F-35Bs Establishing potential of Australian aircraft carrier

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spazsinbad

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Unread post10 Dec 2018, 00:57

Obviously this section of a recent article had a different headline but mostly it was about what we see below. There is more at the URL specifically about the benefits to Australian F-35 Industry and a bit of hand waving about mods to LHDs.
F-35 countdown: Royal Navy completes carrier flight tests
27 Nov 2018 Louis Dillon

Establishing the potential for Australian aircraft carriers [naughty naughty - I have the vapors] 8)
This testing program, particularly as a result of the parallel design process between both the F-35B and the Queen Elizabeth Class, provides an important model for at-sea training, maintenance and operations model for considering the development of Australian fleet of F-35Bs....

...government and strategic policy influencers have made calls for Australia to consider expanding Australia's existing, $17 billion plan for 72 F-35A variants to include the procurement of the STOVL platform to support Australian expeditionary deployments and provide integrated, fixed-wing, fleet air support. Most recently, in 2014, former prime minister Tony Abbott and then defence minister David Johnston, as part of the then in consideration 2016 Defence White Paper, commissioned a review into Australia's LHDs operating a small fleet of the F-35B variant.

While unsuccessful, it served to highlight the serious consideration given to re-establishing Australia's fixed-wing naval aviation capabilities and transforming Australia's maritime power-projection capabilities. In particular, the questions surrounding the impact of operating such a platform on broader defence capabilities, particularly the Air Force, as well as the need to increase the Navy's supporting surface fleet all raised significant questions.... [could've put it in anotherie]

...At both a tactical and strategic level, the F-35B variant would serve to provide Australia with a potent maritime strike capability, not limited by the harsh geographic confines, particularly range, enabling Australia to defend its northern approaches and key strategic interests throughout south-east Asia...."

Source: https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/air-s ... ight-tests

Would have put this post at URL below but it is ….? [lots of other threads hint at this development so IT IS TIME for here]
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=53630&p=381154&hilit=carrier+game#p381154 [LOCKED]
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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steve2267

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Unread post10 Dec 2018, 03:14

IMHO, Ozzieland needs somewhere’s between 4-8 “carriers” of some kind. Of course, there’s always that pesky problem of how to pay for them...
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post10 Dec 2018, 04:53

Australian pop: 24.6 - Canadian pop: 32.7 - American pop: 325.7 - UK pop: 66 - Italy pop: 61 ALL MILLION - do I go on?

Are these teeny tiny aircraft carriers made with LEGO? We need BUMBLE BEE or ARMY ANTS or I dunno - be realistic eh.

Perhaps & I mean PERHAPS when the last tranche of 28 or so F-35s are decided for Oz, perhaps a 3rd LHD comes into play.

With two already manned & well operational by then it will be easy enough to rotate 3rd carrier capable LHD into service.

Perhaps a mid-life refit for current LHDs will make them more suitable for the F-35B when required & all round the world the F-35B on ski jump flat decks being a good idea will be well established one hopes - it will be inevitable methinks.
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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steve2267

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Unread post10 Dec 2018, 06:47

spazsinbad wrote:Australian pop: 24.6 - Canadian pop: 32.7 - American pop: 325.7 - UK pop: 66 - Italy pop: 61 ALL MILLION - do I go on?



And yet Ozzieland be almost the size of the continental United States, with FAR MORE coastline to boot. Sucks to not have the tax base to properly defend all that. Now I am not blaming Aussies. I am NOT accusing youse of not pulling your own weight. Hell, you’re punching above your (population) size, and in many respects are building a world-leading 5th gen Air Force (love your Wedgies). You put Canuckland to shame. As an American, I’m VERY happy to have an ally such as Australia.

That said, in my humble (yet not naval trained) opinion, a sea faring island nation the size of Australia would do to have four mid-sized carriers capable of 40 aircraft. (Of course, for only about 10-15% more, youse supposedly can get a “supercarrier.”). But since mid-sized carriers are probably straight out... I figure eight “light carriers” or LHD’s, or Japanese mother-of-all-destroyers that could either operate as a “light carrier” with 15-24 BumbleBees, or 6 Bees + assorted vertical lift craft (think Osprey or V-280 Valor’s) could do the trick. Two separate platforms in a two “carrier” battle group, or two separate “carrier” battlegroups greatly complicate the Chinese tactical and strategic problem. And even a squadron of Bees is a helluva lot of firepower compared to carrier strike capability of yesteryear.

Figure at any one time, two are in for maintenance, two are doing training work ups, and four are deployed. So eight total. I figure that’s a round number minimum, but it sux that youse can’t afford it.

Hell, IMHO, Japan needs at least eight of those motherships. China doesn’t look to be backing down. Korea four. Singapore two.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post10 Dec 2018, 07:11

To be realistic Australia relies on the sea/air gap for any invaders to transit. Hit 'em there or earlier because those invaders have to amass forces to make said transit. Then where do these ne'er do wells land? Most of Australia is desert. Very judiciously the coast line in inhabited with less habitable bits a long ways from anywheres important but sure they may get a foothold to be pounded, their supply lines pounded and generally pounded in our great Oz FA: GAFA https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=GAFA

Hence having a truly expeditionary component of our overall force makes sense. The RAN/ARMY/RAAF work on this but neglect the F-35B probably because (for the moment) the RAAF have made assurances about their coverage. Meanwhile we have a forward defence (continental defence as a fall back). Defending forward requires special needs which the RAN/RAAF have slowly acquired within our means. It is a deterrent force. If the baddies get a foothold closer to Oz then perhaps the ARMY expeditionary force gets going. Said force helps keep Pacific Island nations safe as well and law abiding.
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 Dec 2018, 10:40

steve2267 wrote:Two separate platforms in a two “carrier” battle group, or two separate “carrier” battlegroups greatly complicate the Chinese tactical and strategic problem. And even a squadron of Bees is a helluva lot of firepower compared to carrier strike capability of yesteryear. Figure at any one time, two are in for maintenance, two are doing training work ups, and four are deployed. So eight total. I figure that’s a round number minimum, but it sux that youse can’t afford it.


I'd be very happy if RAN bought two USS America-Class amphibious assault ships, but they're ~$4.5 billion AUD each, and require ~1,050 people to crew each of them. That would be the ideal solution for Australia for the next 40 years or so. Then expand the F-35A sqns as/if required. Or better yet, buy 12 B-21s to go with the F-35A's we have.

I'd much rather get that mix and buy half as many French Short-Fin Barracuda subs.
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Unread post10 Dec 2018, 14:09

Wouldn't it be much easier and cheaper to simply adapt the two Canberra-class landing helicopter dock to carry the F-35B and as such giving Australia a "carrier"?

The Canberra-class landing helicopter dock is based on the Spanish Juan Carlos I amphibious assault ship-aircraft carrier which was designed to carry AV-8B Harriers. The Canberra-class just like the Juan Carlos I also comes included with a Sky Jump ramp so adapting the F-35Bs to operate from there should be a "no-brainer" and much cheaper than purchase a new carrier of some sorts.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post10 Dec 2018, 14:34

The claim by the 'naysayers' is that it is too expensive to make the modifications whilst any benefit is not worth it and will take away the main purpose of the LHDs. These questions have been canvassed a lot in this forum in various threads with one at least LOCKED for some reason. Even the MODERATORS here don't like the idea. Reasons against idea are baffling.

"...JCI/LHD was designed to carry AV-8B Harriers..." NOPE she was designed to operate F-35Bs with whatever details were known at that time. YES the JCI operates Spanish Harriers but that is because they are what they have now - but future?
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Unread post10 Dec 2018, 14:56

spazsinbad wrote:The claim by the 'naysayers' is that it is too expensive to make the modifications whilst any benefit is not worth it and will take away the main purpose of the LHDs. These questions have been canvassed a lot in this forum in various threads with one at least LOCKED for some reason. Even the MODERATORS here don't like the idea. Reasons against idea are baffling.

"...JCI/LHD was designed to carry AV-8B Harriers..." NOPE she was designed to operate F-35Bs with whatever details were known at that time. YES the JCI operates Spanish Harriers but that is because they are what they have now - but future?


Absolutely such an idea will reduce our amphibious capability. If Australia were to gain a carrier capability it would IMHO only make sense as a 3rd Canberra Class vessel, but one designed from the outset with operating F-35B aircraft as the main role with amhib capability second. When it is offline and other taskings allow sure you could Canberra or Adelaide to maintain quals etc, but only at the expense of other capability...
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Unread post10 Dec 2018, 16:53

Conan wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:The claim by the 'naysayers' is that it is too expensive to make the modifications whilst any benefit is not worth it and will take away the main purpose of the LHDs. These questions have been canvassed a lot in this forum in various threads with one at least LOCKED for some reason. Even the MODERATORS here don't like the idea. Reasons against idea are baffling.

"...JCI/LHD was designed to carry AV-8B Harriers..." NOPE she was designed to operate F-35Bs with whatever details were known at that time. YES the JCI operates Spanish Harriers but that is because they are what they have now - but future?


Absolutely such an idea will reduce our amphibious capability.


In what way, may I ask??
The JCI/Canberra have two hangar decks or basically, two hangars running across most of the ship's length.
One of the hangars/decks - the upper one - is usually used for storing aviation while the other hangar/deck - the lower one - is used to store the "amphibious stuff" stuff such as Landing crafts, troops and their vehicles, etc...

Yes, if you carry fixed-wing aircraft such as the F-35B or AV-8B technically you'll carry less helicopters which reduces the landing (on shore) assets but on the other hand you'll gain a potent air support wing (or a carrier capability).

Besides, the Spanish don't seem to have much of a "reduce amphibious capability" problems while operating AV-8Bs (which seems to be the norm) and this on their SOLE JCI ship. Moreover Spain retired its dedicated carrier (the Prince of Asturias) since it was deemed that the JCI would cover both the roles of Carrier and Landing Ship (and of course there was also the money/economical factor as well).
So why on Earth would Australia have a problem operating F-35Bs from their TWO Canberra ships??


Conan wrote:If Australia were to gain a carrier capability it would IMHO only make sense as a 3rd Canberra Class vessel, but one designed from the outset with operating F-35B aircraft as the main role with amhib capability second. When it is offline and other taskings allow sure you could Canberra or Adelaide to maintain quals etc, but only at the expense of other capability...


With all due respect but money doesn't grow on trees, you know? Yes, Australia is a rich country and at the same time it is a quite well run country where you don't have a "Banana-Republic" and/or "tin-pot" leadership which can spend all it wants on defense while at the same time "pissing over" the general population's needs.
This being said, Australia is very well equipped military but having a dedicated "third" carrier is almost certainly be "asking too much" since Australia has other priorities (even in terms of military equipment - and this not to mention socially) and money doesn't grow on Australian trees (and neither on the rest of the world, BTW).
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post10 Dec 2018, 16:58

spazsinbad wrote:The claim by the 'naysayers' is that it is too expensive to make the modifications whilst any benefit is not worth it and will take away the main purpose of the LHDs.


More expensive than building a new dedicated carrier from scratch? LOL.
Or even buying a second hand carrier (if there's one for sale)?

I don't think so...

spazsinbad wrote:"...JCI/LHD was designed to carry AV-8B Harriers..." NOPE she was designed to operate F-35Bs with whatever details were known at that time. YES the JCI operates Spanish Harriers but that is because they are what they have now - but future?


I absolutely agree that a carrier/ship that operates the AV-8B will also be able to operate the F-35B as well.
So no problems here for JCI and Canberra, me thinks.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post11 Dec 2018, 01:06

Sounds like a repeat. The cost is not a new-build or new F-35Bs. Its incremental cost of making the LHDs operationally capable and the difference between F-35A cost and F-35B cost. The incremental cost from Australia's budget perspective is not significant.

What should be the decision factor is not the difference in population, but what SLOC means to Australia. If Australia can't defend its SLOC, would all its budget spent on the military be useless? The key is what F-35Bs can contribute to RAAF SLOC security. What I have not seen so far is an Australian politician making a decent public cost benefit analysis of the above equation. Instead there is some misinformation about how F-35As can defend SLOC with tanker support.

There are also some changes to the threat environment since 2017. How much is SLOC really worth to Australia vs the cost of the B?
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Unread post11 Dec 2018, 01:13

Australia is not a great power, however we are allies with some great powers, who (one hopes) will apply treaty help to defend SLOCs - not only for Oz - but for other allied nations similarly affected. SLOCs go beyond local Oz waters. Yes I agree our RAAF must have a wonderful 'gift of the gab' to be convincing about what they can do - exercises will verify.
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Unread post11 Dec 2018, 03:07

element1loop wrote:
steve2267 wrote:Two separate platforms in a two “carrier” battle group, or two separate “carrier” battlegroups greatly complicate the Chinese tactical and strategic problem. And even a squadron of Bees is a helluva lot of firepower compared to carrier strike capability of yesteryear. Figure at any one time, two are in for maintenance, two are doing training work ups, and four are deployed. So eight total. I figure that’s a round number minimum, but it sux that youse can’t afford it.


I'd be very happy if RAN bought two USS America-Class amphibious assault ships, but they're ~$4.5 billion AUD each, and require ~1,050 people to crew each of them. That would be the ideal solution for Australia for the next 40 years or so. Then expand the F-35A sqns as/if required. Or better yet, buy 12 B-21s to go with the F-35A's we have.

I'd much rather get that mix and buy half as many French Short-Fin Barracuda subs.


FWIW, a QE carrier costs about £3bn ~ $5.2bn AUD with a crew of 680 and troop capacity of 900. Just an idea if you are thinking long term ...
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Unread post11 Dec 2018, 04:33

There are material differences between LHD and CV. A CV, like the QE class, does not have a well deck even after modifications. A CVF operates as an aircraft carrier first, a LHD operates as an amphib first.

Its easy to just to suggest any flat deck. Any 6 year old can do that. The question which a 6 year old can't easily answer is how would a CVF fit into a realistic role within the current RAN operational doctrine. This is also where Spaz's comment on treaty allies come in. Whilst treaty requirements should see what others with bigger guns can do, its also a question of where RAN intends to send their own LHDs.

If its to locations beyond land-based CAP and where the threat of enemy airpower is significant, an F-35B equipped LHD provides more options as the USMC knows. Otherwise as Spaz points out, RAN can and will only send LHDs if treaty allies can provide the air cover i.e. they won't go in alone. Its actually consistent with RAN operational doctrine even from ww2 where the Aussie army will only send troops overseas on troop transports where battleship escorts were available.

Whether Australia is a great power or not, it has operated CV.
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