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JohnPJones

Should the USN think about restructuring?

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Something I was thinking about here at work.

 

should the USN think about restructuring or reorganizing a bit?

once the FFG(x) program is actually full swing and several ships are in service should they make up he back bone of the CBG escorts?

basically set it out like this

FFGs primary escorts, that may occasionally independently steam.

Burkes modern equivalent to destroyer leaders/scout cruisers, can operate as part of a CBG but often operate independently or leading SAGs (supported by FFGs)

Ticos/CG(x) occasionally steam independently primarily provide C&C for the CBG’s escorts’ AAW.

 

so instead of a CG and 2-4 DDGs you’d have a CG maybe a DDG and 2-4 FFGs in a CBG.

then your DDGs would be off on their own, in pairs, or leading an FFG or two as the head of a SAG.

 

i guess my what I’m thinking is treating the Burkes more like light cruisers (were) I guess.

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With Modern weapons and ship design I think you have to throw the old ship class system out the window. To just surface ships subs and aircraft carriers.

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I think you'd have to wait for a modern naval battle to gain any hard data to prompt a major restructuring of the USN.  Military institutions naturally resist change and the only reason for the USN to consider restructuring is to keep costs down in peacetime unless there was some shock to the system.

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31 minutes ago, Sventex said:

I think you'd have to wait for a modern naval battle to gain any hard data to prompt a major restructuring of the USN.  Military institutions naturally resist change and the only reason for the USN to consider restructuring is to keep costs down in peacetime unless there was some shock to the system.

Well utilizing the smaller cheaper ships as the backbone of the fleet would definitely keep costs down compared to maintaining 60+ Burkes as the back bone of the fleet 

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1 hour ago, Lonewolfpj said:

With Modern weapons and ship design I think you have to throw the old ship class system out the window. To just surface ships subs and aircraft carriers.

Not really...a corvette is very different from a destroyer or a cruiser...

 

classifications systems came about to describe the role a vessel plays based on its capabilities. It has only become muddled partially because ships that do the same job as their predecessors have gotten bigger and bigger, as well as politics making the title destroyer and cruiser undesirable in some nations...

the title destroyer leader has been in use fairly recent for guided missile ships.

 

obviously definitions of classifications should be reworked, but using 3 very broad classifications doesn’t quite work...

after all most of the USN’s ships can be called aircraft carriers, and CVNs can still be called surface ships.

theres a bit more nuance to classifications than that.

Edited by JohnPJones

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I think the US could stand to do with a restructuring of it's major surface combatants, namely by putting a larger emphasis on Frigates over Destroyers.

Right now, in terms of combat ships, the USN operates;

 

Carrier/Aviation types:

  • 10x Nimitz-class Nuclear Carriers
  • 1x America-class Landing Helicopter Assault 
  • 8x Wasp-class Landing Helicopter Dock

Cruisers:

  • 22x Ticonderoga-class

Destroyers:

  • 21x Burke-class Flight I
  • 7x Burke-class Flight II
  • 37x Burke-class Flight IIA
  • 1x Zumwalt-class

Littoral Combat Ships:

  • 6x Indepence-class
  • 5x Freedom-class

 

In the works are two more America-class LHA's, the Ford-class CVN's to replace the Nimitz-class, ten more Flight IIA Burkes, and then an as of yet unspecified number of Flight III Burkes. There will be 9 more LCS's of each class.

There will also be 20 new Frigates, of whichever type wins the competition next year.

 

The thing is, what does the US really need? Having all those powerful Burkes is pretty great, but do you really need to port around 96 VLS tubes to fight pirates, or show the flag? Having all those destroyers is great, but is just a bit much.

 

A model that gives a balance of Frigates and Destroyers could be much more flexible. The destroyers to stick with the CSG's or form the core of a let's escort force, their 96 VLS making them great AAW platforms. Meanwhile, the Frigates could be far more numerous, but cheaper and more 'expendable.' Well, perhaps expendable isn't the right word - but cheaper ships that are less of a blow if risked and put out of commission in more hostile situations. Having 96 cells put out of action versus 32... there's a big difference there.

Letting the DDG's focus on AAW and ASu with their greater VLS count, while the FFG's take on a more general patrolling role and perhaps focus more on ASW, with moderate ASu and AAW capabilities, would create a decent dynamic. Frigates could operate anywheres, freeing up more DDGs to operate in more intense areas of operation where the air threat is greater, or where more VLS tubes is needed in general.

 

As of now the USN has 19 Carrier/Aviation types (2 more in the works), 22 cruisers (retirement starts soon), 65 destroyers (10 more and however many Flight III's), and 11 LCS (+18 more in the works), with the 20 FFG's coming soon. Total, at least 21/22/75+?/29/20.

 

Perhaps cutting down on the Destroyers (When are the Flight I's up for retirement? That's 21 ships whenever they go), and increasing the number of Frigates planned would be the best way to move forward?

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The frigate numbers are already settled, so there's no need for an "either/or" arguement here. Rather it's a doctrinal shift back to frigates being the primary right of navigation/show the flag/picket ship that they were back in the Cold War and having the destroyers go back to being about protecting the CAG or MEUs.

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The last two posts pretty much sums it up.  We are entering into a new age of frigates.

 

Also no Flight or any Burke up for retirement soon, each ship will be given at least 45 years of service life.  

 

 

Edited by Eisennagel

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12 hours ago, Eisennagel said:

 

 

The last two posts pretty much sums it up.  We are entering into a new age of frigates.

 

Also no Flight or any Burke up for retirement soon, each ship will be given at least 45 years of service life.  

 

 

Personally I think the first dozen or so should begin going into retirement around 2025. At which time a real replacement for the Burkes should be drawn up.

theyre expensive and can be replaced by ordering more frigates, and then ordering less than 60some of the next class of DDG.

 

personally I think it should be a 2:1 ratio. 2 FFGs for every DDG.

20 DDGs? 40 FFGs.

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3 hours ago, JohnPJones said:

Personally I think the first dozen or so should begin going into retirement around 2025. At which time a real replacement for the Burkes should be drawn up.

theyre expensive and can be replaced by ordering more frigates, and then ordering less than 60some of the next class of DDG.

 

personally I think it should be a 2:1 ratio. 2 FFGs for every DDG.

20 DDGs? 40 FFGs.

 

I believe the Navy is by law, required to maintain a 355 ship fleet.   In order to maintain that number, older ships would have to be continually upgraded, which cuts into the budget of making newer ships.  There isn't any replacement for the Burkes, but only a new version called Flight III.  I don't expect the ship to be cheap, I guess probably about $3 to 4 billion, which makes billion dollar frigates look like a bargain.  But you can likely make two of these ships per year.  While the cost of the Burke hulls are already deeply amortized, its the radars that are becoming the most costly components of the ship.  

 

Even with LCS still being built and FFG(X) coming in, we are still likely to have a top heavy fleet.  However, apparently there is not enough in the budget to be refurbishing the Ticos, so these are the ships that are likely to be gone in the next 10 to 15 years.  

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Ticonderoga class is too small for it's own good. We need a significantly larger cruiser.

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16 minutes ago, Lampshade_M1A2 said:

Ticonderoga class is too small for it's own good. We need a significantly larger cruiser.

Haven't built one since the Long Beach.

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5 hours ago, TornadoADV said:

Haven't built one since the Long Beach.

There were a few after that. The Virginia class CGNs come to mind.

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1 hour ago, Lampshade_M1A2 said:

There were a few after that. The Virginia class CGNs come to mind.

Lengthened destroyer hulls does not a cruiser make.

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12 hours ago, Lampshade_M1A2 said:

Ticonderoga class is too small for it's own good. We need a significantly larger cruiser.

Perhaps, but it's still got more missiles than anything else in the USN. That being said from what I understand the CNO wants to get a replacement program going next year in a similar program to the FFG(X) - I'm not sure how that's supposed to work though, because no one builds cruisers anymore.

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Aircraft rely on oil to fly. Unless the Navy finds a way to scale up making avaition fuel from a renewable resource like algae as well as making biodiesel. There's going to be issues on aircraft. (Hydrogen fuelled jets?)

Germany is already developing hydrogen fuel cell/diesel powered subs, that are very quiet, and unlike using reactors, they don't have the nuclear waste and disposal issues.

Maybe Steam powered battleships will make a comeback? LOL.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Phoenix_jz said:

Perhaps, but it's still got more missiles than anything else in the USN. That being said from what I understand the CNO wants to get a replacement program going next year in a similar program to the FFG(X) - I'm not sure how that's supposed to work though, because no one builds cruisers anymore.

Cruisers are easy to build when they are just lengthened destroyers.

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2 hours ago, CorvetteKaptain67 said:

Aircraft rely on oil to fly. Unless the Navy finds a way to scale up making avaition fuel from a renewable resource like algae as well as making biodiesel. There's going to be issues on aircraft. (Hydrogen fuelled jets?)

Germany is already developing hydrogen fuel cell/diesel powered subs, that are very quiet, and unlike using reactors, they don't have the nuclear waste and disposal issues.

Maybe Steam powered battleships will make a comeback? LOL.

 

 

USAF already flies basically everything on a 50/50 bioblend these days.

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9 hours ago, TornadoADV said:

Lengthened destroyer hulls does not a cruiser make.

Nah the Ticonderogas were overgrown Spru-cans the Virginias were cruisers even if they originally were frigates when the USN was using that really bizarre definition of frigate.

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5 hours ago, Phoenix_jz said:

Perhaps, but it's still got more missiles than anything else in the USN. That being said from what I understand the CNO wants to get a replacement program going next year in a similar program to the FFG(X) - I'm not sure how that's supposed to work though, because no one builds cruisers anymore.

One option they’re looking at is cruiser-izing the BMD variant of the San Antonio class.

280+ VLS and possibly a 5” and 57mm have been shown on models or claimed at naval shows so I’d be fine with that.

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10 minutes ago, JohnPJones said:

One option they’re looking at is cruiser-izing the BMD variant of the San Antonio class.

280+ VLS and possibly a 5” and 57mm have been shown on models or claimed at naval shows so I’d be fine with that.

280? That's like running around with 3 Burkes strapped together - I think that could work out pretty well lol.

 

Pack not even half of those cells with ESSM and you've still got over 500 SAM's... oh man. :Smile_playing:

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45 minutes ago, Phoenix_jz said:

280? That's like running around with 3 Burkes strapped together - I think that could work out pretty well lol.

 

Pack not even half of those cells with ESSM and you've still got over 500 SAM's... oh man. :Smile_playing:

That’s the way I look at it.

80 cells of ESSMS 80 SM6s

40 ASROC 40 TLAM 40 ASMs

if my math adds up...it might not lol

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12 minutes ago, JohnPJones said:

That’s the way I look at it.

80 cells of ESSMS 80 SM6s

40 ASROC 40 TLAM 40 ASMs

if my math adds up...it might not lol

Good lord no.  The engines in that class are the worst pieces of garbage on the water.  universally despised, and horrible to run and maintain.  Nothing should ever be built with Colt Pielstick engines ever again.  I have other thoughts on what you posted, but too far removed to know what is unclas and what isn't, so I will just say that there are real problems with not having a true CG capable AAW platform.  As for bio fuel 50/50, just does not work except when ordered to...

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1 hour ago, alexbennedict said:

Good lord no.  The engines in that class are the worst pieces of garbage on the water.  universally despised, and horrible to run and maintain.  Nothing should ever be built with Colt Pielstick engines ever again.  I have other thoughts on what you posted, but too far removed to know what is unclas and what isn't, so I will just say that there are real problems with not having a true CG capable AAW platform.  As for bio fuel 50/50, just does not work except when ordered to...

Well since the San Antonio class as is, is too slow for a cruiser they’ll have to use different engines...so ya...

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10 hours ago, alexbennedict said:

Good lord no.  The engines in that class are the worst pieces of garbage on the water.  universally despised, and horrible to run and maintain.  Nothing should ever be built with Colt Pielstick engines ever again.  I have other thoughts on what you posted, but too far removed to know what is unclas and what isn't, so I will just say that there are real problems with not having a true CG capable AAW platform.  As for bio fuel 50/50, just does not work except when ordered to...

B-1Bs actually had an increase in dry thrust from the new blend because of the refined combustion.

 

11 hours ago, Phoenix_jz said:

280? That's like running around with 3 Burkes strapped together - I think that could work out pretty well lol.

 

Pack not even half of those cells with ESSM and you've still got over 500 SAM's... oh man. :Smile_playing:

That's nothing compared to what the Missile Battleships could of been for the Iowas, which I mapped out at over 900 (976 to be precise) VLS tubes in a rear field behind the No.3 turret.

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