Author Topic: M.A.D's 'Alternative Australian Defence Force Order of Battle' Questions please  (Read 31428 times)

Offline Volkodav

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If he was an ex RN Scot who answers to "Jock" I do, otherwise maybe not, the others I know who lecture at uni still work there.  Still touch base with them regularly and would love to go back, it was by far the best group of people I ever worked with.

Offline Old Wombat

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Nope, not the same guy. Odd looking bloke, really; Aussie; bookish; bit of an odd-man-out; never married; his hobbies were collecting (expensive) fine wines & (very) old maps.
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Volkodav

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Nope, not the same guy. Odd looking bloke, really; Aussie; bookish; bit of an odd-man-out; never married; his hobbies were collecting (expensive) fine wines & (very) old maps.

Sort of rings a bell but I am sure the bloke I'm thinking of is still there, well that is I couldn't imagine him leaving, especially as they are finally doing things the way he was suggesting for over a decade.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Whilst off on this tangent, I too have heard similar re the Collins class.  Once the media decide something is crap though they won't let the facts get in the way - the F-35 is a case in point.
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Offline Old Wombat

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Whilst off on this tangent, I too have heard similar re the Collins class.  Once the media decide something is crap though they won't let the facts get in the way - the F-35 is a case in point.

Have the media ever let the facts get in the way? ???
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Part of the problem with the COLLINS class was that the then ALP government decided to "slim down" the services and a lot of middle-ranking officers - the ones who actually managed the building of the class and other projects were forcibly retired.  These men (and I assume women) were enbittered by the experience and some of them went to the media - particularly Uncle Rupert's rags - and bleated out all they knew about the troubles of the program.  The result was an ongoing battle against old information which was rapidly outdated by the various "fixes" and upgrades that the class underwent during their early life.

Then there was the Navy own management problems.  Their lack of crews have largely rendered the class halved AIUI in numbers.  The idea was that the six would have two on operation, two in training and two in refit at any one time.  Problem was the mining boom made the idea of being submarine crew unpopular and the crew decamped to the mining sites to earn twice as much and to spend half as much time away from home.   This, plus the poor management of the boats themselves meant that they were often than not alongside, rather than at sea.

As Volkadov has mentioned, the boats have become the best conventional submarines the world has thus far seen.  They are quieter, longer ranged and faster than most conventional submarines and have earnt the RAN kudos from all our allies which have exercised with them.

Offline Weaver

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Here's something that struck me today.

Commonwealth Aircraft seems to have developed a relationship with North American, building first the Mustang, then the Sabre. What if that went further, and they ended up building a sequence something like this for the RAAF and RAN?

F-82 Twin Mustang: long range fighter (idea for PTO)

F-86F Sabre: initial fighter version with J-47 engine & 6 x HMGs

F-86K Sabre: all-weather fighter with 4 x 20mm cannon & Sidewinders

Sapphire Sabre (RAN): basically an FJ-3 Fury with a UK-spec Sapphire (licence built) instead of the J-65 and 2 x ADEN cannons.

Sapphire Sabre (RAAF): ulitmate fighter version, basically the RAN fuselage with a non-folding 6-3 wing and a shorter nosewheel.

F-100D/F Super Sabre: possibly with developed Sapphire or Avon engines.

T-28 Trojan: sensible choice of basic trainer if you've been producing Mustangs.

T-2 Buckeye: jet trainer for both RAAF and RAN.

OV-10 Bronco: for use in Vietnam?


Getting a bit more developmental:

F-107: Super Sabre follow-on with radar, original chin intake and no recessed nuke, possibly with an Olympus engine. This would be bought instead of the Mirage.

A-5 Vigilante: Canberra replacement. I know the RAAF evaluated it and didn't think much of it compared to the F-111 & TSR.2, but what if CAC were offering a version more adapted to conventional strike? Linear bomb bay replaced with permanent, space-efficent fuel tankage, clipped wings for low-level work (basically take the folding bit off!) and fuselage pylons?
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

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Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
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Part of the problem with the COLLINS class was that the then ALP government decided to "slim down" the services and a lot of middle-ranking officers - the ones who actually managed the building of the class and other projects were forcibly retired.  These men (and I assume women) were enbittered by the experience and some of them went to the media - particularly Uncle Rupert's rags - and bleated out all they knew about the troubles of the program.  The result was an ongoing battle against old information which was rapidly outdated by the various "fixes" and upgrades that the class underwent during their early life.

Then there was the Navy own management problems.  Their lack of crews have largely rendered the class halved AIUI in numbers.  The idea was that the six would have two on operation, two in training and two in refit at any one time.  Problem was the mining boom made the idea of being submarine crew unpopular and the crew decamped to the mining sites to earn twice as much and to spend half as much time away from home.   This, plus the poor management of the boats themselves meant that they were often than not alongside, rather than at sea.

As Volkadov has mentioned, the boats have become the best conventional submarines the world has thus far seen.  They are quieter, longer ranged and faster than most conventional submarines and have earnt the RAN kudos from all our allies which have exercised with them.

If you actually look at the timings most of the build work and the discovery of the teething issues actually occurred after the Hawke Keating years and the downsizing of the naval engineering capability began as part of the tail to teeth rebalance under the new government when older more manpower intensive platforms were retired without replacement.  Basically Australias defence forces went through what those in the UK did a decade later when centre right governments replaced very long serving centre left ones, every project that could be stopped or scrapped was, capabilities were retired without replacement and future development was virtually put on hold while the new government strived to undo over a decade of their predecessors legacy, often throwing the baby out with the bath water.

With the exception of the combat system the problems with the Collins class were teething problems similar to those any new class suffers, teething problems that had mostly been addressed by the second and third of class.  The third boat was used for trials for many of the systems to be incorporated into the remaining three boats, that had been deliberately delayed to incorporate these changes that were upgrades rather than fixes.  A smart operator would have simply ordered an evolved second batch or flight, it would have cost less, caused less disruption, brought the RAN up to the long acknowledged required strength of at least eight boats as well as firmly establishing the local building capability and progressing the design capability, leading to the order of a replacement class or third batch by 2010.  Unfortunately we didn't have a smart operator and problems that were clearly those of overseas suppliers were blamed on the Australian builder.

The combat system was the biggest problem, it was directly contracted by the commonwealth and the builder had no control over it whatsoever.  ASC formed their own CS group to try and integrate Rockwells abomination but as the basic architecture was never stable, let alone capable, this was not possible.  ASC warned the government dept of defence on multiple occasions, even demonstrating the systems instability and Rockwells violation of contractual conditions to no avail, they continued to receive progress and mile stone payments for a product that was not evolving and not meeting milestones.  The issue there was Rockwell was a company that had never done a submarine CS but wanted to get into the game so they subcontracted Singer Librascope and Sperry to do the work.  The subcontractors did precisely what they were contracted to do and nothing more then walked as they had no interest in establishing a competitor on the market.  Rockwell, clueless and having promised the impossible failed to acknowledge that they had no idea how to deliver the contracted systems and simply pushed along assuring defence that all was well, even though ASC and the RAN project staff were reporting otherwise.  You see a major global corporation would never lie or let you down, so it must be ASC telling porkies.  What Rockwell promised back in the late 80s with 286 type processors, can still not be achieved in 2016.

Offline Volkodav

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Here's something that struck me today.

Commonwealth Aircraft seems to have developed a relationship with North American, building first the Mustang, then the Sabre. What if that went further, and they ended up building a sequence something like this for the RAAF and RAN?

F-82 Twin Mustang: long range fighter (idea for PTO)

F-86F Sabre: initial fighter version with J-47 engine & 6 x HMGs

F-86K Sabre: all-weather fighter with 4 x 20mm cannon & Sidewinders

Sapphire Sabre (RAN): basically an FJ-3 Fury with a UK-spec Sapphire (licence built) instead of the J-65 and 2 x ADEN cannons.

Sapphire Sabre (RAAF): ulitmate fighter version, basically the RAN fuselage with a non-folding 6-3 wing and a shorter nosewheel.

F-100D/F Super Sabre: possibly with developed Sapphire or Avon engines.

T-28 Trojan: sensible choice of basic trainer if you've been producing Mustangs.

T-2 Buckeye: jet trainer for both RAAF and RAN.

OV-10 Bronco: for use in Vietnam?


Getting a bit more developmental:

F-107: Super Sabre follow-on with radar, original chin intake and no recessed nuke, possibly with an Olympus engine. This would be bought instead of the Mirage.

A-5 Vigilante: Canberra replacement. I know the RAAF evaluated it and didn't think much of it compared to the F-111 & TSR.2, but what if CAC were offering a version more adapted to conventional strike? Linear bomb bay replaced with permanent, space-efficent fuel tankage, clipped wings for low-level work (basically take the folding bit off!) and fuselage pylons?

That would be very logical particularly the North American tie in. 

Another that would work would be De Havilland, which build a and assembled a range of aircraft in Australia before and during the war before their major projects to deliver Mosquitos and Vampires the RAAF.  These could quite reasonably have been supplemented by local production or assembly of the Hornet/Seahornet to fill the RAAF long range fighter requirement as well as providing reconnaissance and night fighter versions to fill gaps in the RAAFs and RANs order of battle.  The Venom/Seavenom could have followed as could the Seavixen (or even a land based Vixen) into the early 60s.

Another idea I had was that considering the size of the RAAF flying reserve it actual Mustangs, Vampires and Meteors could have been supplemented by night fighter variants, i.e. two or three day fighter flight and one or two night fighter flights per squadron.  Instead of scraping the flying reserve it could have continued and instead of using handmedown aircraft it could have been reequipped with types specifically tailored to their requirements, i.e. every SAAB combat aircraft from the Tunnan onwards.

I recall reading somewhere that CAC was to a degree agnostic and while they had their favourites they were prepared to modify and build pretty much anyones designs.  Assuming that the P.1081 actually got up, even as a naval fighter, we could have seen them move on to the Hunter then radar equipped, supersonic and navalised variants of the Hunter.  The same could have happened with Grumman had they been able to acquire the F9F Panther pattern airframe they desired, leading to ADF Cougers, Tigers and Super Tigers.


Offline Weaver

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I was slightly surprised to discover that Australia didn't have Vampire NF.10 night-fighters, to be honest. They'd be perfect for your Flying Reserve idea since they're basically a T.11 with a radar.

If CAC was building Sapphires for the Sabres, another thing they might do is go for the Javelin for the all-weather requirement. Not saying that would be a good decision with 20/20 hindsight, but it would make industrial sense.

The A-5D ('D for Down-Under'  >:D) would be such a huge investment that the RAAF would probably cling to it for grim death, much as they did with the F-111s, upgrading it time and time again until they literally fell apart. The ultimate arbiter of the type's service life would be who else bought it, and therefore how many spare airframes would be available, and with what support.

An A-5D-CSP (Capability Sustainment Program) might make an interesting model. Fat spine for fuel/electronics (real reason: you can only get RA-5C models anyway  ;) ) Countermeasures in the (fixed) tail cone, ECM in wingtip pods, defensive Sidewinders/ASRAAMs on extra outboard wing pylons, Tornado-style tandem pylons on the fuselage (continuous on the centreline, split around the u/c bays outboard), targeting pods, smart bombs..... >:D

You know this needs Roos on it... >:D

« Last Edit: May 04, 2016, 08:50:06 PM by Weaver »
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Here's something that struck me today.

Commonwealth Aircraft seems to have developed a relationship with North American, building first the Mustang, then the Sabre. What if that went further, and they ended up building a sequence something like this for the RAAF and RAN?


Err...it started before the Mustang:  The CAC Wirraway was a development of the North American NA-16.  Part of the reason why CAC had such a close relationship was a combination of NA being willing to licence their technology and also their having technology that was leading edge.

I too have thought of a more developed NA range in Australia.  My comments against your list:

F-82 Twin Mustang: long range fighter (idea for PTO)


Great idea - in fact, it is sometimes bewildering why the F-82 wasn't adopted by Australia post war.  On the "To be built" list!

F-86F Sabre: initial fighter version with J-47 engine & 6 x HMGs

F-86K Sabre: all-weather fighter with 4 x 20mm cannon & Sidewinders


Well, we went with the CAC Avon Sabre which had the Rolls-Royce Avon Mk 26 engine, which had roughly 50% more thrust than the J47, as well as 30 mm Aden cannons and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles so why bother?

Sapphire Sabre (RAN): basically an FJ-3 Fury with a UK-spec Sapphire (licence built) instead of the J-65 and 2 x ADEN cannons.

Sapphire Sabre (RAAF): ulitmate fighter version, basically the RAN fuselage with a non-folding 6-3 wing and a shorter nosewheel.


Another favourite of mine and one touched upon already:



I would prefer to go with a naval version of the Avon Sabre though.

F-100D/F Super Sabre: possibly with developed Sapphire or Avon engines.


Another possibility - one probably needs for the standard Sabre to be taken out of the picture though...maybe CAC really plan to do the F-100 but do the standard Sabre as an interim measure while working unto the F-100?  A carrier based version could definitely be interesting.

T-28 Trojan: sensible choice of basic trainer if you've been producing Mustangs.


Definitely - use instead of the CAC CA-25 Winjeel

T-2 Buckeye: jet trainer for both RAAF and RAN.


Maybe instead of MB-326H?  Roulettes Buckeye anyone?

OV-10 Bronco: for use in Vietnam?


Definitely - especially given Australians flew in OV-10s on exchange there.

F-107: Super Sabre follow-on with radar, original chin intake and no recessed nuke, possibly with an Olympus engine. This would be bought instead of the Mirage.


Maybe, though suffering same issue as with F-100 above.  Maybe the F-107 is introduced as an interim Canberra replacement rather than Mirage alternate?

I am either way re Chin intake:



A-5 Vigilante: Canberra replacement. I know the RAAF evaluated it and didn't think much of it compared to the F-111 & TSR.2, but what if CAC were offering a version more adapted to conventional strike? Linear bomb bay replaced with permanent, space-efficent fuel tankage, clipped wings for low-level work (basically take the folding bit off!) and fuselage pylons?


Well, it was certainly offered/considered:




One of my personal preferences is for the RAAF and RAN to share designs wherever possible   This may influence many choices.
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Offline Weaver

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F-86F Sabre: initial fighter version with J-47 engine & 6 x HMGs

F-86K Sabre: all-weather fighter with 4 x 20mm cannon & Sidewinders


Well, we went with the CAC Avon Sabre which had the Rolls-Royce Avon Mk 26 engine, which had roughly 50% more thrust than the J47, as well as 30 mm Aden cannons and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles so why bother?


Time, basically. The RAAF didn't get the Avon Sabre until 1954, too late for Korea. Had a perfectly standard non-developmental Sabre been put into service in 1950 or 1951 as an emergency measure, the RAAF in Korea would have been materially better off.

As for the F-86K, well this is the export version of the radar-equipped Sabre-Dog, so a totally different mission. I must admit to being slightly puzzled that Australia doesn't seem to have adopted any jet night-fighter in the 1950s: was there no requirement, or was it just too far down the list?


Quote
Sapphire Sabre (RAN): basically an FJ-3 Fury with a UK-spec Sapphire (licence built) instead of the J-65 and 2 x ADEN cannons.

Sapphire Sabre (RAAF): ulitmate fighter version, basically the RAN fuselage with a non-folding 6-3 wing and a shorter nosewheel.


Another favourite of mine and one touched upon already:



I would prefer to go with a naval version of the Avon Sabre though.


Primary reason for going this route was to avoid re-inventing the wheel: if NAA are already adapting a much more powerful engine to the Sabre, then why not simply go with them? Since the Sapphire and Avon wre interchangeable in many installations anyway, Aus could probably have an 'Avon-Fury' if they really wanted one.

I went for the FJ-3 rather than the FJ-4 specifically because it's more of a fighter and more like the CA-27. The FJ-4 was more of a strike aircraft in practice.

Quote
F-100D/F Super Sabre: possibly with developed Sapphire or Avon engines.


Another possibility - one probably needs for the standard Sabre to be taken out of the picture though...maybe CAC really plan to do the F-100 but do the standard Sabre as an interim measure while working unto the F-100?  A carrier based version could definitely be interesting.


I think that, looking at dates, the Super Sabre is an alternative to the Sapphire Sabres if anything. The RAAF and CAC would have an interesting decision to make: go for an 'Aussie Sabre' development of the F-86F with low risk but limited potential or jump ahead to the genuinely supersonic F-100, thereby betting the farm on something much more developmental and likely to suffer from problems?

It would be realistic, if not satisfying, for a muddy compromise to see both happen. The RAAF want to go straight from the F-86F to the F-100, but when the development problems with the latter become apparent, it all gets political and CAC's offer of the Sapphire Sabre as a safe interim buy is forced on the RAAF against their will. The problem then is that they have too many new aircraft all at once in the late 1950s, and are therefore forced to keep flying the F-100 and Sapphire Sabre into the early 1970s when they'd really rather have switched to something like the Mirage with radar and Mach 2 capability.


Quote
F-107: Super Sabre follow-on with radar, original chin intake and no recessed nuke, possibly with an Olympus engine. This would be bought instead of the Mirage.


Maybe, though suffering same issue as with F-100 above.  Maybe the F-107 is introduced as an interim Canberra replacement rather than Mirage alternate?


The intake went dorsal when the ventral intake was shown to interfere with the semi-recessed tac nuke they planned to carry. I can't imagine it improved high AoA capability though, which is why I suggested the chin intake for a non-nuclear fighter-bomber version. it would also be more sutiable for an AI radar too. The Aussie Mirages were actually bought in two different standards originally, one interceptor and one strike, so you might imagine the F-107 doing both roles too.

Did Australia have, or have access to, tac nukes for it's Canberras and F-111s?


Quote
One of my personal preferences is for the RAAF and RAN to share designs wherever possible   This may influence many choices.


It gets tricky when you're trying to reconcile the RAAF's very long range strike requirement and the RAN's tiny carriers though. I'm not even sure that you'd get a Crusader onto a Colossus/Majestic safely: the F-8(FN) mods only barely allowed it to operate from the larger Clemenceaus.

Of course one whiff option we havn't looked at yet in this thread is the RAN getting bigger and better carriers at some point:

Build a Clemenceau locally? (Crusaders plus Skyhawks or A7s?)

Take a second-hand Essex from the USN?

How about buying the newly-refitted Victorious after she was surprise-decommissioned? Buccaneers and Crusaders would be a tasty option.

For any option, purchase and operating costs are obviously going to be a big deal, but also, what about manning issues?
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Time, basically. The RAAF didn't get the Avon Sabre until 1954, too late for Korea. Had a perfectly standard non-developmental Sabre been put into service in 1950 or 1951 as an emergency measure, the RAAF in Korea would have been materially better off.


Fair enough - I suppose one option is definitely that the RAAF get standard F-86s early one perhaps even as a lease or similar pending delivery of the proper CAC Super Sabre based on the F-100.

As for the F-86K, well this is the export version of the radar-equipped Sabre-Dog, so a totally different mission. I must admit to being slightly puzzled that Australia doesn't seem to have adopted any jet night-fighter in the 1950s: was there no requirement, or was it just too far down the list?


The closest that we came (beyond drawing board projects) was the De Havilland Sea Venom F.A.W. MK 53 that entered service with the RAN in '56. 



I think that, looking at dates, the Super Sabre is an alternative to the Sapphire Sabres if anything. The RAAF and CAC would have an interesting decision to make: go for an 'Aussie Sabre' development of the F-86F with low risk but limited potential or jump ahead to the genuinely supersonic F-100, thereby betting the farm on something much more developmental and likely to suffer from problems?

It would be realistic, if not satisfying, for a muddy compromise to see both happen. The RAAF want to go straight from the F-86F to the F-100, but when the development problems with the latter become apparent, it all gets political and CAC's offer of the Sapphire Sabre as a safe interim buy is forced on the RAAF against their will. The problem then is that they have too many new aircraft all at once in the late 1950s, and are therefore forced to keep flying the F-100 and Sapphire Sabre into the early 1970s when they'd really rather have switched to something like the Mirage with radar and Mach 2 capability.


As mentioned above, I think a CAC Super Sabre preceded by an interim lease (or similar) of standard Sabres is an interesting way to go.  Maybe make the CAC Super Sabre Avon/Sapphire engined and give it 30mm cannon instead of 20mm ones.  Would look great in these markings:



Did Australia have, or have access to, tac nukes for it's Canberras and F-111s?


Not officially...

It gets tricky when you're trying to reconcile the RAAF's very long range strike requirement and the RAN's tiny carriers though. I'm not even sure that you'd get a Crusader onto a Colossus/Majestic safely: the F-8(FN) mods only barely allowed it to operate from the larger Clemenceaus.

Of course one whiff option we havn't looked at yet in this thread is the RAN getting bigger and better carriers at some point:

Build a Clemenceau locally? (Crusaders plus Skyhawks or A7s?)

Take a second-hand Essex from the USN?

How about buying the newly-refitted Victorious after she was surprise-decommissioned? Buccaneers and Crusaders would be a tasty option.

For any option, purchase and operating costs are obviously going to be a big deal, but also, what about manning issues?


All those options would be valid.  Another would be if the late '60s offer of the Centaur-class Hermes as a replacement for HMAS Melbourne.

If you want to look at a possible different RAN based around carriers, have a read of Southern Sea Eagles - The Alternative RAN FAA
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Offline GTX_Admin

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maybe CAC really plan to do the F-100 but do the standard Sabre as an interim measure while working unto the F-100?  A carrier based version could definitely be interesting.



Picking up on my earlier comment:

There was a naval version of the F-100 proposed:




More details here

Now, let's put that in RAN markings as well...
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Online elmayerle

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Then, too, there's the FJ-5 proposal that's a navalized J79-powered half-way development between the F-100 and F-107 (simple pitot dorsal intake).  That would look good in RAN markings and perhaps make way for other J79-powered aircraft (to the frustration of the French, the Australians decide against the Avon-powered Mirage but go with a modified, J79-powered one instead with considerable export potential (Japan, perhaps?).

Offline Rickshaw

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As mentioned above, I think a CAC Super Sabre preceded by an interim lease (or similar) of standard Sabres is an interesting way to go.  Maybe make the CAC Super Sabre Avon/Sapphire engined and give it 30mm cannon instead of 20mm ones.  Would look great in these markings:




Like this?






Offline Volkodav

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Thanks for posting those again GTX and Rick, love your Alt Aussie work.

On the larger, better carriers I have long been a fan of Australia acquiring and modernising the Implacables.  The RN apparently was looking to getting the RAN to crew them during WWII due to their manpower shortages and it wouldn't have taken much to have sent sufficient Australians from the Empire Air Training Scheme from Bomber Command to the Fleet Air Arm (that actually had very large numbers of New Zealanders) to provide the air wings for the two ships.  My thinking is due to their limited hanger height the RN could recommend the British government gift them to Australia in exchange for having an extra two or three Centaurs, another pair of Audacious, or even a couple of the Maltas completed instead.

This would initially be ideal for Australia as the ships could operate perfectly good enough F6F Hellcats and TBF Avengers (according to AGRA there were very large numbers of Hellcats and other USN/FAA types, pre-deployed to Australia to support allied fleet operation, remaining and subsequently destroyed.  These aircraft could be acquired for a very low cost and, due to the large numbers involved, retained in service, through cannibalisation, well into the 50s. 

This is where it gets interesting, Australia could economically upgrade these ships during the 50s with an angled deck, steam catapults and Mk6 3" replacing the original 4.5" BD twins, converting the lower hanger into workshops technical stores etc. but keeping the original full length 14' high upper hanger.  The ships were still fairly new and hadn't seen tha same hard war service as the earlier armoured fleet carriers so the machinery should still be good though they would likely need additional power generation, maybe diesel generators installed in the lower hanger or enlarged deck sponsons. 

The 14' hanger can be retained because Australia develops a navalised Hawker Hunter and improved versions there of, initially as a fleet fighter then strike aircraft and then supplements it with supersonic evolutions of it.  Alternatively the Grumman Tiger could be acquired instead of the super hunter or as a supplement with the Tiger then super tiger filling the FAW role and the Seahunter then Super Seahunter becoming the primary striker.  Helicopter of choice for utility, CSAR and eventually ASW would be the Karman Seasprite, simple because it fits in the hanger, same for the Fairey Gannet.

Similar in size to the Essex Class their major limitation was their hanger height and the expence of rebuilding them.  By carfully selecting or developing aircraft this could have been over come and the ships could have easily served into the 70s or 80s and perhaps even the 90s.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Like this?


Nope!  Nothing like that at all... ;)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
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Actually, at the risk of hijacking this thread, I am increasingly thinking a story built around a CAC F-100 could be interesting.  Basic framework might be:

In response to the threat posed by Communist MiG-15 jet fighters in Korea, it was decided to rapidly equip No. 77 Squadron with F-86 Sabres.  This prompted CAC to investigate possible production of the Sabre as a replacement for the CAC Mustang and DHA Vampire.  Initially a developed version of the Sabre with a RR Avon is considered however during discussions with NA, CAC become aware of the Sabre 45 development of the F-86.  This is a much more advanced supersonic platform and later becomes the F-100.  CAC signs licence to also produce in Australia using the RR Avon engine.  It is introduced as the CA-27 Super Sabre.

Later on as CAC Super Sabre production is coming to an end, the follow on development, the F-107 (then entering service with the USAF) is proposed as a private venture to replace the EE Canberras...

All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
I thought the Hunter had been looked at for naval use and deemed unsuitable for various reasons?

Given the level of capability CAC had in the 1950s, they could have adapted a carrier type that didn't fit in the Implacables' 14ft hangers originally to do so for the RAN by designing their own folding fin or double-folding wing modification.

The Grumman Tiger would be an excellent choice: it's fin was low enough to fit in the hangar without modification and it's 'wing fold' was just down-folding tips that reduced it's span to just 1'4" more than a Skyhawk. You could get around the anemic engine problems by using a licence-built UK-spec Sapphire in place of the J65, or using an Avon instead. An Avon-Tiger was offered to the Luftwaffe in competition to the Starfighter, and it might make a tasty Mirage alternative for the RAAF too.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

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Twitter: @hws5mp
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Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
I thought the Hunter had been looked at for naval use and deemed unsuitable for various reasons?

Given the level of capability CAC had in the 1950s, they could have adapted a carrier type that didn't fit in the Implacables' 14ft hangers originally to do so for the RAN by designing their own folding fin or double-folding wing modification.

The Grumman Tiger would be an excellent choice: it's fin was low enough to fit in the hangar without modification and it's 'wing fold' was just down-folding tips that reduced it's span to just 1'4" more than a Skyhawk. You could get around the anemic engine problems by using a licence-built UK-spec Sapphire in place of the J65, or using an Avon instead. An Avon-Tiger was offered to the Luftwaffe in competition to the Starfighter, and it might make a tasty Mirage alternative for the RAAF too.

A navalised Hunter would have been an Australian project to specifically develop a type to operate from the Implacbles therefore would have had an appropriately located wing fold to permit it to fit.  Ideally it would have been continually developed into a capable supersonic strike fighter to complement the more air defence oriented Tiger and Super Tiger.  Logically the Tigers would have Avons to simplify logistics.

Would love to see RAN, RAM and army aviation Hunters serving into the 90s or later in their various iterations, progressively being supplemented but not entirely replaced until the 2000s, the final versions would be quite comparable to the AMX.

What would be a laugh is if CAC and Hawker Australia develop fighters for the RAN FAA that De Havilland Australia develop a land based variant of the Sea vixen for the RAAF Reserve squadrons all weather fighter flights.

Offline M.A.D

  • Also likes a bit of arse...
  • Wrote a great story about a Christmas Air Battle
Sorry for my lack of participation and input gents!

Weaver, due to the ‘off-the-drawing-board’ nature of the F-111/TFX, and as much as I love and appreciate the Pig, it will not be initially purchased by the Australian Gov/RAAF (If anything, until the design is matured, and its bugs ironed out, it would be more likely that I would consider the evolved F-111E/F model of the aircraft!), nor that of the TSR.2!

I was thinking along the following lines -
As you have alluded to in your Post #31, I too, would be leaning to a ‘conventional strike-tailored’ variant of the North American A-5C Vigilante. Now, by North American Aviation adopting the “operationally proven” Vigilante, would be within my perceived ‘risk factor’ parameters. Even though the Australian/RAAF order might only be seen as relative small in comparison to the USN’s orders of Vigilante’s, I think NAA would see a commitment to such a modification as a big benefit to opening up the market potential of the Vigilante – and who knows, the USN may even see its potential!
Yes, I too would envisage the linear bomb bay being replaced by the ‘Martin’ signature rotary bomb/tank bay system, as designed and incorporated into the Martin XB-51, P6M Seamaster, Martin-built B-57 Canberra and the Blackburn Buccaneer. This would allow the four main plumbed wing pylons to be used to carry four large drop tanks. One piece wings to replace carrier-designed folding wing arrangement - giving a stronger wing design, more wing-sortable fuel, and or an additional outer wing pylons, ....)

OR

Adapt the already existing USN RA-5C Vigilante carrier-based strike/reconnaissance, as is, with minimal modifications, which would need heavily supported by airborne refuelling assets to achieve its range parameters?

The first option incorporating both time and cost penalties, but would be more capable of independent operations, with less reliance on airborne refuelling assets.
The second option, although less capable in stand-alone configuration, would be significant cheaper. The savings in 'off-the-shelf' acquisition of the existing RA-5C, could allow for a latter replacement by a mature GD F-111F in the late 1970's (Actual USAF produced between 1970 and 1976!), which was not just be a more capable and mature evolution of the TFX, but its technical teething problems were ironed out, and complemented with Precision Guided weapons, to give a unique, unmatched world class strike-reconnaissance capability!

(As a side note - As standardisation will be strongly pushed for within the ADF, if the McDonnell F-4 Phantom II is adopted by the RAAF, (I envisage the Phantom II in RAAF service, as a long-range all-weather over water interceptor), its General Electric J79 turbojets, will have an important commonality with the RAAF’s North American A-5 Vigilante!

Once again, I would like to emphasise the ADF’s pro-activeness to defence/warfighting in my 'Alternative ADF ORBAT’! If I can, I would like to see the ADF being more geared to an Israeli-like mentality of appreciating and learning from one’s own and others combat experience and military trends, as opposed to the reality of Australia’s near subservient follower of American and British trend setting. The psyche that first Britain, and then, as now, the United States would come and save us in time of crisis/war. So when it comes to the Request for Proposals (RfP) and selection criteria for weapons systems/platforms, I envisage the ADF seriously taking things like airfield dispersal and rough-field capability – learnt from the valuable combat lessons of WWII, Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, becomes a realistic factor in these aircraft ability to operate for long periods of time from dispersed locations.
Weaver, I’ll return to your “What if the Mirage replacement” later if you allow me (in terms of chronological order)

M.A.D

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
The major problems with putting any kind of bomb-bay into the Vigilante, whether conventional or rotary are:

1. Structure. The A-5's airframe was designed to have a continuous load-bearing structure in that area: cutting a huge hole in it would mean re-stressing pretty much the whole airframe, which would be an enormous and time-consuming exercise that would also drive a coach and horses through any 'commonality' wit the USN version.

2. Undercarriage. The A-5's undercarriage folds inward, not forwards as on the TSR.2, which means that there's very little centre-line clearance between the bays. The ventral 'canoe' fairing that you see on the RA-5C uses every last millimetre of available width and it's still not very wide.

I think there's a middle way that's better. Converting the linear bomb bay to an efficient fuel tank is realtively straight-forward: you add some non-structural panels around the space, seal them, and turn it into an integral tank. Even if that can't be done, removing all the bomb bay equipment would allow you to fit permanent bag tanks between the frames with significantly greater capacity than that of the droppable store.

Once you've got fuel in the fuselage, you can add stores under the fuselage. The centreline space might be narrow, but at least it's long, so you could fit a long, Tornado-style tandem pylon there with two, or maybe even three stations in tandem, which is a very low drag solution. I don't think you can put corner pylons behind the u/c bays because that area of skin is mostly non-structural engine bay doors, but I think you could put a pair of short pylons under the intakes which would be ideal for targeting or ECM pods.

The Vigilante's wing has loads of room for extra pylons. You could get at least one, and possibly two more outboard of the existing ones, and even if you don't beef up the wing structure to increase the total pylon capacity, and just spread the capacity around more pylons, you've still got 6000lb under each wing, which is plenty.

Your point about the Phantom and the Vigilante both having J-79s is well made: there would be a real advantage there. If the RAN had J-79 engined Super-Tigers, that would be an even more perfect fit.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 04:31:40 PM by Weaver »
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Online elmayerle

  • Its about time there was an Avatar shown here...
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The A-5's linear bomb bay already had fuel tankage in it, two fuel tanks as well as the munitions store.  There was a refueling system developed to replace the munitions with a hose and drogue unit; there's even a photo of one refueling another which is also refueling a third.  It wouldn't be that difficult to develop dedicated KA-5's to support the A-5/RA-5/EA-5 fleet in extending range.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Another option to play with might be more Grumman products...

For Instance, the Grumman Hellcat as a WWII fighter (on both speculative RAN carriers and land based), or perhaps a Bearcat/Tigercat combo?

Post war, move onto the Grumman Panther (actually considered in real life) or better yet Cougar (maybe Avon/Sapphire engined?) or even better, the Tiger (already essentially Sapphire engined given the Wright J65 is a development of the Sapphire).  This could then lead to the J79 powered Super Tiger...maybe used in conjunction with F-4 Phantoms in a HI/LO arrangement?  Either way, both RAN and RAAF could keep commonality.

Of course, the Super Tigers eventually get replaced by F-14s (maybe in my favoured F/A-14 arrangement).  This might necessitate a new largish carrier design in the late '70s/early '80s.

Supporting the F/A-14 might be a operational development of the X-29...

Complimenting the above fighters would be products such as:

Grumman E-1 Tracer
Grumman S-2 Tracker - already a real world platform.
Grumman E-2 Hawkeye
Grumman C-2 Greyhound
Grumman OV-1 Mohawk

A CAC-Grumman partnership also offers a number of civilian products too.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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