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Thread: How does a Wasp-class LHD equipped with F-35B's stack up against China's Liaoning

  1. #16
    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazed View Post
    Yes the straight turbojet has been gone since the 70's the F-35 engine uses the same architecture as the F-22 engine and other modern US fighters.
    The F-135 was an evolution of the F-119 design but is built to emphasize different operational regimes. Using bypass as an example, the F-119 has a bypass ratio of 0.30:1 which is on the low end for fighters and is optimized for high speeds and high altitudes. The F-135 has nearly double the bypass ratio at 0.57:1 which is going to be a lot more efficient at high subsonic and transonic speeds and lower altitudes at the cost of high mach/high altitude performance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dazed View Post
    My point is the F-35 can do alot of things but the primary air defense with a lot of assets is performed by the ships of the Expeditionary Strike Group.
    I don't disagree, but I expect to see the F-35 utilized in the air defense role as a sensor node that sends data back to surface warfare ships that would be responsible for most of the shooting. I don't forsee F-35s being kept in the air at all times like you might see with a Carrier group, but if an air threat is anticipated, having a bird in the sky to give the ESG an earlier look at what's coming seems well worth the fuel burn to accomplish it.

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    The reason I brought up this subject is to look at the possibilities in the event that some carriers are disabled, and the nearest naval assets available with fixed wing aircraft embarked happen to be ESG's. Here's another question. Why don't LHD's offload the troop carrier component to an old-fashioned troop carrier, thereby freeing up space for more fuel and ammo for the ship's complement of aircraft? Or was its design the result of trying to shoehorn a mini aircraft carrier into a troop carrier because of funding/political compromises?

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    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithridates View Post
    The reason I brought up this subject is to look at the possibilities in the event that some carriers are disabled, and the nearest naval assets available with fixed wing aircraft embarked happen to be ESG's. Here's another question. Why don't LHD's offload the troop carrier component to an old-fashioned troop carrier, thereby freeing up space for more fuel and ammo for the ship's complement of aircraft? Or was its design the result of trying to shoehorn a mini aircraft carrier into a troop carrier because of funding/political compromises?
    The primary purpose of an LHD is to put ~2000 Marines ashore with the equipment and support to swiftly deal with a developing situation before it escalates into something big and nasty. It could be defending an ally's presidential palace that's under attack, establishing a beachhead, defending important dockyards, securing an important corridor while civilians are evacuated, or reinforcing a US embassy that's under assault. That means tanks, artillery, IFVs, lots of helicopters, and a few jets to maximize flexibility.

    The America class is a more aviation focused LHD in which the first two examples built forego well decks in order to free up additional space for aviation. They are still primarily helicopter carriers (if MV-22Bs count) with the job of delivering Marines ashore and supporting them. They could field more STOVL jets in a pinch, but that isn't what they were designed to do.

    What you're describing is an aircraft carrier, and we have 11 really big ones that can each field about 100 aircraft when the decks are loaded. If a carrier is crippled for some reason, aircraft are far more likely to divert to land based airfields than an LDH since most US carrier based aircraft require either a real runway or arresting gear to land. An LDH simply doesn't field enough jets to change the outcome of a pitched carrier battle and endangering the assets it does carry in a surface action in order to contribute ~6 jets would be a reckless call.

    One thing about US carriers is their nuclear propulsion gives them great strategic speed. They can run flat out 24/7 to race to the scene of the action, even outrunning their escorts if needed. If one carrier gets crippled, 5 more could show up shortly to deal with the problem along with a huge number of destroyers and cruisers.
    Last edited by SteveDaPirate; 14 Mar 18, at 14:36.

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    It should be pointed out that we currently have 4 not available due to refueling or refitting. They are listed as undergoing procedures that take from 4 months to 4 years (refueling).

    Source: http://www.gonavy.jp/CVLocation.html

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    Senior Contributor JA Boomer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    What you're describing is an aircraft carrier, and we have 11 really big ones that can each field about 100 aircraft when the decks are loaded.
    IF the USN had that many squadrons sure.

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    I thought the real beauty of the CVN is the amount of fuel it can carry/tanker for the Airwing and the ships of the battle group. If the carrier is damaged can you launch aircraft? Listing, burning, no power, holes in the wrong places? It's a blue water Navy land could be a long way off.

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    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazed View Post
    I thought the real beauty of the CVN is the amount of fuel it can carry/tanker for the Airwing and the ships of the battle group. If the carrier is damaged can you launch aircraft? Listing, burning, no power, holes in the wrong places? It's a blue water Navy land could be a long way off.
    Who has the chops to take on a CSG in the middle of the Pacific? Close enough to shore that land based aircraft, missiles, and green water subs can contribute to the fight is another matter, but in that case there's almost certainly a divert airfield available to naval aviators as well.
    Last edited by SteveDaPirate; 14 Mar 18, at 22:22.

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    As Surfgun mentioned, the America Class is really a more apt comparison. While a Wasp can technically field 20 F-35s in a pinch, it is unlikely to ever do so and it's F-35s are more meant for defensive AEW, interdiction strikes on high value assets, and CAS in support of Marines.

    For the record, I'd hate to be a J-15 pilot from the Liaoning going up against even the typical load of ~6 F-35s a Wasp carries, as it means something I can't find is going to be cueing SM-6s from over the horizon. I don't know exactly how many Air to Air missiles a J-15 carries compared to an F-35, but I know a Burke carries one hell of a lot and there's really no reason the F-35s need to fire a shot while they can draw on a destroyer's deep magazines and VERY high performance missiles.
    From all the propaganda videos, it looks to be 4 missile standard compliment when launching from Liaoning. I have never seen a J-15 with more than 4 AA missiles from the deck. And who knows, maybe those were dummy missiles...
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    From all the propaganda videos, it looks to be 4 missile standard compliment when launching from Liaoning. I have never seen a J-15 with more than 4 AA missiles from the deck. And who knows, maybe those were dummy missiles...
    Looked around a bit more and found out that the the max weapons load a J-15 can take off the ski-jump is 12 tons. However, fully fueled it can only carry 2 tons of weapons off the ramp... That's a pretty serious deficiency, especially considering the lack of organic refueling capability from Chinese carriers.

    No wonder they're in a rush to field a CATOBAR setup!

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    Military Professional JCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    Looked around a bit more and found out that the the max weapons load a J-15 can take off the ski-jump is 12 tons. However, fully fueled it can only carry 2 tons of weapons off the ramp... That's a pretty serious deficiency, especially considering the lack of organic refueling capability from Chinese carriers.

    No wonder they're in a rush to field a CATOBAR setup!
    Well, China has obviously been reading our forum posts as they've purchased UPAZ-1A Sakhalin centerline refueling stores for use on the J-15s. Arm up the J-15 with max ordinance and a light fuel load, launch it and have it meet a centerline refueling buddy.

    China Defense Blog Please note the date on this post, so the Chinese have been working this for quite awhile and I'm sure that they've worked out the operational kinks by now.

    Full up armed J-15s, when handled well, will pose a threat to an ARG, particularly if they are complacent or somehow caught off guard.

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