Type 26 Frigate

If that's how they price a warship, how chuffing expensive are the Ford-class in reality?
They're more than $13 billion apiece, and I believe that doesn't include the aircraft.

The Americans are apparently doing a review of their carrier fleet and are thinking of not buying any more than 4 Fords. This was in early March of this year.
Navy may not buy any more Ford-class supercarriers, acting Navy secretary says

The complaint is that they are too expensive and put too many eggs in one basket, limiting deployment flexibility.
He lamented the cost of the Ford-class carriers, the first of which has topped $13 billion, as well as the increased vulnerability of Navy carriers as adversarial powers develop more capable weapons.

"I think we agree with a lot of conclusions that [carriers are] more vulnerable," Modly said, adding that "we are developing all kinds of things to make it less vulnerable, but it still is a big target."

"And it doesn't give you that distribution," he said.
Various sources are suggesting that what is needed is something as big or bigger than an amphibious assault ship, but smaller than their existing carriers, and optimised for VSTOL aircraft such as the F-35B is the way to go. One version of that sounds vaguely familiar.
Richard Spencer, the former Navy secretary, said in October that smaller flattops like amphibious assault ships, which the Navy and the Marine Corps have been outfitting with F-35Bs to create experimental "Lightning carriers," were one "great" option.

Breaking Defense suggested that future carriers might be smaller than the large Ford-class supercarriers but would still be larger than an amphibious assault ship.
 

Majorpain

War Hero
Totally, the USN is ending the Fords at 4 because its all they need, and not because they have been shown up by another navy which has a carrier 1/3 the price that worked out the box and not with some assembly still required.

*innocent face*

On an unrelated note, is there a pool going on which decade a ford will get its 11 different weapon elevators working at the same time?
 
Every decade for the last sixty years, there comes a US debate on big carriers Vs "small STOVL" carriers.

Every time it's because there's either a new threat bogeyman (Backfire, Charlie plus SSN9, DF21 etc, etc) in town. Or because people think they're too expensive.

Every time they end up concluding that while you can have smaller carriers, you'll never afford enough of them to provide equivalent capability or to realise the supposed survivability goals of more distributed ships. Every single time. Have a Gary Google for CVV or SCS for previous examples

This time round it's a little more complicated because they have ( correctly) designed and built a new ship to replace a fifty year old design, added some new systems to help reduce opcost and have had some well-publicised issues. They're also paying for divesting themselves of some longer range aircraft capabilities over the last 25 years while peer to peer conflict was remote. The point about a carrier is that you can upgrade those capabilities through systems called "aircraft". FA-XX will hopefully avoid some of the joint pitfalls that befell JSF/F35. But you'll make fixing them harder with a STOVL jet or a small ship.

AIUI Ford's weapons elevators are now all functional, the EMALS and EAR are working and increasing in reliability. Like all complex engineering, it's hard to get spot on first time.
 
Every decade for the last sixty years, there comes a US debate on big carriers Vs "small STOVL" carriers.

Every time it's because there's either a new threat bogeyman (Backfire, Charlie plus SSN9, DF21 etc, etc) in town. Or because people think they're too expensive.

Every time they end up concluding that while you can have smaller carriers, you'll never afford enough of them to provide equivalent capability or to realise the supposed survivability goals of more distributed ships. Every single time. Have a Gary Google for CVV or SCS for previous examples

This time round it's a little more complicated because they have ( correctly) designed and built a new ship to replace a fifty year old design, added some new systems to help reduce opcost and have had some well-publicised issues. They're also paying for divesting themselves of some longer range aircraft capabilities over the last 25 years while peer to peer conflict was remote. The point about a carrier is that you can upgrade those capabilities through systems called "aircraft". FA-XX will hopefully avoid some of the joint pitfalls that befell JSF/F35. But you'll make fixing them harder with a STOVL jet or a small ship.

AIUI Ford's weapons elevators are now all functional, the EMALS and EAR are working and increasing in reliability. Like all complex engineering, it's hard to get spot on first time.
What’s the planned crew strength for the Ford class?
 

Majorpain

War Hero
Every decade for the last sixty years, there comes a US debate on big carriers Vs "small STOVL" carriers.

Every time it's because there's either a new threat bogeyman (Backfire, Charlie plus SSN9, DF21 etc, etc) in town. Or because people think they're too expensive.

Every time they end up concluding that while you can have smaller carriers, you'll never afford enough of them to provide equivalent capability or to realise the supposed survivability goals of more distributed ships. Every single time. Have a Gary Google for CVV or SCS for previous examples
Yes, but a larger force of QE sized carriers would be far more resilient to losses than Nimitz/Ford. The "bigger is better" equation only works if you don't suffer losses to the bigger more capable ships anyway, then you instantly go to 0% capability, rather than say 50%.

Then there is the expensive part of it, less important at the moment, but in 40 years time how many ships is the US going to be able to afford to run with 4,000+ crew? Automation is here now, the Ford class is more likely to be replaced early by a ship with a QE level sized crew than run out of life like the Nimitz's IMO. US share of world GDP is going to continue to drop in the future so that's something to bet on! That feeds into problems with the CVN's sucking money out of everything else, for a start the accidents with Fitzgerald/Benson would have been less likely to happen were the DD's not running hot because there were not enough in theatre.

AIUI Ford's weapons elevators are now all functional, the EMALS and EAR are working and increasing in reliability. Like all complex engineering, it's hard to get spot on first time.
Hopefully "functional" is in engineer language and not sales! The Fords are certainly technological marvels if nothing else.
 
What’s the planned crew strength for the Ford class?
Reduction on Nimitz, but not a step-change. You can do more with crew numbers for the ship - noting that the US have a slightly different Manning philosophy to the RN. Still need lots of folk for the airwing though.
 
Yes, but a larger force of QE sized carriers would be far more resilient to losses than Nimitz/Ford. The "bigger is better" equation only works if you don't suffer losses to the bigger more capable ships anyway, then you instantly go to 0% capability, rather than say 50%.

Then there is the expensive part of it, less important at the moment, but in 40 years time how many ships is the US going to be able to afford to run with 4,000+ crew? Automation is here now, the Ford class is more likely to be replaced early by a ship with a QE level sized crew than run out of life like the Nimitz's IMO. US share of world GDP is going to continue to drop in the future so that's something to bet on! That feeds into problems with the CVN's sucking money out of everything else, for a start the accidents with Fitzgerald/Benson would have been less likely to happen were the DD's not running hot because there were not enough in theatre.



Hopefully "functional" is in engineer language and not sales! The Fords are certainly technological marvels if nothing else.
Point being they can never afford more of the smaller ships. Never. Not once. The current debate is almost identical to the Zumwalt years of the early 70s. Same underlying rationale, same proposed solutions. Likely same outcome.

The QEC manning reductions work for the RN manning philosophy, but are not necessarily transferable to the USN.
 

Majorpain

War Hero
Point being they can never afford more of the smaller ships. Never. Not once. The current debate is almost identical to the Zumwalt years of the early 70s. Same underlying rationale, same proposed solutions. Likely same outcome.

The QEC manning reductions work for the RN manning philosophy, but are not necessarily transferable to the USN.
That reeks of "the answer is more CVN, what was the question" i'm afraid. Meanwhile overall ship number are dropping, shipyards other than HII start going out of business and the rest of the fleet is run ragged in peacetime never mind wartime.

If the USN think they can make the numbers work in the long run then they will have done very well indeed, i think the financial plates will start to fall but i hope i'm wrong!
 
That reeks of "the answer is more CVN, what was the question" i'm afraid. Meanwhile overall ship number are dropping, shipyards other than HII start going out of business and the rest of the fleet is run ragged in peacetime never mind wartime.

If the USN think they can make the numbers work in the long run then they will have done very well indeed, i think the financial plates will start to fall but i hope i'm wrong!
Possibly because the conditions are remarkably similar to the 70s. Overall ageing fleet and falling numbers. New expensive ships (and aircraft) with teething troubles. Winding down a COIN conflict, peer to peer capability gap narrowing in the wrong way, budget issues etc.

PRC is inestimably financially more astute than the USSR ever were. It'll be closer this time.
 
Point being they can never afford more of the smaller ships. Never. Not once. The current debate is almost identical to the Zumwalt years of the early 70s. Same underlying rationale, same proposed solutions. Likely same outcome.

The QEC manning reductions work for the RN manning philosophy, but are not necessarily transferable to the USN.
Why the difference in philosophy?
 
The USN holds automation (or precisely, a reduction in people for damage control) as a cultural anathema.
 

Check_0ne_Two

Old-Salt
The USN holds automation (or precisely, a reduction in people for damage control) as a cultural anathema.
Watching various insights into QE class design and build over the years has certainly shown this to be true. Any American with a working Naval background who has offered input has always, always baulked at the idea of lean manning and increased automation for one reason and one reason only. Damage control.
 
Watching various insights into QE class design and build over the years has certainly shown this to be true. Any American with a working Naval background who has offered input has always, always baulked at the idea of lean manning and increased automation for one reason and one reason only. Damage control.
It's somewhat ironic then that the extra manpower they have didn't reduce the need for damage control on the Fitzgerald or McCain.
 

quadrapiper

Clanker
The USN holds automation (or precisely, a reduction in people for damage control) as a cultural anathema.
How does their (and this is second-hand commentary) approach to trade specialization, compared to e.g. the RCN (and I'd imagine the RN) factor into that? Seems like you'd need more bodies for task x with the USN approach.
 

clanky

War Hero
How does their (and this is second-hand commentary) approach to trade specialization, compared to e.g. the RCN (and I'd imagine the RN) factor into that? Seems like you'd need more bodies for task x with the USN approach.
In 91 I did a couple of weeks xpol on the Avenger, which at the time was a shiny newish MCMV At the time our Hunts had a crew of around 40, whilst the Avenger needed over 70. The difference was due to the USN branch structure. Because they need more specialists to do the same number of tasks they needed more bods to do it. For example they had a bloke who's sole trade was internal comms. Oddly enough he didnt self identify as a WE so he did a great job and viewed his role encompassing the whole ship. There was another who did nothing but maintain Damage Control equipment. There where loads of blokes doing jobs which are seen as a secondary duty on a passers ship The downside was a really cramped ship The upside was that everything was maintained to a really good standard because they had the man hours to complete the task. I'm not advocating going back to Leander class levels of manning, but having enough capacity to do more low level maint whilst at sea would solve a lot of problems. If only we could afford it eh?
 
In 91 I did a couple of weeks xpol on the Avenger, which at the time was a shiny newish MCMV At the time our Hunts had a crew of around 40, whilst the Avenger needed over 70. The difference was due to the USN branch structure. Because they need more specialists to do the same number of tasks they needed more bods to do it. For example they had a bloke who's sole trade was internal comms. Oddly enough he didnt self identify as a WE so he did a great job and viewed his role encompassing the whole ship. There was another who did nothing but maintain Damage Control equipment. There where loads of blokes doing jobs which are seen as a secondary duty on a passers ship The downside was a really cramped ship The upside was that everything was maintained to a really good standard because they had the man hours to complete the task. I'm not advocating going back to Leander class levels of manning, but having enough capacity to do more low level maint whilst at sea would solve a lot of problems. If only we could afford it eh?
Coming from the even leaner manned grey funnel line I agree. And then the maintenance budget gets raided to pay for something else somewhere else and the house of cards starts to fall down.

Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
 

bob231

War Hero
How does their (and this is second-hand commentary) approach to trade specialization, compared to e.g. the RCN (and I'd imagine the RN) factor into that? Seems like you'd need more bodies for task x with the USN approach.
Echoing the above, it's probably truer to say that the Americans don't make their crew wear quite so many hats. It's easy to sneer (from the RN perspective) at the American sailor whose sole role is to stock the vending machine*, but it overlooks that the vending machine on the same RN Ship only gets stocked if a suitably motivated and enthusiastic individual takes it on.

Looking at the RN website, it'll be interesting to see how the Type 26s fare with a smaller crew than the Type 23 (as designed - let alone in reality!) despite being some 1,500 tons bigger. If nothing else, that means fewer bodies to do upper deck maintenance and the boring manpower intensive evolutions. It also means less ability to keep going once the automation stops playing the game properly.

*I don't know if they actually have this role.
 
Echoing the above, it's probably truer to say that the Americans don't make their crew wear quite so many hats. It's easy to sneer (from the RN perspective) at the American sailor whose sole role is to stock the vending machine*, but it overlooks that the vending machine on the same RN Ship only gets stocked if a suitably motivated and enthusiastic individual takes it on.

Looking at the RN website, it'll be interesting to see how the Type 26s fare with a smaller crew than the Type 23 (as designed - let alone in reality!) despite being some 1,500 tons bigger. If nothing else, that means fewer bodies to do upper deck maintenance and the boring manpower intensive evolutions. It also means less ability to keep going once the automation stops playing the game properly.

*I don't know if they actually have this role.
How dare you disrespect Automated Hydration Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Tony "Fat Tony" K. Zborowski?
 

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