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Subject: Future of naval power
french stratege    8/3/2007 8:39:35 AM
Naval power has alway be very dependant of technologies and is challenged by air power since WW2. Indeed air force exist and it is difficult to counter an airforce with several hundreds planes on quality parity.Air refueling allow an air strike force to strike a naval task force 4000 km away. The purposes of naval power are: -first to allow safety use of ocean for transport, -to deny it to adversary -to project power on ground. The use of ocean for transport can be denied by underwater , surface and air threat as denial of it to adversary forces. To project power on ground, use of carrier is only needed if you have no air bases within 1500 miles. Since the begining of the century sea power was really needeed 3 times: In WW1 (air power did not exist as real threat) In WW2 to preserve for subs threat and Pacific operations In Falkland to ship an intervention force as theater was clearly out of range of air forces for British. In fact role of seapower was only demining and control of sea traffic to check commerce ships (which was or could be done by cheap ships). Europe in those conditions has clearly difficulties to formulate a naval strategy.Indeed there is no potential threat to sea shipping as Europe is united and air base aviation is clearly enough to control all mediterranean sea and a large part of nothern Atlantic and Indian ocean.The only threat are subs but there is plenty of ASW frigates and SSN/SSK in Europe and threat is clearly limited. For power projections, all majors (but Falkland) interventions from WW2 did not need naval air power: Korea could be sustained from land bases,as Vietnam, as Suez intervention , as GW1/2.Even in WW2 naval air power was really needed only in Pacific (due to distances). Gemran were able to challenge allies in Mediterranean without local seapower and invade North Africa and Greec Islands. In most conflicts, needs of allies allow air forces from main powers to be locally based in a country close to operation : Inded if a country challenge a local equilibrium, other countries would ask to majors powers to help them to reestablish status quo in the context of today international law and UNO prohibition of war. Then carrier air power is useless in most cases as air force can base locally. The SSK/SSN threat is still weak and depend of advanced tech level which is not affordable to everybody.A subpar submarine too noisy is dead today. Also torpedo threat maybe countered in close future (or even today). Indeed there is no impossibility to deploy antitorpedo defenses. Why a torpedo would be more difficult to challenge than a supersonic sea skimmer? Decoys exist and maybe already active defenses in some countries (an antitorpedo missile/depthcharge/supercavitating device) SO maybe SSK are not in the future a possible challenger to commerce and warships. USA maintain an heavy force of carriers but people could wonder for what as USA have even land bases close to China (Guam, Japan, Korea, Phillipines...). SO what is your view of future of naval power? Which missions? What means should be needeed and which would be the proper balance?
 
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andyf       8/3/2007 5:20:10 PM
I think maybe big submarines.
sort of like an updated more capable Oscar class
 
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Ya222       8/5/2007 4:59:04 AM
I think there will be only hugh sub-marines, capable of not only launching missiles like they do today, they will be able to launch f-35 from top..  than the enemy gets 6-8 f-35 rising from the sea without being detected before by radar even through they are "stealth".... who agrees?
 
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gf0012-aust       8/5/2007 5:25:08 AM
 
sorry fellas, I completely disagree.
 
the big changes are with smaller more efficient manned subs and USV's.  The changes in material science. the recent developments in batteries suitable for deep sea work, the changes in underwater comms - all point to smarter discretionary capability.
 
None of the UDT conferences I've attended show the remotest interest in super subs (ie scaled up).  You've only got to look at the sheer volume and rate of development of smaller solutions in USV's to see where everyone is heading.
 
Jet FWCA/fighters on a sub is not going to happen.  limited benefit, and instant broadcasting of where your most valuable asset is lurking.  You might as well ring the enemy up and send them an invite if you are going to telegraph to that detail.
 
high bandwidth underwater wireless comms, further refinement to deep sea capable batteries (barometric pressure insensitive), magnetic drives (no more interconnects to transmit machinery signatures to enemy sensor systems), dismounted packages, changes to sea mine technology, greater connectivity to USV/UAV and manned ASW hunter killer management teams.
 
bigger subs?  there's no proportionate benefit for the money outlayed.  there are more efficient ways to kill the enemy than to go to a bigger sub.
 
 
 
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Herald1234       8/5/2007 2:38:38 PM

 

sorry fellas, I completely disagree.

 

the big changes are with smaller more efficient manned subs and USV's.  The changes in material science. the recent developments in batteries suitable for deep sea work, the changes in underwater comms - all point to smarter discretionary capability.

 

None of the UDT conferences I've attended show the remotest interest in super subs (ie scaled up).  You've only got to look at the sheer volume and rate of development of smaller solutions in USV's to see where everyone is heading.

 

Jet FWCA/fighters on a sub is not going to happen.  limited benefit, and instant broadcasting of where your most valuable asset is lurking.  You might as well ring the enemy up and send them an invite if you are going to telegraph to that detail.

 

high bandwidth underwater wireless comms, further refinement to deep sea capable batteries (barometric pressure insensitive), magnetic drives (no more interconnects to transmit machinery signatures to enemy sensor systems), dismounted packages, changes to sea mine technology, greater connectivity to USV/UAV and manned ASW hunter killer management teams.

 

bigger subs?  there's no proportionate benefit for the money outlayed.  there are more efficient ways to kill the enemy than to go to a bigger sub.

 

 

With the new French battery technology will the concept of the  Seehund  as  a  viable teleoperated UCUV close in shore defense option become viable or are we looking at lots of cheap sensors and mobile mines?

Herald
 
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gf0012-aust       8/5/2007 7:35:13 PM


With the new French battery technology will the concept of the  Seehund  as  a  viable teleoperated UCUV close in shore defense option become viable or are we looking at lots of cheap sensors and mobile mines?

 The French had an advantage over other countries with fuel cell and related battery technologies about 4 years ago -  IMO they've lost that advantage now.  MIT have been doing some tricky work with lithium batteries and thats going to start impacting on all of the USV/ROV/capability delivery solutions.
an unmanned seehund has got to be part of the future - and I think that tango bravo will migrate more to a boat with dismountable capability (much like an underwater meko) than was originally envisaged.
 
externalising the packages makes reloading and load switching much more likely - in a real sense there is no reason as to why a dismountable weapons "blister" could not also be designed to work on a skimmers hull as well.
 


 
 
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caltrop       8/5/2007 8:28:35 PM

USA maintain an heavy force of carriers but people could wonder for what as USA have even land bases close to China (Guam, Japan, Korea, Phillipines...).

SO what is your view of future of naval power?
Which missions?
What means should be needeed and which would be the proper balance?

Couple arguements:

Of the suggested land bases, with the exception of Guam , none are 100% guaranteed to be available for strike missions in the future. 
Tanking does extend range but has the practical disadvantage of longer flight times.  This is more physically taxing on the air crews, requires more ground maintenance time on the aircraft, and means that the your available assets are diminished since they are spending more time flying to and from the the target as opposed to an aircraft carrier which is much closer to the target.  The carrier air group should have an advantage in sortie rates.
 
One could argue that land based aircraft and airfields are more vulnerable to attack from TBM/cruise missiles since their locations are known.
 
Both naval and land-based air assets have their specific uses.

 
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gf0012-aust       8/5/2007 11:41:27 PM


One could argue that land based aircraft and airfields are more vulnerable to attack from TBM/cruise missiles since their locations are known.
 

the first priority is to kill them on the ground,  or to kill their capacity to re-use that facility in a meaningful manner.
thats why SSG/SSGN's and SSBN's are "useful"
 


 
 
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Asymmetric    The ramblings of an amateur    8/6/2007 5:54:28 AM
 

I always thought (my completely uninformed naïve opinion) there was a case to be made for a neo-battleship (or whatever you want to call it) armed with some large power output EM guns (railguns, coilguns, etc..) driven by a nuclear reactor. At velocities of Mach 8-9 you get a range of about 400km and easily hitting as hard as a tomahawk for a fraction of the price. Also unlike with conventional air power there is no way of stopping a solid lump of mass travelling at mach 8 at a low angle trajectory. I suppose if you wanted to you could even load them with some form of airburst and lob shells at aircraft even if they were at high altitude.

Safest way I can think of taking out something like an S-400 (or much improved versions of the future) near the coast.

 

Maybe I just like EM guns because they have a “physics” feel to them….

 
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french stratege       8/6/2007 7:47:56 AM
For my self I think we should evolve from the two basic capital ship model for blue water navies (Carrier and SSN) to a 3 ones.
Indeed price of planes for carrier make them very costly for a reduced number of effective planes as half of planes are for protecting carrier itself.Even a Nimitz class ship have 2 or 3 squadron available for bombing or antiship.
If a fighter carry 2 antiship missile, it means you can have only raid with maybe 50 missiles to strike an opposite task force while antiair defense vs missile has become quite effective.
For ground force projection, if a plane carry 4/6 bombs it means you can send maybe 120 objective at each raid.
Missiles (antiground/antiship) have high accuracy and extended range today and can compete with a fighter for range and accuracy.
Surface ship can also get reduced RCS which is difficult for a carrier.
Intantaneous firepower matters as well for naval combat or for first strike vs land to destroy as much targets as you can in entry phase.
Electronic is very expensive for high end ship and it is a little dangerous to invest so much in tin cans ship with limited survivability which carry a lot of expensive ammuntions.
I think there is a place for stealth cruisers with armor to counter light antiship missiles and to bring high instantaneous missile power to a task force.They could also be equiped with guns as a cheap alternative to CAS since most of targets are still in coastal areas.Most world population live near seas in fact.
I think that DDX is showing the way
Other trends should be networking and UAV.
 
I don't see a place for very fast surface combattant like LCS for a blue water navy since an helicopter can be used to patrol or fight in shallow waters or costal areas as well with even greater speed and these ship have limited ability to follow a task force in transit in high sea.
 
 
 
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xylene       8/7/2007 8:34:05 PM
I think the US Navy should have 2 carriers per battle group instead of one. It would act like castles on a chessboard.
 
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