Possibility small STOVL carrier USN/USMC

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spazsinbad

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Unread post08 Jul 2009, 06:05

soloman, I do get it but why restrict your ground support to only moving mud. Surely your ground supported fellows would like to see the added capability if it was required at the time. No need to rouse (on me. The RAN supported the ARMY (Australia) in the day even when the main mission was 'RAN Fleet Defence' with the 'poor man's fighter' the A4G Skyhawk. Out of the ordinary for that time was wired for four underwing AIM 9B Sidewinders. Having flexible capability- is a must I would think in this day and age particularly if it can be done easily. [This idea came from the mid 1960s when the USN had A4Bs on ASW carriers for 'fighter ops'.

Have you considered anyway that... (a comment from an e-mail correspondent):

"Modular ski-jumps (a la Hermes) are (I think) 150ft.

One point your mates miss is that nothing is/would be lost re 'supporting the troops.' Just maximising the utility of ship and, more importantly, the aircraft. For CAS, surely launching with more fuel/weapons (ie from ski-jump launch) is better for "supporting the troops" than reduced loads (ie straight deck launches)? Also, a two or 4-ship F35B CAP for the task group/MEU while in transit to littoral - when there's unlikely to a CVN anywhere nearby - would have to be a huge bonus for all? Even fish-heads would welcome the top cover, I imagine." [Fish Heads is acceptable RAN slang for a 'birdie' to call an ordinary Navy bod.]
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post08 Jul 2009, 16:43

Hey, nothing wrong with the Marines utilizing their fixed wing assets for air cover too. In a way, it is still a part of CAS for the ground forces- one never knows when a fixed or rotary wing attacker(s) could manage to slip into the FEBA. Sure we usually have pretty successful CAP capabilities, but stranger things have happened during hostilities in the past. A pretty vulnerable time is during initial deployments and buildups- who knows what the future may hold? The Marines are known for improvising, adapting and overcoming.

As for a ski jump, they should be able to work out something! With all of our technological advances, they could design an elevating bow deck section that can be raised and lowered as needed. I'm sure they could make it work if they really wanted to. That way they lose no deck space and can clear the way for the fixed wing ops as needed. Since they are much slower, don't helos usually launch first from the Assault ships? By the way- if they want AEW helos, what better place to park them than at the bow? That way they definitely would be getting airborne first AND clearing the way for fixed wing ops using the ski jump!

Just my thoughts, it makes sense and makes things work out as well. :wink:
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Unread post08 Jul 2009, 19:32

Flat Deck ships have lifts so why not have a 'ramp' / Ski Jump that does as you suggest. Great Idea.
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post09 Jul 2009, 05:52

spazsinbad wrote:Flat Deck ships have lifts so why not have a 'ramp' / Ski Jump that does as you suggest. Great Idea.


Lots of reasons not to fit ski jumps and even more reason to not fit moving ones. Ski ramps where originally fitted to British carriers due to their small size and willingness(need) to optimize them for operation of fast jets over helos.

A 750 foot takeoff roll accomplishes the same thing as a 150 foot ski jump without the additional top side weight and reduction in usable deck space.

A lifting ski jump is even worse. Every time you raise or lower it you significantly change the ships CoG. You add even more topside weight due to the machinery needed, you reduce hanger space, again due to machinery needed.

Why the British stick with a ski ramp for the CVFs is beyond me. It is sheer stupidity.

Lastly, an LHA is in no way shape or form a substitute for an aircraft carrier. It is too slow and it lacks the combat persistence that a CVN has. Study after study has concluded that the large deck carrier provides more flexibility and bang for the buck.

I will not comment on Eric's rational other than to observe that his understanding of macro economics is roughly on par with that of aviation. Superficial at best. As long as the dollar remains the world's reserve currency (and there is no real sign of that changing anytime soon) Obama can keep on printing dollars with little more consequence than a bit of inflation.
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Unread post09 Jul 2009, 07:22

From previous page a quote from a USMC Harrier pilot: "Bradicich said. "From our ships, if you're fully loaded, you need 750 feet, and even then you've got some sink once you clear the deck. Here, you can do the same thing in 450 feet and you're climbing."

This thread has mainly centred on FLAT DECK USMC carriers, when it started out as something different. So be it. However the statement by Thumper: "Why the British stick with a ski ramp for the CVFs is beyond me. It is sheer stupidity." has got to be answered. The RN FAA invented the ski jump and have utitlised it well. Whatever penalties there are, the gains are there for them to stick with it for their new carriers. If the 'beedall' pages are read you will see many variations of carrier design before the final one was selected. There was much thought given to type of aircraft to fly, with option for CTOL perhaps in later decades (after refit).

http://navy-matters.beedall.com/cvfmain.htm

Anticipating other issues the RN FAA have invented the 'rolling landing' concept to also better utilise their larger/longer future carrier decks. What the USMC do with their JSF-Bs will be up to them. Likely they will use whatever the Brits invent that suits them. Links to 'rolling landing' info are in the thread at: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-12591.html
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Unread post09 Jul 2009, 16:50

spazsinbad wrote:This thread has mainly centred on FLAT DECK USMC carriers, when it started out as something different. So be it. However the statement by Thumper: "Why the British stick with a ski ramp for the CVFs is beyond me. It is sheer stupidity." has got to be answered. The RN FAA invented the ski jump and have utitlised it well. Whatever penalties there are, the gains are there for them to stick with it for their new carriers. If the 'beedall' pages are read you will see many variations of carrier design before the final one was selected. There was much thought given to type of aircraft to fly, with option for CTOL perhaps in later decades (after refit).

http://navy-matters.beedall.com/cvfmain.htm

Anticipating other issues the RN FAA have invented the 'rolling landing' concept to also better utilise their larger/longer future carrier decks. What the USMC do with their JSF-Bs will be up to them.


On the Hermes and the Illustrious class it may have made sense. The CVF is another matter. I know all about Beedall and read his analysis a while back. Read between the lines. The decision to go with ski ramps and the F-35B was just as much a political and industrial decision as it was a military one.

There are two factors driving the direction of the RN on this. The UK is trying to do sea based power projection on the cheap. They do not want the F-35 to be a rival to or threaten the Eurofighter program. Those carriers could have just as easily been built with catapults. I understand that the RN views EMALs as risky and they may be right about it but they could have either used steam turbines or installed steam generators on them.

They would then have had two truly powerful carriers. Rather than embarking the neutered light attack F-35B version they could have employed F-35Cs which if purchased in sufficient numbers would make a far better Tornado replacement than Typhoon ever will. They also could have employed a true AEW capability. Instead they will have two ships that are really nothing more than glorified LHAs that still need to operate with the USN in any kind of high threat environment.

As for the rolling landing, they have developed nothing yet. It is still in the testing stage.
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Unread post09 Jul 2009, 21:38

Of course a rolling landing is still in the SUCCESSFUL testing stage (with the Harrier two seater). Can't really test the JSF-B except probably in a simulator for the moment. However JPALS and tests with Harrier have been done OK according to reports. You can read between the lines and conjecture all you wish about the new RN carrier design. However it is what it is. Your claim that an F-35B is 'neutered' is emotional claptrap. Sure some slight capability is traded for other excellent characteristics needed for RN FAA requirements. All allies will co-operate with one another as required. Already it has been demonstrated that all those countries with Harriers freely crossdeck - sometimes in multiple variations and combinations. I'm certain this will happen with the JSF-B and with the JSF family because it has been designed that way for this purpose of close co-operation with allies.
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Unread post10 Jul 2009, 02:38

It amazes me how some people want to reinvent wheels. The LHA aren't getting a ramp and that's just the facts. Writers can come up with all sorts of new proposals that they think deserve consideration but in the end sanity and purposeful design is what wins the day. LHA's, LHD's etc...were designed for amphibious assault and for supporting forces ashore. Anything that takes away from that mission (design wise) is a non-starter. So fantasize all you want it ain't gonna happen.
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Unread post10 Jul 2009, 03:35

soloman, I think we are at cross purposes here. The thread was talking about something completely different to your last post above. Then I chimed in with ideas about the new RAN LHDs which have a 'ramp'/ski jump already fitted. It was deemed too expensive to remove them - even before the two RAN LHDs have been built. I gather they are useful - if for the moment the RAN does not have plans to have any STOVL aircraft. Remember the concept of 'cross decking' that your USMC practice so well to this day with various allied flat decks/with/without ramps. [In NavAv a 'ramp' is the back end of the carrier - sometimes rounded (in olden tymes) not usually in todays NavAv. A minor point but I do get confused so would rather use the term 'ski jump'. :-)

Please let us allow the USMC / USN to use your ships as they are at present. However having ideas about new ways to modify or use them can be useful despite the conventional wisdom. No harm done nor intended. I would be certain to know that the USMC know how to use their kit to the degree they are allowed. However the USN does exercise some control over the USMC for various reasons. That is neither here nor there in context of this thread but worth keeping in mind. Notice how USMC Harrier pilots like 'ski jumps' and have done so ever since the beginning decades ago now. And I will fantasise as I please thank you. :-)
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post10 Jul 2009, 03:50

the only cross purpose we're at is the fact that i'm still responding to a person that hasn't even been to a pier to see an LHA, has no idea about their function and yet feels compelled to make suggestions on modifications to them. the very article that started the cluster?+&% going is pure fantasy, i'm disappointed in myself for even taking the time i have on it. as far as the RN is concerned, they do what they do, Thumper3181 covered that in detail. nuff said.
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Unread post10 Jul 2009, 04:17

spazsinbad wrote:Of course a rolling landing is still in the SUCCESSFUL testing stage (with the Harrier two seater). Can't really test the JSF-B except probably in a simulator for the moment. However JPALS and tests with Harrier have been done OK according to reports. You can read between the lines and conjecture all you wish about the new RN carrier design. However it is what it is. Your claim that an F-35B is 'neutered' is emotional claptrap. Sure some slight capability is traded for other excellent characteristics needed for RN FAA requirements.


Just keeping you honest about the rolling landing. It is being tested and it does look promising.

No conjecture about CVF. The design is very much compromised. They should have had a teakettle in the hull with an extra 25,000hp. Two steam catapults should be in the bow and they need to lose the goofy split island. All of these design "features" where either political or industrial driven. They would then have a carrier with the air wing, speed and persistence to be able to operate independently of the USN in a major engagement.

F-35 in all of it's guises is going to delight it's supporters and surprise it's detractors but there is no getting away from the fact that the B model is range, payload and g limited. For the UK F-35B will be a fine fighter but unlike the F-35C it cannot replace the Tornado and make Typhoon somewhat redundant,

That all said I think it's great to speculate, but what advantage do you see in putting a ramp on an LHA when it's main mission is moving men and material ashore. Doesn't the Navy have large deck carriers to provide the bulk of the air support. Do you really think that if the Marines where to go ashore in anything other than a third world country that a CSG or two wouldn't be lurking somewhere over the horizon?
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Unread post10 Jul 2009, 06:25

soloman, you introduced the LHA - as you say the original article was not about the LHA. I introduced the RAN LHD. Thread discussions go where they go. Yes and some are pure fantasy. No big deal. I myself am getting a bit long in the tooth to even stay awake during this discussion - and perhaps it is my bedtime - but I spent nearly ten years in the RAN back in the mid 1960s to70s; most of those years in the Fleet Air Arm flying jet aircraft - even 'off of' our carrier as illustrated earlier. I know the backside of the ramp very well as a matter of fact. And yes I got up every morning during those ten years to start work at 8am sharpish if ashore. I eat piers for breakfast. :-)
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post10 Jul 2009, 06:45

Thumper, personally I have no problem with the LHAs not having ski jumps. However, with new aircraft and new ships being designed/built perhaps that issue could be revisited for future consideration. I would have thought that the USMC would be interested in being even more self-contained with their own 'mini STOVL carrier' as first described perhaps by ELP. Sheesh if they are not then I'm not going to advocate one for them. What I would advocate would be JSF-Bs on our RAN LHDs but first things first, these LHDs have to be built and delivered but surprise surprise they will have a ski jump already (taking up a likely valuable helo spot). So it goes. I guess the USMC and the RAN are familiar with having to work with what they have and also come up with innovative ideas in the process.

Thumper, your description of any perceived deficiencies in the new RN Carriers probably could be transferred in general to any carrier design. All these things are compromises. If you perceive these new RN Carriers as deficient then that view is not shared by me. To digress slightly.... The new EMALS equipped carrier may have to be constructed with steam catapults due to problems with EMALS. This may not turn out to be the case but surely NOT having the need for catapults and arrestor wires can be an advantage? STOP & LAND is what I hear all the time (I should go see a doctor). :-)
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post10 Jul 2009, 07:49

spazsinbad wrote:Thumper, personally I have no problem with the LHAs not having ski jumps. However, with new aircraft and new ships being designed/built perhaps that issue could be revisited for future consideration. I would have thought that the USMC would be interested in being even more self-contained with their own 'mini STOVL carrier' as first described perhaps by ELP. Sheesh if they are not then I'm not going to advocate one for them. What I would advocate would be JSF-Bs on our RAN LHDs but first things first, these LHDs have to be built and delivered but surprise surprise they will have a ski jump already (taking up a likely valuable helo spot). So it goes. I guess the USMC and the RAN are familiar with having to work with what they have and also come up with innovative ideas in the process.

Thumper, your description of any perceived deficiencies in the new RN Carriers probably could be transferred in general to any carrier design. All these things are compromises. If you perceive these new RN Carriers as deficient then that view is not shared by me. To digress slightly.... The new EMALS equipped carrier may have to be constructed with steam catapults due to problems with EMALS. This may not turn out to be the case but surely NOT having the need for catapults and arrestor wires can be an advantage? STOP & LAND is what I hear all the time (I should go see a doctor). :-)


It really does go back to the LHAs not needing ski ramps due to their size and mission. Once an airstrip is secured Marine F-35s will leave the LHA and go ashore to accompany the Marines inland. Any advantages the ski ramp convey are overshadowed by the ramps drawbacks given the Marine's mission. They simply do not need the additional range when providing CAS on the beach.

The Marines have very influential supporters in Congress. If they wanted ski jumps on the LHAs they would have had them already. They don;t need their own mini STOVL carrier because the Navy has 11 super carriers backing them up. Again it may work for RN or RAN. It does not work for USN. They have resources and capabilities that her majesty's navies can only dream of. The existence of super carriers in numbers makes a mini STOVL carrier superfluous for the Navy.

All ship designs are a compromise. The British simply did not have to make the compromises they did. I share your concern about EMAL and I hope the CNO is losing sleep making sure it's developed on time, but I never said anything about EMAL for the CVF. A steam based propulsion system, preferable nuclear should have been fitted to these ships.

Stop and land may be nice but it makes for inferior aircraft performance and a limited air wing. What do you do for AEW? Clearly conventional carrier based fighters out perform both the F-35B and the Harrier. Again these carriers are being done on the cheap.
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Unread post10 Jul 2009, 08:34

Thumper, I'm not suggesting anything with EMALS illustration other than it can be (catapult & arrestor equipment) part of the problem if it does not work. This discussion can go round and round and I welcome your comments on the original premise of this thread about the proposed small carrier.

In the same way IF some on this forum don't like their home country being told what to do etc. then please allow the same sentiment for other countries, and what they do. I'm not going to attempt to speak for the RN and their choice of carrier. Yet with their limited resources they seem to have made a good choice to continue what they know how to do well. I guess the USMC has a strong argument in the same way (to continue to do what they do well). I have not forgotten that a lot of USMC Hornets are aboard USN carriers. I guess this will ensure that those same Hornets will be available for the USMC when they need them.

The RN is working on the AEW problem. What happens on that score will be known but I don't claim to know now what that will be. You seem to have conveniently forgotten that Carrier Aircraft pay a penalty (if compared or designed in tandem with conventional aircraft). Hence the JSF-C is going to have differences due to the nature of NavAv operations. Given all the expensive variables you have mentioned it is not surprising that non-super power countries do do things on the cheap as you say. And I'm certain that your allies will do wonders with all their cheap & nasty non nuclear gear.

In 1973 I was visiting San Diego to be bowled over by the size of the fleet alongside. Just a few piers (there goes that word again) held more assets that anyone could fantasise about. So it is worthwhile to keep things in perspective regarding your own countries capabilities, compared to other allies capabilities. Anyway those few piers held more assets than the entire RAN at that time (not including the USN carriers).
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