Through-deck cruiser: the new capital ship

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
914
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
"Through-deck cruiser: the new capital ship", Michael A Cairl, US Naval Institute Proceedings, December 1978

Yet another late 1970's proposal to replace expensive US Navy supercarriers and their escorts with presumably cheaper ship types. This time it's a hybrid warship called a "through-deck cruiser" capable of operating V/STOL aircraft that would not require escorts.

Ahhhh... gotta love the high expectations that they had for V/STOL aircraft in the 1970s. :)

General Characteristics

Length: 886 feet (270 meters)
Beam: 102 feet (31 meters)

Speed: 27-28 knots

Displacement: 45,000 tons (41,000 metric tons)

Embarked aircraft: 25-30 helicopters or V/STOL aircraft

Links to the article:
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b291/barquitos/P-Files/NewCapitalShip1978-1.jpg
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b291/barquitos/P-Files/NewCapitalShip1978-2.jpg
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b291/barquitos/P-Files/NewCapitalShip1978-3.jpg
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b291/barquitos/P-Files/NewCapitalShip1978-4.jpg
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b291/barquitos/P-Files/NewCapitalShip1978-5.jpg
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b291/barquitos/P-Files/NewCapitalShip1978-6.jpg
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b291/barquitos/P-Files/NewCapitalShip1978-7.jpg
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b291/barquitos/P-Files/NewCapitalShip1978-8.jpg
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b291/barquitos/P-Files/NewCapitalShip1978-9.jpg
 

Attachments

  • Through-deckcruiser.JPG
    Through-deckcruiser.JPG
    57.6 KB · Views: 976
  • NewCaptialShip.JPG
    NewCaptialShip.JPG
    21.5 KB · Views: 957

SOC

I look at pictures all day
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
1,208
Reaction score
74
Anti-ship missiles, guns, V/STOL aircraft...dude clearly had Kiev on the brain when he came up with that one!
 

Colonial-Marine

Fighting the UAV mafia.
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
744
Reaction score
107
The most impressive thing I actually find about the design is the turret with twin 203mm cannons. Related to the Mk.71 MCLWG in anyway?
 

Pioneer

Seek out and close with the enemy
Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
2,041
Reaction score
534
I like the concept and design

An aircraft carrier which contributes greatly to its own defence, with minimal expensive escorts!!!
Hell its a true multi-purpose aircraft carrier!

Sign the RAN up for two please

Regards
Pioneer
 

archipeppe

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
1,855
Reaction score
808
SOC said:
Anti-ship missiles, guns, V/STOL aircraft...dude clearly had Kiev on the brain when he came up with that one!

Absolutely, taking into account that also the Italian "Giuseppe Garibaldi" (C-551) has certain capabilities of self-defence.
 

SlickDriver

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Jun 20, 2006
Messages
162
Reaction score
12
As I recall the US Navy called the Keiv class 'floating Navy Crosses', because they figured that the first Naval aviator that got to them in a war would get one for sinking them.

Attempting to do everything on one ship makes them bad at just about everything.
 

JohnR

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
790
Reaction score
251
IMHO the stupidest feature of this design was the fitting of the twin 8" gun. Why put a high value unit into harms way but putting them into Litoral waters to undertake bombardment, making them more vulnerable to coastal defence and enemy aircraft.

The rest of it's armament makes sense to me, if the SAM system is a point defence system such as ESSM, Sea Wolf, Mica, et al. I also like the all round fire of the Oto 76mm, useful as an AA gun, potentially an effective CIWS and good anti surface firepower, to counter small craft attacking the ship (a la USS Cole). I realise that some of these roles are undertaken by the escort, but I believe in preparing for the worst case scenario. (Hope for the best, prepare for the worst).
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
914
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
As pointed out earlier, the through-deck cruiser proposed by Cairl seems very similar to the Soviet Navy Kiev-class in displacement and dimensions.

General characteristics:

Length: 273 m (896 ft)
Beam: 32.6 m (107 ft)
Draught: 10 m (33 ft)

Embarked aircraft: 26-30

* 12-13 Yak-38 VSTOL
* 14-17 Ka-25 or Ka-27/29 helicopters

It is also interesting to remember that Cairl proposed the through-deck cruiser at a time when the nuclear powered supercarrier and its battlegroup were deemed to be too expensive to build and operate. During this period, the US Navy was investigating the sea control ship, CVV, and the flight-deck Spruance-class. At a time when it was believed that two conventionally powered CVV ships could be built for the price of one new Nimitz-class supercarrier. The Carter Administration also killed the nuclear-powered strike cruiser and the CGN-42 class equipped with Aegis on a Virginia-class hull as too expensive.

It was also proposed at a time when there were high expectations for V/STOL aircraft and that advances in technology would allow V/STOL aircraft to do the job of carrier-deployed CTOL aircraft.

I wonder what Cairl would make of the Indian Navy's conversion of the Kiev-class Admiral Gorshkov to INS Vikramaditya or the Royal Navy's replacement of the Invincible-class with the Queen Elizabeth-class.
 

Abraham Gubler

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
3,555
Reaction score
280
Triton said:
I wonder what Cairl would make of the Indian Navy's conversion of the Kiev-class Admiral Gorshkov to INS Vikramaditya or the Royal Navy's replacement of the Invincible-class with the Queen Elizabeth-class.

Or even the removal of the Invincible’s Sea Dart system despite its minimal impact on the flight operations part of the ship c to other ‘through-deck-cruisers’ and hybrids and its successful use in the Falklands (HMS Invicible’s Sea Dart).

The reality often forgotten by those wanting to conceive of ship designs is that ships need to sail in various ways to do various jobs and almost always work in groups as taskforces. So when you focus on a single hull design it may make sense to add a big surface to air missile system. But when at sea to get the most out of that system the ship needs to be deployed in a certain way which is often very different to the deployment needed to operate aircraft from a flight deck. So if you operate the ship to support flight operations the missile system (or gun) because useless and vice versa. So the hybrid capability becomes a failed investment. Making the added expense of two hulls much more attractive as it enables you to deploy the two types of systems to their maximum.
 

Avimimus

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
2,028
Reaction score
164
Interesting observation sir!

I can see this definitely applying to landing support, carriers, air defence ships (which are probably useful as picket ships).

Would you say that this also applies to ASW vs. ASuW? Or is building an ASuW capability into AD and ASW ships a reasonable approach?
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
14,180
Reaction score
2,712
Triton said:
Ahhhh... gotta love the high expectations that they had for V/STOL aircraft in the 1970s. :)

If they'd gone with the Convair 200 instead of the XFV-12 it might have been very different. Even the JSF might have ended up different had they gone with the 200A
 

Grey Havoc

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
15,937
Reaction score
5,506
sferrin said:
Triton said:
Ahhhh... gotta love the high expectations that they had for V/STOL aircraft in the 1970s. :)

If they'd gone with the Convair 200 instead of the XFV-12 it might have been very different. Even the JSF might have ended up different had they gone with the 200A

Very true, methinks.
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
914
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
sferrin said:
Triton said:
Ahhhh... gotta love the high expectations that they had for V/STOL aircraft in the 1970s. :)

If they'd gone with the Convair 200 instead of the XFV-12 it might have been very different. Even the JSF might have ended up different had they gone with the 200A

I disagree. Remember that the Ford Administration made people very angry within the Congress and the United States Navy when the fourth Nimitz-class supercarrier was cancelled in favor of two CVVs (Aircraft Carrier (Medium)) in 1976. Sadly, the Carter Administration continued the CVV program and President Carter vetoed the fourth Nimitz-class supercarrier in 1979. Once Carter reversed himself and CVN-71 was approved in the FY 81 budget, the VTOL fighter was dead. Elements within Congress and the United States Navy would have strangled the Convair 200A to death seeing it as a threat to the supercarrier. If it had worked, the Rockwell XFV-12 would have been cancelled by the Reagan Administration for the same reason.

The through-deck cruiser suffers from the same fatal flaw as the CVV, it is sold as a cheaper alternative to the CVN.

A VTOL fighter might have made sense for the United States Navy on a small ASW/escort carrier protecting merchant convoys crossing the North Atlantic to the United Kingdom from Soviet submarines and Soviet aircraft carrying anti-ship missiles in the event of war in Europe.
 

Pioneer

Seek out and close with the enemy
Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
2,041
Reaction score
534
Triton said:
sferrin said:
Triton said:
Ahhhh... gotta love the high expectations that they had for V/STOL aircraft in the 1970s. :)

If they'd gone with the Convair 200 instead of the XFV-12 it might have been very different. Even the JSF might have ended up different had they gone with the 200A

I disagree. Remember that the Ford Administration made people very angry within the Congress and the United States Navy when the fourth Nimitz-class supercarrier was cancelled in favor of two CVVs (Aircraft Carrier (Medium)) in 1976. Sadly, the Carter Administration continued the CVV program and President Carter vetoed the fourth Nimitz-class supercarrier in 1979. Once Carter reversed himself and CVN-71 was approved in the FY 81 budget, the VTOL fighter was dead. Elements within Congress and the United States Navy would have strangled the Convair 200A to death seeing it as a threat to the supercarrier. If it had worked, the Rockwell XFV-12 would have been cancelled by the Reagan Administration for the same reason.

The through-deck cruiser suffers from the same fatal flaw as the CVV, it is sold as a cheaper alternative to the CVN.

A VTOL fighter might have made sense for the United States Navy on a small ASW/escort carrier protecting merchant convoys crossing the North Atlantic to the United Kingdom from Soviet submarines and Soviet aircraft carrying anti-ship missiles in the event of war in Europe.

How different and more powerful the US military might be if it wasn't for partisan politics and financially encourage Congress :-[ :-[

Regards
Pioneer
 

Pioneer

Seek out and close with the enemy
Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
2,041
Reaction score
534
Triton said:
I wonder what Cairl would make of the Indian Navy's conversion of the Kiev-class Admiral Gorshkov to INS Vikramaditya or the Royal Navy's replacement of the Invincible-class with the Queen Elizabeth-class.

Or even the removal of the Invincible’s Sea Dart system despite its minimal impact on the flight operations part of the ship c to other ‘through-deck-cruisers’ and hybrids and its successful use in the Falklands (HMS Invicible’s Sea Dart).

The reality often forgotten by those wanting to conceive of ship designs is that ships need to sail in various ways to do various jobs and almost always work in groups as taskforces. So when you focus on a single hull design it may make sense to add a big surface to air missile system. But when at sea to get the most out of that system the ship needs to be deployed in a certain way which is often very different to the deployment needed to operate aircraft from a flight deck. So if you operate the ship to support flight operations the missile system (or gun) because useless and vice versa. So the hybrid capability becomes a failed investment. Making the added expense of two hulls much more attractive as it enables you to deploy the two types of systems to their maximum.
Revisiting topics, as I lay useless on my couch after pulling a bloody muscle in my back...
Yes, interesting analogy Abraham Gubler
As much as I might come across as sceptical, I also think that many navies and alsotheir headsheds fully appriciate and buck the notion that such "single hull design" / multi-role designs limit their number of actual vessels, their portion of the Defence Budget pie......
Again, after the relevant 'modern combat experience' gained by the RN during the Falklands War, especially that of area and close-in air defence, I still can understand the elimination of Sea Dart, let alone a serious upgrade of the system post-Falklands, when as you state "despite its minimal impact on the flight operations".
I personally put this down to the British military becoming oddly comfortable fighting "wars" against non peer adversaries nations/dictators who neither had the spine or Capability to threaten their light carriers....Alas this will have to change with the seemingly overnight refocus on the PRC and Russia...


Regards
Pioneer
 

Similar threads

Top