AHC: Carrier justification thread.

Inspired by the Dutch carrier thread your challenge is to justify the existence of an OTL carrier. This may be extending the service life of an existing carrier, replacing one that wasn't, building one that wasn't or accepting a transfer that wasn't. I'd like to make it as realistic as possible, so carriers should at least be considered proposals or designs/deals that have been properly thought about rather than thought bubbles that were never getting past the bubble stage. I think this will be more about politics, finance and world events PoDs rather than design teams and technology.
 
Malta class for the Royal Navy. Built as early as possible and modernised as realistically as possible to extend their service lives.

Going by the USS Midway (which they could resemble, going by wiki) they could last until the ‘90s.

Falklands with a Malta class or two? *heart-eyes emoji*
 
Australia makes a quicker decision to replace HMAS Melbourne. The government goes ahead with the decision to buy an Iwo Jima class LPH in 1981/2. The government and the navy wanted to do so, but dragged their feet OTL. By 1983, the door had closed.

Edit: I would have gone for an enlarged Principe de Asturias for them, but doubt they wanted to spend the money. Could the Australians have built the ship themselves?
 
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I wouldn't necessarily go for a replacement CV, but iirc the retirement of HMCS Bonaventure severely gimped Canada's ASW and expeditionary warfare capabilities. Some sort of LPD/LHD should have been procured to make up for the loss.
 
I'm concocting a scenario where those objections are overruled.
I'm doing the same where Melbourne is replaced with an Essex. But it requires multiple interlocking PODs. Pretty sure I've got it to where it's at least in the realm of possibility and not entirely implausible.
 
Australia makes a quicker decision to replace HMAS Melbourne. The government goes ahead with the decision to buy an Iwo Jima class LPH in 1981/2. The government and the navy wanted to do so, but dragged their feet OTL. By 1983, the door had closed.

Edit: I would have gone for an enlarged Principe de Asturias for them, but doubt they wanted to spend the money. Could the Australians have built the ship themselves?
I didn't realise the Iwo Jima class was in the running, but always thought that it would have been a good fit or the slightly newer Tarawa class. Do you know which Iwo Jima class ship was offered?
 
I wouldn't necessarily go for a replacement CV, but iirc the retirement of HMCS Bonaventure severely gimped Canada's ASW and expeditionary warfare capabilities. Some sort of LPD/LHD should have been procured to make up for the loss.
I remember being both surprised and impressed when I discovered we had an aircraft carrier. It was at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, ON. (I was more surprised by the AIR-2 Genie, TBH — the museum, probably wisely, doesn’t mention that it was a nuclear weapon carried by Canadian aircraft.)

The shift to ASW as the sole mission (Bonaventure spent its early career with F2H Banshee fighters aboard, but ended as purely ASW) made sense in Cold War terms. Still, mid-60s ASW was very limited compared to what was possible with sonobuoys a decade or two later, and ASW, fortunately, remains a mission NATO has never had to perform. Politically, a carrier capable of force projection on land might’ve been a good thing for Canada, although it would’ve been expensive, and we probably would’ve had to buy Harriers.

Overall, it seems like NATO in the Cold War was content with having the USN do almost everything that wasn’t ASW and letting the RN fill in most of the rest with AEW helicopters and Sidewinder-armed Harriers. I don’t think that was terribly foolish, but if you consider the missions that NATO members have actually performed, ground strike capability in an asymmetrical warfare situation would have been helpful for Canada, the Netherlands... and, since I do not like the Super Etendard or any Mirage, France.
 
I didn't realise the Iwo Jima class was in the running, but always thought that it would have been a good fit or the slightly newer Tarawa class. Do you know which Iwo Jima class ship was offered?
IIRC, Reagan planned to loan Iwo Jima to the RN during the Falklands War in the event that either Hermes or Invincible were mission killed.
 
All I have is the Wiki page on HMAS Melbourne. It is from Stevens, et al, The Royal Australian Navy, pg. 227. It mentions a modified Iwo Jima preferred in 1979. Still, this would be a good choice at the time. Capable in ASW, amphibious warfare and disaster relief roles.
 
The shift to ASW as the sole mission (Bonaventure spent its early career with F2H Banshee fighters aboard, but ended as purely ASW) made sense in Cold War terms. Still, mid-60s ASW was very limited compared to what was possible with sonobuoys a decade or two later, and ASW, fortunately, remains a mission NATO has never had to perform. Politically, a carrier capable of force projection on land might’ve been a good thing for Canada, although it would’ve been expensive, and we probably would’ve had to buy Harriers.
Towards the end of its life it was mostly just carting army assets around. That's why I suggested an LPD/LHD, as at least they're built with troop transport in mind (while still having a large flat top for Helicopters).
 
I was thinking of a pre WW2 CV for the Dutch. Replace the idea of having a BC or other cruisers in the NEI to deter the IJN. It also would be good for the anti piracy units in the area to be able to use a mobile air launched search aircraft to help look for them. I don't think you need something as big as a Lexington or Akagi, but something along the size of Ranger/Zuiho/Hermes.
 
I was thinking of a pre WW2 CV for the Dutch. Replace the idea of having a BC or other cruisers in the NEI to deter the IJN. It also would be good for the anti piracy units in the area to be able to use a mobile air launched search aircraft to help look for them. I don't think you need something as big as a Lexington or Akagi, but something along the size of Ranger/Zuiho/Hermes.
For that role a conversion like HMS Argus would be sufficient and probably affordable.
 
For that role a conversion like HMS Argus would be sufficient and probably affordable.
I thought about that, having something designed using an existing Liner design converted to an CV. Some of the German postwar builders would want to do something like this in say the late 20's to early 30's and the Dutch would be able to use them to design/build or just build on the Dutch design.
 
I'm doing the same where Melbourne is replaced with an Essex. But it requires multiple interlocking PODs. Pretty sure I've got it to where it's at least in the realm of possibility and not entirely implausible.
But can the RAN crew a carrier with somewhere around twice the complement?
 
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