Wednesday, January 29, 2020

You want a dispersed Marine Expeditionary Force aboard ship? Then buy the Mistral Class LHD...

The Commandant has made a call for Marines to operate among a large variety of warships so that a dispersed force can be realized.

The problem?

Putting penny packets of Marines onboard existing Navy ships that aren't focused on the getting Marines ashore and are too small/specialized to assist in the naval fight is a non-starter.

A few Marines aboard a destroyer that is hookin' and jabbin' at sea is going to have a hard time flexing to getting Marines ashore.  Same goes for Frigates.

A few fast transports that are ill suited to amphibious operations isn't gonna help either.

So what is the answer.

We look at what others are using and pick the best of breed to enhance our operations. 

So what is that ship?

The Mistral Class LHD.  It brings to the table several pluses.  Outside of the Harrier/F-35 it can field Marine Air (helos) from the MV-22, CH-53, AH-1Z, UH-1Y and upcoming unmanned combat tilt wings.

It can carry ACVs/AAVs and LCACs for surface assault.  It can deploy small boats. 

In essence it is a chance to free up America Class ships to become what everyone seems to want.  F-35 carriers.

Coming in at 16,500 tons empty its smaller than a San Antonio Class LPD and in my estimation more useful.

Its a win win.  Just build it in the USA and call it a day.  If the French would sell the plans to the Russians you know they'll sell it to us!

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