CVF and Carrier Strike thread

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
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.
It's not about saving money; they're not cheap and the second order effect of autonomous capabilities are the C2/reachback and Process/Exploit/Disseminate capabilities you need. It's more about having further reach with smaller, more agile assets which can extend your range and lethality.

If we don't invest and have the conversation now and experiment/prototype we won't get a capability in a decade or so.
 
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...
It's also true that many 'unmanned' systems are both very expensive and require similar or even greater manpower.

..."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.
I get it.

But in modern 'hybrid' warfare, the rules are being blurred and it's in the 'ops other than war' that the danger of compromise really concerns me. If your unmanned asset is hundreds or thousands of miles from 'mother' and in international waters, there's nothing to stop a passing Russian or Chinese manned vessel exploiting it.

Regards,
MM
 
I hate to be a killjoy but there is a thread in this very forum for unmanned and remotely controlled systems.

Autonomous and Remotely Controlled Systems

In an attempt to steer the conversation back towards shipborne aviation...

In the late fifties the US Navy decided to procure a remotely controlled helicopter for torpedo delivery - DASH. The Royal Navy opted for a manned helicopter for frigate and destroyer operation - the Wasp. Like DASH it could deliver torpedoes or depth charge as directed by the mother ship, and WE177A (God forbid).

However being manned it could also talk to other helicopters such as the ASW Sea King (with dipping sonar) and Nimrod. The ASW role is covered in the first part of this seventies Navy recruitment film:


Sea King and dipping sonar mentioned at approx 5.00!

Of course, the Wasp also did utility roles and things like CASEVAC and SAR, and was later fitted with the AS12 missile to counter the missile boat threat. This was the first missile to be fired in anger by the RN (HMS Endurance's Wasp versus the ARA Santa Fe in April 1982) and had been the result of testing anti tank missile against waterborne targets. It was the predecessor of the Lynx using Sea Skua, the US Navy arming helicopters with Hellfire, and our own Wildcat getting Martlet and Sea Venom.

The US Navy was happy to replace DASH with the manned LAMPS Sea Sprite and Seahawk helicopters. Far more capable and flexible.

Right at the end of the film, the Captain mentions future ships (this was in 1975) and the 'Anti Submarine Cruiser' HMS Invincible gets a mention at 22: 20.

Did the CVS and Sea Harrier save the Navy?
 
This 2014 article from SLDinfo.com about the role of carrier based helicopters and integration with the rest of the air wing and strike group is interesting:

The Rotorcraft, the Carrier and Training for Strike Integration - Second Line of Defense

Question: What is the mission of rotorcraft aboard the strike carrier?

CDR Weinstock: Historically, the helicopter focused primarily on search-and-rescue missions and, especially during the Cold War, anti-submarine warfare.

Currently, we fly two types of helicopters which continue to play those roles but have an expanded mission set.

Among other missions, they play a major role in the defense of the carrier battle group, dealing with various surface threats, including small boats.

Both helicopter variants, the Sikorsky-built MH-60R and MH-60S, are vital to the overall air wing mission.

The Romeo is especially important in providing radar coverage, both for situational awareness and more explicitly, forward deployed threat detection and target acquisition.

It is focused on sea control.

From off the coast, they can provide outstanding coverage of the sea-base and also look inland; they can see EW signals as well as plot contacts on radar; and push all of that information through a link back to the ship so that the decision-makers on the ship have the latest, most detailed information possible to make well-informed, timely decisions.

The Romeo provides a lot of ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance), that decision-making feed I spoke of.

The Sierras can provide some of that as well, but don’t have a radar....


Sea control means more that force protection for the carrier, it is controlling an area of sea (on, above, and under the water surface) so that you can use it for what you need.

Sea control IS a carrier mission.

I wonder if the F-35B providing a CAP for Pingers in the dip (working with frigates up threat) can also act as a communications relay?




 
J_P

I was actually thinking of the ASW related conversation I had with an old and bold PWO(U) when he mentioned carriers, 24/7 dipping, the combination of dipping sonar (helicopters) and towed arrays (frigates), and AEW Sea Kings acting as communications relay. I was also thinking of an ASW Sea King acting as communications relay for the Junglies when the Argentine spy trawler Narwhal was boarded during the Falklands War, and the way Nimrods and AWACS were sometimes used as communications relays for long range SAR missions.

I am sure there have been occasions when Sea Harriers and other fighters (on CAP) have relayed communications back to the carrier.

Resasi

At times the LHD/LHA type ships have acted as 'Harrier Carriers', such as Iraq in 2003 with the USS Bonhomme Richard carrying something like twenty AV-8Bs (and an exchange RAF Harrier pilot).
 
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I was actually thinking of the ASW related conversation I had with an old and bold PWO(U) when he mentioned carriers, 24/7 dipping, the combination of dipping sonar (helicopters) and towed arrays (frigates), and AEW Sea Kings acting as communications relay. I was also thinking of an ASW Sea King acting as communications relay for the Junglies when the Argentine spy trawler Narwhal was boarded during the Falklands War, and the way Nimrods and AWACS were sometimes used a communications relays for long range SAR missions.

I am sure there have been occasions when Sea Harriers and other fighters (on CAP) have relayed communications back to the carrier.
Theres a big difference between the sort of comms relay a Sea Harrier could do for a low-flying pinger compared to what an AEW Sea King. The former’s ‘comms relay’ would simply have involved the pilot repeating to a ship what he’d been told by the ASW cab.

In contrast, an AEW Sea King could conduct ‘AUTOCAT’ which involves pairing 2 UHF or VHF radios and effectively acting as a low-flying satellite so the ASW crew could talk directly to a ship that would otherwise be beyond VHF or UHF coverage.

Numerous UK military aircraft had or have tha capability which dates back to WWII. Nimrod MR2s and E-3Ds for instance often used the technique during SAR missions (hence it’s open source). The down-side of AUTOCAT is that it uses precious radios up.

Regards,
MM
 
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rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
New Hawkeye order for USN, note comment nine airframe's for possible overseas sale! I would suggest a very limited market France for CDG or the EU replacement, India or UK?

Northrop Grumman to build 24 E-2D early warning aircraft

Unless Pedro thinks he can land one on ex HMS Ocean? would be worth watching?
UK? How do you stop the ****** bolting?
EU - not going to happen
India - nope
France announced an order back in February
 
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Happy Easter.

Theres a big difference between the sort of comms relay a Sea Harrier could do for a low-flying pinger compared to what an AEW Sea King. The former’s ‘comms relay’ would simply have involved the pilot repeating to a ship what he’d been told by the ASW cab.

In contrast, an AEW Sea King could conduct ‘AUTOCAT’ which involves pairing 2 UHF or VHF radios and effectively acting as a low-flying satellite so the ASW crew could talk directly to a ship that would otherwise be beyond VHF or UHF coverage.

Numerous UK military aircraft had or have tha capability which dates back to WWII. Nimrod MR2s and E-3Ds for instance often used the technique during SAR missions (hence it’s open source). The down-side of AUTOCAT is that it uses precious radios up.

Regards,
MM
I was simply pointing out a fighter at altitude has a great radio range so it can do things - and can act as a back up if all else fails. I had heard of AUTOCAT but did know what it meant.

All in French, mind you..

Tres Bien!

The video covers the whole ship (or perhaps the parts upgraded in her refit?) and not just the aircraft taking off and landing. Two things stand out:

1. Her deck is toppers with fixed wing aircraft. As discussed before Charles de Gaulle is probably that size because that was the largest hull that could be constructed in one piece in a French yard. Yet people moaned the QEC design was too large.

2. The helicopter at 22 minutes approx has a radome - presumably a radar for ASW/ASuW roles. I have previously asked whether France intended to have a mass of ASW helicopters together aboard one of the Mistral class or a large auxiliary - in the same way that when the RN's Invincible's were toppers with Sea Harriers/Harriers, the ASW Merlins went aboard a large RFA. The previous French carriers carried the Alize for ASW/ASuW.

The RN seems to have lost interest in carrier borne fixed wing ASW aircraft as soon as the helicopter with dipping sonar came along.
 
1. Her deck is toppers with fixed wing aircraft. As discussed before Charles de Gaulle is probably that size because that was the largest hull that could be constructed in one piece in a French yard. Yet people moaned the QEC design was too large.
Once you get beyond a size point, there really isn't much economic quibilling really needed for a larger ship - only constrained by size, dock limits etc. Steel is cheap (relatively), deck space even if it varies by a few thou feet doesn't really cost all that much while giving you a lot more flexibility. I am not a naval designer by any means but from my exposure to the field, that's my opinion.
 
Did @History_Man not have some depreciating things to say on Merlin? One of them on exercise was called a hangar queen.
Most fleets have a hangar queen.

However, @History_Man man was probably referring to the HC variants rather than the ASW HMs. Either way, the Merlin is the only true ASW helo we have.

Regards,
MM
 
Indeed I was, 2 x Merlin HC2sto be precise. Neither of them were exactly overburdened with reliability, but one of them spent Christmas at Lielvarde AB (as did a couple of lucky matelots).
We always preferred our Chinooks! :)

Regards,
MM
 

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