CVF and Carrier Strike thread

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
would be nite/balloon be able option (probably not from the carrier as it would disrupt air ops)?
No. Powered flight is far better. Not least because you might not always want the asset right overhead. Quite often, you want it quite some distance away on radar picket or helping to coordinate/protect air and other ops.
 
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Yokel

LE
No. Powered flight is far better. Not least because you might not always want the asset right overhead. Quite often, you want it quite some distance away on radar picket or helping to coordinate/protect air and other ops.

I am sure that having a manned asset is also helpful in terms of reducing the about of information that has to be sent to the platform for control and the amount of raw radar (and IFF etc) that would need to be transmitted to the parent ship and other units. The two Observers really to reduce the demands on a finite bandwidth.
 
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Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
I am sure that having a manned asset is also help in terms of reducing the about of information that has to be sent to the platform for control and the amount of raw radar (and IFF etc) that would need to be transmitted to the parent ship and other units. The two Observers really to reduce the demands on a finite bandwidth.
Nevertheless, the ambition is unmanned -

 

Yokel

LE
Just a few extra thoughts:

1. Ten Crowsnest kits being ordered. We are not going to be operating them all at once, but I think that some see the kits as a one for one replacement for the SK7.

2. All the Merlin HM2s are having the modifications to carry the kit. Does that help explain why 820 NAS is not taking nine aircraft?

3. As this Italian guy notes, the Merlin was designed to have modular system so that rapid reconfiguration is possible:

Without disembarking the consoles (but disembarking the sonobuoys launchers) and with full four men crew, the Merlin HM1 can lift a 3400 kg payload, or carry 8 stretchers plus paramedic personnel. It can carry ten equipped soldiers, and with a L118 Light Gun under slung at the cargo hook it can stay in the air for a good hour, deploying the gun up to 100 km away from the ship. Up to 16 men can be carried in transfer flights. Disembarking the dipping sonar to free up cabin space when ASW is not a priority, 8 seats plus a rack of 4 stretchers can be fitted.

4. He also states that the carriers normally carried six Merlins, alongside a flight of three ASaCs Sea Kings, Sea Harriers (until March 2006) and Harrier GR7/9s (until late 2010), and a utility/ SAR Sea King from 810/771.

Normally, when a flight of six Merlins deploy on a UK carrier, it comes from this squadron, which is probably the most active ASW unit of the whole fleet.

5. Why six ASW cabs? The Merlin replaced the Sea King in the ASW role, and the CVS took squadrons of nine to provide two aircraft on station around the clock, plus SAR and utility roles. If we consider that one of those Sea Kings would have been doing utility roles of parked near the ramp on SAR standby, can six Merlins provide as much time on station as eight Sea Kings?

For Merlin - On an anti-submarine warfare active dipping mission over a radius of operation of 50 nautical miles, there is sufficient fuel in the internal fuel tanks to provide 190 minutes on station with a 20-minute fuel reserve. Fully armed on an anti-submarine warfare passive sonobouy mission, the helicopter time on station is 210 minutes at a radius of operation of 100 nautical miles, and 90 minutes at a radius of operation 200 nautical miles.

How does that compare with its predecessor - and rivals? I became mathematically confused when I tried to use Little's Theorem to work out how many helicopters you need to maintain two aircraft on station, 100 nm from the carrier with a) Merlin with five hour endurance, or b) Sea King with four hour endurance? Perhaps someone clever like @jrwlynch can help? Does have 25% more endurance mean that 25% less aircraft are needed for the same coverage, or am I being simplistic, as the the sortie will include the outward transit flight, the time on station, and the return transit. Although Merlin is faster than the Sea King, the transit times will not be much different, so things are not quite as linear as I thought.

If we assume that the transit times are the same, then it does appear linear...
 

Yokel

LE
Or are we still planning on a rotary wing force (aboard the carrier) of nine ASW Merlins, plus Crowsnest, plus Junglies?
 

Yokel

LE
I am still convinced that we would be able to send more Merlins to sea if we did not need some for the forthcoming flying trials of HMS Prince of Wales, and a number of them were not being modified to be able to take the Crowsnest kit.

Just as well that they have been practising a quick turnaround:



Anyway - Little's theorem is probably not useful for numbers of ASW helicopters as it deals with stationary systems. I have struggled with why only three aircraft were needed to keep an AEW Sea King on station all the time, but nine were needed to keep two ASW cabs on station at all times. Then I reread the link about Exercise Deep Blue.

Throughout the Exercise, the Merlin aircraft were embarked on HMS Illustrious. Aircrews and engineers worked round the clock alongside pilots and aircrew operating on a non-stop ‘sleep-eat-fly-sleep’ rotation to support three aircraft aloft at all times with two on ready status.


If you did away with the ones on alert on deck, you could maintain two on station with six aircraft. I have to say I wonder why you need ones on alert on deck if you have Merlin equipped frigates - what am I missing?
 
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Or are we still planning on a rotary wing force (aboard the carrier) of nine ASW Merlins, plus Crowsnest, plus Junglies?
I would have thought of the USMC are flying off the decks, they will bring some rotary wing assets. They have recently been conducting exercises on Dartmoor.
 

bob231

War Hero
I am still convinced that we would be able to send more Merlins to sea if we did not need some for the forthcoming flying trials of HMS Prince of Wales, and a number of them were not being modified to be able to take the Crowsnest kit.

Just as well that they have been practising a quick turnaround:



Anyway - Little's theorem is probably not useful for numbers of ASW helicopters as it deals with stationary systems. I have struggled with why only three aircraft were needed to keep an AEW Sea King on station all the time, but nine were needed to keep two ASW cabs on station at all times. Then I reread the link about Exercise Deep Blue.

Throughout the Exercise, the Merlin aircraft were embarked on HMS Illustrious. Aircrews and engineers worked round the clock alongside pilots and aircrew operating on a non-stop ‘sleep-eat-fly-sleep’ rotation to support three aircraft aloft at all times with two on ready status.


If you did away with the ones on alert on deck, you could maintain two on station with six aircraft. I have to say I wonder why you need ones on alert on deck if you have Merlin equipped frigates - what am I missing?
Your frigates may not be carrying Merlins.

If your Merlins are a task group asset mostly for ASW and AEW, you may prefer to have Wildcat on your frigates to give greater flexibility for detached duties. This also allows concentrating the (big, heavy and awkward) Merlin spares with the maintenance teams. You can always lilypad from frigates when conducting serious ASW Ops.

Different fish if the only thing you expect to do is ASW, but that suggests the task group is sailing to war.
 

Yokel

LE
I would have thought of the USMC are flying off the decks, they will bring some rotary wing assets. They have recently been conducting exercises on Dartmoor.

I thought that there was an American Amphibious Ready Group operating in British and European waters? I have read comments wondering why no 847 cabs or Apaches are going with CSG21....

Your frigates may not be carrying Merlins.

If your Merlins are a task group asset mostly for ASW and AEW, you may prefer to have Wildcat on your frigates to give greater flexibility for detached duties. This also allows concentrating the (big, heavy and awkward) Merlin spares with the maintenance teams. You can always lilypad from frigates when conducting serious ASW Ops.

Different fish if the only thing you expect to do is ASW, but that suggests the task group is sailing to war.

Thank you for not disputing my theory that we would be able to deploy more Merlins - if it were not for things like modifications to the entire fleet and the trials of HMS Prince Of Wales. Talking of which:



I do remember a bunfight between @PhotEx (may have been under a previous user name) and @alfred_the_great regarding helicopters and ASW. PhotEx was adamant that the carrier should offload the ASW cabs to escorts, @alfred_the_great tried to tell him that no, you centralise the ASW assets aboard the carrier for reasons of coordination, communications, engineering, and logistics.

Perhaps I should have said 'helicopter 'equipped frigates'? The Wildcat can deliver ASW weapons and is likely to be closer to the scene of the action.
 
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I was a bit of a sceptic about the new carriers, but it can't be denied that it is a fine thing to see the Queen Elizabeth leaving port:

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Yokel

LE
I was a bit of a sceptic about the new carriers, but it can't be denied that it is a fine thing to see the Queen Elizabeth leaving port:

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Remember also that HMS Prince Of Wales put to sea for trials yesterday. I am imagining that these trials will involve having some aircraft on deck - Merlins etc, which partly explains why the available number is currently reduced.

This (from last September) suggests that six dedicated ASW cabs will be the norm:



The RN website has a news page on her forthcoming exercise: Carrier Strike Group prepares for final test

The exercise, which will run for two weeks, will see the task group pitted against warships from NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 1 in waters off north-west Scotland to prove it is capable of undertaking high intensity operations against the most demanding adversaries.

In other words, an opposing force of fully armed surface warships, and submarines (quiet NATO SSKs), and aircraft.

It will not be the last contribution to NATO made by the CSG in the next few weeks and months.
 
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