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The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
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vandiver49 Offline
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Post: #41
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
(07-17-2020 11:49 AM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 06:45 AM)vandiver49 Wrote:  Owl, both you and the Chinese know the PACFLT isn't ready for prime time. You'd have to swap the 2nd and 7th for your plan to not be viewed as hollow.

What we are seeing right now is what kind of military we get when loyalty to political correctness and a related agenda is more important than professional military competence. 7th Fleet has had its share of disasters, but I see no reason to believe that 2nd Fleet, or any other, would do better.

The current Navy leadership has given us the Ford aircraft carriers, the LCSs, the Zumwalts, the Fitzgerald and McCain collisions, the Port Royal grounding, and now the Bonhomme Richard fire. And the BHR fire calls attention to the fact that the Navy is spending $3.5 billion apiece for a bunch of large-deck LHA/LHD amphibs from which it is impossible to launch a credible amphibious assault because there is no viable way to get tanks and artillery ashore. So the Marines are now talking about getting rid of tanks and artillery altogether, and finding missions that a bunch of Boy Scouts with BB guns can do.

It’s an asylum, and the inmates are running it. I have no words for the abject stupidity being displayed.

The materiel readiness of 2nd FLT is demonstrably better than 7th FLT.
07-17-2020 03:38 PM
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Owl 69/70/75 Offline
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Post: #42
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
(07-17-2020 03:38 PM)vandiver49 Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 11:49 AM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 06:45 AM)vandiver49 Wrote:  Owl, both you and the Chinese know the PACFLT isn't ready for prime time. You'd have to swap the 2nd and 7th for your plan to not be viewed as hollow.
What we are seeing right now is what kind of military we get when loyalty to political correctness and a related agenda is more important than professional military competence. 7th Fleet has had its share of disasters, but I see no reason to believe that 2nd Fleet, or any other, would do better.
The current Navy leadership has given us the Ford aircraft carriers, the LCSs, the Zumwalts, the Fitzgerald and McCain collisions, the Port Royal grounding, and now the Bonhomme Richard fire. And the BHR fire calls attention to the fact that the Navy is spending $3.5 billion apiece for a bunch of large-deck LHA/LHD amphibs from which it is impossible to launch a credible amphibious assault because there is no viable way to get tanks and artillery ashore. So the Marines are now talking about getting rid of tanks and artillery altogether, and finding missions that a bunch of Boy Scouts with BB guns can do.
It’s an asylum, and the inmates are running it. I have no words for the abject stupidity being displayed.
The materiel readiness of 2nd FLT is demonstrably better than 7th FLT.

When you sit in port and don't do anything, your materiel readiness had better be 4.0.

Back in my days, the 7th Fleet was the working, fighting Navy and the 2nd Fleet was the show Navy. I don't think 2nd has changed, but 7th has apparently, for the worse.
(This post was last modified: 07-17-2020 05:43 PM by Owl 69/70/75.)
07-17-2020 03:54 PM
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vandiver49 Offline
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Post: #43
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
(07-17-2020 03:54 PM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 03:38 PM)vandiver49 Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 11:49 AM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 06:45 AM)vandiver49 Wrote:  Owl, both you and the Chinese know the PACFLT isn't ready for prime time. You'd have to swap the 2nd and 7th for your plan to not be viewed as hollow.
What we are seeing right now is what kind of military we get when loyalty to political correctness and a related agenda is more important than professional military competence. 7th Fleet has had its share of disasters, but I see no reason to believe that 2nd Fleet, or any other, would do better.
The current Navy leadership has given us the Ford aircraft carriers, the LCSs, the Zumwalts, the Fitzgerald and McCain collisions, the Port Royal grounding, and now the Bonhomme Richard fire. And the BHR fire calls attention to the fact that the Navy is spending $3.5 billion apiece for a bunch of large-deck LHA/LHD amphibs from which it is impossible to launch a credible amphibious assault because there is no viable way to get tanks and artillery ashore. So the Marines are now talking about getting rid of tanks and artillery altogether, and finding missions that a bunch of Boy Scouts with BB guns can do.
It’s an asylum, and the inmates are running it. I have no words for the abject stupidity being displayed.
The materiel readiness of 2nd FLT is demonstrably better than 7th FLT.

When you sit in port and don't do anything, your materiel readiness had better be 4.0.

Back in my days, the 7th Fleet was the working, fighting Navy and the 2nd Fleet was the show Navy. I don't think 2nd has changed, but 7th has apparently, for the worse.

Well when all you do are Med and counter drugs ops that is to be expected. &th FLT has been run ragged with little regard for training or maintenance. That why I proposed the swap.
07-17-2020 06:20 PM
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Post: #44
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
Dont worry about China. They lack our greatest strength: diversity.
07-17-2020 06:24 PM
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Owl 69/70/75 Offline
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Post: #45
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
(07-17-2020 06:20 PM)vandiver49 Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 03:54 PM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 03:38 PM)vandiver49 Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 11:49 AM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 06:45 AM)vandiver49 Wrote:  Owl, both you and the Chinese know the PACFLT isn't ready for prime time. You'd have to swap the 2nd and 7th for your plan to not be viewed as hollow.
What we are seeing right now is what kind of military we get when loyalty to political correctness and a related agenda is more important than professional military competence. 7th Fleet has had its share of disasters, but I see no reason to believe that 2nd Fleet, or any other, would do better.
The current Navy leadership has given us the Ford aircraft carriers, the LCSs, the Zumwalts, the Fitzgerald and McCain collisions, the Port Royal grounding, and now the Bonhomme Richard fire. And the BHR fire calls attention to the fact that the Navy is spending $3.5 billion apiece for a bunch of large-deck LHA/LHD amphibs from which it is impossible to launch a credible amphibious assault because there is no viable way to get tanks and artillery ashore. So the Marines are now talking about getting rid of tanks and artillery altogether, and finding missions that a bunch of Boy Scouts with BB guns can do.
It’s an asylum, and the inmates are running it. I have no words for the abject stupidity being displayed.
The materiel readiness of 2nd FLT is demonstrably better than 7th FLT.
When you sit in port and don't do anything, your materiel readiness had better be 4.0.
Back in my days, the 7th Fleet was the working, fighting Navy and the 2nd Fleet was the show Navy. I don't think 2nd has changed, but 7th has apparently, for the worse.
Well when all you do are Med and counter drugs ops that is to be expected. 7th FLT has been run ragged with little regard for training or maintenance. That why I proposed the swap.

I think the right answer is to get 7th Fleet back on track with training and maintenance. That requires more hulls. Unfortunately, with what the Navy is spending on the Fords and the LHAs/LHDs, and what has already been thrown away on the Zumwalts and LCSs, it's going to be hard to build numbers. And the penchant for retiring ships early has also cut into the numbers severely. If the Sprucans and Perrys had been retained for their designed 40-year lives, we'd still have two Spruances and over 40 Perrys. And that would make a huge difference in our ASW capability. And 31 Los Angeles class subs have been retired at an average age of 21.9 years.

For the cost of 2 Fords, you could have a Nimitz, a Kitty Hawk, and a 10-ship escort squadron of a cruiser, 2 AAW Burkes, 3 GP escorts, and 4 ASW frigates. I know which one of those I'd rather have. From what I have read and heard, the whole Ford concept design only considered 1 Ford (if everything works) versus 1 of anything else, without regard to opportunity costs.
07-17-2020 09:28 PM
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GeminiCoog Offline
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Post: #46
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
(05-30-2020 10:57 AM)Native Georgian Wrote:  After 1949, the UK really should’ve begun making arrangements to transfer (in 1997) Hong Kong to the authorities in Formosa, rather than the authorities in Beijing. Britain was strong enough at the time to have imposed that solution, regardless of complaints from Mao.

It is a shame what is happening now.

I’ll point out that the proposed “5G alliance” from Britain sounds similar to the Commonwealth alliance suggested from time to time by Owl on this forum.

Agreed. Taiwan should be in charge of Hong Kong and Canton (Macau), not the PROC.
07-17-2020 10:19 PM
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vandiver49 Offline
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Post: #47
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
(07-17-2020 09:28 PM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  I think the right answer is to get 7th Fleet back on track with training and maintenance. That requires more hulls. Unfortunately, with what the Navy is spending on the Fords and the LHAs/LHDs, and what has already been thrown away on the Zumwalts and LCSs, it's going to be hard to build numbers. And the penchant for retiring ships early has also cut into the numbers severely. If the Sprucans and Perrys had been retained for their designed 40-year lives, we'd still have two Spruances and over 40 Perrys. And that would make a huge difference in our ASW capability. And 31 Los Angeles class subs have been retired at an average age of 21.9 years.

For the cost of 2 Fords, you could have a Nimitz, a Kitty Hawk, and a 10-ship escort squadron of a cruiser, 2 AAW Burkes, 3 GP escorts, and 4 ASW frigates. I know which one of those I'd rather have. From what I have read and heard, the whole Ford concept design only considered 1 Ford (if everything works) versus 1 of anything else, without regard to opportunity costs.

Both the Spruace and Perry classes suffered from significant structural cracks at the time of their respective retirements. But the FFG's were in a state that they simply had to go. The DD's issues could have been mitigated with a speed limit and a mast deletion.

But as we're talked about before, it all boils down to the procurement decisions of the late 90's and early 00's. IMO, if big Navy could have let the go of their ego and the LCS, it would have had the FF replacement it wanted by co-developing the Legend class with the USGC.
07-18-2020 06:55 AM
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Owl 69/70/75 Offline
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Post: #48
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
(07-18-2020 06:55 AM)vandiver49 Wrote:  Both the Spruace and Perry classes suffered from significant structural cracks at the time of their respective retirements. But the FFG's were in a state that they simply had to go. The DD's issues could have been mitigated with a speed limit and a mast deletion.
But as we're talked about before, it all boils down to the procurement decisions of the late 90's and early 00's. IMO, if big Navy could have let the go of their ego and the LCS, it would have had the FF replacement it wanted by co-developing the Legend class with the USGC.

The crack issues weren't bad enough to stop us from transferring about 20 of them to foreign navies, where most of them are still in service. Australia has gotten rid of the ones built there (sold to Chile), but Spain and Taiwan are still operating the ones built there.

I thought the bigger problem with the Perrys was that several of their weapons systems and sensors became outmoded and there wasn't enough weight allowance to replace them. I always wondered if having the 3-inch gun so high was a weight issue. I have wondered what they would be like with the gun moved to the more normal position on the foc'sle and a VLS where the gun was. But I guess the whole sensor package was outmoded too.
07-18-2020 07:57 AM
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Post: #49
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
(07-17-2020 06:24 PM)EigenEagle Wrote:  Dont worry about China. They lack our greatest strength: diversity.

Yes, how will they ever prevail without black trans people or gender queer deer people?*
07-18-2020 08:35 AM
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vandiver49 Offline
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Post: #50
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
(07-18-2020 07:57 AM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(07-18-2020 06:55 AM)vandiver49 Wrote:  Both the Spruace and Perry classes suffered from significant structural cracks at the time of their respective retirements. But the FFG's were in a state that they simply had to go. The DD's issues could have been mitigated with a speed limit and a mast deletion.
But as we're talked about before, it all boils down to the procurement decisions of the late 90's and early 00's. IMO, if big Navy could have let the go of their ego and the LCS, it would have had the FF replacement it wanted by co-developing the Legend class with the USGC.

The crack issues weren't bad enough to stop us from transferring about 20 of them to foreign navies, where most of them are still in service. Australia has gotten rid of the ones built there (sold to Chile), but Spain and Taiwan are still operating the ones built there.

I thought the bigger problem with the Perrys was that several of their weapons systems and sensors became outmoded and there wasn't enough weight allowance to replace them. I always wondered if having the 3-inch gun so high was a weight issue. I have wondered what they would be like with the gun moved to the more normal position on the foc'sle and a VLS where the gun was. But I guess the whole sensor package was outmoded too.

Nobody ran their transferred ffglets as hard as the USN did.
07-18-2020 08:58 AM
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Post: #51
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
(07-18-2020 08:58 AM)vandiver49 Wrote:  Nobody ran their transferred ffglets as hard as the USN did.

That's true. We ran those puppies to death, because they actually turned out to be pretty useful. I thought they (and the Knoxes) were underpowered and undergunned, but with a tail and helos, they were pretty useful ASW platforms.

After I got into the reserves, I was at an ASW training seminar where it was mentioned several times that there was a big scramble for Perrys because everybody wanted them for any ASW exercise because of their tails.

Query--Which is a bigger waste?
a. Fords, at $15B a pop, with cats and traps and weapons lifts that still don't work right
b. Zumwalts, at what, $3B a pop, with guns for which there are no bullets
c. LCSs, at maybe $750MM a pop, with no credible weapon system
d. LHAs/LHDs, at now $3.5B a pop, with no ability under current doctrine to get anything but light infantry ashore, so Marines are having to rethink their whole existence
e. All of the above

Another query--Who has been fired over these mistakes, and why not?
07-18-2020 09:09 AM
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vandiver49 Offline
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Post: #52
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
(07-18-2020 09:09 AM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  That's true. We ran those puppies to death, because they actually turned out to be pretty useful. I thought they (and the Knoxes) were underpowered and undergunned, but with a tail and helos, they were pretty useful ASW platforms.

After I got into the reserves, I was at an ASW training seminar where it was mentioned several times that there was a big scramble for Perrys because everybody wanted them for any ASW exercise because of their tails.

Query--Which is a bigger waste?
a. Fords, at $15B a pop, with cats and traps and weapons lifts that still don't work right
b. Zumwalts, at what, $3B a pop, with guns for which there are no bullets
c. LCSs, at maybe $750MM a pop, with no credible weapon system
d. LHAs/LHDs, at now $3.5B a pop, with no ability under current doctrine to get anything but light infantry ashore, so Marines are having to rethink their whole existence
e. All of the above

To easy: LCS. If you get the Ford's elevators working you can just fly F-35B and V-22 off of it. The Zumwalt's were $7B dollars, but that was because the line was truncated from 30 to 3. The diminished lot size was also why the ammo was cancelled as its price point was driven up as well. The Amphib design IMO are an acknowledgement that near peer assault is a dead mission. But the LCS has done irreparable damage the surface navy. It was the impetus for retiring two classes of ships (DD's and FFG's) and left the fleet without competent ASW assets.

Quote:Another query--Who has been fired over these mistakes, and why not?

Because they retired beforehand and found employment with NNSY, GD, and LM afterward for their 'service'.
07-18-2020 02:52 PM
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Post: #53
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
(07-18-2020 02:52 PM)vandiver49 Wrote:  To easy: LCS. If you get the Ford's elevators working you can just fly F-35B and V-22 off of it. The Zumwalt's were $7B dollars, but that was because the line was truncated from 30 to 3. The diminished lot size was also why the ammo was cancelled as its price point was driven up as well. The Amphib design IMO are an acknowledgement that near peer assault is a dead mission. But the LCS has done irreparable damage the surface navy. It was the impetus for retiring two classes of ships (DD's and FFG's) and left the fleet without competent ASW assets.

$15B for a STOVL carrier seems a huge waste. As does $7B for Zumwalts. And the LCSs are a total waste. I'd say give them to the Coast Guard, but they don't want them.

The LHA/LHD is to me the worst. It was not an admission that assault is a dead mission, or else why spend $3.5B apiece on them? What it is, is the reason why assault is a dead mission. It can carry a lot of Marines and a lot of equipment, and is probably a pretty comfortable ride. But it can't get any tanks or artillery ashore. So the Marines are abandoning tanks and artillery.

The LCS may destroy the surface navy. The Fords won't destroy the airedale navy but they hurt it. The Zumwalts are just wasted money. But the LHAs/LHDs are destroying the Marine Corps.

Quote:Because they retired beforehand and found employment with NNSY, GD, and LM afterward for their 'service'.

True. It's a tough question. On the one hand they have a lot of expertise that it could be useful to keep around. On the other hand, that expertise may not be useful if their loyalty is to HII, GD, or LockMart.
07-18-2020 11:44 PM
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vandiver49 Offline
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Post: #54
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
(07-18-2020 11:44 PM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(07-18-2020 02:52 PM)vandiver49 Wrote:  To easy: LCS. If you get the Ford's elevators working you can just fly F-35B and V-22 off of it. The Zumwalt's were $7B dollars, but that was because the line was truncated from 30 to 3. The diminished lot size was also why the ammo was cancelled as its price point was driven up as well. The Amphib design IMO are an acknowledgement that near peer assault is a dead mission. But the LCS has done irreparable damage the surface navy. It was the impetus for retiring two classes of ships (DD's and FFG's) and left the fleet without competent ASW assets.

$15B for a STOVL carrier seems a huge waste. As does $7B for Zumwalts. And the LCSs are a total waste. I'd say give them to the Coast Guard, but they don't want them.

The LHA/LHD is to me the worst. It was not an admission that assault is a dead mission, or else why spend $3.5B apiece on them? What it is, is the reason why assault is a dead mission. It can carry a lot of Marines and a lot of equipment, and is probably a pretty comfortable ride. But it can't get any tanks or artillery ashore. So the Marines are abandoning tanks and artillery.

The LCS may destroy the surface navy. The Fords won't destroy the airedale navy but they hurt it. The Zumwalts are just wasted money. But the LHAs/LHDs are destroying the Marine Corps.

Quote:Because they retired beforehand and found employment with NNSY, GD, and LM afterward for their 'service'.

True. It's a tough question. On the one hand they have a lot of expertise that it could be useful to keep around. On the other hand, that expertise may not be useful if their loyalty is to HII, GD, or LockMart.

If the question is one of waste, the Surface Navy hands down has taken the cake in the last 20 years. They have put the Air Force to shame with their general mismanagement to the point I even question if there is still value in the mission.
07-19-2020 06:57 AM
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Post: #55
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
(07-19-2020 06:57 AM)vandiver49 Wrote:  If the question is one of waste, the Surface Navy hands down has taken the cake in the last 20 years. They have put the Air Force to shame with their general mismanagement to the point I even question if there is still value in the mission.

There is value in the mission, just not in the people running it. We haven't had a CNO worth a damn in how long? And we've clearly been promoting based upon adherence to political correctness rather than professional military competence. We have almost as many admirals as ships, and zero leadership from the whole lot.
07-19-2020 07:35 AM
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Post: #56
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
This is getting a bit far away from Xi, and it is super long, so I apologize in advance for the hijack, but it is an issue that is near and dear to me, and if we have to oppose China, this discussion becomes relevant at that point.

The way I see it, we need the nuclear triad—ICBMs, bombers, and SSBNs—along with defenses to nuclear attack—anti-ballistic missile/ballistic missile defense (ABM/BMD), air defense, anti-submarine warfare (ASW). Outside that, the Army should have primary responsibility for continental overland war, the Air Force should provide air defense and close air support (CAS) to the Army, the Navy should have primary responsibility for sea control, the Navy and Marines should have joint responsibility for the littoral regions (coastal waters to about 50 miles inland), and Marines should have primary responsibility for asymmetric warfare.

The Navy seems obsessed with shiny new (and expensive) toys, and wants to build a 355-ship fleet. With 51 legacy ships, they would need to build 304 more, as follows:

- Carriers: 7 Fords ($14B each) + 5 legacy, total $98B
- SSBN: 12 Columbia ($7.5B), total $90B.
- SSN: 5 large payload submarines ($7.8B), 28 SSGN Virginia VPM ($2.8B), 33 SSN(X) future attack submarines ($5.5B), total $305B
- Blue-water surface fleet: 15 Burke III DDG/replacements ($1.8B) + 8 legacy, 61 future large combatants ($2.8B), 20 FFG(X) guided missile frigates ($1.2B), 38 future small combatants ($1.3B), total $267B
- Amphibious force: 8 LHA/LHD ($3.9B), 12 LPD-17 ($1.9), 8 L(X) future amphibious ship ($2.6B), total $75B + 10 legacy
- Auxiliaries: 16 T-AO oilers ($0.5B), 11 T-AKE(X) replenishment ships ($0.9B), 30 other auxiliary ships ($0.4B), + 28 legacy, total $31B
- Total 304 ships (+51 legacy, 355 total), $866B total, over 30 years $28.9B/year, $2.84B/ship

That fleet has several obvious holes, mostly from having too few and too expensive ships:

- Carriers are most effective in battle groups (CVBGs) of 2 to 4, and 12 are not enough to form many CVBGs.
- The LHA/LHD-based amphibious force cannot conduct an effective amphibious assault, because doctrine dictates that the LHA/LHD remain 25-50 miles offshore for safety, and we have no viable ship-to-shore connectors to get tanks and artillery ashore from there.
- There is virtually no naval gunfire support (NGFS) capability to support amphibious operations. This plus the LHA/LHD issues essentially prevent opposed assaults. This has forced the Marines to struggle to find a viable mission.
- We are way short of ASW platforms, because of decisions to retire early the Spruance destroyers, Perry frigates, and S-3 patrol aircraft.
- There is no viable mine countermeasures (MCM) capability.
- Our so-called Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) have no viable mission capability, littoral or otherwise, leaving us badly exposed in any coastal/littoral combat engagement, such as in the first island chain versus China, or the eastern Mediterranean or Baltic versus Russia, or the Persian/Arabian Gulf versus some rogue state or terrorist organization.
- We don’t have a dedicated BMD/ABM capability.

First, I would fire every flag officer responsible for this debacle. Then rather than shiny new toys, start from missions and task organization and build ships to fill the resulting task forces:

- 12 carrier battle groups (CVBG), each with 1 Nimitz, 1 smaller carrier, and 1 SSGN, primary mission power projection, secondary mission sea control.
- 8 surface action/hunter-killer groups (SAG/HUK), each with 1 battleship, 1 ASW helo carrier, and 1 SSN/SSGN, primary mission sea control, secondary mission amphibious support.
- 10 amphibious squadrons (PhibRons), with 1 each LHA/LHD, LPH, LPD/LSD, LST, LPA/LKA, and NGFS frigate, primary mission amphibious assault, secondary mission littoral combat.
- 15 coastal squadrons (CoastRons), each with 3 corvettes, 1 patrol boat, 2 mine countermeasures ships, and 2 AIP submarines, primary mission littoral combat.
- 20 escort squadrons (CortRons), each with 1 cruiser, 2 AAW destroyers, 3 GP escorts, and 4 ASW frigates, primary mission escorting other groups, secondary mission NGFS for assaults.
- 12 SSBNs and 12 ABM/BMD ships as strategic assets.
- 80 SSGNs/SSNs in addition to the AIP submarines
- Sufficient auxiliary ships to fuel and supply the fleet and to support Marine assaults

Deploy 2 CVBG in WestPac, 1 in the Indian Ocean, 2 in Europe/Med, 3 on each coast in training/readiness/surge, and 1 in major maintenance. Deploy 1 SAG/HUK group in the mid-Pacific, 1 in the Indian Ocean, 1 in the GIUK gap, 2 on each coast in training/readiness/surge, and 1 in major maintenance. Deploy 2 PhibRons in WestPac, 1 in the Indian Ocean, 2 in Europe/Med, 2 on each coast in training/readiness/surge, and 1 in major maintenance. Move surge units to increase numbers anywhere that a problem broke out. The CortRons would be notionally assigned to one of the CVBGs or SAG/HUKs, but I would combine units as missions dictated. In wartime, PhibRons would travel in company with CVBGs or SAG/HUKs, or both.

Go with the Zumwalt high/low mix approach to build some expensive, top-of-the line ships (like the Navy seems to want all to be) and fill out numbers with cheaper single-purpose ships, reducing the average cost/ship to $1.45B, to produce the following 600-ship fleet:

- Carriers: 7 Nimitzes ($8.5B) + 5 legacy, 6 Kitty Hawks ($5.5B), 6 LHA/LHD lightning carrier conversions ($2B), total $105B
- SSBN: 12 Columbia ($7.5B), total $90B
- SSN: 50 SSGN Virginia VPM ($2.8B), 30 SSN French Barracuda ($1.5B), total $185B
- SS (AIP): 30 AIP SSK ($0.8B), total $24B
- Blue-water surface combatants: 8 battleships ($5B), 8 ASW helicopter carriers ($1.5B), 20 cruisers ($4B), 32 AAW destroyers ($1.8B) + 8 legacy, 60 GP escorts ($1.2B), 80 ASW frigates ($0.5B), total $302B
- Green/Brown-water surface combatants: 45 corvettes ($0.4B), 15 patrol boats ($0.2B), 30 mine countermeasures ships ($0.3B), total $30B
- Amphibious: 10 SP Juan Carlos/AU Canberra LHA/LHD ($1.6B), 10 FR Mistral LPH ($0.6B), 10 UK Albion LPD/LSD ($0.5B), 10 LST ($0.4B), 10 LKA/LPA ($0.3B), 10 land attack/NGFS frigates ($0.2B), total $36B
- Ballistic Missile Defense: 12 ABM/BMD converted San Antonio class LPD ($1.2B), $14B
- Auxiliary: 30 T-AO/AOE oilers ($0.5B), 12 T-AKE(X) replenishment ships ($0.9B), 30 other auxiliary ships ($0.4B) + 21 legacy, $38B
- Total: 566 ships (+ 34 legacy and 17 conversions), $827B total, over 30 years $27.6B/year, or spread over 40 years (so that we would hit about 450 by the 30-year mark) at $20.7B/year, which is close to current spending levels

The following points support that concept:

- We can build 1 Nimitz ($8.5B, last one cost $7B) and 1 Kitty Hawk ($5.5B) for the cost of 1 Ford ($14B), and convert the LHAs/LHDs to “Harrier/Lightning Carriers” as an interim step for about $2B each. I like the idea of one nuke and one conventional carrier together in a CVBG. The Harrier/Lightning Carrier has limitations, but operating in company with a CVN offsets a lot of the negatives.
- Replace the current big-deck amphibious ships with more conventional amphibious squadrons that can be risked 3-5 miles offshore—a smaller LHA/LHD like the Spanish Juan Carlos, an LPH with a well deck like the French Mistral, a simplified LPD/LSD like the British Albion, a real LST with an LST bow so it can beach, an LPA/LKA, and a NGFS/land attack frigate . I would live with an 18 knot SOA, which saves money versus the Navy’s current 20+ knot requirement, and allows a true LST.
- We have so much money tied up in the big-deck amphibs that we have to do something with them, or Congress would have a cow over future funding. The LHAs/LHDs can convert to interim “Harrier/Lightning Carriers” and operate with CVNs the way CVEs and CVLs did in WWII, being replaced by Kitty Hawks as their useful lives expire, and there is already a proposal from HII to build an ABM/BMD ship on the San Antonio hull.
- We also wasted a lot of money on the Zumwalt “destroyers” and the LCSs. The best idea I’ve heard for the Zumwalts is to deploy two of them to the Med and WestPac as fleet flagships, and station the third in San Diego as an R&D platform. I would offer the LCSs to the Coast Guard as cutters. The 45 knots would be useful in chasing down drug runners, and the deficiencies are not as serious in that role. If the Coast Guard doesn’t want them, offer them to some ally (or maybe better, some enemy).
- We can’t afford enough Burkes to solve the ASW shortage, and you don’t really want Burkes chasing subs (or Somali pirates) anyway, so build a large number of GP escorts (mini-Burkes based on European designs like FFG(X)) and purpose-built ASW frigates.
- Include three new and different ship types:
a. Battleships modeled after the 1980s battlecarrier proposal, basically an Iowa-class front end with 16-inch guns and a Russian Kiev-class back end, with a huge VLS field aft of the superstructure, something like 128 regular cells and 32 larger cells for an anti-ship missile like the Russian Shipwreck and possible short or intermediate range ballistic missiles.
b. Some ASW helo carriers like the Japanese Hyugas. They would operate with the battlecarriers to form the ASW backbone of the SAG/HUK groups. They could also carry Marines and helos to support amphibious assaults.
c. Replace the Ticonderogas with true cruisers, a bigger design on the Des Moines class hull, with 8-inch guns forward and aft, AEGIS/AMDR and a large VLS capability. I would consider the proposed WWII flight deck cruiser model, with a smaller flight deck (to leave room for VLS cells) used for helos and UAVs, and the hangar below configured to launch UUV’s and USV’s over the side.
- The 16-inch guns of the battlecarriers. the 8-inch guns of the cruisers, and the 5-inch guns of the NGFS frigates address the NGFS problem.
- I foresee a need for true littoral combatants if we have to confront China in the South China Sea, or Russia in the eastern Med or Baltic, or some rogue nation or terrorist force in the Mideast or some other coastal location. So include a littoral squadron, based on CAPT Wayne Hughes’s ideas in his New Navy Fighting Machine paper.
- The larger Navy would require more sailors, although the high/low mix would minimize that impact. Recent analysis by CBO indicates that the Navy’s current manning level of about 325,000 includes about 135,000 combat, 60,000 combat support, and 130,000 administrative/other. Cutting the admin/other in half, and transferring them 1/3 to combat, 1/6 to combat support, and 1/2 to reserves would free up 22,000 sailors for combat (17% increase) and 11,000 for combat support (19% increase), which should solve the problem, while reducing active headcount by about 32,000. The Navy currently has 284 admirals for 290 ships. Cut that in half, and assume each admiral has a staff of 20, and that gets rid of almost 3000 admin/other right there. And I have this alarming belief that a lot of those admirals were promoted more on the basis of political correctness and adherence to an agenda than on professional military competence. We need warriors in charge, guys like Patton instead of Westmoreland, for example.
- The Marines are searching for a mission. With changes to the phib force and additions to NGFS, assault becomes a viable mission again. I would propose a new Marine expeditionary unit (MEU) which can be hauled by my proposed PhibRon, including an infantry battalion, a tank company, an artillery company, an amphibious armor company, and an air element. That would be about 3200 Marines, or 32,000 Marines for 10 PhibRons worth. This approximates the 1991 stated Marine amphibious lift requirement of 1.5 Marine Expeditionary Brigades (MEB) plus equipment. Since Marines like a three-unit rotation, that would require 96,000 Marines. I would give them a second mission where they would take the lead in asymmetric warfare against rogue nations and terrorist groups. That could probably require another 25-30,000 Marine commando/special forces or so. Add 15-20,000 for training and admin, and the active-duty USMC would be around 140,000. The particular advantages that the Marines bring are a) mobility and b) combined arms (infantry, armor, artillery, air) at a very low level, enabling them to punch above their weight by bringing a tremendous amount of firepower from multiple sources to bear on an objective, and these missions fit well with those advantages.

That’s my approach. I’ve posted bits and pieces before, but this is the full approach. It may not be perfect, but I think it makes a lot more sense that what the Navy is proposing.
07-22-2020 09:19 AM
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georgia_tech_swagger Offline
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Post: #57
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand

07-22-2020 10:00 AM
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georgia_tech_swagger Offline
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Post: #58
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand

07-22-2020 10:18 AM
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MileHighBronco Offline
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Post: #59
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
Destroying evidence of their espionage?
07-22-2020 10:32 AM
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Post: #60
RE: The Xi Jinpooh Chronicles: Communism's Last Stand
There are a lot of things you can only get in China.

But I've been saying for a while, a businessperson is nuts if they source in China when there is a viable alternative, especially on food and toys. No ethics over there and massive pollution and contamination.
07-22-2020 10:34 AM
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