Originally posted by teachtaire
reply to post by Zaphod58
I'm guessing a small nuclear reactor.
That is what the catapults were designed to run on, extra juice from a nuclear reactor.
Ii guess this is as good a place to jump in here as any. Catapults were designed to run on steam. It doesn't matter how the steam is produced. The
basic engine design of the US ship of the line has not changed in about 150 years. The USS Nimitz power plant is the same as a battleship had in 1890,
the same as the Great White Fleet Teddy Roosevelt sent around the world. The Navy designed the catapults around an available resource; the steam was
already there. But the infrastructure to deliver that steam to the catapults is immense. It basically takes a whole story beneath the flight deck to
house the equipment.
(I'm not being pedantic here. Bear with me.) You make steam by heating up water. You can heat up water with coal, with oil, or with nuclear power.
Everything from the point the steam is made on is the same. The point is that the catapults don't run on nuclear power. Putting in ANOTHER nuclear
reactor is not going to happen. Sorry, but that's just silly.
Now, as far as the Izumo is concerned--it DOES NOT run on steam. It's a conventional gas turbine engine. It's more or less like an automobile. An
engine powered by gas (or diesel or whatever) has a turbine that acts like the cylinders and turns the shaft through a series of gears (the
transmission) and clutches that turns the propellers.
No steam. No catapults.
Now to claim that the catapult is "hidden" and unless you've been on board and can prove they are not there, then they might be is a silly
argument. There isn't even the provision for catapults. There is no infrastructure. The ship is just not big enough. It displaces HALF what an
American LHD (Landing helicopter Dock) does. It has enough room for a whopping 14 helicopters. Could you replace those choppers with F35B VTOL craft
to allow you to "steam" (sorry) over to an island claimed by China and bomb the crap out of a fishing village or an "occupational force?"
Sure. You don't need retrofitted ramps or catapults to do that. You could do that now. So you really don't need to buttress your issue with those
sorts of arguments. You need to keep that ship as it is presented without your imagination claiming what it might could perhaps do in the future and
deal with it. Could it be used offensively? You bet.
But they'd have to be pretty stupid to do it. And, I think we can all agree, the Japanese are not stupid. The difference here is what amounts to
staying power. An American CVN at 100,000 tons carries just shy of 100 aircraft. It travels in a "Strike Group" of as many as a dozen other ships
that provide defense and supplies. A single carrier has more firepower than 80% of the world's air forces. It is capable of bombing a large area
24x7. With two CVNs, there is air superiority within 24 hours. With three, they own the skies. You may as well surrender because you'll never get a
plane or a rocket off the ground. (I'm sorry if you do not like that. That's not the issue here.)
Now let's return to the Izumo. With 14 helicopters, or even retrofitted with a handful of VTOL fighters, how does that compare? Can it defend
territorial waters? Sure. It can park off the coast of an island and look menacing. But it's no match for anything serious, and further, it cannot
defend itself. It has no Aegis system. Unlike an LHD that has tanks and Marines, it cannot mount an invasion. It's vulnerable.
So to answer the questions that have come up:
Could it be retrofitted with a ramp? Sure. It would take a few years.
Does it and could it have a catapult system? No. Give it up.
Could it be used offensively? Yes, but extremely limited. Whatever 14 choppers can do
Does it have "secret stuff?" Unlikely, but even if it does, meh?
So pay attention to Zaphod. Really.