Study Proposes Light Aircraft Carriers for the Future Fleet

Variants for different customers or mission profiles
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marauder2048

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Unread post13 Oct 2020, 01:01

boogieman wrote:^
https://youtu.be/qdDdHMwhU2s?t=109

As I have argued on the ASBM issue, you'd have to think that any Chinese anti-ship weapon capable of reaching a CSG from 500km+ faces a significant targeting problem. If one is to anticipate operating CSG's within the reach of such systems, blinding the supporting ISR assets strikes me as attractive. ISR satellites can be jammed or killed (SM-3), air breathing sensor bearers can be subjected to the usual defence in-depth, and the currently modest SSN threat can be screened as usual.


The issue is that the RCS of ships in the OTHR frequencies scales almost quadratically with displacement (D^1.5)
And CATOBAR launch and recovery looks like nothing else in nature to OTHRs.

While you can plot doppler minimizing ship courses against OTHR arrays (aside from some experimental version they are all fixed/land-based sites) it's much much harder to hide CATOBAR launch and recovery.
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Unread post13 Oct 2020, 01:07

Right, but are said OTHR assets capable of providing data of sufficient quality to cue the anti ship weapons in question, if the answer is "yes", then at what range, and do "we" simply interdict them at the outset of hostilities anyway?
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Unread post13 Oct 2020, 01:30

boogieman wrote:Right, but are said OTHR assets capable of providing data of sufficient quality to cue the anti ship weapons in question, if the answer is "yes", then at what range, and do "we" simply interdict them at the outset of hostilities anyway?


There are some virtual aperture approaches that can dramatically improve the range and cross range
resolution of OTH radars; basically you rely on multipath reflections to give you different "views" of the target.

This NRL sponsored research (IIRC, they built a prototype) was projecting range and cross range resolution
of 100 m vs. the current 10km.

OTH sensing assets are guaranteed to be the highest priority targets for the sub, air and land-based hypersonic
weapons coming into the inventory.

But to my mind, it's an open question how effective attacks against them will be: the only thing you can't bury,
the receive and transmit antenna elements, can be made and often are for cost reasons from
off-the-shelf components.

And the transmit and receive arrays are typically widely separated and many kilometers in length.

So maybe the attack looks like an attack on a runway where you want to heave the array elements out
of their moorings and seed enough UOX to prevent quick recovery.

And if your attack substantially knocks the array out of alignment then that's something that can take a while to correct.
Attachments
ADA514533.pdf
High-Resolution Over-the-Horizon Radar Using Time Reversal
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Unread post13 Oct 2020, 01:57

Yes, I have heard rumours of similar work being explored on JORN. I had thought of something like CHAMP being useful here, but perhaps any underground elements of the OTHR asset(s) would be too well protected. Honestly don't know.
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Unread post13 Oct 2020, 02:17

boogieman wrote:Yes, I have heard rumours of similar work being explored on JORN. I had thought of something like CHAMP being useful here, but perhaps any underground elements of the OTHR asset(s) would be too well protected. Honestly don't know.


It's a truly open question but there's not enough public domain data to make an informed judgement particularly on
the resiliency and recoverability of OTHR assets.

Determining if you've broken the kill chain might be tricky too.

At the end, the kinetic defeat of the ASBM is probably something that can be modeled and
rehearsed (convincing threat surrogates might already have been tested against SM-6)
with the greatest degree of confidence.

And in extremis, there's nothing preventing the US from going back to nuke-tipped SAMs.

Having said all of that, surface ships with lower signature make everything easier on the defender.
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Unread post13 Oct 2020, 02:23

marauder2048 wrote:
boogieman wrote:Yes, I have heard rumours of similar work being explored on JORN. I had thought of something like CHAMP being useful here, but perhaps any underground elements of the OTHR asset(s) would be too well protected. Honestly don't know.


It's an truly open question but there's not enough public domain data to make an informed judgement particularly on
the resiliency and recoverability of OTHR assets.

Determining if you've broken the kill chain might be tricky too.

At the end, the kinetic defeat of the ASBM is probably something that can be modeled and
rehearsed (convincing threat surrogates might already have been tested against SM-6)
with the greatest degree of confidence.

Agree, although I would posit that relying on kinetic defeat of inbounds alone may be a losing proposition, since VLS cells are scarce and ASCM/ASBM based in mainland PRC are likely to be less so. The kill chain itself does strike me as vulnerable and worth exploiting as a consequence (obviously not to the exclusion of kinetic protection as well) even if it only reduces the rate/number of inbounds that need to be defended against.
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Unread post13 Oct 2020, 02:50

boogieman wrote:Agree, although I would posit that relying on kinetic defeat of inbounds alone may be a losing proposition, since VLS cells are scarce and ASCM/ASBM based in mainland PRC are likely to be less so. The kill chain itself does strike me as vulnerable and worth exploiting as a consequence (obviously not to the exclusion of kinetic protection as well) even if it only reduces the rate/number of inbounds that need to be defended against.


It's worth trying but the BDA aspect of the sensing elements is a big question mark; the kill chain might end up as
a big sink for expensive weapons.

If you look at the campaign against Iraq, the kill chain had to be destroyed and not broken; the Kari network
proved very resilient and the Coalition only undermined it by systematically destroying the radars and other
sensors on which it relied.
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Unread post13 Oct 2020, 02:59

Concur in that I can see how BDA would be extraordinarily difficult, especially in a dense A2/AD environment. Perhaps that is part of the rationale for the SLRC - continuous disruption of static ground based ISR assets etc at a more affordable(?) price.
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Unread post13 Oct 2020, 03:13

boogieman wrote:Concur in that I can see how BDA would be extraordinarily difficult, especially in a dense A2/AD environment. Perhaps that is part of the rationale for the SLRC - continuous disruption of static ground based ISR assets etc at a more affordable(?) price.


Good point. That sort of continuous harassing fire is something that seems to be required for counter-recovery.
Or there's a capability to additively manufacture cheap long range cruise missiles with cluster munition dispensers.

It's funny. There was a blue-skies thinking study on disruptive military technology that had US state-sized
super guns hurling rounds at other continents.
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Unread post13 Oct 2020, 04:50

Right, although I have to wonder whether saturation SLRC barrages might be more likely to meaningfully penetrate the local IADS than a salvo of low-cost LACM. I leave the calculus on that one to better minds than my own.
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Unread post13 Oct 2020, 14:50

boogieman wrote:Right, although I have to wonder whether saturation SLRC barrages might be more likely to meaningfully penetrate the local IADS than a salvo of low-cost LACM. I leave the calculus on that one to better minds than my own.


Good discussion except it ignores the reality of the activity casually being modeled here. At one extreme of "reality" is that if an adversary, say China, launches a "salvo" of long range ballistic missiles, it is dangerously possible, even likely, that the next response is not to fire defensive missiles or send in a light carrier, but rather a "salvo" that terminates the existence of Beijing, and a dozen other cities and bases with "significant kill radius" warheads ... not talking how many 1000lb vs 2000 lbs here.

Even if nuclear war is averted, and that really is not something casually set aside, massive asymetric responses are a part of "reality" here as well. Should a surprise, massive attack on Taiwan begin, I doubt the US will simply send a single DDG and light carrier into the fray to "deter" further actions. Rather even the conventional responses would likely raze coastal cities and bases, ala Linebacker on Hanoi... and permitted use of long range ballistic missiles against civilian area targets will have been opened by the attacker. The US is not going to let China "launch thousands of missiles", without a major "offensive" response. This is not a "send in more Patriots" and fighter aircraft issue.

War is war. Much like "air to air" is not 1 versus 1, but the engagement of complex systems with many versus many. The discussion here is not a war game of counting range and missiles. Any light carriers will be pieces of a complex coordinated response, with some creative application not previously seen ... on a massive scale.

otherwise ... They make nice little CVN gap fillers at reasonable cost.

MHO FWIW,
BP
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Unread post13 Oct 2020, 21:08

blindpilot wrote:
boogieman wrote:Right, although I have to wonder whether saturation SLRC barrages might be more likely to meaningfully penetrate the local IADS than a salvo of low-cost LACM. I leave the calculus on that one to better minds than my own.


Good discussion except it ignores the reality of the activity casually being modeled here. At one extreme of "reality" is that if an adversary, say China, launches a "salvo" of long range ballistic missiles, it is dangerously possible, even likely, that the next response is not to fire defensive missiles or send in a light carrier, but rather a "salvo" that terminates the existence of Beijing, and a dozen other cities and bases with "significant kill radius" warheads ... not talking how many 1000lb vs 2000 lbs here.

Even if nuclear war is averted, and that really is not something casually set aside, massive asymetric responses are a part of "reality" here as well. Should a surprise, massive attack on Taiwan begin, I doubt the US will simply send a single DDG and light carrier into the fray to "deter" further actions. Rather even the conventional responses would likely raze coastal cities and bases, ala Linebacker on Hanoi... and permitted use of long range ballistic missiles against civilian area targets will have been opened by the attacker. The US is not going to let China "launch thousands of missiles", without a major "offensive" response. This is not a "send in more Patriots" and fighter aircraft issue.

War is war. Much like "air to air" is not 1 versus 1, but the engagement of complex systems with many versus many. The discussion here is not a war game of counting range and missiles. Any light carriers will be pieces of a complex coordinated response, with some creative application not previously seen ... on a massive scale.

otherwise ... They make nice little CVN gap fillers at reasonable cost.

MHO FWIW,
BP

Yes I take your point. Perhaps the corollary of this is something I have spoken about before - it is easy to talk casually about striking targets in mainland China without considering the problem of nuclear escalation. While I'm not sure exactly what line would have to be crossed to cause the briefcase to come out, it's an important consideration that will always be there for both sides.
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Unread post13 Oct 2020, 22:17

blindpilot wrote:
boogieman wrote:Right, although I have to wonder whether saturation SLRC barrages might be more likely to meaningfully penetrate the local IADS than a salvo of low-cost LACM. I leave the calculus on that one to better minds than my own.


Good discussion except it ignores the reality of the activity casually being modeled here. At one extreme of "reality" is that if an adversary, say China, launches a "salvo" of long range ballistic missiles, it is dangerously possible, even likely, that the next response is not to fire defensive missiles or send in a light carrier, but rather a "salvo" that terminates the existence of Beijing, and a dozen other cities and bases with "significant kill radius" warheads ... not talking how many 1000lb vs 2000 lbs here.


Yeah. Lets model a stupidly escalatory response from the US. Recall, then NSA Tony Lake said
"We'd let the warheads detonate first to determine if they're nuclear before replying in kind."

It's not dangerously possible.

blindpilot wrote:The US is not going to let China "launch thousands of missiles", without a major "offensive" response. This is not a "send in more Patriots" and fighter aircraft issue.


Not sure where we get "thousands of missiles." Even the deep Chinese magazine has its limits and
they have plenty of targets to service.

blindpilot wrote:War is war. Much like "air to air" is not 1 versus 1, but the engagement of complex systems with many versus many. The discussion here is not a war game of counting range and missiles. Any light carriers will be pieces of a complex coordinated response, with some creative application not previously seen ... on a massive scale.


We're talking about a CBG operating at ranges where only the ASBM is a credible threat.

So it's fine to model just that. If there's evidence that the Chinese could combine ASBM salvos
with time-on-target attacks from other assets (say ASCMs from subs) that's something we'd consider.

But that goes into the minutia of ASW and other things for which there aren't good,
open literature analysis.

Nuclear armed opponents have fought each other without it escalating into a nuclear exchange.
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Unread post13 Oct 2020, 22:39

boogieman wrote:
blindpilot wrote:
boogieman wrote:Right, although I have to wonder whether saturation SLRC barrages might be more likely to meaningfully penetrate the local IADS than a salvo of low-cost LACM. I leave the calculus on that one to better minds than my own.


Good discussion except it ignores the reality of the activity casually being modeled here. ...

Yes I take your point. Perhaps the corollary of this is something I have spoken about before - it is easy to talk casually about striking targets in mainland China without considering the problem of nuclear escalation. While I'm not sure exactly what line would have to be crossed to cause the briefcase to come out, it's an important consideration that will always be there for both sides.


Actually calculated escalation is the more expected potential. thousands of ballistic missiles launched in "simultaneous surprise manner," will almost guarantee a reply in less than 30 minutes of hundreds of nuclear ballistic missiles from both sides - not a very good plan ...

Thus the imagining of launching a massive sudden attack is just folly. That tactic has no meaning in advantages/disadvantages of forces - ... they all become radioactive dust, end of exercise.

Other graduations of scale imply, virtually insist on, a dynamic shift in deployment of resources. So if the adversary begins hostilities with a single missile launch (or 2 or 5) against a local target, or an armada of "coast guard/fishing" ships sailing to invade a beach area, the targets of opportunity (nice row of parked aircraft on a big fixed bases) disappear into more threatening deployment postures. So tactics that speak of taking out this base or that wing of aircraft tend to lose meaning as well.

The problem with ("China") trying to calculate a narrow winding escalation path where for 3 seconds they have a momentary advantage that might be exploited, is the wide entrance and exit paths where the advantage turns very ugly very fast. (analogy - If I run very fast barefoot over these ten feet of hot coals, I can stand on the pointy stick in the middle, balance while putting my shoes on, and swing my sword where it will reach 1 inch far enough to cut an inch deep .... maybe ... if I lean in a bit .. and don't fall off the pointy stick ,,, )

Just saying,
BP
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Unread post13 Oct 2020, 23:45

blindpilot wrote:Actually calculated escalation is the more expected potential. thousands of ballistic missiles launched in "simultaneous surprise manner," will almost guarantee a reply in less than 30 minutes of hundreds of nuclear ballistic missiles from both sides - not a very good plan ...



Leaving aside the fact that the PRC ICBM arsenal isn't that large...

There's absolutely no evidence that anything aside from thousands of ballistic missiles launched at CONUS
would provoke a nuclear retaliatory strike. And even then, there's fragmentary evidence to suggest
we'd try to ride it out unless the inbound RVs are all targeted at the land based deterrent and or strategic
weapons facilities.

And even then, initial space-borne kill assessment from the small number of RVs intercepted by GMD
would give us a sense of their payloads. If they are non-nuclear, there will almost surely be no nuclear retaliation.
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