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Our Navy's Stupid Mistakes

Discussion in 'YachtForums Yacht Club' started by brian eiland, Apr 14, 2020.

  1. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Our Navy's Stupid Mistakes


    I'll just start out with two (2), the Zumwalt, and the Littoral Combat Ships


    ZUMWALT
    Don't know how many have been following this project, but it has gotten so over bloated that the production run has now been downgraded to just 3 ships, at a cost of X each. And exactly what is the mission of these ships now,..just a hi-tech destroyer??

    I wrote to a friend recently, “I really thought it was a GREAT idea to station a missile launching ship somewhat nearby the coast of a rogue nation and catch any missiles launched from the nation against another, catch those missiles on their way up,....much easier than trying to catch them head on.

    More specifically in the case of N Korea, wouldn't it be much more effective deployment tactically (proven), and much more cost effective method to station one, two, or three such ships on a rotating deployment in the Sea of Japan to simply fire a few missiles right up the tail pipes of anything N Korea could launch??


    Arsenal Ship instead of Zumwalt ( I seem to recall that this was the original idea that foster the Zumwalt design. It got hijacked !!)

    (actually this is NOT the original image of the original idea, but rather an updated image of the older idea)
    [​IMG]


    Arsenal Ships for Ballistic Missile Defense

    [​IMG]

    It is welcome news the US Military won’t be placing vulnerable and intimidating anti-ballistic missile sites right up against the Russian border in Eastern Europe, but I fear the plan to place them on US Navy ships will do this service more harm than good. Already completely obsessed with land threats, the USN will now have less concern for the essential role of defending the sealanes. With a shrinking fleet and declining funds, they can hardly protect the fleet they have, let alone fight new space wars.

    The Navy seems to consider the oceans as their own personal domain and it can afford to dispose of essential anti-submarine escorts and coastal warships, while building large Aegis battleships which are currently doing the work once performed by cheaper, less capable, but vital small warships. Already the cruisers and destroyers are duplicating the aircraft carrier’s land attack role, with 400 mile range cruise missiles and now are shouldered with yet another burden of defending our allies from rogue Iranian or North Korean rockets. Already we see the infighting of whether even more $2 billion new Burke destroyers will be needed, on top of the 60+ already in service or ordered. Colin Clark at DoD Buzz wonders about this conundrum:

    One of the most difficult issues is, do we have enough Aegis cruisers to execute the mission. Gates wants two to three cruisers in the Mediterranean and North Sea on a regular basis. That comes on top of the Pacific mission. And I hear that the Aegis fleet is already operating at 160 percent of its readiness rate, mostly to cope with the North Korean threat. One source with detailed knowledge of European missile defense efforts said the new mission will require at least one and perhaps more Aegis class ships to do the job.

    As an alternative to our over-worked missile battleships in the role of ABM defense, we would suggest reviving the 1990s proposal for an Arsenal Ship. You may recall this revolutionary hull design as an attempt to replace the Iowa class dreadnoughts with a low cost “missile barge”, until canceled in favor of a more traditional and more costly Zumwalt class destroyer. The arsenal ship was a great idea which never saw the light of day, but also refused to die out completely.

    The modern concept would be to use a low-cost ship hull, preferably of mercantile specifications (T-AKE?) equipped with vertical launchers (VLS) for missiles. Keeping the hull cost low would mean the SM-3 missiles would be worth more than the ship, as it should be. Other benefits would be extremely low manning, which could allow for crew swapping, keeping the ship on station for as long as possible.

    The arsenal ship would carry nothing but a basic navigation radar, but would depend on other Aegis vessels in service for targeting. This would not be stretch for the service, since common practice already is to use 2 vessels for this role, one for tracking the other as the shooter. In this case, instead of less than 100 Standard missiles on average with the 2 Burkes, there would be up to 1000 (just potentially though not very practical) on the arsenal ship alone! It may also be possible to use aircraft or satellites for targeting purposes, or even a low cost Aegis mothership proposed earlier on this site.

    The cost of the hull would be run between $300-$500 million. The Standard SM-3 is priced at $10 million each with the older Block IV Standard at $1/2 million each, so depending on how many you can afford would be the ultimate cost of the vessel. When you think about the real cost, the relief to our sailors and stretched thin fleet for not adding yet another burden on them, the arsenal ship would be Priceless!

    (BTW have you seen the final pricing on the Zumwalts:eek::eek: I suspect we will build only one or two at that price,....stupid military spending)
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
  2. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Semi Submersible Arsenal Ship

    Brian responded:
    That task could be accomplished with two arsenal ships that were rotating duty,...one off, one on duty at any one time. The off duty one could be close at hand in Japan.

    I say semi-submerssible,.... Imagine such a vessel that was not totally a submarine, but rather floated so low in the water that just the 'coning tower' stuck out above the water surface,....decks awash most of the time. It would really present a minimal 'signature' to detection. It could be diesel-electric powered and loiter for days on end.

    It doesn't need great speed, or even great maneuverability. And it doesn't need a big crew. (and perhaps it could be disguised as an iceberg....ha...ha)

    It could be armed with multiple non-nuclear missiles designed specifically to run up the tailpipes of any ICBM launched in that part of the world. It could likely have an effectiveness of 100% in that mode.

    Think of how much more effective, and far less expensive that would be compared to that giant anti-missile system 'shield' they built up in Alaska
  3. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Cost figures I've seen,
    $22.5 billion program cost (FY15);

    $4.24B per unit (excl R&D) as of 2016;
  4. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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  5. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    The Zumwalt was basically a white elephant technology demonstrator making way for the next generation large surface combatant which will have new high tech weapons like rail guns that require lots of energy.

    https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2...ut-a-next-generation-large-surface-combatant/

    Got to tour the Zumwalt a few years back and the impression was loads of technology and computer stations, the Bridge Deck was more like a kid gamers dream console and there were barely any windows to look out from, just like it looks from the outside.
  6. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    That just sounds like so much bull_it they put out to cover their butts,... been done a number of times in the past, but now its getting REAL COSTLY.

    I am quite amazed they didn't get the new catapult launch systems working on the new carrier, and still no great railgun either. How long have they been working on these 2 items??...just unbelievable.

    They need are real director that would hold there feet to the FIRE !!

    You've got a great number of young computer geeks working on weapon systems that ONLY work when their computers and software are working. One BIG electromagnetic weapon set off nearby would render most of these new weapons useless.
  7. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    Who knows what is costly today?

    I remember when a $1 Million dollar yacht was a real big deal, now what does it take to turn heads or reset the bar? $300M or $400M or more? Heck, they have homes for sale in CA that are $500M now and even $1Billion, so still trying to get my head around costly?

    The US Navy switched from a reliable but dated steam catapult to an advanced electromagnet catapult that will take years to become as reliable. But what other Navy has a proven catapult system for their aircraft carriers? The US military has developed an addiction for technology which can't seem to be quenched at any price and I don't see change on the horizon.

    Their leadership problems starts with the US Naval Academy. That is where all their future leaders come from and the faults start there, it is an system with many faults that thinks it can teach leadership skills in their own way versus having a system that rewards true leadership. The recent resignation of their latest SECNAV is just another example from a home grown "leader".

    Hell, we don't hear the half of it:

    http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com/2...ampaign=Feed:+blogspot/FBgLA+(CDR+Salamander)
  8. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    I disagree here, I don't think the academy cadets/instructors etc have anything to do with this weapons development situation. I lived right across the water from the Academy for years, and previously I was involved with nuclear submarines for something like 7 years.

    This weapons development takes place within the military industrial complex that has a HUGE population surrounding Wash DC, the Pentagon, the many other defense contractors around the country. Plus you have the very significant influence from retiring congressmen, military personnel, and other government officials that get plush jobs with defense contractors for becoming lobbyist back to congress for defense spending. Some of those pentagon military types should NOT even be in on the processes. They are bias, and often without the knowledge to direct these weapons programs,..but they are making BIG bucks to convince congress etc that the country needs these weapons,..ever increasing in size and budget.

    Then there is one particular party that it ever reminding the citizens of this country that we can't get along without this multiple list of weapons. Then another item that grips me in particular is that we need to built a certain surplus of some of these weapons so the per-item price is less. And what do we do to get these numbers up,...sell some of them off to foreign countries,...some of those countries are not necessarily our long term friends, and some of them allow tech to leak out to our enemies. Then we are convinced that we need to build new ones with more advanced technology,....a somewhat viscous circle something like the 'revolving door' of situation in the defense contracting business.

    Was it retiring president Eisenhower that warned us of the growing military-industrial complex that would gain a life of its own. IT HAS, and it lacks a lot of Checks and Balances. We have been letting it police itself.

    You are aware that we have a whole extra aircraft carrier (and huge support group of required ships) that most experts agreed that we did NOT need.
  9. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    My comments on the Naval Academy were directly related to leadership, read the link for insight to how the practice of lying and cya starts at the academy. Basically they start out like any other fraternity on college campuses but have conflicts with their own honor code from the beginnings at the academy.

    The Eisenhower comment is well known throughout our history, the problem is the Lockheed Martins, the General Dynamics et all run the show through their military and political contacts, how do you weed them out ? And were do their leaders come from - the military academies.

    Naval shipbuilding and repair are ultimately jobs programs for the US, economic drivers, albeit costly ones. Can you ever have too many Aircraft Carriers? Not so sure, that is what distinguishes our Navy from the rest.

    There are certainly a lot of things to grip about when it comes down to defense and foreign policy is about as successful as playing the card tables at Vegas, wish there was a better way.
  10. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    Naval shipbuilding and repair are ultimately jobs programs for the US, economic drivers, albeit costly ones.


    I have to disagree with this statement. Whereas I agree they create jobs; are they costly? Depends on what you compare to. Certainly there are countries with cheaper labor. But if we simply go to the cheapest part of the world for labor and lose all our ability to build and fix ships, what happens if a war breaks out? We are already seeing some of the effects of our inability to manufacturer things in this country with the current pandemic. This would be much, much worse in a large scale global war.

    Yes, I am acknowledge I am bias here because my job, livelihood and family's well being depends on the very job I am fortunate to have because we still build and fix ships in this country despite the fact it costs more.
  11. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    We have to absolutely build and repair our own ships. The higher costs associated to carriers and destroyers have been talked about for years, there is plenty of blame to be laid all around on those programs. Too many delayed deliveries on the high profile programs and lately we have seen ships that can’t meet their design specs or mission statements.

    But the employment numbers also can’t be ignored and neither can the lobbying by those politicians who have naval shipyards in their home states. It’s a fierce battle for tax dollars. They want their home folk employed and some towns flat out depend on naval contracts. They are good jobs and necessary for our country’s defense.

    I would hope that the future building and repairing of naval vessels could be done in a more steady state fashion and break some of the boom or bust cycles. We have lost a lot of skilled labor over the years , but hats off to those doing it today, it is something to stand under a 5000 ton module that fits like a glove with its mating module, that is craftsmanship on a mega scale.

    It is also amazing how fast they can build the steel modules that make up an entire ship - one yard joked that they make all their money bending, cutting and welding steel or aluminum then lose most of it by putting in all that other “stuff”.
  12. Lepke

    Lepke Member

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    The real problem private shipyards face (and every other business) is taxes. How many times is the shipyard work taxed. The iron ore mining company, the steel mills and the transportation is all taxed adding to the cost of basic shipbuilding plate long before it reaches the shipyard. And ditto for everything else that goes in the ship. Then the shipyard has property tax, personal property tax on it's equipment and on and on. Manufacturing on a large scale will not come back until the cost of doing business is competitive. Apparently it's better to tax businesses to the point of failure, and get those evil rich, than have a well paying, secure job.
    As to the Zumwalt and Littoral Combat Ships, they kept some yards open and skills active, but were a waste of money otherwise. All had shaft seal and bearing problems. There's no gun on the Zumwalt and the Littoral ships couldn't overpower a fishing boat. The navy would have been better off to keep the FFGs. But they're old ships now. Old only because enough money isn't spent on maintaining ships, active or mothballed.
    An arsenal ship could be a recently mothballed ship modified with many launch tubes. Considering missile range, it might not need to be at sea. So it would only need enough of the ship open for a small crew. Anything with a big flat deck, even a barge or an old carrier.
  13. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Littoral Combat Ships

    Is this a cover your butt video typical of the defense industry when they make a mistake.
    The True Reason Why the Littoral Combat Ship Is Terrible


    How about a 10 minute long video that doesn't give you much information at all.
    They didn't even bother to explain the differences (radical) between the two types of ships. What a useless video.
  14. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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  15. RUSSLAND

    RUSSLAND New Member

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    Is it just me who thinks the Zumwalt profile has given the inspiration to the designer of one luxury yacht launched in Germany a year ago?
  16. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Anybody found this one yet?

  17. Ward

    Ward Senior Member

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    Zumwalt is a failure. The new, high-tech gun that was built and installed is literally useless - the projectiles are too expensive, so the Navy won't be acquiring any.

    The LCS's are failures. They're fragile, they have limited range, and none of the "modules" that were supposed to customize the ship for a function are actually being built.

    The Ford aircraft carrier is a failure. The electromagnetic catapult barely works, it's nowhere near the required "mean launches between failures," and when one fails they need to shut down all the high-voltage systems to fix it, which means both catapults are down when one fails. The advanced arresting gear barely works, it also fails way too often. The linear motor elevators don't work.

    All these failures and more can be educationally and entertainingly read about on this blog:

    Zumwalt failures: https://navy-matters.blogspot.com/search/label/Zumwalt

    LCS failures: https://navy-matters.blogspot.com/search/label/LCS

    Ford failures: https://navy-matters.blogspot.com/search/label/Ford

    I read that blog regularly, but I'd forgotten the post about the "new timeline" for the Ford, including this quote:

    Vice Adm. Thomas Moore, head of Naval Sea Systems Command, conceded during the hearing that Ford was supposed to deploy in 2018, but the sea service is now working to go to sea by 2024. (1)

    This is after the carrier was "delivered" to the Navy in May 2017... At the earliest, it'll be working 7 years after it was delivered. (more like 10, or more, if ever).
  18. Lepke

    Lepke Member

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    And there's 3 more Fords, either building or in parts.
  19. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Well done presentation !
  20. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    ....excerpted from one of those links provided by Mr Ward above,...