Skip to content

Influence Squadron in Action

July 3, 2009
tags:
Future Influence Squadron?

Future Influence Squadron?

I caught this intriguing photo at the Navy website, which looked much like the Influence Squadron recently proposed to supersede our current Expeditionary Strike Groups in littoral waters. Here’s is the photo’s caption:

The Royal Malaysian Navy multi-role support ship KD Sri Indera Sakti, corvette KD Lekir and patrol vessel KD Handalan maneuver in formation with the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) and the guided-missile destroyers USS Chafee (DDG 90) and USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) during a Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Malaysia 2009 exercise.

You have most everything you need here to project power in coastal waters without putting very expensive and vulnerable Blue Water battleships at risk for such mundane but important operations: an anti-air destroyer (would replace with guided missile corvette IMHO), an amphibious and mothership, corvettes for patrol duties, with all that is missing are the high speed vessels. Not a bad first start though!

53 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike Burleson permalink
    July 9, 2009 8:29 am

    Interesting thoughts Henry, and I hope your superior’s take notice for the Navy’s sake! Certainly we should use the vessels we have on hand for now countering anti-air threats and for the mothership proposal, but down the line I would see us using less costly, so-called “wasting assets” which are just too vulnerable and really too big for operations in shallow seas. We have got by with smaller ships before, and I think so again which is essential for rebuilding ship numbers.

    Some in Congress may not like this term, but we need to get back to expendable ships. We need these little Influence Squadrons to be the roadblock in any future war, rather than having all our most expensive assets forward deployed, vulnerable to sneak attacks. Sailing our Big Ship like LHA’s in range of land based and littoral threats is increasingly suicidal and playing right into China’s or even a rogue terrorist group’s strategies, placing them where they are vulnerable to low tech asymmetrical threats.

    So then we see these smaller ships as a threat to their strategy, not ours, with the Blue Water Navy deployed out of range, safely at sea, and the Influence Squadron being the advance guard, while also performing these soft power missions, getting between the radicals and the “populations of the sea”.

  2. Henry Hendrix permalink
    July 9, 2009 8:10 am

    I wrote the article in November, got approval to submit it from my chain of command in March (they checked it for classification, not for content), and then had it come out in April. Needless to say my own ideas have continued to evolve since then and if I was writing the article today, my Influence Squadron would look a bit different. First of all, it needs to be understood that the Influence Squadron is intended for operations in a semi-permissive, low end engagement environment. It has some credible combat power, especially when it is condensed and combined with higher end platforms, but I did not intend Influence Squadrons to be the front end combat element in a war with a near peer competitor. Instead I recommended that we downsize to some degree on the high end (decreasing the number of carrier strike groups) and invest the recouped money in a larger number of smaller, cheaper assets that could be employed to increase American presence (hence the 16 Influence Squadron recommendation). I have been looking at the numbers rather closely and if we continue with our current high end build plan within the boundaries of the current budget, well, there just won’t be a lot of ships out there.
    So, with that being understood, I am still looking at the LPD-17 as a mother ship. I don’t like doing this, its too expensive for my tastes, but I need a helo deck, a hangar for aircraft maintenance, some extensive C4I facilities, and some means of transporting a lot of materials ashore (think cinder block and plywood) to build schools and other critical engagement infrastructure. LCU’s and well decks seem to be the only way of doing this and I have yet to find a commercial variant that can do this mission (any suggestions?)
    If I have a LPD-17, I’ve decided that I would like to take elements of a RiverRon along, tucked up on trailors inside. They are a great, flexible assets that we can dump off in the morning, send up river on patrol, and recover at night.
    I still think there is need for an Arleigh Burke to come along to ride shotgun. She can be hull down over the horizon so as to not intimidate the locals, but if we ever need some “anti-” power (anti-air, anti-submarine) I like the idea of having a Burke along.
    Green Water Craft, I’m looking for a replacement for the PCs that is inexpensive enough to be purchased in large numbers to become a ubiquitous shallow water littoral craft. I like the product of Maritime Security Strategies out of Florida, it seems to answer the bill. I think four of these craft, operating with the support of a LPD-17 mothership, could do Building Partnership Capacitiy missions quite well with local, Coast Guard level navies off the coast of Africa, or in the archipelogic waters of the Pacific.
    Lastly, a couple of JHSVs for intra-theater lift would be nice to keep the force resupplied. Add in four helos operating from the Burke and LPD-17, and a plethora of unmanned platforms, and you have an Influence Squadron as I currently conceive it in my own mind. It would be cheap enough to buy in larger numbers to increase our presence and engagement.

  3. Andy permalink
    July 8, 2009 12:16 pm

    @ Scott B,

    Wow, thank you for such a detailed answer, especially grateful for putting it into context for me. Now have even more background reading to do! Thanks for your time.

    Andy.

  4. Scott B. permalink
    July 8, 2009 12:05 pm

    Andy said : “Is there a minimum hull size required to get that kind of kit to work?”

    Here is a possible (non-)answer to your question, for what it’s worth.

    1) The Skjolds displace about 270 tons fully load.

    2) The Skjolds possess excellent vibration characteristics (except perhaps under some specific transition regimes that Bill might want to explain further).

    3) The Skjolds were designed to operate in an environment where geography limits the horizon of your sensors, no matter how high above water they might be.

    4) The Skjolds were designed to operate in an environment where atmospheric conditions make surface ducting much less of a problem than what it is in the Persian Gulf.

    5) Environmental factors (e.g. less severe surface ducting) and design parameters (e.g. FC radar sitting 1.5 to 2.0 meters above water than most vessels with similar displacement) somewhat mitigate multi-pathing effect.

    6) The Skjolds were designed to operate as a part of an extensive coastal netwok, on which they rely heavily for such things as target cueing for instance.

    Does that mean that the Skjolds represent the minimum hull size you’re after ?

    Probably yes, in the specific environment they were designed to operate in, an environment which dictated most (if not all) the characteristics the Skjolds possess.

    Probably yes, if used for the high-speed hit-and-run defensive operations they were designed for.

    Now alter some of the parameters in the above equation, and the Skjolds quickly cease to be an optimized solution.

    This is one of the reasons why the US Navy did not persevere with the Skjolds : the leasing of KNM Skjold by the US Navy in 2001-2002 provided some great insights on how to deal with this kind of OPFOR (not sure these insights were properly capitalized though), but also showed that the design was too specialized for the expeditionary roles the US Navy was looking at.

    And, back in 2007, Norway came pretty close to dropping the gauntlet specifically because of their limited expeditionary capabilities.

  5. Andy permalink
    July 6, 2009 2:55 pm

    @ Scott B, Thanks for information provided, has kept me busy all day with background reading! Apologies for typo in previous post, where it it says “to assertion”, it should of course say “no assertion”.

    The most compelling reasons i seem to be able to find re 1000t corvett is an attempt to limit size and complexity ( hence cost) in order to get more hulls in the water. That said, doesn’t make sense to me if those hulls aren’t capable of doing what is required! I’m not yet convinced that they are.

    I was very interested in the comments regarding sensors and weapons on smaller vessels ( FAC). Especialy the difficulty they have operating to their full potential given the physical and environmental constraints as listed the thread. Is there a minimum hull size required to get that kind of kit to work? Wouldn’t want to send a ship in to harms way without the ability to defend itself.

    Linked to above, is this why nations building modern corvetts seem to be going for aprox 1800t designs? (As well as the need for self deploying.) Eg, the new german and turkish designs.

    Such vessels (K130 Braunschweig class) alongside RN Bay class LSL and as mentioned by you, Absalon Class would seem to naturally complement each other. Or have i got the wrong end of the stick?

  6. Scott B. permalink
    July 6, 2009 6:54 am

    Alex said : “because I have realised the only problem you can find with my idea is the VLS system…”

    What was your idea again ?

  7. Scott B. permalink
    July 6, 2009 6:52 am

    Andy said : “Again, if you have to operate there since thats where the population is”

    Did you read this thread ?

    Nobody’s ever been able to explain why a 1,000-ton corvette is what you want to use in this environment.

    Furthermore, the consensus on this 1,000-ton corvette thingy only exist on the surface, as shown by Mr. Pritchett’s latest blog entry :

    “I have never seen evidence that a fleet of small ships can replace the current Navy force structure. When I see people advocate small fleets to fight a war, even in the littorals, I shake my head.”

  8. July 6, 2009 5:17 am

    My information sources is my trusty, old, tattered, copy of Janes all the worlds weapons systems…it might be out of date now, but I usually find it more accurate than the sales site

    So I could be wrong, or yours could be the weights without the CC module added in, or the base plate. and frankly that is wey of topic; because I have realised the only problem you can find with my idea is the VLS system…and you know what that means its a pretty good Idea to me, so thankyou Scott, for being so kind and showing that the only flaw was a minimal one!

    yours sincerly

    Alex

  9. Andy permalink
    July 6, 2009 4:59 am

    @Scott B,

    Thankyou for the link to that article, the paragraph quoted and others in it (4th from last) are all new information to me. Makes for some interesting reading. Is a bit of an eye opener concerning the interaction of humans/technology/training and intelligence.

    However, how does that series of events mean that smaller ships are incapable of safely operating close to the shoreline? Again, if you have to operate there since thats where the population is, would you rather billion dollar ships got shot at or million dollar ships? Would a DDG as opposed to several smaller vesels, realy be that much more capable in that environment? I make to assertion that the smaller ships must be 1000t. I seek to understand what ships are most capable in that environment and why.

    In addition to this, given that same seies of human and technical failures that led to INS Hanit being hit, wouldn’t any ship have been as vulnerable if the same series of event inflicted it?

    “Ben Ba’ashat explained that two other ships that were in the area identified the missile launch as an IAF aircraft, and concludes that even if the systems were operating, the hit would have occurred.”

    Is the above quote from the earlier link a hint that threat libraries weren’t updated, or is something more going on?

    Thanks,

    Andy.

  10. Scott B. permalink
    July 6, 2009 4:20 am

    Andy said : “The only information i’ve been able to find suggests that this is what happened, do you know diferently?”

    You have to read between the lines. For instance, the paragraph below in this article :

    “[Navy Chief Maj.-Gen.] Ben Ba’ashat explained that two other ships that were in the area identified the missile launch as an IAF aircraft, and concludes that even if the systems were operating, the hit would have occurred.”

  11. Scott B. permalink
    July 6, 2009 4:18 am

    Andy said : “And which is it, would you rather a DDG51 or a corvett took a hit like that?”

    People keep bragging about taking back the littorals within the 25nm limit the Big Ships dread and proclaiming that the mythical 1,000-ton corvette is the way to go.

    INS Hanit, a 1,000-ton corvette, was hit when she was about 9nm off the Coast of Lebanon.

    Why the pro-corvette crowd keep ignoring this *warning shot* is simply beyond me…

  12. Scott B. permalink
    July 6, 2009 3:26 am

    Alex said : “I think you just gave the weight for the sylver A-30, but fine your figures say one thing, mine say another – thats life in the information age.”

    1) There’s no such thing as Sylver A-30. Smallest Sylver currently envisioned in A-35 (no customer at present).

    2) The 8-cell Sylver A-43 is 7,500 kg empty.
    The 8-cell Sylver A-50 is 8,000 kg empty.

    3) Weights above come straight from EUROSAM

    4) There’s no such thing as *your* figures vs *my* figures. Either you can provide at least one credible source supporting your claims, or you can’t. That’s life in the information age.

  13. Andy permalink
    July 5, 2009 7:22 pm

    @ Scott B

    Andy said : “would you rather a corvett took the hit or DDG51?”

    Scott said : ‘What makes you think a DDG-51 would even take the hit INS Hanit took in the first place ?’

    Answer=Human error, technical error, s!£t happens. Take your pick. All happened before, likely to again. The technology may change, the human animal doesn’t seem to. And which is it, would you rather a DDG51 or a corvett took a hit like that?

    Why is it that the Human error ‘thingy’ is bogus? You haven’t realy answered my question. The only information i’ve been able to find suggests that this is what happened, do you know diferently? If so, please tell. Otherwise how am i meant to learn and form correct opinions/ideas!?

    Thanks.

    Andy.

  14. July 5, 2009 7:20 pm

    I think you just gave the weight for the sylver A-30, but fine your figures say one thing, mine say another – thats life in the information age.

    I note you do not dispute the capability; and broadly speaking if we were giving them an even playing field on that strenght, surely we should be comparing T41vls to A-70.

    I still consider your view on weight of weapons interesting; especially when considering the fewer crew required for manning modern ships, the more efficient engines – giving greater distance for less fuel carried, of course a greater amount of weight can be given over to weapons.

    yours sincerly

    Alex

  15. Scott B. permalink
    July 5, 2009 6:34 pm

    Alex said : “(and the Sylver system is heavier than the Type 41 for less capability).”

    The Mark-41 VLS (Tactical Length) is heavier than the Sylver A-50 : 32,000 lbs for the former vs 17,637 lbs for the latter (both figures for an 8-cell launcher, empty).

  16. Scott B. permalink
    July 5, 2009 6:25 pm

    Alex said : “as for the facts about the weights, i don’t dispute your figures, but included in weapons are reloads, helicopters, even sensor systems such as radar are now included under that weight.”

    Included in the 10% payload fraction I mentioned earlier are :

    1) Command & Surveillance Systems
    2) Armament
    3) Mission Expendables

  17. Scott B. permalink
    July 5, 2009 6:19 pm

    Alex said : “switching off your active sensors, will allow a better chance of masking you approach, couple that with basic stealthing such as 7 degree angle of all surfaces, some decent temperature control and proper light limitation combined with size should limit your exposure, especially if you are operating close to shore at night.”

    What happened to the unfortunate INS Hanit doesn’t seem to support your assumptions, does it ?

  18. July 5, 2009 6:06 pm

    no scott, but switching off your active sensors, will allow a better chance of masking you approach, couple that with basic stealthing such as 7 degree angle of all surfaces, some decent temperature control and proper light limitation combined with size should limit your exposure, especially if you are operating close to shore at night.

    its not going to be purfect; but if you say no to everything that is not purfect, you end up with nothing, and therefore do nothing; in warfare it is about minimising risks to an acceptable level – and that level depends apon the mission.

    as for the facts about the weights, i don’t dispute your figures, but included in weapons are reloads, helicopters, even sensor systems such as radar are now included under that weight. But more importantly, the Type 45 is not fitted with its full capability weapons outfit (and the Sylver system is heavier than the Type 41 for less capability).

    yours sincerly

    Alex

  19. Scott B. permalink
    July 5, 2009 5:54 pm

    Alex said : “Scott they were really underarmed.”

    The NFR-90 had the same number of VLS cells (48) and the same number of main guns (1) as the Type 45.

    The DD-963 had more VLS cells (61) and more main guns (2) than the Type 45.

  20. Scott B. permalink
    July 5, 2009 5:51 pm

    Alex said : “a DDG with enough sm-3’s and radar’s to be able to provide the corvette with information, without having to turn on its own…so it can hide its own location,

    1. Because you switch your sensors off doesn’t mean you become *invisible*. You still have a radar, thermal, acoustic and visual signature.

    2. Conversely, switching your sensors on doesn’t necessarily make you *visible*. E.g. radars with extremely low sidelobes and main lobe changing direction continuously are very difficult to detect and/or jam.

  21. July 5, 2009 5:50 pm

    Scott they were really underarmed.

    actually 27% was the standard of wooden ships; but according to a recent study by some very senior naval architects in Britain, they found it is complete bunkum put arround by accountants that it needs 10%, hence the type 45’s 16%, and the projected C1’s 20%.

    it is something which has come about as one side has used it to justify larger ships, and another has used it to limit costs…afterall the weapons are often the most expensive part.

    yours sincerly

    Alex

  22. Scott B. permalink
    July 5, 2009 5:43 pm

    Alex said : “its about 3000tons which is required; to build a decent small warship, capable of keeping up with fleet operations; and carry a decent weapons load…about 810tons worth of.

    The payload fraction on conventional monohull designs like the FFG-7, the aborted NFR-90 or the DD-963 is about 10%.

    IOW, a payload of 800 tons requires a ship that’s going to displace MUCH MORE than 3,000 tons.

  23. Scott B. permalink
    July 5, 2009 5:36 pm

    Andy said : “Besides wasn’t INS Hanit hit because of human error on the part of the israels navy?”

    The *human error* / *system switched off* thingy is BOGUS.

    What happened to INS Hanit should be an eye-opener for all those who believe you can mess around in the 25NM range band with a corvette and still expect to get away with it…

  24. Scott B. permalink
    July 5, 2009 5:35 pm

    Andy said : “would you rather a corvett took the hit or DDG51?”

    What makes you think a DDG-51 would even take the hit INS Hanit took in the first place ?

  25. July 5, 2009 5:32 pm

    1000ton corvette – where is that going to serve? what exactly will it have enough to do? 1000tons is patrol boat – baby, the sort of thing with a 30mm pop pop on the front, its going to do nothing.

    sorry if I am being even more annoying than usual, I had a school renuinion today…never a good experience.

    its about 3000tons which is required; to build a decent small warship, capable of keeping up with fleet operations; and carry a decent weapons load…about 810tons worth of.

    the point is a corvette is less likely a get it when it has umbrella’s to assist in its own defence; i.e. a CAP, a DDG with enough sm-3’s and radar’s to be able to provide the corvette with information, without having to turn on its own…so it can hide its own location, until the strike. therefore the corvette becomes even more potent as it is operating in concert as part of a combined effort; it is the combined power projection which is the future of deterence, and it is the combined attack that holds the future of successes of war – especially at sea, the only 5 dimensioned battlefield as of yet (undersea, surface, air, amphibious and space) – suggesting attachment to just one concept and one methodology will limit a commanders ability of action in other areas.

    yours sincerly

    Alex

  26. Andy permalink
    July 5, 2009 5:13 pm

    Scott B wrote, ‘Was INS Hanit *less of a target* when she was hit on July 14, 2006 ?’

    Isn’t that an awfully depends question? From Israel/HB point of view there couldn’t of been any more of a target navy wise. However, from the perspective of a possible future USN force that contains dozens of such vesels, would you rather a corvett took the hit or DDG51? Against a more sophisticated foe is someone realy going to be willing to waste suprise and firepower taking out such a ship?

    Besides wasn’t INS Hanit hit because of human error on the part of the israels navy?

    Sorry, lots of questions, but i’m still learning about the whole concept.

  27. Scott B. permalink
    July 5, 2009 4:57 pm

    Mike Burleson said : “Thankfully we have the answer in the small corvette of 1000 tons or less, which is more expendable than a 10,000 ton battleship, likely more survivable in such waters due to being less of a target

    Was INS Hanit *less of a target* when she was hit on July 14, 2006 ?

    Just askin’…

  28. Scott B. permalink
    July 5, 2009 4:55 pm

    Mike Burleson said : “We are determined to see useful numbers return to the fleet, with hi/lo varieties of every kind instead of the all hi, or mostly hi Navy which is no longer affordable, or even needed for today’s threats.”

    Why does the *Lo* in the Hi/Lo mix have to be a 1,000-ton corvette ?

    We’ve already discussed some of the issues involved in the past, for instance in this thread.

    Rather than repeating the same things ad nauseum, perhaps we should take it from there and move forward.

  29. Mike Burleson permalink
    July 5, 2009 3:49 pm

    Concerning the idea that small ships need “protection” or cover from a larger missile ship. Big Ships themselves are under peril from the small craft equipped with new precision weapons, far more advanced than when the USN helicopters mowed down the Iranian FACs in the 1980s. Swarm tactics will be the antidote to the few large helicopter destroyers which some think good enough to manage any threat in the littorals.

    Likewise will a Western Influence squadron depend on itself for protection, while letting the Big Ships keep the Blue Water. There will be two types of corvettes, one hi end missile corvettes, and a lo end patrol ship like the OPV. Unlike what someone said, i don’t see an “all-corvette navy, but there will be room for smaller vessels such as FACs and patrol boats, high speed vessels like Stiletto, and so on. The point of taking the Navy back to basics is a return to choice in shipbuilding, with every warship type now leaning toward $1 billion each or more. Destroyers, cruisers, and frigates, they are nearly indistinguishable now and so much over-kill or wasting assets for pirates in speed boats.

    We are determined to see useful numbers return to the fleet, with hi/lo varieties of every kind instead of the all hi, or mostly hi Navy which is no longer affordable, or even needed for today’s threats. More precision weapons at sea will not only make the small ship navy better than in past years, but more than adequate to defend its own.

  30. Andy permalink
    July 5, 2009 10:50 am

    @ Alex, Thanks for clarification and expansion, was thinking out loud and try to get it straight. Wanted to make sure i wasn’t being daft. Some of the other posters didn’t seem to be ‘getting it’ and it was a little confusing for a laymen such as myself.

  31. July 5, 2009 6:19 am

    Andy, that is exactly what I have been saying, the corvettes do the inshore work, they maximise the effect of the DDGs; the supply ships take care of the rest, and by having an LSLa along you don’t need to worry about them having to use space to carry marine logistics; also the LSLa is small enough and easy enough to procure, that you could dispatch it to conduct limited operations on its own, with only a couple of corvettes to escort; again allowing maximisation of the force.

    I would also like to point out, the corvettes I support, do not carry troops, they do not carry modules, they are small, general purpose, warships, with enough weapons to be useful, but not so many that they become ‘worthwhile’ targets for Subs and major air strikes. I do not like the LCS, in fact if it was me making the orders, I would order (for the same price) 2 corvettes fitting the outline above, and Absolon class, and a Bay Class – and that would be an excelent Littoral Combat Force!

    yours sincerly

    Alex

  32. Andy permalink
    July 5, 2009 5:11 am

    Erm… aren’t the corvettes meant to be supported by one of the supply ships acting as a mothership? The corvettes being deployed to allow the more sophisticated ships (DDG51) to hold down/control more ocean by getting more sensors and weapons out there? Don’t arm them to much that you can’t afford to buy them in numbers. However, arm them enough so that they have to be treated with respect. I believe this is the way the RN used to operate in 18th/19th century. Small ships forward deployed under the protection of the big guns of the battlefleet/battlecruisers.

  33. Scott B. permalink
    July 5, 2009 3:51 am

    Mike Burleson said : “Apparently Scott, you haven’t been listening to me at all!”

    I did.

    Then I observed that what you were trying to do what to re-run the exact same software that led to the LCS.

    Then I explained that merely re-booting won’t take all the bugs away from the software, meaning you’ll get the exact same results.

    Finally, I suggested that what was needed was a change in paradigm, not a mere change in narrative.

  34. CBD permalink
    July 4, 2009 11:01 pm

    Scott B.,
    A small escort would be one of several small vessels. Burleson has argued for a 1000 ton corvette, but there’s certainly a use in the fleet for smaller, simpler PC-style vessels. Given the obsession with self-deployment capability and Galrahn’s requirement that any such vessel have sufficient capacity to place a company-level force with each sub-squadron of 1 LCS and 4 PC/Corvettes. Given the interior capacity of the LCS-2 (or LCS-1 + HSV) to bear stores and support manned helicopters, the smaller vessels would have an adequate command and support unit.

    Check the “Mabus and Exotic vessels” post for what I’d like in the 600ton-category.

    References:
    Galrahn’s post on a theoretical Littoral Squadron:
    http://www.informationdissemination.net/2009/06/gates-10-naval-force-for-mullens-1000.html

    Mabus post:
    https://newwars.wordpress.com/2009/07/04/mabus-questions-exotic-ship-buying/

  35. Mike Burleson permalink
    July 4, 2009 8:42 pm

    Apparently Scott, you haven’t been listening to me at all! LOL

    More next week…

  36. Scott B. permalink
    July 4, 2009 5:24 pm

    Alex said : “you don’t have the corvettes”

    What are the corvettes for ? How do you deploy them ? How do you support them once deployed ?

  37. July 4, 2009 5:10 pm

    Smitty

    you don’t have that group though; you don’t have the corvettes, you don’t deploy them as that, their air group is rarely if ever tailoured

    Hendrix’s squadron can do squat apart from show the flag and take on a third world navy; the influence/presence/intervention group is capable of far more, I realise it is similar to ESG, but it is different the ESG is an amphibious force, and assault group, it is not an influence group, it needs that CBG as well in order to wage a war; that is what is designed as – a component in a Naval Task Force – not a Force on its own.

    the heavier group is a presence squadron modified for Intervention, the light group (16) of which 8 or 50% are corvettes, 2 are supply ships, 1 is the LHD, 1 is and LSls(which carrier more troops, but more importantly carries logistics for the troops); major war capability 3 DDGs + 1 SSK/SSN – these transform it from something which is a presence into something which is a credible threat – and that is the psychologically important thing when operating in support of humanitarian operations.

    yours sincerly

    Alex

  38. B.Smitty permalink
    July 4, 2009 4:54 pm

    Alex,

    My point is we already have your group. It’s called an ESG. Unfortunaely
    , we can’t afford to buy and man enough of them to sustain a presence everywhere we want to be.

    We are also discovering the benefits of “soft power”, where showing up with a huge fleet of warship actually hurts your cause.

    Hendrix’s squadron is aimed directly at these soft power deployments, and not at the traditional missions of an ESG.

  39. Scott B. permalink
    July 4, 2009 4:45 pm

    CBD said : “A HSV, LSD, or LPD with a 2-3 small ship escort to train with local forces”

    Any real-life example of what this *small ship escort* would look like ?

  40. July 4, 2009 4:25 pm

    no Smitty, that is the point of them in war; in Humanitarian intervention, its low foot print, because it is low land foot print – the key is minimise the troops based permanently inside country; as permanent of foreign soldiers often become represented as ‘occupiers’ – this even happened in Kosovo. added to this troops in country are often easier to manipulate and to limit; where as troops based at sea are unknown, they can descend from above or the blue without warning. Added to all this it saves money in building command centres, baracks, helipads…all of which are mobile and can moved easily from intervention to intervention.

    We are not talking about warfighting inviroment – wars are easy you send in the CBGs and marine divisions and its over in a few days; interventions, peacekeeping, peace enforcement – they are difficult, the are time consuming and they are a whole different breed of phsycological warfare.

    Hendrix’s idea is good for presence, its good for influence stable nation states; its not as capable of ramping for unstable scenarios; or the second group which you seem to be so fixated on deriding which is powerful enough to carry out 75% of interventions; with no other forces required. yes its heavier than your ford, but unlike your ford it does not get beat by the citroen; it can stand on its own against any threat it is likely to deal with.

    yours sincerly

    Alex

  41. CBD permalink
    July 4, 2009 4:02 pm

    I have some more specific ideas, but I’ll talk about those NOT on the 4th.

    FYI
    Their specific specs of the above allied ships follows:

    KD Handalan-class (aka Spica-M, Swedish)
    Length: 43.6m
    Breadth: 7.1m
    Draught: 2.4m
    Displacement: 240t (std), <290t (full)
    R: 1600-1700nm @ 14knots
    Top Speed: 35knots
    Crew: 40 (6 officers + 34 enlisted crew)

    Armament:
    1, 57mm bofors
    1, 40mm bofors DP
    4, Exocet (MM-38 series)
    http://malfianm.multiply.com/reviews/item/5

    Katsuri-class “frigate”
    Based on Meko 100 series, just like the one Israel just opted for…
    Length: 97.3 m
    Breadth: 11.3 m
    Draught: 3.5 m
    Displacement: 1,500t (std), 1,850t (full)
    R: 5,000 nm@14 knots
    Top Speed: 28 knots
    Crew: 124

    1 x 100mm/55 Creusot Loire Compact MK2
    1 x 57mm/70 Bofors SAK Mk 1
    2x 30mm/85 Emerson Electric Mk74 twin mountings.
    8, Exocet (MM40 series)

    Bofors 375mm twin barrel ASW Mortar (6 tubes)
    MANPAD launchers stowed

    1x landing platform for small helicopter aft.
    (Planned refits: replace 100mm with 76 or 57mm gun, replace ASW mortar with torpedo launchers, add CIWS gun system in place of aft 57mm gun)
    http://malfianm.multiply.com/reviews/item/2
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kasturi_class_frigate

  42. CBD permalink
    July 4, 2009 3:58 pm

    What does the US have that is equivalent? Nothing, but we have a lot of shipbuilders who have built such ships. If we accept a high-low balance the cost of the ships would have to be justified for peacetime roles.

    A ship that can swap out heavy, high powered weapons systems (ie, offensive land-attack and anti-ship missiles) in favor of lighter OPV-style armaments for peacetime patrols (improving sea-keeping and opening up space for VBSS-capable teams) would also provide an attractive, relatively cheap system that could restock the USCG fleet.

    Best of all, these USCG vessels could serve as an auxiliary to the USN and would fit into the USN spares and maintenance system if they’re deployed overseas (like the many USCG vessels patrolling off of Iraq today).

    The USCG operated many ex-USN ships following WWII and the benefits to both fleets were numerous. Why not plan for this? The peacetime roles of a USN and USCG patrol vessel are nearly identical (especially given the role of the former off of Somalia and of the latter in the Gulf of Mexico).

    In peacetime, the role of these vessels would be maritime interdiction & patrol as well as regional partnership platforms. A HSV, LSD, or LPD with a 2-3 small ship escort to train with local forces is less impressive than one escorted by a Burke-class DDG, but cheaper and more appropriate in most cases. These smaller vessels will still be far superior to most of the local vessels and (best of all) could actually be purchased/gifted by/to local navies (benefiting both future cooperative efforts and the US industrial base).

    In their wartime role of littoral dominance operations, escort of amphibious vessels in the near-shore environment, surface fire support (yes, even their small guns, at close range, would be a big improvement) and higher-risk MIO/CP&I/VBSS operations, the ships could be upgraded before deployment at the nearest forward basing port (or even from a tender) to deal with the more dangerous environment.

  43. B.Smitty permalink
    July 4, 2009 3:54 pm

    Low footprint? How is three amphibs, up to four destroyers and half a dozen corvettes a “low footprint”?

    The point of Hendrix’s squadron is it’s low profile. From his article,

    “These forces, operating every day around the world, would represent the preponderance of visible U.S. naval power. Their understated capabilities would epitomize America’s peaceful, non-aggressive intent, and would carry out the new maritime strategy’s stated purpose of providing positive influence forward. However, the Influence Squadron, carrying credible firepower across a broad area of operations, could also serve to either dissuade or destroy pirate networks that might seek to prey upon increasingly vulnerable commercial sea lines of communication.”

    The point is not to deliver “maximum psychological effect”. That’s the job of ESGs and CVBGs.

    The point is to make a large number of small, positive, sustained effects over a period of years or decades. It’s to win “hearts and minds”, not intimidate them.

  44. July 4, 2009 2:13 pm

    yes; but the larger one, is designed to also operate in the Sea Based Intervention role; something which I and many others believe is going to be the future for UN operations, primarily due to its low foot print, and maximum psychological effect.

    Hendrix’s groups option is very interesting, but I feel is limited in its ability to generate its presence into actual effect.

    yours sincerly

    Alex

  45. B.Smitty permalink
    July 4, 2009 1:07 pm

    Alex,

    Perhaps, but you are still talking about a very large and expensive group that bears a striking resemblance to an ESG.

    Hendrix, at least, had a much more modest concept in mind.

  46. July 4, 2009 12:40 pm

    B.Smitty

    I suggest you read the Seven Years War by Julian Corbett; Specifically volume 1,

    I am sorry but influence squadrons, were not Roosevelt or his admirals idea, are not Cmdr Hendrix’s idea, they were not even Corbett’s, they have been a natural response by any government wishing to maximise the effect of its navy in peace time

    as for it being a ferrari…here is my point if I was buying these I would not buy super carriers; it may look like a ferrari; but its actually an aston martin, cheaper, more comfortable and a lot more fun to drive! what I am proposing is a balance of the abilities; I am not saying the DDGs should be Zumwalts, or even Arleigh Burkes (although they are the most powerful design availble), I do not believe that the size of ship means it has to be ultra expensive…afterall most ships are composed of air (which was free last time I checked), its what you put in it, and I prefer to build a ship that godd value for money, equipped of the shelf, and easy to upgrade – so that if you need to you can. I believe that if you built a destroy with that philosophy you would have a good ship; I believe if you built this whole group using that philosophy, you would get all the power you need, all the capability you need and also at the price you need.

    I would also point out that for a sea based humanitarian Intervention operation; at minimum you need a brigade of personnel; and those are the vessels you need to support a brigade with the helicopters and heavy equipment it might require for enforcement operations.

    yours sincerly

    Alex

  47. B.Smitty permalink
    July 4, 2009 12:05 pm

    Alex,

    You should go read Cdr Hendrix original article on Influence Squadrons, “Buy a Ford, not a Ferrari”.

    http://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/story.asp?STORY_ID=1838

    What you propose looks like a scaled up ESG “Ferrari”.

  48. July 4, 2009 7:26 am

    that is not overkill…I am sorry Mike but as you have said escorts either need to be built too be invulnerable or invincible…when you are protecting an amphibious assault, or vessels the size of an LHD, LPD or 1-Stop Replenishment ship…then there is no invisible option…that is why you need the DDG-51 IIa’s…this is where they come in to play!

    This is where they make sense, you always talk about the RN of nelson’s day having so many smaller ships…especially in the inshore squadrons (what might now be called presence/influence squadrons)however they always had two Second Rate 74’s and a fast First Rate along as well…because if the enemy fleet came out, you had to be able to give those brigs, sloops, swans and frigates a chance to get away…you had to be able to give them something which could smash the enemy 44’s which would be sent too get them.

    this means in an influence/presence squardon they have three roles; deep strike with tomahawks, the ‘invulnerables’ capable of defending the ‘unmissables’, and of providing the ‘over-the-horizon big brother’ capable of coming to the rescue of the smaller brethen should they get into trouble.

    also mike note the ration Little Escort 6-8, Big Escort 3(4), or a 2:1 – 8:3 ratio of vessels, would require that a ratio of buid. However, if you want an influence/presence squadron, you can not build one to be successful without the ‘presence’ of a larger escort or three to support it; they are the vessels which will make the important port visits, they are the ones which will be used to show you are there; as it is often their sheer size, scale and weaponry which will have the impact…far more than the knowledge that their is a myriad of little ‘daggers’ waiting off the coast.

    yours sincerly

    Alex

  49. Mike Burleson permalink
    July 4, 2009 7:05 am

    Alex, the problem I have with a large DDG, it is for area defense, where all strikes by cruise missiles have been of the pop-up variety, with only seconds of warning and often none at all. So in a case like this, especially in littorals waters, point defense would be all-important, and for this a missile corvette is more than adequate. Such a ship also can carry the new Standard ESSM, also a good short range SAM.

    Now with newer build DDG-51 destroyers also carrying ESSM, they can fit four of these in an old Standard VLS cell. Now they have room for 90 older missiles, so potentially with the shorter range weapon you get 360 missiles on a single platform (in practice it would be a mix of Tomahawks, ASROC, but you get my point). This seems to be so much overkill on a single platform, far from cost-effective, and not taking advantage of the revolution brought on by the miniaturization of warfare. So we get bigger, costlier warships, and a lot fewer of them.

    I’m off-topic again as usual but the point is, the Influence Squadron should be a cost-effective alternative to the giant Blue Water battleships, but cost -effective these days with revolutionary weapons doesn’t mean they are underarmed.

  50. July 4, 2009 6:22 am

    Surely the best form of influence squardon would be

    1 x LHD (or light carrier of 30-40,000tons) with a heavy fighter mix…i.e.32 instead of the usual 16
    1(2) x LSL a(like the Bay Class) http://amphibiousnecessity.blogspot.com/2009/06/bay-classbrilliant-motherships-or-just.html
    2(3) x 1-Stop Replenishment ships…
    3(4) x DDG for defense of the core ships; as well providing inital area air defence for any possible landings
    6-8 x FSG (corvetts), multi-role arnament, must be capable of assisting in the MCM role as well
    1 x SSK/SSN it does not really matter which but the presence and co-operation of such a useful assit as a submarine is never to be snuffed at
    (1) x LPD, if instead of just providing a presence force, you are sea basing for an intervention, then the LPD will be a tool you should not go without, nor the extra LSL or extra DDG (the extra supply ship explains itself)…these three vessels will take the total group size to 14-16 to 17-20; but it will be neccessary due to the more intensive operations required by support of humanitarian interventions and low level conflict…the extra ships would also raised total embarked land forces from aroun 1500 to 3000+ or about a brigade strength formation. This group in Royal navy terms would all be placed under the command of a Commodore as ITG&CNOB/Brigadier CLF…although in british practice they work as equals.

    this would be the presence+ force I suppose, but it is not that different from the presence one

    yours sincerly

    Alex

  51. Mike Burleson permalink
    July 3, 2009 6:45 pm

    “where did you read that they were to supersede ESG’s?”

    Solomon, check out the link in the post.

    You idea of Influence Squadrons sounds suspiciously like the “not meant to fight” attitude currently alive in the USN Establishment. I reject it as being historically inaccurate and currently very dangerous, with pirates and Red Chinese making a mockery of the Maritime Strategy as is.

  52. solomon permalink
    July 3, 2009 5:05 pm

    If you’re speaking of the Influence squadrons that I’ve read about then you can dispense with the guided missile destroyers and the corvettes. The squadron is purely a diplomatic, military to military exchange vehicle with a big dose of humanitarian aid tossed in. It also helps to fly the flag. The gun and missile ships are not needed.

    ps.
    where did you read that they were to supersede ESG’s?

  53. Scott B. permalink
    July 3, 2009 4:15 pm

    Mike Burleson said : “with all that is missing are the high speed vessels.”

    What is the HSV supposed to contribute in this heteroclitical (and largely impractical) mix ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: