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CVS-101 Prometheus Class Submersible Carrier


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#1 Cyclone Trooper

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 10:08 AM


Image courtesy of Macross Mecha Manual


One thing that's always bothered me about the Prometheus dating as far back as my less-enlightened Robotech RPG days is the fact that the Prometheus was designed to be a combination aircraft carrier/submarine. The logistical aspect of a vehicle of this nature is mindboggling enough, much less the design aspect. I've asked several ex-Navy personnel over the years about how "realistic" a submersible aircraft carrier would be...only to be outright laughed at for asking such an asinine question. Suffice it to say that the US Navy doesn't have such a design on the drawing boards anytime in the foreseeable future... dry.gif

But that sort of reinforced my thoughts on the Prometheus...what exactly is the purpose of submerging a carrier? It's not exactly designed to be stealthy, nor is it small enough to bypass active sonar underwater. Its supposed to be the largest carrier class in existence by 2009 in the Macross universe...and just happens to have the ability to withstand a diving depth of 1.2 miles? Some will be quick to argue that this feat is accomplished by using Overtechnology, but from what I've seen, metal alloys in Macross don't seem to have any more resilience than their real-life counterparts. But that still doesn't answer the main question as to why someone even conceived of such an idea. Just because something CAN be done, doesn't necessarily mean that it SHOULD be done. Submerging would be a colossal pain in the rear to do...having to move every single aircraft belowdecks every single time before you could go underwater...

In contrast, the Daedalus being designed as a submersible beachhead landing craft makes more sense. It actually resembles a large sub in many ways and is fully designed to make shore-based infantry (if you want to consider 35-foot-tall Destroids as such) debarkations. But the underwater aircraft carrier idea has always seemed silly to me. I DO understand that the submersible idea made the whole "aircraft carrier in space" idea a bit easier for viewers to swallow...but still...

Anyone else's thoughts?

Edited by Cyclone Trooper, 22 May 2009 - 10:25 AM.


#2 RedWolf

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 10:24 AM

Well we know little details about the Unification War. From what we can tell the Anti-UN also got their hands on Overtechnology.

For all we know the Prometheus and Daedalus is a response to the arsenal of the Anti-UN.

Auerstädt Submarine Carrier


Octos



We know that the Anti-UN is more sophisticated than the UN Forces in terms of submersible craft.

#3 anime52k8

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 10:28 AM

Yeah, a Giant submersible aircraft carrier is completely unrealistic within the context of a show where humans fight 30 foot tall giants using Jets fighters that operate in space and turn into giant robots while being added by the power of song... and missile spam. rolleyes.gif

But to your question as to why build it. First I've never heard anything about the actual depth it's capable of diving to. In fact I've never read anything about the ships performance submerged at all. If there is such info out there then who ever has it can add it as they wish. Anyways the Prometheus and Daedalus are both discribed as semi-submersible. Now the logic behind them that I've heard is as fallows: the idea was that if and when invading aliens did arrive, these ships would be able to dive under water deep enough and long enough that they could survive an initial surface bombardment. Once the aliens stop blasting the crap out of everything, the ships would resurface and deploy VF's and destroids to counter attack. This plan, like every other one the UNG came up with in SDF:M, of course when to hell in a hand basket when the Zentraid actually did show up so this capability was never put to use.

The real reason though is that they needed to be able to justify how a terrestrial aircraft carrier and LST are able to function in space.

:edit: and as for real world comparison, the idea of taking an up-scaled version of a super carrier and making it submersible is ridiculous but the idea of an air craft carrier submarine is hardly out of the question. real world versions are much closer to the Auerstädt however, where it's basically a Ballistic missile sub style design that can launch aircraft from it's tubes instead of missiles.
submersible aircraft carriers actually were deployed all the way back in WWII by the Japanese, and there have been fairly recent studies into the possibility of launching armed UAV's form the vertical launch tubes of US boomers.

Edited by anime52k8, 22 May 2009 - 10:35 AM.


#4 Cyclone Trooper

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 10:37 AM

QUOTE (anime52k8 @ May 22 2009, 02:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Now the logic behind them that I've heard is as fallows: the idea was that if and when invading aliens did arrive, these ships would be able to dive under water deep enough and long enough that they could survive an initial surface bombardment. Once the aliens stop blasting the crap out of everything, the ships would resurface and deploy VF's and destroids to counter attack. This plan, like every other one the UNG came up with in SDF:M, of course when to hell in a hand basket when the Zentraid actually did show up so this capability was never put to use.


Exactly. If the opening sequence to the DYRL video game is any indicator, the semi-submersible aspect wasn't even given a chance since the Prometheus was sliced in half like a loaf of bread within seconds of Skull Squadron launching. And the diving depth info isn't canon at all...it was given in the old Palladium RPG books, so that depth was most likely just pulled out of someone's butt because it sounded feasible at the time.

QUOTE (anime52k8 @ May 22 2009, 02:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The real reason though is that they needed to be able to justify how a terrestrial aircraft carrier and LST are able to function in space.

That's what I've always believed, to be honest.

#5 Mr March

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 10:45 AM

Where does it say the Prometheus is submersible? I've never read that. The class is designated as a semi-submersible, which no doubt refers to the fact that it floats like a boat on water.

Having said that, one would have to assume that either the whole ship can be sealed or it was overhauled when it was attached to the SDF-1 Macross. Otherwise, how is the thing operating in space? Unless we assume that there is no environment upon the Prometheus and everyone operating on board must be in a space suit smile.gif

QUOTE (Cyclone Trooper @ May 22 2009, 02:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Some will be quick to argue that this feat is accomplished by using Overtechnology, but from what I've seen, metal alloys in Macross don't seem to have any more resilience than their real-life counterparts.


This sounds like an odd conclusion, especially given the amazing durability and resilience of any valkyrie. No modern fighter would survive intact if it crashed into a city, through a bridge, or into the ground at high speeds, something the valkyries have survived from AND again achieved flight afterward.

Edited by Mr March, 22 May 2009 - 10:51 AM.


#6 Phyrox

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 10:54 AM

QUOTE (Cyclone Trooper @ May 22 2009, 01:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
the submersible idea made the whole "aircraft carrier in space" idea a bit easier for viewers to swallow...but still...


That's it. No need to think about it any further.

However, I will add that "semi-submersible" usually refers to a vessel which can operate mostly underwater, but with at least some portion remaining awash (just above the waterline). In the Prometheus' case, this might prove useful in drastically reducing the radar and IR signature of the carrier in situations where it might find stealth of more use than the use of its air arm.
Also, aircraft carrying submarines date from before the Japanese designs of the second world war (although the IJN did run with the idea further than anyone else had). The USN, coincidentally, tossed around design studies of a submarine amphibious assault transport as well, so the Daedalus is design is, well...still really unrealistic

edit:
Mr. MArsh, semi-submersible doesn't just mean "it's a boat." It does really mean something unique, in naval terms. Several early submarines were actually only semi-submersibles, as well as the small craft used by the Confederates in the U.S. Civil War. I think most were, it's been some time since I read up on the Davids and Hunley designs. I know the David's were, but possibly there was something which could operate fully submerged for a time? I'd have to look it up, and I don't care to. But yeah, he's half right about semi-submersible meaning something, is all I'm about here.

Edited by Phyrox, 22 May 2009 - 11:00 AM.


#7 RedWolf

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 10:55 AM

QUOTE (Mr March @ May 22 2009, 10:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This sounds like an odd conclusion, especially given the amazing durability and resilience of any valkyrie. No modern fighter would survive intact if it crashed into a city, through a bridge, or into the ground at high speeds, something the valkyries have survived from AND again achieved flight afterward.


Yeah the VF-11B was in one piece even if Isamu wasn't.

#8 akt_m

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 11:13 AM

If Kawamori said: "In Macross, male zents don't have balls so they can't reproduce." We would have to say: ok. Nothing else to do.

Also you can't complain about realistic stuff when there are transformable airplanes.

Edited by akt_m, 22 May 2009 - 11:15 AM.


#9 Mr March

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 11:17 AM

QUOTE (Phyrox @ May 22 2009, 02:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Mr. MArsh, semi-submersible doesn't just mean "it's a boat." It does really mean something unique, in naval terms. Several early submarines were actually only semi-submersibles, as well as the small craft used by the Confederates in the U.S. Civil War. I think most were, it's been some time since I read up on the Davids and Hunley designs. I know the David's were, but possibly there was something which could operate fully submerged for a time? I'd have to look it up, and I don't care to. But yeah, he's half right about semi-submersible meaning something, is all I'm about here.


I'm feeling kinda swampy today smile.gif
I know technically "semi-submersible" means more than boat, but for all intents and purposes the ship remains above water, as I understand the term. The Prometheus might submerge more of it's hull under the water than any regular aircraft carrier, but it's not completely submerging nor operating like a full submarine.

QUOTE (RedWolf @ May 22 2009, 02:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yeah the VF-11B was in one piece even if Isamu wasn't.


Joker: What plane was Isamu flying?
Millard: What difference does that make?
Joker: Well, depending on the plane, he could be in one piece or several


smile.gif

Edited by Mr March, 22 May 2009 - 11:20 AM.


#10 Phyrox

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 11:22 AM

QUOTE (akt_m @ May 22 2009, 02:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also you can't complain about realistic stuff when there are transformable airplanes.


Actually, you can. I always thought the primary difference between sci-fi and outright fantasy is that in science fiction, you susspend disbelief on just one or two points and let "science/reality" fill in the rest. So in Macross you get giant humanoid aliens and overtechnolgy, and the rest should really be sensible. Which, for the most part it is. And when it isn't, I see no reason not to compain.

I mean, I personally don't complain, but I'm not usually hardcore like that. But I certainly understand why others do. Internal consistency + general adherence to reality (with the exception of one or two fantastic elements) = good sci-fi.

#11 Bri

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 12:00 PM

The submersible aircraft carrier was not exactly a new concept to the anime audiences of the early 80s. A few years before Macross there was Blue Noah (aka Thundersub) which had a carrier/submarine that later was even refited to operate as a spaceship. Off course it is all based on Yamato but still the concept was there so I guess it was just a matter for establishing that the carrier could function in space and hook up to the Macross.

Blue Noah

Edited by Bri, 22 May 2009 - 12:01 PM.


#12 Cyclone Trooper

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 12:07 PM

I'm not complaining, per se. Like Phyrox said, good sci-fi only suspends belief in one or two areas and grounds the rest firmly in the realm of reality. Macross, to me, is good sci-fi. With that in mind, I've always tried to fit some of the less fantastical aspects of the anime into "real world" perspective...and then ask myself, "Why'd they do that?" Even the less-than-realistic transformational aspects of the Valkyries were explained away as a potential defense against giant aliens. They could literally go toe-to-toe with the Zentraedi. But stuff like the submersible/semi-submersible supercarrier (I've seen both terms used) never really made sense to me from a practical point of view. Now as for storytelling purposes, having both sea-going vessels be somewhat self-contained makes it easier to believe that they could survive the lack of atmosphere in space.

This very argument against the believability behind the Prometheus/Daedalus being self-contained environments and being jury-rigged into the "arms" of the SDF-1 MAY have contributed to the decision to go with ARMD platforms as arms in DYRL instead of just updating the look of the carriers.

I just figured some more learned Macross enthusiasts would know something I didn't about the purpose behind the Prometheus...

Edited by Cyclone Trooper, 22 May 2009 - 12:15 PM.


#13 Kronnang Dunn

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 04:01 PM

QUOTE (Bri @ May 22 2009, 01:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I guess it was just a matter for establishing that the carrier could function in space and hook up to the Macross.


I re-watched the original 1982 Macross TV series and in the episode set after Captain Global orders the fold he tells Misa (who can't contact anyone in the folded sea carriers) that he fears the worse since both the Prometeus and the Daedalus weren't made for space operations.

Does this mean that the original crew of the carriers died due to exposure to space vacuum? ph34r.gif

#14 MilSpex

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 04:51 PM

What advantages aren`t in a submersible aircraft carrier??! The ability to slip into range of an enemy harbor with that enemy having an air force and launch an all out aerial attack without being detected? With over the horizon radar technology and satellites these days thats a lot greater task than it was back at Pearl Harbor.

If you want to attack an advanced enemy these days you can expect to have multiple salvos (more than any CIWS can handle) of high speed anti ship missiles fired from enemy shore based positions and aircraft all of which have a greater range and speed than the aircraft on your deck. Your carrier would be cut in half and even if you`re aircraft were launched they would have nowhere to return to.

And I`d like to see proof a submersible as large as a carrier can`t avoid sonar. Some of the US subs are MASSIVE and but the ocean is BIGGER and if you run silent and deep its hard for the enemy to know where to look.

#15 RedWolf

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 05:10 PM

QUOTE (Kronnang Dunn @ May 22 2009, 04:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does this mean that the original crew of the carriers died due to exposure to space vacuum? ph34r.gif


Why do you suppose they had a recruiment drive from the civvies?

The crews of both ships had no idea the Macross would do that.

#16 Gubaba

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 05:32 PM

This has little to do with the topic, but I've been waiting too long for opportunity to present it...

PROMETHEUS ATTACK!!!
Attached File  IMG_0020.jpg   66.44KB   69 downloads


#17 anime52k8

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 06:19 PM

QUOTE (Phyrox @ May 22 2009, 11:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
edit:
Mr. MArsh, semi-submersible doesn't just mean "it's a boat." It does really mean something unique, in naval terms. Several early submarines were actually only semi-submersibles, as well as the small craft used by the Confederates in the U.S. Civil War. I think most were, it's been some time since I read up on the Davids and Hunley designs. I know the David's were, but possibly there was something which could operate fully submerged for a time? I'd have to look it up, and I don't care to. But yeah, he's half right about semi-submersible meaning something, is all I'm about here.


I think the Hunley could operate fully submerged but not very long, tiny volume of internal air and all.




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