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  #241  
Old 08-16-2012, 12:48 PM
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Calling a spade a spade is only political when you have a vested interest in having a spade called something else. Then it's vicious slander and muckraking.
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  #242  
Old 01-11-2017, 12:30 PM
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Here's an interesting article on the Soviet's nuclear-powered supercarrier that never was.

https://warisboring.com/ulyanovsk-wo...5af#.be8mvmv7u

I think that the rapid decline of the post-Soviet Russian Federation navy has clouded our perceptions of what the Red Fleet was capable of at the height of its powers. Similarly, I think that many westerners have overestimated the capabilities of NATO navies, especially the USN. That's been discussed here at length, earlier in the thread, but it bears repeating.

Much has also been made by critics of the inferiority the Red Air Force, in terms of technological capibilites and doctrine. The following article shows how a Soviet-made plane, using Soviet-made AAMs, and operating under Soviet doctrine (ground-based fighter direction) could be successful when flown by a competent pilot.

https://warisboring.com/who-shot-dow...df5#.j4nq0qmbv

Granted, I firmly believe that both NATO navies and air forces were superior in pretty much all but numbers (at least in air power) to their Soviet equivalents during most (if not all) of the Cold War, but I think the gap is not as wide as some have made it out to be.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:17 PM
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Here's an interesting article on the Soviet's nuclear-powered supercarrier that never was.

https://warisboring.com/ulyanovsk-wo...5af#.be8mvmv7u

I think that the rapid decline of the post-Soviet Russian Federation navy has clouded our perceptions of what the Red Fleet was capable of at the height of its powers. Similarly, I think that many westerners have overestimated the capabilities of NATO navies, especially the USN. That's been discussed here at length, earlier in the thread, but it bears repeating.
I think the Soviets planned to build two Ulyanovsk Class nuclear powered aircraft carriers before the Cold War ended. How effective they would have been against NATO naval power is I think open to debate. From what we know about the current Russian Kuznetsov carrier it is riddled with engine and other reliability problems and is always accompanied by a deep sea tug because it breaks down so much. The Kuznetsov is also inferior in capabilities to all of the US Navy's fleet of aircraft carriers.

Would a slightly larger nuclear powered Soviet aircraft carrier be any more reliable or capable? I don't think so and I don't think their reliability would be enhanced by the fact that they would be powered by four KN-3 nuclear reactors which were designed for the Kirov Class missile battlecruisers, which would have been a maintenance nightmare and have taken up a lot of internal space. The larger US Navy Nimitz and Ford class carriers have two reactors. Also the Soviet had no experience in steam catapult operations at this time and their naval combat aircraft were not as good as US Navy aircraft.

Certainly the Soviet fleet was impressive and was more powerful than any European member of NATO. But I don't think they had anything to match a US Navy carrier battle group or an Iowa Class battleship. In wartime if we are talking about the Soviets in the Atlantic and its littoral regions then no Soviet carriers will be going toe to toe with US Navy carrier groups as they will lose. They will also avoid getting to close to NATO dominated coastlines as they will come into contact with NATO land based airpower which is (depending on the individual airforce) superior to Soviet naval aircraft. Also no Soviet warship is going to make it south of NATO's GIUK Gap in the North Atlantic, in fact most Soviet submarines probably wont breech it either.

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Much has also been made by critics of the inferiority the Red Air Force, in terms of technological capibilites and doctrine. The following article shows how a Soviet-made plane, using Soviet-made AAMs, and operating under Soviet doctrine (ground-based fighter direction) could be successful when flown by a competent pilot.

https://warisboring.com/who-shot-dow...df5#.j4nq0qmbv

Granted, I firmly believe that both NATO navies and air forces were superior in pretty much all but numbers (at least in air power) to their Soviet equivalents during most (if not all) of the Cold War, but I think the gap is not as wide as some have made it out to be.
Certainly the Soviet Airforce was impressive although I think in air superiority its true strength lay in defending its own territory. I don't think the Soviets would have been too successful in establishing air superiority over NATO in Central Europe or anywhere to far outside of their home territory for a whole load of reasons; tactics, doctrine, pilot experience, command and control, technology etc. Remember that article was a one off incident were the Iraqis were defending their own airspace and got one US aircraft, not on the offensive over hostile territory. During the First Gulf War Iraq was considered to have the most advanced Soviet equipped air defence network outside of the Warsaw Pact, and US and Allied airforces overwhelmed it and shot the Iraqi Airforce out of the sky very quickly. Against NATO in Europe the Soviets would be on the offensive.
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  #244  
Old 01-12-2017, 07:43 AM
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I think that the rapid decline of the post-Soviet Russian Federation navy has clouded our perceptions of what the Red Fleet was capable of at the height of its powers. Similarly, I think that many westerners have overestimated the capabilities of NATO navies, especially the USN. That's been discussed here at length, earlier in the thread, but it bears repeating.

I think an overlooked aspect of Soviet vs NATO naval warfare is the ability of the surface fleet to get to sea (IE the open water) at the height of the Soviet Navy had fleets in the Baltic (Atlantic), Pacific, Black Sea(Med) and Arctic waters. All with the exception of the arctic have to pass through choke points where NATO could make hard for surface fleets to break out. This could also make it difficult for Soviet fleets to resupplied at sea and or returning to port for resupply.
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  #245  
Old 01-12-2017, 12:44 PM
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Fair point re defensive v. defensive aerial warfare. During an invasion of Western Europe, the Soviet air force, as the attacking force, would face some daunting challenges. On the other hand, aside from long-range interdiction strikes, really the SAF would only have to defend the forward edge of battle in order to prevent NATO aircraft from stopping the advance of Red Army armor.

Relating this back to T2K (v1.0, at least) though, the Soviets are initially on the defensive. Their AF would have been operating much as the Iraqi MiG-25 did in the article.

Regarding the Red [surface] Fleet, one must consider it's intended role in a conventional war with NATO. Soviet naval doctrine was different than that of the West. The Soviets liked to send their fleet elements on long-range cruises during peacetime as a way of showing off but, during a war, the surface fleets were to be kept close to home, to defend the Motherland. They would have had the advantages of the defender- air cover from land-based aircraft, interior lines of supply, etc. Granted, the Japanese enjoyed those advantages during WWII and it still didn't turn out so well for them.

A Soviet surface fleet sortie into the Atlantic would likely have been very costly, and the Soviets knew that. They had the capability to try, but their war plans did not envision their surface elements straying far from territorial waters.

Submarines, on the other hand- many would sortie prior to the commencement of hostilities. They would already be roaming the open seas- that was the plan, at least. I've said it before, but one thing I think many western analysts have grossly overestimated, is NATO's ability to quickly locate and eliminate these submarine commerce hunters. There's reams of anecdotal evidence about U.S. carrier groups being stalked and killed by "obsolete" submarines during exercises. NATO subs have collided with NATO ships, Soviet subs and ships, and even land. I think pundits focus too much on the theory of ASW tech/doctrine and forget about the messiness of reality.
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  #246  
Old 01-12-2017, 04:37 PM
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It is true that the soviets didn't have aircraft carriers but truth be tolled is that they didn't need them as much as the US.
US aircraft are delicate flowers that require pristine airfields from which to operate. When operating you aircraft has such extreme requirements it makes sense to bring your airfield along with you where ever you operate. (i.e. an aircraft carrier)
Soviet planes could be operated from rough barely packed dirt roads. They don't need elaborate infrastructure or complex maintenance and as such can operate from anywhere. a small crew to refuel and rearm the plane which will depart farmer1's field go on it's mission and return to farmer2's field (support crew would drive by truck). A fixed airfield is not needed and thus the soviet air force is far less vulnerable to having it's runways taken out.
And as a result this makes the lack of Aircraft carriers less of a limitation.

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Old 01-12-2017, 05:47 PM
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And given the land available to the Soviets, they typically aren't very far from anywhere
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  #248  
Old 01-12-2017, 06:57 PM
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I think the Soviets planned to build two Ulyanovsk Class nuclear powered aircraft carriers before the Cold War ended. How effective they would have been against NATO naval power is I think open to debate. From what we know about the current Russian Kuznetsov carrier it is riddled with engine and other reliability problems and is always accompanied by a deep sea tug because it breaks down so much. The Kuznetsov is also inferior in capabilities to all of the US Navy's fleet of aircraft carriers.

Would a slightly larger nuclear powered Soviet aircraft carrier be any more reliable or capable? I don't think so and I don't think their reliability would be enhanced by the fact that they would be powered by four KN-3 nuclear reactors which were designed for the Kirov Class missile battlecruisers, which would have been a maintenance nightmare and have taken up a lot of internal space. The larger US Navy Nimitz and Ford class carriers have two reactors. Also the Soviet had no experience in steam catapult operations at this time and their naval combat aircraft were not as good as US Navy aircraft.
A large part of the problems with the Kirovs were because the Soviet Navy never built land bases with proper support equipment for the KN-3 reactors, so the reactors had to be shut down in port. This perversely increased wear on components, because the shut-down/start-up cycle was more stressful than running the reactor at minimal levels. If they had a pair of Uylanovsks plus the Kirovs, increasing reactor numbers from 8 to 16, they might build in the necessary support equipment to allow the vessels to run at minimal power in port.

Four reactors sounds problematic, but recall that the Enterprise used eight. The Kirovs were also excessively complicated (in my opinion) due to their odd nuclear-and-oil combination, where the Ulyas would be nuclear-only. The Ulyas would have only slightly more power than a Nimitz (1200 MW to 1100 MW for the pair of A4Ws). Lack of electrical power might actually be an issue, like it is now on the Nimitz-class. The reactors were third-generation (with block cooling systems and improved control rods), but tended to run hot, so cooling would also be an issue, particularly as energy demands rose at high speeds.

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Certainly the Soviet fleet was impressive and was more powerful than any European member of NATO. But I don't think they had anything to match a US Navy carrier battle group or an Iowa Class battleship. In wartime if we are talking about the Soviets in the Atlantic and its littoral regions then no Soviet carriers will be going toe to toe with US Navy carrier groups as they will lose. They will also avoid getting to close to NATO dominated coastlines as they will come into contact with NATO land based airpower which is (depending on the individual airforce) superior to Soviet naval aircraft. Also no Soviet warship is going to make it south of NATO's GIUK Gap in the North Atlantic, in fact most Soviet submarines probably wont breech it either.
I'm not sure the Soviets ever planned going toe-to-toe with an American carrier group. The surface fleet was primarily intended to keep enemy carriers out of range of the mainland with the threat of surface-to-surface missiles (at some point, advancing to using helicopters to provide over-the-horizon targeting), while the submarine fleet was a strike arm (ballistic missile subs) and a defensive arm that would be divided between striking at enemy carriers and protecting the boomers (attack subs). Honestly, even the "blue belt" theory espoused in the article doesn't make much sense, since a combination of hunter-killers, land-based aircraft, and missile-armed surface craft should be able to generate the same sort of bubble for boomers to vanish in.

Interesting, the Ulyas are mentioned in a book I have, Norman Polmar's Guide to the Soviet Navy of 1986. The expectation at the time was that the lead ship would be either Sovetskiy Soyuz or Kremlin, that it would use a combined nuclear and steam power plant like Kirov, that it would be complete by 1990, and that it would carry 65-70 fixed-wing aircraft from the Su-27 Flanker, MiG-29 Fulcrum, Su-25 Frogfoot, and possibly Yak-38 Forger families. However, even that would leave the Navy with a large majority of its aircraft being land-based. As of mid-1986, estimates were that the Soviet Navy had 155 carrier-based aircraft and 1,485 land-based aircraft, with 400 strike aircraft, 335 patrol/ASW aircraft, and 750 other aircraft.

I'm less sold on the utility of the Iowas against a Soviet carrier, since the only air defense on the BBs were the four Block 0/Block 1 Phalanx and five Stinger launch positions, since Sea Sparrow couldn't be carried due to the overpressure from the 16" cannon. The Iowa would need assistance from escorts for air defense. The Arleigh Burkes didn't start service until '91, so the best anti-air escorts would be the four dead admirals (the Kidd-class) with a pair of Standard launchers and a pair of Phalanx or the Ticonderogas (5 with the Mark 26 weapon system, 10 or 11 with the Mark 41 in 1990 [Monterey commissioned in June 1990]) with similar armament but with the Aegis radar. The main utility of an Iowa by the 80s will lie in its Tomahawk VLCs, and the Mark 41 Ticonderogas are Tomahawk-capable (but with almost four times as many launch cells as an Iowa has Tomahawk launchers). The composition of their battle groups tacitly acknowledged this, since they always had a Ticonderoga and a Kidd as part of their escort (along with a Spruance and three Perrys for ASW work). The ASW ships do have some anti-air capability, but it's limited.

An interesting what-if would be the pair of "battlecarrier" proposals from the 80s for the Iowas. Martin Marietta suggested replacing the aft turret with hangars and launch/recovery areas for 12 Harriers. Naval Institute Proceedings was more ambitious, and wanted to put an angled flight deck in the rear to operate F/A-18s from. They still wouldn't make the Iowas incredibly useful, but they'd open up the possibility of an Iowa being deployed somewhere that needed the potential for air cover, but didn't justify a full fleet carrier.
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  #249  
Old 01-12-2017, 10:35 PM
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A large part of the problems with the Kirovs were because the Soviet Navy never built land bases with proper support equipment for the KN-3 reactors, so the reactors had to be shut down in port. This perversely increased wear on components, because the shut-down/start-up cycle was more stressful than running the reactor at minimal levels.
The ambitions of the Soviet Navy were not matched by enough thought into how to support and supply such ambitions. The Soviet Navy was also largely manned by conscripts unlike the volunteer US Navy, maintenance must have been a nightmare for them.

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If they had a pair of Uylanovsks plus the Kirovs, increasing reactor numbers from 8 to 16, they might build in the necessary support equipment to allow the vessels to run at minimal power in port.
They might have, but probably might not have.

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Four reactors sounds problematic, but recall that the Enterprise used eight. The Kirovs were also excessively complicated (in my opinion) due to their odd nuclear-and-oil combination, where the Ulyas would be nuclear-only. The Ulyas would have only slightly more power than a Nimitz (1200 MW to 1100 MW for the pair of A4Ws). Lack of electrical power might actually be an issue, like it is now on the Nimitz-class. The reactors were third-generation (with block cooling systems and improved control rods), but tended to run hot, so cooling would also be an issue, particularly as energy demands rose at high speeds.
Only one Enterprise was built between 1958 and 1961. The US Navy had originally planned to build five Enterprise Class carriers but wisely waited until the twin A4W nuclear reactors were ready to be fitted into the Nimitz.

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I'm not sure the Soviets ever planned going toe-to-toe with an American carrier group.
They would have eventually had too as the US Navy espoused an offensive minded and controversial approach to dealing with the threat of Soviet submarines to NATO shipping from the 1980's, by deploying US aircraft carriers groups across the GIUK Gap into the Norwegian Sea to strike against northern Soviet bases. The Soviets may not have ever planned to have gone toe-to-toe with American carriers but they would have had to, or retreat!

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Originally Posted by The Dark View Post
The surface fleet was primarily intended to keep enemy carriers out of range of the mainland with the threat of surface-to-surface missiles (at some point, advancing to using helicopters to provide over-the-horizon targeting), while the submarine fleet was a strike arm (ballistic missile subs) and a defensive arm that would be divided between striking at enemy carriers and protecting the boomers (attack subs). Honestly, even the "blue belt" theory espoused in the article doesn't make much sense, since a combination of hunter-killers, land-based aircraft, and missile-armed surface craft should be able to generate the same sort of bubble for boomers to vanish in.
In my mind the Soviet surface navy was designed to protect their boomers in regards to conflict with the US Navy. The only effective offensive capability they had against the US Navy were submarines and land based Tu-22M Backfire bombers with AS-4 (Kh-22) long ranged anti-ship missiles. Once NATO put up the GIUK Gap across the North Atlantic Soviet submarines and ships could not break out into the Atlantic undetected. Land based NATO AWAC's and long ranged fighter squadrons in Iceland and the UK also increased NATO's ability to detect and intercept Soviet Backfire bombers. Its effectiveness forced the Soviet's to develop longer ranged missiles for their boomers, with sufficient range to launch from the Barents Sea.

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Interesting, the Ulyas are mentioned in a book I have, Norman Polmar's Guide to the Soviet Navy of 1986. The expectation at the time was that the lead ship would be either Sovetskiy Soyuz or Kremlin, that it would use a combined nuclear and steam power plant like Kirov, that it would be complete by 1990, and that it would carry 65-70 fixed-wing aircraft from the Su-27 Flanker, MiG-29 Fulcrum, Su-25 Frogfoot, and possibly Yak-38 Forger families.
I think its original name was Kremlin, but was changed to Ulyanovsk as Vladimir Lenin was born there. The air group of the Ulyanovsk would probably have been 68 aircraft (44 Su-33 (Su-27K)/Mig-29K, 6 Ka-27 ASW helicopters, 2x Ka-27P rescue helicopters).

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However, even that would leave the Navy with a large majority of its aircraft being land-based. As of mid-1986, estimates were that the Soviet Navy had 155 carrier-based aircraft and 1,485 land-based aircraft, with 400 strike aircraft, 335 patrol/ASW aircraft, and 750 other aircraft.
In 1990/91 the Soviet Navy had 186 carrier based aircraft including 74 helicopters. The total Soviet Naval Aviation fleet included 1,469 fixed wing aircraft and 545 combat helicopters excluding transport and training aircraft.

Long Ranged Bombers: 356 (160 Tu-22M bombers, 6 Tu-22, 190 Tu-16 bombers)
Fighter Ground Attack Aircraft: 645 (80 Yak-38, 350 Su-17, 110 Su-24, 75 Su-25, 30 Mig-27)
Fighter Aircraft: 155 (85 Mig-23, 70 Mig-29)
ASW Aircraft: 198 (53 Tu-142, 53 IL-38, 92 Be-12)
ASW Helicopters: 287 (79 Mi-14, 93 Ka-25, 115 Ka-27)
Maritime Patrol & EW Aircraft: 105 (35 Tu-95, 40 Tu-16, 5 Tu-22, 10 Su-24, 15 An-12)
Maritime Patrol Helicopters: 20 (20 Ka-25)
Mine-Countermeasure Helicopters: 15 (15 Mi-14)
Assault Helicopters: 25 (20 Ka-27, 5 Ka-29)
Tanker Aircraft: 10 (10 Tu-16)
Transport & Training Aircraft: 445

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I'm less sold on the utility of the Iowas against a Soviet carrier
The Iowa's would likely be never deployed against a Soviet carrier as they are battleships, unless the Soviet carrier was stupid enough to come within range of its main guns or substantial battery of Tomahawk and Harpoon missiles.

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since the only air defense on the BBs were the four Block 0/Block 1 Phalanx and five Stinger launch positions, since Sea Sparrow couldn't be carried due to the overpressure from the 16" cannon. The Iowa would need assistance from escorts for air defense.
Yes and the Iowa would always be accompanied by air defence escorts, and would probably be also protected by the CAP of carrier based aircraft and submarines.

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The Arleigh Burkes didn't start service until '91....
The Twilight War starts in 1996/1997.

Also other than using a nuclear weapon it would take an awful lot of Soviet hits to even disable an Iowa.

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Originally Posted by The Dark View Post
An interesting what-if would be the pair of "battlecarrier" proposals from the 80s for the Iowas. Martin Marietta suggested replacing the aft turret with hangars and launch/recovery areas for 12 Harriers. Naval Institute Proceedings was more ambitious, and wanted to put an angled flight deck in the rear to operate F/A-18s from. They still wouldn't make the Iowas incredibly useful, but they'd open up the possibility of an Iowa being deployed somewhere that needed the potential for air cover, but didn't justify a full fleet carrier.
I think that would be a waste of a perfectly good gun turret.
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  #250  
Old 01-13-2017, 12:21 PM
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And given the land available to the Soviets, they typically aren't very far from anywhere
However, their enemies aren't very far from them. It is possible to hit Moscow with a nuclear missile from West Germany in 10 minutes; you can only do the same for Washington DC from Cuba.
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  #251  
Old 01-13-2017, 09:07 PM
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Default The Russian Navy in a modified V2.2 Timeline

I did a bit of research into what old Soviet ships would still be serviceable in 1997 and came up with this list of "Surface Combatants" for Russia in 1997 (based on units lost to former Pact members and decommissioning/damage). Excluding subs, the Russian Navy was of almost the size as the US Navy under President Clinton (although the US ships were FAR more capable). Russia had 208 total surface combatants to the US total of 157 surface combatants (this excludes supply or landing ship transports). Here is the list I compiled of OPERATIONAL (not decommissioned or dry-docked/refitting ships).

Russian Surface Combatant Ships:

Kuznetsov Class Carrier: 1
Kirov Class Battle Cruiser Guided Missile Nuclear: 3
Kara Class Guided Missile Cruiser: 5
Kresta Class Guided Missile Cruiser: 4
Slava Class Guided Missile Cruiser: 5
Kashin Class Guided Missile Destroyers: 7
Sovremennyy Class Guided Missile Destroyers: 19
Udaloy Class Guided Missile Destroyers: 11
Krivak Class Guided Missile Frigate: 30
Neustrashimy Class Guided Missile Frigate: 30

These comprise the Russian fleet elements that are large enough to operate independently during a "blue water cruise." The following ships have limited range and/or endurance and are used in squadrons or with coastal support.

The following ships would be called "Corvettes" in the West, but the Russians often refer to them as "Frigates."

Derach Class FFGA: 3
Grisha Class FFL: 30
Nanuchka Class FSG: 33
Parchim Class FFL: 11
Paulk Class FSG: 4
Tarantul Class FSG: 12

Unfortunately, I don't have as detailed a listing for US Naval Assets (yet).

US Surface Combatant Ships:

Carriers CVN: 12
Cruisers CCG: 30
Destroyers DDG: 56
Frigates FFG: 42
Command Ships CMD: 4

These are all of the capital surface combatants still sailing in 1997. Other ships would be in "mothballs" and need at least some refurbishment before sailing again.
The US Navy doesn't have any true Corvettes but the following "Patrol Ships" could qualify.


Patrol Ships PT: 13

This is the best estimate I could come up with to accurately reflect both sides Naval strengths in 1997 (based on historical evidence). What I found surprising was just how fast President Clinton "drew down" the US navy from a 1980's high of 303 Surface Combatants (and nearly 500 total vessels). Many of these ships were NOT "mothballed" either; they were either scrapped or sold to other countries.
This could explain the Russian's success on the Naval front. The US would be spread "paper thin" hunting Russian subs and commerce raiders. This wouldn't have left many task forces for offensive operations.

Last edited by swaghauler; 01-13-2017 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:41 PM
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For the US as of 31 December 1997:

Forrestal CV: 1
Kitty Hawk CV: 2
Kennedy CV: 1
Enterprise CVN: 1
Nimitz CVN: 7
Wasp LHD: 5

Raleigh LPD: 1
Austin LPD: 3
Cleveland LPD: 7
Trenton LPD: 2

Iwo Jima LPH: 2

California CGN: 2
Virginia CGN: 2
Ticonderoga CG: 27

Spruance DD: 31
Kidd DD: 4
Arleigh Burke DDG: 21

Perry FFG: 41
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Old 01-15-2017, 01:44 PM
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For the US as of 31 December 1997:

Forrestal CV: 1
Kitty Hawk CV: 2
Kennedy CV: 1
Enterprise CVN: 1
Nimitz CVN: 7
Wasp LHD: 5

Raleigh LPD: 1
Austin LPD: 3
Cleveland LPD: 7
Trenton LPD: 2

Iwo Jima LPH: 2

California CGN: 2
Virginia CGN: 2
Ticonderoga CG: 27

Spruance DD: 31
Kidd DD: 4
Arleigh Burke DDG: 21

Perry FFG: 41
Thanks for saving me the trouble of looking those up.

Another factor to consider when comparing the navies is the Age of the fleet in question. A LARGE number of Soviet Era ships were "scrapped/salvaged" between 1998 and 2003. I can imagine a number of the Udaloys and Sovremennyys have the equivalent of an 8 Wear Value. The US fleet was much newer with the exception of the gas powered carriers (Wear of 7 or 8?) and the OHP Frigates. The Perry class was designed in 1975 with a service life of 20 years as a cost-cutting measure (most ships are designed for 40-50 years with a 20-year upgrade) and most of them were on the verge of needing an upgrade.
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Old 01-15-2017, 04:38 PM
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Thanks for saving me the trouble of looking those up.

Another factor to consider when comparing the navies is the Age of the fleet in question. A LARGE number of Soviet Era ships were "scrapped/salvaged" between 1998 and 2003. I can imagine a number of the Udaloys and Sovremennyys have the equivalent of an 8 Wear Value. The US fleet was much newer with the exception of the gas powered carriers (Wear of 7 or 8?) and the OHP Frigates. The Perry class was designed in 1975 with a service life of 20 years as a cost-cutting measure (most ships are designed for 40-50 years with a 20-year upgrade) and most of them were on the verge of needing an upgrade.
The Spruance class were also old by this point - the first of them was laid down in 1972 (ordered in 1970) and none remained in service more than 30 years (7 Perrys served between 31 and 34 years). The Spruances and Perrys were the "high/low" escorts in Zumwalt's fleet plan. By the early 90s, the Burkes were a badly needed upgrade. The four dead admirals (the Kidd-class) were more capable, particularly after the New Threat Upgrade allowed the Ticonderoga cruisers to take over Kidd-launched missiles in mid-flight, using the superior Aegis arrays to improve performance. Aegis was a big reason for the accelerated disposal of the cruisers and destroyers not of the Ticonderoga and Burke classes, since the newer ships were considered far more capable than even upgraded older ships.

For the Soviet ships, there are a few old ones that will still be around:
Admiral Golovko - a Kynda-class cruiser, commissioned in 1964 and serving as Black Sea Fleet flagship from 1995-1997.
Krasny Kavkaz - a Kashin-class destroyer, commissioned in 1967 and decommissioned in 1998. One of the modified Kashins with rear-firing Styx (SS-N-2) launchers.
If the Soviet Union slows the decommissioning of ships due to tensions, there were still three Skoryy-class destroyers on the books until 1994, the Besposchadnyy (commissioned 1951), Besshumnyy (also 1951), and Svobodny (1952).
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Old 01-15-2017, 07:48 PM
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In the alternate timeline of T2K v1.0, the Soviets would have had three fleet carriers- the two Admiral Kuznetsovs and the Ulyanovsk, plus four Kiev class light carriers flying the newer Yak-141. Still a paltry force compared to the USN's carrier fleet, but not inconsiderable when operating close to territorial waters with land-based air cover supplementing their air groups.
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:58 PM
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After double-checking, I realize I made a mistake. The new unknown-class carriers in the book I'm referencing aren't the Ulyanovsks, they're the Kuznetsovs. The timing and tonnage are wrong for the Ulyas, since the first of them wasn't laid down until 1988, and the book says the first unknown carrier launched in December 1985.

That also shows how much Soviet priorities were misunderstood, since the estimate was the Kuznetsov would carry 60-75 fixed-wing aircraft, when the project specification was to carry 33. The discrepancy is likely due to the lack of expectation that Kuznetsov would have a heavy anti-ship missile battery.
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Old 01-16-2017, 12:58 PM
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The Soviets don't, and never have, understood the first thing about full-sized carrier operations except what they could observe secondhand. The Uly classes would've been fitted with ASMs, the launching of even one would've obscured the flight deck with smoke for 10 minutes. It had a ski-jump and side deck catapult launch, which means while launching aircraft it couldn't have retrieved them. Their problems with naval nuclear power are equally storied and their one operational carrier recently had to shift its air wing to land-based, and goes nowhere without a powered tug, so frequent are her breakdowns.

Even in T2k 1.0 I wouldn't bother worrying about Soviet naval air power in terms of carrier aircraft. The YAK-38 was a terrible aircraft; a Dauntless SBD could carry a greater bomb load.

I know this is a rah-rah go USSR thread but come on, you might as well talk about the Soviets having mecha as having operational carriers and useful aircraft.
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Old 01-16-2017, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raketenjagdpanzer View Post
I know this is a rah-rah go USSR thread but come on, you might as well talk about the Soviets having mecha as having operational carriers and useful aircraft.
Yeah, I think you are reading too much into my posts. We all know that comparing Soviet carriers and US supercarriers is like comparing a Ford Nova to a Ferrari GTO. I think we've been pretty clear about that. We've also pointed out that Soviet carriers wouldn't have been deployed or used like USN carriers. And navalized MiG-27s and SU-27s are not useless aircraft, especially when working with land-based Bears, Blinders, and Backfires carrying long-range, supersonic ASMs. Yak-141's on the other hand, I don't know. But, AFAIK, no one here claimed that the Yak-38 was useful.
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Old 01-16-2017, 06:10 PM
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During the Cold War the Soviet Union could build as many tanks, fighter aircraft and nuclear armed ballistic missiles as it wanted to compete with America and the Western world, but as sea it was just simply out classed by the US Navy no matter how hard it tried to compete with it.

The Soviet Union or Russia was never considered to be a leading naval power at any era over the past two centuries, and at best it was one of the following pack of major powers with a navy that was barely ranked among the top five or lower. In both world wars its naval contribution to the wars was meagre compared to its own army and the other powers. After WW2 the Soviet Union found itself as the second most powerful country in the world, but the so called rise of its navy was also due to the practical elimination of German, Japanese and Italian naval ambitions, and the contraction of the British and French fleets due to decolonisation and economic realities.

At no point in the Cold War was the Soviet Navy a match for the US carrier fleet and the accumulative decades of American naval experience and technology. In fact until the 1970's the British Navy could even be considered to be a major threat to it until Britain decided to wind down its own naval ambitions and practically scrap its aircraft carrier fleet. The only way the Soviets could try and neutralise the threat of US carriers was by following the same route that Germany tried in both world wars when it was also outclassed by Western naval powers; submarines, and also with long ranged bombers with supersonic cruise missiles.

The Soviet carrier fleet offered little threat to US Navy carriers, and its carriers were in fact ASW platforms with a few VTOL jets of limited capabilities. The reason why Soviet ships and carriers had so many anti-ship, air defence and ASW weapons was because the Soviets recognised and were intimidated by the threat posed by the US Navy and particularly US naval aviation.
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:13 PM
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When I was in ROTC in the 1980s, we all believed that sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s, we'd be fighting the Pact in Europe, their puppets in the Middle East and Africa and Southeast Asia, and the Russians and some assorted Eastern European units in the Pacific and Alaska. If we were lucky, we might have the PRC as an ally (they hated the Russians at the time), but probably they's sit it out and close their borders unless attacked. And we were all sure, based on the amount of troops, vehicles, and aircraft the Russians and her allies could put up, and what we could put up, we'd lose in Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia. We'd be forced to go nuclear to stop the Russians et al, and that would lead to oblivion.

And yet we were patriotic, young, and ready regardless what might happen!
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:20 PM
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During the Cold War the Soviet Union could build as many tanks, fighter aircraft and nuclear armed ballistic missiles as it wanted to compete with America and the Western world...
What we had was a massive technological edge. Not just in ships, but almost every weapon we had. That's what finally crashed the Soviet economy -- trying to keep up with us technologically. They simply couldn't no matter how hard they tried. And they did try, and failed.

But we at ROTC all knew that our technological edge would not be enough. They'd overwhelm us with sheer numbers. They would throw chemicals around like cotton candy. And we would be forced to go nuclear. And we all know where that would have lead.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:06 PM
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You're right, Paul. As a cadet at the Citadel from '86-'89, I fully anticipated things to go hot some time in the 90's. It didn't dampen my willingness to serve in the least. Frankly, I still have no love for the Russians...
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
Yeah, I think you are reading too much into my posts. We all know that comparing Soviet carriers and US supercarriers is like comparing a Ford Nova to a Ferrari GTO. I think we've been pretty clear about that. We've also pointed out that Soviet carriers wouldn't have been deployed or used like USN carriers. And navalized MiG-27s and SU-27s are not useless aircraft, especially when working with land-based Bears, Blinders, and Backfires carrying long-range, supersonic ASMs. Yak-141's on the other hand, I don't know. But, AFAIK, no one here claimed that the Yak-38 was useful.
There were only four Yak-141 prototypes. If they'd gone into production, they'd likely have turned out to be roughly equivalent to the Sea Harrier, possibly slightly inferior. Russia had no intent to put them on Kievs because the navalised MiGs and SUs were superior aircraft. Proposed armament loadouts were:

Air to air:
4x R-77 Adder
2x R-77 Adder & 2x R-27 Alamo

Air to ship:
2x R-73 Archer & 2x Kh-35 Kayak
4x Kh-35 Kayak
2x R-77 Adder & 2x Kh-35 Kayak

Air to ground:
4x Rocket Pod (I think UB-13L, but I'm not sure)
6x 250kg bomb
2x R-77 Adder & 2x Kh-31 Krypton
2x R-73 Archer & 2x Kh-25 Karen
4x UPK-23-250 gun pods

Kayaks weren't available until 2003, so they would only have had the much lighter Krypton or much shorter ranged Karen for anti-ship strikes.
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