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What's the point of the LCS (Littoral Combat Ships)?

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posted on May, 23 2006 @ 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by Travellar
wow, so many good points I'd like to address, and just since my last post!

From the bottom up...

Now try to image how hard it would be to go after an entire fleet of these pesky Uboots with some second rate Unterseeboot Jaggers

From the first couple of paragraphs in that excerpt, how about bombing the associated sub pens/shipyards, waiting a month, then continuing on with the war? While that class of submarine is exceptional in it's own right, it also (like every piece of military equipment more advanced than a thrown rock) has it's own logistical limitations.


Logic fails you, either that or your employing gaming logic. As far back as WW-II German Uboats were able to put to sea for months on end with replenishment at sea. Modern Uboats are atleast as capable. No war ever starts out under ideal conditions....you simply may not have months to wait....besides given the poor history of airpower in wars any claims they make have to be treated with a hugh grain of salt.




posted on May, 23 2006 @ 10:49 PM
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Originally posted by psteel
Logic fails you, either that or your employing gaming logic. As far back as WW-II German Uboats were able to put to sea for months on end with replenishment at sea. Modern Uboats are atleast as capable. No war ever starts out under ideal conditions....you simply may not have months to wait....besides given the poor history of airpower in wars any claims they make have to be treated with a hugh grain of salt.


uh, what?

WWII U-Boats operated on the surface most of the time, in fact the amount of time a submarine could operate in WWII underwater was limited by battery, which could be used in less than 3 hours or sustain for almost 28 depending upon what hotel loads of power was consumed by the battery.

Travellar is right, logistics is a shortcoming of conventional submarines. The only class of conventional submarines in the world that have overcome this problem is the Collins class used by Australia, and it isn't even AIP (although more advanced than any AIP submarine in the world today).

AIP is not the silver bullet people are trying to make it out to be. The longest known trip for an AIP sub underwater without snorkaling was done by a U-212A from Kiel, Germany to Rota, Spain, which is about 1600 nautical miles, and it took 2 weeks. That is an average speed of about 4.5 knots.

AIP is about endurance, not speed, so as long as you are defending it is a great platform, but for operational hunter/killer roles AIP is the wrong weapon of choice. The idea an AIP submarine is going to be able to manuever out to deep water an engage a fast Task Force of Carriers, Cruisers, Destroyers, or Frigates in any modern Navy is operationally rediculous, that isn't what AIP submarines do.

Which is why the world is currently undergoing a renaissance of sorts in ASW in general. To counter the advantage that conventional submarines offer for defense, offensive ASW platforms are being developed. Whether it is the French La Fayette, the La Fayette class varient Kang Ding class for Taiwan, the La Fayette class varient Formidable class for Singapore, the Nansen class for Norway, the German Brandenburg class, or the LCS small dedicated ASW ships that can run silent on the surface, have very small RCS (radar cross-section), and can deploy offboard unmanned systems there is no question the future is now for the need to address the littoral submarine threat.

To be honest though, I don't think it matters, AIP has arrived on the world export market just in time to become obsolete.

Look at the US development for ASW, and submarine warfare in general. The Virginia class is the F-22A of submarines, virtually invisable with more power per ton and advanced systems than any other ship at sea, much less submarines. There are currently no public submarine design projects ongoing, with only the Virginia submarine construction project and SSGN conversions taking place in the industry.

With that said, look at the enormous number of Naval projects DARPA is working on regarding underwater warfare. Put that in historical perspective, the last time all submarine design was black box the next submaine produced was the USS Nautilus, which overnight changed the world regarding underwater warfare.

I think the next submarine you see is going to be a SSBN/SSGN with a SSN mothership varient. The LCS, more specifically the FSF-1, has already proved that the future isn't the main platform, it is the offboard systems the platform can deploy. Future submarines will deploy networks of unmanned systems that can cover massive areas underwater virtually silently with offboard weapons systems that can challange underwater, surface, and aircraft targets. Sound far fetched? Follow the money...

There are lots of projects that are worth checking out.



posted on May, 23 2006 @ 11:39 PM
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Originally posted by darksided

Originally posted by psteel
Logic fails you, either that or your employing gaming logic. As far back as WW-II German Uboats were able to put to sea for months on end with replenishment at sea. Modern Uboats are atleast as capable. No war ever starts out under ideal conditions....you simply may not have months to wait....besides given the poor history of airpower in wars any claims they make have to be treated with a hugh grain of salt.


uh, what?

WWII U-Boats operated on the surface most of the time, in fact the amount of time a submarine could operate in WWII underwater was limited by battery, which could be used in less than 3 hours or sustain for almost 28 depending upon what hotel loads of power was consumed by the battery.

Travellar is right, logistics is a shortcoming of conventional submarines. The only class of conventional submarines in the world that have overcome this problem is the Collins class used by Australia, and it isn't even AIP (although more advanced than any AIP submarine in the world today).

There are lots of projects that are worth checking out.


Sounds like you have to go back to school too...
ALL WARSHIPS NEED LOGISTICs , they can have that logistics [fuel ammo food etc] brought to them, meaning its not tied to any particular base any where. Even if an SSN has fuel and food, it would still need to link up with replenishment ships for ammo and exchanging wounded for replacements etc etc. If the germans could achieve that in hostile waters with shifting merchant ships 65 years ago it would not be that difficult a thing to reproduce today. Uboats back then were almost impossible to detect even on the surface....that was until Enigma told the Allies where to look for them.

Replenishment at sea can be done very fast these days , in a matter of hours suggesting even AIP subs can operate for weeks underwater and then rendevous with replenishment ships , before resuming patrols.

Fact is these defensive AIP Subs can infiltrate enemy carrier battlegroups as the approach and set up for invasion and related ops, penetrate and sink the carriers and other capital ships. They are probably more invisible underwater than the Virgina class. You've been reading too many brocheurs and abstract techno journals and not enough military history.

[edit on 23-5-2006 by psteel]



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 10:14 AM
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As I recall..as far back as WW1 the Germans were building a type of large submairne for replenishing other submarines at sea. It was called a "Milk Cow" in typical military humour. They were somewhat successful in this role. I dont think they continued this trend in WW2 as submarine technology ...ranges...hardware got more sophisticated and more reliable.

But yes..we continue this tradition today with submarine tenders to replenish at sea. They have food..lubricants, parts, machine shops ...medical facilities..et al...etc etc..on board. What they dont have if need be and sizable enough can be flown out to them.

Thanks to Psteel for a great post,
Orangetom



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 10:32 AM
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I must disagree with you on a premise of someone else with whom you agreed on page one of this thread.

The US Navy does in fact deploy single ships on missions. They just dont advertise it. The US Navy has been doing this for years and years.

Is this not what happened to the USS Pueblo???

If the mission parameters call for a single ship..to be deployed ..the US Navy will deploy a single ship. The US Navy does this more often than you or I will ever know or need to know.


Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 10:15 PM
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I have a question for everyone. How is a ship that is smaller than a frigate suppossed to carry all these little vehicles that you guys are talking about. Now i really dont know much about these ships but the ship only carries a crew of 40 sailors. How can it be possible that a ship that small carries all of those small submersable vehicles. Now i can understand if you were talking about a destrayer or a cruiser(not the dd(x) or CG(x) that you guys were also talking about) .



posted on Sep, 9 2006 @ 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by psteel


Sounds like you have to go back to school too...
ALL WARSHIPS NEED LOGISTICs , they can have that logistics [fuel ammo food etc] brought to them, meaning its not tied to any particular base any where. Even if an SSN has fuel and food, it would still need to link up with replenishment ships for ammo and exchanging wounded for replacements etc etc. If the germans could achieve that in hostile waters with shifting merchant ships 65 years ago it would not be that difficult a thing to reproduce today. Uboats back then were almost impossible to detect even on the surface....that was until Enigma told the Allies where to look for them.

thanks for pointing out something so blatantly obvious but there really is no need. true all ships need logistics but an AIP boat's lack of speed and endurance will make it vulnerable once it surfaced.remeber not all AIp setups are as quiet as motors on batteries only the fuel cell is quieter.However the downside of the psiton is it has the worst energy density by a long shot.


Replenishment at sea can be done very fast these days , in a matter of hours suggesting even AIP subs can operate for weeks underwater and then rendevous with replenishment ships , before resuming patrols.
Also a challenge if you can protect those supply lines.


Fact is these defensive AIP Subs can infiltrate enemy carrier battlegroups as the approach and set up for invasion and related ops, penetrate and sink the carriers and other capital ships. They are probably more invisible underwater than the Virgina class. You've been reading too many brocheurs and abstract techno journals and not enough military history.
It has already beene xpalined to you that the lack the speed and endurance to do that.check out the ADS
www.chinfo.navy.mil...


Also check out natural circulation reactors and pumpjet propulsor tech sometime.

en.wikipedia.org...
en.wikipedia.org...


The USS Narwhal (SSN 671) was built as the prototype platform for an ultra-quiet natural circulation reactor design. This allows for operation with the large water circulating pumps, a major source of radiated noise, secured. It is similar to the Sturgeon design in other respects.

www.chinfo.navy.mil...

this reactor is much quieter than the reactor that relies on pumps.




[edit on 9-9-2006 by urmomma158]



posted on Sep, 11 2006 @ 12:20 AM
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i have a question for darksided: what does AIP stand for? Now as far as unerway replenishments go (i assume that is what everyone on this tread is talking about) is still going on (of course). Anywhere from cruisers, destroyers, subs, and even carriers get replensihed. if you guys havent seen a replenishment out to sea, it is a very scary ordeal (especially when you have a carrier on one side and a smaller ship on the other). Without giving anymore info out. Ships can uaually operate a month by themselves without replenishment. I hope this gives a little insight to what you guys were talking about.



posted on Sep, 11 2006 @ 07:43 AM
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AIP stands for air independent propulsion.

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 01:26 PM
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Something to think about just in the arena of battery and technology advancements.

Take a close look at cell phones. While they need charging/maintenance occasionally and regularly..notice how long they work today on one charge..verses the older cell phone types.

Have you recentlly looked at a electric powered Glider..the radio controlled types.??

20/25 years ago this was not possible. Both advances in battery technology and also motor technology has made this possible. You have more effecient motors available today verses say 20/25 years ago.

Just look at the Sony Walkman. IN the early days they took like 4 AA type batterys and didnt work all that long before you were changning batteries again. Think about what this does to electricital powered equipment as today this same type of walkman uses two AA type batterys. A 50% change in electrical usage is a huge gulf in effeciency.

Cordless Drills are another verses the older days. Battery voltage and performance has gone up significantly in this field.

What kind of batterys out there are not even available to the general public. What kind of battery goes into a space craft/sattelite to give it power into deep space and charged off solar cells. This battery must function for years and years through some very difficult temperature extreams ..from very very cold to very very hot. IT must function well beyond the abilities of any batterys normally used here on earth. Simple logic tells you these exist as well as the know how to build them. Just not available to the general public.

Now this is not to say that all these undersea craft are powered on batterys..not necessarily so. THey could use other types of propulsion than electrical.

I merely give you something to think about.

Having equipment or other vessels fitted flush with a submarine hull is not a new concept. This is in fact olde. Technology just changes the way in which it is done today.
This could be done with these types described in the earlier postings though there are other ways of launching these small vessels which are obvious to the thinking person.

Just some info to think about ..based on working examples right in front of us daily.

Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 09:52 PM
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AIP might be the new technology fad underwater, but it is expensive and still has drawbacks. Three nations are considered among the best conventional submariners in the world; the Germans, Japanese, and Australians.

Of the 3, only the Germans use AIP. It isn't because the Australians and Japanese don't understand the technology, in fact teh Collins class was built to support AIP yet the Australians decided not to go with AIP. Not because AIP is bad, rather it was because of their Naval Requirements.

Germany does not have a Naval requirement to get their submarines over long strategic distances underwater.

The Australians and Japanese do have the requirement though, if they need to get somewhere in a hurry they have to be able to do it underwater, because both countries include as one of their 'competitors' China, who has the largest air force in the region. AIP submarines are not about speed, AIP is about endurance underwater. Diesel submarines are still the best combination of both, and thanks to the large size of the Collins, AIP would only add 2-3 days tops to their underwater capability, but it would also dramatically cut into their speed capability.

Stealth underwater for modern submarines has very little to do with propulsion since the late 80s, after all, the USS Jimmy Carter is nuclear and is considered the quietest submarine in the world. Yes, the USS Jimmy Carter is quieter than a Virgina class, not despite its larger size, because of it. Remember, the larger size of the Ohio class contributed to making it quieter than the smaller Los Angelos class, all that size allowed engineers to develop new ways to absorb more of the sound, which is why the Ohio's (and later the Royal Navy Vanguard class) were considered the quietest submarines in the world until the Seawolf class arrived; their accoustical dampening capabilties thanks to their large size made them virtually invisable.

The Virgina class is 2.4 billion dollars for a reason though, when a Virigina is cruising at 20 knots it is considered as quiet as an AIP submarine travelling 5 knots. Thanks to improved engineering, size is no longer a major factor (although smaller size of the Virginia class has meant major expense in achieving its incredible stealth), absorbant materials and electromagnetic signiture mean a lot more underwater in 2006 than power sources, mostly because of the way ASW detection is moving to spectrums beyond sound.

Example of AIP:


Germany's U212A Sets Dive World Record for Conventional Submarines

BERLIN, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Germany's new hybrid-powered submarine has set a world record of two-week dive, the German Navysaid Wednesday.

The high-tech hybrid-powered submarine of U32, U212A-class, traveled under water to Rota in Spain from Eckernforerde in Germany during April 11-25, according to a report by the German news agency DPA from Gluecksburg.


That really is a world record for a conventional submarine, 15 whole days underwater. As I understand it, the U32 captain really pushed the limits to achieve this spectacular feat of accomplishment.

However, 15 days from from Kiel to Rota means the sub never went faster than 5 knots. If he would have gone faster than 5 knots, he never would have made it without having to surface.... and that is base weakness of AIP.

AIP has a future in the mid tier competition underwater, but isn't the future of the most modern Navies underwater warfare. I think it is a step backward to believe that conventional submarines are the future, to me the real future will be underwater battle networks. The LCS, which is what this thread was originally about, is a surface ship that supports the concept of underwater battle networks through its UUVs and AUVs for ASW, ASuW, and MIW.



posted on Sep, 14 2006 @ 02:39 PM
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somebody in one of the earlier threads mentioned that the WWII german u-boats were powered by batteries and i know they werent, just like the conventional subs of today. Or am i missing the point all together and all of this is just going over my head? you guys were jumping from one thing to another in this thread first it was about the new LCS ships that they just came out with and now it is subs. i dont get it they dont tie into one another. please tell me how this all ties in.



posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 12:30 AM
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All submarines of which I know have battery wells....even nuclear submarines.

Now some submarines have more battery capacity than do others but that is merely a design function.

I also know that all submarines have generators. Its just a function of how the generators work and the generator design.

Yes I notice the switch from Littorial Comabt Ships to submarines myself.

I believe the topic began to switch with the advent of the LCS ship having Anti Submarine Warefare roles...even in Brown water verses Blue water. Here is where the topic line seemed to change and or blurr.


Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Sep, 18 2006 @ 11:15 PM
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thank you very much for the info. i know that subs have batteries but from what i took from some of the others here was that the subs run primarily on batteries but thats not the case but then again im not an expert. you seem to be very noligable about things where do you get your info from?



posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 01:18 AM
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Conventional submarines ..diesel powered...do run on batterys at depth when submerged. The limitation when submerged is battery capacity. They must come to the surface at some point to do what we call..."Snorting" Sticking up a snorkel mast and getting air for the Diesel engines turning the generators. Thus they recharge the batterys. They can also near the surface couple the diesel engine to the propellor shaft and turn the propellor..or sometimes called the Screw. THey can run fully surfaced to do this or mostlly submerged leaving only the snorkel mast sticking up above the surface to Snort ..get air for the diesels and shipboard ventilation.
Diesel boats do have long ranges now days..but they must function within this type of diving/surfacing envelope...continually. When they go deep..below snorkel depth they decouple the diesel engine from the propellor shaft and run on an electric motor....which of course gets its power from the battery well.

THe main problem is that when they snort ...they are not quiet. Meaning they are vulnurable.

Air Independent propulsion extends this quiet time somewhat but not forever. Not for months at a time.

What diesel boats and AIP boats are for many nations is affordable. Nuclear power though very potent and offering a quantum leap in performance..is very very expensive.

Dont get me wrong....modern diesel boats are not inexpensive by any means....they are just so much more ..inexpensive than nuclear type boats.

THe difference with nuclear boats..being that once they take her down...they dont have to come up ..at all..till they run out of food, have a major breakdown, or their mission is over and they come back to port.

How do I know this stuff...I build submarines as a machinist. Aircraft Carriers too.

THere are other knowlegable persons on these boards..with actual time at sea on them..both carriers. submarines, destroyers, and other types of ships. Lots of ex sailors here..or maritime marines....coasties.

I find it intresting to read some of thier stories...the stories they can tell ..that is!!

Thanks,
Orangetom




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