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Future Aircraft Carrier (CVF)

Queen Elizabeth Class

Part 1

Type Designation: Aircraft Carrier (Attack) - CVA

(Above) These graphics of the Future Aircraft Carrier (CVF) were published in August 2007.  (Source: MOD)




(Above) These pictures trickled out between August 2007 and the end of the year.  They show a F-35B aircraft making a vertical landing but the design is now expected to support shipborne rolling vertical  landings  (Source: MOD)


(Above) These graphics also appeared at the end of 2007, further significant revisions have been made to the islands compared to the pictures above.  A long range S1850M search radar is shown fitted atop the fore island,  it is unclear whether this will actually be fitted in addition to the Artisan 3D medium range radar - rather incorrectly depicted on the aft island.    (Source: MOD)


Short take-off and ship borne rolling vertical landings using the STOVL F-35B were favoured by 2008, however the CV F-35C (which requires catapult launches and arrested landings) remains a fall back option if the F-35B encounters serious problems.  This graphic from early 2008 shows a F-35C on final approach.  (Source: Thales)


(Above) This graphic was used by the MOD in December 2005.  Interestingly it shows a CTOL rather than STOVL configured CVF.  It appears to be an update of a graphic first used in 2003. (Source: MOD)


(Above) A profile of the selected CVF Delta variant dating to 2006.  Accompanying text stated it to be 280 metres long, have a 9 metres draft, an air draft of 47 metres, and 9 decks. (Source: ACA)



For the history of the CVF design in artists impressions, including early or unlikely CVF designs,
see here.

For the deck layouts of the various CVF designs considered, see here.

Type Designation: Aircraft Carrier (CV)

Name No Builders First Steel Cut Floated Out (1) Completed In Service (2)
HMS Queen Elizabeth R? Carrier Alliance (3) [2009] [2013] [2015] [2016]
HMS Prince of Wales R? Carrier Alliance (3) [2011] [2015] [2017] [2018]

1. The carriers will be composed of blocks assembled in a dry dock, so the traditional term "launched" does not really apply.
. In July 2007 the target in service dates for the two carriers was officially stated to be 2014 and 2016. this was confirmed in July 2008 but a delay of up to two years was announced in December 2008.
3. A consortium of British shipyards will build the large hull superblocks:- BVT Surface Fleet Ltd at the former BAE Systems Barrow and Govan shipyards and also at the former VT Shipbuilding Portsmouth shipyard, plus Babcock Engineering Services at its Rosyth dockyard.  Final assembly and completion will also be at Rosyth. Other yards and companies will also fabricate major components.



The specification below is for the CVF Delta design variant selected in 2003, and refined and developed over the next five years.

Displacement metric tons): 64,500 tonnes full load (start of service life)
Limiting 75,000 tonnes at end of service life (after two re-ballastings)

Dimensions:  284 metres (931 feet) length overall; 73 metres (239 feet) max width at flightdeck;
263.5 metres (865 feet) pp; 39 metres beam (water line) (128 feet)
Depth of main hull: 30 metres
Draft: 11 metres  (36 feet) max Air draft - 47 metres masthead height (including sensors)
Overall height: 56 metres

Speed: 26.3 knots maximum; 25 knots maximum sustained

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.
It's planned that 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

Engines: Integrated Full Electric Propulsion (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

Complement: Typically 1450 total, including airgroup;
Flag and command staff will also often be embarked;
Accommodation for 1650

Aviation Facilities: Flight deck arrangements for Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) or Short Take-Off and Ship-borne Rolling Vertical Landing (STOSRVL);
Fitted for but not with catapults and arresting gear;
Hanger size: 163 x 29 x 7.1 to 9 metres (535 x 95 x 23-29 feet)

Armament: Provision for fitting of light calibre cannon, PDMS or CIWS;
Latest illustrations show: 3 x Raytheon Phalanx CIWS; 4 x MSI DS30B 30mm cannons

Torpedoes: None

Countermeasures and Decoys: EW and passive ("soft kill") countermeasures outfit such as SeaGnat DLH or Barricade.

Combat data systems: BAE Systems; CMS; Tactical Data Links 11, 22 and JTIDS 16.

Radars: Long Range Air/Surface Search and IFF: BAE Systems Insyte S1850M;
Medium Range Radar: BAE Systems Insyte Artisan;
Target Designation & Fire Control: None
Navigation: ?

Sonar: ?

Air Group: 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

Armour: Passive protection features.  (Details are classified but may include small amounts of armour)



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 © 2004-13 Richard Beedall unless otherwise indicated.