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Missile Carrier.

Discussion in 'Navy & Maritime' started by nightsight971, Jul 29, 2019.

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  1. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    HVP and lasers will likely co-exist. HVP can be fired from both powder and rail guns. The former will have less velocity but the hundreds of existing power guns make this a very economical solution. Rail guns still need some work and they require ships with sufficient electrical capacity. Zumwalt Destroyers and successors based on Zumwalt technology will be needed for rail gun deployment.
     
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  2. MickB

    MickB Active Member

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    I thought that a small VSL equipped ship could act not as an Arsenal ship on its own but as an extended magazine for other ships.
    I picture a small fast ship with minimum crew and basic self defence only. (eg ECM, Decoys and RAM)
    Using CIC it could be teamed with existing DDs and FFs to double effective missile load out.
    With the VSL ships missiles expended first it could then withdraw at high speed to reload leaving to other ship still with its full compliment of missiles to continue on station.

    Perhaps rapid conversions of existing ships as a wartime measure.
     
  3. Redlands18

    Redlands18 Active Member

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    And the $75-100k is for one fitted with a onboard seeker, which you don’t really need for ASuW so unguided rounds would be significantly cheaper and wouldn’t need a lot of HE to Mission kill smaller Vessels.
     
  4. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    I think you mean CEC for the Cooperative Engagement Capability, as opposed to CIC which usually means Combat Information Centre, some goes for meaning VLS for Vertical Launch/Launching System. I do not mean to be pendantic, but want to make sure that we are speaking about the same things.

    I doubt CEC would be effective in permitting an inexpensive VLS-kitted ship, large or small. As I understand it, in order for CEC to be effective, the participants (vessels, aircraft, ground stations, etc.) all need to have some fairly comprehensive comms and CMS, and at least some of the participants also need effective sensors, otherwise the whole thing is worthless. With the requirements of a comms system to support the CEC datalinks and a CMS to make use of information received via CEC, then the costs due to the electronics would quickly increase the price of a given vessel. By that point, IMO it would be foolish to not then also include some sensors and additional armament aboard a vessel so that there can be the option to operate a bit more independently if/when needed, as well as to provide a bit more self-defence capability since I suspect the cost of a VLS and CEC-kitted vessel without it's own radars, CIWS, etc. would be very nearly as expensive as one that did have what would be required to operate independently.

    Long-ranged (beyond 20 n miles) unguided rounds would not likely very useful for anti-surface warfare, as that would likely be past over-the-horizon and in some engagements in WWII small, fast vessels were able to evade and escape long-ranged gunfire from battleships firing from ~32 km away. If the target was a fixed one, then long-ranged unguided shots become more viable since a stationary target like a bridge abutment or building could not attempt to evade, and the targeting would just need to account for what would impact a shell's flight like wind direction and speed, air temp and density, etc.
     
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  5. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Would a higher velocity shell potentially resolve this issue or at least reduce the likelihood/severity of impact on accuracy?
     
  6. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    Hard to say, since a good deal of it would be dependent on just how much higher the velocity was, and whether or not that higher velocity had an effect on the basic accuracy of the round.

    The issue with extreme range firing in WWII involving a pair of USN Iowa-class BB's firing (and bracketing) an IJN destroyer at 35,000 yds off Truk in 1944 using their 16" guns. The destroyer was able to escape without suffering a direct hit though I believe it did take damage from some of the near misses. Part of the reason it was able to ultimately escape is that it could maneuver at speed, and at that range the anti-ship shells would have had a flight time of ~42 seconds. At the destroyer's max speed of ~35 kts, that would have been enough time for the destroyer to have moved ~750 m from the position it was in when fired upon.

    One of the potential advantages of guided shells is that they can have significantly smaller CEP's, another is the potential for the target's positional changes to be negated or at least reduced in terms of hits on target.

    Firing at closer targets, assuming one has a decent CEP to start with, the shell flight time is reduced which limits just how much positional change a target can manage. The other option would be to try and increase the area of effect for any fired shell to exceed the CEP and likely range of change in target position.
     
  7. MickB

    MickB Active Member

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    Senior moment, thanks for the correction.
     
  8. seaspear

    seaspear Member

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    SAS 2019: Raytheon progressing towards MAD-FIRES guided round testing - Naval News
    This is also another consideration in development that may have success against missiles and have the potential to defeat incoming missiles ,is there a case for ships designed to have an increase in navl guns firing these types of shells for aaw ,,I was also thinking back to Pacific naval engagements where there many extra guns on ships to combat attacking aircraft by putting up high volumes of fire.
    I can appreciate this is not what people meant by an arsenal ship with large volumes of long range missiles but perhaps a number of ships with multiple guns capable of firing these types of ordinance can provide high volume coverage without a high risk of depleting the main missiles
     
  9. Ranger25

    Ranger25 Active Member

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    Agreed, this is another DARPA program with a similar goal as the HVP to take existing gun tubes and make them smart or guided with both offensive and defensive uses with a savings of 10x per shot vs VLS tubes. Also a large increase in magazine capacity vs VLS


    Raytheon to build prototype smart bullets to protect surface warships from swarming attacks
     
  10. seaspear

    seaspear Member

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    Video: DARPA MAD-FIRES Anti-Ship Missile Self Defense for LCS & FFG(X) - Naval News
    This article provides more explanation to the discussion ,Im not sure of the size of the footprint of the calibre of weapon to fire this type of round and whether it could replace the CIWS but it seems that there is more being done with the shells of various calibres with the (aim) provide a capacity to counter heavy missle attacks and not exhaust defensive missiles
     
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  11. FormerDirtDart

    FormerDirtDart Member

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    The VPM increases potential TLAM load out from 12 to 40 per hull. The boats retain the 12 missile capability of the two forward VPT (2x6) while adding capability of 28 missiles in the 4 VPT within the VPM (4x7)
     
  12. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    The link states it’s for the 57mm fitted to LCS and prescribed for FFX
     
  13. B.Smitty

    B.Smitty Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    I like the idea of an arsenal ship primarily for its ability to launch a massive salvo of missiles, rapidly. In theory, a ship with 300-500 VLS cells could fire off its entire warload in the span of a few minutes.

    The opening stages of a major conflict with China would likely involve them launching massive ballistic and cruise missile strikes at US and allied facilities and assets in the region. This could very well knock out all of our air bases in the region, and perhaps the Reagan CSG (especially if it's in port).

    We would have no way to respond other than the handful of missiles carried on subs and whatever Burkes survived the initial salvo. Any response from CONUS would take days or weeks.

    If we had a dozen arsenal ships as part of deterrence strike groups around the 2nd island chain, we could at least launch a series of large counter-punches. How large of a counter-punch would be required to deter China? Impossible to say. A CSBA article a while back on defending Taiwan suggested that defeating a Chinese amphibious invasion force could require on the order of 1,200 anti-ship missiles (using historical effectiveness data). Arsenal ships carrying Maritime Strike Tomahawks (or a stealthy follow-on) could contribute some or all of them. All they would need is effective targeting. This could come from a combination of satellites (however many are left after Chinese ASAT), submarines, allied detections, and aircraft (how bout a maritime RQ-180). F-35s could be a capable contributor here, assuming they have somewhere to fly from.

    Having a large reserve of missiles to immediately strike high-value Chinese land targets could also change their risk-reward calculus. China is a huge country. There's no way we could afford to have a "country takedown" sized capability. But they only have a finite number of ships. They have resource constraints like oil. We could strike pipelines, refineries, and oil storage locations. We could target airbases to limit their ability to prosecute a war with their neighbors.

    3-6,000 offensive missiles within range of China won't win a war, but might increase their perception of cost to the point where they decide war is not worth it.
     
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  14. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    How would this fit with the concept of Distributed Lethality (see: USN pdf on Surface Force Strategy)?Could you explain a bit more to a layman like me?

    Would an arsenal ship be a single point of failure? Or can this risk be easily mitigated by keeping them on the move, to evade targeting efforts? The US Marines are moving away from the 38 amphib requirement as they don’t want a single point of failure — from load port to delivery of US Marines on the beach.
    Edit: I note that China, successfully launched three additional Yaogan-30 tactical imaging/ELINT satellites aboard a Long March-2C carrier rocket from its Xichang Satellite Launch Centre on 26 July 2019. State media reported on the launch of the high-revisit satellite triplet, the fourth in the series. This means the USN is certain that China can make an attempt to find and try to attack multiple key capital ships once. I am asking as I don’t have enough understanding to grasp the details that may be self evident to a navy person.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019 at 4:14 PM
  15. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    Losing a ship with 300-500 missiles would kind of suck big-time, regardless of how it is lost. Say a fire results in a total loss, how long would it take to manufacture 500 missiles?
     
  16. B.Smitty

    B.Smitty Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Distributed Lethality's intellectual basis comes from the work of Capt Hughes & Co. at the Naval Postgraduate School, with their salvo model. In a nutshell, the side with the greater number of ships has more combat resilience (aka "staying power"). Capt Hughes & Admiral Cebrowski went as far as proposing a small missile ship they termed "Streetfighter". The problem here, of course is they're talking in abstract about fleet vs fleet combat. They don't take into account the real issue of how you keep large numbers of small ships deployed forward, especially when you have basing limits and you're dealing with areas covering thousands of miles.

    The Navy took this in a different direction, though, arguing they can increase the "lethality" of the fleet by adding offensive weapons to more ships. To some extent this is true, but to me it seems like a cop out. They don't want to dramatically change the fleet architecture, so proponents call for just bolting weapons on anything that's currently floating. However, in practice, "Distributed Lethality" mostly means adding anti-ship missiles to LCS and the forthcoming FFG, and re-adding them to DDGs. Calls to add them to CLF ships, and amphibious ships have gone nowhere, to my knowledge. And by-and-large, many of these weapons will be relatively short ranged (e.g. NSM, Harpoon), though DDGs and FFGs could carry some Martime Strike Tomahawks.

    But what DL doesn't do is fundamentally alter the "staying power" of the fleet. We'll still only have a handful of LCS's/FFGs/DDGs in the Pacific. So even if they aren't completely helpless, they'll still be overwhelmed by Chinese numerical air/sea/subsea superiority.

    So, in summary, DL as it stands, is valuable but hardly revolutionary. Really it's just restoring capabilities that should've been there all along. True DL would require redesigning the fleet, which the Navy doesn't want to do.

    Arsenal ships, IMHO, really address a different issue. That is, simply having enough offensive weapons in theater, that can be launched quickly against preplanned or popup targets (e.g. an amphibious fleet heading towards Taiwan) and whose primary means of survivability is simply standing off far enough, at the edge of the Chinese A2/AD zone, and being able to dump their offensive payload in a short enough period, thus reducing the chance they'll be sunk before completing their launches. We simply can't afford to buy enough FFGs and DDGs to bring 6,000 offensive VLS cells, especially when each ship only devotes 20-50% of its cells to offensive weapons. It'd take 125 DDGs to bring that many offensive missiles (assuming 50% devoted to defensive weapons).

    Now from a salvo model standpoint, there's nothing saying a fleet of "arsenal ships" couldn't be smaller and more numerous. There are some interesting cost variables at work. In general, larger ships are cheaper, per unit of payload, to buy and operate. "Steel is cheap and air is free", and a 512-cell arsenal ship probably has a similar crew size and only incrementally larger operating cost to a 128-cell arsenal ship. But building more ships, at a higher build rate, reduces costs as well (both in terms of learning curve, as well as potentially employing multiple, competing yards, and simply having a larger, supporting industrial base). So i'm not personally wedded to any specific size of arsenal ship, more to a capacity of offensive weapons.

    But ultimately, I think we need to look at it from the standpoint of how many offensive weapons we can keep on station, the full-spectrum survivability/staying power of the overall capability (e.g.. number of ships, stealth, defensive systems) instead of the survivability of individual ships, and finally, the cost of said capability.
     
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  17. B.Smitty

    B.Smitty Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Would it be any worse than losing a $2B DDG?

    Assuming each cell costs $2M to fill, on average, and an arsenal ship costs $1B to build.

    1 x DDG costing $2B + 96 VLS cells at $2M each = $2.2B
    1 x Arsenal ship costing $1B + 512 VLS cells = $2B

    The DDG can defend itself, for sure, but maybe carries 1/10th the offensive firepower.

    How long it takes to manufacture 500 missiles is entirely dependent on the missile build rate. If we want to build more, we invest in larger/more factories. At the height of TACTOM production, we build 496 missiles in a year (2008), but there's no fundamental reason we couldn't build ten times that many per year, if we wanted to.
     
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  18. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    Ok, perhaps the missile build-rate should be addressed first. A smaller arsenal ship that is cheap and holds 150 missiles might make sense as long as the overall missile inventory can be sustained reasonably quickly in the event several ships are lost. More subs with the VPM and a new SSGN would be nice but the cost and industrial infrastructure make this unlikely. If the US had a huge commercial fleet like China then perhaps some kind of mobile missile package could be rotated amongst such a fleet assuming the ship owners and USN could agree on such a concept.
     
  19. seaspear

    seaspear Member

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    In regard to satellite surveillance just how vulnerable are they to anti satellite missiles that can be fired from ships , aircraft or land?
    my thoughts are perhaps these would be the first targeted in any engagement
    The supply of missiles is limited ,it might be of interest considering various countries stockpiles of various missiles that mostly come from America and to which would be prioritised in event of conflict,the facilities for their manufacture could be considered to be a high value targets , the thinking being your out of missiles your out of the war ,its a reason I read with interest development in other munitions
     
  20. hauritz

    hauritz Well-Known Member

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    The Arsenal ship concept has been around for a while now and time moves on. Now I would be more inclined to load missiles into ISO containers and stick them on just about any available ship of opportunity. It might even be conceivable to build unmanned mini Arsenal ships that will basically be just USVs on a suicide mission. We may be entering an era where in a serious conflict the life expectancy of any warship could be measured in hours or days, so putting all your eggs in one big tempting basket might not be such a good idea.