Friday, March 06, 2009

NAVSEA loses even more credibility ....

I am sorry; no one wakes up in the morning and all of a sudden develops a new awareness of the critical importance of their wee-wee.
“What has changed is an in­creasing awareness of the utility of the FFG in the littorals and the increased ability of our aviation assets,” McManamon said. “When you put an armed helicopter on an armed ship with a shallow draft that is fuel-efficient, that is valu­able. In the littorals, the ships be­come a lot more viable.”
Sir, will all due respect, love, kindness and direct talk only a real friend will offer you - give me a frigg'n break.

In an otherwise excellent article in Navy Times about a push for the FFG-7 owning nations getting together in Byron's backyard to compare notes - that is what the Deputy Commander of NAVSEA has to say?

If only he had kept going to say, "They have remarkable endurance and range, bring their multi-mission capabilities with them with a diverse weapons set and solid self-defense capability against threats in all three spectra, have a sufficient crew for extended operations and ... and .... HOLY-MOLY .... these things are better than LCS!"

Zen. But alas - not everyone lives in Salamanderland.

For the 1-millionth time - can we love the Sailors from OZ a little more?
The Australians and Taiwanese also are looking at replacing the missile launcher with eight vertical-launch cells.
What could have been.
Under SEA 1390, the Adelaide Class ships are receiving a modified and re-hosted FFG Naval Combat Data System (NCDS) and Australian Distributed Architecture Combat System (ADACS). It will operate on upgraded computers with new interfaces, and use an upgraded Local Area Network (LAN) to handle the need for higher data transmission rates. The Combat System will be supported by the introduction of the LINK 16 tactical data link to complement LINK 11, and provide better allied and helicopter interoperability.

Defensively, the old AN/SLQ-32v2 “Slick 32” electronic support system that picks up and classifies enemy radar emissions is being replaced with newer technology. For underwater warfare, the AN/SQS-56 and MULLOKA sonar systems will be removed, in favor of an improved variant of the ANZAC Class’ Thompson (Thales) Spherion Medium Frequency Sonar. Electronics that can integrate the Spherion’s data with towed sonars, in order to provide the frigate with a single underwater picture, will be every bit as important.

Offensively, The Gun and Missile Fire Control System will be upgraded from Mk92 Mod 2 to Mod 12 variant, and the AN/SPS-49(V)4 air surveillance radar upgraded to AN/SPS-49A(V)1MPU. A multi-sensor Radar Integrated Automatic Detect and Track System (RIADT) is also added to improve target detection, tracking and engagement, particularly against low altitude targets in cluttered ocean or near-shore environments.

All this must work together well, in order to make the Improved Adelaide Class’ weapons upgrades effective. The ships’ existing Mk13 GMLS pop-up launcher will retain its 40 round magazine, but will be fitted for more advanced SM-2 anti-air missiles and Harpoon strike missiles (usually fitted 32 SM-2 and 8 Harpoon). An 8-cell Mk41 tactical-length (vs. longer strike length) vertical launching system adds room for another 8 SM-2 Standards – or up to 32 shorter-range RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow air defense missiles.

Self-contained drop-in weapon changes round out the mix. The ship’s 20mm Phalanx CIWS last-ditch defense systems will be upgraded to Block 1B for better capabilities against UAVs, helicopters, and small boats, the MU90 Eurotorp lightweight torpedo will be ready in the torpedo tubes, the Harpoon anti-ship missiles will be RGM-84 Block IIs with GPS guidance and land attack capability, and RAFAEL’s Mini-Typhoon 12.7mm remote weapons systems will supplement the Phalanx’s defenses against fast boats and similar threats.
Byron's dopplganger Ali, Amir, or sump'n is even in on the act,
...the Egyptians have been doing things with hull repair we may want to look at to extend the lives of these ships.”
Sigh. Why do we need to extend .... (which Byron has been telling us about - for what pal - the last two years?) .... because LCS is a white elephant.

Now I am in full pout mode. While we fiddle with the fact that the sky is blue, the Danes have the Absalom - a real 21st Century Long War Littoral Combat Ship - doing good stuff and we have a "ship full of space" that can't even support itself. TGIF.

UPDATE: All sorts of stuff gett'n stirred up. Over at the crosspost at USNIBlog, VADM Harvey had the following to say in comments,
All, great discussion with many excellent ideas/thoughts being brought out.

Keep them handy - the nation’s economic crisis will have profound effects on our Navy, and in the crisis and the forced change that comes with such events there will also be great opportunities.

One of the greatest periods of innovation in our Navy was from 1922 - 1936, as the Navy dealt with the dual impacts of the Washington Naval Treaty and the Great Depression.

I believe we are now in a similar period of great challenge that will both demand and bring forth our best.

We need to be doing some serious thinking and exchanging of ideas, just like we are doing in this thread. All the best, JCHjr
You don't become a VADM for no reason. Everyone should read every line. There is a lot there there to ponder - and from Phibian's POV, a lot of insight at the second and third level undercurrents.

I would also recommend a read of of Galrahn's build off the post here and here.


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