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Old 27th Apr 2006, 22:45   #101 (permalink)
 
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Please will someone tell me when a Carrier will justify itself in war? I have still to find a realistic scenario.


If the aircraft are more than 100 miles off the coast then they will need AAR (based reasonably locally), in which case you could base the ac at the same place as the AAR ac, so no need for a carrier. If the carrier needs to be less than 100 miles off-shore, then it is probably too dangerous to put a 3 Billion pound asset in that position...so why buy it in the first place???
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Old 27th Apr 2006, 22:56   #102 (permalink)
 
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"Surely we're not crazy enough to take on a technically advanced enemy without our US friends"

I guess the crux of the argument comes down to what assumptions you're comfortable making in planning and hoping operationally they come true should action occur.
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Old 27th Apr 2006, 22:56   #103 (permalink)
 
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Unmissable are you a civil servant?

You seem to assume that a combat jet will have the same range and endurance as a tanker. Don't think so.........
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Old 27th Apr 2006, 22:59   #104 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Please will someone tell me when a Carrier will justify itself in war? I have still to find a realistic scenario.


If the aircraft are more than 100 miles off the coast then they will need AAR (based reasonably locally), in which case you could base the ac at the same place as the AAR ac, so no need for a carrier. If the carrier needs to be less than 100 miles off-shore, then it is probably too dangerous to put a 3 Billion pound asset in that position...so why buy it in the first place???
Op PALLISER (I think that is the correct one) and the show of force air assault into Sierra Leone from Ocean parked OTH. Nuff said. May not have been a war per se, but carriers are all about power projection, and that was power projection.
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 07:53   #105 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unmissable
Please will someone tell me when a Carrier will justify itself in war? I have still to find a realistic scenario.
If the aircraft are more than 100 miles off the coast then they will need AAR (based reasonably locally), in which case you could base the ac at the same place as the AAR ac, so no need for a carrier. If the carrier needs to be less than 100 miles off-shore, then it is probably too dangerous to put a 3 Billion pound asset in that position...so why buy it in the first place???
UNMISSABLE - is this a wind up? OK, I'll bite. Carriers and action? Hmm, let's see...

Taranto Nov '41 - 21 a/c disable half the ITN battleship strength; the physical and psychological effects not so quatifyable.
Crete May '41 - lack of carrier cover led to loss of the island and limited the evacuation (5000 troops and 1000 RMs left behind).
Madagascar May '42 - divisional sized assault on Vichy held island with HMS Illustrious and Indomitable providing force protection and maritime strike (sounds remarkably relevant to today's needs?).
French North Africa Nov '42 - UK/US invasion with 70000 troops staging from 5 fleet and 9 escort carriers.
Sicily Jul '43 - UK/US invasion with 180000 troops, very limited air cover from Malta and N.Africa so Indomitable and Formidable with 97 a/c provided force protection.
Salerno Sep '43 - an amphibious assault at the extreme of air cover from Sicily. Five light carriers carried out FP and CAS of the landings 9-12 Sep with 265 sorties flown on D-Day itself.
Korea 1950-53 - USN, RN and RAN carriers fly about 333000 UN sorties during the campaign. Support of ground forces was particularly vital as land based air lacked host nation support. The 4 carriers involved flew 4000 CAS sorties in 6 weeks with General MacArthur publicly declaring their decisive effect.
Suez Oct-Nov '56 - Primary air support for this Op came from 5 RN/FN carriers which flew 1300 sorties in addition to Thesus and Ocean in the LPH role. After the destruction of the Egyptian AF, majority of sorties were CAS with a "cab rank" delivering firepower as close as 100 metres from forward troops.
The Falklands '82 - from 21-25 May, Hermes and Invincible with 30 Harriers flew 300 sorties while land based Argentine AF managed only 180 sorties from 100 a/c. 3 RAF GR3s from Hermes flew in support of Goose Green 28 May, decisively swinging the battlespace.
Sierra Leone 2000 - Op PALLISER classic example of the connect between amphibious and carrier elements in distant expeditionary ops. Air presence missions of RN and RAF Harriers from Illustrious from 17 May onwards proving significant in maintaining escalation dominance of the situation.

Enough to be going on with methinks and I hope you notice the presence of Joint and Tailored Air Groups from '82 onwards?

Regards to all.
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 08:21   #106 (permalink)
 
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Anything can be navalised if you throw enough money at it

Not really at all and maintain the same performance.
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 08:28   #107 (permalink)
 
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Carriers

"Sierra Leone 2000 - Op PALLISER classic example of the connect between amphibious and carrier elements in distant expeditionary ops. Air presence missions of RN and RAF Harriers from Illustrious from 17 May onwards proving significant in maintaining escalation dominance of the situation."

Obviously, I quite agree that the carriers make a critical contribution in 1982 but the role of a carrier during PALLISER could have been (and nearly was) replaced by another RAF asset flying from a neighbouring country. I dont believe that PALLISER is a good example of a decisive contribution of aircraft carriers
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 08:30   #108 (permalink)
 
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TI

I don't want to get into a pissing contest, believe it or not I do think carriers have their place in the modern order of battle. However, in the interests of historical accuracy......

With regard to your historical defence of carriers:-

Crete May 41 - the island was not lost due to a lack of carrier cover, it was lost as a result of ground troops being unable to stop the Germans capturing Maleme airfield for use as a reinforcement hub.

Op Palliser - my logbook shows that I left the UK with the first wave of troops (ordinary, non amphibious, ground troops!) on 7th May, and flew my first sortie into Sierra Leone on 8th May. It's nice to know that Illustrious was providing cover from 17th May onwards, two days before I went home!
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 08:32   #109 (permalink)
 
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Navalised (Marinated?) Typhoons

I understand that in order to navalise a Typhoon, aside from beefier undercarriage, tailhook, non-rusty metal bits, reduced performance, etc. etc. it will also require a glass floor pan by the aircrew's feet as the angle of attack to recover to the Flat Top is so high it'll be the only way the pilot could see the deck.
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 09:00   #110 (permalink)
 
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A Glass Window in the floor pan

It is now 2006, 2012 before any of this sees the light of day.

Surely, High Definition video pictures projected to a holographic HUD must be the way to go. (That is if you still need a pink body there by 2012)

Imagegear (Ex Techy Fairy)
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 09:02   #111 (permalink)
 
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TI,the issue of visibility is not a new one, in fact aircrew in the past developed a curving approach to ensure visibility over the nose. (Lower approach speeds I grant you). You may also find that technology being developed at this time enables aircraft to land automatically anyway, thereby negating the need for visibility below the nose. Maybe Typhoon needs a drooping nose!
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 09:33   #112 (permalink)
 
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Tracey Island,

If we accept your history lesson without question, it's apparent that we needed carriers only twice in the last 50 years, and only once since 1982.

Unfortunately Op Palliser repressents a poor example, as Biggus and Sir Percy imply. A carrier was used, of course, but it wasn't needed, and if it proves anything, it proves that helicopter carriers are useful.

Carriers are a useful 'nice to have' capability, but not an essential one. Like the ability to airdrop large formations. This is a capability you'd choose to have if you had unlimited resources, but in today's financial climate it's one you'd reluctantly leave to allies, concentrating your money on the capabilities that are needed every time you go on ops, and which make you a more useful coalition partner (tankers, SEAD, recce).

There's a lot of bollocks being talked about marinising Typhoon. The issue of the view over the nose could be solved in a number of ways, but it is an issue if you want to absolutely minimise structural alterations (eg avoid a split rudder, or a raised seat and slightly bulged canopy, or a redesigned undercarriage and/or thrust vectoring). None of this is rocket science.

The study conccluded that "Navalising appears 'practical and relatively inexpensive" and that there would be a +340 kg weight penalty for a STOBAR version (Ski-jump) and of +460 kg for a Catapult launched version.
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 09:54   #113 (permalink)
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Agreed, and what is needed is a review of essential CAPABILITIES, not essential toys, of all the Services...
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 13:14   #114 (permalink)
 
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Jacko et al,

The most recent action where carriers were absolutely essential was post 9/11 action in Afghanistan. Apart from B2s from the US (on round trips) there was no other way of delivering ordnance on Afghan soil than from aircraft carriers. All air combat power was delivered from the CVNs. No nation would offer combat support to the UK or US. ILLUSTRIOUS also launched ops into Afghan at this time.

The other action where flat tops were used because the shore facility failed was the assault on the Al Faw which ended up being launched from OCEAN and ARK ROYAL.

The final point is that the UK no longer has sufficient strategic airlift to deploy real combat air power into a theatre of operations and be effective on day one - and then day 2,3, 4 etc. CVF is the only real route for the UK and the Government and policy makers know it.
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 13:22   #115 (permalink)
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And clearly, without that demonstrating of carrier-borne airpower, we could not have got Afg into the welcoming benign environment it is now. Just what did it achieve? Lovely chest thumping I am sure...
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 13:59   #116 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackonicko
None of this is rocket science.

The study conccluded that "Navalising appears 'practical and relatively inexpensive" and that there would be a +340 kg weight penalty for a STOBAR version (Ski-jump) and of +460 kg for a Catapult launched version.
Jacko...these studies being brought to you by the same folks that bought the grounded Chinooks, the Typhoon with a concrete gun, and the Apaches that sit in a warehouse?
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 14:23   #117 (permalink)
 
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Nice line SASless, but utter bollocks.

So: No, the studies I've seen have been from BAE and the Typhoon joint structures team.

Who had bug.ger all to do with Boeing's Chinook disaster, the AAC's inability to plan properly for Apache, or the cost-driven proposal to omit Typhoon's gun on RAF aircraft.

Bismarck.

The UK didn't need carriers to mount a post 9/11 attack on Afghanistan, because we weren't heavily involved in that dodgy piece of adventurism. And hey, we had an ally ready and able to provide the carrier air power required.

And when the Americans went in, they weren't calling on the UK for carrier support, the UK capabilities they really wanted (and that made us a useful partner) were SF, tankers, R1s and PR9s. They gave us real influence, while Illustrious was an irrelevance - useful only in that it provided a visible proof that we were participating.

Generally speaking, if HNS isn't available, it tends to be because the proposed op is politically unsustainable or unwise.

In any event, B-2s were not the only available option for delivering ordnance, as you'd know if you looked at Diego Garcia, or remembered TLAM, CALCM, Storm Shadow, etc.

And it's my understanding that HNS was offered by a number of nearby nations, including (but not limited to) the 'northern 'stans', while the CV based air power required overflight permissions to do their job.
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 18:25   #118 (permalink)
 
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Jacko,

You miss the point. the only reason the military do anything is because the politicians want us too. The US may not have needed us to achieve the military aim but the sure as heck found us useful from the political angle and the manifestation of it was the forces you mention and as ILLUSTRIOUS was in the region the politicians directed its participation. As I said earlier this is exactly why the politicians want CVF/JSFand are unlikely to allow its cancellation.

All Diego Garcia can deliver is more bombers (and only the big ones).
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 19:43   #119 (permalink)
 
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Not entirely correct, Bismark. Sometimes, given that the politicians have got us into a conflict, the military conduct operations with a mind for their own service advancement, particularly where influence is needed to push a particular service requirement such as a new weapon or a future carrier. For example, if a RN carrier had not appeared anywhere near the gulf in the past few years, the conclusion might have been reached that carriers were an irrelevance.
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 21:21   #120 (permalink)
 
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Smile

"The other action where flat tops were used because the shore facility failed was the assault on the Al Faw which ended up being launched from OCEAN and ARK ROYAL"
Sorry Bismarck, that will be the "amphibeous assault" launched from Camp Viking in Northern Kuwait then? The carriers could almost have acted as slow C17s/AN-124s in getting their helos to the NAG. All they provided was a degree of "Sea Basing" (though not as the Americans would understand it). The first three waves of the Op were conducted from a Host Nation as the Mine/SeerSucker threat was adjudged too high for the ships to get in close enough to compensate for the SK4s then chronic lack of disposable payload. It would have been quite possible to have launched the whole Op from Kuwait had the political (read Senior Service) will been there. However, in some respects, it might have been nice to have had a CVS full of GR7s there as opposed to having to rely on the US for CAS.....I'm in no way anti carrier (much better wine list than the LPH!) but, in accordance with other posters on this thread, we need a comprehensive review of those capabilities we need to have, not just those we want because we've always had them...or always wanted them again. Honestly, we'll be buying LPDs without hangar decks next.....
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