Saturday, August 07, 2010

About our new sponsor ...

First of all - why aren't you at the beach? Summer is almost over. Well, now that you are here, put your thinking caps on.

I am sure most of you have noticed that for the last week, CDRSalamander has a new sponsor, Piranha USV. Before their ad expires, I wanted to open the floor for discussion of the project.

Unlike the Maritime Binary who are always of a mind that a new toy must do everything or it is of no use, I have always been a fan of UAV/UAS/USV when used as a good risk mitigator and cost effective tool.

I'll start the conversation, but in comments please don't limit the discussion to this one mission area.

As we have documented here many times, Mine Warfare in the Korean was a mess for all. Especially when there is a mine field between where you are and where you want to go - and that mine field is within range of a diversity of other weapons controlled by the enemy - it is a tough nut.

The pic above is from their gallery - and it had me thinking. If you have a robust MIW USV that you could put out there well ahead of time - and if transported by heavy lift fixed wing - you get an element of surprise that you wouldn't otherwise have. It is a way to mitigate the mine threat without showing your hand because your MIW ships put-putting towards their area. You also mitigate putting dozens to hundreds of Sailors unnecessarily in harm's way.

Perfect? No. But done right .... I am open to ideas and testing. Thoughts? Check out their proposal.

100 comments:

ewok40k said...

anything is better than sore lack of mine clearing ships... and sometimes mines show up in unexpected places, rather than steaming week or 2 from another deployment, having a paradrop within say 48 hrs would be great asset. certainly worth trying.

吳沛黃以富民 said...

哥倫布:「勇於追求新的地平線就是冒險家。」加油!!............................................................

Steve said...

It seems like a fine idea, but how autonomous is it? What can it do for you when the satellites have been shot down and the comm channels are being jammed? Does the Navy have the communications infrastructure necessary to support any reasonable number of these things to begin with? I'm sure all of these issues have solutions, but I've read enough of Galrahn's stuff to wonder if they're being adequately addressed ... =-O

sid said...

Certainly its time to explore the concept beyond the overpriced toys seen on San Diego Bay.

Steve brought it up.

The viability of reachback.

Seems the leash for thses would have to be short, which would require a manned infrastucture possibly as close as direct UHF range at times.

And they are too big to fit in the LCS!

(sorry-had to throw it in)

sid said...

Oh, and the third drop not picured?

Turns out the C-17 slated for that suffered a mechanical on the ramp in Tierra del Fuego where it was picking up MIchelle Obama's vehicle convoy after her 15th vacation of the year...

(sorry-just highlighting the issues heavy lift will face in a few years as C-17 production is ceased)

Curtis said...

Nie 22 years ago I came home from the Gulf where I was CHENG on an MSO and sole TAO and Mine Evaluator and listened to the Navy that is describe the wonders of RAMICS and other unmanned mine stuff.  We used to think they'd have something when they figured out how to push the sweep gear rather than drag it behind the ship.  The NAVSEA and big navy crowd pushed it all into the LCS.  Got any opinions about that?  Every ship would be a Sweep claimed big navy.  Those of us who had swept concurred.  Every ship can be a mine sweeper, once.

What about the super duper mine sweeping helicopter armed with a mine finding laser?  Oh well.  We'll see how things work out in the next field but I'm betting on the SQQ 30 or 32 VDS and a tiny handful of guys that know the ring, size, shape, shadow.

sid said...

<span>Perfect? No. But done right .... I am open to ideas and testing. Thoughts?</span>

You could start the proof of concept -today- with idled charter boats from Destin, and other upper Gulf coast locales...


sid said...

Oops forgot to add-given the convenience to run such an operation out of Panama City.

Rice bowls may be located in San Diego, but the upper Gulf better replicates the environments where trouble is likely to be around the world....

FCC said...

"eh, kind of want."

A nice, big, rapidly-inflatable rubber-ducky style deception tool would be a nice (and cheap) addition; as would some decent AI/autonomous mode for if/when comms fail.

Anonymous said...

CDR,

 You are correct about minefiels covered by ordnance. As the old axim states: An obstacle is only an obstacle when it's covered by fire. 

  I like this concept a lot. I visited their website when I first saw the ad a week or so ago. Nice idea, solid concept. make it to do one or two things really well, not be a sole-source of all technological goodness, etc.

  Steve is absolutely correct that, as with any UV, the achilles heel is the data stream, both ways. You interrupt that in any manner and you degrade or make worthless the entir system. That's why hardening against EMP is so damned important, and it's been terribly frustrating for a couple decades now to see how that concept is brushed off by leadership.

  Ideally, I would suggest you pair one or more of these vessels with a command module designed to fit inside one or two shipping containers. That way, you could have close-aboard (relatively speaking) control, with a very small fotprint that could be bolted to the deck of any ship, even a merchant, and allow real-time support for the operation without worry about sattelites, GPS, etc. 

   Respects,

sid said...

The premise here is such assets will be used in an opposed environment.

Something to consider is that unmanned assets -with some exceptions for high speed, one way missiles- have not fared so well where rounds fly.

While little mentioned, check out the loss rates from this effort.

Just recently, CSPAN aired a forum of old U-2/TR-1/SR-71 pilots, and this topic came up. Can't remember the exact, conversation, but they were unanimous in the belief that current UAV's would be unsurvivable in an opposed environment.

Which brings up yet another good reason to center the development out of Panama City...And that is the concentration of unmanned operational experience at Eglin and Tyndall....

Anonymous said...

What about persistent ISR?  SIGINT and FMV.  Could be a cheap alternative to some of the more expensive platforms put to use for the same. 

GIMP said...

Interesting concept, but why so big and complicated?  Many of the solutions we get are big, heavy, require trained manpower, and need to be controlled via data stream by some "higher headquarters."  Our spear needs a sharp, hard tip, not a cryogenically cooled, remote controlled death ray.  We need simple, dependable, portable, rugged, and Sailor proof.

Why not a few dozen expendable, small vehicles per ship that can be preprogrammed to execute a mine clearing path that covers the waypoints between where you are and where you need to be, attracts mines, and gets blown up if there's a mine?  Thing blows up, copy the program into another one, send it on its way, repeat until they no longer blow up.

Apparently our leaders love complex things that require lots of support, and do everything but accomplish nothing.  Maybe they're sold because their next stop is to work for the people who make those things.  Conflict is complicated without adding complexity to our ability to operate.  Simple plans executed with precision, speed, and violence work.  Lay the groundwork with deception and watch the bodies hit the floor.

Good concept, but just too much.  Make it simple, easy to use, portable, and employable without coordination or control from above.  We don't need sharks with laser beams.

MR T's Haircut said...

Loss of SATCOM, you go LOS.  THere is also a pre programmed RTB feature that would essentially send the USV to a pre-determined spot to loiter until comms are up or recovered.

MR T's Haircut said...

Sid, you might be surprised... UAV have the ability to completely RTB at ranges of over 130 miles.. probably more for the big UAV's like global hawk.

MR T's Haircut said...

GCS for these could be in a the size of a 8 by 14 foot box easy peasy lemmon squeezy

MR T's Haircut said...

I vote for Pensacola.. that way I wont have to drive as far....

MR T's Haircut said...

Already being done with Lighter than Air and UAV's.  Couple these with a USV and you have a mini navy. 

MR T's Haircut said...

My new career field is as a Systems Analyst (Payload and Radad Operator) for a Med Altitude UAV system.  The footprint is so small and the cost to operate instead of a P-3 squadron is the real nut crusher here... the other added benefit is the ability to procure from Idea to Operation in a blink of an eye compared to the slow pace of procurement with a manned system.

Couple this USV with a UAV component and you have a real force multiplier without the risk. 

Sure a couple of assets would be lost but the people are still there with the experience and knowledge to turn it around. 

One thing though.. the USV/UAV arena has JUST as many ricebowls as manned systems..

Salty Gator said...

USVs are a cool idea, some are already in production such as the Israeli "PROTECTOR."  I got a chance to see PROTECTOR during a Navy Yard demonstration with the naval attaches from DC embassies.  It has an outstanding EO/IR gyrostabilized weapons mount, a few radars, and a limited MIW/SUW/ATFP capability.  The Israeli Navy, Singapore Navy, Japanese Navy already use PROTECTOR, and it is better than the American alternative, SPARTAN.

when I look at this USV, I'm not liking it for a few reasons.  First, it reminds me of the F-111.  Tries to be too much for everyone.  Second, it uses the word "modular" and is pictured next to an LCS.  MODULAR is ok if it refers to MOSA--Modular Open Systems Architecture which is more of a rapid technology insertion means instead of a full mission payload change out which almost never works as well as it is envisioned in the Pentagon and or navy yard.  

A few other points:  if they are serious about selling this, get rid of the references to NLOS-LS, LCS, Mk54 torpedos, etc.  Also, SOF support from a surface combatant is great, but more or less if you really want to be effective you need to be able to egress the SEALs if they get into trouble.  This USV can't do that.

Salty Gator said...

T that's pretty cool.  Totally get the ricebowl thing......

sid said...

I was thinking more in terms of reacting to changing conditions on station. Mr T.

Especially if an enemy is actively countering it.

sid said...

Another reason for the Gulf coat....

Proximity to Hurlburt.

MR T's Haircut said...

Sid,

well in that case the mission commander or GCS operator would need to be versed in surface tactics and be able to react with PPR's

AW1 Tim said...

OOOps... that "guest" was me. Sorry about that.

USAF Mike said...

Yup.  Continuously attempting to halt C-17 production is one of the most short sighted decisions the AF has made in the past decade (which is saying something, considering that the past decade has been one big short sighted decision for the AF).  It can carry almost four times the payload of a C-130 at a range equaling the C-5 and requires a takeoff distance only twice that of a C-130.  It's an incredibly versatile aircraft.  But why would we want more of those?  It's not like the first thing you want more of when you go to war is airlift.  Oh wait, yeah, it is.

USAF Mike said...

One nitpick...the comparison to the Buffalo Hunter drones in Vietnam isn't really fair, because those were true drones, in the sense that they were programmed in with mission profiles before the mission and then flew the profile, without input from an operator.  The UAV/RPA/whatever we're calling it these days like Predators or Reapers are directly flown and have the ability to react.

That said, you're spot on with the observation that current UAVs would be unsurvivable in an opposed environment...emphasis on current.  The stuff we're currently using is the aeronautical equivalent to a Cessna 172 (Predator) and a T-6/Pilatus PC-9 (Reaper).  Of course these aircraft wouldn't survive in an opposed environment.  The "combat" UAVs in development (UCAS-D, J-UCAS, etc.) are intended to be closer to a "fighting" UAV that would possess the performance and stealth necessary to operate in an opposed environment.  But of course, these are taking longer to develop, for the same reason that it took more time and money to develop an F-16 than a C-172.

USAF Mike said...

Forgot to mention, the "combat" UAVs are being designed as more of a "directed" UAV as opposed to a "piloted" UAV.  The distinction is that while a "piloted" UAV (like a Predator or Reaper) is literally flown via datalink, a "directed" UAV (like the current Global Hawk) is given a series of tasks to perform.  Example: fly this heading, at this altitude, and take pictures of this; you're basically flying using a keyboard and mouse.  Now, the big difference between this and the Buffalo Hunter type drones is that the Global Hawk is in constant communication with the ground station and the tasks can be changed at any time in flight.

The "combat" UAVs take this idea a step further and are being designed to incorporate enough autonomy so that the operator can say fly here and attack this SAM site and the UAV can determine the best course, speed, and altitude to fly in order to successfully attack the SAM site.  The big problem is that the military is understandably reluctant to allow this much autonomy to an armed aircraft, especially one that is intended to operate in an opposed environment (i.e., where SATCOM might not be up all the time).  One solution that's been proposed is to have a fighter-type aircraft (like a Strike Eagle, for example) serve as the controller, accompanying the aircraft part of the way into denied airspace, then standing off and allowing the UAVs to penetrate the rest of the way, with the backseater controlling multiple UAVs over a high speed LOS datalink.  (Of course, now you get into stealth issues if the UAVs are talking back, but you get the idea.)

The "escort part of the way with a manned vehicle with comparable performance and then stand off and control" might be an idea worth considering for USVs, as well.

sid said...

Sometime back -over at Galrahn's place I think- I opined that there will be a need for a new class of manned asset to serve as a "UAV Wrangler"....

And, because it will have to get relatively close to the fight,it cannot be a rehashed airliner, but instead a full up warfighting aircraft.

But it will need some pretty stout endurance too, so yet another rendition of Hornet won't do.

MR T's Haircut said...

Folks, the tactical application is what is important here.. you are not going to use the ISR asset to kick in doors and the USV mine warfare systems are going to be used to PREP the Battlespace...

UAV/UAS/USV all have a roll in tactical battlespace PREP and I&W.   You use the door kickers after you have the Common Operational Picture. 

These assets are hardier than you might imagine.

AW1 Tim said...

WE've got a bunch of Hoovers sitting around waiting for tasking. Perhaps some upgraded A-6's. too?

sid said...

But CDR Sal, has postulated an offensive MIW operation in an opposed envirnoment.

campbell said...

Pirana and other unmanned assets are dependant upon host of delivery and control systems.

Lighter-than-air can self deploy; no need for C-17 to deliver, no need for aerial refueling.  Properly designed, constructed, operated AIRSHIPS have potential for multiple missions; from ISR to ASW to MIW, logistics and delivery of troops/Seal teams (including ingress/egress), over all water types blue/green/brown, ice, or anywhere inland.   Airships; in varying sizes, can operate as readily as helicopters without need for surface motherships, with intercontinental range capability.

The entire rationale for "UNmanned" is twofold:  to keep pilots out of harms' way; and, to provide for longer missions via greater payload (fuel) capacity.

Both of these become moot arguments if Lighter-than-Air is employed.   Survivability for airships (as described above; not "blimps") is far greater than for either fixed or rotary wing traditional aircraft; hence, far greater pilot safety.   Using airships, mission length/linger/range can be virtually unlimited; with no fueling requirements as with other types of aircraft.

The greatest drawbacks of "UNmanned" is their need for com links.  Secondary drawbacks is lack of mission adaptability.    Leaving a pilot onboard, as in the case for airships.....gains the advantages reached for with unmanned systems, but still provides for independant, immediate, intelligent actions.

MR T's Haircut said...

If I was the Project Manager for a UAS / USV system and I was king for a day I would build an Expeditionary Selection Package.  Here are some of my questions of how would I use and deploy.

Assuming we are only talking Mil - DOD and not Civilian or Other Agency LEO.

Asumptions - Operators
- It would need to be determined will this be Contractor operated or Military Operated or both?  For my model I would go with Contractor Operated because we are not pulling a trigger on an armed asset.  Contractors can be cleared for the Security Clearance and are easier to move around without worry about Diversity Directorate crap or CMEO stuff...

ORM ROE - needs to exist to protect the asset

Transport / Operational Platforms - Needs to be able to be sustained.  Small roll on roll off capability.  Could use a commercial trawler for this or Conex capable transport to a sea port with a runway.

I would want a UAV to work in concert with any USV platform to ensure economy of assets.  Operational phases of use would be UAV ISR followed by USV for response. 

GCS location is a focus point.. Need it to be secure. 

over all sustainment. 

Cooridination with Mil units to respond with force when required...

SATCOM.. cannot be under appreciated...

I would go with the Current US Navy MOCC capabilitiy for watch officer control/mission cooridination and use the Contractor Operated system to conduct the mission. 

for the cost of one P-8 Poseidon we could pay for several of these ESP's...

Salty Gator said...

yeah, but they are easier to move around if they are a "woman owned, minority-disadvantaged small business"

sid said...

<span>These assets are hardier than you might imagine.</span>

You just KNEW I have to go here....

Don't make it an afterthought, when the first losses roll in.

MR T's Haircut said...

Sid, we are in agreement when using these in a strike roll, MIW and ISR is not a strike roll and as such they are less likely to be shot down or destroyed.   I wouldnt send a UAV/USV into a certain destruct mission anymore than I would a P-3 or a MSO.... I am talking about in the ISR / MPA / MUW / MIW rolls.. totally different survivability rate,,,

sid said...

But I will argue that MIW is, and has been a direct combat role...That its not regarded that way now is because it has been since Korea that such ops were conducted opposed.


And, arguably ISR too -so crtical these days in Operational and Tactical settings- against an assymetrical, anti-access foe who understands that eyes and ears are soft spots just waiting to be gouged.

Our legacy ISR infrastructure is still pretty much the same unarmed, nuclear war "trip wire" it was 50 years ago to the end of the Cold War.

Today, when used in an Operational mileiu, it can be nullified by a boat hook....

sid said...

Might add too, that the paper above pertains to the current flock of ISR UAVs...

Curtis said...

spoken like a true believer in total domain awareness.

I'd substitute instantly striking dead the enemy and not watching him change his panties for a few weeks.

and Gator makes an excellent point too.

Curtis said...

So how exactly does one go about prepping the minefield?  Would that be the way the helos prepped that ODS minefield that they let their mothership wander into and get blown up?  Precursors.  Prepping.  Got it.

Curtis said...

One must watch as NUWC Keyport and Newport fight with NAVSEA Crane and SSC Charleston and SSC San Diego. Vicious vicious battles to protect rice bowels.

MR T's Haircut said...

not sure if that is a compliment or not Curtis

MR T's Haircut said...

Curtis not prepping the minefield.. prepping the Battle Space...  if we had persistent ISR the mines would not have been laid.. we would have kicked the crap out of them.

I&W and the COP is the definition of Prepping the Battlefield.. Why pay for the same intel twice?

ewok40k said...

It fits perfectly the american way of war... since Civil War US motto was: throw the materiel not bodies at the enemy. Keep the losses down. Care about your soldiers. And anything short of total EM blockage is possible to circumnavigate - even satellite loss can be mitigated with relay of unmanned aircraft - or blimps for that matter... And right now ANY mine clearing vessel would be better than almost complete lack of thereof. Imagine someone mines approaches to Panama Canal. Where are nearest US mine clearing ships? How long it would take to get them there?

Curtis said...

ah, but there you go.  That prep was the role we employed the MSBs and MKIII PB and Little Birds in.   TF 160 and SPECBOAT failed in spades at the ISR you believe in.  When I worked at SPAWARYSCOM/PEO C4I I had a colleague, never deployed to my knowlege, who totally absolutely believed that if had total MDA we could win the war with just a single frigate.  Because we'd know all and could be everywhere with one 350 foot hull.

ah but can't you see it now.  A whole CVN deploying with just the one plane it needs since the CVN comes fully equipped with total domain awareness and doesn't need more than one.

I took the tour of Castle Hill with a British Historian who led my group over the battlefield where the Gloustershires fought and died.  At the end the survivors of that battle got ripped up by USA tanks moving into contact to rescue them.

Prep is an illusion. 

9/11
Beirut
SANGB
Khobar
Pearl Harbor
Manila

Let me know if you think we are losing men every day in Af because we failed to prep the battlespace sufficiently.  Persistent ISR caused us what?  90 killed last month?

You guys who believe in myths like that are like SAC who sent the B52s in at precisely the same altitude every time.  Some people will believe anything.

Curtis said...

ewok,

been promised this for over 30 years now.  At the SURTASS PMO I worked for one guy who wanted dot on the screen for submarines.  Dot on the screen was what one gets with a SQQ30/32. Never with submarines on a 53 or 56.  Waterfall displays. SQR-17 Grams. (OK, never went active on a DD.  We hunted those btysarts down in the second and third CZ passively)  Ye olde Type II NUC and Delta IIIs.   Very very quietly.

MR T's Haircut said...

<span>Curtis,  
 
Since you are an Engineer by trade, I will give you some leeway, but WATCHA TALKING ABOUT FOOL?? You are confusing the niche that a UVS or UAV can excel in with your self prejudices predicated more on ROE and Policy than a system.   
 
Reread the MISSION and Role of a UAV/UAS.. it is not a silver bullet, it is a force multiplier.   
 
Your assertion that persistant ISR failures got 90 killed in Afghan goes to show your lack of understanding of what the ISR mission is.   
 
I&W and ISR allows for a Common Operating Picture.  It ties in all sensors to a usable tactical product for the TAO's and MC's to use to configure their ships to fight.. This fusion of info can be improved MIGHTLY by unmanned assets.. period..  
 
your other examples have their own Skeletons in the closet we can discuss each on its own merit but they had little to do with ISR and more to do with ROE.. (Beirut was a fiasco in its own right and FP and ROE played a big role)</span>

Curtis said...

T,

I got a call one night to come in and plan and kill an awful lot of people using TLAMS.  I did it.  I actually spent some time stalking that little corridor there at NAVCENT between Air Ops and Surface Ops and thinking it over.  96.  More then a lifetime ago.

Based on my experience I think you are chasing Chimera.

There were guys like me who got the DASH.  I did not.  I got the Benthos Super Sea Rover which was not an AUV but which was totally useless.  Deadly useless.  Not any kind of help at all.

Let us talk of ASW and finding submarines.  I'll be blunt and just cast out that I don't think I have a peer here who knows/understands ASW like I do.  I'm like a PhD in ASW and UAS and UAV and USV.  I can laugh all day until I come to the war.

You're exactly the kind of guy that buys into "force multiplier" nonsense.  Is that you squinting and pushing LCS and suggesting that minimal manned warships are a "force mulitplier"?  Targets.  Dead on demand.  Killed.  You see the results of the PG that SOKOR lost to a NORK submarine?  What precisely about that fills you with confidence that one of our warships is going to survive a keel breaking torpedo?  From nowhere.

I used to deploy my unit, other surveillance units and lots of guys in response to I&W.  We'd show up countless times and the guys behind the green door would delicately decline to inform us precisely, exactly what I&W we were to look for there in the middle east.  We got a little pissed.  We took every single opportunity to make them look bad.  I had the chance to brief a couple of 4 stars on the issue and when asked, I said, "you're paying for these deployments admiral."  The fun I had as an ENS or LT or LCDR was only matched by the fun I had as a CAPT...

Tell you something dude.  There is no COP.  When USFK has 23 COPS he briefs every night there aint no COP.  Watched a guy, back from the front, brief Gauss one day about the COP.  He bravely presented GCCS-M as the COP at the CAOC and described how he single handedly brought GCCS-M to the attention of FOGOS who had simply ignored it as useless and unimportant.  Admiral Rodriguez at PMW 157 was impressed but then he'd spent $400 million on the latest rollout.

That ISR thing you are so proud of saved how many American lives last month?

I'm a throwback to earlier times.  Warheads on Foreheads.

3k characters.  How strange

MR T's Haircut said...

ASW Experience?  I will measure Johnsons with you anyday.. I was the ASW Officer for my ship and I actually have several prosecutions of Soviet boats both Single Aircraft (in Rotory and Fixed Wing) and multi-unit Coord ASW...I am not talking about TAGOS or that pussy stuff, I am talking Detect, Classify, Localize and Track.. Echo II's, Victors, and Kilo's and other ROW... that isnt the point..

The point of COP is to give SA to all units... GCCS-M?  Really?  FOTC is as FOTC does... to tell you the truth GCCS-M is only as strong as your OSSN look out.. and the ability of your CDC/CIC watchteam to get it right on the plot and get it in as a force track..  Don't even open the can of worms with Link-11 and Link 16 reporting of those assets.. no I am talking about ACDS and how it relates to the Air Pic and Surf pic stuff that matters...

ISR is INTEL, SURVEILLANCE AND RECON... READ IT AGAIN REAL SLOW.... it is precisely what makes the COP... sorry you had such shitty watch officers that obviously were the on the "B team".. but I have seen both the SSC COP (WeCan a beautiful thing) ACOP and WSM work in the real world 9-11 and we managed to not lose anyone.. considering the fact that 2 CVBG and associated ships are out there at the tip right now.. and no one has been "BLOWED" up.. I would say the COP is working pretty damn good...  Learn your tactics Captain and understand the benefits then we can have a rational discussion... until then just like your ole Bos'n.. AYE AYE 3 BAGS FULL.. anything you say Capn!

MR T's Haircut said...

You probably think LLOA and AOU's and WSM and SSG's are all crap too...

Curtis said...

You're an angry little elf Ms T.

Look up the death of LANT OTCIXS.  COP died that day.  Nobody cared. 

I spent way too much time in the ASW READY SQUADRON in the North Pacific in and around the Aleutians.  Special purpose MILVANS on the 04 filled with WAPS, AQA-5  same thing really.  Dragging a 15 when nearly everybody else towed a 17 or 19.  Hunting with 2 P3 squadrons and USS Alabama plus SOSUS.


Tell you what mr ASW petty officer, send me the equation for the FOM.

Curtis said...

Do.

Prove they don't

Byron said...

Didn't take you long in the argument to get to, "Officers think enlisted are just semi-intelligent drones to order around and require close supervision by their betters", didn't it Curtis?

Get some, T!!!!!

Curtis said...

Byron,

The guy describes himself as an officer.  I'm dissing him.


I think we might be sympatico despite my two tours as CHENG and one as FCO in the yard....  OK, strike that.  Nevermind.  Every single sand crab is pollution, evil unveiled and spread upon the water, a terror to man and dog.  Scum.  Evil.  God I remember the total losers from Charleston NSY who showed up in Bahrain and flat refused to do their jobs.  Learned then what a NUC CO can do on his own.  Fun.  Us deep draft commands had some of the very best COs.  You not being a member in good standing probably wouldn't know.

I went into 10 day dry docks at BASREC Bahrain where, for a mere $100k I got more and better and friendlier work done as managed by SRF Naples det Bahrain.  They being two amazing guys from Italy that had a freaking beer machine in their office at Basrec that didn't require one to put money into it.  Solid professional American dudes who worked with that bicycle shop of a shipyard and FIXED everything and it had a Scottish Engineer as the manager and that man could read a techman and focus your eyeball on the problem that concerned you with an intensity and speed you could not fathom. 700 tasks. BASREC was a mighty shipyard.  10 days there was about as effective as 90 days in an American shitty yard like Southwest Marine.

SRF Jubail was damned good too.  Roughly 2000% better than any American yard.  Not sure why we bother to repair our ships in American yards.  Most of the workers are illegals or dirtbags.

Feeling better?

Phib will kick me to the curb in his own good time.  Did you think he needed your help?

Let me just ask you something Dude.  I deployed a lot.  Every time my Commodore called me and asked I said yes sir.  I never said no to a mission.  Just what exactly gives you the balls to question me?  You serve your country dude?  In the USN?  The USMC?  The USA?  I did.  I don't need to take any crap from you or anyone else.

I'm gonna drop you a clue.   There is NOT one single officer who got promoted to LCDR without understanding the relationship.  What, you thought I was doing NOAP as CHENG on 9 diesel engines?  Perhaps you thought the fire in the overhead put itself out as we went on sea trials after being exposed to the crappy yard birds who failed to lag diesel exhausts?  Maybe you think RIM 7M missiles hit because crappy abusive officers ride their enlisted men like ponies.

I've decided not to like you.  Don't worry.  You aren't missing much.

sid said...

Well into the weeds from the conceptual discussions below...Just exactly waht is this Zyvex material?

Will you be able to beach one of these puppies and put a patch on in, say, the Bonny River, and not have to fly in some expensive tech support?

For the fundamentals, KISS would seem to be the order of the day.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Charming as this exchange of candy and flowers is to watch, at the risk of being a grouchy old man...I don't really think "johnson measurement" is all that useful.

Why not talk about the advantages and drawbacks of using drone boats for mine sweeping and inshore surveillance?  One even might bring up limitations of the state of the art, vs neat ideas in theory loving minds.

One would think some of you guys were blogging while drinking.

Now about remote control boats...me, I'm agin 'em...unless they work reliably and help win battles.  Anybody think they could, if so, why?

As an aside, the correct way to spell ISR is "recce updated situational awareness".  Lots of ways to recce, but the goal is to know what's going on.  Alphabet soup, bah humbug, grump, grumble, snort.

Byron said...

Curtis, you just damned yourself out of your own mouth. You're an officer and you don't understand the extremely basic concept that it's the Chiefs and LPO's that make the Navy work? What a tool.

Not going to worry about you not liking me either. In my world, I'm an NCO myself. You wouldn't be the first arrogant "officer" I've made a fool of either.

Ask YNSN about the yard that LPD-17 is in now, and if they can hack the load. They'll be the ONLY yard that can get that benighted ship haze grey and underway like a proper Navy ship should be. Of course, they're not full of union rot, too, so that has a hell of a lot to do with it.

Byron said...

Grandpa, the most valuable thing that Harpoon (the game) taught me was range circles. Endurance, detection, weapons reach, etc. Every time I see a new weapon/platform the first thing I look at is it's circles.

To wit:

1) Given the the range of the platform (Pirahna) and the range of it's sensors/capabilities/transmitters, and having to adjust for operational time line requirements, how close will the deploying platform (aircraft/ship) have to get to the area of operations?

2) Will the deploying platform itself come close enought to be a) detected and/or b) engaged? If either answer is yes, bad ju ju, for both the Pirahna and the deploying platform. Even if the platform has not been engaged (read destroyed) the enemy is now aware of your intentions.

3) Sensors both ways: What is the range of the receiving and transmitting sensors? You have to assume that while most functions will be autonomous, the most important ones are not, such as: a) weapons free, b) changing operational tasking, or c) self-defense manuevers of the Piranha itself.

3) Weapons: is there anyone else besides me that understands the Harpoon is a fine missile for sinking surfaced subs, fishing trawlers and merchant men, but not modern warships with an intergrated air defense system? Please. There's a reason why CGs and DDGs never carry a full load out. Not to mention, that puny warhead...

Curtis said...

You idiot.

Now Phibs gonna boot me again.  FYI, I don't 'damn myself out of my own mouth'.  I made the mistake of spelling a word.  Won't do that again.  We are all allowed to converse as long as we fail to spell the word.  I ain't spelling it again.

You're a kind of interesting duck.  Let me tell you about my first ship for a bit.  I stepped into the Engineering Log Room after some other stuff I'd be happy to relate, and the M Division officer, (Senior Chief Prime) stuck his tongue in my ear and the B Division Officer stuck his tongue (BTCS) in my other ear.  The Departmental Master Chief said helo, the LDO CHENG welcomed me as did the Warrant Officer DCA and the LDO MPA and LDO Electrical Officer.  I lucked out like you would not believe and had the two best CPOs on board in A Division.  Let me tell you about them.  They were an ENC and MRC and when we went through OPPE a few months later both of those non MMC/BTC were the presentation EOOWS.  Better men you will never meet.  My CHENG, who replaced Sid Vicious (former MRCS always wanting me to chrome the heads on all the boats) was an LDO former BTI and asked me didn't I plan to submit both those men for NCMs.  Damned right I did one second after he proposed it.

The rest of my career most of my guys thought I was an LDO.  I was taught by the very best and I'm a quick learner.  Son, you do the very best job you can.  The last 22 years, they all carried rifles and pistols and backed me up.  I was never a typical naval officer.  I'd get those calls and sometimes went alone and other times with an IRT.  You're a sand crab.  You bother me as much as Georgia did at SWM or CAPT Klein at SUPSHIP San Diego.  Or Disco Dan or any one of the losers in the American ship building industy or the SUPSHIPS meritocracy's total failure to regulate the American ship building industry.

Why don't you get back to me when your  son is deployed to AF?

Loser

Curtis said...

byron it was guys JUST LIKE YOU that made that abortion.   They made a permanent job of "fixing" the useless thing.  Why didn't you lot think of that? 

Yardbirds turn to evil in a heartbeat and giving themselves a job that will last a lifetime.....perfect.  Fixing the stuff they broke.

Curtis said...

A totally broken warship produced by an American Shipyard by your peers.

OK.  I'll bite. 

YNSN,
Your thoughts?

Byron said...

Not my peers... a bunch of drunks from New Orleans led by a bunch of incompetents from an aircraft company that should have never got into the shipbuilding business and is now working hard to get out of the shipbuilding business. MY peers are fixing San Antonio. Period. Freakin'. Dot.

For your information, there's shipyards populated by craftsmen like me, and there's shipyards populated by people only interested in a paycheck. That attitude is inculcated by the company they work for. My company understands that our customer is the US Navy and our work is extremely important and costs lives when we screw up. THAT'S the difference.

Curtis said...

Bryon,

You went out of your way to attack me.

I wouldn't cross the road to piss on Southwest Marine or Todd if they were on fire.  You ascribe shitty shipbuilding to your peers.   Back in the day, if we couldn't get into Lake Union we wanted Campbell Shipard.  Todd, SWM, and NMSES were a mighty suck.  I really don't know about WESTPAC but  God were SRF Jubail, ASRY and BASREC the bomb.

Have you ever worked in an American shipyard?  1.2 hours of labor and 7 drifting around pretending.

sneer for sneer.

Retired Now said...

Unfortuately, I had to work on some of those PMS-317 designed "warships" before I finally retired.   Designed in Washington D.C. by desk jockey's who never bothered to check with experienced field activities for full and proper design reviews.   Now, PMS-317 has built 5 perpetually broken amphibious ships, and has 4 more under construction and plans/funding for the final two LPD's.   Those funny (modern) looking "advanced enclosed masts"  (AEMS) are a disaster.  Besides drastically attenuating all radio, IFF, and radar signals being transmitted,  these AEMS function as giant hot, humid corrosion incubators,  filled with salt air  (since they are open to the atmosphere).   These Northrop Grumman built AEMS masts are delaminating and will never last the planned 40 year life cycle, or even a dozen years of Fleet op's.    Perhaps PMS-317 will be fired and NAVSEA can resdesign both AEMS masts has the traditional open masts,  which get far less corrosion being exposed to wind and sea, than they do now, safely rusting inside each AEMS.   

Glad I retired.   Avondale is being closed as fast as possible, but so should the WASHINGTON D.C.  PMS-317 overpaid designers and engineers.

Byron said...

Never heard about the masts, but can understand it. Believe it or not, a lot of endemic problems are being fixed on the San Antonio. I know for a fact that certain remotely operated valves that were a huge headache now work to spec...because a 25 year old machinists leadman asked, "has anyone ever taken one of these apart to see whats inside?" He did and in less than two hours had it working like it should have all along. The next week, he went to Norfolk and showed a bunch of wheels just how easy it was to fix them, and how stupid they were for not doing the obvious. And no, the young man does not nor need a college degree; he's a craftsman.

sid said...

Glad I retired.   Avondale is being closed as fast as possible, but so should the WASHINGTON D.C.  PMS-317 overpaid designers and engineers.

The death knell for any proposal like this will be to build an overly complicated "Star Wars" boat.

Build a good, stout  hull with good bones, and resist the Powerpointers' and Marketeers' BS bingo...

That said, it cannot be built to the design standards seen on the lot of bass Pro Shop either....And that need not be contradictory to maintianing a KISS design philosophy.

Again, I have to depart from Mr T's assesment of the threat environemtn such craft are likely to encounter. They WILL get shot at, and they need to be built with that reality in mind.

If I were the Zyvex folks, I'd make it a point to take a close read of this NPS thesis, and incorporate the design elements such as a redundant electrical system, seperated critical components, and protected vitial systems such as fuel into the design as early as possible.

It will result in a better, less expensive, more combat effective, boat sitting in the water.

Heck, give the author a call...

YNSN said...

Earl is  a good yard.  I'm no snipe.  But, from just being there (full disclosure, I've not been in that yard since before my IA tour) they were more professional than any other I had been to before (17 has been to most of them, it seems).  No buckets of piss or sh*t around, no yard birds sleeping in my berthing, grinding (actual work) keeping me up all damn night while on duty.

They've got their work cutout for them though.  I think they can do it.  But, damn if they haven't been setup for failure. 

I am nearly of the opinion though, that the SAN is unfixable.  Since 2006 I've been reading about all the issues, and I've seen very little to show that anything is getting much better.

MR T's Haircut said...

I dont need to prove they are crap. I understand how to use them...

MR T's Haircut said...

Curtis,

Figure of Merit - what part you want?  the part that says 50% of your comments are wrong 100 percent of the time?

MR T's Haircut said...

Curtis my ASW experience crosses sitting in the seat as a an ASW Aircrew, Briefing and Debriefing Aircrews in ASWOCS/TSC's, developing and testing ASW sensors, Analyzing LOFAR cuts and sending the results to ONI/AMPO, TSC Watch Officer, Ship ASW Officer, TAO

so since you want to measure the Johnson, when you were learning the ins and outs of planetary gears and which hand soap gets the lube oil out better, I was probably trying to teach some young and ignorant LT or LTJG why his BT was wrong and his Tritac was not going to work because the MDR was off... was that you I was trying to train????

You try to throw your cred around... funny part is no one but you seems to care.. you lack the dignity some really good Captains on this porch possess.  You could learn a few things from C-dore and SJBill  just sayin....

MR T's Haircut said...

Curtis,
Judging from your comments and blather here, I would not make the mistake of confusing you for an LDO.. as a Mustang, I can smell a pretender miles away.. and make no mistake, I am an Officer. 

Redeye80 said...

Wow, I am amazed the Navy can function without the expertise flaunted here. 

Sparticus said...

Curtis is either nuts or a faker from way back when. No prudent person talks the crap he does. Curtis, maybe you want one of those nut blogs, check out any blog that is Obama related and you will feel right at home and do not forget your meds. Also, mac and cheese is being served for supper at your nearest nuthouse.

Curtis said...

Didn't I just tell that to Byron?

I can read you know.

Unlike some here I didn't play at Harpoon and stuff.  I went to Damneck and Guided Missile School and even spent a useless and nearly forgotten week learning how to employ actual RGM84 using the nifty 13 button control panel.  How to make utterly damned sure that no maintenance actions were ever performed on that missile system with the high power cables hooked up since we didn't want yet another repeat of an attack on Caribbean Islands or Belgian villages by shooting a Harpoon at them.  RBL of BOL would have been equally bad.

Curtis said...

I thought PMS 320 was evil until I read about those awful LPD.

Back when I was young I used to call every single week of overhaul at SWM unsat. CO concurred but would send me to garner the SUPSHIP para 3.  Each time the Amphib Type Desk at SUPSHIP went crazy and wrote, well, about as much as I typically write denying the claim.  Each time the poor civ would carry his/my missive to the Amphib Type Desk there at SUPSHIP San Diego and the CDR would scratch out the defense and say merely, we don't dignify their complaints by responding to them.  Every Wednesday, there I'd be at one end of the table with CAPT K at the other with all his minions lined up against the wall as each CO of a ship underoing his gentle attentions outlined their overhaul progress to date.  Each week, he'd finish with me.  My CO never attended any of those meetings.  SUPSHIPs darling little snarl remains alive and as fresh as ever.  "What did we screw up this week LT?"

But hey, just a poseur.  Wouldn't know real navy stuff if it stuck to my shoe.  used to call them, what's the word?  boondockers. 

So anyway Byron, did you play any sort of role while PMW 182 spent 13 years getting the first LFA TAGOS built?  In multiple yards?  13 years building, actually welding and stuff, a TAGOS platform?  US Shipyards and all their employees have much to be ashamed of.

Curtis said...

Well dude, you can give us the passive or active equation you being an expert and all.

Curtis said...

You know.  I don't really think I do.  It comes up from time to time.  Like whenever some jackass questions my creds.  I will then tend to rub your face in it.

I LIKE to argue.  I enjoy it. 

Where did you come up with Johnson measurements?  Is that like a scissorgram or waterscan?  Bscan?  What, you never used a DIFAR and call yourself an ASW thingie?  Did you ever take the time to attend an ASWIP and get the down low on ASW?  You flew?  That qualifies you as an expert on ASW?  Used to pop a lot of LOFAR but we could base our MDR not on predicted ranges from an XBT but from the sound of the propellor of our zodiac moving away after launch.

So anyway,

Want to lay out either FOM equation?  Just to show off your shiny cred?  I would but most people wouldn't believe it coming from me wheras a standup guy like you has to be believed.

MR T's Haircut said...

Curtis,
youre not listening.... My expertise in ASW is by designation and by reputation.. it is enough. 

Not sure why your so wrapped up about Figure of Merit.. but my Recognition Diff is much higher than yours... just sayin....

sid said...

<span><span>As for survivability issues, isn't that the point of a unmanned system?  Make em cheap, disposable, and pervasive.  Just make the boxes tamper resistent to protect the technology (where it's sensitive).</span></span>

<span>Guest the size and postulated costs of these boats -somewhere in the 7 figures "green" I suspect-  would make them anything but "disposoable".</span>

<span>Just as the experience with the Predators and other UAV's efforts will have to be made to for a reasonable chance of RTB of these USVs.</span>

<span>Take a read of the brief bumped up from below. </span>

<span>• As operational commanders come to rely on them, loss of UAV’s becomes less and less acceptable
– Survivability is a force multiplier</span>

• Costs of survivability features are paid back in attrition savings – Can afford up to 25% of system cost on survivability enhancement if attrition is cut by half
– Can afford 50% of system cost if attrition cut by 75%



• Some UAV experiences with survivability design may not have been optimum
– For example, Dark Star design for LO expensive, lower performance, helped lead to program cancellation*


(KISS ALWAYS!!!  GAZILLION DOLLAR GIZMOS WILL KILL THE PROJECT)

• But there are simple things that can be done for little cost
– e.g., fuel line and electrical system placement, redundancy

MR T's Haircut said...

Sid,

what we need is a lowering of expectations...  I have seen it here.. an expectation that the UAV is expendable.. F*(@ the weather.. fly it..

Anonymous said...

Sid,
You should have read through to the end.  "<span>Make em cheap, disposable, and pervasive."</span>

sid said...

Sigh...

I did read it. Perhaps you should comprehend the whole document.

No way to build craft the size and sophistication of these and call them "disposable" Guest....

Anonymous said...

<span>"No way to build craft the size and sophistication of these and call them "disposable" Guest...."</span>
-It's a piece of gear, it's disposable.  We can buy another one. sid.......

sid said...

But you will never be able to buy "enough" guest.

Plan on it.

slarty said...

I have.

They'd be about 32 feet long.  Inflatable.   HUGE!  TOTALLY AWESOME!!

Tghey could spell since they haven't been drinking  gasoline or diesel powered generator.  big.  1500 pound winch.  hydraulic electric.  maintaining course and speed as all little craft do in the ocean sea states, all of them.  bearign resulution being a myth and stuff adn of abourelty no concern to setrious peccatiojisers of asw  slgihtly larger power pack for active ganging away

now any ordinary person would ask why not put some guns on these unicorns for self defense but they would have failed to understand the porpoise.

MR T's Haircut said...

really?  

Anonymous said...

Well sid, I see we found your circular logic.  We can't buy enough because that would be too expensive, so we have to ad to the costs, repeat.  Welcome to military acquisition, I see you're already involved.

vlad said...

Oh my word yes!  Absolutely!  It's like an absolutely inviable regulation or something like that.  Elves told me so.  guns, submarines, boats, sympo.

sid said...

We see you are just picking a needless fight..."alpha" is it?

Whatever. Gates' Announcement bears it out.

No commander will have "enough". Gone forever are the days when Nimitz could proclaim, "We have more ships and planes than the enemy has bullets."

That will apply to unmanned ones too these days and looking forward.

Anyway, back to something that actually contributes to the discussion....

see page 20.

<span><span>

UASs are rapidly becoming critical
elements in the commander’s ability to
accomplish the mission in some situations.
Under these circumstances, the
survivability of the UAS is not simply
avoiding being killed (usually a consideration
of dollars of replacement value);
rather, it is a factor in overall mission
success or possibly even survival of
forces. Completion of the mission, often
hours in duration in spite of the hostile
environment, becomes a hurdle for UAS.
However, the very nature of UAS
presents challenges of survivability
design as a result of the distributed
nature of the aircraft operator from the
aircraft and the need to distribute
payload product to the battlefield users.
These electronic, real-time functions
are inherently susceptible to hostile
interruption or surreptition.
</span></span>

MR T's Haircut said...

vlad I am stupider now for that.. thanks...

NaCl Lagarto said...

I post usually under a different name but I am now working on fixing the problem of LPD-17.  these were designed by an aircraft company with an aircraft lifecycle support plan that was never fully funded or executed.  the equipment was all commerically funded equipment and again, never funded or executed.  that mast enclosure is horrible and I will ensure it is designed OFF the next ship.  PMS 317 is a shithole but they aren't the only assholes who should be fired for that ship.  a few folks in the pentagon too, starting with a guy named Mike.  Retired, did you know there is no FRESHWATER WASHDOWN in those masts?  So it collects all the salt and grinds the radars into destruction / corrosion.  additionally, all depot level maintenance has to be done pier side because you can't remove the radars and send them to SIMA!  So double the costs, baby!
Training is another huge hot button issue.  I hate this ship but love her sailors.  We'll get it right, but it will easily take us until 2015 to do it.

Anonymous said...

<span>"We see you are just picking a needless fight."  You responded to my comment..  Get off my leg.</span>

UltimaRatioRegis said...

MTH,

The unofficial UAV motto when I flew them:

"Crunch all you want.  We'll make more."

UltimaRatioRegis said...

USAF Mike,

Kudos on your comments on the C-17.  Fantastic airplane.  But for a BIG fight?  The first thing everyone wants more of is SEALIFT. 

But the point is a good one.  We went from a forward deployed military to a rapid deployment military.  Next thing we did?  Cut strategic mobility assets. Smart move.

Thank you Les Aspin.  We can always borrow capability in theater from our Pakistani allies.

sid said...

Glad to see you back alpha...

MR T's Haircut said...

that guest was me URR

Anonymous said...

Sid....

Again... you should have read to the end.  Either you didn't read to the end, or you're too stupid to see "-Alpha" and correlate it with "alpha."  Next time you get lost, just call for an Alpha Check.  I'll point out bull for you.

sid said...

(snicker)

Lets see how long you last this time alphalost.

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