F-35B (Non-US) Pocket Carriers

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Corsair1963

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Unread post28 Dec 2017, 05:53

tincansailor wrote:It's only a matter of time before Japan decides to build full scale aircraft carriers. With American help Japan could build ships at least the size of the QE-IIs with Cats and Traps. Japan and the USN would then be the sole operators of the F-35C. With two carriers with 36 F-35Cs each Japan would buy about 90. The C model the most expensive because it will be the least produced. I think the plan is for the USN, and Marines to buy 340 Cs, Adding 90 for a Japanese order should cut the cost considerable.



The current Japanese Defense Budget is already stretched near its limits. So, just finding the resources to acquire a modest number of F-35B's and upgrading the Izumo's is going to be challenging enough. Second, the consternation cause by acquiring the aforementioned in nothing compared. To the uproar of Japan building something as arduous as a large Aircraft Carrier equipped with no less than 36 F-35C's! Honestly, the Japanese Navy has a long history of slow steady progression in Warship Design. Especially, in regards to "Air Capable Ships"! Just look at the last four classes of such types.....

Shirane Class DDH
1280px-JS_Kurama_in_the_Pacific_Ocean_02.jpg



Ōsumi Class LST
LST-4003_Kunisaki.jpg



Hyūga Class DDH
DDH-181_ひゅうが_(12).jpg


Izumo Clas DDH
DDH-183_いずも_(1).jpg



In short don't expect to see a true Aircraft Carrier from Japan anytime in the near future. Instead expect the current trend to stay the same.....Which, is this case would most likely be a slightly larger Izumo. That would be more tailored for fixed wing operations. While still operating STOVL Aircraft. (F-35B's, v-22's, etc.)

"IMHO" :wink:
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tincansailor

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Unread post28 Dec 2017, 09:06

The current Japanese Defense Budget is already stretched near its limits. So, just finding the resources to acquire a modest number of F-35B's and upgrading the Izumo's is going to be challenging enough. Second, the consternation cause by acquiring the aforementioned in nothing compared. To the uproar of Japan building something as arduous as a large Aircraft Carrier equipped with no less than 36 F-35C's! Honestly, the Japanese Navy has a long history of slow steady progression in Warship Design. Especially, in regards to "Air Capable Ships"! Just look at the last four classes of such types.....
In short don't expect to see a true Aircraft Carrier from Japan anytime in the near future. Instead expect the current trend to stay the same.....Which, is this case would most likely be a slightly larger Izumo. That would be more tailored for fixed wing operations. While still operating STOVL Aircraft. (F-35B's, v-22's, etc.)

"IMHO" :wink:



Thanks for your analysis corsair. Your right in everything you said, the Japanese are very incremental in their ship designs. I just think that the logical next step is moving up to at least a light carrier. I don't see the utility of something between an assault ship, and a light carrier. If you build a carrier why not go all the way with Cats & Traps? I think the British short changed themselves with the QE IIs settling for a ski ramp. It hardly ever even snows in the UK. I don't think they saved that much money.

The budget is a political choice, has is the larger constitutional question of Japan's defense posture. When I said building carriers was inevitable I should have clarified I meant a time frame of about 10 years. It seems that that incremental design approach is building towards fleet carriers in that time frame. China's aggressive behavior is accelerating decisions all over Asia. The Japanese defense budget is only restrained by an artificially self imposed limit of 1% GDP.

1.5% GDP could pay for a lot of new capabilities. Things like carriers, MRBMs, ground, sea, and air launched cruise missiles, deployable ground forces, and more upgraded AGEIS Ships for NMD. The NATO declared goal is 2% GDP, Japan could well afford 1.5%. China better be nice, or in a few years they could find a much better armed Japan in their Christmas Stockings.
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Unread post28 Dec 2017, 12:02

tincansailor wrote:I think the British short changed themselves with the QE IIs settling for a ski ramp. It hardly ever even snows in the UK. I don't think they saved that much money.

Maybe, but IMO they did save considerably. The Queen Elizabeth Class has the same-sized crew than the minuscule Invincible Class, just 679 people (disregarding the air-element). That's two times less than the Charles De Gaulle (which itself is considerably smaller, though also an older design) and nearly 4 times less than the new Ford Class.

Even just the personnel costs savings over the lifetime of such a ship are no joke. But what it really shows is that it doesn't require nearly as much upkeep/maintenance than regular carriers. I would hazard a guess that even without a Nuclear reactor, "Cats and Traps" would have bloated the crew size considerably and also added noticeable maintenance costs, not to mention development costs. Lets not forget those systems would have been similar to EMALS and Advanced Arresting Gear, and we all know growing pains these had (meaning extra $$$).

Despite its size, The Queen Elizabeth Class should IMO be considered the Invincible Class "done right". They became so large only because "metal" is relatively cheap (the hull was what, only 15% of the total cost?) and studies showed that it needed an air-element of about 36 aircraft to be effective (to do something like 75 sorties per day over a five-day period).

E.g. it's large in size only, regarding complexity (and to a lesser extent capability) it's still closer to a light carrier. Overall imo it seems a good compromise considering the budget problems UK has even now.
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Unread post28 Dec 2017, 13:09

The QE2 carriers cost about £6bn ($8bn). Changing them to add cats and traps would have added another third to that cost*, £2bn, and they would not have been ready until 2023 at the earliest and of course the F-35C is the more expensive model too. All for an extra 150nm radius increase or the ability to carry 2000lb bombs internally. Sounds an expensive option to me and the UK Govt thought so too in 2012 when they went back to the original plan. Cats and traps are really only needed for big carriers that have a need for a variation of planes they want to fly. However the F-35B and V-22 (which can act as its refueler) will make the need for big carriers much less pressing and for allies probably obsolescent. The F-35B after all can act as a mini AWACS and electronic warfare aircraft too if needed meaning allies can get away with using the Bee in many carrier roles.

* https://web.archive.org/web/20120513102 ... 20509-F35B
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Unread post28 Dec 2017, 13:30

mas wrote:The QE2 carriers cost about £6bn ($8bn). Changing them to add cats and traps would have added another third to that cost*, £2bn, and they would not have been ready until 2023 at the earliest and of course the F-35C is the more expensive model too. All for an extra 150nm radius increase or the ability to carry 2000lb bombs internally. Sounds an expensive option to me and the UK Govt thought so too in 2012 when they went back to the original plan. Cats and traps are really only needed for big carriers that have a need for a variation of planes they want to fly. However the F-35B and V-22 (which can act as its refueler) will make the need for big carriers much less pressing and for allies probably obsolescent. The F-35B after all can act as a mini AWACS and electronic warfare aircraft too if needed meaning allies can get away with using the Bee in many carrier roles.

* https://web.archive.org/web/20120513102 ... 20509-F35B


QE2 costs about 40% of the Ford Class and has a crew size that's more in line with the USS America. If the B models proves it's value (which it will) and budget pressure calls 11 carriers into question again, I wouldn't be surprised if talks about a similar class in US resurface again. A supercarrier it ain't, but it can do some of its jobs.
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Unread post28 Dec 2017, 13:49

I like the way the old 'controversies' about the CVFs need to be discussed again and again. The long thread about UK MoD in a Muddle has all that & more about CVFs - their long historic gestation - the back & forth with Bs & Cs & back to Bs....

UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969
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 post28 Dec 2017, 21:19

An e-mailed to me thought of IZUMO with green Ski Jump deck plan graphic mit F-35Bs being something akin to CAVOUR.
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Unread post29 Dec 2017, 03:17

mas wrote:The QE2 carriers cost about £6bn ($8bn). Changing them to add cats and traps would have added another third to that cost*, £2bn,

* https://web.archive.org/web/20120513102 ... 20509-F35B


The above figure has always confused me.

Last figure I saw for the CVN-78 EMALS + AAG shipset was ~ $800M and that's for the four catapult version;
IIRC, QE2 would have used a two catapult version and the quote was ~ £450M.

Some of the light carriers (CVLs) looked at for some of Future Fleet studies in the US were
premised on two catapult EMALS. So I'm intensely curious as to the origin of £550M in extra
cost beyond shipset.
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Unread post29 Dec 2017, 04:00

Probably if you peruse the 'ukmodinamuddle' thread you will find answers for your enjoyment; does quote include support?

For simplicity the thread above was searched EMALS for:

viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969&p=227211&hilit=EMALS#p227211
&
anotherie: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969&p=223231&hilit=EMALS#p223231
U.K. Muddies Waters With Its Carrier Decision
02 Jul 2012 Francis Tusa | Aviation Week & Space Technology

"...What became apparent at a briefing held by the Defense Ministry in early May was that the cost estimates for fitting the ships with Emals and arrester gear had been either slapdash or wildly optimistic. The estimated cost of converting the second-in-class ship, HMS Prince of Wales, had more than doubled, from just under £1 billion ($1.5 billion) to £2 billion. The first-of-class ship, Queen Elizabeth II, which was more advanced in construction, would need £3 billion in modification costs. Modifications for both ships would cost £5 billion, close to what they had been expected to cost in total without them....

...One reason that the cost and time for the conversion had been so badly underestimated was a miscalculation of the impact of the modifications on the ships. At first it was hoped to confine the changes to 80 compartments (out of about 1,200), but real engineering work showed that major modifications to over 290 compartments would be required, with 250 more needing smaller modifications.

On top of this, assumptions about the cost of Emals turned out to be wide of the mark. U.K. planners had assumed that since the Emals used on the Ford-class carriers includes four catapults, and the U.K. would only need two, the cost would be half the U.S. Navy's. But as a senior ministry official said, “the cost of breaking out common systems [from Emals] turned out to be more expensive than had been thought.” ..."

Source: http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.asp ... 34.xml&p=1
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 post29 Dec 2017, 05:18

That AvWeek article makes no sense: a 7% surcharge (FMS even at that time was ~5%) of
£150M implies an FMS cost of over £2.1 Billion which is absurd. The FMS long lead
for one EMALS/AAG shipset + logistics/support was all of $200M.
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Unread post29 Dec 2017, 05:22

marauder2048 wrote:That AvWeek article makes no sense: a 7% surcharge (FMS even at that time was ~5%) of
£150M implies an FMS cost of over £2.1 Billion which is absurd. The FMS long lead
for one EMALS/AAG shipset + logistics/support was all of $200M.

Without reading the FMS post again I think the quote was for long lead items - not the entire kit&kaboodle. I'll check.

viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969&p=287507&hilit=EMALS+long#p287507

When UK politicians speak I doubt anyone understands but have a go here:

viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969&p=228139&hilit=EMALS+parliament#p228139
&
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969&p=220852&hilit=EMALS+parliament#p220852

As I recall the NAO Carrier Strike Report was useful but again it is not at the tip of my keyboard fingers - searching is cool.

viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969&p=252111&hilit=EMALS+Report#p252111 gives: [I give up]

Good post for further jumps: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969&p=221883&hilit=EMALS+Report#p221883
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 post29 Dec 2017, 07:43

A belated YONHAP DOKDO article about F-35Bs in South Korea and on their modified flat deck ships. Quoted here earlier:

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=20426&p=384268&hilit=yonhap#p384268
Korea's military mulls operating F-35B stealth aircraft aboard new amphibious assault ship
25 Dec 2017 YONHAP

"South Korea's military has begun to consider operating F-35B stealth aircraft from its newest amphibious landing ship slated to be deployed in 2020, as part of efforts to strengthen its naval power, sources said Sunday. The authorities have recently discussed whether the second 14,000-ton Dokdo-class vessel can carry the F-35B fighter, a short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the US-made fifth-generation warplane.

"I understand that the military top brass have recently discussed whether they can introduce a small number of F-35B fighters and operate them aboard the new ship that has already been deployed and one to be additionally built," a military source told Yonhap News Agency, declining to be named. "As far as I know, the idea is being weighed in light of maximizing the strategic value of the vessel's capabilities," he added.

The existing Dokdo ship is seen capable of operating only transport helicopters because its deck is not made of materials that can withstand high temperatures or friction caused by fighter jet operations. "Considerations will continue about whether we can run F-35Bs by redesigning the decks of the Dokdo and the new ship that is being constructed," another source said...."

Source: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20171225000070
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 post29 Dec 2017, 09:24

spazsinbad wrote:A belated YONHAP DOKDO article about F-35Bs in South Korea and on their modified flat deck ships. Quoted here earlier:

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=20426&p=384268&hilit=yonhap#p384268
Korea's military mulls operating F-35B stealth aircraft aboard new amphibious assault ship
25 Dec 2017 YONHAP

"South Korea's military has begun to consider operating F-35B stealth aircraft from its newest amphibious landing ship slated to be deployed in 2020, as part of efforts to strengthen its naval power, sources said Sunday. The authorities have recently discussed whether the second 14,000-ton Dokdo-class vessel can carry the F-35B fighter, a short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the US-made fifth-generation warplane.

"I understand that the military top brass have recently discussed whether they can introduce a small number of F-35B fighters and operate them aboard the new ship that has already been deployed and one to be additionally built," a military source told Yonhap News Agency, declining to be named. "As far as I know, the idea is being weighed in light of maximizing the strategic value of the vessel's capabilities," he added.

The existing Dokdo ship is seen capable of operating only transport helicopters because its deck is not made of materials that can withstand high temperatures or friction caused by fighter jet operations. "Considerations will continue about whether we can run F-35Bs by redesigning the decks of the Dokdo and the new ship that is being constructed," another source said...."

Source: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20171225000070



.....before we rush off to the nether world "of blowtorch melted decks", perhaps the experience of their allies in modifying LHDs might lend some insight. I'm not hearing about 100s of millions of $ and years to get the a/c aboard the Wasp or Essex!
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Unread post29 Dec 2017, 09:54

It all depends on what the DOKDO deck is made. Do you have any details? Modifications may be expensive for DOKDO but what the heck. The F-35B is expensive. Defence is expensive. Helping stop your country from being over run is expensive.

Just about every article about DOKDO mentions the urethane covered flight deck which is supposed to be for STOVL jets - Harrier and F-35B suitable. This article mentions a ski jump under development:
LP-X Dokdo (Landing Platform Experimental) Amphibious Ship
12th of never numnuts

"...A bolt-on 45’ ski jump is under development, and the flight deck is coated with ablative urethane. Both features have no other use than V/STOL aircraft employment. Both elevators are sized to handle F-35-sized planes. None the less, the South Korean government continues to deny that it is interested in the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. If it were equipped with a ski jump board module, 15-17 meters in length, it could operate short-range and vertical landing/take-off aircraft such as the Harrier or F-35B. Ships of this type are sometimes called a semi-aircraft carrier. The flight deck is coated with special Urethane to resist heat generated from aircraft. However, Korean military authorities have made it clear that they have no plan to convert the LPX into such a semi-aircraft carrier.

A Military Review article in March 2008 looked at a modification of the Dokdo class amphibious multipurpose ship with structural differences, such as an increased hull and a ski ramp. Some discussions of such future implementation of the multi-purpose amphibious ship may have been an aviation-variant of the design of the overall form Dokdo did not anticipate a big difference, but this more detailed treatment which provided for both aviationa and amphbious moobility came to rather different conclusions.

“To cope with potential maritime disputes with neighboring countries, we need to secure aircraft carriers as soon as possible,” Rep. Chung Hee-soo of the ruling Saenuri Party and a member of the National Assembly’s Defense Committee, said 11 October 2013 during a confirmation hearing for Adm. Choi Yoon-hee, new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “For more active international peacekeeping operations, our Navy should have carriers.” According to Chung, the Navy envisions equipping the second ship of the Dokdo-class landing platform helicopter ship (LPH) with a ski ramp to operate short-range or vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft."

Source: https://www.globalsecurity.org/military ... k/lp-x.htm
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 post29 Dec 2017, 12:38

QE2 costs about 40% of the Ford Class and has a crew size that's more in line with the USS America. If the B models proves it's value (which it will) and budget pressure calls 11 carriers into question again, I wouldn't be surprised if talks about a similar class in US resurface again. A supercarrier it ain't, but it can do some of its jobs.

[/quote]

The effectiveness of a carrier is determined by the size, and capability of it's air group, and the survivability of the ship. R0-8 has an air group about half the size of CV-66. It's been pointed out hull size is only a small part of ships cost, it's what you put into the ship that's expensive. If the UK doesn't want to spend the money to give them large air groups why build such large carriers that could theoretically carry much more?

The USN determined decades ago that CVNs are more cost effective then CVs, let alone CVLs. CVNs save fuel costs over the life of the ship. Nuclear power saves an estimated 20% of internal ships volume for aviation fuel, and ammo storage over a CV. The fleet needs fewer tankers. Every time this issue comes up you have to ask yourself the question, what would the USN gain by such a regressive move?
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