Naval vehicle Taxonomy (open source materials)

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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Unread post27 Jun 2022, 15:05


Brand new to the forum and looking for some advice. I'm currently working on a naval vehicle taxonomy for Naval and Naval Aviation vehicles. I'm looking to create a model that minimizes roles across different types of ships, boats, subs, and aircraft.

For instance, looking at the F/A-18E Super Hornet. I know that this is a twin-engine, carrier-capable, multi-role fighter. So if I were to create a database and search the database, the F-18E would pop up if I did a search for a Twin-engine, carrier-capable, or multi-role fighter. But the structure I'm looking to build this out is way more complicated than just this high-level overview. For instance, what does it mean to be carrier-capable?

From my research carrier-capable would be broken down in the following way:

Carrier-capable - Aircraft designed for operations from Aircraft Carriers
  • Catapult takeoff arrested recover - System used for launch and recovery of aircraft from the deck of an aircraft carrier. Launch utilizes a catapult-assisted take-off and landing on the ship uses an arresting wire
  • short takeoff vertical landing capability - Take-offs are accomplished with a 'ski-jump', instead of a catapult. While landing is capable of a vertical landing
  • short takeoff arrested landing - ""
  • unassisted takeoff - ""

This would be one very very small aspect of the structure I'm looking to map out.

A great example of the type of thing that I'm currently referencing, is the Nato JC3IEDM, which you can find at this link

This has been a useful reference, it has given me a lot of what I'm looking for, but it seems a little dated, and ultimately, doesn't tell me much about individual vehicles. For instance, the F/A-18E is a Multirole fighter. Multirole fighter has a very general definition. But while multirole may be used as a catch-all, I would want to actually define it as a multi-role fighter aircraft, but then list exact roles, such as; Combat oriented, Air Defense, Air to air, air to ground, air to air refueling, anti-ship capability, electronic warfare capabilities, imagery intelligence, recon capable, etc.

I would of course designate the differences between the E and F variant, single-seat vs tandem seat, and even the Super hornet vs the Growler.

It's a big project, and it's a very new subject matter to me. So I'm looking for recommendations on appropriate resources I should be looking at. Books, videos, articles, websites, anything that you could add to help me understand the capabilities, equipment, armament, and sensors of both Naval ships and Aircraft. Of course, I'm looking for any open-source, non-restricted information, related to naval vehicles. There's a company that puts out a sort of encyclopedia ... -yearbooks that they call yearbooks. They want $1500 for a single book. That's way out of my budget, so I'm looking for strong alternatives.

Does anyone have any suggestions.


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Unread post29 Jun 2022, 21:22

May I ask you what is the purpose of this database? If this is a university project of some sort? In this case get more money to access paid databases because they are much better than free of charge internet low-tier ones like militaryfactory.

If this is for hobby then holy smokes are you in for a ride. Even if you are looking to catalogue only currenly active vehicles you are still looking at hundreds of types which all have potentially dozens of variants, look no further than F-16 for an example.

cmano-db and Deagel are websites that I trust more than others as reference databases. The best open-source "encyclopedia" is probably US military's "Worldwide Equipment Guide" in three volumes, some of the older editions of which can be downloaded as pdf.

Have you tried the library? The bigger and better ones might carry some of the specialized literature, including Jane's publications (there are a lot more besides "fighting ships"). Alternatively they may have options to access paid databases. Or they may provide options to loan from e.g. military academies' libraries.

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