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Surface Ships Need More Offensive Punch, Outlook

uk 75

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It is interesting as a Brit to see the US facing the same problems the RN faced as it tried to replace its WW2 fleet from 1946 to the present.
After disposing of of its impressive Cold War lineup, the USN has got the depressing mix of kit all too familar to the RN.
The LCS reminds of the lightly armed ASW frigates which dominated the RN until theType 12s arrived in quantity
Despite its massive carriers the US is having difficulty finding and affording the balanced air group essential for them.
At least in the Burke class it still has a decent destroyer class but there seems to be no clear programme or designs for a carrier task group or ASW group
As with the UK the changes imposed by changes of government dont help.
Perhaps at least it will help the close relationship between the RN and USN as they groan about politicians
 

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jsport

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As mobile basing may now be as important to the AF as it already is to the US Army, US Marines and USN, it would seem consolidating around MLP-Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB) , Combat Logistics Force (CLF) and the CSG would reduce how many ships are required. Only the ESG should be separate and then only temporarily.
More unmanned/optionally manned is great but all large manned surface combatants should be expeditionary w/ docks and flight decks able to dominate open sea but also execute early entry in A2/AD w/ Marines supporting follow on basing for USN USMC, USAF, and the USArmy.
 

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Moose

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There's apparently real battle lines in the Pentagon right now between OSD and DoN over fleet architecture and associated topics. At the risk of stating the obvious, it's hard to create and execute a proper plan when SECDEF's people and SECNAV's people are so far off the page.
 

jsport

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There's apparently real battle lines in the Pentagon right now between OSD and DoN over fleet architecture and associated topics. At the risk of stating the obvious, it's hard to create and execute a proper plan when SECDEF's people and SECNAV's people are so far off the page.
Small carriers are great for ESGs but not on the expense of CSGs and less large combatants w/ more emphasis on logistics ships, potentially even significantly armed logistics ships.
 

Grey Havoc

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Moose

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There's apparently real battle lines in the Pentagon right now between OSD and DoN over fleet architecture and associated topics. At the risk of stating the obvious, it's hard to create and execute a proper plan when SECDEF's people and SECNAV's people are so far off the page.
Small carriers are great for ESGs but not on the expense of CSGs and less large combatants w/ more emphasis on logistics ships, potentially even significantly armed logistics ships.
My understanding is that it's less about prioritizing a particular class or mission and more about conflicting directives, confusing or absent political leadership, and a resurgence of the Rumsfeldian Transformationists.
 

jsport

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There's apparently real battle lines in the Pentagon right now between OSD and DoN over fleet architecture and associated topics. At the risk of stating the obvious, it's hard to create and execute a proper plan when SECDEF's people and SECNAV's people are so far off the page.
Small carriers are great for ESGs but not on the expense of CSGs and less large combatants w/ more emphasis on logistics ships, potentially even significantly armed logistics ships.
My understanding is that it's less about prioritizing a particular class or mission and more about conflicting directives, confusing or absent political leadership, and a resurgence of the Rumsfeldian Transformationists.
Thank you, too much transformationist will muck...usually ..dont say that but..
Need some better emphasis on logistics ships especially the current fleet at least.
 

Grey Havoc

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Interesting timing, given that the current Marine Commandant is currently gutting the Expeditionary forces, and Line Marines in general.

Elsewhere:
 

Grey Havoc

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At first glance not one of their better efforts, to be honest.
 
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Moose

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I realize there's more to his argument than this thesis, but saying "we need an entirely different fleet architecture" while still quoting 355 is so bad as to undermine the rest of what he has written. Unless we're admitting the number is arbitrary and only tied to politics, there's no strategic basis to radically change fleet composition while retaining the same end strength target. It's not "any 355 ships will do," or at least it sure as hell shouldn't be.
 

chimeric oncogene

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I think one of the problems may well be political: fundamentally, what the US geostrategic posture should be - or how to balance containment of the Chinese with a long-term commitment (if any) to multipolarity and a balance of power outcome on the Eurasian Continent.

If the US leans towards and gears up for a hard containment and induced collapse of the Chinese (which IMO would be a completely unnecessary, very aggressive and overall dick move by the Americans)... they don't need fleet carriers. What they need are what the new reports are describing - a huge Air Force and A2/AD, forward deployed to Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines and heavily heavily defended - basically the First Island Chain. As long as political support can be maintained in those nations, this will effectively shut the Chinese out of the First Island Chain. Fighters, bombers, and ASW based out of the first Island Chain will provide as much capability as however many carrier battle groups you want, whether the mission is maritime strike, deep strike, bastion boomer-hunting, or ICBM-hunting. Think Cold War Europe with more water, or the Cold War Med.

If the US decides to lean towards a softer balance of power scenario, the overall situation in the Western Pacific will be allowed to become more fluid, and a light touch (offshore balancing) will be more than adequate - and for that, you need fifteen carriers. Those carriers will serve until the 2060s, by which point some other great power should have emerged on the Eurasian continent. Buff India, build up East Africa, or flip Russia, or do all three. Either way, you need the carriers and a very powerful Navy.

It's a mess because the US isn't clear on what its objectives are yet. It is incredibly powerful, and both options remain open to it.
 

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People who hated the LCS dual-buy are going to love the possibility of two 10-hull classes, I'm sure. At least with LCS there wasn't a second competition to pay for.

The fleet composition comments are also concerning, Esper seems to be pushing for an increasingly radical overhaul of the fleet with increasingly little public discussion or debate. Delinquency of the long-term shipbuilding plan is one thing, trying to completely re-design the Navy without a public discussion let alone proper congressional oversight and debate seems....questionable.
 

TomS

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I miss when the Navy owned their ship designs and could farm them out to multiple builders. At least then we could spread the work around without building three different designs for the same job.
 
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bring_it_on

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People who hated the LCS dual-buy are going to love the possibility of two 10-hull classes, I'm sure. At least with LCS there wasn't a second competition to pay for.

The fleet composition comments are also concerning, Esper seems to be pushing for an increasingly radical overhaul of the fleet with increasingly little public discussion or debate. Delinquency of the long-term shipbuilding plan is one thing, trying to completely re-design the Navy without a public discussion let alone proper congressional oversight and debate seems....questionable.

Let us wait to see what the Navy actually does. Having said that, if the frigate fleet plan grows from 20 currently envisioned to something similar, or more, to the LCS footprint then it may just be better to not completely eliminate all competition for future ships or not make the bidders propose additional technology insertion beyond certain deliveries (flt. II etc). The Chinese Navy is on a trajectory of 400 battle ships by 2025, and 425 ships by 2030. It would be surprising if the next fleet study doesn't up the quantities for both FFG(X) and Flight III DDG-51. We should ideally be having two yards produce our destroyers and frigates. Small, Medium, and Large unmanned vessels are great as a concept but it may be a decade or two before they are refined/iterated to a point where they can actually begin to replace some of the missions currently handled by manned ships without an overlap or redundancy. Till that happens we should at least aim to buy 5-6 DDG and FFG's a year.
 

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jsport

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A large surface combatant the size of a LPD w/ the SWAP large enough for future requirements including 1 large counter-Hypersonic/Hypersonic msles, 2 next generation EMTC guns, 3 next size generation DEW (likely PBW ie KE effects from DE) requiring a reactor), 4 EM based surface and subsurface armor, 5 numbers of UAVs (armed non attritiable swarms of size /range). modularity payloads count.

Maturing Small Medium and Large minimally manned/USVs rapidly to maintain the industrial based requires intent not decades.
 

bring_it_on

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Intent alone doesn't build fleets. You need to take something that till now only exists on paper and scale it, develop it, demonstrate it, develop a concept of operations, build them and field a fleet. That most certainly doesn't happen overnight. There is no such thing as a rapid re-configuration of a naval fleet, particularly when these things don't even exist yet.
 

jsport

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the self promoting, both private and public sector, church of frigates, destroyers and cruisers is itself a heresy (knows it is wrong yet refuses to change) endangering the USN of itself being programmed obsolescence.
 

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I suspect if the FFG9(X) is even moderately successful that its construction will be extended to additional flights and will become the backbone of a fleet that has far fewer major combatants. The Burke IIIs will in effect be the cruiser force of the USN when the Ticos retire. Total numbers are definitely going down regardless of what happens, unless a large number of MUSV/LUSV are counted, and I don't have much faith in those platforms functioning as much more than picket sensor/decoy platforms. Although that could be extremely useful at the edge of a formation if they are reliable and cheap/expendable.
 

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It will be interesting to see the psychology after the first ROV sinks a manned warship.
 

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I can't see how that would have much meaning one way or another. What is the difference compared to running over a mine or being torpedoed out of the blue?
 

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Same as the sinking of the Israeli destroyer Eilat. What is theoretical becomes real.
 

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"Make it like one of your French ladies but uglier."
 

jsport

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Frigates first to the bottom as barnicle bait.. expended powder, too light to fight, too dumb to run. a joke
Given the PLAN's plan by the 2030s if you want your kid on aUS Frigate it is pretty clear you dont like your kid much.
 

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_Del_

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Frigates haven't been capital ships in over a century -- what exactly are people expecting? It's a picket ship. Bit like complaining a Humvee isn't survivable in a pitched battle.

I'm not a huge fan of the Navy's new "distributed lethality" bent, but if they can get an AEGIS system and VLS and deckspace asea in a proven hulls for under a billion dollars, I'll be thrilled that something in the Navy appropritation program is actually working.
 

jsport

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Frigates haven't been capital ships in over a century -- what exactly are people expecting? It's a picket ship. Bit like complaining a Humvee isn't survivable in a pitched battle.

I'm not a huge fan of the Navy's new "distributed lethality" bent, but if they can get an AEGIS system and VLS and deckspace asea in a proven hulls for under a billion dollars, I'll be thrilled that something in the Navy appropritation program is actually working.
There is no resource for ships that dont fight full stop immediately...that would be antiquated to the extreme. Funny the the hummer scout was the original first fighter in movement to contact. Scouts are now Cav Bradleys and will soon be layers of UGVs thankfully.

If we are to have a space early warning layer for providing EW on boost hypers launch than the need for AEGIS forward is reduced. An LHD size ship at significant distance would be just fine. A forward AEGIS is dead AEGIS, An significantly smaller AESA would be just fine.
 
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I personally think it was far and away the best choice, with F100 being perhaps 2nd best but perhaps easier to implement because most of its systems were already US. But the CODLAG propulsion is both efficient and potentially allows a very quiet ASW drift.
 

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