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Juan Carlos / Canberra Class LHD

Discussion in 'Navy & Maritime' started by BOFORS, Aug 24, 2012.

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  1. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    So Invincible Class carriers weren't aircraft carriers then? What were they if they weren't?? Why a comeback.?You haven't answered my original question.

    All that I see is nations who used to operate carriers which they got on the cheap because they were surplus WW2 carriers no longer operate carriers because they can't afford too. You know, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Argentina etc. Japan is a special case because it was forbidden carriers by the Peace Treaty that it signed after WW2. Russia has had a carrier since the days of the USSR and China is a new entrant in the carrier game and of those two, China has the resources to build and sustain a fleet of fleet carriers.

    @hauritz You are continuing to push the fantasy line on this thread and the RAN thread despite repeated Mod directions not too. If you continue to do so you will be having a holiday from here. Consider this a final warning.
     
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  2. SpazSinbad

    SpazSinbad Active Member

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    'StingrayOz' your first link to NTnews does not mention any agreement and it is dated 2016. Sure we can expect an LHA with F-35Bs at Darwin sometime - when the environment otherwise up north is suitable. An LHA touring up to our north has been mentioned several times in our media over the years; but I see no reference to your 'agreement'. And I wonder about any CVF tour via Oz anytime soon given the Brexit shenanigans. However I have no crystal ball. It would be nice to see a CVF here though doing the ski jumpy/SRVLie thingos.
     
  3. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    @SpazSinbad ... very interesting info on EMKIT and EMCAT. If the latter was developed and turned out be be as reliable and cost effective as envisioned it could have added significant capability to the QE class and would be exportable to India and France at some point. Even the USN might have considered it. Great ideas, no money. The US should take note. Get the debt under control or be in the same position as the UK in 20 years or so.
     
  4. hauritz

    hauritz Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the Invincible class were technically carriers but by comparison, the QE class represents a quantum leap in capability.

    You are correct when you point out that a lot of carriers were operated post WW2 because they were cheap and plentiful. Had they not been available I doubt countries like Australia would have ever operated them ... but that is kind of my point. Had these surplus ships not been available there would have been even fewer nations operating carriers post WW2.

    We now have a situation where countries that have never owned aircraft carriers are now building aircraft carriers or, as in the case of Japan returning to aircraft carriers. Countries such as India are no longer content with buying other nations caste offs but are instead building their own ships. Great Britain has moved on from smallish ASW carriers to full blown fleet carriers.
     
  5. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately that was down to cost as CVA01 budget blow out, Ironically the RAN was also interested in CVA01 design and if the Brits had persisted I reckon Menzies would have continued as well
     
  6. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    Not a word about carriers in the treaty. The ban (up to now) has been self-imposed, based on the interpretation of the constitution (which also has no mention of carriers, or any other specific weapon type). The interpretation has changed over time & for quite a few years it's implicitly allowed carriers.

    The treaty -
    https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume 136/volume-136-I-1832-English.pdf
     
  7. foxdemon

    foxdemon Member

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    I though the Invincible class were ‘through deck cruisers’. And the Izumi class are ‘helicopter destroyers’. Now, one might think that if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck....but who are we to question the classification choices of the respective navies here?

    ;)



    It does bring up the question of what exactly is an aircraft carrier.

    Originally, carriers were converted cruisers intended to provide aerial reconnaissance support for the fleet. These were augmented by float planes operating from battleships. Some visionaries could see that aircraft were an effective weapon platform in their own right and so dive bombers and torpedo bombers were developed. To defend against such, carrier based fighters were fielded.

    So the fleet carrier had developed into a powerful weapon system by WWII, dominating naval war and consigning the battleship to the scrapyard. But, during WWII, two more types of carrier were developed. The light carrier and the escort carrier.

    The light carrier was a small carrier fast enough to keep up with the fleet. These were useful in total war when one just wanted as much as one could get. But they weren’t efficient compared to fleet carriers. Aircraft carriers benefit from scale. A 100’000 ton carrier is cheaper than two 70,000 ton carriers but comparable in capability. So light carriers only continued after the war in those navies that couldn’t afford a proper carrier. Possibly ‘through deck cruisers’ and ‘helicopter destroyers’ would fit this catagory.

    Then there was the escort carrier. These ships were slow and built to merchant standards, thus being cheap and buildable in many shipyards. They freed up fleet carriers for offensive operations. The roles they filled were:

    1/ Transporting replacement aircraft from home ports to the front.
    2/ Providing air cover for convoys.
    3/ Providing air cover for landing operations.

    In the decades following WWII the aircraft transporting function was superseded by air to air refuelling. The convoy escort function was taken over by helicopters operating from frigates. The escort carriers were deveoped into amphibious support vessels, eventually being replaced by purpose built designs.

    Which brings us to the LHD. It is a descendant of the escort carrier, though now a purpose built vessel for providing air and sea support for amphib operations. Given the LHD is basically a specialised escort carrier, that is the role it should really be employed in. So it supports landing operations.

    I find it interesting that modern frigates and destroyers are also, at least in part, escort carriers. They fill the convoy support role that escort carriers once filled.

    Hope that helps to clarify what the different kinds of aircraft carriers are about.
     
  8. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Well-Known Member

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    The stripes story specifically mentions deploying a company of marines and is dated mid 2018.

    Everything else is rumors or possibilities.

    We were meant to get a former admiral as an ambassador, it was even announced. That's now dead in the water, and he's in korea.
    If we want US and UK carriers to be around and available, we need something for them to do and at least show some level of commitment of that sort of capability.

    If we can't justify F35bs, how on earth are we meant to justify US supercarriers in SEA or Indian ocean. The idea that the US carrier power is at our Beckon call when we need it is completely false. Even if the USN is willing. How often do they port visit Oz now?

    At the moment noone has any faith in anything about the UK. They are literally in an existential crisis. A boris statement feels very hollow now.
     
  9. Redlands18

    Redlands18 Active Member

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    [
    The term Through Deck Cruiser was used in the early 70s as a smoke Screen by the RN so the British Government of the day did not see them as Carriers following the cancellation of the 2 CA-01 Carriers. By the time of Invincibles commissioning the RN had stopped using Through Deck Cruiser and gave them the R(05,06,07) designation with their number thus designating them as Carriers. If the RN had designated them as Cruisers then they would have been given C designations.
    Actually you will find that most of the early Carriers were converted incomplete Battleship and Battlecruiser Hulls. The only converted Cruiser conversions were the 2 so called “Light Cruisers”(but armed with 18in Guns) converted by the RN.
    Most of the Cruisers built in the 20s/30s and 40s also carried Float Planes, this practice stopped shortly after WW2
     
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  10. Stampede

    Stampede Active Member

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    Nothing like a sovereign capability.
    A powerful ally is only as good as their commitment and that can change at a moments notice.
    Not their fault just the reality of geopolitics.
    For the ADF, the capability of the Canberra class is ideal for our needs. It provides sovereign options giving us independence of similar allied assets.
    It's a unique asset for our immediate region and is a valued asset for our main ally the USA.
    The argument for a third ship of the class is strong.

    Regards S
     
  11. SpazSinbad

    SpazSinbad Active Member

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    Fair enough I saw only ONE URL when there are TWO so I missed the STRIPES second URL one below the first. Would it pain you to actually excerpt a sentence or two such as:
     
  12. Takao

    Takao Active Member

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    No, that is a flawed assumption that underlies much of this assessment that the ADF can run F-35s off the LHDs.

    The LHD is an offshoot of the LSD - Dock Landing Ship. It is primarily designed for lifting landing craft to allow infantry and mechanised forces to conduct amphibious landings. As helicopters became more capable, and the US shifted to a combined air and sea assault method, the LSD grew flight decks. But, as is the case with almost all air transport, it is more efficient, more effective and more flexible to put forces ashore with landing craft. This is especially the case for anything where there is a real threat ashore.

    From this lineage, it is easy to see. LHDs are amphibious ships, not carriers.

    The escort carrier has no real replacement. You might be able to argue carriers like the Invincible, CdG or similar (based on their smaller size compared to a US CV or CVN) are modern day escort carriers, but I think they are too big and complex. The issue lies in the air wing. VTOL may allow modern aircraft to operate, but the reality is there are few modern 4th or 5th gen aircraft that can operate from small carriers. So the technology required isn't there. Remember that CVEs are also like DDs or DEs - they are cheap and (if needs be) expendable. We have also lost sight of the need for expendable ships - but that's a different topic.

    But wait, I hear you say. LHDs could provide decks for escorting or ASW reasons. To which I say yes - but it's not a carrier. So you are hauling all this cargo 'stuff' on the ship that is useless and cuts into aviation facilities. So I'd be operating a half-CVE. And I've lost my amphib force too. They would also be missing some of the key naval aviation capabilities (AEW&C, dedicated ASW CIC, etc) that makes naval aviation effective, and not a bunch of airframes on a ship.

    In summary - LHD = amphib. CVE = technology doesn't exist. Stop conflating the two roles. I'm sold on, in an ideal world, the RAN having a CV capability. Gosh, I'm sold on the RAN having a CV force in this world. But Canberra and Adelaide and a hypothetical third one are for amphibious operations. Leave them there. People need to stop trying to half-arse them into a role that will have an overall negative impact on the Joint Force as a whole.
     
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  13. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    This a Bravo Zulu for a thoughtful and well structured post. (BZ = well done)

    upload_2019-1-26_19-45-20.png

    This does not mean that I, or the Mod team, agree or disagree with the contents of the post.
    A BZ is awarded to reward good quality posts and encourage good posting behaviour.
     
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  14. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Well-Known Member

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    Sorry spaz.. Didn't make it easy. I did quoted stripes, but it was just a small element and wasn't titled.

    For a medium power like Australia, IMO flexible multi-role assets like the LHD's are the go over highly specialised platforms. For Australia the Amphibious component is going to be paramount at all times. We are far more likely to need to go into Fiji or PNG than fend off a Chinese invasion. The former is a certainty and will occur multiple times, and we will have to lead it.

    With far great situational awareness and weapons, escort carriers don't really make that much sense anymore. WW2 era tactics don't last forever. We are more likely to secure trade routes with P8/E7/Subs than any carrier. After WW2 most escort carriers were disposed off.

    With the Marine rotations in Australia, it is clear the US would like Australia to seriously consider something like the MV-22 or its replacement. Again trying to squeeze MV-22's onto our two already packed LHD's doesn't make a whole lot of sense, to do so would limit operations, despite the MV-22 advantages. With a 3rd, you could look at more Chinooks or MV-22.. There is a lot we still need to do with our amphibious capability and supporting it into the future. Everything we did was based around unimproved M1's and ASLAV and Bushmasters and land cruisers. So we are going to need more sea lift and likely new connectors. The whole ARG concept is a moving feast as well. US ARG is made up of about 5,000 so currently we have tested it out with ~1000. We haven't really been able to try out our higher end concepts let alone test them in real operations.

    The LHD's don't have red Kangaroos on them for a reason. They aren't just a Navy asset.

    We will certainly look at a 3rd LHD sooner rather than later. If we don't order a 3rd LHD then we will be ordering another type of amphibious ship instead, most likely smaller and less capable.
     
  15. foxdemon

    foxdemon Member

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    The reason why I claim LHDs are descendants of escort carriers is due to the role the USS Thetis Bay played in the evolution of modern amphibious warfare.

    USS Thetis Bay - Wikipedia

    Anyway, let’s not split hairs. I agree completely that the LHDs are amphibious warships and should be used as such. That doesn’t rule out operating F-35b’s from them, but the problem is many will think of using them as light carriers, which they are not. Apart from the control issues, and the waste of space the well deck would be, volatile stores would have to be on the heavy vehicle deck. Something of a OHS issue even before the vessel starts suffering battle damage. Furthermore, it would likely compromise training.

    But Malcolm Davis is arguing for using an F-35b carrier to support fleet operations at sea. That is a light carrier he wants. I would say the Invincible class and Izumi class are light carriers. They are far too well built to be escort carriers. And they are fast enough to operate with a fleet of warships. Escort carriers weren’t really proper warships. Though they did surprising well at Leyte Gulf. Light carriers are combat ships, escort carriers are support ships. So what the Davis school, to christen the group, want is a light carrier. I think this is a great idea with my only objection being as to how we would pay for it.
     
  16. StevoJH

    StevoJH Active Member

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    I thought that LHD's were a development of the LPH/Commando Carrier, of which the earlier examples were converted light fleet carriers and converted Escort Carriers.

    With the earlier LSD's built at around the same time, with the two then merging together into the LHD. In many LHD's, you do have the capability to store aircraft in the vehicle decks if required (assuming the roof is high enough. The question though in many cases is with regards to fuel and munitions. Munitions are hard, but can fuel be stored in the dock in those flexible polymer storage containers you sometimes see on the back of trucks?
     
  17. DaveS124

    DaveS124 Active Member

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    What would have even more negative impact on the Joint Force as a whole is what happens when a flat-top and its anti-air escorts are in the littoral and jumped by red air when the task group has zero organic air and the nearest ground-based fighters are in another timezone, or even hemisphere.

    At that stage amphibiosity, logistics and every other Army consideration get themselves sunk. As do any tactically useless and unmarinised helos they might have with them. Sunk.

    Don't believe me?

    Well, the attached pic might help. The flat-top in a spot of bother in the littoral is HERMES, just a few hundred metres from the Ceylon shore on April 5, 1942. Her air-air escort was VAMPIRE, which the Japanese also sunk, a few minutes later. HERMES' air group was ashore, and couldn't launch in time because there was 'no air threat.'

    The precepts have not changed, and never will. Indeed, it could be cogently argued and proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the only half-arsed thing in all this is to willfully pretend that RAN LHD task groups, including equally vulnerable RAAF HVAs, will never face any red air in a hostile AO between the sandpit in the west and the SCS to the east.

    From elsewhere in social media, the following quote is by Army's Col. Greg Colton, who was responding to the Malcolm Davis piece.

    ".....we need to modernise the question. We should not be asking if we should take the F35 to sea, but how, in the 2020-2050, time frame we create a defensive airspace effect for the ATG."

    Colton is a lateral transfer from the British Army (been in Oz for many years) with a great deal experience of deployment where a "small number" of embarked STOVL fast jets made everything possible, both at sea and ashore.

    Just saying.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
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  18. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Well-Known Member

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    Modern LHD's have significant dedicated fuel and weapon bunkerage. JC1 has I recall 800m2 of JP5 storage, and a munitions bunker significant enough for any action Australia would need.

    The JC1 design evolved out of the Galacia class and Spains previous carrier, PdA, and had significant american input and obviously inspired by the US Amphibs. A lot of the the spec'd requirements for the JC1 would seem to come from very careful thought and planning. Some of which evolved out of the Sea Control Ship concepts. Other countries have been building around these concepts for decades, including the US, the Spanish, the Italians etc. Spain has given up its pure carrier ambitions and Italy seems to be doubling down on the LHD concept why its dedicated carrier under goes a massive modification.

    A 3rd LHD and F-35B's aren't mutually exclusive, but are a logical pathway to a dedicated carrier if the need is there. The 35B's will not be permanently embarked on any LHD's. As per everything in the ADF, they will only be put there if needed. If they aren't needed, then there is no burden on the amphibious lift/operation/development capability. There is no need for an acquisition of F-35b's to compromise the growing amphibious capability. They are two different decisions, and conceivably we could acquire another LHD and F-35B and not put one with the other.

    I would be wrangling with the Americans that any Australian F-35B purchase, comes with at least some home porting of an America Class in Darwin/Townsville/Perth, at least temporarily. This would likely further alleviate the need for F-35B's to be on our LHD's. Once we have real FOC F-35/MV-22 then a dedicated carrier ship makes sense.

    I think a purchase of ~4 x MV-22 is quite possible and fits in with our amphibious aspirations.

    As to where the money and crew for a dedicated single carrier ship comes from, I have no idea.
     
  19. Mercator

    Mercator New Member

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    It's a long shot, but if we're trying to get allies into the equation, why not ask the Brits if they want to base PoW in Perth? If we raise a squadron of F35B and offset some of the costs of running a 2nd carrier, we help solve a bunch of problems for the Brits. If they're serious about raising their Asian profile, this helps too.
     
  20. SpazSinbad

    SpazSinbad Active Member

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