Future Aircraft Carrier: UKSubscribe to Projects
Future Aircraft Carrier: UK
The United Kingdom Royal Navy is looking forward for a new aircraft Carrier, which would multiply its current possibilities. The concept is challenging, due to the fact that the requirements for the new carrier are to be twice as large as the existing carriers.
The 1998 Strategic Defense review confirmed that there is a need to replace the existing Invincible class aircraft carriers. In 1999 the Ministry of Defense selected the Thales and BAE Systems out of six potential contractors to compete for the final contract. In September 2002 the same institution made the announcement that the Royal Navy and RAF will operate the STOVL F-35B Lightning II variant and that the carriers would take the form of large, conventional carriers, which will initially be adapted for STOVL operations. Four months later the Ministry of Defense made public the winning design as Thales, with clear specification that the prime contractor will be BAE Systems. Later Thales and BAE Systems made an alliance with the Ministry of defense and other companies designated for the building of the Future Carrier. This alliance is know as the Future Carrier Alliance.
It was estimated that the carriers could be 300 meters long and displace about 40,000 tons and be capable of carrying up to 50 aircraft. These carriers are likely to be among the biggest ships ever built for the Royal Navy.
Funding of the demonstration phase for detailed design of the carriers was approved in December 2005,UK Ministry of Defense, the first part of the Main Gate decision. The second part, approval for construction, was announced in July 2007. It was also announced that 60% of the carriers would be built at four UK shipyards - BAE Systems Govan (hull block 4) and Barrow (block 3), VT Portsmouth (block 2) and Babcock Rosyth (bow block 1). Babcock will be responsible for final integration.
Future Carrier Suppliers List
BAE Systems and VT Group announced the beginning of a joint venture for the design, manufacture and support of UK surface Future Carrier, which will finalized in 2008 and will be called BVT Surface Fleet Ltd. The whole concept partnership was between these major contractors, each with its specific role in building the Future Carrier: BAE Systems - prime contractor; Thales Naval Ltd - key supplier; BAE Systems Insyte (formerly Alenia Marconi Systems) - C4IS; BMT Defence Systems - naval architecture; EDS - systems integration, fleet support, through life support; Lockheed Martin - programme management and engineering; QinetiQ - computer modelling and simulation, technology, test and evaluation; Rolls Royce - propulsion, life support; Strachan & Henshaw - waste management, munitions handling; Swan Hunter - construction; VT Group - naval architecture, construction, through life support.
The QinetiQ have developed modeling and simulation programs for the designs of the flight deck, hull, hangar deck, and other features of the Future Carrier.
Future Carrier Lifecycle
The designers planned to make a design for a 50-year service life hull. The designs are configured with a ski ramp for Short Take Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) operations. The carrier's service life is substantially longer than the 20-year service life of the selected F-35 STOVL carrier aircraft. The Future Carrier's will be upgradeable to a Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) design, in order to have the option to operate conventional maritime aircraft. The Carrier's hull will be nine-decks deep plus the flight deck. Corus will supply the over 80,000t of steel plating required for the two ships.
The Future Carrier will support Joint Combat Aircraft carrying out up to 420 sorties over five days and be able to conduct day and night time operations. The maximum sortie rate is 110 Joint Combat Aircraft sorties per 24-hour period. The standard air group of 40 aircraft includes the EH-101 Merlin helicopter Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, the Maritime Surveillance and Control aircraft (MASC).
The maximum launch rate on the Future Carrier is 24 aircraft in 15 minutes and the maximum recovery rate is 24 aircraft in 24 minutes. In September 2005 was launched the MASC assessment phase for an airborne early warning aircraft to succeed the Sea King ASaC mk7 helicopter. In May 2006, three study contracts were awarded for MASC platform and mission systems options.
The hanger deck of the Future Carrier, 155m x 33.5m x 6.7m to 10m high, accommodates up to 20 fixed and rotary wing aircraft. It will also support simultaneous launch and recovery operations and it will be fitted with a 13° bow deck ski jump and with a steam catapult or electromagnetic launch system and arrester gear, if the option to convert the carrier to the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) variant proceeds.
Future Aircraft Carrier
The Future Carrier's deck will have three runways: two for the STOVL Joint Strike Fighter -shorter runways of approximately 160m-, and a long runway, approximately 260m over the full length of the carrier, for launching heavily loaded aircraft - an area of nearly 13,000m². It will also have one or two vertical landing pads for the F-35 aircraft towards the stern of the ship. This makes the Future Carrier a very reliable ship for the combat support.
Each runway of the Carrier's deck will have Jet Blast Deflectors 160m back from the bow ski jump and in line with the rear wall of the first island. The Jet Blast Deflectors will protect the deck from the blast of the F-35 engines operating at maximum thrust for take-off. McTaggart Scott of Loanhead, Scotland will build two large 70t-load deck-edge aircraft lifts for the Future Carrier in order to transfer aircrafts between the hangar and flight decks, one between the islands and one to the aft of the FLYCO island.
The Electronic Aircraft Launch System, that General Atomics from the USA is developing for the United States Navy CVN-21 Carrier, will be assessed by the UK for the Future Carrier as the program progresses.
Specifications: Ship crew- 600, airgroup crew- up to 900; Dimensions: overall Length- 284m, beam (Waterline)- 39m, Beam (Overall)- 73m, Draught (Keel to Waterline)- 11m, Length at Waterline- 250m; full load displacement- 65,000t; depth to top of masthead- 56m
Performance: maximum speed- 25kt, economical speed- 15kt, range- 10,000nm; ship availability (two ships) - 584 ship days a year; endurance between replenishment- 7 days; interval between dockings- 6 years; upkeep interval- 6 months maximum; propulsion: Rolls Royce MT30 Gas Turbines- 2 x 36MW, auxiliary diesel generators- 2 x 7MW, emergency diesel generators- 2MW each, electric motors- 2 x 30MW; shafts- 2; aviation facilities: hanger capacity- 20 aircraft, hangar length- 155m, hangar width- 33.5m, hangar height- 6.7m, deck edge lifts- 2.
The UK is procuring two Future Carriers for the Royal Navy in 2014 and 2016, respectively.
The carriers will be the biggest and most powerful surface warships ever constructed for the Royal Navy, and represent a step change in capability, enabling the delivery of increased strategic effect and influence around the world. They will be a key component of the improved expeditionary capabilities needed to confront the diverse range of threats in today's security environment.
When the building of the Future Carriers will be finalized, the Royal Navy will have the biggest and most powerful surface warship ever constructed for the Royal Navy.