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Surface Ships Need More Offensive Punch, Outlook

marauder2048

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They had looked at submarine basing for KEI but I thought the datalink requirements pretty much
demanded either a large off-board radar or a constellation (PTSS) that could provide
fire-control quality track data to the interceptor.
 

fredymac

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Launch on remote is a starting condition for GMD since the geometry dictates it. They have the advantage of a constant high speed link with the fused sensor and command network making up the BMD system. For a sub based missile, you would need something akin to lock-on after launch where the targeting data is fed in during missile fly-out. A surface ship would presumably have a satellite based BMD data link.

The STSS satellites can generate track quality targeting data but there are only 2 of them at the moment. A follow on system is probably already in the works as this issue has been mentioned as a high priority by BMD leadership. Given how long it would take to implement a sub based ABM system, I would think the orbital targeting infrastructure would be already in place.
 

TomS

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I'm highly skeptical of submarines as a BMD shooter platform for a variety of reasons.

1) Simple economics.

a) Submarines run around twice the cost per ton to acquire, even without the need for air and missile defense sensors and armament.

b) While the SSBN patrol model looks comparable, it really isn't. An SSBN is "on station" pretty much as seen as it reaches its dive point outside port. A BMD submarine isn't on station until significantly later (likely mid-ocean somewhere), so the on-task percentage is much lower.

2) Connectivity. "Launch on remote" requires real-time, high-data-rate, two-way communications between sensors and shooter. So your putative submarine is a submersible tethered to periscope depth while on patrol.

3) Sensor apertures: While you're going to need off-board sensing as well, it seems very unlikely that you would design a BMD shooter with no organic sensor capability. But putting BMD sensors on a submarine would be very expensive and again convert your submarine into at best a semi-submersible.

4) From a flexibility perspective, a submarine is much less adaptable to new and evolving weapons. Even with things like payload tubes, they're still much pickier about weight and balance than surface ships or, especially, shore facilities. You can't just increase the length of a VLS launcher on a sub past the hull diameter/tube length like you can ashore.

And none of this is relevant to the issue in the original article, which is about reducing the level of resources tied up doing BMD patrols. That can be addressed in relatively near term by increasing the uptake of AEGIS Ashore. Submarine-launched BMD is a long-term solution, possibly one searching for a problem.
 

sferrin

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Think of the submarine as an arsenal ship, cued by external sensors. There is no need for it to have any sensor apertures. It needs to be able to receive, "launch to x,y,z coordinates for TOT xx:xx:xxx" and send, "TOT xx:xx:xxx". Maybe not even that. Maybe the reply is simply, "done". External platforms deal with determining the initial coordinates as well as any coordination with the missile. Maybe a key gets sent to the sub for the flight as well for comm security. Have thought for years than having SM-3/6 on SSN/SSGNs in the South China Sea, or around Taiwan, would be a nasty surprise during a conflict. The other guy would effectively be grounded.
 

TomS

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sferrin said:
Think of the submarine as an arsenal ship, cued by external sensors. There is no need for it to have any sensor apertures. It needs to be able to receive, "launch to x,y,z coordinates for TOT xx:xx:xxx" and send, "TOT xx:xx:xxx". Maybe not even that. Maybe the reply is simply, "done". External platforms deal with determining the initial coordinates as well as any coordination with the missile. Maybe a key gets sent to the sub for the flight as well for comm security.

Except that's not even how ArShip worked, and this isn't as simple as sending strike coordinates. There's a lot more data exchange required pre-launch.

And this notional BMD submarine is still tethered to periscope depth for weeks at a time (to ensure real-time connectivity). PD is a miserable place for a sub to spend a lot of time.
 

sferrin

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TomS said:
sferrin said:
Think of the submarine as an arsenal ship, cued by external sensors. There is no need for it to have any sensor apertures. It needs to be able to receive, "launch to x,y,z coordinates for TOT xx:xx:xxx" and send, "TOT xx:xx:xxx". Maybe not even that. Maybe the reply is simply, "done". External platforms deal with determining the initial coordinates as well as any coordination with the missile. Maybe a key gets sent to the sub for the flight as well for comm security.

Except that's not even how ArShip worked, and this isn't as simple as sending strike coordinates. There's a lot more data exchange required pre-launch.

Still, we're not talking about minutes of transmission time. Certainly nothing like always up as BMD radars would require. A blip from the sub when a missile was launched.

TomS said:
And this notional BMD submarine is still tethered to periscope depth for weeks at a time (to ensure real-time connectivity). PD is a miserable place for a sub to spend a lot of time.

Couldn't they do something like a small towed float? (Sure, you'd theoretically be able to see it if you happened to be nearby but still a lot more difficult to find than a ship.)
 

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sferrin said:
TomS said:
sferrin said:
Think of the submarine as an arsenal ship, cued by external sensors. There is no need for it to have any sensor apertures. It needs to be able to receive, "launch to x,y,z coordinates for TOT xx:xx:xxx" and send, "TOT xx:xx:xxx". Maybe not even that. Maybe the reply is simply, "done". External platforms deal with determining the initial coordinates as well as any coordination with the missile. Maybe a key gets sent to the sub for the flight as well for comm security.

Except that's not even how ArShip worked, and this isn't as simple as sending strike coordinates. There's a lot more data exchange required pre-launch.

Still, we're not talking about minutes of transmission time. Certainly nothing like always up as BMD radars would require. A blip from the sub when a missile was launched.

TomS said:
And this notional BMD submarine is still tethered to periscope depth for weeks at a time (to ensure real-time connectivity). PD is a miserable place for a sub to spend a lot of time.

Couldn't they do something like a small towed float? (Sure, you'd theoretically be able to see it if you happened to be nearby but still a lot more difficult to find than a ship.)

If the other guy has a decent idea of your interceptor's performance, the area they have to search for your ABM sub shrinks dramatically. Plus, towed surface floats have a lot of technical issues that can complicate the sub's stealth. And that's all assuming the firing platform can work in receive-only, if it has to send any data back to the targeting platform you're adding more problems.

Additionally, this would actually be less condition-tolerant than a large, stable surface hull. Firing interceptors in a less-than-ideal sea state is hard enough on a rolling surface ship that is trying to toss interceptors into very small windows. Submarines near the surface are very unstable; so you're fatiguing the crew, risking a broach that could give away (or even damage) the sub, and throwing additional hurdles at the interceptor between the button being pushed and the target going boom.
 

fredymac

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Sea based ABM exposes the entire ground track of an ICBM to prompt attack. Land based ABM forces you into mid course and later intercepts. That's straight geometry and timing. Unless you do space based employment, you abandon this capability.

Sub based ABM will require a very high speed data link that acquires the interceptor immediately as it enters boost phase. This is where development of a global, space based sensor/command network is required. The command segment replicates the land link to the BDM control system. It takes distributed lethality and CEC architecture to the final level.

The sub will be big. It will need to house a GMD sized missile which automatically means it too is on station even as it sits in harbor. It may actually carry a variety of interceptors ranging from as small as an SM3 Block IIX to a KEI to an intercontinental range GMD.

This technology does not exist but the networked, fused, distributed architectures being pursued for general purposes could readily feed into it. The only signal the submarine needs to hear is launch X number of Y type interceptors at T time.
 

sferrin

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Moose said:
If the other guy has a decent idea of your interceptor's performance, the area they have to search for your ABM sub shrinks dramatically.

If you mean from "Pacific Ocean" to "South China Sea", sure.

Moose said:
Plus, towed surface floats have a lot of technical issues that can complicate the sub's stealth.

A towed float will still be a hell of a lot stealthier than a 10,000+ ton BMD ship.

Moose said:
And that's all assuming the firing platform can work in receive-only, if it has to send any data back to the targeting platform you're adding more problems.

None that are insurmountable.

Moose said:
Additionally, this would actually be less condition-tolerant than a large, stable surface hull. Firing interceptors in a less-than-ideal sea state is hard enough on a rolling surface ship that is trying to toss interceptors into very small windows. Submarines near the surface are very unstable; so you're fatiguing the crew, risking a broach that could give away (or even damage) the sub, and throwing additional hurdles at the interceptor between the button being pushed and the target going boom.

If they can launch TLAM from VLS underwater why would SM-3/6 be any different?
 

sferrin

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fredymac said:
Sea based ABM exposes the entire ground track of an ICBM to prompt attack. Land based ABM forces you into mid course and later intercepts. That's straight geometry and timing. Unless you do space based employment, you abandon this capability.

Sub based ABM will require a very high speed data link that acquires the interceptor immediately as it enters boost phase. This is where development of a global, space based sensor/command network is required. The command segment replicates the land link to the BDM control system. It takes distributed lethality and CEC architecture to the final level.

The sub will be big. It will need to house a GMD sized missile which automatically means it too is on station even as it sits in harbor. It may actually carry a variety of interceptors ranging from as small as an SM3 Block IIX to a KEI to an intercontinental range GMD.

This technology does not exist but the networked, fused, distributed architectures being pursued for general purposes could readily feed into it. The only signal the submarine needs to hear is launch X number of Y type interceptors at T time.

I was thinking more like SM-3/-6 for adding confusion to the other guys' problem in conjunction with a CVBG in an air battle with ASBMs in the mix. Not a dedicated anti-ICBM BMD platform.
 

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sferrin said:
If you mean from "Pacific Ocean" to "South China Sea", sure.
For boost-phase or Terminal? Going to be a lot smaller than that. And even for Midcourse with a high-performance interceptor, having a 20,000t sub patrolling at periscope depth and/or towing a float for weeks or months at a time is giving the other side a heck of a lot of help finding the boat. People worry enough about Trident patrols getting mapped.
sferrin said:
A towed float will still be a hell of a lot stealthier than a 10,000+ ton BMD ship.
A 10,000t+ BMD surface combatant would, one presumes, have a robust air and missile defense suite as well as accompanying platforms like perhaps a friendly SSN to keep the rabble at bay both in deterrence and in an actual conflict. A large sub, on the other hand, is going to rely on stealth first and foremost so once detected it's in a much less ideal position than the skimmer. Furthermore, a 10,000t+ surface combatant can defend itself and stay on station unless things go particularly bad. The first thing a sub will do if someone spots the bobber is reel it in/cut it and go deep to defend itself. Your BMD platform might now be a lot harder to kill, but it's also now off station.
sferrin said:
None that are insurmountable.
Can be said about many things. But we're talking about the relative value of a subsurface BMD platform. The additional technical challenge of keep 2-way communications secure and reliable enough to make the concept work is an important part of the equation.
sferrin said:
If they can launch TLAM from VLS underwater why would SM-3/6 be any different?
With a TLAM launch, or Trident for that matter, they are given a target package well ahead of time and the boat can stay deep until the last minute, which is easier on the crew and hardware. The boat can time launches so they're not launching into a swell, and hunt around for flat(er) water beforehand. The TLAM's performance compared to its mission means it can spend some time and fuel correcting problems like being knocked around in surface conditions without too much trouble, an ABM interceptor isn't going to have a lot of time or performance to spare if it's going to make intercept.

And again, none of this is impossible, it's just adding troubles on top an already difficult mission.
 

fredymac

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Under distributed lethality, weapons are placed on any convenient ship. No onboard sensors or cueing is assumed. All targeting data is provided from remote. Right now that is linked in through ship communications as a recent F-35/SM-6 intercept test demonstrated.

However, packing the communications directly into the missile (similar to how TLAM can be re-targeted mid flight) does not sound like a significant technical hurdle. Indeed, I think the latest SM3 missiles have improved ship to missile communications for better cueing updates and that should be transferable to a 3rd party.

I have no idea what the weather limits are for vertical launch missiles. I assume SSBN's are advised to shift patrol areas out of extreme seas when necessary. That would degrade an ABM intercept geometry but it would still provide earlier/better intercept opportunities than land based systems.

The technical problems deal with missile communications to a remote command/sensor network. Given all the developments we are seeing with integrated sensor and fire control systems both in the Army and Navy, I would not be surprised to see direct linkage between an interceptor to a remote network develop on its own impetus.
 

marauder2048

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KEI had no organic sensor but a fairly substantial fire control unit that transmitted
the in-flight target updates that were provided by a forward based radar or
PTSS or whatever and had datalink that was largely directional.

Assuming you could have all of the off-board support in place, you could
consider placing an encanistered KEI on the hull of a XL-UUV in a manner
similar to the small submarine hosts envisioned for one of the MX basing concepts.

With a suitably signature reduced mast (some of the XL-UUVs need to snorkel anyway)
you could proliferate enough of them to either force a concerted ASW effort (probably a
red-flag indicating an imminent launch) or tolerate attrition. And then if they are plugged into
the comms network you could have them bottom to prevent capture etc.

For Iran, it goes a long way to solving the problem of needing to base a boost-phase interceptor
in the southern Caspian.
 

jsport

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marauder2048 said:
KEI had no organic sensor but a fairly substantial fire control unit that transmitted
the in-flight target updates that were provided by a forward based radar or
PTSS or whatever and had datalink that was largely directional.

Assuming you could have all of the off-board support in place, you could
consider placing an encanistered KEI on the hull of a XL-UUV in a manner
similar to the small submarine hosts envisioned for one of the MX basing concepts.

With a suitably signature reduced mast (some of the XL-UUVs need to snorkel anyway)
you could proliferate enough of them to either force a concerted ASW effort (probably a
red-flag indicating an imminent launch) or tolerate attrition. And then if they are plugged into
the comms network you could have them bottom to prevent capture etc.

For Iran, it goes a long way to solving the problem of needing to base a boost-phase interceptor
in the southern Caspian.
BPI is essential. Any hopes of BPI requires a seaborne approach and a bottom sitting submarine is the least vulnerable seaborne option.
 

bobbymike

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https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/06/24/future-navy-weapons-will-need-lots-power-thats-a-huge-engineering-challenge/?utm_campaign=Socialflow&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social

WASHINGTON ― The U.S. Navy is convinced that the next generation of ships will need to integrate lasers, electromagnetic rail guns and other power-hungry weapons and sensors to take on peer competitors in the coming decades.

However, integrating futuristic technologies onto existing platforms, even on some of the newer ships with plenty of excess power capacity, will still be an incredibly difficult engineering challenge, experts say.

Capt. Mark Vandroff, the current commanding officer of the Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center and the former Arleigh Burke-class destroyer program manager who worked on the DDG Flight III, told the audience at last week’s American Society of Naval Engineers symposium that adding extra electric-power capacity in ships currently in design was a good idea, but that the weapons and systems of tomorrow will pose a significant challenge to naval engineers when it comes time to back-fit them to existing platforms.

“Electrical architecture on ships is hard,” Vandroff said.
 

Moose

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bobbymike said:
https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/06/24/future-navy-weapons-will-need-lots-power-thats-a-huge-engineering-challenge/?utm_campaign=Socialflow&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social

WASHINGTON ― The U.S. Navy is convinced that the next generation of ships will need to integrate lasers, electromagnetic rail guns and other power-hungry weapons and sensors to take on peer competitors in the coming decades.

However, integrating futuristic technologies onto existing platforms, even on some of the newer ships with plenty of excess power capacity, will still be an incredibly difficult engineering challenge, experts say.

Capt. Mark Vandroff, the current commanding officer of the Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center and the former Arleigh Burke-class destroyer program manager who worked on the DDG Flight III, told the audience at last week’s American Society of Naval Engineers symposium that adding extra electric-power capacity in ships currently in design was a good idea, but that the weapons and systems of tomorrow will pose a significant challenge to naval engineers when it comes time to back-fit them to existing platforms.

“Electrical architecture on ships is hard,” Vandroff said.
If they're saying that power-hungry weapons are definitely the future, they need to square that with their recently stated intention to extend the life of Combatants which don't have much spare power. Going to be stacking generators on the aviation decks at this rate.
 

jsport

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Portable reactors may become a thing.

Especially when PBWs are reconsidered. (immediate Kinetic Energy (KE)-like effects against shielded msle targets)

Mistake writing DE :)
 

marauder2048

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marauder2048

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NATO Seasparrow conducts successful flight test of ESSM Block 2
By PEO IWS Public Affairs | July 5, 2018

POINT MUGU, Calif. - The NATO Seasparrow Project Office recently conducted a successful flight test of the
Evolved Seasparrow Missile (ESSM) Block 2, intercepting a BQM-74E aerial target, the U.S. Navy announced, July 5.


The test is the first ESSM flight test to utilize the new Block 2 active guidance seeker-head. ESSM Block 2
will employ both semi-active and active guidance to meet current and anticipated future threats.

This test follows the successful completion of two Controlled Test Vehicle flight tests in June 2017 and
is the first in a series of live fire tests that will lead to the ESSM Block 2 missile entering production.



"This flight test is critical to demonstrating the technology for the ESSM Block 2," said Capt. Bruce Schuette,
project manager for the NATO Seasparrow Project. "I am very proud of the entire NATO Seasparrow Project Team,
from our industry partners to our field activities and test facilities, for all the extensive work that went into
making this event a success."

...

http://www.navsea.navy.mil/Media/News/Article/1567858/nato-seasparrow-conducts-successful-flight-test-of-essm-block-2/
 

bobbymike

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https://news.usni.org/2018/08/02/35505

Congress and the Pentagon are in the midst of a two-year spending spree, and Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) leadership is positioning the shipbuilder to capture as many contract awards as possible before the funding window closes, perhaps as early as the Fiscal Year 2020.

The FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act gained Senate approval this week, just ahead of a quarterly earnings call Thursday morning by HII President and CEO Mike Petters in which he detailed the company’s near-term strategy with Wall Street analysts. Congress opened the checkbook in 2018 and 2019, but Petters said its unclear whether the increased spending will carry on through the next budget cycle.

For the quarter, HII reported revenues of $2 billion, compared to revenues of $1.6 billion a year ago. The revenues increase was due to increased work at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding facility that builds carriers and parts of the Virginia-class submarines and refurbishes existing U.S. aircraft carriers. Earnings for the quarter were $257 million, an increase from the $241 million reported a year ago, according to the HII second quarter financial report.
 

bobbymike

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https://news.usni.org/2018/08/28/navys-next-large-surface-combatant-will-draw-ddg-51-ddg-1000-dont-call-destroyer

THE PENTAGON – The Navy will buy the first of its Future Surface Combatants in 2023 – a large warship that will be built to support the Arleigh Burke Flight III combat system and will pull elements from the Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) and Zumwalt-class (DDG-1000) destroyer designs.

The combatant – not dubbed a cruiser, and potentially not dubbed a destroyer either – will be bigger and more expensive than the Arleigh Burke Flight III design and will have more room to grow into for decades to come, the director of surface warfare (OPNAV N96) told USNI News today.

Future Surface Combatant refers to a family of systems that includes a large combatant akin to a destroyer, a small combatant like the Littoral Combat Ship or the upcoming frigate program, a large unmanned surface vessel and a medium USV, along with an integrated combat system that will be the common thread linking all the platforms. Navy leadership just recently signed an initial capabilities document for the family of systems, after an effort that began in late 2017 to define what the surface force as a whole would be required to do in the future and therefore how each of the four future platforms could contribute to that overall mission requirement.
 

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The nonsense over the name and hedging about hedging about* size/capability are possibly the most depressing signs that the Navy has learned absolutely none of the important lessons from the early LCS program.

*not a typo
 

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Moose said:
The nonsense over the name and hedging about hedging about* size/capability are possibly the most depressing signs that the Navy has learned absolutely none of the important lessons from the early LCS program.

*not a typo

Agreed. What. A. Joke. It's perfectly obvious what they need - the Zumwalt-based cruiser they talked about for over a decade. They can't figure out how to wash the perceived (rather than actual) Zumwalt stink from their hands so here we sit.
 

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Seems like an admission that the Flight III Burke is a train wreck in progress. "We need the exact same combat system in a different hull," means the Burke hull is too small to actually work with SPY-6/Baseline 10. But how many Flight IIIs are we going to build anyway?
 

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Moose said:
The nonsense over the name and hedging about hedging about* size/capability are possibly the most depressing signs that the Navy has learned absolutely none of the important lessons from the early LCS program.

*not a typo

The fact that they seem to have done absolutely no actual requirements scrub here is pretty terrifying. "We'll just recycle our last CDD, add a bunch more requirements, and hope we can afford to buy three of the resulting ships."

Edit: And it sounds like they've arrived at basically the same ideas as the SC-21 COEA from 1997. Twenty years wasted.
 

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TomS said:
Seems like an admission that the Flight III Burke is a train wreck in progress. "We need the exact same combat system in a different hull," means the Burke hull is too small to actually work with SPY-6/Baseline 10. But how many Flight IIIs are we going to build anyway?
I'm not enthusiastic about defending any of the decisions they've made in the last, oh, 18 years. But I'd stop short of "train wreck" with Flight III. The thing will sail, and it will fight, it just won't have much if any growth margin and has been de-scoped from the vision they sold the DoD on when they argued for going this route.

Adding to the frustration is the lac of transparency and oversight. The Navy is being as opaque with this process as it can, and Congress is sitting on its thumbs rather than demand answers.
 

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I guess it's just the lost potential that annoys me. We could have done a new Zumwalt-type hull and mechanical platform with AEGIS systems 20 years ago and had plenty of room for upgrades.
 

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The glory days when we were supposed to have 32 new DD(X)s with a whole new generation of missiles plus long range guns with actual ammunition?
 

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bobbymike said:
https://news.usni.org/2018/08/28/navys-next-large-surface-combatant-will-draw-ddg-51-ddg-1000-dont-call-destroyer

THE PENTAGON – The Navy will buy the first of its Future Surface Combatants in 2023 – a large warship that will be built to support the Arleigh Burke Flight III combat system and will pull elements from the Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) and Zumwalt-class (DDG-1000) destroyer designs.

The combatant – not dubbed a cruiser, and potentially not dubbed a destroyer either – will be bigger and more expensive than the Arleigh Burke Flight III design and will have more room to grow into for decades to come, the director of surface warfare (OPNAV N96) told USNI News today.

Future Surface Combatant refers to a family of systems that includes a large combatant akin to a destroyer, a small combatant like the Littoral Combat Ship or the upcoming frigate program, a large unmanned surface vessel and a medium USV, along with an integrated combat system that will be the common thread linking all the platforms. Navy leadership just recently signed an initial capabilities document for the family of systems, after an effort that began in late 2017 to define what the surface force as a whole would be required to do in the future and therefore how each of the four future platforms could contribute to that overall mission requirement.

Four designs.

1. New Large Surface Combatant
2. Small Surface Combatant - Likely Flight III?
3. Large USV - Will this launch UAV's?
4. Small USV

For Large Surface Combatant...

If BMD is not a requirement and large radar size is not required by integrating space based sensors then what size ship is required?
Perhaps this would make a conventionally powered Zumwalt hull more attractive?
Would there still be any good case to be made for a nuclear powered ship?
Is it possible to add sections to Zumwalt to increase it's length or is this a total redesign?

What is the status of the IPS technology? Zumwalt class seem to have issues. Are these related to immature IPS design?
 

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NeilChapman said:
Four designs.

1. New Large Surface Combatant
2. Small Surface Combatant - Likely Flight III?
3. Large USV - Will this launch UAV's?
4. Small USV

For Large Surface Combatant...

If BMD is not a requirement and large radar size is not required by integrating space based sensors then what size ship is required?
Perhaps this would make a conventionally powered Zumwalt hull more attractive?
Would there still be any good case to be made for a nuclear powered ship?
Is it possible to add sections to Zumwalt to increase it's length or is this a total redesign?

What is the status of the IPS technology? Zumwalt class seem to have issues. Are these related to immature IPS design?

The small combatant is not the Flight III Arleigh Burke, it's an LCS/FFG(X) follow-on. Realistically, it will likely be FFG(X) Flight II.

I don't think we've seen much of anything about what the large unmanned (or optionally manned) ship will be. I doubt it's a UAV carrier -- more likely something like Arsenal Ship v3.0.

IPS for Zumwalt had a major setback when the big permanent magnet motors weren't quite ready for prime time, forcing the switch to induction motors. Supposedly PMM is fixed now. Other than that, I think the problem with the Zumwalts are mainly to do with being first of class and there being a grand total of 3.5 shipsets (the 0.5 being the land-based test facility) so not much installed base of support.
 

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More from USNI News.
The Navy’s next large surface combatant will have all the space, weight and power margins the sea service could need now and into the future to accommodate new weapons in development – but the director of surface warfare said the Navy would not accelerate weapons development to get them ready in time to outfit the new ships.
“We’re just excited that we think we do have something that is expandable, has SWaP-C (space, weight, power and cooling) for the future. I think all of us were kind of a little bit nervous about the DDG Flight III and whether we’ll have long-term ability to put future energy weapons on there, or the power that we need for directed energy, lasers, things like that,” he said.
Though he said the Navy would not make a specific effort to accelerate railgun to match its development with that of the new surface combatant, he said the large surface combatant would be waiting for the railgun whenever it matures and is ready for shipboard operations.

“When we design [the large surface combatant], we want to make sure we have the opportunity to put those in in a modular fashion. So if you’re going to put some whatever in the future, you’re going to put it in this space, and here’s the space and weight and power it should fit into. So we’re designing, we hope, for the future to build enough of that potential future power and weight to get what we think we need.”
There's more detail in the article, including late-2017 comments from ONR Railgun program boss Tom Boucher that says, in essence, the 32MJ railgun is at the point where the only significant issue remaining is the development of a mount that would be compatible with a combatant. But that sort of work isn't normally ONR's job, it's the acquisition community's. Which is why people were hoping/expecting it to be bundled into the new combatant. But now it looks like it will need to fight to get funding on its own until the Navy believes they can just drop it in on their new ship.
 

jsport

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Glade to see there is no specific effort to accelerate the EMRG.

Modularity is a start but still no discussion on whether the modularity can be filled w/ reuseable armed UAS essentially, possibly, defining the ship as primarily a uas carrier.

Nor discussion on whether modularity can be filled w/ guns (potentially vertically firing) to provide sufficient "on shore early entry" support.

had omitted, but glade to hear, cooling is considered especially if one needs a nuke to make an EMRG practical ::)
 

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jsport said:
Glade to see there is no specific effort to accelerate the EMRG.

Modularity is a start but still no discussion on whether the modularity can be filled w/ reuseable armed UAS essentially, possibly, defining the ship as primarily a uas carrier.

Nor discussion on whether modularity can be filled w/ guns (potentially vertically firing) to provide sufficient "on shore early entry" support.

had omitted, but glade to hear, cooling is considered especially if one needs a nuke to make an EMRG practical ::)

You probably want to take a hard look at nuclear power anyway for more powerful radars, DEWs, etc.
 

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sferrin said:
jsport said:
Glade to see there is no specific effort to accelerate the EMRG.

Modularity is a start but still no discussion on whether the modularity can be filled w/ reuseable armed UAS essentially, possibly, defining the ship as primarily a uas carrier.

Nor discussion on whether modularity can be filled w/ guns (potentially vertically firing) to provide sufficient "on shore early entry" support.

had omitted, but glade to hear, cooling is considered especially if one needs a nuke to make an EMRG practical ::)

You probably want to take a hard look at nuclear power anyway for more powerful radars, DEWs, etc.

Navy made a case a while back that w/space-based sensors that the larger radar is not required. It was one of the reasons, as well as cost, they gave to drop the CG{X}. Has that requirement changed? And without the BMD mission are we not just talking about a hull to meet future growth requirements for DDG-51 systems?

That certainly sounds like Zumwalt - or perhaps even a value-engineered Zumwalt like they did for LX(R)

(from https://fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL34179.pdf)
The Navy’s desire to cancel the CG(X) and instead procure Flight III DDG-51s apparently took
shape during 2009: at a June 16, 2009, hearing before the Seapower subcommittee of the Senate
Armed Services Committee, the Navy testified that it was conducting a study on destroyer
procurement options for FY2012 and beyond that was examining design options based on either
the DDG-51 or DDG-1000 hull form. A January 2009 memorandum from the Department of
Defense acquisition executive had called for such a study. In September and November 2009, it
was reported that the Navy’s study was examining how future requirements for AAW and BMD
operations might be met by a DDG-51 or DDG-1000 hull equipped with a new radar. On
December 7, 2009, it was reported that the Navy wanted to cancel its planned CG(X) cruiser and
instead procure an improved version of the DDG-51. In addition to being concerned about the
projected high cost and immature technologies of the CG(X), the Navy reportedly had
concluded that it does not need a surface combatant with a version of the AMDR as large and
capable as the one envisaged for the CG(X) to adequately perform projected AAW and BMD
missions, because the Navy will be able to augment data collected by surface combatant radars
with data collected by space-based sensors.
The Navy reportedly concluded that using data
collected by other sensors would permit projected AAW and BMD missions to be performed
adequately with a radar smaller enough to be fitted onto the DDG-51. Reports suggested that the
new smaller radar would be a scaled-down version of the AMDR originally intended for the
CG(X).
(emphasis mine)

But that decision was a decade ago. Has the Navy determined space-based sensors are too vulnerable deciding to return this capability to ships using larger radar systems? What are the definitive factors for space-based sensors that determine size/cost? Is it possible to value-build large quantities of these sensors to mitigate the risk? With launch costs plummeting maybe the ROI model has changed.

It's been reported that it's not been proven that Zumwalt can support one of the Ford-class reactors. That would likely require a displacement of 20k T. If "more power" (nuclear) is the deciding factor is a new or heavily modified design the only possible result?
 

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“It is the big question: what do you call the future large surface combatant? I don’t know. I don’t think you call it a cruiser. I don’t think you call it a destroyer. Maybe – I don’t know what it is,” Boxall said

Once again they're worrying about the exact name of ship. That nonsense always accompanies bad analysis.

Beyond the nonsense, there are some worrying signs - basically they're taking the Flight III capability as a baseline. But the Flight III capability was a compromise to fit the DDG-51 hull. So are they taking the Flight III capability as a good starting point from analysis or are they just doing it because?

One last note, the program's speed is the biggest hint that DDG-51 Flight III isn't working.
 

jsport

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“We’re just excited that we think we do have something that is expandable, has SWaP-C (space, weight, power and cooling) for the future."

..believe that a 'future large combatant' is the only good term to attempt to define what is needed. Still don't believe Frigate, Destroyer, Cruiser are anything but confusing in trying to define the size ship that is needed as standard combatant at least for now when SWAP-C are first and formost . Even the size ship specifically designated to protect carriers should be in question.

PS: still believe a larger radar than the currently defined SPY or AMDR is still needed on some ship, potentially a dedicated BMD ship.
 

Foo Fighter

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It seems to me that most government (any nation with these assets) plans for having the eyes in space regardless of scenario. The law of sod and logic disagrees. Plan for the worst case scenario and hope it does not happen. An old lesson learned and relearned frequently. HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse for instance?
 

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https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/10/10/youre-on-your-own-us-sealift-cant-count-on-us-navy-escorts-in-the-next-big-war-forcing-changes/
 

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https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/euronaval/2018/10/23/lockheed-planning-big-shift-away-from-lcs-propulsion-system-for-its-future-frigate-offering/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=Socialflow+DFN&fbclid=IwAR3EpRdjbbizE32WR4UgytklKwxvYB5VTbCwtuhyzwJvQx-b258-93qcogo

PARIS – Lockheed Martin is planning to shift from its littoral combat ship’s water-jet propulsion to a propulsion system that the U.S. Navy is more familiar with for its future frigate offering, Lockheed’s vice president for small combatants and ship systems told reporters at the 2018 Euronaval show.

As it works through the Navy’s requirements for its FFG(X) program, Lockheed is hoping that a more traditional twin-screw design with independent drive trains will entice the service towards its offering.

One of the major hang-ups with the design requirements for all the competitors has been requirement that the engineering spaces be separated by a certain number of meters so that if the ship takes damage in one area, the other space should be online to drive the ship. If the design can’t meet the spacing requirement, an alternative propulsion unit has to be installed.
 

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