Thursday, August 04, 2011

Actual Littoral Combat


This great picture comes to us via the good people at gCaptain;
29 July 2011 (Royal Navy) HMS Sutherland practised Naval Gunnery Support (NGS) drills by firing High Explosive (HE) and Star Shell rounds from her 4.5-inch gun. These drills were carried out only 2 days after HMS Sutherland was involved in fire missions off the coast of Libya.
The British remember well the value of a medium-caliber naval gun from the Falklands and is why all their ships since who could carry one have one.

Ignore the PPT, San Carlos Water demonstrated the core of littoral combat - close, nasty, and needful. Since arrows flew from the sides of galleys on, soldiers and Marines ashore need a ship to pull up close and offer what no other platform can; time critical close support. The larger the gun the better. The more guns the better. Look at the target set from Libya and so much that was done by aircraft could have been done cheaper and for less cost from a ship - but as lawfare prefers lasers and GPS, only a few have been so "serviced."

The mal-named LCS brings a 57mm and a "missile to be named later" to the fight. Oh, and make no mistake - she will be asked to close the shore and provide support as every ship that can will be - as they always have. Running away or making a big wake does not help your countrymen ashore who need their Navy to support them. In the littorals, you don't pick your war - your war picks you. If you are too exquisitely designed, you need more support at the operational level on aggregate than you provide.

A little bit of a stretch to one again kick poor widdle LCS? No. Here we have actual littoral combat in a 21st Century brush war - excuse me "kinetic military action" - where even if she winds up working as advertised, LCS once again is measured and found wanting.

Hat tip Lee.

49 comments:

James said...

Finally you have come to the dark side where I and many others lie Sal. There are only 3 things with the specs you describe.

One is a monitor Like the brits built in the early 1900s.

Second is a heavy cruiser like the Des Moines class.

Third.......well of course its what you want you want battleships. But of course a battlship is like a shark.....its built for one thing and its so lethal it shows right threw. Not very PC.

You cant BS away what it is i think thats why PC folk hate them the most.

Who knows maybe we can get the Japanese to buy a couple LOL

James said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberts_class_monitor

LOL not to look like some kind of freak but look at this

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Freedom_(LCS-1)

Now first off the monitors crew was huge because well look at all the secondaries. Now add modern tech to that. Now which would be able to rule the littorals? Which would you rather be on when the enemy came? Whcih would you rather know was behind you waiting for you to call in for fire support.

"Features of the class, apart from two 15" guns in a twin mounting (taken from two First World War era Marshall class monitors), were shallow draught for operating inshore, broad beam to give stability (and also resistance to torpedoes and mines) and a high observation platform to observe fall of shot."

LOL :-D  OH the irony.

ewok40k said...

Torch - Husky - Avalanche - Overlord - gosh those ships didn't miss on action...
I am fully for creating modern day equivalent. 8 in auto guns would suffice in a pinch. Modern armor with kevlar and titanium, or even CHOBHAM if tank manufacturers share the recipe.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Time to build a new Big Badger Boat, bristling with guns!

Spade said...

First thought I had was that Swedish CB90 patrol boat with the twin 120mm mortar system. 10km range on the mortar and the CB90 does 40 knots, is small, can go into 3 feet of water and could be easily supported in far off places by an amphib. 
And there's different versions so you could have multiple types doing their own missions running around the littorals while covering lots of ground (combat, c2, gunboat, etc.). The Swedes have almost 200 of the damn things and I'm pretty sure their SCN budget is smaller than ours.

ewok40k said...

Sweses? They had to stare at the Bear in the Baltic from the times of Charles XII and Peter the Great... Needless to say they have plenty of coastal warfare experience despite being blatantly neutral. In fact because they are so good at it they managed to stay neutral in WW2. A CB-90 would put forward observer on a little rocky island, put itself behind it and lob mortar rounds at any enemy ships passing with nearly total impunity. Not that it would have to do so against LCS...

xbradtc said...

Please allow me to once again pimp my blog, and my ongoing series on the Falklands War. I'm just setting the scene and will start to get to the operational phase soon. 

The point being, our Navy seems to think fighting inshore will consist solely of shooting at Boston Whalers. The Brits know better. Of course, that hasn't stopped them from gutting their fleet anyway.

xbradtc said...

Also, sitting on the gun line invites counterbattery. 

sid said...

"pimp my blog"

Sounds like a reality show they'd air on TLC or MTV or A&E.... 8-)

I'll venture on over Brad.

sid said...

But...

You don't get it...

The LCS will Never get deployed into a situation like San Carlos Water!

It will stand off and send in its helos and robots*....!

(Uhh...can someone tell me what the max seastate LCS can open those doors in again...?)


*when/IF they are ever built

CDR Salamander said...

You're right.  Must be union rules or sum'n......

UltimaRatioRegis said...

The article calls it heavy counterfire, but my guess is that it was fewer than twenty and none guided, with no hits.  A guy could take that much counterfire at times on the way to the sh*tter in Ramadi...

pk said...

well what was it a 22' aluminum fishing boat that did the worst damage in the last engagement that Cole engaged in?

i still believe that that damage should be chalked up to the state department. they used to be great in the nonverbal communications conveying the message "dont shoot up bumboats in foreign harbors."  anyone that did either a westpac or med cruise could see that one comming a mile off.

C

pk said...

sir: you left out a couple of things. the british "big gun monitors" were expected to get up in the really shallow water off of a bad guys shore, ANCHOR FORE AND AFT, and then act as floating artillery.

yes they could steam along but the combination of flat bottom, recessed rudders and screws and no protuding keel made them steer like a drunken sailor. as a matter of fact one of them when leaving port on its first movement after commissionning wound up in an "unanticipated 360 degree turn" and continued on with a tug attached to the bow on a short towline to assist in steering. albiet hoping nobody had seen the maneuver.

i believe that one of them actually made it to an invasion in the med during WWi and actually made if back to the british isles afterwards.  

there were a bunch of these things built (they used up the surplus  turrets from deferred battleship/battlecruiser construction and did quite well as heavy artillary. i have the feeling that if any of them were called on to do a ship to ship engagement most of the crew would try to "check out to the exchange" about an hour before taking in the lines.

figure about 150 men for the main turret, about the same for the engineering department, about the same for the bunch that helps the skipper steer the boat. during war 2 they would have had about 500 more for the antiaircraft guns.

there was an extensive book published in the 70's by one of the british "enthusiast" press  i think entitled <span>BIG GUN MONITORS</span> which covered the beasts over two world wars.

C

pk said...

by the way the brits took one of the big gun monitors and placed a really big gun 20"???? on the fantail permanently fixed at 90 degrees to starboard. it was surplus from a battle cruiser "experiment".  elevation was handled in the traditional manner but train was by turning the ship. they had to be really careful when tieing up starboard side to because of the length of the barrel.

the experiment was not repeated.

C  

pk said...

you can't BS a BB away?

C ;) ;) ;)

James said...

One of the things about it though is read how many were hit by mines.

China has nearly unlimited supplies of the basterds.

So to survive in the littorals if you go by these ships (which went threw hell).

You need alot of armor, A fat bulky body to survive underwater detonations. Alot of firepower, Alot of point defense and secondaries.

What does LCS have. These vessels are the opossite of what LCS proffesses as littoral warfare.

If you where to build new ones they would need to be built stable and able to sail under their own power. BUT not at 55kts or 35kts. But need simply be able to keep up with the MEU or transports. Which lets accept are kinda slow.

Maybe 2 MK-71 advanced 8in guns in single mounted turrets.

James said...

LOL ye i saw the picture it looks like a joke i cant imagine the holy hell that played on the frame.

Anonymous said...

Thank you CDR Salamander and Sid for calling out the unfitness of the LCS.  I was on a Gearing class FRAM1 DD in the sixties and NGFS was one of our main missions in Vietnam. 

ewok40k said...

as heavy puts it in the Team fortress, you can't outsmart a bullet...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QM1eTAwOYc

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

I wonder how much it would cost to make a real LCS today?  Say a LCU hull, with a pair of 5"/54s, We mus have plenty of them in store after the mass scrapping of the SPRUANCES.  A pair of twin 40MM Bofors, and some 25mm chain guns.  It would bring force to the shallows, and cost a fraction of the Little Coffin Ship. 

leesea said...

already working on that. Sent an email to Sal.  Need help with graphics.

leesea said...

@ewok40k, CB-90s are nice inshore boats and the AMOS 120mm mortars would have helped the Coasties out down in Cuba.  BUT those were shallow water fights and the LCS can operate in deeper waters dispite what some would say, and they are trans-oceanic unlike all those good greenwater gunboats.

leesea said...

some would say the LCS are not meant to conduct NGFS even though they are expected to operate in the littorals.  The logic of that completely escapes me?!!!

Monitor type ships are of course questionable since they are single mission and a tight one at that.  If folks, not I, are questioning the need for an amphig force, I can imagine what they would think of an all gunship?

Well I am working on something much better in many cases based on the IFS/LFR-1 Carronade (a single ship class to step up from LSMRs of WW2.

Right now the largest gun is a 76mm Mk 75 mount.  Debated putting heavier main gun on but thought that Burkes and others would have more firepower and maybe even some AGS?~

ewok40k said...

@ leesea, of course LCS is different kettle of fish, so to say... but if we are making a frigate replacement, make it a frigate... see the Salamander class etc.
CB-90 or the like could operate from LPD as mothership, I guess.
Did I mention this:?
http://newwars.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/lcs-alternative-weekly-25/
Hulls in the water in naval equivalent of COIN, anyone?

sid said...

<span>Running away or making a big wake does not help your countrymen ashore who need their Navy to support them.</span>

Yet more contradictions int he LCS CONOPS here...

Raymond tells us the gouge he gets is that the ship "won't be a knifefighter"

Ok...

So why all this goofy ballyhoo about the wake if the ship is standing well off and fighting with its robots (which may exist one day)?

LCS bubbahs trying to explain themselves....

CDR Salamander said...

The pathetic thing (one of them) is that one of the primary missions LCS will be given (as we no longer will have frigates) will be escorting merchants through contested waters.  That is a mission you cannot run away from - you have to stand and fight - it doesnt' matter if you have longbowmen or sharks with frigg'n laser beams coming out of their heads.

CDR Salamander said...

A couple of the Swedish twin 120mm mortars would fill the gap nicely if you can't find a way to put a 5" somewhere.

Sad if you can't.  Even the Flower Class corvetts from WWII were eventually fitted with a 5".

sid said...

Of courrse they will reply with a dismissive sniff...and then "infer" how its different now, and you just don't understand.

LT Rusty said...

Leesea - 

Send me an email.  crowdsourcewarship@yahoo.com  I'm a CAD designer.

James said...

=-O  a corvett with a 5in?!

Thats a hardcore little dude.

James said...

So how would a LCS do if hit by a RPG-7?

Byron said...

Like all ships, it depends on where it hits...if it were me, I'd shoot it just aft of midships, as near to the waterline as I could get. I KNOW there's something juicy there! Next shot would be the popgun on the bow, while my mates take care of whoever is foolish enough to man the .50 cal's. Then it's boarding time!

ewok40k said...

yep, and very useful little ships they were...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower_class_corvette
under 1000 tons they packed more firepower than LCS today...

James said...

Ah yes but how good is the firefighting capability of the LCS. They took out the most basic defense agaisnt rust afterall. Also what about all that fuel? And the aviation fuel. Compartmentalization. etc etc

pk said...

follow the british example, put a 5"54 on it, there should be quite a number of those about seeing as how so many ships that had them are gone.

C

pk said...

what if the sea state is such that they have to "steam to the weather" and there just isn't that much room before going aground?

C  

pk said...

naval architecs went through a lot of midnight oil working on "torpedo and mine defences". the best ones, defined by ships that survived a hit, were what we would call double double bottoms or quad bottoms. these bottoms formed tanks and they were filled on an alternate basis with water and air. (the order was a state secret in many of the european countries up to and during WWII.)

hull steel is one of the cheapest parts of ship construction so i find it interesting that none of the modern gators seem to have this feature in their construction.

C  

pk said...

perhaps you might start with the 1170 (maybe 1180's?) lst's. they were diesel powered had good speed, the diesels were components used in current railroad service, (parts, parts, parts), there was lots of volume for crew and ammunition and electronics and.......

and they were built to operate in shallow water. (they had a big ol winch with about a mile of cable on it mounted on the stern with a bower anchor to help get off of bad places [wonder how the current practice of canning the skipper would work out now when they have to use that thing.])

lots of other good features you could cut and paste into a new design.

there might be autocad silhouttes available somewhere on the net to help rusty.

pk said...

never wind up in a place like subic bay.

ahhh come on.

places like that are where most of the troubles get going.

C

Retired Now said...

Here's a link to latest info on US Coast Guard's National Sec. Cutter #3:

<span><span><span><span> http://www.huntingtoningalls.com/is/employees/centerline/2011/080411A.pdf</span></span></span></span>

Almost finished, Evidently Ingalls actually got their quality done right.  Nice to hear.  Since this is NSC #3.

ATTN: USMC, whatever you do,  do NOT look at page #2 on this link.  You will be looking at USS AMERICA's stern and see (first hand) that it is missing the entire well deck for USMC ship to shore.

James said...

Yes but that adds weight and having a fat wide ship is a no-no now. It must be super fast! stealthy, sexy agile......what? Oh no we use civilian stuff for our refuling and such thats the future. Tops speed of those ships? I dont know 12-15kts?

Look at the plans for the BB montana. NO compromise on design for speed. Also i've heard these could be filled in some cases with fuel to.

pk said...

james: would you rather have a fatter ship that gets home after a happenin, or a super fast, stealthy, sexy agile one that doesn't make it even under tow.

as i remember montanas were drawn up to go through the panama canal. if you have the oportunity do an engine fire room tour of one of the iowas. when you walk the main deck it seems houmounglas wide. but when you get below "what happened to all of that width. the thing seems to be cramped. yes there is a considerable amount of machinery but it is all smaller so that it can be gotten out of the hatch and moved up and down "broadway" for shop work.

oh and yes new jersy got 36 and a froghair kts in trials and missouri did a couple of tenths more. it was attributed to the newer fuel in use at the time.

leesea said...

already had them on the list

leesea said...

I did not see ocean escort in the early program briefs (circa 2001), but I have seen naval officers talking about LCS as frigate types.  I don't know what the technical (ROC) data says, but sure would assume escorting is part of the LCS "thing"?

Please dump the "amphibs as mothership" to small warboasts idea.  While gators can and it has happened, the idea has too many negatives to be realistic.  They are:
- Gator primary mission is troop hauling and landings.  Any sailors/boats NOT supporting those functions are EXTRAS which decrease the primary capability
- The Gators will NOT always be available for smaller inshore ops with warboats.
- Flooding down to launch and recover boats is slow and the amphib is a better target then
(Navy needs more davits and modern cranes on Gators)
- using old Gators for EXW is an expensive operation converted or not.   You think there is that much slack in the SCN? Not I.

leesea said...

Of courses in all my sealift years, I did NOT see many MSC convoys escorted including those during DS/S.  There were some of course during the Tanker War.

leesea said...

pk, having served on USS Newport, I can state categorically I would NOT use that class as basis for many reasons too many to go into here

leesea said...

Rusty and I are working up something to post on this concept.  I am calling it PG(L) see WW2 landing ship history for PGM and PCE types

leesea said...

hey the Monitors I am familiar with had 105mm howitzwers and 40mm Bofors and were only about 60 ft long ~~