• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Navy Conducting Alternative Carrier Study

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
818
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
"Navy Conducting Alternative Carrier Study"
by Sam LaGrone
March 23, 2015 10:09 AM

Source:
http://news.usni.org/2015/03/23/navy-conducting-alternative-carrier-study

The Navy is studying alternatives to how it competes and sources its aircraft carrier force, the Navy’s top acquisition official told Congress last week.

“We have been asked we are following suit to conduct a study to look at alternatives to Nimitz size and type of aircraft carriers and see if it makes sense,” Sean Stackley — Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition (RDA) — said before a Senate panel on Wednesday.
“Is there a sweet spot, something different other than today’s 100,000 ton carrier that would make sense to provide the power projection that we need that we get today from our aircraft carriers but at the same time put us in a more affordable position to provide that capability?”

Navy officials provided additional details on the study to USNI News late Friday.

“This study will reflect our continued commitment to reducing costs across all platforms by matching capabilities to projected threats and also seeks to identify acquisition strategies that promote competition in naval ship construction,” the official said in a statement.
“There is a historical precedent for these type of exploratory studies as we look for efficiencies and ways to improve our warfighting capabilities.”

Timelines for the study’s completion were not provided to USNI News.

Stackley’s Wednesday comments revealing the study came in response to questions from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on the affordability of the Ford program.

McCain has been among the most vocal critics of cost overruns in the next generation carrier program.

USNI News understands the latest look in the carrier program began earlier this year in response to questions from Congress.

Currently there is one shipbuilder for U.S. nuclear aircraft carriers — Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport, Va.

According to the Navy, the Newport News yard is the only place in the U.S. capable of building a nuclear aircraft carrier.

The $12.9 billion first-of-class Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is slated to deliver to the service next year. The next ship — John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) — will deliver on June 22, 2022.

The following is March 20, 2015 statement to USNI News from a Navy official.

As indicated in testimony, the Navy has an ongoing study to explore the possible composition of our future large deck aviation ship force, including carriers. There is a historical precedent for these type of exploratory studies as we look for efficiencies and ways to improve our war fighting capabilities. This study will reflect our continued commitment to reducing costs across all platforms by matching capabilities to projected threats and Also seeks to identify acquisition strategies that promote competition in naval ship construction. While I can’t comment on an ongoing study, what I can tell you is that the results will be used to inform future shipbuilding budget submissions and efforts, beyond what is currently planned.
 

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,693
Reaction score
1,906
Here we go again. This rolls around about once every 20 years or so. Expect a series of cool-looking drawings of very large and much smaller carriers, and a conclusion that 100,000 tons really is the optimal solution (NNS can't build much bigger, but going much smaller means they have competition...)
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
818
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
TomS said:
Here we go again. This rolls around about once every 20 years or so. Expect a series of cool-looking drawings of very large and much smaller carriers, and a conclusion that 100,000 tons really is the optimal solution (NNS can't build much bigger, but going much smaller means they have competition...)

A result of the $14 billion sticker shock, including research and development, of the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). The Navy has to periodically demonstrate why cheaper ships can't do the job, justify the expense for this big ticket item, and justify why Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding is the sole shipyard building supercarriers.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,893
Reaction score
2,166
Triton said:
The Navy has to periodically demonstrate why cheaper ships can't do the job, justify the expense for this big ticket item, and justify why Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding is the sole shipyard building supercarriers.

Pretty easy to justify that. The US can't afford 2 shipyards with the capacity to crank out 100,000 ton nuclear carriers. These "studies" always crack me up. They're almost always initiated by those wanting to gut the USN. The "new idea" is ALWAYS "how do we kill CVNs" instead of "how can we build 100,000 ton CVNs cheaper".
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
818
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
sferrin said:
Pretty easy to justify that. The US can't afford 2 shipyards with the capacity to crank out 100,000 ton nuclear carriers. These "studies" always crack me up. They're almost always initiated by those wanting to gut the USN. The "new idea" is ALWAYS "how do we kill CVNs" instead of "how can we build 100,000 ton CVNs cheaper".

I wonder who "asked" the United States Navy for this study? Probably someone outside Virginia. $14 billion would buy a lot of tanks built in Ohio.
 

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,693
Reaction score
1,906
Triton said:
I wonder who "asked" the United States Navy for this study? Probably someone outside Virginia. $14 billion would buy a lot of tanks built in Ohio.

The article says McCain asked for the study. Big shock.
 

Abraham Gubler

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
3,555
Reaction score
230
TomS said:
Here we go again. This rolls around about once every 20 years or so. Expect a series of cool-looking drawings of very large and much smaller carriers, and a conclusion that 100,000 tons really is the optimal solution (NNS can't build much bigger, but going much smaller means they have competition...)


For fixed wing tacair sure. But a 15,000-20,000 tonne (cruiser) carrier would be pretty nifty for SOF, helos, tac UAVs and maybe a flight or two of F-35Bs to back them up.
 

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,693
Reaction score
1,906
Such ships aren't suitable to replace the CVNs in any meaningful way. Basically, they fit in among the amphibs, and the LHAs are better at it anyway.
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
818
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
Abraham Gubler said:
For fixed wing tacair sure. But a 15,000-20,000 tonne (cruiser) carrier would be pretty nifty for SOF, helos, tac UAVs and maybe a flight or two of F-35Bs to back them up.

Something like Mission Essential Unit (MEU) aka CG V/STOL, which also had 200 VLS cells at 25,000 tons, from the 1980s?
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,6416.msg53316.html#msg53316

With all the new Chinese submarines, does a revival of the idea of ASW carriers make any sense? Perhaps a mix of F-35B and SH-60 Sea Hawk?

Or is it possible that Sen. McCain wants to revive the VSTOL Support Ship (VSS) and this time operate the F-35B?
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,893
Reaction score
2,166
Triton said:
With all the new Chinese submarines, does a revival of the idea of ASW carriers make any sense? Perhaps a mix of F-35B and SH-60 Sea Hawk?

The USSR had FAR more submarines than China has and it didn't make sense then. Bringing back Spruance, Perry, and Viking analogs would though. And maybe bump up the Virginia build rate.
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
818
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
The fatal flaw of these alternative carrier studies is that any concept that is developed from them is going to be used to attack the purchase of the Gerald R. Ford-class and will be terminated with extreme prejudice. Because it will always be an either/or proposition.
 

covert_shores

Research + illustration
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
704
Reaction score
170
Website
www.hisutton.com
I think that there is a case for smaller carriers (60,000+), and also fewer of them (I'd invest more in subs and ASW).

UCAVs, crew automation and compact hangar storage options (like NYC car parks) should be able to reduce the size. Still big carriers though.
 

Abraham Gubler

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
3,555
Reaction score
230
sferrin said:
The USSR had FAR more submarines than China has and it didn't make sense then.


Actually new ASW carriers made a huge amount of sense for the USN in the 70s and 80s. The problem was they just didn't have the money for them and every option that got pushed forward ended out being gold plated to death. Like the Sea Control Ship. The actual ship was fine but the USN wanted a new generation of VTOL aircraft to fly from them. When just a SCS similar to the Principe de Asturias with a squadron of Sea Kings and a brace of Harriers for shadow hacking would have made a huge difference in the North Atlantic.
 

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,693
Reaction score
1,906
Wow, Abraham and I agree, for once. SCS was a very sound idea for a convoy escort ASW carrier. About the only thing I'd have changed would be adding a second shaft to avoid embarassing breakdowns (OTOH, the FFGs didn't need to get towed very often ether, so maybe it's not that important.)

The problem with 60,000-ton "medium" carriers is that they don't really save much money over 100,000-ton designs. You still need all the electronics, all the maintenance shops, and most of the machinery as a larger carrier, but you lose capability. Given that UCAVs are as yet an unproven commodity in combat aviation, designing a new carrier to be dependant on them seems a bit unwise.
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
818
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
Abraham Gubler said:
Actually new ASW carriers made a huge amount of sense for the USN in the 70s and 80s. The problem was they just didn't have the money for them and every option that got pushed forward ended out being gold plated to death. Like the Sea Control Ship. The actual ship was fine but the USN wanted a new generation of VTOL aircraft to fly from them. When just a SCS similar to the Principe de Asturias with a squadron of Sea Kings and a brace of Harriers for shadow hacking would have made a huge difference in the North Atlantic.

According to Norman Friedman in his US Aircraft Carriers: An Illustrated Design History, the Sea Control Ship put CNO Admiral Zumwalt on a collision course with Admiral Rickover in the early 1970s. The problem with ASW carrier proposals, however austere they might be, is that they are always seen as a threat to the nuclear-powered supercarriers and VSTOL aircraft as a threat to CATOBAR fixed-wing aircraft. Despite Zumwalt's protests that the SCS was never conceived as an alternative to the nuclear-powered supercarrier, forces were arrayed to kill the concept. Zumwalt's plan was to build twenty ships and use them as convoy escorts in the North Atlantic with a cost ceiling of $100 million each.

Zumwalt's successor Admiral James L Holloway III intended to transition to an all-VSTOL Navy by the early 21st-century and advocated the larger VSTOL Support Ship (VSS) to operate larger VSTOL aircraft. So then we get feature creep in the later VSS II and VSS III proposals and on up to CVV in the late 1970s. Meanwhile, pundits are seeing the United Kingdom's Invincible-class with Sea Harrier and the decommissioning of HMS Ark Royal and HMS Eagle and start advocating the building of through-deck cruisers or light aircraft carriers and building VSTOL fighters like Harrier.

So any ship that remotely looks like an aircraft carrier that isn't a nuclear-powered supercarrier is doomed to failure. Could the United States Navy in 2015 ever have any use for a ship similar to the BAE Systems UXV Combatant? We'll never know because elements in the Congress and the Navy will strangle it in the crib. Any new class of CVE? Nope. Hybrid warship? Nope. The Marines can build the USS America (LHA-6), not the Navy.
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
818
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
TomS said:
The problem with 60,000-ton "medium" carriers is that they don't really save much money over 100,000-ton designs. You still need all the electronics, all the maintenance shops, and most of the machinery as a larger carrier, but you lose capability. Given that UCAVs are as yet an unproven commodity in combat aviation, designing a new carrier to be dependant on them seems a bit unwise.

The problem is that the argument is always made about cost savings, rather than acknowledging the fact that the United States Navy only has ten of them and world-wide treaty commitments.

Remember that USS Midway (CV-41) and USS Coral Sea (CV-43) were refitted instead of building new "medium" aircraft carriers during the Reagan Administration. This was followed by the "Peace Dividend" years and the Navy's brief flirtation with the littorals/green-water.
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
818
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
Does it make sense now to revisit the idea of an ASW carrier for the United States Navy given that the People's Liberation Army Navy is challenging the Pax Americana in the Pacific and is asserting territorial claims? Can we drop the alternative carrier language and judge the warship on its utility rather than as a challenge to something else?

"China Has More Submarines Than the U.S., Says Admiral"
by Damien Sharkov 2/26/15 at 2:04 PM

Source:
http://www.newsweek.com/china-has-more-submarines-us-says-admiral-309764

China’s submarines now outnumber the U.S. fleet after an ambitious shift in strategy, according to a U.S. Admiral.

According to Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, who serves as the deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, China is in the process of building “fairly amazing submarines" and does so in such quantity that it currently has more diesel-powered and nuclear-powered vessels at its disposal than the U.S.

Speaking in front of the House Armed Services Committee's seapower subcommittee, Mulloy said China’s growing naval ambitions have also seen Beijing expand the geographic areas where its units are deployed as well as the length of time they spend on duty.

Try Newsweek for only $1.25 per week

"We know they are out experimenting and looking at operating and clearly want to be in this world of advanced submarines," Mulloy told the committee.

According to Mulloy, China had deployed units as far as the Indian Ocean three times and had kept vessels on duty for as long as 95 days.

Mulloy did not specify how many units the Chinese fleet had grown by or how many submarines it now had at its disposal, however in the Pentagon’s last annual report to Congress which looked at the state of China’s security, the country had 77 surface vessel warships, 85 missile-equipped small combatant vessels, 55 amphibious ships and more than 60 submarines.

A U.S. Navy spokeswoman told Reuters the US had commissioned 71 submarines.

However, according to Mulloy the quality of China’s submarines was inferior to the U.S. Navy’s.

The Admiral also highlighted that, although the Chinese military had been testing ballistic missiles, the U.S. did not believe nuclear missiles were on board China’s submarines.

According to Elbridge Colby, military expert at the Centre for New American Security (CNAS), China's navy is facing considerable challenges but "its submarine force will pose an intensifying challenge for the United States and its allies in the coming years".

"The Chinese fleet has made significant strikes in the last two decades," Colby says "It is an increasingly modern force capable of fighting much more effectively in China's coastal waters and of deploying farther from China's shores and a significant part of this is China's efforts in the undersea domain."

"While China has lagged somewhat in its progress on submarines, especially in the face of the vaunted and highly capable U.S. submarine force, Beijing's newer and soon-to-be-deployed submarines are of top-end quality. Nonetheless, China still faces challenges in effectively operating these new submarines, especially in the face of U.S. submarines and other capabilities," Colby adds.

China’s Navy has also reportedly been undergoing expansion in other areas as China is currently constructing offshore facilities in the South China Sea, at least one of which has been rumoured to be the site for a potential command-and-control naval base, twice the size of the nearby US Diego Garcia base in the Indian Ocean DW reports.

It’s thought that China is developing a second aircraft carrier, after buying one from Ukraine that was commissioned in 2012.

China has struggled to provide its vessels with offshore support when deployed for long periods of time, as reflected by their need to refuel in Australia when looking for a Malaysian airliner’s wreckage in the Indian Ocean in 2014.
 

bobbymike

ACCESS: USAP
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
10,846
Reaction score
1,978
Abraham Gubler said:
TomS said:
Here we go again. This rolls around about once every 20 years or so. Expect a series of cool-looking drawings of very large and much smaller carriers, and a conclusion that 100,000 tons really is the optimal solution (NNS can't build much bigger, but going much smaller means they have competition...)


For fixed wing tacair sure. But a 15,000-20,000 tonne (cruiser) carrier would be pretty nifty for SOF, helos, tac UAVs and maybe a flight or two of F-35Bs to back them up.

Would you have enough deck space for a few dozen, or more, cruise missiles or LRASM or other strike missiles?
 

covert_shores

Research + illustration
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
704
Reaction score
170
Website
www.hisutton.com
Found on Reddit, apparently an old fake. Still great though.
Zh27Iqt.jpg
 

Bill Walker

Per Ardua ad Nauseum
Joined
Feb 13, 2012
Messages
482
Reaction score
12
Website
rwrwalker.ca
In a pinch, a nuclear super carrier can temporarily fill in as an ASW carrier or even a disaster relief helicopter carrier, but it is much harder to use a micro-carrier for global power projection, or to counter global power projection. It is the old conundrum of trying to predict what uses your military equipment will be put to in ten or twenty years. Better safe than sorry - as long as you can afford it. Not many can afford super carriers today, and those that can probably can't afford a mix.
 

Abraham Gubler

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
3,555
Reaction score
230
bobbymike said:
Would you have enough deck space for a few dozen, or more, cruise missiles or LRASM or other strike missiles?


Well to the detail who knows. But spending weight and money in a light carrier on strike missiles that can be carried by a destroyer seems like a waste to me. Especially since if you wanted to use said light carrier for strike you would just leave the ASW and littoral warfare assets at home and load up as many STOVL fighters as you can fit and use them to launch cruise missiles or fly strike. Much more effective way of getting energy onto the target than Mk 41 VLS.


Imagine such a ship as just a 21st century version of the SCS (Principe de Asturias) or Invincible class. Like said ship you would use the propulsion and combat system (tailored of course) from the local frigate. Everything else is dedicated to the hangar and flight deck. In and on which you can loadout to mission. ASW helos, UAVs, etc and a brace of fighters for convoy escort. Attack and assault helicopters, fast boats, soldiers for SOF. And so on: MCMW, sea control, strike, aid to civil powers, etc. Like a cross between a littoral combat ship and a LPH. Its not quite an LPH because it has fleet speed and a better combat system. It would also, like the SCS, be very attractive to allies who want more in their fleet than just surface combatants but can't afford a proper CTOL carrier and air wing.
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
818
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
Revival of the Sea Control Ship (SCS) concept makes sense when you consider the Pivot to Asia, the irredentist claims of the People's Republic of China, and the current expansion of the People's Liberation Army Navy. With all the current hot spots in the East China and South China Sea, do we really care enough to send a Nimitz-class or Gerald R Ford-class supercarrier? Should U.S.S. Carl Vinson (CVN-70) show up when Vietnam and the People's Republic of China are having a squabble in the Spratly Islands?

Again, the fatal flaw of all non-supercarrier proposals is that they have been frequently sold as cheaper alternatives to the supercarrier. The headline of this article is "Alternative Carrier Study", provocative enough to rally the forces against any concept that the study produces.

United States ship-building politics as they are now have a greenwater fast patrol and mine counter measures ship, LCS, now re-labeled as a bluewater frigate, FFG.
 

Rickshaw

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
2,068
Reaction score
162
Triton said:
Revival of the Sea Control Ship (SCS) concept makes sense when you consider the Pivot to Asia, the irredentist claims of the People's Republic of China, and the current expansion of the People's Liberation Army Navy.

The only irredentist claim that the PRC has is that of Taiwan and that is going to either end peacefully or simply remain on the books as unresolved. I find it interesting that you don't mention the Taiwanese irredentist claims on the mainland as representing as much of a problem... :eek:
 

RyanCrierie

Crazy Researcher
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2006
Messages
850
Reaction score
152
Website
www.alternatewars.com
sferrin said:
These "studies" always crack me up. They're almost always initiated by those wanting to gut the USN.

They always reoccur on a 20-30 year cycle too. I've read the reports from the 1980s at the Naval Historical Center in the DC Navy Yard when this was a hot topic back then.


Seriously, if you want the return of small carriers; just re-classify the America LHA(R)s as CVEs.
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
818
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
"Navy considering Newport News Shipbuilding's future"
by Bill Bartel
The Virginian-Pilot
© April 30, 2015

Source:
http://hamptonroads.com/2015/04/navy-considering-newport-news-shipbuildings-future

Is the day coming when Newport News Shipbuilding will no longer have a monopoly on building the Navy's aircraft carriers?

A defense analyst said the Navy's desire to create more competition - to stifle rising costs and address changes in technology and warfare - could lead the Pentagon to encourage a future rival to Virginia's largest private employer.

Others disagree, arguing that Newport News is well-positioned because the cost of developing another carrier builder would far outweigh any potential benefits.

Nonetheless, the Navy has begun a study, expected to be completed in about a year, to examine the future of its large-deck aviation ships. The study will look at improving war-fighting capabilities while seeking "to identify acquisition strategies that promote competition in naval ship construction," according to a March 20 statement.

"We're taking a hard look to see... is there a sweet spot, something different other than today's 100,000-ton carrier, that would make sense to provide the power projection that we need... but at the same time put us in a more affordable position to providing that capacity," Assistant Navy Secretary Sean Stackley told a Senate committee in March.

Stackley testified that the Navy isn't unhappy with the company's performance: "we are content - not with the lack of competition - but we are content with knowing that we're only going to have one builder of our aircraft carriers."

Since the Enterprise was commissioned in 1961, every U.S. carrier has been built in Newport News.

Bryan Clark, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment, said the new study is driven by a desire to look at smaller alternatives to the Ford-class ships that could lead to a fleet filled with a larger number of less expensive carriers in coming decades.

Clark, a former strategic planner for the Navy, said the Navy's questions include "Do I want to look at building smaller carriers that are maybe more survivable because they are smaller? And can I build more of them so they are more dispersed?"

Should the Pentagon pursue smaller carriers in future decades, it could spark competition from other shipbuilders. Clark noted that the Navy is already promoting more competition for future amphibious assault ships by encouraging a limited competition between General Dynamics NASSCO and Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News' parent company - to build amphibious assault ships, which resemble small carriers.

Craig Quigley, executive director of the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance, said building amphibs does not compare to the complexity of constructing carriers.

"I think that would be a tough putt - for another shipbuilder to gain the experience that Newport News Shipbuilding and Huntington Ingalls has gained over decades, of knowing how to build aircraft carriers as we know them today," said Quigley, a retired rear admiral. "Could it be done? I suppose.... But it would be a daunting challenge."

Quigley said it's healthy for the Navy to study the future of its biggest warships but notes that past studies have shown that the large carriers' capacity to carry out continuous fighter attacks from far off shore is worth the expense.

"Everybody would like the cost of an aircraft carrier today to be less than it is," he said. "But the capability and flexibility it brings to the Navy and the nation are without parallel in the world."

Some in Congress, particularly Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, have complained for years about the ballooning cost of the Gerald R. Ford, the first of a class of new carriers. Originally budgeted to cost $10.5 billion, the ship now has a $12.9 billion price tag. It is scheduled for delivery next year.

"I think it's pretty obvious that when there's no competition, there's no cost control," McCain said last month. "That certainly has been the case with the Gerald R. Ford."

The Navy has said the extra $2.4 billion is due in part to construction delays and the difficulties of developing and installing new technologies. The service argues that future carriers should be less expensive.

The next two ships in the Ford class - the John F. Kennedy and the new Enterprise - are to be delivered in the 2020s. The Navy will have 11 carriers when the Ford is ready - a fleet size mandated by Congress.

Huntington Ingalls spokeswoman Jerri Fuller Dickseski said the company won't comment on the Navy's study. "Our role is not to determine what the mission will be. Our role is to support the Navy in supporting the mission," she said.

Dickseski stressed that the shipyard has been working with the Navy to control carrier construction cost, including adjusting production and implementing new procedures to reduce labor hours.

Suppliers and other subcontractors also are feeling the pressure to control costs, said Rick Giannini, president of Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition. The group's members include about 400 companies in 44 states that provide parts or services for carrier production in Newport News.

"They're taking a little more aggressive steps these days in terms of working directly with suppliers.... It's not going to go away," said Giannini, president of Wisconsin-based Milwaukee Valve, which supplies most of the valves for carriers.

Giannini argues that having one carrier builder is a good thing.

"I don't think this country needs two places. We don't build enough of them," he said.

Clark, the defense analyst, said much will depend on whether the Navy wants a larger force of smaller carriers. He acknowledged that other changes, such as development of unmanned aircraft, could affect the decision.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus predicted that unmanned systems will replace piloted fighter jets in the not-so-distant future.

The F-35 strike fighters, the next generation jets now being developed, "should be, and almost certainly will be, the last manned striker fighter aircraft the Department of the Navy will ever buy or fly," Mabus said earlier this month.

Given that a key strength of carriers is their ability to launch fighter jets almost continuously over extended periods of time, Clark said, pilot-less aircraft may have greater endurance and not need to return to the carrier as frequently. It could mean fewer aircraft are needed to deliver the same punch, he said.

Even with those possible advantages, Clark doubts that building more - but smaller - carriers would save money in the long run. They still would need the protective task force of ships that sail with them. And those flattops may cost less, but they won't be cheap.

"If you can get it down to $6 billion or $7 billion, it would still be the single most expensive thing they would buy," he said.

Bill Bartel, 757-446-2398, bill.bartel@pilotonline.com
 

Bruno Anthony

I miss the Cold War
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
265
Reaction score
68
I am all for more competition in all DoD industries but if anything
I think bigger carriers. It would help remove the size limitation on current USN manned aircraft. I hate this drone shit.

An example of what I am looking for in size is in here:
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a328353.pdf
 

Bruno Anthony

I miss the Cold War
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
265
Reaction score
68
sferrin said:
Pretty easy to justify that. The US can't afford 2 shipyards with the capacity to crank out 100,000 ton nuclear carriers. These "studies" always crack me up. They're almost always initiated by those wanting to gut the USN. The "new idea" is ALWAYS "how do we kill CVNs" instead of "how can we build 100,000 ton CVNs cheaper".

We could if we had a serious budget and then we might not have to wait five years between new carriers.
But yes, many times these studies are really about ending large carriers and USN aviation as we know it.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,893
Reaction score
2,166
""We're taking a hard look to see... is there a sweet spot, something different other than today's 100,000-ton carrier, that would make sense to provide the power projection that we need... but at the same time put us in a more affordable position to providing that capacity," Assistant Navy Secretary Sean Stackley told a Senate committee in March."

Wow. I'll bet they've never done that before.
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
818
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
They could build the next class of supercarrier in low cost South Korea. ::) Would there even be a United States shipbuilding industry without defense? Seems to be a zero sum game if we are talking about competition between General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and Huntington Ingalls.
 

bobbymike

ACCESS: USAP
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
10,846
Reaction score
1,978
sferrin said:
""We're taking a hard look to see... is there a sweet spot, something different other than today's 100,000-ton carrier, that would make sense to provide the power projection that we need... but at the same time put us in a more affordable position to providing that capacity," Assistant Navy Secretary Sean Stackley told a Senate committee in March."

Wow. I'll bet they've never done that before.

What I like is the CNO's idea to beef up strike weapons on all Navy ships. There really are only two adversaries that can threaten our carriers and conversely where they may be most needed in a conflict. I really go back and forth on this issue and sounding like a broken record would be an advocate of longer range strike missiles on more Navy ships rather than build a $10 billion carrier at another ship yard. Wouldn't it be cheaper to convert a retired flat deck helicopter carrier to a ship loaded with offensive missiles.

I am thinking impractically? :eek:
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,893
Reaction score
2,166
Triton said:
They could build the next class of supercarrier in low cost South Korea. ::) Would there even be a United States shipbuilding industry without defense? Seems to be a zero sum game if we are talking about competition between General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and Huntington Ingalls.

Yeah, because South Korea has so much experience building nuclear aircraft carriers.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,893
Reaction score
2,166
bobbymike said:
sferrin said:
""We're taking a hard look to see... is there a sweet spot, something different other than today's 100,000-ton carrier, that would make sense to provide the power projection that we need... but at the same time put us in a more affordable position to providing that capacity," Assistant Navy Secretary Sean Stackley told a Senate committee in March."

Wow. I'll bet they've never done that before.

What I like is the CNO's idea to beef up strike weapons on all Navy ships. There really are only two adversaries that can threaten our carriers and conversely where they may be most needed in a conflict. I really go back and forth on this issue and sounding like a broken record would be an advocate of longer range strike missiles on more Navy ships rather than build a $10 billion carrier at another ship yard. Wouldn't it be cheaper to convert a retired flat deck helicopter carrier to a ship loaded with offensive missiles.

I am thinking impractically? :eek:

I think Tomahawk needs to go the way of the Dodo for the most part (there will always be targets that are easy). Replace it with a stretched JASSM/LRASSM-ER and/or something like RATTLRS.
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
818
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
sferrin said:
Yeah, because South Korea has so much experience building nuclear aircraft carriers.

Indeed. What cost savings will be realized if they stop manufacturing supercarriers at Huntington Ingalls Newport News and send the work over to General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego? (Provided, of course, that NASSCO increases the size of their drydocks.) The whole competition and price control thing is a bunch of BS. General Dynamics or Lockheed Martin want to eat Huntington Ingalls' lunch.
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
818
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
bobbymike said:
What I like is the CNO's idea to beef up strike weapons on all Navy ships. There really are only two adversaries that can threaten our carriers and conversely where they may be most needed in a conflict. I really go back and forth on this issue and sounding like a broken record would be an advocate of longer range strike missiles on more Navy ships rather than build a $10 billion carrier at another ship yard. Wouldn't it be cheaper to convert a retired flat deck helicopter carrier to a ship loaded with offensive missiles.

I am thinking impractically? :eek:

Think about how aircraft carriers and United States Navy air power has been used for the past 70 years for a moment. Have they been used against peer adversaries in a war? Nope. Have they been handy in United States power projection across the globe? Yes. Korean War? Yes. Vietnam War? Yes. Gulf War? Yes. Iraq War? Yes. Maintaining peace in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf? Yes. Airstrikes on Libya? Yes. Airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq and Syria? Yes.
 

marauder2048

"I should really just relax"
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
3,158
Reaction score
506
sferrin said:
Triton said:
They could build the next class of supercarrier in low cost South Korea. ::) Would there even be a United States shipbuilding industry without defense? Seems to be a zero sum game if we are talking about competition between General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and Huntington Ingalls.

Yeah, because South Korea has so much experience building nuclear aircraft carriers.

Given the energy requirements of railguns, lasers, EW and sensors you would think (and IMHO hope) that there would be a trend towards nuclear powered
large surface combatants.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,893
Reaction score
2,166
Triton said:
sferrin said:
Yeah, because South Korea has so much experience building nuclear aircraft carriers.

Indeed. What cost savings will be realized if they stop manufacturing supercarriers at Huntington Ingalls Newport News and send the work over to General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego? (Provided, of course, that NASSCO increases the size of their drydocks.) The whole competition and price control thing is a bunch of BS. General Dynamics or Lockheed Martin want to eat Huntington Ingalls' lunch.

I guarantee you, trying to spool up GD or LM to build nuclear powered aircraft carriers would make the current situation look cheap. It's been half a century since we've had two shipyards capable of building supercarriers and even then only one was qualified to build nukes: Newport News.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,893
Reaction score
2,166
marauder2048 said:
sferrin said:
Triton said:
They could build the next class of supercarrier in low cost South Korea. ::) Would there even be a United States shipbuilding industry without defense? Seems to be a zero sum game if we are talking about competition between General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and Huntington Ingalls.

Yeah, because South Korea has so much experience building nuclear aircraft carriers.

Given the energy requirements of railguns, lasers, EW and sensors you would think (and IMHO hope) that there would be a trend towards nuclear powered
large surface combatants.

In the US, with the exception of the one-offs (Long Beach, Bainbridge, and Truxtun) all nuclear powered surface ships have been built at Newport News. I still wish they'd have based the Ticonderoga class on the Virginia hull instead of the Spruance. :(
 

NeilChapman

Interested 3rd party
Joined
Dec 14, 2015
Messages
963
Reaction score
61
This is pretty silly. If you design an alternative power projection strategy then you look at what tools are necessary to accomplish it. I don't see that work has been done.

In 1961 the military portion of the federal budget was 51%. Today it's about 15%. You can't get $1 worth of power projection for 30¢ The federal government has been shirking it's primary responsiblity.

If we want to project power around the world then we have to pay for it. I'd like to see DoD, State, Intelligence and a reconstituted USIA funded at 5% of GDP. That's about 800 billion. We currently spend about 700 billion for these capabilities.

You have to shape the world you want to live in.
 

Similar threads

Top