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PraedSt
2008-Oct-08, 11:57 AM
I think carrier vulnerability has been debated ever since carriers first appeared, but lately the situation has gotten more dire.

Over the last 5 years potential adversaries' technology and tactics have been improving rapidly. Some of it specifically designed to target what appears (to them) to be a US weak point: their carriers.

I refer to Russia, China and Iran. Also to torpedoes, anti-ship missiles, UAVs, cheap submarines, etc.

There are many, many links covering this topic, but here are a couple from defencereview:
http://www.defensereview.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1048
http://www.defensereview.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1116

From an economic perspective, I note that industrial might often has a more decisive role in the outcome of wars. The US lost 4 (?) carriers during WW2, the Soviets numerous tanks. But the US could produce carriers at a faster rate than the Japanese could sink them, and the Soviets could make tanks faster than the Germans could destroy them.

So; are carriers too vulnerable? Or is the threat exaggerated? If not, what is the US doing about it?

Thanks

NEOWatcher
2008-Oct-08, 12:12 PM
So; are carriers too vulnerable? Or is the threat exaggerated? If not, what is the US doing about it?

Take this rhetorically...

First; Define "too vulnerable".
Weapon systems have always had vulnerability which increases as time goes by.
Second; Do you think that the US military doesn't consider all the threats against a carrier?
Third: Is there something better?

I just wanted to put these bugs in your ear to think about and not argue the points. I fear this thread may not be appropriate here.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-08, 12:25 PM
I fear this thread may not be appropriate here.

Oh, ok. You mean this forum? I could delete it if you think I should. No probs.

JohnD
2008-Oct-08, 12:34 PM
As usual, define your terms!

Aircarft carriers can be of several types. Most are purely for offensive purposes, to carry air cover to the battle when the range of aircraft and bases available are insufficient, but the sea is close enough. As long as the carrier can do that, then it can be considered disposable. EG. Britain's Harrrier carriers (!) at the Falklands War.

An escort carrier, however must accompany a convoy or a fleet to provide continuous air cover. To lose it anywhere along the convoy is a disaster.

Other carrier types, especially the largest, may have multiple roles, but such a large investement in men and material cannot be considered disposable.

See:http://members.tripod.com/~panzer99/shipclass.html

John

PraedSt
2008-Oct-08, 01:31 PM
As usual, define your terms!

Yeah, sorry John. You meant the carriers?
I was asking about the US carriers in service. Nimitz class. They're large enough to be multi-role, as you said.

JustAFriend
2008-Oct-08, 01:32 PM
Go watch Top Gun sometime. Or read some Clancy novels.

The Navy puts a web of detection and deterrent out hundreds of miles from any carrier.

Nothing is perfect, but they HAVE thought out the problem....

Larry Jacks
2008-Oct-08, 01:35 PM
If it can float, it can be sunk. Just as the threats against carriers evolve, so do the defenses. Carriers probably never go anywhere alone. A lot of their protection comes from the screen provided by escorting destroyers, cruisers, and reportedly even an attack submarine. So long as you're able to prevent a possible enemy from getting close enough to employ their weapons, the carrier is safe.

BigDon
2008-Oct-08, 01:38 PM
Hey Prae, what do you say? (I don't see NEO's issue if everybody plays nice)

Also look up some terms: carrier battle group, citadel defense, layered defense, defense in depth. Carriers almost never go wandering around by themselves even in peacetime. Three times I've heard the alarm "vampires inbound!" for realies, and none ever got through.

So the potential maritime enemies have been working to improve their abilities to stave off a carrier group? And does the article say we were sleeping that whole time? Does it mention how in the last five years US warships have been getting harder and harder to "see" electronically until now an anchored destroyer has less of a radar return than a bassboat? WITHOUT looking all F-117?

NEOWatcher
2008-Oct-08, 01:43 PM
(I don't see NEO's issue if everybody plays nice)
Me neither (if I sounded too strong). I was taken away by the tone of the articles. I know there's more too it, but my view is more opinion and questions.

mahesh
2008-Oct-08, 02:08 PM
I agree NEO / Don. It's the tone.

Having been only a 'tourist' on one aircraft carrier, I do not have much to add, weight-wise,
....are carriers too vulnerable? Or is the threat exaggerated?... reminds me of the incident with USS Cole, Larry Jacks considered comments, notwithstanding.

Eighth anniversary of USS Cole incident, coming Sunday! is this what triggered this thread?

PraedSt
2008-Oct-08, 02:09 PM
Hey Prae, what do you say? (I don't see NEO's issue if everybody plays nice)

Yeah, let's all play nice. But if you all think this is a dodgy thread, I'll gladly bin it.

Anyway, back to carriers :)

I'm no soldier or sailor, but I've always been very interested in military history, strategy and tactics. (An armchair general?) So I'm reasonably aware of all the issues and terminology brought up here.

But there are two facts that bother me.
1. The current generation of adversary missiles have one thing in common. They're incredibly fast. The super-cavitation torpedo for example.
2. The Chinese are adopting asymmetric warfare tactics with their subs. The idea is to flood the Taiwan straight with numerous cheap diesel submarines. This might remove the US carriers out of the equation. Out of 80 subs, one is bound to get through the carrier screen. Two already have, once in 2006 and again in 2007. Undetected.

As Larry Jacks pointed out, attack and defence evolve over time. I'm just curious as to whether or not the defence has (or is about to ) respond to the latest 'attack'. A request for information as it were, because I don't know! :)
The best I could come with was the F35.

As for the top brass. Well, they obviously know more than we do, but that's never much of a defence against the human tendency for poor preparation, hubris and internal squabbling. Remember, the battleship was once considered invulnerable as well.

ps no offence meant towards any Chinese on this forum.

mahesh
2008-Oct-08, 02:16 PM
I fear, I have a sinking feeling for this thread....not joking

John Mendenhall
2008-Oct-08, 02:52 PM
When I got on board the Hawk in '68 in San Diego, there were two small Mig silouettes painted on the island. I tracked down a ship's company and asked if the air wing got the Migs on the last cruise. His reply was "The air wing shot down lots of Migs. Those are the two that the ship shot down."

BigDon
2008-Oct-08, 04:04 PM
I know back in 1980 we had an enormous two week exercise where, in the scenario, my battlegroup was an aggressor against the West Coast of the United States. This was set up after Capt. Edney utterly dominated in the bi-yearly attack on Hawaii the US dept of defense holds as a readiness excercise.

United States got to have: Rest of the Navy, Airforce, sattillites, and all resources except the SOSUS system which acted as a referee. (Yes, if you knew how, you could hide a carrier from the sattilites of the time.)

We had: Capt Bud Edney USN and the Constellation Battle Group.

We did so much damage they finally had to use the big nerf stuff on us. Had to have Mr. Reagan sign the executive order and everything.

Things like a Gulf War style attack on California's infrastructure, using EA-6B's to stop all electric current flow in the state of California, (only takes three, we had twelve) We honked every airfield we could reach

Hey Mugs! How would you like to lead a nerf raid against a Kittyhawk class battle group in a B-52? Get your insurance signed off first. We'll even let you have a realistic amount of escort. Makes it more interesting and gives the cruisers something to do. Everyone took this so seriously, especially the Zoomies, that there were several near collisions in the air battle, prior to us killing the Buffs outside of their release range.

Mainly by cannon fire as the Buffs pack a godawful amount of countermeasures and they kept spoofing our stuff at any real range. (Any plane or ship "destroyed" couldn't play for the rest of the excercise.) Whatever marvalous engine of destruction the Buffs were packing for this mission, it was considered effective enough that all they had to do was get within it's release range to count us as destroyed and they couldn't do it in three progressively larger trys. (Can I get a whoo hoo?)

Well after "the bad guys" went nerf first, we responded in kind with similtanious co-ordinated attacks on Coronado and San Francisco Bays and even with Air Force and Navy defense an A-6 dropped a five "megahurts" device into San Francisco Bay for a subsurface burst, (this had the effect of crushing the hulls of everything floating in the bay at the time AND producing radioactive fog, causing much wider disruption and anti-personnel effect than just burning out a city, aw the wonders of foam rubber)

All that was done sneaky through feint and misdirection not direct brute force attack. IIRC the A-6's flew into the bay from down the Sacramento River, a totally unexpected direction as the Connie was well south of the bay area, raising hell and making noise.

Personally, I was killed by an S-3 after the first failed nuclear attack on us. I was aft on the flightdeck and saw it coming up along side us and saw it wasn't one of ours and went "Oh oh". I thought we were about to be torpedo'ed

After passing us it cut in front of us, went into the auto-cloverleaf delivery mode and didn't drop torpedos. No, that particular bird was loaded with nerve gas. All official and everything. Everyone exposed to the weather decks was "killed". Marines secured all the hatchs leading outside with padlocks and had orders to shoot anybody trying to get in without decon.

The judges even had some guys with less than "immediately lethal" exposure try the marines resolve in this matter. To see if the Marines knew what was expected of them without being told. They did. Myself, I was killed outright. The sim was those huge smoke rounds aircraft drop and the clouds passed right over me. And the flightdeck and hanger were then "off limits" for the rest of the excercise due to me being dead. (I still had to be part of the decon scrub down)

Eventually, since we kept slapping down the Buffs, F-111's and cruise missiles and after they sunk all our escort subs and half our destroyers, a sub got us. Torpedoed the crap out of us before the S-3's returned the favor. And not just one bird dropping one torpedo like in the movies, more like nine torpedoes going after the sub from different directions, good luck. Though officially we caught six. Ouch, we died. I'm sure if you are making a suicide run against an enemy carrier you don't use the torpedo equilavalent of skeet loads. (Do conventional sub torps come in a magnum round?)

Hey Geo, why do submariners seem to hold airdropped torpedos in contempt? I noticed that back then.

Oh, look at me all babbling, sorry.

BD

BigDon
2008-Oct-08, 04:07 PM
Me neither (if I sounded too strong). I was taken away by the tone of the articles. I know there's more too it, but my view is more opinion and questions.

Aww, didn't read the articles nor do I plan too.

geonuc
2008-Oct-08, 04:23 PM
Hey Geo, why do submariners seem to hold airdropped torpedos in contempt? I noticed that back then.

Dunno - maybe because they are air-dropped? That is, not from a submarine. I worked back aft. We didn't care about anybody's torpedoes.

But I will say that the antiquated boomer (SSBN) I was on managed to sink the battle group's carrier during war exercises. This was in the 1970's.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-08, 04:34 PM
We did so much damage they finally had to use the big nerf stuff on us

Well, that makes me feel a bit better. Great story Don, thanks! Did you serve on the Constellation, if I may ask? Apart from that exercise I mean. I've been reading about it since you mentioned it. Great history.


Aww, didn't read the articles nor do I plan too.

Do! They're interesting :)


Dunno - maybe because they are air-dropped?

Could you explain that to a civie? Air-dropped torpedoes are rubbish? Thanks

geonuc
2008-Oct-08, 04:42 PM
Could you explain that to a civie? Air-dropped torpedoes are rubbish? Thanks
No, no. I didn't mean that. I meant that, being submariners, they might think anything not launched from a submarine would be junk. Sort of a parochial attitude. That's not the right word, but you get the idea.

And if it was dropped from an Air Farce plane, well then, it's got to be worthless. ;)

PraedSt
2008-Oct-08, 04:44 PM
And if it was dropped from an Air Farce plane, well then, it's got to be worthless. ;)

Hehe. Thanks

Also, thanks for your SSBN story. Good perspective from the attacking side. Do you think the Chinese strategy has merit?

BigDon
2008-Oct-08, 05:34 PM
When I got on board the Hawk in '68 in San Diego, there were two small Mig silouettes painted on the island. I tracked down a ship's company and asked if the air wing got the Migs on the last cruise. His reply was "The air wing shot down lots of Migs. Those are the two that the ship shot down."

Connie got two as well. Thier kills were painted on thier port side SAM launcher. Tarrier? Talos? Memory is being fickle this morning.

Larry Jacks
2008-Oct-08, 06:02 PM
reminds me of the incident with USS Cole, Larry Jacks considered comments, notwithstanding.

The attack on the USS Cole shows what can happen when a determined enemy exploits a vulnerability. From what I understand, that vulnerability has been closed so it'd be much harder for someone to duplicate that attack.

This is the same process that goes on all of the time. Someone (say Russia or China) thinks they have detected a vulnerability, so they devise weapons and/or tactics to exploit it. At the same time, our intel analysts and others learn what they can about the new weapons/tactics and try to find a way to counter them. For example, if Russia develops a super high speed torpedo, we need to find ways to prevent them from getting close enough to launch it.

You also have "Red Team/Blue Team" type exercises and studies going on where the Red Team plays the part of an adversary and tries to find ways to attack our own forces. This is no different than employing specially trained personnel to try and break into a high security facility. We don't have to way for someone else to come up with something before starting to work on counter-measures.

JohnD
2008-Oct-08, 06:14 PM
Thank you, Big Don, that was fantastic!

I understood every other word, but I really enjoyed such a graphic description. Thoigh I don't suppose you would have enjoyed the real thing.

John

BigDon
2008-Oct-08, 06:26 PM
Could you explain that to a civie? Air-dropped torpedoes are rubbish? Thanks

Oh far from it!

They were just a little smaller than tube launched. and even way back then they included a sound library in the seeker head. A sound library being the recorded and labeled machinery noises of every ship afloat. Doesn't take up that much "disk space".

That way you can drop a seeking torpedo in the middle of a fleet or convoy to get a sub or even a surface raider and not hit your guys. Does that sound like rubbish to you? :) Oh coffee time! More :) !

BigDon
2008-Oct-08, 06:36 PM
Thank you, Big Don, that was fantastic!

I understood every other word, but I really enjoyed such a graphic description. Thoigh I don't suppose you would have enjoyed the real thing.

John

Especially the part where I was nerve gassed. I'm given to understand that can lead to long term health issues.

BigDon
2008-Oct-08, 07:16 PM
And the weird part was the S-3 attack was just one bird trying something one off. The rest of his squadron made conventional attacks, under a strong CAP (fighter cover) in the other direction. They flat out snuck one in. A destroyer killed it with five inch gun fire.

We had actually avoided contact (in the sense of the word meaning they knew our location well enough to co-ordinate counterattacks) for almost 36 hours AFTER we intiated hostilities.

Just being "found" doesn't nessarily mean the jigs up. There are distances to cover. If you find and kill the scout, you could be fifty miles away an hour later. The smaller ships who couldn't keep up were organized into a fake fleet to misdirect. "Hey look! There's one of Connies escorts! She must be this way!"

We also had three attack subs of our own. I was happy knowing they were there. Somewhere. Back in the day I pictured them as underwater Dobermans.

Sure the lone attack sub is a ba-dass, but we had three of them, plus destroyers, plus helos, plus dedicated fixed wing anti-sub assets, all working together. *Our* subs could go "active" without giving themselves away because our helos and S-3's would drop active sonor bouys or use dip sonars while being safely out of the water. Counting the pinging destroyers this makes the approach to torpedo us a serious tactical excercise.

(Though subs further out are going "Hmmm, I wonder who's dropping sono-bouys over there?")

geonuc
2008-Oct-08, 07:23 PM
Do you think the Chinese strategy has merit?
What Chinese strategy? Is that discussed in the websites you linked? I haven't read them yet because I'm at work and am supposed to be keeping the world safe from the evils of nuclear power.

sarongsong
2008-Oct-08, 07:26 PM
:doh:
October 7, 2008
Navy investigators faulted at least two dozen crew members for a $70 million, “entirely preventable” fire aboard the aircraft carrier George Washington...At least 12 cigarette butts were found in the inlet to an exhaust fan that led into the space where the oil was stored improperly...forced the George Washington to undergo two months of expensive repairs in San Diego, delaying the handoff with the Kitty Hawk...
San Diego Union-Tribune (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/military/20081007-9999-1m7carrier.html)

PraedSt
2008-Oct-08, 07:33 PM
I'm at work and am supposed to be keeping the world safe from the evils of nuclear power.

Then I'm very glad you haven't read them yet!

Partly those links, but here are two that deal with Chinese subs specifically. Their strategy (according to pundits) is to have enough subs in the vicinity of the Taiwan Straits, that the US carriers are taken out of the equation. Apparently, their view is that they don't really have to sink a carrier, all they have to do is create the impression that they have a good chance of doing so.

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/China_Ballistic_Missile_Submarine_Force_Growing_99 9.html
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/China_has_secret_nuclear_submarine_base_Janes_999. html


Does that sound like rubbish to you?

No! :)


A sound library being the recorded and labelled machinery noises of every ship afloat

No again! That seems a huge data set. I take it you really do mean every ship?
Not an example of every type/class of ship?

BigDon
2008-Oct-08, 07:38 PM
They make that seventy million sound like a lot of money. I wonder why the wanted the Captain for real. Sorry, one (1) F-14 cost 45 million dollars back in 1980. Look up how many of those were lost from just rolling off the side of the freaking ship.

Didn't hear about any Captain losing there jobs. Sounds like a continuation of the witchhunt that got Adm. Stufflebeem! :mad:

geonuc
2008-Oct-08, 07:49 PM
That seems a huge data set. I take it you really do mean every ship?
Not an example of every type/class of ship?
I believe our super sneaky sonar guys have the signatures of every ship/boat, or at least that's the goal.

pzkpfw
2008-Oct-08, 07:54 PM
What Chinese strategy?

He might mean his post #11, point 2.

geonuc
2008-Oct-08, 08:17 PM
Partly those links, but here are two that deal with Chinese subs specifically. Their strategy (according to pundits) is to have enough subs in the vicinity of the Taiwan Straits, that the US carriers are taken out of the equation. Apparently, their view is that they don't really have to sink a carrier, all they have to do is create the impression that they have a good chance of doing so.
Seems like a decent strategy to me, but I have no good idea of the current anti-submarine capabilities of the US Navy. Certainly, the navy would be reluctant to send in a carrier group if there was significant risk to the carrier.

BigDon
2008-Oct-08, 08:41 PM
Hey Geo, what's the effective clearing radius of a "truely massive" depth charge?

Ara Pacis
2008-Oct-08, 09:52 PM
After reading the articles in the OP, I think the author may just like playing the part of chicken little. He takes a development out of context. Op-For "What ifs" can be a fun game but at some point it has to reference the real world context in terms of tactics. What if a nuclear tipped sizzler missle vs. a carrier all by it's lonesome... might as well be what if enemy SEALs scuba beneath the carrier and use hand-crank awls to drill holes into the hull in order to flood lower compartments. Sure, maybe an enemy will use a nuclear tipped sizzler on a CVN... an hour later or less half they country is radioactive slag. 1 cvn v. half a country... the math does itself.

Romanus
2008-Oct-08, 11:06 PM
^
Ditto.

RE the "strategy": I think it's safe to say that submarines--nuclear or not--have a deterrent value entirely separate from their actual abilities or kills. Word on the street is that the British Navy spent an enormous amount of time and effort sniffing out Argentine subs during the Falklands War (despite complete naval superiority), for obsolete diesel-electric boats.

geonuc
2008-Oct-08, 11:16 PM
Hey Geo, what's the effective clearing radius of a "truely massive" depth charge?
No idea, but if Hollywood movies are any guide, I'd say it's about 5 feet. Anything further away will cause severe consternation among those in the control room and may cause small water lines to pop leaks that are easily fixed by anyone with a crescent wrench. Oh, and light bulbs will burst.

I really know little about submarines other than the propulsion plants. Heck, I never even looked out the periscope.

DogB
2008-Oct-08, 11:38 PM
Someone once told me one of our old Oberons stuck 4xMK48's into the USS Independence during an exercise.

Don't know if it's true but the Oberons were damn good boats.

I know for a fact that HMAS Sheean put the Tarawa down during RIMPAC02 but the Tarawa is only half a carrier really.

Moose
2008-Oct-09, 12:05 AM
Apparently one of the first joint exercises involving the new Canadian frigate fleet had them administratively sink a carrier as well. I don't know many details, but it apparently involved them dashing in under cover of a storm.

To the OP, there's no such thing as "invulnerable".

BigDon
2008-Oct-09, 12:34 AM
No idea, but if Hollywood movies are any guide, I'd say it's about 5 feet. Anything further away will cause severe consternation among those in the control room and may cause small water lines to pop leaks that are easily fixed by anyone with a crescent wrench. Oh, and light bulbs will burst.

I really know little about submarines other than the propulsion plants. Heck, I never even looked out the periscope.

I was thinking of the ones Einstein helped develope...

BigDon
2008-Oct-09, 12:35 AM
Can't blow holes in water you know.

Ara Pacis
2008-Oct-09, 01:38 AM
I'm curious too. I've looked up the Operation Crossroads Baker shot, Operation Hardtack Wahoo shot, and Operation Wigwam; and the Mark 90 Betty or later Mk 101 Lulu. I can't find underwater damage radius information. Although, I did discover a nifty little bubble effect. An underwater explosion bubble expands, contracts and expands again several times, producing multiple shock waves. Cool.

BigDon
2008-Oct-09, 02:01 AM
Wow, that sounds like it qualifies as Very Bad. Thanks Ara.

geonuc
2008-Oct-09, 08:48 AM
I was thinking of the ones Einstein helped develope...
Ah, sorry, I missed that.

Wiki has a photo of a nuclear depth bomb going off. Seems kinda lethal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Asrocnuke1962.jpg

PraedSt
2008-Oct-09, 09:24 AM
What if a nuclear tipped sizzler missle vs. a carrier all by it's lonesome...
I agree. A bit OTT...


Word on the street is that the British Navy spent an enormous amount of time and effort sniffing out Argentine subs during the Falklands War (despite complete naval superiority), for obsolete diesel-electric boats

I suppose that could be one aspect of 'too vulnerable'. When too many resources are spent trying to protect the carrier, to the detriment of the mission.

Large carriers are the bees knees frankly; I'm not surprised countries want to sink them or build them. The Brits are building two super-carriers of their own, the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. Displacement 65kT (by comparison, US Nimitz class, 100kT); aircraft include the F35.

http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/cvf/

This is three times the size of current active UK carriers, so it represents a huge jump for the Brits. I read somewhere that the US encouraged the idea of British large carriers so that they could, at a pinch, slot in to one of their carrier battle groups. I'm not sure how plausible this is.

It does, perhaps, illustrate that the British at least are not too worried about carrier vulnerability.

Romanus
2008-Oct-09, 11:40 AM
I've read that nuclear torpedoes were standard equipment on nuclear submarines--U.S. ones, anyway--for some time, though according to some sources I've read they were never popular among crews for two reasons:

1.) They had to be wire-guided; that is, they had to be destructed by command, with a consequent risk to the sub. I'm guessing this was for the same reason that we don't have wholly-autonomous UCAVs, even though we could if we wanted; there has to be a person to pull the trigger. I have no idea why.

2.) Though destructive radius data is classified, rumor had it that a nuclear torpedo was almost guaranteed to destroy the target and the launching sub.

For more reading on modern subs, I recommend Norman Friedman's "Submarines: Design and Development"; though pushing 25 years old, I found it highly informative.

geonuc
2008-Oct-09, 12:04 PM
Not all subs. The one I was on - the USS Sam Houston, SSBN609 - had no nuclear torpedoes. Nor did any boomer of that era, as far as I know.

Salty
2008-Oct-09, 12:37 PM
I've read all the posts, to this date and time.

It seems everybody has covered all the bases.

Don't knock USAF. They do a good job. I was raised in USAF family.

I can validate one peace-time carrier cruise without escort. My second tour of service was USNR. I volunteered for 46 day cruise aboard the USS CV-14 Ticonderoga, the end of '72. We went out, without escort, from San Diego, three day stop in Honolulu (wheeee!), steamed to South Samoa Sea and recovered the Apollo 17. At no time did we have any visible escort, and I could see twenty miles out, from the Signal Bridge.

As far as Chinese subs in Taiwan Strait. I think our battle group doesn't have to be that close in, to help. Chinese can put all their subs in those Straits. Our battle group, I think, could stand off outside strait and still intercept incoming missles or aircraft.

What do you say, Big Don?

geonuc
2008-Oct-09, 01:33 PM
Don't knock USAF. They do a good job. I was raised in USAF family.
I assume you are responding to my "US Air Farce" post.

Salty, I use emoticons for a reason. Reread the post and you will see it was meant in jest. Please don't read into my posts a tenor that clearly was not intended.

captain swoop
2008-Oct-09, 03:33 PM
A Carrier Battle Group would stay where it had plenty of room and the Hunter Killer Subs and ASW Aircraft to take out the Chinese Boats.

jj_0001
2008-Oct-09, 06:32 PM
Seems like a decent strategy to me, but I have no good idea of the current anti-submarine capabilities of the US Navy. Certainly, the navy would be reluctant to send in a carrier group if there was significant risk to the carrier.

On the other hand, what's the air-drop issue if you know every subsurface contact in an area is a hostile?

Warren Platts
2008-Oct-09, 06:47 PM
Taiwan makes a pretty good aircraft carrier in itself; sort of like how Great Britain was during the last world war.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-09, 06:54 PM
Some 'standard' links:

On Carrier Battle Groups:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/csg.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrier_battle_group

On Carrier Battle Group tactics (including ASW):
http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/U.S.-Carrier-Group-Tactics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Carrier_Group_tactics

Ara Pacis
2008-Oct-09, 07:01 PM
Well, if we're going to run through our favorite crazy OpFor tactics I want to submit my design for high altitude high-speed nuclear powered airships. Build it about half a km long with a dart shaped blended wing body out of carbon composites and carbon fiber and use a pebble bed reactor and helium to power an indirect air cycle jet engine. Mount a big freakin radar and a big freakin laser and some assortes nastiness and let it loiter over the battlefield for days picking off diesel subs when they surface or snorkle for air.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-09, 07:09 PM
Well, if we're going to run through our favorite crazy OpFor tactics I want to submit my design for high altitude high-speed nuclear powered airships. Build it about half a km long with a dart shaped blended wing body out of carbon composites and carbon fiber and use a pebble bed reactor and helium to power an indirect air cycle jet engine. Mount a big freakin radar and a big freakin laser and some assortes nastiness and let it loiter over the battlefield for days picking off diesel subs when they surface or snorkle for air.

:)

Too much weight for an airship!
Pebble-bed reactor, big freaking radar, big freaking laser....you're only allowed one out of three.

sarongsong
2008-Oct-09, 08:49 PM
...if it was dropped from an Air Farce plane, well then, it's got to be worthless. ;)And just which "Air Farce plane[s]" has torpedo-launching capabilities? :rolleyes:

geonuc
2008-Oct-09, 09:41 PM
And just which "Air Farce plane[s]" has torpedo-launching capabilities? :rolleyes:
Beats me. As I said - I know little about torpedoes, especially those that fall from airplanes.

captain swoop
2008-Oct-09, 09:41 PM
And just which "Air Farce plane[s]" has torpedo-launching capabilities? :rolleyes:

RAF Nimrods?

Ara Pacis
2008-Oct-09, 09:42 PM
:)

Too much weight for an airship!
Pebble-bed reactor, big freaking radar, big freaking laser....you're only allowed one out of three.

Maybe... But the LZ 129 Hindenburg's lift capacity was over 110 metric tons (not including the airframe), although the LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin's listed "useful lift" is only 10 metric tons. It's not clear where that other 100 metric tons goes, but I suspect modern advances in materials would reduce that mass a lot. Moreover, a larger craft with more lift from more lifting gas and from aerodynamic lift could carry more.

But I don't want to hijack this thread. Might take this to another for further discussion.

geonuc
2008-Oct-09, 09:48 PM
On the other hand, what's the air-drop issue if you know every subsurface contact in an area is a hostile?
Not sure what you mean by the 'air-drop issue', but I imagine the threat would come from the ultra-quiet diesel boats that simply sit and wait for the carrier to come within range. Very difficult to detect. That's what I took to be the Chinese strategy mentioned earlier. Maybe they have enough boats to be able to guard the strait that way.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-09, 10:25 PM
But I don't want to hijack this thread

Hijack away. Don't mind.

I was actually more sceptical of a 'high-speed' airship, and wondering if composites alone could handle the aerodynamic stresses. :)

PraedSt
2008-Oct-09, 10:32 PM
Also, some information on air-launched torpedoes:


The air-launched torpedo has evolved over the past 65 years. Once the primary ship-killer for all the major naval powers, it has now evolved into a specialized anti-submarine weapon of deadly efficiency

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairw/articles/20040831.aspx

stutefish
2008-Oct-09, 11:10 PM
Seems like it's generally a mistake to talk about a carrier by itself, in this context.

The reality is that you have a Carrier Battle Group, composed of a variety of assets, which work together to provide a complete offensive and defensive capability.

Of course a carrier is "too vulnerable". But what about a Carrier Battle Group?

geonuc
2008-Oct-09, 11:57 PM
Yes, of course. Carriers always operate in battle groups. The battle group assets - tin cans, subs, helos, etc. - are precisely what the Chinese submarines must avoid while waiting for the carrier to approach.

Salty
2008-Oct-10, 08:00 AM
I assume you are responding to my "US Air Farce" post.

Salty, I use emoticons for a reason. Reread the post and you will see it was meant in jest. Please don't read into my posts a tenor that clearly was not intended.

Easy, I figured you were just joking; however I've been testy and fighting a cold. Finally got my broken bifocals replaced and old lens in new frame, for a back-up. I'm not so testy, tonight, now that I can read easily.

Salty
2008-Oct-10, 08:05 AM
Not sure what you mean by the 'air-drop issue', but I imagine the threat would come from the ultra-quiet diesel boats that simply sit and wait for the carrier to come within range. Very difficult to detect. That's what I took to be the Chinese strategy mentioned earlier. Maybe they have enough boats to be able to guard the strait that way.

That's why I suggested battle group would probably stay out of the strait.

Air dropped depth charges or torpedoes would come from USN ASW aircraft, which rennovated carriers carry a whole bunch of, pardon my dangling participle.

Ara Pacis
2008-Oct-10, 08:38 AM
Hijack away. Don't mind.

I was actually more sceptical of a 'high-speed' airship, and wondering if composites alone could handle the aerodynamic stresses. :)

I suppose it depends on how high the speed is. It would probably include other materials, but the Boeing Dreamliner and Space Ship One got away with using a lot of composites. The Aeroscraft hybrid-airship (pseudo-airship? It uses a blended-wing-body design and is actually heavier than air, despite using lighter-than-air components) claims run close to 140 MPH, while ye olde dirigibles max out at 90 MPH. I can foresee a large nuclear powered airship using advanced materials and techniques that could patrol for weeks with a nearly unlimited range and a max altitude well into the stratosphere with a cruising speed of 200MPH or faster. I'm thinking that even more radical designs might go supersonic.

There could be multiple variants based on different combat roles. One could be a long range radar and electronic warfare picket, which is a historic as well as current mission profile. Add on a multi-megawatt laser (ABL) and it could intercept ballistic missile launches and may be able to intercept anti-ship missiles with the laser or possibly with anti-missile missiles well outside the fleet. Make a giant airship and it could become an escort aircraft carrier in its own right. The US navy operated several carrier airships in the past that used hook systems, but with a large enough and light but strong enough airship, it might have a side entrance to a hangar or a small heli/VTOL pad on top (but that configuration would be tempting fate). Airships were successfully used for ASW in WWII and could be again, especially if the targets are chinese diesel subs in the narrow and shallow strait.

If that seems incredible, I'm also looking into designs for a supersonic first stage to orbit and maybe a hypersonic-waverider single stage to orbit, but I haven't run the numbers yet. :-D

PraedSt
2008-Oct-10, 10:04 AM
I suppose it depends on how high the speed is

Yeah, thought you meant supersonic.
Which you're also investigating I see... :)
I'd be very interested in a hypersonic SSTO airship though...keep me posted please!

My next 'but'... But don't forget the thermodynamics! You're talking very high drag, and a laser powerful enough to take out missiles and subs. That's going to generate a lot of heat that you're going to have to dump somewhere, if you want to avoid cooking the insides of your craft.

And once you get out into space, it might be harder still. No drag, but no air to convect heat away either. I read an article somewhere about the difficulties in having laser weaponry in space because of this very reason, but I forget what and where. I'll go search...

PraedSt
2008-Oct-10, 10:14 AM
More on Carriers. Russia and China also want them. Make up your minds please.

China has purchased an old(ish) carrier from Russia.

The Chinese have been refurbishing the Varyag, one of the Kuznetsov class that Russia began building in the 1980s, for several years now. It is expected to be ready for sea trials by the end of the year...

The Russians have warned China that it may take them a decade or more to develop the knowledge and skills needed to efficiently run an aircraft carrier. The Chinese are game, and are slogging forward
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htnavai/articles/20080919.aspx


As for Russia, they've come up with a clever way of keeping their naval bases in the Crimea and getting a carrier fleet:

Russia has an offer that neighboring Ukraine can't refuse, and that won't make Russia look like a bully. Russia wants to built aircraft carriers, but the shipyards best suited for that kind of work are in Ukraine...

Russia would provide contracts to build aircraft carriers in Ukrainian shipyards, as well as cash to get those yards back in business (they are closed for lack thereof). In return, Ukraine would extend the Crimean lease...

The carrier contract solution works out for everyone, except Western nations unhappy with Russia having a carrier fleet. But that's a decade or more in the future, and the Russians have never shown any great capacity for effectively running aircraft carriers
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htnavai/articles/20081001.aspx

Ara Pacis
2008-Oct-10, 12:15 PM
Yeah, thought you meant supersonic.
Which you're also investigating I see... :)
I'd be very interested in a hypersonic SSTO airship though...keep me posted please!

My next 'but'... But don't forget the thermodynamics! You're talking very high drag, and a laser powerful enough to take out missiles and subs. That's going to generate a lot of heat that you're going to have to dump somewhere, if you want to avoid cooking the insides of your craft.

And once you get out into space, it might be harder still. No drag, but no air to convect heat away either. I read an article somewhere about the difficulties in having laser weaponry in space because of this very reason, but I forget what and where. I'll go search...

I was keeping the space stuff separate from the military stuff, but I suppose an Airship-to-Orbit could be used to put a laser in space or suborbital trajectory if that was the payload de jour. If it's a dedicated atmospheric military laser platform, I suspect the laser would be cooled with either cryo coolants or refrigerants with a radiator... basically whatever they planned to use for the ABL that Boeing et al. designed. The Laser would only be useful on soft targets, like sensitive parts of missles. As for subs and other targets, it or another can carry intercept missles and air-dropped torpedoes. In the ASW and Radar Picket role it can operate with or independent of the fleet, which adds another dimension to the tactical situation that the enemy must try to see through.

As for high speed drag, it would probably use cryogenic coolant along the leading edges, but the craft would be designed for aerodynamic efficiency, despite being large, by staying close to the Sears-Haack body shape and operating at high altitude. (Or I could get really radical and try a Busemann's Biplane design.) The leading edges would also be physically and thermally reinforced and perhaps coated with reinforced-carbon-carbon or something along those lines.

The extension to space is unlike the JP Aerospace airship-to-orbit concept, which uses a huge ^ shaped airship and a solar powered ion thruster to try to bob it's way to orbit over a week and a half. This is basically a horizontal air-floating rocket. It uses lifting gas to overcome gravity drag initially then uses aerodynamic principles to overcome some gravity drag with lift while thrusting towards orbital velocity. The hypersonic waverider profile is only useful for a short time (if at all) during ascent, but is more important in re-entry, where the hypersonic aerodynamics can allow it to decelerate more slowly and avoid such high and rapid heating.

I don't know how realistic that is, even with advanced materials. But if it can be partly realized, then it might make a descent first stage to orbit for a lightweight aerospaceplane.

captain swoop
2008-Oct-10, 04:15 PM
Subs aren't just detected by sound, they are tracked by Magnetic Anomaly Detectors aboard ASW assets.

Also don't forget the sensors and weapons systems in a modern Battle Group are all integrated, the Captain of the Carrier can engage a target with any of the systems in the battle group. If a Destroyer is closer to an air target than the carrier then the Destroyer AA systems will engage the target under the control of the Carrier. Sonar and Radar pictures from all the group are integrated aboard the Carrier as well. Aegis Cruisers escorting the carrier are for all intents and purposes just extensions of the carrier.

BigDon
2008-Oct-12, 11:04 PM
Subs aren't just detected by sound, they are tracked by Magnetic Anomaly Detectors aboard ASW assets.

Also don't forget the sensors and weapons systems in a modern Battle Group are all integrated, the Captain of the Carrier can engage a target with any of the systems in the battle group. If a Destroyer is closer to an air target than the carrier then the Destroyer AA systems will engage the target under the control of the Carrier. Sonar and Radar pictures from all the group are integrated aboard the Carrier as well. Aegis Cruisers escorting the carrier are for all intents and purposes just extensions of the carrier.

Shhhh! That's telling!

Jim
2008-Oct-13, 03:03 PM
I had a friend who flew on E-2s during his Navy days. They used MAD, basically a long boom hanging out the tail of the plane.

He recalled that in one exercise. they were searching for a sub that had been vectored by a destroyer. The best way to find the sub was to fly over the destroyer on the vector they had. To improve the effectiveness of the MAD, they flew the E-2 very low.

My friend decided to take a picture of the destroyer as they flew over. He got a great shot of a crewman on the destroyer, who must have been trying to get a shot of the E-2 as it flew over, diving to the deck so he wouldn't get hit.

BigDon
2008-Oct-13, 04:44 PM
I had a friend who flew on E-2s during his Navy days. They used MAD, basically a long boom hanging out the tail of the plane.

He recalled that in one exercise. they were searching for a sub that had been vectored by a destroyer. The best way to find the sub was to fly over the destroyer on the vector they had. To improve the effectiveness of the MAD, they flew the E-2 very low.

My friend decided to take a picture of the destroyer as they flew over. He got a great shot of a crewman on the destroyer, who must have been trying to get a shot of the E-2 as it flew over, diving to the deck so he wouldn't get hit.

<pssst Jim. E-2's don't have mad booms. P-2's P-3's S-2's and S-3's all did>

PraedSt
2008-Oct-13, 05:25 PM
Carriers have been changing the guard this fortnight

USS Abraham Lincoln back home on the West Coast.

After a seven-month tour that included the Persian Gulf, the Lincoln Strike Group has come home. The USS Lincoln, USS Momsen and USS Shoup returned Sunday after supporting military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were greeted by nearly 5,000 family members and friends who descended upon Naval Station Everett
http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20081013/NEWS01/710139895&news01ad=1


USS Theodore Roosevelt is in South Africa.

The Roosevelt is in South African waters for a few days on invitation from the South African Navy. The enormity of the infamous USS Theodore Roosevelt is breathtaking. The super carrier is home to around 5 000 people. Standing on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt, it's easy to see why it's been called the epitome of US military might
http://www.sabcnews.com/south_africa/general/0,2172,177867,00.html


USS Kitty Hawk, almost 50 years old and the only conventionally powered carrier left in the US fleet, is being decommissioned :(
For the last 10 years, she has been the only permanent forward-deployed carrier, based in Yokosuka, Japan. For more on her distinguished service:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Kitty_Hawk_(CV-63)


Her replacement in Japan is the USS George Washington.

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington arrived Thursday in Tokyo Bay. The gargantuan vessel is a veritable floating fortress that can accommodate more than 70 fighter aircraft...The deployment of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to Japan is also aimed at putting pressure on China, which is rapidly building up its naval power for oceanic operations
http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200809270058.html

Jim
2008-Oct-13, 06:52 PM
<pssst Jim. E-2's don't have mad booms. P-2's P-3's S-2's and S-3's all did>

Which is why it's a good thing my friend was flying them and not me. He knew the difference. All I remember is that it started with a letter and ended with a number.

Swift
2008-Oct-13, 07:07 PM
Well, one consequence of this thread is that it got me itching to play Harpoon again. I have an older version that is just too flaky running under XP. So I just ordered a new version. Can't wait.

jj_0001
2008-Oct-13, 08:03 PM
Not sure what you mean by the 'air-drop issue', but I imagine the threat would come from the ultra-quiet diesel boats that simply sit and wait for the carrier to come within range. Very difficult to detect. That's what I took to be the Chinese strategy mentioned earlier. Maybe they have enough boats to be able to guard the strait that way.

What I'm saying is that IF you know everything floating is hostile...

What's to keep from going active, and just going after everything that floats?

jj_0001
2008-Oct-13, 08:04 PM
Well, one consequence of this thread is that it got me itching to play Harpoon again. I have an older version that is just too flaky running under XP. So I just ordered a new version. Can't wait.

I prefer the table/ruler version. Goes faster, and the AI isn't completely insane.

captain swoop
2008-Oct-13, 09:40 PM
Shhhh! That's telling!

Even in my day 80s to early 90s the 'Harrier Carriers' could engage with the Sea Wolf SAMs on anything carrying them.

captain swoop
2008-Oct-13, 09:46 PM
On the Leanders and Tribals I served on we had a triple Depth Charge Mortar, the 'Limbo' it fired 3 huge projectiles ahead of the ship from a mounting right aft, they were designed to 'bracket' a contact and the combined pressure wave would crush anything caught in the middle. Unfortunately a modern Nuclear Boat was too fast to catch so we got various torpedo systems, Chopper launched, Dek tubes and on some of the Leanders the Australian 'Ikara' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikara_(missile)) system, this was Ace, it launched a missile that dropped a torpedo over the target.

geonuc
2008-Oct-13, 10:02 PM
What I'm saying is that IF you know everything floating is hostile...

What's to keep from going active, and just going after everything that floats?
Might work. I really don't know the extent of the threat from Chinese submarines, such as whether they would be able to effectively evade active sonar or magnetic anomaly detectors while in the strait.

Larry Jacks
2008-Oct-13, 10:15 PM
What's to keep from going active, and just going after everything that floats?

Submarines survive by stealth so they generally use passive sonar. Going active gives precise range information but it also gives away your position. In the Infantry, there's an old saying that "tracers work both ways." Sure, they help you see where your bullets are going, they also show where they're coming from. I'm pretty sure the same applies to sonar. Besides, if multiple subs go active at the same time, would the sonar signals interfere with one another?

Surface ships don't have to worry about going active - they're noisy enough that they aren't trying to hide. Chinese subs might be able to hide by laying on the sea bed (how deep are the waters there?) but high resolution active sonars might not have too much trouble finding them.

Moose
2008-Oct-13, 11:53 PM
Never been navy, but wrote equipment emulation software for the navy. Learned a bit about sonar equipment in the process.


Submarines survive by stealth so they generally use passive sonar. Going active gives precise range information but it also gives away your position.

Going active gives precise range information to the emitter/receiver, but gives away line of bearing information to any receiver more than twice its own range (where you'd get a useful return). Depending on the water conditions, it could potentially tip off its presence to receivers well more than twice its own range.

Even just knowing that there definitely _is_ a sub out there is at least half the battle won.


Besides, if multiple subs go active at the same time, would the sonar signals interfere with one another?

Not really.

One could probably make a deliberate attempt to spoof active sonar and make your sub appear closer than it really is, but probably not mess with line-of-bearing data.

A torpedo's fuse doesn't care how far its sonar thinks the target is.


Chinese subs might be able to hide by laying on the sea bed (how deep are the waters there?) but high resolution active sonars might not have too much trouble finding them.

Diesel/Electric subs are notoriously quiet when they're not running their diesel engines.

Larry Jacks
2008-Oct-14, 12:17 AM
Yes, they're very quiet. However, that seems most useful for someone listening with a passive sonar. Being quiet doesn't help you when someone is searching for you with an active sonar. Given the advances in signal processing, I wonder how difficult it is for an active sonar to pick up a sub lying motionless on the sea bed.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-14, 04:49 AM
Chinese subs and ASW

As far as I understand it, the Chinese, instead of building a few expensive submarines, have decided to build many cheap submarines. They are playing a numbers game. So maybe the relevant ASW questions could be these:

1. If 100 cheap Chinese subs were outside torpedo range of the Carrier, how many could the Carrier Group locate, track and avoid before they entered within torpedo range of the Carrier?

2. Call it 80 (a pure guess, insert own number). This means 20 are now within torpedo range of the Carrier. Out of these 20, how many could the Carrier Group locate, track, target and sink before they launched their torpedoes?

3. Call it 15. This means 5 Chinese subs have launched one torpedo each at the Carrier. So the next question is: How many of these 5 torpedoes could the Carrier locate, track, target and destroy before they covered the distance to the ship?

4. Call that 4. This means that one torpedo has hit a USN Aircraft Carrier. GULP. The last question is: How much damage can one torpedo do?

Lets hear your numbers then... :)

BigDon
2008-Oct-14, 06:04 AM
Even on the Connie one torpedo is well within probable survival odds. We were rated to survive 3 anti-ship cruise missile strikes that could blow out 40 frames a hit.

BigDon
2008-Oct-14, 06:06 AM
Damage control on most American warships is phenominal. Ask the Japanese.

Larry Jacks
2008-Oct-14, 12:52 PM
Damage control on most American warships is phenominal. Ask the Japanese.

You don't have to go back that far. All you have to do is ask John McCain and his shipmates on the USS Forrestal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chuiyXQKw3I), or the crew of the USS Enterprise (http://video.yahoo.com/watch/357538/2225760). Or the USS Stark (http://eightiesclub.tripod.com/id344.htm). Or the USS Cole (http://www.cargolaw.com/2000nightmare_cole.html). Or no doubt many other lessor known cases where Navy personnel fought to save their ships. It's said (truthfully) that every Marine is an Infantryman. It's also said that every sailor is a firefighter.

BigDon
2008-Oct-14, 03:52 PM
It's also said that every sailor is a firefighter.

Hell yeah! And the experiance carried over well in my later life. I'm planning a post on a particular instuctor of the Fire Fighting school later on.

BigDon
2008-Oct-14, 03:59 PM
Mainly because you have no where to run!

BigDon
2008-Oct-14, 04:00 PM
Though the old joke was, "The closest solid ground is never more than three miles away...straight down."

geonuc
2008-Oct-14, 04:22 PM
The Taiwan strait is not very big, so I don't see the Chinese having much problem keeping US carriers out. You also have to consider land-based anti-ship missiles.

But, as was mentioned earlier, how close does the carrier group have to get to execute the mission? The mission, I assume, would be to stop a cross-channel invasion.

BigDon
2008-Oct-14, 04:56 PM
With refueling? San Diego.

BigDon
2008-Oct-14, 04:57 PM
Okay, 400 miles is good.

Nick Theodorakis
2008-Oct-14, 05:16 PM
The Taiwan strait is not very big, so I don't see the Chinese having much problem keeping US carriers out. You also have to consider land-based anti-ship missiles.

But, as was mentioned earlier, how close does the carrier group have to get to execute the mission? The mission, I assume, would be to stop a cross-channel invasion.

Wikipedia says the combat radius of an F/A-18 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-18) is 330 miles.

Nick

BigDon
2008-Oct-14, 05:35 PM
On its own fuel sources

Larry Jacks
2008-Oct-14, 06:29 PM
Wikipedia says the combat radius of an F/A-18 is 330 miles.

But that doesn't count aerial refueling, a very common operational practice.

Delvo
2008-Oct-14, 06:58 PM
That's versions C and D; for versions E and F it's 390. But for F-35, it's 690. And I expect that reported number is for version A, whereas the Navy will get version C, which has bigger wings & tail fins, which means bigger gas tanks and thus an even longer range unless the bigger wings & tail mean more drag and thus lower efficiency. And any version of F-35 is better than 4th-generation planes like any version of F-18 in various other ways anyway. So our aircraft carriers will get a sudden large improvement in their security and strike effectiveness in a few years.

Ara Pacis
2008-Oct-14, 11:36 PM
Are there active sonobouys? Active dipping-sonars on helos?

If so, send them in and they don't risk getting knocked out by the sub's torpedoes. The subs might have tube-launched SAMS, I suppose, if they've been invented yet. Then the Orions could do their MAD sweeps and all the aircraft could drop their torpedoes on any contacts they find. In addition to this, ship-based rocket-launched torpedoes could be fired at max range, but I'm not sure what that is.

Of course, air assets could be countered with enemy air assets, so this sets up an air war. It'll be a three dimensional battle. Meanwhile, those new ships with the rail gun can take pot shots at the chinese assault fleet from the other side of Taiwan.

Maybe by then we'll also have some high-speed torpedo jet-boats that will out-race normal torps. I'm not sure if they'll outrun supercavitating rocket torps, but with more maneuverability, little metal for a magnetic fuze and a few inches of draft for a contact fuse, it might be hard to hit.

This is the kinda scenario where I wish we had looked into hydrofoils more. I think flarecraft (ground effect craft) would have been perfect for ASW: small and fast and fuel efficient and can loiter, as a boat, in sonic stealth (as well as radar and visual stealth), and then launch a torpedo without door, steam or splash transients.

DogB
2008-Oct-14, 11:47 PM
Wikipedia says the combat radius of an F/A-18 is 330 miles.

But that doesn't count aerial refueling, a very common operational practice.

And remember the Harpoons will fly at least the last hundred miles or so themselves. Makes BigDon's 400 mile figure look about right.

Moose
2008-Oct-14, 11:53 PM
China doesn't have the shipping needed to move troops and equipment. Until they do, their subs aren't a serious threat to Taiwan.

DogB
2008-Oct-15, 01:32 AM
China doesn't have the shipping needed to move troops and equipment. Until they do, their subs aren't a serious threat to Taiwan.

That's a fairly optomistic statment.


Classes of ships

Amphibious Transport Dock (LPD)
1 Type 071 Yuzhao class

Landing Ship Tank (LST)
7 Type 072 Yukan class
9 Type 072II Yuting I class
9 Type 072III Yuting II class (+ more building)

Landing Ship Medium (LSM)
~31 Type 079 Yuliang class
13 Type 074 Yuhai (Wuhu-A) class
3 Type 073 I/II/III class
11 Type 073 IV Yunshu class

Landing Craft (Mechanized/Personnel/Utility/Vehicle)
100 Type 271 Yupen class
200~300 Type 067 Yunnan class
30+ Type 068/069 Yuch'in class
10+ NEW Yubei class twin hull high capacity LCU

Troop Transports
4 Qiongsha class

Hospital Ships
2 Qiongsha class

Additional Sea Lift
Large numbers of reserved and retired landing ships and craft. In wartime, can utilize civilian transport ships of various types. Several small air cushion LCVPs that serve from LSTs. Air Force and Army services operate their own amphibious assets. Naval and Army helicopters operating from ships or land bases.

Future Assets
Type 71 Amphibious Transport Dock (LPD) has launched in December with NATO name "Yuzhao". New class of air cushion vehicle transport (operating from LSD)
Acquisition of large indigenous or Russian built air cushion transports.

(from wikipedia)

Moose
2008-Oct-15, 01:46 AM
... not enough landing craft to make a successful beachhead, and keep it, on a relatively small island nation of 22 million people who have been preparing for such an event for well over a decade, with significant US assistance and advice.

It's not to say it's impossible, but it's chancy. I never got the impression the Chinese government does a whole lot of gambling.

DogB
2008-Oct-15, 02:31 AM
... not enough landing craft to make a successful beachhead, and keep it, on a relatively small island nation of 22 million people who have been preparing for such an event for well over a decade, with significant US assistance and advice.

It's not to say it's impossible, but it's chancy. I never got the impression the Chinese government does a whole lot of gambling.


It's an interesting tactical problem. China would need near total air superiority – which is difficult but not impossible. The Taiwanese air force is working under the dual problems of working from a small number of big obvious airfields that are all within easy reach of their vastly better armed opponent. China can (and would) pretty much plaster the airfields with large numbers of conventionally armed ballistic missiles. It probably wouldn’t knock them out permanently but by the time they were open for business again the Chinese fighter bombers would be overhead.

China would probably have to undertake an abbreviated ‘Instant Thunder’ type air campaign while they fill the straights with surface and subsurface warfare craft. Then a single massive strike to gain a bridgehead. Pour the troops in ASAP while keeping airtight overhead coverage and plastering anything that moves. As soon as they have a decent SAM coverage the fighters go back to hitting the Taiwanese military everywhere else. At that point nothing short of a nuke is going to move them.

Not even a US carrier battle group.


Make no mistake, they could do it. They have the will and the resources. But they’re smart, they’re playing the long game – they always do.

BigDon
2008-Oct-15, 02:53 AM
I have never underestimated the Soviets or the mainland Chinese.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-15, 04:29 AM
The Taiwanese air force is working under the dual problems of working from a small number of big obvious airfields that are all within easy reach of their vastly better armed opponent

They need Spitfires obviously :)

Taiwan has lots of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-16
The US Carriers have these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F/A-18E/F_Super_Hornet
Also, both have better-trained pilots.
And of course anti-aircraft missiles, radar, electronic warfare...but I don't know much about them yet...

PraedSt
2008-Oct-15, 04:32 AM
Or the USS Stark. Or the USS Cole

Now I know you're trying to reassure me Larry (thank you), but... :)

DogB
2008-Oct-15, 05:59 AM
They need Spitfires obviously :)

Taiwan has lots of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-16
The US Carriers have these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F/A-18E/F_Super_Hornet
Also, both have better-trained pilots.
And of course anti-aircraft missiles, radar, electronic warfare...but I don't know much about them yet...


And China has these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenyang_J-11
And some of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhoi_Su-27
And some of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhoi_Su-30
And some of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chengdu_J-10
And 300 of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenyang_J-8
And more than 500 of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chengdu_J-7

Your point was? :)

DogB
2008-Oct-15, 06:00 AM
Oh and BTW, assuming better training, better electronics etc is good way to get beat. You might be right but you better plan on being wrong.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-15, 06:12 AM
Your point was? :)

I was agreeing with your premise! Air superiority will be the key to that battle.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-15, 06:57 AM
I was going through some of BigDon's posts, when I came across this:

Things like a Gulf War style attack on California's infrastructure, using EA-6B's to stop all electric current flow in the state of California, (only takes three, we had twelve)

3 Prowler's can take out California's entire grid? Only 3?! Wow..
I think I want one of these planes...

Just so everyone else can compare: :)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EA-6
http://www.energy.ca.gov/maps/transmission_lines.html

Also:

We also had three attack subs of our own. I was happy knowing they were there. Somewhere. Back in the day I pictured them as underwater Dobermans

From what I can gather, the Carrier Group's submarines (and destroyers) are the ones who would be expected to do most of the sub-killing?

The most common US submarine, Los Angeles class, 40+ in service.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles_class_submarine

The only active US destroyers, Arleigh Burke class, 35+ in service.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arleigh_Burke_class_destroyer

More US submarines would be very nice. If I interpret BigDon's comment correctly (?) they seem to be good for morale. But the LA class is getting old, and we're not building replacements fast enough (the Virginia class, only 5 in service).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_class_submarine

Or you could build a ton of destroyers I suppose. They're cheaper (submarine ~ $2bn, destroyer ~ $1bn). But I'm sure there are lots of other trade-offs that I don't know about...

jj_0001
2008-Oct-15, 07:06 AM
To be clear, when I say 'active' I mean seeker heads and sonobuoys. Why send a ship or a boat into that mess?

Ok, I can see this conversation:

Captain, we've just been pinged by 3 sonobuoys, (and proceeds to give exact location of each of the 3).

Somehow, I doubt very, very much that the captain will issue a satisfied "weapons free" on the sonobouys...

I think it's more like "did you hear any splashes right over our heads, sonar?"

Or "what is that loud whirring noise coming at our stern"?

Perhaps hiding on the bottom would work, until they had to actually do something.

And even ASROC's might make life uncomfortable. Can they be shore launched on targeting from sonobuoys?

PraedSt
2008-Oct-15, 07:49 AM
To be clear, when I say 'active' I mean seeker heads and sonobuoys. Why send a ship or a boat into that mess?...And even ASROC's might make life uncomfortable. Can they be shore launched on targeting from sonobuoys?

I've been reading about those:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASROC

Pros and cons, as usual.
I think that if they can't be used with the 'nuclear option' then they'd mainly be used to, as you said, 'make life uncomfortable'. But that might be good enough.

Shore launched. Theoretically I can't see why not, but I don't know if any have been installed on shore. And I don't think Taiwan has them. Also their range is 'only' 10km:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/ASROC-Ikara-LAMPS-MPA.GIF

But I think you've hit the problem on the head with your question!

Why send a ship or a boat into that mess?
If you're one of a hundred Chinese subs, I'm not so sure that you have to threaten the US carrier at all. You just have to show up I think.

captain swoop
2008-Oct-15, 08:52 AM
Most of the areas of expected action are already covered by seabed sonar. I know that any Russian Sub coming round between Greenland and Norway is tracked and getting out of the Black Sea would be 'difficult' to say the least.

Ara Pacis
2008-Oct-15, 09:16 AM
It's an interesting tactical problem. China would need near total air superiority – which is difficult but not impossible. The Taiwanese air force is working under the dual problems of working from a small number of big obvious airfields that are all within easy reach of their vastly better armed opponent. China can (and would) pretty much plaster the airfields with large numbers of conventionally armed ballistic missiles. It probably wouldn’t knock them out permanently but by the time they were open for business again the Chinese fighter bombers would be overhead.

China would probably have to undertake an abbreviated ‘Instant Thunder’ type air campaign while they fill the straights with surface and subsurface warfare craft. Then a single massive strike to gain a bridgehead. Pour the troops in ASAP while keeping airtight overhead coverage and plastering anything that moves. As soon as they have a decent SAM coverage the fighters go back to hitting the Taiwanese military everywhere else. At that point nothing short of a nuke is going to move them.

Not even a US carrier battle group.


Make no mistake, they could do it. They have the will and the resources. But they’re smart, they’re playing the long game – they always do.

Assembling all that hardware in preparation for an assault crossing is likely to get noticed before D-Day. Also, the Strait isn't that big. A carrier task force wouldn't have to actually enter it.

Salty
2008-Oct-15, 10:53 AM
That's a fairly optomistic statment.



(from wikipedia)

I get a total of 434 different craft, including the troop transports, not counting un-numbered craft also referred to.

Gentlebeings, that's not enough to invade Taiwan successfully. Imho, in those close quarters, Chinese can expect 50% losses, and the remainder are not enough to neither conquer nor garrison Taiwan.

Larry Jacks
2008-Oct-15, 12:40 PM
Now I know you're trying to reassure me Larry (thank you), but..

Please note that in all 4 of those instances I cited, there was loss of life but the crews saved their ship. IIRC, it was after the Forrestal and Enterprise fires that the Navy stepped up firefighting training for all sailors. From what I've seen and read, at the time of the Forrestal fire, most of the trained firefighters worked on the flight deck. A high percentage of them were killed when the bombs started cooking off (old WWII surplus bombs at that). Over 100 sailors died but the remainder of the crew - with assistance from at least one destroyer - managed to save the ship. There were many very heroic acts that day - the stuff of legends except they're true (http://www.curledup.com/sailorst.htm).

On that morning, the Forrestal was launching air strikes against targets in North Viet Nam. As planes were being staged for launch, a Zuni rocket from one of the planes misfired and struck another plane, rupturing the fuel tank and starting a fire on the aft portion of the flight deck. Incidental to the event, the struck plane was that of John McCain, who was strapped in the pilot's seat waiting to take off. The burning liquid spread quickly and started cooking off ordinance stored on deck. The entire crew of firefighting specialists was lost to exploding ordinance, leaving those less trained in firefighting to react. To save the ship, the planes and ordinance had to be jettisoned, most of it manually - all the while the crew passing through raging fires and explosions. The fire burned through the flight deck and spread to other portions of the ship. As the burning liquid spread, hazardous gases filled many compartments of the ship.

One of the most poignant incidents inspired the quote at the beginning of this review. All modern warships have emergency manual steering in the aft portion of the ship below deck. They are always manned in case control from the bridge is lost. The Forrestal had two rudders, aport and astarboard , with two corresponding emergency steering compartments. The exploding ordinance blasted through the decks and severely injured and trapped three men in the port emergency steering compartment. They knew they were dying, and the chief engineering officer, Commander Merv Rowland, knew they were dying. Commander Rowland also knew that if they lost steering, the imperiled ship’s position was even more untenable. He ordered the dying men to manually transfer the port emergency steering to the starboard emergency steering. This was their last act.

BigDon
2008-Oct-15, 12:49 PM
They knew they were dying because burning fuel was pouring down through the breach.

captain swoop
2008-Oct-15, 01:15 PM
Between decks is a terrible place to be when there is a fire.
When you join the RN you have to do the Firefighting School at HMS Raleigh. Big mock ups of ships compartments and passageways, they set them on fire and send you in to put them out.


Carriers are difficult things to sink. Look at the Carriers lost in WW2, see how many were lost directly due to the explosions of torpedos or bombs. Even HMS Ark Royal wasn't lost directly to Torpedo, the Board found the Captain negligent in his damage control and abandoning the ship too early.

Warren Platts
2008-Oct-15, 04:10 PM
Boilers always give me the creeps. . . .

captain swoop
2008-Oct-15, 06:25 PM
boilers? why? All my ships were steam, well, the Tribals were steam and gas turbine (COSAG COmbined Steam and Gas) They were the first major warships with Gas Turbines, the steam was for cruising. In my spare time I work on Steam Locomotives on the NYMR (http://www.nymr.co.uk/). My dad served his time as an Apprentice on steam locomotives at a Steelworks in the 50s before joining the Merchant Navy. Boilers are in the blood. Lol

PraedSt
2008-Oct-15, 07:12 PM
Most of the areas of expected action are already covered by seabed sonar. I know that any Russian Sub coming round between Greenland and Norway is tracked and getting out of the Black Sea would be 'difficult' to say the least.

You're ex-RN captain swoop? You might find this interesting. It's a (proper) article about US attack subs picking up Soviet ballistic subs in the Norwegian Sea, and then trailing all the way down the North Atlantic.
http://www.navy.mil/navydata/cno/n87/usw/issue_27/asw.html


Please note that in all 4 of those instances I cited, there was loss of life but the crews saved their ship...There were many very heroic acts that day - the stuff of legends except they're true (http://www.curledup.com/sailorst.htm).

Thanks for that link Larry. Perhaps I should have been more clear: the ability of US crew never concerned me.
I was just worried because a small number of missiles seem to be capable of doing considerable damage to modern warships. The Stark got hit by two (one of which didn't explode), and the Cole got hit by one (a boat). Yet both were off the field for months if I recall.
Now I know missiles have been getting more powerful, but do we put less armour on our ships these days? Anyone know? I've tried searching for this of course, but no joy so far...

captain swoop
2008-Oct-15, 07:58 PM
Cole is a Destroyer, Stark is a Frigate, they have a displacement of only a few thousand tons. Ships smaller than cruisers don't and never have carried armour they just aren't big enough. Before you put armour on you need a big jump in size. Even light cruisers only carry a token weight of armour, not enough to stop a torpedo. Look at the WW2 RN cruiser sinkings, see how many were to torpedo fire, they ahd armour.

Stark did well to survive Exocet hits. Look at the fate of British Destroyers and Frigates in the Falklands

HMS SHEFFIELD - mortally damaged south east of Falklands by Exocet missile fired by Super Etendard. Burnt out and sank in tow.

ATLANTIC CONVEYOR - mortally damaged north east of Falklands by Exocet missile fired by Super Etendard. Burnt out and later sank in tow.
(not a warship but a container ship carrying Stores including RAF Harriers which were operating off the deck.

HMS Glamorgan - damaged off Stanley by land-based Exocet missile.

But, look at what bombs did

RFA SIR GALAHAD - mortally damaged off Fitzroy by bombs and burnt out. Later in June towed out to sea and sunk as a war grave.

RFA Sir Tristram - badly damaged off Fitzroy in same attack and abandoned, but later returned to UK and repaired.

HMS COVENTRY - sunk north of Pebble by three bombs.

HMS ANTELOPE - damaged in San Carlos Water by two unexploded bombs. One of the bombs exploded that evening while being defused and she caught fire and sank next day.

HMS ARDENT - badly damaged in Grantham Sound by unexploded bombs (5+) then mortally damaged by bombs off North West Island. Sank the following evening.

HMS Glasgow - moderately damaged off Stanley by unexploded bomb. Bomb passed through hull but damage took some days to repair and she shortly returned to UK.

HMS Antrim - seriously damaged in Falkland Sound outside San Carlos Water by unexploded bomb UXB removed but damage took some days to repair.

HMS Argonaut seriously damaged by two unexploded bombs Removing the UXB's and carrying out repairs took a number of days and although declared operational, she soon sailed for the UK.

RFA Sir Galahad - damaged by unexploded bomb and out of action for some days,

RFA Sir Lancelot - damaged by unexploded bomb and not fully operational for almost three weeks,

HMS Broadsword - damaged north of Pebble Island by bomb bouncing up through her stern and out again to land in the sea.

HMS Plymouth - damaged in Falkland Sound off San Carlos Water by four unexploded bombs.

Because the Frigates and Destroyers were more or less sitting targets inshore where they were protecting the landing beaches Bombs were a bigger threat than Missilies.

Even unexploded bombs did a heck of a lot of damage as they smashed through the relatively small ships. If they had been armoured ships the bombs would have exploded on impact and the damage would have been a lot more.

Those ships that were hit by missiles were out in deep water protecting the carriers, they put themselves 'in the line of fire' taking the hits instead of the carriers.

It was fire that put an end to them, they weren't sunk outright by the missile warheads. More damage was done by the rocket motors spreading fire through the damage track. As they were quite small ships

PraedSt
2008-Oct-15, 08:40 PM
Hey thanks Swoop! Great answer, learnt loads there... Especially what you said about bombs...

But this just does my head in even more! If a couple of bombs, or one missile can cause so much damage, why the heck aren't they armoured? Weight? Speed? How about lightweight armour? Cheap armour? We're talking about several hundred crew and several hundred millions here!

Tanks: a handful of crew and cheap compared to ships. Yet let's see what we've had so far...steel plates, sloping plates, composite plates, exploding plates...the list goes on!

And for destroyers and frigates, nothing?!

I'm perplexed... :confused:

mugaliens
2008-Oct-15, 09:00 PM
Carriers almost never go wandering around by themselves even in peacetime.

Even less so during wartime.

Larry Jacks
2008-Oct-15, 09:43 PM
But this just does my head in even more! If a couple of bombs, or one missile can cause so much damage, why the heck aren't they armoured? Weight? Speed? How about lightweight armour? Cheap armour? We're talking about several hundred crew and several hundred millions here!

Smaller ships simply don't displace enough water to carry a lot of armor. The best bet is to avoid being hit in the first place. That's why they have long range SAMs (surface to air missiles), shorter range SAMs, and the Close In Weapon System (CWIS) radar aimed 20mm Gatlin gun as well as anti-submarine capabilities. US ships use data links to share information as well as having an AWACs-like capability from the E-2 Hawkeye aircraft if they're operating in the neighborhood of a carrier. By "in the neighborhood", I'm talking about anywhere from close in to over 100 miles away.

Warren Platts
2008-Oct-15, 11:35 PM
The lesson seems to me that if the Brits had had a true American-style carrier battle group, maybe they could have established total air superiority. I knew about the Sheffield and the Coventry, but I must have forgotten all the other British ships that were hit during the Falklands war. Sounds like it was freaking kamikaze mayhem out there.

Warren Platts
2008-Oct-15, 11:54 PM
boilers? why? All my ships were steam, well, the Tribals were steam and gas turbine (COSAG COmbined Steam and Gas) They were the first major warships with Gas Turbines, the steam was for cruising. In my spare time I work on Steam Locomotives on the NYMR (http://www.nymr.co.uk/). My dad served his time as an Apprentice on steam locomotives at a Steelworks in the 50s before joining the Merchant Navy. Boilers are in the blood. Lol
As for blood, my grandfather worked his whole life on the biggest steam railroad locomotives that humans ever produced in Green River, Wyoming. My dad used to scrub out the inside of the boilers as a summer job. Needless to say, he joined the Army when it was his turn. Me, I like sunshine, fresh air, and a horizon. When I was on the USS Acadia, I heard the awful stories about the boiler explosion on the USS Iwo Jima. (Arab repair workers had replaced certain steel nuts with brass nuts thus resulting in an "accident".) Ten guys steamed to death instantly. Well, almost instantly. . . . Our repair guys reported hair and skin stuck to the bulkheads. I tried out for the Enlisted Surface Warfare pin, or whatever it was called. It was sort of like a Boy Scouts achievement pin--you had to complete all these activities. Basically, you had to learn just about every job on the ship. So I stood a couple of watches with the boiler techs down there deep within the iron bowels of the ship. There it was: the boiler. It's hot. Really 100oF+ hot down there. And it's 20 feet tall! You can literally, well at least figuratively, feel the pent-up pressure. Well, at least you can literally sense it. You think in your own mind about how many seconds it would take for you to sprint up the ladder and get out of the compartment if the steam ever hit the fan. You talk about your fears to the pale-faced boiler techs who live there. And you realize you wouldn't have a chance. No, I don't like boilers. . . . :neutral:

pzkpfw
2008-Oct-15, 11:58 PM
The Argentinians were also losing Super Etendards and Skyhawks. (And using up Exocets.)

Ships may cost more than planes, but who would have run out of which, first?

BigDon
2008-Oct-16, 12:35 AM
Between decks is a terrible place to be when there is a fire..

Because you are in a steel ship the heat transmits quickly through the walls and bulkheads and then ignites flamables via induction in spaces well away from the initial flames.

(Okay, I'm just going take a breath here a second. Before I type.)

One time we had a catasphophic steam release in an engineering space and the resulting fires. 900F degree steam at 1200 psi, relative to humans, is as unforgiving as any Star Trek anti-matter. Explosively expands and displace all the air in the space this happens in. But this was one of the main engineering spaces. So people low in the space had a small chance

The main Damage Control teams needed help containing the radiant fires and people to cool decks and bulkheads.

We were done up in OBA's (Oxygen Breathing Apparatus) They cover your face and blow cool oxygen on it, but this was still some butt clenching stuff as we had to go where the disaster was happening and people were dying here. We advanced with a hose behind a Damage Control leader we were following and the light was bad because of all the smoke. Power was out and even the battle lanterns that come on when power fails were barely visible.

So we get to where we can't advance anymore and start spraying when we see a floor hatch start to spin as someone below undogs it and when it popped open the temp in the space WE were in which was already way too hot must have risen 80 degrees and a black Engineer who somehow carried two unconsious men over his shoulders and climbed an escape trunk while wearing an OBA pops up and gives us the two casualties (who survived).

Now the Damage Control leader plugs back into the com system after we arrived at what we thought was a good position and Damage Control Central freaks out when the DC leader tells them what frame number and deck we're at as it seems we had made a "large advance" all by our lonesomes and were knee deep in the hoopala. They had already pulled the other teams back for bit of a re-group.

DC Central's advice? "Drop the hose and get out of there NOW!" So while we would have advanced if ordered, we were more than happy to get the Hell out of there. But now the Engineer won't come with us! "More of my men are down there!" And he pointed back to the hatch he just came out of and the damn thing looked like a chimney. When he turned to go back down we saw the back of his shirt had been burned off and you could see bone from his ribs and vertibra had been exposed. And yet he was somehow still functional because his shipmates were in danger.

We should have tried harder to stop him. They found him with his men. But we were already moving with a purpose when I noticed his injuries and we were trying hard to move unconsious and burned people without stretchers. We didn't even have time to check them for breathing! We had to get going.

So the guys stop short up front, (The new front, I was in back carrying a leg of one of the unconsisous Engineers) and one of them yells, weird as this sounds, with a short of laugh, "Beautiful!, <bleeping> Beautiful!"

As we were falling back visiblity had improved, but the smoke would thicken if you paused for more than a few seconds. This didn't seem much of a problem as I had no intention of pausing for more than a few seconds. But then I saw what was so "<bleeping> beautiful".

The deck between two set of frames had filled with water up to the knee knockers.

The freaking water was boiling.

Damage Control Leader said, "We don't have a choice guys!" It's amazing what you can do when you don't have a choice. Like run the distance between two frames through about nine inchs of boiling water. Carrying wounded.

They relieved us as there were a lot of volunteers to replace us, and we went back up to our shop. I remember looking at one of my fellow AT's and saying, "Do you're feet feel funny?" (Well funnier than you would expect.)

And he went "Yeah", so we both sit down to see what kind of damage had been done and saw the absolute damnedest thing. Both of us were missing the soles of our shoes. They must have fallen off somewhere during or after the boiling water bit. We just were wearing the uppers of our flightdeck boots and were so stunned and adrenaline frazzled we never noticed until we got back to the shop.

DogB
2008-Oct-16, 12:52 AM
Assembling all that hardware in preparation for an assault crossing is likely to get noticed before D-Day. Also, the Strait isn't that big. A carrier task force wouldn't have to actually enter it.

I agree it would be a contest - who can build up forces the quickest.

As for the carrier group - I think any commander would want to keep a fair bit of sea room. China's main anti-carrier capability is their diesel subs. They work best in tight quarters - in the open ocean they lose a lot of their effectiveness. I imagine that the best idea would be to keep Taiwan between the carrier and the mainland. That means any air raid would need to travel across the island. That would provide good early warning and possibly some attrition via SAM's.

DogB
2008-Oct-16, 01:21 AM
I get a total of 434 different craft, including the troop transports, not counting un-numbered craft also referred to.

Gentlebeings, that's not enough to invade Taiwan successfully. Imho, in those close quarters, Chinese can expect 50% losses, and the remainder are not enough to neither conquer nor garrison Taiwan.

Perhaps.

Remember the western side of Taiwan is basically one big port. Once you have an intact port area you don't need assault vessels, anything that floats can bring troops and supplies.

Larry Jacks
2008-Oct-16, 12:40 PM
a black Engineer who somehow carried two unconsious men over his shoulders and climbed an escape trunk while wearing an OBA pops up and gives us the two casualties (who survived).

...

But now the Engineer won't come with us! "More of my men are down there!" And he pointed back to the hatch he just came out of and the damn thing looked like a chimney. When he turned to go back down we saw the back of his shirt had been burned off and you could see bone from his ribs and vertibra had been exposed. And yet he was somehow still functional because his shipmates were in danger.

We should have tried harder to stop him. They found him with his men.

Praise unto him. There are times when we just have to ask, "Where do we find such men?"

PraedSt
2008-Oct-16, 01:11 PM
Praise unto him. There are times when we just have to ask, "Where do we find such men?"

Hear, hear.
But BigDon's post just makes me madder about the whole armour business. :mad:

PraedSt
2008-Oct-16, 01:31 PM
The Indo-US buddy act continues. From The Statesman (an Indian newspaper):


The 12th of the series of the annual Indo-US naval exercise Malabar gets underway later this month on the Arabian Sea with 15 ships from the two countries participating in it as part of the India-USA Framework for Maritime Security Cooperation signed in 2006.

The exercise assumes significance as it comes soon after the two countries signed the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal. The thrust of the exercise this year would be Surface to Air Operations, Advanced Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Surface Firings, VBSS (Visit Board Search and Seizure) and Submarine Operations.

In the upcoming exercise, the US Navy will be represented by the Ronald Reagan Strike Group (RRSG) of the 7th Fleet which is based at Yokosuka, Japan. The RRSG will include USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, USS Chancellorsville, USS Gridley, USS Decatur, USS Thach and USS Bridge, an underway replenishment tanker. In addition, one submarine, USS Springfield and one P3C Orion aircraft will also participate in the exercise

BigDon
2008-Oct-16, 03:22 PM
Hear, hear.
But BigDon's post just makes me madder about the whole armour business. :mad:

What armor business? Did I miss something?

This was a steam driven high pressure oil pump that gave up the ghost all at once in #4 main machinery space. That's putting on the best body armor in the world, then having a heart attack.

and that freaking pump wasn't done killing people then either. :mad: When they finally go to put this thing on a transport ship back home for failure analysis some months later they have to haul it up eight decks which usually not at sea and the chain parted when they had it at the top it fell eight decks and hit a 12 inch high pressure fuel line! Had a geyser of fuel shooting up eight decks! With the main cut-off valve three feet from the break.

That fire was much worse. But I wasn't part of that one. I was needed on the flightdeck.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-16, 04:31 PM
What armor business? Did I miss something?

Yeah, I was griping earlier about how much effort has gone into researching and producing light-weight armour for tanks, but nothing for small warships. Post 122 onwards...


I tried out for the Enlisted Surface Warfare pin...

Hope you got it Warren

Swift
2008-Oct-16, 04:37 PM
Yeah, I was griping earlier about how much effort has gone into researching and producing light-weight armour for tanks, but nothing for small warships. Post 122 onwards...
I know nothing about ship construction. But I'm guessing a big difference is tanks don't have to float. Thus the comments about the difficulty armouring small (frigate-sized) ships. The other part of that is that I think most of the small ships are designed for speed. So having a well-armored frigate, but now it only has half the speed, might make it a bigger target.

The truely light-weight armor (the high tech stuff) has only come around in the last few years - I suspect most of these ships are much older than that.

Salty
2008-Oct-16, 06:05 PM
As for blood, my grandfather worked his whole life on the biggest steam railroad locomotives that humans ever produced in Green River, Wyoming. My dad used to scrub out the inside of the boilers as a summer job. Needless to say, he joined the Army when it was his turn. Me, I like sunshine, fresh air, and a horizon. When I was on the USS Acadia, I heard the awful stories about the boiler explosion on the USS Iwo Jima. (Arab repair workers had replaced certain steel nuts with brass nuts thus resulting in an "accident".) Ten guys steamed to death instantly. Well, almost instantly. . . . Our repair guys reported hair and skin stuck to the bulkheads. I tried out for the Enlisted Surface Warfare pin, or whatever it was called. It was sort of like a Boy Scouts achievement pin--you had to complete all these activities. Basically, you had to learn just about every job on the ship. So I stood a couple of watches with the boiler techs down there deep within the iron bowels of the ship. There it was: the boiler. It's hot. Really 100oF+ hot down there. And it's 20 feet tall! You can literally, well at least figuratively, feel the pent-up pressure. Well, at least you can literally sense it. You think in your own mind about how many seconds it would take for you to sprint up the ladder and get out of the compartment if the steam ever hit the fan. You talk about your fears to the pale-faced boiler techs who live there. And you realize you wouldn't have a chance. No, I don't like boilers. . . . :neutral:

Did anybody warn you about steam leaks? I worked in a refinery boiler house, for almost a year, back in '69. The operator training me, warned me about steam leaks. It's a jet of not visible steam, and if you walk into it, it will cut you like a laser beam. The trick, is to scan for vapor, at the end of the jet, several feet away from the steam line. ie, situational awareness.
BTW, these were low pressure 150lb steam boilers. Not high pressure.

Salty
2008-Oct-16, 06:25 PM
Perhaps.

Remember the western side of Taiwan is basically one big port. Once you have an intact port area you don't need assault vessels, anything that floats can bring troops and supplies.

Maybe so. Nevertheless, I would not want to ever be a mainland Chinaman involved in an invasion of Taiwan.

There's always the consideration, while each side builds up, of B-52's strategically placed, to bomb the shipping in the straits. This in addition to US of A battle group(s) and Taiwan's own defenses.

No, I would not want to land on an island with 22 million freedom loving people prepared to fight for their liberties and rights.

Another consideration, in the event of a really massive mainland China invasion force headed to Taiwan, is the nuclear response. PRC vunerable, because it may not want to nuke Taiwan, in response to tactical nukes decimating its massive invasion force.

BigDon
2008-Oct-16, 06:44 PM
Yeah, I was griping earlier about how much effort has gone into researching and producing light-weight armour for tanks, but nothing for small warships. Post 122 onwards...



Hope you got it Warren

Praed, you don't realize the power of the weapons ships have to defend against.

Not your fault sir. But armor is not the answer.

Most anti-ship cruise missile have shaped charge self forging warheads ranging from 1000 to 3000 pounds and that's just the weight of explosive. you are not going to armor a battleship against that much less a frigate.

Think about it, just a 100 pound self forging warhead will burn through approximately two feet of steel! And that doesn't scale up linearly.

Torpedos? Torpedos have to be able to penetrate 2 feet of solid titanium! Your average Russian sub hull.

No, you want to spend your research money on how not to get hit.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-16, 07:23 PM
No, you want to spend your research money on how not to get hit

Ok, fair enough. More powerful weapons. I'm still going grumble for a few more days though... :)

Swift
2008-Oct-16, 07:53 PM
Ok, fair enough. More powerful weapons. I'm still going grumble for a few more days though... :)
I certainly wouldn't want to ruin your grumbling fun.

But I think the history of warfare shows that generally offensive capabilities increase much faster than defensive capabilities. Destroying things is almost always easier than preventing destruction.

Larry Jacks
2008-Oct-16, 08:05 PM
Also, it's better to give than to receive - especially when you're talking about explosives.

captain swoop
2008-Oct-16, 10:32 PM
a black Engineer who somehow carried two unconsious men over his shoulders and climbed an escape trunk while wearing an OBA pops up and gives us the two casualties (who survived).

...

But now the Engineer won't come with us! "More of my men are down there!" And he pointed back to the hatch he just came out of and the damn thing looked like a chimney. When he turned to go back down we saw the back of his shirt had been burned off and you could see bone from his ribs and vertibra had been exposed. And yet he was somehow still functional because his shipmates were in danger.

We should have tried harder to stop him. They found him with his men.


My dad earned a Queens Commendation (Civilian bravery medal) for rescuing engine room crew in exactly the same situation. He entered a machinery space three times without breathing gear to rescue cfrew and was finaly dragged out himself by the second mate wearing breathing gear. He went to Buckingham Palace and everything.

captain swoop
2008-Oct-16, 10:34 PM
Hey thanks Swoop! Great answer, learnt loads there... Especially what you said about bombs...

But this just does my head in even more! If a couple of bombs, or one missile can cause so much damage, why the heck aren't they armoured? Weight? Speed? How about lightweight armour? Cheap armour? We're talking about several hundred crew and several hundred millions here!

Tanks: a handful of crew and cheap compared to ships. Yet let's see what we've had so far...steel plates, sloping plates, composite plates, exploding plates...the list goes on!

And for destroyers and frigates, nothing?!

I'm perplexed... :confused:

If you put armout on a ship you have to increase the zize of the hull to give enough buoyancy to float it, so you have to have more armour etc. That's why Battleships were up around 40 - 50,000 tons. Remember a ship needs to cover a hell of a lot more area than a tank.

captain swoop
2008-Oct-16, 10:48 PM
The lesson seems to me that if the Brits had had a true American-style carrier battle group, maybe they could have established total air superiority. I knew about the Sheffield and the Coventry, but I must have forgotten all the other British ships that were hit during the Falklands war. Sounds like it was freaking kamikaze mayhem out there.

A lot of ships got hit because they were moored in San Carlos Water, surrounded by hills and mountains. Raids came in low over the hills giving the ships only a few seconds to react and no way to move out of the way.. Many bombs didn't go off because the aircraft were flying so low the bombs didn't have time to arm themselves (they are armed by a small propeller either in the nose or tail spinning after the bomb is released to set the fuse).

Lack of air cover was a legacy of the RNs main Nato task which was to cover the 'Western Approaches'. Most RN ships were Anti Submarine or Medium Range AA.

Since the end of the Cold War the focus is now more on self contained Battle Groups, that's why we are getting some big carriers.

BigDon
2008-Oct-16, 11:21 PM
Captain, I heard tell there was also a lot of direct sabotage by the American advisors before we pulled them out just prior to you guys actually teeing off on each other.

captain swoop
2008-Oct-17, 07:42 AM
Could be but you would think that they would have realised their bombs weren'r exploding and they would have the fuse set for the height they were bombing?. On the Argentinian side only their pilots came out with any real honour. They flew into a very hot zone time after time. They lost 45 aircraft in the air, 21 cof them to Sea Harriers, the rest mainly to SAM fire.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-17, 02:24 PM
There seems to be some interest in the Falkland War. Good books, but poor websites I'm afraid.

This lists Argentinian aircraft losses vs British naval losses:
http://www.naval-history.net/F41argaircraft.htm
And this, more or less the opposite:
http://www.naval-history.net/F42britsuccesses.htm
Both from here, a good overview of the war:
http://www.naval-history.net/NAVAL1982FALKLANDS.htm

PraedSt
2008-Oct-17, 03:06 PM
My beef of the day:

Which bright spark decided the Navy should use Management-speak? Or verbal @#$%%&$@! as I call it...

I come across it in everything Defence related these days, it's infuriating.:mad:

Here are three examples from just one document. (I actually could have posted the whole thing...it's that bad).

From Anti-Submarine Warfare: Concept of Operations for the 21st Century

1. Pervasive awareness of the undersea environment begins with comprehensive operational and technical intelligence to include understanding enemy doctrine, tactics, capabilities, and vulnerabilities. This awareness is amplified by studying the operating environment, to include historical conditions, predicted dynamics, and the in-situ characteristics.

:wall: What this means: Know your enemy. Know the terrain.

2. Our goal in the near term is to maximize our undersea advantage anywhere in the world by leveraging advances in acoustic processing, data collection and sharing, communications, collaborative real-time planning, reachback support, rapid manoeuvre, and precision engagement. These tactical advantages will allow friendly forces to take the fight to the enemy.
In the far-term, we will build on these advances to fully leverage an integrated network of sensors coupled to stand-off weapons, thereby maximizing our advantages in persistence, speed, and precision as the conceptual framework for our future.

:wall: What this means: We have lots of new toys. We should learn use them well.

3. Pervasive awareness of the battle space will lie at the heart of 21st century ASW effectiveness, allowing us to apply rapid manoeuvre and precise fire-power. Limitations in current weapons reach and sensor integration drives many of today’s ASW operations toward “force on force” engagements that place our forces at risk. Such engagements have proven effective in the past, but as we look to the future our intent is to apply network-centric warfare to dominate the environment.

:wall: What this means: We don't think massed battles will work any more. We have to try and outflank the enemy by being fast and sneaky.

Sheesh...:rolleyes:

geonuc
2008-Oct-17, 04:19 PM
Maybe I read too much of that sort of stuff at work, but #1 seems OK to me.

#2 - not so much. 'leveraging'? Gah!!

#3 isn't too bad.

geonuc
2008-Oct-17, 04:22 PM
There seems to be some interest in the Falkland War. Good books, but poor websites I'm afraid.

This lists Argentinian aircraft losses vs British naval losses:
http://www.naval-history.net/F41argaircraft.htm
And this, more or less the opposite:
http://www.naval-history.net/F42britsuccesses.htm
Both from here, a good overview of the war:
http://www.naval-history.net/NAVAL1982FALKLANDS.htm
I think I have a book on the Malvinas ... er, Falklands War on my shelf, unread, somewhere. Maybe I'll pick it up sometime.

Of late, I've been immersed in the naval history of WW1 and the runup to the conflict. Dreadnoughts.

stutefish
2008-Oct-17, 04:32 PM
Heh. You should try reading Von Clausewitz, PraedSt. He spends several hundred pages unpacking all the complex implications and variations of such simple and obvious concepts as "know the enemy, know the terrain".

John Mendenhall
2008-Oct-17, 05:08 PM
Excellent thread.

John Mendenhall
2008-Oct-17, 07:36 PM
Big D, I'm pressed for time. If you want, you could expound on why active ships at the pier are not usually cold iron and what the fire axes next to mooring lines are for.

Regards, John M.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-17, 08:03 PM
Maybe I read too much of that sort of stuff at work
:whistle: :)


Of late, I've been immersed in the naval history of WW1 and the runup to the conflict. Dreadnoughts.
Thanks for that. I've had a look. Reading about:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Yalu_River_(1894)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Santiago_de_Cuba
Part of the lead-up to Dreadnoughts apparently. Good stuff!


Heh. You should try reading Von Clausewitz, PraedSt. He spends several hundred pages unpacking all the complex implications and variations of such simple and obvious concepts as "know the enemy, know the terrain".
Thanks for that too. I've found an translation of On War here:
http://www.clausewitz.com/CWZHOME/VomKriege2/ONWARTOC2.HTML
Haven't started yet (see above), but I have had a peek. Hefty analysis, as you said, but so easy to read! No verbosity...which is what annoys me about management-speak: 50 words when 10 would do. :(


Excellent thread.
Thank you.

BigDon
2008-Oct-17, 08:36 PM
That's Praed I've been wanting to read that for years!

geonuc
2008-Oct-17, 09:37 PM
Now that I'm at home, I checked my shelves. The Falklands book I have is The Battle for the Falklands, by Hastings and Jenkins, 1983.

I have to relate a story about that war. My older sister was, and I guess still is, very pro-British. So when Argentina invaded the islands, she was gung-ho and all about the Royal Navy sailing down to restore the Union Jack over Stanley.

Until the Sheffield was sunk. Then her mood completely changed and it was no longer romantic.

BigDon
2008-Oct-17, 09:44 PM
Until the Sheffield was sunk. Then her mood completely changed and it was no longer romantic.

Sucks having the best anti-ship cruise missile system in the world at the time and not having it turned on when history is looking.

DogB
2008-Oct-20, 01:14 AM
Maybe so. Nevertheless, I would not want to ever be a mainland Chinaman involved in an invasion of Taiwan.

Amen to that. I never said it would be easy or bloodless.


There's always the consideration, while each side builds up, of B-52's strategically placed, to bomb the shipping in the straits. This in addition to US of A battle group(s) and Taiwan's own defences.

The Buffs are the ace in the hole all right. If I was doing the planning I’d set the carrier(s) up as raid protection only. It’s a waste configuring perfectly good fighters into bombers when each Buff can carry a shirt load of harpoons. The problem then becomes mainly one of target acquisition which turns into a game of kill the AWACS.


No, I would not want to land on an island with 22 million freedom loving people prepared to fight for their liberties and rights.

There are 45 mainland Chinese for every Taiwanese and the PLA standing army is more than 7 times the size of the ROC’s. Numbers are irrelevant. Control and protection of supply lines is everything.


Another consideration, in the event of a really massive mainland China invasion force headed to Taiwan, is the nuclear response. PRC vunerable, because it may not want to nuke Taiwan, in response to tactical nukes decimating its massive invasion force.

Who would be nuking who? AFAIK Taiwan doesn’t have any nukes.

Is anybody else really willing to start a nuclear war with China over Taiwan?

captain swoop
2008-Oct-20, 10:18 AM
Sucks having the best anti-ship cruise missile system in the world at the time and not having it turned on when history is looking.

?
Unfortunately there were very few surface targets for our ships, AA was the big thing. Sheffield had Sea Dart Medium range AA, a good system but no good against an Exocet. Sea Wolf was at the time the only AA system that could hit an Exocet, all the Sea Wolf armed ships were escorting the Carriers. Sheffield was out on Radar Picket when it was hit. Our big problem was no AEW.

I was on Diomede at the time of the shooting, We were on patrol in the Atlantic and Med, well away from the shooting. A couple of the guys I trained with were on Sheffield and another guy was on one of the ships that got hit by UXBs, he slept 6 feet away from a 1000lb bomb for a week after it was made safe.

captain swoop
2008-Oct-20, 10:22 AM
[quote]There are 45 mainland Chinese for every Taiwanese and the PLA standing army is more than 7 times the size of the ROC’s. Numbers are irrelevant. Control and protection of supply lines is everything.[quote]

But the general Chinese population won't be involved and only a small part of the Army will. On the other hand, the entire pop of Taiwan will be involved in an invasion of their homeland.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-20, 12:37 PM
My two cents:
The defence of Taiwan would be very similar to the Battle of Britain: without air supremacy, the Chinese won't get anywhere. As before, it'll probably come down to pilots, fighters and early warning systems. The only new factors in the mix are the mobile airfields we have these days and the units tasked to neutralise them: carriers and submarines.
Numbers of men in uniform and numbers of ships on hand, these things only become relevant after you've insured that they won't get bombed to oblivion.
I think?

DogB
2008-Oct-20, 11:36 PM
But the general Chinese population won't be involved and only a small part of the Army will. On the other hand, the entire pop of Taiwan will be involved in an invasion of their homeland.

In reality only the regular army will be available to oppose a landing. Reserves and unarmed civilians are initially a minor problem. That will change over time but if the PLA can keep the supply lines open they can pour in pretty much unlimited supplies of fresh troops.

Close the supply lines and Taiwan wins. Keep them open and China wins.

Like I said, this would be a war of logistics.

DogB
2008-Oct-20, 11:55 PM
My two cents:
The defence of Taiwan would be very similar to the Battle of Britain: without air supremacy, the Chinese won't get anywhere. As before, it'll probably come down to pilots, fighters and early warning systems. The only new factors in the mix are the mobile airfields we have these days and the units tasked to neutralise them: carriers and submarines.
Numbers of men in uniform and numbers of ships on hand, these things only become relevant after you've insured that they won't get bombed to oblivion.
I think?

Not really.

The initial neutralisation of Taiwan's defenses will be by massed ballistic then medium range missile attack. This would be the start of a war of numbers vs technology. Taiwan has a large number of SAM's, some of which are technically capable against ballistic weapons. The big question is who runs out of missiles first. I suspect it will be Taiwan. This phase would end with a severe attrition of Taiwan's air force, SAMs, early warning and mass transit systems.

This is before China commits one pilot or one plane.

BigDon
2008-Oct-21, 12:13 AM
Sucks having the best anti-ship cruise missile system in the world at the time and not having it turned on when history is looking.

Don't you hate it when you try to make an ironic post and then drop a stitch the message?

What the poster meant to say was:

Sucks having the best anti-ship cruise missile defense system in the world at the time and not having it turned on when history is looking.


Duh-yup, Duh-yup, Duh-yup.

people are like a box of chocolates, you can't tell what they're like until you put your thumb in their bottom.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-21, 02:48 AM
The initial neutralisation of Taiwan's defenses will be by massed ballistic then medium range missile attack.

Good point. Missiles.
I think I still deserve some prizes because a) it technically still involves control of the skies, and b) ships and men are still dead last ;)

DogB
2008-Oct-21, 03:12 AM
Good point. Missiles.
I think I still deserve some prizes because a) it technically still involves control of the skies, and b) ships and men are still dead last ;)

Oh, you were dead right about air superiority being critical. It's just that modern air superiority is more complex than it ever has been.

Solfe
2008-Oct-21, 05:02 AM
I can't help but think of an old book - "The Defense of Duffer's Drift". One of the points was don't sit on top of the objective. It doesn't matter that there are subs in the Straits, no one can't keep the whole area for any reasonable amount of time.

Solfe

DogB
2008-Oct-21, 06:41 AM
I can't help but think of an old book - "The Defense of Duffer's Drift". One of the points was don't sit on top of the objective. It doesn't matter that there are subs in the Straits, no one can't keep the whole area for any reasonable amount of time.

Solfe

I haven't read it but it sounds like good advice.


When in difficult country, do not encamp. In country where high roads intersect, join hands with your allies. Do not linger in dangerously isolated positions. In hemmed-in situations, you must resort to stratagem. In desperate position, you must fight.

SunTzu - The Art of War.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-21, 08:41 AM
Ok Solfe and DogB, what do your mystical Chinese sayings mean exactly? :)

Jim
2008-Oct-21, 01:16 PM
Don't forget Sun Tzu's perhaps best known saying, "No plan of battle ever survives first contact with the enemy."

captain swoop
2008-Oct-21, 05:02 PM
Don't you hate it when you try to make an ironic post and then drop a stitch the message?

What the poster meant to say was:

Sucks having the best anti-ship cruise missile defense system in the world at the time and not having it turned on when history is looking.


Duh-yup, Duh-yup, Duh-yup.

people are like a box of chocolates, you can't tell what they're like until you put your thumb in their bottom.

Lol, OK I see. Seawolf missiles wedre only on 2 of the ships in the Falklands, the two type 22 Frigates, the others of the class not yet being built.

captain swoop
2008-Oct-21, 05:03 PM
It's ironic that the Exocet was the standard Surface to Surface missile of the RN at the time it being present on a good number of the ships.

captain swoop
2008-Oct-21, 05:06 PM
It's ironic that the Exocet was the standard Surface to Surface missile of the RN at the time it being present on a good number of the ships.

Argentina even operated type 42 Destroyers built for them in UK yards, their Aircraft Carrier was an ex RN Colossus class HMS Venerable - sold to the Netherlands in 1948 and renamed Karel Doorman II. Resold to Argentina and renamed Vienticinco de Mayo, it was one of a pair, the other being scrapped in the late 70s.

slang
2008-Oct-21, 09:46 PM
Now that I'm at home, I checked my shelves. The Falklands book I have is The Battle for the Falklands, by Hastings and Jenkins, 1983.

Not Robert Hastings, surely?

I kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings during the Falklands War. I was young enough to be mightily impressed by the whole business.

DogB
2008-Oct-21, 11:42 PM
Ok Solfe and DogB, what do your mystical Chinese sayings mean exactly? :)

Means trying to persistantly occupy a 180km wide straight in this world of supersonic, surface skimming missiles and grave quiet submarines is a good way to get dead.

You want to really think long and hard about it before you try it.

geonuc
2008-Oct-22, 10:58 AM
Not Robert Hastings, surely?

That would be weird, wouldn't it? No, not Robert. And hopefully no UFO's in the book.

Salty
2008-Oct-22, 11:38 AM
DogB said:


:
Originally Posted by Salty
No, I would not want to land on an island with 22 million freedom loving people prepared to fight for their liberties and rights.

There are 45 mainland Chinese for every Taiwanese and the PLA standing army is more than 7 times the size of the ROC’s. Numbers are irrelevant. Control and protection of supply lines is everything.


There's also what I call the "Marathon Syndrome", ring a bell? The Persions outnumbered the Spartans 10,000:1. The Spartan sacrifice accomplished it's goal, in that Greece major had time to form up a working defense against Persian invasion.

I think the same applies to Taiwan. The numbers of mainland China becomes irrevelent, when you can't put all of them on the beach head.

Solfe
2008-Oct-23, 03:39 AM
Ok Solfe and DogB, what do your mystical Chinese sayings mean exactly? :)

Chinese sayings? The Defense of Duffer's Drift was written by Captain E.D. Swinton, around 1900. You can find it online from a few sources, but I won't link to it as I don't know if it is still under copyright.

Anyway the book is about an officer who dreams of holding a drift against the Boers. He has six dreams in all and in the first five dreams he fails to hold, despite remembering the previous failures. In dream six, his men hold and win the day. In the first dream he simply deploys right on top the drift making all kinds of terrible assumptions. The Boers clean his clock in very short order.

The same goes for sailing right to the Straits. You'd get sunk in sunk.

The scenario calls for 80 subs in the Straits to stop carriers from entering. This this a threat to the carriers? Only if they enter.

Lets say as another poster mention, China denies America of the Straits with subs and begins bombardment of Twain with missiles. Warships not flying a Chinese, Taiwanese, or American flag would likely shoot anything that gets too close out of prudence. These ships are there to protect their interests, of which there are plenty, its a trade corridor. This is more than annoyance, it reinforces the idea that entering the Straits is not good plan for anyone. China doesn't want one more combatant in the fight by accident, America does not want to place a carrier near a threatened ship of unknown intent.

The Straits are important to China as a path to Twain, not as an area for American carriers defend by entering. If America can shoot down missiles (even just a few) en route to Twain without being in the Straits, (or perhaps from Twain's shores) then China is not going to send a transport full of troops any where near that area for fear of a missile attack.

This is the point where the scenario becomes moot because the subs must leave the Straits to engage carriers or the carriers have to enter the Straits which is unreasonable. Notice at this point in the scenario, China has not struck at the carriers and the carriers have not struck at mainland China. That is a different scenario, likely for a different board's forum.

This is how I see it, you might see it differently.

Solfe

PraedSt
2008-Oct-23, 06:05 AM
Solfe and DogB

That's fine...I agree with you, I just don't see where you picked up the idea that a physical presence in the Straits was necessary. Control of airspace, yes, but physical?
Hmmmm....maybe one of the posters mentioned it. Or maybe I did and I've just forgotten ;) I shall check...

Also:

He has six dreams in all and in the first five dreams he fails to hold, despite remembering the previous failures. In dream six, his men hold and win the day.

You can't leave it hanging like that Solfe! How did they win? :)

Delvo
2008-Oct-23, 01:06 PM
What is a "drift"? The only other place I've heard of with that kind of name was Roarke's Drift in southern Africa, but I've never seen real pictures of the real place, and in the movie "Zulu" it looked like an ordinary shallow point in an ordinary river, where nothing was drifting...

WHarris
2008-Oct-23, 05:49 PM
There's also what I call the "Marathon Syndrome", ring a bell? The Persions outnumbered the Spartans 10,000:1. The Spartan sacrifice accomplished it's goal, in that Greece major had time to form up a working defense against Persian invasion.


You're thinking of Thermopylae. Marathon was mostly fought by the Athenians, and they weren't as outnumbered as at Thermopylae.

BigDon
2008-Oct-23, 07:17 PM
Chinese sayings? The Defense of Duffer's Drift was written by Captain E.D. Swinton, around 1900. You can find it online from a few sources, but I won't link to it as I don't know if it is still under copyright.

Anyway the book is about an officer who dreams of holding a drift against the Boers. He has six dreams in all and in the first five dreams he fails to hold, despite remembering the previous failures. In dream six, his men hold and win the day. In the first dream he simply deploys right on top the drift making all kinds of terrible assumptions. The Boers clean his clock in very short order.

The same goes for sailing right to the Straits. You'd get sunk in sunk.

The scenario calls for 80 subs in the Straits to stop carriers from entering. This this a threat to the carriers? Only if they enter.

Lets say as another poster mention, China denies America of the Straits with subs and begins bombardment of Twain with missiles. Warships not flying a Chinese, Taiwanese, or American flag would likely shoot anything that gets too close out of prudence. These ships are there to protect their interests, of which there are plenty, its a trade corridor. This is more than annoyance, it reinforces the idea that entering the Straits is not good plan for anyone. China doesn't want one more combatant in the fight by accident, America does not want to place a carrier near a threatened ship of unknown intent.

The Straits are important to China as a path to Twain, not as an area for American carriers defend by entering. If America can shoot down missiles (even just a few) en route to Twain without being in the Straits, (or perhaps from Twain's shores) then China is not going to send a transport full of troops any where near that area for fear of a missile attack.

This is the point where the scenario becomes moot because the subs must leave the Straits to engage carriers or the carriers have to enter the Straits which is unreasonable. Notice at this point in the scenario, China has not struck at the carriers and the carriers have not struck at mainland China. That is a different scenario, likely for a different board's forum.

This is how I see it, you might see it differently.

Solfe

Nice story but why do the carriers have to go into the straits again, when they can accomplise all thier goals from the far side of Taiwan? I'm confused.

Think of the Battle of Britain. You can't send transports when there is active air power, they don't make it in cohesive formations. You can't make a beach head piece meal. And I can't think the Chinese haven't seen all this. I'm sure they play Empire Earth II just like we do.

It just hit me. This is a distraction. So what are we being distracted from?What don't they want us to see? Any other "Hot Spot" issues in China right now?

captain swoop
2008-Oct-23, 08:05 PM
The Persions outnumbered the Spartans 10,000:1

According to myth and legend.

geonuc
2008-Oct-23, 09:22 PM
According to myth and legend.
Is it just the ratio that you doubt or is it more?

captain swoop
2008-Oct-23, 09:26 PM
the ratio, like all stories they tend to grow in the telling.

Some of those ancient armies had more men in them than they had population.

Plu I know thast every tank my uncle Harold came up against in France was a Tiger and never a PZ IV. :)

Warren Platts
2008-Oct-23, 09:58 PM
Nice story but why do the carriers have to go into the straits again, when they can accomplise all thier goals from the far side of Taiwan? I'm confused.No doubt. Then there's Taiwan itself. The USAF could send a couple of squadrons there I'm sure! :D


It just hit me. This is a distraction. So what are we being distracted from?What don't they want us to see? Any other "Hot Spot" issues in China right now?If their sea lanes were cut off, they could launch a major land invasion for the oil fields of the Middle East--Genghis Khan-style--right through Afghanistan.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-23, 10:22 PM
It just hit me. This is a distraction. So what are we being distracted from?What don't they want us to see? Any other "Hot Spot" issues in China right now?

The economy maybe. They need 10% economic growth just to keep up with the growth in their labour force, and they're petrified of social unrest.
Well, with 1.5bn people, I would be too...

As for Thermopylae and other battles; let them have their myths.

Solfe
2008-Oct-24, 12:46 AM
But there are two facts that bother me.
1. The current generation of adversary missiles have one thing in common. They're incredibly fast. The super-cavitation torpedo for example.
2. The Chinese are adopting asymmetric warfare tactics with their subs. The idea is to flood the Taiwan straight with numerous cheap diesel submarines. This might remove the US carriers out of the equation. Out of 80 subs, one is bound to get through the carrier screen. Two already have, once in 2006 and again in 2007. Undetected.


Here is where I got the in the straits with 80 subs. Now that I reread, the subs are in the straits... nothing about the carriers going in. Oops. My bad.

Solfe

Solfe
2008-Oct-24, 01:04 AM
What is a "drift"? The only other place I've heard of with that kind of name was Roarke's Drift in southern Africa, but I've never seen real pictures of the real place, and in the movie "Zulu" it looked like an ordinary shallow point in an ordinary river, where nothing was drifting...

A drift is a ford in a river, where a man can walk or a horse can ride across. Rorke's drift is exactly the idea. In the movie the British were bridging the river at the drift. I believe in real life, the soldier were left there as it was a supply depot and hospital. They were not expecting action but made an impressive showing.

Anyway, someone else asked, how did office at Duffer's Drift win. He did it by replacing his assumptions with actual planning and taking into account the enemies actions. First he set up on top of the drift, just as if he was camping. The next time, he did the exact same thing, but set up trenches. The third time, more of the same and so on. Each time the Boers had used the terrain to march right up to his force unseen and lob artillery and point blank gun fire into the British encampment.

At some points, the British we massacred, other times they surrender since they could not fight back. Almost every kind of defeat.

Finally he realized there is no front and he needed to take that into account. So he used the terrain against the Boers, instead of fortifications he switch to using cover. He stopped trying to plan for everything instead letting his own men act as they are trained.

Its a good read.

SOlfe

Ronald Brak
2008-Oct-24, 01:08 AM
The economy maybe. They need 10% economic growth just to keep up with the growth in their labour force, and they're petrified of social unrest.
Well, with 1.5bn people, I would be too...

Your figures are a little off. China passed through the demographic transition in the 70's and 80's. (Their one child policy has been in effect since 1979.) Their current population growth rate is about 0.63%. The current increase in their labour force is roughly 1%. China's population is about 1.33 billion.

Ronald Brak
2008-Oct-24, 01:35 AM
Although there is always the potential for human stupidity to result in a war, an attempt by China to invade Taiwan appears to be an extremely low probability event. China could have taken over Hong Kong any time in the last 50 years if it had wanted to, but it chose to wait until it the unequal treaty expired and it was peacefully handed over. Time is also on the Chinese side with reguards to Taiwan, both with regards to a gradual EU style intergration and also with regards to crude force in the sad event they are that way inclined in the future. Currently the economies of China and Taiwan are tightly intergrated and if China invaded it would be shooting itself in the foot. Or perhaps higher up, between the legs. Also, any form of surprise is impossible due to the huge number of Taiwanese working on the mainland and in constant mobile phone comunication with their mothers, bosses, spouses, etc.

DogB
2008-Oct-24, 02:23 AM
Although there is always the potential for human stupidity to result in a war, an attempt by China to invade Taiwan appears to be an extremely low probability event. China could have taken over Hong Kong any time in the last 50 years if it had wanted to, but it chose to wait until it the unequal treaty expired and it was peacefully handed over. Time is also on the Chinese side with reguards to Taiwan, both with regards to a gradual EU style intergration and also with regards to crude force in the sad event they are that way inclined in the future. Currently the economies of China and Taiwan are tightly intergrated and if China invaded it would be shooting itself in the foot. Or perhaps higher up, between the legs. Also, any form of surprise is impossible due to the huge number of Taiwanese working on the mainland and in constant mobile phone comunication with their mothers, bosses, spouses, etc.

Agreed. China's invasion of Taiwan will be social not military.

Of course the problem with this sort of invasion is that you can turn around and realise it's you that has been invaded. IMHO this is happening right now.

PraedSt
2008-Oct-24, 07:04 AM
Here is where I got the in the straits with 80 subs. Now that I reread, the subs are in the straits... nothing about the carriers going in. Oops. My bad.

No, my bad. I should have said 'The idea is to flood the area with numerous cheap diesel submarines'. Thanks for the rest of your story!


Your figures are a little off. They are indeed. My statement probably better applies to the last 2-3 decades. I now read that their labour force growth rates may actually be going negative within the next decade. Which will bring it's own headaches. Thanks for setting me straight Ronald. :)


Agreed. China's invasion of Taiwan will be social not military.

Always easier if you're carrying a big stick. ;)

PraedSt
2008-Oct-24, 07:12 AM
And if nothing else works, we could try scaring the Chinese:

http://www.bautforum.com/customavatars/avatar11807_2.gif