America's aircraft carrier fleet

May 11, 2017
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#2
A carrier is only as good as its flight deck. Even then, you don't need to destroy it to make it inoperable. FOD, ball bearings, metallic filament, bomblettes, etc are all things that will shut down CVN ops for a significant amount of time. I think it's great the author feels the CVN is unsinkable, but that's never really been the primary concern.
 

diverdon

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Dec 21, 2011
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#4
Previous politicians neglected to replace the F14 with a true long range all weather fighter/interceptor. Until their shortsightness is fixed the carrier will be of much less use against near peer nations. Current plans to make the navy by into the stealth fiasco are a far short of ideal solution because the range is too short and the systems are too complicated and fragile.
 
May 11, 2017
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#5
I'd argue that the Navy buying into stealth (F-35, DDG-1000, LCS) is less of a fiasco and more of a strategic deterrent. For example, from a strategic or operational perspective, the THREAT of mining can be just as effective as the actual mining of a port. Show me a leader that is willing to drive a CSG or ARG through a mined port and I'll show you a (RET). My point is that not every vessel needs to actually incorporate stealth technology or radar cross section -reducing technology in order to have an effect. Develop a few bombers that can defeat missile defense sites and you just increased the workload, training, and technology for an entire country. Embracing these new technologies might seem insignificant at the tactical level, but strategically they can have a huge impact. Naval aviation might not have the same impact as it did in the 50's -70's, but warfare isn't fought the same way either. I'd expect the F-35 to fill more of an ISR role in the future.
 

diverdon

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Dec 21, 2011
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#8
Too oversimplify just a bit the Carrier Battle group controls the land and the ocean it can cover with its fighter umbrella.

That partly assumes competent ASW formerly provided by the S3 Viking, retired and not replaced by politicians who thought that during their term we would only fight stone aged savages. But perhaps destroyers and frigates can take up the slack against subs, I don't know.

Countries like Russia had more than 100 Supersonic Backfire bombers set up to launch anti naval cruise missiles (most of those missiles could carry nuclear weapons ) In the 1980 when I was on CVN-70 we were always able to put more than one F-14 on any backfire outside the range where they could launch those cruise missiles. I don't think the F18 provides that ability, nor will the stealth without rebuilding organic inflight refueling.

In the 1980's the carrier battle group stood ready to smash peer enemies. Today they lack the systems needed to make that claim.
Those fighter, inflight refueling, and ASW systems should be the navys top priority. Littoral ships, are great for dealing with a warlord some where in Africa, they are useless against China, Russia or even Iran, India, or Pakistan.
 
May 11, 2017
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#10
To be fair, there is a shift in mindset as well. Like you mentioned, the CSG used to be the end all, be all. In today's navy, the shift is towards distributed maritime operations where the CVN provides more of a supporting role for the small boys. You are correct about the ASW, but I'm not worried. I might be biased given that I fly the "replacement" to the S-3, but the threat has never kept me up at night.
 

diverdon

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Dec 21, 2011
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#12
To be fair, there is a shift in mindset as well. Like you mentioned, the CSG used to be the end all, be all. In today's navy, the shift is towards distributed maritime operations where the CVN provides more of a supporting role for the small boys. You are correct about the ASW, but I'm not worried. I might be biased given that I fly the "replacement" to the S-3, but the threat has never kept me up at night.
If you have current knowledge about a replacement for the S-3 that can fill the asw roll then I am delighted to be lacking in current knowledge.

Yes the roll of the carrier changed, but now watching China's ambitions in the South China Sea, I think we best get ready to change it back.
 

diverdon

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#13
The Super Hornet with conformals has the same combat radius as the F-14D...but no AIM-54.
The last navy pilot I spoke with said that the last ship he flew off lacked any tanker air to air refueling ability. With out that the Tomcat would never have been able to do its job, and without that ability neither will the F18 or the upcoming stealth.
 
Nov 25, 2007
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#16
The Super Hornet with conformals has the same combat radius as the F-14D...but no AIM-54.
Conformal fuel tanks.
God, I hated those things.
External fuel tanks sucked too.

F-15E's from Mountain Home AFB '95-2000.

Was so happy to get back to heavy bombers (B-1B) only, without dealing with aircraft that started with a F designation.
 

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
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#23
Conformal fuel tanks.
God, I hated those things.
External fuel tanks sucked too.

F-15E's from Mountain Home AFB '95-2000.

Was so happy to get back to heavy bombers (B-1B) only, without dealing with aircraft that started with a F designation.
You didn't happen to know a Strike Eagle driver that went by "Wild Bill" did you?
 
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