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(Daily Mail)   The construction of the USS Gerald R. Ford stumbles forward   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line 16
    More: Obvious, USS Gerald R. Ford, Ford Motor Co., airstrike, Michael O'Hanlon, Huntington Ingalls Industries  
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9781 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Oct 2013 at 8:07 PM (42 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-02 04:10:48 AM
2 votes:
Sigh. It feels like the last few decades are all about style over substance. It annoys me that Gerald Ford gets portrayed as some bumbling fool because he stumbled down a set of stairs on camera. He was one of the most athletic Presidents we've had, and, regardless whether you agreed with his politics, was pretty damned sharp - unlike the more recent mouth-breathers he could listen and compromise with those he did not agree with. He knew and did a ton of stuff, much of it behind closed doors. It amazes me that most people don't know he sat on the Warren Commission. And I was not a big Ford fan, but damn, objective reality > titillating perception - give it a try.

As to viability of the Carriers... lol, just before I got out of the service, I had to debrief a VIP regarding the closing of our facility (base closure overseas), standard dog and pony tour followed by debrief/grilling on specifics: who was taking over our mission, and ... stuff. After walking him through the entire facility then giving him the better part of 2.5 hours answering any and every minute freaking question he could think of, he laughed and asked me to speculate on 'the future'.

The Soviet Union had recently collapsed, and he thought the Navy's 'future' for the next century was bright: our ability to sustain Carrier fleets as a forward presence, yada yada; he asked what I thought:I told him he really didn't want to know my opinion; he insisted and I told him. Lol, Freaking ruined his day. :>p

1. Within 100 years (75 now maybe, haven't kept up with the numbers), the muslim population of Russia will be in the majority. It's not particularly unlikely that they will align - at least economically - with all the " 'stans" (ie Uzbekistan, Tadjikstan, etc); controlling a significant portion of the world's more valuable natural resources and the time and technology to build the infrastructure necessary to extract them. A large number... are not our friends and we are not making an effort to change this. The whole Khrushchev 'We will bury you!' could very well happen - not, as usually translated as they'd hand us our ass, but as he intended - that the US would rot from within while they're still going strong - obviously not as a communist entity, but a more younger, motivated populace with more resources at hand. The US needed to aggressively change our mindset/spending or in the long term we were going to get left in the dust.

2. China. We'd started making poor economic decisions (borrowing gobs of money) and I told him they'd freaking own us if we didn't wake up. I said (and still believe) their money/influence will affect economic and military policy, and (short version) not in a good way.

3. The US had consistently avoided maintaining/upgrading its infrastructure - I thought it likely that it was going to bite us in the ass - hard to ask for funding when (I believe I tactfully said) shiat is falling down around your ears.

4. The more complex a system, the easier it is to take it down. I could write gobs on just this alone - iirc I gave him a half dozen scenarios off the top of my head that our fleet was incapable of handling at the time.

/Other things I said were more off the mark - a shifting older US population would make it difficult to man a large fleet, projections on sustainability and economic instability around the world would start more fires than the US could put out, requiring a change in mission - NOW (at the time), before it's needed/too late to adapt. I can't remember the rest, I just remember he was really bummed. And I crushed him when I explained why I thought his 'baby' (SDI) was the final death knell to surface fleets; especially now when the US can't even pretend launch dominance.
2013-10-02 01:09:34 AM
2 votes:

Gleeman: Pubby: That being said, we still need more, newer carriers. They're the ultimate in global force projection. A mobile floating fortress armed to the teeth with all sorts of things that make a helluva lot of mess when they hit their target is not something sane countries fark with and when one parks itself in your waters, you listen real close to what the guy ordering it around has to say.

This. How is any President going to ask "where are the carriers?" whenever an international incident happens, if there aren't any carriers. When the Air Force wanted to contribute to the first Libyan bombing (under Reagan) they had to fly hours out of their way to avoid the airspace of all the European countries that didn't want to get involved in any way. The Navy planes had a 10 minute flight from the bird farm.

In Libya 2.0 the French flew the highest percentage of air support missions, and almost all of the on call missions. Guess which country out of the 14 participating brought a carrier to the party?

And speaking of the Phalanx CIWS, there is a mod out now that enables it to engage small craft. 4,500 rounds per minute of 20mm is going to tear some new orifices in any attackers. The Navy has also been beefing up the small craft defenses of ships deployed over seas, adding extra .50s, hand operated mini-guns (think 'Painless' the Gatling gun from Predator, but mounted) and 25mm auto-cannon to the ships.


This is a very good explanation of why carriers are still relevant... but I think the pace of carrier building is perhaps a bit too quick when compared to things like big-deck amphibs.  Seeing as how an LHA can support a Marine medium or heavy helicopter squadron, reinforced with Harrier (or JSF) SVTOL jets, and also establish a ground presence, it's also an extremely effective force projection tool.  When you consider also that we can get 4 America-class LHAs for the price of one Ford-class CVN, I think we should be focusing there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_America_(LHA-6)
upload.wikimedia.org

/Served with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit on the USS Bataan in 2009, then took the USS Carter Hall to Haiti after the earthquake in 2010.
2013-10-01 10:36:43 PM
2 votes:

Allen262: Millennium Challenge 2002. Sixteenships including one aircraft carrier sunk with over 20,000 US dead in the first attack alone from mass missile attack. Than what was left was sunk using small boats using conventional and suicide attacks.

The US carrier fleet has not be at any risk of being sunk since the end of WWII. They are nothing but large slow moving targets for Zerg rushs and Kamikazes attacks.

George S. Patton said that "Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man." and some day some one will say that Fleet Carriers are monuments to the stupidity of the US Navy.


Don't read too much into that. Just because the dungeon master game controller allowed it doesn't mean it would work in real life. These things are run to get officers to think, not to test capabilities.

/Hint: it wouldn't work in real life
2013-10-01 08:46:36 PM
2 votes:
The best thing about this carrier is there has actually been some forethought put into the design. The use of magnetic systems for the launch and recover systems is so much more efficient and makes it able to host the new and lighter UAVs to land and take off. It also decreases the stress on current aircraft. Additionally, the power that is generated by the reactors far exceed the current requirements of the ship. This means that any future weapon or defense system can easily be added to the ship to extend its operational life. (Ship based laser defense systems to shoot down missiles or shells for an example)

Obviously the biggest downside is that it's a huge target. They are the pride of the Navy and the United States and any successful attack on one would be catastrophic. From the high tech wave skimming cruise missiles to the low tech rubber boats loaded with explosives, a carrier like this presents a huge target and it seems like there is not adequate defense against either. Past war games have proven that a US fleet being swarmed by smaller vessels stands little chance yet there does not seem to be a huge shift in strategy to defend against that sort of attack.

Also the claim in the title about being invisible to radar seems a bit far fetched. It's a huge chunk of metal. I'm sure there are some countermeasures but aside from that carriers always travel with many other large metal objects that probably do not have a ship design to deflect radar.
2013-10-01 08:42:45 PM
2 votes:

kyleaugustus: $13 billion.  We could have ~13 Apollo-type moon missions for the cost of this thing.


In 1969 money? Yes.

In 2013 money with the cost of labor, design bids, bureaucracy overhead, design testing, appropriate palms of appropriate members of Congress greased, disputed testing, re-testing of the design, design modification, crew training, mission PR, and finally launch...you're looking at maybe 1 moon landing if you can convince the trained moneys to get out of the lander.
2013-10-01 07:50:16 PM
2 votes:
i.dailymail.co.uk

Looks like the wolves have been chewing on it.
2013-10-02 03:22:53 AM
1 votes:
Tell me again which war you're preparing for?
2013-10-01 11:19:16 PM
1 votes:

Allen262: Real ships didn't sink and real people didn't die but Van Riper not only beat the US Navy at it's own game than came back and raped it's dead corpse. His way of beating the US Navy works just as well in the real world as it did in Millennium Challenge 2002 as the US Navy didn't learn a farking thing after being smacked around like cheap hooker.


I spent a decade designing and running these games for the navy. We've adjudicated helos getting shot down by torpedos in order to teach farking lessons about not following procedures.

You're reading too much into MC02.
2013-10-01 10:36:29 PM
1 votes:
For the cost of that we could build the entire west coast Hyperloop. Wheee!
2013-10-01 10:07:35 PM
1 votes:

uber humper: Pubby: kyleaugustus: $13 billion.  We could have ~13 Apollo-type moon missions for the cost of this thing.

In 1969 money? Yes.

In 2013 money with the cost of labor, design bids, bureaucracy overhead, design testing, appropriate palms of appropriate members of Congress greased, disputed testing, re-testing of the design, design modification, crew training, mission PR, and finally launch...you're looking at maybe 1 moon landing if you can convince the trained moneys to get out of the lander.

It was $24 billion. The largest investment by any nation in peace time. 400,000 workers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_program#NASA_expansion


Minor threadjack:  in terms of percentage of GDP, the Exploring Expedition (yes, they called it that), was even more expensive:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Exploring_Expedition

I highly recommend Sea of Glory, Philbrick's book about it.
2013-10-01 10:04:28 PM
1 votes:
Building megacarriers in 2013 makes as much sense as building battleships in 1939, except for the advantages of having our own floating islands anywhere at sea to project power from

During a serious war, they'd be big targets and go down fast.
2013-10-01 09:13:57 PM
1 votes:
I gotta know, was it named Leslie King first?
2013-10-01 09:04:06 PM
1 votes:
i.imgur.com

Not impressed.
2013-10-01 08:54:29 PM
1 votes:

Clash City Farker: We have to keep making them or we will forget how to make them.


Unfortunately, this is true to a large extent.  If you don't support the industry that allows the building of these specialized weapons, you lose the capability to make them as the suppliers of materials and expertise needed to construct such complex systems disappears and moves to other projects. The real question is whether these weapons system as we know them have a long term future.

Remember, in 1915, battleships ruled the waves and a mere 25 years later were obsolete and moved to support roles. The carrier era has lasted much longer, but that is also due to the fact that they have never truly been tested in combat operation where they have been at risk.  With cruise missile technology developed as it has and shown to be effective in conflicts like the Falklands war against warships, there is some doubt about the wisdom of these massive ships that place all your eggs in one basket. I am not saying that they are not a powerful tool, but saying this form of warfare is going to last 120 years (1940-2065) is wishful thinking.  The US does need to consider replacing the older ships as many are at the end of their expected service lives, but perhaps bigger isn't necessarily better.
2013-10-01 08:08:19 PM
1 votes:
Floating FEMA camp?
2013-10-01 08:04:42 PM
1 votes:

fusillade762: [i.dailymail.co.uk image 634x422]

Looks like the wolves have been chewing on it.


It's delicious. Can you blame them?
 
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