Day By Day Cartoon

Friday, July 21, 2006

Count me in

Murdoc takes a look at the US Navy adding light carriers to the fleet.

I heartily support this. In asymmetric warfare, sometimes you don't the the 30 pund sledge of a super carrier, you need the gentle, firm tap of a finishing hammer. A light carrier would be easier to support logisitically, yet still have enough firepower to o'erwhelm 80% of the world's airforces by itself (Hello? Am I the only one that remembers the Falklands?).

Something around the same size as the new Brit carrier would fill in the gap nicely. The jeep carrier was vital in WWII, and it's needed today, too.


At 3:58 PM, Blogger Doug Adamavich said...

Have to respectfully disagree with you on this one KC. Large carriers are still the way to do, almost 50 years after being declared obscolete. The combination of size, flexibility, endurance, survivability, and other factors make the big carriers the way to go. Witness the next generation of Anglo-French carriers being designed by Thales. 50,000 is not a Nimitz but it is bigger than an Invincible.

Smaller carriers are a compromise for nations that either don't have the budget or the ability to field a full-sized vessel. Italy, Spain, Thailand, India, and Brazil can support and run a smaller carrier because their needs are modest and their defense budgets are too. BTW, both the Spanish and Thai carriers are based on the American Sea Control Ship (SCS) design from the 70's.

The small carriers worked *barely* in the Falklands war. The Royal Navy must have missed the Ark Royal a lot because. Remember that a Harrier, even with AIM-9s, is not a F-4K nor is it a Buccaneer... If memory serves there was talk of the USN "loaning" a carrier to the Brits.

One of the things I have been reading is the idea of the SeaBase. These would be floating platforms that could operate independently or jointly. Several could be lashed together and be long enough to land C-130's and C-17's. I don't know the status of the program but it is being looked at as a *complement* to the big carriers.

Having said all that, the SCS may make a comeback. Rumsfeld was known to favor this kind of ship early in his term. Dunno what the status is but a bunch of SCS could be in more places than a dozen supercarriers. Those ships would also be more vulnerable and less capable but that is the trade-off. The thought is that the USN have more, smaller ships that are less costly than Cold War-era designs.

The catch is, you gotta convince the Virginia Congressional delegation that Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock should forgo construction of new CVNX-21s... Good luck on that one ;-)


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