Max Q
Topic Author
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Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:58 am

The ski jump has been proven effective on several nations ships now, increasing available payload for launch in their Harriers

The new RN carriers have them installed
for use with the F35 yet the USN has never
installed them on any of their amphibious
carriers despite the advantage they offer
for their current Marine Harriers and F35 B’s


Curious as to why
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
zanl188
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:32 am

Ski jump takes up deck space that cannot be used by helicopters. If USN needs a strike capability they’ll use a CVN.
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Max Q
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:04 am

zanl188 wrote:
Ski jump takes up deck space that cannot be used by helicopters. If USN needs a strike capability they’ll use a CVN.



Since the ski jump is built into the bow
the ‘loss of space’ is minimal, I’m fact since
it allows launching aircraft to use significantly less deck space it actually adds to the usable deck parking area


To your second point, although these are Navy ships we are talking about it’s
a Marine air group that’s embarked


Their Harriers and /or F35’s are certainly
capable of and have performed strike missions


My point is, a ski jump would allow them to carry more weapons and / or payload


Anyone have a more logical reason as to
why they haven’t been incorporated ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
Ozair
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:10 am

zanl188 wrote:
Ski jump takes up deck space that cannot be used by helicopters. If USN needs a strike capability they’ll use a CVN.

Correct.

Max Q wrote:
Curious as to why

If you stick a ski ramp on the front of for instance a wasp class

Image

then you lose at least one helo landing spot. You also either lose or make it very difficult to park RW next to the ski jump.

Looking at Queen Elizabeth the ski ramps is quite a graceful slope that takes a decent amount of forward deck space.

Image

With that context, the mission of a US LHD/LHA is to support an amphib landing so one or two missing spots means less guys or gear going ashore. There are 1800+ guys on the boat and only 8-10 aircrew so I can see why the helo spots take primacy.

Saying all of the above, USMC FW aviation would love to have a ski jump! A quote from a few years ago, the article itself is no longer on NavyTimes.

Another philosophical difference is that the British are open to ideas that to Americans seem goofy, but work, such as the 12-degree ramp at the bow of the ship that dramatically improves Harrier operations. Senior U.S. naval officers over the decades have vetoed the idea, saying they don’t like how it looks and that it takes up three helicopter landing spots. British and Marine officers say only one deck spot is lost to the “ski jump.”
To a man, Marine pilots want the ramps installed on their ships to improve operational flexibility and safety.
“We’re all in love with the ski ramp because when you come off that ramp, you’re flying,” Bradicich said. “From our ships, if you’re fully loaded, you need 750 feet, and even then you’ve got some sink once you clear the deck. Here, you can do the same thing in 450 feet and you’re climbing.”
But the ramp is intimidating at first sight, pilots said.
“I expected it to be violent, but when you take off, it’s almost a non-event,” said Maj. Grant “Postal” Pennington, a pilot with VMA-513 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. “Up you go, and you’re climbing. It’s a great experience.”
 
Stealthz
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:15 pm

Funny how people or groups get stuck in their ways, the RAN folk were just as adamant about KEEPING the ski jumps on HMAS Hobart & Canberra and had no intention of operating F35 from them!!
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
 
zanl188
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:48 pm

Max Q wrote:
Since the ski jump is built into the bow
the ‘loss of space’ is minimal, I’m fact since
it allows launching aircraft to use significantly less deck space it actually adds to the usable deck parking area

To your second point, although these are Navy ships we are talking about it’s
a Marine air group that’s embarked

Their Harriers and /or F35’s are certainly
capable of and have performed strike missions

My point is, a ski jump would allow them to carry more weapons and / or payload


Why use helo deck space for strike aircraft when USN has dedicated ships for that mission? How many decks does USN need to launch strikes from? Sounds to me like you're suggesting 35 - 40 if amphibs are ski jump equipped. Overkill.

Marine air groups can work from the CVN and then go ashore. Assuming they'll do VTOL operations ashore they'll lose the ski-jump capability anyway.

My point is, a ski jump is unnecessary due to dedicated ships available to handle that mission. Deck space thus save is better used for helps.
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Ozair
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:25 pm

Stealthz wrote:
Funny how people or groups get stuck in their ways, the RAN folk were just as adamant about KEEPING the ski jumps on HMAS Hobart & Canberra and had no intention of operating F35 from them!!

Not quite. The RAN, or actually DMO at the time, specifically asked for the ski jump to be removed but Navantia indicated the cost would be significantly more and take longer to deliver as it was an engineering change to the base vessel that had never been undertaken. Australia was keen for a low cost off the shelf procurement delivered on time so kept the ski jump.

In the long run it may be better to have kept it anyway, not for F-35B as I doubt we will see that version in Australian colours, but for future UCAVs aircraft that may take advantage of a ski jump. Given the number of navies now operating ski jump vessels there is clearly a market for an unmanned patrol, strike, anti-sub etc UCAV that can utilise a ski jump to increase payload. It would also be relatively simple to modify non ski jump vessels, such as the Japanese, Korean and French LHDs, to utilise this feature and aircraft.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:17 am

zanl188 wrote:
Why use helo deck space for strike aircraft when USN has dedicated ships for that mission? How many decks does USN need to launch strikes from? Sounds to me like you're suggesting 35 - 40 if amphibs are ski jump equipped. Overkill.

Marine air groups can work from the CVN and then go ashore. Assuming they'll do VTOL operations ashore they'll lose the ski-jump capability anyway.

My point is, a ski jump is unnecessary due to dedicated ships available to handle that mission. Deck space thus save is better used for helps.

So why carry F-35B strike aircraft if there are dedicated ships for that role? Hangar space could be used for more helicopters or amphibious crafts instead.
 
Max Q
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:38 am

The Marines value having their own independent air support, that’s why they have their own ‘Air Force’ not beholden to any one else they can count on to support their ground operations


The nearest CVN could be hundreds, even thousands of miles away unable to support them


That’s the very reason they have Harriers or F35’s embarked so it makes sense to enable these aircraft to have the best performance possible, a ski jump
provides this


If deck space is so tight the concern is losing one helicopter parking spot then build a slightly larger ship


Judging from the very favorable comments quoted from some of these pilots on the benefits it would bring (and these must be known by those higher up) it seems the reason for the ski jump not being adopted is a case of ‘not invented here’
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Ozair
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:00 am

mxaxai wrote:
So why carry F-35B strike aircraft if there are dedicated ships for that role? Hangar space could be used for more helicopters or amphibious crafts instead.

From the 2018 USMC Aviation Plan
The Marine Corps is manned, trained, and equipped to be an expeditionary force in readiness ‐ the nation’s middleweight force ‐ ready and forward deployed, capable of crisis response, entry and sustained operations across the range of military operations. Our Marine Corps exists to fight for the nation we serve, and Marine aviation exists to provide the MAGTF commander the flexibility and agility to conduct that fight at the time, place, and manner of his choosing. Marine aviation supports the ground forces of the MAGTF by contributing to battlespace dominance through air operations and power projection.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:00 am

Max Q wrote:
If deck space is so tight the concern is losing one helicopter parking spot then build a slightly larger ship

The LHA's and LHD's are already as big as they can be before they exceeded the dimensions of the Panama Canal. The USS America was actually considered to be too big for the Canal, and had to make her journey from the shipyard to her homeport the long way around the southern tip of South America. The Wasp's are already a very tight squeeze.
 
Ozair
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:09 am

Max Q wrote:

If deck space is so tight the concern is losing one helicopter parking spot then build a slightly larger ship.

They have been building bigger. The Tarawa was 38k tons, the Wasp was 41k tons while the America is 46k tons. Problem is aircraft have been getting bigger, and significantly more capable, as well.


Max Q wrote:
Judging from the very favorable comments quoted from some of these pilots on the benefits it would bring (and these must be known by those higher up) it seems the reason for the ski jump not being adopted is a case of ‘not invented here’

I don’t think that is the issue. Why would it be given the USMC have bene flying a jet that very much was not invented here. It really does just come down to force generation and sortie rate for RW assets.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:54 am

Ozair wrote:
I don’t think that is the issue. Why would it be given the USMC have bene flying a jet that very much was not invented here. It really does just come down to force generation and sortie rate for RW assets.


plus a pinch of politics to avoid the impression that cheap sea control ships could replace some large carrier duties.

One could not just add a full 12° - 14° ski-jump ramp, the Giuseppe Garibaldi has a 6.5° ramp that probably is still usable as parking space. The most forward market out landing spot is partially on it.

They packed quite a lot on only 14000 tons of ship.

best regards
Thomas
This Singature is a safe space......
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:07 am

tommy1808 wrote:
Ozair wrote:
I don’t think that is the issue. Why would it be given the USMC have bene flying a jet that very much was not invented here. It really does just come down to force generation and sortie rate for RW assets.


plus a pinch of politics to avoid the impression that cheap sea control ships could replace some large carrier duties.

One could not just add a full 12° - 14° ski-jump ramp, the Giuseppe Garibaldi has a 6.5° ramp that probably is still usable as parking space. The most forward market out landing spot is partially on it.

They packed quite a lot on only 14000 tons of ship.

best regards
Thomas

Giuseppe Garibaldi was built as a carrier, not as an amphibious assault ship.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:14 am

ThePointblank wrote:
Giuseppe Garibaldi was built as a carrier, not as an amphibious assault ship.


technically it was specifically not build as an aircraft carrier, as the Italian Navy at the time was banned by law to operate fixed wing aircraft.

But both is irrelevant to the topic at hand, it only goes to show that you can have sky jump without making that space useless for anything else but jumping into the sky.

best regards
Thomas
This Singature is a safe space......
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:15 am

As long as the USN has full sized CATOBAR carriers, they will forever see no point in putting a ramp on the Gator Carriers. I think for the America and the Tripoli, It makes sense NOT to have the ramp as those were conceived as vertical assault ships needing maximum rotor wing capabilities. For the rest of the America class, since they have well decks and aren't ONLY vertical assault ships, the ramp actually makes them more flexible for aviation purposes without significantly diminishing their primary roles. I suspect that, as America and Triploi head into dry dock for their mid-life refits, they will get ramps. By that time, I suspect that the US carrier forces will be further strained and having a pair of ships that can be considered light carriers and support small units as needed will be extremely valuable to them.
 
Ozair
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:59 am

LightningZ71 wrote:
For the rest of the America class, since they have well decks and aren't ONLY vertical assault ships, the ramp actually makes them more flexible for aviation purposes without significantly diminishing their primary roles. I suspect that, as America and Triploi head into dry dock for their mid-life refits, they will get ramps. By that time, I suspect that the US carrier forces will be further strained and having a pair of ships that can be considered light carriers and support small units as needed will be extremely valuable to them.

That is a pretty unlikely. The LHA's are a primary component of an Amphibious Ready Group, a three ship deployment that is essentially self-supporting and whose intent remains amphibious assault. This has been war gamed extensively and the USMC are very happy with the current platform albeit future vessels as you say will be getting a small well deck at the expense of some aviation.

I haven't seen a single reliable reference to US LHAs getting a ski ramp. What I have seen are concepts for light carriers based on the LHA but those do not feature a ski ramp, they feature one or two catapults to allow larger and heavier aircraft to be carried including E-2s.

However, there are many supporters of the idea of using America as a launching point for a “light carrier” idea. The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis included the America-based concept in its Future Fleet Architecture study delivered to the Navy earlier this year, and the Senate Armed Services Committee in its Fiscal Year 2018 defense bill sets aside $30 million for the Navy to conduct a preliminary design effort. The light carrier would add a catapult or two to the America-class’s straight flight deck to allow for larger fixed-wing aircraft, such as the Navy’s E2-D Advanced Hawkeye command and control plane, to operate as part of the ARG/MEU.

https://news.usni.org/2017/07/13/uss-am ... ric-design

I'm not saying it won't happen but these things don't happen quickly and if the USMC was going this way we would certainly have heard about it by now. USS Bougainville won't have a ski ramp and will enter service in 2024. Subsequent vessels will likely enter service in 2028 or later. Perhaps in 5 years the USMC will consider a ski ramp but I doubt it.

What is more likely, although still slim, is a light carrier based on an LHA that has either the catapult mentioned above or a ski ramp. It won't be at the expense of USMC amphib capability though and we will continue to see LHA/LHDs in the future with a straight through deck.
 
Woodreau
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:30 pm

Can helicopters and Ospreys use a ski lift as well?

When we flew operations into Iraq, I guess the helos were loaded to the point they were unable to launch normally, and we deck launched the -46s. Rolling them off the front edge of the deck watching them disappear as they dropped below the deck and clawed their way into the air. Granted ch-46 performance is probably anemic compared to Ospreys and -53s.

If helos/ospreys can’t use a ski lift then that might be a reason why LHA/Ds don’t have them, to preserve the option to deck launch the helos.

I haven’t worked with Ospreys so I don’t know if they have better performance doing a deck launch.

LightningZ71 wrote:
As long as the USN has full sized CATOBAR carriers, they will forever see no point in putting a ramp on the Gator Carriers. I think for the America and the Tripoli, It makes sense NOT to have the ramp as those were conceived as vertical assault ships needing maximum rotor wing capabilities. For the rest of the America class, since they have well decks and aren't ONLY vertical assault ships, the ramp actually makes them more flexible for aviation purposes without significantly diminishing their primary roles. I suspect that, as America and Triploi head into dry dock for their mid-life refits, they will get ramps. By that time, I suspect that the US carrier forces will be further strained and having a pair of ships that can be considered light carriers and support small units as needed will be extremely valuable to them.


It would make sense if Navy tacair community controlled the LHA/LHDs, but they don’t. the Marine Corps “owns” the ship and they are loathe to sacrifice amphibious capability for sea control. And the Marine Corps aren’t interested in operating a mini carrier to supplement a conventional aircraft carrier or to try to assume an aircraft carrier mission
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:57 pm

My thoughts on this are specifically geared to the notion that the powers at the very top of the chain will be hard pressed to keep the US at it's current carrier posture. The US is already short one carrier from their intended target number. The Ford STILL isn't ready for an operational deployment. The second of the series is still getting stuff torn out and redone according to some of what I've read. The first Nimitz will be shortly due for either a very expensive service life extension, which would include a refueling and other significant work which would keep it out of the water for a long time, or retirement.

I realize that the marines won't want to give up any control of their LHA/Ds, but political pressure may force them into doing something that they really don't want to. For the marines, operationally, it may somewhat limit the amount of heli-borne cargo and soldiers that they can off-load, but it will make a non-trivial improvement in the capabilities of the F-35Bs that they will be using. While I acknowledge that, in a full stealth configuration, the F-35B doesn't get a lot of advantage from a ramp, when you configure it for heavy attack with external stores, the ramp can make a big difference.

In the end, though, I have to agree that its very unlikely that they will ever get ramps. The USN has dedicated CATOBAR carriers for aviation superiority needs and there isn't much of a philosophical need for the gator carriers to push the F-35Bs to the edge of their limits.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:01 am

LightningZ71 wrote:
My thoughts on this are specifically geared to the notion that the powers at the very top of the chain will be hard pressed to keep the US at it's current carrier posture. The US is already short one carrier from their intended target number. The Ford STILL isn't ready for an operational deployment. The second of the series is still getting stuff torn out and redone according to some of what I've read. The first Nimitz will be shortly due for either a very expensive service life extension, which would include a refueling and other significant work which would keep it out of the water for a long time, or retirement.


The issue that is being hidden by the USN being short one carrier is that there isn't enough operational aircraft to fill said carrier's air wing.

The USN is currently doing a very complicated juggling act, swapping airframes between different air wings depending on their deployment and posture to make sure that the deployed air wings, and air wings about to deploy have the aircraft they need. There's an extensive backlog of aircraft awaiting depot level maintenance at USN Fleet Readiness Centers, along with lots of aging aircraft that have been beaten up over the years from use.

tommy1808 wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
Giuseppe Garibaldi was built as a carrier, not as an amphibious assault ship.


technically it was specifically not build as an aircraft carrier, as the Italian Navy at the time was banned by law to operate fixed wing aircraft.

But both is irrelevant to the topic at hand, it only goes to show that you can have sky jump without making that space useless for anything else but jumping into the sky.

best regards
Thomas

The Italians used the Giuseppe Garibaldi as an ASW carrier, carrying ASW helicopters for hunting submarines. That's why the initial air wing was comprised of Sea King's and Twin Huey's, and the ship has a hull-mounted sonar system.

They intended the ship to serve as a flagship of a task force to patrol the Mediterranean Sea and adjacent regions, and thus was equipped for that role. It wasn't until much later did the Italians add Harrier II's to the air wing, which was intended to add some air defence capability to a task force by intercepting Soviet bombers at longer ranges.
 
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Nomadd
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:29 am

LightningZ71 wrote:
My thoughts on this are specifically geared to the notion that the powers at the very top of the chain will be hard pressed to keep the US at it's current carrier posture. The US is already short one carrier from their intended target number. The Ford STILL isn't ready for an operational deployment. The second of the series is still getting stuff torn out and redone according to some of what I've read. The first Nimitz will be shortly due for either a very expensive service life extension, which would include a refueling and other significant work which would keep it out of the water for a long time, or retirement.

A lot of people are going to be surprised the Nimitz is getting a third fueling.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:13 am

I don't expect it to get one, but, it's reaching the point where it either gets refueled or it gets retired. If they can't get the Ford's act together, refueling is the only option.
 
Max Q
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:17 am

Don’t understand this suggestion to install catapults on these amphibious straight deck carriers


That makes zero sense, if you have catapults to launch conventional fixed wing aircraft then you’ll need
arresting wires to recover them


Then you’re going back to the era before the angled deck where you had to have a safety barrier between the touchdown area and parked aircraft situated on the forward deck


This was an accident waiting to happen and many did, if the pilot misjudged the approach, missing the arrester cables and the barrier didn’t always stop the aircraft, on numerous occasions it would go over the barrier and hit parked aircraft beyond it


A go around started too late could result in the same catastrophic ending with the aircraft catching the barrier and tumbling into deck parked aircraft


That was the one of the main reasons all conventional aircraft carriers adopted the Royal Navies angled deck


A missed approach or botched landing allows the Pilot to simply fly away straight ahead with no obstacle in his path


I
Of course this configuration also allows simultaneous launch and recover with the two forward catapults well clear and angled away from the landing area
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
Max Q
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:19 am

Max Q wrote:
Don’t understand this suggestion to install catapults on these amphibious straight deck carriers


That makes zero sense, if you have catapults to launch conventional fixed wing aircraft then you’ll need
arresting wires to recover them


Then you’re going back to the era before the angled deck where you had to have a safety barrier between the touchdown area and parked aircraft situated on the forward deck


This was an accident waiting to happen and many did, if the pilot misjudged the approach, missing the arrester cables and the barrier didn’t always stop the aircraft, on numerous occasions it would go over the barrier and hit parked aircraft beyond it


A go around started too late could result in the same catastrophic ending with the aircraft catching the barrier and tumbling into deck parked aircraft


That was the one of the main reasons all conventional aircraft carriers adopted the Royal Navys angled deck


A missed approach or botched landing allows the Pilot to simply fly away straight ahead with no obstacle in his path


I
Of course this configuration also allows simultaneous launch and recover with the two forward catapults well clear and angled away from the landing area
Last edited by Max Q on Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
Max Q
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:20 am

Max Q wrote:
Don’t understand this suggestion to install catapults on these amphibious straight deck carriers


That makes zero sense, if you have catapults to launch conventional fixed wing aircraft then you’ll need arresting wires to recover them


Then you’re going back to the era before the angled deck where you had to have a safety barrier between the touchdown area and parked aircraft situated on the forward deck


This was an accident waiting to happen and many did, if the pilot misjudged the approach, missing the arrester cables and the barrier didn’t always stop the aircraft, on numerous occasions it would go over the barrier and hit parked aircraft beyond it


A go around started too late could result in the same catastrophic ending with the aircraft catching the barrier and tumbling into deck parked aircraft


That was the one of the main reasons all conventional aircraft carriers adopted the Royal Navies angled deck


A missed approach or botched landing allows the Pilot to simply fly away straight ahead with no obstacle in his path


I
Of course this configuration also allows simultaneous launch and recover with the two forward catapults well clear and angled away from the landing area
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
Ozair
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:27 am

Max Q wrote:
Don’t understand this suggestion to install catapults on these amphibious straight deck carriers


That makes zero sense, if you have catapults to launch conventional fixed wing aircraft then you’ll need
arresting wires to recover them

The catapult issue is primarily driven by the need for support aircraft to the small carrier, including E-2 AWACS and future UAV/UCAVs. That certainly isn't surmountable though if the design is a thu-deck as they could install an EW radar onto a CV-22 and probably utilise a ski-jump to support higher payloads for other aircraft.

What does become an issue is sortie generation. That is the primary goal of a carrier and I think it is likely that a CAT equipped carrier is going to be able to generate more sorties of aircraft than a ski jump equipped vessel.


Max Q wrote:
Then you’re going back to the era before the angled deck where you had to have a safety barrier between the touchdown area and parked aircraft situated on the forward deck


This was an accident waiting to happen and many did, if the pilot misjudged the approach, missing the arrester cables and the barrier didn’t always stop the aircraft, on numerous occasions it would go over the barrier and hit parked aircraft beyond it


A go around started too late could result in the same catastrophic ending with the aircraft catching the barrier and tumbling into deck parked aircraft


That was the one of the main reasons all conventional aircraft carriers adopted the Royal Navies angled deck


A missed approach or botched landing allows the Pilot to simply fly away straight ahead with no obstacle in his path

Of course this configuration also allows simultaneous launch and recover with the two forward catapults well clear and angled away from the landing area

There are obvious benefits to an angled flight deck for FW aircraft on a carrier but we are at a point technologically where the above issues you referencing present a very small risk to a thu-deck vessel. If we take the F-35 then both the B and C variants are the most capable carrier aircraft in the world today which should be no surprise given they are also the newest. The F-35B is fantastic in what it can bring to small carriers but by moving to the F-35C a small carrier gets an aircraft with a 150nm greater range (30% over the Bee) and the ability to carry a larger payload including an expanded internal weapon selection. That allows the F-35C to engage adversaries from greater range or persist in the battlespace for longer.

What we have seen with current USN F-35C testing is that the jet was able to hit the third wire (the preferred one) every single time... The auto landing features are such that the pilot can play no role in landing the jet. The jet is so precise in landing that the USN had to replace the specific runway surface on their land based wire test system because the F-35C wore out the tarmac in the same spot from repeated perfect landings, all without pilot intervention. The same is likely possible from emerging carrier based UAVs.

In that context then a thu-deck carrier is today less of a risk than it was 40 years ago and that is likely to continue into the future. Of course the ability to land manually is important and will continue to be taught but it will become the exception, not the rule.

Finally, I haven’t seen an actual design for a light carrier based on the US LHA. It may very well incorporate an angled deck at the expense of well deck (yes not present in LHA-6 & 7 but is in 8) and vehicle/marine storage.

It is probably worth reviewing this RAND study https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2006.html conducted on this very issue which didn’t show a significant cost saving using small carriers given their reduced ability to either protect themselves or project power in the environments the US is likely to or plans to operate. The study does only consider a STOVL equipped light carrier but the general principals for small carriers remain.
 
Max Q
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Re: Why no ski jump on US Navy amphibious carriers ?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:23 am

None of your reply addresses my point, it doesn’t matter if you touch down in the exact spot every time


Go around or bolters are still going to happen for a number of reasons and with a straight deck the flight path is directly towards, hopefully over, but not always parked aircraft. It’s still very hazardous


In fact you don’t even mention the arrester gear issue. You can have all the catapults you want but you can’t land conventional aircraft without them


But the Navy is not going to put an angled deck, arrester gear, catapults and all the other conventional carrier associated
equipment on these mini carriers, not going to happen, far too expensive, impractical and getting away from the mission they were designed for


Conventional air wings will stay on the CVNs where they belong


And that’s why a ski jump is such a compelling, low cost addition, you significantly improve the F35 weapons payload with next to no drawbacks
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.

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