Again, I as many of you, was not able to attend the Surface Navy Symposium. Fortunately a number of videos are available to give us a taste of what went on.
Below are three videos from Naval News followed by a video of a panel discussion provided by Defense News.
The “Day 1” video includes:
01:09 – Austal HSSV high speed support vessel
03:55 – Update on the Littoral Combat Ship program with NAVSEA
05:40 – NSM firing from USS Gabriele Giffords
06:58 – Northrop Grumman SEWIP Block 3 EW system
09:47 – Raytheon SPY-6 family of radars
The “Day 2″ video covers:
00:57 – Fincantieri Marine Group FFG(X) Frigate based on Italian Navy FREMM
04:34 – Fujitsu collaborative table for JMSDF AEGIS destroyers & Japan AEGIS Ashore
05:53 – Raytheon SM-3 Block IIA ballistic missile interceptor
The “Day 3” video reports on:
00:59 – BAE Systems double docking of Arleigh Burke-class destroyers
01:54 – BAE Systems precision guided munition for 5 Inch gun: Hyper Velocity Projectile & Vulcano
02:31 – Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard expansion plan for FFG(X) frigate
06:08 – L3Harris FVR-90 future vertical lift VTOL UAV
08:26 – General Dynamics NASSCO John Lewis-class TAO 205
09:23 – Titanium 3D printing
The panel discussion, “Building the Future Fleet” is a bit over 90 minutes. Most of it is Navy of course. If you are a regular reader here, I don’t think you will hear much new about the Coast Guard. Rear Admiral Douglas M. Schofield (CG-9) is on the panel and began speaking at time 6:00–11:00. He also speaks briefly at 1:00:30 and answers the last question at about 1:28:30.
Huntington Ingalls still provided no information on their proposal for the FFG(X) program.
The Day 1 Austal HSSV fire support ship is an interesting concept, but I wouldn’t really buy it for the U.S. Navy because it still seems so lightly armed and armored, even for a Littoral Combat Support Ship. It does seem better suited for the USCG though or Alaskan defense in the Arctic where the opposition is very light. I would not use this as a Frontline combat support ship.
With a 57mm, four 25mm MK38s, eight NSMs, and SeaRAM, I don’t see much of an improvement over the LCS besides the V-22 (and the Independence-class can probably launch a V-22 off the large flight deck too. I’d rather give the LCSs 16 VLS-cells in the Mission Modules instead of buying the up-armed HSSV. How close does it have to get to shore to fire the 57mm and 25mm guns and point targets, jeopardizing the crew? The HSSV has so much deck space that it could probably house 24 NSMs instead of just eight and also ESSM tubes. I don’t agree with the weapons fit for that much HSSV deck space (probably eight NSMs for survivability reasons). I would rather have substituted a 5-inch (or 76mm), ESSMs, VLS, and lots of SPIKE NLOS 25+KM VLS ATGMs for anti-armor support fire.
As a USCG cutter, the up-armed HSSV would work, but not for a U.S. Navy ship or even one for supporting the USMC (although it might be better than the unarmed ESBs for SOF). If the HSSV had a better weapons fit, I’d reconsider.
This is not a littoral combat ship. It is a troop transport. It is not meant to be an independent combatant. You apparently have failed to grasp this.
This concept ship is literally more heavily armed than a San Antonio-class LPD.
What possible use could the USCG have for a fast transport ship?
Why would it need a vessel capable of carrying a couple hundred troop and 600 tons of vehicles & RoRo cargo?
The HSSV isn’t a LPD and doesn’t launch anything as it has no Well Deck for AAVs, ACVs, LCUs, and LCACs. It docks at a pier to unload troops and vehicles, and generally speaking, the pier is secure and safe.
So does that mean the HSSV concept ship should fight its way to the pier using 57mm and 25mm guns and NSMs? I don’t like that concept, fighting and providing fire support from a pier, or fighting to get to the pier. Yes, it’s better than an unarmed HSSV, for sure, but why not add CIWS and ESSMs then?
The USCG could use the HSSV as a Hurricane Relief Ship, transporting Relief Supplies faster than the U.S. Navy and having the Mission Bay house medical Mission Modules, vehicles, supplies, Rescue Teams, bottled water, evacuees, etc. Think of Haiti and the Dominican Republic where the U.S. Navy fleet arrived late (like 4-6 days after the disaster).
I agree. The concept came out of noises the Marines are making about dispersing their forces over more but smaller ships.
This was Austal’s first cut take at interpreting the Marine’s wishes. The model designed to foster discussion as much as anything.
I can’t see it as a Coast Guard vessel unless we anticipate some very aggressive, forced entry type, hurricane relief. (Note the sarcasm)
I meant to say I agree with FormerDirtDart. Hopefully that came across.
I got ya Malph. Didn’t even need the sarcasm qualification 😉