Author Topic: Opportunity Cost  (Read 11810 times)

Offline AGRA

  • Took the opportunity to tease us with a RAAF F-82
Opportunity Cost
« on: May 04, 2012, 08:05:25 AM »
The question was asked, “What was the opportunity cost of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) acquiring a carrier fleet in the 1940s?” That is without the post war acquisition of carriers what could the Australian military forces have evolved into?

The following is an attempt to answer that question based on a discussion held on another web forum. While at the core the argument is without carriers the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) would be better resourced and the RAN would be more focused on surface combatants the discussion also branched into other areas. These included domestic Australian aircraft industry, Australian Army resourcing and organisation and the wider flow on effects and lost chances of post war Australian military history.

In order to provide the maximum accessibility I’ve been rewriting this discussion into narrative form and adding in some historical colour here and there. I’ve also started some line drawings of key pieces of new technology that are introduced in the narrative. As much as possible of this story is based on real history but because of historical branches there is a lot that is entirely fictional.

The following is an index and over the next few weeks I will be uploading the four chapters plus imagery. Any comments, arguments, inputs, insults, jokes, cheques, contributions, etc will of course be warmly welcomed! Also the others from the original discussion, in particular Volk., who have joined this forum should fess up so I know who you are here.

Opportunity Cost Teaser

1946-50

* Chiefly’s Cabinet Decides
* RAAF Plans for Air Power Centrality
* One Army
* Surface Ship Navy
* Maritime Strike Wing
* CAC Twin Mustang
* Austank
* Shepard Robinson Machineguns
* The New Digger
* RAT: Rifle, Automatic, Thorpe 7mm
* Jet Fighter CA-23
* Robinson and the 30mm Marquardt Gun
* Australian Forces ORBAT 1950

1950-58

* Menzies and the Korean War
* Australian Brigade of the Commonwealth Division
* Austank and the Birth of the Canadian-Australian Partnership (CAP)
* Assault Rifles in Korea
* RAAF Day and Night Meatboxes and the DHA Taipan
* CAC Kamarga
* Anti-Submarine Navy
* Columbia Class Destroyers
* HMAS Deloraine: Coastal Corvette
* Maritime Air Force: Shack and Hammerhead
* Medium Bomber Force
* Tudor's Heirs: Flying Wallabies and Kangaroos
* The Australian Supersonic Fighter
* The Swiss Storm Bird
* Australian Forces ORBAT 1958

1959-65

* Cash Crisis and Confrontation
* CAP Delivers: Arrow, Argus, Kalkara and Kookaburra
* GAF Valiant Mk 20 and Low Altitude Penetration
* Woomera Rockets
* Second Generation Maritime Strike
* Army Expansion: One Army Matures
* Austank Tinnies
* Tiger Quoll: Foil to Aircraft
* Army’s Navy, Coastal Shipping and HMAS Tingira
* The New Cruiser and Tartars for the Navy
* Australian Built Helicopters
* Australian Forces ORBAT 1965

1966-72

* VietNam War
* RAAF Ubon and the Magpie Wing
* Vung Tau Fire Brigade
* Ikara’s Child and the Armidale Class
* Sea Dragons and Market Timers
* CAC Wallaroo: Wallaby’s Big Brother
* Prime Mover: Cut Price COIN Aircraft
* Strike Wing Linebacker
* CAP’s Last Hurrah: Australian Canadian Advanced Fighter (ACAF)
* Australian Forces ORBAT 1972

Offline Maverick

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Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 09:40:10 AM »
Looks quite interesting.  Looking forward to this being fleshed out.  Some of the titles are quite appetising at least.

Regards,

John
Regards,

John

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 04:21:00 PM »
Looks very interesting...
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2012, 07:25:12 AM »
Quote
CAC Twin Mustang

DOH! Why didn't I think of that?!!

Some very interesting sounding stuff. Looking forward to more.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2012, 07:29:46 AM »
Quote
CAC Twin Mustang

DOH! Why didn't I think of that?!!


I did - have kit for and all...now I just need to get my arse into gear!!!
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline AGRA

  • Took the opportunity to tease us with a RAAF F-82
Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2012, 09:26:04 AM »
Here's the Twin Mustang chaper ahead of schedule thanks to the interest:

CAC Twin Mustang

With the Government’s decision to not acquire aircraft carriers the RAAF was authorised to establish a wing of maritime strike aircraft. No. 77 Wing was established at RAAF Base Nowra (former HMS Nabbington) eventually raising No. 6 Operational Training Unit and Nos. 13, 30 and 31 Squadrons. Initial equipment was war built Department of Aircraft Production (DAP) Bristol Beaufighter Mk 21s. 6 OTU also operated several DAP Beaufort Mk 8s equipped with the 18” (45cm) Mk 12 torpedo for anti-ship training and target tug equipped Beaufighters to support air to air and ground to air training.

The RAAF literally had hundreds of un-used war built Beaufighters to equip the maritime strike wing but quickly established that a new aircraft was needed. The Beaufighter lacked a search radar and the ability to carry a major anti-ship weapon (torpedo) without considerable loss of performance. The RAAF was offered a number of modern aircraft from the UK including Short Sturgeons and Bristol Brigands to replace the Beaufighters. No serious effort was made to investigate US anti shipping aircraft due to a shortage of foreign exchange and the air force’s political desire to not buy carrier capable aircraft from the US Navy.

CAC saw on opportunity to freeze out British competition by offering a modification of their CA-18 contract to build 120 North American Mustang fighters. Thanks to their license agreement with North American Aviation CAC were able to access designs for all Mustang derivatives under the initial contract. They proposed an anti-ship version of the F-82E Twin Mustang that combined two Mustang fighter fuselages together with a new inner wing and tail. The Twin Mustang had the performance to carry several 18” torpedos and 5” rockets as well as the required radio-nav equipment with long range and high speeds.

While this would increase the cost of the CA-18 contract it was much cheaper than buying from the UK and also provided earlier delivery than the British could promise. The Mustang contract also kept CAC’s production line at work until jet fighters were ready and building Twin Mustangs was more useful than another 120 Mustangs to add to the RAAF’s stock of nearly 400 (of which 250 were unused). The RAAF tactical fighter squadrons had plentiful supplies of North American built Mustangs supplied under Lend-Lease and the initial batch of 80 CAC assembled Mustangs  to keep them flying until the new jet fighters were acquired.

In 1946 the RAAF gave CAC the go ahead to develop and produce 60 Twin Mustang Mk 24s replacing the 120 Australian built Mustangs. First flight of a CAC Twin Mustang was in 1948 with in service deliveries from late 1949 to late 1951. The Twin Mustang Mk 24 were powered by handed CAC built Merlins with four 20mm Hispano cannons in place of the F-82’s .50” (12.7mm) machineguns. The comprehensive radio navigation fit out included an APS-3 radar with the antenna mounted in a pod on the port wing tip. Offsetting the radar wing tip pod was a night spotlight on the starboard wing which could be controlled by the co-pilot/radio-nav. The Twin Mustang had three stores stations; one beneath each wing, which could carry drop tanks, bombs, 18” torpedos or ‘Christmas Tree’ racks for 5” rockets.

The Maritime Strike Wing was soon to be committed to action with the Twin Mustang with No. 13 Squadron deployed to Malaya in 1950 straight after conversion. In 1948 No. 30 Squadron had deployed to Malaya with the Beaufighters to provide maritime interdiction and light strike and after the arrival of the Twin Mustang returned to Australia. Flying from RAF Changai the ‘Devil’s Brothers’ provided high speed maritime search and on occasion strike throughout the 1950s. While there was little demand for strike against sea targets during the Malayan Emergency the Twin Mustang was widely used for rocket and gun strafing against suspected Communist bases in the Malayan jungle. Some suggested than Lincoln bombers of No. 82 Wing might be more useful than the Twin Mustang because of their heavy payload but the RAAF preferred their commitment to be limited to the cheaper and easier to sustain Twin Mustang.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 09:01:54 AM by AGRA »

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2012, 09:43:47 AM »
Nicely done...now all we need is some pictures to illustrate...someone?
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2012, 08:29:25 AM »
Quote
The RAAF was offered a number of modern aircraft from the UK including Short Sturgeons and Bristol Buccaneers to replace the Beaufighters.

I..... well I mean..... erm..... YEY!!!!!  :)

Liking where this is going. Out of interest, what camo do you envisage on the 'stangs?


Offline AGRA

  • Took the opportunity to tease us with a RAAF F-82
Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2012, 08:52:12 AM »
Liking where this is going. Out of interest, what camo do you envisage on the 'stangs?

They are replaced in the late 50s so would - to be historically accurate – be high speed silver from day alpha to day omega. Also some will definitely go to target tug and Woomera duties so some fun high vis, proto Fanta Can stuff (and Fanta Can in the 60s).

But because high speed silver sucks maybe the RAAF’s maritime group will do their own thing because in this Whif they have a separate organisation identity (the Group level HQ) and two wings and purpose to role aircraft not shared with other wings and groups and aren’t just flying 82 Wing hand me downs (Lincolns) and then USN buys (Neptunes).

So we could have RAF style coastal command light slate grey overall with medium sea grey upperworks from the 40s. Followed by a change in 1955 to overall dark sea grey. Because they have no crew in the fuselage they wouldn’t have the demand to paint over the dark sea grey with white upperworks to lower crew temperatures. Also 13 Squadron in Malaya would rapidly paint over the all light slate grey because it would make them stand out at night down in the weeds looking for CT boats. Maybe to a wraparound dark sea and dark slate grey like WWII FAA aircraft?

Offline AGRA

  • Took the opportunity to tease us with a RAAF F-82
Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2012, 09:01:25 AM »
Quote
The RAAF was offered a number of modern aircraft from the UK including Short Sturgeons and Bristol Buccaneers to replace the Beaufighters.

I..... well I mean..... erm..... YEY!!!!!  :)

Opps typo... Bristol Brigand... We had some discussions about how to get the whole maritime strike thing from 1946 to 1964 so the RAAF would be buying Blackburn Buccaneers. But I think in this history as it plotted out it just couldn't happen. Especially since in the early 1950s the RAAF sits down and says how do we replace Twin Mustangs with torpedos and the big unguided rocket anti-ship weapon (Hammerhead) with new – Australian built – technology. While at the same time the RN was developing the Banana jet and Green Cheese weapon the RAAF wants to leverage Australian built. So to pre-empt and tease a bit more this is the CAC Kamaraga aircraft (aka CA-23 but not the CA-23 that went to mock up in the real world) and the RAN’s anti-ship weapon Project Woomba (using the Ikara missile airframe). This provides a solution that ends out being a lot better than the Buccaneer in sinking ships in the 1960s since the RN cancelled the guided anti-ship weapon.

Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2012, 09:04:45 AM »
Cool stuff. I thought you had name dropped my Bristol Buccaneer you see.

http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=13.195


Offline AGRA

  • Took the opportunity to tease us with a RAAF F-82
Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2012, 10:05:14 AM »
Cool stuff. I thought you had name dropped my Bristol Buccaneer you see.

http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=13.195


I did not know. But cool idea.

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2012, 10:02:47 AM »
Nicely done...now all we need is some pictures to illustrate...someone?

CAC CA-28 Twin Mustang of 77 Sqn as part of the Occupation Force in Japan. The CA-28 was similar to the USAF P-82B other than being powered by handed CAC-built Rolls-Royce Merlin 133/134 engines and incorporating more P-51H components.
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Offline Litvyak

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Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2012, 10:19:12 AM »
Ooh, an AltAus to go beside my AltCan? :D

Really looking forward to learning more about CAP!
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Offline AGRA

  • Took the opportunity to tease us with a RAAF F-82
Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2012, 12:30:52 PM »
CAC CA-28 Twin Mustang of 77 Sqn as part of the Occupation Force in Japan. The CA-28 was similar to the USAF P-82B other than being powered by handed CAC-built Rolls-Royce Merlin 133/134 engines and incorporating more P-51H components.

That is so good. I think... I'm going to.... cry...

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2012, 06:45:02 AM »
Thanks AGRA. Stuffed up the date and guns though didn't I?  :P  So here's another go ...
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 07:44:37 AM by apophenia »
"... blac to gebeddan; bleda gedreosaţ, wynna gewitaţ, wera geswicaţ"

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2012, 11:18:37 AM »
A CA-28 Twin Mustang of No 93 Squadron. A wartime Beaufighter squadron, No 93 had been disbanded in Aug 1946 but was reformed in Jan 1950. For the maritime strike role, the CAC Twin Mustang was armed with a 18-inch aerial torpedo (or twin rocket pods) and a searchlight mounted on its port wing tip. That latter was balanced by a surface-search radar pod on the starboard wing tip.

SK+Q is shown here repainted in the new RAAF roundel adopted on 2 July 1956. No 93 aircraft carried the individual names of the squadrons WWII Beaufighter (although their colourful mascot markings were not permitted). The foliage green tail tip and spinner nose are also references to WWII when No 93 Beaufighters were known as 'Green Ghosts'.
"... blac to gebeddan; bleda gedreosaţ, wynna gewitaţ, wera geswicaţ"

Offline AGRA

  • Took the opportunity to tease us with a RAAF F-82
Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2012, 12:30:57 PM »
These are great.

Offline AGRA

  • Took the opportunity to tease us with a RAAF F-82
Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2012, 07:47:42 AM »
I do notice that my profile has been changed to imply I'm a tease... For the record I will have chapter 1 of this opportunity cost written up by the end of the week. I just had to wait until a book about Woomera arrived through the library system so I could check my facts. I have it here and all my 'facts' are wrong. So some more writing is needed. Once that is finished I will do my best to offer more teasers!

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2012, 08:12:22 AM »
You're still a tease... ;)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline Volkodav

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Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2012, 03:30:11 PM »
Hello everyone, first post.  AGRAmentioned he wanted me to fess up who I was on here and the sad truth is the only thing I have to fess up to is I have been too slack to register. 
This is not to say I havent been very busy checking out the great work on here and I am impressed and envious, the stuff you guys do is incredible.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2012, 09:05:46 PM »
I just had to wait until a book about Woomera arrived through the library system so I could check my facts.

Which book out of interest?
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2012, 09:06:25 PM »
Hello everyone, first post.  AGRAmentioned he wanted me to fess up who I was on here and the sad truth is the only thing I have to fess up to is I have been too slack to register. 
This is not to say I havent been very busy checking out the great work on here and I am impressed and envious, the stuff you guys do is incredible.

Well, continue fessing up ;)

And btw, welcome aboard.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline AGRA

  • Took the opportunity to tease us with a RAAF F-82
Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2012, 09:11:43 PM »
I just had to wait until a book about Woomera arrived through the library system so I could check my facts.

Which book out of interest?

"Fire Across the Desert: Woomera and the Anglo-Australian Joint Project 1946-1980" by Peter Morton which is a big government commissioned work from the 80s detailed the Anglo-Australian project. According to Amazon a second hand copy costs $600!

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Opportunity Cost
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2012, 09:24:06 PM »
Are you still chasing it up?  If so, I have a copy in my library at home.  If need be, I can loan you my copy when I get back home in a couple of weeks.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.