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kon_thai

Aircraft Carrying Submarine

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I wonder why there aren't any aircraft carrying submarines in the present.

It doesn't seem like a completely bad idea, since there are helicopters lying around not to mentioned those UAV.

Is it cost inefficient or impossible due to complex modules?

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While this has been explored in the past with successful designs like the brilliant I-400 IJN WW2 subs, there are many many reasons as to why this is a very bad idea in the modern age.

Firstly a submarine relies on stealth to be effective. If you can stay deep you can move at a decent speed without cavitating. Having to surface the submarine to unpack and unload fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters or even UAVs to ready them for launch means that any stealth you had under water is gone as you are now a huge radar target to anyone in range, not to mention a big fat stationary target to any ASW weapons platforms. Back in WW2 radar was still being refined and improved on and a sub like the I-400 could be able to surface and get its planes away with a good chance of not being detected. Today every warship and warplane has pretty good radar so forget trying to stay undetected while on the surface.

Anything this sub would achieve with its aircraft can be done by an aircraft carrier anyway. Plus aircraft carriers are always well defended anyway. Having a large surface fleet following a sub about to launch aircraft will give away any element of surprise.

Secondly what role are your aircraft/Helos/UAV's meant to fulfil? Recon? Anti ship? ASW? Land attack? Each role requires possibly a different payload of weapons which must be kept aboard the sub and loaded onto your aircraft. Staying further away from your target gives less chance of the sub being detected while launching and recovering aircraft, but reduces the time over target (TOT) of the aircraft. Launching closer gives the aircraft more TOT but greatly increases the risk to the submarine.

Third point is that no submarine design currently in service or in reserve has the necessary design to even practically be modified at great cost to accommodate aircraft. You need a large open "hangar" space to put the aircraft as well as fuel tanks and weapons storage areas to service these aircraft as well. There is a very real and practical reason why modern subs do not have massive doors large enough to allow loading of things as big as aircraft. Large doors or any large opening are a massive weak point when dived due to the water pressure at depth. Even the hatches to reload torpedoes are only just big enough to get the job done.

Sorry but in modern warfare it is just not very practical and would be extremely expensive to build a one off group of aircraft carrying subs. I cannot see it happening.

Edited by HobartAWD

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[DIY]
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I see.

RADAR kinda pointed it out for me. Even if the sub finish the job of launching aircraft, the real deal is that guided missile or whatever have already been launched.

Now, I'm curious if human are able to put UAV inside torpedo for launching. I might be daydreaming but if this happened, it would be fascinating.

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On 1/31/2018 at 10:34 PM, kon_thai said:

Now, I'm curious if human are able to put UAV inside torpedo for launching. I might be daydreaming but if this happened, it would be fascinating.

There is such a thing

multiple infact, there is  outrider, Sea Robin XFC, BlackWing, Cormorant

it used canister not torpedoes, Cormorant is quite big so it used Modified Tomahwak launcher tube - fully expand its almost half the size of Mig 15

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