Tomorrow's navy

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,609
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Should amphibious assault ships, landing platform helicopters, helicopter destroyers, landing helicopter docks be considered carriers because
they carry vehicles (including flying ones)?
Today someone is suggesting to put together amphibious assault ships and carriers, overall thinking that F35-B can take land and take off vertically [or with the help of a sky jump; this makes no more pivotal a CATOBAR carrier and it means also more room under the deck for amphibious vehicles and troops].

For example the new Italian carrier, Trieste, actually is a LHD technically [Landing Helicopter Dock], but the availability of F35-B makes it a proper carrier.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,884
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Those two ships are now classed as "multi-purpose destroyers." ;)

They were designed from the first as fixed wing capable platforms, and are referred to as other than what they are because of terms of the post war Japanese constitution.

Japan also has two Hyuga-class "helicopter destroyers" that look an awful lot like CVs.
The Htygas are at least equipped with missiles, so it has some destroyer capability. But the Izumos don't.

Japan also has the Osumi class, which looks an awful lot like a mini aircraft carrier, although it's an LST.
 

pikeshot1600

Ad Honoris
Jul 2009
10,094
One increasingly common characteristic of naval equipment going forward is a Multi-role vessel concept. Ships will be designed for, and expected to perform, numerous functions, but how that might develop has yet to be tested under the stress of combat operations. The multi-role function may be more immediately successful during peace time operations.

A landing platform may be expected to double as an at-sea aviation asset (as Luke mentions); a fleet replenishment vessel, or "joint support ship" may act as oiler, repair facility away from dockyard, victualing ship and medical facility. This ship type is currently entering more and more fleets, some also being tasked and equipped as command/flag ships.

Destroyers in many navies are far fewer in number, the concept of multi-role frigates becoming more common. These 3,000 - 4,000 ton ships have less capability than 6,000 to 8,000 ton (or 10,000 ton) DDs, and, as they are essentially "half-sized," are more prone to stress and wear due to operational tempo. They also have less capacity to be upgraded due to their smaller size.

Multi-role combat support ships, auxiliary vessels, and multi-role warships do present the challenge of potentially being less capable than purpose built platforms. They may find it difficult to be effective at so many tasks, especially under wartime conditions.

The primary reason for much of this, especially for smaller navies, is cost. Modern naval vessels in many cases take longer to build. Hulls are often built in lower cost locations, transported in sections to the finishing ship yards, and then the enormously expensive weapons systems and sensor suites are fitted. Lengthy testing and fitting out add time and cost to the process, so years pass from design, political wrangling, RFP, tender, all construction and testing phases to the lengthy period before a ship is operational. (whew!)

Another problem to be considered is that technology drives naval capability. Years passing can make some technology stale or even obsolescent, requiring further expense and longer construction time.

The days when an aircraft carrier could be built in 18 months, or cruisers/destroyers in a year are gone. Submarines now frequently take five years or longer to become operational.

Fewer ships; more expensive ships, and political fallout mean a strategic rethinking of how a navy can be used. That is for another post - or another thread.
 
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AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,609
Italy, Lago Maggiore
One increasingly common characteristic of naval equipment going forward is a Multi-role vessel concept. Ships will be designed for, and expected to perform, numerous functions, but how that might develop has yet to be tested under the stress of combat operations. The multi-role function may be more immediately successful during peace time operations.

A landing platform may be expected to double as an at-sea aviation asset (as Luke mentions); a fleet replenishment vessel, or "joint support ship" may act as oiler, repair facility away from dockyard, victualing ship and medical facility. This ship type is currently entering more and more fleets, some also being tasked and equipped as command/flag ships.

Destroyers in many navies are far fewer in number, the concept of multi-role frigates becoming more common. These 3,000 - 4,000 ton ships have less capability than 6,000 to 8,000 ton (or 10,000 ton) DDs, and, as they are essentially "half-sized," are more prone to stress and wear due to operational tempo. They also have less capacity to be upgraded due to their smaller size.

Multi-role combat support ships, auxiliary vessels, and multi-role warships do present the challenge of potentially being less capable than purpose built platforms. They may find it difficult to be effective at so many tasks, especially under wartime conditions.

The primary reason for much of this, especially for smaller navies, is cost. Modern naval vessels in many cases take longer to build. Hulls are often built in lower cost locations, transported in sections to the finishing ship yards, and then the enormously expensive weapons systems and sensor suites are fitted. Lengthy testing and fitting out add time and cost to the process, so years pass from design, political wrangling, RFP, tender, all construction and testing phases to the lengthy period before a ship is operational. (whew!)

Another problem to be considered is that technology drives naval capability. Years passing can make some technology stale or even obsolescent, requiring further expense and longer construction time.

The days when an aircraft carrier could be built in 18 months, or cruisers/destroyers in a year are gone. Submarines now frequently take five years or longer to become operational.

Fewer ships; more expensive ships, and political fallout mean a strategic rethinking of how a navy can be used. That is for another post - or another thread.
Yes. Overall minor Navies [like the Italian one] do prefer frigates to destroyers. The reason is really simple: what would Italy do with a destroyer? I don't know ...

And from a functional perspective a modern frigate is not that inferior with reference to a standard destroyer. If a government has to spend more money to sustain lobbies and client industries is a matter, but functionally destroyers are substantially obsolete.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,609
Italy, Lago Maggiore
P.S. present frigates can launch strategical missiles like destroyers. This is why I begin to thing that destroyers are substantially obsolete. Think to the FREMM frigate which is serving in French and Italian Navy.
 

pikeshot1600

Ad Honoris
Jul 2009
10,094
P.S. present frigates can launch strategical missiles like destroyers. This is why I begin to thing that destroyers are substantially obsolete. Think to the FREMM frigate which is serving in French and Italian Navy.
Obsolete or obsolescent is in the eye of the sailor. FREMM are essentially destroyers (DD), although classed as frigates (FF). In the 21st century, the functions are similar, although the USN Areligh Burke-class have from 90 to 96 vertical launch cells for SAMs and cruise missiles, while FREMM have 16 cells for SAM missiles. Both types are equipped for surface warfare, anti-air and ASW, but AFAIK FREMM do not have weapons like the Tomahawk. The contemporary destroyer is primarily an anti-air defense platform, the main support for carrier groups.

Due to the USN's footprint, the Burke DDS have substantial offensive fire power as well as defensive systems. The Italian navy will usually be operating in the Mediterranean although anti-piracy and HADR missions away from the Med are also in the mix. Aren't some of the Italian frigates mostly for anti-submarine ops?

EDIT: One comment on the Italian navy. The sea states of the Med are very different from those of the northern oceans (north Atlantic, North Sea and north Pacific). A smaller ship may be expected to perform adequately and to last longer in the Med than on seas where waves of 30-40 feet are often common.

Also, I recently read that about 10 years ago there was a scientifically measured wave in the north Atlantic west of Ireland that was 29.1 meters! That is like 95 feet. The article, which was naval focused, stated that sea states are expected to become more challenging in the future due to observable climatic changes. One comment in the article was that ships would have to be bigger to stand up to the stress under often increasing operational tempo. Fewer ships and difficulties in recruiting and retaining crew have lead to more time at sea for naval assets with resulting wear and tear. Politics often impact replacement of ships due to costs.
 
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Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,812
Australia
One increasingly common characteristic of naval equipment going forward is a Multi-role vessel concept. Ships will be designed for, and expected to perform, numerous functions, but how that might develop has yet to be tested under the stress of combat operations. The multi-role function may be more immediately successful during peace time operations.

A landing platform may be expected to double as an at-sea aviation asset (as Luke mentions); a fleet replenishment vessel, or "joint support ship" may act as oiler, repair facility away from dockyard, victualing ship and medical facility. This ship type is currently entering more and more fleets, some also being tasked and equipped as command/flag ships.

Destroyers in many navies are far fewer in number, the concept of multi-role frigates becoming more common. These 3,000 - 4,000 ton ships have less capability than 6,000 to 8,000 ton (or 10,000 ton) DDs, and, as they are essentially "half-sized," are more prone to stress and wear due to operational tempo. They also have less capacity to be upgraded due to their smaller size.

Multi-role combat support ships, auxiliary vessels, and multi-role warships do present the challenge of potentially being less capable than purpose built platforms. They may find it difficult to be effective at so many tasks, especially under wartime conditions.

The primary reason for much of this, especially for smaller navies, is cost. Modern naval vessels in many cases take longer to build. Hulls are often built in lower cost locations, transported in sections to the finishing ship yards, and then the enormously expensive weapons systems and sensor suites are fitted. Lengthy testing and fitting out add time and cost to the process, so years pass from design, political wrangling, RFP, tender, all construction and testing phases to the lengthy period before a ship is operational. (whew!)

Another problem to be considered is that technology drives naval capability. Years passing can make some technology stale or even obsolescent, requiring further expense and longer construction time.

The days when an aircraft carrier could be built in 18 months, or cruisers/destroyers in a year are gone. Submarines now frequently take five years or longer to become operational.

Fewer ships; more expensive ships, and political fallout mean a strategic rethinking of how a navy can be used. That is for another post - or another thread.
You have hit the crux of the issue. Multi role ships tend to do many things poorly and nothing well. Not to say there is not room for a certain amount of multi role capability, but politicians and bean counters seem to take it to extremes, believing it will give them a navy on the cheap. The proposed Arafura class patrol vessels for the RAN being a case in point. They are trying to replace four different types of vessel with one. This will end badly. Arafura-class offshore patrol vessel - Wikipedia
 
Jun 2017
3,027
Connecticut
Capital ships have evolved; today, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers are considered the highest class of capital ships today, and only the USA possess them.
The proposed "arsenal ships" aren't quite going anywhere; they are missile-based ships while being much less powerful than nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.
Floating carriers? Are they realistic at all?
We know that airborne aircraft carriers are major targets and are not quite viable YET.
Realistically speaking, the next larger ships today are Russian Kirov-class battle cruisers, the American Zumwalt destroyers, the Chinese 055 destroyers.
Why the American navy is still the largest and most powerful navy by far?
What types of warships will be developed?
May navy ever become obsolete?
Aircraft carriers are obsolete. They like battleships in WWII are white elephants(large expensive symbols of a nation's strength whose symbolic value far outweighs the practical use). There hasn't been a general war between great powers since Korea so that obsolence has been irelevant. Remember reading a admiral saying in a general war all the carriers would be annihilated in like an hour or something. Carriers aren't actually a powerful ship in themselves they were a means to move the range of limited 20th century aircraft. Cost efficent missles make them obsolete but most opponents aircraft carriers have been used against don't have the capacity to strike back.

Zumwalt destroyers should be center of the US navy, not carriers. They are cheaper to build in large quantity's and would be more useful in a real conventional war. Fact we have 3 of them out of the 30 or so planned but are committed to having a 12 carrier fleet is a travesty. It's theft enough to steal from the people to make weapons at least make weapons that work.

Virginia class subs are about half the size but they are going to be more important given the quantity.
 
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pikeshot1600

Ad Honoris
Jul 2009
10,094
You have hit the crux of the issue. Multi role ships tend to do many things poorly and nothing well. Not to say there is not room for a certain amount of multi role capability, but politicians and bean counters seem to take it to extremes, believing it will give them a navy on the cheap. The proposed Arafura class patrol vessels for the RAN being a case in point. They are trying to replace four different types of vessel with one. This will end badly. Arafura-class offshore patrol vessel - Wikipedia
The offshore patrol vessel (OPV) is a naval fad at the current time. Most important navies have them in some form. As you mention, the admiralties/DoD, etc. are trying to shoe horn the patrol function along with mine countermeasures (MCM) capability, as well as search and rescue (SAR) and so on. Most of them seem to have a helo pad, but that is not for ASW.

Mine warfare has changed so much in the last couple of decades, that this approach to MCM seems ill advised. The more modern (but also very expensive) approach is with "mother ships" from which can be deployed unmanned subsea vehicles (USV) and other remotely controlled equipment such as surveillance for undersea fiber optics, or sensors of various kinds. The mother ship can also be used to support diving operations - either for MCM or otherwise. Trying to cram all that on a 1,600-2,000 ton ships is problematic.

I believe I saw somewhere that the Royal Netherlands Navy and Belgium are going toward a common design about twice the size of a usual OPV, but mostly for the MCM mission. Theirs are to be about 3,000 tons. I suppose such a ship could also perform patrol duties. The additional fad of different "mission modules" that can be fitted to some newer ships is sometimes cited.

This isn't to say that the OPV is not important. Drug smuggling, trafficking in immigrants and other human cargo, the lure of smuggling other contraband to avoid taxes and duties is always there for the criminal element. Fisheries protection and a visible statement of sovereignty are also both involved. Either a navy or a coast guard needs adequate vessels of this type. Most are not suited to the tasks of warships.

I think Australia is very concerned to keep budgets in balance (unlike the US) and Oz also has been having issues with naval retention as have other navies. Economy is currently in vogue.
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,667
Sydney
I recently read that about 10 years ago there was a scientifically measured wave in the north Atlantic west of Ireland that was 29.1 meters!
a fair few years back when working on the TCP2 platform on the Frig field in the Norwegian sector ,
in the mess , there was a photography of "The Wave" ,
the platform main deck was 30 meters above the nominal sea level ....the wave was washing a good ten meters above it !