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Sea Links

June 4, 2010

The guided-missile frigate USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) and the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mellon (WHEC 717) in naval exercises off Indonesia.

US Navy

Destroyer Spruance will be christened Saturday.

Beach-storming drill returns Marines to roots.

Navy’s drone death ray takes out targets.

U.S. to Aid South Korea With Naval Defense Plan.

Congress submits funds for nuclear destroyer.

The Incredible Shrinking American Fleet.

US carrier to join S.Korea anti-submarine drill. US denial.

U.S. Navy Advancing Technology Aboard “Sea Fighter“.

Pentagon gives green light to DDG-1000.

DDG 1000 Could Get New Missile-Defense Radar.

Analysis of the U.S. Navy’s 2011 Shipbuilding Plan.

U.S. Navy Budget Still Untenable, CBO Affirms.


Warships of the World

Carrier Admiral Gorshkov refurbishment on schedule.

First Cut for New Class of SSKs for Brazil.

Half of Collins fleet still out of action.

Russian experts inspect results of Cheonan probe.

Germany could help Ukraine in equipping new corvette.

HMS Daring: Ruler of the Waves. Rebuttal.


New Wars at Sea

Israel stations nuclear missile subs off Iran.

Netanyahu Considers Easing Gaza Blockade.

Royal Navy Wages War on Drug Submarines.

USS San Jacinto disrupted Somali pirates’ attack. More.

Somali troops free pirate-held cargo ship.


From the Navy Vaults

Cornelis Drebbel’s Amazing Submarine at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum. (Old Salt Blog)

Benjamin Stoddert, First Secretary of the Navy. (Naval History Blog)

Battle of Surigao Strait by Anthony P. Tully – a Review. (Old Salt Blog)

Vittorio Cuniberti, Jackie Fisher and the Dreadnaught. (Suite 101)

The Miracle of the Little Ships. (In From the Cold)

Canada’s Navy-Floating our boats on a shoestring. (Times Colonist)

Charleston Pirate Tours. (Charleston Pirate

Nazi sub sunk off Block Island. (Providence Journal)

Old Ironsides. (Pauline’s Pirates & Privateers)

The Queen’s Privateer. (Pauline’s Pirates & Privateers)

USS Requin ceremony recognizes ‘the silent service’. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Plymouth commemorative plaque for Falklands’ conflict Royal Navy vessel. (Merco Press)

Russian book confirms Soviet intelligence support for Argentina in Malvinas war. (Merco Press)

The Asia-Pacific War 1942-1944 Part 1. (War and Game)

The Asia-Pacific War 1942-1944 Part 2. (War and Game)


22 Comments leave one →
  1. Hudson permalink
    June 7, 2010 5:06 pm

    Chuck Hill,

    Yes, I noticed the resenblance right away. Not sure what to make of it. The cutter has its main gun forward, while it’s top deck amidship on the FFG. Kind of boxy, general purpose design–nothing to stir the soul. The cutter has cleaner masts and is much more expensive to build today, I’m sure, than the FFG was originally, and not as well armed as the original FFG, which is now only an FF.

  2. Chuck Hill permalink
    June 7, 2010 1:29 pm

    Anybody else see the resemblance between the WHEC and the FFG?

  3. B.Smitty permalink
    June 6, 2010 9:22 am

    I still wonder about the possibility of using the DDG-1000 hull as the basis for a littoral warfare mothership. With VSR now gone, they will be a bit less expensive to build.

    Remove both AGSs and rework the interior to open up a huge absalon/LCS-like aft mission bay, and increase the size of the hangar to hold two helos plus 3 Fire Scouts.

    I just wonder how much it would cost.

  4. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 5, 2010 2:26 pm


    During the 1950s the incomplete Iowa class BB USS Kentucky was considered for a single-ended missile conversion similar to that of Boston & Canberra (Baltimore class CAs). The aft main battery turret of 16″ guns would have been sacrificed to allow the installation of two twin Terrier launchers and magazines. I seem to recall that this would have been similar to the forward Terrier installation in USS Long Beach (CGN-9). The two magazines would have contained 120 missiles, each – for a total of 240 SAMs. So, the projected armament would have been:

    six 16″/50 cal. guns
    twenty 5″/38 cal. guns
    two twin-rail Terrier SAM launchers

    Sadly, Kentucky was broken up rather than ever being finished in some form or another. But, a set of her steam engines went on to serve in a couple of replenishment / oiler auxiliaries of the USN.

  5. Hudson permalink
    June 5, 2010 1:12 pm


    Interesting about the Mississippi. Not clear from the photo whether the Terrier was fired from a special platform or an integrated below-deck system like the Baltimore/Albanys. No matter. It might have been part of the program of upgrading the heavy cruisers.

    Wisely, the Navy decided not to transform the Iowa BBs into guided missile battleships, keeping the aft main turret, making use of the ample superstructure instead. Those were successful warships to the end. Which leads me back to my day dream of resurrecting outstanding WWII ship designs.

    It could be that the day of the big steel ship is not done. If steel is cheap and air is free, then a more modest design than the Zumwalts, with fewer missiles and more guns, and maybe later beam weapons, might find a way back into the fleet. When the planners were designing the Burkes, they built or envisioned an 8″ single mount before turning to 5″.

    We will get three of the Zumwalts, assuming they are completed, and that might be enough for awhile. Might be…

  6. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 5, 2010 9:11 am

    DJF, some corvettes have helos, some don’t. Others do have sonar, which interestingly the 3000 ton LCS does not other than a towed array within its modular payload, not yet added.

    My point is, we need many ships which can do many functions well, in contrast to a few perfect warships, which are just as susceptible to the guile of submarines as a corvette or carrier.

  7. DJF permalink
    June 5, 2010 8:52 am

    “”””One exception is the corvette, which is why I say these should replace frigates and destroyers in the global escort and sea control role.”””

    ROKS Cheonan is a corvette and it was unable to take on a North Korean sub. It had no helicopter to find or take out the sub at a distance and it has no good sonar to find one itself. Its antisub torpedoes are shorter range then any subs torpedoes so even if it found the sub the sub would be able to sink the ROKS Cheonan before the Cheonan got into range.

    Sounds like you don’t want a corvette with only short range weapons when you deal with a sub, but at least a frigate with a helo and possibly a ASROC type range weapon so you can outrange the sub.

    I do admit that the ROKS Cheonan has some nice guns, but they are probably not effective against missiles or aircraft just like the ship dropped torpedoes and debt charges are not effective against submarines unless you happen to sail over one

  8. Guess who? permalink
    June 4, 2010 8:19 pm

    For those that are interested HMS Dauntless (the 2nd T45) was commissioned Thursday…

  9. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 4, 2010 7:35 pm

    The crew of the MV RIM has abandoned ship per orders of its captain, according to EU NAVFOR. This is the Libyan owned, North Korean flagged, and mainly Syrian crewed merchant vessel hijacked by Somali pirates and freed by the actions of its crew earlier this week.

    Well, the MV RIM was supposedly about to be scrapped but was interestingly riding low in the water (as if heavily loaded with cargo). And for a supposedly soon to be scrapped, empty vessel it had been demanding a high ransom payment from the Somali pirates who captured it.

    So, now the EU NAVFOR Dutch warship HNLMS Johan de Witt has the crew aboard. One might wonder what might be found aboard that abandoned Libyan / North Korean cargo vessel.

    MV RIM abandoned by the crew

    June 4, 2010

    This afternoon, the crew of MV RIM abandoned the ship on the request of the master. EU NAVFOR warship Johan de Witt was close to the position and engaged in the rescue.

    The crew of MV RIM are now on board Johan de Witt and will be transferred to a safe port.

  10. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 4, 2010 6:38 pm

    The Perry’s and LCS typifies why the frigate can no longer be counted on as a low end escort vessel. The price sees them approaching the cost of a high end destroyer or European Aegis frigate, which also prohibits their purchase in adequate numbers. The Navy counters by saying that capability makes up for numbers, but the Somali pirates prove this theory wrong everyday.

    Pound for pound, modern warships, with a few exceptions, are woefully underarmed than their WW 2 predecessors. One exception is the corvette, which is why I say these should replace frigates and destroyers in the global escort and sea control role.

  11. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 4, 2010 6:19 pm


    You left out the first USN ship to be equipped with twin-armed SAM launchers.

    USS Mississippi (AG-128) was the former battleship BB-41 USS Mississippi and during the 1950s she was equipped with two twin Terrier SAM launchers. She first fired a Terrier SAM at sea on January 28, 1953. I’ve seen a video converted from a film of that launch. A battleship laid down in 1915 and commissioned in 1917 was the first ‘former’ warship to fire a SAM in 1953.

  12. Hudson permalink
    June 4, 2010 5:52 pm

    D.E.R. and Mike,

    That’s the thing. The Perry class provides a template for its replacement: common model, individual variations–although I’d be choosy about my int’l partners. It’s either that or pick a model off the shelf and put our shipyards to work overtime to produce a new class of frigate and a new mine warfare ship–the other ship type LCS is meant to replace. That’s where it gets tricky if you want to dump LCS; you need to made certain of your mine assets.

    Or we just muddle along, building an LCS or two more, and next year the same, waiting for some sort of shoe to drop, someone to make a real decision and produce a real warship.

    Thinking about the Baltimores…here’s an historical tidbit. How do you deal with people like this?

    “A museum in Pyongyang, North Korea, preserved a propaganda poster claiming that the Baltimore was sunk by the Korean People’s Navy on 2 July 1950. A torpedo boat which ‘sank it’ is also displayed there. In fact, the Baltimore was never deployed to the Korean War, nor did it see action again after World War II. The actual battle that occurred on 2 July involved the USS Juneau as well as HMS Black Swan and HMS Jamaica, who together destroyed several North Korean torpedo boats escorting supply vessels without any significant return fire from the North Koreans.”

  13. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 4, 2010 5:39 pm

    Let’s return to the matter of the sinking of ROKS Cheonan. Warning: don’t be consuming your favorite beverage while reading the following unless you enjoy cleaning up your keyboard, display, mouse, work surface, self, spouse, children, pets, etc….

    Octogenerian El Comandante Fidel Castro of Cuba has announced that it was USN SEALs who sank the South Korean corvette. I’m certain that gigantesco El Presidente Hugo Chavez of Venezuela will now proclaim that he himself personally witnessed the incident in the Yellow Sea off the west coast of the Korean peninsula… |:-(

    Fidel Castro claims US sank South Korean ship

    From: AFP
    June 05, 2010 4:57AM

    * Castro says Navy Seals sank warship
    * Attack was to keep US troops in Japan
    * Former leader praises Kim Jong Ill

    US NAVY commandos sank a South Korean warship in March in order to blame North Korea, raise tensions and convince Japan to keep US forces in Okinawa, Fidel Castro has claimed.

    The former Cuban president, who based his information on press reports, blasted Washington’s “cynicism” and “lack of scruples” in the incident in a newspaper editorial.

    According to Mr Castro, US Navy SEALS torpedoed South Korea’s Cheonan corvette in a bid by Washington to sway Japan to allow a US military base to remain on Okinawa island.

    Mr Castro, 83 and convalescing away from government since 2006, writes regular columns for Cuban media commenting on world events.

    A multinational investigation last month concluded that a North Korean submarine torpedoed the South Korean warship on March 26, killing 46 people on board.

    Yukio Hatoyama resigned as Japan’s Prime Minister this week amid a row over an unpopular US Marine Corps airbase on Okinawa, having failed to fulfill a campaign promise to close the military facility.

    Mr Castro said rising tensions on the Korean peninsula were among the causes for Hatoyama’s resignation.

    “Political leaders and world opinion have proof of the cynicism and lack of scruples that characterises US imperial policy,” he wrote.

    “Thus, in a surprisingly easy manner, the United States managed to solve an important problem: to liquidate the national unity government of Yukio Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan.”

    He noted that Washington’s alleged hand in the Cheonan ship came at a high price, having “deeply offended its South Korea allies”.

    The former Cuban leader also hailed fellow communist Kim Jong Il, who has rejected any responsibility in the incident, and highlighted China’s muted response to the conflict.

    The Asian giant has resisted pressure to condemn North Korea and has called for efforts to ease regional tensions.

  14. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 4, 2010 4:57 pm


    Yeah, Australia has rebuilt their four remaining Adelaide class (FFG-7) with the addition of 32 ESSM in a Mk-41 VLS mounted in the bow. That’s in addition to an updated combat data system. And those ships still retain their one-armed bandits with a possible mix of SM-1 whatever SAMs and Harpoon AShMs.

    And Turkey has been performing a similar program of upgrades with their second-hand OHPs acquired from the USN. Again, ESSM quad-packed VLS cells are being added along with a completely new combat data system of wholly indigenous development, design, and production.

    What’s being done with the OHP-derived FFGs commissioned with the Spanish Navy is unknown to me. The former USN OHPs serving with the Polish, Greek, Pakistani, Egyptian, and Bahraini Navies are of unknown condition to me, too.

  15. Hudson permalink
    June 4, 2010 4:45 pm

    “Also makes me think the Perry’s were underarmed, their area SAM and Harpoon cruise missiles taken away so as not to make the pricier, newer warship look bad!”

    Mike, I hate to say it, but you might be right!

  16. Hudson permalink
    June 4, 2010 4:36 pm


    That sounds like a pretty good answer to me. The thing is, the Navy never liked the Perry ships and looked for ways to get rid of them: sell them off, sink ’em as reef material. Egypt and Turkey got a few–bulked up ships with new fire control, new missiles,etc. Serious ships.

    The great irony of this is that the LCS, designed to replace the Perry ships, is such a blow-up, costing 12+ times the original price of the first Perry’s, that the Navy might be forced to produce far fewer LCSs and therefore be compelled to refurbish its 30 remaining ships despite their age to, um, foreign standards.

    The Navy has vast experience with single and double arm launchers, dating back to the days when Baltimore class cruisers were converted into guided missile cruisers. So it’s a proven system. You don’t just junk a system like that until you’re ready to junk the whole ship, just to make a fashion statement.

    I hope the day never comes when an Islamic FFG sinks one of our FF-Gs because the latter could not defend itself properly.

  17. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 4, 2010 4:16 pm

    For the missions the Perry’s have been doing lately, chasing pirates and drug smugglers, working with the Coasties, the armament is adequate. This makes me wonder if we are arming our frigates like patrol boats, logically they would be replaced with patrol boats.

    Of course, logic and the Navy parted company, when they gave us LCS, the size of a frigate, the price of a destroyer, also with the armament of a patrol boat.

    Also makes me think the Perry’s were underarmed, their area SAM and Harpoon cruise missiles taken away so as not to make the pricier, newer warship look bad!

  18. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 4, 2010 3:28 pm


    Purportedly, reportedly (whatever) – the one-armed bandit (Mk-13 launcher) was antiquated, problem-prone, and required a whole different line of personnel training when all other major surface combatants were being equipped with Mk-41 VLS launchers. Of course, that’s a kinda interesting argument since the USN still employs the Mk-29 box launcher (of 1960s-era BPMS origins) for Sea Sparrow / ESSM (RIM-162D) aboard flatdeck aviation vessels and also the Mk-47 and SeaRAM (as found on LCS-2) launchers for the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) SAMs.

    I suppose there may have been operational aspects to the removal of the Mk-13 launchers, but it’s likely that it was more related to the budgetary aspects of maintaining a wholly separate personnel training line separate from the major training line for the Mk-41 VLS. But then, there are now those three other trainable missile launchers in use within the USN. So, we got rid of one launcher while we now have at least four launcher systems…

  19. Hudson permalink
    June 4, 2010 2:54 pm


    That’s better than nothing. Why did we handicap these ships?

  20. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 4, 2010 12:40 pm


    Yeah, it’s a remotely-controlled 25 mm chain-gun. It’s been in place for a year or two. We covered it here recently, or maybe that was over at Solomon’s SNAFU!

  21. Hudson permalink
    June 4, 2010 10:46 am

    What’s that on the platform over the removed Mk-13 missile launcher on the USS Vandergrift pictured above? It looks too small to be a second Phalanx. Maybe 25mm? Does the Navy have a plan for re-arming the Perry frigates? And why did it remove the Mk-13 in the first place rather than update it to accept more advanced versions of the SM-1MR?


  1. Military And Intelligence News Briefs — June 4, 2010 « Read NEWS

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