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Discussion in 'Navy & Maritime' started by BOFORS, Aug 24, 2012.
What the U.K was looking at was EMCAT not EMALS
In what way? When the UK MoD/Government was dithering about the F-35C they were thinking about EMALS and had some quotes for it including long lead items.
We knocked back the US basing a Carrier in Perth a few years ago.
Australia would seem to prefer a joint partner approach. But there are serious proposals from the UK and the US on the matter.
People forget the lessons of history very quickly and WW2 threw up a lot of lessons whilst technologies have changed, the strategies and tactics haven't - they've just been refined.
The same mistakes that were made prior to WW2, cutting back the forces and when replacing capability it may be better quality, but with less numbers. The numbers based on peace time usage and attrition are all well and good, but assumptions of quick replacement from US or allied stocks are flawed because the assumption that the US will be in a position to quickly replace it's own losses due to its manufacturing capacity. However the US no longer has the ability to ramp up that manufacturing capacity like it did during for WW2, because that extensive manufacturing base no longer exists and the aircraft are for more complex than they were in 1940 - 45. It also doesn't have the merchant shipping fleet that it once had either and Australia / NZ would have difficulty in having aircraft crated and shipped for reassembly as happened during WW2.
Whilst it would be reasonable to accept that as part of an allied Task Force Australia / NZ assets would likely have protective fighter cover provided by other air arms, it is also not a assumption to make either due to the fact that all plans change once the first round is fired, or that fighter cover is unavailable due to the tactical situation. That is known to happen and is not that uncommon. Just because fighter cover has been quite common in recent US wars such as GW1. GW2, Syria etc., doesn't mean that it will be the same in a war against a peer enemy. In GW1. GW2 & Syria the US and Coalitions have had overwhelming air supremacy, and Saddam Hussein had one of the best IADS in the world, but he was undone by a combination of US technological leaps, his arrogance and ineptitude by his air defence people. Against against Russia or China that definitely will not be the case.
Thanks for that. I'd never considered that scenario. I'm thankful you were there to point it out. After all, achieving air superiority has never been a consideration for any amphibious operation before.
The F-35 + LHD combination people are talking about is HMS Hermes. Too small to do anything useful and a pitiful air wing. Another reason I disagree with giving F-35 to Canberra or Adelaide. Now, a carrier (not light - something like QE) with AEW&C, suitable C2 networks that is operating with Brisbane, Hobart, Anzac, Ballarat and Flinders (ewww...) is something more. And whenever the LHDs are at sea, that CVBG is operating nearby. Just like every landing since Guadalcanal.
That is what saves the amphibious element. Achieving local air superiority. And in order to make it worth the cost that the RAAF and RAN have paid to achieve that, the amphib group has to put as much mass ashore as quickly as possible. There isn't room for F-35s - the Army and RAN are too busy getting all the 'stuff' from the 2-3 LHDs, 1-2 LSDs and other support ships ashore. Once there the Army can beging to fight across domains, including the provision of IAMD launchers to help reinforce RAN and RAAF efforts.
I agree with you about the reality of the red air and submarine threat. Hence why I'm sold on a RAN CV. But in this budget, with current strategic direction, that is at least 80th in priority.
Lateral doesn't mean anything. We get some awesome, and not so good, transfers. And I have my own views on Colton. But in this case he's right, just using fancy language. Local air and naval superiority are required for the landing to occur. But again, putting F-35s on Canberra and Adelaide does not achieve that.
Whatever happened to - EMCAT - Think Defence
This article from Think defence shows some of the then planning
Nice link. EMCAT seems to have been a great opportunity for UK industry but timing really is everything. From a risk perspective, sticking with the B variant was the correct choice. Had the carrier construction timing been different and the had the B failed to perform then the UK would have been left with the troubled EMALS (more or less corrected now) or developing the EMCAT.
The EMCAT was never under consideration as this quote confirms the interest in EMALS despite an earlier MoD contract to develop EMCAT (nothing since):
When I read that article on possible future options for that type of carrier with large uav launches ,I wondered if it was a possibility for the Canberra class interesting in theory only though
Apologies in advance but probably not on the same page here.
I take it that we are talking about the HMS Hermes the aircraft carrier in the Falkland Islands campaign of 1982.
As the flagship of the fleet sent South and one of only two carriers available at the time it was an indispensable component of the task force sent to recapture the Falkland Islands. It's "pitiful air wing" was all they had, yet it still played a crucial role in fleet defence ,ground attack, and I would suggest if it was not available at the time,then with only one carrier in HMS Invincible, the UK's options to go or not to the Falklands would have been very different.
HMS Hermes for all its limitations was the a game changer back in 1982.
That is not to dismiss all the other services or contributing elements to the campaign, but the small carriers where the big cog on the task forces wheel of success.
In many ways the Falkland island campaign is a good example of what difference small numbers of aircraft can bring to a situation.
Maybe we place too much emphasis on big numbers and not give consideration to what modest numbers of defence equipment can bring to a situation.
Sure a large carrier for the RAN would be great; a 40 to 50 K tonne beast with enough aircraft to provide 24 / 7 coverage backed up with AEW / ASW and SAR assets sounds great. Two would be the minimum, but really this is true fantasy stuff for a Navy of our size and expectation. This is for a USA / China / India sized navy that we can't really aspire to.
On the other hand we have the LHD's, the F35A is coming into service with the RAAF, and others are exploring the F35B off like sized ships.
So lets think small not big.
What would four F35B 's off the Canberra Class give us.
One in the hangar for service and three on deck.Two for deployment with one for a spare I don't think it would be unreasonable to get a pair of aircraft airborne three times within a 24 hour period for three hours. Six sorties in a day
Now many will argue what is the worth of such modest numbers and look by way of comparison to how such numbers will fall short in many scenarios.
So in many situations I would agree and not wanting to take a knife to a gun fight I'm more interested in what these numbers bring to a given situation compared to NOT having any Aircraft at all.
This is the crucial point that is not addressed.What are the alternatives to NOT deploying the F35B on the LHD.
What do these modest numbers enable us to achieve in a given situation compare to the alternative of no capability at all.
The F 35 A,B and C bring so much to the battle space across such a broad range of scenarios.
Four aircraft with the fleet give many more options to government than none and any adversary would consider that as part of their ill intent.
Remember the F 35 B is no different to a tank ,truck helicopter or container. Its a piece of equipment that can be deployed and like any deployment the equipment chosen is mission dependent.
Like any item of equipment it can be left at home!
So to the future
We will not get large fleet carriers ...................EVER!
The RAAF will always, even with good intentions, be limited as to how they can support the fleet at distance.
Allies are unpredictable.
Sovereign capability is the basis for defence expectation and options.
No F35B is limiting to the above.
Sometime small numbers of assets can have big outcomes.
Yep the Brits found that out to a degree, the above was a highly contested airspace, One has to look at sortie rate for offensive operations compared to aircraft on fleet defence and you will find that out of the 30 odd harriers available at any one time more aircraft were used in the defensive role to protect the task group.
I did have this information at one time on another computer sometime ago but unfortunately lost it when it died.
Calm down, dear.
Funny that Guadalcanal should be cited. The embarkation of a "small number" of F-35Bs in US LHDs began its story at Guadalcanal, when the USN pulled the carriers out, leaving the USMC in what might be lightly termed FUBAR of the Pacific. There are countless authoritative histories and analyses of this, so head in that direction.
Can't be bothered replying to the rest.
FWIW re embarked STOVL in the Falklands, HERMES departed Portsmouth with the "small number" of 12 Sea Harriers and INVINCIBLE the even more "small number" of eight. They were later reinforced by eight Sea Harriers transported south by ATLANTIC CONVEYOR: four each to both both carriers. Due to losses the carriers never had more 22 FRS1s. The AC also transported six RAF GR3 ground-pounders, which went to HERMES. They swiftly lost five of them, in large part to epic pilot errors and total lack of preparation (that unit was required to be on permanent R1 - ready to deploy at 24 hours notice, with all personnel, kit and systems to enable it, but they couldn't be bothered). Not a success, no matter how much RAF 1 Squadron tries to rewrite the history.
Worth noting that RAAF chief Air Marshal David Evans advised DEFMIN Iain Sinclair that the Sea Harrier and embarked air was rubbish and that ground-based Argentine fast air would wipe them out in five-to-seven days. That 'expert' opinion aged well, didn't it?
'DaveS124' said: "...Worth noting that RAAF chief Air Marshall David Evans advised DEFMIN Iain Sinclair that the Sea Harrier and embarked air was rubbish and that ground-based Argentine fast air would wipe them out in five-to-seven days. That 'expert' opinion aged well, didn't it?" I did not know that. Thanks - I'll look that up.
the point is that:
a) the RAN isn't interested, in an official capacity at least.
b) the RAAF isn't interested, in an official capacity at least.
c) the ADF as a whole isn't interested, in an official capacity at least.
d) utilising the LHD as a F-35 mini carrier detracts significantly from the doctrinal role they have been designed and bought for; and the doctrinal model for their employment.
e) 4x F-35B's lacks significant depth against any adversary making a concerted effort.
f) against the big adversary the ADF will be in a coalition
g) nobody has shown where the money for modifications and extra F-35B's is going to come from (budget expansion, capability cuts in other areas) further than just saying "we need it". It just isn't there.
Secondly; firstly bringing the RAF / 1Sqn into the chat hasn't added anything to the discussion, and it's quite petty to call the 1Sqn losses epic pilot errors and total lack of preparation. The generally were brought down down flying high risk missions by ground fire, something the SHARs and RN drivers were not immune too. Further to that - they only lost four. Fact is the entire Falklands charade highlights a gross lack of preparedness in all arms of the UK military.
This view was widely held throughout the Uk MoD including the RN and had been briefed to the Shar drivers. It's unsurprising that a similar belief was held by RAAF higher command. It may have even been briefed via CAS to CAS channels.
"The staff at Whitehall were not as confident as the pilots, Gedge says. “I was told by [Ministry of Defence] people that attrition of Sea Harriers would be so great that all of them would be lost in the first few days of the war." Air War in the Falklands | Military Aviation | Air & Space Magazine
Show me the money
The money is there if the government is willing just like the C 17 purchase it came via Supplementary funding, The budget for the first four was roughly 900m If the business case stands up the dollars will follow
'south' said: "...Falklands charade...". In what way was the Falklands War a 'charade'? And yes people do say stupid things when predicting the future when same quotes are viewed in hindsight. They may just say stupid things - period - especially if they are Air Force commenting upon a Fleet Air Arm.
And, further, the RN of the time, at least in the surface force community were confident that they could do the job from top to bottom, although they were fully aware they would take losses.
Sigh. This debate is done to death.
The ADF, publicly at least, do not want the B on LHDs. I’m sure they have studied it and the effect it will have in a Joint environment enough to make an informed decision. It’s not in the White Paper or IPP.
I’d love carrier based air for Aus. I think the F-35B (despite its limitations) has some benefits to be explored (austere basing etc).
But I can’t see the ADF operating it.
Mate this debate has been done to death on this forum for the last decade, since the decision was made to acquire the LHD's.
Still no explanation from 'south' (spokesperson for the hive mind that is the ADF) about the 'Falklands charade'.
'aussienscale' if you are bored do not read nor respond to anything in this thread. I don't even read some sub-forums here and elsewhere, because of my 'lack of interest' - take my advice (from a non verified defense pro).