Home » Budget Industry » Navy Officials: Current BMD Strategy ‘Unsustainable’; Greenert Asked Hagel for Review


Navy Officials: Current BMD Strategy ‘Unsustainable’; Greenert Asked Hagel for Review

A Standard Missile-3 Block 1B interceptor launches from USS Lake Erie in this photo from the record-setting test on Sept. 18, 2013. (Missile Defense Agency photo)

A Standard Missile-3 Block 1B interceptor launches from USS Lake Erie in this photo from the record-setting test on Sept. 18, 2013. (Missile Defense Agency photo)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As demand for regional ballistic missile defense (BMD) capabilities sharply increases, the BMD forces’ operational tempo is trying to keep pace while funding is not – leading defense officials to question if a new BMD strategy is needed.

During a House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing Thursday, several members spoke of a Nov. 5, 2014, memo from Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno to then-defense secretary Chuck Hagel, asking for a revised BMD strategy.

“The recent Army-Navy Warfighter Talks highlighted the growing challenges associated with ballistic missile threats that are increasingly capable, continue to outpace our active defense systems, and exceed our Services’ capacity to meet Combatant Commanders’ demand,” according to the memo obtained by USNI News.

“Additionally, looking ahead at the long-term budgetary horizon and the attendant financial pressures that the Budget Control Act would impose, we believe a Department sponsored ballistic missile defense strategy assessment is warranted.”

Adm. Bill Gortney, the current commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command who served as U.S. Fleet Forces commander from 2012 to 2014, explained the Navy’s position during the hearing.

“I was in the staff talks, Navy-Army staff talks that generated that particular lecture, and the fundamental issue from the services comes down to, are we spending our money correctly, and what is the impact for the money that we are spending?” he said.
“The primary concern that they have … is that we’re really emphasizing being a [missile] catcher and shooting a rocket down with a rocket. That’s a very expensive proposition, and it drives low-density high-demand assets, their operational tempo, up. So when [Greenert and Odierno] talk about unsustainable, it’s not only in terms of cost, but it’s in terms of the operational tempo of the forces that are doing it. And so what we really need is … a deterrence policy that helps keep missiles on the rail through deterrence, we have kinetic and non-kinetic options to keep missiles on the rails, and then we start attriting the threat once they get airborne, starting with the boost phase and throughout that particular flight so that we start knocking down missiles in a more effective and cost-effective manner.”

In the memo, Greenert and Odierno criticize that the Pentagon’s strategy is “acquisition-based,” “unsustainable” and “favors forward deployment of assets in lieu of deterrence-based options to meet contingency demands.”

Gortney added that homeland defense, including missile defense, is meant to be “an away game” but that sequestration cuts have already wrecked the accounts that fund training and overseas operations, and future rounds of cuts would only further hurt force readiness.

“That is going to drive these low-density, high-demand assets, be it Patriot, [Terminal High Altitude Area Defense] or Aegis BMD ships – their operational tempo is going to go up, only stressing a very very stressed force as it is,” he told the subcommittee.
“Ballistic missile defense ships are at the highest OPTEMPO that we have, and those are the forces that are going to feel that impact that’s going to directly affect how well we defend ourselves in the away game.”

Navy officials, including acquisition chief Sean Stackley, have spoken recently about the challenges of maintaining the cruisers and destroyers to meet the combatant commanders’ BMD needs even as the ships are aging and maintenance budgets are tight.

At a recent conference, Stackley called the Aegis-equipped cruisers and destroyers the “backbone” and “workhorse” of the fleet. He noted “we have 84 today at sea and that number is growing, but the reality is that our cruisers are at midlife, they’re eclipsing midlife, and our destroyers are entering midlife. Two things we’ve got to do: one, we’ve got to get them to their full service life … and we’re going to look to extend their service life. So we’ve got to get them, at that midlife, get their upgrades in place, get the degree of ballistic missile defense that we need to get our BMD ship count up.”

Subcommittee member Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) noted in the hearing that the combatant commanders requested about 44 BMD ships a year from Fiscal Year 2012 to 2014, but in the 2016 request they ask for 77. Gortney said the demand for regional missile defense has skyrocketed as the threat proliferates, making it even more important to tackle OPTEMPO and the cost curve.

Vice Adm. Jim Syring, director of the Missile Defense Agency, noted in the conversation that the combatant commanders are asking the CNO for “more and more and more, and I see that escalating over the next several years.”

“CNO and the Navy have other things for those ships to do in terms of sailing with strike groups and protecting the strike groups, and [in the memo] I think you see the CNO saying that I don’t have the assets in the future to cover all the requirements from the combatant commanders around the world, I’m just asking for a new strategy in terms of how do we do that, how do we integrate left and right of launch, how do we move this into advanced technology and get on the right side of the cost curve, in his words.”

Subcommittee chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said he was disappointed with Hagel’s response to the memo, characterizing the former secretary’s response as supporting the current BMD strategy.

As badly as the BMD force is stressed now, Syring warned that sequestration in FY 2016 would devastate the MDA budget, which does not have a operations and maintenance account to raid and is not authorized to receive Overseas Contingency Operations account funding, which has helped shield the services’ budgets from the full effects of the sequester.

Syring said that earlier cuts forced delays in testing, including for the Raytheon-built Standard Missile-3 Block IIA missile.

“I took further risk on the SM3 IIA development program and essentially removed all of the margin in that very important program,” he said.
“We must deliver that missile in 2018.”

Syring suggested that sequestration could bring the MDA’s requested spending level of $8.1 billion down to $6.7 billion, at which point “you’re starting to jeopardize our future capability in terms of what we’re able to say to the American people on our ability to defend the homeland.”

MDA has a flight test planned for the SM3 IIA in May at Point Mugu, Calif., and in June the agency will conduct the first intercept test with the SM3 IB from an Aegis Ashore test site in Hawaii, MDA spokesman Rick Lehner told USNI News.

MDA intends to buy 209 SM3 IBs by the end of FY 2016 and is working through the process to request multiyear procurement authority.

“Given the design stability of that missile and the successes that we’ve had with intercept and where the predicted reliability is with that missile, we are pushing a multiyear certification authority through the [Defense] Department to send over here to request multiyear procurement authorization,” Syring said.

“We estimate it will be a 14-percent savings over annual procurements, and we view that as a good deal for the American taxpayer and the right thing to do.”

  • Secundius

    Sound more like the Defense Contractor’s is trying too BILK the Taxpayer’s for Even More Money…

    • NavySubNuke

      I don’t know – a bunch of SM3’s and GBIs is sure cheaper than cleaning up and rebuilding say Seattle after even a small (say 20 KT) hit.

      • Secundius

        @ NavySubNuke.

        For the most part, I have to agree with your. But the basic Aegis/AN/SPY-1 systems package should be able to do the same thing…

        • NavySubNuke

          Agreed. I am also interested to see what AMDR is capable of too.

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            If that’s the AN/SPY-4, it got cancelled…

          • NavySubNuke

            No – it is the SPY-6 according to Raytheon — they are going to install it on the flight III Burke’s.

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            Interesting reading’s to be had.

            Raytheon AN/SPY-5 system, Export version only. First of the AB III, keel laying of DDG-124 not scheduled until 2017 w/average build time of 18-months, So roughly commissioning date 2019/2020. AB III/A date, unknown. AB IV, cancelled because of Ohio and BMD program’s.

            Interesting Side Note, talk’s about POSSIBLE Upgrading Iowa’s class BB’s to Montana class BB’s. All Secondary Armaments also upgraded…

          • Frank Langham

            GUYS … Let us not get myopic …
            Let’s just call them “SENSORS”
            As in “Total Global Sensor Fusion”
            As I see it, we have:
            “GLOBALLY FUSED SENSOR GRID”
            “SYSTEM COORDINATED ORDNANCE”
            (to include directed energy and mag-rail).
            “BATTLE COMPUTE NODES”
            “C4SR HIERARCHY of NODES”
            “PERSISTENT MOBILE LAUNCHERS”
            And full spectrum threat management.
            All of this is vital to the survival of the corporations and the politicians and the bankers who produce them and profit by them. … IF these major players continue to BILK the free world then they will have orchestrated their own demise. … Talk about “RATIONAL” ?? … Survival is “rational” … Sustainability is “rational”. … An affordable system that WORKS, **ALWAYS** is vital to THEIR survival and constitutes a rational decision process.

      • Rick Bennett

        The cost of the decision is the probability of an outcome multiplied by the cost of that outcome. When effective deterrence makes the probabilities of a nuclear attack miniscule, and the decades of life-cycle maintenance makes the costs of those deployments gargantuan, it doesn’t look cheaper.

        • NavySubNuke

          But effective deterrence requires a rational adversary — not sure we can make that assumption with North Korea.

          • J_kies

            NSN the little fat boy is very rational; his goals aren’t your goals.

          • NavySubNuke

            His largest goal is regime survival – the drive to ensure that goal is likely to produce irrational ends (arguably already has when you consider the poverty/starvation situation) —- therefore he is not a rational adversary.

          • Frank Langham

            He is going to nuke you for saying that !!
            (and your country too … collateral damage).

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            I don’t think Russia even fit’s into that category anymore. After the Ambassador threatened the Danish Foreign Minister, Danish Navy Fleet with Nuclear-Annihilation if Denmark go forward and joins the NATO Ballistic Missile Defense System…

          • NavySubNuke

            I don’t know – the tenants of deterrence are that you make a credible threat against something your adversary values, that the threat be made clearly and is understood by your adversary, and that your adversary be rational.
            The threats by the Russian Ambassador seem to meet all three tenants as it applies to Russia attempting to deter Denmark from joining the BMD system.
            While it is dangerous to assume your opponent is rational when they are in fact no longer rational – it is also dangerous to assume they are irrational when they in fact still are. That is why deterrence is a difficult thing.

          • Frank Langham

            Time IS on our side. … We (and ALL partners) must expand total global sensor fusion and C4SR with “frantic fervor” and U.S. and NATO contractors *MUST* come to terms with the fact that it is THEIR OWN SURVIVAL WHICH IS AT STAKE !! … What we REALLY need is LOTS AND LOTS of very light weight and low-cost “AEGIS compatible” sensors (including on-orbit and persistent stratospheric platforms) … We also need LOTS and lots of loitering, always-mobile, “best shooters” which are properly positioned and always ready … And … We need LOTS AND LOTS of AEGIS Coordinated Ordnance … CHEAPER !!! …
            Again !! .. LOCKMART and RAYTHEON and BOEING and others (including the oil companies) MUST realize that THEY are under threat and that MORE and BETTER and LIGHTER and CHEAPER sensors and nodes and ordnance are absolutely vital to their own survival. … If they continue with waste and corruption and graft, it will be their own end, as well as the free world. … It is time to pitch in … BANKERS ?? … DEFENSE ?? … PETROLEUM ?? … ANTE-UP !!

          • Curtis Conway

            Maybe not Iran.

      • Frank Langham

        We actually need to protect our CVNs and our SSBNs and our other bases and ports, abroad … Strategically, the homeland comes LAST (yup) because it is our GLOBAL positioning and C4SR and our mobile strategic assets (SSBNs) that ASSURE a response to an attack on our homeland. … Also … NATO is under more imminent threat and, frankly, we cannot de-couple Homeland defense from that of NATO (and Pals).

  • J_kies

    The other aspect is poor conception / realization of the Aegis BMD mission. Why should we take a multiple billion dollar multiple mission asset and tether it to a geographic spot as a missile container and radio? When looking at the long range BMD missions such as EPAA, the entire ship role is to serve as at sea thin SM3 firing magazine at a particular coverage spot. Given the BMD mission as defined is a low probability, high tempo event at times and places of the opponents choosing this is crushingly costly losing strategy.

    Asking to revisit the strategy was highly commendable and sort of vision we hope to see in Service leaders. Well done CNO & CS USA.

    • Frank Langham

      This is why AEGIS ASHORE and AEGIS COORDINATED AIRBORNE MISSILE TRUCKS are among some of the several modalities which are (and always have been) under consideration. … I have not checked, recently, but I am of the belief that there is an “all time” goal of 36 dedicated NAVAL AEGIS MOBILE SURFACE PLATFORMS and these can be expanded to the fully flexible compliment of Anti-Air-Warfare modes and ordnance in very little time and for (comparatively) little cost. … We are also working on a more portable version of AEGIS ASHORE, which can be flown into any airfield and set up very quickly (much like the similarly capable Russian S-300/S-400 variants).

      • J_kies

        More portable … so less than the current 2 year construction schedule? I find your arguments lack veracity when I go to the government sources to fact check.

        • Secundius

          @ J_kies.

          My Two Cents Worth: There already is a Portable, Transportable AEGIS type system in operation. It was designed in 1987, first production run was in 2008 and at least 24 systems in operation. Turkey is getting the system, and UAE, Qatar and Japan are on the “Band Wagon” for future sales. It’s made by Lockheed-Martin, called the AN/TYP-2 THAAD Ground-Based Radar. It’s ~20-feet 3-inches long and 1-foot 1-inch in depth, it weigh’s ~1,984-pounds and has a detection range of ~125sm. It can detect object moving as fast as Mach 8.24 or ~6,263.42mph. Unit cost is ~$757-Million USD apiece…

          • J_kies

            Mr Number 2; (if my latin works)
            The AN/TPY-2 is a RAYCO not L-M product and I believe the number of systems purchased and on order is 1/2 of the 24 you cite. I believe the Administration already applies an AN/TPY-2 in Turkey as the FC sensor for Aegis Ashore in Romania. I am certain that the RAYCO fan-boys will dispute your 3/4ths of a billion per unit cost.

            Note this is a relocatable RADAR (days / weeks of time to pull up and relocate) not a missile firing station nor VLS canisters.

          • Secundius

            @ J_kies.

            The Patriot Missile Launcher is, is a Mk. 141 Lightweight Quad-Canister Launcher on a Flat-Bed Truck. How much more transportable do you want, Shoulder-Launched?

          • J_kies

            Patriot is a very terminal capability against SRBMs and MRBMs such that ‘the coverage map resembles a postage stamp’. The entire Patriot unit is the unit size operationally; so the Patriot C2; launchers and radars go together. Check with the US Army & DOTE but the tear-down, march, emplacement cycle isn’t exactly mobile.

          • Secundius

            @ J_kies.

            The same Mk. 141 Lightweight Quad-Canister Launcher will accommodate the ALL Standard Missiles Systems, ESSM and THAAD missiles. ALSO, The US. Army MIM-104 Patriot missile and the US. Navy RIM-161 Standard Missile (SM-3) ARE THE SAME MISSILE…

    • Frank Langham

      As it is, each fleet (region) will have 4 or 6 BMD naval surface platforms that can be very rapidly re-positioned in accordance to shifting threats (and politics) … This provides SOVEREIGN TURF (a mobile military base) that can move freely and that can be positioned anywhere in international (or friendly) waters … Having up to half a dozen such platforms available in every major theater is just an essential base-line of theater point (asset) defense and is not “negotiable” (it is a base-line military requirement, period).

      • J_kies

        And the CNO and his staff are unaware of all this? Twaddle.

    • Curtis Conway

      You miss the point. When IAMD is fully implemented, all the Aegis platforms are essentially interchangeable, with the cruisers a little more capable than the destroyers. As the new Flt III destroyers come out, they will be the most capable. To survive in the modern battle space one must have a defense against at least a Theater Ballistic Missile, our you are going to be toast except in your own back yard.

      • J_kies

        When they are in the BMD tether spots; they are useless for the other Aegis missions. The problem is wasted assets for all the other needs, BMD assigned assets provide no fleet AAW, no ASW, no land attack … The CNO and his staff know your point better than you do and they reject it.

  • vincedc

    Congress sent every government agency a directive to reduce their budgets, yet DoD is pulling the same stunt they have been pulling for decades to increase requirements until they exceed capabilities then go crying to the press. Before we do anything, it is time to honestly review the requirements for these assets.

    • Secundius

      @ vincedc.

      In ww2, the Navy use to add 60% above what they actually need, Then Haggle their way down to an acceptable figure. SNAFU…

  • Curtis Conway

    I find it very incongruous that the US Navy can sit in front of a congressional committee and proclaim that there will not be enough BMD asserts to meet the need in 2017, just after redesigning the SSC/FF to not even have a decent AAW capability that could have been upgraded to Theater Ballistic Missile Defense, if not given the TBMD capability right up front. That would provide a surface combatant that could at least replace most of the capabilities of a CG/DDG in a pinch. The LCS Program buys over half the seaframe.

    Am I the only one that sees this? If the LCS/SSC/FF were built to counter at least ASCM, Cruise Missiles (remember the Russian development), or Theater Ballistic Missile Defense capability seems short sighted, or just being blind . . . and this is just after cancelling five (5) destroyer Integrated Air & Missile Defense upgrades for older DDG-51s coming in for the mid-life rework. I know we are broke, but there is something very dis-jointed here. In this case the left hand ain’t even talking to the left hand, forget talking to the right hand.

    The United States Navy needs an Aegis Guided Missile Frigate!

    • Secundius

      @ Curtis Conway.

      Not really. Consider who is in Control of Congress. The LCS Program, was a Pet Project of SecDef. Ronald Rumsfeld and Funds Appropriated by the then Bush/Cheney Administraion. And that the funding of there Pet Project is Literally SET-IN-STONE (Not to Be Touch, For Anything Else). Is it any wonder that the Navy has to Beg with the Handicap of having Two Broken Legs and A Broken Arm, too Boot…

      • Frank Langham

        Good old “RUMMY” … He had intellect but he was not grounded in real-world experience. … He was, unfortunately, a very persuasive fellow.

        • Secundius

          @ Frank Langham.

          The original design concept was for a Light Destroyer for Israel. Israel wanted to by four Ship’s at $300-Million USD. apiece. ~$180-Million less then what it cost to bulid. I don’t now what the actual responds to “Bebe” was, but I’m pretty sure it was something in the order of “Suck My Wind”…

          • Frank Langham

            I would go ahead with that “deal” because it would mean that the Israelis are paying for MOST of 4 AEGIS coordinated platforms and that would add FOUR major sensor nodes to US and NATO “global sensor fusion” and it would surely free up at least two BURKE DD-51s for other postings (if not other missions) … FINALLY, it would seem that the Israelis would also be footing the bill for ongoing operations, maintenance, technical training, personnel and benefits. … Even IF they use existing US military aid for these costs, it is still a LOAD OFF OUR PLATE … DO IT !! (with guarantees that WE will not end up getting douched for the operational costs).

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Did you know that Israeli, Spies on the United States for the PRC. And that they have tried to Sell American Technology to the ChiCom’s since at least 1992. The even tries selling the Phalcon AEW system to the ChiCom’s too and got caugth by the FBI. Also, the PRC has a permanent Naval Base in Haifa Harbor in Israel with direct access to the Med. Great Allies, Right…

          • Frank Langham

            Yeah … And the USS STARK was scuttled by a French Exocet ASCM delivered by a French built Mirage … And the French sold Saddam the line-printer that infected their entire AAW network, or so goes the story. … I have no idea how opaque Israel is or which “parties” have the more loyal agenda. … I do know that David’s Sling and Arrow are collaborative and that Israel has shared a good bit of operational LASER tech with us, including anti-missile LASERS, carried aboard various aircraft. … And “we” traded stingers to Iran for various funds and favors … I mean … It is a rough and tumble world “in here” and “relations” (and betrayals) are not always what they may seem. … Almost like playing the board-game RISK. … Israel is looking out for Israel but, as long as CLINTON is GIVING the PRC turbulence solutions that have enabled China to even reach orbit … Well … I am not going to quibble over a few side deals, especially when they allow some … Well … This is a public forum. … We can speculate on geopolitics, subterfuge and espionage ad nauseum but the bottom line is that we do not have access. … We CAN read between the lines … We can follow the money … We can summarize outcomes and see who has gained what from various policies and incidents. … Sometimes I do imagine that I can truly intuit the pulse of the subtext, though. … I am confident because I make predictions (and suggestions) and they come to pass with a modicum of consistency.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Were talking about OUR (the United States of America) National Security. Not about getting a great deal on O.J.’s Memorabilia in a Hotel Room Deal here, Sir…

          • Frank Langham

            Fine … And “House Intel” is obviously aware of this and “State” is, therefore, aware and the current POTUS is no great friend of Israel … SO ? … WHY are we allowing ourselves to get played ?

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            This Game or On Going Dance has lasted at least the 38-years, if not Longer Sir. And I don’t see the US. Government changing the Tune anytime soon…

          • Frank Langham

            Uh-huh. … So, back channels and intelligence ties are always murky and always a matter of convenience … We scratch each other’s backs, when it does not require great sacrifice and we will burn each other, if there is a significant gain, and beg forgiveness, IF we get caught. … We will most always do what is profitable and convenient and protect our interests. … Better the enemy we know and … Keep them close.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Yup, All To True

    • Frank Langham

      No … None of that. … The LCS/FF is too small and is not designed for global, blue-water combat, it is a beefed up fast “patrol craft” and, guess what(?), it does have a large mission-deck and mission bay so, if there ever is a truly critical pinch (that requires LCS/FF to do what it was NOT intended to) then, yes … It is a 2-week back-fit which could even be performed at sea (at a SEA-BASE) … But the current AND the projected budget cannot even meet the current demand for DDGs and to even fill those tubes with an appropriate mix of ordnance (much less reloads at sea). … Finally, since most all of the Burkes which have received the 4.0 Battle-Compute upgrades are being used EXCLUSIVELY as dedicated BMD platforms, it makes ZERO sense to waste monies on converting OLDER Burkes when we have TWO shipyards (and Japan & Australia and Others) rolling *NEW* AEGIS BMD platforms off the line, as fast as all the various suppliers can produce them. … OLDER Burkes and LCS/FF just are not anywhere on the map. … WE cannot even get funding for all the NEW platforms that we **NEED** and we cannot even get enough ordnance to fill the tubes of what we ALREADY HAVE. … This is all very well known.

      • Curtis Conway

        I am NO FAN of LCS/FF. We need a real small surface combatant:
        REVISED (A-Level Specification – 10APR15)
        Type: Frigate, Aegis Guided Missile & Directed Energy w/
        Railgun pending availability
        Complement: 140 Officers and crew
        Displacement: 5500 tons standard
        6300 tons full load
        Length: 150 m (492 ft)
        Beam: 16 m (54 ft)
        Draft: 6.9 m (22.5 ft)
        Propulsion: Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) COGAG, two shafts, two LM2500+G4 (de-rated) turbines and DRS Permanent On-Shaft Moving Magnet Electric Motors (1 x LM2500+G4 & DRS PMM Electric Motor per shaft) with Controllable Reversible Propellers, Three [GE38 derived] Gas Turbine Generators (GTGs), 10 Megawatts each
        Speed: 30+ knots (56 km/h; 35 mph) Gas Turbine Powered
        15 knots Electric Drive
        Sensors, processing & display systems:
        • SSDS (Ships Self Defense System) MK2 Mod 4+
        • Cooperative Engagement System (CEC)
        • Link-16
        • AN/UYQ-70 Common Display System
        • AN/SPY-6(v) AMDR Lite 9-module Derivative Non-rotating 3D Main Sensor with four Array Faces
        • AN/SPQ-9B w/ Mk 160 Fire Control System
        • SQS-83 Derivative ASW System w/SQS-53 Hull Mounted Sonar
        • SLQ-32 SEWIP Blk III EW System
        • 360⁰ Passive IR detection and tracking system horizon to zenith
        • 4 x Independent WESCAM MX-15 Electro Optical Tracking Systems (hanging with overlapping views of quarters)
        • 2 x Independent WESCAM MX-15 Electro
        Optical Tracking Systems (standing fore & aft) with unobstructed field of view -7⁰ azimuth to zenith & max unobstructed horizon
        Armament:
        • Directed Energy Laser, 4 x 500Kw minimum, two per side, maximum field of view on the four corners of the forward
        superstructure, mounted as high as practicable
        • Gun, 1 × 127 mm (5 in)/62 caliber gun Guided Projectile Compatible
        • 2 x Mk 15 Phalanx Weapon port & starboard amidships between Directed Energy weapons
        • Missiles foredeck 1 × Mk 41 VLS (16 strike length cells) minimum
        • 6 x RIM-174 Standard ERAM (SM-6)
        • 6 x RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3-IA)
        • 6 x Super ASROC
        • Missile Fields port/starboard in place of sacrificed helo hanger, 2 rows 8 cells/side, inboard row Mk 41 standard length, outboard row Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile length
        • 2 x Mk32 Triple 324 mm (12.8 in) Torpedo Tubes
        Torpedo Countermeasures System
        Aircraft carried: 1 × MH-60R helicopter
        Boats: 2 x Long Range Prosecutor (LRP) and/or Short Range
        Interceptor (SRI) boats
        Overview of capabilities
        This vessel will be smaller and lighter than the destroyer with capabilities in all warfare areas including AAW, ASW, ASuW, Naval Gun Fire Support, Anti-Piracy Operations, Plane Guard, and Escort Missions. The combat capability will look very much like a CG-47 Class Cruiser when it first came out. Weapons load out and draft will be less (about 28’ with SQS-53 on the bow), but maneuverability and speed, additional small boat support, passive combat system elements, and engagement capacity will be greater than, or equivalent to, the original Aegis Guided Missile Cruiser. The introduction of Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs), and the lighter smaller General Atomics Railgun, will provide cover for the vessel lacking in kinetic kill capacity. This little skirmisher will be able to stay underway for at least 30 days without resupply, and stretch its fuel when staying on station for the better part of a month, when not engaged in combat. At a minimum the combat system will be able to provide limited Theater Ballistic Missile Defense capability. Sufficient crew must man the vessel to fight
        the ship, perform damage control, and conduct maintenance requirements in a reasonable amount of time. Our goal is to build a very efficient combined Hybrid Electric Drive (HED)/gas turbine
        propulsion ship with GTG power generation systems, integrated power distribution and storage systems, packaged in an all-ocean Arctic-capable steel hull.
        Primary Air/Surface Search Sensor
        The AN/SPY-6(v) down scaled 9-module AMDR Lite, non-rotating
        3D radar, provides SPY-1A or D surveillance and fire control coverage. This gives this platform an equal tracking volume, with advanced processing techniques and expanded track stores, similar to the original CG-47 specification. Secondary air search & fire control capability is provided by the rotating SPQ-9B, and provide air and surface detection, tracking, fire control functions. With this radar system we should be able to program transmitter modes for Theater Ballistic Missile Defense, surface & air tracking, missile control and gun/laser fire control support (including counter-battery), periscope detection, communications support, and the Radar Suite Controller (RSC) will coordinate EO/IR/radar information for distribution and display. A modified National
        Security Cutter based Aegis FFG with a forward Mack modified similar to the Spanish Bazan Class Aegis Frigate, will provide the room for the radar, and have enough space for sensors, displays and control systems, weapons load-out, and house the engineering systems. This vessel will be a fast skirmisher, scout, submarine hunter and Plane Guard, and if necessary it can shell the beach.
        This will be the ‘go to’ platform to support Amphibious Landings, or any other contingency requiring the presence of a US Navy combatant. This will be the US Navy’s ‘Skirmisher’ platform that can fill any gap, short of Ballistic Missile Defense, but be a useful alternative in a BMD situation if nothing else is available in the
        formation. This vessel will readily become the backbone of our fleet for showing the flag, escort missions, and providing a meaningful defensive/offensive capability in Marine Amphibious Ready Groups, Expeditionary Strike Groups, and Carrier Strike Groups, short of
        an Aegis DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Destroyer.
        combat system
        The synergistic effect of the Aegis-like elements (Ships Self Defense System MK2, Mod 4+) combined with the SPY-6(v) 9-module AMDR Lite radar with all its advanced functions, augmented with a few additional consoles, and new electrically driven weapon systems, are the compelling item that puts this
        platform’s capability over the top in our new Net-Centric combat environment. The multi-function processor that manages the
        information from the Radar Suite Controller (RSC) with the ESM, EO, CEC (Over The Horizon [OTH]) traffic will provide the formatted information to the display system for monitoring, command & control, employment of own-ships, and coordination of force weapons, and communications. Multiple Large Screen Displays (LSDs) should be available providing a visual of the output of all the passive tracking systems. Real-time, point-to-point
        communications (encrypted voice and data) will be provided using portions of the radar antenna, or dedicated arrays high on the mast, so instant engagement coordination can take place against sea skimming cruise missiles that provide a very small window of opportunity for engagement, particularly for directed energy weapons. Console population should be in a circular fashion with the Commanding Officer in the center. The SSDS Mk2 Mod 4+ is located directly in front of the CO. The ASWCS and Anti-Submarine Air Controller is to the left side. The Electronic Support Measures (SLQ-32) along with EO/IR and EM/Gun Fire Control Center is to the right of the ESM console. Local control for all systems resides in their respective consoles. However, primary engagement control is automated and resides in the combat system directed by software via specific criteria, or direct action directed by the CO. Local maintenance support spaces would also have a remote control capability via defense in depth battle short damage control method.
        AAW:
        Multiple VLS fields are required. The logical location for the Strike Length Mk 41 VLS cells is amidships forward. This is where Strike Length Cells must reside, and if they must extend above the
        deck with its own deckhouse . . . so be it. The SM-3-IAs (TBM killers) and SM-6s (NIFC-CA donation weapons) are located in this magazine. If the new Super ASROC requires the extra length, then they will be located here as well. The primary weapon for this ship
        will be some SM-2ER Blk III, and ESSMs that populate the waist magazines. These waist VLS magazines are created by sacrificing a helo hanger to provide the space. The US Navy does not engage air targets with naval artillery but the capability is there. With the advent of some of the new 5’ guided projectiles, some exciting possibilities exist. Perhaps an Anti-Radiation Munition (ARM)
        round is possible. With greater concern for collateral damage, and in the interest of eliminating a specific radiating target, this capability makes sense, and would be available across the fleet
        via 5’ artillery employment. This argument alone justifies the development effort. If the General Atomics Railgun is installed,
        there may be some AAW capable guided projectiles that may have limited TBMD capability. Kinetic kill would proceed DEWs in our defense in depth (SM-3, then Railgun/5’, then DEWs). Basic weapons load-out would be six (6) Super ASROC, six (6) SM-3, six (6) SM-6 forward. The waist magazines could carry as many as
        128 ESSMs, or more likely 16 SM-2ER Blk-IIIs, and 64 ESSMs.
        ASW:
        This should be the smallest combat vessel to employ the AN/SQS-53 Sonar managed by the AN/SQS-83 Anti Submarine Warfare Control System. Designed around the sonar transducer system element and support spaces, this vessel with its extremely quiet HED propulsion system, will be the ideal and potentially most
        successful ASW combatant afloat in the future. Employment of these systems will optimize ASW training and logistics currently in the fleet. This sea frame will be sleek and quiet when under electric drive creating an optimal ASW platform. The extended range Super ASROC will provide engagement capability outside the submarine’s optimal engagement range. Employment of a variable depth towed array, coupled with the hull mounted sonar, will provide an engagement capability at a significant range. This is required against some new threat subsurface combat systems that employ short range AAW missiles (e.g., standoff P-8A and MH-60R operations).
        ASuW:
        The US Navy’s new anti-ship cruise missile will be our primary kinetic kill surface weapon system. The Naval Strike Missile (NSM), or the Lockheed Martin Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) should be on board with a quantity not less than eight (8) launchers. If the guided Railgun rounds materialize then this is our secondary kinetic kill weapon with the greatest range. Rocket assist naval artillery rounds combined with terminal guidance
        packages are also capable of significant range. One of these two systems will be present at the main gun station forward. This platform will fill many holes in battle plans with its diverse combat capability.
        Naval Gun Fire
        Support (NGFS): Installation of a 127 mm (5 in)/62 caliber gun, with Guided Projectile Capability, will facilitate the logistical support, operator and maintainer training requirement for this platform, and maintain commonality with the rest of the fleet. This facilitates cross decking of technicians and exchange of parts if required underway providing force flexibility, and improving the readiness of the force. Guided projectiles are coming in a variety of capabilities in the future providing some exciting options in ASuW and NGFS
        operations. If the smaller General Atomics Railgun matures in time, then it will replace the 5’ gun forward.
        AVIATION:
        The aviation detachment will employ the MH-60R providing
        tremendous air support in all surface and subsurface warfare areas. Upgrading this helo with the Lockheed Martin Vigilance 360⁰ detection and tracking system, sharing data with the battle force via the point-to-point data-link, could extend the horizon for aircraft and missile detection on the threat sector adding additional OTH detection, tracking, and targeting capability. The F-35’s AN/APG-81 derived AESA radar provides fire control tracking and can get
        the SM-6 headed in the right direction, and provides terminal guidance to the target. This platform should be integrated into the NIFC-CA system as an ASCM detection/engagement platform and a communication relay. These helos will operate at greater altitudes from time to time and can defend themselves with missiles from the parent vessel.
        Boating operations:
        The Long Range Prosecutor (LRP) and/or Short Range Interceptor (SRI) boats provide fast boat platforms with significant range to
        use in coordinated operations. Mission requirements may require two LRPs. This advanced boat capability mirrors that of the USCG National Security Cutters and enhances boarding operations, plane
        guard, and operations in port and near the littorals. Commonality of boating platforms with the US Coast Guard will reduce costs long term, though the equipment on the US Navy versions may be somewhat different.
        Hull, Mechanical and Engineering Spaces
        This platform will have HED on-shaft COGAG engineering systems. The GTGs will be in the 10 megawatt class needed for the ship’s power, particularly to drive energy hungry advanced weapons systems. The GTGs should be located to provide an option of directly feeding DE weapons ‘energy storage devices’ if required. This propulsion system supports ships power requirements and provides diverse and redundant propulsion systems for this surface combatant.
        The on-shaft Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) concept provides
        propulsion redundancy with direct propulsion through the use of quiet electric motors for ASW operations and station keeping at slower speeds, or driven by the Prime Movers (De-rated LM2500+G4s) when speed is required. The on-shaft HED motors can generate additional megawatts for the combat system when the ship is powered by the Prime Mover which supplements the GTGs. Three GTGs provide redundancy in power to ships Systems, and power for propulsion at slower cruise speeds, and power to the weapon systems. One GTG is in, or near, engineering spaces, with the other two as close to the DEWs as possible.

        Energy management and distribution will be an Integrated Power System (IFTPS) with control cabinets located as necessary to provide redundant electrical power transmission and control paths down both sides of the ship, and feeding the DE weapons. Primary electrical power comes via one of the three GTGs. Two of the GTGs are located so they can be configured to directly feed the cabinets driving the directed energy weapons, and the third
        in the engineering spaces to support ships power and main machinery requirements. However, any GTG could support entire ship power requirements via the IFTPS.
        CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS
        An emphasis on passive detection and tracking systems is pursued is the design intent of this platform. This provides unique
        capabilities that facilitate this vessels employment in multiple
        environments. Should hostilities arise and a nuclear weapon is detonated, the atmosphere can be saturated with ionizing energy. The IR/EO detection, tracking & targeting suite will become more important combat system elements with which to defend themselves. Robust passive detection/tracking/fire control
        operations in an Emissions Control (EMCON) environment is paramount.
        The primary sensor will provide detection for space (TBMs coming over horizon to 500-1,000nm triggered by tippers), air targets (air breathing anti-ship cruise missiles, other air vehicles and projectiles), surface targets (all moving targets in or extending up from the water’s surface), and land targets (including GMTI) when close enough to the beach. The antenna will provide many more functions in the future. Very sensitive wideband receivers with appropriate processors will perform electronic warfare detection due to the size and sensitivity of the wideband receiver array.
        Truncation of one helo hangar provides additional magazine
        capacity for Mk 57/Mk41 VLS cells along the aft lines of the vessel. The Integrated Air & Missile Defense capability of the AMDR radar provides the TBMD capability. As the larger Mid-course Capable SM-3 Blk IIAs begin to populate the VLS magazines of the more capable cruisers and destroyers, greater populations of the SM-3 Blk-IAs can be placed on the new TBMD capable FFGs. Sufficient quantities of SM-6 will be available for battle force use, and the Super ASROC will happen, or not. Perhaps additional
        surface-to-surface or even land attack missiles could be added in the future providing additional tasking diversity for the platform. However, the primary missiles carried in the waist will be AAW weapons (SM-2ER BlkIII) in the inboard rows (long cells) and ESSM in the outboard rows (short cells). Every cell location should be able to accommodate the weapon of choice. Otherwise, augmented ESSM accommodation can be provided. Every battle force commander will want to have one of these vessels close to the threat vector out on the edge of the formation (Scout-Skirmisher).

        This vessel will have a gun that can take advantage of the new guided projectiles. Today’s platforms operate in a more interconnected combat space. Conducting engagements is a net-centric team activity. In the future ‘donating a weapon’ and having nothing to do with terminal guidance, will become more and more a key capability, as magazines near the action are depleted. The US Navy will be in the lead for this capability. A demonstration of this capability should occur in every exercise involving SM-6 capable assets and guided 5’ rounds. When the new FFG’s magazines are empty, she still have Directed Energy to call upon.
        life cycle support
        Most of the system elements on this platform have their own support programs and will support this program as well. However, there are several unique items that will require Land Based Test Sites. Propulsion is one case in point. The integrated combat system will require a Combat Systems Engineering
        Development Site of its own as well. The Railgun will piggyback on the same program that supports other platforms.
        Conclusion
        The cruisers and destroyers are moving to Ballistic Missile Defense tasking and will stretch the US Navy’s ability to provide escort,
        battle group defense, and amphibious landing operations with platforms for our challenges that will soon come in the Pacific. Redundancies, diverse combat capability, small and fast all ocean sea-frames, at a reasonable cost, is accomplished with this
        vessel. Operational costs savings come long term with logistical support and training that is common with the rest of the fleet. Using the block buy technique for major components, competing two shipyards, as in the DDG-51 Program, these Aegis FFGs will cost about a $1 Billion each with greater efficiencies gained via the competition in construction. We will be able to buy two of these
        smaller combatants for the cost of one DDG-51. This vessel will make a great “Plane Guard” for the Carrier Strike Groups CSGs), and escort to Amphibious Ready Groups (ARGs), as well as a
        ‘Show the Flag’ independent steamer. The crew will be able to defend themselves, and project power if called upon to do
        so. This is not a small combatant platform looking for a mission. This is the vessel every battle force commander wants at least two or three of in his formation.

        • Frank Langham

          While I am all for more and smaller and faster and cheaper platforms, I have to say, THAT is the only part of this (your) post that I can agree with …
          To be as respectful as possible, I can say that a ship of that size is not capable of carrying even half (or a third) of all that you propose to install (including that many personnel). … I was around when the OLIVER HAZARD PERRY frigates were new (as well as SPRUANCE class DDs) … The electrical generation alone is prohibitive (even with fancy multiplexing and even using the main turbines, which is not advisable in battle). … And, the MARK-41 (strike) VLS launchers (which must be vertically oriented) are over 25 feet tall … (So much for a littoral draft) … And, the full sensor and weapons suite, is not feasible (or even close to it) for a great many reasons … I will itemize SOME of the limitations … Just the sheer weight of these systems and their control-and-display consoles and their power supplies is prohibitive, given that even the larger Burke superstructures (and large hulls) are “problematically” top heavy, as it is (as they are, rather). … PERSONNEL … ALL of the systems you want to CRAM into a tiny FF form-factor require specially trained (6 months of schools, or more) technicians and they all need racks and food and showers AND PAY AND BENEFITS (dependents, etc.) !! … The LASERS and the RAILS are expensive and they require huge pulses of peak power .. One of each MIGHT be doable, with power-sharing (and super-capacitive charge-storage). … NO … I am ALL FOR LOTS OF FFs (absolutely) but they need to be very nimble and inexpensive and an 8-CELL TACTICAL-LENGTH VLS system, a 4-pack of harpoons, a 5-inch gun and enough sensors and comms to allow coordinated battle-management … A mission fan-tail and a single-bird hangar (modular mission) bay … MAYBE a single torpedo tube … DONE ! … That way, you can maintain a shallow draft and a small crew (without over-working and over-crowding and replenishment issues). … We just need to be able to launch specialized cruise ordnance and UAVs and coordinated strike ordnance. As far as CIDS goes ? … Hmmm … I would shop around our NATO allies for a smallish and affordable CIDS. … I would want to be able to build and operate 9 FFs for the cost of 3 combatant Burkes or it probably would not be worth it. … Just my take (with what I know).

        • Frank Langham

          You would have a VERY difficult time outfitting a DDG-51 with ALL those systems and all of the techs that are required … Trying to cram all of that (required) battle-group escort (AAW) capability, AND deal with surface swarms, as well ?? … Only a Burke can handle the “closer-in” defense … Frigates CAN take the ASW and the surface swarms on, with their speed, agility and numbers. …
          I am not seeing the FFs as being primary air-defense escorts, obviously …
          That takes a DDG-51 … I do see the FFs replacing LCS.
          The FFs can certainly out-perform the DDG-51 in ASW and Littoral Patrol and as a forward sensor and launch platform (tip of the spear) … And to mix it up with fast-missile boats (as Iran employs) … China is also building LOTS of coastal patrol vessels. … Those vessels are capable of regional reach and interdiction … We need CHEAP and FAST frigates with teeth but no need to go hog-wild and over-stuff them with too much junk and too many “kids”.
          … We should look at IRAN AND CHINA, for our design cues … We need to match THOSE threats … Faster, Cheaper, Better.

          • Curtis Conway

            The DDG-51 already has most of these systems installed, with little room to spare. The space, weight, cooling & power savings with a 9-module AMDR Lite alone will make the space for most of the new Directed Energy weapons, and the EO/IR is mostly cableways and external mounted equipment as on an aircraft. Most of the missiles are ESSM. The fly in the ointment is the Radar Suite Controller coupled with the Multi-function Processor. CIC and consoles will fit in the new Mack as described. All the other systems have a known foot print. We can get it in a NSC, but it will be tight.

          • Frank Langham

            I have been going over the specs for the NSC … Very sweet ride! … If you say that you KNOW you can make “all of that” fit and have enough power and cooling without weight distribution issues, then, I defer to your obviously superior expertise … BUT … I crewed on a Spruance DD and frequently visited FFG-7 (Perry) class frigates (almost the exact same size as the NSC) … To put it bluntly, these ships were over-stuffed and under-crewed … The officers were wearing too many hats and the enlisted were hot-racking back in HELO Berthing … LONG, HARD HOURS ! … I really do believe that having too many systems and not enough racks (bunks) created real, operational DEFICIENCIES, regarding readiness and morale … The longer and more demanding the mission, the more “sore” these issues became. … Crew requirements ARE an important limiting design factor !! .. REAL LIFE … What is working on a packed NSC going to be like ? … One thing is for sure, no FFG (or NSC) is going to have a deep enough magazine to deal with a protracted AAW swarm engagement, as our CVN “groups” are likely to face. … A low profile arsenal barge (that can keep up with the CVN) makes sense. … Just load it up with VLS cells.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Ship’s complement has been reduced 123 (14 Ofc./99 Enl.) plus 10 Aircrew from the original 166 crew complement…

          • Curtis Conway

            I was PRECOM Tico. I hear you, and agree with the assessment of the Fig-7s. Visited them many times, mostly to beg supplies. Toured more than one, and steamed with them in company more than once, and they filled their AAW station with the Mk13 just fine. I can imagine what the VLS upgrade would have looked like. If you think the frigate crew was overworked, think about the 44 LCS souls struggling with their PMS schedule and trying to get some rest, forget about GQ. Who ever dreamed that system up is nuts, and NOT taking care of their people. The NSC is not overstuffed. The platform can be modified, but it will be a shoe-horn job. The redesign just to fit an SQS-53 on the front will be an engineering effort in and of itself. Re-plumbing for waist VLS is another significant engineering effort. The specific electric motor described does not exist in this specific configuration at this point, but DRS and others can make it in short order. The LBTS testing will take time. Directed Energy Weapons is the compelling part of this argument. Reloads is electricity and time. Efficiently packaging the power generation (GTGs), distribution and storage is another significant engineering effort. Two GTGs instead of three may be required due to space limitations.

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  • Rick Bennett

    The idea that a system built to give some assurance that missteps in a nuclear-capable adversary’s tentative probing around whether to cross that threshold from laying waste to parts of America will morph into a shield for Allies anywhere in the world has to be the largest example of mission creep ever seen.

    • Secundius

      @ Rick Bennett.

      Is this in respond’s to Russia’s, Formal Threat to Denmark of Nuclear Annihilation of the Danish Fleet. If the decide to Sign-In too NATO’s Anti-Missile Defense System…

      • Frank Langham

        They are also threatening (neutral) Sweden for coordinating and standardizing their own (mutual) air-defense protocols and procedures, with their immediate neighbors. Purely sick bully tactics. … Russia has abandoned any semblance of international law, fairness, or cooperation (civility and decency). … They are simply a nuclear mafia, run by one egomaniacal despot, who is (unabashedly) employing nuclear extortion and obstructionism in order to secure fully selfish and one-sided goals (regional expansion and control by force).

        • Secundius

          @ Frank Langham.

          All Putin wants to do is “Warsawfy” the NATO Alliance in His Image, with Him as Alpha Dog. Fortunately NATO’s not that Stupid, and neither is Sweden and Finland…

    • J_kies

      Marketing vice actual strategy got us here; the guys building BMD assets would like you to believe they have some value outside of the low probability high intensity conflict.

      Realistically; BMD is to allow the US President less catastrophic decisions than whether or not to nuke a nation dumb or unlucky enough to launch WMD at us via ballistic missiles. Our service chiefs would like to revisit the balance of where we spend money with deterrence in mind.

      • Frank Langham

        Not so. … The true fact is that our budget and our production capacity cannot keep up with the VERY REAL and VERY NOW demand by theater commanders. Directed energy and kinetic (rail) are definitely being considered as integrated components that will (to quote) “Keep the birds on the rails” but it is ludicrous to propose that there is not (or will not be) an ongoing and voluminous demand to fill tubes and to upgrade and expand the sensor and compute grid. … Yes … The entire system IS scalable, in terms of spending, but REAL demand is out-stripping the budget, now and for the foreseeable future.

        • J_kies

          Mr Not relevant; the Chinese are openly assessed to have upwards of 1100 missiles ranging Taiwan and localities. No production schedule delivers more than 1/2 of that inventory count world-wide including all SM3 variants and THAAD before 2020. The service Chiefs are correct in looking beyond active BMD for options. Fantasies of lasers and rail-guns aren’t helpful for the next 20 years regardless of how much money you want to waste.

          • Frank Langham

            Just as a side-note … A thought …
            Taiwan would be an ideal test-bed for some derivative iteration (descendant) of JLENS (or other stratospheric parallax sensors). … Stratospheric aerostats would probably be the first to go, in a fur-ball, but those first minutes are important, if not decisive, and passive or active DECOY Aerostats would be inexpensive and could be moved around (SHELL GAMED).
            – Just a thought. –

    • Frank Langham

      AEGIS/PACx/THAAD (plus ARROW and David’s Sling) have “grown up” and evolved and expanded as a NATURAL and OBVIOUS (and necessary) quiver of options for POINT DEFENSE of theater assets. … The fact that it is all being “rolled” into AEGIS Battle Compute is also VERY natural, in terms of design capability and moving CIDS (Phalanx, etc.) and AEGIS (coordinated BMW and AAW) ASHORE, is another obvious no-brainer (which has been very successful) IN live-fire combat zones, ashore. Bottom line ? … All countries have a right to defend sovereign airspace by whatever means, including voluntary, cooperative engagement (which Russia was invited to join, but not as an equal).

  • John King

    Problem here is that missile defense is a LOCAL issue. If Europe needs it, is should be bought in bulk as a ground based system. And id they need some mobility, they can put MDA systems on THEIR ships, freeing up U.S. Navy to be the mobile capability it needs to be, protecting America. So, why are our BMD ships in Spain? To protect Europe against a Russian or Chinese invasion from Africa? We really need to stop some of this military overreach. Sometimes cutting the budget IS the right thing to do.

    • Secundius

      @ John King.

      It depends on how you define “Local”. The United States is a NATO Member, and Most of Europe are NATO Members. And as I recall NATO has been in the BMD “Loop” since at least 2002…

      • Frank Langham

        And it is not just BMD (obviously) … AEGIS Coordinated Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) capabilities are a no-brainer (especially considering that Russia is exporting their S300 & S400 systems and moving ISKANDER missiles into aggressively offensive positions and not to mention Russia’s frequent, strategic challenges to NATO airspace.

    • Frank Langham

      Yes but there is really no way to de-couple NATO defense from North American Homeland defense … The fact is that the USA is in a uniquely capable position to QUICKLY (with frantic fervor) ramp up and coordinate production, TESTING, and training (for this quickly evolving set of modalities) … Our PARTNERS (NATO + Pals) can also provide basing, support, money, personnel (including admin and security) and, yes, naval platforms (which IS happening) and other forms of payment and barter (depending on strengths, wealth, location (positioning) and “ability”). … Japan has built and shall build a “bunch” of DD platforms and they have provided vital technical contributions (to put it mildly). … Japan may even start manufacturing AEGIS Coordinated Ordnance. … South Korea is still considering (shaky, though) and Turkey seems to be a likely fail (wishy-washy) … Eastern Europe is cash-poor but they have prime real-estate and affordable man-power. … England and France need to step up their funding and be more generous and committed, in general. … Germany is strong and they are in a unique position to be of more help. The Nordic countries (neutral Sweden, in particular) need to decide where they stand (but they ARE very vulnerable). … INDIA has been showing great potential, as being a closer partner (with NATO and The West). … The Philippines are also becoming more helpful and friendly. … So … there are LOTS of jobs and contracts to go around … The ancillary benefits of basing … And, just plain protection, in trade for safe harbors and replenishment, etc. … Right ?

  • Frank Langham

    Multi-Year (discount) funding is a “no brainer” as, even with emerging alternatives (kinetic and energy), we will NEVER have enough SMx missiles, in the tubes, or available for ready replenishment. … A single swarm attack can fully deplete a launch platform. …
    Another way to save money and to assure that an AEGIS COORDINATED BEST SHOOTER is always on-hand is to FULLY expand the THEATER AIRBORNE MISSILE AND SENSOR TRUCK modality … i.e. SM6 and **OTHER** AEGIS COORDINATED AIRBORNE ARSENAL ORDNANCE. … It REALLY matters WHICH airborne platform is chosen … I would recommend the modified commercial (BOENG 7×7) and C-130 HERC+ because the operational costs (per hour) of C-17s and C-5s are so high (but C-5 if we MUST choose). … Finally, into the next decade, UNMANNED AIRBORNE MISSILE TRUCKS (loitering best-shooters) which are SEA-BASE (even LHD/LHA) capable would be ideal, in terms of cost, flexibility and survivability (not to mention persistent readiness).

  • Secundius

    There are three-different versions of the Mk. 41 VLS, in thirteen-different configurations. With 8-cell (one module) being the “smallest” and 128-cell (sixteen modules) being the largest. They are:
    1. Strike Version, ~25-feet deep.
    2. Tactical Version, ~22-feet deep.
    3. Self-Defense, ~17-feet deep.

    Freedom, can handle Self-Defense version. Also worth noting, Freedom is to be equipped with the M501 NLOS (Non-Line-Of-Sight) Missile Launch System. In three Box Launchers of fifteen missiles each. ~117# in weight, 5-feet long and 7-inches in diameter with a range of ~25sm.
    Independence, Self-Defense & Tactical versions…

  • Secundius

    FYI.

    The Russians have just place an order for thirty-two Kamov Ka-52K’s, navalized (tandem-seat Ka-50 Alligator’s) for possible (more likely, than possible) deployment on those two French built Mistral class Gator-Freighters…

  • Secundius

    FYI:

    According to DID (Defense Industry Daily), Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jon Greenert. What to increase BMD assets to 77 units. Three possible BMD/Arsenal Ship’s based on the San Antonia class LPD’s. Might be called the Louisiana class…

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