The return of the light carrier?

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Jered
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by Jered » Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:56 pm

Netpackrat wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:51 pm
Jered wrote:
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.
I think Randy's explanation is likely accurate... After all of the political battles Rickover fought against the surface navy, his objectivity was pretty much shot, and he'd lost sight of who the real enemy was.
I'm reading this book, right now. It's really informative about the Soviet institutional culture was a whole. Their submarines had a marked tendency for accidents, their seamanship was poor, and from some of the stories, morale in their armed forces was pretty poor. There are accounts of seamen trying to defect and being fired upon by their own forces.
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Precision
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by Precision » Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:03 am

For me it boils down to common sense and finances.

If we can build 4 light carriers for the cost of one super carrier, we can afford to lose 3 and still have a financial win and some hitting power. If a light carrier holds 25-30 frames and a super holds 75-90 frames... grouping 4 of them together exceeds one super and we have 4 independent platforms to launch, recover, have advanced radars overlapping / trianglating ... We could even have 1 super and 3 lights for a HUGE foot print.

We can also subdivide the group for lesser missions.

light carriers would be easier to tailor for misson specific things without revamping the entirety of a super. Do some degree of container shipping with the light carrier with module swaps. Or just rotate out air units or air frame mixes, then add one or two to a Super fleet. The super does CAP and what it does and the Light does the detail work for the mission.
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g-man
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by g-man » Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:34 am

Vonz90 wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:29 pm
g-man wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:43 pm
My problem isn't with the concept, since NPR's assessment that it's probably a good idea for the Marines ashore to have their own air support is spot-on. My issue is (and has been) with the Thunderpig. It might be a damn fine aircraft.

I realize this makes a lot of assumptions, but the sooner we shitcan F-35 production and move to a MUCH less expensive option, the better. The USAF mortgaged the entire personnel structure of their service to bankroll that shiny object. Shit, for CAS in the littoral zone, what's wrong with bringing back the Corsair and parking twice as many in the same space?
The A-10 is not carrier capable so it wouldnot be that unless they made new ones and that would be a bad idea. I think something like I propose could carry any carrier capable aircraft so I am agnostic on the particular air frame choices. The needs would vary by mission anyway.

As I have been around long enough to hear almost every weapon in our inventory described as an over priced POS that doesn't work, I am withholding judgment on the F-35.
I have a particular bone to pick with the F-35. We were prepping to field them when I was a young AF Capt., specifically charged with coming up with the by-career-field-and-year-group RIF numbers for the officer side of the house. To meet the reduced endstrength on the enlisted side, they literally just turned off accessions for almost 6 months.

The F-15 took 4 years from 1st flight to entering service. The 35 took 10, and they're currently arguing over who's going to pay to fix the corrosion problems with the smaller-than-advertised fleet currently in the inventory. The damn things require network access to push system updates, and known network vulnerabilities haven't been addressed. And that's just the open-source issues.


AF leadership pushed and pushed and pushed to get their toy, and overall capability, manning, and morale suffered because of it.
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Greg
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by Greg » Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:03 am

Precision wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:03 am
For me it boils down to common sense and finances.

If we can build 4 light carriers for the cost of one super carrier, we can afford to lose 3 and still have a financial win and some hitting power. If a light carrier holds 25-30 frames and a super holds 75-90 frames... grouping 4 of them together exceeds one super and we have 4 independent platforms to launch, recover, have advanced radars overlapping / trianglating ... We could even have 1 super and 3 lights for a HUGE foot print.

We can also subdivide the group for lesser missions.

light carriers would be easier to tailor for misson specific things without revamping the entirety of a super. Do some degree of container shipping with the light carrier with module swaps. Or just rotate out air units or air frame mixes, then add one or two to a Super fleet. The super does CAP and what it does and the Light does the detail work for the mission.
As someone pointed out, light carriers can be handy.

But they're not a magic money saver. Don't just look at build costs of the carriers themselves (large vs small). Look at total operating costs - manning costs will eat you alive - of the carriers, including the build and manning costs of the required escorts.

Light carriers can be useful as filler for less demanding missions in lower threat areas. But larger carriers have always been more efficient at providing overall aviation capability per dollar. Where you can save is that sometimes the larger carriers are more capability than you need but you're still paying for it.

And then, as someone else pointed out, there's stupid shit we have to do, even knowing it's stupid (like buying ONLY Nimitz-size carriers), to avoid the even MORE stupid shit that would inevitably happen if we didn't do the only slightly stupid shit. Because military procurement hasn't been in the hands of grownups in, oh, ever.
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blackeagle603
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by blackeagle603 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:35 am

Yeah, life cycle costs of a small carrier probably aren't that much different than a large carrier. And yard time is an issue. We've got a limited number of dry docks currently (19?).

As for working a bunch of small carriers together, it's not as easy as it sounds. It's do-able. We've proved that. It's just not an easy button thing. Carriers need room to run upwind for launch and recovery. Not to mention multiple airbosses deconflicting airspace for the marshall stack. Put a bunch in tight waters and try coordinating that will ya? Less of a problem in open water.


Advantages from radar coverage? Meh. That's not the carrier's job so much. That's the job of the E2-C/D and Alpha Whiskey on the surface (usually in hands of an Aegis cruiser).
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MiddleAgedKen
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by MiddleAgedKen » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:11 pm

How much avgas would a light carrier lug along? How many UNREPS can we sustain at once?
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Netpackrat
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by Netpackrat » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:01 pm

MiddleAgedKen wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:11 pm
How much avgas would a light carrier lug along?
Probably approaching zero gallons.
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Johnnyreb
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by Johnnyreb » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:26 pm

Carriers haven't been decisive in a campaign since WWII?

One word.

Falklands.

Langenator
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by Langenator » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:05 pm

Johnnyreb wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:26 pm
Carriers haven't been decisive in a campaign since WWII?

One word.

Falklands.
And if Argentina had waited a month or so, those ships would have been gone. The Royal Navy was in the process of getting rid of them.
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blackeagle603
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Re: The return of the light carrier?

Post by blackeagle603 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:19 pm

How much avgas would a light carrier lug along?
Probably approaching zero gallons.

:D

Not much room for it after they fill up with JP.

Which brings another factor to it. Light carriers as nukes? Less likely I'd imagine.

So, to keep them operating there's that supply tail growing fatter again. Not just an oiler supplying JP for the airwing but also supplying ship's fuel.
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