Navy League 2010: BMD community pins hopes on Arleigh Burke restart
By Sam LaGrone
13 May 2010
The US Navy is planning a cost-conscious approach to the Arleigh Burke-class Flight IIA destroyer restart programme and the upcoming Flight III development, according to a senior official at Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).
Since production of the DDG 51 destroyers recommenced in 2009, the navy has said it wants to optimise the legacy warship as a ballistic missile defence (BMD) platform built around the remnants of the cancelled next-generation cruiser (CG[X]) initiative.
Captain Peter Lyle, NAVSEA's DDG 51 programme manager, told a press briefing at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space 2010 exposition on 3 May that the restart – beginning with hull number DDG 113 – will mark the first time BMD capabilities have been designed into a ship from the hull up, as opposed to retrofitted after it has entered service.
The challenge will be to remain focused on the BMD mission and prevent the "desire from well-intended folks to bring on the latest capability and improvements", Capt Lyle said.
"You're going to have to focus on cost, optimise it and beat down those folks that want to make it better. The budget constraints are real and we want to make a ship that's [just] good enough."
General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) and Northrop Grumman have both secured contracts to fund the next round of Arleigh Burke construction.
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U.S. House Seapower Chair Wants Ship-Retirement Limits
By JOHN REED
Published: 13 May 2010 19:33
U.S. House Armed Services seapower panel chairman Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., will work to insert language into the 2011 defense authorization bill requiring the U.S. Navy to replace every two warships it retires in the coming years with three brand-new ships. It's a move designed to get to a 313-ship fleet.
"There have now been at least three [Chiefs of Naval Operations] who tell us that they need a minimum of 313 ships and yet they submit budget requests that don't get them anywhere near that - in fact, this request would actually take us backward by about four ships if enacted," Taylor told reporters May 13 after his subcommittee's mark of the bill.
Taylor went on to say that he will also work to keep two 30-year-old Tarawa Class amphibious assault ships, the USS Nassau and USS Peleliu, in commission since "they still have about 10 years of life left."
The congressman also wants to keep two frigates in service past next year, a move - designed together with keeping the two amphibious assault ships in service - to limit the number of ships the Navy retires next year to six.
"We'd then commission seven ships next year, decommission six ships instead of the 10 that the Navy wants to, and grow the fleet rather than shrink it," Taylor said.
Taylor hopes to insert this language into the authorization bill during next week's House Armed Services Committee markup of the bill.
U.S. Carrier's Construction Issues 'Minimal'
By CHRISTOPHER P. CAVAS
Published: 18 May 2010 15:02
Engineers building the new U.S. aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) are making some design changes to avoid "electrical cable routing issues" that could interfere with some internal arrangements.
A combination model and live shot digital photo illustration of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). (NORTHROP GRUMMAN SHIPBUILDING)
The problems have been found "in limited areas of the ship design," said Margaret Mitchell-Jones, a spokesperson for Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding.
"As can happen with any lead ship of the class performing first-of-a-kind activities, we have identified some interferences between cable arrangements and other design features that require correction. In these cases, changes to the design are being made and lessons learned applied," Mitchell-Jones said in a statement.
Those changes include moving some wireways where electrical cable is strung and changing some cable supports, she added. "These issues are not widespread. We have not yet run any cable, but a small percentage of the cable supports that have been installed may require alteration."
The impact on the ship's cost or construction schedule is still being evaluated, she said, "but expect it to be minimal."
The U.S. Navy's Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) acknowledged the problem but downplayed the impact.
"The Navy is aware that [Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding] has identified some interferences between cable arrangements that require correction," NAVSEA said in an e-mail statement May 14. "The Navy understands this to be a small percentage of the cable arrangement design to date and results in no module fit-up issues."
Overall, NAVSEA seemed satisfied with the amount of rework being done on the ship to correct mistakes.
"The amount of rework experienced to date is not a significant percentage of the overall design and production effort," NAVSEA said. "The issues identified to date by [Northrop] have had minimal impact."
The ship, first of a new class of carriers, is under construction at Northrop's shipyard in Newport News, Va. More than 61 percent of the structural modules for the Ford already are complete, Mitchell-Jones said. "The fit-up of CVN 78 structural modules is as good or better than previous Nimitz-class carriers," she added.
CSBA Releases New Report
(Source: Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments; issued May 18, 2010)
The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments today released its latest report: “AirSea Battle: A Point-of-Departure Operational Concept,” by Jan van Tol with Mark Gunzinger, Andrew Krepinevich and Jim Thomas.
The report provides a detailed assessment of how potent anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities will likely make traditional US power projection operations increasingly risky and costly in the future.
Using the Western Pacific Theater of Operations (WPTO) as the most stressing potential case, it explores how the United States and its allies could employ a candidate AirSea Battle operational concept to maintain a stable military balance in the Western Pacific.
“An AirSea Battle concept must address high-end military operations in the WPTO,” according to Jan van Tol, “though widespread proliferation of A2/AD capabilities would make the concept highly applicable across a range of other scenarios.”
“CSBA’s research and analysis over the last fifteen years point to a growing need for an integrated effort between the Air Force and Navy to address the growing challenges posed by formidable A2/AD capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere,” stresses Andrew Krepinevich.
CSBA’s analysis finds that the Air Force and Navy’s ability to execute highly integrated operations along the lines set forth in AirSea Battle could greatly enhance their effectiveness across a range of A2/AD contingencies, while the long-term cost efficiencies to be realized are highly desirable from a budgetary perspective.
“We need to strengthen the connective tissue between our strategy and the resources devoted to supporting it,” stresses Jim Thomas. “The operational concept provided in AirSea Battle accomplishes this at a level of detail not seen since the 1980s, when an Army-Air Force concept known as AirLand Battle enabled the Services to establish clear priorities regarding programs and force structure.”
AirSea Battle provides intellectual grist for Air Force-Navy efforts to develop their AirSea Battle concept as directed by the 2010 QDR.
“CSBA’s independent approach provides a useful counterpoint to what is likely to be a more nuanced effort by the Services,” offers Mark Gunzinger. “Our goal is to raise awareness of this important issue and enhance the debate over how best to proceed.”
Click here for the electronic version of the report (144 pages in PDF format) on the CSBA website. Related presentation slides are also available.
U.S. House Panel Wants Report on BMD Ships Needed
By RICK MAZE
Published: 19 May 2010 12:11
As part of a continuing battle over the size of the U.S. Navy, the House Armed Services Committee wants to know whether the Navy needs more surface combatants to provide adequate missile defenses.
By voice vote and with little discussion, the committee approved an amendment sponsored by Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, ranking Republican on its seapower subcommittee, that asks for a report by March 1, 2011 about the number of surface ships required for sea-based missile defense.
Current Navy plans for a 313-ship Navy includes 88 cruisers and destroyers, but Akin said that might not be enough considering the growing missile threat, particularly when fleets are operating within the range of land-based missiles. He specifically spoke about China, which has extensive anti-ship weapons. "It would be helpful to be able to defense our ships against this type of weapon," Akin said. "It doesn't seem like we are making the kind of progress we should."
The 2011 report ordered by the committee would look at whether upgrading existing and planned Aegis ships would meet the Navy's requirement for sea-based defenses or whether additional ships would be needed. To make that determination, lawmakers want the report to include an analysis of how many Aegis ships are needed in each combat theater, with a description of how a limited number of ships might be deployed.
The report also evaluate of how technological advancements would strengthen anti-ship defenses.
An order for a report is not final until Congress completes work on the annual defense bill but it is unlikely to be dropped, aides said. Exactly what the report should include might change as lawmakers continue work on the bill but a demand for a report rarely is dropped after a committee vote, aides said.
CSBA AirSea Battle Concept: More Stealth, Long-Range Strike to Counter Chinese Battle Networks
I spent the morning at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment’s release of their new report “AirSea Battle: A Point of Departure Operational Concept” (you can find the report here as well as the briefing slides). Lots to unpack here from the 123 page report, the author’s brief and the lively discussion that followed.
CSBA says that China’s military modernization aims at denying U.S. air and maritime freedom of maneuver and access in the Western Pacific (WestPac) by targeting bases and ships with precision guided missiles. China’s buildup of increasingly capable anti-access/area-denial “battle networks” will, over time, make the current “American way of war” prohibitively costly.
This shift in the military balance is perhaps best exemplified by China’s widely reported development of “carrier killing” anti-ship ballistic missiles, a weapon that potentially threatens the very symbol of American military might and global presence.
CSBA president Andrew Krepinevich emphasized that CSBA’ AirSea Battle concept is not about fighting a war with China, or “rolling back” China’s influence in the Western Pacific. Instead, it should be seen as an “offsetting strategy” that reaffirms a U.S. commitment to maintaining presence, coalitions and influence in that strategically vital area.
CSBA’s AirSea Battle concept envisions a two stage campaign. The first phase would be to survive what would likely be Chinese pre-emptive strikes on U.S. and allied bases across the Western Pacific, particularly airfields. It envisions more than just trusting in missile defenses and base hardening. Prompt U.S. counterattacks would first go after the PLA’s reconnaissance strike complex, the U.S. would try to deny China the ability to accurately target fixed installations and ships and conduct battle damage assessment.
This “blinding campaign” is at the core of the AirSea Battle concept, said CSBA’s Jim Thomas, the PLA’s surveillance and targeting systems are the “Achilles heel” of its anti-access networks. In any WestPac confrontation, one of the PLA’s main advantages is its very large, and growing, arsenal of precision guided missiles; those missile magazines could be rendered useless if they can’t be guided.
If China loses it’s over the horizon situational awareness, U.S. naval assets regain their freedom of maneuver and ability to close in on the Chinese mainland. Short ranged tactical aircraft could also be moved closer if allied bases weren’t being bombarded with PLA ballistic missiles. The blinding campaign would include cyber attacks, PLA space assets would be targeted, electronic warfare aircraft would spoof PLA radars and sensors and seaborne pickets would be targeted.
The blinding campaign would be followed by strikes against the PLA’s fixed and mobile missile launchers using land and sea based manned and unmanned stealthy penetrators. Using stand-off and EW, the U.S. would try and open corridors in PLA air-defenses. Simultaneously, PLA Navy ships and subs would be targeted to prevent them from getting out into the open ocean.
If the first phase of the campaign aims to prevent China from achieving a “knock-out blow,” the second phase would aim to win what would possibly be a prolonged conflict. In the second phase of the campaign, CSBA envisions the U.S. seizing the initiative by targeting PLA assets on the mainland and seas, establishing a blockade of Chinese sea lines of communication, surging supplies and warfighting material into WestPac and ramping up industrial production of precision guided weapons.
The real value of the ASB concept, Thomas said, is not to develop a new war plan, but rather to develop a conceptual “lens” through which to view future investment decisions. Peering through that lens, CSBA recommends some pretty hefty shifts in investment to execute an effective ASB campaign.
Much of what CSBA recommends program wise emphasizes stealth, long-range and prompt strike, redundancy and Air Force and Navy interoperability. There is a very extensive list of programmatic and force structure changes in the report, including:
• To mitigate the ballistic missile threat to Guam and other WestPac bases the Air Force should harden its bases on Guam and refurbish bases on Tinian, Saipan and Palua to allow aircraft dispersal and force China to play a shell game with American aircraft; the Air Force-Navy should jointly assess tactical air-based ballistic missile defenses and laser weapons; and BMD exercises should be carried out with Japan.
• The Air Force and Navy should invest in a long range strike capability against time sensitive targets in a cost imposing strategy to force the PLA to beef up its own defenses; and the Navy should consider investing in conventionally armed, relatively short range sea-based ballistic missiles, similar to Tomahawk, that could be spread across the fleet’s VLS tubes.
• The Air Force and Navy should develop and field long-range next generation stealthy air platforms, both manned and unmanned, and payloads for these platforms; the Navy version capable of operating off of carriers.
• The Air Force and Navy should jointly develop a long-range precision strike family of systems that include: ISR, EW and strike. The Air Force should develop a stealthy multi-mission, long-range persistent bomber as part of this strike family. The Navy should expedite developing and fielding a carrier-based drone.
• The Air Force and Navy should develop joint command and control mechanisms to enable Air Force aircraft to target enemy ships using Navy surveillance and targeting systems.
• The Air Force and Navy should jointly develop a long-range anti-ship missile.
• The Air Force should equip some of its B-2 stealth bombers with an offensive mine laying capability to mine Chinese harbors.
• The Air Force and Navy should significantly increase investment in joint EW platforms both manned and unmanned.
• The Air Force and Navy should increase research and development in laser weapons for land and sea based point defense against missiles.
I’ll have much more as soon as finish reading the entire report.
– Greg Grant
Read more: http://defensetech.org/2010/05/18/cs...#ixzz0oSG3zLqH
I read this report a few weeks ago. Its full of assumptions and the same uber Sino missile stuff beloved of a certain sector. I was not impressed.
The CSBA slides are always worth taking a look at.............
Well plenty in the USA are still looking for a replacement for the Soviet Union............and plenty in China are eager to take that slot.
Originally Posted by Gubler, A.
In my opinion both groups are in the minority thankfully and future dangers, in my opinion, lie in the Lateral Warfare sector that is Extremism through Religion and/or Phobia.
All reports have assumptions and whether one agrees with or dislikes or disregards such assumptions, within themselves they are reasonable to make even if you or I think them wrong, slanted or erroneous.
AirSea battle struck me as more of a great sounding name needing a concept to support it. Its all the same old missile range tables on a map that assumes that just because a weapon is in range of something that its going to achieve some kind of significant effect.