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The Aircraft Carrier Shitstorm Thread

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On 4/26/2017 at 2:17 PM, roguetechie said:

 

Ramlaen,

 

Not being a naval systems guy, other than a fascination with with Umoe surface effect ships (skjold class) small watercraft like the riverine warfare guys etc use anything really high speed WIG's concrete submarines and amphibious warfare systems, I tend to separate naval weapons into long range stuff like harpoon and SM series missiles and CIWS stuff like rolling airframe missiles and Vulcan guns.

 

With this in mind, with all the mark 41 VLS cells in a carrier strike group is a pretty substantial punch IF you're loaded up 80/20 or 75/25 defensive missiles to offensive systems. My assumption is that most of the time this would be the case for a carrier strike group's entourage.

 

But then we get to the close in antimissile and small boat knife fighting systems which a nuclear super carrier itself and her entourage carry, they're just not all that well armed compared to Russian equivalent platforms. Someone actually posted a picture somewhere on the SH forum showing the difference between kuznetsov and American nuclear super carriers. The graphic showed the number and location of missile and gun systems as well as the arcs each item covers and the difference between the two was very evocative!

 

Honestly, modern American naval vessels are really lightly armed on a tonnage basis from the LCS all the way on up to super carriers!

USN carriers are lightly armed for several reasons.  One is that the tonnage and deck area is put into aircraft.  A second is that a jet fuel spill/fire could soak a VLS while it cannot easily reach the launchers in the position they are in on US carriers.  A third is that the vertically launched missile exhaust plumes can damage aircraft, especially stealth coatings.  In addition, the defensive systems have radars that emit and give away the location of the carrier.

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35 minutes ago, Domus Acipenseris said:

USN carriers are lightly armed for several reasons.  One is that the tonnage and deck area is put into aircraft.  A second is that a jet fuel spill/fire could soak a VLS while it cannot easily reach the launchers in the position they are in on US carriers.  A third is that the vertically launched missile exhaust plumes can damage aircraft, especially stealth coatings.  In addition, the defensive systems have radars that emit and give away the location of the carrier.

Plus, the more tonnage you can use for aviation fuel storage, and ordnance is a big deal so you do not have to constantly be pulling off the line to fuel and reload ordnance. 

 

Plus on the conventional ships, fuel for the ships themselves, because we have a lot of water to cover.  This was one of the limitations of the armored deck British Carriers in the Pacific at the end of the war, they were not designed for the type of war the US Navy was and were constantly having to refuel and rearm, and their air wings were small too. Turns out the armored flight deck, though could save the ships in the short run, the damage several Kamikaze strikes did ended up leaving permanent structural damage, since the armored flight deck, unlike the flight deck on US Carriers during WWII, was a major part of the ship's structure. 

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1 hour ago, Domus Acipenseris said:

USN carriers are lightly armed for several reasons.  One is that the tonnage and deck area is put into aircraft.  A second is that a jet fuel spill/fire could soak a VLS while it cannot easily reach the launchers in the position they are in on US carriers.  A third is that the vertically launched missile exhaust plumes can damage aircraft, especially stealth coatings.  In addition, the defensive systems have radars that emit and give away the location of the carrier.

USN carriers, IIRC, also expect a certain level of success from CAP birds on anti-missile duty. Defense in depth is the concept, and if the carrier is shooting someone has fucked up royally.

 

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1 hour ago, Belesarius said:

USN carriers, IIRC, also expect a certain level of success from CAP birds on anti-missile duty. Defense in depth is the concept, and if the carrier is shooting someone has fucked up royally.

 

 

Not so much depth since the F-14 was retired... 

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3 minutes ago, Belesarius said:

There are arguments to be made about the FA-18E/F family along with the AIM-120

.

 

 

Not good ones. Hornet has short legs, and was not designed for fleet defense, and like most things, it is not good at it.  The Navy just decided they didn't need great fleet defense post-cold-war, and the hornet is so much cheaper. 

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yeah, and if the Air Force can keep the F-15 in the air, the Navy sure as hell could have kept the 14D flying just fine if Dick Cheney wasn't an ASSHOLE. The ready rates and mission completion rates in Afghanistan and Gulf War MK II were damn impressive for a plane that wasn't having new parts made. 

 

The F-14 ended up being a better fighter bomber than the BUG too. 

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14 hours ago, Domus Acipenseris said:

USN carriers are lightly armed for several reasons.  One is that the tonnage and deck area is put into aircraft.  A second is that a jet fuel spill/fire could soak a VLS while it cannot easily reach the launchers in the position they are in on US carriers.  A third is that the vertically launched missile exhaust plumes can damage aircraft, especially stealth coatings.  In addition, the defensive systems have radars that emit and give away the location of the carrier.

 

Every single ton of carrier you put into a single hull gives you more capacity than the last one. It takes a lot of tonnage to be able to launch even one plane, let alone launch, maintain and arm one plane. If you compare the air wings of light carriers to supercarriers, the latter have a lot more air wing per ton because things like maintenance, seakeeping, launch facilities and deck space are amortized over more planes. Big missile batteries end up on their own platforms with their own superstructure optimized for radar and so on for very good reasons because the USN can afford the tonnage to make their carriers part of a task force. Lastly, VLS cells are a non-trivial cut in the flight deck, which is part of the strength deck and has to have four long cuts in it for catapults, as well as the cuts in the ship girder for the hangar exits onto the elevators. The cuts that already exist are only possible due to classified structural shenanigans of the deep wizardry sort. The Charles de Gaulle has to have a weak spot in her deck because the reactor needs refueling more frequently. As a result, when their new short catapult designs turned out to only work with literally neck-breaking accelerations, they had to cut down to two cats, and the island is way the hell forward, which sucks because that's prime real estate for spotting planes before launch. The Zumwalts are the first missile focused ships to not need the VLS cut to be in prime centerline real estate, and the way they talk about that development indicates that it's bigger than you'd think.

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30 minutes ago, roguetechie said:

Wow... Thanks!

 

Your references to putting in the cuts and the classified structural shenanigans this requires opens up a new perspective on several things.

 

Ever since the Midways, every carrier's ship girder has been carried up into the flight deck. The Essexes were the last major carriers to have their hangar deck be the main structural deck (Incidentally, the Essexes and before had armored decks, just at the hangar deck rather than the flight deck, which is part of why I say confidently that the hits the Franklin took wouldn't have been stopped by a British style armored flight deck.) Basically, the hangar exits, island location and catapult tracks can tell you a lot about how well the ship design's been able to reduce stress to free it up for those things. Now I'm kind of wondering whether the Fords have more stresses so the island couldn't go between the elevators, or they're doing it to free up space forward.

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10 hours ago, xthetenth said:

 

 The Charles de Gaulle has to have a weak spot in her deck because the reactor needs refueling more frequently.

 

Low enriched uranium strikes again!

 

Without going into too much detail that could get me in trouble, the US Navy is looking into switching to low enriched uranium for future reactors. Or at least they were, since the election of Trump it's probably dropped off. But in any case, there would be some ~interesting~ challenges associated with putting LEU in subs and still keeping a long interval between refuelings. Also, it'd be a long time before an LEU reactor got into a sub; Columbia's reactor design (S1B) is already pretty advanced, so the earliest you'd get it is in a Virginia replacement. And considering how weird an LEU reactor would be (at least compared to current fuel fabrication techniques and reactor layout) the Navy would probably want to do a land-based test reactor.

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13 hours ago, LostCosmonaut said:

 

Low enriched uranium strikes again!

 

For the CDG, I think the reason was mainly that we already had an existing reactor for our subs so we just took 2 and slapped them in the carrier.

Guess it helped a lot with the maintenance and design cost plus having only one supply chain for the fuel (soon with the Barracuda SSN replacing the Rubis class)

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If they're going to fuck up, it's better to do it now than on a Type 003. IIRC the Type 001 is half intended to be a tech demonstrator anyway, kind of like the Pz I was for Germany and tanks I guess.

 

Of course, in this analogy, the Americans are busy working the bugs out of their M60s right now.

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