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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

Quote:
‘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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