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Well, I was just adding up all of the EU navies amphibious ships. And being generous too. And all of them without the ability to carry airplanes. The Spanish "Juan Carlos I" seems to be the first one with that capability. All the rest carry just some helicopters and (actual) landing ships.

The question is whether you need the ability to make a Marine Soldier amphibious assault ... there are cheaper amphibious landing docks.

Sure but that seems to be the real question.
The Falklands and French overseas departments for example were mentioned in another comment. Given that we don´t have battleships anymore :), you probably need air cover if you actually need to make an amphibious assault. Amphibious landing docks on their own can´t provide that. And the light carriers with 8-10 Harriers probably won´t be enough.

To say the truth I actually like the design of the "Juan Carlos I". It can be an amphibious ship or it can be a "middle-sized" carrier with 30 aircraft. I like the flexibility although as an engineer I´m pretty sure that they had to make some design compromises for it.

Simply put we don´t know what will happen in 10-15 years. Keeping our options open seems like a pretty good idea.

In a best case scenario, amphibious ships are really the best navy ships in rescue and natural disaster relief efforts. Large enough to transport lots of cargo. Helicopters to deliver aid. Doesn´t need a functioning port to deliver aid. (Small) hospital on board. (Probably) a water treatment plant on board.

In a worst case scenario, the ability to "convert" some of the amphibious ships to small or middle-sized aircraft carriers doesn´t seem wrong too.

Given human history, just planning for the best case scenario doesn´t strike me as a very successful strategy. Let´s hope for the best case scenario but let´s at least plan for a "middle" scenario?

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 04:28:08 PM EST
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