Computer Generated visulisation of the future Type 26 Global Combat Ship

New images from the MoD’s official Flickr feed…

Sorry, couldn’t resist

Computer Generated visulisation close up of the future Type 26 Global Combat Ship

Computer Generated visulisation of the future Type 26 Global Combat Ship.

And some new imagery from the MoD on the Offshore Patrol Vessels

Computer Generated Image of the new Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV).

Taxi…

 

PS

Hopefully, they will correct this easy mistake anyone could make. Would like to think they would have more grace than BAE who after me pointing out to them a spelling error in their DSEi Type 36 video decided to delete it and issue a new one later in the day without so much a nod, wink or cheers.

PPS

Yes, I know they are incorrectly labelled, that is the point of the post!

 

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Absalon
Absalon
September 28, 2015 7:25 pm
I think the 1st two graphics are for the new RN OPVs not Type-26.
NavyLookout
September 28, 2015 7:30 pm

I’m sure you’re just testing but first 2 CGIs are Batch 2 River Class OPVs not T26 GCS. Keep up the good work ensuring BAES spell correctly:)

WiseApe
September 28, 2015 8:05 pm

That’s not even how to spell flicker :-)

Rocket Banana
September 28, 2015 8:06 pm

As long as the OPV is “sold as seen” then great. I’ll take 50 of them.

Mark
Mark
September 28, 2015 9:27 pm

Is this the navy’s cunning new plan to get the type 26 past the treasure or the treasures plan to hood wink the navy into these other “new frigates” after being told the bill will be 11.5 billion for the one they really want??

stephen duckworth
September 28, 2015 10:24 pm

Does that “all rights reserved” on the T26 image explain their legal cover for doubling/ tripling the intial cost estimates ;-) WOW it must be so much better than a Arleigh Burke Flight III …….

stephen duckworth
September 28, 2015 11:03 pm

The USN have ordered 9 new AR FIII for $6.1bn.
First steel cut next year so the race is on to which will enter front line service first!!!! http://news.usni.org/2013/06/07/navsea-on-flight-iii-arleigh-burkes#more-3501

Observer
Observer
September 29, 2015 3:27 am

@SD

I noticed a rule of thumb for automation on ships is that if you reduce crew manning by x%, expect the price to rise by the same percentage x 2. The USN and anywhere that has low manpower costs have heaps of bodies to throw at the problem, the others do not, hence a lot of the newer ships are also a lot more expensive than a Burke.

stephen duckworth
September 29, 2015 3:21 pm

@Observer
I can’t comment on the level of automation on a AR FIII but I suspect it’s still a lot but with manual oversight . The US after their WW2 experience like to have lots of bodies on board for damage control , a skill they developed exceptional levels too as they approached the Japanese home islands greater and greater intensity of attacks. I suspect that a crew member can abandon their watch station to deal with fire/flooding in their/nearby compartment knowing it will look after itself whilst they help save the ship. Also having large crews would mean that in terms of ramping up hull output in a major war skilled crew could be pulled from existing experienced crews , to be replace by new recruits, to get new hulls worked up and in service asap.
On the pay side they still aren’t that cheap.
http://www.militaryfactory.com/military_pay_scale.asp

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
September 29, 2015 4:08 pm

Not convinced they’ve ordered 9. This appears to be the most up to date and comprehensive bit of info.

https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL32109.pdf

Flight III AB is far from a done deal, the USN is still some way deep in the poo……

Hohum
Hohum
September 29, 2015 4:26 pm

NaB,

USN is not “some way deep in the poo”, Flight III is happening its just a matter of which FY and in the meantime they are still building Flight IIs. Personally I am not sold on the approach but they needed something that looked cheap after the DDG1000 debacle, I suspect they will build a handful of Flight III hulls then suddenly decide they need the same systems but on a new platform.

Where there may be a problem is the orphan DDG1000s, three bespoke hulls and systems fits, awkward.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
September 29, 2015 4:46 pm
Reply to  Think Defence

My day rates are surprisingly cheap. I await a call from Dr Lewis……

stephen duckworth
September 29, 2015 5:09 pm

On the AR FIII I suspect the USN are trying to finesse the AMDR onto a hull to prove its worth ( the manufacturer is not going to perform at sea trials at their expense) . If the present hull is up to it all well and good but they want to prove the modular AMDR radar system is the great leap forward they hope it is. They are hoping the now named AN/SPY-6 will be able to create a step up in ability , including extremley powerful EW functions , that justifies the risk. They are basicly seizing the already agreed budget for a AR FIIA and tacking on the already spent development cost for integrating the AN/SPY-6 onto a hull . I suspect the muted stretched Areleigh Burke will be the long term outcome but in these days of sequestration the Navy is playing a close game.
On TD ‘ s point on the article NaB posted that kind of publicly made information , across all services, might have a significant effect on how we run our big ticket projects.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
September 29, 2015 5:11 pm

DD(X) and DDG1000 were happening and just a question of the FY – as was LCS, as was LPD17, although that was eventually unf8cked. T-AO(X) is far from sorted, etc etc.

They are actually having some serious problems in designing ships. The only area where they’re having fewer issues is in submarines where they kept some sort of continuity in new design going between EB and NN over the years.

Once you stop designing certain types of ship for an extended period – particularly when you’re down to one or two suppliers – then you’re in trouble. It’s why long extended production runs (see T23 for details) that sound great to consultants and pollies are sometimes the wrong choice.

Hohum
Hohum
September 29, 2015 5:22 pm

NaB,

Oh no, DD(X) and DDG1000 were in very severe trouble long before they met the axe, AB Fl3 is in a much happier place, for a start the combatant commanders are screaming out for it, the systems development is happening (and apparently happening well as far as AMDR goes) and the programme is genuinely core to naval operations and technology transition. By contrast to earlier efforts the cost concerns are minimal.

The design issues are a result of trying to shoe-horn a whole new (and actually quite different) sensor fit into a legacy (and thus largely fixed) hull design. If the money spigot could be opened wider they would have no trouble producing a new hull design.

Repulse
September 29, 2015 5:24 pm
Reply to  Not a Boffin

Completely agree with you NaB, the ability to be able to do something (e.g. design complex warships) is as valuable as having them already.

For the T26, I’d like to see the first 8 (or 9 ;)) ASW versions come out to a similar “batch of 3” designs (incremental improvements) and the Non-TAS (ready) ships come out to a revised extended design. We should then move onto the T46 quickly after…

Hohum
Hohum
September 29, 2015 5:29 pm

Also, not sure what you think the problem with T-AO(X) is, the RfPs have been issued and the programme is broadly on schedule.

The Other Chris
September 29, 2015 6:08 pm

@NaB

Are the USN problems in part related to the success of the AB and Perry’s?

Hohum
Hohum
September 29, 2015 6:28 pm

ToC,

No. The USN’s “problem” is that it spent the best part of 20 years designing a highly specialized series of ships rather than a general purpose destroyer to follow the Burkes on the slipway. Having belatedly realised their error they are trying to look frugal by shoehorning next gen systems and sensors into a Burke hull.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
September 29, 2015 10:43 pm
Reply to  Hohum

RfPs are one thing. Build contracts with a competent yard are another. In this particular case, there is only one competent yard (you can guess which one), but another yard with zero track record in that type of ship is being proposed – primarily to keep it alive while AB Flt III is “fixed”.

Time will tell whether T-AO(X) runs smoothly.

As for AB Flt III – the very fact that they’re trying to shoehorn that system (and some of the other systems changes) into the 30 yr old AB hull design tells you that they’re a little short of grown-ups. It’s like those fruit-loops who think a remanufactured T23 (or a T45 variant) would be a better bet than T26.

Regrettably, USN ship design and procurement (and I include the USCG in that) has a painful recent history. One might argue that only Lewis & Clark has come close to being a trouble-free programme in the last fifteen years.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
September 29, 2015 10:52 pm

Hohum, TOC, yes.

The AB design was generally complete in the mid-80s – about the same time as our T23s. That’s thirty years ago, since when they have designed precisely zero “conventional” DD/FF type ships. As Hohum says, they’ve done some bizarre specialists where particular parts of the requirement (eg speed or low RCS/distributed combat system) had an inordinate effect on the design.

What that means is that the most senior guys in Navsea now were making the coffee and getting the bagels in Crystal City and Carderock when the AB design was being conducted. That’s what long production runs combined with limited subsequent design exercises gets you. Just as we found with T23 and the gap between it and T45/T26, which was not as pronounced as in this case.

While you may know “what” a design looks like, if you don’t know “why” it looks like that then you will struggle to know “how” to produce a sensibly balanced design.

Hohum
Hohum
September 30, 2015 5:35 am

NaB,

Nope. T-AO(X) is running just fine, the RfP process is required prior to a build contract. It’s process.

The perceived (actually pretty minor) problems with AB Fl3 are the result of the USN confining themselves to using the DDG51 hull, nothing to do with skills fade.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
September 30, 2015 10:00 am

Time will tell. Having both written and responded to a number of RfP for ships, I’m perfectly well aware of their function thank you. You should also be aware that process (or more precisely over-reliance on it) is not necessarily a guarantee that all is going swimmingly. Their oilers are not technically challenging – this isn’t a skill fade issue – and they appear to be happy to play the get out of jail free card wrt MARPOL for another fifteen years or so. What is disturbing is that the US is blobbing this up with the amphibious programme and making it a winner takes all programme between HII and NASSCO. Given the disparity in nature between the two types of ship, this can only be an attempt to put either Ingalls or NASSCO out of business, preserving BIW (owned by GD, like NASSCO). Much litigation will ensue and either the Navy will lose its only competent merchant/auxiliary shipbuilder or its only experienced amphibious shipbuilder.

As for AB III, I repeat – trying to shoehorn new generation systems into a 30-yr old design for a new-build is not something a competent organisation does willingly. It tends to be a symptom of either lack of experience / ignorance in the acquisition department and/or loss of confidence in the design capabilities of Navsea/industry.

Hohum
Hohum
September 30, 2015 10:16 am

NaB,

The USN has been trying to knock out a shipyard for years, it may one day gets its way, but there is nothing wrong with the Oiler project as demonstrated by your inability to provide evidence to the contrary.

AB Fl3 uses the legacy hull for cost reasons, nothing else, and there is no evidence that any of the challenges thus far encountered are insurmountable.

Peter Elliott
September 30, 2015 10:27 am

Is it not the case Hohum that by deciding to go for AB 3 they have guaranteed that skill fade will have occurred by the time they do sit down to design a new ocean going combat ship from the keel up?

Hohum
Hohum
September 30, 2015 10:35 am

Peter Elliot,

Nope. Skill fade occurs if you lose the personnel or stop allowing them to do their jobs. As long as internal design work continues and the staff retained skill fade will not occur.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
September 30, 2015 12:19 pm

Sorry Hohum, your last two don’t actually add up.

The US industry has lost numerous shipyards over the last 20 years or so, the most recent being what was Avondale, after the disaster that was the early LPD17s. No-one is suggesting there is something wrong with the tanker programme technically – not least because (unless you’re the MARS IPT) – naval auxiliary tankers are relatively straightforward to specify. You should note however, that no designs have yet been produced.

What is different here is that they’re asking two yards with wildly different product histories to compete head to head for a bundled contract where the most valuable contracts (LHA8 and LX(R)) are slap bang in HII’s product range, whereas T-AO(X) most certainly isn’t – it sits squarely within NASSCOs expertise. There are a number of issues with this in that the winner of the amphibs doesn’t get the tankers, which is fine if HII win LHA8 and LX(R). Not so much, if – heaven forfend – NASSCO win it and have to build amphibs, leaving tankers to HII. The obvious answer is to direct individual contracts to respective yards, but that would then freeze out Aker Philly – who probably need a shot at the T-AO(X) given the current commercial shipbuilding market. So there may yet be plenty of battles to get this approved in Congress.

As for skill fade being prevented by “internal design work” and “staff retained”, what sort of “internal design work” did you have in mind? I’d be fascinated to hear what BIW, HII and NAVSEA for that matter have been doing for the last twenty years on DD/FF, cos my contacts in the relevant PEO haven’t heard a thing!

You tend to find that in a shipyard, “internal design work” quickly gets limited to detailed design work – which tends to be specific calculations and drawings, rather than real blank sheet design and more importantly maintenance of rationale, design information and databases. The latter are what constitutes a design capability, which if not exercised relatively frequently atrophies through retirements, reorganisations and disuse.

Hohum
Hohum
September 30, 2015 12:37 pm

NaB,

You claimed the USN was “still deep in the pooh”. You have failed to provide a single shred of evidence to support that claim.

Congressional battles are congressional, ultimately the USN will get the ships. The USN’s desire for the future of the US shipbuilding industry hasn’t matched that of Congress for several decades but the world keeps turning and the ships keep coming. Stop trying to paint a picture of impending doom when there isn’t one.

Your contacts know sweet f.a then.

Engineer Tom
September 30, 2015 12:56 pm

No major defence company will be doing internal design work without someone paying for it. They may have someone making nice concept sketches etc, but they won’t be going into the detail of how to design the ship itself which is where all the previous experience is needed.

TAS
TAS
September 30, 2015 1:29 pm

To be fair, US design agencies can be really proud of that they’ve come up with recently. LCS, Zumwalt – truly inspirational.

Hohum
Hohum
September 30, 2015 1:31 pm

ET,

Much of the US naval ship design capability (though not all) is inside NAVSEA rather than the contractors. Its a fun tail actually, after the Cold War the USN did in fact suffer ship design skill fade, it was quite serious iin fact. Then from the early 2000s they started to seriously rebuild the naval ship design community.

The decision to use the DDG51 legacy hull was for cost reasons, not for any of those outlined by NaB.

TAS
TAS
September 30, 2015 1:33 pm

Ooh – I’ve got a gold star! Thanks TD!!

stephen duckworth
September 30, 2015 2:04 pm

@NaB
In terms of our learning curve and sustaining domestic FF/DD design capabilities we have T45 AAD done and dusted , all lessons learnt I.e. no great walrus GT. The T26 ASW must be approaching final detail but has yet to cut steel but no great f**kups expected once sea trials start. Obviously as the work up crews start to feed back lessons will be be brought forward to the next FASAD warship. ( that’s Future All Singing And Dancing :-) . By stopping T26 at boat 8 and starting a T26/45+ along side at say boat 6/7 with a view for a further 8 we can keep that design and manufacturing drumbeat pounding. Thoughts?

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
September 30, 2015 2:26 pm

I see Hohum has reverted to his usual devastating wit and repartee.

Let’s see if he can identify the common element in the following :
CVN78 – Significantly overbudget and delayed – but not surprising for a new design CVN
DDG1000 – Orphan project, originally for 32 ships, phenomenally expensive, curtailed at three (possibly two) ships
LCS – Originally to be class of 55, now 32. Significantly overbudget and delayed and with modular based capabilities currently uncertified
SSC – Small surface combatant – as yet undefined other than evolution of LCS
CG(X) – To replace CG47 capability with 19 ships. Cancelled – capability to be delivered by putative AB Flt III
LHA6/7 – Originally to have been delivered 2012. Two years late and design changing again. Still not a major drama.
DDG51 – Thirty year old design still in production. Margins significantly eroded.
CG47 – Primary AD Battle mgmt. ship and some BMD capability. Ageing very rapidly. Nominal replacement AB Flt III. IOC for which is 2023. Navy proposal to upgrade 11 CG47 and then retire other 11 rejected by Congress. Youngest ship currently 20 years old, eldest ship 30 years old.
T-AKE14 – Unqualified success. Should have been bought for UK FSS!
T-AO(X) – time will tell – as will the proposed contracting strategy. As yet no firm design.
L(X)R – As yet undefined. Unlikely to be cheap
CVN73 – Still at outside risk of early withdrawal on sequestration grounds despite long-lead funding approval this FY.

So – right now the USN has 62 ABs, 22 CG47s and a slack handful of LCS. Less than 90 surface combatants. Those cruisers are going to start dropping off the plot, with all gone by 2028 on current plans. In any case their availability will reduce through hull fatigue remedial work between now and then. If everything goes to plan on AB Flt III (far from a done deal, despite Raytheon and Navy PR) they might get half a dozen in service by the time the last CG ties up. So, net loss of fifteen-ish hulls. The 22 Flight I ABs will also be well over 30 years old by that time but will have been augmented by a mix of the additional 11 Flt IIA and LCS. But you can bet that there will be a net drop of ten or so hulls with Mk41 cells at least.

In essence, they have a firm programme for CVN (if more expensive than they’d like)
They have no programme for cruisers
They have a potential programme for a modified DD, based on a 30yr old design
They have a 30yr old DD design in restarted production
They have an LCS design in production with capability issues
They think they can make a surface combatant by playing with the LCS design
They have block obsolescence in their cruiser and early destroyer fleets
Their last FF are just decommissioning
They have to replace relatively cheap LSDs with something that as yet has no design, but if based on LPD will be reassuringly expensive
They also have a replacement bomber/boomer to fund.

All of this assumes no further sequestration / budgetary nightmares.

I would suggest that this is far from rosy. Hohum clearly has evidence from elsewhere – although as ever, it’s rarely offered.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
September 30, 2015 2:35 pm

I will add that Hohum is quite correct in where the USN design expertise is held – they are a little better placed in that regard than MoD. However, the last time NAVSEA designed a surface combatant (other than DDG1000) from scratch that has subsequently been built was??

For the UK a production run of 13 T26 at an annual or longer drumbeat is likely to result in a re-run of the T23 to T45/T26 skill fade. Unless someone does something very sensible with NDP/MHC.

Hohum
Hohum
September 30, 2015 2:46 pm

NaB,

Cruisers can and probably will be life extended if required, as ever with the joys of congress a solution will eventually be found.
AB Fl3 Hull may be 30 years old but at a systems level its still perfectly modern, which is why the same systems are still being put in new-build warships by multiple export customers
There is no “block obsolescence” in the CG/DDG fleet, in fact quite the opposite there is a continuous upgrade path
AB Fl3 is not a done deal, well no, neither is anything else until it gets a build contract
SSC: New project is new….erm, well yeah
They don’t need a cruiser programme, thats AB Fl3

So no, no impending crisis.

Also, please think about just how little of your original claim this question actually leaves: “However, the last time NAVSEA designed a surface combatant (other than DDG1000) that has subsequently been built was??”

TAS
TAS
September 30, 2015 3:06 pm
Reply to  Think Defence

I’ll hang it on my wall. So proud. I guess that doesn’t count my old comments as Somewhat?

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
September 30, 2015 3:33 pm

Congress can’t actually magic a way of life-extending cruisers – not least because there are real physical limits to what is essentially a Spruance design that you can’t simply overcome. Perhaps you’d like to explain – precisely – how the structural and stability issues evident ten years ago will be overcome? Or how the cable and pipework life can be extended? Or how the myriad electrical/electronic boxes that control the marine systems can be supported?

The ME systems elements of the AB design are far from modern, but I will certainly agree that the continuous upgrade of the AB combat system has been and is generally successful. There isn’t an issue with Mk41, SM2/3/6 or SPY – it’s the platform elements that are problematic. For DDG51 and especially CG47.
Impending CG retirement – cos congress can’t change the laws of physics and Flt II is not yet real – is block obsolescence.

These same physical issues are the ones that will affect the viability of Flight III, which is why a competent organisation would not have sanctioned the Flt III approach, unless they were absolutely desperate to get something/anything to sea – even if that timeframe was 12 years away.

So the USN is still “some way deep in the poo” – to revisit the original post.

It has a 30yr old design restarted in build because its replacement programme proved fatally flawed and ruinously expensive.

It has two small fast combatants in production, both of which are heavily dependent for their capability on modules that are some way from being successfully demonstrated, yet alone operationally proven.

It has a large surface combatant force of which at least a quarter (if not a third) will be well over 30 years old before any real replacement starts to arrive – and they can’t be simply extended.

It is betting that a design that is thirty years old today can accommodate a new sensor system requiring more power, cooling and weight for an in-service date eight years from now and can remain viable for what is likely to be forty years beyond that date (assuming a dozen plus Flt III end up being built). To put that in context – it’s the equivalent of Turbinia being still a viable ship in the late 60s, or a WW1 V&W being useful in the 80s. Or some halfwit offering a Type 12 as the basis for T26.

The USN has also decided that it will persist with the LCS as a basis for the SSC, when LCS itself is proving to be somewhat problematic. I don’t believe LCS is a disaster, but having had exposure to it from concept through the various development contract, it ain’t what it was supposed to be and it ain’t going to be a CSG asset either. That they’ve stuck with it as the basis for SSC suggests that either – politically it was too difficult to suggest anything other than LCS or that they had real concerns about their design capability. Which reminds me – uniquely LCS was not NAVSEA designed – it was BIW/Austal and LM/Fincantieri if memory serves.

Which is why the question

“However, the last time NAVSEA designed a surface combatant (other than DDG1000) that has subsequently been built was???”

remains both valid and unanswered by you. Nothing you have suggested offers more than vague PR-related references as evidence that they’re not in quite a bit of trouble.

Hohum
Hohum
September 30, 2015 3:52 pm

Which is why its convenient that aren’t any issue that can’t be overcome. The structural issues having been corrected and the stability issues managed which is why the ships are in service now. BTW, CG47s are already undergoing modernisations; they can and are being extended.

What platform problems with DDG51? It already has a planned 40 year service life.

So no, no deep poo.

Modernised ship design effort has engineering challenges, yup, thats the process. Thus far nothing insurmountable has been identified.

SSC, given no design has yet been released it seems somewhat premature to comment on it. LCS is producing ships that are already deployed. Its not ideal but the ships completed and in build will be improved.

Your question has never been valid because your original claim was invalid. It is even more invalid when your question is “when was the last time NAVSEA designed a destroyer except for that destroyer it designed?”.

NAVSEA suffered severe skills fade in the 90s, that has been rectified. DDG 51 Fl3 is being pursued for cost grounds not on skills grounds.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
September 30, 2015 4:15 pm

Sorry Hohum. Specifics not waffle.

Here’s a question for you. Is a structural fix for a ship implemented ten years ago, valid for that same ship in ten years time? If so why? If not why not? What has changed?

How does one “manage” stability and what consequence does that have? I’ll let you avoid absolute specifics and numbers, but the principles are unclass…..

What is the usual life rating for naval fire-retardant cabling? What are the issues involved in extending its life?

If you’d like me to redefine the question on NAVSEA designs – try this “how many surface combatant designs to contract-level definition has NAVSEA undertaken since 1980 and when did activity complete?”

And while I’m at it – the cruiser modernisation you refer to is primarily a combat systems upgrade and a hull refurb – what you might call a refit. It doesn’t solve the underlying problems.

Mike
Mike
September 30, 2015 4:25 pm
Reply to  Not a Boffin

How about 30x Type26 for the USN?

Hohum
Hohum
September 30, 2015 4:32 pm

NaB,

Let me just point out a fact for you (again), CG47 class ships can be extended, we know that because that is happening right now. In fact just five days ago USS Cowpens was the first ship to be inducted for that modernisation- a process that will extend her life from 35 to 44 years and give her an extremely modern combat system. The cruisers can and actually are being extended, thats a fact. That the Tico class had design issues is well known but they are and will remain in service just as they have since 1983 as those can and are managed.

Now, your original question was invalid because it was being used to support a false claim, it was rendered more invalid because it involved ignoring an entire ship class this incarnation remains invalid by being the same question. NAVSEA had a skills problem in ship design, it recognised that in the late 90s and has subsequently rectified it.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 30, 2015 4:47 pm

Exactly the way to do it:
“By stopping T26 at boat 8 and starting a T26/45+ along side at say boat 6/7 with a view for a further 8 we can keep that design and manufacturing drumbeat pounding. Thoughts?”
Ref: comment 36 , as the comments to comments will get time ordered

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
September 30, 2015 4:59 pm

USS Cowpens (one of the younger ships by the way) has entered a refit to upgrade her combat system and refurbish her hull. Agreed. No argument from me there.

However, the extension to 44 years is contingent on spending a large chunk of it tied up either in the refit itself or reserve. That’s what the reference to “preserving force structure” and “offering options” is about. The navy “plan” is to decommission half and gradually refit them to replace the older half later. Something Congress is vehemently opposed to. So one way or the other you’re losing 11 hulls imminently. You may wish to note it also puts fatigue damage on hold.

I notice you’re still avoiding specifics as to the validity of structural repairs and managing stability. This is redolent of the beliefs of a number of naval programmers I have worked with who basically extended the life of a given ship programmatically by adding in another refit, irrespective of whether the ship needed major and specific modifications to maintain structural and stability compliance – or even whether such was possible. None of those ships ever made their “programmed” extensions…..

So – specifics please on structural safety and stability management.

One other thing. If NAVSEA really did rebuild its design expertise in the late 90s – what exactly are they all doing now? Not CVN, not DDG1000, not CG(X), not LCS. I can believe some are looking at SSC but as that’s a mod of LCS, it won’t be many. You’re telling me that AB Flt III is easy, so what on earth is this highly trained design cadre up to?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 30, 2015 5:10 pm

@TD, RE:

“Think Defence
TAS, it goes on email address used so no, sadly!”

I demand to be at least a 3Star General/ Admiral… and whatever it may be in the matters relating to the RAF, based on the number of my posts here.

These upstarts have spectacularly failed to heed the direction clearly indicated by me , even more so: to take direct orders when those have become necessary. Has this Board got any backbone, whatsoever, as expected in matters military?

Hohum
Hohum
September 30, 2015 5:13 pm

And the decommed ships will be replaced by continuing Burke procurement; the pre AMDR restart vessels of which seven ships are already in build. So again, no poo.

The life extentsion includes hull and mechanical work- thats how the years are being added. The ships are viable and will remain so. This is happening even by your own belated admission, which is impressive as earlier they apparently couldn’t be extended- according to you.

Nice try, NAVSEA as ever has multiple ship programmes underway. I never said ABIII was easy, it still needs a design staff. It is also not certain ssc will be based on an existing LCS hull.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
September 30, 2015 5:37 pm

Still no specifics other than vague repeats of words you saw in the press release, like hull and mechanical. You still can’t explain what is being done or why and what the consequences are. Saying the ships are viable and will remain so over and over again does not actually make it a true statement.

You did not say AB Flt III was “easy” – you did say “pretty minor”. Which – by the way – tends to need a detailed design staff rather than a ship design team per se. What exactly are these other multiple design programmes then? Get googling…..

stephen duckworth
September 30, 2015 5:49 pm

@NaB/APATS
In terms of ship design is there a reason why the USN couldn’t enhance the front end of a San Antonio class LPD with a 20′ diameter AMDR , full length Mk 41/57 say 64 VSL , and a big ‘gun’ , serviced with MW power and cooling for future laser/maser/rail type weapons? A big aspect of DD51 operations is fleet defence against air threats and land bombardment by shells/ missiles so why not combine the two on one big hull? Such a vessel could free up a DD for other tasks away from close in to the fleet and being big on space able to absorb future upgrades.

Hohum
Hohum
September 30, 2015 5:51 pm

And no specifics from you either, which is odd as you are trying to disprove official US Navy statements. CG47 class ships are starting modernisations/life-extensions now that will extend them from 35 to 44 years.

I said the problems were pretty minor, not the design exercise, do try and keep quotes in context. NAVSEA are engaged in multiple ship design activities as you well know, you have listed most of them in this thread.

So we are clear, AMDR is to go to sea in DDG51 hull rather than a new hull for cost reasons, not because NAVSEA lacks the skills to design a new hull as you tried to claim.

The USN is not “deep in the poo” as you tried to claim.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
September 30, 2015 6:57 pm
Reply to  Hohum

There are some relatively well-known things one has to consider wrt specifics. Ageing has three effects on ship structures and two on stability. Some are related, as are their fixes.

If you are as knowledgeable as you try to project yourself, you should be able to list those things and their interrelationship with each other. If – once you’ve done that – you can relate that to the original CG47/DDG963 hull design, it will be clear why the sort of life extensions you’ve been repeating from NAVSEA press releases are highly improbable in a practical sense.

Using the “same” hull design to fit entirely new systems is rarely (if ever) a cost saving to those who know what they’re doing. To the inexperienced, or a non-naval engineer, a systems engineer – or a politician, it can seem attractive, but will not stand the test of a sixty-year life.

Perhaps you’d like to tell me where the hull design expertise in NAVSEA resides – and how many hullforms it has designed recently? Or perhaps you’d just like to keep repeating the same vague statements in the hope you may convince others that the USN surface programme is in rude health……

Better things to do now I’m afraid,

stephen duckworth
September 30, 2015 7:00 pm

@Hohum
Yes , very similar but I envisaged all the new kit forward and no Mk 57 around the flight deck . But in all yes , the ballistic missiles are going to target the capital ships so why can’t it defend itself and other , earlier generations around it offloading their strike force at a land based objective , be it by air or sea.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
September 30, 2015 7:05 pm

Remind me what the design speed of LPD 17 is again? Compared to that required to maintain station on a CTOL carrier conducting flight ops?

stephen duckworth
September 30, 2015 7:12 pm

I was trying to say that a part of the Arleigh Burkes operational plan was providing AAD and shore bombardment to USMC dedicated vessels whilst attempting landings ,be they by air or sea bourne. If one of the vessels providing the USMC deployment can also provide AAD / land bombardment and free up a DD51 for their ASW work why not? The AAD is pretty much an essential remit of such landings so why not enable one of the ships tasked with it the ability? I didn’t say it would cut cost it would just add ability and flexibility.

Hohum
Hohum
September 30, 2015 8:10 pm

NaB,

Provide some evidence that the USN is wrong when it says it can life extend the life of the CG47s to 44 years

Provide some evidence that ABIII has failed

These tired generalities about how the USN is obviously incapable of designing a new DDG or hull or of doing the things is actually doing just make you look silly.

Hohum
Hohum
September 30, 2015 8:22 pm

Seriously,

NaB has accused NAVSEA of being incapable of designing a new DDG hull without a shred of evidence

He has then claimed that the CG47 class can’t be life extended despite the fact that is happening now

He has claimed the USN faces armageddon because of the nearing decommissioning of the some of the early CG47 ships despite their replacements being already in build

He has claimed that AB III won’t work based on nothing but his own uninformed opinion

And his lines of defence are thus:

“when was the last time NAVSEA designed a destroyer other than the destroyer it designed” and,

“tell me specifically how the USN is going to do the thing it is already doing”

NaB, let it go.

NOt a Boffin
NOt a Boffin
September 30, 2015 10:15 pm

An alternative view might be – Hohum says it’s all good because the USN says so.

You still can’t or won’t answer the actual questions I asked though can you? Keep dodging – time will prove one of us right. In the meantime, back under your bridge, the goats are coming……

Hohum
Hohum
September 30, 2015 10:30 pm

Time has already proven you wrong.

NAVSEA can design new DDG hulls which is why your question requires the exclusion of one, Ticos are being life extended right now and the first DDG-51 restart boat has already been launched keeping the USN on course for its two DDGs per year construct.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
October 1, 2015 7:03 am

Now you’re even struggling to write coherently.

“NAVSEA can design new DDG hulls which is why your question requires the exclusion of one”.

Except that since the original AB in the late 80s, the only surface combatant hull they’ve designed (and in fact it was largely done by the industry Blue/Gold teams of the DD(X) programme) is DDG1000. In around 2001. Which we both agree is an aberration. So now, rather than design a new one for a destroyer, they’re not. Despite having since around 2007 to conduct the work, they’re falling back on a 30 yr old hullform, significantly reworking it and expecting it to accommodate new systems, but more importantly perform and meet structural and safety standards out to 2060+. Making it the equivalent of proposing a T12 hull for the T26. If you knew how little hullform design (as in the structural and hydrodynamic elements of it) actually costs as a proportion of the overall design, you’d realise how silly “cost-saving” sounds. It’s actually fear of failure, driven by skill fade.

Saying “NAVSEA can design new DDG hulls” is not supported by what they’re actually doing.

Trip, trap. Trip, trap.

Hohum
Hohum
October 1, 2015 8:50 am

Thats entirely coherent, your invalid question from the outset has been thus:

“When was the last time navsea designed a new ddg except for that ddg they designed”

You have then been falsely and without evidence claiming navsea can’t design new warships.

Hohum
Hohum
October 1, 2015 8:55 am

It has been pointed out to you multiple times that the reason for selecting the DDG51 hull was cost, not skills fade, you have presented no evidence to support your outlandish claim.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
October 1, 2015 9:08 am

Au contraire.

I’ve put plenty of evidence forward that Navsea and the USN are having significant difficulty with their programmes and are in the poo. Whereas you have supplied zero evidence – other than “the USN says so” to support your premise that they’re not.

Nor have you managed to answer the relatively straightforward questions on structures, stability management and their interrelated consequences.

Trip, trap. It’s the sound of Big Billy Goat Gruff……

Hohum
Hohum
October 1, 2015 9:13 am

Now you are just lying, you have provided no evidence, all you have said is that choosing to use the DDG51 hull to carry the AMDR hull proves that the US can’t design new destroyers. That is complete nonsense.

You also made ridiculous comments about impending block obsolescence for the current DDG/CG fleet despite multiple new destroyers being in build and cruisers already starting life extension. And that is why your questions aren’t even valid, you have just made them up to cover up the fact you made an unfounded accusation.

Peter Elliott
October 1, 2015 9:24 am

Regardless of the debate about why they chose not to design a new hull for the Flight 3 build the very fact that they haven’t will engender a degree of skill fade. It can’t not. Actually doing something beats thinking about it every time.

JamesF
October 1, 2015 9:41 am

@HH. Do you really have to be provocative and offensive to everyone you disagree with, or is your surname Putin? I’m sure you have lots of friends: is this the way you speak to them?

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
October 1, 2015 10:16 am

No lies in my submission my friend, but plenty of bluster in yours.

There are seven new DDG in build (not new design) – four of which are “technology refresh” variants of AB Flt IIA and three of which are straight Flt IIA. They are in build not because the USN wanted to do that, but because their proposed replacement – DD(X), later DDG1000 – proved to be a spectacular catastrophe. They’re building them because they have to, because they have no other viable way forward at the minute, other than to build variants of a 30 yr old design. Their combat systems will be fine, because the US are actually very good at keeping them updated, not least helped by having Mk41/SM range as a building block. However, the safety aspects of using that hull design – which is already at its margins structurally and stability-wise – for another 30-odd years are not good. It’s all to do with that question you could not/would not answer about what happens to ships structure and stability as they age – and is just as important to “new” ships of an old design, as the original ships to that design. By the way, the USN are hardly likely to say we’re going to build new ships to an old design but either relax their safety standards or impose operational penalties on them such that they meet the original standard, are they? But if you are technically competent (which means knowing the answers to certain questions), then you know what they will end up doing and why.

NAVSEA have designed one new surface combatant since Arleigh Burke in the mid 1980s. That surface combatant (DDG1000), designed with considerable assistance from the BIW and HII teams is not yet in service and some might just consider it something of a failure.

The only other new design surface combatants are the two LCS variants (Freedom and Independence), designed respectively by LM/Marinette and Fincantieri and BIW/Austal (with a little help from BAES). Neither are unqualified successes and while build contracts are being let, the modules that deliver the capability are far from operationally proven. The ship programme itself has been significantly curtailed.

So, since the DDG1000 programme was capped at three back in 2008 (and it was apparent it was coming long before that!), NAVSEA has done nothing in terms of a new surface combatant design – it has instead put 7 ships of a 30 year old design into a build programme to replace what was to be a 32 ship DDG1000 class.

Similarly, the CG(X) programme has died a death. Has Navsea tried to design a new surface combatant to replace the CG47? No. Instead it is trying to shoehorn a new sensor system (and some novel platform systems) into the existing 30 year old DDG51 hull design, despite major concerns about power, cooling and stability margins. While the SPY6 system may be passing its critical design reviews, it’s a bit quieter on the ship front. One minute it’s getting a new electric propulsion plant, the next it’s not – the CNO “mis-spoke” apparently. Even this may only deliver a first ship IOC in 2023, by which time the eldest CG47 will be 37 years old, seven years past its original design life and much, much heavier. Which has consequences. The navy has put lots of money into hull and machinery refits since 2010, but these are maintaining material state, not addressing the structural and stability issues that are emergent. The navy is highly unlikely to publically announce that the ships will be constrained. Instead they’ve announced they’d like to take 11 out of them out of service to husband the hulls while the other 11 are run into the ground, before feeding the withdrawn 11 back into service. You don’t do this by choice. Again – hardly the actions of a navy that’s not in the poo.

Largely because it’s new surface combatant design and procurement activity since the mid 90s has been less than an unqualified success. At current date, five LCS in service and two or three DDG1000 to enter service over the next couple of years. Plus the future delivery of seven restart Flt IIA ships from a programme planned to end with the FY2005 budget.

All of those are facts. My professional contention based on those facts is that the USN is in the poo. Yours is that everything’s fine – it must be cos the USN says so.

Trip, trap.

mickp
mickp
October 1, 2015 10:21 am

Starting from a view of holding the USN in high regard and affection, the fact they are using the AB platform for AMDR speaks volumes for the paucity of will or ability (or both) to design something better. The AB is a classic design, albeit very different in manning and other ways to an RN philosophy but its at its limits and outside of the AB what do we see? LCS, Tico and Zumwalt none of which appear optimum for anything (notwithstanding the Tico’s service record, it remains in my eyes a top heavy, jam packed Spruance conversion). For the type of strategy the USN projects it was and is crying out for a bottom up cruiser design on a conventional hull form with masses of room for AMDR and a large missile load out for ABM / AAW (should have gone with Aegis CGN at the outset). The bigger the better. AB remains the all round high end escort and solo tasking vessel (with a long term plan for an equivalent replacement) and then the next step should have been a genuine OHP / frigate replacement as an ASW specialist vessel. Just my laymans’ view. Zumwalt should have been killed at one or two as a demonstrator for future cruiser capabilities (without tumblehome…)

mickp
mickp
October 1, 2015 10:29 am

@NAB – on skills fade, if T26 is, optimistically, a 13-16 run of a pretty similar design and early in its production life, work kicks off on MHC and later down the line work kicks off on a T45 replacement, not forgetting somewhere in there, will be a project to replace the Albions – is that enough to mitigate major warship skill fade in the UK or should the T26 buy be say split into two distinct variants say to allow for a degree of design refresh? Is more needed to keep the team busy and refreshed? How would you structure it? Thanks

TAS
TAS
October 1, 2015 10:57 am

Apart from myth and bluster about it being a 30-year old design, is there anything actually wrong with the Arleigh Burke design? I mean, why the need to design anew? Boeing is still building 737’s – it’s not like the design is inadequate, is it? Seems to me that the Burke is actually pretty capable – after all, the COLE survived the attack in Aden, when I’m not convinced a T23 or T45 would have.

If it works…

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
October 1, 2015 11:27 am

Mick

Personally I’d build 8 ASW T26 and then a new class using much the same major equipment items for a GP role, primarily to avoid design skills fade. But there is significant political risk associated with that, which is why it isn’t on the plot. MHC will not be as complex and therefore may not sustain the same lessons and knowledge, but at least offers to mitigate some of that risk.

TAS – there’s no myth or bluster about the AB – it is a thirty year old design. If you are where I think you are, step over to the Fleet Nav or the Surflot MEO and ask him/her what the T23 are having to do now to meet their stability certification. Then ask the Chief chippy whether he thinks that could be done in another way. He’ll probably suggest a particular solution (which is approximately 12 times as dense as the current one) which comes coated in PVC (no-not that!), but should then note that doing so will have other consequences. primarily to do with hull loading. While you’re doing all this, remember that the T23 – a ship with minimal growth margin – has already gained well over 10% in lightship and has another nigh-on 20 years to go.

Those factors apply equally to AB as they do to T23. If you’ve any T42 time think how many unplanned crack repairs happened in Fleet time and how knackered those ships were by the end. And none of them served 30 years.

The AB was and is a good design. So was Leander – but would you want to go to sea in that today – even with an updated combat system?

Rocket Banana
October 1, 2015 11:37 am

NaB,

Are you saying that ships such as T23 and AB are rendered obsolete simply due to weight growth and the need to re-ballast?

Does everything get heavier? Doesn’t anything get smaller and lighter during a ship’s life?

Peter Elliott
October 1, 2015 11:42 am

Basically it’s much easier to put stuff on a ship than to take it off. Little things like paint, pipes, cables etc all add up. And that’s before you deliberately add new stuff because it’s necessary to combat effectiveness.

TAS
TAS
October 1, 2015 12:29 pm

NaB,

Mate I know the inherent issues with through-life weight growth but we’re not talking about extending old ships in service – that issue relates to the Ticos – but new builds to an existing design. The AB Flight 3’s could, of course, grow heavier and put on topweight – the AMDR is a good example as it moves all the weight up higher in the superstructure. But they are new build – without changing the design you can move a lot of stuff around internally and compensate. They are also much bigger than a T23 so can absorb a greater increase in tonnage (keeping it proportional to stability), but they are clearly big, broad stable hulls already. The basic hull design is sound and stronger than an equivalent UK vessel (double hulled), the propulsion system is still sound, the weapons fit is still sound – a new build hull will still last 30 years, longer if you design fixes into it at the outset.

Given the choice between T26 and a new-buildAB, I’d take the AB every time – proven tech, proven design. But a refreshed Leander? Isn’t everybody here clamouring for corvettes? Could do worse…

Hohum
Hohum
October 1, 2015 12:36 pm

NaB,

Still more lies, just in greater volume this time.

There is nothing wrong with the AB design, its system fit has been continually updated since conception, so just give it a rest. Trying to suggest it is not fit for purpose as you now are just shows how ridiculous you are being.

The structural issues with the CG47 class are well known and have been managed for years, hence the modernisation programme that is happening right now. Keeping ships in service for very long time periods is something the USN is rather good at.

NAVSEA is perfectly capable of designing ships, it is ridiculous to say it isn’t and even more ridiculous to claim that the reason they are using the DDG51 hull because they are incapable of designing a new one. The height of ridiculousness being that your entire absurd argument requires one to ignore DDG1000.

TAS
TAS
October 1, 2015 12:44 pm

Great example whilst thinking about it. The T23’s will lose topweight when Sea Wolf is replaced by Sea Ceptor, as the latter no longer requires a fire control radar. One assumes that at some stage, the Burkes will lose their AN/SPG-62’s if the AMDR can replicate that function, saving a considerable chunk of mass.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
October 1, 2015 12:46 pm

While specific equipments occasionally get lighter / smaller, the ships as a whole always get heavier and their centre of gravity often rises. Both of these effects are “bad things”. Trouble is much of that weight growth is known as “unattributable” – because you can’t actually identify all the things that comprise it.

Occasionally you get a win – Sea Ceptor means we can lose the Radar 911 trackers which saves about 9 tonnes. Unfortunately, the average annual weight growth on those ships exceeds that value. Using material other than steel for vent trunking in the messdecks saves weight. However, more often its a negative – Sonar 2087 is a heavier fit than Sonar 2031Z. Using electrical control rather than LP air means heavier cabling / trunking and motors compared to small bore copper pipe and air valves. You do it because it’s nominally cheaper to maintain or allows a more automated control system, but there is a penalty.

As Peter says, taking stuff – particularly unattributable stuff – off is generally much harder (and costlier) to do.

TAS
TAS
October 1, 2015 12:57 pm

NaB,

You’re not following my point – I am asking you about new build ships. Take a 30-year old AB. Build another to exactly the same specification. The newer ship will be lighter than the old, because you haven’t got 30 years of weight growth. Add in the fact that you can modify the design, use lighter materials and move equipment around, you create capacity that should last the lifetime of the ship. Anyone else following my logic?

Hohum
Hohum
October 1, 2015 1:13 pm

TAS,

Of course, and your logic is not just sound but what has happened in practice. NaB just made some stupid comments and is now desperately obfuscating in an already failed effort to avoid embarrassment.

The AB design has been continually evolved through its build run, the systems fits (not just combat but electrical and mechanical) have been continually evolved and those changes retrofitted back through the fleet.

Then of course you have margin, on the Flight IIA ships for instance that margin is said to be almost 1,000 tons, that is intended to absorb that weight growth.

Mike
Mike
October 1, 2015 1:52 pm

Sorry Hohum and TAS, I’m with NAB on this one. I’m an admirer of the USN, and let’s face it, it’s absolutely vital for all our sakes they get things right. Unfortunately to this outsider it looks like they have lost (surface fleet) plot recently. They should most definitely be designing a new destroyer and (I may be in a minority of 1 here) consider the the T26 so they can concentrate on the big destroyer.

TAS
TAS
October 1, 2015 1:54 pm

I for one would have been perfectly content with a refreshed Type 23 instead of accepting all the cost and design risk associated with T26. With systems updated and structural issues addressed, it would have been perfectly serviceable. I think it would have benefited from some redesign to accept ISO containers, and of course the propulsion systems would benefit from an overhaul, but fundamentally it’s a sound design. Nothing about T26 is going to revolutionise the way we do business.

Not a Boffin