Thailand still sails its aircraft carrier

AKK's answer to Macron: For a European aircraft carrier (addendum: Merkel)

Technically possible now, but it eats up too many resources. If you already look at the new carriers of the Royal Navy ...

Everything that aircraft can carry to sea is thrown together again here.

There are 3 technical categories of carriers, which are defined by the different functioning of their flight decks.

CATOBAR: Catapult launch and rope landing - USA, France - F-18, F-35C, Rafale M, E-2 Hawkeye (reconnaissance aircraft), C-2 Greyhound (transport), T-45 Goshawk (trainer), Northrop Grumman X-47B (Combat drone, program successful but discontinued), Boeing MQ-25 Stingray (tanker drone in development), Sea Gripen (concept).

STOBAR: Self-propelled launch via ramp, landing rope - Rus, China, India - Su-33, Shenyang J-15 (Su-33 copy), MiG-29K, Su-25UTG / Su-25UBP (as trainer), F-18 SH (according to Boeing), Eurofighter Naval (according to BAE, concept), Sea Gripen (concept), Rafale M (according to Dassault)

STOVL: Short take-off (with or without ramp) and vertical landing - US, Spain, Italy, UK, Japan (planned), Thailand (no more Harrier in service) - Harrier II, F-35B

There are significant differences in terms of complexity, performance and costs.

CATOBAR is relatively complex, the flight deck with the catapult, the safety cable system and their subsystems determine extremely large parts of the design process and, above all, the energy supply.
Steam catapults use enormous amounts of steam, which used to be taken from a steam boiler and turbine propulsion system, and later from the nuclear reactors on board. The attempt to introduce electric catapults with the Gerald R. Ford class has so far failed phenomenally. The system can no longer be surpassed in terms of unreliability. But that doesn't stop the USA from stubbornly ordering more porters. France and India also want to rely on this technology. China also claims to be working on a conventionally powered CATOBAR carrier with electromagnetic catapults. The first Chinese STOBAR carrier is later to be ceded to Pakistan.

STOBAR is extremely simple, you need a large pot with a sufficiently long flight deck that can run over 30 knots. All you need is a safety cable system and deflectors on deck.
But you need planes with a lot of excess power at take-off. The take-off weight is reduced compared to a catapult take-off.

STOVL is only slightly simpler (no safety cable system, ~ 20 knots are enough), but can be implemented for much smaller carriers. The disadvantage is the considerable limitation in payload (weapons, equipment, fuel) and the fact that there is only one type of aircraft currently in production, the F-35B. Of all 3 variants, their deficits and shortcomings, the F-35B is the worst.
STOVL carriers can be very small due to the vertical landing, such as the HTMS Chakri Naruebet (Thailand).

The USN's large dock landing ships with a flat helicopter deck (Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD)) took over the Harrier II as a fighter plane sometime in the mid-1980s. Before that, they had experimented with the Harrier and then developed it further into the Harrier II. To want to build an aircraft carrier on this concept with the F-35B is something for idiots. The Harrier was reasonably cheap, difficult to fly but still easy to maintain. With the F-35B it is the other way around. Flying is easy, the costs are extremely high and maintenance is very complex. The demands on the ship (space and heat resistance of the deck) are not without. In contrast to the previous combination, the costs are no longer affordable. The US Marines want to have their own fixed wing aircraft and be able to use them independently.

In addition to the Queen Elizabeth class, the first two ships of the America class in the USA were designed according to this narrow idea. In terms of size, there isn't much going on about Charles de Gaulle. The Japanese Izumo class was created with the ulterior motive to obtain F-35B later. It was more political tactics than proper procurement.

Unfortunately, the Royal Navy has also dispensed with a safety cable system, which means that the porters cannot accommodate allied F-18s and Rafale Ms despite their size. You can also forget the Eurofighter Naval. It is only possible to operate with F-35B or helicopters.
The price of the F-35B has escalated and the carriers (> € 4 billion / piece) are exorbitantly expensive in contrast to the Invincible class. In the 60s the procurement of the CVA-01 class was canceled, it was simply too expensive. Even the 3 ships of the Invincible class were on the brink. At that time there were 50,000 more men in the navy and the size of the fleet was more than twice as high as it is today.

To compare Spain and Italy:
The Spanish Juan Carlos I did not cost 500 million euros. Italy's porter / troop carrier Cavour also only cost around 1.4 billion. The Giuseppe Garibaldi will be replaced by the “Future Landing Helicopter Dock LHD”; Cost about 1.1 billion

These countries will not take part in a European CATOBAR carrier group because there are no planes and carriers. The costs would also be far too high for these countries. STOBAR could be implemented with several countries, provided that the flying fleets were designed accordingly. How this should be implemented with the training is still a mystery to me. Just transferring to a carrier as an air force pilot is not an option.

It would make more sense to build 20 Meko A200 frigates and distribute them in Europe. If we can subsidize Israel's ships and submarines, we can probably do that with Portugal, Greece and others as well.