CVF and Carrier Strike thread

...Also given the CVNs carry a large number (something like fifteen) ASW helicopters...
Open source suggests the numbers of ASW helicopters carried are a lot lower than that.

Regards,
MM
 
Open source suggests the numbers of ASW helicopters carried are a lot lower than that.

Regards,
MM
I forgot that the CVNs have two typse of Seahawk/MH-60 embarked, one for ASW, and the other optimised for SAR and force protection. However, ASW is one of the CVN's roles.

Italy has the option of putting the AV-8Bs (in future F-35B) aboard the Cavour and putting a load of Merlins aboard the Garibaldi. France and Spain also have the option of putting a load of ASW aircraft aboard another deck.Just because the LPH is intended for amphibious assault does not mean it cannot operate ASW cabs.

A big deck is more flexible, more cost effective and supports a higher sortie rate.
 
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Having reflected and applied some common sense - each US carrier air wing has two rotary wing squadrons, one of MH-60R (with dipping sonar) which I think stays aboard the carrier, and one of MH60S which has no sonar but can carry and launch torpedoes, in the same way Wildcat HMA2 can.

So the CVW can do the 24/7 dipping thing, and have plenty of helicopters for weapon delivery etc.

A few posts back my brain had an attack of daftness and nearly asked why we could not use the Merlin HC4 for force protection/ASuW with Martlet and Sea Venom. Of course it is for the same reason it cannot carry ASW weapons - no hardpoints.
 
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Not CFV specific, but as we seem to be drifting into an ASW discussion around the role and deployment of dipping sonar, I just wonder what the future of ASW might be and if it will still have such a rotary / dipping sonar focus?

The Americans have been looking at autonomous vessels to detect and track submarines and seem to have made some progress with the continuous trail approach. They also trialed a 'towed airborne' sensor package to extend the coverage of radar and IR sensors.

ASW technology (and military tech in general) isn't static and new approaches will inevitably emerge, which, in turn, will have an impact on the platforms deployed to support ASW (and, equally, AEW). I suppose I just wondered what the thinking here might be on some of these evolving options.

ACTUV “Sea Hunter” Prototype Transitions to Office of Naval Research for Further Development

ACTUV Unmanned Vessel Helps TALONS Take Flight in Successful Joint Test

 
Not CFV specific, but as we seem to be drifting into an ASW discussion around the role and deployment of dipping sonar, I just wonder what the future of ASW might be and if it will still have such a rotary / dipping sonar focus?

The Americans have been looking at autonomous vessels to detect and track submarines and seem to have made some progress with the continuous trail approach. They also trialed a 'towed airborne' sensor package to extend the coverage of radar and IR sensors.

ASW technology (and military tech in general) isn't static and new approaches will inevitably emerge, which, in turn, will have an impact on the platforms deployed to support ASW (and, equally, AEW). I suppose I just wondered what the thinking here might be on some of these evolving options.

ACTUV “Sea Hunter” Prototype Transitions to Office of Naval Research for Further Development

ACTUV Unmanned Vessel Helps TALONS Take Flight in Successful Joint Test

Such unmanned systems have great potential but - like RPAS - require significant bandwidth.

There's also the unclassified laws of physics which dictate that these - like most surface vessels - will not be able to keep pace with a submerged nuclear powered submarine. Indeed, looking at the size of ACTUV, I suspect it would be particularly challenged in anything above fairly low sea states.

Regards,
MM
 
Such unmanned systems have great potential but - like RPAS - require significant bandwidth.

There's also the unclassified laws of physics which dictate that these - like most surface vessels - will not be able to keep pace with a submerged nuclear powered submarine. Indeed, looking at the size of ACTUV, I suspect it would be particularly challenged in anything above fairly low sea states.

Regards,
MM
Other than as a technology test bed, I'm struggling to think of a task for an unmanned ship like that which wouldn't be better performed by other things.
  • If there's no crew, there's nobody to maintain it, so it has limited endurance.
  • It's too big to hoist aboard another ship, so it can't get around the previous problem by operating as an auxiliary to another ship.
  • It's too small to operate well in bad weather in many areas.
  • As a vessel intended to operate just offshore to guard a naval port, it doesn't appear to offer many advantages over a helicopter or other aircraft (or UAV) combined with sea bed sensors.
  • Being unmanned, it can't do stop and inspection of other ships.
  • It might have some role in mine counter measures, but there's solutions for that already.
I could go on, but I get the impression that it is a solution in search of a problem.
 
Other than as a technology test bed, I'm struggling to think of a task for an unmanned ship like that which wouldn't be better performed by other things.
  • If there's no crew, there's nobody to maintain it, so it has limited endurance.
  • It's too big to hoist aboard another ship, so it can't get around the previous problem by operating as an auxiliary to another ship.
  • It's too small to operate well in bad weather in many areas.
  • As a vessel intended to operate just offshore to guard a naval port, it doesn't appear to offer many advantages over a helicopter or other aircraft (or UAV) combined with sea bed sensors.
  • Being unmanned, it can't do stop and inspection of other ships.
  • It might have some role in mine counter measures, but there's solutions for that already.
I could go on, but I get the impression that it is a solution in search of a problem.
Yebbut... unmanned.
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
Other than as a technology test bed, I'm struggling to think of a task for an unmanned ship like that which wouldn't be better performed by other things.
Arsenal ship up threat, big sensors, lots of weapons. No need for crew, better in higher weather states, small is subjective and Sea hunter the USN model did well in recent trials and she's on the small side Endurance far greater due to no crew and ability to have larger fuel tanks.
 
...it doesn't appear to offer many advantages over a helicopter or other aircraft (or UAV) combined with sea bed sensors...
I'll leave it to my RN friends to comment with greater authority on other missions. However, aircraft lack persistence in comparison to naval vessels while sea bed sensors such as SOSUS (USN link added to show SOSUS is referred to by govt organisations on open source) are predictable and vulnerable once surveyed and located.

So I could sea such unmanned assets essentially being used in an ASW context as a semi-mobile and therefore less predictable SOSUS array. However, some thought would need to be given to security to avoid boarding and seizure of sensitive technology.

Regards,
MM
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
So I could sea such unmanned assets essentially being used in an ASW context as a semi-mobile and therefore less predictable SOSUS array. However, some thought would need to be given to security to avoid boarding and seizure of sensitive technology.
EO/IR cameras and a 30mm chain gun will suffice.

The concept of arsenal ships has been mooted for a while, operating autonomously but in close consort with higher value units (T45 for example) who can place them in the screen strategically. I think its the way the USN will go first. They have similar concepts and a CONOPS that doesn't see the smaller vessels placed too far away from the main TG.

Personally for Air Defence and Force EW I think there is lots of potential.
 
...EO/IR cameras and a 30mm chain gun will suffice...
I think the legalities of that would be open to challenge when in international waters! Are you really going to hose down a Russian sea-boat sent over from a conveniently passing commercially registered vessel to collect our very latest sonobuoy array?

Likewise, EO/IR and a chain gun would be of no use to underwater exploitation and you'd face the same legal challenges with underwater weapons to deter 'inquisitive' divers.

Regards,
MM
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
I think the legalities of that would be open to challenge when in international waters! Are you really going to hose down a Russian sea-boat sent over from a conveniently passing commercially registered vessel to collect our very latest sonobuoy array?

Likewise, EO/IR and a chain gun would be of no use to underwater exploitation and you'd face the same legal challenges with underwater weapons to deter 'inquisitive' divers.
That's far too simplistic a response. You think a capability like this would be enabled in peace time and in normal merchant sea lanes? We've fully automated air defence systems today but we don't fire on civil airliners passing nearby!

Time of crisis/war, in sensitive locations, in open seas, you could enable self-defence measures; there is also no reason why human operators on mother could not be used as part of that self-defence and monitoring capability. I don't see these operating in isolation but as a coherent part of a TG.

Equally I don't think when these things mature they will be small, a sea boat might not even be able to board. That consideration is already made with some of the wave-gliders being used today, so further downstream one would hope that designers will take account of the Force Protection requirement.
 
...That's far too simplistic a response. You think a capability like this would be enabled in peace time and in normal merchant sea lanes? We've fully automated air defence systems today but we don't fire on civil airliners passing nearby! ...
Airliners are not going to stop and steal your latest technology.

I agree that autonomous vessels would often be used as part of a broader TG in the same way as unmanned 'loyal-wingmen' are likely to be employed alongside manned aircraft. But the need for them not to stray far from manned vessels somewhat limits their value I would suggest.

As I said earlier, I see good potential for such systems. However, if they're operating in isolation in international waters, they're vulnerable to exploitation.

Deterrents can be non-lethal. Sound barriers for divers spring to mind.
Similarly, those doing the exploitation may be remotely operated systems.

Regards,
MM
 
All this rolls back to a central point for me - there's a dash for unmanned to save money. As ever, you don't get something for nothing. Or, rather, money 'saved' often means you get something far less capable.

As ever, let's have this conversation in a decade or two - which is not to say that we shouldn't be looking.
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
Airliners are not going to stop and steal your latest technology.
Which wasn't my point as you well know. Systems can be turned on or off dependant upon circumstance, threat and location.

"straying from manned vessels" is subjective in Naval warfare where the action area can be 000s or 0000s of miles of open sea and if hostilities are occurring the schema for merchant shipping will also be in place and it would be a rarity for a merchant mariner to ignore to the NMs or NCS/NTO guidance as sunk/damaged ships tend to make a commercial loss. Piracy in the IO has demonstrated how quickly industry reacts to threats.

Like I've said, I don't see them operating in isolation.
 

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