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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:37 pm 
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A summary of a GAO report:

Defense Aerospace

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Navy Shipbuilding: Past Performance Provides Valuable Lessons for Future Investments
(Source: US Government Accountability Office; issued June 06, 2018)
The [US] Navy set a goal in 2007 for a fleet of 330 ships. Since then, the Navy has:
--fallen 50 ships short,
--gone $11 billion over budget,
--experienced many years of schedule delays,
--delivered ships with less capability and lower quality than expected.


These poor outcomes persist because policy and processes enable the Navy to deviate from shipbuilding best practices.

(...SNIPPED)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:42 am 
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It seems that the figure of 355 ships is a goal to which all other considerations are to be sacrificed. If it cannot be done effectively then it should not be done at all. Keeping the US Navy at present force levels might not be the ideal, but bringing retired hulls back into service and stretching the lifespan of current hulls is like getting into massive debt. One day it will catch up with them and suddenly a lot of warships have to be withdrawn over 5 to ten years (maybe less) because they are past it. Then force levels take a nosedive and US influence and prestige is similarly affected.

Remember one thing, presidents come and go. They are not necessarily interested in anything but their time in office, any issues they leave behind are someone else's problem.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:40 am 
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If they do this kind of life extension, they convert the US Navy into a fleet of museum ships (similar to parts of the Air Force). That may be not a problem in wars against countries with nearly no existing modern defence (e.g. Afghanistan or Iraq in 2003), but for sure not a credible defence against countries with a much more modern armament (e.g. China). And as Admiral John Byng has written for sure also the ships with the life extension has to be replaced and they will have to be replaced much sooner than newly built ships.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:54 am 
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extending the ships' live gives the navy time to build new ships.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:40 pm 
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It requires that now money and yard capacity is both spend for new ships and updating older ones - and that could delay the building of new ships.

By the way: is there any historical example that a fleet was EXPANDED by keeping already old ships (> 30 years and older) longer in service? And thereby accepting that a significant part of the ships was obsolete? Which navy ever did that?

For sure there are plenty of examples that ships were updated after 10-20 years service. And for sure there are examples of a few aircraft carriers and the Iowa class. But in way described in the article? That really every major surface warships should serve longer?

For me it appears to be strategy designed to burn money - and perhaps for keeping repair yards busy.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:04 pm 
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British royal navy with the updated QE class battleships like Queen Elizabeth, Valiant & Warspite. also the usn when Arkansas & the New York class was to be replaced by new builds like the North Carolina & South Dakota classes but instead where kept for war use.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:32 pm 
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How old were these ships when they were modernised? The Queen Elizabeth class was c. 10 and 20 years, respectively, at the time of conversions. The surviving ships were decommissioned after 28-34 years.

When was it decided to keep the New York and Arkansas (Wyoming) class? They were only 27-29 years old, when the war started for the USA. For sure they were kept after the Second World War started, but they were all decommissioned after 32-34 years of service.

That is all not even near to age range discussed above ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:17 pm 
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DavidP wrote:
British royal navy with the updated QE class battleships like Queen Elizabeth, Valiant & Warspite. also the usn when Arkansas & the New York class was to be replaced by new builds like the North Carolina & South Dakota classes but instead where kept for war use.


All decisions on Battleships from 1920-1941 were based on the limits imposed by the Washington Naval treaty and its follow-up treaties.

That was the primary driver for retention, those ships could not be replaced without violating treaties.

"A ten-year pause or "Green Day" of the construction of capital ships (battleships and battlecruisers), including the immediate suspension of all building of capital ships.
The scrapping of existing or planned capital ships to give a 5:5:3:1.75:1.75 ratio of tonnage with respect to Britain, the United States, Japan, France and Italy respectively.
Ongoing limits of both capital ship tonnage and the tonnage of secondary vessels with the 5:5:3 ratio"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Naval_Treaty

So new builds were delayed until treaty allowed, and by the time that happened, everything that could be retained was retained due to war going hot.

The North Carolina and South Dakota classes were never intended to replace the Arkansas and New York classes


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:58 pm 
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Key excerpts below: sub numbers are also very much on the US Congressmen's minds.

Defense News

Quote:
House sinks submarine proposal, OKs Pentagon spending bill with dual-carrier buy
By: Joe Gould   10 hours ago
WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday passed its chamber’s version of the annual defense appropriations bill with a plans to buy two aircraft carriers at a time but without a proposal to buy two more submarines.

In a 359-49 vote, House members approved a $675 billion Defense Department appropriations bill that would fund 93 F-35 fighter jets (four more than Senate appropriators are seeking), three littoral combat ships (to the Senate’s two) and the Advanced Battle Management System, which would replace the JSTARS recapitalization plan that the U.S. Air Force wants to kill.


(...SNIPPED)

“The Chinese in 2020 will have 70 submarines. They are building them at a rate of six per year,” Wittman said. “Are we willing to tell our children and grandchildren, when we had a chance to do something, that we did not act?”

(...SNIPPED)


House Seapower Subcommittee Chairman Rob Wittman, R-Va., and ranking member Joe Courtney, D-Conn., successfully included an amendment to enable a dual buy of the aircraft carriers CVN-80 and CVN-81, a move they said could save as much as $2.5 billion in construction costs and would not add new expenses next year.

“Allowing us to buy two aircraft carriers at a time helps us with efficiency, it helps us reduce cost, it gets the aircraft carriers that we need — and it has widespread support,” Wittman told the rules panel on Tuesday.

House Appropriations Committee ranking member Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., did not oppose the two-carrier amendment but cautioned that the ships’ cost — $10 billion each — could create problems with budget caps still in place.

“To imply we are weak-kneed and not spending adequately on shipbuilding is not true,” said Visclosky, arguing that the overall bill adds $837 million to the president’s shipbuilding budget request of more than $21 billion.

Those warnings hung over the next amendment from Courtney and Wittman, which would have added $1.7 billion to fund long-lead materials to build three Virginia-class submarines per year starting in 2022. (The amendment died in a floor vote on Thursday, 167-244.)

Courtney and Wittman’s states are home to the shipyards that would build the submarines: General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut, and Huntington Ingalls in Newport News, Virginia. But they argued the move was meant to help the Navy better negotiate a larger block buy of submarines and mitigate a decline in the fleet size.

The attack submarine fleet is expected to reach 42 boats in a decade, one-third less than the Navy force-structure assessment prescribes.

“Subs are aging out faster than the two-per-year build rate can replace,” Courtney said.

(...SNIPPED)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:56 pm 
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3 belated articles of interest:

Military.com

Quote:
New Steel Tariffs Not Derailing Plans for 355-Ship Navy Yet: Admiral
11 Jul 2018 By Gina Harkins

The Navy has seen minor cost jumps following the president's move to place steep tariffs on steel imports, but leaders aren't immediately concerned they'll derail plans to build toward a 355-ship fleet.

"It's something we need to be mindful of, but it's not something [that's] a big driver in current negotiations," Rear Adm. William Galinis, the head of the Navy’s Program Executive Office Ships, said at a Navy League event outside Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

Some industry partners have expressed concerns about the tariffs affecting shipbuilding prices, Galinis said, but the change hasn't led to massive cost spikes.

"I think we're seeing some price increases, but ... we're not seeing a big change, at least at this point," he said.

(...SNIPPED)


US Naval Institute

Quote:
Report to Congress on U.S. Navy Destroyer Programs
July 11, 2018 7:48 AM

The following is the July 3, 2018 Congressional Research Service report, Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress.
From the report:

This report presents background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Navy’s Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) and Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyer programs. The Navy procured DDG-51s from FY1985 through FY2005, and resumed procuring them in FY2010. The three DDG-51s requested for procurement in FY2019 are to be the 80th, 81st, and 82nd ships in the class. The Navy procured three DDG-1000s in FY2007-FY2009 and plans no further procurement of DDG-1000s.

(...SNIPPED)


Breaking Defense

Quote:
Destroyers Maxed Out, Navy Looks To New Hulls: Power For Radars & Lasers
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on July 11, 2018 at 4:15 PM

ARLINGTON: The Navy has crammed as much electronics as it can into its new DDG-51 Flight III destroyers now beginning construction, Rear Adm. William Galinis said this morning. That drives the service towards a new Large Surface Combatant that can comfortably accommodate the same high-powered radars, as well as future weapons such as lasers, on either a modified DDG-51 hull or an entirely new design.

“It’s going to be more of an evolutionary approach as we migrate from the DDG-51 Flight IIIs to the Large Surface Combatant,” said Galinis, the Navy’s Program Executive Officer for Ships. (LSC evolved from the Future Surface Combatant concept and will serve along a new frigate and unmanned surface vessels). “(We) start with a DDG-51 flight III combat system and we build off of that, probably bringing in a new HME (Hull, Mechanical, & Engineering) infrastructure, a new power architecture, to support that system as it then evolves going forward.”

(...SNIPPED)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:16 pm 
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Man, oh, man. Talk about wetting the chops. A modern CGBL would be an excellent and wonderful project :heh:

I bet you can imagine, I will gravitate toward all my most recent revisions and refined ideas about armament and hull type. Mk71 8"/62caliber guns, Mk41 VLS, RAM and SeaRAM, Millennium Guns, stern boat deck, Atlanta/Cleveland style armor modelled to reduce the effects of missiles and torpedoes...

…but a modern BB hull (at least) first! :woo_hoo:

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:24 am 
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I think the USN should decide whether they want more destroyers or a new design, I doubt that both will be viable. Although it seems like an evolutionary approach to an improved/enlarged Arleigh Burke, I suspect that so many factors will require tweaking that a whole new ship will be the result.

As we saw with the Zumwalt, it quickly gets out of control and a much larger and more expensive vessel is born.

Perhaps rather than aiming at a new destroyer, a new cruiser design should be the focus of getting this laser weapon to sea?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:35 pm 
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Defense News

Quote:
US Navy’s surface ship program head confident on meeting 355-ship goal
By: Andrew C. Jarocki   22 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The head of the U.S. Navy’s surface ship program office says the service will be able to meet the goal of a 355-ship fleet.

Rear Adm. William Galinis told industry representatives at a Navy League breakfast Wednesday that congressional investment in shipbuilding and the service life extension of aging vessels will allow the Navy to meet the target.

Congress has been “very generous to the Navy, and to shipbuilding in particular” he said. Galinis noted $100 billion worth of shipbuilding work across different program offices, with 35 ships currently in construction or on contract.
(...SNIPPED)

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:27 pm 
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Admiral John Byng wrote:
I think the USN should decide whether they want more destroyers or a new design

They have to develop at some point a new design - they still built ships based on a 1980s design, for sure massively improved.

Admiral John Byng wrote:
Perhaps rather than aiming at a new destroyer, a new cruiser design should be the focus of getting this laser weapon to sea?

The question what would be the difference between a cruiser and a destroyer? For sure the Ticonderoga class has to be replaced soon. But up to now all attempts to develop a new cruiser design failed.

And are laser weapons really useful?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:32 pm 
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maxim wrote:
Admiral John Byng wrote:
I think the USN should decide whether they want more destroyers or a new design

They have to develop at some point a new design - they still built ships based on a 1980s design, for sure massively improved.

Admiral John Byng wrote:
Perhaps rather than aiming at a new destroyer, a new cruiser design should be the focus of getting this laser weapon to sea?

The question what would be the difference between a cruiser and a destroyer? For sure the Ticonderoga class has to be replaced soon. But up to now all attempts to develop a new cruiser design failed.

And are laser weapons really useful?
Fascinating for sure! I would say a Burke at either the length of a Tico or 600" with the same beam. 128-160 VLS and 2 large guns (not 5". 5" are medium guns").

No, lasers are not really useful, nor will they be for about 20-25 years. Also, on the rail gun front, we have given up on that.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:06 pm 
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Defense News

Quote:
With $294 million in contracts, the US Navy keeps its promise to upgrade cruisers
By: David B. Larter   21 hours ago
WASHINGTON – The Navy is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to modernizing its cruisers.
General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego and BAE Systems Norfolk have both received roughly $147 million contracts to modernize the cruisers Cowpens and Gettysburg, which have been in layup since Fall of 2015.
The contracts appear to fulfill a promise made to Congress three years ago that they would not move to decommission the aging warships, which serve in the fleet as the primary air defense platforms for protecting the aircraft carriers, something lawmakers were skeptical of when the Navy first advanced its cruiser modernization plan.
The contracts, aimed at the maintenance, modernization and repair of the hulls, come as the ships enter their last year in the program known as the "2-4-6 plan," which allowed the Navy to lay up two cruisers a year, for no more than four years and allow no more than 6 of the ships to undergo modernization at any one time. Both Cowpens and Gettysburg were put into phased modernization in 2015, meaning they'll need to come out in 2019.
(...SNIPPED)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:19 pm 
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Good. The only thing better would be to give them the armored upgrade with a blistered hull and the Mk45 Mod3 155mm/60caliber guns.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:19 am 
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The modernisation of the old cruisers is a step to convert the US Navy into a fleet of museum ships. Priority should have the development of a new type, a 21st century design.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:58 pm 
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I can agree a new CG is needed for sure. However, before making museum equivillancies, let’s use the ships to their designed service life first. Then if we’re trying to squeeze 50 years of service life out of a 35 year hull, then we have a case against keeping the Ticos.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:35 pm 
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We certainly need new Task Force Command capable ships to replace the Ticonderoga's - rather those end up being called CG or something else.

Until we get them, the Tico's will need to stand their watch until properly relieved.


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