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    US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

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    KiloGolf
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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  KiloGolf on Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:39 pm

    The two Kirov class cruisers have now competition, two Zumwalts out there, soon three.



    great looking ships I might add


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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:09 am

    And there will only be 3 .

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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  JohninMK on Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:23 am

    Now on her way home

    After carrying out thousands of sorties against Daesh, also known as IS/Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the USS Harry S. Truman has docked in Crete.

    After launching airstrikes against the terrorist group for the last seven months, the US Navy’s aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean is giving its crew a break. Arriving at the Greek island of Crete, the USS Harry S. Truman’s 5,500 crew members will relax before departing for Norfolk, Virginia. That is crucial in maintaining the 1,096-foot long ship’s two nuclear reactors and preparing munitions for the fighter jets prior to sorties. Others cook over 18,000 meals per day and maintain the unique standards of life aboard an aircraft carrier.

    While the Truman’s mission was extended by one month to "keep pressure" on Daesh, it is expected to arrive in Virginia in mid-July.

    Originally stationed in the Persian Gulf, the Truman’s redeployment to the Mediterranean was controversial and seen as a response to Russia’s military operations in Syria. Earlier this month, one US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the ship, one of 19 US aircraft carriers in service around the globe, "provides some needed presence in the Med to check…the Russians."


    http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160621/1041707170/uss-harry-truman-leaves-fight.html

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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:15 am

    Secret Stealthy Submarine Aims to Retain US Military Superiority

    The US Navy is building its new Virginia-class attack submarine the USS South Dakota (SSN-790), claiming that the warship will boast cutting-edge acoustic superiority features that will make it second to none.

    "The Emerging Era in Undersea Warfare" report released by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments back in January 2015 argued that the technological gap between the US and its competitors is narrowing.

    "America's superiority in undersea warfare is the product of decades of research and development (R&D), a sophisticated defense industrial base, operational experience, and high-fidelity training. This superiority, however, is far from assured," the report warned.

    "America's competitors are likely pursuing these technologies while also expanding their own undersea forces. To sustain its undersea advantage well into this century, the US Navy must accelerate innovation in undersea warfare by reconsidering the role of manned submarines and exploiting emerging technologies to field a new 'family of undersea systems'," it underscored.

    To gain an advantage in undersea warfare the US Navy is currently building a new Virginia-class attack submarine USS South Dakota (SSN-790) with "acoustic superiority features" which will make the vessel stealthier.  pirat

    Osborn explains that "acoustic superiority" means engineering a "circumstance wherein US submarines can operate undetected in or near enemy water or coastline" while conducting reconnaissance or attack missions. Furthermore, the vessels boasting such a feature would be able to "sense" adversary's activities at farther ranges than its competitors can.

    "We are talking about changes in sensors and changes in the capabilities aboard the ship that we think could be very dramatic in terms of improving our ability to compete in our acoustic spectrum," Rear Adm. Charles Richard, Director of Undersea Warfare told Scout Warrior.

    "Chinese SSBNs [nuclear-armed submarines] are now able to patrol with nuclear-armed JL-2 missiles able to strike targets more than 4,500 nautical miles," Osborn notes.

    And still, China's upcoming sharp increase in attack submarines and nuclear-armed submarines (SSBN) may change the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region in the long run.

    It is expected that the new stealthy USS South Dakota (SSN-790) will officially enter into service in August 2018.

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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Tue Jun 28, 2016 1:56 am

    Navy to Begin Building Longer-Range V-22 Osprey Aircraft

    The Navy is in the early stages of building its own variant of the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft to perform its critical carrier on-board delivery, or COD, mission to move forces, supplies and weapons to forward-stationed ships at sea.

    The service plans to procure 44 new CMV-22B Ospreys for the COD mission, replacing the Cold War-era C-2 Greyhound aircraft. The Greyhound is a twin-engine, high-wing cargo aircraft introduced in the 1960s. Since that time, 35 C-2s have been in the naval inventory, officials said.

    Unlike the C-2 fixed wing aircraft, which requires a catapult to lift off of the deck of a carrier, the Osprey tiltrotor can both reach airplane speeds of 220 mph and also hover like a helicopter such that it can come in for vertical landings on the carrier deck.

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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:35 am

    Austal Takes Over Littoral Combat Ships Biz From General Dynamics


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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:57 am

    US Navy to begin Testing Powerful 150-Kilowatt Laser Weapon System Soon


    US Navy had developed a 30-kilowatt laser and mounted it on the USS Ponce, which was stationed in the Persian Gulf at the time. The laser was part of the US Navy's new Laser Weapon System (LaWS) program, and with a videogame-like controller it had been successfully tested.

    In this video, the laser will engage and destroy multiple targets including a drone in mid-air.



    The Navy is going to go bigger, much bigger.The US Navy will now be performing tests of a 150-kilowatt laser, in an effort to upgrade capability and eventually to become part of every service platform.

    Very limited horizon, maybe 5 miles to 10 miles. Looks like short burst, has to repower. How would it do on 3 inbound missles at 700 mph ? probably badly. Expensive gadget in the budget because of someone at Darpa has a friend in a Lazer company.

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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:33 am

    Senior US Navy Official: Navy Plans to Ask for Fleet Size Increase by 2020    


    The Navy will  ask Pentagon and Congressional leaders to support a significant increase in the size of its fleet as a way to meet fast-emerging threats and changing demands, senior service officials told Scout Warrior.

    Navy officials explain that a formal analysis would be needed prior to any formal request to increase its overall fleet size above and beyond the current plan to reach 308 ships by the end of the decade.

    “In order to be good stewards of taxpayer funds, we need want to make sure that when we go over to the Hill (Congress) to have those conversations – we need to have that analysis that shows that we need more.  That is what we are going to do within the next year,” a Navy official told Scout Warrior.

    Senior Navy leaders, including the service's Pacific Commander and many others have consistently said the number of ships, submarines, aircraft carriers and amphibs is massively insufficient to meet the current demands of combatant commanders around the globe.

    Earlier this year, Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, told lawmakers the service was beginning a formal study designed to examine the possibility of increasing the size of the fleet in order to address a fast-changing threat environment.

    While Richardson did not indicate what results the analysis might yield, he did say the service may very well need a new force structure alignment. A Navy official familiar with the effort said the new assessment will likely be reflected in the 2018 defense bill budget submission expected early next year.

    “I've directed that we open -- recommission -- we restart a study. We take a look at -- you know, what are the current warfighting demands -- the current demands -- the missions that we are tasked to achieve, take into account the updated threat environment and look forward to delivering that new force structure assessment,” Richardson told lawmakers.

    The Reagan-Era Navy

    During the Regan years, the Navy grew to more than 500 ships, nearly double the services’ current fleet size which is approximately 285 ships.

    A close look at the Navy’s shipbuilding plan shows the service will decommission more ships in the next five years than it will commission. This is happening, in part, because some of the many ships added during the Reagan build-up, such as the Los Angeles-class submarines and Aegis cruisers, are now beginning to retire, analysts have said.

    Many lawmakers and analysts have consistently called for a signifcantly larger Navy, citing the Cold War naval posture. However, proponents of a smaller Navy have made the point that today's ships are far more capable and technologically advanced compared to those of decades ago, precluding the need to match the Reagan-era in terms of sheer size. Nonetheless, service officials do say the current threat environment is such that the service will likely seek an increase above the current plan to hit 308 ships.

    The Navy’s long-term fleet plan, articulated in the most recent 2016 Navy 30-Year Shipbuilding plan, calls for the service to have 309 ships by 2022 to include: 12 Aircraft Carriers, 97 Large Surface Combatants, 37 Small Surface Combatants, 48 Attack Submarines, 4 Ohio Missile Submarines, 14 Ballistic Missile Submarines, 34 Amphibious Assault Ships, 29 Logistics Force Ships and 34 Support Vessels – bringing the total to 309.

    Part of the challenge for the Navy is that the services’ attack submarine fleet will drop from 53 in 2016 down to 41 by 2029. This is one reason, among many, that the service may soon request that it be allowed to increase production of Virginia-Class attack submarines in coming years.

    Another problem with the current ship-building trajectory is that, while the service plans to have 97 Large Surface Combatants in 2022 – the number drops all the way down to 82 by 2045, according to the shipbuilding plan.

    In 2010, an independent panel of experts examined the 2009 Quadrennial Defense Review and told the Senate Armed Services Committee that, given the range of anticipated threats, a 346-ship Navy was their recommendation.

    “We think the challenge is going to get greater, and we don’t see how you can meet a greater challenge with a diminishing number of ships,” Steven Hadley, co-chair of the QDR review independent panel, told the committee in 2010.

    These challenged cited in 2010 have indeed continued to get greater as Navy combatant Commanders consistently report an inability to meet request due to a limited amount of assets.

    For instance, Navy and Marine Corps officials explain that the greater use of amphibious assault ships is likely as the Marine Corps continues to shift toward more sea-based operations from its land-based focus during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    With this trend as part of the equation, Navy and Marine Corps leaders are quick to acknowledge that there is a massive shortfall of Amphibious Assault Ships across the two services. Service leaders have said that if each requirement or request for amphibs from Combatant Commanders worldwide were met, the Navy would need 50 amphibs.

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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:05 am

    Congress Buys the Navy a $400 Million Pork Ship


    In the nearly eight years since the first Littoral Combat Ship was delivered to the Navy, it hasn’t won many ardent fans beyond the Navy, its home-state lawmakers or the employees of the two shipbuilders producing dueling models. The ships’ maiden voyages have been marked by cracked hulls, engine failures, unexpected rusting, software snafus, weapons glitches and persistent criticism of how vulnerable they are to an attack.

    “The ship is not reliable,” the Pentagon’s operational test and evaluation director said in a report released in January, only the most recent such judgment it has made. During 113 days of testing on one ship last year, some of the engines and water jets responsible for propelling the ship forward were out of commission for 45 days.

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter expressed his concern last December by ordering the overall number of new ships trimmed from 52 to 40, saving billions of dollars. The department's leaders also ordered production scaled back from three to two ships in 2017 and said all the work should eventually go to just one of the two shipyards.

    But lawmakers on Capitol Hill—provoked or perhaps inspired by a steady stream of contractor donations and unusually determined Navy lobbying—are now on the verge of ordering the Pentagon to build more than Carter wanted.

    A defense appropriations bill moving toward Senate approval in coming days or weeks directs that $475 million be spent by the Navy to procure an extra Littoral Combat Ship next year. The House of Representatives has already passed legislation ordering that $384 million be spent on the extra ship. So it’s virtually certain to happen, a prospect that cheers the Navy greatly but has evoked dismay among the ships’ many critics.

    The extra spending is a direct repudiation of the secretary of defense, putting the Navy back on track with its original three-ship production schedule for 2017—and pushing the decision about the fate and total size of the LCS fleet off to the next president. (end of excerpt).

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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:50 am

    Navy Fleets Unable To Fix $500M Ship Maintenance Shortfall On Their Own


    The Navy fleets have a $500-million ship maintenance budget shortfall leftover from last year that they cannot pay for on their own. Any existing budget slack is already stretched too tight – meaning that $500-million shortfall will likely be pushed into the next year, U.S. Fleet Forces Command officials told USNI News.

    The Pentagon budgeting process forces Navy leaders to predict their spending needs two years out – and a lot can change in two years. Previously, though, there was enough margin in U.S. Fleet Forces’ other accounts – ship operations, air operations and combat operations – to help cover unexpected cost increases in the ship maintenance account. Now, USFF executive director and chief of staff Mark Honecker said, there is little to no slack in the fleet’s budget – so the combined $500-million shortfall in ship maintenance funding U.S. Fleet Forces Command and U.S. Pacific Fleet faced at the beginning of Fiscal Year 2016 has barely shrunk, forcing the two organizations to search higher up the chain of command for money or continue the cycle of postponing maintenance work.

    “What’s happened this year that made it a little more challenging is, we’ve gotten much better at pricing out our flying hours account, models have gotten better on the ship ops account, and so those margins that we had, they’re gone,” he said. “And so in previous years we would have been able to address these shortfalls and not defer these (maintenance) availabilities within our own account, but this year’s been a little bit different because we got better at models and then we also took a couple-hundred-million-dollar hit in our flying hour account. So those margins are gone now to solve our own problems.”

    “Each year we do have a shortfall, each year we do manage the shortfall,” he continued, but “as budgets get tighter and margins go away, we’re unable to do that just within the fleet accounts, and we have to raise it up a few levels and see where we get resources elsewhere. But even Navy overall, there’s very limited resources and flexibility because there’s shortfalls in other accounts too.”

    This year, it appears that without assistance from the Defense Department or Congress, Fleet Forces and PACFLEET will have to push that shortfall forward by deferring the maintenance availabilities of four surface ships and an attack submarine into FY 2017.

    Rear Adm. Richard Berkey, U.S. Fleet Forces Command’s director of fleet maintenance, told USNI News that this fiscal year has played out very differently than the original plan called for. Planning for FY 2016 started in the fall of 2013, and several kinds of assumptions – on operational needs, the shipyard workforce, work package scopes and more – have proven wrong.

    For starters, Fleet Forces and PACFLEET started the year at a combined $520 million in the hole in the ship maintenance accounts – $76 million and $444 million, respectively, Berkey said.

    Fleet Forces’ shortfall was due to one simple event: the attack submarine USS Montpelier’s (SSN-765) interim dry docking period was moved from a public yard, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, to a private yard.

    “[General Dynamics] Electric Boat won that contract, and when they won that contract their bid was $76 million higher than what we had anticipated,” Berkey said, noting that it wasn’t unusual for the private yard bid to be higher than the original government estimate. However, the contract was awarded after the program objective memorandum (POM) planning two years ahead of the start of the fiscal year, and also after the detailed budgeting process that starts one year out, creating a FY 2016 bill that wasn’t budgeted for.

    The $444-million shortfall at PACFLEET, on the other hand, was much more complex.

    The biggest factor was that many availabilities took much longer than anticipated, not due to unexpected maintenance work but rather because modernization work suddenly started driving schedules. “Modernization, in the past, has generally not been a driver for schedule in availabilities – they would have been specific to particular parts of the ship, or particular machinery, or some capability like that. We’re now getting into modernization that really takes the ship apart completely,” Berkey said, citing the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) as an example. The scope and duration of a CANES installation is now well understood, he said, but “they didn’t know until between that budget process and the beginning of the year.”

    Additionally, three submarine availabilities were moved from public shipyards into private yards, which costs more. A fourth submarine was moved from the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard San Diego Detachment, which was more expensive but was necessary due to workforce imbalance issues, Berkey said.

    The Littoral Combat Ship class has proven more expensive to operate and maintain than was predicted a couple years ago, Berkey said. “I don’t think that’s a secret, that’s a new class of ship and we generally have that for every new class of ship. It’s a little bit more particular on the LCS because of the sustainment model that we have, where we minimize the manning on the LCS with the idea that we would sustain it from the shore with contractors and those types of things. We continue to mature that model and to understand what those real costs are going to be. So we’ve done that with the LCSs out of San Diego, and now moving them to Singapore adds a little bit of complexity to that that we’re still getting our arms wrapped around.”

    Workforce challenges at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility that “go back to the sequestration back in FY ‘13” led to delays in an availability for USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and pushed work from FY 2015 into 2016.

    And finally, three maintenance availabilities were intentionally moved from FY 2015 to 2016 to deal with a budget shortfall at the time.
    Berkey said Fleet Forces ultimately shifted some of its money over to PACFLEET to help address all those challenges – though ultimately the shortfall is about the same size now as it was at the beginning of the fiscal year in October, with Fleet Forces facing a $330 million deficit and PACFLEET a $160 million deficit. That combined total equates to about 6 percent of the total ship maintenance budget for the two fleets.

    That the deficit hasn’t shrunk much over the last nine months isn’t for lack of trying, though. Berkey said the Navy had begun awarding firm fixed-priced contracts for surface ships on the East Coast in FY 2016 instead of the old multi-ship/multi-option (MSMO) setup. Preliminary data shows that costs are coming down, freeing up money for the Navy to spend on other emerging ship maintenance work. Fleet Forces was also on track to save in FY 2016 due to the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) delivering in October instead of March 2016 and therefore pushing its selected restricted availability into FY 2017 – though that potentially creates a larger shortfall going into FY 2017.

    However, the Navy will be facing a big unplanned bill this fiscal year when carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) returns home from a deployment that was not only extended a month but was also essentially the second in a back-to-back deployment with only bare-bones maintenance work in between.

    “What we’re seeing now with the actual testing of equipment prior to the availability, the additional steaming time Truman has, we’re seeing a lot more work now coming into that package,” Berkey said.
    “That availability will be much bigger than we anticipated, starting in September.”

    So despite an effort to dig out of the funding shortfall, Fleet Forces and PACFLEET find themselves having to push that deficit into the next year – via deferring the five ship availabilities – unless the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense or Congress step in and find the money to pay for that work in this current year.

    “We’re still hoping that money can come in, and the beauty of the contract strategy that we use is that if we get money in time we can put money back on contract using FY ‘16 funds, but if we don’t then that requirement then moves over into FY ’17,” Berkey said.
    “And when we go into that year, similar to what I said about PACFLEET where they had three availabilities that went from ‘15 to ‘16, there will be five availabilities that move from ‘16 into ‘17 in aggregate between the two fleets.”

    Asked if money was the limiting factor or if other reasons may preclude the Navy from carrying out those availabilities this year, Berkey said, “if we were resourced this year, we could award the contracts for those maintenance availabilities, if we got it early enough.

    “If we got a check written to us tomorrow, we could award those contracts and not bow wave that work into ’17,” he continued.
    “It is executable if resources are provided early enough.”

    Budgeting In The Future


    Berkey said there are two reasons to be optimistic that, even as planning for air operations and ship operations has gotten more accurate over the years, planning for ship maintenance will become more accurate too to avoid some of the problems PACFLEET saw going into this fiscal year.

    First, the Surface Maintenance Engineering Planning Program (SURFMEPP) is already doing a better job of predicting the maintenance needs of specific ship hulls and should continue getting more accurate over the next few years.

    SURFMEPP, which was stood up in 2010, has technical foundation papers that look at each class of ship and, based on where a hull is in its lifecycle and what type of maintenance availability it is approaching, outlines what type of work the ship is likely to need. SURFMEPP also maintains ship sheets for each individual hull, monitoring deferred maintenance and other things the engineering community knows about that particular warship.

    Berkey said the Navy is about four years into using the technical foundation papers and ship sheets, so most of the ships have come in for an availability but not all have been in for a docking availability – which occurs every eight years or so. Once all the ships have been through a docking availability, where they are more thoroughly taken apart and inspected, SURFMEPP should have a very clear idea of the state of each ship and what to expect for future maintenance periods.

    “I see the problem (of work package growth) reducing,” Berkey said, but “I don’t see it ever going away. There is always something that will surprise us when you take a pump off of a foundation that you couldn’t see before and then that foundation is eroding.”

    The good news is that the Navy plans for 20-percent work growth when drafting the POM two years out, and they generally can stay within that margin.

    “Where we see growth today is still on ships that have not gone through that process, that docking process that I was talking about before, and really getting into the tanks and understanding what those conditions are,” Berkey said, and within the next four or so years the Navy should have cycled all its ships through at least one docking period. He praised SURFMEPP as a “constantly improving process with the goal … to know exactly what the condition of the ship is so we can properly plan for it, order the material and be able to do the work on schedule and on time.”

    A second positive for the future is that, after furloughs and hiring freezes in 2013, the workforce size has stabled out, though training continues to be a challenge.

    “You can go back to the sequestration back in FY ‘13 where we stopped hiring for a while at the naval shipyards. We had pretty much recovered from the pure numbers of people we need back into the naval shipyards by the end of FY ‘15, but now there’s a training period,” Berkey said, noting that 20 percent of the shipyard workforce was hired within the last year and 50 percent within the last five years.

    But the yards have created learning centers to help new hires become proficient at their trades faster, and Berkey said he was confident that cases of schedule delays and therefore cost increases due to workforce challenges – particularly like the case if Nimitz – will be less of a budgeting problem going forward.

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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:04 am

    As Navy Faces $848M O&M Shortfall, Picking What Maintenance To Skip Is Full Of Risk


    A mid-year review of Navy operations and maintenance funding found a $848-million shortfall, forcing the Navy to restrict flying hours, defer five ship maintenance availabilities until Fiscal Year 2017, defer continuous maintenance work for two amphibious ready groups and a carrier strike group – and nearly suspend work at the service’s largest regional maintenance center.

    Without enough money to continue at pace through the remainder of the fiscal year, a complex prioritization process began that looked at both lower-priority work that could be pushed back as well as what locations could absorb cuts with the least disruption.

    The operations and maintenance shortfall – which totals just two percent of the Navy’s O&M budget but led to some painful cuts – consists of $500 million still needed for ship depot maintenance after work delays and growth in work package scope drove up costs, $255 million for flying hours and $91 million to extend the Truman Carrier Strike Group’s deployment in the Middle East, according to U.S. Fleet Forces Command and House Armed Services Committee documents related to a Navy readiness hearing held today.

    “The $848-million shortfall will have no impact to our forces currently deployed, but deferring a number of depot and continuous maintenance availabilities into FY 2017 would likely delay some associated deployments,” Navy spokeswoman Lt. j.g. Kara Yingling told USNI News.
    “The overall mitigation actions reduce our ability to respond to crisis, as recovery from our lowest readiness point in many years is slowed. As we move forward, we will closely manage the shortfall over the remaining four and a half months of FY16 and continue to work with the Department of Defense and Congress.”

    In some years, a Pentagon-level reprogramming can take money from acquisition programs, or from Army and Air Force budgets, to help make up the funding shortfall. USNI News understands the Navy may not be able to get money from the other services this year to help cover its shortfall.

    The Navy began to implement but then rescinded a suspension of work at the Southwest Regional Maintenance Center (SWRMC) in San Diego, which is illustrative of the hard choices the service has to make given the ever-increasing demands on the fleet, the continued congressional budget caps and rising costs of labor.

    An early May memo from SWRMC Commanding Officer Capt. Hugh Huck, obtained by USNI News, notes that “due to funding shortfalls in the 1B4B funding accounts, SWRMC will be reducing their contract support levels, intermediate level (I level) repairs, and ability to provide after-hours support (overtime) in specific areas. Although extensive efforts have been expended up to this point in the fiscal year to limit adverse impact to the ships on the San Diego waterfront, fiscal realities have forced SWRMC into this action, starting in this third fiscal quarter and through the fourth quarter of this fiscal year.”

    Specifically, the memo called for a stoppage of engineering support to include tank and void inspections, infrared surveys, underway vibration analysis and surface ship availability work certifications. Seven ships would go without needed tank and void and structural inspections, and other engineering work would have been suspended as of May 15.

    In June the center would reduce parts and material procurement, and “as funding is expended, repairs to additional systems will be impacted as on hand material is expended. We project that we will not accept any new work after 15 July 2016. Intention is to complete I level jobs inducted prior to 21 June 2016 if parts have been obtained.”

    That reduction in parts procurement would mean a stop to all major diesel work, surface ship torpedo tube repairs and refurbishment, air compressor overhauls, communication receiver and transmitter repairs, and repairs to electronic warfare and anti-ship missile decoy systems, according to the memo.

    “As funding is expended, repairs to additional systems will be impacted as on hand material is expended. We project that we will not accept any new work after 15 July 2016. Intention is to complete I level jobs inducted prior to 21 June 2016 if parts have been obtained,” the memo reads.

    The memo ends with acknowledgements that system command requirements would have to be suspended during this time and that the type commander’s priorities would guide how the SWRMC cuts were carried out, and that though the shortfall was not expected to continue into FY 2017 it would take the first quarter of the new year to reconstitute previous work capacity levels.

    By May 17, however, U.S. Pacific Fleet had realigned its funding to fully support SWRMC through the end of the year.

    A Navy official told USNI News that the rationale for originally selecting SWRMC to absorb some of the shortfall was that, as the largest of the regional maintenance centers, “the size and capacity of SWRMC make it able to accommodate the funding shortfall.”

    “The funding shortfall at Southwest Regional Maintenance Center can be attributed to increasing the size of the government workforce in Fiscal Year 2016 to support higher projected workload in 2017 and later, travel throughout the Pacific to support the deployed fleet, and non-labor overhead costs associated with operating the RMC,” the official explained.
    “Some of the funding shortage can also be attributed to the cost of renewing contractor support used to augment SWRMC government workforce. SWRMC released a naval message on 5 May to announce the curtailment of some engineering services typically provided by SWRMC in order to extend higher priority technical support work.”

    “SWRMC started the fiscal year with a modest shortfall, but there was a growth in overall requirement due to the assessed condition of our ships and the need to continue the reset in stride,” the official noted.

    The Navy has been warning Congress for years that extended deployments since 2001 have led to more severe maintenance problems when ships can finally go into an availability. Insufficient time and funding have led to partial completions of the work in some cases, which then creates bigger problems down the road – for example, tank inspections get skipped and then the Navy has to deal with major corrosion issues later on.

    As it stands, the Navy opted to restrict flying hours for Carrier Air Wing 1, which will not deploy until 2019 – potentially stopping all flying for up to four months, U.S. Fleet Forces Command commander Adm. Phil Davidson said at the readiness hearing today. Four surface ship and one submarine maintenance availabilities will be pushed from the fourth quarter of FY 2016 into FY 2017, and smaller continuous maintenance for the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, the America ARG, and the Vinson CSG – a dozen ships across the three groups – will be deferred into FY 2017 as well.

    “Delaying these maintenance periods, pressing them into the next fiscal year, FY 17, the budget currently under consideration, is not optimal, but it effects the smallest number of ships,” Davidson said, explaining the final decision on how to deal with the operations and maintenance shortfall.
    “I will not embark on a path that partially accomplishes all availabilities across the entire fleet. That is a dangerous practice that rapidly builds maintenance and capability backlogs that are difficult to recover. Indeed, we are digging out from that sort of policy more than a decade ago.”

    Davidson said that the risk the Navy takes on when it has less than full operations and maintenance funding “means accepting less readiness across the whole of the Navy, less capacity to surge in crisis and in wartime, or perhaps living with reduced readiness in our ships and submarines that would keep them from reaching the end of their service lives. In any case, recovering from these situations will cost us more in time and money in the future.”

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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:25 pm

    USN' submarine plans over the next couple of decades






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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:16 pm

    BAE unveils General Purpose Frigate concepts

    1. Avenger builds on the pedigree of the existing Amazonas-class/River-class Batch 2 offshore patrol vessel

    • Cutlass is a stretched and enhanced derivative of the RNO Al Shamikh-class corvette design




    BAE Systems Naval Ships has lifted the lid on its initial thinking regarding the UK's projected General Purpose Frigate (GPFF) programme, revealing two export-derived concept designs positioned to address different points on the cost/capability curve.

    Plans to acquire a new class of more affordable and potentially exportable light frigate were announced in November last year as part of the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR15). While the new Type 26 Global Combat Ship - eight of which are now planned - will primarily support carrier task group operations and provide protection for the UK's strategic nuclear deterrent, the GPFF is to be rolled for a range of less high-tempo tasks.

    While neither key user requirements nor an acquisition strategy have yet to be finalised for the GPFF project, there is already a growing expectation within industry that cost and programme constraints will condition the procurement of an essentially military off-the-shelf (MOTS) design solution. With uncertainty as to the balance of cost and capability required, BAE Systems has over the last six months worked up two different ship concepts - each an enlarged and modified version of a previously built MOTS export design - that map onto different ends of the requirements spectrum. In each case, the company has sought to retain as much as possible of the existing detailed design.



    The first concept, known as Avenger, is a 111 m design that builds on the pedigree of the existing 90 m Amazonas-class/River-class Batch 2 (RCB2) offshore patrol vessel (OPV) and very much plots onto the lower end of the solution space. However, while the parent design is largely built to commercial standards, the Avenger embodies improved resilience and survivability; for example, being designed to more stringent naval standards and introducing greater redundancy in main and auxiliary machinery arrangements.

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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:19 pm

    Navy teams up with Coast Guard to build polar icebreaker

    Lawmakers are urging the Coast Guard to lease foreign icebreakers until the service can build a new one with the Navy's assistance. Coast Guard officials prefer repairing the broken icebreaker Polar Sea in the meantime.

    It would take the Coast Guard more than a decade to build a new polar icebreaker. To try to cut that time in half, it's joining forces with the Navy's well-oiled acquisition machine.

    The two services are standing up a joint program office after months of prodding by a California congressman who has called for the Coast Guard to put an icebreaker in the water as soon as possible, whether newly built or leased from another country.

    "What I got out of this and the last hearing too — the Coast Guard doesn’t get it," Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., told Navy Times on Wednesday, following a hearing of the House Transportation Committee's Coast Guard and maritime transportation subcommittee. "This is going to take massive pushes and changes, even more from Congress. It’s going to take the Navy kind of taking this over."

    Hunter, who chairs the subcommittee, envisions bolstering the United States' arctic presence via a new U.S.-built icebreaker acquired through a Navy program and leasing icebreakers from other countries in the meantime. However, the service is adamant that there isn't an icebreaker for rent in the world that would be up to the Coast Guard's military specifications.

    The subcommittee and the vice commandant of the Coast Guard have gone back and forth in recent hearings over what the U.S. needs to have a minimum icebreaking capability in the Arctic versus what the Coast Guard needs from a ship in general.

    "The Coast Guard operates Coast Guard vessels," Adm. Charles Michel said in a hearing Tuesday, where he spoke alongside Navy acquisition and shipbuilding experts. "This is not a pick-up game for the Coast Guard."

    In order to be able to operate as a military vessel, which is what Coast Guard cutters are, Michel said, the icebreakers would also need to be able to assert navigation rights, perform search and rescue and respond to environmental disasters.

    "I’m happy to have this dialogue with you on what this vessel is," he told Hunter. "This vessel does not just break ice, just like the Polar Sea and Polar Star do not just break ice."

    Currently, the Coast Guard has two heavy icebreakers — the Polar Star and the Polar Sea — and one medium, a scientific research ship called Healy.

    Polar Sea is in drydock because it's too old and broken down to operate. Polar Star operates about six months a year before heading back to the yards for repairs. The Coast Guard has suggested overhauling Polar Star to extend its service life or investing money into reactivating Polar Sea to fill the current gap, and an assessment for Polar Sea is due to Congress at the end of the month.

    All told, according to Homeland Security Department research, the U.S. needs three heavy and three medium icebreakers to be able to break ice 365 days a year.

    Hunter and his fellow subcommittee members, on the other hand, have supported the idea of leasing medium icebreakers from Arctic nations like Finland, an approach that the Coast Guard has been reluctant to pursue.

    "You’ve always hated the idea of not owning the ship, but we have a gap here," Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, told Michel. "How are we going to do it if you don’t accept another vessel?"

    But there aren't any available that are up to the Coast Guard's specifications, Michel said. And renting is an expensive proposition for an already cash-strapped service, said one expert.

    "Generally speaking, purchasing is the way to go," said Jennifer Grover, director of homeland security and justice issues at the Government Accountability Office.

    For now, that leaves the Navy's support as the best option. Ideally, said Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., the Navy would use its budget and acquisition infrastructure to get the Coast Guard two icebreakers in the next five to seven years.

    The two services are working on a memorandum of understanding as the foundation for a joint program office, according to Hunter's chief of staff.

    "Part of the realization is that the Coast Guard needs the Navy’s help," Joe Kasper told Navy Times. "Everybody’s losing patience with the Coast Guard."


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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:27 pm

    US Navy envisions submarines with drones attaching and detaching like Remoras to sharks

    The United States Navy would like to develop two key features for its next-generation SSN(X) successor to the Virginia-class attack submarines. One feature would effectively turn the future attack submarine into a underwater mother-ship for unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) while another would dispense with noise-generating moving parts such as a propulsor or driveshaft in the propulsion system.

    Vision of drones on a mother ship submarine like remoras.

    “I would like some organic means of designing the submarine from the ground up that would seamlessly integrate UUVs,” Rear Adm. Michael Jabaley, the Navy’s program executive officer for submarines told the House Armed Services Committee on July 14.





    Such a feat is still a technological leap. However, it would be a vast improvement on the current system of using every opening on a submarine to deploy a UUV. The Navy’s undersea force uses everything from torpedo tubes to the submarines’ trash chute to launch UUVs. A system such as the one Jabaley envisions would allow a future attack submarine to launch and recover UUVs at will.



    The second innovation Jabaley wishes the Navy could develop is also inspired by nature—a biomimetic propulsion system that would eliminate a drive shaft and the spinning blades of a propulsor. If successful, that would lead to a revolutionary leap in acoustic performance.

    The Navy has essentially reached the limits of what is possible for acoustic signature reduction with a purely mechanical system. While the future Ohio Replacement Program—and potentially even a follow-on attack submarine—are expected to use a permanent magnetic motor to increase stealth, Jabaley wants to take a step further. “The field of biomimetics is very interesting to me when you look at nature in actions and you think: ‘Boy, it would be great if we could design something that would take that leap forward and get us into a realm that would be acoustic-self unlike anything we’ve ever done before,’” Jabaley said.


    A detailed design for the first Ohio Replacement Program is slated for 2017.



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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:56 pm

    General Dynamics to Build Next-Gen Navy Fuel Tankers


     






    Last edited by max steel on Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:13 pm; edited 1 time in total

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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:09 pm

    US Navy Stretches Submarine Fleet in Latest Fleet Plan

    The US Navy is stretching the lives of some of its submarines, if only by a year or two.

    In the latest version of the 30-year fleet shipbuilding plan, submitted to Congress July 9, the Navy juggled the schedule for ships it plans to dispose of in the next five years. The number of ships planned for inactivation in 2017 dropped from 10 to six, and four submarines gained a modest lease on life.

    But overall, the service plans to inactivate a dozen Los Angeles-class attack submarines from 2017 through 2021, reflecting a general decline in the undersea fleet. From today’s 52-ship level, the attack boat fleet drops to 48 boats in 2022 and hits a low of 41 hulls in 2029, afterwards steadily rising to 51 subs in 2046. Those levels are consistent with what the service forecast a year ago.

    In the latest iteration of the inactivation plan, two submarines previously scheduled to leave service in 2017 have been extended – the Jacksonville to 2018, and the Bremerton to 2019. Two submarines planned to leave the fleet in 2019 have also been stretched out – the Louisville to 2020, and the Providence to 2021.

    Three submarines are leaving the fleet this year -- the City of Corpus Christi, Albuquerque, and Houston.

    Three more are still scheduled to leave active service in 2017 – the Dallas and Buffalo will, like the other submarines, eventually be dismantled, while the San Francisco will be modified and converted to become a Moored Training Ship at the Navy’s nuclear power training school in Goose Creek, South Carolina.

    According to the latest plan, three submarines – the Olympia, Louisville and Helena – will inactivate in 2020, while three more – Providence, Olympia and San Juan – will go in 2021. The San Juan will be the first of an improved Los Angeles-class variant to leave the fleet.

    The Navy frequently adjusts inactivation dates based on a variety of factors, including operational need and budgetary constraints and, in the case of nuclear-powered ships, the amount of fuel remaining in the reactors. The four submarines being extended give back about six years of operating time, allowing for the possibility that at least one additional deployment could be gained from each extension.

    Another ship that was to have left the fleet in 2017, the Afloat Forward Staging Base Ponce, has been extended to 2018. The Ponce has proven useful operating with the Fifth Fleet from Bahrain but, having been in service since 1971, is wearing out. She will be replaced by new ESB Expeditionary Sea Base ships.

    Still on the inactivation list for 2020 are the cruisers Bunker Hill and Mobile Bay, which will become the first Ticonderoga-class cruisers equipped with vertical launch systems to decommission. Their inactivation will reduce the number of cruisers in service from 22 to 20, although those numbers are offset by an increasing number of Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, along with new Flight III destroyers equipped with the Air Missile Defense Radar (AMDR).

    Both the Bunker Hill and Mobile Bay were upgraded by the first cruiser modernization program applied to 11 ships. The first pair of the remaining eleven, Cowpens and Gettysburg, began their upgrades in 2016. The Navy plans to replace the first 11 ships with the second group in the air defense commander role to protect deployed aircraft carriers.

    The 2017 shipbuilding budget, which includes the Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP) into 2021, was submitted to Congress in February, and the latest 30-year plan reflects those numbers, along with the Navy’s admission that the shipbuilding plan provides fewer ships than needed. The plan continues with the goal of a 308-ship fleet, even as the Navy is re-evaluating the Force Structure Assessment (FSA) that determined that goal.

    Along with a new fleet architecture study, a revised FSA is expected to be reflected in the fiscal 2018 budget to be submitted in early 2017. Service officials have stated they expect the 308-ship number to go up in the new assessment – and they continue to advocate the need for greater funding levels to maintain the fleet, which sits today at 276 ships.

    “The shipbuilding plan described in this report achieves the shipbuilding plan objective of 308 battle force ships from FY2021 through FY2028,” the Navy said in the report, “albeit not with the FSA required mix of ships. The rate of large and small surface combatant and [submarine] retirements beyond FY2028 exceeds the ability of the Navy to finance a build rate that sustains the 308-ship force structure.”

    The Navy expects its Battle Force Inventory to total 287 ships in 2017, rising to a peak of 313 in 2025. After that, the fleet shrinks again, dropping below 300 in 2031 and holding in the 290s through 2046, the extent of the latest 30-year plan.

    As a result of the inactivations, the Navy will see a rise in the number of ships it needs to dispose of. Three disposal methods are generally used with ships no longer required or at the end of their service lives: foreign military sale (FMS); sinking in a target or weapons exercise (SINKEX); or dismantlement, also referred to as scrapping or recycling. Ships can also be donated or transferred for use as museums or memorials.

    No FMS candidates are listed in the latest fleet plan, a reflection of the lack of suitable types of ships. The US does not transfer nuclear-powered ships, and with the decommissioning in 2015 of the last of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates no new ships have appeared on the FMS list.

    But the number of ships that will need to be scrapped jumped from 18 in 2016 to 25 in 2017, boosted by several FMS frigates no one wanted. Two aircraft carriers, the Independence and Kitty Hawk, remain on the recycling list, joined by the former display ship Barry, a decommissioned destroyer that was open to visitors at the Washington Navy Yard for 31 years prior to closing in the fall of 2015.

    The SINKEX fleet grew from five ships last year to seven ships available in 2017, including four frigates, the landing ship tank Racine and two attack cargo ships.

    The Navy plans to retire a total of 28 battle force ships from 2017 through 2021.

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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:19 am

    LCS Missile Shoot Is ‘Successful’ — But a Miss

    For the first time, a littoral combat ship (LCS) has successfully launched a Harpoon surface-to-surface missile — but the missile failed to hit its target.

    The LCS Coronado launched a Harpoon Block IC missile from a canister installed on its forward deck late Tuesday afternoon during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises near Hawaii. The target, the decommissioned frigate Crommelin, was about 20 nautical miles away.

    “The missile left the ship as planned in the engagement plan,” Cmdr. Scott Larson, commanding officer of the Coronado, said Wednesday during a phone interview while still at sea. “We saw visually a booster separation, and it looked as though the missile was on the correct bearing. We lost radar track as the missile moved down range.”

    “The data is still being analyzed to determine what the missile profile looked like,” Larson added. “Indications are it was a negative impact. But it was successful in validating our ability to deploy that missile off the ship and not damage the ship.”

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Lockheed demonstrates LRASM's surface launch capability

    Lockheed Martin has successfully conducted a controlled flight test of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, or LRASM, at the Point Mugu Sea Range in California, the company announced Thursday.

    It was the third successful surface-launched LRASM test, proving the missile's ability to load mission data using the modified Tactical Tomahawk Weapon Control System, Lockheed said in a statement.

    It also showed the system's ability to align mission data with the moving ship and launch from the MK 41 Vertical Launch System.

    The LRASM exited the vertical launched during the test, cleanly separated from its Mk-114 booster and transitioned to cruise phase.

    It flew a pre-planned, low-altitude profile, collecting aerodynamics agility data while en route to its pre-determined endpoint.

    This demonstration from a moving ship in an at-sea environment was a crucial step in proving the maturity of the surface-launch variant, Lockheed said.

    LRASM is a precision-guided anti-ship missile that is designed to meet the needs of the Navy and Air Force in an anti-access/area-denial threat environment.



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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:25 am

    Militarov wrote:
    GarryB wrote:
    Well normally over sea they would fly from supply ships to forward deployed forces so they will rarely require aerial support...

    So landing troops in forward areas don't require attack helo support... are they really that fast?  Razz

    Flying from supply ship to landing ships near shore, those would provide further payload deployment and support, they wouldnt fly supply missions ashore with these probably unless its safe. But where their speed would count, above sea they will be safe most of the time.

    The US MAY Finally Get a Cheap Alternative to the $70 Million V-22 Osprey


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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:59 am

    Columbia will replace Ohio class SSBN.


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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  max steel on Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:04 am

    US Navy Plans to Triple the Amount of Missiles per Submarine


    The Navy will soon finish initially prototyping new weapons tubes for its Virginia-Class submarines designed to massively increase missile firepower, bring the platform well into future decades and increase the range of payloads launched or fired from the attack boats.

    The new missile tubes, called the Virginia Payload Modules, will rev up the submarines’ Tomahawk missile firing ability from 12 to 40 by adding an additional 28 payload tubes – more than tripling the offensive strike capability of the platforms.

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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  AlfaT8 on Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:25 am

    US Developing 'Quietest and Least-Detectable Sub' in the World

    The United States is developing "the quietest and least-detectable submarine in the history of the world," Kris Osborn wrote for Scout Warrior, citing senior service officials. The first Columbia-class sub to be produced under the Ohio Replacement Program is expected to enter service in 2031.

    http://sputniknews.com/military/20160903/1044931786/us-quiet-submarine.html

    Of course it's the quietest since it won't enter the water till 2031.

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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  magnumcromagnon on Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:30 am

    AlfaT8 wrote:
    US Developing 'Quietest and Least-Detectable Sub' in the World

    The United States is developing "the quietest and least-detectable submarine in the history of the world," Kris Osborn wrote for Scout Warrior, citing senior service officials. The first Columbia-class sub to be produced under the Ohio Replacement Program is expected to enter service in 2031.

    http://sputniknews.com/military/20160903/1044931786/us-quiet-submarine.html

    Of course it's the quietest since it won't enter the water till 2031.

    ...It'll go 15 years without anyone knowing about it's existence... lol1

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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  kvs on Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:34 am

    magnumcromagnon wrote:
    AlfaT8 wrote:
    US Developing 'Quietest and Least-Detectable Sub' in the World

    The United States is developing "the quietest and least-detectable submarine in the history of the world," Kris Osborn wrote for Scout Warrior, citing senior service officials. The first Columbia-class sub to be produced under the Ohio Replacement Program is expected to enter service in 2031.

    http://sputniknews.com/military/20160903/1044931786/us-quiet-submarine.html

    Of course it's the quietest since it won't enter the water till 2031.

    ...It'll go 15 years without anyone knowing about it's existence... lol1

    These jokes are serious when it comes to such chest thumping BS from Uncle Scam. These media propaganda mouthpieces make it sound like submarine
    noise levels can be engineered arbitrarily low. This is pure uneducated drivel. We are in the era of diminishing returns (aka on the asymptote) for given size
    of nuclear submarine. The hull will vibrate just from interaction with the ocean gyres and waves (subsurface, they do exist just like in the atmosphere).
    Anything with a propeller requires shafts and gears which cannot be willy nilly made quieter than the "enemy".

    The noise level of Soviet submarines has always been exaggerated by Uncle Scam and his NATO minions. At the same time the quietness of US submarines
    has been hyped beyond reason as we have seen on this board where people have posted dB numbers that would make US submarines quieter than the
    ocean background noise (i.e. a claim retarded to the nth degree). There is a reason for building subsea detection nets and it ain't the "excessive noise" level
    of Russian submarines.

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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

    Post  magnumcromagnon on Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:07 am

    kvs wrote:
    magnumcromagnon wrote:
    AlfaT8 wrote:
    US Developing 'Quietest and Least-Detectable Sub' in the World

    The United States is developing "the quietest and least-detectable submarine in the history of the world," Kris Osborn wrote for Scout Warrior, citing senior service officials. The first Columbia-class sub to be produced under the Ohio Replacement Program is expected to enter service in 2031.

    http://sputniknews.com/military/20160903/1044931786/us-quiet-submarine.html

    Of course it's the quietest since it won't enter the water till 2031.

    ...It'll go 15 years without anyone knowing about it's existence... lol1

    These jokes are serious when it comes to such chest thumping BS from Uncle Scam.   These media propaganda mouthpieces make it sound like submarine
    noise levels can be engineered arbitrarily low.   This is pure uneducated drivel.  We are in the era of diminishing returns (aka on the asymptote) for given size
    of nuclear submarine.    The hull will vibrate just from interaction with the ocean gyres and waves (subsurface, they do exist just like in the atmosphere).  
    Anything with a propeller requires shafts and gears which cannot be willy nilly made quieter than the "enemy".  

    The noise level of Soviet submarines has always been exaggerated by Uncle Scam and his NATO minions.   At the same time the quietness of US submarines
    has been hyped beyond reason as we have seen on this board where people have posted dB numbers that would make US submarines quieter than the
    ocean background noise (i.e. a claim retarded to the nth degree).   There is a reason for building subsea detection nets and it ain't the "excessive noise" level
    of Russian submarines.

    If they're actually serious about reducing noise levels, then the obvious solution would be to build dramatically much smaller. So instead of 20 SLBM's per sub, 2-4 SLBM's per sub means you can build much smaller, cheaper, you can cover a much larger area of the oceans.

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    Re: US Navy and Naval Aircraft: News

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