COIN aircraft carrier

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The current CVN's of the USN are being needlessly overworked supporting asymmetrical warfare when they were designed to fight a much different battle. The raw power and cost are overkill for much of the current work loads. Why would a smaller carrier suitable for three dozen 500mph-capable propeller driver COIN warbirds in the 2000hp range not largely work for combatting terrorists?

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Profile picture for user SpudmanWP

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Well, the Marines used to run OV-10 Broncos from L class carriers.

Sounds good to me.

http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt271/SpudmanWP/442e3c59.jpg

http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt271/SpudmanWP/50313ed4.jpg

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Spudman: IIRC that was only a trial, hence the Dayglo orange on the aircraft, besides the OV-10 didn't have folding wings thus storage would have been a problem!

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Why a carrier for COIN? (or coin planes for carriers),in general COIN operations are done with some support of the official government, is not like any US-USpuppet forces will lack of airstrips for their operations

Is not like they will or are planning to assault a beach with COIN planes

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Over- the OV-10 had the capacity to drop 5 troopers in a very light transport role. It flying high could fly over the area of interest and drop Seal Teams for strategic strike value. This was before Helos has Whisper modes on them- we're talking the days of UH-1 Huey's here.

But i agree- the need for a carrier dedicated to Co-In is not feasable, more likely to have a small fleet of aircraft and use them on board a standard carrier- much in the same way they do with C-2 greyhounds.

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I'm a staunch supporter of re-opening the OV-10 line, but the averge counter-terrorist ambush is probably better done with an UAV like the GAAS Predator or Avenger.

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What's the wisper mode on the Helicopters? I've never heard of this before. How quite can you make a helicopter with those big blades.

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The Kaman eggbeaters are cool to see. One way to quiet down helicopters is to add more blades. More blades means more power do you drop the low frequency noise for higher frequency noise of a larger powerplant. Baffles can distribute the noise, too, which dramatically lowers the whine from most directions. Your frame has to be packed with insulation, adding further to your empty weight.

Over G -

You don't always have the luxury of land bases to work from. The thing is that the majority of the WoT precision strike missions being done overseas right now are by predators. The carrier used to operate as a communications hub for the land element, which really lent credibility to the title "flagship". Basically a floating command post. The amphibious assault ships still carry on with this role.

I realize this isn't really COIN per se, but that is about the closest description to the job. Terrorists are just worldwide insurgents when you get down to the nitty gritty details. The COIN aircraft were always optimized for endurance coupled to STOL, with an effective area suppressive fire role. They either directly killed targets from above or pinned them down until cavalry moved in; i.e. helicopter or motorized cavalry. An aircraft carrier centered around these planes would offer effective mission coverage over 70% of the world's land mass. And since they largely operate with permission from the governments which they operate over, they don't need the traditional fleet protection that the full size carriers require.

Two dozen modern 2000hp class warbirds backed by a half dozen V-22's and another half dozen predators and a couple of C-2's would offer a lot of flexibility in the WoT. The predators can operate 24/7 to track down the targets, maybe neutralize the stray ones it can. When you need a larger package you move in the warbirds. The V-22's can sling in troops and mobilize equipment (i.e. the new automated light howitzers for fire support or hummers for motorization) as required for clean up.

You're only talking about a 500 foot long deck with overall a 12-14 kT displacement pushed by 20000hp at most. You'd probably cruise between 16-20 knots out to 10k miles on a full stomach. You could operate more freely in ports of call around the world because you aren't a threat to carry nukes. You don't need the huge fleet escorts as required by the larger carriers. And all the technology necessary to pull it off is readily available.

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@ MadRat

The flight deck cruiser idea, or Zumwalt's sea control ship concept are close to what you outline, save the speed aspect. And sometimes I wonder if such a flight deck cruiser/frigate, built to commercial standards, wouldn't be the perfect el-cheapo presence unit.

PS: 12-15 aircraft are more realistic for 12/14.000ts.

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The current CVN's of the USN are being needlessly overworked supporting asymmetrical warfare when they were designed to fight a much different battle. The raw power and cost are overkill for much of the current work loads. Why would a smaller carrier suitable for three dozen 500mph-capable propeller driver COIN warbirds in the 2000hp range not largely work for combatting terrorists?

The US military is overkill for much of the current work loads. PERIOD. But overkill for such 'low-intensity' conflicts is better than 'under-kill' for 'high-intensity' conflicts...This whole 'low-intensity'/counter-insurgency conflict strikes me as what the NATIONAL GUARD (at least in part) should be oriented towards rather than as secondary/reserve army.

At any rate, if the conflict is 'low-intensity' enough that "three dozen 500mph-capable propeller driver COIN warbirds in the 2000hp range" is suitable then more than likely there are airfields from which they could operate from.

BUT if you simple MUST have a carrier for such operations, it should be possible to refit some LHA/LHD for such. Spending ~$2 billion on a carrier to operate "three dozen 500mph-capable propeller driver COIN warbirds in the 2000hp range" is a rather poor use of limited resources. You are basically taking a WWII-era CVL (& its air group) & 'time warping' it into the 21st century...

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@ MadRat
PS: 12-15 aircraft are more realistic for 12/14.000ts.

The Collossus class were under 14 kT and they operated 40 aircraft on a 700 foot long deck. So maybe the 500 foot deck is more the limit than the weight. The shorter, heavier frame of the ww2-era CVA made them suitable for foul weather operations. The longer 'light' carriers pitched too much when the seas moved around.

Pfcem-

You might be right, but we don't want to occupy land space for political reasons. And you aren't exactly talking WW2-era technology with predators. The warbird concept offers a lot more room for sensors, suites, and shooters. You'd maybe have 16-18 warbirds available at any one time. And as extended deployment works it's attrition it might drop to 10 after two years out. We're not talking huge workspaces on something like a CVA.

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Ok, madrat, first, i'm not a militar expert, so all my comments are just opinions about this matter.

But i think that any COIN operations require time, and perseverance, and to do this the local government support is needed, and it airbases as well.

How can a COIN campaign work w/o the local government support?

Carriers are meant to be used when there is no other way to place airpower near the target

Carriers and COIN are contradictory, IMO.

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Well put over G, hit right home on all points.

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Yemen. Oman. Pakistan. Sudan. Phillipines. All recent destinations to Predator drones. All with reluctant agreement from their respective governments. Could have used more firepower but that meant regional shifts. Untenable. This size of carrier offers you that flexibility.

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And only Sudan is inaccessible to carrier aircraft in a reasonable scenario.

Most of Pakistan is readily accessible to sea-based air power, and all the others have the entire nation easily accessible from sea-based air power.

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Ok, this is not COIN

I don't know why the 'predator' is used, why,for example special forces are not used,but anyways UAVs will be fielded on carriers, so there you go.

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Spudman: IIRC that was only a trial, hence the Dayglo orange on the aircraft, besides the OV-10 didn't have folding wings thus storage would have been a problem!

Now the Bronco only has a wingspan of 12.19m!
(Although I think its original design / mockup, it had an even shorter wingspan.
Or am I thinking of its main competitor - the Convair Charger?)
What is the dimensions of the likes of the Tarawa Class LHA's lifts??
I also very much doubt there would have been much of a problem in making the Bronco's outer wing fold or even modular for ship-borne storage!
After all was not the LARA program lead by the US Navy?

Regards
Pioneer

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The Collossus class were under 14 kT and they operated 40 aircraft on a 700 foot long deck. So maybe the 500 foot deck is more the limit than the weight. The shorter, heavier frame of the ww2-era CVA made them suitable for foul weather operations. The longer 'light' carriers pitched too much when the seas moved around.

...

They operated lighter planes. The Casablancas for example were 500ft/10.000ts ships, flying two dozen 8.000lb planes (F4F et seq).

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Yemen. Oman. Pakistan. Sudan. Phillipines. All recent destinations to Predator drones. All with reluctant agreement from their respective governments. Could have used more firepower but that meant regional shifts. Untenable. This size of carrier offers you that flexibility.

Not feasible in the case of the Philippines. A US carrier conducting airstrikes would be an outright violation of Philippine law.. now a few stealthy drone attacks here and there, much easier to disavow by the government.

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The Collossus class were under 14 kT and they operated 40 aircraft on a 700 foot long deck.

Nothing heavier than 8 tons, half the weight of a Sea Gripen. Even the larger Veinticinco de Mayo never operated anything heavier than a 12 ton S-2.