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Build Your Own Navy-Radicalized!

November 14, 2009

For something fun, here is a little game created by David Axe, and presented to us by frequent commenter Heretic, whose chart I am borrowing with a few radical adjustments. Within the points I have also added motherships, arsenal ships, corvettes, and offshore patrol vessels, which though not realistic as yet, such craft will be more desired as the price for large warships, or even their need, becomes out of reach for even the superpowers.

Here is Axe’s original post for reference. I think I will stick with his original estimate that the USN will average $14 billion annually for now.

So here are your choices and your $14 billion, good luck! I’ll post my own later. Thanks again Heretic for lighting a fire!


1 point = $0.1 billion dollars

90 points : CVN-21 Ford-class aircraft carrier
30 points : LHA-6 America-class assault ship
30 points : SSGN (new-build stretched Virginias?)
15 points : LPD-17 San Antonio-class assault ship
50 points : DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer
20 points : DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
20 points : SSN-774 Virginia-class submarine
5 points : Type 212 SSP (shallow water)
5 points : Type 214 SSP (deep water)
6 points : LCS
5 points : T-AKE Lewis and Clark-class logistics ship
2 points : JHSV

Those of you who feel bolder:

10 points : Light Helicopter Assault (Mistral, Dokdo)
10 points : Arsenal ship (commercial off the shelf hull. 500-1000 missiles)
7 points : Aegis mothership (commercial off the shelf hull)
4 points : Mothership (Commercial of the shelf auxiliary warship)
3 points : Danish Absalon Flexible Support Ship
3 points : Corvette (high-end missile)
2 points : OPV (off shore patrol vessel)
2 points : Mine Warfare ships

37 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    September 14, 2020 4:45 am

    I’d centre my entire navy on “battlegroups”, similarly to what the US Navy currently does!
    I’m also going to make a few changes, and add my own ship types.

    So, first we’ll look at Carrier Battle Groups.
    We need 13 aircraft carriers for power projection. We have three “zones of operation” that are imperative: the Middle East, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean. We need 4 aircraft carriers for each area: 1 to be preparing for its mission, 1 to be active, 1 to be returning from its mission, and 1 to be in maintenance. Add an extra aircraft carrier to be in deep maintenance, and that’s 13. If we go with a HMS Queen Elizabeth design, since it’s much, much more cost-effective: for $4.875B you get an aircraft carrier that can carry about 70 F35s. For $12.8B you get an aircraft carrier that can carry 75 F35s.
    You can alter the design to be in a CATOBAR arrangement. You can also add a nuclear reactor if desired. I would also recommend adding some Mk41 VLS, 24-36 cells. From some brief googling, I’d expect that to cost about $5.275B apiece. Assuming these are built roughly every 4 years, for 50 years, that would annually cost $1.375B. If aiding an amphibious assault, these carriers can land up to 900 troops.

    I want some destroyers in my Carrier Battle Groups, and I want 3 destroyers per battle group. So, 39 destroyers. South Korea’s Sejong the Great-class Destroyers are teaming with weapons (128 missiles vs Burke’s 96) and cost half that of the Arleigh Burke. So, we’re looking at 39 destroyers at $923 million. That’s $36B. Build 2 per year, for 20 years, and the annual cost is $1.846B.

    Next, frigates. In my opinion, the best frigate that isn’t the Russian Gorshkov-class, is the German Sachsen-class. These cost $830 million per ship, with 56 missiles and 42 RAM missiles, for a total of 98. I would recommend 4 frigates per battle group to complement the 3 destroyers. That means 52 frigates, at $43.16B. Commission 2 a year, and the annual cost is $1.66B.

    Finally, submarines. The Royal Navy Astute-class is faster than the US Navy’s Virginia-class, sacrificing some weapons. However, the Virginia costs $2.8B per ship. The Astute costs $1.83B, so I would pick the Astute. We need 2 submarines per battle group, so that’s 26 submarines. With about 2 every 3 years, the annual cost is $1.22B.

    The total cost annually for the Carrier Battle Groups is $6.1B for 130 ships. Each Carrier Battle Group will have 72 F35s, 776 missiles and be able to land 900 troops if aiding an amphibious assault.

    Next, we need a Strategic Deterrent. We need 12 SSBNs, I’d recommend sticking with the Columbia-class. For $4.9B per submarine, and 1 being built every 2 years, that’s $2.45B a year.

    The next Battle Group: Expeditionary Battle Groups. I would recommend 13 Battle Groups for the same reason as the Carrier Groups.
    First, we need 13 America-class Landing Helicopter Assault Ships. These ships have all the newest technology, with increased room for F35Bs and helicopters. They are essentially carriers in and of themselves, while also being able to land 1,687 marines. These cost $3.4B per ship, but I think we only need build one every 3 years. That is an annual cost of $1.13B.

    Secondly, we need 26 San Antonio-class amphibious transport docks: 13 landing platform dock ship-configuration, 13 dock landing ship-configuration. These ships can land 800 soldiers, as well as having defensive VLS. These ships cost $1.6B. If we build 1 a year, and the total annual cost is $1.6B.

    Finally, we need some escorts. I would recommend a destroyer and a frigate. Based on our previous calculations, we need 13 destroyers and 13 frigates for escorting these assault ships. This doesn’t increase the annual cost, we can just add a few extra years of shipbuilding. When there’s some money freed up, they can be built then.

    These Expeditionary Battle Groups can land 3,287 troops, and can defend themselves even without escorts, but I’ve added escorts for power projection reasons, and to play on the safe size. A fleet with 5 ships is more intimidating than a fleet with 3, anyway. They will have an annual cost of $2.73B.

    Finally, I think we should have some extra destroyers, frigates and submarines around for good luck. With our remaining 2.78B, I would build an extra Sachsen-class frigate every year for $830M. Furthermore, I would also build an extra Sejong the Great-class Destroyer every year for $923M. I can build 1 Astute-class Submarine every 2 years, with only $40 million remaining.

    In conclusion, I have:
    13 Carrier Battle Groups with:
    -1 Aircraft Carrier
    -3 Destroyers
    -4 Frigates
    -2 Submarines
    13 Expeditionary Battle Groups with:
    -1 Landing Helicopter Assault Ship
    -1 Landing Platform Dock
    -1 Dock Landing Ship
    -1 Destroyer
    -1 Frigate
    A strategic deterrent with:
    -12 Ballistic Missile Submarines

    And my navy contains:
    -13 Aircraft Carriers
    -60 Destroyers
    -78 Frigates
    -46 Submarines
    -13 Landing Helicopter Assault Ships
    -13 Landing Platform Docks
    -13 Dock Landing Ships
    For a total of 236 ships.

    In an amphibious assault, (albeit an unrealistic one) I could land a total of 55,000 marines and 1,200 F35s.

  2. April 24, 2013 4:10 am

    You nailed it again my good friend carry on the excellent work I usually get enjoyment from the content.
    . !

  3. December 16, 2012 9:46 pm

    I am most pleased to see many rethinking the configuration of the fleet.
    As given below, using most cost effective in class can provide a great fleet
    for much less.

    Please note the presence of 180 frigates in my proposal, supported by
    60 Type 45 destroyers
    56 Corvettes
    112 PVs
    8 Heavy Cruisers
    To support 5 CVVs 10CVSs & 12 LPDs

    V/STOL CVS “principe de asturias design” $350,000,000.00 10 $3,500,000,000.00
    Sea Harriers $19,000,000.00 170 $3,230,000,000.00
    SM27-S/T 2003 Machete $7,500,000.00 200 $1,500,000,000.00
    AS 565 Panther Helo $10,000,000.00 120 $1,200,000,000.00
    Type 45 Destroyer $980,000,000.00 40 $39,200,000,000.00
    Nansen Class ASW Frigate $560,000,000.00 60 $33,600,000,000.00
    Maestral Class ASW 3000 ton Frigate $225,000,000.00 60 $13,500,000,000.00
    VSTOL Task Force Cost $9,573,000,000.00
    STOL SCB125 CVV “Oriskany Design” $750,000,000.00 5 $3,750,000,000.00
    Mig 29K fighter $29,000,000.00 150 $4,350,000,000.00
    SM27-S/T 2003 Machete $7,500,000.00 150 $1,125,000,000.00
    AS 565 Panther Helo $10,000,000.00 50 $500,000,000.00
    E2D aircraft $252,000,000.00 10 $2,520,000,000.00
    Type 45 Destroyer $980,000,000.00 20 $19,600,000,000.00
    Nansen Class ASW Frigate $560,000,000.00 30 $16,800,000,000.00
    Maestral Class ASW 3000 ton Frigate $225,000,000.00 30 $6,750,000,000.00
    STOL Task Force Cost $11,079,000,000.00
    Maestral Class GP 3000 ton Frigate $225,000,000.00 14 $3,150,000,000.00
    Soldato Class 2000 ton Frigate $225,000,000.00 28 $6,300,000,000.00
    Minerva Class GP 1000 ton Corvette $100,000,000.00 56 $5,600,000,000.00
    Fearless Class OPV 500 ton Patrol Vessel $175,000,000.00 112 $19,600,000,000.00
    Hunt Class MCMV $30,000,000.00 168 $5,040,000,000.00
    C130J-30 AEW&C $171,400,000.00 18 $2,999,500,000.00
    Mig 29K fighter $ 29,000,000.00 420 $12,180,000,000.00
    Coastal Force Cost $54,869,500,000.00
    Rotterdam Class LPD $370,000,000.00 4 $1,480,000,000.00
    Navantia LCM-1E landing Craft $3,000,000.00 32 $96,000,000.00
    AS 565 Panther Helo $10,000,000.00 32 $320,000,000.00
    Endurance Class LPD $142,000,000.00 8 $1,136,000,000.00
    Navantia LCM-1E landing Craft $3,000,000.00 32 $96,000,000.00
    AS 565 Panther Helo $10,000,000.00 32 $320,000,000.00
    Desmoines Class Heavy Cruiser (gun) $500,000,000.00 8 $4,000,000,000.00
    C 130J Hercules $90,000,000.00 50 $4,500,000,000.00
    Amphibious Task Force Cost $2,987,000,000.00
    Scorpene SSK $825,000,000.00 28 $23,100,000,000.00
    Amur SSK $100,000,000.00 56 $5,600,000,000.00
    Barracuda SSN $1,400,000,000.00 14 $19,600,000,000.00
    S1000 Class SSK $600,000,000.00 28 $16,800,000,000.00
    Le Terrible SSBN $3,800,000,000.00 5 $17,556,000,000.00
    Submarine Force Cost $82,656,000,000.00
    TtOTAL COST $300,598,500,000.00
    Number Ships 1,699 Aircraft 550

  4. Bob permalink
    February 11, 2012 8:48 am

    Why is it neither Axe’s nor this one include a SINGLE FRIGATE?? Is there something I don’t know about new naval theories? Are frigates now serious naval faux pas? Given the serious constraints here, with the average price for the new era of ship having to be $1.3bn, even the AB destroyers are too expensive to fill the navy with. It can only be inexpensive frigates. So, I’ve included them at the LCS price.

    In total, with 10 CV groups (1xCV, 1xDDG-X, 2xDDG, 3xFFG, 2xSSN, + T-AKE = 24.3bn)
    plus 7 Amphibious groups (LHA, LPD, Dokdo-class, 2xDDG, 3xFFG, SSN, 2xSSP, T-AKE, 2xJHSV = 15.2bn)
    plus assorted other ships, I get:
    10 CV
    7 LHA
    9 SSGN
    7 LPD
    10 DDG-X
    34 DDG
    27 SSN
    61 FFG
    36 SSP
    22 LCS
    20 T-AKE
    14 JHSV
    7 Dokdo
    1 Absalon
    30 Corvettes
    13 Mine Warfare ships = $420 bn. What have I forgotten?

  5. January 22, 2012 5:27 am

    nice piece of writings

  6. Kory McDonald permalink
    May 12, 2011 2:17 pm

    The problem with the suggestion of the French PA2 or Richelieu Class Aircraft Carrier is a modified Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier that is capable of launching the Rafael fighter. Now with what I would say about the Brits to stop the development of the Queen Elizabeth Class CV, is downright stupid. You have the Illustrious Class carriers that are coming to the end of there run, what do you replace them with…? Well this brings us back to the year 1977 when at that time the nation in question decommissioned the Eagle, and three years later the Ark Royal. And it was for three reasons one, the aircraft flown from these two ships were outdated, two the cost of running them was more expensive than making a new carrier, and three the government of Britain was slicing the cost of defense since they could depend on the USA for protection. This stopped the building of the CV that was on the Boards as CV-01 which would have been slated for 1981, and the second ship slated for 1984, with a possible third ship if need be in 1990. This carrier would have been able to carry the F-4 which was there plane at the time and would be there plane until 1985 when they would have been in position to buy the Naval Tornado, the F-14 or the F/A-18 along with the Harrier. And would have carried about thirty of these planes, which would have helped them in the Falklands a year prior to the commissioning of the Queen Elizabeth. Instead they have the STOL carriers which had to be cheated in under the name through the slight of hand as a cruiser with helicopter capabilities. So they are trying not to be dependent on the USA as much and I say good for them. The Royal Navy needs carriers and escorts as well with this they are walking a fine line with a parliament that is trying not to build a defense force to massive.

    Now as for India, they have one carrier in the works at that time as well in the works to buy the modified Kiev from Russia. So that took care of that problem.

    True what I am responding to is 2 years old, but it needed to be said.

  7. B.Smitty permalink
    November 20, 2009 10:22 am

    Strategic Deterrent

    6 SSBN(X) @ 60ea (360)

    Big-deck CTOL Carriers

    5 CV(X) @ 45ea (225) (e.g. French PA2)
    4.8 CVN-21 @ 90ea (432) (build 1 ever 6.25 years for a steady state of 8 CVNs)

    Amphibious ships

    2 LHA(R) @ 30ea (60)
    4 LPD-17 @ 15ea (60)
    7 LHD(L) @ 17ea (119) (20-30,000 tonne LHD. e.g. Mistral, Juan Carlos)
    21 LPD(L) @ 5ea (105) (12-16,000 tonne LPD. e.g. Galacia, Rotterdam, RN Bay)
    7 LKA(X) @2.5ea (17.5) (modern Charleston class with stern mating for LCACs/LCUs)


    43 SSN-774

    Surface Combatants

    2 DDG-1000 @ 50ea (100)
    13 CG(X) @ 42ea (546) (based on DDG-1000 design with BMD/AAW focus)
    8 DDG-51 @ 20ea (160) (legacy construction while DDG(X) is designed)
    20 DDG(X) @ 25ea (500)
    29 FFG(X) @ 9ea (261) (6-7000 t multi-mission frigate. AAW. ASW. ASuW. MIW. no BMD)
    5 Arsenal Ship @ 10ea (50) (500 VLS cells)


    5 LCS @ 6ea (30) (focused on MIW)
    7 JHSV @ 2ea (14)
    15 T-AKE @ 5ea (75)
    15 T-AO @ 5ea (75)
    3 LMSR @ 5ea (15)
    4 T-AOE(X) @ 11ea (44)
    2 LLC @ 20ea (40)
    2 AS @ 13.5ea (27)
    2 T-AH @ 10ea (20)
    4 T-ARS @ 2ea (8)
    4 T-ATF @ 1ea (4)
    5 T-AGOS @ 1ea (5)

    Total ships: 244 @ 4212.5 ($1.25 billion over budget)


    8 CVNBGs with 1 CVN, 1 SSN, 1 CG(X), 1 DDG(X), 1 FFG(X), 1 T-AO/T-AOE(X), 1 T-AKE
    5 CVGBs with 1 CV(X), 1 SSN, 1 CG(X), 1 Arsenal Ship, 1 DDG(X), 1 FFG(X), 1 T-AO/T-AOE(X), 1 T-AKE
    2 ESGs with 1 LHA(R), 2 LPD-17s, 1 DDG-1000, 2 DDG-51s, 1 FFG(X)
    7 ESG(X)s with 1 LHD(L), 3 LPD(L), 1 LKA(X), 1 DDG-51/DDG(X), 2 FFG(X)


    By buying a new class of CV(X), we increase the number of carrier battlegroups to 13. The smaller CV(X)s aren’t as capable as CVNs, so an arsenal ship is paired with them. Arsenal ships will be used early in conflicts to degrade A2/AD networks through massed strikes.

    2 ESGs retain the current, planned composition since the ships are already in the pipeline.

    The remaining 7 ESG(X)s follow a new composition using smaller, but more numerous amphibious ships. The 5 ship ESG(X) retains roughly similar lift capability but at a lower cost. A major difference is in the ACE composition. The LHD(L) will be too small to carry V-22s and F-35Bs, so these ESGs will rely on CVBGs/CVNBGs for fixed wing air support. The F-35B and V-22 programs will be cancelled and existing MV-22s will be tranferred to USSOCOM. The new ACE composition will be 8 CH-53Ks, 12 H-60s, 6 AH-1Zs. The LHD(L) will carry the 8 CH-53ks, and each LPD(L) will carry 4 H-60s and 2 AH-1Zs. This structure improves the overall lift capability of the ARG at the expense of speed and range afforded by the V-22s.

    One benefit to having 5 ships per ARG is that they can be decomposed into more numerous, single- or two-ship deployments for GFS, COIN and LIC missions.

    I see a number of problems with my composition. First is only buying 6 SSBN(X)s. The stated requirement is 12, but buying that many would force too many cuts elsewhere.

    Second, I was not able to fit in an SSGN(X) or purchase enough SSNs.

    Third, I did not significantly improve the number of MIW and ASW ships. The cruisers, destroyers and frigates should all have ASW and MIW capabilities, and the amphibious ships can perform MIW with modules and support ASW activities with aviation, but I still feel this is a weakness.

  8. Joe permalink
    November 19, 2009 7:25 pm

    By omitting the LCS and playing with the fleet composition, working with what Mike originally presented I could even come up with a 503 ship navy, albeit one very heavy on the corvette/Abasalon options. Funny that with the same funding the real navy is going to eventually have maybe 225 ships.

    Alex hit the nail on the head with there needing to be a frigate option. We’re “just” playing a game here, but too bad the people who get to spend the real money think frigate is a 4-letter word.

  9. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 19, 2009 5:46 pm

    Well done Alex! I was working on mine, but decided to turn it into a post for next week!

  10. - Alex 2.0 permalink
    November 19, 2009 4:55 pm

    over 30 years
    6 CVN21 @ 90ea (540)
    10 LHA6 @ 30ea (300)
    48 SSN774 @20ea (960)
    20 U212 @5ea (150)
    12 SSGN @30ea (360)
    40 AB @20ea (800)
    16 LPD-17 @15ea (240)
    32 T-AKE @5ea (170)
    20 JHSV @2ea (40)
    80 Corvette @3ea (240)
    24 MCM @2ea (48)
    68xFrigates (see below) @4ea (272)

    really don’t like Absalon for an extensive navy, Absalon much like LHDs are for navies that cannot afford multiple ships, LPH, LPD, RoRo and GP Frigates are for those that can. so if you can draw up a cost for ~68 Americanised ASW FM-400 Frigates (I’m going to guess about 4pts?)

    as to India buying our Harriers, they’d have to be stripped enough systems to render them nearly useless to the Indians and in any case theres only so much bite that you can extract from a 55 year old design, they were archaic by the 80s and should have been replaced with a new design, there were enough feasible ones knocking around filing cabinets in Kingston at the time and co-operation with McD would probably have ended up with the Americans replacing their Harriers for something new and could have killed the requirement for a STOVL JCA and in turn could have lead to the creation of something that isn’t nearly useless.

  11. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 19, 2009 5:34 am

    Steve said “The T-45 Goshawk trainer in a single seat light attack version similar to the land based Hawk 200.”

    Great idea! We suggested something similiar for Canada a while back as she seeks to replace aging F-18s:

    The Canadian Air Force has over 100 very expensive F-18 multi-mission fighters equipped for all forms of combat. In the future, a force of 50 could be maintained strictly for the air superiority role for greatly less cost. These could be backed by several hundred COIN (counter-insurgency) aircraft for air support of the troops. Preferably these would be as light and cheap as possible, such as the subsonic Hawk family of attack/trainers.

  12. Steve Petty permalink
    November 19, 2009 4:34 am

    How about a much less able but cost effective sub for the F-35B&C. The T-45 Goshawk trainer in a single seat light attack version similar to the land based Hawk 200. Not really a replacement for an F-35B but could give a Harrier or A-4 type aircraft to the LHA’s and QE’s. LHA’s would need to be refitted with angled flight decks and ski-jump and both classes would need to add the portable arrestor gear system the Navy deployed for land based SKYHAWKS to make short field landings. this would of course convert the ships from STOVL to STOBAL carriers. Not a great solution but would retain some fixed wing strike ability or we could make the French very happy and buy RAFALE-M’s.

  13. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 18, 2009 5:14 pm

    Appreciate everyone for their contribution here. Yours truly was distracted by the RN carrier breaking news and personal issues. Well done and thanks for playing!

    I also notice no one is sticking with the Navy’s modest, probably unachievable 313 ship plan, despite having the same funds to spend. You guys could teach the bean counters at the Pentagon a few lessons!

  14. Al L. permalink
    November 18, 2009 2:16 am

    Must correct my self.
    “Based on upgrading weapons/ sensors on a Sentry class derivative.”

    Should read “Based on upgrading weapons/ sensors on a USCG Sentinel class derivative”

  15. Mark permalink
    November 17, 2009 5:13 pm

    This is a thought provoking exercise and I was enjoying the responses here and on Axe’s so I figured I’d contribute to the fun:

    6 : CVN-21 Ford-class aircraft carrier
    6 : LHA-6 America-class assault ship
    6 : SSGN (new-build stretched Virginias?)
    10 : LPD-17 San Antonio-class assault ship
    0 : DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer
    58 : DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
    58 : SSN-774 Virginia-class submarine
    25 : Type 212 SSP (shallow water)
    10 : Type 214 SSP (deep water)
    0 : LCS
    10 : T-AKE Lewis and Clark-class logistics ship
    10 : JHSV

    Those of you who feel bolder:

    10 : Light Helicopter Assault (Mistral, Dokdo)
    20 : Arsenal ship (commercial off the shelf hull. 500-1000 missiles)
    0 : Aegis mothership (commercial off the shelf hull)
    0 : Mothership (Commercial of the shelf auxiliary warship)
    20 : Danish Absalon Flexible Support Ship
    60 : Corvette (high-end missile)
    10 : OPV (off shore patrol vessel)
    15 : Mine Warfare ships

    Obviously a big reduction in big deck CVN presence but in my view the comment about patrolling vs. a theater level asset is dead on. Forward deploy your LHA and littoral forces with an increased sub force and arsenal ships for punch. Leave the ASuW missions to the rotor and fixed wing assets and arsenal ships and optimize your DD51’s for AAW. Lots of low cost subs and corvettes anchored around logistics and light heli assault ships with an arsenal ship or two for long range strike.

    4200 points exactly for a total of 334 ships.

  16. Joe permalink
    November 17, 2009 11:39 am

    Your approach is a sensible one – taking the in-place Navy through 2039 and doing a “what if” spin on that. I considered that but let laziness win the coin toss on that one :)

    The air options really hinge on a line that (to me) otherwise cries out for cancellation – the F-35. We’ve put ourselves in a hole by shuttering so many other lines to get everything down to just the Super Hornet that when we retire it as well, we’re in a pickle if the follow-on F-35B and “C” jets are a relative failure…then what??

    Mike – let’s see your Navy.

  17. Al L. permalink
    November 17, 2009 12:16 am

    This thread looks like its stale but I’ll post my concept anyway.

    I dont like the virgin birth Navy idea so I included the current ships that will be in commission through 2039. For simplicity I counted the ships currently commissioned as funded and those building or contracted as unfunded.

    CVN: 5 Nimitz in commission in 2039, Build 2 CVN-21
    LHA-6: build 8
    LHD: 2 in commission in 2039, Build 6 LHA-6 with well deck
    SSGN: would build 8 as BM subs and 0 as GM subs
    LPD-17: build 15
    DDG-1000: wouldn’t build any but screwed on that so I allowed 3
    which I think is the minimum for them to be useful.
    DDG-51: 17 in commission in 2039, build 43
    SSN-774: build 61
    LCS: build 63
    TAKE or derivatives: build 45
    JHSV:build 28
    PC: would build 42 +-400 ton ships, budget $75 mill. or .75 points each. Based on upgrading weapons/ sensors on a Sentry class derivative.

    2*90 = 180
    8*30 = 240
    6*30 = 180
    8*30 = 240
    15*15 = 225
    3*50 = 150
    43*20 = 860
    61*20 =1220
    63*6 = 378
    45*5 = 225
    28*2 = 56
    42*.75= 32

    324 new ships, 24 existing ships, 3986 points, 214 points remaining for sundry auxiliaries or to add to the list above. At an average of 5 points per that would allow 43 more sundry ships or a 391 ship Navy. 295 of them would be combatants. They would allow for 550+ ship borne aircraft on the oceans at any one time.

    The key to this scheme vs. the Navy’s current procedure is the LHA-6(sans welldeck) would become the presence ship, the CVN’s would stop patrolling and would be used as a force in waiting. In a situation where Naval aviation force projection was required the CVN(s) would move into the battle group already forward with the LHA-6. The LHA-6 would then focus on force protection for the battle group. The CVN(s) would focus on taking the fight to the opponent. All of which hinges on the success of the F-35B.

  18. Joe permalink
    November 17, 2009 12:14 am

    Fun game. Challenging and there are hard-to-swallow choices to be made for the sake of numbers and cost, but here is List A:

    5 Ford CVN-21 carriers
    9 LHA-6 Ameria-class assault ships
    23 SSGN (stretched Virginias/converted Ohios)
    20 LPD-17 San Antonio-class assault ships
    40 DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers
    40 SSN-774 Virgina-class attack subs
    20 Type 212 SSP
    30 LCS
    40 T-AKE Lewis & Clark-class logistics ships
    20 JHSVs
    04 Arsenal ships
    55 Danish Absalon F.S.S.
    55 Corvettes
    361 ships, 4200 total points, $420 billion spent over 30 years, assuming we’re going by the same sort of rules that Axe’s game went by. A possible variation if you are strongly anti-corvette is to drop all of them and devote that $$$ elsewhere, say to the LCS. You end up with 85 LCS platforms and a total Navy size of 306 ships.

    ————– ————– ————–

    List B: What if you totally dropped “Big Air” from the equation and, instead, emphasized “Medium Air”?

    17 LHA-6 America-class assault ships
    15 SSGN New Build Virginias/Ohios
    20 LPD-17 SA-class Assault Ships
    40 Arleigh Burke’s
    55 SSN-774 Virginia-class subs
    21 Type-212 SSP’s
    34 LCS
    45 T-AKE Lewis and Clark-class logistics ships
    25 JHSV
    05 Arsenal Ships
    13 Motherships
    55 Danish Absalons
    55 Corvettes
    12 Mine Warfare Ships
    412 ships possible spending the same $420B as before. Again, if corvette-style boats give you GERD, and you want to whack them and buy LCS platforms, the total on LCS would be 89 with an overall Navy of 357 ships.

    I mainly wanted to see what was possible with the money moreso than “constructing” perfectly balanced battlegroups. Besides, in an age when the Navy is constantly shrinking & has to send Arleigh Burkes to chase pirates, who gets to define “perfectly balanced”?

    If you give me the additional 50-55% some say is necessary to “properly” reconstitute the fleet (about $22B/yr in shipbuilding budgets) then I would have vastly different recommendations. As it is, give me a debit card moreso than a charge card…this is what I came up with.

  19. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 15, 2009 4:15 am

    D.E.-No way! In preparing the Carrier Alternative Weekly post for Thursday, here is what I wrote Saturday morning:

    So (India) has the fighters but no new carrier, or otherwise, up the creek without a paddle. Britain will soon have the Queen Elizabeth carriers but can’t afford enough aircraft to fill their massive decks. There’s your answer! Britain sells her 2 unneeded and unaffordable flattops to India, spend the rest on restoring the Royal Navy’s fallen numbers of surface ships and submarines, perhaps enough left over to start start funding on a second HMS Ocean class. Problem solved!

    It seemed like a sensible notion, but I had no idea they would seriously consider it! You’re right. Radically strange!

    Heretic, we seem to be getting ourselves deeper off track!

  20. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 14, 2009 11:23 pm

    Mike and others, OK – now things are getting to be radically strange! If true, then things in Great Britain’s MoD are far worse than any of us on the western side of The Pond might have previously imagined! The following is from The Observer:

    MoD may sell aircraft carrier to India to limit cuts

    One of Britain’s new £2bn aircraft carriers could be sold off under cost-cutting plans being considered by the Ministry of Defence. India has lodged a firm expression of interest, the Observer has learned.

    The sale of one of the two 65,000-tonne vessels would leave the Royal Navy with a single carrier and could force Britain to borrow from the French fleet, which itself has only one carrier and is reluctant to build more. Last summer the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, proposed to Gordon Brown that the two navies co-ordinate maintenance and refitting so that one was at sea at all times.

    According to senior defence sources, Whitehall officials are examining the feasibility of a sale as part of the strategic defence review that will start early next year and is expected to result in savage cuts.

  21. elgatoso permalink
    November 14, 2009 10:36 pm

    I get 14B are 140 points at 50 years are 7000 points .My fleet is :
    8 CVN-21 ,3 CVN are UAV(X-47 and Avenger) aircraft carrier.Thw rest of the aircraft-carrier have F-35 and Growler.720 points
    75 SSN-774 ,half will be used like hunter-killers and half like escort for fleet.1400 points
    25 SSGN 750 points
    20 DD-51 Aegis,with all electric drive.400 points
    10 DDG-1000 nuclear powered for molten salt reactor and electric drive with railgun and DEW 500 points
    10 LHA-America 300 points
    40 Dodko-Mistral 400 points
    35 LPD-17 720 points
    20 Aegis mothership 140 points
    50 Absalon 150 points
    50 Arsenal Ship 500 points
    30 motherships 120 points
    60 T-AKE 300 points
    50 JHSV 100 points
    50 Corvettes (high-end missile) like Visby or Skjold 200 points
    5 LCS 30 points IF they work like are supost to do I buy 55

    I still have 95 points for OPV and mine-hunters just in case

  22. November 14, 2009 8:01 pm

    Hello Mike Burleson,

    yes,the Royal Air Force Harrier G.R. Mk.7/9s already operate from the Invincible class carriers,Royal Navy Sea Harrier F.A. Mk.2s were withdrawn some years ago:

    Recent rumours suggested the Indians wanted to buy the remaining Sea Harriers,they are nearly new and excellent fighters.

    One of many strange things about this story is the fact that the Harriers and Tornados are due to have been retired by 2025 anyway!
    They are being replaced by the Typhoon and F35.

    In recent weeks we have had two other nonsensical defence stories.
    First the one about the F35 engine and then the one about the Royal Navy losing an aircraft carrier.

    The problem is that journalists often don’t know much about defence and write misleading stories through simple ignorance.
    These stories then fly around the internet like wildfire causing a great deal of confusion.


  23. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 14, 2009 7:56 pm


    My mistake – thanks for the correction! It’s the Jaguar, rather than the Tornado that the IAF flies.

  24. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 14, 2009 7:49 pm

    But a large selling point for the LCS was its automation, right? So with all the extra expense and complication put into making this the most high tech frigate ever, they still need extra crew. Why not make allowance for the extra crew in the first place, and reduce the building cost from the beginning? Oh, right. Too sensible and non-exquisite.

  25. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 14, 2009 7:42 pm

    Thats right tangosix. I imagine the RAF Harriers are carrier ready, or could be quickly fitted for this role. The Indians might be desperate enough now to take them!

  26. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 14, 2009 7:39 pm

    “The Navy’s first littoral combat ship, Freedom, will add 20 sailors to its crew when it makes its trial deployment next year, making for a total complement of about 95 people, as opposed to the crew of 75 the ship was originally designed to carry.”

    The extra 20 people are going to feel like second class citizens having to leave their cubicle, go outside, enter the ship, go down a corridor, and into another berthing area in order to get a shower or brush their teeth.

    Good thing it’s not a cold climate.

  27. November 14, 2009 7:35 pm

    Hello D. E. Reddick,

    India flies neither the Harrier nor the Tornado.
    It does fly the Sea Harrier though.


  28. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 14, 2009 6:53 pm


    India flies both Harriers and Tornadoes. From the news report (if the numbers are real), that would be about 80 aircraft. I have to believe that some of them still have some years of flight time left to them. Besides that, those airframes unsuited to further flight operations and all of the spare parts inventory might prove to be a windfall opportunity for the continued utilization of Harriers and Tornadoes in Indian service.

  29. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 14, 2009 6:39 pm

    DE that is shocking news, but we should have seen it coming. Is this to pay for Afghanistan or the 2 RN carriers, or both?

    India would probably take the Harriers off their hands.

  30. D. E. Reddick permalink
    November 14, 2009 6:23 pm

    Mike and others, another O/T posting.

    It just got worse for the poor RAF – say goodbye to a proud, effective service. They are expected to be cutting one-quarter of their personnel and also retiring all Harriers & Tornadoes early. Five of nineteen flight bases are expected to be closed. This is forecast to occur starting in 2010. This is from The Sunday Times (which does raise questions about its accuracy).

    RAF plans huge cuts in planes and bases

    Air Force chiefs are preparing to cut 10,000 staff — a quarter of their manpower — and close up to five large air bases.

    The plans will reduce the RAF’s strength to 31,000 personnel over the next five years, little more than half the level during the recent Iraq conflict and seriously diminishing its capability of fighting another conventional war.

    It also intends to retire the majority of its Harrier and Tornado jets early, leaving it with about 80 fewer aircraft by 2025. The cuts are part of a package prepared for the 2010 annual spending round.

  31. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 14, 2009 6:10 pm

    Scott, I also added the Danish Absalon to the list above in case you’d like to play along.

    elgatoso-If you are referring to the LCS, such craft are probably too small to take the power supply needed for electric weapons. Of course the DDG-1000 is well suited, if you can afford it!

    Dick-I agree completely! Told someone else I’d love to be able to shop for the US Military overseas, running through Europe and later over to Asia, especially Korea.

  32. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 14, 2009 6:00 pm

    Hey thanks Scott!

  33. Dick O'Kane permalink
    November 14, 2009 4:52 pm

    If you want to build a really cost-efficient navy, you’ll have to import ships like Spain’s F-100 Álvaro de Bazán class AEGIS frigate which is a better bang/buck than LCS.

    LCS and DDG-1000 are both money pits. The LCS is made almost entirely out of aluminum, which we all know is every damage control team’s favorite material. It’s also an overpriced replacement for the FFG-7 class.

    The DDG-1000 will end up being like the F-22: escalating R&D costs to the point that it will get canceled.

  34. elgatoso permalink
    November 14, 2009 3:59 pm

    Since DEW and railguns are still not operational can be the ships fitted for but not with railguns and directed energy weapons???

  35. Scott B. permalink
    November 14, 2009 3:45 pm

    BREAKING NEWS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Navy’s first littoral combat ship, Freedom, will add 20 sailors to its crew when it makes its trial deployment next year, making for a total complement of about 95 people, as opposed to the crew of 75 the ship was originally designed to carry.

    Read the rest of the article here

    (sorry if this sounds slightly O/T)

  36. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 14, 2009 11:17 am

    Excellent idea CBD! Consider it done.

  37. CBD permalink
    November 14, 2009 11:04 am

    Any chance you could add a point value for SSGNs? Although the current set were rather expensive to retrofit from the Ohio Class (reportedly $700M per vessel, all costs), it would be an alternative to the arsenal ship and less vulnerable (at reduced capacity and significantly increased cost). Given the price of the Virginia class vessels, new Ohio II SSGN would probably cost in the range of $3bn a piece (given that much of the development/design costs were covered in the SSGN conversion program), but have some significant capabilities not matched elsewhere in the fleet.

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