George M James
WHAT EXACTLY IS SCARY ABOUT AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER WITHOUT AIRCRAFT?
Updated: Nov 8, 2020
Or one that is a sitting duck? Really not Whitehall’s finest hour.
Another day, another pointless threat against China. If it is not Huawei “stealing information” (as if no other telecoms company does that in every country in the world) it is Hong Kong (where a Western colour revolution failed) or it is “Russian election meddling” (without a shred of evidence that will stand in court). The trend to isolate Russia and China is so clear that it is annoying to reasonable minded people. But let us concentrate on China because what is more annoying is to hear the talking heads stating their nonsense without any regard to military facts. One, asked by an interviewer about Whitehall plans to send its aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth on patrol to the South China Sea next year, stated smugly that it sends a serious message to China.
Really? It sends a serious message. What a stupid comment. The Global Times (the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece) replied: “By showing off its military power, the UK wants to demonstrate it is still a traditional major power with a tough navy. But it is only making itself look more like a US pawn. London's military strength cannot afford the consequences of such provocations. Some Britons still dream that their country is as powerful as "the empire on which the sun never sets". Those days are long faded. The UK is not satisfied being a second-class country, but it is actually overwhelmed and underpowered. The HMS Queen Elizabeth, with a displacement of 65,000 tons, doesn't even have any UK-made fighter jets on it - not to mention that its sea trials were not as smooth as the UK expected. The UK is bluffing. It should know its limitations before attempting to strong-arm China, which is no longer a weak military country to be bullied as it was during the Opium Wars. Whereas the US' nuclear-powered carriers with displacement over 100,000 tons have repeatedly come to the South China Sea but failed to frighten China, the HMS Queen Elizabeth won't be a deterrence to China even if it is sent to the Far East.” (https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1194675.shtml).
Why will the Royal Navy carrier not be a threat or a deterrence to China? I answered that in Code Name Ghost, GMJ 31: “The Royal Navy is a zero on a contract these days. They have almost no ships operational and most of those are terribly old and outclassed. Their entire nuclear deterrent is dependent on US equipment and they lost the ability to operate fleet size carriers, the last such fleet carrier went out of service in the mid-1970s – their Parasite-known-as-Prince-Charles, flew on them as a young man, with the McDonnell Douglas Phantom II. Now they need to be trained by the US Navy on carrier operation or perhaps France or even Brazil. That is how far the once-respected Royal Navy is behind the times, close to fifty years, half a century. It is ridiculous but also so terribly sad. This may have been what Mr Obama meant when he said recently (March 2016) he does not like “freeloaders.” The US Navy, with France, had to carry the costs of fleet carriers alone for decades, it is pathetic, really, abuse of friends even.
The Royal Navy is also completely unbalanced. We are reminded of Hitler’s unbalanced Kriegsmarine of 1939… where the capital ships were not built as planned, thus making sure that those existing were fed piecemeal into the action and suffer defeat time after time. The problem is this and it is serious enough to be never printed in mainstream media. God knows why, everyone in naval circles knows about it. The new Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers will only have 12 to 24 F-35Bs on them simply because Whitehall bought only a total of 48 such aircraft whereas the ships could have carried 50 each. Logic thus would have demanded at least 150 aircraft to be bought or manufactured to ensure that some are spare etc. One third are usually down for maintenance, another third is used for training. Thus, and this should shock you, the operational Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier steaming out to meet the enemy has less than half her designed allocation of aircraft onboard or if a full load, then only one carrier can be operational, the other one is without fighter protection, lol. This is because that what is available, the miserable 48 F-35Bs, are split between the two ships and because training must carry on, maintenance etc., almost certainly only 12 F-35B aircraft will be on such a carrier where there should have been four times more by design.
There is no excuse, it is outright a pathetic attempt. A US carrier, for instance, will never leave harbour without 60 to 90 aircraft onboard and in a carrier group of 3-4 destroyers and guided-missile cruisers, a nuclear submarine or two, and several supply ships because the carrier alone is extremely vulnerable. Unless you have layered defences around the carrier, other ships spreading out and adding much needed defensive and offensive firepower, the attackers will get that carrier every single time as is proven in war. The Royal Navy carriers, with half their allotted aircraft on board, do not have the required frigates and guided-missile cruisers for escorts. The Kriegsmarine problem of World War Two repeating once again. They just don’t have them and so they will, I suppose, join an American task force for mutual protection and be subjugated to American command. With that goes all the remaining prestige the Senior Service had left. In every possible way, the Royal Navy has become a joke and is not reckoned much of a threat by the Chinese or the Russians.
The new carriers cannot even claim quantity because their chief offensive and defensive weapon, the F-35B fighter, is in its totality a failure of design concept, that aircraft will lose any fight against a Fourth-Generation aircraft. What is more, the Queen Elizabeths will never be able to keep up with the Yanks, being diesel-powered, not nuclear and short ranged. They are further, this is interesting, in the same size and category as the much-ridiculed current Russian and Chinese carriers. For some reason, the Russian and Chinese carriers are seen as the joke but the Queen Elizabeths are not. There is no doubt who will win the dogfights if such a clash ever takes place, the Sukhois will destroy the F-35B easily, it is proven in tests, and then what? How long before the aircraft carriers are sunk? It is a mess created entirely by the British turds.”
Okay, and then there are the supply lines that can be interdicted. No aircraft carrier will survive close to the Chinese shores. Do you even know how much supplies, fuel, and ammunition an aircraft carrier need to be operational? Or how far the South China Sea is from Western countries trying to throw their weight around? I doubt if Whitehall knows. But let us look at history for those that have short memories. Military history has alarming lessons on what happens to warships when they are found close to enemy shores. HMS Prince of Wales, a battleship and HMS Repulse, a battlecruiser, come to mind, both sunk by the Japanese inside an hour in 1941. There are many more examples of such disasters. Let me be clear. If any US or NATO warship tries to force its will on Russia or China, and I mean force, not just sail past a disputed island or staying in international waters and by doing so showing its weakness, that ship will be sunk and conventional war will break out. They are not going to play games in their own waters and neither should the US in its waters. Once you fail to act decisively, you will be pushed relentlessly into a corner. Raw might is something that is fully understood by most people. I say again, no ship will survive that close to enemy shores unless total aerial dominance is achieved around it. Such dominance comes with war only. As is, the US Navy does not have the capacity, willpower or even the weapons to take on a First World Military. It will not be “let us arrive offshore and fly bombing strikes like usual and then go home with new medals for murdering civilians.” Trust me, you will lose ships, aircrew and much more. You will find out what war really is.
God knows why the UK must always blindly follow the US lead in foreign relations. I wonder what happened to the once independent-minded English to which the world owes so much. The ones that led from the front. Where did the manhood go to? Why are such losers elected as leaders year after year as if born to rule? Predetermined to screw up? Well, I have some answers to that as set out in Code Name Rebecca 65 where we speak about the Compromise of Avranches but you can read it for yourself. And for those making their snide comments below the Global Times article, come and talk to me again once a shooting war breaks out. In the meantime, let us pray that I am wrong.
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