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USN eyes reactivating the USS Kitty Hawk

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posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 02:01 PM
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The defense budget proposed by trump was a bit of a letdown for shipbuilding IMHO. The USN which is struggling to meet increased commitments with its carrier fleet is looking at re-activating the conventionally powered USS Kitty Hawk to help bolster availability. As noted in a previous thread here on ATS. Availability is a core issue. They are also looking at perhaps activating other mothballed surface combatants as well. USS Kitty Hawk out of mothballs?

www.abovetopsecret.com...

The question is does the USN have enough mission capable aircraft to equip another carrier at this time? (Also the picture of the USS Ticonderoga really makes me sad to see such a revolutionary ship with a proud name in such sorry shape)




posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 02:04 PM
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I really don't see where bringing a CV back, that's been sitting in mothballs for 20ish years is going to improve availability. They're going to blow half their budget just trying to get her back to sea.



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 02:16 PM
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Not sure if the USN has the planes to do it.

As far as making ships that are in mothballs sea ready: depends on a lot of factors.

1) How much of her was gutted prior to being mothballed? (that's the big one).

2) How much of her needs to be upgraded?

3) Will the cost of both of the above exceed the cost of a new ship?

The good news about the Bunker Hill class of cruisers is: they don't use boilers for their power generation, and in fact can have her engines changed out in just a few days.

What would cause really long delays in getting the weapons systems reinstalled (if they were ripped out) and make sure they are upgraded.

The Kitty Hawk.......she's a boiler ship. Boilers take a LONG time to get ready, and then there would be the question of her main engines (which are like huge transmissions. Steam from the boilers turn the turbines, which in turn move the gears to turn the shaft and turn the ship's screws).

Not saying any of it is impossible...it's just a question of which would cost less.

Also: operational costs. Running on boilers and burning fuel oil, the Kitty Hawk would cost a lot more money when at sea than any CVN due to the fuel consumption.



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 02:17 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
I really don't see where bringing a CV back, that's been sitting in mothballs for 20ish years is going to improve availability. They're going to blow half their budget just trying to get her back to sea.

And why an oil fired carrier?

Maybe we could have the Army get a division of mounted cavalry with pikes and sabers activated in case we have a war with Mexico.



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 02:26 PM
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The Kitty Hawk is the only inactive carrier still kept in "Reserve" Status at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard's Inactive Ships facility, which was supposed to end in 2015. All the rest have been designated for scrap with the exception of the JFK, which as far as I know (I haven't checked lately) is still on "Donation Hold" waiting for some group to get their act together and make it into a museum. All "Reserve" means is that the ship as not been allowed to deteriorate completely for the very reason that it has been suggested here. In terms of money and time it would clearly be a massive project, but in comparison to waiting for another $7 billion Ford class CVN to be built, it would be far cheaper and faster. When the Ford actually is operational (this year, they say) we'll be back to 11 carriers, which Congress has insisted on in the past. But CVN-79, the new JFK, is due to replace the CVN-68 Nimitz, which is now scheduled for a 2020 commissioning. Given the time it would take to refurbish the Kitty Hawk, it would seem to me that a better and cheaper course of action would be to simply retain the Nimitz, which is 100% operational right now. That would be the fastest way to get to 12 carriers. Refueling the Nimitz would be an issue, however.



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 02:32 PM
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originally posted by: butcherguy

originally posted by: Zaphod58
I really don't see where bringing a CV back, that's been sitting in mothballs for 20ish years is going to improve availability. They're going to blow half their budget just trying to get her back to sea.

And why an oil fired carrier?

Maybe we could have the Army get a division of mounted cavalry with pikes and sabers activated in case we have a war with Mexico.


An inept analogy. The big carriers and subs are all nukes. Everything else is oil fired today. In large ships the engineering plants themselves work the same way they did in the late 1800's. They're all steam-powered. What heats the steam is the only difference. The nukes' advantage is simply a long time between visits to the gas station.



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 02:36 PM
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Finding an Air Wing would be one of the easiest things to do. What would be difficult would be to find people to operate the Kitty Hawk's engine room. With the majority of the Small Boys being Gas Turbine powered the Navy doesn't have the qualified people .



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 02:36 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

Why would refueling the Nimitz be an issue?

The Nimitz had an RCOH in 2001. I would think she's not due for another RCOH until the mid 20's.

She should still be good for a few years.



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 02:38 PM
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originally posted by: butcherguy

And why an oil fired carrier?

Maybe we could have the Army get a division of mounted cavalry with pikes and sabers activated in case we have a war with Mexico.


The USS Enterprise is the only retired nuc and is too far dismantled to reactivate thus the Kitty hawk is the most viable candidate for this. The Enterprise is also serving as a test bed as to how to dismantle CVN's preparing for the larger scare retirement of the Nimitz class down the road.

The other issue is that being built in the mid 50's if they decide they have to rip out all the asbestos etc, it may exponentially increase the cost as well.



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 02:47 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: butcherguy

originally posted by: Zaphod58
I really don't see where bringing a CV back, that's been sitting in mothballs for 20ish years is going to improve availability. They're going to blow half their budget just trying to get her back to sea.

And why an oil fired carrier?

Maybe we could have the Army get a division of mounted cavalry with pikes and sabers activated in case we have a war with Mexico.


An inept analogy. The big carriers and subs are all nukes. Everything else is oil fired today. In large ships the engineering plants themselves work the same way they did in the late 1800's. They're all steam-powered. What heats the steam is the only difference. The nukes' advantage is simply a long time between visits to the gas station.

You didn't cover gas turbine technology. They burn liquid fuel, but it is aircraft fuel, not fuel oil. They are used because they can achieve propulsion from a cold iron condition very quickly because the engines do not need to create steam to spin the turbines, the combustion gases do that.
I have served in the Navy. Carriers aren't built today to fire oil. There is a reason for that.
The same reason that we don't really use mounted cavalry today.... it is outdated.
Some US special forces have used horses in the Middle East recently, but they don't carry pikes and spears... outdated.

Just in case you don't believe me:
Stars and Stripes


As the USS Kitty Hawk sails its final course, it marks the close of an era for steam power in the U.S. Navy.
The aircraft carrier, which is scheduled for decommissioning in 2009, relies on its 1,200-pound-per-square-inch steam boilers to launch aircraft, propel the ship and provide hot water for showers and washing dishes, the Navy said in a news release. The boiler system was first introduced in 1948 on experimental Mitscher-class destroyers. Although it was temperamental and complicated, it replaced the less powerful 600-psi boilers of the day, according to the Navy. Sixty years later, the Kitty Hawk and its steam technology soon will be replaced by the nuclear-powered USS George Washington. The old carrier’s boiler technicians might be the last sailors to operate the conventional — and challenging — steam power system, the Navy said. "This is the last time you’re going to see eight conventional boilers for a steam plant," Master Chief Petty Officer Michael Gwinn of the Kitty Hawk engineering department was quoted as saying in the release. Gwinn, who has worked on the boilers of six different ships, said one reason he took orders to Kitty Hawk was to help new sailors learn about the complicated 1,200-psi boiler setup before they were transferred to ships with smaller boilers or gas turbines. Many Navy ships now are powered by gas turbines that can be operated and fixed by pushing a couple of buttons, he said. The Kitty Hawk’s boiler room is a place of sweat and manual labor, Gwinn said in the release. The ship’s boiler technicians say they’ll miss the camaraderie in the "pits." Master Chief Petty Officer Joseph Richardson, another former boiler technician, said his favorite part from 28 years working on eight steam plants was "lighting the fires." "We know that we can’t get under way without [lighting off the boilers]," Richardson was quoted saying in the release. "If you’ve been doing this your whole career, you’re going to miss it." The Kitty Hawk left its forward-deployed port of Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, on May 28 after nearly a decade there.


Just in case you chose not to click on the link, here is the title:

Kitty Hawk last relic of Navy’s steam power era



Last relic..... the article was written nine years ago.
edit on b000000302017-06-13T15:04:08-05:0003America/ChicagoTue, 13 Jun 2017 15:04:08 -0500300000017 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 02:56 PM
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a reply to: FredT

Asbestos was removed when she went through SLEP in 87-90.



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 02:57 PM
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originally posted by: grey580
a reply to: schuyler

Why would refueling the Nimitz be an issue?

The Nimitz had an RCOH in 2001. I would think she's not due for another RCOH until the mid 20's.

She should still be good for a few years.


Could be, but as a 4 year operation I didn't want to leave that out because sure as hell someone would have mentioned it. The next RCOH at 2025 is still not that far away compared to its current decommissioning date of 2020. What about the bigger issue, though, the main issue of the post. Does not saving the Nimitz make better sense than restoring the Kitty Hawk? The time is approximately equal and saving the Nimitz would be far cheaper.



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 03:03 PM
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originally posted by: butcherguy

originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: butcherguy

originally posted by: Zaphod58
I really don't see where bringing a CV back, that's been sitting in mothballs for 20ish years is going to improve availability. They're going to blow half their budget just trying to get her back to sea.

And why an oil fired carrier?

Maybe we could have the Army get a division of mounted cavalry with pikes and sabers activated in case we have a war with Mexico.


An inept analogy. The big carriers and subs are all nukes. Everything else is oil fired today. In large ships the engineering plants themselves work the same way they did in the late 1800's. They're all steam-powered. What heats the steam is the only difference. The nukes' advantage is simply a long time between visits to the gas station.

You didn't cover gas turbine technology. They burn liquid fuel, but it is aircraft fuel, not fuel oil. They are used because they can achieve propulsion from a cold iron condition very quickly because the engines do not need to create steam to spin the turbines, the combustion gases do that.
I have served in the Navy. Carriers aren't built today to fire oil. There is a reason for that.
The same reason that we don't really use mounted cavalry today.... it is outdated.
Some US special forces have used horses in the Middle East recently, but they don't carry pikes and spears... outdated.


It's still an inept analogy. You're worried about the fuel and I say that's the least of anyone's worries. It still makes the ship go and has nothing whatsoever to do with sabers and horses. It can still launch F-18's and it can go nearly as fast as a CVN. As a practical matter all you need is a ship on station, no matter what fuel it uses to get there. Besides which, that is not what I think should happen. I think they ought to save the Nimitz. Thank you for your service. I was also in the USN, an MM Nuke.



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 03:05 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: butcherguy

originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: butcherguy

originally posted by: Zaphod58
I really don't see where bringing a CV back, that's been sitting in mothballs for 20ish years is going to improve availability. They're going to blow half their budget just trying to get her back to sea.

And why an oil fired carrier?

Maybe we could have the Army get a division of mounted cavalry with pikes and sabers activated in case we have a war with Mexico.


An inept analogy. The big carriers and subs are all nukes. Everything else is oil fired today. In large ships the engineering plants themselves work the same way they did in the late 1800's. They're all steam-powered. What heats the steam is the only difference. The nukes' advantage is simply a long time between visits to the gas station.

You didn't cover gas turbine technology. They burn liquid fuel, but it is aircraft fuel, not fuel oil. They are used because they can achieve propulsion from a cold iron condition very quickly because the engines do not need to create steam to spin the turbines, the combustion gases do that.
I have served in the Navy. Carriers aren't built today to fire oil. There is a reason for that.
The same reason that we don't really use mounted cavalry today.... it is outdated.
Some US special forces have used horses in the Middle East recently, but they don't carry pikes and spears... outdated.


It's still an inept analogy. You're worried about the fuel and I say that's the least of anyone's worries. It still makes the ship go and has nothing whatsoever to do with sabers and horses. It can still launch F-18's and it can go nearly as fast as a CVN. As a practical matter all you need is a ship on station, no matter what fuel it uses to get there. Besides which, that is not what I think should happen. I think they ought to save the Nimitz. Thank you for your service. I was also in the USN, an MM Nuke.

Go back and see my edit.
It is not about fuel, it is about the time frame from cold iron status to underway.
You are wrong about steam.
I was an MM conventional hole snipe, worked a 600# plant on a ship laid down in 1952. We had propulsion divisions, so I got to stand BT watches.
edit on b000000302017-06-13T15:07:41-05:0003America/ChicagoTue, 13 Jun 2017 15:07:41 -0500300000017 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 03:12 PM
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a reply to: butcherguy

Which boat?



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 03:18 PM
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originally posted by: JIMC5499
a reply to: butcherguy

Which boat?

L S D 29 USS Plymouth Rock
I did a short stint on the MSO 456 USS Inflict, a wooden boat with diesel engines.



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 03:31 PM
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a reply to: FredT

While this thread is about the amount of active and inactive carriers, etc., it is therefore about outdated means of war, circa WWII.

WWIII, the full monte, will be decidedly a different affair, missiles one way or another for about any contingency worthy of touching off a Tomahawk. Why do we need carriers when everybody and their buddy has missiles that can both do pinpoint land targets and even, glub, carriers?



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 03:39 PM
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a reply to: butcherguy

Just curious. I deployed on Independence and Forrestal.



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 03:42 PM
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originally posted by: Aliensun
a reply to: FredT

While this thread is about the amount of active and inactive carriers, etc., it is therefore about outdated means of war, circa WWII.

WWIII, the full monte, will be decidedly a different affair, missiles one way or another for about any contingency worthy of touching off a Tomahawk. Why do we need carriers when everybody and their buddy has missiles that can both do pinpoint land targets and even, glub, carriers?


These carriers were built in the 50's and 60's after WWII.

Land bases are fixed. Their position doesn't change. A carrier is mobile. For a missile to hit a carrier something has to report the carrier's position and keep updating it while the missile is in flight. That platform has to transmit so that means that it can be detected and killed. Missiles can also be jammed, decoyed or spoofed.



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 05:16 PM
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4 inactive carriers at Bremerton this pic is from the Kitty Hawk wiki page from 2012 and shows the Independence, Kitty Hawk, Constellation and Ranger.

The USS Independence has been moved to the breakers yard and is actively being taken apart
The USS Constellation has been scrapped
The USS Ranger aka The Hollywood ship" is being actively scrapped

others:

The USS Enterprise is dismantled beyond repair and refueling those 8 reactors would probably cost more than refurbing the entire Kitty hawk

That makes the Kitty Hawk most suited for this. The JFK was inactivated 2 years earlier and as noted above most likely was used as a spare parts depot for the Kitty Hawk. Also given that CVN-79 is named the Kennedy and slated to launch in 2018 and the USN's inclination towards not renaming ships, the Kitty Hawk seems to be the best choice.

On the other hand, if the marines stand up enough F-35B's the gator navy like the USS America, those would be very potent baby carriers in their own right


edit on 6/13/17 by FredT because: (no reason given)



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