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Portaaviones R-01 Dedalo [2]

The Spanish Dedalo [Daedalus] was the first in the world that was supplied by the Harrier. It was the first ship in the world normally carry Harrier aircraft in its complement of aircraft. Originally launched as USS Cabot (CVL-28), an American light aircraft carrier belonging to the Independence class, that participated in the Second World War in the Pacific theater.

The Independence class carriers were a result of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's interest in Navy shipbuilding plans. In August 1941, with war clearly in prospect, he noted that no new fleet aircraft carriers were expected before 1944 and proposed to quickly convert some of the many cruisers then building. Studies of cruiser-size aircraft carriers had shown their serious limitations, but the crisis following the December 1941 Pearl Harbor disaster demonstrated the urgent need to have more carriers as soon as possible. The Navy responded by greatly accelerating construction of the big Essex class carriers and, in January 1942, reordering a Cleveland class light cruiser as an aircraft carrier.

Plans developed for this conversion showed much more promise than expected. The Independence class design featured a relatively short and narrow flight deck and hangar, with a small island. To compensate for this additional topside weight, the cruiser hulls were widened amidships by five feet. The typical air group, originally intended to include nine each of fighters, scout-bombers and torpedo planes, was soon reoriented to number about two dozen fighters and nine torpedo planes.These were limited-capability ships, whose principal virtue was near-term availability. Their small size made for seakeeping problems and a relatively high aircraft accident rate.

There was also little margin for growth, as their post-war careers showed. Independence was expended as an atomic bomb target, and the rest were laid up in 1947. Five returned to service in 1948-53, two with the French Navy. Two were used as training carriers, while Bataan saw Korean War combat duty with Marine Corps air groups. She and Cabot received anti-submarine warfare modernizations in the early 1950s, emerging with two smokestacks instead of the original four. All but the French ships decommissioned in 1954-56 and were reclassified as aircraft transports in 1959.

USS Cabot, a 11,000-ton Independence class small aircraft carrier, was built at Camden, New Jersey. Converted while under construction from the light cruiser Wilmington (CL-79), she was commissioned in July 1943. Early in 1944, Cabot arrived in the Pacific war zone and immediately became part of the Pacific Fleet's fast carrier striking force. She participated in all the Fleet's major carrier actions from then until the end of World War II, notably including the Marshalls Operation, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Battle of Leyte Gulf, raids on the Philippines and other Pacific islands, the Iwo Jima Operation, carrier strikes on Japan and the Okinawa Campaign. She was damaged by Japanese Kamikazes on 25 November 1944, but remained in operation despite casualties to her crew and structure.

Following Japan's capitulation in August 1945, Cabot supported occupation efforts and then returned to the United States in November. She was decommissioned in February 1947, but returned to active service in October 1948 as a Naval Air Reserve training carrier. During the early 1950s, Cabot deployed once to European waters and received modernization to fit her for the anti-submarine support role. Decommissioned in January 1955, she was reclassified as an aircraft transport and redesignated AVT-3 in May 1959.

In 1967, after over twelve years in "mothballs", Cabot was loaned to Spain, in whose navy she served as Dedalo. Cabot was delivered on August 30, 1967 in assignment to Spain for five years, although it ended up being bought in 1973.

The flight deck measured 168 x 22 m, totaling an area of 3.696 m2. The ship hangar was 70 x 13 m, totaling an area of 910 m2, which meant that of the theoretical maximum of aircraft, the vast majority would be on deck. The ship had a pair of elevators, once centered aft, and the other to the starboard forward by the island.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) put the first Harriers into operational service in 1969 in the roles of close air support, battlefield air interdiction, and tactical reconnaissance. For operation from its carrier the Dedalo, the Spanish Navy has also bought 13 AV-8As and TAV-8As Matadors [as the Harrier was known in Spanish service]. In the early 1980s a navalized version, the Sea Harrier, was introduced by the Royal Navy in the primary role of fleet air defense.

Although initially Dedalo served as a helicopter carrier with mainly anti-submarine mission, being acquired for this purpose, on 08 November 1972 a Harrier short and vertical landing aircraft successfully conducted a series of tests on its deck, which had to be reinforced. Thus became the first ship that received this type of aircraft. In December 1973, the arrival of 8 Harriers acquired in the United States confirmed the creation of the core of aerial combat of the Spanish Armada. It was the first ship in the world normally carry Harrier aircraft in its complement of aircraft. The Matador worked well off the veteran ships wooden flight deck; however range was limited by lack of a ski jump.

Her embarked aviation unit comprised normally 4 air groups. For example, one with 4 anti-submarine helicopters type SH-3 Sea Kinganother with 4 AB-204/AB-212 anti-submarine / electronic warfare, a third group with four specialized helicopters (e.g. attack helicopters Bell AH-1 G Cobra of the 7th squadron of the Navy, or until 1976, and if the priority of the mission was anti-submarine warfare, 4 anti-submarine helicopters Sikorsky S-55/CH-19E Chicksaw), and a fourth group for aircraft Harrier AV-8A/S. Capacity maximum was 7 of these groups on board.

In October 1969, Dedalo participated in maneuvers Emanuel Faron IV in waters close to Barcelona, with the presence of the then Prince Juan Carlos de Borbn y Borbn aboard the Ddalo. In October 1977, Dedalo participated in military maneuvers in the waters of the Canario archipielgo named "Sea Canaries". On 09 August 1978 Dedalo participated alongside the frigates Baleares (F-71) and Extremadura (F-75), and the destroyers Lepanto (D-21) and Roger de Lauria (D-42), and the American submarine Shark in antisubmarine exercises off Cartagena. In November Dedalo arrived at Cdiz where was integrated, along with other units, to participate in maneuvers ARDEX-78 between the days 9 and 13, which consisted of an assault on the Playa de Carboneras.

In April of 1980, Dedalo participated in Air Corps maneuvers in waters of the Bay of Palma de Mallorca. On 20 January 1983, its helicopters managed to rescue 8 crew of the Polish freighter Kudowa Zdrj, which sank to seven miles of Ibiza because of a shift of the cargo.

On 14 May 1986, an accident occurred in waters of Cartagena, to crash into a mast of the portaeronaves communications of the third squadron of the aeronaval group of Navy helicopter during a night exercise. In this accident, there were 3 dead and 1 missing. In June of 1987 the Prince of Asturias [is, the Crown Prince], aboard was part of his military training, participating in the naval exercises fleet-87, in the waters of the Atlantic.

The Dedalo was the flagship of the Spanish Navy until the entry into service of the Prncipe de Asturias (R-11). Dedalo was stricken by the Spanish Navy in August 1989 and given to a private organization in the U.S. for use as a museum ship. However, during the subsequent decade plans to memorialize Cabot/Dedalo met with no success, and the now much deteriorated ship was sold for scrapping in 1997. After the failure of a lengthy legal effort to preserve the old carrier, she was cut up at Brownsville, Texas, beginning in November 2000.

Portahidroaviones Dedalo [1]

In 1917 (September 13), Spanish Naval Aviation was officially created, althoughthe first hydroplanes were not bought until 1920. In addition, an aircraft handling ship,the Dedalo, was also acquired to carry an airship and several hydroplanes aboard. The 414-foot long seaplane tender Dedalo was the first aviation ship of the Spanish Armada. In fact, it was the German flag (Neuenfels) steamer, delivered to Spain along with five other mechant ships by the Weimar Republic (in principle be renamed by Spain no. 6) after the First World War as reparations for the sinking of Spanish ships at the hands of German submarines. Built in 1901 of English manufacture Neuenfels, the ship was converted to a seaplane tender in 1920 by workshops Vulcano, and scrapped in 1940.

In 1925 the ship participated as part of a combined Spanish-French fleet in the execution of the aeronaval operation known as Disembarkation of Alhucemas, playing a key role their seaplanes by intensively bombing enemy positions. In 1934, from your deck, took place the takeoff and landing of one of de la Cierva autogyros. It was the first time that a rotary wing aircraft operated from a ship.

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Page last modified: 25-01-2013 18:56:39 ZULU