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A modern cruiser?

uk 75

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Whenever I look at my little model of the USS Long Beach nuclear missile cruiser I find myself musing what a 21st Century version for Western navies could look like?

Such a ship would replace the Ticonderoga class in the US Navy and perhaps provide Task Force escorts for the RN and MN instead of T45 and Forbins.

Propulsion would not be nuclear but it would need to generate a shed load of power.

Now for the armament:

Air Defence:

An area long range missile suite able to tackle missiles

A close in defence system to protect these high-value units

Surface Warfare:

A long range anti-ship and ground installation missile system

A non-missile (gun or?) set of shorter range systems for dealing with surface targets

Anti Submarine Warfare:

A long range ASW system both missile and air launched (helo or UAV)

The US evolved launch systems covering a range of weapons. Ideally silos should do this and allow for replacement systems to be fitted.

This is very much a "schoolboy" approach but I thought that given the attempts in various "alternate" or future real ships threads to create such a ship, I would give you a clean sheet of paper.
 

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So with FLAADS, a substantial portion of PAAMS has been ported to open code and platform independence.
What this means in layman's speech, is that FLAADS can be added to un capabilities, doesn't care what the sensor is, and can run on any appropriate hardware.
Thus expanding capabilities to full PAAMS and beyond is a much easier proposition. As it has shown integration with systems like Patriot.

So obviously beyond this software realm we can add in greater capabilities in sensors. Such as more and larger or greater capability AESA sets, EO/IR sensors etc...
We can expand Aster and CAMM interceptors capabilities or even produce new SAMs intigratable with the system.
This should even include software to handle alternatives such as HVP, and lazers.

From here we should look at power generation, CVF's use of two MT30 GTs delivers 72MW with potential for more. But storage of charge for lasers and EM Guns is no minor problem and needs practical research.

Land attack and developments in GMLRS, ATACMS and PrSM offer a superior bombardment technology to the use of multiple guns.
There was an Army picture tweeted showing a Brimstone like front end on a longer rocket body.....

More as I have time send thought on this
 

Bhurki

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About time to implement a new, larger VL system.
What cell size could accomodate the upcoming hypersonics ?
35' x 35"?
 

zen

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About time to implement a new, larger VL system.
What cell size could accomodate the upcoming hypersonics ?
35' x 35"?
That smacks of a range/warhead question really.
Which comes down to what effects, when?

Hypersonic is time critical, so the question is what sort of targets at what likely ranges are going to be time critical?

By relative contrast, the studies justifying JSF spoke of most of the worlds population being within 650nm of the sea, and the next logical range was 1,200nm.
So arguably we have two figures of relevance here. The former is much more achievable.

While I suspect most current Hypersonic efforts are actually seeing fruit at ranges more like 250-300nm.

34" diameter takes us to that sort of figure for the old Tactical Ballistic Missiles like Pershing. There is an argument for that, and certainly that scale might get us the range/warhead figures for Hypersonic missiles.
Arguably true Anti-ICBM-Missiles may need such a size of silo.

Such a silo could potentially quad pack Block IA Standard and Block I SM-6, but would only handle a single Block II.
 

Bhurki

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While I suspect most current Hypersonic efforts are actually seeing fruit at ranges more like 250-300nm.
Nope. 300nm is actually achieved with the likes of PrSM.

The target radius for hypersonics is touted to be 1000 miles for ARRW, 2500 miles for CPS, and somewhere in the middle for the likes of HAWC.


34" diameter takes us to that sort of figure for the old Tactical Ballistic Missiles like Pershing
The likes of pershing depended only on the motor stack to propel the warhead to these ranges. The newer systems actively use warhead aero modification (boost glide, arrw warhead) to boost the ranges while maintaining the size of the system same.


but would only handle a single Block II.
No, these could be dual packed in a configuration that studied to dual pack a land attack variant of SM2 in a MK41 cell.
 

Dilandu

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Propulsion would not be nuclear but it would need to generate a shed load of power.

This is not practical. Cruiser must be nuclear. It would allow carriers to make a high-speed dash, moving for days on max speed, supported by nuclear cruiser as escort.

An area long range missile suite able to tackle missiles

A close in defence system to protect these high-value units

My opinion is that cruiser main role must be air/space/ballistic defense. So, high-powered radars and multiple long-range missiles.

Surface Warfare:

A long range anti-ship and ground installation missile system

A non-missile (gun or?) set of shorter range systems for dealing with surface targets

Doubt that it's practical. Neither USN, nor other NATO navies have anything comparable with our Granit and Vulkan heavy long-range ASM's. And cruiser is too costly & valuable unit to put it into direct contact with the enemy.
 

isayyo2

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Right, this should be a fun thread @Archibald @SSgtC

I'd totally be fine with a stretched Burke, but since this is all for fun I'll be taking the high road:

Strike Cruiser 2021
Length: ~750ft
Beam: ~80ft
Tonage: 25,000 tons
Propulsion: Integrated Electric Propulsion, Either - 2 x D1B or 2 x MT30 + Diesels 100,000+ SHP
Radar: AN/SPY-3, SPY-4 Dual Band Radar
Sonar: SQQ-90 Suit
Launchers: 1 x Mk 51 Advanced Gun System 155mm (Fore)
4 x Mk 38 Mod 4 25mm + 60kw laser
2 x 150kw HELIOS laser
2 x Mk 32 Topedo Tubes
Missiles: 64x2 Mk 41 Vertical Launch system (Fore & After)
6 x Large Payload Tubes (Amidship)
Hanger: Space for 2 SV-22s + 2 MQ-8Cs, or any combination of
Numerous smaller drones
UUV Bay
Tethered Aerostat?
2x 11M RHIB

A rehash on the original Strike Cruiser design, either acting independently as a DesRon leader or hosting the Air Warfare Commander of Carrier Strike Group. CSG(N)-21 carries six 88in W 45ft H Large Payload Tubes, which grants flexibility for missiles far larger than the 21in Mk 41 system to be carried aboard. A diverse mix of Conventional Prompt Strike, SM-3 Block IIB, and even larger strategic ABM's could be carried within the Large Payload Tubes, as well as additional 21in sized missiles. At some point in the near future, the 155mm is slated to replaced with a rail gun. The hanger is noticeably larger, being able to carry a diverse compliment of manned and unmanned aircraft. In addition to extensive machine shop spaces, the Cruiser may host a seawater fuel-reactor if nuclear powered.
 

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Just a rough sketch:

750' LOA with an 80' beam and built to full cruiser standards (compared to the much lighter destroyer standards that everything after Long Beach was built to)

Displacement probably in the neighborhood of 20-25,000 tons

Light armor for splinter protection only

Equipped with AN/SPY-6(V)5 (the proposed version of the SPY-6 with 69 RMAs)

AN/SQQ-89 sonar system (or better)

AN/SQR-20 towed array

Mk57 VLS with at least 150 cells, more if possible

Fitted for but not with 1-2 railguns (should the Navy ever actually get around to developing one far enough to put on a ship).

Fitted for but not with 2-4 Mk2 Mod0 (or similar) laser weapons

1-2 8"/55 Mk 71 guns (or similar in lieu of railguns until they are developed)

1-2 SeaRAM launchers for RIM-116 missiles

2-4 Mk44 Bushmaster II Chain Guns in either 30 or 40mm

Hanger space for 2xSH-60 Seahawk helicopters with a flight deck large enough to land a CMV-22 Osprey on

Fitted for but not with 2xMk32 triple tube SVTTs

Propulsion is the sticking point. You could go with bigger gas turbines like the LM6000 that can pump out up to 50MW each. Or you can decide to bite the bullet and go nuclear and use something like the A1B from the Ford class and get at least 62MW from each reactor PLUS whatever is needed for propulsion (current publicly available numbers put the Ford plant at 125MW of electrical production and 350,000 SHP for the propulsion system so you could use single reactor, dedicate 125,000 SHP for propulsion and the rest for electric and get very close to 100MW available if my math is right? Feel free to check it)

Edit to add: the ship should also be fitted with full command and control facilities allowing it to operate as a flagship in its own right to lead surface action groups, destroyer squadrons and amphibious groups.
 
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uk 75

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Enjoying this thread so far as everyone is bringing loads of input and having fun.
I deliberately left the role of the ship open and Dilandu was kind enough to flesh out the Western and Soviet (oversimplifying on my part) styles.
The nuclear question is interesting too, as back in the 50s they were expecting DLGs to be nuclear powered but by the 80s and the Ticos only the Soviet Navy was building nuclear cruisers, though these were closer to the Alaska class than the Ticos.
 

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The nuclear question is interesting too, as back in the 50s they were expecting DLGs to be nuclear powered but by the 80s and the Ticos only the Soviet Navy was building nuclear cruisers, though these were closer to the Alaska class than the Ticos.
I think the reason nuclear keeps getting floating is because it's really the only viable option if you're serious about making widespread use of directed energy weapons and railguns. If you only think that you might use them in the future, go gas turbine all the way. The nuke plant just gives you that extra bit of future proofing though. Design it to only need a single refueling at around 25 years and you've got a cruiser that can serve for 50 years, at least somewhat mitigating the cost of the damn thing.
 

uk 75

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The sorts of roles and weapons that are being discussed here definitely tend toward the Kirov end of things.
Seems reasonable to me as they are over and above anything we could put on a Burke or T45.
 

starviking

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The nuclear question is interesting too, as back in the 50s they were expecting DLGs to be nuclear powered but by the 80s and the Ticos only the Soviet Navy was building nuclear cruisers, though these were closer to the Alaska class than the Ticos.
I think the reason nuclear keeps getting floating is because it's really the only viable option if you're serious about making widespread use of directed energy weapons and railguns. If you only think that you might use them in the future, go gas turbine all the way. The nuke plant just gives you that extra bit of future proofing though. Design it to only need a single refueling at around 25 years and you've got a cruiser that can serve for 50 years, at least somewhat mitigating the cost of the damn thing.
The use of railguns and lasers do not necessarily require nuclear power, as their power usage is only for fractions of time. For example, a railgun which needs 25 MW to fire just needs that for less than one second, milliseconds for lasers.

In those circumstances, I think capacitors are going to be required, as no power plant is going to ramp up and ramp down on those timescales.

Depending on how navies see engagement cycles going, nuclear may be good - power up and keep the capacitors topped off.

However, if railguns are going to fire a few times every minute - let's say every 25 seconds for simplicity of calculation, then all that is needed for that railgun is 1MW, which is well within the capabilities of modern electric-drive ships.
 

Dilandu

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The nuclear question is interesting too, as back in the 50s they were expecting DLGs to be nuclear powered but by the 80s and the Ticos only the Soviet Navy was building nuclear cruisers, though these were closer to the Alaska class than the Ticos.

The main advantage of nuclear cruiser is that it allow nuclear carrier to fully implement its mobility advantages. Nuclear carrier could sail for days at max speed. Nimitz-class could run from San-Diego to Okinawa (5100 nautical miles on average) in just a week of 30-knot speed.

But non-nuclear escorts? Ticonderoga-class could do only about 3000 nautical miles at full 30-knot speed. So it would require at least two refueling; one mid-way, and one at arrival, so it could operate. And if she tried to hold at 20 knot speed, it would require 12+ days to cross the Pacific. Actually close to 14 days, since refueling would took time.

Nuclear escorts allowed carriers to run at max speed, if needed. The strike group would detach nuclear carrier with nuclear cruiser for escort, and let them run on max speed, while the rest is moving behind them. So, it make perfect sense to made cruiser nuclear; it would gave significant mobility advantage.
 

Dilandu

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Again, my opinion is, that the main role of the cruiser is to be A - carrier group escort, and B - surface action group centerpoint.

It's main purpose would be to handle sophisticated aerial/ballistic/space threats, like stealth aircraft, hypersonic missiles, or enemy satellites.

So the main function would be to carry a powerful radar, capable of tracking and providing fire solution & illumination for a large number of small-signature targets simultaneously. And large number of VLS tubes (including enlarged ones) for SAM missiles.

IMHO:

* 20000-25000 tons ship.
* Nuclear, to provide nuclear carriers fast escort capability
* Large reserved spaces and workstations for additional personnels (like flagship stuff or UCAV operators)
* Stealthy with Zumwalt lines - single-piece superstructure, tumblehome sides. Equipped with Praire-Masker acoustic camouflage system.
* Equipped with phased array radars capable of tracking A - space targets at 1000+ km range, B - incoming ballistic and hypersonic targets at 1000+ km range, C - stealth aircraft at 500+ km range (so the defensive measures could be implemented in time)
* Armed with up to 200 VLS (a combination of side-mounted Mk-57 VLS and center-mounted Mk-41 VLS) with a possibility of replacing one of Mk-41 VLS fields for large-diameter tubes.
* Only rudimentary anti-surface and anti-submarine capabilities. Artillery of no more than 57-76-mm guns (multiple, placed around). A limited helicopter facilities.
* A multiple depth thrower launchers with automatic reload for anti-torpedo self-defense. Seriously. Just BUY license on our Russian old designs. They are infinitely better than current "nothing at all" hard-kill anti-torpedo capabilities that USN "enjoyed"
* Capabilities for installation of railgun/laser energy consuming system.
 

uk 75

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What seems to be emerging is a large platform drawing on the lessons learnt from the CGN/Strike Cruiser, the Kirovs and the Zumwalts..
With the US likely to have at least three at sea nuclear carrier groups in the Pacific plus three more between Atlantic/Med/Gulf/Indian Ocean this new C? class would have to be built in some numbers (minimum of 12?)
The UK, France and India on the other hand could probably get by with enhancing their existing designs as they only have single carrier at sea task groups. If Brasil if gets its situation in order they might also count as a Western carrier power. Japan and S Korea remain unlikely to build full blown carriers and have destroyer classes evolving.
 

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What seems to be emerging is a large platform drawing on the lessons learnt from the CGN/Strike Cruiser, the Kirovs and the Zumwalts..
With the US likely to have at least three at sea nuclear carrier groups in the Pacific plus three more between Atlantic/Med/Gulf/Indian Ocean this new C? class would have to be built in some numbers (minimum of 12?)
The UK, France and India on the other hand could probably get by with enhancing their existing designs as they only have single carrier at sea task groups. If Brasil if gets its situation in order they might also count as a Western carrier power. Japan and S Korea remain unlikely to build full blown carriers and have destroyer classes evolving.
I would say minimum numbers would be at least 24-30 hulls. The US built 27 Ticonderoga class cruisers and still has 22 in commission. You want enough of these ships available to have at least one assigned to each carrier strike group plus have "extras" to assign to amphibious groups or as part of a SAG.

The problem with getting everyone to standardize on a similar design is partially "Not Invented Here" syndrome and partially American reluctance to export the design. And if it's nuclear powered they just aren't going to sell it. Maybe the UK could buy if they wanted due to the Special Relationship, but I don't see anyone else being offered it.
 

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The problem with getting everyone to standardize on a similar design is partially "Not Invented Here" syndrome and partially American reluctance to export the design. And if it's nuclear powered they just aren't going to sell it. Maybe the UK could buy if they wanted due to the Special Relationship, but I don't see anyone else being offered it.

And then there are national design, doctrine, and deployment standards in the mix too.
 

zen

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We could also factor the idea of the Strategic Long Range Cannon. Only a large Kirov sized ship could conceivably mount such system.
 

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More thoughts

Rigidly precise separated recieving aerials can deliver a potential signals intercept and direction.
A large ship with such, possibly measuring the distance between continuously could give very accurate direction and distance of an emitter such as radar on a ship, aircraft or on land.
With such precision, the angles of reception can be compared.
----
The use of VHF and UHF radars tend to be large, but are in frequencies most LO optimised vehicles are not optimised for.

So in two domains, a large ship could possess capabilities to precisely determine enemy emitters locations, and pick out LO aircraft at ranges not achievable with more normal radars.

These would feed nicely into improved defence against LO aircraft and direction of attacks against distant enemy radars or other transmitters.
 

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I am loathe to say this because joint design projects have a habit of going into orbit but, the design of a common hull with the ability to take different powerplants and with common siting of weaponry and aviation facilities would make for a potentially cheaper process. Problem is, I cannot see the alliance of interest groups managing to build their own hull let alone cooperate with others. Many toys out of said prams. Sad though.
 

Dilandu

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Just thought about it... What if we limit next-generation cruiser to its essential role? I.e. being sensor & command platform?

Imagine "Arleigh Burke"-class DDG, with armament reduced to self-defense. No 5-inch gun, only one set of 16 VLS for ASROC and ESSM missiles. Instead, all available weight and space are put for radars and processors.

Such ship would essentially serve as C3 cruiser - it could detect, track targets with its powerful sensors suit, and work out intercept solutions for the missiles, launched by other units. Would probably work better with arsenal ships (many VLS, no sensors or guidance capabilities) put in the mix too. And it would allow to stay within limitation of "Burke"'s hulls.
 

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Just thought about it... What if we limit next-generation cruiser to its essential role? I.e. being sensor & command platform?

Imagine "Arleigh Burke"-class DDG, with armament reduced to self-defense. No 5-inch gun, only one set of 16 VLS for ASROC and ESSM missiles. Instead, all available weight and space are put for radars and processors.

Such ship would essentially serve as C3 cruiser - it could detect, track targets with its powerful sensors suit, and work out intercept solutions for the missiles, launched by other units. Would probably work better with arsenal ships (many VLS, no sensors or guidance capabilities) put in the mix too. And it would allow to stay within limitation of "Burke"'s hulls.
The Burkes are already pretty maxed out when it comes to power generation and use though. What you're describing is much more similar to the Blue Ridge.
 

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Just thought about it... What if we limit next-generation cruiser to its essential role? I.e. being sensor & command platform?

Imagine "Arleigh Burke"-class DDG, with armament reduced to self-defense. No 5-inch gun, only one set of 16 VLS for ASROC and ESSM missiles. Instead, all available weight and space are put for radars and processors.

Such ship would essentially serve as C3 cruiser - it could detect, track targets with its powerful sensors suit, and work out intercept solutions for the missiles, launched by other units. Would probably work better with arsenal ships (many VLS, no sensors or guidance capabilities) put in the mix too. And it would allow to stay within limitation of "Burke"'s hulls.
Although there are concerns over the Zumwalt hull, the large citadel structure seems ideal to mount a plethora of sensors and removing to guns would leave plenty of soace for other things.
 

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The issue would appear to be the common sense and finances to not waste the hull design and make them more affordable with numbers. I hope it happens but lately, common sense seems remarkable absent.
 

uk 75

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What emerges for me from this thread is that for the US at least we are back at CGN numbers envisaged in the late 60s, some 20 to 30 ships.
I doubt the USN would overcome its objection to single role platforms like the Arsenal Ship or the Command and Control cruiser as too vulnerable to go in harms way and too costly/valuable to lose.
Other major Western navies gave up their newbuild cruiser programmes in the 60s (France) or morphed them into helicopter/vstol carriers (UK and Italy). Japan caught up by replacing its helicopter destroyers with bigger ships.
The US is the only Western nation with the requirement AND resources for a CGN. A more prosperous France might, but the UK has been firmly on the DLG path since 1964
 

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Just thought about it... What if we limit next-generation cruiser to its essential role? I.e. being sensor & command platform?

Imagine "Arleigh Burke"-class DDG, with armament reduced to self-defense. No 5-inch gun, only one set of 16 VLS for ASROC and ESSM missiles. Instead, all available weight and space are put for radars and processors.

Such ship would essentially serve as C3 cruiser - it could detect, track targets with its powerful sensors suit, and work out intercept solutions for the missiles, launched by other units. Would probably work better with arsenal ships (many VLS, no sensors or guidance capabilities) put in the mix too. And it would allow to stay within limitation of "Burke"'s hulls.
Although there are concerns over the Zumwalt hull, the large citadel structure seems ideal to mount a plethora of sensors and removing to guns would leave plenty of soace for other things.
The Zumwalt hull design is actually consider one of the better design out there at the moment for Sea Keeping.

As it is the thing has plenty of room for growth among other ideas. Hell you can easy ripped out the AGS for the SLRC if that thing works even close to advertised. The hull is more then big enough to fit a set of 12 inch guns. Then you have the railgun and DEW issue.

The last two is probably why any modern cruiser will not be nukes.

Leaving out the cost and maning issues issues.

Gas Turbines are just more power dense. To get a similar amount of power out of a nuke design you need reactors the size of the ones on the FORD CARRIERS to do so. With all that implies. Sure nuclear gives you range, but...

It just not Cost efficient to use nukes.* And that cost has killed every last modern cruiser design.

So honestly I expect the modern crusiers to look like a Zumwalt with a slightly stretch bow, call it 50 feet, to hold a set of large diameter VLS. Like say the Viriginia Payload Modules, they are common, in use, and will use all the same weapons so why not use them. Save some more money make Congress happy allows use to buy more of them which makes the Navy happy.


*Now if the navy can get that Seawater to Jet Fuel converter to work and be small, then we may see that equalantion change. Having the Cruisers able to also UNREP the DDGs will be handy. Allows for independent surface strike groups to be form and the like. Or we may see a removeable container size small reactor with a similar size converter instead. Able to trickle full the ship while cruising so it has amazing sprint performance. After sprinting to the area it can self refuel. When its not need it can be "easily" remove at a certified port, read Pearl/Bremmington/Norfolk, to save costs.
 

uk 75

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So a US cruiser would be a super AEGIS or even THAAD platform on the Zumwalt hull design.
 

isayyo2

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So a US cruiser would be a super AEGIS or even THAAD platform on the Zumwalt hull design.
One would think that the Navy has finally learned to use proven mission architecture in their future acquisition i.e. using Aegis Baseline 9/10 for the "Large Surface Combatant," though when the bidding starts, anything goes...
 

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