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Corvettes and Cruisers - Surface Combatants in 2015 and Beyond

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So this is a bit of an outgrowth of my comments on the LCS...

 

Corvettes and Cruisers - Surface Combatants in 2015 and Beyond

 

The year 2015 is an interesting time for the oft-forgotten surface combatants - corvettes, frigates, destroyers, and cruisers - which are used to operating under the shadow of aircraft carriers that have dominated naval combat. On the Western side, you have numerous sources in the Internet reporting doom and gloom for the American Navy, citing warship shortages compared to a growing Chinese Navy. Even the Russian Navy, which mostly remains underfunded, is featured in sensationalist articles like this one:

 

http://theweek.com/articles/583294/tiny-russian-warship-just-shocked-world

 

Which question how small Russian warships are able to carry many more missiles than much larger American warships.

 

The problem, unfortunately, lies with the lack of naval knowledge among the general news media and the public. Sensationalism and trivia tend to override context and timelines in the search for more viewers and clicks.

 

Fortunately, that's why this article exists to set things straight.

 

The Myth of the Declining American Surface Fleet

 

One of the most enduring and popular misconceptions on the Internet is the idea that the American surface fleet is declining. Too much focus is placed on the problems of the navy's two latest ship designs - the Zumwalt and the Littoral Combat Ship - while commentators whose naval knowledge is limited to playing Harpoon wax nostalgic about the days of a massive US Navy that had dozens of cruisers and frigates.

 

All of this tends to disguise a startling revelation: The US surface fleet is in fact incredibly strong now; and is more powerful than it was in the 90s.

 

The key really, which everyone doesn't seem to notice, is the US Navy's concentration on a single, proven warship type: The Arleigh Burke class. There are now 62 of these powerful warships serving in the US Navy, half of which only joined the fleet after the year 2000. This production run in fact exceeds the production run of any US warship for the past 30 years - the Knox class frigate for instance had only 36 units, while only 51 of the "cheap" OH Perry class were built for the USN,

 

And that's not even the end of the run yet. An additional 14 units had already been authorized - to make up for the cancellation of most of the Zumwalts - with potentially thirty more to be ordered. It may in fact come to pass that the Arleigh Burke's production run would exceed a hundred; which is quite an investment given that these are 10,000 ton warships that are more equivalent to World War 2 cruisers than the 2,000 ton destroyers from the same era.

 

Yet even with the existing run of 62 ships the production of Arleigh Burkes had in fact already outweighed the production total of the OH Perry class (which was half the weight of a Burke) and the Spruance class - the two ship classes they were really meant to replace. So while the total number of ships may have decreased, in terms of tonnage the fleet's overall weight in fact increased - while lowering manpower cost.

 

The Burkes are also simply much better ships than the old frigates and destroyers because of the improved AEGIS sensors and the versatility of its VLS system; which can load many different types of missile depending on its mission. A single Burke for instance could theoretically carry 96 SAMs for air defense or 96 Tomahawk missiles instead - the latter loadout being four times more cruise missiles that the Russians fired on Syria using their four small ships. An old OH Perry by contrast could only carry 40 short-ranged SAMs and a handful of anti-ship missiles in its main missile magazine.

 

Moreover, the numbers of Arleigh Burkes available - alongside the twenty-two original AEGIS cruisers, give the US a grand total of eighty-four top-of the-line escorts. Compared to the nineteen US Navy Supercarriers and Marine carriers, the USN in fact has enough to provide four of AEGIS escorts per carrier. China by contrast has a mere dozen Type 51 and 52 destroyers that come close in weight class - but not in capability - as the Burkes. Indeed, their only match unit per unit are the six Kongo and Atago class ships of the Japanese SDF - who are of course American allies!

 

In this context, it also becomes easier to see why much of the "controversy" around the Littoral Combat Ship is misplaced. Many of its critics want it to be as capable as the outgoing OH Perry class frigates. What these critics don't realize is that the replacement for these ships were in fact the dozens of new Arleigh Burkes. The LCS was instead meant to fill the roles that the Burkes could't perform - and in doing so they spelled the doom of the 4,000 ton frigates.

 

 

The Death of the 4,000 ton Frigate

 

A perennial problem in amateur warship discussion is the insistence of many commentators on the need for particular ship types. "We need cruisers/destroyers/frigates", often uttered without realizing what the particular ships were actually meant to do. This applies to the 4,000 ton "multirole" frigate - which is an enormously popular type of warship worldwide and the OH Perry is an exemplar of this type. In essence, the multirole frigate promises decent all-around capability at an affordable cost.

 

However, for the present-day US Navy, there is no place for the multi-role frigate. The Burkes served as carrier escorts and independent cruisers for showing the flag in dangerous hotspots. The LCS meanwhile was a utility ship in a carrier battle group, or a low-intensity combat ship for showing the flag in safer waters. There was no space in between for a multirole frigate.

 

And that's because the well-loved frigate was in fact always riddled by compromise. It simply could not be good at anti-air combat, anti-submarine combat, and surface combat with only 4,000 tons displacement. Specialist ships meanwhile - such as the Knox - could not operate independently because they could not deal with all possible threats they encountered.

 

Even the idea that they could serve as "backup" for the primary carrier escorts proved problematic, particularly in anti-air combat. Experience in the Falklands showed that having multiple average SAM systems operating independently was problematic - you had mere minutes or even seconds to coordinate your defense volleys which proved impossible with multiple ships; leading to the possibility that some of the enemy aircraft/missiles were left un-engaged. Long-ranged SAM systems also tended to be radar-guided leading to the possibility of the escorts interfering with each other's radar.

 

The solution was a centralized and computerized SAM system on a single ship with a powerful radar - the AEGIS system on the US cruisers and the Burkes. Indeed, so powerful was this system that the Americans quickly scrapped their remaining non-AEGIS air defense cruisers while the OH Perry class was allowed to lose their SAM systems - it was better to have a handful of AEGIS ships doing air defense than a lot of lesser ships.

 

Interestingly, the only type of SAM system that would complement AEGIS was the short-ranged RIM; which was an IR-guided weapon that did not interfere with other ship's radar while providing last-ditch defense against an enemy missile that got through the long-ranged SAM volleys of AEGIS. It was probably not a coincidence that RIM was the only SAM system equipped on the LCS; while all of the US Navy's remaining carrier escorts were large AEGIS ships.

 

Meanwhile, anti-submarine combat had also progressed. The Knox and OH Perry class were designed with the idea that the warship itself may have to engage an enemy submarine in direct combat; which is why it had its own anti-submarine torpedo tubes and the ASROC launcher. The speed of nuclear submarines and their own guided torpedoes had long made this approach suicidal however, hence the switch to using helicopters to attack submarines without fear of retaliation. With this in mind, the only contribution of a multirole frigate in anti-submarine warfare was its helicopter pad - a helicopter pad also present on the LCS.

 

In short, the problem with the multirole frigate was that too much of its systems had become dead weight. Its SAM systems were more of a liability if it were not up-to-date, and the anti-submarine weapons redundant in the context of using the helicopter for submarine hunting. Indeed, it could be considered wasteful to use multirole frigates in carrier battlegroups since some of their tasks were so mundane - such as the "plane guard" whose mission was to pick up any pilots who may have crashed into the sea while trying to land on the carrier. Is it really necessary for a 4,000 ton frigate with a large number of weapons (most of which it cannot use while so close to the carrier) to be saddled with this role, or is better for a smaller, cheaper vessel like the LCS whose sole anti-air weapon can be used to defend the carrier?

 

Quiet New Dreadnoughts: Corvettes and Cruisers

 

Put together, the Burke and the LCS both point to two emerging trends in surface combatants; as well as the dangerous continuation of many navies down the path of the multirole frigate.

 

First, the Burkes showed it was possible to have a powerful surface combatant theoretically capable of surviving heavy air attack (theoretical as the system has never been tested fully in combat) that nonetheless retains sufficient anti-surface and anti-submarine punch. However, this design requires the ship to be nearly 10,000 tons. The Chinese Type 52D for instance is now around 7,500 tons in weight compared to the original Type 52's 6,000; and the future proposals are definitely looking at a 10,000 ton design. The British Daring class had an even more dramatic size increase, doubling in size from the previous Type 42s. All of these ships are equipped with VLS with actual or theoretical capability to load multiple types of missiles for different missions.

 

These 10,000 ton "Destroyers" are more rightly classified as "cruisers" given they are also capable of independent action in addition to serving as escort; and their presence spells the obsolescence of the 4,000-5,000 ton "multirole" frigate. The new 10K Cruisers can simply do everything the frigates are supposed to do and better except in terms of acquisition cost; which is why the frigate will remain primarily with budget-stricken navies trying to pursue paper advantages at a discount. The higher-end Corvettes like the Sa'ar V, which are even more cash-strapped implementations of the multirole frigate that also sacrifice seakeeping, may also soon suffer the same fate.

 

Meanwhile, new 1,000-3,000 ton corvettes like the LCS will be developed to fill the existing gap in warships suitable for low-intensity conflict or mundane tasks with a battlefleet. Given the cost of the 10K cruisers these smaller ships will focus not on packing as many weapons or capabilities as possible, but focus on a handful of roles at the most efficient possible cost. These ships will be characterized by omitting features seen by traditionalists as "standard" pieces of equipment - kept "just in case" - but for the most part really only add to the operating cost of the ship in the long run.

 

Of course future technological developments may result in new ship types and capabilities - including perhaps a renewed interest in long-ranged naval gunnery. However, I suspect that many of these new technologies will simply be incorporated in the large cruisers and then the smaller corvettes as necessary; and that these two core types will serve as the basis of future surface combatants for the world's fleets.

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Russia may be buying into that argument.  The new corvette/patrol vessel is to be armed with the Kalibur-NK land attack missile, the same missle used in the Caspian Sea strike.

 

http://www.janes.com/article/55543/russia-s-new-project-22160-corvettes-to-be-armed-with-kalibr-nk-missiles

 

Interesting way to reduce radar signature. Having containerized missile that fold up to vertical for launch.

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It's a bit more of the Russians can't build anything bigger than a corvette anymore. Since 2000 their biggest new surface combatant was a frigate, and those took on average five years to complete. By contrast the Burkes were averaging around 18 months by the end of the last run.

 

China is the only one seriously building large numbers of surface combatants, but a lot of effort went on smaller 4,000-7,000 ton ships. That they were already thinking of making a 10,000 ton ship in 2014 - or just two years after the first of their 7500 ton Type 52Ds were laid down - tells me they're beginning to realize the damn things are too small to do everything they want an upsize to Burke standards was necessary.

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That's a real good post, and I think you're pretty solidly right. I understand the draw of devolving the capability to operate alone to smaller ships, but actually getting that capability on much smaller ships is going to constrain the magnitude of that capability sharply, probably too sharply to actually be able to operate alone against a credible threat anyway.

 

I'm pretty sure that the Sejong the Great class' three members are also worthy of mention in the same sentence as the Arleigh Burke, Kongo, and Atago classes with it being a slightly enlarged Burke. Also, by RIM SAMs do you mean SeaRAM? RIM is just the naval equivalent of AIM.

 

It strikes me as amusing how even now, when buying more ship hull is actually really cheap and we haven't been really tonnage constrained since a bit after WWII, tonnage is still a reliable indicator of what degree of capability you can get just because enough ship to fit the sensors and the weapons for a given role has a pretty non-negotiable cost if you want to do it right.

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That's a real good post, and I think you're pretty solidly right. I understand the draw of devolving the capability to operate alone to smaller ships, but actually getting that capability on much smaller ships is going to constrain the magnitude of that capability sharply, probably too sharply to actually be able to operate alone against a credible threat anyway.

 

I'm pretty sure that the Sejong the Great class' three members are also worthy of mention in the same sentence as the Arleigh Burke, Kongo, and Atago classes with it being a slightly enlarged Burke. Also, by RIM SAMs do you mean SeaRAM? RIM is just the naval equivalent of AIM.

 

It strikes me as amusing how even now, when buying more ship hull is actually really cheap and we haven't been really tonnage constrained since a bit after WWII, tonnage is still a reliable indicator of what degree of capability you can get just because enough ship to fit the sensors and the weapons for a given role has a pretty non-negotiable cost if you want to do it right.

 

Yeah, I meant SeaRAM. Bloody RIM/RAM missiles confusing me! And yeah the Koreans have their own Burkes too.

 

One thing I haven't covered yet with regards to the smaller ships is the effect of drones to the equation. There is a school of thought that posits the creation of a drone-carrying ship that can replace the multi-role combatant.

 

Thing is I don't think the small ships can really carry enough to be super-effective against other top-tier navies; especially since the Russians and Ukrainians are now showing how you can EM and hard-kill each other's drones with sufficiently advanced tech. So my sense is that drones will be mainly complementing, and perhaps eventually replacing, helicopters. Figure that hangars meant for one helicopter can now carry three or four drones instead; which is very useful against pirates with no real EM or AA capability. Against a serious enemy, you'll need a sufficiently large drone wing to deal with attrition and that means something like the 20,000 ton Japanese "destroyers".

 

Finally, and this is utter naval heresy, I still think there's a niche for a 4,000-5,000 ton "patrol" ship for 3rd World Navies; which would be much better and more useful than the multi-role frigates everyone is buying now.

 

The ship will have small but efficient engines - sacrificing speed down to 20 knots if necessary. They will have a grand total of one deck gun as armament, and have no sonar system and only navigational radars. However they will try to fit as many helicopters (and later drones) as possible in the largest hangar possible - along with the necessary C&C space to direct the air wing - with the idea being this ship will specialize in being the airborne eyes and ears of smaller 1,000-ton craft whose job is primarily S&R or hunting smugglers and pirates. An enlarged LCS could have been this ship, but some idiot wanted that 40 knot ZOOM ZOOM speed.  <_<

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Oh, and I've been "discussing" the topic of multirole FFGs with someone on the WoWS who is supposedly a former FFG skipper. And he insists that all of the bad examples like the British constantly losing ships in the Falklands are just flukes caused by human error. If he was there instead of the incompetents it would all be fine.... even though he only has around 60 seconds to out-math a missile guidance computer that processes targeting calculations several times faster than a human can. Because apparently he has the power to slow down 60 seconds to become an infinity in AAW. <_<

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Yeah, I meant SeaRAM. Bloody RIM/RAM missiles confusing me! And yeah the Koreans have their own Burkes too.

 

One thing I haven't covered yet with regards to the smaller ships is the effect of drones to the equation. There is a school of thought that posits the creation of a drone-carrying ship that can replace the multi-role combatant.

 

Thing is I don't think the small ships can really carry enough to be super-effective against other top-tier navies; especially since the Russians and Ukrainians are now showing how you can EM and hard-kill each other's drones with sufficiently advanced tech. So my sense is that drones will be mainly complementing, and perhaps eventually replacing, helicopters. Figure that hangars meant for one helicopter can now carry three or four drones instead; which is very useful against pirates with no real EM or AA capability. Against a serious enemy, you'll need a sufficiently large drone wing to deal with attrition and that means something like the 20,000 ton Japanese "destroyers".

 

I have a sneaking suspicion the US is trying to take the MQ-8 and make it a successor to the DASH. Considering ships like the Sumners could carry a DASH while still being under 3,000 tons while carrying 6 5" guns and an assortment of torpedo tubes, you could probably fit a decent number of those on a small ship, but that depends on what you want to do and how much weight that takes. Something like that would probably be fantastic for a rationally sized replacement for the Chakri Naraubet for example.

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Necro-threading a bit, but I'd rather not start a new thread.
https://news.usni.org/2018/08/28/navys-next-large-surface-combatant-will-draw-ddg-51-ddg-1000-dont-call-destroyer
The USN, despite its failed development programs, needs new ships as older ones (Ticos) wear out, and to increase fleet numbers to the desired 355. As the Zums were cancelled, and replaced in procurement by the ABIII, This still leaves a need for Tico replacements. And as the ABIII pretty much maxes out what the AB hull can do (unless you want to extend the hull with a plug, which is possible and even increases fuel economy thanks to better fineness ratio), A new bigger hull is needed. I note that other than some command facilities, a tail, and larger VLS capacity there isn't really all that much different between the flt IIA Burke and the Ticos. So it's possible that the next ship will be a "main battle ship", as it were, replacing both the Ticos and older Burkes.
I currently don't have the time but I fully intend to return to this thread for an effortpost about large and small surface combatants and what I see as being their roles, requirements, and uses in both war and peacekeeping.

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I'm not sold on Main Battle Ships - ASW, AAD and GP constabulary work have pretty different requirements. A hull to do all three will be much too expensive for the GP work, and taking out the stuff you don't need is basically a redesign of the ship (e.g. adding a bit mast with a big radar on top for AAD has a big effect on the ship, and same for a proper quiet machinery installation for ASW). One class of ship to properly do everything would be cool, but that's a lot of money to burn

 

9 hours ago, N-L-M said:

even increases fuel economy thanks to better fineness ratio

 

Fuel consumption per unit weight of cargo and overall fuel consumption are not the same thing

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1 minute ago, Xlucine said:

I'm not sold on Main Battle Ships - ASW, AAD and GP constabulary work have pretty different requirements. A hull to do all three will be much too expensive for the GP work, and taking out the stuff you don't need is basically a redesign of the ship (e.g. adding a bit mast with a big radar on top for AAD has a big effect on the ship, and same for a proper quiet machinery installation for ASW). One class of ship to properly do everything would be cool, but that's a lot of money to burn


Just like MBTs aren't the only class of ground vehicle, I would expect there to still be smaller ships. The point is replacing the "medium battle ship" (Destroyer) and "heavy battle ship" (Cruiser) with a joint design. The different kinds of ship and their roles, needs, and outlines are part of the planned effortpost.
 

 

1 minute ago, Xlucine said:

Fuel consumption per unit weight of cargo and overall fuel consumption are not the same thing


True, but increasing the fineness ratio by increasing length can actually reduce the *overall* fuel consumption. This is established hydrodynamics, just like longer bullets have lower drag while being heavier.
I didn't come up with this idea, it's already been studied:
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a524619.pdf
Skip ahead to page 55 if you just want the graph.

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1 hour ago, Xlucine said:

I'm not sold on Main Battle Ships - ASW, AAD and GP constabulary work have pretty different requirements. A hull to do all three will be much too expensive for the GP work, and taking out the stuff you don't need is basically a redesign of the ship (e.g. adding a bit mast with a big radar on top for AAD has a big effect on the ship, and same for a proper quiet machinery installation for ASW). One class of ship to properly do everything would be cool, but that's a lot of money to burn

 

 

It's like having an MBT that can carry dismounts and has AA guns/missiles and radar.

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5 hours ago, Ramlaen said:

 

It's like having an MBT that can carry dismounts and has AA guns/missiles and radar.

 

... 

... 

 

North Korea? 

 

 

 

 

I agree that having an “all purpose ship” is not optimal for a navy, as being a “jack of all trades” means you are the king of nothing. My (uninformed) opinion: 

 

Why not have 2 different weight classes of ships (non aircraft carriers, submarines, etc.), and then name them by their intended role?

 

I.E. “destroyers” and “cruisers” are both 10,000-12,000 tons but the difference is their primary role: destroyers are anti-ship/ground, and cruisers are anti-air. Both could still keep their helicopter pads for ASW work, and both could use the same hull to ease construction. The destroyer still has air defense armament, but it’s those SeaRAMs that won’t interfere with the cruisers’ long range SAMs; and conversely, the cruiser could have ship to ship armament, but not as much as the destroyers. 

 

Same applies to the ~3000 ton frigates and corvettes, one is more specialized for anti-surface, and the other is anti-air. 

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13 hours ago, N-L-M said:


Just like MBTs aren't the only class of ground vehicle, I would expect there to still be smaller ships. The point is replacing the "medium battle ship" (Destroyer) and "heavy battle ship" (Cruiser) with a joint design. The different kinds of ship and their roles, needs, and outlines are part of the planned effortpost.

 

Are there many cruiser designs under consideration that could be subsumed into destroyer programmes?

 

14 hours ago, N-L-M said:


True, but increasing the fineness ratio by increasing length can actually reduce the *overall* fuel consumption. This is established hydrodynamics, just like longer bullets have lower drag while being heavier.
I didn't come up with this idea, it's already been studied:
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a524619.pdf
Skip ahead to page 55 if you just want the graph.

 

Huh, I didn't expect that.

 

8 hours ago, Lord_James said:

 

I agree that having an “all purpose ship” is not optimal for a navy, as being a “jack of all trades” means you are the king of nothing. My (uninformed) opinion: 

 

Why not have 2 different weight classes of ships (non aircraft carriers, submarines, etc.), and then name them by their intended role?

 

I.E. “destroyers” and “cruisers” are both 10,000-12,000 tons but the difference is their primary role: destroyers are anti-ship/ground, and cruisers are anti-air. Both could still keep their helicopter pads for ASW work, and both could use the same hull to ease construction. The destroyer still has air defense armament, but it’s those SeaRAMs that won’t interfere with the cruisers’ long range SAMs; and conversely, the cruiser could have ship to ship armament, but not as much as the destroyers. 

 

Same applies to the ~3000 ton frigates and corvettes, one is more specialized for anti-surface, and the other is anti-air. 

 

Just about everyone else (other than USN and RFN) has destroyers for AAD and frigates for ASW. Dedicated big ASuW ships is a bit pointless these days, as it's easy to strap ASCMs onto most things (of course, easier on a 7-10k frigate/destroyer than a 2k corvette)

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51 minutes ago, Xlucine said:

Are there many cruiser designs under consideration that could be subsumed into destroyer programmes?

No, and that's part of my point. The last true US cruiser built was the CGN-41. The Ticos are a majorly upgraded Spruance destroyer design, to carry AEGIS and later VLS. The "Cruiser" designation was chosen to justify the crazy cost ($1B at the time) to Congress. 

 

There are very few practical differences between the AB and Tico in terms of capability-
The Burke has a better RCS and probably lower CG, steel superstructure, and is wider and therefore probably more stable. 90/96 cell VLS, Flight I and II have 8 Harpoons, TACTAS and no hangar, Flight IIA and III have twin hangar but no Harpoons or TACTAS. 2 CIWS (1 on later ships), 3 SPG-62 illuminators.
The Tico has 122 VLS cells, 8 Harpoons, TACTAS and a twin hangar, two guns, 4 SPG-62 illuminators.
Both are propelled by 4 LM-2500s driving twin propellers to around 30+ knots.
Ticos have more command facilities and the radars are slightly higher, but on the whole they just aren't that different. 
There were plans for a Zumwalt-style "CG-21" or "CG(X)" with various sizes, propulsion plants, and armaments proposed, but that was cancelled nearly a decade ago.
unless there's a specific job a cruiser is intended to do which a small modification to the Burke follow-on can't do (or indeed the Burke follow-on itself can't do), there's no justification for 2 separate follow-on designs for what are such similar ships.

You seem to have misconstrued what I was saying as advocating solely for 10kton+ ships. This is not the case, I strongly believe that there is a need for a ship in the 4-5kton range, as well as both larger (carriers, supply ships, amphibs) and smaller (OPVs, USVs) surface ships. I just see the US destroyers and cruisers converging into a single design.
I should have an effortpost up in a week or so as to why I believe things are this way and what I see the future as being. But suffice to say for now that the reason US cruisers and destroyers are master-of-most-trades oriented is cost and capability.
 

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@N-L-M The Burke hull is absolutely revolutionary -- prior to DDG-51, the US Navy's hulls had only marginal seakeeping improvements from those of the Second World War. The shitty length-beam ratio compared to previous hulls is intentional, because the GTEs can put down enough power to get the desired speeds even with a mediocre length to beam ratio, while the increased beam and lots of flare makes them some of the most seakindly hulls in the Navy. 

 

I think that a conventional design (IE not a Zumwalt-derivative) AAW/BMD-focused cruiser would need to be at least around 14-16k tons -- it's a pain in the ass to get the appropriate size AN/SPY-6(V) array into a conventional superstructure without fucking the metacentric height and reducing stability. For something like a Zumwalt derivative, it'd probably be fine to replace the B turret with a 64-tube VLS system and a 22' AN/SPY-6(V), and staple Aegis into it. Unfortunately, it'd probably be a monumental shitshow to integrate Aegis into TSCEI, and I'm still not 100% sold on the seakeeping characteristics of the DDG-1000 hull. I think a conventional design shaped by the requirements of the role of a cruiser, i.e. primarily anti-air/anti-surface warfare focused, built as the escort command of a CSG would be the best way to go, at least until the three DDG-1000s have a good couple of years of service and have demonstrated their seakeeping characteristics. 

 

Oh, also, the cost of the actual hull structure and armament mounts is tiny right now compared to mission systems and systems integration that there's no real reason not to keep making ships larger to add capabilities. 

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On 9/1/2018 at 3:47 PM, N-L-M said:

2 CIWS (1 on later ships),

 

Question: why did they remove that fore Phalanx from the later Burke Flights? Was it judged unnecessary, inefficient or is there some other, obscure reason for this change (please don't say it's in order to reduce overall ship RCS), like repurposing the structure underneath as storage for extra computers or something?

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16 hours ago, Renegade334 said:

 

Question: why did they remove that fore Phalanx from the later Burke Flights? Was it judged unnecessary, inefficient or is there some other, obscure reason for this change (please don't say it's in order to reduce overall ship RCS), like repurposing the structure underneath as storage for extra computers or something?

 

Phalanx CIWS do not intrude into the space below deck. It was done when ESSM was introduced (cost savings).

 

Personally I think the empty forward Phalanx spot would be a good place for Harpoon/NSM box launchers on newer Burkes that don't have them.

Edited by Ramlaen

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