Tomorrow's navy

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,812
Australia
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.

The OPV concept itself is sound, but the 'mission module' concept is flawed. A patrol vessel can't be turned into an MCM or survey vessel simply by swapping out modules. The gear is too specialised and for MCM vessels the hull and machinery are specially adapted for low magnetic and acoustic signatures.
 
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pikeshot1600

Ad Honoris
Jul 2009
10,094
The OPV concept itself is sound, but the 'mission module' concept is flawed. A patrol vessel can't be turned into an MCM or survey vessel simply by swapping out modules. The gear is too specialised and for MCM vessels the hull and machinery are specially adapted for low magnetic and acoustic signatures.
I agree. Also, required skill sets have to be developed and experience gained by doing MCM, or by doing hydrographic survey a.s.o. Just replacing a "module" does not build or improve the skills and operational experience of naval personnel when they have not been involved in complex tasks on a continual basis.

"Drill is a pill best taken daily."
 
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Sep 2012
118
If we get into the game of who can knock each other's satellite out the fastest, the accumulated space junk might end up making it impossible for anybody to have any satellites. Because of the velocity of the debris, colliding with a drop of paint could crack a window. To make it worse, when debris collide with other debris it creates even more debris. The losing country could easily pull a second Project West Ford, denying space for everybody.

A generation of people who have grown completely dependent on their GPS will become utterly and hopelessly lost.
They are (in all actuality) already "lost". They just have a navigation tool upon which they rely. They drive around like virtual zombies. Never taking notice or memorizing where the "trip planner" tells them to go...never actually learning and retaining the information. These are the last minute lane changers, who have no idea of where they are because they don't LEARN. This person may have made the same trip a dozen times in the last month but they still don't know how to do it without their "crutch".
Things like this (while useful to some degree) are a major contribution to the increasing "dumbness" of our society here in North America.
I take advantage of this system when I am going into unfamiliar waters. but once I know where I'm going?

I know where I'm going, I've learned and memorized my routing.
The same cannot be said for the "zombies" out there...

My two cents.
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,667
Sydney
on the walking track , it's near impossible to find people who can do a simple sun orientation
use a watch as a distance and compass reckoning
or estimate the best trajectory by following the lie of the land in broken landscape
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,609
Italy, Lago Maggiore
If we want to observe what's going on around us ... as for surface units the news are substantially two:

US stealth Zumwalt class destroyer;
drone ships to hunt subs.

Probably the second one is the most interesting development, the Sea Hunter by DARPA could be a quite efficient asset to defend a country in case of sub attack [or to hunt subs]. Today, as for I can read around, they are thinking to use it also [or overall] for electronic warfare. Navy's Sea Hunter Drone Ship Has Sailed Autonomously To Hawaii And Back Amid Talk Of New Roles
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,667
Sydney
autonomous sub hunting submarine drones ,


 

pikeshot1600

Ad Honoris
Jul 2009
10,094
If we want to observe what's going on around us ... as for surface units the news are substantially two:

US stealth Zumwalt class destroyer;
drone ships to hunt subs.

Probably the second one is the most interesting development, the Sea Hunter by DARPA could be a quite efficient asset to defend a country in case of sub attack [or to hunt subs]. Today, as for I can read around, they are thinking to use it also [or overall] for electronic warfare. Navy's Sea Hunter Drone Ship Has Sailed Autonomously To Hawaii And Back Amid Talk Of New Roles
The Zumwalt-class has been more than a disappointment. The navy tried to put too much capability onto one hull; the various technologies were not sufficiently tested, there have been mechanical problems, and at $4,000,000,000 apiece it isn't worth the money.

Only three of the projected 32 ships will be completed, and the three will be part of an "experimental squadron." Translation: White Elephant.

Drone/unmanned assets are probably a better bet. This technology is inevitable, and that should be leveraged as much as possible.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,609
Italy, Lago Maggiore
The Zumwalt-class has been more than a disappointment. The navy tried to put too much capability onto one hull; the various technologies were not sufficiently tested, there have been mechanical problems, and at $4,000,000,000 apiece it isn't worth the money.

Only three of the projected 32 ships will be completed, and the three will be part of an "experimental squadron." Translation: White Elephant.
It's typical of American warfare: they tend to exaggerate with technology. Sure this gives them superiority in all fields, but it happens they produce something beyond their realistic needs.
 

pikeshot1600

Ad Honoris
Jul 2009
10,094
It's typical of American warfare: they tend to exaggerate with technology. Sure this gives them superiority in all fields, but it happens they produce something beyond their realistic needs.
Technology is the order of the day. The Italian navy is also a high tech navy, but unlikely to piss away money as does the Pentagon.

Unmanned subsea and aerial vehicles as well as other "remotely controlled" equipment will be more common going forward. The tech involving detection suites, strategic ceramic materials and weapons like lasers and rail guns, as well as hypersonic conventional ordnance are being developed and that is not going to stop.

Realistic needs usually reduces to "our stuff is better than their stuff" and it is best that "we" have a lot more stuff.