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The Aircraft Carrier Shitstorm Thread

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So, something nobody's mentioned is that Chinese air-launched cruise missile threats are nowhere near as dangerous as those posed by the Soviets -- they've got fewer, slower, shorter-ranged launch platforms with smaller, slower missiles, and the US Navy developed extremely effective methods of countering the threat of land-based air power during the Global War Game series -- they determined that the more aggressively a carrier group is fought, as long as there are two or three mutually supporting CV(N)s present, even in confined waters like those of the Norwegian Sea, the more likely it is to survive -- the number of missile carriers and missiles is comparatively limited and the adversary is unable to produce more in a timely manner, while the USN can fairly quickly replace lost aircraft and aircrews, and the quality of the US Navy's integrated air defense system is second-to-none. Furthermore, the USN has only improved it's air defense capabilities since the late-1980s, with the wider fielding of Aegis-equipped ships and the Mark 41 GMLS. The DDG-51 and ESSM revolutionized the US Navy, and ESSM Block II will further advance the ability of the average naval vessel to kill air threats. 

 

Oh, also, if you try to fight a light carrier like a CdG or Kuznetsov or what have you like it's a fleet carrier, you'll get killed. The sortie generation rate, speed, and sustainability of the lighter carriers is disproportionately smaller than the cost savings, to the point of breaking the price-performance curve in the wrong direction (IE they have a relatively very high price for their decidedly lackluster performance). 

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42 minutes ago, A. T. Mahan said:

So, something nobody's mentioned is that Chinese air-launched cruise missile threats are nowhere near as dangerous as those posed by the Soviets -- they've got fewer, slower, shorter-ranged launch platforms with smaller, slower missiles, and the US Navy developed extremely effective methods of countering the threat of land-based air power during the Global War Game series -- they determined that the more aggressively a carrier group is fought, as long as there are two or three mutually supporting CV(N)s present, even in confined waters like those of the Norwegian Sea, the more likely it is to survive -- the number of missile carriers and missiles is comparatively limited and the adversary is unable to produce more in a timely manner, while the USN can fairly quickly replace lost aircraft and aircrews, and the quality of the US Navy's integrated air defense system is second-to-none. Furthermore, the USN has only improved it's air defense capabilities since the late-1980s, with the wider fielding of Aegis-equipped ships and the Mark 41 GMLS. The DDG-51 and ESSM revolutionized the US Navy, and ESSM Block II will further advance the ability of the average naval vessel to kill air threats. 

 

Oh, also, if you try to fight a light carrier like a CdG or Kuznetsov or what have you like it's a fleet carrier, you'll get killed. The sortie generation rate, speed, and sustainability of the lighter carriers is disproportionately smaller than the cost savings, to the point of breaking the price-performance curve in the wrong direction (IE they have a relatively very high price for their decidedly lackluster performance). 

Good to see some activity in Naval threads. Nice to have some more knowledgeable naval posters contributing to SH.

 

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As @N-L-M so succinctly put it on the previous page (paraphrased):

 

bigger carriers mean better carriers (among other things). 

 

IIRC, the Nimitz and Gerald R. Ford can carry circa 90 aircraft comfortably whilst the next largest foreign carriers can barely scratch 40 aircraft overloaded. This, combined with the sortie rate of these super carriers puts the US CVs in a league of their own, with practically no competition. 

 

 

Also, @Belesarius, I also like naval discussion, mostly concerning WWII ships, though I’m not very knowledgeable. I’m actually quite enthralled (at the moment) with French Destroyer philosophy, with 3 different “classes”: Destroyer Leaders (Mogador and Aigle classes); standard torpedo DDs (Bourrasque and Le Hardi classes); and fleet torpedo boats (La Melpomene class). Only problem for me is I can’t find/don’t know reputable sources, and I can’t read French. 

 

German DDs are also pretty cool too, with the occasional 150mm gun thrown in for flair :) 

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2 hours ago, A. T. Mahan said:

The German DDs are an absolute mess and were not good seaboats  in the best of times

 

I never said anything about effectiveness, just that they’re interesting :) 

 

Torpedoboot austland conversions are also an interest of mine. 

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5 hours ago, A. T. Mahan said:

So, something nobody's mentioned is that Chinese air-launched cruise missile threats are nowhere near as dangerous as those posed by the Soviets -- they've got fewer, slower, shorter-ranged launch platforms with smaller, slower missiles, and the US Navy developed extremely effective methods of countering the threat of land-based air power during the Global War Game series -- they determined that the more aggressively a carrier group is fought, as long as there are two or three mutually supporting CV(N)s present, even in confined waters like those of the Norwegian Sea, the more likely it is to survive -- the number of missile carriers and missiles is comparatively limited and the adversary is unable to produce more in a timely manner, while the USN can fairly quickly replace lost aircraft and aircrews, and the quality of the US Navy's integrated air defense system is second-to-none. Furthermore, the USN has only improved it's air defense capabilities since the late-1980s, with the wider fielding of Aegis-equipped ships and the Mark 41 GMLS. The DDG-51 and ESSM revolutionized the US Navy, and ESSM Block II will further advance the ability of the average naval vessel to kill air threats. 

 

Oh, also, if you try to fight a light carrier like a CdG or Kuznetsov or what have you like it's a fleet carrier, you'll get killed. The sortie generation rate, speed, and sustainability of the lighter carriers is disproportionately smaller than the cost savings, to the point of breaking the price-performance curve in the wrong direction (IE they have a relatively very high price for their decidedly lackluster performance).  

 

2-3 mutually supporting supercarriers is probably in the top 10 largest airforces by numbers of deployable fast jets

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3 hours ago, Xlucine said:

 

2-3 mutually supporting supercarriers is probably in the top 10 largest airforces by numbers of deployable fast jets

There is an infographic somewhere showing that the  U.S. Navy is the second largest airforce in the world.

Fucking with a CBG is a sure way to get large volumes of poop, shoved in.

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7 hours ago, Meplat said:

There is an infographic somewhere showing that the  U.S. Navy is the second largest airforce in the world.

Fucking with a CBG is a sure way to get large volumes of poop, shoved in.

In a fighters-only comparison the US navy is something like the fourth largest (after the USAF, China and Russia).

 

It still speaks to the sheer size of your military that you can slice the numbers like that.

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That "triple runway" carrier (though only the middle one seems capable of arresting planes) concept at 3:30 looks rather interesting, though for some reason it makes me think of an antique trireme. XD

 

EDIT: finally posted in the right thread. Goldurnit.

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PDF Warning - REGAINING THE HIGH GROUND AT SEA - TRANSFORMING THE U.S. NAVY’S CARRIER AIR WING FOR GREAT POWER COMPETITION has been released by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a DC think tank on military matters. The paper's abstract is as follows - "Today the Navy needs to transform its CVWs to counter the emerging challenges posed by great powers like China and Russia and implement new defense and military strategies. During the quarter century since the end of the Cold War, CVWs emphasized cost effectiveness and versatility because the United States did not face a peer adversary. Today’s CVWs, however, now lack the range, endurance, survivability, and specialization to carry out the operational concepts needed to defeat great power militaries. If the Navy is unable to transform its CVWs, Navy leaders should reconsider whether to continue investing in carrier aviation or shift the fleet’s resources to more relevant capabilities." The paper suggests quite strongly the use of UCAVs to reduce costs and increase range, but I have my doubts as to their feasibility.

An interesting paper overall. For better or for worse, the phrase "If the Navy does not make these changes, it may be better served by shifting resources from carrier aviation toward other capabilities more relevant to great power competition." is not further expanded upon. It may be an interesting topic for the future, or it may be idiotic harping about the "obsolescence" of carriers. 

Addendum - the article claims the following.

"Like the Navy’s approach to counter kamikazes, Outer Air Battle necessitated increasing the CVW’s air defense capacity at the expense of its strike capacity. [...] The overall result came close to what naval historian Norman Friedman referred to as a “self-licking ice cream cone,” where the carrier’s sole purpose was to defend itself. Outer Air Battle was not necessarily a poor concept, but the Soviet ASCM threat and available CVW aircraft forced the U.S. Navy to choose between two undesirable options: 1) attempt to project power via strike missions, but do so with reduced capacity and at high risk; or 2) keep carriers safe and out of range of Soviet bombers, but trade significant strike capacity to ensure local sea control."

This seems at odds with the conclusions of How to Hide a Task Force and Kamikazes: The Soviet Legacy, or at the very least is limited in its conclusions. Essentially, if a Soviet Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment conducted an attack on a CBG without the element of surprise, there was a 50/50 shot of either side being wiped out. If either side had the element of surprise, the result would be rather lopsided. Further, there was roughly one Regiment available per CBG.

Thus, the "self-licking ice cream cone" can be viewed not merely as a self-justifying appropriation of resources, but as a way to attrit valuable and limited enemy resources. If the enemy only has a limited number of Regiments, and you fight defensively at the tactical level and offensively at the operational level such that you kill off all of his Regiments, by golly, you now no longer need to worry about protecting yourself from his Regiments! This defensive tactic has now gained you freedom of operation at the tactical and operational level!

I recognize that this is a minor aside, though.

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A good article in Mer et Marine on the CdG:

 

https://translate.google.fr/translate?hl=&sl=fr&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.meretmarine.com%2Ffr%2Fcontent%2Fle-porte-avions-charles-de-gaulle

 

Contain a general description of the capability and the systems with interesting tidbits like the propulsion systems or the time when a Rafale blew up a tire on landing:

 

https://www.meretmarine.com/sites/default/files/styles/mem_846_article_content/public/new_objets_drupal/2_147.jpg

 

https://www.meretmarine.com/sites/default/files/styles/mem_846_article_content/public/new_objets_drupal/a21_6.jpg

Spoiler

https://www.meretmarine.com/sites/default/files/styles/mem_1000/public/new_objets_drupal/a29_3.jpg?itok=GkPM-mKF

 

The whole flavoured with some nice looking images

https://www.meretmarine.com/sites/default/files/styles/mem_846_article_content/public/new_objets_drupal/033nfa_141123_0107-1.jpg

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