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Future Naval platforms, systems, & fleet composition

Navy_Pete

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I think we might have a mix of ships tied up with a lack of crew myself, but I guess we'll save a bunch on fuel, and then we don't have to worry about the ships not meeting even civilian safety requirements when they aren't going to sea.
 

CBH99

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I think we might have a mix of ships tied up with a lack of crew myself, but I guess we'll save a bunch on fuel, and then we don't have to worry about the ships not meeting even civilian safety requirements when they aren't going to sea.
I’m sure CSC will meet civilian standards once built.

Crews for all of them though? You’re probably right on that one.


I am extremely happy with the decision to select the Type 26, arm it to the teeth, bring us into the Aegis family, etc etc. Game changer for us. (As a non-navy guy who doesn’t know the first thing abou operating a warship)

Minus a peer vs peer combat scenario, however, I had wondered if they wouldn’t have made their selection of the lowest crew requirement or automation potential.
 

JMCanada

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Turkey and Greece are still both NATO members. (I have a feeling I misunderstood what you meant there) - which is what is going to make that conflict so devastating for NATO as an organization.

Not really from a material perspective, but it will heavily distract NATO from outside threats to focus on internal conflict.

It would be a huge ‘balloon going up’ for Russia and China to both make some moves while our European allies are distracted and busy with that nonsense.

Colour me biased, but if that ever escalates for the point of happening — my initial gut reaction is that it will be Turkey’s doing. 🤷🏼‍♂️

Fully agree, I wouldn't say you're biased.
And yes... I meant both are still NATO members, what may have also prevented the conflict between them.
 

Underway

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Russia also prevents conflict between them. Turkey can't take their eye off the Russians for a minute. Not to mention the Turks have the mess that is Syria on their other border. They are in an interesting spot geopolitically.
 

CBH99

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They are also a mess internally as well, and I think it would be quite probably that an adversary / potential adversary could stir things up internally. Mass protests, labour strikes, the violence that comes from protests and riots, etc.

As capable as they are on paper, and as decent as some of their kit is - I'm not sure they could manifest that investment into a sizeable or reliable force if they had to truly mobilize.
 

Kirkhill

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Having acquired the almost obligatory copy of Mahan over several decades ago, it has sat on my bookshelf (along with the Clausewitz) undisturbed other than an initial read. That would probably be the average professional study of naval warfare by someone who spent most of his uniformed career focused on field force units. So, with that limited point of view, how would "naval warfare" break out without it being adjunct to a wider conflict? After a quick google search of the topic (I didn't want to feel like an naval ignoramus), in one of the articles I found (what was to my limited understanding) a very astute thought. War at sea, as Julian Corbett once quipped, matters only as much as it can affect events on the land.

Underway, as he posted above, likely puts it in proper perspective with ". . . the most likely naval conflicts are going to be between flashpoint countries. Turkey and Russia, Pakistan and India, Iran and Saudi Arabia. And given the nature of those countries unless climate change forces a fight (India vs Pakistan) over water they will be skirmishes".
Unless some one wants to start a gray war on trade and promote a bit of buccaneering on the high seas.

Crews dispatched to their lifeboat. Prize cargoes captured. Hulls sunk. Nike's don't make it to market.

Events on land are influenced. Stocks and jobs are affected. But no violence has occurred.


Do you go to war or not? Or do you let that nest of pirates continue to bankrupt you?
 

Spencer100

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Unless some one wants to start a gray war on trade and promote a bit of buccaneering on the high seas.

Crews dispatched to their lifeboat. Prize cargoes captured. Hulls sunk. Nike's don't make it to market.

Events on land are influenced. Stocks and jobs are affected. But no violence has occurred.


Do you go to war or not? Or do you let that nest of pirates continue to bankrupt you?
Just issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal. Problem solved :)

 

Kirkhill

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Egggzackly.


But you can't go blaming the French (entirely) - Francis Drake and John Hawkins operated under letters of marque as did all of William of Orange's sailors and the Sallee Rovers.

All of which peeved the Portuguese and the Spanish who had the written authority of the UN of the day to manage the world's trade. Of course the Secretary-General of the day was Pope Alexander VI, Rodrigo Borgia of Valencia, Spain.
 

Navy_Pete

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I’m sure CSC will meet civilian standards once built.

Crews for all of them though? You’re probably right on that one.


I am extremely happy with the decision to select the Type 26, arm it to the teeth, bring us into the Aegis family, etc etc. Game changer for us. (As a non-navy guy who doesn’t know the first thing abou operating a warship)

Minus a peer vs peer combat scenario, however, I had wondered if they wouldn’t have made their selection of the lowest crew requirement or automation potential.
Meeting standards at build isn't an issue (and we'll significantly exceed civilian standards). It's maintaining them that's the issue (see the current fleet for ref).
 

blacktriangle

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Meeting standards at build isn't an issue (and we'll significantly exceed civilian standards). It's maintaining them that's the issue (see the current fleet for ref).
As you alluded to upthread, there's also the issue of crewing the vessels...which was actually part of the reason I started this thread.

Where do you all see uncrewed surface and subsurface vessels fitting in? Also, would there be any place for smaller, optionally-crewed vessels that could help extend sensor & weapons coverage, or perhaps embark NTOG or SOF assets?
 

CBH99

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I see the use of uncrewed surface vessels expanding, and becoming significantly more prevalant over the next 20yrs - if not sooner.

The US Navy has tested engaging targets several hundred kilometers away using the SM-6 - in which a ship that was closer to the target locked it up on radar, and another ship (which was a few hundred km away) fired the weapon and hit it.

In a wartime scenario, I could see several uncrewed surface vessels with decent radar systems that could detect, track, and feed the info to a shooter vessel, which could possibly remain passive/silent.

So your idea of using uncrewed vessels to extend both weapons & sensor coverage is already a idea the US Navy has thought about, developed the appropriate systems for, and has tested. I HOPE that somewhere, in some lab or some program, the US Navy is doubling down on efforts to make that capability a robust, reliable, and readily available.

*I was looking for the specific article on google to link, but couldn't find it as easily as I thought. Will post it here once I find it.




As for uncrewed subsurface? I'm no expert at all (nor am I on surface assets either) -- but I could see uncrewed submarines being used to 'engage' deep undersea cables, roam about regions suspected of being mined, etc.

As for optionally crewed? No idea. But SOF does have access to their own little 'mini subs' that usually deploy from a larger submarine/mothership for the purposes of insertion/extraction. Is that what you meant?
 

blacktriangle

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I HOPE that somewhere, in some lab or some program, the US Navy is doubling down on efforts to make that capability a robust, reliable, and readily available.
One of the relevant DARPA programs is called NOMARS :D

As for the rest of your post, I definitely agree that things such as CEC make sense. Especially in terms of making things more resistant to enemy EW action.

I'm still wondering if putting so much emphasis on large, costly, and complicated surface combatants is the correct way to go long term. I think CSC would be great if in the water today, but that's not the case. I really do wonder what our adversaries will be fielding by the time we have those constructed and operational. At some point will it make sense to look at at the capabilities found in a modern high-end surface combatant, and spread them out between multiple smaller uncrewed & lightly crewed vessels? Less capable on their own, but the loss of one would also be far less costly. Perhaps these could be supported by "motherships" for service & sustainment purposes.

So, should we be planning to disperse capabilities more than we currently do?

Edited for clarity.
 
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Colin Parkinson

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You can have roving unmanned patrol craft out to the edge of your economic zone doing passive listening for subs, science/meteorological work. they can motor or drift as required. A lot of that work to design and build them can be done right here, right now and further Canada's technology industry. It can be done for the RCN through a COVID relief fund.
 

blacktriangle

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You can have roving unmanned patrol craft out to the edge of your economic zone doing passive listening for subs, science/meteorological work. they can motor or drift as required. A lot of that work to design and build them can be done right here, right now and further Canada's technology industry. It can be done for the RCN through a COVID relief fund.
Good point.

Does anyone know if the possibility of producing unmanned vessels has been explored for future inclusion into the NSS?
 

Underway

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I'm still wondering if putting so much emphasis on large, costly, and complicated surface combatants makes sense going forward. I think CSC would be great if in the water today, but that's not the case. I really do wonder what our adversaries will be fielding by the time we have those constructed and operational. At some point it will make sense to look at at the capabilities found in a modern high-end surface combatant, and spread them out between multiple smaller uncrewed & lightly crewed vessels. Less capable on their own, but the loss of one would also be far less costly. Perhaps these could be supported by "motherships" for service & sustainment purposes.

So, should we be planning to disperse capabilities more than we currently do?
That's not a bad idea of a defensive posture or limited area for fighting.

However, if small dispersed ships were the way to go why is China, Japan, UK, France, US etc... all building larger ships with more capability in them. They are all introducing new carriers or carrier programs into their fleets as well. They are building bigger better submarines.

Because these vessels do the job and project the power. Small dispersed ships are a nice idea but don't pull the weight when the chips are down. There are massive disadvantages to them. They are not good in the high seas, they have limited sensor capabilities, they have limited ranges and time on station. This is why you see small ships in places like the Baltic (Sweeden and their Visby class) or the Black Sea ( the ever-growing number of over gunned Russian Corvettes and missile boats).

It's also why the LCS program failed at its heart and is being replaced with frigates. It was designed with the idea that quantity has its own quality. Well apparently quality is important as well, and the LCS actually showed that they were less flexible than blue water destroyers in most circumstances.

USV's can mitigate some of these disadvantages but in the process create their own sets of negatives. Complete lack of flexibility, limited sensors, no kinetic effects etc...
 

Weinie

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That's not a bad idea of a defensive posture or limited area for fighting. Sweeden for example does this with many corvettes and other stealthy type craft, that disperse and hide.

However if small dispersed ships were the way to go why is China, Japan, UK, France, US etc... all building larger ships with more capability in them. They are all introducing new carriers or carrier programs into their fleets as well. They are building bigger better submarines.

Because these vessels do the job and project the power. Small dispersed ships are a nice idea, but don't pull the weight when the chips are down. There are massive disadvantages to them. They are not good in the high seas, they have limited sensor capabilities, they have limited ranges and time on station. This is why you see small ships in places like the Baltic (Sweeden and their Visby class) or the Black Sea ( the ever-growing number of overgunned Russian Corvettes and missile boats).

It's also why the LCS program failed at its heart and is being replaced with frigates. It was designed with the idea that quantity has its own quality. Well apparently quality is important as well, and the LCS actually showed that they were less flexible than blue water destroyers in most circumstances.
How about putting an unmanned, nuclear powered, SSBN off the coast (but within range) of every potential flashpoint , and having several more at sea, to project forward when needed.
 

Colin Parkinson

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LCS failed because of unrealistic expectations, a littoral ship that is also deep sea. Plus it was supposed to be able to perform unicorn levels of magic and other stuff. What they needed was a fast gunboat for areas you don't want to risk a big ship.

Unmanned vessels and platforms can do routine patrolling and sensing, along with dangerous jobs like mine hunting and decoy work.
 

Underway

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How about putting an unmanned, nuclear powered, SSBN off the coast (but within range) of every potential flashpoint , and having several more at sea, to project forward when needed.
Never happen. Just asking for a nuclear disaster or a boarding by any group that wants to steal nuclear tech. There is no such thing as an unmonitored nuclear reactor. The reason people are in the loop is that ships break all the time. And in the weirdest most unpredictable ways.

If you are going uncrewed then it better be a disposable platform, because any actor on the high seas could board a ship and take it. The British consider unmanned USV's and UUV's that are not tethered "navigational hazards". Which means target practice. They've done it before.

China has fished US UUV's out of the water with nets and stolen the tech.

Unmanned vessels and platforms can do routine patrolling and sensing, along with dangerous jobs like mine hunting and decoy work.

Sure. Good work for those sorts of things. Just a more mobile persistent sonobuoy works. They already are critical in minehunting and decoys.

But an actual full combat platform? No. We're a long way away from that.
 

Colin Parkinson

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I thinking more in the sensing role and data gathering on ocean conditions which helps our subs and surface fleet hunt for any suspicious underwater activity
 

CBH99

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Small dispersed ships are a nice idea but do not hold up when the chips are down

Just imagining a good scrap in the SCS, and was thinking that perhaps that may be the difference between the chips being down or not?

Im thinking uncreated small vessels with decent radars & sensors that can detect and track a target, and feed that info to a bigger ship for the shoot.

I think that was the point & concept the US Navy was trying to confirm when they intercepted a target in similar conditions?


Having quite a few of them dispersed in a combat zone could/would complicate things for the enemy. And if they attack that ship not knowing it’s a small unscrewed vessel at first, would give our side those openings & moments that get us closer to a victory?

(Or am I just talking nonsense?)
 
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