Top ten most powerful navies in the world

The warships of today's navies, current naval events, ships in the news, etc.
AngloSaxonVangaurd
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Re: Top ten most powerful navies in the world

Postby AngloSaxonVangaurd » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:14 pm

Bgile wrote:The French are also building new carriers (the same ones as the British except the French carriers are CATOBAR). It is a joint French/British design.

The French have E2s, which provide them with tremendously better AWACS coverage than the British Searchwater.

I thought Rafale was multi role and it's performance leaves the Harrier wanting.

AAW is not solely dependent on shipboard missiles. In fact, quite the contrary is true. Aircraft are capable of attacking incoming aircraft at a much greater range, particularly with AWACS coverage.

Correct me if I'm mistaken here, but I believe the op tempo of the current RN carrier isn't nearly as great as implied and not as many harriers, and until this exercise they were based ashore. They made a big deal of them actually showing up on the carrier. There are people in the RN forum on navweaps who are much better informed than I am, though.


France is not building any new Aircraft Carriers. Where did you get that info from? According to the French Parliament (Senate) the decision to build a second Aircraft Carrier to join CDG will be made in 2012. Also it is NOT "a joint French/British design"! The carrier is pure British design and a pure British project.
The British just presented the design to the French Navy and French Government who were looking to build a second carrier.
Its highly doubtful the French government will agree to a new carrier now as the costs are too much for a large Aircraft carrier, nuclear power and more Rafale. That’s why France had suggested to the UK to share the two new Super carriers with France and France to share CDG with the UK. UK declined the idea.

French AEW+AC is good thanks to the E-2, but it isn’t a necessity in naval warfare. Limited AEW can be performed in other means, such as helicopters.

Yes Rafale M is multi role, but only when armed for multi role ops! A typical Rafale M armed for naval combat is armed with Exocet anti ship missiles as its primary weapons, leaving room for only aprox 2 (fire and forget) MICA infrared short range air to air missiles for self defence. Much the same for the Harrier. And yes AD IS primarily given by ship launched anti air missiles at sea. Rafale M would mainly utilize its air-to-air capabilities when tackling enemy air forces in shore.

I will have to correct you there, because I have never heard of a case when the Royal Navy’s carriers have had no Naval combat Harrier squadron embarked! The only time the Carriers had no combat Harriers embarked was during the war on terror, when the Navy’s Harriers were on operations in afghan leaving Britain’s carriers embarked with only a small unit of Harriers for pilot training. When the Harriers returned from the war they resumed normal peacetime tempo aboard the Royal Navy’s Carriers.

Consider this;

Royal navy peacetime tempo calls for aprox 1 naval squadron of 9 Harriers and 4 helicopters (AEW etc). Rising to 16-18 Harriers and 4-6 helicopters during wartime.
(1 NS consists 9 x Harriers)

French navy peacetime tempo calls for 8 Rafale M, 5 Super Etendards, 1 E-2 (AEW+AC) and 4 helicopters. Rising to 12 Rafale*, 20 Super Etendards, 2 E-2 and 4 helicopters during wartime.
(1 squadron of Rafale consists 12 x Rafale, 1 squadron of Super Etendards consists 10 x Super Etendards)

* As of 2010 The French Navy operates only 1 Frontline rafale squadron and 1 Training (reserve) squadron. In future when the Super Etendards are fully replaced by Rafale CDG will have a wartime load of 26 rafale.

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Re: Top ten most powerful navies in the world

Postby Bgile » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:09 pm

AngloSaxonVangaurd wrote:French AEW+AC is good thanks to the E-2, but it isn’t a necessity in naval warfare. Limited AEW can be performed in other means, such as helicopters.

Yes Rafale M is multi role, but only when armed for multi role ops! A typical Rafale M armed for naval combat is armed with Exocet anti ship missiles as its primary weapons, leaving room for only aprox 2 (fire and forget) MICA infrared short range air to air missiles for self defence. Much the same for the Harrier. And yes AD IS primarily given by ship launched anti air missiles at sea. Rafale M would mainly utilize its air-to-air capabilities when tackling enemy air forces in shore.



I will bow to your superior knowledge of current French and British capabilities, and I don't know where I got the idea the new CVs were a British/French project.

However, I beg to differ with respect to AAW. Ship based missiles should be the second layer of air defence. It's much better to destroy the attackers before they can launch their missiles and for that AWACS and fighters are required.

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Top ten most powerful navies in the world

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:56 pm

AngloSaxonVangaurd:

Thanks for that incredible briefing. Things add up now. What strikes me most are the Japanese and French status as per today.

Of course things will go as stated until an unforeseen event changes everything, as WWI and WWII did.

Warmest regards,

Karl
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Sir Winston Churchill

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Top ten most powerful navies in the world

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:58 pm

AngloSaxonVangaurd:


That’s why France had suggested to the UK to share the two new Super carriers with France and France to share CDG with the UK. UK declined the idea.


Obvious: who wants to carry an armonica for deer hunting?
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Sir Winston Churchill

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RF
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Re: Top ten most powerful navies in the world

Postby RF » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:30 am

AngloSaxonVangaurd wrote:
Japanese face dramatic demographic decline thanks to fast falling population and a fast ageing population. Result less people to recruit and less people willing to join the defence forces. Easier to pay the Americans for defence, especially when the Americans will be ever more keen to maintain their forward deployment to counter Chinese build up. Japanese government and citizens alike highly favour 1% defence spending and their is no change in that, expect to see Japanese navy surface fleet fall from 47 today to around 35-40 in the next 15 years or so just like all western navy’s shrink.



These factors need to be seen in the context of developments in Japan's political culture in this future time period. We know from the past that this culture can change, and change quickly. if China is seen as a serious threat long term there could be a resurgegence of militaristic atitudes, even with an ageing population; this in turn also implies a growing detachment from the US. If Japan's economic interests also decline then the conditions for such re-emergence are made more starkly, as the evidence from the early 1930's provided.

I'm not so sure that the time period for China to establish a true world wide navy is quite as long as you suggest. It really depends on how China develops over the next couple of decades, and of whether the communist party retains its iron grip on power. The other litmus test remainsTaiwan.
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Re: Top ten most powerful navies in the world

Postby madmike » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:50 am

I think underestimating the Indian navy would be a mistake, Its officers are all RN trained and the hole navy is based on the ROYAL NAVY,,,,,And the RN hasnt done to bad over the last few hundred years. DONT UNDERESTIMATE THEM.

and i dont think china should be so high on your list........BUT give them a few years.

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Re: Top ten most powerful navies in the world

Postby RF » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:44 pm

I wouldn't disagree with either of the above two points.
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Re: Top ten most powerful navies in the world

Postby Molot » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:49 am

Hello.

This is a very interesting topic, and i´d like to share my modest view regarding the current context of naval warfare.

Without a doubt the U.S. Navy is the most powerful in the world. It should be clear no other navy in the world has the capability of the U.S. Navy to project massive air naval power anywhere on planet earth.

Still, i have my doubts regarding the actual potential if put to test in battle...and it seems this issue has not been addressed within this thread: the modern-day anti-shipping missiles, especially those in the inventory of both the Russian Air Force and Russian Navy.

Just look at what the Luftwaffe attained in WW2, both in the Mediterranean Sea and the Bay of Biscay...they hit a considerable number of enemy war vessels, damaging many and sinking many, including some capital ships, such as the Italian Battleship "Roma", that was hit hard and sunk; also HMS "Warspite" got badly hit, and was out of action for many months; also the horrific incident of the transport ship "Rohna" off the Algerian Coast, with frightful loss of lives.

If that was achieved some 66 years ago, when the anti-shipping missile was born in the hands of the Luftwaffe...what can these new extremely powerful anti-shipping missiles can do today if used in combat?

The true capabilities of the U.S. Navy should be qualified as not very well known. Its screens of CVN super carriers have never been challenged by an enemy that you could qualify as powerful; and given the current context of things, it´s clear that the only prospective enemy with such capability is Russia.

Many consider a U.S. Navy CVN battle group rather "invincible". Nobody will deny a CVN battle group is a formidable force, but invincible? The most honest answer here is: We do not know. None of the nations that have been attacked by the U.S. since WW2 have neither the air force nor navy to challenge, at all, the U.S. Navy CVN battle groups.

Remember WW2, when battle facts showed naval powers the battleship era was over, more exactly when both the HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse were rapidly sent to the bottom by land-based Japanese bombers and torpedo planes, almost immediately upon their arrival in Singapore in December 1941.

Just like WW2 proved the obsolence of battleships, indicating carriers were the most powerful naval weapon, and the way of the future for at least a good time...i wonder whether the modern anti-shipping missiles might prove the obsolence of the CVN carriers if a naval battle would take place in the future.

CVN battle groups carry a formidable and advanced defense systems yes...but again, they have never been tested against a major adversary.

Remember the Falklands, the latest major naval engagement where the Argentinians proved how lethal the fistful of anti-shipping missiles they had in their inventory could be...even if U.K. won in the end, you can not qualify the performance of the Royal Navy as brilliant...it was barely acceptable in the best case scenario, and that was against a 3rd world country, with limited resources, lead by an incompetent corrupt Military "Junta"...

Russia has both the Tu-160 and Tu-22m3 supersonic bombers, cleared to carry the latest Russian anti-shipping missiles, some of them being very long range missiles, also they have nuclear submarines in numbers. Several of their anti-shipping missiles have +4 mach speed...and against a missile approaching you at such speed it is my understanding there is simply nothing you can do about it.

A CIWS fitted to the CVN and escort vessels is more than capable of dealing with sub-sonic anti-shipping missiles, and maybe even missiles travelling slightly above Mach 1, but Mach 4? I do not think so.

Of course, there is no such thing as a USA vs Russia war happening...but just my thoughts...whether a CVN group´s defenses being overwhelmed by screens of antishipping missiles approaching at super high speed...

What are your thoughts?

Cheers!

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Re: Top ten most powerful navies in the world

Postby Bgile » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:15 am

If we can shoot down ballistic missiles at Mach 6+ I think we can shoot down antiship missiles going slower.

We can shoot down the aircraft before they launch the missile. They have to be able to target the CVN before launching the missile. That is a serious problem for the attacker. The only way they could figure out how to do that was with the 100+ mile range radar on the Bear D, but that could be shot down. In spit of the Clancy movies, satellites are not that good at providing real time data for missile attack.

You are overlooking defensive jamming and deception measures.

My thoughts are that we don't know. I'm sure there is a possibility of CVNs being sunk or disabled, and I don't think anyone considers them invulnerable. I'm more worried about third world submarines than Russian missiles, though.

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Re: Top ten most powerful navies in the world

Postby Molot » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:01 am

Thanks for the comments.

Well, maybe all those things you´re saying are possible...but at the same time i could tell you are likewise overlooking the whole capabilities of an enemy; i dont think the Russians would just launch a Tu-95 or Tu-160 on its own, on a suicidal mission, to be intercepted then blown out of the skies by the CVN´s fighter planes. I am sure it would be far more intricate than that...but in the end you seem to agree with the notion we don´t know what would happen.

The last time the U.S. Navy faced a major naval power was the Japanese Combined Fleet. It was a brutal fight, but in the end the Navy steam-rolled over the Japanese, in such a fashion, it was proved the Navy had been tremendously superior in almost every aspect of naval warfare.

So, it´s been 65 years since the Navy faced a major opponent. Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf wars, and now Afghanistan have seen significant Naval deployments but with no enemy to challenge them at sea.

And the evidence from previous conflicts should be analyzed in detail:

I have no info on what the mood and the morale of the Royal Navy´s task force dispatched to the deal with the Argentinian invasion of the Falklands was; but given the size and nature of the opponents it would not surprise me if the morale was, at a minimum, high among British seamen. How long can it take us, the Royal Navy, to deal with those Argentinians?

One thing is for sure: nobody expected the Argentinian Air Force to perform the way it did. Operating virtually alone: with poor or no support at all from the other branches of the armed forces, flying at the limit of their fighters/bombers range from the continent, with limited equipment, limited training and zero combat experience, they sank and damaged significant British warships, and more than shocked the morale of the British task force.


All i can say is that if such war would take place someday, and if a CVN carrier is either disabled, crippled or even destroyed by any of these extremely powerful anti-shipping missiles, that would probably one of the rudest, most shocking awakenings in the history of warfare. A several billion dollar vessel crippled or sank by missiles that are God knows how many times cheaper and faster to produce. A terrible investment.

And finally, to what 3rd world countries´submarines are you referring to? And what would make them more dangerous than the Russian missiles?

Cheers!

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RF
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Re: Top ten most powerful navies in the world

Postby RF » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:06 am

Molot wrote:Remember WW2, when battle facts showed naval powers the battleship era was over, more exactly when both the HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse were rapidly sent to the bottom by land-based Japanese bombers and torpedo planes, almost immediately upon their arrival in Singapore in December 1941.

Cheers!


They were sunk off the coast of Malaya, not in Singapore harbour.
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RF
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Re: Top ten most powerful navies in the world

Postby RF » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:10 am

Molot wrote:Remember the Falklands, the latest major naval engagement where the Argentinians proved how lethal the fistful of anti-shipping missiles they had in their inventory could be...even if U.K. won in the end, you can not qualify the performance of the Royal Navy as brilliant...it was barely acceptable in the best case scenario, and that was against a 3rd world country, with limited resources, lead by an incompetent corrupt Military "Junta"...


Barely acceptable in terms of the losses maybe, but still adequate to do the job. This should be seen in the context of limited airpower available to the Task Force, and the peculiar logistical constraints applying in that situation, operating at the end of a narrow supply chain.
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Re: Top ten most powerful navies in the world

Postby Bgile » Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:16 pm

Third world countries are being supplied with modern submarines by european builders. They are very hard to detect, and modern torpedoes are very destructive.

The reason the Falklands campaign was so difficult for the British is they lacked an airborne early warning aircraft. The Harrier is also not an ideal interceptor. If they had still had F4s and Gannetts the Argentine butcher's bill would have been even higher and British losses would probably have been much lower.

I would not be surprised to lose CVNs to the Chinese. They are extremely useful, but they could indeed be overwhelmed and even one torpedo hit would force one to go home for lengthy repairs.

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RF
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Re: Top ten most powerful navies in the world

Postby RF » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:34 am

Bgile wrote:Third world countries are being supplied with modern submarines by european builders. They are very hard to detect, and modern torpedoes are very destructive.


There is usually some response to an emerging threat like this - in this case a new generation of hunter killer submarines - which won't in the short term be available to or developed by countries such as China.
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Re: Top ten most powerful navies in the world

Postby RF » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:36 am

Bgile wrote:The reason the Falklands campaign was so difficult for the British is they lacked an airborne early warning aircraft. The Harrier is also not an ideal interceptor. If they had still had F4s and Gannetts the Argentine butcher's bill would have been even higher and British losses would probably have been much lower.
I


I would certainly agree with that, which was why Prime Minister Thatcher attempted at the time to obtain the use of an AWACS aircraft from the US.
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