World of Warships

Final Review: U.S. Tier X Freemium Aircraft Carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt

In early March of this year, Wargaming announced the arrival of our very first Tier X Freemium aircraft carrier, the Franklin D. Roosevelt. After many testing iterations, tweaks, etc. as well as a quite substantial overall of her concept, they finally declared the ship as final.

As such, with the Update 0.9.9, almost 7 months after her initial appearance, the Franklin D. Roosevelt is finally getting released for the substantial price of 33 000 Steel. This places her as the most expensive steel ship of the game in front of Shikishima with 32 000, Bourgogne with 30 000 and Stalingrad with 28 000.

Is she worth that amount of hard-earned steel? How does she stack compared to the other carriers? Here is my opinion on the subject after a little history time.

Historical Background

U.S.S Franklin D. Roosevelt was the second ship of the Midway-class aircraft carriers and the first aircraft carrier named after a President of the United-States. Launched on 29 April 1945 and commissioned on 27 October 1945, the ship barely missed World War II.

Overall, she had a quiet career, being part of the Sixth fleet that was deployed in the Mediterranean Sea for most of her active service.

The ship was the first aircraft carrier to operate an all-jet aircraft with tests on the McDonnell XFD-1 Phantoms.

In 1954, the ship was temporarily decommissioned to undergo an extensive refit (SCB-110). She received an enclosed hurricane bow, new catapults, strengthened arresting gear, an enlarged bridge, a mirror landing system, and a 147 m angled flight deck. SPS-8 height finding radar and SPS-12 air search radar were mounted on a new tubular mast. The aft elevator was relocated to the starboard deck edge, the forward elevator was enlarged, and all elevators were uprated to 75 000 lb (34 000 kg) capacity. Aviation fuel bunkerage was increased from 350 000 to 450 000 gallons (1 320 000 to 1 700 000 L). Standard displacement rose to 51 000 tons, while deep load displacement rose to 63 400 tons. As weight compensation, several of the 127 mm Mark 16 anti-aircraft guns were landed, leaving only 10, and the 3 200 ton armor belt was removed. Hull blisters were also added to cope with the increased weight. Roosevelt was recommissioned on 6 April 1956.

From August 1968 to January 1967, the ship was deployed to Southeast Asia and received one battle star for her service during the Vietnam War.

In 1968, she underwent another modernization, however, due to massive costs overruns in Midway’s reconstruction, Roosevelt only received a limit refit, enabling her to operate the Grumman A-6 Intruder and TLV A-7 Corsair II.

By the late 1970s, the Franklin D. Roosevelt was well behind her sisterships due to the limited refit that she received. In April 1977, Roosevelt completed her final cruise and was replaced by the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower. Even though some efforts were made to preserve her, in the end, the ship was scrapped in 1978.

In World of Warships, the ship is as she was in 1948/the early 1950s since she is missing a part of her original Dual-purpose battery. She is only carrying the Douglas TB2D Skypirate (Devastator II), a torpedo bomber that was intended to serve on the Midway-class. Two prototypes of this plane were built but due to the fact that dedicated torpedo bombers were becoming an obsolete concept, the production was canceled.

These planes could carry up to 3 800 kg of bombs or 4 torpedoes.

If you want to learn more about the Midway-class as a whole, here is a video from Drachinifel covering it:

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Planes with the highest survivability of the whole game
  • Large plane reserves
  • Decent plane restoration time considering the 2 previous points
  • Massive alpha strike potential, delivering Democracy like no other American ship
  • Same HE bombs as Midway with high penetration, damage and splash radius
  • Squadrons of 14 planes divided into 7 attack runs, limiting the “carrier to target” downtime
  • High speed retention after striking
  • Long immunity for the Dive bombers and Attack planes
  • Good capacity to destroy AA mounts with the bombs and rockets (Kremlin hates her)

The Bad

  • Slow planes
  • Planes with a very large turning radius but at least they fly in very tight formation
  • 25 seconds cooldown between strikes
  • Long fall time for the bombs
  • Long shrinking time for the torpedo bombers’ reticule
  • No deployable fighters for the Attack Aircrafts
  • Large ship spotting range

The camouflage

The camouflage of Franklin D. Roosevelt provides the classic bonuses for tier X Premium ships:

  • -3% to surface detectability range
  • +4% to maximum dispersion of shells fired by the enemy at your ship
  • -50% to the cost of ship’s post-battle service
  • +20% credits earned in the battle.
  • +100% to experience earned in the battle
Modules
Hull
Attack Aircrafts
Torpedo Bombers
Dive Bombers
Propulsion
icon_module_Hull_installedFranklin D. Roosevelt

TB2D Skypirate

TB2D Skypirate

TB2D Skypirate
icon_module_Engine_installedPropulsion: 212 000 hp

General Characteristics and playstyle

GeneralConsumables
Tier X
Health 67 600 HP
Displacement 59 901 tons
Aircraft on deck
Attack Aircrafts 21
Torpedo Bombers 21
Dive Bombers 21
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range 5.000 km
127 mm/54 Mk.16 on a Mk.39 mount
14 x 1 127 mm
Anti-Air Defense
127 mm/54 Mk.16 on a Mk.39 mount 14 x 1 127 mm
40 mm Bofors on a Mk.2 mount 21 x 4 40 mm
20 mm Oerlikon on a Mk.4 mount  16 x 1 20 mm
Maximum speed 33.0 knots
Turning Circle Radius 1 230 m
Rudder Shift Time 17.3 s
Surface Detectability 15.86 km
Air Detectability 12.45 km
Slot 1
Slot 2
Damage Control Party
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Fighter
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 600 s
Cooldown: 40 s
Patrol Radius: 3.0 km
Planes in a squadron: 4

Basically, when you play Franklin D. Roosevelt, that’s how you feel:

The first thing that you will notice about the Franklin D. Roosevelt is the incredible tankiness of her squadrons (technically the first thing would be the low plane speed but frankly, it’s not the end of the world).

The Attack Aircraft, with the lowest HP among the different plane type, still have 3 200 HP per planes. This is still superior to the Indomitable’s Bombers which had the previous record of the highest HP per plane with 2 590 HP. Unless we talk about flak clouds with defensive AA active, these planes can take any sort of anti-air without any issue. They are, as such, the most forgiving planes when you mess up and take flaks which compensates (a lot) for the fact that they turn like absolute bricks.

Her planes are deadly flying tanks that are tailor-made to hammer down cruisers, mostly with rockets and bombs and battleships with… well everything.

The sheer alpha damage will calm down any brave boy trying to take aggressive actions and you can effectively shut down pushes from multiple ships both by chunking them hard and spotting them for your potential allies who have firing angles on them. Her main strength is to suppress or lock down the ships with the most potential influence on the outcome of the battle. You especially love dropping these radar cruisers hugging islands to block the access to capture points.

When it comes to destroyers, unless they are already spotted or have their AA turned on, you will have a bit of trouble to line up your strikes on them. All plane types have to start their attack runs from well over 4 km so you won’t be able to go for an unspotted DD with it’s AA turned off.

As a side note, she is also very effective at sniping Manfred von Richthofen with the bombers. The 50 mm flight deck doesn’t forgive.

Attack Aircrafts

Attack Aircraft
Attack aircraft – TB2D Skypirate
planetype_0
Tier X
Hit points per plane 3 200
Cruise speed 124 knots
Maximum speed 163.9 knots
Engine boost time 5 s
Engine boost reload time 10 s
Size of attacking flight 2
Aircraft per squadron 14
Rocket type HE HVAR 127 mm
Rockets per plane 26
Maximum rocket damage 1 650
Projectile speed 217 m/s
Air Drag 0.35
Projectile mass 57 kg
Penetration capacity 32 mm
Detectability range 10.0 km
Aircraft restoration time 114 s
Aircraft on deck 21
Slot 1
Engine Cooling
consumable_PCY034_ForsageBooster
Number of Charges: 2
Work time: 5 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Fully aimed reticule for the Attack aircraft next to a Conqueror

The rockets are best used against cruisers and battleships with large portions of 32 mm plating or with large superstructures.

The reticule might look very big but don’t get fooled by its size. Since the planes strike from low altitude, the rockets that should land on the far end of the reticule will instead just get caught by the superstructure. This is, of course, if the enemy ship doesn’t angle too hard. You should ALWAYS make sure that the approach angle is as close to 90°.

However, with this reticule, destroyers are quite troublesome to drop and having them angling a bit will drastically reduce the damage dealt. It’s fine though, the bombs can compensate well for that problem.

The rockets also take roughly 3 seconds to reach the target so you have to lead accordingly.

Torpedo Bombers

Torpedo Bombers
Torpedo bomber – TB2D Skypirate
planetype_3
Tier X
Hit points per plane 3 690
Cruise speed 119 knots
Maximum speed 154 knots
Engine boost time 20 s
Engine boost reload time 40 s
Size of attacking flight 2
Aircraft per squadron 14
Torpedo type Torpedo Mk.7D
Torpedoes per plane 4
Maximum torpedo damage 4 233
Maximum torpedo range 4.0 km
Torpedo speed 35 knots
Torpedo arming distance 517 m
Flooding chance 33%
Detectability range 10.0 km
Aircraft restoration time 141 s
Aircraft on deck 21
Slot 1
Slot 2
Engine Cooling
consumable_PCY034_ForsageBooster
Number of Charges: 2
Work time: 5 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Patrol fighter
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 10 s
Aircraft per squadron: 7
Patrol radius: 3.5 km
Fully aimed torpedo bombers reticule

The torpedo bombers will be mostly useful against battleships.

They are very similar to those of the Midway so, just like them, it takes ages for the reticule to shrink down and using them against more maneuverable cruisers will, generally lead to some disappointing results.

The drop consists of 8 torpedoes but in action, it really is 2 separated drops of 4 torpedoes that slowly join each others so, in the middle, there is what you could call a battleship size gap. Just like with the rockets, you really want to look for a nice broadside target to just slam these torpedoes on it and maximize the number of hits as each torpedo doesn’t deal that much damage and also for more chances to get floodings.

Dive Bombers

Dive Bombers
Dive bomber – ‎TB2D Skypirate
planetype_1
Tier X
Hit points per plane 3 710
Cruise speed 119 knots
Maximum speed 154 knots
Engine boost time 20 s
Engine boost reload time 40 s
Size of attacking flight 2
Aircraft per squadron 14
Bomb type HE AN-M66
Bomb per plane 4
Maximum bomb damage 11 200
Projectile speed 300 m/s
Air Drag 0.35
Projectile mass 931 kg
HE penetration capacity 67 mm
Explosion size 2.83
Fire chance 64%
Detectability range 10.0 km
Aircraft restoration time 131 s
Aircraft on deck 21
Slot 1
Slot 2
Engine Cooling
consumable_PCY034_ForsageBooster
Number of Charges: 2
Work time: 5 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Patrol fighter
Number of Charges: 3
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 10 s
Aircraft per squadron: 7
Patrol radius: 3.5 km
Fully aimed bombers reticule

The bombers of the FDR are more similar to British bombers due to them dropping with a carpet bombing and you drop 8 bombs in total.

These are the same bombs as on Midway and when they land, the guy receiving them will feel like he just tried kissing the express train.
They are effective on all target types, even on destroyers once you got used to the drop speed. They will also start a lot of fires and of course, break modules.

It is worth noting that unlike on the tech tree U.S. CVs, the reticule doesn’t shrink down when maneuvering. However, the bomb dispersion has the same 75%/25% chance between the external part of the reticule and the internal part. In short, the bombs have more chances to land on the external part which is quite good to have more fires and also to land some bombs on a maneuvering destroyer.

Secondary Armament

Secondaries
14 x 1 127 mm/54 Mk.16 on a Mk.39 mount
Maximum Firing Range 5.000 km
Reloading Time 4.0 s
Sigma 1.00 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 127 mm HE Mk41
Alpha Damage 1 800 HP
Damage 550 HP
HE penetration 21 mm
Explosion Size 0.41
Chance to Cause Fire 9 %
Projectile Speed 808 m/s
Air Drag 0.279
Projectile Mass 31.75 kg

Just like on the rest of the U.S. carriers, the secondaries of the FDR are nothing to be scared of, except for the anti-air. They only have a 5 km firing range and it’s only 7 guns per side.

If a destroyer somehow ends up getting killed by them, the guy screwed up really, really hard.

Anti-Air Armament

Air Defense
14 x 1 127 mm/54 Mk.16 on a Mk.39 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 6.0 km
Hit chance 100 %
Sector’s damage 50
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 175
Flak clouds number 8
Flak cloud damage 1 610
21 x 4 40 mm Bofors on a Mk.2 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 3.5 km
Hit chance 100 %
Sector’s damage 154
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 539
16 x 1 20 mm Oerlikon on a Mk.4 mount
Sector range 0.1 km – 2.0 km
Hit chance 95 %
Sector’s damage 32
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 112

The anti-air on the FDR is, as you could expect from a Midway-class, very strong. For the long and close-range auras, she is weaker than Midway due to the removal of multiple 127 mm turrets and a large part of the 20 mm Oerlikons but the mid-range packs a nasty punch.

The Armor

Capture

First thing first, I have to remind you that for whatever reason, the armor viewer for carriers is mirrored on gamemodels3d. The superstructure that is normally on the starboard side is on the port side, etc.

For the armor itself… well it’s a Midway-class so when it comes to taking hits, she is quite good.

The bow section

bow1

The bow of the Franklin D. Roosevelt. is covered with 19 mm of armor which means that, starting from 283 mm (at least for the gun calibers currently in the game), AP shells will be able to overmatch it.

bow2bow3

Inside the bow, there is a 50 mm armor deck. It isn’t really useful since it’s high on the ship and also fairly short but it can still potentially be useful for some cases of plunging fire I guess.
Just above that armored deck, there is also a 25 mm bulkhead. It isn’t useful at all but it exists. As you can see, the casemate protecting the middle section is also 25 mm thick.

bow4

Under the 25 mm casemate, there is the citadel athwartship and the bulkheads around it with 160 mm of armor.

The middle section

mid1

The Roosevelt has very good armor protection. The flight deck is 87 mm thick which will shatter most HE shells and will bounce AP shells as well unless it’s at extreme ranges where they start having chances to penetrate.

The sides are 19 mm thick except for the main belt that is 178 mm thick on the starboard side (the side where the superstructure is) and 193 mm thick on the port side.

mid3

Below the waterline, the citadel is protected by a spaced armor. Its sides are 74 mm thick.

mid2

For the horizontal protection, below the flight deck, there is a first armored deck with 50 mm of armor and then under this one, the citadel deck that is also 50 mm thick. The ship is simply immune to citadels from AP bombs.

The stern section

stern1

The stern is (except for the flight deck of course) covered with 19 mm of armor. Anything with 305 mm guns (or even 283 mm in case a fail div brings a Scharnhorst in a tier X match) can overmatch it with AP.

stern2

Inside the stern, there is a 50 mm armored deck that will prevent shells from hitting the citadel athwartship if they come from a relatively high angle.

stern3

stern4

For the protection of the middle section, the upper casemate is 25 mm thick and the citadel athwartship, as well as the bulkheads around it, is 160 mm thick.

Final Opinion

The Franklin D. Roosevelt is simply a beast compared to other carriers.

Compared to others, her planes are slower, turn like bricks and have the 25 s cooldown between strikes but these strikes are just so brutal and the planes have such a good survivability that these downsides are easily forgotten.

Now for the 1 billion rupees question, how is she stacking compared to Stalingrad, Bourgogne, Shikishima or Somers when it comes to steel ships?
Honestly here, it’s down to your own preferences and what playstyle or ship type you prefer but one thing for sure, she is well worth every unit of steel that you will spend for her!

Recommended build

During the testing of the Franklin D. Roosevelt, I used the following captain build and upgrades:

Captain build:

  • Air Supremacy: It is the first perk you should take on carriers. The faster restoration time for the planes will often make the difference in late game and to ensure that you still have planes to strike enemy ships.
  • Improved Engines: Second key skill on carriers. The faster your planes are, the more strikes you will get during the battle and the higher will be their survivability as they spend less time inside the AA of ships.
  • Aircraft Armor: Very important perk to reduce the damage you take from the AA of enemy ships.
  • Survivability Expert: Last of the “Must-have” perks on carriers to give your planes extra HP and make sure that they survive longer.
    I also highly recommend using Alexander Ovechkin for the improved Survivability Expert.
  • Concealment Expert: The Midway-class are massive ships and as such have fairly bad concealment so running Concealment Expert on them is highly recommended to not get spotted too easily and being able to take more advantageous positions.
  • Sight Stabilization: This perk is mainly for the torpedo bombers’ terrible reticule reduction speed. It also helps the others of course but it’s not as significant.
  • Torpedo acceleration or Improved Engine Boost and Last Gasp: Here, it’s fairly open to debate between maximizing hits on targets turning away with the torpedoes (which happens a lot, at least on EU) and having more comfort with managing the engine boost. Both choices are more than fine in my opinion.

Upgrades:

  • icon_modernization_PCM003_Airplanes_Mod_I.png Air Groups Modification 1: Only upgrade worth using on this slot and the faster the planes are back to the carrier, the faster they will be available to strike again.
  • Wows_icon_modernization_PCM068_PlaneEngine_Mod_I.png Aircraft Engines Modification 1: Again, the only upgrade worth considering here, bigger engine boost charge is way more important than reducing the risk of having your ship set on fire.
  • Icon_modernization_PCM071_TorpedoBombs_Mod_I.png Aerial Torpedoes Modification 1: Nothing else worth picking here. The additional speed will be useful for ships turning away (AKA 8 times out of 10).
  • Wows_icon_modernization_PCM065_DiveBomber_Mod_I.png Bombers Modification 2: Overall, these are the planes that benefit the most from having higher survivability due to their very high damage output.
  • Wows_icon_modernization_PCM009_FlightControl_Mod_I.png Flight Control Modification 1: Larger reserves, faster restoration time for the planes, what else would you need?
  • Wows_icon_modernization_PCM016_FlightControl_Mod_II.png Flight Control Modification 2 or Wows_icon_modernization_PCM017_Airplanes_Mod_III.png Air Group Modification 2: Here, it’s up to you. I’m personally more the kind to prefer faster planes to cover distances in a shorter amount of time and reduce the exposure to anti-air but in the case of the FDR, the HP gain is quite significant.

This review is now over, thank you very much for reading through it!

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4 comments

  1. Was that a JoJo reference!?
    Jokes beside the planes themselves make me want to grind out the steel for this beast

  2. Why disrespect the memory of FDR and the crew of a good ship with an image of the draft dodging idiot holding space in the People House. DISGRACEFUL

    1. ITS CALLED A JOKE, how bout you find yourself a sense of humor. Not everything has got to be about politics, try finding a hobby. Might help you lighten up and not be such a buzz kill.

  3. The CV might not have much battles right now but based on wows-numbers it’s obvious that WG is not capable of balancing CVs at all. Right now FDR and MvR have way better stats than the other T10 CVs. The MvR might get nerfed in the future but the FDR will probably stay what it is…. it might get removed but not nerfed what will make it even worse, because it is behind a steel wall – the high cost makes this ship obviously something, WG does not want to see wide use because they knew it was broken right from the start.

    So we will probably see snowflakes drop something else instead of steel this year – because WG will definitely not want to flood the sky with FDR planes – at 24.75k with coupon it’s still a good buy, even if you – like me – hates playing CVs after the rework. There will always be use cases for having a T10 CV in the port.

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