Singha wrote:Its a cross between a submarine cruiser like Surcouf which had large cannons and a small ekranoplan. No offspring has popped out yet. Ekranoplan might not work in open seas or rough weather but devastating speedx payload when it works
Thanks Singha for introducing me to the word "ekranoplan". I Googled and Youtubed it, and was very gratified to see that others have had the same crazy idea as I recently had.
After watching some of those Youtubes, I can see that the Russians are the development partner of choice, on such a project. They've built some monstrous machines in this category, and that was before the revolution in composite materials that now define aircraft manufacturing.
Actually, I was trying to describe two different 'platforms'. One type flies, and lands on the water. The other type of platform is definitely a blue-water ship, which has a rear deck low enough in the water, that smaller amphibious aircraft could be pulled-aboard from aft, for re-arming and refueling.
Further remarks below.....
ShauryaT wrote:^Are some of you intent on making Shiv's prediction true, that this is a thread for video gamers? I mean think out of the box but with some notions of reality. Jet engines, supersonic speed, long range, large payloads are essential elements of a modern strategic bomber. The US is ofcourse into stealth bombers with Russia and China to follow. Request some rational discourse please.
Actually, I never was much of a video gamer (aside from Solitaire while procrastinating); though I do have an advanced degree in Lego, with a minor in Meccano.
While I admit that I am not an aviation engineer of any description; I am a devoted practitioner and life-long student of strategy.
One of the first things to understand in strategic affairs and the like, is that a "parallel" strategy that mirrors, mimics or matches an adversary's, will invoke attrition as a matter of course. This counsels for an "asymmetric" strategy that is underpinned by uncertainty, ambiguity, speed, reach and maneuver.
After having watched some Youtubes of Soviet-era "ekranoplans", including some very heavy-lift versions of truly impressive size.....Why not an ekranoplan that had extensible cruciform wings that would provide the lift to actually get all the way airborne?
(Recognize, the Russians already built such a craft, before the advent of more modern materials in use today.)
Imagine that the craft had a basic design, but that there were different versions with different capabilities; and these craft in the correct mix, could be deployed en mass; to establish something like a flotilla at sea.
If this can be pursued to establish very large numbers of platforms; it would any day nix a competing strategy an adversary may attempt in a sea denial campaign, CBG strike-group or whatever -- at a fraction of the cost.
Given that such craft fly very low, they will be hard to detect and track. If the submergence idea can be made to work; they can be flown-out and hidden below the surface, to present a very hard to detect platform for launching cruise missiles, torpedoes, naval mines, sonar buoys, and anti-air missiles.
Imagine just one of these, with a canisterized Brahmos-M, with the front end of the canister just protruding from the fuselage; floating just below the waves, waiting to 'shoot and scoot'. If such a craft could be made truly as stealthy as I think it can be; it'll be exactly the kind of thing that will keep India's adversaries second guessing every single war plan they might every contemplate.
Think about it.
Don't just blindly follow the fancy and expensive directions taken by the Amreekhans. Frankly, they don't exactly have a good track record of winning wars, and they've always had every advantage going-in. India's situation isn't the same; so the Indian requirement for a, let's call it a "strategic craft" is going to be decidedly different -- not lesser -- just different.
NB: The definition of 'Strategic Bomber' that seems to be in favour by some Rakshaks, was set back during the Cold War era before good radars, and satellite based IR detectors were around. Nowadays, big, fast-flying and so hot running airplanes are too easily detectable and so easy to interdict (with long range missiles, that any day have more speed and maneuver than any "bomber" imaginable).
When contemplating what India needs, which things India could make the greatest use of; it always makes sense to consider an asymmetric strategy.
Kindly also remember that the strategic purpose of "strategic bombers" during the Cold War, was to give the combatants time to negotiate, to establish an end to hostilities, before MAD. The vast expanse of Arctic airspace, was to be the time-delay to give surviving authorities in both the USA and Russia, some opportunity to turn bombers around, and signal to one another a de-escalation of hostilities.
In the Indian context, there is no vast expanse of space providing time to turn-off the war machine. Pakistan is next door, and so is China; the only two likely adversaries for which India is building a nuclear deterrent. Furthermore, as some have advocated for a fast-moving bomber; rather than a bomber maximized for endurance and/or range; the logic of this for India is even further stretched.
As for a bomber maximized for endurance, to provide some measure of a survivable airborne nuclear deterrent -- this is a remote gambit, which is terribly vulnerable in the case of all-out war.
Something that can hide, but also move quickly, will always have an inherent advantage of surprise (hence the genius of the ekranoplan). Large 'strategic bombers' are only "useful" against severely over-matched adversaries, and I would suggest that India leaves bombing the meek unto others. (Further remember that the Khans bombed the Vietnamese like no other, but still lost that war.)
If India wants to hit hard and fast, SU-30mki.
If India wants a 'Strategic craft' suited to India's war aims and requirements; consider an indigenous, amphibious 'strike craft'. It would be a 'medium lift' ekranoplan derivative with extensible cruciform wings to get fully aloft for cruising speeds above Mach 0.4.
Think about it.