Home » Budget Industry » Navy’s Next Large Surface Combatant Will Draw From DDG-51, DDG-1000 — But Don’t Call it a Destroyer Yet


Navy’s Next Large Surface Combatant Will Draw From DDG-51, DDG-1000 — But Don’t Call it a Destroyer Yet

Artist’s concept of a DDG-51 Flight III with AMDR. Raytheon Photo

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

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

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

With the ICD now signed and providing the service with an idea of how many of each platform would be needed in a future fleet and how each would contribute as a sensor, a shooter or a command and control asset, Surface Warfare Director Adm. Ron Boxall and his staff are now able to begin diving into the finer details of what each platform would look like.

The first to be tackled is the large combatant, Boxall told USNI News today. He noted the effort would be more like the move from the Ticonderoga-class cruiser to the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer – where the same combat capability was kept, but housed in a more suitable hull – rather than the move from the Spruance-class destroyer to the cruiser, which maintained the same hull design but added in new combat capability.

After the addition of the AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) to the DDGs’ Aegis Combat System to create the Flight III design, Boxall said the resulting warfighting capability is one the Navy can use for years to come.

“We have a new capability on that hull now, so everything’s going good – except for, as we look towards going further, we know we’ve maxed out that hull footprint,” Boxall said of the Arleigh Burke-class hull design, power-generation capability and more.
“So the key elements that we’re looking at in this work we’re doing on the requirements side is, keep the requirements about the same as DDG Flight III, but now look at what do we need a new hull to do.”

USNI News first reported last month that the large combatant would pair a new hull with the Flight III combat system.

The Navy will spend about the next six months having that conversation about what the new hull will need, though he suggested to USNI News that it would need sufficient space to carry helicopters and unmanned systems; it would need to support long-range missiles and weapons; it would have to include command and control systems able to support a staff onboard for air defense or offensive surface capability, much like the cruiser does today with the air defense commander role for a carrier strike group; it may incorporate DDG-1000’s signature controls and integrated power system; and it will certainly have to be flexible and modular enough to quickly undergo upgrades and modernizations in the future as new systems are developed that the Navy will want to incorporate into the next block buy of large combatants or back fit fielded ones.

Though there has been much speculation about whether the large combatant would use an existing design or a new design, Boxall said there really are no designs out there that meet the Navy’s needs without significant modifications.

Whereas the ongoing frigate design effort was able to mandate that bidders use mature parent designs, Boxall said “a lot of people in the world make frigates. Not many people make large surface combatants of the size and capability that we need. So we’ve got to kind of look to our portfolio of blueprints that we have as a starting point, and we’ll edit and modify the hull and design things as we go forward.”

“I think what you’re going to see won’t be a huge deviation from things we have already, but at the same point, we are going to be making changes to anything we have” already in the fleet, he added.

In a nod towards the idea the next large combatant will share the same combat system as DDG Flight III and will perform much the same role in the fleet, Boxall said the Navy is starting with the DDG-51 Flight III capability development document (CDD); will go through a Large Surface Combatant Requirements Evaluation Team effort with requirements, acquisition and engineering personnel from the Navy and industry; and after six months call the finished product a “modified Flight III CDD.” Once that modified CDD is complete, it will be clearer how much the future large surface combatant will resemble its predecessor and how much it will be a new class of ship – which will likely determine its name.

“It is the big question: what do you call the future large surface combatant? I don’t know. I don’t think you call it a cruiser. I don’t think you call it a destroyer. Maybe – I don’t know what it is,” Boxall said, noting that he has commanded both a cruiser and destroyer and that they get used in much the same fashion, save for the cruiser’s role as the air defense commander ship, which the future large surface combatant will have the capability of doing with its command and control suite.

Once the first large combatant is designed and purchased in the 2023 “block” – following the current block-buy of Flight III DDGs from Ingalls Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, which spans from Fiscal Years 2018 to 2022 – new blocks will be planned for every five years. As USNI News has reported, this block structure, laid out in a Surface Combatant Capability Evolution Plan, would allow the insertion of new hardware and software in a predictable timeline. This would help researchers and developers in the government and in industry understand when a new capability would have to be matured by to be included in the next block design, and anything not quite ready yet could wait until the next block. This setup is much like the Virginia-class attack submarine’s block upgrade approach to adding in new capabilities, and its Acoustic Rapid Commercial-off-the-shelf Insertion (ARCI) process of adding new capabilities in via new construction and back fitting existing subs. However, Boxall noted the surface community had the added challenge of managing this block buy and upgrade effort across four or more types of surface combatants, compared to just one class of attack submarines.

Unlike before, when the surface community would undergo a massive planning effort – like the CG(X) cruiser replacement design that ultimately was too expensive and not accepted by the Navy – and then cease planning for many years before undertaking another massive effort, Boxall said he hoped the block upgrades would create a “heartbeat type of effort, where you always have something going on.”

  • Ed L

    A Dreadnought and name them after famous Admirals who have died before 1980

    • cryptopatriot

      Exactly! 🙂

    • Rocco

      Admiral MCCAIN For starters!

      • Secundius

        Donald Trump would never “Willingly” give Senator John McCain a posthumous promotion to Admiral. Which only leaves the US Hse.of Rep. and the US Senate, which would require a Super Majority Vote vote. To prevent Donald Trump from vetoing it out of Spite…

        • PolicyWonk

          There were TWO Admiral McCains that proceeded the Senator, if memory serves…

          • Secundius

            Yes, But Posthumous Promotions have been given in the past to Other None Flag Officers…

          • vetww2

            You do not cite the fact that we, alredy have a “McCain, named for his father or grandfather, I do not know which.

          • Secundius

            Approximately Five days ago “Ed L” talked about a Name [of an/or or] for a Dreadnought. “Rocco” responded by saying “Admiral MCCAIN” for starters. I though he was referring Renaming the DDG-56, USS John S. McCain , too possibly the “Admiral McCain”. Like naming the Destroyer, DD-537 the USS Sullivans after the Death of Five Brothers. But in this case Three Admirals (i.e. the USS Admiral McCain’s). But in order to do that Senator John McCain would have to get a Posthumous Promotion…

          • vetww2

            with all the hoopla, which, frankly, I don’t understand, wouldn’t it be nice to honor the true valiants who died for this country

          • Secundius

            Unfortunately most nowadays are “Politically” motivated namings and “Meritorious” motivated namings…

          • Jeff

            It was named for both when built, and they added Senator McCain to the name designation as well not too long ago, so it’s officially named for all three of them.

        • vetww2

          I have respect for McCain, but I disagree with annointing him as a Flag. But if they want to, I’m sure it’s OK.
          I take great umbrage with your idiotic comment about the President.

  • Joe

    A battlewagon works.

    Also: Floating Hercules. Name them the “Herculean Hero” class: USS Katie Higgins Cook, USS John S. McCain III, USS Dusty Lee Cook, USS Mark Hamilton, USS Rick Larsen, USS Joe Kunzler, USS MJ Hegar, and obviously the USS Willis Moore Hawkins.

    I’m sure when you do Google you will find some pro-Navy politicians like me, but also some certifiable heroes among this rank.

    • Rocco

      Cool as for Battlewagons keep dreaming! I’d love to see a modern version of a CB Alaska class.

  • Desplanes

    Does anybody know whether OAsuw is still alive ? Is VLS LRASM still alive ?

    • Ser Arthur Dayne

      So I would very much like to know about VLS LRASM as well — the video put out looked real nice showing the DDG shoot one — but the thing that has always got me was the pictures commonly available showing an F/A-18E carrying an LRASM with another LRASM near it — they look freaking HUGE. They look enormous to me. I am not sure the exact dimensions of a VLS but it seems like the LRASM would be a tight fit, they look humongous. But regardless, they should figure it out and get them moving, adding even 8 LRASMs to our VLS-equipped DDGs, CGs, and eventually even FFGs would be a huge force multiplier and big boost to our ASuW capabilities (especially combined with SM-6s etc.)

    • NavySubNuke

      Testing is on-going…. here is one test report from July 2016: “On July 21, 2016, the third successful surface-launched LRASM test was conducted from the USN SDTS at Pt. Mugu Sea Range, CA. This test proved the missile’s ability to load mission data using the modified Tactical Tomahawk Weapon Control System (TTWCS+), and align mission data with the moving ship and launch from the MK 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS). During the test, LRASM exited the VLS launcher, cleanly separated from its Mk-114 booster and transitioned to the cruise phase. The missile successfully flew a pre-planned low-altitude profile collecting aerodynamics agility data while enroute to its pre-determined endpoint”
      Note: That is from a Lockheed Martin press release.
      That is actually the most recent release I could find but that could just be because they aren’t announcing any and all test events anymore as part of the CNO’s direction to stop talking in public so much.

      • Desplanes

        I heard that OAsuw Increment 2 was zeroed out for FY 18 / 19. I don’t know if they’re just going to use ASUW Tomahawks.

        • NavySubNuke

          Interesting – you are correct. Also we are only buying 125 production units while the Air Force is buying a mere 41 according to the FY19 budget book.
          The budget docs don’t provide any reasoning as to why Increment 2 was cut…

        • If I’m understanding the budget correctly, it wasn’t that the money was zeroed out, but that the funding was restructured. Instead of funding development programs individually, the Navy is now asking for a single line item covering several programs with the exact allocation to be decided later.

        • Graeme Rymill

          In a statement by the Dept. of Navy to a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee in April 2018 the IOC for OASuW Increment 2 is 2028-2030.

          • Desplanes

            Sound of jaw hitting floor.

            Sound of face hitting palm.

          • Desplanes

            They did buy those 6 dozen Harpoons for the LCSs, so those should deter China for a decade.

          • ElmCityAle

            NSM was selected as the LCS OTH missile a few months ago. I don’t think LCS was designed to engage with peer sized and larger opponents, but any platform carrying NSM with the ability to target via air assets is nothing to be dismissed too quickly.

  • Kypros

    Why the issue with calling them Cruisers?

    • NavySubNuke

      Politics as always I am sure.
      It isnt limited to the US either – check out the Chinese type 55. It is a pretty good preview of what the FSC will likely be size wise at 12000-13000 tons and it is a destroyer.

      • DaSaint

        Agreed.

    • jack anderson

      maybe for the same reason we built CL sized DLGs

    • sferrin

      Not PC apparently. I know why the Chinese don’t call their Type 055s cruisers; they don’t want to scare their neighbors or Congress. No idea why the USN doesn’t.

      • IssacBabel

        The JS Kaga is my favorite, the “I’m not a carrier, I’m a large (well very large)
        helicopter destroyer” named after a carrier that was where on 7/12/41 ?
        The JS Kaga also flies the flag of the IJN. Hoping to see some green F-35s
        flying from the “not a carrier” soon.

      • Secundius

        The same reason the US Congress doesn’t! They don’t what to Offend the PRC (i.e. Stalling Tactic)…

    • Cruisers traditionally have an O-6 as captain while destroyers have an O-5. There’s probably some similar but lesser known issues as well that would make the cruiser designation annoyingly disruptive for the Navy’s primary warship.

      • Refguy

        If Alpha Whiskey is going to be absolutely aboard why wouldn’t it be an O-6 command?

    • Secundius

      Because the Next Cruiser Replacement, won’t be using as Cruiser Classification…

      ( https : // www . defensenews . com / digital – show – dailies / surface – navy – association / 2018/01/09 / surface – warfare – director – cruiser – replacement – wont – be – a – cruiser )

    • vetww2

      Just fun. I don’t think anyone really cares what they call it. But, I have been wrong before.

  • Marc Apter

    If not Cruisers, then Destroyer Leader?

    • We should never have gotten rid of the DLG designation – it fits these large escorts much better than either the destroyer or cruiser label.

      • jack anderson

        a DDG51 is nearly twice the displacement of the Coontz Class DLG i served on.

  • Duane

    Interesting that the Navy is not losing any time in going from Arleigh Burke Flight III to the new large FSC, whatever it will be called.

    Sounds like the plan is leaning toward a bigger hull, perhaps 12,000+ tons, in order to get the capability set the Navy wants. Nothing was mentioned of stealthiness, as on the Zumwalts. Not much said about weapons either.

    • Sounds like they’re planning on just dropping the Flight III armament into a future-proofed hull. I’m betting we will see more stealth than a Burke but not the over the top levels of a Zumwalt.

      • Bryan

        While there is no reason to make it non-stealthy on purpose, there is no reason to break the bank on stealth. The main purpose of an AMDR ship is that super duper multi mega watt radar. Like a beacon in the night, “I’m over here”.

    • Bubblehead

      The USN made a mistake deciding to upgrade the AB instead of putting the Spy6 on upgraded Zums. It was billed as saving money and an easy switch from Spy1 to Spy6 on AB. But it was anything but. It ABIII cost almost as much as Spy6 Zum and in the end the USN had to redesign 80% of the hull spaces.

      • Horn

        It was all about maximizing the number of hulls in the Navy. Think about how many Zumwalt’s have been built so far over all these years. Now take a look at how long they expect a Flight III to be built. They will maintain some of the efficiency of building Flight IIA’s, saving time and money.

        • Beomoose

          But they had already lost much of that efficiency when the decision to re-start Flight IIA was made, and had to spend a significant sum of money, resources, and man-hours getting it back. We won’t ever know for certain what the total costs of adapting ZUMWALT to the new mission and building 20+ of them would have been versus Restart and Flight III, but we’d have a much larger and more “future-proof” combatant than we’re getting.

        • vetww2

          There would be 10 more of these turkeys if some brave Flags, I know, hadn’t stepped in and defied Congress, and limited the build to the ones which already had their keels laid. It has, already cost 2 of them promotions.

      • NavySubNuke

        I think the Navy will ultimately regret cutting the Zum line at 3 just as we currently regret cutting the Seawolf to 2+”1″. Certainly both ships were expensive but sometimes the capabilities are worth the cost — as Seawolf and Connecticut have shown (never mind JC).

        • Maybe. But it’s possible that LSC will be the next Virginia – taking the good from the cancelled program, but putting it in a cheaper package that is better tailored to the new strategic environment.

          • NavySubNuke

            Certainly there are some aspects where Virginia comes out ahead of the Seawolfs – the VPTs in the bow are the best example – but yikes, hopefully we do better with keeping what really matters for LSC then we did with Virginia. The limitations of Virginia relative to Seawolf are the reason for the regrets.
            Especially given the current and likely future strategic environment.

  • RunningBear

    Gee, I don’t know!!!; maybe a 15Kton Zumwalt Cruiser; with three already built. Stick the Block III on top and Ta-Da!! you have all the expansion you want and a ready set of plans with building experience! Absolutely include the stealth design and the tumblehome bow, 78MW and 34knots!! Woo Hoo!!!! The AGS can be armed with the GLGP for a OTH 40mi. range for anti-cruise missile defense.

    IMHO
    🙂

    • NavySubNuke

      I expect it will be something smaller than a Zum but larger than a Tico or Burke.
      According to the US Navy Fact Files:
      Burkers are 505 – 509.5 ft long and 59 feet at the beam
      Ticos are 567 ft long and have a 55 ft beam
      Zums are 610 ft long and have a beam of 80.7! Ft

      I’ve never been on a Zum but it will be interesting to find out how much of that power and speed they can keep while (hopefully) cutting down on some of the length and beam to make it a bit more affordable. Of course they also need to free up room for the command staff….

      • vetww2

        …and the guy hanging from the mast, because it has no bridge.

      • Rocco

        A Friend of mine was able to take a cruise on her from bathe Maine to Maryland.

    • vetww2

      Unless you can validate the “USS Philadelphia” story, you might recognize the FACT that there is no such thing as a stealthy surface ship,
      .
      It reminds me of the golfer who wouldn’t shower in public becase of severely undersized male equipment. Until he needed a ride home and the guy wouldn’t take him unless he showered. When the guy chuckled at the small size, he asked whether it was functional, to which the owner replied that it was good for 4 or 5 times a week. The questioner then asked,
      “How would you like to swap for one that looks good in the shower?”
      Like the DD1000 or the LCS, anyone?

      • RedStatePatriot

        Actually you have shown your lake of stealth… the DD1000 has the RCS of an average fishing boat.

        • PolicyWonk

          Indeed, before Zumwalt went to sea for her first sea-trials, one of the guys at BIW was sent to the local chandlery to buy a pair of radar reflectors.

          • vetww2

            ….and 200 sets of oars.

        • vetww2

          So what, when I can wake track it to 2feet. The fishing boat, too. Also, a sub, if he keeps his snorkel up.

          • RedStatePatriot

            LOL, if you believe you can track a 2 foot wake in open ocean from an aircraft that would be searching for a warship before it would spot a normal ship on radar, you are daft in the head.

          • vetww2

            It’s a snap from a satellite, The pricipal problem isn’t finding, or defining the wake It is staying on the correct wake. The screen looks like a bowl of spaghetti.

      • William Sager

        I used to know Carlos Allende in Greeley Colo, the guy who started the stories about the fictitious Philadelphia Experiment. He believed it with all his heart, but I think he was just a sailor dealing with PTSD from going back and forth on two terms as a Merchant Seaman. Which in my mind was honorable. And I could not blame him for wishing to be invisible, so much so he learned a lot of science. Quite well actually. As to your later point about no regular ship being invisible to radar, you are correct. But it’s hoped if a ship has a small signature it simplifies the job of defending the ship because your chaff and electronic defense work better. But ultimately those missiles must be shot down. In which case you need a ship whose engines are powering large electric engines in much the same manner as cruise ships or hybrid cars. Electricity will power lasers and unmanned electric drones above the water and below.

        • vetww2

          THANKS FOR THE INFO. I only cited it because of the stick to it “small radar cross-section slugs. I tracked a Russky surface ship for 11 days, with a satellite wake tracker 12 years ago. My info says they are much better today. I agree with your other statements, but only if they don’t result in a stupid design like the .DD1000.

      • NEC338x

        To submarine sonar, the DDG-1000 is definitely not a Boston Whaler with a Johnson outboard. Fish away!

    • Bryan

      I remember something about the Zum’s being top heavy now. Add AMDR and well, that might not work. Just depends. I suspect we will have a proportionally heavier, beamier and longer hull that looks like a ddg-51 III. Trade offs, trade offs, trade offs. They suck.

      • vetww2

        It got the name, “Old Flopover” when the test model capsized in the DTNSRDC turning basin in 2006.

  • Adrian Ah

    Looks like they’ll be putting all the 21st century electronics and weapons into a 21st century hull. I really really hope this is all that will happen. Concurrency needs to die.

    I do agree with RunningBear- perhaps all they need to do is modify the Zumwalt- remove the 2 ammo-less 155mm guns for a mix of 57mm/76mm/127mm guns, add a few more VLS, perhaps a couple of lightweight torpedoes.

    Perhaps the future destroyer has this in mind.

    • Alan Gideon

      A very quick brochure-level look at the DDG-1000 seems to show that the deck area and below-deck space now occupied by the 155mm mounts and their magazines (aka machines 9m tall) could provide for two or perhaps three 64-cell Mk 41 VLS installations, giving the ship a total of 208-272 total cells (80+n*64) if that is part of the desired outcome. As a naval architect who has worked on the DDG51 and DDG1000, I mention this with some trepidation because I know that a serious level of detailed examination would have to go into such a study – but the outcome could move the process along quite a bit. At a minimum, it would show the art of the possible.

      • Bubblehead

        The future AB replacement will be a lot less concerned about adding more VLS than room and spare electricity for lasers & railguns. The USN missile inventory is already stretched thin. The future is lasers, railguns & hypervelocity. About the only thing that will be able to protect a ship in the future from hyper velocity missiles will be lasers. With SM6, we are using a $3 million missile to shoot down $1 million ASCM.

        Speaking of $3M SM6 (the best missile on the planet). The USN should seriously consider adopting the Israeli Stunner missile. It is almost hypersonic, has respectable range, and is probably about 1/5 price of SM6.

        A future war might well be decided by a Country’s stamina to keep fighting. And this will also depend on economies and national debt. Fighting a war with $3 million missiles is a losing proposition in the end.

      • Rocco

        I would think replacing magazines with missiles would be more expensive & troublesome than replacing the rail gun with a standard 155 gun & 5” gun.

        • Alan Gideon

          The thought behind adding VLS rather than replacing the AGS with 5” guns was that the modified ships could serve as the start of a line of replacements for the Tyco’s which are getting really long in the tooth. This step could serve the Navy in two ways. First, it would provide a good use for the three ships of the class. Second, during the timeframe it takes to design a new ship from scratch, the Navy would have a real-time experimental tool for finalizing the design of the new ships. The “new class” should not be considered the last in the evolutionary development, but always as the next step in design improvement.

          • Secundius

            One problem! Both Gun Mounts are Ring Mounted! Unless you plan to Swap Gun Turrets for VLS Launcher used on Submarines, it’s going to require at least two years in a Drydock for Hull Modifications…

      • Hugh

        As a retired naval architect (50 years with the Australian DofD) our sourcing of ships from 11 countries indicated that increasing the size of the hull was comparatively cheap compared with the weapons etc that could be installed. While it does provide a larger target it is a platform that is more comfortable (aka efficiency) and survivable (though modern weapons make this last point somewhat academic).

        • vetww2

          GOOD POINTS.As an aerodynamicist who worked with the Brits and you people in the ABCA31, (AMERICA, BRITAIN. CANADA AND AUSTRALIA) hovercraft program (Australian rep was an ADM Snow), for 10 years, , I congratulate you for making the most cogent remark in this set. It took you guys and the US Army to get the USN to recognize the fact that ships can exist without a pointy bow and a square stern,

      • vetww2

        If you REALLY worked on the DDG51 you know that my guys did the preliminary design as the DDX. Then an OPNAV “Captain’s board”
        started to put more and more systems on it, until it approached 18,000 tons. We scrapped it and came up with the DDM. Admiral Doyle, edicted no added systems unless he approved, That got it going. But even with the restriction, it was so expensive, that the first flight came out without aircraft handling, one of the first requirements.

        • Alan Gideon

          Yup, with that sordid history. My work was the inception concept work that added the dual helo are to to Flight IIA.

          • Alan Gideon

            Sorry. Keyboard goof. Make that “familiar with that sordid history.”

  • No more cruisers while China and Russia and maybe India have cruisers.

    • Ser Arthur Dayne

      and they’re bigger than our cruisers and getting bigger and better and China is pumping them out two at a time, and Russia is busy making hypersonic cruiser missiles for the Indian ones.

  • Ser Arthur Dayne

    It seems to me like it was always going to be either the DDG-1000 hull or the LPD-17 hull … I happen to have favored the LPD-17 hull but no one really called for my consultation on the matter, so there’st that… I think the DDG-1000 hull has a lot of potential … as long as they don’t bamboozle it too much in the translation… Having said all that, I agree with several of my esteemed colleagues below – it seems like there is a morbid trepidation among the brass regarding “cruisers” — no cruisers here, cruisers = no good, and absolutely no Cruising going on over here, just Destroying. I mean c’mon, we’re talking about 100s of years of tradition here, call the damn thing a cruiser and be done with it.

    • Matthew Schilling

      Can you make that hull fast and nimble enough?

      • Ser Arthur Dayne

        Listen I hear you, and that is constantly the comment I get when proposing the LPD-17 hull — something HII has already done in the form of the HII BMD Cruiser — and it’s not a bad point. It’s my understanding that the LPD-17s have 4 bigass turbo-diesels … and I want to make clear, I am NOT an engineer by any stretch of the imagination. In fact it’s a weak point of mine. So I don’t know anything about anything when it comes to stuff like that — but it’s very hard for me to believe that the people who ARE engineers, and experts/scientists/ship people/Navy people etc. — could not take the LPD-17 hull and come up with a propulsion plant that works…. whether that’s gas turbines, whether it’s an integrated/electric system like the DDG-1000, or even nuclear (there were people back in the day saying how there was waaay back a plan in the Navy that would produce half the CG-X with ‘conventional’ propulsion and half as CGN-X with nuclear propulsion…) — maybe they could make them nuclear cruisers, maybe they could split the class (I doubt they would actually do it but it would not be a terrible idea) — my point being that while I myself do not know the best system for taking the LPD-17 hull, removing the optimized-for-hauling-Marine-gear-diesels , and adding a Carrier Strike Group-escorting set of engines …. but I am certain it could be done and I don’t think it would be all that difficult for the right people. ANyway it’s a fair point you raise.

        • John McHugh

          I like this direction and I agree to a point. I believe that the LPD hull would be fine platform for AAW / BMD of a region (Guam, SCS, etc.) but I don’t believe that the hull could be reasonably powered to be functional in a CBG. Nuclear would be a great idea for the next large surface combatant but there doesn’t seem to be an appetite for them with the brass.

    • RunningBear

      LPD-17 hull 105′ beam – too slow – 22kts.
      DDG-1000 hull 80′ beam, 33kts. (paint it black and call it a cruiser!)

      CG-47 hull 55′ beam, 33kts.

      ps: the existing 78MW can drive directed energy weapons in lieu of existing quiet PMM motordrive.

      🙂

      • StealthFlyer

        Whatever hull is used, it needs to be acoustically quiet to limit submarine detection range and as low observable by radar and IR as is practical (or affordable).

  • Curtis Conway

    I still think we ought to call it a . . . Battlecruiser.

    • NavySubNuke

      Careful now – next think you know you will be advocating for a department of War and you know we can’t have something that evil!
      I just hope we give them names worthy of their capabilities and inline with Navy Heritage rather than naming them after politicians!

      • RedStatePatriot

        LOL, you are reminding me of that great scene in “Dr Strangelove” where the 2 generals are about to come to blows and the guys says, “You can’t fight in here, this is the War Room”!

        • NavySubNuke

          Yes, but the whole point of a doomsday machine is lost if you keep it a secret!!

      • Curtis Conway

        WHAT’s the matter with the ‘Department of War’ ! LOL!!!

        Like the naming idea though. Every time we get stores and oil from one of our new tankers in the future they will think of welfare (USNS John Lewis).

        • vetww2

          FOR a while there,, IT looked like the Dept of Military Social Change,

          • Curtis Conway

            I thought they were the Dept. of War Against American Culture, and Against G-d Almighty Himself. Signing up for service in the Armed Services is supposed to be a Honor & a Privilege, not an opportunity to be a Target.

          • vetww2

            I don’t understand your commwnt to me. since I couldn’t be more in accord wih your last statement.

          • Curtis Conway

            It all has to be with ROE that every service must live with every time a Democrat (and sometimes otherwise) takes the presidency. Our armed forces are not targets of opportunity.

          • vetww2

            again you’re hitting the wrong guy.

          • Curtis Conway

            Please understand vetww2, this is in no way a comment about you, or your opinions . . . of which I agree. I simply restate a truth that seems to escape the awareness of the average citizen, mostly because of ignorance. The sacrifices (lives, fortunes, and Sacred Honor) of our founders, growth and maturation of the national consciousness, growth of our economy and influences on the planet (engineering, scientific, and otherwise) for the last two hundred years . . . . are being questioned? Who taught this lie to the population? The United States has been a meritocracy since its inception, and one of the greatest gifts to mankind in HiStory. THAT has been the key to our success down through HiStory. Now someone (or something) is trying to change that.

          • vetww2

            I could not have said it better, ADD: free Capitalism has aided anyone with a good idea, drive and perseverance to prosper in a climate never before seen on this Earth.

      • vetww2

        AMEN, Dr. Strangelove.

    • I think they should call the first one the “Scharnhorst” and give it a beautiful silhouette – I know too old school; but in my mind…

      • CaptainParker

        Nah…”Repulse” and “Renown”…because like the British BC’s, they’ll inherit their monikers “Refit” and “Repair.” Footnote: I shouldn’t make fun of the old “Repulse”…she was listed as the least capable of Britain’s 15 capital ships in 1939…yet she took the most battle damage before she went under (five torpedoes and one bomb). She was built good.

        • Centaurus

          “Footloose” and “Carefree”. And start installing Catapults on the Cruisers too. Spears and javelins for any close-in work.

      • Curtis Conway

        How about Pocket Battleship?

    • IssacBabel

      I think the BC HMS Invincible would make short work of the Zummie.
      Zummie was to be colonial cruiser for chastising the Natives.
      Shelling tribesmen and Toyota HiLuxes.

    • Secundius

      How about an 18th Century Royal Navy classification, that was used in a popular TV series! “Battlestar”…

      • Curtis Conway

        Secundius, if this thing goes into space, I’m with you!

        • Secundius

          Actually the term “Battlestar” is somewhat misleading because it Doesn’t actually have a classification of a specific Ship Design. Battlestar was applied to ANY Lead Ship with a Flag Officer in Command. Regardless of Ships Rating.

          • Curtis Conway

            Well, whatever this new vessel is, it should be commanded by a Star Capitan. It no doubt will have Directed Energy Weapons and we will be crossing some new lines for the very first time, and if the EMRG goes on board then engagement capability will be significantly enhanced. Use of these weapons by someone other than following some ‘Demonic source of direction’ will be a first for someone on the right side of the equation in the US Armed Forces. IMHO That should be an 0-6 or greater. Once the DEWs go on the DDGs we can have some experience with these units to be used in aggregate. THAT will be a Game Changer!

      • Rocco

        That would be Galactic!! Lol

    • vetww2

      IF it follows the DD1000 design, let’s call it the “OL FLOPOVER” no class.

      • Rocco

        New ironclad has a better ring!

    • Ser Arthur Dayne

      Let the record reflect, Your Honor, that calling it a Battlecruiser would be the best thing in the history of the universe, my brain would fall out in explosive awesomeness.

    • Rocco

      Agreed

      • Secundius

        Or “Strike Cruiser”…

    • PERICLES—

      If we’re going to designate them as battlecruisers and they’re going to have roughly the same, or even less VLSs than the Burkes, they’d better have some firepower a lot heavier than the standard 5 inch gun.

  • TheFightingIrish

    Why not call it an Ocean Combat Ship (OCS)?

    • Aj jordan

      I couldn’t help but cringe reading that…… like we need another LCS misnomer…..

      • Curtis Conway

        Agreed . . . wince wince.

      • Secundius

        Or the Flight I LCS is called an SSC (Small Surface Combatant)…

      • vetww2

        very perceptive!

    • Ctrot

      Or BWCS for “Blue Water Combat Ship” 😉

      • TheFightingIrish

        Obviously neither of us should be in charge of coming up with classification names for ships.

  • RobM1981

    When I saw that graphic, I didn’t notice that the flight deck was from a carrier in the background. For a brief moment, it all looked like one hull to me: cruiser forecastle and flight deck aft.

    “What?” I thought, “we’re building the old Soviet ‘Moscow’ class?”

    Regardless, I presume that it will look much like the Zumwalt. Otherwise, why did we build that hull form in the first place?

    • vetww2

      Please don’t call it “Zumwalt” It embarrses him.

      • Lazarus

        Again, ADM Z liked experimental surface ships. He pushed for a large surface effect ship in addition to the PHM, FFG 7, and Sea Control ship as low-end components of the Navy.

        • vetww2

          Exactly. Cpts. Ripley and King, RADMS Halversen and Peterson, VADM Doyle and I made up his go to team. Oh yes, you left out SWATH. It was too bad that big Z’s successor had the vision of a mole..

    • CaptainParker

      Since the Zumwalts currently have no usable guns, the hull shape indicates what the new weapon will be – a RAM! Shades of Admiral Tegetthof at Lissa in 1866! Then all they’ll need is a kettle drummer to beat “ramming speed!”

  • johnbull

    Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck. It’s the size of a WW II heavy cruiser, has the capabilities of a cruiser, and is largely replacing a cruiser; call it a cruiser. Now, name them after cities or battles as most previous cruisers have been and be done with it.

    • East Bound & Down

      The terms “Cruiser”, Destroyer” and “Frigate” are all navy terms with historical connections. If this thing is the size of a WW II cruiser, and will perform the mission of one, then it seems simple to me to classify it as a cruiser. BTW, I can remember one of my ships, the USS Texas going from DLGN- 39 to CGN-39. Nothing changed except the designation; but made for better numbers when compared to the number of cruisers the Soviets had. This made the politicians happy, though nothing really changed in the design or capability of the hull. Texas was a good ship; gone too soon!

      • Aj jordan

        Texas? that was one of the 4 virginia class CGN’s weren’t they?

        • East Bound & Down

          Yup. Virginia ( CGN-38), Texas (CGN-39), Mississippi (CGN-40) and Arkansas (CGN-41). Wow, guess I’m getting old. I typed Texas’ hull number as CGN-36! ( California)!

      • Secundius

        Before the classification of Cruiser, a Cruiser was referred to as a “Bark”…

        • vetww2

          As in “WOOF, WOOF?

    • Lazarus

      A WW2 CA was a very different type of ship; developed as a scouting unit for the pre-WW2 battlefleet. It later became a battleship substitute (due to lack of such vessels after 07 DEC 1941,) a carrier AAW escort, and finally a cheap NGFS ship in Korea and Vietnam. Some light cruisers (CL) were actually bigger than the so-called heavy cruisers that received that designation only from the size of their gun. Present USN ships have no such characteristics and size is really not a determinate other than that it allows for more capability. Still, DDG 1000 has less VLS tubes than does DDG 51, so why suggest it as a cruiser?

      • Hugh

        And when does the size of a vessel qualify it as a “ship” rather than a “boat”? As for Cruisers, some with lots of 6″ guns were known as “Heavy Cruisers” noting the mass of projectiles they could deliver in a broadside. And the Spanish Amada F100 “Frigates” (political designation) have RAN cousins designated Air Warfare Destroyers.

        • No American ships with 6″ guns were ever designated heavy cruisers – in fact the reverse was true as the early 8″ gun ships were actually commissioned as light cruisers.

          Comparing designations across nations is simply impossible. The Spanish haven’t operated a destroyer since the Fletchers and Gearings we gave them after WWII, so they just stuck with the frigate designation. In contrast, the Australians were retiring their Perth-class destroyers and replacing destroyers with frigates just wouldn’t look good.

          • Rocco

            Agreed! & the Proposed CB class that just two were built ar 12”.

        • Rocco

          150’ classifies a vessel as a ship!!

        • Icepilot

          Can you lift it? Can it surface, once submerged? If so, it’s a boat.

          • vetww2

            You mean the Russian 32,000 ton sub, TYPHON, is a boat?

          • Icepilot

            You probably got me there. I don’t know that they have the same traditions wrt submarines being referred to as boats as in the U.S.

          • vetww2

            I can see the designation when the subs were, at most, a few thousand tons, but it seems to me, when the naming of subs went from fish to the capital ship naming criteria, states, the designation should also have changed.

          • Hugh

            Submariners (Sub-mariners, or Submarin-ers) refer to vessels as “boats” or “targets”.

          • vetww2

            ‘I thought that they only referred to surface ships as targets, AS IN,
            “There are only 2 types of ships, subs and targets.

          • Hugh

            Yep, there are submarines (aka boats), and those crews refer to the skimmers as “targets”‘.

          • vetww2

            You may hit a displacement ship, but never a “SKIMMER”

        • vetww2

          The Spanish “F100 class (Santa Maria, Numancia, Victoria and Reina Sophia) are FFG-7s, but built better, 1 Kt. faster and sport the FFG-7 weapons and equipment complement plus a very good anti-missile and moor (No Kidding) gun system called “Meroka”.

          • Secundius

            Only one problem with the “Meroka”! Magazine Feed for Each Gun is 60-rounds, or ~30-seconds Firing Time…

          • vetww2

            There ere up to1800 round magazines, but I will take your word for what is mounted, currently.

          • Secundius

            Read it again, under the Heading of “Ammunition stowage per gun (on mount)…

            ( http : // www . navweaps . com / Weapons / WNSpain _ 2cm – 120 _ Meroka . php )

          • vetww2

            Again, not to contest your findings, but when I was out on trials of the Victoria with VADM”Pete” Heckman, as I remember it, they fired over 20, 5 second bursts, in about 3 minutes. That is, by your calculatins, ~200 rounds.

          • Secundius

            Barrels of the “Meroka” fire as a Whole, NOT Independently of each other. IF the Gun you tested was a Test Gun and NOT a Production Gun system, it may had a Continuous Firing Feed System. Unfortunately the Test Gun used on the “Victoria” also used the Same “Meroka” Gun System as found on other Spanish Naval Vessels…

          • vetww2

            Aside, Did you notice that the Spanish said to me that it would be very effectie against “MOORS” I laughed, but not now.

          • Hugh

            The Spanish 6 Santa Maria Class are an improved Perry frigate, around 4000t. Their 6 F100 “Frigates” are quite different and larger at 5,800t. The RAN ones are called Air Warfare “Destroyers” (AWDs), yet the 9 new BAE selected ships to be built are so far being called “Frigates” despite being quite a bit larger again at around 8,200t. Incidentally, the last I heard – there were difficulties getting Lloyds Classification for the AWDs regarding issues with the longitudinal strength.

          • vetww2

            THANKS. Bazan will use your comments in their ads

          • vetww2

            Just for your info.
            The Portoaeronaves (aircraft carrier) Principe de Asturias and the first 3 F-100s comprised Grupe De Combate Primero. Activated in 1992 (500 years after Columbus discovered America.) I was at the naming conference in Madrid in 1986. The Principe de Asturius (crown prince) was already named. The recomendation for the frigates would be Santa Maria, Nina and Pinta , after Columbus’ ships. Then a captain Marcial Gamboa said,”Senores. Que es una nina?” The response was “Little girl” y que es una Pinta? A painted lady (whore). After some discussion it was decided to name them VICTORIA (Magellan’s ship) and NUMANCIA (first armored ship). Months later it was decided to call the F-104 “America:” in honor of the support we had given them, But the queen, said that they had already named the carrier for her son, so it was decided that its name would be, “REINA SOPHIA.”

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Umm, no one that I have seen has suggested that the DESTROYERS of the Zumwalt class be called cruisers. The article says SOME ELEMENTS of the Zumwalt will be incorporated in the new design. I agree that MORE VLS cells should be added, significantly more than the present Ticos. But those ‘elements’ mentioned might be the electric drive and power plant, and nothing else.

        • vetww2

          They already are called,”Old Flopover.”

          • Secundius

            And when did it “Flopover”…

          • vetww2

            Again, In 2006, the model of the DD1000 capsized in the DTNSRDC turning basin.

          • PolicyWonk

            I talked to some of the guys that built her, and they admitted they were curious w/r/t how she’d handle in really bad weather. The initial model testing didn’t go very well. BIW had a sea-frame design they were a lot more comfortable with – but the USN insisted on the tumblehome design.

            That said, by all accounts, Zumwalt handled very well in her sea trials and everyone was delighted.

          • vetww2

            Although I was there when the DD1000 model, flopped over. the zeolots on this post excoriated me endlessly. ALSO. I heard that in the sea trials, they TWICE had to reduce speed in SS4+. But that I did not witness, so it is hearsay.

      • Rocco

        You have no idea what you talking about!!!

      • ChrisLongski

        Correct — the Atlanta-class AA cruisers. Like the “Juneau”…

        • Secundius

          What Heavy Cruiser in WWII was lighter then the “Atlanta’s” ~7,360-tons! Because off hand I can’t think of one…

          • ChrisLongski

            Not what I intended. Just musing on the stopgap AA light cruisers.

          • Lazarus

            Several UK RN cruisers were smaller. The Arethusa-class cruiser was less than 5000 tons. Omaha class less than 7300 tons.

          • Secundius

            Light Tons or Burden? the “Atlanta’s” ~7,360 is Burden…

    • Aj jordan

      THANK YOU! why cant we designate ships cruisers anymore? Is even the cruiser terminology too aggressive for these new age progressives? zummwalts for all purposes are battleships (with no armor and pitiful armament for a ship its size) and burkes are almost as big as ww2 light cruisers…… just call them what these ships are CRUISERS!

      • Duane

        Nothing aggressive about “cruiser”. The problem is this ship is no more like a 20th century cruiser than a DDG1000 is like a 20th century destroyer … in terms of size, weapons, power plant sensors, and defenses.

        It is past time to apply 21st century terminology to 21st century ships.

        • David Oldham

          Sure why not call them bananas. Get real, why not bring back Mabus and let him finish the job….sad.

          • Bobtheplumer

            Mabus would name the entire ship class sfter himself

        • vetww2

          or stupid design. I will lay you odds that the next ship comes out less all the stupid ideas that went into the DD1000.

      • NEC338x

        Because then we will have a “destroyer gap” with the Soviets, er, Russians. The hulls will end up getting down designated anyway to please Congress. History. Rinse, lather, repeat!

      • Rocco

        Not in agreement that Zumwalt be called a battleship! Even in today’s world!

      • I’ll be PC for the first time in my life and suggest that benign titles like ‘cruiser’ sound a lot less menacing than ‘destroyer’ to various peoples around the world. Some may argue that menacing is the whole point, but submarines, frigates, sweepers, tenders and patrol vessels don’t sound all that menacing either. ‘Cruiser’ will covert hearts and minds more than a ‘destroyer.’ . . .IF I were PC.

    • PERICLES—

      Additionally, calling them cruisers would add a certain element of prestige to them, which is always welcome.

  • Lazarus

    RADM Boxall is rightly suggesting that 1980’s-era warship classifications like “cruiser, destroyer, frigate) may no longer be applicable to modern naval warfare requirements. Large and small surface combatants seem good designations. Hopefully the Navy will guard against both types growing into costly, meet every mission designs that are unaffordable in the needed numbers.

    • vetww2

      PROFOUND.

    • William Sager

      Bear in mind the best defense against souring cost would be for our country to open mines producing rare Earth elements needed in electric engines and other electronic equipment. It’s almost impossible to get permits for these mines because the only way to mine rare Earth elements is to mine huge quantities of Earth. Needless to say, China has the mines and we don’t.

      • vetww2

        i did not know that we had proven sites for rare earths

    • Bryan

      Doesn’t matter if you call it the willy wonka in a tutu (wwII for short). It’s a freaking name. The real problem is recent history has shown the Navy isn’t figuring out what they want, before they build it. That is important. You could call it the LCS for all I care. Just make sure it works this time.

      • Lazarus

        The Navy needed the experimentation in both DDG 1000 and LCS. You don’t develop new capabilities in land-based facilities of on powerpoint presentations. Sometimes those experiments are messy as well. Plenty of past experiments were difficult. The Terrier/Tarter/Talos family of missiles did not really work for 15+ years. AEGIS was 10 years late and $1B over budget in 1980. All of the great, Reagan-era defense systems (B-1B, AEGIS, Nimitz CVN, M-1A1 tank, Bradley AFV, F-15,Stealth, etc) were subject to massive criticism all the time by the usual suspects (GAO, OT&E groups, POGO, etc.) People need to read more history before they start making inane comments about how unusual difficult military programs are.

        • TheFightingIrish

          At the same time, we shouldn’t spend some $2.5 billion on 4 training ships (the first 2 of each LCS variant). Or, field an new naval gun (AGS) only to find out the ammunition (LRLAP) is too expensive to afford. We need to avoid these types of self-inflicted wounds.

          Yes, defense programs are complex and often have cost overruns and schedule delays. But, we need to do better when it comes to design and procurement. China just commissioned their 28th Type 054 frigate and their 50th Type 056 corvette. They also put 2 of their new Type 055 cruisers in the water with several more under construction.

          • Secundius

            The BAe/Rheinmetall GmbH 6.1-inch 15.5cm/52-caliber MONARC (MOdular Naval ARtillery Concept), a Navalized PzH.2000 155mm SPG or the BAe AS90 155mm/52-caliber “Braveheart” or even the BAe/Bofors FH77BW L52 “Archer”. Take you’re pick, there’s dozens of different Automated 155mm Gun Systems being used…

          • TheFightingIrish

            The US Army is building a 70-km range 155-mm gun based on the M777 cannon. A navalized version with a sub-caliber round might be able to reach out to 100-km or more. That would be my preference.

          • Secundius

            That because the Towed M777 only has a 39-caliber Barrel. The Paladins M777 has a 52-caliber Barrel extending the range to ~100-km…

          • Lazarus

            Comparing the US and the PRC is apples and oranges. A Communist state with state-owned enterprise that is accountable to no one really cannot be compared to an open, free enterprise system within a democratic framework. We have no idea how much the PRC really spent. Our system is messy to be sure but it is also open to review (unlike that of the PRC.) $2.5b is less than 1.5 DDG 51’s. The first four LCS are still functional warships that can be surged as necessary.

          • TheFightingIrish

            It is not about their money, but how we’ve misspent our money through poor program and technical management.

            We spent billions on 3 Zumwalt destroyers and the Advanced Gun System (AGS) only to find out that the ammunition is unaffordable. The AGS was a core feature of the Zumwalt and now a wasted effort to bring back naval gunfire. And, it is sure to cost hundreds of millions, if not billions, to retrofit the Zumwalts with an alternate system.

            We’re building 30 LCS and plan to use 8 to 10 for training, the first four and one in each LCS division. How is that normal? And, since when do we build new ships that are to be used in case of an emergency? Plus, we’ve accepted 15 LCS while their mission modules are being finalized and qualified for use.

            Meanwhile, China has built and commissioned 41 Type 056 1,500 ton corvettes inside of 7 years. On paper, the Type 056 looks good; a 76mm gun, short range SAM, torpedoes, a bow mounted sonar (a VDS on the Type 056A), and 4 anti-ship missiles.

            We have to get better at managing our acquisition programs and stop shooting ourselves in the foot.

      • vetww2

        RIGHT, but they have not even figured out its mission in the next (I hope it never happens) combat.

  • James Bowen

    Why don’t they just call these ships cruisers?

    • NavySubNuke

      Politics of course.

      • James Bowen

        Why is that? Is it that cruisers perceived to be more expensive than destroyers?

        • NavySubNuke

          For now I think so – it is tied up in the failure of CG(x) to produce a ship while DDG(x) at least resulted in 3 ships. Even though a Zumwalt “destroyer” is much larger than our Ticonderoga class cruisers for example. Also, the Type 55 “destroyer” built by China is larger than a Tico but smaller than a Zum.
          Also the higher expectations of the armament of a cruisers vs a destroyer.
          Third, as someone else already mentioned a Cruiser is usually an O6 CO and a destroyer has an O5 — now you are talking about messing up the SWO navy’s manning plans simply by classifying a ship that doesn’t exist on paper yet.
          I expect the Navy will eventually call them cruisers though – especially once they carve out the space for an air warfare commander and their staff. But not for at least another year or two while they work through the nonsense.

          • James Bowen

            Interesting to know, thanks.

        • Curtis Conway

          Tico, when she came out, cost $1 Billion. Half for the combat system and half for the HM&E.

      • If they called them “cruisers’ they could spend more to build them. It worked for the Ticonderoga.

        • Ticonderoga was designed and laid down as a destroyer. That’s why her hull number is CG-47 (the next number in the destroyer sequence) rather than CG-42 (the next number in the cruiser sequence).

          • It got changed from a Destroyer to a Cruiser at a SASC hearing after they got a look at the construction cost. Yes Virginia, you can jam 9600 tons into a 6600 ton hull (as long as you delete the tracking illuminators).

          • Curtis Conway

            CGN-42 which was upgraded for DLGN-42. Actually, the nuke hull never came to be, and wasn’t going to be.

    • vetww2

      You can call me Joe or you can call me Moe, but don’t call the DD1000 a combat ship.

  • sferrin

    What a joke.

  • What’s funny is how ship type are now considered these holy designations passed down from antiquity when they were originally just simple descriptions.

    Battleship = line of battle ship = a ship that fought in the line of battle
    Cruiser = a ship that cruises (originally a job rather than a type, much like “escort” today)
    Destroyer = torpedo boat destroyer = a ship that destroys torpedo boats
    Corvette = a small ship (literally, in Dutch it meant small ship)

    Just call it a large surface combatant with the hull code LSCG and be done with it. Though the designation “LSC” would certainly be confusing with LCS – perhaps rename the smaller ship “SSC” for small surface combatant and then FFG(X) could become SSCG(X).

  • John McHugh

    So, all seem to agree that the next big ship will be a modification of existing technologies using an upgraded platform. It would seem that leveraging the Zumwalt platform with improvements might be the most expedient way forward. It does have some worts but most new systems do. It offers a new, larger and more capable platform.

    Replace the RR MT30s with GE LM6000PGs (from 78MW to 106MW). A vast improvement in power with similar footprint. Keep the RR4500s and maybe add another one. Upgrade the IPS / AIM package to be more robust.

    What is the radar of the future ? AMDR ? DBR ? EASR ? Must be capable of detecting, categorizing, and defending against 10s or 100s of hypervelocity ASMs.

    I like the idea of removing the AGS and replacing with a Mk.41 VLS system. Can one or two 5″/62 cal mounts fit on the foredeck and leave room for a Mk.41 ? Can the existing Mk.57 PVLS of the Zumwalt fit and work with the addition of the Mk.41 ? Load the 41 for ESSM and SM-2s. Load the 57 with SM-3, SM-6, Tomahawk, and ASROC ? Where o’ where has my LRASM gone ?

    Hangars that are large enough for a minimum of (2) MH60R/S as well as at least (2) FireScouts or ScanEagles.

    Finally, The Carrier is the pitcher, high visibility, most vital member of the team, and comes with high costs. The Cruiser is the catcher. Controls and supports the Carrier and directs the defense. Bad catcher normally means bad pitcher. The Destroyer is the utility infielder. Must be good at first and short and have range, power, and a strong arm. The Frigate is the outfielder that is expected to function on his own and to be able to perform without support.

    Saying all this, this should be a Cruiser, plain and simple.

    • The Radar is going to be AMDR. DBR uses older technology and EASR is just a smaller AMDR. Of course, the question remains of whether it is going to be the 14 foot AMDR of the Flight III Burke or the 18-21 foot AMDR the Navy originally desired.

      I’m betting they go all Mk41. While the Mk57 would allow for larger weapons to be developed, it comes at a massive cost in launcher size and weight. Further, given the extreme range of 21 inch weapons like TLAM and SM-3 Block II, I think the usefulness of a larger weapon is questionable.

      • StealthFlyer

        Designing the ship to house at least 21-foot-wide AMDR panels would be a smart move.

  • Secundius

    Could also be a Arsenal/Ballistic Defense/Bombardment Ship Combi (i.e. “Monitor”)…

  • Bailey Zhang

    My wish list:
    1.largr S-band radar, like 69 RMA SPY-6
    2.larger VLS, MK-41are too small
    3.use more mature technologies

    • What does the larger radar give you outside of BMD – a mission that is really better done by shore facilities?

      What missiles do you want that are too big for the Mk41?

      Also, point 3 directly contradicts 1 and 2.

      • StealthFlyer

        I would expect that larger radars help you detect stealthy aircraft and missiles at longer ranges, giving you more time to react (especially against hypersonic weapons).

        • Secundius

          Leonardo’s “Seaspray” 5000E AESA Radar’s Antenna Array measures ~16.93″ x ~11.02″ x ~5.51″ and has an Instrumental Range of ~200nmi. Don’t let Sizes fool you…

      • Bailey Zhang

        SM-3 IIB was too big for MK41, and there will be much bigger missile in the future (30-40 years)

    • Aj jordan

      I want reimplementation of large gun technology, preferably 6-8in in caliber…. a ship this size could carry large advanced guns….

      • Secundius

        Probably not going to happen! The Ring Mounts for the Mk.71 8-inch Naval Gun came from a M110A1 203mm SPG. The Ring Mounts were designed only to allow for a 60* Traverse to either side of SPG’s chassis. The Mk.71 had a 160* traverse to either side. Recoil of the Mk.71 was ~24.6-tons/in.sq., which caused significant structural damage to the Ship (DD-745, USS Hull) HY-40 hull. And I doubt that there are any still serviceable 203mm Gun Barrels available for usage…

        • ElmCityAle

          Any action close enough for gun range means the “cruiser” or whatever it’s called is too close. To the horror of some, I don’t think any large caliber guns are needed on such ships anymore.

  • Ron8200

    One word missing from the story is affordable. Billion dollar destroyers or cruisers are too expensive to produce or risk in combat. Would we be better with a Billion dollar escort carrier?

    • John McHugh

      The DDGs already cost $2b so this new class will be pushing $2.5b in a best case scenario.

      An escort carrier for only $1b would be incredible. For that money, postpone CVN-81 and build 5-10 CVEs and base them strategically in the SCS, Med, Baltic, etc.

      Unfortunately, dreams don’t always come true.

  • Chesapeakeguy

    Build a CRUISER that is the length of the CG-9, USS Long Beach. Over 700 feet long and over 70 feet wide. Might some number of them be considered for nuclear propulsion? They are already going to be equipped with Aegis. We know this is going to be an expensive ship to say the least. But that doesn’t mean that a good return on investment can’t be had. We’ve had that with the Burkes, not so much with the Zumwalts, at least not yet. I’m sure the usual suspects on here will say that I am advocating that we construct a ship based on 1950s and 1960s technology, but they will just continue to be wrong, as always. A big hull allows for growth. How important should aviation capabilities be? Like the present Aegis cruisers, I see these new ones as being more defensive in nature. They are going to be there first and foremost to protect carriers, amphib groups, and possibly land areas (with their ABM weapons). But a large hull means more room for other weapons. I hope they do this one right..

    • John McHugh

      The return of a large CGN would be a welcome addition but most unlikely. Costs would be through the roof.

      A large scalable platform is necessary but a more traditional power plant would seem more realistic. 700 feet sounds a little big.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Maybe. But something that size would provide for the potential growth the Navy anticipates as far as new technologies and weapons emerging. I doubt it will happen, but I do believe it is THE right path to pursue. .

      • NEC338x

        A biofueled battle barge is more likely. The increased costs of green fuels are politically acceptable.

    • Aj jordan

      I concur, CGN-9 Longbeach was the last TRUE cruiser built for the US navy with its hull utilizing traditional cruiser specs, all subsequent hulls were cruisers in name only… I say this thing needs to be lengthened enough to fit at least 122 VLS and 2 5in guns, so somewhere along the lines of 600-700ft. I wonder whats taken them this long to start thinking about lengthening a DDG-51 burke hull…..

      • Chesapeakeguy

        My thinking has it carrying at least 200 VLS cells, for starters.

        • Aj jordan

          Of course, id like it to carry that much as well, but its minimum cant dip below the before mentioned stats…. And if we can I want 8in guns back…

        • Secundius

          As I recall, the Ballistic Missile Defense/Arsenal Ship cancelled in 2014 was suppose to have at least 288 VLS Launchers. Also based on the “San Antonio” class Hull Design. ( http : // aviationweek . com / blog /introducing – ballistic – missile – defense – ship ) …

          • Chesapeakeguy

            I remember that concept. There were also various proposals for the ‘Arsenal Ship’ that resulted in various weapons loads. I’ve seen artist renditions that had upwards of a thousand VLS cells on them. I’ve seen them as towed barges. One theme was that they didn’t have their own sensor suites other than for point defense weapons. These ‘cruisers’ have to be able to travel with carriers and other groups.

          • Secundius

            There are a Couple or Three Concept Photo’s, Fleshed Out of what the Vessel “Might” look like with more detailing…

            http : // alternathistory . com / files / resize / users / user 349/05 _ 25 – 680×382 . jpg

            http : // alternathistory . com / files / resize / users / user 349/04 _ 37 – 680×382 . jpg

            http : // photo . I99 . com / bigger / 10 / 1399293719212 _ 46rt6a . jpg

    • DaSaint

      There’s some merit to what you’re saying. But if we want to think out of the box, let’s do so: How about a cruiser that combines 128 Mk41 VLS housing (SM2, SM6, VLASROC, VL-NSM, and ESSM), 2 SeaRam and 2 Phalanx CIWS (to be replaced by a laser CIWS), a single 5″ mount forward (which will be replaced by some form of rail-gun), and an aviation element of 2 Romeo’s (or their successor), 4 FireScout UAVs, and 6 F-35Bs. The traditional hangar would house the helicopters, while a hangar under the flight deck would house the F-35Bs. ASW would be limited to a towed-array or VDS.

      Make this the centerpiece of a new SAG, complemented by a Burke DDG, 2 FFGs, and 2 LCS.

      • Hybrid carrier/cruisers have been tried countless times over the past century and every nation that build them abandoned the idea. I think that’s a hint.

        • DaSaint

          I know they have. But if we think we can keep affording $12B carriers or even $5B LHDs, we’ve got another reality check coming.

          If we believe that a $100M aircraft can effectively counter a major surface combatant, or three, then let’s try to find a way to ‘distribute’ more of those ‘lethal’ $100M killer platforms!

          Just a thought.

          • If you’re trying to solve rising ship prices you’re going about it completely backwards. Queen Elizabeth is a 65k ton carrier built in a nation with even less efficient shipyards than the US and only cost $4b – the secret is not adding any electronics or weapons. I’m not saying it’s a good idea, but you could probably build a barebones 25k ton escort carrier for around $1b.

          • DaSaint

            Yes. But we don’t call that bare bones vessel a warship.

    • Ed L

      How about the size of the old Alaska-class cruiser 800x90x30. Nuclear power Rail guns, laser, VLS and mounted over a 200 feet midships are with independent battery power 2 SeaRam, guns 2-127mm, 2-57mm, 4- 30mm.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Personally, I have no problem with that. An aside here: why they ever called the ‘Alaska’ class ‘cruisers’ (well, they were called BATTLEcruisers) is beyond me. They were bigger (length wise) than all of the other USN battleships except for the Iowa class. But, the navy incorporated a HUGE (for that time) hull in the ‘Spruance’ class, for the express purpose of incorporating new weapons and systems when they became ready. I don’t know how many VLS cells a new cruiser should carry, but I do think there should be more than the present number found on the Ticos.

  • DaSaint

    This is what’s clear to me: The hulls for the Next Large Combatant will be built at BIW and Ingalls:

    Once the first large combatant is designed and purchased in the 2023 “block” – following the current block-buy of Flight III DDGs from Ingalls Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, which spans from Fiscal Years 2018 to 2022 – new blocks will be planned for every five years.

    This is going to be more an evolutionary than a revolutionary progression. I’m thinking SUPERSIZED Burke hull, much like the new Chinese, Korean, and Japanese DDGs.

    And I’m convinced the new FFG(X) takes over for the Burke Flight I DDGs.

    • John McHugh

      Agreed. No reason this all shouldn’t be true.

  • Icepilot

    Disappointed that there’s no mention of nuclear power. You start shoving 20,000 tons thru the water, at 30 kts, firing lasers/railguns & the advantages of having an inexhaustible supply of fuel become obvious. It also significantly increases the range & speed of the entire Battlegroup, which could provide an essential margin for victory.

    • Secundius

      If it doesn’t look either like a Submarine or an Aircraft Carrier! It probably won’t be Nuclear Powered…

      • Icepilot

        I don’t disagree. But leaving nuclear power off the table would be extremely shortsighted. And not at all surprising.

        • Secundius

          Would also probably add at least $2-Billion USD to any Ship Design. How much Crude or Diesel Fuel can you purchase for that amount…

          • Icepilot

            I’d concede half that – VA class subs come in at $2.7B. How much does a fleet of oilers, crews, maintenance, planning & the restrictions it puts on a Battlegroup cost?

          • Secundius

            I don’t think the US Navy still uses Dedicated Fuel Oilers anymore. The “Kaiser” class Fleet Replenishment Ship is Dual Cargo of Fuel and Expendable Supplies…

          • Ed L

            Even when my Navy had dedicated Fleet Oilers, we always had room on the flight deck to stage pallets and room near the High Line rig so we could do vertical replishment or transfer at sea. Was a bit crowded but it worked.

    • Ed L

      I thinking Science fiction now. Alien tech power devices. Like in Stargate. Way outside the box. Would be nice. Shame the dark ages happen

  • Bad999

    Perhaps designated as a CDG(X) = Carrier Defense Guided ship for the CBG?…

  • 3901

    Will it be a BFLCS?

  • vetww2

    I LOVE Ms. Eckstein, I wish that she was my longevity estimator. I need that unbridled optimism.

    • vetww2

      If you stick this down in the cellar, will you,at least tell her. It will brighten her day.

  • Bobtheplumer

    I say the first ship be named the USS Duanee, in light of the admiral’s massive intellect…

  • vetww2

    My comment about Ms Eckstein was not meant to be perjorative, but complimentary. Her writing style is very upbeat. I wonder about the modern day sense of humor.
    I SAID:
    “I LOVE Ms. Eckstein, I wish that she was my longevity estimator. I need that unbridled optimism.
    I should have added “at 92”

  • John B. Morgen

    Any warship that is above the 6,000 ton mark should be refer as a cruiser (frigate for the old terminology). The Navy for the past several decades has lost its way when it it comes down to classifying warships; excluding aircraft carriers and submarines. The Navy should return to the past, and start using such terms; frigates-[cruisers], corvettes-[destroyers], sloops-[LCS/MS]. Right now, the Navy really has no standards for classifying warships, and this got to change……

    • Secundius

      Starting from what point though. Before WWI a “Cruiser” was referred to as a “Bark”…

      • John B. Morgen

        Starting point: the Washington/ London Naval Treaties

        • Secundius

          The First Treaty of 1922, or the Second Treaty of 1936…

        • Lazarus

          Cruisers were classified by gun size (6 inch and 8 inch) and not ship size.

          • John B. Morgen

            Telling me something that I’d already know. For your information, cruisers were restricted to 10,000 tons standard displacement.

  • Rob C.

    Unfortunately, politics will destroy this effort. It will bungle the effort try get this next large surface combatant. They Navy might well Just call ships Large Combants and Small Combatant if they can’t use more traditional designations anymore