Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/23/2005 9:36:44 AM EDT
Is The U.S. Navy Too Small?
September 22, 2005: For some years now we have been hearing claims from some people that the U.S. Navy (USN) is “too small” to meet the nation’s maritime defense needs. Quite frequently, comparisons are made with some date in the past; “The Navy today has fewer ships than it did in 1930.” Well, that’s true. In 1930 the Navy had 357 ships in commission, while today it has about 290. Of course, the 1930 figure comprises just 140 or so major warships (battleships, carriers, cruisers, and destroyers) about 80 submarines, for a total of about 220 combatants. The balance included 36 mine warfare vessels, about 30 gunboats, and nearly 70 auxiliaries of various sorts.

And today? Well, there are eleven carriers plus 102 surface combatants, as well as 72 submarines, for a total of “only” 185 combatants. In addition, are 36 amphibious warfare vessels, a category that did not exist in 1930, a dozen of which are 40,000 ton V/STOL carriers, plus 17 mine warfare vessels, 34 logistics support ships, and c. 18 miscellaneous vessels.
So the fleet certainly is smaller than it was in 1930.

But precisely what does that mean? And does it have any relevance to what the size of the fleet should be today, or at any other period? After all, in 1930 the USN had some competition on the high seas. The British Royal Navy was actually larger than the USN, and the Imperial Japanese Navy was around 70 percent of its size.

Today, the USN enjoys a "17 Navy standard"; that is, the total tonnage of Uncle Sam’s fleet is equal to the combined total tonnage of the next 17 smaller navies. Even combining the two biggest potential naval competitors (the Chinese and the Russians), the USN still outclasses them by over 3:1 in tonnage, and it has substantially more combat power. Of the world’s 34 aviation power projection platforms (i.e., vessels capable of operating combat aircraft), the US owns 24 (71-percent), eight times more than the second leading navy, the decidedly friendly Royal Navy, which has with three V/STOL carriers. In addition, the US surface fleet carries four times as many VLS (vertical missile launchers) cells as the rest of the world navies combined. The US submarine fleet enjoys better force ratios against the next two most numerous underwater fleets than it did against the Soviets during the Cold War.

Moreover, USN numbers are slated to rise, with a dozen “littoral combat ships” to be commissioned within the next six years and a dozen more within three years after that, even as the first “SeaBasing” ships begin to join the fleet. And then there are the ships of the Military Sealift Command, which operates the “Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force,” scores of tugs, supply, ammunition, and other vessels, include the Navy’s two hospital ships, none of which are technically “in commission” as part of the fleet, as well as the nation’s pre-positioning, sealift, and “special purpose” (i.e., oceanographic, spy ships, etc.) vessels.

Today, the USN has greater command of the world's oceans than any fleet has ever possessed.

(from strategypage.com)
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 9:38:14 AM EDT
If our navy is too small then what is Canada's?

Seriously.

Link Posted: 9/23/2005 9:44:25 AM EDT
All of the above may be true and the Navy still be to small.

One thing the article does not point out is not all of those ships are in service at one time some are in for refitting.

Start dividing that tonnage among 4 or 5 areas of operation, over millions of sq miles and the advantage starts to look less overwhelming.

Sure the US Navy has command of the world's oceans… lets keep it that way.

Link Posted: 9/23/2005 9:48:56 AM EDT
A 600 ship Navy like Reagen had planned would be nice
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 10:11:02 AM EDT
Whether or not the Navy is too small is not dependent so much on raw numbers as it is on it's assigned missions.

As has been mentioned, approximately 1/3 of all active ships are usually available for tasking at any one time. The other 2/3 are in overhaul, standdown from a recently completed deployment or in the training cycle, preparing for their next deployment.

Certainly we have a "surge" component built into the mix but it is far preferrable to have the ships and A/C squadrons complete their training prior to deployment. Even in WW II, ships were held back in the USA to ensure they were ready for war, when they were desperately needed out on the front lines.

As long as the National Command Authority does not exceed the absolute limits of the Fleet capabilities, the Navy is not too small.

IF we were tasked to conduct a two-ocean war, we could do it. Yes it would be hard on the ships and crews...but we could do it...for a period of time and IF we did not sustain heavy losses.

Right now, we can hold our own.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 10:17:35 AM EDT
The Pentagon in its infinite wisdow has decided to move away for the concept of being able to fight two major wars at the same time. the cuts reflect this thinking.

I think there is a serious possibility of being engaged in a conflict like Iraq/Afganistan and having fight to another conflict with either China/Russia/EU type enemy. With out the two ocean Navy we may need to withdraw from other areas to support ongoing combat operations.

So yes I think the Navy is to small also.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 12:22:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By texasAR:
The Pentagon in its infinite wisdow has decided to move away for the concept of being able to fight two major wars at the same time. the cuts reflect this thinking.

I think there is a serious possibility of being engaged in a conflict like Iraq/Afganistan and having fight to another conflict with either China/Russia/EU type enemy. With out the two ocean Navy we may need to withdraw from other areas to support ongoing combat operations.

So yes I think the Navy is to small also.



Just FYI the article actually says the USN is plenty big enough, the title is just to hook you in.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 12:25:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/23/2005 12:25:55 PM EDT by Max_Mike]

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By texasAR:
The Pentagon in its infinite wisdow has decided to move away for the concept of being able to fight two major wars at the same time. the cuts reflect this thinking.

I think there is a serious possibility of being engaged in a conflict like Iraq/Afganistan and having fight to another conflict with either China/Russia/EU type enemy. With out the two ocean Navy we may need to withdraw from other areas to support ongoing combat operations.

So yes I think the Navy is to small also.



Just FYI the article actually says the USN is plenty big enough, the title is just to hook you in.



I think everbody figured that out... the article is wrong.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 12:34:38 PM EDT
If we can adequately meet and win all current missions with minimal casualties, (Not killing the last enemy with the last bullet on our last ship) then we are large enough. Start factoring in the need for reasonable deployments schedules, etc, one might argue we can't get much smaller.

Start factoring in the KNOWN future threats, CHINA, if we don't evolve ahead of the evolving threats we won't be large enough. Right now only the Chinese are planning for any kind of a war at sea scenario. The Russians would like to, for old times sake, but for the near term future 10-15 years their economic and political problems will preclude fleeting a real threat. Individual ships will be pretty nasty and capable, but they can't fleet enough at any given time.

China will take 20-30 years to develop an open ocean force where they could come out in to the Pacific and find us and fight us. But their initial goals are going to be to take and hold the oil fields in the South CHINA Sea, support an invasion of Taiwan, and take back the Great LooShoo Islands. Almost all of those tasks are doable within support range of their Air Force and ports., and they could be there, or at least think they are there within 5-10 years for at least 1 of those missions. And it's when they THINK they are capable of a task, it means they might try it.

Right now they don't have much force projection capability. No carriers, minimal long range air, no refueling, etc. But they are working on all.

As long as we keep ahead of them.

We also need to develop better inshore capabilities, our mine warfare capabilities need to continue to be improved.

So are we too small now? NO. Are we balanced correctly? not quite as well as we would like but still ahead of the curve. Do we need all the big deck carriers? again, as a method of projecting National Interest, we need them. Not only force projection, but humanitarian missions, big stick show up on the horizon missions, etc.

The political impact of the Navy after the tsunami was incalculable. All these countries and organizations promised or wanted to deliver, but who did, and who had to help. USN and USMC.

The Chinese want to portray themselves as the big kahunas in Asia and they could do nothing. Massive loss of face and many of the people that were looking to them to be a counter to the US saw them fall flat on their faces. We need to keep doing that.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 12:43:38 PM EDT
the 1930 figure comprises just 140 or so major warships (battleships, carriers, cruisers, and destroyers) about 80 submarines, for a total of about 220 combatants. The balance included 36 mine warfare vessels, about 30 gunboats, and nearly 70 auxiliaries of various sorts.

And today? Well, there are eleven carriers plus 102 surface combatants, as well as 72 submarines, for a total of “only” 185 combatants.


Interesting................ what was the capability of those 1930's ships? What was their range etc?

I'm just guessing here, but the 70+ year new ships with radar, missiles, and nukes may just be far more capable......................

Also in the 1930's the USN didn't have exaclty state of the art ships for the time. Compared to other countries our ships had parity, or were BEHIND other navies.

Today the USN has a technological advantage on the rest of the world.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 12:46:40 PM EDT
The Navy is too small, and, right now, it does not contain the correct mix of high and low capability ships based on the current mission load.

We are forced to do Maritime Interception Operations with 1 Billion dollar Air Defense/Strike Warfare platforms. This is a waste of resources.

We are forced to do OPLAT protection operations with these same 1 Billion dollar warships. Again a waste of resources.

The simple fact is the Fleet is designed to counter a Soviet-style Blue Water threat. The Fleet is not designed to do the majority of the missions it has on its plate right now. The fact that the Fleet is doing the missions and doing them well is a testament to the men and women who are United States Sailors.

These issues are being addressed. LCS is one hell of a concept, btw there are two shipyards/designs that are going to compete in a real world enviroment to get the contract, that will help make up shortfalls in the low end ships. DDX brings some concepts to the table that help our Cold War ideas/systems into the littorals, while maintaining a Blue Water capability. However, when it is all said and done we will have 24 $1 Billion+ cruisers, 54 $1 Billion+ destroyers, about 12 $250 million frigates, and a handfull of LCS platforms (~12 or 13). Expect the frigates to go away when LCS comes online. So that leaves about 1/8 of the fleet as low end ships. This ratio is too low, IMO, compared to the mission load. Oh and, at the most, you're looking at 12 DDXs at 2 or 3 billion dollars a pop.

IMO what needs to happen is the 54 destroyers need to be retrofitted with some DDX tech. One DDX needs to be build to demonstrate technology. That DDX needs to be the basis for CGX. CGX will need to replace the CGs, which are nearing their 30 year service life. The CGs BTW are much older than the DDGs, and will need replaced faster than the DDGs will.

DDX, if we continue down that path, will be the Surface Navy's F-22/SEAWOLF. It will be one very capable platform, but we will not be able to afford enough of them to matter. Not only that, because of its small numbers, 12 at the most, US shipbuilding will suffer, and experience shipbuilders will find other jobs. When we need their expertise they will be gone.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 2:53:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By texasAR:
The Pentagon in its infinite wisdow has decided to move away for the concept of being able to fight two major wars at the same time. the cuts reflect this thinking.

I think there is a serious possibility of being engaged in a conflict like Iraq/Afganistan and having fight to another conflict with either China/Russia/EU type enemy. With out the two ocean Navy we may need to withdraw from other areas to support ongoing combat operations.

So yes I think the Navy is to small also.



Just FYI the article actually says the USN is plenty big enough, the title is just to hook you in.



I think everbody figured that out... the article is wrong.



Did you actually read texasAR's post I replied too?
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 3:01:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Did you actually read texasAR's post I replied too?




Yea…

DUH…Ya think maybe he just might have been agreeing with the other people in the thread that thought the Navy was to small.

DUH…
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 3:19:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dpmmn:
A 600 ship Navy like Reagen had planned would be nice minimum.



Fixed it for you. I was thinking more in the 750 range. Restart the draft if necessary to get enough able bodied seaman.

wganz

Link Posted: 9/23/2005 3:22:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By wganz:

Originally Posted By dpmmn:
A 600 ship Navy like Reagen had planned would be nice minimum.



Fixed it for you. I was thinking more in the 750 range. Restart the draft if necessary to get enough able bodied seaman.

wganz



Way too much of a pendulum swing. I'll do without draftees on my ship, thank you.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 3:37:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Did you actually read texasAR's post I replied too?




Yea…

DUH…Ya think maybe he just might have been agreeing with the other people in the thread that thought the Navy was to small.

DUH…


I like LWilde's opinion on the matter.

IF we were tasked to conduct a two-ocean war, we could do it. Yes it would be hard on the ships and crews...but we could do it...for a period of time and IF we did not sustain heavy losses.

Right now, we can hold our own.


Link Posted: 9/23/2005 3:39:36 PM EDT
Only if we lose...which ain't gonna happen.

HH
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 4:01:36 PM EDT
The Navy is too small.

Link Posted: 9/23/2005 4:09:33 PM EDT
If any of the Armed Forces are too small it's the Army or the Marines.

Feet on the ground are needed to control territory, armed with $700 rifles $700 in body armor, and 210 rounds.

The Navy and the Air Force have never forced an enemy country to surrender.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 4:11:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If any of the Armed Forces are too small it's the Army or the Marines.

Feet on the ground are needed to control territory, armed with $700 rifles $700 in body armor, and 210 rounds.

The Navy and the Air Force have never forced an enemy country to surrender.


Define what you mean by "too small."

For instance, the Navy is decreasing the number of bodies needed to man ships. However, the Navy still needs more hulls. See the paradox?

No doubt, IMO, the Army and the USMC could be plussed up, but do not confuse the Navy's ship count with the number of billets it requires.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 4:27:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If any of the Armed Forces are too small it's the Army or the Marines.

Feet on the ground are needed to control territory, armed with $700 rifles $700 in body armor, and 210 rounds.

The Navy and the Air Force have never forced an enemy country to surrender.



Kosovo. I hate to say it because it only encourages the Airpower uber alles types, but in all honesty they did win Kosovo with airpower alone.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 4:29:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If any of the Armed Forces are too small it's the Army or the Marines.

Feet on the ground are needed to control territory, armed with $700 rifles $700 in body armor, and 210 rounds.

The Navy and the Air Force have never forced an enemy country to surrender.


Define what you mean by "too small."

For instance, the Navy is decreasing the number of bodies needed to man ships. However, the Navy still needs more hulls. See the paradox?

No doubt, IMO, the Army and the USMC could be plussed up, but do not confuse the Navy's ship count with the number of billets it requires.




First, I'm not saying take anything away from any other service to add to the number of Army or Marine Combat Arms types.

Second, it seems to me a lot of the high tech weaponary is very mission specific. Submarines, or B-2 bombers. The Soldier/Marine with a rifle can change to fit the mission.

It also seems to me it isn't the number of hulls, or total number of sailors. It's the capability of the hulls, the needs of the missions, and the readiness of those hulls. They also have to be compared to the capability of foriegn navies.

Just like comparing the capability of a 1930's battleship, or aricraft carrier to a 2005 aircraft carrier and saying they each equal "1", is kind of an oversimplified equation. In the 1930's those aricraft carriers were not very capable. The British, Japanese, had them and the Germans were planning on getting them. Who else has fleet carriers in the world today? A modern carrier task force can control a large bit of open ocean, the 1930's carrier task force was nowhere near as capable against it's contemporaries.

So what I am saying is the USAF and the USN seem to be solidly ahead of the rest of the world in a lot of ways, a lot of the advantage is due to high-tech weapons, comms, platforms etc. The US Army and USMC enjoy a technolgoical advantage in many ways. But in 0-25-50-75-100 meter combat technology isn't the force multiplier that it is in other types of combat. Ground combat requires a certain number of boots on the ground. Controlling an area still requires a LARGE number of boots on the ground.

The Army also has troops locked into place, Korea, Germany, etc. etc. that aren't deployable to other areas. So the number of troops that are available to deploy is signifigantly less than the total number of troops. I would guess the Army has the most "non-movable" troops of any of the US Armed Forces.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 4:36:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/23/2005 4:48:32 PM EDT by JHMC79]

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If any of the Armed Forces are too small it's the Army or the Marines.

Feet on the ground are needed to control territory, armed with $700 rifles $700 in body armor, and 210 rounds.

The Navy and the Air Force have never forced an enemy country to surrender.




The Enola Gay made a pretty big impression on the Japs.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 4:37:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If any of the Armed Forces are too small it's the Army or the Marines.

Feet on the ground are needed to control territory, armed with $700 rifles $700 in body armor, and 210 rounds.

The Navy and the Air Force have never forced an enemy country to surrender.



Unless you count Japan. Definitely not done solely with sea/air forces, but the role of the ground component was to capture FOBs for naval and air forces.

That said, I tend to agree the force most inappropriately sized for the near-mid term future is the ground force. Naval and air forces need a paradigm shift. Dport and I agree that using $1B DDGs to do VBSS is a tremendous waste. LCS is needed now for the USN.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 4:40:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
It also seems to me it isn't the number of hulls, or total number of sailors. It's the capability of the hulls, the needs of the missions, and the readiness of those hulls. They also have to be compared to the capability of foriegn navies.


This is where you go astray. Take for instance DDX. It will be the most capable ship in the world compared to ours or any other Navy.

However, if we only build 12 of them there is a two fold problem.

#1 With 12 hulls only 4 can be deployed at any given time. 4 in the shipyard undergoing refit, and 4 undergoing training. That can be plussed up a bit with crew swap, but that is the basic math for deploying ships. That means you only have 4 ships covering the entire world. Which means each ship will cover air space of about 250 miles in diameter with radar and only about 25 miles in diameter of the surface of the ocean. Not a lot. Here's the other part of that equation. If they are conducting boardings, aka MIO OPS, they aren't doing much of anything else, and you are wasting a 3 billion dollar warship on a task a much cheaper ship could conduct.

#2 If even one is sunk or suffers a mission kill 1/4 of our deployed DDXs is knocked out for a significant period of time.

The simple fact of the matter is, just like you need infantry to control landspace, you need hulls to cover the ocean. The more hulls the better. It's just like having eyeballs on the ground, you see more, you control more, and you can shoot more.

Do we need 600 ships? No. But we do not have the right high/low/ship count mix yet.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 4:44:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By H46Driver:
That said, I tend to agree the force most inappropriately sized for the near-mid term future is the ground force. Naval and air forces need a paradigm shift. Dport and I agree that using $1B DDGs to do VBSS is a tremendous waste. LCS is needed now for the USN.


Agreed on all counts sir. I think we are on the verge of the paradigm shift, but the problem will be the flags that were raised in a Cold War environment.

We also have the advantage of knowing what is actually going on while on deployment and why more hulls are desireable.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 4:44:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
It also seems to me it isn't the number of hulls, or total number of sailors. It's the capability of the hulls, the needs of the missions, and the readiness of those hulls. They also have to be compared to the capability of foriegn navies.


This is where you go astray. Take for instance DDX. It will be the most capable ship in the world compared to ours or any other Navy.

However, if we only build 12 of them there is a two fold problem.

#1 With 12 hulls only 4 can be deployed at any given time. 4 in the shipyard undergoing refit, and 4 undergoing training. That can be plussed up a bit with crew swap, but that is the basic math for deploying ships. That means you only have 4 ships covering the entire world. Which means each ship will cover air space of about 250 miles in diameter with radar and only about 25 miles in diameter of the surface of the ocean. Not a lot. Here's the other part of that equation. If they are conducting boardings, aka MIO OPS, they aren't doing much of anything else, and you are wasting a 3 billion dollar warship on a task a much cheaper ship could conduct.

#2 If even one is sunk or suffers a mission kill 1/4 of our deployed DDXs is knocked out for a significant period of time.

The simple fact of the matter is, just like you need infantry to control landspace, you need hulls to cover the ocean. The more hulls the better. It's just like having eyeballs on the ground, you see more, you control more, and you can shoot more.

Do we need 600 ships? No. But we do not have the right high/low/ship count mix yet.




Hold up there, I didn't go astray. I am not trying to design the ideal navy. Others, who actually know stuff, can do that. I'm saying the number of hulls, simply numbers, isn't a good indicator of effectiveness or ineffectiveness.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 4:46:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Hold up there, I didn't go astray. I am not trying to design the ideal navy. Others, who actually know stuff, can do that. I'm saying the number of hulls, simply numbers, isn't a good indicator of effectiveness or ineffectiveness.


Agreed. Sorry about the misunderstanding.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 4:47:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By H46Driver:

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If any of the Armed Forces are too small it's the Army or the Marines.

Feet on the ground are needed to control territory, armed with $700 rifles $700 in body armor, and 210 rounds.

The Navy and the Air Force have never forced an enemy country to surrender.



Unless you count Japan. Definitely not done solely with sea/air forces, but the role of the ground component was to capture FOBs for naval and air forces.

That said, I tend to agree the force most inappropriately sized for the near-mid term future is the ground force. Naval and air forces need a paradigm shift. Dport and I agree that using $1B DDGs to do VBSS is a tremendous waste. LCS is needed now for the USN.



Japan was beaten by nuclear weapons. I doubt the US will be using nuclear weapons in the near-far-future-ever again on earth.

I'm counting nuclear warfare as it's own category.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 4:54:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If any of the Armed Forces are too small it's the Army or the Marines.

Feet on the ground are needed to control territory, armed with $700 rifles $700 in body armor, and 210 rounds.

The Navy and the Air Force have never forced an enemy country to surrender.




Well the USAF is a recent addition to the mix so we really cannot count them but I assure you that the most feared deterrent during the Cold War lurked under the sea. In one SSBN there is more destructive power than any other weapon platform ever devised by man. Surrender? Maybe not but think twice about an attack.. That's better than surrender, that's taking away the will to fight before the fight begins. Hard to top that one.


But the Navy today is contractionary. reducing force to "save money" but in reality that is all BS. The most expensive componant of the military is manning. The human factor cost more than anything else by far, next is new weapons acquisition. So DoD will have everyone believe that base closing and force reduction will save money when in reality that money will just be redirected to buying new weapons systems and such. The military has finally started using a corporate mentality when it comes to cost benefit comparisons. They want us, espescially in the Navy, to be a "Jack of All Trades" these days. Combining rates and schools. They want more from the person then ever before and wonder why retention sucks and recruiting is down. So what happens? We continue to contract and reduce our size in personel and ships. In a few years or decades something rears it's ugly head and we get bitchslapped and we build a big fleet again. It is a historical inevitability.

It's officially called "Force Shaping", high year tenure limits, PRT standards changing and policy change but in reality it is force reduction. It will be a burdon when we need that fleet someday, and we will. There is a reason that the Founders explicitly stated that Congress will provide for the implementation and sustaining of a Navy in the Constitution. Control of the sea is key to economic prosperity and military power. But John q. Public has no idea how important the USN has been in evevry conflict that was ever fought by our forces. We could have never fielded a machine of war like we have now or in the past without the USN. And no war has ever been won without the USN brining fore or support to the battlefield and without keeping the sea open for trade and travel.



The US Navy is IMHO THE most important componant of our military might! And I say that proudly as a United States Sailor.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 5:12:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By H46Driver:

Unless you count Japan. Definitely not done solely with sea/air forces, but the role of the ground component was to capture FOBs for naval and air forces.

That said, I tend to agree the force most inappropriately sized for the near-mid term future is the ground force. Naval and air forces need a paradigm shift. Dport and I agree that using $1B DDGs to do VBSS is a tremendous waste. LCS is needed now for the USN.



When is LCS going to be operational? Is it before 2010?
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 5:14:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By H46Driver:

Unless you count Japan. Definitely not done solely with sea/air forces, but the role of the ground component was to capture FOBs for naval and air forces.

That said, I tend to agree the force most inappropriately sized for the near-mid term future is the ground force. Naval and air forces need a paradigm shift. Dport and I agree that using $1B DDGs to do VBSS is a tremendous waste. LCS is needed now for the USN.



When is LCS going to be operational? Is it before 2010?


If you don't mind I'll answer. Before 2010. I believe the first one is less than 18 months away. Most of the crew is undergoing training. That's the first version. Another shipyard will produce a different version ~6 months to a year after that.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 5:28:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/23/2005 5:29:58 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]

Originally Posted By dport:
[If you don't mind I'll answer. Before 2010. I believe the first one is less than 18 months away. Most of the crew is undergoing training. That's the first version. Another shipyard will produce a different version ~6 months to a year after that.



I don't mind, I always like to hear your insight on naval matters. I know that Lock-Mart and General Dynamics are still competing for the LCS contract but will these ships actually be considered operational or still in testing? I find it interesting the two directions both company's designs are going.
I wonder also why Raytheon's design got shit-canned?
Lock-Marts...


GD
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 5:31:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
the 1930 figure comprises just 140 or so major warships (battleships, carriers, cruisers, and destroyers) about 80 submarines, for a total of about 220 combatants. The balance included 36 mine warfare vessels, about 30 gunboats, and nearly 70 auxiliaries of various sorts.

And today? Well, there are eleven carriers plus 102 surface combatants, as well as 72 submarines, for a total of “only” 185 combatants.


Interesting................ what was the capability of those 1930's ships? What was their range etc?

I'm just guessing here, but the 70+ year new ships with radar, missiles, and nukes may just be far more capable......................

Also in the 1930's the USN didn't have exaclty state of the art ships for the time. Compared to other countries our ships had parity, or were BEHIND other navies.

Today the USN has a technological advantage on the rest of the world.



Actually, in '30s terms some of our ships were very good...with a couple of notable exceptions.

Our destroyers had the best main battery guns controlled by the finest dual purpose fire control system in the world NO navy had an equivalent surface and air gunnery system. The first was the Mk-33 introduced in the mid-late '30s and the next and better system was the Mk-37. Both systems were later used in cruisers, battleships and carriers. As the war progressed, the AAW batteries of all our ships increased until they had 40mm Bofors and 20mm Oerlikons all over the ships. When the VT fuse arrived in the Fleet in January 1943, the number of kills just went up higher.

Our DDs also had long legs, when compared to their European counterparts.

That said, our DDs were woefully deficient in the effectiveness of their torpedo weapons and that was a major problem, since that is supposed to be their primary weapon. We were totally unaware of the reasons for our torpedo failures until mid-1943.

That said, most of our ships were better than any other nations except Japan. The Japanese stunned the world in the late '20s when they commissioned Fubuki, their first "special type" destroyer. They were big, fast, long legged like their American counterparts and had an incredible six guns, and 24" torpedoes. These fish were later upgrated to the Mk-93 oxygen powered "Long Lance" weapons with an incredible range of about 40,000 yards at about 36kts and 20,000 yds at 48 kts (ours would do maybe 9,000 yds at high speed) . The Long Lance also carried a monster 500kg warhead. This weapon killed many an Allied ship during the war. Worst of all for us, their fish worked very well...and ours didn't. On the other hand, Japanese ships laced any sort of adequate AAW defense. As the war wore on, the great lack of AAW defense helped cause the loss of most of the Japanese DDs.

Our "Treaty" cruisers were pretty sorry ships for the most part...which helped get seven of them sunk during the first year of the war. The modern cruisers built in the late '30s on the other hand were outstanding ships that, like the DDs, had the finest surface and air gunnery systems in the world.

There was a lot more to compare...but that would take all night. As a naval historian, I've been studying this junk for many decades...and in fact, two reference pubs are in my "reading room" right now...

For the most part, our Navy in the '30s was about as good as the limited funds could deliver during the depression. As the '30s ended, the new ships with their advance sensors and weapons began entering the Fleet in increasing numbers. I think they did pretty well until the Arsenal of Democracy could get spun up.

Finally the Navy like the other services, offloaded their nuclear weapons in 1991 at the order of Bush 41.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 5:34:07 PM EDT
Is the U.S. Navy too small?

Yes.

Hell yes.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 5:36:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:
I don't mind, I always like to hear your insight on naval matters. I know that Lock-Mart and General Dynamics are still competing for the LCS contract but will these ships actually be considered operational or still in testing? I find it interesting the two directions both company's designs are going.
I wonder also why Raytheon's design got shit-canned?
Lock-Marts...
peos.crane.navy.mil/lcs/images/LCS3_ship_atsea.jpg

GD
peos.crane.navy.mil/lcs/images/LCS3_ship_atsea.jpg


They will be operational and they'll be testing and competing. Basically, if aircraft have flyoffs, they'll have a floatoff.

There is debate on how many ships of each to buy. I've heard a couple of numbers, but I don't know how sensative that is given the contracts.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the design that doesn't get chosen. I wonder if there is going to be a mine countermeasures ship consolation prize?
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 5:37:05 PM EDT
I was on active duty during the Reagan years buildup and while the Navy never got up to the 600 ships as planned, it was an awesome sight to see.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 7:31:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LWilde:

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
the 1930 figure comprises just 140 or so major warships (battleships, carriers, cruisers, and destroyers) about 80 submarines, for a total of about 220 combatants. The balance included 36 mine warfare vessels, about 30 gunboats, and nearly 70 auxiliaries of various sorts.

And today? Well, there are eleven carriers plus 102 surface combatants, as well as 72 submarines, for a total of “only” 185 combatants.


Interesting................ what was the capability of those 1930's ships? What was their range etc?

Also in the 1930's the USN didn't have exaclty state of the art ships for the time. Compared to other countries our ships had parity, or were BEHIND other navies.

Today the USN has a technological advantage on the rest of the world.



Actually, in '30s terms some of our ships were very good...with a couple of notable exceptions.




The article says 1930. I used 1930's ships, meaning multiple ships.

I think The Japanese had some more advanced ships, cruisers, and SOME capable destroyers. I think they were also ahead of us in aircraft carrier tech.

Germany had pocket battleships and heavy cruisers. Their battlecruisers were faster and more modern than our battleships, but underarmed and armoured.

By the end of the 30's the US was certainly looking ahead to a war stance, and gear was getting developed, etc. Certainly if the article said 1943, 1953, 1963, the US ships look better technology wise than other countries navy ships.

1930 seems like a low point as far as I can tell. A lot of the ships were built because of WW-I, and few were built after WW-I ended.......................... so there was "coasting" as far as new ships building etc.
Link Posted: 9/23/2005 7:53:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:
Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:
I don't mind, I always like to hear your insight on naval matters. I know that Lock-Mart and General Dynamics are still competing for the LCS contract but will these ships actually be considered operational or still in testing? I find it interesting the two directions both company's designs are going.
I wonder also why Raytheon's design got shit-canned?
Lock-Marts...
peos.crane.navy.mil/lcs/images/LCS3_ship_atsea.jpg

GD
peos.crane.navy.mil/lcs/images/LCS3_ship_atsea.jpg


They will be operational and they'll be testing and competing. Basically, if aircraft have flyoffs, they'll have a floatoff.

I wonder if the Navy will decide to keep both. We built more than one class of DD and FF during the 30`s and WW II. Having two different designs would reduce the possiblity of a design flaw an enemy could exploit. Also one of the designs might be better at mine warfare and the other at coastal asw. Also the simple competition should help keep costs down and the shipyards busy. The two designs might work well in small hunter-killer groups with an updated sea control ship
(CVE), similar to those in the Battle of the Atlantic.
Link Posted: 9/24/2005 6:25:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ktrout01:
I was on active duty during the Reagan years buildup and while the Navy never got up to the 600 ships as planned, it was an awesome sight to see.



The Navy never would have been able to sustain the 600 ships that were held up as a goal during the Reagan years. That number was achievable for a short time by slightly accelerating new construction and significantly delaying ship retirements.

To sustain a 600 ship fleet with an max age of 30 years (the normal goal for surface combatants), this country would need to procure 20 ships/year. Stretching the carriers to 50 years and the auxilliaries to 35-40 would cut that number slightly, but at no time during Reagan/Lehman was there a serious proposal to purchase 18-20 new vessels/year.
Link Posted: 9/24/2005 7:36:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If any of the Armed Forces are too small it's the Army or the Marines.

Feet on the ground are needed to control territory, armed with $700 rifles $700 in body armor, and 210 rounds.

The Navy and the Air Force have never forced an enemy country to surrender.



Japan, anyone?

If you look at island hopping, you could say that the only need for ground troops was to secure bases for aircraft.
Top Top