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Author Topic: Several Arsenal ship concepts  (Read 55435 times)

Offline sferrin

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Several Arsenal ship concepts
« on: August 31, 2006, 11:44:38 am »
The Ohio SSGNs are pretty much taking up this role (minus the SAMs)
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Offline Skybolt

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2006, 07:06:00 am »
I saw a concept of the Arsenal ship with  a bow similar to an early XX century battleship. I look if I find it.

Offline Sentinel Chicken

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2006, 09:10:42 pm »
Some of those low-freeboard versions of the Arsenal Ship remind me a lot of the ironclads from the US Civil War! If I remember right, some of the designs had a variable freeboard where ballast tanks could raise or lower the ship's profile in the water to present less of a target when in the combat zone.

Offline pometablava

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2006, 12:52:42 pm »
Arsenal Ship: La Nave in Rete by Andrea Prati. Italian magazine Panorama Difesa. Ottobre 1996

Offline TinWing

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2006, 08:35:56 am »
Arsenal Ship: La Nave in Rete by Andrea Prati. Italian magazine Panorama Difesa. Ottobre 1996

I realy like the "bottle shaped" deck plan, so obviously influenced by the Iowa class battleships.  Oddly enough, the AOE-type Sacramento class replenishment ships also had a hull form similar to the Iowas - and the first two units each had half the machinery from the cancelled USS Kentucky.

I do have to wonder if this sort of complex design would conform with modern shipbuilding practices?  Is this an actual proposal?  Of course, some of the details, such as the bridge design, do conform to later designs such as the current Lockheed LCS?

« Last Edit: September 23, 2006, 08:00:13 am by TinWing »

Offline TinWing

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2006, 08:07:05 am »
Here is a more utilitarian concept from 1999:

http://www.memach.com/nuhm/arsenal.htm

Offline pometablava

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2006, 04:27:38 am »
Another concept from Panorama Difesa magazine

Offline Skybolt

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2006, 07:13:22 am »
This is the concept I remembered

Offline JAZZ

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2006, 12:51:20 pm »
TinWing that rendering is the Bath Iron Works concept

Offline JAZZ

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2006, 12:55:08 pm »
Sea lance concept - missile barge

Offline Brickmuppet

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2006, 05:26:54 pm »
Does anyone know what the box launcher-like objects visible in replies 3&4 are?

Also, any ideas on dimensions?

Offline JAZZ

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2006, 11:52:44 pm »
Boxes could be for GMLRS - and ATACMs SSM. Lockheed Martin is developing POLAR- MLRS which is vertical lunch which would not require launch boxes as shown.

Offline canisd

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2006, 01:40:16 am »
Add a smokestack and the stars n' bars to the flag pole and most of these arsenal ships would have a stunning resemblance to a Confederate ironclad like the Albemarle.
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Offline dragon72

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2006, 12:39:08 pm »
Does anyone know what the box launcher-like objects visible in replies 3&4 are?

I believe they were RAM launchers that could retract into the hull for stealth.

Offline RP1

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2006, 02:28:04 am »
The box-launchers are too large to be RAM - they are GMLRS.

Funny thing is that the German Navy is planning to fit a navilised MLRS to its' next class of frigate.

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Offline zimmerlip

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2006, 05:21:56 am »
Here is a more utilitarian concept from 1999:

http://www.memach.com/nuhm/arsenal.htm

 ;DThanks for the link, TinWing!  Looking at this, I think they've got the right idea!  It's just getting the deadheads at DoD to grasp the concept that's the problem!  This concept would work for a lot more than just arsenal ships, and the way they've got the process worked out is astoundingly clever.  I love the "stubby" concept -- moving the bow and stern as a vessel by sea to the point they add the midships modules.  This would work for our US vessels -- and a consortium of Euro/NATO shipbuilders could monopolize Europe's naval defense buys by spreading the work around like this.  Sort of a seagoing Airbus...     
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Offline Triton

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2009, 01:03:07 pm »
Metro Machine Arsenal Ship concept:
http://www.memach.com/nuhm/arsenal.htm

What do people think of the ZonePak mission-module concept and ships that are mission-configurable swapping in and out modules based on requirements? Is this better than building additional dedicated ships?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2009, 01:12:27 pm by Triton »

Offline Sn1008

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2009, 06:18:05 pm »
I like the concept of the modular design by Metro Machine Team.  What I have observed from naval history is that when hostilities start, you can never build enough ships to replenish the ones you lost.  With their design you could have several types of vessels that can be build from a common hull.  Another point is that the bow and stern can be separated from the hull.  You could remove damaged parts from the vessel and attach new ones.  I would love to see this concept developed where you could repair/refit a vessel out on the high seas.

Offline Lauge

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2009, 11:07:35 pm »
Metro Machine Arsenal Ship concept:
http://www.memach.com/nuhm/arsenal.htm

What do people think of the ZonePak mission-module concept and ships that are mission-configurable swapping in and out modules based on requirements? Is this better than building additional dedicated ships?

Some years ago, the Danish Navy designed the Standard Flex 300 series of patrol ships (some have now been donated to Lithuania, I believe): http://www.navalteam.dk/ships/std_flex_concept.aspx

These ships used interchangeable mission modules that allowed each hull to serve as a fisheries protection ship, a patrol ship, a missile boat, an environmental protection vessel etc. Good ships, although a wee bit small for sustained blue-water operations. The same concept is applied to the two new frigate-size Command Support Ships, HDMS Absalon and HDMS Esbern Snarre. They use a so-called "flex-deck" design, where the rear lower-deck area of the ship can be configured for troop and materiel transport, command & control, field hospital, etc.

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Offline Triton

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2009, 02:15:26 pm »
Arsenal Ship Master's Thesis by LT Dawn H. Driesbach, USN:
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/docs/rsnlship.htm

Offline PMN1

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2009, 02:32:24 pm »
I've seen that idea of a common bow and stern with an interchangable mid section (cargo section) applied to merchant ship concepts.

Interesting idea but how well would it cope in extreme seas, after all standard ships do have problems.

Edit, just realised, they are not interchangable, it just a modular construction method.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2009, 02:34:09 pm by PMN1 »

Offline PMN1

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2009, 02:35:45 pm »

Offline Triton

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2009, 03:48:50 pm »
If the arsenal ship had been built, would it have been designated a battleship (BB)? Or was it presumptuous of the concept artist to give the ship a pennant number of 72? USS Montana (BB-72)? A total of six ships were planned. Could these ships also be logically designated as guided missile strike cruisers (CSG)?

Offline TomS

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2009, 09:16:24 pm »
Had Arsenal Ship gone forward, it is very unlikely that it would have received either battleship or cruiser designations -- the Navy was at great pains to emphasize that it was not a fully functional warship (it had no sensors to speak of beyond those needed for navigation and could not launch weapons without external control from another platform).  Most likely it would have been designated as an auxiliary ship, in keeping with the Navy's preference for treating it as a floating magazine -- in effect an ammunition ship that did not have to offload its ordnance to another vessel before firing it.  The other leading option would be to class it as an amphibious ship, due to its fire support role.  Here are some possibilities that seem plausible to me:

LFS: fire support ship -- an existing designation, historically used for much smaller designs aimed specifically for amphibious landing support

AA or AAS: Auxiliary Arsenal Ship -- like LCS for Littoral Combat Ship, the Navy these days is happy to invent new designations that look like acronyms

AM: Auxiliary missile ship -- AG is taken (misc. auxiliary), and G for guided missile would imply fire control capabilities that Arsenal Ship lacked anyway

AEM: ammunition ship, missile -- based on the ammunition ship idea, this parallels the old AVM designation for the missile test ship Norton Sound

Offline Triton

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2009, 11:49:53 am »
I really like the Auxiliary Ammunition Missile (AEM) designation for this type of ship with EM 1 painted on the side of the first ship since it is essentially a floating missile magazine. I also like the idea of naming these ships for active volcanoes within the United States continuing the naming convention of the ammunition ships currently in service.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 11:54:57 am by Triton »

Offline Triton

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2009, 04:58:20 pm »
Arsenal Ship minimal manning developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA):

1 Commanding Officer
1 Executive Officer

Operations
------------------
1 Operations Officer
3 Quartermasters
1 Cook
1 Mess Specialist
3 Communications Technicians

Engineering
-------------------
1 Engineering Officer
1 Damage Control/Maintenance Officer
3 Enginemen
2 Maintenance Technicians
2 Electricians
1 Fireman

Weapons Support
-----------------
1 Weapons Officer
1 Fire Control Technicians
2 Missile Technicians

Image is an artist's view of a Northrop Grumman Arsenal Ship concept launching strike missiles against land targets. This view shows a ship with 500 vertically launched land-attack and air-defense missiles. The ship has a stealth configuration, with a Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP) deck forward and helicopter deck aft.

Source: The Naval Institute Guide to Ships and Aircraft of the US Fleet, Seventeenth Edition by Norman Polmar.




« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 08:04:52 pm by Triton »

Offline Triton

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2009, 08:03:10 pm »
The Arsenal Ship may have been armed with the Vertical Gun for Advanced Ships (VGAS). Twin 155-mm guns--with a range of about 100 nm (185 km)--and their magazines were to be fitted in a modular mounting that would replace a standard 64-cell Vertical Launching System (VLS).

The gun system was to be fully automated, with 1,400 rounds per module. Projectiles up to 6.5 feet (1.9m) long and weighing 300 lbs. (136 kg) could be handled by VGAS. The sustained rate of fire was to be 15 rounds per minute per barrel.

The VGAS evolved into the 155mm Advanced Gun System (AGS) developed for the Zumwalt-class destroyer.

Source: The Naval Institute Guide to Ships and Aircraft of the US Fleet, Seventeenth Edition by Norman Polmar.

« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 08:37:52 pm by Triton »

Offline Demon Lord Razgriz

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2009, 01:21:02 am »
I've never seen much on how the VGAS works, does the the barrel come up to fire or what? ???

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2009, 01:47:42 am »
On VGAS the barrels are fixed and do not elevate or train. The system is designed to only fire guided rounds like the BAE Systems 155mm Long Range Land Attack Projectiles (LRLAP). These rounds only need to be fired straight up and into the air and will turn and guide themselves to targets on any bearing (360 degrees).

It was a great disaster for the US Navy and allies that VGAS was turned into AGS on the whim of an Admiral. Just so the new 155mm gun could fire conventional ammunition, of course the cost of developing a trainable turret meant there was no money to develop the conventional ammunition it could fire and the resulting system (AGS) was so big and heavy you needed a special ship to carry it.

You can read more about how VGAS works in this paper on a submarine mounted version: the Compact Vertical Gun System (CVGS) proposal for the Ohio SSGN conversion.

www.dtic.mil/ndia/gun/martin.pdf
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Offline Triton

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2009, 12:37:03 pm »
You can read more about how VGAS works in this paper on a submarine mounted version: the Compact Vertical Gun System (CVGS) proposal for the Ohio SSGN conversion.

www.dtic.mil/ndia/gun/martin.pdf

Abraham, the link doesn't seem to work.

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2009, 04:18:30 pm »
NDIA probably moved everything around or deleted it because it is old (~1999). Anyway will attach it here.
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Offline Triton

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #31 on: September 09, 2009, 05:32:44 pm »
Lockheed Martin brochure for the Long Range Land Attack Projectile.

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/data/assets/mfc/Photos/MFC_LRLAP_product_card.pdf

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2009, 07:47:22 pm »
Here is video of how an LRAP round can effect the battlefield. If VGAS rather than AGS had gone ahead this kind of naval gunfire support (NGS) capability would be available to any hull able to carry a 64 cell Mk 41 strike length VLS.

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Offline Triton

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #33 on: December 03, 2009, 02:41:36 pm »
I thought that this report from the Rand Corporation was interesting.
 
The Arsenal Ship Acquisition Process Experience by Robert S Leonard et al., RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA (Jan 1999)

Quote
The Arsenal Ship acquisition program was unique in two respects: it represented a new operational concept for Navy ships, and its management structure and process were different from traditional military ship-building programs. The Arsenal Ship program was, in effect, an experiment in both product and process. Three specific goals of the program were outlined at its inception: demonstrate the capability affordably; leverage commercial practices and technologies; and, demonstrate the reformed acquisition process. This research focuses on the program's acquisition strategy.

Handle / proxy Url:  http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA365150

Offline Matt R.

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2011, 12:18:06 pm »
Below is an article I just came across :
Quote
Maritech wave-piercing hull may be proposed for arsenal ship
by John Bosma
Defense Daily / April 12, 1996
 
A radical new monohull being developed under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency MARITECH (Maritime Technology) program may be proposed for the Navy/DARPA "arsenal ship" program, according to industry officials.
 
According to a program source, a high-speed wave-piercing MARITECH monohull from an industry team of General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works Div. and Norway's Kvaerner-Masa Marine may be an entrant in the arsenal ship design competition. For MARITECH, the BIW/KMM team has studied a 43,000-ton, 800- foot wave-piercer carrying 20,000 tons of containers.
 
The wave-piercer concept originated from KMM's Finnish yards, where it has undergone extensive tank and open-water testing. The wave-piercer is a very slender hull with a knifelike bow that slices through waves rather than riding over them, as more heavily constructed bows on conventional ships are designed to do.
 
KMM calls the wave-piercer "breakthrough technology." It says wave-piercer cargo liners could run efficiently at 30-35 knots, using 120,000 shaft horsepower, in transatlantic winter seas, considered the industry's benchmark for the toughest operating conditions. Even higher speeds are possible with more horsepower.
 
By contrast, today's containerships now run 23-25 knots, with the latest containerships reaching 27 knots. Industry experts say that over 50 percent of transatlantic containership crossings run behind schedule, mostly due to weather.
 
These speed figures suggest that a wave-piercer arsenal ship would be faster than most Navy surface ships. The low crew manning that the Navy seeks for arsenal ships would mesh with the sharply reduced crews required by modern commercial vessels.
 
MARITECH is a five-year, $220 million DARPA/Department of Commerce-Maritime Administration program to improve U.S. shipbuilding processes and ship design. It comes under the Clinton administration's five-year National Shipbuilding Initiative, begun in FY 94.
 
Source
« Last Edit: January 01, 2012, 12:47:28 pm by Matt R. »

Offline Matt R.

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2011, 01:31:50 pm »
Some pics of Rene Loire's proposed Striker.
Opinions on the hull form (barge-like) chosen ?
 
« Last Edit: September 10, 2011, 01:34:35 pm by Matt R. »

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2011, 11:47:13 pm »
Some pics of Rene Loire's proposed Striker.
Opinions on the hull form (barge-like) chosen ?

Seems like it would have been (and still would be) quite cost effective.


The Ohio SSGNs are pretty much taking up this role (minus the SAMs)

Not necessarily. SSGNs are not by definition readily expendable, and they have a much smaller loadout (with less options) than an arsenal ship design would.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2011, 11:53:24 pm by Grey Havoc »
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Offline sferrin

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2011, 07:11:28 am »
Not necessarily. SSGNs are not by definition readily expendable, and they have a much smaller loadout (with less options) than an arsenal ship design would.

You think an Arsenal Ship loaded up with more cells than an SSGN would be "readily expendable"?   Good one.  ;D
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Offline blackstar

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #38 on: September 11, 2011, 08:16:26 pm »
You think an Arsenal Ship loaded up with more cells than an SSGN would be "readily expendable"?   Good one.  ;D

Way back when the Arsenal Ship was first being proposed the US Navy held an "industry day" in Washington to discuss it. They handed out 3-ring binders with info on the proposal. I got one, but I think I threw it out not long afterwards because it really wasn't all that interesting. (Typical contractor specs listing all the requirements for submitting a contract--how many copies had to be submitted, how big the paper had to be, what the due dates were. Almost nothing about the actual requirements for the weapons system. Boring boring boring. No illustrations either.)

Anyway, going to that meeting was really rather weird. There were a lot of military contractors there to find out what the Navy wanted for an Arsenal Ship. But just listening to the presentations it was clear that this project was never going to get anywhere and they were never going to build the ship. I heard people discussing it in the hallways and they were talking about how nutty it was. For one thing, it was going to require something like 90% of the cruise missiles then in the Navy's inventory. And I think there was discussion of building only two of them, one in the Atlantic and one in the Pacific.

Recently the Navy's LCS has come under criticism because there was no clearly stated need for the ships and the Navy is trying to figure out what they will actually be good at. The Arsenal Ship was a more extreme example of what's happening with LCS and proof that the Navy should never let an admiral push through a pet idea without it being rigorously reviewed first.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2011, 08:18:47 pm by blackstar »

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #39 on: September 12, 2011, 04:45:34 am »
Not necessarily. SSGNs are not by definition readily expendable, and they have a much smaller loadout (with less options) than an arsenal ship design would.

You think an Arsenal Ship loaded up with more cells than an SSGN would be "readily expendable"?   Good one.  ;D

Yes, I do, especially with regards as to the crew. Not to mention being much cheaper than either a SSGN conversion or new build (in terms of both construction and overall operating costs).

blackstar, by any chance was the author of this one of those who took part in the industry day you were at, do you remember?

Quote
Proposed Littoral Dominant Battle Group Centered Around The Arsenal Ship
 
 
 
CCS 1997
 
 
 
Subject Area - Warfighting
 
 
 
Executive Summary
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Title: A Proposed Littoral Dominant Battle Group Centered Around The Arsenal Ship
 
 
 
Author: Lieutenant Commander John P. Looney, United States Navy
 
 
 
Thesis: For the projected $500 million investment in a demonstrator Arsenal Ship, the Navy will likely get what it is asking for, a ship designed to help the aircraft carrier battle group make the transition from a blue-water dominant team to a littoral dominant team. Just as the Navy built the aircraft carrier battle group team and doctrine to dominate the blue-water for the past 50 plus years, the Navy now needs to build the team and the doctrine that can dominate the littoral battle space of the 21st century. The Arsenal Ship concept should center around having industry build a ship that could be the centerpiece of a littoral dominant battle group.
 
 
 
Background: The United States Navy has shifted its strategic focus from the blue-water to the littorals; therefore, it would make sense for the Navy to develop doctrine and force structure to dominate the littorals. The Navy is in the process of building a revolutionary new class of warship--Arsenal Ship. The Arsenal Ship's operational concept is focused on a ship that will enhance the fire power of existing aircraft carriers, land attack capable combatants and submarines. In this period of austere funding and downsizing, the Navy must look not only to new technologies but to new organizations and doctrine to effectively and efficiently meet its mandated missions. There are two areas where shortfalls exist to building a littoral dominant team: 1) the Navy does not have a staff that is organized and trained to plan and execute littoral dominance operations; and 2) the Navy has critical shortfalls in naval surface fire support assets.
 
 
 
Recommendations: The United States Navy should build a littoral dominant battle group centered around the Arsenal Ship: a typical aircraft carrier battle group with an Arsenal Ship in the place of the aircraft carrier, and an Amphibious Group (PHIBGRU) commander leading it instead of a Carrier Group (CARGRU) or Cruiser Destroyer Group (CRUDESGRU) commander. An Arsenal Ship Battle Group, led by an experienced littoral warfare expert, would be a viable forward presence and power projection entity; furthermore, it would be an effective building block for follow-on forces if a large-scale crisis were to develop.

« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 05:19:15 am by Grey Havoc »
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Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #40 on: September 12, 2011, 05:07:08 am »
An old, but still interesting article by Norman Friedman (from December 2001), which mentions the Arsenal ship, and the Striker concept in particular: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb3031/is_6_25/ai_n28887307/?tag=mantle_skin;content

And here's an older report on a (apparently short-lived) plan for using the DDG-51 hull as a basis for the Arsenal ship: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_6712/is_n15_v198/ai_n28664605/?tag=content;col1
« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 05:51:28 am by Grey Havoc »
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Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #41 on: September 12, 2011, 05:43:37 am »
I thought that this report from the Rand Corporation was interesting.
 
The Arsenal Ship Acquisition Process Experience by Robert S Leonard et al., RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA (Jan 1999)

Quote
The Arsenal Ship acquisition program was unique in two respects: it represented a new operational concept for Navy ships, and its management structure and process were different from traditional military ship-building programs. The Arsenal Ship program was, in effect, an experiment in both product and process. Three specific goals of the program were outlined at its inception: demonstrate the capability affordably; leverage commercial practices and technologies; and, demonstrate the reformed acquisition process. This research focuses on the program's acquisition strategy.

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Offline sferrin

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2011, 06:05:15 am »
Not necessarily. SSGNs are not by definition readily expendable, and they have a much smaller loadout (with less options) than an arsenal ship design would.

You think an Arsenal Ship loaded up with more cells than an SSGN would be "readily expendable"?   Good one.  ;D

Yes, I do, especially with regards as to the crew.

You seem to be forgetting the cost of the munitions.  You might want to do that math before declaring them "readily expendable".  BTW I'm sure the crew would appreciate your thinking them "readily expendable" as well. 
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Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2011, 07:01:53 am »
BTW I'm sure the crew would appreciate your thinking them "readily expendable" as well.

Not only was there a small crew, the idea was that they would be evacuated from the ship in high threat areas or when the ship was about to enter combat, leaving it under a combination of local computer and remote control. The basic concept behind the arsenal ship was that it would be a large, remote controlled floating mobile magazine with a wide range of weaponry, that would receive targeting information and the like from offboard sources, and which could be expended without a second thought.

The fact that it wouldn't require all the expensive equipment, such as a full radar suite, that a real warship would need, not to mention that there would be no need to build the hull to full naval standards, would have saved quite a lot of money.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 07:04:44 am by Grey Havoc »
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Offline TomS

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2011, 07:18:05 am »
The problem with regarding an ArShip as expendable is that each one would be carrying a significant portion of all the expendable land-attack weapons in the USN inventory (they'd have pretty much had to strip the surface fleet of cruise missiles to load them).  Kill one and you kill maybe a third of the USN's land-attack missile potential in any given theater.  If built, they would have been extremely high-value units.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2011, 07:36:51 am »
BTW I'm sure the crew would appreciate your thinking them "readily expendable" as well.

Not only was there a small crew, the idea was that they would be evacuated from the ship in high threat areas or when the ship was about to enter combat, leaving it under a combination of local computer and remote control. The basic concept behind the arsenal ship was that it would be a large, remote controlled floating mobile magazine with a wide range of weaponry, that would receive targeting information and the like from offboard sources, and which could be expended without a second thought.

The fact that it wouldn't require all the expensive equipment, such as a full radar suite, that a real warship would need, not to mention that there would be no need to build the hull to full naval standards, would have saved quite a lot of money.

The problem is while saving money by getting rid of certain things the savings are offset by the cost of the much larger munition loadout on what is essentially a sitting duck. 
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Offline blackstar

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2011, 09:13:20 am »
blackstar, by any chance was the author of this one of those who took part in the industry day you were at, do you remember?

In all honesty, I really don't remember that much about the meeting, except that it was sometime relatively early in the discussion of the Arsenal Ship. This was Admiral Boorda's pet project and he committed suicide in May 1996, so I'm guessing that it was in fall 1995 or so.

I do remember the meeting being big--hundreds of people in a big hotel conference room--and it had very little information about the ship requirements. Mostly it was a typical Washington paperwork exercise whereby the Navy was defining who was allowed to compete for the initial contracts, what their schedules were, etc. I assume that the way this works is that they tell the contractors how to be eligible to actually receive the requirements, which are probably classified or at least restricted in some way. You have no idea how boring something like that can be, which is probably why I remember little. I do remember concluding that the plan would not survive Boorda's term as CNO, and that was absolutely true.

Offline blackstar

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #47 on: September 12, 2011, 09:22:00 am »
The problem with regarding an ArShip as expendable is that each one would be carrying a significant portion of all the expendable land-attack weapons in the USN inventory (they'd have pretty much had to strip the surface fleet of cruise missiles to load them).  Kill one and you kill maybe a third of the USN's land-attack missile potential in any given theater.  If built, they would have been extremely high-value units.

Maybe somebody can provide the numbers, but I believe that although the total number of Tomahawks in service in 1995 was classified, the number was reported to be approximately 2000 (give or take a few hundred). A single Arsenal Ship was supposed to carry something like up to 1700 of these. There was some give and take to that number, because they were talking about equipping it with MLRS rockets for some of the vertical tubes and not simply Tomahawks. I always scratched my head at that, because why would you build a big ship with long-range weapons and then also equip it with shorter-range weapons that would require you to bring it closer in to shore?

Anyway, no matter how "cheap" the ship, you still had to substantially increase weapons production to arm it. Either that or you took most of the Tomahawks off of the other ships in the fleet. Nobody liked that idea. And all of this happened when the Navy was already scrapping a lot of ships (1960s-era cruisers and destroyers) and on the way to decommissioning a bunch more (the Spruances).

But the Arsenal Ship was the pet project of the Chief of Naval Operations at the time. He was a surface ship Navy guy and he wanted a 21st century battleship. Like all hierarchies, when the guy in charge comes up with an idea, lots of people run around trying to make it work, even if they think it is totally stupid. Then, when he leaves, the idea is quickly forgotten. Boorda pushed this, then he tragically committed suicide, and the Arsenal Ship idea was quickly forgotten.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #48 on: September 12, 2011, 12:20:34 pm »
BTW I'm sure the crew would appreciate your thinking them "readily expendable" as well.

Not only was there a small crew, the idea was that they would be evacuated from the ship in high threat areas or when the ship was about to enter combat, leaving it under a combination of local computer and remote control. The basic concept behind the arsenal ship was that it would be a large, remote controlled floating mobile magazine with a wide range of weaponry, that would receive targeting information and the like from offboard sources, and which could be expended without a second thought.

The fact that it wouldn't require all the expensive equipment, such as a full radar suite, that a real warship would need, not to mention that there would be no need to build the hull to full naval standards, would have saved quite a lot of money.

The problem is while saving money by getting rid of certain things the savings are offset by the cost of the much larger munition loadout on what is essentially a sitting duck. 

I like the arsenal ship for SOLIC scenarios. If you had a single ship a couple hundred miles offshore (or less) how many unfriendly nations in the world could threaten that ship, very few.

You could have Delta's or SEAL's and a single ship able to dominate most of the world's littorals. Add to that a single Amphibious Carrier with a few F-35B's, CV-22 and maybe a LO air insertion platforms or LO helicpoters like in the Bin Laden raid and you would have air superiority as well over most nations of the world.

Most importantly at a cost of two ships, a thousand sailors and a couple dozen SPECWAR troopers with laser designators you could target most "small war" threats at a pretty low cost to the overall force strucutre IMHO.
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Offline TomS

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #49 on: September 12, 2011, 12:57:34 pm »

Maybe somebody can provide the numbers, but I believe that although the total number of Tomahawks in service in 1995 was classified, the number was reported to be approximately 2000 (give or take a few hundred). A single Arsenal Ship was supposed to carry something like up to 1700 of these. There was some give and take to that number, because they were talking about equipping it with MLRS rockets for some of the vertical tubes and not simply Tomahawks. I always scratched my head at that, because why would you build a big ship with long-range weapons and then also equip it with shorter-range weapons that would require you to bring it closer in to shore?

The official inventory has always been classified, but the Navy has posted Congressional Research Service reports citing press reports for an inventory of around 3,000 TLAMs (all blocks) in 1999.  Some unspecified fraction of those would be submarine-launch versions.

http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/cruise%20missile%20inventory.htm

ArShips were projected to have around 500 VLS cells each.  Now, some of those would presumably have held Standards or other surface-to-air missiles (for use by AEGIS ships via Cooperative Engagement Capability) and some might have had new missiles like Land-Attack Standard Missile, Advanced Land Attack Missile and/or NTACMS, assuming any of those were ever bought. But yeah, we'd be looking at at least 250 TLAMs per ship, times six ships forward-deployed, which is about 1,500 TLAMS or half of the total inventory. 



Offline blackstar

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #50 on: September 12, 2011, 12:58:40 pm »
I like the arsenal ship for SOLIC scenarios. If you had a single ship a couple hundred miles offshore (or less) how many unfriendly nations in the world could threaten that ship, very few.

A sub does the same thing, with the additional benefit that nobody even knows if it is out there. It could be anywhere.

Offline blackstar

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #51 on: September 12, 2011, 01:01:12 pm »
The official inventory has always been classified, but the Navy has posted Congressional Research Service reports citing press reports for an inventory of around 3,000 TLAMs (all blocks) in 1999.  Some unspecified fraction of those would be submarine-launch versions.

http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/cruise%20missile%20inventory.htm

ArShips were projected to have around 500 VLS cells each.  Now, some of those would presumably have held Standards or other surface-to-air missiles (for use by AEGIS ships via Cooperative Engagement Capability) and some might have had new missiles like Land-Attack Standard Missile, Advanced Land Attack Missile and/or NTACMS, assuming any of those were ever bought. But yeah, we'd be looking at at least 250 TLAMs per ship, times six ships forward-deployed, which is about 1,500 TLAMS or half of the total inventory.

Thanks for the numbers. I believe that in the early 1990s the rumored number was something like 2500, with a few hundred expended during the Gulf War in 1991. The question was how quickly had they been replaced. Getting close to 3000 by 1999 is reasonable if you assume a build rate of 100+ per year.

But I was way off about how many the Arsenal Ship would carry. I thought it was well over 1000, not ~500.

Offline F-14D

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #52 on: September 12, 2011, 02:19:43 pm »
I like the arsenal ship for SOLIC scenarios. If you had a single ship a couple hundred miles offshore (or less) how many unfriendly nations in the world could threaten that ship, very few.

A sub does the same thing, with the additional benefit that nobody even knows if it is out there. It could be anywhere.

Which was exactly the rationale for the conversion of the first 4 Ohios to SSGNs.   Unfortunately, the Administration does not to be even considering planning for what will replace them in the next decade. 
« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 02:38:32 pm by F-14D »

Offline F-14D

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #53 on: September 12, 2011, 02:35:10 pm »
BTW I'm sure the crew would appreciate your thinking them "readily expendable" as well.

Not only was there a small crew, the idea was that they would be evacuated from the ship in high threat areas or when the ship was about to enter combat, leaving it under a combination of local computer and remote control. The basic concept behind the arsenal ship was that it would be a large, remote controlled floating mobile magazine with a wide range of weaponry, that would receive targeting information and the like from offboard sources, and which could be expended without a second thought.

The fact that it wouldn't require all the expensive equipment, such as a full radar suite, that a real warship would need, not to mention that there would be no need to build the hull to full naval standards, would have saved quite a lot of money.

The problem is while saving money by getting rid of certain things the savings are offset by the cost of the much larger munition loadout on what is essentially a sitting duck. 

I like the arsenal ship for SOLIC scenarios. If you had a single ship a couple hundred miles offshore (or less) how many unfriendly nations in the world could threaten that ship, very few.

You could have Delta's or SEAL's and a single ship able to dominate most of the world's littorals. Add to that a single Amphibious Carrier with a few F-35B's, CV-22 and maybe a LO air insertion platforms or LO helicpoters like in the Bin Laden raid and you would have air superiority as well over most nations of the world.

Most importantly at a cost of two ships, a thousand sailors and a couple dozen SPECWAR troopers with laser designators you could target most "small war" threats at a pretty low cost to the overall force strucutre IMHO.

The problem relates to what TomS and sferrin are referrring to.  You would have essentially a motorized barge that would be an extremely high value target.  Unlike a battlehsip, it was not designed to actually face combat and was extremely vulnerable.  You'd still have to have sensors from somewhere, and additionally would have  to assign expensive assets to protect it. 

As far as the question of how many unfriendly nations could threaten that ship a couple hundred miles offshore or less goes,  unless you're willing to assign those expensive assets to protect it, the answer is any nation with some aircraft that have a radius of a couple hundred miles or less or any kind of operational submarine. 

Hmmm, wonder whether we'd be willing to pay ransom to Somali pirates  to get one back. ..

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #54 on: September 13, 2011, 09:16:49 am »
A sub does the same thing, with the additional benefit that nobody even knows if it is out there. It could be anywhere.

Which was exactly the rationale for the conversion of the first 4 Ohios to SSGNs.   Unfortunately, the Administration does not to be even considering planning for what will replace them in the next decade. 

Given the cost of SSGNs, and the fact that USN carrier groups (not to mention the Carrier Mafia!) don't nearly have the teeth they used to, I'd say we'll be seeing the rebirth of the Arsenal ship, or something like it, sooner rather than later.


The problem relates to what TomS and sferrin are referring to.  You would have essentially a motorized barge that would be an extremely high value target.  Unlike a battleship, it was not designed to actually face combat and was extremely vulnerable.  You'd still have to have sensors from somewhere, and additionally would have  to assign expensive assets to protect it. 

As far as the question of how many unfriendly nations could threaten that ship a couple hundred miles offshore or less goes,  unless you're willing to assign those expensive assets to protect it, the answer is any nation with some aircraft that have a radius of a couple hundred miles or less or any kind of operational submarine. 

Hmmm, wonder whether we'd be willing to pay ransom to Somali pirates  to get one back. ..

I'd disagree with you there. An arsenal ship only really needs to survive long enough to get off her weapons. For that, a reduced signature and a certain amount of passive protection (including armor and limited damage containment measures), some automated damage control systems such as a few well placed pumps, and a basic enough ECM suite would probably more than suffice. It wouldn't need dedicated escorts (even on those rare occasions where it would be operating independently of a task force or battle group).

And even when operating independently, the sensor information problem may not be as bad as you think, what with the wide range of sensor platforms currently available (although, arguably not as wide as two, or even one decade ago), even leaving out the organic sensors of the control ship.

As for intrusion countermeasures, well, apart from the obvious security sensors and barriers, bobby traps such as sensor/remote triggered claymores and steam jets, maybe together with a few RWSs in strategic locations, would take care of most intruders, I would think.

To turn around something F-14D said, unlike a battleship, an arsenal ship was not necessarily designed to actually survive combat.
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Offline blackstar

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #55 on: September 13, 2011, 10:53:06 am »
Which was exactly the rationale for the conversion of the first 4 Ohios to SSGNs.   Unfortunately, the Administration does not to be even considering planning for what will replace them in the next decade.

I always thought it was a dumb argument anyways. I don't think there was ever a shortage of platforms that could launch cruise missiles, and never a requirement to launch so many of them that it required a special platform rather than, say, 2-4 destroyers, cruisers and subs (total), which can always be moved anywhere they're needed when tensions increase.

The SSGN's were also justified in terms of their ability to launch special operations forces (SEALs). That always seemed dubious to me, because it requires bringing a very large submarine into littoral waters that it was never designed to operate in. But some of the sub guys I talked to said it was valid, so what do I know?  I always thought that the SSGN mission was more about the Navy being unwilling to scrap some expensive boats with useful life in them just because some treaty told them to.

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #56 on: September 13, 2011, 11:09:45 am »
Whoops, I just realised I left out part of my last post.

In all honesty, I really don't remember that much about the meeting, except that it was sometime relatively early in the discussion of the Arsenal Ship. This was Admiral Boorda's pet project and he committed suicide in May 1996, so I'm guessing that it was in fall 1995 or so.

I do remember the meeting being big--hundreds of people in a big hotel conference room--and it had very little information about the ship requirements. Mostly it was a typical Washington paperwork exercise whereby the Navy was defining who was allowed to compete for the initial contracts, what their schedules were, etc. I assume that the way this works is that they tell the contractors how to be eligible to actually receive the requirements, which are probably classified or at least restricted in some way. You have no idea how boring something like that can be, which is probably why I remember little. I do remember concluding that the plan would not survive Boorda's term as CNO, and that was absolutely true.

Thanks blackstar.

With regards as to the project's original motivation, I think part of the impetus behind the arsenal ship project may well have been the fact that it wasn't really practical (then or now) to reload a ship's VLS cells at sea, meaning that when a ship had expended it's missiles, it always had to head to the nearest friendly port or base to rearm, unlike older non-VLS equipped ships, drastically reducing overall flexibility and effectiveness, especially in a protracted conflict. With an arsenal ship or two, a CBG or task force could remain at sea much longer.
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Offline Sea Skimmer

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #57 on: September 13, 2011, 02:40:55 pm »

The SSGN's were also justified in terms of their ability to launch special operations forces (SEALs). That always seemed dubious to me, because it requires bringing a very large submarine into littoral waters that it was never designed to operate in. But some of the sub guys I talked to said it was valid, so what do I know?  I always thought that the SSGN mission was more about the Navy being unwilling to scrap some expensive boats with useful life in them just because some treaty told them to.

One of the points of the Ohio SSGN is not just that it carries SEALs but that it can carry them on board for a long period of time and with all the gear they could want. It has facilities like a firing range in the missile compartment, and space for exercise, that simply cannot exist with a team shoehorned into a fast attack boat that barely has enough space for its own food supplies let alone hot bunking extra men in the torpedo room. The SSGNs retain two of the missile tubes for holding equipment, and they are better able to carry mini submarines like the SEAL delivery vehicle and various classified gadgets that remove the need to approach close to shore. The USN used to operate several boats in the 1980s with special modifications for support SEAL operations, the details and names of which I cannot recall at the moment, the SSGNs are basically much more capable follow-on to those boats, its not something the navy totally pulled out of the blue.

I'd be amazed if the SSGNs see any direct replacement, the USN wants to really shake up the design of fast attack boats to make them more flexible in payload and capabilities and that should take up the slack. This is already starting to happen slowly, the newest Virginia class boats will have two large payload tubes in the bow which can take inserts for Tomahawks, based on those built for the SSGNs, or other inserts for other purposes for example, instead of a fixed block of 21in VLS tubes. This also has the advantage of making the 'fixed' cost of the Virginia look cheaper to congress, as the Tomahawk tubes are funded separately and can be cross decked from hull to hull.

Offline F-14D

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #58 on: September 21, 2011, 06:44:37 pm »

The SSGN's were also justified in terms of their ability to launch special operations forces (SEALs). That always seemed dubious to me, because it requires bringing a very large submarine into littoral waters that it was never designed to operate in. But some of the sub guys I talked to said it was valid, so what do I know?  I always thought that the SSGN mission was more about the Navy being unwilling to scrap some expensive boats with useful life in them just because some treaty told them to.

One of the points of the Ohio SSGN is not just that it carries SEALs but that it can carry them on board for a long period of time and with all the gear they could want. It has facilities like a firing range in the missile compartment, and space for exercise, that simply cannot exist with a team shoehorned into a fast attack boat that barely has enough space for its own food supplies let alone hot bunking extra men in the torpedo room. The SSGNs retain two of the missile tubes for holding equipment, and they are better able to carry mini submarines like the SEAL delivery vehicle and various classified gadgets that remove the need to approach close to shore. The USN used to operate several boats in the 1980s with special modifications for support SEAL operations, the details and names of which I cannot recall at the moment, the SSGNs are basically much more capable follow-on to those boats, its not something the navy totally pulled out of the blue.

I'd be amazed if the SSGNs see any direct replacement, the USN wants to really shake up the design of fast attack boats to make them more flexible in payload and capabilities and that should take up the slack. This is already starting to happen slowly, the newest Virginia class boats will have two large payload tubes in the bow which can take inserts for Tomahawks, based on those built for the SSGNs, or other inserts for other purposes for example, instead of a fixed block of 21in VLS tubes. This also has the advantage of making the 'fixed' cost of the Virginia look cheaper to congress, as the Tomahawk tubes are funded separately and can be cross decked from hull to hull.

What the SSGN brings to the table is the ability to carry a massive amount of cruise missiles (an potentially other weapons).  And while flexibility in a design is always important, another thing you gain from the SSGN is that you don't end up tying a SSN, of which we don't have enough now and with the Administration's plans it will get even worse, down for extended periods on a "wait and watch" role.   The things a SSGN is needed for happen to be very similar to the kind of mission a SSBN does, except closer in, which is what makes the SSBN conversion so effective. 

The SSGN, thanks to its size and  characteristics, including being a very stable platform, also make it an ideal SEAL platform.  While all SSNs can also support SEALs, they are much more crowded and can't carry as much gear as a converted SSBN, a better platform for the task.  You mention that some boats had special modifications to support SEAL operations.  This happened in the 1990s and they were SSN 642 and 645-- converted SSBNs. 

Offline F-14D

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #59 on: September 21, 2011, 07:00:31 pm »
Which was exactly the rationale for the conversion of the first 4 Ohios to SSGNs.   Unfortunately, the Administration does not to be even considering planning for what will replace them in the next decade.

I always thought it was a dumb argument anyways. I don't think there was ever a shortage of platforms that could launch cruise missiles, and never a requirement to launch so many of them that it required a special platform rather than, say, 2-4 destroyers, cruisers and subs (total), which can always be moved anywhere they're needed when tensions increase.

The SSGN's were also justified in terms of their ability to launch special operations forces (SEALs). That always seemed dubious to me, because it requires bringing a very large submarine into littoral waters that it was never designed to operate in. But some of the sub guys I talked to said it was valid, so what do I know?  I always thought that the SSGN mission was more about the Navy being unwilling to scrap some expensive boats with useful life in them just because some treaty told them to.

Excuse the delay in responding, but I'm having computer "issues". 

Must disagree with you on your assessment of the SSGNs.  For one thing, consider the cost of sending, "...2-4 destroyers".  Much larger crew, much more coordination required and more expensive marginal cost to do the mission.   And then, of course there's the logistical train to support them on station.  If nothing else, they need to go somewhere to refuel (Hello USS Cole) or you have to go through a tremendous effort to refuel them on station.  And, of course it's not too long before someone knows they're there.  Still, they'd be more effective than the Arsenal Barge, IMO, which still requires the destroyers to protect and do the targeting.  With an SGN, it can just hide there for a long time, and you don't know where  it is or even if it's there.  This also has the advantage that you can put it on station well in anticipation of need, unlike the destroyers, and then just wait.  if you do need to launch, it's almost instantly available.   The SSGNs can operate in the littorals pretty well, remember as SSBNs they were required to maintain their depth and position very accurately.  Of course, with the range of present and future systems (if actually we develop any) you don't often have to come too far into the littorals for a missile strike, but they can do it for the SEALs. 

As for when we would need to launch a lot of missiles, just think of the times over the last 20 years when we launched a lot of missiles.  More than that, though, these boats pay off when you're launching just a couple.   I just hope that when we build the next generation of SSBNs, if we actually do, we  build a few (don't need many) of them as SSGNs.  It's a unusually good idea (that actually didn't initially come up from the normal channels) that has paid off handsomely. 

Offline mithril

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #60 on: September 21, 2011, 08:06:24 pm »
personally i keep expecting a variation on this concept to raise it's head now that anti-ballistic missile defense is SM-3's off navy ships.
an arsenal ship with VLS cells for SM-3's would make deployment and positioning of an ABM system easier, while not tying up important frigates and destroyers.

Offline blackstar

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #61 on: September 21, 2011, 08:25:47 pm »
Must disagree with you on your assessment of the SSGNs.  For one thing, consider the cost of sending, "...2-4 destroyers".  Much larger crew, much more coordination required and more expensive marginal cost to do the mission. 

But when the SSGNs were converted there was no shortage of existing platforms carrying cruise missiles. And a destroyer has a lot more utility than an SSGN. They were sitting around and they could do a lot more.

Offline F-14D

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #62 on: September 22, 2011, 07:55:30 pm »
Must disagree with you on your assessment of the SSGNs.  For one thing, consider the cost of sending, "...2-4 destroyers".  Much larger crew, much more coordination required and more expensive marginal cost to do the mission. 

But when the SSGNs were converted there was no shortage of existing platforms carrying cruise missiles. And a destroyer has a lot more utility than an SSGN. They were sitting around and they could do a lot more.

Hmmm, lessee...large scale cruise missile launch;  SEALs, special ops; multiple types of reconnaissance; anti-shipping  & ASW when necessary.   Sounds pretty versatile to me.  But, the big issue is the cruise missile/Special  Ops role.  Not wishing to denigrate the destroyers, but these boats do it a lot better, and if you're off the coat of some hostile nation, the destroyers would also be sitting around as well.   Besides, one of the other advantages is that once they submerge going out on patrol (they don't just stay tied up to the dock), neither you or I know where they are or what they're doing, giving them an enormous multiplier effect.   When destroyers are doing their other things, they aren't available for this, BTW, their endurance is limited.  If you're referring to the subs aren't always sitting off someone's coast, well, most of the time the B-2 is just sitting around at its base.  Should we dump them (because of that)? 

Offline blackstar

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #63 on: September 23, 2011, 09:59:44 am »
But we're talking about overlapping capabilities. My point is that I just didn't buy the argument that an extra platform (the SSGNs) was required and worth the cost spent on them. It always struck me that the justification for the SSGNs had more to do with a desire to not scrap a useful SSBN than it did with a real requirement for those capabilities, many of which--the cruise missiles--already existed.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #64 on: September 23, 2011, 03:38:49 pm »
But we're talking about overlapping capabilities. My point is that I just didn't buy the argument that an extra platform (the SSGNs) was required and worth the cost spent on them. It always struck me that the justification for the SSGNs had more to do with a desire to not scrap a useful SSBN than it did with a real requirement for those capabilities, many of which--the cruise missiles--already existed.

If you want a big magazine of Tomahawks in a location nobody knows about the SSGN can do that.  The destroyer cannot.  And if you are reducing your number of deployed SLBMs why not convert them?  Win-win.
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Offline F-14D

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #65 on: September 23, 2011, 03:52:00 pm »
And I'm talking SSGN within the context of the overall discussion of the arsenal barge concept.   Remember, the original idea was that the accompanying ships would provide the targeting and protection for the arsenal barge; it was just a way to create a launch platform that would take a bunch of missiles off the destroyers cruisers and fire them more economically.  From  a pure accountant's view, that made sense, but not, I would argue, in the real world. 

IMO, for a way to do large missile launch, by every measure you're better off with the far greater capability and flexibility of a converted SSBN than with an arsenal barge or a bunch of destroyer/cruisers.   The surface ships have great value, and if you have a sudden requirement to poop off a few missiles where the destroyers happen to be at the moment, they show that.  But for large scale launch, the ability to go out and wait until you need to use them or to keep our adversaries off guard (the SSGN may be somewhere off YOUR coast or it may not--you don't know so have to plan accordingly), you can't beat 'em.

That's why when the next generation of boomers gets built (if they do), I hope that we plan to build a small number, suing minimum change as SSGNS. 
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 11:16:21 am by F-14D »

Offline F-14D

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #66 on: September 29, 2011, 06:47:03 pm »
Whoops, I just realised I left out part of my last post.

<snip>

Thanks blackstar.

With regards as to the project's original motivation, I think part of the impetus behind the arsenal ship project may well have been the fact that it wasn't really practical (then or now) to reload a ship's VLS cells at sea, meaning that when a ship had expended it's missiles, it always had to head to the nearest friendly port or base to rearm, unlike older non-VLS equipped ships, drastically reducing overall flexibility and effectiveness, especially in a protracted conflict. With an arsenal ship or two, a CBG or task force could remain at sea much longer.

I realize this is a bit late, but rereading this topic, I want to stick up for VLS. 

Sorry, Havoc, but I think you'll find that one of the impetuses (impetii?) for going to VLS was that it vastly increased overall flexibility and effectiveness.   You had a much greater variety of potential weapons that could be loaded on any given deployment or operation.  The weapons' designers had more flexibility since they could design for a common container with common connections and not worry about moving the thing around inside the ship.  You didn't have to build the weapon up below decks, reducing required manpower and maintenance.  VLS made the Navy's concept of the "wooden round" feasible.  You also had a potentially much higher rate of fire.  It also imposed less of a constraint on ship design, since you were basically looking at a standardized module across many classes.  It was this increased flexibility and effectiveness that made the Navy continue full sped ahead when the UNREP problem (which would have been obvious had the designers and program managers not been so close to the situation) surfaced. 

Originally, there were a  retractable strikedown crane  that would take the place of three missile cells , and could service the missile set module it was in as well as adjacent modules in the 64 cell VLS (61 missiles   crane) fitted to early VLS ships.   It turned out there were certain design issues that caused problems, including the way it "dangled" the canisters.     This caused problems, especially in anything but calm seas. 

A later design eliminated most of these problems, but it was abandoned for a number of reasons.  The biggest was a question that was first asked by a Reservist (not sure of that) , in the Naval Institute Proceedings.  He asked, "Uh...where do you do with  the canisters during UNREP"?  What he realized was that DDGs, CGs and the like don't have a lot of spare deckspace.  So, where do you put the canisters from the expended shots during UNREP?  Where do you put the new canisters coming from the about-to-be-torpedoed-supply ship while you're striking down?   Not being that close to the design, he realized the process was going to be excruciatingly sloooow.  For comparison in the 1960s the Navy had developed a system called FAST (Fast Automatic Shuttle Transfer).  It could transfer even in storms or with icy decks.  It demonstrated a rate of 24 missiles an hour in sea state six even at night.  By contrast using the Mk41 VLS strikedown crane, you could do four an hour, if seas were calm.   The canister problem was a big reason they stopped work on trying to reload at sea faster. 

But also there was another reason that came to light...they didn't need to!  For one thing, with VLS, in addition to all the advantages I enumerated earlier, you were now carrying a lot more missiles.  You were going from a 40 shot DG to a 96 shot DDG (you gain back those crane cells, BTW).  Having your reloads already on board is much faster than any conceivable UNREP technique.   Yes, once you've emptied the magazine, you have to go back to port, but how often will that occur?  True, some of our recent operations have expended a lot of missiles,  but there haven't been that many and once the launches were over, there was no immediate all for more.   Frankly in a sustained naval battle, no one is going to be UNREPing missiles anyway.  it's been a while since we've been in involved in big naval battles, but back in those days, after the fleets had wailed away at each other, both sides  retired to safe anchorages  to reload.   No doubt a faster method of reloading an VLS could be developed, but at what cost? 

Besides, if we aren't buying enough missiles to replace the ones we shot, and that's a problem that dates back to the '90s, it won't matter how we do it.   This would apply to the arsenal barge as well.

The gist of this too long post is that surface ship, arsenal barge (and without VLS such a concept wouldn't even be feasible) or even SSGN. the loss of UNREP capability with VLS, while indeed a step back, but VLS does so much more so much better and so much cheaper, that the not fully anticipated sacrifice is well worth it. 

Offline Matt R.

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #67 on: January 01, 2012, 01:00:24 pm »
Whose design is the one below ?
 

Offline Avimimus

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #68 on: January 01, 2012, 07:55:38 pm »
The gist of this too long post is that surface ship, arsenal barge (and without VLS such a concept wouldn't even be feasible) or even SSGN. the loss of UNREP capability with VLS, while indeed a step back, but VLS does so much more so much better and so much cheaper, that the not fully anticipated sacrifice is well worth it.

Wouldn't most combat situations favour a resupply vessel which was capable of simply firing off the rounds itself? Like a smaller arsenal ship - relying on other ships for targeting and control? With networked stand-off guided munitions the importance of the launch platform is less and less important than the round itself. It doesn't matter where it comes from.

Such a solution would disperse weapons on more hulls and allow some launch platforms to be expended early (and already be falling back for resupply) or even be sacrificed (especially if they were unmanned). These are certainly very real benefits in a high threat environment.

Does anyone know how much space is actually lost by having the weapons on the supply ship launch ready rather than in stow? How many munitions does an average supply ship currently carry?

P.S.
In a low threat environment, which requires sustained bombardment - use of the shorter ranged vertical cannon might make more sense - and it might be easier to build a version of the 155mm that could be reloaded faster at sea than it would be to replace entire cansiters. Although, I suppose that the sealed VLS cells couldn't be easily adapted for this? Perhaps a dedicated "monitor destroyer" would make sense as an addition to the fleet?

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #69 on: January 02, 2012, 03:22:47 am »
personally i keep expecting a variation on this concept to raise it's head now that anti-ballistic missile defense is SM-3's off navy ships.
an arsenal ship with VLS cells for SM-3's would make deployment and positioning of an ABM system easier, while not tying up important frigates and destroyers.

For the ABM role you need a pretty good radar, so now your arsenal ship has VLS + an Aegis-type combat system. And then it's no longer an arsenal ship, it's a destroyer.

Offline Sea Skimmer

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #70 on: January 10, 2012, 08:13:20 am »
For the moment you need a good radar, that's not necessarily the case in the future and the US is working on several space based and airborne optical systems for fire control purposes. If your sensor can be a pod on top of a UAV that flies for three days at a time then you could fire SM-3 off anything you please in support of it. For the moment with only a few hundred SM-3 warshots in the long term budget, at least 48 of which are heading for land sites in Europe, the US has no pressing need to find more space on warships to fire them.

Offline flateric

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #71 on: January 10, 2012, 01:42:15 pm »
Lockheed Martin Marine Systems Arsenal Ship Concept via JimK
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stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #72 on: February 20, 2013, 11:55:42 pm »
The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline MihoshiK

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #73 on: February 21, 2013, 03:46:22 pm »
Time for some emergency conversions perhaps?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/feb/20/budget-cuts-would-force-navy-shut-down-four-active/
Armed forces face budget cuts: Propose absolute worst-case scenario.

It's almost like they don't like losing part of their budget and are making everything look as bleak as possible...

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #74 on: April 27, 2013, 01:40:49 am »
A bit of a debate is going on over in the JHSV thread over whether or not it could form the basis for a poor man's Arsenal Ship.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 01:42:23 am by Grey Havoc »
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Offline Triton

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #75 on: April 29, 2013, 10:49:23 am »
Wasn't one of the goals of the arsenal ship concept to allow the United States Navy to finally strike the Iowa-class battleships from the Naval Vessel Register and appease the proponents of battleships in Congress, and elsewhere, for the Naval Gun Fire Support (NGFS)/Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS), aka shore bombardment, role? In essence, end the battleship debate once and for all? Wasn't that also the point of the Vertical Gun for Advanced Ships (VGAS)?

Can the three Zumwalt-class destroyers, the four Ohio-class SSGNs conversions, and the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers provide sufficient NGFS for amphibious operations? Or does the Navy still need the arsenal ship?

Is it coincidence that the Lockheed Martin Marine Systems arsenal ship concept looks like battleship and is numbered 72 in the artist's impression? BBG-72?






« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 11:47:43 am by Triton »

Offline TomS

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #76 on: April 30, 2013, 06:31:12 am »
In a way, yes, that was the intent, though the capabilities were far from parallel.  I think it's more useful to think of ArShip as a response to a number of issues the surface Navy was dealing with at once, and the battleships were only one of those issues.  The other was the desire to increase deep strike capability and the need to address manning of surface ships in general. 

Deep strike was a huge growth field after the first Gulf War, and the surface guys saw a chance to steal some mission space from the carrier bubbas (especially as long-range carrier aviation fell on its face with the A-12).  But they didn't want to fill up all their CG/DDG weapon slots with strike weapons, because air defense still had a dominant role in their thinking and that still could demand lots of weapons.  So the alternative was to find a new platform to carry the strike weapons, while leaving the major combatants in charge of actually firing those weapons.  That's why there was so much interest in off-board control via CEC or other datalinks -- the commander of an Arsenal Ship would be a caretaker, while the combatant COs made the real tactical decisions. 

Right now, it looks like the existing ships can provide enough support, because there's not a lot of capability for large-scale landings to be supported. 

Offline blackstar

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #77 on: April 30, 2013, 08:57:45 am »
Wasn't one of the goals of the arsenal ship concept to allow the United States Navy to finally strike the Iowa-class battleships from the Naval Vessel Register and appease the proponents of battleships in Congress, and elsewhere, for the Naval Gun Fire Support (NGFS)/Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS), aka shore bombardment, role? In essence, end the battleship debate once and for all? Wasn't that also the point of the Vertical Gun for Advanced Ships (VGAS)?

There's a difference between "stated reasons" and real ones. I think the real reason was that there was a surface ship admiral in charge of the Navy and he wanted a big surface ship. I'm not sure that there were any studies or analysis done prior to Boorda coming in that said "This is necessary because of X" and then proved it.

Offline Triton

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #78 on: April 30, 2013, 10:39:43 am »
New York Times article from 1995:

"Aircraft Carrier May Give Way To Missile Ship"
By ERIC SCHMITT
Published: September 03, 1995

Source:
http://www.nytimes.com/1995/09/03/us/aircraft-carrier-may-give-way-to-missile-ship.html


Quote
After 50 years as the global symbol of America's military might, the aircraft carrier may soon be shoved off center stage by a new warship that would be able to rain 500 missiles within a matter of minutes on targets hundreds of miles away, without risking pilots' lives.

Prospects for that ship, which is still on the drawing board but could be in the fleet within five years, raise questions about how many new carriers the Navy will need. A carrier costs $4.5 billion to build and $440 million a year to operate. The new ship, essentially a floating missile barge, might cost only $500 million and just tens of millions a year to run.

The new ship would fire Tomahawk cruise missiles, long-range artillery shells or rocket barrages against ammunition dumps, command posts and artillery, for instance, the same targets that warplanes flying off the carrier Roosevelt were bombing in Bosnia this week.

The nation's existing armada of warships, submarines and carrier-based fighter-bombers was built to fight the Soviet Union. The Navy of the future, however, will have to deal with a broader range of potential threats, from Iranian cruise missiles blocking access to Persian Gulf oilfields to a surprise attack on Seoul by North Korea to another showdown with Saddam Hussein.

Given declining military budgets, Americans' aversion to casualties among their pilots and other combat forces, fast-improving anti-aircraft missiles and a new Navy doctrine that foresees fighting more wars near shore than out at sea, the Navy's top admiral, Jeremy M. Boorda, wants an inexpensive, versatile vessel bristling with firepower.

"I want it cheap and with lots of missiles," Admiral Boorda, the Chief of Naval Operations, said in an interview. "This is certainly a modern equivalent to the battleship."

Unlike the big-gun behemoths that slugged it out with Japanese warships in World War II or belched Volkswagen-sized shells during the Korean War, the Navy's newest dreadnought would lurk safely off a hostile shore, partly submerged to avoid detection, and rain 500 or more precision-guided missiles on enemy tanks, advancing troops or other targets. It could prove particularly valuable in the early stages of a crisis, before ground troops were in place.

It would travel with other ships and submarines for protection, and target information would be provided by other vessels, reconnaissance aircraft, pilotless drones or ground spotters.

The 825-foot arsenal ship, as its Navy designers call it, might require fewer than 20 people to operate, compared with the 5,000 aboard a 1,040-foot carrier. It would be equipped with the latest automated damage-control and firefighting systems, Admiral Boorda said. Borrowing from commercial supertanker designs, it would have two sets of double hulls, allowing it to take a hit from a missile or a torpedo and keep on sailing.

Andrew Krepinevich, director of the Defense Budget Project, a research organization in Washington, said: "The arsenal ship is the same challenge to aircraft carriers as the first carrier was in the 1920's to battleships. It's not going to make the carrier extinct overnight, but it will make it a less important part of the battle fleet."

Army and Marine commanders applaud the idea of an arsenal ship, because it would support ground troops. But the idea has plenty of skeptics inside and outside the military.

"It looks like the Navy is searching for a mission," said one Air Force colonel, a planning specialist. "They've put all their eggs in one basket and created one really lucrative target for an enemy."

Norman Polmar, a naval expert and author in Alexandria, Va., said: "It's an interesting idea, but when will you ever want to fire 500 Tomahawk missiles? There's no analysis to support that number of missiles."

Admiral Boorda's plan has touched off a struggle within the Navy itself. Some naval aviators feel threatened because the arsenal ship could grab some of their missions and glory. "If they aren't a little nervous, they are fools," said one officer involved in the planning.

Further, the new ship would be assuming a mission that submarine commanders believe Trident missile subs would otherwise be able to perform. They have pitched a submarine-featured counterproposal to Admiral Boorda, but are not optimistic. "This is going to be Boorda's legacy to the Navy, at least in his mind," one submarine officer said.

Admiral Boorda, the first enlisted sailor ever to rise to the Navy's top uniformed post, dismisses such talk and says an arsenal ship would be only one in a whole family of new ships. And he denies that it will replace the carrier or piloted missions any time soon. "I don't think so," he said. "Certainly not given the technology I envision in the next 20 to 30 years."

hile Admiral Boorda says he has made no final decision to build the arsenal ship, other senior Navy officials say that serious planning could start later this year and that the fleet, which has 12 carriers, could receive the first of as many as half a dozen of the new vessels within five years.

Navy officials are hoping to build the new ship using commercial business practices, cutting through military red tape and holding down costs. By keeping the concept and the design decidedly simple, Admiral Boorda aims to keep the arsenal ship affordable.

"This ship is not a command-and-control center, and it's not making big decisions," Admiral Boorda said. "It's simply the artillery battery. It matches our strategy pretty darn well."

That strategy is to fight closer to shore, against mines, coastal targets or armies farther inland. "The ability of sea-based forces to influence the outcome of land campaigns will become increasingly important," said Michael Vickers, a fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Admiral Boorda envisions positioning arsenal ships at trouble spots around the world and rotating the small crews every six months. ("It would be part of your forward presence," he said.) That would reduce the costs that carriers now incur in training and in sailing to their assignments.

Navy planners must still work out a few important matters before they rush their blueprints to the shipyard. Admiral Boorda said that the automated systems needed more work and that the Navy must design a one-size-fits-all launching tube for the more than 15 types of missiles and rockets the ship could fire.

"This is not just taking a bunch of things off the shelf," he said, "but it's not as difficult as a lot of other technology projects."

The biggest challenge may be paying for the ship. The arsenal ship would be cheap by Navy standards, but military budgets are tight even with a more generous Republican Congress, and Admiral Boorda does not want to sacrifice other programs to pay for this one.

The Navy is seeking financing from the Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency, which develops new technology. "We're looking at a year or two of thinking and discussion," said Larry Lynn, the agency's director, who declined to say how much the agency might invest in the project.

One way or another, though, Admiral Boorda will most likely get his ship. "This is a good idea," he said, "and it's worth pursuing."

Did the arsenal ship really threaten procurement of future nuclear-powered supercarriers and the deep-strike mission performed by naval aviators? The Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) program in the mid-1990s? I've also read that the Navy's enthusiasm for this project ebbed with the suicide of Admiral Boorda in May 1996.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 11:11:36 am by Triton »

Offline blackstar

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #79 on: May 01, 2013, 06:41:50 am »
Thanks for posting that. It is consistent with other things that I read at the time, which indicated that it was mostly Boorda's idea and largely came out of nowhere. This quote supports that:

"Norman Polmar, a naval expert and author in Alexandria, Va., said: "It's an interesting idea, but when will you ever want to fire 500 Tomahawk missiles? There's no analysis to support that number of missiles."

When Boorda died, the Arsenal Ship idea died with him. But it's doubtful that if he had lived it would have continued. Eventually somebody would have had to fund it, and that's when they start asking the tough questions. Boorda said that he wanted a "cheap" ship, but clearly it would have grown in complexity and cost. First of all, supporting that many missiles would have required a lot of sophisticated integration, and that would have cost money. Then people would have asked the inevitable question: "If we're creating such a high value asset, shouldn't we also add in extra damage control and redundancy and self defense so that one hit doesn't sink the whole ship?" And then they would have added more stuff and the cost would have gone up.

I also suspect that the rest of the surface ship navy would have raised objections as well, because the Arsenal Ship would have threatened to steal Tomahawks away from all the other surface ships. So while it came from an advocate of the surface navy, it would have posed a threat to the surface navy as well.

Offline Triton

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #80 on: May 01, 2013, 09:59:58 am »
I also suspect that the rest of the surface ship navy would have raised objections as well, because the Arsenal Ship would have threatened to steal Tomahawks away from all the other surface ships. So while it came from an advocate of the surface navy, it would have posed a threat to the surface navy as well.

Because of the budget realities of purchasing TLAMs to arm the Arsenal Ship or that the Arsenal Ship would result in operational changes in the United States Navy? It is incorrect to think of the Arsenal Ship as a platform that could provide additional firepower? Was the Arsenal Ship intended for more than the land attack role?
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 10:09:52 am by Triton »

Offline TomS

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #81 on: May 01, 2013, 10:18:31 am »
Budget for additional missiles was certainly a major problem -- the USN has never actually had a great shortage of VLS cells (usually the reverse, in fact), making ArShip in some ways a solution looking for a problem. 

A whole range of new missiles were offered as possible low-cost ways to fill up the Navy's VLS cells (NTACMS, Land-Attack Standard Missile, POLAR, and too many others to name).  None were ever bought, though.

At various times, Arsenal Ship was also proposed as a platform for theater ballistic defense missiles, again relying on offboard targeting and fire control.

Offline Triton

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #82 on: May 01, 2013, 11:16:55 am »
Though I presume that the Arsenal Ship would not have gone to sea with 500 missiles, or 384 missiles, etc. in its VLS cells. The dual 52 caliber 155mm guns and magazine of the Vertical Gun for Advanced Ships (VGAS) in development at the time would have taken up 64 VLS cells in the Arsenal Ship. The VGAS would have fired the Raytheon Extended Range Guided Munition (ERGM) and have a magazine of 1,400 rounds in an all up configuration. I guess now it would be the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) developed by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control and BAE Systems for the AGS.

Source:
http://www.navy.mil/navydata/policy/vision/vis98/vis-p09.html
http://www.murdoconline.net/archives/date/2008/03/page/2
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 12:19:03 pm by Triton »

Offline TomS

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #83 on: May 01, 2013, 12:26:19 pm »
As specified in the Navy-DARPA project, Arsenal Ship did not have guns.

Despite that Navy Vision, Presence, Power document (which I think I worked on, peripherally), ERGM was primarily a 127mm round for Mk 45 Mod 4.  There was some thought that the VGAS round could be an up-sized version but that didn't happen and the AGS LRLAP round is a clean sheet design from a different company.  The confusion stems from the fact that "extended-range guided munition" (lower case) was used for some time as a generic term for any rocket-assisted guided round, rather than referring to a specific program of record.

Offline Triton

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #84 on: May 01, 2013, 12:49:28 pm »
Thanks for the clarification, TomS.

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #85 on: June 10, 2013, 07:02:24 am »
Oddly enough, back in 1996, with the original 500 cell concept*, there was at least initially a requirement for it to be "capable of underway refueling and
accommodating SH-60, V-22, and CH-46 aircraft with landing area and limited services". Somewhat counter to the underlying basis of the entire concept, IMHO.

*Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Promulgation of the Arsenal Ship Concept
of Operations, Memorandum, Serial N863D/6U654802, dtd. 11 April 1996.


Here's a couple of papers on the Arsenal Ship concept:
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a286917.pdf
http://calhoun.nps.edu/public/bitstream/handle/10945/7991/arsenalshipautom00mcne.pdf?sequence=1
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Offline blackstar

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #86 on: June 10, 2013, 08:31:11 am »
Oddly enough, back in 1996, with the original 500 cell concept*, there was at least initially a requirement for it to be "capable of underway refueling and
accommodating SH-60, V-22, and CH-46 aircraft with landing area and limited services". Somewhat counter to the underlying basis of the entire concept, IMHO.

Why is that counter to the concept? It seems like it would make sense to have a landing area and refueling capability. The former is useful for basic utility and resupply, not to mention evacuating a sick crewmember.

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #87 on: June 10, 2013, 08:45:30 am »
The landing area yes, but the refueling and service capabilities, no. They added expense and potential vulnerabilities (e.g. aviation fuel storage) to something that was supposed to be a relatively low cost, ultimately expendable platform. Most later arsenal ship concepts only had a landing area, if that.

Speaking of which, here's the 1996 TSSE Arsenal Ship concept, created in response to a request from the then Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition. Please note that you'll likely need a .dwg extension viewer to look at the ship views. They seem to have been left out of the final report.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 09:20:07 am by Grey Havoc »
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Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #88 on: November 24, 2013, 10:20:02 am »
Have any reliable drawings of the original Project 1144M proposal come to light, by any chance?
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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #89 on: November 24, 2013, 10:46:40 am »
Have any reliable drawings of the original Project 1144M proposal come to light, by any chance?

I've only found this:


From:
http://alternathistory.org.ua/novaya-pesnya-o-glavnom-alternativa-2-tarkr-11442?page=1

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #90 on: November 24, 2013, 10:59:06 am »
Thanks for posting that. It is consistent with other things that I read at the time, which indicated that it was mostly Boorda's idea and largely came out of nowhere. This quote supports that:

"Norman Polmar, a naval expert and author in Alexandria, Va., said: "It's an interesting idea, but when will you ever want to fire 500 Tomahawk missiles? There's no analysis to support that number of missiles."

When Boorda died, the Arsenal Ship idea died with him. But it's doubtful that if he had lived it would have continued. Eventually somebody would have had to fund it, and that's when they start asking the tough questions. Boorda said that he wanted a "cheap" ship, but clearly it would have grown in complexity and cost. First of all, supporting that many missiles would have required a lot of sophisticated integration, and that would have cost money. Then people would have asked the inevitable question: "If we're creating such a high value asset, shouldn't we also add in extra damage control and redundancy and self defense so that one hit doesn't sink the whole ship?" And then they would have added more stuff and the cost would have gone up.

I also suspect that the rest of the surface ship navy would have raised objections as well, because the Arsenal Ship would have threatened to steal Tomahawks away from all the other surface ships. So while it came from an advocate of the surface navy, it would have posed a threat to the surface navy as well.


IMHO the Arsenal Ship could be a cheap 'low intensity conflict' platform while still being able to contribute to fights with A2AD near peer enemies.

The vast majority of coastal areas like Africa do not 'today' at least threaten warships so you could have a single ship posted on each coast and/or in the 'Med' giving 'continental' coverage married to special forces teams on the ground designating targets. But I also envision an Arsenal ship with IRBMs and HSSWs for prompt strike and not just cruise missiles. I would convert an old helicopter carrier it having huge deck space, although it might be cheaper to build a whole new platform.
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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #91 on: November 25, 2013, 02:06:00 pm »
Thanks Tzoli. It's surprising that Russia haven't also looked at the old Project 1080 as the basis of a relatively quick way of helping to rebuild their seagoing firepower. Institutional amnesia, perhaps?



IMHO the Arsenal Ship could be a cheap 'low intensity conflict' platform while still being able to contribute to fights with A2AD near peer enemies.

The vast majority of coastal areas like Africa do not 'today' at least threaten warships so you could have a single ship posted on each coast and/or in the 'Med' giving 'continental' coverage married to special forces teams on the ground designating targets. But I also envision an Arsenal ship with IRBMs and HSSWs for prompt strike and not just cruise missiles. I would convert an old helicopter carrier it having huge deck space, although it might be cheaper to build a whole new platform.

On that score, have you come across this Missile Support Barge (MSB-1) concept from a year or so back? (image via the SNAFU blog):
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #92 on: November 26, 2013, 08:47:43 am »
Thanks Tzoli. It's surprising that Russia haven't also looked at the old Project 1080 as the basis of a relatively quick way of helping to rebuild their seagoing firepower. Institutional amnesia, perhaps?



IMHO the Arsenal Ship could be a cheap 'low intensity conflict' platform while still being able to contribute to fights with A2AD near peer enemies.

The vast majority of coastal areas like Africa do not 'today' at least threaten warships so you could have a single ship posted on each coast and/or in the 'Med' giving 'continental' coverage married to special forces teams on the ground designating targets. But I also envision an Arsenal ship with IRBMs and HSSWs for prompt strike and not just cruise missiles. I would convert an old helicopter carrier it having huge deck space, although it might be cheaper to build a whole new platform.

On that score, have you come across this Missile Support Barge (MSB-1) concept from a year or so back? (image via the SNAFU blog):


Interesting design. How many VLS cells does that show?
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Offline TomS

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #93 on: November 26, 2013, 09:08:07 am »
If you walk it back to the original source, it claims 320 cells  (I count 32 modules, so they're not the standard 8-cell configuration).  But the same designer has a flying aircraft carrier based on the Nimitz design and a Dutch catamaran battleship from WW3, so it's not exactly a high-fidelity concept.

Offline ford_tempo

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #94 on: December 11, 2014, 11:41:17 am »
From aviation week:

Strictly speaking not an arsenal ship but I found the link at the arsenal ship entry in wikipedia.....and it can be used as such
 Introducing the Ballistic Missile Defense Ship 
 
Among the many striking displays at the recent Navy League Sea-Air-Space Exposition was this marvel -- an amphibious warfare ship adapted for Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), with three times the radar size and missile capacity of current BMD vessels, as well an electromagnetic rail gun that can launch shells to the edge of space.
 
The concept from Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) is based on the hull of the LPD-17 San Antonio Class, a component of the three-ship “Amphibious Ready Groups” that stage Marines at forward, sea-based positions. In this incarnation, HII has removed the Marine’s berthing, vehicles, helicopters and landing craft, and installed air defense equipment with greater range and capacity than any ship in the fleet.
 
Atop the superstructure is a massive S-band phased array radar, over 21 feet on each side. Compare that to the 12.5 ft. diameter of the SPY-1 radars aboard Ticonderoga Class Cruisers and Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers. For radars, larger size means greater range and better resolution and these arrays have three times the area of those which equip current BMD vessels.
 
 Starting behind the superstructure and continuing along the periphery to the stern is a vertical launch system (VLS) with 288 cells to carry surface to air missiles (SAMs), Tomahawk cruise missiles or Vertical-launch Anti-submarine rockets (VLAs). For comparison, Ticos have 122; later Burkes 96 and earlier Burkes 90. So, that’s triple the average missile load to start, with plenty of room to install more. Plus, the ship is taller than the surface combatants, which means it can hold future missiles of greater length and range.
 
 Forward of the superstructure, you see what looks like a standard five inch gun, the kind one finds on the Ticos and Burkes. But an engineer responsible for this design explains that’s not what it represents. In fact, it’s an electromagnetic rail gun.
 
 At least two other companies at the Expo exhibited their work on rail guns. The contractors speak of equipping surface combatants with 30+ mega joule (MJ) systems sometime in the 2020s. Elevated for maximum range, those barrels can throw shells a hundred miles away. Elevated higher, they can shoot projectiles to the edge of the atmosphere and possibly beyond.
 
 That capability has caught the attention of missile defense thinkers because the shells might be able to intercept incoming warheads from ballistic missiles. With muzzle velocities of Mach 7, shells accelerated by 30MJ weapons would retain enough speed to engage re-entry vehicles as they fall back into the atmosphere, and possibly enough to chase maneuvering re-entry vehicles (MaRVs) trying to dodge them.
 
 They’re also relatively cheap. Part of the difficulty of missile defense is economic. BMD interceptors like SM-3 often cost several times more than the missiles against which they defend. Using rail guns for BMD could flip that ratio, allowing multiple rounds to be economically expended on a single target. Even if a MaRV has greater kinetic energy than each round – which would confer a maneuvering advantage – it would face difficulty avoiding multiple interceptors while maintaining a course that ends at its target. This is particularly true if when the rounds approach they explode into clouds of hypersonic shards, which is what Boeing has in mind:
 
Yet another reason rail guns may interest the BMD community is the emerging threat posed by hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs), such as the one China tested in January. Rather than entering space like normal ballistic missiles, HGVs achieve great speed from their boosters but separate earlier, staying low enough to glide on the air remaining in the stratosphere. Accepting some drag for greater lift, these warheads fly farther than if on a higher trajectory. The benefit is more range and a flight path too low to be intercepted by exo-atmospheric kill vehicles – such as the ones which equip the SM-3 and other mid-course BMD interceptors. The downside is when the warhead nears its target, it has less speed and altitude and is therefore more easily intercepted by low-tier interceptors, including potential rail guns.
 
 While offering greater BMD capability than any other ship operating or planned, the LPD BMD could still provide versatility. The missile cells can launch Tomahawks at land targets. While not currently intended for anti-submarine warfare, acoustic equipment could be added, VLAs can be carried, and the ship can embark helicopters. They could also retain some of their Marine equipment to continue providing amphibious warfare capability.
 
HII generated this concept about a year ago, and they’re not the only one’s thinking about it. Noted naval analyst Norman Polmar has also spoken of integrating air defense equipment onto amphibious warfare vessels. The two qualities one needs to improve BMD capability are larger radars and more missile cells; features which call for a bigger ship, like an amphib.
 
 The number of missile cells also harkens back to the Arsenal Ship, a notion which floated around the pages of defense publications in the 1990’s. The idea was to design a stealthy, low-visual signature ship which would just barely extend above the water and hold 500 cells for tomahawks, providing unmatched firepower wherever it travelled. The idea came to partial fruition with the conversion of four Ohio class submarines to SSGNs. In place of 24 Trident nuclear ballistic missiles, these subs now carry 154 conventional Tomahawks and comprise 60% of the Navy’s cruise missile strike force. However, they are set to begin retiring towards the end of the decade. The current solution is to add more Tomahawk launchers to the next version of Virginia Class attack subs. It seems LPD BMD could help here as well, as it is conceptually a cross between an amphib, a Burke and the arsenal ship.
 
 But the big difference in feasibility between the SSGNs and the LPD BMD is cost. The four subs had already been bought, except for the Tomahawk equipment. To field LPD BMD vessels, the US would have to pay for new ships, as well as new radars.
 
 How much would it have to pay? So much nobody has asked for a specific estimate. One can make an educated guess though. The last LPD 17 the US bought cost around $2.1B. The most expensive addition to the basic design would be the radar and associated combat system. Aegis combat systems and their SPY-1 radars cost approximately $222M apiece for FY15. However, an engineer responsible for the LPD BMD design states a better analogy would be the “Cobra Judy,” a shipboard radar the US uses to conduct surveillance on foreign ballistic missile launches. Cobra Judy and its carrying vessel costed ~$1.7B for research and construction of one system. Building multiple ships might reduce the cost, but there would also be research and development to conduct on the new radar, which could increase the total cost of each ship significantly. Throw in the other combat systems and $4B seems like a reasonable ball-park, which would make LPD BMD the third most expensive ship class on record, after the Ford Class Carrier and Ohio Ballistic Missile Submarine Replacement.
 
 At that cost, it’s hard to imagine the US ever buying more than a few, but that may be all the military needs. While no ship can be in two places at once, there are only a couple of theaters that require such great BMD defenses. Like the SSGNs, a handful of LPD BMDs could vastly increase capability in the couple of regions where the threat is greatest. Each LPD BMD accommodates up to 288 interceptors and has the space to carry more. China’s entire ballistic missile force numbers approximately 1100.
 
 Unfortunately, there’s not enough money in the budget right now even for a handful. Too bad. It’s a fascinating concept, but in today’s fiscal environment, that’s probably all it’ll ever be … that, and the world’s coolest key chain:
 

Offline Triton

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #95 on: December 11, 2014, 12:21:56 pm »
The San Antonio-class based Ballistic Missile Defense Ship, BMD, is not the same thing as an arsenal ship. The arsenal ship provides extra VLS launchers and missiles for United States Navy cruisers and destroyers. The arsenal ship does not have radars or fire control systems. It is essentially a floating missile magazine. The arsenal ship was developed because VLS-equipped ships can't be rearmed at sea. BMD is a guided-missile ship using an LPD hull.

BMD is documented in the following topic:

"Huntington Ingalls LPD Flight II"
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,18872.msg182219.html#msg182219
« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 12:31:48 pm by Triton »


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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #99 on: February 07, 2015, 07:28:43 am »
https://books.google.com/books?id=_eMDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA56&lpg=PA56&dq=strike+cruiser+ADM+Mike+Metcalf&source=bl&ots=C9kY-mzzKd&sig=IYtcpwSJQOLpsC6cpcwQPI0SblY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=_wjVVLOjF5PmgwTGiILIDA&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=strike%20cruiser%20ADM%20Mike%20Metcalf&f=false

Interesting to see that is from 1988. I did not know that the concept went back that early. Then again, it's not that surprising when you consider that once they came up with the VLS concept somebody would ask why they couldn't load a ship up with a LOT of VLS cells. So the real question is who came up with the first viable proposal for VLS and what limited the number of them that could be included in a ship?

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #100 on: February 07, 2015, 08:00:30 am »
https://books.google.com/books?id=_eMDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA56&lpg=PA56&dq=strike+cruiser+ADM+Mike+Metcalf&source=bl&ots=C9kY-mzzKd&sig=IYtcpwSJQOLpsC6cpcwQPI0SblY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=_wjVVLOjF5PmgwTGiILIDA&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=strike%20cruiser%20ADM%20Mike%20Metcalf&f=false

Interesting to see that is from 1988. I did not know that the concept went back that early. Then again, it's not that surprising when you consider that once they came up with the VLS concept somebody would ask why they couldn't load a ship up with a LOT of VLS cells. So the real question is who came up with the first viable proposal for VLS and what limited the number of them that could be included in a ship?

Someone wrote up this tread, I think, that there was seen to be a real danger of an 'all [or most of your eggs] in one basket' if the Soviets, at the time, were able to sink these capital ships. With a 600 ship Navy you could distribute your firepower over many more ships all with VLS.

IMHO I actually think these types of ships make more sense today because when you have only 300 ships (and they can be in only one place at a time) you want to be able to have your 'many ships' distributed firepower plan where it makes sense.

Today there are only two nations, who are potential adversaries, that can threaten the US Navy's capital ships (China/Russia) yet there are many places around the world that you need a naval presence. Why deploy a carrier strike group to East Africa (say for anti-terror activities) when you could position an Arsenal Ship with intermediate range strike missiles that could, in theory, cover South West Asia all the way to East-North Africa.
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Offline blackstar

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #101 on: February 07, 2015, 08:09:47 am »

IMHO I actually think these types of ships make more sense today because when you have only 300 ships (and they can be in only one place at a time) you want to be able to have your 'many ships' distributed firepower plan where it makes sense.


I don't think they make any more sense today than then, but for different reasons. Back then they represented too many eggs in one basket. But today the Navy deploys lots of singular ships by themselves, and those ships need the capability to operate alone and take care of themselves. An arsenal type ship would represent too much money in one basket, rather than distributed to the far-flung units.

Reading the article, retired Admiral Metcalf was advocating a distributed and interlinked force, rather than putting too many resources into "capital ships," so the arsenal ship seems to have run counter to what he was proposing. The Navy is much more networked now, and they are striving for seamless networking so that everybody shares information. Some of that started in the 1980s and 1990s (the Navy developed the capability of having one ship launch another ship's missiles, for instance, which I doubt was very popular). But this big ship with lots of missiles, while less of a vulnerable target than during the Cold War, would not be capable of doing all the things that you need to do, like get in close and operate special forces in the littorals.

There are some interesting things in that July 1988 article, such as Metcalf's prediction that "We're almost to the point where we're going to be able to eliminate manned aircraft from the naval scenario altogether." He also predicts that antimissile/antiaircraft laser weapons are just around the corner. Well, I guess he was right, except 30 years too early.

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #102 on: February 07, 2015, 09:28:05 am »

Interesting to see that is from 1988. I did not know that the concept went back that early. Then again, it's not that surprising when you consider that once they came up with the VLS concept somebody would ask why they couldn't load a ship up with a LOT of VLS cells. So the real question is who came up with the first viable proposal for VLS and what limited the number of them that could be included in a ship?

Limiting factors:
- cost (at ballpark $1M/missile, things add up quickly)
- number of fire control channels (for missiles that aren't fire-and-forget)
- manpower (while some of these were no more than missile carriers, you want a crew large enough to fight fires, which adds up for a large ship)

Offline TomS

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #103 on: February 08, 2015, 07:32:34 pm »
The Metcalf designs don't really rate as Arsenal ships, IMO, since they were supposed to have extensive onboard sensors and fire control.  One of the hallmarks of the ArShip is that it was primarily a remote magazine for combatant warships.

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #104 on: February 09, 2015, 02:47:00 am »
But it can be said that the Metcalf Strike Cruiser was an important ancestor of the Arsenal Ship concept.
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Offline Matt R.

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #105 on: February 13, 2015, 11:37:40 am »
Whose design is the one below ?

According to Bill Liebold, this is a Lockheed Martin design (Baseline 2B), with the shipyard being Litton.

Here is a short narrative :

Quote
The second ship shows another concept. I don't know who made it, where it came from, or what scale it is but it's 61" long. It showed up in my shop at Lockheed Martin in 1997 or 1998 when I was hot and heavy building newer versions for trade shows and this one was being taken out of circulation. As you can see on the name plate it is Baseline 1A, you can also see the paint cracking. The other photo is the last model I built of the ship Lockheed Martin worked on just before the Arsenal Ship program was canceled. I can't remember who the ship yard was that we were teamed with but I think maybe Litton back when they still owned Ingals Ship Yard. That one was Baseline 2B and was built to 3/32"=1'. Just forward of the front VLS are four little light grey squares with holes on the dark grey deck. Those are the guns. You only see the gun muzzles at the deck level. They were to vertically fire guided rounds. I did build the Baseline 2A ship. It looked a lot like 2B but was narrower. The vertical launchers on 2A and 2B were a new design and the hatches were flush to the deck and you could not see the hinges. There you go, my entire memory of Arsenal Ship in a paragraph.

Higher resolution pics can be found here
 
Credit : Bill Liebold / Model Ship Gallery
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 11:42:16 am by Matt R. »

Offline Matt R.

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #106 on: February 13, 2015, 11:49:17 am »
Lockheed Martin Marine Systems Arsenal Ship Concept via JimK

According to Bill Liebold, this is the Lockheed Martin Baseline 1A variant (short narrative in the previous post).
 
More pics below (credit : Bill Liebold / Model Ship Gallery)

Offline Triton

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #107 on: February 13, 2015, 12:25:34 pm »
Box artwork for a notional U.S.S. Arizona (BB-72) model kit based on the Lockheed Martin Baseline 1A variant manufactured by Blue Ridge Models.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 02:56:14 pm by Triton »

Offline Matt R.

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #108 on: February 13, 2015, 12:47:02 pm »
Box artwork for a notional U.S.S. Arizona (BB-72) model kit based on the Lockheed Martin Baseline 1A variant manufactured by Blue Ridge Models.

More pics of the model kit by Blue Ridge can be found here

Offline flateric

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #109 on: February 13, 2015, 09:00:35 pm »
Matt, many thanks
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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #112 on: May 14, 2015, 10:59:54 am »
Well no s**t?!! A day late and a dollar short, huh? Aint that a bitch. ;D
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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #113 on: May 14, 2015, 11:07:44 am »
Well no s**t?!! A day late and a dollar short, huh? Aint that a bitch. ;D

Story of my life thanks for taking this one  ;D
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Offline GWrecks

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #114 on: December 17, 2018, 01:54:16 am »
http://militaryboatsonline.com/2015/09/creative-models-northrop-grumman-team-12-resin-model-arsenal-ship-boat/

Found this trying to Google the Northrop Grumman arsenal ship...unfortunately the model has already been sold.

Anyone got better pictures of it? If I were to guess it went through a similar change to the Lockheed Martin arsenal ship.
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #115 on: January 16, 2019, 06:38:46 am »
https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2019/01/us-shift-to-missile-container-navy-would-be-six-times-more-cost-effective.html?fbclid=IwAR2dFUg9z_MbmPNFcqPDh-BvYC6Yut_Ylu2Jt5pVlgXdK7xmI9eBtnzUs3s

Quote
The US Navy is considering converting available merchant ships into missile-armed Navy ships. They would be able to make 15-20 merchant ships for the cost of one destroyer. The merchant missile ships would have 450-600 missiles versus 90 on one destroyer.

Offensive and defensive missiles are one of the main metrics for how much combat capability there is in a fleet.

The line item cost for Mk41 VLS is around $51-54 million per ship set (twelve modules). For hardware alone, the cost drops to $33-36 million per ship set. This means the cost of the missiles is about 2-4% of the cost of a $1.5 billion US destroyer.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #116 on: January 16, 2019, 07:46:50 am »
They would suffer from the same problems the original arsenal ship concepts did.  All those eggs in baskets that can't defend themselves. 
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Offline TomS

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #117 on: January 16, 2019, 08:21:59 am »
They would suffer from the same problems the original arsenal ship concepts did.  All those eggs in baskets that can't defend themselves.

And it misses the cost of the actual armament.  The Next Big Future article says "the cost of the missiles is about 2-4% of the cost of a $1.5 billion US destroyer" but that's actually the cost of the missile launchers, not the missiles themselves.  Taking an average cost of $2.5 million per missile (SM-6 more, Tomahawk less), the actual cost of the missiles on a DDG is pushing $240 million.  Very rough estimate, since it's going to vary a lot based on the mix, but it's far more relevant than the cost of the launchers alone.

Simple fact is that barring a major change in the cost of missiles, inventory is going to be a far more serious limitation on the number of missiles afloat than the number of deployed VLS cells.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2019, 08:36:38 am by TomS »

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #118 on: January 16, 2019, 09:51:03 pm »
Ships can't be two places at once. I always thought this configuration could work in a zero anti-ship threat environment. Park one off the Horn of Africa and target a big part of that and the Middle East.

Then keep the high end ships for the high end fight.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #119 on: January 17, 2019, 04:48:29 am »
Ships can't be two places at once. I always thought this configuration could work in a zero anti-ship threat environment. Park one off the Horn of Africa and target a big part of that and the Middle East.

Then keep the high end ships for the high end fight.

Anything more than TLAM barges and they'll need a cruiser there with them anyway for target detection / SM-2/3/6 control.
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Offline TomS

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Re: Several Arsenal ship concepts
« Reply #120 on: January 17, 2019, 05:55:33 am »
Ships can't be two places at once. I always thought this configuration could work in a zero anti-ship threat environment. Park one off the Horn of Africa and target a big part of that and the Middle East.

Then keep the high end ships for the high end fight.

I'm not sure I'd call Horn of Africa a "zero anti-ship threat environment." At least a couple of tankers have been hit in the Gulf of Aden (MV Limburg in 2002, for example), and the Red Sea is a serious hot zone these days.  Honestly, I'm not sure there is such a thing as a zero-threat environment in any place we also have a plausible need for strike missiles.