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ThePointblank
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USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:59 am

Link to presser and live cast feed below for the christening below:
http://www.thefordclass.com/events.html

Quote:
On Saturday, November 9, 2013, Newport News Shipbuilding will christen the nation's newest aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) during a ceremony on-site where the ship is being constructed. President Gerald R. Ford was the 38th President of the United States. His daughter, Susan Ford Bales, will serve as the ship's sponsor, performing the traditional honor of breaking a bottle of American sparkling wine across the ship's bow during the ceremony.

The Gerald R. Ford class carriers represent a evolutionary leap in USN carrier design and operations. Most notably, the Ford class carriers will bring the following new technologies to the fleet:
- Advanced Arresting Gear using a electric motor-based system instead of the current hydraulics
- Automation of various systems onboard, reducing crewing requirements by 1,000 sailors.
- AN/SPY-3 dual-band radar
- Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) in place of traditional steam catapults for launching aircraft
- New nuclear reactor delivering more power which reducing manning requirements and maintenance requirements
- Relocation of the island and reconfiguration of the flight deck, meaning higher sustained sorties through improved aircraft handling, storage, and flow. The number 4 catapult will now be able to be used to launch full weight aircraft, unlike in Nimitz, where the number 4 catapult has restrictions due to deck clearance issues
- Introduction of a robotic munitions handling system, coupled with the relocated re-arming and re-fueling location, which reduces the number of times that an aircraft will have to be moved after landing, and eliminates the need for ordinance to cross areas of aircraft movement.

A very exciting time for the US Navy and its carrier fleet.
 
Max Q
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:09 am

That is a very cool ship and a fine tribute to Gerald Ford.


Very impressive technology and it looks great too.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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LLA001
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:34 am

It is a very good combination of improvements, however aesthetically I preferred the island at its old place.

I am suprised that there is one less elevator from previous class. Wouldn't that make aircraft movement and shuffling harder at hangar level?
 
Max Q
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:01 am

I wonder if the new reactor design and increased electrical generation will improve the airconditioning and ventilation on board.


From what I understand the Nimitz class can get extremely hot inside with high outside temperatures, the AC simply cannot cope !
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ThePointblank
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:09 am

Quoting LLA001 (Reply 2):
I am suprised that there is one less elevator from previous class. Wouldn't that make aircraft movement and shuffling harder at hangar level?

They believe that by repositioning the elevators and improving the flow of of aircraft on the ship, they will make handling aircraft easier as aircraft don't need constant repositioning to be refueled and rearmed, while reducing possible conflicting traffic on the decks of the ship. Coupled with more space on the flight deck due to the smaller and repositioned island, they can do more work at the flight deck level.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 3):
I wonder if the new reactor design and increased electrical generation will improve the airconditioning and ventilation on board.


From what I understand the Nimitz class can get extremely hot inside with high outside temperatures, the AC simply cannot cope !

Apparently, that was a design consideration. The new Ford's feature an upgraded air conditioning system, which will on top of other things, lower moisture and dirt levels.

There are also a number of other small things changed from Nimitz to Ford, such as LED lighting, electric instead of steam water heaters, electromagnetically powered elevators, and a host of other changes that makes the new Ford class carriers cheaper to operate, and reduce the number of times the ship will need to go into refits.
 
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cjg225
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:20 pm

With all this electromagnetic stuff aboard, I wonder what the protection is like against EMPs. Technology getting better is a good thing, but we all know that newer technology tends to be a lot more fragile, too.
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kanban
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:24 pm

like we really need another carrier...
 
bigjku
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:21 pm

Quoting LLA001 (Reply 2):
I am suprised that there is one less elevator from previous class. Wouldn't that make aircraft movement and shuffling harder at hangar level?

I believe one of the elevators on the Nimitz is only rarely used because of its location. They often park aircraft on it or it is just not convenient to operations. Someone with experience in that regard could clarify but the expectations is that the Fords will allow for higher surge and sustained tempos of operations by a pretty substantial margin. A lot of thought went into how planes and bombs would be handled on these ships.
 
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:49 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 6):
like we really need another carrier...

It's not 'another carrier'


It replaces the Enterprise, the total number of carriers stays the same.
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flyingcello
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:39 pm

Quoting cjg225 (Reply 5):
With all this electromagnetic stuff aboard, I wonder what the protection is like against EMPs. Technology getting better is a good thing, but we all know that newer technology tends to be a lot more fragile, too.

I think you'll find that "electromagnetically powered" means an electric motor! And an electric motor, whether rotating or linear (like the catapults) will have much fewer moving parts, and likely be much more reliable, not to mention energy efficient. As for EMPs, it won't be an issue...consider that any ship will already have lots of large motors on board anyway.
 
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kanban
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:25 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 8):
It replaces the Enterprise, the total number of carriers stays the same.

we could have gone with one or two less without affecting our saber rattling.. The real issue is the ones we have spend too much time in maintenance (what is it 1/3 is always tied up?) .. yes it sounds like they actually put some thought into this one's design.. but if it spend 1/3 of it's life in maintenance and replenishment. it's a big waste.
 
Max Q
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:33 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 10):

we could have gone with one or two less without affecting our saber rattling.. The real issue is the ones we have spend too much time in maintenance (what is it 1/3 is always tied up?) .. yes it sounds like they actually put some thought into this one's design.. but if it spend 1/3 of it's life in maintenance and replenishment. it's a big waste.

Disagree, in fact I think 10 is far too few, we probably need double that number to meet our obligations. Fact is these are complicated machines that need a lot of maintenance and this needs to be allowed for.
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kanban
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:49 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 11):
Disagree, in fact I think 10 is far too few, we probably need double that number to meet our obligations. Fact is these are complicated machines that need a lot of maintenance and this needs to be allowed for.

unfortunately you've bought a bogus line.. our "obligations" are entirely self imposed and frequently not appreciated except my merchants fleecing the crews when in port.

most of the complexity requiring so much maintenance comes from poor planning,poor engineering, poor construction and design changes mandated by congress who can not find ... well you know the rest.
 
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Kiwirob
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:14 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 11):
Disagree, in fact I think 10 is far too few, we probably need double that number to meet our obligations. Fact is these are complicated machines that need a lot of maintenance and this needs to be allowed for.

I doubt you could afford 20, it's not just 20 CVN's it's all the additional escort and supply vessels, crew and maintenance requirements that a 20 ship CVN fleet would need.
 
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afterburner33
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:38 am

I'm looking forward to seeing how the electromagnetic catapults work in service. The old steam catapults have been honed over many years to become exceedingly reliable, so it will be interesting to see how the new ones get on.

Of course they do offer a marked increase in capability, not the least of which is the ability to launch lighter aircraft such as UAVs.

I bet the Navy will be appreciative of the additional electrical capacity of the new vessels as well - something which the Nimitz class were becoming quite limited in.
 
bigjku
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:06 pm

Quoting afterburner33 (Reply 14):
Of course they do offer a marked increase in capability, not the least of which is the ability to launch lighter aircraft such as UAVs.

I think it also generates lower peak loads on aircraft due to the smoother nature of the acceleration vs a steam shot. That should reduce wear on aircraft.
 
nomadd22
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:14 pm

Quoting afterburner33 (Reply 14):
Of course they do offer a marked increase in capability, not the least of which is the ability to launch lighter aircraft such as UAVs.

The better controllability is a major reason they wanted to go electromagnetic. It also allows for almost instantaneous adjustments during launch instead of just setting the beast free and hoping for the best.
I gather that the Ford has just about all the new capabilities planned for the class. I know they were going to bring them in more gradually at first, but then decided to do it all on the first ship to avoid the first three carriers being different.
I wonder if Jerry Ford expected this when he was a jg on the Monterey shooting at Japanese airplanes.
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:01 pm

Quoting flyingcello (Reply 9):
As for EMPs, it won't be an issue...consider that any ship will already have lots of large motors on board anyway.

Indeed. EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) usually refers to frying the junctions of low power transistors in the front ends of radar and radio receivers. If the pulse is large enough to fry power transistors, chances are any nearby people are fried too...

Quoting Max Q (Reply 11):
Disagree, in fact I think 10 is far too few, we probably need double that number to meet our obligations.

Or we need to revisit our obligations...
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GDB
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:46 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 11):
Disagree, in fact I think 10 is far too few, we probably need double that number to meet our obligations. Fact is these are complicated machines that need a lot of maintenance and this needs to be allowed for.

While this will be a welcome addition, do you really think the US could ever afford 'double' the number of carriers?

Given the events recently, I'd say the appetite for interventions now is a long term threat, even without the financial issues, to the carrier numbers.

Most notable however is the 1000 fewer crew, that is a major cost saving both now and long term.
How about then scrapping older ones when they come up for a very long and expensive refit/refuelling replacing them, keeping a similar number though, with this new class?
 
spink
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:41 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 11):
Disagree, in fact I think 10 is far too few, we probably need double that number to meet our obligations. Fact is these are complicated machines that need a lot of maintenance and this needs to be allowed for.

Capital acquisition costs for a carrier in current dollars is on the order of $35-40B (Carrier plus two sets of planes). With 20 of them, you are looking at a new one every 2 years. Yearly personnel costs for a Carrier is roughly 850 million per. Supplies and expendables for a year of operation is up there as well but can't get a handy figure so we'll just assume 250 million.

So for the mythical 20 carrier force, you are looking at a yearly cost of ~42 billion on the low side. That's not taking into account the escorts at 3x DDG/CG + supply ship + 1-2 subs. DDG/CG have about half the like of a carrier and are around 3 billion these days and subs have about the same life time and are at about 3 billion each. so that's 6 DDG/CG and 2-4 subs per carrier at a capital cost of 24 billion per CVN x 20 = 576 billion every 40 years or 14.4 billion per year. Add in crew costs between 3 DDG/CG + 1 sub of ~175 million per year or ~3.5 billion per year all up. Total per year cost of escort is 17.9 billion.

Total 20 CVN fleet costs on a per year basis: ~60 billion (and that's probably on the low side). That's roughly half of the USN budget and an increase of 30B over the current budget.

And the reality is that the US also has 9 additional small aircraft carriers that are categorized as LHD and LHA.
 
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:21 pm

It's too bad this ship isn't being launched with a name like Lexington, Saratoga, or some other historic carrier name. Nothing against Gerald Ford in particular, but this business of naming carriers after recent presidents is underwhelming at best. I bet many, if not most, Americans don't even know who Gerald Ford is. Hornet, Wasp, Essex, Yorktown. That's the way to go.
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nomadd22
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:30 pm

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 20):
It's too bad this ship isn't being launched with a name like Lexington, Saratoga, or some other historic carrier name. Nothing against Gerald Ford in particular, but this business of naming carriers after recent presidents is underwhelming at best. I bet many, if not most, Americans don't even know who Gerald Ford is. Hornet, Wasp, Essex, Yorktown. That's the way to go.

At least JFK, H. W. Bush and Ford were all naval combat vets. Reagan was a main force behind the reversal of the decline of naval power. Now, if they decide to have a Clinton or Obama, there might be a problem.
Besides, it will be funny when people get confused over "Ford Class" carriers.
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Buckeyetech
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:37 pm

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 20):
It's too bad this ship isn't being launched with a name like Lexington, Saratoga, or some other historic carrier name. Nothing against Gerald Ford in particular, but this business of naming carriers after recent presidents is underwhelming at best. I bet many, if not most, Americans don't even know who Gerald Ford is. Hornet, Wasp, Essex, Yorktown. That's the way to go.

  

Quoting Max Q (Reply 11):
Disagree, in fact I think 10 is far too few, we probably need double that number to meet our obligations. Fact is these are complicated machines that need a lot of maintenance and this needs to be allowed for.

I think we need to go the way of the Royal Navy, and trim a few carriers off our fleet. Also, with the amount of air force fighter bases we have in Europe (Lakenheath, Spangdahlem, Aviano), and Asia (Kadena, HIckam, Elmendorf, Eielson), we could afford to trim 1-2 of those as well. The amount of carriers and fighter bases we have are relics of the cold war which were meant to contain the Soviet Union, and IMO are excess. It's too bad Congress is so short sighted, that they don't realize that if we shuttered or mothballed some of these bases/carriers, that it would enable the military to have a lot more flexibility during contingencies.
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:46 pm

Quoting spink (Reply 19):
Total 20 CVN fleet costs on a per year basis: ~60 billion (and that's probably on the low side). That's roughly half of the USN budget and an increase of 30B over the current budget.

To me 13 seems like the right size for the Carrier fleet. 7 Pacfic 6 Atlantic.

Atlantic:
4 Norfolk
1 Jacksonville

Pacific:
1 Japan
1 Everett
2 Kitsap
3 San Diego
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Eagleboy
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:22 pm

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 20):
It's too bad this ship isn't being launched with a name like Lexington, Saratoga, or some other historic carrier name. ................. I bet many, if not most, Americans don't even know who Gerald Ford is. Hornet, Wasp, Essex, Yorktown.

I see where you are coming from but in a few years many young Americans will not recognise those "historic carrier names" unless they are featured in a Call of Duty game!!

Quoting buckeyetech (Reply 22):
I think we need to go the way of the Royal Navy, and trim a few carriers off our fleet

But the RN might have trimmed a bit too much.......they retired Ark Royal in 1978....the Falklands War may not have happened with her in the fleet....in 1982 they had to rely on 2 small (and fragile) 'carriers' and their handful of SeaHarriers.

Currently the RN have trimmed so much that they will have no fixed wing aviation until 2018-2020!
 
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Kiwirob
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:27 am

Quoting buckeyetech (Reply 22):

I think we need to go the way of the Royal Navy, and trim a few carriers off our fleet.

The RN are building the largest carriers they've ever built. Two QE's have significantly more capability than the 3 Invincible's they are replacing.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:16 pm

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 16):
I wonder if Jerry Ford expected this when he was a jg on the Monterey shooting at Japanese airplanes.

The Lt. (he was promoted from JG when he reported aboard the Monterey) was mostly the ship's Assistant Navigation Officer, as well as a Damage Control Officer. Yes, he also had additional duties as an Assistant Gunnery Officer and the ship's Athletic Officer.

Quoting GDB (Reply 18):
How about then scrapping older ones when they come up for a very long and expensive refit/refuelling replacing them, keeping a similar number though, with this new class?

Scrapping a nuclear powered ship s as expensive as a refit. But, let's wait until the Ford class CVN works out all of its bugs before we decide to scrap the Nimitz class CVNs.

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 25):
Quoting buckeyetech (Reply 22):
I think we need to go the way of the Royal Navy, and trim a few carriers off our fleet.
The RN are building the largest carriers they've ever built. Two QE's have significantly more capability than the 3 Invincible's they are replacing.

Yes, the two CVFs are more capable, but only one will be available at any given time, according to the RN. That is half of what the Invincible CVs were. There is no guarantee the second CVF, the POW will ever be completed as a CVF right now. So, it is possible the RN will have only one CVF, the QE, available, half the time.
 
GDB
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:48 pm

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 24):
But the RN might have trimmed a bit too much.......they retired Ark Royal in 1978....the Falklands War may not have happened with her in the fleet....in 1982 they had to rely on 2 small (and fragile) 'carriers' and their handful of SeaHarriers.

Currently the RN have trimmed so much that they will have no fixed wing aviation until 2018-2020!

The dear old Ark was by 1978, on it's last legs.
Even so, it was still operational and seen as being so in late 1977, when Argentina started making moves towards the Falklands that was picked up by intel, they did not look too deterred by it's existence.
What did deter them was the prospect of a nuclear sub prowling around, which the UK government sent and in a major change from usual practice, leaked to the press.

They never really factored in the military response, they thought then and in 1982 when they actually did it, that the US would restrain the UK as with Suez in 1956 and/or the UN would look the other way, as when India seized Goa from Portugal in 1962. In fact the '82 invasion was code named 'Operation Goa'.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 26):
Yes, the two CVFs are more capable, but only one will be available at any given time, according to the RN. That is half of what the Invincible CVs were. There is no guarantee the second CVF, the POW will ever be completed as a CVF right now. So, it is possible the RN will have only one CVF, the QE, available, half the time.

That was also the case with the Invincible class, even when 3 were built only one was fully operational at one time with another in refit/reserve. With an additional one 'at readiness'.
Which in theory meant several weeks to go operational, in practice in early April 1982, a few days.
The CVF's as well as being vastly more capable should, with modern technology, also be more available more of the time.
It's striking that despite the differences is size and air group, the CVF's will have a crew not much greater than that of the Invincible class.
 
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Kiwirob
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:07 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 26):
There is no guarantee the second CVF, the POW will ever be completed as a CVF right now. So, it is possible the RN will have only one CVF, the QE, available, half the time.

That is not true anymore, there was a time when this might have been the case, but not now. Construction started on POW modules in 2011.
 
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par13del
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:00 pm

Quoting STT757 (Reply 23):
To me 13 seems like the right size for the Carrier fleet. 7 Pacfic 6 Atlantic.

Why exactly are 6 carriers required in the Atlantic, the largest threat to the USA security is drug interdiction in the Caribbean and the smaller Gaitor Navy carriers with helicopters and Harriers are well suited.
The end of the cold war offered many savings, that the Navy still continues to have so many carriers on the east coast may be more for prestige than actual national security interest.
 
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:24 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 29):
Why exactly are 6 carriers required in the Atlantic

One of them is usually in extensive refit/modification (12-24 months), two are pre-deployment replenishment and training, 2 are deployed, the last one is a contingency unit that enables 3 ships to be deployed or 3 ships in pre-deployment. The ability to deploy 2-3 carriers when necessary requires 6 ships.
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bigjku
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:37 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 29):

Why exactly are 6 carriers required in the Atlantic, the largest threat to the USA security is drug interdiction in the Caribbean and the smaller Gaitor Navy carriers with helicopters and Harriers are well suited.
The end of the cold war offered many savings, that the Navy still continues to have so many carriers on the east coast may be more for prestige than actual national security interest.

I am with you on this. I think an overall number between 10 and 12 is ideal but I don't really have a problem with having 3 in the Atlantic, 8 in the Pacific and 1 in long term refit. The biggest thing though is that spending a ton of money to support more in the Pacific might not be in the cards and it is not that hard to stage off the Atlantic coast to a place like Diego Garcia anyway. What matters most is where they are operating, not where they are based.
 
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par13del
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:45 pm

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 31):
What matters most is where they are operating, not where they are based.

Yeah, try telling that to the folks in Virginia and Florida where they are considering not having all the carriers based in the Virginia area. 
 
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kanban
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:20 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 32):
Quoting BigJKU (Reply 31):
What matters most is where they are operating, not where they are based.

Yeah, try telling that to the folks in Virginia and Florida where they are considering not having all the carriers based in the Virginia area. 

So the question becomes: Are carriers and their task force a strategic defense system or merely an economic plum manipulated by politicians needing re-election?

Further 11Bravo's comment implies we really only need five or six, all the rest are just in case and not easily available if needed. So if we can make them more robust to minimize overhaul time and find a better method of restocking, we could reduce the total number without reducing effectivity. Plus eliminating the supporting task forces really cuts costs.
 
bigjku
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:30 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 33):
Further 11Bravo's comment implies we really only need five or six, all the rest are just in case and not easily available if needed. So if we can make them more robust to minimize overhaul time and find a better method of restocking, we could reduce the total number without reducing effectivity. Plus eliminating the supporting task forces really cuts costs.

I don't see anywhere that anyone in this thread has made a really logical argument for cutting down to 5 or 6. And the understanding of the carriers as one on, one working up, one off is a bit dated as well. As a general formula that makes sense but the Navy has switched to more of a surge capability since the Cold War rather than the forward posturing it did in the 1980's.

The US is primarily a maritime power. Maintaining carriers is something that makes more sense than maintaining a large standing army. That appears to be the strategy of the current administration with their re-posturing. The Navy and Air Force will come out of things pretty well and the Army will shrink quite a bit. And that makes good sense.
 
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kanban
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:56 pm

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 34):
And the understanding of the carriers as one on, one working up, one off is a bit dated as well.

So what exactly is the current status of each major carrier?
 
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par13del
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:38 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 35):
So what exactly is the current status of each major carrier?

Somewhat convoluted since the refuelling operations are now included and those usually last for a year or two.
The current reductions in the fleet is also about not refuelling a Nimitz class boat thus pushing it into early retirement.
 
BladeLWS
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RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:08 pm

Typical drydockings taking 6 months to 1.5 years.
Refueling and complex overhauls can take up to 4 years, and are done mid-life of the carrier (25 years). Right now the class is up to CVN-72 in the process with CVN-73 to follow.

Here's some good info about CVN-68s RCOH, takes a good bit more than filling up the gas tank.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/cvn-68-mods.htm

CVN-68 - Deployment, Currently in the Red Sea
CVN-69 - Norfolk, 6 Month Dry Dock Maint started Sep 2013
CVN-70 - San Diego, Dockside Maint since returning from Dry Dock Maint Jul 2013
CVN-71 - Norfolk, completed 4 year refueling and complex overhaul, just completed sea trials Aug 2013
CVN-72 - Norfolk, currently in 4 year refueling and complex overhaul, to be completed Nov 2016
CVN-73 - Yokosuka, in homeport.
CVN-74 - Brementon, 14 month dry dock maint started Jun 2013
CVN-75 - Deployment, Arabian Sea
CVN-76 - EastPac, workups
CVN-77 - Norfolk, in pre-deployment workups

To sum it all up..
Deployment - 2
Drydock - 3
Dockside Maint - 1
Workups/Training - 4

If the SHTF right now we'd have a total of 6 out of 10 carriers available for action quickly, with maybe another within 30 days.

[Edited 2013-09-16 16:23:04]

[Edited 2013-09-16 16:24:53]
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:03 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 29):
Why exactly are 6 carriers required in the Atlantic, the largest threat to the USA security is drug interdiction in the Caribbean and the smaller Gaitor Navy carriers with helicopters and Harriers are well suited.

I agree but carriers are mainly useful against scrub forces. Also they are great political tools to polish the Congress / POTUS triumphant egos over their subjects in the USA.

Militarily IIRC, CVNs are obsolete against foes such as Russia, China or probably Iran. They would just be artificial reefs within hours or days of an enemy deciding the war was on. There is this thing called anit-ship missiles.
 
spink
Posts: 317
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 5:58 pm

RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:02 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 38):
Militarily IIRC, CVNs are obsolete against foes such as Russia, China or probably Iran. They would just be artificial reefs within hours or days of an enemy deciding the war was on. There is this thing called anit-ship missiles.

There are these things called Anti-Air Warfare(AAW) ships. The US has by far the most and best AAW ships in existence.

Your comment is the same as saying tanks are obsolete because there are anti-tank weapons. Well, there have been anti-tank weapons since before WWII and tanks still played a big part in that war and still do to this day.
 
11Bravo
Posts: 1683
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:54 am

RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:41 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 38):
Militarily IIRC, CVNs are obsolete against foes such as Russia, China or probably Iran. They would just be artificial reefs within hours or days of an enemy deciding the war was on. There is this thing called anit-ship missiles.

While CVNs are far from invulnerable, I think they are not by any means an easy target. Sinking one would be very difficult.
WhaleJets Rule!
 
BladeLWS
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:41 pm

RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:03 am

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 40):
While CVNs are far from invulnerable, I think they are not by any means an easy target. Sinking one would be very difficult.

Indeed, when the navy did a SINKEX of USS America it tooks days of pounding with missiles and bombs to finally sink.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 38):
Militarily IIRC, CVNs are obsolete against foes such as Russia, China or probably Iran. They would just be artificial reefs within hours or days of an enemy deciding the war was on. There is this thing called anit-ship missiles.

Militarily, carrier fleets are the best power projection force of a nation. That's why China, India, and the UK have ships currently in construction. Due remember that back during Vietnam the USN had around 30 (yes 30) aircraft carriers from modernized Essex up to the Enterprise.

On the issue of anti-ship missiles the solution to that is the CVBG (Carrier Battlegroup) where the carrier is the center of a large task force of support ships, cruisers, destroyers, and submarines. If one wanted to hit a carrier they would have to get past all those hundreds of missiles, guns, and torpedoes before getting anywhere close, and that's if the aircraft would allow it.

A carrier battlegroup is designed for defense from saturation missile attack which was the Soviet navies bread and butter, as proven by the Oscar class submarine, Kirov class battlecruiser, and their carriers, all outfitted with large quantities of very large anti ship cruise missiles. This plus Tu-95 Bears and Tu-22M Backfires firing the same. The carriers defenses from AEGIS cruisers to aircraft are capable of handling all those threats.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aegis_Combat_System
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturation_attack

[Edited 2013-09-17 17:06:08]

[Edited 2013-09-17 17:06:50]
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 10821
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:52 am

Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 41):
If one wanted to hit a carrier they would have to get past all those hundreds of missiles,

I have concerns / questions, with the demise of the cold war and the supposed diminish threat of subs and cruise missiles.
1. The retirement of the Phoenix missile and eventually the F-14 with no replacement. The best protection against cruise missiles is to hit the carrier before they can launch, nothing on the deck today can reach out and touch someone.

2. The number of AA missiles deployed, the two Tico' are ok but some are being retired early and the Burkes regardless of how good their radars carry much less missiles

3. No ASW onboard anymore and no additional subs in the group.

Read an article talking about plans the Navy had for underway replenishment for VLS launched missiles, if that never came off, one defensive engagement could seriously affect security forcing a withdrawal. Missiles against missiles and a/c are not a one to one hit, when one considers the current cost of a CVN, I would be interested in knowing exactly how many defensive missile shots are available, the RAM deployments on the carrier itself is supposed to be a last ditch effort, I thought CIWS mounts would have been cheaper allowing more mounts.
In years to come when info is declassified it should make interesting reading.
 
BladeLWS
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:41 pm

RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:39 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 42):
1. The retirement of the Phoenix missile and eventually the F-14 with no replacement. The best protection against cruise missiles is to hit the carrier before they can launch, nothing on the deck today can reach out and touch someone.

The retirement of the F-14 was unfortunately long forseen. It's original mission was for fleet air defense back in the days when anti air missile technology was in its infancy and when the Phoenix would be used to intercept Soviet bombers while outside of their missile launch range. With the advent of Aegis and abilities for over the horizon targeting the need for Phoenix has been negated by the Standard missile family. Especially the new RIM-174 with 130 nm range and the same seeker head as the AIM-120C, which replaced the original semi active seeker. Now the Standard can be launched fire and forget without mid-course guidance.

Quoting par13del (Reply 42):
2. The number of AA missiles deployed, the two Tico' are ok but some are being retired early and the Burkes regardless of how good their radars carry much less missiles

The Ticos are going to be in service for quite some time, they are one of the critical parts of the BMD program and all ships are eventually going to be upgraded with that ability. The first five ships were decommed because they mounted the older rail launchers instead of VLS, and in the final years of service they did not participate in overseas deployments due to lack of appropriate air defense ability. 22 ships are active and their primary focus is BMD and fleet air defense. The weapons load is a difference of 26 missiles from the Tico to Burke. With recent upgrades they're projected to have a 35 year service life, we'll still see a good bit in service well into the 2020's.

Quoting par13del (Reply 42):
3. No ASW onboard anymore and no additional subs in the group.

ASW is handled by helos and destroyers attached to the battlegroup. Every battlegroup has at least one submarine escort attached, sometimes two. This is both for the defense of the battlegroup and to give the battlegroup commander additional assets that can be called upon.
 
BladeLWS
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:41 pm

RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:54 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 42):
Read an article talking about plans the Navy had for underway replenishment for VLS launched missiles, if that never came off, one defensive engagement could seriously affect security forcing a withdrawal. Missiles against missiles and a/c are not a one to one hit, when one considers the current cost of a CVN, I would be interested in knowing exactly how many defensive missile shots are available, the RAM deployments on the carrier itself is supposed to be a last ditch effort, I thought CIWS mounts would have been cheaper allowing more mounts.
In years to come when info is declassified it should make interesting reading.

Sorry forgot your last part there. Yes underway replenishment has been talked about since the first VLS ships came online, unrep can transfer the weapons plenty fast, but getting them in the launchers takes time and unfortunately right now is a one time deal, once you're out you go to port. However the same can be said about your foe, once he fires all his missiles he's out too.

If we were to "do the math" on how many missile shots are available...
CVBG Setup
1x super carrier
2x Tico air defense cruisers
1x destroyer squadron with 3x destroyers

Plus assorted support, subs, and the airwing, but we'll focus on the ships.

Depending on loadout you're probably looking at around a 75% anti air missile loadout on the cruisers and destroyers (leaving room for Tomahawks etc), with 100% on the carrier for it's Sea Sparrows.

In total you would have...
400 Standard missiles for air defense.
16-24 Sea Sparrows for point defense of the carrier.
Plus CIWS and RAM mounts on said ships.

If you were to fire a "two for one" (two missiles per inbound), you could take out around 200 inbounds before exhausting your air defense. Remember that's not counted the airwing, and there will malfunctions of some missiles.

Thats...
100 bombers carrying two missiles
10 Kirov class battle cruisers
8 Oscar class submarines

In total if someone really wants to go toe to toe with the US Navy and hope to sink a carrier they need to think twice.
 
Max Q
Posts: 8995
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:28 am

It needs to be remembered what an amazing combination the Invincible class and the Harrier were.


In the Falklands there were many days where the weather was so bad and the sea state so high a
conventional Carrier could not have launched or recovered its Aircraft.


The Harrier kept on going, no matter what. I think the UK would have been better off with a slightly
larger Invincible type design and an improved Harrier.


The F35 is really not a fighter anyway.


Incidentally, what is the point of having two separate Islands on the QE class ?!
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
ThePointblank
Topic Author
Posts: 3752
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:10 am

Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 43):
The retirement of the F-14 was unfortunately long forseen. It's original mission was for fleet air defense back in the days when anti air missile technology was in its infancy and when the Phoenix would be used to intercept Soviet bombers while outside of their missile launch range. With the advent of Aegis and abilities for over the horizon targeting the need for Phoenix has been negated by the Standard missile family. Especially the new RIM-174 with 130 nm range and the same seeker head as the AIM-120C, which replaced the original semi active seeker. Now the Standard can be launched fire and forget without mid-course guidance.

And the nice thing is that we are getting back the long range engagement capabilities with the F-35. F-35C can fly further than the F-14 ever could, and you can load it up with external rails for missiles as well.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 45):
Incidentally, what is the point of having two separate Islands on the QE class ?!

Their CONOPS is to have the forward island used for navigation while the aft island is for controlling flying operations, in their most optimal spots.
 
spink
Posts: 317
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 5:58 pm

RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:24 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 45):
The Harrier kept on going, no matter what. I think the UK would have been better off with a slightly
larger Invincible type design and an improved Harrier.


The F35 is really not a fighter anyway.

regardless of opinions and issues with the F35, in comparison with the Harrier, there really is no contest. In every way imaginable, the F35 is a better anything than the harrier. That's not to take anything away from the harrier, but the F35 benefits from decades of additional technology.
 
Ozair
Posts: 5582
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:45 am

Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 44):

In total you would have...
400 Standard missiles for air defense.
16-24 Sea Sparrows for point defense of the carrier.
Plus CIWS and RAM mounts on said ships.

And those numbers can be improved upon when you add ESSM. ESSM can be quad packed into one VLS tube giving you four missile for the price of one Standard/Tomahawk. While ESSM may not have the reach of Standard it would be every bit as capable engaging ASCMs. Take 20 Standards from the total for each vessel and you get 80 ESSM giving you an additional 200 missiles or an additional 100 ASCMs you can hit.
 
User avatar
afterburner33
Posts: 204
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:46 am

RE: USS Gerald R. Ford To Be Christened On Nov 9 2013

Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:36 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 38):
Militarily IIRC, CVNs are obsolete against foes such as Russia, China or probably Iran. They would just be artificial reefs within hours or days of an enemy deciding the war was on. There is this thing called anit-ship missiles.

Just because you possess a conventional anti-ship missile, that doesn't mean you can actually hit a ship with them. The CBGs are heavily protected against air threats for this very reason.

Having said that, the new Chinese ballistic anti-ship missile is supposedly a very real concern ... assuming it works as it is supposed to. Currently, the Chinese and maybe Iran are the only countries which have such missiles, and they are relatively untested.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dong_Feng_21D

It would be a good test of the RIM-161's ABM capability!

[Edited 2013-09-18 05:42:09]

[Edited 2013-09-18 05:57:00]

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