Rumoured Type 076 LHD/LHA discussion


Bltizo

Lieutenant General
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Your attempt in explaining the high cost attribution of EMAL solely to the QE acquisition process is not factually supported by public facts as they are well documented. The various UK National Audit reports pertaining to the QE acquisition process issued in 2011 and 2013 and in particular the latter report highlighted the cost blow out with the EMAL option and the subsequent decision to revert to a STVOL based design. Up to that point of time, the UK was in a design phase and the sunk cost identified by the decision was 74 million sterling. It is not a case of EMAL cost blow out to accommodate a design change but rather catapults are expensive by nature especially the EMAL type.

Cats and traps are unique to carriers and these are the capabilities that distinguish it from non-cat design. It is therefore unsurprising they would constitute a significant portion of overall cost. No economies of scale would somehow remove such a high but necessary component cost. IMO, China wants to mirror the capability of the USN with its LHA America class and its STOVL aviation. Lacking such an option, an alternate approach in the form of EMAL being mated to a LHA design is being considered. I think such an approach is fundamentally flawed because the payback on a high investment cost with the EMAL is constrained by a compromised design in the form of a LHA. Said differently, if you want to go for EMAL then go for a mini carrier optimised design to fully leverage the capability arising from your EMAL investment. LHA by design is for amphibious assault with a more aviation centric approach. It is not a carrier centric design.

We know the LHA America gave up a well deck to gain additional aviation storage space. Even with that, the maximum number it can operate with is about 20 F-35Bs. In contrast, the French carrier of around the same tonnage can operate with 30 plus aviation assets.
You're the one that listed the 2 billion pounds cost for the EM catapults -- my point is that those 2 billion pounds are far from attributable to merely the catapults and arresting gear themselves.
The full record can be found here:
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With the most relevant parts being:

18) Minister Peter Luff was a bit more honest. He said:
I want to make it quite clear ... there was some increase in the cost of the equipment, but that is not actually the total picture of the cost. The cost is also a reflection of various other issues ... the cost of the conversion itself was the real issue ...

19) In other words the huge bulk of the cost increase didn't come from General Atomics and EMALS. Instead it came from the British shipyards who would have to put the US equipment into the ships. Luff went on to explain that in fact the carriers had not been designed to accept catapults and arrester gear at all.
and
20) The fundamental misunderstanding that many of us had was that these carriers would be relatively easy to convert and had been designed for conversion and for adaptability. That is what we were told. It was not true. They were not .

21) Mr Arbuthnot, reasonably enough, asked:

Having been "designed for conversion", and conversion having proved far more expensive than we expected, do we have any comeback against those companies that did the design?

22) Mr Gray answered:

Because the decision to go STOVL [that is the initial decision for jumpjets] was taken in, from memory, 2002, no serious work had been done. It had been noodled in 2005, but no serious work had been done on it. It was not a contract-quality offer; it was a simple assertion that that could be done, but nobody said, "It can be done at this price", and certainly nobody put that in a contract.
A more succinct summary of the relevant parts can be found here:
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.... So no, I reject your assertion that the cost of the QE class's costs for integrating EM catapults was a result of the EM catapults themselves rather than a combination of factors including the cost of integration into a ship that wasn't properly designed for cat and traps to begin with.

There obviously are additional costs to having catapults and arresting gear compared to a ship without that equipment, but using the QE class's experience with EMALS is a poor example.

If you really want to look at the cost of EM catapults and arrestor gear for a ship designed from the outset for them, the Ford class may be a better example,
March 4-11/14: FY15 Budget. The US military slowly files its budget documents, detailing planned spending from FY 2014 – 2019. For EMALS and AAG, unit costs are listed as FY08$ 762.9 million (614.7 + 148.2) for CVN 78, and FY13$ 883.1 million (713.7 + 169.4) for CVN 79.
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As for wanting to "emulate" the America class, the EM catapults are meant to provide the ability for 076 to have enhanced fixed wing capability which 075 does not have.
However there's still quite substantial debate over the exact nature with which 076 is meant to be a carrier.

Before you write anything else, let's quickly review the details that are agreed upon:
- 076 as a project exists
- It is widely accepted that it will be an LHD design but featuring EM catapults in some form and arresting gear
- It is expected to field UCAVs as part of its primary fixed wing complement
- It is expected to feature MVDC IPS with gas turbine and diesel powerplants
- It is expected to have a well deck as well

Issues that are remaining topics of debate and contention:
- We don't know exactly what the balance between the amphibious assault role and the carrier role will be. (I personally think it will tend more towards the amphibious assault role, but some others also disagree)
- We don't know what exact rating the EM catapult(s) and arresting gear will be -- e.g. we don't know what kind of weight rating it will be, and the size and type of the aircraft it can accommodate
- We don't know whether it will be capable of accommodating or let alone regularly deploying manned fighter aircraft
- We don't know how much it will displace
 

Bltizo

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The fixed-wing component of the Type 076 (as suggested here) will depend in no small part as to whether it is being accompanied by PLANS 16 or 17, or by a CATBAR carrier. If it is being accompanied by a CATBAR carrier it will require few if any stealth UCAVs, as this capability will be delivered by the CATBAR carrier. If however CATBAR carriers are otherwise tasked and the Type 076 is accompanied by PLANS 16 or 17, then a small number of stealth UCAVs would provide the essential pre-assault strike capability, while being supported by the future stealth fighters for air-to-air combat and Z-18s for airborne early warning off the STOBAR carriers. We should expect that the Type 076 (as suggested here) will be able to operate the future stealth fighter.
I do not expect 076 to field manned fighter aircraft as part of its regular complement.

It may be able to recover and launch them under certain conditions, but 076 I think will primarily be an amphibious assault ship first and a carrier second
 

SAC

Just Hatched
Registered Member
Following on my previous post, below is a very crude diagram depicting how the Type 076 (as suggested here) might layout the flight deck for fixed-wing operations. It is illustrative and not precise. The diagram is a simple rectangle measuring 257m in length and 37m in breadth. Essentially a Type 075 extended by 20m. To facilitate the arresting wires (blue solid lines) and a full-length landing area both aircraft lifts (orange squares) are moved to the starboard deck edge. Depending on the required length of the arresting wires there may need to be a deck extension on the port side. The black dashed line represents the centre of the landing area, with the red dashed line the foul line. The foul line is 22m from the port side. The two blue solid arrowed-headed lines represent the catapults. If it is expected to field UCAVs as part of its primary fixed-wing complement (and the UCAVs being a major operational requirement), then it would be operationally unwise to only have one catapult. EMALs may be more reliable than steam catapults, but they can still fail. Positioning of the catapults should allow aircraft with a wingspan of up to 15m. The GJ-11’s wingspan of approximately 14m is used as a reference. Positioning of arresting wires and catapult 2 should allow almost simultaneous launch and recovery. Catapult length is 75m with a launch capacity of 30,000kgs. The catapult length is not based on any facts. I have used the USS Gerald Ford’s catapults (91m for 45,000kgs) as a reference. I have used 30,000kgs for the catapults launch capacity as this should cover any UCAV in the GJ-11 class as well as the future stealth fighter. As I said in my previous post, the air-to-air warfare component of any Task Group including a Type 076 should be provided by CATBAR or STOBAR carriers. Allowing the Type 076 to operate the future stealth fighter provides significant operational flexibility and redundancy. The solid blue rectangles represent the blast deflectors. The black rectangle represents the bridge.

Type 076 flight deck.jpg
 

AndrewS

Captain
Registered Member
Do you know what killed the QE EMAL plan? A 2 Billion sterling bill for the EMAL. Good luck on a cost effective option.
Why are you quoting the QE EMALS option which works out as an additional $2500 Million?

You should be quoting the US Navy contract for 1 set of EMALS and Arresting Gear for $737 Million
 

AndrewS

Captain
Registered Member
The fixed-wing component of the Type 076 (as suggested here) will depend in no small part as to whether it is being accompanied by PLANS 16 or 17, or by a CATBAR carrier. If it is being accompanied by a CATBAR carrier it will require few if any stealth UCAVs, as this capability will be delivered by the CATBAR carrier. If however CATBAR carriers are otherwise tasked and the Type 076 is accompanied by PLANS 16 or 17, then a small number of stealth UCAVs would provide the essential pre-assault strike capability, while being supported by the future stealth fighters for air-to-air combat and Z-18s for airborne early warning off the STOBAR carriers. We should expect that the Type 076 (as suggested here) will be able to operate the future stealth fighter.
In a high-end conflict, I can definitely see the Type-076 operating in conjunction with a larger carrier.

In summary, the actual type of aircraft matters less, because aircraft types can be swapped out.

Maybe the Type-076 primarily ends up operating Tanker UAVs, extending the reach of aircraft launched from other carriers or from land bases?

That would maximise the use of the small onboard airwing, because the flight deck has a lot of capacity available.

Of course, it depends on the relative cost and risk of carrier-based airborne tankers versus land-based airborne tankers.
A quick back of the envelope calaculation ends up with the land-based option as being twice as expensive in terms of the aircraft needed to deliver per tonne of fuel per day.
 

AndrewS

Captain
Registered Member
I really don't know what to say -- look, your concept of carrier operations is fine for the sake of a thought experiment.

But for the purposes of trying to project what the PLAN's aims for 076 may be and what sort of mission and characteristics for that ship class will be, if your argument is that we should treat your concept of carrier operations as if it is something that the PLAN has adopted and is shaping their design and procurement of the 076 around that concept you described, I think you are way overreaching.
Yes, it is a thought experiment.

As to what comes actually come out, I recall that RAND and CSBA actually looked at smaller carriers and found them wanting.

But if you actually delve into the reasoning, the key issue with small carriers is the lack of catapults to launch heavily loaded aircraft AND endurance/space to support those aircraft.

But now:
1. Technological change means makes it possible to put EMALS catapults powered by IEPS on small conventionally-powered carriers.
2. Geography means Chinese carriers will be operating relatively close to their homeports, so resupply is less of an issue.

And because any notional high-end conflict will be in the Western Pacific, the principle is to leverage land-based airbases and missile launchers as much as possible.

How far they take this is up for debate, but it does drive a smaller carrier as the optimal for the Chinese Navy.

---

Full reports from RAND and the CSBA below.

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They have an estimate that a specialised America-sized carrier would cost 3x less than a Ford.
And in terms of airwing and sortie rate, it would be 3x less as well.
 

Bltizo

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Yes, it is a thought experiment.

As to what comes actually come out, I recall that RAND and CSBA actually looked at smaller carriers and found them wanting.

But if you actually delve into the reasoning, the key issue with small carriers is the lack of catapults to launch heavily loaded aircraft AND endurance/space to support those aircraft.

But now:
1. Technological change means makes it possible to put EMALS catapults powered by IEPS on small conventionally-powered carriers.
2. Geography means Chinese carriers will be operating relatively close to their homeports, so resupply is less of an issue.

And because any notional high-end conflict will be in the Western Pacific, the principle is to leverage land-based airbases and missile launchers as much as possible.

How far they take this is up for debate, but it does drive a smaller carrier as the optimal for the Chinese Navy.

---

Full reports from RAND and the CSBA below.

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---

They have an estimate that a specialised America-sized carrier would cost 3x less than a Ford.
And in terms of airwing and sortie rate, it would be 3x less as well.
The topic relating to this discussion has been "what is the configuration and role of 076 more likely to be".

Your position for your belief surrounding 076's configuration/role depends on your entire theory/concept/thought experiment being something that is not only viable in the first place, but also something that we think the PLAN will adopt.


If you want to talk about your theory/concept/thought experiment, that is fine.

But you are overreaching if the basis for your belief regarding 076's configuration and role entirely depends on your theory/concept/thought experiment in the first place.
 

Tsavo Lion

New Member
Registered Member
It is indisputable that the PLAN is following in the USN footsteps when it comes to CVNs & LHAs. That doesn't mean it will be it's mirror image- for an added value, they may have EMALS or bow ramps.
 

Peter2018

Junior Member
Registered Member
Idk how to attach pics LKJ86 posted at PDF :(. They aint even that big :(.






People seem to have high expectations for these :rolleyes:. What are those small boats?
How do these artists even know the real size of these ships? Did they get some information from the insiders?
 

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