29th December 2010, 08:43
I se the new Marine orientated carriers are beiong built without the ability to operate the LCAC's, and indeed have no dock. Placing total reliance on helo's , and Ospreys to get the bootnecks ashore.
Is this to save costs, or a valid change of strategy by the USN ?
How do the Marines feel about being placed ashore by this method? Or is there another class of ship in design that will cover this shortfall in strategy ?
29th December 2010, 12:23
Is that the America class Nick? Rather than a change of strategy or cost saving, it actually looks like a major step in beefing up a Marine Expeditionary Brigade. If you think of a couple of existing Wasp class LHD's turning up off the coast, complete with docks for LCAC's etc, adding yet another similar ship, purely for air support, thats a BIG bonus for the guys coming in from the sea. The Wasp class are relatively new, the last one of the class 'USS Makin Island' was only commissioned in the last 2 years so those 8 ships are going to be around for a good few years yet.
Don't forget they are also still building 10 San Antonio class LPD's (not without problems admittedly) so when they are all completed, thats 18 big ships with docks for amphibious assaults! Add a few more ships purely designed for air support and thats one mighty force in theory!
PS, and they will be mini aircraft carriers for when sending a carrier group might be seen as overkill, so another bonus!!
29th December 2010, 22:19
Good point, had not considered it from that point.
Bit like having an Invincible Class, strapped onto an existing MEF.