Prev: Suicide Fighters Next: Re: ADLER TAG AAR


From: Thomas Barclay <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 14:29:19 -0500
Subject: Re: ADLER TAG AAR

Los spake thusly upon matters weighty: 

> Thomas Barclay wrote:
> > Don't most carriers carry fighter spares 'broken down' which can be
> > put together to replace losses (and hence your carrier only needs to
> > get replacement pilots, much easier and cheaper)? This concept was
> >
> I don't know, In the twentieth century there are only a few extra
> aircraft on an air craft carrier. (I've been on an assault carrier the
> Tarawa, they had 8 Harriers, no spares) A fighter is a big thing,
> (remember it's not just the fighter but all the spare components,
> attachments, engines etc) in outer space or here and space on a ship
> and will always be at an absolute premium. A typical (US ) fighter
> squadron today has 18 aircraft and about 30 pilots. Fielding a full 16
> plane formation leaves you 2 spares. And very seldom in peacetime or
> do you have a full compliment of either pilots or fighters.
> I don't believe you would have much room for spares on teh carrier
> itself. However the fleet train should have a certain number of spares
> available. However these would take a certain amountb of time to bring
> out of storage and make operational. Again it's a matter of space and
> logistical support.

Well, you may suggest these are on replenishment vessels. But I have 
an argument for making them carrier based. In space (a difference 
from the ground), humans are the expensive (spacewise) resource. You 
can't pack people going into interstellar space like sardines 
exactly. And they need CO2 scrubbers, air supplies, food supplies, 
etc. A broken down fighter (modular possibly) occupies space. Weight 
is (almost) inconsequential compared against ship mass. Space is a 
premium, but depending on hull design, the extra space may not be 
that hard to come by. 

Now, on a CVL, maybe your spares are 20%, on a CVS maybe 30%, and 
maybe on a CV about 50%. Maybe on a SCS, SSCS, or SCV, you spares are 
also in the 50% region. Maybe another 100% are kept in the fleet 
train. In 'victorious' operations (even some losing ones), you'll 
recover more pilots than craft if you auto ejector systems are any 

> I would not support this rule unless you designed the storage capacity
> into the ship to start with.

That's what I had in mind. 

 So a CV that can normally support 6 fighter
> bays can now have 4 bays and two spare depots. This would give it a
> compliment of 8 FGs. However only 4 could be used at any one time
> operationally. I'd rather have the operational fighters and leave
> replenishment up to the fleet train.

But that makes you dependent on your fleet train. Not good for CVS 
operating behind enemy lines (think Tiger's Claw from WIng 
Commander). I think the operational paradigm you are suggesting gives 
your carriers more punch per mass but ties them much more closely to 
their logistics train. 
> The whole thing is sort of a campiagn rule anyway. I don't see anyone
> taking a fighter out of storage and getting it ready for combat in
> 3 hours, future or not.

Maybe, maybe not. As an electronics guy, I've seen test jigs for 
systems that will run a test that used to take 24 hrs in seven 
minutes. And be more accurate and complete than a human. I can well 
see a fighter being bashed-up, hooked to a test system, tested, and 
this includes external inspection, in a three hour period with the 
right load handling and test equipment which I assume is standard on 
modern 2185 carriers. But YMMV. 

 Unless you are carrying double the compliment of
> grease monkeys to keep the spares in a  state of  semi-preparedness.
> Heck it takes what? Three turns just to arm the things.

45 minutes? If one is using 15 minute turns, I'd say that is an awful 
long time given the state of the art today and in 2185. I'd think 1 
or 2 turns (or maybe this would be some sort of a purchased advantage 
or a tech advantage for high tech forces, hmm....?). Of course, they 
may not have been thinking 15 minute turns either. That was just some 
number I heard on the net.  It could be longer if that is your taste. 
I think 45 min to re-arm a fighter is off-base (correct me if any of 
you has modern fighter jock experience). I'm not talking about 
re-inspection, calibration, etc. I'm just talking about land, refuel, 
switch pilots, re-arm, take off again. 

 Still, your rule
> is an interesting option if the CV has the carrying capacity.  I know
> there's a couple Navy guys on the list. Maybe they could chime in.

I guess I'm suggesting to some extent that SFB had the right idea 
which allowed CVs to operate further from their logistics train - but 
I guess to be fair they probably lost combat power to do this (I 
don't know, it didn't allow ship design too well). But as we both 
know, half the time, how you can operate at a strategic level is what 
matters. Once you've reached the fight, you should already have won 
(Sun Tzu...). So the ability to move further from your logistics 
chain would be (in that ideal) a better option than more close in 
slugging power.  

Just my usual 0.04. 

Thomas Barclay		     
Voice: (613) 831-2018 x 4009
Fax: (613) 831-8255

 "C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot.  C++ makes
 it harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg."
 -Bjarne Stroustrup

Prev: Suicide Fighters Next: Re: ADLER TAG AAR