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Several Arsenal ship concepts

TomS

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bobbymike said:
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.
 

RLBH

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These days, anti-ship missiles are easy enough to buy (or indeed make, if you aren't too bothered about sophistication) that there aren't really any 'low-risk' areas any more. Or at least, none that justify sending in any military presence greater than an honour guard for the ambassador.
 

Graham1973

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While working on my 'Fictional Warships' project I finally managed to find a good cover scan for what I think is the only time the Arsenal ship concept appeared in a novel. It's the tenth book in the 'Carrier' series entitled 'Arsenal' and dates from 1998, the ship on the cover looks like the LMSS design flateric posted back in 2012, but with a larger bridge (In the novel the ship's fitted with a Ticonderoga Class style radar set (E.g. SPY-1 & conventional surface search.)
 

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jsport

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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?



bobbymike said:
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):
from popular mechanics MITRE "Magazine Ship." The MGX would be a "wingman" to surface ships and carry up to 4 railguns, 1,000 missile silos, or 96 Pershing-III intermediate range ballistic—or some mixture thereof.
 

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This kind of ship always reminds me of the fate of the Atlantic Conveyor during the Falklands. I imagine the USN will stick to converting old SSBNs to SSGNs. If you want conventional missile strikes the sub is the best platform
 

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Unlike true arsenal ships though, SSGNs are not intended to be cheap or expendable.
 

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No ship with 500+ missiles onboard is cheap or expendable.
 

TomS

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No ship with 500+ missiles onboard is cheap or expendable.
Yeah. Tell a COCOM that they should consider a ship carrying half of their in-theater missiles to be expendable. After they've kicked you out of their office (or AOR) you'll have plenty of time to reconsider.

I went back and read Sam Tangredi's article on ArShip and I found myself wondering if he ever actually wrote an OPLAN, or even read one. This bit in particular jumped out as detached from reality.

In any event, [ArShip] should have an alternate target set already programmed so that if the arsenal ship took a severe hit, the entire inventory could be ripple fired to some meaningful effect before the ship became mission-incapable.
As if the COCOM is going to accept the ArShip letting fly with a massive "Death Blossom" strike that wasn't coordinated with the rest of the theater's operations, even if it was about to be killed.
 

jsport

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Problem is the combatants dont carry enough gun ammo or missiles to defend themselves for any length of time before needing to replenish. Designs simply arent ready for the contemporary context, at all. Folks admit today's ships arent ready for any lengthy fight. Rather than the biggy being the wingman the main combatant should be the defending the MGX . There is a need for many more missiles and launchers and guns than any COCOM (who is more interested in his follow on biz gig) would ever acknowledge ie more like WWII island bombardment x10 and x1000 the range . A "Deterent Blossom" against "boost phase" could only be supported w/ large Arsenal Ships which need more defense than aircraft carriers. The Joint Integrated Prioritized Target List (JIPTL) will never have too few DMPIs available to engaged in an opening phase or for weeks for that matter. Nuclear like deterent value, bur w/ conventional precision effects over a long time period and a wide space. Who exactly needs further coordination?


MITRE "Magazine Ship." The MGX would be a "wingman" to surface ships and carry up to 4 railguns, 1,000 missile silos, or 96 Pershing-III intermediate range ballistic—or some mixture thereof.
 
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Hood

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The whole point of weapon development has been to increase their lethality, range and speed to decrease the chances of them being intercepted. So if you have 100 missiles but expect the majority won't make it to the target or miss it, then what's the point of launching more SAM fodder?
If on the other hand your missile are super-duper and can make it through any defence and hit with an accuracy of millimetres then one missile per target should do the job.
A vessel with hundreds or even 1,000 cruise missiles is a scatter gun of the crudest kind, far more weapons than you realistically need. Only just over 2,000 Tomahawks have ever been fired in anger in thirty years. That alone shows the absurdity of the concept and why it has never been built. It looks good on paper as a power projection tool until you look at the costs and the reality. It would cost a $1 billion just to arm such a bemoth.
And that even before you start considering how to defend a floating battery from a peer Navy rather than just hitting a land-locked nation from a position of impunity.
 

jsport

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The whole point of weapon development has been to increase their lethality, range and speed to decrease the chances of them being intercepted. So if you have 100 missiles but expect the majority won't make it to the target or miss it, then what's the point of launching more SAM fodder?
If on the other hand your missile are super-duper and can make it through any defence and hit with an accuracy of millimetres then one missile per target should do the job.
A vessel with hundreds or even 1,000 cruise missiles is a scatter gun of the crudest kind, far more weapons than you realistically need. Only just over 2,000 Tomahawks have ever been fired in anger in thirty years. That alone shows the absurdity of the concept and why it has never been built. It looks good on paper as a power projection tool until you look at the costs and the reality. It would cost a $1 billion just to arm such a bemoth.
And that even before you start considering how to defend a floating battery from a peer Navy rather than just hitting a land-locked nation from a position of impunity.
We don t have large Arshp because contractors make more $ from small impotent craft. Contractor will exclaim, these are fast, agile and stealth, of course they are non of those. An unmanned Medium might start approaching those characteristics, might. A UMSV could protect lrg ships but the frigate, destroyer, cruiser designations as basis for manufacturing for the future context is BS. as ...have stated repeatedly.
One thing for sure regardless of cost is a Hypersonic needs more volume than conventional missiles. Much like bombers less doesnt get you more and especially w/ large hypersonics ie lrg Arships.
The Rand Pacific study for the umpteenth time shows hardened structures will require rengagement..jeepers this is getting old.
The idea there are too few tgts is again for the umpteenth time preposterous. There has been no high intensity conflict since WWII jeepers again what the...
 

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Why not simply containerize the missile systems? Then any commercial container ship can be an arsenal ship.

Also why the need to build a massive ship than can carry 2,000 missiles? Why not a much smaller more expendable one carrying say 200? That way you can have more of them.
 

jsport

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COTS would an option, but not sure if there is such a thing as an expendable ship of any size. Cheap(er) medium maybe depends on availablity and overall cost.
 
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