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Belmont Club

The Anchor

June 28th, 2013 - 3:09 pm

The Arleigh Burke class of destroyers are arguably the new Fletchers.   They are “the third most numerous class of destroyer to serve in the U.S. Navy, after the Fletcher and Gearing classes; besides the 62 vessels of this class (comprising 21 of Flight I, 7 of Flight II and 34 of Flight IIA) in service by 2013, up to a further 42 (of Flight III) have been envisaged.”

That’s incredible in an age of multibillion dollar ships.

Although classified as “destroyers” they are the size of World War 2 heavy cruisers.  They can engage targets in space to those lurking at the bottom of the sea. They are used to deluge enemies with Tomahawks or defend the fleet. The newer versions of the Arleigh Burke destroyers have an organic remote minehunting capability, the A/N WLD-1 Remote Mine-hunting System. This is actually a remotely controlled, mini-diesel submarine that breathes through a snorkel and carries around a towed sonar, or possibly a smaller remote vehicle.

It’s main purpose is to hunt mines. But it can also be used to hunt Chinese diesel electric subs in confined waters. The destroyer stays a long way off and sends this miniature diesel sub after you. Either that, or they run it from a van on the beach. The A/N WLD-1 is not only used on the Burkes, but are also designed for the Littoral Combat Ships. The trend is for ships to serve as bases and combat nodes for remote and autonomous platforms. They are becoming “motherships” carrying robotic packages. There is actually a proposal to convert the LPD-17 amphibious class platform into a kind of ballistic missile defense battleship, a role now handled by — you guessed it — the Burkes.

But current and legacy ships have one big limitation: they lack electric power generation capacity. Their powerplants are designed to output mechanical energy, via the shafts of the engines. The newer systems are so power hungry (rail gun, big radars, directed energy weapons) that future ships must have a large part of their energy output available as electricity.

So the argument for the new builds, like the Gerald Ford carriers and the possible successor to the Burkes, is that they have to be designed as floating power stations to power up their energy weapons, both of the information, electromagnetic or kinetic kind. The proposed new AMDR naval radar standard is no longer your dad’s radar system and just keep it cool will require lots and lots of air conditioning. They could put it on the Burkes, but that would require modification for the larger panels.

The Navy’s ships are becoming more and more like “motherships” hosting a variety of remote weapons systems, whether these are strike aircraft, tankers or mini-submarines. We are well and truly in the 21st century now. In fact, the LA Times just announced that 20th Century Fox is no more. Twenty First Century Fox is the new name of the movie company.

The foundation of today’s international order rests upon America’s domination of the commons. I got a laugh out of reading the explanation for the Navy Seal’s insignia. It explains the trident, eagle, pistol and anchor. But it is the explanation for the anchor which might give one pause. “The anchor symbolizes the Navy, the parent service, the premier force for power projection on the planet and the guarantor of world peace.” Helluva a thing to say. But Brittania said the same in her heyday, and it’s not boasting, I guess, if it’s true.


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Top Rated Comments   
THE NAVY

China is building a blue water navy, and some worry that the Chinese navy will push the United States navy out of the western Pacific. This is arrant nonsense. The Chinese are not building a blue water navy, they are building a collection of blue water targets. A navy is not a collection of ships, a navy is tradition and culture. A navy is Drake and Hawkins taking their little ships against the Armada, a navy is a squadron hull down outside Brest, beating up against a northeast blow, keeping station month after month lest the Frogs cross their yards and come out. A navy is John Paul Jones crying he has not yet begun to fight, and Stephen Decatur sailing into Tripoli harbor and burning the captured frigate Philadelphia. A navy is Nelson putting the telescope to his blind eye, and Charles Stewart taking his 44 into the very chops of English Channel and beating the two Brits rash enough to attack him. A navy is the CSS Virginia sailing into Hampton Roads and taking on the entire Federal fleet. A navy is Foote taking his gunboats upriver under fire, and Farragut running the gauntlet into Mobile Bay. A navy is the USS Nevada, the only BB on Battleship Row with steam up that Sunday morning, standing down the channel, big battle ensign snapping, trying for the open sea in a doomed attempt to get the Jap carriers under her 16 inch guns. A navy is Spruance launching his planes knowing they did not have enough gas to get back, and the Taffies attacking Jap battleships to protect the transports loaded with troops. Where is the Chinese Nelson, where is the Chinese Preble, where is the Chinese Halsey? Not since Zheng He in the early 15th century has a Chinese fleet left home waters. No, if the Chinese navy ever leaves port with hostile intent, they will very quickly become permanent residents of the bottom of the South China Sea.

The rolling sea is restless in the dark
The silent ships glow faintly as they move
With purpose past the looming darkened shore
Where guns and lighted matches lay awake
In fog the forty-four waits for the spark
The flash, the roar, the broadside that will prove
The enemy is there and what is more
He’ll fight for honor and for glory’s sake
The years, like seas, go silent on their way
The wooden walls have given way to steel
Sharp eyes in crows nest no more climb the shrouds
And wooden decks no longer spread with sand
The ships still sail, still anchor in the bay
A rating still stands silent at the wheel
The sun still shines behind the lowering clouds
The Navy still protects this golden land

41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Any gilded defense. system can be defeated by infiltration of the domestic and political system. Stupidity leads one to allow human Stuxnet viruses into the operating system based on the arrogant belief that the agent can be managed. That same stupidity invited in the 911 attackers under the auspices that they could be kept under control of the domestic intelligence apparatus. Bringing in armed gang members and thier families under the premise that the nation needs more dish washers or jihaddis because there are not enough cab drivers in Detroit is simply insane .
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
We can afford new weapons systems and Armed Forces much larger than what we have, that is we can and should have a vastly larger military than the pre-WWI sized force Obama is cutting the US to. We cannot afford to have such a force and fund Obamacare and welfare for untold millions of amnestied new Democratic voters.

Is there a need for a larger and more robust military? The Left argues No, that the problem is us and the rest of the world would be safe if only the Americans and the Israelis were not so beastly. If you believe that then cut the size of the US military. If you look at what is happening and feel that we are a Global Force for Good then defund everything that the Democrats suck money from and triple the size of the US military.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (53)
All Comments   (53)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
OT but it is interesting to note that Obama is in Africa promoting voter ID and entrepreneurship. Two things that he and his administration are fighting like thier life depended on it which bears witness to the fact that they actively oppose truthful elections and individual wealth creation. He knows tge value of these things and touts it as president of the world but denies it to charges.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
His charges...his slaves
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
WE said: A navy is John Paul Jones crying he has not yet begun to fight, and Stephen Decatur sailing into Tripoli harbor and burning the captured frigate Philadelphia.
A navy *was* those things. Today it's all a tech contest, or as Red4 points out a contest of wills back home. In a few years the real fighting will all be be swarms of drones that may vary in size from plankton to whales, from the bottom of the sea to orbit, or the NEA teaching children that combat is archaic and ichy and weapons are bad bad bad.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
And our Navy is the organization that went to the aid of the Japanese at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, right at the peak of the crisis there, due to devastating effects of the tsunami.

See pg 14-17

http://www.supsalv.org/pdf/Faceplate_March%202012.pdf

Yes, the navy IS

A GLOBAL FORCE FOR GOOD
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is only one question you have to answer, where were you when the trouble broke out, running away or running to help?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
In Benghazi, Obama got caught running away.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
THE NAVY

China is building a blue water navy, and some worry that the Chinese navy will push the United States navy out of the western Pacific. This is arrant nonsense. The Chinese are not building a blue water navy, they are building a collection of blue water targets. A navy is not a collection of ships, a navy is tradition and culture. A navy is Drake and Hawkins taking their little ships against the Armada, a navy is a squadron hull down outside Brest, beating up against a northeast blow, keeping station month after month lest the Frogs cross their yards and come out. A navy is John Paul Jones crying he has not yet begun to fight, and Stephen Decatur sailing into Tripoli harbor and burning the captured frigate Philadelphia. A navy is Nelson putting the telescope to his blind eye, and Charles Stewart taking his 44 into the very chops of English Channel and beating the two Brits rash enough to attack him. A navy is the CSS Virginia sailing into Hampton Roads and taking on the entire Federal fleet. A navy is Foote taking his gunboats upriver under fire, and Farragut running the gauntlet into Mobile Bay. A navy is the USS Nevada, the only BB on Battleship Row with steam up that Sunday morning, standing down the channel, big battle ensign snapping, trying for the open sea in a doomed attempt to get the Jap carriers under her 16 inch guns. A navy is Spruance launching his planes knowing they did not have enough gas to get back, and the Taffies attacking Jap battleships to protect the transports loaded with troops. Where is the Chinese Nelson, where is the Chinese Preble, where is the Chinese Halsey? Not since Zheng He in the early 15th century has a Chinese fleet left home waters. No, if the Chinese navy ever leaves port with hostile intent, they will very quickly become permanent residents of the bottom of the South China Sea.

The rolling sea is restless in the dark
The silent ships glow faintly as they move
With purpose past the looming darkened shore
Where guns and lighted matches lay awake
In fog the forty-four waits for the spark
The flash, the roar, the broadside that will prove
The enemy is there and what is more
He’ll fight for honor and for glory’s sake
The years, like seas, go silent on their way
The wooden walls have given way to steel
Sharp eyes in crows nest no more climb the shrouds
And wooden decks no longer spread with sand
The ships still sail, still anchor in the bay
A rating still stands silent at the wheel
The sun still shines behind the lowering clouds
The Navy still protects this golden land

41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just great, Walt. You've hit the nail on the head.

Taffy 3 was in my mind, the greatest naval battle in history. As a former tin can sailor, I can't imagine being a C.O. on those destroyers and taking on the only decision that made tactical sense, to attack a battleship backed surface action group. The destroyers had no weapons that could even reach the Jap capital ships.

Commander Evans of the USS Johnston forever purchased credibility for the US Navy. He defined what the US Navy can and would do when pushed, and NOBODY, not the Chinese nor the Russians will ever take the USN for granted. I heard that the N. Vietnamese respected American technology but not the American armed forces. That was bunk. The N. Vietnamese never met Commander Evans on blue waters at day break. Any naval commander contemplating action against the USN need only speak with history, to go speak to the Japanese, to understand the gravity of his undertaking.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here is sincerely hoping we still have the good stock to produce the new Drakes, Hawkins, John Paul Joneses, etc..........
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
You should look in my niece's blue eyes. Under that blonde hair and pretty smile lies the cold steel of her female forebears. And her brother is doing Top Secret work for the Air Force.

We still have the good stock.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
No disrespect to our young men and women serving.

I was just not sure about the constant drumming of 'Western, esp. American, culture BAAAAD' would soften our will to win in the next (or any) conflict.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment

As they pull the handle for yet another decaf mochafrappalattecino for a wealthy baby boomer, todays expensively-credentialed indentured youth are in the process of deciding that they were lied to about the value of that degree in "Metrosexual Communication theory".

Many of them will begin to wonder what *other* lies they've been told.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't forget Capt. Chase. He's on page 848 of "the Naval Documents of the American Revolution, Volume 1" commandeering the Falmouth Packet to give chase to a Royal Navy warship, which became the first British warship to strike her colors to an American ship, on June 12, 1775 (more than a year BEFORE the Declaration of Independence and before the Battle of Bunker Hill).

It seems those Down East lumbermen did not take a liking to the Redcoats trying to seize the Minutemen's arms at Lexington and Concord. They had erected a "Liberty Pole" and refused to take it down when ordered to by a pipsqueak Captain of a Royal Navy warship.

The first naval victory of the soon to be United States Navy!!!!
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
In one of the museums in DC they have "the oldest US Warship."

They sent a group of men out into the wilderness of the Northeast, told them to cut down trees, build boats, and then go attack the British further on the river.

Now, that's a mission for you! At Vandenberg we used to have to rebuild the old Atlas ICBMs into space boosters, rewire them, assemble them, test them using Drive In Movie machines, and then erect them on the pad, - but those guys building their warboats in the wilderness is at least a couple of levels past that.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I invite everyone to read the greatest American novelist, Kenneth Roberts, and his series of novels based on Maine men in the Revolutionary War. Written in the 1930s and 1940s, they have been reissured in paoerback and Kindle on Amazon. Start with Arundel and A Rabble In Arms. You will not be disappointed.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wasn't it John Paul Jones who wrote, "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way."

More commonly misremembered as, "Give me a fast ship, for I intend to go in harm's way".
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
And the grief Arleigh Burke (namesake of those Arleigh Burke destroyers) got for proceeding at "only" 31 knots?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arleigh_Burke#World_War_II
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
What Walt said +1.
TinCan Sailors - Alpha Station.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWZPp3aEjuM

Worth inclusion to the ^^^^ videos above.

Blitzer -- the rail gun system -- General Atomic
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Meanwhile to Professor Craig 'Ron Pol Pot' Pirrong and his assorted Twitter groupies, as well as Andy McCarthy and the other three letter agency blind defenders: congratulations, the Germans now think NSA is doing stuff even the Stasi never dreamed of!

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/26/195045/memories-of-stasi-color-germans.html#.Uc5WzfnFXTp



Tell me this Fake Right Surevillance State trolls (perhaps I shouldn't include McCarthy in such company, he did after all oppose arming the heart and lung eaters brigades): when did the Germans start hating America for our freedoms? I guess we need to go back to trolling Snowden, Assange, Occupy, RT or everyone else rather than discuss why the Germans view our pretensions to spreading freedom as pathetic (and damn if the goldbug Paulbots didn't get to the Bundesbank too demanding their gold back over seven years! The nerve of those people!).
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Any gilded defense. system can be defeated by infiltration of the domestic and political system. Stupidity leads one to allow human Stuxnet viruses into the operating system based on the arrogant belief that the agent can be managed. That same stupidity invited in the 911 attackers under the auspices that they could be kept under control of the domestic intelligence apparatus. Bringing in armed gang members and thier families under the premise that the nation needs more dish washers or jihaddis because there are not enough cab drivers in Detroit is simply insane .
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
One hundred years ago, the 2nd generation of "dreadnoughts" were the ship of the line.

30 years later, the National Geographic crowned the aircraft carrier the new "Queen of the Seas".

Although the Navy Fleet carrier has gotten a ton of ink in the last 70 years, it may be that the fast attack submarine and the ballistic missile submarine are really the most important ships "afloat".

The surface navy is the most visible aspect of seapower, but if we ever get into another "gut busting mother loving Navy war!" (ala Kirk Douglas saying "In Harm's Way"), you wonder how long the surface navy will last. Maybe it's just until the subs run out of torpedoes?

The Lockheed Martin videos are very entertaining, but you have to wonder just how effective ASW is against modern submarines. All we really know is about training excercises.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The Lockheed Martin videos are very entertaining, but you have to wonder just how effective ASW is against modern submarines."

They're all only as good as their eyes. A diesel submarine without targeting data and deprived of cues to find their targets is like blind man trying to find something in an ocean at the speed of a pedal bike. Ditto the Chinese DF-1. It's only as good as its targeting data.

All those fancy radars are probably going to be turned off to keep from advertising one's position.

My guess is that that naval war will be settled in space, probably in the initial day. First side to knock out the other guy's satellite surveillance and comms wins. Take out the comms and Chinese satellites and their missiles are blind. Then their submarines are more or less useless. They can't hare across the blue water without making much noise and diesel subs can't hare period.

Just torch their fuel farms back at base and they have enough fuel for their first and last war patrol. The rest is mere demolition. Of course if both sides damage each other's satellite comms then the carriers become just as useful as ever. It's almost back to World War 2 again, more or less when all the cooperative combat systems die from lack of distributed comms.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Diesel - electrics are over-rated. What is their top speed submerged, 10 knots? Or 5 - 6? Their best tactic is to park astride expected lanes of passage and take potshots at targets of opportunity.
I had a few friends in the "nuclear navy" in the 80's, and there were a lot of incidents between the US Navy and the Russkis from the early '70's to the end of the '80's that of course were all conveyed by word of mouth. It was constantly chasing each other around, playing cat and mouse.

ASW is only as good as the drill under realistic conditions. I just wonder how good the US Navy actually is. With the demise of the Soviet nuclear sub fleet, the US Navy de-emphasized ASW. You have to wonder how much skill and expertise has gone out of the surface fleet.
I think the Chinese surface PLAN is all for show. I think the DF-1 is also a "showboat" weapon system. I wonder about their submarine capabilities though. And how much technology the Russians share with them. I don't think it will be decades until they close up the technology gap in sub warfare.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
How good Navy ASW actually is (was)...was very very good. Some more history...the key to ASW is propeller technology. When a propeller cavitates it matters not how quite the rest of the boat. Cavitation starts at 10 to 12 kts. Yes the boat is faster, but it is ringing a big bell at speeds over its cavitation point. US boats used to have an advantage until the Hitachi event a few years back.
Destroyers are now built to be quiet as well.
SSN's, living in the same environment, are our best ASW platform.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not Hitachi...TOSHIBA.

41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cheap lift translates to new eyes constantly launching, if we can keep the orbits clear. Keep an eye on SpceX and their launch cost figures. The limiting factors may end up orbital clearance to remove satellite debris.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
And don't forget BAMS, broad area maritime surveillance. That is a gap filler and backup when satellites are in question.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
The world is constantly being destabilized by change. Take the Smartphone. Once Nokia was king. Apple is now being threatened by Samsung and all in less than a decade.

Most any innovation is either disruptive or transformational. Often it is both. Viewed in this way man is in an arms race against himself. The Chinese come up with the DF-1, the USN comes up with a fleet that can launch drones from thousands of miles away, refueled by Global Hawk tankers, none of which can be seen for beans.

Doubtless the Chinese will come up with something better. And then the USN will trump that. And so on. In a way none of this is bothersome so long as nobody actually uses these gizmos to fight. But to think it will go away and we'll buy the world a Coke is probably not in the cards.

To a great extent this reduces technology to a background given. It will always be there, disrupting, transforming. What really matters is the human factor. What matters is governance. In a hundred years we'll be two orders of magnitude more powerful than today. But arguably we will be stupider, given current trends. It's not the tech that worries me. It's the stupid.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
"It's the stupid."

It has always been as such. Made me laugh. From your pen to G-d's eyes.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
A friend of mine worked laser power supplies along time ago that were the size of buildings. If there were a chance that laser based milsile defense systems they'd of been located next to power plants. Modern turbine electric power plants are powerful enough to provide electricity for a small city. I had heard plans of doing just that in an emergency. The age old nature of battle will change when the hand of God can reach out and touch you. If the electricity goes out, can we use swords?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gas bag alert inre RT TV.^^^^
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
You must mean the "nuclear non-proliferation expert". With the "experts" leading behind, might we have the start of a preference cascade?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
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