May 21, 2008


I saw news of this recently but a post over at The Sandcrawler led me to this clip on Parliament's funding of the carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales:


Can anyone explain the two-"island" design?

Posted by LMC at May 21, 2008 06:45 PM | TrackBack

Here's what I could find:

As I interpret the article, it looks like the bridge is located on the front island and controls the fighter aircraft. The back island controls helicopters and other stuff (amphibious ninjas, cruise missiles, etc.)

These are really not carriers in the sense that we use the word (they're a little more than half the size of the Nimitz class ships), and the F35 is really a replacement for the Harrier, and is not nearly as robust or capable as the F18. These look to be about a third bigger than our Tarawa and Wasp class LHA/LHD ships (which displace about 45,000 tons). Still, they are extremely useful ships for doing stuff like reconquering the Falklands or sending a brigade of Marines to rescue an embassy. I look at it and I say "better than nothing, certainly." We used a Wasp class ship to get 3000 Americans out of Lebanon a few years back, and they are great for relief missions and can carry a ton of helicopters. Good for supporting forces in a theater or for projecting force against the Barbary pirates; I probably wouldn't want to fight a World War against China with them.

Posted by: The Abbot at May 22, 2008 08:36 AM

Basically, I agree with the first post.

One (island) is for flyin' and the other is for drivin'.

I think the real secret is in allowing for follow on aplications with the key being interoperability with the US fleets and changing aircraft types over time.



Posted by: Michael at May 22, 2008 08:47 AM