The return of the light carrier?

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Precision
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The return of the light carrier?

Post by Precision » Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:18 pm

I have been told for years that light carriers are a dumb idea.

Looks like the Marines never got the message and good for them.

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D5CAV
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by D5CAV » Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:55 pm

Precision wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:18 pm
I have been told for years that light carriers are a dumb idea.
All carriers are a dumb idea.

It is said that Admirals (and Generals) are always fighting the last war. In the case of the USN, they are so far in the past they may as well bring back "Ships of the Line" because they look good.

Aircraft Carriers are only good for terrorizing third world countries with light or insurgent scale military.

They are useless against any first world power. They are even at significant risk against some second world powers.

The last time carriers were decisive in any campaign was in the Pacific against the Imperial Japanese Navy during WW2 (75 years ago - yeah, let's bring back "Ships of the Line", they were still useful 150 years ago). Even in that conflict, the USN's submarine fleet with crappy WW2 submarines and even crappier WW2 torpedoes managed to sink more tonnage than the USN surface fleet and all aircraft assets (Army, Marine and Navy) combined.

Back during RR's push for a "600 ship Navy", some skeptical members of Congress brought in ADM Rickover for testimony. They asked him how long the USN surface fleet, if it ever got up to over 500 ships, would last in a no-holds-barred conflict with the USSR. Rickover answered "About 48 hours". He was 70 at the time. The USN hastily retired him after that. Too much truth-telling is a bad thing for the Pentagon.
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g-man
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by g-man » Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:16 pm

Awwww, cute. It has Thunderpigs parked on the deck. How many sorties per day per aircraft are they planning for? How many will they actually get? They're cramming more birds on to the deck because the readiness rates on those things are so abysmal that the only way to make the boat useful is to pack it with more airframes. More expensive eggs in the basket = bigger payoff for asymmetric strikes.
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randy
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by randy » Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:57 pm

D5CAV wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:55 pm

Back during RR's push for a "600 ship Navy", some skeptical members of Congress brought in ADM Rickover for testimony. They asked him how long the USN surface fleet, if it ever got up to over 500 ships, would last in a no-holds-barred conflict with the USSR. Rickover answered "About 48 hours". He was 70 at the time. The USN hastily retired him after that. Too much truth-telling is a bad thing for the Pentagon.
To be fair, asking a Bubblehead admiral about the need for aircraft carriers is more than a little like asking a Fighter Mafia general about the need for the A-10.

Not necessarily saying he was wrong (nor that he was right), simply that I have doubts about his objectivity and the agenda of whatever congress critter was asking the question.
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MarkD
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by MarkD » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:52 pm

Making popcorn....

Light carriers make sense for the USMC mission of small scale conflict, amphibious landing, support there of. The harrier jet did a good job of that, if you needed more speed than a Huey or Cobra could provide. The Thunderjug? Too expensive for what it would do for the Jarheads, too much of what they don't need and too little of what they do.

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blackeagle603
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by blackeagle603 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:47 pm

A little carrier is still a big target with basically the same size tail of supply and defensive ships.

Just less utility and a lot harder to land on in pitching seas.

I served on one, wouldn't want to be on one if the balloon went up. But they're great for projecting power in less than WW4 scenarios.
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Jered
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by Jered » Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:52 am

D5CAV wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:55 pm
Back during RR's push for a "600 ship Navy", some skeptical members of Congress brought in ADM Rickover for testimony. They asked him how long the USN surface fleet, if it ever got up to over 500 ships, would last in a no-holds-barred conflict with the USSR. Rickover answered "About 48 hours". He was 70 at the time. The USN hastily retired him after that. Too much truth-telling is a bad thing for the Pentagon.
Sounds like he watched way too many Soviet propaganda videos.

The institutional bureaucratic culture of the USSR was such that their capabilities were probably way overrated. They had serious paperwork fudging and QC issues among other things.
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Kommander
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by Kommander » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:11 am

Having just finished the book "Midnight at Chernobyl" I think I am with Jered on this one. The Soviet system had become so backwards and corrupt the only chance for victory they really would have had is if they went nuclear. Even then I have read reports that a third of their missiles would never have even left their launch silos and their Boomers would have been sunk before they could launch.

Of course none of this has anything to do with the current situation. The real issue with carriers is somewhat similar, but significantly worse than the situations that exist with other modern weapons systems that have not been used in high level peer versus peer combat in decades. These include submarines, carriers, MBTs, and air superiority fighters. Our carriers and submarines have not fought a peer or near peer since WWII. If you count the 1991 Iraqi army as near peer, which many would not, then our MBTs and fighters have not seen true combat in almost 30 years.

Because of the lack of peer to peer combat we, and everyone else, only has theories of how everything will work. Can the Chinese kill our carriers with their missiles or will they be unable to find the track the battle groups long enough for the missile to be fired in the right direction? Can our small number of better fighters beat off their larger number of inferior fighters? What about drones? Will our very stealthy subs simply sink all major Chinese ships or will they actually have a fighting chance? Without an actual war no one really knows at this point.

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Jered
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by Jered » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:24 pm

Kommander wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:11 am
Having just finished the book "Midnight at Chernobyl" I think I am with Jered on this one. The Soviet system had become so backwards and corrupt the only chance for victory they really would have had is if they went nuclear. Even then I have read reports that a third of their missiles would never have even left their launch silos and their Boomers would have been sunk before they could launch.
I just read that book, too.
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Precision
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by Precision » Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:37 pm

blackeagle603 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:47 pm
A little carrier is still a big target with basically the same size tail of supply and defensive ships.

Just less utility and a lot harder to land on in pitching seas.

I served on one, wouldn't want to be on one if the balloon went up. But they're great for projecting power in less than WW4 scenarios.
my point about light / jeep carriers is that OFTEN we need air assets in more than a dozen areas. Not suggesting that F-35 mini carriers are the way to go. If they could take off and land, I think A-10 based carriers would be the way to go for the Marine mission.

It just seems to me that putting a light carrier, a cruiser or two and 4 destroyers in an area makes a pretty big statement. Not unlike the line of sacrificial soldiers stationed in the northern part of South Korea.
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