USN tightening its belt?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Yeoman_dai, May 4, 2010.

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  1. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    He makes fair points and I doubt if many people can argue against the basic tenet of his argument. Costs a lot, must economise and look hard at exactly what we need going forward.

    Same discussion here; less money to play with...
  2. Whilst 11 CGB (Carrier Battle Groups) - on paper - would look like "over kill", it must be remembered that to keep one CBG "on station" requires three CVN: One on station, one in transit or working up / working down and the third alongside.

    11/12 CVNs would give only four deployable Groups in "peace time" with, perhaps, the ability to "surge" to eight, perhaps nine, in war...

    Now count the national "interests" of the US around the World and then factor in the bi-lateral defence pacts / alliances...

    I would say that 11/12 CVN is about the MINIMUM that the US would need to meet its current commitments... How many are currently in the Arabian Sea / Persian Gulf? Two? Three? Then there is Taiwan, Korea, the Eastern Mediterranean…

    True the "Gator Navy" of assault ships (Wasp, America...) can carry useful air groups but they are "only" Harriers and are designed to (usually) operate under the protective umbrella of a CBG and in no way can be seen as substitutes for the "big deck" CVNs.

    Under President Carter c. 1977 plans were mooted to use smaller carriers (dubbed CVV) in the place of CVNs in peacetime with the bid deckers surging out in time of war, it would appear that once again the US Navy is fighting the same old battles. I expect the same argument is formulating once again in Whitehall WRT the CVF programme as was fought (and lost) in the late '60s with the demise of the last "big deck" project the RN wanted.

    Whilst debate is good in these circumstances, I firmly believe there is no substitute for 100,000 tonnes of CVN moving unmolested and at will on the say-so of the C-in-C. And plenty of them, as rest assured, in a high intensity conflict with an “industrial” enemy (China?), carriers will be lost – better to have a couple back in the States than to have, say, only eight in total and loose 12.5% of your striking power if just one is damaged sufficiently to render it in operable let alone be sunk.
  3. The CVV would have carried almost the same complement of aircraft as full size US carriers, except only have one sqaudron of fighters instead of two and not having a sqaudron of S3 Vikings for ASW and other tasks.
  4. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Really? CinC directs and it happens - eh? Not with impunity; not any more. Other technology has moved on and at a pace. Remember this?

    now add this from a few years before

    or this weapon development in the hands of lunatics

    I know this may be Iran posturing but remember that China gets a large proportion of its oil from Iran. Sold on tech?

    Cheap way to negate something big and expensive.........

    You are correct of course to say that redundancy is a good thing but how much can you afford?
  5. Exactly... and that 'Gator Navy' is actually a fairly heavy hitting force in and of itself, especially wil be once the F35B FINALLY gets online - in fact, do we really need the QE2 class, with the America class sitting there already developed... 40 aircraft is too much for little of Britain, the 10 or 15 that a America class will carry makes much more sense for us, at a cheaper price...

    Cat, Pigeons, Pigeons, meet cat....
  6. Hello Yeoman_dai,

    the gator navy's latest America class flat tops cost $3,400 Million (£2,300 Million) each,more than the Queen Elizabeth class*,and the Americas are far less capable aviation ships though better assault ships:

    Two Queen Elizabeths can deliver all the daily fast jet sorties that we have required in the last fifty years of air combat operations**,two Americas cannot.
    U.S.S. America is also likely to cost far more to operate,requiring 450 more crew members than the British ships.


    *The Queen Elizabeth class cost about £4,300 Million for two,including design and development costs.
    This was increased by about £700 Million by a decision to delay construction for budgetary reasons,but that would also have applied to the America class if we were building those instead.

    **The highest average number of daily combat aircraft sorties generated by British forces in the last 50 years was about 72 a day During Operation Granby in 1991.
  7. In their infinite wisdom, the USN retired the S-3 - without a replacement in the pipeline- at the beginning of last year because they'd reached the end of their airframe lives. (11,000hrs + salt water environment + hitting a ship with the equivalent force of being dropped from a 2 storey building each time it landed.)
  8. Interesting use of the present tense there, T6. ;)
  9. Hello crabtastic,

    fair point!
    How's this:

    "If they are not cancelled,two Queen Elizabeths will be able to deliver as many daily fast jet sorties as we have required in the last fifty years of air combat operations**,two Americas would be unable to do that even if they worked as advertised (unlike the San Antonios)."

  10. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Gates obviously doesn't know his stuff - just the sort of political appointee I would expect from his head-in-the-clouds President.

    As a fine point, I await with interest an explanation of which a ballistic cruise missile is.
  11. Hmmm, ok Tangosix - i'm a Navy man myself remember so i'm all for the carriers, i'm just looking objectively and don't be so swift to mention the lower ships company as an advantage - more ships coy means better damage control, especially on such a big ship, and I know for a fact our current biggest, OCEAN, suffers from her frankly tiny 350 odd ships coy in everything from husbandry to DC and FF.

    Plus, the total cost to us maybe cheaper per ship, but why is that? Are the America's better made? Different job I admit, but OCEAN again is on her last legs, we'll need an LPH soon - why not go with 3x F35B capable LPH's rather than keeping a dead ship alive and buying two aviations - the RN doesn't actually have enough SH in the CHF to cover a single airwing on PoW if it is to be used as a glorified LPH as planned... and if it is it is without the troop carrying ability of the Americas.

    What i'm saying is wouldn't have needed to foot the bill for development if we;d have just bought the US designs. Making it significantly cheaper than the £3.5bn the carriers will cost.

    A little bit of devils advocacy for you
  12. You mean Bush right? Because that's who appointed Gates SECDEF, Obama kept him on.

  13. Gates served as a USAF intelligence officer and then spent 25 years with the CIA and National Security Council, rising to become Director of Central Intelligence under Bush senior. After that he was president of Texas A&M University. He has never been elected to any political office.