Thursday, November 15, 2018

USN/USMC look to missile up amphibious ships...everything a shooter on steroids...

via USNI News.
Particularly given that the Navy only has nine Wasp-class LHDs and America-class LHAs in the water today, Coffman acknowledged the difficulty in asking to take one out of service. But, he said, the first operations of the F-35B on USS Wasp (LHD-1) and USS Essex (LHD-2) this year have been “a reverse canary in a coal mine” situation in plainly highlighting a problem the Navy and Marine Corps already expected to face: the planes are too sophisticated for the ships, which cannot fully communicate with them and leverage the planes’ data.

“I don’t want to bring Marine Aviation down to third- and fourth-gen; I want to bring the rest of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force up to fifth-gen and exploit that technical expertise and have a fifth-gen MAGTF. The problem is, we’re having to embark a fifth-gen MAGTF on a third-gen ship, and we have to fix that. Time, now,” Coffman said.

On the San Antonio-clas LPDs, the focus of upgrades will be bringing them from Marine-carriers with a great command and control system to a lethal node in the Navy’s sea control web.

Coffman said that wargames and tabletop exercises have shown the LPD is just the right size to be highly effective in the Navy’s distributed lethality and distributed maritime operations concepts, if they were upgraded to include more lethal systems. He said “they really live in the world of the small boys” in terms of size, aviation detachment and other capabilities, but they are not tapped into the Navy’s kill web in the same way – a lost opportunity that Coffman intends to correct in this new upgrade plan.

“Making a bet on increased lethality … is absolutely essential” and worth the cost, he argued. He declined to say what weapon systems he was looking at putting on these amphibs, but he said the upgrades would allow the amphibs to join the rest of the black shoe navy in the fight for sea control once they put their MAGTF ashore.

“Why aren’t you contributing to air and missile defense? Why aren’t you contributing to anti-surface? Instead of having to be protected, why don’t you put something on offer to be part of the killers?” Coffman said of the possibilities of an upgraded LPD.
“The bulk of that will be Navy systems integrated into Navy weapons architecture.”

The general described a scenario of multiple LPDs fighting alongside cruisers and destroyers, and not only would the amphibs have a complement of sensors and weapons to contribute to the sea and air control fight, but they would also have a surprise mix of aircraft and surface connectors hidden in their well decks and flight decks to surprise an adversary closer in to shore.

The LPD midlife plan would ideally kick in in the mid-2020s, he said, and give the Navy and Marines a chance to “correct the failures of the past” with this ship class now that the amphibious community has learned so much about how the ships can be used and what investments are most desired.
Story here. 


What the FUCK does a fifth gen MAGTF look like and what capabilities does it have that it doesn't today?


Amphibs operating alongside cruisers and destroyers contributing to air, missile and surface fight?

Does this mean that amphibs will sail without Marines (left on the pier) and sortie out as part of a surface action group?  Is this for activity after Marines have hit the beach?

Either way it does pose an interesting question.  We lose a destroyer and we lose an important asset to the air - sea fight.  We lose a San Antonio Class LPD we lose an important asset to the land fight.  In essence the Marines lose a ride.

Is this another indication that Air and Sea is taking precedence over land operations for the Marine Corps?

Ever since Amos the ground side of the Corps has been losing more and more influence and seems to have an increasingly smaller voice within the Marines.

But let's assume the concept is correct.

How do we afford to make LPDs into mini-Destroyers?

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