Thursday, February 14, 2019

Hyper Velocity Projectile Test

The Navy announced a limited test of hyper velocity projectiles (HVP; for a general discussion, see “Hyper Velocity Projectile”) fired from a 5” gun.  This is great news because the HVP can … can … ah …  Well, I’m not actually sure what the HVP can do.  No one has laid out an actual tactical use/benefit beyond vague generalities, most of which are likely untrue.

Last summer USS Dewey (DDG-105) fired 20 hyper velocity projectiles (HVP) from a standard Mk 45 5-inch deck gun in a quiet experiment that’s set to add new utility to the weapon found on almost every U.S. warship … (1)

Oh, now I see.  The HVP is “set to add new utility”.  That’s good.  We can always use new utility.  What the hell is new utility?

Here’s a bit more specific claim,

… the Navy could turn the more than 40-year-old deck gun design into an effective and low-cost weapon against cruise missiles and larger unmanned aerial vehicles. (1)

I fail to see how a faster projectile is going to transform the AAW-ineffective 5” gun into an effective AAW gun.  It’s still the same 12-15 round per minute rate of fire that’s considered too slow to deal with modern missiles.  It’s still the same train and elevation rates which are considered too slow to deal with modern missiles.  It’s still the same fire control system that is not considered capable of air-to-air gun engagements.

BAE Systems claims all kinds of amazing performance including 40-50 mile range, guidance, 20 rds/min from a 5” gun, high maneuverability, and low cost.(2)  As with any industry touted system, cut the performance in half and double the cost you’ll be somewhere in the real neighborhood.

You’ll recall that one of the original selling points of the rail gun was that it would fire inert, essentially free, projectiles … lumps of metal.  Well the 5” HVP isn’t going to be free.

… a hyper velocity projectile – even in the highest-end estimates have it in the $75,000 to $100,000 range, and that’s for the fanciest version of it with an onboard seeker. (1)

As you know, these kinds of estimates always wind up being understated so figure on doubling that cost.  That’s no longer a cheap projectile.  Yes, it’s cheap compared to a $1M-$2M missile but when you’re firing HVPs at 12-15 rds/min the cost quickly adds up.  At $100,000 per projectile (to use the likely optimistic number cost), firing for one minute will cost $1.2M-$1.5M.  Where’s the cost savings?  Unless the HVP transforms the 5” gun from a 0%, non-AAW-capable gun to something like a 90%, can’t miss weapon, there won’t be any cost savings.

Related thought:  If the HVP is all it takes to turn the 5” gun into a marvel of AAW weaponry, then why are we still wasting money on Standard missiles, ESSM, and RAM/SeaRAM?  But, I digress …

Here’s another suggested use,

HVPs could also find a home aboard the Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyers as a replacement round for the classes 155mm Advanced Gun System. (1)

The Zumwalt’s 155mm Advanced Gun System (AGS) was intended to be a precision guided, land attack weapon with 70-100 mile range.  How is the HVP going to replicate that performance to be a viable replacement for the cancelled LRLAP?  It could, perhaps, someday, become a second rate, poor man’s replacement but it can’t match the LRLAP specs.  To be fair, the LRLAP couldn’t match the LRLAP’s specs!

What would the cost of a very limited production quantity, one-of-a-kind,  AGS-HVP munition be, do you think?  We’re looking at half a million dollars or more, quite likely!



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(1)USNI News website, “Navy Quietly Fires 20 Hyper Velocity Projectiles Through Destroyer’s Deckgun”, Sam LaGrone, 8-Jan-2019,
https://news.usni.org/2019/01/08/navy-quietly-fires-20-hyper-velocity-projectiles-destroyers-deckgun

(2)BAE Systems website, retrieved 8-Jan-2019,
https://www.baesystems.com/en-us/product/hyper-velocity-projectile-hvp

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Come As You Are

In a recent comment about a sparsely attended ASW exercise, ComNavOps happened to suggest that the event would have made a good opportunity to conduct a no-notice, come as you are, scramble type exercise to see what our first day of war capabilities would look like.  Well, now I’m going to formally propose that we should be conducting this type of exercise several times per year, all across the fleet.  Let’s find out how many ships could actually sail on no notice (I’m betting not many), how quickly we could actually load weapons (I’m betting we’d encounter all kinds of obstacles and shortages of weapons, equipment for loading, and manpower), how many ships have full crews (none!), and how many ships are actually combat capable at any given moment (I strongly suspect none).

My understanding is that the Army conducts this type of no-notice mobilization on occasion although I don’t know the frequency, scope, or results.

The Navy used to conduct a few no-notice exercises for the pre-positioning ships.  I don’t know if they still do or not.

Wouldn’t it be incredibly informative to order a squadron of destroyers to sail on a moment’s notice and conduct a live fire missile exercise?  What do you think the result would be?

We need to start behaving as if we’re just a moment away from war and start realistically preparing for it.

Some of you will roll your eyes and say that’s overdoing it.  Aside from the fact that that’s exactly what the Navy is supposed to do, life at sea is always just a moment away from combat and disaster.  I’ll bet the Cole, McCain, Fitzgerald, Antietam, and Port Royal all wish they had treated day to day life a little more like combat and as if their lives depended on it – because they did and they were all unprepared.

Now is the time to try these exercises.  Now is when we can afford to make mistakes, as long as we learn from them and correct the errors.  Now is our golden opportunity to prepare for war so that fewer people will die while we relearn war when it actually comes – and it always does.

Right now, CNO Richardson – no notice - order the fleet to sea and see what happens.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Go Play Right Field

This reference may only be understandable to American readers but …

When you played Little League or sandlot pickup baseball games, what position did the worst player play?  Right field, of course!  It was the position least likely to see action.  You could hide the least capable player out there.  I know, this offends the sensibilities of today’s “we’re all equal and everyone’s a winner” crowd but we’re not all equal and we’re not all winners so toughen up and deal with it.  Moving on …

It appears the Navy must have once played baseball because they’ve opted to send the LCS to right field to hide its lack of capability.  Right field, in this case, is doing drug smuggling interdiction.  That’s about the farthest thing from combat you can get.

A Littoral Combat Ship, with an embarked Coast Guard law enforcement detachment, will hunt for drug runners in U.S. Southern Command later this year …

Faller [Adm. Craig Faller, SOUTHCOM commander] told the committee that illegal narcotics were “at the heart” of the security concerns of the region and are the driving force as to why so many Central Americans keep heading northward for a better life. (1)

Now, I have no objection to drug interdiction and focusing on South/Central America.  Indeed, I just recently wrote a post advocating exactly that type of heightened focus and engagement (see, “The Daily Threat”).  However, the use of the LCS is both illuminating and disappointing.  This tells me that the Navy sees no capability in the LCS, either.  In fact, given the incredibly urgent need for mine countermeasures (MCM) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) in the fleet and, despite the fact that those are two of the LCS’ three core missions, the assignment of the LCS to drug patrols rather than combat MCM/ASW training is quite telling.  It’s telling me that, despite their public pronouncements of the wonders of the miracle warfighting machine called the LCS, the Navy internally, in the darkest, most secret recesses of their heart, acknowledge that the LCS is fit for nothing related to combat.  In other words, the Navy is acknowledging that the LCS is not a warship.

While I’m fully supportive of more engagement in South/Central America, including drug interdiction, this also illustrates another of my proposals: the need for a peace/war two tier force structure.  It makes absolutely no sense to send a several hundred million dollar LCS on a drug interdiction mission that can be equally well executed by a simple commercial-based vessel for a tiny fraction of the cost.  As a point of comparison, the Cyclone class cost $20M and could do the job quite well.

This is also telling me that the MCM and ASW modules are nowhere near ready despite the Navy’s never ending claims that the modules are almost ready.  If they were almost ready, the LCS’es would be training intensely for them … but they’re not.

We have thirty some LCS built or building that have, literally, nothing to do.  They have no capabilities and, therefore, nothing combat-related that they can do.  The Navy is looking for some way to keep them busy while the decades long wait for modules drags on.  With nothing productive to do, the Navy is sending the LCS to right field.




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(1)USNI News website, “Littoral Combat Ships Headed to SOUTHCOM for Drug Interdiction Patrols This Year”, John Grady, 7-Feb-2019,
https://news.usni.org/2019/02/07/littoral-combat-ships-headed-southcom-drug-interdiction-patrols-year

Friday, February 8, 2019

Surface Ship Torpedo Defense Cancelled

The DOT&E 2018 Annual Report reveals that the Navy has decided to cancel the hard-kill torpedo defense system program (Surface Ship Torpedo Defense  – SSTD). 

In September 2018, the Navy suspended its efforts to develop the SSTD system.  The Navy plans to restore all carriers to their normal congurations during maintenance availabilities between FY19 and FY23.  DOT&E removed the SSTD system from DOT&E oversight. (1)

The SSTD, you’ll recall, was the result of a Fifth Fleet Urgent Operational Needs request after the sinking of the South Korean ROKS Cheonan in Mar 2010.  Prototype units were to be installed for deployment on carriers in a rapid fielding procedure concurrent with development and testing.  In the event, systems were installed on three carriers over a several year period (so much for urgent, huh?).  DOT&E has a good writeup on the overall system for those interested (2).

Despite investing $760M in development efforts, the system was unable to perform acceptably. (3)  This leaves the Navy with the same torpedo defense capability gap they had ten years ago!  What do you call an urgent need that, several years later, still hasn’t been filled?  Is it now a super duper urgent need?  But, I digress …

It’s not all that surprising that the technology failed - most new technologies do.  They require years or decades of development.  The Navy should have been working on this all along.  It’s not as if torpedoes magically appeared as a threat just ten years ago.  Torpedoes have been a threat since ships first took to the seas (all right, not quite that long but almost).  Further, the principle threat, the Soviet wake homing torpedo has been around since the 1960’s.  Why the Navy hadn’t been working on an active torpedo defense system for decades is a mystery and reflects the Navy’s utter lack of focus on combat. 

We eagerly invest $15B on a new carrier but neglect things like torpedo defense and weapon elevators, to name just a couple of items.  As the DOT&E reports have pointed out for many years, the Navy refuses to even develop a realistic torpedo threat surrogate for testing!

The threat still exists.  What now, Navy?




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(1)DOT&E 2018 Annual Report, p. 164


(3)The Drive website, Joseph Trevithick, 5-Feb-2019,
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/26347/the-navy-is-ripping-out-underperforming-anti-torpedo-torpedoes-from-its-supercarriers

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Navy's Manned-Unmanned Fleet Concept

Breaking Defense website has an article about the role of unmanned surface vessels in the future combat fleet.  Fascinating stuff and, not surprisingly, not a lot of detail but let’s take a look.

The Navy’s vision is that manned ships will be accompanied by two different sizes of unmanned surface vessels.  From the article (1),

Medium-sized Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs), about the size of the experimental 132-foot Sea Hunter launched in 2016, will act as scouts and decoys, carrying sensors and jammers for what the Navy calls Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare. If their radio and radar emissions draw enemy fire, well, they were relatively cheap and there’s nobody aboard to get killed.

Larger USVs [around 164 ft long],  … will provide additional punch, loaded with missile launchers but relying on other vessels to find the enemy and relay targeting data – a concept similar to the Arsenal Ship cancelled 20 years ago. (1)

On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a bad concept but let’s dig a little deeper.

There are some assumptions inherent in this concept.

Numbers – With actively radiating sensors, one has to assume the lifespans of the vessels will be short.  Remember, the enemy can “see” the USV much further away than the USV can see the enemy.  For a small, unarmed (?), sensor vessel it would only take a single anti-radiation missile (ARM) fired from very long range to sink or incapacitate the vessel.  This is okay provided that we have sufficient numbers of such vessels that we can operate more than the enemy can sink or we can replace the vessels faster than the enemy can sink them.  Having no individual USV defensive protection, a surface group would need a couple dozen USVs, at least to deal with the attrition and this is probably the low end of the numbers requirement.  This leads directly to the next assumption.

Cost – If numbers are important then cost becomes paramount.  These unmanned vessels will not be tiny quadcopters costing ten dollars each.  These will be fully functional ships without a crew.  It is not possible to somehow magically build free ships.  A 130-170 ft long ship is going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars.  If we can resist the urge to gold plate the USV with, say, a UAV landing pad/hangar, ultra high end sensors, complex hybrid multi-mode co-diesel/turbine/nuclear engines, and super sophisticated electronics, communications, and electronic countermeasures then, perhaps, we can keep the cost in the $50M-$100M range – and that’s being very optimistic.  Still, that’s a lot of money for a throwaway vessel that we don’t expect to have a very long life in combat.  As suggested above, even a couple dozen such vessels at $50M-$100M would represent $1.2B-$2.4B.  Yikes!  We’re going to casually throw that away and say, “well, they were relatively cheap and there’s nobody aboard to get killed.”?  That’s hard to imagine.  “Relatively cheap” is not the same as cheap.  One to two billion dollars, even if thrown away piecemeal, is still a lot of real money!

Operations – These USVs are small vessels and there is a limit to the range, speed, and seakeeping you can build into such a ship.  For comparison, the famous Flower class corvette of WWII was 205 ft long which is some 25% larger than the large USV and 55% larger than the small USV and the Flower class still struggled with weather and sea state.  How much worse will it be for smaller USVs?  A surface group is going to operate at 20+ kts which means these USVs are going to have to operate at 20 kts in all manner of sea states.  What will be the impact of these small vessels on the rest of the group.  Will we have to conduct daily refuelings?  Will such small vessels be able to maintain speed in even moderate seas?  Will the USVs become operational ”anchors” on the rest of the group?


Having offered some critical analysis, the general concept of unmanned, throwaway sensor platforms is not without merit and, in fact, ComNavOps has suggested this same approach but using UAVs instead of USVs.  Think about it … all the faults of the USVs are remedied by using UAVs.  UAVs are a fraction of the cost of a ship, can be used in very large numbers, and have no detrimental impact on group operations.  What’s more, they can be stored on, and operated from, almost any ship.  Remember, we’re not talking about large UAVs with thousand mile range and infinite endurance – all we need is a small UAV with, perhaps, 200 mile range and, maybe, 12 hour endurance and around 70 mph speed.  The Scan Eagle UAV, for example, has 24 hr endurance, 60-80 mph speed, weighs 30-40 lbs, and would easily have 200 mile range with suitable communications modifications (range is currently comm-limited).  Cost is listed as less than $100,000 each (2) and large scale production would certainly reduce that cost.

After the lesson of the LCS which was designed and built without a Concept of Operations (CONOPS), does the Navy have a CONOPS for these unmanned vessels?  It appears not.

“We’re still working through… how specifically we’re going to use these things,” Small [Rear Adm. Douglas Small, PEO-IWS.] told me. What’s crucial is to get the technology to the fleet, quickly, so real crews can experiment with it in real-world conditions. We may have in our small minds some idea of how this thing’s going to be used,” he said, “but when you turn it over to the sailors, they’re going to have a whole new, awesome way of using it.” (1)

No, you idiot!!!  This is how you wind up with an LCS.  You don’t just build something and give it to sailors to see what they’ll do with it – you develop a solid concept of operations (CONOPS), then design and build the ship, and then you tell the sailors what to do with it.  The Navy appears pathologically incapable of learning lessons.

So, what are we left with?  The Navy has a portion of a correct concept (unmanned, distributed sensors) but, in typical Navy fashion, is screwing it up by choosing to implement it with an inappropriate platform and without a CONOPS.



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(1)Breaking Defense website, “Robot Wolfpacks: The Faster, Cheaper 355-Ship Fleet ”, Sydney J. Freedburg, Jr., 22-Jan-2019,
https://breakingdefense.com/2019/01/robot-wolfpacks-the-faster-cheaper-355-ship-fleet/

(2)Barnard MicroSystems,
http://barnardmicrosystems.com/UAV/uav_list/scaneagle.html

Monday, February 4, 2019

The Daily Threat

This blog avoids blatant political subjects for very good reasons.  However, today’s post is going to be as close to that line as possible because we need to address a national security threat that is being largely ignored and isn’t that what the military is supposed to do – protect our national security? 

So, let’s try venturing into uncharted territory for a few moments.  Let’s talk about threats to our national security and way of life.  In other words, pretty serious threats.  What are those threats?  China?  Russia?  NKorea?  Iran?  Sure, but think about it, which of those threats impact us (‘us’ being the average American) every day and in a significant way?  Well, none, really.  Yes, China is the major threat to the world’s safety and freedom but they don’t really impact us negatively on a daily basis, do they?  At least, not in a way we can readily discern.  Yes, Chinese financial manipulations may impact prices and whatnot but that’s not something any of us can specifically point out on a daily basis.  Iran is a nuisance that we hear about on the news but they have no real daily impact on us.  Same for NKorea.  Russia is a bit of a rogue actor but, again, aside from election influencing – which the US engages in routinely in other countries (remember Obama campaigning for and against various issues and people in Europe and Israel?) – they have no daily impact on us.

There is, however, one more threat that dwarfs all the others combined in terms of its daily impact on our lives.  It’s South and Central America (SCA).  SCA is a major exporter of drugs, crime, criminals, refugees, smuggling, illegal immigrants, money laundering, gang activity, murders, etc. and it all crosses our southern border and invades our homeland.  Relax, this is not a border wall post – this is a national security post. 

SCA is negatively impacting our daily lives in a major way.  Every state in the country and almost every city is negatively impacted on a daily basis.  Despite this, what are we focused on with our military, State Department, diplomacy, and other agencies?  We’re focused on Europe, China, Russia – everywhere but our own backyard.  If we want to stand up to the threat of China, we need to first get our southern flank straightened out so that we can safely and confidently focus further afield.

For too long, we’ve taken a hands-off approach to SCA out of some sort of misguided notion of letting them live their own lives.  Well, as my father used to say, your rights extend only until they bump up against someone else’s rights.  Now, the lives and rights of the people of SCA are impacting ours in a major, negative way and it’s time for the US to reengage.  We need to stop pretending that every other country is equal (Obama would have us believe superior) to the US.  They aren’t.  In the agglomerate, we have superior values, morals, actions, economy, military, resources, and results.  That’s not arrogance, it’s a simple statement of fact.  That’s true great power and with great power comes great responsibility – a responsibility that we’ve been abdicating out of misguided notions of international equality. 

We need to engage – not ham-handedly, not overbearingly, not dictatorially, but in a genuine effort to help other countries achieve stability and prosperity – note that I’m not calling for universal democracy.  I don’t care what government type a country has as long as it behaves itself as a responsible global contributor.  The Middle East, for example, is clearly not mature enough for democracy to work and we need to accept that a stable, benign, dictatorial government may be the best the region can hope for.  What we can’t accept is a country ruled by a dictator who dumps his criminals on the US (Cuba, for example) or demonizes the US and makes the US the focus of his country’s hatred (Hugo Chavez, for example) or sponsors terrorism (Iranian Ayatollah, for example).  Countries with that type of immature, evil, disruptive behavior forfeit their right to independent self-government and we need to step in.

China is extending its influence – and military basing efforts – into the Indian Ocean, Africa, and South America. Do we really want to have to deal with a Chinese military presence in our own southern backyard of SCA (recall the Cuban missile crisis?)?  The best way to prevent that is to make the United States a more attractive partner to SCA than China.  We can do this through significant social, medical, financial, infrastructure, and military projects with SCA countries but it has to be a continuous and substantial effort.  Note – and this is important – that I’m not calling for a ‘hearts and minds’ type of campaign.  As I’ve stated in the past, I have grave doubts about the efficacy of the entire concept - actually, I don’t have any doubts – it doesn’t work!.  What I’m calling for is the establishment of continuous interactions that are mutually beneficial.  If we can do that, the ‘hearts and minds’ will take care of itself.  I also don’t particularly care whether another country likes us – they just have to cooperate, behave, and recognize that we’re a reliable and desirable partner.

There’s another major aspect to this interaction, one that has never been attempted before, and that is to use the ratcheting stick approach as well as the carrot and in a significant way.  You don’t accede to the desires of a child, you dictate the rules of behavior and you do so until they grow up and demonstrate a desired level of maturity.  If the child doesn’t respond to the initial discipline you ratchet up the punishments and consequences.  So, too, with countries.  A country that is behaving badly needs to be disciplined and corrected – aggressively and decisively.  Now, that doesn’t mean war (neither does it rule it out!) every time a country takes an action that we disagree with.  What it means is that a country that demonstrates a pattern of actions that are irresponsible, evil, unethical, immoral, and, more to the point, anti-American, needs to be decisively corrected and the corrections need to continually ratchet up until the desired correction is achieved.

Here’s an example that could have prevented untold years of war, thousands of deaths, and almost unlimited destruction:  Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.  Hussein was causing instability in the Middle East, upsetting world oil supply stability, sponsoring terrorism,  invading neighboring countries, and engaging in the development of weapons of mass destruction (yes, he used chemical weapons, we found biological weapons labs, and he was attempting to develop nuclear weapons – we’re not going to debate this) – more than enough bad behavior to justify action.  However, instead of the mass invasion that the US initiated and which led, ultimately and directly, to destabilization in the region and the rise of ISIS, we could have simply launched a single Tomahawk missile at his most likely location accompanied by a simple warning to those around him that if Iraq’s behavior did not immediately change we would continue to launch a single missile every day at our best guess as to his location until the desired behavior modification was achieved.  One of two results would eventually happen.

1. Hussein would be killed and then we’d tell his successor the same thing.

2. Those around Hussein would remove him for us to save their own lives and then we’d tell his successor the same thing.

Either way, we would have achieved the desired outcome without an invasion and none of the resulting decades long, region-wide, death and destruction.

Here’s a current example.  We want better behavior out of NKorea and Iran so we applied sanctions (and pallet loads of cash!).  They had an impact on the common people but didn’t actually change any state behaviors.  Now what?  The evil, irresponsible behavior continues and we have no further options.  Useless.  Pointless.  Worthless.

Instead, we could apply the same Tomahawk-a-day diplomacy and achieve guaranteed results.  Do this a couple of times and the rest of the world quickly learns not to cross the US.

Back to South/Central America … 

We need to engage continuously and actively on all levels.  We need to clearly define what we consider acceptable behavior.  We need to begin the ratcheting process where necessary.  If we do the first part (engagement) correctly, we should rarely have to resort to ratcheting.

We need to secure our southern flank in a positive, mutually beneficial manner.


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Feel free to comment but note that I am not going to allow this to degenerate into a pure political discussion.  There are international politics involved in this, certainly, and you’re free to comment on those but treat this as a national security issue rather than a partisan political issue.  Pure political comments will be deleted.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Frigate Manning and Maintenance


For years, now, the Navy has been complaining that manpower was too costly and, indeed, the Navy embarked on an unwise, misguided, and, ultimately, ill-fated cruise down “optimal” (meaning, minimal) manning creek.  The attempt ended in disastrous maintenance problems and excessive wear and tear on ships due to neglect and many ships were forced into early retirement.

You’ll recall that the LCS was one such attempt at minimal manning.  The ship was, supposedly, going to be crewed by six people and a mascot dog who was also a qualified navigator and cross trained as a cat.  Of course, the LCS crew size has increased dramatically as the Navy has abandoned the initial attempt at three crews for two ships (3:2) and now has settled on two crews for one ship (2:1 or, to put it on a common basis, 4:2 versus the original 3:2).  That, alone, is a 33% increase in LCS manning. 

In addition, the base crew size has increased and the shore side “crew”, which performs the maintenance, has been found to far exceed initial estimates.  The net result is that the LCS now requires as much or more crew as the Perry class frigates!

Okay, that’s interesting but it’s old news.  Well, what’s new news is that the Navy, despite their ongoing moaning about manpower (having apparently forgotten that we once fully crewed a 600 ship fleet) is planning on doubling the crew size of the new frigate by using a blue-gold, 2:1 manning scheme.  That’s right, each ship will have two crews.

Boxall [RAdm. Boxall, director of surface warfare] said the Navy is planning a Blue-Gold crewing model, which means that half the crew would be out with the ship, the other crew is shoreside.

“We’re looking at the blue-gold construct on FFG(X), we’re planning on it, which gives us a larger operational availability – it should double it. (1)

Wasn’t reduced manpower the driving force behind the overall design of the LCS?  So now we’re going to have not one but two crews for each frigate (and each LCS).  Which is it?  Is manpower a crippling drain on the Navy or not?

What about maintenance?  Wasn’t the unintended consequence of minimal manning the neglected maintenance that is crippling the fleet today?  Seemingly, every day we read about more ships requiring more maintenance than anticipated due to deferred and neglected maintenance.  So, what is the Navy doing?  They’re going to keep the new frigates at sea twice as long which means HALF THE MAINTENANCE!  Is the math too complex for you, Adm. Boxall?  How do you not get this?  You’re planning to run these frigates into early graves.  Ironically, the Navy just recently waved their hands and  pronounced extended life spans for all ship classes while noting that it could only happen if the required maintenance was scrupulously performed.  Hey, Adm. Boxall, you can’t perform maintenance on a ship that’s constantly at sea.



Here’s a little bonus LCS/Boxall tidbit.  You know how ComNavOps is constantly harping on the need for a well thought out, well developed CONOPS prior to designing a ship?  Well, consider this quote from the esteemed RAdm. Boxall,

We haven't even thought of the best use of LCS yet, if you ask me. (1)

Hey, Admiral, you know why you haven’t thought of the best use for the LCS yet?  Because you never had a CONOPS and still don’t!  And, best of all, you’re proceeding full steam ahead with your new frigate AND YOU DON’T HAVE A CONOPS FOR IT, EITHER!  Talk about being learning-challenged.

I guess I shouldn’t complain.  For a naval blogger, like myself, RAdm. Boxall is the gift that keeps on giving.  He’s giving me endless material to work with!



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(1)Defense News website, “Surface Navy Deleted Scenes & The NeverEnding Mission: The Drift XV”, David B. Larter, 25-Jan-2019,
https://www.defensenews.com/naval/the-drift/2019/01/25/surface-navy-deleted-scenes-the-neverending-mission-the-drift-xv/