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Declassified: 2 F-14 Tomcats vs. 2 Libyan Mig-23 Floggers

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    I imagine the Navy would love to still have the tomcat these days.

    The age of a dedicated naval fighter may return.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,695 ✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    I imagine the Navy would love to still have the tomcat these days.

    The age of a dedicated naval fighter may return.

    Not if the F-35 has anything to say about it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,808 ✭✭✭sparky42


    I imagine the Navy would love to still have the tomcat these days.

    The age of a dedicated naval fighter may return.

    The Tomcat was a hanger queen due to it's engines from memory, that's why the proposed refit program had them replaced with the same type that the F 15 used. Given budgets/spares/ training, it's probably easier for the USN to support one design (F18, F35) than having the fleets within fleets that they had back in the 80's.

    On the otherhand the USN may well regret retiring the Viking's leaving the Carrier groups without organic fixed wing Anti Sub assets, think the South Korean's are trying to buy some of them from the boneyard.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,174 ✭✭✭✭Captain Chaos


    That audio has been online for years, over 10 because I first saw/heard it back in college in 2003. Even the HUD video of the kill. Nothing new here. Part of the audio is used the movie Under Siege just before they shoot down the F-18.


  • Registered Users Posts: 80,215 ✭✭✭✭Overheal


    sparky42 wrote: »
    The Tomcat was a hanger queen due to it's engines from memory, that's why the proposed refit program had them replaced with the same type that the F 15 used. Given budgets/spares/ training, it's probably easier for the USN to support one design (F18, F35) than having the fleets within fleets that they had back in the 80's.

    On the otherhand the USN may well regret retiring the Viking's leaving the Carrier groups without organic fixed wing Anti Sub assets, think the South Korean's are trying to buy some of them from the boneyard.

    Yeah the tomcats aren't stored at the boneyard or anything, they've all been scrapped.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    sparky42 wrote: »
    The Tomcat was a hanger queen due to it's engines from memory

    Fair enough.... I was not aware.

    What I mean is that the USN may be facing into a future where advances in anti-ship missiles will require a carrier group to be stationed further away from land than is the case at the moment.

    A long ranged, fast, deep perpetrator (that's what she said) could one day be required over the more limited F/A-18E/F.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,695 ✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    Overheal wrote: »
    Yeah the tomcats aren't stored at the boneyard or anything, they've all been scrapped.

    Read about that recently. Apparently that was done to prevent the Iranians acquiring parts from 3rd party dealers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,695 ✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    Fair enough.... I was not aware.

    What I mean is that the USN may be facing into a future where advances in anti-ship missiles will require a carrier group to be stationed further away from land than is the case at the moment.

    A long ranged, fast, deep perpetrator (that's what she said) could one day be required over the more limited F/A-18E/F.

    There have been a few articles on Foxtrot, arguing that the USN should invest in more Light Carriers, to give them greater versatility and ability to operate in more theatres.


  • Registered Users Posts: 80,215 ✭✭✭✭Overheal


    There's also the factor of new anti-ship tactics being theorycrafted by other militaries to bring down carriers. Not to mention the sizeable number of escorts the carriergroup needs in order to function (rather costly)

    http://thediplomat.com/2013/04/the-df-21d-or-carrier-killer-an-instrument-of-deception/


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,808 ✭✭✭sparky42


    Fair enough.... I was not aware.

    What I mean is that the USN may be facing into a future where advances in anti-ship missiles will require a carrier group to be stationed further away from land than is the case at the moment.

    A long ranged, fast, deep perpetrator (that's what she said) could one day be required over the more limited F/A-18E/F.

    I think the hope would be the new UCAV's will be able to meet any future need of that type (ok not the fast part). In terms of area denial it depends on whether stuff like the PRC IRBM can actually do what the worst case suggestions would say.

    In terms of the 18 for example there's always the roadmap that Boeing is pushing that would have two saddle tanks above the wings with an engine upgrade to offset the weight.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,808 ✭✭✭sparky42


    There have been a few articles on Foxtrot, arguing that the USN should invest in more Light Carriers, to give them greater versatility and ability to operate in more theatres.

    Given the costs that the USN has in terms of ship building (and the SSBN lodestone) I don't think it would work out much better. First you have the demands of escorts (which they'd need more of) and the manpower for them, then you have issues like what do you put on them, more 35B's and maybe whatever the RN develops for helicopter AWAC's, otherwise you need at least a 40K ton ship (CdeG mininium). Given the debacles of the Zumwalt's, the LPD 17's, the LCS's... any "Light Carrier" would most likely be 2 plus decades from now for the first unit, billions in costs and with plenty of issues politically.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,695 ✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    sparky42 wrote: »
    Given the costs that the USN has in terms of ship building (and the SSBN lodestone) I don't think it would work out much better. First you have the demands of escorts (which they'd need more of) and the manpower for them, then you have issues like what do you put on them, more 35B's and maybe whatever the RN develops for helicopter AWAC's, otherwise you need at least a 40K ton ship (CdeG mininium). Given the debacles of the Zumwalt's, the LPD 17's, the LCS's... any "Light Carrier" would most likely be 2 plus decades from now for the first unit, billions in costs and with plenty of issues politically.

    The article made reference to the current 11/10 carrier fleet in truth amounting to no more than 3/4 carriers operational at any given time. This leaves the USN stretched currently with the various situations demanding attention. Having more light carriers would increase operational availability, allowing the USN to engage in more operations. In addition, with the reduced size of the various carrier squadrons afloat, it would possibly increase the available air assets that could be leveraged.

    With reference to the development costs and timeline, they pointed to the new British carriers as being viable options, given the R&D costs are already accounted for.

    Article here: http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/americas-carrier-gap-crisis-highlights-a-need-for-sma-1740644946


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,808 ✭✭✭sparky42


    The article made reference to the current 11/10 carrier fleet in truth amounting to no more than 3/4 carriers operational at any given time. This leaves the USN stretched currently with the various situations demanding attention. Having more light carriers would increase operational availability, allowing the USN to engage in more operations. In addition, with the reduced size of the various carrier squadrons afloat, it would possibly increase the available air assets that could be leveraged.

    With reference to the development costs and timeline, they pointed to the new British carriers as being viable options, given the R&D costs are already accounted for.

    Article here: http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/americas-carrier-gap-crisis-highlights-a-need-for-sma-1740644946

    A 65K-75K ton carrier is not a "light Carrier" it's a Fleet carrier, a "light Carrier" would be something like the America class at 40K, the QE's are the same as the last generation of conventional Carriers. And no even if you got an at cost design from the UK would it end up being that cheap (the LCS's cost the same as a Eurofrigate for example), at best in a QE class you'd get about 2/3 cost of a CVN (I'd bet something like 7-8 billion).

    Nor does it deal with vast numbers of issues, even if you said lets replace some of the CVN's with CV's then the cost of maintaining the industrial base for the CVN's become even more costly, eroding the potential numbers. While the ship crew costs are smaller, an airgroup is still going to be fairly high.

    Nor does it deal with escorts, the Tico's are going away, at this rate most likely unreplaced as a "Cruiser" class, the Flight 3 Burkes will most likely be over 2 billion a unit, there's no Frigates (not even the rebranding of the LCS's are Frigates), and the LCS's are themselves a joke unit, and the SSN's have enough tasking demands as is let alone doubling the Carrier groups they would have to escort.

    There's plenty of pro's and con's you can talk about for the ship procurment process and selection of the US, but somethings don't really make sense (for example AIP's don't make sense for the USN even if they are cheaper).


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    The article made reference to the current 11/10 carrier fleet in truth amounting to no more than 3/4 carriers operational at any given time. This leaves the USN stretched currently with the various situations demanding attention. Having more light carriers would increase operational availability, allowing the USN to engage in more operations. In addition, with the reduced size of the various carrier squadrons afloat, it would possibly increase the available air assets that could be leveraged.

    With reference to the development costs and timeline, they pointed to the new British carriers as being viable options, given the R&D costs are already accounted for.

    Article here: http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/americas-carrier-gap-crisis-highlights-a-need-for-sma-1740644946

    I agree somewhat with that article.

    Thing is though, the US already has a vessel that more or less performs that task..... (and will have 2 specializing in the task eventually)

    The USS-America ...

    uss-america-lha6_2.jpg

    This vessel (still being readied) will do the same or very similar job to the QE2 class carrier.

    Now, the QE2 carrier will obviously do the job better, with its ski-jump & rolling landing the planes will probably be able to carry more fuel & munitions....
    But the USS-America is only about 20m shorter & will do the job when operational while costing around 30% less than a QE2.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,695 ✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    sparky42 wrote: »

    There's plenty of pro's and con's you can talk about for the ship procurment process and selection of the US, but somethings don't really make sense (for example AIP's don't make sense for the USN even if they are cheaper).

    What would be your argument against procuring AIPs? They have been shwon to be very effective operating, in particular operating against USN forces in NATO training.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    What would be your argument against procuring AIPs? They have been shwon to be very effective operating, in particular operating against USN forces in NATO training.

    The major disadvantages are; range & speed.

    a well built diesel sub with a good crew can sneak up on an enemy... the swedes & the Chinese (with their German technology) have proven that... however these boats cannot remain on station for very long.

    take the Type-214 sub, built in Germany and in common service in Europe with the Portugese, Greek & South Korean navies.... its submerged range is just 800kms.

    The range of a nuke sub is limited by only food stores & they are nearly twice as fast.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    Having said that..... where Bojack a US admiral I would indeed take a serious look at what diesel/electric can deliver.

    another Fotrot Alpha post showed a super-sized diesel submarine from French naval builder DCNS, the 'SMX Ocean'

    While probably not suitable for the US Navy's needs, its probably the closest any SSK can get to something like a 'Virginia class' & could prove useful for missions in the Mediterranean & Persian gulf.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,695 ✭✭✭AbusesToilets


    That's the sort of operational set that I could see them being useful. Regionally located, with a more constrained AO. Think South China Sea or around the Persian Gulf. Base them out of the existing ports that the USN operates from. They could be quite useful, handy for espionage, tracking other countries vessels, mine laying etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,180 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    Overheal wrote: »
    ... might as well been taken out of Top Gun.
    But the Libyans didn't fly A-4s. :p
    Overheal wrote: »

    "routine patrol" - they were out for a fight and brought several aircraft carriers with them and shot down aircraft that hadn't fired.

    "supersonic dogfight" - it was head-on, no dog-fighting.

    "modern fighters" - the first flight of an F-14 was in 1970 - that's 45 years ago.


    The US has spent so much on hi-tech (€14bn for an aircraft carrier) that it is now possible to defeat it with low tech. If you want to sink an aircraft carrier transiting a strait, all you need are 300-500 'dumb' anti-ship missiles / unguided rockets that cost under $10,000 each. The Americans will shoot them down with million dollar missiles and then run out of missiles.

    Remember, the most dangerous sound in Counter-Strike was 'click click'.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,808 ✭✭✭sparky42


    That's the sort of operational set that I could see them being useful. Regionally located, with a more constrained AO. Think South China Sea or around the Persian Gulf. Base them out of the existing ports that the USN operates from. They could be quite useful, handy for espionage, tracking other countries vessels, mine laying etc.

    Then you add increased logistical demands and budgets, just look at the cash cow for contractors that the LCS's who are meant to use the same model is turning out to be. There's also issues with such a plan as it would rob subs, particularly nukes of the key element, nobody knows where they are at anytime. You base an SSK out of a base say in the Gulf and intelligence both human and electronic will be able to tell as soon as it sorties, where as a SSN from the US could be anywhere.

    There's also the constrained weapons loadout they carry, which gets worse if you wanted Cruise Missile capability, the less efective sonar fit than an SSN, the issues of Strategic mobility.

    There's the ever present question of budget, even if you get the US over the Not Invented Here issue and get them to buy a European design, it's still going to end up "US-ised" (fittings, sonar, weapons loadout) which again drives up the cost. What would the end price tag actually be? Would the USN be forced to cut SSN numbers (the usual political issue)? The USN is facing hull number issues for SSN's as well already. How long would it take for one of the two sub yards to get up to speed (and critically can they maintain SSN/SSBN build while doing so?)

    SSK's are useful for choke points hence the "mobile Minefield" tag, but they have limits, honestly for nations like Canada and Australia who have floated the idea before of going nuclear it would make more sense than the SSK's they have/will have.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    sparky42 wrote: »
    Then you add increased logistical demands and budgets, just look at the cash cow for contractors that the LCS's who are meant to use the same model is turning out to be. There's also issues with such a plan as it would rob subs, particularly nukes of the key element, nobody knows where they are at anytime. You base an SSK out of a base say in the Gulf and intelligence both human and electronic will be able to tell as soon as it sorties, where as a SSN from the US could be anywhere.

    There's also the constrained weapons loadout they carry, which gets worse if you wanted Cruise Missile capability, the less efective sonar fit than an SSN, the issues of Strategic mobility.

    There's the ever present question of budget, even if you get the US over the Not Invented Here issue and get them to buy a European design, it's still going to end up "US-ised" (fittings, sonar, weapons loadout) which again drives up the cost. What would the end price tag actually be? Would the USN be forced to cut SSN numbers (the usual political issue)? The USN is facing hull number issues for SSN's as well already. How long would it take for one of the two sub yards to get up to speed (and critically can they maintain SSN/SSBN build while doing so?)

    SSK's are useful for choke points hence the "mobile Minefield" tag, but they have limits, honestly for nations like Canada and Australia who have floated the idea before of going nuclear it would make more sense than the SSK's they have/will have.

    Obviously an SSK will need to stop for fuel more often, but an SSN will be stopping for food stores anyway, so fueling up when you stock the mess larders might not be as critical to mission discretion as you might imagine..... it really depends on the mission.

    There would be no issue with weapons load-out either.
    All the SSK's whether small 1,800 tonne to big 4,000+ tonne boats, use the same or similar weapons to the Virginia class.
    Everyone uses derivations of some 533mm torpedo or another...
    Bigger diesel sub designs like the 'Ocean' or the Type 216 ordered by Singapore, both have VLS systems for cruise missiles, plus there are cruise missiles launched via torpedo tubes already (& the Norweigan NSM will also be torpedo-tube launched within a few years).

    The idea is not to replace SSN's but to augment them.

    If the naval brass in the US complain about not having enough hulls, the solution is there.... not every sub mission requires a $3bn behemoth....

    As for cost, the Singapore order puts their 4,000t subs at $700m each.
    Obviously the US will want to build any design at home & install their own systems.... but even if you doubled the cost of licensing a large SSK design, you are still getting 2 x hulls for the cost of 1 x Virginia class.

    it solves the problem that infinite engineering sophistication cannot solve..... being in 2 places at once.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,808 ✭✭✭sparky42


    Obviously an SSK will need to stop for fuel more often, but an SSN will be stopping for food stores anyway, so fueling up when you stock the mess larders might not be as critical to mission discretion as you might imagine..... it really depends on the mission.

    There would be no issue with weapons load-out either.
    All the SSK's whether small 1,800 tonne to big 4,000+ tonne boats, use the same or similar weapons to the Virginia class.
    Everyone uses derivations of some 533mm torpedo or another...
    Bigger diesel sub designs like the 'Ocean' or the Type 216 ordered by Singapore, both have VLS systems for cruise missiles, plus there are cruise missiles launched via torpedo tubes already (& the Norweigan NSM will also be torpedo-tube launched within a few years).

    The idea is not to replace SSN's but to augment them.

    If the naval brass in the US complain about not having enough hulls, the solution is there.... not every sub mission requires a $3bn behemoth....

    As for cost, the Singapore order puts their 4,000t subs at $700m each.
    Obviously the US will want to build any design at home & install their own systems.... but even if you doubled the cost of licensing a large SSK design, you are still getting 2 x hulls for the cost of 1 x Virginia class.

    it solves the problem that infinite engineering sophistication cannot solve..... being in 2 places at once.

    It's not just fuel for the SSK's even with their smaller crew numbers their food storage is smaller as well. How often does an SSN put in to a port on patrol for restocking food?

    And there are plenty of issues with weapons, first if you take the current SSK's they don't VLS systems so any cruise missile takes from a torpedo/Harpoon weapon. Second just because the size is the same doesn't mean you can pick and mix torpedoes, the fire control systems designed for German torpedoes doesn't mean that it can fire US torps. Just look at the utter disaster refitting the Upholders fire control to fire US Mark 46 ADCAPs, instead of the UK's Spearfish (though that has many issues). Nor does it change areas like the Sonar fittings which the SSN's have a better system simply due to size of the fitting.

    In terms of "augmenting not replacing" you are ignoring the issue that every navy faces, selling it to the public/politicians. Why do you think the RN fights so hard against the "large OPV/Light Corvette" idea even with the hull numbers? Because of the fear that because it's "Grey with a gun" the powers that be will point to it as a full up "Warship" while using them to justify the reduction in Frigate hulls, and instead leave the RN in a combat environment with hulls that can't survive. Same as why the USN fights against putting Ski-Jump's to the Amphibs even though it would improve the Harriers/35b's, or the SSN numbers. Is it stupid clearly, is it an accurate read on politics, pretty much. How stronger would the RN Sub fleet have been if it had gone the US route and axed the SSK's and moved to an all SSN fleet, perhaps each generation would have had 1-3 extra hulls, perhaps the post Cold War holiday wouldn't have happened badly damaging the Astute class?

    In terms of deployments for the USN it remains more sense to have the mobility of the SSN's while helping regional allies develop their SSK fleets in order to augment international forces, which exactly what they have been doing in South East Asia. Even if you did take an idea of a 700-1,500 million SSK being developed in the US, you are still talking about mid 2020's at best before the first unit would be produced (most likely 2030's), in the meantime the current production schedule would have maybe another 20 plus SSN's coming online, and the next generation design being developed, all without interrupting the production line and requiring retraining for the workforce. In terms of the large SSK's currently in development, the Japanese seem to be divided in terms of power systems, with a mixture of AIP for some and Lithium Ion battery packs for later hulls suggesting they have concerns about AIP for large hulls, the older generation but still large SSK Collins class had a difficult service life, and the next gen 216's and the like are still in development with unknown final costs/performance figures. Meanwhile the Virginia class has seen two block developments already with costs actually falling (so even if you went with say 1.3 billion for a US SSK, the US SSN is only twice it's cost at 2.6 billion and avoids a host of issues (again logistics (engines, sonar), crew training, workforce training, basing issues in Allied countries).


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