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Subject: BBs: The Perfect Platform for Energy Weapons
HeavyD    4/9/2012 1:25:20 PM
I posted this on the Iowa bites thread, but it deserves it's own: OK, the Iowa finally has a reason to be resurrected: ENERGY WEAPONS. We don't have any current platform capable of generating the juice needed for a serious rail gun or laser system, do we? What better hull to put one in? What better hull to protect our initial investments in future weapons while deploying them for real-world trial by fire? Yes this would be a billion-dollar retrofit to gut Iowa to the hull, drop in GE's latest reactor (better yet - two, or leave room for two) and upgrade everything from propulsion to piping, obviously all new electronics, etc. All new superstructure keeping with the armored heritage of a BB. Perhaps add the naval version of 'slat armor' or even explosive-reactive armor in case a Silkworm or Shipwreck makes it through an upgraded air defense system (multiple twin 57mm or 76mm guns for extended range, with multiple 30mm Goalkeepers too. We got plenty of real estate to work with.) Now don't forget about the guns. Keep 2 of the 16" turrets and convert the dual 5" mounts into single 155mm AGS guns (or swap a 16" turret for a quad AGS mount). Remove the cruise missiles and add Standard 3 to augment air/missile defense. Everything from DDs to Ohios and Virginias carry Tomahawks, and the new BB really doesn't need the stand-off range. We get an untouchable shore-bombardment platform with the energy and capacity for the deployment and development of future weapons. Do both the Iowa and Wisconsin so one can be deployable for the shore-bombardment role while the other is being fitted/tested with the latest energy weapon. I'm looking at a 40 year timeframe here. The investment is well worth it.
 
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JFKY    Instead   4/9/2012 3:47:32 PM
let's just build a new ship and CALL it the "Iowa' might be cheaper than rebuilding the Iowa.
 
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LB       4/9/2012 5:23:29 PM
The most important consideration for the USN in terms of operating costs has become personnel.  There's a lot of discussion about buying more DDG-1000's because though more expensive than a DDG-51 III the crew size is less and long term the lower operating costs mean DDG-1000 is cheaper to operate. 
 
In terms of energy weapons DDG-1000 is actually designed to handle these.  The Iowa's are never coming back, period, full stop.  The crew size alone makes then non affordable.  It doesn't really matter that totally overhauling the ship with new systems would probably cost upwards of $10 billion when simply operating the ship is a non starter.
 
When the USN is ready to deploy a rail gun or laser system it will be done on a DDG-1000 hull or a follow on.  DDG-1000 was given an integrated power system to work the kinks out of a system designed for energy weapons.
 
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HeavyD       4/9/2012 7:05:54 PM
The Zumie is too much change too fast, and will be a constant headache with actual capabilities far less than the initial design requirements call for.  As a result the Navy will end up needing 2-3 ships to perform the same mission as 1 Iowa, and not nearly as well in many instances.  Horrible bang for the buck.
 
Example:  Zumwalt has only 80 VLS cells and about 400 rounds of 155 AGS ammo per gun, and it's questionable if the BMS will work with the Zum, and it has woefully inadequate AAA capabilities.
 
But you are probably right:  Military procurement in general is all about sexy over-reaching (think the Marine's attempt to cross-breed a M1, AAV and a Jet-ski, or the VTOL requirement for the F35) rather than practical.   

The most important consideration for the USN in terms of operating costs has become personnel.  There's a lot of discussion about buying more DDG-1000's because though more expensive than a DDG-51 III the crew size is less and long term the lower operating costs mean DDG-1000 is cheaper to operate. 

 

In terms of energy weapons DDG-1000 is actually designed to handle these.  The Iowa's are never coming back, period, full stop.  The crew size alone makes then non affordable.  It doesn't really matter that totally overhauling the ship with new systems would probably cost upwards of $10 billion when simply operating the ship is a non starter.

 

When the USN is ready to deploy a rail gun or laser system it will be done on a DDG-1000 hull or a follow on.  DDG-1000 was given an integrated power system to work the kinks out of a system designed for energy weapons.

 
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StobieWan       4/17/2012 10:21:15 AM
Woefully inadequate AA facilities? ESSM, Mk110 - Zumwalt is packing more than the entire quartet of BB's. And remember, Sea Sparrow was trialed on the BB's and couldn't survive the blast from the guns. The entire platform from the ground up is obsolete, let it go :)
 
 
 
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