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Carrier Aviation ~ 100 years of USA/USN Traditions; 1922-2022

Mushroom

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Besides, there are stealth drones in Russian (Chinese?) service that can loiter far outside the CSG and monitor it's position.

But so what if the CSG moved?
They can only move at 35 miles an hour. And they are a GIGANTIC target.

Stealth does not mean "invisible". And the US has among the best EW and ECM systems in the world.

You seem to forget, a drone needs to talk to their home base. Signals that can be detected and intercepted or blocked.

And if you think a carrier is a "gigantic" target, the ocean is even bigger.

Tell you what, let's play a game. I will give you the number of a city bus in Los Angeles. Just a standard city bus, they are pretty big. And the roof is white with the numbers easy to see in big black letters.

I will make it even easier, not even LA, just the San Fernando Valley, only 260 square miles. Just find bus number 8285 in less than 300 square miles. And that is a significantly smaller area than you would have to search for a carrier. And the bus in my challenge is static, it will never move until Google updates the image again. But as you said, the CSG will be moving at around 30 knots constantly, in directions unknown to the adversary.

Hell, I will make it even easier! The southern half of the central San Fernando Valley. We surely now are talking about less than 100 square miles. Surely, you can find a static bus in 100 square miles with ease.


Start looking, maybe you will start to get an idea how hard it really is. Also, feel free to locate the USS Essex (LHD-2), and USS Makin Island (LHD-8). Once again, they are not moving at all, those should be easy for you to find.
 

Mushroom

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I remember reading that you could see where an SR-71 had been sitting on the runway prior to take off as it was outlined by fuel that had leaked out

Not really, other than maybe after they had all been handed over to NASA for flight testing.

I had seen the SR-71 take off and land many times at Kadena AFB on Okinawa. You can hear it firing up and warming the engines, from across the runway while it was still sealed in it's concrete hangar. And Air Force Security would be driving around telling everybody to face all vehicles away from the runway, and no binoculars or cameras were allowed.

And when they were ready, the hangar doors would literally fly open. I had never seen such large doors open so fast. The entire runway was clear, and it left, taxied to the end of the runway, and was in the air in less than a minute, never once stopping. A return mission was the exact opposite. It landed, turned and pulled into the hangar, and the doors slammed shut. Total time on runway, maybe 45 seconds.

And if you were farther away and heard the roar as it took off, look fast. It took to the air, and started an almost vertical attitude and went almost straight up until it was lost in the clouds or just because it climbed so fast. If you heard it on approach, by the time the sound got to you it was likely already on the ground.

There they did not call it the "Blackbird", but the "Habu" (a deadly pit viper native only to that island). And the tail art on any AF SR-71 stationed there always had a snake on it to reflect that.
 

Sandisk

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Stealth does not mean "invisible". And the US has among the best EW and ECM systems in the world.

You seem to forget, a drone needs to talk to their home base. Signals that can be detected and intercepted or blocked.

And if you think a carrier is a "gigantic" target, the ocean is even bigger.

Tell you what, let's play a game. I will give you the number of a city bus in Los Angeles. Just a standard city bus, they are pretty big. And the roof is white with the numbers easy to see in big black letters.

I will make it even easier, not even LA, just the San Fernando Valley, only 260 square miles. Just find bus number 8285 in less than 300 square miles. And that is a significantly smaller area than you would have to search for a carrier. And the bus in my challenge is static, it will never move until Google updates the image again. But as you said, the CSG will be moving at around 30 knots constantly, in directions unknown to the adversary.

Hell, I will make it even easier! The southern half of the central San Fernando Valley. We surely now are talking about less than 100 square miles. Surely, you can find a static bus in 100 square miles with ease.


Start looking, maybe you will start to get an idea how hard it really is. Also, feel free to locate the USS Essex (LHD-2), and USS Makin Island (LHD-8). Once again, they are not moving at all, those should be easy for you to find.
Sorry, but this is taking up too much of my time.
I will not respond to any more on this without people posting links to unbiased, factual evidence of what people are speaking of.

Not ONE of you dealt with the three main points I made.
Greater use of Ohio-class SSGN's and pending obsolescence.
Or even one person posting data about Aegis capabilities.

All I get is a bunch of old farts who jack off to Reagan pictures telling me why 'carriers are cool' and living in the 1990's.
And fixating on my 'arbitrary scenario' like a bunch of trolling morons with no lives and even less educations.
Whilst blurting out grade school nonsense like US carriers going 50 mph, people doubling the range of Hawkeye's radar for the heck of it and using video games as evidence?!?
:auiqs.jpg:
It's pointless for me to bother with this.
Fun...but pointless.

Most of you seem like a bunch of closed-minded, hyper-MAGA, ding dong's who believe aircraft carriers are tops because you are told to believe that. And because they have been for a LONG time.
One 'person' even suggested that they must be great because a lot of countries are building them.
Oh yes...that is how you stay ahead of your potential enemies...by doing EXACTLY what they do.
:rolleyes: :auiqs.jpg:

I even read somewhere - here or another site - a few people talking about bringing back the Tomcat?
Jesus people...:auiqs.jpg::auiqs.jpg:
That has got to be the stupidest idea I have heard on this in a while.

In the age of stealth - some knucklehead wants to bring back an aircraft that handles like shit and was nothing more than a giant, missile carrier. Designed in the 1960's. To carry a missile (the Phoenix) that always worked like shit...unless your targets were moving in a dead straight line at a set speed and altitude.
What's next?
Let's bring back battleships?

I only debate with people who have open minds and whom I will learn from.
All I will learn from you lot is how to make up shit and pretend it's the truth.

Well, you old farts stuck in the 20'th century?
America is in trouble.
Our economy STINKS.
And at the present rates of growth - China will pass our GDP-per-capita in less than 40 years.

We have to balance the fucking budget (by cutting back DRASTICALLY on both military and social spending), get rid of the Fed and focus on the future.
And stop living off the past.
And stop paying attention to what senile Biden or man child Trump or ANY politician and the MSM says.
Free enterprise, small government and a defense like the Founding Fathers wanted - small peacetime armed forces/large, well trained reserves. And stay the FUCK out of other countries businesses.

But not you lot.
You people are fixated on 20+ years ago.

You people are (possibly with one exception) hopeless.

It's been fun...but it's time I found people to talk about this with you actually don't have their heads buried up their MAGA asses or actually get their military data from somewhere other than the MSM, movies and video games.

Bye now.
 
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AZrailwhale

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Sorry, but this is taking up too much of my time.
I will not respond to any more on this without people posting links to unbiased, factual evidence of what people are speaking of.

Too many people are just making shit up off of the top of their heads.
US carriers going 50 mph.
People doubling the range of Hawkeye's radar for the heck of it.
Using video games as evidence?!?
It's pointless for me to bother with this.

Try and get a decent debate going and I get US-hyper-loyalty, Cold War gobbledygook.

Later.
Bye, Bye, don't let the door hit you in the ass.
 

Mushroom

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Sorry, but this is taking up too much of my time.
I will not respond to any more on this without people posting links to unbiased, factual evidence of what people are speaking of.

facepalm-really.gif


Sorry, I post to people who actually think. SO here, let me walk you through it a bit.

First of all, "stealth" does not mean "invisible". It means they are harder to detect, not impossible.

Secondly, a drone operates because it has constant communication with the location it is being operated from. This is simple "Remote Control 101" here. "Remote", as in it is controlled from somewhere else. Sending signals back and forth. This is why all of our "stealth aircraft" operate without RADAR most times (the F-117 had no RADAR at all). And once they get close to their operational area, they go to communications blackout. No radio transmissions sent out at all, as that could be detected by the enemy.

So the very concept of a "stealth drone" is largely a misnomer. It simply can not exist. Great, you have this "black hole" that can not be detected, constantly sending out radio signals. Who needs RADAR? The signals could be traced back even more easily.

The moment any aircraft sends an electronic signal, it can be detected by that alone. Or do you really think that nobody can detect the transmissions (like say the video feed) of a drone aircraft? Hell, even Germany in WWII could detect and triangulate on radio transmitters during WWII. They even designed the EP2, to do just that.

i072542.jpg


And the same is true for drones. An E-2C has a very sophisticated EW-ECM package, designed to pick up things like radio transmissions. They would see this long before they could even "see" the drone itself, as that is simply how radio waves work. And they even have the capability to jam such transmissions, depending on a lot of things, including frequency used.

But please, feel free to depart, if you do not like to think and insist on everything being spoon fed to you. This should be a common sense thing, not my problem if you refuse to think.
 

Vrenn

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I even read somewhere - here or another site - a few people talking about bringing back the Tomcat?
Jesus people...:auiqs.jpg::auiqs.jpg:
That has got to be the stupidest idea I have heard on this in a while.


In the age of stealth - some knucklehead wants to bring back an aircraft that handles like shit and was nothing more than a giant, missile carrier. Designed in the 1960's. To carry a missile (the Phoenix) that always worked like shit...unless your targets were moving in a dead straight line at a set speed and altitude.


What killed off the F-14 was cost. The Navy could not afford to have the F-18, A-4, A-6 and the F-14. The Navy got the cuts after USAF did when USAF pretty well dropped to 3 basic fighters and attack birds.

The Super Tomcat 21 would have gotten the same engines that the Saudis got for the F-15s, the GE-110-129. That motor has more than 4500 lbs thrust over the -100. That means that the Supertomcat would have been able to supercruise. Believe it or not, the Saudi F-15 had that ability but it was never published and the EX has that ability. Scary that supercruise has been around since the reengining of the orginal F-104A but it wasn't until the F-22 that it was declassified.

There would also be other things taken from the F-18 that would give it the ability to have up to a 70 deg AOA similar to the F-18 at low speeds. That means at low speeds, it would turn inside of the F-16 and F-15.

What keeps it from being built? The 122mil pricetag per unit.


What's next?
Let's bring back battleships?

The US keeps the four Iowa Class Battleships in reserve status because if they are needed, at least one can be recalled. It will take up to a year to recommission each one though. In Lebonon, things would be quite active until a volley of 16s hit downtown and then things got real quiet for quite some time. Each 16 would take out 3 city blocks at a whack. Missiles and Artillery could not even come close to that. And it could do it from over 20 miles off shore. The Battleship is the only thing capable of taking down a carrier.

You people are (possibly with one exception) hopeless.

I hope you don't include me in that exception. I would feel extreme neglected.


It's been fun...but it's time I found people to talk about this with you actually don't have their heads buried up their MAGA asses or actually get their military data from somewhere other than the MSM, movies and video games.

Bye now.

I'll just take my 20+ years on all types of Tankers, Bombers, Fighters, Piston and Jet along with a short stint with the Minutemen and stay hopeless.
 

Dayton3

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a defense like the Founding Fathers wanted - small peacetime armed forces/large, well trained reserves. And stay the FUCK out of other countries businesses.

You people are fixated on 20+ years ago.

you accuse several of us of being "fixated on 20+ years ago".

Yet you "a defense like the Founding Fathers wanted" shows you fixated on strategy from OVER 200 YEARS AGO when the U.S was a narrow strip of land along the Atlantic Coast with only 4 million people.

Get a clue kid, this is 2022....not 1802
 

Vrenn

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you accuse several of us of being "fixated on 20+ years ago".

Yet you "a defense like the Founding Fathers wanted" shows you fixated on strategy from OVER 200 YEARS AGO when the U.S was a narrow strip of land along the Atlantic Coast with only 4 million people.

Get a clue kid, this is 2022....not 1802

Actually, 20 years ago ain't such a bad thing. The Equipment has change but the tactics remain the same. In fact, most of the Aircraft is over 30 years old like the A-10C, F-16C and F-15C. The F-18E is a newcomer. It's only about 20 years old being the newcomer. And let's not bring up the Buff at well over 60 years old. When you build 'em right, you build 'em right.

But today, we have to do a slight rethink on some things. For instance, Stealth for Aircraft is over 20 years old. I have a feeling that the F-117 would still fare pretty good in todays night skies. But, they will never tell (grin). As it stands, the Russian S300 through S500 would have trouble with the F-35 if the F-35 flies it's own paculiar mission around the edges of the arrays. Much like some fighter/bombers did with radar during WWII.

What's changed? Not the mission nor the tactics or even the People. But the equipment has improved on both sides. You know, one side shoots at the other and the other avoids being hit.
 

Mushroom

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The Battleship is the only thing capable of taking down a carrier.

I would modify that slightly.

"The Battleship is the only conventional weapon capable of taking down a carrier."

Unquestionably, a nuke would take one out of service, but even that would likely not sink it unless it went off right on top of it (or under it). Much of the crew would likely be dead and it would have significant damage, but even a nuke would likely not "destroy a carrier".

And how do we know that? Why, Operation Crossroads. Where the USS Saratoga CV-3 (1925) was only 2 km from the 23 kiloton blast of Test Able of Operation Crossroads on 30 June 1946. That was an airburst, and set much of her teak deck on fire. But overall, she only sustained light and easily repairable damage. She was ultimately sunk by the 23 kt detonation of Test Backer on 23 July, which was an underwater detonation only 400 meters from the keel.


Move to about 3:44 of the above video, and you can see the damage to a US carrier after a nuclear blast.

It took 2 nukes to sink a ship built over 15 years before the US entered WWII to sink a carrier. And the carriers today are much more hardened than those old ships ever were (as well as much more defended).

Most have absolutely no idea how much damage a carrier can withstand. And this is a simple fact, not a single fleet carrier of the US that entered service after the US entered WWII was ever sunk in combat. Not a single one. And that includes 17 that saw service during WWII. We lost some earlier pre-war and experimental carriers, but not a single one of the Essex Class or following carriers. And some of those took some significant damage during and after the war.

Not even the USS Forrestal (CV-59 - 1959) was sunk after at least 8 1,000 pound bombs and hundreds of smaller bombs detonated right on her flight deck, including an out of control fire fueled by over 40,000 gallons of jet fuel and was out of control for over 7 hours could destroy her. She returned to the US under her own power, and after less than 7 months of repairs was back in service.

operation-crossroads-baker-shot-1024x738.png


It is very possible to take a modern carrier out of service, but that is far from destroying one. One simply needs to look at the overwhelming damage that both the US and Japan had to do to the carriers of each other in order to sink one. Even the pre-war ones took a lot of damage. The only real exception were the escort carriers, largely converted from pre-war light supply vessels. Those were really no more difficult to sink than any other freighter of the era.

Oh, and the time hash I gave earlier of the damage to a carrier of the era. That was not the USS Saratoga. No, the carrier with all that damage is actually the USS Independence (CVL-22), an early war conversion of a light cruiser that was already under construction when the war started. That ship was actually only half a kilometer away from Test Able, but was around 5 miles from Test Baker during that test. 5 miles from two nukes (one almost on top of her), she was then towed back to Hawaii then San Francisco to study the damage, then was sunk off the California Coast in 1951.

This was how much a quick conversion to a light carrier at the start of WWII could survive. I find it amazing that people seem to think they are built out of paper mache and chewing gum.
 
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Dayton3

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You have to realize, the "F-117 is not really a "fighter". Properly, it should have been named the A-117 as it was entirely for ground attack. And had absolutely zero air to air capability.

Weren't most of the Japanese carriers destroyed in World War Two lost to poor damage control? Poor firefighting mainly? From what I've read the US Navy today is from top to bottom on every type of ship from auxiliaries to submarines absolutely fanatical about firefighting.
 

Mushroom

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Weren't most of the Japanese carriers destroyed in World War Two lost to poor damage control? Poor firefighting mainly? From what I've read the US Navy today is from top to bottom on every type of ship from auxiliaries to submarines absolutely fanatical about firefighting.

It was both that, and also poor initial design.

Many had poorly laid out watertight compartments, designs where the watertight compartments did not extend all the way up to the top of the ship, and placing engines where they would be easily flooded and therefore not able to operate things like pumps. In fact, many of those flaws were actually akin to what doomed the RMS Titanic.

The fact that the watertight compartments did not go all the way up to the upper reaches of the ship was the ultimate reason why that and many other Japanese ships sunk, where as American ships could be saved. Even a 10-15 degree list could cause flooding to other compartments. US designs had long demanded that such compartmentalization go all the way up to the top of the ship (or the hangar deck on a carrier). But the Japanese did not design their ships that way, so once the list got to a certain angle, the ship was doomed.

Specifically, this can be seen even in a late war design like the IJN Shinano. One of the Yamato class Battleships, she was converted during construction to a carrier. With a thin and poorly designed hull and anti-torpedo bulge, structural beams poorly designed so one over one engine room actually punched through the water tight compartment into another engine room, and pressure tight seals that were so poor that even leaks discovered before she put to sea on her final mission could not be located and fixed.

Hit by only 4 21" 500 pound torpedoes, the captain of the USS Archerfish had expected only to heavily damage the ship. And even the crew thought she was only moderately damaged. But even with the pumps going full speed, they could not keep up with the flooding. This worsened as she started to list, and water flooded from damaged compartments into undamaged compartments. They even ordered such measures as pumping water to the undamaged side to try and correct this, and even flooding some engine rooms on the other side of the ship. But at about that time the remaining engines became flooded and shut down.

And the very fact that she was sunk by simple flooding and not a fire at all shows that this is largely an issue of poor design and build. A US battleship or fleet carrier of this time would have had vastly superior watertight compartmentalization and not sunk just from this alone. Remember, the German ship Bismarck required over 2,000 14" and 16" shells and around 100 torpedoes to sink. Both the US and Japanese navies could not believe that just 4 torpedoes were enough to sink the Shinano.


Even the submarine captain and crew were astonished to learn how fast she sank. In fact, the US Navy refused to believe that a single submarine with a single salvo of torpedoes could sink the largest carrier afloat at the time. He at the time was credited with a Hayatake, a light carrier converted from pre-war passenger ships. It was only later that the sub and crew were credited with the sinking of the "Super Carrier Shinano".
 

Dayton3

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It was both that, and also poor initial design.

Many had poorly laid out watertight compartments, designs where the watertight compartments did not extend all the way up to the top of the ship, and placing engines where they would be easily flooded and therefore not able to operate things like pumps. In fact, many of those flaws were actually akin to what doomed the RMS Titanic.

The fact that the watertight compartments did not go all the way up to the upper reaches of the ship was the ultimate reason why that and many other Japanese ships sunk, where as American ships could be saved. Even a 10-15 degree list could cause flooding to other compartments. US designs had long demanded that such compartmentalization go all the way up to the top of the ship (or the hangar deck on a carrier). But the Japanese did not design their ships that way, so once the list got to a certain angle, the ship was doomed.

Specifically, this can be seen even in a late war design like the IJN Shinano. One of the Yamato class Battleships, she was converted during construction to a carrier. With a thin and poorly designed hull and anti-torpedo bulge, structural beams poorly designed so one over one engine room actually punched through the water tight compartment into another engine room, and pressure tight seals that were so poor that even leaks discovered before she put to sea on her final mission could not be located and fixed.

Hit by only 4 21" 500 pound torpedoes, the captain of the USS Archerfish had expected only to heavily damage the ship. And even the crew thought she was only moderately damaged. But even with the pumps going full speed, they could not keep up with the flooding. This worsened as she started to list, and water flooded from damaged compartments into undamaged compartments. They even ordered such measures as pumping water to the undamaged side to try and correct this, and even flooding some engine rooms on the other side of the ship. But at about that time the remaining engines became flooded and shut down.

And the very fact that she was sunk by simple flooding and not a fire at all shows that this is largely an issue of poor design and build. A US battleship or fleet carrier of this time would have had vastly superior watertight compartmentalization and not sunk just from this alone. Remember, the German ship Bismarck required over 2,000 14" and 16" shells and around 100 torpedoes to sink. Both the US and Japanese navies could not believe that just 4 torpedoes were enough to sink the Shinano.


Even the submarine captain and crew were astonished to learn how fast she sank. In fact, the US Navy refused to believe that a single submarine with a single salvo of torpedoes could sink the largest carrier afloat at the time. He at the time was credited with a Hayatake, a light carrier converted from pre-war passenger ships. It was only later that the sub and crew were credited with the sinking of the "Super Carrier Shinano".
Good analysis. Given you obviously have considerable knowledge of the subject to what do you attribute what to me seem to be obvious design flaws in the Japanese ships? There must be some underlying reasons for them.
 
OP
S

Stryder50

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It was a beast. But it's day is past unless it's a country with shallow pockets. There are hundreds of these just laying around and if reconditioned they can make a really good small airforce on the cheap. But during the same time period, there was another equally useful fighter, the F-5E that grew into the Hornet. Like the A-4, the F-5E is still used around the world and is constantly being updated.
But note I was suggesting taking the original A-4 idea/design and upgrade(redesign/rebuild~new version) to early 21st century tech.

Such as use composites in place of metals, newer and more powerful engine, smaller and lighter integrated circuit electronics/avionics, an internal gun(or two), laser designate target system, GPS, FLIR, heads-up displays, etc. ...
 

Dayton3

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Sure, if you don't mind leading edges melting off, engines puking and parts falling off. Mach 2.7 would be a short dash. Maybe a minute or two. Anymore than that and you get first hand knowledge of what happens to anything above mach 2.5 in atmosphere.
That reminds me of a television episode about carrier aviation. They decided to have an F-14 Tomcat do a flyby of the carrier at medium altitude and hit Mach 2.

A flyby like this was so rare that literally thousands of the carrier crew lined up to watch.

The Tomcat successfully made the fly by (barely visible for the carrier) and you could hear the sonic booms.

Unfortunately within a few seconds, the Tomcat suffered a catastrophic engine failure and the crew had to eject.
 

Mushroom

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Good analysis. Given you obviously have considerable knowledge of the subject to what do you attribute what to me seem to be obvious design flaws in the Japanese ships? There must be some underlying reasons for them.


Well, ultimately it was hubris.

hu·bris
/ˈ(h)yo͞obrəs/

excessive pride or self-confidence.

Much like Germany and Italy, Japan considered themselves the "Master Race". That absolutely everything they did or built was the absolute best, and nothing would ever be better until they themselves made the replacement. And this was reinforced from many times where they had gone into battle outnumbered and outgunned, and still emerged victorious.

Case in point, consider the two main sides at the start of WWII. The US entered with their main Naval Fighter being the F4F Wildcat, which was still in the process of replacing the F2A Brewster Buffalo. The Japanese entered the war with the slightly superior A6M5 Zero.

At the end of the war, the US was fielding the vastly superior F6F Hellcat, and the F4U Corsair. However, Japan was still using the exact same A6M5 Zero they started the war with. And this is consistent with Japan. They simply were so sure that they were the leaders of everything, that they could not imagine that their adversaries could not only build better equipment, but design and deploy it faster than they could.

And this could be seen throughout their military. Like Germany they saw no purpose for heavy bombers, they started design of their first in 1942 and cancelled it in 1944 without building any Nakajima G10N aircraft. And just like Germany, they grossly overdesigned the thing, wanting a heavy bomber to fly non-stop to and from the US to attack the mainland. Not an craft with a more reasonable range like the B-17 or B-29 which could fly from England to Berlin and back.

Almost everything Japan was building in 1945 was the same as what they had built in 1940 or earlier. Where as the US had advanced dramatically in designs and concepts. A late war Japanese carrier under construction would be almost the exact same as a pre-war carrier. It might be bigger, but otherwise it was little changed (other than they were actually simplified and made cheaper). The US however went from the Yorktown class to the Essex class (which itself is two classes with the Ticonderoga "Long Hull" class), to the Midway class.

It can be hard to imagine that the Midway class USS Coral Sea was designed during WWII, and her final service was in Operation Desert Storm. But that shows the rapid advancement of US designs, where as Japan was largely static, and that cost them. Japan simply never imagined that they could be defeated, so things that the US was putting into their ships they thought was excessive and a waste.

And some things that were amazing like the I-400 series of submarines ("submarine aircraft carriers" with 3 A6A seaplanes) were never really used effectively.

I saw a great 4 hour documentary on the A6M5 Zero I saw a year or so back. But it went a lot into the engineers that designed it, and all throughout the war they kept trying to improve it and make it better. But their attempts were always rebuffed by the IJN, who simply thought it was good enough and had no interest in replacing what they thought was the "Best Naval Aircraft" in the world with yet another design.


It is a long, but very informative 4+ hours.
 
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Dayton3

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Well, ultimately it was hubris.



Much like Germany and Italy, Japan considered themselves the "Master Race". That absolutely everything they did or built was the absolute best, and nothing would ever be better until they themselves made the replacement. And this was reinforced from many times where they had gone into battle outnumbered and outgunned, and still emerged victorious.

Case in point, consider the two main sides at the start of WWII. The US entered with their main Naval Fighter being the F4F Wildcat, which was still in the process of replacing the F2A Brewster Buffalo. The Japanese entered the war with the slightly superior A6M5 Zero.

At the end of the war, the US was fielding the vastly superior F6F Hellcat, and the F4U Corsair. However, Japan was still using the exact same A6M5 Zero they started the war with. And this is consistent with Japan. They simply were so sure that they were the leaders of everything, that they could not imagine that their adversaries could not only build better equipment, but design and deploy it faster than they could.

And this could be seen throughout their military. Like Germany they saw no purpose for heavy bombers, they started design of their first in 1942 and cancelled it in 1944 without building any Nakajima G10N aircraft. And just like Germany, they grossly overdesigned the thing, wanting a heavy bomber to fly non-stop to and from the US to attack the mainland. Not an craft with a more reasonable range like the B-17 or B-29 which could fly from England to Berlin and back.

Almost everything Japan was building in 1945 was the same as what they had built in 1940 or earlier. Where as the US had advanced dramatically in designs and concepts. A late war Japanese carrier under construction would be almost the exact same as a pre-war carrier. It might be bigger, but otherwise it was little changed (other than they were actually simplified and made cheaper). The US however went from the Yorktown class to the Essex class (which itself is two classes with the Ticonderoga "Long Hull" class), to the Midway class.

It can be hard to imagine that the Midway class USS Coral Sea was designed during WWII, and her final service was in Operation Desert Storm. But that shows the rapid advancement of US designs, where as Japan was largely static, and that cost them. Japan simply never imagined that they could be defeated, so things that the US was putting into their ships they thought was excessive and a waste.

And some things that were amazing like the I-400 series of submarines ("submarine aircraft carriers" with 3 A6A seaplanes) were never really used effectively.

I saw a great 4 hour documentary on the A6M5 Zero I saw a year or so back. But it went a lot into the engineers that designed it, and all throughout the war they kept trying to improve it and make it better. But their attempts were always rebuffed by the IJN, who simply thought it was good enough and had no interest in replacing what they thought was the "Best Naval Aircraft" in the world with yet another design.


It is a long, but very informative 4+ hours.

I don't know if this is true, but I recall reading somewhere that in their pilot training the Japanese stayed with the World War One era tactic of engaging an enemy aircraft by approaching it from above and behind.

While the U.S. trained its pilots to attack at almost any possible angle which dramatically opened up the possibilities for American pilots to kill a Japanese aircraft.

Is that true?
 

AZrailwhale

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Well, ultimately it was hubris.



Much like Germany and Italy, Japan considered themselves the "Master Race". That absolutely everything they did or built was the absolute best, and nothing would ever be better until they themselves made the replacement. And this was reinforced from many times where they had gone into battle outnumbered and outgunned, and still emerged victorious.

Case in point, consider the two main sides at the start of WWII. The US entered with their main Naval Fighter being the F4F Wildcat, which was still in the process of replacing the F2A Brewster Buffalo. The Japanese entered the war with the slightly superior A6M5 Zero.

At the end of the war, the US was fielding the vastly superior F6F Hellcat, and the F4U Corsair. However, Japan was still using the exact same A6M5 Zero they started the war with. And this is consistent with Japan. They simply were so sure that they were the leaders of everything, that they could not imagine that their adversaries could not only build better equipment, but design and deploy it faster than they could.

And this could be seen throughout their military. Like Germany they saw no purpose for heavy bombers, they started design of their first in 1942 and cancelled it in 1944 without building any Nakajima G10N aircraft. And just like Germany, they grossly overdesigned the thing, wanting a heavy bomber to fly non-stop to and from the US to attack the mainland. Not an craft with a more reasonable range like the B-17 or B-29 which could fly from England to Berlin and back.

Almost everything Japan was building in 1945 was the same as what they had built in 1940 or earlier. Where as the US had advanced dramatically in designs and concepts. A late war Japanese carrier under construction would be almost the exact same as a pre-war carrier. It might be bigger, but otherwise it was little changed (other than they were actually simplified and made cheaper). The US however went from the Yorktown class to the Essex class (which itself is two classes with the Ticonderoga "Long Hull" class), to the Midway class.

It can be hard to imagine that the Midway class USS Coral Sea was designed during WWII, and her final service was in Operation Desert Storm. But that shows the rapid advancement of US designs, where as Japan was largely static, and that cost them. Japan simply never imagined that they could be defeated, so things that the US was putting into their ships they thought was excessive and a waste.

And some things that were amazing like the I-400 series of submarines ("submarine aircraft carriers" with 3 A6A seaplanes) were never really used effectively.

I saw a great 4 hour documentary on the A6M5 Zero I saw a year or so back. But it went a lot into the engineers that designed it, and all throughout the war they kept trying to improve it and make it better. But their attempts were always rebuffed by the IJN, who simply thought it was good enough and had no interest in replacing what they thought was the "Best Naval Aircraft" in the world with yet another design.


It is a long, but very informative 4+ hours.
That’s more than a little simplistic. The Japanese designed some very advanced aircraft and ships during the war. The Zero was supposed to be replaced by the A7M Reppu in 1943 (code named Sam) as the standard carrier fighter. The IJA has the Ki-84 Frank which was as good as any allied fighter, the Nakajima Ki-61 Hein (Tony) and the Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Tojo) both of which were operational by 1943. The IJN built the Taiho which was probably the equal of an Essex. It had to revert to a slightly modernized Soryu design for a wartime carrier that was roughly similar to the British light fleet carriers? Japan's problem was that it couldn’t produce anything in the quantities needed to defeat the US, let alone the rest of the WAllies.
 
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Admiral Rockwell Tory

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But note I was suggesting taking the original A-4 idea/design and upgrade(redesign/rebuild~new version) to early 21st century tech.

Such as use composites in place of metals, newer and more powerful engine, smaller and lighter integrated circuit electronics/avionics, an internal gun(or two), laser designate target system, GPS, FLIR, heads-up displays, etc. ...
You know why the A-4 was a deathtrap? Single engine!
 

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