Military Review

Capacities and tactics of the US Navy carrier groups in 1960-1970.

Excerpt from Admiral’s Battle for the Oceans in the Cold and Future Wars fleet (retired) Captain Ivan Matveyevich.

Capacities and tactics of the US Navy carrier groups in 1960-1970.

The main concern was the tracking of aircraft carriers in the central and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea and the creation of a force group for tracking and counteraction, since the deck aviation was able to solve the following tasks:

1. Air strikes on military industrial facilities located on the coast and in the depths of the Soviet Union.
2. Air cover and support for amphibious forces at sea crossings, in combat for landing and during ground operations on the coast.
3. Gaining and maintaining air superiority in the combat area.
4. Ensuring air defense of aircraft carriers and escort ships.
5. The implementation of the blockade of marine areas.
6. Conducting air tactical intelligence.
7. Fighting ship groups.

Unfortunately, for the confrontation in the sea of ​​carrier-based aviation, we did not have the strength.

Improving the material base of the war at sea, the experience of the Vietnam War, as well as the actions of the aircraft carriers of the US 6 fleet in the Mediterranean Sea in the face of opposition from the ships of the 5 squadron caused the appearance of new characteristics of modern maritime operations:

1. The secrecy of the preparation of operations, the suddenness of their beginning and the constant striving for unexpected methods of action.
2. Huge spatial scope.
3. Mass use of the most diverse modern and so-called classic weapons.
4. The saturation of operations by active hostilities and their high dynamism.
5. The continuity of hostilities during the operation at the expense of aviation.
6. The pronounced offensive drive of the opposing forces.
7. The widespread use of EW.
8. The complexity of the organization of interaction.

It is necessary to note one more feature in the military art: with the onset of an equilibrium in the field of nuclear weapons, general-purpose forces acquire great importance as a deterrent factor in the event of an exacerbation of the situation. The criterion for the effectiveness of such forces is mobility and readiness for flexible response. The main task of the US Navy is to ensure dominance at sea, which required the use of aircraft carriers as multipurpose ones. The structure of the aircraft carrier wing began to include, in addition to attack aircraft and fighters, a detachment of anti-submarine aircraft.

On the Avu "Saratoga" for the first time in the Mediterranean, an experiment was conducted on the use of aircraft carriers in a multi-purpose version.

The composition of the US carrier-based aviation included 11 aircraft wings (1300 aircraft of various types) and 2 flight training aviation wings.

Of stories It is known that the first take-off of the deck-based aircraft was carried out on November 14 1910 from the cruiser Birmingham (USA). In 1922, in the USA, the first aircraft carrier converted from the coal transport Jupiter appeared. By the beginning of the Second World War (September 1 1939) the real aircraft carriers were: England - 7, USA - 7, Japan - 10, France - 1.

The effectiveness of aircraft carriers manifested itself in the strikes of the British carrier-based aviation against Italian ships in Taranto (1940 g.) and especially in 7 December 1941 strike of six Japanese aircraft carriers on Pearl Harbor Naval Base (USA)where 10 of American battleships and cruisers was sunk and damaged, and 250 airplanes were destroyed on airfields. This forced a change in views on the use of aircraft carriers.

In 1945, US experts concluded: aircraft carriers and aircraft based on them are "the most powerful and destructive weapons in the history of wars at sea." During the Second World War, the United States had a 6500 carrier-based aircraft (to the top of it - only 1600).

In 1961, the first nuclear aircraft carrier entered service in the USA "Enterprise"in 1968 - Kennedyin 1972 - "Nimitz". In 1975-1977 two more nuclear aircraft carriers were expected, it was planned to have nine nuclear aircraft carriers out of the twelve that were part of the Navy.

Carriers are the basis of general-purpose forces, so the United States planned to have 2-3 aircraft carriers in overseas theaters based on foreign bases. On each ocean, it was supposed to have combat operational groups led by an aircraft carrier that could be urgently sent without replenishing stocks to where the tense situation arose.

The aircraft carriers used various tactical methods during deployment - radio silence and single navigation; if necessary, multi-purpose nuclear submarines could be involved in escorting the Ava.

In general, in delivering strategic nuclear strikes to a depth of 800-1500 km, the role of aircraft carriers that had on board 144 nuclear weapons increased Mk-57, 61, 43, 28, and, in addition, 50-60% of nuclear bombs were on special weapons vehicles. In the first nuclear strike could be used up to 80% attack aircraft, of which with nuclear weapons 10-12 aircraft. In everyday conditions, the 4 attack aircraft are in readiness to use nuclear weapons.

For strikes in the composition of the wing on the newest aircraft carrier "Nimitz" was intended to 100 aircraft: 24 fighter F-14 "Tomket"The 24-36 Stormtroopers A-7 CorsairThe 12 Stormtroopers A-6 "Intruder"4 aircraft EA-6The 4 Aircraft ARLO E-2 "Hokai"The 4 heavy attack aircraft RA-5 Vigilant, 10 anti-submarine aircraft "Viking" and 8 anti-submarine helicopters A-3 "Sea King".

Thus, the 5-6 squadrons of carrier-based aircraft were based on a strike aircraft carrier: 2 fighter squadrons; 2-3 1 attack aircraft squadron and a squadron of aircraft maintenance. It was expected that the F-14 Tomket fighters would go to replace the Phantom-type fighter jets, and the new Viking PLO aircraft instead of the Trekker anti-submarine aircraft.

The Essex anti-submarine aircraft carrier had an air group consisting of three squadrons of anti-submarine defense aircraft (21 aircraft "Trekker"), Two squadrons of helicopters (16 helicopter "Sea King"), RLD units (4 aircraft "Tracer") and four fighters P-16.

It should be noted that the main efforts of the carrier-based aviation were directed against the ground forces, therefore 75% of the ammunition resource, including nuclear, was intended to act against coastal targets, and 25% against the forces of the fleet at sea.

Every day, when using conventional weapons from an aircraft carrier, 80 to 120 sorties can be made to strike; in just a day, up to three strikes can be carried out, at a maximum voltage per day of 1,5-2 attack aircraft and fighters - 2-3 aircraft-departure . AUG is able to conduct combat operations without replenishing up to 8 days, with winds up to 8 points, sea 5-6 points, visibility up to 2 km, clouds 300 m. Time to take airplanes from 30 airplanes up to 20 minutes.

Impact and defensive capabilities of an aircraft carrier are characterized as follows:

1. When striking ships to destroy the CUG in the composition bpk pr 1134B and two rocket ships pr. xnumha allocated a group to 6 attack aircraft. Duration of a strike 60-70 minutes.

2. When striking coastal objects, a group of up to 40 airplanes is allocated, of which 14-16 support (DRLO, EW, reconnaissance). Of course, the success of the action will depend on the coastal defense system.

3. The AUG air defense includes a zone of action of fighter aviation up to 300 km and a zone of responsibility of ZURO to 90 km (it is aimed against aircraft and fired missiles). The construction of an air defense system depends on the expected threat, and this is a sea-launched missile-carrying and long-range aviation, which has a range of launching aircraft cruise missiles from 150 to 450 km. Therefore, the combat order of the carrier-strike group is also based on the coastal air defense zone, where the main role was played by fighter aviation of operational-tactical aviation commands (5 and 6 attacks), especially when flying in areas hit by long-range and naval missile-carrying aircraft. Directly in the area VOP AUG may reside until 8-16 fighters. According to our calculations, the required outfit of forces for the destruction of an aircraft carrier is at least two regiments of naval missile aviation and 60-70 missiles launched.

4. The AUG anti-submarine defense is being built to fight submarines with missile and torpedo weapon carriers in threatened areas: near - from surface ships in the bow sectors at a distance of 20-50 cab and 1-2 helicopter at a distance of 40-60 cab at the course and feed from an aircraft carrier; far - 1-2 KPUG (75-150 cab) at flight angle corners; Aircraft "Trekker" and "Orion" to a depth of 200 miles. Multiple-purpose nuclear submarines can be used to target AUG on threatened areas. To enhance the antisubmarine defense, strike aircraft carriers are being upgraded to a multi-purpose version, having on board 16 aircraft such as the Trekker and 10 helicopters of Sea King; the total composition of the wing - 96 aircraft, of which combat - 54, anti-submarine - 26, service - 16.

During the war in Vietnam and the Middle East-based aircraft were widely used means of electronic warfare. A concept such as electronic warfare appeared, which included: electronic intelligence, radio-electronic suppression, protection of radio-electronic means, organizational and technical measures to reduce the effectiveness of radio-electronic means, the destruction of radio-electronic means by weapons homing by radiation.

Since 1966, all decked aircraft are fitted with electronic intelligence and jamming:

- stations masking defensive interference;
- automatic dropping of dipole reflectors;
- infrared traps;
- single-use interference transmitters;
- airborne missile stations infrared interference "air-to-air" with an infrared homing head;
- radiation warning receivers;
- direction-finding radar stations.

Aircraft electronic intelligence and electronic interference are additionally equipped with:

- transmitters of targeted misleading interferences;
- means of interfering with the radio link of the fighter aircraft;
- analyzers of radar signals;
- warning receivers about launches of guided missile systems.

It should be noted that the use of electronic warfare has greatly reduced the effectiveness of fighting air defense systems and fighter aircraft losses. The United States and NATO countries to actively implement the forces and means of electronic warfare mostly tactical and carrier aviation. For example, carrier-based fighters and attack aircraft used EW equipment for individual protection against fire from SAM, anti-aircraft artillery, and fighter fire, as well as for force suppression of enemy radar by setting barriers and creating false targets.

At the end of 60-ies based attack aircraft "Intruder" carrier-based aircraft electronic warfare has been created EA-6B "Proler"On board of which 8 various EW stations were located, designed to cover the battle formations of carrier-based aviation by creating massive radar noise interferences, creating imitation interferences and disrupting the automatic tracking of firing stations. On board the aircraft carrier based four such aircraft.

All this shows that the radio-electronic war was growing every year, occupying an important place in the daily activities and maritime operations.

So, analyzing the deployment of nuclear missile boats through the Strait of Tunis, we were able to locate a submarine using lowered sonar stations and stationary hydroacoustic buoys in the narrowest place, which was followed by an immediate response from the US 6 fleet. When taking up again the position in the Strait of Tunis, our ship was already opposed by the 2 of the American frigate, which made it difficult to detect atomic missile boats and ensure their deployment with active interference.

Analysis of the squadron's command gear showed that on US ships, radio intelligence conducted active listening to all open channels and channels of the BFU ZAS channels, therefore the location of the crew of the squadron was difficult to hide. However, we managed to secretly display reconnaissance aircraft Tu-16p on aircraft carriers. If we were transmitting coordinates by phone and they flew out of Cairo-West without VHF, then the British fighters “Lighting” from about. Cyprus was not intercepted by them, and when the TU-16p rushed over the deck of an aircraft carrier, a commotion arose: why did it “oversleep”. So not everything was perfect in the organization of AUG air defense.

Tracking difficulties arose in the Aegean Sea, when an aircraft carrier at night could enter the territorial waters of Greece and Turkey and, turning off the lights, maneuvered near the islands. The escort ships lifted the corner reflectors, imitating large surface targets, and even coming close together, and then dispersed, and there were cases when it turned out at dawn that the ship was watching the large transport from the support forces. After some of these failures squadron KP especially watching the aircraft carriers during their voyage to the island and the rocky areas.

When the sea was agitated, the 4-5 points of the aircraft carrier increased the speed to 20 knots, our aircraft and destroyers in such cases, as a rule, lagged behind and lost contact. There have been cases AUG separation from the ship by tracking navigation within 12 hours or more at 24 knots. In these cases, the tracking ship was usually left without fuel, and, knowing such a tactic of separation, we kept the tanker nearby at one of the points, and the tracking of the aircraft carrier was carried out by radio data.

Aircraft carriers in the eastern part of the sea after working for deck aircraft during 10-12 days entered the ports and bases of the NATO countries (Greece and Turkey) Piraeus, Izmir, Suda, Istanbul, Famagusta. The time of their stay there was not known, and keeping the tracking ship in a drift for days is uneconomical. I can’t say who invented the first one, but our tracking ship in the morning and evening, when we were tidying on an aircraft carrier, followed it into the wake and quietly picked up bags of paper thrown overboard — sometimes they had monthly plans of aircraft carrier actions at sea and days of parking in the bases. At first we didn’t believe it, considering it to be some kind of provocation, but later everything was confirmed, which made it easier for us to complete the task.

Thus, in the course of tracking aircraft carriers, it was established that they were working out the tactics of detachment from the squadron ships, using skerry and island areas, masking and high speed. All this was given to us by experience, analysis of the actions of the forces of the parties and the level of training of the commanders of ships, formations and squadron headquarters. It often happened that the AUG escort ships pushed aside our tracking ships, violated international rules, pointed guns at squadron ships, deck aircraft practiced strikes tactics. But even in these conditions, the crew maintained restraint and high combat readiness. In such cases, we had to remember the words spoken a century ago by Admiral G. Butakov: "We must prepare for battle always, constantly, prepare for the half hour for which we can say we exist and in which we will have to show that Russia does not have a fleet without benefit. " For the 5 squadron, these words were prophetic, this is how we understood our combat capabilities and our duty while serving in the Mediterranean.

At the time of the US Navy's 6 fleet, depending on the military-political situation, two alarm systems were used in the Mediterranean: one for the US Navy and the other for NATO forces. The signal system for combat readiness of the US Navy included:

1. Willingness number 5 ("fading") - everyday.

2. Willingness number 4 ("double seizure") - there is an area of ​​military-political contradictions. Armed forces are not involved in conflicts. The intensity of reconnaissance increases, the degree of dispersal of fleet forces No. 4 is introduced (3-6 days).

3. Willingness No. 3 ("quick step") - there is tension in a certain area, US interests are affected. The combat readiness of forces intended for the conduct of long hostilities is increasing. Limited communication mode (minimis). The term of the transfer 2-4 day.

4. Willingness number 2 ("quick step") - there was a serious threat to the US Navy in maritime theaters or allies. The situation is fraught with the occurrence of hostilities. The combat readiness of all assigned forces is increasing during 1-1,5 days.

5. Willingness No. 1 ("cocked pistol") - war is inevitable and can be declared at any time during 1,5-2 hours.

The NATO alarm system provided for the following readiness of forces:

1. Military alertness.

2. Military alarm system:
- "orange" - fighting can begin in the next 36 hours.
- "Alai" - the fighting began or will begin in an 1 hour.

3. Official alarm system:
- “simple alarm” - fighting may begin in a few days or a few weeks;
- "high alert" - fighting can begin within a week;
- "universal anxiety" - practically no time.

These alarm systems were practiced by the US 6 fleet during operational-strategic exercises, as well as strategic exercises at the South European theater of war.
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  1. Kovrovsky
    Kovrovsky 6 November 2013 11: 05
    I liked the photo for the article: they love to make Americans from any event of the show!
  2. Delta
    Delta 6 November 2013 11: 44
    "The main concern was the tracking of aircraft carriers in the central and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea and the creation of a grouping of forces for tracking and countering, since the carrier-based aircraft was able to solve the following tasks:"

    oh, I remember, Kaptsov argued that the aircraft carriers are so useless trough that no one paid attention to them in our fleet. If for you, Oleg (if you look at this article), even the Captain is not an authority ...
  3. The comment was deleted.
  4. Russ69
    Russ69 6 November 2013 12: 36
    AUG is of course strength; it would not be right to belittle dignity. But the failure of the aircraft carrier, it is immediately the strongest blow to the group.
  5. Gromila78
    Gromila78 6 November 2013 13: 24
    Well, I just wanted to write that Oleg Kaptsov would come and tell everyone that aircraft carriers are a useless pile of junk, as Vyacheslav got ahead of me drinks
  6. crambol
    crambol 6 November 2013 21: 23
    1961 the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier "Enterprise" was commissioned in the USA, in 1968 - "Kennedy",

    Attack aircraft carrier "John F. Kennedy" type "America".
    Norfolk District.
    Shot in 1969.
    Several times carrier-based fighter aircraft came from the stern to our
    fish processing floating base "Kronstadt Slava", imitating the entry to
    bombing. The feeling, frankly, was disgusting.
  7. pr 627
    pr 627 6 November 2013 22: 29
    Surprisingly, a whole day has passed and there are so few comments on the article. It seems that readers have a hard time understanding the information written by a professional naval sailor. Usually articles about aircraft carriers collect a lot of reviews, as a rule such "we need the same, wrap up and more." Other opinions are subject to obstruction, the admiral clearly showed that you can and should look for your own screw for each rear.
  8. moremansf
    moremansf 6 November 2013 22: 36
    The main task of each ship of the USSR Navy, at that time, was tracking the AUG, by any means ... And we definitely picked up the garbage, and then at the central control center, we sorted out all the pieces of paper and found a lot of interesting things, it was somehow easier with them, we they burned everything, and they overboard .. I remember they fished out something like our book of ship timetables AV "America", the scout with happiness almost went crazy !!!! Yes, there was a time, there is something to remember ... we will believe that the Russian fleet will return to the seas and oceans, and as before we will be respected as a GREAT SEA POWER !!!!!!!
  9. Vikmay16
    Vikmay16 7 November 2013 23: 52
    The article is sensible! Many years of experience are immediately visible!
  10. moreman78
    moreman78 10 November 2013 15: 56
    Quote: Delta
    "The main concern was the tracking of aircraft carriers in the central and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea and the creation of a grouping of forces for tracking and countering, since the carrier-based aircraft was able to solve the following tasks:"

    oh, I remember, Kaptsov argued that the aircraft carriers are so useless trough that no one paid attention to them in our fleet. If for you, Oleg (if you look at this article), even the Captain is not an authority ...

    But what, Kaptsov - a major authority or specialist in the field of naval technology, strategy or tactics? His opus only in KVNah read.