Surface Ships Need More Offensive Punch, Outlook

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,723
Reaction score
25
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
"Change missile-fighting concepts, add lasers and railguns on ships, expert urges"
Nov. 17, 2014 - 03:45AM |
By CHRISTOPHER P. CAVAS

Source:
http://www.defensenews.com/article/20141117/DEFSECT03/311170019

WASHINGTON — Commanders of Aegis-equipped cruisers and destroyers long have been confident in their ability to detect, engage and destroy incoming enemy missiles, often employing a layered strategy to hit threats at long, medium and short ranges. That’s key to one of their prime missions, protecting an aircraft carrier from enemy attack.

But there’s a catch. Under a doctrine that shoots two missiles at each incoming weapon, and with missile magazines that carry about a 100 missiles or so, the flow of defensive weapons is likely to run dry in a short time.

“A cruiser or destroyer will exhaust its missiles relatively quickly against incoming missiles — about 50 incoming missiles will use up the inventory of air-defense weapons,” said Bryan Clark, a naval analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) in Washington.

Even worse, Clark pointed out, a warship’s most effective defensive weapons — expensive long-range SM-6 Standard missiles — will probably be used up first, since they’ll be engaging missiles further away. An opponent could saturate a carrier strike group with cheap missiles, using up the defenses, then strike with effective weapons that would wipe out the carrier and its escorts.

One potential enemy weapon, the BrahMos cruise missile developed by India and Russia and available for export, has a unit price of about $2.5 million, Clark pointed out, while each SM-6 missile runs around $4 million apiece. “Shooting two SM-6s at each BrahMos is a poor exchange,” he observed.

To counter these threats, “we need a new defensive anti-air warfare (AAW) concept,” Clark told reporters Monday in a preview of a new study in which he urges the US Navy to “reinvigorate” surface warfare.

“We need to shift to a single, dense defensive, close-in AAW layer rather than a layered approach,” he urged, suggesting an engagement range of about thirty nautical miles.

“Current air defense schemes are based on fallacies and wishful thinking,” Clark, a former top adviser to chief of naval operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, said. “Using my most expensive, biggest weapons first leaves only cheap, close-in weapons.” A shift to 30 nautical miles, he added, takes advantage of cheaper interceptors that can be carried in larger numbers, relying on the ability of the Aegis system’s fire control abilities to hit their targets.

Holding back Standard SM-2 and SM-6 weapons, he said, makes them available as offensive weapons, able to reach out and destroy enemy aircraft.

Underlying Clark’s study is an urge to increase the fleet’s lethality and think more offensively.

“The surface fleet of today really can’t do offensive sea control,” he explained. “I want to make this an executable plan as opposed to an aspirational plan. It’s very payload-focused, based on modifications rather than on a brand-new surface combatant.”

Among the moves Clark espouses are quicker development and fielding of laser weapons and electromagnetic rail guns.

“The Navy now has no plan to integrate a laser into a large surface combatant. There is discussion, but nothing definitive,” he said, noting the need for about 1500 kilowatts for power and cooling needs. But the Flight III version of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, designed with more electrical power and scheduled to begin construction in 2019, could handle an effective weapon.

“Put a 300 kilowatt to 500 kilowatt laser on the Flight III,” he suggested.

Even before that, the Navy could start building rail guns into ships now, Clark said, pointing to the Navy’s plan to install a prototype 32-megajoule weapon in a temporary setup on a joint high speed vessel (JHSV). Testing is to start in fiscal 2016.

“I’m recommending to do that on several more JHSVs,” Clark said, noting the ships could be forward-deployed with rotating crews and operate with carrier groups as they enter into and operate in an area.

Clark is urging four to five JHSVs be permanently modified with rail guns, altering the design as needed to make installation easier. The armed JHSVs would support carrier strike groups in theater, he said, providing added defense for the carrier.

An even larger, 64-megajoule weapon might be installed on a large Zumwalt-class destroyer, he added.

Clark also is pressing for a shift in weapons acquisition, reducing the size of individual warheads and trading the weight and space for longer range and smaller weapons that can be carried in greater quantities.

“We need to get the most out of the VLS [vertical launch system] batteries” in cruisers and destroyers, he said.

Clark would also create more Aegis Ashore systems, particularly in Japan, to free up cruisers and destroyers for more offensive missions. He pointed to the system now being set up in Romania, using the Aegis combat system and VLS of a cruiser, as a land installation to counter enemy ballistic missiles.

“For the cost of one destroyer, you could buy two to three Aegis Ashore sites,” he noted.

Clark didn’t leave out the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and the new Small Surface Combatant (SSC) in his drive to increase surface ship lethality.

The Pentagon is expected soon to announce its design choice for an SSC concept, beefing up the modular LCS with more permanently-installed weapons.

“We also need to grow offensive capacity with modifications to LCS based on the SSC,” Clark said. “Right now, LCS not an offensive ship.”

He presented notional offensive surface action groups based on a mix of LCSs and SSCs fitted with different capabilities, particularly in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) area.

“Put the entire LCS ASW mission package on the SSC,” he urged, along with a 24-cell VLS — noting that designers have said a 16-cell installation is more likely.

Once the SSC is in production, Clark also suggests back fitting earlier LCSs with SSC improvements, particularly VLS.

Clark noted the surface community does not currently have a warfare development group sufficient to develop these new concepts. But, citing the submarine force’s model of such a squadron, he suggested such an initiative would be appropriate from the commander of surface warfare in San Diego.

Overall, Clark sees 2025 as a target date for implementing his suggestions.

“I envision it would take 10 years, including the cultural aspects,” he said.

Clark will publicly present and discuss his report Tuesday morning at the US Capitol Visitor Center.
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
8,527
Reaction score
5
Full study posted here:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,23253.msg236079.html#msg236079
 

TomS

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
3,021
Reaction score
9
Let's not panic here. An attack with 50 inbounds is an incredible threat stream -- basically unprecedented in modern warfare. You can count the number of opponents that could launch such an attack on one hand, and even those would be hard pressed to do it more than once or twice. Against such opponents, you won't have a single AEGIS shooter on defense, either.
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
8,527
Reaction score
5
http://breakingdefense.com/2014/11/47-seconds-from-hell-a-challenge-to-navy-doctrine/?utm_source=Breaking+Defense&utm_campaign=fdd35a0e53-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4368933672-fdd35a0e53-407814345

This calls for a whole new "Arsenal Ship" approach using the deck space on retired Amphibious Assault Ships and Helicopter Carriers which is measured in acres. Then rather than be limited by the range dictated by the diameter of VLS's you could build space for much larger missiles with ranges in the 1000's of miles like AHW. You could target enemy C2 outside the range of their systems. To me 'not in range' obviously is the safest protection than being targeted at any range.

Also, sailing one of these ships near a 'crisis' (outside the range of any opponents systems) would send a clear and scary message to our adversaries to stand down.
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
11,403
Reaction score
20
TomS said:
Let's not panic here. An attack with 50 inbounds is an incredible threat stream -- basically unprecedented in modern warfare. You can count the number of opponents that could launch such an attack on one hand, and even those would be hard pressed to do it more than once or twice. Against such opponents, you won't have a single AEGIS shooter on defense, either.
It'd be something like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OZb2ZHcsRs

Go to 2:05

Looks something like this:




Something else to keep in mind is that a 50 missile raid (assuming an enemy could even get close enough to launch such a thing) would have to run the gauntlet of SM-6, SM-2 Block IV, SM-2 Block III, ESSM, RAM, and Phalanx.
 

Avimimus

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
1,881
Reaction score
0
The Kh-35U has a price of about 500,000... still, with only eight missiles per attacker (e.g. fast attack boat or fighter aircraft) it would be hard to get to the 100 missile threshold mentioned without many consecutive attacks.
 

marauder2048

"I should really just relax"
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
2,174
Reaction score
2
pathology_doc said:
Either lasers or more guns. One of the two is a must.
Both still have non-trivial slew, stabilization and for lasers integration times. Both can only engage a single target at a time and both
pretty much require the host vessel's sensors to facilitate the look-shoot loop.

One question might be: how densely can you VL pack (nominally) cheaper missiles like AIM-9X Blk III or RAM Blk II?
 

donnage99

"Robert Gates, is that you??" sublight
Joined
Jun 17, 2008
Messages
954
Reaction score
0
bobbymike said:
Also, sailing one of these ships near a 'crisis' (outside the range of any opponents systems) would send a clear and scary message to our adversaries to stand down.
If an aircraft carrier can't do that job than this ship won't either.
 

ouroboros

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Feb 2, 2008
Messages
353
Reaction score
0
The asymmetric swarm problem is fundamentally difficult to defend against. Is the general solution a defense swarm in kind? Which leads to thinking like dense packs of short range missiles behaving like a UAV swarm for cooperative defense. While arsenal ship has some attractions, the big expensive all-eggs-in-one-basket approach doesn't seem good.

Taking a page from RPV/UAV swarm operations concepts and the basic arsenal ship idea, why not have many cheaper (nearing disposable) cargo platforms (manned or unmanned ships) lead by a pair of command/sensor ships? Basically something like a pair of AEGIS or AMDR ships, leading a pack of LCS Indepdenece style trimarans with the entire aft deck area consumed by missile container sockets (VLS, plus larger/taller sockets for stuff like AHW). The comand ships effectively offload sensor work from the missile boat USV's to themselves, and the missile boats are, well, missile boats. Taking concepts like netfire, have the missile boat USV's be commandable via satellite so much more remote sensor platforms and command chains can request support.

The ugly problem with USV missile boats is defending themselves from certain threats. Maybe going fast might help, like with a TRISWATH or pentamaran hull, or going below, like a semisubmersible not unlike a cocaine sub. Semisub USV might be attractive from an endurance point of view, but will be slow to transit.
 

Hobbes

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
636
Reaction score
4
The point Clark makes isn't that the USN needs more missiles, it's that they need a cheaper way to defend themselves. A Ticonderoga cruiser has (ballpark) $300 million sitting in its magazines. IIRC in the past, the USN has had trouble getting enough funding to fill all the VLS cells in the fleet.
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
8,527
Reaction score
5
donnage99 said:
bobbymike said:
Also, sailing one of these ships near a 'crisis' (outside the range of any opponents systems) would send a clear and scary message to our adversaries to stand down.
If an aircraft carrier can't do that job than this ship won't either.
For carriers to be in effective range to strike inland targets, in China for example, they are in range of Chin's A2AD strike systems, my hypothetical missile boat would be able to effectively strike outside that envelope. So you are not putting a $12 billion platform at risk.
 

DrRansom

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Dec 15, 2012
Messages
513
Reaction score
0
Strictly speaking, if most of the incoming missiles are going to be sea-skimmers, then semi-active performance beyond the radar horizon is going to be wasted 'most of the time.' In that case, a DDG-51 should be armed with primarily SM-6 and ESSM. SM-6 has long range and can be externally targeted and the ESSM can handle short range low cost weapons.

I like the aggressiveness of this theory, even if it isn't entirely convincing. The USN battlegroup needs a cheap and deep magazine so that it can stay in position for an extended period of time. If carriers have to cover several hundred miles in threat territory before they reach effective strike range (~600nm with F-35C), the escorts need a ton of missiles and need a way of reloading them. A shift towards cheap and smaller missiles may solve the reloading problem.

Maybe the USN could investigate the Sea-Ceptor? This weighs 99kg compared to ESSM 260kg; the lower weight may facilitate reloading and the design may help with close in shots.
 

marauder2048

"I should really just relax"
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
2,174
Reaction score
2
Hobbes said:
The point Clark makes isn't that the USN needs more missiles, it's that they need a cheaper way to defend themselves. A Ticonderoga cruiser has (ballpark) $300 million sitting in its magazines. IIRC in the past, the USN has had trouble getting enough funding to fill all the VLS cells in the fleet.
One big takeaway is that SM-6 is an extremely capable missile which can do:

1. Offensive Anti-Air Warfare
2. Offensive Surface Warfare
3. Terminal ABM

Clark points out that the surface group may not be attached to the carrier group and (more generally) won't have the Over-the-Horizon assets (E-2D) to facilitate the early detection and engagement of sea-skimmers at SM-6's extended range.

*But* the surface group's organic Over-the-Horizon assets (helicopters, BAMS) can facilitate SM-6 shots at cruise missile carriers (surface and airborne) at the SM-6's extended range.

You let ESSM Block II with its very high Pk and dense packability in the VL cells work in tandem with the surface group's organic, line-of-sight decoys/countermeasures on the cruise missiles.
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
8,527
Reaction score
5
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-navy-can-now-prove-its-new-anti-ship-missile-real-16680
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
11,403
Reaction score
20
bobbymike said:
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-navy-can-now-prove-its-new-anti-ship-missile-real-16680
"The SM-6 is larger than the SM-3 interceptor and is designed to destroy closer-in air targets. "

In fact the size is virtually identical. (Though I'd wager the SM-3 weighs more.)
 

TomS

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
3,021
Reaction score
9
Interesting to see the speculation about putting SM-6 in angled tube launchers on ships like LCS. Possibly the same sort of launcher that LM is showing for LRASM, here:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,8992.msg284864.html#msg284864

Realistically, however, I really doubt that. SM-6 is still a rather pricey multi-mode missile and would be somewhat wasted on ships that can't use its air and missile defense capacity to the fullest. Even with CEC-like Forward Pass capability, why stock the expensive missiles on the less capable ships?
 

bring_it_on

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Jul 4, 2013
Messages
1,887
Reaction score
0
Unless, I’m looking at the data wrong, the SM6 is actually quite cost-effective weapon (of course not for the LCS) relatively speaking (compared to other interceptor programs like the PAC-3 MSE, THAAD etc) given its long range Air defense capability, as well as demonstrated ABM and now surface attack capability. I know that they all have different capability and roles but it seems the USN has done well to keep costs low by leveraging the SM3 and AMRAAM programs. The more I look into it, the more I wish the US Army leverage components/elements of the SM6 to develop a long range air-defense interceptor to fit the THAAD launcher.





http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/Reading_Room/Selected_Acquisition_Reports/15-F-0540_SM-6_SAR_Dec_2014.PDF

That's a comparable unit cost to the PAC3MSE over its projected 1100 procurement run.
 

TomS

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
3,021
Reaction score
9
I wasn't comparing to other interceptors, but to other anti-ship weapons. SM-6 is around $4-5 million each, while LRASM is supposed to be around $2 million and weapons like NSM down under $1 million.
 

bring_it_on

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Jul 4, 2013
Messages
1,887
Reaction score
0
For the LCS, LRASM, NSM or the Latest block upgrade for the Harpoon (ER) will still be better options. Smaller, and relatively easier to upgrade. As you mentioned, its pointless to put an SM6 on there just for offensive AshM role just as Raytheon is partnered with Kongsberg and has the NSM that Is quite competitive given the lineup.
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
11,403
Reaction score
20
TomS said:
Interesting to see the speculation about putting SM-6 in angled tube launchers on ships like LCS. Possibly the same sort of launcher that LM is showing for LRASM, here:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,8992.msg284864.html#msg284864

Realistically, however, I really doubt that. SM-6 is still a rather pricey multi-mode missile and would be somewhat wasted on ships that can't use its air and missile defense capacity to the fullest. Even with CEC-like Forward Pass capability, why stock the expensive missiles on the less capable ships?
IMO it would be insane to use SM-6 in a dedicated antiship mode. Now if you're trying to increase the number of launch points you can "feed" the network from to go after air and surface targets that is another matter.
 

marauder2048

"I should really just relax"
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
2,174
Reaction score
2
TomS said:
Interesting to see the speculation about putting SM-6 in angled tube launchers on ships like LCS. Possibly the same sort of launcher that LM is showing for LRASM, here:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,8992.msg284864.html#msg284864

Realistically, however, I really doubt that. SM-6 is still a rather pricey multi-mode missile and would be somewhat wasted on ships that can't use its air and missile defense capacity to the fullest. Even with CEC-like Forward Pass capability, why stock the expensive missiles on the less capable ships?
And there's the minor issue of SM-6 being out-of-band with respect to the LCS radars.
 

TomS

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
3,021
Reaction score
9
True, but isn't the point of the Distributed Lethality construct that missiles like SM-6 can be launched from platforms that can't guide them, with guidance provided from offboard platforms via NIFC-CA?
 

marauder2048

"I should really just relax"
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
2,174
Reaction score
2
TomS said:
True, but isn't the point of the Distributed Lethality construct that missiles like SM-6 can be launched from platforms that can't guide them, with guidance provided from offboard platforms via NIFC-CA?
That's true but everything gets better (particularly in a GPS degraded/denied environment) if the launching platform has, at the very least, an uplink.

The figure is from Bezick, et al. "Inertial Navigation for Guided Missile Systems."
The bio in the paper states that "Mr. Bezick has developed the IFA Kalman filter algorithm that has been implemented in SM-6."
 

Attachments

bring_it_on

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Jul 4, 2013
Messages
1,887
Reaction score
0
In the desegregated concept you would still like to have the minimum capability required to fulfill the mission, with collective capability being significantly better than the sum of the parts. I don't think you would want to to make it a mule without being able to at least use some of the features organically, especially not when you have the Harpoon-ER, LRASM, or the NSM as an option.
 

jsport

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
1,196
Reaction score
0
bring_it_on said:
In the desegregated concept you would still like to have the minimum capability required to fulfill the mission, with collective capability being significantly better than the sum of the parts. I don't think you would want to to make it a mule without being able to at least use some of the features organically, especially not when you have the Harpoon-ER, LRASM, or the NSM as an option.
Absolutely, resources are too scant for any ship to only bringing a knife to a gun fight/ too light to fight too dumb to run. Collective capability is great but individual survivablity is essential. A stout and versatile mule.
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
8,527
Reaction score
5
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/raytheons-sm-6-missile-just-broke-important-military-record-17907
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
8,527
Reaction score
5
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/raytheons-master-plan-protect-the-us-navy-threats-beyond-the-18032
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
8,527
Reaction score
5
https://news.usni.org/2016/10/13/vertical-launch-system-san-antonio-amphibs
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
8,527
Reaction score
5
RAND Report of interest

http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1359.html?adbsc=social_20161023_1058801&adbid=790319404017823744&adbpl=tw&adbpr=22545453
 
I

Ian33

Guest
bobbymike said:
RAND Report of interest

http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1359.html?adbsc=social_20161023_1058801&adbid=790319404017823744&adbpl=tw&adbpr=22545453
My brother in law was a senior bod inside the submarine service for many years. One major moan point was the lack of punch the surface ships had for a sustained campaign against a peer like state. The Admiralty just said "subs do this, race here, do that..." until one day, a retiring chap looked across and said "Except you sank us the moment you took Nimrod out the skies."

Didn't go down well. The west is in for a very rude shock the moment it gets into a proper fight.
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
8,527
Reaction score
5
https://news.usni.org/2016/10/27/admirals-navy-needs-a-bigger-fleet-and-now-may-be-the-best-time-to-plan-for-it
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
8,527
Reaction score
5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bifPZHiTKfY

SM-6 from Navy Surface Warfare Conference
 

jsport

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
1,196
Reaction score
0
Ian33 said:
bobbymike said:
RAND Report of interest

http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1359.html?adbsc=social_20161023_1058801&adbid=790319404017823744&adbpl=tw&adbpr=22545453
My brother in law was a senior bod inside the submarine service for many years. One major moan point was the lack of punch the surface ships had for a sustained campaign against a peer like state. The Admiralty just said "subs do this, race here, do that..." until one day, a retiring chap looked across and said "Except you sank us the moment you took Nimrod out the skies."

Didn't go down well. The west is in for a very rude shock the moment it gets into a proper fight.
What he said.
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
8,527
Reaction score
5
https://news.usni.org/2017/01/17/navy-offensive-defensive-upgrades-surface-force-will-fielded-2023
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
8,527
Reaction score
5
http://aviationweek.com/defense/harpoon-er-upgrade-boeing-s-go-us-navy-competition?NL=AW-19&Issue=AW-19_20170123_AW-19_85&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1&utm_rid=CPEN1000000230026&utm_campaign=8327&utm_medium=email&elq2=bbd4b53cfa6541f49711ffb3c56839a6
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
8,527
Reaction score
5
http://www.realcleardefense.com/2017/01/25/navy_larger_355-ship_fleet_-_quotexecutablequot_289745.html
 

marauder2048

"I should really just relax"
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
2,174
Reaction score
2
https://insidedefense.com/daily-news/long-range-anti-ship-missile-program-cleared-initial-production

Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile program cleared for initial production
January 25, 2017
Justin Doubleday

The accelerated Long Range Anti-Ship Missile program has cleared its production readiness review, according to a Lockheed Martin official.
The review will allow the Navy to award a contract to Lockheed for initial production of the missile.
The Navy is procuring 10 missiles in fiscal year 2017, while the Air Force is buying 20, according to FY-17 budget justification documents.
"They've had their production readiness review and they've been given approval for production," Scott Calloway, Lockheed's program director for advanced...
 
Top