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stargazer

Carrier CAP

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Hi , I wanted to ask, if some of you know how a carrier strike group handles its protection through CAPs exactly in wartimes

I found no information anywhere. Is there always a CAP flight in the air 24/7, and if so how many aircraft are kept ready in case an incomming enemy strike package is detected.

I guess it would be impossible to get many fighters in the air in time as the warning time should be quite short when TU-22M bombers are attacking.

 

I know something like this is described in Tom Clancys "Red Storm Rising" (great novel), where a carrier group is attacked by soviet Bombers, but in the book (spoiler :) ) all Tomcats are launched in time, which seems not possible if the carrier is

making offensive flight ops itself and some aircraft are on the way, some damaged etc. - so how many planes would be kept ready for fleet defence around the clock?

 

I hope someone is interested in this topic - thanks !

Edited by stargazer

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Vietnam Era: 4 fighters ready to go(5 minute launch time) when flight ops were not going on.

You need to remember:the Task Group has guided missile cruisers and destroyers with long range and strike radars to see everything out for several hundred miles.

There also was an Attack class sub shadowing the task force all the time.

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Thanks, interesting to know.

Do you know or could make an educated guess, how many fighters would have been ready to go in a scenerio like in WOE, when the carrier is in danger of being attacked by many bombers with AS-x missiles.

I would guess that such a dangerous enviroment would require more fighters ready, I thought that fighters are the first line of defence for a strike group, the guided missiles of the ships the second, and systems like the Phalanx CIWS the last..

Edited by stargazer

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"Red Storm Rising", wasnt this the talesbook where the F-19 was acting, the NATO had the newest and best equippment and the Soviets came with T-55 and wire guided ATGM of the first and second generation?

Forget Clancy.

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"Red Storm Rising", wasnt this the talesbook where the F-19 was acting, the NATO had the newest and best equippment and the Soviets came with T-55 and wire guided ATGM of the first and second generation?

Forget Clancy.

 

Yes it was, the Pentagon gave Clancy "info" about the F-19 and used him. Since it was a fighter in the novel, NATO was able to shoot down all Mainstays on the first night of the campaign with it.

There is also the mistake, that the Mig-29 is described as a long range interceptor while he describes the new Flanker as a short range fighter... But the rest of the book is well researched and also a good story.

You have to keep in mind that the book was written in the early eighties, when not all of the soviet technology and epuipment was common knowlege.

In the book only the US used newest stuff like Eagles, Tomcats etc but the Germans used their F-104 and even that german F-4 didn't have A/A Radar ist mentioned. In the end Nato won just because of some special circumstances, which were part of the story, not by superior strengh

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actually Nato didnt even have superior strength. the F-19s attacked or designated for attack the bridges that the bulk of reinforcements needed to get into the fight. it became an even matched battle of attrition. the russian side called the cease fire due to a political coup in Moscow and a massive lack of fuel for the fielded forces. the European campiagn was to keep NATO busy while Iran was invaded, for their oil after a major refinery was destroyed by terrorists. in R/L i believe if Operation Dreamland (downing of the Mainstays and bridges) had proceeded it woulda looked like this..... Eagles outta bitburg go for the Mainstays and escorts, Luftwaffe Phantoms and Hahn based Vipers block west bound flights while Spang Phantoms (i assume it to be pre 86) work on SAMs. and a Det of F-117s takes down the bridges. would have been deadlier for the NATO side, esp the Eagles but prob with much the same result esp if authorized to go preemptive like in the book. nothing throws off an armed intruder like finding the owner of the house with his shotgun blasting!

 

and Gepard the Warsaw Pact had modern equipment in it (Mi-24, T-72) but due to much of the forces being behind the blown bridges it became a high tech stalemate.

Edited by daddyairplanes

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I didn't remember it in such detail, thanks, but anyway, if you look to the scenerio described in the book I wonder how a carrier would organize its fleet defence.

I assume that if you are threatend by whole TU-22M squadrons that have Kingfish missiles,escorted by Flankers, you need to have more than a hand full of fighters ready around the clock, which would reduce the carriers ability for offensive air ops?

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if i remember right most carrier air wings in the 80's had two squadrons of Tomcats dedicated to air defense(24 a/c). likely with hostilities against an enemy that can strike the carrier 4 Toms would be airborne with another 4 on ready alert, and a lot of motivation on the boat to get the rest airborne as quick as possible. if the air wing had Hornets they could also provide a closer in screen while Tomcats engaged further out. but yes while they were under threat they would need fighters for defense not escort.

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I recall in one conversation with a Tomcat RIO, if the carrier had enough prep time, they'd begin arming all available F-14's with their full AIM-54 compliment and launching the aircraft in a tactic that was termed the "Chainsaw". The Tomcats would have priority for launch, would fire their AIM-54's at the bombers and missiles as quickly as they got them in firing parameters, land, rearm, lather, rinse, repeat until the threat was gone, or the carrier lost. This did not mean launching all 24 F-14's necessarily, but every available Tomcat, the more the better.

 

EDIT: There was a documentary called "Super Carriers" back in the 1980's which outlined the entire modern carrier defense layout (modern for the mid 1980's), back when the CVBG was huge. DA's assessment on Tomcat and Hornet placement is pretty close to that documentary, so I'd say is a close assessment. If Typhoid were on, he'd probably have better insight.

Edited by Caesar

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aint no pro here just figured ya send your long arms outfar, let the guys with less endurance play closer to home :grin: if you can shoot you can shoot. hell in a pinch send the SLUFs up with 'winders!

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how many fighters would have been ready to go in a scenerio like in WOE, when the carrier is in danger of being attacked by many bombers with AS-x missiles.

 

I wouldn't worry about it in the least little bit.

 

Carriers in the 3rdWire are invulnerable/unsinkable/everlasting.

 

Real World ™ scenarios would be as described above

 

wrench

kevin steind

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I wouldn't worry about it in the least little bit.

 

Carriers in the 3rdWire are invulnerable/unsinkable/everlasting.

 

Real World ™ scenarios would be as described above

 

wrench

kevin steind

 

Yes, but I made some carrier missions where one carrier is a not working but destructable dummy and I launch from an other one in the same group. I have some problems tweaking it all properly though, but I know thats an other topic..

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I recall in one conversation with a Tomcat RIO, if the carrier had enough prep time, they'd begin arming all available F-14's with their full AIM-54 compliment and launching the aircraft in a tactic that was termed the "Chainsaw". The Tomcats would have priority for launch, would fire their AIM-54's at the bombers and missiles as quickly as they got them in firing parameters, land, rearm, lather, rinse, repeat until the threat was gone, or the carrier lost. This did not mean launching all 24 F-14's necessarily, but every available Tomcat, the more the better.

 

EDIT: There was a documentary called "Super Carriers" back in the 1980's which outlined the entire modern carrier defense layout (modern for the mid 1980's), back when the CVBG was huge. DA's assessment on Tomcat and Hornet placement is pretty close to that documentary, so I'd say is a close assessment. If Typhoid were on, he'd probably have better insight.

 

This evolved into what we called the Outer Air Battle (earlier tactical development included "vector logic", "grid", etc,)

 

The key was to have some intel to cue the force on timing and threat vector. Without that cue - no realistic capability to defend against a mass attack.

 

the standard CAP was as Ezlead described - each squadron kept 2 up for a total of 4 during normal flight ops with another 4 on quick alert. One carrier would go for 12 hours. Two carriers could maintain a 24 hour CAP with 4 and another 4 on alert.

 

With the cueing - everything up, and the flight deck cleared for "Flex Deck" ops for the tankers to shuttle fuel to the grid.

 

With the F-18's replacing the A-7's, they could handle the inner part of the grid but couldn't match the F-14 for range, endurance or missiles in the air. When the F-14's were replaced by the Hornets and Super Hornets, the ranges of the OAB contracted a bit - but of course by then there weren't any more regiments of Backfires our there to worry about.

 

The tactics were part of the carrier and air wing work ups and ORI. We all practiced those tactics on a regular basis. On the Midway, we had to modify the tactics because we couldn't do the Flex Deck without a waist cat. But we could maintain it for about 4-6 hours.

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Dont forget, that carriers acts in groups (CBG) with more than one carrier. Two or three carriers means the double or tripple of interceptors, so that the CBG could withstand a massive air strike.

A CBG is very mobile, so that the enemy would have big problems to locate and track this group. The defence power of the ships with Aegis systems was outstanding.

 

One fact would be interessting to know for me. If the carriers would launch their Prowlers to jam the recon and bomber radars and incomming ASM missiles, does they jam the own airdefence too?

In central europe both german armies had had powerfull jamming devices on Marder or MTLB. The problem with this jammers was, that they blocked not only the enemy com lines, but also the own. How was it with the Prowlers and the Carrier groups?

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Depends on the frequencies being jammed, and type of jamming I would say.

 

 

Jamming pods used by F-105F/Gs certainly used to interfere with their own systems!

Edited by MigBuster

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The issue of frequency deconfliction is very complicated and, of course, classified. The last thing you want an enemy to know is how much trouble your countermeasures cause to yourself!

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wrench i've gotten a registered kill on a carrier.

course it was with a BUFF launching 12 SRAMs at it and i only knew i had killed it at the end in the debrief. little bahstard kept floatin as if nothin happened.

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One fact would be interessting to know for me. If the carriers would launch their Prowlers to jam the recon and bomber radars and incomming ASM missiles, does they jam the own airdefence too?

In central europe both german armies had had powerfull jamming devices on Marder or MTLB. The problem with this jammers was, that they blocked not only the enemy com lines, but also the own. How was it with the Prowlers and the Carrier groups?

 

different radars, freq, etc., and the jamming is directional. So jamming the inbounds would be looking away from the multi-CV group.

 

daddyairplanes, we played vs a grunch of BUFF's. You have a tremendous radar return!! Interesting ECM capabilities that you all have..........

 

:grin:

Edited by Typhoid

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I remember seeing that film in the theater and ROFLMAO for the entire thing. Too few comedies are like that anymore.

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I remember seeing that film in the theater and ROFLMAO for the entire thing. Too few comedies are like that anymore.

Lets be honest Mel Brooks films in all their laughter they would be unable to make them today as they would be seen as too politically incorrect. :drinks:

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