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  • #61
    When originally proposed for the San Antonio Class I believe ESSM and TLAM's were the plan.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
      I have to wonder what the purpose of a 16 cell MK-41 would be on an LSD. ESSM? BMD?

      I tend to think of LSDs as big floating trucks, and it would seem like investing in an expensive radar to make use of VLS capabilities would be wasted on only 16 cells. Perhaps they are thinking of cooperative engagement so that it can act as a firing platform for other ships?
      Originally posted by surfgun View Post
      When originally proposed for the San Antonio Class I believe ESSM and TLAM's were the plan.
      From the link:

      The scale model on display at Sea Air Space 2016 featured an important optional difference however: 16x Mk41 VLS cells. We were explained this optional feature is representative of how HII could answer possible future US Navy requirement in line with the distributed lethality concept.
      Always wondered when they'd start giving Amphibs more self defense capability than the CIWS/RAM/Bushmaster.

      ESSMs makes sense to me, not sure about the Tomahawks.

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      • #63
        I was also surprised they retained the mk 29 box launchers for the new America-class LHA. I thought they might move the ESSMs into a eight-cell Mk 41.

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        • #64
          Firing the missiles away from the ship before climbing is considered beneficial by the USN for flattops, especially if carrying aviation assets on deck.

          In addition Mk29 are cheaper.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by kato View Post
            Firing the missiles away from the ship before climbing is considered beneficial by the USN for flattops, especially if carrying aviation assets on deck.

            In addition Mk29 are cheaper.
            Makes sense.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by kato View Post
              Firing the missiles away from the ship before climbing is considered beneficial by the USN for flattops, especially if carrying aviation assets on deck.

              In addition Mk29 are cheaper.

              Originally posted by JA Boomer View Post
              Makes sense.
              Although they figured out how to make vertically launched missiles work on the Charles de Gaulle.

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              • #67
                Video of Aster launch from CdG, the first one launched (from port array), note flight path:


                Aster 15 on CdG apparently employs thrust vectoring immediately after launch to move away from the ship. The TVC system on Aster is mounted in the center of gravity to facilitate such operations. As such it is well away from the ship horizontally when it separates its booster after 2.5 seconds.

                ESSM (and Sea Sparrow) as opposed to that have a separate TVC unit mounted on the tail that will pitch the missile over into the direction of the target once it has cleared the ship's structures through altitude alone (it's not really capable of different modes) and will then be jettisoned once the missile's seeker points towards the programmed target vector. Meaning typically pretty damn close to the ship. Not really a problem for a combat ship, but you don't want that anywhere near your enormous-sized flight deck.

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                • #68
                  The LXR appears to be motoring along.

                  http://seapowermagazine.org/stories/20160915-lxr.html

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                  • #69
                    PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Navy and the Marine Corps are studying installing a vertical launch system in its San Antonio class of amphibious warships that would allow the ships to field larger offensive missiles, service officials told USNI News this week.

                    The director of expeditionary warfare in the chief of naval operation’s office (OPNAV N95) told USNI News on Thursday both services were studying installing the VLS systems but that at the moment there was no program of record to back fit the capability into the hulls.

                    “It’s certainly an asset we’d like to have,” Marine Maj. Gen. Chris Owens told USNI News during the NDIA Expeditionary Warfare Conference in Portsmouth.
                    “We are exploring that to see how much it would cost and see what the tradeoffs might be but certainly it would be in line with the concept of distributed lethality and advanced expeditionary operations in a sea control environment.”

                    The original concept for the San Antonio class included two 8-cell Mk 41 VLS in the bow of the ship. The VLS system was cut during development of first-in-class USS San Antonio (LPD-17) but USNI News understands within the last six months there’s been renewed interest in bringing the capability back to the class in both services. Currently, the only missiles aboard the LPDs are part of the ship’s defensive SeaRam close-in weapon system.

                    “This is all in the Navy’s lane but we’re trying to have that discussion with them.
                    We’ve always had the discussion of getting longer-range surface fire support,” Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, commander of Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC), told USNI News on Tuesday at the conference.The move could provide Marines ashore more options for fire support from the sea, a capability the Marine Corps has long wanted from the Navy since the final retirement of the four Iowa-class battleships in the 1990s. The Zumwalt-class of guided missile destroyers (DDG-1000) was intended to fill in the naval surface fire support gap with its 155 mm Advanced Gun System firing the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) but the class was cut to three ships. Other efforts to field long-range guided rounds to be fired from the services 5-inch guns on its destroyers and cruisers capable of providing surface fire support either stalled or were canceled.

                    There is promise in using the hyper velocity projectiles (HVP) developed for the service’s electromagnetic railgun from 5-inch guns as a long range guided round suitable for several roles – including naval surface fire support – but testing to integrate the rounds aboard warships could take more than a decade, USNI News understands.

                    At a minimum, 16 cells on an LPD could give a three-ship Amphibious Ready Group space to add Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles that could support Marines ashore with little modification to the amphib’s combat system.

                    Additional types of missiles that could fit in the Mk 41s – like the anti-air Standard Missiles and the Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) – would likely require more work and may need more sensors and more money to work on the LPDs.

                    However, according to Walsh, both services are examining a host of possibilities.

                    “It may be a Tomahawk capability — whatever capability you could put into those tubes we’re looking at.
                    https://news.usni.org/2016/10/13/ver...ntonio-amphibs

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by surfgun View Post
                      PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Navy and the Marine Corps are studying installing a vertical launch system in its San Antonio class of amphibious warships that would allow the ships to field larger offensive missiles, service officials told USNI News this week. The director of expeditionary warfare in the chief of naval operation’s office (OPNAV N95) told USNI News on Thursday both services were studying installing the VLS systems but that at the moment there was no program of record to back fit the capability...
                      HI is still pushing their concept of a new class of BMD picket ships sharing much in common with the LPD-17 platform.

                      The concept includes a large aperture variant of AMDR, a large load of missiles, increased electrical power generating capacity, lasers, etc.

                      I suspect something like that, not necessarilly HI's LPD-17 based concept, might gain more political support if Norks start demonstrating a viable significant missile threat to CONUS.


                      U.S. Navy's Plans for a Huge Ballistic Missile Defense Ship

                      The U.S. Navy has been in discussions with shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls about the possibility of building a missile defense variant of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock (LPD-17). The new vessel could eventually be equipped with new radars, railguns and lasers.

                      The massive 25,000-ton troop carrier has the size and weight margins for the mission, according to industry officials. “You can put a lot of additional weight on the ship and you can put … some modern technologies like ballistic missile defense radars that are very heavy,” Huntington Ingalls vice president Brian Cuccias told reporters at the Surface Navy Association symposium [3] this week, according to National Defense Magazine.

                      Deleting the ship’s well deck would greatly add to the vessel’s weight and stability margins. That, in turn, would allow the LPD-17 hull form to accommodate the enormous weight of a next generation ballistic missile defense radar—which are usually very large and extremely heavy.

                      In fact, the LPD-17 hull form would allow designers to mount the radar high on the vessel’s superstructure to give it the widest possible field of regard. “When you close in the well deck of the LPD ship you expand that capability to take a lot of weight, and the stability on LPD is such you can actually put weight up high,” Cuccias told National Defense.

                      Indeed, the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance [4] suggests that a dedicated ballistic missile defense version of the LPD-17 could feature a 30-35 foot, multi-faced, S-band radar. Such a radar would provide much greater coverage than either the current SPY-1 radars found on current Aegis warships or the next generation Advanced Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) planned for DDG-51 Flight III destroyers.

                      Closing the well deck would also afford the service the space onboard to host high-powered laser weapons and electromagnetic rail guns as those advanced systems become available over the next decade or two. It would also free up space to host many more missile tubes than would be possible on a destroyer or cruiser. Estimates vary as to how many more exactly, but some sources suggest that an LPD hull might be able double the missile capacity of an Aegis cruiser.

                      However, while the space and weight margins would be available, Huntington Ingalls and the Navy would have to figure out a way to generate enough power and cooling for such a large radar and the other directed energy weapons the sea service hopes to add to the ship. “You can put a pretty significant power generation plant or plants on the platform and you could put pretty significant cooling capabilities on that platform,” Cuccias said. “And the platform, because of its internal volume and. . . because of its stability, can handle it without radical changes to the ship.”

                      While this is the first time that industry officials have confirmed that they have discussed building a ballistic missile defense ship out of the LPD-17 hull form, the idea is not new. Nonetheless, Huntington Ingalls is skittish about the details of its discussions with the Navy. “We’re talking about it and so there is some interest, but that’s as far as I really want to go,” Cuccias said.

                      Many analysts and retired service officials have suggested building a ballistic missile defense ship using the San Antonio’s hull—which could accommodate a huge number of missile tubes in addition to the lasers and railguns. Nor would the ship necessarily need to be solely dedicated to the missile defense mission—with its massive hull, the ship could be used for everything from humanitarian and disaster relief, to command and control, to hosting special operations forces in addition to having the firepower of a major surface combatant. If built, it would be the largest surface combatant built for the U.S. Navy since the Second World War.

                      Dave Majumdar is the defense editor for the National Interest. You can follow him on Twitter: @davemajumdar.
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                      • #72
                        Navy Designates Upcoming LX(R) Amphibs as San Antonio-Class LPD Flight II

                        The Navy’s dock landing ship replacement program officially has a name: San Antonio-class LPD Flight II.

                        In a nod to the high degree of commonality between the Navy’s original LPD design and the variant filling the LX(R) requirement, which replaces the Whidbey Island-class LSD, Navy acquisition chief James Geurts this week signed a memo announcing the LPD Flight II designation.

                        “The term LX(R) is going to start to go away,” LPD and LX(R) program manager Capt. Brian Metcalf said today at a program briefing at the Navy League’s Sea Air Space 2018 symposium.
                        “As of yesterday, Secretary Geurts signed a memo that said the LX(R), the requirement for an LX(R), an LSD replacement ship, will be met by LPD Flight II. The first LPD Flight II will be LPD-30,” a hull that lawmakers chose to fund in their Fiscal Year 2018 budget ahead of the Navy’s original plans.

                        Ultimately, this will create a class of 26 San Antonio hulls – 13 Flight I and 13 Flight II.

                        Additionally, the Navy is already discussing the possibility of buying the Flight II ships, starting with LPD-31, in a block buy contract. Due to early problems with the San Antonio program – including starting construction before the design was completed, manufacturing quality issues, damage to the shipyard from Hurricane Katrina and instability in the design and the program quantity – the Flight I ships were bought one at a time.

                        The Navy had planned to stop at LPD-27, but then lawmakers added an LPD-28. And then, once it was determined that the LX(R) design would be based on the LPD design, an LPD-29 was added to help bridge the gap in production between the end of the San Antonio program and the beginning of LX(R). With production ahead of schedule at the Ingalls Shipbuilding yard in Mississippi, lawmakers were considering adding LPD-30 as another bridge ship, but the Navy has instead decided that that hull will be the first of the Flight II ships.

                        Going forward, Metcalf said “the ideal build rate, according to the shipyard, is one-year centers. Right now the Navy’s program of record does not budget those ships on one-year centers. We have a gap in ‘19 and a gap in ‘21. We are looking to try to answer questions about whether it’s value-added to maybe fill in one or both of those gaps. or if we could execute some kind of block purchase of the follow ships” that would otherwise provide some stability at the shipyard and with Ingalls’ supply base.

                        He noted that the 2021 ship would be harder to add in – the Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarine will formally start construction in 2021, creating a sizeable bill in the Navy’s shipbuilding account that year, but Metcalf said fielding the ships as quickly as possible is a great priority for the Marine Corps and that conversations would still need to take place about how to achieve the best procurement profile.

                        Metcalf told USNI News after his presentation that, though there are some differences between the Flight I ships, LPDs 28 and 29 as “transition ships” and the Flight II design, the commonality and subsequent savings in training and logistics were a main selling point for the LPD Flight II concept.

                        “In my recent trip to San Diego, we could look up and down the waterfront and see five LPDs. Those guys help each other – if somebody has a problem, they’ve got resources down the pipe,” he said.
                        “So having 26 ships divided around the world allows commonality of parts, commonality of training, sailors that can cross-deck and earn their qualifications. It gives us great flexibility and it saves us from creating a whole other pipeline of accession and training. So it’s been one of the selling points of going to Flight II.”


                        Asked how much the design changes between Flight I and II would affect the ability to cross-deck sailors, Metcalf said “it’s not going to change the way most of the watches are stood. A couple different capabilities – an EASR (Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar) tech isn’t going to be the same as a 48 (AN/SPS-48G radar) tech, but at the ship operation level, up on the bridge, down in the plant – the engine room is all the same.” Link
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                        Wow...the Navy is finally making some smart moves instead of cutting their own throats with another split-class LCS-type fiasco.

                        Now let's take this basic design and build 3 or 4 hospital ships out of it.
                        “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                        ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

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                        • #73
                          Or BMD ships....

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                          • #74
                            Will they retain the two LCAC capability of the San Antonio class? The Whidbey's embark 4. If only 2 LCAC are on the Flight 2s, that should be the end of the LSD designation.

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                            • #75
                              Yes just the two.
                              In a related story only nine LCAC 100’s have been ordered so far.
                              http://seapowermagazine.org/stories/20180411-LCAC.html

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