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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/9/2005 4:16:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2005 4:18:09 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]
(Note... Emphasis in bold was by me to highlight some interesting aspects...continue reading)

DD(Rex)
The Navy's newest destroyer brings stealth to the high seas--and may mark the return of the gun to naval combat.
by Michael Goldfarb
09/08/2005 12:00:00 AM

"The situation was an answer to the prayers of a War College strategist or a gunnery tactician. The enemy column, now reduced to one battleship, one heavy cruiser, and one destroyer, was steaming into a trap. It was a very short vertical to a very broad T, but Oldendorf was about to cap it, as Togo had done to Rozhdestvensky in 1905 at the Battle of Tsushima Strait, and as thousands of naval officers had since hoped to accomplish."
--Samuel Eliot Morison


THE BATTLE AT Surigao Strait, described above, was only one engagement within the larger Battle of Leyte Gulf, which took place in the Philippine Sea during October of 1944. The clash in Leyte Gulf is regarded as the largest naval battle in history, but it is the battle at Surigao Strait which has for years captured the imagination of naval historians. It was, and, it was assumed, always would be, the last great battleship engagement in history. The dominance of the carrier in naval combat had become apparent more than two years prior at the Battle of Midway, and the obsolescence of the battleship, in turn, heralded the rapid decline of the gun as the primary weapon of the U.S. surface fleet. Over the next 50 years, advances in technology led the Navy to rely ever more on missiles and jet aircraft to project power at sea and on shore. But the naval gun may yet make a comeback. The Navy's next-generation destroyer, the DD(X), will be armed with a battery of two 155mm Advance Gun Systems that will offer a spectacular improvement over its predecessors in range, accuracy, and rate of fire. The DD(X) may, in fact, portend the reemergence of the gun as the primary weapon of the fleet.

THE MOST ADVANCED DESTROYERS in the fleet today are those of the Arleigh Burke class, or DDG 51's. This class includes the USS Cole, the USS Winston S. Churchill, the USS John S. McCain, and 42 other ships. These destroyers are armed with the Standard surface-to-air missile, the Harpoon antiship missile, the VLA antisubmarine warfare missile, and an array of torpedoes. Despite this formidable arsenal, the DDG 51's possess only one 5-inch lightweight gun--that is half the firepower of the Burke class' predecessor, the Spruance class, which is armed with two 5-inch lightweight guns. The Fletcher class destroyers, some 175 of which were built during the Second World War, possessed five 5-inch guns. This decline in the strength of naval artillery on U.S. destroyers took place over a period that saw the great Iowa class battleships, each with 9 16-inch guns (capable of propelling 1,900 pounds of high explosives up to 30 miles) and twenty 5-inch guns, disappear from the fleet altogether. At the dawn of the 21st century, the Navy's primary antisurface gun battery consists of one 5-inch gun with a range of 13 nautical miles. But if the Navy sticks to its schedule, by 2012 two DD(X) ships will be operational, each armed with a battery of two 155mm (6.1-inch) Advanced Gun Systems with a range of no less than 68 miles.

THE PRIMARY REQUIREMENT for the DD(X) program is to "carry the war to the enemy through offensive operations and destroy enemy targets ashore with precision strike and volume fires." Despite the impressive range of the Advanced Gun System, to achieve this requirement DD(X) will operate far closer to shore than its predecessors. In order to "dominate the littoral," the ship has been constructed with a number of features which will offer a tremendous improvement in survivability, the first among which is stealth.

DD(X) is designed to be the quietest surface ship in the fleet. The ship will be quieter even than the Los Angeles class submarines. More remarkable, however, is the ship's unique design, which will greatly enhance its ability to remain invisible to electronic surveillance. To reduce the ship's radar signature, the ship's designers have eliminated right angles from the deck. In addition, the ship's superstructure is built out of a composite material of wood and plastic--the effect of which is both to absorb radar and lessen the overall weight of the ship (leaving room for future, weight-intensive improvements).

Perhaps the most visibly striking feature of the DD(X) is its wave-piercing, tumblehome hull form. The tumblehome hull has a twofold effect. By having the hull slope inward from the waterline, the hull's exposure to waves is reduced, which in turn reduces the rocking motion of the ship, making it less easily detected by enemy radar. In addition, the tumblehome hull will make the DD(X) far more survivable than its predecessors in the event of an underwater explosion from a torpedo or mine. The Navy has already tested a quarter scale model at the Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland and achieved impressive results.

DD(X) will be less vulnerable to attacks above the waterline as well. Unlike the DDG's, DD(X) will employ a first of its kind Peripheral Vertical Launch System (PVLS). Missiles are typically stored in clusters at the center of a ship. PVLS, by moving those clusters to the hull, will provide the ship with something reminiscent of the reactive armor fitted to the M1A2 Abrams main battle tank. The PVLS concept has already been successfully tested, and will make this ship significantly less vulnerable to sea-skimming missiles like the French Exocet employed by Argentina against the British in the Falklands and those developed over the last decade by China.

The DD(X) will sail with a state of the art, dual band radar, which is one of the signature features of the new ship--and one of the primary reasons the Navy decided to invest in the DD(X) instead of upgrading their existing fleet of DDG's. The Spy-3 Multi-Function Radar has proven vastly superior to its antecedents in land-based testing. It offers 15-times greater detection against sea-skimming targets, 20 percent greater firm-track range against all antiship cruise missiles (which improves survivability), a 10-times increase in maximum track capacity, and dramatic improvements of performance in jamming environments.


DESPITE ALL THIS, the most intriguing element of DD(X) is its guns. Each 155mm gun will fire a Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP). The LRLAP has already been successfully tested to 83 nautical miles. Though it only carries 24 lbs of high explosives, the Advanced Gun System (AGS) is fully automated and holds a magazine of 300 rounds. With a rate of fire of 10 rounds a minute, the AGS should be able to provide the volume fire capability the Navy so desperately needs, and with GPS-guidance the LRLAP will be extremely accurate.

Critics of the AGS point out that accuracy of fire may be less important than the volume of fire when softening up onshore targets for an amphibious assault, but because the DD(X) can be replenished while at sea (and while firing), she will be able to fire at least one gun continuously for an indefinite amount of time. In addition, each gun will be capable of putting up to eight rounds on a target simultaneously. To achieve this effect, shells will be fired in rapid succession at different trajectories. In conjunction with the counter-battery capability of the dual band radar, any enemy troops who fire on U.S. forces will have only minutes before the 2 guns of DD(X) can return fire with devastating accuracy: Tests have shown the guns accurate to within two meters at a range of 68 nautical miles.


AT ROUGHLY $3.3 billion each, the first two DD(X) destroyers will be almost 50 percent more expensive than the DDG's. Though cost would likely come down with each additional ship built, it still represents an extremely expensive addition to the fleet. However, there are certain aspects of DD(X) which will deliver savings over the long-run, not least of which is improved survivability.

DD(X) will operate with a crew of only 150 men, while DDG class ships require more than 380. Over a 35-year period, the Navy claims this smaller crew will lead to savings of $450 million for each ship relative to the DDG. Furthermore, cruise missiles cost about $1 million each, while shells for the AGS will cost only about $50,000 a piece. Barring a trigger happy crew, this too should translate to substantial savings over the long-term. Still, the most significant savings will likely stem from the equivalence of 2 DD(X) destroyers to 1 Marine artillery battalion. Since each artillery battalion requires 640 Marines, over 130 trucks, 5 forklifts, and 18 155mm howitzers, the presence of two DD(X) destroyers will translate into a major reduction in the logistical burden associated with amphibious assaults.

But not everyone in Congress is convinced that DD(X) is worth the enormous investment. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, chairman of the House Armed Services projection forces subcommittee, is concerned that the program has been reduced "to little more than a technology demonstration platform." Still, without the DD(X) contract, there is concern even among opponents of the program that America's shipyards would no longer be able to maintain their most skilled laborers. Bartlett concedes, "It's not so simple. We have got to consider the industrial base."


IF THE PROGRAM GOES AHEAD, DD(X) will help transform the fleet into a more modern and lethal instrument of foreign policy. The ship's ability to serve as a platform for the insertion of Special Forces, and to provide fire support for those forces in a way submarines never could, will be a major asset in the war on terror. But this high-tech ship is designed for a more conventional conflict with a more conventional enemy. With its antisubmarine warfare capabilities, stealth, GPS-guided artillery, and powerful radar, DD(X) is designed to help maintain the balance of power in the Pacific.

All of the technologies discussed so far have already been successfully tested, but the DD(X) is also designed to allow for the rapid deployment of technologies still in the pipeline. The Navy hopes to fit these ships with an electromagnetic rail gun by 2020. The rail gun would be capable of firing a guided projectile up to 267 nautical miles, which would put all of North Korea into range from either coast of that peninsula (or, to take another theoretical example, allow the Navy to bombard Paris from the English Channel).

The modern era of the carrier battle group has not yet drawn to a close but DD(X) may offer a glimpse at the future of Naval combat. The focus on stealth and firepower may augur a new way of fighting at sea--one that doesn't leave large numbers of American sailors and marines vulnerable to sea-skimming missiles and air attack. A future naval engagement in the Pacific may look more like the Battle at Surigao Strait than the Battle at Midway, with hard-to-detect ships exchanging volleys of fire over vast distances and with pinpoint accuracy. The great Iowa class battleships of the 20th century have disappeared, but the gun now seems unlikely to disappear from the fleet anytime soon.


Michael Goldfarb is an editorial assistant at The Weekly Standard.


Link Posted: 9/9/2005 4:20:50 PM EDT
I like the look
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 4:22:54 PM EDT
looks like those old civil war ships to me
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 4:29:09 PM EDT
Sea-keeping with that hull shape is shit. Quieter than an LA? At all stop maybe and I mean maybe. You can't get past the sound of a ship plowing through the surface of the water and all of its distrubances.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 4:38:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2005 4:38:57 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]

Originally Posted By dport:
Sea-keeping with that hull shape is shit. Quieter than an LA? At all stop maybe and I mean maybe. You can't get past the sound of a ship plowing through the surface of the water and all of its distrubances.



LWilde often mentions he has issues with the hull shape in these threads...hopefully he'll be along to
comment. As far as how quiet... what you say makes sense but with modern tech...who knows?
I'd like to think it can be as quiet as mentioned in the article, that could help justify the cost of the program.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 4:45:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 19suburban96:
looks like those old civil war ships to me



All that's old is new again. Seeing ironclads in port will be pretty sweet if you ask me.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 4:45:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By dport:
Sea-keeping with that hull shape is shit. Quieter than an LA? At all stop maybe and I mean maybe. You can't get past the sound of a ship plowing through the surface of the water and all of its distrubances.



LWilde often mentions he has issues with the hull shape in these threads...hopefully he'll be along to
comment. As far as how quiet... what you say makes sense but with modern tech...who knows?
I'd like to think it can be as quiet as mentioned in the article, that could help justify the cost of the program.


IMO, and I'm less experienced than LWilde, the DDX is the Surface Navy's Seawolf. Some great toys, but ultimately the concept is flawed. I'm not a big fan of a 12000 ton ship being manned by 95 people. I'm also not a big fan of othe gun system, the gun is fine the system IMO is not, for reasons I don't care to go into here.

The SPY-3 is cool and the electric propulsion is a step in the right direction. However, we have to build ships that have APUs and possibly Azipods.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 4:45:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By dport:
Sea-keeping with that hull shape is shit. Quieter than an LA? At all stop maybe and I mean maybe. You can't get past the sound of a ship plowing through the surface of the water and all of its distrubances.



LWilde often mentions he has issues with the hull shape in these threads...hopefully he'll be along to
comment. As far as how quiet... what you say makes sense but with modern tech...who knows?
I'd like to think it can be as quiet as mentioned in the article, that could help justify the cost of the program.



I'm here...but after some great grits and vino at Carrabbas, I must decline to enter into a good technical dissertation for a while...
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 4:51:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:
Sea-keeping with that hull shape is shit. Quieter than an LA? At all stop maybe and I mean maybe. You can't get past the sound of a ship plowing through the surface of the water and all of its distrubances.



Three masker belts and no screws...OR Prairie in the screw blades and that ship sounds like a soft rain squall at any speed under say...14 kts.

I know...'cause I've tried to detect Spru-Cans and they are were scary quiet. That is why they always run their fathometer at full power in short cycle or some other loud noisemaker during ASW exercises. More than once a sub has come to PD to communicate and darn near been run over because the STs could not detect the destroyers overhead.

That ship will be quiet. (But I still don't like it...)

More later...
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 4:56:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2005 5:16:24 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]

Originally Posted By dport:
IMO, and I'm less experienced than LWilde, the DDX is the Surface Navy's Seawolf. Some great toys, but ultimately the concept is flawed. I'm not a big fan of a 12000 ton ship being manned by 95 people. I'm also not a big fan of othe gun system, the gun is fine the system IMO is not, for reasons I don't care to go into here.

The SPY-3 is cool and the electric propulsion is a step in the right direction. However, we have to build ships that have APUs and possibly Azipods.



Seawolf could be an apt comparison, as DDX may also price itself out of existence. The advanced gun system in my mind is actually a temp measure until the railgun tech is mature and then makes it's thunderous apperance. I'm not 100% certain but I believe podded propulsion(ala' crusie ships) is going to be used on DDX since it is designed for the littorals. On an interesting side note, I read recently that the current DDG-51 SPY sensors may actually be better with an upgrade coming online for blue water ops than the DDX radar. I've also heard rumor that the DDX will be mostly a test bed/ limited run and that the real player is the CGX which will benefit from a lot of DDX R&D. Insert grain of salt,YMMV, etc.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 4:57:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LWilde:
[
I'm here...but after some great grits and vino at Carrabbas, I must decline to enter into a good technical dissertation for a while...



{Homer Simpson voice on} " Damn vino!"
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 5:04:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LWilde:

Originally Posted By dport:
Sea-keeping with that hull shape is shit. Quieter than an LA? At all stop maybe and I mean maybe. You can't get past the sound of a ship plowing through the surface of the water and all of its distrubances.



Three masker belts and no screws...OR Prairie in the screw blades and that ship sounds like a soft rain squall at any speed under say...14 kts.

I know...'cause I've tried to detect Spru-Cans and they are were scary quiet. That is why they always run their fathometer at full power in short cycle or some other loud noisemaker during ASW exercises. More than once a sub has come to PD to communicate and darn near been run over because the STs could not detect the destroyers overhead.

That ship will be quiet. (But I still don't like it...)

More later...



Hmm, the sub guys I've talked to say differently these days. Yes, the Spru-cans were quiet, but they said any ship on the surface is easier to detect than another sub. If the article had said quieter than any previous surface ship, I would be more inclined to believe it.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 5:05:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By dport:
IMO, and I'm less experienced than LWilde, the DDX is the Surface Navy's Seawolf. Some great toys, but ultimately the concept is flawed. I'm not a big fan of a 12000 ton ship being manned by 95 people. I'm also not a big fan of othe gun system, the gun is fine the system IMO is not, for reasons I don't care to go into here.

The SPY-3 is cool and the electric propulsion is a step in the right direction. However, we have to build ships that have APUs and possibly Azipods.



Seawolf could be an apt comparison, as DDX may also price itself out of existence. The advanced gun system in my mind is actually a temp measure until the railgun tech is mature and then makes it's thunderous apperance. I'm not 100% certain but I believe podded propulsion(ala' crusie ships) is going to be used on DDX since it is designed for the littorals. On an interesting side note, I read recently that the current DDG-51 SPY sensors may actually be better with an upgrade coming online
for blue water ops than the DDX radar. I've also heard rumor that the DDX will be mostly a test bed/ limited run and that the real player is the CGX which will benefit from a lot of DDX R&D. Insert grain of salt,YMMV, etc.


I was told recently Azipods were out. I've heard rumor that it is due to the sound they generate.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 5:10:16 PM EDT
Looks very familiar to this....



USS Keokuk, sunk due to battle damage in Charleston harbor, 8 April 1863.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 7:36:46 PM EDT
USS Brooklyn







Link Posted: 9/9/2005 7:45:26 PM EDT
.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 8:00:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By dport:
IMO, and I'm less experienced than LWilde, the DDX is the Surface Navy's Seawolf. Some great toys, but ultimately the concept is flawed. I'm not a big fan of a 12000 ton ship being manned by 95 people. I'm also not a big fan of othe gun system, the gun is fine the system IMO is not, for reasons I don't care to go into here.

The SPY-3 is cool and the electric propulsion is a step in the right direction. However, we have to build ships that have APUs and possibly Azipods.



Seawolf could be an apt comparison, as DDX may also price itself out of existence. The advanced gun system in my mind is actually a temp measure until the railgun tech is mature and then makes it's thunderous apperance. I'm not 100% certain but I believe podded propulsion(ala' crusie ships) is going to be used on DDX since it is designed for the littorals. On an interesting side note, I read recently that the current DDG-51 SPY sensors may actually be better with an upgrade coming online for blue water ops than the DDX radar. I've also heard rumor that the DDX will be mostly a test bed/ limited run and that the real player is the CGX which will benefit from a lot of DDX R&D. Insert grain of salt,YMMV, etc.



The program is at risk because of severe budget strains. It's stuggling to keep its head above water now.

The SPY-1 is thirty five year old technology. Yes it has had many good upgrades and at this time the SPY-1D is probably the best radar in any navy. That said, it has some serious limitations that the Dual Band Radar that will go to sea in the DD(X), CG(X), and CVN(X) will overcome. Some of those limitations are about to be resolved as the MFR goes through its testing phases.

A dual band radar is needed to scan both the sea surface and to the zenith. One radar will operate in X-band and one in S-band...like the SPY-1. Both must meet the toughest possible requirements...and I can assure you those same requirements are not forced upon SPY-1 now. Both will be active phased arrays. For you radar engineers or techs out there in cyberland, think of the entire radar consisting basically of three major components: A power supply, a monstrously powerful COTS megacomputer system and a radar array that comprises hundreds and hundreds of active array elements. Each element is actually a mini-radar in itself. The transmitters and receivers are in the elements and controlled by the supercomputers. This is very different from the old radars such as Aegis where the signal processor, the receiver, the transmitter, the duplexor, etc are all housed in separate equipment cabinets below decks and the signals are sent to the passive array elements.

Anyway...there are other new toys that will be tested in DD(X) and migrate to the other new ships.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 8:11:52 PM EDT
Isnt all that stealth pretty useless when you can just peer into a pair of binoculars and see it?
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 8:23:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By p331083:
Isnt all that stealth pretty useless when you can just peer into a pair of binoculars and see it?



Too late when the shooting starts.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 8:25:21 PM EDT
DDX is going to own.


Link Posted: 9/9/2005 8:31:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2005 9:18:09 PM EDT by AeroE]

Originally Posted By LWilde:

For you radar engineers or techs out there in cyberland, think of the entire radar consisting basically of three major components: A power supply (also montrous in my experience), a monstrously powerful COTS megacomputer system and a radar array that comprises hundreds and hundreds of active array elements.




I would like to see the beam signature of this ship with HF radar. I'm thinking it will be hard to characterize as to which ship type is being detected, unless an identification by exception scheme is used, and then it's still a guess.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 8:37:34 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 9:12:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2005 9:12:59 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]

Originally Posted By LWilde:

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By dport:
IMO, and I'm less experienced than LWilde, the DDX is the Surface Navy's Seawolf. Some great toys, but ultimately the concept is flawed. I'm not a big fan of a 12000 ton ship being manned by 95 people. I'm also not a big fan of othe gun system, the gun is fine the system IMO is not, for reasons I don't care to go into here.

The SPY-3 is cool and the electric propulsion is a step in the right direction. However, we have to build ships that have APUs and possibly Azipods.



Seawolf could be an apt comparison, as DDX may also price itself out of existence. The advanced gun system in my mind is actually a temp measure until the railgun tech is mature and then makes it's thunderous apperance. I'm not 100% certain but I believe podded propulsion(ala' crusie ships) is going to be used on DDX since it is designed for the littorals. On an interesting side note, I read recently that the current DDG-51 SPY sensors may actually be better with an upgrade coming online for blue water ops than the DDX radar. I've also heard rumor that the DDX will be mostly a test bed/ limited run and that the real player is the CGX which will benefit from a lot of DDX R&D. Insert grain of salt,YMMV, etc.



The program is at risk because of severe budget strains. It's stuggling to keep its head above water now.

The SPY-1 is thirty five year old technology. Yes it has had many good upgrades and at this time the SPY-1D is probably the best radar in any navy. That said, it has some serious limitations that the Dual Band Radar that will go to sea in the DD(X), CG(X), and CVN(X) will overcome. Some of those limitations are about to be resolved as the MFR goes through its testing phases.

A dual band radar is needed to scan both the sea surface and to the zenith. One radar will operate in X-band and one in S-band...like the SPY-1. Both must meet the toughest possible requirements...and I can assure you those same requirements are not forced upon SPY-1 now. Both will be active phased arrays. For you radar engineers or techs out there in cyberland, think of the entire radar consisting basically of three major components: A power supply, a monstrously powerful COTS megacomputer system and a radar array that comprises hundreds and hundreds of active array elements. Each element is actually a mini-radar in itself. The transmitters and receivers are in the elements and controlled by the supercomputers. This is very different from the old radars such as Aegis where the signal processor, the receiver, the transmitter, the duplexor, etc are all housed in separate equipment cabinets below decks and the signals are sent to the passive array elements.

Anyway...there are other new toys that will be tested in DD(X) and migrate to the other new ships.



LWilde just let me say that it's always great to get your insight on these matters, it's much appreciated.
If I'm understanding you correctly the SPY-3 MFR is essentially a giant AESA? I believe a while back you mentioned this radar as near "Star Trek" type sensors...that seems pretty apt.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 9:27:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Paul:

In addition, the ship's superstructure is built out of a composite material of wood and plastic--the effect of which is both to absorb radar and lessen the overall weight of the ship (leaving room for future, weight-intensive improvements).


Fire anyone?

Anyone remember the aluminum superstructured destroyers that would melt in a fire? Wood and plastic ... must be some sort of mistake. Nobody would make a warship with a wooden superstructure.



Probably an end grain balsa core sandwich.

You're right, besides fire, the structure would be a maintenance nightmare to keep the delaminations repaired. Water, plus absorbent core, plus wild temperature swings are bad news for sandwich construction.

Here's the really wacky part about using a non-metallic assembly is that it needs to be metallized to provide a conductive ground plane for control of surface currents induced by incident radar energy; want to bet it's silver paint at $500 per pint last I checked? And then there is the little detail about the corrosion resistance of silver in a salt water / salt fog atmosphere ...

As always, it will be interesting to compare the actual ship to the artist's conepts.

Link Posted: 9/10/2005 7:36:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2005 7:39:47 AM EDT by Bostonterrier97]

Originally Posted By AeroE:

Originally Posted By Paul:

In addition, the ship's superstructure is built out of a composite material of wood and plastic--the effect of which is both to absorb radar and lessen the overall weight of the ship (leaving room for future, weight-intensive improvements).


Fire anyone?

Anyone remember the aluminum superstructured destroyers that would melt in a fire? Wood and plastic ... must be some sort of mistake. Nobody would make a warship with a wooden superstructure.



Probably an end grain balsa core sandwich.

You're right, besides fire, the structure would be a maintenance nightmare to keep the delaminations repaired. Water, plus absorbent core, plus wild temperature swings are bad news for sandwich construction.

Here's the really wacky part about using a non-metallic assembly is that it needs to be metallized to provide a conductive ground plane for control of surface currents induced by incident radar energy; want to bet it's silver paint at $500 per pint last I checked? And then there is the little detail about the corrosion resistance of silver in a salt water / salt fog atmosphere ...

As always, it will be interesting to compare the actual ship to the artist's conepts.




Real Life example of why it is bad to have an Aluminum Alloy Superstructure on a warship: HMS Sheffield during the Falkland Islands War. The Sheffield didn't actually have an Aluminum Superstructure however 3 other Brit Ships which ended up being sunk in this conflict did.

Ship fires can get very Hot and can literally ignite metal.

Why is it bad to have an Aluminum Superstructure? Read about the USS Belknap (DLG-26)







Article on Sinking the HMS Sheffield

Link Posted: 9/10/2005 10:24:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Paul:

In addition, the ship's superstructure is built out of a composite material of wood and plastic--the effect of which is both to absorb radar and lessen the overall weight of the ship (leaving room for future, weight-intensive improvements).


Fire anyone?

Anyone remember the aluminum superstructured destroyers that would melt in a fire? Wood and plastic ... must be some sort of mistake. Nobody would make a warship with a wooden superstructure.





I was wondering about this myself. Remember the Belknap? Seeing photos of her melted to the main deck level were pretty scary!
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 10:39:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:
Critics of the AGS point out that accuracy of fire may be less important than the volume of fire when softening up onshore targets for an amphibious assault, but because the DD(X) can be replenished while at sea (and while firing), she will be able to fire at least one gun continuously for an indefinite amount of time. In addition, each gun will be capable of putting up to eight rounds on a target simultaneously. To achieve this effect, shells will be fired in rapid succession at different trajectories. In conjunction with the counter-battery capability of the dual band radar, any enemy troops who fire on U.S. forces will have only minutes before the 2 guns of DD(X) can return fire with devastating accuracy: Tests have shown the guns accurate to within two meters at a range of 68 nautical miles.

Now, that's useful right there!
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 4:36:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By p331083:
Isnt all that stealth pretty useless when you can just peer into a pair of binoculars and see it?



Absolutely. That said, a dark shape with no discerning features is tough to ID. Usually, one must make a positive ID prior to taking the contact under fire. Once you do start shooting, you positively give your location to the enemy, and you waste ammo if the target you have engaged is NOT the one you really want to kill.

The trick with stealth is to reduce the radar and EO/IR signature of the vessel to maximize the capabilities of your defensive weapons such as passive and active decoys. If the BG can't positively ID you and his missile has a tough time discriminating between you and a decoy...you have just greatly increased your chances of winning the engagement.

All things being equal, I'd much rather be afloat on the winning ship rather than shark bait.
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 4:41:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AeroE:

Originally Posted By LWilde:

For you radar engineers or techs out there in cyberland, think of the entire radar consisting basically of three major components: A power supply (also montrous in my experience), a monstrously powerful COTS megacomputer system and a radar array that comprises hundreds and hundreds of active array elements.




I would like to see the beam signature of this ship with HF radar. I'm thinking it will be hard to characterize as to which ship type is being detected, unless an identification by exception scheme is used, and then it's still a guess.



I've not seen nor heard of any plots yet. I suspect that the superstructure will be tested while it is being used to test the sensors. The entire ship may not be tested until it puts to sea. That small-scale test vessel that was discussed here last week might be used...but I'm doubtful since I don't think it is made of the same "stuff" the DD(X) will use in the hull.
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 4:58:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By LWilde:

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By dport:
IMO, and I'm less experienced than LWilde, the DDX is the Surface Navy's Seawolf. Some great toys, but ultimately the concept is flawed. I'm not a big fan of a 12000 ton ship being manned by 95 people. I'm also not a big fan of othe gun system, the gun is fine the system IMO is not, for reasons I don't care to go into here.

The SPY-3 is cool and the electric propulsion is a step in the right direction. However, we have to build ships that have APUs and possibly Azipods.



Seawolf could be an apt comparison, as DDX may also price itself out of existence. The advanced gun system in my mind is actually a temp measure until the railgun tech is mature and then makes it's thunderous apperance. I'm not 100% certain but I believe podded propulsion(ala' crusie ships) is going to be used on DDX since it is designed for the littorals. On an interesting side note, I read recently that the current DDG-51 SPY sensors may actually be better with an upgrade coming online for blue water ops than the DDX radar. I've also heard rumor that the DDX will be mostly a test bed/ limited run and that the real player is the CGX which will benefit from a lot of DDX R&D. Insert grain of salt,YMMV, etc.



The program is at risk because of severe budget strains. It's stuggling to keep its head above water now.

The SPY-1 is thirty five year old technology. Yes it has had many good upgrades and at this time the SPY-1D is probably the best radar in any navy. That said, it has some serious limitations that the Dual Band Radar that will go to sea in the DD(X), CG(X), and CVN(X) will overcome. Some of those limitations are about to be resolved as the MFR goes through its testing phases.

A dual band radar is needed to scan both the sea surface and to the zenith. One radar will operate in X-band and one in S-band...like the SPY-1. Both must meet the toughest possible requirements...and I can assure you those same requirements are not forced upon SPY-1 now. Both will be active phased arrays. For you radar engineers or techs out there in cyberland, think of the entire radar consisting basically of three major components: A power supply, a monstrously powerful COTS megacomputer system and a radar array that comprises hundreds and hundreds of active array elements. Each element is actually a mini-radar in itself. The transmitters and receivers are in the elements and controlled by the supercomputers. This is very different from the old radars such as Aegis where the signal processor, the receiver, the transmitter, the duplexor, etc are all housed in separate equipment cabinets below decks and the signals are sent to the passive array elements.

Anyway...there are other new toys that will be tested in DD(X) and migrate to the other new ships.



LWilde just let me say that it's always great to get your insight on these matters, it's much appreciated.
If I'm understanding you correctly the SPY-3 MFR is essentially a giant AESA? I believe a while back you mentioned this radar as near "Star Trek" type sensors...that seems pretty apt.



Thanks. Yes, in some ways, the MFR is like the AESA. What a coincidence that both are designed and made by the same company.
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 4:59:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 5:28:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LWilde:

Originally Posted By AeroE:

Originally Posted By LWilde:

For you radar engineers or techs out there in cyberland, think of the entire radar consisting basically of three major components: A power supply (also montrous in my experience), a monstrously powerful COTS megacomputer system and a radar array that comprises hundreds and hundreds of active array elements.




I would like to see the beam signature of this ship with HF radar. I'm thinking it will be hard to characterize as to which ship type is being detected, unless an identification by exception scheme is used, and then it's still a guess.



I've not seen nor heard of any plots yet. I suspect that the superstructure will be tested while it is being used to test the sensors. The entire ship may not be tested until it puts to sea. That small-scale test vessel that was discussed here last week might be used...but I'm doubtful since I don't think it is made of the same "stuff" the DD(X) will use in the hull.



The signature isn't scalable at those frequencies - they need to build a full size target.

An additional comment about low observables -
another advantage is that low signatures allow your ship to get closer before a track can be established (with ships, I suspect there is probably a higher probability of getting busted by eyeballs when getting near a target), close enough that a response is prevented (because you get to shoot first), or at least hindered. The question I can't answer with regard to ships is whether simple detects are sufficient to raise an alarm and cause additional investigation of the signal.
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 5:50:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By -brass-:


cruise missiles cost about $1 million each, while shells for the AGS will cost only about $50,000 a piece.



A 155mm Round costs 50 Grand??? Tell me it has onboard guidance or something.




They are GPS guided.

www.naval-technology.com/projects/dd21/
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 6:03:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AeroE:

Originally Posted By LWilde:

Originally Posted By AeroE:

Originally Posted By LWilde:

For you radar engineers or techs out there in cyberland, think of the entire radar consisting basically of three major components: A power supply (also montrous in my experience), a monstrously powerful COTS megacomputer system and a radar array that comprises hundreds and hundreds of active array elements.




I would like to see the beam signature of this ship with HF radar. I'm thinking it will be hard to characterize as to which ship type is being detected, unless an identification by exception scheme is used, and then it's still a guess.



I've not seen nor heard of any plots yet. I suspect that the superstructure will be tested while it is being used to test the sensors. The entire ship may not be tested until it puts to sea. That small-scale test vessel that was discussed here last week might be used...but I'm doubtful since I don't think it is made of the same "stuff" the DD(X) will use in the hull.



The signature isn't scalable at those frequencies - they need to build a full size target.

An additional comment about low observables -
another advantage is that low signatures allow your ship to get closer before a track can be established (with ships, I suspect there is probably a higher probability of getting busted by eyeballs when getting near a target), close enough that a response is prevented (because you get to shoot first), or at least hindered. The question I can't answer with regard to ships is whether simple detects are sufficient to raise an alarm and cause additional investigation of the signal.


As with anything, it depends on the human factor. How professional/board the watchstander is and what type of environment you're operating in. If you get a small return in close to shore you're more likely to investigate because you deal with smaller craft. Open ocean is another story. It also depends on the environment, ie how much clutter are you talking about?

L/O is nice to have with a ship, especially given guided anti-ship missiles.
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 8:02:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LWilde:

Thanks. Yes, in some ways, the MFR is like the AESA. What a coincidence that both are designed and made by the same company.



Raytheon or Northrop-Grumman? Raytheon I'm betting.
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 8:07:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2005 8:08:18 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]

Originally Posted By dport:

L/O is nice to have with a ship, especially given guided anti-ship missiles.



DDX will also have some very robust anti -missile/ anti-air capability on top of it's L/O and EW.
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 8:22:04 PM EDT






Vulcan94
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 8:30:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 19suburban96:
looks like those old civil war ships to me



Exactly what I was thinking!

Ok, but can't we have 9 155mm rifles on deck? I love the pictures of the Iowa class firing all her 16" rifles at the same time--raw power in it's purest form.
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 4:29:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By dport:

L/O is nice to have with a ship, especially given guided anti-ship missiles.



DDX will also have some very robust anti -missile/ anti-air capability on top of it's L/O and EW.


Originally, it wasn't envisioned that way. It was going to be a land-attack destroyer and that was it. It was going to be a 12000 ton destroyer with little or no anti-air. Someone thought that was a bad idea and it was changed. However, when you add every brand new technology to a platform what you get is an unaffordable toy.

Take a look at the TICONDEROGA class cruisers. They used the new Aegis system, but the relied on proven hull and mechanics of the SPRUANCE and KIDD class destroyers.
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 5:08:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By LWilde:

Thanks. Yes, in some ways, the MFR is like the AESA. What a coincidence that both are designed and made by the same company.



Raytheon or Northrop-Grumman? Raytheon I'm betting.



Raytheon.
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 5:16:33 AM EDT
Regardless of the number of DD(X)s built, the technology will migrate to other platforms.

The radars and the KE gun will likely end up on some of the DDG 51s, probably during their mid-life complex overhauls.

The radars will be also probably be backfitted to the CGs since that would solve one of the issues of having them do either BMD or Fleet air defense missions.

Space permitting, the gun might be used too.

The radars will end up on the carriers and the amphibs too. The requirement to be able to detect and engage LO missiles isn't class specific.

The manpower-related issues such as automated damage control, detection and engagement, ship control, etc, are all sure to migrate.

I believe only a bare few DD(X) ships will ever be built. Several CGs will though...
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 8:38:44 AM EDT
LWilde,
A few of questions for you:
1.) Will the KE/railgun rounds be guided? Just wondering if they can harden electronics to withstand the recoil.
2.) Would the KE/railgun be capable of multiple rounds-simultaneous impact (MRSI)?
3.) Have they decided on a hull shape for the CGX? Tumblehomme or the verdict is still out?

While I have you attention, I'm just curious waht you think of the Littoral Combat Ship program?
Thanks in advance.
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 9:58:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LWilde:
Regardless of the number of DD(X)s built, the technology will migrate to other platforms.

The radars and the KE gun will likely end up on some of the DDG 51s, probably during their mid-life complex overhauls.

The radars will be also probably be backfitted to the CGs since that would solve one of the issues of having them do either BMD or Fleet air defense missions.


This is what we should be concentrating on. We have had too many false starts with programs as it is: ERGM, NULKA, CIWS IB, this unmanned underwater vehicle on some DDGs, smart ship(and its various incarnations) and the list goes on. We don't even have SLQ-32 Mod 3 on every ship yet, nor do we have NULKA everywhere yet. Yet, we want to build a 3 billion dollar destroyer. How about making what we got more survivable?


Space permitting, the gun might be used too.


Screw that. Give me a 127mm Italian job like the Japanese have.


The radars will end up on the carriers and the amphibs too. The requirement to be able to detect and engage LO missiles isn't class specific.

The manpower-related issues such as automated damage control, detection and engagement, ship control, etc, are all sure to migrate.


That's scary. The idea of relying on a water mist system instead of good ole Halon gives this old DCA the creeps.


I believe only a bare few DD(X) ships will ever be built. Several CGs will though...

The CGs are getting up there in years. I don't understand the need for a new destroyer when the cruisers are 10 years older than our oldest DDG. It seems to me to be safer all the way around to start backfitting DDG-51s with DDX tech and getting it proven and cheaper so that CGX/CG-21, whatever we are calling it this week, will have proven and cheaper technology and it's doesn't become a 5 billion dollar cruiser.
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