New USN CVL

mkellytx

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Here's JP-5 for the combustion chamber,
Now if you could convince the US Navy to have that as the single fuel at sea...
The thought occurred...but my guess is that the additives/refining that make JP-5 viable at low temperatures and stable at higher temperatures makes it more expensive than good old NATO F-76.

The very first hit on F-76 Fuel Google search is this study about that exact question:

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a248542.pdf

Converting the propulsion and electric generating systems of ships to use of JP-5 would not be
detrimental to fleet operational readiness. However, few, if any, operational or maintenance
benefits would be realized from such a conversion. Benefits realized would most probably occur
in the logistics area through the simplicity of handling only one fuel. These benefits are very
difficult to quantify, and may not be fully realized if it is still desirable to fully segregate the fuel
to be used for aviation from ship fuel.

Due to the higher cost of JP-5, increased fuel requirement, and the necessity of cleaning
numerous fuel storage tanks, such a conversion would, at least initially, be very costly for the
U.S. Navy. It also seems unlikely that the higher volumes of JP-5 would result in significant
price reductions; in some markets the price may increase due to increased refining requirements.
 

mkellytx

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DLA current fuel prices (October 2020):
F-76: $2.39
JP-5: $2.40
Yes, the standard prices which is a bit of an accounting thing insulate the services a bit from the market swings. The moving averages so far this fiscal year
F-76 :$1.38-1.43
JP-5: $1.69-$1.73

What's surprising is that when the standard prices came out for FY2020 (JP-5: $2.99/F-76: $2.98) the market split was only $.12 (JP-5: $2.05/F-76: $1.93).

FWIW, JP-5 would work on the a new carrier if it was designed from day one to use it, gives some flexibility. The knock on cost of upgrading everything else to use it eliminates any benefits. One of the learnings from the JP-4 to JP-8 conversion was that without testing the unforeseen secondary effects cost a lot more than originally thought. That's why I ended up spending a year's worth of time across 2006-7 ground/flight testing and proving out a new fuel certification process. Once upon a time I actually was up to speed on this stuff. Now I work in oil and gas and haven't touched it ever again, irony.

At least I got a nice RMO from SECAF and DVD of me MC'ing a media event where the Honorable Mr. Wynne left the podium with my script in front of 3 generals.
 

Foo Fighter

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That's a great piece to have in your memoirs, nicely done, Sir.
 

mkellytx

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That's a great piece to have in your memoirs, nicely done, Sir.
Lot's of great memories from Edwards. Met Neil Armstrong while there, he punched me in the arm at SETP, Chuck Yeager literally ran into me at an aircrew safety briefing, he was too busy talking to Maj Gen Pearson (F-15 ASAT) to pay attention to where he was going, worked with Gordan Fullerton when he augmented a crew for a 24 hour mission when I was getting my test conductor qual, flew with Rogers Smith at National, one of the recent occupants of ISS and I worked a special test program together, IFE'd an Undersecretary of the AF and former Shuttle astronaut on a mission I conducted, and many more great memories. The challenge is not to ramble on too much about them...
 

Foo Fighter

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Thank you for all that you have done, we all benefit from that, never tire of hearing that sort of story either so perhaps you should consider writing a book about it? Thanks to all the engineers, designers, technicians and flight crews etc here, what you have done and are doing makes us all richer. To infinity and beyond folks, it started with yourselves and folk like you. Bravo.
 

mkellytx

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Thank you for all that you have done, we all benefit from that, never tire of hearing that sort of story either so perhaps you should consider writing a book about it? Thanks to all the engineers, designers, technicians and flight crews etc here, what you have done and are doing makes us all richer. To infinity and beyond folks, it started with yourselves and folk like you. Bravo.
My paternal uncle is after me to write a book with him about my AF career, hated English and writing, that's why I went for engineering before going to business school, lol. That MBA thing is the thing holding me back, since I'm not really sure there's enough of a market for the non-pilot types to write books about sitting in the back of airplanes running special instrumentation or sitting in a control room conducting tests making sure all of the data is captured.

Totally off topic though
 

Ron5

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If CVNs are doomed by the threat of anti-ship missiles of all types (and I don't believe they are) there is no reason CVLs would not be.
Ship RCS is more or less quadratic in displacement.
CATOBAR launch and recovery is both readily detectable and unmistakeable to OTH radars.
Infrared signature is heavily dependent on projected area; carriers are pretty much all normals so smaller is better.
Acoustically, CATOBAR carriers are (EMALS notwithstanding) horrible.

Are you saying Ship's RCS is proportional to ship's displacement? If so, I think you are incorrect.
The standard free-space ship RCS in m^2 is approximated by:

σ = 52 * f ^(1/2) * D ^(3/2)

D is the full-load displacement of the vessel in kiloton
f is the radar frequency in MHz

You'll find it used pretty much..everywhere.

I'm afraid those formulae are of little or no value against a target ship that has taken measures to reduce its RCS i.e. modern warships.
 

Ron5

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I do not see a relationship with the two data points: how often the ship has to refuel vs how far the aircraft can fly.
Aircraft carriers cannot typical replenish fuel while conducting high intensity flight ops and longer aircraft distances imply greater fuel consumption per aircraft.

If everyone starts with same assumption that the number of aircraft that have to be deployed is fixed, the answer will always come back that the most cost effective solution is large carriers. All the RAND reports make that assumption so they always come back with the same recommendation i.e. keep doing the same. Which means more and more expensive carriers.
The last RAND study ended up recommending a Forrestal sized CVN LX which has a smaller embarked airwing than the POR CVN-80+.

1. Your comment doesn't address the relationship between the two data points. Smaller ship tanks means more frequent refueling and has no relevance to sortie duration. BTW, QE showed the ability to perform FJ ops while refueling on her very first set of F-35B trials. There's no reason to suppose high sortie rates could not be maintained.

2. Not really. If by recent RAND study you mean the "Future Aircraft Carrier Options", RAND started with the assumption that the Ford's should be replaced and suggested a smaller carrier should be studied as a replacement. RAND did not recommend Ford's be replaced with a smaller carrier because they were not asked that question.
 

marauder2048

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If CVNs are doomed by the threat of anti-ship missiles of all types (and I don't believe they are) there is no reason CVLs would not be.
Ship RCS is more or less quadratic in displacement.
CATOBAR launch and recovery is both readily detectable and unmistakeable to OTH radars.
Infrared signature is heavily dependent on projected area; carriers are pretty much all normals so smaller is better.
Acoustically, CATOBAR carriers are (EMALS notwithstanding) horrible.

Are you saying Ship's RCS is proportional to ship's displacement? If so, I think you are incorrect.
The standard free-space ship RCS in m^2 is approximated by:

σ = 52 * f ^(1/2) * D ^(3/2)

D is the full-load displacement of the vessel in kiloton
f is the radar frequency in MHz

You'll find it used pretty much..everywhere.

I'm afraid those formulae are of little or no value against a target ship that has taken measures to reduce its RCS i.e. modern warships.
It's very hard to achieve meaningful signature reductions in the HF against OTHR and surface wave radars.
And carriers don't really have hull forms amenable to the shaping required at other frequencies.
 
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marauder2048

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1. Your comment doesn't address the relationship between the two data points. Smaller ship tanks means more frequent refueling and has no relevance to sortie duration. BTW, QE showed the ability to perform FJ ops while refueling on her very first set of F-35B trials. There's no reason to suppose high sortie rates could not be maintained.
Sortie duration generally dictates fuel consumption; it's the high intensity ops that refueling precludes and carriers will typically withdraw
from the combat area to refuel. What happens in trials is in no way indicative of what happens operationally.
2. Not really. If by recent RAND study you mean the "Future Aircraft Carrier Options", RAND started with the assumption that the Ford's should be replaced and suggested a smaller carrier should be studied as a replacement. RAND did not recommend Ford's be replaced with a smaller carrier because they were not asked that question.
They were directed to look at lower cost alternatives which included a cost scrubbed Ford.
And the recommendation for the smaller CVN-LX really hinged on some NRE and weight-based costs that are
arguably optimistic.
 

Scar

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Very interresting. Are there some details on these new CVL? Thx in advance.
 

Dilandu

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And carriers don't really have hull forms amenable to the shaping required at other frequencies.

Well, if you use STOVL, you could play with hull shapes quite a bit more than usual. For example, trimaran shape with narrow launch decks in side hulls & landing deck at the stern of central hull.
 

Cordy

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Very interresting. Are there some details on these new CVL? Thx in advance.

No details exist as far as know, USNI - March 9. 2020 "Navy Kicks Off Study of Next-Generation Carriers, Naval Aviation"

"Following the Integrated Naval Force Structure Assessment (30 year Shipbuilding Plan) to look at new fleet requirements based on current and near-term threats, combatant commander demands and emerging technologies such as new ship classes and unmanned vessels. Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly is commissioning a six-month study on the future of the aircraft carrier and carrier-based aviation." No doubt due to the high costs CVNs

May12, 2020 the new Secretary of the Navy Braithwaite killed off the Modly March "Study of Next-Generation Carriers" saying he fully supported CVN/Ford class quoting the RAND study

Modly also initiated the "Stem to Stern Review" to help fund the new fleet, to cut $40 billion over five years growing to $20 billion per year in the out years (starting with the decommissioning of the first four LCS ships saving the $2 billion required to bring them up the limited standard of the later ships), Braithwaite said he would go well beyond any savings planned by the Modly "Stem to Stern Review", how he /Navy would the achieve the cuts was not disclosed, so as to fund the CVNs, Columbia, SSN(X), USVs et al.

Esper Sec of Defense, OSD/CAPE didn't believe Navy/Modly/Braithwaite and by implication RAND cost figures in the Navy 30 Year Shipbuilding Plan, including costs for the CVNs, so the DoD came out with the Dec 9 ,30 Year Shipbuilding Plan which envisages eight CVNs, maybe eleven, with the eight CVN enabled by acquisition of six cost effective CVLs and in effect reinstating the Modly "Study of Next-Generation Carriers" with the “Further study of cost-effective CVL capabilities and capacity required".

So OSD/CAPE plan is to increase the carrier fleet from 11 to 14 by building/sustaining 6 CVLs for half the cost if not more of 3 CVNs.
 

H_K

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OSD/CAPE plan is to increase the carrier fleet from 11 to 14 by building/sustaining 6 CVLs for half the cost if not more of 3 CVNs.

Might also be worth looking at the old CVNX studies from the 90s... those seemed to indicate that you could buy 3 medium CVs for the price of 2 large CVNs.

The 3 medium CVs would be slightly cheaper per aircraft spot and could carry slightly more total aircraft (3x 55=165 aircraft vs. 2x 75=150 aircraft). However in some scenarios with mainly short range sorties the larger CVNs would be more efficient due to less crowded decks.

From Capt Tal Manvel's lecture on CVN-78:

Shifley Lecture: USS Ford-class carrier design

(personally I find him very biased in favor of CVN-78, but still has some interesting slides)

CVNX-study-tradeoffs.png

 
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Grey Havoc

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Perhaps it is time to look at semi-submersible designs again?
 

mkellytx

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Might also be worth looking at the old CVNX studies from the 90s... those seemed to indicate that you could buy 3 medium CVs for the price of 2 large CVNs.

The 3 medium CVs would be slightly cheaper per aircraft spot and could carry slightly more total aircraft (3x 55=165 aircraft vs. 2x 75=150 aircraft). However in some scenarios with mainly short range sorties the larger CVNs would be more efficient due to less crowded decks.

From Capt Tal Manvel's lecture on CVN-78:

Shifley Lecture: USS Ford-class carrier design

(personally I find him very biased in favor of CVN-78, but still has some interesting slides)
@H_K Excellent find, the good Adm. did a quite good job of breaking down requirements and demonstrating traceability. He did a good job explaining why 20 yrs ago they chose CVN-78. Everything lines up with DoD 5000.1. The choice between medium and large, even large nuclear/large conventional is pretty clear when everyone has to pay the NRE for all of new tech. It would be nice to see the trade or sensitivity studies around sizing and the various types of conventional propulsions, but that's probably not for public consumption...

Now that the NRE bills are paid, it bears looking at the trades between CVN and CVL now that the NRE is not as much of an expense. The devil of course will be in the details. The 8 CVN, 6 CVL fleet could be very good or could be a disaster depending on what CVL ends up being. If it's some STVOL/MIdway/LPH derivative probably not good. If CVL ends up being something like an updated CV-67 with updated tech then things could be good.
 

David N

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I suggest that for all the "studies" we now have two recent full size CV designs, Ford and QE. Costs being about $13bn vs. $4bn. Operational A/C capacity of 70 vs 50. Base ship operating crew 2600 vs 800. Displacement 100k tons vs 70k tons. Speed 32kt vs 29kt. Range unlimited vs 10,000nm (but escorts, aviation fuel etc is limiting for both!)

All above numbers are only ballpark figures (much debate could be had!!!)

While QE does not have Cat & Trap installed it can be well costed for a new build and for EMALS and AAG it has 110MW of installed electric power with only 4x20MW propulsion motors leaves more than enough power for them.

Why discuss RAND studies and not reality? Or is it too dangerous for the CVN lobby?

P.S. The French announcement on the new CVN plan is also largely driven by national politics.
 

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And carriers don't really have hull forms amenable to the shaping required at other frequencies.

Well, if you use STOVL, you could play with hull shapes quite a bit more than usual. For example, trimaran shape with narrow launch decks in side hulls & landing deck at the stern of central hull.
With automated landing systems improving the accuracy of aircraft landings, perhaps alternative hull forms is viable for traditional aircraft as well, especially in in cases of lighter aircraft.
 

Dilandu

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With automated landing systems improving the accuracy of aircraft landings, perhaps alternative hull forms is viable for traditional aircraft as well, especially in in cases of lighter aircraft.

Yep, a probability. And in case of drones, you could allow a lot more slack in "not-getting-plane-crushed-during-landing", since the loss of drone is only a loss of material, after all, not the personnel.
 

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OSD/CAPE plan is to increase the carrier fleet from 11 to 14 by building/sustaining 6 CVLs for half the cost if not more of 3 CVNs.

CVNX-study-tradeoffs.png



Following GW1 GAO released detailed analysis and issued a 192pp report, August 1998, NAVY AIRCRAFT CARRIERS Cost-Effectiveness of Conventionally and Nuclear-Powered Carriers, GAO/NSIAD-98-1, https://www.gao.gov/archive/1998/ns98001.pdf

A few highlights from report which contradict the above graphic, the GAO figures show the totally the opposite on costs, overall 58% higher for CVNs and sustainability costs for for CVNs are a third more costly than CVs. Survivability the conventionally powered 84,000t CV-66 USS America in 2005 used in EOL SINKEX in Atlantic, after six days Navy unable to sink America during live fire tests and reverted to installing explosives in hull to scuttle ship; re Airwing both CV and CVN operated same.

Speed

GAO’s analysis of Navy data indicates that in an 18-day voyage from the U.S. West Coast to the Persian Gulf, a distance of about 12,000 nautical miles, steaming at a sustained speed of 28 knots, a conventional carrier would arrive about 6 hours later than a nuclear carrier. On a shorter voyage from the U.S. East Coast to the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a distance of about 4,800 nautical miles, a conventional carrier would arrive about 2 hours later than a nuclear carrier

The most noticeable differences are the nuclear carrier’s ability to steam almost indefinitely without needing to replenish its propulsion fuel and its larger aircraft fuel and ordnance storage capacity, thereby further reducing dependence on logistics support ships. The larger storage capacity is primarily due to design decisions that have little to do with propulsion type. Nuclear carriers still need periodic resupply of aviation fuel, ordnance, and other supplies, and as such, remain dependent on logistics support ships to sustain extended operations at sea. Logistics support ships are an integral part of carrier battle groups and accompany the groups during peacetime deployments, in crisis response, and during wartime. Nuclear carriers also can accelerate faster than conventional carriers, enabling them to respond faster if conditions affecting the recovery of landing aircraft suddenly change, but the Navy could not provide any examples where an aircraft was lost because a conventionally powered carrier could not accelerate in sufficient time.


Capability/Airwings

In comparing their characteristics and capabilities, GAO found that the two types of carriers are similar in many respects. For example, both carriers follow the same operational guidance; have the same standard airwing; and, can surge to conduct additional air operations, if necessary.
Conventional carriers replenished aviation fuel about every 2.7 to 3.1 days and the nuclear carrier every 3.3 days—after only a fraction of their fuel and supplies were exhausted. The distance to targets and the number and mix of aircraft aboard each carrier, rather than propulsion type, determined the number of air sorties flown.
Conventionally powered carriers can be available sooner for large scale crises because it is easier to accelerate or compress their maintenance.


Costs and Sustainability, note this was 1998, before $billions of overspends on the CVN Ford class

Life-Cycle Costs for Nuclear-Powered Carriers Are Higher Than Conventionally Powered Carriers Nuclear-powered carriers cost more than conventionally powered carriers to acquire, operate and support, and inactivate. GAO estimates that over a 50-year life, the costs of a nuclear-powered carrier is about $8.1 billion, or about 58 percent, more than a conventionally powered carrier . Historically, the acquisition cost for a nuclear-powered carrier has been about double that of a conventionally powered carrier. Midlife modernization4 for nuclear-powered carriers is estimated to be almost three times as expensive as a conventionally powered carrier—about $2.4 billion versus $866 million (in fiscal year 1997 dollars).

GAO estimates that nuclear-powered carriers have cost about 34 percent more than conventionally powered carriers to operate and support because personnel and maintenance costs are higher and nuclear-powered carriers require unique support organizations and activities. Personnel costs for nuclear carriers are greater because more personnel are required for a nuclear-powered carrier, nuclear-qualified personnel receive greater total compensation, and they are required to complete additional training. Also, each year, nuclear-qualified officers receive up to $12,000 and nuclear qualified enlisted personnel receive about $1,800 more than personnel do in nonnuclear jobs.

Because a conventionally powered carrier’s maintenance requirements are not as stringent and complex as those of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the conventionally powered carrier spends a smaller proportion of its time in maintenance than does the nuclear aircraft carrier and, thus, is more available for deployment and other fleet operations.
 

marauder2048

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I suggest that for all the "studies" we now have two recent full size CV designs, Ford and QE. Costs being about $13bn vs. $4bn. Operational A/C capacity of 70 vs 50. Base ship operating crew 2600 vs 800. Displacement 100k tons vs 70k tons. Speed 32kt vs 29kt. Range unlimited vs 10,000nm (but escorts, aviation fuel etc is limiting for both!)

All above numbers are only ballpark figures (much debate could be had!!!)
One built to commercial standards with steels that don't particularly like heat or blast. Or fragments.
If you use NAVSEA's carrier cost per ton metric (biased by HSLA 115/65 use) you end up witha QE hull cost (alone) of ~ $6 billion.

So two CV LXs (LHA-6 mods described above) look far more compelling given the typical k-smaller carriers > bigger carrier argument.
 

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I suggest that for all the "studies" we now have two recent full size CV designs, Ford and QE. Costs being about $13bn vs. $4bn. Operational A/C capacity of 70 vs 50. Base ship operating crew 2600 vs 800. Displacement 100k tons vs 70k tons. Speed 32kt vs 29kt. Range unlimited vs 10,000nm (but escorts, aviation fuel etc is limiting for both!)

All above numbers are only ballpark figures (much debate could be had!!!)
One built to commercial standards with steels that don't particularly like heat or blast. Or fragments.
If you use NAVSEA's carrier cost per ton metric (biased by HSLA 115/65 use) you end up witha QE hull cost (alone) of ~ $6 billion.

So two CV LXs (LHA-6 mods described above) look far more compelling given the typical k-smaller carriers > bigger carrier argument.

The Navy quoted $4.1 billion as cost of new build replacement of the ~40,000t LHD-6 with with its aluminium superstructure, which once again demonstrated how aluminium unsuitable for use in warships with the Bonhomme Richard fire (Ticos also have aluminium superstructures which also resulted in 3,000+ cracks, Navy said the wrong type of aluminium was used :mad: ).

So would not think new CVL based on a LHA-6 hull would be a good pick due to its relatively low displacement and aluminium superstructure.

Survivability costs, no naval architect but assuming the larger the ship with many water tight compartments increases survivability and trade offs possible with thicker standard steel compared to the expensive HSLA 115/65? With the new FFG-62/Constellation class frigates Navy required 300t steel added to the Italian parent FREMM hull, did not see any mention of HSLA 115/65 specified in build thou its certainly useful and cost effective in high stress areas.
 

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One built to commercial standards with steels that don't particularly like heat or blast. Or fragments.

Evidence for this statement re: CVF UK?

From what I’ve read and heard, a lot of effort went into QE’s survivability, eg. in terms of internal arrangements against flooding or torpedo attacks, magazine and hangar deck protection, distributed propulsion spaces etc.
 

marauder2048

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One built to commercial standards with steels that don't particularly like heat or blast. Or fragments.

Evidence for this statement re: CVF UK?

From what I’ve read and heard, a lot of effort went into QE’s survivability, eg. in terms of internal arrangements against flooding or torpedo attacks, magazine and hangar deck protection, distributed propulsion spaces etc.
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/0301923315Z.000000000411?src=recsys&journalCode=yirs20

Given that the main kill mechanism for ASCMs is structural collapse based on bulkhead deformation...
 

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Presumably a mission kill is easier to accomplish and much more practical on ships of this size?

ETA: we don't know what happened to USS America during her sink ex, but I read anecdotally she had to be put down with demo charges despite being worked over for days.
 

marauder2048

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I suggest that for all the "studies" we now have two recent full size CV designs, Ford and QE. Costs being about $13bn vs. $4bn. Operational A/C capacity of 70 vs 50. Base ship operating crew 2600 vs 800. Displacement 100k tons vs 70k tons. Speed 32kt vs 29kt. Range unlimited vs 10,000nm (but escorts, aviation fuel etc is limiting for both!)

All above numbers are only ballpark figures (much debate could be had!!!)
One built to commercial standards with steels that don't particularly like heat or blast. Or fragments.
If you use NAVSEA's carrier cost per ton metric (biased by HSLA 115/65 use) you end up witha QE hull cost (alone) of ~ $6 billion.

So two CV LXs (LHA-6 mods described above) look far more compelling given the typical k-smaller carriers > bigger carrier argument.

The Navy quoted $4.1 billion as cost of new build replacement of the ~40,000t LHD-6 with with its aluminium superstructure, which once again demonstrated how aluminium unsuitable for use in warships with the Bonhomme Richard fire (Ticos also have aluminium superstructures which also resulted in 3,000+ cracks, Navy said the wrong type of aluminium was used :mad: ).

So would not think new CVL based on a LHA-6 hull would be a good pick due to its relatively low displacement and aluminium superstructure.
None of which is relevant since I'm using the same NAVSEA cost per ton metric for CVN-78 for the notional competitors.
So they'd all have the same HSLA/HY steel bias in the cost metric and the LHA-6 derivative would have an all-steel superstructure.
 

Cordy

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I suggest that for all the "studies" we now have two recent full size CV designs, Ford and QE. Costs being about $13bn vs. $4bn. Operational A/C capacity of 70 vs 50. Base ship operating crew 2600 vs 800. Displacement 100k tons vs 70k tons. Speed 32kt vs 29kt. Range unlimited vs 10,000nm (but escorts, aviation fuel etc is limiting for both!)

All above numbers are only ballpark figures (much debate could be had!!!)
One built to commercial standards with steels that don't particularly like heat or blast. Or fragments.
If you use NAVSEA's carrier cost per ton metric (biased by HSLA 115/65 use) you end up witha QE hull cost (alone) of ~ $6 billion.

So two CV LXs (LHA-6 mods described above) look far more compelling given the typical k-smaller carriers > bigger carrier argument.

The Navy quoted $4.1 billion as cost of new build replacement of the ~40,000t LHD-6 with with its aluminium superstructure, which once again demonstrated how aluminium unsuitable for use in warships with the Bonhomme Richard fire (Ticos also have aluminium superstructures which also resulted in 3,000+ cracks, Navy said the wrong type of aluminium was used :mad: ).

So would not think new CVL based on a LHA-6 hull would be a good pick due to its relatively low displacement and aluminium superstructure.
None of which is relevant since I'm using the same NAVSEA cost per ton metric for CVN-78 for the notional competitors.
So they'd all have the same HSLA/HY steel bias in the cost metric and the LHA-6 derivative would have an all-steel superstructure.
Why would you use the flawed Ford metric of cost per ton for cost of the CVL, Ford is way, way over budget, even the pork barrel politicians in Congress lost patience with the Navy who kept on asking for more and more money for Ford, Congress imposed the oft quoted $13 billion cost cap in 2008$, CBO says that's $16.2 billion in 2019$. Ford was commissioned in July 2017 and build still not complete, Ingalls has 200 shipyard workers currently on board ship installing the weapons elevators, due to complete next April, 3 years and 9 months after commissioning. To work around the Congress cost cap as Ford costs continued to increase the Navy creatively created a 'Phase 2' build for the mission equipment which GAO estimated at additional half billion$ and cut costs by not installing the equipment to allow Ford and Kennedy to operate the F-35Cs. When Congress found out they were understandably upset and insisted Kennedy must have equipment fitted so as to be able operate the F-35C, Navy complained it would be expensive as Kennedy too far into build, Congress overruled the Navy by insisting the Kennedy be equipped to operate the F-35C, too late to fit Ford.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria, an ex navy commander, in 2019 called the Ford a "nuclear-powered berthing barge", it is to be hoped after the shock trials it does not become one permanently. USNI November reported "Ford’s EMALS experienced a crash over the summer, prohibiting the carrier from performing flight operations for five days. Capt. Josh Sager, the commanding officer of Carrier Air Wing 8 (CVW-8), said Nov. 17 that Ford had all three of its AAG wires operating with no issues for the preceding four to six days [only operational for 6 days?]. Cummings described the reliability for both the Dual Band Radar and AAG as getting better throughout every at-sea period." Re the Ford radars SPY3 & 4, War Zone reported Navy plan to scrap the new X-band SPY-3 radars installed on the Zumwalts, the only other ships to fit the SPY-3, no reason was given, thou DOT&E reported the special variants of ESSM and SM-2 to work in X-band SPY-3 failed under testing on the SDTS.

The Ford must be the most expensive warship ever of any nation, any era at ~$17 billion if ever upgraded to fly the F-35C, the Chinese will be LOL, China is the major world shipbuilding nation.

Re CVL based on LHA-6, if LHA-6 superstructure converted from aluminium to all steel would expect the ship stability would be seriously compromised by the additional top weight.

PS Of interest USNI quoting Navy says it has it has two thirds of its air wing onboard, 35 including 25 fighters and eight rotary aircraft, if understanding carrier air wings approx total 52 a/c?

From <https://news.usni.org/2020/11/24/uss-gerald-r-ford-making-steady-progress-ahead-of-deployment>
 
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marauder2048

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Why would you use the flawed Ford metric of cost per ton for cost of the CVL,
Because labor/material costs for *hull* construction are based on actuals for CVN-78/79.
You could argue for some cost improvement curve but since that would scale both notional CVL concepts by the same degree it wouldn't matter.

Re CVL based on LHA-6, if LHA-6 superstructure converted from aluminium to all steel would expect the ship stability would be seriously compromised by the additional top weight.
Hence the extensive use of lightweight steels like HSLA-115/65; they were specifically developed and used on CVN-78 to reduce topside weight and
improve CG.
 
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Cordy

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Why would you use the flawed Ford metric of cost per ton for cost of the CVL,
Because labor/material costs for *hull* construction are based on actuals for CVN-78/79.
You could argue for some cost improvement curve but since that would scale both notional CVL concepts by the same degree it wouldn't matter.

Re CVL based on LHA-6, if LHA-6 superstructure converted from aluminium to all steel would expect the ship stability would be seriously compromised by the additional top weight.
Hence the extensive use of lightweight steels like HSLA-115/65; they were specifically developed and used on CVN-78 to reduce topside weight and
improve CG.
Other thoughts as why not reasonable to base CVL cost using the Ford cost per ton metric, Ford/nuclear ships are expensive.

Assuming the NNS nuclear yard overheads may be double if not more than the NASSCO conventional shipyard? Ford first steel cut Aug 2005 to delivery May 2017, ~12 years of funding majority NNS overheads. The NNS is the only yard capable of building nuclear carriers with the overheads needed to fund the "exacting and stringent environmental, health, and safety standards. Shipbuilders must follow “non-deviation plans (i.e., no deviation from the approved plans without government approval). An unavoidably high cost overhead structure (engineering, quality assurance, and production control) and costly production work are required in the naval nuclear propulsion industry " GAO quote, plus the additional expense of the extreme security to ensure the safety of the highly enriched uranium fuel rods, HEU uranium that is enriched in fissile U-235, a possible target for terrorist groups.

Secondly don't know costs the Ford's two AIB reactors, $1 billion each??? Which would make Ford's propulsion system extremely costly compared to conventional propulsion system.

Steel
Out of interest do you know the thickness of HSLA-115/65 used in Ford superstructure, asking as have seen the large cruise ships, some more than twice the displacement of Ford eg Symphony of the Seas 228,000t, with their numerous decks which at first glance would think make them top heavy, to keep passenger decks weight down they use thin steel plate eg 5.0 mm/<0.2 ". If HSLA-115/65 for a CVL/LHD-6 using thin steel plate superstructure would give minimal protection in containing heavy high explosive explsions from warheads on the larger Chinese/Russian anti-ship missiles eg LRASM has a 1000 lbs/450kg warhead, Indian BrahMos Mach 2.8, a/c variant 300 kg/660 lbs warhead.
 

marauder2048

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Other thoughts as why not reasonable to base CVL cost using the Ford cost per ton metric, Ford/nuclear ships are expensive.
These are strictly hull costs. Not propulsion.

If you want to use NAVSEA's data (which can be easily reconciled with the budget docs) for amphib hulls cost per ton it's all of 12% cheaper.
i.e CEC would be $5.5 billion (LHA) vs. $6.1 billion (CVN-78/79). That difference per ton is probably more readily explained by CVN-78/79
using more expensive/newer HSLAs that are more labor intensive to weld rather than some nuclear propulsion premium.


If HSLA-115/65 for a CVL/LHD-6 using thin steel plate superstructure would give minimal protection in containing heavy high explosive explsions from warheads on the larger Chinese/Russian anti-ship missiles eg LRASM has a 1000 lbs/450kg warhead, Indian BrahMos Mach 2.8, a/c variant 300 kg/660 lbs warhead.
Modern warships do make use of composite armor in those vital places where weight savings are at a premium.
And deckhouses tend to have natural or designed blow-out paths.
 
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Cordy

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Other thoughts as why not reasonable to base CVL cost using the Ford cost per ton metric, Ford/nuclear ships are expensive.
These are strictly hull costs. Not propulsion.

If you want to use NAVSEA's data (which can be easily reconciled with the budget docs) for amphib hulls cost per ton it's all of 12% cheaper.
i.e CEC would be $5.5 billion (LHA) vs. $6.1 billion (CVN-78/79). That difference per ton is probably more readily explained by CVN-78/79
using more expensive/newer HSLAs that are more labor intensive to weld rather than some nuclear propulsion premium.


If HSLA-115/65 for a CVL/LHD-6 using thin steel plate superstructure would give minimal protection in containing heavy high explosive explsions from warheads on the larger Chinese/Russian anti-ship missiles eg LRASM has a 1000 lbs/450kg warhead, Indian BrahMos Mach 2.8, a/c variant 300 kg/660 lbs warhead.
Modern warships do make use of composite armor in those vital places where weight savings are at a premium.
And deckhouses tend to have natural or designed blow-out paths.
Surprised the amphibs only 12% cheaper per ton than the CVNs built at NNS with its high overheads driven by nuclear costs, tends to confirm the impression that both BIW and Ingalls yards expensive, the CBO and CRS both expressed incredulity at the Fincantieri costs for the new Constellation frigates based costs per ton compared to Burkes etc. Fincantieri contested the CBO and CRS figures, it has a long history in building cruise ships on time and cost besides warships which have won big export contracts, Fincantieri said warship no more complicated than a cruise ship, time will tell.

Steel
If using the newer HSLA steel which saying is a very labor intensive to weld and if not be suitable for robotic welding would not it be a better trade off to use thicker commercial weldable steels eg DH36/EH36 controlled rolled and normalized, heat treated to stress relive the steel to give necessary toughness as used in the UK carriers) understand Far Eastern and European shipyards now able to weld hull with robotic production lines and even mention of spider automatic robots for assembly and welding.

If the CVL limited by LHD-6 design constraints of max weight and then having to use a limited amount of expensive composite armour would expect only able outfit the magazines and CIC, plus thin steel for superstructure expect a 2.8 Mach BrahMos to go thro the thin steel like a hot knife thro butter, never understand why armor is not a much higher priority in navy ships these days, with the warheads on anti-ship missiles equivalent to the big shells of the battleship era. The ships of those days had no thin steel, the aim with thicker armor steel was to contain the explosion so limit the damage to enable ship to carry on fighting.
 

MihoshiK

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Other thoughts as why not reasonable to base CVL cost using the Ford cost per ton metric, Ford/nuclear ships are expensive.
These are strictly hull costs. Not propulsion.

If you want to use NAVSEA's data (which can be easily reconciled with the budget docs) for amphib hulls cost per ton it's all of 12% cheaper.
i.e CEC would be $5.5 billion (LHA) vs. $6.1 billion (CVN-78/79). That difference per ton is probably more readily explained by CVN-78/79
using more expensive/newer HSLAs that are more labor intensive to weld rather than some nuclear propulsion premium.


If HSLA-115/65 for a CVL/LHD-6 using thin steel plate superstructure would give minimal protection in containing heavy high explosive explsions from warheads on the larger Chinese/Russian anti-ship missiles eg LRASM has a 1000 lbs/450kg warhead, Indian BrahMos Mach 2.8, a/c variant 300 kg/660 lbs warhead.
Modern warships do make use of composite armor in those vital places where weight savings are at a premium.
And deckhouses tend to have natural or designed blow-out paths.
Surprised the amphibs only 12% cheaper per ton than the CVNs built at NNS with its high overheads driven by nuclear costs, tends to confirm the impression that both BIW and Ingalls yards expensive, the CBO and CRS both expressed incredulity at the Fincantieri costs for the new Constellation frigates based costs per ton compared to Burkes etc. Fincantieri contested the CBO and CRS figures, it has a long history in building cruise ships on time and cost besides warships which have won big export contracts, Fincantieri said warship no more complicated than a cruise ship, time will tell.

Steel
If using the newer HSLA steel which saying is a very labor intensive to weld and if not be suitable for robotic welding would not it be a better trade off to use thicker commercial weldable steels eg DH36/EH36 controlled rolled and normalized, heat treated to stress relive the steel to give necessary toughness as used in the UK carriers) understand Far Eastern and European shipyards now able to weld hull with robotic production lines and even mention of spider automatic robots for assembly and welding.

If the CVL limited by LHD-6 design constraints of max weight and then having to use a limited amount of expensive composite armour would expect only able outfit the magazines and CIC, plus thin steel for superstructure expect a 2.8 Mach BrahMos to go thro the thin steel like a hot knife thro butter, never understand why armor is not a much higher priority in navy ships these days, with the warheads on anti-ship missiles equivalent to the big shells of the battleship era. The ships of those days had no thin steel, the aim with thicker armor steel was to contain the explosion so limit the damage to enable ship to carry on fighting.
Take a look at some of the armor schemes of battleships, and you'll see that the armor only covered so much, and in a certain way, much like a box, because with gun-launched projectiles, you could be fairly sure how they'd approach your ship. There's only certain arcs that needed to be covered.

That armored box, btw, is completely useless for something like a carrier, because it was heavy as fuck, and fairly far down in the ship. For a carrier it will not protect the electronics, the crew compartments, the flight deck, the hangar, the workshops, or the cats. Etc. Etc.

It's much more prudent to take blast mitigating measures and extensive compartimentilisation than to try and cover everything in a layer of armor thick enough to stop a supersonic warhead. You might as well go straight to a Habbakuk design, for all the bloat that you'd see.

The best way to mitigate the damage of a thing like a Brahmos is, of course, to not get hit at all. It's why there's air defense ships around the carrier.
 

marauder2048

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Surprised the amphibs only 12% cheaper per ton than the CVNs built at NNS with its high overheads driven by nuclear costs, tends to confirm the impression that both BIW and Ingalls yards expensive,
But those overhead cost wouldn't be reflected in the NAVSEA cost/ton metric. Those costs tend to show up in plan costs and ECO.

the CBO and CRS both expressed incredulity at the Fincantieri costs for the new Constellation frigates
The believed drivers for non-CV/amphib surface combatant costs are outfit density and power density; Constellation is bad on both counts.
So some skepticism there is warranted. But that has nothing to do with CVs.

Fincantieri contested the CBO and CRS figures, it has a long history in building cruise ships on time and cost
Their cost overruns on LCS notwithstanding apparently.

If using the newer HSLA steel which saying is a very labor intensive to weld and if not be suitable for robotic welding would not it be a better trade off to use thicker commercial weldable steels eg DH36/EH36 controlled rolled and normalized, heat treated to stress relive the steel to give necessary toughness as used in the UK carriers) understand Far Eastern and European shipyards now able to weld hull with robotic production lines and even mention of spider automatic robots for assembly and welding.
I don't see anything preventing the automation of HSLA welding beyond the fixed-costs of automation.
IIRC, toughness scales at the square root of thickness so achieving the much higher toughness of HSLA requires
a much greater than linear amount of material. Not sure that really saves any money.

BrahMos to go thro the thin steel like a hot knife thro butter, never understand why armor is not a much higher priority in navy ships these days, with the warheads on anti-ship missiles equivalent to the big shells of the battleship era.
There weren't really shaped charged threats to battleship armor; ASCMs have huge diameters and you can afford exotic
reactive material liners for multi-stage shaped charge/follow-through warheads that will punch large diameter, long length holes into
BB armor so that the follow-though charge can detonate in the interior.
 

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here weren't really shaped charged threats to battleship armor; ASCMs have huge diameters and you can afford exotic
reactive material liners for multi-stage shaped charge/follow-through warheads that will punch large diameter, long length holes into
BB armor so that the follow-though charge can detonate in the interior.
There is also the damage control to think about.

You still have a half ton or more object slamming into at a fairly high rate of speed. Even if the Armor LOLNOPE the damage, which is unlikely, you got the secondary effects.

Not even getting into the burning of the missile fuel, which is bad in its own but is managable, you still got the good old E=MC^2.

Basically that impact is going to rattle the ship like a fucking bell unless its a Hellfire size missile verses a Proper 50k ton plus Battleship. And you know what hates rattling around?

The Electronics, its extremely likely that a hit will knock out the radar and fire control system even today with shock proof solid state gear. Plus that shut is going to do terrrible things to the calibration of the radars, and test me those things are not easily re-calibrated. And well then the ship is a sitting duck for any follow up strikes until the crew gets the system back up.

Of course the Navy is looking for ways around this so that it will still take multiple hits to sink even a LCS.

The First is by designing the hull to contain the damage to a section, then reinforce it with the strongest metals you can put in. See the comments above about how the USN use very expansive high temperature strength steel. That so the the ship doesnt break apart or fucking melt when hit by a missile that WILL cause a fire. The recent BoR fire shows perfectlly what happens in a ship fire. Size also allows you to take hits better as well. This is the most easily done and honestly the cheapest and reliable. When it comes to warship design Mil-Spec and Civ-spec actually has a difference with mil-spec being far better in everyway but cost.

Second is the old stand by of dont be hit. Basically shot down the incoming before it hits you. Dont need to explain more expect that the gear to do so is very expansive.

Then you what the Zumwalt has, basically use you weapons as armor. The Zumwalt MK57 P-VLS is design to explode out if it takes a hit, this will cause it to act very much like a ERA plate to missiles. Add in the massive charge of most missiles compare to ERA means it will basically destroy the missile before it has a chance to fire a second stage weapon. Then you have the Electric Armor that is basically like ERA but instead of high explosives you have a very high electrical charge between two plates with a thick insulator between them. When a weapon pierces it arcs violently destroying the penerator before it has a chance to react. Of course both ways are new which mean unproven and very expansive.

Basically any modern warship that the navies expect to go into battle and survive to at least bring her crew home is going to be very expansive. No way around it. Part of the reason why the LCS got so bloated was because people cause saying that small ships cant tank hits, so the navy made it bigger which then got the go idea fairy to say add more to it, which got people saying since it can do X it can do Y for a little bit more so why not add it and next thing anyone knew those fucking things are as expansive as a Burke for a mission that it was suppose to be cheaper for...

SO eyeah modern Warship designers live is hell for a reason, go figures....
 

marauder2048

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Then you what the Zumwalt has, basically use you weapons as armor. The Zumwalt MK57 P-VLS is design to explode out if it takes a hit, this will cause it to act very much like a ERA plate to missiles. Add in the massive charge of most missiles compare to ERA means it will basically destroy the missile before it has a chance to fire a second stage weapon. Then you have the Electric Armor that is basically like ERA but instead of high explosives you have a very high electrical charge between two plates with a thick insulator between them. When a weapon pierces it arcs violently destroying the penerator before it has a chance to react. Of course both ways are new which mean unproven and very expansive.
In theory, the modern insensitive rocket motors aren't supposed to detonate when hit with a shaped charge jet.
As a poor-mans spaced armor I buy it though.

IIUC, the electromagnetic armor shaped charged jet defeat mechanism works in a manner similar to wire explosion but that
has a dependence on the cross-sectional area of the jet. For RPGs these jet diameters are small
(2 - 3 mm) but require dozens to hundreds of kilojoules to defeat.

For the naval ASCM shaped charges you are looking at jet diameters measured in inches.
So that's tens of megajoules to defeat. Maybe that's possible from some of the very
large capacitor banks they are looking at for EMRGs. But it just strikes me that the scaling laws
favor the shaped charge designer.
 

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Ships can run on aviation fuel supplies but not vice versa due to the potential of contamination, the issue is not the fuel type but the cost and complexity of the fuel system required by aviation certification requirements. At least some surface ships I have been involved with have aviation fuel systems that can feed the ships propulsion and electrical (generators) systems but the ships bunkerage can not feed back into the aviation fuel system.

Theoretically you could bring a ships entire fuel system up to the standards required for aviation but there would be substantial penalties in terms of cost, weight and complexity, i.e. marine grade stainless steel for tanks piping and fittings.

On crew sizes there are a couple of factors behind the USN having significantly larger crews than some other navies.

First is the USN, as mentioned earlier in this topic, places great importance in having sufficient bodies for damage control activities.

Then there is the the general US (not just the military) propensity to specialise rather than generalise, i.e. they stream their technical and engineering personnel to narrower and narrower fields of expertise where other navies and many industries tend to have far greater cross training and certification of personnel. This means the USN has large numbers of exceptionally competent specialists who have spent decades learning their trades but aren't much use outside their specialties while other navies have cross qualified trades that are good enough at multiple functions, therefore fewer over all personnel are required. The Spanish also have operator maintainers, i.e. combat systems operators who also maintain their consoles and supporting systems.

Finally there are systems differences due to USN retaining "proven" equipment and systems over new technology alternatives that require greater maintenance input than more modern systems. For example BIW pushed for years to replace the pneumatic starters on DDG GT generators with electric ones, the saving on maintenance and significantly improved reliability would have permitted the deletion of a compressed air system, reduced weight, reduction in maintenance load, hence personnel and dramatically improved reliability. In particular, deleting fluid power systems (which ironically are electrically powered) and replacing them with electrical systems creates major savings in maintenance and improved reliability, reduced fire risk and risk to personnel from High Pressure Air or Hydraulic leaks.
 

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