CVV concepts of the '70s

GTX

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Hi folks,

Does anyone have any information on the USN CVV concepts of the 1970s? Apart from some brief references in books, I have found the following information on the web:

"CVV was the major program, an outgrowth of Zumwalt's earlier T-CBL, proposed by Ford and championed by Carter. It would have been oil-fired and considerably smaller, with a much smaller air wing, than a repeat Nimitz. T-CBL was built to a cost ($550m in FY73 dollars) and so was not designed like ships are normally designed - starting with a threat analysis and a mission - but with a price-tag. So size, capability and to a lesser extent electronic sophistication had to be sacrificed. Also, uniquely, no air-group was specified. An air wing would have had to be hobbled together to suit the size of the ship, not any tactical mission. The number of aircraft quoted would run variously from 52 to 65 with no justification on how those numbers were reached. The design though seems to have been optimized for strike missions with the A-7 and would not have been a multi-role carrier like the Nimitz. At full load she would displace 58,897 tons, 44,500 tons light. There would have been 2 catapults and 2 elevators - a 50% reduction in capacity over a Nimitz. There were fewer ammunition elevators as well so the aircraft elevators would have to pull double-duty. The design was poorly balanced for air operations with fuel for 1.35 days of air operations but ordnance for 4.5 days in a strike configuration, a product of the ships design priorities. This discrepancy got worse if the ship was carrying fighters instead. Hangar deck height was a paltry 19 feet 6 inches. Half of the Kennedy's unreliable high-pressure plant was all that could be accomodated within the limited volume available. The ship could only make 27.8 knots clean with 26.2 knots sustained, well below the 30 knot minimum requirement. The machinery was considered vulnerable to side hits because of its densely packed nature given the limited available volume in the small hull. Defensive weapons would consist of 3 CIWS but no point defense missiles as on larger carriers."

Regards,

Greg
 
Hey, Greg!

Check out Norman Friedman's US Aircraft Carriers: An Illustrated Design History. It's got an entire chapter on the CVV, as well as a chapter devoted to post-war ASW carriers which includes information on the SCS and VSS, as well as some other neat ASW carrier concepts.
 
GTX said:
Hi folks,

Does anyone have any information on the USN CVV concepts of the 1970s? Apart from some brief references in books, I have found the following information on the web:

"CVV was the major program, an outgrowth of Zumwalt's earlier T-CBL, proposed by Ford and championed by Carter. It would have been oil-fired and considerably smaller, with a much smaller air wing, than a repeat Nimitz. T-CBL was built to a cost ($550m in FY73 dollars) and so was not designed like ships are normally designed - starting with a threat analysis and a mission - but with a price-tag. So size, capability and to a lesser extent electronic sophistication had to be sacrificed. Also, uniquely, no air-group was specified. An air wing would have had to be hobbled together to suit the size of the ship, not any tactical mission. The number of aircraft quoted would run variously from 52 to 65 with no justification on how those numbers were reached. The design though seems to have been optimized for strike missions with the A-7 and would not have been a multi-role carrier like the Nimitz. At full load she would displace 58,897 tons, 44,500 tons light. There would have been 2 catapults and 2 elevators - a 50% reduction in capacity over a Nimitz. There were fewer ammunition elevators as well so the aircraft elevators would have to pull double-duty. The design was poorly balanced for air operations with fuel for 1.35 days of air operations but ordnance for 4.5 days in a strike configuration, a product of the ships design priorities. This discrepancy got worse if the ship was carrying fighters instead. Hangar deck height was a paltry 19 feet 6 inches. Half of the Kennedy's unreliable high-pressure plant was all that could be accomodated within the limited volume available. The ship could only make 27.8 knots clean with 26.2 knots sustained, well below the 30 knot minimum requirement. The machinery was considered vulnerable to side hits because of its densely packed nature given the limited available volume in the small hull. Defensive weapons would consist of 3 CIWS but no point defense missiles as on larger carriers."

Regards,

Greg

The CVV was conceived as a replacement for the similarly sized Midway and Coral Sea. From the point of view of the Ford and Carter administrations, the Nimitz class bordered on a failure due to cost escalation and shipyard delays. The sad reality was that Newport News had a virtual monopoly on nuclear carrier construcion, which has been maintained to the present. The CVV concept could have been built by any of 6 or 7 major American shipyards, many of which have long since disappeared, and it was hoped that competition could reduce costs.

As it turned out, the death of the CVV meant that Midway and Coral Sea would not be replaced, although both ships were reprieved by the Reagan defense build up.
 
Here's scans of the Naval Aviation News article of the CVV from July 1979.

I think I got them from one of the Naval Forums, but what with my memory...who knows?
 

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Hi to everyone!
This carrier design reminds me the spanih design BSAC 200 and 220, that ewre offered by BAZAN (later IZAR and nox NAVANTIA) shipyards to China, Brazil and Argentina in the nineties. You can hardly find any info of this interesting projects, just some illustrations (very imprecise) and very little data, such as:
Lenght: 240 m (O.A.)
Beam: 28 m
Displacement: 24000T
Air group: 20 F/A-18 sized aircrafts + 4 helicopters
I´m wondering if it would deserve a topic...

A salute
 

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Shiplover's nice drawings on BSAC 220 project:

http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=77226
 
Starviking's article can be found in this back issue of Naval Aviation News:

http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1970s/1979/jul79.pdf

( http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=55999)
 
Any further specs on the BSAC 220.

Power plant, etc.
 
The CVV was requested for Congressional authorization in the Fiscal Year 1980 Shipbuilding program. The 1,200 PSI steam plant would produce 140,000 SHP for a maximum speed of 28.1 knots; manning of 3,720 officers and ratings; a capacity of 4,000 tons of aviation fuel and 1,075 tons of aviation ordnance. Cost of lead ship $1671.1 million in FY 1980 dollars.

Source: Warships International No.1, 1979
 
shokaku said:
This scheme - from Friedman's book - is the last CVV configuration: 908x126(wl)x34 ft, 61872 tons full load, with a protection system more advanced than the CV67.

Was that one of the ships they considered the Sea Phoenix for?
 
A short article on the 'Envelope Aircraft Carrier' study from 1976 by Norman Polmar: http://www.navyhistory.org/2013/05/normans-corner-the-envelope-aircraft-carrier/

As soon as we had ordered lunch, I handed the admiral a copy of the formal proposal from my firm, the Santa Fe Corporation, to undertake “Analysis of the Feasibility of the Envelope Aircraft Carrier Concept,” dated 5 March 1976. The effort would be undertaken with the firms of BDM and Gibbs and Cox as subcontractors. The later was one of the nation’s top naval architectural firms. The proposal stated:

It is our belief that the ”Envelope Aircraft Carrier Concept” may provide an approach through which
significant reductions in construction costs can be attained without unacceptably impacting on basic
carrier effectiveness.

Accordingly, the goal of this effort is to identify aircraft carrier features which significantly contribute
to total construction cost and which can be deleted or delayed without impacting on carrier size and
basic effectiveness. Special emphasis will be given to features for which space can be reserved for
subsequent installation during the operational lifespan of the carrier.

As a secondary objective, the study will key on the identification of systems and components which,
if deleted or deferred, would allow for substantial personnel reductions.

The unsolicited proposal was staffed at the Naval Material Command, approved, and funded. I was named the study program manager with an all-star team assembled. The hard-core engineering work was directed by Kenneth Brower, an insightful and versatile naval architect. A key consultant was Hebert Meier, recently retired as the senior naval architect at the Naval Sea Systems Command and probably the leading U.S. authority on carrier design. Aviation aspects of the study were directed by Charles Stalzer of BDM, a leading authority on aviation and weapons systems.

We worked hard over the next few months. We produced a highly readable, intuitive and analytical study. However, despite our best efforts, we found that few major features could be delayed or deferred in constructing a large aircraft carrier. Some features, such as weapons stowage, could be changed or delayed, but no major efficiencies could be identified. The concept of an “envelope aircraft carrier” was not valid.

However, when we looked at engineering-related features (e.g., steam catapults), we became intrigued with the basic engineering plant—two pressurized nuclear reactors combined with four steam turbines turning four propeller shafts. At the time the Soviets were constructing the first of the four large, 28,000-ton “battle cruisers” of the Kirov class. These would be the largest surface combatants built from the keel up by any navy since World War II.

The Kirovs had a combination two-reactor/oil-burning steam plant. For several reasons the concept was attractive: The steam plant was efficient at providing high speed and the nuclear plant at providing endurance. Other benefits of such a “split plant” in a large aircraft carrier would be a reduction in nuclear-trained (expensive) personnel and a reduction in construction costs. Oil was relatively cheap at the time.

Thus, our report as submitted to Admiral Michaelis contained two parts: The basic envelope carrier study and a classified volume addressing the split-plant concept. We briefed the admiral and he reviewed the report. He felt that the envelope concept had been worth pursuing to demonstrate whether or not it could be feasible. As for the split plant, as a former skipper of the Enterprise, Michaelis thought that the idea was interesting. But, he pointed out, the idea would never “sell.” It would be fought by Admiral H.G. Rickover, the long-time and intractable head of the Navy’s nuclear propulsion program. Indeed, we were told to submit only three copies of our final report. And, we later learned, that all three copies of the second volume—examining the split-plant propulsion concept—were immediately destroyed.

Thus ended an interesting study effort.
 
Here a link to concept art.
 

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I've often wondered how the CVV would have faired as substitute for CVA O1? I know it's not exactly the same timeframe.
 
Here a link to concept art.


I'm curious what the aircraft are meant to be. They might not be anything real at all -- the artist has taken quite a few liberties, showing the design rather slimmer than the drawings suggest and with people much larger than scale on the flight deck. The aircraft are barely sketched but this sort of baby F-14 is interesting.

1607723619056.png
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I've often wondered how the CVV would have faired as substitute for CVA O1? I know it's not exactly the same timeframe.
It's a couple feet shorter, but 70' broader at the fight deck. I'm not entirely sure they would fit in British docks.
 
The design though seems to have been optimized for strike missions with the A-7 and would not have been a multi-role carrier like the Nimitz.


I'm curious what the aircraft are meant to be. They might not be anything real at all -- the artist has taken quite a few liberties, showing the design rather slimmer than the drawings suggest and with people much larger than scale on the flight deck. The aircraft are barely sketched but this sort of baby F-14 is interesting.
F-14, S-3, E-3, C-2, LAMPS-III, etc. It was designed to carry the entire inventory of the time. However, from what I read in Friedman I got the impression that they would get from 90 to 60 by removing attack aircraft while retaining the F-14s and the support aircraft, and perhaps some A-6s (or better yet, an all F-14C combat wing). The carrier would be optimized for sea control rather than the attack mission. Guarding the NATO reinforcement convoys rather than striking at the Soviet flanks, or protecting the task force while the attack carriers do their strikes. They would have retained the full F-14 and Phoenix fleet air defense role while also being able to attack surface units with Harpoons from A-6/S-3 or multi-role F-14s, but wouldn't have enough attack aircraft to sustain strikes against land targets.

The question I have, though I doubt anyone can answer it, is whether those 60 aircraft were to be packed in like the 90 on the super-carriers were or if the wing density was to be optimized for handling like the present 70+ wing is.
 
The design though seems to have been optimized for strike missions with the A-7 and would not have been a multi-role carrier like the Nimitz.


I'm curious what the aircraft are meant to be. They might not be anything real at all -- the artist has taken quite a few liberties, showing the design rather slimmer than the drawings suggest and with people much larger than scale on the flight deck. The aircraft are barely sketched but this sort of baby F-14 is interesting.
F-14, S-3, E-3, C-2, LAMPS-III, etc. It was designed to carry the entire inventory of the time. However, from what I read in Friedman I got the impression that they would get from 90 to 60 by removing attack aircraft while retaining the F-14s and the support aircraft, and perhaps some A-6s (or better yet, an all F-14C combat wing). The carrier would be optimized for sea control rather than the attack mission. Guarding the NATO reinforcement convoys rather than striking at the Soviet flanks, or protecting the task force while the attack carriers do their strikes. They would have retained the full F-14 and Phoenix fleet air defense role while also being able to attack surface units with Harpoons from A-6/S-3 or multi-role F-14s, but wouldn't have enough attack aircraft to sustain strikes against land targets.

The question I have, though I doubt anyone can answer it, is whether those 60 aircraft were to be packed in like the 90 on the super-carriers were or if the wing density was to be optimized for handling like the present 70+ wing is.
IIRC, 60 was the maximum size of a CVV airwing. I think it was proposed that a CVV airwing would normally only have 40-50 aircraft embarked
 
Well, we can see on one of the earlier pics that the CVV was supposed to have 112 A-7 spots as opposed to 153 on a Kitty Hawk or 157 on a Nimitz. Applying the rule that 80% of the air wing can be embarked without running into serious handing problems, and that works out to 90 A-7 spots as opposed to 122/126, or about 75% of a supercarrier's air wing.

So 60 aircraft on a CVV, given the bias towards large types like Intruders, Vikings, and Tomcats, would probably be the practical max, packed in to a similar level as a supercarrier's 90-plane air wing.
 
The question I have, though I doubt anyone can answer it, is whether those 60 aircraft were to be packed in like the 90 on the super-carriers were or if the wing density was to be optimized for handling like the present 70+ wing is.

Actually, that can be answered quite easily!

1) A breakdown of the notional CVV air wing was provided by CNO Admiral Hayward in 1980 as follows:

10 F-14
20 A-18
10 S-3A
4 KA-6D
4 EA-6B
4 E-2C
8 LAMPS III helos
Total = 60 aircraft

These have an average spot factor of 1.11 (F/A-18C equivalents), ie. they take up the space of 66 F/A-18s. Meanwhile, CVV’s maximum density spotting capacity of 112 A-7s equates to 95 F/A-18s (A-7 spot factor = 0.85 F/A-18).

Dividing the 2 numbers, the CVV’s planned density was 66/95 = 70%.


2) Similarly the notional CVN air wing of 86 aircraft (24 F-14, 24 A-7, 10 A-6, 10 S-3, 4 KA-6, 4 EA-6, 4 E-2, 6 SH-3) had an average spot factor of 1.13, equating to 97 F/A-18s.

Since a CVN’s maximum density spotting capacity was 157 A-7s = 133 F/A-18s, the CVN’s density was 97/133 = 73%.

In the 1991 Gulf War the two carriers with the largest air wings (CV-67 and CVN-71) were at 73-74% density… very close to the above.

So CVV ´s 60 aircraft air wing at 70% density seems reasonable for the 80s-90s.
 
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