Discussion in 'U.S. Navy' started by AMDR, Feb 7, 2016.
Pretty sweet vid
For more power in more places, the Navy should increase the offensive might of the surface force and employ ships in dispersed formations known as ‘hunter-killer surface action groups.’
Of Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert’s three tenets, “Warfighting First” is at the top, and that is no accident. When Admiral Greenert assumed office he immediately set about honing the warfighting edge of the entire Navy. The surface warfare community has seized on this mandate, so much so that we really have only one priority—warfighting—and everything we do in organizing, training, programming, maintaining, equipping, and operating the surface force ultimately derives from this single priority. We have renewed our focus on combat readiness, material readiness, and personal readiness, but we focus here mainly on our initiatives in combat readiness.
A shift is now under way within the surface force. It is not subtle, and it is not accidental. The surface force is taking the offensive, to give the operational commander options to employ naval combat power in any anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) environment. The surface fleet will always defend the high-value and mission-essential units; that is in our core doctrine. However, the emergence of sophisticated sea-denial strategies has driven a need to shift to an offensive imperative to control the seas. Increasing surface-force lethality—particularly in our offensive weapons and the concept of operations for surface action groups (SAGs)—will provide more strike options to joint-force commanders, provide another method to seize the initiative, and add battlespace complexity to an adversary’s calculus.
The objective is to cause the adversary to shift his own defenses to counter our thrusts. He will be forced to allocate critical and limited resources across a larger set of defended targets, thereby improving our operational advantage to exploit adversary forces. This shift is required for several reasons. First, when the Cold War ended, our Navy emerged unchallenged and dominant. No power could match us at sea, and that dominance allowed the Navy to focus on projecting power ashore. The balance between sea control and power projection tipped strongly in favor of the latter, and the surface force evolved accordingly. Our proficiency in land-attack and maritime-security operations reached new heights, while foundational skills in antisubmarine warfare (ASW) and antisurface warfare (ASUW) slowly began to erode. During this period, the mindset of our surface warriors slowly transformed from offensive to defensive. The surface force began to shift its expertise to launching Tomahawk missiles from uncontested sanctuaries at sea. If U.S. naval power is to reclaim maritime battlespace dominance in contemporary and future anti-A2/AD environments, the surface Navy must counter rapidly evolving missile, air, submarine, and surface threats that will challenge our ability to sail where we want, when we want.
Distributed Lethality Slide presentation
Seriously though why would you not equip all ships capable of carrying offensive weapons with offensive weapons? Every inch of space in our navy should be used to its maximum potential. We need to come up with new ships designs that carry unbelievable amounts of Cruise, anti ship, anti ballistic, and anti air missiles.
Smaller countries are trying to use missiles to deter our forces, we need to have a massive amount of missiles to take out their missiles before their land based missiles take out our ships.
Wow that is an awesome picture. Nice find!
Distributed Lethality is already reshaping and adding to the capabilities the Navy can bring to bear against a near-peer adversary. Take for example the Anti-Ship side of the house.
Right now the Navy (including the Naval Air Component) has only 2 real anti-ship weapons in use known to the public. The ship-launched and air-launched Harpoon (RGM-84G and AGM-84G respectively) and the SLAM-ER (AGM-84K). Both of these weapons are outdated, with the AGM-84K entering service in 2002 and the last USN Harpoon variants entering service in 1998. In addition, both have ranges that are simply too small (100-150 miles) to address threats that the USN will face now and in the future.
Now that Distributed Lethality is becoming a thing, the next decade are going to be full with all kinds of new anti-ship weapons and weapon variants entering service with the Navy. I'll take them one by one and give a short description. Some of these weapons aren't specifically geared towards killing ships, but it is just a side capability it has as a result of its sensors.
Anti-Ship Tomahawk (201x)
Tomahawk Block IV fitted with an active seeker for terminal homing. Range is over 1000 miles. VLS capable. IOC is Unknown but suspected to be nearing within the next 2 years. US FYDP sees 4000 more ordered over then next 5 years for $2 billion. (http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Se...hawk-cruise-missiles-in-budget/1461454610038/)
AGM-154C-1 JSOW Block III (2016)
Original JSOW fitted with Link-16 and Infrared sensor to give it an anti-ship capability. Range for high altitude release 70 miles. For Super Hornet and F-35. Subsonic
AGM-88E AARGM Block 1 (201x)
Block 1 is planning to address deficiencies from the Block 0 AARGM. It also added anti-ship capability. Range 80-90 miles. EA-18G and Super Hornet. Speed is about mach 2.5.
AGM-158C LRASM (2019)
Based off of JASSM-ER. Entering service with Navy and Air force 2019 and 2018 respectively. Range is roughly 550 miles. Air-launched with possible VLS upgrades in the 2020s. Does not rely on GPS. Semi-Autonomous swarming capabilities.
SM-6 Block IA (2017?)
Operational tests with with the Block IA variant started in 2016 (http://www.dote.osd.mil/pub/reports/FY2014/pdf/navy/2014sm-6.pdf). Included in this will be an anti-ship capability and GPS additions. Speed Mach 3.5, Range over 250 miles.
Naval Strike Missile/Harpoon Block II (2016)
Both missiles are scheduled to deploy on both LCS variants to the Pacific near the end of 2016. (http://www.defensenews.com/story/de...-freedom-coronado-independence-navy/74477482/)
Both are subsonic and have a range of a little over 100 miles. NSM is stealth.
AGM-84N Harpoon Block II+ (2017)
Upgraded Air-launched harpoon that is network-enabled with range and survivability improvements.
Needless to say that this level of missile variety is going to give our adversaries a serious headache when trying to deal our forces.
I found a well written excerpt on China's missile strategy to deter the US in a scholarly paper:
DEFENDING THE FLEET FROM CHINA’S ANTI-SHIP BALLISTIC MISSILE: NAVAL DECEPTION’S ROLES IN SEA-BASED MISSILE DEFENSE
By Jonathan F. Solomon, B.A.
Washington, DC April 15, 2011
"The PLA ASBM concept is therefore designed to enable rapid neutralization of forward deployed U.S. naval forces in the region as well as maritime logistical isolation of America’s regional allies and/or partner countries.16 It follows that if these East Asian countries come to believe that the U.S. cannot or will not make good on its extended defense commitments, let alone serve in its declared role as the region’s offshore balancer, China will be able to add the ASBM to the growing PLA arsenal of tools for regional political coercion.
Numerous articles within publicly available PLA professional journals as well as the contents of publicly released PLA doctrinal documents suggest that Chinese leaders believe precision-guided MRBMs form the core of their conventional deterrent against U.S. intervention in East Asian crises. These writings assert that should Chinese deterrence fail, massed surprise conventionally-armed MRBM strikes against U.S. force concentrations and logistical infrastructure in Japan as well as against U.S. naval forces at sea would contribute to a quick, low-cost decapitation of America’s military ability and political willingness to stand in the way of Chinese objectives. Chinese doctrine further implies extreme PLA confidence that an MRBM first strike’s horizontal and vertical escalation effects could be effectively managed.17 Chinese MRBM advocates clearly believe early use of these weapons in a deteriorating situation could hand Beijing a swift, decisive victory in a limited campaign against the U.S. and/or its allies individually or together."
It was about time we diversified our missile inventory, as you pointed out where we were at was insufficient to deal with the threats we faced. The 1000+ mile range Tomahawk Block IV can be used to neutralize their ships before they get ours, we could even attack their land based Cruise Missiles. In a wartime scenario the Chinese would without doubt neutralize our air fields in East Asia so in that case the navy will come to the rescue. They will try to intercept these ships with their submarines so we need to make sure that we have sufficient anti submarine assets in the area.
Nice article. I never realized that the PLA was so confident in their ballistic missiles.
And this is exactly why we must get distributed lethality off the ground as fast as possible. Its sounds like the Chinese are banking on a quick and extremely powerful ballistic missile strike to try and demoralize us into coming to the peace table within the first 48 hours. If we have distributed lethality locked and ready to go right after that happens, we could go into a deeper, longer conflict that the Chinese can't afford militaritly or economically. It would be hard to hold on to their prime ASBM-targeting satellites for long like the Gaofen-4 ( http://www.popsci.com/gaofen-4-worl...ontinues-chinas-great-leap-forward-into-space) and other major ISR assets like the OTH radars. This basically eliminates their ASBMs as a weapon after the first couple days . It would simply be too hard to track US ships that are under EMCON after they have lost that many surveillance assets. (AKA "Breaking the Kill Chain"). While we would also lose a whole bunch of military satellites too, Distributed Lethality also addresses this concern by adding drones like the TERN to every possible surface combatant so they can gather and relay targeting information to the fleet without the need for satellites(http://www.gizmag.com/tern-darpa-uav-details/41090/)
But lets hope we never have to find out for real if Chinese confidence in their ballistic missiles is well-placed or not.
This is an interesting read on Carrier group EMCON and real exercise that scared the crap out of the Soviets:
"At the objective "mirror image strikes" are flown. These are full strike missions by the airwing flown on a bearing 180 degrees out from the actual objective. Again, no active transmissions. The entire launch, strike, and recovery are flown without a key being touched. In NORPAC 82 these mirror image strikes within range of Petroplavask and the SSBN bastion in the Sea of O are conducted for 4 days without being detected by the opposition. All day, every day, the E2 orbits on a passive profile. All of the ships operate in passive mode simply listening. In a real war our presence would have been deduced on the first strike as the survivors picked themselves out the rubble of their airfields. But for this operation we continued to train in silence. One should not miss the implications of this feat. A strategic strike capable force operated with complete impunity for 4 days within range of strategic assets without being detected."
Again, if we can eliminate their satellites by Cyber (http://breakingdefense.com/2015/12/cyber-ew-are-secret-missile-defense-weapons-too-secret-to-use/) or other means, the Chinese would have a very hard time trying to find our ships as the above example from 1982 demonstrates.
But like you said, the submarines are still a problem that have to be dealt with, as they would remain one of the few remaining options for taking out a carrier.
DF-21 Test, apparently it can sink a carrier.
Given the range of the system it is a serious concern for us.
But we are increasing our fleets ability to intercept these missiles with the Aegis. If a war was to start it would be difficult to locate the location of their DF-21 carrier killers because they would most likely be moving them around 24/7. Without knowing the location of these it will be almost impossible to destroy them thus leaving us vulnerable. Someone posted it on this forum but the pictured showed the range of their SAM's out into the sea, I would imagine that they have thick air defenses so any recon flights are a no no. They have the capability to take out our satellites. It would be interesting to see how this game play out. Of course we can shoot down their satellites as well and shoot down their recon air craft.
We need to have big decoy ships that look like our real ships. We could convert cargo ships into mock carriers and into destroyers. We could even create a remote controlled ghost fleet to try and lure them into attacking it thus wasting their missiles. When dealing with these modern threats creativity is critical.
I wish we had a Chinese member or two just to see what they think.
The decoy ghost fleet is a valid strategy, the Japanese used it in the 2nd World War.
A person on Twitter Jim Green @aegisguy brought up a good point:
If this concept isn't funded sufficiently then it will get nowhere. It is very expensive to buy the amount of missiles this concept calls for and it is even more expensive to into VLS's on ships that don't have them yet like the logistics ships. Given the recent budget cuts it is possible that this concept doesn't go very far but it is a very effective concept and a necessary one so let see what they do.
Yup. Unfortunately such is life at DoD
Plenty of great ideas and concepts, too little money to fund them all. Lets hope Distributed Lethality is the one that gets through. There is so many different (and expensive) paths you can take that concept down. For example when we eventually (hopefully) refit all of those ships with SSMs you also refit them with advanced electronic warfare gear like SEWIP Block III and IV (http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=2100&tid=475&ct=2) that lets you take the distributed lethality concept into the electromagnetic spectrum. Unfortunately, like you said, that would also be extremely expensive.
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