Author Topic: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)  (Read 7108 times)

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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2017, 13:51:21 »
The fast firing anti-tank gun.

WRT  the discussion on budget and acquisition costs this line kind of stood out:

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Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2017, 13:52:25 »
The fast firing WW2 anti-tank gun.

FTFY :)

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Offline Lumber

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2017, 14:09:12 »
USS Missouri displaced 45000 tonnes (pretty sure that that tonnage is/was necessary to manage the recoil from her 9 guns firing in broadside).

Each turret required a crew of 79 (237 total out of a crew of 2700) and 149 other guns to protect the main guns.

Range of some 40 km

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Missouri_(BB-63)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/16%22/50_caliber_Mark_7_gun

The other question is, if the ship has to reload and reloads have to be flown in to rearm the ship at a friendly port why not fly the "reloads" directly to the target and have the ship save her own missiles while staying on station as a forward observer?

Dimsum and EITS, I am sure would be happy to shuttle some Harpoons your way in the Aurora?  Even the Hornets can shuttle Harpoons your way.



Why we don't have a Harpoon capability on our Auroras I do not understand! I think* the CF-18s are equipped for it, but they never ever train for it, am I correct?

Anyways, your whole point about the ships on station being forward observers is also part of what I was alluding to "contemplating" earlier. You can carry a lot more missiles (TLAM or Anti-Ship) aboard submarines, and if you are using air-assets, those can return to base, re-arm, and return FAR faster than a ship could. Hell, in a few decades, you could use shore-based anti-ship missiles with ranges of a thousand kilometres (just a theory).

So, all you would need was forward observers to designate targets, and in these cases, if all you need is eyes and sensors, then large, expensive, heavily crewed warship might not be the best tool.

That being said, there is nothing more imposing than the arrival of a CBG off your coast. That has a quality all in it's own.
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2017, 15:50:59 »
Why we don't have a Harpoon capability on our Auroras I do not understand! I think* the CF-18s are equipped for it, but they never ever train for it, am I correct?

Anyways, your whole point about the ships on station being forward observers is also part of what I was alluding to "contemplating" earlier. You can carry a lot more missiles (TLAM or Anti-Ship) aboard submarines, and if you are using air-assets, those can return to base, re-arm, and return FAR faster than a ship could. Hell, in a few decades, you could use shore-based anti-ship missiles with ranges of a thousand kilometres (just a theory).

So, all you would need was forward observers to designate targets, and in these cases, if all you need is eyes and sensors, then large, expensive, heavily crewed warship might not be the best tool.

That being said, there is nothing more imposing than the arrival of a CBG off your coast. That has a quality all in it's own.

Actually incorrect, Lumber. First of all, most submarines only carry torpedoes - not missiles. But for argument sake, let's look at some submarines that do carry them, and look at large submarines that carry them to maximize the carrying capability, and compare to equivalent surface ships. For reference sake: They are all in the 8000 to 9000 tons range for displacement - so comparable.

The Brits Astute class submarines can carry a maximum combined (for each missile you load one torpedo has to be unshipped) of 38 missiles and torpedoes. It costs 3USB$ per boat. Meanwhile, the Type 26 frigate (GP version), costing you 1.2USB$ each, will carry 72 missiles plus 14 torpedoes - total of 86.

On the US side, let's look at the most advanced version of the Virginia SSGN (since it carries the most), which carries a combined maximum load of 65 missiles and torpedoes (earlier Virginias carried a max of 50 ), at the very reasonable cost of 2.7USB$ per boat, while the latest incarnation of the Arleigh Burke destroyers carries either 96 or 104 (depending on wether they have eight tubes for harpoons or not) missiles plus 18 torpedoes, for a total of 114 to 122, the whole at the bargain price of 1.8USB$ each.

So: No, submarines do not have a greater embark capability than surface ships for missiles and, on top of that, are not cheaper than the surface ships they would "replace'.

But, I would like to ask the following two questions to those here who argue for "swarms" of smaller vessels:

1) Considering that the cost of modern warship is 40% in the hulls and propulsion and 60% in the actual weapons, weapons system and combat systems, and that by necessity, your swarm would carry more weapons (your objective) in more weapons systems (launchers) and require more combat systems (for instance in your 10:1 ratio of swarm fighter to frigate, assuming 4 ASW version, 4 AAW versions and 2 ASuW version, would you not require at least 4 good air search radars, vs the 2 on a frigate, 10 navigation and surface search radars, vs the 2 on a frigate and four sonar suites as opposed to one on the frigate) where do you get any savings?

2) Considering that, in Western navies, the largest part of the fleets already consist of the frigates/destroyers class of ships, forming the largest part of the fleets, supporting a much smaller number of larger cruisers, aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships, and that these ships usually work in Task Force, or Groups, don't we already have a "swarm" system for fighting at sea?
 

Offline Dimsum

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2017, 16:06:15 »
Why we don't have a Harpoon capability on our Auroras I do not understand! I think* the CF-18s are equipped for it, but they never ever train for it, am I correct?

Beats me.  Sarcastic me would say "fast jets don't like other things firing warheads" but I doubt they really care.  Our wings, like every other P-3 variant out there, are fitted for (but not with) hardpoints. 

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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2017, 17:14:02 »
Actually incorrect, Lumber. First of all, most submarines only carry torpedoes - not missiles. But for argument sake, let's look at some submarines that do carry them, and look at large submarines that carry them to maximize the carrying capability, and compare to equivalent surface ships. For reference sake: They are all in the 8000 to 9000 tons range for displacement - so comparable.

The Brits Astute class submarines can carry a maximum combined (for each missile you load one torpedo has to be unshipped) of 38 missiles and torpedoes. It costs 3USB$ per boat. Meanwhile, the Type 26 frigate (GP version), costing you 1.2USB$ each, will carry 72 missiles plus 14 torpedoes - total of 86.

On the US side, let's look at the most advanced version of the Virginia SSGN (since it carries the most), which carries a combined maximum load of 65 missiles and torpedoes (earlier Virginias carried a max of 50 ), at the very reasonable cost of 2.7USB$ per boat, while the latest incarnation of the Arleigh Burke destroyers carries either 96 or 104 (depending on wether they have eight tubes for harpoons or not) missiles plus 18 torpedoes, for a total of 114 to 122, the whole at the bargain price of 1.8USB$ each.

So: No, submarines do not have a greater embark capability than surface ships for missiles and, on top of that, are not cheaper than the surface ships they would "replace'.

But, I would like to ask the following two questions to those here who argue for "swarms" of smaller vessels:

1) Considering that the cost of modern warship is 40% in the hulls and propulsion and 60% in the actual weapons, weapons system and combat systems, and that by necessity, your swarm would carry more weapons (your objective) in more weapons systems (launchers) and require more combat systems (for instance in your 10:1 ratio of swarm fighter to frigate, assuming 4 ASW version, 4 AAW versions and 2 ASuW version, would you not require at least 4 good air search radars, vs the 2 on a frigate, 10 navigation and surface search radars, vs the 2 on a frigate and four sonar suites as opposed to one on the frigate) where do you get any savings?

2) Considering that, in Western navies, the largest part of the fleets already consist of the frigates/destroyers class of ships, forming the largest part of the fleets, supporting a much smaller number of larger cruisers, aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships, and that these ships usually work in Task Force, or Groups, don't we already have a "swarm" system for fighting at sea?

OGBD - The argument is that fewer berths = fewer pensions = more funds available for capital (either power plants or sensors or weapons).

And Dimsum - with full load out how many Harpoons could a single CP-140 sortie?
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 17:17:03 by Chris Pook »
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2017, 17:26:36 »
Chris, I thought your argument was for more ships each with a smaller crew, but not necessarily an overall reduction in the number of personnel. For instance, I know you mentioned a crew of about 50 somewhere above. At that rate, if you have four smaller vessels for each frigate you "replace" as part of the swarm, you are only marginally below current levels, and you have to consider your personnel qualifications. Four smaller ship to one frigate, for instance, means four captains instead of one - even if it would be four Lcdr as opposed to a single Cdr and four fully qualified Chief Engineers, even if they are to be PO1 instead of a CPO2. And if you don't get more ships by reducing the crew size - then what's the point?

Beats me.  Sarcastic me would say "fast jets don't like other things firing warheads" but I doubt they really care.  Our wings, like every other P-3 variant out there, are fitted for (but not with) hardpoints. 

Dimsum, I suspect it's as easy as this: When the Argus replacement program was put in motion, we had no ships in the fleet equipped with harpoons and at that point, no specific prospect of acquiring any. So, the question became is it worth investing in a very limited number of harpoons, with the handling, warehousing and maintenance cost associated there with, just for the very very remote possibility that our Auroras - acquired mostly for ASW in the Canlant area - would need to do some surface warfare. It was probably decided that it wasn't worth it. I bet you the decision would have been the opposite had the frigates program already been finalized and harpoons selected for service on board.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2017, 17:38:16 »
Chris, I thought your argument was for more ships each with a smaller crew, but not necessarily an overall reduction in the number of personnel. For instance, I know you mentioned a crew of about 50 somewhere above. At that rate, if you have four smaller vessels for each frigate you "replace" as part of the swarm, you are only marginally below current levels, and you have to consider your personnel qualifications. Four smaller ship to one frigate, for instance, means four captains instead of one - even if it would be four Lcdr as opposed to a single Cdr and four fully qualified Chief Engineers, even if they are to be PO1 instead of a CPO2. And if you don't get more ships by reducing the crew size - then what's the point?

Dimsum, I suspect it's as easy as this: When the Argus replacement program was put in motion, we had no ships in the fleet equipped with harpoons and at that point, no specific prospect of acquiring any. So, the question became is it worth investing in a very limited number of harpoons, with the handling, warehousing and maintenance cost associated there with, just for the very very remote possibility that our Auroras - acquired mostly for ASW in the Canlant area - would need to do some surface warfare. It was probably decided that it wasn't worth it. I bet you the decision would have been the opposite had the frigates program already been finalized and harpoons selected for service on board.

OGBD - you are trimming.

Labour or Capital are two sides of the same coin.  With a limited budget one needs to give.  I can take a Halifax crew and split it into 5 crews of 45.   Now perhaps I only hire 2 of those crews and put 2 hulls in the water with the money I save from laying off 3 crews.  I still have two hulls where before I only had one hull.

Also I don't need to convert all my Halifaxes to small hulls.  Even if I only convert 4 and leave 8 intact then I will have added 8 small hulls to my fleet of 8 large hulls for a total of 16 hulls.

I am not an absolutist.  I work from the outside of the envelope backwards to the centre.

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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2017, 17:46:46 »
Under the head of "realm of the possible"

A "proper" ship with a small crew -



Quote
Builders:   
Damen Shipyards Galați, Romania
Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, Netherlands (fitting out)
Operators:    Royal Netherlands Navy
Cost:   
€467.8m (project)
~US$150m/ship
In commission:   2012–present
Completed:   4
Active:   4
General characteristics
Type:   Offshore patrol vessel
Displacement:   approx. 3,750 tons full load
Length:   108.4 m (355 ft 8 in)
Beam:   16 m (52 ft 6 in)
Draught:   4.55 m (14 ft 11 in)
Propulsion:   
RENK CODELOD
2x MAN 12V28/33D diesel engines (5460KW each)
Speed:   21.5 knots (39.8 km/h; 24.7 mph)
Range:   5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Endurance:   21 days[1]
Boats & landing
craft carried:   
1 × Fast Rescue Boat (FRB)
2 × Fast Raiding Interception and Special Forces Craft (FRISC)
Complement:   54 (+ additional space for 40)
Sensors and
processing systems:   
Thales Integrated Mast
SeaMaster 400 SMILE non-rotating air warning radar
SeaWatcher 100 active phased array surface detection and tracking radar
GateKeeper Electro-optical 360° surveillance system
Armament:   
Guns:
1 × 76 mm Oto Melara Super Rapid
1 × 30 mm Oto Melara Marlin WS
2 × 12.7 mm Oto Melara Hitrole NT
6 × 7.62 mm FN MAG machine guns
Aircraft carried:   1 x NH90 helicopter[2]
Aviation facilities:   fully equipped hangar and flight deck for one medium-sized helicopter

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Offline GR66

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2017, 18:46:57 »
I'm sure it's been mentioned before, but this is maybe where an "arsenal ship" concept could be used as a force multiplier.  A relatively inexpensive hull with a small crew that you send out to accompany your AAD Canadian Surface Combatant.  Load it with a bunch of VLS launchers who's missiles can be directed by the command ship (I'd imagine it could be controlled by any AAD ship it's sent with). 

Throw in a helicopter hanger and a towed-array sonar (even a modular unit) and you've also doubled your ASW capability. 

Don't load the missile launchers and you'd still have a ship that could be useful for non-combat missions (fisheries patrols, humanitarian support, disaster relief, etc.).

Offline Thucydides

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2017, 22:16:39 »
The argument of ships vs aircraft is actually a non sequester, since aircraft have limited loiter time while ships can remain on station for months at a time, if necessary. Assuming the ships are operating under some sort of air umbrella, then you are actually marrying complimentary capabilities, rather than substituting one for another (which are really non substitutable anyway).

While the "Arsenal Ship" concept is rather interesting in abstract (the initial version of the idea was for a massive vessel carrying 500 missiles), this is just the opposite of a "swarm" fleet, since all your missiles are now aboard one single platform....oops...

If I am understanding the press releases, the USN is going for a different concept anyway. The "Third offset" does require a form of swarming warfare, but the Navy, given the limited number of platforms, is working on the idea of a web of sensors and shooters (an early version had a Marine F-35 locate a target, then cue and fire a missile from a nearby US Navy ship and guide the missile to the target). This idea potentially eliminates gaps in sensor or weapons coverage. Combined with other Navy initiatives like high energy lasers for point defense, and hypervelocity projectiles to almost double the range of most cannon, and the same number of ships can now reach out much farther and faster than before.
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Offline NavyShooter

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2017, 08:20:17 »
I have my doubts that an "arsenal ship" is in the RCN's future.  This would require the political will to shoot back from a ship at sea.  I see that as....unlikely based on my past experience in Libya.

The concept of more smaller ships has some draw....however, those smaller ships still have to be capable of surviving and operating in the North Atlantic/North Pacific, where the waves are....at times substantial. 

Smaller crews are already coming.  MON did a bunch of trials after I left the ship, and reduced crew sizes are the way ahead.  That said, look to the MCDV's for some consideration on this.  Having instructed at the DC School and observed how an MCDV is able to react to fires/floods, as well as having some sailing experience on one, I'll note that most evolutions on these ships are a whole crew effort, and the ability to handle multiple fire/flood events is VERY dependent on highly skilled personnel.  I will also note that when these ships deploy, they tend to deploy in pairs, it allows some pooling of resources and increases operational effectiveness.

So, based on that, I would argue that the crew size of ~35-40 on an MCDV is too small for an independent deployable platform.

Would 50 be enough?  I'm leaning towards the AOPS manning of about 60-65 providing enough depth of personnel for long independent missions. 

Just my thoughts.

NS


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Offline jollyjacktar

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2017, 15:13:10 »
Would 50 be enough?  I'm leaning towards the AOPS manning of about 60-65 providing enough depth of personnel for long independent missions. 

Just my thoughts.

NS

Don't forget that the AOPS are not considered to "combat" platforms, they're not supposed to have to deal with DC as a result of action stations so the multiple events should not necessarily be as intense as combat events.  That is not to say they might not have a really bad day with, say poor workmanship from the Yard causing havoc in multiples.  They might be able to comfortably get away with a small(er) crew on a big, big ship.

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2017, 16:15:22 »
Good point.

The questions are, what capabilities would such a smaller platform NEED to have?

If it's small enough, then DC for battle damage isn't much of a concern (one hit = dead?)

That said, what WOULD be required?

-Deep Ocean Sea-keeping capability
-Air/Surface search radar, with Link capability for RMP
-AA Defense capability (does it need to be layered?)
-Rescue boat capable for SAR

If you're looking at a 'minimalist' ship, and concentrate on patrol/self-defense/SAR capabilities, then you'd probably want something like this:



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braunschweig-class_corvette

1800 tonnes
26 Knots
400 mile range
65 Crew
3D Radar + Link 11/16
76mm gun
Anti-ship missile
Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM)
Helipad and hangar

Capable of operating in the North Sea....so sea-keeping shouldn't be too bad.





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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2017, 16:38:16 »
The other question is, if the ship has to reload and reloads have to be flown in to rearm the ship at a friendly port why not fly the "reloads" directly to the target and have the ship save her own missiles while staying on station as a forward observer?

Dimsum and EITS, I am sure would be happy to shuttle some Harpoons your way in the Aurora?  Even the Hornets can shuttle Harpoons your way.



That is the basic way it works for ASW with torps.  Mother and her MH should save their fish and the MPA should put the attack/re-attack in if possible, for that very reason;  we can RTB and re-arm.

If the desire to hang ordinance off hardpoints on the Aurora every developed by the powers that be, the capability is there.  The USN is light years ahead of us with the P-8 (even if they should have put a MAD boom on) and to be quite honest, I don't see the government of Canada ever being smart enough to do this. 

http://www.dcmilitary.com/tester/tenant_profile/vx--pioneers-conduct-successful-first-time-live-fire-missile/article_851ab198-f08c-50a8-ba85-a62f8a90864c.html
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Offline GR66

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #40 on: March 22, 2017, 16:52:42 »
My mention of the arsenal ship concept was more in response to the concern raised that our our ships would likely run out of missiles very quickly in a real shooting war.  That concept is one way to increase our capacity at a lesser cost than simply adding more, expensive, "full-featured" warships.

To be honest my personal opinion is that in a full shooting war with Russia (or China?) the most important role we can play is basically the same as we did in WWI and WWII...ensure that the Americans are able to safely ship their military might to the fight.  A related role will be to keep enemy air and naval forces from approaching and attacking from off our coastlines.

I'd think that enemy surface fleets will be the easiest of the threats to locate, track and avoid or counter.  Once identified they will likely be targeted by allied aircraft, submarines and carrier battle groups.  Submarines and air-launched missiles I think would be the greater threat.  Both subs and aircraft are difficult to find in the vast areas of air and sea in which they can operate.  We can pack our ships with missiles to defend against their attacks, but wouldn't it be better to instead locate them before they are able to launch their attacks? 

I'm sure that a fully-equipped, multi-role capable CSC would definitley be the ship you'd want to have in the tactical situation.  However, when you can only afford 10-12 such ships in the larger, strategic sense would you be better off having twice as many ASW ships instead so you can double your chance of detecting the enemy subs before they can attack? 

Same with air threats.  Is there value in adding a bunch more "budget" Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft to increase our air/sea detection capabilities, even if it means a few less combat aircraft?

Offline jollyjacktar

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #41 on: March 22, 2017, 16:56:37 »
Good point.

The questions are, what capabilities would such a smaller platform NEED to have?

If it's small enough, then DC for battle damage isn't much of a concern (one hit = dead?)

That said, what WOULD be required?

-Deep Ocean Sea-keeping capability
-Air/Surface search radar, with Link capability for RMP
-AA Defense capability (does it need to be layered?)
-Rescue boat capable for SAR

If you're looking at a 'minimalist' ship, and concentrate on patrol/self-defense/SAR capabilities, then you'd probably want something like this:



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braunschweig-class_corvette

1800 tonnes
26 Knots
4000 mile range  FTFY (Had me going Whaaaat? 400 mile range?  we'll probably buy a dozen >:D)
65 Crew
3D Radar + Link 11/16
76mm gun
Anti-ship missile
Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM)
Helipad and hangar

Capable of operating in the North Sea....so sea-keeping shouldn't be too bad.

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #42 on: March 22, 2017, 20:29:47 »
Why we don't have a Harpoon capability on our Auroras I do not understand!

I was told we have the hardpoints (in storage) but have never fitted them.  However, one of the procedural trainers in Gwood has them installed.

Why don't we have hardpoints?  The same reason our theatre airframes don't have laser designators and a bombbay with kill stores in it.

We are too effin cheap to pay to be effective.  I'd trade an Aurora for one of those ATL2's that have the MX-20D and can kill from their own weapons load-out.  At least they can do effects on dynamic stuff.
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Offline Dolphin_Hunter

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #43 on: March 23, 2017, 07:38:13 »
Why don't we have hardpoints?  The same reason our theatre airframes don't have laser designators and a bombbay with kill stores in it.

We are too effin cheap to pay to be effective.  I'd trade an Aurora for one of those ATL2's that have the MX-20D and can kill from their own weapons load-out.  At least they can do effects on dynamic stuff.

I'm a cynic.  I think the reason why we don't have these options, is because it'd take from the FAG (fast air group).

The only thing we are effective at, is being ineffective.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #44 on: March 31, 2017, 00:45:43 »
One other argument which I haven't seen here is the proliferation of AA/AD systems, such as the Chinese DF-21 ballistic missile, advertised to be capable of engaging aircraft carriers at sea. More realistically is the ever increasing numbers of anti ship cruise missiles and even supersonic weapons, diesel electric submarines and traditional weapons like mines to threaten ships approaching the enemy shore.

The question becomes how to best counter this? Swarms of smaller, cheaper ships mean you lose less overall capability should a ship be hit or damaged by AA/AD systems, but on the other hand, smaller ships have issues with long term deployments, and carrying a large or heavy weapons load out to either counter the AA/AD systems or shoot back outside of the range of effective Area Denial.

To give you an idea, consider there was a proposal to convert the massive San Antonio amphibious transport dock ship to an ABM platform, with the rational that the large ship could support a much larger 3D radar array, plus have the internal room and magazine space to house a rail gun and a large number of SAM or even ABMs aboard. This is the opposite of a "swarm" ship, but with current and near future technology, putting that sort of firepower on board a smaller ship would be extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline GR66

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #45 on: March 31, 2017, 02:05:32 »
As far as submarines go, wouldn't it be better to locate the sub BEFORE it can launch its missiles against a high-value target?  Does that suggest that a larger number of ASW vessels and maritime patrol aircraft would have the greater potential impact in a major conflict?  Is that the reason that Canada became the "Corvette Navy" rather than building a bunch of cruisers and other major surface combatants in WWII? 

I'll continue to argue that strategic imperatives in a future major war are essentially the same as in WWI and WWII...enable the military might of the US to reach the battle.  The US has its nuclear subs and its carrier battle groups with plentiful air-defence assets to take on enemy surface forces.  Enemy subs are likely the greatest risk.  It may not be glamourous, but a modern version of a "Corvette Navy" is probably the most valuable contribution we could make to our allies in a major war.

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #46 on: March 31, 2017, 04:27:16 »
I'm a cynic.  I think the reason why we don't have these options, is because it'd take from the FAG (fast air group).

The only thing we are effective at, is being ineffective.

 :rofl:  and you're probably spot-on.  And..the money part too.  Our government likes to spend money on free Wi-Fi on public transit, not strike capabilities.  Wifi gets you re-elected!
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Offline Lumber

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #47 on: March 31, 2017, 09:42:41 »
As far as submarines go, wouldn't it be better to locate the sub BEFORE it can launch its missiles against a high-value target?  Does that suggest that a larger number of ASW vessels and maritime patrol aircraft would have the greater potential impact in a major conflict?  Is that the reason that Canada became the "Corvette Navy" rather than building a bunch of cruisers and other major surface combatants in WWII? 

I'll continue to argue that strategic imperatives in a future major war are essentially the same as in WWI and WWII...enable the military might of the US to reach the battle.  The US has its nuclear subs and its carrier battle groups with plentiful air-defence assets to take on enemy surface forces.  Enemy subs are likely the greatest risk.  It may not be glamourous, but a modern version of a "Corvette Navy" is probably the most valuable contribution we could make to our allies in a major war.

While I wouldn't say that going back to our ASW roots his the best course, I do think this is an important point to bring up. What do we (Canada as a whole) want our Navy to be capable of? I can see three options:

1. Purely self-defence and constabulary; basically turn us into the equivalent of the US Coast Guard. We're not actually far from this! Their ship's are armed with a 57mm and a CIWS. Most of the time, our ship's don't carry missiles unless they are on deployment or specifically going out to test fire missiles, which means most of our ships driving around are armed with, you guessed it, just a 57mm and a CIWS...

2. Pick a specific role, and get good at it, like ASW, AAW, ASuW or NGS. The ship's will still have the constabulary abilities, but our navy can be considered experts in an area and can slot ourselves into a joint task force, fulfilling only our main role.

3. Try to have the ability to unilaterally deploy a task force that has is capable of all capabilities; AAW, ASuW and ASW. This requires either a very robust and expensive platform, or several different platforms, including AORs, subs, AD Destroyers and ASW units.

Right now I feel like we're stuck straddling 2 and 3, and we can't actually afford option 3. We don't have enough money for enough ships. To put a task force to sea, you'd need an AOR, a AD destroyer, 2 ASW units, and a screening sub, at minimum, IMO. Further, even with that whole task group, you wouldn't have an CAP, so you'd really want to throw in an Assault Carrier with some Sea-Harriers/F-35Bs, and now you're getting really expensive.

My vote is on 1 or 2, but ASW isn't that fun, so let's switch gears and become AD or ASuW experts  ;D.
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #48 on: March 31, 2017, 10:37:21 »
I know that there is a great myth built around the Corvette Navy in Canada. And no doubt the very miserable existence and resulting hardship suffered by that "branch" of the navy means that it developed a narrative of its view of the war that made it worth it to fight in that way. However, and this is the sad historical truth: The Corvette Navy achieved very little other than rescuing merchant seamen from their sinking ships and fooling those same merchant seamen into believing the navy cared and was protecting them.

The corvettes were an emergency program begun shortly before the beginning of the war as a stop gap measure to produce a lot of cheap little vessel very quickly, with minimum equipment and basically useless of the task other than showing up, to stop the gap until the real anti-submarine vessels (the much larger castle class corvette/frigate and the river class frigates, together with some C and V class destroyers) arrived and air power could be brought to bear every where. The basic corvettes* around the convoys achieved a less than 2% efficiency in stopping submarines in the first three years of the war. In that time, however, 90% of the merchant ship traffic went through unscathed as a result of routing of convoys. By the mid 1943, the larger ASW ships arrived in strength, together with the escort carriers and the tide was finally turned. Our Canadian "Corvette navy" myth makes little out of the fact that, while we acquired and operated 111 corvettes in WWII (only 14 of which were acquired after 1943), we also acquired and operated, starting in 1942, 55 Castle class and river class frigates, 7 destroyers (not including the tribals, which were all serving with the RN nor the old american four-stackers, that were little better than the corvettes) for convoy escort duties. These were ultimately the backbone and most efficient vessels.

My point here is that we should stop looking at a wartime emergency measure as the model for building the Navy in peacetime, when we have all the time needed to get the actual ship you need for the task you conclude is yours(If Great Britain had the time in 1938, they would have gone straight to frigates and destroyers without bothering with corvettes). If we build now, with the time in hand, we should build the proper ship for the job we do.

And, BTW, I am happy to see that Chris dragged the Holland class patrol vessels of the Dutch navy in the picture. The Dutch have four o those ships, but guess what, Chris: A single Halifax takes all four of them out without even a scratch on her paint. That is how useless at war fighting they are. Ah! You ask: Why do the Dutch have them then? Just like many European continental countries (and the UK), the Dutch use these vessels for constabulary work of their government, law enforcement and overseas territory "protection", which means drug/human trafficking and police work (in the case of the UK, they are used for fisheries protection only).

That is fine for those countries where the government has adopted that legal framework and scheme for its action at sea. In Canada, we have not. The legal framework in which we work assigns war fighting only to the RCN. The law enforcement rests with the RCMP, fisheries protection with that part o the Coast-guard, etc. etc. So we, in the Navy, do not have the legal authority to act as a constabulary force++. This may change but it is a government decision.

I agree with Lumber just above: The government has to decide first what mission it wishes the navy to have, then pick the proper ship for it. But so far our mission has fallen between the number 2 and number 3 suggested by Lumber, and that means that the lowest vessel that can effectively do the job is a frigate - and when we have time in hand, that is what we should build.   
 


*: By the time the larger, more effective ASW escort ship started to arrive in numerical strength by the end of 1942, the corvettes could finally start to be taken into long refits and finally fitted with all the ultra modern ASW equipment that had been developed for the frigates, so that by the end of the war, the corvettes that remained bore no resemblance with the ones that had fought the first half of the war at sea. 

++: That is, BTW, one of the never resolved problem with the AOPS. The government which ordered those vessels, and the current one, have yet to adopt legislation that empower the Navy to act with the AOPS. It is domestic peace time ops we are talking about here and the rules are not the rules of war - thus not operations under Rules of Engagement. For constabulary work, we need proper authority (peace officer power under law) and proper use of minimum force rules and training. It has not yet been approved, or even developed. Think about it, a merchant ship is doing something fishy in our waters and an AOPS sees it. On what basis can the Captain act or use his gun? Without legal cover, she wouldn't do anything but report to the RCMP.
 

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
« Reply #49 on: March 31, 2017, 11:00:58 »
As far as submarines go, wouldn't it be better to locate the sub BEFORE it can launch its missiles against a high-value target?

Uhmmmmm....yes?   ;D

Quote
Does that suggest that a larger number of ASW vessels and maritime patrol aircraft would have the greater potential impact in a major conflict?

Depends on the conflict.  I won't comment on NATOs ability to go toe to toe with say, the Russian navy (those folks like their missles and subs and are ramping up IMO).  But, I'll point out the obvious.  MPAs have the ability to retask and move to a new area quickly, RTB, refuel and rearm, swap crews and head back out again.  IF you have enough MPA resources, you can do hot handovers.  That used to happen in the Argus days, both with friendly forces, and withing our own VP Sqns.

Ships however, aren't grounded for weather, can remain ONSTA for a longgggggggggg time, etc.

I don't think either surface or airborne assets can replace each other, really.  They are used differently in the same task for something like ASW, can be co-operatively or not.  MPAs can ""pounce" but sooner or later they are headed back for gas.

Ref Lumber post.  ASW isn't that boring, really.  What threat do we face and can we go toe to toe with a Russian force?  We don't have the kit and budget for AD and ASuW.  We are just about to get going with the long delayed new MH and its capabilities.  We have a (really small) LRPA fleet.  I don't know about a CPFs ability to duke it out (ASuW) compared to stuff the Russians have or the USN.

Being ASW specialists might just be the way forward afterall?
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