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Full Version: Are Brits Rebuilding World Class Navy?
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.............Or are they attempting to placate Scotland into staying inside the fence?

Supercarrier made in Britain hailed as flagship for Better Together campaign

Its going to be a big one. Here's what she looks like, compared to her current largest carrier.

[Image: article-2152676-1368787D000005DC-998_634x570.jpg]

In all honesty, this just doesn't make sense, considering the layout of the deck, and the total number of aircraft(up to 40) it is supposed to carry. An Nimitz class carrier carries over twice that number.

Has anyone been following this program?
Interesting. The slip the new big ship is in is no larger than the slip that the old little one is in. The Supercarrier is much broader than the old one on the topside. I wonder if that is to allow multiple launches and recoveries. The superstructure is much larger and higher now, also. If the plane storage on the below decks is equally broad as the top, it may allow more elevators for more planes. Maybe it's all about the speed of operations.
Note that there are only two main aircraft elevators. A Nimitz class carrier has four, expediting movement from within the main body. And it can house twice the aircraft. The whole thing just seems.......less than adequate. But I'm not a navy person. Perhaps some of the other members can comment on this new carrier.

As huge as it looks, it's 286 meters long. That's ~ 100 feet shorter than the Nimitz is. Why they would only get 40 aircraft on it is weird though, should fit ~ 70 or so. I think these things might be anachronisms in a serious war.

Cruise missles might make short shrift of them.
(07-07-2014, 11:31 PM)Palladin Wrote: [ -> ]...I think these things might be anachronisms in a serious war.

Cruise missles might make short shrift of them.

Remember that this ship is only a part of the task force, and it would certainly be at least 10-20 miles away from whatever force is targeted, to keep it far over the horizon. The consorts would do most of the defensive work to safeguard it from cruise missiles. Think of it as more of a sequence in the logistics chain than as a stand-alone warship.
I think it's larger because they want more planes waiting on the deck, rather than inside.
[Image: UK-Queen-Elizabeth-Class-Aircraft-Carrier-QE2.jpg]

I know they go with a task force, but, it seems reasonable to me to believe technical advancements are going to make them vulnerable regardless. Imagine if a foe has stealth aircraft, they will sink carriers fairly easily. 5000 dead kids in a big blast.

They are just so big and visible on radar screens.

Or, maybe less technical.

Andrew had 2 incidents while he was in the Gulf that were scarey. 1, an Iranian jet flew over his task force so low they could see the markings on the jet. No one in his task force saw it on radar .

The other one was they almost hit a fishing vessel at night. What if that was armed as a torpedo? Our technical means are arrayed against the old USSR Navy, not fishing vessels.
What's interesting is that I was watching a program yesterday, on the American Hero's Channel, and how the new Forrestal carrier, along with the Polaris missile, managed to sink perhaps the best way of using dispersal and flexibility in countering the old Soviet Union. The program was entitled "Seaplane Strike Force", and was a serious attempt to make super advanced bombers and fighters that could park on the open water/sea and be able to form a serious strike force.

The large bomber, Martin Seamaster.

[Image: avcmast_1.jpg]

The Seamaster was a real innovation, and would have been a main deterrent weapon had the US decided that nuclear missile subs AND super carriers were more than enough. So they shelved the project, and the rest is history.

But if you look at the vulnerability of carriers to missiles, clearly their time is drawing to a close, just as happened with the battleship. I suspect the high tech seaplanes will again replace the carrier. With today's advanced technology, the navy would be more than able to operate as many fighters, bombers, and strategic all purpose aircraft, which can operate from the sea, or take off and land from small ships that are stealthy.

Here's a video of the Seamaster. And remember it was developed in the mid 50s, so imagine how advanced these things could be today.

This guy's probably right. If the US navy doesn't reintroduce a successor to these seaplane innovations, the surface navy may be doomed.

Vindication for the P-6M SeaMaster

The Martin P6M SeaMaster – What Might Have Been

The Martin SeaMaster & Convair Sea Dart

Here's an unclassified navy study on pdf The Potential Effect of Maturing Technology Upon Future Seaplanes. You can bet your socks that there are many more classified ones that we cannot read.
I think the big seaplanes would be impractical in heavy seas, with waves of 20 feet or more. Just ten foot waves might be too much.
I wonder which is more impractical: infrequent 'heavy seas' that will require a cove, lake, or shoreline, as haven; or being targeted by multiple cruise missiles(some having nuclear weapons), or satellite based fire capability?

The point is that large carriers are approaching the end of their usefulness, and will become dinosaurs in the near future. A smaller, more mobile aircraft will become the leading edge. Can you think of any other more practical alternative than aircraft that can take advantage of the seas?
Yes, the basic drone is mature technology. No onboard pilot to worry about, and the stealth capabilities that come with it. The sea craft necessary to launch them may not need the bulk of a Forrestal.

The true dilemma is to be able to safely transport boots on the ground as necessary. Drones wouldn't have helped Chris Stevens in Benghazi, and the cutbacks in basing prohibited anyone from being sent to protect him and the other Americans under siege. When the fastest and closest rescuers were in Italy, there is no easy solution.

...And whatever happened to the "smart dust" that would give clear situational awareness for our people? The solutions are out there, but those charged with their implementation are incompetent.
JL Wrote:The point is that large carriers are approaching the end of their usefulness, and will become dinosaurs in the near future.
Maybe you'r right.
Yet it depends on what type of ennemy you have and what's their technology.

If they have advanced weapons, electronicaly guided missiles make it easier to sink an aircraft carrier.
Among all the possible foes, only Iran has such capability.
Pakistan, China, Russia and other too but they are not nations the US is in risk of conflict with.

To torpedoe a carrier, you first have to detect its location. Then by the time your chain of command takes a decision, you have to restate its location before the strike as it's constantly moving.

Now if your ennemy is a group of Islamic fighters, a floating base far offshore and moveable is the perfect solution.
Here's an interesting article: “Twilight of the Superfluous Carrier”.
Christopher Booker has nothing nice to say about the British Navy's "HMS White Elephant". This short article is a 'Must Read' as he discusses this "horse designed by a committee”.

Nigel Farage is getting a good laugh out of this one.