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Thread: USN thoughts

  1. #1
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    USN thoughts

    Interesting stuff on the USN to be found on the internet and in print.

    Among them:

    Seapower Mag is out. Check out the Navy League website.

    Proceedings is out. Check out the USNI website.

    USN Navy Newsstand

    Seawaves magazine lists an interesting port call for some USN warships:

    SeaWaves Magazine

    28 Sep 07 USNS Laramie T-AO 203 Loch Striven
    28 Sep 07 USS John L Hall FFG 32 Tail O' The Bank
    28 Sep 07 USS Elrod FFG 55 Tail O' The Bank
    28 Sep 07 USS Nicholas FFG 47 Faslane
    28 Sep 07 USS McFaul DDG 74 Faslane
    28 Sep 07 USS Cole DDG 67 Faslane

    As you might notice FFGs stiil paired with Burke Flight I/II DDGs.

    The majority of the Burke Flight IIA ships are being sent to the Pacific as they are commissioned.

    It may also well be that soon the USN will consolidate most of the West Coast FFGs to the East Coast with only a handful of NRF FFGs possibly remaining on the West Coast.

    Although with the MCM ships soon relocating from Texas to San Diego maybe no FFGs will remain on the West Coast.

    This would be in line with the forseeable future warfighting focus almost exclusively focused on the Pacific and other than war operations being the main focus in the Caribbean and Atlantic AORs.

    This is a bit weird even as Europe increasingly looks to the US as a counter to an increasingly belligerent and threatening Russia.

    Also look for the Submarine Tender Frank Cable homeported at Guam to be replaced by the Emory S. Land returning from Italy after the latter undergoes conversion to an MSC operated ship.

    Also the NVR site lists the newest Burke class IIA DDG 102 Sampson as part of the Battleforce even though she wont be officially commissioned until November 3.(see the Sampson website)

    The USN continues to use creative accounting to artificially inflate fleet numbers.

    However the drawdown begun in the late 1960s continues both as regards platforms & personnel and is likely to accelerate after the 2008 elections.

    With all auxillary ships operated by the MSC with USN contingents aboard as neccessary.

    All this while the USN/USMC have quietly consolidated a vast amount of power in Washington and the Pentagon.

    Even though the USAF still reigns in the PR department.

    The Army while troubled by the Iraq deployment has seen or will soon sea a great increase in funding and personnel.

    So as of now the USAF still leads on the PR front.

    The USN has taken the lead on the power front.

    The Army leads on the funding/personnel fronts.

    Of course after the 2008 elections all bets are off.

    Interesting times as they say.

  2. #2
    Military Professional ExNavyAmerican's Avatar
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    The USN has the unique position of being able to deliver nuclear weapons anywhere in the world, but also living in the shadow of the air-force which can fly their B-2s over half the planet and back. The general conception is the they navy is obsolete.

    But now they're looking to naval AEGIS warships to shoot down long-range missiles.
    "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."
    - Thomas Jefferson

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    Distant Deeps or Skies Senior Contributor HistoricalDavid's Avatar
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    WTF, I don't think the Air Force can put 500 planes at any coastline in the world within a few months, nor support an amphibious invasion, nor police the sea lanes off the Horn of Africa, nor hunt for Soviet submarines, nor provide the most effective and survivable nuclear deterrent (an SSBN) etc nearly as effectively as the Navy. Alright, the last two are a bit out of date but there's no saying a new and similar threat won't arise in the near future.

    People who say that sort of stuff are presumably the same sorts of people who think wars can be won on the cheap using only airpower and special forces.

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    HistoricalDavid;

    I agree. The world navies are here to stay. The general conception is formed by people ignorant of world affairs.
    "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."
    - Thomas Jefferson

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    RickUSN

    You always had a lot of information available , and I want to know your opinion on some aspects

    You mention Flight II A Burkes are being primary deployed in Pacific. How we can contrast this against the current submarine forces of potential threats?

    I mean the strongest submarine threat is Russian fleet and most of the units is In Northern fleet right?

    Or do you see the modernization of China´s submarine fleet as a bigger challenge?

    Are a single Flight IIa Burke a more capable ASW option than a a Flight I/II paired with a OHP frigate ?

    Regards

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    Quote Originally Posted by MK1973 View Post
    I mean the strongest submarine threat is Russian fleet and most of the units is In Northern fleet right?
    Against the Northern Fleet (or rather in the North Atlantic), the first ASW line that they have to cross is still NATO. As in the Royal Navy and Royal Norwegian Navy first, then the French Navy and German Navy while US units get into theater; all along with overhead US and NATO MPA cover.
    Only remaining permanent flotilla in the theater is NATO SNMG1 (after dissolve of GASM in 1999). Plus iirc at least one CBG, usually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MK1973 View Post
    You mention Flight II A Burkes are being primary deployed in Pacific. How we can contrast this against the current submarine forces of potential threats?

    I mean the strongest submarine threat is Russian fleet and most of the units is In Northern fleet right?

    Or do you see the modernization of China´s submarine fleet as a bigger challenge?

    Are a single Flight IIa Burke a more capable ASW option than a a Flight I/II paired with a OHP frigate ?

    Regards
    The capability of US surface ships in general against modern submarines is a major debate. US doctrine to defeat submarines, known as "full spectrum ASW" is very telling regarding the US ability to defeat submarines. In the end, submarines remain the best hunters against other submarines, not surface ships.

    China is seen as a much bigger ASW challenge than Russian subs in the Atlantic. In fact, Russian submarines in the Pacific are actually a larger problem than the Atlantic based submarines. This is mostly because conditions matter. In regards to Russia they have to deploy over large distances to be effective in the Atlantic, and they have to overcome NATO to get into the clear. In the Pacific the conditions are different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Galrahn View Post
    The capability of US surface ships in general against modern submarines is a major debate. US doctrine to defeat submarines, known as "full spectrum ASW" is very telling regarding the US ability to defeat submarines. In the end, submarines remain the best hunters against other submarines, not surface ships.
    So what is it about surface ships, in general, that makes them so much less effective at ASW than subs?

    Certainly part of it has to be signature. Surface ships are more easily detectable by sat, radar, sonar, IMINT, ELINT (if radiating). This gives opposing submarines more opportunities to gain an advantage.

    Some of it has to be less effective sonar on surface ships.

    Training may play an important factor as well. Subs likely train a lot more for ASW and sonar detection, in general.

    Surface ships have the advantage of the ASW helicopter and better connectivity.

    How much of a difference are we talking about here? Should we be focusing on surface-based ASW at all? Or should we focus on buying a much larger submarine force?

    If the later, Virginias are $2 billion a pop, so a cheaper alternative would be needed. How much would a Collins-sized SSK cost us if bought in numbers? Half as much? Less?

    Or should we be looking for Tango Bravo improvements to SSNs to reduce costs and drive up numbers?

    Or is there enough room for improvement in surface-based ASW to continue with a mixture of sub and surface? Is the LCS right for the job? Or should we be looking for an acoustically stealthier vessel with dedicated capability, rather than a modular add on?

    With so many questions, perhaps I should start a new thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.Smitty View Post
    How much of a difference are we talking about here? Should we be focusing on surface-based ASW at all? Or should we focus on buying a much larger submarine force?

    If the later, Virginias are $2 billion a pop, so a cheaper alternative would be needed. How much would a Collins-sized SSK cost us if bought in numbers? Half as much? Less?

    Or should we be looking for Tango Bravo improvements to SSNs to reduce costs and drive up numbers?

    Or is there enough room for improvement in surface-based ASW to continue with a mixture of sub and surface? Is the LCS right for the job? Or should we be looking for an acoustically stealthier vessel with dedicated capability, rather than a modular add on?

    With so many questions, perhaps I should start a new thread.
    You know these answers without me telling you. Look at the LCS as an example, there are only 3 items in the module that are not underwater technologies, one is the Helo, and the other two are designed for towed sonar operations.

    Everything else is an underwater technology to locate an underwater target. Even the LCS itself doesn't appear to have a sonar, they were cut to save costs.

    That South African Type 209 made lunch out of NATO, granted the Canadians didn't have their helo, but attrition is part of combat and the helo, even if onboard, may not be available when needed.

    Are we focused on surface based ASw? Where? As I have pointed out on my blog many times, of the first 32 mission modules only 6 are ASW, and with towed sonars not on many DDG-51s and the retirement of the ASW role for the S-3, not to mention the conversion of many P-3Cs to EP-3s one can reasonably ask if ASW has been completely regulated to the underwater community.

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    Regarding the sub-vs-sub thing, while USN SSNs are rather capable, they aren't the end-all be-all yet either.

    German then-30-year-old Type 206 SSKs have consistently managed to "sneak up" on Los Angeles class SSNs in joint littoral ASW maneuvers in the 90s (in the Caribbean, not exactly home turf for the '206 crews either). And not just into torpedo range, but really up close.

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