Could we defend ourselves if attacked?
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12-04-2012, 10:56 AM
Gave 801, Got 1,612
Originally Posted by
The benefits of nuclear for a carrier are operational rather than cost - the high pressure steam is used to operate the catapults that launch the aircraft and also provide a huge swathe of power to the turbines so the carrier can 'sprint' to increase wind speed over the deck to facilitate the aircraft launching with heavier loads. All this is possible on a conventionally powered ship but more difficult (especially on modern diesel electric configurations). The benefits of nuclear is also that it reduced support vessels - you don't have to have a fuel tanker accompany the carrier everywhere. This said, you still need tanker support for the escort vessels and resupply of AVCAT.
OK. So aircraft carriers, which are hugely expensive anyway, can benefit (though it seems to me to be slight) from nuclear motive force.
This "huge swathe of power to the turbines so the carrier can 'sprint'" you mention - surely Destroyers can benefit from that in a big way? They need to be highly manoeuvrable and require higher sprint speeds from time to time.
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