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New DD (X) Aegis Class Destroyer

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posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 11:10 PM
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The Navy, seeking a greater role as the United States wages wars far inland, is pushing an expensive, experimental destroyer it says will be able to bomb targets well away from shore.

The Navy is trying to improve its ability to conduct fire support - using heavy guns to assist Marines or soldiers ashore, much like land-based artillery does. The frequency of such naval fire support missions have declined during conflicts of the last half-century, and the Navy has turned to expensive cruise missiles instead of guns to hit targets farther inland.

The proposed destroyer, called the DD(X), would fill a gap opened with the removal from service of the last battleships more than a decade ago, Navy officials contend. But the DD(X) has its critics, who say the Navy is betting on technologies that aren't fully developed and argue the ship is too expensive.

The first DD(X) is projected to cost $3.3 billion, but sister ships would be cheaper, the Navy says. Since 2004, however, the Navy's estimated costs per ship have gone up almost 50 percent for ships built after the first of their class, the Congressional Research Service says.

One proposal before Congress would cap the price per ship at $1.7 billion, forcing the Navy to redesign the DD(X) to something smaller and probably less capable.

The Navy also has reduced the number it wants to buy, from between 16 to 24 down to between eight and 12, prompting fears that the military won't give shipyards enough work and force one to close, the congressional researchers reported recently.

One group wants to see the World War II-era battleships USS Iowa and USS Wisconsin make a comeback, arguing their ability to bombard targets inland with their massive 16-inch guns is unmatched in the fleet. The vessels are inactive but could be returned to service with sufficient investment.

But Navy officials say they don't want the battleships returned to active duty, and there are proposals in Congress to turn them into museums.

Current cruisers and destroyers mount only 5-inch guns with a range of about 15 miles. The guns of the Iowa and Wisconsin can hit targets 30 miles distant with unguided shells carrying 1,900 pounds of high explosives.

The Navy says the guns of the DD(X) will far exceed the capabilities of those on the battleships and the current fleet.

The ship would carry two 155-millimeter guns that fire rocket-propelled rounds. Current test versions of the gun have hit targets 68 miles away. The Navy hopes to reach 96 miles. Navy officials also talk about an electromagnetic rail gun, possibly available by 2020, that can hit targets 350 miles away.

Where the battleships fire unguided shells and destroy targets though massed firepower, rounds from the guns of the DD(X) will be guided by satellite positioning data, like many modern aircraft bombs and missiles, and be far more precise.

I personally am all for the project. I feel that based on the amount of money invested into the ship, taking into consideration the versatility, firepower, and technological superiority of the AEGIS system, combined with extreme ranges, this class of ship will dominate the sea's with a presence to be feared. Hooyah!


Mr. M
USN

[edit on 18-8-2005 by John bull 1]




posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 10:12 AM
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Mr. M,

1. If the EML launcher is being hyped for 2020, why is the purchase or refusal of the DD(X) even a /consideration/ in it's development? Show me the EML works and then show me how moving to a six inch caliber change is relevant to whether/how the EML will mount on ANY class of ship let alone one apt to be out of production by the time it is ready. And then we'll talk.

2. This-

>>
Current cruisers and destroyers mount only 5-inch guns with a range of about 15 miles.
>>

Is a flat out lie.

In that the current Mk.45 Mod 4 127mm ('5 Inch') gun is now contracted for forward mounting on the remainder of the Burke class and may be retrofitted through OrdAlts to the late Ticos and earlier 51 flights as well.

www.bizjournals.com...
www.geocities.com...

In this case the higher pressure, longer caliber, 127mm gun is indeed the baseline for the (existing) weapon to achieve the posted 60nm downrange performance.

i.e. The 6" gun is NOT the baseline mount for the ERGM. The poor little rinky-dink 5" weapon is.

3. The Marines went some 300nm into Iraq and as much as 700nm into Afghanistan. WHAT THE HELL IS THE DIFFERENCE between 60 and 90 nautical miles that makes a single inch worth of caliber change out have relevance to that?

ARGUMENT:
The NSFS/NGS (Naval Surface Fire Support/Naval Gunfire Support) mission is usually taken to mean in support of an amphibious operation AT THE BEACHHEAD. Yet the inshore littoral environment is considered so deadly, what with mines and coast AShM and SSKs pinning you from seawards, that nobody wants to come across a 20 or even 50nm horizon to deliver forces.

Indeed, 'modernist' thinkers from Boyd and Co. onwards have, since the mid 1980's at least been emphasizing how the Marines need to think "BEYOND THE BEACH!" as a function of sacrificing a secure SPOD logistics pipe in gaining STOM op freedom of maneuver with much smaller mechanized teams well behind the hard outer shell of a defended surfzone.

If the DD(X) is worth 1.7 billion bucks, I certainly don't want it to be trolling for fire off a Normandyesque style beachhead. If I 'split the difference' and say that it is 30nm out to sea, that means that it can only reach inland another 60.

A V-22 is designed to take Shadow type ('collapsible Hummer') based forces a good 100-200nm inland if need be. Are you going to destroy STOM ops simply to pretend that you have 'everybody covered'?

WHY is a weapon system for which targeting consists of a Marine unit running over something it cannot handle the ONLY means to ensure delivery of a _cluster bus_ worth of semi-precision fires?

I mean, surely you want to be able to shoot the enemy BEFORE they pose a direct threat? If so, where's the loitering (Sea Ferret or ERDM) drone that acts as an air-cav security screen?

If you are stuck with an APAM type engagement capability, how useful is the round going to be in high collaterals urban or compressed AA lane attacks with the very unit you are trying to support?

If an ERGM round costs 50,000 dollars on average, how many will each DD(X) carry and how profligate will a SUW prosecutor be in their use?

Is ERGM going to be good against Boghammer type threats in a sea control mission?

CONCLUSION:
Nothing about the DD(X) weapons suite, in either total cell-count on the VLS or individual system capabilities is all that much better than a late Burke. It may well be that reduced manning deriving from increased automation of the ships services is itself a 'good enuf' element to justify the class development.

But the fact of the matter as I see it is that such technologies could be introduced TO the 51 class fleet, either through continued class production or by retrofit.

While my local district is operating on (an education budget of) $202,959,749.00 in the general fund this year and STILL is looking at having to shut down at least two schools.

With that kind of home-worry to think about and the utter farce that the armed forces have made of themselves in Iraq, **DO NOT _BS_ ME** about the capabilities of a vessel which, by itself and not including additonal R&D or Total Life Cycle (Crewing, Fueling, SLEP etc.) costs, would provide us with 8.3 YEARS worth of better grades.

Assuming they work at all in the given scenarios, 'Better Guns' are only worth something if you take what the other guy lost as profit against your initial investment in their development. So long as you refuse to White Hat own the spoils of conflict in ammortizing at least a /part of your operations account debit/, having smarter kids who will make the war of business more profitable is a better long term investment in America's safety.


KPl.



posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 03:26 PM
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Those Navy procurement guys are geniuses I tell ya !

A 96 mile shore bombardment weapon is the key deficiency in our current naval capabilities (sarcasm off)

The only funny part of this will be watching the Chinese copy it


[edit on 19-8-2005 by Winchester Ranger T]



posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 04:02 PM
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Mr M

Good to see you posting again.

One thing, DD(X) will not have the AEGIS weapons system. It will have a different one, sorry that is all I can say about it.

Stay safe.



posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 04:03 PM
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Sounds like they want their BB's back badly, but cannot support the costs of keeping a ship of that size operating and not be a terribly obvious target.

In reality it sounds like they are trying to produce a missile boat designed for land based bombardment since they cold war is over and they suddenly realize all their ships are designed to engage over ships and have really poor surface bombardment without aircraft delivering them.

Sounds useful, but only in a pinch, and not worth the time they are proposing, when you could simply produce more carriers with aircraft to deliver the munitions you want and although a massively more costly investment, they are hundreds of times more flexible in the long run and offer a better range than these rocket boats they are talking about.

The navy really wants to get their piece of the action in the ground war, even though they technically should be preparing for the war at sea, and be aware of the serious military buildup of China and their production of new ships.



posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 04:04 PM
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Originally posted by ch1466
CONCLUSION:
Nothing about the DD(X) weapons suite, in either total cell-count on the VLS or individual system capabilities is all that much better than a late Burke. It may well be that reduced manning deriving from increased automation of the ships services is itself a 'good enuf' element to justify the class development.


I'd sat two guns beats one gun any day.

Also, the DD(X) will have a better ASW setup since it will still have the tail.



posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 11:10 PM
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I still think that this is a bad idea for the future destroyer.

Interesting JFK signature line there Cool Hand - if JFK were alive today I would introduce him to Stephen Hawking - he seems to make a good living but I doubt he's very accurate with a bazooka


[edit on 19-8-2005 by Winchester Ranger T]



posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 03:40 AM
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when are they fitting the deck to it? obviously they want a destroyer/battleship/frigate in one vessel - so when are they making it a carrier as well??



posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 04:08 AM
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Finally, the navy starts to use the REALLY big guns...



posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 10:24 PM
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ch1466
If an ERGM round costs 50,000 dollars on average, how many will each DD(X) carry and how profligate will a SUW prosecutor be in their use?

really?
Thats way to high! I told the navy not to go with the platinum with gold trim, diamond encrusted round.


But seriously, im assuming the shells will be made out of tungsten, but still, There is no explosive involved, they should be no more then 10 grand apiece.

oh, and StarChild where did you get that 2020 on the railgun estimate? Because I think the Navy will have them before 2015.

[edit on 21-8-2005 by Murcielago]



posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 11:00 PM
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Originally posted by Murcielago

ch1466
If an ERGM round costs 50,000 dollars on average, how many will each DD(X) carry and how profligate will a SUW prosecutor be in their use?

really?
Thats way to high! I told the navy not to go with the platinum with gold trim, diamond encrusted round.


But seriously, im assuming the shells will be made out of tungsten, but still, There is no explosize involved, they should be no more then 10 grand apiece.

oh, and StarChild where did you get that 2020 on the railgun estimate? Because I think the Navy will have them before 2015.


Lol, you have much to learn about pricing. If the Navy didn't use the new rounds then they could have to use a cruise missile that costs millions of dollars.



posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 11:24 PM
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CoolHand,

>>
I'd say two guns beats one gun any day.
>>

Not when you are bound to an offboard or even (gasp) infantry ETAC type targeting capability (i.e. first you bump into them, then you scream on the radio, then we shoot, seven minutes later, we kill the guy standing on your corpse. Of course if there is a drone or a jet or an AFV _there already_ why not make the target:kill loop much more immediate?).

Not when _max range_ is only 96nm inland in the 6" variant. And the 'think beyond the beach!' doctrine of the Marines is getting a minimum 50-100nm inland with STOM and then _driving away_ from there to FFTS distances.

>>
Also, the DD(X) will have a better ASW setup since it will still have the tail.
>>

As for towed arrays ainnnh.... I think if we advertised how completely the ASW game has changed with blue light and long baseline arrays half the world would stop building SSKs. OTOH, acoustics in shallow water are nearly worthless, active or passive and so you are left asking yourself if it's smart to play 'reach for the gun in the nightstand as the burglar comes through the bedroom door!' on the basis of inshore defending against a super quiet diesel or AIP boat which has you pinned inshore as it slings anything from Exocet to Alpha class weapons from 20+nm away.

I still say the principle white water threat (should you /absolutely have to/ go there) is conventional mines and boghammers along with potentially some kind of moored SCT device. All of which are better dealt with before they reach range equivalency for anything from RPG to 14.5-23mm deckguns. By a loitering drone or missile which can scoot about at 300 knots and look over the lee side of whatever traffic you are sharing your coastal waterway with (think PGW-I and Earnest Will as well as the Brit Patrol).

>>
Thats way to high! I told the navy not to go with the platinum with gold trim, diamond encrusted round.

>>

>
The post-Cold war Navy has recognized the need to focus on land attack, but Admirals cannot grasp the need for shore bombardment FIREPOWER. They now plan to further degrade the Navy's firepower by wasting billions of dollars on an expensive 5-inch Extended Range Guided Munition (ERGM); which is a $50,000 gun launched missile which delivers 72 submunitions over 40 miles away using GPS satellites for accuracy.
>

www.g2mil.com...

Honest Kanizzle Schnizzle.

>>
But seriously, im assuming the shells will be made out of tungsten, but still, There is no explosize involved, they should be no more then 10 grand apiece.
>>

Excalibur is unitary. ERGM is cluster. Largely because it was designed to support Marines engaging area targets while 'compensating' for fairly extreme GPS capture trajectory requirements and 'stereo error' (sat signal anaprop) which led to a fairly hefty miss distances for burst height (see above LINK).

It is also worth noting that even the 6" round is only 19lbs (Hellfire has a 26lb shaped warhead or a 33lb D/A blast/thermobaric option) with 72 EX-1 submunitions whose dud rate can be as high as forty percent.

And so you are looking at less the capability to 'soften up' a target than to clog the approaches to it with UXO passage denial hazards.

My opinion is this: High Value Assets (which ANY billion or more platform _must_ be considered to be) must be able to leverage like-unto 'war winner not fighter' enemy strategic targets (bridges, refineries, factories, power generation, comms and control, transport) before they can even be /considered/ for inshore operations where they are exposed to god knows what cheapo 'cigarrette boat mine layer' countermeasures.

Since, where you have a choice, you have to be a moron to place such facilities within 100nm commando/terrorist easy reach of any coastline, the reality then is WHAT MISSION can the DD(X) fulfill with AGS?

An EML equipped vessel might be more useful IF it could sling unitary rounds 290-390nm inland (i.e. competing with the carrier airwings for strike depth in the littoral environs, itself a ballsy move in the face of naval aviation's political pull), with sufficient weight of explosive or kinetic impact to be able to destroy or disable the aforementioned _heavy structural_ target set.

But I see absolutely ZERO 'here to there' progressive logic justification for switching from a 127mm turret to a 155mm design as a means to get to the EML which uses none of the same components and likely not even the same turret stack.

Nor is it clear to me that even if you DO NEED an ERGM class shooter, that a DDG-51 or CG-47 couldn't accept the larger AGS mount if the 127mm design (and 60nm) isn't enough.

That right there kills both the gun launched projectile and the hull class new-start justifications of DD(X) in one fell swoop.


KPl.


P.S. To the guy who said 'what next, a carrier?' I couldn't agree more. Except that I would very much LIKE to see what a pure VTOL jet UAV could be designed to for both weight and sensor/payload fraction without all the manned-mission and 'fighter' performance modifiers that JSF brings.

I'm betting that No Cockpit would, by itself, reduce the empty weight of a jet by 10,000lbs. Add to this a much more conservative radius requirement (say 300nm around the boat) and a lower up and away performance spec (remember, SDLF _gives you_ the equivalent of F135 dry thrust in a start-stop separate power module) of say 500 knots sprint and 350 knots sustained over a 25-30,000ft altitude band. And I wouldn't be at all surprised that you couldn't make an 5-7,000lb empty weight aircraft (less than an SH-60) perform vertical takeoff in an 18-22,000lb gross. In full hot+high environmental conditions.

_Do just that much_ as a function of getting organic high-horizon ISR to the surface navy and you can completely alter the way we do business with SAGs replacing CVSF in perhaps 40-50% of the world ocean basins, 70% of the year.

THAT in turn would mean simply a /massive/ savings in in cruise costs, just for oil alone.

It would also allow us to envision a 'land attack' platform that employed combinations of aeroballistic short response weapons for strike warfare: "10 minutes to 800nm".

And loitering turbomissile systems like a longrange Delilah to support engaged forces within that 400nm definition of littoral /before/ Forward From The Sea made Marines effectively self sustaining, or else.

Targeting is king. With it you can afford to have in-air fire support missiles _close by_ as a function of fast engagement of time sensitive (fleeting) targets. At which point the ground force exists soely to enable airpower by flushing the enemy like pheasants before the hounds.

No ISR however; and any attempt to use expensive missiles as 'maybe' called fires falls on it's face.

While intelligent naval gunfire support is itself massively more expensive. And simply not worth it (responsiveness wise) compared to the same systems in a 120mm mortar tube assigned to the unit in question.

That is why I made reference to the Ise in another DD(X) thread. There being absolutely no reason to have that much flat deckspace if you are not going to USE IT to give yourself more than rotary wing airpower.


KPl.



posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 01:42 PM
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ch1466, what are your credentials? Have you ever served in the U.S. Navy, and if so, what was your rate and rank?



posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 11:46 PM
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Reference to the subject.




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