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  • drone flat top

    how small of a flat top could be built if it's primary aircraft are drones, with only two MH60s, can realistically be built? could you do one on the hull of a Tico? not a topic of discussion i've seen yet so thought i'd kick it off.

    how many firescouts or their variants would be necessary to make a drone carrier feasible and workable? how much space would be necessary for that number? what self defense armament would be necessary, etc?
    the answer is on the floor- john roseberry

    A tiger dies and leaves his fur,
    A man dies and leaves his name,
    A teacher dies and teaches death.
    Seikchi Toguchi 1917-1998

  • #2
    If you build it to a converted civilian design and standard you could probably build them very cheaply and very quickly.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Gooner View Post
      If you build it to a converted civilian design and standard you could probably build them very cheaply and very quickly.
      You could, but since any platform can carry them, why would you want to? And the larger and more complex the done, the more maintenance and tech support, so the larger the vessel becomes.

      Might be easier to merely add a squadron of drones to an existing carrier.
      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

      Comment


      • #4

        USS Bonhomme Richard would be a good candidate for an experimental flat top to throw all the UAV ideas together and work in conjuction with other ships on deployment. They need a ship like that for the drone tanker MQ-25 because testing has been limited due to operational commitments etc... it's now reported to have a potential three year testing delay if two carriers (Carl Vinson and George H.W. Bush) don't allow an operational window for the installation of control stations to test the drones. I don't think the MQ-25 is a good choice but it needs it's own carrier in order not to choke up limited room on existing aircraft carriers.

        In regards to drones, this one was way ahead of it's time... and it was a sub killer.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyrodyne_QH-50_DASH

        QH-50C_DD-850.jpg

        QH-50_DD-692_1967.jpg
        Last edited by Achtung Baby; 27 Jul 20, 17:15.
        "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
        Ernest Hemingway.

        Sapere aude.

        Comment


        • #5
          The BHR was on fire last time we talked about it. Be a long time, if ever, before it's even seaworthy.
          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by General_Jacke View Post
            how small of a flat top could be built if it's primary aircraft are drones, with only two MH60s, can realistically be built? could you do one on the hull of a Tico? not a topic of discussion i've seen yet so thought i'd kick it off.

            how many firescouts or their variants would be necessary to make a drone carrier feasible and workable? how much space would be necessary for that number? what self defense armament would be necessary, etc?
            Once you factor in how much room you need for the extra crew, fuel, weapons, spares and hanger space... the number of drones a ship can carry drops off dramatically. Fire Scouts have a limited range and abilities, even the MQ-8C can only do so much... support roles basically.

            Personally, the Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer would seem to be the smallest to handle refuelling drones as well as Fire Scouts. None of these drones are small, and will need a large ship to support them. A large ship like this can then house the control room to operate multiple missions, and the superstructure is tall enough to allow marginally better direct guidance before dipping below the horizon.
            The MQ-25 would need a catapult, and arresting gear, while the Fire Scouts and MH60s can operate in the rear and sides. Also, the Wingman drone may become a reality so that's another drone that requires ample room to move.

            Last edited by Achtung Baby; 27 Jul 20, 22:22.
            "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
            Ernest Hemingway.

            Sapere aude.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

              You could, but since any platform can carry them, why would you want to? And the larger and more complex the done, the more maintenance and tech support, so the larger the vessel becomes.
              Cost issues mainly. Merchant ships come pretty large today so space won't be an problem. As regards maintenance and tech support there might be a cost/benefit analysis on fewer crew = more space = more drones but lower serviceability. i.e. keep the crew of the ship as small as possible but carry more drones with the expectation that many will become u/s. Return to port, new drone carrier comes out. Automate as much as possible and add redundancy.

              Comment


              • #8
                So MQ-25 sounds like something needing more of a full deck CV and operate in conjunction with regular fixed-wing air-wing.
                Boeing MQ-25 Stingray

                The Boeing MQ-25 Stingray is an aerial refueling drone that resulted from the Carrier-Based Aerial-Refueling System (CBARS) program, which grew out of the earlier Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program. The MQ-25 first flew on 19 September 2019.
                ...
                Background


                Main article: Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike


                The United States Navy began its efforts to develop an aircraft carrier-based UAV in 2006. The original UCLASS concept was for a stealthy strike platform capable of penetrating enemy air defenses. In 2012, lethality and strike requirements were diluted in order to create an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR)-oriented aircraft that could be developed quickly to conduct low-intensity counter-terrorism missions.[1]

                On 1 February 2016, after many delays over whether the UCLASS would specialize in strike or ISR roles, it was reported that a significant portion of the effort would be directed to produce a Super Hornet-sized carrier-based aerial refueling tanker as the Carrier-Based Aerial-Refueling System (CBARS), with "a little ISR" and some capabilities for communications relay, and strike capabilities put off to a future version of the aircraft.[citation needed] In July 2016, it was officially named "MQ-25A Stingray" after being named RAQ-25A in the Navy previously.[2]

                The Pentagon apparently made this program change in order to address the Navy's expected fighter shortfall by directing funds to buy additional F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and accelerate purchases and development of the F-35C. Having the CBARS as the first carrier-based UAV provides a less complex bridge to the future F/A-XX, should it be an unmanned strike platform. It also addresses the carriers' need for an organic refueling aircraft, proposed as a mission for the UCLASS since 2014, freeing up the 20–30 percent of Super Hornets performing the mission in a more capable and cost effective manner than modifying the F-35, V-22 Osprey, and E-2D Hawkeye, or bringing the retired S-3 Viking back into service.[3][4][5]

                Four development contracts were issued in 2016, with a formal RFP expected in 2017, with operational status in the early to mid-2020s.[6][7]

                Rear Adm. Michael Manazir has suggested that three of these UCAVs could fly with an F-35 for refueling and sensor operation.[8] Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker said that the MQ-25 can extend the Super Hornet's 450 nmi (520 mi; 830 km) unrefueled combat radius to beyond 700 nmi (810 mi; 1,300 km). The Navy's goal for the aircraft is to be able to deliver 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) of fuel total to 4 to 6 airplanes at a range of 500 nmi (580 mi; 930 km).[9] The Navy released the final MQ-25 Stingray RFP in October 2017; the competitors are Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and General Atomics
                ....
                On 30 August 2018, the U.S. Navy announced Boeing as the winner of the competition and awarded a $805 million development contract for four MQ-25A aircraft to be completed by August 2024.[1] An additional three test MQ-25As were ordered on 2 April 2020 for a current total order of seven.[18] The program may expand to $13 billion overall and consist of 72 aircraft.[19]
                Flight testing

                In late April 2019, the first MQ-25 test aircraft (T-1 or "Tail 1") was taken by road from Boeing's technical plant at St. Louis's Lambert International Airport across the Mississippi River to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, which is conjoined to Scott Air Force Base.[20] Following taxi tests, the Federal Aviation Administration certified the aircraft and granted airspace for flight testing. The MQ-25 took its first flight on 19 September 2019.
                ....
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_MQ-25_Stingray

                TS to those whom object to use of dreaded Wiki ....

                Comment


                • #9
                  As presented on another thread here:


                  Originally posted by Achtung Baby View Post
                  It’s salvageable, but it’s age and tight port schedules for the rest of the navy will dictate the outcome I feel.
                  Personally I’d be interested to invest it as a one off light carrier in order to become a operational test bed for emerging technologies in UAVs and remote helicopters... the US navy has at least 50 years of experience in the later.



                  This has some merit given the trend in UAV and F-35 sort of air resources. What is needed is a mid-point level vessel with flight deck that can provide air support = CAP, CAS, RECON, Troop lift, and other support to over the shore operations or other "Power Projection" in coastal and close-in waters where one might not want to risk the larger CVs ~ which could stand-off 100-200 miles off shore to support.

                  While multi-role vessels like LHDs have value and use in something of Marine Expedition use upon foreign shores; A middle-level combat flight deck vessel focused mostly on the local air support roles and needs would seem a desired asset and force multiplier. More modern tech with it's automation and advanced equipment reducing the size ship crew load makes such more competitive than in decades past. Also spares the need, use, and risk of the larger CVs when such are becoming few, at more danger of harm, and more expensive to operate.

                  This should lead to more of the flight deck and hanger features and a smaller and limited interior dock/deck component.

                  If BH's hull remains sound, then worth consideration of using as a base for something newer and more tailored to expected mid-21st century amphibious needs.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    my thought process was simply UAVs/drones being smaller, you could manage a vessel smaller than an LHA/D to operate a worth while number of them.
                    the answer is on the floor- john roseberry

                    A tiger dies and leaves his fur,
                    A man dies and leaves his name,
                    A teacher dies and teaches death.
                    Seikchi Toguchi 1917-1998

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by General_Jacke View Post
                      my thought process was simply UAVs/drones being smaller, you could manage a vessel smaller than an LHA/D to operate a worth while number of them.
                      Some are smaller, but have limited range and capability. Useful range and capability seems to come in packages closer to standard aircraft sizes and flight profiles. Here's the MQ-25 as an example;

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        David is correct, if you're thinking about drones that actually do something constructive in terms of offensive capabilities for your navy... they're roughly the same size as normal planes.
                        Take for example the MQ-8.
                        • Length: 23.95 ft (7.3 m)
                        • Rotor diameter: 27.5 ft (8.4 m)
                        • Height: 9.71 ft (2.9 m)
                        The MQ-8C
                        • Length: 34.7 ft (10.6 m)
                        • Rotor diameter: 36.6 ft (11.2 m)
                        • Height: 10.9 ft (3.3 m)
                        The MQ-25
                        • Length: 62.34 ft (19 m)
                        • Width: 39.37 ft (12 m)
                        • Height: 11.48 ft (3.5 m)
                        All of these drones have limited use, even the big MQ-25 is of limited use as a tanker.
                        Last edited by Achtung Baby; 29 Jul 20, 17:41.
                        "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
                        Ernest Hemingway.

                        Sapere aude.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Achtung Baby View Post
                          David is correct, if you're thinking about drones that actually do something constructive in terms of offensive capabilities for you're navy... they're roughly the same size as normal planes.
                          Take for example the MQ-8.
                          • Length: 23.95 ft (7.3 m)
                          • Rotor diameter: 27.5 ft (8.4 m)
                          • Height: 9.71 ft (2.9 m)
                          The MQ-8C
                          • Length: 34.7 ft (10.6 m)
                          • Rotor diameter: 36.6 ft (11.2 m)
                          • Height: 10.9 ft (3.3 m)
                          The MQ-25
                          • Length: 62.34 ft (19 m)
                          • Width: 39.37 ft (12 m)
                          • Height: 11.48 ft (3.5 m)
                          All of these drones have limited use, even the big MQ-25 is of limited use as a tanker.
                          As i udnerstand it the 8-C is capable of carrying offensive loads and is about half the length of an MH60R which is over 64' long
                          and with the 8-C having a demonstrated endurance of 11 hours i'd say that's pretty good...
                          currently they can be armed with a 7-tub APKWS, and can carry a payload of over 2900lbs, and has been scheduled to do MCM and ASuW missions.

                          so half the size of a seahawk, can stay aloft for 15 hours and has the capacity to carry just about any airborne weapon system the navy currently uses uncluding LRASM which weighs in at 2100lbs well shy of of the max payload capacity of 2950lbs (at least per globalsecurity.org and wiki any way.)

                          so what more do you think the MQ8-C needs to be useful that would require it to rival the size of an MH60? the 8-C is literally just an unmanned kiowa

                          edit
                          lockheed martin's own data sheet lists the romeo as only having a mission endurance time of 3.3hours and it has a fairly limited number of offensive weapons it can carry (probably no more than the 8-C is capable despite a higher load capacity.)

                          https://www.lockheedmartin.com/conte...0R-trifold.pdf
                          Last edited by General_Jacke; 29 Jul 20, 17:53.
                          the answer is on the floor- john roseberry

                          A tiger dies and leaves his fur,
                          A man dies and leaves his name,
                          A teacher dies and teaches death.
                          Seikchi Toguchi 1917-1998

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Achtung Baby View Post
                            David is correct, if you're thinking about drones that actually do something constructive in terms of offensive capabilities for your navy... they're roughly the same size as normal planes.
                            Take for example the MQ-8.
                            • Length: 23.95 ft (7.3 m)
                            • Rotor diameter: 27.5 ft (8.4 m)
                            • Height: 9.71 ft (2.9 m)
                            The MQ-8C
                            • Length: 34.7 ft (10.6 m)
                            • Rotor diameter: 36.6 ft (11.2 m)
                            • Height: 10.9 ft (3.3 m)
                            The MQ-25
                            • Length: 62.34 ft (19 m)
                            • Width: 39.37 ft (12 m)
                            • Height: 11.48 ft (3.5 m)
                            All of these drones have limited use, even the big MQ-25 is of limited use as a tanker.
                            For additional information and context;
                            MQ-8 - Fire Scout
                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northr...Q-8_Fire_Scout

                            &


                            And MQ-8C
                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northr...-8C_Fire_Scout




                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The other question has to be, how expendable do we want our UAVs? Do we build them like our already complicated planes or make them as disposable as possible? If the later, a UAV carrier could be on station for much greater durations while sustaining great loses in drones due to air defences and natural attrition.
                              "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
                              Ernest Hemingway.

                              Sapere aude.

                              Comment

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