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

Yokel

LE
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

Does that difference, and being controlled by the parent ship, explain the lower range and endurance of the MH-60 (various models) compared with the Merlin which was designed from the outset as an ASW aircraft for the Royal Navy and the Italian Navy?

The WG34 picture in this archived article from 1978 looks very Merlin like - with three engines, a radome under the nose, and so on. Perhaps this could stop some contributors insisting that the RN did not want it? By pure coincidence, the Sea Harrier and its role against Soviet Bears doing long range targeting for submarine launched missiles is also mentioned.

Anyone would think that naval AAW and ASW are connected....

@Not a Boffin is that link of an interest to you?
 
Does that difference, and being controlled by the parent ship, explain the lower range and endurance of the MH-60 (various models) compared with the Merlin which was designed from the outset as an ASW aircraft for the Royal Navy and the Italian Navy?

The WG34 picture in this archived article from 1978 looks very Merlin like - with three engines, a radome under the nose, and so on. Perhaps this could stop some contributors insisting that the RN did not want it? By pure coincidence, the Sea Harrier and its role against Soviet Bears doing long range targeting for submarine launched missiles is also mentioned.

Anyone would think that naval AAW and ASW are connected....

@Not a Boffin is that link of an interest to you?

Merlin was designed by both Westlands and Agusta for the RN and Italian Marina from the outset. Both companies formed EH Industries. Merlin was derived from WG34 from what my little grey cells determine (oops faux pas went Belgian lol)

W.RT USN MH-60R ops you have to look back at the original LAMPS (Light Airborne Multipurpose Shipborne) program and requirments form late 60s which ended up as the SH-2 SEasprite in 1970s to the entry of the SH-60B Seahawk of the late 1980S ONwards.

Bizarrley enough the new Sikorsky was going with Westland WG13 Lynx was marketed to the USN as LAMPS platform,

sikorsky_westland_sealynx.JPG




to the old Hughes Aircraft & Tooling Corporation (now Boeing and MD Helicopters) promoted the H369 'Loaach' as anti sub platform to USN albeit unrecognizable fuselage onwards.

Hughes LAMPS III proposal.jpg




Of note ROC Navy, Spanish Armada have used the MD369/MD500 helo as a shipborne anti sub helo.
Hughes 500M-D ASW.jpg





Bell also marketed the Bell 206 to the USN as LAMPS (there was already TH-57 SEa Ranger used for Basic and Advanced rotary wing with the navy),

6312672189_f33d65fd16_b.jpg


Belll 608.jpg


Boeing offered inconjucntion with then MBB fort he BO105

Boeing (MBB) LAMPS II mock-up.jpg


Boeing also offered their navalised version of UTTAS (loser against the Blackhawk)

Boeing LAMPS III Mock-up.jpg



and Kaman offered two types, Seasprite (single engine UH-2A already in service as SAR, CSAR )and Sealite

sealite-small.jpg



I dont think its range here its talking how their tactics historically work.

cheers
 
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Yokel

LE
Perhaps this old film from 1969 explains how the Royal Navy intended to operate the ASW Sea King. Note the way the Observer is described as an Operations Officer, and mention is made of things such as dipping sonar, radar, and flight controls for dipping.



Clearly the RN would want an even more capable aircraft to replace it - with led to Merlin.

This older film of the first trials of, a helicopter aboard a frigate is also interesting.



Even the Wasp was intended to deliver ASW weapons at a combat radius of 100 nautical miles. Would it be fair to say the Royal Navy gave helicopters roles that the US Navy left to carrierborne fixed wing aircraft?

@Not a Boffin feel free to educate a certain person who insists shorter range and less time on station are preferable.

Edited to add: Here are both parts of the 1978 article:

1978 RN aviation article part 1

1978 RN aviation article part 2
 
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Yokel

LE
I know that HOSTAC agreements and arrangements exist, but was there much cross deck amongst naval forces during the Cold War? Somewhere I have a picture of Royal Navy helicopters (Wessex?) next to USMC Harriers aboard ship during a NATO exercise in Norway. I assume the British aircraft were embarked for the whole exercise.

Is there enough commonality in NATO to say embark ASW helicopters from another navy aboard the RN carriers to augment our own Merlins? I am sure I have suggested this before, as has @ThunderBox - here on the Carrier Strike and CVF thread.
 
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Yokel

LE
Talking of cross deck and temporary embarkations of other nations' helicopters - watch this space? I imagine that the CSG21 deployment will start in the NATO theatre so a few MH-60R/NH-90 might appear on HMS Queen Elizabeth's deck, and the same elsewhere.

I should have mentioned that on the CV thread. But hey - watch this space!
 
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Yokel

LE

I suspect it will not just be the USMC F35Bs that join her.

I have no idea if Queen Elizabeth is going to be involved in Exercise Steadfast Defender 21, but I expect carrier involvement. I hope that HOSTAC arrangements would allow the embarkation of ASW helicopters from allies.
 
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Yokel

LE
I know that HOSTAC agreements and arrangements exist, but was there much cross deck amongst naval forces during the Cold War? Somewhere I have a picture of Royal Navy helicopters (Wessex?) next to USMC Harriers aboard ship during a NATO exercise in Norway. I assume the British aircraft were embarked for the whole exercise.

Is there enough commonality in NATO to say embark ASW helicopters from another navy aboard the RN carriers to augment our own Merlins? I am sure I have suggested this before, as has @ThunderBox - here on the Carrier Strike and CVF thread.

Here is the picture:

20210214_232323.jpg


Spot the British helicopters aboard the American LHA (not sure of the correct TLA) alongside USMC aircraft - somewhere of the Norwegian coast during the early eighties. Can ASW helicopters be as interoperable as that? Maybe that was the origin of the HOSTAC arrangements?

I believe that the MH-60R embarked aboard an LHD for an Atlantic ASW exercise in late 2020. They can deploy away from the CVN that is their usual parent ship. Can other nations' ASW cabs do the same? Embark aboard carrier x for a few weeks to augment aircraft strength during an exercise or crisis?

This collection of documents on US Naval Strategy in the 1980s also discusses carrier employment and deployment, and the role of non US carriers (including the RN ones) in NATO strategy.
 
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ECMO1

Old-Salt
USN HSC squadrons routinely provide MH-60S dets onboard LHA/LHD for SAR (primary) and ASW (secondary) these days.

Based on how you are using the word, you seem to imply cross-deck as an embarkation for the operation or exercise. Just because you can embark another country’s helicopters doesn’t mean you should. Depends on the situation but shouldn't be the starting point in planning. The HOSTAC was developed to enable NATO (at first) ships and helicopters to land and replenish on an available platform while performing its mission. Is there commonality between fuel and fuel nozzles, yes; between sonobouys, yes; weapons, maybe but leaning towards no; spare parts, no (if different T/M/S).
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs

I suspect it will not just be the USMC F35Bs that join her.

I have no idea if Queen Elizabeth is going to be involved in Exercise Steadfast Defender 21, but I expect carrier involvement. I hope that HOSTAC arrangements would allow the embarkation of ASW helicopters from allies.

how do you intend to support the other helicopters?
F-35B comes with organic, identical to the USMC spares and operations model.
NH-90’s, not so much. Who’s torpedos are you using? Unless you are cross decking from Morroco, Thailand or Romania, Stingray it isn’t. Have Cyclone, NH-90 or SH-60 even been cleared for deck ops off CVF?

top tip: USMC F-35B operations have been designed into CVF since for ever, everything from same deck commands, down to their own comms and crypto.

landing on a deck isn’t the same as operations off a deck.
 

Yokel

LE
USN HSC squadrons routinely provide MH-60S dets onboard LHA/LHD for SAR (primary) and ASW (secondary) these days.

Based on how you are using the word, you seem to imply cross-deck as an embarkation for the operation or exercise. Just because you can embark another country’s helicopters doesn’t mean you should. Depends on the situation but shouldn't be the starting point in planning. The HOSTAC was developed to enable NATO (at first) ships and helicopters to land and replenish on an available platform while performing its mission. Is there commonality between fuel and fuel nozzles, yes; between sonobouys, yes; weapons, maybe but leaning towards no; spare parts, no (if different T/M/S).


Just out of interest - can the MH-60S deliver a torpedo?

My loose use of the terms 'cross deck' and 'embark' is due to things like the 2017 deployment of two RN Jungly Merlins aboard the French LHD FS Mistral during her deployment, or two Jungly Wildcats aboard the Dixmude in 2019, Or perhaps the involvement of a detachment of Australian ASW helicopters in Exercise Joint Warrior?

Could the RAN (or someone else) do this aboard ship - say, HMS Queen Elizabeth? I recall that USAF Pave Hawk were aboard HMs Ocean in 2011 for CSAR during Libyan operations?

How do you intend to support the other helicopters?

F-35B comes with organic, identical to the USMC spares and operations model.
NH-90’s, not so much. Who’s torpedos are you using? Unless you are cross decking from Morroco, Thailand or Romania, Stingray it isn’t. Have Cyclone, NH-90 or SH-60 even been cleared for deck ops off CVF?

top tip: USMC F-35B operations have been designed into CVF since for ever, everything from same deck commands, down to their own comms and crypto.

landing on a deck isn’t the same as operations off a deck.

Yes - I know, hence my elaboration. I meant for a planned detachment of whatever length..
 
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PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Not a Boffin - feel free to educate a certain person who insists shorter range and less time on station are preferable.

as you are still transfixed by Merlins extra hours endurance over an SH-60. You can hang external tanks off an SH-60 and stay up much longer than a Merlin if the operational situation required it - which 99.9% of the time, it doesn’t.

Guess why Merlin operators are giving up on it and buying NH-90’s and SH-60’s?
hint: it doesn’t matter how much longer it allegedly can stay on station when it’s only got a 50% availability, and it’s competitors are over 90%

2 x 5 hours / 50 = 5 hours
2 x 4 hours / 90 = 7.2 hours

And THAT is why no one is buying Merlin in the last 20 years, while NH-90 and SH-60 sales are in the hundreds and storming ahead.
 

Yokel

LE
as you are still transfixed by Merlins extra hours endurance over an SH-60. You can hang external tanks off an SH-60 and stay up much longer than a Merlin if the operational situation required it - which 99.9% of the time, it doesn’t.

Extra endurance means more time on station. Different nations and different services do things differently, but the RN has always seen ASW helicopters as long range task group assests, as opposed to an extension of the parent warship.

If the idea is to keep two aircraft on station say 100 nautical miles from the carrier or some other datum, then the greater the aircraft endurance the greater a single one can spend submarine hunting, and the less you need to achieve x aircraft and y range, for z time.

Hopefully people like @Not a Boffin and @jrwlynch will be able to say if I am talking sense or not. The problem with Merlin, as @wafubustard and @alfred_the_great have said again and again, was the shortage of spares.

However, embarking a pair of someone else's ASW cabs would still be valuable as it would add possible minutes on station, even though these additional sorties will be shorter.
 

Yokel

LE
@Raven2008 maybe you can explain to Photex that the US Navy currently considers helicopters to be an extension of the parent ship, controlled from the CIC and not needing too much endurance. The Royal Navy considers them to be largely independent of the parent ship, with an Observer running the tactical side, and operating at range.

In the second approach, extra endurance is far more significant. Do the math(s).
 
USN HSC squadrons routinely provide MH-60S dets onboard LHA/LHD for SAR (primary) and ASW (secondary) these days.

Based on how you are using the word, you seem to imply cross-deck as an embarkation for the operation or exercise. Just because you can embark another country’s helicopters doesn’t mean you should. Depends on the situation but shouldn't be the starting point in planning. The HOSTAC was developed to enable NATO (at first) ships and helicopters to land and replenish on an available platform while performing its mission. Is there commonality between fuel and fuel nozzles, yes; between sonobouys, yes; weapons, maybe but leaning towards no; spare parts, no (if different T/M/S).

What secondary ASW, hang some depth charges or Mk46 torpedoes on the ESSS pylon lol. in the good old days of U-boat when the conning tower surfaced, so the Mh-60S would fire the Hellfires lol

cheers
 

Yokel

LE
@ECMO1 is a former US Navy Naval Flight Officer with stacks of carrier experience. I accept what he says and wonder if the MH-60S can deliver an ASW weapon if directed by the ship, not unlike the sonarless Wildcat?

@PhotEx on the other hand cannot accept RN and USN practice is different. Over on the carrier thread he is unwilling to listen to serving dark blue types types with frontline ASW experience, or someone who maintains them.
 

Yokel

LE
A fighter with greater range can spend longer on CAP at a certain distance from the carrier, so surely it is a no brainer that the same is also true for a helicopter being employed as a task group asset.

I was going to say that nobody has ever given tanker support to an ASW helicopter, but I guess that Helicopter In Flight Refuelling was developed to keep the aircraft on mission and working with frigates.

As I predicted, the forthcoming deployment of the UK Carrier Strike Group will start with a NATO contribution.

 

Yokel

LE
Here is an interesting historical document: The History of Sea based Anti Submarine Warfare 1940 - 1977

From page 114 (in the Korean War chapter):

The integration of the Dipping Sonar Helicopter as a coordinated component in the field of ASW appears to have far reaching implications in the development of new HUK concepts. It appears certain to influence existing air, surface and submarine tactics profoundly, at least in good weather and sea conditions. From the limited experience and observations, the dipping sonar appears to possess a tremendous potential in:

(a) Reduction of time late over target datum

(b) Positive and rapid identification of disappearing contacts

(c) Tenacity in holding a contact

(d) Reduction of the vulnerability of the SAU* as a torpedo target. (e) Ability to regain contact rapidly.


From page 159 of part 2 (page 370 of the PDF)

The Soviet threat was considered to include the long range naval aircraft Backfire as well as the older Bear, with 50 to 100 of the former anticipated by 1981. In addition "a fleet of 28 missile cruisers and 75 missile destroyers could challenge our surface supremacy while approximately 200 cruise missile and torpedo attack submarines could be deployed against us." Thus, it was, anticipated that the Soviets would mount a full three ~ dimensional threat in the North Atlantic.

Studies had shown that at least three CVs would be required in the Northeast Atlantic primarily to block Soviet long range bombers, most notably Backfires, penetrating the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom (GIUK) Gap into the open ocean. In addition, these carriers would serve to deter the movement of the Soviet surface fleet into the Atlantic basin as well as shielding Iceland and the vital sea lines of communication to England and Europe. As the ASW contest developed these carriers would be stationed at selected distances from the P-3 land bases so that the S- 3s could efficiently conduct area ASW search and SOSUS coordination while optimizing the shore based P-3 effort.

In addition, three carriers were needed in the central Atlantic - close to the mid- Atlantic shipping routes in order to aid in antisubmarine warfare, as well as to counter successful long range reconnaissance aircraft penetrations. This, of course, was the Atlantic Ocean area where the CVE Hunter-Killer Groups had operated most effectively during 1943 and 1944 against the German U-Boats.


@Not a Boffin and @jrwlynch might appreciate the discussion of LAMPS a few pages on.

Once again the North Atlantic is an active theatre, and the US and NATO are responding.

The Navy has been coy about the thrust of the 2nd Fleet missions, but several sources have confirmed to USNI News the focus of the fleet is to provide a theater-wide command control for anti-submarine warfare targeting the Russians.
 

Yokel

LE

Perhaps that answers my own question - or was Sir Humphrey referring to fixed wing aircraft only?

The NATO exercise Dynamic Manta has included Rafales from the FS Charles De Gaulle providing air defence for an ASW task group:

During the sea phase of the exercise, complex interactions between Dynamic Manta participating units and the Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group (CSG) were also carried out.

An air defence exercise with CSG air assets (4 x Rafale) increased the surface units anti-aircraft warfare capabilities, say NATO.
 

Yokel

LE
A NATO publication: 2021 Cutting the Bow Wave

The Atlantic Nexus

The North Atlantic, Arctic and Baltic regions form a strategic ‘Atlantic Nexus
’. As recently demonstrated in the Russian navy’s 2019 Exercise Ocean Shield, assets from both the Northern and Baltic fleets can be redirected to concentrate force across this area. The character of the Atlantic Nexus has changed remarkably since the Cold War. Then, as now, NATO’s critical challenge in the North Atlantic is to protect the sea lines of communication and transatlantic resupply in a conflict by keeping Russian forces contained above the Norwegian Sea. But the Arctic, once valuable only as the cover for Russia’s nuclear - powered, ballistic missile - carrying submarine force, is now a contested civil and economic space. Furthermore, the Baltic dilemma is inverted from its Cold War manifestation: then NATO’s strategy was to keep the Soviet Navy from breaking out into the Atlantic through the Danish Straits or the Kattegat; today, the strategy focuses on ensuring that NATO maritime forces can break in to help defend its Baltic Allies.

The Atlantic Nexus disappeared from NATO’s agenda after the demise of the Soviet Union, and until recently few were adept in the art of transatlantic maritime resupply. Since 2014, NATO has recognised the challenge and in 2018 empowered MARCOM as the 360 - degree Maritime Theatre Component Command while establishing Joint Force Command Norfolk with the mandate to secure Atlantic sea lines of communication. The US Second Fleet has been stood up again with a strong Arctic and North Atlantic focus. The German navy is developing a Baltic-facing maritime headquarters at Rostock with the ambition to take on coordination and (during a conflict) command roles for Allied naval forces in the Baltic. The Polish Navy is developing a similar capability.

At the heart of this Atlantic challenge is the submarine threat. Recent years have seen an explosion in studies on the need to protect transatlantic sea lines of communication against the Russian submarine force as part of NATO’s credible deterrent posture. These have been paralleled by conversations and planning inside the Alliance. Unsurprisingly, reinvigorating NATO’s anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability is a high priority for NATO and MARCOM. More than any other form of naval warfare, ASW operations must battle the elements as much as an adversary. The sheer size of the oceans presents difficulties for both attacker and defender, not least as the result of the reduced fleets of surface ships, submarines and maritime patrol aircraft on all sides. New technology also portends a change in both the lethality of submarines and the possibility of detecting them by non-acoustic means.

But there is a second dilemma in relation to the Atlantic Nexus: the peacetime impact of the Russian navy’s ‘Kalibrisation’ coupled with these forces’ presence in the Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. This leaves the western flank of Europe potentially vulnerable to missile attack from the sea. Although of limited use in a protracted and major conflict, such naval forces fit well with a hybrid strategy based on a short-war model that seeks to intimidate the Alliance into backing down in a crisis.

Effective deterrence in this scenario depends on NATO’s ability to counter that threat and assure Allies through its credible naval capability and persistent presence when needed, before crisis occurs. That requires a fully resourced Standing Naval Force and close coordination among Allied forces operating under national command.

The defence of Norway and Iceland presents unusual joint challenges that have maritime power at their core. Both countries occupy critical strategic space in the Atlantic Nexus. Carrier strike and amphibious power projection provide the main, although by no means exclusive, sword and shield in contesting the North Atlantic in a conflict. New questions abound: how can NATO best use aircraft carriers in the North Atlantic given today’s technologies? How does the Kalibrisation of the Russian fleet alter both Russian and NATO strategy? Arguably, Norway and Iceland are even more valuable to the Alliance deterrent posture today than during the Cold War, given NATO’s need to reinforce its ability to operate in contested northern waters against credible adversary forces.
 
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