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kitplane01
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Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 2:31 am

Lets suppose Congress gives you some options to grow the US Navy. They will fund the purchase and operation of any of these. Which do you choose?
- 10 B-21s
- 20 more P-8
- 40 more MQ-4 Tritons
- 60 more F-35
- 90 more F-18E
- 180 more MH-60R
- 400 more MQ-8 Firescout (one or two for most warships in the Navy)

P.S. Yes, Congress already knows you want five more aircraft carriers with air wings. You can ask for that (or anything else) but pick from this list first.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 3:41 am

Well, the B-21s go to the AF, so not growing the Navy.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 3:56 am

I'd suggest F-18F, but that's not on Pedro Negro's list that the Congress has somehow agreed to throw bags of money at. Maybe get more BAMS coverage with the MQ-4 to take pressure off the P-8s and reduce question marks in maritime posture. If there's funding left over maybe pay for better underwater cartography so there's no unexpected $1B+ outflows...
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:22 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Well, the B-21s go to the AF, so not growing the Navy.


They *could* go to the USN, as some sort of naval strike. Or not, your pick.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:23 am

How about accelerate the development of the MQ-25 in to an electronic warfare and strike asset?

bt
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:24 am

LyleLanley wrote:
I'd suggest F-18F, but that's not on Pedro Negro's list that the Congress has somehow agreed to throw bags of money at. Maybe get more BAMS coverage with the MQ-4 to take pressure off the P-8s and reduce question marks in maritime posture. If there's funding left over maybe pay for better underwater cartography so there's no unexpected $1B+ outflows...


You can vote for your choice, so that's one vote for F-18s? I'm not going to argue, but why that over the F-35s? Just more quantity?
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:38 am

My vote for the MQ-4. Fewer pilots to train.

bt
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:52 am

bikerthai wrote:
How about accelerate the development of the MQ-25 in to an electronic warfare and strike asset?

bt


That's an interesting idea. So sure.

- 10 B-21s
- 20 more P-8
- 40 more MQ-4 Tritons
- 60 more F-35
- 90 more F-18E
- 180 more MH-60R
- 400 more MQ-8 Firescout (one or two for most warships in the Navy)
- Develop the MQ-25 to carry and operate several different recon pods, EW pods, and missles. Add 100 more MQ-25s to the current plans, and a reasonable selection of pods for them.
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:56 am

kitplane01 wrote:
Lets suppose Congress gives you some options to grow the US Navy. They will fund the purchase and operation of any of these. Which do you choose?
- 10 B-21s
- 20 more P-8
- 40 more MQ-4 Tritons
- 60 more F-35
- 90 more F-18E
- 180 more MH-60R
- 400 more MQ-8 Firescout (one or two for most warships in the Navy)

P.S. Yes, Congress already knows you want five more aircraft carriers with air wings. You can ask for that (or anything else) but pick from this list first.



None of the above. Ships, build more ships, of useful types. Stop screwing around with the LCS classes that really don't do a darn thing.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 5:15 am

DiamondFlyer wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Lets suppose Congress gives you some options to grow the US Navy. They will fund the purchase and operation of any of these. Which do you choose?
- 10 B-21s
- 20 more P-8
- 40 more MQ-4 Tritons
- 60 more F-35
- 90 more F-18E
- 180 more MH-60R
- 400 more MQ-8 Firescout (one or two for most warships in the Navy)

P.S. Yes, Congress already knows you want five more aircraft carriers with air wings. You can ask for that (or anything else) but pick from this list first.



None of the above. Ships, build more ships, of useful types. Stop screwing around with the LCS classes that really don't do a darn thing.


What ships do you want? Because an destroyer and an amphib do different things. Also, what's the mission for this ship? Because a destroyer can do both ASW and some anti-air.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 5:47 am

kitplane01 wrote:
What ships do you want? Because an destroyer and an amphib do different things. Also, what's the mission for this ship? Because a destroyer can do both ASW and some anti-air.


So basically this has turned into a "what do you want for the Navy thread?

I suggested F-18F because the F's have the FAC(A) role and a few other roles the E's can't/don't do. There's also a synergy that F-35's currently cannot provide and will be most important in a near-peer fight. The extra 1K of gas means little to them and to me.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 7:07 am

LyleLanley wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
What ships do you want? Because an destroyer and an amphib do different things. Also, what's the mission for this ship? Because a destroyer can do both ASW and some anti-air.


So basically this has turned into a "what do you want for the Navy thread?


From the beginning. But not a "re-envision the whole thing" just a "make a small improvement", because that can be a more focused conversation.

LyleLanley wrote:
I suggested F-18F because the F's have the FAC(A) role and a few other roles the E's can't/don't do. There's also a synergy that F-35's currently cannot provide and will be most important in a near-peer fight. The extra 1K of gas means little to them and to me.



What synergy? I honestly don't yet understand.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 1:59 pm

Also what about the recapitalization of their E- aircrafts? I know the don't need many, but are they not becoming old and hard to maintain as well? Or are they like the AF where the functions are being replaced by satellites.

bt
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 2:30 pm

More F-35C.

The F-35A absolutely dominates the Super Hornet in terms of capability based on the fighter competitions that have been run so far. The F-35C has all of the same systems so it also dominates the Super Hornet.

While the F-35C is slightly slower than the F-35A it is still faster than the Super Hornet. Super Hornets have only been purchased recently because they can't get the F-35C quick enough.

The US Navy has so many old Hornets and it will take 10+ years to receive all 693 F-35 they have on order.

Same problem with the USAF. The F-16 and F-15C fleets are worn out. They can't get 1,000+ F-35A overnight. F-35 production needs to surge to 200 per year in my opinion. They can then stop buying outdated 4th gen aircraft and cancel the refurb plans. The refurbishments cost far too much money for the small amount of flight hours that you get.

Any negative press about the F-35C comes down to the fact US Navy Admirals continuously walk into top jobs at Boeing as soon as they retire. Nothing suspicious at all.

History shows Lockheed makes aircraft for the USAF not the Navy. Give it a few years and Admirals will start getting jobs at Lockheed after retirement and the F-35C will then be the pride of the fleet.
 
CX747
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 3:09 pm

I'll take the 90 Super Hornets, all in F model.

I'll take the 60 F-35Cs.

I'll take the 20 more P-8s.

I'll take the 180 MH-60Rs.

As for everything else on the wish list, add up the costs and give it to me for additional training, flight time, support, etc.

I'd like to look at tanker options again. Initial specs on the MQ-25 is not impressive. Seems like a we are doing this, to say we did it but not accomplish what is needed.

Overall, another 5 Airwings is a necessity. I'd like to see the NGAD moved forward and see an air wing consisting of 3 NGAD squadrons and 1 F-35C.
Last edited by CX747 on Sun Dec 19, 2021 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 3:16 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Well, the B-21s go to the AF, so not growing the Navy.


They *could* go to the USN, as some sort of naval strike. Or not, your pick.


I’m pretty sure there’s a DOD regulation on who gets what fixed wing planes. Navy doesn’t get bombers. Could they? I suppose if you want a real Admiral’s Revolt, only this time a General’s Revolt.
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:04 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Lets suppose Congress gives you some options to grow the US Navy. They will fund the purchase and operation of any of these. Which do you choose?
- 10 B-21s
- 20 more P-8
- 40 more MQ-4 Tritons
- 60 more F-35
- 90 more F-18E
- 180 more MH-60R
- 400 more MQ-8 Firescout (one or two for most warships in the Navy)

P.S. Yes, Congress already knows you want five more aircraft carriers with air wings. You can ask for that (or anything else) but pick from this list first.



None of the above. Ships, build more ships, of useful types. Stop screwing around with the LCS classes that really don't do a darn thing.


What ships do you want? Because an destroyer and an amphib do different things. Also, what's the mission for this ship? Because a destroyer can do both ASW and some anti-air.


Destroyers, yes. LCS that work, yes. Maybe something the size of a cruiser to use as a missile ship. More surface ships of all types. But it'll never happen because ships aren't as sexy as the pie in the sky F-35, or the UAV flavor of the day.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:20 pm

A-3 Skyraiders and A-5 Vigilantes out of mothballs? Build way more subs including diesel. Now that would put China at more risk than a carrier or 2.

And fund a new generation of cruise missiles for those boats.
 
zanl188
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:22 pm

USAF is winding down its RQ-4 operations. Airframes and personnel rapidly becoming redundant. USN might be able acquire some capability cheap.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:51 pm

Damn, all those new airplanes will need another carrier or two.

bt
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:56 pm

CX747 wrote:
I'd like to look at tanker options again. Initial specs on the MQ-25 is not impressive. Seems like a we are doing this, to say we did it but not accomplish what is needed.


Wat is needed was something to get the F-18 out of tanking duties. And when they retire the F-18, something to keep rhe expensive F-35 from having to do tanking duties.

At first I thought the MQ-25 was too small for the job. But then I saw photos of it tanking an F-18, I'd say they got the size right. Making it bigger would make it more difficult to move around on the carrier.

bt
 
CX747
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 5:40 pm

bikerthai wrote:
CX747 wrote:
I'd like to look at tanker options again. Initial specs on the MQ-25 is not impressive. Seems like a we are doing this, to say we did it but not accomplish what is needed.


Wat is needed was something to get the F-18 out of tanking duties. And when they retire the F-18, something to keep rhe expensive F-35 from having to do tanking duties.

At first I thought the MQ-25 was too small for the job. But then I saw photos of it tanking an F-18, I'd say they got the size right. Making it bigger would make it more difficult to move around on the carrier.

bt


The Rhino definitely needs to decrease the tanking mission. Should of never been put into it. Poor choice and now we have a newer poor choice. Poor choices have become a habit for USN Aviation. The offload of a MQ-25 is not going to assist as promoted in increasing strike range etc. It just reduces the Rhinos needed to do it. The old KA-3 and KA-6D put to shame the MQ-25 in offload capability.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:28 pm

CX747 wrote:
I'll take the 90 Super Hornets, all in F model.

I'll take the 60 F-35Cs.

I'll take the 20 more P-8s.

I'll take the 180 MH-60Rs.

As for everything else on the wish list, add up the costs and give it to me for additional training, flight time, support, etc.

I'd like to look at tanker options again. Initial specs on the MQ-25 is not impressive. Seems like a we are doing this, to say we did it but not accomplish what is needed.

Overall, another 5 Airwings is a necessity. I'd like to see the NGAD moved forward and see an air wing consisting of 3 NGAD squadrons and 1 F-35C.


I’m sure you understood it was a pick-one. So pick which ONE is most important. Choosing everything is uninteresting
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:35 pm

DiamondFlyer wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:


None of the above. Ships, build more ships, of useful types. Stop screwing around with the LCS classes that really don't do a darn thing.


What ships do you want? Because an destroyer and an amphib do different things. Also, what's the mission for this ship? Because a destroyer can do both ASW and some anti-air.


Destroyers, yes. LCS that work, yes. Maybe something the size of a cruiser to use as a missile ship. More surface ships of all types. But it'll never happen because ships aren't as sexy as the pie in the sky F-35, or the UAV flavor of the day.



O.K. So you can get 7 Arleigh Burks or 90 F-18s. Want the ships? It's all about trade-offs.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:36 pm

CX747 wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
CX747 wrote:
I'd like to look at tanker options again. Initial specs on the MQ-25 is not impressive. Seems like a we are doing this, to say we did it but not accomplish what is needed.


Wat is needed was something to get the F-18 out of tanking duties. And when they retire the F-18, something to keep rhe expensive F-35 from having to do tanking duties.

At first I thought the MQ-25 was too small for the job. But then I saw photos of it tanking an F-18, I'd say they got the size right. Making it bigger would make it more difficult to move around on the carrier.

bt


The Rhino definitely needs to decrease the tanking mission. Should of never been put into it. Poor choice and now we have a newer poor choice. Poor choices have become a habit for USN Aviation. The offload of a MQ-25 is not going to assist as promoted in increasing strike range etc. It just reduces the Rhinos needed to do it. The old KA-3 and KA-6D put to shame the MQ-25 in offload capability.


Given a fixed budget, you can only get A-6 or S-3 tankers by giving up F-18s (or destroyers, or marines ...). If you were the year-2000 navy would you have done that?
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:38 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Well, the B-21s go to the AF, so not growing the Navy.


They *could* go to the USN, as some sort of naval strike. Or not, your pick.


I’m pretty sure there’s a DOD regulation on who gets what fixed wing planes. Navy doesn’t get bombers. Could they? I suppose if you want a real Admiral’s Revolt, only this time a General’s Revolt.


Why do you think there is such a regulation. I dunno.

Besides .. maybe the B-21 is a bomber but the B/F-21 is a naval strike aircraft. It has an AIS receiver and is therefore a different plane!
 
CX747
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:40 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
CX747 wrote:
I'll take the 90 Super Hornets, all in F model.

I'll take the 60 F-35Cs.

I'll take the 20 more P-8s.

I'll take the 180 MH-60Rs.

As for everything else on the wish list, add up the costs and give it to me for additional training, flight time, support, etc.

I'd like to look at tanker options again. Initial specs on the MQ-25 is not impressive. Seems like a we are doing this, to say we did it but not accomplish what is needed.

Overall, another 5 Airwings is a necessity. I'd like to see the NGAD moved forward and see an air wing consisting of 3 NGAD squadrons and 1 F-35C.


I’m sure you understood it was a pick-one. So pick which ONE is most important. Choosing everything is uninteresting


Sorry, didn't see that.

90 Super Hornets all in F model.

90 more tails gives me 7 more frontline Figther Squadrons and the ability to support larger airwing deployments if necessary, land based deployments or other USN needs.

We need to fill the gap until the NGAD and the Rhino, in Block III, capacity can hold the line until then. I would like to see a fleet of 3 NGAD squadrons and 1 F-35C on the boat, circa the early 2030s.
Last edited by CX747 on Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:45 pm

zanl188 wrote:
USAF is winding down its RQ-4 operations. Airframes and personnel rapidly becoming redundant. USN might be able acquire some capability cheap.


The RQ-4 has a pretty bad loss rate. "The RQ-4 fleet has suffered a higher rate of attrition: Between 1994 and 2019, RQ-4s were destroyed at a rate of 23 aircraft per million flying hours, whereas the Navy has not lost a single P-8 to date." 3 prototypes and 5 operational RQ-4s have crashed so far.

Operating costs are well below a P-8 though.
 
IADFCO
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:48 pm

kitplane01 wrote:

[...snip...]

Which do you choose?

[...snip...]



To do what? China? Two simultaneous wars anywhere? With/without asymmetric warfare?

Tell me the mission(s) and I'll tell you what I need.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 7:41 pm

IADFCO wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:

[...snip...]

Which do you choose?

[...snip...]



To do what? China? Two simultaneous wars anywhere? With/without asymmetric warfare?

Tell me the mission(s) and I'll tell you what I need.


Part of the question is predicting the need with limited information. Maybe that’s the most interesting part. Do you envision another Iraq or deterring a great power?
 
CX747
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 9:13 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
IADFCO wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:

[...snip...]

Which do you choose?

[...snip...]



To do what? China? Two simultaneous wars anywhere? With/without asymmetric warfare?

Tell me the mission(s) and I'll tell you what I need.


Part of the question is predicting the need with limited information. Maybe that’s the most interesting part. Do you envision another Iraq or deterring a great power?


I believe one needs to be setup for a near peer fight...but will engage in smaller conflicts and potentially proxy wars.

My decision for 90 additional Rhinos was that it gives additional breathing room to the current Air Wings and allows for a mix and match of assets. You can do a "Heavy" Deployment with 5 VFA Squadrons on the deck, or send 2 VFA squadrons to NAS Signollea. Do a 6 month deployment assisting from that base and other Med facilities free movement of vessels and having an eye on our competitors in the region. Plus if necessary, warheads on foreheads if called for.
 
usair1489
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 9:31 pm

In a perfect world, we'd add a couple more carrier air groups than we currently have. We currently have nine Carrier Air Wings and I'd love to see that number grow to fourteen (to do that we have to add more ships to make these air groups and air wings to work, obviously). Adding five new air wings would require a whole host of additional aircraft. I'd also go landside and modernize the entire Naval Aviation fleet while we are at it, including the Marine Corps. Here's my breakdown with some explanations; this is a very long read with some very controversial moves:

F/A-18 Hornet: The Navy has retired the Hornet from the fleet and FRS. The Blue Angels have also transitioned away from the Hornet. There's still a few Navy Reserve squadrons flying Hornets. There are still several USMC active duty and reserve squadrons flying the Hornet. I see the Navy and USMC doing away with the Hornet completely as what's left doesn't have a lot of service life left. What's left should remain in an adversary role (TOPGUN in Fallon). It's served nearly forty years and done so quite valiantly.

F/A-18E/F Super Hornet: The Navy has several hundred Super Hornets that are likely getting close to the end of their service life. The trickle-down effect from going to the fleet to the FRS to the Reserves to the Blue Angels should continue. To replace the Super Hornets one-for-one that are getting close to the end of their service life would be about 300 jets. Assuming a carrier air wing has two or three squadrons of Super Hornets, you'd be talking another 24-36 jets per air wing. With my proposal of five new air wings, that would be in the order of 120-180 new jets and I would also stand up additional Navy Reserve squadrons to fly the Super Hornet, especially on the east coast, and even equip a few Marine Corps Reserve squadrons with the Super Hornet. I'd also remove the aerial refueling mission from the Super Hornet. This would need about 800 new Super Hornets.

F-35B and F-35C Lightning II: The Navy and Marine Corps should take in more Lightning IIs. For the Navy this means F-35Cs to fill in one or two squadrons per carrier air wing, which would mean up to another 120 jets. In addition, I'd stand up an east coast FRS for the F-35C and that'll add another 50-60 jets. Ideally nearly every active duty and reserve squadron that has flown the Hornet should be equipped with the F-35C and every squadron that operated the Harrier will fly the F-35B. I would also stand up several squadrons to fly both the F-35B and F-35C in the Reserves. Total additional F-35B in this plan would amount to about 60 jets while there'd be over 420 additional F-35Cs.

EA-18G Growler: The Navy would obviously add five new Growler squadrons (total of 25 jets or thereabouts), based out of Whidbey Island. In addition, the USMC squadrons that flew the Prowler out of Cherry Point should be reactivated to fly the Growler, with an additional squadron to train those USMC aircrews on the east coast. I'd also foresee one or two additional Navy Reserve squadrons flying Growlers on the east coast (more on that later). Total number of Growlers would be about 100 new jets.

A dedicated tanker for the fleet: One squadron per carrier air wing, plus a couple active and reserve landside squadrons (USN and USMC) shall be equipped with a dedicated tanker. I don't feel the MQ-25 is the perfect solution to this. Fleet squadrons should not have to put four external fuel tanks plus a buddy store on a few Super Hornets. The Navy had decent tanker capability in the past 40 years with the Intruder and Viking tankers; I don't see why they can't have a tanker sized no bigger than an A-3 Skywarrior or A-5 Vigilante that can fly off a carrier deck and be powered by fuel efficient engines. I'd imagine about 120 of these aircraft to be built with maybe three to five per air wing; these tankers only refuel via probe and drogue. Further on I would discuss where I'd put these new tankers.

E-2D Hawkeye: Eventually every current squadron flying E-2Cs will be equipped with the E-2D. With five new air wings, you'd need at least twenty more E-2Ds. I'd also stand up two Navy Reserve squadrons to fly the E-2D. Total number of Hawkeyes would be about 45.

MH-60R/S Knighthawk: However many it takes to equip five new air wings, you'd need that many more of these. I'd also stand up at least two Navy Reserve squadrons to fly MH-60R or MH-60S aircraft. Maybe 50 new Knighthawks?

The COD Mission: We all know the C-2A Greyhound is being replaced by the CMV-22B Osprey in the carrier on-board delivery mission. I'm not sure how many more would be needed for my five new air wings. Maybe 30?

Going landside, it gets a little more tricky. Remember that I've said we'd stand up several more squadrons to fly the above aircraft and to do that some controversial moves need to be made.

Reopening NAS/JRB Willow Grove: I know my friends who live near the former base would cheer mightily if it happened. All of the assets that moved from Willow Grove to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst would remain where they are currently; I'm not moving stuff from McGuire back to Willow Grove since they are already established. To have Willow Grove reopened and working in the most modern sense, much of the infrastructure needs to be updated and replaced. The 8,000 foot runway could be extended to 10,000 feet with displaced thresholds on both sides. Willow Grove would need slightly more tarmac space to gain one reserve squadron each flying the Super Hornet (Navy), the F-35B Lightning II (USMC), the F-35C Lightning II (USMC), the Growler (USN), the dedicated fleet tanker (Navy), and a squadron of MH-60s. Willow Grove was also home to two Navy Reserve P-3C Orion squadrons; I would reactivate VP-66 and equip them with the P-8. VR-52, which moved to McGuire and was decommissioned would reactivate at Willow Grove and fly the C-40. Although not Navy, the Pennsylvania ANG's 111th Fighter Wing flew A-10s out of Willow Grove; I would reactivate the unit's manned flying mission and have them fly the F-35A Lightning II, making Willow Grove the only base flying all three models of the F-35.

Reopening NAS Cecil Field: I'd mirror what would be at Willow Grove down here with a few exceptions. There would be no rotary wing helicopters and no P-8s, no C-40, and no C-130 at Cecil Field; it would be strictly Navy Reserve and USMC Reserve fighter squadrons. That would mean a mix of Super Hornets and F-35C Lightning IIs and also a FRS of the dedicated fleet tanker.

Reopening NAS Brunswick: Stationing two Navy Reserve squadrons of P-8 Poseidon aircraft along with a Reserve squadron of Super Hornets and one Reserve squadron flying the KC-130J.

March Air Reserve Base: March would be renamed "Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base March" and keep the Air Force Reserve mission with the C-17 and KC-135. Three west coast Navy and Marine Corps Reserve squadrons flying F-35B/C Lightning IIs and the dedicated fleet tanker would be stationed there.

Blue Angels: The NFDS has transitioned to the Super Hornet and the C-130J Super Hercules for the 2021 airshow season and will continue to fly Super Hornets so long as the jet is in the fleet. As they fly the oldest Super Hornets in the Navy, these jets are still going to break and need parts, and Fat Albert will be doing parts runs multiple times a show season. As time goes on, I would make sure the Blue Angels are supported nationwide to a point where should a jet break at a show site and Fat Albert must make a parts run somewhere, the parts run should not be any more than a two-hour flight from the show site. Of course, the exception to that rule would be when the team performs in Alaska or Hawaii - the Blue Angels have performed at Eielson AFB in Alaska in 2021 and have performed in Hawaii numerous times the last fifteen years.

To achieve this, Super Hornets would need to be based at locations not named Naval Air Station Lemoore or Naval Air Station Oceana. Yes, there's some at Patuxent River and Point Mugu and all the Growlers at NAS Whidbey Island, but you'd also have the Reserve squadrons I mentioned above in Brunswick and Willow Grove and eventually Super Hornets would be in New Orleans. All of these Reserve squadrons would have a role in supporting the Blue Angels when they are within two hours flying time via C-130. Boeing in St. Louis would support the Blue Angels parts supply mission as well as being a major sponsor to an airshow in Chesterfield, MO featuring the Blue Angels every year.

Leap Frogs: The Navy's elite parachute team has to rely on someone to provide them with a jump platform at airshows and special events. This could be achieved by a dedicated Osprey, which could also fly a demonstration at the same airshow.

Super Hornet Fleet Replacement Squadrons: The Super Hornet fleet replacement squadrons (FRS) at NAS Lemoore and NAS Oceana would grow by 20% to handle the additional training requirements. The same applies for the F-35C FRS at Lemoore and the establishment of an Oceana FRS for the F-35C.

Single Ship Demo Teams: Right now VFA-106 (Oceana) and VFA-122 (Lemoore) provide Super Hornet demos at airshows across the United States. With additional jets coming for both squadrons doing airshows might be tough. The same applies for VFA-125 and the F-35C and a new Oceana-based FRS for the Lightning II.

C-12 Huron: These are to be replaced one-for-one with modern, new-build C-12s. Maybe 40 new build C-12s.

C-40A Clipper: These are still relatively new aircraft and while the NG 737 line is still in production building P-8s I can foresee another five to eight C-40As added. The replacement might end up being based off the 737 MAX 7 or 737 MAX 8 or whatever Boeing has to completely replace all 737s.

C-130T Hercules: The Navy Reserve still has a handful of C-130Ts, most if not all have the eight-bladed props. Every C-130T currently flying should be replaced one-for-one with the KC-130J, with additional aircraft to support Willow Grove and Brunswick as stated above. With the additional Super Hornets and Lightning IIs I had mentioned, they're going to need additional land-based tankers. I'd say 54 KC-130Js are to be added.

E-6B Mercury: The TACAMO role should be replaced on a one-for-one basis with a new aircraft. I can see a 767-based platform replacing this, along with 767 platforms replacing the RC-135 fleet for the USAF.

EP-3E Aries II: Take the EP-3E mission and put it on the P-8 and call it the EP-8E Aries III. Replace one-for-one at Whidbey Island and one of two squadrons at Brunswick could be equipped with these P-8s. There would be a total of three squadrons flying the new EP-8E Aries III, two on the east coast and one on the west coast.

F-5 Tiger II & F-16 Fighting Falcons: These jets are old. One could replace them one-for-one with retiring F-16s from the USAF but even those jets are up there in airframe hours. The best replacement option here could be T-7A Red Hawks.

MH-53E Sea Dragon: Replace one-for-one with a model doing the same mission but using the new King Stallion.

P-8 Poseidon: One new Reserve squadron going to Willow Grove and up to two going to Brunswick. The P-8 would also adapt the EP-3E Aries II mission in one form or another.

Trainers: You're going to need a whole lot of new trainers, maybe even a new base for all of them (new land for a Joint Base off of Hawaii?). T-6 Texan IIs are still in production, so I'd add more of them, maybe fifty or so, and replace the ones lost due to crashes. The T-44 fleet is going to need to be replaced; I'm not so sure what I'd replace them with. The T-45s are going to need to be replaced, maybe either with an advanced new-build version of the T-45 or a T-7B Red Hawk capable of carrier operations. The TH-57s are being replaced with TH-73s from Leonardo.

USMC Rotary Wing Fleet: These are all in the process of being modernized. The old two-bladed Cobras and Huey helicopters have been replaced with AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venoms. The Reserve squadrons flying the older models have also been modernized to fly these. Each Marine Corps Air Station that operates a Huey for search and rescue roles should be allocated with an MH-60S Knighthawk or two for the search and rescue mission. I foresee a couple additional Reserve squadrons flying the Viper and Venom somewhere.

The CH-53E Super Stallion fleet should be replaced one-for-one across all squadrons flying it with the CH-53K King Stallion, along with one or two additional Reserve squadrons flying the CH-53K somewhere.

Presidential Helicopter Fleet: The replacement program is in progress with the VH-92, although I would have HMX-1 continue operating out of MCAS Quantico to support POTUS and VPOTUS east of the Mississippi and Europe/Africa trips and have a west coast detachment to support west of the Mississippi and Asia/Oceania trips. The detachment could also provide west coast C-17 squadrons the ability to support the VIP mission without having to fly across the country.

USMC and the Super Hornet: I mentioned above about sending Super Hornets to the USMC. There was an insistence of the Marines wanting F-35C Lightning IIs over Super Hornets, but with the expansion of the Navy in general, I would gladly put Reserve squadrons of Super Hornets at NAS/JRB Fort Worth and at a new Joint Base in Hawaii.

UAV Fleet: I don't even know where to start here as my knowledge of these aircraft is nothing like my knowledge of manned aircraft.

Basing of the new dedicated fleet tanker would be done in multiple locations. Training pilots to fly them should occur at a reopened NAS Cecil Field. Naval Reserve squadrons flying the new dedicated fleet tanker would be stationed at NAS/JRB Fort Worth, NAS/JRB March, and NAS/JRB Willow Grove. Fleet squadrons operating the aircraft would be based in the new Joint Base in Hawaii, NAS Atsugi in Japan, NAS Point Mugu, and Chambers Field in Norfolk.

I have not talked about growth at Marine Corps bases simply because I feel the Marines should not have any changes made to the aircraft other than modernization.
This includes the units and squadrons based at Cherry Point, New River, Beaufort, Yuma, and Miramar; they all retain their strength and modernize their fleet as necessary, except Cherry Point's former Prowler squadrons get reactivated to fly Growlers. How would all of this affect current Naval Air Stations?

Naval Air Station Oceana: Primarily a Super Hornet base and the home of the east coast Super Hornet FRS, Oceana would gain eight new squadrons flying a mix of the Super Hornet and also be home to the F-35C Lightning II as a result of two new carrier air wings being based on the east coast. Oceana would also host the east coast FRS for the F-35C.

Naval Air Station Lemoore: Primarily a Super Hornet and F-35C Lightning II base and the home of the west coast Super Hornet FRS and F-35C Lightning II FRS, Lemoore would gain eight new squadrons flying a mix of the Super Hornet and the F-35C Lightning II as a result of two new carrier air wings being based on the west coast.

Naval Air Station Atsugi: One of the new carrier air wings will be based in Japan, requiring two Super Hornet squadrons and two F-35C Lightning II squadrons. In addition, the new dedicated fleet tanker assigned to the new Japanese-based carrier air wing will call Atsugi home. The EA-18G Growlers for this new air wing would be stationed at MCAS Iwakuni. The other aircraft types for the new Japanese-based air wing would also have a home here.

Naval Station Norfolk/Chambers Field: The CH-53K King Stallion outfitted to replace the MH-53E Sea Dragon would be replaced. Additional MH-60R/S Knighthawks for the two new east coast carrier air wings would call Chambers home as well as additional CMV-22B Ospreys.

Naval Air Station North Island: Additional MH-60R/S Knighthawks for the two new west coast carrier air wings would call North Island home.

Naval Air Station Point Mugu: Two additional E-2D Hawkeye squadrons and the additional CMV-22B Ospreys to support the COD mission.

Naval Air Station Fallon: The F-5s and F-16s at Fallon being used in the adversary role would be replaced with T-7A Red Hawks. Super Hornets that cannot fly in the fleet due to age could replace the Hornets here in the adversary role.

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island: Four new squadrons flying the EA-18G Growler and the EP-8E Aries III replacing the EP-3E Aries II.

Naval Air Station Jacksonville: One additional squadron flying the EP-8E Aries III.

Naval Air Station Pensacola: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators. T-45 Goshawks would be replaced by advanced versions of the T-45 or T-7B Red Hawks.

Naval Air Station Whiting Field: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators to fly T-6Bs and helicopters. No additional changes.

Naval Air Station Meridian: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators. T-45 Goshawks would be replaced by advanced versions of the T-45 or T-7B Red Hawks.

Naval Air Station Corpus Christi: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators. Add on to the T-6B fleet and whatever would replace the T-44.

Naval Air Station Kingsville: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators. T-45 Goshawks would be replaced by advanced versions of the T-45 or T-7B Red Hawks.

NAS/JRB Fort Worth: The Cowboys would transition from the Hornet to the Super Hornet.

NAS/JRB New Orleans: VFA-204 currently flies the Hornet; I foresee them in F-35Cs. I'd also add a squadron of the dedicated fleet tanker.

Newly proposed Joint Base Hawaii: Built on federal land, this base with two parallel runways (one 12,000 feet, one 9,000 feet) would be a new training base for Naval Aviators and also host a number of other squadrons from the Navy, Marine Corps, and the Air Force. It'd require a complex set of movements to coordinate aircraft of all types. Training would occur utilizing the Texan II, the T-45 replacement aircraft, and the TH-73A. One reserve squadron each would be flying the Super Hornet (USMC) and F-35C Lightning II (USN). The new dedicated fleet tanker would also have a squadron based here as well as a squadron of KC-130Js and a couple dedicated MH-60s for SAR duties. The Army could also station Blackhawks here as well.

I think we should try and grow the U.S. Air Force while we're at it!
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 9180
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Grow the US Navy

Sun Dec 19, 2021 10:27 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Well, the B-21s go to the AF, so not growing the Navy.


They *could* go to the USN, as some sort of naval strike. Or not, your pick.


I’m pretty sure there’s a DOD regulation on who gets what fixed wing planes. Navy doesn’t get bombers. Could they? I suppose if you want a real Admiral’s Revolt, only this time a General’s Revolt.



Read up on the Key West Agreement. In the early days of the USAF, there was a lot of inter-service warfare that resulted in a firm division of fixed assets. It remains.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_West_Agreement

https://www.airforcemag.com/PDF/Magazin ... 8roles.pdf
 
CX747
Posts: 6838
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

Re: Grow the US Navy

Mon Dec 20, 2021 2:22 am

usair1489 wrote:
In a perfect world, we'd add a couple more carrier air groups than we currently have. We currently have nine Carrier Air Wings and I'd love to see that number grow to fourteen (to do that we have to add more ships to make these air groups and air wings to work, obviously). Adding five new air wings would require a whole host of additional aircraft. I'd also go landside and modernize the entire Naval Aviation fleet while we are at it, including the Marine Corps. Here's my breakdown with some explanations; this is a very long read with some very controversial moves:

F/A-18 Hornet: The Navy has retired the Hornet from the fleet and FRS. The Blue Angels have also transitioned away from the Hornet. There's still a few Navy Reserve squadrons flying Hornets. There are still several USMC active duty and reserve squadrons flying the Hornet. I see the Navy and USMC doing away with the Hornet completely as what's left doesn't have a lot of service life left. What's left should remain in an adversary role (TOPGUN in Fallon). It's served nearly forty years and done so quite valiantly.

F/A-18E/F Super Hornet: The Navy has several hundred Super Hornets that are likely getting close to the end of their service life. The trickle-down effect from going to the fleet to the FRS to the Reserves to the Blue Angels should continue. To replace the Super Hornets one-for-one that are getting close to the end of their service life would be about 300 jets. Assuming a carrier air wing has two or three squadrons of Super Hornets, you'd be talking another 24-36 jets per air wing. With my proposal of five new air wings, that would be in the order of 120-180 new jets and I would also stand up additional Navy Reserve squadrons to fly the Super Hornet, especially on the east coast, and even equip a few Marine Corps Reserve squadrons with the Super Hornet. I'd also remove the aerial refueling mission from the Super Hornet. This would need about 800 new Super Hornets.

F-35B and F-35C Lightning II: The Navy and Marine Corps should take in more Lightning IIs. For the Navy this means F-35Cs to fill in one or two squadrons per carrier air wing, which would mean up to another 120 jets. In addition, I'd stand up an east coast FRS for the F-35C and that'll add another 50-60 jets. Ideally nearly every active duty and reserve squadron that has flown the Hornet should be equipped with the F-35C and every squadron that operated the Harrier will fly the F-35B. I would also stand up several squadrons to fly both the F-35B and F-35C in the Reserves. Total additional F-35B in this plan would amount to about 60 jets while there'd be over 420 additional F-35Cs.

EA-18G Growler: The Navy would obviously add five new Growler squadrons (total of 25 jets or thereabouts), based out of Whidbey Island. In addition, the USMC squadrons that flew the Prowler out of Cherry Point should be reactivated to fly the Growler, with an additional squadron to train those USMC aircrews on the east coast. I'd also foresee one or two additional Navy Reserve squadrons flying Growlers on the east coast (more on that later). Total number of Growlers would be about 100 new jets.

A dedicated tanker for the fleet: One squadron per carrier air wing, plus a couple active and reserve landside squadrons (USN and USMC) shall be equipped with a dedicated tanker. I don't feel the MQ-25 is the perfect solution to this. Fleet squadrons should not have to put four external fuel tanks plus a buddy store on a few Super Hornets. The Navy had decent tanker capability in the past 40 years with the Intruder and Viking tankers; I don't see why they can't have a tanker sized no bigger than an A-3 Skywarrior or A-5 Vigilante that can fly off a carrier deck and be powered by fuel efficient engines. I'd imagine about 120 of these aircraft to be built with maybe three to five per air wing; these tankers only refuel via probe and drogue. Further on I would discuss where I'd put these new tankers.

E-2D Hawkeye: Eventually every current squadron flying E-2Cs will be equipped with the E-2D. With five new air wings, you'd need at least twenty more E-2Ds. I'd also stand up two Navy Reserve squadrons to fly the E-2D. Total number of Hawkeyes would be about 45.

MH-60R/S Knighthawk: However many it takes to equip five new air wings, you'd need that many more of these. I'd also stand up at least two Navy Reserve squadrons to fly MH-60R or MH-60S aircraft. Maybe 50 new Knighthawks?

The COD Mission: We all know the C-2A Greyhound is being replaced by the CMV-22B Osprey in the carrier on-board delivery mission. I'm not sure how many more would be needed for my five new air wings. Maybe 30?

Going landside, it gets a little more tricky. Remember that I've said we'd stand up several more squadrons to fly the above aircraft and to do that some controversial moves need to be made.

Reopening NAS/JRB Willow Grove: I know my friends who live near the former base would cheer mightily if it happened. All of the assets that moved from Willow Grove to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst would remain where they are currently; I'm not moving stuff from McGuire back to Willow Grove since they are already established. To have Willow Grove reopened and working in the most modern sense, much of the infrastructure needs to be updated and replaced. The 8,000 foot runway could be extended to 10,000 feet with displaced thresholds on both sides. Willow Grove would need slightly more tarmac space to gain one reserve squadron each flying the Super Hornet (Navy), the F-35B Lightning II (USMC), the F-35C Lightning II (USMC), the Growler (USN), the dedicated fleet tanker (Navy), and a squadron of MH-60s. Willow Grove was also home to two Navy Reserve P-3C Orion squadrons; I would reactivate VP-66 and equip them with the P-8. VR-52, which moved to McGuire and was decommissioned would reactivate at Willow Grove and fly the C-40. Although not Navy, the Pennsylvania ANG's 111th Fighter Wing flew A-10s out of Willow Grove; I would reactivate the unit's manned flying mission and have them fly the F-35A Lightning II, making Willow Grove the only base flying all three models of the F-35.

Reopening NAS Cecil Field: I'd mirror what would be at Willow Grove down here with a few exceptions. There would be no rotary wing helicopters and no P-8s, no C-40, and no C-130 at Cecil Field; it would be strictly Navy Reserve and USMC Reserve fighter squadrons. That would mean a mix of Super Hornets and F-35C Lightning IIs and also a FRS of the dedicated fleet tanker.

Reopening NAS Brunswick: Stationing two Navy Reserve squadrons of P-8 Poseidon aircraft along with a Reserve squadron of Super Hornets and one Reserve squadron flying the KC-130J.

March Air Reserve Base: March would be renamed "Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base March" and keep the Air Force Reserve mission with the C-17 and KC-135. Three west coast Navy and Marine Corps Reserve squadrons flying F-35B/C Lightning IIs and the dedicated fleet tanker would be stationed there.

Blue Angels: The NFDS has transitioned to the Super Hornet and the C-130J Super Hercules for the 2021 airshow season and will continue to fly Super Hornets so long as the jet is in the fleet. As they fly the oldest Super Hornets in the Navy, these jets are still going to break and need parts, and Fat Albert will be doing parts runs multiple times a show season. As time goes on, I would make sure the Blue Angels are supported nationwide to a point where should a jet break at a show site and Fat Albert must make a parts run somewhere, the parts run should not be any more than a two-hour flight from the show site. Of course, the exception to that rule would be when the team performs in Alaska or Hawaii - the Blue Angels have performed at Eielson AFB in Alaska in 2021 and have performed in Hawaii numerous times the last fifteen years.

To achieve this, Super Hornets would need to be based at locations not named Naval Air Station Lemoore or Naval Air Station Oceana. Yes, there's some at Patuxent River and Point Mugu and all the Growlers at NAS Whidbey Island, but you'd also have the Reserve squadrons I mentioned above in Brunswick and Willow Grove and eventually Super Hornets would be in New Orleans. All of these Reserve squadrons would have a role in supporting the Blue Angels when they are within two hours flying time via C-130. Boeing in St. Louis would support the Blue Angels parts supply mission as well as being a major sponsor to an airshow in Chesterfield, MO featuring the Blue Angels every year.

Leap Frogs: The Navy's elite parachute team has to rely on someone to provide them with a jump platform at airshows and special events. This could be achieved by a dedicated Osprey, which could also fly a demonstration at the same airshow.

Super Hornet Fleet Replacement Squadrons: The Super Hornet fleet replacement squadrons (FRS) at NAS Lemoore and NAS Oceana would grow by 20% to handle the additional training requirements. The same applies for the F-35C FRS at Lemoore and the establishment of an Oceana FRS for the F-35C.

Single Ship Demo Teams: Right now VFA-106 (Oceana) and VFA-122 (Lemoore) provide Super Hornet demos at airshows across the United States. With additional jets coming for both squadrons doing airshows might be tough. The same applies for VFA-125 and the F-35C and a new Oceana-based FRS for the Lightning II.

C-12 Huron: These are to be replaced one-for-one with modern, new-build C-12s. Maybe 40 new build C-12s.

C-40A Clipper: These are still relatively new aircraft and while the NG 737 line is still in production building P-8s I can foresee another five to eight C-40As added. The replacement might end up being based off the 737 MAX 7 or 737 MAX 8 or whatever Boeing has to completely replace all 737s.

C-130T Hercules: The Navy Reserve still has a handful of C-130Ts, most if not all have the eight-bladed props. Every C-130T currently flying should be replaced one-for-one with the KC-130J, with additional aircraft to support Willow Grove and Brunswick as stated above. With the additional Super Hornets and Lightning IIs I had mentioned, they're going to need additional land-based tankers. I'd say 54 KC-130Js are to be added.

E-6B Mercury: The TACAMO role should be replaced on a one-for-one basis with a new aircraft. I can see a 767-based platform replacing this, along with 767 platforms replacing the RC-135 fleet for the USAF.

EP-3E Aries II: Take the EP-3E mission and put it on the P-8 and call it the EP-8E Aries III. Replace one-for-one at Whidbey Island and one of two squadrons at Brunswick could be equipped with these P-8s. There would be a total of three squadrons flying the new EP-8E Aries III, two on the east coast and one on the west coast.

F-5 Tiger II & F-16 Fighting Falcons: These jets are old. One could replace them one-for-one with retiring F-16s from the USAF but even those jets are up there in airframe hours. The best replacement option here could be T-7A Red Hawks.

MH-53E Sea Dragon: Replace one-for-one with a model doing the same mission but using the new King Stallion.

P-8 Poseidon: One new Reserve squadron going to Willow Grove and up to two going to Brunswick. The P-8 would also adapt the EP-3E Aries II mission in one form or another.

Trainers: You're going to need a whole lot of new trainers, maybe even a new base for all of them (new land for a Joint Base off of Hawaii?). T-6 Texan IIs are still in production, so I'd add more of them, maybe fifty or so, and replace the ones lost due to crashes. The T-44 fleet is going to need to be replaced; I'm not so sure what I'd replace them with. The T-45s are going to need to be replaced, maybe either with an advanced new-build version of the T-45 or a T-7B Red Hawk capable of carrier operations. The TH-57s are being replaced with TH-73s from Leonardo.

USMC Rotary Wing Fleet: These are all in the process of being modernized. The old two-bladed Cobras and Huey helicopters have been replaced with AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venoms. The Reserve squadrons flying the older models have also been modernized to fly these. Each Marine Corps Air Station that operates a Huey for search and rescue roles should be allocated with an MH-60S Knighthawk or two for the search and rescue mission. I foresee a couple additional Reserve squadrons flying the Viper and Venom somewhere.

The CH-53E Super Stallion fleet should be replaced one-for-one across all squadrons flying it with the CH-53K King Stallion, along with one or two additional Reserve squadrons flying the CH-53K somewhere.

Presidential Helicopter Fleet: The replacement program is in progress with the VH-92, although I would have HMX-1 continue operating out of MCAS Quantico to support POTUS and VPOTUS east of the Mississippi and Europe/Africa trips and have a west coast detachment to support west of the Mississippi and Asia/Oceania trips. The detachment could also provide west coast C-17 squadrons the ability to support the VIP mission without having to fly across the country.

USMC and the Super Hornet: I mentioned above about sending Super Hornets to the USMC. There was an insistence of the Marines wanting F-35C Lightning IIs over Super Hornets, but with the expansion of the Navy in general, I would gladly put Reserve squadrons of Super Hornets at NAS/JRB Fort Worth and at a new Joint Base in Hawaii.

UAV Fleet: I don't even know where to start here as my knowledge of these aircraft is nothing like my knowledge of manned aircraft.

Basing of the new dedicated fleet tanker would be done in multiple locations. Training pilots to fly them should occur at a reopened NAS Cecil Field. Naval Reserve squadrons flying the new dedicated fleet tanker would be stationed at NAS/JRB Fort Worth, NAS/JRB March, and NAS/JRB Willow Grove. Fleet squadrons operating the aircraft would be based in the new Joint Base in Hawaii, NAS Atsugi in Japan, NAS Point Mugu, and Chambers Field in Norfolk.

I have not talked about growth at Marine Corps bases simply because I feel the Marines should not have any changes made to the aircraft other than modernization.
This includes the units and squadrons based at Cherry Point, New River, Beaufort, Yuma, and Miramar; they all retain their strength and modernize their fleet as necessary, except Cherry Point's former Prowler squadrons get reactivated to fly Growlers. How would all of this affect current Naval Air Stations?

Naval Air Station Oceana: Primarily a Super Hornet base and the home of the east coast Super Hornet FRS, Oceana would gain eight new squadrons flying a mix of the Super Hornet and also be home to the F-35C Lightning II as a result of two new carrier air wings being based on the east coast. Oceana would also host the east coast FRS for the F-35C.

Naval Air Station Lemoore: Primarily a Super Hornet and F-35C Lightning II base and the home of the west coast Super Hornet FRS and F-35C Lightning II FRS, Lemoore would gain eight new squadrons flying a mix of the Super Hornet and the F-35C Lightning II as a result of two new carrier air wings being based on the west coast.

Naval Air Station Atsugi: One of the new carrier air wings will be based in Japan, requiring two Super Hornet squadrons and two F-35C Lightning II squadrons. In addition, the new dedicated fleet tanker assigned to the new Japanese-based carrier air wing will call Atsugi home. The EA-18G Growlers for this new air wing would be stationed at MCAS Iwakuni. The other aircraft types for the new Japanese-based air wing would also have a home here.

Naval Station Norfolk/Chambers Field: The CH-53K King Stallion outfitted to replace the MH-53E Sea Dragon would be replaced. Additional MH-60R/S Knighthawks for the two new east coast carrier air wings would call Chambers home as well as additional CMV-22B Ospreys.

Naval Air Station North Island: Additional MH-60R/S Knighthawks for the two new west coast carrier air wings would call North Island home.

Naval Air Station Point Mugu: Two additional E-2D Hawkeye squadrons and the additional CMV-22B Ospreys to support the COD mission.

Naval Air Station Fallon: The F-5s and F-16s at Fallon being used in the adversary role would be replaced with T-7A Red Hawks. Super Hornets that cannot fly in the fleet due to age could replace the Hornets here in the adversary role.

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island: Four new squadrons flying the EA-18G Growler and the EP-8E Aries III replacing the EP-3E Aries II.

Naval Air Station Jacksonville: One additional squadron flying the EP-8E Aries III.

Naval Air Station Pensacola: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators. T-45 Goshawks would be replaced by advanced versions of the T-45 or T-7B Red Hawks.

Naval Air Station Whiting Field: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators to fly T-6Bs and helicopters. No additional changes.

Naval Air Station Meridian: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators. T-45 Goshawks would be replaced by advanced versions of the T-45 or T-7B Red Hawks.

Naval Air Station Corpus Christi: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators. Add on to the T-6B fleet and whatever would replace the T-44.

Naval Air Station Kingsville: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators. T-45 Goshawks would be replaced by advanced versions of the T-45 or T-7B Red Hawks.

NAS/JRB Fort Worth: The Cowboys would transition from the Hornet to the Super Hornet.

NAS/JRB New Orleans: VFA-204 currently flies the Hornet; I foresee them in F-35Cs. I'd also add a squadron of the dedicated fleet tanker.

Newly proposed Joint Base Hawaii: Built on federal land, this base with two parallel runways (one 12,000 feet, one 9,000 feet) would be a new training base for Naval Aviators and also host a number of other squadrons from the Navy, Marine Corps, and the Air Force. It'd require a complex set of movements to coordinate aircraft of all types. Training would occur utilizing the Texan II, the T-45 replacement aircraft, and the TH-73A. One reserve squadron each would be flying the Super Hornet (USMC) and F-35C Lightning II (USN). The new dedicated fleet tanker would also have a squadron based here as well as a squadron of KC-130Js and a couple dedicated MH-60s for SAR duties. The Army could also station Blackhawks here as well.

I think we should try and grow the U.S. Air Force while we're at it!


"2"

I love the no holds bar, aggressive growth outlook. Naval Aviation has been limping along for quite some time. Too small, too over-stretched and just going along with the do WAY MORE, with way less mantra. Anyone in the Navy, not thinking like your post, needs to beat feet dry and go find another way to make a living. Additional jets, squadrons, bases and personnel are desperately needed. We've gone far enough with the charade, NO MORE.

I completely agree with the need for a new tanker aircraft...not called the MQ-25. It doesn't need to be sexy, or "stealth". It just needs to haul far more gas for the air wing. Something simple, like a larger Viking fits the bill. Overall, the MQ-25 is a joke and doesn't bring additional range, gas etc to the fleet.

My personal request would the the re-activation of the following squadrons.

VFA-1 Wolf Pack- YES, in Scarlet Red
VFA-15 Fighting Aces
VFA-20 Rippers- Carrying VF-2's Lineage
VFA-21 Freelancers
VFA-24 Fighting Renegades
VFA-33 Starfighters
VFA-46 Clansmen- Scottish Tartan Colors!!!
VFA-51 Screaming Eagles
VFA-55 Warhorses
VFA-65 World Famous Fighting Tigers
VFA-75 World Famous Sunday Punchers
VFA-80 Vipers
VFA-92 Silver Kings
VFA-96 Fighting Falcons
VFA-114 Aardvarks

I'm not sure how the massive Rhino buildup works out with an aggressive NGAD fielding but then again, we probably won't see a Rhino replacement until the 2050s if the JSF program is our "benchmark". I'd love to see the NGAD on the decks in the mid 2030s, replacing the oldest Rhinos.

While I am at it, I will go for broke...no more naming the big boats after people. Kitty Hawk, America, Midway, Ranger etc
 
bobinthecar
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:16 am

Re: Grow the US Navy

Mon Dec 20, 2021 3:14 am

If we are talking strictly about aircraft for the Navy it would be as follows

1. More F35Cs. Not so much as what they bring in terms of capability which is a lot but also in terms of the significantly increased range over the F-18.
2. More MQ-25 tankers.
3. Develop and field (actually the marines have already done so) a tanker version of the MV-22.
4. Develop and field an ASW version of the MV-22 .

Range, tanker capacity and long range ASW are currently the three greatest weaknesses of the carrier air wing.
 
usair1489
Posts: 398
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2000 5:22 am

Re: Grow the US Navy

Mon Dec 20, 2021 3:51 am

CX747 wrote:
"2"

I love the no holds bar, aggressive growth outlook. Naval Aviation has been limping along for quite some time. Too small, too over-stretched and just going along with the do WAY MORE, with way less mantra. Anyone in the Navy, not thinking like your post, needs to beat feet dry and go find another way to make a living. Additional jets, squadrons, bases and personnel are desperately needed. We've gone far enough with the charade, NO MORE.

I completely agree with the need for a new tanker aircraft...not called the MQ-25. It doesn't need to be sexy, or "stealth". It just needs to haul far more gas for the air wing. Something simple, like a larger Viking fits the bill. Overall, the MQ-25 is a joke and doesn't bring additional range, gas etc to the fleet.

My personal request would the the re-activation of the following squadrons.

VFA-1 Wolf Pack- YES, in Scarlet Red
VFA-15 Fighting Aces
VFA-20 Rippers- Carrying VF-2's Lineage
VFA-21 Freelancers
VFA-24 Fighting Renegades
VFA-33 Starfighters
VFA-46 Clansmen- Scottish Tartan Colors!!!
VFA-51 Screaming Eagles
VFA-55 Warhorses
VFA-65 World Famous Fighting Tigers
VFA-75 World Famous Sunday Punchers
VFA-80 Vipers
VFA-92 Silver Kings
VFA-96 Fighting Falcons
VFA-114 Aardvarks

I'm not sure how the massive Rhino buildup works out with an aggressive NGAD fielding but then again, we probably won't see a Rhino replacement until the 2050s if the JSF program is our "benchmark". I'd love to see the NGAD on the decks in the mid 2030s, replacing the oldest Rhinos.

While I am at it, I will go for broke...no more naming the big boats after people. Kitty Hawk, America, Midway, Ranger etc


Building up the Rhino fleet is with existing production lines. I don't think I'll be around for the NGAD. Granted I went with an unlimited budget (check out the unlimited budget to grow the USAF!) to increase the USN by five carrier air groups and wings plus additional land based aircraft. The dedicated fleet tanker should be perfect and of course not replace the Navy's need to get fuel from a USAF tanker.
 
CX747
Posts: 6838
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

Re: Grow the US Navy

Mon Dec 20, 2021 4:37 am

usair1489 wrote:
CX747 wrote:
"2"

I love the no holds bar, aggressive growth outlook. Naval Aviation has been limping along for quite some time. Too small, too over-stretched and just going along with the do WAY MORE, with way less mantra. Anyone in the Navy, not thinking like your post, needs to beat feet dry and go find another way to make a living. Additional jets, squadrons, bases and personnel are desperately needed. We've gone far enough with the charade, NO MORE.

I completely agree with the need for a new tanker aircraft...not called the MQ-25. It doesn't need to be sexy, or "stealth". It just needs to haul far more gas for the air wing. Something simple, like a larger Viking fits the bill. Overall, the MQ-25 is a joke and doesn't bring additional range, gas etc to the fleet.

My personal request would the the re-activation of the following squadrons.

VFA-1 Wolf Pack- YES, in Scarlet Red
VFA-15 Fighting Aces
VFA-20 Rippers- Carrying VF-2's Lineage
VFA-21 Freelancers
VFA-24 Fighting Renegades
VFA-33 Starfighters
VFA-46 Clansmen- Scottish Tartan Colors!!!
VFA-51 Screaming Eagles
VFA-55 Warhorses
VFA-65 World Famous Fighting Tigers
VFA-75 World Famous Sunday Punchers
VFA-80 Vipers
VFA-92 Silver Kings
VFA-96 Fighting Falcons
VFA-114 Aardvarks

I'm not sure how the massive Rhino buildup works out with an aggressive NGAD fielding but then again, we probably won't see a Rhino replacement until the 2050s if the JSF program is our "benchmark". I'd love to see the NGAD on the decks in the mid 2030s, replacing the oldest Rhinos.

While I am at it, I will go for broke...no more naming the big boats after people. Kitty Hawk, America, Midway, Ranger etc


Building up the Rhino fleet is with existing production lines. I don't think I'll be around for the NGAD. Granted I went with an unlimited budget (check out the unlimited budget to grow the USAF!) to increase the USN by five carrier air groups and wings plus additional land based aircraft. The dedicated fleet tanker should be perfect and of course not replace the Navy's need to get fuel from a USAF tanker.


7th Fleet Commander is asking for growth. From 4 to 8 carriers in the Pacific.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/thehill.co ... uade%3famp

People wanted out of Afghanistan and to focus on near peer. Well, let's get cracking because we need to grow.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
Posts: 1225
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:20 am

Re: Grow the US Navy

Mon Dec 20, 2021 6:38 am

None of the above. I instead take the funds and allocate them towards improving staff numbers so that the various ships, squadrons, and departments have enough people to be safely and effectively staffed. With remaining funds being plowed into incremental investment of backend infrastructure like software, housing, and healthcare.

It ain’t the sexy option but it’s the option that will have the biggest bang for buck. Especially if you want to minimise any threat from an opponent who will try to turn disaffected staff into their use through corruption.
 
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HowardDGA
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:02 pm

Re: Grow the US Navy

Mon Dec 20, 2021 7:31 am

How about more Growlers? Or more frigates if we chose ships?
 
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kitplane01
Topic Author
Posts: 2404
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:58 am

Re: Grow the US Navy

Mon Dec 20, 2021 7:54 am

usair1489 wrote:
In a perfect world, we'd add a couple more carrier air groups than we currently have. We currently have nine Carrier Air Wings and I'd love to see that number grow to fourteen (to do that we have to add more ships to make these air groups and air wings to work, obviously). Adding five new air wings would require a whole host of additional aircraft. I'd also go landside and modernize the entire Naval Aviation fleet while we are at it, including the Marine Corps. Here's my breakdown with some explanations; this is a very long read with some very controversial moves:

F/A-18 Hornet: The Navy has retired the Hornet from the fleet and FRS. The Blue Angels have also transitioned away from the Hornet. There's still a few Navy Reserve squadrons flying Hornets. There are still several USMC active duty and reserve squadrons flying the Hornet. I see the Navy and USMC doing away with the Hornet completely as what's left doesn't have a lot of service life left. What's left should remain in an adversary role (TOPGUN in Fallon). It's served nearly forty years and done so quite valiantly.

F/A-18E/F Super Hornet: The Navy has several hundred Super Hornets that are likely getting close to the end of their service life. The trickle-down effect from going to the fleet to the FRS to the Reserves to the Blue Angels should continue. To replace the Super Hornets one-for-one that are getting close to the end of their service life would be about 300 jets. Assuming a carrier air wing has two or three squadrons of Super Hornets, you'd be talking another 24-36 jets per air wing. With my proposal of five new air wings, that would be in the order of 120-180 new jets and I would also stand up additional Navy Reserve squadrons to fly the Super Hornet, especially on the east coast, and even equip a few Marine Corps Reserve squadrons with the Super Hornet. I'd also remove the aerial refueling mission from the Super Hornet. This would need about 800 new Super Hornets.

F-35B and F-35C Lightning II: The Navy and Marine Corps should take in more Lightning IIs. For the Navy this means F-35Cs to fill in one or two squadrons per carrier air wing, which would mean up to another 120 jets. In addition, I'd stand up an east coast FRS for the F-35C and that'll add another 50-60 jets. Ideally nearly every active duty and reserve squadron that has flown the Hornet should be equipped with the F-35C and every squadron that operated the Harrier will fly the F-35B. I would also stand up several squadrons to fly both the F-35B and F-35C in the Reserves. Total additional F-35B in this plan would amount to about 60 jets while there'd be over 420 additional F-35Cs.

EA-18G Growler: The Navy would obviously add five new Growler squadrons (total of 25 jets or thereabouts), based out of Whidbey Island. In addition, the USMC squadrons that flew the Prowler out of Cherry Point should be reactivated to fly the Growler, with an additional squadron to train those USMC aircrews on the east coast. I'd also foresee one or two additional Navy Reserve squadrons flying Growlers on the east coast (more on that later). Total number of Growlers would be about 100 new jets.

A dedicated tanker for the fleet: One squadron per carrier air wing, plus a couple active and reserve landside squadrons (USN and USMC) shall be equipped with a dedicated tanker. I don't feel the MQ-25 is the perfect solution to this. Fleet squadrons should not have to put four external fuel tanks plus a buddy store on a few Super Hornets. The Navy had decent tanker capability in the past 40 years with the Intruder and Viking tankers; I don't see why they can't have a tanker sized no bigger than an A-3 Skywarrior or A-5 Vigilante that can fly off a carrier deck and be powered by fuel efficient engines. I'd imagine about 120 of these aircraft to be built with maybe three to five per air wing; these tankers only refuel via probe and drogue. Further on I would discuss where I'd put these new tankers.

E-2D Hawkeye: Eventually every current squadron flying E-2Cs will be equipped with the E-2D. With five new air wings, you'd need at least twenty more E-2Ds. I'd also stand up two Navy Reserve squadrons to fly the E-2D. Total number of Hawkeyes would be about 45.

MH-60R/S Knighthawk: However many it takes to equip five new air wings, you'd need that many more of these. I'd also stand up at least two Navy Reserve squadrons to fly MH-60R or MH-60S aircraft. Maybe 50 new Knighthawks?

The COD Mission: We all know the C-2A Greyhound is being replaced by the CMV-22B Osprey in the carrier on-board delivery mission. I'm not sure how many more would be needed for my five new air wings. Maybe 30?

Going landside, it gets a little more tricky. Remember that I've said we'd stand up several more squadrons to fly the above aircraft and to do that some controversial moves need to be made.

Reopening NAS/JRB Willow Grove: I know my friends who live near the former base would cheer mightily if it happened. All of the assets that moved from Willow Grove to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst would remain where they are currently; I'm not moving stuff from McGuire back to Willow Grove since they are already established. To have Willow Grove reopened and working in the most modern sense, much of the infrastructure needs to be updated and replaced. The 8,000 foot runway could be extended to 10,000 feet with displaced thresholds on both sides. Willow Grove would need slightly more tarmac space to gain one reserve squadron each flying the Super Hornet (Navy), the F-35B Lightning II (USMC), the F-35C Lightning II (USMC), the Growler (USN), the dedicated fleet tanker (Navy), and a squadron of MH-60s. Willow Grove was also home to two Navy Reserve P-3C Orion squadrons; I would reactivate VP-66 and equip them with the P-8. VR-52, which moved to McGuire and was decommissioned would reactivate at Willow Grove and fly the C-40. Although not Navy, the Pennsylvania ANG's 111th Fighter Wing flew A-10s out of Willow Grove; I would reactivate the unit's manned flying mission and have them fly the F-35A Lightning II, making Willow Grove the only base flying all three models of the F-35.

Reopening NAS Cecil Field: I'd mirror what would be at Willow Grove down here with a few exceptions. There would be no rotary wing helicopters and no P-8s, no C-40, and no C-130 at Cecil Field; it would be strictly Navy Reserve and USMC Reserve fighter squadrons. That would mean a mix of Super Hornets and F-35C Lightning IIs and also a FRS of the dedicated fleet tanker.

Reopening NAS Brunswick: Stationing two Navy Reserve squadrons of P-8 Poseidon aircraft along with a Reserve squadron of Super Hornets and one Reserve squadron flying the KC-130J.

March Air Reserve Base: March would be renamed "Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base March" and keep the Air Force Reserve mission with the C-17 and KC-135. Three west coast Navy and Marine Corps Reserve squadrons flying F-35B/C Lightning IIs and the dedicated fleet tanker would be stationed there.

Blue Angels: The NFDS has transitioned to the Super Hornet and the C-130J Super Hercules for the 2021 airshow season and will continue to fly Super Hornets so long as the jet is in the fleet. As they fly the oldest Super Hornets in the Navy, these jets are still going to break and need parts, and Fat Albert will be doing parts runs multiple times a show season. As time goes on, I would make sure the Blue Angels are supported nationwide to a point where should a jet break at a show site and Fat Albert must make a parts run somewhere, the parts run should not be any more than a two-hour flight from the show site. Of course, the exception to that rule would be when the team performs in Alaska or Hawaii - the Blue Angels have performed at Eielson AFB in Alaska in 2021 and have performed in Hawaii numerous times the last fifteen years.

To achieve this, Super Hornets would need to be based at locations not named Naval Air Station Lemoore or Naval Air Station Oceana. Yes, there's some at Patuxent River and Point Mugu and all the Growlers at NAS Whidbey Island, but you'd also have the Reserve squadrons I mentioned above in Brunswick and Willow Grove and eventually Super Hornets would be in New Orleans. All of these Reserve squadrons would have a role in supporting the Blue Angels when they are within two hours flying time via C-130. Boeing in St. Louis would support the Blue Angels parts supply mission as well as being a major sponsor to an airshow in Chesterfield, MO featuring the Blue Angels every year.

Leap Frogs: The Navy's elite parachute team has to rely on someone to provide them with a jump platform at airshows and special events. This could be achieved by a dedicated Osprey, which could also fly a demonstration at the same airshow.

Super Hornet Fleet Replacement Squadrons: The Super Hornet fleet replacement squadrons (FRS) at NAS Lemoore and NAS Oceana would grow by 20% to handle the additional training requirements. The same applies for the F-35C FRS at Lemoore and the establishment of an Oceana FRS for the F-35C.

Single Ship Demo Teams: Right now VFA-106 (Oceana) and VFA-122 (Lemoore) provide Super Hornet demos at airshows across the United States. With additional jets coming for both squadrons doing airshows might be tough. The same applies for VFA-125 and the F-35C and a new Oceana-based FRS for the Lightning II.

C-12 Huron: These are to be replaced one-for-one with modern, new-build C-12s. Maybe 40 new build C-12s.

C-40A Clipper: These are still relatively new aircraft and while the NG 737 line is still in production building P-8s I can foresee another five to eight C-40As added. The replacement might end up being based off the 737 MAX 7 or 737 MAX 8 or whatever Boeing has to completely replace all 737s.

C-130T Hercules: The Navy Reserve still has a handful of C-130Ts, most if not all have the eight-bladed props. Every C-130T currently flying should be replaced one-for-one with the KC-130J, with additional aircraft to support Willow Grove and Brunswick as stated above. With the additional Super Hornets and Lightning IIs I had mentioned, they're going to need additional land-based tankers. I'd say 54 KC-130Js are to be added.

E-6B Mercury: The TACAMO role should be replaced on a one-for-one basis with a new aircraft. I can see a 767-based platform replacing this, along with 767 platforms replacing the RC-135 fleet for the USAF.

EP-3E Aries II: Take the EP-3E mission and put it on the P-8 and call it the EP-8E Aries III. Replace one-for-one at Whidbey Island and one of two squadrons at Brunswick could be equipped with these P-8s. There would be a total of three squadrons flying the new EP-8E Aries III, two on the east coast and one on the west coast.

F-5 Tiger II & F-16 Fighting Falcons: These jets are old. One could replace them one-for-one with retiring F-16s from the USAF but even those jets are up there in airframe hours. The best replacement option here could be T-7A Red Hawks.

MH-53E Sea Dragon: Replace one-for-one with a model doing the same mission but using the new King Stallion.

P-8 Poseidon: One new Reserve squadron going to Willow Grove and up to two going to Brunswick. The P-8 would also adapt the EP-3E Aries II mission in one form or another.

Trainers: You're going to need a whole lot of new trainers, maybe even a new base for all of them (new land for a Joint Base off of Hawaii?). T-6 Texan IIs are still in production, so I'd add more of them, maybe fifty or so, and replace the ones lost due to crashes. The T-44 fleet is going to need to be replaced; I'm not so sure what I'd replace them with. The T-45s are going to need to be replaced, maybe either with an advanced new-build version of the T-45 or a T-7B Red Hawk capable of carrier operations. The TH-57s are being replaced with TH-73s from Leonardo.

USMC Rotary Wing Fleet: These are all in the process of being modernized. The old two-bladed Cobras and Huey helicopters have been replaced with AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venoms. The Reserve squadrons flying the older models have also been modernized to fly these. Each Marine Corps Air Station that operates a Huey for search and rescue roles should be allocated with an MH-60S Knighthawk or two for the search and rescue mission. I foresee a couple additional Reserve squadrons flying the Viper and Venom somewhere.

The CH-53E Super Stallion fleet should be replaced one-for-one across all squadrons flying it with the CH-53K King Stallion, along with one or two additional Reserve squadrons flying the CH-53K somewhere.

Presidential Helicopter Fleet: The replacement program is in progress with the VH-92, although I would have HMX-1 continue operating out of MCAS Quantico to support POTUS and VPOTUS east of the Mississippi and Europe/Africa trips and have a west coast detachment to support west of the Mississippi and Asia/Oceania trips. The detachment could also provide west coast C-17 squadrons the ability to support the VIP mission without having to fly across the country.

USMC and the Super Hornet: I mentioned above about sending Super Hornets to the USMC. There was an insistence of the Marines wanting F-35C Lightning IIs over Super Hornets, but with the expansion of the Navy in general, I would gladly put Reserve squadrons of Super Hornets at NAS/JRB Fort Worth and at a new Joint Base in Hawaii.

UAV Fleet: I don't even know where to start here as my knowledge of these aircraft is nothing like my knowledge of manned aircraft.

Basing of the new dedicated fleet tanker would be done in multiple locations. Training pilots to fly them should occur at a reopened NAS Cecil Field. Naval Reserve squadrons flying the new dedicated fleet tanker would be stationed at NAS/JRB Fort Worth, NAS/JRB March, and NAS/JRB Willow Grove. Fleet squadrons operating the aircraft would be based in the new Joint Base in Hawaii, NAS Atsugi in Japan, NAS Point Mugu, and Chambers Field in Norfolk.

I have not talked about growth at Marine Corps bases simply because I feel the Marines should not have any changes made to the aircraft other than modernization.
This includes the units and squadrons based at Cherry Point, New River, Beaufort, Yuma, and Miramar; they all retain their strength and modernize their fleet as necessary, except Cherry Point's former Prowler squadrons get reactivated to fly Growlers. How would all of this affect current Naval Air Stations?

Naval Air Station Oceana: Primarily a Super Hornet base and the home of the east coast Super Hornet FRS, Oceana would gain eight new squadrons flying a mix of the Super Hornet and also be home to the F-35C Lightning II as a result of two new carrier air wings being based on the east coast. Oceana would also host the east coast FRS for the F-35C.

Naval Air Station Lemoore: Primarily a Super Hornet and F-35C Lightning II base and the home of the west coast Super Hornet FRS and F-35C Lightning II FRS, Lemoore would gain eight new squadrons flying a mix of the Super Hornet and the F-35C Lightning II as a result of two new carrier air wings being based on the west coast.

Naval Air Station Atsugi: One of the new carrier air wings will be based in Japan, requiring two Super Hornet squadrons and two F-35C Lightning II squadrons. In addition, the new dedicated fleet tanker assigned to the new Japanese-based carrier air wing will call Atsugi home. The EA-18G Growlers for this new air wing would be stationed at MCAS Iwakuni. The other aircraft types for the new Japanese-based air wing would also have a home here.

Naval Station Norfolk/Chambers Field: The CH-53K King Stallion outfitted to replace the MH-53E Sea Dragon would be replaced. Additional MH-60R/S Knighthawks for the two new east coast carrier air wings would call Chambers home as well as additional CMV-22B Ospreys.

Naval Air Station North Island: Additional MH-60R/S Knighthawks for the two new west coast carrier air wings would call North Island home.

Naval Air Station Point Mugu: Two additional E-2D Hawkeye squadrons and the additional CMV-22B Ospreys to support the COD mission.

Naval Air Station Fallon: The F-5s and F-16s at Fallon being used in the adversary role would be replaced with T-7A Red Hawks. Super Hornets that cannot fly in the fleet due to age could replace the Hornets here in the adversary role.

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island: Four new squadrons flying the EA-18G Growler and the EP-8E Aries III replacing the EP-3E Aries II.

Naval Air Station Jacksonville: One additional squadron flying the EP-8E Aries III.

Naval Air Station Pensacola: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators. T-45 Goshawks would be replaced by advanced versions of the T-45 or T-7B Red Hawks.

Naval Air Station Whiting Field: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators to fly T-6Bs and helicopters. No additional changes.

Naval Air Station Meridian: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators. T-45 Goshawks would be replaced by advanced versions of the T-45 or T-7B Red Hawks.

Naval Air Station Corpus Christi: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators. Add on to the T-6B fleet and whatever would replace the T-44.

Naval Air Station Kingsville: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators. T-45 Goshawks would be replaced by advanced versions of the T-45 or T-7B Red Hawks.

NAS/JRB Fort Worth: The Cowboys would transition from the Hornet to the Super Hornet.

NAS/JRB New Orleans: VFA-204 currently flies the Hornet; I foresee them in F-35Cs. I'd also add a squadron of the dedicated fleet tanker.

Newly proposed Joint Base Hawaii: Built on federal land, this base with two parallel runways (one 12,000 feet, one 9,000 feet) would be a new training base for Naval Aviators and also host a number of other squadrons from the Navy, Marine Corps, and the Air Force. It'd require a complex set of movements to coordinate aircraft of all types. Training would occur utilizing the Texan II, the T-45 replacement aircraft, and the TH-73A. One reserve squadron each would be flying the Super Hornet (USMC) and F-35C Lightning II (USN). The new dedicated fleet tanker would also have a squadron based here as well as a squadron of KC-130Js and a couple dedicated MH-60s for SAR duties. The Army could also station Blackhawks here as well.

I think we should try and grow the U.S. Air Force while we're at it!



O.K. I too can dream what I'd do with an extra $100B/year. But that doesn't really reveal what you consider *most* important. Of the choices given (or other similar sized items) what ONE thing would you pick?
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Mon Dec 20, 2021 7:59 am

bobinthecar wrote:
If we are talking strictly about aircraft for the Navy it would be as follows

1. More F35Cs. Not so much as what they bring in terms of capability which is a lot but also in terms of the significantly increased range over the F-18.
2. More MQ-25 tankers.
3. Develop and field (actually the marines have already done so) a tanker version of the MV-22.
4. Develop and field an ASW version of the MV-22 .

Range, tanker capacity and long range ASW are currently the three greatest weaknesses of the carrier air wing.


I'm hoping this is a ranked list, so I'm considering that a vote for the F35s first.

You only get ONE of these items!
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Mon Dec 20, 2021 8:04 am

Votes I've seen so far
2 votes for 90 more F-18F
2 votes for 60 More F-35C
1 vote for 100 more MQ-25 with ISR and strike
1 vote for 7 Arleigh Burkes
1 vote for increase staffing

I assume the F-18F voters are focusing on ground/sea strike, especially in a not-to-contested environment (both vote were for the two seat model). The F-35 voters are more worried about a near-peer conflict. No one seems to want to increase our ASW.
 
CX747
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Mon Dec 20, 2021 1:08 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
usair1489 wrote:
In a perfect world, we'd add a couple more carrier air groups than we currently have. We currently have nine Carrier Air Wings and I'd love to see that number grow to fourteen (to do that we have to add more ships to make these air groups and air wings to work, obviously). Adding five new air wings would require a whole host of additional aircraft. I'd also go landside and modernize the entire Naval Aviation fleet while we are at it, including the Marine Corps. Here's my breakdown with some explanations; this is a very long read with some very controversial moves:

F/A-18 Hornet: The Navy has retired the Hornet from the fleet and FRS. The Blue Angels have also transitioned away from the Hornet. There's still a few Navy Reserve squadrons flying Hornets. There are still several USMC active duty and reserve squadrons flying the Hornet. I see the Navy and USMC doing away with the Hornet completely as what's left doesn't have a lot of service life left. What's left should remain in an adversary role (TOPGUN in Fallon). It's served nearly forty years and done so quite valiantly.

F/A-18E/F Super Hornet: The Navy has several hundred Super Hornets that are likely getting close to the end of their service life. The trickle-down effect from going to the fleet to the FRS to the Reserves to the Blue Angels should continue. To replace the Super Hornets one-for-one that are getting close to the end of their service life would be about 300 jets. Assuming a carrier air wing has two or three squadrons of Super Hornets, you'd be talking another 24-36 jets per air wing. With my proposal of five new air wings, that would be in the order of 120-180 new jets and I would also stand up additional Navy Reserve squadrons to fly the Super Hornet, especially on the east coast, and even equip a few Marine Corps Reserve squadrons with the Super Hornet. I'd also remove the aerial refueling mission from the Super Hornet. This would need about 800 new Super Hornets.

F-35B and F-35C Lightning II: The Navy and Marine Corps should take in more Lightning IIs. For the Navy this means F-35Cs to fill in one or two squadrons per carrier air wing, which would mean up to another 120 jets. In addition, I'd stand up an east coast FRS for the F-35C and that'll add another 50-60 jets. Ideally nearly every active duty and reserve squadron that has flown the Hornet should be equipped with the F-35C and every squadron that operated the Harrier will fly the F-35B. I would also stand up several squadrons to fly both the F-35B and F-35C in the Reserves. Total additional F-35B in this plan would amount to about 60 jets while there'd be over 420 additional F-35Cs.

EA-18G Growler: The Navy would obviously add five new Growler squadrons (total of 25 jets or thereabouts), based out of Whidbey Island. In addition, the USMC squadrons that flew the Prowler out of Cherry Point should be reactivated to fly the Growler, with an additional squadron to train those USMC aircrews on the east coast. I'd also foresee one or two additional Navy Reserve squadrons flying Growlers on the east coast (more on that later). Total number of Growlers would be about 100 new jets.

A dedicated tanker for the fleet: One squadron per carrier air wing, plus a couple active and reserve landside squadrons (USN and USMC) shall be equipped with a dedicated tanker. I don't feel the MQ-25 is the perfect solution to this. Fleet squadrons should not have to put four external fuel tanks plus a buddy store on a few Super Hornets. The Navy had decent tanker capability in the past 40 years with the Intruder and Viking tankers; I don't see why they can't have a tanker sized no bigger than an A-3 Skywarrior or A-5 Vigilante that can fly off a carrier deck and be powered by fuel efficient engines. I'd imagine about 120 of these aircraft to be built with maybe three to five per air wing; these tankers only refuel via probe and drogue. Further on I would discuss where I'd put these new tankers.

E-2D Hawkeye: Eventually every current squadron flying E-2Cs will be equipped with the E-2D. With five new air wings, you'd need at least twenty more E-2Ds. I'd also stand up two Navy Reserve squadrons to fly the E-2D. Total number of Hawkeyes would be about 45.

MH-60R/S Knighthawk: However many it takes to equip five new air wings, you'd need that many more of these. I'd also stand up at least two Navy Reserve squadrons to fly MH-60R or MH-60S aircraft. Maybe 50 new Knighthawks?

The COD Mission: We all know the C-2A Greyhound is being replaced by the CMV-22B Osprey in the carrier on-board delivery mission. I'm not sure how many more would be needed for my five new air wings. Maybe 30?

Going landside, it gets a little more tricky. Remember that I've said we'd stand up several more squadrons to fly the above aircraft and to do that some controversial moves need to be made.

Reopening NAS/JRB Willow Grove: I know my friends who live near the former base would cheer mightily if it happened. All of the assets that moved from Willow Grove to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst would remain where they are currently; I'm not moving stuff from McGuire back to Willow Grove since they are already established. To have Willow Grove reopened and working in the most modern sense, much of the infrastructure needs to be updated and replaced. The 8,000 foot runway could be extended to 10,000 feet with displaced thresholds on both sides. Willow Grove would need slightly more tarmac space to gain one reserve squadron each flying the Super Hornet (Navy), the F-35B Lightning II (USMC), the F-35C Lightning II (USMC), the Growler (USN), the dedicated fleet tanker (Navy), and a squadron of MH-60s. Willow Grove was also home to two Navy Reserve P-3C Orion squadrons; I would reactivate VP-66 and equip them with the P-8. VR-52, which moved to McGuire and was decommissioned would reactivate at Willow Grove and fly the C-40. Although not Navy, the Pennsylvania ANG's 111th Fighter Wing flew A-10s out of Willow Grove; I would reactivate the unit's manned flying mission and have them fly the F-35A Lightning II, making Willow Grove the only base flying all three models of the F-35.

Reopening NAS Cecil Field: I'd mirror what would be at Willow Grove down here with a few exceptions. There would be no rotary wing helicopters and no P-8s, no C-40, and no C-130 at Cecil Field; it would be strictly Navy Reserve and USMC Reserve fighter squadrons. That would mean a mix of Super Hornets and F-35C Lightning IIs and also a FRS of the dedicated fleet tanker.

Reopening NAS Brunswick: Stationing two Navy Reserve squadrons of P-8 Poseidon aircraft along with a Reserve squadron of Super Hornets and one Reserve squadron flying the KC-130J.

March Air Reserve Base: March would be renamed "Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base March" and keep the Air Force Reserve mission with the C-17 and KC-135. Three west coast Navy and Marine Corps Reserve squadrons flying F-35B/C Lightning IIs and the dedicated fleet tanker would be stationed there.

Blue Angels: The NFDS has transitioned to the Super Hornet and the C-130J Super Hercules for the 2021 airshow season and will continue to fly Super Hornets so long as the jet is in the fleet. As they fly the oldest Super Hornets in the Navy, these jets are still going to break and need parts, and Fat Albert will be doing parts runs multiple times a show season. As time goes on, I would make sure the Blue Angels are supported nationwide to a point where should a jet break at a show site and Fat Albert must make a parts run somewhere, the parts run should not be any more than a two-hour flight from the show site. Of course, the exception to that rule would be when the team performs in Alaska or Hawaii - the Blue Angels have performed at Eielson AFB in Alaska in 2021 and have performed in Hawaii numerous times the last fifteen years.

To achieve this, Super Hornets would need to be based at locations not named Naval Air Station Lemoore or Naval Air Station Oceana. Yes, there's some at Patuxent River and Point Mugu and all the Growlers at NAS Whidbey Island, but you'd also have the Reserve squadrons I mentioned above in Brunswick and Willow Grove and eventually Super Hornets would be in New Orleans. All of these Reserve squadrons would have a role in supporting the Blue Angels when they are within two hours flying time via C-130. Boeing in St. Louis would support the Blue Angels parts supply mission as well as being a major sponsor to an airshow in Chesterfield, MO featuring the Blue Angels every year.

Leap Frogs: The Navy's elite parachute team has to rely on someone to provide them with a jump platform at airshows and special events. This could be achieved by a dedicated Osprey, which could also fly a demonstration at the same airshow.

Super Hornet Fleet Replacement Squadrons: The Super Hornet fleet replacement squadrons (FRS) at NAS Lemoore and NAS Oceana would grow by 20% to handle the additional training requirements. The same applies for the F-35C FRS at Lemoore and the establishment of an Oceana FRS for the F-35C.

Single Ship Demo Teams: Right now VFA-106 (Oceana) and VFA-122 (Lemoore) provide Super Hornet demos at airshows across the United States. With additional jets coming for both squadrons doing airshows might be tough. The same applies for VFA-125 and the F-35C and a new Oceana-based FRS for the Lightning II.

C-12 Huron: These are to be replaced one-for-one with modern, new-build C-12s. Maybe 40 new build C-12s.

C-40A Clipper: These are still relatively new aircraft and while the NG 737 line is still in production building P-8s I can foresee another five to eight C-40As added. The replacement might end up being based off the 737 MAX 7 or 737 MAX 8 or whatever Boeing has to completely replace all 737s.

C-130T Hercules: The Navy Reserve still has a handful of C-130Ts, most if not all have the eight-bladed props. Every C-130T currently flying should be replaced one-for-one with the KC-130J, with additional aircraft to support Willow Grove and Brunswick as stated above. With the additional Super Hornets and Lightning IIs I had mentioned, they're going to need additional land-based tankers. I'd say 54 KC-130Js are to be added.

E-6B Mercury: The TACAMO role should be replaced on a one-for-one basis with a new aircraft. I can see a 767-based platform replacing this, along with 767 platforms replacing the RC-135 fleet for the USAF.

EP-3E Aries II: Take the EP-3E mission and put it on the P-8 and call it the EP-8E Aries III. Replace one-for-one at Whidbey Island and one of two squadrons at Brunswick could be equipped with these P-8s. There would be a total of three squadrons flying the new EP-8E Aries III, two on the east coast and one on the west coast.

F-5 Tiger II & F-16 Fighting Falcons: These jets are old. One could replace them one-for-one with retiring F-16s from the USAF but even those jets are up there in airframe hours. The best replacement option here could be T-7A Red Hawks.

MH-53E Sea Dragon: Replace one-for-one with a model doing the same mission but using the new King Stallion.

P-8 Poseidon: One new Reserve squadron going to Willow Grove and up to two going to Brunswick. The P-8 would also adapt the EP-3E Aries II mission in one form or another.

Trainers: You're going to need a whole lot of new trainers, maybe even a new base for all of them (new land for a Joint Base off of Hawaii?). T-6 Texan IIs are still in production, so I'd add more of them, maybe fifty or so, and replace the ones lost due to crashes. The T-44 fleet is going to need to be replaced; I'm not so sure what I'd replace them with. The T-45s are going to need to be replaced, maybe either with an advanced new-build version of the T-45 or a T-7B Red Hawk capable of carrier operations. The TH-57s are being replaced with TH-73s from Leonardo.

USMC Rotary Wing Fleet: These are all in the process of being modernized. The old two-bladed Cobras and Huey helicopters have been replaced with AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venoms. The Reserve squadrons flying the older models have also been modernized to fly these. Each Marine Corps Air Station that operates a Huey for search and rescue roles should be allocated with an MH-60S Knighthawk or two for the search and rescue mission. I foresee a couple additional Reserve squadrons flying the Viper and Venom somewhere.

The CH-53E Super Stallion fleet should be replaced one-for-one across all squadrons flying it with the CH-53K King Stallion, along with one or two additional Reserve squadrons flying the CH-53K somewhere.

Presidential Helicopter Fleet: The replacement program is in progress with the VH-92, although I would have HMX-1 continue operating out of MCAS Quantico to support POTUS and VPOTUS east of the Mississippi and Europe/Africa trips and have a west coast detachment to support west of the Mississippi and Asia/Oceania trips. The detachment could also provide west coast C-17 squadrons the ability to support the VIP mission without having to fly across the country.

USMC and the Super Hornet: I mentioned above about sending Super Hornets to the USMC. There was an insistence of the Marines wanting F-35C Lightning IIs over Super Hornets, but with the expansion of the Navy in general, I would gladly put Reserve squadrons of Super Hornets at NAS/JRB Fort Worth and at a new Joint Base in Hawaii.

UAV Fleet: I don't even know where to start here as my knowledge of these aircraft is nothing like my knowledge of manned aircraft.

Basing of the new dedicated fleet tanker would be done in multiple locations. Training pilots to fly them should occur at a reopened NAS Cecil Field. Naval Reserve squadrons flying the new dedicated fleet tanker would be stationed at NAS/JRB Fort Worth, NAS/JRB March, and NAS/JRB Willow Grove. Fleet squadrons operating the aircraft would be based in the new Joint Base in Hawaii, NAS Atsugi in Japan, NAS Point Mugu, and Chambers Field in Norfolk.

I have not talked about growth at Marine Corps bases simply because I feel the Marines should not have any changes made to the aircraft other than modernization.
This includes the units and squadrons based at Cherry Point, New River, Beaufort, Yuma, and Miramar; they all retain their strength and modernize their fleet as necessary, except Cherry Point's former Prowler squadrons get reactivated to fly Growlers. How would all of this affect current Naval Air Stations?

Naval Air Station Oceana: Primarily a Super Hornet base and the home of the east coast Super Hornet FRS, Oceana would gain eight new squadrons flying a mix of the Super Hornet and also be home to the F-35C Lightning II as a result of two new carrier air wings being based on the east coast. Oceana would also host the east coast FRS for the F-35C.

Naval Air Station Lemoore: Primarily a Super Hornet and F-35C Lightning II base and the home of the west coast Super Hornet FRS and F-35C Lightning II FRS, Lemoore would gain eight new squadrons flying a mix of the Super Hornet and the F-35C Lightning II as a result of two new carrier air wings being based on the west coast.

Naval Air Station Atsugi: One of the new carrier air wings will be based in Japan, requiring two Super Hornet squadrons and two F-35C Lightning II squadrons. In addition, the new dedicated fleet tanker assigned to the new Japanese-based carrier air wing will call Atsugi home. The EA-18G Growlers for this new air wing would be stationed at MCAS Iwakuni. The other aircraft types for the new Japanese-based air wing would also have a home here.

Naval Station Norfolk/Chambers Field: The CH-53K King Stallion outfitted to replace the MH-53E Sea Dragon would be replaced. Additional MH-60R/S Knighthawks for the two new east coast carrier air wings would call Chambers home as well as additional CMV-22B Ospreys.

Naval Air Station North Island: Additional MH-60R/S Knighthawks for the two new west coast carrier air wings would call North Island home.

Naval Air Station Point Mugu: Two additional E-2D Hawkeye squadrons and the additional CMV-22B Ospreys to support the COD mission.

Naval Air Station Fallon: The F-5s and F-16s at Fallon being used in the adversary role would be replaced with T-7A Red Hawks. Super Hornets that cannot fly in the fleet due to age could replace the Hornets here in the adversary role.

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island: Four new squadrons flying the EA-18G Growler and the EP-8E Aries III replacing the EP-3E Aries II.

Naval Air Station Jacksonville: One additional squadron flying the EP-8E Aries III.

Naval Air Station Pensacola: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators. T-45 Goshawks would be replaced by advanced versions of the T-45 or T-7B Red Hawks.

Naval Air Station Whiting Field: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators to fly T-6Bs and helicopters. No additional changes.

Naval Air Station Meridian: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators. T-45 Goshawks would be replaced by advanced versions of the T-45 or T-7B Red Hawks.

Naval Air Station Corpus Christi: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators. Add on to the T-6B fleet and whatever would replace the T-44.

Naval Air Station Kingsville: Retain the mission of training Naval Aviators. T-45 Goshawks would be replaced by advanced versions of the T-45 or T-7B Red Hawks.

NAS/JRB Fort Worth: The Cowboys would transition from the Hornet to the Super Hornet.

NAS/JRB New Orleans: VFA-204 currently flies the Hornet; I foresee them in F-35Cs. I'd also add a squadron of the dedicated fleet tanker.

Newly proposed Joint Base Hawaii: Built on federal land, this base with two parallel runways (one 12,000 feet, one 9,000 feet) would be a new training base for Naval Aviators and also host a number of other squadrons from the Navy, Marine Corps, and the Air Force. It'd require a complex set of movements to coordinate aircraft of all types. Training would occur utilizing the Texan II, the T-45 replacement aircraft, and the TH-73A. One reserve squadron each would be flying the Super Hornet (USMC) and F-35C Lightning II (USN). The new dedicated fleet tanker would also have a squadron based here as well as a squadron of KC-130Js and a couple dedicated MH-60s for SAR duties. The Army could also station Blackhawks here as well.

I think we should try and grow the U.S. Air Force while we're at it!



O.K. I too can dream what I'd do with an extra $100B/year. But that doesn't really reveal what you consider *most* important. Of the choices given (or other similar sized items) what ONE thing would you pick?


The problem is, additional Air Wings and carriers is not dream but a required reality.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Mon Dec 20, 2021 5:41 pm

The ultimate stealth air wing are new generation stealth cruise missiles launched from a submarine. No way we let a carrier battle group vulnerable to todays asm and contested airspace. Which we have now for the first time since the height of the Cold War with the USSR.

Building more subs means your adversary has to build massive ASW capabilities which will operate away from shore airpower. Then those assets will need to be protected by carriers. They'll go broke trying to build that.
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Mon Dec 20, 2021 5:51 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
Votes I've seen so far
2 votes for 90 more F-18F
2 votes for 60 More F-35C
1 vote for 100 more MQ-25 with ISR and strike
1 vote for 7 Arleigh Burkes
1 vote for increase staffing


I'm voting for increased rum rations
 
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kitplane01
Topic Author
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Mon Dec 20, 2021 6:51 pm

MohawkWeekend wrote:
The ultimate stealth air wing are new generation stealth cruise missiles launched from a submarine. No way we let a carrier battle group vulnerable to todays asm and contested airspace. Which we have now for the first time since the height of the Cold War with the USSR.

Building more subs means your adversary has to build massive ASW capabilities which will operate away from shore airpower. Then those assets will need to be protected by carriers. They'll go broke trying to build that.


Sure. Nice first strike.

No ability to generate a volume of strikes over time. No ability to go close air support. Takes forever to get in theatre. Costs an enormous amount (both to build and operate) for a few missile tubes.

If the goal is strategic strike, why not use stealth bombers launching from 1000 miles away. A bomber can carry as many missiles as a sub, costs less than a sub to build and operate, can get in theatre much faster, and can reload/return in a day or two.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Mon Dec 20, 2021 7:02 pm

It's not first strike or strategic strike, it's you make your adversary plan for battling a stealth enemy in hundreds of thousand square miles. In a battle with an adversary that can put your carriers at risk, why double down on that? Plus how much ground support will Navy air wings be able to provide when faced with sophisticated SAM's and 4th generation fighters. And with way more anti air threats than we ever faced since early WW II.

Plus the subs aren't to replace bombers but surface ships which again will be at great risk from a sophisticated opponent. Wait till we find out they can jam F-35's electronics.
 
CX747
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Mon Dec 20, 2021 9:52 pm

MohawkWeekend wrote:
It's not first strike or strategic strike, it's you make your adversary plan for battling a stealth enemy in hundreds of thousand square miles. In a battle with an adversary that can put your carriers at risk, why double down on that? Plus how much ground support will Navy air wings be able to provide when faced with sophisticated SAM's and 4th generation fighters. And with way more anti air threats than we ever faced since early WW II.

Plus the subs aren't to replace bombers but surface ships which again will be at great risk from a sophisticated opponent. Wait till we find out they can jam F-35's electronics.


Subs have a role to play but are not a replacement by any stretch to an Air Wing.

This isn't the first time, the USN has dealt with long range missile issues. The last time this was faced, the F-14 was born. When you look at the USN NGAD specs, you see them building a modern Tomcat aircraft.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Re: Grow the US Navy

Tue Dec 21, 2021 1:53 am

And when does one expect this new F-14 to be operational? 2035?

We have enough expensive carriers. We don't have enough subs. And I'm pretty sure our adversary's can track everyone of our carriers.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Grow the US Navy

Tue Dec 21, 2021 3:28 am

CX747 wrote:
When you look at the USN NGAD specs, you see them building a modern Tomcat aircraft.

No they are not. The US Navy are getting improved F-35C aircraft with adaptive engines. They have always talked about systems of systems using drones helping a manned fighter. The US Navy already made it clear last year that there is not enough funds for a cleansheet fighter.

The F-35C is already on the upper end of the carrier limit in terms of weight. A cleansheet design would struggle to beat the F-35C with adaptive engine by a considerable margin. Let's say $10 billion in development costs for a cleansheet to beat the F-35 by only 10% would be ridiculous if the improved F-35C costs only $1 billion to develop.

Aircraft carriers have a weight and landing speed limit that makes it hard to produce something much faster or longer ranged than the F-35C.

The USAF 6th gen platform which has two F-35 adaptive engines will be extremely long and heavy. High speed designs always have a high landing speed making them unsuitable for a carrier. This is why the F-14 had swing wings unlike being like the F-15. To get the landing speed down without sacrificing top speed.

The artist renderings of the US Navy NGAD from 5 years ago showed an unrealistic fighter with highly swept wings something that can't operate from a carrier without pop out canards.

MohawkWeekend wrote:
And when does one expect this new F-14 to be operational? 2035?

The adaptive engine is only 5 years away. Though the improved F-35C might go further than just an engine. It might have a fuselage stretch to add fuel which would delay the entry into service to beyond 2030.

The F-35 Wikipedia page already has a F-35D version listed which is for the adaptive engine powered F-35A version for the USAF.

My thought is once engine thrust is increased by 20% the F-35 design can add a bit of extra empty weight and fuel capacity without sacrificing agility or performance. The single engine F-35 design could easily evolve to a 35t MTOW aircraft with a 1000nm combat radius on internal fuel.


MohawkWeekend wrote:
We have enough expensive carriers. We don't have enough subs. And I'm pretty sure our adversary's can track everyone of our carriers.
I definitely agree. No more carriers are needed. Submarines and unmannned underwater vehicles are the future.

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