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rank the world's CBGs 10 years from now?

This is a discussion on rank the world's CBGs 10 years from now? within the Navy & Maritime forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; I'm curious how you guys would rank the world's carrier battle groups 10 years from now, as you see them ...


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Old May 25th, 2014   #1
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rank the world's CBGs 10 years from now?

I'm curious how you guys would rank the world's carrier battle groups 10 years from now, as you see them being planned or formed today. Ranking based on effectiveness / capabilities and likelihood to meet those goals.

#1 I assume the US Navy's CVN's will still be the most effective and capable platforms.
#2 I'm guessing this spot goes to the Brits with the Queen Elizabeth.

Who do you think will be third? France? China? Russia? India? Italy? Spain? Brazil? Turkey? Japan? Australia (wishful thinking)?

And where would LHA-6 or -7 with F-35B's fit into the rankings (I know, not really a CBG)?



P.S. Mods, if I'm doing something wrong, please let me know. I respond well to constructive criticism.
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Old May 25th, 2014   #2
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This pretty much falls under X vs Y bud I'm afraid, we don't like them because it can really turn to crap when nationalism comes into it and this is even more likely to bring it in because its a ranking of countries, if that makes sense.

What would be a better direction to head is the strengths and weaknesses of receptive designs based in the naval doctrine of that specific country. For instance it could be said that Russian carriers are 'worse' in design than US CVNs because of the merits of the air group, however those two ships are designed for two different doctrines and hence aren't strictly comparable.

Kinda going out on a limb here because I've not discussed this with the rest of the guys, but if the discussion remained strictly about the relative strengths and weaknesses of carrier groups of other countries with respect to their doctrine and fleet construct and stay away from "Country X's cbg is better than country y" then I think it could be ok. But we'll see, I'll bring it up.

Typed on an ipad' so typos galore.
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Old May 28th, 2014   #3
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Originally Posted by RobWilliams View Post
This pretty much falls under X vs Y bud I'm afraid, we don't like them because it can really turn to crap when nationalism comes into it and this is even more likely to bring it in because its a ranking of countries, if that makes sense.

What would be a better direction to head is the strengths and weaknesses of receptive designs based in the naval doctrine of that specific country. For instance it could be said that Russian carriers are 'worse' in design than US CVNs because of the merits of the air group, however those two ships are designed for two different doctrines and hence aren't strictly comparable.

Kinda going out on a limb here because I've not discussed this with the rest of the guys, but if the discussion remained strictly about the relative strengths and weaknesses of carrier groups of other countries with respect to their doctrine and fleet construct and stay away from "Country X's cbg is better than country y" then I think it could be ok. But we'll see, I'll bring it up.

Typed on an ipad' so typos galore.
It is often difficult to keep these types of threads civil with a minimum of nationalism. As you said, it is a combination of design and a country's naval doctrine that will define how effective a system is.

The design aspect is interesting...conventional or nuclear...STOVL, STOBAR, or CATOBAR. These decisions will be based on available budget, the naval doctrine, and aircraft availability. As most navies can't afford CATOBAR or nuclear, the debate would be STOVL and STOBAR with conventional power for most navies. I still wonder about the STOVL versus CATOBAR decision for the QE class carriers as this limits the RN to the F-35B unless an arrestor system could be added to allow Rafales or F-35Cs to land. The EMALS system was deemed to be too expensive and I guess a steam catapult wasn't considered for the QE. I seem to recall the cancelled French PA2 carrier was to be a CATOBAR carrier. I guess the other problem with this thread is it might degenerate into a F-35B love/hate fest.
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Old May 28th, 2014   #4
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It is often difficult to keep these types of threads civil with a minimum of nationalism. As you said, it is a combination of design and a country's naval doctrine that will define how effective a system is.

The design aspect is interesting...conventional or nuclear...STOVL, STOBAR, or CATOBAR. These decisions will be based on available budget, the naval doctrine, and aircraft availability. As most navies can't afford CATOBAR or nuclear, the debate would be STOVL and STOBAR with conventional power for most navies. I still wonder about the STOVL versus CATOBAR decision for the QE class carriers as this limits the RN to the F-35B unless an arrestor system could be added to allow Rafales or F-35Cs to land. The EMALS system was deemed to be too expensive and I guess a steam catapult wasn't considered for the QE. I seem to recall the cancelled French PA2 carrier was to be a CATOBAR carrier. I guess the other problem with this thread is it might degenerate into a F-35B love/hate fest.
I've seen lots of references to "doctrine" here, and I think I understand that to some extent, but I'm not sure my understanding is the same as yours. For example, what was France's naval doctrine that drove them to build a nuclear-powered CATOBAR carrier while the UK selected a STOVL format (after first considering CATOBAR)? Was there something about their respective "doctrines" that drove those decisions, or did it just boil down to budget constraints?
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Old May 28th, 2014   #5
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A perfect example of differing naval doctrine was the USSR and the US. The US' surface heavy hitters were its aircraft carriers, long range, heavy and powerful catapult launched strike fighters off of high endurance carriers. They were the prime movers.

Whereas the Soviet Union had a naval doctrine where their aircraft carriers were purely air defence assets to support their missile carrying cruisers and submarine force. Their aircraft carriers carried some extremely heavy SSMs themselves. Their carrier was using STOBAR tech as their aircraft only needed an air defence loadout as opposed to being loaded down with PGMs, AShMs and huge amounts of fuel for long range strike.

With respect to the UK and France, the different choice of aircraft carrier technology comes into several topics

Firstly when Europe was looking for their next fighter, France wanted a multirole fighter capable of catapult launches from their aircraft carriers, IIRC it was around the mid 80's when France splintered off and began the Rafale fighter program. At that time, the French had a pair of conventional Clemenceau class aircraft carriers, whereas the UK decommissioned our own conventional carrier in 1979 and the program to replace that class being killed in 1966.

So when the Rafale was born in the mid 80's, the French had 2 CATOBAR carriers in operation whereas the UK had 3 Invincible class aircraft carriers which were STOVL flying Harriers from them. We've been flying STOVL missions for 3 decades excusing the recent hiatus. It's pretty much become the way we do things and it's not actually a bad way of doing it.

When this carried over to our current carriers, they were initially designed for STOVL operations for a number of reasons but had the redundancy built into them to have EMALS and AAG installed further in the ships life, but these design elements appear not to have ultimately made it in which is why it became hugely expensive to retrofit to our second carrier.

Different methods of flight operations but the same barebones goal; carrier based power projection.

With respect to propulsion, that's a financial decision based on capital cost, R&D cost on designing the reactor and rolling in sustainment cost over the lifetime of the platform. We found conventional more suitable to our needs, the French wanted nuclear and put a pair of sub reactors in for their propulsion with mixed results.

EDIT: Hopefully my dates are accurate.
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Old May 28th, 2014   #6
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Hi , I would just like to add the RN through the course of the Cold War developed in to a primary asw fleet who's sole job was really to plug the Greenland /Iceland/uk gap and stop Russian attack/missile boats from breaking out into the Atlantic this was the strategic job given to the RN by NATO and one they exceeded at in my opinion ,
The ships of the fleet during this period reflected this doctrine including the smaller carriers which were developed to really support this objective by not only carrying harriers but asw helicopters.

When the Cold War ended the RN looked at returning to a more expeditionary role and the ships being built (Queen Elizabeth class AC ) and planned ( type 26 frigate ) would reflect this type of thinking , I'd say a more out looking global reach doctrine is now in place for the future RN .
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Old May 29th, 2014   #7
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Yes, very much this ^^^^^

Our Invincible class carriers were bought as ASW platforms for hunting Russian subs and only got a handful of Harriers on board to provide local area air defence against Russian aircraft. This changed with the Falklands which showed the danger of having a force too tailored against one threat.

The QEC are designed, as Astute described above - for the expeditionary role to be as flexible as possible.
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