PLAN ASW Capability


tphuang

Brigadier
VIP Professional
Registered Member
We are at the point where US military is doing a massive renewal of its nuclear triad at the same time China is doing a major buildup. As such, a lot of funding will get shifted to the construction of new SSBNs for US Navy. Supposedly, the first Columbia class will cost over $15 billion. Given how much American shipbuilding costs have escalated and industrial capabilities have declined since the end of the Cold War, I think the upcoming retirement cliff for LA/Ohio/SeaWolf class will actually be a huge factor. I can't see US military willing to have fewer SSBNs going forward, so that means 14 Columbia will get produced. US Navy is also mandated by law to have at least 11 carriers. As such, the byproduct will be cuts elsewhere. I think on the submarine front, it will be the retirement of all LA class and the 4 Ohio SSGNs by the end of this decade. And I don't think Seawolf class will last much longer than that as a standalone class.

If 095s becomes available before the end of this decade and can be mass produced, then it is not inconceivable to reach parity in advanced nuclear subs that can be fielded in the westpac region. That would significantly decrease the submarine threat. We've talked a lot about AUVs, SURTASS, MPAs, Z20Fs and SOSUS, the biggest difference maker for them will be the availability of 095s.
 

optionsss

Junior Member
We are at the point where US military is doing a massive renewal of its nuclear triad at the same time China is doing a major buildup. As such, a lot of funding will get shifted to the construction of new SSBNs for US Navy. Supposedly, the first Columbia class will cost over $15 billion. Given how much American shipbuilding costs have escalated and industrial capabilities have declined since the end of the Cold War, I think the upcoming retirement cliff for LA/Ohio/SeaWolf class will actually be a huge factor. I can't see US military willing to have fewer SSBNs going forward, so that means 14 Columbia will get produced. US Navy is also mandated by law to have at least 11 carriers. As such, the byproduct will be cuts elsewhere. I think on the submarine front, it will be the retirement of all LA class and the 4 Ohio SSGNs by the end of this decade. And I don't think Seawolf class will last much longer than that as a standalone class.

If 095s becomes available before the end of this decade and can be mass produced, then it is not inconceivable to reach parity in advanced nuclear subs that can be fielded in the westpac region. That would significantly decrease the submarine threat. We've talked a lot about AUVs, SURTASS, MPAs, Z20Fs and SOSUS, the biggest difference maker for them will be the availability of 095s.
it looks like US navy is trying to address this issue. Not sure where they will find the dock space, but they want 66SSN and 12 SSBN.
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tphuang

Brigadier
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it looks like US navy is trying to address this issue. Not sure where they will find the dock space, but they want 66SSN and 12 SSBN.
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US navy likes to sell a vision that's not based on reality to keep the politicians happy. But if you actually look at their public statement, they realize the domestic industry is not ready to build what they desire. More importantly, Columbia class is going to eat up a huge chunk of their budget. Same with the ford class carriers. And they want to restore a large surface combatant size. These are things that can be accomplished. Back in the early 2000s, the Borei class basically took all of Russian navy's budget. Similarly, Royal navy's nuclear subs took so much of their budget that Type 45 was down to 6 units and they only got 2 carriers that got much less of their original specs. Sure, US navy want a lot of things, but it will be hard to do that while spending $200 billion on Columbia class + probably similar amount of money on Ford class.

They really did something well with the Virginia class, but it's unlikely their next submarine programs will be as successful. All of their other new platforms in the past 2 decades have been way too expensive.
 

gelgoog

Brigadier
Registered Member
That plan is bonkers. The US already has supremacy in nuclear attack subs.
Russia has had to upgrade older Akula submarines and will be moving from the Yasen to the Husky design to keep costs down.
Husky might be a smaller design using titanium inner hull and composite outer hull.

What the US needs is to get the Columbia class working. And just standing at 16 missile tubes as per treaty limitations is probably a bad idea.
 

AndrewS

Brigadier
Registered Member
That plan is bonkers. The US already has supremacy in nuclear attack subs.

More nuclear attack subs is probably the best option for the US Navy at this point.

BY 2035, I think China will likely have enough forces to keep the bases on the 1st and 2nd Island chains under constant attack.
US surface ships and carriers would struggle to get past the 2nd Island Chain to China.

That only leaves nuclear submarines.
 

FairAndUnbiased

Major
Registered Member
Would a new drone paradigm render SSNs a liability?

the biggest weakness of all subs but particularly SSNs is that they aren't a good part of networked systems, because they have terrible situational awareness and cannot achieve high bandwidth 2 way communication. They can listen to ELF/VLF broadcasts at combat depth, that's it. They cannot talk back to base without surfacing. ELF/VLF are very low bandwidth communication channels so they can only listen to very simple instructions, they cannot be transmitted, say, an entire live map of the battlefield. They don't even really know where they are, because they can't receive GPS and must rely on inertial navigation which accumulates errors. See all the sub crashes.

USVs and UAVs launched from LHDs on the other hand would be able to deploy huge amounts of active towed/dipped sonars. They can each carry just 1 lightweight torpedo for shooting. They'll be 100% networked with a full situational awareness picture. And a surface ship is almost an order magnitude cheaper than a sub yet 1 LHD carrying like 8 USVs, 10 ASW UAVs and 10 ASW manned helicopters would likely be able to stop more than 1 sub.

This is particularly true in shallow water where SSNs have limited capability to dive below the thermocline due to size, and thus would be exposed to active sonar completely.
 

Andy1974

Junior Member
Registered Member
Would a new drone paradigm render SSNs a liability?

the biggest weakness of all subs but particularly SSNs is that they aren't a good part of networked systems, because they have terrible situational awareness and cannot achieve high bandwidth 2 way communication. They can listen to ELF/VLF broadcasts at combat depth, that's it. They cannot talk back to base without surfacing. ELF/VLF are very low bandwidth communication channels so they can only listen to very simple instructions, they cannot be transmitted, say, an entire live map of the battlefield. They don't even really know where they are, because they can't receive GPS and must rely on inertial navigation which accumulates errors. See all the sub crashes.

USVs and UAVs launched from LHDs on the other hand would be able to deploy huge amounts of active towed/dipped sonars. They can each carry just 1 lightweight torpedo for shooting. They'll be 100% networked with a full situational awareness picture. And a surface ship is almost an order magnitude cheaper than a sub yet 1 LHD carrying like 8 USVs, 10 ASW UAVs and 10 ASW manned helicopters would likely be able to stop more than 1 sub.

This is particularly true in shallow water where SSNs have limited capability to dive below the thermocline due to size, and thus would be exposed to active sonar completely.
This claims complete situational awareness around it…

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Just keep developing and deploying these, no need for LHDs.
 

ashnole

New Member
Registered Member
This claims complete situational awareness around it…

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Just keep developing and deploying these, no need for LHDs.
A Corvette-sized Drone Mothership sailing at just 18 knots is really going to threaten 35 knots sprinting American SSNs designed to go up against an entire CVBG & its air wing, right?

That said, that particular Drone Mothership would make a very good Mine Countermeasures Vessel.

What China really needs is a class of fast Helicopter Carriers (in the 20000t-30000t displacement range) that can embark 18-24 ASW Helicopters, something like the Japanese Izumo-class.
 

lcloo

Senior Member
A Corvette-sized Drone Mothership sailing at just 18 knots is really going to threaten 35 knots sprinting American SSNs designed to go up against an entire CVBG & its air wing, right?

That said, that particular Drone Mothership would make a very good Mine Countermeasures Vessel.

What China really needs is a class of fast Helicopter Carriers (in the 20000t-30000t displacement range) that can embark 18-24 ASW Helicopters, something like the Japanese Izumo-class.
This is a civilian ship built for scientific research.
 

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