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Thread: Ask An Expert- Naval Forces

  1. #556
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    And then the cost will skyrocket again. And another ship program sunk.

    Seriously, all the US has to do is look at any of a dozen classes of frigates around the world and copy it. Stop trying to make cruisers out of everything.

  2. #557
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlvfr View Post
    And then the cost will skyrocket again. And another ship program sunk.

    Seriously, all the US has to do is look at any of a dozen classes of frigates around the world and copy it. Stop trying to make cruisers out of everything.
    That sounds good, but USN has some requirements that other navies don't, mainly long endurance.

    USN is a global navy so the ship has to be an ocean going ship, with enough room for fuel and stores. The ship has to be large and comfortable enough to attract sailors for the volunteer force. A larger ship will invite the tendency to add weapons. Extra weapons will involve extra mission roles as a "money saving feature." We save money if a single ship can perform TWO roles instead of just one. Before you know it, the scope of the design and cost spiral out of control. And we haven't even added the various congressmen trying to bring home some bacon for their constituents.

    I thought either the modified National Security Cutter or the modified Alvaro de Bazan is a good choice. They should be big enough to be comfortable ocean going ships but small enough to buy in volume. Alvaro de Bazan already has 3 customers with 2 different designs and bugs worked out, hopefully. NSC could cost more to design and test.
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    I've heard the size/range arguments before, and I have to say they don't pan out. The USS Freedom LCS has a range of little more than 3000nm, the Independence 4300nm. This is the same (or less) than other current or last generation frigate programs: the french Formidable has 4300nm and the Frégates de taille intermédiaire 5000, the Korean Daegu 4500, the german Brandenburg 4000, the UK's Type 23 5000. All with balanced weapons, sensors and at least 1 heli, in hulls under 5500 tons. And, afaik, all of these navies are volunteer-only, so they have the same confort requirements. And the USN can't sail from home directly to the "front" and stay there with no outside support, such as friendly bases: even the Arleigh Burke's have a range of only 4400nm. It needs local bases.

    As for capabilities... these are frigates. Frigates are supposed to be "jack of all trades" ships: not "masters of all". They do the grunt work, they run patrols, carry out close escort and plug the holes with numbers. They don't do area defense and they don't bombard shores with cruise missiles. For that you need big ships. IF the USN keeps trying to get "frigates" to do this, then it will end up with inevitably blow-the-budget-again mini-cruisers, or failures like the LCS. Sure, other navies are building 6000-7000 ton frigates, but these navies only have a handfull of ships, so they need to cram them with everything. The USN has cruisers and DDGs to to do the heavy lifting; they don't

    The version of the NSC Ingalls proposed last year would be perfect, imho. Balanced armament, massive 8000nm range and small(ish).

  4. #559
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    That brings up a good question, what exactly is a "frigate" these days? It seems like people use the word "frigate" to sound less warlike than "destroyer" and less colonial like than "cruiser."

    Hobart class is an "air-defense frigate" with AEGIS combat system and offers area air defense for the fleet. F125 is a humongous command frigate with long endurance for overseas operation. Type 26 is a multi mission frigate also in the 7000t range.

    I thought frigates were small, low cost, single mission ocean going convoy escorts. Pretty soon we will see FF(H) from some country that wants to operate an aircraft carrier without operating an aircraft carrier.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    That brings up a good question, what exactly is a "frigate" these days? It seems like people use the word "frigate" to sound less warlike than "destroyer" and less colonial like than "cruiser."

    Hobart class is an "air-defense frigate" with AEGIS combat system and offers area air defense for the fleet. F125 is a humongous command frigate with long endurance for overseas operation. Type 26 is a multi mission frigate also in the 7000t range.

    I thought frigates were small, low cost, single mission ocean going convoy escorts. Pretty soon we will see FF(H) from some country that wants to operate an aircraft carrier without operating an aircraft carrier.
    That day is long past... don't forget most nations have small navies, so every ship has to be multi purpose as much as possible. No more of this "this ship for this role, that for the other". That imediatly raises the costs.

    Electronics of all kinds have grown and multipled: comms of multiple types, sensors, ECM...

    But, imho, what really increased the size of all combat ships was VLS. While VLS eliminated the dangers of a malfuncioning launcher, blind angles, increased rate of fire and decreased maintenance, they now mandate an increase in deck space. In the case of frigates with only short range self defence missiles, there's not much diference: just compare a portuguese MEKO from 1991 (old launcher with 8 Sparrows), a modern chinese Type 054 (8 VL short range SAM) and the RN's Type 34 (32 VL Seawolf). Despite all those extra Seawolfs the size diference is only around 400-500 tons. The real problem comes when a navy tries to cram long range SAMs, like Standard or Aster...

    Spanish Álvaro de Bazán: 6400 tons...
    France/Italy FREMM; 6700 tons...

    The US can aford to build frigates with just short range SAMs, cause it has dozens of DDGs and CGs. Any other navy that deploys abroad can't do this... so they cram... and the poor frigates get fat...

  6. #561
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlvfr View Post
    Seriously, all the US has to do is look at any of a dozen classes of frigates around the world and copy it. Stop trying to make cruisers out of everything.
    <cut>
    That day is long past... don't forget most nations have small navies, so every ship has to be multi purpose as much as possible. No more of this "this ship for this role, that for the other". That imediatly raises the costs.
    And you rather answer your own statement here. The US tried a single-mission ship that could swap out modules to accomplish another single mission, but it hasn't worked out so well and they've admitted defeat to the point where each ship will only be outfitted for a single mission. Different LCS-RONs will each have a different mission.

    Even if the US were to adopt an existing FF(x) platform from another country, we'd definitely want to swap out the combat systems and C4I gear for a number of reasons:
    1. Ensure full interoperability with other US platforms. WHile we can exchange data with other country's ships via the various LINK flavors, it's not perfect. We're working on queueing F35s from Aegis platforms, that could be an awesome capability in the littoral areas.
    2. Logistics - keeping everything common, probably based off the latest Aegis system, will simplify the logistics chain. All we need is yet another system with unique parts and requirements.
    3. Training - Only have to train Fire Control people on one family of systems. We have enough problems on getting Sailors to be proficient with their equipment - they're a talented group of people but it's not a video game where you just point and click.

    What pissed me off most about the Navy's decision to purchase both versions of the LCS was that they violated reasons 2 & 3. Both ships have different combat systems, C4i gear, engines, etc. You can't take an LCS-1 Sailor and drop him in LCS-2 and expect him to perform right away. The Navy is going to be feeling the effects of this for decades.

  7. #562
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCT View Post
    And you rather answer your own statement here. The US tried a single-mission ship that could swap out modules to accomplish another single mission, but it hasn't worked out so well and they've admitted defeat to the point where each ship will only be outfitted for a single mission. Different LCS-RONs will each have a different mission.

    Even if the US were to adopt an existing FF(x) platform from another country, we'd definitely want to swap out the combat systems and C4I gear for a number of reasons:
    1. Ensure full interoperability with other US platforms. WHile we can exchange data with other country's ships via the various LINK flavors, it's not perfect. We're working on queueing F35s from Aegis platforms, that could be an awesome capability in the littoral areas.
    2. Logistics - keeping everything common, probably based off the latest Aegis system, will simplify the logistics chain. All we need is yet another system with unique parts and requirements.
    3. Training - Only have to train Fire Control people on one family of systems. We have enough problems on getting Sailors to be proficient with their equipment - they're a talented group of people but it's not a video game where you just point and click.

    What pissed me off most about the Navy's decision to purchase both versions of the LCS was that they violated reasons 2 & 3. Both ships have different combat systems, C4i gear, engines, etc. You can't take an LCS-1 Sailor and drop him in LCS-2 and expect him to perform right away. The Navy is going to be feeling the effects of this for decades.
    Unfortunately we already knew the lessons learned here. So NO new lessons learned. We did this to ourselves!

    It goes on …… different water jets and not one but both types of Engines are different Gas Turbines and the Diesels. I think the only thing in common is the small 2 inch gun and the comm gear.


    And to think we standardized on the F/A-18 series to eliminate A-7, F-4/14 and eventually A-6 to include the EA6B. Too bad we lost the KA-6 tanker but that is another story. The standardization with the FFG - OHP class, Spruance, CG-47 and Burke showed the way but no we forgot all that and gave up the benefits you described above with two classes of the same LCS mission ship.

    I guess PORK is the reason??????

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    Trying to get some information.

    I saw a (very) poor quality photo of the USS Dwight D Eisenhower, sometime on or around 1994, carrying a deck load of USMC or army helis. No planes whatever, only Cobras, Blackhawks and so on...

    Anyone has any information on this?

  9. #564
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlvfr View Post
    Trying to get some information.

    I saw a (very) poor quality photo of the USS Dwight D Eisenhower, sometime on or around 1994, carrying a deck load of USMC or army helis. No planes whatever, only Cobras, Blackhawks and so on...

    Anyone has any information on this?
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  10. #565
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    I thought either the modified National Security Cutter or the modified Alvaro de Bazan is a good choice.
    Those are my favorite contenders as well.

    But we'll probably get stuck with some useless enlarged LCS variant...because those designs have worked out so well!
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  11. #566
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    10th Mountain Div deployed for Uphold Democracy. Or as we called it the "Haitian Vacation"
    Ah, great. Thanks for the information.

  12. #567
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    10th Mountain Div deployed for Uphold Democracy. Or as we called it the "Haitian Vacation"
    Ah, great. Thanks for the information.

  13. #568
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Those are my favorite contenders as well.

    But we'll probably get stuck with some useless enlarged LCS variant...because those designs have worked out so well!
    LCS aren't bad. The problem was the 45 knot speed requirement. That problem doubled the machinery space and decreased reliability. Lower the speed requirement would solve a lot of problems, I'd imagine. The trimaran hull looks so cool and provided huge deck space for everything. But Independence class uses a different combat system that's not as compatible, or would cost more to make compatible, with Aegis system. I thought a modified Independence class would be a great multi mission frigate for a smaller navy.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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