AHC: Carrier justification thread.

But can the RAN crew a carrier with somewhere around twice the complement?
You need to have a radically different ADF for it to work, combined with a more hostile threat environment and a supportive Australian populace. Which all together is a high, but not impossible hurdle.

Which is where the interlocking PODs come into play.
 
What about the nuke America and JFK? Can anyone wrangle a scenario where Congress pays the extra cash for these?
 
You need to have a radically different ADF for it to work, combined with a more hostile threat environment and a supportive Australian populace. Which all together is a high, but not impossible hurdle.

Which is where the interlocking PODs come into play.
Soviet Naval Base in Indonesia, perhaps even West Papua? That would kick Australian (and New Zealand) defence spending into orbit.
 
But can the RAN crew a carrier with somewhere around twice the complement?
Short answer: yes. Longer answer: yes, but. It comes at a cost. Not just in terms of manpower (that one's fairly straightforward all things considered), but in terms of what does and what does not get purchased. And when.

And a fast jet force 50% of the size of the RAAF?

I have my own opinions but am interested to see how it is justified to the Australian taxpayer.
Again, short answer: yes. Longer answer: yes, but. To justify the program multiple changes are required, both internal and external. The internal changes are, I think, at least in the realm of the possible. Even if not probable. The biggest changes needed are in Indonesia and the resolution of West Papua's sovereignty. Plus details related to that. It's not perfect (because let's face it, budgets are a bitch) but I think it works
 
Vanguard probably would have been of more use if the proposals to finish it as a carrier had been accepted. It may not have been an optimal carrier (being a conversion and all) but it would have been pretty big (by British standards).
 
In March 1966, after much discussion and rejection of roles it was decided that HMAS Melbourne would enter the Market Time area while HMAS Sydney was in Vung Tau unloading 6 RAR and 9 Sqn RAAF as part of Operation Hardihood. The Task Group of CV Melbourne, DD Vampire and DE Yarra entered Market Time Area 6 on May 4th and operated an intensive flying programme until May 6th, tracking all sports of coastal watercraft before heading to Hong Kong. The second voyage of Operation Hardihood meant that Melbourne, DE Derwent and DD Vampire entered the Market Time Area 6 on June 6th for another 3 days of intensive flying in support of Operation Market Time. YThis short but intense periods of operational flying were considered to be successful.

In April 1967 the US 7th fleet requested the HMAS Melbourne deploy to Yankee station as an ASW asset. The experience with Hardihood lead the government to accept the request and the Melbourne joined the DDG Perth and DE Swan for a 6 month deployment from September 14th.

In late 1967 early 1968 the British devalued the pound and announced a rapid withdrawal from the Far East while the Tet offensive was raging. Later in the year the RN conducted cross deck trials with Skyhawks and Trackers on the HMS Hermes, so the government took up the British offer to buy her as a replacement for Melbourne.

Viola!
 
From "HMS Hermes to Australia posted here in July 20, 2015 by Riain.
"IOTL the RAN rejected the Hermes because of the running cost, so anything with greater running costs than the Hermes is automatically out of contention. I don't think it is beyond the realms of possibility that the RAN will stretch to Hermes if the deal is right, but to both build a big new carrier and accept big running costs is not feasible."

I think you were right the first time. Australia needs a new carrier with modern equipment and lower operating costs. HMS Hermes is not the answer. Note that the thread went from Hermes to Essex to Clemenceau to PA58/Verdun. I doubt Australia can afford such ships. I still think a Principe de Asturias or Iwo Jima, or two, is a better choice at the time. Even better, convince Canada to build another. Get New Zealand on board for crewing/escorts.

By the way a viola is a stringed instrument. I think you meant Voila!
 
From "HMS Hermes to Australia posted here in July 20, 2015 by Riain.
"IOTL the RAN rejected the Hermes because of the running cost, so anything with greater running costs than the Hermes is automatically out of contention. I don't think it is beyond the realms of possibility that the RAN will stretch to Hermes if the deal is right, but to both build a big new carrier and accept big running costs is not feasible."

I think you were right the first time. Australia needs a new carrier with modern equipment and lower operating costs. HMS Hermes is not the answer. Note that the thread went from Hermes to Essex to Clemenceau to PA58/Verdun. I doubt Australia can afford such ships. I still think a Principe de Asturias or Iwo Jima, or two, is a better choice at the time. Even better, convince Canada to build another. Get New Zealand on board for crewing/escorts.

By the way a viola is a stringed instrument. I think you meant Voila!
Given the ideal carrier/aircraft combination isn't available at any price we have to pick the best of a bad bunch. Bear in mind that we had just bought skyhawks and trackers so a decision other than Melbourne and Hermes means disposing of new aircraft that were acquired at the expense of 2 submarines.

The Hermes hits a few other decision points, eg the Melbourne had its catapult shuttle run extended by 9" in a 1971 refit. The RAN also took delivery of a 2nd batch of skyhawks in 1971 which further ties us into ctol carriers for up to 20 years. The Hermes was also newer and simply better than Melbourne so would push the replacement decision away from the 1983 election.
 
The Principe de Asturias is a good design for supporting somebody else in combat, but its much too small to be able to operate on its own. I can't see Australia or New Zealand being good with that, particularly if they are facing greater threats from Indonesia. If that's the threat, Australia would be better off spending their money on lots of strike aircraft (F-111s or TSR-2s or perhaps even Vulcans or Victors - or hell, maybe even a squadron of B-1s later on) and lots of aerial refueling tankers for fighter-bombers like F-4s, and New Zealand on frigates, OPVs and submarines, along with enough fighters to protect itself and a handful of support aircraft - tankers to give the fighters longer range and AWACS to improve their effectiveness at air combat.

Both Australia and Canada (and Britain and France, hint hint) are gonna want something that can handle its own fight if they are gonna spend money on carriers. The Invincibles go out the door here for the same reason as the Principe de Asturias. That means at least the Clemenceau would be the option to start at. A modified Iwo Jima or Tarawa is a possibility, but again helicopter carriers aren't gonna do fuck all as fighter carriers unless you get capable supersonic VTOL aircraft, which is possible but a long shot. Ideally you'd start with something Charles de Gaulle size (though without its nuclear power, obviously, too pricey) so that it can carry plenty of fighter-bombers and the support aircraft they'll need to be able to put up a real fight in a medium-threat environment, as the US puts it.
 
Both Australia and Canada (and Britain and France, hint hint) are gonna want something that can handle its own fight if they are gonna spend money on carriers.
If Canada's in a position where it can't count on American assistance, then it's facing an existential crisis that carriers won't be able to solve.
 
If Canada's in a position where it can't count on American assistance, then it's facing an existential crisis that carriers won't be able to solve.
I could see a carrier being used as a way for Canada to provide a useful force to NATO without the political complications of sending a ground force to Europe in a Cold War gone hot scenario. Which would make a carrier a politically attractive option
 
I could see a carrier being used as a way for Canada to provide a useful force to NATO without the political complications of sending a ground force to Europe in a Cold War gone hot scenario. Which would make a carrier a politically attractive option
Thing is Canada had a ground commitment to Europe (including permanent bases in Germany) from the end of WWII up to 1994. There weren't really any "political complications" to it as it was the established status quo.

edit: heck, even now that the Cold War is long over and Canada no longer regularly bases troops in Europe, there's been no public uproar over Canada taking a prominent role in NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence.
 
Last edited:
For Canada I think a good idea would be the carrier being a Pacific thing the way Australia has all 6 submarines in the West.

As for Australia the carrier wouldn't operate 'alone', it would either be part of an allied fleet or if Australia was fighting alone in an environment where it was a mobile element of a multi squadron air effort with RAAF F111s, Mirages and perhaps RNZAF A4s. In such an environment the types of air assets that might be used against the carrier would be feeling the pressure of the F111s and be also tasked with combating up to 4 squadrons of Mirages. This isn't an environment where a carrier with a squadron of A4s and modern escort needs to be running scared.
 
An Australian carrier provides a second deck for a USN task force, which helps reduce their aviators' load and provide a spare deck for recovery (if necessary). Alternatively, if the Australian government made the decision to go it alone for a particular reason, the ship is likely to be enough for that threat otherwise we would be operating in consort with another Navy.

Additionally, there are multiple ways of increasing the difficulty faced by land based airpower conducting a maritime strike role against the fleet. A great primer is the way that Sandy Woodward dashed his carriers into launch and then retreated eastwards to put the maximum amount of range between himself and the Argentinean aircraft. Add in multiple layers of defence and the strike package is arriving low on fuel, possibly suffering losses and likely having one pass to launch and then return home. Now it's likely the fleet still takes damage in this scenario, but the enemy fast jet pilot is unhappy.

Add into the fact that F 111s are likely hitting their base as well upon return or the SASR are doing their tricks and things are looking a bit grim.
 
I think someone wrote un a thread that the 1964 UK general election could be changed by 8000 votes over something like 10 constituencies. If this actually happened the Conservatives return to power and CVA 01 gets ordered and Eagle get Phantoms.
 
I've been thinking.

In a world where CVA01 & 02 get built and Eagle refitted for Phantoms the Ark Royal will still need to have her austere Phantom refit. The first operational phantom sqn 892 was formed in 1969 and the 20 planes or the 2nd afloat sqn were delivered to the RAF in the same year. However CVA 01 won't be ready until 1973, CVA 02 until 1976, so if only Eagle is refitted for Phantoms the RN has 2 operational phantom squadron but only 1 carrier. Ark Royal will need the 32 million pound refit to cover the capability gap between the arrival of the phantoms in 1969 and the commissioning of CVA 02 in 1976.

This dovetails into the major refit schedule of the RN but means that the 32 million pounds isn't available to fund CVA 01 construction.
 
I'll put in having the MN Joffre get started in 1935 or even '36, instead of late 1938. The Bearn was already obsolete by that point and the French had a world wide empire, where a modern carrier would have been useful. For the Joffre to get an earlier start on a build would require a political and financial POD at an earlier date. To be sure, the Joffre and Painleve would not have been state-of-the-art by the late '30's, but they could have been useful.

The other side of that usefulness is: who controls the ship(s) in mid 1940?

 
Last edited:
I've been thinking.

In a world where CVA01 & 02 get built and Eagle refitted for Phantoms the Ark Royal will still need to have her austere Phantom refit. The first operational phantom sqn 892 was formed in 1969 and the 20 planes or the 2nd afloat sqn were delivered to the RAF in the same year. However CVA 01 won't be ready until 1973, CVA 02 until 1976, so if only Eagle is refitted for Phantoms the RN has 2 operational phantom squadron but only 1 carrier. Ark Royal will need the 32 million pound refit to cover the capability gap between the arrival of the phantoms in 1969 and the commissioning of CVA 02 in 1976.

This dovetails into the major refit schedule of the RN but means that the 32 million pounds isn't available to fund CVA 01 construction.
Given how screwed up the CVA01 design was I could easily see 02 being delayed while the work on a new design to fix the problems.
 
A single CTOL carrier is of little use for Australia. Anything they can afford cancels a second carrier. Hermes, and even Essex long hull, are not enough to oppose a determined land based attack with a peer opponent. Either would need at least Phantoms, which were marginal for the Essex class.
Determine the required mission for the ships you plan to buy. A medium sized strike carrier is nearly useless and far too expensive for Australia. Canada has no such need. Strictly speaking, France has no need for this besides pride.
The only viable missions are ASW/Sea Control or amphibious warfare. Smaller ships are thus viable. The Aussies should have rebuilt the Melbourne for use until newer V/STOL ships were in service. Then, they could have sold the package to India, Brazil or Argentina in around 1984/5.
Look at the number of LPH/LHD's in service today. These were the ships needed in the 1980's by these countries, not CTOL carriers.
 
Who are these peer opponents with the power to withstand the RAAF and still find the resources to find and successfully attack a carrier escorted by modern DDGs that Australia is fighting alone?
 
Top