Actually, I agree with you.........
It seems to me that there is no real concept much beyond what has already been revealed previously. That seems to be the real problem, HOW do they, the USA, react to or inter-act with the PRC and its own ambitions?
Certainly the bruhaha of the Taiwan scenario is just so much posturing as I do not believe the current PRC leadership will take proactive Military action to "acquire" Taiwan when Commercial and Political scenarios are much more likely to achieve Unification. IF unification is achieved, THEN what is the scenario that the USA or Japan would like to see and how would they react to this event?
Any realistic strategic assessment of China vs USA has to start first with economics. It is impossible for China to go to war with the USA and not suffer an immense economic collapse. Or if China was willing to revert to the Cultural Revolution level of coercion over its population and lose all growth and wealth and fight a war with the USA it does not have access to the raw materials and capital infrastructure to sustain a war economy without massive contraction. Any act of war would also write off a considerable part of their acquired wealth which is held in credits and foreign investments. It would probably be in the USA’s economic interest to be weaned off Chinese imports (in the main consumer items and not crucial to a war economy) and be allowed to appropriate all Chinese assets in the USA if a war was started.
As to China’s military capability (as is now and planned for the next decade or so) if they do decide to commit economic suicide much of it is decidedly inferior. So what if China launches 100 ballistic missiles at Okinawa or Guam. They will do about as much as Iraq’s attempts to Scud America out of Desert Storm. With the inaccuracy of these weapons with conventional warheads and the US’s investment in BMD warning and interception they will not have significant effect on these bases. China’s limited air and sea force is decidedly inferior to the US Navy who could place at least four carriers into their waters in a few weeks and sustain that presence for decades. Not to mention all the other air and sea forces that would rush to the region and bases in Japan and Taiwan.
The end result would strike me as something as the Falklands War on a grand scale. Lots of Chinese dying valiantly as their inferior forces are ripped apart by a military force in a league very much higher than their own.
Abe, a realistic assessment that is far more reasonable than the "China will destroy us all" scenarios being pushed by the doom and gloom merchants and the Chinese fanboys.
At the end of the day, the difference in capability between the USA and ANYONE else is a matter of US first, daylight second and then a couple of countries a bloody long way third.
It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed,
the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning.
It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
Course correction in carriers’ future
By Jeanette Steele, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 12:05 a.m.
Seaman Robyn Rogers, 24, a quartermaster, uses a compass to plot the ship’s position on the bridge of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. (Jeanette Steele / U-T)
On the bridge of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, there’s a 20-year-old quartermaster with a No. 2 pencil, a compass and a big map unfurled on a table.
In one of the ironies of America’s modern Navy, that map and that quartermaster are the official method of navigation for the $4 billion carrier and the 5,000 souls on board.
Even as the Navy installs the most high-tech equipment on its carriers — including the San Diego-based Carl Vinson, which recently returned to the fleet after a four-year overhaul — none of the nation’s 11 flattops is certified to rely on electronic navigation.
So if the United States put a man on the moon in 1969, why is it still using pencils on the bridges of nuclear-powered ships?
Because the Navy, like an aircraft carrier, doesn’t change direction quickly.
“It’s only been 10 to 12 years ago that we started down this road, transitioning from a paper Navy for navigation to a paperless Navy for navigation,” said Cmdr. Ashley Evans, deputy navigator for the Navy in Washington, D.C.
The Navy is poised to radically change the way it has sailed since the days of wooden ships. This summer, Navy leaders are expected to issue an order that allows skippers to stop maintaining up-to-date paper “charts” — what sailors call maps — on board.
Four of the Navy’s carriers possess the electronics to navigate by computer; the rest are set to receive the gear by 2013.
It takes about a year to become certified for operating the equipment, and none of the Navy’s carrier crews has done so yet. But some destroyers and cruisers currently sail with the computer readout as the primary guide.
“The Navy is slowly getting out of the archaic,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer James Fox, the Lincoln’s leading quartermaster and an 18-year veteran of ship bridges.
“When I first came into the Navy, they said, ‘Oh, GPS — no one will ever trust it because what if we lose power?’ ” Fox said, referring to the Global Positioning System satellites that feed the Lincoln real-time information on its whereabouts.
“But as some of these old salty sailors retire, what they realize is that if we lose power, we’ve got a lot more worries than our exact position,” he said.
The Navy uses specialized navigation charts, which it had to first computerize. That process alone took eight or nine years.
“It’s been a long-anticipated change that the team worked hard toward for years,” said Evans, who admits he’s an old-school sailor who could, in a pinch, use a sextant to navigate — just as captains did when battleships still had sails. Carrier crews still keep a sextant on the bridge, but there may be only one sailor aboard qualified to use it.
The Navy’s future is on display aboard the Freedom, the first in a new class of vessels called littoral combat ships.
When the sleek Freedom sailed toward San Diego Bay last month, it was comparatively quiet on the bridge. No fussing over plotting points on a map. No paper charts. No officer calling out commands to be repeated by the helmsman and the quartermaster in a chain reaction of voices.
Two officers drove the vessel using a couple of throttle levers. Electronics, including satellite navigation, ruled the day.
“I want to go left, I go left. Speed up, slow down. There’s nothing between me and those controls,” said Lt. Todd Sehl, 31, the Freedom’s officer of the deck. “No telephone game, not like on a normal ship.”
Not all minds are made up about the “quartermaster in a box,” as the satellite readout is sometimes called. Not even among the Internet generation.
“They are replacing my job on the smaller ships,” said Quartermaster 2nd Class Sarah DeGraw, a 20-year-old sailor on the Lincoln, which is based in Everett, Wash. “Quartermaster is one of the oldest rates in the Navy.”
One of DeGraw’s duties is to update the paper charts, which she acknowledges is tedious and labor-intensive for a Navy with a directive to shed personnel and reduce costs.
Still, she said: “Electronics — you can never rely on them. It’s not only charts; it’s the way we communicate.”
What’s next, she asks: Sailors on the bridge won’t have to know semaphore, the series of colored flags used as ship-to-ship communication for hundreds of years? Right now, junior quartermasters use flashcards to quiz themselves on signal flags during downtime on the bridge.
Cmdr. James Lins, the navigator on the Lincoln, is a fan of continuing the paper and electronic methods simultaneously, one backing up the other. He worries that satellites can get out of sync without the bridge knowing it — until it’s too late.
“Is it over-redundancy? Yeah. But there are only 11 carriers in the Navy. I think we owe it to the taxpayer to make sure that we are safe,” said Lins, who as the “gator” — the nickname for the ship’s navigation officer — sleeps just steps away from the bridge.
“If you run something like this aground, there’s gonna be hell to pay — and rightfully so,” he said.
Inexorably, the Navy is steaming toward automation. Warships were once steered with a big wooden wheel, Evans points out. Now they’re talking about putting voice recorders, like the “black boxes” in airplane cockpits, on some vessels.
“Bridges have gone from being out in the wind and the cold, with a wheel, to being enclosed and modernized — to what they are today,” Evans said.
Jeanette Steele: (619) 293-1030; email@example.com
Sea Services Release Naval Operations Concept 2010
(Source: US Navy; issued May 24, 2010)
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Similar to the collaborative signing of the Maritime Strategy, "A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower," the Chief of Naval Operations and Commandants of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard released the Naval Operations Concept 2010 (NOC 10) http://www.navy.mil/maritime/noc/NOC2010.pdf (112 pages in PDF format), which guides implementation of the strategy and describes how, when and where U.S. naval forces will contribute to enhancing security, preventing conflict and prevailing in war.
NOC 10 describes the ways with which the sea services will achieve the ends articulated in the Maritime Strategy, signed in October 2007.
"The Naval Operations Concept charts more precisely how our naval forces can and do put into motion our Maritime Strategy," said Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations. "Free from territorial boundaries, naval forces can responsively maneuver to meet global needs and challenges when and where they happen."
NOC 10 states who the naval forces are, what they believe, where they operate, what they provide the nation, and what capabilities they employ to meet the demands of a complex, evolving security environment. NOC also describes how naval forces use the sea as maneuver space and are employed across the range of military operations.
NOC 10 recognizes that naval forces continuously operate forward—and surge additional forces when necessary—to influence adversaries and project power.
For more information on the Maritime Strategy go to: www.navy.mil/maritime. For more information on NOC 10 go to: www.navy.mil/maritime/noc.
Few Surprises in U.S. Naval Operations Concept
By LANCE M. BACON
Published: 25 May 2010 15:26
The U.S. Navy on May 25 released the final version of its Naval Operations Concept, but the document held few surprises and did not discuss how a shrinking Navy can sustain current operations tempo.
In addition to the traditional 3-2-1 carrier construct, the NOC also emphasizes ballistic missile defense and emerging threats common to littoral missions.
The 112-page document, 24 pages of which are pictures and quotes, was penned to explain how maritime forces will provide forward presence, maritime security, humanitarian assistance/disaster response, sea control, power projection and deterrence over the next 10 years, said Rear Adm. David Woods, director of the Strategy and Policy Division. The NOC, which Woods called a "pretty important document of the Navy," also addresses overarching concepts, such as using the sea as maneuver space.
The key, it seems, will be to maintain a flexible fleet, according to the document.
The document, which replaces the 33-page NOC from 2006, reveals the challenges of a Navy in transition. On one hand, it emphasizes the traditional 3-2-1 carrier construct - three forward deployed, two ready to go within 30 days and one ready in 90 days. But the NOC also emphasizes the emerging threats common to littoral and ballistic missile defense missions.
The document intentionally does not provide the number of ships, aircraft and sailors the Navy has and will need to fulfill the various missions. The NOC instead considers the 30-year shipbuilding plan as its guide and looks to tie together and articulate operations, Woods said. As such, its general descriptions fail to address how multiple or complex needs would be met by a shrinking Navy that faces sustained high operational tempos.
"There is nothing we can't accomplish," Woods said. "Really, it is, 'How much can you accomplish?' That is determined by force size and structure."
Woods repeatedly said the forward-looking NOC is a "requirements doctrine" and is not "aspirational." But the doctrine's successful implementation clearly relies on technologies and ships that are not yet a part of the fleet. For example, the littoral combatant ship "will address the most pressing capability and capacity shortfalls in the littoral," the document said. The ship's modular mission packages will provide strike missions, mine countermeasures, surface warfare and undersea warfare missions, replacing many aspects of the current inventory.
"This doesn't describe things we would like to have that are not in development," Woods said. "It does describe the next 10 years, and what we believe the maritime strategy will deliver for the nation."
A previous version of the NOC was nearly complete in the fall of 2008. Woods, who worked on the Navy's Quadrennial Defense Review team, said this document was held until after the QDR to "make sure it aligned with leadership."
An Analysis of the Navy’s Fiscal Year 2011 Shipbuilding Plan
(Source: Congressional Budget Office; issued May 25, 2010)
The Navy is required by law to submit a report to the Congress each year that projects the service’s shipbuilding requirements, procurement plans, inventories, and costs over the coming 30 years. Since 2006, CBO has been performing an independent analysis of the Navy’s latest shipbuilding plan at the request of the Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces of the House Armed Services Committee.
Today CBO released its latest report that summarizes the ship requirements and purchases described in the Navy’s 2011 plan, and estimates their implications for the Navy’s funding needs and ship inventories through 2040.
The Navy’s report—issued in February and covering fiscal years 2011 to 2040—contains some significant changes in its long-term goals for shipbuilding. The new plan appears to increase the required size of the fleet compared with earlier plans, while reducing the number of ships to be purchased—and thus the costs for ship construction—over the next three decades.
Despite those reductions, the total costs of carrying out the 2011 plan would be much higher than the funding levels that the Navy has received in recent years, according to analysis by CBO. Specifically,
-- Language in the 2011 shipbuilding plan and in related briefings by the Navy implies that the service’s requirement for battle force ships (aircraft carriers, submarines, surface combatants, amphibious ships, and some logistics and support ships) now totals 322 or 323—up from 313 in the Navy’s three previous long-term plans. The battle force fleet currently numbers 286 ships.
-- The 2011 plan calls for buying a total of 276 ships over the 2011–2040 period: 198 combat ships and 78 logistics and support ships. That construction plan is insufficient to achieve a 322- or 323-ship fleet. In comparison, the previous shipbuilding plan (for 2009) envisioned buying 40 more combat ships and 20 fewer support ships over 30 years.
-- If the Navy receives the same amount of funding for ship construction in the next 30 years as it has over the past three decades—an average of about $15 billion a year in 2010 dollars—it will not be able to afford the purchases in the 2011 plan.
-- The Navy estimates that the construction of the new ships in the 2011 plan will cost an average of about $16 billion per year. Expenditures for other activities that are typically funded from the Navy’s budget accounts for ship construction—such as refueling nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and outfitting new ships with various small pieces of equipment after the ships have been built or delivered—will add about $2 billion to the Navy’s average annual shipbuilding costs under the 2011 plan, in CBO’s estimation, bringing the average cost to a total of $18 billion per year.
-- Using its own models and assumptions, CBO estimates that the average total cost to implement the Navy’s plan will come to $21 billion per year, about 18 percent higher than the Navy’s estimates overall. That figure masks considerable variation over time, however: CBO’s estimates are 4 percent higher than the Navy’s for the first 10 years of the plan, 13 percent higher for the following decade, and 37 percent higher for the final 10 years of the plan. Those differences result partly from different estimating methods and different assumptions about the design and capabilities of future ships.
The estimates also diverge because CBO accounted for the fact that costs of labor and materials have traditionally grown much faster in the shipbuilding industry than in the economy as a whole, whereas the Navy does not appear to have done so. That difference becomes more pronounced over time.
This study was prepared by Eric Labs of CBO’s National Security Division.
Click here for the full report (34 pages in PDF format) on the CBO website.
New U.S. Navy Fleet Unaffordable: CBO
By CHRISTOPHER P. CAVAS
Published: 26 May 2010 17:11
The U.S. Navy's plan to build a new fleet over the next 30 years doesn't provide for enough replacement ships, a study says, and the Navy's planned budget for that time period falls far short of supplying enough money.
The U.S. Navy estimates a cost of $10.6 billion per ship for CVN 78-class aircraft carriers. The Congressional Budget Office estimates $12.4 billion. Above, the first ship in the class, Gerald R. Ford, is represented in a combination model and live s (NORTHROP GRUMMAN)
The Navy envisions buying a total of 276 ships over the next 30 years at an average annual cost of about $16 billion in 2010 dollars for new construction, or about $18 billion for total shipbuilding, which adds in the cost of refueling aircraft carriers. Using a different calculus, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the cost for new ships at an average $19 billion per year, or $21 billion per year for total shipbuilding.
Eric Labs, who wrote the study, noted in the report that statements in the latest shipbuilding plan and in related briefings by Navy officials point to a planned fleet of 323 ships for most of the next 30 years, up from the long-stated 313-ship goal. But he concludes the construction plan is insufficient to achieve a 323-ship fleet, and that the planned 323-ship fleet is unaffordable if the Navy continues to average about $15 billion per year for shipbuilding.
Overall, CBO estimates the costs of the 2011 shipbuilding plan are about 18 percent higher than the Navy's estimates. But the disparity in estimates is better in the near term, with only a 4 percent differential over the next decade, and grows in future years. CBO's forecasts for the last 10 years of the plan rise to as much as 37 percent higher than the Navy's.
The Navy, for its part, acknowledged in the 2011 plan that the accuracy of cost estimates diminishes in the second decade of the 30-year plan, becoming "notional" in the far term "due to the uncertainty of business conditions affecting the shipbuilding industry."
Among the differences in Navy and CBO cost calculations are:
■ CVN 78-class aircraft carriers. The Navy estimates a cost of $10.6 billion per ship; CBO estimates $12.4 billion.
■ SSBN(X) ballistic missile submarines. Navy: $7.2 billion each; CBO: $8.2 billion each.
■ SSN 774 Virginia-class attach submarines. The Navy and CBO agree at a price of $2.5 billion per sub.
■ SSN 774I Improved Virginia-class: Navy: $2.9 billion. CBO: $3.3 billion.
■ DDG 51-class destroyers, current Flight IIA version. Navy: $1.6 billion each; CBO: $1.8 billion.
■ DDG 51-class destroyers, improved Flight III version. Navy: $2.0 billion each; CBO: $2.4 billion.
■ DDG(X) replacement destroyers. Navy: $2.4 billion each; CBO: $4 billion.
■ Littoral Combat Ships: The Navy and CBO agree at a price of $600 million each; CBO's estimate for future replacement ships rises slightly to $700 million while the Navy's price doesn't change.
■ LSD(X) amphibious dock ships. Navy: $1.3 billion each; CBO: $1.7 billion each.
■ LHA 6/LH(X) amphibious assault ships. Navy: $3.4 billion each; CBO: $4.2 billion.
Labs noted in his report that the cost for Gerald R. Ford, first of the CVN 78 class, could grow even further. He based that on historical precedent for a first-of-class ship; the fact that the Navy told him there is a 60 percent probability the final cost will exceed the service's estimate; and the high number of new and critical technologies that are being developed for the ship, including the as-yet-untried electromagnetic launch system (EMALS) that will replace traditional steam catapults.
CBO also noted that calculating the design, cost and capabilities for the new SSBN(X) submarines "are among the most significant uncertainties in the Navy's and CBO's analyses of future shipbuilding." Among the chief problems are indecision and disagreement as to the size, configuration and requirements of the submarine - an issue now being targeted by the House seapower subcommittee as one for increased scrutiny.
Pencils have no requirement for batteries, unless your in the dark and need a torch, erasure is not possible with normal magnetic fields, and the chart so marked can be stored for examination at a later date. Assuming the paper is good, such a chart could survive in good storage for some 500 years or more.
There is also the issue that doing things the hard way, by hand, often gives one a more subtle appreciation of the benefits of automation and what processes are going on inside said automation.
Paper and pencil are immediate, lasting, and reliable, which is a key consideration on a military vessel.