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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:38 pm 
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This issue goes back to the lack of enough proper escorts for convoys of transports, and many here have such a low opinion of the LCS to even begin to fill that role. Maybe the completion of more of the latest flight of AEGIS DDGs frees up older members of the Arleigh Burke class for convoy duty?

Furthermore, the issue of MSC ship numbers is related to the greater topic of a 355 ship USN fleet.

Defense News

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‘You’re on your own’: US sealift can’t count on Navy escorts in the next big war
By: David B. Larter   7 hours ago

WASHINGTON — In the event of a major war with China or Russia, the U.S. Navy, almost half the size it was during the height of the Cold War, is going to be busy with combat operations. It may be too busy, in fact, to always escort the massive sealift effort it would take to transport what the Navy estimates will be roughly 90 percent of the Marine Corps and Army gear the force would need to sustain a major conflict.
That’s the message Mark Buzby, the retired rear admiral who now leads the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, has gotten from the Navy, and it’s one that has instilled a sense of urgency around a major cultural shift inside the force of civilian mariners that would be needed to support a large war effort.
“The Navy has been candid enough with Military Sealift Command and me that they will probably not have enough ships to escort us. It’s: ‘You’re on your own; go fast, stay quiet,’” Buzby told Defense News in an interview earlier this year.
Along with Rear Adm. Dee Mewbourne at Military Sealift Command, who would get operational control of the whole surge force in a crisis, Buzby has been working to educate mariners on things that might seem basic to experienced Navy personnel but are new to many civilian mariners.
(...SNIPPED)



Today, the Maritime Administration estimates that to operate both the surge sealift ships — the 46 ships in the Ready Reserve Force and the 15 ships in the MSC surge force — and the roughly 60 U.S.-flagged commercial ships in the Maritime Security Program available to the military in a crisis, the pool of fully qualified mariners is just barely enough.

They need 11,678 mariners to man the shops, and the pool of available, active mariners is 11,768.
That means in a crisis every one of them would need to show up for the surge, according to a recent MARAD report to Congress. By contrast the U.S. had about 55,000 active mariners in the years prior to World War II, with that number swelling to more than 200,000 at the height of the war, according to most sources.

That means that significant losses among the available pool of mariners would likely dissuade some from volunteering (bad) and would mean the loss of mariners with critical skills needed to operate the fleet for months or even years in a major contingency (worse). And even without losses, MARAD estimates the country is about 1,800 mariners short if any kind of rotational presence is needed. (To read more on this, click the link below.)

(...SNIPPED)



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:06 am 
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Haijun watcher wrote:
This issue goes back to the lack of enough proper escorts for convoys of transports, and many here have such a low opinion of the LCS to even begin to fill that role. Maybe the completion of more of the latest flight of AEGIS DDGs frees up older members of the Arleigh Burke class for convoy duty?
Fascinating but unfortunate. I wonder if the solution is a few more big AAW/ASW surface combatants or several smaller ones. The Perry FFGs were specifically armed and procured for North Atlantic convoy ops in the event of WWIII. This leads back to an appropriately armed FFG problem; Absalon, slightly modified NSC, or a modernized Perry-class FFG. It appears the only way to arm any of these ships to have a chance in a modern conflict would be 32 Mk41 VLS loaded for the threat; in this case it appears to be around 16-20 VLASROC and 12-16 cells for 48-64 ESSM.

However, this requires the powers-that-be to get hot on the issue. However, we are now 11 years into LCS being in the water and having little to no use. I would however like to see the detailed designs to the FFG variants of both LCS classes and see if they really offer possibility. One of the earlier variants with 16 VLS on either side of the helo hangar and either a phased radar or a combined SPQ-9B and TRS-3D looked like it had great potential.

My real choice for a slight redesign and uparming is the National Security Cutter equipped with 32 VLS and associated gear.

...only if we had a General Board to define and refine mission requirements to issue to the contractors. :scratch:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:02 pm 
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navydavesof wrote:
slightly modified NSC


I would have thought that during wartime, the USCG'sLegend class cutters would have just supplemented the United States Navy when it came to a lack of ASW escorts, not to mention the remaining Hamilton class WHECs.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:59 am 
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Haijun watcher wrote:
navydavesof wrote:
slightly modified NSC


I would have thought that during wartime, the USCG'sLegend class cutters would have just supplemented the United States Navy when it came to a lack of ASW escorts, not to mention the remaining Hamilton class WHECs.
I believe you're right. We currently have 3 Hamiltons left, and they can rack up Harpoons, but they don't offer any AAW abilities to speak of. The NSC, however can. They have a great radar suite, and with the installation of 2 Mk41 VLS, they could begin embarking effective weapons. With a lengthening of the helo hangar over the landing pad but not lengthening of the hull, space could be developed to support another 16 VLS between the stack and the aft CIWS mount.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:45 pm 
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More on the US Navy's Sealift capacity problem, plus a reminder of the looming retirement of the last Los Angeles class attack subs:


Defense News

Quote:
The US Navy will have to pony up and race the clock to avoid a sealift capacity collapse
By: David B. Larter   15 hours ago

The U.S. surge sealift fleet, the ships needed to transport up to 90 percent of the Army and Marine Corps’ gear if the U.S. had to fight a war against a great power, will be facing a full-blown modernization crisis by the end of the 2020s if the Navy can’t arrest its decline, according to a Navy report send to Congress earlier this year.

The sealift fleet, already hampered by rising maintenance costs and personnel shortages, will begin to dip below what the Defense Department has determined is its required capacity starting in the early 2020s. But the force will start a precipitous decline as the bulk of the Ready Reserve Force ships hit their 50-year service lives starting in 2028.

That date corresponds to the expected nadir of the U.S. Navy’s attack submarine fleet, when the retirement of the Los Angeles-class boats drops the overall number of attack boats from today’s 52 to only 42 subs.
The shortfall in surge sealift ships, combined with a shortage of Navy surface ships to escort them and subs to watch their back will rapidly create a dire situation for DoD. And while Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ Defense Department pours money into making the force more lethal, by the end of the 2020s it will face the prospect of cascading down a sealift capacity cliff that will leave the U.S without the capacity it needs to bring its more lethal capabilities to bear.

(...SNIPPED)

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:15 pm 
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400 ships as the new goal?!!!!

Defense News

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Moveover, 355-ship Navy: New report calls for an even larger fleet
By: David B. Larter   1 day ago
PARIS – The U.S. is woefully short of ships and even the Navy’s target goal of 355 ships is well short of what the country needs to prepare for two simultaneous major conflicts and maintain its rotational presence requirements with excess capacity for surge operations and combat casualties.

That is the major finding of a new study from the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation, an organization prominent in the Trump era because of its knack for influencing administration policy.

The study calls for a force of 400 ships, 40 percent larger than today’s force, and an increase of about 12 percent over the Navy’s current 30-year shipbuilding plan. The plan would require another $4 to $6 billion annually in the shipbuilding budget to get to 400 ships by 2039, the study estimates.

The study, conducted and written by Thomas Callender, a retired submarine officer and analyst at Heritage, acknowledges the difficulty of achieving a 400-ship fleet under budget constraints and with a limited industrial capacity in the U.S. But, Callender said, the study was based solely on current demands on the fleet, as well as the National Security Strategy and what Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has laid out in the National Defense Strategy.

(...SNIPPED)

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Last edited by Haijun watcher on Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:11 am 
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Haijun watcher wrote:
400 ships as the new goal?!!!!
Fascinating!

Well, if the Navy is going to pursue this kind of action, it will have to go to the High/Low mix. The way forward with that would likely be the limiting of the super-ultra-mega-duper-shootdownthemoon-buttholepuckering capabilities of SPY-1 and full scale AMDR radars. In the world of naval architecture, there are many obstacles standing in the path of construction. Those range from engineering to cost and, most of the time, the uncertainty of naval authorities ("oh, but add this...oh, yeah, that sounds like a good one, too, add that! Oh, no, wait, I can't make up my mind, add this other thing too that requires you to cut the ship in half while under construction,"). Along the lines of cost, the biggest obstacle is what's known as the "Billion Dollar Systems". Those are typically Nuclear Power, Aegis's SPY-1D radars, and SQS-89). This is the biggest reason why I shy away from the Aegis-ed up Perry FFG, now realized as the Spanish F-100; it involves four SPY-D radars. The cost of a ship's hull is normally around 1/3 the overall delivered cost. Norman Friedman even pointed out that an empty Spruance-class ship would have likely been cheaper and a better deal than a delivered LCS.

So, what can we do here? Take the best non-billion dollar systems and put them into the hull of an uncomplicated and survivable ship. In my mind, the best conventional hull is the Legend/Berthoff-class NSC or the F-100 without SPY-1 radars. The COMBATSS-21 (a derivative of the Mk99 Aegis FCS) can be driven by a number of good, low-cost radars on the market such as the SPQ-9B and the TRS-3D/4D or the SMART-S. A small and relatively cheap hull/towed sonar suite derived from the SQS-56 and TACTAS is available. One of if not both of these ship types could be built simultaneously at multiple yards (Bath, Pascagula, HII) producing capable lower cost but very capable ships helping to meet at least the 355 ship goal at 20 ships per year.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:31 am 
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That is only a report - there is not even anything done to achieve a 355 ship fleet.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:38 am 
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maxim wrote:
That is only a report - there is not even anything done to achieve a 355 ship fleet.
Indeed. Maxim holds the best point!

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:52 pm 
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Looming budget woes and another reminder of the lacking sealift platforms/capacity problem:

Defense News

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Will looming budget cuts bust up the Navy’s plans for an enormous fleet?
By: David B. Larter   1 day ago
11015
Ships with the Ronald Reagan and John C. Stennis carrier strike groups transit the Philippine Sea during dual carrier operations Nov. 16. The Navy's plan to build a gigantic fleet may be under pressure with new cuts in the offing. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Kaila Peters)

WASHINGTON — After several years of increasing spending and virtually unprecedented shipbuilding budgets, the U.S. Navy’s party could be coming to a screeching halt in the 2020 budget, according to analysts and insiders who spoke to Defense News.
Conversations with more than a dozen insiders, lawmakers and analysts reveal a far less friendly upcoming budget cycle for the U.S. Navy than the previous three, and anxiety is growing about just where the ax is going to fall.
The president’s announcement that the Pentagon’s topline budget is likely coming down to $700 billion in 2020 from 2019’s $719 billion has some seapower advocates and analyst pointing to the shipbuilding budget as a place that DoD might look for savings.
“If the FY20 budget request comes in a $700 [billion] then it could be bad news for shipbuilding, because that’s one of the fastest ways to take money out of the budget at the last minute, which is what they are trying to do,” said defense budget analyst Todd Harrison with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

(...SNIPPED)


Defense News

Quote:
US Army warns of crippling sealift shortfalls during wartime
By: David B. Larter   5 days ago

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army is pushing Congress to act on a looming sealift shortfallthat will create “unacceptable risk in force projection” within the next five years if the Navy doesn’t act quickly, according to a document from the Army’s G-4 logistics shop obtained by Defense News.
In response to a committee inquiry, the Army in February sent a warning to the House Armed Services Committee in an information paper noting the nation’s surge sealift capacity — which would be responsible for transporting up to 90 percent of Army and Marine Corps equipment in the event of a major war — would fall below its requirement by 2024.
“Without proactive recapitalization of the Organic Surge Sealift Fleet, the Army will face unacceptable risk in force projection capability beginning in 2024,” the document said, adding that the advanced age of the current fleet adds further risk to the equation.
“By 2034, 70% of the organic fleet will be over 60 years old — well past its economic useful life; further degrading the Army’s ability to deploy forces,” the document reads.

(...SNIPPED)

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:12 pm 
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The problem is not that there is a lack of funding, the problem is that what is being delivered is vastly overpriced and incapable of performing even the most basic naval missions.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:25 pm 
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InchHigh wrote:
The problem is not that there is a lack of funding, the problem is that what is being delivered is vastly overpriced and incapable of performing even the most basic naval missions.

Daaaaaaaaaaaaamn. Speaking that truth!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:55 am 
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The prices are the reality, likely the funding or the ambitions have to be adapted ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:41 pm 
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Hunter-killer subs again at issue:

Military.com


Quote:
Navy Outlines Plan to Solve Attack Submarine Shortage
27 Nov 2018
Military.com | By Matthew Cox
(...SNIPPED)
Lawmakers, however, were concerned about the more immediate problem of the Navy's submarine shortfall.
Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, said that retired Adm. Harry Harris, former head of U.S. Pacific command, had testified that "only half his requirement for attack submarines in the Pacific theater was being met."
"This challenge will only grow worse in the 2020s as attack submarines retire at a faster rate," Rounds said. "How is the Navy planning to mitigate the attack submarine shortfall in the 2020s?"
James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, said the most "looming shortfall ahead of us in terms of capability is in attack subs."
Geurts said the service is ramping up Virginia-class submarine production to two per year, with the potential of producing more than two down the road.
(...SNIPPED)

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:47 pm 
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A solution to the sub shortage mentioned above?


Popular Mechanics

Quote:
The Navy Is Preparing to Counter a Submarine Shortage
The service plans to buy more submarines, extend the service lives of older subs.

By Kyle Mizokami
Nov 28, 2018
The U.S. Navy is planning to grow its fleet of warships and it’s not leaving submarines behind. The service plans to accelerate the number of submarines it buys per year while refurbishing older boats to keep them in service longer. The service believes it needs to increase the size of the fleet to meet current mission requirements, including a growing Chinese Navy.
The U.S. Navy maintained scores of attack submarines during the Cold War to deter the Soviet Navy. In 1987, at the height of the Reagan defense buildup, the service had a powerful fleet of 102 highly capable nuclear-powered attack submarines. By 1999, eight years after the fall of the USSR, that number that had dipped to a historical low of just 57 attack submarines, the smallest number since 1939. As of September 2018, the U.S. Navy had 50 attack submarines, plus another four guided missile submarines capable of launching large numbers of Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles.
As part of the U.S. Navy’s buildup from 287 to 355 ships, the Navy also plans to grow its submarine fleet. According to Military.com, the Navy is preparing to grow the submarine force in line with the rest of the Navy by 2034. The service plans to grow the fleet to 66 attack submarines, a total that includes 18 Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarines currently in service, several Virginias currently under construction, and finally another 30 new Virginias by 2034. That amounts to approximately two new submarines brought into service a year. It also plans to refurbish another seven older Los Angeles-class attack submarines to push their effective service lives out to 40+ years.
Starting in 2034, the Navy plans to begin purchasing a next generation attack submarine known as SSN(X). The Navy is also looking to purchase five new guided missile submarines to replace the converted Ohio-class submarines. Four Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines were converted in the 2000s to carry up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles each. The converted Ohio ships are so useful the Navy is adding more missile silos to existing Virginia submarines to fill the gap as the Ohios are retired in the 2020s, then build five more ships to replace them outright.
(...SNIPPED)

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:45 pm 
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Back to carrier numbers:

Military.com

Quote:
Senate Armed Services Chair Needs Convincing on Two-Carrier Purchase
8 Dec 2018
Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) | By Hugh Lessig

A key senator said he is concerned about lingering problems with weapons elevators on the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, even as the Pentagon is set to decide whether to fast-track purchases of the new carrier class.

Sen. James Inhofe said he's not yet opposed to purchasing two carriers at once from Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII).
However, he has spoken to Defense Secretary James Mattis about his concerns. The 2019 defense authorization bill puts the decision on a two-carrier purchase in Mattis' hands.

Supporters say the bulk buy will create economies of scale and save at least $2.5 billion.
It would also shore up smaller defense contractors that supply HII's Newport News Shipbuilding division with parts and services.

The Newport News yard is the sole manufacturer of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers for the Navy.

Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, is succeeding the late John McCain as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. His assessment on a proposed two-carrier buy came after a visit to the HII shipyard at Newport News on Dec. 3.

(...|SNIPPED)

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:17 pm 
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More to add to the headache of the submarine shortage, among other naval headaches:

Breaking Defense


Quote:
Three Attack Subs ‘Not Certified To Dive’; Navy F-35s at 15 Percent Readiness
By Paul McLeary on December 12, 2018 at 4:39 PM
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CAPITOL HILL: Navy readiness is “heading in the wrong direction,” the Government Accountability Office told the Senate this morning, with only 15 percent of Navy F-35Cs rated “fully mission capable.” At the same hearing, a four-star admiral acknowledged three nuclear-powered attack submarines were still stuck awaiting overhaul, with the USS Boise expected to be out of action for a total of six years.
The hearing comes just days after two Marine Corps aircraft crashed off the coast of Japan, killing seven. 2017 had been “a horrible year” for Marine aviation with 20 deaths, commandant Gen. Robert Neller, said back in January. 2018 had been much better — with no Marine aviation deaths and just one “Class A Mishap” doing more than $2 million in damage — until last Thursday’s crash. Aviation is an inherently risky profession and aviation mishaps are often considered a canary in the coal mine for wider readiness problems caused by funding shortfalls, maintenance bottlenecks, or excessive stress on the force.
(...SNIPPED)

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