Fleet Structure

This is a reference page describing my vision of a properly designed and sized fleet.  This will provide context for readers as they read individual blog posts and enable them to see where the various concepts fit into the overall scheme.

Fleet Composition

Type                    Qty

Supercarrier             15
Small Carrier            12
Battleship                6
Independent Cruiser       8
AAW Escort               60
Destroyer                80
Destroyer (ASW) Escort   60
ASW Corvette             40
UAV Carrier               6
ASW Carrier               6

Total Combat Fleet      293

Large Deck Amphibious     9
Assault Support Ship      8
Attack Transport          6

Total Amphibious Fleet   23

Attack Submarine         60
Ballistic Missile Sub    12
Guided Missile Sub       10

Total Submarine Fleet    82

Here are the characteristics of the individual ships.

Supercarrier – This is a traditional Nimitz class carrier with a full 90+ aircraft air wing.  This is not a Ford class.

Catapults      4
Radar          TRS-3D/4D
Displacement   100,000 t
Length         1090 ft
Air Wing       90+

Small Carrier – This is a small carrier only on a relative basis.  It is intended to be a cheaper carrier more than a smaller carrier and, in fact, carries a nearly full size combat air wing.  One of the main functional differences, which contributes greatly to the reduced size and cost, is the presence of only 2 catapults which would be in the waist positions.  This frees up the entire bow for aircraft parking on deck and frees up volume below the flight deck by removing the catapult mechanism.  This ship is in the Midway size range. 

Catapults      2
Radar          TRS-3D/4D
Displacement   55,000 t
Length         900 ft
Air Wing       48

Battleship – The battleship has a traditional heavy 16” gun fit and massive armor for protection from missiles and torpedoes.  The main use is land attack including infantry gun support and long distance Tomahawk and short and intermediate range conventional ballistic missile (SRBM/IRBM) strike with a secondary role of anti-ship.  Naval and air base destruction would be prime missions.

·        3x 16” triple mount
·        4x 6” dual mount
·        2x 5” single mount
·        12x Phalanx CIWS
·        8x SeaRAM
·        64x Mk 41 VLS (ESSM, Tomahawk, LRASM)
·        32x SRBM/IRBM
·        TRS-3D/4D radar
·        SPQ-9B
·        EO/IR 360 deg

Independent Cruiser – The cruiser is designed for operations separate from a carrier group, hence, the “independent” description.  The cruiser would form the basis of a surface group able to operate without significant air cover.  Radar, IR, and visual stealth measures would be maximized.  Main missions would be anti-surface and land attack with an emphasis on more peripheral areas of operation.

·        6x 8” guns in 3x dual mount
·        4x 5” guns single mount
·        4x Phalanx CIWS
·        4x SeaRAM
·        96x Mk41 VLS (ESSM, Standard, Tomahawk, LRASM)
·        Aegis/AMDR
·        TRS-3D/4D
·        SPQ-9B
·        EO/IR 360 deg

AAW Escort – Provides AAW escort for carrier, amphibious, and surface action groups.  Does not operate alone.  Strictly AAW – no flight deck, no hangar, no ASW, no ASuW.  This is a floating AAW platform.  It would have maximum stealth features to enhance its survivability since an AAW platform that is easily sunk is of no use.

·        1x 5” gun
·        4x Phalanx CIWS
·        4x SeaRAM
·        96x Mk 41 VLS (Standard, ESSM)
·        Aegis/AMDR
·        TRS-3D/4D
·        SPQ-9B

Destroyer – Provides the main anti-surface (ASuW) capability plus ASW with helos, flight deck, and hangar as well as medium range (ESSM) AAW.

·        2x 5” gun
·        2x Phalanx CIWS
·        2x SeaRAM
·        32x Mk 41 VLS (ESSM, VL-ASROC, LRASM)
·        4x 21” torpedo
·        2x RBU-ish ASW rocket depth charges
·        2x MH-60R ASW helo
·        TRS-4D radar
·        Hull mounted multi-frequency sonar
·        Towed array

Destroyer Escort (ASW Escort) – Provides open ocean ASW escort to carrier, amphibious, surface action groups, and logistics convoys.

·        1x 76 mm Super Rapid STRALES/DART
·        2x Mk32 Triple Torpedo Launchers
·        2x RBU-ish ASW rocket depth charges
·        ASROC trainable box launcher
·        VDS
·        Hull mounted multi-frequency sonar
·        SQR-20 Multi-function towed array
·        Wide aperture lightweight fiber optic sonar array, consisting of three flat panels mounted low along either side of the hull (Virginia class side arrays)

ASW Corvette – Provides ASW for shallow water, choke point, harbor defense, and convoy escort.  This is not a battle carrier or surface group escort.

·        1x 76 mm Super Rapid STRALES/DART
·        2x Mk32 Triple Torpedo Launchers
·        2x RBU
·        VDS
·        Hull mounted multi-frequency sonar
·        SQR-20 Multi-function towed array

UAV Carrier – Dedicated UAV carrier intended to operate with surface groups to provide situational awareness.  Operates relatively small UAVs via mini-catapults and deck/net recovery.  Likely based on a converted commercial cargo design.

·        100x small UAV

ASW Carrier – This is a small ASW helo carrier that forms the core of an ASW hunter-killer group.  The ship is based on a small commercial cargo vessel.

·        10x MH-60R ASW helo

Large Deck Amphibious – This is an LHA/LHD big deck helo carrier with well deck but no MV-22 or F-35B/Harrier. 

·        12x AH-1 Super Cobra attack helo
·        18x CH-53K Stallion transport helo

Assault Support Ship – This ship stands close in to provide ground troops with very close range fire support and counter-rocket/artillery/mortar protection.

·        5x 5”/62 gun
·        1x C-RAM
·        Counter fire radar

Attack Transport – Virtually identical to WWII APA attack transports.  These would be largely constructed if/as needed during a war but a small group would be maintained during peacetime for proficiency exercises and operational/tactical experimentation.  Troops and cargo would be delivered by over-the-side landing craft (modern Higgins boats).

·        24x Landing craft

Attack Submarine – Identical to current SSNs except there would be no provision for cruise missiles.

Ballistic Missile Sub – Identical to current Ohio class SSBN.

Guided Missile Sub – Identical to current Ohio class SSGN.

·        154x cruise missiles

Supercarrier Air Wing

·        60 VF
·        14 VA
·        4 AEW
·        10 EW
·        10 ASW (fixed wing)
·        10 Tanker

Small Carrier Air Wing

·        44 VF
·        4 AEW


Operations - In combat, ships will operate in two main groupings:  carrier groups and surface groups.  Here are the notional compositions of the groups.

Carrier Group

     Supercarrier          3
     Small Carrier         1
     AAW Escort           10
     Destroyer            10
     ASW Escort           12

Cruiser Surface Group

     Independent Cruiser   2-4
     AAW Escort            4
     ASW Destroyer Escort  6-8
     UAV Carrier           1

Battleship Surface Group

     Battleship            2-4
     AAW Escort            4
     ASW Destroyer Escort  6-8

     UAV Carrier           1