US Navy Corsair "pocket" carrier

Triton

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Have any designs emerged for the US Navy's 6000 ton Corsair "pocket" carrier?
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/corsair.htm

The Navy envisions the Corsairs as a carrier of only 6,000 tons with a crew of about 20 sailors. It might carry only a half dozen Joint Strike Fighters, the aircraft now being developed for the Navy and Air Force. Ultimately, the Corsairs would field UCAVs — unmanned combat air vehicles.

http://www.marinetalk.com/articles-marine-companies/art/In-the-Navy-Size-Does-Matter-xxx00092819OT.html

Will the ship likely resemble the UXV surface combatant by BVT Surface Fleet?
 

Firefly 2

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Sounds like the SCS plans Admiral Zumwalt drew up are getting dusted off again... But this idea was always lost to the USN and her big carriers, I don't see why it would be different this time around.
 

Triton

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Firefly 2 said:
Sounds like the SCS plans Admiral Zumwalt drew up are getting dusted off again... But this idea was always lost to the USN and her big carriers, I don't see why it would be different this time around.

I believe that the waters are getting muddied by Zumwalt's "high and low" procurement philosophy from the 1970s when SCS, VSS, and CVV were designed to be cheap alternatives to future CVN super carrier procurement. From what I have read, it sounds like a new breed of high-speed carrier ship optimized to operate in the littoral battle space. It probably should be categorized as a Littoral Aviation Ship (LVS). The reports I have read stress that the ship is a complement to large carriers and not a replacement of large carries.

Unforunately, law makers have zeroed in on the 6,000 ton conventionally-powered ship and have made comparisons to the Nimitz and Gerald R Ford classes. In no way is this ship a replacement for a supercarrier and the Navy will probably kill it if it endangers future CVN procurement. Which I believe is unfair.
 

TomS

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This was never a real USN project -- it was a constellation of concept studies by the "streetfighter mafia" led Admiral Arthur Cebrowski and Captain Wayne Hughes.

The Corsair concept was wargamed at the Naval Postgraduate School when Cebrowski led that organization. It assumed (but did not actually design) a force of small distributed carriers (c. 4000-6000 tons) with high speed and small aircraft complements.

Here are a couple of links to news stories from the time:

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htnavai/articles/20000926.aspx

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_6712/is_61_207/ai_n28792153/

Later, these ships and some associated aircraft were actually designed (to a preliminary design stage) as part of a study project done by the Naval Postgraduate School called Project CROSSBOW. CROSSBOW covered all aspects to the concept: logistics, aircraft, ships, etc.

There's an overview here:

http://www.nps.edu/Research/Meyer/Content/SEA%202%20(crossbow)/

and a page dedicated to the ship design here:

http://www.nps.edu/academics/gseas/tsse/subPages/2001Project.html

As developed, Corsair/Sea Archer turned out to be a surface effect ship design with extremely high speed and very limited air capacity, but much larger than Corsair had assumed.

SEA ARCHER Characteristics
  • Displacement 13,500 mT
  • Length 181 m
  • Beam 59 m
  • Draft – w/air cushion 2m
    off air cushion 4m
  • Installed HP 327,000 HP
  • Manning 128

The aircraft complement was very small:
  • UCAV or JSF: 8
  • Helicopter (SH-60): 2
  • UAV: 10
 

Triton

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Has there ever been an instance when the US Navy didn't send a carrier battle group because it was overkill for the mission, but would have made use of a small carrier if one was available?
 

JFC Fuller

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Triton said:
Has there ever been an instance when the US Navy didn't send a carrier battle group because it was overkill for the mission, but would have made use of a small carrier if one was available?

Marine Aviation platforms make an almost ideal alternative.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Triton said:
Has there ever been an instance when the US Navy didn't send a carrier battle group because it was overkill for the mission, but would have made use of a small carrier if one was available?

Mmmm.... Nope. Overkill is something that really doesn't exist in the domain of armed struggle.

US Forces has used a range of innovative marine aviation options other than carriers when suited to the task. For example Operation Prime Chance in the Persian Gulf during the Tanker War. But Prime Chance was a SOCOM lead operation not a US Navy mission.

But the US Navy has looked seriously and not just study orientated at small carriers in recent years. But these have been from the direction of enhancing cruisers, surface combatants, not replacing CVNs.

The most recent effort was the SC-21 Cost and Operational Evaluation Analysis (COEA) that explored an aviation cruiser (COEA 3A2) which had a 12 SH-60 hangar.

Attachment is from US Destroyers Revised Edition by Norman Friedman.
 

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Triton

Donald McKelvy
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I phrased my question poorly. I should have asked, has there ever been an instance that the US carrier battle group force had too many commitments.

Thanks for the information Abraham concerning the COEA 3A2 aviation cruiser.
 

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