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Multi-Role Support Ship (MRSS)

The Ohio mods seem really interesting

Dry deck shelter - Wikipedia

Forgive a naive ignorant pongo here, but wouldn't a fleet of Ohio-class multi-role subs with nuclear capable cruise missiles be an interesting middle ground? Give up on a like for like Trident replacement, use those savings to avoid all the other swinging defence cuts, but staying in the nuclear club? Buy enough of the things to make sure there's always one or two at sea, but be able to use them for other tasks? Bit of a thread drift but still a multi role boat (if not a ship).




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Not allowed popcorn. Suggestions?
 
The Ohio mods seem really interesting

Forgive a naive ignorant pongo here, but wouldn't a fleet of Ohio-class multi-role subs with nuclear capable cruise missiles be an interesting middle ground?

Don't know about nuclear tipped cruise missiles. Ballistic give the important first strike and retaliatory strike capability.

On the other hand the Ohio SSGN packs 7 cruise missiles into a silo. 154 tomahawks with conventional warheads are far more usable and would focus the mind of a would be enemy.

I believe that the silos can carry 'one shot UAVs' instead of the 7pack of tomahawks.
 
Don't know about nuclear tipped cruise missiles. Ballistic give the important first strike and retaliatory strike capability.

On the other hand the Ohio SSGN packs 7 cruise missiles into a silo. 154 tomahawks with conventional warheads are far more usable and would focus the mind of a would be enemy.

I believe that the silos can carry 'one shot UAVs' instead of the 7pack of tomahawks.

I'm sure you're right that a ballistic missile has lots of extra reach and punch, but isn't a second strike about survivability and retaliation? That's what having your nukes (of any stripe) in a sub gives you.

The Trident replacement argument seems to be a false dichotomy to me. I'm - and I'm obviously an ignoramus on the subject - just not sure that it is truly an 'all or nothing' argument.

Given the defence budget crisis and all the attendant woes, is a lesser (and cheaper) nuclear deterrent really 'thinking the unthinkable'? And In a multi role SSGN with some classified percentage of those Tomahawks carrying orange-tipped instant sunshine AND able to deposit a bunch of THEM ashore if necessary...


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On other threads the grown ups have slammed the use of cruise missiles, nuclear armed or not, as a fallacy. No speed, no trajectory and easy to intercept but sending the wrong message when launched covertly. Bad idea apparently.
 
On other threads the grown ups have slammed the use of cruise missiles, nuclear armed or not, as a fallacy. No speed, no trajectory and easy to intercept but sending the wrong message when launched covertly. Bad idea apparently.

Thanks. I can see some sense in that, and can imagine how it might be not enough to face down the Russians. But...are we still in that game? Were we ever in that game? And it might be enough to face down a lesser rogue state...

...and please continue to indulge my naïveté in all things nuclear, but I'm not sure I understand the statement "nuclear armed or not"...I thought they were supposed to be the dogs as a delivery system for conventional explosives? Again, against lesser powers perhaps? (certainly they have received a good press in this role since GW1)? But is that part of the fallacy you refer to? In which case we seem to have spent quite a lot of money on a sh1t weapons system...who'd have thought that possible, I suppose?


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Big drawback of mixing nuclear and conventional is you create too much uncertainty in the enemy's mind.

Put yourself in their shoes: you have possible nuclear tipped cruise missiles inbound, do you wait to launch your nuclear missiles hoping that the enemy has actually fired conventional missiles? Or do you launch your nukes regardless?

The good thing is that a trident D5 has only one purpose...
 
Oh, and the SSGNs have more space for TLAM than the US has available missiles...
 
Big drawback of mixing nuclear and conventional is you create too much uncertainty in the enemy's mind.

Put yourself in their shoes: you have possible nuclear tipped cruise missiles inbound, do you wait to launch your nuclear missiles hoping that the enemy has actually fired conventional missiles? Or do you launch your nukes regardless?

The good thing is that a trident D5 has only one purpose...

OK. I see that as an issue when there is a concern about us potentially committing a 'first strike'. Something I understood we have always said we wouldn't do?

And if that is such a risk, why did we let the Americans place nuclear armed cruise missiles in Greenham Common? Didn't this then preclude the use of all other cruise missiles as 'risky' in this regard?

Come to think of it, why do the Americans continue to fly B-52 in a conventional role if there is a 'risk' that they might be thought to be carrying nuclear weapons? Surely whichever risk analysis allows that would apply to a Tomahawk?

And of course if it's a 'second strike' (the nuclear missile-equipped submarine's raison d'etre) then that problem's long passed...

I'm sure that there are genuine disadvantages to NOT continuing the Trident-type option. However, when this means our other resources shrink to one battalion of infantry and the Dagenham Girl Pipers I wonder if we can simply continue to afford it? After all, doesn't the strategy of 'flexible response' require us to have a credible first alternative to nuclear weapons? Didn't we abandon the 'tripwire' policy because we were worried that it meant we might never use it for piecemeal aggression?

Wasn't creating uncertainty in the enemy seen as a 'good' thing?

There must be a point in reducing our conventional forces where our nuclear capability becomes untenable in its current form. That's basic economics. This generates two questions:

1. When is this point?

2. At, or near, that point, is a multi-role submarine fleet a possible 'least worst' option (hence the link to this thread) given that we would have reached the point where nuclear status quo is no longer realistic.

I don't know the answers. But the questions are valid, are they not?


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On other threads the grown ups have slammed the use of cruise missiles, nuclear armed or not, as a fallacy. No speed, no trajectory and easy to intercept but sending the wrong message when launched covertly. Bad idea apparently.
The same has been said about the B21 replacing CASD, it would be nice to have a true strategic LR, LO strike. But not for the detterence.
 

Yokel

LE
The Ohio mods seem really interesting

Dry deck shelter - Wikipedia

Forgive a naive ignorant pongo here, but wouldn't a fleet of Ohio-class multi-role subs with nuclear capable cruise missiles be an interesting middle ground? Give up on a like for like Trident replacement, use those savings to avoid all the other swinging defence cuts, but staying in the nuclear club? Buy enough of the things to make sure there's always one or two at sea, but be able to use them for other tasks? Bit of a thread drift but still a multi role boat (if not a ship).

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I suspect the SSGN costs as much to operate as when they were SSBN - and would cost the same amount to build.
 
Not allowed popcorn. Suggestions?

 
Tactical nukes were a Cold War thing. They made sense when the trigger to conflict was arguably lower, and that we were at a numerical disadvantage in the Fulda Gap.

IIRC the US have got rid of the vast majority of their tactical nukes, and all of their TLAM-N.
 
Could be worse: Why not convert the carriers back to CTOL, buy F-35B, and buy/copy.lease B61 gravity bombs. Oh and you have to tell everyone if the carrier is in the nuclear or conventional role:

Do you mean cat and trap and the F-35C?
 

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