Go Back   DefenceTalk Forum - Military & Defense Forums > Global Defense & Military > Navy & Maritime

Defense News
Land, Air & Naval Forces






Military Photos
Latest Military Pictures




Defense Reports
Aerospace & Defence








Reviving Cruisers? (And cruisers from non-US naval doctrines)

This is a discussion on Reviving Cruisers? (And cruisers from non-US naval doctrines) within the Navy & Maritime forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; The most recent US Navy internal report, CSBA study, and MITRE study all envision a more expensive US Navy in ...


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old February 18th, 2017   #1
Just Hatched
Private
No Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Threads:
Reviving Cruisers? (And cruisers from non-US naval doctrines)

The most recent US Navy internal report, CSBA study, and MITRE study all envision a more expensive US Navy in the future.

Only the third study sees a role for cruisers. The second does away with cruisers altogether. The first study is more or less status quo, but the Ticonderoga-class cruisers were originally designated as destroyers.

Meanwhile, all three reports call for building light aircraft carriers (CVL or CV-LX, depending on the report).

Because all three reports are not as budget-constrained as today's navy budget, couldn't a US Navy with more large surface combatants revive actual cruisers, including for its carrier strike groups (CSGs), so as to distinguish them from destroyers? Today's destroyers are a jack of most trades, but master of none. There are no US large surface combatants out there that are a jack of all trades, but master of anywhere between some and many (if not most).

Advantages:

- Flag / command-and-control (C&C) capabilities
- Greater systems redundancy
- Potential for stronger hulls
- More room for a lot more vertical launch systems (VLS)
- More room for laser weapon systems (LWS) and other directed energy weapon systems (DEWS)
- Could have heavier railguns mounted
- Could (not necessarily should) be nuclear-powered, thus being consistent with the historical, long-range role of cruisers in comparison to destroyers

Two cruiser types from non-US naval doctrines come to mind, due to have more distinction from destroyers than traditional US cruisers: the heavy guided missile cruiser (CG) and the aviation cruiser (CAV). A heavy CG in a Ford CSG is a significantly more potent and flexible weapons platform than a destroyer, with greater survivability. Meanwhile, an aviation cruiser without aircraft would still be a more potent and flexible weapons platform than a destroyer, with greater survivability. With aircraft, an aviation cruiser in a Ford CSG would be quite comparable to a light aircraft carrier.
Torlek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2017   #2
Grumpy Old Man
General
gf0012-aust's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 17,942
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torlek View Post
The most recent US Navy internal report, CSBA study, and MITRE study all envision a more expensive US Navy in the future.

Only the third study sees a role for cruisers. The second does away with cruisers altogether. The first study is more or less status quo, but the Ticonderoga-class cruisers were originally designated as destroyers.

Meanwhile, all three reports call for building light aircraft carriers (CVL or CV-LX, depending on the report).

Because all three reports are not as budget-constrained as today's navy budget, couldn't a US Navy with more large surface combatants revive actual cruisers, including for its carrier strike groups (CSGs), so as to distinguish them from destroyers? Today's destroyers are a jack of most trades, but master of none. There are no US large surface combatants out there that are a jack of all trades, but master of anywhere between some and many (if not most).

Advantages:

- Flag / command-and-control (C&C) capabilities
- Greater systems redundancy
- Potential for stronger hulls
- More room for a lot more vertical launch systems (VLS)
- More room for laser weapon systems (LWS) and other directed energy weapon systems (DEWS)
- Could have heavier railguns mounted
- Could (not necessarily should) be nuclear-powered, thus being consistent with the historical, long-range role of cruisers in comparison to destroyers

Two cruiser types from non-US naval doctrines come to mind, due to have more distinction from destroyers than traditional US cruisers: the heavy guided missile cruiser (CG) and the aviation cruiser (CAV). A heavy CG in a Ford CSG is a significantly more potent and flexible weapons platform than a destroyer, with greater survivability. Meanwhile, an aviation cruiser without aircraft would still be a more potent and flexible weapons platform than a destroyer, with greater survivability. With aircraft, an aviation cruiser in a Ford CSG would be quite comparable to a light aircraft carrier.
the role of the cruiser over time has changed - from initially being air defence for the capital ships, merchant hunter/killer, etc.....

the air defence role evolved into air warfare which is now the role of GM frigates

the question is always about what unique capabilities need to go into a larger platform and warrant doing so

any modern air warfare roled frigate is far more capable and could outrange, outfight and throw more weapons into a tighter space than the heavy cruisers post war

so the fundamentals are for precision, projection, persistence, power, provision

I'm not sure there is anything unique that a cruiser could bring to the mix when a lot of capability already exists in the contemp frigates and destroyers - and that for 2 cruisers you could buy 3-4 of the former which are just as capable.

carriers, amphibs are default flags - and the TF commander will flag on any vessel of his choice. again contemp detroyers and frigates are pretty well eared up under the evolving changes driven by joint requirements, and by a lot of modern militaries shifting to network centric and CEC enabled platforms across the fleet, across a task force, at the transoceanic level and also in the 6 fighting dimensions
________________
A corollary of Finagle's Law, similar to Occam's Razor, says:

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
http://au.linkedin.com/pub/gary-fairlie/1/28a/2a2
http://cofda.wordpress.com/

gf a.k.a. ROBOPIMP T5C
gf0012-aust is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2017   #3
Defense Enthusiast
Corporal
cdxbow's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Oz
Posts: 181
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by gf0012-aust View Post
the role of the cruiser over time has changed - from initially being air defence for the capital ships, merchant hunter/killer, etc.....

the air defence role evolved into air warfare which is now the role of GM frigates

the question is always about what unique capabilities need to go into a larger platform and warrant doing so

any modern air warfare roled frigate is far more capable and could outrange, outfight and throw more weapons into a tighter space than the heavy cruisers post war

so the fundamentals are for precision, projection, persistence, power, provision

I'm not sure there is anything unique that a cruiser could bring to the mix when a lot of capability already exists in the contemp frigates and destroyers - and that for 2 cruisers you could buy 3-4 of the former which are just as capable.

carriers, amphibs are default flags - and the TF commander will flag on any vessel of his choice. again contemp detroyers and frigates are pretty well eared up under the evolving changes driven by joint requirements, and by a lot of modern militaries shifting to network centric and CEC enabled platforms across the fleet, across a task force, at the transoceanic level and also in the 6 fighting dimensions
There will probably rapidly evolving designs in the next century of 'motherships' to host autonomous systems, perhaps the cruisers fate is to become a long range, combatant mothership platform.

You would need a large ship with lot's of space that can be reconfigured, large electrical, network & IT capacity. Destroyers and frigates tend to be packed to the gills, so a larger cruiser sized platform built from the outset to support autonomous system, built as a combatant and still carrying it's own guns & missiles might be attractive proposition.

Added- the really hard bit is 'knowing' what sort of autonomous systems the ship would be asked to support in the next 50 years. You would have to make some significant 'guesstimates'. Tough if you don't have a crystal ball.

Last edited by cdxbow; February 18th, 2017 at 05:28 PM. Reason: added
cdxbow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2017   #4
Grumpy Old Man
General
gf0012-aust's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 17,942
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdxbow View Post
There will probably rapidly evolving designs in the next century of 'motherships' to host autonomous systems, perhaps the cruisers fate is to become a long range, combatant mothership platform.

You would need a large ship with lot's of space that can be reconfigured, large electrical, network & IT capacity. Destroyers and frigates tend to be packed to the gills, so a larger cruiser sized platform built from the outset to support autonomous system, built as a combatant and still carrying it's own guns & missiles might be attractive proposition.

ah, but there is the distributed lethality model - which has far more relevance as to use the USN exemplar philosophy of CEC etc....

fighting in the 6 dimensions means that platforms can fight on their own if need be as they have a virtual SAG next to them etc....

bang for buck lies in less platform types but more capable platforms within the class of type

a more capable cruiser is probably closer in line with the japanese flat top cruiser concept in extremis....
________________
A corollary of Finagle's Law, similar to Occam's Razor, says:

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
http://au.linkedin.com/pub/gary-fairlie/1/28a/2a2
http://cofda.wordpress.com/

gf a.k.a. ROBOPIMP T5C
gf0012-aust is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2017   #5
Super Moderator
General
Feanor's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Under your bed. No seriously, take a look.
Posts: 14,890
Threads:
Cruisers or whatever you want to call a ship class bigger then destroyers, could bring ASAT and strategic BMD capabilities.
Feanor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2017   #6
Defense Professional / Analyst
General
No Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 5,342
Threads:
Modern GP frigates are the cruisers of today when you look at their roles within fleets, in fact, go back to the 19th century and the ships primarily conducting "cruiser" roles were actually called frigates, which is where the USN got the idea of calling the post war DL/DLGs (Destroyer Leaders) Frigates while the British called their similarly sized and capability County Class missile ships "Destroyers" and the Soviets called theirs "Cruisers".

At the beginning of the 20th century cruisers ranged in size from large destroyers/destroyer leaders/scouts (as small as 2000 tons), through slightly larger fleet cruisers (2-4000 tons), through protected or "light" cruisers (4-6000 tons), then finally the Armoured Cruisers that eventually evolved into battlecruisers (over 10,000tons but some up near 20,000 tons). But for the Washington Treaty in 1921 there would have been no 10,000 treaty cruisers, rather the major fleets depending upon their needs would have continued building 15,000 ton plus armoured/large cruisers and smaller trade protection and fleet cruisers, some of which would have overlapped with destroyers, other with battle cruisers.

On the air defence side of things cruisers became the go to ships because the large and heavy mechanical/analogue computers required for effective direction of heavy AA batteries required large volumes simply not available in smaller hulls. Pre war RN plans included fitting the latest AA fire controls to Armed Merchant Cruisers, i.e. converted ocean liners etc. because they had the required volume and deck space for the directors and guns. This said as more compact systems were developed more and more smaller ships were fitted but generally they were limited to how many aircraft they could target by the number of directors and computers rather than the number of guns. Thus an RN AA cruiser conversion of a C/D class cruiser was a more effective AA platform than a large destroyer with an outwardly similar/identical armament as the cruisers had two fire control channels permitting simultaneous engagement of two targets.

Destroyers, frigates, sloops, corvettes, DEs, sub chasers etc. ruled ASW because of the manoeuvrability required to engage subs with depth charges. With the development of ahead throwing ASW weapons such as Hedgehog, Squid and later, Limbo and Weapon Alfa stand off ASW became possible and navies started to deploy larger GP escorts and even ASW "cruisers". ASROC, Ikara and the various Soviet systems made even larger WWII cruiser sized ships effective in ASW, in fact the very large bow sonars and the size and weight of towed and variable depth arrays, as well as helicopters made big ships a must.

IMO cruisers are still very much with us, they are just called different things.
Volkodav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2017   #7
Moderator
General
ngatimozart's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 4,001
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
Cruisers or whatever you want to call a ship class bigger then destroyers, could bring ASAT and strategic BMD capabilities.
You can get the BMD capability with with destroyers, especially those in the 7 - 8,000 tonne range. The South Koreans have an AEGIS destroyer with BMD capability. regarding ASAT capability, that may require a larger ship, but then again it may not. GF would know more about that side of it.

The interesting thing is that the criteria for the label of cruiser has changed over time. During WW2 it usually was a ship of 4 - 6,000 tonnes with 6in guns being a light cruiser and one > 6,000 tonnes or so with 8in guns being a heavy cruiser. RN destroyers then were around 2,500 tonnes and frigates 1,500 tonnes. Now a USN DDG is around 9,000 tonne and a non US frigate reaching 7,000 tonnes. I would argue that the cruiser, per se, may be a class of ship looking for a mission in some navies. From my POV I think that the cruiser as a class of ship in the USN is a dying class, because most, if not all, of it's capability sets and raison d' etre have been acquired by other classes of ships.
________________
The Rules - read them. Ignorance of them is not an excuse.
The Introduction thread for new members to tell the rest of us something about you.
ngatimozart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2017   #8
Grumpy Old Man
General
gf0012-aust's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 17,942
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
Cruisers or whatever you want to call a ship class bigger then destroyers, could bring ASAT and strategic BMD capabilities.

Aegis destroyers can already do ASAT if loaded on board.
________________
A corollary of Finagle's Law, similar to Occam's Razor, says:

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
http://au.linkedin.com/pub/gary-fairlie/1/28a/2a2
http://cofda.wordpress.com/

gf a.k.a. ROBOPIMP T5C
gf0012-aust is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2017   #9
Defense Enthusiast
Master Sergeant
No Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: terra
Posts: 361
Threads:
IMO a key justification for a new Cruiser would be its ability to host a larger S-band AMDR for enhanced BMD capability. Flight III Burkes will come with SPY-6 (14-ft) which is said to offer 30X the performance of SPY-1 which is a major upgrade. The cancelled CG-X was to have a 22-ft radar which would have allowed it to detect and discriminate targets at much greater ranges which is highly desirable for BMD.

Perhaps the bigger radar may actually materialize on a platform but not on a cruiser. The Navy will be standardizing on AMDR-based S-band radar for CVN 79 onwards and big-deck amphibs built after LHA-8.
colay1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2017   #10
Senior Member
Lieutenant Colonel
No Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1,297
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ngatimozart View Post
From my POV I think that the cruiser as a class of ship in the USN is a dying class, because most, if not all, of it's capability sets and raison d' etre have been acquired by other classes of ships.
Yep, tend to agree, I think the Cruiser is a class of ship that is looking for a home, a home that is now occupied too.

When the US started to replace the 4500t CFA's, with the much larger 8000t Spruance class, the lines certainly started to blur.

Yes of course the slightly larger and bigger displacement Ticonderoga class grew out of Spruance, but you could almost call them Destroyers on 'steroids' to a degree, once the new benchmark was set by Spruance.

Today when you look at the various larger AEGIS ships, the latest Flight III DDG-51's are closer to 10,000t, the Japanese are around that too, and the South Korean, Sejong the Great class are 11,000t and 165m in length.

And we've even had the three 14,000t Zumwalt's too, but putting them aside, it's reasonable to assume that a DDG of the future is going to be a minimum of 10,000t and beyond.

The Future Frigates for the RAN are all going to be around 7000t or more too.

Probably the last hold out of Cruiser's is in the Russian Navy, the one remaining Kirov at 28,000t and the three 12,500t Slava's, but realistically, will they ever be replaced by similar? Probably not.

I think when the last of the 'current' cruisers are gone, the replacements won't be called cruisers, wait and see!
John Newman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2017   #11
Junior Member
Private First Class
No Avatar
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Manila
Posts: 86
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ngatimozart View Post
The South Koreans have an AEGIS destroyer with BMD capability.
it's actually the Japanese who currently have bmd-capable ships with their kongo-class (ref: CRS report RL33745 10/25/2016 "Navy BMD Program" for chronicle of bmd tests which involved Japan's ships)... for SoKor, it's still a planned item for them to get bmd (ref: https://news.usni.org/2016/08/15/rep...ile-destroyers)

for anti-sat, current aegis bmd-capable ships have at least a demonstrated LEO'ish (at the low end) anti-sat capability as shown by the shootdown of the US-193 satellite by USS Lake Erie back in 2008 (see MDA aegis bmd operation "Burnt Frost" 02/20/2008)

---

Quote:
Originally Posted by colay1 View Post
Flight III Burkes will come with SPY-6 (14-ft) which is said to offer 30X the performance of SPY-1 which is a major upgrade. The cancelled CG-X was to have a 22-ft radar...
fwiw, the 2012 GAO document (GAO-12-113, "Arleigh Burke Destroyers: Additional Analysis and Oversight Required") contains a good account of the 2007 Maritime Air and Missile Defense of Joint Forces (MAMDJF) study which served as the AoA (analysis of alternatives) basis for the then CG(X) program... the top-level threat environment depicted there called for an AMDR with a sensitivity of SPY+30, ie. +30 dB or 1000x greater than the current SPY-1 (or equivalently this +30 dB radar could detect the same sized target at approx 5.6x greater range than the current SPY-1, using the fourth-root relationship of sensitivity increase to range)...

this +30 dB would have been a radar on the order of 25 feet in diameter (you can use the values given in the GAO document for a +15 dB 14-foot radar, together with the radius raised to the 6th power scaling relationship to sensitivity to consider other sensitivity values and their associated sizes)...

with a reduced radar need of around a +27 dB improvement (ie. around 500x more sensitive) over the current SPY-1, an AMDR of around 22-foot diameter would result with a range improvement of around 4.7x over the current SPY-1 for same sized targets...

while the currently planned/procured flight-III 14-foot diameter +15 dB AMDR (ie. around 32x greater sensitivity), the range improvement over the baseline SPY-1 is around 2.4x for same sized target (or equivalently, the often quoted "two times the range for a target half the size", due to the fourth-root relationship of both target rcs and sensitivity increase to range performance)...

Last edited by r3mu511; February 19th, 2017 at 01:41 AM.
r3mu511 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2017   #12
Moderator
General
ngatimozart's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 4,001
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Newman View Post
Yep, tend to agree, I think the Cruiser is a class of ship that is looking for a home, a home that is now occupied too.

Probably the last hold out of Cruiser's is in the Russian Navy, the one remaining Kirov at 28,000t and the three 12,500t Slava's, but realistically, will they ever be replaced by similar? Probably not.

I think when the last of the 'current' cruisers are gone, the replacements won't be called cruisers, wait and see!
You could probably just about classify the Kirov as a Battlecruiser I think. It's really in a class of its own.
________________
The Rules - read them. Ignorance of them is not an excuse.
The Introduction thread for new members to tell the rest of us something about you.
ngatimozart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2017   #13
Grumpy Old Man
General
gf0012-aust's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 17,942
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ngatimozart View Post
You could probably just about classify the Kirov as a Battlecruiser I think. It's really in a class of its own.
Chinas carrier as originally configured by the ukrainians was as an aviation cruiser - the chinese basically walked away from the soviet/russian tradition over turning everything into an arsenal ship and repurposed it into a dedicated stobar carrier.
________________
A corollary of Finagle's Law, similar to Occam's Razor, says:

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
http://au.linkedin.com/pub/gary-fairlie/1/28a/2a2
http://cofda.wordpress.com/

gf a.k.a. ROBOPIMP T5C
gf0012-aust is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2017   #14
Super Moderator
General
Feanor's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Under your bed. No seriously, take a look.
Posts: 14,890
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by gf0012-aust View Post
Aegis destroyers can already do ASAT if loaded on board.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ngatimozart View Post
You can get the BMD capability with with destroyers, especially those in the 7 - 8,000 tonne range. The South Koreans have an AEGIS destroyer with BMD capability. regarding ASAT capability, that may require a larger ship, but then again it may not. GF would know more about that side of it.
The question becomes, can they be simultaneously loaded for a dedicated ASAT role, BMD role, land-attack role, AND still carry a full complement of AShMs and SAMs.

I think what might distinguish the cruiser is that it doesn't have to sacrifice any single capability.
Feanor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2017   #15
Super Moderator
General
Feanor's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Under your bed. No seriously, take a look.
Posts: 14,890
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Newman View Post
Yep, tend to agree, I think the Cruiser is a class of ship that is looking for a home, a home that is now occupied too.

When the US started to replace the 4500t CFA's, with the much larger 8000t Spruance class, the lines certainly started to blur.

Yes of course the slightly larger and bigger displacement Ticonderoga class grew out of Spruance, but you could almost call them Destroyers on 'steroids' to a degree, once the new benchmark was set by Spruance.

Today when you look at the various larger AEGIS ships, the latest Flight III DDG-51's are closer to 10,000t, the Japanese are around that too, and the South Korean, Sejong the Great class are 11,000t and 165m in length.

And we've even had the three 14,000t Zumwalt's too, but putting them aside, it's reasonable to assume that a DDG of the future is going to be a minimum of 10,000t and beyond.

The Future Frigates for the RAN are all going to be around 7000t or more too.

Probably the last hold out of Cruiser's is in the Russian Navy, the one remaining Kirov at 28,000t and the three 12,500t Slava's, but realistically, will they ever be replaced by similar? Probably not.

I think when the last of the 'current' cruisers are gone, the replacements won't be called cruisers, wait and see!
At least one other Kirov is being brought back online with a major re-armament. It will carry 80 UKSK cells, plus an undisclosed number of S-300FM launchers, Redut SAM VLS, and even Pantsyr-SM for CIWS. This is the Admiral Nakhimov and work is currently underway. Once it's back online, the Petr Velikiy will be done up in a similar manner. Whether a 3rd Kirov will be reanimated remains to be seen and likely depends on the pace of the OKR Leader, which itself envisions a new battlecruiser in the same class as the Kirovs.
Feanor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:37 AM.