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" USA Congress Wants A Bigger Navy " Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2012 9:36 p.m. PST

"The Navy is supposed to get way busier in Asia over the next five years, according to the Obama administration's new defense strategy. That's got the moneymen in the House of Representatives thinking the Navy needs more ships to meet the greater burden something the Navy's leadership vehemently rejected at a bizarre congressional hearing on Thursday.
The plan put forward by Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the Navy's top officer, will plateau the fleet at 285 ships for the next five years a period when the Navy, Marines and Air Force are supposed to focus heavily on the Pacific as the Afghanistan war winds down.

For instance: By this time next year, Greenert disclosed, the U.S.S. Freedom, the first of 55 Littoral Combat Ships the Navy will buy, will arrive in Singapore, the start of a plan to permanently station two of the speedy, modular not to mention blind and flimsy ships near the South China Sea. They'll each stay there for 16 months at a stretch, which frees up other ships in the fleet that would otherwise be rotating in and out of the port. Same goes for Europe, where the Navy will permanently station four Aegis cruisers in Spain as part of a missile-defense plan with NATO.
And even while the Navy plateaus its total numbers, it'll move more ships into high-priority regions like the Pacific or the Persian Gulf. The Navy sends "50 ships to the Western Pacific; in five years, that number will be 55," Greenert said. "In the Arabian Gulf, it's 30; that's going to go to 32."

The Navy will cut seven cruisers over the next five years, and will buy one fewer Virginia-class sub, and delay replacing the Ohio-class sub for two years. The Air Force wishes it got off that easy.

Mabus wasn't phased. "Given where we are and where they are, I am very comfortable we will be able to meet any sort of challenge," the secretary said. But it's the panel that controls the Navy's cash. And, ironically for a supposed era of austerity, it may end up giving the Navy more cash than the sailors want"

Complete article here

Are still necesary big battleships and cruisers?
Or with aircraft carriers (big and small)frigates, detroyers and submarines is enought to had a competitive Modern Navy?


Mako11 Inactive Member01 Mar 2012 10:31 p.m. PST

I'm betting the Air Force brass is seasick with envy…..

We don't really have battleships anymore, and haven't for some time, if I recall correctly. Not sure if the last one(s) was/were decomissioned, or not, or are still in mothballs.

Our navy is still pretty well balanced, compared to others, with small vessels packing a tremendous punch.

Not sure what good the Littoral Craft are, since I don't know what they are armed with, but compared to the others, they'd be better suited to chase Japanese whaling ships in the Antarctic than taking on real warships, most likely.

Perhaps that will change over time.

Personal logo Striker Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2012 11:55 p.m. PST

The LCS "should" be able to have mission packs added but since they're so expensive I doubt they'll perform the "expendable" role they were originally intended for and not in any useful numbers. Something not mentioned, especially for the Marines and Army, is replacing and scrapping gear from OIF and Afghanistan. Not to mention the bills that should be coming in for vet disability (assuming they don't bunk that). Don't forget ships = jobs and in this economy they'd make ships even if they were just going to be targets.

Lion in the Stars02 Mar 2012 4:52 a.m. PST

Are still necesary big battleships and cruisers?

Battleships have been rendered irrelevant since roughly 1945. The only thing they're really capable of doing is getting close to shore and beating on things.

'Cruisers' are ships that provide AA protection to the carriers these days.

'Destroyers' are the do-everything ships in the US Navy.

Or with aircraft carriers (big and small)frigates, destroyers and submarines is enough to have a competitive Modern Navy?

You cannot project force without carriers or amphibious assault ships. When trouble starts, the first two questions out of the President's mouth are:
1) Where are the Carriers?
2) Where are the 'Phibs?

Ask the British and the Japanese what happens when someone declares 'unrestricted submarine warfare' and cuts off a country's ability to bring in raw materials. Any nation that is heavily dependent on imports or exports needs to have a robust anti-submarine warfare capability.

doug redshirt02 Mar 2012 4:59 a.m. PST

Japan and Britain were islands, easy to blockade. While Germany was always short oil, never more the a weeks reserves usually, that didnt stop their war machinet. The US could get along just fine importing resources from Canada and Mexico.

In fact what would happen if trade with China was cut off? Would we be so bad off without Iphones and Ipads.

Dynaman878902 Mar 2012 5:40 a.m. PST

No country is an economic island any more (except perhaps NK, excepting the fact they can't feed their people). Cutting world trade would slit everyone's throat.

US industry would grind to a halt without china, and China's ENTIRE economy is based on selling stuff to the US – it would be devestating to both countries if trade were cut off.

Klebert L Hall Inactive Member02 Mar 2012 6:34 a.m. PST

US industry would grind to a halt without china, and China's ENTIRE economy is based on selling stuff to the US it would be devestating to both countries if trade were cut off.

Entirely true. Indeed, the world economy would be badly hurt.

On the bright side, we can feed ourselves. They can't.

Klebert L Hall Inactive Member02 Mar 2012 6:35 a.m. PST

Congress wants a bigger Navy, but they aren't willing to commit to funding it long-term. Typical weasel talk.

alien BLOODY HELL surfer Inactive Member02 Mar 2012 7:29 a.m. PST

On the bright side, we can feed ourselves. They can't.

why is it 'on the bright side' that the Chinese would not be able to feed themselves?

Personal logo Striker Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2012 7:36 a.m. PST

I agree Kle. A couple of years from now they'll be cutting back and starting the unit price increase games.

Old Slow Trot Inactive Member02 Mar 2012 7:52 a.m. PST

All the USN's existing BB's are mothballed or museums.

Lion in the Stars02 Mar 2012 8:11 a.m. PST

@ABHS: No, it's the North Koreans that cannot feed themselves. The Chinese seem to be handling that piece of logistics just fine.

All the USN's existing BB's are mothballed or museums.
And would cost more to modernize than building a new ship from scratch.

Legion 402 Mar 2012 9:07 a.m. PST

Air Forces and Navies get the BIG cost items …

jpattern202 Mar 2012 9:56 a.m. PST

A bigger Navy means more money flowing into various Congressional districts. As with most cases like this, follow the money.

ancientsgamer Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2012 10:10 a.m. PST

No matter where you are on military spending, it is one of the few areas that government spends on that returns nearly a 1:1 ratio of dollars spent to positive effect on the economy. Not sure why this is with all the black box expenditures ;-)

Battleships were used in the first Gulf conflict and quite effectively so. As mentioned above, retrofitting with more modern electronics would be costly. They aren't exactly manpower efficient either. Having said this, they used to joke that an Exocet missile would bounce off the hull of the ship. Also, nothing like being able to project 1500 lb. shells inland 80 or so miles and quite accurately too :-)

Me? I think a limited amount of them would still be useful. BUT, I am not sure of their viability defensively with what our potential enemies can throw at them.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2012 10:44 a.m. PST

""'Cruisers' are ships that provide AA protection to the carriers these days.""

Question: Why a Crusier can provide AA protection and a battleship did not?

Which is the military diference between a destroyer and a frigate?
They are the same?.

Thanks in advance for your guidance.


doug redshirt02 Mar 2012 11:36 a.m. PST

Actually if you think how many large cities and what percentage ofp the population live on or near the coast why not a few 16 inch shells to make their day.

LostPict Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2012 12:04 p.m. PST


These US Navy links may answers some of your questions:




Although beauties for their day, the USN reasoned that Battleships did not provide the multi-mission flexibility at a cost the US could afford due to their high man-power costs and the lack of flexibility to retrofit them to future missions. Having spent a lot of time around all of these, I think the USN made the right decion in '45 wrt suitability for mulit-mission future warfare, although I sure would not want to be near the impact crater of a 16" shell.

Lost Pict

Grizzlymc Inactive Member02 Mar 2012 5:14 p.m. PST

This sort of feeds into the arsenal ship thread.

One problem is that battleships are a very expensive way to deliver a bunch of big bangs on the beach. Given that the ONLY thing BBs have been used for since 1945 is as a super monitor, one is left looking at this expensive piece of vintage engineering asking "what do three monitors cost?"

There is also a compelling argument for an auto 8" rather than a slow firing 16" Most of that bang is wasted.

Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian02 Mar 2012 8:36 p.m. PST

Also, nothing like being able to project 1500 lb. shells inland 80 or so miles and quite accurately too :-)

24-25 miles tops in everything I've read. There was talk decades ago about rocket assisted rounds but I don't thing those got off the thought board. 2700 lbs for Iowa's shells

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2012 10:19 p.m. PST

Many thanks for your info my friend Jimmy!


Lion in the Stars02 Mar 2012 10:38 p.m. PST

'Cruisers' are ships that provide AA protection to the carriers these days.
Question: Why a Crusier can provide AA protection and a battleship did not?

Because you don't need the battleship's big guns for anti-aircraft protection. During the Island-hopping campaigns, battleships (and the Alaska-class BCs) were assigned to the carriers as anti-aircraft platforms. That's a waste of a big hull, and needs a lot of manpower for the guns that aren't firing. Specialized anti-aircraft ships can be smaller (needing less fuel and crew).

GarrisonMiniatures Inactive Member03 Mar 2012 1:27 p.m. PST

If you really want a few ships with big guns, might be an idea to bring back the Monitor idea.


Lion in the Stars03 Mar 2012 1:36 p.m. PST

Not likely… at least that particular design sucked at sea.

You want a ship with good sea-keeping abilities and speed so it can get places quickly. It's a long way to *anywhere* at 8 knots! Basically, the faster a ship is, the fewer of them you need to have that ship within a week's sailing of a trouble-spot.

That's why I suggested installing the 155mm on all the gator-freighters. Those are the ships that would be present doing the amphibious assault, so why not have them able to give fire support ashore, too?

Grizzlymc Inactive Member03 Mar 2012 5:06 p.m. PST

How close does doctrine place the gator freightors to the beach?

LostPict Supporting Member of TMP03 Mar 2012 6:42 p.m. PST

Putting 155mm guns (or railguns or lots of ground attack missiles) on the gators has a few design trade-offs that make this a low probability route:

1. Shallow draft gators have very poor sea-keeping characteristics which make them very poor naval gunfire platforms. Accurate placement of ordnance on target will be difficult in all but quiet sea states.

2. Gun, Magazine, Firecontrol, DC requirements, Crew, etc. will require a very large volume of hull space no longer dedicated to the main battery, i.e. the Marines.

3. Gators are slow and not manueverable pretty much the exact opposite requirement for a highly mobile, survivable platform that will put be able to put hundreds of rounds of ordnance on land targets without havin the bad buys take it out.

4. Operationally, putting the guns with the gators limits tactical flexibility to engage maneuver targets that are not in the range of the gun-gator; whereas, a nice high speed destroyer with a nice long range weapon system can separately maneuver to engage targets of opportunity from the 100 fathom line.

Lost Pict

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member03 Mar 2012 7:02 p.m. PST

"This sort of feeds into the arsenal ship thread."

TMP link

My thought too Grizzly. Robert

carne6805 Mar 2012 4:01 a.m. PST

The problem with the US Navy these days is not just the appallingly small number of hulls it is what they are or are not capable of.

For instance the 27 remaining O.H.Perry class FFG's are next to worthless. The whole class has had their Mk.13 missile launchers removed so there is no anti-air capability remaining, and no anti-ship either since the Harpoons were fired from that launcher too. The gun is mounted amidships which limits its capabilities. The sonar system was known as "Hellen Keller" for a reason, so I wouldn't count on them for much of anything in the ASW role. I don't know if all of the remaining ships received the stretched flight deck to operate LAMPS III helicopters, but the ones that didn't also didn't receive the new sonobouy processors. And since LAMPS II helicopters have been out of the fleet for nearly 25 years those ships aren't much good for anything more than ferrying a few Army OH-58's to Haiti. So you have a 4000 ton ship with a 200 man crew that isn't capable of doing much more than as acting as a taxi for Coast Guard LEDET teams on counter drug ops.

Then you have the new LCS classes. These are nothing more than gold-plated targets. Again the do not mount any SAM, don't carry Harpoon, and have no intrinsic ASW capability. The Griffon missile they were supposed to be armed with has been cancelled. They are built to a mercantile construction standard and are not tested against underwater blast as a part of acceptance trials. No mission modules have been delivered or even developed and from a system architecture and integration point of view will probably be a nightmare. And with a crew of about 60, in the event of a hit, these ships would be unlikely to be able to mount the kind of concerted damage control efforts that saved the Stark, Samuel B. Roberts, Cole, Princeton, etc… But hey they look cool and go really fast, until they run out of fuel.

That meas that your only multi-mission capable surface combatants are the 22 remaining Ticonderoga class CG's and the 60 Arleigh Burke class DDG's. And if you want to be picky about that number, the first 28 DDG's were built without hangers to embark ASW helos.

That is 82 ships of which about a third will be either in the yard for overhaul or pier side some type of maintenance availability. Call it 55 theoreticly available at any given time, and really that number is more like 25-30, almost all of which would be tied to escorting the carriers. We cannot even bring back the Spruance class destroyers as they have all been scrapped or sunk as targets well short of their projected service lives.

In short it is a sad state of affairs.

Lion in the Stars05 Mar 2012 5:22 a.m. PST

How close does doctrine place the gator freightors to the beach?
Typically over the horizon. There aren't any shallow-draft LSTs left in the US Navy (US Army owns all the remaining LSTs), they're all relatively deep-draft flatbottoms.

Grizzlymc Inactive Member05 Mar 2012 9:42 a.m. PST

So is that close enough for NGS until the lodgement is big enough for arty?

I still think a dedicated hull is the way to go. The question is whether it is going to be mission specific or are they going to trick it out for surface warfare?

Lion in the Stars05 Mar 2012 10:17 a.m. PST

With a 155mm gun and 100+km range? Yes, that's close enough to throw give artillery support to Marines on the beach and even suppress artillery shelling the beach.

Modern, top-line 155mm howitzers can throw a GPS-guided shell 60km. Even if the M777 is 40km behind the waves, the naval guns can drop a bigger shell from outside the target's territorial waters.

[building shore defenses, I'd have anti-ship batteries close to shore, and then have those covered by artillery batteries that can ideally cover all the way out to the 12nm 'territorial waters' line, roughly 20km from shore.]

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