Aircraft Carrier is obsolete as a modern Weapon - Page 3




 
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April 6th, 2009  
jason_420
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Conley
Jason:

It would seem that way if a carrier had to fight the whole engagement by itself. But it doesn’t. It’s a very integral part of a larger whole.

Wrapped around that carrier is a whole task force that sometimes is devoted to the defense of that carrier. These support ships can be missile launching cruisers, destroyers, frigates, and yes fast attack submarines. Each of these elements lends support for each other: the aircraft from the carrier can protect the surface vessels. The missile carrying cruisers provide a layered defense to prevent, or try to prevent aircraft and missile from getting to the carrier. The destroyers and submarines protect it from threats below.

It is very doubtful that Aircraft carriers will never be obsolete. It’s like the feud that existed during the 1950s between the navy and the air force concerning the practical necessity for a navy now that we had bombers and missiles. What everyone forgets is presence or projection of force starts with being there with force. Ships of any type will never go obsolete for that reason.

Hope this helps.
I understand the Carrier Battlegroup and how important it is to all other ships to guard the Carrier but it is vunerable to Bombers, Cruise Missles, and Supercavitation Torpedo's and especially if they are all fired at once. I just don't think the Battlegroup can stop its destruction if a modern naval enemy is determined.

Now everyone can have a laugh at this but can't we come up with a cloaking device or a new generation of "Super Submarines".

The carrier only has a role against far weaker enemies now days. Most of our enemies (as far as we know) are far weaker.

I heard a saying that whenever there is an international crisis every American Presdents first question is "Where are our Carriers?"

Thanks for joining the debate guys!

http://www.popsci.com/scitech/articl...tating-torpedo

But the supercavitating torpedo—a rocket-propelled weapon that speeds through the water enveloped in a nearly frictionless air bubble—may render obsolete the old submarine strategy of sly maneuvering and silent running to evade the enemy. The superfast torpedo could be outfitted with conventional explosive warheads, nuclear tips or nothing at all—a 5,000-pound, 230-mph missile could do enough damage on its own. The Russians invented the concept during the Cold War, and their version of this underwater killer—dubbed the Shkval (“Squall”)—has recently been made available on the international weapons market; the United States, of course, wants a new, improved version of the original.
April 6th, 2009  
Partisan
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
I am not going to go as far as calling them obsolete, but the A/C's time maybe closing. And before you get all outraged remember that all weapons eventually become obsolete, why do you think we don't issue swords anymore or have horse cavalry? Both of those are far older than the aircraft carrier.

Consider the following:

1. A Carrier a basically a floating ammo and fuel dump. It doesn't take much to destroy one. The Taiho was sunk by a single WWII Torpedo which did very minimal damage. It was one simple mistake by the crew (ventilating the ship) and she blew up like a 4th of July Firework.

2. An enemy doesn't need to be close in order to sink her. Most Modern nations have cruise missiles than can be fired from land sea or air a hundred miles away. Nor do these missiles need a sophisticated launcher, a semi-trailer is sufficient.

3. Anti-ship weapons are becoming incredibly sophisticated. The Russian SunBurn (Moskit) is supersonic, there is no AAD capable of tracking it its simply too fast. And remember these missiles are fired on mass its simply a mathamatical certainty that one will penetrate the Air defense. This is true with conventional missiles as well. A AS missile is cheap expendable weapon an enemy can fire them all day into a hit is achieved.

If you look back at the Falklands war, the British lost 5 ships in 2 months. Two of them were to Exocets the others were from simple Iron bombs. All the Argentinians did was fly low, release their rather crude weapon and escape. The RN had no chance to react.

Thats how quicky it can be over.
MM, you make a powerful case but we need to investigate the suppositions more:

1. It is a large disaster waiting to happen, which is why so much money is spent on safety, damage control and fire fighting systems, lessons learned!
2. That is why all ships have a missile defence capability, which is linked to the rest of their fleet - creating a shield, for the aircraft carrier.
3. The Moskit has an approx range of 120km, inside the air defence umberella, not to say that it can't get through the "shield", but the launch vehicle, ship or aeroplane is going to be detected a long way out.
4. The Royal Navy changed to construction of its fleet, when we found out that aluminium burns at high temperatures, this was a significant factor in the loss of some of these ships, once damaged, HMS Argent, RFA Sir Galahad. Also add to the fact that the bulk of the ships sunk were actually on picket duty.

Now I agree that weapon do naturally become obsolete through technology, but I think that this is a long way off for the aircraft carrier.

Instead I think that the shape and size will change, as UAV's become more complex & task proficient, the carrier will shrink, and thus potentially more numerous.
April 6th, 2009  
-- Dusty
 
 
I think it would be better if we had 30-40 pocket carriers with 5-7 place each than an entire airwing on one. Multiple targets may make a hunter happy, but when those targets are looking for the hunter as well....
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April 6th, 2009  
Chukpike
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hmmm
I think it would be better if we had 30-40 pocket carriers with 5-7 place each than an entire airwing on one. Multiple targets may make a hunter happy, but when those targets are looking for the hunter as well....
The factors dictating the area needed to simultaneously launch and recover aircraft. (Size of the flight deck) Would probably mean that the room available for aircraft would still be in the 20 or 30 range.

With the addition of jet aircraft after WWII the biggest carriers were to small to handle jets effectively, and thus the angle deck was born and carriers grew larger.

Having only 5-7 aircraft would mean operating offensively or defensively, but not at the same time.
April 6th, 2009  
rattler
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chukpike
Having only 5-7 aircraft would mean operating offensively or defensively, but not at the same time.
Indeed (from my uneducated layman POV), and that is not what you want in any war scen where you are looking (strategically) for the initiative...

Rattler
April 10th, 2009  
mmarsh
 
 
Rattler

Are you so sure the lessons have been learned? That's a mighty big assumption.

Consider this: the Modern Navies are still operating under the assumption that big expensive warships packed with the latest weaponry will dominate the ocean, and yet USS Cole was nearly blown out of the water by a suicide speedboat packed with explosives and a simple timer, not to mention RN ships that were sunk by low-flying aircraft armed with simple Iron Bombs -these are WWII tactics and weapons and they still work.

Personally, I don't think the lessons have been learned at all. We are still designing these juggernauts based on a outdated idea of naval warfare.

Those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it. No Army has won by using the philosophies of the previous war, they win by creating a new philosophy.

Personally I think future Navies will consist of small, expendable ships that can be easily replaced.
April 10th, 2009  
Chukpike
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
Rattler

Are you so sure the lessons have been learned? That's a mighty big assumption.

Consider this: the Modern Navies are still operating under the assumption that big expensive warships packed with the latest weaponry will dominate the ocean, and yet USS Cole was nearly blown out of the water by a suicide speedboat packed with explosives and a simple timer, not to mention RN ships that were sunk by low-flying aircraft armed with simple Iron Bombs -these are WWII tactics and weapons and they still work.
Not sure the Cole attack is relevant to the subject. Although the USS Cole might be one of small, expendable ships you foresee in the future. Not sure what RN ships you are referring to unless you are talking about WWII?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
Personally, I don't think the lessons have been learned at all. We are still designing these juggernauts based on a outdated idea of naval warfare.

Those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it. No Army has won by using the philosophies of the previous war, they win by creating a new philosophy.

Personally I think future Navies will consist of small, expendable ships that can be easily replaced.
Almost seems like you are looking at it from the point of view, that future Navies will go out and duke it out on the High Seas. Which is outdated and has been for a very long time. Maybe you could supply sources for your assertion that the World's navies are using "outdated ideas". For purposes of commerce between countries, navies are still going to be needed even if it is only against piracy.
Currently the world does not seem to be able to deal with piracy easily. But in the future, if the politicians decide naval force is warranted. The end of piracy will be almost immediate.

I don't think you really understand how much of this world is water. Maybe you see Air forces just being based in their home country and flying anywhere in the world to engage an enemy?
The quickest way to supply real time close in support to ground operations are still aircraft carriers. They can get to an areas quickly and can offer sustained tactical support.

As I all ready said in previous posts aircraft carriers probably will become obsolete in the future, it is not going to be in the near future, after that who knows?

No offense but unless you have spent extened time at sea on the world's oceans you have no concept of how big they are.
April 10th, 2009  
mmarsh
 
 
No, I was talking about HMS Antelope, HMS Conventry and HMS Sir Galahad. They were sunk by Argentinean A-4Q Skyhawks using 1000lb bombs in 1982.

No, on the contrary, I am talking the opposite point of view that they days of big Naval Fleets are over. That's just the point, why build 90T Nimitz/Truman/Ford Class Aircraft Carriers when they cannot be used in the traditional capacity of Power Projection? Thanks to in-flight refueling, aircraft do not need to be close to a carrier. When the US bombed Libya, the bombers were F-111 that took off in the UK, took the long way around France hit their target in Tripoli and flew back (that's at least 2600nm round-trip). If Aircraft have that type of range (and remember this is 25 years ago) why do we need a $1 Billion carrier?

You have been at sea much longer than I, I'll grant you that. However since you were at sea in the Navy there has been a incredible revolution in Technology, especially computer technology and that is something I know a great deal about (my profession for the past almost 10 years). Ships simply can no longer disappear in the vastness of the ocean for long periods of time, there are civilian satellites that can zoom as close in as a city block, and the tech is getting even better are more precise.

A few weeks ago I found a website that you might find interesting. It tracked and updated the movements of cargo ships around the world updated by GPS satellite -I'll post the link when I find it so you can see how easy it is to find a ship at sea thesedays.

All weapons become obsolete eventually. The CV replaced the BB, the BB replaced the Dreadnaught, the Dreadnaught replaced the Ironclad, the Ironclad replaced the Ship of the Line, so on and so forth. Is it so hard for people to imagine that the days of the CV days are numbered? I think the fact that most Navies are building smaller, less expensive carriers is due to the realiation that the large CVs days are over.

The point I am trying to make is that in the past 20 years the world, including the sea, has become a very small place and its only going to get smaller.


Partisan

1. When people start thinking ships are unsinkable (L'ORIENT, TITANIC, YAMATO, HOOD, BISMARK) that's usually when they are sunk. The rule is always: If it floats it can sink.
2. Missile Defense helps but is not a 100% Guarantee. We saw that during the 1st Gulf War, SCUDS did break through our Patriot missile defense systems. And Missile Defense offers no protection from torpedoes or mines
3. The Launch vehicle for the Moskit can include something ve innoculous like a Tractor-Trailer. And again such an attack would be fired en-mass, aircrews like the TU-22 Backfire crews were taught to do this throughout the cold war with AS-4 Kitchens. Remember all they need is one hit, they cost per missile means that a country can keep firing them until the defender exhausts himself.
April 11th, 2009  
A Can of Man
 
 
I think the one thing that truly puts the carrier into question is the advancement of UAVs and guided missiles.

As for the Cole attack it had more to do with poor security awareness and discipline.

The inflight refuelling isn't that strong of an argument because how close you can get your airplanes to the theater of operations without burning precious fuel is actually important. It's different when your response or attack is fifteen minutes from the target area as opposed to half way around the world. For many applications it's alright but that's not always the case.
A scenario where you'll need an amphibious force to secure a beach head will need a carrier group to support it unless of course missile technology can pretty much replace what pilots are doing currently. Basically meaning that SAM coverage alone can win air superiority, guided missiles take out enemy strong points, UCAVs provide close air support etc.

I can see the aircraft carrier (at least the large ones) getting obsolete in about twenty years but probably too early for missiles and UAVs to take over right this instant.
April 11th, 2009  
rattler
 
 
Quote:
A few weeks ago I found a website that you might find interesting. It tracked and updated the movements of cargo ships around the world updated by GPS satellite -I'll post the link when I find it so you can see how easy it is to find a ship at sea thesedays.
This is the best site I found in this respect: http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/ , zoom in a bit to see the simple and effective layout: Squares with ship counts, when you zoom in further and mouseover (summary) or click on a ship (detailed report with picture) you get name, status, speed and heading.

Re the carriers, China is going for one http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2...nt_7540399.htm and there is a nice ongoing discussion about what the US Navy really needs to re-invent itself in todays threat scenarios here: http://informationdissemination.blog...evolution.html

NOTE that those influence squadrons still will depend on a carrier near somehwere.

Rattler
 


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