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I know this is the What if forum but I do like to keep my what if ideas in some plausible realms.  the idea is as stated based off the Sea Control Ship. the idea is that while the LPH/ Harrier combo was rejected, after Carter took office he moved to refurbish 3 of the SCB-125 Essex's into the concept.  they would pull double duty as training carriers and escort carriers. potential airwings would be TA-4Js wired for 'Winders, OV-10s  for light strike/ long range torp delivery, H-3s, and E-1s for AEW.  80's air wing would upgrade to T-45s with a similar conversion as the Hawk T1As and poss a similar Sea King AEW lik the Brits did after the Falklands. would like some feedback on the following

 

- using the Hancock, Oriskany, and Lexington as the carriers. they were the last to be retired and therefore the most likely I think to be brought back for this

- dual tasking training squadrons to the escort duty. in wartime we would go in with what we had, the instructors would be needed in the fleet.

- whether the TA-4's could realistically be wired for AIM-9.  A-4Bs were flown off the CVS's in the early 60's for daytime fighter protection

- how bad was the condition of the E-1? could it have possibly been maintained into the early 80's? 

- looking at a timeline of mid 78 for the Lex, 79 for the Hancock and 80 for Oriskany. all at the expense of a Nimitz tho.

- OV-10s for long range torpedo delivery.  at least more stand off than the SH-3s would give....

-what do we have on hand that would work in this scenario instead of the E-1?  if this goes forward into mod mode, would be nice to keep it in house(CA), but the carrier will need some kind or airborne radar to provide early warning that can operate from an Essex

 

looking forward to your ideas..

 

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Stands to reason since there are folk still flying S-2's today that S-2 derived aircraft could have been operated into the 80's. In which case why not just use S-2's and E-1's for ASW & AEW? Perhaps retrofitted with turboprops as the Argentinians and Brazilians have done?

Regarding the A-4 and Sidewinders, I don't see why not since many export clients had their Skyhawks tote around Sidewinders, though personally I'd be inclined to look into the feasibility of operating Hornets from the Essex class.

 

Craig

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Would be interesting the Hornets. But the idea is sort of a budget carrier. The use as training carriers is mainly to keep them maintaned in event of war(less time getting ready). Still the Hornet idea has merits, pull them from Marine or Reserve squadrons. Gotta compare aircrsft weights.......

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Well, off the top of my head a fully loaded Skyhawk (about 12t) is about as heavy as a clean Hornet, and a loaded Hornet can weight up to twice a loaded Skyhawk, it's only marginally lighter than the Phantom II which was deemed too big and too heavy to operate from the Essexes with any useful payload.

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There are some old threads on this very subject, the idea of refurbishing some of the Essex class ships was very real. The Navy was planning to take F-8J's out of mothballs to provide the fighters for these Carriers' air wings.

Edited by Icarus999

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The Principe de Asturias is essentially a Sea Control Ship outfitted with a skijump for Harrier ops. I've seen proposals for fitting the SCS design with a single catapult and arrester gear. Keep in mind the idea behind the Sea Control Ship was always a throwback to the escort carriers of WW2 - a cheap unit that could sail with NATO resupply convoys and provide air cover against soviet threats. Using an Essex carrier kind of runs counter to that concept.

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Therw was a large number of VTOL/VSTOL/STOVL studys both Fighter and multi-use aircrafts platforms in the 50´s,60´s and 70´s for small carriers.

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DA,

 

   I like the idea of this What IF scenario.  But I'm a little concerned about not having a super-sonic fighter.

 

   What kind of jets will we be up against?

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If its convoy escort then presumably MPA's - Bears and Badgers. If Blinders and Backfires come into the picture though then it could be a problem. Don't imagine the Invincible class with their FRS.1's would have lasted too long had things gone hot unless they served as part of or under the protection of a US carrier group. Sidewinder armed Skyhawks would have had the same problems the FRS.1's faced with the added disadvantage of no radar. A pair of sidewinders is enough to deal with the MPA's but theres no way a subsonic light armed fighter could hope to do anything about a full strength Maritime strike package.

 

Always liked the design of the CVV myself, a pint sized conventionally powered baby Nimitz to replace the Essex class, the idea being you could have two of these for one Nimitz. Probably on the small side for F-14's but big enough for a couple of squadrons of Hornets and a squadron of S-3's.

 

Craig

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another problem, with the stock 3W Essex, is it has absolutely NO defense systems ... no guns or SAMs of any kind. Oddly, the 4 3" guns are modeled on the corners, but they don't work.

 

So, for "purely defensive purposes", as a SCV, it'll need some major editing.

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ok buncha responding to do here. the threat remains the same. the hangup for me is the AEW component, esp as I don't want to use the E-1 from DAT site. best idea is to try to get the Bears and Badger recon birds first before they can relay targeting data.

 

yes I know the Essex would be more expensive than the LPHs. the rough idea in my head is that Carter cancels one of the Nimitz's early in his term. tells the Navy to refurbish the Last of the Essexs in place.  the material condition is bad, and its not what the admirals want. to make it work they are declared for use as escort carriers in time of war.  in the interim to maintain them in a semi ready state they are rotated between duty as training carriers (Lexington was already doing this) and refurb. the quickest way to man them would be to wire the TA-4s.  Marine and Reserve units would fill out the rest of the airwing in event of war or major exercise. The driving factor here is COST and POLITICS, not what could have been on capability

 

my candidates are the Lexington, Hancock, and Oriskany. Lex becomes operational in the role in 78, with the other two following a year later apiece. they designated CVT's with the intention to redesignate CVE in case of conflict. 

 

F-8s are a nice idea, but like the Thud fleet most were worn out by the end of Vietnam. Same for most of the A-4 fleet and early A-7 fleet.  F-4 and A-6 were judged too heavy to fly from Essex.

 

got your post while writing this Wrench.  hmmmm on that as again, this idea comes about cause nobody wants to spend the money. Carter on the big carriers, Navy on fixing these hulks up.

 

finally two question: 1.can Sparrow or Skyflash be lobbed into an area directed by AEW radar?  Scooters could carry Shrike, which was based on the Sparrow. not a sharp shooter per say as much as a spear chucker.  and wasn't Skyflash autonomous once close to the target?

        2. could esm aircraft pinpoint the recon birds before awacs radar could find them?  could then use EC-1 Trader as they were in use til the mid 80s

Edited by daddyairplanes

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I thought of that icarus. Have the yearly or bi annual carquals for those units on their assigned go to war carrier. Would possibly be used on arrival in Europe to back up NATO to. But still like the idea of wiring the TA-4J too. Esp if they could be stand off SAHM launchers. Another question for thought.... could FLIR be used to detect a sub within missle launch depth? Or snorkel depth in the case of diesels? Yes i just want an excuse to base Bronco's on a carrier.

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The Argentine A-4ARs have an APG-65 radar...dunno about the possibility of something like that on that era for Sparrows

 

Either way, we should define first what it´s role would be. If we are meant to use the late SCB-125, we could use Crusaders (worn out but refurbished) or pushing it late, Hornets. Maybe, imported Super Etendards, but that would make it more than a SCS. Anyway, an Essex class is gonna be more than a SCS. 

 

Technically, with FLIR a snorkel could be plotted...it is more or less like a funnel, isn´t it?

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another problem, with the stock 3W Essex, is it has absolutely NO defense systems ... no guns or SAMs of any kind. Oddly, the 4 3" guns are modeled on the corners, but they don't work.

 

So, for "purely defensive purposes", as a SCV, it'll need some major editing.

There is sort of a way around that. Add the gun/ cannon and gunner where it should be in terms of x,y,z position. Obviously there are no yaw or pitch model nodes etc. Create a copy of the gun/ cannon and rename it "xxxx_No_Fire_Effect" edit the copy of the gun by removing the 'fire effect.' This way you will have defensive guns firing but with no fire effect you won't have gun fire appearing randomly all over you ship which is what happens when the guns/ cannons are not linked to a yaw or pitch model node.

 

I used this method for my 'what if' New Zealand Navy Essex class carrier:

Objects.7z

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Thanks dragon and macelena. True a SCB225 should be more than a SCS. Personlly i think i need to get away from calling it that. Call these reserve carriers. Again, in the timeline no one will really want to spend money on them at first. So not really any defensive armament, and no Fightinghawks. This is to get a feel for what could have been done on the cheap. My main thinking now is either E1 or EC1 Tracer going a bit further along and directing the Scooters to punch out the eyes of the recon birds. Just noticed i said SCB225. maybe thats what i could call the refurb........

Edited by daddyairplanes

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Okay with regards the Skyhawks as sparrow shooters thats not going to work also Skyflash is the same as a Sparrow SAHM, though there were options designed for it for the RAF instead of Amraam to be made AHM but even then you would need a radar to guide them into the area which for 1970's tech may be too much. As to the Jets A-4M would work great or get them to rebuild the A-4F fleet with a small AA radar capable of guiding a SAHM missile for example the AN/APG-69 which was designed with the F-5E/F-20 (Navalised variants of those might be a good idea) in mind as the A-4F's were still in use until the 1980's and call in the marines to provide strike ability ?

 

As to the OV-10 and using the FLIR it is one of the sensors onboard ASW aircraft anyway. Then use the back of the OV-10 for a sensor operator and say a small area for sonubouy's along with a MAD Stinger mounted like on the S-2F Helicopter say from the gun rack and all finished... Though an S-2 would be a much better bet and is already CARQual and geared for the job.

 

As to AEW if it was 2000+ an Osprey would be idea but back then there's not much out there apart from the E-1 as I think the Hawkeye would be too big to work... And now here comes the weird bit do we have a Fairey Gannet AEW3? as the RN would be giving up those with the scrapping of Ark Royal in 1978 and all you need to do is replace the Old Radar with something newer... or even bigger stretch the A-1 Sykraider ???

 

I know the Scooter and the Raiders would be overworked etc but its the best you would have at that time...

 

Also with the 1980's with the Bae Hawks/Goshawk there is the option for the single seater Hawk 200 with same setup but with a modified F-16 radar on the pointy end and for ground attack the Hawk 100 2 seater with flir and all the kit for killing ships and ground targets...

Edited by Slartibartfast

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damn on the Sparrows.  to our Brit friends out there.... when did you guys start developing the Sea King AEW? I know it came online after the Falklands, but when did the concept begin for it?   I think I have my thoughts about finalized on this   should start some ini editing tonight and backstory this week.  Spinners has been slacking on his stories lately (tho not his skins!) so it's time he had some competition

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Design came out in May 1982 and was sent to the Falklands in August 1982 with HMS Illustrious... rather quickly done. Though it was a lash up job and was affected by land and waves it worked enough that Sea Harriers could run intercepts more efficently than before :-

 

http://www.spyflight.co.uk/seaking.htm

 

For more details...

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Wondering what happened to this? Goshawks, A4 and Broncos would be fun to fly on a campaign.

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real life and change in priorities.  still a low level interest but school and the family are competing with ANG SLUFs and a F-4S pack similar to my N pack.

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With regards to the Skyhawks:

 

 

- whether the TA-4's could realistically be wired for AIM-9.  A-4Bs were flown off the CVS's in the early 60's for daytime fighter protection

 

 

They could be wired for Sidewinders and it was done - albeit not neccessarily in the US. All Skyhawks starting from the Bravo could be (and many had themselves) wired for Sidewinders. I'd rather take TA-4Fs for the fighting service, as they have the more powerful -8 engine, as opposed to the TA-4J's -6. The Fox also has two guns, while the Juliet only (normally) carries one.

You may even consider upgrading to the -408 engine for additional vertical and horizontal turn-performance.

 

The A-4M was too heavy for carrier-work (very reduced bring-back capability and trap-fuel), an only very seldomly operated from carriers at all.

 

The limiting factor for F-4s on Essex-carriers was the wooden deck in combination with the F-4's downward-angled *hot* exhaust-jets. The weight was not limiting (A-3 Skywarriors also operated off Essexes without any trouble).

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@Crazyhorse: i agree but the point of my exercise was extending the life of the Essex or the Franklin D Roosevelt in the late Ford and Carter years when funds were much tighter. the Navy actually hurried up and got the FDR to the scrapyard in less than a year of her decomissioning due to fears that Carter might want to refurb her rather than pay for a new Nimitz.

@Toryu: appreciate the info on the A-4M.  i'm wanting closer in AD capability as well as anti sub capability( which drives me nuts as most of the older antisub AC are at that other site!). idea from yesterday would be to have raid warning from a sub or Iceland.  IRL one would hope Sentry and Fighter assets would be spread around and not centered at Keflavik for the kill shot. also IRL the RDF would be more suitable to bolster Iceland than a MAU as they could get there quicker (18 hours worldwide as they used to tell us at Bragg). prefer the RSR reality? well theres still the USS Narwhal and some USAF LT out in the boonies to give warning. 

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