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  #1  
Old 05-27-2003, 11:35 PM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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Aircraft Carrier top speed a State secret? Why?

This is something I have wondered about for awhile.

Whenever you see shows or written reports on the capabilities of current US aircraft carriers they mention that its real top speed is a secret. Why?

Anybody who cares enough can derive an aircraft carrier's hull speed. It might be able to push beyond that speed (given its nuclear power plant one might suppose it has the power to spare) but how much of a difference can that possibly make these days?

The former USSR managed to steal some of our country's deepest, darkest secrets (ala the nuclear bomb) why woudl a carrier's top speed even approach such a secret? With modern radar and satellites and not to mention that a carrier battlegroup is likely radiating all sorts of EM signals I doubt it is a hard thing to find if somebody really wants to find it. Further, torpedoes are all guided these days and almost certainly faster than a carrier. Assuming a sub got into position and fired in a carrier it is a near certainty it torpedoes will strike home. Beyond that I think it is a foregone conclusion that a carrier is faster than any other blue water ship afloat...if it is running almost not other ship will catch it and that much is known even at a low end estimate of its top speed.

Most reports I have seen peg a carrier's speed at 32 knots or so. Some unconfirmed reports...including some people here on this board...claim speeds in excess of 40 knots. In the end who cares? Missiles, planes, torpedoes...they'll all be able to nail a carrier if it comes to it. Unless a carrier is capable of some outrageous speed (e.g. 80 knots) I don't see how keeping a few knots (say 10 or so) really makes a lick of difference to anyone.

To what purpose is the US government so tight lipped on this?
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  #2  
Old 05-27-2003, 11:49 PM
SRVick SRVick is offline
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OK, I am not a military expert of any sort, but remember, we tend to use carriers against nations that lack satellite or sophisticated airplane surveillance. The ocean is damn big, so finding a carrier isn't as easy as it sounds, and you may not want people to be able to find it easily. Think about this: a ship going 35 knots would be able to go in an area about 180956 nautical miles larger than one going 25 knots in one day (A=pi*r^2; r=240). I'm assuming we're in open waters here, of course. This is also assuiming my math at this hour isn't too bad. But that's the gist of one possible reason.
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  #3  
Old 05-27-2003, 11:58 PM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by SRVick
The ocean is damn big, so finding a carrier isn't as easy as it sounds, and you may not want people to be able to find it easily. Think about this: a ship going 35 knots would be able to go in an area about 180956 nautical miles larger than one going 25 knots in one day (A=pi*r^2; r=240). I'm assuming we're in open waters here, of course.
Fair enough and I could see this being a legitimate concern in WWII. But today? A 181,000 nautical miles sounds quite large to me but how mauch ocean can be scanned by an airborn radar? Even with a coast as big as the west coast of the United States I'd bet they could scan the ocean further out than carrier aircraft could strike from with only a few dozen planes...if that many. I admit I am completely guessing on this but I feel safe in that guess. I hate to think another Pearl Harbor is possible because the capacity to scan the ocean is too expensive to do regularly.
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  #4  
Old 05-28-2003, 12:00 AM
Klaatu Klaatu is offline
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I am not a marine propulsion engineer, but it's also possible they do not want to give data that would allow someone to extrapolate info on the propulsion system itself, such as how the screws, shafts, turbines, etc work at certain loads, sea conditions, and so on.
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  #5  
Old 05-28-2003, 12:02 AM
Doomtrain Doomtrain is offline
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I think in any military situation, you don't want anyone to know just how good your weapon is. Though I believe carrier speed is limited to the speed of its escorts or supply ships. What good does it do to have an 80 knot carrier if the destroyers are chugging along behind?
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  #6  
Old 05-28-2003, 12:04 AM
SRVick SRVick is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Whack-a-Mole

A 181,000 nautical miles sounds quite large to me but how mauch ocean can be scanned by an airborn radar?
But how many nations have decent airborne radar? I don't know, but not all of them. And we may not be attacking just nation-states these days.
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  #7  
Old 05-28-2003, 12:08 AM
Ringo Ringo is offline
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The Russians probably know how fast they can go. The Syrians may well not.
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  #8  
Old 05-28-2003, 12:15 AM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by GMRyujin
What good does it do to have an 80 knot carrier if the destroyers are chugging along behind?
No doubt but presumably the carrier would only put the pedal-to-the-metal (so to speak) in extreme circumstances. Even in WWII the carriers were able to outpace any other major (e.g. non-planing boats) afloat. The Iowa class battleship was partly designed to be the only escort for a carrier that could keep up with a carrier at top speeds (and I think at absolute max speed the carrier still was faster but either way it was close).

Today with nuclear aircraft carriers, longer hulls (hence a higher hull speed) and the battleships in mothballs I doubt there is another escort for a carrier that can keep up if it decides to haul-ass.

Again though...so what? 30 knots? 40 knots? How does that make a difference to anyone these days? A sub will ambush a carrier so speed isn't an issue and anything else couldn't catch it anyway (not that it'd want to...planes and missiles will catch it if not torpedoes).

I would wager anyone (any country) that has seriously considered blasting a US nuclear aircraft carrier probably has a good idea of its top speed and even if they don't I suggest it doesn't matter overly much. Of course...our government sees fit to keep it a secret so I am curious what that reason is (cuz I just don't see it).
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  #9  
Old 05-28-2003, 12:25 AM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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Originally posted by Ringo
The Russians probably know how fast they can go. The Syrians may well not.
See...that's just it.

Why would the Syrian's even give a crap? Anyone who has considered the possibility of facing a carrier at sea has probably inferred its performance capabilities...allow for some error and you're good to go.

The Syrians (or anyone like them) will not threaten a carrier from the sea. If they go after one it would have to be form the air and whether the carrier moves at 30 knots or 40 knots won't help it much.

SRVick questioned how good airborn radar is but even in WWII they could pick out the periscope of a submarine...I would guess radar sufficient to pick out an aircraft carrier is a simple matter for just about anyone these days. Don't forget that an aircraft carrier and it battlegroup is also broadcasting a pile of EM radiation for it own purposes...not hard to pick that stuff up and triangulate on it. Considering you can buy a radar detector for your car for $50 I would think this woul be a simple matter for any military in the world today.
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  #10  
Old 05-28-2003, 12:32 AM
Padeye Padeye is offline
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I think it's beaurocratic inertia. At one time it may have been more critical to keep it a secret and now it's easier to keep the status quo even if it's less relavent.

Besides, we can't let the Godless commies know which carriers are best to water ski behind.
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  #11  
Old 05-28-2003, 12:36 AM
Ringo Ringo is offline
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Besides, we can't let the Godless commies know which carriers are best to water ski behind.
Purely anecdotal, I know, but a friend of mine claims he was passed by a U.S. carrier in the GOM while doing 40 knots. Hmm..., I've got to ask him what he was drivin'.
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  #12  
Old 05-28-2003, 12:47 AM
censored censored is offline
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Sure, one could probably extrapolate the true speed based upon other information. But why make it easier?

(AFAIK, the nuclear power plants reportedly have enough power that they, were they turned on full blast, would rip the hull apart.)
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  #13  
Old 05-28-2003, 01:00 AM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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Originally posted by censored
Sure, one could probably extrapolate the true speed based upon other information. But why make it easier?
Easier? For someone who knows their stuff (naval architecture) they could work out the hull speed in a few minutes. With computers it woud probably only take them as long as it takes them to type in the relevant specs. The specs are publically available as are the software programs. I'd wager there are people right here on this board who could calculate the hull speed of an aircraft carrier if you gave them the relevant information.

Granted it would be easierr to simply read the answer from a web site or TV show but I think it is simple enough that anyone even contemplating an attack on an aircraft carrier would have no trouble resolving.
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  #14  
Old 05-28-2003, 06:32 AM
Snooooopy Snooooopy is offline
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Sammy Hagar was imprisoned for several years after his expose on the speed of aircraft carriers, "I Can't Drive 55 Knots."
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  #15  
Old 05-28-2003, 06:38 AM
Billdo Billdo is offline
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Another thing to think about is that a carrier's top speed is not only tactical information (find and hunt the carrier) but also strategic.

If an enemy country knows that a carrier battle group is leaving Norfolk on a certain day, even a few knots of speed can make several days of difference as to when that battle group arrives off the enemy country's shores.
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  #16  
Old 05-28-2003, 07:13 AM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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I think most of you are missing the point. You NEVER, EVER give your opponent an advantage, especially when you aren't sure whom you may be fighting. Make them work for every scrap of information - modern war is won by intel. Even if one enemy research team working for a few days with off-the shelf software may be enough to figure it out, forcing them to do all of those things is a good way to mess up their planning.

Plus, many nations we may be fighting simply don't know how. There may be two or three people on this board who could calculate such things, but can Syria? Can Al-Qaeda (well, the remnants)? Make them do the work; it doesn't cost much to *not* tell people things.
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  #17  
Old 05-28-2003, 07:32 AM
Philster Philster is offline
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Maybe you should look at if from the other side of the arguement:

"Exactly how would it benefit the United States Navy to advertise the top speeds of the various types of carriers and/or carrier groups?"

It wouldn't, but since it might introduce even the tiniest risk, it is not advisable.

It is possible that a nation tempting to invade someone would like to know the response time of American carriers. If you amass your troops on a border and know it takes "x" amount of time for the first US carrier fleet to arrive, you have worked out part of your invasion plan.

Even if you think this is unlikely, go back to my question above.
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  #18  
Old 05-28-2003, 07:36 AM
Pleonast Pleonast is offline
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There is also a security principle: never confirm or deny what the enemy thinks he knows. Maybe the Russians know the top speed, or maybe they only think they do. It's better to leave that uncertainty.

As for your claim that a knowledgable person could calculate the top speed of the carrier from basic design principles: if it were as simple as you say it is to do that, the relevant design info would be classified also. You could certainly make a first-order estimate of the top speed from the hull size and shape. But what other important parameters are missing, yet are still needed to make an accurate calculation?
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  #19  
Old 05-28-2003, 07:51 AM
Pergau Pergau is offline
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I bet it's because the navy is going to enter a carrier into the Americas Cup next year in an attempt to win it back from Switzerland
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  #20  
Old 05-28-2003, 08:08 AM
Doomtrain Doomtrain is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pergau
I bet it's because the navy is going to enter a carrier into the Americas Cup next year in an attempt to win it back from Switzerland
That would be pretty darn cool. I can see Bush doing that.

"My fellow Americans. These terrorists we call the Swiss are holding the America's Cup. And it's called 'America's Cup', which means they're holding it hostage. I've authorized the deployment of carrier battlegroups into the race to reclaim this cup for America and Americans."
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  #21  
Old 05-28-2003, 11:56 AM
Lodrain Lodrain is offline
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pergau, GMRyujin--

I imagine it'd be a lot of fun trying to get those monster ships up the Rhine. Either that, or use the carrier's hull design and power plants to plow through southern France. I can imagine:

[Scene. An idyllic town in southern France. Jacques and Frances are taking a break from their grape-harvesting and poodle-judging.]

Jacques: Mon dieu! Eet ees hard work, judging ze poodles!
Frances: D'accord!

[Rumbling.]

Jacques: What ees zat?
Frances: I do not know.

[Over the horizon, shapes are seen. Jacques and Frances squint and try to identify the shapes.]

Jacques: Eet looks like...
Frances: A carrier battle group!

[The carrier plows by, leaving a gaping trench. The wake knocks over Jacques and Frances. It also ruins the grape harvest and scares the poodles.]

Jacques: Sacré bleu!

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  #22  
Old 05-28-2003, 02:15 PM
ftg ftg is offline
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One of the presumptions in this thread is that the greatest danger to a carrier (or any naval surface craft) is a sub. Not true. Air borne missiles are the real danger, widely available on the arms market (1-800-F****e). Syria-class nations could equip jets with adequate missiles if they desired. So carrier escorts are designed mainly to screen those out. But they haven't been battle tested. Which the British found out in the Falklands War is completely different from test drills.

The more "?"s you introduce into the thinking of an opponent about what it might take to get a carrier, the better. Speed is just another "?".
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  #23  
Old 05-28-2003, 04:28 PM
Doomtrain Doomtrain is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lodrain
pergau, GMRyujin--

I imagine it'd be a lot of fun trying to get those monster ships up the Rhine. Either that, or use the carrier's hull design and power plants to plow through southern France. I can imagine:
BAHAHAHA! Oh, man, that was beautiful. But I can see that big freakin' carrier just rolling up on land and that's when we discover all Nimitz-class carriers are equipped with MONSTER TRUCK TIRES!
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  #24  
Old 05-28-2003, 04:35 PM
Doomtrain Doomtrain is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ftg
One of the presumptions in this thread is that the greatest danger to a carrier (or any naval surface craft) is a sub. Not true. Air borne missiles are the real danger, widely available on the arms market (1-800-F****e). Syria-class nations could equip jets with adequate missiles if they desired. So carrier escorts are designed mainly to screen those out. But they haven't been battle tested. Which the British found out in the Falklands War is completely different from test drills.
True, but the problem you have with jets is they'd have to fight through the CAP and I'm sure the carrier would start scrambling fighters as soon as possible. And I believe the Phoenix air to air missile (used on F-14s) has a range of 100 miles or so, so right there you have a problem. The Silkworm or Exocet have probably half the range. And then there's the SAMs on the escorts. And even if you get your missiles off, they have to dodge AEGIS and any of the anti-missile guns the battle group might have.

Probably the biggest threat is small, quick missile boats.

Can we drag any Navy dopers into this?
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  #25  
Old 05-28-2003, 05:38 PM
Sofa King Sofa King is offline
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I don't think you're asking the correct question here. The real question is, "what is the range of a particular type of torpedo at top speed?" If you can find the answer to those two variables, and can't find the top speed of a carrier, there is a damned good reason for it: it means submarine commanders don't know the extreme range at which they can fire and be assured that the torpedo will reach its target.

Imagine a there's, say, an Iranian Kilo-class diesel electric sub sitting on the bottom of the Persian Gulf when an American carrier passes by at eight thousand yards. If that Iranian fires off a 45-knot torpedo, and the carrier suddenly cranks up to a never-before-seen 42 knots, there is a good chance the torpedo will expend all of its fuel before it makes up that mere three-knot differential and eight thousand meters.

In the meantime, the Iranian submarine just took the one shot its ever going to get, and one-third of the business end of the Iranian Navy just got cashiered.
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  #26  
Old 05-28-2003, 05:57 PM
Padeye Padeye is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sofa King
...If that Iranian fires off a 45-knot torpedo, and the carrier suddenly cranks up to a never-before-seen 42 knots...
Neck snapping acceleration has never been a long suit of aircraft carriers. A Nimitz class carrie typically displaces about 95,000 tons or 96,520,000 kilograms. Despite the significant power of its nuclear powerplant it doesn't do anything "suddenly."
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  #27  
Old 05-28-2003, 08:13 PM
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Related to what was discussed further up; about the ability of a particulary navy to locate a carrier group, and that would mean that keeping the top speed secret would make things harder for such a low-tech-shoe-string-budget-navy that can´t even afford air patrols... why worry about them? what risk could such a flimsy opoinent represent for a mighty carrier and company?
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  #28  
Old 05-28-2003, 08:17 PM
Ale Ale is offline
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Did I wrote "opoinent"?
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  #29  
Old 05-28-2003, 09:51 PM
Sofa King Sofa King is offline
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Well, I'll give you the accelleration angle, Padeye, but do you agree with me that one of the primary reasons for keeping a carrier's top speed classified is to obscure the upper-limit range calculations of a potential torpedo-firing enemy?
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  #30  
Old 05-28-2003, 10:07 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
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Perhaps public relations (aka propaganda) is part of the reason. Judging from this thread, many Americans think this information should be classified. That may be enough reason to keep it classified, i.e. to keep the public happy.
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  #31  
Old 05-28-2003, 10:20 PM
MajorTom MajorTom is offline
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I think everyone's missing a couple important points here. Remember that an aircraft carries airraft. All kinds which each require runway length wind speed etc. The speed of the runway can have a helluva lot of influence on the carriers ability to do it's job of deploying and land aircraft. Ask yourselves the landing airspeed of different types of aircraft, factor in head wind, it's effect on the actual top speed of the carrier etc, and you will soon see that it can get very complicated. Also remember that the calculated hull speed may be very different from the actual tested speed. These speed tests are normally doneduring "seatrials"after an overhaul. They also test the turning radius at different speeds, the stopping distance, and they see what happens when going from full ahead to full reverse. The most important of the above as far as tactical use as related to maximum speed would be the turning radius. ie if we need to launch a plane and the wind is wrong, how long does it take to turn into the wind etc. (Answer to the op 45+, destroyers could do 34+ back in the '70's)
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  #32  
Old 05-29-2003, 12:38 AM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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Sure, almost any serious enemy could calculate the hull speed of a carrier. But what if the carrier is faster than that? It probably is, slightly, due to the sheer power of their engines.

And that's exactly the what you're trying to hide. The enemy is not only good enough to calculate your hull speed, but they are good enough that, if you give them the top speed of the carrier, they could work backwards and figure out how much shaft HP the beast has. And that may fill in another hole in an equation, say the audio data from a carrier's screws, and allow them to reverse engineer things. Or whatever.

As someone else said, you don't just give away fundamental data. Make the enemy expend its own resources.
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  #33  
Old 05-29-2003, 12:39 AM
pilot141 pilot141 is offline
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Look, we already have three good reasons for the US NOT to disclose this information:

1. If a carrier is spotted at a known point, it's potential location after that becomes a larger and larger unknown as time goes by.
2. Bad guy does bad thing X in country Y, knowing that the nearest carrier battle group is W days away, based on the carrier's top speed. Imagine his surprise when the Abe Lincoln shows up a day early.
3. Long range torpedo shots. Bad sub captain X calculates his longest shot (based on carrier's top speed) and takes it - imagine his surprise when the carrier outruns the torpedo and the entire world comes crashing down on him in the form of ASW airplanes from the carrier.

I'm sure there are MANY more strategic and tactical situations where the known top speed of a carrier would affect the outcome.

Given this, as Philster has already said, the question is "How exactly would it benefit the USN to disclose this information?"

Answer: It wouldn't. Period.

As long as it does not benefit the USN, and can introduce ANY amount of doubt into ANY enemy's plan, this information will stay classified.
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  #34  
Old 05-29-2003, 02:45 AM
spanna spanna is offline
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Whenever you see shows or written reports on the capabilities of current US aircraft carriers they mention that its real top speed is a secret. Why?
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Hmmm seems to me the real question should be if you give out all the other information and allow shows to be made giving it out why this single piece of information is so much more secret. Surely it would be more appropriate to say nothing at all.
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  #35  
Old 05-29-2003, 10:42 PM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by spanna
Whenever you see shows or written reports on the capabilities of current US aircraft carriers they mention that its real top speed is a secret. Why?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hmmm seems to me the real question should be if you give out all the other information and allow shows to be made giving it out why this single piece of information is so much more secret. Surely it would be more appropriate to say nothing at all.
Dang...beta me to it.

For all of the people here stating how silly it is to just givew away information then why does the military give away any at all? Go buy a copy of Jane's Fighting Ships for tons of detailed specs. Go to http://www.fas.org for yet more info on all sorts of weapon systems.

It is fair enough to say that we shouldn't just publish the top speed of an aircraft carrier to make it tougher on our enemies but I find it hard to see why that info...compared to everything else you can get...is so hush-hush. If you are a country about to do something that might get an aircraft carrier off your coast then maybe you should figure on a 50 knot top speed and any extra time it takes to get there is gravy for you (actually you should probably rethink what it is you are about to do). Besides, it is hard to envision an aircraft carrier leaving its escorts behind and the speeds of many of those ships are known. On top of that the US can have bombers overhead anywhere in the world in less than 24 hours...troops too. A carrier isn't our only option.
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  #36  
Old 07-26-2013, 10:11 AM
Derty Derty is offline
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Aircraft Carrier Speed

The thread posts are interesting, but, unfortunately way out in left field.
Having had duty on two of the nukes and a few of the fossil fuel carriers
the only thing I will say is that when we went out for builders and acceptance
trials, the thing that the designers and builders look for is making sure that
the ship can at least do the designed speed. In either case of top speed or
designed speed, neither one would be found on a forum such as this one, or
one would hope that would not occur. Top speed is something that only the
designers would have a close estimate of. Of interest is Padeye stating that
the nukes can do nothing suddenly. End of statement.
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  #37  
Old 07-26-2013, 10:18 AM
pilot141 pilot141 is offline
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Do they check for zombies on acceptance trials? Specifically 10-year old zombies?
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  #38  
Old 07-26-2013, 10:19 AM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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The thread posts are interesting
Yes, so interesting that no one has had anything to add to the conversation for 10 years.
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  #39  
Old 07-26-2013, 10:22 AM
silenus silenus is online now
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At least this resurrector doesn't appear to be 13 years old.
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  #40  
Old 07-26-2013, 10:38 AM
Zakalwe Zakalwe is online now
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Do they check for zombies on acceptance trials? Specifically 10-year old zombies?
Well sure. The problem is finding enough brains to put into the reactor vessel.
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  #41  
Old 07-26-2013, 10:47 AM
bob++ bob++ is offline
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You might think that an aircraft carrier is pretty big. Compared to a typical bulk carrier, they are canoes with a flat top.
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  #42  
Old 07-26-2013, 10:52 AM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is offline
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I'd look at it the other way around. What is the advantage of disclosing the speed?
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  #43  
Old 07-26-2013, 12:03 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Originally Posted by smiling bandit View Post
I think most of you are missing the point. You NEVER, EVER give your opponent an advantage, especially when you aren't sure whom you may be fighting.
This. Why would you tell people when it costs you nothing not to?
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  #44  
Old 07-26-2013, 12:35 PM
Gray Ghost Gray Ghost is offline
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OTOH, it's not like it's that hard to derive. Ironically, if the linked report is correct, the USN declassified the top speed data in the late '90s.

There's a funny anecdote, IIRC, the wargame designer and military historian James Dunnigan told about trying to find good data for the performance of U.S. platforms and weapons. (It may have been Larry Bond instead.) He was having a devil of a time trying to figure out the actual top speeds, ranges, etc, for a variety of things for a new wargame or book he was trying to put together, and was constantly running into the "35 knot +." problem. He tried all of his publicly available sources: no dice.

A short time later, he was in the Russian-language section of a used bookstore in Manhattan, where he found a Russian publication like Jane's. In it were exact numbers for all of the figures for the U.S. platforms, which later turned out to be pretty much on target. All of the Soviet platforms, OTOH, had "+" or "classified" next to their stats... So it goes.
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  #45  
Old 07-26-2013, 01:09 PM
TonySinclair TonySinclair is offline
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Originally Posted by spanna View Post
Whenever you see shows or written reports on the capabilities of current US aircraft carriers they mention that its real top speed is a secret. Why?
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Hmmm seems to me the real question should be if you give out all the other information and allow shows to be made giving it out why this single piece of information is so much more secret. Surely it would be more appropriate to say nothing at all.
Seems to me that if you want to confuse the enemy, it would be better to give a false (low) number than to say it's classified. A smart enemy will have to work just as hard to get the true number, but a dumb one might just accept the false number.
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  #46  
Old 07-26-2013, 01:22 PM
Morgenstern Morgenstern is offline
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Did you ever wonder if a carrier could outrun a submerged enemy submarine? I'll bet our enemies wonder too. That might be another reason.
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:47 PM
Smeghead Smeghead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonySinclair View Post
A smart enemy will have to work just as hard to get the true number, but a dumb one might just accept the false number.
I suspect that the dumb enemies are not the ones we're worried about being able to defeat.
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  #48  
Old 07-26-2013, 02:57 PM
SanDiegoTim SanDiegoTim is offline
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I can't tell you the top speed of any of the Nimitz Class Carriers. I can, however, tell you the top speed of the USS Midway...between 31 and 32 knots. I'm no expert, but I find it hard to believe even the newest of the NCC (USS Ronald Reagan, CVN 76) could do 40 knots.
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:36 PM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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Kinda silly-the fact is, an aircraft carrier is a huge target-it cannot be made "stealthly"-it has a huge IR heat signature, and a huge radar cross section. You can even track them from space, via the bow wave that they generate.They are the "sitting ducks" of the 21st century-akin to the armored battleships in 1914. They are protected by very sophisticate weapons systems, true, but they are vulnerable to surface skimming cruise missiles, and from ballistic missiles. In the future, drone submarines will be developed that will attach mines to their hulls, and detonate them on command.
There goes a $5 billion ship and 4000 lives.
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Old 07-27-2013, 01:39 AM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
Beyond that I think it is a foregone conclusion that a carrier is faster than any other blue water ship afloat...if it is running almost not other ship will catch it
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Originally Posted by Doomtrain View Post
Though I believe carrier speed is limited to the speed of its escorts or supply ships.
Is it so? I wouldn't have assumed that carriers were the quicker ships. At the contrary, I woudl have suspected thta small ones, like destroyers and such were quicker.
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