Monday, September 23, 2019

Offshore Support Vessels for the Navy/Marine Corps amphibious fleet?

via USNI News.
“How do we, as an amphibious warship force in the United States Navy, how do we support this [Expeditionary Advance Base Operations] concept?” Frank DiGiovanni said during a panel at Modern Day Marine 2019, referring to one of the Marines’ two new operating concepts.
“We came up with kind of the same thing the commandant put out in his guidance: we saw a need for a smaller set of diversified ships, we call them OSVs.”

DiGiovanni made clear that this wouldn’t come at the expense of the large multi-mission amphibious warships the Navy already buys, but “the more that you can diversify and complicate the enemy’s targeting capability, the better.”

He went on to note that Marines need large ships to get people and gear into a theater, but once there, they may be at risk if they remain concentrated. OSVs would contribute to Marines being able to disperse for their own protection, as well as giving them the agility and maneuverability to get in and around islands or other littoral water features.

“It’s a concept we’re looking at, and the commandant calls it out,” he told USNI News after the panel presentation.
“He doesn’t call it an OSV, but he does say small, scalable, more maneuverable, flexible kinds of things. The OSV is certainly a class or a type of ship we’ve worked with before.”

He acknowledged that the Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF), which the Navy bought for intratheater lift and will soon be used for ambulance-type medical transports, is also being looked at. The Austal-built EPF comes in at 103 meters long with a draft of 12.5 feet. The OSV the Navy has developed for the Iraqi Navy is 60 meters long and is primarily used to bring personnel and supplies to and from oil production platforms in the Persian Gulf. The OSV was also the basis for the design of two Pentagon-built Large Unmanned Surface Vessels, dubbed Ghost Fleet, that are being used to begin experimentation and prototyping efforts in the LUSV field.

“The book’s open right now; no decision has been made on what we want to do. But it’s certainly something we need to think about,” DiGiovanni said.
Story here. 

Hmm.  So we need a ship to shore connector that doesn't have to reach the beach?  We're looking at something that can handle high seas but doesn't necessarily have to sail with the gators?

We need something in theater that can ferry supplies from our amphibs 200 plus miles off shore to about 3 miles from the beach and won't have our guys tossing around like corks in the water, but has high water speed?

I think the DiGiovanni has it pretty much covered.  We're probably looking at what we already have but more specialized.

So what are we looking at?  Keep the guns and missiles up front (that's the party)...and stretch the back, reinforce the deck, add a ramp or if possible a small well deck (the business end) and I think we have what they're looking for.

Modification?  You bet.  Major mods?  Don't know, I'm not a naval engineer but in my mind it sounds doable.  Can we plug a new section of ship into existing models to get what I'm looking for?

If we can make it work then we have a semi-credible platform for the Reinforced Company Expeditionary Team.  Tailor its aviation, armor, artillery and logistic support for minor operations, scale it so it plugs into a MEU and send them to the four corners of the world.

Give me 30 modified ships of this type and we suddenly can float more Marines than ever before.  Hell we would have an additional MEU afloat...just disaggregated/dispersed.

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