"a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow!"
Here begins a series of blog entries the subject of which is the military combat seaplane.
That Danger Room article thanks to Wireless Magazine the topic of which was possible alternatives to the American "super" aircraft carriers and also having been the source for a previous blog entry having stimulated some thought.
Those American "super" aircraft carriers of what I call the "Presidential" class, the Truman, Ford, Reagan, Lincoln recognized as being:
* Very expensive to build and operate.
* Very susceptible to combat damage.
NOT only the cost to build one "super" carrier expensive, that total expenditure including the vessel itself AND an air wing! ONLY limited a few numbers of "super" carriers available at any given moment, albeit merely one warship at sea having considerable "power projection" capability to all part of the world this undeniable.
Alternatives as suggested by Danger Room to the "super" carrier being:
* Light carriers.
* All ships an aircraft carrier. [VTOL?]
* Tomahawk firing ballistic missile submarines.
May I suggest one additional alternative to the "super" carrier not even considered by Danger Room?
Military combat seaplanes.
Military seaplanes as they exist abundant prior to the Second World War [WW2], now and since that time of 1945 an anachronism current and recent attempts at resuscitating the breed feeble at best!
Military seaplanes as part of a system that combination of warship [seaplane tender], floating piers, and warplanes able to use almost any body of water, brown, green, blue as an "air base", OR during a time of crisis or conflict, islands having an airstrip improved or otherwise, occupied by seaplane units.
Seaplanes acknowledged from the start as NOT AIR SUPERIORITY COMBAT WARPLANES AS THAT TERM UNDERSTOOD! NOT HAVING A CAPABILITY TO ENGAGE IN AERIAL COMBAT, MANO-A MANO!
Seaplanes primarily employed as STAND-OFF delivery systems able to fire a variety of ordnance at targets, ocean-going and inland both! Able to project power to all points of the planet.
Ordnance much of which specific for naval warfare to include:
* Paveway munitions.
* JDAMS munitions.
* Sea mines.
Commercial seaplanes in the modern sense consisting of:
* Float planes. Pontoons for floatation.
* Flying boats. Waterproof hulls.
* Amphibians. Can use on demand a conventional airfield using organic wheels.
Military seaplanes an integral part of a system consisting of the planes themselves, a surface vessel [seaplane tender] or floating piers.
And this can all be done quick and cheap, relatively easy and NOW, the U.S. Navy able to proliferate the oceans of the world with with air wings of seaplanes and their associated warships.
Modern commercial merchant ships convented for military purposes.
Modern commercially available seaplanes, single and dual engine converted for military purposes..
That sea plane tender acting as a base for operations, arming, fueling, and maintaining the warplanes, Affording berthing for the air wing, combat support and combat service support.
Commercially available seaplanes needing not a whole lot of conversion, some hard points and advanced electronics alone sufficing.
That combination of warplanes, surface vessel and floating pier a number can be obtained and put to sea for military operations for a mere fraction of the cost of ONE "super" carrier!
This is all DO-ABLE and can be done NOW?
Devoted readers to the blog that know military aviation might care to comment!
To be continued!