From: Washington D.C.
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/
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 >