The Washington Naval Treaty of 2012 Pt 2
The following is presented not as professional or even complete, but as a topic for further discussion. With the lessons of the past in mind, here is my version of a modern Washington Naval Treaty, with the subsequent reduction in naval armaments:
Total Tonnage for Capital Vessels*
- United States-750,000 tons
- China-500,000 tons
- Russia-500,000 tons
- Japan-250,000 tons
- Britain-250,000 tons
- France-250,000 tons
- India-250,000 tons
The US Navy Subdivided
- Aircraft Carriers-350,000 tons (7 x 50,000 tons)
- Amphibious Ships-140,000 tons (7 x 20,000 tons)
- Frigates-135,000 tons (27 x 5000 tons)
- Nuclear Submarines-125,000 tons (25 x 5000 tons)
Interestingly, the first naval treaty designated Capital Ships any vessel larger than 10,000 tons with a gun caliber larger than 8 inches, and excluded aircraft carriers. Today we include aircraft carriers, but also any warship with an area SAM missile more than 30 miles, often designated guided missiles cruisers, destroyers, or frigates. We also include any large amphibious ship above 10,000 tons, nuclear submarines, or conventional submarines of more than 2000 tons.
The document recognizes America possessing a Two-Ocean Navy. It does, however, call for dramatic reductions in her war-making capacity, for instance, the tonnages for aircraft carriers alone is reduced by one-third from its current size of about 1 million tons.
The New Naval Treaty restores the long neglected Flotilla, sidelined since the Cold War, into prominence. Tonnage of all ships in the Flotilla will match that of the total maximum tonnage of Capital Vessels of each Navy. The types (listed below) are seen as essential for new warfare, less intimidating than larger vessels, more suitable for the Cooperative Strategy which is the increasing norm of sea-faring nations.
Warship Definitions-Capital Ships
Aircraft Carrier-Limited to 50,000 tons for fixed wing versions and 30 airplanes. This is seen as the least size able for a modern fixed wing capable ship, coupled with existing naval aircraft. The reduced size and numbers will alleviate much of the ruinous cost suffered by navies seeking such expensive and regionally intimidating weapons. The small numbers of aircraft recognizes the power of modern precision weapons, allowing aircraft to perform more missions with fewer sorties.
Frigate-5000 tons light. Any vessel with an area SAM or cruise missile of 30 miles or more. Brings designation order to the guided missile escort warship variously described as cruiser, destroyer, or frigate, though each mainly performing the same function.
Nuclear Attack Submarines-5000 tons.
Conventional Submarine-Large non-nuclear ships over 2000 tons. Ocean spanning vessels are included in this category.
Amphibious Ships-Limited to 20,000 tons. Through-deck helicopter carriers which are V/STOL capable do not fall into the aircraft carrier designation unless they breach the tonnage barrier.
Warship Designation-The Flotilla
Mothership-Typically over 10,000 tons as a command and logistics support vessel for smaller warships in the flotilla. Of mercantile specifications, not possessing an area SAM or cruise missile capability, such then falling into the Capital Ship designation under the Treaty.
Sloop-4000 tons. General purpose warship used for long-range patrol duties, near the littorals. A Green Water command ship or mini-mothership. Some possess light assault abilities, or anti-mine weapons. Takes the place of the non-guided missile frigate.
Corvette- 2000 tons maximum. The largest coastal defense warship. Missile armed with a short-medium range SAM, cruise missiles.
Cruiser-1500 tons. Formerly designated Offshore Patrol Vessels. Lightly armed with mainly small guns, helos or UAVs, RHIB. These may be the most important large littoral craft, and hopefully the most numerous.
Littoral Submarine- 2000 tons or less. Coastal Submarine though self deployable.
From Battle Cruisers to Peace Cruisers
As we noted, and as with the previous era of the 1922 Washington Treaty, it is time for some restraints placed on international arms buildup, especially those of the Great Powers. With economies suffering through recessions and the need to monitor threats from radical regimes and rogue states, now is not the time to engage in superpower stand-offs, with the subsequent allies gathering into one bloc or the other.
Instead, the international situation calls for more cooperation, plus the building of “peace cruisers” which can quickly respond for non-war missions such as famine and disaster relief. The rise in piracy in the Gulf presages how we can be distracted watching mainly for the rare Big Wars, and fail to manage the ongoing small threats, which can eventually lead to large problems is left unattended to.
Hopefully, this document with help to prevent such a ruinous armed conflict at sea. This is not to predict an end of Great Power conflicts, but hopefully to avoid one at all costs. At least three times in the past century the world has come close to destruction because of rivalries between the major world powers. Meanwhile, radical groups taking advantage of petty discord, seek to sow anarchy and break down centuries of the world order that ended slavery, and reduced poverty and infant mortality the world over. Another world conflict can only hasten the end of Civilization as we know it.
Which brings us to the following question. If you could rewrite the Washington Naval Treaty today, how you would limit the naval tonnages, or are limitations even necessary?