the obvious answer
An innovative answer to a real problem. I watched a rescue of a fishing crew with one of these aircraft while in the USN. Your line by line analysis is excellent.
“However, we support the continuous development of new and innovative solutions that may provide solutions to logistical challenges.”
Translation: "Shin Maywa does not get (me/my patron) paid. The contracts for the yet-to-be-more-than-an-artist's-conception DERPA...sorry, I mean DARPA Wunderwaffen just might get (me/my patron) paid."
Now where did I put that black flag...?
When I give a history tour with young flight students in Pensacola, I always show them the score board of the Hornet with all those Japanese air to air kills (over 600) I would point and tell them to imagine the opening days of the war with China and being on the 7th fleet watch floor and hearing and seeing all the PLB’s going off over the South China Sea and Sea of Japan. I pointedly ask them: “Since this WILL be you or squadron mates. HOW will we rescue you? Submarines will be too important and critically employed to risk for a rescue. The rotary assets will be busy engaged in ASW or the DDG won’t be in the area due to tasking, and the CV will be busy engaging in reducing the LLOA for its next strike or its survival. What is the plan?!?”
The look on their faces is profound and I can tell it’s a thought and discussion they haven’t had up until then.
Rotary rescues provide an advantage over latency. Because a helo can hover and recover. But the environment must be semi permissive and with in range of the rescue. This makes a sea plane the best choice based on range alone and chance of success and survival of the rescue asset.
Admiral Aquilino is missing an opportunity to save training dollars to replace our airman and more importantly he is missing an opportunity to maintain the fighting spirit of those squadrons when they are tasked to fly and fight knowing they or their squadron buddies have a legitimate chance of rescue. To pretend or ignore that rescues won’t be an outcome of our war with China is a moral hazard and criminal.
I would hate to be the TFCC or Battle Watch Captain when the opening blows begin knowing we can’t rescue those aircrews.
CSAR version is a necessity, and so are ASW and Maritime Strike versions!
Commander, you're looking at this from the wrong perspective. You must remember the 100%-owned F Joe Biden and his junta are doing everything they can to render us completely helpless. From such things as abject surrender in Afghanistan, turning over $billions in war-fighting materiel, to draining our weapons/ammunition/fuel stocks to empty, giving it all away to another puppet regime...
Since they will surrender promptly after the first major shot is fired by PLA, there will be no need to consider rescuing Airmen from downed planes or Sailors from sunken ships.
Not sexy enough Sal. No flag is going to add a star for that. Not made here, no congresscritter graft opportunity. And where is the DIE [sic] linkage?
Yer better'n this. 😉
20 years of operations analysis on the Navy and OSD staff’s constantly resurrected the seaplane concept and the great value in supporting austere locations and conducting CSAR. Leadership and the acquisition experts (too beholden to existing programs) always rejected the idea. Great article- thank you
Funny – I literally had this same conversation over the weekend with a P-8 bubba who was supposed to fly the US-2 as a part of USNTPS – I got the same stock response that while the ShinMaywa was fine piece of kit it was too specialized for USN use. I then asked him what the P-8 Plan B would be if the runways at Kadena, Andersen, and other sites were full of craters – he didn’t have an answer. I politely suggested he go read up on PatWing 10’s 1941/1942 “deployment” from Cavite to Darwin – Sal is right; there are very few (if any) senior USN officers who have an appreciation of history and have drawn lessons for the dark first six months of World War Two.
Papa Scoobs still speaks of the days when he was a JO stationed at NASNI and the last of the P5Ms graced the ramps, heralding the end of 50 years of seaplanes being an integral part of Naval Aviation.
Oh, and I’ve spoken with other USN bros who have flown the US-2 – they love it! Guess we’ll just sit back and watch LockMart fart around with adding pontoons to their “Sea”-130 – any bets on how long that’ll take???
I remember as a pax in a C-12 in line for landing at Iwakuni behind a JASDF US-2 who left a huge "air-knuckle" we hit... dropped us about 500 ft... The US-2 is a hugely valuable asset and something we needed yesterday.
We've shown a startling lack of strategic vision since the Cold War ended. USAF is the EA for CSAR yet has few CSAR assets, virtually all short ranged. Best they can come up with is pontoons for C130's so far. USN will need long range ASW to transit its carriers, yet the S3 has been gone a long time. The Japanese a/c could fill both CSAR and ASW needs.
BTW, it takes over a minute for a modern nuke to submerge, so you aren't going to get them surfacing for rescues in areas where there are hostile a/c around.
Seaplanes along with unmanned surface (even subsurface for those closer to enemy shores) rescue craft patrolling the waters along the flight paths.. These unmanned craft could provide an almost continuous presence. The craft could home in on the pilots survival emergency radio /beacon signal. Stocked with supplies and providing protection from the elements it could move the downed aircrew to a linkup with a seaplane other rescue vessel. Think of them has advanced, self-propelled versions of the rescue buoys used in the English Channel during WWII.
Seaplanes start out simple, an aircraft with wings that lands on water.
Then, it grows into a thing that is too many jobs and missions, until it can't land on water anymore.
I recall the C-130 was investigated as a seaplane once.
How did that end up?
Oh well, we still do not have seaplanes.
You need multiple platforms, especially if you are going to use those slow LAWS to get people and equipment to islands...because you want to get OFF the island (and away) when you are attacked by superior forces a lot more quickly than 14 knots allows. So, that means getting Ospreys/Valors to lift personnel off the island to LHAs/LHDs or other islands. Equipment that they want to move would still need heavy lift helicopters to get out. Where these wouldn't serve to get people in and out, the seaplane would certainly have a mission, even as another platform for supply and logistics. You could also use the seaplanes (again) for ASW in the SCS in addition to SARS. So there is a lot they COULD do based on what they USED to do, for sure. Task and Purpose - you have a multi-role platform that can be used a lot of ways in a maritime environment and free up other assets for other duties, or plug the gap if they are otherwise engaged or not in position. As much as they need/want distributed fires, they also need distributed logistics and transport.
Sal, I'm an artillery guy - so things like fuel, range, heavy ammunition, consumption rates, and planning are near and dear to my heart. There are so many parallels with what is happening with the complex - and our ability to see things for what they are - yet not take action. Ukraine should be a wake up call for our politicians, military and industry...but as you continue to show, it's not always so.
This article is spot on...the enormity of the problem begs the question and you've provided a useful and workable answer. But alas, we'll see if the PF has the prescience and wisdom to do the right thing with the very real possibility of our airman bobbing around the Pacific unaided as we put the Joint force through the inevitable meat grinder. Semper!
Why buy the US-2 for $40 mil a pop when it is capable, available, has a proven track history, economical, and multi-mission? Nope, we need a DARPA designed (or endorsed) $300 million gold plated "ready in 2 decades" (hopefully) single use (but gosh the kickbacks in building multiple versions) wet dream of an aircraft.
Flew at Atsugi for 4 years and those flying boats were the coolest thing in the pattern and saw one at Iwo Jima doing practice water rescues. Would look great in medium blue with Insignia Spec 241102-K.
See slide 74 of this presentation: https://wentworthreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Archibald-Ukraine-and-Lessons-for-War-with-China-21st-May-2023.pdf
The Grumman Albatross appeared near the end of WW2. We can't build seaplanes fast enough so build all of them. And yes people will die on the open ocean. Including destroyer crews.