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 Post subject: MLRS NGFS BATTLESHIP?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:29 pm 
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I just came across this article. It seems like the Jar Heads have not quite given up the fight for effective NFS.
I rarely even glance at Proceedings,( IMO, it's a PC Brain washed rag) but this article caught my interest.

FWIW:
1. I do not believe the Iowas should or ever will be brought back into commission. They had their day had deserve their honorable museum life.

2. Opposed amphibious landings are not as far fetched as many think.
A. Nukes made amphibious landings unthinkable until Mac pulled off his Briliant 1950 Inchon landing
B. There would never be another large scale amphibious landing until the Brits did it in the Falklands
C. No one took an amphibious landing seriously until Schwarzkopf used the threat to very good effect in 1991

That said with the rise of the Chi Comms as a rival Superpower, IMO, it's time to start thinking conventional war again.


Marines Fire HIMARS From Ship in Sea Control Experiment With Navy
By: G Fuentes October 24, 2017 USNI Proceedings

ABOARD THE AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIP USS ESSEX – The daytime launch of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System on Sunday might have seemed like another training mission if the Marines hadn’t fired it from an amphibious ship operating at sea.

A detachment of Marines with Camp Pendleton, Calif.-based 5th Battalion, 11th Marines, set up the vehicle-borne launch system on the flight deck of amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD-23). Programmed with information about the objective – suspected enemy air defenses – on a nearby island, the HIMARS launcher fired off a rocket at a target 70 kilometers away.
...

“The ability to project power from and at sea is critical,” Lt. Col. Tom Savage, operations officer with 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, told a small group of journalists at a briefing aboard USS Essex, the flagship for the exercise.
“It’s a significant capability.”

Senior officials have been looking at how the Marine Corps, which is historically focused on land based operations, can support the Navy at sea and bolster the amphibious force’s ability to obtain and maintain “sea control,” in areas of current and potential future operations.

Just in the past year, Gen. Robert Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, several times has spoken about using HIMARS to launch various munitions against targets at sea and ashore. At the Modern Marine Expo in Quantico, Va., last month, Defense News reported, Neller said “you’re going to see precision fire delivered off amphib ships, whether it comes out of tube guns or rockets or delivered from unmanned systems.”

HIMARS, a vehicle-launched rocket system first developed for the Army, is a land-based precision weapons system the Marine Corps uses for fire support against artillery, armor and air defenses. Its GPS-guided munitions travel well beyond the reach of its field artillery cannons. It’s transportable by C-130 Hercules aircraft. Each crew has a launcher, resupply vehicle and two resupply trailers, mobility that allows crews to quickly set up, fire and relocate.

The sea-based experiment during Dawn Blitz, which runs Oct. 20 to 29 with I Marine Expeditionary Force and 3rd Fleet forces, marked the first time the self-contained, vehicle-launched rocket system has been fired from an amphibious ship.

HIMARS “is very precise, which will minimize civilian casualties. It helps hit that target you want to hit and nothing else,” said Rear Adm. Cathal O’Connor, ESG-3’s commander.

Officials have wondered: What would happen – when deploying Marines bring it aboard ship – if we fired it at sea?

Unlike the steady base on land, a ship at sea “is a launch platform that is basically moving in four dimensions – time, pitch, roll, yaw,” said O’Connor, a veteran surface warfare officer, said in a media roundtable aboard Essex.

That could fray the nerves of any fire control team. So they worked with contractors to rework targeting software to hit targets at the Navy’s bombing ranges at San Clemente Island while underway. “We can be at sea and we have a mobile, maneuvering platform – hard to target – and now we are able to hit a fixed target ashore,” he said.

O’Connor said the target “could have been a surface-to-air missile. It could have been a radar site which was monitoring the area that we were operating in. It could have been a cruise missile site. Or it could have been a command-and-control center – all of which would impact our ability to go and operate where we want to be.”

“So the ability to launch that HIMARS from the sea to strike that target now suddenly says, hey I can use this capability on this ship and we can wire it together with the different sensors already in place and be able to impact that,” he said. With it, “I don’t necessarily have to launch an F-35; I don’t necessarily have to move the destroyer off its current mission to go intercept a target.

The new capability also potentially gives the Marine Corps a piece of the sea control mission.

“Traditionally, the Navy is responsible for sea control. Once we control that, we deliver the Marines ashore,” said Cmdr. Matt Hoekstra, an operations officer with ESG-3.

The article goes on for quite a while but I lost interest.
1. Being a Navy man I agree with Cmdr. Matt Hoekstra,
2. I disagree with risking large numbers of Jarheads in scarce Amphibs for NFS.
3. Our limited number of amphibs can not afford to space dedicated to USMC needs for additional HIMAR Mags
4. Our limited number of Big Flight deck amphibs can not afford to waste limited valuable flight decks with HIMARS.
5. Given the range of the HIMARS we'd be risking our amphibs much to close to the beach to carry out NFS mission
6.A navalized HIMARS derivatives belong on real warships capable of going "In harms Way"

So what would they look like?
Could a real cruiser accomadate it's AAW, ASW, strike and enough NFS in a viable hull?
What the hell let's call her a battleship and give her some armor just for old times sake? :lol: :lol: :lol:
Would it require a dedicated NFS ship?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:07 pm 
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A navalized MLRS/HIMARS system would be a good idea. Something that could be fired from frigate or corvette VLS systems would probably be the best bet. I'd go for something along the lines of the proposed British Type 31e frigate - a cheap utility escort intended as a supplement for more capable and very expensive frigates like the Type 26. In effect, a more conventional version of the LCS or a VLS equipped USCG National Security Cutter.

Around the turn of the century, LockMart was looking at such a system which they called POLAR. It was a navalized MLRS quad-packed to fit in a Mark 41 VLS such as every destroyer and cruiser in the USN carried. I get the impression the interest and funding to develop it further wasn't there so it died.

The good news is that Western navies haven't had an urgent need for the capability since Vietnam. Five inch and 4.5 inch guns, TLAM, and air power have done well enough. That's not necessarily something that can be relied upon to continue indefinitely.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:49 pm 
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I'd think a GMLRS/GLSDB fitted into a VLS is the way to go here. Gives us a cheap land attack weapon (which might come in very handy in cases besides NGFS) and it doesn't require a dedicated ship. Do what we need to to get the VLS numbers up.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:38 pm 
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I've suggested in the past, take a LSD, put VLS in the deck well. Add Aegis is desired and a hanger deck for two Ospreys

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:54 pm 
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Ya know - an M270 MLRS is basically a Bradley Fighting Vehicle w/ a 12 pack rocket launcher in a rotating mount on top of it. I would be shocked if that mount would not fit on the otherwise useless LCS - and the high speed would actually be worth something. Sit offshore, dash in a 40 knots and have something besides a 6 pounder to throw at the bad guys and then dash back out. Hmm...

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:41 pm 
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Dirk Mothaar wrote:
Ya know - an M270 MLRS is basically a Bradley Fighting Vehicle w/ a 12 pack rocket launcher in a rotating mount on top of it. I would be shocked if that mount would not fit on the otherwise useless LCS - and the high speed would actually be worth something. Sit offshore, dash in a 40 knots and have something besides a 6 pounder to throw at the bad guys and then dash back out. Hmm...

And HIMARS is basically the towed version of the M270. The challenge would be space on the deck, especially backblast area, and reloads. Probably not insurmountable.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:36 am 
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I think the challenge would be in getting the rockets to work with non-corrosive propellant.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:36 am 
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There's an electronic problem as well. On land, MLRS/HIMARS units are very rarely in close proximity to a high-powered radar and equivalent electronic systems. On ship, they are right next to a lot of them. That means those rockets are an accident waiting to happen. One of the major problems in using rockets and missiles on ships (even standard guns in certain circumstances) is electronic interference causing premature firing. "navalization" also means proofing the system against that sort of thing as well as the more usual environmental issues. I can think of at least one case where the redesign to prevent that happening was so extensive it virtually required a new system. Which was not good and resulted in cancellation.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:52 am 
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Good points. I was assuming those were solvable and looking at the ship side of things, but the navalization to include those issues is a prerequisite. I'm not sure if they had solved them with POLAR before the program was cancelled.


Last edited by DaveAAA on Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:14 pm 
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You are so right FU. Like Gunnery Regs, HERO restrictions are written in blood.
That is just one more reason to build a dedicated MLRS/HIMARS NFS ship


Francis Urquhart wrote:
There's an electronic problem as well. On land, MLRS/HIMARS units are very rarely in close proximity to a high-powered radar and equivalent electronic systems. On ship, they are right next to a lot of them. That means those rockets are an accident waiting to happen. One of the major problems in using rockets and missiles on ships (even standard guns in certain circumstances) is electronic interference causing premature firing. "navalization" also means proofing the system against that sort of thing as well as the more usual environmental issues. I can think of at least one case where the redesign to prevent that happening was so extensive it virtually required a new system. Which was not good and resulted in cancellation.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:53 pm 
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Is that another thing that has to be taken into account when navalising aircraft as well as things like strengthening undercarriage for catapult operations and proofing against salt spray?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:10 pm 
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Oh very much yes. When the British were operating RAF Harriers of carriers in the Falklands, there were pages of does and don'ts intended at preventing the ship's radars tripping off things that were better not tripped off. I think the rockets carried by the Harriers was one of the key ones. The RN and RAF used different rockets for that reason. The USN had the same issue when using one of the CVNs as a giant LPH off Haiti. I have read somewhere that one of the UH-60s actually crashed when the ship's main search radar illuminated it and squelched its flight control system like a bug.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:06 pm 
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So develop a anti-ground warhead for the SM-2, and load it into the existing VLS tubes.

It's not there aren't empty cells or anything.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:22 pm 
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Francis Urquhart wrote:
Oh very much yes. When the British were operating RAF Harriers of carriers in the Falklands, there were pages of does and don'ts intended at preventing the ship's radars tripping off things that were better not tripped off. I think the rockets carried by the Harriers was one of the key ones. The RN and RAF used different rockets for that reason. The USN had the same issue when using one of the CVNs as a giant LPH off Haiti. I have read somewhere that one of the UH-60s actually crashed when the ship's main search radar illuminated it and squelched its flight control system like a bug.


FU makes some very good points (how about a 72 skipper? You see I have this really hot date waiting for me :lol: :lol: :lol: ) about the catastrophes HERO restrictions are meant to avoid.

I'm not sure about this but when I was going through Fire Fighting school in Alameda( @ 72?) one of the instructors told us it was stray emissions that set off the Zuni rocket pod that started that terrible fire. Since then I've read a few different ideas as to why that happened including an auxiliary cart being parked too close to the rocket Pod with the engine running.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:35 pm 
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KDahm wrote:
So develop a anti-ground warhead for the SM-2, and load it into the existing VLS tubes.

It's not there aren't empty cells or anything.


Already done as the SM-4. None produced due to gold-plating.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:28 pm 
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it looks like we've circled back around to LSM/r


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:46 pm 
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An SM-2 based land attack missile would be useful for hitting large, well protected, point targets. MLRS is a lot better for general artillery support including close support. In WWII terms, SM-2 would be the equivalent of battleship main armament gunfire while naval MLRS is more like cruiser fire.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:50 pm 
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Marko Dash wrote:
it looks like we've circled back around to LSM/r


There's probably not a need to build a modern LSM(R) in peacetime. I might try something like a cheap patrol vessel type, like the Canadian Kingston Class, with a HIMARS launcher or two and reloads or even a STANFLEX or LCS mission module.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:42 am 
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The problem is that HERO solutions are generally associated with the magazine and mount, not the ordnance. There are other issues (like fire safety and corrosive propellant) that are associated with the ordnance. By the time you’ve certified the mag, redesigned and manufactured the ordnance and adapted it for a naval mount, you might as well have just designed a new weapon from the start.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:58 am 
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DaveAAA wrote:
An SM-2 based land attack missile would be useful for hitting large, well protected, point targets. MLRS is a lot better for general artillery support including close support. In WWII terms, SM-2 would be the equivalent of battleship main armament gunfire while naval MLRS is more like cruiser fire.

Yup that makes good sense to me "DaveAAA" but I'm so dated my opinion does not count for much.
What does the "Landing Force" really need and want? Are we looking at a replacement for the BB 16 inch gun or are we looking for "large barrages" of guided or unguided 6 or 8 inch rounds?

This begs the question just how "cheap" can we make an effective NFS guided missile VLS compatible round?
As far as I know there are more than a few different rounds MLRS and HIMARS can "Fire".
Any readily "Navalized" for traditional (navy Gun type) NFS?

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