From: Mordor Illlinois
I'd recommend we look to the past for a solution. In the late 70's the USN considered Zumwalt's Low-high-mix. We have the CVN's and their escorts , but we definitely need to supplement them with smaller craft in lower threat environments. While we are fresh out of Essex class CV's and CVE's or CVL's , we do have 14-16 large deck amphibious ships (LHA's and LHD's). When they are not carting Marines around they can embark F-35's , AV-8's and some form of modified V-22 as replacements for Hawkeyes and the now defunct S-3 Vikings. V-22s would be very easy to modify as ASW aircraft by installing a modularized palate for ASW. Larger scale versions have been done for C-130's back in the 1980's to supplement P-3C's. Such a concept could be scaled down. Can you imagine combing the range and nearly the speed of a S-3 with the ability to deploy dipping SONAR? Let me tell you 1st hand , most airborne ASW guys would salivate at the idea.
Such ships could easily operate in medium threat environments. For low threat environment , where the threat is primarily submarine (such as a mid-ocean convoy) we might look back to the Arapahoe concept that the US Navy considered in the early 1980's. Using prepared standard shipping containers , providing support and aircrew spaces , berthing and messing spaces , preloaded ASW and air defense cargos , a container ship could embark a flexible ASW helo's and VTOL attack/fighter aircraft to protect a convoy against most threats.
Don't consider this to be reasonable? Well the prototype was loaned to the RN in 1982 and embarked on board the Atlantic conveyor. It worked great. Until the RN sent her into a VERY high threat situation for which she was not equipped. Yet she transported a large number of Sea and RAF Harriers , which were transferred before her lost , as well as a sizable force of CH-47's that were not. Oops!
Hers a 1981 article (pre Falkands) on the concept. https://www.csmonitor.com/1981/0106/010636.html
And the big carriers are growing better teeth as well. The Ford class CVN's (one in commission and two building) have 3 times the ability to generate electricity as the current CVN's , which in turn can generate 3 times the juice of the next biggest warship. Besides using them for the EMALs catapults , they are designed to employ laser weapons and potentially rail guns. While not necessarily anti ship weapons , the are perfect for anti air and anti missile defense. AND THEY NEVER RUN OUT OF AMMUNITION! Consider the ramifications of that.
So while China and Russia are talking about the 1980's sailors scifi weapon of choice the US Navy has embraced Buck Rodgers , Flash Gordon, Star Wars , And Stargate SG-1 weapons. (Star Trek will have to wait a while till phasers and quantum and photon torpedoes are perfected).
And the submarine service (which protects the CVN) has gone all out on undersea automatous devices for asw. At the same time the Triton Naval drone squadrons are being stood up, which do maritime patrol (surface) and asw patrol by being controlled by P-8a Poseidon aircraft , drastically increasing their search range and taking over low level asw from them (they are currently implementing MAD which the P-8a doesn't carry).
So while no ballistic missile has actually successfully tracked and sunk a ship or sea going target , the USN already has technology to defeat it and other threats and is beginning to employ them.
Please don't get me started on anti torpedo devices ! That's a whole OTHER rant!
< Message edited by AW1Steve -- 1/3/2020 6:08:05 PM >
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