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  • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

    That's pretty much all I'd use them for, maybe one or two other support-type missions.

    I don't know if the Spearheads would make good MCM platform or not. Certainly they'd be better than what the Navy has planned for the future, which is basically nothing AFAIK.
    All I know about the Spearheads is that the Navy has now ordered a total of 15 from Austral. And since I haven't ready any articles complaining about their performance or reliability I would assume the Navy must be pretty happy with them - unlike a certain other program we've been talking about.

    Anyway I really only suggested them because Austral builds both them and the LCS and their both aluminum hulls. Mind you the Spearhead only weighs in at 600 tons or so (ans cargo) and I think the LCS is something like 2300 tons dry so the Spearheads are way smaller.

    So I guess the question is could the shoehorn the mine hunting model into it albeit that would be a lot of gear/space on the LCS that would I imagine be superfluous on a specialized mine hunting platform. Plus of course a mine hunter doesn't need the range of the LCS. Anyway I certainly hope the Navy is still taking mine clearance seriously because any gap in capability in that area is going to be a very, very tempting target for potential future enemies. Plus its not the sort of capability you can dial up on short notice.
    If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

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    • Scrap the LCS and buy purpose built MCM vessels. It will be cheaper in the long run as LCS costs for sustainment will eat the mission cost alive. I wouldn't go with Spearhead either. It is a mission that basically needs a trawler type vessel anyway.
      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
      Mark Twain

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      • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
        Scrap the LCS and buy purpose built MCM vessels. It will be cheaper in the long run as LCS costs for sustainment will eat the mission cost alive. I wouldn't go with Spearhead either. It is a mission that basically needs a trawler type vessel anyway.
        I'll go with your answer.

        The problem is we've got dozens of hulls in commission and building. Ok fine, they scrap the first 4 because they're truly NFG. But there's got to be a mission for the remaining 30-some LCS...otherwise they need to scrap 'em now and pay the cancellation fees to the shipbuilders.

        Alternately, do a mass sell-off to countries like Taiwan.
        “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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        • I like your foreign military sales approach...helps keep jobs in the sustainment pipeline.

          If we need MCM vessels (we have 14 in commission) just keep building Avenger Class or license Sandown Class.

          And accelerate the FFG(X) build!
          “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
          Mark Twain

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          • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
            If we need MCM vessels (we have 14 in commission) just keep building Avenger Class or license Sandown Class.
            The Avenger class is a mid-80s design that hasn't been built for over 25 years and of which six are already decommissioned again. The remaining eight are all forward-deployed, four in Sasebo and four in Bahrain.

            The British Sandown class isn't any different in that regard, even if most of them were only built in the mid-90s.


            There's also a reason the NATO Center of Excellence for Naval Mine Warfare isn't in the US or UK - but in Oostende, Belgium.

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            • Originally posted by kato View Post
              The Avenger class is a mid-80s design that hasn't been built for over 25 years and of which six are already decommissioned again. The remaining eight are all forward-deployed, four in Sasebo and four in Bahrain.

              The British Sandown class isn't any different in that regard, even if most of them were only built in the mid-90s.


              There's also a reason the NATO Center of Excellence for Naval Mine Warfare isn't in the US or UK - but in Oostende, Belgium.
              So there's a glaring gap in the naval capability of western powers. And what are the chances likely opponents haven't noticed? Its interesting that this gap has been allowed to develop. I guess naval mine clearance is just not 'sexy' enough to focus the minds of Politicians and defence planners.
              If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

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              • From a recent 'Naval Technology' Article about A NEW class of MCVs planned for the Dutch and Belgium navies.

                'MCMV design and features.

                The new generation Dutch Belgian MCMVs will have an overall length of 81.4m, a beam of 17m, and a displacement of 2,800t. The vessel will be integrated with a launch and recovery system (LARS) for the on-board INSPECTOR 125 unmanned surface vehicles (USVs). "The new vessels will replace the Tripartite class minehunters operated by both countries for the past 30 years."

                The ships can carry up to 100 drones, which will be managed in a pool called Toolbox that can be configured based on the mission-specific requirements. The Toolbox comprises surface and underwater drones such as USV INSPECTOR125 and A18M autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) respectively and T18-M towed sonars for mine detection.


                Might be time for everyone else to piggyback off this design.
                If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

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                • And here's an image of the new design.

                  https://g7a6v6x7.rocketcdn.me/wp-con...ook-Like-2.jpg


                  P.S. I am surprised by the size/gross tonnage, its much larger than I expect and certainly no lightweight. It actually gets up close to what the LCS comes in at dry!
                  Last edited by Monash; 04 Jun 21,, 03:59.
                  If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Monash View Post
                    P.S. I am surprised by the size/gross tonnage, its much larger than I expect and certainly no lightweight. It actually gets up close to what the LCS comes in at dry!
                    All the "mothership" designs are about the same size - about 80-90m in length, about 2800-3000 tons displacement.

                    There are two competing "schools of thought" with regard to mine warfare though, the more traditional one and the "mothership" approach.

                    Belgium is a proponent of the "mothership" approach, although other navies are a bit more reserved about buying into it or modify it to address arguments brought forward by opponents. Italy for example is splitting its procurement into a "coastal" traditional minehunter and a "ocean" mothership (same size as the Belgian ones) that can also engage in manned minehunting itself (i.e. not just standoff with drones). France plans to buy small numbers of large motherships (no design yet, but the possibility of around four to six 4,000-ton mini-LPD-style ships with well decks has been mentioned) but will separately buy new traditional mine-diver vessels.

                    LCS is generally considered to be in the "mothership" direction, with some American peculiarities (i.e. the helo-based minehunting fixation no one else considers a viable idea). If it wasn't hampered by the multi-role approach and didn't have to conform to e.g. speed requirements LCS MIW would probably look much the same as the Belgian or Italian motherships.

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                    • Originally posted by kato View Post
                      The Avenger class is a mid-80s design that hasn't been built for over 25 years and of which six are already decommissioned again. The remaining eight are all forward-deployed, four in Sasebo and four in Bahrain.

                      The British Sandown class isn't any different in that regard, even if most of them were only built in the mid-90s.


                      There's also a reason the NATO Center of Excellence for Naval Mine Warfare isn't in the US or UK - but in Oostende, Belgium.
                      My point was we don't need to go super high end/high cost/high risk for the MCM mission. LCS is too high a cost vessel with too high of a sustainment cost to be used for the mission.

                      I think my point was go with a trawler style. The Belgian/Dutch design fits that bill. And I don't care if they are built in other than American yards.

                      I go back to my basic Acquisition training:

                      1. Is there a capabilities gap?

                      2. Can I repurpose current existing forces that can economically & sustainably close that gap?

                      3. If 1 is a yes & 2 is a no then go to new construction & LCS fails the cost & sustainment metrics of #2.

                      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                      Mark Twain

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by kato View Post
                        All the "mothership" designs are about the same size - about 80-90m in length, about 2800-3000 tons displacement.

                        There are two competing "schools of thought" with regard to mine warfare though, the more traditional one and the "mothership" approach....
                        Hmmm... with only slight alteration some of the 'mothership' designs could well be able to moonlight in the OPV roll. Albeit the idea that the LCS would be 'all things to all people' has proven to be a disaster surely switching from MHV to OPV wouldn't be too problematic - assuming the appropriate sensor suite and crew accommodation was installed during construction? (I say this last BTW as someone who has no idea what typical manning requirements would be for either mission.)
                        I also realize additional equipment might need to be on-loaded for the OPV role e.g. perhaps extra RIBs or even work space for drone maintenance and launching but would this switch out be too impracticable?
                        If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

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                        • Originally posted by Monash View Post
                          Hmmm... with only slight alteration some of the 'mothership' designs could well be able to moonlight in the OPV roll.
                          The Belgian/Dutch intention is probably to double-task them as EEZ patrol ships in the North Sea to some extent, much like their previous minehunters already were. With the larger size of these motherships they're exactly in line with what their neighbors are buying recently for the same task - gotta keep up with them after all.

                          Originally posted by Monash View Post
                          I also realize additional equipment might need to be on-loaded for the OPV role e.g. perhaps extra RIBs or even work space for drone maintenance and launching but would this switch out be too impracticable?
                          Depends on how modular you design it in the first place. The Belgian ships aren't all that great in this regard. Effectively you'd need to design a lot of gear around specifics of the ship to fully retask it. Probably at least purpose-built interception boats that fit in the LARS automated davits, some containerized equipment replacing the (containerized) workshop on the back deck, and if you want UAVs you better buy some that you can lift by crane up to that flight deck (nevermind helos).

                          Redesigning it to where it could transition easier would probably be relatively complicated, and involve some tradeoffs here and there in either direction. Most ways i can think of would likely look a whole lot like current OPVs instead by distribution of functionalities, and would negatively impact MCMV functionalities to some extent.

                          You can see how the Belgian vessels work in their MCM role in this video, the "hangar" shown from 0:50 on is relevant in this regard:

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                          • "Navy Constellation (FFG-62) Class Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress (R44972)"

                            There is a recently revised version dated 03 June 2021 available at the following link (as well as dozens of earlier versions).

                            https://crsreports.congress.gov/prod...rodcode=R44972

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                            • This slide might interest some.

                              Click image for larger version  Name:	sna-ffg62-slide-1-20.jpg Views:	0 Size:	87.5 KB ID:	1573935
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                              Last edited by JRT; 09 Jun 21,, 18:32.
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