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      03-26-2024, 06:40 AM   #419
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The last of six remaining Russian Typhoon class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) was deactivated over a year ago.

The Typhoon class SSBNs were an innovative design, with no fewer than five pressure hulls contained within the outer hull. Two of those pressure hulls were full-length and skinny, with the missile tubes positioned between them forward. One pressure hull was the largest diameter one and formed the foundation for the sail. Small submarine escape pods were carried on either side of the sail. Smaller inner hulls were at bow and stern.

The Typhoon class had a submerged displacement of 48,000 tons -- by far the largest submarines ever built.

The last photo shows the missile tubes open on two boats at a pier.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoon-class_submarine
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      03-29-2024, 09:36 AM   #420
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The annual defense budget -- finally passed after many months of drama -- has provided some clarity on the future of the U.S. Navy's corvettes (or small frigates) -- designated Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs).

The plan is to retain 10 Freedom class (LCS 1) monohull ships in the active force with these ships to emphasize surface warfare. Oddly, for a ship emphasizing surface warfare, I can find no photos of a Freedom class with surface to surface missile armament. The last three ships of the class have yet to be delivered to the Navy; many early ships have been or will be retired. Freedom class LCSs are split between the Atlantic and Pacific.

The plan is also to retain 15 Independence class (LCS 2) aluminum trimarans in the force with these ships to emphasize mine countermeasures. Like the Freedom class, early ships will be decommissioned. I believe all 15 of these ships will be active in the Pacific.
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      03-29-2024, 03:55 PM   #421
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One of the often-underappreciated aspects of the Pacific War 1941-1945 was that Japan entered the war with forces that had already been in combat for years. Japanese military forces had been at war in China since 1931 and were combat-experienced. The Commonwealth forces had been in combat since the start of the war in Europe in 1939 and U.S. forces only entered the war in late 1941.

Here's a photo of the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga of 1930. There are three flying-off decks -- there are Nakajima A4N fighters on the main deck and Mitsubishi B1M torpedo bombers on the uppermost deck. The Kaga, after modernization, took part in the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and in subsequent carrier battles as well. Kaga was sunk by U.S. Navy SBD dive bombers at the Battle of Midway in June of 1942.
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      03-29-2024, 05:06 PM   #422
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The plan is also to retain 15 Independence class (LCS 2) aluminum trimarans in the force with these ships to emphasize mine countermeasures. Like the Freedom class, early ships will be decommissioned. I believe all 15 of these ships will be active in the Pacific.[/QUOTE]

Can you say Taiwan?
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      04-04-2024, 07:45 AM   #423
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It will probably come as a surprise to no one that labor shortages and supply chain issues are causing delays in the building of ships for the U.S. Navy.

The new missile frigates of the Constellation (FFG 62) class are based on an Italian-French design but with extensive changes to accommodate U.S. requirements. For instance, the structure is far stronger and resistant to damage. In addition, the European consortium, Fincanteri, partnered with U.S. builder Marinette-Marine in Wisconsin for detailed design and construction of the class. The detailed design is only about 80% complete so far and this for a ship that was scheduled for delivery to the Navy in 2026. It now appears that the ship will be delayed to 2029. Fincanteri Marinette-Marine is also building the last three Freedom class LCSs for the USN and four Freedom variants for the Saudi Navy. Add in that the labor force is less than thrilled with the winter weather in Wisconsin and you have the recipe for delay.

Oh, and the Secretary of the Navy has also announced that the delivery of the first Columbia class strategic missile submarine (SSBN) is also running late -- but months late rather than years. The SSBNs are shipbuilding priority #1.
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      04-06-2024, 05:33 AM   #424
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Given the submarine force's reputation as the "silent service", I thought this T-shirt was pretty cool.
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      04-06-2024, 07:15 AM   #425
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An interesting Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force helicopter destroyer: JS Haruna (DDH-141) was the first Japanese DDH; a line of ships that has culminated in today's JMSDF DDHs (de facto light carriers.)

The Haruna was commissioned in 1973. Steam-powered. Two 5-inch guns, ASROC ASW launcher and Sea Sparrow SAM launcher atop the hangar. She could accommodate 3 SH-3 Sea King anti-submarine helicopters -- later replaced with SH-60s. Her sister ship was JS Hiei (DDH-142). The ships were equipped with the Canadian Beartrap helo haul down system.

These two ships were retired in 2009-2011 but were important JMSDF fleet assets during their 30+ year careers.
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      04-06-2024, 09:49 AM   #426
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Originally Posted by Llarry View Post
An interesting Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force helicopter destroyer: JS Haruna (DDH-141) was the first Japanese DDH; a line of ships that has culminated in today's JMSDF DDHs (de facto light carriers.)
There are four JMSDF "helicopter destroyers" current in service of two classes:

1) The Hyuga class was the first DDH to resemble a small aircraft carrier. The two ships of the class (DDHs 181 and 182) are far larger than destroyers, displacing 19,000 tons. (For comparison, U.S. Navy missile destroyers displace just under 10,000 tons.) They generally carry fewer than 10 helicopters; most observers estimate that these ships will NOT be able to operate F-35B STOVL fighters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyuga-...pter-destroyer

2) The Izumo class is more properly termed a small aircraft carrier. The two ships of the class (DDHs 183 and 184) displace 26,000 tons and have undergone modifications to allow them to operate the F-35B. They are considered to have about twice the aircraft capacity of the Hyuga class.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izumo-class_destroyer

Like large U.S. aircraft carriers, these ships do not carry long-range surface-to-air missiles; they will rely on accompanying escorts for air defense. (The JMSDF has a number of modern missile destroyers; some with anti-ballistic missile capabilities.) The helo complement is generally Japanese license-built SH-60s for antisubmarine or utility duties and they can also operate MCH-101 (license-built AW101) heavy helicopters for mine countermeasures operations.
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      04-07-2024, 07:40 AM   #427
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The post on Japanese DDHs (helicopter and aircraft carriers) got me thinking about modern naval air defenses. The U.S. Navy Aegis air defense system has been widely adopted in the Free World. I suspect that China's navy has something similar -- perhaps owing much to industrial espionage; I will not cover that in this post. Instead, I'd like to survey the world's Aegis ships.

But first, a definition: Aegis is not a radar, nor is it a computerized combat system. It is properly defined as a combination of the two: an integrated maritime air defense system. Note, too, that the Aegis system has been adapted to use from fixed NATO land-based sites at two locations in Europe; I'll not cover those here.

An excellent Wikipedia article on Aegis:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aegis_Combat_System

See the Wikipedia for the origins and history.

The original AEGIS ships were U.S. Navy 27 missile cruisers (CGs; originally designated as destroyers and based on a previous destroyer design) that were commissioned from 1983 to 1994. These ships replaced the previous rotating radar antennas with fixed phased arrays (the SPY-1A) but also retained one rotating long-range air-search radar. The first five ships (CGs 47 to 51) were equipped with twin-arm missile launchers which proved maintenance-intensive. With the end of the Cold War, the Navy retired these five relatively early, leaving 22 Aegis CGs active. With the large numbers of Aegis DDGs commissioned and the passage of time, many of those cruisers have now been retired. 13 ships remain active.

The CGs were supplemented starting in the 1990s with a very large number of slightly smaller Aegis missile destroyers (DDGs) so that at present all active destroyers are Aegis ships. The DDGs were built in several batches designated "Flights".

Flight I: DDGs 51-71, the baseline. Compared to the cruisers, these lack the long-range rotating air search radar, have three rather than four missile guidance radars, one rather than two 5-inch gun mounts, 90 rather than 122 missile launch cells and do not have helicopter hangars. SPY-1D radar arrays.

Flight II: DDGs 72-78. Detailed improvements in systems; while they still lack hangars for helos, they are capable of refueling them.

Flight IIA: DDGs 79-124, 126 and 127. These are slightly larger and are rearranged so as to provide hangars for up to 2 MH-60R helicopters. They also have a slight increase to 96 missile launch cells.

Flight III: DDG 125 and 128-up. These are slightly larger still with a fuller hull form aft and general hull strengthening. They include next-generation SPY-6 radar arrays, along with increased electrical generation and air conditioning capabilities. These destroyers are just now starting to join the fleet.

Destroyers are the jack of all trades in the Navy and these are no exception; A CG and several DDGs escort aircraft carriers, amphibious forces invariably have a couple and DDGs often carry out independent operations as well. The are homeported mostly on the coasts of the U.S. but four DDGs are homeported in Rota, Spain, to provide ballistic missile defense and three are homeported in Yokosuka, Japan. Several are homeported in Pearl Harbor as well.

I fear I have bitten off more than I can comfortably chew, so I will cover non-U.S. Aegis ships in a separate post.
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      04-07-2024, 07:53 AM   #428
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I bet the Captain was not impressed!
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      04-07-2024, 08:43 AM   #429
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The second nation to commission an Aegis destroyer was Japan, which took delivery of its first Aegis DDG in 1993. The JMSDF presently has 8 Aegis DDGs in service. They appear to be every bit the equal of their USN counterparts. Considering the hazardous geographic position of Japan, the government also considered establishing an "Aegis ashore" capability to defend against ballistic missiles. I believe they have instead decided to increase their DDG inventory by two to a total of 10. There has also been discussion of dedicated anti-ballistic missile ships that would not have the full range of warship capabilities. We await developments.

The Spanish Navy was the next to put Aegis into service afloat and did so in a smaller package. Their Alvaro de Bazan class missile frigates (FFGs) are smaller than the U.S. and Japanese DDGs but very capable. They have five in service from 2002.

The Royal Australian Navy wanted Aegis and conducted a competition between the U.S. DDG design and the Spanish FFG. The Spaniards won the day (at considerably less cost) and the RAN now has three Hobart class "air warfare destroyers" in service from 2017.

The Royal Norwegian Navy also purchased five Spanish-built Aegis FFGs and put them into service from 2006. Tragically, one Norwegian FFG was involved in a collision and was deemed unsalvageable, leaving four in service.

South Korea's three Sejong the Great class DDGs are similar to but larger than the late-production U.S. DDGs, making them the largest Aegis ships in service. They began entering service in 2008.

Planned/future Aegis combatants:
-- The U.S. Constellation (FFG 62) will have a lighter/less complex version of Aegis.
-- The ROKN plans three additional DDGs for a total of six.
-- The Spanish Navy plans 5 additional FFGs.
-- The Royal Canadian Navy plans to build up to 15 Aegis-equipped combatants to replace existing Halifax class FFHs. If this program is fully funded, it promises to make Canada the Navy with the largest number of Aegis ships other than the USN. Go Canada!
-- There is the prospect of fitting Aegis to new U.S. Coast Guard icebreakers. (I would hope so, but the poor Coast Guard is perennially short on funding.)

It remains to be seen how small a hull can effectively accommodate the Aegis system. Stay tuned.
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      04-08-2024, 05:55 AM   #430
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It remains to be seen how small a hull can effectively accommodate the Aegis system. Stay tuned.
Lockheed Martin proposed a slightly larger (4,000+ tons) version of the USN Freedom class LCS to Saudi Arabia with Aegis; that may be the answer to "how small?" In the event, the Saudis ended up ordering four LCS derivatives but with significant enhancements, not including Aegis. (Note that the ship has only 8 missile launch cells.)
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      04-09-2024, 05:20 PM   #431
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llarry View Post
The annual defense budget ó finally passed after many months of drama ó has provided some clarity on the future of the U.S. Navy's corvettes (or small frigates) ó designated Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs).

The plan is to retain 10 Freedom class (LCS 1) monohull ships in the active force with these ships to emphasize surface warfare. Oddly, for a ship emphasizing surface warfare, I can find no photos of a Freedom class with surface to surface missile armament. The last three ships of the class have yet to be delivered to the Navy; many early ships have been or will be retired. Freedom class LCSs are split between the Atlantic and Pacific.

The plan is also to retain 15 Independence class (LCS 2) aluminum trimarans in the force with these ships to emphasize mine countermeasures. Like the Freedom class, early ships will be decommissioned. I believe all 15 of these ships will be active in the Pacific.
The poor little crappy ship. She still has a mission, but not what was envisioned.

Letís hope they do the new Frigate right.
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      04-10-2024, 06:47 AM   #432
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Letís hope they do the new Frigate right.
I just read the latest Congressional Research Service report on the FFG 62 today and the price is creeping up. US$1 billion or so for the first ten ships on a fixed-price contract, but the USN wants at least 20. So after the first ten are contracted, stand by for heavy rolls as the builder jacks the price waaay up, I fear.

Another issue discussed in the report is the number of missile launch tubes on the FFGs. DDGs have 96 and are running almost US$2.5 billion apiece. FFGs were designed with just 32. They could put 48 tubes in but the hull would have to be lengthened -- big bucks just for detailed engineering cost.

I'm hopeful that the FFG 62 class will be a good ship. No gold plating -- just a good ship.
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      04-11-2024, 06:38 AM   #433
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Replenishment at sea -- a common evolution.

Here the missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107) is receiving fuel and cargo from the USNS Supply (T-AOE 6) in the Red Sea.

Much of the time the cargo is transferred by helicopter; perhaps this box is particularly heavy or something.
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      04-11-2024, 07:36 AM   #434
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Unmanned surface vessels are about to get serious. The Large Unnamed Surface Vessel (LUSV) is planned to have vertical missile launch tubes. The LUSV can accompany manned combatants and provide additional magazine space. This has great potential.

I'm sure there's plenty more development work needed to make this a reality.

The attached illustration is of one proposed such LUSV from Austal, the Australian firm that makes trimaran LCSs and EPFs. There are apparently three other companies in the running as well.

Note the kite or tethered UAV; I've not read of the explanation for such but it makes sense: If the LUSV is some miles away from the DDG or other missile ship, instant connectivity will be critical and getting an antenna well above the surface will be important.
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      04-11-2024, 10:41 AM   #435
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Quote:
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Replenishment at sea -- a common evolution.

Here the missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107) is receiving fuel and cargo from the USNS Supply (T-AOE 6) in the Red Sea.

Much of the time the cargo is transferred by helicopter; perhaps this box is particularly heavy or something.
Probably contains ice cream and new movies. Don't want to take any chances with those.
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      04-11-2024, 07:06 PM   #436
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Quote:
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Replenishment at sea -- a common evolution.

Here the missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107) is receiving fuel and cargo from the USNS Supply (T-AOE 6) in the Red Sea.

Much of the time the cargo is transferred by helicopter; perhaps this box is particularly heavy or something.
We had a "close encounter" while UNREPping. The Replenishment ship (don't remember which one) lost rudder control and came over and smacked us. Wasn't too awful a collision.
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I've posted that a corvette-sized ship -- smaller than a frigate -- does not generally have full-spectrum capabilities in all warfare areas.

Here's a largish corvette -- bordering on frigate size? -- that comes close. The Israeli Navy German-built Sa'ar 6 class corvette appears to be very capable, with anti-ship missiles, air defense missiles, guns and a helicopter deck and hangar. it is 295 feet (90 m) long with a full load displacement of 1,900 tons. The only deficiency that I might cite would be a lack of land-attack missile capability but of course the main gun forward would help in that regard. As with previous Israeli Navy ships, this appears to be very capable.

The first photo is of a model and the second is of a Sa'ar firing a missile. The Israeli Navy has four ships in commission.
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      04-15-2024, 09:32 AM   #438
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In the era before ship-launched surface-to-air-missiles, the most effective ship defense against aircraft was the gun. U.S. Navy World War II warships (and auxiliaries, too) bristled with anti-aircraft armament from .50 caliber to 20mm, 40mm and dual-purpose (either AA or anti-surface) 5-inch 38 caliber guns.

Wartime and postwar studies of the effectiveness of AA armament concluded that smaller guns were of limited effectiveness against a determined attack (notably, the late WWII Japanese suicide attack). The most effective guns were the 5-inchers. To some extent, the smaller guns (20mm particularly) were deemed primarily to be a morale factor, even though the chances of them stopping an attack were minimal. See the first photo for a picture of a twin 5-inch gun mount.

Before the war, the U.S. Navy had authorized a class of light cruiser armed with 5-inch main guns, but lots of them. The USS Atlanta (CL 49) was the class leader. She had eight twin 5-inch gun mounts -- later ships had only six due to stability concerns. The original intended use, conceived well before WWII experience with AA guns, was that of destroyer flotilla leaders or flagships. But soon the Navy found that the 5-inch-armed CLs were quite useful in air defense. Note that in the U.S. Navy, CLs were generally armed with 6-inch guns as their main battery.

The Atlanta class, which started joining the fleet late in 1941, had marginal stability. Later ships omitted two gun mounts to help with that issue. An improved successor class was built, but the lead ship was the USS Juneau (CL 119), which was commissioned in 1946. In 1949, these 5-inch-gunned cruisers were redesignated anti-aircraft cruisers (CLAA) but of course it would not be long before missiles would be the weapon of choice.

So a summary of U.S. 1940s USN cruisers would look like this:
CB - Large cruisers (sometimes referred to as battle cruisers), only several built
CA - Heavy cruisers armed with 8-inch main battery guns
CL - Small cruisers (often referred to as light cruisers) armed with 6-inch main battery guns
(All the above types also were armed with 5-inch secondary guns)
CLAA - Antiaircraft cruisers armed with 5-inch guns.
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      04-20-2024, 06:21 AM   #439
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Before 1946 or so, heavy and light U.S. Navy cruisers were designed and built with two rotating floatplane catapults on the stern, along with a large aircraft crane. By the time of the Korean War in 1950, the floatplanes and the catapults were gone. The crane held on for a few years more but its days were numbered.

The replacement for the floatplane was the newfangled helicopter.

Here's a Sikorsky HO3S operating from the stern of the heavy cruiser USS Saint Paul (CA 73) near Wonsan, Korea, in 1951. The superfluous crane would soon be gone.
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      04-21-2024, 05:13 AM   #440
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The special operations submarine USS Parche (SSN 683) returns from her final mission. The Parche was the most highly decorated ship in U.S. Navy history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Parche_(SSN-683)
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