Home » Budget Industry » 355-Ship Navy Could Take More Than Three Decades to Build, Acting Navy Under Secretary Says


355-Ship Navy Could Take More Than Three Decades to Build, Acting Navy Under Secretary Says

Launch of guided-missle destroyer Delbert Black (DDG-119). HII Photo

Chances are the Navy’s leaders of a proposed 355-ship fleet have not even finished high school yet, according to Pentagon estimates.

“It’s going to take a long time and it’s going to take a lot of money,” said Thomas Dee, acting Under Secretary of the Navy.
“We can be on the mark by mid-century.”

Some estimates made by think tanks and the Congressional Budget Office have suggested a 355-ship Navy could be achieved faster, but Dee sounded skeptical the goal could be reached in less than three decades. Speaking Wednesday at the NDIA Expeditionary Warfare Conference in Annapolis, Dee said even if Congress added billions of dollars to the Navy’s annual budgets, perhaps a 355-ship fleet would be built by the mid to late 2040s.

Based on the Pentagon’s understanding of the industrial base’s ability to increase production, Dee said perhaps the benchmark could be reached by the mid-2040s.

“We may want it, very, very soon, perhaps we’ll be able to get there, but we’re going to have to work with our partners over on The Hill,” Dee said.

Thomas Dee, acting Under Secretary of the Navy

Money is the biggest constraint. A decade of operating with continuing resolutions and several years of having spending restrained by the Budget Control Act, has limited the Navy’s ability to increase fleet size, Dee said. Awarding overseas contingency operations (OCO) funding is how Dee said Congress has gotten around the Budget Control Act restraints.

“Problem with OCO is your ability to plan,” Dee said. This money is not guaranteed and can change year-to-year.

During the summer, the Congressional Budget Office released a study suggesting fleet size could be increased much quicker than what Dee says is realistic. But these estimates are not cheap and require Navy leadership to rethink how missions are accomplished.

The CBO suggested a 355-fleet could be achieved by the early 2030s, but would require the Navy to rethink what the fleet would look like and an astronomical funding increase to $3.1 trillion to build and maintain the fleet for the next 30 years.

Suggested CBO options to hasten the pace of fleet growth include extending the service life of some ships, relying on unmanned vehicles, and curtailing other programs such as not meeting a stated goal of having 66 attack submarines in 15 years.

Dee said he was not familiar with the CBO study, but increasing annual budgets alone will not quicken the pace of shipbuilding. Recruiting and retaining sailors is a constraint. Then there’s the Pentagon’s belief industrial doesn’t have the capacity to ramp up production faster, Dee said. The problem isn’t just building dry docks, but also hiring and retaining skilled shipyard workers.

There’s also the question of political will to continue funding a 355-ship Navy. Work would span multiple administrations, which generally means a near-complete turnover of civilian leadership inside the Pentagon. Planning can be put on hold while incoming civilian leaders assemble their teams. Dee, on the job for five months, is still working as an acting under-secretary.

USS Virginia (SSN-774) under construction at the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard in 2003. Electric Boat Photo

“I’m actually willing to give up my big office and the head for (Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis) to be able to build up his team,” he said.

So, what do we do, Dee asked. The answer, he said involves technological advances, used to gain leverage in a multi-domain warfare environment. Sub-sea, surface, space, and cyber domains. Doing so, Dee said, is not just about saving money, but also using the Department of Defense’s technological advantage over competitors.

“We will not be able to buy our way out of the challenges being faced today,” Dee said. “When all else fails, we’re going to have to think our way out of this.”

  • The only way to get a 355 ship navy is to build Frigates and supplement the SSN’s with SSK’s. At the same time, the best option is to up gun the National Security Cutter into a Patrol Frigate with basic AAW, ASUW and ASW capabilities. You don’t need AEGIS on a frigate, but something light enough like APAR or CEAFAR. The Frigate can pull all the low end missions such as Maritime Security, Maritime presence, Anti Terrorism, Anti Piracy, show the flag, Merchant/ARG escort and Fire support missions for the USMC. As for the SSK’s, they would be used in places where you can’t get an SSN in time and they can also be used for USSOCOM as well in the area of Shallow water Special operations.

    • sferrin

      Wrong. For starters the US doesn’t build SSKs, and has no desire to. (And rightfully so.) The USN DOES need a real frigate (LCS ain’t it). They should go with General Dynamics’ multi-mission combatant. This could use the same shipyard the Independence class is built in, rather than tying up resources needed to build the larger ships at Bath and Ingalls.

      • James Bowen

        The best use of an SSK is for shallow water operations and coastal/harbor defense. It is effectively a very smart, mobile mine that can strike multiple times. There may be a need in the U.S. Navy and/or U.S. Coast Guard for such boats, along with light patrol boats and modern PT/missile boats, but SSNs are clearly superior for deep water operations.

        • It’s why, while we worry about overseas, who the heck is guarding our EEZ’s. I think having a small Number of SSK’s for places like Guam, Diego Garcia and Rota Spain that can be used for ISR and Special operations work in the Shallow waters such as inserting and extracting special ops teams in the shallow waters.

          • Da Facts

            The SSN’s guard our EEZ’s just like every other sub mission. They do quite fine at ISR, and have the extra size to carry a variety of sensors and folks to operate them. They can carry special operators and equipment to allow those operators to travel underwater to shallow waters. Yes, there are areas of the world that have extensive shallows off their coast that make large subs a bit more dicey to close approach, but most of the world the water gets pretty deep not that far off shore. Now, can diesels do that as well, maybe in some cases better? Sure, but the truth of the matter is building small subs, like building small carriers while continuing to build large nuclear subs and carriers means you would likely not save any money, or get any more hulls. You would probably get less.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            I would add another possibility to attain some numbers without losing out on capabilities. Design and construct conventionally powers CVs again. It has been said in quite a few circles that we live in a 15 carrier world. They will remain relevant and vital for the bulk of this century. Perhaps the existing nuclear powered carriers can be the basic blueprint for that. The “Kennedy” (CV 67) was originally designed to be a CVN, but was switched to a conventional power plant after construction was commenced. Again, the same thing applies here as with nuke vs. conventional subs, in that NOBODY argues the superiority of the nukes. BUT, the Navy operated conventional super carriers for decades, and they delivered magnificent service. The tradeoff in costs vice what might be ‘lost’ as far as nuke vs. conventional carriers is, to me anyways, one worthy of consideration. Some studies have shown that at least 2 conventional supercarriers can be built for one Nimitz class. I imagine the savings would be even more when compared to constructing a Ford class carrier.

            It will be argued that building CVs will require additional ships, especially auxiliary vessels to refuel and resupply them, and that will be right. But the money, not to mention the time, saved by not building them as nukes can certainly be put towards appropriating those other ships. That becomes a win-win situation, as those ships will be able to supply and fuel other ships when not engaged with carrier battle groups. Un-rep ships are part of that 355 ship goal, just like they were with the previous 600 ship goal of the Reagan years. It’s not about costs per se’, it’s what those costs produce.

          • Da Facts

            Chesapeke said “Again, the same thing applies here as with nuke vs. conventional subs, in that NOBODY argues the superiority of the nukes” ‘
            Well, yes, many people argue a nuclear carrier is superior, for a number of reasons. The main advocate has been the US Navy. MAYBE you can build a 70,000 ton CV for half the price of a Ford. I doubt it, but maybe. THEN you need to add at least 1 if not 2 fast replenishment tanker. The new Lewis class 20kt replenishment tankers are priced out at 640 million. A faster, larger tanker to refuel the conventional carrier would likely push a billion each. And THEN you add the 30 years of diesel fuel to move both ships. Oils reasonably cheap today. Tomarrow?

          • Chesapeakeguy

            You just validated and literally repeated everything I said. And the price of oil, today and tomorrow? Don’t look now, but the Navy, and the rest of our military, as well as our entire society, faces that question every day. Doesn’t the Navy have to be concerned with the price of steel? How about the price of nuclear materials? Those might not be as volatile as oil, but so what? Do the nuke carriers use aviation fuel? Do they have auxiliary engines that depend on fossil fuels? It’s a spurious argument. It’s all about putting ships in the fleet as soon as is possible. Nuclear power, be it for subs or surface ships, requires quite long lead times. :Last I saw, those non-nuclear powered CVs delivered quite impressively when needed. The reality remains that they can carry as many planes as a Nimitz or Ford, and while they can’t carry as much ordinance as the nukes, they still carry quite an impressive. load.

          • Secundius

            It’s Aviation Grade Mil-T-5624L (NDF F-44) “near equivalent” to JP-4/JP-5 (aka Belvoir-44). It’s more Stable in Confined Areas, like onboard Ships. Created by the US Army Corp of Engineers at Fort Belvoir, Virginia (Hence the name “Belvoir”) in 12 November 1985. There’s also a Ship Grade version MIL-F-16884H or (NDF F-76) for Gas-Turbines and Diesels “near equivalent” to JP-8 (aka Belvoir-76). Typical Diesel Fuel or Number 2 Crude will Ignite at Air Pressure of 100psi. I’ve forgotten what the Air Pressure Rating for what “Belvoir” is…

          • Da Facts

            With all due respect, I did not literally repeat (except for your invalid statement of fact) nor validate your opinion. I refuted it. Many people believe the nuclear carrier to be superior. You confuse a couple of points. Size is not dependent on the power plant. The Ford is bigger because it was designed to be bigger, because the US Navy wanted it bigger. The choice of power plant has to do with tactical and strategic decisions. Especially now that the navy is moving more and more to longer life cores, fuel cost is up front and preloaded. Refueling a 100000 ton ship for 40 years is a LOT of oil. Nuclear carriers for the same size hull, carry more aviation fuel, more ordnance because the power plant/fuel storage is smaller.

            The use of other fuels on the ship is not spurious, it key to the tactical advantage. Nucs are able to carry more aviation fuel and need replenishment much less often because of it.

            You keep talking about the US conventional carriers like they were that much smaller. They werent. The Forrestals were 90%+ the size of the Enterprise and 80%+ the size of the Nimitz and Ford class. Deck size was even closer.

            Another point is a lot of the lead time for nucs is intentional and political. Political, to stretch out the cost over multiple years, and intentional to maintain the enterprise and its ability to continue building ships. They could build carriers much faster, and have in the past. They are intentionaly stretching out the construction period to maintain the capacity.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Here we have yet another one having trouble following the conversation. Do tell, where did I say that CVs are superior to CVNs? What did you ‘refute’? Did you even READ my post(s)? In what universe are you inhabiting did I say anything about size being dependent on power plants? Geeze there ‘Da facts’, where is it said or implied by me that CVs are SMALLER than CVNs? Yes, lots of oil is consumed over 40 to 50 years of service life. So what? The Navy was able to do that with no problem when they had CVs in service. They STILL have to do that with all other ships that sail on the surface of the water! And so what about why nuclear ‘items’ take so much longer. The discussion is on ways to put more ships in the fleet at a faster pace. There is no way they can do that with CVNs. Not in comparison to constructing CVs. That is ‘da facts’.

          • Da Facts

            lol… “in that NOBODY argues the superiority of the nukes” is an exact quote from you. Perhaps I misunderstood your choice of words. I read it as you were implying nobody argues that nukes are superior. My apologies.

            Returning to build conventional powered carriers can only be done at the expense of building nuclear carriers. Nuclear components have a long lead time because we build too few of them, and their construction is deliberately strung out to maintain the production line. Its really simple economics. Nuclear carriers cost so much because they have to carry the cost of maintaining the industry at one hull every 5-6 years. The cost of the fuel is applicable, because its part of the cost of ownership you are failing to factor into the cost of the conventional versus nuclear carrier cost. Building conventional powered carriers will not fix that problem, unless your willing to forego US construction, and have the hulls built overseas. Without a vibrant commercial construction industry to help maintain the industry, US Naval shipbuilding will continue to be pricey.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            You have me confused ‘Facts’. I DID say that. Who IS arguing that nukes are NOT superior platforms when it comes to subs and carriers? It ain’t me. My point is that there is an alterative worth investigating that gives enough capability visa vis nukes at much less cost and time, at least when it comes to carriers. Yes, you’re right, building CVs would no doubt come at the expense of CVNs. And THAT remains a valid and fair question: which is better, building ONE CVN or 2 to 3 conventional CVs plus the requisite additional support vessels for the same money? Any theater commander is not going to give a rat’s behind about how any ship gets around, he/she is gonna want NUMBERS. In the argument pertaining to the cost of fuel, the costs of overhauls for nuclear ships are quite expensive and extensive as far as the time required. There are always tradeoffs in ever decision. Again, adding NUMBERS with acceptable capabilities is worth consideration. To me anyways.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            I did say that. I personally do not know of anyone who does not agree that ‘nukes are superior’. I make no such claims that they aren’t. My entire point is that, at least when it comes to carriers, the tradeoffs in spending the money needed to acquire a nuke carrier are worth considering if the decision to build CVs is evaluated. Building 2 or more CVs and the requisite additional support ships vice 1 CVN is attractive, at least to me it is. I’ll wager no theater commander is going to give a hoot about how any ship gets around, he/she is going to want NUMBERS. About those tradeoffs, given 40 plus years of fuel costs and other factors, overhauls for nuke ships are much more expensive, and much more time consuming. Again, it’s about bang for the buck. If I was about to initiate large scale air attacks against a hostile entity. I would rather have 3 CVs than 2 CVNs, because each CV will possess the same number of planes as each CVN does.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Why is this disgusting site not allowing my responses here? I have TWICE attempted to respond to this post, and while they initially appear to be posted, when I return here they are gone. What the heck is going on? There’s no profanity in them. There are no personal attacks. Why is this happening?

          • Secundius

            May I make a Suggestion? Use the “General Inquiry Comment Box” and Address the Question to the Intended Subject! Example: @ D* F**** or go through “DISQUS”…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Well Secundius, for starters, I don’t know what the reference to the ‘General Inquiry Comment Box’ refers to. LOL. But the thing is, I SHOULDN’T have to do that. I want my replies to be out here for all to see. The only times I have had trouble before is when I tried to post links. I know you can’t do that, so I don’t put them in. Well, I DO know how to get around that. But you had no problem posting your response to mine. Until yesterday I had no problem with it either. I can only assume that it’s an intentional action on the part of the folks who administer this site.

          • Secundius

            The one that usually says: “Join the discussion”…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            That does not allow for a direct response like the ones I have made to you, and the ones I WAS able to make to De Facts, and the ones you are able to make to me. But I’m gonna try something here. Stay tuned…

          • Secundius

            Probably NOT! But at Least it Puts Out the Question! Either Way the Question Might or Might Not be Answered by the Person the Question is Directed at. Even a Directed Question “Might Not” be Addressed by the the Person being addressed. It’s a “Crap Shoot” either way…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Da Facts, I’m going to try this one more time. I still remain confused as to just what you had a problem with in my posts. I certainly DID say that “nukes are more capable than conventionally powered vessels’, at least when applied to carriers and subs. Who would argue with that? Certainly not I.

            To your points, I can see where building CVs would impact building CVNs. Possibly. That would depend on what Congress decides. Building more of anything can have the same impact depending on priorities assigned. Per your point about the cost of fuel being applicable, it always will be. That’s going to be the case for ALL Navy surface ships that are not CVNs. You also have to factor in the costs of overhauls, which are more expensive and time consuming for CVNs that their CV counterparts. If SLEPs are ever to be considered, all the more so. Personally, I have confidence in US shipbuilding to be able to construct CVs if those ships are ordered. I also firmly believe that any theater commander, if needing to conduct and sustain a large scale air campaign, would rather have, say, 3 CVs than 2 CVNs. He or she is not going to be concerned with how those ships get around, they are going to be concerned with how many planes they can commit.

    • Horn

      We are a country surrounded by two large oceans, with allies to the north and south. We do not need the limited range & endurance of SSPs (as well as the large R&D cost, new supply chains, forward base berthing, maintenance training, combat training, construction learning curve, etc.)

      • @USS_Fallujah

        A US Fleet of SSKs would also be duplicating capabilities of our allies while failing to grow the capabilities we actually need our SSN/SSGNs for, namely escorting surface groups in deep water & providing Day One long range strike capability against near-peer adversaries that a CSG can’t.

        • But then for USSOCOM, we can get them a small fleet of SSK’s for Special ops work in the Littoral waters

          • @USS_Fallujah

            How much are you intending to spend on such a niche capability, and can a SSK actually accomplish the missions SOCCOM would be asking for. Not much space for extra bodies or equipment on even larger SSKs, and then you get into range limitations, etc…

          • Look at the Current SSK’s out there right now. Some could be perfect for USSOCOM use in the littoral waters, which where they action is right now.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            I’m highly dubious of what use a SSK would be for the NSW community, I’m doubly dubious of the ability of the USN to purchase said SSKs for anything close to a good ROI compared to the existing SSN production line. Either way, not matter the validity of your case it won’t happen, ever, so no much point in arguing the potentiality.

          • But then again, we could build an SSK for the same cost of the Virginia SSN

          • @USS_Fallujah

            We’re experts at making the low cost option cost more than the high cost original.

          • Da Facts

            The US reasons for not investing non nuc submarines can be understood by looking at the submarine procurement programs of UK and Australia. UK also made the decision of dropping conventional boats to concentrate of nucs. Although on a boat for boat basis, conventional boats my be cheaper to build, the US and UK decided maintain both types was not cost effective. Other nations have decided to maintain both (Russia, China and France) but then I wonder how much of the math was based on maintaining a viable export option as well.
            Australia which has decided to stay with conventional boats had some issues finding a conventional boat with the size, range and capabilities from available designs. A lot of the issue is what range of capacities you want to focus on. US uses its attack boats to escort battle groups. That means speed and range not many (any) diesel boats can maintain. The US has 2 large oceans (or more) to cross, quickly, to get to areas we believe we will act in. We want lots of weapons and options. That means a large vessel. Even with consideration of combat off our coasts, we have deep open water readily available, except in some areas of the Caribbean/Gulf. And as Fallujah sadly pointed out, by the time we got around to actually building a convention boat, it probably wouldn’t be any cheaper. A US version would undoubtedly not be cheaper than for example Isreal’s Dolphin boats at around 1.3 billion each. So at best, 1/2 to 3/4 the cost of a Virginia boat.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            Worth noting too that the Australian Navy has made it preference for Nuke boats clear, but that the political implications of nuke power, plus the lack of indigenous nuclear power capability to leverage (not to mention the financial burden) make less capable diesel boats the only viable option.

          • Secundius

            Don’t you mean [3] SSK’s for the same cost of the Virginia SSN…

      • SSK is perfect for Littoral operations and Special operations in the Littoral waters. We would not get them in large numbers. Just enough to support Special ops teams.

        • Horn

          Where are you getting the idea that nuc boats can’t operate in the littorals? Also, that’s an exorbitant cost being paid just to create a few submarines for a small, specialized role and operating environment.

          • Here’s where I am getting the idea From the Foxtrot Alpha Article called
            Confessions Of A U.S. Navy Submarine Officer
            ““As far as the race to be the quietest, the AIP platforms are untouchable. I think we never should have stopped making diesel boats. They’re cheaper, smaller, and deathly quiet when the diesels are off. Obviously the diesel gives away the sub easily, but AIP fixes some of that problem. Now we’ve lost that part of our sub force, but I’m glad our allies have maintained it.

            Nukes have their place. Obviously there’s an advantage for SSBNs and SSGNs to being nuclear and having essentially infinite endurance to keep all those missiles on call. The food’s the limit. And keeping some nuclear fast attack subs for tracking and keeping up with the enemy SSBNs is pretty much essential. But a small AIP sub is easier to maneuver around the littorals, and that’s where all the action is these days. I wish we had kept the capability. You could build multiple diesel boats for the cost of one VIRGINIA. Home port them in the Med and Western Europe in allied ports.”

          • Horn

            Just because the SSP is better in the littoral area doesn’t mean an SSN can’t operate there as well. Our last diesels were built in the 1950s, 40 years before the introduction of AIP into a functional submarine. The USN retired their last SSK in 1990, just before the advent of AIP. SSPs would be very useful for the USN right now, but would be limited in their use compared to SSNs. SSPs can’t operate with a fleet, can’t stalk a SSBN, SSGN, or SSN, and can’t hunt an enemy fleet or convoy. Now, the money isn’t there for them.

          • Secundius

            Littoral Waters can vary from 5-meters to 264-meters in depth…

          • Horn

            That didn’t answer my question. I didn’t ask what a littoral area was. We’re talking about 10-20ft difference in height between an SSP and an SSN. Is the added performance in the littorals worth gimping the rest of the fleet that can operate better in the other 95% of the world’s oceans?

          • Secundius

            In 2005, the US Navy Leased the Swedish SSK “Gotland” and performed a “Mock Mission” against the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Group in the Western Pacific. The “Ronald Reagan” Got SUNK by Two Mock Torpedo Hits…

          • Horn

            Yes. I remember that. I also remember that it had a lot to do with little-to-no ASW training and lack of technological investment in ASW systems. I also remember the Gotland having to be carried back to Sweden on a mobile dry dock. Diesels are good in littorals close to home, and laying in wait along a fleet or convoy’s route. They can’t chase down a target or stalk their prey. Limited endurance once underwater beyond several knots speed.

            I didn’t say SSPs were bad, or wouldn’t be useful, just that the expense and training needed are beyond our fiscal capabilities right now. You’d have to invest in designing a new submarine, because every Congressman is too scared to build another country’s design. Then you have to find a shipyard with the available capacity. Training and the construction learning curve. New supply chain for construction materials and maintenance parts. Upgrades to forward bases. More tankers or new submarine tenders would be needed. Specialized crew training. Last, all that money would have to come out of another program. Which is it going to be? CVNs? Boomers? DDGs? Amphibs?

          • Secundius

            Actually NO! The US Navy extended the lease until 2007, and Return to Sweden under its own power…

          • Horn

            Actually, yes. Just a quick Google search will net you 8 different sources and 3 separate images showing that the Gotland was returned to Sweden on a mobile dry dock. Unfortunately, USNI never lets me attach any links on my posts so you’ll have to find them yourself.

          • Secundius

            Having had been REDACTED more than 400 times by “USNI News” Myself! You need to Write in such away to be Unnoticed, by “Spacing” the Characters in the Website Addresses. Example like: ( https: // cdn . shopify . com /s / files / 1 / 1332 / 8105 / products / 700C _ isolated _ tight _ 2048×2048 . jpg ? v = 1489891365 ), which would come up as Total Meaningless “Gibberish” to the U S N I New “Screening Filters”…

  • liso esplay

    or go build/buy them ships in china, problem solved

  • Western

    Lots of NATO countries are currently building state-of-the-art ships available for purchase. Many of our formerly very useful Navy shipyards are now low income housing and art galleries, and their former talented workers on food stamps. Take some of them back – national emergency.
    If you did not spend two-thirds of the Pentagon budget on UNIFORM CHANGES you could buy ships and bullets.
    The Pentagon really, really needs to get their spending under control.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Wow, looking down the road thirty years, that’s some job.

    Hard to imagine who our enemies will be by then, judging from the past two decades. Maybe the Canadians? Nah, but still we have to plan for the future. Those oceans aren’t getting any smaller, and world trade is a key element to our nation’s well-being, going all the way back to the Barbary Pirates of Jefferson’s days (the reason for founding the USN). Today the USN still protects that vital trade, and despite all our technological advances, there is still no cheaper means of transporting goods around the world than aboard a ship. More destroyers, more destroyers, more Arleigh Burke DDG-51 Flight III destroyers.

    • Duane

      More cowbell, huh?

      Perhaps that is the answer, but perhaps not. Chasing an arbitrary number of 355 ships is certainly NOT the answer.

      Given the proliferation of ever more capable, longer range, and more lethal ASMs, and enemies now building many more submarines, how survivable will all those DDGs really be in the mid-21st century? The answer is, we don’t really know.

      We built a bunch of big heavy, heavy gunned BBs between WW I and II, and in the opening hour of battle most were left on the bottom or smoking hulks. We had only a tiny handful of the ships that proved to be the real lethal workhorses of the Navy – our fleet submarines and CVs – with which to oppose the Japanese Imperial Navy. It took another two years to build up what we needed to fight the Pacific war.

      It matters far more that we build the right numbers of the right kinds of ships, than to just build to an arbitrary fleet size and shout “More DDGs”.

      • publius_maximus_III

        Duane’s World (2045): Admiral Dimwitz, we’ve just received a report of another Somali pirate hijacking of a container ship. We have one of our remaining 14-ship fleet in the area, a boomer submerged at 10,000 feet in the southern Indian Ocean, at maximum distance from ASM’s on any of the three surrounding large continental land masses. We can launch a nuke and neutralize their base camp, while only exposing our position for a few minutes at launch depth. Well, OK, but don’t miss. You could wipe out half of Africa with one of those babies…

        • Duane

          Yes, I know you much prefer a fleet of 355 ships, of which all but the submarines are currently serving as artificial reefs.

          Me, I prefer a fleet that is both survivable, not sunk, and is doing its job to protect the world’s freedom of the seas. Unlike you I don’t pretend to know exactly what kinds and numbers of ships that will entail. You prefer apparently the artificial reef option.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Yet YOU prefer a fleet comprised entirely of those over priced, under armed tubs the LCS. The Navy lost 2, count them, 2, BBs in WWII. The ones produced just before and during the war did just fine over all. You keep spewing that no number will work when it comes to the US fleet, then you whine that regardless, EVERY single surface ship will be lost if it encounters any kind of sub with an ASM on it, then you admit that you have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to ship numbers. Quite a span there Duane.

    • tiger

      Not at a billion a pop.

      • publius_maximus_III

        “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”
        — Senator Everett Dirksen

  • Duane

    There is no political will to tax Americans enough to build and maintain a 355 ship Navy. It was all a lot of political hooey to buy votes for Trump, it was never going to be a real thing.

    Besides the fact that it will never happen, the notion of building an arbitrary number of 355 ships, especially surface combatants, in an age where land based and airborne ASMs are proliferating in numbers, capabilities, and range may make a surface fleet virtually obsolete. Yes, we have substantial missile defenses today, but it seems that the advantage, in terms of the cost curve,is on the side of anti-ship weapons. Perhaps that may change with development and deployment of truly effective EM weapons like railguns and lasers and next gen EW, but those systems have yet to become a deployed reality.

    Are we really going to spend trillions building and operating a large fleet of surface ships that, if these super defenses don’t pan out, will mostly end up serving as artificial reefs full of dead sailors?

    The best bets for now are to focus on building more submarines,which are immune to ASMs, and on getting those super defensive weapons fully developed and proven ASAP. Only then can we afford to invest in a much larger surface fleet.

    Oh, and by the way, we also are engaged in massively building up our ASMs, on surface ships, aircraft,and now on land. As the ranges and lethality of these weapons increase, China’s massive investment in surface fleets will also end up serving as great artificial reefs, filled with the bones of dead Chinese sailors.

    • Chesapeakeguy

      Oh horse manure. Navy ship numbers and the discussions involved predate the present Trump admin. Just because your God and idol Obama decided that the best military posture was to attack so-called ‘global warming’ and to offer jobs to jihadists, the needs for the Navy at present and going forward remain. Unfortunately, that 355 ship fleet or whatever the final number ends up will be populated with useless tubs like your beloved LCS. The resources wasted on that boondoggle alone could have gone towards producing REAL ships that can actually contribute to a campaign against a peer or near-peer adversary.

      C’mon Duane, give me your whines about ‘Russian trolls’ and the like. It’s not like you ever have anything else to offer.

      • Duane

        Show me the political will.

        There is none.

        Gee, I think I remember that we held a national election a year ago, and the GOP won control of everything, House, Senate, and White House, with grand promises of building a 355 ship Navy. Yet here we stand today, operating without a national defense authorization act, on a CR that requires by law no change in spending on any program, and even the two 2018 NDAA bills passed by both the Senate and House do absolutely nothing to increase the current shipbuilding plan and budget, which has a goal of 308 ships. Trump himself says “not yet” on increasing the fleet size. Well, if not now, then when?

        The answer is, quite obviously, never. The money isn’t there. The GOP is insisting on a humongous tax cut in their current tax bill working its way through the House, a bill that will vastly expand the national deficit and national debt, and yet still not one dollar to increase the fleet size.

        Assuming you voted GOP, you’ve been punked. They lied to you. And you voted for them probably knowing that they lied to you because Hillary Clinton blah blah blah.

        There is NO political will now or ever to greatly expand the US naval fleet. We know this because there is no political action in place, or even being contemplated, that will ever make it so

        • Chesapeakeguy

          Duane, you Hillary Clinton fans don’t have much in the way of credibility on…well…anything. ‘Political will’? Among whom? Expanding a fleet is always complicated. The elected officials of BOTH parties want ‘their cut’, as in what will be built in their backyards. Your beloved piece of junk the LCS is a classic example of that. ALL involved are undergoing that process now, as well as addressing other concerns. I won’t argue as to how well they are doing that, but it’s never going to happen at the snap of some fingers. Unless we get drawn into another world war that hopefully does NOT go nuclear.

          • Duane

            This has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton, so quit reliving your boyish fantasies of defeating her. What matters now and in the future is defending the United States. There will be no 355 ship navy – forget about it. So what do we do instead? That is the important question for our military leaders to be hard at work answering.

            If you are shocked that politicians would lie to get elected, with no intent of doing what they promised while asking for your vote, then you are a Polllyanna. Grow up.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Ummm genius, my dreams have become reality in that she is NOT POTUS. So dry them eyes Duane.

            What do we do instead? Well, perhaps using those worthless LCS hulls as target practice might at least give the sailors of today an opportunity to hone their skills.

            And if you want to continue to make this about political parties, I will indulge you and yours. We can start with YOUR Democrats and their track record when it comes to honesty. I don’t need a dweeb like you Duane to lecture me about the character of many politicians.

            Establishing an arbitrary number to monitor and determine progress in correcting deficiencies is PERFECTLY OK. Be it a 355 ship Navy or a 600 ship one or how many useless LSC’s are to be built, metrics are there to measure progress and other things, Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it.

          • Duane

            I’m not a Democrat, but you are an idiot.

            The last time we set an arbitrary fleet size of 600, we ended up bringing back obsolete WW Two era BBs that only managed to kill their own sailors when their damned old gun blew up.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            You’re not a Democrat like Stalin wasn’t a communist. Speaking of your beloved Russians (you ARE always spouting about ‘Russian trolls’, aren’t you?), the Russians were scared to death of those battleships, but I digress here. Setting ‘arbitrary sizes’ is a common practice to measure progress. How many of your useless tubs the LCS’s were ‘arbitrarily’ determined to be needed? How many will end up being built in actuality? There are REASONS such things are done. I realize that you are not up to snuff as far as knowing any of that, but it is reality!

          • muzzleloader

            Duane, you say your not a democrat, but you are sure quick to call conservatives like me as “right wingers, or you conservatives”. You trash conservative news outlets constantly and anyone who reads them. BTW, I don’t consider the desire to not see the most corrupt politician in
            America become president as a “boyish fantasy”,

          • Duane

            Wingers are ideologues. Right or left, they are all equally wrong.

          • muzzleloader

            An ideolog is someone who advocates a belief or idea. If I advocate conservative ideas and you consider me an ideolog, fine.
            At least people know where I stand, which is a good thing.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            You accuse every one else of doing the very same things YOU engage in. Typical (leftist ) hypocrite.

          • Duane

            I am non-ideological. as I wrote. Why are you so stupid? Born that way,. or you just allowed your brain to atrophy from listening to too much FoxNews, Breitbart, and Rush Limbaugh.

            Ideology is a crutch upon which weakminded people depend upon others to explain to them how the ideologues want you to think the world works. It’s all snake oil and fumes for the weak minded.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            And here you are continuing to prove my point. Again Duane, your inability to keep up with a conversation is astounding.

          • Duane

            Your inability to comment with the slightest degree of intelligence and integrity is what is astounding dude.

            Give it a break and leave these threads. You only drag them way down to your level.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Duane, if I could ‘drag you down to my level’, trust me, you’ll come across as a whole lot smarter. You have no idea what any given subject is about, you engage in the very same garbage that you accuse others of doing, then you snivel and sob about what a victim you are when your OWN antics are pointed out. No one can have a real conversation with you because there’s no basis to ‘engage’ you on. You act like a petulant, punk child. And that’s how I will deal with you.

          • muzzleloader

            So you hate Fox News, Brietbart and Limbaugh? And you trash conservatives constantly, and then say you are not ideological? You sir, are a liberal. If it walks like a duck…..

          • Duane

            Its the ideology I dismiss. I don’t “hate” anybody. But you so-called (but not really – you’re all fakes) “conservative”s love to hate. It’s part of your DNA. Hate only results in blindness and death.

            That’s why ideologues of all stripes are the vermin of the human race. Their narrowmindedness and hate result in nothing but pain and suffering for the human race. It matters not bit which particular ideology is adopted.

            Ideology is a substitute for thinking … a substitute for ordinary human kindness and tolerance.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Duane, trust me here (and you should!): nobody, and I mean NOBODY, is ever going to accuse you of engaging in anything remotely resembling actual thinking! And are YOU going to lecture us about how YOU practice engaging in ‘ordinary human kindness and tolerance’? LOL. Again Duane, your OWN WORDS will always be your undoing. And I admit, it IS fun to behold..

          • Duane

            LOLOL … you ideologues are incapable of thinking, only parroting your ideology. To think means to challenge, to look at real world data, and logic. Ideology is antithetical to all of that.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            And you hypocrites and liars can never see past your own noses.

            Next?

          • Duane

            Shoosh …. stop wasting our time here

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Truth hurts, don’t it now? You ARE the very things you accuse others of being, and doing. Can’t escape the truth of all that. The fun, for me, continues.

          • Duane

            You can’t handle the truth dude. You lose every argument and like Trump, declare yourself the winnner. You are impervious to facts and logic. But you are still a legend in your own mind.

            Buzz off, gnat.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Which argument have I lost with you Duane? Hmmm? In most cases all I have to do is post your own words before the contradictions start pouring forth. Here in your latest whine you just proved how much of an ideologue you truly are. It
            is just so….easy. LOL..

            Oh, and Duane, don’t look now, but Trump IS the POTUS! He IS ‘the winner’. And you Hillary dweebs still can’t get over that. Like I said, it is fun…

    • Ctrot

      “There is no political will to tax Americans enough to build and maintain a 355 ship Navy.”

      The suggestion here is that taxes would need to be raised to reach this goal, but that isn’t the case. Tax revenue is already plenty high enough, it’s just spent in the wrong places. The current US Navy shipbuilding budget is about $16 billion a year, redirecting 1% of the $3 trillion plus dollar a year US welfare state spending to ship building almost triples the shipbuilding budget.

      Now I know that will never happen. But it does illustrate where the real money is being spent. And I don’t hear people like Duane complaining that the American taxpayer can’t afford the welfare state bill.

      • Duane

        There is no will by the American people to reduce entitlements and other forms of non-defense spending in order to build a bigger Navy.

        You can argue til you’re blue in the face that the spending priorities of the American people are wrong. You will never change those priorities. Americans and the politicians we elect are quite comfortable with the status quo, that status quo being the GOP is always trying to cut taxes and the Dems are always trying to increase spending. We flip flop back and forth every two to four years, but the same deadlock persists after 80 years since the Great Depression and the New Deal.

        So in the meantime, we still have to defend ourselves. The US Navy will get bigger – current shipbuilding plans and budgets are built around a 308 ship Navy. Maybe that number will creep up a little more, but not by much. And maybe the Dems will win back Congress in a blowout election a year from now and they’ll be demanding defense cuts. Who know? We flip, and we flop.

      • NEC338x

        In 2015 we spent about 4% of GDP on defense and in 1939 we spent about 2%. If priorities shifted the budget would be re-allocated. What can’t be shifted rapidly is infrastructure and a skilled workforce.

        • Ctrot

          And in 1960 we spent about 10% of GDP on defense, but even more telling is that in 1960 the defense budget made up fully one half of all federal spending, whereas “welfare state” spending was a tiny percentage of the budget.

      • tiger

        There zero support to build a 355 ship Navy & the fund the toys of the other services,
        Not at current prices.

        • Secundius

          Unfortunately going back to the Prices of 1942 or that of 1960, is between “Nil and None”…

        • Ctrot

          Ships/military equipment is not toys and prices are high on everything the federal gov’t spends money on, not just the military.

  • James Bowen

    Yet we managed to build a navy of tens of thousands of ships between 1941 and 1944.

    • Duane

      Yes, we did that by spending more than half our GDP on defense. And the bet paid off when we were the lone standing power left at the end of the war whose cities and factories weren’t demolished.

      • NEC338x

        The closest we got to spending more than half of our GDP was 1945 at 41%. The previous two years was about a third and the following year was about a quarter.

        • Duane

          OK, then we spent nearly half our GDP, and selling massive amounts of war bonds.

          That’s not going to happen again.

    • NEC338x

      Because we actually had shipbuilding capacity that we could surge into. A lot of those yards are closed up and listed as brownfields and Superfund sites. The workforce is anemic. Annual domestic steel production is enough to make paper clips, excepting of course specialty steels. We still do pretty well in the boutique business. Its not really scalable though.

      • James Bowen

        Yes, exactly. I was kind of implying that with my above comment.

  • BRUCE A WOLVEN

    A 30 year plan seems to be realistic. Most comments are based on what ships to build (DDG, SSN, FFG, etc.) to make up the shortfall between the current 285 ships and the desired 355 ships. That’s not the problem.

    In 30 years nearly every one of the existing 285 ships will be gone. Thirty years is generally the life cycle of a ship. Therefore, in 30 years we need to build replacements for the 285 and increase the overall number to 355. We need to build 355 ships in the next 30 years. In 30 years it will be an entirely new fleet. So, if we round it up to 360 ships which need to be built in 30 years that means for the next 360 months we need to build one ship a month and one ship a month thereafter to maintain a 360 ship fleet.

    Now think back 30 years to 1987. The Cold War was still in full play, it was a bipolar world, asymmetrical warfare was not a major concern, terrorism was limited, nuclear weapons proliferation was not the concern it is today. Yet we still use the ships that were designed for that era.

    Today we build the ships that we design today, and tomorrow we will build the ships designed for tomorrow. Trying to fill the blanks with today’s technology is a fools errand. Over the next 30 years the world will appear quite different and the naval vessels designed for the new reality will be quite different. The ships needed for a 355 fleet have not yet been designed; that will happen in the next few decades.

    We don’t need to worry about building the “extra” ships to take care of the shortfall. We need to start a shipbuilding program of one ship per month. The type, capability, weapons, etc. will be developed to meet the needs of the Navy and our nation over the ensuing decades. Thirty years from now it will be an entirely new Navy, and thirty years after that it will once again be a new Navy.

    Congress and the Navy need to take the long view. Stop the yearly budget battles. Recognize the fact that the Navy is not static, it changes every day. Authorize a long term plan and stick to it for the long term.

    • Chesapeakeguy

      Personally, I like that approach.

  • Chesapeakeguy

    Size matters. That’s why the NUMBER of ships is important. As the adage goes: quantity is a quality all its own. I maintain that the Navy does NOT need to have every single surface combatant equipped with AEGIS or some offshoot of it. A return to the very successful concept of the ‘hi-lo mix’ that was embraced in the 80s and 90s would go a long way towards achieving any numerical goal while not sacrificing the superiority our Navy currently enjoys.

    Conventionally powered submarines need to be part of this discussion. The entire rationale for the LCS was to free up the most capable ships in the Navy, the aforementioned AEGIS equipped vessels, from missions that they were not really suited for. Doing tasks like interdicting drug runners, and guarding against pirates, is not the best way to employ a Burke class destroyer. Now, we can argue what has transpired as far the LCS goes, and how it has turned out, but those kinds of missions remain. Nuclear subs are, and will be, tasked with missions that are often best suited for less capable, and less expensive, assets. Relying on allies for such capabilities might be problematic. Can we always count on their participation? Building some number of conventionally powered subs will give our Navy a ready means to train against that threat, and free up nuke subs from areas and missions they should not be in or doing. Not to mention the boon it could be to the American ship-building industry in producing models for export. NOBODY disputes the superiority of nuclear powered subs, but they are not needed for every underwater task in wartime.

    The Navy had two fine platforms that operated under the area protection that AEGIS provides. They were the Perry class FFGs and Spruance class destroyers. Replicating their capabilities with updated designs should be considered. They were the ‘lo’ in that ‘hi-lo mix’ and they rendered magnificent service. There are something like 84 AEGIS equipped ships in the Navy, with more building or authorized. There is room and opportunity to put capable hulls in the fleet that can operate with them.

    • Ed L

      Makes you wonder who was behind sinking and getting rid of the Spruance and OHP class Hulls. Those politicans and political Admirals are most likely dead by now. The Hulls on most of the Spruance’s and OHP were still consister sounded by experts. I have been searching to find out WHO (name of person and their net worth) order to decommission the Spruance’s came from but with no results. While some people say they were designed for the Cold War. Well so were the B-52, C-5, C-135, U-2/TR-1, B-1, B-2, F/A-18 etc. taking empty hulls and rebuilding. Our Navy needs out of the box thinking and doing. While in the Navy I had to move a bunch of 16 Ton small boats with no crane. Did it with fork lifts almost as fast. Got chewed out by a JO but a Commendation from the CO.

      • NEC338x

        Hasn’t been that long ago. I’d say most of them are playing golf or sitting in a board room somewhere.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Among the reasons that those ships weren’t kept current and were retired prematurely was to free up money for useless boondoggles like the LCS! We’ve bought those and lost proven capabilities like the ones inherent in the OHPs and the Spruances. I always thought that at least a few of each class should have been made available to the CG. But that’s neither here or now. No LCS with ANY damned ‘module’ is going to ever match what a Perry or Spruance brought to the table.

    • Duane

      You’re talking about a Navy that was built to fight the Cold War. News flash! The Cold War ended 26 years ago. And warfare in the interim has been completely revolutionized since then with weapons, platforms, comms, and sensors that would have been incomprehensible in 1991 at the end of a 45 year Cold War.

      You’re just like those proverbial admirals that always want to fight the next war with the last war’s weapons and tactics. That worked out great for us in December 1941, when in one hour the Japanese demonstrated to the US Navy how horribly obsolete all those wonderful heavy BBs were. But we spent the taxpayer’s dollars to build all those World War One tech BBs that ended up on the bottom of Pearl Harbor instead of building many more CVs with their aircraft and fleet class submarines that actually won the Pacific War – collectively accounting for 7.4 million tons out of 10 million tons of Japanese shipping, with almost a negligible total from the BBs that we managed to refloat after Pearl Harbor, and build a few more during the war.

      The Japanese themselves admitted after Pearl Harbor that their bombing mission was essentially a failure because they focused on the worthless BBs and failed to sink our CVs and fleet boats that immediately put the Japanese on their heels within the year.

      Quantify only matters if you have enough quantity of the right ships.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        You’re the typical clown Duane who can NEVER follow a conversation. And you and I had this discussion before and when dealing with you it’s the very same as talking to a wall. Tell me, what capabilities that were needed for the Cold War are NOT needed now when the possibility is combat against a peer or near peer adversary? Are missiles NOT going to be used? Are helicopters NOT going to be used to hunt subs or perform other tasks? What TYPES of ships will not be needed in such a situation? Carriers? Destroyers? Frigates? WHICH ones Duane?

        Are there still 5 inch guns used in the fleet Duane? Are there still Standard missiles? How about ASROCs? Are Seahawk helicopters still part of the inventory? What about ASMs? Have requirements for blue water and littoral capabilities been eliminated? WILL they be 10 or 20 or 30 years from now? As is ALWAYS the case when having a discussion with someone as intellectually limited as you, all we get is “it’s 1970s technology and engineering and capabilities”. NO IT IS NOT. What part of ‘updated’ escapes you?

        Are the Ticos ‘current’ Duane? Does the Navy at least attempt to keep them modernized and updated as best they can? But never mind all that. In your bizarre world, a fleet of over priced, sparsely armed boondoggles like the LCS will suffice. That’s ALL we need to know about you Duane. You can’t even KEEP UP with the conversation. it’s ALL over your head. Go stick that head back up Hillary’s rear end and keep it there. That’s all its good for…

        • BlueSky47

          Don’t bother with the “D” fellow. He thinks the bad guys will bring nothing but a 30mm to the next war, thus the LCS will be a powerful battle frigate with it’s 57mm gun and firecracker Hellfire missiles, after all, the bad guns have nothing but rubber dingies in their navies

          • Chesapeakeguy

            I get you. But I do admit that I enjoy the sport of allowing his own words to expose him for the dolt he always is and will be!

          • muzzleloader

            I believe that Duane is either an employee of, or is a K street lobbyist for Lockheed Martin, an assertion that Duane has never debunked.

        • Duane

          Old ships get retired for a reason – they cost too much to maintain, and they are not feasibly upgraded with current technologies at an affordable cost.

          The one here who is intellectually limited, as you say – or others would say, just dumb – is you. You are the perfect example of the admirals who always want to fight the next war with the last war’s weapons.

          I’ll give you a huge example.

          You love the AEGIS class surface ships, both CGs and DDGs. They provide area air defenses against cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. Each one carries VLS with between 96 cells and 122 cells. Presumably these anti-ASMs are effective, but against the missiles they were designed to take out, which were all designed decades ago. We know that WE have ASMs that are far more capable than the old ones our DDGs and CGs can fend off. What makes anyone think that the Chinese, Russians, NORKs or Iranians won’t develop ASMs as good as, or better, than our very latest and greatest ASMs.

          It takes maybe less than a decade to develop a brand new ASM, perhaps much less. It takes a decade just to design and build the first ship of a new class, multiple decades to build a fleet of them. Each ship costs billions. Each ASM capable of disabling, if not sinking, that multibillion dollar ship, costs maybe a couple million, at most.

          What is to prevent China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran from fielding thousands of ASMs? Enough to overwhelm the anti-ASM capabilities of our DDGs and CGs.

          I’m not making this stuff up, Mr. Know It All. These are the most obvious facts to any but blithering idiots.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            So why have a Navy, Mr. ‘I’m smarter than any others who have ever thought about naval matters’? Is that floating turd you’re so in love with (that would be the LCS) ever going to be able to defend itself in the environments you describe? If AEGIS ships can’t handle those threats, what can? And Duane, are you saying the BRAND NEW Burkes coming out now cannot defend against ASMs? Hmmm? If it’s so damned easy to develop ‘thousands of ASMs’ that can so easily defeat anything they are sent against, that would be the case NOW! Why isn’t it, hmm, Duane?

            Nobody is advocating for ‘bringing back old ships’ What ones are there to do so? A handful of Perrys (which would STILL be a considerable improvement over the disaster known as the LCS, but I digress), and NO Spruances. Do you even KNOW what the word “capabilities” means Duane? Tell me Duane, what ship on the drawing board has this in the way of capabilities?
            40 missiles
            1 76 MM gun
            Able to carry TWO Seahawk helos
            1 Phalanx
            Towed array sonar
            ASW torpedoes
            8 ASMs (on some foreign models)
            Plus the requisite ECM and decoy equipment

            Hint: it ain’t no damned LCS’s! That’s what ONE OHP class ship brought to bear

            But wait, there be more. Spruance ships brought both a double ended missile battery AND a double ended gun battery. It had multiple point defense systems. It had the most capable anti-sub suite in the world. They could field every ASM, ASW, and AA missile in the naval inventory Do you mean to tell me Duane, that even with your limited intellectual and mental capacities, that there is no place in the Navy of today or tomorrow that brings such CAPABILITIES to bear? I can’t wait to see how you twist this one!

      • CruisingTroll

        But we spent the taxpayer’s dollars to build all those World War One tech BBs that ended up on the bottom of Pearl Harbor

        You appear to be blinded by your zeal to the realities of history. All those BB’s that ended up on the bottom of Pearl Harbor? The NEWEST of them was built in 1921. That was BEFORE the first aircraft carrier was created by converting the USS Jupiter into the USS Langley. Only 4 US battleships were laid down after Taranto, and of those 4, only two were completed.

        We built, as new construction, 5 carriers and convertabuilt two other hulls to carriers between the Washington Naval Treaty and Taranto. ELEVEN Essex class carriers were ordered BEFORE Taranto and before Pearl Harbor, with 3 of them under construction when the Japanese attacked.

        Keep something in mind Duane. The battlefields of the world are littered with just as many dead who were equipped to “fight the next war”, only the next war did NOT turn out to be what the planners expected. Consider how many B-24 and B-17 crewmembers died because the planners were SURE that the interlocking defensive fire of a formation of heavy bombers could protect them from fighters, so a fighter escort wasn’t necessary. THAT was a prime example of “the next war” thinking.

        • Secundius

          Incorrect! First Aircraft Carrier was the Union Army’s Balloon Barge “USS. George Washington Parke Custis” in 1862…

        • Duane

          The B-17 and B-24 were highly effective against Germany, but the losses were heavy. But any manned offensive weapon system designed to penetrate enemy air defenses is going to suffer heavy losses until those air defenses are neutralized. Submarine losses in the Pacific war were even heavier than our bomber losses in Europe. But that measly little 2% of the US Navy sank 55% of the enemy ships, more than all our other forces put together. “Next war” thinking won World War Two, and “last war” thinking nearly lost it in the first hours of the war. It was only the surviving “next war” vessels that survived to win the war.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            BS. The Navy HAD to use carriers and subs in ways they hadn’t even considered. They had NOTHING else. The basis for their War Plan Orange was destroyed at Pearl Harbor. The Navy, as well as the rest of the Armed Forces, ADAPTED to the war time realities they encountered. Speaking of realities there genius, you go to war with the military you HAVE. The next war, if it involves a peer or near peer adversary, probably won’t allow the YEARS that were needed in the early 1940s to build up the forces needed to overcome Japan, as well as Germany. There were certainly some forward thinkers in the pre-war years leading up to WWII, and some exercises conducted in those years showed the potential for assets like carriers. Given the unknown nature of what a future war might entail, continuing to build ships like the Burkes and VA class SSNs makes perfect sense. LCS’s are specialty ships that will have no use in blue water ops, yet we continue to waste good money on them that could be better spent in other ways. But again, numbers are going to be crucial, and having capable ships that are NOT all AEGIS equipped or ALL powered by nuclear fuel is perfectly viable.

          • Duane

            The only BS is coming from you and your meaningless word salad of a comment here. You neglect to admit that the reason we had “nothing left” (of the BBs – we actually had plenty of other surface warships including cruisers and destroyers) after December 7 was that the Japanese failed to find and kill our fleet boats and carriers. We got lucky that day.

            But that still does not explain the FACT that the fleet subs and carriers accounted together for 75% of the kills by our navy in the Pacific war, with another 10% due to our mines, even LONG AFTER the BBs were refloated and new ones built. Surface ships including the World War 1 era BBs accounted for less than 15% of our navy’s kills. And most of those kills were performed by our cruisers and destroyers, not the BBs. The BBs ended up being useless for anything but as floating big gun platforms to supposedly destroy enemy beach defenses in the island-hopping campaign in the Pacific. And to the horror of our Marines, it turned out they weren’t even effective at the one job they were left to perform. The Japanese bunkers and caves in particular proved mostly impervious to the big gun projectiles.

            The British proved in May 1941 – more than six months prior to the Pearl Harbor attack – that battleships are literally defenseless against massed air attacks. The lowly little Swordfish biplanes manage to knock out the rudder on the Bismarck, making her a sitting duck for the Brits’ other battleships to send her to the bottom.

            The attitude of US Naval command throughout the 1930s and early 1940s with respect to submarines and carriers was that they were fit only to serve on picket duty, finding targets for their big fat BBs to go forth and sink. The first six months of the Pacific War sent that stupid theory to Davey Jones’ locker where it belonged. It was only the sub sailors and the carrier sailors who understood and appreciated that the subs and carriers were actually the most effective offensive weapons in any naval fleet of the time. Because they were the only ones left standing (along with the cruisers and destroyers) after Pearl the had their opportunity to prove once and for all that they were right and all those stupid BB admirals were completely wrong.

            This kind of old think still permeates the Navy today, and especially amongst internet commenters like you. We need to be focused on designing, developing, and deploying new classes of warships today to fight the naval wars of the mid-21st century. That is not what we have today, though we are starting to get there with the Ford class CVNs, the Seawolf class SSNs, and the LCS. We still need to take what is being learned now on the DDG 1000 class and use that to develop the replacement for the DDG-51s, a Cold War era design.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Geezz Duane, with you’re every utterance you prove that you are indeed a truly special kind of stupid. First you tell us that WWII, at least in the Pacific, was won because of those deciding to ‘fight the next war, not the last one’. Then you make MY point about that ‘next war’ being forced on them’. And through it all, you remain your typical, ignorant, oblvivious self. On top of that, you lecture us that anything being developed today will not be viable in ‘the next war’, then tell us ‘we have to develop the ships TODAY to fight that next war’. When you’re in your bathtub playing with your little plastic ships, do you actually devote any real thought to any of this?

            A quick aside here, did battle ships accomplish anything in the Pacific? Did any fleet actions occur pitting them against each other? What were the most effective anti-aircraft platforms outside of actual aircraft when it came to protecting the carriers? If you say battleships, for once you’ll be correct about something. All that aside, you’re now a fan of the DDG 1000? You’ve done nothing but denigrate that because they tested and determined that your beloved Mk110 is as much of a piece of garbage as the LCS it is fitted on. But NOW we need it? Seawolf class subs? Do you KNOW when they were designed Duane, and when the last one was built? THIS is my point when it comes to you. You spew all sorts of manure, then your own words end up contradicting what you post. AEGIS ships are doomed against modern ASMs, but LCS’s, with virtually NO air defense, will be best suited to fight ‘tomorrow’s naval wars?

          • Duane

            You drag down all the threads here at USNI. You should be embarrassed. But you aren’t, of course.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            I’m never ’embarrassed’ at pointing out what a clown and fraud you are. There’s no ‘high road’ with your kind Duane. When people deal with you in the very same manner you deal with them, as is always the case (and more proof that you are indeed a Democrat) you whine and sob about how unfair it all is, and put forth your perpetual victim mug. But some of us won’t let that go by unchallenged. So try something different here and man up Duane. You brought it on, you get to live with it.

          • Ed L

            The officer Corp of the Navy was what worried the Japanese. LTJG back then had up to 6 years experience LT 12 years on average CDR 22 Many of them became skippers of carriers cruisers Destroyers, DE’s. Some became Rear Admirals. Many of the Admirals at the time of Pearl Harbor were put to shore due to there age. Others stayed ashore and never went to sea

          • Chesapeakeguy

            It is always said that the best ideas and most innovations come from the junior officers, regardless of the service involved. The Japanese also didn’t rotate their personnel back to train others in their respective fields. Their carrier aviation especially suffered from that as the war progressed.

            Interesting thing about how the war in the Pacific transpired in WWII. The vaunted, hallowed ‘War Plan Orange’ actually played out fairly close to how it was envisioned. To my knowledge, nobody referred to the series of campaigns and battles and attempted strategies and whatnot as part of WPO. Another adage that is often said is “Plans never survive contact with the enemy”, or words to that effect. Seeing how WPO had it’s origins as far back as the first decade of the 20th Century, nobody could foresee carriers or subs in the ways they were ultimately used.

            The actual ‘plan’ was adopted after WWI. But many tenets of it like ‘leap frogging’ island possessions the enemy had proved to be reality. The concept of ‘the decisive’ battle didn’t play out as envisioned, with ONE huge battle destroying the other side’s navy (the Japanese had a similar approach), but certainly the huge fleet actions that started at the Coral Sea and continued at Midway, the Solomons, the Philippine Sea, and finally at Leyte Gulf, were variations of that theme. Carriers became the means to destroy the Japanese fleet (as theirs attempted the same thing against the USA), and American subs carried out the blockade functions envisioned of the surface fleet when WPO was finalized.

  • Mark Dye

    Note to BIG NAVY: Looks like the RN is trying to sell HMSes Albion and Bulwark (LPDs). Both commissioned in 2001. At least 15-20 years left in those vessels. Anybody in BIG NAVY listening?

  • Ed L

    Still not thrill the amount of aluminum used us in both classes of LCS’s No one has remember the Navy Belknap Kennedy collision. Oh forgot about the Tico cruisers and their aluminum superstructure First time I saw one doing a Williamson turn at speed. I thought she was going to Capsize

    • Secundius

      Aren’t WE forgetting the “Tico’s” too…

  • Secundius

    Take the Restrictive EXPORT ONLY label of the “Ambassador” class Patrol Missile Boats and Reduce the Build Time by 2/3rd’s…

  • Ed L

    I thing the Navy should aquire a a couple dozen sailing Brigs. They could stay on station for months. Of course they will not be able to run away like an LCS but there is plenty of Deck space for SAM Launch’s, Gatling Guns, chain Guns. Oh and get a couple of Canonades from Old Ironsides for shooting grape shot at swams of small boats

    • Secundius

      As I recall, 18th Century “Carronades” had an Effective Range of 25-yards against Wooden Hull Ships and a Maximum Range of ~340-yards with a Probability of Hitting Anything around 4%, Other than the Ground/Sea at that range…