Possibility small STOVL carrier USN/USMC

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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neptune

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Unread post22 Sep 2016, 03:28

popcorn wrote:The Navy is transitioning and positioning for the arrival of F-35Bs in the Gator fleet. .... Smaller helicopter carriers doing the work of more massive Nimitz class carriers helps to free up those machines and crews, and as new technologies, like the F-35B and C hit the field, the US can maintain its advantage of having a floating, mobile air base anywhere in the world in a few days notice.


...coupling the F-35B ESG with an updated cruiser like the CG-60 Normandy/ NIFC-CA with it's air defense complement will make a formidable force....
:)
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Unread post22 Sep 2016, 09:32

sferrin wrote:
sersi wrote:
KamenRiderBlade wrote:I wish we had Nuclear Powered Fleet in everything that is bigger than a LCS


I used to be enamored with an all nuclear fleet as well. Until looking into the real costs of such ships. Its really expensive in funding, regulatory and environmental costs to build, support, de-fuel and finally dispose of those reactors. I mean there are like 20+ SSN, and a Carrier in the que waiting for funding for disposal now, and the UK is in similar shape.


Most of that cost is due to red tape imposed by an ignorant, easily gulled, political class and their constituents.


True, but even if we managed to circumvent all that cover my a$$ legislation at home. We'd still have issues with allies not wanting nuclear vessels in there ports.
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Unread post23 Sep 2016, 06:13

sersi wrote:True, but even if we managed to circumvent all that cover my a$$ legislation at home. We'd still have issues with allies not wanting nuclear vessels in there ports.

Again, a political issue that we would have to deal with.

Nothing technical.
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tincansailor

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Unread post23 Sep 2016, 10:19

Once again we are looking for cheap solutions. Big deck amphibs can't substitute for CVNs. Ships are design compromises. An LPA is an amphibious warfare ship, with aviation capabilities. USS America, and USS Tripoli were mistakes which is why all subsequent ships of the class will have restored well decks, and reduced aviation facilities. Their primary mission is to bring marines, along with vehicles, armor, artillery, and logistical support to the fight. lf you use them as light carriers they will do a poor job. What you get is a 45,000 ton carrier, with a combat load of 6 STOVL aircraft vs. a 22,000 ton Invincible class carrier with 12.

Fighting ISIS in Libya is a situation where literally a handful of aircraft can tip the scales in a battle between lightly armed militias. In anything bigger it's just not enough to make a difference. The two light carriers the UK sent to the Falklands were barely adequate for the job, but the RN had to make do with what they had. If the USN had to do the same job they would have sent two ARG's to take the Islands, and a CVBG to protect them, and deal with any air, or naval opposition.

In anything more then a small scale operation, beyond the range of land based air you need a real carrier. Now if you want to go back to building conventional carriers like the Kitty Hawk class fine. Give them diesel engines for economical long range cruising, and gas turbines for high speed opps. Take away 20% of the internal space of a Nimitz class carrier for fuel bunkers, add more large fleet replenishment ship's AOE's to the fleet and your set. Forget about future weapons like lasers, or electro magnetic catapults, or landing systems, as Scotty would say you "just won't have the power".

We went form CV's to CVN's because CVN's were more cost effective in the long run. Even if new CV's cost 50% as much to build we wouldn't build more of them then we currently build CVN's. You still have to man them, and provide them with an air group, as well as escort ships. Right now most of our CVN's operate an air group with about 50 strike aircraft. 20 F/A-18 Hornets, 24 SH, and about 7-8 Growlers. Today the navy is saying they have a "Fighter Shortfall". If your not going to greatly increase both the number of people to make up crews, or the number of carrier air groups there's not much sense in building more carriers, even if you have the money.

My point is if your going to have 10 carriers they should be CVN's. If your going to have LPH's and LPA's their primary mission is to land, and support marines. In a pinch ether can fill in for the other, (Carriers acted as assault ships during the Haiti operation in the 90s.) However if the civilian leadership gets the idea that LPA's can do the job of a CVN then they'll be tempted to try to do things on the cheap, and that always ends up costing more in the end.
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Unread post23 Sep 2016, 13:46

The point that many (e.g. Neptune above) make -- particularly now that CVNs run something north of $13+B per ship (and going higher) -- is that not every nail requires a sledgehammer.

20 F-35Bs that can surveil and target OTH for a NIFC-CA arrayed set of CGs, DDGs, (and whatever LCS becomes), is an entirely different universe than 6 Harriers.
Last edited by quicksilver on 23 Sep 2016, 13:58, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post23 Sep 2016, 13:46

tincansailor wrote:What you get is a 45,000 ton carrier, with a combat load of 6 STOVL aircraft vs. a 22,000 ton Invincible class carrier with 12..


An America class can carry a up to 20 Lightnings can it not?

As an aside, I wonder what the Queen Liz carriers will mean for Marine aviation & vise versa?
The Prince of Wales is being built to be mothballed, and the UK will only have 4 F-35 Squadrons to replace over a dozen Tornado & Harrier squadrons.

It will be interesting to see how the Queen Elizabeth will assist the USMC in operations.
I can see a future where joint operations are conducted from a UK crewed Lizzie with a jet complement dominated by the USMC.
The pocket carrier of peoples dreams could be sitting just outside Edinburgh.
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Unread post23 Sep 2016, 14:18

'bojack_horseman' said: "...The Prince of Wales is being built to be mothballed...". This is NOT TRUE. Last Brit PM said both will be available and he made a commitment to this. Yes the USMC will be aboard CVFs in future times. These aspects made clear recently on CVF 'MoD Muddle' thread. This URL is 'ModMuddle Last Page' with the USMC onboard CVF then work backwards to see the Brit PM commitment to two CVFs available: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969&start=1170

viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969&p=352372&hilit=commitment#p352372
&
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969&p=277700&hilit=Belfast#p277700
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Unread post24 Sep 2016, 04:42

[/quote]An America class can carry a up to 20 Lightnings can it not?

The USS America, and USS Tripoli can. That was at the cost of a Well Deck. Consequently they can carry 20 F-35Bs if they operate as light carriers, not anphibs. That was a mistake being corrected with the rest of the class.

As an aside, I wonder what the Queen Liz carriers will mean for Marine aviation & vise versa?
The Prince of Wales is being built to be mothballed, and the UK will only have 4 F-35 Squadrons to replace over a dozen Tornado & Harrier squadrons.

True there will be fewer F-35Bs then there were Tornado's, and Harriers but on the plus side they will be far more capable and survivable.

It will be interesting to see how the Queen Elizabeth will assist the USMC in operations.
I can see a future where joint operations are conducted from a UK crewed Lizzie with a jet complement dominated by the USMC.

The pocket carrier of peoples dreams could be sitting just outside Edinburgh.
[/quote]

The QE, and PW are far from being pocket carriers. Their almost as big as the Forrestal Class supercarriers built in the 1950s.

It's a sad comment on the decline of British naval power that they can't fill the decks of their aircraft carriers.
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Unread post24 Sep 2016, 05:00

'tincansailor' said:
"It's a sad comment on the decline of British naval power that they can't fill the decks of their aircraft carriers."
When exactly will they be able to fill the decks and with what. There is a new concept in town in the RN called 'tailored air group'. The CVF decks are filled with what is suitable for the mission - numbers of aircraft included. Eventually the Brits will have their advertised 138 F-35Bs - more than enough to fill TWO CVF [NOT CVN] decks as required.

TAG:
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969&p=350286&hilit=tailored+group#p350286
&
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28183&p=305934&hilit=tailored+group#p305934
138 good things:
http://aviationweek.com/defense/uk-buy- ... -squadrons
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Unread post24 Sep 2016, 05:33

@tincansailor: why assume that it was the intent that all America-class LHA's would not have a well deck? Do you have any evidence to support this assumption?
Also, is your definition of 'amphibious operations' limited to craft that float on water and crawl/float across the beach? Airborne assets based off ships don't form part of amphibious operations in your book?
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Unread post24 Sep 2016, 07:02

The latter America Class (LHA 8 and forward) with well decks are not "oops .. my bad! .. we need to go back to the Wasp Class" design.

Wasp had/has a 3 LCAC, 266 feet well dock integrated into heavy vehicle deck operations. The LHA 8 and forward ships will be adding a dock more like the LPD 17 San Antonio Class dock ships which have 2 LCAC's, approx 180 feet in space taken primarily from the extra fuel in the LHA 6/7 designs. Much of the undisturbed sections forward are unchanged, other than connection ramps to vehicle decks. I believe there is some impact to the overhead space in hangar areas above as well. They may have to do some maintenance on MV-22's on the flight deck, like the Wasp does, due to head space impacts. (When the Osprey needs work with rotors up and unfolded) I'm not sure about that. Still, think of it as an LHA 6 with an LPD 17 well deck plugged in place of mostly the extra Av fuel supplies, not like a Wasp Class.

It is not a "let's go back to" LHD Wasp twin. It is still an America Class ship, with a little less hangar, and a lot less av fuel. It remains more aviation focused - with more hangar space and fuel than a Wasp Class. I imagine it will handle nearly as many F-35's (20?), with a few more trips to the "gas station" - (tanker replenishment ship), than the America and Tripoli have to make.

IIRC
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Unread post24 Sep 2016, 09:28

popcorn wrote:@tincansailor: why assume that it was the intent that all America-class LHA's would not have a well deck? Do you have any evidence to support this assumption?
Also, is your definition of 'amphibious operations' limited to craft that float on water and crawl/float across the beach? Airborne assets based off ships don't form part of amphibious operations in your book?


That is not what I said. I said not having a Well Deck was recognized as a mistake, which will be corrected in latter ships of the class. It would seem odd to build the first two ships without Wells if the rest were intended to have them. The decision was controversial, and was reversed. Not having the Wells is forcing the marines to work around a deficiency, and go against their own doctrine. It's very rare for top leadership to admit big mistakes, "Gee we always meant to do it that way." Congress had to publicly humiliate the navy about the LCS disaster. They still can't admit the whole concept was flawed.

If you think marines don't need tanks, armored combat vehicles, trucks, and artillery then helicopter lifted light infantry should be fine. If you can capture a port with that light infantry you can then off load heavy stuff from roll on roll off ships. On the other hand if that's the only way you can land all the enemy has to do is protect ports, and hold some heavy forces in reserve to wipe out your LZ's.

That's why we developed landing craft to bring tanks, and other heavy weapons across a beach. Helicopters were added to the mix to add another dimension to the battle, and force the enemy to disperse his forces, not replace the waterborne element. Each situation is different, but you can learn things from the past. An all helicopter assault on any of the heavily defended Japanese held Islands in WWII would have been slaughtered. A helicopter assault in Normandy would have been wiped out. No ports were taken till weeks after D-Day.

Helicopter assault is only possible where the enemy ground force is dispersed. Airborne or helicopter assaults that came down on enemy held ground always results in ether failure, or at the least heavy casualties. Again if your only fighting weak opponents with no armor, artillery, or air defenses a light air assault force may be fine. The marines have heavy weapons for a reason, they need them. The only way you can land most of it in a reasonable time frame is over the beach. Tanks can only be delivered by landing craft. As Mr. Scott once said. "I can't change the laws of physics."
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Unread post24 Sep 2016, 10:15

'tincansailor' I think you have the past only in mind. The USMC are not in the past. They do not plan to fight heavy defenders but get to the gaps and be agile with their 'light' forces. I do not claim to know modern or any USMC tactics verbatim however there is plenty of information about how they intend to fight with DSO Distributed STOVL Operations for example - not some kind of frontal assault on a heavily defended beach/port. A way to get some info on DSO:

viewtopic.php?f=58&t=24027&p=350543&hilit=USMC+Distributed+STOVL+Operations#p350543
OR
viewtopic.php?f=59&t=29070&p=317684&hilit=USMC+Distributed+STOVL+Operations#p317684
AND
viewtopic.php?f=61&t=25123&p=274330&hilit=USMC+Distributed+STOVL+Operations#p274330

There are many more searching by +USMC +Distributed +STOVL +Operations
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Unread post24 Sep 2016, 10:40

The Navy and Marines knew exactly what they would get when they specified the LHS-6 and LHA-7. A "mistake"? Hardly.
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Unread post24 Sep 2016, 15:21

spazsinbad wrote:'tincansailor' I think you have the past only in mind. The USMC are not in the past. They do not plan to fight heavy defenders but get to the gaps and be agile with their 'light' forces. I do not claim to know modern or any USMC tactics verbatim however there is plenty of information about how they intend to fight with DSO Distributed STOVL Operations for example - not some kind of frontal assault on a heavily defended beach/port. A way to get some info on DSO:

viewtopic.php?f=58&t=24027&p=350543&hilit=USMC+Distributed+STOVL+Operations#p350543
OR
viewtopic.php?f=59&t=29070&p=317684&hilit=USMC+Distributed+STOVL+Operations#p317684
AND
viewtopic.php?f=61&t=25123&p=274330&hilit=USMC+Distributed+STOVL+Operations#p274330

There are many more searching by +USMC +Distributed +STOVL +Operations


Yes my friend my mind may be in the past, but that's because it's the only thing we know. The marines have no idea how they'll fight the next war. The U.S. hasn't conducted a major amphibious invasion since 1950, but we've always retained the capability. Obviously they wouldn't want to make an opposed landing of any sort if they could help it. They would always try to land where the enemy isn't, that's just common sense.

The U.S. military never knows what it's going to have to do. At some point the marines may have to take a fortified island, seize a port, or hit a beach. An ARG is supposed to be a balanced force so it can deal with many situations. The reason D'etre of the marines is to have an over the beach capability. If they don't why do we need them? After WWII the army argued we didn't even need a marine corps, after all the army conducted all the landings in Europe, and with the advent of nuclear weapons a major amphibious operation like D-Day would be impossible to ever mount again.

In 1991 it was the marines over the beach capability that forced the Iraqi's to keep 100,000 troops guarding the beaches of Kuwait. Helicopter mobile troops could have come from the army based in SA. They would have been a danger, but would have lacked the mass, firepower, or logistical support of a marine landing force and the Iraqi's deployed their forces accordingly. Marines will always be useful as long as they can do what their supposed to do, move over a beach. If they can't do that then they might as well join the army.
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