CVF and Carrier Strike thread

I am sure I have read a study on submarine operations during the Falklands Conflict written by a US Navy Officer at the Naval War College.

Submarine Operations During The Falklands, Lt Cdr Steven Harper USN, 1994

British ASW measures are mentioned in passing: Viewed from the other side, Argentina's small number of submarines forced the British to employ a substantial antisubmarine effort 12 ships, 6 submarines and over 25 helicopters.

I think the mention of ships and submarines is misleading, as the frigates all had roles other than ASW (such as shore bombardment or escorting the carriers to protect them with Sea Wolf), the submarines were banned from engaging submarine targets during the war do to command and control issues, but the point about helicopters, mostly based aboard the carriers, is beyond scrutiny. They of course also did surface search, search and rescue, and moving stuff around as well as ASW.

This paper from Japan is also interesting - even it does describe the Sea Harrier as belonging to the RAF:

From April to June, two British helicopter squadrons flew a total of 2,253 sorties and spent 6,847 hours on anti-submarine patrols. Three helicopters at a time were constantly airborne, patrolling 24 hours a day above the British task force. One particular helicopter logged 265 flight hours in a single month, which meant it had spent one third of all the hours in a month airborne.

I assume that the two helicopter squadrons mentioned were 820 NAS aboard Invincible and 826 NAS aboard Hermes.
 
Wait, what? They didn't actually put in a CIWS at the time of the build?
It seems not. But then you've got to remember why these ships were built in the first place. They were Gordon Brown's parting gift to the people of Scotland. That is, his constituents. A billion or two here and there has got to be worth a seat in the Commons. The contracts were drawn in such a way that it would always be more expensive for a successor Government without, erm, the same local sympathy, to cancel rather than complete. Thus it is we end up with ships from the last war we fought, without aircraft, guns, missiles, or any feasible means of self defence. Extraordinary really.
 
It seems not. But then you've got to remember why these ships were built in the first place. They were Gordon Brown's parting gift to the people of Scotland. That is, his constituents. A billion or two here and there has got to be worth a seat in the Commons. The contracts were drawn in such a way that it would always be more expensive for a successor Government without, erm, the same local sympathy, to cancel rather than complete. Thus it is we end up with ships from the last war we fought, without aircraft, guns, missiles, or any feasible means of self defence. Extraordinary really.
The Navy has been fighting for these ships for at least the last 15 years, even going as far as sacrificing escorts in the process. Even a landlubber like me knows that there is no requirement for self defence during trials periods. The carriers without aircraft thing is also getting boring now:

 
Oh dear!

It seems not. But then you've got to remember why these ships were built in the first place. They were Gordon Brown's parting gift to the people of Scotland. That is, his constituents. A billion or two here and there has got to be worth a seat in the Commons.
They were in the pipeline from the mid nineties onwards, and most of the construction work was done in English yards.

The contracts were drawn in such a way that it would always be more expensive for a successor Government without, erm, the same local sympathy, to cancel rather than complete.
Just as well given Cameron's lack of attention to detail. You might have noticed earlier page, where it was suggested without carriers Dopey Dave would have demand even more frigate and destroyer cuts.

Thus it is we end up with ships from the last war we fought, without aircraft, guns, missiles, or any feasible means of self defence. Extraordinary really.
The first sentence makes no sense. However aircraft - I suppose you have never heard of the F-35B, which the UK has been involved with pretty much the same time CVF has been in the pipeline. We also had Harriers until SDSR 10, which would have graced her deck initially had Dopey Dave not axed them. Also have you heard a carrier might carry helicopters - Merlin HM2s for ASW and ISTAR perhaps, others for AEW, perhaps a few troop carrying ones?

Do Phalanx 1B, DS30M2, Minguns, GPMGs, and .50 Cals not count as guns or weapons for self defence?
 
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It seems not. But then you've got to remember why these ships were built in the first place. They were Gordon Brown's parting gift to the people of Scotland. That is, his constituents. A billion or two here and there has got to be worth a seat in the Commons. The contracts were drawn in such a way that it would always be more expensive for a successor Government without, erm, the same local sympathy, to cancel rather than complete. Thus it is we end up with ships from the last war we fought, without aircraft, guns, missiles, or any feasible means of self defence. Extraordinary really.
I think you've just blown any attempt at credibility you might have wished for here.
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
Thus it is we end up with ships from the last war we fought, without aircraft, guns, missiles, or any feasible means of self defence. Extraordinary really.
Apart from the rest of the politically inspired rhetoric which I'll ignore (don't do politic) - there are a number of facets to self defence, kinetic is but one, you don't consider how the ship will operate and what with as well as a number of other capabilities.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Interesting to see HMS Queen Elizabeth being fitted retrospectively with phalanx. I remember the same system being retrospectively - and hurredly - fitted to her predessors prior to the Falklands. Someone must have remembered warships sometimes get shot at.
Big Liz has always been slated to get Phalanx, nothing "hurried" about it.

As for the Falklands, there were no fits pre-conflict; HMS Illustrious got two Phalanx 1A mounts as an urgent fit before she went south to relieve Invincible. Folk forget that the US Navy only started getting production Phalanx mounts in 1981 and were, quite rightly, prioritising their own ships.
 
The nuclear industry had been sustained by the submarine programs (in addi- tion to a robust civilian nuclear-power industry), and it had taken advantage of the submarine reactor design and development efforts. The only subsystems that had caused problems were those peculiar to aircraft—primarily, the cata- pults. The French had to rely on American expertise in this area and made several trips to U.S. Navy facilities to gain knowledge and assistance.10
It is difficult to understand the economic impact of the long gap in the French carrier construction. No data were made available on the cost (or man-hours) of building Charles de Gaulle; however, the delays caused by lack of funding undoubtedly had a major effect on cost. One thing is certain: de Gaulle has been built after a long gap, suggesting that it is possible to stop building aircraft carriers for a long time and then reconstitute the capability. But this possibility assumes that the shipyard is active in the construction of large surface ships and maintains a nuclear-construction capability—and has access to an indus-
______________
10This point should not be lost in any analysis of U.S. industrial capabilities: U.S. allies often rely on the United States for specific expertise that is fragile or expensive to maintain.

146 The U.S. Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base
trial base that has been designing and manufacturing special equipment such as catapults.
In summary, French social policies, relative size of the ship (approximately one- third that of a Nimitz-class carrier), willingness to lengthen the production period, and availability of U.S. expertise and experience with carrier-unique systems obviated their need to worry about the availability of skilled labor.
What is not clear from the French experience is how such a production gap af- fects cost and the quality of the finished product.

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monograph_reports/MR948/MR948.appg.pdf
 
I think you've just blown any attempt at credibility you might have wished for here.
Realty? Perhaps you could enlighten us on how you'd do it? Bearing in mind you're going to need a thousand or two extra personnel, a destroyer or two, a frigate or two, a submarine or two, a supply ship, an external fuel tank, and of course some aircraft. And don't forget, that's just for one of these ships.So you'd have to multiply everything by two.
Also bear in mind that currently the RN has several ships laid up for want of crew, and has had to do a deal with the Dutch for a couple of their vessels to escort Queen Elizabeth.
Do tell, please.
 
Big Liz has always been slated to get Phalanx, nothing "hurried" about it.

As for the Falklands, there were no fits pre-conflict; HMS Illustrious got two Phalanx 1A mounts as an urgent fit before she went south to relieve Invincible. Folk forget that the US Navy only started getting production Phalanx mounts in 1981 and were, quite rightly, prioritising their own ships.
I didn't say there was anything hurried about it. Only that it was retrospective.
 
Realty? Perhaps you could enlighten us on how you'd do it? Bearing in mind you're going to need a thousand or two extra personnel, a destroyer or two, a frigate or two, a submarine or two, a supply ship, an external fuel tank, and of course some aircraft. And don't forget, that's just for one of these ships.So you'd have to multiply everything by two.
Also bear in mind that currently the RN has several ships laid up for want of crew, and has had to do a deal with the Dutch for a couple of their vessels to escort Queen Elizabeth.
Do tell, please.
Everyone knows the Royal Navy is approximately 1500 personnel short - tell the politicians.

Despite that we are more than capable of putting together a viable task group including the carrier, destroyers and frigates, RFAs, and a SSN. We could combine the task force to include amphibious elements such as LPD or LSD(A), and maybe a few MCMVs for minehunting and a hydrographic ship to control them. We have after all being putting lots of warships to sea, including task group exercises (LPD/LPH centred), NATO task group exercises, and contributing ships to American and French carrier groups.

I have not seen any news about a deal with a Dutch, however NATO and other task groups are frequently multinational by design.

I didn't say there was anything hurried about it. Only that it was retrospective.
How is it retrospective if it was planned all along?
 
a thousand or two extra personnel
Both the RN and RAF are short of personnel; agreed. However, assuming the priority lies with the carriers and associated escorts, that should not preclude the deployment of a CBG idc.

Personally though, I’d also like to see additional manpower liabilities transferred from the Army.

...a destroyer or two, a frigate or two, a submarine or two, a supply ship...
I think you’ll find the RN have all those in sufficient numbers to support a single UK only CBG.

...an external fuel tank...
Not entirely sure what you mean here. Are you talking about port facilities or AAR aircraft?

...and of course some aircraft...
F-35s are being delivered to schedule.

...you'd have to multiply everything by two...
Not necessarily. There’s never been any realistic prospect of both carriers being able to deploy on ops simultaneously. Rather, one will either be in dock, on training tasks, or possibly being used in an LPH role.

I would however agree that the RN now lacks the mass to deploy a CBG in isolation AND to maintain traditional overseas commitments; it’s either one or the other.

Support from allies should help in this respect (as it does for the French and even USN) but DDG, FFG and SSN resilience is certainly a weakness.

I didn't say there was anything hurried about it. Only that it was retrospective.
In that case, so too were many of the on-board facilities and systems, many of which were delivered after the ship had first sailed! That’s planned and synchronised with trials and other fitting out!

Likewise, an aircraft will often have significant equipment and capability shortfalls at ‘In-Service Delivery’ and ‘Initial Operating Capability’ as it builds towards ‘Full Operating Capability.’

Regards,
MM
 
The French had to rely on American expertise in this area and made several trips to U.S. Navy facilities to gain knowledge and assistance.
Actually the French were even smarter than you imply. They flat out bought US catapults and arresting gear for CDG. That meant that when they were getting ready to embark aircraft, instead of having to build their own shore facilities, they just cut a check and used the facilities at Lakehurst to develop their launch bulletins (the settings for aircraft at different weights, temperatures, and wind speeds) because they were the same equipment. The ALRE (Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment) officer on CDG was an USN LDO on an exchange tour back in 2002. Not sure if still true.
 
They (France) also forgot about the embarked ASW helicopters, whereas both the Royal Navy and United States Navy see task group ASW as one of the things a carrier does.

Carrier Air Wing 5 sharpens ASW skills during Keen Sword

Keen Sword helps trains the ASW team for real world situations with JMSDF submarines. Ronald Reagan also worked with Japanese forces to locate and engage with potential enemies.

According to Task Force ASW, anti-submarine warfare will remain a core mission area for the United States Navy. Execution of that vital mission will be critical to protecting the strategic speed and operational agility of joint and coalition forces across the largest maneuver space in the world – the sea.

To quote an American commentator on some documentary I saw, the submarine is the perfect platform for sea denial, and the carrier is the ideal platform for sea control.
 
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