AHC: Carrier justification thread.

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.
All warship are a collection of design compromises, I think the basic design of the CVA01 was sound enough to be a success.
 
It was penny pinching that forced alot of compromises for the later cva design. The core early design was a decent enough carrier that could have made into the 2000-s maybe and u would have to repeat another two carriers to repeat them preferably before the market crash i guess.
 
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.
Don't really disagree with anything here. I will say though, that whether the Phantom is marginal or not depends entirely on how you plan to use both the aircraft and the ship. To start with, the ESSEX class cannot launch a Phantom at it's max takeoff weight (full fuel and bomb load). The C11 catapults just aren't strong enough to get the plane into the air at Max weight. However, in an air-to-air configuration, they could do the job just fine. By the numbers, the C11 could probably get a Phantom to about 115 knots on its own (it could get 70,000 pounds to 108 knots, so I'm guestimating a little here with the Phantom topping out around 60,000). Add in the 30+knots the ship can give you plus whatever the wind gives you and you're up to around 145-160+. At Max weight the Phantom needs 180 knots to get off the deck (per the F-4J NATOPS manual). So using the F-4 for strike is out. But in an A2A configuration, it only needs between 140 and 150 knots. So they can be launched even in zero wind conditions.

The biggest knock on flying them off the ESSEX class is the limited aviation fuel bunkerage and small magazines. For the USN, where a carrier may be expected to remain on station for weeks or months at a time conducting strikes, that's a problem. They would require frequent UNREPs (probably at least twice a week for high tempo operations). But for a Navy looking to use the carrier for short duration missions or lower tempo operations, they can serve just fine. It's a matter of deciding what you need, and if you can live with the compromises imposed
 
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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?

I don’t think anyone else had carrier designs newer than the mid 30s in 1940. But if OTL is a guide and we minimize butterflies the Joffre will be incompletely worked up and without a functional air group, with a high probability of being sunk or scuttled without ever seeing combat. If it somehow escaped that fate it would probably be really useful for the Allies. IIRC the French had a shipment of Wildcat fighters that were diverted to the British OTL right with the fall of France. I wonder what the politics of a lone Free French capital ship would have been, if they would have allowed for a multi-national air group like a French CAP for British crewed Swordfish.
 

Driftless

Donor
I don’t think anyone else had carrier designs newer than the mid 30s in 1940. But if OTL is a guide and we minimize butterflies the Joffre will be incompletely worked up and without a functional air group, with a high probability of being sunk or scuttled without ever seeing combat. If it somehow escaped that fate it would probably be really useful for the Allies. IIRC the French had a shipment of Wildcat fighters that were diverted to the British OTL right with the fall of France. I wonder what the politics of a lone Free French capital ship would have been, if they would have allowed for a multi-national air group like a French CAP for British crewed Swordfish.
IF the Joffre does get into service by 1939 and that is certainly an "If", have her history be a rough swap of roles with the Bearn. Have her be part of the Force de Raid (a better ship for the purpose!). Transfer bullion to Canada, pick up the Curtis Hawk 75's in the US, and get as far as Martinique during the Fall of France. From there....?
 
Not according to its designers, who were relieved it was cancelled.
The chief designer was interviewed by the bbc decades after the cancellation and just before he died and made this claim. it's the only reference I've seen like this in tears of obsessed reading, and I think it's overblown.

It was penny pinching that forced alot of compromises for the later cva design. The core early design was a decent enough carrier that could have made into the 2000-s maybe and u would have to repeat another two carriers to repeat them preferably before the market crash i guess.
There are good practical reasons for virtually every design point. For example 53,000t was chosen because it could use 3 shaft propulsion; a 4 shaft system would push the design up to 58,000t while still meeting the dimension limits but without any appreciable operational benefits for the extra costs it would incur. Another thing is the Sea Dart system, which impinged on flight deck space. However RN doctrine of the time demanded a certain amount of Sea Dart ships in a task force so they were to be fitted to the carriers much like how USN carriers of the time carried Tartar SAMs.

The designers weren't stupid and the project had political support for most of the design phase, the ship came out like it did because thats what the RN wanted.
 
The Australians were threatened by Indonesian naval and air power at various times. The RAN operated as task forces in areas China considered their backyard. Soviet support of Indonesia could have increased quickly in the 50's and 60's. The RAN has historically not operated alone, which is my point. If it is going alone, it has a limited range of operation it can afford.

If the F4 can do air defense from an Essex, it provides a chance of Australia using the design. However, that is one of the few good points on using an Essex. The problems are expense, even if at a reduced price, manning and operational costs, increased costs of acquiring Phantoms, costs of training pilots and ground crew, and lack of an ASW carrier, because these additional costs would deny the RAN the ability to afford a smaller air asset. If Australia had accepted an Essex when offered, sometime in the early '60's, how long could Australia operate the carrier. Even putting the crews of both the HMAS Melbourne and the HMAS Sydney into the Essex, becomes a strain, as their crews would equal the crew of the Essex class. I do not know which variant and upgrades were with the offered carrier. Would the RAN have the resources to escort the Essex? This is before the RAN had received the Perth class which were the only modern guided missile escorts available. There is no modern frigate until the 80's. If the RAN acquires an Essex, can it afford to order the Perth class? Would the RAAF be able to buy F 111's in this scenario? I think Hermes is the largest ship the RAN can effectively operate without extreme financial stress. Could it operate F8 Crusaders? Or is it limited to A4's? Could the RAN buy a Clemenceau? Again, with what moneys? What aircraft to use?

I would like to see the RAN acquire a larger, more capable
 
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.
Had the UK gone ahead with the CVA-01 I suspect the final design used would not be the final design we have come to know and love (love in the way a mother loves an ugly child) when the project was abandoned
 
If Australia's security situation is so dire we go to effort and expense to put Phantom squadrons on a carrier we aren't going to put them on a ratty old shitbox that can't even fly them off for 2/3 of their missions. We'll most likely buy something like CVA01 and F4Ks in order to get the most out of the Phantom fleet.

However that is vastly more than Australia requires for it's defence policy from 1957 to 1987, of fighting limited Wars in the region and being able to mobilise in the event of WW3. In these scenarios the Hermes with A4s is plenty enough without costing the earth.
 
The chief designer was interviewed by the bbc decades after the cancellation and just before he died and made this claim. it's the only reference I've seen like this in tears of obsessed reading, and I think it's overblown.



There are good practical reasons for virtually every design point. For example 53,000t was chosen because it could use 3 shaft propulsion; a 4 shaft system would push the design up to 58,000t while still meeting the dimension limits but without any appreciable operational benefits for the extra costs it would incur. Another thing is the Sea Dart system, which impinged on flight deck space. However RN doctrine of the time demanded a certain amount of Sea Dart ships in a task force so they were to be fitted to the carriers much like how USN carriers of the time carried Tartar SAMs.

The designers weren't stupid and the project had political support for most of the design phase, the ship came out like it did because thats what the RN wanted.
What you said.

👍
 
You know the replacement for HMAS MELBOURNE could be HMAS MELBOURNE. I was thinking about it on the way home and rather than acquiring a new carrier the RAN opt for a domestic rebuild as a VSTOL carrier in 1978 / 1979. It would be a major undertaking replacing boilers with turbines, moving the elevator from mid deck to the side. Hell could be ambitious and add a plug increasing length by 10 metres.

This can keep the Unions onside & by extension the ALP. Perhaps funds can be secured from the Americans to assist with the upgrade in exchange for joining their Harrier program in lieu of the SHAR & giving some of the overall upgrade work to them.
 
It would probably be cheaper just to order a new Invincible class from Britain modified to meet Australia's needs, or a Sea Control Ship from the states.
 
I seem to remember an interesting line of Bazan designs for small CATOBAR carriers in the 20k - 25k ton range. If the Aussies are willing to shell out for a new carrier, that would fix their crew and maintenance issues.
 
Would the Aussies stand up Harrier or just use it as a helicopter carrier?
If they're spending the money to buy an Invincible or Sea Control Ship, they'll buy Harriers. It's too big an investment otherwise. If all they want is a helicopter carrier, there are a lot of other, cheaper, options they can go with
 
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