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Countries - Aircraft carriers

  1. Nov 16, 2007 #1

    JPC

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    hey

    Was wondering.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_carrier

    1) Does USA really have 12 4.5 billion USD Carriers ? or are some from the cold war ?
    Are Cold war carriers of any use ? (like to carry helicopters) ?

    2) Does france really have only 1 aircraft carrier now ? That seems small , one error and no more french carriers.

    3) Which are the top 5 carriers in the world at the moment, and to which country they were built / belong to ?

    4) Between all the new Carriers developments in the world , which are making the best ? Probably USA first , but then which countries ?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2007 #2

    Gokul43201

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    There's 12?

    Kitty Hawk and Enterprise were from the Vietnam Era. Carriers have been produced at a more or less steady clip since then. So about half of the rest are from the Cold War era, and the other half are more recent. USS Ronald Reagan was commissioned just after the Iraq war started (I think).
     
  4. Nov 16, 2007 #3

    mgb_phys

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    There are two types of ships in the world - submarines and targets!
    Following the recent surprise visit from a chinese sub and the existance of super cavitating torpedoes, large carriers aren't looking such a good bet.

    A few countries have tactical/support carriers using Harriers or helicopters to support a beach landing.
    The UK+France are jointly building a new type - when they have finished arguing about the spelling of the name.
     
  5. Nov 16, 2007 #4
    That, and it's not even a good one. Reactor problems, flight deck problems, it's slower than other non-nuclear carriers.
     
  6. Nov 16, 2007 #5

    mgb_phys

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    But I bet the canteen is excellent. :tongue:
     
  7. Nov 16, 2007 #6

    mheslep

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    10 modern Nimitz class:
    Nimitz
    Eisenhower
    Carl Vinson
    T. Roosevelt
    Abraham Lincoln
    George Washington
    Stennis
    Truman
    Reagan
    G. H. W. Bush
     
  8. Nov 16, 2007 #7

    Gokul43201

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    Has USS GHWB been commissioned already?
     
  9. Nov 16, 2007 #8
    i think it will be unlikely that a submarine will attack an aircraft carrier in the next 20 or 30 years though.
     
  10. Nov 16, 2007 #9

    mheslep

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    Ah you're right, GHWB to be commissioned mid 2009. $4.5B
     
  11. Nov 17, 2007 #10

    JPC

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    Yes, normal that the french 'De Gaulle' is not excelent, it dates from long time ago.

    But, which ones in development you think are going to be the best ?
     
  12. Nov 17, 2007 #11

    russ_watters

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    The answer to both questions is yes. Here's a list that shows when they were commissioned: http://www.answers.com/topic/list-of-aircraft-carriers-of-the-united-states-navy
    There are no fundamental differences between new fleet carriers ("supercarriers") and ones built 50 years ago. The Forrestal (1955) was 1067 feet long and displaced 81,000 tons. The George Bush (2009) will be 101,000 tons and 1092 feet long.

    But we do also have helicopter carriers that are about the same size as WWII carriers (Ie, USS Wasp [1942] 872 feet, 36,000 tons; USS Iwo Jima, LHD-7 [2001], 844 ft, 40,000 tons). We used to have several converted WWII carriers that were used by the Marine Corps as helicopter carriers.
    The US has the largest military in the world and the countries of Europe decades ago essentially decided that with the US's absolute supremacy in the oceans, there was no need for them to try to keep up - even if they could, which they probably couldn't. So today, the US has more fleet carriers than the rest of the world combined. (though it probably depends on how many of Russia's carriers are capable of leaving port).
    A carrier certainly needs a sub escort, but I wouldn't worry too much about non-nuclear subs. They can't stay submerged long enough to be much of a threat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
  13. Nov 17, 2007 #12

    mgb_phys

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    But non-nuclear are very quiet, they only have to stay submerged long enough for a carrier to sail over the top of them. Even with active sonar it's tricky to spot a diesel sub lying quietly on the bottom with it's tubes open.
    In some confined waterway like the red sea they don't have to go far.
     
  14. Nov 17, 2007 #13

    JPC

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    What do you know ? maybe in a latter future, once theres no more socialists/communist in europe , thinks would be going fine
     
  15. Nov 17, 2007 #14

    russ_watters

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    Becasuse of the hardware and manpower costs, the only real way for the countries of Europe to keep up would be a combined military (which may happen in the forseeable future).
     
  16. Nov 17, 2007 #15

    russ_watters

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    There is another issue, actually - conventional aircraft and aircraft carriers are on the verge of becoming obsolete. Large drones are cheaper and more capable than conventional aircraft and are already starting to replace them. And the US Navy hasn't helped itself by replacing its old planes with newer ones of lesser performance.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
  17. Nov 17, 2007 #16

    JPC

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    yeah but from where are you going to launch your drone ?
     
  18. Nov 17, 2007 #17
    You can get a lot more out of an aircraft that doesn't have to carry a human being - they can fly longer and higher, they can be controlled by satellite, and you don't have to worry too much about them being shot down.
    With a bit of thought as to the methods of utilization they can replace much more than warplanes.
     
  19. Nov 17, 2007 #18

    JPC

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    yes but will your drones be able to locate the enemy planes, to use the right tactics to avoid being shot down and to shoot them down ?
    For now, human pilots are way better at war tactics in the air, but if latter your machines can prove to be more acurate, and better, why not
     
  20. Nov 17, 2007 #19
    That's what anti aircraft missiles do. They're also pilotless.
    Pilots can't do much to avoid being shot down for quite a while now - it's all electronic; and as I said, it's not that much of a big deal to lose drones.
     
  21. Nov 17, 2007 #20

    JPC

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    Well it is , if these things are expensive

    and i thought most pilots usually manage to eject before being killed in the explosion
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
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