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How would you convert the CVF class Carriers into Arsenal ships?

Grey Havoc

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This thread was inspired by a brief exchange on the 'New British Carriers...' thread, over in Military. It's where members can post suggestions, paper napkin designs, drawings, etc., and discuss the pros and cons of converting the CVF's [CVA - Aircraft Carrier (Attack) as they are now formally known] into a Royal Navy version of the USN's Arsenal Ship concept.


I now declare this thread.... Launched! May she sail in fair waters.
 

Nik

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From Wiki (YMMV):
"An arsenal ship is a concept for a floating missile platform intended to have as many as five hundred vertical launch bays for mid-sized missiles, most likely cruise missiles. In current US naval thinking, such a ship would initially be controlled remotely by an Aegis Cruiser, although plans include control by AWACS aircraft such as the E-2 Hawkeye and E-3 Sentry."

IMHO, you shouldn't start with a CVF-- It is the wrong shape, it has the hangar space and aircraft lifts mucking with the internal geometry, vast crew quarters etc etc.

What it needs is staying power plus radar suite plus a generous helipad on the stern. Sounds like a composite between a RFA and a Type's sensor suite, with a cut'n'shut plug or two to accommodate the silos...

Not a pretty ship...
 

bobbymike

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I have mentioned using retired and then retrofitted helicopter carriers or other large flat deck ships for both a land attack arsenal ship or an anti-air/anti-missile ship. Just think there are 400 + planes headed to Taiwan and you have a ship with several hundred Standard Missiles and even things like SLAAMRAM's (in this ship launched instead of surface) or Thaad's or Patriot's. The deck would also be big enough to carry large 1000 + km range IRBM's along with a new generation of hypersonic strike missiles and regular cruise missiles.

Although some might say we have arsenal ships they are called SSGN's.
 

Firefly 2

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René Loire, who wrote a very elaborate concept on Arsenal Ships early on ( called "Le Frappeur", or The Striker) made a very interesting point in an interview with a french mag:
Fitting an arsenal ship with all those missiles will substantially reduce the unit cost of said missiles. We're talking hundreds of missiles, of course, so he might have a point.

The trouble is that an arsenal ship is an asset that is limited to massive engagements, and therefore a bit limited in contemporary marine operations.
 

SteveO

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Hmmm... I think this thread is my fault so I feel obliged to add to it.

Fellow Secret Projects forum members, may I present to you the CVF FARCE-NAL SHIP CONVERSION

Following severe budget restrictions the RN was forced to retire the entire surface fleet to pay for the completion of the two CVF carriers so the decision was made to cut all the forward sections off the retired T45's and T23's with their 4.5 inch guns and vertical launch cells and bolt/weld them to the flight deck.

Realizing there was still a lot of deck space left they thought it would be a good idea to see if the Army still had any spare AS90's and MLRS to park on deck to bolster the Farce-nal ships shore bombardment capability.

Defence cuts also left a couple of incomplete Astute class hulls laying about, so they decided to replace the CVF's bulbous bow with an Astute bow to give it a anti-submarine and cruise missile capability.

This still left a considerable amount of hanger space free and realizing the RAF had large numbers of surplus to requirements Eurofighter Typhoon's it was decided to resurrect the WW2 emergency concept of launching a Hurricane from a ship with a catapult rocket and ditching in the sea after the interception.

A single Lynx helicopter is based on board to pick up the ditched Typhoon pilot.

Two RHIB boats further increase flexibility.

;)
 

Sea Skimmer

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GLCM launchers on flight deck; stack the hanger full of GLCM launch canisters and fill the bomb magazines with ballest. Some forklifts provide reloading. Cheap and easy, if just a little ROF limited, and you can convert back to aircraft if required.
 

Grey Havoc

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Given that the RN is arguably short on theater recon assets, another possible piece of kit that that you could use on an CVA based arsenal ship might be a licenced built version of the old BQM-145 Peregrine.

Note: Under the 'UNMANNED & OPV' heading.
 

Grey Havoc

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Given the recent formal demise of the (already deader than a doornail) INF treaty, as well as the ongoing poor state of the Royal Navy even before the Wuhan Coronanvirus, it may well be time to revisit this subject.
 

zen

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Well one could rebuild an island to include four fixed Sampson AESA, and cut out deck portions for inserting VLS VLS silos.
 

_Del_

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Seems like even a small through deck carrier has more utility as available deckspace than as an arsenal ship.

I think converting or building something as an analogue of the Kiev-class might be worth looking into, if you're spending big money. If you're going to load something up on VLS, then it might as well have the AEGIS sensor suite to go with it. Adding/retaining a substantial rotary-wing capability (and/or limited F-35B ops) for extending sensor range, ASW, limited air defense capability. Expensive, but gives you a capital ship to build a very capable SAG around for sea control.

I don't know that ships with more cells, but less capable, are the answer. As someone noted the SSGN fulfills the land/surface attack role quite capably in relative safety.
 

Desertfox

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Simple solution is to containerize the weapon system and use commercial container ships similar to the British ad hoc aircraft carriers in the Falkland War.
 

A Tentative Fleet Plan

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Given the recent formal demise of the (already deader than a doornail) INF treaty, as well as the ongoing poor state of the Royal Navy even before the Wuhan Coronanvirus, it may well be time to revisit this subject.
The INF Treaty did not cover Sea-Launched missiles, so had they desired the Royal Navy (or anyone else with a spare carrier hull and a willingness to do so) could have done this already.
 

Grey Havoc

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Unfortunately, post-Cold War, successive British governments used the INF Treaty as an excuse to not do any real research into such missiles.
 

uk 75

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Arsenal ship: massive target for terrorist action in peace time and for SSNs in war (think Belgrano).
If we are talking conventional GLCM/ Pershing type missiles, truck launchers in welk protected bases in peacetime, roll out in war. But really the answer is still SSNs
 

uk 75

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If you are wanting to find a role for the one UK carrier likely to be available in a crisis, it is to operate with the US as a platform for Marine F35s. Unlike the US LHDs and CVs it is purpose designed for them. And please dont mention the Falklands.
 

Purpletrouble

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Since we don’t buy enough missiles to fill the cells we do have on ships and subs, why do we need a specialised ship to hold loads that we don’t have?

The best use of the carriers is as a “Super Hermes 1982”. I.e. F35s, helos and some troops as a LHA platform as mentioned above. It also works as that’s about all the deployable aircraft and helos we have anyway.
 

Archibald

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Ah, those days when huge primitive missiles were called "pilotless aircraft"...
BOMARC ? pilotless fighter !
REGULUS ? pilotless bomber !
 

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