“Q&A: Rear Adm. Paul Schlise, Director, Surface Warfare Division, N96, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations” –Seapower

7.62 mm Chain Gun as Coax as optionally installed on 25 mm Mark 38 Mod 3. Image copyrighted by NAVSEA Dahlgren.

The Navy League’s on line magazine has an interview with the Navy’s director N96. Most of it, is not Coast Guard related, although, in the future, we may see some CG applications of the lower powered laser systems being developed and CG personnel may use of some of the simulators being discussed.

There was a paragraph that may have near term significance to the Coast Guard,

“In addition to extended missile ranges, we’re also increasing our close-in battlespace lethality. The updated Mk38 Mod 4 Gun Weapon System provides an updated electro-optical sensor system with combat system integration for improved accuracy and close-in engagements against fast-attack craft and fast inland attack craft threats. In the near future, these guns will be paired with other weapon systems for greater lethality against close- in air threats as well.(Emphasis applied–Chuck)

Since we have versions of the Mk38 Gun Weapon Systems on all our Webber class WPCs and will have them on all our Offshore Patrol Cutters, this could be significant.

I will speculate that he may be referring to adding APKWS to the mount. Weapon systems was plural so Hellfire/JADM and Stinger are also possibilities.

8 thoughts on ““Q&A: Rear Adm. Paul Schlise, Director, Surface Warfare Division, N96, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations” –Seapower

  1. APKWS makes better sense than Stinger although any guided missile would be welcome. Stinger requires IFF at least and depending on TV and FLIR for positive ID before shooting just isn’t good enough in inclement weather if IFF isn’t fitted for the Stinger.

    APKWS could at least home in on a laser beam and is potent enough to deal with many threats.

  2. I know have I brought this up before, and many have discounted it as being unworkable, but I still wonder if they sea services (USCG & USN) could adopt/adapt the systems being tested by the US Army SHORAD program for use on maritime platforms? Many of these systems combine remote mounting combinations of 25mm or 30mm guns, STINGER, HELLFIRE, or laser systems (not all at the same time). See link I provided. This could be a way to “up gun” the 154′ WPC without a major hull modification, IMHO, by replacing the forward 25mm mount with a RWS mounting a 25mm cannon and guided missile capability. Or as a secondary mount on a larger unit (such as a NSC cutter). Just my $0.02 worth. Thanks.

    https://www.defensenews.com/smr/army-modernization/2020/03/24/us-army-to-wrap-up-early-testing-of-short-range-air-defense-system-soon/

      • Yup, I agree with you both here.

        The USCG needs precision GUIDED weapons and the triple-armament RWS combination turrets offer the best options out to at least five miles…a “Game Changing Force Multiplier.”

        Line-of-sight gunfire isn’t going to “cut it and win it” anymore in a serious fight. The OPC can use a triple RWS turret and the NSC can use SeaRAM/RAM in place of 20mm CIWS, or JQL/JAGM and ESSM tubes.

        The problem is that Russia, China, and some other nations are getting more aggressive in the air and at sea. Overflights by Russian ocean reconnaissance planes cannot always be a USAF/NORAD response. The USCG Cutters should at least have some form of Air Defense until the USAF fighters gets there.

        As USCG Cutters sail further away from CONUS, the need to defend themselves becomes more paramount from OPV harassment and flyovers from foreign adversaries. The threat of UAV drones also needs attention, and even if ADM Paul Schlise is hinting at Stingers as coaxial, then I’m all for that.

      • Notice that the MK38 MOD 4’s graphic has a 7.62mm (or 12.7mm) machine gun as coaxial and the Remote Operation Console has two joysticks with the right one having one button. Yup, one can add more buttons to the right joystick for more functions. If sailors and Coasties play XBOX and can use a 2018 car’s steering wheel, the controller and the steering wheel have more than one button.

        Can the 25mm be replaced by a GAU-12 gatling gun with selective fires of 1-5-10-20 rounds per shot? Is that really needed? If you’ve seen a 25mm or 30mm Bushmasters firing at sea, it’s “Chink-chink-chink-chink-chink”….the firing is really slow as the gunner zeroes in on a speeding target that is weaving and bobbing. If you’ve seen the 20mm CIWS Phalanx firing at small boat targets, it fires a line on the horizon, BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRTTTTT! that the small boat speeds through…but it still survives and doesn’t sink.

        THAT is the problem with autocannon gunfire. 25mm or 30mm bullets may hit the target repeatedly, but it’s not a 57mm airburst shell, and definitely not a Longbow Hellfire that sets the entire boat on fire after it explodes. Punching holes into a speedboat may or may not sink it, and I think that the USCG and USN are getting aware of this as they fire on that floating Red Tomato balloon for target practice.

        The best way to go about this with MK38 MOD 4 is what Steven said…replace all with a triple-combo remote weapons mount and use one joystick to control the two guns with a flip of a switch or a button and use the other joystick to control the rocket or missile pod. The US Army’s SHORAD is the proper way to go, namely the Leonardo RiWP turret and other copycats.

  3. The problem is that there is no “PERFECT” system. Each system has strengths and weaknesses, however ANY of the systems are probably better than what is currently deployed.

    I learned a while back in my career (emergency services) that waiting for a PERFECT solution and not using a USEABLE solution actually makes the problem worse. I have no doubts our coasties are effective sailors and could learn how to use any system provided to them to it’s strengths while guarding against it’s weaknesses. However, we (the nation), must provide them with what they need if we are going expect them to operate in potentially contested areas such as the Persian Gulf and such.

    Yes, the triple RWS solution would require some engineering to figure out how to apply it a maritime setting. When asked too, I believe the Coast Guard can actually be quite intelligent about figuring out a solution. But I am confident our people are up to the challenge and it would require LESS engineering than other solutions or something entirely new.

    The other problem is getting people to understand that while the Coast Guard is a “Rescue” and service organization, it is also (literally, by statute as I understand) an ARMED force. It is not, IMHO, an escalation to provide the Coast Guard with the systems they need to defend against forces that ALREADY have these type of systems. If we (as a nation and leadership of the Coast Guard, etc.) are NOT willing to provide for these systems, then we should not deploy the Coast Guard on missions where they are in danger from them. To do so is breaking faith with the members of the Coast Guard.

    Just my $0.02 worth.

    • I agree with your assessment and more food for thought below…

      Actually, the IM-SHORAD is a QUADRUPLE (not triple) weapons mount since the fire control doesn’t have to attach to the turret. IM-SHORAD contains Stinger pod of four Stingers, XM-914 30mm autocannon, M240 7.62mm medium machine gun, and two Lowbow Hellfire ATGMs = quite a potent turret.

      Now the question is…can the USCG and USN attach the FLIR turret ball pedestal to the side like the MK38 MOD 3? If so, then the quadruple remote weapons turret would be a HUGE Force Multiplier for any small Navy ship and USCG Cutter and should be able to deal with most close-in threats, complete with IFF.

      The reason for this, as you stated, is that putting our USCG members sailing into harm’s way overseas requires an adequate means of self-protection from surface and aerial threats beyond the range and capabilities of the MK38 25mm. Since the USCG Cutters may be under photo surveillance from foreign boats and aircraft, they should have a means of protection from afar beyond the line-of-sight of the 25mm, and that means over-the-horizon and guided fire-and-forget missiles.

      IM-SHORAD can also accept Javelin ATGM, APKWS rocket pods, MK-19 40mm grenade launcher, TOW ATGM, and M2 HB 12.7mm heavy machine gun in multiple configurations. The US Army just chose the same weapons configuration for all IM-SHORAD Strykers.

      • Correction…the IM-SHORAD’s fire control system (FCS) does attach to the turret, but on top and not on the side in place of a rocket or missile pod…although the FCS could be mounted on the side too in place of a pod.

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