HMS Ilustrious due back in Pompey next week

I’ve just noticed that Sea Waves lists HMS Illustrious as returning to Portsmouth on 20 June, next Monday. As soon as I hear anything firm I will let you know, and hopefully get some pictures – as long as QHM plan her arrival during my lunch hour, or conveniently early before work!

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “HMS Ilustrious due back in Pompey next week

  1. x

    Happy Days! :)

    Currently with regards to CVF I am of the opinion that Their Lordships should have looked at STOBAR not CATOBAR. Now the former isn’t the most efficient way to lay out a carrier deck. But we will never have a huge number of airframes onboard what will be a very big ship. And surely fitting both CVF hulls with traps (just big hydraulic rams after all) is better than throwing yet more money at BAR to develop that electro-rail-catapult-wotsit and only being able to fit it to one hull? If I read the figures right most STOBAR fighters have thrust/weight ratio greater than .9. F35c can only achieve this with 75% fuel. Rafale with 100% fuel and 4 missiles has t/w ratio of 1.1 ……….

  2. John Erickson

    Dirty so-and-sos. You gain a carrier, we lose a B-17. Sucky day for us Yanks.
    (Search for Liberty Foundation B-17. And the real lousy thing? It happened out at an airport in Illinois, a place I’ve a bunch of re-enacting at. I know the area like the back of my hand, could’ve even helped them out. But NO, I’m stuck in Ohio. :( )

  3. John Erickson

    And what’s this? We still have time to buy Ark Royal?

    http://www.dangerousminds.net/comments/ark_royal_for_sale/

    Save your pennies, lads! :D

  4. With LUSTY back in the fray, things will become possible…

  5. x

    I think the best that can be hoped for is Italian, USMC, or even Spanish(!) AV8s flying from her if the Libya situation continues. The RAF will be down to 6 sorties a day month after next. And the campaign is eating into Typhoon air hours and pilot training schedules.

    Though I think the embarrassment factor for the current government would be too much. A tricky balancing act keeping the US, the French, and the home front happy. Then again you could probably scratch the latter!

  6. James Daly

    It will be nice to see her back. In whatever guise, at least its a big, flexible hull back in the fleet, and in Pompey.

    My worry about the Harrier issue is the possibility of the Government flogging them off sharpish to remove all possibility of them being re-activated.

    • John Erickson

      No worries, James. At the rate the F-35B is advancing, the US will have Harriers sometime into the 2050s. They can fly cover for the B-52s, which are projected out to 2060. What a sight – a representative of each, flying side by side in 2060, reflecting almost two centuries of aerial cutting edge technology.
      Now you know why the US was so upset about the B-17 that crashed outside Chicago a few days ago. Few realise it was one of the contenders to replace the B-2 in our current age of fiscal responsibility.

  7. James Daly

    Looks like Lusty won’t be back until 8 July, according to the Portsmouth Evening News. There’s also a strenuous denial that she won’t be rushed off to Libya… sea trials and FOST in readiness for Ocean’s refit… no harriers… ski ramp only left on cos it would have cost more to get rid… I wonder though, this government have u-turned on everything else. It would do serious damage to Cameron and Fox’s credibility… hence I think its a great idea :)

  8. My suggestion: It occurs to me that if we could supply a number (most of them) of our now stored Harrier GR9s to the US, and continue to offer the USMC a chance to carry out embarkations of a dozen or so Harriers, we may be able to purchase or lease a number of AV8B (AV8B+ if we’re lucky) aircraft in a quid pro quo type arrangement. Hopefully any such deal would include some sort of MOU in order to prevent the UK to incur major support costs, but would offer the following advantages:

    1. The UK would still be able to respond to crises in which carrier aviation is useful.
    2. The RN would maintain the skills needed to run a carrier with jets on deck, and would maintain a cadre of both Pilots and Engineers to work with these aircraft, avoiding the need to start from scratch later on this decade.
    3. If we could get AV8B+s then it would give the Navy a capability that it lost when the Sea Harrier was retired in 2006. We would therefore be in a far better position to provide air defence for a maritime task group, or to participate in policing a no fly zone.
    4. We would no longer have to pay for storing retired aircraft, and the Government would be justified in portraying this as a step forward.
    5. Our potential adversaries would have something to think about – prevention (deterrence) being better than cure.
    6. The defence relationship with the US would be strengthened, as would the defence relationship with France as Illustrious would be able to relieve Charles De Gaulle in x months time.

  9. Feel free to contact the Prime Minister and forward my suggestion:

    https://email.number10.gov.uk/Contact.aspx

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