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Late 1970s US Congress Report - The US Sea Control Mission (carriers needed in the Atlantic)

You have told me nothing I did not already know, yet they way you have explained it puts it into perspective that I can understand. Traditionally the USN viewed helicopters as an extension of the ship (as opposed to task group assets), but I never stopped to think this might have applied to carrier based ones, hence some of the comments on this thread.

Did the Sea Sprites aboard other ships have dipping sonar, or was constant dipping less important to them than it was to the RN?

Sadly many media types seem to think the same applies to our carrier based aircraft.
The SH-2G version had the AQs-180 dipping sonar
 

ECMO1

Old-Salt
Question for @ECMO1 - the the F/A-18 replaced the A-7 in USN carrier air wings, was the significance of having a sudden increase in aircraft that could fired Harpoon at the Red Fleet appreciated?
No. The A-6 remained the primary Harpoon shooter because you could use it in RBL (Range & Bearing Launch) mode, while the F/A-18 could only use BOL (Bearing Only Launch) mode when it first came out. That meant that the missile came off hot and would go after the first target detected. While with RBL you could program it to fly a certain distance before coming active, thereby avoiding hitting white shipping in the area. The decrease in range between F/A-18 and A-7 meant an increase in tanking requirements to get the HARM support for the Harpoons because we always want to give the Red Captain’s a problem, go active to defend against Harpoon and get shredded by the HARMs, or stay silent and take the Harpoon hits.
While I cannot remember the A-7 carrying the Harpoon, it was fully capable of carrying the SLAM version, when that missile made its appearance.
 

ECMO1

Old-Salt
I had no idea that ASW was done from the LHA/LHD - but surely the Romeo would be better as it has a dipping sonar? I do remember you posting on the F-35 thread that on occasions the USMC AV-8B+ (with APG-65 and AMRAAM) had provided air defence for an amphibious force, and the AH-1 had performed an ASuW role.

NATO needs more helicopters with dipping sonar.
The dipping sonar is great when you have the sub already localized and are ready for the attack. It sucks for general search. Really the only thing it does well in the general search mode is to tell the sub which direction to look for a military target. You use a significant amount of fuel in the hover when operating the dipping sonar compared to laying a sonobouy field and then can monitor a much wider area. Therefore the range is reduced, which puts the submarines that much closer to the battle group, meaning that red can employ its weapons against blue. For instance (from Wiki) the Type 65 torpedo has a range of 50 km at 93 km/h, 100 km at 56 km/h.

Personally I would want less dipping sonars and more surface tails, more subs, and more land based ASW platforms to engage the red submarines farther away from the surface ships.
 

Yokel

LE
No. The A-6 remained the primary Harpoon shooter because you could use it in RBL (Range & Bearing Launch) mode, while the F/A-18 could only use BOL (Bearing Only Launch) mode when it first came out. That meant that the missile came off hot and would go after the first target detected. While with RBL you could program it to fly a certain distance before coming active, thereby avoiding hitting white shipping in the area. The decrease in range between F/A-18 and A-7 meant an increase in tanking requirements to get the HARM support for the Harpoons because we always want to give the Red Captain’s a problem, go active to defend against Harpoon and get shredded by the HARMs, or stay silent and take the Harpoon hits.
While I cannot remember the A-7 carrying the Harpoon, it was fully capable of carrying the SLAM version, when that missile made its appearance.

Good to hear from you again - Happy Christmas.

I do not fully understand the difference between the two Harpoon modes. I had never thought of HARM as a weapon that could be used against a ships. The F/A-18's APG-65 radar must have made it useful for air to air and air to surface roles - and later it was added to the AV-8B.

The dipping sonar is great when you have the sub already localized and are ready for the attack. It sucks for general search. Really the only thing it does well in the general search mode is to tell the sub which direction to look for a military target. You use a significant amount of fuel in the hover when operating the dipping sonar compared to laying a sonobouy field and then can monitor a much wider area. Therefore the range is reduced, which puts the submarines that much closer to the battle group, meaning that red can employ its weapons against blue. For instance (from Wiki) the Type 65 torpedo has a range of 50 km at 93 km/h, 100 km at 56 km/h.

Personally I would want less dipping sonars and more surface tails, more subs, and more land based ASW platforms to engage the red submarines farther away from the surface ships.

My understanding is that the hull mounted and (particularly) tower array sonars provide long range detection, and the helicopters with dipping sonar provide localisation and engagement. It can stop an enemy boat from using the layer to hide. Only a lunatic would suggest having ASW helicopters without surface ASW platforms - these people sadly do exist and write books and are given airtime by the media.

My understanding is that the ASW helicopters operate both in the inner zone around the carrier / HVA / convoy and in the middle zone - the contact investigation and engagement area. The carrier also gives you the means to deal with aircraft providing long range targeting.

My point, and the reason for this thread, is that the carrier is an active participant in both ASW and AAW and a platform of sea control as well as power projection.
 
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ABNredleg

War Hero
I do not fully understand the difference between the two Harpoon modes. I had never thought of HARM as a weapon that could be used against a ships. The F/A-18's APG-65 radar must have made it useful for air to air and air to surface roles - and later it was added to the AV-8B..
In range and bearing mode, if you had a friendly ship at 30 NM and enemies at 40, you can set the seeker to activate at 35, thus ensuring you don’t target the friendly ship. In bearing only mode you can’t do this so you run the risk of the missile locking on to the friendly at 30.

As to using anti-radiation missiles against ships, there was a blue-on-blue off Vietnam where a Shrike ARM was fired against a USN DD. Radar antennas were shredded and there was significant superstructure damage. There was no danger of sinking but it was a mission kill.
 

ECMO1

Old-Salt
I do not fully understand the difference between the two Harpoon modes. I had never thought of HARM as a weapon that could be used against a ships. The F/A-18's APG-65 radar must have made it useful for air to air and air to surface roles - and later it was added to the AV-8B.
Absolutely is HARM configured to use against ships. You don’t think that the USN was spending money on HARM to just support land strikes during the 1980s, when the concentration was on sinking the Russian fleet. The Blue on Blue instance noted by ABNredleg actually provided the information that an ARM was very effective against a naval platform. Why give Red a single problem set to deal with if you are attacking him? Makes those ADMG-630 and Sweeper systems easy to use against Harpoon.
 

Yokel

LE
I have just edited my previous post as it was meant to say "only a lunatic would suggest having ASW helicopters without surface ASW platforms..."

I have no idea about the origins of HARM, and for most of the eighties I was at primary school. Sadly, most media commentary about carrier aviation is in terms of the ability to move mud, such as claiming that the F-14 was to defend the carrier.

A carrier, like any other warship, gives a task/strike group weapons and capabilities. It is also an exempler of system integration. It is also a heroic model of how to live, guided by conscience (cockpit instruments), reacting to information (shipboard landing aids), and respecting and valuing others (maintainers, flight deck personnel, sailors doing jobs all over the carrier - and other ships), and a commitment to learning by forgiving and learning from errors.
 
I have just edited my previous post as it was meant to say "only a lunatic would suggest having ASW helicopters without surface ASW platforms..."

I have no idea about the origins of HARM, and for most of the eighties I was at primary school. Sadly, most media commentary about carrier aviation is in terms of the ability to move mud, such as claiming that the F-14 was to defend the carrier.

A carrier, like any other warship, gives a task/strike group weapons and capabilities. It is also an exempler of system integration. It is also a heroic model of how to live, guided by conscience (cockpit instruments), reacting to information (shipboard landing aids), and respecting and valuing others (maintainers, flight deck personnel, sailors doing jobs all over the carrier - and other ships), and a commitment to learning by forgiving and learning from errors.
Our equivalent was BAE ALARM (Air Launched Anti Radar Missile) and it was cleared also on Sea Harrier.

cheers
 

Yokel

LE
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This is from the eighties publication Warplane - and is a rare exception to most media articles that think carriers are about mud moving. You might note the section about aircraft carrier deployment - and that it mentions the role of frigates in tracking submarines.

Although it mentions the RN carrierborne ASW Sea Kings, and the Type 22 ASW frigates, it fails to explain that frigates and helicopters from the carrier work together. The first towed array sonars were coming into service.
 
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Yokel

LE
Since we were talking about anti ship weaponry, I seem to recall a post on here stating this it is better to hit an enemy warship with multiple supersonic missiles with small warheads than a slow big one.

What about SPEAR3 - soon to be fitted to the F-35B in UK service?

It seems to lack a radar though....
 
Since we were talking about anti ship weaponry, I seem to recall a post on here stating this it is better to hit an enemy warship with multiple supersonic missiles with small warheads than a slow big one.

What about SPEAR3 - soon to be fitted to the F-35B in UK service?

It seems to lack a radar though....
Wiki suggests a multi-mode guidance package to include Radar, infrared and laser homing.
 

Yokel

LE
Wiki suggests a multi-mode guidance package to include Radar, infrared and laser homing.

It does appear that SPEAR3 can be used against maritime targets:


I was thinking of another missile coming into service that has an IR seeker, but can also be steered via a microwave link from the aircraft. It made me reflect on the miniaturisation of things as semiconductors have advanced.
 
Since we were talking about anti ship weaponry, I seem to recall a post on here stating this it is better to hit an enemy warship with multiple supersonic missiles with small warheads than a slow big one.

What about SPEAR3 - soon to be fitted to the F-35B in UK service?

It seems to lack a radar though....
Here are the specs


cheer’s
 

Yokel

LE
There were no less than eight US Navy carriers assigned to the Atlantic in the event of general war against the Warsaw Pact, but I assume that this did not prevent them from being deployed elsewhere such as the Mediterranean or Middle East in normal times?
 
There were no less than eight US Navy carriers assigned to the Atlantic in the event of general war against the Warsaw Pact, but I assume that this did not prevent them from being deployed elsewhere such as the Mediterranean or Middle East in normal times?

Off the top of my head, think there were two for Med sixth fleet, two across the Atlantic 2nd fleet , plus several homeported at both Norfolk and Mayport, one around Persian Gulf, one in Indian Ocean. Several in Pacific region, including one permanently assigned to Osaka , Japan ..in the 80s it predominantly was USS Midway, with its air wing at NAF Atsugi. Of course not forgetting one or two homeported at then Alameda, San Diego.

cheers
 
USN is only able to man and operate 8 CVNs full stop now, the other 3 are in the extended wash to keep them on the books to keep Congress happy.
 

Yokel

LE
Back on topic, this documentary features the carrier based S-3 Vikings working with the carrier based Hawkeyes and SH-3 Sea Kings. Surely it would have normally operated and communicated with the ASW warships and their helicopters up threat?

The carrier group's ASW exercise starts at 38 min 40 sec. It seems to suggest dipping sonar is needed to get a fix.



Why does the US Navy not put Naval Flight Officers in helicopters?
 
Back on topic, this documentary features the carrier based S-3 Vikings working with the carrier based Hawkeyes and SH-3 Sea Kings. Surely it would have normally operated and communicated with the ASW warships and their helicopters up threat?

The carrier group's ASW exercise starts at 38 min 40 sec. It seems to suggest dipping sonar is needed to get a fix.



Why does the US Navy not put Naval Flight Officers in helicopters?
The Sensor operator in the back is enlisted and theirs two pilots up front.

The guy in the back of the MH-60R Seahawk reads off the info and the crew up front make decisions.

Dont forget their shipborne helos are extensions of the cruiser, destroyer frigate and carrier at best not quite autonomous like our Merlin, and now Wildcat.

We have to do a lot more and make decisions Up there where As they work Hard, it’s different concept to us.

The RAN fly a Seahawk with pilot, observer up front and think PO/CPO sensor operator in the back.

cheers
 

Yokel

LE
The Sensor operator in the back is enlisted and theirs two pilots up front.

The guy in the back of the MH-60R Seahawk reads off the info and the crew up front make decisions.

Dont forget their shipborne helos are extensions of the cruiser, destroyer frigate and carrier at best not quite autonomous like our Merlin, and now Wildcat.

We have to do a lot more and make decisions Up there where As they work Hard, it’s different concept to us.

The RAN fly a Seahawk with pilot, observer up front and think PO/CPO sensor operator in the back.

cheers

@alfred_the_great has commented on this on the Carrier Strike thread. He, and others like @Guns and @Not a Boffin may or may not be amused by this part of a chat I had with an RN Observer:

Yokel: So an Observer is a bit like a PWO then?
Observer: No! I am able to make my own decisions.
 
@alfred_the_great has commented on this on the Carrier Strike thread. He, and others like @Guns and @Not a Boffin may or may not be amused by this part of a chat I had with an RN Observer:

Yokel: So an Observer is a bit like a PWO then?
Observer: No! I am able to make my own decisions.
Also with USN the Air Warfare Specialsit AwSt sailor in the back he’s also the crewman and at times the SAR crewman for winching up those in distress if they get the call. Oh and also a gunner.

Here even the good old days of the RAF SAR Sea King even the commissioned Nav and NCo aircrew winchman (both known as WSO) be pitching in.

cheers
 

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