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    Future Russian Aircraft Carriers and Deck Aviation. #3

    Rodion_Romanovic
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    Post  Rodion_Romanovic on Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:07 am

    Tsavo Lion wrote:
    The Mi-26 replaced the Mi-6 years ago...
    it wasn't's a not a direct replacement any more than the An-12 was of the An-8- it increased vertical lift capability exponentially along with the operating costs.  
    ..and this new 10-12 ton payload helicopter joint venture with China will fit in the appropriate niche to make any other helicopter type redundant in that role.
    like I wrote on the other thread, they won't buy it in any meaningful #, if at all. Better make its own helo.
    Money spent on EM cats is money well invested ..will be seriously valuable across an enormous range of fields...
    they can invest in MAGLEV trains with the same result, saving $ on EM CAT & fixed wing AWACS & CODs by adopting helos or tilt-rotors.
    A few EW UAVs can help AWACS helos making them=the USN E-2s.
    There are limits to how much you can shorten the fuselage of a tandem rotor helicopter design...
    if the future CVN is going to be as large or larger than the Nimitz/Ford classes, it won't make a big difference, even if its close to 2x as long as CH-46E & CH-47F, both of which operated off LHAa & CV/Ns. 1-2 of them could be based on it & the other 1-2 or all 4 on other ship(s).
    The length of the helicopter 36.2 m
    https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/ka-102.htm

    Length: 44 ft 10 in (13.67 m) (fuselage)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_Vertol_CH-46_Sea_Knight#Specifications_(CH-46E)

    Fuselage length: 52 ft (16 m)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_CH-47_Chinook#Specifications_(CH-47F)

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/huey205/8660009890/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/49589823@N05/7512388964

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/7c/af/95/7caf9528c217e7556bde543eb4438819.jpg

    https://i2.wp.com/usmilitaryupdate.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/B66FA555-8EAA-4E68-BCB1-FBFA666BA40B.jpeg?ssl=1

    The only thing that I may agree here is that is probable that they won't buy many copies (if any) of that helicopter, since  Russia has downgraded their participation  to supplier and not to 50% partner.

    Maybe they will use that work to do their own development,  like Italy and Russia did with the M346 and the yak130.

    However there is not a specific engine for that either, they plan to use a derated version of the PD-12V that should go also on the Mi-26 to substitute the soviet/ukrainian D136.

    Maybe this size class is not the priority for Russia, and they would rather invest money on a fixed wing transport aircraft with such payload capability,  e.g. a lengthened il-112v with a more powerful engine.

    I know that they are going to develop a 4000/5000 shp engine, so that will probably be for an helicopter in size between the mi38 and the mi6. I believe it will be anyway still a bit too large for naval use and would not fit in the helicopter hangars in current navy ships.

    Interview with General Designer of the United Engine Corporation Yuri Shmotin

    - Regarding "perspective helicopter engine" project. UEC is working on an engine suitable for both helicopters and airplanes. This project is now called PDV-4000 [PDV stands for future helicopter engine]. Τhis power system will be a new generation engine of 4,000-5,000 horsepower.
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    Post  GarryB on Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:13 am

    it wasn't's a not a direct replacement any more than the An-12 was of the An-8- it increased vertical lift capability exponentially along with the operating costs.

    Well they stopped making the Mi-6s and they started making the Mi-26 instead... it was not a direct complete replacement where they withdrew the Mi-6 and replaced them with Mi-26... they kept using the Mi-6s because they remained useful... but they tend to reuse numbers for replacements... ie Il-476 replaces the Il-76 for example.

    like I wrote on the other thread, they won't buy it in any meaningful #, if at all. Better make its own helo.

    They are making it because they have a use for it and building it together with China reduces design and production costs and also means a shared market of Russia and China for the aircraft which means it will be produced in much larger numbers than a Russian or Chinese only design.

    It will also likely be exported to third parties as well for which the Mi-26 might be too big but the Mi-38 might be too small.

    If they wont be making a joint Russian/Chinese helicopter in the 10-12 ton payload range in big numbers then why do you think they need to make a Chinook class helicopter or a Ka-102... both of which are in the 10-12 ton payload class... you were whining because they didn't have one and now you suggest they wont need many at all...

    they can invest in MAGLEV trains with the same result, saving $ on EM CAT & fixed wing AWACS & CODs by adopting helos or tilt-rotors.
    A few EW UAVs can help AWACS helos making them=the USN E-2s.

    The money spend developing EMALS cats can be used in development of very high speed trains as well as long range artillery and all electric systems for ships and aircraft and ground vehicles. The money spent will be valuable across the board in a range of technology areas and will boost performance with a lot of projects already underway... it will be money very well spent.

    if the future CVN is going to be as large or larger than the Nimitz/Ford classes, it won't make a big difference, even if its close to 2x as long as CH-46E & CH-47F, both of which operated off LHAa & CV/Ns. 1-2 of them could be based on it & the other 1-2 or all 4 on other ship(s).
    The length of the helicopter 36.2 m

    It is not a question of whether they could fit them... it is a question of why would they bother... no large helicopter based AWACS is going to have performance much better than the Ka-31. With a cat a fixed wing aircraft offers rather better performance and also flexibility in the sense of a COD and tanker version to support operations the way a tandem rotor helo or tilt rotor aircraft cannot.

    The only thing that I may agree here is that is probable that they won't buy many copies (if any) of that helicopter, since Russia has downgraded their participation to supplier and not to 50% partner.

    Maybe they will use that work to do their own development, like Italy and Russia did with the M346 and the yak130.

    It will be exactly like the M346... Russia creates the design and Italy modifies it for their needs and systems and produces a copy... China will be doing the same I suspect.

    If Russia has reduced its participation then it is because either they don't need an aircraft in that category or they suspect China is just trying to get a new design cheaply so they are in fact making their own 10-15 ton payload class high speed helicopter because the Chinese weren't prepared to invest enough to pay for their share of the technology...

    I know that they are going to develop a 4000/5000 shp engine, so that will probably be for an helicopter in size between the mi38 and the mi6. I believe it will be anyway still a bit too large for naval use and would not fit in the helicopter hangars in current navy ships.

    Not really sure they need a new helicopter between the Mi-38 and Mi-6... that would be an 8-10 ton capacity aircraft... which is what this helo with China is close enough to being.

    In any case I have heard nothing about a helicopter in that size range for carrier use and the new replacement for the Helix family will need to operate from the same hangars and same ships so it is very restricted to being a coaxial design perhaps with a pusher prop for higher flight speed, but certainly not bigger than the current models...
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:04 pm

    If they wont be making a joint Russian/Chinese helicopter in the 10-12 ton payload range in big numbers then why do you think they need to make a Chinook class helicopter or a Ka-102...
    China will need them in big #s but not Russia. 926 Mi-6s were built & there's a need for this class in the RF today, Mi-26 being more costly to build & operate. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mil_Mi-6

    It is not a question of whether they could fit them... it is a question of why would they bother... no large helicopter based AWACS is going to have performance much better than the Ka-31. With a cat a fixed wing aircraft offers rather better performance and also flexibility in the sense of a COD and tanker version to support operations the way a tandem rotor helo or tilt rotor aircraft cannot.
    Even if true, the fixed wing AWACS & CODs r going to be ~the same or bigger than tandem/tilt rotors anyway:
    Length: 57 ft 8.75 in (17.59 m)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Grumman_E-2_Hawkeye#Specifications_(E-2C)

    Length: 44 ft 10 in (13.67 m) (fuselage)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_Vertol_CH-46_Sea_Knight#Specifications_(CH-46E)

    Fuselage length: 52 ft (16 m)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_CH-47_Chinook#Specifications_(CH-47F)

    Length: 57 ft 4 in (17.48 m)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_Boeing_V-22_Osprey#Specifications_(MV-22B)

    Even a modest 25-50% increase in performance over the Ka-31 is worth it, esp. since the VMF mission isn't the same as was the Soviet's VMF.
    IMO, if there's a strong push to induct a CVN while & saving $, it could be an option to cut that big corner- like they did with STOVLs on the Kiev class TAKRs. Better than no deck fighter at all, & it gave them real world experience in carrier flight ops.


    Last edited by Tsavo Lion on Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:02 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add text, links)
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    Post  GarryB on Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:34 pm

    China will need them in big #s but not Russia. 926 Mi-6s were built & there's a need for this class in the RF today, Mi-26 being more costly to build & operate.

    Of course the Mi-26 is more costly to build and operate... it has twice the payload capacity...

    And how can you say in one sentence that China needs them in large numbers but Russia does not, and then say 926 Mi-6s were built and they need them in Russia today... 926 is a shit load of helicopters for aircraft this size... so which is it? They need them or they don't?

    Even a modest 25-50% increase in performance over the Ka-31 is worth it, esp. since the VMF mission isn't the same as was the Soviet's VMF.
    IMO, if there's a strong push to induct a CVN while & saving $, it could be an option to cut that big corner- like they did with STOVLs on the Kiev class TAKRs. Better than no deck fighter at all, & it gave them real world experience in carrier flight ops.

    A decent light AWACS aircraft would sell well on the international market... airborne radar don't have gaps because of hills and other terrain features like ground based radar, but AWACS is more than just an airborne radar it is also command and control which organises defences and allows them to work together as a team making them much more effective... if India had an AWACS in the area when they attacked targets and defended themselves it would have been much better managed and controlled...

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    Post  Isos on Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:50 pm


    A decent light AWACS aircraft would sell well on the international market... airborne radar don't have gaps because of hills and other terrain features like ground based radar, but AWACS is more than just an airborne radar it is also command and control which organises defences and allows them to work together as a team making them much more effective... if India had an AWACS in the area when they attacked targets and defended themselves it would have been much better managed and controlled...

    I agree. China, India and Algeria would for sure buy 3 or 4 each if not more.

    However I would do the same as they did with their ASW system that has many version for light, medium helicopter or patrol aircraft.

    One for a new yak-44 for carrier based awacs but also a much lighter one like for exemple based on sukhoi su-80 and for helicopter based radar pickets and also one for Zepplins and ballons.

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    You don't need an AWACS to assist the air defence. Most of the time a radar and a datalink with the command post of s400 with 1 operator will be enough.

    Awacs are used with fighters and needs more systems making them expensive.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:52 pm

    And how can you say in one sentence that China needs them in large numbers but Russia does not, and then say 926 Mi-6s were built and they need them in Russia today... 926 is a shit load of helicopters for aircraft this size... so which is it? They need them or they don't?
    Russia has more heavy helos than China, & she needs to produce her own airframes which will differ from what China needs.
    The USSR operated both Mi-6s & Mi-26s it needed a lot more heavy helos than Russia today. Still, the niche of Mi-6 needs to be filled by a helo with better performance
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    Post  GarryB on Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:56 am

    I agree. China, India and Algeria would for sure buy 3 or 4 each if not more.

    It is hard to emphasise too much how an AWACS platform effects the performance of air defence... they are very very expensive... but there is a reason why they are called force multipliers.

    Without airborne radar you need to fly aircraft around a lot to make sure no one is sneaking below your ground radar or in places like mountains where your ground radar is not so good... that means lots of sorties and tired pilots and planes being used when they don't need to be.

    Having a few AWACS platforms means much better coverage of your airspace... linking it in with your air defences makes you air defences much better... but it is also an aircraft so if you move out side of your territory near someone elses you can take them with you and use them there too.... NATO does this all the time on its wars of liberation...

    Smaller aircraft would of course have less capability than the bigger types, but even just AEW which is what the Ka-31s are is valuable to prevent surprise attacks... like the ones on that Saudi Oil Refinery...

    Having a view of the battlespace and being able to use it to coordinate attack and defence means it is much more likely that you will shoot down any incoming missiles, but it also means you should be able to coordinate an on the fly attack against some of the platforms that launched the attack too.

    I would add Iran and probably Syria to the list of countries interested in this... the latter would best be able to use it with their IADS , meaning they would be best able to take advantages of all its features, but even a country with no unified air defence system would benefit from such resources...

    However I would do the same as they did with their ASW system that has many version for light, medium helicopter or patrol aircraft.

    I agree... scaled versions for different needs means better flexibility and better pricing for their own use... the Russian Army has bought several Ka-31s for monitoring battlefields... I suspect they would also be interested in a Yak-44/Il-112/114 sized model... but I would expect the full sized A-100 is probably too big and too expensive for the Army... but of course the Air Force might consider an Il-96 based version with surface mounted antenna for photonic radar... or perhaps even a flying wing type based on the PAK DA even...

    One for a new yak-44 for carrier based awacs but also a much lighter one like for exemple based on sukhoi su-80 and for helicopter based radar pickets and also one for Zepplins and ballons.

    They have a lot of options... from drones and light helos and planes through airships and much larger aircraft... I always liked the look of the Su-80... they had some awesome air to ground models armed with rocket pods and missiles like Hermes etc... but then probably the most capable COIN version would be a bomber which bombs from 10km altitude using G&T systems...

    You don't need an AWACS to assist the air defence. Most of the time a radar and a datalink with the command post of s400 with 1 operator will be enough.

    Awacs are used with fighters and needs more systems making them expensive.

    Indeed... the Ka-31 is basically an airborne early warning aircraft... ie just a flying radar... with all the processing and communications via a ship that processes the data and generates commands etc.

    For fixed wing AWACS for carriers it makes sense to have a full AWACS capability because in terms of locating the fleet having an aircraft flying around scanning for targets means you detect one target... if it processes the data and generates its own commands to control the aircraft in the air as well as pass target data to surface ships then that can all be one way digital traffic so an enemy listening in will just detect the AWACS platforms emissions.

    With an AEW aircraft like Ka-31 they are going to detect its radar too but it will be volume transmitting enormous amounts of data to a nearby ship for processing... so effectively the ship becomes the C&C centre that finds targets and tells the Ka-31 where to look and coordinates any aircraft in the air and passes target data to aircraft and other ships... so for an enemy listening they will detect one helicopter and at least one ship... not the end of the world because you have no idea what else is there and if you think just because you know where one helo is and one ship is that you can take them on... what happens if that single ship is a Corvette... how many other ships are there there? How many other aircraft?

    Russia has more heavy helos than China, & she needs to produce her own airframes which will differ from what China needs.

    The whole point of a joint venture is because both parties want something so similar they can save money by making it together. It is perfectly sensible and practical and should lead to both parties getting a good product at a reasonable price...

    The USSR operated both Mi-6s & Mi-26s it needed a lot more heavy helos than Russia today. Still, the niche of Mi-6 needs to be filled by a helo with better performance

    Russias problem is distance and time... big helicopters are not particularly fast and don't have massive flight ranges. In comparison light transport types can have flight ranges of several thousand kms and travel that distance in a few hours.

    If you look at it from the point of view of a hub system... in the far east you will have a major airfield that can land the heaviest aircraft... An-124s... and later Slon etc. So moving materials by air would generally go to that air field first. Near that airfield there will be a significant population base so the majority of what was transported doesn't go very far... by road or by rail or by smaller aircraft. Some material needs to go further away so smaller lighter aircraft are used to distribute cargo and people to smaller airfields around the place.

    Russian investment in the northern sea route will mean more money going through Russian northern ports... they will need people and people need supplies and support... much of it will come to the port by ship because that is cheapest but other stuff will come via airfields near the ports. Roads and rail lines will grow from the ports south to link up with existing rail and road links and those links will expand... small towns will pop up on those rail and road lines to support the traffic going one way or another... and those people and the people moving on rail and road links will need support and servicing...

    Jobs will be created and all this added infrastructure will make access to areas to mine and resources to exploit much easier and cheaper.

    People doing these new jobs need to be fed and looked after... which means more jobs...

    The Mi-6 is a 10-12 ton payload aircraft... the new joint Russian/Chinese helicopter programme is a 10-15 ton payload aircraft with better performance... if the Russians want to develop their own aircraft because they don't want to share new technology so cheaply then it will likely be a much higher speed design... either way Russia wins.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:23 am

    The Navy's newest carrier is currently a sad joke

    The Russians will have similar, if not worse, problems with EM catapults; the Americans won't share any fixes they may come up with.
    The whole point of a joint venture is because both parties want something so similar they can save money by making it together. It is perfectly sensible and practical and should lead to both parties getting a good product at a reasonable price...
    If there was a consensus that it'll replace & surpass the Mi-6, Kamov wouldn't be announcing work on its Ka-106.

    Russias problem is distance and time... big helicopters are not particularly fast and don't have massive flight ranges. In comparison light transport types can have flight ranges of several thousand kms and travel that distance in a few hours.
    The Mi-6 was the fastest Soviet helo:
    Maximum speed: 300 km/h (190 mph, 160 kn)
    Cruise speed: 250 km/h (160 mph, 130 kn)
    Range: 970 km (600 mi, 520 nmi) at 1,000 m (3,281 ft) at 40,500 kg (89,287 lb) TOW
    Ferry range: 1,450 km (900 mi, 780 nmi).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mil_Mi-6#Specifications_(Mi-6)

    Light transport types don't have comparable max. payload to make them feasible in the vastness of Russia & her EEZ.
    ..in the far east you will have a major airfield that can land the heaviest aircraft... An-124s... and later Slon etc. So moving materials by air would generally go to that air field first.
    To supply a remote location, they'll still need a heavy helo to reduce the # of flights & save time. A CVN at sea will be as remote, if not more, as a small base in Siberia/FE or the Arctic coast/island from other bases &/ big airfields it may need to have transport connections with.


    Last edited by Tsavo Lion on Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:57 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : corrections)
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:08 am

    A catamaran design presents considerable risks - namely that it will be less stable in rough seas which makes it far from ideal as a blue water platform. For providing support against threats closer to Russian shores however, the design could potentially be ideal - and would follow a growing emphasis on such defensive naval capabilities. Advantages of the design would include lower costs and reduced drag - the latter which allows them to attain speeds which conventional carrier designs would struggle to match without integrating much larger, more fuel hungry and more costly engines.
    https://militarywatchmagazine.com/article/russia-plans-to-revolutionise-carrier-warfare-with-a-risky-new-catemeran-design?fbclid=IwAR0rn5PnAP2P088bugaHOj9qE3Lt6aEWzTzHWQvT6jKMxiXnp4K9rZYTv2I

    The Barents, Bering, Okhotsk, Japan, S China, Red, Med. Seas & N. Indian Ocean don't get very big waves most of the time. W/o a NPP, such carriers won't need leghty & costly nuclear refuelings, not to mention shore infrastructure & extra personnel.

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    Post  hoom on Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:47 am

    A catamaran design presents considerable risks - namely that it will be less stable in rough seas which makes it far from ideal as a blue water platform.
    They're talking about the Krylov 'light' carrier with the tunnel hull stern.

    The general problem with catamarans is not 'insufficient' stability but 'too much'.
    Cats have very high metacentric height so they roll with high acceleration -> uncomfortable in big seas.

    That said, the Krylov light concept is only semi-catamaran & the stern isn't much wider at waterline than a pure monohull would be, combined with a maximised deck it might actually be relatively unstable.
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    Post  GarryB on Sat Mar 14, 2020 4:41 am

    The Russians will have similar, if not worse, problems with EM catapults; the Americans won't share any fixes they may come up with.

    Based on what?

    Why would Russia want the Americans to solve their problems? Was it Americans who made Zircon ready for operations? Is America teaching Russia how to make Photonic radar systems? Is America supplying rocket motors so Russia can send people and cargo to space?

    The Americans working on EMALs are the same ones who created the Zumwalt and LCS frigate alternatives and that track record is not exactly something to brag about... perhaps it should be the Americans asking the Russians or Chinese for help to get their EMALS working...

    BTW why would the Russians have worse problems?

    They only need EMALS to launch an AWACS platform... most of their fighters will just use the ski jump for launching... it is much less important... in fact if they go for airship AWACS as I have been suggesting they might not even use their Cats very much at all... just transport and inflight refuelling aircraft...

    Of course the technology they develop to make EMALS work can be used in long range artillery guns and perhaps even a moon surface system for returning payloads from the moons surface to earth cheaply. Electric drive systems using enormous capacity to store and move large amounts of electricity from system to system would also be incredibly useful for a range of platforms from UAVs and ships and subs as well as manned aircraft, naval and land based vehicles and also spacecraft...

    If there was a consensus that it'll replace & surpass the Mi-6, Kamov wouldn't be announcing work on its Ka-106.

    The fact that they are announcing it suggests they lost the competition and are now looking for other international partners to help fund their programme.

    Remember in the late 1980s and early 1990s it was the Havoc that was revealed first... in fact it went to western air shows to try to get funding via a foreign partner and foreign customers for the platform because it had already lost the domestic competition to replace the Hind which was won by the Hokum... which was kept secret because it was the aircraft they were planning to build. The point being later demands for night and all weather capability meant a single seat aircraft was no longer suitable so the Havoc was in fact selected and the Hokum had to look for foreign partners... eventually they took on both because each had features the other lacked so the Havoc became the attack helo... the fire support helo, while the Hokum became the recon attack platform... the equivalent of the Apache and Commanche respectively but without the stealth bullshit.... and of course they are buying both whereas the US Commanche got canned.

    The Mi-6 was the fastest Soviet helo:

    It doesn't matter.... the cruise speed is 250km/h and that is what matters when flying 2,000km at a time that makes for very long trips... especially if you have to make stops to drop stuff off and refuel.

    A light fixed wing transport plane flys at a much higher speed...

    Light transport types don't have comparable max. payload to make them feasible in the vastness of Russia & her EEZ.

    The An-26 was widely used for a reason... and its flight speed was significantly higher than 250km/h... its flight range with payload means it is also rather less likely to need to stop for refuelling as often... it can also fly over weather a helicopter would be forced to fly through...

    To supply a remote location, they'll still need a heavy helo to reduce the # of flights & save time. A CVN at sea will be as remote, if not more, as a small base in Siberia/FE or the Arctic coast/island from other bases &/ big airfields it may need to have transport connections with.

    A small remote location in Siberia wont have 3,000 people to feed... it should be able to be serviced by relatively small aircraft.

    A carrier in the middle of the ocean is much better supported by a supply ship than by helicopter.

    The Barents, Bering, Okhotsk, Japan, S China, Red, Med. Seas & N. Indian Ocean don't get very big waves most of the time. W/o a NPP, such carriers won't need leghty & costly nuclear refuelings, not to mention shore infrastructure & extra personnel.

    There is active hull technology that can limit or reduce the effect of bad weather on a vessel... the people of the Pacific often used outrigger canoes at sea because of their stability...

    That said, the Krylov light concept is only semi-catamaran & the stern isn't much wider at waterline than a pure monohull would be, combined with a maximised deck it might actually be relatively unstable.

    As the US has found with its Zumwalt and LCS ships... often you really don't know how a model will perform until you make one... which is expensive of course... but the only way to know for sure...

    They were also talking about multihull carrier designs with wide hulls creating large internal spaces for hangars for aircraft and of course wells for armour and landing craft...
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:32 am

    A small remote location in Siberia wont have 3,000 people to feed... it should be able to be serviced by relatively small aircraft.
    a bigger helo can bring more cargo &/ people once or twice a month instead of 3-4-5 times a month.

    A carrier in the middle of the ocean is much better supported by a supply ship than by helicopter.
    sometimes extra supplies must be flown in fast. I remember while in the Gulf, 1 or 2 CH-53s brought most likely ordinance to the CV-63- soon after we bombed Iraq.  The VMF may not have fixed wing CODs or working catapults for a long time, leaving helos &/ tilt-rotors to do the job.


    Last edited by Tsavo Lion on Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:08 pm; edited 4 times in total

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