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RN post war carrier conundrums

uk 75

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An aircraft.which is always left out of this story, but in my view influenced CVA01, was the US North American Vigilante.. This TSR2 lookalike supersonic nuclear bomber was supposed to hit Soviet bases from carriers in the Atlantic and the Med. It always looked very cool but failed to deliver. It was then developed as a recce machine.
Carriers with A6 and Buccaneer were supposed to do the same job but the arrival of Polaris kills it off until Lehmans policy of surging carriers towards the Kola.
Was CVA01 orginally intended to carry Vigilantes?
 

uk 75

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Just before Christmas 1982 a mate and I were on the train to Cornwall chatting to a naval officer when the subject of Invincible came up and he told us the saga of "HMS Unfinishable".
The Escort Cruiser to give her her proper title (though the carriers she was escorting belonged to the US Second Fleet and the Marine Nationale) was the wrong ship in 1962 and never came right. Had the RN built a class of ASW/Commando carriers drawing on the Centaurs it could have ordered them in the late 60s in time to be in service in the 70s.
Like the US Essex CVSs they should have had cats for Gannets and Sea Vixens, later S3 Vikings and Sea Harrier/Jaguar M.
CVA01 , see my previous post, died with Vigilante and the Ark/ Eagle may or may not have been replaced with two Eagle equivs.
By the Falklands in 1982 the RN has 1 Eagle and 2 improved Centaurs in commission with 1 Eagle and 1 i Centaur in refit. Curiously the Argentines pick a fight with Chile instead.
 

zen

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Vigilante was viewed as indicative of the direction and scale of the next generation of carrier aircraft.
VFX a.k.a F111 was the then US system coming down the line.
UK studies for OR.346 tended the same direction.
So no, but sort of yes.
 

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The Vigilante is really the maximum bomber that can realistically be based on a 60 000 tons Forrestal. 70000 pounds MTOW and Mach 2 - no way to go heavier and faster. It would be kind of carrierborne SR-71 or B-58.
 

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I agree the carriers were wanted for NATO North (although no doubt service links led to some of the politicking- it being easy to ask for something you know isnt coming both as a favour and to make the point and put pressure on areas that have yet to be decided), but it feels like this was insufficient as an argument then, and not even really tried?

I had a few NATO books (Battle for the Fjords and some others) that went into detail on the evolution of allied maritime strategy - it seems pre mid 70s there wasn’t the North emphasis that appeared in the 80s.

I sometimes think post EoS we (re)invented NATO as a purely way to salvage things, knowing the battle at sea (and land/air) was kind of irrelevent given the nuclear aspect (as we’d decided a decade earlier it seems). It seems to answer the almost schizophrenic approach to things in the 80s and the fatalistic attitudes of those in at the time.

I also question whether the RN could actually survive in the Strike Fleet role given it’s ship based air defence during this period was Sea Slug until T42s arrived in numbers late 70s and into the 80s and we all know they were still far from contemporary US double ended SM2 and Aegis. Comparing an Ark Royal battle group to a US CV(N), well, it’s pretty stark - and CVA01 doesnt really improve this.
 

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Just before Christmas 1982 a mate and I were on the train to Cornwall chatting to a naval officer when the subject of Invincible came up and he told us the saga of "HMS Unfinishable".
The Escort Cruiser to give her her proper title (though the carriers she was escorting belonged to the US Second Fleet and the Marine Nationale) was the wrong ship in 1962 and never came right. Had the RN built a class of ASW/Commando carriers drawing on the Centaurs it could have ordered them in the late 60s in time to be in service in the 70s.
Like the US Essex CVSs they should have had cats for Gannets and Sea Vixens, later S3 Vikings and Sea Harrier/Jaguar M.
CVA01 , see my previous post, died with Vigilante and the Ark/ Eagle may or may not have been replaced with two Eagle equivs.
By the Falklands in 1982 the RN has 1 Eagle and 2 improved Centaurs in commission with 1 Eagle and 1 i Centaur in refit. Curiously the Argentines pick a fight with Chile instead.
History is curious isn’t it! Argentina doing what it did was literally better for all than going against Chile.

Fewer dead, junta gone, Chile unmolested, UK reinvigorated.

I’d like to have seen Hermes and Bulwark (& Centaur?) kept as CVS with Sea Vixen (to SHAR and helos) in the 70s. Ark Royal going much sooner and the Phants and Buccs to land ASAP.

Ideally Hermes and Centaur as CVS and Albion and Bulwark as LPH. Then in lieu of the 3 CAHs & 1 LPH (wanted 2) and the old LPDs, a newer CVS/LHA type in the 80s. Starting point being the larger CAH proposed for Australia, but ideally something more akin to recent Spanish/Italian ships.
 

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The Royal Marine Commandos post 1966 were very vulnerable, and even more so after 1975 and the decision to abandon the Mediterranean and focus on the North Atlantic.
I recall reading on the old Warships blog that carriers were very unpopular postings compared with escort ships. Finding crews for more than Ark and Bulwark/Hermes becomes harder and harder in the inflation years of the 70s. By the 80s only 1 Invincible and 1 LPD could be in service.
The growth in the size of ferries and roro ships in the 70s and the large numbers in service were the backdrop to Nott. If all the RM Commandos are doing is reinforcing Norway (and possibly Denmark) they have to get there in the expected "period of tension". Noone was envisaging a Narvik style assault landing if Soviet forces had arrived first. The Canadian Air Sea Transportable Brigade (cast) was removed from the reinforcement options because its heavy kit would take too long to arrive by civilian shipping. The US Marines became the main backup but our RM was expected to get there first ie in peacetime.
The confused period between 1990 and 97 almost saw the demise of the amphibious forces. The 1991 Gulf War and its aftermath gave the sole remaining Army Armoured Division the main role. The quagmire of the former Yugoslavia was mainly an army affair.
The Blair Government finally ordered new shipping (though not new artillery and MRL which were also supposed to arrive) but after Sierra Leone the force was hardly used. In the Iraq and Afghan wars, the bulk of operations were by mainstream army units.
Today the focus has returned to Central Europe. There is no requirement for "liberal intervention" The Johnson government likeTrump in the States does not contain any supporters of overseas intervention. In the UK even if unemployment soars, the armed forces are not likely to find many suitable recruits of the calibre they need.
The main role of UK land forces is likely to be reinforcing Poland and the Baltic States. A Commonwealth Brigade might find itself in some future Korean crisis or regional conflict with China. Beyond that, the Middle East and Africa will be left to regional powers to fight. The failures in Afghanistan, Iraq Libya and Syria coupled with Covid will lead to a return to the 1966/75 retrenchments.
Wrong thread
 

uk 75

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woops comes of doing things on a phone without glasses. moved. thanks
 
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uk 75

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The RN attached great importance to "crossdecking" with US and other Western carriers. The attached pictures give some idea of what this looked like on Ark Royal in the 50s and 70s.
I suppose CVA01 in the 80s would have been able to crossdeck F14s.
 

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zen

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Certainly CVA-01 had the potential to take the F14 in that her systems were rated to something around 75,000lb per plane and her recovery length was long enough.

Arguably F14 resolves a lot, but of course at tremendous cost.
However there were a number of F14s I think paid for by the Shah, that ended up in USN service due to the revolution....
 

uk 75

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I always think this 1963 drawing of CVA01 which appeared in the addendum section of Janes showed what the Carrier Vessel Attack was hoped to be. It is much closer to a US carrier in appearance. The two types of jets allude to the fighter/attacker jets mentioned in Friedman.
 

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I always think this 1963 drawing of CVA01 which appeared in the addendum section of Janes showed what the Carrier Vessel Attack was hoped to be. It is much closer to a US carrier in appearance. The two types of jets allude to the fighter/attacker jets mentioned in Friedman.
Would need a bigger pic to confirm, but I think that the jets in that picture are representative of the OR 346, for which variable-sweep was proposed.
 
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starviking

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Certainly CVA-01 had the potential to take the F14 in that her systems were rated to something around 75,000lb per plane and her recovery length was long enough.

Arguably F14 resolves a lot, but of course at tremendous cost.
However there were a number of F14s I think paid for by the Shah, that ended up in USN service due to the revolution....
The Warships 2014 article confirms lifts capable of 70,000 per plane, and expanded from the sketch design to accommodate the F-111B.
 

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starviking

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This reminds me of working through the numbers on CVA-01 and their estimation for a Tactical Air Unit to prosecute EoS war.
Basically the TAU didn't fit CVA-01 nor did half a TAU, only a third.
Which implies you need 3 CVA-01s to operate the TAU and in turn that needs a fleet of 5 CV minimum in total to sustain it.
This is rather more than stated aim of just 2 CVA-01 types to be built or the stated objective of just 4 Fleet CVs.

And officials from No.11 would see through the numbers and conclude the same.
The Warship 2014 CVA-01 article mentions that 2/3rd of aircraft could be accommodated on deck, 2/3rd in the hangar: that’s effectively another squadron onboard under surge conditions. Might that make a difference?
Half of 96 is 48 (16 Fighters, 4 AEW, 32 Strike and Attack) + 2 SAR = 50.
If a surge can get 50 onto CVA-01....but where do the ASW helicopters go?

Whereas 1/3 of TAU is 11 fighters, 3 AEW, and 22 Strike and Attack for 36 plus 2 SAR and 6 ASW for 44 aircraft in total.
I think that we are so close that we are almost there on the numbers.

IIRC the 2 carriers EoS would be working closely together, so ASW copters would probably not need surging. Similar for AEW.

The spotting factors (from Warships 2014) look to be close for the ASW copters and Buccs, same for AEW and Phantom. The same spotting diagram has 8 Phantoms, 16 Buccs, 3 AEW, 3 ASW copters, 1 SAR, for 2/3s of the air group.

Doubling that to give an “overload” conditions has: 16 Phantoms, 32 Buccs, 6 ASW (or Bucc equivalent), 6 AEW (or Phantom equivalent). So we could, whilst keeping standard ASW(5) and AEW(4) have 16 (+2) Phantoms or 32 (+3) Buccs. However, as we have two carriers working together, we could probably pare back more on the ASW and AEW, say 4 ASW and 3 AEW per ship, giving the possibility of 32 (+6) Phantoms and 64 (+10) Buccs with two carriers. So that’s 96 without swapping Gannets and copters for planes

Roughly attributing landed ASW and AEW craft to Buccs gives 32 Phantoms and 74 Buccs, 104 fighter/strike.

I’m aware that given the diverse nature of the air group, figures of 1/3, 2/3rd of the group are going to be a little fuzzy, but I think I’ve shown that 2 CVA-01 types could carry a TAU, or very close to a TAU. Of course, another question comes to mind: would all of a TAU be embarked at one time, or are part of that number an attrition/maintained reserve?
 
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He stated that he needed 8 carrier groups for the reinforcement and resupply of Europe but that he only had 1 group at his disposal for the entire Atlantic and Norwegian Sea. Either Admiral Kidd was laying on hyperbole to convince the First Sea Lord, or he was a pessimistic man.
Given the poor state of the USN post-Vietnam and especially during the Carter administration, he may have been actually understating the direness of the situation.
I've heard very bad things about the effects of the Carter Administration, which lasted for years in the USN
most of those effects are over stated, a lot of ships were put in the pipeline by Carter. The problem with Carter really is that he is an Annapolis grad and one of Rickover's... he was hard to bullshit or buffalo and his actions in the Chalk River meltdown show he was no coward.
 

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Certainly CVA-01 had the potential to take the F14 in that her systems were rated to something around 75,000lb per plane and her recovery length was long enough.

Arguably F14 resolves a lot, but of course at tremendous cost.
However there were a number of F14s I think paid for by the Shah, that ended up in USN service due to the revolution....
What an irony that would be ! The RN fighting teeth an nail for CVA-01, to a point it can't get anything better than F-4K although the ship was deliberately sized for F-111B, later Tomcats... but they are so insanely expensive, no chance in hell the RN ever got some... until...
"Oh wait, we have some Tomcats from Iran, do you want them ? bargain price, off-the-shelf..."
 

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Iran ordered 80 and 79 were delivered. The last ended up in a USN test squadron.

I believe letters of intent were signed for more but did any money change hands? There have been a number of financial settlements with Iran in the past 40 years returning monies locked up at the time.
 
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zen

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I can't remember now but I dimly recall something about 140 or so, and the remaining production was taken by the USN.
I read this somewhere long ago.....
 

zen

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Certainly CVA-01 had the potential to take the F14 in that her systems were rated to something around 75,000lb per plane and her recovery length was long enough.

Arguably F14 resolves a lot, but of course at tremendous cost.
However there were a number of F14s I think paid for by the Shah, that ended up in USN service due to the revolution....
What an irony that would be ! The RN fighting teeth an nail for CVA-01, to a point it can't get anything better than F-4K although the ship was deliberately sized for F-111B, later Tomcats... but they are so insanely expensive, no chance in hell the RN ever got some... until...
"Oh wait, we have some Tomcats from Iran, do you want them ? bargain price, off-the-shelf..."
The irony is you don't need the F4K for CVA-01....you need it for Ark Royal and Eagle.
 

Archibald

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Iran ordered 80 and 79 were delivered. The last ended up in a USN test squadron.

I believe letters of intent were signed for more but did any money change hands? There have been a number of financial settlements with Iran in the past 40 years returning monies locked up at the time.
But at some point between February and November 1979 (read, Shah ousting and hostage crisis) the new Iranian government, not fully Khomeini fanatics yet, somewhat agree to get ride of the Tomcats.
Their interest intersected with US own...
For the new Iranian gvt, these aircraft were expensive maintenance money pits and symbols of the Shah military buying spree follies, so good riddance.
Note that Saddam war happened only in September 1980 and from this moment only was the Tomcat a formidable asset for the Mullahs. Before that... they did not cared.
For the USA they did not wanted the soviets to get their ugly hands on one of these advanced birds.

So at some point an agreement to return the 79 Tomcats was nearly in sight... when the hostages crisis happened. And we all know what happened next.

Uncle Sam already had proposed these 79 Tomcats to the RAF (instead of Tornado ADV, over the GIUK gap) or Canada (to replace the antiquated CF-101B in NORAD).

That's my understanding of the whole thing...
 

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Found it. The Letter of Intent in 1976 was for another 70 F-14.
The contracts included 714 AIM-54A Phoenix missiles but only 284 were delivered before the Revolution.

Negotiations to buy back the F-14s seem to have gone on for most of 1979 and "good part" of 1980, so even after the "Hostage Crisis" had begun. The Iranian Govt/military was reportedly split on the subject of a sale at a time when the F-14s were all grounded. Then in April 1980 Carter decided that any equipment impounded in the US "be made available for use by the the US military forces or for sale to other countries". The failed rescue mission - Operation Eagle Claw - was that same month and that probably put an end to any further progress. I've also seen Saudi Arabia mentioned as a possible customer for the Iranian airframes.

Osprey Publishing did an interesting little tome on the Iranian Tomcat Units in Combat.

AIUI the UK looked at the F-14 on a couple of occasions. Out of the F-14/15/16 it was seen as the only alternative to Tornado ADV for the role envisaged, so early / mid 1970s. But ADV was seen to be cheaper. It was then revisited at the end of the 1970s/early 1980s when ADV was suffering delays, which is where the Iranian F-14s came into the picture. Instead we got F-4J to help plug the fighter gap until ADV came along.
 

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Exactly what I was thinking. Just imagine the full pre revolution wish list ending up for sale, six instead of four Kidds, was it a dozen modified S Type frigates with 5" guns and Mk 13 GMLS and was it three or six Invincible plus Sea Harrier? (I think the six export Invincibles may have been Japan not Iran, but I cant recall where I read what).

Then there were the F-16s, what became the Challenger, what else was there, Patriot?
 

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So the deep thoughts.....

IF.....if only they had funded even a single new military drydock in the UK, say on the north shore by Davenport during the 20's and 30's.
One 1,500ft by 140ft by 32ft dock would permit a Forrestal scale CV and support a fleet of 4 at least. Coupled with the docks at Cairo and in Australia they could have had their Malta.

IF....if only the RN had run a treaty busting CV design before WWII. They'd hit their practical limits as I've outlined earlier. But the resultant CVs have a greater future proofing and could be run on Implacable propulsion.

IF......if only there had been a UK Skyhawk-type solution to N/A.39.
Sadly they started the 1952 effort on the basis of a navalised Canberra.

IF....if only they'd started the Medium Fleet CV studies concurrently with the Large Fleet Carrier in 1952.....

IF....if only the 30 inch diameter light turbojets had been funded instead of the cheap option of the Gyron Junior.

IF....only they'd not spent precious time and money on the flexible deck concept.

But the simplest option is that treaty buster CV.
Length: 850ft fd, 800ft wl, 770ft lbp.
Width: 120ft-130ft fd, 104ft wl.
Draught: 28-33.5ft.
Displacement: 45,000tons deep load and about 35,000ton standard.
Give it 144,000shp and it's good enough for 30kts clean and 28kts d&d or thereabouts. But as long as it cruises at Fleet Speed......

Because a fleet of 4 such would rapidly be repeated instead of the Irresistible-Audacious process and Malta would quickly die off as soon as they hit the drydock problem.
Having gotten used to such ships, the next gen would be preceded by modernisations and the transition to new ships of similar dimensions but perhaps just three sets of the new Y300 plant.

Voila! No Victorious rebuild, no disparate force of Implacable and Audacious types.
Centaurs likely cut at 3.
1952 effort gets cut short by '54 (N/A.39 relieving the pressure) if not by '53..Medium Fleet CVs proceeded with by '55.
And next gen is dominated by the need to fund a larger military drydock from 1940. While the implications for plant, props and shafts also triggers finding for propulsion upto 60-70,000shp per unit.

However by the 1960's the next gen effort will likely be cut and the RN will have to soldier on with it's Meduin Fleet CVs......into the 1990's that is.

Irony of ironies, such a size of flat top would be fine for STOVL aircraft, though at the smaller end of CVF studies.
The treaty buster is Hoods sisters.

Instead of suspending, then cancelling Hoods three sisters they are continued to an evolving design, for the simple reason they are superior to pretty much anything else building at the time. They are not as far along as Hood so when the Washington Treaty is negotiated, it is these three hulls, not Courageous, Glorious and Furious that are selected for conversion into aircraft carriers. The other three battlecruisers, may or may not be converted into carriers instead of completing Eagle and Hermes.
 
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zen

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So the deep thoughts.....

IF.....if only they had funded even a single new military drydock in the UK, say on the north shore by Davenport during the 20's and 30's.
One 1,500ft by 140ft by 32ft dock would permit a Forrestal scale CV and support a fleet of 4 at least. Coupled with the docks at Cairo and in Australia they could have had their Malta.

IF....if only the RN had run a treaty busting CV design before WWII. They'd hit their practical limits as I've outlined earlier. But the resultant CVs have a greater future proofing and could be run on Implacable propulsion.

IF......if only there had been a UK Skyhawk-type solution to N/A.39.
Sadly they started the 1952 effort on the basis of a navalised Canberra.

IF....if only they'd started the Medium Fleet CV studies concurrently with the Large Fleet Carrier in 1952.....

IF....if only the 30 inch diameter light turbojets had been funded instead of the cheap option of the Gyron Junior.

IF....only they'd not spent precious time and money on the flexible deck concept.

But the simplest option is that treaty buster CV.
Length: 850ft fd, 800ft wl, 770ft lbp.
Width: 120ft-130ft fd, 104ft wl.
Draught: 28-33.5ft.
Displacement: 45,000tons deep load and about 35,000ton standard.
Give it 144,000shp and it's good enough for 30kts clean and 28kts d&d or thereabouts. But as long as it cruises at Fleet Speed......

Because a fleet of 4 such would rapidly be repeated instead of the Irresistible-Audacious process and Malta would quickly die off as soon as they hit the drydock problem.
Having gotten used to such ships, the next gen would be preceded by modernisations and the transition to new ships of similar dimensions but perhaps just three sets of the new Y300 plant.

Voila! No Victorious rebuild, no disparate force of Implacable and Audacious types.
Centaurs likely cut at 3.
1952 effort gets cut short by '54 (N/A.39 relieving the pressure) if not by '53..Medium Fleet CVs proceeded with by '55.
And next gen is dominated by the need to fund a larger military drydock from 1940. While the implications for plant, props and shafts also triggers finding for propulsion upto 60-70,000shp per unit.

However by the 1960's the next gen effort will likely be cut and the RN will have to soldier on with it's Meduin Fleet CVs......into the 1990's that is.

Irony of ironies, such a size of flat top would be fine for STOVL aircraft, though at the smaller end of CVF studies.
The treaty buster is Hoods sisters.

Instead of suspending, then cancelling Hoods three sisters they are continued to an evolving design, for the simple reason they are superior to pretty much anything else building at the time. They are not as far along as Hood so when the Washington Treaty is negotiated, it is these three hulls, not Courageous, Glorious and Furious that are selected for conversion into aircraft carriers. The other three battlecruisers, may or may not be converted into carriers instead of completing Eagle and Hermes.
It was threatened I think during negotiations, strangely the US came around to view this wasn't in their interests....

But yes, it would exert pressure on a host of areas had the Admirals been completed as carriers.

Though others would suspect it was to have the ships ready for conversion back to battlecruisers if war actually threatened.
 

uk 75

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The Shah was interested in the Invincible with Sea Harrier. However. the sclerotic British shipbuilding industry was having enough trouble building them for the RN. The novel."Crash of 79" featured a possible downside to the Shah getting all his toys. I wont spoil the ending but he does get two conventional US carriers and their F4 airgroups.
 

Purpletrouble

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and CVA01 doesnt really improve this.
How is that?
CVA01 obviously improves things vs Ark Royal, but it is basically the same thing just 20% better. It is not transformative in the way CVF is vs CVS.

It is still far from a JFK or CVN and F14 fantasies aside, the air group is identical capability wise.

I really struggle to sea a RN CVA/T42/T22 task force survive in AFNORTH. As a atlantic (south of GIUK) it would cover the gap, counter raiders air and surface but even concentrated (assuming a pair) I can’t see what it would do further North. Ironbombing North Russia seems pointless, and sunshining it not dissimilar if we’ve crossed that line.
 

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So the deep thoughts.....

IF.....if only they had funded even a single new military drydock in the UK, say on the north shore by Davenport during the 20's and 30's.
One 1,500ft by 140ft by 32ft dock would permit a Forrestal scale CV and support a fleet of 4 at least. Coupled with the docks at Cairo and in Australia they could have had their Malta.

IF....if only the RN had run a treaty busting CV design before WWII. They'd hit their practical limits as I've outlined earlier. But the resultant CVs have a greater future proofing and could be run on Implacable propulsion.

IF......if only there had been a UK Skyhawk-type solution to N/A.39.
Sadly they started the 1952 effort on the basis of a navalised Canberra.

IF....if only they'd started the Medium Fleet CV studies concurrently with the Large Fleet Carrier in 1952.....

IF....if only the 30 inch diameter light turbojets had been funded instead of the cheap option of the Gyron Junior.

IF....only they'd not spent precious time and money on the flexible deck concept.

But the simplest option is that treaty buster CV.
Length: 850ft fd, 800ft wl, 770ft lbp.
Width: 120ft-130ft fd, 104ft wl.
Draught: 28-33.5ft.
Displacement: 45,000tons deep load and about 35,000ton standard.
Give it 144,000shp and it's good enough for 30kts clean and 28kts d&d or thereabouts. But as long as it cruises at Fleet Speed......

Because a fleet of 4 such would rapidly be repeated instead of the Irresistible-Audacious process and Malta would quickly die off as soon as they hit the drydock problem.
Having gotten used to such ships, the next gen would be preceded by modernisations and the transition to new ships of similar dimensions but perhaps just three sets of the new Y300 plant.

Voila! No Victorious rebuild, no disparate force of Implacable and Audacious types.
Centaurs likely cut at 3.
1952 effort gets cut short by '54 (N/A.39 relieving the pressure) if not by '53..Medium Fleet CVs proceeded with by '55.
And next gen is dominated by the need to fund a larger military drydock from 1940. While the implications for plant, props and shafts also triggers finding for propulsion upto 60-70,000shp per unit.

However by the 1960's the next gen effort will likely be cut and the RN will have to soldier on with it's Meduin Fleet CVs......into the 1990's that is.

Irony of ironies, such a size of flat top would be fine for STOVL aircraft, though at the smaller end of CVF studies.
The treaty buster is Hoods sisters.

Instead of suspending, then cancelling Hoods three sisters they are continued to an evolving design, for the simple reason they are superior to pretty much anything else building at the time. They are not as far along as Hood so when the Washington Treaty is negotiated, it is these three hulls, not Courageous, Glorious and Furious that are selected for conversion into aircraft carriers. The other three battlecruisers, may or may not be converted into carriers instead of completing Eagle and Hermes.
It was threatened I think during negotiations, strangely the US came around to view this wasn't in their interests....

But yes, it would exert pressure on a host of areas had the Admirals been completed as carriers.

Though others would suspect it was to have the ships ready for conversion back to battlecruisers if war actually threatened.
My fantasy fleet has Eagle based upon a completed Admiral, the BB finished as is. I know, I just handwaved it.

It does strike me the US/Japan would not have been happy with say that and the 3 outrageous conversions in comparison to their ships even if it does give the RN a “super” carrier more akin to Lexington/Akagi types.
 

zen

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and CVA01 doesnt really improve this.
How is that?
CVA01 obviously improves things vs Ark Royal, but it is basically the same thing just 20% better. It is not transformative in the way CVF is vs CVS.

It is still far from a JFK or CVN and F14 fantasies aside, the air group is identical capability wise.

I really struggle to sea a RN CVA/T42/T22 task force survive in AFNORTH. As a atlantic (south of GIUK) it would cover the gap, counter raiders air and surface but even concentrated (assuming a pair) I can’t see what it would do further North. Ironbombing North Russia seems pointless, and sunshining it not dissimilar if we’ve crossed that line.
I think it's potential is rather more than 20% better if it's magazines and bunkerage is loaded up. CVA-01 was designed around 4 days intense operations. Logistically it's substantially better than the Audacious class.
 

Purpletrouble

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and CVA01 doesnt really improve this.
How is that?
CVA01 obviously improves things vs Ark Royal, but it is basically the same thing just 20% better. It is not transformative in the way CVF is vs CVS.

It is still far from a JFK or CVN and F14 fantasies aside, the air group is identical capability wise.

I really struggle to sea a RN CVA/T42/T22 task force survive in AFNORTH. As a atlantic (south of GIUK) it would cover the gap, counter raiders air and surface but even concentrated (assuming a pair) I can’t see what it would do further North. Ironbombing North Russia seems pointless, and sunshining it not dissimilar if we’ve crossed that line.
I think it's potential is rather more than 20% better if it's magazines and bunkerage is loaded up. CVA-01 was designed around 4 days intense operations. Logistically it's substantially better than the Audacious class.
Yeah, but it’s all the same isn’t it really when you compare to the US carriers and what was going on them capability and numbers wise. The contrast is still stark and this is still very much a 2nd rate ship.

What actually was CVA01s air group? I’ve seen 18 Phantom and 18 Buccaneer everywhere, yet hardly ever have UK sqns operated at that strength (assuming one of each), let alone FAA ones. The TAU you write about gets a bit confusing - but I’ve never had a good sense about how the force structure would have fitted all this.

36 jets seems better sized for 3 sqns, but 2 Phantom to 1 Bucc or vice versa seems unbalanced and adding 3rd type would clearly be daft.

Throw in that they’d have had to pack more ASW helos on as an escort cruiser would never have appeared and I’m not sure what it would actually have.
 

SSgtC

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I am always intrigued by the US ASW Essex ships with their mixture of S2 and Seaking ASW and anti-snooper Skyhawks. A developed short take off ASW plane rather than the S3 might have allowed these and Karel Doorman and Bonaventure to be replaced by an updated new build Essex size ship. The UK could easily have designed and built such a ship to replace Hermes and Bulwark in the ASW role more effectively than the Invincibles. Italy and even France might have joined such a NATO small carrier programme with Arromanches 2 and Trieste/Italia
Sorry for replying to a months old post, but the S-3 Viking was actually designed specifically to be operated off the Essex class. They had a folding vertical stabilizer to fit them in the 17.5' hangers of the class. Same with the E-2 Hawkeye. The Hawkeye was originally equipped with a telescoping mount for the radar allowing the aircraft to be struck down into the hangers of the Essex and Midway classes.
 

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Viking ain't very heavy or big, but Hawkeye ? wow. I always assumed only E-1B Tracer could operate out of Essex.
 

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Viking ain't very heavy or big, but Hawkeye ? wow. I always assumed only E-1B Tracer could operate out of Essex.
Actually, the Hawkeye was smaller than the Tracer. It had a spot factor considerably lower than the E-1, despite having an MTOW that is twice as much. Here's a pic of an E-2A on Oriskany:

 

Archibald

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...and there the French Navy got "la double peine" (twice punished).

E-1B would be too large for Foch and Clemenceau.

E-2B would be smaller, but twice heavier, so catapults couldn't handle it.

sigh...
 

zen

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TAU
Assumed 50% success rate.
Army expectation 3 per hour Close ranged contacts, 6 sorties per hour or 4 aircraft aloft per hour, 4 hours average per aircraft flight, 12 aircraft needed, 18 for availability.

30 daily long ranged strikes By 10 ready aircraft 15 for availability.
Counter Air on airfields 6 per day by 20 ready aircraft, 30 availability.
12 for recce and landing support
Ergo
57 long range, 18 short ranged aircraft
Changed to 64 long range on assumption short range ops occure after landings.
Including fighters total of 96
In 4 days expected to burn 2,500tons of fuel.

48 per CV excluding AEW, SAR and ASW.

This force in Counter Air, Long ranged strike and recce seems valid for Strike North assault on Kola Peninsula and Archangelsk.
But the TAU is based on fighting EoS the likes of along Indonesia or Malayan coast.

What would change this is increase in PGMs, Martel (ARM and TVM), LGB, etc increasing success rate, lowering numbers required.
Similar with fighters. 32 sophisticated fighters equate to 12 Class II Fighters (F111B and F14) or 2-3 long ranged missile shooters (NIGS/ Typhon)
 
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Arjen

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Viking ain't very heavy or big, but Hawkeye ? wow. I always assumed only E-1B Tracer could operate out of Essex.
Actually, the Hawkeye was smaller than the Tracer. It had a spot factor considerably lower than the E-1, despite having an MTOW that is twice as much. Here's a pic of an E-2A on Oriskany:
Are you sure? I merged E-1 and E-2 drawings to the same scale a while back, I would expect E-2's spot factor to be bigger than E-1's.
(Edit) Wing span folded for E-1 9.27 m, for E-2 8.94 m. Source: Putnam Grumman by Francillon.





 
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