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Gerald R. Ford Class CVN

sferrin

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They were probably inspired by the CVN-65, which was the first nuclear-powered carrier and still the longest. Forgot about CV-6.
The Enterprise in TOS was (they also had the Constellation). The Shuttle was inspired by Star Trek. I would not be at all surprised if CVN-80 was not also inspired by Star Trek. There was a write-in effort there. https://www.freewebs.com/jeffhead/cvn80-bige/
 
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AAG high cyclic test validation.

http://www.asdnews.com/news/defense...-system-completes-critical-high-cycle-testing

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced that High Cycle Testing of its Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) system for Ford-class aircraft carriers was successfully completed over a two-day period in October 2019 at the Runway Arrested Landing Site (RALS) in Lakehurst.......

.....“Over and over again, in rapid succession, AAG sustained an aircraft arrestment rate of nearly one per minute successfully testing the system’s capability to handle the recovery sequence required for combat readiness"
 

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ORIGINAL CAPTION: An EA-18G Growler, assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, prepares to take off from USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN-78) flight deck on Jan. 25, 2020. US Navy Photo
 

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I think you would need mass dampers and and all kinds of currently science fiction solutions to fly any kind of carrier, much easier would be orbital carrier types that could react faster and arrive sooner to the fleet.
 

F-14D

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They were probably inspired by the CVN-65, which was the first nuclear-powered carrier and still the longest. Forgot about CV-6.
The Enterprise in TOS was (they also had the Constellation). The Shuttle was inspired by Star Trek. I would not be at all surprised if CVN-80 was not also inspired by Star Trek. There was a write-in effort there. https://www.freewebs.com/jeffhead/cvn80-bige/

Just saw this.

I believe I read somewhere that Roddneberry actually named NCC-1701 in tribute to CV-6, arguably the most important carrier of WWII. The Shuttle originally was intended to be named "Constitution", but there was such a powerful write-in campaign by Star Trek fans that NASA, always looking for good publicity, changed the name. CVN-80's name was also the product of input from outside Washington. What was argued was that with the upcoming retirement of CVN-65, the Navy should never be without a ship named "Enterprise". However, the powers that be had already decided to name CVN-79 for another politician. This the only politician to have two carriers named after him, which doesn't make that much sense unless you believe it was done to insure the ship made it through Congress. However, given all the obvious interest from the Real World, it was decided to name CVN-80 Enterprise and this was announced at CVN-65's retirement ceremony.
 

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“The Navy is realizing they need to change that approach and perhaps think about using carriers in more peripheral ways in a fight,” Bryan Clark, senior fellow at Hudson Institute, said. Instead of launching aircraft for strike missions deep inland, as they’ve been used in Iraq and Afghanistan, they’re more likely to “hang out out of range and do sea control,” covering down on large swaths of ocean.

In February, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower performed just such a mission, sweeping a path across the Atlantic for cargo ships full of Army equipment bound for major ground exercise in Europe. The expercise, run under the newly reconstituted 2nd Fleet, was the first drill simulating a contested crossing of the Atlantic since 1986.

The Ike, along with an unidentified submarine sweeping the depths of the ocean for unexpected Russian guests, sailed well ahead of the convoy while fighting off simulated electronic warfare and undersea and aerial attacks in a stress test for how prepared the Navy is to punch its way across the Atlantic.

As the Pentagon and Navy hash out what the Navy of the future should look like to meet challenges posed by China, they are experimenting everywhere. Navy and Marine Corps leadership have warmed to the “lightning carrier” concept, designed to pack amphibious ships with Marine Corps’ F-35Bs and sail them to the hotspots to cover places the big decks aren’t.

Late last year, the USS America photographed in the Pacific with 13 F-35s on its deck, something the services want to do more of as the so-called Gator Navy reinforces more decks to handle the fifth generation fighter. The Marines and Navy are working on a new strategy to more closely align their operations, which would allow both to provide more punch, and give the Marines the ability to launch from both ships and from small ad-hoc land bases to support the fleet.

Any potentially smaller carrier of the future will not be as small as an amphibious ship, as those ships can’t support high sortie rates over long periods of time like a Nimitz or Ford carrier.
They would, however, certainly be smaller than the hulking Fords.
 

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I think I've come around to the CSBA idea of replacing the LHD/As, as they retire, with a medium carrier. They can be "lightning carriers," ASW carriers, or assault carriers as needed while definitively jettisoning the well deck roles.
 

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I think I've come around to the CSBA idea of replacing the LHD/As, as they retire, with a medium carrier. They can be "lightning carriers," ASW carriers, or assault carriers as needed while definitively jettisoning the well deck roles.
Didn't they mainly propose just redesignating the LHA(R)s as CVEs? Without a pretty expensive VSTOL aircraft development program, they'd be awfully limited.
 

sferrin

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I think I've come around to the CSBA idea of replacing the LHD/As, as they retire, with a medium carrier. They can be "lightning carriers," ASW carriers, or assault carriers as needed while definitively jettisoning the well deck roles.
Only if it's not at the expense of CVNs.
 

apparition13

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I think I've come around to the CSBA idea of replacing the LHD/As, as they retire, with a medium carrier. They can be "lightning carriers," ASW carriers, or assault carriers as needed while definitively jettisoning the well deck roles.
Didn't they mainly propose just redesignating the LHA(R)s as CVEs? Without a pretty expensive VSTOL aircraft development program, they'd be awfully limited.
Oh for the proposed AEW and ASW variants of the CL-84 tiltwing.
 

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Is that really new? Sounds like reinventing the NATO Atlantic reinforcement mission to me.

A small carrier with a capability to carry 24 MV-22 and 24 F-35B and 12-24 smaller AH-1/MH-60/FVL helicopters would indeed be a useful aircraft carrier to support the more conventional well deck equipped amphibious ships. This would be the ideal aerial assault platform for the USMC, but the rub is removing the well deck makes this a pure aircraft carrier and it would be more difficult to get political approval even if it lacked cats and traps like a CVN. The end result would be something very similar in size to the Queen Elizabeth-class, a not inconsiderable size and cost.
 

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Is that really new? Sounds like reinventing the NATO Atlantic reinforcement mission to me.

A small carrier with a capability to carry 24 MV-22 and 24 F-35B and 12-24 smaller AH-1/MH-60/FVL helicopters would indeed be a useful aircraft carrier to support the more conventional well deck equipped amphibious ships. This would be the ideal aerial assault platform for the USMC, but the rub is removing the well deck makes this a pure aircraft carrier and it would be more difficult to get political approval even if it lacked cats and traps like a CVN. The end result would be something very similar in size to the Queen Elizabeth-class, a not inconsiderable size and cost.
That seems too big, honestly. Either 24 V-22 or 24 F-35 (not sure those are equivalent deck spots but you get the idea).

Politically, we did buy a pair of LHA(R) without well decks. And it wasn't really great for the Marines because it makes it really hard for a three-ship ARG to work without those extra dock spaces. But if you don't care about MEU floats, it can have advantages (and MEUs aren't getting the workout they used to get so maybe it's not such a key capability). If they do add something like the stern-landing ships they're talking about (basically modern LSMs) that might replace the well on big decks.
 

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I think I've come around to the CSBA idea of replacing the LHD/As, as they retire, with a medium carrier. They can be "lightning carriers," ASW carriers, or assault carriers as needed while definitively jettisoning the well deck roles.
Only if it's not at the expense of CVNs.
In their report it was not, they had CVNs and "CVLs" (not my preferred designation) 1:1.
 

Moose

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I think I've come around to the CSBA idea of replacing the LHD/As, as they retire, with a medium carrier. They can be "lightning carriers," ASW carriers, or assault carriers as needed while definitively jettisoning the well deck roles.
Didn't they mainly propose just redesignating the LHA(R)s as CVEs? Without a pretty expensive VSTOL aircraft development program, they'd be awfully limited.
No, their plan was ultimately to produce a conventional medium carrier. There would be a transition as the existing LHAs were used more extensively in the "lightning carrier" role. But they were aiming for an angled flight deck and catapults on something slightly smaller than the brits' CVF, or similar to a fully modernized Midway. The Marines' STOVL F-35s and Navy/Marine CATOBAR F-35s could operate alongside each other in an air wing.
 

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I think I've come around to the CSBA idea of replacing the LHD/As, as they retire, with a medium carrier. They can be "lightning carriers," ASW carriers, or assault carriers as needed while definitively jettisoning the well deck roles.
Didn't they mainly propose just redesignating the LHA(R)s as CVEs? Without a pretty expensive VSTOL aircraft development program, they'd be awfully limited.
No, their plan was ultimately to produce a conventional medium carrier. There would be a transition as the existing LHAs were used more extensively in the "lightning carrier" role. But they were aiming for an angled flight deck and catapults on something slightly smaller than the brits' CVF, or similar to a fully modernized Midway. The Marines' STOVL F-35s and Navy/Marine CATOBAR F-35s could operate alongside each other in an air wing.
Ok. I came across the synopsis of a 2005 proposal that has the redesignation bit.

 

jsport

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I think I've come around to the CSBA idea of replacing the LHD/As, as they retire, with a medium carrier. They can be "lightning carriers," ASW carriers, or assault carriers as needed while definitively jettisoning the well deck roles.
Didn't they mainly propose just redesignating the LHA(R)s as CVEs? Without a pretty expensive VSTOL aircraft development program, they'd be awfully limited.
No, their plan was ultimately to produce a conventional medium carrier. There would be a transition as the existing LHAs were used more extensively in the "lightning carrier" role. But they were aiming for an angled flight deck and catapults on something slightly smaller than the brits' CVF, or similar to a fully modernized Midway. The Marines' STOVL F-35s and Navy/Marine CATOBAR F-35s could operate alongside each other in an air wing.
Ok. I came across the synopsis of a 2005 proposal that has the redesignation bit.

..would second the "57,000 ton missile and rocket' ship (just would add Gun to that;).
 

sferrin

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I think I've come around to the CSBA idea of replacing the LHD/As, as they retire, with a medium carrier. They can be "lightning carriers," ASW carriers, or assault carriers as needed while definitively jettisoning the well deck roles.
Only if it's not at the expense of CVNs.
In their report it was not, they had CVNs and "CVLs" (not my preferred designation) 1:1.
I'm talking about the politicians doing so, not the USN.
 

uk 75

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I must admit I get confused by modern CVN airgroups. Back in the Cold War they justified these huge platforms with long range air defence (F14s) strike(A6s) ASW(S3s) and AEW/COD (E and C2). Now its a bunch of F35s and helos which could almost fly off the old Ark Royal. Looking further ahead, UAVs could be operated and recovered in various ways. Helos can stay on LHAs LHDs or whatever.
 

apparition13

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Ok. I came across the synopsis of a 2005 proposal that has the redesignation bit.
Ah, that's the LHA(R) when the dual tramline concept was still in the running before they went safe with the America. Which given the Navy's recent track record with going for broke may have been wise. Still, that would make a terrific CVE even with the dock. Take the Dock out and add hangar space and you could be looking at 40+ aircraft, at which point an EV-22 AEW would be a virtual necessity.

LHARconcept.jpgAlthough seeing as the dual tramline is about the same size as a QE2, and those are around $4 billion each, it would be easier to build QE2s as CVEs or, given how CVEs were used in WW2, CVMs (for multirole). That dual tramline really is a nice looking design though.
 

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Dual tram was never part of the program of record, but I suppose it's possible that CSBA latched onto it. I'd have to go back and read their while 2005 report, which just seems like too much work today...
 

sferrin

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I must admit I get confused by modern CVN airgroups. Back in the Cold War they justified these huge platforms with long range air defence (F14s) strike(A6s) ASW(S3s) and AEW/COD (E and C2). Now its a bunch of F35s and helos which could almost fly off the old Ark Royal. Looking further ahead, UAVs could be operated and recovered in various ways. Helos can stay on LHAs LHDs or whatever.
Blame the USN for not filling out the air wings as they should. Still, easier to build more aircraft if you need them than to build more carriers.
 

Hood

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That seems too big, honestly. Either 24 V-22 or 24 F-35 (not sure those are equivalent deck spots but you get the idea).

Politically, we did buy a pair of LHA(R) without well decks. And it wasn't really great for the Marines because it makes it really hard for a three-ship ARG to work without those extra dock spaces. But if you don't care about MEU floats, it can have advantages (and MEUs aren't getting the workout they used to get so maybe it's not such a key capability). If they do add something like the stern-landing ships they're talking about (basically modern LSMs) that might replace the well on big decks.
True, it would be a big ship. My thoughts were centered around a USMC air power projection platform. You can get 20 F-35s on an America-class now, but with a decent sized deck and hangar the ship is going to be quite a bit bigger than a traditional LHA so my thought was to make the most of the increased size you need anyway and fit a decent airgroup.
Either way it would be a big and expensive programme to build something like a QE-sized ship alongside CVNs on a 1:1 basis and it would open temptations to cancel the more expensive option at some point in the future. Yet simply adding a bit of deck and keeping the well deck off an America-class type hull feels too constrained to be worth it.
 

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I must admit I get confused by modern CVN airgroups. Back in the Cold War they justified these huge platforms with long range air defence (F14s) strike(A6s) ASW(S3s) and AEW/COD (E and C2). Now its a bunch of F35s and helos which could almost fly off the old Ark Royal. Looking further ahead, UAVs could be operated and recovered in various ways. Helos can stay on LHAs LHDs or whatever.
There are varied reasons to this. In the USN case, the Super Hornet and F-35 replaced, for the sake of cost savings, aircraft with superior performances than themselves - Tomcat and A-6, notably. F-35 continued the SH downward spiral, although it also brings different capabilities that may compensate the lower "raw" performance, I mean speed and range.
As for the number of platforms on carrier decks, it surely shrunk since 1985 when there were Tomcat and A-6 and A-7 and Vikings and Hornets on the decks, plus support aircraft like KA-3s. Unlike the above it is not necessarily a bad trend overall. The least number of different airframes, the least expensive the CAG, sure.

But in the case of the SH and F-35 it went a little too far. The most spectacular area is long range strike from carriers, where the antiquated A-6 range still isn't matched by its successors. 23 years after the type retirement, in 1997.
 
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sferrin

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I must admit I get confused by modern CVN airgroups. Back in the Cold War they justified these huge platforms with long range air defence (F14s) strike(A6s) ASW(S3s) and AEW/COD (E and C2). Now its a bunch of F35s and helos which could almost fly off the old Ark Royal. Looking further ahead, UAVs could be operated and recovered in various ways. Helos can stay on LHAs LHDs or whatever.
There are varied reasons to this. In the USN case, the Super Hornet and F-35 replaced, for the sake of cost savings, aircraft with superior performances than themselves - Tomcat and A-6, notably. F-35 continued the SH downward spiral, although it also brings different capabilities that may compensate the lower "raw" performance, I mean speed and range.
As for the number of platforms on carrier decks, it surely shrunk since 1985 when there were Tomcat and A-6 and A-7 and Vikings and Hornets on the decks, plus support aircraft like KA-3s. Unlike the above it is not necessarily a bad trend overall. The least number of different airframes, the least expensive the CAG, sure.

But in the case of the SH and F-35 it went a little too far. The most spectacular area is long range strike from carriers, where the antiquated A-6 range still isn't matched by its successors. 23 years after the type retirement, in 1997.
And, with the retirement of the Viking the carrier airwing has lost an entire capability. Ditto with the retirement of the Tomcat. (Maybe an APG-79 / AIM-120D equipped Super Hornet can get you there but it's lacking in range and speed.) That doesn't mean we no longer need CVNs, it means we need to regain the lost capability. The "Peace Dividend" is the gift that keeps on giving.
 

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That ackward moment when you realize the USN amphibs have reached such a huge size and tonnage (equalling the Charles de Gaulle or even beyond) the USN has the ultimate luxury of
a) turning the current amphibs into surrogate light carriers using the VSTOL variant of the F-35
b) even better, creating a brand new class of light carriers out of their hulls (*light* being all relative, in the sense of USS Gerald Ford 100 000 tons, 45000 tons is *light* - although it already matches or even dwarf Essex, Clems, Hermes, and very nearly Midways...)

Will this be the *revenge of the CVV* ? back then the USN could argue building them out of thin air was too expensive, plus they encroached on Midway or Forrestal areas.
Nowadays however, Nimitz and Ford have balooned to such tonnages, and amphibs, too... basically a reborn CVV could very nearly being build out of the present amphibs while remaining small enough not to *bother* the Nimitz and Fords in overall capability... and cost.

Makes one think.
 

sferrin

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That ackward moment when you realize the USN amphibs have reached such a huge size and tonnage (equalling the Charles de Gaulle or even beyond) the USN has the ultimate luxury of
a) turning the current amphibs into surrogate light carriers using the VSTOL variant of the F-35
b) even better, creating a brand new class of light carriers out of their hulls (*light* being all relative, in the sense of USS Gerald Ford 100 000 tons, 45000 tons is *light* - although it already matches or even dwarf Essex, Clems, Hermes, and very nearly Midways...)

Will this be the *revenge of the CVV* ? back then the USN could argue building them out of thin air was too expensive, plus they encroached on Midway or Forrestal areas.
Nowadays however, Nimitz and Ford have balooned to such tonnages, and amphibs, too... basically a reborn CVV could very nearly being build out of the present amphibs while remaining small enough not to *bother* the Nimitz and Fords in overall capability... and cost.

Makes one think.
"Nowadays"? Supercarriers have been around for over half a century.
 

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That ackward moment when you realize the USN amphibs have reached such a huge size and tonnage (equalling the Charles de Gaulle or even beyond) the USN has the ultimate luxury of
a) turning the current amphibs into surrogate light carriers using the VSTOL variant of the F-35
b) even better, creating a brand new class of light carriers out of their hulls (*light* being all relative, in the sense of USS Gerald Ford 100 000 tons, 45000 tons is *light* - although it already matches or even dwarf Essex, Clems, Hermes, and very nearly Midways...)

Will this be the *revenge of the CVV* ? back then the USN could argue building them out of thin air was too expensive, plus they encroached on Midway or Forrestal areas.
Nowadays however, Nimitz and Ford have balooned to such tonnages, and amphibs, too... basically a reborn CVV could very nearly being build out of the present amphibs while remaining small enough not to *bother* the Nimitz and Fords in overall capability... and cost.

Makes one think.
"Nowadays"? Supercarriers have been around for over half a century.
65000 tons for a Forrestal, 80 000 tons+ for a Nimitz, nearly 100 000 tons for a Ford. If that's not weight balloning... !!!
 

sferrin

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That ackward moment when you realize the USN amphibs have reached such a huge size and tonnage (equalling the Charles de Gaulle or even beyond) the USN has the ultimate luxury of
a) turning the current amphibs into surrogate light carriers using the VSTOL variant of the F-35
b) even better, creating a brand new class of light carriers out of their hulls (*light* being all relative, in the sense of USS Gerald Ford 100 000 tons, 45000 tons is *light* - although it already matches or even dwarf Essex, Clems, Hermes, and very nearly Midways...)

Will this be the *revenge of the CVV* ? back then the USN could argue building them out of thin air was too expensive, plus they encroached on Midway or Forrestal areas.
Nowadays however, Nimitz and Ford have balooned to such tonnages, and amphibs, too... basically a reborn CVV could very nearly being build out of the present amphibs while remaining small enough not to *bother* the Nimitz and Fords in overall capability... and cost.

Makes one think.
"Nowadays"? Supercarriers have been around for over half a century.
65000 tons for a Forrestal, 80 000 tons+ for a Nimitz, nearly 100 000 tons for a Ford. If that's not weight balloning... !!!
More like 80,000-82,000 full load for Forrestals
81,000 - 84,000 for Kitty Hawks/JFK
95,000 for Enterprise (CVN-65)
100,000-104,000 for Nimitz class. About the same for Ford.
ALL are considered "supercarriers".
 

uk 75

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Being a dull sort of a fellow, I look back on the Ark Royal/CVA01 Air Group as being a good mix. Phantoms to see off the Soviet bombers or their surrogates. Buccaneers to take on surface targets on land or at sea. SeaKings provided the ASW.
If F35 cannot do both the Phantom and Buccaneer role, what should we be building.
The US supercarriers always seemed to me (Revell kits are to blame) wedded to the Vigilante or A6 as deep strike jets to rival SAC's B52s. Otherwise surface targets could be taken care of by an SSN.
I would like to see the QE and PW stashed full of new UAVs for the strike and air defence role (Toutatis, Touranis or whatever) and Chinooks in peacetime to help out with disasters etc.
 

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I think I've come around to the CSBA idea of replacing the LHD/As, as they retire, with a medium carrier. They can be "lightning carriers," ASW carriers, or assault carriers as needed while definitively jettisoning the well deck roles.
Didn't they mainly propose just redesignating the LHA(R)s as CVEs? Without a pretty expensive VSTOL aircraft development program, they'd be awfully limited.
No, their plan was ultimately to produce a conventional medium carrier. There would be a transition as the existing LHAs were used more extensively in the "lightning carrier" role. But they were aiming for an angled flight deck and catapults on something slightly smaller than the brits' CVF, or similar to a fully modernized Midway. The Marines' STOVL F-35s and Navy/Marine CATOBAR F-35s could operate alongside each other in an air wing.
Ok. I came across the synopsis of a 2005 proposal that has the redesignation bit.

This is the study I was referring to [PDF warning] for reference/comparison. I was wrong, btw, they actually have 12 CVNs and 10 "CVLs"
The 4-ship ARG would consist of a CVL, an LPD, and two LX(R)s. The CVL would initially be a
legacy LHA/LHD but would eventually be replaced by a purpose-built 40,000- to 60,000-ton
CVL with catapults and arresting gear. The CVL would carry twenty to thirty primarily fixed-wing
aircraft to exploit the stealth and C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers,
Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) capability of the F-35B. The rotary-wing
aircraft displaced from the LHA/LHD would go to a small-deck amphibious ship (LPD or LX(R))
added to the current 3-ship ARG. The CVL air wing would focus on SUW, strike, and CAS
missions. The LPDs and LX(R)s would conduct SUW as well as amphibious operations using
their attack helicopters and the long-range surface-to-surface missiles in VLS magazines. With
a VLS magazine, small-deck amphibious ships would also be able to employ medium-range air
defense interceptors such as ESSM to improve their staying power in a contested area.
The proposed fleet architecture adds to today’s CVNs smaller conventionally powered CVLs of 40,000 to 60,000 tons that would be incorporated into ARGs as part of the Deterrence Force. CVLs would provide power projection and sea control capabilities at the scale needed for day-to-day operations and for SUW, strike, and CAS as part of initial combat, freeing CVNs to focus on high-end integrated multi-carrier operations as part of the Maneuver Force or the Northern Europe Deterrence Force.

In the near-term, existing LHA/LHD amphibious assault ships would be employed as CVLs using a loadout of twenty to twenty-five F-35B aircraft.67 As they reach the end of their service life, LHA/LHD-derived CVLs would be replaced by purpose-built CVLs with a displacement similar to a Cold War-era Midway-class aircraft carrier and equipped with catapults and arresting gear.68 As a result, CVL air wings would be able to become slightly larger and incorporate airborne electronic attack (AEA) and airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft that are catapult-launched and require an arrested landing.
 

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That ackward moment when you realize the USN amphibs have reached such a huge size and tonnage (equalling the Charles de Gaulle or even beyond) the USN has the ultimate luxury of
a) turning the current amphibs into surrogate light carriers using the VSTOL variant of the F-35
b) even better, creating a brand new class of light carriers out of their hulls (*light* being all relative, in the sense of USS Gerald Ford 100 000 tons, 45000 tons is *light* - although it already matches or even dwarf Essex, Clems, Hermes, and very nearly Midways...)

Will this be the *revenge of the CVV* ? back then the USN could argue building them out of thin air was too expensive, plus they encroached on Midway or Forrestal areas.
Nowadays however, Nimitz and Ford have balooned to such tonnages, and amphibs, too... basically a reborn CVV could very nearly being build out of the present amphibs while remaining small enough not to *bother* the Nimitz and Fords in overall capability... and cost.

Makes one think.
More like 80,000-82,000 full load for Forrestals
81,000 - 84,000 for Kitty Hawks/JFK
95,000 for Enterprise (CVN-65)
100,000-104,000 for Nimitz class. About the same for Ford.
ALL are considered "supercarriers".
Full load displacement on commissioning, data for the first three carriers from various editions of Jane's Fighting Ships:

CV(A) 60 Saratoga, 1956, 75,000 tons
CV(A)N 65 Enterprise, 1961, 85,530 tons
CVN 68 Nimitz, 1975, 90,944 tons

They have put on weight since commissioning.

CVN 78 Gerald R. Ford, 2017, 97,000 tons (https://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=200&ct=4)
 

TomS

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This is the study I was referring to [PDF warning] for reference/comparison. I was wrong, btw, they actually have 12 CVNs and 10 "CVLs"
The 4-ship ARG would consist of a CVL, an LPD, and two LX(R)s. The CVL would initially be a
legacy LHA/LHD but would eventually be replaced by a purpose-built 40,000- to 60,000-ton
CVL with catapults and arresting gear. The CVL would carry twenty to thirty primarily fixed-wing
aircraft to exploit the stealth and C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers,
Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) capability of the F-35B. The rotary-wing
aircraft displaced from the LHA/LHD would go to a small-deck amphibious ship (LPD or LX(R))
added to the current 3-ship ARG. The CVL air wing would focus on SUW, strike, and CAS
missions. The LPDs and LX(R)s would conduct SUW as well as amphibious operations using
their attack helicopters and the long-range surface-to-surface missiles in VLS magazines. With
a VLS magazine, small-deck amphibious ships would also be able to employ medium-range air
defense interceptors such as ESSM to improve their staying power in a contested area.
The proposed fleet architecture adds to today’s CVNs smaller conventionally powered CVLs of 40,000 to 60,000 tons that would be incorporated into ARGs as part of the Deterrence Force. CVLs would provide power projection and sea control capabilities at the scale needed for day-to-day operations and for SUW, strike, and CAS as part of initial combat, freeing CVNs to focus on high-end integrated multi-carrier operations as part of the Maneuver Force or the Northern Europe Deterrence Force.
Wow, heady days back then. That's a force structure we would have been hard pressed to afford at late Cold War levels, much less any realistic near-term budget. Practically "fantasy fleets" territory.
 

uk 75

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If one accepts that the main role of the US carrier fleet is to break China's protective ring of missiles and islands, itself a depressing thought, the giant lumbering CVNs with their feeble air groups do not seem up to the job.
Against Putin's still largely Cold War era fleet, I see even less work for them. SSNs can tackle the few big surface units and hunt the subs.
After those two, no other countries have navies that even a single RN Astute could not disable Belgrano style.
Fantasy fleet is the right comment
 

Grey Havoc

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The USN's Silent Service is not what it was either, so solely relying on them would probably not be a good idea.
 
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