MORE BUT SMALLER US AIRCRAFT CARRIERS?
A new proposal that will be rejected on jingoistic principles.
A Congressional Research Service report published two days ago asks: “The question of whether the Navy should shift at some point from procuring CVNs (nuclear-powered aircraft carriers) like the Ford class to procuring smaller and perhaps nonnuclear-powered aircraft carriers has been a recurrent matter of discussion and Navy study over the years, and is currently an active discussion in the Navy.” (https://sputniknews.com/military/202012111081424436-white-house-to-propose-massive-shipbuilding-plan-that-trades-carriers-for-smaller-warships---report/).
It goes on to say that “The Navy has already experimented with the idea somewhat, converting some of its landing helicopter docks into “lightning carriers” loaded down with F-35B Lightning II stealth aircraft instead of their normal allotment of helicopters. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger described the “lightning carrier” concept as “the birth of the most lethal, aviation-capable amphibious assault ship to date,” noting the configuration makes the Navy all the more “unpredictable” to its foes. “You would like to see one of those big decks one time go out with two squadrons of F-35s and next time fully loaded with MV-22s (VTOL helicopters) and another (Marine expeditionary unit) with a 50-50 combo,” Berger said at a February event. “Now that’s how you become unpredictable. How do you defend against that?”
Now, answering the defend question, quite easily. You find that carrier through its ridiculously long tail and chatterbox radio operators and sink it. So, it must be protected, or you will announce the deaths of hundreds of US Navy personnel and Marines on the news a few nights later. And your enemies will jeer at you. I seriously do not think that the Admirals and Washington Swamp consider the idea of a sunken aircraft carrier as viable or even possible even if all warships certainly run that risk. I do not think that they even consider an enemy armed with more than an AK47 that can sink their ships in a conventional battle. They make the right noises, yes, to get more money to waste, but it is a theoretical-never-will-happen idea. It is a matter of ostrich politics that comes from generations of not being challenged. This outlook, built upon fake ideas of American exceptionalism, will lead to eventual defeat. Let me say again, it will not be a matter of sailing to the Persian Gulf and bombing the natives without facing any risk of counterattack. No, you will fight to get in range, and you will fight to escape once in range. And you are not prepared for this scenario at all. I expect a lot of anguish and as said, defeat.
Ironically, even if unknown to most, the new idea of smaller carriers (excellent thinking because it means more and thus the dispersion of targets) is actually a Chinese Policy long derided by the American “Experts” who want supercarriers and nothing else. In Code Name Lucy, I said: "The Chinese thought long and hard on what they wanted and then started building at a rate which will make the Chinese Navy larger and more powerful than the US & Royal Navies combined and with modern vessels (the Roosevelt-Dreadnought Principle again) within the next two decades. What is particularly impressive is that they are doing so in a very planned and systematic way. Again, let us analyse the patterns here – first came the smaller escort vessels in large numbers combined with advanced submarines using the best technology from anywhere (Russia, South Africa, Israel and homegrown). Then only the large aircraft carriers, experimenting to see what works for them in a combination of size and quality, the age-old Chinese outlook of more is better.
My sources tell me that they would rather have twice as many aircraft groups as the US Navy, even if smaller, than risking all on a few vastly expensive Ford & Nimitz & Queen Elizabeth class carriers. Ironically, what the West jeer at – the Russian designed 61,000-ton heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser – is seen by them as the baseline to start from. Their aircraft carriers will be smaller, I am told, but they will have many more of them and they will have steam catapults, time will tell. However, what we see right now is smart, really smart, thinking, they are setting up the groundwork very methodologically."
Just this week the French Navy announced plans for a new nuclear-powered carrier (eighteen years in the future). She will weigh in between 70,000 and 75,000 tons. Bingo, again, three-quarters the size of the US mammoths. The argument of having 14 plus supercarriers shows that you don’t understand that you don’t have the aircraft, aircrew, or support vessels for them. Thus, half are laying in harbour, unused and unlikely to be commissioned quickly during an emergency.
A few years ago, Donald J Trump, tried to threaten North Korea with two carrier groups vaguely sailing towards the country. The non-NATO countries laughed, why, they knew that no less than 60% of the US Navy’s F-18 Super Hornets were not operational. They were downed because they were flown to pieces and not replaced. In the US Marine Corps, 74% of their normal Hornets, they don’t have Super Hornets, are downed. Yes, the Few & the Proud are reduced to scrounging museum aircraft for spare parts, an utter disgrace and one which your enemy laughed loudly about. Then came the F35 that is not stealthy and cannot dogfight or even fly in heavy weather. Let me not even discuss this failure, it is in the books.
Perhaps the smaller carrier idea is a good one. But it will be rejected and when rejected it will play right into the enemy’s hand.
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