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Old 12-04-2017, 06:30 AM   #1
Onkel Neal
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radar More Submarines & Less Aircraft Carriers: If the US Navy Could Be Completely Rebuilt

Actually, it should read "fewer carriers", but hey.
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the...vy-could-23482

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If Congress has indeed capped U.S. maritime means more or less permanently, undersea warfare promises the biggest bang for limited bucks. Nuclear-powered submarines, or SSNs, constitute an enduring U.S. naval advantage. They can deny an adversary the use of the sea. If nothing else, then, submarines could impose a sort of mutual assured sea denial while naval commanders try to neutralize enemy shore-based forces by other means. Subs cannot command the sea, but they can clear it of hostile surface fleets. That's a major contribution if also a negative one. SSNs, consequently, should have first claim on scarce shipbuilding dollars. But undersea combat need not involve all nukes, all the time. To proliferate subs while holding down costs, why not, say, buy Japanese? The U.S. Navy could purchase some Japanese Soryu-class diesel attack boats -- acclaimed among the world's best -- and create a standing combined squadron in Japan. Naval officials should explore such options.


I'm in favor of fewer carriers anyway, just too expensive and they will be sunk in the first few days of contact.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:40 AM   #2
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This "modern" warfare stuff is scary. Over-the-horizon targeting, halfway around the world, and "poof", your Taffy is gone... It cracks me up that diesels (batts) are quieter than nukes underwater, no tell-tale heartbeat... Edgar Allen Poe even.
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:08 PM   #3
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I've never really understood why the US and UK went fully nuclear with their submarine forces.
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:37 PM   #4
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They have to travel great distances for operations. A diesel boat that tries that is toast.
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Old 12-04-2017, 02:30 PM   #5
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The normal Diesel boats were too slow, and although the Walter propulsion made the later boats real fast, it was regarded as too much hazzle, without the pressure of war. The german test boat "V80" had reached a speed of 26 knots submerged, a speed that was only superceded in 1950ies by the U.S.S. Albacore.

Also England had made some mixed experiences with the german successors with Walter propulsion, be it the submarine propulsion of U-1407 (later H.M.S. Meteorite) or the rocket drive of the SR 177.

"During 1946 Meteorite carried out a series of trials under the guidance of Walter and his original team from Germaniawerft, Kiel. The trials raised considerable interest in the possibility of HTP as an alternative to nuclear power as air-independent propulsion and the Admiralty placed an order for two larger experimental Walter boats based on the German Type XXVI, HMS Explorer and HMS Excalibur, to be followed by an operational class of 12 boats."

High test peroxide is a dangerous material though, and as said before was regarded as too unstable to produce more than the two test boats.
With the US, Russia and then China developing nuclear submarines, England obviously decided to jump the bandwagon to gain experience and keep up with the superpowers. And soon as you have nuclear power plants and the technology, you can produce nuclear "fuel" yourself.

The MTU air independent propulsion would be the best idea for short range boats or difficult coast operations, but regarding independent missions thousands of miles away from home they cannot really compete with nuclear submarines. The 212 type can keep submerged for three weeks without snorkeling or surfacing, however its overall operation time is said to be not more than 12 weeks.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:15 PM   #6
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I would guess the high/low set up.

There are few direct and proximate threats to US (or UK), morever both have allies between themselves and the potential threats which do operate the non nuclear submarines and other lighter forces (patrol forces, SSKs etc), which are complimented by US (and UK) heavy forces (carrier groups, SSNs, etc)
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:58 PM   #7
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Diesels would be better suited to coastal defence I would have thought and with the UK being an island I would have thought more suited to the Channel, Irish Sea etc.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:32 AM   #8
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If say ireland was a part of Russian landmass somehow (time-space distortion) then yes. The thing is, your closest potential adversary (Russia) is quite somw ways off and doesnt have the massive numbers of old:

So the real mission of RN would be to support UK's allies closer to said potential adversary - Norway. And we know that they operate SSKs.
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:43 AM   #9
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Since years I think carriers are only military/tactical weapons for wars against inferior enemies. For an enemy operating on same eye level with you, they are only big, toasty, crispy targets - taregts that with thw short legs of the F35 have to be moved even closer into harm's way or expose operations to a vulnerable logistcal supply chain via airborn tankers. Go after the tankers, and go figure.... Yes, I now that carriers get defended - still, these defences do not convince me, if talk is about an enemy on same eye level with you.

That the US and the UK went with nuclear boats, is no surprise. The surprise is that they made their forces exclusively nuclear instead of keeping both, for the high seas and long ranges: nuclear boats. For homeland and coastal defence: Diesel boats . Money, I assume. Nuclear boat expertise now lies with the US and the UK, Diesel boat expertise now lies with Germany, Sweden, and some others.
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:53 PM   #10
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I think the Aircraft carrier still has a role to play for the US, but as a modern naval "apex" strike weapon it has legacy flaws. They are huge targets and with current, and near future aircrafts, havs to come within naval missile range of any competent enemy to get at on-shore targets. Naval aircrafts really have a serious range gap.
As sea-area denial, subs with long range missiles are just fine, bring on more. Here in Norway, we are contemplating ordering six new German subs w/missiles, now that Russia has begun asserting itself.
However not all conflicts are red hot all the time, so if you need eyes in the sky to secure/observe areas and traffic and don't have any coastline to operate from..
And there's also third world country conflicts where an AC can, for the time being, operate with impunity, and is an excellent weapon system.

Me? I would build subs and missile destroyers..
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