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Navy.ca => Navy General => Topic started by: jollyjacktar on March 19, 2017, 16:32:29

Title: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: jollyjacktar on March 19, 2017, 16:32:29
Chris,  the main difference between civilian sailing and Naval sailing is of course the possibility of combat.  Sure, if you're just pottering from Port to Port on your Maresk rounds, at a steady state of speed, who needs numbers?  You can get away with a small-ish crew and accomplish the company's business.  We're not in the business, business.  We're in the war business and whatever else our political masters say we are.  You're comparing apples to oranges.

I agree, the meat interfaces cost a great deal over the hardware.

On the small craft MTB thing.  I knew an man who involved in the battles of what was going to replace the gate vessels for the reserves back when. He said there were two camps, those who wanted gun boats and those who wanted sweepers. As it turned out the guns went down to defeat and we have the MCDVs.  I would have loved to see gun boats in the fleet, you bet.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 19, 2017, 16:50:20
OK.  I'll bite. Define the War Business.

What capabilities do you provide? What effects do you deliver?
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: jollyjacktar on March 19, 2017, 17:12:58
Simply put, warships are ultimately designed to deliver death and destruction upon the enemy, just as tanks, fighters and artillery tubes are and not to deliver sea cans for business X to business Y for a profit.  And if they do get into a combat situation with an aggressor, they need the personnel to repair any damage that might result from same.  That, takes people, period. 

Like any sailor, I earnestly hope the reason for having a warship never comes to pass.  Cuz someone might lose an eye, like Nelson, then need side parties.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 19, 2017, 17:35:22
JJT -  Stipulating the role is to deliver death and destruction.

So you are transporting the means by which death and destruction can be visited on the heads of the unbelievers.  Basically, in the modern world that means lots of HE.  Which can be transported in seacans.  And which can be launched from seacans.  Or from a variety of decks.

You are providing a transport service (and a warehousing service - those days that you are not pressing buttons). 

I take issue about the need to save the ship.  It only becomes an issue, in my mind, if there is no other option for the sailors aboard otherwise I would abandon the ship and transfer the survivors to another hull.  The only other reason I can see to spend effort and lives trying to save the ship is because you have so much capital invested in it.  On the other hand money spent on systems designed to make her more survivable will increase her cost making it more imperative that she be saved.  Which necessitates spending more money.

Take your 225 Iroquois berths, spread them out amongst 15x 15-man "capsules" like the DeHavilland Boats and add in a bunch of autonomous barges carrying seacans full of self-unloading HE.  Which is the more survivable, combat effective and cost effective force?
 
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: jollyjacktar on March 19, 2017, 18:23:56
JJT -  Stipulating the role is to deliver death and destruction.

So you are transporting the means by which death and destruction can be visited on the heads of the unbelievers.  Basically, in the modern world that means lots of HE.  Which can be transported in seacans.  And which can be launched from seacans.  Or from a variety of decks.

You are providing a transport service (and a warehousing service - those days that you are not pressing buttons). 


Quote
Then with that reasoning, a tank for instance is just a tracked delivery truck, or a F-18 is a skinny cargo aircraft for that matter

I take issue about the need to save the ship.  It only becomes an issue, in my mind, if there is no other option for the sailors aboard otherwise I would abandon the ship and transfer the survivors to another hull.  The only other reason I can see to spend effort and lives trying to save the ship is because you have so much capital invested in it.  On the other hand money spent on systems designed to make her more survivable will increase her cost making it more imperative that she be saved.  Which necessitates spending more money.

Quote
OK.  Don't save the ship.  Let her burn to the waterline and get everyone off.  That's great if you have a massive fleet of hundreds and hundreds of ships that are regularly back filled as they go bang.  Same for the crewmembers who don't survive the event.  Good luck in attracting people down the road if you're just going to treat them like a disposable lighter like that.  I am quite sure that after experiencing hitting the life boats once, I won't be so keen to try it again.  But we don't have a crap load of hulls to off load any survivors onto and continue the campaign, therefore we need to fight to keep what we have afloat and in business.  Therefore, save the ship.  Besides, your train of thought goes against all naval traditions regardless of service.  As Doc Hatton continually bellowed to us when he was my old man, "Ship, Shipmates, Self"

Take your 225 Iroquois berths, spread them out amongst 15x 15-man "capsules" like the DeHavilland Boats and add in a bunch of autonomous barges carrying seacans full of self-unloading HE.  Which is the more survivable, combat effective and cost effective force?

Quote
If was a young man again, sign me up.  I have always liked the mosquito navy and would have been thrilled to be part of a MTB/MGB crew. 
Quote

Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 19, 2017, 19:30:22
JJT - WRT tanks and F18s as trucks: Yep!

WRT lack of hundreds of hulls - see comments on "mosquito navy"  (quite like that reference).
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 20, 2017, 12:56:28
But the world is full of fat dumb targets.  And those targets won't go away.  Why put sailors lives at risk by manning them?  Why cluster all your sailors into a small number of targets when it is possible to spread them out over a larger number of targets from which they can monitor and attack more threats?
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: jmt18325 on March 20, 2017, 12:57:46
But can you fit the weapons systems that you need on those small targets?
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 20, 2017, 18:06:48
Sorry - thought I was still in the politics thread ...

 :clubinhand:
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on March 20, 2017, 18:11:44
Build the ship around the weapons.  Add the minimum crew.  You will end up with a smaller ship.

We do: It's called a frigate, and it has a minimal crew.

Also, not all ships need to carry all weapons so long as the task force is capable of managing all threats.

Well, none of your dinky toys 100 tons ship (260 tons actually, if the Bras D'or is your measuring stick) can carry some of the stuff we need to manage some of the threats.


BTW: concerning HMCS Bras D'or, she was never, ever, at any time, considered for anything else but ASW duties.

The Bras D'or was an experiment at a time when the West had to decide how to deal with a new threat to the resupply of Europe: nuclear submarines that could run faster underwater than the escort ships of the day. The idea was that she would sprint, dip a small sonar (not a VDS - too big for her - but something akin to a helicopter dipping sonar), sprint again to get closer, then dip, then move, etc. until she could drop a light torpedo on the submarine. The experiment was cancelled for two reasons. First, she went on a Bermuda ex deployment, with her full crew of twenty-five (so small, in fact that she did not carry any cooks - the meals were all frozen "TV diner" type and the crew prepared their own meals using, get this, some of the first micro-wave ovens in the world , pre commercialization of the process). On that ex, she carried no weapons system nor any dipping sonar, but merely simulated how she would operate. It was a disaster as the crew became too fatigued to operate properly after two weeks of operation. Second, she had short legs when she sprinted a lot, which would obviously happen when engaged in escort duties, and, as demonstrated in basin tests, could not refuel alongside (because, like a small fish, she got "reeled-in" whenever the tension was put on the high wire). That meant refuelling astern only - not the best of choices.

She was finally done in for by a combination of world crisis: the first oil crisis of the early 70's, which meant she was too expansive to run, and technological developments in the ASW fight: the foreseeable entry in service of towed away sonars and the general use of ASW helicopters onboard escort ships.   
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: FSTO on March 20, 2017, 22:20:15
And Chris, the minimal crew experiment with the USN's LCSs has been their Achilles heel. OGBD is right, the minimal ship for us is the Frigate.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 20, 2017, 23:42:18
I enjoy the discussion even though the outcome is the same every time.....
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Thucydides on March 20, 2017, 23:54:36
We do: It's called a frigate, and it has a minimal crew.

Well, none of your dinky toys 100 tons ship (260 tons actually, if the Bras D'or is your measuring stick) can carry some of the stuff we need to manage some of the threats.


BTW: concerning HMCS Bras D'or, she was never, ever, at any time, considered for anything else but ASW duties.

The Bras D'or was an experiment at a time when the West had to decide how to deal with a new threat to the resupply of Europe: nuclear submarines that could run faster underwater than the escort ships of the day. The idea was that she would sprint, dip a small sonar (not a VDS - too big for her - but something akin to a helicopter dipping sonar), sprint again to get closer, then dip, then move, etc. until she could drop a light torpedo on the submarine. The experiment was cancelled for two reasons. First, she went on a Bermuda ex deployment, with her full crew of twenty-five (so small, in fact that she did not carry any cooks - the meals were all frozen "TV diner" type and the crew prepared their own meals using, get this, some of the first micro-wave ovens in the world , pre commercialization of the process). On that ex, she carried no weapons system nor any dipping sonar, but merely simulated how she would operate. It was a disaster as the crew became too fatigued to operate properly after two weeks of operation. Second, she had short legs when she sprinted a lot, which would obviously happen when engaged in escort duties, and, as demonstrated in basin tests, could not refuel alongside (because, like a small fish, she got "reeled-in" whenever the tension was put on the high wire). That meant refuelling astern only - not the best of choices.

She was finally done in for by a combination of world crisis: the first oil crisis of the early 70's, which meant she was too expansive to run, and technological developments in the ASW fight: the foreseeable entry in service of towed away sonars and the general use of ASW helicopters onboard escort ships.   

Bras D'or was also considered a technology demonstrator, combining various ideas like hydrofoils, supercavitating props, using elaborate gearboxes to combine power from gas turbine and diesel engines for both low and high speed operations etc. I remember reading a book on the Bras D'or which suggested that any ship based on her design would be larger and more capable (although I really have no idea how much "larger" a hydrofoil escort would need to be). There are pretty hard limits to how big a hydrofoil can be built before the hydrofoils overwhelm the design, and some of the systems trialed on Bras D'or (like the gearboxes) would need major revisions or changed totally to make the ship more effective and reliable.

It is curious, however to compare a WWII era "Flower class" Corvette to what is now considered a "minimal" ship. While the Flowers were certainly not comfortable, they were considered effective for their role and cheap enough to churn out throughout the war period. Perhaps this is the model that is being suggested; small warships with "enough" punch to operate on their own or in small groups, but capable of being networked into larger naval task forces. The idea of modular weapons pods based on ISO containers is interesting enough to be given some consideration, although for myself I would suggest this is more appropriate as a form of "deck cargo" for merchant ships sailing in convoy, networked into the larger task force array to provide coverage against things like sea skimming missiles or local protection for the merchant ship itself. Modular arrays have been suggested and even tested on ships as diverse as the "Sea Slice" (another unconventional high speed ship, a 21rst century Bras D'or if you will) and the LCS concept. I suspect the extra structure of quick connects, bracing and conduits to allow for changing "containers" is actually detrimental for smaller ships as a percentage of their structural weight, which is why the idea has not been adopted, despite the rather attractive prospects being able to swap out systems and weapons could offer.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Lumber on March 21, 2017, 00:18:46
But the world is full of fat dumb targets.  And those targets won't go away.  Why put sailors lives at risk by manning them?  Why cluster all your sailors into a small number of targets when it is possible to spread them out over a larger number of targets from which they can monitor and attack more threats?

I've actually pondered a fair bit about this idea. Our ships carry very few missiles aboard them, and they can't reload at sea. So we spend all that money training and deploying a ship, and if crap hits the fan, she's out of missiles after 1, maybe 2, engagements, and has to spend the next 2 months out of action, because that's how long it would take to get back to Canada, re-arm, and come back (actually I'm sure if crap was really hitting the fan, we'd fly additional ammo to somewhere close like Italy or maybe even Diego Garcia sand reload there.. but still...). US Ships do carry large number of missiles, but they are mostly Anti-Air and Land-Attack. The flight IIA Arliegh-Burkes, for example, had their Harpoons removed, so they actually carry no anti-ship missiles at all!

Quote
To compound matters, out of the 84 unit-strong American CRUDES [Cruiser/Destroyer] force, an eye-raising 34 of them – a good 40 percent – are not even armed with the Harpoon and hence do not have a dedicated ASuW capability whatsoever. The 34 ships in question are the Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class destroyers that were built from the keel up without an anti-ship weapon, most of them having been conceived and constructed during the late 1990s and the early 2000s when the prospect of a sea-control threat emerging appeared remote. All in all, a good portion of the U.S. surface fleet is armed with only eight relatively short-ranged ASCMs; in any confrontation with a potential adversary in the mold of China, the Americans might invariably find themselves outranged and outgunned.

http://thediplomat.com/2016/03/fixing-the-us-navys-anti-surface-warfare-shortfall/ (http://thediplomat.com/2016/03/fixing-the-us-navys-anti-surface-warfare-shortfall/)


#ThankTheLordRaytheonForTheSM6

The crux of it is, you can't deploy small ships for long period of time. Small ships don't handle as well in the high seas, and crew fatigue becomes an issue. This may be alleviated in the not-do-distant future, when our ship's do truly become automated; but, until then, if you are going to project power, you need to have large crews to conduct preventative maintenance around the clock without burning out.

An example of you idea would be IRAN. They have a huge fleet of small fast attack craft armed with everything from machine guns and rocket launchers to anti-ship missiles. This works great for them, because they aren't interested in projecting power much further than their territorial waters. They can afford to have a large number of small attack craft, because they won't stray far from home port on any given day. But if an enemy fleet comes near, they would be swarmed by the large number of them.



Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Halifax Tar on March 21, 2017, 11:11:47
I've actually pondered a fair bit about this idea. Our ships carry very few missiles aboard them, and they can't reload at sea. So we spend all that money training and deploying a ship, and if crap hits the fan, she's out of missiles after 1, maybe 2, engagements, and has to spend the next 2 months out of action, because that's how long it would take to get back to Canada, re-arm, and come back (actually I'm sure if crap was really hitting the fan, we'd fly additional ammo to somewhere close like Italy or maybe even Diego Garcia sand reload there.. but still...). US Ships do carry large number of missiles, but they are mostly Anti-Air and Land-Attack. The flight IIA Arliegh-Burkes, for example, had their Harpoons removed, so they actually carry no anti-ship missiles at all!

I think when you look at the global supply of these missiles you find, if a real high seas protracted war breaks out, big guns become important again for engaging surface and land based target.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Lumber on March 21, 2017, 11:57:44
I think when you look at the global supply of these missiles you find, if a real high seas protracted war breaks out, big guns become important again for engaging surface and land based target.

Yea, and the additional problem there is, ship's don't have armour anymore, and if you've run out of missiles, you've probably also run out of CIWS ammunition too (and I'm not sure that CIWS can shoot-down naval artillery shells, can it?).
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Halifax Tar on March 21, 2017, 12:10:48
Yea, and the additional problem there is, ship's don't have armour anymore, and if you've run out of missiles, you've probably also run out of CIWS ammunition too (and I'm not sure that CIWS can shoot-down naval artillery shells, can it?).

CIWIS has been adapted to shoot down motor shells on land but I don't know about Naval Artillery.

Funny how things can go full circle eh ?
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: NavyShooter on March 21, 2017, 12:51:29
I watched a USN Destroyer re-equip with TLAMs after strikes in Libya.  I think they were averaging one missile canister about every 8 minutes.

The fact that our missiles are NATO Standard items means that we should (SHOULD) be able to replenish while in theater from friendly supplies.  Or, worst-case, we put a bunch of canisters on a C-17 and fly them over.  By the time the ship arrives in port, the C-17 will have delivered the ammo.

You have to come off-station to re-arm, you do not necessarily have to come out of theater to re-arm.  Big difference.

On the matter of guns....our ships carry enough ammo to reload the CIWS several times over, and I cannot speak to the C-RAM (Counter Mortar/Rocket/Artillery) version of the CIWS that was deployed in AFG/IRQ since I don't know what software mods were put in to get it to do that, but if it meets the criteria and is recognized as a valid target....well...unveto and go for it?

NS

Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Lumber on March 21, 2017, 12:57:15
I watched a USN Destroyer re-equip with TLAMs after strikes in Libya.  I think they were averaging one missile canister about every 8 minutes.

The fact that our missiles are NATO Standard items means that we should (SHOULD) be able to replenish while in theater from friendly supplies.  Or, worst-case, we put a bunch of canisters on a C-17 and fly them over.  By the time the ship arrives in port, the C-17 will have delivered the ammo.

You have to come off-station to re-arm, you do not necessarily have to come out of theater to re-arm.  Big difference.

On the matter of guns....our ships carry enough ammo to reload the CIWS several times over, and I cannot speak to the C-RAM (Counter Mortar/Rocket/Artillery) version of the CIWS that was deployed in AFG/IRQ since I don't know what software mods were put in to get it to do that, but if it meets the criteria and is recognized as a valid target....well...unveto and go for it?

NS

Yes, I wouldn't be surprised if CIWS locked up and fired upon a 5" shell.

That being said, it takes a well trained team how long to reload CIWS? 30 mins? How many CIWS rounds would be fired at an incoming volley of a dozen 5" shells? How many rounds can a typical 5" gun hold, and how long does it take them to reload?

Me thinks the guns, thank god the guns, have the edge here.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Halifax Tar on March 21, 2017, 13:03:43
Me thinks the guns, thank god the guns, have the edge here.

Yup.  Missiles will be awesome for the opening exchanges.  And I doubt our allies will be too willing let us help them deplete their stocks as they go down.

Nothing can say Hello like a 16" shell slamming into the side of a modern frigate.  Even if it went right through the secondary and shock damage would be catastrophic me thinks.

I will always hang on to my dream that the day of BB or big gun ship has not yet come to pass. ;)
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 21, 2017, 13:40:29
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.

(https://Navy.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.seaforces.org%2Fwpnsys%2FSURFACE%2FRGM-84-Harpoon_DAT%2FRGM-84-Harpoon-024.jpg&hash=38599855d1a2920884aa6758de1be903)



Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Halifax Tar on March 21, 2017, 14:05:40
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

Actually during WW2 the Iowa Class sailed with double or triple the size of crews.  The stories of the accommodations states are eye opening.  If you get the chance, take the guided tour of the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, amazing tour.  Beauty of a ship.

You could get away with 8" - 11" guns and automate them. 
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 21, 2017, 14:19:51
How far towards meeting your capability requirement does the Otobreda 127/64 LW - Vulcano system go?

http://www.leonardocompany.com/en/-/127-64-lw
http://www.leonardocompany.com/documents/63265270/67176514/body_127_64LW_rev2013.pdf
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Halifax Tar on March 21, 2017, 14:38:37
How far towards meeting your capability requirement does the Otobreda 127/64 LW - Vulcano system go?

http://www.leonardocompany.com/en/-/127-64-lw
http://www.leonardocompany.com/documents/63265270/67176514/body_127_64LW_rev2013.pdf

IMHO its better than the 6pdr errrr 57mm we have now... ;)

Still I think 203mm should be the minimum for naval artillery, whose intent is to engage other than air targets.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 21, 2017, 14:46:27
IMHO its better than the 6pdr errrr 57mm we have now... ;)

The fast firing anti-tank gun.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 21, 2017, 14:51:21
The fast firing anti-tank gun.

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

Quote
The 127/64 LW VULCANO System is ITAR free and it has been currently selected by three customers.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Halifax Tar on March 21, 2017, 14:52:25
The fast firing WW2 anti-tank gun.

FTFY :)

Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Lumber on March 21, 2017, 15:09:12
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.

(https://Navy.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.seaforces.org%2Fwpnsys%2FSURFACE%2FRGM-84-Harpoon_DAT%2FRGM-84-Harpoon-024.jpg&hash=38599855d1a2920884aa6758de1be903)

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.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on March 21, 2017, 16:50:59
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?
 
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Dimsum on March 21, 2017, 17:06:15
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. 

Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 21, 2017, 18:14:02
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?
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on March 21, 2017, 18:26:36
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.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 21, 2017, 18:38:16
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.

Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 21, 2017, 18:46:46
Under the head of "realm of the possible"

A "proper" ship with a small crew -

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/16/HNLMS_Holland.jpg/300px-HNLMS_Holland.jpg)

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

Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: GR66 on March 21, 2017, 19:46:57
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.).
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Thucydides on March 21, 2017, 23:16:39
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.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: NavyShooter on March 22, 2017, 09:20:17
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


Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: jollyjacktar on March 22, 2017, 16:13:10
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.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: NavyShooter on March 22, 2017, 17:15:22
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://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d2/BRAUNSCHWEIG_3006.JPG/1280px-BRAUNSCHWEIG_3006.JPG)

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.





Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Eye In The Sky on March 22, 2017, 17:38:16
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.

(https://Navy.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.seaforces.org%2Fwpnsys%2FSURFACE%2FRGM-84-Harpoon_DAT%2FRGM-84-Harpoon-024.jpg&hash=38599855d1a2920884aa6758de1be903)

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
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: GR66 on March 22, 2017, 17:52:42
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?
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: jollyjacktar on March 22, 2017, 17:56:37
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://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d2/BRAUNSCHWEIG_3006.JPG/1280px-BRAUNSCHWEIG_3006.JPG)

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.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Eye In The Sky on March 22, 2017, 21:29:47
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.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Dolphin_Hunter on March 23, 2017, 08:38:13
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.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Thucydides on March 31, 2017, 01:45:43
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 (http://aviationweek.com/blog/introducing-ballistic-missile-defense-ship), 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.

Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: GR66 on March 31, 2017, 03:05:32
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.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Eye In The Sky on March 31, 2017, 05:27:16
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!
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Lumber on March 31, 2017, 10:42:41
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.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on March 31, 2017, 11:37:21
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.
 
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Eye In The Sky on March 31, 2017, 12:00:58
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?
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 31, 2017, 13:13:46
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.

And, once again, we are circling back to the heart of the matter: Canadian Security and Threat Perception.

The Department of National Defence has not been concerned with National Defence since at least WW2.  In 1964 the UKs War Office and Admiralty Office became the Ministry of Defence following the US elimination of the US Department of War and the Navy Department with the creation of the Department of Defense in 1947.  Orwell wins again.   We call Offence Defence.  Our National Defence effort is predicated on making war somewhere else.  Forward Defence looks an awful lot like Offence to some folks.  Both on our side of the line and on the other side.

We can't sell Canadians on a War Department so we sell them on a Defence Department.  But we don't want to do Defence because there is nothing to Defend against.  Norwegian Trawlers in Baffin Bay, Colombian drugs in the Gulf of St Lawrence and rusty Japanese trawlers loaded with bodies just don't rise to the levels that justify Frigates and Brigades.  Our Defence needs are adequately served by the RCMP, armed Border Guards and Park Wardens and CSIS.  One gap apparently has opened up with the loss of an armed Fisheries Patrol but that could be fixed without spending billions on Canadian Surface Combatants.  The biggest obstacle, apparently is a union that thinks dodging bullets once every decade is somebody else's job.  (Just thinking about that Fisheries Gatling Gun - that era - there was still a swashbuckling element to life back then that permitted the possibility of civilians acquiring Maxim guns and mounting them on their sealing vessels if they wanted to - I remember reading an account of an assassination attempt on Victoria's life during a parade - the assailant was shot by a bullet from a civilian pistol fired by a policeman - the police were unarmed and the troops rifles were unloaded - but civilians in the crowd were throwing their weapons to the coppers to manage the incident).  A different world.

But anyway, back to Defence.  The Air Force can make a better case for being a necessary service by virtue of its NORAD role but even there we are not the primary target.  We just inhabit the wasteland that buffers the target. If the target is damaged we will be damaged.  It is in our interest to assist the target in its defense or else our wasteland will become their wasteland.

All Canada really "needs" is a constabulary capability operating within our economic sphere (including our lands, our EEZ, our internationally agreed Fisheries Areas and SAR Zones).  There are not many reasons to believe that we are going to be militarily challenged over any of those areas.  Armed pirates and smugglers and bike gangs other "outlaws" do not rise the level of a military threat.  They represent the upper level of constabulary threat for which the government should be prepared.    And vessels like the Holland and the AOPS meet those requirements.  Aircraft like the Cormorant, the Herc, the Twotter, the Griffon and UAVs meet those requirements.

Beyond that our War Department needs are whatever our citizens are willing to accept.  Ultimately that means a limited budget from which Canada can supply some brave Auxiliaries who put themselves at the disposal of the Government of the Day to assist Allies in Need.

Canadians will not accept launching air strikes off of Canadian decks against Libya as a justification for a Carrier Group.   They will not accept landing a mechanized brigade in Lebanon as a justification for either the brigade or the ships necessary to transport it and escort it.  They will accept their ships and sailors bouncing around off the Horn of Africa arresting and releasing pirates so long as it doesn't cost too much and nobody gets hurt.

One thing Canadians MIGHT accept is building Boy Scout ships - ships that deliver aid and relief - ships with large holding capacity for beans, blankets and bandages, for water treatment both ashore and afloat, power plants, civil engineering equipment, fuel distribution systems, ships with excellent ship to shore connectors (helicopters, landing craft, mexeflottes).  In other words logistics ships that specialize in support.

With that justification central to the presentation then you might have a better chance of pitching the need for a protection force capable of escorting the Boy Scouts as they work in troubled parts of the world under the Maple Leaf and the Red Cross/Crescent/Mogen...  Now you have a justification for escort vessels, for expeditionary air, for a marine force.  You are back in the Defence game.  You are defending a little piece of Canadian Goodness thousands of miles away from a caring public glued to their monitors for 30 seconds.

And meanwhile, all of those capabilities will supply the Government of the Day more capabilities to despatch brave Auxilliaries to the aid of Allies in Need.

 ;D >:D  It must be Friday to be this cynical.

If DND really wanted to help itself it would double down on Asterix and the Maritime Support Ships (even if they are crewed and operated by an outfit like FedNav with naval assistance).
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: FSTO on March 31, 2017, 13:46:27
And, once again, we are circling back to the heart of the matter: Canadian Security and Threat Perception.

The Department of National Defence has not been concerned with National Defence since at least WW2.  In 1964 the UKs War Office and Admiralty Office became the Ministry of Defence following the US elimination of the US Department of War and the Navy Department with the creation of the Department of Defense in 1947.  Orwell wins again.   We call Offence Defence.  Our National Defence effort is predicated on making war somewhere else.  Forward Defence looks an awful lot like Offence to some folks.  Both on our side of the line and on the other side.

We can't sell Canadians on a War Department so we sell them on a Defence Department.  But we don't want to do Defence because there is nothing to Defend against.  Norwegian Trawlers in Baffin Bay, Colombian drugs in the Gulf of St Lawrence and rusty Japanese trawlers loaded with bodies just don't rise to the levels that justify Frigates and Brigades.  Our Defence needs are adequately served by the RCMP, armed Border Guards and Park Wardens and CSIS.  One gap apparently has opened up with the loss of an armed Fisheries Patrol but that could be fixed without spending billions on Canadian Surface Combatants.  The biggest obstacle, apparently is a union that thinks dodging bullets once every decade is somebody else's job.  (Just thinking about that Fisheries Gatling Gun - that era - there was still a swashbuckling element to life back then that permitted the possibility of civilians acquiring Maxim guns and mounting them on their sealing vessels if they wanted to - I remember reading an account of an assassination attempt on Victoria's life during a parade - the assailant was shot by a bullet from a civilian pistol fired by a policeman - the police were unarmed and the troops rifles were unloaded - but civilians in the crowd were throwing their weapons to the coppers to manage the incident).  A different world.

But anyway, back to Defence.  The Air Force can make a better case for being a necessary service by virtue of its NORAD role but even there we are not the primary target.  We just inhabit the wasteland that buffers the target. If the target is damaged we will be damaged.  It is in our interest to assist the target in its defense or else our wasteland will become their wasteland.

All Canada really "needs" is a constabulary capability operating within our economic sphere (including our lands, our EEZ, our internationally agreed Fisheries Areas and SAR Zones).  There are not many reasons to believe that we are going to be militarily challenged over any of those areas.  Armed pirates and smugglers and bike gangs other "outlaws" do not rise the level of a military threat.  They represent the upper level of constabulary threat for which the government should be prepared.    And vessels like the Holland and the AOPS meet those requirements.  Aircraft like the Cormorant, the Herc, the Twotter, the Griffon and UAVs meet those requirements.

Beyond that our War Department needs are whatever our citizens are willing to accept.  Ultimately that means a limited budget from which Canada can supply some brave Auxiliaries who put themselves at the disposal of the Government of the Day to assist Allies in Need.

Canadians will not accept launching air strikes off of Canadian decks against Libya as a justification for a Carrier Group.   They will not accept landing a mechanized brigade in Lebanon as a justification for either the brigade or the ships necessary to transport it and escort it.  They will accept their ships and sailors bouncing around off the Horn of Africa arresting and releasing pirates so long as it doesn't cost too much and nobody gets hurt.

One thing Canadians MIGHT accept is building Boy Scout ships - ships that deliver aid and relief - ships with large holding capacity for beans, blankets and bandages, for water treatment both ashore and afloat, power plants, civil engineering equipment, fuel distribution systems, ships with excellent ship to shore connectors (helicopters, landing craft, mexeflottes).  In other words logistics ships that specialize in support.

With that justification central to the presentation then you might have a better chance of pitching the need for a protection force capable of escorting the Boy Scouts as they work in troubled parts of the world under the Maple Leaf and the Red Cross/Crescent/Mogen...  Now you have a justification for escort vessels, for expeditionary air, for a marine force.  You are back in the Defence game.  You are defending a little piece of Canadian Goodness thousands of miles away from a caring public glued to their monitors for 30 seconds.

And meanwhile, all of those capabilities will supply the Government of the Day more capabilities to dispatch brave Auxiliaries to the aid of Allies in Need.

 ;D >:D  It must be Friday to be this cynical.

If DND really wanted to help itself it would double down on Asterix and the Maritime Support Ships (even if they are crewed and operated by an outfit like FedNav with naval assistance).

Are you "gasp" talking about a coherent foreign policy? You picked a bad day to quite sniffing glue!  :salute:
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 31, 2017, 14:38:00
Are you "gasp" talking about a coherent foreign policy? You picked a bad day to quite sniffing glue!  :salute:

Dammit, thanks for the reminder.  I knew I was forgetting something.   ;D
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Thucydides on March 31, 2017, 14:39:42
WRT ASW and the need for lots of sensors, this can actually be accomplished using robotics. A very clever ship called the "Wave glider (https://venturebeat.com/2011/11/18/liquid-robotics-pacx/)" does not even have an engine, it uses the actions of the waves to propel it and a solar panel to operate its sensor suite. While this may sound rather ridiculous, you could literally buy and deploy them by the thousands for the cost of a single frigate. Small ships like the MCDV's could putter around and drop wave gliders overboard in long piquet lines, and collect the data for use by the prosecuting forces (either our own or allied ships/planes/submarines). Wave Gliders also have the ability to communicate on their own, so it is quite possible to use aircraft or other means to disperse wave gliders and not have a controlling ship if necessary.

This is the most likely version of the "swarm navy" that is both affordable for Canada, feasible with current technology and useful to ourselves and our allies.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Eye In The Sky on March 31, 2017, 15:40:14
OK, thousands of them.  You'd have to be able to process and exploit the data realtime for it to be of any real use.  How do we do that?

Might be better to open up Shelburne again and get those capabilities back...
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on March 31, 2017, 17:59:04
https://youtu.be/RBHZFYpQ6nc
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Thucydides on April 01, 2017, 01:14:49
OK, thousands of them.  You'd have to be able to process and exploit the data realtime for it to be of any real use.  How do we do that?

Might be better to open up Shelburne again and get those capabilities back...

The sort of "Big Data" processing capabilities needed are getting progressively smaller, cheaper and more capable. Google, FaceBook, Twitter and other social media sites process millions to billions off data points about their users and site traffic every day, so dealing with hundreds to thousands of small robotic sensors is a snap, comparatively speaking. (You can even buy versions of the IBM "Watson" program which won Jeopardy to run on an individual PC, although for the sort of data processing we would want a small Beowulf cluster (https://infogalactic.com/info/Beowulf_cluster) aboard each ship would probably be suitable.

And if we want specific military grade hardware and software, the US military's "Third Offset" is identifying ways to track and manage huge amounts of data and operate swarms of robotic and semi autonomous weapons, so that sort of technology would fit well with robot ships and sensors.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Eye In The Sky on April 01, 2017, 06:19:25
So process on platform, eliminate anything that doesn't meet *required criteria* and then broadcast to somewhere, and have it looked at by operators.

Sounds like a mobile, newer version of SOSUS.

I wonder how the Navy folks would like to have some of these to drop.  If they can broadcast on certain fregs, LRPA and MH types could also possibly tune in and listen real-time.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Dolphin_Hunter on April 01, 2017, 08:28:07
WRT ASW and the need for lots of sensors, this can actually be accomplished using robotics. A very clever ship called the "Wave glider (https://venturebeat.com/2011/11/18/liquid-robotics-pacx/)"

This is the most likely version of the "swarm navy" that is both affordable for Canada, feasible with current technology and useful to ourselves and our allies.

The Wave glider would be useless without the ability to get sensors below the sonic layer depth.

Then that data has to be transmitted back, which is quite significant.   Who monitors it?  Do we get auto detect software?




Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: GR66 on April 01, 2017, 08:54:06
OGBD - My reference to the "Corvette Navy" was a reference to the focus on a larger, ASW focused navy as opposed to a smaller ASuW focused navy, not a suggestion that the future RCN buy large numbers of incapable, small ships just for the sake of numbers.

For example, with more modern technologies could you produce a ship roughly analogous to the capabilities of the Halifax Class (towed array sonar, ASW helicopter, good range/endurance, and moderate self-defence AD and ASuW capability) that can effectively operate with a smaller crew?  If for the same money and crewing requirements as 12-15 CSCs as currently envisioned you could instead have 18-20 of these ASW ships? 

I'd go further to argue that an eventual Kingston Class replacement should be the exact same hull with just the gun and hull sonar. If war comes you add a containerized towed-array sonar, a containerized AD missile system and embark an ASW helicopter.  That would virtually allow us to double the size of our combat-capable fleet (in our ASW focused role) as well as have enough hulls to keep a shipyard in perpetual production for the RCN.  Win-Win?

Throw in some of the unmanned sensor nodes that Thucydides is talking about and in my opinion you'd have a navy that has more military value than what we'll have if we continue down our current path.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on April 01, 2017, 10:16:51
My post was not directed at you GR66, at least not you alone or the point you were making. It seems that every time the issue of number of ships comes up one way or the other, someone pulls out the corvettes of WWII as if it proved that a large number of small, less capable ships works "because it won the battle of the Atlantic". It just isn't the case: The corvettes barely made any difference, and in fact came close to losing the battle in 1942.

Your idea of trading in the concept of 6000 to 7000 tons frigates for more numerous smaller ones in the same 4000-4500 tons range as the Halifax's is certainly a reasonable one. So much so, in fact that the French navy has embraced it with a new class of frigates (the FTI), which is also being developed for the export market - and more specifically the Australian export market. Here's link to it: http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/fti-medium-size-frigates

On a more serious note, I think I am getting around to Chris Pook's thinking: We need large number of lightly armed and manned vessels. The ideal one for me is huge fleet of large "ocean-going" RHib's with a crew of six, a .50 cal forward for ASuW and AD, a reelable very long tube stethoscope in the back with a rack of hand grenades for ASW. Imagine: we could get 35 of these for each Halifax we decommission.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Underway on April 01, 2017, 11:27:33

On a more serious note, I think I am getting around to Chris Pook's thinking: We need large number of lightly armed and manned vessels. The ideal one for me is huge fleet of large "ocean-going" RHib's with a crew of six, a .50 cal forward for ASuW and AD, a reelable very long tube stethoscope in the back with a rack of hand grenades for ASW. Imagine: we could get 35 of these for each Halifax we decommission.

I imagine it's difficult to talk with your tongue so firmly jammed into your cheek.  [:p. Problem is though that the .50 cal is just a pop gun so right off the bat the Senate will be losing their collective minds on that one.

Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: FSTO on April 01, 2017, 11:49:20
If you want to see how the smaller crew, plug and play and swarm tactics is working out, the USN is doing it now with the LCS. How about we learn some lessons from them before we go down that path. Please?
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on April 01, 2017, 12:23:11
I have a feeling any swarm Navy engaging against a larger, better equipped Navy would look something like this:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BLj3aYPXEEo (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BLj3aYPXEEo)

The Navy has its own experience dealing with swarms of smaller boats.  Libyan War in 2011, HMCS Charlottetown thwarted an attack on Port of Misrata.  I know an officer who was the Navigator of the ship at that time.  The engagement was over in about 30 secs due to the overwhelming fire superiority of the Halifax Class frigate.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on April 01, 2017, 12:36:10
...
On a more serious note, I think I am getting around to Chris Pook's thinking: We need large number of lightly armed and manned vessels. The ideal one for me is huge fleet of large "ocean-going" RHib's with a crew of six, a .50 cal forward for ASuW and AD, a reelable very long tube stethoscope in the back with a rack of hand grenades for ASW. Imagine: we could get 35 of these for each Halifax we decommission.

Should I have ducked on that one?   [:D
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on April 01, 2017, 12:40:50
Chris, I find this entire discussion fascinating.  The biggest detractor IMO against using small ships is the lack of a sufficient energy supply to power the weapon systems, radars, sonars, etc. 

We've pretty much maxed out our energy efficiency with the internal combustion engine so until we find a more efficient power supply that's smaller and more cost efficient, we're stuck with the present construct.

The smaller the ship, the less capable the sensor suite, the less stand off the ship is afforded.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on April 01, 2017, 13:12:38
Despite the continued effort on the part of some to reduce that argument to absurdities Humphrey I still stand by my point.

If you want a 50 MW power plant then spec a 50 MW power plant and build a hull around it to keep it (and its associated sensors and other kit) afloat then figure out how few people you need to operate it. 

And I will continue to argue against the practice of pricing ships on a per tonne basis as the PBO did and the US does.

From the testimony supplied via the AOPS thread

Quote
Warships - 40% ship 60% weapons
Ships - 50% labour 50% materials

Assume, as I did on the other thread, a $1,000,000,000 CAD expenditure.

$600,000,000 for the weapons and sensors
$400,000,000 for the ship.

Now assume that I maintain the weapons and sensors suite - holding that budget fixed but I opt to increase the size of the ship by 50% from, for example 4000 to 6000 tonnes.

That $400,000,000 is $200,000,000 in labour and $200,000,000 in material.

Now a 6000 tonne hull will have more material but it won't have 50% more material.  Its engines will be 50% more powerful but they won't be 50% larger or cost 50% more.  The labour to build the larger vessel will be more but it won't be 50% more.  The engineering MAY be greater but it won't be 50% greater. 

Regardless, let us assume that a 6000 tonne hull will cost 50% more than a 4000 tonne hull.

Your $400,000,000 Ship becomes a $600,000,000 ship.
To that you add the same $600,000,000 weapons suite.

Your total project now costs you $1,200,000,000 instead of $1,000,000,000 and you end up with a more flexible ship with longer legs (and possibly/probably better speed and seakeeping).

And I seriously doubt that the escalator would be near that 20% shown above and more likely be closer to 10%.

At that point you are now debating 10x 4000 tonne hulls at 1 BCAD or 8 to 9x 6000 tonne hulls at 1.1 to 1.2 BCAD.

Meanwhile you have the crewing requirement. 

Let's stipulate a current crew of 225 all in including air dets.

Let's also leave out the discussion of moving all the way down to the Maersk or even LCS levels of crewing and move up the scale.  The Danes and the Dutch manage with 100 or so. 

Is it unreasonable to suggest that technology has progressed enough since 1980 to permit a crew of 225 to be reduced?  Even a reduction from 225 to 175, or even 150 would free up enough budget to make up the shortfall in the project above so that we could afford to buy all 10 hulls at the higher displacement.

I intentionally push limits so people will tell me why not.  Once that is defined then it is easier to discover that which might be.   :cheers:
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on April 01, 2017, 13:41:11
Now I am the one confused, Chris (and left wondering if the date has something to do with your latest post  ;D).

This whole thread started more or less when you brought the notion of numerous smallish type of ships "expandable" as opposed to the type of frigates the RCN is seeking (you specifically referred to the HMCS BRAS D'OR as an example of what you had in mind).

Now it looks like you are supporting the argument (which many of us here have been supporting and explaining for a long time) that a larger design is ok because the difference in size doesn't really cost that much for the extra sea keeping and habitability it gives you.

Do you still support the "large number of small ships swarm" view, or not?

And BTW, smaller crew than the ones we currently have are possible, and actually utilized by some navies, without going down to the unsustainable levels the Americans are attempting on their LCS. The FREMMs have crew of 145 and 147 (Italy) respectively, the Type 26 are planned for a crew of 118, the French upcoming FTI are planned for crew of 123, and as you know the Iver Huitfeld's have a crew of 117.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on April 01, 2017, 14:01:02
I do indeed still support the notion of a large number of small vessels versus a single mega ship with the entire Navy onboard.

The question for me is where is the acceptable dividing line.  My ongoing concern is that the apparent emphasis on maintaining a particular crew size and extrapolating from 1980s technology is resulting in an ever decreasing fleet size and an ever decreasing capability as well as an ever increasing vulnerability.

To be honest I don't know if the optimum ship size is 100, 1000, 2000, 6000 or 10,000 tonnes.  Nor do I begin to know what the optimum crew size is.  I BELIEVE that technology generates advantages that it is not obvious to me that the RCN (and the Canadian Forces in general) exploits to the fullest. 

In part, I suggest, that the problem arises from 65000 people whose first priority, a rational and well considered priority - it is mine as well, is keeping bread on their tables.  Cutting numbers does not do that.  Given that then the labour budget is fixed and new technologies end up being added to the capital budget - which necessitates an overall increase in the defence budget.

Now, I will agree that we need a larger budget.   I will agree that we can use all 65000 people in support of the national interest.  Where I start having problems is when the money isn't there and hard choices have to be made.

We appear to default to a tendency to fund 65000 people sitting at desks.  (In the spirit of RHIBs and .50s).

Edit: WRT to the MONTREAL experiment - my concern there would be that the experiment is at risk of proving that you can't run MONTREAL without a crew of 225.  Which to my mind tells me nothing about what is possible with a more modern design.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on April 01, 2017, 15:45:04
One final thought - on the $600,000,000 weapons and sensors suite:

I could also see benefit in splitting that suite up between a number of smaller hulls in the name of flexibility and survivability even though costs would increase through the need to maintain additional power plants.  But I don't necessarily see the need to have all vessels manned with the same set of capabilities.  Auxiliary vessels could, in my opinion, have Maersk style crews or even be uninhabited.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: NavyShooter on April 01, 2017, 16:28:22
The Navy has its own experience dealing with swarms of smaller boats.  Libyan War in 2011, HMCS Charlottetown thwarted an attack on Port of Misrata.  I know an officer who was the Navigator of the ship at that time.  The engagement was over in about 30 secs due to the overwhelming fire superiority of the Halifax Class frigate.

And....what did the NAVO tell you about that occurrence?

I can speak with some certainty that the only rounds that CHA fired during that towards an enemy during that deployment was exactly 11 rounds of .50 cal.  That was during the night time engagement where we were fired at from shore, via truck mounted AAA systems (23mm I think they were decided to be.)

This might be a photo of me taken that night in the AFT ERT:

(https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/229352_10150169086052242_990797_n.jpg?oh=3c523629e518a05e4e20f93c066708ce&oe=595D1885)

I was in the OPS room the evening when the Tomahawks zipped over our heads within a few thousand feet of the ship.  It was pretty neat to see them from that close-up watching over the CIWS operator's shoulder.

I was in the AFT SIS when the morning rocket attack happened when they fired a truckload of what we believed were BM-21's at us.  We didn't go to Action Stations that day...the NBP was up on the flight deck doing their morning work-out and they called in the attack...otherwise we'd have had no idea they'd even shot at (and missed) us.

I was operating the SEOSS watching the front lines west of Misratah watching the ambulances drive casualties back to the city from the front, and watching the tracers go both ways across the front, that was interesting to watch. 

I will argue that your impressions of what CHA did during that operation in terms of force employment might be a bit....off.

Like I said, we fired 11 bullets from 1 belt of .50 cal. 

If you're talking in terms of the kinetic effects that we enabled by calling in air strikes?  Oh yes, we called in hundreds of targets, and almost 25% of them encountered...high speed non-linear deconstruction.  We had a lookout one afternoon who noted dust clouds approaching the city through the salt flats SE of the city, checked with his Big Eyes, saw tanks, reported it, which ended up getting called up to the FAC on an Aurora, which ended up getting CF-18's called in to drop on them.  Absolutely saved the city from getting cut-off from the port.  That OSBN did a great job!

All that said....I was onboard for the whole trip, and I don't recall a swarm attack.  I recall there being 3-4 RHIBs launched one evening with 'special' cargo onboard...but we didn't light them up, that was an allied ship that was with us.

Sorry to be so contrary, but again, I think someone's blowing smoke at you.

NS



Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on April 01, 2017, 20:03:36
And....what did the NAVO tell you about that occurrence?

I can speak with some certainty that the only rounds that CHA fired during that towards an enemy during that deployment was exactly 11 rounds of .50 cal.  That was during the night time engagement where we were fired at from shore, via truck mounted AAA systems (23mm I think they were decided to be.)

This might be a photo of me taken that night in the AFT ERT:

(https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/229352_10150169086052242_990797_n.jpg?oh=3c523629e518a05e4e20f93c066708ce&oe=595D1885)

I was in the OPS room the evening when the Tomahawks zipped over our heads within a few thousand feet of the ship.  It was pretty neat to see them from that close-up watching over the CIWS operator's shoulder.

I was in the AFT SIS when the morning rocket attack happened when they fired a truckload of what we believed were BM-21's at us.  We didn't go to Action Stations that day...the NBP was up on the flight deck doing their morning work-out and they called in the attack...otherwise we'd have had no idea they'd even shot at (and missed) us.

I was operating the SEOSS watching the front lines west of Misratah watching the ambulances drive casualties back to the city from the front, and watching the tracers go both ways across the front, that was interesting to watch. 

I will argue that your impressions of what CHA did during that operation in terms of force employment might be a bit....off.

Like I said, we fired 11 bullets from 1 belt of .50 cal. 

If you're talking in terms of the kinetic effects that we enabled by calling in air strikes?  Oh yes, we called in hundreds of targets, and almost 25% of them encountered...high speed non-linear deconstruction.  We had a lookout one afternoon who noted dust clouds approaching the city through the salt flats SE of the city, checked with his Big Eyes, saw tanks, reported it, which ended up getting called up to the FAC on an Aurora, which ended up getting CF-18's called in to drop on them.  Absolutely saved the city from getting cut-off from the port.  That OSBN did a great job!

All that said....I was onboard for the whole trip, and I don't recall a swarm attack.  I recall there being 3-4 RHIBs launched one evening with 'special' cargo onboard...but we didn't light them up, that was an allied ship that was with us.

Sorry to be so contrary, but again, I think someone's blowing smoke at you.

NS

Well jee whiz, he Def did blow smoke up my butt then.  No names no pack drill!  :salute:
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on April 01, 2017, 21:50:02
Since there is only one NAVO onboard at any given time, you guys should both know who you are talking about  ;D.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on April 01, 2017, 21:58:03
Since there is only one NAVO onboard at any given time, you guys should both know who you are talking about  ;D.

Hencev why my lips are now sealed hahahaha
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: NavyShooter on April 01, 2017, 23:39:32
Oh yes. I know.

I was on CHA in 2001 as well when we were doing OP Augmentation, and was on the helm when we had 6-8 small boats suddenly pop up on RADAR and visual at a range of less than 5 miles.  Quite certain that after the fact we ID'd them as Boghammers.  They got....close...and we were....busy....getting people out to the bridge wings to man the .50's.  I recall exactly who the 2OOW was on the bridge that day too.  He kinda panicked a bit....I just wanted someone to relieve me from the helm and give me one of the bridge rifles to help out....in the end they settled for zipping around us a bit, then they went away. 

The likelihood that our new CMS and sensors would give us a better chance to pick them up is reasonably high, so we may not end up as surprised as we were that day. 

Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 02, 2017, 00:26:58
tsk, tsk, NS, you're wearing the wrong type of flash gear.  Naughty boy  ;)
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Journeyman on April 02, 2017, 09:35:27
...and 1970 phoned; they want Tom Selleck's moustache back.   ;)
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: NavyShooter on April 02, 2017, 13:29:18
It's only gotten tackier as it's gotten longer...

Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Lumber on April 04, 2017, 12:08:42
Sorry to be so contrary, but again, I think someone's blowing smoke at you.

NS

In addition, those 11 rounds were fired outside effective range at targets that weren't attacking CHA, weren't closing CHA, and I don't believe even knew CHA was there.

Source: The person who fired these 11 rounds told me all about it multiple times (but, they might not have had a full appreciation of the tactical situation).
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: NavyShooter on April 04, 2017, 12:33:10
Ah yes, that person has since been promoted to LS and I believe is now married?

I do believe that they did have a proper appreciation for the 'warning shots' that they fired.  From a range of several miles.

Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on April 04, 2017, 13:30:50
Careful Gents! This is starting to get entertaining. 

 ;D :pop:
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Eye In The Sky on April 05, 2017, 17:28:13
The Wave glider would be useless without the ability to get sensors below the sonic layer depth.

Then that data has to be transmitted back, which is quite significant.   Who monitors it?  Do we get auto detect software?

People don't like it when you inject stuff like this into conversations! 
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Chris Pook on April 12, 2017, 16:00:10
At various times I have inferred that I am seen as situating the estimate in order to justify consideration of an alternative course of action based on a piece of new kit.

It was with interest that I read this line in the Maritime Engineering Journal edition posted here.

http://navy.ca/forums/index.php/topic,76442.msg1483531.html#msg1483531

Quote
As the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) Project
moves toward implementation, a key criterion
being assessed for selection of a design reference
point is accommodation. While the original Statement of
Requirement (SOR) called for 255 core crew and mission
personnel
, it is now widely accepted that the available hull
designs cannot accommodate this number
. The RCN and
PMO are going through a detailed analysis of assessing
what operational impacts are felt when you start shaving
down the number of personnel in the Watch and
Station Bill.

Bodies 1
Duties 2
Ship 3

It seems peculiar.

Meanwhile, having discovered that nobody is building ships in the 4000 to 6000 tonne range with "core crews" that size, a rethink is/was required - which, I am guessing, led to the Montreal X-Ship Trials

http://www.navy-marine.forces.gc.ca/en/news-operations/news-view.page?doc=hmcs-montreal-begins-first-deployment-as-x-ship/iv3fd860




Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Eye In The Sky on April 13, 2017, 08:47:00
Maybe cut some of the fat out of RCN HQs and use those savings and pers for operational billets.  We always seem to be cutting muscle, not fat. 
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: SeaKingTacco on April 13, 2017, 09:41:58
Compared to everyone else, the RCN HQs are modest.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Eye In The Sky on April 13, 2017, 10:23:16
I didn't realize that, so that's nice to know.  However, if there is any fat, I still think that should be trimmed first.

I know...day dreaming like that is never really productive.   ;D
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Lumber on April 13, 2017, 10:39:33
Compared to everyone else, the RCN HQs are modest.

You're talking about the metaphorical fat right? Not the literal fat?
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: SeaKingTacco on April 13, 2017, 10:42:03
You're talking about the metaphorical fat right? Not the literal fat?

OK- you have me there.
Title: Re: The swarm navy (split from: The Defence Budget)
Post by: Thucydides on April 13, 2017, 23:00:26
This one's for Chris. The idea of a pykrete carrier may not jell with the "Swarm" idea, but commenter "Goat Guy" suggests that building ships out of cheap materials like ferroconcrete would be just as plausible, and probably much more feasible.

http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2015/04/churchill-pykrete-carrier-would-have.html

Quote
There's something really awesome about the idea of building a gargantuan super-carrier out of a synthetic iceberg. Just kind of breathtaking. Thank, Brian Wang… whilst this may not be “the next big future”, it certainly was “the last big boondoggle”.

Or, to put it differently, when you think about it, what exactly was the big savings that an immense hull made out of iced paper pulp supposed to be? Even in 1942, we were making “ferro-concrete”⁴ out of a common sedimentary rock¹, left-over iron smelting slag² and endless streams of rebar³. It was cheap. Durable. Didn't melt. Did I mention cheap?

 I guess in WW2, there being lots of paper pulp and not so much iron, lots of water, and not so much oil to make cement⁵, big ideas and even bigger budgets, such a contemplation could be explored. All the rest of the iron, concrete, cement, was going into building weapons, roadways, airports, conventional carriers, battleships, destroyers and the endless stream of PT-boats.

 Ice, wood. Lordy.

GoatGuy
 _______
¹ limestone - hydrated calcium carbonate CaCO₂ and dolomite MgCO₂
 ² smelting slag - was found to be remarkably durable for salt-water ferroconcrete.
³ rebar - reinforcement steel circular bar. Made from low-quality steel, but is dirt cheap.
⁴ ferro-concrete - concrete copiously reinforced on all shear axes with rebar³
⁵ cement-making fuel - is almost always either low-sulfur crude oil, nat gas or coke

… because higher levels of sulfur in the burning-fuel exhaust gasses (which for efficiency pass directly thru the clinker-bed of limestone and dolomite) markedly decrease strength of the portland cement thus roasted. Gotta keep the sulphur out.

If one of the main issues with modern military forces is the enormous cost of the actual hardware, then perhaps looking at alternatives to traditional building methods might be another focus of where we can go to increase the numbers of platforms. While casting hulls out of concrete is probably not the way to go, we do live in an age where material science and technology are changing the way we are able to get the job done.