20 July 2017

Epic Troll

Over at The Register, they discuss how the Royal Navy will maintain offensive capability now that they will have no antiship weapons between 2018 and 2020.

Their proposal is to put the biplane Fairey Swordfish torpedo bomber on their aircraft carriers:
The solution to the Royal Navy’s post-2018 problem of having no anti-ship weapons is already in service and can even equip the UK’s new aircraft carriers.

The Fairey Swordfish (pictured above) is a versatile, rugged torpedo bomber first introduced into service in the 1930s. Having outlived everything introduced to replace it during the WWII, two flying examples remain in service with the RN Historic Flight.

These two aircraft could each be assigned to HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, the 70,000-ton aircraft carriers due to enter naval service in the near future.

Although neither carrier has catapults (or, indeed, aircraft until the year 2021), the Swordfish is capable of taking off within 540ft at full power* with the ship steaming into a 20kt wind – which compares very favourably with the QE-class’s 920ft flight deck.

The Swordfish has a noble and proud history of delivering the Navy’s ship-sinking capability, most notably over the Italian fleet at Taranto in 1940 and crippling the battleship Bismarck later in WWII. It is a proven war-winning platform with a straightforward wood-and-canvas construction that means spares and logistic trains will cost infinitely less than the heart-stoppingly expensive F-35B fighter jet (at around $130m per aircraft, according to some estimates) which will not be able to fly from the British carriers until 2021 at the earliest.


Post a Comment