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#1 ...It took the USN almost forty years and a few major wars to learn how to operate carriers without killing ourselves. I don't think the Chinese will be sending carrier TFs out to sea any time soon.
Posted by Mike Kozlowski 2012-07-14 09:57||
#2 They might, we can laugh.
Posted by Redneck Jim 2012-07-14 10:24||
Not only can we laugh, we can do this to them: The East Coast Rampage. (In fairness, this was a British carrier that pulled it off...but we learned how to do it ourselves.)
"...The Ark Royal had 2 lives under the terms of the exercise. After she was killed the first time, she had to retire east of Bermuda to come alive again. Given what happened next, I think the Ark's captain deliberately made it easy to kill her the first time. Give everyone a false impression about the size of the cajones of he and his crew.He sailed east of Bermuda, then cut loose his escorts which continued to sail to the UK. The Ark wrapped around Bermuda so closely she probably scrapped the barnacles off her hull on the reefs. She headed for North Carolina's Outer Banks and basically closed the beach to the point where the Beach Boys song "Surfing USA" would have been appropriate. Her first strike, launched before true dawn, hit MCAS Cherry Point, NC, Seymour Johnson AFB and Pope AFB all in NC virtually simultaneously. Near total wipeout of the aircraft caught on the ground. It didn't get any better after that.
We couldn't find the Ark. We didn't realized that during daylight, the Ark was only about 20 miles offshore doing an excellant radar imitation of a merchant ship. Remember, no escorts. At night, she was so close to the beach, she could have sent liberty boats ashore. In the post exercise debriefs it was apparent that a number of search aircraft had picked up the Ark on radar, but classified her as a "harmless merchie". The Ark taught us a lot about stealth at sea. These days, those lessons are long forgotten. She hid in plain sight and killed everything she wanted to.
This was a kamikaze run, but the only thing that made sense under the exercise plan if the Ark were going to accomplish anything worth doing. The Phantom pilots were good, but the Buc (Blackburn Buccaneer, legendary RN/RAF strike bird, rough contemporary of the F-4 Phantom - Mike)pilots were magnificent. Their belief in their aircraft was what it was all about.
BTW, they did not hit just military airfields. They also hit civilian fields with Reserve and/or Air National Guard units. The most spectacular raid was apparently Atlanta-Hartsfield (as it was back then). The air traffic controllers had to halt all movements as the Bucs crossed the runways and taxiways. The umpires ruled that the Ark did not lose a single aircraft until the Sara's strike group finally hit them.
In a real world scenario, I doubt that the politicians (and I include many senior naval and military officers among them) would sanction an operation like the Ark pulled off. Too bad, because she gutted most of an entire sector and made people far less comfortable about facing British aircraft and crews.
Looking back, I think it was 1971 not 1972. Regardless, it was a magnificent run that achieved far more than could have been expected. The Bucs may have looked funny, but like the A-6 and the A-10, looks aren't everything. The A-5 is probably the sexiest looking carrier jet combat aircraft of them all, but she was a total failure in her original role. Only as the RA-5 was she succesful.
At the end of her career, when the Ark Royal tied up at Pier 12 (the premier carrier pier at Norfolk Naval Base), on her last port call before returning to the UK, her crew set up a large flag pole, complete with tripod supports in the middle of the flight deck and raised the largest flag I have ever seen. A White Ensign of course. Norfolk was flooded with sailors in uniform wearing flat hats with the inscription "HMS Ark Royal". They wore them proudly. They deserved to.
Posted by Mike Kozlowski 2012-07-14 11:28||
#4 Hey, how hard can it be to land an aircraft on a carrier?
Posted by Matt 2012-07-14 11:53||
#5 My father was an F4 Phantom driver off the Coral Sea during Vietnam. He said a carrier landing at night was the single most terrifying think he's ever done in his life.
I sense a lot of Chinese aviators are going to go ker-splat in the near future.
Posted by Mizzou Mafia 2012-07-14 12:05||
#6 They're definitely going to have some adventures with that home-made arresting gear. I think they come out of this with a whole new level of respect for the USN.
Posted by Matt 2012-07-14 12:44||
#7 "I sense a lot of Chinese aviators are going to go ker-splat in the near future."
Guidance systems have come a long way. A lot can be computerized that couldn't have been before. I have a feeling the plane is going to just about fly itself, for the most part.
Posted by crosspatch 2012-07-14 12:59||
#8 Let's not misunderestimate them. The Chinese are driven to have a carrier-based, blue water navy in addition to their current green water navy. They very much want to succeed. They have a technology base and a lot of money. They aren't stupid.
Let us not imagine them as we imagined the Japanese navy in oh, 1940...
Posted by Steve White 2012-07-14 13:06||
#9 It took the USN almost forty years and a few major wars to learn how to operate carriers without killing ourselves. I don't think the Chinese will be sending carrier TFs out to sea any time soon.
I wouldn't underestimate the capabilities of the Chinese state. The Indians have been doing this for decades, and they, frankly, are not exactly technical wizards, with space and nuclear programs that are far behind their Chinese counterparts.
Bottom line is that for the Chinese, engineering challenges are things they can do - all you have to do is look back at their stellar record of massive fortifications and irrigation projects from antiquity. (Those fortifications held off the Mongols for almost a century despite being right next door, whereas the Mongols sliced through European armies thousands of miles away like a hot knife through butter). It's the blue sky things like nukes and space that are difficult. The reason they did space and nukes first was because those pertained to the survival of the state - nukes provide deterrence and a space program creates a delivery vehicle for that deterrence.
It took them a while to turn their attention to naval aviation, but I suspect now that it's fully engaged and a matter of the Party's prestige, we will see several carriers launched by the end of the decade, and perhaps employed along with a flotilla of subs and supporting ships to deter rival claimants to the South China Sea.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-14 13:30||
#10 Hey, how hard can it be to land an aircraft on a carrier?
Well...I was in an A-7 Squadron in the mid 70's, we had a nugget (Ensign, call sign Leaky. There was a reason for that.
Night landings scared him so badly, that he was known to piss himself if they were particularly hairy. And in bad weather with a tossing deck, sometimes there was more than piss in his flight suit.
He had the highest bolter and bingo count in the Air Wing. Poor fellow.
Posted by Secret Asian Man 2012-07-14 15:27||
#11 Sounds like its a soviet retrofit, if so there is a chance it has VTOL ramps and stuff that might make landings a bit easier.
Posted by rjschwarz 2012-07-14 19:08||
#12 "Hey, how hard can it be to land an aircraft on a carrier?"
Pretty damn hard, Matt, from what I understand.
Remember that "runway" is extremely short and constantly moving.
Posted by Barbara 2012-07-14 20:02||
#13 Carrier aviation is hard because the USN had to figure it out from scratch.
The Chinese can just steal our information, in fact they already have otherwise they wouldn't commission a carrier.
Posted by gromky 2012-07-14 21:32||
#14 IIRC CHINESEDEFENCE POSTER-BLOGGER = China plans to deploy, not just construct, two indigenous dev CVNS come 2020. Presuming no that US-China war breaks out in SCS, East China Sea, or vee Taiwan, the PLAN CV "SHILENG" will become a CVT + used for "show-the-flag" international missions.
Iff correct, IMO it would appear that China has "quietly/softly" prioritized the NT gaining of carrier experience AMAP oer lives of its PLAN Pilots + Sailors. THIS DECADE COULD BE A "WIDOWMAKER" = "WIDOW'S DECADE" FOR MANY A PLAN CARRIER SPOUSE???
Posted by JosephMendiola 2012-07-14 23:27||
#15 Are you sure the Chicoms need to steal our info, gromky?
I thought Bill Clinton sold gave it to them.....
Posted by Barbara 2012-07-14 23:32||
#16 Carrier aviation is hard because the USN had to figure it out from scratch.
The Chinese can just steal our information, in fact they already have otherwise they wouldn't commission a carrier.
Probably easier for them to hire ex-Soviet personnel as consultants. That way they get the whole enchilada. Besides, it's not rocket science - the Japanese operated dozens of carriers during WWII, and their industrial capability wasn't anywhere near China's today. The real reason most navies don't operate carriers is not because they can't figure it out - it's because it's extremely expensive, and most countries that might be able to afford a carrier are currently covered by Uncle Sam's nuclear umbrella.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-14 23:33||
#17 "covered by Uncle Sam's nuclear umbrella"
We could put a nuclear umbrella over China, too, Zhang, but it wouldn't be pretty.... :-(
Posted by Barbara 2012-07-14 23:42||
#18 CHINESE MILITARY FORUM > [ABS-CBN News] PHILIPPINES WANTS AUSTRALIA'S HELP IFF WAR ERUPTS.
PHIL Senator wants "guaranteed" Aussie mil help in exchange for a proactive, bilateral Status of Visiting Forces Agreement [SOVFA] wid Manila which AUS is presently negotiating for.
FYI ARTIC = PHIL recognizes it stands little to no chance militarily agz China in the SCS disputes widout the assistance of its regional + international allies, e.g. AUS + ASEAN + of course the USA, etc.
* SAME > CHINA IN HUGE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS NEAR NORTH KOREAN BORDER.
Massive Highway + Rail Projects.
SURPRISE, SURPRISE, EVEN MANY PEOPLE ON THE CHINESE SIDE THINK ITS FOR PLA MILITARY APPLICATIONS/PURPOSES [not just "economic"], I.E. THE RAPID TRANSFER + TAKEOVER OF THE NORTH KOREA BY MASS PLA FORCES.
Posted by JosephMendiola 2012-07-14 23:49||
#19 We could put a nuclear umbrella over China, too, Zhang, but it wouldn't be pretty.... :-(
The last time we did that was when the Soviets wanted to nuke China over a border dispute and Nixon said no.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-14 23:51||
#20 I thought that wasn't such a bad result. However, I don't think the Chinese need a nuclear umbrella any more. They've got at least two legs of the triad active. And it's not clear why they would need one, given that it's estimated they've got over 1000 nukes.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-14 23:54||
#21 More from CHINESE MILITARY FORUM > CHINA INSTALLS NEW RADAR NEAR KALAYAAN ISLANDS [Subi Reef].
* SAME > TALK OF TH DAY - CHINA SEEKS LINKS WID TAIWAN TO DEFEND DISPUTED ISLANDS, in SCS + ECS.
SUN SHUHSIEN, Party Secretary + Managing Deputy Head of China's Maritime Surveillance Force = opined that a War is needed to end all Wars, CHINA MUST CLEARLY OUTLINE = DELINEATE? CERTAIN "RED LINES" THAT ARE NOT TO BE CROSSED OVER WHEN DEALING IN GLOBAL AFFAIRS; CHINA WILL BE FORCED TO RETALIATE IFF JAPAN TAKES "PROVOCATIVE ACTIONS" OVER THE TIAOYUTAI ISLANDS [China = Diaoyutias/Daoyus], Japan = Senkakus Islands].
As said before, China desires the Senkakus + Okinawa, etc. to protect its post-reunification, future PLA Milbases on Taiwan, which in turn will project Chinese power thru the OKINAWA-PHIL CORRIDOR INTO WESTPAC [Guam + CNMI].
Mainland China's "Post-Reunification" wid Taiwan, which at the moment looks increasingly increasingly stalled despite positivist Media, Diplomatic rhetoric to the contrary.
* SAME > [PHIL Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago]MIRIAM: CHINA TO [hopefully eventually] OPT FOR JOINT EXPLORATIONS.
ARTIC > Sen. Miriam = MILITARY CONFRONTATION IN THE SCS COULD LEAD TO NUCLEAR ARMAGEDDON WHICH CHINA DOES NOT WANT, China's specific target is the [entire] WEST PHIL SEA [aka SCS/South China Sea] + other Bodies of Water where Nations have made claims; China views PHIL + ASEAN as mere surrogates for the USA - PANATAG SHOAL [Scarborough Shoal, China = Huangyan Island] is hence basically a US-CHINA ENCOUNTER, notsomuch the lessor CHINA-PHIL, ETC. ENCOUNTER [China-Vietnam].
* SAME > CHINA, JAPAN TO MEET AMID [new] TENSION OVER ISLANDS.
Posted by JosephMendiola 2012-07-15 00:26||