Saturday, February 11, 2017

CONOPS First

What has ComNavOps harped on repeatedly?  - that the concept of operations (CONOPS) must come before production or even conceptual design.  Without a CONOPS, how can you possible know what you want the proposed asset to do?  And if you don’t know what you want it to do, how can you design and build it?

Check this out from the DOT&E 2016 Annual Report on the DDG-1000 Zumwalt program.

“The roles and missions of DDG 1000 are under review. The Navy expects to complete a study to determine the concept of operations for DDG 1000 by 2QFY17.”

The Zumwalt is already built and now the Navy hopes to have a CONOPS sometime later this year????  Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Stupid.

The Navy is incapable of learning lessons.

Stupid.

What is the CONOPS study going to show?  It’s going to show that there is no mission for the Zumwalt.  The entire concept of a “long range”, guided, ship launched, relatively small rocket is flawed.  The Navy has already found that they can’t afford the only munition the Zumwalt can shoot, the LRLAP! 

They’re about to find that a short range, small, replacement munition is of even less use. 

They’re about to find that the very idea of risking a $4B ship in close to shore (and with the much shorter range replacement munition, the ship will have to beach itself to get any useful range!) is insane. 

They’re about to find that giving a $4B ship a sonar, towed array, and V-ASROC so that it can play tag with diesel submarines is an insane risk. 

They’re about to find that giving a $4B ship a minimal AAW capability and then asking it stand close in to an enemy’s shore is an insane risk.

Had the Navy studied the CONOPS before designing the ship, they would have seen all this and could have saved $24B of construction and R&D.

8 comments:

  1. I think they're going to find out you can't run a 14,000 ton warship with a crew of a 140.

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    1. You're probably right. We're learning that we can't run a 3000 ton LCS with a crew of 70 or so, despite the Navy's assurances.

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  2. Vaguely wondered at one time if Navy would change the 16,000 ton Zumwalt CONOPS from NGFS to BMD with the  SM-3 Block IIB missile, though with the cancellation AN/SPY 4 volume search radar June 2010 seemed unlikely. The IIB was planned as a follow on to the US/Japan Aegis SM-3 IIA currently under development. IIB missile with higher speed and range, 27" vers. 21"body dia. with larger booster, liquid propellant upper stage vers. solid and new kinetic warhead. Due to the larger dia. IIB was too large to fit in the MK41 VLS and they would have had to modified, whereas with the Zumwalt MK57 VLS would have been no problems with size of IIB.

    But the IIB was cancelled in March 2013 by Obama under pressure from Putin for continued cooperation on the nuclear reduction treaty as IIB real threat to Russian ICBMs.

    Navy has stated it has no intention to fit Zumwalt MK57 VLS cells with SM for AAW or BMD missions, just use them for the old 80's TLAM's. May be a plan to use as test ships for rail guns with Navy PR spin to cover the waste of $24 billion.

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  3. A Zumwalt is being considered for the rail gun trials. It's a expensive test bed platform. At one time the test bed was to be one of those JHSV's
    http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/us-navy-railgun-tests-%E2%80%9Cblow-the-top-mountain%E2%80%9D-14869

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  4. It's also insane to build a $4 billion warship without a single Phalanx or SeaRam for active close-in protection. I realize the Zumwalt-class rely on stealth for protection, but over time their stealth may prove to be inadequate.

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  5. A better word than stupid describes the Navy's approach on ship building and that is CRIMINAL.

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  6. We ran the numbers last year at a CONOPS class we held for the Navy Cyber Command and the time to build a CONOPS, and get it approved via Fleet Forces Command, was about 48 months. That just won't work.

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    1. Mack, I'm absolutely fascinated by your comment. A bare bones outline of a CONOPS should be doable in one day. A refined concept should be doable in 30 days. Approvals are another story, of course.

      Tell me why you concluded that it would require four years to generate a CONOPS. I'm sure to learn something from this!

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