Quantcast

Navy's plans for fighting terror call for smaller ships

Discussion in 'Legal' started by 280PLUS, Dec 17, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Tomcat1066

    Tomcat1066 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    232
    Location:
    Southwest GA
    I'm curious. How many folks who are ok with the Navy's "shift" are former or current Navy themselves?

    Looks like all of us who were in Uncle Sam's Yacht Club think it's a bad idea. Wonder why? ;)

    Tom
     
  2. VMI 1991

    VMI 1991 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Pentagon A-ring
    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I'm on active duty as a Surface Warfare Officer (those of us who run the ship) with 14.5 years of service. I've served as Operations Officer on a SPRUANCE class destroyer and an TICONDEROGA ("Aegis") cruiser and currently serve on a "big deck" amphibious ship.

    The subject of building smaller ships has been discussed for a long time. When I was doing my exchange tour with the German Navy, I spent some time on their missile patrol boats. Smaller, more manueverable, ships (boats) have some distinct advantages. The ability to operate close to the coastline, high speed, small size give them some distinct advantages over larger ships.

    Currently, we do not face a major "blue water" threat. However, due to the amount of time required to design and build ships, we have to be planning on tomorrow's conflicts today. While many of our ships and weapon systems seem to have less than a definite purpose today, they may very well be what we need in the near future.

    I will post more later. I am at work, so I can't spend more time here! The XO is out and about...
     
  3. TonkinTwentyMil

    TonkinTwentyMil Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    241
    Location:
    Way past High Noon.
    Welcome aboard, VMI 1991!

    Your insights are appreciated. Keep the faith.
     
  4. Jeff Timm

    Jeff Timm Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2003
    Messages:
    933
    Location:
    St. Augustine, FL
    There is much to be said for a Brown Water Navy, but as an old Doggie, I still like having carriers around. Especially since the US Army spells Air Defense, USN or USAF. :eek:

    http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=1400&ct=4

    Swift did duty transferring supplies at high speed during the Hurricane relief efforts.

    Geoff
    Who notes you canna dig a foxhole in the ocean.
     
  5. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    13,306
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    An interesting article in Popular Mechanics on the littoral combat idea may be viewed here.
     
  6. VMI 1991

    VMI 1991 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Pentagon A-ring
    Maritime theory

    I wrote my masters thesis on the influence of maritime theorists on German Naval strategy prior to WWII. Two of the basic schools of thought are:

    Mahan - The outcome of a maritime conflict will be decided by a large scale battle between opposing fleets

    Corbett - The outcome of combat at sea should be viewed as it relates to land warfare. Thus, your maritime strategyu should be geared to, what he called, "Commerce raiding".

    These are certainly paired down definitions. However, I am fairly certain that no one here wants all the details that I went into last year. Why bring this up?

    The US Navy is trying to plan its weapons systems based on the percieved threat. Once that threat is identified, then the question becomes how do we defeat it? The Carrier Strike Group (formerly known as the Carrier Battle Group), with all of its associated escorts, represents, as many people here have noted, a capability to conduct a large scale open wated naval battle. That said, it also has a significant ability to impact the fight ashore. (TACAIR, TLAMs, and Naval Surface Fire Support ).

    How do you address the area of combat close to the coast? Dealing with it from the air is a very difficult problem because identifying small vessels as fishing boats or terrorist boats, or small patrol boats is a time consuming process. The operate in water that is shallow enough that the CSG escorts can not get close enough to ID them, and the CSG aircraft, while very capable and limited in number. Having smaller ships that can operate in very shallow water using UAVs adds a significant capability to any naval force.

    How does this tie into strategy? A nation's maritime strategy determines how that nation allocates its resources. So, how are we, that is the US, going to allocate our resources? The naval threat today exists predominantly close to the coast. But, if we change our entire industrial base and gear it in that direction, it would still take years for the first of those vessels to appear in the fleet. And what happens with the treat that comes five years from now? If we exeret alll of our resources in that direction, then we will find ourselves grossly unprepared if the future naval threat is a blue water navy.

    So, what is the answer? IN MY OPINION (and it is the opinion of one O-4 only), we try to develop a mix that develops the technology to support both areas.
     
  7. oneshooter

    oneshooter Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,331
    Location:
    TEXAS, by God
    Sounds to me like we need to bring back the PT boat, in the later "gunboat"version. 80'-85'long, 25'wide, fiberglass/kevlar hull, ceramic armour at vital places, 20mm on bow, twin 40mm Bofers on the stern and the two twin 50cal mounts. :evil: Deisel powered, with up to date radar and radio. Speed would be 30-35k. :D

    Oneshooter
    Livin in Texas
     
  8. Tomcat1066

    Tomcat1066 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    232
    Location:
    Southwest GA
    I like the idea of adding TO the fleet, with the brown water Navy patroling not only our shores and rivers, but any others we deem necessary to patrol.

    I don't like the idea of the Navy focusing on one war while turning it's back on another threat. Sounds like a good way to get bit in the butt.

    Tom
     
  9. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    3,349
    Location:
    gunnecticut
    I still vote for a small ship designed around a single 16" gun barrel that would be multi propellant / multi projectile capable. Then, as someone else suggested around here, you put a bunch of them on a larger "mother ship" with blue water capabilities.

    I mentioned the idea to my naval architect friend, he shook his head and chuckled...

    :)
     
  10. Kharn

    Kharn Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,999
    Location:
    Maryland
    That's not a very good plan considering China's ambitions.

    Kharn
     
  11. WT

    WT Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,985
    oneshooter - good idea! It could also use some torpedoes to stop a common containership. We have nothing available in our area with the ability to stop a ship.

    Sounds like an ideal boat for the Coast Guard.


    PS: if we lose the current war against Islamic terrorists, a future war with China will be irrelevant.
     
  12. VMI 1991

    VMI 1991 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Pentagon A-ring
    Some thoughts...

    There have been sevderal attempts to come up with a smaller, faster, and adequately armed "patrol" boat for some time. There were several different ideas reagarding armament and sensors. The LCS is what came from those discussions.

    I think that a 16" gun mounted on a patrol boat may be a little much...
     
  13. Igloodude

    Igloodude Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    744
    Location:
    southern NH
    You want coastal patrol with a punch? They had a half-dozen Pegasus-class hydrofoils homeported in Florida for a while, I'm still wondering why they did away with them.
     
  14. VMI 1991

    VMI 1991 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Pentagon A-ring
    Maintenance costs killed the hydrofoils. Very fast, 76mm, Harpoon missiles, but very expensive to maintain.
     
  15. Igloodude

    Igloodude Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    744
    Location:
    southern NH
    At least it is a valid reason rather than a political one, but man, I would have killed to get to conn one of those.
     
  16. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    3,349
    Location:
    gunnecticut
    No, actually I was thinking more like IN a small boat as opposed to on. Like the old "dynamite" boats. Elevation is done in the normal way but windage is done by aiming the whole boat. Think of it as a floating artillery piece. Besides, I'm easy. How about an 8 incher instead?

    :p
     
  17. Bob41081

    Bob41081 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Houston,Tx
  18. RomanKnight

    RomanKnight Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    Close to Austin, Texas
    Old "dynamite boats" have proven a failure. Flexibility is key, and they don't have that.
    One thing to consider: US is the only country with the technical expertise and know-how to build capable nuclear subs AND nuclear supercarriers. From design to welding to machinery to weapons, no other country can do that. We MUST preserve this ability for the long run. OTOH, many countries build small coastal and fast attack ships, some of them darn good. We could, and should, swallow our pride and buy some of those ships and even a few diesel subs, if we decide we really need them. The "Not invented here syndrome" needs to go away. Period. US Navy cannot continue to play world-wide armed enforcer for a New World Order AND suffer continuous reduction in ships and manpower.
     
  19. VMI 1991

    VMI 1991 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Pentagon A-ring
    Igloodude - I never conned a PHM, however, I did have the chance to be on the the bridge of a German FPB (Fast Missile Patrol Boat) doing 45 KTS. OBTW, they still have open bridges. Going 45 KTS in the Baltic in February was an amazing experience

    280PLUS - If I understand your post correctly, you would prefer a gun mounted internal to the hull? The problems would be, in my opinion, the weight of a gun system that size (16") in something the size of LCS, and in order to aim the gun, you have to manuever the boat.
     
  20. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    3,349
    Location:
    gunnecticut
    Yea, that's it. But I wasn't thinking LCS in size, just whatever minimal size necessary to house and operate the gun and a minimum of crew. Imagine if you could sneak up a river with a couple of 8" or 5" guns tagging along. I could see where a 16" might be a little much. :D

    There's a great story I read once where the Union Navy lashed those huge chowderpot mortars to the bows of schooners, took them up the Mississippi and used them for bombarding forts. The CAPTAIN directed the fire from the crows nest some 70 ft above the water. The mast would whip around every time they fired the things. They would berth in rows each one firing over the bow of the next in line. Way up on the mast the Captain(s) could feel the rush of air as the shells went screaming by. I thought you might appreciate that picture... for when you're Captain of your own ship ;)
     
  21. VMI 1991

    VMI 1991 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Pentagon A-ring
    My own ship...

    280PLUS - An officer's record gets reviewed three times once you qualify for command. I just had my first review and did not get it, so I have two left. I'll be finished here in Norfolk shortly and will probably be heading to the Pentagon to try to stay competitive up there. I would thoroughly enjoy the chance to command a ship, but competition is fierce. I told my wife that if I actually screen for command, I'd probably get myself a Porsche Boxster and a to be named pistol/rifle. We'll see...
     
  22. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    3,349
    Location:
    gunnecticut
    Well good luck to you, I never knew competition for command was so fierce. I thought it was just a normal step in every officer's moving up the ranks.

    Now, not trying to beat the dead horse or anything but I thought all the whiz bang technology you guys have would do the manuvering for aiming.

    Unless you really WANT to climb up the mast...

    :D
     
  23. WT

    WT Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,985
    FWIW, as of Oct. 31, 2005 the USN has 52,668 officers and 303,784 EM. (Reservists excluded).


    Talk about overhead ............
     
  24. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    13,306
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    WT, while I disagree with you on the makeup of the Navy's fleet, I have to agree that their manpower figures are very, very lopsided. They should have a whole bunch fewer officers for that many enlisted men. I'd say the officer corps is overstaffed by at least 30%, probably closer to 40%, given the number of "real" Navy jobs available. Instead of an officer for every 6 enlisted men, the ratio should be no more than 1 to 10, and probably rather less than that...
     
  25. VMI 1991

    VMI 1991 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Pentagon A-ring
    One of the biggest initiatives the Navy is pushing with the new classes of ships is minimum manning. The most expensive aspect of a ship through its life are the people who man it. So instead of 280-290 on a DDG, the DDX is supposed to be manned by about 100 people, give or take.

    Think the 1:6 ratio is bad? We are almost at the point where the Navy has more Admirals than ships!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice