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VLS loadouts - 1/18/2021 8:15:35 PM   
thewood1

 

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http://influenceofhistory.blogspot.com/p/missile-loadouts.html

Found this a few months ago and forgot to post. We have had several requests for loadout info for various VLS ships. This is a good attempt at it.

Sorry, not just VLS, but rail launchers also.



< Message edited by thewood1 -- 1/18/2021 8:18:16 PM >
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RE: VLS loadouts - 1/19/2021 1:46:34 PM   
stilesw


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quote:

http://influenceofhistory.blogspot.com/p/missile-loadouts.html

Found this a few months ago and forgot to post. We have had several requests for loadout info for various VLS ships. This is a good attempt at it.

Thanks, added to the CMO unofficial Dropbox reference library.

Any forum member can have access to this Dropbox resource. Just PM me with your email address.

-WS

(in reply to thewood1)
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RE: VLS loadouts - 1/20/2021 3:11:59 PM   
SeaQueen


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I think it's interesting how people constructing loadouts LOVE to go TLAM heavy, as if the most important thing a CRUDES can do is strike land targets. While it's certainly a capability, their first priority is always going to be self defense. A surface ship needs to be at sea, for weeks or even months at a time, without the capability to replenish its VLS tubes. During that time, they can potentially be attacked by a multitude of air and missile threats, including ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and aircraft. Making conservative assumptions about the Pk of the missiles suggests these are bad loadouts.

For example:

8x SM-3, 16x SM-6, 30x SM-2MR, 16x ESSM, 32x TLAM, 6x VLA

Assume the DDG faces a raid of 1 regiment of 16 naval bombers w/2 ASCMs each. Following a shoot-shoot-look doctrine, that would imply a total expenditure of 32 missiles just to shoot them down. That would exhaust all the SM-6s and almost half the SM-2s, leaving them with only 16 remaining SM-2s. After the first 16 SM-6 missiles are fired, the remaining 8 bombers will continue to ingress and launch their weapons, leaving 16 inbound ASCMs. Following shoot-shoot-look again, you're now out of SM-2s leaving only ESSM for self defense. This leaves the DDG with no terminal defense against ballistic missiles, and almost guarantees that a second wave will be able to launch their weapons and destroy the target. If this was combined with jamming and SEAD support, I don't think this is a survivable loadout.

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RE: VLS loadouts - 1/21/2021 12:19:34 AM   
Rory Noonan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: SeaQueen

I think it's interesting how people constructing loadouts LOVE to go TLAM heavy


Flashback to the 2000's when people were saying 'Why bother with all these SAMs when TLAMs are what we really need'. That's around when I became interested in this field and definitely shaped my perception of what is useful, I hazard a guess that most scenario designers probably had similar influences.

My prediction: In 20 years it's going to be 'Why bother with all these SAMs when railguns and HGVs make them obsolete?'

"It has been said critically that there is a tendency in many armies to spend the peace time studying how to fight the last war." Lieut. Col. J. L. Schley, 1929

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RE: VLS loadouts - 1/22/2021 9:51:42 PM   
thewood1

 

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Frankly, the first thing I do with USN VLS when designing a game is reconfigure the VLS loadouts. I have several templates I use depending on what I think the situation would be in the scenario. If its a long lead up the battle with a peer foe, I'll assume a heavy SAM loadout and lighter on Tomahawks. If its a short lead up to a battle with a peer foe, I try to set up a balanced loadout. And so on...

But I will say, I almost never use the heavy Tomahawk loadouts straight from the database.

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RE: VLS loadouts - 1/24/2021 3:39:08 PM   
SeaQueen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rory Noonan
Flashback to the 2000's when people were saying 'Why bother with all these SAMs when TLAMs are what we really need'. That's around when I became interested in this field and definitely shaped my perception of what is useful, I hazard a guess that most scenario designers probably had similar influences.


Interesting thoughts. It's complicated. I think there's a tendency in the wargaming community for overstatement and bombast. Since most of the information they have is historical, and the forward looking stuff is typically intentionally vague, they also tend to be acting on deeply imperfect information. Even in the 2000s, though, nobody serious thought that the only wars under consideration by the US Navy were conflicts with nations incapable of mounting a serious air or missile threat. With the advent of ASBMs that only accelerated the shift towards some kind integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) and away from the (erroneous) idea that the only purpose of CRUDES was to carry TLAM.

The real answer to what VLS tube loadouts are (as in all things involving technological warfare, it seems) is that "it depends." It depends first on the mission set assigned to the DDG. Not all DDGs are going to have the same mission. Some of them will be doing air and missile defense (AMD). Some of them will be doing strike. Some will be oriented more towards ballistic missile defense (BMD). But notice that I said mission "set." That means that they might be doing AMD and strike, or AMD and BMD, or some mix of all of the above. With the advent of Maritime Strike Tomahawk (MST) they'll also add maritime strike to their mission sets. The mission sets depend on the nature of the conflicts. That might be with the usual suspects (China, North Korea, Iran) or it might be with returning powers on the world stage (Russia) or it might be with all kinds of interventions in various capacities against non-state actors (ISIL, Houthi Rebellion, Islamist groups in the Philippines, or Africa). Of course, an intervention with the non-state actors would almost certainly imply participation by various state actors. For example, intervention against ISIL would almost certainly have a substantial AMD/BMD component to it not because ISIL has jets, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles, but because the Russians, Turks, and Iranians do. Houthis and Hezbollah have cruise missiles and SAMs. ISIL and the Houthis also have armor (and can usually find someone with military experience to operate it). Russian mercenaries in Libya provide high tech, deniable defensive counter air and strike to competing factions to favor Russian interests. So... "low tech" warfare just ain't as low tech as it used to be.

This is one of my favorite opened-source intel blogs:

Check this stuff out! https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/

quote:

My prediction: In 20 years it's going to be 'Why bother with all these SAMs when railguns and HGVs make them obsolete?'


I don't think SAMs are going away. SAMs will be just part of a much more complex and robust set of defenses that include SAMS, AAA, directed-energy weapons (DEWs), electronic warfare, low-observable technologies, a variety of hard and soft kill countermeasures, mobility, decoys, hardening, burying, and probably a bunch more technologies I'm not mentioning here. I think the trend is not that any one weapon type is becoming obsolete, but rather, it will continue to be improved and made more deadly, while simultaneously countermeasures and tactics are developed to help mitigate those improvements.


< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 1/24/2021 4:18:30 PM >

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RE: VLS loadouts - 1/24/2021 3:45:48 PM   
SeaQueen


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quote:


But I will say, I almost never use the heavy Tomahawk loadouts straight from the database.


Me neither. One of the things I think is great about the game, and was designed in early on, is that you're not stuck with what's in the database. It's easy for a scenario designer to modify it. That was in response to the realization that flexible loadouts were one of the advantages of VLS designs, and also that modular ships were en vogue with the LCS and its mission modules.

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RE: VLS loadouts - 1/24/2021 11:57:58 PM   
BeirutDude


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quote:

ORIGINAL: SeaQueen

quote:


But I will say, I almost never use the heavy Tomahawk loadouts straight from the database.


Me neither. One of the things I think is great about the game, and was designed in early on, is that you're not stuck with what's in the database. It's easy for a scenario designer to modify it. That was in response to the realization that flexible loadouts were one of the advantages of VLS designs, and also that modular ships were en vogue with the LCS and its mission modules.


At first I used the defaults, but similarly hardly ever leave them as is now unless the CRUDES are there for a land ASuW mission. The one thing I struggle with is the ABMs and how many of the RIM-161 SM-3s are really available and then how many of each Block? Usually I add one to two per unit for an ABM mission, but who knows how many are really out there. In the Scenario I have in Play Test right now I assume (in 2022) that just about every available Pac Fleet SM-3 was dispatched to CSG-5 for use off Okinawa. May have over done the real number but who knows?

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RE: VLS loadouts - 1/25/2021 4:07:40 PM   
Gunner98

 

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I'm curious about when, historically, the flexibility inherent in VLS started to be used as part of normal mission activity?

My question relates specifically to 1994. The two USN ship classes that it really impacts are the Tyco's which are default AD loadout and the Spruance which is a default TLAM/ASW loadout. There are a few DDG-51s and I've been putting them mostly into AD loadouts.

I haven't been modifying the loadouts very much (except to empty the cells) because the DB doesn't have many SAM load options for the Spru-cans and I'm not about to reduce the Tyco's AD load. It's easy to adjust the missile options for the Spruance but I just didn't think it would have been normal practice of the time. Should I?

Thanks


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RE: VLS loadouts - 1/26/2021 1:38:51 AM   
SeaQueen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BeirutDude
At first I used the defaults, but similarly hardly ever leave them as is now unless the CRUDES are there for a land ASuW mission. The one thing I struggle with is the ABMs and how many of the RIM-161 SM-3s are really available and then how many of each Block?


And that is exactly how they like it. :-)

One of the things to keep in mind is that even if there's just a few missiles of a given type on a single ship, surface warfare is team work, so it's rare that they'd even be working alone. When you look at a CSG as a whole, it ends up being plenty of all types to last a good while.

The other thing to recognize is that a ship's VLS loadout might change. It might leave port in Norfolk with nothing in the tubes, arrive in Rota and have the missiles from one ship on their way home loaded into their magazine, then proceed through the Suez canal, swap a few missiles out for a different threat there, etc. etc. A ship might have many different loadouts as it sails through various AORs in response each COCOM's requirements.

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RE: VLS loadouts - 1/26/2021 1:48:46 AM   
SeaQueen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gunner98

I'm curious about when, historically, the flexibility inherent in VLS started to be used as part of normal mission activity?


It was always a part of it. The US Navy's inventory of missile types has increased so has the flexibilty of the VLS.

quote:


It's easy to adjust the missile options for the Spruance but I just didn't think it would have been normal practice of the time. Should I?


It depends? Even within air defense oriented loadouts, though, there's usually multiple variants of standard missiles available in any given time period, it's easy to conceive of mixed loadouts of them. It'd depend on everything from availability to mission requirements and the estimate of the threat.

Btw, I'm looking at the database viewer right now and I'm a little surprised to be seeing SM-6 ERAM as an option for the VLS Spruances.

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RE: VLS loadouts - 1/26/2021 8:13:17 PM   
Gunner98

 

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quote:

Btw, I'm looking at the database viewer right now and I'm a little surprised to be seeing SM-6 ERAM as an option for the VLS Spruances.


That seems a bit off, I think they were all retired about a decade before the SM-6 was available.

I might go back and make some adjustments to a couple scenarios. Of the top of my head I think I've got a Spru-can with pre-war STANAVFORLANT with a standard loadout and that would probably be weighted more toward AD and probably have a few more ASROCs etc.





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Check out our novel, Northern Fury: H-Hour!: http://northernfury.us/
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RE: VLS loadouts - 2/7/2021 4:22:54 PM   
thewood1

 

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https://influenceofhistory.blogspot.com/2019/03/fy2020-us-navy-budget-highlights.html

It can be hard to get at inventories for missiles. I typically look at DoD budgets. I thought this blog entry had a couple nuggets on procurement, inventory, and proposed deployment.

< Message edited by thewood1 -- 2/7/2021 4:23:09 PM >

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RE: VLS loadouts - 2/7/2021 11:13:45 PM   
BeirutDude


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quote:

One of the things to keep in mind is that even if there's just a few missiles of a given type on a single ship, surface warfare is team work, so it's rare that they'd even be working alone. When you look at a CSG as a whole, it ends up being plenty of all types to last a good while.


That was exactly the tack I took with "To Kill the Queen, 2022" I assumed we had enough PAC Fleet RIM-161 SM-3s to put two on each escort One forward and one aft. Seemed to work well. So the idea was the CRUDES/bunkers in Pearl were stripped and sent to Japan to load out CSG-5 with as many as possible.

_____________________________

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, 1985

I was Navy, but Assigned TAD to the 24th MAU Hq in Beirut. By far the finest period of my service!

(in reply to SeaQueen)
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