 20MW each at 150 rpm);
80MW (107,000 hp) total power consumption, output - c.95,000 shp

Endurance: 

45 days endurance, 

8,000-10,000 nautical miles at 15 knots

Ammunition, aviation fuel and stores for at least 5 days of aviation operations, including first day surge. 

Alpha: Total of 8,600 tonnes of Dieso and Avcat  (Alpha: About 5000 and 5000 tonnes)

Replenishment typically every 7 days.  A dedicated fleet tanker (MARS project) for CVF support  will carry sufficient fuel (and some supplies)  for a further 28 days of on task operations.

Armament: Example fit:
4 x Raytheon Phalanx Block 1B CIWS;
Extensive passive countermeasures outfit such as SeaGnat DLH.
None, provision fitting of a ILMS or CIWS;
EW and passive ("soft kill") countermeasures outfit such as SeaGnat DLH.
Provision for fitting of light calibre cannon, PDMS or CIWS;
EW and passive ("soft kill") countermeasures outfit such as SeaGnat DLH or Barricade.

Latest illustrations show:
3 x Raytheon Phalanx CIWS;
4 x
MSI DS30B 30mm cannons

Air Group:

Maximum 46.  

36 (max 42) Lockheed Martin F-35B STOVL Joint Strike Fighters; 4 x Maritime Airborne Surveillance and Control aircraft / helicopters; 0 or 6 x  Merlin HM.1 ASW helicopters.

Also able to operate a wide range of other tri-service helicopters including SABR, Chinook HC.2 , Apache WAH-64, and UAV's including Watchkeeper.

Maximum 34.  

24 (max 30) Lockheed Martin F-35B STOVL Joint Strike Fighters; 4 x Maritime Airborne Surveillance and Control aircraft / helicopters; 0 or  6 x  Merlin HM.1 ASW helicopters.

Also able to operate a wide range of other tri-service helicopters including SABR, Chinook HC.2 , Apache WAH-64, and UAV's including Watchkeeper.

Maximum 40.

Strike carrier role:
30 (max 36 for short periods, replacing the Merlin's) BAE Systems Harrier GR.9/9A or Lockheed Martin F-35B STOVL Joint Strike Fighters; 4 x Sea King ASaC.7 or Maritime Airborne Surveillance and Control aircraft / helicopters / UAV's; up to 6 x  Merlin HM.1 ASW helicopters.

Also able to operate a wide range of other tri-service aircraft and helicopters including Harrier GR9, Sea King, Chinook HC.2 , Apache WAH-64, and UAV's.

Radars: May 03:-
Long Range Air/Surface Search and IFF: Alenia Marconi Systems S1850M;
Target Designation & Fire Control:  BAE Systems Sampson Smartello;
Navigation: 1 or 2 Racal Decca Type 1008, or equivalent.
Long Range Air/Surface Search and IFF: ?
Target Designation & Fire Control:  ?
Navigation: ?
Long Range Air/Surface Search and IFF: BAE Systems Insyte S1850M;
Medium Range Radar: BAE Systems Insyte Artisan;
Target Designation & Fire Control:  None
Navigation: ?
Combat Systems: BAE Systems CMS; Tactical Data Links 10, 22 (Improved 11), 14 and JTIDS 16; Lockheed Martin CEC. BAE Systems CMS; Tactical Data Links 10, 22 (Improved 11), 14 and JTIDS 16. BAE Systems; CMS; Tactical Data Links 11, 22 and JTIDS 16.
Armour: Steel or Composite side armour and blast resistant bulkheads for critical spaces Little or none.  Passive protection features.  (Details are classified but may include small amounts of armour)
Complement: Typically 1400 total, accommodation for 1800

605 crew (about 67 officers, 127 Senior rates, 411 Junior rates), Up to 700 airgroup
Up to 140 flag and command staff.

Substantial additional accommodation, e.g. for enlarged 'surge' airgroup or an embarked military force (troops) of up to RM Commando size in austere conditions.

Note: Very high levels of automation.

Typically 1200 total  [8,9]

About 600 crew, up to 600 airgroup 

Typically 1450 total, including airgroup.

Flag and command staff will also often be embarked.

Accommodation for 1650

 

Demonstration & Manufacture Cost [9] : Est. £4.0bn (For two carriers) Est. £3.5bn (For two carriers)
£3.9bn (For two carriers)

Notes: 

  1. The original late 2002 Thales CVF design solution was respectively designated "Alpha" when from June 2002 onwards alternatives Beta, Charlie, Delta and Echo were developed.  Delta was selected in December 2003, it was agreed in January 2006 that this would be developed in to a common baseline design, with UK and French variants.
  2. The concept  submitted by Thales UK in November 2002 was considerably modified by BAE Systems during the first half of 2003, many sensors and systems were changed, the design apparently increased in both size and displacement, and it certainly increased in estimated cost.  
  3. Much of the information provided in this column should be treated as speculative as it's based upon only a few bits few information, supplemented by derivation from the adaptable Alpha design. 
  4. Early (June 2003) design studies displaced 45-50,000 tonnes, probably set by the minimum size of ship still able to operate the F-35C.  During the third quarter of 2003 work centred on a design of 50-55,000 tonnes with a maximum airgroup of 34-35 aircraft, by September 2003 this 'optimised' design had become the preferred option. 
  5. After discussions with stakeholders, the 'optimised' design grew during the fourth quarter of 2003 to 55-60,000 tonnes with a maximum aircraft capacity of 40 including 36 JSF's. By early 2004 official preference was in favour of this grown 'delta' design, as a cost-effective compromise or 'equilibrium' between the less capable and very cramped 'optimised' design and the expensive 'adaptable' design, but still with economies in equipment.
  6. Contemporary reports indicated that Thales had submitted proposals for an  'adaptable' design of just over 60,000 tonnes displacement (presumably full load) and about 288.5 m length in November 2002, and most official sources such as the RN, MOD, BAE Systems and BMT quoted these numbers at the time.  However by May/June 2003 design changes and additions had apparently increased both size and displacement, and defence analysts and authoritive publications such as  Jane's Navy International and Lloyds Register were quoting 65,000 tonnes and lengths of up to 295 metres (968 feet).  It now appears that that the enlarged dimensions may be original. 
  7. Engineering configurations have been subject to frequent change, and still so not seem to be completely final. 
  8. As an acquisition cost cutting measure, automation was reduced, resulting in an increased crew/displacement ratio.
  9. Estimated build cost has steadily increased from the original £2 billion in 1998 as the CVF project has progressed and become better defined.  The MOD's budget was about £3 billion but BAE Systems and Thales were estimating a contract value of about £4 billion for the demonstration and manufacture phase in May 2003.  Rigorous trade-off (cost saving) efforts have been made since, but CVF Alliance cost estimates continue to exceed the MOD's plans, particularly as it was decided that the smaller and less capable designs were not worth were proceeding with.  The expected cost is now classified on grounds that it is "commercially sensitive information", but it appears that in early 2005 the MOD & DPA considered that £3.5 billion was a fair price, while BAE Systems assessed the cost at £4.0 billion.
  10. On 24th January 2006, the UK and France agreed to co-operate to create a Common Baseline Design, based on the CVF Delta design, which would meet France’s requirements for an additional carrier. 
  11. In October 2006 DCN reported 74,000 tonnes displacement, 73 metres beam, 11.5 metres (37 ft) draft and 25-26 knots for the CVF FR variant - this is probably actually the limiting displacement. 
  12. Obviously 11 m + 47 m does not equal 56m, however the airdraft is taken from a different document from the other two and  the draft has previously been quoted as 9.5 m at the start of their service life.  A loaded draft of just over 10 metres with an airdraft of 46 m may now be reasonable numbers for when the ships enter service.  

 

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 © 2004-13 Richard Beedall unless otherwise indicated.