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Thread: Return of the Kittyhawk?

  1. #16
    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlvfr View Post
    Was thinking the same thing! How hard would this be? Afaik, those older reactors were made to be refuled? That, replacing the electronincs, maybe some structural work...
    Nimitz carriers were made to be refueled after 25 years. The Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) process takes 2-3 years to complete, but it's essentially a complete modernization and overhaul of the ship and all of it's systems. The process isn't cheap at about $3.5 billion, but if there's a driving need for more carriers ASAP this is probably the way to go.

    Accelerating production of the Fords is probably the smarter move long term as far as capability delivered per dollar spent, but wouldn't really produce any additional usable ships for a decade.

    Bringing back the Kitty would probably cost as much and take just as long as a Nimitz overhaul, while delivering a less capable ship to the USN. Not to mention the requirements of figuring out how to man the thing, re-learn how to operate it, buy or build sufficient spare parts, and integrate it into modern operations.

    One off ship types are expensive to operate, and I'm sure retiring the old Enterprise and her 8 reactors freed up a lot of wiggle room in the USN's budget.
    Last edited by SteveDaPirate; 12 Jun 17, at 20:44.

  2. #17
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    Nimitz is supposed to have enough core life to make it to 2025, but is scheduled to be replaced by Kennedy in 2021ish. Get Kennedy back on schedule for 2020 and Enterprise back on schedule for 2025. (Instead of the last quote of 2027) Enterprise now replaces Nimitz instead of Kennedy and plan subsequent retirements around that. Problem solved! No additional refuelings (or Kitty Hawk) are necessary and we have 12 carriers in 2020 and beyond.

  3. #18
    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    If an overhaul of Kitty Hawk was undertaken, they probably should totally repower her with gas turbines. That old steam plant most likely would be efficient at killing sailors.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post
    Tico's have been out of production for over twenty years. I guess you mean Burk's?
    Yes, I meant Burk's. See what Bacardi does?
    "If a man does his best, what else is there?"
    -General George Patton Jr.

  5. #20
    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlvfr View Post
    if the USN really needs more hulls, start building new models of the Perry, instead of the money pit that is the LCS...
    I'm honestly not sure why the US would need a new blue water frigate. Escorting convoys of merchant ships is well and good if there's another powerful navy trying to harass them. But we have a massive blue water battlefleet and no real worthy opponents. Meanwhile our allies all have frigates they could make available should the need for them arise.

    The place the US seems to lack our customary overkill in capability is...in the littorals!
    Last edited by SteveDaPirate; 13 Jun 17, at 04:07.

  6. #21
    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    Man the rail .....

    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Now that is a very practical idea. Wait, did I say practical in conjunction with...
    A large heartfelt salute for a grand idea... even if it is somewhat "Practical" !

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    I'm honestly not sure why the US would need a new blue water frigate.
    ASW in the CSG. The need more subs and ASW aircraft, but also need more ASW surface vessels. One possibility is a new blue water ASW frigate. I think that the more likely alternative is to utilize older A-Bs with upgraded ASW capabilty in that role while deferring unrelated upgrades and using the money saved to build new A-Bs with improved ABM capability.
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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    The place the US seems to lack our customary overkill in capability is...in the littorals!


    Name:  k4fat5z67j2bmmc3onin.jpg
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  9. #24
    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRT View Post
    ASW in the CSG. The need more subs and ASW aircraft, but also need more ASW surface vessels. One possibility is a new blue water ASW frigate. I think that the more likely alternative is to utilize older A-Bs with upgraded ASW capabilty in that role while deferring unrelated upgrades and using the money saved to build new A-Bs with improved ABM capability.
    I'm under the impression that the need for additional ASW hulls is moving in the direction of the ACTUV.

    http://www.darpa.mil/program/anti-su...nmanned-vessel

    You can certainly buy and operate a lot of those for the cost of a blue water FFG.

  10. #25
    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRT View Post
    Name:  k4fat5z67j2bmmc3onin.jpg
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    I see the role of amphibs changing as well. I don't think the Marines can just roll up to a beach and start unloading from well decks just offshore as the Iowas pound the beach anymore, or at least not in the initial phases of an assault. Truck mounted missile launchers have become ubiquitous and they can sit 40-60 miles inland and hold amphibs at risk if they drop anchor off the beach. They'll need to stay over the horizon until the threat of guided missiles can be pruned back.

    LHA-6 is a pretty clear indication of rethinking how beach assaults will be conducted. Sending F-35s to hunt missile launchers, while Cobras and MV-22s move to quickly establish firebases in defensible positions further inland.

    "Storming the beach" involves navigating mines in the water and on the beach, artillery that's dialed in to a fare-thee-well and opposition dug in and waiting for you to try. Knocking out air defenses and just bypassing all that to setup shop on top of a hill beyond the beach is preferable if you have the airlift capacity to pull it off.

    I think this is how "beachheads" will be established until a lane can be cleared to bring in the amphibs and the heavy equipment they can unload. As a result our capability in the littorals is less than the margin of superiority we enjoy in blue water since the equipment in our inventory hasn't caught up to AirSea battle doctrine adopted in 2010 yet.
    Last edited by SteveDaPirate; 13 Jun 17, at 21:16.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    I'm under the impression that the need for additional ASW hulls is moving in the direction of the ACTUV.

    http://www.darpa.mil/program/anti-su...nmanned-vessel

    You can certainly buy and operate a lot of those for the cost of a blue water FFG.
    When?

    ACTUV appears to be a platform that is an experiment in itself, and will also be used to enable experiments in systems and software related to autonomous operation and remote ASW.

    I have no doubt that current and future manned systems will be augmented with unmanned remote, semi-autonomous and eventually fully autonomous systems and platforms.

    In the meantime they need something that is real that can be relied upon to perform the ASW mission in support of larger missions out in the fleet.
    Last edited by JRT; 14 Jun 17, at 03:49.
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  12. #27
    Patron Michigan_Guy's Avatar
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    Do we really need a bigger navy / army/ air force? Do we not already have enough to protect ourselves? Who are our real threats right now, anyway? What could any of them really do to us and why would they?
    "If a man does his best, what else is there?"
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  13. #28
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    I put this in sequential context below.

    The graphic is not about large scale beach assaults, rather it shows how an amphibious ship might be used to transport patrol boats in the well deck, and perhaps be used as an Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB) for extended intervals to mothership a small squadron of patrol boats used in littoral operations, interdictions, pacification, etc. The amphibious ship could also provide a flight deck for manned and unmanned helicopter operations, could not only carry the Mark VI patrol boats, but also floating dock, 11m RIBs, brown water SOC-R boats for SBTs and SEALs, USVs, UUVs, etc.

    For good real example, the floating forward base concept was put to good use in support of brown water boat operations circa 1968 in Vietnam. Here is a related paragraph excerpted from The Brown Water Navy in Vietnam (part 4), by Robert H. Stoner, GMCM (SW)(Ret), full text at the link.
    Quote Originally Posted by R.H.Stoner
    The severity of the enemy's Tet Campaign demanded a great reinforcement of the allied command in the I CTZ. Naval combat and support forces were increased. Early in 1968, units were deployed there from stations further south in the Mekong Delta region. These were PBR, minesweeping, and patrol air cushion vehicle (PACV) units that comprised Task Force CLEARWATER. The task force was charged with securing the two major waterways of the I CTZ: the Cau Viet River and the Hue River. The PBR element of the Hue River Security Group, and Task Force CLEARWATER headquarters, were located in Tan My lagoon on Mobile Base 1. Mobile Base 1 was a floating base that consisted of large connected pontoons. Huts for berthing, messing, repair, and command and control functions were built on these pontoons. Other units and the Naval Support Activity, Da Nang Detachment were stationed ashore.
    More recently in 2012, USS Ponce (LPD-15) was refit and converted into an Afloat Forward Staging Base AFSB.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by JRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    The place the US seems to lack our customary overkill in capability is...in the littorals!
    Name:  k4fat5z67j2bmmc3onin.jpg
Views: 357
Size:  60.3 KB
    I see the role of amphibs changing as well. I don't think the Marines can just roll up to a beach and start unloading from well decks just offshore as the Iowas pound the beach anymore, or at least not in the initial phases of an assault. Truck mounted missile launchers have become ubiquitous and they can sit 40-60 miles inland and hold amphibs at risk if they drop anchor off the beach. They'll need to stay over the horizon until the threat of guided missiles can be pruned back.

    LHA-6 is a pretty clear indication of rethinking how beach assaults will be conducted. Sending F-35s to hunt missile launchers, while Cobras and MV-22s move to quickly establish firebases in defensible positions further inland.

    "Storming the beach" involves navigating mines in the water and on the beach, artillery that's dialed in to a fare-thee-well and opposition dug in and waiting for you to try. Knocking out air defenses and just bypassing all that to setup shop on top of a hill beyond the beach is preferable if you have the airlift capacity to pull it off.

    I think this is how "beachheads" will be established until a lane can be cleared to bring in the amphibs and the heavy equipment they can unload. As a result our capability in the littorals is less than the margin of superiority we enjoy in blue water since the equipment in our inventory hasn't caught up to AirSea battle doctrine adopted in 2010 yet.
    Last edited by JRT; 14 Jun 17, at 02:29.
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  14. #29
    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    PBR Street Gang ....... radio check ....

    "For good real example, the floating forward base concept was put to good use in support of brown water boat operations circa 1968 in Vietnam."

    Wow, this really dates the thread followers...... which ties back to the earlier comment " Do we really need a bigger navy / army / air force?" (Michigan Guy's question)
    The 600 ship navy proved fleeting, [ Pun intended] now with the USN holding at 288 (??) ships, another carrier group seems a difficult task to assemble.
    In the quiet moments I ask myself to compare the impact of one (1) modern carrier group to a WWII carrier group in terms of "dynamic punch", I.e. does one modern carrier group carry the punch of the 7th Fleet of old ( an exaggeration ) but still a point to be made when combat assets are changing with the modern world.

  15. #30
    Senior Contributor DonBelt's Avatar
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    The whole concept of LPD/LSD being used with patrol craft has been brought up here before in the context of what do you need the LCS for? With a large flight deck, command capabilities, and the ability to transport multiple patrol craft why waste the money on a multi-million dollar class of ships purportedly designed for littoral warfare that seem to have trouble with every mission assigned to them? The concept was proved in Vietnam and again in the Persian Gulf. With a combination of helicopters and small fast patrol craft operating from a expeditionary sea base or amphib or even a barge like the Wimbrown II or Hercules you can cover a large area without hazarding a cruiser or carrier against a bunch of cheap speed boats.

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