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"Why the U.S. Navy Needs to Study Battleships..." Topic

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863 hits since 22 May 2017
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2017 8:52 p.m. PST

… to Save the Aircraft Carrier.

"It is entirely possible that the technical challenges cataloged here are insoluble at any affordable cost, much as restoring the dreadnought's supremacy was impossible in World War II. Accordingly, it behooves the U.S. Navy and friendly services to experiment with new technologies and concepts now, in case the sunset of the aircraft carrier approaches. We make much of the abrupt switch between battleships and carriers as the capital ships of choice. But navy leaders didn't conjure the carrier into being in 1941, when they needed a new capital ship. Rather, farsighted leaders such as Admiral William Moffett—a battleship-officer-turned-air-power-enthusiast—had pushed the development of naval air during the era of battleship supremacy. Hence, the implements to prosecute an aviation-centric strategy already existed when the navy needed them. Commanders merely had to divine how to use them. As things worked out, the ex-capital ship performed support duty while its replacement bore the brunt of navy-on-navy fighting. Not a bad division of labor.

How can the U.S. Navy prolong the relevance of its big-deck aircraft carriers amid increasingly menacing surroundings? In part, through hindsight. The Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor rudely evicted dreadnought battleships from their perch atop the navy's pecking order. The day of the aircraft carrier had arrived. And yet battleships found new life for a time, pressed into service for secondary but vital functions. That could be the flattop's eventual fate as well. Naval-aviation proponents may find insights from battleship history discomfiting. They should study them nonetheless…"
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StarCruiser24 May 2017 4:30 p.m. PST

So – basically – we need a "Battlecarrier"?

Ise and Hyuga may have been a bit early but…

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2017 10:43 a.m. PST



Lion in the Stars26 May 2017 6:39 a.m. PST

What he wants is the Shinano, an aircraft carrier built on a battleship hull. link This would allow the carrier to get closer to shore, within the range of anti-ship missiles. The problem with the Shinano hull itself was the small hangar deck, and a modern supercarrier is much bigger (50% greater displacement). Armoring a modern supercarrier to battleship standards would probably result in a 200,000ton ship, given how much bigger the Forrestal-class was compared to the Midways.

I admit, there is pretty good argument for a ship broadly on par with the old Des Moines class heavy cruisers or the Alaska-class battlecruisers, to act as a massive gun battery and AA escort to the gator freighters. I'd modify the hell out of the Des Moines class 8" guns and use GPS/laser guided, rocket boosted shells for range. Wouldn't bother with secondary guns, though, I'd use all that space for VLS systems. I'd also want a bigass laser onboard, with the laser turrets up high for best arcs of fire. This laser would require some massive generation capabilities, probably two nuclear reactors (while either one could drive the ship or power the laser, redundancy is good in a ship designed to go places where people will shoot at it). This assault cruiser would also need helicopter space to protect against submarines.

Unfortunately, that would make for one very expensive ship, probably on par with the DDG1000 class' $3 USDbn per ship.

Murvihill26 May 2017 7:42 a.m. PST

I'd take a supertanker, subdivide the tanks, flatten the deck and turn the whole thing into a 500,000 ton aircraft carrier with so much reserve buoyancy that it could absorb 50 missiles without sinking.

StarCruiser26 May 2017 4:45 p.m. PST

^ And get nowhere very slowly…

Royal Marine05 Aug 2017 4:17 a.m. PST

It's called Hawaii …

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