Sunday, January 7, 2018

Defective F125 Frigate Returned To Builder

We complain about the incomplete and, in some cases, damaged ships that the Navy accepts from the builders and we wonder why they don’t enforce any warranty repair actions (turns out that most shipbuilding contracts don’t have any warranties!).  We also wonder why every other country’s ships are better built than ours.

Well, the better built part is easy to explain – they aren’t!  We just are more aware of our ship’s problems because we have much more open information sources for our ships.  Other countries have the same problems but they just aren’t publicized.

Anyway, here’s a bit of news that addresses both the warranty and the quality of build issues.  Germany has just returned the lead F125 frigate to the builder, after delivery, for repair of defects found during trials – and there’s a lot of defects and they appear to be pretty serious.

Here’s some of the problems as reported by Naval Today website. (1)

  • software and hardware issues
  • problems with the frigate’s operations room
  • listing problem - they list 1.3 degrees to starboard
  • overweight

Here’s an amusing bit of related information.

“According to the German Navy, the new frigates will require only half the crew necessary to operate the Bremen-class frigates. They will be able to stay at sea for up to 24 months and thereby reduce the transit times for the crews. The crews will swap in regular intervals directly in the areas of operations which means that the ships will have to make fewer port visits.” (1)

Does that sound like the failed LCS program?  I anticipate that the German Navy will find the same thing we did – that minimally manned crews can’t perform well, will be overworked and undertrained, and ship maintenance will suffer.  Well, good luck to them.


F125 Frigate

Back to the main point …    Hats off to the Germans for sending a defective ship back to the builder.  Maybe their example will inspire the U.S. Navy to do the same.

It is also worth noting that this disposes of the myth that other countries build better ships than we do.  A lot of observers want the U.S. to buy and/or build foreign ships and use foreign shipyards.  I have no problem with that, in concept, but the reality is that no one is building problem-free ships.  We just document and hear about our problems more than other country’s.



________________________________

(1)Naval Today website, “Germany returns lead F125 frigate to builder, report”, 22-Dec-2017,


33 comments:

  1. TheDrive website had a good write up about the F125 debacle. They've also done a good job about the Zumwalts too. You just have to find the articles through all the car ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/16920/the-curious-case-of-germanys-massive-new-but-relatively-toothless-type-125-frigates

      Delete
  2. Yeah, I think it was The Drive that had an interesting article and related to the LCS, apparently Germans aren't too happy about a ship that has very little offensive or defensive weapons...

    I wonder if it's because we (in the West) haven't gone to war (a real big one) in a long time that we now just build stuff that has limited utility or limited weapons...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read that story too. The interesting part about that, just like the LCS, I'm sure the company didn't forget to up gun the ship. If it was rejected for the poor workmanship then that's a good thing.

      Delete
  3. If designed correctly and appears it has been by Danish Navy/Maersk, the Iver Huitfeldt class, a warship can be cheap and effective. It works where the F125 fails

    An exponent of steel is cheap and air is free, large growth margin built in, twice the cooling capacity and auxiliary power capacity for growth, large fiber cabling ducts, designed with large access panels and routes with overhead crane and mono rails in engine room, automation, low crew numbers and very effective DC, meeting all the NATO standards for warships and tested, including shock resistance with underwater explosives, long range, high habitually standards for the crew and low maintenance. 

    VSR/MFR/FCR plus a HMS, 32-cell Mk41 VLS, 2 X12-cell Mk-56 ESSM launcher, 2 X 8 Mk 141 Launchers for Harpoon, 2 X OTO Melara 76mm/62 Super Rapid guns, 2 X 12.7mm machine guns, 1 X Millenium 35mm gun, 2 X twin torpedo tubes for lightweight ASW torpedoes , 8 X eight 6-barreled Mk 137 chaff/IR launchers. 

    Worth watching the Jan. 2017 1/2 hour video in Baltimore with the Captain of the HDMS Peter Willemoes, an Iver Huitfeldt class 6,600t AAW frigate.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1rg3Qa3FpU&feature=youtu.be

    PS ThyssenKrupp’s Marine Services has major problems.

    https://global.handelsblatt.com/companies/thyssenkrupp-shipbuilding-rapidly-sinking-856111

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know nothing about this class of vessel but common sense says that no construction as complex as a modern warship is built without problems. This class undoubtedly has its own set of problems. We just don't hear about them because there is no DOT&E reporting on it.

      Too many people believe that foreign ships are better built than U.S. just because they don't hear about the problems. Not hearing about the problems is not the same as not having problems.

      Before you hold this class up as an example of the epitome of the ship builder's trade, why don't you find some kind of authoritative and objective report on the actual trials and performance of the ships.

      Delete
    2. Totally agree have seen no equivalent of DOT&E report on these large Danish frigates, though neither have seen any adverse comments since they have been in service from 2011 and as mentioned in video passed Brit RN FOST with flying colors.

      Maersk who designed and built the frigates are the world's largest container shipping company, famous for setting the current design standard with their latest 31 Triple E ships, 400m 165,000dwt.

      Maersk with their long history,~600 vessels and design knowledge would expect nothing less than their know how to build reliable frigates. One note of their innovative thinking was to create shock mounted island's to house commercial standard equipment, military shock protected equivalent can cost four or five plus times commercial standard.

      Delete
    3. As I said, I know nothing about this class. They could be excellent quality builds but common sense suggests they have their problems.

      "passed Brit RN FOST with flying colors."

      And our LCSs have all passed builder's trials, acceptance trials, and NavSea inspections with flying colors - according to the Navy and the Navy's press releases. It's only DOT&E (and subsequent myriad breakdowns at sea!) that have revealed the real status of the ships. So, unless some organization without a clear bias has objectively assessed them and found them to be a success, I take official pronouncements with a thousand ton grain of salt - meaning, I don't believe them.

      Here's an example ... navaltoday website had this quote about the F125 builder's trials,

      "Marc Steffens, head of the F125 project at BAAINBw, said the tests went well and the results were “exceptionally good”."

      There you have it, "exceptionally good", you know, until the ship was returned to the builder for massive defects. Do you think the Huitfeldt class was also "exceptionally good"?

      Delete
    4. An additional thirteen minute video on the Danish Navy Iver Huitfeldt frigate class with its program manager, Captain Hesselberg, on the ships design philosophy.

      With their limited budget they did not use a think tank such as Rand Corp. but talked with the very successful Danish commercial shipping companies on how this could be achieved and were not to proud to take their advice, qualified three shipyards so as to have meaningful competition and used their own engineers for system integration, which says a lot about their ability. As above Maersk won the contract and bought new thinking with the shock mounted islands, which should be used in all warships for its major cost savings.

      Understand your and my well founded cynicism of USN after the LCS and other programs and with the F125 where the Admirals are still defending the indefensible, but with the Iver Huitfeldt class I do think they are "exceptionally good".

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMNoHCV9Vnc

      Delete
    5. Why do you think they are exceptionally good? Other than the program manager (as biased and unreliable a source as you could possibly have!) telling you the ships are good, have you seen any authoritative, objective testing data or reports? Any at all? If not, then you're just going on blind faith.

      As I said, the class may be good or may not. I've seen nothing authoritative either way so I have no opinion. That's what this blog is about: data. With no data, this class is just an unknown question mark. I can't recommend it nor can I criticize it. It's just nothing. If you find some performance test data, please share it.

      Delete
    6. Limited Data -

      The three Iver Huitfeldt class frigates ordered Dec. 2006, first ship laid down 18 months later Jun. 2008, 2nd. Mar. 2010 & 3rd. Dec. 2009, Commissioned Jan. 2011, Jun. 2011 & Nov. 2011 respectively. Very quick build. All up cost of these large 6,600T FLD frigates ~$400M each if including re-used equipment.

      The shock test trials of the IVER HUITFELDT where the ship was repeatedly exposed to a series of explosions, with one of the underwater explosions of the shock test triggered a pressure equivalent to 400 meters below the water level to comply with NATO standards (STANAG 4137) in May 2011 four months after commissioning. Compare to the LCS Freedom class, Freedom commissioned Nov. 2008, the limited strength Full Ship Shock Trials, FSST of USS Milwaukee, LCS 5, September 2016, eight years later, Zumwalt FSST has been cancelled by Navy, CVN-78 Ford FSST trials though mandated by DOD, but Navy with Congress help inserting wording in NDAA to cancel the FSST. As yet have seen no plan for FSST of the AB Flt III.

      Iver Huitfeldt has operated in in the ice sailing in January 2012 exercise off Northern Norway and in Indian ocean as part of international effort against the Somali pirates and no known "casualties".

      https://www2.forsvaret.dk/nyheder/overige_nyheder/Pages/IverHuitfeldtudsatforenormekr%C3%A6fter.aspx

      Delete
    7. With respect, no, that's not data - that's "biographical" background. For example, nothing in there says how the ships withstood their shock tests.

      Similarly, no known casualties likely just means that no organization has reported them. Every ship has casualties during deployments. Good ships have fewer and can handle many of their own repairs. I've seen no data on this class. In fact, the total absence of any casualty reports, no matter how insignificant, suggests that casualties are simply not being reported rather than not occurring.

      Again, this may be a good class or it may not. We just don't have data one way or the other.

      As a reminder, the Navy's announcements about the LCS shock trials were absolutely glowing. It wasn't until DOT&E reported the actual conditions (removed equipment, reduced charges and cancelled final test) and results (extensive damage) that we saw the real picture. So, until we see a report from an objective test organization on the class' shock trial results, I give the "success" announcements about shock trials as much credibility as I do the U.S. Navy announcements, which is to say none.

      Delete
    8. "All up cost of these large 6,600T FLD frigates ~$400M each"

      I flat out don't believe that. Consider, our Navy reports the cost of a ship as being the main hull construction contract but leaves out the fact that significant portions of the ship are being constructed after delivery, Government Furnished Equipment is provided via separate accounts that are not included in the total cost, cost overruns are not included in the stated cost, the cost of what should be warranty repairs are not included, and so on. Thus, the reported cost of our ships is only a portion of the actual cost.

      Without understanding what accounting "games" that foreign countries play, we can't even begin to believe their stated costs. We can't even ascertain our own true costs so we certainly can't ascertain another country's true costs!

      Delete
    9. "I flat out don't believe that"

      And you'd be right not to...the $400M figure is at least 50% lower than actual all up cost....an artificial number we reached by basically using every "creative" accounting trick in the book, and created for one reason only : to fool the Danish taxpayer(which hates every cent NOT spent on welfare!)....if the real cost had been known to the public, we would never had gotten the frigates but a few anemic corvettes instead.

      The Iver Huitfeldt hull/ platform as delivered from the yard was ~$175M a piece, without sensors, weapons and other GFE. The cost of those + the value of reused items brings the price to +$400M .....what is missing is the fitting out and associated labor cost which was payed for by the navy's operating budget.....plus a few rather expensive items initially FFBNW. All of which brings the cost of a fully equipped Iver Huitfeldt frigate to about ~$600M ....in 2011 dollars.

      Delete
  4. """They will be able to stay at sea for up to 24 months """

    I think this might be a bad translation. Staying at sea for 24 months is pretty hard core. I am betting its suppose to be staying out of home port for 24 months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I took it to mean forward deployed such as the USN does. Mixing forward deployed with rotating crews is a great way to get more time on station out of a single hull. Unfortunately, time on station with too small a crew even if rotating just means ineffective time away from home port. Such as with the LCS and probably this ship class.
      Combine a decent ship with a rotating crew and it has a lot of merit. Done wrong and it's just a larger cluster than a single crew.

      Delete
    2. The article stated that the ship was designed for 208 sea days per year, if I remember correctly. Clearly, that doesn't mean 2 years without making port.

      Delete
    3. "Mixing forward deployed with rotating crews is a great way to get more time on station out of a single hull."

      No, it's the poorest way to go about it and it results in a prematurely aged and poorly maintained ship. The Navy tried extended deployments and rotating crews even before the LCS. It was called Sea Swap and was instituted in various forms as far back as the Avenger crew swaps in the mid-1990s and destroyers in the early to mid 2000s. There may have been other attempts. The program failed miserably and resulted in severe maintenance problems attributed to lack of ownership identification among the crews.

      Crew swapping is one of those ideas that sounds great on paper but fails in reality.

      It's basic human nature. You don't take care of things you don't own as well as you do the things you do own. It's like leasing or renting a car. People don't take good care of a leased or rented car like they do their own. The Navy consistently fails to understand and account for basic human nature.

      From a Naval War College report on Sea Swap,

      "Critics are concerned that rotating crews will result in a loss of ownership; thus, decreasing both fleet readiness (because ship material condition will suffer) and individual pride. Their concerns are backed by historical examples. Foremost among them was the crew rotation scheme for forward
      deployed Avenger-class mine sweepers beginning in the mid-1990s. "Most of the downside of crew rotation," avers a 1998 CNA report, "stems from the lack of ownership. … This lack of same ship continuity detracts from pride in ownership and reportedly affects crew morale and ship material condition. … Replacement crews typically blame their predecessors for neglecting the material condition of the ship."51 The report also indicates that sailors felt belonging to a rotating crew was not career enhancing."

      Delete
    4. I think the way the USN said it would work would be to have two crews with one ship. It would be the only ship both crews deploy on. Blue/Gold. That works best on shorter deployments. The navy was actually experimenting with it in the late 80's/early 90"s when I was in. One of the most glaring problems was just the logistics of a large crew being forward deployed for minimum 6 months, what to do with the down crew and changing the crew of a large ship forward deployed. That basically was more trouble than it was worth. They said it would work with same crew/same boat and smaller crews/boats. It's still working on subs. The main reason to do it? More than eight months at sea a year. In a navy crying out for hulls to 355 and a congress spending close to a trillion dollars too much a year... this is a workable solution. Can it be screwed up? Absolutely. Can it be done right. It is on every ballistic missile sub.

      The real problem of lack of ownership is actually the small but real changes/differences between ships of even the same class. And it is just a non-starter for different classes. So when we swap hulls there is a large lag time and screw ups in the maintenance. The human nature you speak of is just sailors justifying a screw up. They are rationalizing.

      As for wearing out hulls early... if one keeps the same crew(s) on the same ship that is minimized. But make no mistake about it a ship only has so many days plowing through the waves, etc before it is worn out.
      Just FYI maintenance needs to be done. I agree. We see this screw up with the new minimal manning requirements the navy has been playing with. They are wearing out their sailors and their ships due to screwed up maintenance. But they are on a, "Normal" crewed ship. The point? Maintenance at all levels must be done and if not screw ups will happen.

      I don't think the navy believes blue and gold crews are not workable. I know this because they use it on the subs. I don't suppose they would mind screwed up maintenance on a ballistic missile submarine?

      As for career enhancement there is a very real problem in the military about that. Most of the current thinking is that we don't allow officers to stay in their branch. SWO to remain a SWO. So it's not just blue/gold. It's a wider problem that needs addressing.

      Delete
    5. The Navy has tried crew swaps extensively and it has failed in every instance it has been tried with the possible exception of SSBNs. I say "possible" because the Navy doesn't release any information about submarines to speak of. We don't know whether it's working or whether it has problems. Every other case (Avengers, destroyers, LCS) has failed.

      One of the problems is that with the exception of the SSBNs the crew swaps have not been on the same ship. It's been swaps between two different ships (the forward deployed crew and the home crew, for example, as was tried with destroyers in the 2000s) or its something goofy like 3 crews rotating through 2 ships (the LCS). The ship identification/ownership was non-existent. The SSBN blue/gold maintains the same ship ownership.

      Let me be perfectly clear, whatever opinions you may have, the actual data shows that crew swap has been an abject failure with the possible exception of the SSBN, as I noted. I cited just one report which documented the failure in a general way. Search the Internet and you'll find the specifics of the crew swap failures. Ships were prematurely worn out because the crews did not care for them. This is historical fact, not opinion.

      If you can find some data/report on SSBN maintenance that shows no problems then we can call that a success. Otherwise, it is unknown.

      You're making a lot of very general and unsupported statements in your various comments. Be sure to provide data to support your statements. This blog is based on facts and logic.

      Delete
    6. Was what you cited a report or a Naval War College article/thesis? There would be a difference.

      As far as generalizations, my opinion? Sure. Based on? Experience. Deploying on the USS Nimitz and USS Constellation for west pacs, around the horn. Multiple counter drug ops, etc. It's not like I don't have experience seeing the differences in ships of the same class, different class and differences in same aircraft of different lots.

      You're living in a dream world where you want everything to be perfect. No need for frigates, no problems with hull numbers, perfect strategy and equipment balance, etc. Those are definitely things to discuss and try to find fixes to. But wishing them away while saying you read a professor article/thesis as proof something won't work isn't going to solve a thing. It's going to make it worse.
      We need to get creative to fix the problem. As with most problems it's not an either/or. There's going to have to be give on all sides.

      Delete
    7. Wow...I re-read what I wrote. It seems unduly harsh. My apologies.
      Let me try again in a more professional manner.

      I would read the message traffic every night in the ready room. At the time sea swap was just getting started in 7th fleet. They actually wanted to sea swap the midway. Fortunately they never got too far down that road. Just not going to work.
      The problem I have with what you are saying is that you freely classify the navy rejecting sea swap as a failure but try to soft pedal the blue/gold swap that has been happening for decades.
      Now if they navy has the idea to reject sea swap on one ship, why would it keep one on the other unless it is working? Why would you believe that the navy would not want to sea swap a destroyer because they rejected it as not effective but then suggest that the navy is using classification to hide the fact that blue/gold isn't working but they want to keep doing it on a Trident sub? To me that defies logic.
      A better question is what is the difference between the sub and destroyer? From what I know from the early discussions of this idea was crew size and short deployment. It was logistically doable with a smaller crew when looking at training, work ups, etc. It was not workable for a larger ship with longer work ups. That is even more true if you are looking at doing work up with a carrier as escort. And it is very ridiculous when you look at doing on a carrier where work ups must be intensive for pilots and must happen close in time to the actual cruise.

      Anyone understanding what has gone before should not be surprised by this. So the fact that the fiasco that we call LCS program(and perhaps the germans) has gone to Blue/gold is a good step. If the crew size can be made large enough to allow for proper maintenance and good old fashioned sleep that would be another plus.
      Can it work. Of course, it has in the past. Can the navy screw it up. Sure thing. They already started the seeds to screw it up by planning to use the off crew to supplement the coast guard. Spending 3 months overseas and 3 months playing LEO with the coasties and then going back on 3 months deployment is what the regular navy calls a 9 month cruise. And that is not only hard, it's dangerous.

      Delete
    8. Let me explain a few things that you seem to be misunderstanding.

      1. I offer this blog as a service to readers and because I enjoy the research and writing. As a service, it's a take it or leave it proposition, meaning that it's not my job to prove every thing I say. The onus is on you, the reader, to prove your position if you disagree with me. What you, the reader, need to do is look at the body of work, meaning the entire blog and all the posts, and decide whether I have consistently offered logical statements backed up by verifiable data or not (hint: I footnote any major item that is not common knowledge). If you decide that the presented information is uniformly factual and logical then you need to accept the statements I offer as true or go research them on your own. I have no interest in proving my statements that I know to be true. Again, the onus is on the reader. On the other hand, if you decide that I fail to consistently provide factual information then your only recourse is to go find another blog.

      2. I write in two different realms: one, the way things are, in which I document the good, the bad, and the ugly and, two, the way things should be, in which I lay out the ideal conditions, equipment, procedures, etc.

      The two often go hand in hand. For example, I offer an analysis of the way the Navy's fleet is structured and then I offer my vision of the way the fleet should be structured. Some people have difficulty recognizing the two or are unable to make the mental switch back and forth between the two realms. For those who struggle with this transition, I can only suggest that they may be more comfortable with an official Navy website where only the existing world is mentioned and all is rosy and bright.

      3. I have no problem with people who make statements based on personal experience. There is a great deal of value in personal experience. It does not, however, confer universal wisdom nor does it guarantee correctness. For example, just because someone served on a destroyer does not make them an expert on all facets of the Navy. Service also does not guarantee wisdom or correctness. For example, the battleship Admirals had a wealth of experience but managed to draw the completely wrong conclusion about the value and role of battleships just prior to WWII. Another example is the current Navy Admirals. They have hundreds (thousands?) of years of cumulative experience and yet manage to consistently make the wrong decisions about almost everything.

      Perhaps understanding these points will help you understand what you are reading a bit better.

      Delete
    9. "You're living in a dream world where you want everything to be perfect."

      See point 2. above.

      "No need for frigates"

      I've explained my rationale. You can agree or disagree but it's based on a consistent vision of force structure and doctrine. Perhaps you need to read through the archives to understand the position?

      "no problems with hull numbers"

      Huh? I have made few (actually, I can't recall making any) statements about fleet size so I don't know what you're referring to. I have not called for any particular size fleet nor have I even stated the current fleet is too big or too small. If you're going to disagree with me, be sure it's about something I've actually said.

      "perfect strategy and equipment balance, etc."

      Of course! Who doesn't want perfect strategies, equipment, etc.? Establishing and discussing the ideals is what gives us something to shoot for. This is a positive, not a negative. Again, perhaps you're having trouble making the switch between current and ideal?

      Delete
    10. Sea Swap failed in all cases except, possibly, the SSBN. That's not an opinion, that's fact and it's the Navy's conclusion, as well.

      Is the SSBN blue/gold swap a success? As I stated, we simply don't know. There are no reports, good or bad, about the submarine service. It lives up to its moniker of the Silent Service. I suspect the swap is a success, at least to an acceptable degree, or the Navy would have stopped it by now as they did with the Sea Swap practices of the '90s and '00s.

      What we don't know is what the cost of the SSBN swap program is in terms of added effort and maintenance expense, if any. One could imagine that the swap results in greater maintenance problems and that, over the years, the Navy has established shore side maintenance programs to deal with the issues. To be clear, that's pure speculation on my part.

      We also noted that, unlike the other Sea Swap attempts, the blue/gold swap has the crew returning to "their" ship and that may make all the difference in terms of a sense of ownership and willingness to better maintain the vessel. If so, that suggests that a blue/gold swap has the potential to work for other ship types though that is certainly not a guarantee of success. I strongly suspect that there are inefficiencies involved in even a blue/gold swap and whether the Navy is serious enough about swaps to be willing to put the time and money into compensating for those inefficiencies, as they likely have for the SSBN, is highly questionable.

      The final aspect of the Sea Swap that makes it untenable is that a key feature of the swap concept is the ability to keep a ship forward deployed for longer periods of time (again, a notable difference from the SSBN program where the sub returns to port and is NOT kept on deployment longer). The problem with this is that hundreds of years of experience have proven that ships require periodic and fairly frequent deep level maintenance. A ship that is kept on extended deployment by using the crew swap program is a ship that is skipping required deep level maintenance. That's not something that can be made up down the road. When corrosion is allowed to progress beyond the surface layer, there is no repair that can be made down the road. When structural members are overworked and begin cracking, there is no way to restore them down the road. And so on. The ships involved in Sea Swap were permanently damaged and worn beyond their years. Again, the Navy's conclusion, not my opinion.

      Sea Swap has been an utter failure with the possible exception of the SSBN. Simple fact.

      If the Navy wants to attempt a blue/gold swap for, say, the LCS and is willing to do it under the same conditions as the SSBN - meaning, no extended deployments, return to port for regular deep maintenance, same crew returns to the same ship, required shore side support is provided, etc. - then the swap might work. Of course, that negates the main stated purpose of swapping which is to keep ships deployed for longer periods (contrary to the SSBN swap program).

      Delete
    11. I think we are on the exact same point. I'm as usual am failing to make a clear point.

      The two points you hit on are forward deployed and no extended deployments. Sea swap, at least as it was envisioned early on was swapping forward. It sounded a lot like current lcs but they didn't go home. They took a unique and compressed ops tempo and increased it on the ship, but not the crew. It's not the end of the world for a three month cruise. I'm not sure how that would even begin to work for 6 months or more.

      An interesting update to the blue/gold concept for lcs is that they are extended deployments but plan to return to conus for maintenance down time. Sea swap did not have that. It's hard to think the navy can do anything correctly with the lcs label on it. But time will tell.

      As you suggest leaving a schedule alone that allows for proper maintenance is key. As strange as it might sound IMO the Ohio's have a simple mission (move silently around with Tridents) and they are left alone to do it.

      Delete
    12. Interesting conversation. In addition to my time in the Navy, I have more than 20 years around big offshore drilling rigs. Serious deepwater rigs have a lot in common with major warships. Very complicated, maintenance intensive. Stuff breaks all the time, and tracking maintenance trends to do necessary repairs is critical to uptime. Downtime in the commercial world means you don't get paid. This gets noticed fast.

      Rotating crews are the rule, usually either 28 days on and off, or 35 days on an off.

      Ownership is not a problem. Deep maintenance cycles happen in a convenient shipyard qualified to handle the work. With a warship that is likely to be back in the home country.

      The relatively short time onboard and ashore means that both crews stay current on operations and maintenance. This is really important as its been proven in Norway that too much time off the vessel has huge impacts on both retained knowledge/skills and institutional knowledge.

      Returning to the same vessel is critical as well.

      Sea Swap if done properly works. The question is "What is properly".

      Delete
  5. This post and an earlier one made me ponder a strange question. With the proliferation of low/under armed warships the old/new cold war question has come into vogue. "This is how we are using the ship in peace time. But can it survive a war with China?"

    I myself have caught myself pondering the answer.

    But that begs a question that directly relates to this German and similar ones like the lcs. "What does war with China/Russia look like? And how does Mutually Assured Destruction shape that war?" Given how MAD shapes the limits of that war, how does that limit shape our fleet structure in peace time and war time with nuclear armed countries?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've discussed the use of our ships and aircraft during war many times in the blog. You may want to read through the archives, if you haven't already. So many of our systems are optimized for peacetime use instead of war. That's a major design failing.

      We've also discussed many times what war with China and, to a lesser degree, Russia will look like.

      The issue of MAD is one I haven't addressed because I've found that it's impossible to have a reasoned discussion about nuclear weapons. Too many people are so scared of nuclear weapons that they're willing to let China take over the world rather than resist, for fear of nuclear retaliation.

      Consider this ... If China is run by rational men then they're as scared of nuclear weapons and as reluctant to use them as we are. On the other hand, if China is run by evil, irrational men, as I believe and as their actions repeatedly demonstrate, then the sooner we eliminate them, the better, before they become any more of a nuclear threat than they are.

      You've asked the question about MAD. Now, why don't you offer your answer?

      Delete
  6. I am most definitely opposed to the US Navy routinely buying foreign-built ships. If the Navy and USCG don't feed the shipbuilding infrastructure and skills needed, who will?

    Plus the multiplier effect of US tax dollars going to US workers to be spent in the USA.

    I can see the idea of foreign ship procurement being taken up by our globalist pols as a cost-cutting and union-busting measure, though. Bipartisanly - more money for corporations and welfare, less money for US workers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you from a purely economic perspective. However, we've seen that the quality of the ships we're receiving from American shipbuilders is poor and getting steadily worse. I attribute this to the lack of competition. Opening up naval shipbuilding to foreign builders would reintroduce the competition that we've been lacking and would spur improvements in quality and, hopefully, reductions in price.

      Delete
    2. It's ok as long as they run their shipyards in the USA.
      After all, Beretta, Sig-Sauer, and FN make weapons for the US military in the USA.

      Delete
  7. I would settle for diversity in thinking!

    It would be advantageous if professional naval and military simply debated the merits of some of your proposals. Details are of course classified, but most of the nuts and bolts discussions could take the form: "if we developed a SRBM of range X, that could loft a warhead of such and such a mass, and weighed Y, how would we employ such a weapon, what sort of ship board arrangements would it be organized around, and how would it impact our logistics and training cycles?

    GAB

    ReplyDelete

Comments will be moderated for posts older than 30 days in order to reduce spam.