Possible to build a modern submarine aircraft carrier?

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posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 08:40 PM
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Read halfway thru - so please forgive me if i skipped past the obvious. The idea is feasable with un-manned vehicles. They are much smaller and easier to store. Imagine a sub manned with people flying these things from a computer screen and keyboard. I'd go even further and suggest - considering the sub will be larger than any sub out there - that it should have un-manned under water mini-bombs or mini-subs controlled by people on board the sub. Controll both the water and the air. Make it as stealthy as possible.

After re-reading my post im sure some wont understand what I meant by mini-bombs.. explosives with camers that can be manualy delivered to their targets.

[edit on 2-4-2007 by madmangunradio]




posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 08:46 PM
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Just my opinion...
Even though this would have its advantages... it is probably not cost effective....

The trillions of dollars necessary to do this would be far far far better spent else where.....

For the enemies of the us could spend one hundredth of that much on more advanced stealth autonomous torpedoes and underwater surveilence....ETC which would negate much of its advantage.....

The Us army is probably spending its money on no leathal weopons...
These are the future of "warfare"....



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 08:53 PM
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The trillions of dollars necessary to do this would be far far far better spent else where.....


Lets look at how big a un-manned vehicle both air and water vs manned.. Now we are getting somewhere.. Next.. The sub will be larger than any conventional sub obviously. Addition to stealth technology both in the air and under water its not a bad idea if its built to use un-manned vehicles. both underwater and in the air. Sit back for a moment and think about it.

Sub designed to handle everything remotely.. With personnel inside the sub. Un-manned vehicles are small and can even be missiles, torpedos, underwater vehicles, and in the air vehicles as well.

[edit on 2-4-2007 by madmangunradio]



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 08:59 PM
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Have a look at my prev post (bottom of page one - likely to get missed!)

The navys swimming spyplane

Seems like Lockheed Martin are have allready been designing UAV's that existing subs can use. Thats got to save a few pennys



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 09:20 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
You're still going to have a SERIOUSLY limited amount of space to put planes. It would be more of a psychological weapon than a really effective weapon. You might not have to attach the wings anymore (in the case of a swing wing design), but unless you're going to build a HUGE launching platform, you're not going to have many planes.

Another drawback is how to recover the planes. In WWII they used floatplanes. They would land next to the carrier, and they had a crane to put them back on the deck. If you want to land them back on the sub, you just doubled your size. It would be a MONSTROUS submarine, and probably not able to dock in most of your bases, because they aren't deep enough for it.

You could put VTOLs on it, but even if you use them, you're still looking at a huge size to it, and places like Pearl Harbor, which is one of the USN's major shipyards in the Pacific can barely take some of the newer CVNs.

[edit on 4/2/2007 by Zaphod58]


What about a sub-carrier that launched UAV's in mass amounts. Small UAV's



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 09:26 PM
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Why limit the submarine carrier to just water? I think it should be able to leave the surface of water and head into space and achieve orbit or even go to the moon. Those who control space will control air and sea. Think the Galaxy Garrison.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 09:41 PM
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Originally posted by carnival_of_souls2047
Why limit the submarine carrier to just water? I think it should be able to leave the surface of water and head into space and achieve orbit or even go to the moon. Those who control space will control air and sea. Think the Galaxy Garrison.


That is far beyonf any technology we have currently.

To get something that massive to be able to achieve even LEO
would require a propulsion system far in advance to anyhting we
have, not to mention the whole fuel thing rquired for space travel.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 09:43 PM
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why bother? we already launch tomahawks from subs, besides something that big would need a lot of searoom to remain undetected.

nice topic for discussion though



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 09:44 PM
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Is building a submarine aircraft carrier possible? Sure. You mention the Japanese I-400's in the original post, so it's obviously possible. The real question is "Is building a submarine aircraft carrier practical, and does it offer advantages over its conventional kin?".

First, let's look at practicality.
A submarine aircraft carrier is going to need (relatively) huge openings in its pressure hull in order to move planes from inside to outside, to onload and offload stores, etc. Big openings need big hatches to seal them, and that means big gaskets to make sure that the hatches are water tight. Even worse, there are going to be a *lot* of these hatches, unless you're planning on launching one aircraft at a time (which makes strike coordination very difficult), and they're going to be opening and closing frequently. All of that adds up to a serious chance of seal failure, which leads to flooding. Any flooding in a sub is bad, but flooding an area the size of an aircraft carrier's hangar deck is fatal.

Even if the hatch seals hold up, every opening in the pressure hull robs the hull of a bit of strength. By the time you have enough hatches to support aircraft operations, you're going to be extremely limited in your ability to dive, and in the depth to which you can dive without risking hull damage.

Then there's the communications problem. How does the submerged carrier communicate with its air wing, or with other naval and / or shore-side forces?

Assuming we can solve the construction problems, and the communications problems, let's look at the advantages and disadvantages vs a conventional carrier.

Advantages
Difficult for the enemy to detect.

Coolness factor.


Disadvantages
Cost. I don't know *how* much more expensive a submarine carrier will be than its conventional counterpart, but based on recent experience, and assuming that the ships are equally capable in terms of air wing, a five-fold price jump doesn't seem a huge stretch.

Limited air wing. You've probably noticed that most U.S. carriers almost always have aircraft on deck, parked along the edges? Deck spotting like that allows you to carry more planes on a smaller hull. A submarine carrier can't deck spot, and so will be limited to a smaller air wing.

Vulnerability. It's not easy to sink a conventional aircraft carrier. It's not that hard to mission-kill one by holing a flight deck, or destroying radars and radio systems, but actually destroying one takes some serious beating-on. I'll direct your attention to the massive fires aboard USS Forrestal and USS Enterprise for supporting data. A submarine carrier is literally vulnerable to a 'one shot, one kill' solution. It would have much less ability to survive damage.

Loss of mission capability. The one advantage a submarine carrier would have would be its ability to remain unseen...until it starts operating aircraft, at which time, it must come to the surface. Since a carrier in combat is launching / recovering aircraft on a 24/7 basis, a submarine carrier will be forced to either cut back on its ability to perform its missions, or give up its sole advantage by staying on the surface for most of its time in comba.

Loss of performance. There's a reason that submarines aren't shaped like conventional ships. Hull form has massive impact on speed, maneuverability, and quietness in an underwater environment. Unfortunately, the hull forms that make for good performance as a submarine don't allow much in the way of aircraft operations, and hulls that lend themselves well to air ops make for really noisy submarines.


Adding it all up, my conclusion is that we could build a submarine aircraft carrier...but we'd probably get better value for money spent by building a submarine, and an aircraft carrier, on seperate hulls.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 10:14 PM
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You could pack those VTOL JSF-35s in one. That could be practicle.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 10:54 PM
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All this talk about landing/launch space, etc...

What if they used planes that can take off vertically???



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 11:43 PM
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Originally posted by damajikninja
All this talk about landing/launch space, etc...

What if they used planes that can take off vertically???


Use of VTOL aircraft will have a massive (and negative) impact on your ability to carry stores. Look at the bomb load carried by an AV-8 Harrier (in VTOL configuration, not using an STOL + Ski jump) vs the bomb load carried by the same aircraft in STOL configuration. While you're at it, check range as well. VTOL operation is a massive fuel hog.

Even if you're willing to accept the performance and payload limitations imposed by a VTOL-only operation, there's still the problem of large (plane-sized) hatches that are going to have to go through the pressure hull of your hypothetical submarine. See my post above for the problems of large hatches in submarine hulls...or google search for the British "K" class subs. The alternative to those hatches is to design an aircraft that's not only VTOL, but either pressure resistant (not likely due to weight), or able to withstand free-flooding with seawater (say adios to your electronics, turbine blades, and fuel supply).



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 11:50 PM
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point taken. so how about manned planes shot through torpedo tubes, and launch from the surface utilizing level 30 magik? That a no-go too? lol



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 11:55 PM
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I don't claim to know anything about hydrodynamics and submarine
pressurization, but, what if you created a design wherein after it
surfaces the top opens up, and the flightdeck comes out.

On another note, what if you could as well add the covering section to
the flightdecks overall space as well.



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 02:14 AM
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What advantages would a submarine aircraft carrier offer over current submarines that can launch cruise missiles ?
Unless the planes are launched and recovered below the surface a submarine aircraft carrier would be very vulnerable when launching and recovering planes .



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 04:07 AM
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Originally posted by iori_komei
I don't claim to know anything about hydrodynamics and submarine
pressurization, but, what if you created a design wherein after it
surfaces the top opens up, and the flightdeck comes out.

On another note, what if you could as well add the covering section to
the flightdecks overall space as well.


The problem is that the bigger the holes in the pressure hull, the bigger your problems are. Those same hatches that you open on the surface to launch your planes become potential (or even probable) leaks when you submerge the boat. Take a quick look at modern SSN or SSBN, regardless of country of origin, and you'll notice that there are as few hatches as possible, and the ones that are there are a small as is practical. Once the hatches get beyond a certain size, they might not even be closable...after all, even the largest ship experiences hull twisting in even a moderate sea. On a normal carrier, that twisting means that the ship occasionally creaks as her structure accomodates to the transient loads. On a submarine carrier, the twisting might easily be enough to keep those large, watertight hatches from seating and sealing correctly...rather like that sticking door that everyone has in their house, that won't quite close without a fuss since the place settled...except that aboard a submarine, that ill-fitting door isn't an annoyance...it's a death sentence



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 04:22 AM
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If you can overcome all the disadvantages (large hull, limited air-wing etc) then the submarine aircraft-carrier would have some advantages.

You couldn't use it like a conventional carrier, but for small 'surprise' surgical strikes it would be useful. Stick an Osprey or a Blackhawk on it and special forces could use it as well.

Completely impractical at the moment of course, but if somebody wants to write a sci-fi novel...



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 04:54 AM
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The face of 21st century warfighting will be radically altered by the weapons systems available.
A submersible air craft carrier may be advantageous using uavs...
If the uavs are small enough.
But to keep its integrity these massive amounts of hatches and openings are NOT practical.
Meantime, the need for such an item is not as great as the need for many other far more effective fighting vehicles.
the advantages of it would be negligable,and the cost emormous....
perhaps when we get better with force fields we can simply keep the water out with them.
surface and launch woud be childs play using a type of force field to keep the water out.
perhaps some kind of recovery could be worked out with them too.
meantime theres a lot of stuff comming down the pike to even eliminate the normal aircraft carrier as an effective warfighting weapon.



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 05:02 AM
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on a grand scale why not build a super sub that has 2 aircraft carriers either side of it, surely its possible but would it be stealthy or silent enough for it to be worth it in a time of war, i suppose it would be armoured up alot take a few torpedos to blow it maybe, also would nuke power be enough to submerge it and surface it and power it?



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 06:38 AM
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Originally posted by xpert11
What advantages would a submarine aircraft carrier offer over current submarines that can launch cruise missiles ?
Unless the planes are launched and recovered below the surface a submarine aircraft carrier would be very vulnerable when launching and recovering planes .


Wow!! some of you are actually thinking. And some of you watch to many movies and play to many video games.

Experts question is on target. A submarine launched Cruise missle is a type of armed UAV. Many of you assume that you have to recover these aircraft. This is not necessarily so. Whats to say that a missle like the tomahawk cannot be reconfigured to recover information..intelligence information. Electronic ...elint data. Real time photographs which dont need to be processed but digital and are transmitted to a orbiting airplane or satellite. Then it proceeds to a suitable target and destroys it...or self destructs. The warhead type or payload potential for the tomahawk missle has only increased over the years..not decreased. Including special
warheads. What says that you need to recover the unmanned vehicle??

You guys do know that four of the older Ohio class submarines are being configured to carry hundreds of tomahawk missles as a type of Arsenel Ship...yes??? How do you know that a certain number of the missle tubes are not configured specially..for other tasks??

For some of you who can think further than the Si Fi channel...launching a tomahawk from a torpedo tube is what you do when you cannot afford a Vertical Launch system. This limits your torpedo load out in the torpedo rooms. Hence your ability to go offensive or defensive. You do not want to be doing alot of musical torpedos in a torpedo room if you can get around this. Moving torpedos in a torpedo room is a very involved operation.

How many of you people have actually been on a submarine or an aircraft carrier?? I dont mean the Discovery channel or the History channel but the real thing??

UAV technology is making this more and more fesable but I dont think some of you are thinking it through far enough.

Missle tubes on boomers are sealed off from the rest of the internal spaces. They have hatchs on several levels where the main overhead hatch when closes..and the tube drained allows people to enter the missle tube if it is empty. The water can be drained out of it once the missle is fired. Or it can be ballasted with water ..flooded. These are sealed units...sealed off from the internal crew spaces. Observing some of the posters on here I dont believe they understand this. This is one reason submarines cost so much.

Design yards are not sitting still on some of these concepts posted here.

Thanks,
Orangetom





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