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"Demise of the Carrier and others?" Topic

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35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP01 Aug 2022 5:05 a.m. PST

This does not bode well. I tend to agree that the carrier is in its twilight, as well as potentially other ships. I think drones, AI and space based is the future, but that is my opinion. Watch the video if you have time. Depressing and scary.


Subject: US Navy developing water-based drones to combat China 'pacing challenge' but wary of 'unproven technology' | Fox News

Speak of the devil


Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP01 Aug 2022 6:59 a.m. PST

I think that the carrier is not quite ready to succumb to tech. Like the tank,or manned aircraft, there is definitely still a role to play, and IMO this bloggers fears are not wrong, but his timing is way off.

His history seems a little slanted to his purpose. No mention of Taranto, which helped inspire the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The entire nature of the Pacific war and the huge success of the carrier fleets and the submarines feels sort of left out.

The battle groups are well defended for now. They have tremendous firepower. The Chinese are many years away from duplicating this, though they are trying hard to do so.

The historical parallels to the Victorian naval era are interesting. The French were unable to match Britain's shipbuilding capacity and this gave rise to Admiral Aube and the juene d'ecole, a movement which posited that France could build large numbers of torpedo boats to neutralize the emerging modern battleships. This in turn gave rise to the destroyer for protection. The swarm of torpedo boats threat was never tested.

The LCS program was a flop, as discussed at length in other posts here. But the navy's relative strength is massive. Like Britain in Victorian times, the US counters tech threats, and generally still leads the way. The Chinese are facing serious, immediate economic issues that will affect resources for its military. The last thing they want to see is a US battle group or two, supported by the worlds best submarines, in their region.

The US battle groups are a symbol of might that no one else can match at this time. Maybe Fox could also write something about this.

Of course tech marches on. But like the old competition of bigger and bigger guns vs better and better armor, it marches on both defense and offense.
The "pacing challenge" is just jargon for an old fashioned naval race, in which the Chinese are not yet close to catching the US.

All IMO.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP01 Aug 2022 7:59 a.m. PST

Don't know Tort. I think the Ukraine war is showing the weakness of tanks. Watch the video in that attachment if you get the time.

I think there is just too much out there to bring down the large setting targets that the carriers have become. They are great for wars against powers like Iraq or Iran, but in a major confrontation with a China….. ????

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP01 Aug 2022 8:27 a.m. PST

Big picture, you are right 35th. There is definitely going to be a change coming, but maybe not so soon. The Chinese have committed to building a large carrier fleet, so it's not over yet. Defending the battle groups is a main focus right now. A counter wall of drones and missiles may be one answer,or it may be electronic defense systems. We will see.

I have also though this about tanks, but I think it's about whose driving them and the new tech they have. In the right hands, with support, they can cover a lot of ground.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP01 Aug 2022 9:04 a.m. PST

Although scary, I am a big proponent of AI, both normal and micro. That is an edge we have to be on top of.

smithsco01 Aug 2022 9:15 a.m. PST

Lots of threats out there but the navy is working to counter. Read about SEWIP Block 3. It provides basically limitless electronic attacks againts anti ship missiles, drones etc. Will it solve all problems? No but it's part of the solution. Which will I'm sure lead to changes in how anti ship missiles and drone work.

Tanks I'm far less sold on having a future in ground combat. At least manned tanks. Unmanned for sure will be around.

OSCS7401 Aug 2022 9:33 a.m. PST

I'm not buying it. Carriers could carry large numbers of drones.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP01 Aug 2022 10:25 a.m. PST

I fear it is true but hope not for a test may well be coming.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP01 Aug 2022 1:44 p.m. PST

Since this also relates to our carriers there.

Subject: Would China Really Start a War over a Nancy Pelosi Visit to Taiwan? – 19FortyFive


Legion 401 Aug 2022 2:24 p.m. PST

Like Tanks & Helicopters … The Carrier is still viable.

And No the PRC/CCP is not going to start a war over a US politician of high station or otherwise visiting Taiwan. Xi is up for "reelection" soon. It's more about saber rattling for local consumption that a real "threat".

However, many from that region do not like to lose face. So, if she lands ? Xi/PRC/CCP must have a plan ?

But again, the PRC/CCP sees the top US leadership as weak, feckless, confused, etc. Xi is playing GO, the US is playing Checkers.

MrMagoo01 Aug 2022 3:34 p.m. PST

The issue the Russians are having with tanks in Ukraine is the same issue tanks have always had… one infantryman armed with a bazooka, panzerschreck, or Javelin can wreak havoc on armor, especially given the terrain. There's plenty of cover for them to hide. The Russians apparently aren't sending infantry to support the armor and take out the Ukrainians armed with Javelin missiles… I think they called it "combined arms" or something like that. wink

Legion 401 Aug 2022 4:39 p.m. PST

Yep … they don't fight combined arms modern mobile maneuver warfare. And it's costing them …

Zephyr101 Aug 2022 9:07 p.m. PST

"the huge success of the carrier fleets"

That's the main thing, carriers worked best in groups, able to send out hundreds of planes on strikes. A single carrier sending out a couple dozen planes (even with modern precision munitions) is going to find itself overworked with having to do so many tasks over a wide area. I do see, however, a possibility of drone carriers to augment a carrier battle group's numbers. But it's going to take a drawn-out war to initiate something like that…

Striker01 Aug 2022 11:08 p.m. PST

So his argument is that a US Carrier Strike Group would be destroyed by the whole PLAN shooting everything from everything? No kidding. Making a big assumption that the USN has a plan to deal with that, there will be casualties and such. There's not a lot of evidence of weapon effectiveness so assuming each weapon hits and does it's damage is a bit of an assumption.

Modern carriers will have to evolve to be useful and a CVN can carry a lot of drones.

The second link, couldn't read it for the ad pop-up, isn't a shock. Untested tech is never high on the USN betting list and isn't surprising they aren't going to start putting all their chips in on that. Test, improve, and test again until it's ready.

Legion 402 Aug 2022 9:33 a.m. PST

Modern carriers will have to evolve to be useful and a CVN can carry a lot of drones.
As time & tech progress we will see more and more drones on the battle. E.g. the recent Drone strike on an AQ leader in A'stan. And some others before that.

gregmita202 Aug 2022 10:00 a.m. PST

Didn't we already go through this with tanks?
Once again, a system becomes obsolete if one of two things happens:

- another system fulfills the same objectives, but can do it better.
- the objectives for the system no longer exist.

Carriers, like tanks, have always been vulnerable from the day they were created. But that's not the criterion for no longer using it. Is there another system that can do all of what a carrier does, and do it better?

Interesting that no one wants to claim the A-10 is obsolete despite it fulfilling those factors. :)

The Chinese have committed to building a large carrier fleet

Exactly, and they do it while claiming carriers are useless due to anti-ship ballistic/hypersonic missiles. :)

Sort of like the Soviet Union financing anti-nuclear movements in the West while going whole hog on nuclear energy themselves…

Striker02 Aug 2022 3:10 p.m. PST

If the USN starts to think of other things than big CVNs only carrying expensive manned aircraft the carriers will have a role since the ship is already there, just need the other systems that it will house.

gregmita203 Aug 2022 2:10 p.m. PST

If the USN starts to think of other things than big CVNs only carrying expensive manned aircraft the carriers will have a role since the ship is already there, just need the other systems that it will house.

That's a part of the flexibility of carriers. Nothing else can do anything similar. For the foreseeable future, drones will not be replacing manned combat aircraft, but will have a supplemental role. Carriers fit very well into that, being able to accommodate both.

Thresher0103 Aug 2022 11:58 p.m. PST

I doubt the demise of the carrier is imminent.

Clearly it is under greater threat, but it is still very relevant and powerful.

I suspect its final demise will be brought about by lack of domestic funding rather than enemy forces, which IS a far greater and more effective threat to our naval vessels than anything the enemy can throw against them.

See ALL the naval vessels and aircraft wings cut in the last 20 years or so for concrete proof of that.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2022 5:32 a.m. PST

The defense budget is going up 9% this year. It includes billions for ships the navy did not even ask for, but are instead pork projects for a couple of southern states. It's not the funding, it's the navy itself that has different ideas about what it wants. . The Columbia class subs, and destroyers are the main thrust right now. The frigate plans are still under discuion.

The end of the LCS program was predictable, an expensive failure, defective ships, poor navy planning.

The Super Hornets are being refurbished to extend their operational lifespan. But air wings were cut and will be evolving, hopefully the next gen fighters will be ready by the mid 30s.

It's not easy to follow the navy's vision for the future. Congress has literally forced more ships on the navy budget in recent years. The strategic shift to the Pacific is changing needs. But money is not the problem.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2022 5:39 a.m. PST

My fear is the advanced drones and missile technologies. Carriers are great for Iran, Afghanistan situations. But when you are in areas around a major power like China, the mass of drones, missiles, subs, small vessels and planes that become available from the homeland and sea, will overwhelm any defense systems and they cannot be replenished quick enough. All the above are infinitely cheaper to manufacture and crew(when crews are necessary), then the flat tops. So the ships become huge sitting targets. The French thought the Maginot line was state of the art and WW1 was just a little over 3 decades in the past. How long ago was WW2?

Again only my opinion.

Legion 404 Aug 2022 1:42 p.m. PST

Didn't we already go through this with tanks?
Yes … yes we have … E.g. Did MGs make Infantry obsolete ? NO …

I suspect its final demise will be brought about by lack of domestic funding
That is more likely … like what happened to the Space Shuttle program, etc. $ was thought to be better spent on … well that list is long. And growing …

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2022 6:40 p.m. PST

We have never short changed our military financially and are not likely to start now. There are just no signs of this. It has always been our biggest budget item regardless of party in charge. Maybe the demise will come from decades of poor procurement practices. After looking at the F-35 and the LCS program, we could definitely improve. This is more of a threat, along with recruitment incompetence and misguided training programs. I say incompetence with regret, but the military does not get its target audience these days. It's a good thing they aren't running a business.

35th, there are almost certainly plans for drone carriers. Electronic screens, countermeasure capacity. It will be a back and forth race with China.

Legion 405 Aug 2022 8:37 a.m. PST

We have never short changed our military financially and are not likely to start now.
We did before WWI, WWII and Korea. Hopefully some at the top know history. Or have common sense based on the current situation worldwide.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2022 12:48 p.m. PST

Yes Legion very true. I was thinking in the context of the modern board. I think we will stay on top of it.

Legion 405 Aug 2022 3:54 p.m. PST

We must have learned from the past. But it seems now … some in charge here are forgetting. However, XI, Putin, Iran, Un, islamic terrorists, etc. may not forget … anything.

Thresher0105 Aug 2022 9:22 p.m. PST

"The defense budget is going up 9% this year".

Ha, ha, ha!

Yea, but what's the inflation rate on military equipment and commodities used to produce ordnance and vehicles?

My guess is that 9% increase is NOT an actual increase in real terms, and last I recall, a large percentage of that money isn't going to be spent on actual equipment and ammunition.

"We have never short changed our military financially and are not likely to start now".

Have you seen:

- how much the size of our military has been drawn down in the last 10 – 20 years (especially the navy);

- how many F-22s were canceled (187 production aircraft built of 750 planned);

- how few B-2 bombers were produced (21 built of 132 planned to purchase);

- not to mention the cancellation of the navy's A-12 bomber (A-6 replacement, and the latter has been retired with no real viable replacement – ZERO built of of up to 1,258 total aircraft considered by the USN, Marines, and USAF);

- how few Sea Wolf subs were built (3 of 29 planned were built);

- and the cancellation of the original B-1A, Mach 2 bomber (1 production A/C built plus 3 prototypes, or 240 aircraft planned)?

Yes, there is a lack of funding for many of our major projects, including USN escort vessels, aircraft, nuke weapons upgrades, hypersonic missile development, etc., etc..

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP06 Aug 2022 6:22 a.m. PST

Dig deeper. Programs change and adapt. Evolution includes automation. Conditions change faster than ever. We waste vast sums of money and time, but still outpace everyone overall. Our literal spending is relative to many factors. The waste caused by spec changes and in some cases contractors would fund whole nations elsewhere. . When things change and we don't need something we don't keep buying it.

Underestimating the US and it's crazy development and procurement non system is wrong. Would you rather us have a Sea Wolf fleet from the 90s than the cheaper and more innovative Virginias? How about those Columbias at half a trilion for 12? I like em! They are the future.

Is there some other country spending more with a stronger military? Chinese carrier pilots over US? 12 battle groups or three? Or one? Or none, like most of the world?

Lack of spending? How about a $10,000 USD toilet seat? Even with our procurement issues, who spends more?
What are your thoughts about the quality of Chinese vessels? Way better than American? Air groups? We have cut a lot of them. What are the tactical and strategic factors our opponents present? The Chinese are in their infancy as a carrier naval power. Who will have the first drone carrier? Russia?

In other words, what's the money going for? And don't say woke training. You could barely buy a bunch of those toilet seats, which were cancelled, by the way, for what that costs.

Don't get me wrong. We make huge costly mistakes, cancel programs. I worry about losing our edge with social training like many others. But what is the reality? I want us flying tomorrows aircraft to the best of our ability. I don't want us dragging out 1960s tanks when the chips are down. I don't underestimate Soviet era or Chinese subs, just keep them in perspective.

And I especially don't underestimate the USA when it come to military development in a rapidly changing world. We have our weaknesses. But we are not weak.

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