Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Rethinking using the Austal LCS as a possible Offshore Support Vessel for the USN/USMC amphibious fleet...

Thanks to Ogden for doing the leg work on my initial idea...

I did a post (here) where I mused about using the Austal LCS, with a plug in module to give it a bit more capacity, as the OSV that was talked about at a Modern Day Marine briefing.

Ogden did the legwork and this is what he came up with (I'm personally impressed)...

Do you get the force of connection in the above graphics?

Ok, that was perhaps unfair to ask.  Let me be clear.  I wanted a cheap, quick fix for this requirement.  The Austal LCS seemed like the most likely candidate.

But the USMC is aviation centric (for better or worse).  We need more flight deck space.

The question becomes this.  What will give us the necessary deck space to fulfill this requirement.

My first thought was to revive the old lust for the Absalon Class.

Before the USMC started down the aviation centric side of things this ship could have been almost perfect for what's being asked.  The problem?  In my opinion while it would provide a very capable multi-role capability it just doesn't give us enough aviation facilities to support the "new" Corps.

So what do I think they're actually looking for?  How about a blast from the past but with a twist.

Imagine a modern day Iwo Jima LPH but in a mini size.  The Iwo Jima displaced 18K tons fully loaded.  Cut that in half.  Ditto with the aviation carried.  Triple the same with troop carriage.  Supposedly the Iwo Jima carried up to 2K Marines.

So what ship in existence gives us about half the Iwo Jima's displacement, aviation capabilities and troop carriage?


We could replicate it's ability with the Mistral BPC class from France (that ship is remarkably similar to our LPH from years gone by in all specifications), but we're not needing that much capacity.

Unfortunately from my reading we're gonna need a new, clean sheet design to achieve what I think they're looking for.

In other words can US shipbuilders design and float a modern mini-LPH at an affordable price in a quick time frame?  I'm really not sure.

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