Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

If only we had a carrier with ‘Cats and Traps’!

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

If only we had a carrier with ‘Cats and Traps’!

Old 5th Jun 2018, 22:09
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Zummerset
Posts: 996
"AWACS for the carrier is already planned, it's called Merlin Mk2 ASAC (Crowsnest to you and me), COD can be done either by Merlin Mk4 or CH47..."

Crowsnest will be significantly comprised in a non-compounded Merlin. The operating altitude will restrict the search area of the radar, and the (relatively) slow transit speed will make H24 orbits at a range far enough out to counter the latest generation of Anti Ship Missiles very hard to manage - especially if in "blue water" with the potential for multiple threat axis. Lucky we've got lots of DD/FF to cover the gaps....oh...

COD can only be done by CH-47 or Merlin if close to shore, not if the QEC is operating as a Carrier in "blue water" rather than glorified LPH in the Littoral. The USN V-22 COD will deliver 6000lb of cargo out to 1100 miles. A CH47 can carry more but not as far, and the Merlin certainly can't.....COD and ASACS, along with meaningful AAR capability, are the main victims of the VTOL carrier decision...
Evalu8ter is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 06:48
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: London
Posts: 377
None of which seemed to affect operations of Hermes or the Invincible-class ships.
Mil-26Man is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 08:32
  #23 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 77
Posts: 16,745
Originally Posted by Mil-26Man View Post
None of which seemed to affect operations of Hermes or the Invincible-class ships.
Really? If the piece of string twixt ship and aircraft was longer the operating area would be extended by the square of the increased range. The threat level would have reduced accordingly.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 09:12
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: London
Posts: 377
On terms of COD, the QE ships will be able to carry a lot more of what they need than the Invincible shops could - a probable 12 jets on a vessel that can carry 70-odd leaves a lot of space for spares. How long are the ships expected to remain in 'blue water for anyway?
Mil-26Man is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 10:15
  #25 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 10,990
a probable 12 jets on a vessel that can carry 70-odd leaves a lot of space for spares.
Which isn’t how the F-35 spares/support system and ALIS operates......
ORAC is online now  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 11:02
  #26 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 77
Posts: 16,745
Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Which isn’t how the F-35 spares/support system and ALIS operates......
I heard yesterday that Honda imports 2,000,000 parts per day from Europe AND fits them within one hour of receipt. Now that is an efficient logistics operation.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 11:15
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Sussex
Age: 62
Posts: 371
Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Which isn’t how the F-35 spares/support system and ALIS operates......
As a point of interest, does anyone know how the USMC or the USN are or are planning to ensure that their air wings are able to efficiently and effectively operate in a blue water or contested litoral environment?

A daily / hourly/ delivery of spares required through ALIS?

The other way of looking at it I suppose is are there figures in the public domain for the availability of the embarked F35Bs?
PhilipG is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 11:27
  #28 (permalink)  
Cunning Artificer
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: The spiritual home of DeHavilland
Age: 73
Posts: 3,124
The QE2 class carriers need to get within 560 miles of the target for their F35Bs to be able to do anything useful. I think the QE2s are a bit big for coastal operations, so there's a very limited scope for targeting until the marines have gone ashore and secured suitable locations for an operational base from which the F35Bs can operate. It seems to me that rather than force-projectors, these monster flat tops are not much more than militarised versions of the Atlantic Conveyor. A fleet of half a dozen Illustrious replacements would have made more sense.
Blacksheep is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 11:59
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The sunny South
Posts: 785
Originally Posted by Blacksheep View Post
The QE2 class carriers need to get within 560 miles of the target for their F35Bs to be able to do anything useful. I think the QE2s are a bit big for coastal operations, so there's a very limited scope for targeting until the marines have gone ashore and secured suitable locations for an operational base from which the F35Bs can operate. It seems to me that rather than force-projectors, these monster flat tops are not much more than militarised versions of the Atlantic Conveyor. A fleet of half a dozen Illustrious replacements would have made more sense.
AAR and external tanks (either drop tanks or conformal tanks) can increase the operational radius of a carrier's air wing considerably.

There is no proportionate relationship between the size and the cost of a ship. The maxim 'steel is cheap and air is free' may not be totally accurate but is close enough to defeat such arguments as yours.

The main expense of the QEC will be its through-life costs, mainly comprising manpower. The crew of 700 is comparable to that of the cramped bodge job that was the Illustrious class CVS. Half a dozen Illustrious replacements would still require similarly expensive minimum manpower, C4I, weapons & sensor systems, propulsion, electrical power generation, automation, hotel services, etc., as a QEC. How can you possibly equate the cost of one QEC with six (or even three) of the other?
FODPlod is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 12:26
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 18,901
Originally Posted by FODPlod View Post
The main expense of the QEC will be its through-life costs, mainly comprising manpower. The crew of 700 is comparable to that of the cramped bodge job that was the Illustrious class CVS. Half a dozen Illustrious replacements would still require similarly expensive minimum manpower, C4I, weapons & sensor systems, propulsion, electrical power generation, automation, hotel services, etc., as a QEC. How can you possibly equate the cost of one QEC with six (or even three) of the other?
Surely if you went the route of new build Lusty class ships you would use the current technology available and used in the Queen to upgrade the new builds and thus reduce the manning requirements down to a more managable and cost effective number.. you wouldn't build it to the original spec.
I often wonder what something like a new build Buccaneer would be like with new engines, weapon systems and modern cockpit and avionics fit, but that's digressing from the thread.
NutLoose is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 14:17
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The sunny South
Posts: 785
Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Surely if you went the route of new build Lusty class ships you would use the current technology available and used in the Queen to upgrade the new builds and thus reduce the manning requirements down to a more managable and cost effective number.. you wouldn't build it to the original spec.
I often wonder what something like a new build Buccaneer would be like with new engines, weapon systems and modern cockpit and avionics fit, but that's digressing from the thread.
If you made it smaller, do you think you would be able to build/buy six (or three) of your ‘new build’ Buccaneers for the same price as a Typhoon and reduce the costs and numbers of the minimum manpower and infrastructure required to fly/operate/maintain/support and provide training for each one accordingly?
FODPlod is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 15:20
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: South Skerry
Posts: 305
Further digression: I have often speculated that if the A-6F Intruder II had survived, we wouldn't have needed much else in the MidEast for the past 17 years.

Further to the range discussion: AAR and external tanks are not very relevant. There are no plans to resurrect external fuel for the F-35, and there is no QE-class-compatible tanker in prospect that is any use.

Also, as far as I am aware, the reference F-35B mission is all-hi-altitude... so the range will be lower unless you're just dropping two 1000 pound JDAMs on coordinates.
George K Lee is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 17:49
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: London, New York, Paris, Moscow.
Posts: 3,631
AAR and external tanks (either drop tanks or conformal tanks) can increase the operational radius of a carrier's air wing considerably.

Neither of which fit RAF F35's operated from QEC. What AAR is deployed from QEC??

So what now?

Last edited by glad rag; 6th Jun 2018 at 17:52. Reason: Ahh gazumped by GKL.
glad rag is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 18:11
  #34 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 10,990
I refer you to my links in post #4.

Going back many years, part of the weight reduction for the F-35B involved removing the piping for the wing stations, so no wing tanks can be carried. I believe a centreline tank can be carried - but only at the expense of both stealth and gun carriage. I have not seen any mention of lightweight/cost tanks for routine carriage and drop during operations - and would question the number that the carrier could carry if they did exist.
ORAC is online now  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 18:49
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Zummerset
Posts: 996
"As a point of interest, does anyone know how the USMC or the USN are or are planning to ensure that their air wings are able to efficiently and effectively operate in a blue water or contested littoral environment?"

A proper COD capability out to 1000+ miles with a platform capable of taking a F35 engine (albeit on a special cradle) is a start. They also have plenty of F18s in their CAGs which can pump gas if needed, extending their strike range and to do EW support for "Day 2" onwards ops when you may wish to use the F35 as more of a bomb truck. They also have E2Cs which can put a radar 10-15 000 ft higher than a Merlin, can stay on task for hours and can roulement quickly at 240+kts. Finally, as they operate Cats n Traps, they can design from scratch new capabilities (UCAV/UAV Tankers etc) or, if worse came to worse, drag a load of jets out of AMARC and put them back into service. It's almost as if they take carrier aviation seriously rather than order a couple of 65 000 ton cod pieces and re-arrange the lego set to "kinda" make it look right....

FWIW, there is still significant disquiet in the USN over the loss of the strike range / payload capability afforded by the A-6 (and, in extremis, the S-2 and F-14...) from their Air Wings. By our standards, a "first Navy problem..."! https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/194448...ing-151016.pdf
Evalu8ter is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 19:09
  #36 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 10,990
And the A-5 Vigilante - which had a ZFW 2000lb less than the F-35C....
ORAC is online now  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 19:19
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Devon
Age: 54
Posts: 47
All this talk of 'Cats and traps' is all very well. How are you going to power the catapult? We have no steam ships any more and I'm pretty sure QNLZ would not be able to produce enough steam with her power generation set-up to facilitate a decent sortie rate.
You cannot hold up the USS Gerald R. Ford as an example for us, because it generates the power from two'hoofing' nuclear reactors! I believe even they struggled initially. There is no way on this earth we could ever have afforded a nuclear CV.

Let's be sensible, what we have is most likely the optimum solution for UK PLC.
Mortmeister is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 20:22
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Here
Posts: 19
ICCALS would do the steam catapult bit. Savings For Backfit Of FireCat to Nimitz catapults - Current ICCALS Presentation
EricsLad is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 21:55
  #39 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 77
Posts: 16,745
Originally Posted by Mortmeister View Post
You cannot hold up the USS Gerald R. Ford as an example for us, because it generates the power from two'hoofing' nuclear reactors! I believe even they struggled initially.
Glad you mentioned power.

There is no way on this earth we could ever have afforded a nuclear CV.
Of course we could. We couldn't afford two CV in operation. Now we are. We are building nuclear powered submarines, no reason why we could not build CVN. What is needed is compromise.

Some years ago the Captain of Ark Royal reckoned that the capacity of a modern CV was one aircraft per 1,000 tons. On that basis he said the QE could have 65 aircraft. Clearly we have compromised - big carrier, smaller air group.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 6th Jun 2018, 22:08
  #40 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 793
ORAC (and others),

Perhaps I can help a little here. I was part of the weight reduction effort for the F-35B. To the best of my memory, the plumbing for external tanks on the inboard pylons was NOT removed. I don't remember it ever being offered, as the requirement for the capability to carry what were often referred to as 'ferry' tanks was clearly stated in the Systems Requirement Document (SRD). When I left the programme a long time back, that hadn't changed, as far as I remember. If I'm wrong, or if this has changed since, I apologise in advance. It's true that the requirement to develop and integrate the external tanks was subsequently deferred and may have been cancelled since. But I think the plumbing is still there.

I don't ever remember a centreline tank being seriously considered.

In the very early days when they were introduced in WW2 for escort fighters, 'drop tanks' were specifically designed to be jettisoned on all missions, when empty or when combat was required. Fairly quickly, especially on naval aircraft (e.g. Corsair, Hellcat) the 'drop' tanks were often retained on the aircraft - it's possible that the problems of shipping more tanks to the ships influenced that decision. Since then almost all 'drop' tanks on tactical jet fighter bombers (land or sea based) have not been designed to be 'dropped' on a regular basis. What they actually did was to solve the basic limitations in range and endurance common to almost all tactical jet aircraft. 'Drop' tanks are an easy fix to the conundrum of how to carry more fuel when there's no space left inside the airframe.

The F-35 never required drop tanks to allow it to meet performance requirements, which is (probably) why the designation of 'ferry' tanks was used. If the RN (or USMC or USN) were to come up with a need for using external tanks on board, I'm fairly certain that they would embark one set per aircraft plus a few sets of spares. I would also offer the view that the size of the QE class would make stowage of extra tanks a fairly straightforward issue. A standard technique is to hoist them up into the hangar deckhead (ceiling) on a special cradle. There seems to be a bit of room for that option on the QE. We certainly managed it on the CVS and than was an extremely small ship.

Hope this helps the thread, best regards as ever to all those doing and redoing the range and endurance calculations as things change,

Engines
Engines is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.