US Navy feeling the pinch

Discussion in 'Royal Navy' started by Guns, Feb 7, 2013.

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  1. Guns

    Guns LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. The Royal Navy

    BREAKING: Truman deployment canceled | Norfolk - Hampton Roads

    This is coupled with the Defence Sec talking about pay cuts and programme cancellations.

    Serious times for the US Military. The politicians are playing a dangerous game with these budget issues but for the Navy it is becoming very clear that the future of many of their programmes not to mention current capabilities might have to be curtailed.

    It will be very interesting to see how the PLAN play this out. They may see an opportunity to throw some more weight around.
  2. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    well they have cut down from 500-250 ships or something like that. I know they also have to put up with a lot of airforce interference which cost them some carriers in the 60's when the airforce reckoned they could reach anywhere on the planet.

    sounds familiar :)
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  3. Nature abhors a vacuum. Hence Washington would like NATO allies to do more.
  4. Enjoy

    [h=2]The sequester and defence[/h][h=3]Thinking the unthinkable[/h][h=1]Hopes of a reprieve for the Pentagon from $55 billion a year in cuts are fading[/h]Feb 9th 2013 |From the print edition

    THE automatic cuts imposed by Congress’s “sequester” on America’s budget fall heavily on defence, which accounts for at least half of discretionary spending. Faced with 9% across-the-board reductions, Leon Panetta, the outgoing secretary of defence, stalled for time. Thanks to the “fiscal cliff” deal done on January 1st, the administration bought the Pentagon a couple of months for his successor to prepare for the worst. But little else has changed. Add to this the similarly sized cuts in the defence budget already agreed on in 2011, and Pentagon planners who two years ago thought they would have $600 billion to spend this year will now have to make do with about $486 billion. Service chiefs are already wailing about a “readiness crisis” and a “hollowing out” of the force.
    The reality is even worse than the figures suggest. Military personnel costs, which absorb 34% of the Pentagon’s spending, count against the overall budget cap but are exempt from the cuts. Overseas operations are not exempt, but will be given priority. All other programmes and commitments will therefore have to be cut by around 15%, with little discretion over how and where the cleaver will fall. Another problem is that “continuing resolution” (CR) funding at 2012 levels could well be extended for six more months on March 27th. Just as the Pentagon rashly hoped that something would turn up to avert sequestration, it also gambled that CR would last for only half the fiscal year.
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    The short-term consequences of all this are draconian. Up to 800,000 Pentagon civilian employees will be put on a four-day week and reduced pay; almost every contract will have to be renegotiated to cover the next six months and possibly the next nine years (the sequester’s $55 billion-a-year defence cuts do not end until 2021). There will be heavier spending this year on things that are not wanted (for example, main battle tanks) while other programmes (such as the new aerial tanker) will be delayed. Senior officers in all three services are most worried about cuts in training and readiness that might jeopardise the availability of forces in possible crises next year and the year after.
    The longer-term consequences are harder to judge. After this year, assuming that Congress can agree on a budget and the sequester remains in effect, the cuts can at least start to get a bit more astute. Todd Harrison of the Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments says: “Large acquisition programmes are large targets.” They don’t come any larger than the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, a think-tank, reckons that the Pentagon’s current order for 2,500 or so aircraft could be reduced by half. Mr Harrison thinks that given the rebalancing of forces to the Pacific, the army’s main programmes for new ground vehicles will also be “in trouble”.
    Given that pay and benefits are absorbing an ever-greater proportion of the Pentagon’s budget (up from 30% in 2001 to 34% today) it would make sense, as the administration has argued, to try to curb rising costs. But Congress has shown no appetite for such restraint. The result will be a much smaller army, perhaps down to 400,000 from today’s 500,000, and a Marine Corps reduced from 182,000 to about 160,000. That would place in doubt the so-called “two-war standard” that has been the bedrock of American strategy for decades.
    Although congressional hawks on both sides of the aisle are disturbed by what all this may mean for America’s standing in the world, so far they seem to be losing the battle with their colleagues to mitigate the sequester. For the Pentagon, lean years may lie ahead.

    From the print edition: United States
  5. Thanks for the linky Yokel. This article raises questions about CVF

    [h=1]Navy’s Newest Assault Ship Moonlights as Pint-Sized Aircraft Carrier[/h]

    [​IMG]America in the shipyard in Mississippi. Photo: Navy

    She’s 844 feet long, 106 feet wide and displaces 45,000 tons of water. The future USS America,christened in Mississippi on Saturday, is technically an amphibious assault ship, a type of vessel optimized for carrying Marines into battle. But subtle changes under America‘s steel skin mean she can double as a small aircraft carrier, capable of sustaining a short air war all on her own.
    The changes to America and her sister ship Tripoli came at the cost of some of the usual amphibious capabilities possessed by assault ships. By investing a combined $6 billion in America and Tripoli, the Navy and Marines are betting that future warfare will involve more aerial combat and fewer potential beach assaults.
    It’s not a totally reckless wager, but it does involve some risk. With the America class, the Pentagon istaking a chance on air power and, more to point, on the Marines’ version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. When America‘s sister ship Tripoli enters service in 2018, the Navy will (in essence) possess 13 carriers — these two smaller, newer models, plus 11 of the big, nuclear-powered variety. That’s up from the 11 nuke flattops in today’s fleet. Commensurately, the number of old-school assault ships will drop by two.
    The sailing branch’s other assault ships — currently numbering nine — can also support dozens of helicopters plus a handful of Harrier jump jets apiece. But they lack the facilities for sustained flight ops, meaning they’re more assault ships than classic carriers. The older vessels are built around cavernous “well decks” — in essence, giant swimming pools that open to the sea through the ships’ sterns, allowing them to launch and recover landing craft, hovercraft, swimming vehicles and river boats. These small craft are the primary means of moving Marines onto shore, complemented by helicopters and V-22 tiltrotors taking off from the flight deck.
    America and Tripoli don’t have well decks. In their place, the newer ships possess extra hangar space, bigger tanks for aviation fuel and larger weapons magazines. These facilities allow America and her sister to operate, for days on end, as many as 30 fixed-wing planes including today’s Harriers plus the F-35B stealth jump jet that’s still in testing. “It is, for all intents and purposes, a light aircraft carrier,” Navy Capt. Jerry Hendrix wrote of America. But the new ship and her sister can still send Marines ashore in helicopters and V-22s.
    That shift toward aerial capabilities was deliberate on the part of the Marine Corps, and reflects continuing doubt about the usefulness and wisdom of World War II-style beach assaults, which were among that conflict’s bloodiest operations. Two years ago, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates considered eliminating the beach-invasion mission altogether, although he ultimately settled for merely de-emphasizing it.
    But at no point did anyone in the Pentagon seriously consider reducing the United States’ carrier fleet, which combines the mobility of ships with the range, flexibility and striking power of an air force. Instead, the military doubled down on oceangoing air power by transforming America and Tripoli into mini carriers. “When America joins the fleet, we’ll be a stronger, more flexible and a better Navy-Marine Corps team,” Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mark Ferguson said at America‘s christening. “We need this ship.”
    If America and her sister possess a weakness, it’s the small number of planes currently available to fly off them. The ships do not have catapults like the nuclear carriers do, so only the aging Harrier and the future F-35B — both of which can take off and land vertically — can make use of their flight decks. Just 100 or so Harriers are in frontline service. Last month eight Harriers were destroyed in a daring Taliban raid on a base in southern Afghanistan. The F-35B is still struggling with design problems and could be years away from joining operational squadrons. Without the F-35B “our nation will lose a great capability,” Gen. James Amos, the Marine commandant, said last year.
    With the two light carriers in place of two traditional assault ships, the Pentagon apparently believes it has struck the right balance for the future. For copies of the America class after Tripoli, the Navy said it will restore the well decks.
  6. 45 000 tons is not exactly pint sized, is it?

    Why does it raise questions about CVF? It shows the value of shipborne fixed wing air power, shows that the AV8B(+) is still a capable aircraft, and that STOVL aircraft have a place, and that the US needs the F35B. It also shows what we lost as a result of SDSR!

    Also that article, and the one at the start of this thread, show that the SDSR assumption that a handy CVN will be on hand was somewhat wishful thinking. If Amphibious ships with AV8B/F35B can make up for fewer CVNs being ready and deployed, would not the UK having that capability also be useful to a coalition effort?

    All topics discussed here on ARRSE and here on PPRuNe.
  7. udipur

    udipur LE Book Reviewer

    If you spend more on defence than the next 27 countries combined (of which 25 are allies) and you haven't won a major conflict for over 50 years, why are they bleating about less greenbacks?

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  8. Also worth noting that the refuelling of Abraham Lincoln has been indefinitely delayed - not only does this impact in short term (no carrier availability) but also in medium term as refit cycle goes to hell.

    I think we can expect to see Abraham Lincoln go into long term reserve, and will see this for other CVNs in future. I've heard well placed individuals suggest a CVN force of 6 hulls within 10 years...
  9. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Rather depends on who gets in in 2016.
    • Show again braincell Show again braincell x 1
  10. Well for me, coming into service, working and costing less than we paid albeit it is lighter. The article does state that the mini carrier can operate up to 30 planes. I believe ours could be configured for up to 40. How we got there at the price we did is a discussion between BAE and Defence Procurement, but once more must wonder if we have been had over.

    Replying to Jim30, would it not be an idea to create a NATO Standard assault / mini carrier standardised design? Especially if we have to take over after the re-location US carriers to the Far East
  11. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    sounds like the one war theory is coming true.

    australia is building a version of the america class isn't it? I seem to remember they wanted three assault carriers.
  12. Link U.S. Navy Nuclear Refueling Postponed Due To Budget Crisis | Defense News |