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Sea Links

March 19, 2010

US Navy

The Navy’s Perennial Conundrum: Cost Overruns Interfere with Fleet Sizing.

Ford carrier launch system still having problems.

US Navy request raises issue about aluminum ships.

Debating the Pros and Cons of LCS.

Navy: LCS fuel disparity not a deal-breaker.

USS Independence to leave Mobile.

Nation’s Third Littoral Combat Ship More Than 30 Percent Complete.

A Looming Shipbuilding Crisis?

Got Sea Control?

Boeing Completes Design of Shipboard Superlaser. More.

F-35 fighter makes first vertical landing. More.

Pressure Builds for More Hornets; Multi-Year OK Likely.

More carriers on the way to Mayport?

US, Spanish ships test Aegis Combat System.

Next-gen Burkes may push limit of DDG frame.

Marinette Marine breaks ground on large ship facility.

USCG Deepwater costs rise to $27.4 billion.


Warships of the World

Turkish naval corvette enters Greek waters.

Turkey revives $3 billion frigate project.

Pro-Western head of Ukraine’s Naval Forces sacked.

Russia floats out second Gepard class frigate for Vietnam.

Russian Akula Class: The sea shark.

 High speed ASW weapon developed for Indian Navy.

Pakistan Navy test fires missiles in Arabian Sea manoeuvres.

Greece to resell German submarine: minister.

Building UK’s Future Aircraft Carriers.

Selections May Come Soon on U.K. Frigates.

Sailors hope proud Royal Navy name won’t go out with the Ark.

Airmen to write the rule book for new RN destroyers.

Military fans excited at seeing real battleship.

The Emerging Republic of Korea Navy. (pdf)


New Wars at Sea

Gunfire, RPG attacks by Somali pirates soar as crew defences improve.

Somali pirates attempt attack on Dutch warship. “Oops“. More.

Somalia: Navy Officers Seek End to Piracy.

Pirates Thrive Even As EU Navy Makes Inroads.

Somali Piracy Tactics Evolve; Threats Could Expand Globally.

Sweden Readies Anti-Pirate EU Mission.

Pirates Throw “Net” Wider.


From the Navy Vaults

The Art of HMS Hood. (Maritime Quest)

The General and the Captain. (Pauline’s Pirates & Privateers)

Ukrainians uncover Crimean British Navy vessel. (BBC News)

Cruiser San Diego the ‘unbeatable ship’ of WWII. (Sign on San Diego)

The US Navy’s Transition to Jets. (US Navy War College)

Restoring a Museum Piece, a Jungle Gym That Once Flew. (New York Times)


14 Comments leave one →
  1. D. E. Reddick permalink
    March 20, 2010 2:48 pm


    My last posting was confusingly embarressing! When you search for items relating to Zumwalt DDGs you tend to end up with material about new DDG-51 class construction! Or, semi-vice versa!!!

    GD Building DDG-115
    01-Mar-2010 17:36 EST

    In 2009, a deal was struck that shifted most DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class work to Bath Iron Works, in exchange for Northrop Grumman’s Ingalls shipyard taking over lead-yard responsibility for the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers, and receiving a greater share of orders for that ship type. Bath Iron Works will still build some Arleigh Burke Class ships, however, and will continue to receive contracts to that effect.

    Feb 26/10: General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, ME receives a not-to-exceed $114 million letter contract for long-lead time material in support of the anticipated construction of DDG 115 under the DDG 51 class destroyer program. The contract will buy things like propulsion gas turbines, generators, air conditioning systems, controllable pitch propeller and other components, so they’ll be ready in time when construction of DDG 115 begins.

  2. D. E. Reddick permalink
    March 20, 2010 2:39 pm

    Here’s a portion of the latest set of news items regarding the building of the Zumwalt class DDGs. Long lead construction material purchases have been funded. BIW to purchase DDG 115 material
    Published: March. 2, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    BATH, Maine, March 2 (UPI) — Shipbuilder Bath Iron Works was selected by the U.S. Navy to continue its support for the DDG 51 class guided missile destroyers program.

    U.S. company General Dynamics says its Bath Iron Works subsidiary was awarded funding from the Navy to purchase long lead material for DDG 51 class destroyer program.

    Under the $114 million deal, DDG 51 class lead shipbuilder Bath Iron Works will procure needed material for the potential future production of the DDG 115 guided missile destroyer for the Navy.

    “This award is the first step leading to continued construction of Aegis destroyers at Bath Iron Works for many years to come,” Bath Iron Works President Jeff Geiger said in a statement.

    Frontier India: Bath Iron Works Awarded $114 Million Contract for Advanced Procurement of Aegis Destroyer Long Lead Material
    By admin | March 2nd, 2010 | Category: Defense Companies

    RTT News: General Dynamics Unit Gets $114 Mln Contract For Advanced Procurement Of Aegis Destroyer Long Lead Material
    3/1/2010 1:15 PM ET

  3. Mike Burleson permalink*
    March 20, 2010 8:58 am

    Mr X, thanks and all I could find concerning Zumwalt was this January update from BIW showing the Bridge Mockup. I’m sure our Brave Band of Readers can do better than me!

  4. March 20, 2010 8:39 am

    Further to my mini-rant. HMS Invincible as the beginning of the War was an asset assigned to COMAW…….

  5. March 20, 2010 8:37 am

    The NI article in the links mentions Woodward. And it promulgates the myth that he was in overall in charge down south. He wasn’t!!!! He commanded the carrier group. He wasn’t in command of the amphibious shipping. He certainly wasn’t in charge of the landing force. And he wasn’t in charge of the submarine force.

    His memoir 100 Days was one of the last big books (they are the must have volumes) I read on the Falklands War. And after reading I wasn’t sure; a) if had actually been any further south than Gibraltar. b) On actually whose side he was on. Ok! A gross exaggeration, but………..

  6. March 20, 2010 8:29 am

    Are there any pic’s out there of the Zumwalts under construction? I keep forgetting to look; actually to be honest I am not sure how long the build path they are.

    They might be one of the biggest dead ends ever in naval architecture. But heck I think if they look half as good as the artists’ renditions I think they will look quite spectacular.

    BZ Mike B on the hit count!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Mike Burleson permalink*
    March 20, 2010 6:15 am

    Tuesday the 2nd of this month we did surpass 4000 hits a day which was a first. We had been lingering around 2000 for a long while then recently up to 3000.

  8. MatR permalink
    March 20, 2010 6:11 am

    Mike, don’t be so modest. I say you should drape a party banner from the top of the front page, with ‘600k’ written on it :o)

    *toots party kazoo*

  9. March 19, 2010 2:56 pm

    Heretic said “This is a weapon which could not only be used for point defense against incoming missiles, but which could also be used offensively against swarming small boats”

    I hope you’re right however we have been promised miracles from wonder weapons before.

    D.E. I did notice soon after we passed the mark but I’m holding my thanks for the 1 million number!

  10. D. E. Reddick permalink
    March 19, 2010 2:00 pm


    We probably won’t need either lasers or Aegis BMD against these new Russian SLBMs, as they make the miserably inaccurate NLOS appear to be a sharpshooter.

    Russia plans four test launches of Bulava missile in June

    The Russian Navy is planning to conduct at least four test launches of the Bulava ballistic missile at the end of June, a senior Navy official told RIA Novosti on Friday.

    “Two Bulava launches will be carried out from the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine, followed by two launches from the Yury Dolgoruky nuclear sub,” the source said.

    “The second test on the Yury Dolgoruky will be a salvo launch,” he said.

    The Yury Dolgoruky is the first of Russia’s Borey class strategic nuclear submarines, which have been exclusively designed for the Bulava, and is currently undergoing sea trials.

    The source said that if the tests are successful, both the submarine and the missile could be put into service with the Russian Navy by the end of 2010.

    The Bulava (SS-NX-30) is a three-stage liquid and solid-propellant submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). It carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles).

    The future development of Bulava has been questioned by some lawmakers and defense industry officials following a series of test failures. Only five of 12 Bulava test launches from the Dmitry Donskoy sub have been officially reported as being successful.

    Some analysts suggest that in reality the number of failures was considerably larger, with Russian military expert Pavel Felgenhauer contending that of the Bulava’s 12 test launches, only one was entirely successful.

    But the military has insisted there is no alternative to the Bulava and said the tests of the missile would continue until it is ready to enter service with the Russian Navy.

    MOSCOW, March 19 (RIA Novosti)

  11. Hudson permalink
    March 19, 2010 1:32 pm


    The future is already here…And it’s on YouTube. Where else!

    You can watch simulations of airborne lasers in operation, and ground versions already in operation, shooting down artillery shells. The Zumwalt destroyers, of which we will have three in the short term, at least, generate the power needed for these weapons at sea. The ground-based versions are about the size and shape of a large searchlight. Don’t know about the limitations of these weapons in disturbed atmospheres. Heat dispersal doesn’t seem to be a big problem in the desert or open waters.

  12. D. E. Reddick permalink
    March 19, 2010 1:24 pm


    You’ve made no mention that New Wars passed 600,000 hits this week. The counter i’s presently at 604,309 on Friday the 19th. I suppose the mark was passed sometime on Wednesday the 17th.

  13. papa legba permalink
    March 19, 2010 12:51 pm


    Naval ships are possibly the best potential for laser weapons. There are several issues with lasers to be worked out– including power delivery and hardening optic assemblies to be usable in the field– which best resolve themselves to a large stabilized platform with a huge generator like a surface ship. The biggest issue, however, is heat.

    I’ve heard estimates that a battlefield laser might be 10% to 20% efficient– meaning that a 100KW laser would have to disperse 800-900KW of heat. That’s a huge amount of heat, and it has to be dealt with quickly to prevent the delicate parts of the system from overheating. It’s probably the biggest challenge for developing airborne lasers. For ships, however, it’s less a problem– every surface combatant in the world is floating upon tons and tons of liquid heat sink.

  14. Heretic permalink
    March 19, 2010 11:57 am

    As I’ve predicted in other threads … the shipboard FEL (Free Electron Laser) is going to change surface warfare as we know it. This is a weapon which could not only be used for point defense against incoming missiles, but which could also be used offensively against swarming small boats.

    Once the minimum threshold of battlefield strength is reached, the next questions become available field of fire (determined by optical turret positioning aboard) and the sustained rate of fire.

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