Aircraft Carriers III


j17wang

Junior Member
Registered Member

I must admit, its a nice looking carrier. I dont believe either US/China, or any other country should have a monopoly on CVNs. The more CVNs constructed the better for China as well since it can see various ways different countries approach the same problem.

Thats something I don't like about Stealth bombers, the US has created a template and since nobody else has attempted anything different, china's H-20 is bound to inherit some of the same doctrinal and process weaknesses of the B-2, no matter how formidable it may be.
 

Tetrach

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And they won't be able to build more carriers if they continue to make them Nuclear! The price tag for that particular technology will kill any sister ships. It's why we rejected it. Two ships were more important than long range, which we achieve via other means.

Do you seriously think that the price for nuclear propulsion is equivalent of having a second carrier ? The acquisition price tag of the CDG has been evalued around 3-4 billion euros, or 5 billion dollars for today value exchange. The price tag of nuclear reactor, let's say the nimitz A4W (which is two times more powerful than the K15 on the CDG) is roughly around 200 millions dollars. As you can see, replace that with a conventionnal propulsion (which is also costly, lookt at the electric propulsion of the QE), you won't have enough to even buy a fregate.
 

Obi Wan Russell

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Do you seriously think that the price for nuclear propulsion is equivalent of having a second carrier ? The acquisition price tag of the CDG has been valued around 3-4 billion euros, or 5 billion dollars for today value exchange. The price tag of nuclear reactor, let's say the Nimitz A4W (which is two times more powerful than the K15 on the CDG) is roughly around 200 millions dollars. As you can see, replace that with a conventional propulsion (which is also costly, look at the electric propulsion of the QE), you won't have enough to even buy a frigate.
Look at the quoted cost of the new French carrier, more than double the cost of the QECs and just for one ship! It's not the cost of the cats and traps that are pushing the price up, at least not on their own. The supporting infrastructure has to be factored in, nuclear propulsion can't be just bought 'off the shelf', there are a lot of associated costs that go with it. The USN can spread those costs over a large number of ships, the French Navy has to concentrate it in one place and won't benefit from the USA's economies of scale.
 

gelgoog

Senior Member
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They are supposedly going to design a new 200MWt reactor for this carrier.
That is about the same power level as the reactor used in a Russian submarine.

That design could easily be used in a next generation SSBN or even future attack subs.
If it is like the K15 which IIRC uses LEU just like a civilian reactor it could even be sold as a SMR for land based applications.
France has a lot of faraway islands and such which could use a reactor like that.

Since France seeks to have a viable deterrent this is a necessary investment. It may seem expensive if you look at up front cost but you will save a lot of money on fuel over the lifetime of the boat. In the case of a land based nuclear reactor it pays its construction cost off in 3 years. I wouldn't be surprised if the same applied for nuclear boats.

France already has a lot of those associated costs paid for since they have a vast civilian nuclear reactor fleet.
 
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Tetrach

Junior Member
Registered Member
Look at the quoted cost of the new French carrier, more than double the cost of the QECs and just for one ship! It's not the cost of the cats and traps that are pushing the price up, at least not on their own. The supporting infrastructure has to be factored in, nuclear propulsion can't be just bought 'off the shelf', there are a lot of associated costs that go with it. The USN can spread those costs over a large number of ships, the French Navy has to concentrate it in one place and won't benefit from the USA's economies of scale.

All of this is not for the PANG - Porte-Avion Next Generation. The previous K-15 reactors have been used for the Charle de Gaulle, the triomphant submarine class and will be used for the next gen Suffren class.. some have also been installed in land for testing and developpement of the branch. --> Do not think that K22 is brand new. K22 is just an evolution of K15, meant to increase the power but limiting to the maximum the increase in volume, and it's meant to be deployed on the futur submarines too. So no, thanks to the PANG and futur vessels we're actually gonna see an increase in economy of scale in the acquisition, maintenance and developpment of the nuclear program (You could even say that, as France is one of the biggest user of nuclear power for civilian application, the benefits are even bigger).

What's driving the cost of the PANG ? Maybe the EMALS and AARG they're gonna have to buy from General Atomics. Maybe the increase in tonnage, the addition of brand new expensive equipment (like SEAFIRE), large automatisation (it will be much bigger, complex and "heavier" than the CDG yet will carry less crewmen...That's automatisation, and it's extremely costly) etc. The use of nuclear reactors might be signifiant but definitely not the only reason there's only one carrier.

In fact all you want is not repeat what's happening with the british Queen Elizabeth carriers.. that's cool they have two carriers but the budgets cuts made it so that they had to put one nearly out of service, and now it' actually sinking and won't be usable for 6 months. And they can't even buy all the aircrafts and equipment needed to fullfil the operationnal requierements for a single hull.. So they paid for the acquisition of two carriers, will have to pay the maintenance price for the next 40 years of 1.5 carriers, but in the end only have the equivalent at see of 0.5 carrier.
 
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gelgoog

Senior Member
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AFAIK most of the problems with the Charles de Gaulle were with the propellers. Not the nuclear reactor itself.
It is a shame it needs to have extra downtime for refueling once a decade. But it saves on fuel costs and will have extra combat range. Also in case of battlefield conditions a CATOBAR carrier will be able to sortie aircraft with much more usable payload than something like the Queen Elizabeth. Also, while the UK has Rolls Royce turbine engines from aviation they can convert for marine applications, France doesn't have something like that which is 100% native. The propulsion would have had to be an import. With nuclear it doesn't.

I think France should have developed its own catapult and arresting gear system though. The US electrification of the Ford class has been nothing short of a nightmare so I doubt they would do worse.
 

Tirdent

Junior Member
Registered Member
It is a shame it needs to have extra downtime for refueling once a decade. But it saves on fuel costs and will have extra combat range. Also in case of battlefield conditions a CATOBAR carrier will be able to sortie aircraft with much more usable payload than something like the Queen Elizabeth. Also, while the UK has Rolls Royce turbine engines from aviation they can convert for marine applications, France doesn't have something like that which is 100% native. The propulsion would have had to be an import. With nuclear it doesn't.

I doubt France would be too unhappy about importing RR MT30s or LM2500s - the latter are already in the inventory for FREMM anyway. The big benefit they are after is probably the fairly dramatic reduction in replenishment logistics trail that nuclear propulsion in a carrier offers. As I've pointed out elsewhere on this board before, CdG is almost 40% smaller than QE, yet carries 200 tons *more* aviation fuel (and obviously doesn't consume any for its own propulsion at all). In total, QE fuel bunkerage for both purposes is twice that of CdG! That means the Marine Nationale gets away with fewer replenishment ships.

I think France should have developed its own catapult and arresting gear system though. The US electrification of the Ford class has been nothing short of a nightmare so I doubt they would do worse.

By the time PA-NG is ready to be fitted, the kinks should be worked out of EMALS/AAG.
 

Mr T

Senior Member
It is a shame it needs to have extra downtime for refueling once a decade. But it saves on fuel costs and will have extra combat range.

To some extent, but on a long deployment you'll need auxillaries for solid supplies anyway, so it's not that much of a problem to have a tanker as well.

Also I don't think it's correct to imply that the only time it would be out of service was for nuclear refueling. It will need to be regularly serviced like a conventionally-powered ship as well at more frequent intervals.

Also in case of battlefield conditions a CATOBAR carrier

That's completely separate from the issue of whether it's nuclear or conventionally powered. Granted a CATOBAR aircraft carrier will be more expensive, but STOVL aircraft are more expensive so if you factor in all the costs it might not make much of a difference either way.
 

XavNN

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Registered Member
Boeing Demonstrates F/A-18 Compatibility With India’s Aircraft Carriers

Boeing and the U.S. Navy proved recently that the F/A-18 Super Hornet can operate from a "ski jump" ramp, demonstrating the aircraft's suitability for India's aircraft carriers.
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