Thursday, June 15, 2017

How to Expand the Fleet Rapidly

This author reacts to the article I noted on missiles in boxes and repeats the call for anti-ship missiles in shipping containers that can be put on ships or on land.

I've been on this approach to creating modularized auxiliary cruisers for a long time.

The Army has a head start on this concept now. Will the Navy catch up?

I mean the United States Navy, of course-- not our Moscow friends.

In related news on expanding the fleet, could the Kitty Hawk be brought back into service? I'm not a big carrier fan for sea control (as opposed to power projection) missions. But the hull exists so a lot of the cost is already spent.

Yet isn't this rather than Kitty Hawk the bigger news?

The head of the Navy's Sea Systems Command, Vice Admiral Thomas Moore, stated that while most ships in the inactive fleet are in too sorry a state to be worth reviving, the USS Kitty Hawk may not be[.]

Why bother having ships in the reserve fleet if we don't spend some level of money to keep them in shape to be revived if needed?

Is the "reserve" fleet just a place to park decommissioned ships to put off the cost of disposing of them?

If we considered the world's container ships as an element of our reserve fleet, we could put missiles (and other systems) in shipping containers and convert civilian ships into auxiliary cruisers to get numbers.

Expanding the fleet will take time and perhaps money we don't have. Short-term solutions described in the iNavy concept can bridge the gap by jump-starting capability improvements.

Modularized auxiliary cruisers could be part of that effort. Part of my thoughts on such a ship involve the ability to drop off selected systems on land for a mission at a particular place while the ship continues its mission.

Missiles in boxes operating under the cooperative engagement system could be dropped off on islands or on the shore where they could be fired by warships with the capability of identifying targets.

The ship itself would be used the same way, of course (although the ship would need some self-defense capacity).

Optimist that I am, maybe experience with modularized auxiliary cruisers will cascade back to the Littoral Combat Ship and make their modularity design a reality rather than a dead end in practice.

UPDATE: A good article on why pulling ships out of the reserve fleet is a poor way to expand a peacetime (in regard to a naval war) fleet.