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Chilean Fast Attack Craft

June 25, 2010

USS Klakring (FFG 42) was south of the border recently, a part of Southern Seas 2010. Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Darryl Wood took a series of excellent shots concerning fast attack craft of the Chilean Navy. Enjoy!

*****

All appear to be  German Tiger class fast attack craft, built for the Bundesmarine and transfered to Chile in 1997, 1998. Here are the specs for the Tiger class:

  • Displacement-265 tons
  • Length-47 m
  • Beam-7 m
  • Draft-2.7 m
  • Speed-36 knots
  • Range-1600 nm @ 15 knots
  • Crew-30
  • Armament-• 1 × OTO Melara 76mm gun
    • 1 × Bofors 40mm gun
    • 4 × MM38 Exocet launchers
    • 8 × naval mines
    The Bofors gun can be replaced with mine laying rails

Though a 1970s design, the Tigers seem more relevant for most types of naval problems faced by modern fleets than building giant carriers, destroyers, and nuclear subs for very little cause other than to compete with ourselves or shore up fading defense industries.

*****

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43 Comments leave one →
  1. Chuck Hill permalink
    June 28, 2010 6:24 pm

    re the 76n mm. No that is not the normal procedure. What they may have been doing is removing a round. There is a carousel below deck. If I remember correctly it held 76 rounds. I think they now have an upgrade that has two separate carousels allowing more flexibility in selecting ammunition type.

  2. michael permalink
    June 28, 2010 8:08 am

    Could someone enlighten me as to the MK-76 gun carried on the USS Klakring,as in this months Warships there is a photo taken during UNITASLANT 2010 which show the MK-76 turret being loaded manualy through the rear hatch.
    Surely this is not normal practice?, as I was under the impression that this gun was fed from a magazine below deck.

  3. Chuck Hill permalink
    June 27, 2010 3:20 pm

    Can’t help but think that if the Navy bought into some of the Coast Guard Fast Response Cutters, http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/sentinel/features.asp , they would find some good uses for them including base security and dealing with Somali pirates. Delivery of the first unit is about a year away. Cost will be approx $44m

  4. Hudson permalink
    June 27, 2010 1:34 pm

    Scott B. said: “I still consider the United States of America to be the epitome of a CAN DO NATION.

    Don’t you ? Have you completely lost faith in the country ?”

    I don’t think it’s unpatriotic for the U.S. to recognize the superiority of foreign weapons systems, as for example, right at the outset of WWII when the USN recognized the superiority of the Swedish 40mm Bofors guns over its own 1.1 inch system, which served the Navy so well, especially in the Pacific.

    You yourself have endlessly–and rightly so–championed the Absolon ships.

    I don’t think we’ve lost our touch in ship design, either. To the casual observer, at least, the America class of amphibious carrier looks like a winner. It’s beautiful, of a good size to carry a respectable load and variety of aircraft, and might serve as the template for a less expensive CATOBAR alternative to the hyper-expensive Ford class CVN, which is surely the end of that line of supercarrier.

    As for gung-ho, can do spirit, I think the Army and Marines have showed tremendous resolve and flexibility in facing multiple challenges in Iraq, militarily and in dealing with the civilian population–much generosity there with units and individuals pitching in to build whatever needed to be done.

    For larger, national projects, we Americans need to be challenged to achieve a specific goal for us to mobilize our will and resources, as in fulfilling Kennedy’s challenge to land a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. I watched that from start to finish, and it was one of the epic achievements of the 20th Century.

  5. June 27, 2010 8:20 am

    Hello Mike Burleson,

    there is a need for cheaper warships but when a 500,000 (yes that is half a million) tonne displacement ships costs only about $100 Million,it is clear that size is not a major factor in the high price of warships.

    If you want to make a cheap ship you need to leave out the things which cost most:weapons,sensors,command systems and manpower (and inefficient design and build processes).

    Without these things a ship cannot perform the warfighting roles of a frigate,destroyer or cruiser but it can deal with the pirates you often talk about.

    It is also unlikely to be small.

    I call such a ship a brig:

    http://grandlogistics.blogspot.com/2010_01_31_archive.html

    tangosix.

  6. Scott B. permalink
    June 27, 2010 7:59 am

    Mike Burleson said : “Scott, if we were all Scandinavian, all would be well.”

    I still consider the United States of America to be the epitome of a CAN DO NATION.

    Don’t you ? Have you completely lost faith in the country ?

  7. Scott B. permalink
    June 27, 2010 7:55 am

    Mike Burleson said : “And patrol craft, good enough for the likes of pirates and speed boat navies, would be even cheaper.”

    It’s not clear what you mean by *patrol craft*.

    However, it’s pretty clear that FACs and corvettes are NOT the right tool for the job when it comes to fighting pirates off Somalia.

    As already discussed in the past, e.g. here.

  8. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 27, 2010 7:33 am

    Scott, if we were all Scandinavian, all would be well. But all of those you mentioned still better armed than LCS, excepting perhaps Visby. And patrol craft, good enough for the likes of pirates and speed boat navies, would be even cheaper.

  9. Scott B. permalink
    June 27, 2010 5:47 am

    One last repost that sums it up pretty well :

    ********************************************************************

    I cannot resist the pleasure of quoting what my old friend Stuart Slade wrote to conclude his EXCELLENT chapter on FACs in Norman Friedman’s Navies in the Nuclear Age (p.108) :

    “On several occasions, significant advances in weapon and propulsion technology have given the appearance of making possible an equaliser; a small, inexpensive, highly lethal warship that will drive conventional fleets from the seas.

    On each occasion, a clique of supporters has coalesced around the ‘new concept’, damning those who question its infallible lethality as hidebound reactionaries who are terrified that the ‘new ideas’ would upset their ivory towers.

    In every case, be it the torpedo boat, the CMB, the MTB/MGB/PT boat or the FAC-M, as experience with the new design has grown and countermeasures have been developed, natural design evolution has turned the radical new concept into a minor variant of a traditional warship type.

    In every case, the hidebound reactionaries who have patiently argued that warships designed with regard to a broad spectrum of real military requirements and conditions will prove more viable and effective than those optimized for maximum performance in a very narrow part of the military and environmental spectrum have been proved correct.

    It is probable that within a few years, new propulsion and weapons technologies will lead to a new generation of equaliser and the whole cycle will start again. History strongly suggests that such developments need to be treated with extreme caution.”

  10. Scott B. permalink
    June 27, 2010 5:27 am

    Mike Burleson said : “The smaller hull would be cheaper”

    FALSE

    This is yet another subject that’s been discussed to death on this blog, where it was explained, so many times, that STEEL IS CHEAP AND AIR IS FREE.

    But then again, rather than revisiting these numerous discussions, a mere look at the Warships Cost section of the New Wars would provide some interesting datapoints :

    FRIGATES :

    Absalon (Denmark)-$269 million

    Iver Huitfeldt (Denmark)-$332 millon

    Nansen (Norway)-$326 million

    CORVETTES :

    Baynunah class (UAE)-$137 million

    Khareef (Oman)-$262 million

    Kedah class (Malaysia)-$300 million

    Visby (Sweden)-$184 million

    K130 (Germany)-$309 million

  11. Scott B. permalink
    June 27, 2010 5:25 am

    Mike Burleson said : “But something like a corvette you get a ship that ton for ton is the most heavily armed vessels in service.”

    This comment completely misses the crucial point that the mythical corvette lags behind even further when it comes to sensors…

    The importance of sensors has been discussed several times in the past, for instance to explain the complete failure of the Iraqi FACs during the infamous Bubiyan Turkey Shoot.

    Here is what Stuart Slade wrote on the subject in Friedman’s Navies in the Nuclear Age (p.106) :

    “The failure of the FAC-M as a naval equaliser capable of offsetting the power of conventional warships was utter and complete. A share of the extent of the Iraqi disaster can be explained by the poor material condition of their boats and the abysmal training standards of their crews.

    However, once these factors have been discounted, the fact remains that the fundamental reasons for the defeat of the FAC-Ms are inherent in the design of the craft and cannot be eradicated.

    Firstly, the lightly-built FACs vibrate too much as a result of the powerful engines installed and their rough ride in anything other than mill-pond conditions. This causes the tracking beams on the air defense fire control radars to wander off target before a firing solution can be attained.

    Secondly, the low silhouette of the boats, essential for their role, means that radars and equipment have to be carried low. This limits their maximum coverage against low-flying targets.

    To make matters worse, the low mountings mean that the electronics are within the surface duct, a layer of warm, moist air trapped close to the sea surface. Radars and ESM equipment within this duct cannot detect targets flying above it.

    There is another disadvantage associated with radars carried low; the radar beam travels directly to its target but also reflects off the sea surface to the target and off the top of the surface duct to the target. This multi-pathing effect provides a series of ghost images with the radar fire control oscillating helplessly between them.”

  12. Scott B. permalink
    June 27, 2010 5:20 am

    Mike Burleson said : ” The inflated specifications for the perfect vessel means you have more luxury combat ships today than real warships.”

    Here is what the much regretted DK Brown wrote in his “Nelson to Vanguard” on the subject of human factors in the chapter dedicated to Escorts (p. 134) :

    “Today, it is recognized that the combat efficiency of the crew is increased if they are well fed and can rest properly when off duty but this was not recognized during the war and British ships fell well short of what was possible and desirable. There was an impression that sailors were tough and almost revelled in discomfort; in particular, it was thought that discomfort was necessary to keep men awake when on duty.”

    IOW, crew comfort, far from being a luxury, is actually paramount to the combat efficiency of a WARship, and is therefore the kind of critical attributes that a Navy meant to fight should not compromise with !!!

  13. Scott B. permalink
    June 27, 2010 5:18 am

    Mike Burleson said : “They are wonderful sailer’s, but seem to have lost the point of a warship, which is “a ship built to fight”.”

    Another SERIOUS misconception, as was explained so many times previously on this blog, for instance July 2009 :

    *****************************************************************
    Seakeeping and crew comfort are not just *leisurely peacetime requirements* as you suggest.

    For instance, below are a couple of short paragraphs from STANAG 4154, Common Procedures for Seakeeping in the Ship Design Process :

    “The general desirability of good seakeeping performance is universally accepted and has been for almost as long as ships have been designed and built. In general terms, good seakeeping qualities permit a warship to operate in adverse weather conditions with minimum degradation of mission effectiveness.“

    AND

    “despite the clear link between poor seakeeping and reduced mission performance, seakeeping is not given sufficiently high priority when the naval requirements are defined.”

    IOW : a warship with poor seakeeping qualities is not built to fight.

  14. Scott B. permalink
    June 27, 2010 5:12 am

    Mike Burleson said : “Corvettes are poor sea-keepers”

    TRUE.

    As Norman Friedman summarized in his “Modern Warship Design and Development” (p.70) :

    “Accounts of wartime corvette operations are filled with examples of ships effectively out of action due to the mountainous seas, but such things rarely occur in accounts of the larger frigates, which operated in much the same areas.”

    The poor seakeeping qualities of the mythical corvette have been discussed ad nauseum on New Wars in the past, for instance :

    http://newwars.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/corvettes-should-be-good-and-plenty/

  15. Scott B. permalink
    June 27, 2010 5:10 am

    At this stage, it might be worth revisiting a discussion we had not so long ago on the Corvette in Myth and Legend.

  16. Scott B. permalink
    June 27, 2010 4:19 am

    Mike Burleson said : “Thats the thing about small warships.”

    At the risk of repeating myself again :

    People paying attention will quickly realize that I am merely making the same comments / asking the same questions / raising the same objections from one thread to the other.

    In essence, what I am saying is this :

    A) Critical attributes for a low-end warship meant to operate as part of a Global Navy like the US Navy are :

    1. endurance : the ability to operate at sea for an extended time without replenishment or service.

    2. seakeeping : the ability to operate in or transit rough waters while maintaining not only safety, but also operational effectiveness.

    3. versatility : the ability to solve several different tasks in differing circumstances.

    4. adaptability : the ability to reconfigure the ship’s capabilities in order to meet changing circumstances.

    5. air defense : not only for self-defense

    6. interoperability : including C3I and replenishment at sea

    7. survivability : being able to take a hit from a RPG or even a SSM, without undue casualties and while remaining not only afloat but also able to operate.

    8. crew comfort : quite important during extended deployments, especially with an all-volunteer crew.

    9. free spaces : for additional elements, functions or equipment.

    10. and at least one medium-sized embarked helicopter.

    B) These attributes require a decently-sized vessel (5,000 tons or more nowadays) and cannot, I repeat will never, be had on a 2,000-ton displacement, let alone on the mythical 1,000-ton corvette. NEVER.

    C) A decently-sized vessel with all of these attributes can be made affordable : the Danes, with labor costs among the highest in the world, managed to resolve this equation with their ABSALON, which costs less than $250 million a copy.

  17. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 26, 2010 7:27 pm

    At the time the Flowers were most welcome, given their ease of construction. They were also based on an off the shelf whaler design, not so much with military specifications. They were thrown into the Battle of the Atlantic and performed very well considering their limitations, but they were geared for coastal patrol and soon returned to this mission as more frigates and destroyer escorts became available.

    Thats the thing about small warships. They are geared for a very limited role, but quite often perform above and beyond the call of duty, more than was originally specified. But if you don’t have any ships to call upon, as vital shipyards close and numbers shrink, that is a far worse limitation.

  18. Chuck Hill permalink
    June 26, 2010 7:24 pm

    So what I’m saying is that you cannot build a ship that combines both decent speed and seakeeping unless it is about the size of the John. C. Butler Class DEs.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_C._Butler_class_destroyer_escort

    Displacement: 1,350 long tons (1,370 t) (standard)
    1,745 long tons (1,773 t) (full load)
    Length: 306 ft (93 m)
    Beam: 37 ft (11 m)
    Draft: Light: 9 ft 4 in (2.84 m)
    Deep: 13 ft 4 in (4.06 m)
    Speed: 24.3 kn (28.0 mph; 45.0 km/h) (trial)
    24 kn (28 mph; 44 km/h) (service)

    Even they were considered hard riding.

  19. Chuck Hill permalink
    June 26, 2010 7:18 pm

    Length plays a role too. Sorry I don’t have the reference, but I recall reading a British study that because of the distance between crests you typically needed a ship over 270 ft for good seakeeping in the Atlantic and somewhat longer in the Pacific. Flower Class were of course 205 ft. The current River Class OPVs are 262 ft, and they are only going 20 knots max.

  20. Chuck Hill permalink
    June 26, 2010 7:04 pm

    For my background, I did spend some time on a 1000 ton full load ship in Alaska.

    Ships of any tonnage can be constructed so as to handle any kind of sea, but the people inside may not do so well and there is a definite relationship between size and the maximum speed a ship can make in a seaway. I remember reading about a 12 sailboat that made an Atlantic crossing, but I think it averaged about 3 knots. 100 ton Alaskan Fishing boats can handle just about anything but don’t expect them to go more than about 10 knots tops. When you make small ships go fast you have to compromise seakeeping.

    Destroyers did not become capable of transiting Oceans independently until they got over 1000 tons (full load) and even then they earned names like “HMS Horizonal.” You need to get close to 2000 tons (fl) before ships with a top speeds of over about 20 knots can be made truly sea worthy. Any 1000 ton full load corvette will have to compromise either speed or seakeeping.

  21. Scott B. permalink
    June 26, 2010 5:02 pm

    Michael said : “Just one example of Dr Redfords article concerns the Flower class corvettes and how they have been held up as an example of a useful small and cheap surface combatant when in fact it and it’s crews in particular suffered dreadfully because of its limited size and inability to cope with Atlantic weather.”

    The following quotation from James B. Lamb (in his excellent Corvette Navy) pretty well sums up his own experience with a Flower-class corvette :

    “It was sheer unmitigated hell. She was a short fo’c’sle corvette and even getting hot food from galley to fo’c’sle was a tremendous job. The mess decks were usually a shambles and the wear and tear on bodies and tempers was something I shall never forget.”

  22. June 26, 2010 4:30 pm

    Hello,

    Cutlass said:

    “I know it’s terribly annoying when people under the age of eighty disagree with you, but you have to put up with it.”

    That is a very good point.

    Cutlass said:

    “Michael (not Mike B) get a life. You wouldn’t agree with a viewpoint different to yours if your nurses threatened to withold your bedtime milky drink and zoloft.”

    Perhaps you should practice what you preach.

    Here is the link to order Warships International should anyone be interested:

    http://www.hpcpublishing.com/acatalog/copy_of_copy_of_New_Subscriptions.html

    tangosix.

  23. Scott B. permalink
    June 26, 2010 4:24 pm

    CUTLASS’ comments

    I can only speak as a regular on this blog, but I view your *comments* as PURE TROLLING since they add exactly ZERO substance in this discussion and are solely meant to try and denigrate another poster who’s doing the exact opposite, i.e. adding substance in the debate.

    IMHO, there’s NO ROOM on New Wars for this kind of immature behavior.

  24. Cutlass permalink
    June 26, 2010 4:03 pm

    Michael (not Mike B) get a life. You wouldn’t agree with a viewpoint different to yours if your nurses threatened to withold your bedtime milky drink and zoloft.

    Yes, I know it’s terribly annoying when people under the age of eighty disagree with you, but you have to put up with it.

  25. michael permalink
    June 26, 2010 3:53 pm

    Mike,
    Just one example of Dr Redfords article concerns the Flower class corvettes and how they have been held up as an example of a useful small and cheap surface combatant when in fact it and it’s crews in particular suffered dreadfully because of its limited size and inability to cope with Atlantic weather.
    So how would you deal with this problem of small ships going deep sea,and please don’t say that naval design has improved in the ensuing years as the sea is no respecter of naval architects.
    There must be many a person on here who has served on so called small ships and I am going up to 3/4 thousand tons and when you get into a bad weather situation of any duration then the competence of the crew is drasticly reduced.
    To put it bluntly it is not a pleasant experience to paddle through alleyways coated in vomit and it certainly takes the edge off the fighting spirit of the crew.
    No I am afraid that your small ships navy can go so far but no further and big ships will rule into the foreseeable future.
    PS. It is possible to order warships ifr by subscription.

  26. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 26, 2010 1:05 pm

    Hudson wrote “one of the big points here is that it’s perfectly possible to fit a potent gun and missiles onto a small ship”

    This is basically why I call for drastic reduction in tonnage for surface warships. Naturally when you build a ship that is 200-400 or 1000 tons, you are going to instinctively increase its armament, otherwise don’t expect it to survive too long. Modern naval thought obsesses too much on the hull, as we see with LCS and DDG-1000, already extremely expensive but even before they hit the water become underarmed for the mission entailed. To uparm them to match their size would induce further cost.

    But something like a corvette you get a ship that ton for ton is the most heavily armed vessels in service. Just look at the armament on the Tigers compared to LCS. Also read the CDR Salamander post on the Sumner destroyers versus LCS. You get the idea we have lost what is important in warship design, building a ship to fight, not just survive. A back to basics is called for.

    Michael, I sincerely wish I could read the article you mentioned except none of my local bookstores carry Warships International, a big disappointment to me because one of our regular commenter’s is a contributer.

  27. michael permalink
    June 26, 2010 12:33 pm

    MatR,
    With all due respect I would suggest you are being slightly disingenuous (to put it diplomaticly) as I do not wish to be accused of being rude again, in your comparison of these craft with the T45.
    I know your opinion of the type 45 is obviously colouring you views but this last offering is simply ludicrous.
    Though I may not be as well read as your good self,may I refer you to an article in the July 2010 edition of ‘Warships IFR’ by Dr Duncan Redford whom you may perhaps be familiar with. Entitled ‘Small is not necessarily beautiful (or even useful)’
    I’m quite sure he puts the arguement with far more eloquence than I ever could.
    Mike,
    Could I also ask your opinion on this article.

  28. Hudson permalink
    June 26, 2010 12:11 pm

    I agree that the Tigers could be updated with new systems. One could replace the stern 40mm mount with Sea Ram, for example. If you go up to a slightly larger class, say a 500 ton boat, you would get more capability, and so on. And I agree that the Navy needs more lo end boats/ships.

    The thing is, the missiles that can destroy these ships will be at least 100 times cheaper than the ships themselves, as I have pointed out previously. And I think that strong air assets are generally more useful than cheaper boats with weak air assets; hence, I would choose one Absalon over four updated Tigers, for example. I would choose Absalon over LCS, as well.

    It’s an interesting, ongoing discussion.

  29. MatR permalink
    June 26, 2010 9:59 am

    If we set aside the dated tech of the 1970s tiger class, one of the big points here is that it’s perfectly possible to fit a potent gun and missiles onto a small ship, with room to spare. And at 265 tons, you can add one or two other goodies too, like Phalanx or Millenium gun.

    Update the design to today’s tech – perhaps swopping the rear gun for a Scheibel Camcopter landing pad, or a launch rail for Scaneagle – and you get over-the-horizon kills, and a small ship that does many of the missions of the LCS but for peanuts.

    Or forget the camcopter, and add a towable sonar and two torpedo tubes.

    One thing we never seem to mention – small, unsophisticated ships are ‘flexible’ in that they’re cheap and quick to build, and easier to train for. None of the headaches of the LCS ‘jack of all trades’ crew being worked until they drop. And you know what? Here’s a sad thought: right now, each one of those Chilean Tiger class carries more firepower than a 7-8 thousand ton Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer. Because the Chileans were smart and bought reliable, trusted off-the-shelf equipment that others had already taken the time and expense to develop and test.

  30. Hudson permalink
    June 26, 2010 1:45 am

    It might be an interesting contest to pit LCS against the four Chilean FACs. Whether it would be a fair fight or not would depend on the ROE and weapons load of the 2 MH-60 Seahawks and Fire Scout, weather, and whether the four ships were ducks in a row as pictured or widely dispersed.

    With its speed, LCS could sail beyond the horizon from the nearest FAC thus negating the Exocets. The only defense from missiles launched by the helos would be the 76mm gun–I discount the 40mm Bofors in that role. Iffy at best. Whereas, LCS could defend itself from any Exocets that managed to target it OTH with its more sophisticated 57mm BAE gun plus SeaRam.

    Expensive as LCS has become, it does have its capabilities over 1970s technology.

  31. Chuck Hill permalink
    June 25, 2010 6:09 pm

    You do realize when the Navy counts ships, even if they had them, they would not count them.

  32. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 25, 2010 4:54 pm

    But I don’t think I ever said “lets just have these ships”, but do lets have them, or some like them. They may just reverse our shrinking status, and send our fleet of battleship types to where their amazing abilities are more useful and relevant as compared to their immense cost.

  33. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 25, 2010 4:45 pm

    Michael, I do lump China in the same category as NK, and Iran. Our lack of numbers and complacency is a force multiplier for most any navy, including pirates in sailing dhows.

    Your point about isolationism, I see my ideas as saving the Navy, not destroying it. The alternative is building only fewer and more exquisite high end ships, which are so capable but won’t be able to leave port because they are at risk from such small craft. The battleship admirals would never sail unescorted in waters teaming with small threats. Neither would the carrier admirals of WW 2.

    So we already are weak in the midst of apparent great strength. The problem being we are planning for the wrong threats of the last era. The return of the flotilla with small ships will set things aright.

    DJF asked “you want to build a fast attack craft which has no capability against submarines and anti-ship missiles?”

    They do have capability against such weapons: size, speed, dispersal, and numbers. It worked in the world wars, when the giant battleships were forced back into port by the airpower threat, but the submarines, cruisers, destroyers, PT boats, survived and even thrived. Aircraft carriers also survived, by numbers and keeping out of range of such weapons. Now we have few giant ships, with only short range planes, and insist they be forward deployed to support land battles, in range of about every anti-access weapon imaginable, those from this century as well as the last.

  34. michael permalink
    June 25, 2010 3:51 pm

    Mike,
    You quote China as an example of having numerous small craft along with countries like Iran and NK, how on earth can you compare the former with the two latter countries.
    Of course China had a large number of OPV and FAC type vessels because in the not too distant past this was all that they could afford or build.
    As China has seen its economic power soar so has its ambitions for a blue water navy, newer frigates and destroyers,SSN’s and SSBN’s and now Carriers. China will still keep a large number of newer FAC’s for littoral defence but not at the expense of their ambition to control the Pacific theatre and you still argue for small ships at the expense of high end vessels.
    That is fine if you are going to go down the isolationist path and withdraw your sphere of influence conpletely from that area.
    You say that carriers are too vulnerable and expensive, the latter point I agree with and measures must be taken to simplify both their systems and aircraft.
    Then again your ideas of motherships which would be home base for small craft begs the question what if the mother ship is put out of action. Then you have a large number of small ships which cannot be supported in a foreign theatre either with fuel supplies,food or ammunition. In other words completely useless.
    Iran for example only needs small attack craft to control the oil supplies from the persian gulf,and I cannot see NK for all its meglomania wishing to take on a world wide role hence small heavily armed craft will also suffice.
    Both of these countries can make swift attacks from within the striking distance of friendly ports,can the USA.
    No,and although I agree that the newer class of warships are far too expensive and too high in technology I believe that you are advocating small vessels far too vigorously and are in danger of doing to the USN what the British government have done to the RN and it is not a pleasant thought.

  35. DJF permalink
    June 25, 2010 3:47 pm

    So in a world where you claim that submarines and anti ship missiles are a big danger to navies, you want to build a fast attack craft which has no capability against submarines and anti-ship missiles?

  36. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 25, 2010 3:09 pm

    Michael wrote ” think that you are now entering into the world of phantasy by quoting the requirements of such country’s as Chile and the USA in the same vein.”

    You are forgetting other small boat navies such as Iran, NK, and the numerous such craft in Chinese service. I think we ignore the lessons of other navies, and ignore the principles of sea control, that capability doesn’t duplicate availability, to our peril. But the USN wasn’t always adverse to small warships, and this was when we were strong and had plenty of high end capability. Now we say, its all we need.

    But you build small ships to manage other small warships, and littoral craft for littoral threats. This is common sense and historical, not something out of yours truly’s imagination.

  37. jkt permalink
    June 25, 2010 1:46 pm

    How do mine laying rails replace a gun? I’d love to see a picture of that.

  38. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 25, 2010 1:40 pm

    VVV What Hokie just said! Ditto to the max!!!

  39. Hokie_1997 permalink
    June 25, 2010 1:23 pm

    So let me get this straight:

    Less than 10% tonnage of the USS Freedom (LCS-1), arguably better armed, and roughly half the crew.

    The only thing LCS has going for it is helicopter hangar and endurance (and the last is iffy).

    I want my LCS tax-dollars back.

  40. Chuck Hill permalink
    June 25, 2010 1:05 pm

    D. E. Reddick permalink said, “Lots of FACs from around the world are more heavily armed than most USCG cutters and either of the USN LCS designs.”

    At least the CG cutters compare well with other OPVs, not sure what the excuse for the LCS is.

    Still, as far as the threats Mike is talking about, the Fast Response Cutter is more relevant than the FAC because of it’s better endurance and sea keeping, lower operating cost, and the fact that it has a boat. Partnered with a Bertholf Class with its two helicopters to provide recon they can be effective on the lower end of the threat scale. Just can’t expect them to stop a large ship with a determined crew.

  41. michael permalink
    June 25, 2010 12:48 pm

    Mike,
    Chile has a long history of buying foreign weapons systems obviously as it has very little indigenious manufacturers of its own.
    In recent times it has bought its naval vessels from europe and in particular the UK and has made some very good deals out of the UK governments indecent haste to sell off very good warships at knock down prices.
    I congratulate them on their business accumen,but don’t you think that you are taking your ‘small ships’ philosophy a little to far.
    Your suggestions as to disregarding high end ships started as a quite laudible idea, and was taken very seriously by many and may I say still is.
    Still I think that you are now entering into the world of phantasy by quoting the requirements of such country’s as Chile and the USA in the same vein.
    Your mindset is that the only wars or conflicts that we need to prepare for are the ones that are occuring today and tomorrow doesn’t matter.
    Fortunately history tells us that this is wrong,and so do the people making decisions for the good of our country’s.
    Tell Americans that small is good when next you are involved in a state to state war, or are you going to guarantee that this will never happen.

  42. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 25, 2010 12:41 pm

    Lots of FACs from around the world are more heavily armed than most USCG cutters and either of the USN LCS designs.

    Missile boat (with listing of classes and links to same)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missile_boat

    Fast Attack Craft

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_Attack_Craft

  43. Chuck Hill permalink
    June 25, 2010 12:15 pm

    Just for the record, note these are smaller than the new Coast Guard Fast Response Cutter (same length) and much more heavily armed than the National Security Cutter (418ft)

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