From Dan Taylor at InsideDefense;
The fiscal year 2010 defense authorization bill allocates $15 million for the Navy to look into a "mobile maritime sensor" that would essentially be a dedicated radar ship for use in sea-based ballistic missile defense, according to Senate Armed Services Committee staff.YMBFKM. From the same train of thought that told the Royal Navy in the early 80s that is would never need a gun on their ships again and that there was no use for Aircraft Carriers in the "new navy." Do we ever learn?
An Oct. 7 committee press release following the passage of the conference report on the bill announces that the funding would be added "for a mobile maritime sensor development program to provide options for the Navy in meeting its sea-based missile defense requirements."
Dave Baker, a naval author and analyst, said a dedicated radar ship "is not a bad idea." The option would be "infinitely cheaper" than doing it on a CG(X), and the service could use cruiser hulls or even merchant designs instead of developing a whole new platform.
"There's no sense in going out and building something specialized for that role," he told ITN Oct. 21. "A bulk cargo ship could do it."
Baker said such ships might preclude the need for some CG(X) hulls in the future. It would also be important for the surface warfare community to get a new mission, he said.
"They're not going to be shooting at other ships at sea," he said. "Getting a new mission for the surface community is important to the surface community."
"Phibian Salamander, a naval author and analyst, said that Dave Baker must be high."