Link to CVA-01 Post: https://diamondsofthenight.home.blog/2020/10/10/cva-01-aircraft-carrier-2/
In a post I made I talked about the CVA-01 compared to the Kitty-Hawk but it was a mess but thanks to some feedback and suggestion gave this post so let’s begin
The CVA-01’s air wing was suppose to be up to 50 aircraft but apparently might have had room for 68.
It was suppose to have eighteen F-4K Phantom two but was apparently able to carry eighteen more and had eighteen Blackburn Buccaneer S.2C or S.2D Strike aircraft with two or four Blackburn Buccaneer S.2 coverted tankers with four Fairey Gannet AEW Mk.3 for Airborne Early Warning and single Gannet COD.4 with five Westland WS-61 Sea King HAS.1 for Anti-Submarine Warfare and two Westland WS-58 Wessex HAS.1 Anti-Submarine Warfare converted to Search and Rescue
So the CVA-01’s being built has implications are more interesting as it raises questions
1. Does the Royal Navy drop funding of Harrier in favour of fixed-wing naval aviation?
A. Somehow I don’t think so as there was a need for the Harrier so yeah the Sea Harrier would probably get built to give close air support to the Royal Marines and as the Invincible Class were originally suppose to be Anti-Submarine Warfare carriers so in the end no they probably they’d keep funding the Sea Harrier
2. To build its airwing, does the Royal Navy continue to procure U.S. naval aircraft or does it instead focus on domestic production, or even a partnership with France?
A. Possibly they could’ve bought the F-14s as the RAF did consider it although rejected it although maybe later when they needed to modernise the carrier air wing they could’ve bought Rafale Ms although maybe the Eurofighter Typhoon’s navalised proposal probably would replaced the F4 & Buccaneer
3. How does CVA-1 perform in the Falklands campaign and how does it influence it? Follow-up, does the Falklands War even happen. Argentina’s entire military case for their invasion was a perceived inability of the Royal Navy to project force in the South Atlantic. Does CVA-1, with a far more robust and longer range airwing, change their calculation? I’d argue it does
A. The CVA-01s likely would’ve been the flagships of the taskforce along with the Invincible and Centaur class light aircraft carrier making up the carrier force, the destroyer force would be the Bristol class, Sheffield class and County class Destroyers, the frigate force would’ve been made of the Broadsword class, Amazon class, Leander class and Rotesay class frigates.
The Landing ship force would’ve been the Fearless class and Round-table class landing ships with castle class offshore patrol ship and a large fleet of supply ships which would have been Fort Roselie class, Tide class, Oi-class, Leaf class and Rover class supply ship
Musn’t forget the Submarine force that would’ve been the Valiant class, Churchill class and Swiftsure class SSNs and Oberon class attack submarines.
Odds are had the British had the CVA-01s in the Falkland task force they had then the war would’ve been easier as the F-4Ks could do combat air patrol over the fleet and would have given the British complete air supremacy as they’d have been facing the Argentine Air Force French Dassault Mirage 3E & Israeli-made IAI Dagger A fighters and US-made Douglas A-4B & A-4C Skyhawk and Argentina’s own IA-58A Pucara ground-attack turboprops and British-made English-Electric Canberra B.62 jet bombers as the Mirage 3s were packing two 30mm Defa 552 Revolver Cannons with 250 rounds and two R.550 Magic and one R.530 missiles while the Daggers had the 30mm cannon and R.550 Magic 1s
When compared the British Phantoms which likely would’ve had the four AIM-9L Sidewinders and up to six AIM-7D Sparrows which would have probably meant the F-4s could get more shots on target.
Once the Argentine Air Force was crushed as the Buccaneers would have probably gutted the Argentine Navy probably sinking their both their carrier group which were made of a lone colossus-class light aircraft carrier and their southern strike group of a Brookyln Class Light Cruiser and Allen.M.Summer Class Destroyers and the fleet tankers assigned to their respective task force fleets leaving their Navy severely crippled.
Although its more likely the Argentines wouldn’t have bothered to invade to begin with…..
However it should be kept in mind that the Argentine military junta were deeply unpopular at the time so odds they probably would tried anyway but then how much worse would the Argentine military be today I wonder?
4. How does the construction of CVA-1 influence Royal Navy shipbuilding for the second half of the 20th Century and beyond?
A. Most likely the Royal Navy would’ve continued with CATOBAR carrier in the Queen Elizabeth Class or an improved carrier based on the CVA-01 with a newer powerplant similar but an enlarged version of an Integrated Electric Propulsion type system like the one used on the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers with F-35Bs replacing the Harriers and F-35Cs replacing whatever the CVA-01 used in place of the F-4s and Buccaneers.
The most probable replacement for the F-4K Phantom 2 and Buccaneer S.2 would be the Navalised version of Hawker-Siddeley HS.1207 or as i dub her the Wasp in the fighter role and Hawker-Siddeley HS.1197 Buccaneer S.3 strike aircraft.
Sadly the CVA-01 was cancelled shame really as she would’ve been a good asset to the Royal Navy and presumably NATO as well.