Author Topic: Using the Army to sink ships?  (Read 5640 times)

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Offline Colin P

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Using the Army to sink ships?
« on: February 23, 2017, 15:42:44 »
The US is looking at tasking the US army with ship sinking (aka Coastal defense artillery) If Canada wanted to contribute to a mission without being in the frontline, it might be a task that would fit the political mindset of the current government? The equipment could be owned by the US  and operated by Canadians similar to the Honest John batteries.  https://sofrep.com/75573/pacom-commanders-wants-army-start-sinking-ships-thats-just-beginning/

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2017, 15:51:44 »
I would like to know what motivated the admiral to come up with what on first blush seems hare-brained. It would be within the capability of technology, but what is the threat?

And we owned our Honest John launchers, handling and transport equipment along with the rockets. The warheads were under US control, although I am pretty sure we had purchased a certain number of a certain yield.

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2017, 16:27:25 »
I would like to know what motivated the admiral to come up with what on first blush seems hare-brained. It would be within the capability of technology, but what is the threat?

...

I'm inclined to think of places like Baltic, the Black Sea and the South China Seas and the associated choke points.

These days common launchers with common missiles and multi-function seekers means that a lot more can be expected, in my opinion, out of a missile unit.

I used to wonder about conflating GBAD with LRPRs.   But then I looked at Her Majesty's Canadian Ships.  Which also use missiles to sink ships.  Just like the Air Force can use missiles to blow up things that fly, float and crawl.  Only they can move them from the warehouse to the target faster.

Maybe the RRCA wants to reconsider the Stone Frigate concept?

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2017, 16:54:41 »
I believe this article in the Telegraph could be arguably related:  The Fallon Doctrine -

Quote
It is possible that the age of migrant interventionism is just beginning

We need to know more about the ‘Fallon doctrine’ 
RT HOWARD
23 FEBRUARY 2017 • 10:47AM

It is  time to have an open debate about the scope of a new guiding force of our foreign policy – ‘the Fallon doctrine’.

Liberal interventionism died on the battlefields of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, as Western governments belatedly acknowledged that they lacked the resources, and any justification, to impose their own values elsewhere.

But a different doctrine is now fast emerging: migrant interventionism. It is in our own interest, runs the argument, to militarily intervene elsewhere in the world to forestall a migrant exodus.
 
A refugee rescue boat leaves the Greek island of Lebos. As a gateway into Europe, Greece has been at the coalface of the migrant crisis. CREDIT: DIMITRIS LEGAKIS/ATHENA PICTURES
The emergence of migrant interventionism became clear at last week’s Munich Security Conference when the Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, justified the ongoing, if limited, British presence in Afghanistan on the grounds that the collapse of the country would lead to a massive refugee crisis. "We here will feel the consequences, very directly", he claimed. "There could be three to four million young Afghan men sent out by their villages to migrate westwards, and they are heading here".

This is the first time that a British, indeed Western, government minister has argued that British lives should be risked abroad to defend our shores from the export of refugees rather than insurgents and narcotics. It amounts to a new definition of self-defence.

Despite concerted efforts to dam the inflow, the underlying causes of the crisis – unchecked population growth, war and corruption – remain unresolved
This may have been an implicit consideration in other conflicts, notably the Bosnian civil war. But the ‘Fallon Doctrine’ still marks something of a turning point because it appears to justify, openly and unabashedly, our presence in Afghanistan purely on those grounds.   

The advent of migrant intervention should be welcomed as a proactive and imaginative way of tackling the refugee crisis, which is not likely to diminish any time soon.

Last year around 1 million refugees and migrants arrived in Europe, and despite concerted efforts to dam the inflow, the underlying causes of the crisis – unchecked population growth, war and corruption – remain unresolved and, in some Western circles, barely even discussed. In other words, we have little choice but to consider options as drastic as migrant interventionism.

Sir Michael did not specifically say that we, or anyone, should involve ourselves in any foreign country just to prevent a refugee crisis. He argued, instead, that "if it was right to go in, it has to be right not to leave before the job is done as well as we can do it". But no matter what the circumstances, if British lives are to be put in danger, and our material resources potentially squandered, we need to at least ask some pressing questions.

Assuming that a particular country is a likely source of refugees, one obvious starting point is to ask if there are any alternative options that are less drastic than a full military deployment. In Afghanistan, for example, there have been times – notably the 1990s – when Western governments could have sponsored several anti-Taliban proxies.

If there are such proxies available, can they be sponsored without boots on the ground ? And if this really is necessary, can advisers rather than frontline soldiers be deployed?

In May last year, the then foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, took this more measured approach when he announced a £40 million subsidy to the Nigerian government to support its war against Boko Haram, mainly by providing Nigerian soldiers with specialist training. Such an initiative, undertaken with an efficiency and expertise that the forces of the African Union wholly lack, could eventually help curb the rapidly growing number of refugees who are fleeing Nigeria.

If soldiers are deployed, then we also need to ask if their geographic role can be limited. A military deployment could establish internationally controlled ‘safe areas’ of particular strategic or economic importance that would provide local populations with economic opportunities. Nothing more ambitious is necessarily required.

Fourthly, can our armed forces limit their structural role to enforcing law and order over specific areas and regions? Nothing remotely as grandiose as the old-style nation-building which fell into disrepute in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya is required. France’s armed forces have recently played a limited role in Mali, for example, undertaking anti-insurgent operations with great success.

Finally, does the British government have any potential allies that would assist us? Perhaps in the years ahead China, the EU states and, despite its isolationist rhetoric, the US  could work together with us to pursue a shared policy of migration interventionism in sub-Saharan Africa.

It is possible that the age of migrant interventionism is just beginning and is set to grow, marching ahead in direct proportion to the massive inflows of people into the Western world. There is no time to be lost in addressing the dangers, as well as acknowledging the opportunities, it brings.

RT Howard is the author of 'What's Wrong with Liberal Interventionism' (SAU) and 'Power and Glory: France's Secret Wars with Britain and America 1945-2016'

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/23/need-know-fallon-doctrine/

This is related to the much bally-hooed Responsibility To Protect doctrine - but on a more limited scale.

It is also related to the historical impulse that saw Britain establish the Regiment of Tangiers and the French invade Algeria: self-interested actions designed to control lawless regions whose inhabitants were disturbing the peace in England and France by taking slaves.

The Fallon Doctrine (or variant) seems to consist of the following:

Migrants are a problem
Migrants leave because they are pushed as much as they are pulled
Reduce the push and you reduce the Migrants.

It is in enlightened self-interest to act to reduce the push.

To reduce the push do the following:

Find a local to support who will help to make the homeland more attractive
If the local is willing but not able then supply training to make him able
If training is insufficient create a bubble
   The characteristics of the bubble are: a secure space of limited size, in which economic activity can thrive, and outside which a cordon sanitaire can be created working with locals
Act in concert with other self-interested allies (US, China, EU - il n'y a pas de quoi - principles be damned)

The historic models for this are Calcutta, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and every Royal Burgh and Freistadt in Europe.

This would suggest that a focus on the Canadian Surface Combatant - GBAD - LRPRs to create Iron Dome type structures would be a useful diplomatic tool of intervention.

A Libyan case might be the establishment of a safe haven at the cove by Ayn al Ulaymah outside of Tobruk.   Far enough away to buy some time to set up the base.  Close enough to be accessible to migrants.


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Offline Colin P

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2017, 16:58:58 »
I was thinking more along the lines of what the Liberals would like to see as politically acceptable missions. Providing security to US naval installation from hostile ships might well be within that zone. Scoring minor brownie points with the US with a small battery worth of personal and equipment.

Old Sweat, thanks for the clarification, I thought it was all provided.

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2017, 17:02:47 »
I'm all for this if I get to be a Battery Commander at the Halifax Citadel or Victoria guarding the harbours. Time to bring back the Garrison Artillery!
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2017, 17:23:20 »
I suspect you be spending most of your time looking at a radar screen, making coffee on a Colman stove and using a outhouse



Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2017, 17:29:52 »

Old Sweat, thanks for the clarification, I thought it was all provided.

And despite having our own SSM training organization, the Brits insisted that officers posted to 1 SSM in Germany take something called the Honest John Change of Category Course in Larkhill. They of course charged us a lot for the course, including the cost of the rocket fired a the end of the course. This went on for a number of years, Ottawa apparently being under the impression that every student fired a rocket. A Canadian officer on his course discovered we were paying for the rocket for the course, and he demanded he fire it. The Brits refused, at which point CDLS(L) asked for our rocket back. He, and subsequent Canadian students fired the rockets the Canadian taxpayer had payed for.

As for the return of coast artillery, it seems to me things would have to have gone rather pear-shaped, if enemy naval units are able to approach our coasts, "our" not necessarily meaning North American territory. At one stage, just for fun I did a bit of research into the development of coast artillery tactics and equipment. In its final form, it was layered with different calibre's having different roles. As ranges and our ability to hit a moving target a long away from shore increased the numbers of guns were reduced because we could achieve the desired effect.

As I say again, show me a real threat, and no, I don't think it is a low risk role that would get us a lot of brownie points. The only time I heard anything that had a little merit and the operative term word was little, and not merit, was a suggestion circa 1970 we establish batteries at choke points on the North West Passage and conduct enough firing practices to deter unauthorized use of it by foreign flags.

Air defence is a different matter.

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2017, 18:13:24 »
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2017, 18:30:48 »
I'm all for this if I get to be a Battery Commander at the Halifax Citadel or Victoria guarding the harbours. Time to bring back the Garrison Artillery!

Not the way the CAF works: You'll get stuck at the Georges Island or Albert Head batteries.  [:D

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2017, 18:58:09 »
Not the way the CAF works: You'll get stuck at the Georges Island or Albert Head batteries.  [:D

Why not St. John's or Prince George....... >:D
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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2017, 00:44:16 »
Let us not forget the north coast!
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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2017, 02:03:52 »
The Argentinian's land based Exocet batteries were pretty nasty, as the HMS Glamorgan discovered: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Glamorgan_(D19)



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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2017, 07:54:55 »
From the Canadian perspective, why would we do this?

What choke points are we defending, and from whom?

If these are offensive tools, then what nation is going to allow us to emplace them overseas?

If they are defensive tools, who are we defending Canada from?  The handful of Russian 'Trawlers' that have been seen off the east coast?

The vulnerability of fixed defences on a modern battlefield has been proven time and again, particularly if facing near peer enemies. 

I see in the article that the intent is to have an army-centric ground-based ASM capability in the Pacific Theatre.  How much capability are they looking for?  Are they looking to stave off small attacks (a la ARA Guerrico - South Georgia - Les Malvinas) in which case, existing ATGM's may suffice, but it appears that the intent is to provide the ability to defend a bubble around an island and enable the Navy to worry about other areas.

That's a LOT of capability being sought...that's more than just shoulder-fired local defence capability, that's a RADAR station for detection, with long-range Anti-Ship Missiles.  (Truck mounted Harpoons at least.)

In the environment that seems to be proposed, facing a potential Chinese threat, does it make sense to invest in fixed ground installations instead of moving seaborne platforms?

Insert disclaimer statement here....

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2017, 08:24:16 »
NavyShooter

Such a system, for the Army, would likely be very similar to Russian Anti-Aircraft units with dedicated mobile Radar, Control and Erector systems.  All segments of it would be portable. 

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Offline GR66

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2017, 10:20:51 »
Wouldn't it make more sense to have mobile launchers on the ground and airborne radar units to do the detecting? 

Offline Colin P

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2017, 10:21:19 »
I think the US plan is to have the army to provide defense to forward supply hubs, freeing up ships. Also places like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diego_Garcia
or any of the choke points in the Pacific. I suspect it's also a political move to force the PLA to realize their ships would also be at risk and do area denial.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2017, 10:41:40 »
Wouldn't it make more sense to have mobile launchers on the ground and airborne radar units to do the detecting?

Airborne radar units to do the detecting?  How long would they be "on station"?  How would their coverage be affected by weather?

If they are to be employed, they would just be an additional/interlocking resource.
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2017, 10:59:19 »
Actually George, airborne radar degrades less than fixed surface radar when used over the ocean, so the weather would affect the shore base radar more than the airborne one. As for time on station, a LRMPA operating from the "hub" it is defending should have no trouble remaining on station for 10 to 12 hours at a time.

Offline Ostrozac

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2017, 14:16:36 »
From the Canadian perspective, why would we do this?

That's a good point. You would think that if the Canadian Forces wanted to sink some ships that we would do it with Harpoon fired from CF-18. And given that Canada never developed the anti shipping role for the Hornet (a role it was designed for in USN service), and no one has really missed the capability, you'd think that it is a mission that doesn't come up that often.

Now for the US ground based anti ship missiles might have a role in defence of far flung islands like Diego Garcia and Guam -- it might be a better option than defending them with fighters, but Canada lacks such outposts. (CFB Turks and Caicos never did get established).
« Last Edit: February 25, 2017, 13:09:31 by Ostrozac »

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2017, 15:54:19 »
We might get more bang for the buck with a slightly different approach.

Using long range fiber optic guided missiles as regular artillery, we would be able to attack high value targets at ranges of up to 60 km (using something like the Polyphem Fibre-Optic-Guided Missile System). If the truck happens to drive to the shoreline and launch a missile at a target at sea, the same effect can be achieved, so long as the truck/battery has access to targeting data from an external source which is tracking the enemy ship. Since the Polyphem is a FOG-M, the operator can actually identify the target and guide it in on the final approach, if required.

LR guided missile artillery should be able to deal with lots of targets at ranges that are infeasible for conventional artillery, and also to deal with high value targets in complex terrain which other weapons systems are not able to attack, and even have the ability to threaten helicopters in rotor defilade, so this is not a "one trick pony".
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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2017, 16:24:01 »
60km fiber optic cable, man I don't want to wrap that around my shaft!!

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2017, 16:25:19 »
Not to mention that 60 km is not that great a distance in these instances.
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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2017, 21:34:17 »
As an Army officer it almost pains me to say this but I have to agree that a better investment in the Canadian context would be in more ships. Our interests are better served in projecting power from our shores rather then meeting threats in the last 60km or so. The only possible area I could see deploying this would be in a future North-West passage scenario but this is better served through a combination of naval power cued by long-endurance UAV's mixed in with an air platform that can deliver some type of anti-ship missile (manned or unmanned).

I get why the Americans, with an already robust rocket capability, would want to extend this to free up their high-value, low-quantity (given their requirements) naval assets from littoral defence; it just doesn't make sense in Canada to me. The US also has the added challenge of numerous small "outposts" all over the world or a future scenario in which they might be facing an adversary who could deny them, at least for a short period of time, access to certain areas (Persian Gulf for example) using shore based systems. The ability to reciprocate with our own shore based missiles based in friendly locations might be helpful.
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Using the Army to sink ships?
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2017, 09:33:41 »
I have to agree with you jeffb.

The US has the "numbers" to have such "luxuries".  We do not. 

The other thing to remember is that this suggestion in a Canadian scenario, is not to have a "stand alone" system as the be all/end all.  It would have to be one system within a number of systems that would only work if they are integrated.  The requirement for Air and Naval elements would not be diminished, as this would only be a system to compliment them.
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