Big dollar boat.

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by messabout, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

  2. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    This is just an ongoing attempt of the navy to keep the future from happening. You see, the navy has known for a long time (decades), with the exception of just a few, fairly easily executed missions, it's become irrelevant, so has been working hard to keep it's budgets and position, with new and often absurd concepts. Currently, there are about 450 active ships in the US Navy, with a significant number in the ghost fleet, that could be called on pretty quickly. The problem is, there's nothing for them to do really. Technology has deemed them way too vulnerable to employ. When we built the Iowa class in WW II, we knew they too where irrelevant, but the old guard in charge at the time insisted, in spite of the data and obvious evidence of recent history, suggesting to the contrary. Even though the Iowa was used in the first Gulf War, it cost 100 times more for Missouri to fire about 30 Tomahawks in Desert Storm than more conventional means, but it was a political "play". A waste of money and effort, for no real, appreciable gain.

    Yes, the submariner fleet will be around for a while and coastal defense can be handled with a much smaller, more efficient, likely mostly remote fleet and of course "deterrent" can and should be handled with the Nimitz class task forces, but we don't need 10 of these, to get ordnance on station and a presence off a hostile coast quickly. Hell you want a "presence" to project power? Just send an alpha strike with a few F-22's and drop leaflets over the hostile president's palace, suggesting he wouldn't hear the ordnance coming in, any more than these leaflets. This sobering reminder will do, if not, a drone strike on key C&C locations will also get the point across, without any Navy participation and minimum collateral damage. Being made dumb and blind in one shot, that you can't hear or see, is a real game changer.

    Simply put, we can project power from Kansas, flying a 30 hour mission with the crew home for supper, the following day if necessary. We can do this with aircraft designed in the early 50's to the current crop of unmanned delivery systems. So, why do we need a 450 ship, with an absurdly costly 10 Nimitz class navy? The old guard still has it's fingers tightly wrapped around the politicians re-election dreams at the moment, but this too will change in the next decade.

    Okay, net the blood bath begin . . . go Navy! . . .
     
  4. Westfield 11
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    Westfield 11 Senior Member

    I agree with your conclusions, but not your reasons. IMHO you have fallen into the trap of thinking our adversaries will be like us. Decentralized terrorist or religious armies are undeterred by leaflets and infrastructure attacks. Opponents embedded in civilian populations care nothing for collateral casualties, indeed they may welcome them as tools in the bigger propaganda war. This all argues against having a Big Ship deep water navy beyond the minimal strategic deterrent and a couple of Nimitz-class force projectors at most.

    What will be needed in future is waterborne border protection forces to prevent the coming mass migrations caused by climate change and subsequent sea level rise and desertification. We are already seeing this in the Med as those in the south try to get north: Spain and Italy have their hands full trying to intercept population flows at sea and the numbers involved will only grow over the coming decades. Navies all over the world are in for a rough ride if they don't get ahead of the trend and plan to fight the coming wars and not those of the past.
     
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I've not fallen into any friendly traps, but simply using economics and history. We no longer need a surface fleet of the size we currently can project, the USSR is long gone and even then, they where no match for use. A submerged atomic delivery system has some advantages, though it too doesn't need to be as big as it is.

    Leaflets aren't meant to act as a deterrent, only political positioning can really do this, other then blowing someone make to the bronze age. What an alpha strike does is show just how far behind the curve a potential enemy might be. When you can effectively target a presidential palace, with no warning of incoming ordnance, this has a significant impact. Nut jobs will always be defiant, usually at the cost of their own people's lives, but when the people are faced with this level of force, they quickly lay dawn their arms, as was seen in both invasions of Iraq for example. Some will live for their ideals, communism, fascism, continuous jehad, self sacrifice for the cause, etc. These aren't combatants and can't be defeated with conventional forces, only political and economic forces can. Any military that tries, will ultimately fail and historically always has.

    My point is only to suggest the navy is a fat, absurdly costly, nearly useless entity at the moment. It doesn't have to be. The Air Force figured this out in the early 90's and closed down SAC. It realized that having atomic weapons on standby with C&C in the air constantly, just wasn't a reasonable use of available funding. So, the B-52's where parked and placed on "ready" sparing billions for other stuff. You know how many billions where spent, on just keeping these puppies aloft for decades? The ridiculous remnants left from the "big red" scare, that owned my generation for decades is long gone and it's time to reevaluate the configuration and deployment possibilities for the 21st century. We could easily half the current navy's fleet with no lose of capability in a modern world.

    We are at the edge of a whole new world, where the last of manned aircraft, manned patrols, undetectable attack, etc., will become common place. The old guard is attempting to hang on, as they always do, but literally drone wars are not far off, so it's time to get in step.
     
  6. Russ Kaiser
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    Russ Kaiser Exuberant Amateur

    Is it me, or does this thing resemble the CSS Virginia

    I think the future is in unmanned everything, probably autonomous as well, now isn't that a scary thought. I hear the US navy has a "lie in wait" torpedo that can key of off individual acoustic signatures. You drop one of these babies behind you and the next time your enemy comes close to it...zoom...boom!

    The problem with technology is that it can become susceptible and the susceptibilities aren't necessarily predictable. Ultimately it's hard for an M16 or a 5 inch deck gun to get a virus.
     
  7. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    So, while this torpedo is hanging around looking for a target, it is telling falsehoods about about depth-charges and the like? :)
     
  8. Russ Kaiser
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    Russ Kaiser Exuberant Amateur

    Mark 60 Captor - Torpedo Mine

    US Torpedo-Mine

    I should have looked for it first. It is so top secret it has a Wiki entry :p
     
  9. CloudDiver
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    CloudDiver Senior Member

    PAR, you are on track with a few of your arguments, but to say that "My point is only to suggest the navy is a fat, absurdly costly, nearly useless entity at the moment" shows a great lack of knowlege regarding real world applications and tactical scenarios, what we in the military call "O-plans".

    Before I go to far I will tell you that I absolutley agree with you and other posters about a few things... The new ships and what they cost (any weapon sytem really, F35 comes to mind) is a ludicrous result of our decrepiant Gov't Contracting system. Major Acquisitions is such a long and ineffiecent beauracratic process that by the time a 'new' technology is fielded
    it is already obsolete. Take the Arliegh Burke Destroyer (which the bulk of our active duty fleet consists of), designed to take on the USSR in Bluewater Air/Surface/ASW engagements, but by the time the majority of hulls were launched the USSR was effectivley gone. Another thing to understand about the Defense Contracting nightmare is how everyone has learned to play the 'change order' game, this is what causes the multi-billion dollar cost over-runs you hear about in the news.

    As far as projecting power from CONUS, you destroyed your own argument by pointing out the stand down of SAC for the exactly correct reasons. Yes, operating ships is expensive, but that cost does not hold to candle to how much it would cost to push that mission exlusivly by air power from CONUS. There is nothing the Airforce has that can put as much firepower on station, loiter and maintain, at a far lower fuel/manpower/maintenance cost than a US warship. Nothing. Period.

    The face of world has changed. Borders change, leaders change, and the threat du jour changes betweeen CNN broadcasts. None of that, or advances in Air warfare technology has made the US Navy any less relevant. The USSR may be gone, but that does not mean the Russian Navy is no longer a plausible threat. China is a threat. North Korean Diesel Electric subs are threat. I could go on.

    Is the Navy absurdly costly? Yes, but for the same reason everything is absurdly costly. We could take the 'absurd' out of cost by taking a reasonable approach to many things and eleminating the senseless layers of beauracracy and needless fingers in the pie. Not only would the US Navy become more cost effective to opeate you would see the costs go down for Commercial Air, Commercial Marine, All transportation really, construction, manufacturing, nuclear power (all energy really), the list goes on... Why can't we be sensible about regulation and beuracracy? Because people would lose jobs and the fingers in the pie that ensure our Gov't remains ineffcient would loose billions, thats why.


     
  10. kapnD
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    kapnD Senior Member

    Look at USDebtClock.org for a real shocker.
    Yes, its time to do something about it, and the armed forces are a huge drain.
    Its time to consolidate the competitive branches, cutting the fat and reducing the load.
    If the entire tax revenue of the US were directed to repaying the debt, it could be paid off in less than a week...
     
  11. Westfield 11
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    Westfield 11 Senior Member

    It is not hard at all to give a virus to an M16, just ask that General that was killed in Afghanistan last week. Political or religious fanaticism is indeed a contagious virus and a deadly one at that. It can remove entire armies from the battle line a la Russia in 1917 and cause units and individuals to switch sides and turn their weapons upon their former compatriots or allies, just as we see today.

    As an aside: I think you would be hard pressed to find a 5" gun on a modern ship that wasn't computer controlled or assisted in some form or other. Even isolated devices can have Trojan Horses embedded in their microchips which is the reason certain Chinese companies are not allowed to supply them to DoD.
     

  12. Westfield 11
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    Westfield 11 Senior Member

    Sure, but why would any country want to do that? It would benefit the oligarchs of course, but what about the other 99.99% of the population? How would that be good for them......? And please don't make any analogy to household budgeting as that is completely irrelevant when speaking of the national debt.
     
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