Why did the RN get rid of big Carriers?

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September 10th, 2004  
Rufus Excalibur

Topic: Why did the RN get rid of big Carriers?

In 1966 the Royal Navy had,

Ark Royal - 50,000 tonnes
Eagle - 50,000 t
Victorious - 35,000
Hermes, Centaur, Albion, Bulwark all 28,000 tonnes

13 years earlier at the Fleet Review at the Coronation of QE2, the RN could boast nearly 20 Carriers and was still vast compared with every other navy on earth and second only to the USN. At the start of WW2 it was still the largest. What went wrong!!

The Royal Navy developed the Steam Catapult, Angled Deck and Mirrored Landing, yet by the Falklands in 1982, only Hermes and the Through Deck Cruiser Invincible were left.

Was this the biggest mistake in the History of the Royal Navy?
September 10th, 2004  
would really like to see the RN with big carriers..
however, the cost will be huge as you have to add the fleet air arm too
September 10th, 2004  
They are very expensive....
September 10th, 2004  
I guess it's the same in UK as it is in many countries (including) Norway these days.
The defense budget gets cut down more and more, so in order to afford large carriers you have to sacrifice something else, and that's not easy....

I spent 10 days aboard HMS Albion earlier this year by the way.
Nice ship, best exercise I've ever been on (almost)!
September 10th, 2004  
Rufus Excalibur
The Government has announced plans for 2 60,000 tonne carriers to be launched by 2012 with the JSF. However they have also decided to scrap the Sea Harrier in 2006, and scrap 7 frigates and destroyers so the RN will have two big carriers but no ships to defend them. The French now have De Gaulle (35000tonnes) but it is time that the RN got back into the game. Any suggestions for names?

The new Albion and Bulwark are two fine ships, about time Intrepid and Fearless were replaced. Anyone remember which Bond Film Intrepid was in?
September 10th, 2004  
Originally Posted by Rufus Excalibur
Any suggestions for names?
Isn't it a tradition to (re)use old warship names in the RN?
I seem to remembers that Albion was first used around 1760 (as an example)..

I belive Intrepid was used in 'The Spy Who Loved Me'. (the last scene?)
September 10th, 2004  
Rufus Excalibur
The names have already been decided, a commission has chosen 'Queen Elizabeth' and 'The Prince of Wales'. Lets hope they don't have the same fate as Prince of Wales, that got punded by the Bismarck then sunk by the Japs. HMS QE cost 3 million, think the new one may cost a few more. I think the RN should have changed policy for these two ships and called them HMS Thatcher and HMS Churchill, the latter of course could have been the sister ship of USS Churchill.
September 11th, 2004  
One word, expense.

I think it's good that the RN recycle old names thus maintaining a link with the glory days of the past. I always preferred names like HMS Victory, HMS Vengeance, HMS Vanguard, rather than naming the ships after Royalty.

I think I remember Adolf Hitler expressly forbidding any ships to be named after himself in case it was lost at sea and affected morale. The same argument could be applied to these ships on a somewhat lesser scale.

HMS Churchill I can understand but HMS Thatcher?!? Having a laugh surely Why not have HMS John Major and HMS Tony Blair while you're at it!
September 11th, 2004  
I agree with doppleganger in that we got rid of the carriers due to expense, i like the name 'prince of wales' and 'queen elizabeth' though would prefer more famous names like victory, royal soverign, etc. seeing as these ships are gonna be our biggest ships!
September 11th, 2004  
Expense is a lot do to with it. That and there is a large number of countries that are leaning more toward VSTOL A/C. You do not need an *extremely* large deck vessel to support them.