Carriers, Why so Big?

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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post06 Nov 2011, 22:25

US CVNs today are carrying only about 2/3 the aircraft they were intended to handle. It's a factoid that often pops up on this forum, but no one has yet asked the question: why not scale down ship size to reflect the reality of smaller aircraft complements?

Now, this is not a suggestion to do away with the CVN in favor of STOVL vessels with conventional propultion; I still think nuclear powered CATOBAR ships provide the best means for high-tempo operations, but would it be possible to reduce costs across the board by switching to a 70-80,000 ton design?
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madrat

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Unread post07 Nov 2011, 01:31

That makes too much sense. At least they need to fill out that remaining capacity with some kind of function.
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LinkF16SimDude

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Unread post07 Nov 2011, 22:12

Well just to throw a couple ideas out there:

Better to have extra space and not need it for now than need it later and not have it. Carriers are designed with 50+ year life spans. Should a situation arise in the future calling for air wings to have more aircraft they'll still fit on the existing ship. Besides, on a scale as big as a carrier, the 70-80K ton range you suggested isn't much less than the 90K ton ships we already have. So why not go with the larger size as a hedge?

Carriers are also used in humanitarian and disaster relief roles as required. So while still keeping it's full combat complement, it can take on relief and rescue assets in the appropriate unused space(s) plus whatever number of evacuees it can handle.
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golden_eagle

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Unread post11 Nov 2011, 19:54

Your apartment or house I'm sure is below capacity...why don't you bring friends and furnishings in to max capacity...then add rain, snow, wind, 18/24 hr operations and then try to move all the people and stuff around with out breaking anything, hitting a wall, bumping into each other...sounds like a fun party but not a way to operatate a carrier.

From years of living and operation on and off of them, i'd say they aren't big enough..................
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wrightwing

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Unread post15 Nov 2011, 22:40

1st503rdsgt wrote:US CVNs today are carrying only about 2/3 the aircraft they were intended to handle. It's a factoid that often pops up on this forum, but no one has yet asked the question: why not scale down ship size to reflect the reality of smaller aircraft complements?

Now, this is not a suggestion to do away with the CVN in favor of STOVL vessels with conventional propultion; I still think nuclear powered CATOBAR ships provide the best means for high-tempo operations, but would it be possible to reduce costs across the board by switching to a 70-80,000 ton design?


Flexibility. They may carry smaller air wings, but that just means that they can carry more fuel, munitions, spare parts, etc... as well as handling contingency operations(i.e. disasters). As others have mentioned- there's always the chance that at some point in the future, the number of aircraft may go back up.

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