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Cold Warriors: The Essex Class in the Cold War

SSgtC

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So the RAAF will not get the F-111 most likley as they did in OTL, shame, i always liked the a dump-and-burn.

Also i think the quote from Benny Murdani, Indonesian defense minister in the 1980s, told his Australian counterpart Kim Beazley that when others became upset with Australia during Indonesian cabinet meetings, Murdani told them "Do you realise the Australians have a bomber that can put a bomb through that window on to the table here in front of us?" will not happen, ore will it.
It's a case of in service dates. They love the proposed specifications of the three designs, but they feel that they can't wait 10+ years for it to enter service.
 

starviking

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July 4, 1958
Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia


While the two men had initially discussed combining both services fighter and bomber programs together, the decision had ultimately been made to only combine the fighter programs, as the requirements for each respective service's attack aircraft were far too different to make a combined program work to everyone's satisfaction. In the morning, a revised Fighter Specification would be issued along with enquires to the various manufacturers as to their aircraft's suitability to carrier operations.
So any developments on the bomber requirement(s)?
The Vulcan and B-47 have been eliminated while the TSR-2 and the two proposed future F-111 designs from Boeing and General Dynamics have been told that, while they are not officially eliminated, there is a less than 5% chance of them being selected.

Dah-dah-da-da-DA...dah-dah-da-da-DA...dah-da-da-da-dee-dee-dee! (Ride of the ...?) ;)
 

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So the RAAF will not get the F-111 most likley as they did in OTL, shame, i always liked the a dump-and-burn.


The F-111 was not the only aircraft that could do a Dump & Burn...;)

 

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Have been thinking a bit more. I wonder if a way to get F-4s operating more easily from the Essex class (for Australians and others...) would be to do an early version of the F-4E(F)? That is, take something such as the F-4B and remove the back seater and perhaps limit it to 4 AIM-9s and only 2 AIM-7s.
 
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Have been thinking a bit more. I wonder if a way to get F-4s operating more easily from the Essex class (for Australians and others...) would be to fo an early version of the F-4E(F)? That is, take something such as the F-4B and remove the back seater and perhaps limit it to 4 AIM-9s and only 2 AIM-7s.
That really wouldn't help much. In an air-to-air configuration, you could launch one from an Essex no problem. With 4xSparrows and 4xSidewinders with full internal fuel, it was only 45,000 pounds. So could be launched easily. The issue with flying them from the class, that the Navy stressed to Congress repeatedly, was that the aircraft guzzled JP-5. And the Essex class could only hold so much.
 

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The Argentine purchase of a Essex would have made the Falklands Conflict an interesting proposition for the RN, unless US intervention would have prevented its use. Although what would its airgroup have been, would they have had longer legs than as historical.

If the RN knows that Argentina has an Essex, no way in hell Eagle gets the axe in 67-72 instead of cranky Ark Royal. Also, Hermes would not lose its catapults. For a start. Earlier in time, CVA-01 would not be allowed to die, at least not without a valid replacement. Which might very well be - the irony ! a couple of rebuild Essex... for example, the WWII crippled Bunker Hill and Franklin, thoroughly rebuild.
Sadly, since when has strategic imperatives had much if any impact on House of Commons defence policy? Numbers would still have been fudged and cuts made.
 

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The Argentine purchase of a Essex would have made the Falklands Conflict an interesting proposition for the RN, unless US intervention would have prevented its use. Although what would its airgroup have been, would they have had longer legs than as historical.

If the RN knows that Argentina has an Essex, no way in hell Eagle gets the axe in 67-72 instead of cranky Ark Royal. Also, Hermes would not lose its catapults. For a start. Earlier in time, CVA-01 would not be allowed to die, at least not without a valid replacement. Which might very well be - the irony ! a couple of rebuild Essex... for example, the WWII crippled Bunker Hill and Franklin, thoroughly rebuild.
Sadly, since when has strategic imperatives had much if any impact on House of Commons defence policy? Numbers would still have been fudged and cuts made.

Would they, even with Indonesia being bigger threat then OTL.
 

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The Argentine purchase of a Essex would have made the Falklands Conflict an interesting proposition for the RN, unless US intervention would have prevented its use. Although what would its airgroup have been, would they have had longer legs than as historical.

If the RN knows that Argentina has an Essex, no way in hell Eagle gets the axe in 67-72 instead of cranky Ark Royal. Also, Hermes would not lose its catapults. For a start. Earlier in time, CVA-01 would not be allowed to die, at least not without a valid replacement. Which might very well be - the irony ! a couple of rebuild Essex... for example, the WWII crippled Bunker Hill and Franklin, thoroughly rebuild.
Sadly, since when has strategic imperatives had much if any impact on House of Commons defence policy? Numbers would still have been fudged and cuts made.

Would they, even with Indonesia being bigger threat then OTL.
I was referring to the UK but when you look at Australia in the period being discussed here Australia's over arching strategy was to get the US engaged in the region and provide light (read cheap) forces to support coalition / alliance activities. The bomber / Canberra replacement was a political issue the opposition was using effectively against the government of the day and the state of the art, but long delayed F-111 was the perfect solution, i.e. the government was seen to be doing something but that something (and the money required) was well into the future.
 

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The RAAF were reportedly very happy with the F4s they received to fill in for the F111s. They might have been worth having anyway.
I dont really see an alternative to the A4 for Australia mated to the Melbourne. An Essex with F8s and ASW stuff would have had about the same timeframe and needed replacing in the 80s. Much easier to let the USN provide carriers for the region.
The UK used NATO to let the USAF provide two whole wings of UK based F111s. With US B52s on Guam and forward deployable, the RAAF could have done what the RAF did and use cheaper substitutes like F4s and Buccaneers. Aussie Buccaneer S50s in Naam?
 

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The RAAF were reportedly very happy with the F4s they received to fill in for the F111s. They might have been worth having anyway.
I dont really see an alternative to the A4 for Australia mated to the Melbourne. An Essex with F8s and ASW stuff would have had about the same timeframe and needed replacing in the 80s. Much easier to let the USN provide carriers for the region.
The UK used NATO to let the USAF provide two whole wings of UK based F111s. With US B52s on Guam and forward deployable, the RAAF could have done what the RAF did and use cheaper substitutes like F4s and Buccaneers. Aussie Buccaneer S50s in Naam?
The F-4s were leased as an interim solution following further delays to the F-111 rectification of the wing carry through box, there was however a more permanent solution considered in the late 60s if the F-111 order had to be cancelled. The fall back was for three squadrons of F-4E (36), one of RF-4C(or maybe E)(6?) and a squadron of KC-135s (12?) to replace the expected capability 24 F-111C and 6 RF-111 would deliver.
 

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I'm trying to stay within the bounds of the scenario in this ATL.

Re missiles: My mention of 4 x AIM-9 + 2 x AIM-7 would still be more than the alternates of the Mirage III (2 x R.550/AIM-9 + 1× R.530) or F-104 (Typically 2 - 4 x aIM-9 though possibly up to 4 x AIM-9 + 2 x AIM-7 in the latter F-104S). BTW, given the ranges of radars, missiles, combat in general anything more than 2 AIM-7s would probably be a waste since the opposing forces would merge too quickly. About the only scenario where more aIM-7s would be of use would be the bomber interceptor role where you would possibly be lobbing missiles in from afar.

Re use on the Essex class, I always thought the issue was the weight (both taking off and landing.

Re use of F-4s rather than F-111s - well, that is outside of the way this scenario is already going...

Re use of F-8s - ditto last point...
 

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I'm trying to stay within the bounds of the scenario in this ATL.

Re missiles: My mention of 4 x AIM-9 + 2 x AIM-7 would still be more than the alternates of the Mirage III (2 x R.550/AIM-9 + 1× R.530) or F-104 (Typically 2 - 4 x aIM-9 though possibly up to 4 x AIM-9 + 2 x AIM-7 in the latter F-104S). BTW, given the ranges of radars, missiles, combat in general anything more than 2 AIM-7s would probably be a waste since the opposing forces would merge too quickly. About the only scenario where more aIM-7s would be of use would be the bomber interceptor role where you would possibly be lobbing missiles in from afar.

Re use on the Essex class, I always thought the issue was the weight (both taking off and landing.

Re use of F-4s rather than F-111s - well, that is outside of the way this scenario is already going...

Re use of F-8s - ditto last point...
Not really. The C11-1 could launch a 45,000 pound aircraft at about 130 knots. Even at its max launch weight of 56,000 pounds, the C11-1 could get a Phantom up to about 120 knots by itself. The Essex class could give you a sustained 19 knots during high intensity flight ops (that's diverting enough steam from propulsion to the cats to deliver full power cat shots with launches every 30 seconds). So weight wise, the Essex class could easily handle them. It's the fuel and ammunition that are the main reasons the Navy kept them off the class. Keep in mind, the Midway class had the exact same catapults and they operated them just fine (though the Midway class could maintain 23 knots during high intensity flight operations).
 

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Hmmm...interesting. So what sort of limitations are we talking about and could a smaller navy perhaps live with them?
 

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