Skip to comments.Low-Cost Warship Rescues Navy From Shrinking Fleet
Posted on 01/03/2011 9:24:44 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Low-Cost Warship Rescues Navy From Shrinking Fleet
Jan. 3 2011 - 9:47 am
Posted by Loren Thompson
The last ten years have been relatively kind to the U.S. Navy. The buying power of its budget has increased along with that of the other services, but few of its sailors have been subjected to the stresses experienced by soldiers and marines fighting ashore. Its civilian and uniformed leaders have exercised disproportionate influence in joint deliberations while Air Force leaders were being purged and replaced. Its modernization initiatives have largely escaped the controversy surrounding programs like the Armys canceled Future Combat System family of vehicles and the Air Forces prematurely terminated F-22 fighter.
On one front, though, the Navy has lost ground: its fleet of warships keeps getting smaller. When the Cold War ended the service had well over 500 vessels in the active fleet, but that number dwindled to less than 400 during the 1990s and less than 300 in the decade just ended. Today, the Navy must try to cover the globe with about 280 warships, and many of those are not available on any given day because they are in transit, undergoing maintenance, on training missions or otherwise occupied. There are two reasons why the fleet keeps shrinking. The first reason is that modern warships are much more capable than their predecessors, and they have price-tags to match. The second reason is that the Pentagon just doesnt spend much money on shipbuilding. In a typical year the Navy gets about
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Now the bad news. The LCS doesn’t work. The hulls are already cracking. The engines fail frequently. Undermanning makes the crew so tired that they have about a three week limit per cruise. None of the specialized mission modules work, and they take three times as long as promised to be put aboard or taken from the ships. Plus there is no money to buy them in sufficient quantity once they are made to work. One was just towed back to port after it lost power. It’s a paper fleet.
Wasn’t this design part of the ‘brown water navy’ idea?
Navy family ping
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 28, 2009) The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) conducts flight deck certification with an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Sea Knights of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nathan Laird/Released)
I believe you are mostly referring to the Freedom built by Martin. As I have reported previously on FR, they did a (beyond) terrible job. If it weren’t for their political clout they would not have been keel holed rather than given a new contract.
The Independence (designed by Astral) however is far and way a superior ship with only the usual amount of prototype problems.
You left out the insane fuel consumption (particularly LCS-1); they’ll basically need to have a T-AO assigned to them full time.
They should consider nuculuar propulsion. Toshiba makes a
shipping container sized reactor unit.
Oh, it should read “would have been”
Never to pick at a fellow Freeper too vigorously, I believe the word you are looking for is “keel-hauled”, a particularly gruesome act of punishment whereby the offending sailor would have stout ropes attached to two extremities (wrists or ankles) then be thrown off the bow and ‘hauled along the keel’ by sailors port and starboard until he reached the stern whereupon what was left of the sailor was pull back aboard. If the offending seaman didn’t drown it was most likely that his back would be torn to shreds on the barnacles attached to the hull.
“Low-Cost” is a relative thing. Frankly, I think that they’re pretty pricey when you consider the mission. The Fleet is going to think twice before committing them to actual high-threat areas.
Two flotillas of PHM’s with associated tenders would have made more sense — and been very cost effective. But then a PHM is usually commanded by a lowly LT, so where’s the fun in that?
I always wanted to be on a PHM. The Pegasus, specifically. Mainly cause it was just so cool! Fast, lightly (if at all) armored, but carried lots of weapons. Just the thing to fight drug runners (or Somali pirates, if you ask me).
I have no doubt there is a lot of development and refinement work to be done yet.
However, the Navy has been without a Frigate class warship for too long.
And YES, we'll still need a 4,000ton Frigate...30 or so...along with the full buy on this class.
With such augmentation our existing Fleet of DDG/CG vessels are sufficient as long as they are replenished as they age out.
Now for a fleet of smaller subs, perhaps some conventional at $300mil a piece. Somewhere between 1,500 and 3,000 tons. Not as capable as the Virgina Class, but at $1.8bil a piece how many of those can we afford?
It can do 50 knots!
That will give cause for someone to claim they are very fuel efficient............