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By Wolfman
#13832803
I wanted a catchy title :p

Anyways, I wanted to put down some information for you. Currently, the US has:
11 Aircraft Carriers*, of which there are:
- 10 Nimitz Class with a unit cost of 4.5 billion dollars**, and a crew of 5,680 people
- 1 Enterprise Class with a crew of 5,830 and a unit of (I can only find this on wiki, and it claims 550 or 650 million)
9 Amphibious Assault Ships, of which there are:
- 8 Wasp Class with a crew (and compliment) of 3,108 and a unit cost of 750 million dollars
- 1 Tarawa Class with a compliment of 1,065 and a unit cost of 250 million dollars (also included in that link is that a 15 year upkeep is 1 billion)
8 Amphibious Transport Docks, between:
- 5 San Antonio class, with a crew of 363 for normal operations, 699 for landing operations, up to 800 and a unit cost of 800 million dollars.
- 3 Austin and Cleveland Class with a unit cost of 235-419 million dollars, and a crew of 1,320
12 Dock Landing Ships between:
- 8 Whidbey Island Class with a crew of 815-917 and a unit cost of 300 million dollars
- 4 Harpers Ferry Class with a crew of 809-908, and a cost of 300 million dollars.
22 Cruisers, all Ticonderoga Class, with a unit cost of 1 billion dollars, and a crew of 364
60 Destroyers, all Arleigh Burke Class with a crew of 276 and a unit cost of 100 million dollars.
27 Frigates, all Oliver Hazard Perry Class with a crew of 215 and I cann't find the cost
75 Submarines between:
- 8 Virginia Class with a crew of 132, with a unit cost of 2.15 billion
- 3 Seawolf Class with a crew of 140, with a unit cost of 2.8 billion dollars.
- Los Angeles Class with a crew of 143 with a unit cost of 900 million dollars.
As well as various other ships which fill roles such as supply and medic ship, which I'm having a hard time finding much info on

* For reference, there are 20 currently active Aircraft Carriers, the UK has two, and seven other countries have one each.
** I'm not sure if this number includes the cost of the aircraft and the supplies needed to maintain those aircraft, or if this number represents just the cost of the Carrier itself. Likewise, the costs for the other ships included may or may not include the cost of maintaining the ship and it's crew.

Now, Because Aircraft Carriers are as expensive as they are never used alone, but always a part of a Carrier Battle Group, which has normally two Missile Cruisers, two destroyers, a Frigate, two submarines, and a supply ship of some kind, but can have up to 15 ships depending on the operation.

Here's a fun thought for you: Iraq could have won the war. How? Well, let me explain to you. See, there was this thing called the Millennium Challenge 2002 leading up to the invasion of Iraq, which was partly physical operations (mostly pre-invasion work ups) and computer simulations meant to test our war fighting doctrine (I wont get into that). On the "Red" side representing Iraq was retired US Marine Lt General Van Ripper. What happened was a US Aircraft Carrier group consisting of over a dozen ships started hanging out outside the Persian Gulf and noticed a lot of private aircraft and boats just buzzing around, with no objective or path. After awhile they gave up looking for a pattern, and issued a warning to Van Ripper to surrender or else. Van Ripper called this his go-ahead order, and used a coded message in the Call to Prayer, which told his forces to attack. Suddenly, a salvo of anti-ship missiles from air, ship, and land smacked into the Carrier group, more anti-ship missiles kept coming, and suicide runs from private air and naval craft packed to the gills with explosives slammed into the ships (and aircraft did this into Middle East Airfields). In all, only 2 ships survived. Estimated lose: 20,000 Sailors and Marines, and hundreds of trillion dollars. Opps. But the fun came after the sinking of a trillion US dollars, when the Americans stamped their feet a few times started shouting, and said "nu uh, it didn't count, because my fingers were crossed!" And then they refloated their Navy, and pretended like nothing happened. And preceded to order the Iraqis to move their installations so that the US can carry out it's landing operations. And if that makes any fucking sense to you, you're either smarter or more insane then I am.

And these theoretical actions weren't unique: They're striking similar to what happened when al Qaeda attacked the USS Cole. But, the US side still said it was unrealistic thing to prepare for. Not unlike 9/11. Also not unlike the Falklands war, where the Argentinian Navy sank or severely damaged numerous British ships with a mix of Subs, land based aircraft and anti-ship missiles.

Now, you may be thinking (naively) to yourself "well, I'm sure the Navy already thought of that". Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. Don't forget, the British lost 9,000 troops (more then twice the total Japanese killed and wounded) and had 80,000 captured, when the Japanese only hit with 36,000 troops during the Battle of Singapore in WWII. This was heavily because they didn't have nearly the same air or anti-air capabilities of the Japanese during the battle.

And it just keeps getting worse. A possible solution is to keep ships outside of the range of Anti-Ship Missiles, smack the sites with missiles fired from US ships, and launch landing craft. Issues: The latest and greatest landing craft is the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) with a range of 25 miles, while ASMs can have a range up to 75 miles. As far as I'm aware, the longest ranged ship born weapon the US has is the RIM-66 Standard, with a range of up to 90 NM. So, a ship borne missile can just hit a land based missile. But, that assumes the Carrier Group actually knows where the ASMs are. If I was North Korean General, I would probably hide my ASMs inside of buildings near the coast. As the Navy gets close (and maybe takes out dummy ASM instillations near the coast) I'd wait until they were maybe 30 or 40 miles away. Too close to escape, too far to launch landing craft.

Now, the Navy has thought about these. For example, there is chaff systems to give the ASMs something else to go for. Which is only really a problem if you have the missile wired to hit the biggest blurb in the ocean. There are also specialized Surface to Air Missiles worked into Anti-Missile-Missiles (say that out loud and it sounds like you got a studder), specialized Anti-Aircraft Guns, and Close-in Weapon Systems meant to automatically target in and hit ASMs with 30 mill rounds. The problem is that AMMs are expensive as crap, and not perfect systems. They do fail. AA guns and CWS have short range and have to be able to actually the missile. That doesn't work since modern ASM intentionally make eratic movements in the last few thousand kilometers to deal with that. And they can only hit one at a time. And the expected kill range of CWS is still close enough to the ship to cause damage to essential areas. And the last system is electronic interference. Which can be defeated by wire guided missiles, or locking in GPS coordinates of the target ship before firing and then having the missile simply continue on it's trajectory until it hits something. And the GPS system is what is used by American Smart Bombs. Infact doing that, along with erratic end movements will pretty well defeat each of these methods.

The moral of the story is simple: There's a reason why a US Submarine Commander once said "The Navy has two kinds of ships: subs, and targets"

Here some additional thoughts based on reading this article, where China demonstrated their UAVs by destroying a Carrier Group in a simulation, not unlike what happened in the Millennium Challenge.

First of all, China not only has Recon and low altitude strike craft, but they're currently developing medium and high altitude long endurance recon and strike craft, with a range of up to 2,000 kilometers. Unlike our UAVs that are propeller driven, the Chinese UAVs (like the WJ600) has a jet engine, meaning it can almost definitely go faster then our UAVs, and can probably hold out against US manned craft. And here's a nice quote from the article (remember, Israel is the second largest developers of UAVs, behind the US):

'They suggested, too, that China had been helped by Israel, which sold China antiradar drones in the 1990s—to the fury of the Pentagon, which has since blocked the Israelis from providing upgrades.'

Oh, and Chinese Submarines can apparently get withing 1,000 ft of a Carrier group completely unnoticed.
#13837021
*sighs*

The Millennium Challenge exercise has been debunked over...and over...and over again on this board. The fact of the matter is that Van Riper did cheat...and amazingly so.

At it's core...Millennium Challenge, at least while Van Riper was screwing things up, didn't actually show any of that. What it showed was that a man who was bitter about being passed over for Commandant of the USMC wouldn't have a problem attempting to ruin a $250,000,000 wargame in order to embarrass people he felt were responsible for the end of his career.

No one, the US included (even the Marines omgomgomg), has the capabilities Van Riper conjured up out of thin air. There are no invisible, respawning fishing boats. Vehicles and ships do not simply appear out of nowhere loaded with cruise missiles and ready to go. Motorcycle communications from the lowest levels all the way up to "the top" are not instantaneous. Real life units are not capable of operating without fuel and supplies. Zombie armies do not exist.

The reason van Riper was thrown out was not because he was "too good" or whatever ridiculous suggestions people have made here (he was brought in to the games in the first place because his skills were well respected). It's not because he "won." It's because he was wasting a metric fuckton of money and the time of thousands of people who were involved in the training exercise out of spite.

Creativity in a wargame like that was fine, and is actually encouraged, as long as it is within the rules established for both sides. For example, certain small boats were to be overlooked by the fleet for the purposes of the wargames. This is not actually done in real life. They are overlooked to reduce clutter, etc, and because the USN already gets enough practice checking out and steering boats away from the fleets, since we do it all the time. Van Riper was very aware of this fact, but still decided to use those intentionally overlooked and off-limits small boats for everything from reconnaissance to suicide bombings all the way to fucking cruise missile attacks from no where.

Screwing things up on purpose is definitely not encouraged.

The man was literally firing two ton ASMs from Boston Whalers and Dhows. Craft that in real life...would sink from the sheer weight of such weapons being carried. Think about that for a second....





As for the War Nerd article....i'd like to remind you that the man is not a qualified military expert. He's a moron who's mere mention to anyone in the field who's heard of him is enough to get their blood boiling.

Something related on that note, in reference to that article:

Why is anyone taking the War Nerd seriously?


I don't know, but his opinions have utterly no military validity, and should simply be ignored in the same way any other glorified pontificating troll with no real knowledge is.


The War Nerd makes Zor look like David Glantz.

That is all.


WarNerd is just another type of Mikey Sparks dude. A navy version of "Captain Gavinman!"


Why do people still listen to this guy?

Well besides nerds listening to nerds...


Is that the armchair general who thinks oceanic navies are bullshit and moskito fleets are go, and the LCS is the future of sea warfare?

Please. "War Nerd"? More like "moron who understands nothing of naval combat".

That's just a load of bullcrap. Yes, carriers are vulnerable like any other military asset. The correct approach would be to increase the range and patrol time of aircraft on carriers to kill approaching vessels before they launch torpedoes or missiles, not "Quick! Drop carriers!"


Seriously, this guy almost manages to make goddamn "Gavin" Sparky look competent and intelligent.


Holy fucking shit
This guy pretends to be an "expert" ? Shit, I'm a better expert than him.


Brecher is a leftard, and knows less about military science and history than a retard with a copy of Battlefield 2. He waxes poetic about the RPG, thinking it is some sort of uber-weapon. He goes on about Iranian generals, and how they are amazingly talented and crafty (like sending waves of kids at the Iraqis during the Gulf War?), and how they will easily defeat the US. He makes a lot of points, all of them wrong.

He deserves a great big cockpunch, not a interview with UPI.
#13837030
Oh...and about the Chinese sub.

It didn't surface on the Carrier group going "gotcha"....it was more along the lines of "please don't shoot!"

It was being actively pinged by the group's ASW assets at the time, and had been shadowed by the USS Topeka (the LA Class sub attached to the group) for sometime already.

But because so many in the media and the civilian military blogging world are such idiots, the story was taken that a crap Chinese knockoff of an obsolete 50 year old Soviet design can get the drop on a Carrier Group in open ocean. :lol:

Good for the Navy though I suppose, as some Admirals probably got hauled before a Congressional Armed Services Committee with people asking them if they needed a bigger budget.
By Wolfman
#13837038
The fact of the matter is that Van Riper did cheat...and amazingly so.


How do you cheat at war?

At it's core...Millennium Challenge, at least while Van Riper was screwing things up, didn't actually show any of that. What it showed was that a man who was bitter about being passed over for Commandant of the USMC wouldn't have a problem attempting to ruin a $250,000,000 wargame in order to embarrass people he felt were responsible for the end of his career.


The point of the war game was for Van Ripper to try his damndest to break the US Military. Which he did. His motives are irrelevant.

No one, the US included (even the Marines omgomgomg), has the capabilities Van Riper conjured up out of thin air. There are no invisible, respawning fishing boats. Vehicles and ships do not simply appear out of nowhere loaded with cruise missiles and ready to go. Motorcycle communications from the lowest levels all the way up to "the top" are not instantaneous. Real life units are not capable of operating without fuel and supplies. Zombie armies do not exist.


If you were the leader of a country which was about to go to war with the US, you would plan out most of that, and the rest of that I don't even know what you're talking about.

The reason van Riper was thrown out was not because he was "too good" or whatever ridiculous suggestions people have made here (he was brought in to the games in the first place because his skills were well respected). It's not because he "won." It's because he was wasting a metric fuckton of money and the time of thousands of people who were involved in the training exercise out of spite.


He quit because his orders were being ignored. If he was magically cheating, the umpires could have corrected him, instead of ordering him to move his anti-aircraft guns so they can conduct a landing operation.

Screwing things up on purpose is definitely not encouraged.


He was hired to break the military, not show how wonderful and shiny the military was.
#13837576
Wolfman
How do you cheat at war?


You're making the fallacy of equivocating war with a wargame.

The point of the war game was for Van Ripper to try his damndest to break the US Military. Which he did. His motives are irrelevant.


His motives were very relevant, and most likely played an even bigger role for his ouster from the service than the methods he used in cheating during the MC02.

If you were the leader of a country which was about to go to war with the US, you would plan out most of that


And the US would do what...sit idly by and twidle it's thumbs?

Or better yet just come at you with the same strategy as before? With no improvisation or adaptation?

and the rest of that I don't even know what you're talking about.


Which is half the reason why you shouldn't even be using Millennium Challenge as the basis of your argument.

You don't have a clear understanding of all the details and minutiae involved in the incident.

He quit because his orders were being ignored.


No he didn't. He won the wargame remember? Even if it was through cheating.

If he was magically cheating, the umpires could have corrected him, instead of ordering him to move his anti-aircraft guns so they can conduct a landing operation.


They did correct him. They rebooted the entire exercise.

He was hired to break the military, not show how wonderful and shiny the military was.


Whatever. Frankly I could care less over your fanboyism towards the man.

I've made my point and it's clear you really don't have much else to go with aside from supposition and platitudes.
By Wolfman
#13837583
You're making the fallacy of equivocating war with a wargame.


How did he cheat at a wargame then? Because I cann't find any source that says he did the things you're claiming.

And the US would do what...sit idly by and twidle it's thumbs?

Or better yet just come at you with the same strategy as before? With no improvisation or adaptation?


Well, one can reasonably expect that an US invading force is going to be listening to radio chatter, so the defending nation would reasonably do things like having alternatives that cannot be listened to, and have fuel and ammo depots and what not.

Which is half the reason why you shouldn't even be using Millennium Challenge as the basis of your argument.

You don't have a clear understanding of all the details and minutiae involved in the incident.


OK. Inform me then.

They did correct him. They rebooted the entire exercise.


He quit after that happened, and after they started telling his subordinates what to do.

Whatever. Frankly I could care less over your fanboyism towards the man.


Fanboyism?

I've made my point and it's clear you really don't have much else to go with aside from supposition and platitudes.


And I've made my point and it's clear you really don't have much else to go with aside from insults and ignoring the point of the OP.
#13860125
Oh shit....just realized this thread was still going, apologies. Like the name change, Hamilton's work on the Fed Papers was always amongst my favorite. Anyways:

How did he cheat at a wargame then?


He completely ignored what BLUE was doing to his forces, in addition to the stipulated rules/parameters of the wargame.

Because I cann't find any source that says he did the things you're claiming.


It's not exactly common knowledge on the Internet outside of that dumbass WarNerd and his groupies.

Well, one can reasonably expect that an US invading force is going to be listening to radio chatter, so the defending nation would reasonably do things like having alternatives that cannot be listened to


Like what?

and have fuel and ammo depots and what not.


Yeah...but that would be...realistic.

Something Van Riper didn't believe in, and handwaved away during MC02 so he could throw his public hissy fit.

OK. Inform me then.


I did.

He quit after that happened, and after they started telling his subordinates what to do.


As I said: Hissy fit.

Fanboyism?


Did I stutter, or do you not know what fanboyism is?

And I've made my point and it's clear you really don't have much else to go with aside from insults and ignoring the point of the OP.


Question.

1: What point?
2: What was the point of the OP? Break it down and make it simple for me in your own words so I don't potentially misconstrue anything like you think I have.
User avatar
By Typhoon
#13860689
The excercise is somthing of a distraction to the thread here and that is the real threat to the USN surface fleet; the shrinking number of combat vessels avaliable and the procurement complications most notably due to cost inflation.

The LCS has in my opinion been a bad move for the USN as the type is going to be considered as a frigate when is certain not a frigate (other than cost) and outgunned by some corvettes. Ideally I imagine the USN would have fitted the LCS below a frigate but with no future frigate on the horizon it looks like they are going to be left with just the LCS class.

The next generation of destroyers has been beset by problems such as BMD and radar to the point that it killed the program with the Navy now relient on extending Burke production than investing in the next generation of destroyer design. This still being at increased cost when the radar issue is considered, to the point where Zumwalt becomes feasable again (no doubt to waste more money in indecision). The day of the cruiser is essentially over for the USN as the Ticonderoga class will be replaced in part with destroyers.

Perhaps most dangerously the carrier program is slipping and unless addressed it will eventually result in a cost death spiral that will render carriers unaffordable due to stop start production, in possibly a decades time.

The path for the submerged fleet seems clearer but it remains to be seen how much cost inflation will eat into the number of vessels that can actually be deployed.
User avatar
By Typhoon
#13861912
Interesting AVIATION WEEK article concerning future destroyers with regards to the above discussion.
An exclusive Aviation Week Intelligence Network investigation into the U.S. Navy destroyer fleet and its accompanying combat systems strongly suggests the service will have to upend some $121.8 billion worth of plans for their development, effectively solidifying the grip of incumbent contractors on the work at the very time Navy brass say they’re trying to break such monopolies.

Given rising maintenance costs and the current budget environment, it’s unlikely the Navy will be able to afford newly designed DDG-51s, wholesale new changes to their Aegis systems or the proposed Air and Missile Defense Radar.

The Aviation Week Intelligence Network’s (AWIN) five-part “Come About” series details the Navy’s miscues in building its destroyer fleet and developing an accompanying shipboard combat system. It is the result of a yearlong examination that included scores of interviews with Navy and contractor program officials, defense analysts, subject matter experts, Navy and Pentagon leaders, testing officials and a host of others associated directly or indirectly with the programs. As part of the project, AWIN captured, analyzed and vetted millions of computer records to provide a clearer picture of the funding trends and expectations for these programs.

Even a cursory analysis shows the service could save up to $14.3 billion — according to some government estimates of procurement and life cycle costs — if the service bought DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyers in the coming decades instead of newly designed variants of the venerable DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class, although other factors must be taken into account.

Part of the reason for the systems’ potentially high price tag, analysts note, are the starts, stops and sudden shifts in destroyer fleet plans in recent years. Still, such a potential overall cost disparity — revealed for AWIN subscribers in the “Come About” series — is drawing attention and more analysis in some quarters.

Further feeding that need for greater scrutiny are questions surrounding the Navy’s decision in the latter half of the past decade to truncate the Zumwalt fleet to three ships and restart the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke line — concerns that have prompted a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation that is due to deliver a report in January. The DDG-51 restart is needed, the Navy says, to fulfill the service’s ballistic missile defense (BMD) mission obligations, which envision the destroyers equipped with Lockheed Martin’s venerable Aegis Combat System, ready to take down enemy missiles with Raytheon’s Standard Missile-3 interceptor.

Some analysts speculate that the GAO will recommend that the Navy ditch its current plan to buy more Burkes — including redesigned models in years to come — and build more Zumwalts instead because the DDG-1000s will offer greater growth potential for more weapons and lower life cycle costs, which will likely save the Navy more money in the long run.

What is not speculation, though, is that Navy officials have provided contradictory and often misleading public statements about what destroyers they need and why. Neither Burkes nor Zumwalts were designed specifically for BMD, but the Navy brass has contended the DDG-1000s could not accommodate Standard Missiles — a contention that is untrue, according to Navy documents, analysts and industry sources.

Another indisputable fact is that the current fleet of destroyers and their Aegis Combat Systems needed for missile defense are a maintenance mess. It could cost the price of an entire new destroyer or more just to get the vessels and systems shipshape and an additional untold sum of money to keep the Burkes and their radar systems in good working order through the coming decades.

It is this huge repair bill, plus mounting maintenance costs and the budgetary battles being waged on Capitol Hill, that make top naval analysts think it is unlikely the Navy will be able to afford the newly designed Burkes, wholesale new changes to the ships’ Aegis shields or the proposed Air and Missile Defense Radar, the supposed linchpin for future BMD
.
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... 408816.xml

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