PLAN 2018 Review (Jeff Head)


New Member
Registered Member
Thank you my friend. I am honored by your compliment.

If the good Lord wills it, and I survive nother year...I will do one for 2019.

I honestly hoped to be able to live long enough to see CVBN-80, USS Enterrise be launched...but that is doubtful at this point...though it was doubtful two years ago that I would be oing this one.

Time will tell.

Feel free to share, either from here on SD, from my own page, or on the album at Flickr.

God's speed to you and yours!
Hi Jeff, its very courageous of you to tell us your health issues.
Although I have been here a short time and unqualified to contribute, I can see your stamp on this forum
My best wishes to you and hope there is some resolution of this

Jeff Head

Staff member
Super Moderator
Hi Jeff, its very courageous of you to tell us your health issues.
Although I have been here a short time and unqualified to contribute, I can see your stamp on this forum
My best wishes to you and hope there is some resolution of this
THank ou for those kinf words...and WELCOME TO SD!

We believe SD is the very best military and military technology oriented forum on the net and the members have made it that way.

God speed and blessings to you and yours!

Jeff Head

Staff member
Super Moderator
I can tell you have put an incredible effort in your review and I’m glad you were able to get it out so quickly. I wish you the absolute best and pray for your health.
I read about the Monsoor completing acceptance trials.

The US Naval institute and others then talk about the US moving on the Flight III Bukres.

We will need those ships...but the successor to the Ticos is staring us in the face.

we know how to build the Zumwalts.

Put a single 155mm rail gin forward and put 32 more VLS cells in place of the second gun.

Use the hugs and stealthy superstructure for an even larger AEGIS phased arrary (the one going tinot the flight III Burkes is bigger, but is also scalable and an even larger one is already readdy to just needs a ship.

Then put two Sea Rams on the aft end over the hanger, and add a couple of Mk-38 Mod 2 auto cannons there too.

Add the anti-sub/torped suite the carriers are getting and then start building 20 of those vessels.

We could move right into to doing this because everything they need is already thee.

We just need an admin with the will to do it.


Registered Member
Flight III Burke will displace more than a Flight II Burke, looking over 10,000 tons, and at least 45% of the ship will be new. Its a much bigger jump than Flight I to Flight II Burke.

Flight III Burke doesn't use AEGIS, because AEGIS is technically a Lockheed Martin brand name for their radars, and AMDR happens to be from Raytheon and therefore a competitor. Technically its also a different radar from AEGIS being an active array or AESA (similar to the Type 346 used on Type 052C/D and 055) while SPY-1D or AEGIS uses a passive phase array or PESA. The difference being is that every element in an AESA has its own transmitter and receiver, while in a PESA, every element has its own receiver but shares a common transmitter. So to speak, AESA is what OLED is to PESA which is LCD. What AMDR has is that its commonly compatible with AEGIS common libraries (apps, software).

The cost of Flight III is going to be high, probably about $2 billion to $3 billion. May end up more.

To make a new Tico successor cruiser that would differentiate itself from the Flight III, you will likely need at least a 17,000 ton ship, something closer to the Russian Lider class. This will be tremendously expensive and complex.

Given that the USN is now required by law (!!) to have a 355 ship navy, it no longer has the option of going with fewer but more expensive ships, but rather, instead with greater numbers of lower cost ships.

And that is why so much depends on the FFG(X) program to provide the USN with a proper workhorse that needs to fit between the LCS and the Burke. I prefer the expediency of smaller ships --- you can build them with not just less cost, but with shorter construction and fitting times before commissioning, which isn't possible with larger ships. I also don't want to over stress on the technology, which in recent years, has shown more trouble than its worth, and instead we need to go with proven and incremental improvements in technology rather than large untried leaps.


Junior Member
Registered Member
I seem to remember something called a sequester in 2012, Bob Gates canceling the F-22 in 2009,
200 aircraft made, very ahead of its time.

the DD(X) program turning into a stillborn Zumwalt,

a *big* public reaction against the cost and delays of the F-35 program going as far as calling for its cancellation,
Yet the public reaction didn't matter; the program goes on with close to 300 aircraft made and over 2000 planned.

and a country so exhausted with war it couldn’t muster up a response to either Syria or Ukraine. A huge chunk of that “high intensity military spending” goes to covering the logistical costs for global military bases and benefits for veterans, and another huge chunk is being committed to covering the actual cost of the conflicts we’re still fighting.
It was "high intensity of military spending", as in military spending as a percentage of GDP.

Maybe it’s because I actually live in the states, but given the public reaction to the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict (Bush lost his congressional majority in 2006 because of Iraq), how Obama chose not to go into Syria *because* he couldn’t shore up public support for it, and how Trump shored a chunk of his base by bashing other countries (of which China gets a large though not exclusive share of attention), forgive me for scoffing at the idea that foreign policy is outside the scope of political debate in the US. That clearly isn’t borne out by the evidence.
I don't feel like debating exactly why the US did what it did in each of these cases, but there really is no lack of determination in the establishment to continue the present course. Of course foreign policy can be an issue in elections, but there are many underlying directions that are never challenged. Has a single relevant politician ever proposed, let alone achieved, removing an American base from foreign soil or significantly reducing the military budget? (There are many more possible examples.)

At China’s current clip we’re talking more like 20-30 years. Your arithmetic assumes that China’s budgetary outlays for military spending will remain below 2% of GDP,
It doesn't.

which isn’t necessarily going to remain the case, and either way if China gets more bang for its buck on every dollar of military spending it doesn’t need to match US military spending to match the US in capability.

For a country with a broken procurement process we have a very large number of aging weapons that are expensive to replace, where the replacement’s capabilities don’t outmatch its cheaper competition’s, which is why a broken procurement process is a problem. The US still has a large lead on China today, but that means very little if we can’t move as fast as the competition. Leads are meaningless if you can’t sustain them.
My primary intention wasn't to discuss when China would overtake the US militarily, so I don't have a ready-made position. I was mostly saying that facile diagnoses of American (relative) decline are usually wrong.
Could you list some countries that don't have a broken procurement process? I feel that with such standards very few would qualify.


Senior Member
Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the review. While for many here the projects and details are familiar, there is a real lack of quality English writing on Chinese military matters, and overviews like yours perform a valuable service in helping less familiar folk get up to speed.

I have read with sadness of your progressing cancer. Though we are of very different minds politically, I respect your even-handed moderation of this forum, and have read with interest the snippets of your life that you have shared here -- including, of course, your model shipbuilding hobby. It is in the nature of military-oriented forums such as these to tend towards an adversarial, politicised discourse that highlights the differences between us, but the things we share run deeper. We all emerge from dust and return to dust. Along the way we try to gain a measure of wisdom, to share our joys and sorrows with family and friends, and to accomplish something meaningful. Thanks for sharing this part of your journey with us.