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Sea Links

June 11, 2010

The amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney and the Russian navy landing ship Kaliningrad are underway in formation on the second day of Baltic Operations exercise 2010.

US Navy

Axing DDG 1000 radar could save money.

USN Shipbuilding budget could face further squeeze.

How the Navy protects America.

Austal to build two more joint high speed vessels.

Congress Wants Diesel-Electric Subs.

Carrier Version of F-35 Makes 1st Flight.

US, French carriers practice joint air ops. More.


Warships of the World

Russian Probe Sees No N Korea Hand In Cheonan Sinking.

North Korea denies sinking South ship in letter to U.N.

South Korea shrinks from NK sanctions.

Sinking of ship provides welcome distraction for North Korea.

New Type 45 Destroyer, HMS Dauntless Commissioned.

Unarmed Royal Navy destroyers: French missiles blamed. More.

Queen visits largest warship HMS Ocean.

The Navies Of Central Asia.

Argentina plans nuclear powered vessels for the Navy.

Canada reveals National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.


New Wars at Sea

Israeli Navy Intercepts Blockade Runner Without Incident.

Iran’s navy offers to escort Gaza ships.

Dutch navy seizes cocaine from ship.

Pirate bosses on land remain elusive.

EU May Extend Somali Counterpiracy Effort.


From the Navy Vaults

Battle of Midway paved way for Allied efforts elsewhere. (Hilltop Times)

The Revolutionary War’s Other Naval Hero. (Wall Street Journal)

Canadian navy played key role in World War 2. (Victoria Times Colonist)

Canada’s postwar navy active on many fronts. (Edmonton Journal)

 Video-Malvinas/Falklands War How Close To Defeat? (You Tube)

The Saga of Robert Falcon Scott – Complex and Controversial. (Old Salt Blog)

The Submarine War in the Pacific. (Submersible Boiler to Silent Sea-Wolves)

 Books: Cochrane And Cordingly. (Pauline’s Pirates & Privateers)

Tools Of The Trade: Tricks Of The Eye. (Pauline’s Pirates & Privateers)

Battle Cruiser (Ship Type). (Air, Land, and Sea)

König-Class German Navy, Battleships, 1913–1914. (Air, Land, and Sea)

Amphibious Operation Leyte, 20-22 October 1944. (War and Game)

Bizarre Ship Graveyards. (Sea Classics)

CAN DO!: The Navy’s Fabulous FIGHTING SEABEES. (Sea Classics)


19 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 13, 2010 9:23 pm

    Chris wrote “I’m sad to see the USN neglect sea-control, ASW, and mine warfare.”

    They are obsessed with land threats, which stems from the late 40s, early 50s, competing with the Army and Air Force over the budget. They have cast off more useful small warships for the most expensive, as if the likes of Saddam Hussein is worth building history’s most expensive battlefleet. But such has been the caliber of our naval enemies for the last 70 years, the ones we have actually gone to war with. Interestingly the most American ships have been sunk since WW 2 by mines, yet our anti-mine capability is in the doldrums.

    Motherships–I would get creative with motherships, since here you could have a relatively low cost platform with lots of space. A large logistics ship like those you mentioned have greater space for cargo of course, and it would be a greater aerial platform for UAVs and helos than a frigate, since it has plentiful room. It also would provide room for detaining prisoners like from captured pirate vessels. You could load an Aegis system onboard also, with much space for upgrades.

    A mothership controlling a squadron of corvettes would be a formidable adversary for most of our antagonists in the Third World, and more cost effective since her charges are especially built for shallow water sailing.

  2. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 13, 2010 5:03 pm


    I was more interested in why the four SSGNs are deployed just right now, simultaneously. Does such a deployment have to do with North Korea, Iran, or even Pakistan? Are two of them positioned in the western Pacific while the other two are deployed to the Gulf of Oman / northwestern Indian Ocean? Or, are all four being concentrated in one region. Numbers like 616 TLAMs starts to make one wonder about such things…

  3. Chris Stefan permalink
    June 13, 2010 3:35 pm

    I agree about the utility of motherships and the Rotterdam/Galicia/Bay class seem to be particularly effective in that role as well as being considerably cheaper than the LPD-17.

    I am glad to see some sobering up in Washington to the fact that we can’t continue to prepare to fight the Soviet Union or Gulf War I 18 years after the end of both. Spending 6x as much as the nearest peer threat on our military and getting considerably less for the money spent is not sustainable.

    I’m sad to see the USN neglect sea-control, ASW, and mine warfare. The first is important for dealing with pirates and smugglers as well as EEZ enforcement. The latter two will be critically important if a shooting war becomes necessary with either Iran or North Korea. For that matter better ASW capability and training will help keep the Russians and Chinese in check.

  4. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 13, 2010 2:39 pm

    Chris wrote “Also see how useful these types have been in Indian Ocean pirate patrols or humanitarian missions.”

    Just imagine how much more effective they would be operating in conjunction with small craft, and Johan De Witt was experimenting in this type of operation. I feel certain the pirates fleet off Somalia would be bottled up. As it is, with our lack of hulls, they just go somewhere else.

    D.E. concerning the SSGNs, here is why I think we can safely cut back on our conventional deterrent, and build more small ships geared for anti-piracy and for anti-smuggling patrols at sea. We could be deploying a really cost effective and capable fleet, that no peer power could stand against. These four ships alone are probably more important than the entire carrier fleet. Certainly more survivable.

    Chris also wrote “I wonder if Rep. Ike Skelton or someone on his staff has been reading New Wars”

    I send everyone in DC their talking points on Mondays! LOL. But New Wars is just following the trends, and we weren’t the first, but Washington is usually the last.

  5. Chris Stefan permalink
    June 13, 2010 11:44 am

    Hmm, I wonder if Rep. Ike Skelton or someone on his staff has been reading New Wars:

    “Numbers make a difference, presence makes a big difference… just an American ship in the area makes a big difference.” Skelton is so adamant about naval forward presence that he said just “put sails” on any ship and get it out there.

    Sounds like something you might say Mike. ;-)

  6. D. E. Reddick permalink
    June 13, 2010 11:40 am

    All of the US Navy’s four SSGNs are presently deployed. Which means that 616 TLAMs are available, simultaneouly, on just those four platforms. Now there’s some firepower.

    SSGN Force Reaches Historic Milestone
    Story Number: NNS100611-13 Release Date: 6/11/2010 2:33:00 PM

    By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gretchen M. Albrecht, Commander, Submarine Group 9

    BANGOR, Wash. (NNS) — The Submarine Force announced it has achieved another first with all four guided-missile submarines (SSGN) deployed for the first time simultaneously June 10.

    Although the West Coast SSGNs, USS Ohio (SSGN 726) and USS Michigan (SSGN 727), and East Coast SSGNs, USS Florida (SSGN 728) and USS Georgia (SSGN 729), have previously been underway at the same time, this milestone marks the first time all four SSGNs have been forward deployed away from their homeports.

    “I think it is remarkable they are all deployed at once because back in the mid 90’s this was just a power point presentation,” said Rear Adm. Frank Caldwell, Commander, Submarine Group 9.

    “We have transitioned from an idea on paper to an actual capability to the nation. Their capabilities are revolutionary in what a typical submarine can do because they can carry multiple Tomahawk missiles, special operating forces, improved sonar processers, and a battle management center. It is truly one of the most capable platforms in the Navy today.”

  7. Chris Stefan permalink
    June 13, 2010 11:38 am

    I’m not an isolationist, but I feel our defense budget is way out of line with our needs and fiscal reality.

    I’m someone who believes in building up and using soft power whenever possible and only using hard power when there is no other choice.

    From a military perspective our focus should be on training, C4I, and logistics. If we are going to overspend I’d rather it be in these areas than elsewhere.

    The navy is an important component of all of this. However as you are so fond of pointing out this requires hulls in the water since all the billion dollar platforms in the world don’t do a damn bit of good if they aren’t where you need them.

    I also agree that just because the bulk of the fleet is in less expensive vessels it doesn’t mean we won’t have carriers, high-end destroyers/cruisers, submarines, and amphibians.

    I don’t think all of the less-expensive ships necessarily need to be small though. Look at the Absalon, Floréal, La Fayette, or some of the European amphibious designs. Also see how useful these types have been in Indian Ocean pirate patrols or humanitarian missions. Indeed the LCS would be far more useful had it been a US copy of the La Fayette, Absalon, or Floréal. Though even with low-cost frigates or MPVs we will still need the corvettes, OPVs, FACs, SSKs, and motherships you speak of.

  8. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 13, 2010 7:19 am

    And Chris that was the correct report from Barney Frank and Co.

  9. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 13, 2010 5:42 am

    Creeping into the talk of defense cuts Chris, is the idea of isolationism and declining American influence. I personally see our influence declining from our obsession with these large deterrent forces, or the notion that we must start a major war everytime our interests are threatened. I see states like Iran and North Korea circumventing our hard power easily. We nearly bankrupt ourselves while they are ever so frugal and equally effective.

    It’s not so much about spending less but spending smarter, taking advantage of new technologies to maintain our strategic position. Decline is only coming if we start leaving places, if the navy doesn’t have enough hulls, and isn’t there when needed.

    I could actually see us deploying only a 100 ship navy–of the types we build now which are all billion dollar plus carriers, cruisers, destroyers, submarines, and amphibious ships. These would be the core of a new navy, filled out with hundreds of small corvettes, patrol ships, fast attack craft, conventional submarines, and not-so-small motherships. They would cost in the tens and hundreds of millions each, returning sanity to shipbuilding, numbers to the fleet, and practicality to construction.

  10. Chris Stefan permalink
    June 12, 2010 11:34 pm

    I agree with you that we need more hulls in the water and to expend our defense dollars much more intelligently and carefully.

    However it is nice to see some momentum building for cutting down on the “exquisite platforms” so favored by the Pentagon of late.

    I’m not sure if this is the report referred to by Congressmen Frank and Paul but I found it interesting reading nonetheless:

  11. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 12, 2010 6:19 pm

    Chris, I believe we can expand the fleet in an economic down-slide. More on this Monday but it involves taking better advantage of new weapons of warfare, placing them on many inexpensive hulls.

  12. Chris Stefan permalink
    June 12, 2010 6:01 pm


    While the report calls for cutting down the fleet size I suspect there is much you would like in it such as cutting 2 carriers and 1 carrier air wing, a reduced LCS buy, canceling the V-22 etc.

    Some of the alternatives included reduce the carrier force even more, entirely cancel the F-35, and cancel the LCS in favor of extending the life of the Perrys.

  13. B.Smitty permalink
    June 12, 2010 10:22 am


    Scott B is another good source. The Chinese have an operational catamaran FAC (Type 022).

    IMHO, there are a number of reasons we haven’t seen a lot of cats and other HSV warships. First, while high speed is desired, it usually takes a back seat to the other two sides of the triangle: range and payload. Expeditionary navies need to deploy around the world and operate in difficult sea conditions. Naval combat systems are also heavy.

    Second is the perceived lack of survivability of necessarily light weight HSV hulls.

    Third is institutional inertia. The monohull has served navies well for basically as long as there have been navies. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    Fourth is cost. it just costs more to make an HSV.

    These arguments parallel the commercial sector. HSVs have assumed niche roles as fast coastal ferries, but the bulk of the world’s cargo is moved by large monohulls.

  14. June 12, 2010 12:26 am

    THX tangosix~!

  15. June 11, 2010 8:23 pm

    Hello Solomon,

    I think you need Bill,I have not noticed him posting here for a while.


  16. Mike Burleson permalink*
    June 11, 2010 8:18 pm

    “slashing the fleet to 230 ships”

    Hastening the inevitable, but small warships operating with high end vessels could save the fleet, without compromising capability.

  17. June 11, 2010 4:28 pm

    hey all…. (and sorry for semi hijacking your site for a sec but I have no other experts to ask)….

    HSV’s are known as vomit comets….Trimarans and Catamarans are notorious for poor rides in moderate seas…

    Is that why we haven’t seen them in naval service around the world before now? The N. Koreans did a catamaran ship and it was a one ship class (read failure)…I suspect it was because of poor seakeeping…anyone have any better visibility?????


  18. DesScorp permalink
    June 11, 2010 12:29 pm

    FYI, Barney Frank and Ron Paul are calling for huge defense cuts, including slashing the fleet to 230 ships:


  1. Military And Intelligence News Briefs — June 12, 2010 | TechsZone

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