Author Topic: Quantity has a quality all on its own  (Read 5270 times)

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Offline Underway

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Quantity has a quality all on its own
« on: June 01, 2015, 12:57:59 »
Interesting quote from Canadian Naval Review in an article on the Russian Fleet

Quote
.............
Curiously, the RFN’s short-term outlook resembles that faced by the RCN: a temporary dip in the number of operational units while industry re-capitalizes and delivers new or upgraded capabilities plus the ongoing challenge of recruiting and retaining skilled personnel. Also, lower energy prices aff ect the national revenues of both countries and could therefore slow the pace of naval re-capitalization. But while the quantity of new vessels under construction in Russia is meant to cover its dispersed maritime spaces imultaneously (a challenge also faced by Canada), it may also refl ect the age-old Russian belief that combat resilience is, in part, a function of mass. RCN planners who believe that quality can adequately compensate for quantity should take careful note. Smaller numbers of ‘exquisite’ ships may be a strategic handicap – even in operations short of combat.
................

I understand the handicaps that Canadian Naval planners are working with.  The political environment, the lack or potential lack of trained sailors, the costs of ships.  But I do wonder about this concept of mass in naval planning and whether we overlook it in Canada as we have traditionally been "small".  If perhaps we need to look at more ships of less quality to avoid a strategic problem.  We have a massive coastline but much of it is not accessable due to ice be that seasonal or permanent.  Will we, or do we need more ships to do the job that is required or is our nothern isolation going to do what extra ships won't.  Are we worried that if we settle for less capable platforms (MCDV's) we won't get the highly capable ones.  Is the coast guard a consideration in this as they provide more GoC platforms with a lower capability to do much of the work other countries navies do.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Quantity has a quality all on its own
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2015, 13:41:07 »
We were skirting around this, a bit, in the End of the MCDV thread.

I remain wedded to the notion that the serving admirals want "heavies" ~ real warships ~ at all costs. There's no doubt that the heavies are most capable in the full range of potential operations, but I'm not sure that this government is going to give the Navy more than six to ten heavies* and then that same government will insist that domestic operations (coastal duties) are priority 1.

So I believe that we need a mixed or balanced fleet: some (let's say eight, just as a number) heavies which, supported by AORs and long range aircraft, give the RCN the global power projection capability than any sane government should want; some AOPS, let say six, and some (let's say eight more) minor war vessels which may have shipborne aircraft and may have global reach (long range before refuelling)  but, while being more capable than the MCDVs are still, by definition, "small combatants" intended for domestic and near ocean operations: fisheries patrols, Op NANOOK, Op CARIBBE, etc.


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* And I really, really doubt that a new government, of any other political stripe, will give DND more than this one.
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as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Quantity has a quality all on its own
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2015, 14:04:31 »
The MCDV's were a leap up from what was before, there are quite a few designs out there that would allow another "incremental leap" yet again and with modern systems can operate with a smaller crew. What would be good is a ship that can accommodate a larger crew , but still function safely with a reduced crew. So for MARS training you would not need the full crew, but overseas you would.

Offline Underway

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Re: Quantity has a quality all on its own
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2015, 14:42:54 »
We were skirting around this, a bit, in the End of the MCDV thread.

I remain wedded to the notion that the serving admirals want "heavies" ~ real warships ~ at all costs. There's no doubt that the heavies are most capable in the full range of potential operations, but I'm not sure that this government is going to give the Navy more than six to ten heavies* and then that same government will insist that domestic operations (coastal duties) are priority 1.

So I believe that we need a mixed or balanced fleet: some (let's say eight, just as a number) heavies which, supported by AORs and long range aircraft, give the RCN the global power projection capability than any sane government should want; some AOPS, let say six, and some (let's say eight more) minor war vessels which may have shipborne aircraft and may have global reach (long range before refuelling)  but, while being more capable than the MCDVs are still, by definition, "small combatants" intended for domestic and near ocean operations: fisheries patrols, Op NANOOK, Op CARIBBE, etc.


_____
* And I really, really doubt that a new government, of any other political stripe, will give DND more than this one.

I'm not convinced that the gov't would at this point reduce the number of heavies to below the 15 CSC that the navy wants to build with the NSBPS, as it supposed to be an enternal building welfare errr.... expertise retention program.  The plan is to just keep building ships forever.  But I suppose ship capabilities could change or sizes could change depending on budget constraints, political factors and other issues.  By the time NSPS is going strong into the CSC we will be into a second or third different government from the current one.  So all bets are off for political motivations.  Canada is in the unique position to have a democratic foreign policy, and the navy is the most flexable of elements to provide that.
Perhaps we are entering these waters of mass already.  The MCDV's are still operational with no end in sight at least in the mid term, the AOPS will be comming online and fit solidly in the patrol/domestic ops category (icecapable ship on OP CARIBBE just doesn't seem right somehow...).  Those hulls might be the mix we need where we are going with a combination of both.

8-12 low capability patrol ships built to civi standards with minimal armament (25mm) that are cheap to operate (MCDV+)
5 AOPS for arctic capabilities
2 AORS
4 AAW, C&C
11 General Purpose
Subs... you pick the number, I like 12....

This looks pretty close to the ideal fleet mix the navy has publically stated that they would like to work with in the future, and is sustainable.  I would argue that more submarines are more important than more low capability surface ships but they are expensive to build and relative to and OPV expensive to run.

« Last Edit: June 01, 2015, 14:50:14 by Underway »

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Quantity has a quality all on its own
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2015, 15:07:13 »
Underway:

The Government may plan to build you 15 "heavies" between now and 2035+ but that doesn't necessarily mean they will fund a fleet in being of 15 vessels.  They could decide to only finance 8 operational hulls and sell off the early hulls while the late delivery hulls are still building.  As you said, the programme is designed to recreate the Venetian Arsenal and deliver hulls in perpetuity.  It doesn't say there is a plan to operate those hulls in perpetuity.

With Irving engaged in delivering CSCs perhaps Seaspan will be tasked with some simpler OPVs.
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Quantity has a quality all on its own
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2015, 15:49:40 »
Ships are not planes. Will you all quit calling ship's "heavies" … as opposed to what? The CSC's will be lighter than the AOPS - get over weight references. /SARC OFF

Offline Underway

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Re: Quantity has a quality all on its own
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2015, 15:58:56 »
Ships are not planes. Will you all quit calling ship's "heavies" … as opposed to what? The CSC's will be lighter than the AOPS - get over weight references. /SARC OFF
I always love your posts OGBD :).  Perhaps we can talk about JOINTness instead.... ;)  As for CSC being lighter I doubt it.  6000-7000 tons for the CSC is what the navy seems to be aiming at.  The AOPS are going to prob come in at around 5200-6000 from everything I've read.  So what do we say then?  Equivalents?? lol.