Non-Aircraft Carrier Seaplane Defense of Surface Ships SC-1 SeaHawkContrary to popular mythology, aircraft carriers are not the only oreasiest/safest way to operate aircraft at sea. The best way and the firstway to get aircraft at sea was by having them able to land in the waterby boat shapes or floats. During WW1 and WW2 seaplanes werecatapulted off battleships and cruisers to scout for enemy ships, subsand to radio in gunfire corrections…as well as their own seaplane tendersthey found the enemy, destroyed him and rescued our own men in thewater...
Every U.S. Navy cruiser and battleship had 2-4 x seaplanesto provide its own “mini-air cover” even if no aircraft carrierwas assigned to their battle grouping; there were not enoughcarriers even during the mass-produced WW2 era... 2 x ASW depth charges
U.S. Navy battleships had their floatplanes launched from the stern; cruisers amidships from catapult launcher railsfloatplanes
U.S. Navy Admiral Hart even launched a strike with all his cruiser’sseaplanes in 1934, before WW2; the Japanese actually did this manytimes from seaplane tenders, submarines and were ready to strike thePanama canal from special I-400 class submarines using Aichi Seranseaplane fighter-bombers that could fit inside watertight containers butWW2 ended... “He had been offered a battleship division, but preferred the possibilities of independent operations inherent in a cruiser command. He showed his talents: in Fleet Problem XVI, he probably executed the only air strike ever launched from cruisers when twelve of his floatplanes were sent to ‘bomb’ the U.S. facilities and seaplane bases on Midway.” www.arlingtoncemetery.net/tchart.htm
U.S. Navy cruiser and battleships would recover their seaplanes by them landing alongside and pulling onto a “landingmat” where they were then pulled closer and craned aboard
After WW2, the “aircraft carrier mafia” stabbed all other organizationalrivals in the back; the first was getting rid of the superb 300 mph SC-1SeaHawk fighter seaplane from all U.S. Navy cruisers and battleships infavor of slow and short-range helicopters…as time has passed we nowhave our heavily armored battleships in mothballs and all our lightsurface ships are vulnerable to ANY kind of attack and MUST HAVEaircraft carriers for aircraft to fly ahead to provide early warning and toSPOIL air attacks. Anti-Ship Missiles (ASMs) by the hundreds and eventhousands will overwhelm any Aegis missile defense and only 1 “leaker”hitting an aircraft carrier will turn it into a flaming inferno…. USS Forrestal fire www.chinfo.navy.mil
Fixed-wing SeaHawk313 mph, 1, 000+ mile rangeCan shoot enemy aircraft downCan land on water to do CSAR/SOFLands to dip sonarEasy-to-maintainGets wet needs constant cleaningCannot carry SEAL team but other seaplanescan Rotary-wing SeaHawk 150 mph, 380 mile range No air-to-air capability Can’t land on water to do CSAR/SOF Hard-to-maintain Stays dry but is mechanically complex Hovers to dip sonar Can carry SEAL team
The U.S. Navy’s 11 super-large aircraft carriers are so expensive tooperate entire classes of aircraft have been retired, making themfatally vulnerable to enemy ASM, and submarine attacks; F-18 tryingto do everything is the new under-powered, overweight BrewsterBuffalo... CONSEQUENCE NO LONG-RANGE BVR ANTI-AIR NO EFFICIENT AIR REFUELING NO LONG-RANGE ANTI-SUB
What can we do to get more aircraft to protect theU.S. Navy and embarked marines?* Recall all our Iowa class battleships and equip them withski jump flight decks; create container ship carriers* Outfit deck extensions so more F-18s can be stored ontop of the flight deck; field A-10 “SeaHogs” to do ASW/TankingAAW w/AMRAAMs* Equip all aircraft with ski-floats so if they have to crash inthe water we can at least salvage something from them
Fighter planes gulp fuel and need externalFuel tanks for range to get missions done.Why not use left/right tanks as means toLand on water in emergency if aircraftCarrier is sunk or engine dies on take-off? F-18 with Multiple large Fuel tanks
When the plane must land in water, Pantobase skis Extend to enable a water Landing so aircraft will not be a total loss And can be recovered for re-use…skis Pop-out upon ejection or pilot activationPantobase skisOn YC-123
Air Bags immediately inflate aboveskis so when plane comes to a stop,it will float for recovery…
Air Bags for large helicopters already exist!www.aircruisers.com/helifloats.htmlaircruisers have floats for a uh60www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/uh-60.htmWeight Empty 11,516 LbsMission gross weight - 17,432 LbsMaximum gross weight - 22,000 LbsWeight Maximum Gross: 13,000 kgNormal Takeoff: 11,100 kgMaximum gross weight (ferry) - 24,500 LbsAND MI17S that will float 25kwww.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/row/mi-17.htm
Both the F-18 and F-35C operate or will operate from aircraftCarriers using catapults to launch and tail-hooks to grabArrestor wires to land. Both are extremely expensive $85MAircraft---we only build handfuls---and aircraft being lost atSea is common—but, if we can recover these planes by fuelTank ski-floats just for salvage we’d save $millions and intime of war could get planes back into combat in time toWin the war… F-35C F-18
Many WW2 planes could float: facilitating air crew Rescue, recovery & Re-use of aircraft at least For parts…. ZeroHelldiver
Japanese Float Planes were very successful in WW2 enabling air ops Without need of aircraft Carriers or runways… Lagoons Rufe LandSeaplanetenders (24)
What was amazing is that even with floats, the Zero’s flight Performance was only slightly impaired…many Allied planes Were shot down by the Jap float planes…. One floatplane pilot was an ace with 26 kills: only a handfulOf American pilots did better than him in WW2 http://users.accesscomm.ca/magnusfamily/ww2jap.htm Hidenori Matsunaga 934 Ku; floatplane pilot, many shares and probables included; Source: Imperial Japanese Navy Aces 1937-45, Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 22, Henry Sakaida, Osprey Pub.
The final Japanese floatplane design, code-named the RexWas capable of 304 mph, was heavily armed and armored! The Aichi Seiran floatplane could be wings/tail detached to fit in watertight containers on large Japanese submarines!
With fuel tank ski-floats, F-18 and F-35C flight performanceWould not be lessened any more than the fuel tanks theyUse now…however today’s naval combat arena has itHighly likely that these aircraft could take-off on a missionAnd return to have no aircraft carrier to land on! How willWe protect all the other surface ships with air cover if weDon’t have any aircraft carriers? We lost MANY aircraft Carriers in WW2 (11); the Threat today with missiles Submarines, mines is far Greater than WW2; we only have www.world-war-2.info/statistics/ 11 aircraft carriers today…
We’ve been in this mess before…the battleships HMSRepulse and Prince of Wales in WW2 had no aircraft carrierFor air cover and were attacked by twin-engined JapaneseNell & Betty Bombers; notoriously unarmored, full of fueland easy to Shoot down; Admiral Yamamoto wasassassinated in a Betty by P-38s…yet no fighters were there to stop them… Betties burned easily--IF--you could hit them
Out of 79 torpedoes launched, 11 hit the Repulse and PrinceOf Wales, sinking both battleships with large loss of life. Winston Churchill said these Losses were the worst of all WW2. Yet…Had the Repulse/POW had Seaplane fighters comparable To the Jap Rufe, its highly likely They would have SPOILED the attack shooting down many of the Nells/Betties so the 11 torpedoes would not have struck…. Kate dropping Torpedo to sink USS Hornet Today add Anti-ship Missiles
Earlier in the war, had the German Battleship Bismark’sAR-196 floatplane shot down the RAF Catalina flying boatThat found her, she would not have been sunk. The WW2U.S. Navy had some folks with common-sense so we wisedUp and got Curtis SeaHawk floatplane fighters for ourShips which could do 313 mph as well as carry a woundedMan in a litter or an observer in a back jump seat. Curtis SeaHawk floatplane fighters
How will we get enough fighter aircraft from surface shipsWithout aircraft carriers to get effective air cover since theyDon’t have catapults like our WW2 ships did?OPTIONS1. Deploy STOVL AV-8B Harriers/F-35Bs onto Arleigh Burkeand Ticonderoga class destroyers/cruisers at the FANTAILor AMIDSHIPS2. Deploy STOVL AV-8B Harriers/F-35Bs onto FIGHTERBARGES/DECK EXTENSIONS3. Purchase a SEAPLANE fighter4. Purchase some sort of Unmanned Air Vehicle
Deploy STOVL AV-8B Harriers/F-35Bs onto Arleigh Burkeand Ticonderoga class destroyers/cruisers at the:FANTAIL 2 x SH-60s1 x AV-8B or F-35Bon landing padwith all-weathercover; even withfolding wings can’tfit into smallhangers
FANTAIL Spin-Off 1: Opening Landing Pad over VLS Cells Pad extended for AV-8B or F-35B ops; opened to fire VLS missiles; maybe 2 x AV-8B/F-35Bs per destroyer #2 #1
FANTAIL Spin-Off 2: SkyHook crane VLS Cells1-2 x AV-8B or F-35Bs hover and hooked by crane andlowered onto a shelf/secured exploiting unused space by VLS #2 See next slide Landing Pad Extensions #1 #3
Blast curtains would surround the VLS Cells to shieldF-35Bs parked to the left and right on the landing padextensions...Missiles fired from VLS cells
AMIDSHIPSUse a SkyHook crane to retrieve an AV-8B/F-35B on portand starboard side between exhaust stacks, lowering ontocatapult or JATO rail like WW2 cruisers/BBs merchants had Hurricat
Space inside for F-35B if wings fold orTiconderoga class cruisers two SH-60s F-35B could sit on pad for storage ‘til needed Could easily embark 2 x SH-60s and 1-2 x F-35Bs
Skyhook crane amidships could recover a F-35B that launchedfrom a short rail amidships
Fighter Barge Roll-out tarp covers F-35B after landingAll JP8 fuelAnd armamentIn barge Ship turns into Wind for VTOLQuick-DisconnectTriangular tow-bar Covered tube for aircrew and maintainers to walk Any surface ship
FlightDeckExtensionand WakeSignatureStealthDevice(FDE-WSSD) Enables a VTOL aircraft or a seaplane or two to be carried in addition to aircraft using hull space; calms down and smooths out water from props using baffles and brushes, perhaps jettison-able in emergency...
F-35B STOVL fighters can take-off and land vertically fromFighter barges/decks if they carry just light air-to-air armaments.What surface attack armaments can be carried and stillTake-off vertically will have to be determined by use. IfEach ship in a surface battle group towed a fighter barge we’dhave plenty of air cover…even if all our carriers get sunk...
With 2-3 x F-35Bs per destroyer/cruiser, we could easilyself-defend against air and Surface ship attacks…2 per…2 x surface ships = 4 x F-35Bs4 x surface ships = 8 x F-35Bs8 x surface ships = 16 x F-35Bs16 x surface ships = 32 x F-35Bs3 per…2 x surface ships = 6 x F-35Bs4 x surface ships = 12 x F-35Bs8 x surface ships = 24 x F-35Bs16 x surface ships = 48 x F-35BsWe will have a dispersed aircraft defense force notDependant upon aircraft carriers. If F-35Bs cannot land onFantail/Cranes/Barges they can go to land bases or land onwater with Fuel tank ski-floats.
3. Purchase SEAPLANE fightersFloats can be fitted to turboprop crop dusters to be defacto “SeaHawks” willneed catapult rails/cranes on surface ships and relearning the art oflaunch/recovery…Centaur can even fit into a watertight container on submarine FireBoss Centaur
4. Purchase some sort of Unmanned Air VehicleThe “smallest” UCAV that can fire missiles is a Predator; it ISN’T smalland will have the same recovery problems as a large seaplane fighterexcept without help of an on-board pilot. The 21 inch torpedo or 24” VLStube doesn’t offer much space for an UAV with any armament... PredatorTriple 21 inch You want to fittorpedo THIS into THAT?launcher
24” Diameter Mark 41 Vertical Launch System tubeEven IF an UCAV could be made to fit and launch from 21 or 24 inchtubes, UAVs in general have a 50% crash rate and will destroy themselvesduring routine training/use. They lack a human inside fighting to return tothe ship intact and cannot actively engage to spoil enemy attacks as amanned fighter can.
Where do we start? How about the unused USS Ticonderoga? Use as a test bed to perfect seaplane fighter concepts, then field on our cruisers and destroyers ASAP...
Naval aviation began with an aircraft landing on a convertedbattleship test bed! We can do this! LT Eugene Ely lands on USS Pennsylvania in 1911
We need non-aircraft carrier fighters to prevent this!
ANY QUESTIONS?Maneuver Air Support Working Group2006Mike SparksAssistant Directordynmicpara@aol.com