Home » Aviation » Global Guided Missile Expansion Forcing U.S. Navy to Rethink Surface Fleet Size


Global Guided Missile Expansion Forcing U.S. Navy to Rethink Surface Fleet Size

USS Roosevelt (DDG-80) left,the guided missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) on Feb. 19, 2014. US Navy Photo

USS Roosevelt (DDG-80) left,the guided missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) on Feb. 19, 2014. US Navy Photo

Rapid growth in the capability and quality of guided missiles — mostly Chinese in origin — is causing the U.S. Navy to rethink the number of surface ships it needs to effectively fight a high-end war.

Early estimates based on ongoing war games could mean the current number of 88 large surface combatants — the Navy’s fleet of guided missile destroyers and cruisers — needs to grow to more than a hundred into the 2020s just to keep to today’s current level of risk, USNI News has learned.

However, increasing a fleet of multi-billion dollar ships by almost 25 percent is highly unlikely given declining U.S. military budgets current funding restrictions and the wind-down from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Additionally, short-term budget decisions made by the Navy to trim spending over the next five years will leave a significant portion of its destroyer fleet less capable than initially planned. Planned upgrades that would allow destroyers to fight ballistic missiles and aircraft at the same time have been scaled back in some cases, requiring two less capable ships to do the mission of one upgraded destroyer.

Added to the increasing threat picture is a persistent lack of offensive anti-surface power on the current crop of destroyers, which either rely on aging anti-ship missiles or lack the capability altogether — leaving the current carrier strike groups reliant on its air wing for its offensive punch.

The Threat

Popular attention to the Chinese anti-surface threat has been directed at the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) — the so-called “carrier killer.”

While the DF-21D could be an effective weapon against an unprepared surface ship, the U.S. Navy has a high probability of destroying the weapon or otherwise disrupting it from reaching its final target, experts have told USNI News.

Garnering less attention is the rapid expansion of a family of anti-surface cruise missiles (ASCM) that has occurred since the Navy underwent its 2012 Force Structure Assessment (FSA), which produced the 88-hull requirement for large surface combatants.

In the last several years, China has invested in rapidly expanding its anti-surface cruise missile (ASCM) stockpiles with an emphasis on anti-surface warfare (ASUW), according to a report on the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) capabilities released this month by the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).

For example, more than half of China’s submarines already can fire anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM) while submerged, according to the report.

“I’d be more worried about the many dozens of cruise missiles you could have launched at you from nearby submarines and ships than I would about the dozen anti-ship ballistic missiles that might get launched at you,” Bryan Clark, a retired Navy officer, the former special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and now a senior fellow at CSBA, told USNI News earlier this month.

Of particular concern is the YJ-18 — a super sonic cruise missile that could be launched from a Chinese Luyang III Type-54D guided missile destroyer or a PLAN attack submarine.

A screen shot of a YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) from China's state controlled CCTV. CCTV Image

A screen shot of a YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) from China’s state controlled CCTV. CCTV Image

The YJ-18 and other attack missiles developed in the last few years are expressions of China’s expansion beyond a military conflict based around an amphibious invasion of Taiwan to asserting its claims in the East and South China seas.

“China now has advanced supersonic ASCM deployed on subsurface, surface and air platforms,” China watcher and academic Andrew Erickson told USNI News earlier this month.
“This is a major contribution to an already thickly-layered set of Chinese capabilities designed to demonstrate ability to prevail in regional military competition over disputed island and maritime claims while deterring — and if necessary countering — U.S. military intervention by sharply raising its potential cost.”

But the threat isn’t focused solely on China. Concerns have also been raised about Russia continuing to sell high-end anti-air warfare (AAW) weapons to Iran, some details of which have been revealed in the last several weeks.

Force Structure Assumptions

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112) transits the Philippine Sea on March 18, 2015. US Navy Photo

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112) transits the Philippine Sea on March 18, 2015. US Navy Photo

For the U.S. Navy, the expansion of the global guided cruise missile capability has rendered key assumptions of the Fiscal Year 2012 force structure assessment (FSA) unrealistic — particularly around the numbers service’s fleet of guided missile cruisers and destroyers (CRUDES), USNI News has learned.

The FSA called for a total of 88 large surface combatants — the Navy’s generic reference to its CRUDES forces. In the event of a major high-end military conflict, the FSA theorized that number of large surface combatants would be adequate to provide long-range land strike and protection of high-value assets, like a nuclear carrier or a three-ship amphibious ready group (ARG), while at the same time leaving enough margin to handle other contingencies around the world.

Those assumptions were based on assigning five large surface combatants to each carrier strike group (CSG).

Those ships would be responsible for finding enemy submarines, tracking enemy surface ships, handling the air warfare protection for the carrier and tracking and destroying enemy ballistic missile threats.

However, with the plethora of new threats, the Navy is quietly mounting a new examination into the requirement for large surface combatants as part of the budget process for Fiscal Year 2017 — currently through a series of wargames.

The early analysis — USNI News understands — points to a number of cruisers and destroyers of more than 100 and an potential expansion of the CSG from five guided missile ships to seven or eight.

The reason is, the Navy’s 2012 assumptions for a high-end war in the Western Pacific were based on a smaller numbers of less capable cruise weapons and ballistic missiles coming from fewer launching sites.

Those assumptions gave the CSG a narrower band in which it had to defend against attacks.

But as more and more-lethal guided weapons are becoming available globally, as well as platforms that could deploy them, the threat axis expands further around the strike group and requires more sensors and weapons to counter the missile threats — now not just from enemy installations on shore or fighters, but also from high speed guided weapons from surface ships and submarines, as indicated by the recent ONI assessment.

In addition, decisions to leave the two emerging Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) variants without a significant AAW capability also stresses the cruiser and destroyer fleets, since the LCS could not then help protect non-combatant ships like oilers and logistics ships in an escort role, Clark said.

“We built a force structure assessment that captures the requirements to protect aircraft carriers and amphibious ready groups, and to do ballistic missile defense, and we kind of looked at LCS as a ship that would be able to do some of these escort missions for other forces,” he said.
“What that leads to in a new force structure assessment is, we’re going to need to capture what that requirement is if LCS and the follow-on frigate are not going to have the ability to protect other ships in an air defense role. What does that mean for our large surface combatant force structure if I’m having to use them to escort any other ships that are not going to be under the protection of the strike group?”

Not All Destroyers Will Be Equal

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG-90). Chafee's combat system will not be modernized as part of the Fiscal Year 2016 budget decision. US Navy Photo

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG-90). Chafee’s combat system will not be modernized as part of the Fiscal Year 2016 budget decision. US Navy Photo

While the Navy’s 2012 large surface combatant assumptions are being challenged by more threats, the service has made decisions that will leave current ships in the fleet less capable than initially planned.

Last year, USNI News reported the service would only partially modernize the Aegis combat system for the Flight I and Flight II Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyers (DDG-51), declining to upgrade the combat system to a new standard based on modern platforms and upgrading from 1980s-era computers.

The Baseline 9 standard upgrade to Aegis would allow the ships to simultaneously conduct BMD missions as well as anti-air warfare (AAW) missions in a scheme called Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD).

The Navy further downscaled their IAMD ambitions by declining to include Baseline 9 upgrades to a large swath of its most modern Flight IIA Burkes as part of a $500 million cut in modernization over the next five years.

The service elected not to modernize the combat system of five Burkes in the period, and nine over the course of ten years, Lockheed Martin officials told reporters earlier this month.

A slide from Lockheed Martin's presentation on Aegis modernization illustrating the cuts to combat system modernizations. Lockheed Martin Image

A slide from Lockheed Martin’s presentation on Aegis modernization illustrating the cuts to combat system modernizations. Lockheed Martin Image

“There’s nine ships now that were supposed get a robust mid-life combat system modernization upgrade and they’re not now,” said Jim Sheridan, Director of AEGIS development for Lockheed Martin.
“The way I’ve observed the Navy balance its book is by reducing the number of modernizations they do. I can tell you back in the day, you had like four or five ships getting modernized in a given year, and that’s not the case any more. We’re lucky if you get one, maybe two.”

USNI News understands the reduction in combat systems modernization will require more ships in a CSG to perform all the missions required. While a Baseline 9 Burke can simultaneously handle a BMD and AAW mission, the service would need two non-upgraded DDGs to handle the requirements of one Baseline 9 ship.

With only two new-construction DDGs a year set to enter the fleet for the foreseeable future — according to the Navy’s most recent long range shipbuilding plan — the lack of upgrades to older Aegis ships would prompt a CSG or ARG to add more DDGs and leave fewer ships to execute the high-demand BMD mission in other regions.

Estimates fluctuate, but the demand for BMD ships from U.S. combatant commanders (COCOMs) could be as high as 70 ships — up from the current total of 33.

“Today we can’t meet a lot of what [COCOMs are] asking for because that force structure is so strained,” said Rear Adm. Jon Hill, Naval Sea Systems Command’s (NAVSEA) Program Executive Officer, Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) last week addressing a general question from a reporter on BMD demand.
“As the budget comes down and modernization moves to the right, that means we’re not taking ships and putting in the latest capability quickly. And if we reduce the numbers of ships in new construction, those curves are never going to meet… It’s a tough place to be.”

CNO Greenert addressed the modernization decision in March to reporters.

“When I bring the budget to the Secretary [of the Navy] and say ‘Here are the mandates. You saw the priorities’ and then you get to modernization and asymmetric capability and say ‘Here’s where we stand versus the other important matters that we need, I recommend that we’re going to have to defer these modernizations’ and that’s when the ballistic missile defense modernization came out,” he said.

Next Steps

Tomahawk cruise missile launched from a MK 41 VLS tube on the USS Farragut (DDG-99) US Navy Photo

Tomahawk cruise missile launched from a MK 41 VLS tube on the USS Farragut (DDG-99) US Navy Photo

With threats multiplying, U.S. Navy force structure likely to remain static and modernizations delayed or canceled, the service now is set to make hard choices on how it will handle threats to its fleet, CSBA’s Clark said.

“If you’re going to put the carrier into harm’s way, if it’s going to operate within cruise missile range of an adversary’s coast, then it’s going to be really hard to have enough capacity to defend against all the threats against the carrier,” he said.
“The problem is that if someone is going to shoot ballistic missiles at your carrier, they’re going to shoot a lot more things at it as well. Both air and surface launched.”

Clark said the Navy’s estimates from the 2012 FSA were already probably too low to protect the carrier from a well-armed adversary, and unless key ways the Navy fights its ships are changed, more large surface combatants might not be the answer.

“I don’t know if five or six cruisers or destroyers are going to make that big of a difference,” he said.
“I’m not sure if that changes the composition of the strike group because they were already operating at risk. How you deal with that is, operate those aircraft carriers in places where the threat is commensurate with your defensive capacity you have.”

In November, Clark released a paper through CSBA with suggestions on changes on how the U.S. surface navy fights.

He advocated for more offensive power in surface ships by freeing up some space in large surface combatants used by long-range AAW and BMD Standard Missiles (SM) in their vertical launch cells.

“The five or six [BMD] SM-3s you bring to shoot down ballistic missiles are not going to be the thing that makes difference and you maybe better off using terminal defense weapons against ballistic missile that get shot you,” Clark said.

In turn, surface ships would rely on more and cheaper shorter-range weapons to deal with incoming air and cruise missile threats. For example the space one long range AAW Standard Missile takes in a VLS cell could accommodate four medium range RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missiles (ESSM).

“The weapon numbers that are not high enough to fight a conflict with any of these countries. The weapons are too hard to build, to build them rapidly. The surface navy needs to look at air defense to be shorter range and new weapons that are smaller and multi-mission capable,” he said.

In part, Clark’s thesis lines up with the surface Navy’s push to maximize the offensive power in the entire surface fleet, dubbed “distributed lethality.”

Announced in January, the concept would rapidly expand high-end surface power — largely overlooked in the last 15 years when the surface fleet was mostly tasked with BMD and land strike for conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

“Distributed lethality is taking the budget that we have and making everything out there that floats more lethal. Making the trades that we need to make and making the surface navy of the next ten years, or 20 years the most lethal we can,” Rear Adm. Peter Fanta said on Tuesday at the Surface Navy Association 2015 symposium.

“[I want to] make every cruiser, destroyer, [amphibious warships], [Littoral Combat Ship], [logistics ship] a thorn in somebody else’s side.”

USNI News understands if the Navy is able to act more offensively and plan around quickly eliminating threats, it maybe able to get by with less surface ships in a high-end conflict through the attrition of enemy forces.

To that end, the Navy is moving swiftly to acquire a new crop of anti-surface missiles to replace the decades-old Harpoons the service currently uses for the ASM mission.

Still, with an annual budget outlook of about $16 billion a year for new shipbuilding, two new-build destroyers a year, reduced destroyer modernizations and the looming cost of the $100 billion Ohio Replacement nuclear ballistic missile submarine program taxing the Navy’s procurement budget — the options for expanding the surface fleet and their punch are increasingly limited.

  • Curtis Conway

    If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 100 times, the United States Navy needs 50 multi-warfare Aegis Guided Missile Frigates that have a baseline capability of Theater Ballistic Missile Defense, and be strong in ASW, and ASuW operations.

    The US Navy should also look at developing and fielding Light Carrier Battle Groups built around USS America (LHA-6) platforms employing a composite wing of USMC F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters, and V-22 Ospreys.The pressurized version of the V-22 should be developed to make the COD mission safer (fly over weather), and provide the platform for the EV-22 AEW&C Osprey. Additionally the KC-3A Super
    Viking should be developed via a fast prototyping effort. We still have time to facilitate rapid and long range COD capability that can carry the F-135 engine and its follow-on.

    • Dan

      I believe updating our destroyers to be all they can be is also a great option. I agree the America class should be rethought.

      • Curtis Conway

        Dan, when you look at the ‘PB16 DDGM Fielding Profile’ chart, one wonders what priorities these folks are using. We will have destroyers who will have great engineering systems, that cannot defend themselves, or their charges, in all areas at all times. What a mindset.

    • Secundius

      @ Curtis Conway.

      US-3B Viking’s are being adapted this wing mounted pods to carry complete F-135 engines inside the pods, instead of inside the fuselage. As for the MV-22C COD’s, special Pressurized Pallet Modules must be used. Because “Wing-Folding” system prevents Pressurization because of “Out-Gasing” seal breaks around the “Wing-Root”…

      • Curtis Conway

        Your a champion. Thanks for the info. The US-3B solution is quick, easy and a solution that can be fit in the budget. The internal space will be preserved for seats and palletized cargo for long range and faster resupply in the Pacific.

        Pressurized Palletized systems in the bowels of a transport is not a new thing to the US Military. That module may fit in a US-3B too.

        The outer wing pylon is going to half to hold two tons to perform this function. The F-135 engine is:
        Length: 220 in (559 cm)
        Diameter: 46 in (117 cm)[41]
        Dry weight: 3,750 lbs (1,701 kg) (Wiki)

        • Secundius

          @ Curtis Conway.

          It caught me by surprise too, I knew she could carry Ordnance on her Two Wing Pylons. But almost 5,000-pounds per Pylon, I thought was a Stretch, or at the very least a Joke. But reading is believing.

          What Doolittle, could have done, if he had these. Instead of the Mitchell’s…

          • Curtis Conway

            A Harpoon with its launching rack weigh about a ton.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            I might be mistaken, but wasn’t the Cargo Pod mounted directly to the Vertical Pylon and not to a supporting Armature…

          • Curtis Conway

            reference ?

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            Foxtrot Alpha . jalo nnik, Breaking Defense, DoD Buzz, Armed-Services…

  • KenPrescott

    China’s dumb enough to think this is actually a winning play for them.

    When we unwind Bretton Woods, China’s going to discover that the First Island Chain nations are going to be a LOT harder to deal with without Uncle Sugar’s choke chains on them.

  • Marjus Plaku

    The problem is two-fold. First we do not have enough surface combatants to meet our obligations and demands in worldwide theater operations and contingencies. This is problematic because without such an overpowering presence you reduce the level of deterrence and therefore the threshold for war.
    This brings us to our second problem, which is the ability to fight through the initial attack, survive with enough intact to take the fight to the enemy and eventually press on. The Mahanian principle of decisive engagements is very much at play, even a Pearl Harbor scenario all over again. New ships take years to construct, now imagine crippled shipyards, and half the surface fleet sunk or damaged in various confrontations during the initial week or so of conflict. What will be left to protect the approaches to the homeland and also win an attrition war far from home?
    It is impossible to mobilize quickly with our consumer economy, and yet we keep having fewer and fewer forces every year it seems. The fact of the matter is this is the smallest Navy since almost WWI. Almost half of what we had even 20 years ago.
    And enemies are building and building, as best as they can.

    • Curtis Conway

      The nations mindset looks just like before WWI and WWII.

  • Frank Langham

    Just musing, off the cuff, here (indulge if you will). …
    While I like the idea of distributed lethality I do NOT agree with a BLANKET approach. “Distributed Lethality” sounds real cool and there IS merit in the concept but we should not go “All Rumsfeld” with this notion. … The high ground is a SUPERIOR C4SR that is unassailable (or, at least, not vulnerable) and Longer Range Global and Theater Strike capability (a full quiver of pain that can strike fast and far) … If I had my druthers, I would keep my larger assets to the rear, in well supplied and well defended SEA BASE “rally zones”, while allocating new construction to MANY more blue-water *FAST* frigates (National Security Cutter type hulls) and a very high degree of shipboard automation (MOSTLY-autonomous), with a very small crew and lots of offensive weapons (Hyper Velocity ASCMs, etc.) … And, as many fast-attack subs (and/or submersible patrol-and-attack drones) as the budget will allow. …
    I would assign an interim RALLY POINT (SEA BASE), maybe half way between PEARL and TAIWAN (possibly closer to Taiwan). This “RALLY ZONE” would be intensely defended and fairly sprawling, to keep target density as low as is practical. … The center-point of the rally zone would be moved 20 miles, to-and-fro, at random vectors and random intervals, to minimize the effectiveness of a nuclear strike … (“random floating coordinates” within a larger, AO).
    … But OBSERVE IRAN’s surface warfare modalities … Lots and lots of very small and very fast missile “patrol and attack” boats which are able to swarm and scatter in a most nimble fashion … Many small, fast, cheap launch platforms, each of which can function independently OR as a NODE OF A FLUID SWARM. So … Small and fast INEXPENSIVE platforms which are just large enough to support and manage AEGIS/AMDR (type) sensors and function as a DDG-1000 compatible battle-compute (node) in the net-centric battle-space. A potent “best shooter” which is difficult to track and target and which can swarm or undertake independent stealth missions.

    Imagine (please?) a ship-sized, EXTENDED-endurance, USV that is about 160~420 feet long with a draft of no more than ~20 feet (MK-41 Tactical Height VLS) or even RAISE the MK-41 tubes 48″ above deck to reduce the draft. … Now, put one dozen (plus one) deck apes on board (to cover DC, Fire-Fighting, Replenishment and reloading and to assist technicians, and to stand ASCM “Vampire” deck watches) … and assign one dozen officers, plus a Captain and XO, (to handle weapons and to satisfy maritime and C4 requirements) and just one dozen enlisted technicians (to handle reduced PMS and systems testing, and repair). … So … You have a total crew of less than 50 (including any mission specialists or pilot hosting) … Essentially a SHIP-SIZED USV (with direct, human maintenance and oversight) … This satisfies maritime requirements for watches and for casualty navigation and channel and canal navigation … Deck watches are needed for visual spotting of incoming ASCM and “torpedo” threats (Activate CIDS) … Most all CIC and C4 (over the horizon targets and threats) will come from a remote command ship or aircraft (Like a P-8) while the reduced crew of the Fast Frigate (or smaller patrol and attack craft) engages closer “Line-of-Sight” targets and threats. … Sure … Sounds far fetched ? … Not when one considers what it takes to land one aerial drone on a CVN. …
    These Semi-manned and mostly Autonomous Blue-Water Patrol Craft can stay at sea for more than a year at a time. … They can be replenished at sea. … CREW CHANGES could take less than one hour, at sea … Tenders can reload ordnance at sea and oilers can re-fuel them at sea. … This is a robot attack ship that has a crew of specialists to maintain and repair her, and to act as HUMAN SENSORS and as HUMAN TENDERS. … HOW ?? (feasibly?) …
    …. Simply adapt and enhance the best USV software suite that is currently available (small program, fast tracked) … Integrate the USV control suite with the DX1000/(AEGIS) battle-compute and add the needed remote control and display capability.
    If all that sounds like pie-in-the-sky, then, I guess you will not want to hear my proposal to acquire (immediately) that FRENCH MISTRAL “LHD” that WAS to be delivered to Russia … The USN could have it at a discount AND use it to kick-start a DEDICATED LAND-SEA-AIR DRONE OPERATIONS PLATFORM … Briefly, the concept acknowledges the reality that, while drones and humans fight well together, in combat operations, they do NOT belong on the same base or ship, together …
    A DEDICATED LHD (MISTRAL) type platform would allow launch, recovery, traffic, triage, maintenance and consolidation of shop-space and technical rated specialists, as well as ordnance and automated storage and retrieval of drones and parts. … Imagine if we could make a HIGHLY automated drone operations platform (carrier/tender) where every resource and procedure is heuristically streamlined for optimized performance and productivity. … This is NOT a pipe-dream … We can start with ANY LHD type platform … LAND-SEA-AIR (and various ASCMs and upward-falling payloads and autonomous mine-laying, etc.) … The gains in economy and efficiencies and the cross-pollination of the technical culture will provide MANY unforeseen benefits and spin-offs. … As a CULTURAL INCUBATOR for advanced drone operations … Civilian engineers and contractor-reps, ON BOARD … Imagine if you put technical staff in the same room as the engineers, once per week. … Automated recovery … Automated taxi … Automated “triage” (post mission) … Automated fueling … Human assisted weapons loading. … Common parts … Common technical skill-sets (Senior Robotics Technician, Senior Micro-Turbine Tech, etc.) … Expect sortie rates to easily quadruple, in short order. … There WILL be a “MOORES LAW OF TECH CONVERGENCE” **IF** we start doing this NOW. … We just need ONE, single prototype platform … Just one … We operate and streamline combined-dedicated drone ops and procedures on this ONE test-bed, for TEN years … If we do this NOW, we will be way ahead of any competitors and we will “arrive” at true IOC within a decade. … We must start now or this will not happen.
    Was that an “over-share” ?

    • Curtis Conway

      Amen. A man that has the vision. Net-centricity is a great tool, but if and when it goes away, and that will eventually happen, what do you have?

      • Frank Langham

        You have a lot of small-fast assets, with teeth, in forward areas (they can fend for themselves and return to the rear rally zones) … AND, you have larger combatant and support elements in SEA-BASES at randomly drifting rally zones, just out of reach of all but the longest range ASCMS. … And, of course, you have a bevy of fast-attack subs, all over the place. … So .. When the data-comm links fail, you still have full maneuvering and you still have LOS battle management. … Certainly as formidable as any enemy, considering ALL the mouths THEY have to feed. … Run it through the simulators and see what happens.

        • Curtis Conway

          A combat system with new modern similar equipment (in function) to the USS Ticonderoga (CG-47) when she first came out, is not just very possible in an NSC hull, but almost irresponsible not to do it. Particularly since the AN/SPY-6(v) AMDR is coming out. The 9-module setup (6′ square (X) four array faces) is very small compared to a SPY-1A antenna. In fact its on a magnitude of a SPY-1K just smaller and lighter, requiring less power and cooling, yet providing a SPY-1D coverage, with all the new super-wizbangs in the multi-function processor capability. That capability would be TBMD guidance for SM-3-1A all the way down to ESSM. It will probably do counter battery and periscope detection. Coupled with the UPX-29 IFF system one will be able to sanitize airspace out to several hundred miles LOS. Awesome capability on a frigate sized surface combatant. Just have to have the forward Mack upon which to install the antennas. The AMDR Lite will be tested and true by the time we get the hull ready to receive it if we started today. Can’t build real surface combatants overnight, and this would be what the LCS should have been all along – ALL Ocean, any weather, longer stay, and carries a wallop. Something with which to contend. Can’t ignore this FFG when it’s around. Give it a decent sonar and tail, and we can hunt submarines. Somewhere it says that’s something we are going to have to contend with in the future. It will do AAW very well out to 80nm LOS, so it can handle the tasking when the CG-47/DDG-51 must go somewhere for BMD coverage. If SM-3-1A is present it can handle terminal ballistic defense in depth . . . SM-3-1A exoatmosphere (just need a few), SM-2 Blk IV at long range, SM-2 Blk III medium range, and ESSM all the way down to Tungsten Time (Mk-15 CIWS). Of course if its a nuke it doesn’t make any difference by then.

          Most meaningful ASuW capability is a bolt-on and interface to the combat system, so we will put it where we can.

          You get what you pay for, and that is why LCS-FF is the way it is. It’s cheap!

        • Curtis Conway

          LCS is gumming itself to death. it has nearly no teeth to take mention of, unless you were in a WWII battle . . . except them torpedoes, need the torpedoes.

      • Frank Langham

        Plus, the higher degree of organic autonomy (of the NSC and “Patrol” nodes) will allow them “limp” and “scrap” far longer and better than boatloads of tired and hungry (and demoralized) enemy squids. … I have been studying the NSC … It is REALLY nice but I still think it is a little too large and a little too slow and a lot too expensive and it has too large of a crew and too many technical dependencies … Cut everything by 30% and make a lot more of them … Let the redundancy itself be distributed (redundant platforms rather than redundant systems) … Those who complain of a loss in flexibility or a loss in lethality do not understand that you are SPLITTING OFF DEDICATED FUNCTIONS, so that they can be dispersed and “applied” concurrently … Just as with the BURKES … WE are learning that it makes more sense to split off some of the AAW (from the BMD) so that we can leave the BMD mission, on station (functional and active) while our AAW Burkes can roam and perform escort and interdiction, etc. (other, non-BMD missions) … It makes no sense to lug all that BMD capability into a scrappy combat or escort mission … The BMD would be idle … (but a BMD platform DOES need SOME AAW or it is a sitting duck) … AAW does not need BMD but BMD DOES need AAW (and so does AEGIS ASHORE, IMO, but the AAW can be ANY type of effective AAW solution … It does not need to be SPY/AMDR/SMx based AAW but AEGIS ASHORE is a fixed and vulnerable target which should be further hardened and better protected. I have recommended that the ASHORE VLS batteries be sunk into the dirt, with a reinforced concrete “bulkhead” surround … And that ASHORE system components be physically separated as much as is feasible with SOME added redundancy of the more vulnerable and less expensive components (generators, and extra racks of blade-servers, etc.) … Just make it a harder and more resilient target without undue expense (wherever feasible). … But I would rather have more boats and smaller crews (with less guns per boat) … Give each crew exactly what it needs to protect itself in a LOS engagement and enough speed to run rings around the enemy. Working together, as a team … If one small-fast boat is scuttled, MORE lethality will be retained by the theater forces than if a fully loaded, fully crewed NSC hull were lost (at great expense and with great loss of capabilities).

        • Curtis Conway

          Drawing an equivalency between BMD and TBMD is a mistake. There are TBMs that can have conventional warheads with some terminal control (chinese for example). This necessitates the base doctrine, and therefore base capability, of TBMD. If that includes a exoatmospheric intercept, then an SM-3 must be present, or a BMD ship must be in range. That last point is NEVER a guarantee. So that is my case. Don’t need a lot, just a few SM-3-1As in my humble opinion, in a Strike Length Cell forward. As little as 4 or as many as 8. When Independent Steaming one is ‘on your own’ and must be totally self contained at times. THAT is when the enemy will chose to ambush. This is why the LCS-FF is a deadly and wrong-headed idea.

          If Directed Energy is on board, we could choose to give up TBMD capability, because it can defend itself. No US Navy Surface Combatant should EVER not be able to defend itself. Otherwise, what did you just say to the crew ? . . your expendable. If the CoC already thinks like that, then we have the wrong people in command, because they have broken the Faith with their troops, and that is all this administration knows how to do, and has promoted some who think that way as well, placing Oath Breakers in command. G-d will hold them responsible.

          • Frank Langham

            Just a quick response (must do errands) …
            A WWII Torpedo Patrol Craft (PT-109) was not well able to defend itself BUT was a difficult target and there were many of them. … They had small crews and they were made of plywood (inexpensive) … Yet, just one of these could hunt and kill a large ship while (with SOME success) evading return fire. …
            … While I certainly do realize that an NSC/FF is a FAR cry from a patrol craft, I just want to point out that a greater number of smaller, faster, and less expensive “craft” DOES provide an inherent degree of protection for the much smaller crews. … JFK and his crew KNEW that they were “expendable” but no faith was broken. … They had a good chance of survival because they were a smaller target with much higher mobility and, let’s face it, in the eyes of the enemy, the smaller and less expensive the target, the less cost effective it is to expend disproportionate resources in eliminating that target, even if it presents an imminent threat. …
            … When I was on a Spruance DD, we had the best of everything but, despite our speed, we were a VERY high value target and I was never confident that our AAW COULD EVER be “adequate” enough.
            … I do relent, to some degree, though, because a blue-water capable craft MUST be a TRUE “ship” and 160′ would be a bare minimum, as it would bob like a cork.
            – Later –

          • Curtis Conway

            I can relate to a Spruance Sailor because Tico was a Spruance hull, with nearly 3,000 more tons on her. That is why they can’t go to the Arctic for any period of time. There was no doubt that we could stand an AAW attack because that was THE REASON for our construction (SSN-9 blowing out of the water at 10 miles and we have to kill it before it kills us).

            I would feel remiss if I did not point out (as I have been since 2012) that we now possess the capability to build something at half the size, yet posses the capabilities of the USS Ticonderoga (CG-47) using modern equipment, and yes it cost a significant chunk of change. The SPY-6(v) AMDR 9-module radar, and SSDS are cases in point.

            President Kennedy’s PT-109 would in no way ever be considered a Blue Water all-ocean craft (McCarther’s escape not withstanding). There will never be enough LCS in company with a battle group to make the comparison, and if you did, and took the amount of treasure and personnel those systems represent, we would be much better off with [one of] my little frigates, that would cost about the same amount, with fewer people on board, and much, much more capability, and be able to go anywhere on the planet. With the Arctic heating up (pun intended) the US Navy cannot afford to build Single Purpose craft (e.g., my chagrin with LCS).

            Maintaining commonality with the rest of the fleet provides economy in the long run, and maintains availability, simplifies training & logistics, and therefore presence of a proactive force.

            Lessons learned with guided projectiles from large artillery is lost on the US Navy, while the rest of the world (including the US Army) moves foward with more lethality at lower cost.

            The LHD-8 propulsion system demonstrates in real terms what can be accomplished with modern efficient propulsion and power generation systems. The new FFG should build upon that success in the NSC hull.

            With budget priorities pressing and continuing over the next decade, building a small multi-warfare frigate meets the “they should all be cruisers” sentiment today . . . AND THAT CAPABILITY IS LOST IN THE CURRENT ARGUMENT . . . as if everyone is blind, deaf, dumb, stupid or something.

            The answer to the equation lies before us. It is our decision to grasp it . . . or not.

            Stretching out the large deck carrier program as Ford matures and gains experience, and embracing the Light Carrier concept with F-35s, and a new EV-22 AEW&C Osprey with pressurized ABCCC module and radar on top, will buy us the time and money to accomplish and support the new frigate program. Then we replace about half the new destroyers with our new little frigates at two for one in the same yards, or expand to other yards. This is the future. One must have the vision to grasp that future.

            The United States Navy NEEDS 50+ multi-warfare Aegis Guided Missile Frigates.

            Regards from a Patriot who has paid his dues.
            CWO USNR(Ret)

          • Frank Langham

            And I still see up to a total of FIVE (5) FORD class CVNs as being strategically useful … I would like to see some quick adaptation of a CVN based, longer range strike aircraft … A MISSILE TRUCK that need not engage in ACM (because of it’s capable, longer range AAW missiles) … I would like to see something that could deploy a full range of cruise and SMx “AEGIS/DDG-1000” coordinated ordnance. … But it needs to operate from a CVN and a CVN should be able to carry 4 of them (in addition to basic contingent). These CVNs would not be used to project power, but rather to provide a defensive aircap to a “drifting” SEA-BASE (rally zone) somewhere between PEARL and TAIWAN.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            The problem is, the Ford’s aren’t supplementing the Nimitz’s, the Replacing the Nimitz’s. One ship’s at a time. And the Mk. 141 Lightweight Quad-Canister Launchers, can fire every existing Naval Missile System, with the exception of the Trident…

          • Frank Langham

            Right … You know, we DID postpone and curtail the Zumwalts in favor of getting a bunch of Burke hulls into the drink, as fast as possible and THAT “move” has worked out VERY well … It is a DAMN good thing we did that when we did (just as it was a good idea to focus on “proven” (SMx/PACx/THAAD) terminal BMD point defenses, in the shorter term. … SO … Could we ? … Might we ? … Be able to “trade-down” from the FORD hull and trade 2 FORDS for 3 “improved” NIMITZ ?? … Or is that just too much lost momentum. … I mean, it was clear that we had all the tooling and all the talent and all the sourcing “fully in place”, when it came to the Burkes but we have probably already let the Nimitz production infrastructure unravel to the point where it could not be as easily revived. … It would be nice if we could go to a CVN that can just do what a Nimitz does, for even less.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Frankly, I don’t see them Navy going back a generation in technology. To make up the “shortfall” in numbers. Personally I would prefer two Medium Aircraft Carriers of 65-planes each for one Large Aircraft Carrier or seven Light Aircraft Carriers of 30-planes each for one Large Aircraft Carrier. That way you can deploy more Carriers, to more Hotspots…

          • Rob C.

            It would be interesting to see US Navy being able to deploy a general purpose destroyer with Rail Guns (more than one turret darn it!) and lasers for close defense. As far I know, they haven’t learned how to shoot down rail gun shots with missiles yet. All-Missile fleet is expensive when it’s all Anti-Ballistic Missiles focused.

          • Frank Langham

            My only point was that, to MY mind, we cannot forward deploy CVNs, in most modern (developing) scenarios, anyway, but we DO need that BIG deck in order to accommodate aircraft and operations which smaller carriers CANNOT. … And we really do NOT need the very biggest and the very best super-carrier if the modality is going to be what I see as a defense and logistics platform for BASES AT SEA and to dominate the open seas, FAR FROM LAND. … A Chinese Flanker armed with Russian Long Range ASCMs can reach most of the way to Australia. … I am seeing the CVN more as an huge operations barge, in terms of SEA BASING and, even though we DO need a very LARGE platform for mobile basing, we DO NOT need the expense of a FORD class CVN (IMO). … So, sure … I agree with you 100% in terms of TRADING CVNs for more and smaller platforms … I am just saying that we NEED SOME large CVNs and they do not need to cost anywhere near as much as we have been planning to pay for them. … We just need the deck and hangar space and the foul-weather sea-worthiness, for the most part.
            …. And we can fit many reactors into a large CVN and THAT is also a VERY useful asset for sea basing. … We really do need CVNs as floating bases with nuclear power generation and acres of operations space.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langhan.

            The Shenjang F-11B, ferrying range taking off from an Air Base and not a Carrier. Is ~2,070-miles, but under load and launching from a Carrier under her own power. I’d be surprised if her range exceeded 800-miles…

          • Frank Langham

            HOW FAR from the Chinese coast to GUAM ?
            That is NOT a rhetorical question. … I have been studying the
            map … GUAM is ULTRA UBER SUPER “key” to the pivot (IMO).

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            ~2,950smi…

          • Frank Langham

            Perfect. I want a rally zone (box) that stretches from 50 miles WEST of Guam to 120 miles WEST of Guam and 120 miles north AND south of that. Make it a crescent that wraps around Guam, at least 50 miles out. … Guam is a fixed target … It will serve as a major staging and repair base … A strike group and all manner of basing assets would be more-or-less free to roam the rally zone and they would rendezvous as required or as directed and we and our partners would use this zone as a “playground” and always be gaming AAW and ASW … Chasing and hunting and defending our own assets (from each other) … Live fire practice and general maneuvers. … Guam itself could also be used for amphib gaming and training. …
            Anyway, this force would protect Guam from everything (Chinese Ballistic Missiles would have to fly right over the zone to reach Guam) and, in the event of a nuclear swarm (Guam is turned into a smoking, boiling crater) then, the rally zone is far enough away to be mostly unharmed and ready for action. … All of the assets in the rally zone will always be topped off (full of food and fuel), including the tenders and oilers. … So … At the point where enemy network centricity and C4SR is adequately quelled, we have a fully fresh battle/strike group, trained up and topped-off, ready to roll and establish a permissive air-cap. … The idea is to use Guam as a supply staging base but to keep the fleet out of harms way until forward deployment is prudent. Crews and individual personnel could be rotated in and out, AT SEA, and fly into and out of Guam, if that is desirable … Virginia class subs could be turned around and kept out there for 180 days before they head to port for a full massage.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            That remind’s me, the USN and JSDF-Navy have agreed to making Guam a Staging Area for there Submarine Fleets…

          • Curtis Conway

            Check out Wake on Google.

          • Frank Langham

            I have been at the Temple Texas V.A. Hospital getting an Endoscopy (and a good “wallerin’-out”) and there was a bit of throat trauma so I have been out-of-pocket. … I will look closely ate WAKE and MIDWAY.

          • Curtis Conway

            Endoscopy . . . they went all the way up to the throat? Didn’t know they could do that (curt makes a funny). Hope everything came out OK. Had mine last fall.

          • Frank Langham

            Yeah … They went “up-da-butt” last month and “wallered my gullet” last week. … Throat is all better now and I can swallow the horse-pills they’re giving me. … I call it THE CHINESE HANDCUFFS TREATMENT.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            I know the feeling, I’ve had six in the last ten years. Five of them, I was in Laaa, Laaa, Land. One, I was FULLY AWAKE for…

          • Frank Langham

            Twilight Anesthesia and getting yer butt reamed is a WHOLE lot like those ALIEN ABDUCTION EPISODES we all have heard-tell of. … I am so ashamed and humiliated. … I feel like the whole thing was MY fault. … I knew it was not going to be “good” when I saw SEAL TEAM SIX jogging up the beach with a telephone pole on their shoulders.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            For me, it was more like Shaka Zulu Impalement. Then an actual Telephone Pole…

          • Frank Langham

            Ohh-TAY !! … I just did a YT search on that SHAKA-ZULU Impalement … I WOULD post the links, here, but I would not want to be banned from this fine forum.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            I wouldn’t go that far, more Animal House’s “Double Secret Probation”…

          • Frank Langham

            I have been doing some preliminary (cursory) map research of WAKE ISLAND and MIDWAY ISLAND (and Midway Atoll) , as you suggest …
            … WAKE looks like it is the BACK DOOR to GUAM (in-line with PEARL) and I think that BOTH, Guam and WAKE can be SEA SHIELDED and patrolled AS ONE, single PATROL BOX and RALLY ZONE (AS one single defended staging zone) … Two (of many) factors to consider are the EFFECTIVE RANGES of FLANKER STRIKE FIGHTERS and their LR-ASCMs … AND … The ASW Topography of the ocean floor, in that entire (shared) zone. …
            WAKE is really too far away from the CHINA-SEA traffic lanes to provide as rapid of a response as Guam would be. … Another way to put this is that, although WAKE and GUAM are both FAR from China, WAKE is farther by something like 1,500 miles (I THINK) … So … I would distribute supplies and replenishment equally, between BOTH GUAM and WAKE … This would not only distribute the risk but would allow for both offensive and defensive modalities.
            I think that we should create a “DOG-BONE” AAW+ASW SHIELD that encompasses BOTH islands and a wide corridor between them. … MAKE IT OURS and make big trouble for anyone who tries to probe and harass that zone. …
            … We need to make pearl unassailable (I am thinking that it already is) …
            … ABOUT MIDWAY … Sure … It can be used as a supply cache/depot and as a “DIVERT” airfield for bad weather or in case other runways are destroyed BUT .. I would not recommend defending it as part of the main shielded corridor, between PEARL and JAPAN (it is too far from the linear plot (corridor) which connects PEARL/WAKE/GUAM … The waters around MIDWAY look to be very shallow so ASW should be a snap (using a single P8, only when needed) … I know that the USAF really owns GUAM but they are going to NEED the USN to defend GUAM and, SO , they are going to have to make room for naval air ops to whatever extent is required …
            AS YOU/WE all know, the PRC is BUILDING ISLANDS in contested littorals … I think that the USA should do the same, at WAKE and GUAM … DREDGE and PUMP sand and build retaining jetties and bulk-heads so that we can have maximum parking and operations space and additional operations runways which do not need to be nearly as long or as substantial as the B-52s requirements. … Even a few new independent C-130J/H service runways, connected by a large operations tarmac would be very useful and help everyone to stay out of each other’s way.
            … It is a compromise … To be out of reach of enemy delivery platforms and missiles and YET to be close enough to the enemy to be able to mount and aggressive and reflexive (SPEEDY) response … I really like the DOG-BONE ZONE idea (GUAM+WAKE) because it allows us to shift our posture and distribute our risk while dominating and protecting our supply chain routes.
            ALL of this is based on a BIRD’s-EYE (AS THE CROW FLIES) analysis but PREVAILING CURRENTS and OCEAN TOPOGRAPHY and other practical factors must be examined. … Sea Captains and Pilots who regularly navigate these routes (From the U.S. West Coast, to PEARL, to WAKE, to GUAM (and also Midway) should definitely be present at the pertinent planning discussions. …
            Summary ? … ADD REAL ESTATE TO GUAM and add replenishment storage and access by sea and by air to BOTH GUAM and WAKE. … Get the AIR-FORCE to sit in and also the NAVY SEA-LIFT, PACIFIC COMMAND STAFF … SEA-BEEs and WE WILL NEED MORE SUBMARINE SPECIFIC TENDERS AND PORT FACILITIES (dedicated and optimized for fast-attack subs) … They need their own rapid replenishment and forward maintenance facilities.
            … Thank you for your suggestions … I would not want to “forget about” Midway (but I WOULD like for the enemy to forget about Midway) … WE should act like it does not matter that much … It might be a possible site for BMD Ground-Based Interceptors (to help provide protection for everything between PEARL and GUAM). A side-looking BMD radar site would seem a very good idea.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            I don’t re`commend B-52’s on Wake, Sea Air not good for the Health. A Couple Wartime Carrie Air Group a Better Choice. Midway, better as a Forward Command, Communications and Control Base, Also with a Couple Air Groups and some Long-Range Air Assets in place…

          • Frank Langham

            You are missing my point or you are not fully aware of the role that missile-trucks now play in net-centric warfare. … Airborne Missile Trucks are “WAY KEY” to any sort of large-scale conflict (including a global, strategic fur-ball) … We will soon have missile-trucks BOTH on ready alert and also (at times) on combat station, ALOFT (persistently … constantly) for C4 and other forward command and on-demand “best shooter” requests. … WE may have just TWO F-35Bs taking on an whole gaggle of Su-27 Flankers but, with a C-17 or a C-5 or a B-52 or even a modified 747 or C130J/H with a full quiver of “selectable” coordinated-ordnance, (and a few X47 UCAVS Bird-Dogging), just a FEW F-35s or F-18s or F-22s can take on a swarm of enemy fighters. … It is understood that there is a P8 (C4SR) in the mix. …
            NOTE: That GUAM was DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR B-52s *and* that C-5s and C-17s and Modded 747s can “go” anywhere a B-52 can go …
            … ALL that I am recommending is that we (with all frugality) build a few more, shorter runways and large operations tarmacs (with weather-proofed depot storage) so that SUPPLY CHAIN TRAFFIC does not INTERFERE with THEATER OPERATIONS TRAFFIC (Combat, Patrol, and C4SR, etc.) … This way, you can run supply logistics smoothly and run Theater MISSION OPS separately and smoothly and there will be no contention, in the air or on the ground or in the tower or on dedicated communications frequencies (ground-traffic control frequencies). ……… ARE YOU FEELING ME, MISTER ?
            Just as it makes GREAT sense to have a DEDICATED LAND-SEA-AIR DRONE OPS PLATFORM (Drone Ops LHD) rather than to MIX drone ops with Legacy air ops (and maintenance), aboard a CVN … You gain efficiency AND COMBAT EFFECTIVENESS if you provide for specialized (i.e. STREAMLINED) operations , of a major type. … Just as you would want a dedicated SSN Pier and Replenishment facility. ………
            I wish I could be at THAT meeting … So I could draw on some maps and talk to those who have years of experience navigating those waters (currents and topography and seasonal weather, etc.) … If you did not read my ENTIRE post (the previous post) carefully, then maybe you should because this is not only a “good” idea … This is something that we must do. … I am just explaining and providing SOME of the considerations, modalities, and solutions. … We CAN do this thing in a very smart, effective, efficient and survivable manner, while maximizing our “force multipliers” and providing strategic flex and options and contingencies. … GUAM is very very important. … We should not over-invest in foreign basing, in the region. … We need to maintain the supply and logistics corridor from the U.S. West coast, through PEARL … To WAKE and well WEST of GUAM. and just dominate the crap out of that space. … We do not need to get too tangled up and dependent on regional ports. … SURE … Take advantage of any convenience and operational cost savings and reward sailors with Liberty, where they may be welcome BUT, we cannot afford to DEPEND on ports that my become unfriendly or may become less permissive.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            I’d rather Air To the Side of Caution, then be Blindsighted By Optimism. Optimism Never Won A War, Caution Usually Does…

          • Frank Langham

            Explain. Your statement is not specific.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Both Bush and Cheney, Optimistically Predicted that the 2nd Gulf War. Would be over in 3-month and we would be welcomed as Liberator’s. They were both wrong, and ten-years later We Were Still Their. And we were Not treated as Liberator’s in the Long-Run either…

          • Frank Langham

            Sure, well, as applies to Asia, Asian conflicts and Asian ports (including Australia) … I am MOST concerned about the density of the commercial (and military) traffic and the REACH of intermediate range ordnance. … China may not be able to pin down the entire region but they can focus on one zone and deny ALL comers, indefinitely, for the same reasons that they were able to wear us down in Vietnam. “Logistical Privilege”, if you will. … They do not need a supply chain that close to home and they have most of the planet’s industrial production and raw materials so, they can sustain and project well (better and further all the time) … Furthermore, everything is going ASYMETRIC and “hiding in plain sight” and going “dual-use” so, what looks like a commercial platform might have a shipping container full of cold-launch ASCMs or even a thermonuclear device.
            … There is NO WAY that *I* would send a CVN into the PERSIAN GULF or any other such death-trap. … I do NOT want our critical Blue-Water Assets farting around in the traffic lanes without GOOD reason. … And I would not want ALL OF A TYPE (such as several of our few oilers) to be EXPOSED at any one time. … We should send Burkes and LCS/FF and FFGs, and whatever else that we MUST but I would NOT get into a situation where Several Oilers are being replenished (exposed to asymmetric threats) at the same time … WE should CONSTANTLY be asking ourselves if our skivvies are down around our ankles because our enemies ARE watching and waiting for the perfect storm (maybe even a Solar Storm) … So … If our Network goes down WHILE our major assets (or critical logistical nodes) are EXPOSED, we could get jumped. … THAT is why I want an INDEPENDENT SHIELDED SEABASE Crescent, West of Guam but FAR East of TAIWAN and in a LOW TRAFFIC ZONE (Low Air Traffic and Low Surface Traffic and a relatively quiet ASW sonar background. … The more complicated and cluttered our mission load is, the greater the chance for costly errors or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Most of the Atlantic is Green Water, 600-meters or Less. Great for the LCS’s…

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Your falling into a Mindset, Asymmetric is the Mindset. The ChiCom’s are thinking Multi-Dimensional and your thinking Asymmetric. Another way of putting it is.

            Asymmetric (Volume of a Circle) Pi x r(sq) = 101,787-deg 36′ 07.11″ universe.
            Multi-Dimensional (Volume of a Sphere) 4/3 x Pi x r(cu) = 24,429,024-deg 28′ 27.48″ universe

            This is why were loosing the Intelligence Warfare War.

          • Frank Langham

            At the slight risk of underestimating them, I ask …
            If they are SO slick, then, why did we have to provide them with the turbulence formulas that finally allowed them into orbit, after so many decades of failing on their own ? … Why did they need to rip off everything (every design) from rifles to bullet-trains to ships and aircraft. … Why do they STILL need to buy outdated submarines and aircraft turbines from the Russians ? … Why do they NEED to peg their currency to ours ? … Why are they choking to death in their own toxic waste ? … They just might out-produce us, because we are LETTING them cheat us and abuse their own working citizens. … So … WE MIGHT BEAT OURSELVES but I doubt that they will beat us due to superior strategy. … On the other hand, I think of how, during the French and Indian War, the Brits marched around in ranks, wearing red coats and white cross-buckles while the French and Indians sniped at them from deep cover and hollow trees. … If you are THAT stupid, you deserve to lose.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            The ChiCom’s think FUTURE, “What’s Good For Country Then”. We tend to think NOW. “What’s In It For Me Now”.

            This is why IBM got acquired by the ChiCom’s, They didn’t just go after the Software. They went after the Hardware to Run the Software, too

          • Curtis Conway

            the China of Today looks like the America of WWII at the end of the conflict. they are geared up and ready to go. Heck . . . they are going to the moon. We did it with slide rules. They are doing with digital electronics and Apple computers.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            I’m sorry but at this time, The Fo-Police at USNI News, won’t allow me too answer your question. I’ve tried three time NOW to do so, but They in the Infinite Wisdom have Reddit’d me at every Turn…

          • Curtis Conway

            Amen and Amen. A man with the vision. Being a Tico Troop I just can’t shake the ‘Surface Combatant’ should have some capability in every warfare area concept. You plan to win, or otherwise . . . and that [loosing] ain’t me. Context is everything, and everything is Systemic. Usually the primary regulatory factor is the primary, most robust and capable, sensor. On a 9-module AN/SPY-6(v) capable ship, we will have capability all the way up to near exo-atmospheric, and have everything else a SPY radar provides. A very few Strike Length Mk41 VLS cells gives capabilities out to near exo-atmospheric (SM-3 Blk IA) and over a hundred mile A-2-A (SM-6), particularly with airborne, or [if necessary] with national asset tippers/control. Once Aegis gets IAMD w/NIFC-CA underway in the force, we will have huge options. Light Carrier Battle Groups (F-35B equipped) will be VERY useful, particularly if the EV-22 AEW&C Osprey ever comes to pass. This is the future we could actually begin to see in 5 years, but we would have to begin now.

          • Frank Langham

            OK … We ditch three FORD CVNs for more and better cool stuff. Let’s focus ONLY upon full-blown strategic conflict. … No large-scale invasions or occupations. … Let’s just say that we know “The Balloon Goes Up” in 2023 (or as soon as 2020) … What does our new, svelt, uber-combat “wolf-pack” look like ? … OK ? … The mission is to sink and shoot-down anything that moves and quacks. … You cannot beat an SSN for potency and for independence. … You cannot beat a burke for all-around ass-kicking but, they COULD BE smaller and faster and a little cheaper and even meaner (Conway’s NSC/FFG) … And WASP-Class Hulls for LHD/LHA/DRONE Ops … Upgrade your V-22s to do all of the things you need them to do (ISR, ASW, etc.) … I might even suggest a new model of V-22 that looks much like the old SKY-CRANES, with a Modular Mission-Box Cutout, in the Fuselage. … You will have 2 pairs and a spare of F-35s and a half dozen X-47 (UCAV) Bird-Dogs. Ad a fast oiler and a small-fast sub-tender … What else ? … I am looking for a Wolf-Pack that can enter hostile waters and take-on ALL comers and daunting odds. … Littorals are NOT critical … I want to kill capital ships and especially subs. I want to be able to clear the sky and also strike a dozen specific soft land targets (production and storage and port and C4 facilities).
            What else ?? .. How many of what ? Assume the larger network and SATs are down but that this “pack” can communicate with each other.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            The original Naval Budget called for 11 Ford class Aircraft Carriers, one was cancelled to redirect fund’s for Submarines Upgrades. I doubt it very much that the Navy is going to cancelled three more and redirect their funds. Ten is a low as the Navy is going to go…

          • Frank Langham

            I do not need to argue the point (of cutting more future CVNs) with you or anyone else (who might agree with you) … We do need mobile reactors and we do need acres of operations decks and we need the hanger space and we need the sea-worthiness … WE **WILL** not need the speed or the armor or the sortie-rates in the protracted evolution of warfare. … The reasons that we will not need that many Mega-CVNs will become clear long before we lay those last keels. … It **WOULD** be very helpful to be able to clear those books NOW, because we need to shift into high gear NOW. … But, I understand the entrenched mindset and ALL of the contracts and political districts that, like the C-17, will not let the FORDs “die” easily. … The first FORD is just hitting the water and it is already a white elephant. … It’s costs (BOTH acquisition AND operational) are high and the risks are HIGH. (Eight, TOTAL … That’s it).
            Those who wish to dig their heels in are GREATLY HARMING our strategic potential and effectiveness.

          • Curtis Conway

            The US Navy must still look at the Ford as the Bird in the Bush. Between the Advanced Arresting Gear and the EMALS this thing could easily go for years. Too many advances in one leap. The USS America (LHA-6) will deploy in a little over a year, and most of the engineering fixes are already on the books with more to come, at a fraction of the budget of a Single Ford.

          • Curtis Conway

            LOS communications in something other than RF. We had IR Morse Code when I was in Scouts. I’m sure we can do better than that today . . . LOS.

            Greater emphasis, development and fielding of Passive sensors across the board. Search, detect, track, and fire control direction.

            Need those HARM seekers on everything from a SeaRAM to an SM-6, especially the AMRAAM. program it from ESM and the EOB.

            How about a common Little Nuclear Power Plant (LNPP) for primary power on all future Surface Combatants, and upgrade some current platforms like LHD-8 with a new bigger electric motor. Be sure and keep Gas Turbine for backup.

            Make sure the parked C-5As get placed in line for the C-5M upgrade. That ‘twice the C-17 cargo load’ going further, is going to be key in the pacific in the future, and the C-5s will be going everywhere. If the Missile Trucks have rotary launchers, then the reloads should be in a ready shipping container that’s RO/RO onto the C-5, or what ever delivers it.

          • Frank Langham

            I Scanned the CHINA POWER REPORT … Yawn …
            We DID know “all that” and we can assume that the PLA is very chuffed at their clever opacity. … Again, though … LOOK AT GUAM ON GOOGLE EARTH (WITH OCEAN TOPOGRAPHY) … And compare the “GUAM-WAKE DOG-BONE SHEILD” with China’s Concentric Force Projection “Rings” … I am recommending we go “JUJITSU” and LET THE PRC SPEND THEMSELVES OUT, *TRYING* TO MAINTAIN THAT PROJECTION (and the expense of ubiquitous presence) … Let them also become complacent and overly confident … *WE* just hang-back and COUNTER-PUNCH … Keep them chasing their tails and hitting them “WHERE THEY AIN’T” … The VERY MOST IMPORTANT thing that we can do is to keep CLOSE TABS ON THEIR SUBS … ALL OF THEM … ALL THE TIME … Everything else is secondary to that (IMO).
            … Cargo ramp launchers can be a modified VLS (horizontal orientation) … Cold-Launch gas ejectors. can empty a full rack ricky-tick … I do not know much about weight and cost and risk of “LITTLE” reactors but I think that MORE reactors WILL provide a significant advantage AFTER THE BIG FUR-BALL … Subs and stray surface contingents may be about the only organized “government” left … Lots of Plug-n-Play reactors will guarantee C4/COOP dominance for many years. AND .. THAT ALONE could decide “WHO WON” (in the longer term) … Everybody loses, in the shorter term … It very likely WILL come down to “MOP UP” (and reactors will be KEY to MOP-UP).
            … And, yes … Anything that is actively squawking is a target BUT … as I once mentioned … A network of (REMOTELY SEPARATE AND INDEPENDENT, GENERIC) “Time-Synched” emitters and things like “Airborne X-ray (X-Band) Flash-Burst Emitters” will provide PRECISE theater snapshots of backlit and reflective targets and clutter. … The only limiting factor on the precision of networked emitters is the “math” and how well the full network can be synchronized to a pure standard … Not easy, but only requires a lot of slide-rules and head-scratching. Other than the airborne emitter platforms and their precisely encoded “time-location” packet-labels, ALL of the rest of the system (except for ONE 21U receiver-decoder rack) is SOFTWARE and all of the system upgrades will be formulaic (software) so … LOW COST after a meager initial outlay. … AND … Even the most crude implementation of “dumb”, un-synchronized “flash-burst” emissions will STILL yield a VERY useful snapshot of backlit targets and clutter. … MULTIPLE, SYNCHED EMITTERS (remote and generic) would be required to make best use of reflected returns. … But, we do not require multiple emitters OR synchronization for BACKLIGHTING (Shadow Tracking) and, in fact, we can use ANY and ALL friendly and enemy and civilian and military emissions (on several frequency bands) for back-lighting targets and clutter, without any “systemized” or “synchronized” or “parallaxed” coordination or compounded calculations.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Inside Lagoon also perfect place for Raft Launchers, keep limited dry land mass clear for other essentials…

          • Frank Langham

            Sea-Faring ARSENAL BARGES are definitely part of the SEA BASE and SEA SHIELD topologies … I would NOT park them IN PORT, though … They can float 80 miles to 250 miles WEST of GUAM (on the WESTERN NODE OF THE DOG-BONE).

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            If I remember the Layout of Wake Island, the Lagoon was only 5-meters deep or so, Not really what I would call a ship’s anchorage. I think the Coral Reef that surrounds the lagoon world prevent any ship’s of Significant Tonnage from entering the lagoon. I would be surprised if even a LCS could enter the lagoon…

          • Frank Langham

            The idea is to have the shooter platforms West of Guam … Far enough to be outside Nuke radius, but close enough to provide an intercept SEA SHIELD, to protect GUAM from incoming Ballistics and ASCMs and other LR threats. … Having the ARSENAL on or near GUAM, or WAKE, makes them an even bigger target and because these islands are known, fixed targets (and are priority Airstrips and depots) , it would be folly to store active (READY ALERT) shooter platforms and ordnance there, beyond TERMINAL DEFENSES.

          • Secundius

            @ Flank Langham.

            The original defense of Wake Island consisted of:
            (6) 5-inch/127mm Naval Guns
            (12) 3-inch/76.2mm Naval Guns
            (18) .50-caliber (12.7x99mm) Heavy Machine Guns
            (30) .30-caliber (7.62×63.3mm) Machine Guns

            Just replace with Modern equivalent ratings, Missiles in place of 5-inch guns, Rail-Guns in place of 3-inch guns and so on…

          • Frank Langham

            GRINNING [SMH] … NO, NO, NO …
            Regardless of it’s current status as a wildlife preserve …
            Irrespective of our tight budget …
            I have MUCH bigger (MORE RADICAL) plans for WAKE.
            Including, Land reclamation (like the Chinese are doing) …
            Including dredging and (some) blasting.
            And the addition of two Capital ship piers (up to 8 berths)
            And One Submarine (SSN) Ops / Replenishment Pier
            Defenses would be about the same as for one, modern DDG.
            GUAM would be even yet more ambitious (already is).
            I want to be able to UNLOAD AIR CARGO (C-130s and maybe C-5s) and to TRANSFER SUPPLIES DIRECTLY TO CAPITAL SHIPS (PIERS) and to SSNs. I also want common JP fuel storage and staging, so that fast oilers can replenish, on GUAM AND WAKE.
            …. WAKE **WAS** (recently) exposed to lots of toxic testing and the biological habitat has not even yet fully recovered so, even though it has been designated as a habitat preserve, it is VERY FAR FROM PRISTINE OR UNIQUE and, given strategic priorities (depots and staging), WAKE should be re-designated as an ACTIVE military development project area (no discussion). … Also … This is not a “cream dream” fantasy expenditure. … This is a FUNDAMENTAL strategic AND tactical priority, of the highest degree and should SERIOUSLY be viewed as part of a vital homeland intercept shield (A key node of GBMD).

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Actually it’s a “Pipe Dream”, anyway you look at it. There NEVER going the Reactivate either Wake Island or Midway Island. The only way that’s going to happen is during World War III. And You and I, know it…

          • Frank Langham

            I am glad we all see eye-to-eye, then !
            Again … I will not bother to argue the point.
            It would have been irresponsible not to recommend, though.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            The problem is, that the Options are Virtually Unlimited, the Implementations of those Options are Few and Far Between…

          • Frank Langham

            Once again … Use the “Satellite View” of Google Maps or Google Earth and carefully note the locations of Guam and Wake with regard to the topography of the ocean floor.(Also note their distance and latitude, regarding PEARL) … … THEN watch this TIME INDEXED hyper-link, which should drop you at the 01:15 mark of this 2 minute video. … My ego is not tied up in this but I would like to see the USA and NATO (and JAPAN and SK and AUSTRALIA) survive and prevail.
            https://youtu.be/zaIvKHTB-aM?t=1m14s

          • Curtis Conway

            Small, compact, perhaps portable, but certainly is almost necessary for our future energy independence even in a non-threat environment, is going to be required. Goodness, we may have to build de-salinization plants on all coasts just to ship water inland on large pipelines as a national project, just to service this ever increasing lack of fresh water.

            That radar upgrade is mostly software, as long as the wideband receiver on the antenna can handle the signals, the processors do the rest.

            Congress has not got the vision on future carrier requirements. Very few actually understand the capabilities of the F-35 combat system. An understanding of the capabilities of the AMDR is starting to show. A requirement for ship building infrastructure is voiced with no new Small Surface Combatant. LCS is going strong though. Jobs in congressional districts just to build platforms that will get our sailors killed is not good planning in my book.

            Stay safe my friend.

          • Frank Langham

            MODULAR, PORTABLE

          • Frank Langham

            MODULAR, PORTABLE REACTORS …
            Yes … Make them (literally) bomb-proof and comprised of plug-and-play modules that can be shipped by rail (etc.) … Instead of one LARGE power-plant, each city will have a scalable farm of modular reactors which may be distributed at several sites, around the perimeter of a metro-plex. … When corrosion or failures occur, you just islolate and remove the faulty module and replace it. … Modules can sit on Teflon-coated slabs and/or on hydraulic piers for a geo-stabilized solution. … But … BITE SIZED, SCALABLE (DISTRIBUTED) FARMS OF MODULAR, PORTABLE REACTORS. … Mass produced to a high standard of fault-tolerance (zero-defect inspections, etc.).
            … To those who site the “half-life” disposal issues, I would reply by saying that we will not survive to see those storage problems if we do not employ these reactors. (MOOT POINT).

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Fat Man portable, nothing I would want in the back of a Pick-up Truck. Ram Powered or not…

          • Frank Langham

            No … CGN/SSN sized reactors which are mass produced as standard, portable, component modules and which can be added, or de-commissioned, incrementally, to EVOLVE a more granular and distributed capacity, with ZERO risk of a Fukushima type catastrophe … Use the same contractors and standards and “culture” as is used for U.S. Naval reactors but on a larger scale (mass produced) with a commensurate economy of scale. … 100% autonomous and fail-safe … BECAUSE IT WILL BE A NATIONAL STANDARD, ALL FAULTS AND ANOMALIES WILL BE USED TO EVOLVE A SAFER AND MORE PERFECT SYSTEM … Gone will be mazes of corroded pipes and failing foundations and seismic risks and risks of flooding. … Self scramming and any catastrophic incident can be contained and will be limited in scale. Likewise … After one to four refueling cycles, the containment module, itself, can become an entombed safe-storage container, including the associated plumbing.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Currently the Smallest Fission Commercial Nuclear-Reactor, is the Micro Nuclear Reactor in the Village of Galena, Alaska. And it produces ~50MW. Toshiba had planned on building a smaller Micro Fission Reactor of ~10MW that measured 72′ x 52-1/2′ x 36′ and used Sodium as a coolant.

            There was a Nano Fission Nuclear-Reactor that you could hold in the Palm-of-Your-Hand at used Thorium as a Radioactive Fuel Source and produce less that 100W of power. I think the Technology got buried somewhere, probably down the deepest mine shaft…

          • Frank Langham

            LoL !! … Yeah … I am very familiar with THORIUM Technology … Makes way too much sense … Forget THAT !
            … So … A VIRGINIA CLASS SSN has WHAT ??

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            I’m not Up in Submarine Technology, so I don’t know what your referring too…

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            The Smallest Naval Nuclear-Reactor, was the one used on the NR-1. Nuclear-Powered Research Subamarine, the Next Smallest is the S1C Nuclear-Reactor. Whisch is a Scaled-Down version of the S5W Nuclear-Reactor. The Nuclear-Reactor at Galena, I suspect is a 630A Commercial Nuclear-Reactor of ~312-tons and measures 15-feet in diameter and 31-feet high. As far as the Portable Fusion Reactors, Experiment Testing is to begin around 2035 at the earliest. And actual Field Testing around 2050, don’t expect a Commercially Available model before the 22nd century at the earliest. Realistically I don’t expect Commercial Availability before 2130 or 2140, if then…

          • Frank Langham

            It would seem that all-out strategic conflict is all but assured, in the much shorter term. … Unless, of course, there is some sort of orderly culling of MOST of us, before that. … I am not recommending that (LoL) … Something will have to give and it WILL be sooner than later.
            Free energy aside. … Airborne dander alone threatens to choke us out (and I am only half kidding). You know all the stats and projections, I am more than certain.

          • Secundius

            @ Flank Langham.

            There’s a system called “Nuke-In-A-Box”, not exactly what I would call portable. ~500-tons, 3-meters by 15-meters and produces 100MW for ~30-years. A smaller, 200-tons system is in the making of ~10MW (~1.4-meters by ~7-meter, guesstimate). Also ~30-years operational life. Aka, SSTAR, Small, Sealed, Transportable, Autonomous Reactor…

          • Frank Langham

            Well, then ^^there^^ you go. … I would take that >BASIC< design and start fresh (ground up design engineering) with the specific goals of fail-safe and modular mass-production and have trans-portability and modular plug-n-play construction (minimal site prep) be priority design goals. … There WOULD be some initial outlay, especially in central fabrication plant (for the portable modules) … But the danger is having the CULTURE fall into the wrong hands and have it become another "C-17" type boon-doggle. … Physical security (from theft of fuel or terroristic vandalism) could be engineered into the design and into the site and procedures … Final disposal and storage would actually be very easy and at least better than the current methods because the containment module could become the final storage entombment, along with a few "re-loads" of spent fuel. And, again … Half life "issues" and relatively negligible contamination "problems" are further out, into the future than this current civilization is likely to survive until.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Why not just a GE 9HA Harriet Gas Turbine Generator instead. ~500,000bshp or 600MW…

          • Frank Langham

            For civilian use ? … So … Coal gasification or do you mean LNG ?
            I am looking for a mix of green and nuclear power with local power leveling. … Every city of over 500K people should be able to provide “base-line” (annualized average) power without needing to import (transport) fuel or to buy from the grid. … A very ambitious goal, especially in the North, but LOCAL wind and solar and nuclear and hydro SHOULD be the goal for baseline consumption. … The alternative is nothing less than the ugliest form of anarchy, WHEN the national grid DOES fail.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            “LNG”…

          • Frank Langham

            While LNG is cleaner than coal or heating fuel, it still emits loads of CO2 and distribution is vulnerable to interruptions and shortages, etc. …
            … WE really do not have much choice … We must use LNG wherever it makes the most sense but if anyone wants MY opinion, I would reserve LNG for PEAK POWER GENERATION (above baseline), during extreme weather or during the hottest and coldest days of the year. … BASE/AVERAGE should be as local as is technically feasible. (to the point of paying a premium). … One solar flare … One EMP (strato-nuke) … One major fault-line shift … One successful attack on key nodes or key rail or pipelines … BIG TROUBLE.

          • Secundius

            @ Fank Langham.

            Well, you could always go with Stirling Steam, the Most Efficient Combustion Engine on the Planet…

          • Frank Langham

            Whatever helps (at all) … As far as suppressed patents are concerned, it does not seem that communist governments (even ones that are cyber-hacking patent thieves) have made any more progress towards clean and sustainable energy than any other “system” of government. … Hmmm …
            … Based on what-all I have gleaned, in this lifetime (40+ years of concerned and thoughtful research), it really does seem like the entire planet is going to have to break-down, shut-down, and RESET, with a much lighter “load”. …
            .. Again … Agenda 21 (et. al.) are not my idea of a good or humane course but it really does seem, very much, that we have the choice of an ORGANIC (random and un-controlled) collapse … OR … A managed and directed collapse. … So … Here we are … WHO makes the hard choices ? … WHO is qualified to have access and authority and to make decisions that will save or doom (literally) several billion souls ? … Not me.

          • Secundius

            There’s talk about a Compact Portable Fusion Reactor. but a this time it’s still in the Development Stage. Projected Operational usage, not before 2035…
            There’s talk about a Compact Portable Fusion Reactor. but a this time it’s still in the Development Stage. Projected Operational usage, not before 2035…

          • Curtis Conway

            I can’t “up vote” it ‘twice’ . . . it wont let me.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            Sorry about that, a Glitch in my New Security Program, was Double Posting everything I did. It got to the point where it drove me nut’s. So I purged the system completely…

          • Curtis Conway

            Just reviewed the Congressional Report on China. What a document. Learned a few things, but knew most of it. It is clear that this administration is being very hands off with the Chinese WRT South China Sea sovereignty issues. So much for the Pacific Pivot.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            I would Write-It Off just yet, Obama, is a very Shrewd and Skilled Poker Player. And he’s NOT above taking chances…

          • Curtis Conway

            I am one who has surmised that BHO Never played poker, precisely because of his current record of failure. So, I find it difficult to accept your analysis. However, in support of your argument, there is a huge body of evidence that supports taking chances previously outside normally considered legal and accepted practices, upon which that this administration has embarked, and Congress has not stood in the way until recently, and the courts was HiStory’s only refuge via judicial review, and that review proved the action taken was outside of law.

            The absence of our Proactive Presence in the South China Sea, the lull in the Pacific Pivot via the lack of preparations in the Philippines, is all the proof I need for evidence that someone is on the take of Chinese gold.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            Right! 13 Hearing’s, 50 Congressional Conferences, ~25,000 pages of Documents, ~$260,000,000.00 US. Taxpayers USD. later = ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. You can’t even get him for Spitting on the Sidewalk…

          • Secundius

            Just your opinion Sir…
            Just your opinion Sir…

          • Frank Langham

            Maybe we need to mount the MK 141’s on the back ramp of a C-130 (or a larger bird). … It would be REALLY nice if we could adapt a canister system to things like V-22s and other CVN and LHA capable aircraft.
            Hmmmm … That should ALWAYS have been part of the plan.
            …But … NAWWWW … That we be totally stupid, right ?

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Well there’s always what the North American A-5 Vigilante had. An Ordnance Ejection System, out of the rear of the plane…

          • Curtis Conway

            I have never said large deck carriers were of no use. Quite to the contrary they are a must. We cannot live without them. However, in these tough budgetary times, and with the Ford experiencing all the problems with EMALS, the Advanced Arresting System, and other things, we may want to stretch that out a bit until the system matures and gets some time on it. It makes sense to build 3-4 Light Carriers over the next 5-10 years. the F-35B Combat System is the compelling technological advantage, and the budget is the pressure. We can do it . . . just like the frigates . . . we just have to have the determination to do it . . . instead of being driven by large financial interest that DO NOT have the best interest of the Nations Defense in the short to medium term.

          • Frank Langham

            Well, I do not have to remind you about “production momentum” and I will not even go there … You have got me mostly convinced that most of your proposals have merit. … I like the NSC/FFG “trade-off” except that I want more (or more OF them) … I also think that we can buy more commercial ice-breakers and medium tankers and container-ships and any other commercial conversion that will serve ANY purpose (including JUST networked sensors … Commercial platforms (and contract crews) are just WAY too cheap to ignore !!
            … I want more LHDs (with whatever mods and enhancements make sense). … You KNOW I want a REAL shift to DEDICATED DRONE OPS !! … That FRENCH MISTRAL ship will NOT be delivered to Russia and **WE** should work out 10 year financing or a 25 year lease with France. … We can use that deck immediately. … We could dedicate it to civilian relief or PLEASE as a drone-ops development test-bed.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Putin’s already placed an order for (32) Kamov Ka-52K Alligator II, Navalized Tandem-Seat Coaxial-Rotor Attack Helicopter’s, in anticipation on receiving those two Mistral class Gator-Freighters…

          • Frank Langham

            The deal is scuttled … NOT going down … We can take the one that is ready, now or we can order custom mods to the one that is still in production … We can have either or both, for a song .. That is a fact. … The only real question is regarding “standards and maintenance” … It just is not one of “ours” and it will never “feel” like one of ours. … The good thing is that it has a steering wheel and a big ops deck and lots of hangar bay space … Plenty useful for relief ops and plenty useful as a base for SPECOPS or for dedicated drone ops (as a development/test bed). … I’ll betcha we can lease or finance one or both for fifty cents on the dollar.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Your forgetting, Putin aka “Man Bra Man” is delusional. Lives in of his own Making Fantasy World. Want’s to Out Stalin, Stalin…

          • Frank Langham

            Search google images on “putin shirtless” … A thousand pictures is worth a word … But he IS tapping that hawt little gymnast. … It’s GOOD to be King !

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Alright. breath into a paper bag, it wasn’t that funny…

          • Frank Langham

            oh … I see … humor … hahahahaha.
            I hope he takes his shirt off.

          • Curtis Conway

            “The only real question is regarding “standards and maintenance” …” Oh NO! You can get the US Navy to write you a waiver. It worked with LCS.

          • Frank Langham

            OK … That was funny

          • Frank Langham

            I did not see that before.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Wake or Midway would be great places to start, and then branch out from there…

          • Curtis Conway

            Context is Everything! The
            comment that “We keep fighting today’s wars with yesterday’s tactics and
            weapons” is repeated numerous times. So,
            you see, when someone comes at me with PT109 tactics and WWII analogies, I
            begin to wonder. There are some things
            that remain a constant and always will be a constant. Defense, offense, and the element of surprise
            is just mentioning a few. Training, logistics, communications, and executing missions in support of a plan with a clear goal is also sacrosanct. The fundamentals of combat do not change. The environment and context does change. Another analogy would be using three dimension tactics in a two dimensional equation . . . that is the fastest way to get yourself killed in the 2D world in our modern battle space. Technology provides a lot, and speed may be life to a fighter pilot in a 3D world, but it just makes you a better target in the 2D battle space because the enemy is more able to target you. There are times when speed does not help. An example would be Close Air Support with “Danger Close”. The troops want the A-10 every time. The ‘Fast Movers’ have a higher probability of dropping bombs on your head, than the slower moving A-10 making a deliberate attack, and re-attack visually.

            In our modern naval battle space automated engagement tools are relied on more than ever. This dependence will increase with the proliferation of supersonic Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles (ASCMs) and Ballistic Missiles, particularly in a Directed Energy engagement environment. Active sensors are great, unless enemy weapons are using them to find you. Passive systems become more important. Bigger players in the Battle Space, with real-time national assets that can provide targeting data, change the equation again. So . . . a disparate combat capability is most important. Otherwise the enemy will see the opportunity to divide and conquer.

            America has lost its pioneer spirit with its peculiar mindset. Our manufacturing has been dispersed or moved overseas in many sectors. We farm out everything, and distribute it across the planet . . . and now try to do the same with Surface Combatants in your formation . . . well, I guess you will ALWAYS be sending formations, instead of Independent Steaming vessels. How cost effective is that? This is sheer madness and planning to fail.

            The United States Navy NEEDS 50+ MULTI-warfare Aegis Guided Missile Frigates.

          • Frank Langham

            … I do not think that I have EVER argued that your “packed-to-the-gills” NSC/FFG would not be just as handy as could be … I am just saying that there MUST be AT LEAST a 2-fer-1 trade-down and that includes ALL of the ramping up (and ramping down) of supply chains and administrative infrastructure. .. Boring, but real. … I’ll just call them Mini-Burkes because that is how I see them (sans BMD).
            … One cool (DARPA/ONR) type idea that I have had for a long time is to SEPARATE active emitters (widely) from passive sensors. … The technical “timing and positioning” was not available, prior to this juncture-of-convergence but I believe that it is now possible to launch (or suspend) x-band emitter “flares” … Or X-Band Aerostats (etc.) that will serve BOTH as a reflection-radiation source AND as a BACKLIGHT (to silhouette everything that is in the air and on the surface) … This allows for temporary and expendable, INDEPENDENT emitters that act like a master-flash-bulb … The same concept can be used for sonar (with far less accuracy) … If we know the EXACT location and frequency of the “remote ping”, and if we can factor thermal refraction, salinity, etc., then, we can get a pretty good idea of what is around us without giving away our position with an active ping of our own. …
            … In summary … There is a LOT of radiation and noise that is out there “incidentally” and even that noise can be used to “backlight” stealthy objects. … But when we KNOW, exactly WHERE and WHEN a particular burst of radiation was generated (and at which specific frequencies(plural)) then we should be able to compose a tomographic composite from all of those reflections AND shadows … We may have DOZENS of standardized and calibrated networked emitters which ALL networked sensors may passively use (instead of their own local (on-board) emitters .. This does not diminish the NON-networked, fully independent active scanning of (from) any individual platform.

          • Curtis Conway

            Right on target.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            What we need is a WiFi Radar System for submarine tracking underwater. Because WiFi is one few Electromagnetic Frequencies that can actually work underwater, and over great distances. Speed of Light Underwater, is just as fast in Atmosphere…

          • Frank Langham

            Does ground penetrating radar show any promise for ASW (at any depth) ? … How are we discovering all of these buried Mayan cities ? … What is the P-8 carrying under her belly ?

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Seawater density is ~800 times that of 1 Atmosphere Air at Sea-Level. And Common Dirt, ~100 times that of Seawater. Most likely, NO. You’d probably have go to depth’s beyond 9,000-meters (~29,527.55925-feet) below the Surface of Ocean Seawater, to start solidifying Seawater. And the Deepest part of the Known Ocean is the Mariana/Marianas Trench at ~10,944-meters +/- 40-meters (~36,069.5540438-feet deep)…

          • Curtis Conway

            Not a Little Burke fan, but it does solve a lot of problems. It’s too heavy in my opinion, but its engineering spaces would be common with everyone else, and could be upgraded with Hybrid Electric Drive easily in a new construction. Loosing SPY-1 and replacing with the 9-module SPY-6 would save some space, weight, power and cooling, and increase capability. I’d definitely keep both hangers, 5″ gun, and sonar system. That hull will be all-ocean capable, and persist for up to 30 days at sea, particularly with HED. If HII could design and build at the same cost as a modified NSC upgraded, it would be something to look at, if for no other reason than commonality with the rest of the fleet in training and logistics support. Won’t build two for one full sized DDG-51 though.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            I wouldn’t Hold My Breath anyway, I don’t see any 5,000-ton AB-type Frigate’s coming anytime so, if ever…

          • Frank Langham

            Well … Both Ingalls and GD are fully rigged and ramped for Burke hulls so maybe we could just come up with some sort of FLIGHT-3X Burke with all of the proposed NSC/FFG mods.

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Wishing it, isn’t going to make it Magically happen. NxG Frigate Design is going to be Independence class Based Design. NOT, NSC/AB class Design’s…

          • Curtis Conway

            When the USS Ticonderoga (CG-47) came out with the Aegis Combat System on board, and has been upgraded to perform Ballistic Missile Defense, it was the premier surface combat system on the planet. Today, it still holds that title and standing. However, the Aegis Combat System is expensive. Today we have new technologies in smaller size and greater capability that can perform the same function.

            Aegis is primarily built around the capabilities of its sensor the AN/SPY-1A Radar. Then the capabilities of Command & Decision (C&D) to organize, display, disseminate, and coordinate detection, tracking, ID and engagement, are supported. This huge console setup is not required today. Most of the functions performed by single console operators in the old days are automated. A Ships Self Defense System (SSDS) augmented by a very few additional consoles, plus some specific equipment control consoles will fill combat, with some additional Large Screen Displays.

            The AN/SPY-6(v) AMDR 9-module radar is as, or more capable than the AN/SPY-1A or SPY-1D radars, which are able to perform BMD missions. The base capability of the full bore AMDR does not go away with the fewer modules. That capability and processing power is still there. The antenna just has limited power out with just 9-24 cubic inch modules per antenna. This is the core of our new little combat system. At this point we have the basic radar coverage of a SPY-1D on a much smaller vessel with command and control displays that can handle anything up to Ballistic Missile Defense . . . we just need some weapons.

            All US Navy Surface Combatants should be able to handle a Ballistic Missile engagement at least to the near exo-atmospheric. This is the only way we can defend the ship where ever it goes. Next, a very capable Anti-Ship Cruise Missile (ASCM) capability must exist, and this is a programming that resides in the radar. A SPQ-9 mounted high and spinning fast will be there to help Queue the SPY-6 to concentrate on any vector for detection, tracking and engagement of an ASCM. A non-rotating radar can do this very well. Now we just need missiles . . . or Directed Energy . . . or both. I believe we should put both on at first until more capable DE weapons are available, and we have more experience with their use.

            Every US Navy Surface Combatant should employ the same Naval Artillery. Guided Projectiles should be the name of the game. The US Army has demonstrated how cost effective artillery is in combat vs use of missiles. It’s more cost effective and the boys down at Dahlgren Naval Weapons Systems can cook up just about any kind of seeker (or adapt it) for our naval artillery. There is a guided fuse that will go on rounds right now, but we don’t use it. I would make rocket assist rounds that will hunt down RF or EM emissions programmed by ESM. However, just strait guided rounds available today, adapted for the 5′ naval gun, can make Marines life so much easier when Naval Gunfire Support is called for on the beach.

            Now the next program should be the development of Passive detection, tracking, and targeting systems. The entire EM spectrum should be used for this purpose. Some parts of systems will be obvious like IR detection and tracking, but wide-band receivers in ESM systems can provide queuing as well. Motion should be big in these systems in visible light or otherwise. These should be augmentations to combat systems at first, then migrate to primary systems with maturity. Haven’t seen any of this in the fleet, or it is growing slowing.

            When combat begins chaos begins. Husbanding resources is the name of the game. At present every Aegis Cruiser and Destroyer is just spewing out energy out its stacks with the standby GTG and has been for three decades. All future Surface Combatants should have a Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) drive system that can be driven by Gas Turbine Prime Movers, or Electric Motors driven by the GTGs. Instead of just throwing this power away, as all Aegis surface combatants do, we should drive our selves with the electric motors when steaming at speeds less than 12 knots, which is not unusual most of the time in the combat zone. When speed is needed, the LM2500s are lit off and here we go. The Electric Drive Motors turn into generators when needed at this point (selectively) for greater power available to the hungry electrically driven weapons (Railgun or Directed Energy). Once developed, the technology migrates to other platforms to spread the savings.

            The National Security Cutter hull is an all-ocean hull built to a 50 year life standard. Loading it down with all the extra weight forces greater displacement which will cost some life on this hull. The NSC has the space for installing systems and housing a meaningful crew size. The propulsion and power generation system needs some work. Two Prime Mover LM2500s are needed for the speed and redundancy requirements for Plane Guard missions. We will loose the diesels with all their moving parts and replace them with GTGs. The GTG modules will easily fit in the space and use the intakes which will have to grow a bit, as will the Prime Mover intakes. Power distribution will have to be modified to carry the additional current for the DE weapons and Railgun upgrades in the future, if in fact they don’t make the original build.

            Anti-Submarine Warfare is huge mission set in which every surface combatant must have some capacity. However, this new little fighter should have unquestioned capability in this warfare area. Disttibuted combat power over disparate platforms, is important, and preserves safety and capabilities. Therefore I would make this the smallest hull to employ the SQS-53 sonar. That is a huge power, space, and weight budget, and this hull may not be able to handle it, but I want someone to tell me it’s not possible. We have an additional Prime Mover for speed if required, and the electric motors will make this the quietest ASW surface combatant it the fleet. I would want this ship on ASW picket duty just like the FFG-7s used to be, we will just have more capability.

            There is so much capability that should be in this new SURVIVABLE US Navy Surface Combatant, that we could go on for hours. You get what you pay for . . . and what do we have in LCS?

          • Frank Langham

            Just a few comments. … I do not want to get too very “Buck Rodgers” here but your Fighting Fast Frigate may be able to offload SOME systems and capabilities to a semi-autonomous remote submersible. … If you combine 2 or 3 USVs and one fast, submersible ASW drone, with the ability to actually dispense ordnance, you might have a more survivable and more lethal contingent. … I am just wishing out loud, here, but drones are WAY cheaper than their manned counterparts and, as a captain, facing hypersonic swarms, seeing over the horizon is not just handy, it is essential to survival. … USVs can tow AEROSTATS … IMAGINE having an “ultralight AMDR” 500 feet aloft ! … NOW you can really see stuff coming. … I have done the reaction/response calculations at MACH 3, from the horizon … Even with DE and RAILs , a hypersonic swarm, coming from random vectors is assured doom. … Again … I realize we do not have time or money but much much more (and many) persistent aerial sensor nodes AND some peripheral shooters will SOON be REQUIRED, if not already. … WE might as well just accept the fact that we MUST build this stuff now, or it will be too late by the time the threat matures. … OK … YOU … Be “that asshole” who has NO vision and just wants to cut costs. … Can I at least convince you to build VIRTUAL models of these modalities and capabilities and run them on simulations, RIGHT NOW ? … Is this something that Swampworks does ? … Because, here is the deal … we cannot just build cool stuff based on hunches. … WE NEED TO GAME THIS STUFF AND WIN, IN SIMULATIONS, *BEFORE* WE BUY AND BUILD IT … We cannot afford to fuggup. … Right now ? … I want to be able to model ANY platform and load it with ANY system config and to even define crew qualifications and numbers and to be able to simulate all of the standard comm and C4SR “hooks” … The best thing we can be doing right now is to simulate REALISTIC threats (strength and abilities) in a REALISTIC theater and to build and “use” various prototypes and configurations in simulated combat (especially, full-on strategic combat). … I have some ideas about automated battle-compute and remote command but I will not expound, here, except to say that, once we realize that we are losing ships and satellites, we NEED to be able to flip a switch and enable the network to go “full-auto” (with human oversight, where necessary).

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Virtual Reality is Great in a World where you can Actually Program the Conditions you want to Live In. Unfortunately the Real World, Doesn’t Play by those Rules. The was a WW2 joke about the Norden Bombsight, that stated It could accurately drop a 500-pound bomb in a Pickle Barrel. From a bomber traveling at 250mph at 25,000-feet in IDEAL CONDITIONS. Problem, In war Conditions are almost NEVER IDEAL. In reality, 1 bomb in 300 dropped. Ever got within a mile of it’s intended target…

          • Curtis Conway

            Hey Frank . . . where you been bud, I have been missing your comments.

          • Frank Langham

            ALSO … FYI … I AM NO LONGER RECEIVING EMAIL NOTOFICATIONS FORM DISQUS (IDKWhy) … Without those notifications, it is much more difficult for me to track and respond to relevant discourse.

          • Frank Langham

            correction “*FROM* Disqus”.

          • Curtis Conway

            HII has a hot NSC line too, and ASW will have to be an emphasis on this platform. Not to put ASW on this vessel would be unconscionable. A P-8A will not always be overhead, particularly during independent steaming.

        • Curtis Conway

          “It does not need to be SPY/AMDR/SMx based AAW . . . “. Like the comments on Aegis Ashore. The VLS Launcher Building should have been earth-burmed (less expensive) or sunk into the ground like any other Magazine Storage Area for safety and survivability.

          The AN/SPY-6(v) Lite 9-module radar represent an equipment footprint that is much smaller than AMDR full bore, SPY-1A/B/D, or even an AN/TPY-2. The transmitting modules is where the extra power, cooling and space/weight considerations are saved. IT WILL FIT. DO THE NUMBERS! Prove me wrong with facts!!!! It cost money to be sure, but what are you buying? TBMD capability up front if needed, and a sensor node in the network that provides a lot, even a picture out in space if necessary.

  • Naval Planner

    Just a quick correction: IAW Joint terminology, the correct abbreviation for combatant command is CCMD and for the commander it is CCDR. COCOM is command authority and (despite most navy personnel’s continual use) there is no such thing as the term COCOMs.

    • Tony

      THANK you! Not enough readers of JP 1 in the Joint world.

  • @NotRizzo

    I think the “distributed leathality” idea seriously misjudges how our military and it’s political leadership operates. Basically we aren’t going to put a large number of assets at risk without full protection. Basically you’ll end up with a lot of missiles deployed on a lot of platforms that won’t be deployed into contested waters. It would actually be cheaper and safer to put those same ASCM/LACM on a platform like a B-1B. For the USN, I think they need to re-think what it is they do best, and where they provide the maximum capability gap over their enemies. The answer to that (IMO) is in blue water operation, long range carrier based strike and Submarine warfare.

  • Russ Neal

    SO… we need to go from 88 to 100 cruisers and destroyers, but we’re not even doing the planned upgrades on the ones we have? Is this a paper exercise only? Seems like we are getting to the place Britain already got to, with the social welfare budget consuming the defense budget and the country breaking up into warring clans internally.

    • Curtis Conway

      I’m trying very hard not to REACT to this comment. We have a commenter who is of this sentiment, and that’s what she thinks . . . “They should all be Aegis Cruisers”.

      Today, we have radar systems coming online that have abilities greater than SPY-1A ever possessed even in upgraded form. Directed energy is so close, that to build a new platform without plans for the retrofit is irresponsible. Understanding of the EM Spectrum and how combat systems function in that spectrum, particularly with respect to Passive detection, tracking, and target designation systems, enable huge capability on almost any sized platform.

      So . . . if you are saying ‘we need more cruiser capable platforms’ using modern combat system elements, on smaller, more efficient, and combat effective all-ocean hulls ? . . . then YES “we NEED more Cruisers”. These cruisers are just going to look a lot like a National Security Cutter, with a different deckhouse holding a 9-module AMDR (SPQ-9 backup), 5” gun, integrated power distribution system, high capacity GTGs, and have a comprehensive Passive Combat System capability. Still going to have to have some missiles. Can’t shoot submarines underwater with a laser. Still going to have to have some torpedoes, not just on aviation assets. That is planning to fail in an environment of which you do not have a G-d like ability to know, or control said environment. Plan for the worse and hope for the best, but always be READY! Otherwise, you break the faith with our Sailors!

    • @NotRizzo

      I think this reflect an internal struggle over which is more important, a larger force that allows greater availability of ships, or a more capable force that requires fewer ships per deployment. No matter how capable each ship is, it still has the same schedule yard maintenance time and work ups as any other ship so more ships means more availabilites, but as the writer makes clear, if you have to go from 5 CG/DDGs to 7-8 in ordrer to get the full range of capabilities needed for all threats – well you’ve stabbed yourself in the foot to save a bullet.

      • Curtis Conway

        There are two specific functions here. The first is Proactive Presence to prevent illegal and unwarranted activity in the first place (Cops on the beat). Second, having not been present and just arriving, or unable to prevent certain activity, the platform present must be able to address what ever transpires, so a single mission platform emphasis is preferable, but it cannot be the only thing the platform does. We do not send minesweepers to provide police presence.

        What mission emphasis is in our future?

        a. The submarine fleets of the most likely adversaries are burgeoning, so ASW is definitely in the mix with a hull mounted and towed sonar w/ MH-60R Seahawk Helicopter, which can do other things too.

        b. Proliferation of cruise missiles and Ballistic Missiles in all categories, including tactical, theater, and intermediate range is definitely in the mix, so AAW/TBMD.

        c. The Marines are going to the Pacific for a reason. When ashore they are going to call for NGFS, and we are not talking about from a 57mm gun, so 5″ gun should be present.

        d. Boarding, inspections, anti-piracy and plane-guard all require a capable boat.

        There is your mission sets. Technology and smaller, lighter, and more efficient equipment in many areas makes this possible. A AN/SPY-1 Radar occupies far more space than the abbreviated 9-module AMDR Lite AN/SPY-6(v) even in the new required deckhouse. The AN/SQS-53 Sonar transducer, and its AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 is kinda large. Not much I can do about that. There are various towed sonar systems so one that fits in the spaces made available will have to do. Start with the NSC hull and start replumbing. Gas Turbine Generators for power and the Hybrid Electric Drive system for more electrical power during GQ. Now we can put Directed Energy on board, and Railgun in place of the 5″.

        Passive combat systems are required in the future.

        • Quincy Fry

          a. x2 MH-60R helicopters, MFTA, and Dual Frequency Bow Array
          b. up to 80 Vertically Launched (choose your poison: ASROC, SM-2, TLAM, RIM-66, ESSM x4 for each cell)
          c. x2 6.1″ Guns with 83 Nautical Mile range at 20 Rounds per Minute (both guns) using individual LRLAP or 12 round MRSI strike (12 on target in 2 second span)
          d. two 7meter rhibs and one 11 meter rhib
          4 GTG’s totaling 80MW of power and an all electric drive train with nearly full autonomous engineering and weapon system operation.
          Sir, you have essentially described the Zumwalt class.

          • Curtis Conway

            I . . . Like It. When talking about the missiles however, in this smaller and less draft ship, with little room forward due to the gun, limiting ourselves to Strike Length Cells forward, and few at that, is most likely necessary. Strike Length Cells down the sides will have a huge portion of its structure above the waterline, and I’m not sure how that affects weights and balances. The Self Defense VLS short cells will easily go there in place of a sacrificed helo hangar, and we may be able to pull off Standard Length Cells inboard, with some of the cell above deck. It would be best if all the cells tops are at the same height so we are not creating right angles (radar reflector) on the side of the ship, and the lower the cells mass, the better for weights and balances. For a short to medium range AAW platform this could be a real game changer. If Directed Energy is placed forward on the four corners of the Mack, this will definitely be a game changer. It would be perfect for AAW Defense of a CSG, and have the boats for the Plane Guard. The version without boats aft will be the ASW/ASuW platform for Scout/Skirmisher and ASW Net.

          • Secundius

            @ Quincy Fry.

            Guns, Standard Lightweight or Titanium Lightweight. Why not RIM-161 SM-3 and RIM-174 SM-6’s instead of RIM-66 SM-1 and RIM-67 SM-2. Propulsion Standard Screw/Wheel Shafting, Azipods or Mermaids…

          • Quincy Fry

            @michael_flower:disqus
            Guns are standard weight for class but that is not a feasible comparison since there isn’t any real comparison to them. as far as SM-3, why would the 1000 class need them? They aren’t designated for BMD, and the SM-6 is great but the cost to benefit ratio in comparison to the SM-2 Black IIIA/B (for retrofitting, upgrading CEU’s etc), is it worth it?
            The propulsion is Standard Screw no pods of any sort, which is a shame because they could have completely replaced the electric steering gear and both Propulsion Motors with two rear RR Pods (since its their MTG’s being used anyways) and had huge weight savings. Who knows, maybe the next class of this hull form will be Pod Driven…

          • Secundius

            @ Quincy Fry.

            The RIM-161 SM-3, is a Ballistic Missile Interceptor. The RIM-174 ERAM SM-6, is an Extended Range Surface to Air Missile and Anti-Shipping Missile…

          • Quincy Fry

            Agreed. Which is why the 1000 doesn’t need SM3’s, it’s mission isn’t Ballistic Missile Defense. And the SM6 integration into the TSCE of the class would cost more than is justified for a three ship class when the Medium range SM2 Block 3 can provide adequate coverage for single ship operations with the current radar suite.

          • Secundius

            @ Quincy Fry.

            Well, if you move over the sea’s in a 16,000-ton Destroyer and a North Korean ICBM go flying past you at Altitude, And you only means of shooting down the ICBM is a SM-6 Advanced SAM system. Then you just became a 16,000-ton “Paperweight”…

          • Frank Langham

            What are the odds ? (seriously).

          • Secundius

            @ Frank Langham.

            Probably less than 1%, but there’s always that 1% of Unknown…

          • Frank Langham

            Less than one percent was a given (slam dunk) …
            I was wondering if we were talking .0001% or a few orders of magnitude less … It may be a fraction of a percent that a NK missile would be launched at a NATO partner’s mainland but the likelihood of a given ship (any old place) would be THE ONE that it flies over is infinitesimal.

          • Secundius

            @ Quincy Fry.

            Are you sure about that? Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead. Stated part of Zumwalt’s Air Defense’s, is to be Ballistic Missile Defense, too…

          • Quincy Fry

            @Secundius
            The CNO had high hopes? He was misinformed? Can’t explain why politicians say what they say.
            As far as a BMD vessel, the Zumwalt and Monsoor are NOT going to have those capabilities without going through a very expensive post commisioning avail.
            Maybe he was talking about the LBJ . Since it ‘Will’ have the rail gun, non-composite deck house, the as designed radar system, etc etc.

          • Secundius

            @ Quincy Fry.

            Then it remain too see what actually happens, then. Doesn’t it…

          • Secundius

            @ Quincy Fry.

            There’s also the (3) BBG-72 tentatively named Louisiana class BMD/Arsenal Ship’s…

          • Frank Langham

            BMD is not just for dedicated “on station” apps.
            The 1000 is a C4 (command staff) facility and a Group Defense Arsenal, No ? (pardon my question).

          • Secundius

            @ Quincy Fry.

            If your referring to the BAE 6.1-inch (155mm/62-caliber) AGS with with exception of the Breech and Barrel which is Steel, the Supporting frame is made of Titanium…

          • Frank Langham

            Cut all that in half (at least) and nix the fully open architecture.

          • Secundius

            @ Quincy Fry.

            It also describes a BMD/Arsenal Ship, too…

        • Frank Langham

          The P-8s are going to do a LOT of that ASW which was previously done by helos and DDs … So I would not put TOO much emphasis on ASW … As far as Sonar and ASW on the NSC hull goes, we need only to look at what our more frugal NATO partners are doing … I’d look at Finland and Norway just to see what they are doing and how well it is working. … What is Taiwan doing, for that matter ? … Japan ?

    • Secundius

      @ Russ Neal.

      Not going to happen, anytime soon! Currently there are (3) Zumwalt class Destroyers, (62) Arleigh Burke class Destroyers, (1) Spruance class Destroyer and (22) Ticonderoga class Cruisers. NxG Cruiser class build, is scheduled until ~2035 and NxG Destroyer class build until ~2072…

  • ed2291

    Gosh, I am sick of this scenario being played over and over for decades. We will take a hit now in numbers and/or capability to be made up sometime in the indefinite future which never comes. We already have less than 300 ships and declining with no realistic plan to maintain – let alone increase – our fleet. How much longer before the number of Navy ships sinks to below 200 led by LCS ships named after politicians?

    • Frank Langham

      LoL … We had better stop counting ships and start thinking about how we will use them. … It is clear that we are headed for WAY MORE than 300 “ships” (depending on how you define “ship”. … At least 3 planned CVNs will NOT be happening but the dividend will be huge.

      • ed2291

        How are we headed for more than 300 ships? This is the same old “Don’t worry about the short fall now, we will make up for it later.” The problem is later never comes. This has been going on for decades.

        Oceans are big and no matter how capable or fast a ship is, it can’t be in more than one place at one time. Numbers count. They may not be everything, but they certainly count for something.

        As for how we will use them, it is difficult to think of a good use for any of the three types of LCS we will have. We will not be able to buy needed capability because of the money we will have already spent on that shining example of waste, fraud, and abuse. And no, naming them after politicians or calling them all frigates – or battleships for that matter – will not help.

        • Secundius

          @ed2291.

          Yeah, but the LCS program was a SecDef Donald Rumsfeld and President Buch/Cheney Legacy. Nobody elses…

  • James Bowen

    This article points out just how severely the Navy has been neglected and downsized, and how our leaders and perhaps the American public has come to take the Navy for granted.

  • Jim DiGiacomo

    One relatively cheap upgrade would be to equip all the LCS with the ESSM. It would greatly increase their utility as escorts and add more antimissile protection to the fleet. I hope the Navy reconsiders this option.

  • Secundius

    I think you guy are reading it wrong. Normally the US. Navy, deploy’s 30% of the Fleet at any given time. In this particular case 88-ship’s out of 272-ship’s are deployed, that work’s out to be ~32.352941176% ship’s deployed…

  • Jim Valle

    Once again we confront the dilemmas of asymmetric warfare. Missiles of all kinds are far cheaper and easier to build than large surface warships. There is probably no air defense system that can reliably fight off a saturation attack launched at a target as large as a CVN. The guided missile cruisers and destroyers aren’t even worthwhile targets since their only function is to protect the carriers and with them destroyed their basic existence is mooted. As for expanding and comprehensively modernizing the surface fleet, the money just isn’t there. All the services are competing with vast social programs, including pensions and medical care for all those Cold War vets. Add in critical civilian infrastructure needs, and massive spending for national security priorities related to terrorism and immigration. All this on a tax base that collects about thirty-five percent of GNP ( about 3.8 trillion dollars ) per year. Most advanced countries collect between forty-five and fifty-five percent of GNP in taxes and don’t aspire to maintain anything like our military establishment. Don’t forget that our Congress is now controlled by a tax cutting small government political party so the fiscal situation is unlikely to get any sweeter for the military even as the party proclaims its patriotic love of the men and women in uniform. The cheapest way to protect our fleet assets is to put them unambiguously under the protection of our nuclear umbrella. Let the World know that an attack on a major US warship will invite a strategic nuclear response. Take out one of our carriers and you loose your capital city and perhaps a good chunk of the rest of your country. Lets not play the game of trying to counter their cheap weapons with staggeringly expensive counter measures. If we let them drain us like that, it’s already a victory for them.

    • Secundius

      @ Jim Valle.

      Great, so in other words just act more like the Russian Federation…

      • Curtis Conway

        We don’t do that. We let them act like Bolsheviks, Communists, and Fascist. We are supposed to be the good guys with white hats. However, with the last three administrations, and their policies, one is left to wonder.

    • Curtis Conway

      Jim, you need to study “Directed Energy”. It gets less expensive and more capable every day. We will reach the tipping point at some point in time.

      • J_kies

        “There’s Liars … Damn Liars … then there’s the laser guys”.

        8-10 Billion USD wasted chasing that rabbit and counting.

  • This puts us in a very difficult position. The Chinese can boost the number of ASCMs and ASBMs far more cheaply than the US can build new DDGs and CGs. If the Chinese continue to build up numbers of A2AD capabilities, how long before even 100 or 120 USN principal surface combatants are insufficient? Does the US then go to 150 or 180? The Chinese can always build more ASCMs and ASBMs, and build new generations of each. YJ-18 will certainly not be the last ASCM to emerge, and nor will the DF-21D be the last ASBM. The DF-26 is already being touted as a potential next-gen ASBM with a greater range than the DF-21D. Add in to the mix the fact that the Chinese seem capable of building substantial numbers of ships each year, giving them the choice to expand the PLAN should they choose to do so and once they have replaced obsolete platforms. Up until now, PLAN modernisation has been focused on qualitative improvement rather than quantitative expansion. However once the Chinese are settled on ship and sub designs that are effective – Type 052D Luyang III, Type 055 (we’ll see about that one), and Type 054A Jiangkang II for the surface navy, and Yuan II and Shang II or Type 095 for the subs – why could the Chinese then not choose to expand the size of the PLAN’s fleets, even as the US Navy continues to shrink? So the key question – is the US Navy at a disadvantage that will grow more apparent over time and does the economics of naval development and missile development favour China? If so, what does the US do about it?

    • Secundius

      @ Dr. Malcolm Davis.

      The PRC is not looking of “Parity” in the Region. Their aim is “Total Control” of the Region, and the only way too accomplish that. Is to have a Fleet at least Twice the Size our Our (the USA) Fleet and the Regional Powers, combined…

      • Maybe – in which case it would make sense to start expanding the PLAN rather than just modernising it. I suspect if that’s going to happen, it will happen relatively soon, as most of their platforms are now fairly capable. They still have to work on their own informationization capabilities – C4ISR (see my above comment to @NotRizzo) but I’d not be surprised if the Chinese seek to modernise and expand simultaneously, especially once they start doing more significant Far Seas Operations in the Indian Ocean.

        • Secundius

          @ Dr. Malcolm Davis.

          The ChiCom’s PLAN already have a “Foot-Hold” in the Medirerranean, given too them. By of all Nations, Israel. The PRC, have a permanent Naval Base in Haifa Harbor, Haifa, Israel…

          • J_kies

            Nice of them; they coopt the US Congress, demand the US fight Iran for them and demand more money while we pay them upwards of 4 billion USD per year. But to listen to some people they are our best ally in the ME; a few more allies like that and we are toast.

    • @NotRizzo

      The real threat isn’t from the ASCM/ASBMs but from Chinese ISR capabilities. If the US can successfully eliminate or neutralize Chinese satellite and signal intelligence capabilities then the range of the weapons become mute. For instance if the PLAN aircraft or subs need to get a direct fix on the targeted CGB they are at a serious engagement disadvantage. Good luck launching enough ASCMs from landbased aircraft or SSN/SSKs to overload the AAW capablities of the CBG, not to mention putting your lauch platforms at serious risk.
      Imagine heavily loaded tactical or strategic aircraft forced to fly within 300 miles to launch, they’re formating will be swarmed by defensive aircraft and the loss rate of the attackers would be prohibitive. The submarine stands a better chance, but it’s magazine is much smaller and even getting into position for a detection puts it in serious jeopardy.

      • Curtis Conway

        Like the comment. Kill the sensor and not have to deal with the OTH archer or the arrows. Great Idea. Fund it and put it in the field . . . if the USAF has not already done so.

      • Agreed – though remember the Chinese are seeking to do the same to the US. Their counter-space, INEW and computer network operations will be active even before the outset of hostilities and the launch of missiles. So its the outcome of a battle of the first information-salvo that probably would then decide whether the Chinese ASCMs, and ASBMs are effective or not. If they can leave the US and its allies deaf, dumb and blind, then naval surface forces are far more vulnerable. Realistically, I don’t think any information battle in space, cyberspace or across the electro-magnetic spectrum will end with a clear victor on either side – more likely both sides will suffer serious damage to their C4ISR networks. Like punch-drunk and half blind boxers, they will then stagger around trying to land decisive blows with the systems they have. What will matter is resiliency and reconstitution – which side can recover from information warfare the quickest.

      • J_kies

        Mr Notaratmuppet; OTH Radar watching the carrier corner-reflector and Sosus-like acoustics tracking the supply train supporting the CBG means that no eyes are vulnerable for simple blinding. This is plenty of track quality to put missiles into their autonomous acquisition basket.

      • Secundius

        @NotRizzo.

        I certainly doubt that a ChiCom PLAN SSBN has a chance to do anything. Noise Wake of ChiCom SSBN is ~115-decibels underwater or roughly the same as a “Rock and Roll Band”…

    • Curtis Conway

      AN/SPY-6(v) AMDR, more reliance on passive sensors, and Directed Energy Weapons is the name of the game for the future. A DDG-51 with AMDR, passive detection, tracking and fire-control direction systems, coupled with directed energy weapons will be the most survivable. Our new little frigate would look very much like it from a detection, tracking, fire-control and Directed Energy engagement comparison. This is an investment worth making.

    • J_kies

      Welcome to the motivation for a real 3rd offset strategy. We need to change the paradigm of how we define success and how we pursue our goals. The carrot has failed and its time to center ourselves on the stick.

  • PolicyWonk

    Where I agree that our surface fleet size needs to be addressed – because in peacetime visibility *does* matter (good fences make good neighbors) – we should be installing VPM’s (Virginia Payload Modules) on every submarine (nuclear, and AIP if we ever get smart enough to build them – and forward base them) we build. Fundamentally: the pacific should be turned into a USN-dominated/submarine-infested lake.

    We should cease building the current and future variants of the ever-so mediocre LCS, and instead build NSC-based frigates that are up-armed/armored. They’ve got the legs, room for growth, proven seaworthiness (added bonus: arctic capability!), and USCG compatibility already built in. We can get economies of scale, parts compatibility, and these fine vessels are already on the slipways (contrast this to two distinct variants of the woefully inadequate LCS the navy is betting the farm on).

    It would also behoove us to build more LHA-6 sized CVA’s, perhaps with a ski-jump for the F-35B’s, to supplement our fleet of CVN’s. This would provide additional coverage while distributing our assets over more platforms, and we can buy LHA-6’s for about 1/3 the price of a CVN.

    We also need to invest heavily in EW, and more stand-off weapons. If our potential adversaries are going to use area-denial weapons on us, then we should be ready to deny access to them as well, and at least have the capability to destroy their capability before they can use it effectively.

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  • Rob C.

    I have to agree that, they can’t all be BMDs. Seriously, its painfully clear that Chinese won’t be lobby carrier-killing ballistic missiles at every ship. I’ve been very concern about lack of number of ships to handle the growing Chinese Navy.

    Currently it looks like the surface fleet’s guide missile force will be playing anti-air role, while the LCS/FFs will be anti-submarine and small craft duties with MCM in mind.

    Submarines in the Navy will be the anti-ship force. That’s how it looks right now, US Policy to change weapon focus is glacier slow. Mid-size general purpose destroyer isn’t as attractive to fund by the US congress unfortunately, or be able to sustain fleet as a whole with training and supplies of weapons and other necessities. Diminishing fleets of the US and allies will need focus resource if they ever need face off with other less friendly nations.

    I wish there another way, the US Navy will be outnumbered soon.

    • Curtis Conway

      That is why a lower cost (than DDG-51) multi-warfare surface combatant is needed in numbers. They need capability, persistence, and efficient mobility.

  • Secundius

    @ Frank Langham.

    If your considering using a C-130 as a Delivery System, than LACE the Ordnance Package out of the Rear of the Plane. Attach a small Drogue Parachute to the Package, toss out the Drogue Chute. And have the Drogue Chute “pull” the package out of the plane. This gives you time to get out of range of the Blast Detonation Area…

  • Vitonio

    Th US needs to add some Diesel Electric boats to go along with the Nuke boats. A fleet of 100 Subs would be money well spent.

  • Secundius

    I suspect the Flight III, Arleigh Burkes are going to have “Electric Drive” Propulsion System. And if that’s the case, a BAE 32-MJ Rail-Gun as well…

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  • Pirovano

    The mission of the US Navy is too important, and its vessels and weapons are too costly to be left to admirals. Their agenda is as concerned with skipper slots, and industry contacts as with serving US vital national interests.

    The heart of our navy today is the aircraft carrier, an effective weapon. Almost all of our other surface ships exists to serve it. That works well against third rate navies, but in a fight against a modern naval power, our carrier fleets could not leave port.

    The answer is underwater aircraft carriers. Two of our Ohio class missile boats have already been converted to operate cruise missiles and observation drones. That makes them effectively, carriers. With displacements of 20,000 tons these huge vessels can be amply stocked with cruise missiles, and rearmed on station by cargo subs. Moreover, they would have compliments of fewer than 200 men, as against the current surface carrier task force crews of upwards to ten thousand.

    Without carriers needing elaborate entourages it would be a much smaller and cheaper navy, a big reason this option doesn’t appeal to the brass, and even less the defense industry.

    But it should appeal to everyone else. Instead of 12 vulnerable flattops, we could have 100 invisible carriers, They could operate drone observation patrols and strike targets as effectively as air-wings with much less danger. Moreover, they would make the task of our adversaries much tougher and more costly.

    Whereas our costs would plummet. Granted, reusable aircraft can deliver ordnance more cheaply than one way cruise missiles, underwater carriers however, are far more cost effective when the expense of the aircraft and of the huge surface fleet personnel, and their dependents, is considered. We would have a navy as able to project power as now but far more survivable against a capable enemy, and vastly cheaper.

    We are preparing to build the successors to the current Ohio missile boats. That program should be enlarged in the way suggested.

    • Secundius

      @ Pirovano.

      Maybe in the 22nd century, because it sure ain’t going to happen in this century…

      • Pirovano

        It is already happening.

        • Secundius

          @ Pirovano.

          I’m not counting the three I400 class Submarines, the Imperial Japanese Navy had in WW2…

  • Pirovano

    The mission of the US Navy is too important, and its vessels and weapons are too costly to be left to admirals. Their agenda is as concerned with skipper slots, and industry contacts as with serving US vital national interests.

    The heart of our navy today is the aircraft carrier, an effective weapon. Almost all of our other surface ships exists to serve it. That works well against third rate navies, but in a fight against a modern naval power, our carrier fleets could not leave port.

    The answer is underwater aircraft carriers. Two of our Ohio class submarines have already been converted to operate cruise missiles and observation drones. That makes them effectively, carriers. With displacements of 20,000 tons these huge vessels can be amply stocked with cruise missiles, and rearmed on station by cargo subs. Moreover, with compliments of fewer than 200 men, as against the current surface carrier task force crews of upwards to ten thousand, they would risk fewer lives and treasure.

    Without carriers needing elaborate entourages it would be a much smaller, more efficient navy, a big reason this option doesn’t appeal to the brass, and even less the defense industry.

    But it should appeal to everyone else. Instead of 12 vulnerable flattops, we could have 100 invisible carriers, They could operate drone observation patrols and strike targets as effectively as air-wings, while making the task of our adversaries much tougher and costlier.

    Whereas our costs would plummet. Granted, reusable aircraft can deliver ordnance more cheaply than one way cruise missiles, underwater carriers however, are far more cost effective when the expense of the aircraft and of the huge surface fleet personnel, and their dependents, is considered. And we would have a navy as able to project power as now but far more survivable against a capable enemy.

    We are preparing to build the successors to the current Ohio missile boats. That program should be enlarged in the way suggested.

    • Secundius

      @ Pirovano.

      What about the V/STOL aircrafts you mentioned, too. Your not going to get all that “CRAP” into a 20,000-ton Submarine Hull. 40,000-ton Maybe, but a 20-KT hull…

      • Pirovano

        I made no mention of VSTOL aircraft, any more than of littoral capable ships or naval artillery able to support inland battles, or surface ships that impress and overawe. All of that is nice. But essential is retaining the ability to project massive conventional force from the sea against anyone, regardless of how cutting edge.That can no longer be done with our flat tops, even if they still suffice against 3rd rate foes.

        • Secundius

          @ Pirovano.

          Maybe not directly, but how can you have a Underwater Aircraft Carrier. Without Aircrafts, and to operate from a small 20-KT platform, it would have to be V/STOL capable…

        • Secundius

          @ Pirovano.

          This is going to sound like a DUMB question. But how are you predicting a success to a Project that not even out of the Testing Phase of the Program. Sea Robin XFL, may have been successfully launched from the Nuclear-Powered Submarine “Providence” by the Naval Research Laboratory. But the system IS NOT even in the Production and Operational Status with the Fleet Yet. Aren’t you a Little Premature in your Assessment of the Project…

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  • Secundius

    Five Redditment’s in 30-minutes. New Record for me. Can’t answer your Question, Frank…

  • Secundius

    Apparently, the Part of the Loyalty Oath that every US. Naval Officer and Enlisted Personal had too take when they entered into the Navy. About Defending the Constitution of the United States of America, Must have Slipped Past the Mediator and the Publisher of USNI New’s…

  • Secundius

    FYI: According to DID, AIM-120D AMAARM’s are scheduled for Early deployment in the Pacific area…

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  • vegass04 .

    I simply can’t understand that US Navy can’t produce a modern anti ship missile in the amount of time it will be fielding LRASM witch is basicaly a glued seeker to an existing missile. We need supersonic capability now and I don’t get it why is it such a problem to field it in a year or two, the Russians have been fielding it for decades, it shouldn’t be to hard to get a specimen of one of them and reverse engeenir it. And the next step should definetely be a hypersonic anti ship missile with hasn’t got counter measure yet. LRASM B was scrapped almost as soon as it was concived and it was a supersonic variant. It would be a mission impossible for a foe to defend form a subsonic stealthy LRASM A snooping around perimetar while a supersonic variant B is streaking in Mach 3 from a different axis of attack. And Navy didn’t have money for that after all the billions sunk into canceled projects. That’s a sad state of affairs.

    • Secundius

      @ vegass04.

      You also have the Mach 5+ LRLAP, Long-Range Naval Artillery Projectile. Which can also be used in the Anti-Shipping Role or even Anti-Aircraft Role…

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  • Joezifu

    USA needs more ships if it continues to create more enemies, especially big ones like Russia and China.

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