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STT757
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US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Fri Apr 08, 2022 6:21 pm

The US Marines put 16 F-35Bs onto a Navy assault ship USS Tripoli. Basically testing the idea of developing lighter Escort carriers.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2022/04/07/lightning-carrier-the-us-marines-just-crammed-16-f-35s-onto-a-single-assault-ship/?sh=1742fa397984

At 20 F-35B Lightning II jets, the Tripoli has a smaller complement than the 85 to 90 aircraft carried by a nuclear-powered Nimitiz-class supercarrier, but almost as many jets as on Chinese carriers.


https://timesofsandiego.com/military/2022/04/06/marines-turn-uss-tripoli-into-powerful-lightning-carrier-with-20-f-35b-jets/
 
bobinthecar
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:13 pm

No big deal and a waste of a phib. They still have no organic air to air refueling, AEW, or ASW. They do not have the range or persistence of a true carrier. Worst of all, they cannot keep up with a carrier battle group. It's far better for CVNs to operate with the British and French carriers that can keep up and truly supplement the CBG.
 
Max Q
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Fri Apr 08, 2022 10:27 pm

Why would they need to keep up with a carrier battle group since they operate independently and have a completely different mission ?
 
ThePointblank
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Fri Apr 08, 2022 11:07 pm

bobinthecar wrote:
No big deal and a waste of a phib. They still have no organic air to air refueling, AEW, or ASW. They do not have the range or persistence of a true carrier. Worst of all, they cannot keep up with a carrier battle group. It's far better for CVNs to operate with the British and French carriers that can keep up and truly supplement the CBG.

The USS Tripoli (LHA-7) is the second of the two first batch America-class LHA's, which are aviation-centric LHA's. They have no well deck, and are focused exclusively on their aviation components.

Being able to carry and operate a load of aircraft to support amphibious operations, be it fixed wing or rotary, is the core mission of these LHA's.
 
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STT757
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Sat Apr 09, 2022 1:15 pm

bobinthecar wrote:
No big deal and a waste of a phib. They still have no organic air to air refueling, AEW, or ASW. They do not have the range or persistence of a true carrier. Worst of all, they cannot keep up with a carrier battle group. It's far better for CVNs to operate with the British and French carriers that can keep up and truly supplement the CBG.


The Navy is introducing the CMV-22B Osprey to replace the C-2A, they could develop the V-22 to act as an air to air refueling and ASW platform. It could fill the role the former S-3 used to fill. It could operate off CVN's, Amphibious ships as well as larger surface vessels.
 
bobinthecar
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Sun Apr 10, 2022 1:31 am

Why would they need to keep up with a carrier battle group since they operate independently and have a completely different mission ?


Yes, their mission is amphibious assault. 6-8 F-35B, the rest of the complement should be transports for the troops and equipment.

they could develop the V-22 to act as an air to air refueling and ASW platform. It could fill the role the former S-3 used to fill. It could operate off CVN's, Amphibious ships as well as larger surface vessels.


Absolutely a need for it and it should be done. In fact he Marines have turned MV-22s in to tankers already. ASW would be great, but on the CVNs.
 
johns624
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Sun Apr 10, 2022 1:41 am

Maybe with the Marines going to smaller, lighter ground units they have more space for more F35s. They may also need more for the areas that they're training to fight in.
 
Canuck600
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Sun Apr 10, 2022 3:00 am

[quote="STT757"]The US Marines put 16 F-35Bs onto a Navy assault ship USS Tripoli. Basically testing the idea of developing lighter Escort carriers.

Reinventing Escort Carriers as they had them in WWII
 
ThePointblank
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Sun Apr 10, 2022 3:09 am

STT757 wrote:
bobinthecar wrote:
No big deal and a waste of a phib. They still have no organic air to air refueling, AEW, or ASW. They do not have the range or persistence of a true carrier. Worst of all, they cannot keep up with a carrier battle group. It's far better for CVNs to operate with the British and French carriers that can keep up and truly supplement the CBG.


The Navy is introducing the CMV-22B Osprey to replace the C-2A, they could develop the V-22 to act as an air to air refueling and ASW platform. It could fill the role the former S-3 used to fill. It could operate off CVN's, Amphibious ships as well as larger surface vessels.

They already have a tanker variant under development (known as the V-22 Aerial Refueling System), and ASW can be handled by basing existing MH-60R's on the deck.
 
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cjg225
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Sun Apr 10, 2022 12:46 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
and ASW can be handled by basing existing MH-60R's on the deck.

Eh, not like a fixed-wing asset can do it. But it's better than nothing.
 
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par13del
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Sun Apr 10, 2022 1:37 pm

cjg225 wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
and ASW can be handled by basing existing MH-60R's on the deck.

Eh, not like a fixed-wing asset can do it. But it's better than nothing.

Let's not forget, the Navy allowed the retirement of its fixed wing carrier borne ASW asset - S3-Viking - because they said they did not need its capability. Anyone hear anything about them saying they now need that carrier capability again, they said the helo's with their limited range and speed were / are fine.
In the current financial Navy world, capabilities are now determined based on what they want to spend money on, shiny jets that go fast and have stealth allowing them to continue being offensive carriers is the key, not defense. Who wants a carrier protecting the North Atlantic when they can be going on the offensive in the Barents etc etc etc...
 
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kitplane01
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Sun Apr 10, 2022 6:14 pm

bobinthecar wrote:
No big deal and a waste of a phib. They still have no organic air to air refueling, AEW, or ASW. They do not have the range or persistence of a true carrier. Worst of all, they cannot keep up with a carrier battle group. It's far better for CVNs to operate with the British and French carriers that can keep up and truly supplement the CBG.


Those are arguments that the LHA is not as good as a CVN at being an aircraft carrier.

Duh.

A better question is .. are there times when using an LHA in this way is better than having an LHA carry marines and helicopters? Because if those times exist, practicing it in peacetime seems wise. I find it hard to imagine the argument that such times will never exist. Being able to repurpose your staff and equipment for a secondary use when the primary use is not currently needed .. seems like a a great idea.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Sun Apr 10, 2022 6:17 pm

STT757 wrote:
bobinthecar wrote:
No big deal and a waste of a phib. They still have no organic air to air refueling, AEW, or ASW. They do not have the range or persistence of a true carrier. Worst of all, they cannot keep up with a carrier battle group. It's far better for CVNs to operate with the British and French carriers that can keep up and truly supplement the CBG.


The Navy is introducing the CMV-22B Osprey to replace the C-2A, they could develop the V-22 to act as an air to air refueling and ASW platform. It could fill the role the former S-3 used to fill. It could operate off CVN's, Amphibious ships as well as larger surface vessels.


The original plan WAS to have an ASW variant of the MV-22. But operating an MV-22 costs SO MUCH, and takes a lot of deck space. Which would you rather have .. 1 ASW MV-22s or 3 ASW helicopters?
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Sun Apr 10, 2022 6:32 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
Being able to repurpose your staff and equipment for a secondary use when the primary use is not currently needed .. seems like a a great idea.


Bingo!

A CVN is better than an amphib at many things, but oftentimes 'better than' is the enemy of 'good enough'. When there's a need to 'show the flag' you don't necessarily need a Nimitz or Ford to do it.
 
IADFCO
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Sun Apr 10, 2022 8:37 pm

It's also a good idea toward dispersing your aviation assets. CVNs are big slow moving targets.
 
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cjg225
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Mon Apr 11, 2022 5:55 pm

par13del wrote:
Let's not forget, the Navy allowed the retirement of its fixed wing carrier borne ASW asset - S3-Viking - because they said they did not need its capability. Anyone hear anything about them saying they now need that carrier capability again, they said the helo's with their limited range and speed were / are fine.
In the current financial Navy world, capabilities are now determined based on what they want to spend money on, shiny jets that go fast and have stealth allowing them to continue being offensive carriers is the key, not defense. Who wants a carrier protecting the North Atlantic when they can be going on the offensive in the Barents etc etc etc...

Fair point. But, the military services don't always make the best plans. That was done largely in a time where the expectation was that there wasn't much more intensive ASW to deal with going forward. Well, times have changed again, shockingly.
 
estorilm
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Thu Apr 14, 2022 12:59 pm

I was having the same internal conflicts about this after seeing the images as well (but lets admit, seeing any carrier with 100% 5th gen aircraft is pretty amazing!)

My conclusion is that it's just an extension of capability, and fits in very will with the mission of the USMC in general. They ARE range-limited, and they may NOT have any option for refueling onboard, but at that point you bring in the CVNs. There are many potential and hypothetical situations where you might not want to bring in an entire capital ship (and its associated carrier task force) to execute a mission.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Mon Apr 18, 2022 5:23 am

This concept would be better used as a detergent or flex of muscle in a Panama or Grenada situation than a whole carrier battle group.

In a peer/near-peer conflict with China or Russia the amphibious ships would still provide flexibility for all-F35 ops or amphibious landing along with the carrier groups.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Mon Apr 18, 2022 7:01 am

TWA772LR wrote:
This concept would be better used as a detergent ...


This is so funny!

(I've never misspeled anything. Never!)
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Tue May 17, 2022 7:12 pm

No big deal and a waste of a phib. They still have no organic air to air refueling, AEW, or ASW. They do not have the range or persistence of a true carrier. Worst of all, they cannot keep up with a carrier battle group. It's far better for CVNs to operate with the British and French carriers that can keep up and truly supplement the CBG.


I think you're equating the LHA with an actual supercarrier. A large escort carrier from World War Two (Sangamon or Commencement Bay classes) would be a better comparison. CVEs were able to project force locally, provide CAP and CAS to amphibious forces, and operate in somewhat lower threat environments (sometimes). If that's how these LHAs are to be used, then we're looking at CVE roles, not CVN roles. Using F-35s for local air superiority would not likely be a problem, and they and the LHA's helos wouldn't be operating so far afield as to need much in the way of aerial refueling, and there are always buddy refueling pods like the Hornet carries. If you want to see how creative one can get with a small carrier, just research how the British equipped their Illustrious-class ships. Helos for AEW? Yep, and reasonably effective, too.

For myself, I would like to see a somewhat higher speed for transit purposes, but that wide hull just won't allow for it. The extra horses needed to drive it a few knots faster would be exponentially hard to achieve.
 
Woodreau
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Tue May 24, 2022 2:49 am

The fuel burn to achieve the 25kts flank speed is astronomical. The range of the ship doubles when the speed is halved to the normal amphibious squadron transit speed.

I imagine the gas turbines burn more than the steam boilers on the LHDs

I’d need a tanker between Guam/Philippines and Hawaii and another one in the andermans if I had to buster somewhere quick at 25kts

Unlike a carrier that can get there much faster and only has to refuel to get more JP-5 and rearm as ordnance and stores are expended
 
Max Q
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Tue May 24, 2022 6:01 am

IADFCO wrote:
It's also a good idea toward dispersing your aviation assets. CVNs are big slow moving targets.



‘Slow moving’


Since when ? A nuclear powered aircraft carrier is one of the fastest vessels afloat, capable of speeds over 35 knots


I think you have it backwards, the amphibious assault ships are much slower
 
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cjg225
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Tue May 24, 2022 12:29 pm

Max Q wrote:
IADFCO wrote:
It's also a good idea toward dispersing your aviation assets. CVNs are big slow moving targets.



‘Slow moving’


Since when ? A nuclear powered aircraft carrier is one of the fastest vessels afloat, capable of speeds over 35 knots


I think you have it backwards, the amphibious assault ships are much slower

Eh, it's all relative. They're much slower than the much cheaper aircraft and missiles that hunt them.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Tue May 24, 2022 12:39 pm

cjg225 wrote:
Eh, it's all relative. They're much slower than the much cheaper aircraft and missiles that hunt them.


All relative, until you need to put boots on the ground on some island in the Pacific :half:

:checkmark:

bt
 
FlapOperator
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Tue May 24, 2022 6:13 pm

cjg225 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
IADFCO wrote:
It's also a good idea toward dispersing your aviation assets. CVNs are big slow moving targets.



‘Slow moving’


Since when ? A nuclear powered aircraft carrier is one of the fastest vessels afloat, capable of speeds over 35 knots


I think you have it backwards, the amphibious assault ships are much slower

Eh, it's all relative. They're much slower than the much cheaper aircraft and missiles that hunt them.


By that standard, warfare has been at a standstill since the introduction of the arrow, trebuchet or cannon.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Tue May 24, 2022 6:16 pm

Lots of stuff like this is the creation and validation of CONOPs which are valuable in their own right, even if never used. I imagine the use of any L shipping for open ocean stuff is going to create a significant disturbance in the force.
 
johns624
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Tue May 24, 2022 7:29 pm

cjg225 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
IADFCO wrote:
It's also a good idea toward dispersing your aviation assets. CVNs are big slow moving targets.



‘Slow moving’


Since when ? A nuclear powered aircraft carrier is one of the fastest vessels afloat, capable of speeds over 35 knots


I think you have it backwards, the amphibious assault ships are much slower

Eh, it's all relative. They're much slower than the much cheaper aircraft and missiles that hunt them.
They also have missiles and aircraft protecting them. It all depends on who has the better combined arms training.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Wed May 25, 2022 3:46 pm

As with all things naval, it comes down to three things: Evasion, Targeting and finally magazine depth.

A CVN isn't going to evade the ever present eyes in the sky, unless we violate our own policies on orbital debris and take out their intel sats. If we do that, so will they, then everyone is blind.

Eventually, a target the size of a CVN WILL be spotted. Then it's down to being able to target it. Does it's battle group have enough ECM, acoustic countermeasures, etc to keep the enemy from targeting them, or managing to achieve a useful weapon's lock? Maybe, maybe not. A carrier is awfully large to keep a missile from seeing it. Maybe they can find a way...

Which leads to magazine capacity. How many missiles can a carrier battle group carry to defend itself? How much point defense capacity does it have for leakers from overwhelm type attacks? I dare say that, maybe not today, but, really soon now, first rate enemies will have FAR more missile capacity for attack then any battlegroup can ever hope to have to defend itself with.

Any carrier that is in weapon's range of a capable enemy is in for a world of hurt eventually. They certainly have their uses, but, let's not kid ourselves, there's only so much that you can do to defend them. And, in an era with nuclear armed warheads, it only takes one leaker to eliminate the whole group.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Wed May 25, 2022 3:58 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
Evasion, Targeting and finally magazine depth.


Add a fourth? The ability to absorb damage in form of robustness of design and adequate fire suppression.

One theory on why the Moskva went down so quickly was the inadequate fire suppression and the inability of the crew to suppress the ensuring fire (lack of equipment and training?).

bt
 
LightningZ71
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Wed May 25, 2022 7:37 pm

Once you've gotten to damage mitigation and fire fighting, you're past a mission kill level for the asset. I'm focusing on keeping the vessel in the mission.
 
dragon6172
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Sat May 28, 2022 8:52 pm

This isn't anything new. The Bataan and Bonhomme Richard each carried 24 Harriers during the opening months of the 2003 Iraq invasion and each conducted 500+ close air support sorties.
 
IADFCO
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Sun May 29, 2022 6:06 am

cjg225 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
IADFCO wrote:
It's also a good idea toward dispersing your aviation assets. CVNs are big slow moving targets.



‘Slow moving’


Since when ? A nuclear powered aircraft carrier is one of the fastest vessels afloat, capable of speeds over 35 knots


I think you have it backwards, the amphibious assault ships are much slower

Eh, it's all relative. They're much slower than the much cheaper aircraft and missiles that hunt them.


That's exactly what I meant.

A salvo of 30-40 long range missiles targeted at a carrier is a perfectly plausible scenario.
 
johns624
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Sun May 29, 2022 1:40 pm

IADFCO wrote:
cjg225 wrote:
Max Q wrote:


‘Slow moving’


Since when ? A nuclear powered aircraft carrier is one of the fastest vessels afloat, capable of speeds over 35 knots


I think you have it backwards, the amphibious assault ships are much slower

Eh, it's all relative. They're much slower than the much cheaper aircraft and missiles that hunt them.


That's exactly what I meant.

A salvo of 30-40 long range missiles targeted at a carrier is a perfectly plausible scenario.
Each carrier is protected with at least one Tico and two Burkes. So, you're looking at 300 VLS cells, some with quad-packed ESSM. Then you also have the carrier's CAP. I know some of the VLS cells might have Tomahawks and SUBROCs but the great majority will be SAMs. You also have the passive systems like chaff and ECM.
 
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cjg225
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Sun May 29, 2022 9:58 pm

johns624 wrote:
Each carrier is protected with at least one Tico and two Burkes. So, you're looking at 300 VLS cells, some with quad-packed ESSM. Then you also have the carrier's CAP. I know some of the VLS cells might have Tomahawks and SUBROCs but the great majority will be SAMs. You also have the passive systems like chaff and ECM.

All it takes is for one to get through. And once they exhaust their missiles, it's a lot harder for them to go reload than it is for the aircraft hunting them to.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Mon May 30, 2022 12:45 am

johns624 wrote:
IADFCO wrote:
cjg225 wrote:
Eh, it's all relative. They're much slower than the much cheaper aircraft and missiles that hunt them.


That's exactly what I meant.

A salvo of 30-40 long range missiles targeted at a carrier is a perfectly plausible scenario.
Each carrier is protected with at least one Tico and two Burkes. So, you're looking at 300 VLS cells, some with quad-packed ESSM. Then you also have the carrier's CAP. I know some of the VLS cells might have Tomahawks and SUBROCs but the great majority will be SAMs. You also have the passive systems like chaff and ECM.


One Tiko + 2 Burkes is 122 + 96 + 96 = 314 so that checks.

If 35 missiles are fired, and each missile has a 2% chance of hitting, the odds they all miss is 1-.98^35 which is 50-50 odds. So do you think each missile has a much less than 2% chance of getting thru?
 
johns624
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Mon May 30, 2022 1:11 pm

Don't know. You can't just take a CBG in war as the lone asset. Since the only country that could currently do a missile launch like this is China, here's a few of my thoughts. There'd probably be prior Tomahawk launches and raids by Japan-based assets to degrade the Chinese missiles. Carriers also have CIWS, Sea Sparrows and RAM as last-ditch defense. I'm also leery of countries who are constantly publicizing their new wonder weapons. How have all the Russian super weapons performed in Ukraine? The Armata tanks, Sukhoi SU57, hypersonic missiles? That's right, they haven't. Much of it is just smoke and mirrors. While I believe the Chinese are much stronger than Russia, I think much of it is a bluff. Sorta like Germany in the mid-30s when they bluffed their way out of being attacked by pretending that they were much stronger than they were at the time. In 5-10 years, China may actually be as good as they claim to be right now.
 
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HowardDGA
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Mon May 30, 2022 4:31 pm

johns624 wrote:
Carriers also have CIWS, Sea Sparrows and RAM as last-ditch defense.


I don’t think CIWS, Sea Sparrow, or RAM are effective against ballistic missiles. Would love to be educated if they are, and carriers are equipped with them. But the Burkes have to handle the ballistic defense as far as I know.
 
johns624
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Mon May 30, 2022 5:38 pm

HowardDGA wrote:
johns624 wrote:
Carriers also have CIWS, Sea Sparrows and RAM as last-ditch defense.


I don’t think CIWS, Sea Sparrow, or RAM are effective against ballistic missiles. Would love to be educated if they are, and carriers are equipped with them. But the Burkes have to handle the ballistic defense as far as I know.
The BMD Burkes aren't for point or area defense. They seem to be for missiles passing far overhead. A missile coming inbound would be just another target, I would think. I'd like to be corrected if I'm wrong.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Mon May 30, 2022 6:02 pm

Even if it's a ballistic warhead, unless it's guided, what is the chance it would actually hit a ship under evasive maneuver? If it requires sensors, then is a chance you can count the sensors, right?

Not talking about nukes now, because that's another level altogether.

bt
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Tue May 31, 2022 6:07 am

As noted in this thread, it's hardly a new idea. Even if it has limited capability to a dedicated aircraft carrier it's still something opponents have to keep in mind. As people seem to have to be reminded constantly, good enough now is better than perfect in the future. So I doubt it would be the first option for the USN, but it is an option that can still put on a lot of hurt.
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: US Marines develop 'Lightning Carrier"

Tue May 31, 2022 6:51 pm

‘Slow moving’


Since when ? A nuclear powered aircraft carrier is one of the fastest vessels afloat, capable of speeds over 35 knots


No, they absolutely cannot make those speeds. Nope, just can't do it. They're limited by the amount of power their steam turbines can effectively convert to rotation energy spinning their prop shafts. Enterprise had the most "cruiser-like" hull than all other supercarriers and reportedly hit about 34 knots on trials when new and lightly loaded in the early '60s, with some witnesses anecdotally claiming 35 knots, but that was a rare and unique occurrence (if it happened at all). She could do no faster. Accounts of sailors aboard her escorts on Yankee Station attest to her ability to simply go where she wanted at any speed she wanted, frequently causing machinery failures on her conventionally powered escorts who couldn't handle the course and speed changes. That was what nuclear power gave her, operational flexibility, and by extension the later CVNs, but not extreme speeds. The Nimitz-class ships are hard pressed to hit 31 knots as their hulls are fuller and their steam turbines are just as powerful as Enterprise's were (other than the last couple of ships). Even if the CVNs could manage such speeds, they would effectively outpace their escorts, eroding their defenses so what would be the point?

No, sorry but the idea of supercarriers hitting insane speeds is an urban legend. The truth is far, far more prosaic.

http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech ... ch-003.php

Bob

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