Via the Israeli Navy…. click here if the video doesn’t work right.
More on the Typhoon stabilized gun here.
A retired Navy Commander.
sid said, “Set up a cordon sanitaire in the littorals, and you have just solved the issue of continuous surveillance for your enemyâ€¦He will know where to tweak his targeting solution.”
Sid, doesn’t this depend on which assets establish the cordon?
Assuming we can bring a sizable number of small combatants with us (not the 3000 ton LCS speedboat), couldn’t we ask them to do the job? Will an enemy risk exposing a launcher or sub to fire an AShM or torpedo at a 250 ton vessel?
Will resupply of NLOC-LS missiles really be that bad? You can move and replace missile boxes individually, you don’t have to move an entire 15 cell VLS.
Resupply of NETFIRES (honestly, does *anybody* like the name “NLOS-LS”, especially since there’s also “NLOS-C” and “NLOS-M” running around?) shouldn’t be that big a deal. My primary concerns WRT NETFIRES are the comms (since the entire concept is dependent on working, secure datalinks) and the price (which, I believe, we have *never* seen any kind of unit price for). As your “horizon-and-beyond” speedboat-popper and single-target or emergency light NSFS, it should work well-enough, though. Just note that it will *never* really work as a Harpoon replacement–anything big enough and mean enough to be worth using a Harpoon on will probably be big enough, mean enough, and point-defensed enough to hurt or kill you before you can successfully pincushion it to death (I’m not saying it can’t be done, but I would never recommend relying on it… it’s Plan B or Plan C at best).
FCS deployment of NETFIRES is based on two general concepts. One is a version of the common tracked vehicle that carries 4×15 launchers in the back, and can avoid counterbattery better than SP guns. The other is as a stand-alone launcher deployed away from troops, where counterbattery might trash the launcher, but wouldn’t hurt anything else. This heavily-dispersed model would also serve as something of a missile minefield against an armored force.
Against opponents without a counterbattery capability, it would just be hauled around on a truck and dropped off wherever it needed to be. I would like to note that such a weapon would be *extremely* useful for small motorized units in Afghanistan, where platoon and company-sized units could pack one in the back of an open-bed Hummer and have 15 rounds of Hellfire-equivalent pain to support them in the critical minutes of a contact or ambush before friendly air arrives. That’s probably the best model to think of when pondering littoral usage, as well.
The number of missiles needed to have target effects will likely mean expenditure rates above current estimates. The logistics “tail” of the NLOC LS system will be a challenge, getting them produced, from CONUS, to theater, and to the using unit(s) in a timely manner and in sufficient quantity.
In addition to the NLOC LS, a weapon system and projectile with a more substantial payload (such as a 203mm naval rifle version of the NLOC-C) is, IMHO, ALSO required. Not an either-or, but both, to achieve capability across the NSFS spectrum. URR
As far as loading missiles (Hellfires?) at sea goes, there is a currently viewable video of a Nazi U-Boat loading torpedoes from a supply U-Boat. Torpedoes were transfered by swimming them and loaded through the hatch by block & Tackle. A calm sea, but nevertheless…
Assuming we can bring a sizable number of small combatants with us (not the 3000 ton LCS speedboat), couldnâ€™t we ask them to do the job?
First off, there is no plan to buy any “sizable numbers” of small combatants…unless you want to count the unmanned boats the LCS carries. And those are nowhere near ready -for a couple of generations at least- for that particular kind of work.
Next, you can’t sweep the littorl seas free of otherwise nonhostile traffic, besides the dubious legality, all you will do is just create more targeting assets.
Lastly, you make it known that there is a box of water described by lat/longs that is so important everybody is getting chased out, then all an enemy need do is concentrate on that box as soon as the aforementioned disaffected boatmen say something has shown up there…
The logistical challenge begins immediately, as resupply of these â€śmissiles in a boxâ€ť doesnâ€™t appear to be an easy task
This is something I’ve pondered since the days of being on the gun line here…
(not me in front of the launcher. also, pic taken right near where the Ahi Hanit got her surprise)
Do you really want exposed ordnance -like the ‘poon and ASROC on that old boat- on a ship engaged in NSFS?
And if the CLUs are carried internally, what kind of ballistic protection will be afforded?
After all NSFS is at some degree a mission which conflicts with Nelson’s admonition “A Ship’s A Fool To Fight A Fort”.
It can be done, If, its done smartly.
And sending a ship designed for the “least severe environment anticpated” into such a mission doesn’t seem so smart…
“you make it known that there is a box of water described by lat/longs that is so important everybody is getting chased out”
In amphibious operations, anyway, that is precisely the task of the CATF, to establish a Maritime Exclusion Area (MEA) which will have one or more Amphibious Operations Areas (AOA) contained therein.
I realize there is no program in place to buy a large number of small combatants. I was merely exploring a line of thinking started by this blog posting (Israeli patrol boats shooting up Hamas targets) and your comment earlier, “Note that it doesnâ€™t take a half billion dollar 3000 ton (bareboat price) ship for this kind of workâ€¦”, with a link to a Super Dvora III page.
So I begain thinking about how an LCS would perform the strikes shown in this blog posting. The use of Fire Scout- and/or USV-targeted Netfires from an LCS 20+nm away seemed at least as safe as sailing Super Divoras to within a couple thousand meters of shore to attack with 30mm and Spike ER. Within cannon range, virtually everything in Hamas’ arsenal larger than an RPG could be brought to bear.
My thoughts then went to how to get an LCS in close enough when the enemy had irregular “netted assets” in the form of small, innocuous vessels performing targeting. Thus the talk of Maritime Exclusion Zones.
So what’s your answer sid? Replace the LCS with a frigate? Or just don’t approach close to shore, and let airpower take these targets out?
Well…fell into that one…
I would argue though that “Manuever” must play a bigger role in 21st Amphib Ops, and this is where OMFTS gets it at least a bit right.
Therefore, OMFTS needs to be expanded into a more realistic and
pragmatic concept. Strategic and operational constraints, such as the risk of escalation and unconventional warfare, need to be accounted for. The resulting doctrine needs to address overcoming enemy resistance in an intense combat environment risky for dispersed units. Most importantly, the broad concept of multiple formations maneuvering on huge fronts without pause to the operational objective needs to be developed into a focused concept designed to cope with the both the high probability of intense combat and the logistical dilemmas that exist.
The way Wooward and Clapp played it at San Carlos is both the model and the cautionary tale.
While maneuver allowed their meager force (which is all any USN commander can hope for any time soon) to deliver “maximum net effective combat power” ashore, they were greatly hindered in the effort by the vulnerabilites inherent in their Economy B fleet.
So whatâ€™s your answer sid? Replace the LCS with a frigate?
Protestations to the contrary, the LCS is the replacement Frigate…At least according to the authors of, The Navy’s ‘Tipping Point’ in this month’s Proceedings…
The demands on our Navy call to mind Lord Nelson’s plea: More Frigates! And that’s just what the LCS isâ€”a frigate for the 21st century.
There is a time and place for standing off and lobbing in precision munitions. There is also a time and place for getting in close and personal. There is a Naval equivalent to “boots on the ground.” Although we need to plan for fighting a Blue Water war, we also need to have the ability to fight brush wars, proxy wars, WOT, etc. This will often mean operating in the midst of legitimate civilian shipping where establishing an exclusion zone is not politically acceptable. Protecting the Iraqi oil platforms and fighting pirates in the GOA are just two examples where we would be better served to have something like the Dvora IIIs than the LCS. Sure, the Israeli Navy has to come within the range of Hamas gunmen to shoot, but that allows them to identify and kill those same gunmen with counter fire when they expose themselves.
Good thread. Got here via CDR Salamander.
I think it is time to stress more red-force simulation via computer exercises and such, done by an organization that doesn’t report to any LCS fanboys, (in or out of uniform). I think there is a cheaper way to do this. How you get by Rocko and Moose (the shipbuilding mafia) who want their cut every year out of the budget is anyones guess.
Or when an LCS or two get smashed in a real nasty WWII Narvik Fiord like battle by any other name… maybe we will learn that gold plated weapons systems for this mission aren’t such a hot idea.
That is the classic role. It is entirely possible that except for the briefest of raids, or in the most oblique of full landing operations, it may not be feasible for any duration. Might add to, this is also the achillies heel of seabased logistics.
Remember what happened to Vandergrift…
But I’m no expert, as I am a victim of this bias trap.
My thoughts then went to how to get an LCS in close enough when the enemy had irregular â€śnetted assetsâ€ť in the form of small, innocuous vessels performing targeting. Thus the talk of Maritime Exclusion Zones.
So whatâ€™s your answer sid?
My answer would be to employ a ship into the environment which did not demand a sanitized area in which to operate.
Tactics would play a big part, but also a ship that is built to the optimum -and that does not mean “maximum possible”- survivability standard appropriate to the battlespace.
Also, as The Custodian discusses in the thread above, a distributed system amy well prove to be the correct course…provided the C2 complexities can be resolved.
Given that ships which provide covering fire to amphibious forces have historically taken the worst punishment, the Level I survivability standard LCS isn’t it.
You can’t afford to “attack a fort” using best business practices.
LCS is a solution, BUT what the USN has NOT done is correctly identify the problem.
As for Tippin Point, I last heard Natter pimping a USV for some company. His current employement alone should have screamed conflict of interest (if not intelligence to the USNI editors – what are they thinking?)
On this topic I side with sid. sucko ship, program needs rework from keel up.
Smitty the Yacht Express while faster does not have a clear work deck as does the DE10 nor does it have the heavy lift gantries which could support larger boats perhaps even a Cyclone PC.
Combined with the previous comments about how to resupply LCS and mission modules, it should be noted that I see NO organic means of getting the modules off an LCS except inport using shore cranes. The DE10 could do that at sea. just a thought not a rationalization for a bad design.
Forgive the grumpiness, but the LCS as a replacement FFG? As politely as possible, LCS can barely replace the Figs RHIB boat. It has no organic sonar, no tail, no Nixie. It doensn’t have AAW missile (and you can bet your sweet dumb ass that when you haven’t got the AAW module is when you’ll REALLY need it)and its barely got a gun. Any pair of decently equiped gunboats could slice that bathtub toy up to a fair-thee-well, and no 70 odd super-sailors is going to keep it floating, much less fighting. And what do you have when you have officers doing officer-ing, and all the hands on stuff done by what amounts to chiefs and warrants? The Russian Navy. Worked real well for them, huh? Galrahn, I know you’re in love with this ship and the concept. But.It.Sucks.Large. Build something large enough, with enough teeth and survivability that it sends the message, “we’re here, and if you want us to leave, it’ll cost ya dearly”
Time for another cup of mud. Did NOT need to wake up to LCS.
You are probably the most qualified here to answer this question: How do you sustain small craft in forward areas where you have no land basing?
It seems to me they need some sort of tender/transport to move them to the theater and support them upon arrival. Super Dvoras could be carried by cargo ships with appropriate cranes or davits, but larger PCs may need something more specialized (thus the FLO/FLO suggestion).
I agree the DE10′s configuration is more suitable for the role, but I prefer the speed and dimensions of the Yacht Express. So perhaps a combination of the two fits the need.
It seems to me such a ship should be able to keep up with an amphibious task force, which suggests a 20+kt top end. Sizing depends on the number and type of craft carried, and the level of accommodations and stores needed to support them.
What does such an “optimum” ship have to survive? Small AShM? Medium or large AShM? A mine hit? Or just cannon fire and ATGMs?
If it has to survive a large AShM and remain in the fight, it may have to be significantly bigger than the LCS.
What does such an â€śoptimumâ€ť ship have to survive?
It is spelled out here in broad terms.
Browse through and I’d be interested if you think Level I, which the LCS is built to, is the right standard.
Or that Littoral COMBAT represents represents the least severe environment anticipated and excludes the need for enhanced survivability for designated ship classes to sustain operations…
Smitty, what do you think an RPG (or several) fired into LCS would do? Anthing good? How about a auto-cannon, in the +20mm range? You could probably put a fairly hot 30 caliber through the deck house. What if the computer that controls all the fancy DC stuff gets whacked, what’s your 40 chiefs and super-sailors going to do? Save the ship, or keep fighting? Can’t do both.
I’m not trying to defend the LCS. It is a lightly-armed, high-speed ferry with a fancy name.
My question was honest. What type of damage should a littoral combatant be built to survive?
So, going by this PDF, if the Navy wants to call it a frigate, then it should be built to Level II. If they want to call it a patrol combatant or minesweeper, then it can be built to Level I. Right?
If they want to call it a patrol combatant or minesweeper, then it can be built to Level I. Right?
Show me where anyone on watch, from SECNAV to the Freedom’s XO, is calling the LCS anything other than a 3000 ton WARSHIP destined to fight.
From the ‘Tippin’ article in this month’s Porceedings…
So, our Navy’s LCS fleet is now putting to sea. Years from now these authors are convinced that this fleet of very capable, fast, flexible, and agile ships will be widely known as the U.S. Navy’s 21st-century frigate.
“Littoral COMBAT represents represents the least severe environment anticipated and excludes the need for enhanced survivability for designated ship classes to sustain operationsâ€¦”
“hips which provide covering fire to amphibious forces have historically taken the worst punishment…You canâ€™t afford to â€śattack a fortâ€ť using best business practices.”
Excellent points, Sid. I can hear my Dad telling the stories of the hundreds of holes in his LCT from Japanese 20mm fire in the “lightly defended” Hollandia landings.
Big D, when you start matching up wheeled lift capacity to haul requirements for resupply of widely dispersed NETFIRES agencies ashore, I think logistical considerations become a VERY big deal. Not to mention very large FSCOORD issues throughout the battlespace.
Give me something a shade less capable but much more survivable. I don’t want to have to go SCUBA diving for my unit’s next CSR of ammunition. URR
It gets down to this: A warship has to be able to inflict damage upon it’s enemies comensurate with it’s size, i.e., of equal or near equal size, and it has to be able to take damage and be able to stay in the fight. LCS can do neither, BY DESIGN. Calling it a warship is a damnable lie.
I donâ€™t want to have to go SCUBA diving for my unitâ€™s next CSR of ammunition.
Guess this is a view* you would not want from the beach…
I think I am going to make one of those posters using this pic and the caption:
When Affordable Strategies Meet Cutthroat Competition
Or something like that.
*Actually, the rest of that story is worthy of consideration into CDR Salamander’s FbF, and is a testament to robust and well trained DC efforts.
“…robust and well trained DC efforts.” By more than 50 super sailors, I presume….
That’d be a great poster.
The USMC despises Frank Jack Fletcher to this day, but in retrospect regarding Guadalcanal, what would have been the effect of him getting the amphibious task force shot to hell? Or maybe that’s a whole new blog.
The USMC despises Frank Jack Fletcher to this day
The Alchiba was after Fletcher…
There is some new work that suggests Fletcher got a bad rap.
Fascinating story of the USS Alchiba (AK-23). THOSE guys had some brass ones…. Thanks for tipping me to that! URR
Like the thread, & want to add my tuppence, for wot it’s worth…
LCS, nice ship though it is, it’s a mongrel !
Too many ideas thrown together (speed, capability, littoral useage, etc), with not that much thought.
She is of no defined heritage/lineage, although if you look thru her “DNA” she links back to numerous other designs.
It’s not as if she’s a follow on from an Arleigh Burke or OPH, hence the mongrel moniker.
The other issue is the cost. If you wanna spend oodles of cash on “new technology”, it should have a defined capability. LCS is trying too hard to be all things to all sailors, & failing miserably.
As a “Concept” it will be used to prove certain things, such as more automation, less manpower, more adapatbility of the sailor, rather than defined/rigid role within cast iron demarkation lines.
All of this will pay off in the future, but won’t help them right now.
It’s a sad state of affairs, but methinks the USN should be looking @ European designs, like this….
Both are really OPV’s but can be called Corvettes, or Frigates(because of the armament / firepower(something that LCS doesn’t real have !)), but lineage links straight back to the UK RN’s Type 21 / 22 / 23′s Designs.
They have firepower, they have self protection capability, low draft, reduced manpower/increased automation & with some rehashing in the engine dept (with possible addition to the LOA for fuel tanks / engine space to turn them into all electric drive), could achieve speeds well over 30 knots, more than enough for litoral operations !
Wot d’ya thunk ??
B.Smitty flo/flos and dockships typically don’t make much speed 16 kts maybe afterall they are designed for safe reliable transport. Yacht Express was specifically designed to move WOC toys around quickly.
One of the things which kicked the NAVSEA designed flo/flo cost to over $225 mil was they wanted it to do 20kts and its hull form was like a brick and they also wanted it as stiff as a brick, like a floating drydock which could move at 20 kts. Think of the HP needed to move that thru the water? Then triple down the idea to get to the even more screwed up MLP