Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Discussion Items

While I'm off doing politics stuff, here are a couple of items for people to discuss if they feel like it.

1) The CRS updated their white paper on the Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) program.  While they won't do it (because the Navy's manufacturing partners would lose out on lots of R&D money, and Congress wouldn't allow that), I think we already have a perfect option for the next SSBN -- base it on the Seawolf hull. It already has an almost Ohio-diameter hull, we've proven we can put a module in the middle of one, and it's plenty quiet. The main problem would be that our SSBNs would be faster then our Virginia-class SSNs, and I can't see the Navy going for that.

2) The CNO came out with a new program with standards for selecting COs as a CYA reaction to all the recent problems. From the letter, it appears that not much will change for the Submarine Force, unless the ridiculous Department Head 360 Review the skimmers are going to pilot gets adopted fleet-wide. If so, we'll get a bunch of Engineers getting the opportunity to talk to a "certified counselor", probably about their "feelings". Normally, I'd worry that the pussification of the CO pool could put us at risk in a wartime scenario, but I think our technical superiority will remain in place for the next 20 years or so that will allow us to overcome that; by that time, the pendulum should have swung enough that society will understand once again that sometimes you need a man with a tattoo on his dick to do the dirty work of commanding a warship at sea. (Sometimes, that man might even be a woman, as long as she knows what's needed to kill the enemy and sink his ships. Because, in the final analysis, that's our job, not "talking it out" with "certified counselors".)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) I don't think using a 21 hull would gain you much. Still have to R&D adding an insert, large TR & TT's aren't required for BN mission (so R&D to re-do), and I don't believe all the drawings are CAD like 774, so lots of $$ to put into CAD.

2) DH 360? I can imagine this:
"So, PO Smith, what do you think about me?"
"Sir, you're a clueless asshole. What do you think about me?"
"PO Smith, you're a useless piece of shit."
Then, "Captain, what do you think about me?"
"I can't trust you to sign your own name but I can't fire you because I need a warm body to micromanage. What do you think about me?"
"Skipper, I hate working for you, I update my will prior to every underway, and I want to get out, but my only reason to stay in is to get orders to a staff job where I can find time to work on my resume."

360 Eval complete! (actually might be kinda fun)

6/14/2012 1:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a new topic.

Good grief.

6/14/2012 1:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

XO leadership school and CO leadership school have been doing this useless 360review for the past several years. Hasn't solved anything

6/14/2012 2:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd recommend that they not give "Successfully Served" COs a bye for this BS on their way to Major Command.

There are a number of submarine Major Command screened guys (not all of them though) waiting for their turn for orders that were complete asses in Command, but managed to get their boss to look the other way.

If it's good for one, it's good for all!

6/14/2012 3:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's probably a significant number of parts for the Seawolf that can no longer be manufactured easily. At the very least, many of the yard birds and engineers who designed and originally installed these things are retired.

It's probably not all that much more cost effective (if at all!) to make a seawolf from scratch than just design a new SSBN.

6/14/2012 6:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may be good for some of the other communities we give 'command' to, I'm thinking the 18xx communities. They never get the opportunity to lead anyone prior to being put in command.

That being said, how can this possibly prevent the issues centered around the zipper or being full of themselves. Do you honestly think Holly Graf wasn't a screaming a-hole her entire career? I'd take a bet that she was and that was exactly the command presence the SWOs were looking for. Forget his name, the Commodore in Bangor that was banging the barber (and enlisted wife). He was incredibly full of himself, just the command presence we wanted.

6/14/2012 6:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Anon 6:54 ---

You've just hit the pitch thrown by Anon 3:10 over the wall for a Grand Slam.

Several more Bawden's are serving or waiting right now for their Major Command opportunity and their chance to shine here.

6/14/2012 7:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One potentially limiting factor in using the Pierwolf hull is that SSBN's are a joint venture with the Brits (we both use the same missile compartments). In any case, I haven't heard many positive thoughts on the 21 class as far as the interior setup.

If the Navy really (and I mean REALLY) wants to nip the issue in the bud with CO's that can't keep it in their pants or act civilized out in town....kick one out. Not "force retire" a guy and let him slink off into the sunset. Make CO's sign a page 13 acknowledging that if they are DFC'd for an offense like DUI, extramarital activity, integrity, etc., he's gone, with no benefits. Kick him the fuck out. There's no recourse for guys doing whatever the hell they feel like. Worst thing that happens is they get caught, get their mug in the local papers for a few weeks, catch a little anonymous internet flogging, and quietly disappear to Oklahoma or somewhere to live the rest of their years making 5K a month for breathing. Not much of a punishment. Don't give me the crap about "losing their command is a punishment"....if that were the case, these guys would be acting right, not like E-4's.

6/14/2012 8:26 PM

Anonymous Very Well said...

That's an insult to E-4's ;)

6/15/2012 7:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahahah "Pierwolf". I love it.

6/15/2012 7:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife always has a good laugh regarding military folks that get "fired". Unless its the extreme example like the COB molesting his own kids, getting "fired" in the military means moving to a staff/shore job for awhile. There is no real punishment for being "relieved" or "fired"...they just move on to that cushy contractor or GS position sooner than expected.

6/15/2012 10:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As some have stated, some of the fired skippers are exactly what the Navy wants. If you don't act like a douchebag in SCC, you fail; hence, it appears that being a douchebag will make you a successful XO or CO.

On the flip side, worrying about what your subordinates think of you will lead to a sackless command. "We can't do the reactor startup at 0300 because some of the guys might bone me in my 360 review."

The problem is, you really can't gage "leadership" in some sterile board environment. Guys may want to follow you, but if the CO gives you a shitty eval or the Commodore doesn't like you or the boat you're on and he's on the board, you are pretty much toast.

There's really no easy fix.

6/15/2012 12:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding me... i need to get that tattoo on my dick...

"Never go to a party with a limp hose"
"Welcome Aboard"?

6/15/2012 1:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

why not build more Ohios or tweak the design? it's not like they can make those things much quieter.....can they?

6/15/2012 4:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coming in for a 0300 startup sucks no matter how you slice it. But I've served with some folks who could skin a cat and still make it purr - a good leader pays back the folks who put in the extra hours, gives them purpose, builds a well-bonded team that handles the endless silliness that comes at a sub/ship.

Speaking of fired CO's: its funny to see their profiles on LinkedIn - you'd never know! What's not funny is that some are currently in pretty good positions for companies - clearly the private sector doesn't care if someone was an ass (or got some ass) while in uniform.

6/15/2012 10:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shipmates - the answer is the VIRGINIA Class. For reference, the 784 will be delivered in less than 2 years with the VIRGINIA Payload Tube (VPT - 2 SSGN style vertical tubes vice the traditional 12 VLS tubes). EB is currently developing the Virginia Payload Module (VPM), a mid-body drop-in section that adds four additional (vertical) tubes. Construction should begin with SSN 802. So, for significantly less money than developing a new submarine we should develop new (shorter) SLBM. Let the discussion begin regarding distance capabilities.

6/16/2012 11:23 AM

Blogger nate said...

I gave up hope for the Ohio replacement program long ago. The rampant requirement creep that has been infesting the submarine acquisition community for the last 15 years is going to spell the doom for this project. Granted, I've heard it straight from PEO Submarines' mouth that the Navy will not pay a single dollar for any capability beyond what is required, we have already missed the boat (so to speak).

My chief complaint for ORP: Electric Drive

I've seen the current design concepts, and they are ludicrous. The boat is going to be several dozen feet longer, several hundred tons heavier and carry 8 fewer missiles than the Ohio class boats!!! In fact, some of the original designs were so large that they would not have fit inside any of the drydocks at Electric Boat (made all the more ironic since Electric Boat came up with the design). They've since "shrunk" it down, but the point is that almost half the length of the boat is going to be taken up with solid state power convertors and power conditioners to drive a humongous electric motor, the likes of which have never been made.

As I understand it, NAVSEA-08's hard on for electric drive is to keep the boat as quiet at flank speed as it is while patroling at 5 knots. The idea being that the boat is "undetectable during transit". I'm not sure that we had too much problem with this in the past, and our Virginia & Seawolf class boats seem pretty darn quiet.

In the end, I'm not so sure we are going to get the right bang for the buck with these Ohio replacement boats. It's a huge case of "could-have, not should-have".

SO, for all of you hardworking taxpayers out there, I would not hesitate to write your senator and congressman and tell them to pull their heads out of their collective asses, and along with it to have some of our senior Navy leadership do the same.


6/16/2012 1:40 PM

Blogger KellyJ said...

Why not just take the existing Ohio design upgraded for current COTS based systems (Common Radio, BQQ-10, reverse osmosis vice stills/evaps, etc). Then drop 6 missile tubes and shorten up the missile compartment by that much. This also gives you a baseline platform to build an SSGN-X platform should you desire to keep this capability beyond the hull life of the current 4 conversions.

6/16/2012 2:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way too much money. Just put a few smaller missiles in a stretched virginia. I think that would make the most economical sense. Im sure with modern technology, they can easily make the missiles smaller and more powerful.

But... we would never do that because we would save about 30 trillion dollars and some congressman's district would lose jobs if we didn't start a whole new project.

6/16/2012 3:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

More total tubes (#of boats * # of tubes per boat) is more important than having quieter propulsion than we already have. Today's subs are already crazy quiet and there is a real cost to having less total tubes in capability.

You can't shoot as many targets and you are more limited geographically in what you can shoot. Unfortunately, there's not many submariners that understand fuck all about how the planning is done for the missions, what types of things are shot at, and how effective the actual weapons are. They just know how to go to sea on the damn things and get messages. They should just build 20-24 tube boats that are roughly equal in capability to what's currently out there, throw in some of the modern equipment designed for VA class, and build 10 instead of 12.

It's a shame, because the strategic mission is the nations insurance policy. There are many things we can fuck up and work around. This is not one of them.

6/16/2012 4:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, we take a perfect design and chuck it. WTF? OHIO has been the perfect weapons system for 25+ years. Upgrade the instrumentation, throw in some R.O. units, install the VA-class sanitary system, the new sonar/fire control systems, and maybe even some fly-by-wire and send them to sea. There's plenty of R&D, redesign, etc. there to keep the yard employed, and we don't have to take an un-proven platform to sea.

6/16/2012 6:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


it would not be the first time EB pulled a stunt like that (building a boat bigger than the dry dock) When the Ohio was ready to launch they informed the Navy that the boat drew 6 more feet of water than they had in the river in front of them, a fact they new when the boat was designed and when the contract was awarded. Cool way to get your harbor dredged for free.

6/16/2012 6:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"it would not be the first time EB pulled a stunt like that (building a boat bigger than the dry dock)..."

That sounds compelling, Anon, but what relieves the government's huge, overpaid bureaucracy, which represents nothing less than taxpaying voters of the plebian due diligence expressed by caveat emptor?

In its bureaucratic wisdom the government decided to split sub awards between private shipyards.
Tell us how well NGNN has performed versus EB.

Matter of fact, tell us how the government's own PNS has practiced
vacuum cleaner safety costing well over $400,000,000 in one incident.

Quite a savings for us taxpayers?
Rather doubt that lame assertion.


6/16/2012 7:28 PM

Blogger SJV said...

Rex, Just because you stink less than the next guy doesn't mean you don't have B.O.

6/16/2012 8:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it pretty clear that Rex is Vaginus?

6/16/2012 9:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 4:34:

There's more to it than # tubes/boat. If the total # of boats goes too low, then maintenance cycles slash the # of tubes at sea even more. Doesn't matter if you have 10, 20 or 30 tubes: if the boat's in a major overhaul, those tubes are N/A.

6/16/2012 11:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point.

4 boats with 100 tubes each would definitely not work out.

Perhaps I should have said tubes at sea at a given time

6/17/2012 2:18 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Rex, ol' shipmate, so you are vaginus? LOL!

Here's a tribute to all the crusty old bubbleheads, like you.

6/17/2012 5:50 AM

Blogger LT H said...

It's not as simple as making a smaller missile to fit on the VAs. We're developing not only a common missile compartment with the Brits, but a common Trident replacement with the Brits AND the USAF. Air Force requirements governing the type of propellant are driving the missile to be physically larger, not smaller.

Regarding an upgrade for the current Ohios, nearly all of them have CSRR, most have RO units or are scheduled to get them, and fire control was upgraded. Extending them longer would require a second, much more complex refueling since a lot of the stuff in the RC was only designed for 2 core lives, not 3. It would be very expensive.

The DUSN for Acquisitions told EB to screw off whn the price got projected to be $7 billion a boat. The ORP should be a bare bones platform. It doesn't need all that fancy stuff to launch a missile. Simple design, common components with the VA class. No bells and whistles.

6/17/2012 6:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with LT H. My biggest fear is that we will design something that's too expensive and it won't be fully funded out into the future, like virtually every other major procurement program in the last 5-10 years (though VA is still holding strong!).

In other words boat ends up with a lot of Gee-Wiz feautures that aren't truly necessary, boat ends up at like $6 Billion apiece, so we plan to build 10 instead of 12. Then cost overruns force us into building 8 instead.

You can probably build a credible deterrent with 8 16 tube boats, but you're probably no longer really aiming only at valid military targets at that point, and starting to just aim at population centers to conserve missiles.

6/17/2012 9:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

take the Ohio design, move the fairwater planes to the bow, slap a propulsor on the stern. boom a brand new boat!

6/17/2012 10:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, the OHIO class is a pretty good design. Heck, didn't NEBRASKA prove that you can go way below test depth in one?

6/17/2012 3:16 PM

Anonymous Veemann said...

Joel. Your comment #1 is one of the lesser intelligent things you've said here in quite some time. MMP aside, design and construction methods are completely different now as compared to the Seawolf program and you would essentially have to re-design Seawolf to build it in the VA optimized shipyards of EB and HII-NNS. Also, SSBNs are designed for a much higher OPTEMPO than Seawolf class and, therefore, optimized for all of those "ilities." Besides, who wants the OHIO replacement to look like a UK Vanguard anyway?

6/17/2012 5:09 PM

Anonymous mark/MM1(ss) said...

As a rule of thumb, it's best to carefully avoid clumsy grammatical errors when you rip someone's intelligence in a blog. Especially non-typos in the sentence where the boom is lowered. That said, the point made was probably a good one.

6/17/2012 7:23 PM

Anonymous veemann said...

what typo?

6/17/2012 8:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Concerning the June Gay Pride month, everyone knows how this became so. It was on the checklist!

Now that the checklist is complete, stick it in the binder, and move on to something important. It's like being on the boat, you have to complete the stupid stuff first to keep the XO and COB off you back. When that's done, you can get to doing real work.

6/17/2012 8:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

nothing wrong with the Vanguard design, they're quieter than Ohios anyway

6/18/2012 10:23 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't we try a nuke with a big electric motor drive? Can you say 685? How'd that work out?


6/18/2012 10:31 AM

Anonymous HMCM(SS) Retired said...

re. Electric Drive

About 40 yrs ago someone came up with an idea.. Let's take a 637 chop it in half, add a 688 ass onto it, drop in an electric motor and weld the whole thing together. It'll be quiet as heck at flank speed getting under the ice. Well, let me tell you that the last few years on 685 SUCKED! We were the bastard children for everything "special" and the usual line heard in control was, "All ahead, a herd of turtles!"
Didn't work then and I hope history doesn't repeat itself.

6/18/2012 10:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite the conversation.. I knew submariners were opinionated as a group... makes me proud.

1) The ORP... There is nothing wrong with a T-hull. It is a proven design which has proven that it is flexible and versatile. Sure it would need upgrading inside, but the systems and structure work. Don't discount the intangibles here... there is a proven incremental overhaul class maintenance plan which has kept these ships going in pretty good shape. The SSGN conversion has proven they can go places and do things never originally conceived in the OHIO design. I work with SSGN's every day and as a class, the Trident hull has been very successful. The Virginias also show a huge potential though they still don't have the proven service life of the T-hulls. In either case you have something right in hand to go with. Stay away from SSN 21 class... those things are maintenance nightmares and the joke about 21 and 22 being parts bins for 23 is not too far off. If they were so good, more would have been built. They were very expensive and didn't give back what was paid for.

2) As far as the CO problem... well, I retired as a Master Chief after 30 years in the sub force. I've seen good skippers and not so good ones and even one I despised. I understand leadership well enough to know I wouldn't want that job... being a CO on any ship that goes to sea. I once read that they are the last legal dictator left in the world... because when it comes down to it, the CO is that one person who has the vested responsibility for that ship and crews safety and performance. And with goes the necessary authority. No one else gets to answer for it but that person alone. It's not a popularity contest but a matter of life and death, mission readiness and success or failure. Period. There are some fine lines that have to be tread by these people.. as well as some pretty obvious (I would think) places you don't go. Readiness and ability to be a CO starts when they are an Ensign. Yeah, it is a dirty job in some ways, I've seen it up front. In truth, the final analysis is not about how well you blather with a counselor about your feelings. What is important is that you put those feelings in perspective, understand them and decide if you can make those tough calls and lead your crew. If you can't, admit it and step aside. If you can, charge on.

6/18/2012 2:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The GLOBAL ZERO program will obviate the need for SSBN-X. We have already seen the signs of the future in cutting back hulls and capacity. If Cartwright has anything to do with it, there will be no need for SSBN-X.

6/18/2012 7:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

General Cartwright was a dipshit at STRATCOM and is a whore for the speaking circuit now.

Recently he gave a speech at a conference a (non military) co-worker attended and talked about how great the anonymous blogging at STRATCOM was. When in reality it was a dumb idea that mostly convinced disgruntled employees and contractors to post stupid crap (much like every anonymous web forum). The decision was quickly changed... while he was THERE IIRC.

His tenure was meaningless reorgs (that were not fully formed or thought out) and useless initiatives to "modernize" such as the anonymous blogging.

FYI, Marines are dumb.

6/18/2012 9:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting discussion, despite another introductory rant by j-hole, who once again seems to think the 21 hull is the end all be all solution. Maybe consider converting back some these sackcrete launchers instead.

6/18/2012 9:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Build more Tridents, with necessary modifications.

The only acoustic problem they have is the incessant whining from the Boomer Fags when they actually have to go to sea and try to be real submariners!

6/19/2012 4:17 AM

Anonymous 41 for Freedom Tough said...

Yes, those T-hull sailors have always been a bunch of whining crybabys

6/19/2012 4:48 AM

Anonymous 594tuff said...

Looking at the new OPNAVINST 1412.14, a written exam given at CLS is just plain silly. 1) What is the intent, verifying course content is comprehended? The course is a touchy-feely, get to understand difficult leadership scenarios you can face. There are many right answers, and even more wrong ones. I got more out of the discussions than the actual course material. 2) What the heck do you do if someone fails? Obviously the exam will be dumbed down enough to eliminate that risk, therefore no point in it to begin with. 3) Is this just a knee-jerk reaction to the perceived increase in CO issues? No "formalization" of the Command Screening process will eliminate the problem unless it includes personal character and ability to lead as the defining trait desired in the selection criteria.

6/19/2012 11:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The idea that building OHIO class subs again would be cheaper than a new SSBN design shows a complete lack of understanding of the way ships re built and what it takes to restart a line. the trident would cost as much or more than a trident replacement in todays money. Just think that these new subs will be around at least until the 2070's. Do we really want a hull design created before computer technology was available to aid in the design? There are some amazing new developments out there, like no sonar dome (conformal arrays for the sphere), and different shaped towed arrays that cannot be implemented in a previous design. THe trident is a good hull and serves us well, but to say all you need to do is change out the front end cs gear and your good to go is like saying a '65 corvette with gps navigation and digital instruments is the same as a 2012 'vette. no way no how. Anyone who has been on a virginia and a LA knows the lightyears better layout and design of the control room and other layout issues that cannot be replicated with the same fire control system in each boat.

6/19/2012 5:25 PM

Anonymous navy vet said...

An LA boat having better layout? You mean a Seawolf right? Otherwise gimme the name of your dealer cuz I want to snort what you're on

6/19/2012 6:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may have been unclear. The Virginia class layout is clearly better than the LA or the Seawolf. You cannot fix design improve menus by just upgrading combat systems. A newly designed BN would be a better layout than the Ohio is what I was implying. I forgot the first tenant of a proper order/request be clear and to the point not cute or loquacious.

6/19/2012 7:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

improvements, not improve menus auto correct strikes again

6/19/2012 7:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

VA class layout better? You are on crack. I will agree they have some technological marvels 688's lack, but berthing is a deathtrap and Sonar IN Control causes more problems than it solves. 637 layout was much more rugged and survivable. Use the fancy new CAD stuff and the upgraded toys (ARCI, BYG, Super-whamodyne microprocessor back aft, RO, etc - but we need to get back to basics when it comes to design instead of cramming more and more into a smaller space and accepting 2' passageways...

6/19/2012 8:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone with any real experience using a photonics mast really think it's an improvement over optical periscopes?

6/19/2012 9:06 PM

Anonymous cheap electricity sydney said...

Can't there be unity within the force? There's always arguments about stuff. It's so irritating.

6/19/2012 10:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheap, you must not have been a sailor. Sailors/officers the world over argue about everything and anything. How else are you going to pass 6 hrs of mid-watch???

(actually that'd be a pretty good topic for next blog entry!)

6/19/2012 11:16 PM

Anonymous johnnuke said...

"Does anyone with any real experience using a photonics mast really think it's an improvement over optical periscopes?"

As a previous XO on a VA class, I think I can address this one. While the resolution may not be Hi-Def quality on photonics, the additional situational awareness provided by that system is great.

1. The OOD is not tunnel visioned while on the scope and can more effectively interact with the control room watch standers.
2. The other watch standers can work more effectively at night because you can leave the lights on.
3. The CO/XO can see exactly what the OOD is seeing and easily discuss it with him while he is on the scope.

Add in the IR capability of the photonics system and it becomes the best system ever for maintaining SA while at PD.

The best feature though is that because you remove some scope barrel length requirements, the control room can go in middle level where the boat is widest. Now ship control, fire control, navigation, AND sonar are all in the same space. The OOD can see, communicate with, and understand what all of his/her watch standers are doing, without leaving the scope. Photonics has allowed what is IMHO the best possible layout for a submarine control room.

6/20/2012 5:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm 21 class has control in the "middle" thereby utilizing the full 40' diameter and not photonics mast - just a standard optical scope. VA class and photonics didn't improve much there.

6/20/2012 4:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

SSN21 Class does have a photonics mast on one scope, we put it on one of the hulls a couple years ago and the other two are scheduled to be getting one with the next cycle of combat system upgrades. Best thing about the mast is there is no longer that huge hole in the pressure hull. Had to escort a 637 to Adak many moons ago that bent their scope under ice hitting an ice keel. Yes a boomer fag escorted a fast attack back in the day...

6/20/2012 5:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

21 class is not getting photonics mast in the next modernization and with the longevity issues the SSGNs have, I don't think the upgrade would/should take place. IR shipalt is occurring on attack scope and this is a tremendous upgrade. Seawolf control is huge and doesn't have a raised conn, but has more space for more screens, which can be customized for specific missions. Best control room IMHO, you just need to be loud.

6/21/2012 10:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conversation is all over the place here. Let's try something new. Okay. Say Whoof-Harted three times real fast.

6/21/2012 6:15 PM

Blogger 4MC said...

Joel don't forget to wipe your chin after "servicing" the entire state of Idaho liberal Moon-Bat population.

Personally, I am still convinced your hard left slant post-military is mainly driven by your resentment of that lackluster final retirement rank of O-4.
Again, retiring as an O-4 is as noteworthy as an Enlisted Asthmatic Sailor of yore pooping the deck as an lowly E-5.

6/22/2012 12:14 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having served as a department head on a heavily operational VACL in the western pacific and served as a JO on an even more operational 688 in the western pacific, I can't imagine going back to a 688. The improvements lfrom the control room layout to photonics to the torpedo room, etc, make a VACL stand out, no question. I challenge anyone to prove me otherwise.

6/22/2012 1:18 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't really say Joel is all that liberal. If anything, he is maybe a blue-dog democrat.

I am pretty left of center and agree with Joel virtually never on political topics. I see him as vaguely republicanesque.

I will agree that my military experience turned me liberal when I realized how much money and effort was wasted by the military to achieve nothing truly important. It's just a bunch of yes men led by yes men. The enlisted ranks appear to be a bit better in that sense.

6/22/2012 6:19 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this thread, we discover 4MC has nothing else to do but go to someone else's blog and rant against them.

Start your own blog, I'm sure everyone would LOVE to read your "thoughts" on politics.

6/22/2012 8:53 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

4MC..... you're an asshole.

6/22/2012 12:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it's fair to extrapolate that all 4 branches of the military accomplish nothing truly important because you had 1-2 uneventful deployments.

Even the sub force gets a gem here and there. Unfortunately we can't decomm 2/3 of the sub force and park the rest at the pier, then expect a proficient, capable force when the time comes. So yea, there are a lot of boring missions to fill the gap so we maintain our dominance.

6/22/2012 12:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks to me like E7 and O4 is the average retirement rank.

6/22/2012 2:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like 4MC is more of an E-7 than a Chief. Has the ignorance level of about a sixth grader.

Just throwing that out there.

6/22/2012 4:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, great, photonics better than periscope. Virginia conn has better layout. Apply these changes to the next SSBN design. One question I have is why are we going back to 16 missile compartment? We would need tp build more boats toaintain the same number of warheads, unless we increase the number per missile...

6/22/2012 5:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few points:

16 tubes required due to 1) New START launcher limits 2) Life of ship core (the new core is not so life of ship if it has to push 20 tubes vs only 16)

E-drive adds some length to the ship but if I remember correctly, the bigger offender is the propulsor. E-drive at least has the benefit of being more producible since it does not require reduction gears

To those advocating a VA-class SSBN with a smaller missile, two questions:
1) When was the last time the US developed a new missile and new SSBN at the same time? Answer: 1960, A-1/ GW class. Feel free to ask the Russians how much fun it is to build a new SSBN and park it next to the pier for 3 years while you wait for the missile to finally be ready.....

2) From a maintenance perspective alone, how many more SSBNs will we need to build in order to meet the current presence requirements? Answer: more than 12. Can you imagine doing an SSBN refit on something so small. Ex: how long (and how many hull cuts) does it take to change out an SSTG on a VA class hull? Ask someone who served on the ALASKA how long it takes to do it on an OHIO and you will get the picture.

6/22/2012 7:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

can we get some boomer sailors in here to contribute? lots of people talking out of their ass

6/23/2012 12:31 PM

Blogger LT H said...

I posted much earlier in this discussion. I came off a boomer last November. We are doing what Anon @ 7:25 warned against: developing a new SSBN and a new missile. Our new missile will replace Trident D5s on both US and UK boats and the Air Force's Minuteman III ICBM. As I said earlier, the propellant is driving the new missile design to be wider vice narrower than the D5, which will rule out using VAs completely. These new missiles will need a wide-body boat to handle them.

The answer for the ORP is a larger submarine that shares as much commonality with the VA class as possible. Keep in mind that we don't need all the bells and whistles that an SSN does. But how about common sonar, fire control, navigation, etc? These boats won't be operating anywhere near the tip of the spear, so they don't need a lot of the advanced functionality that was designed into the VAs.

As far as the number of boats we need and the tubes they will have, that is really a discussion to be had at STRATCOM. The new START limitations keep us below specified numbers of warheads, delivery vehicles, and launchers. Determining how to balance where the warheads and launchers are actually deployed is a leveraging question. If STRATCOM and the national security apparatus want to put more stock in the SSBN force for nuclear deterrence, we will need more boats. It's that simple.

6/23/2012 3:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stand corrected on my 6/20 5:29 PM comment, was thinking of the SSGNs having a photonics mast

6/23/2012 3:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


No decisions have been made about what replaces D5, SSP is not even sure they will replace D5 (may just do additional life extensions). Drive for commonality with the AF is not driving any decisions at this point, but may in the future - the Navy is playing in the AF AoA to make sure options are kept open.

As SP00 stated at the subleague symposium and numerous other public forums the need for a new missile (or further life extensions of D5) lines up nicely with MMIII needs (replacement or further life extensions). This offers a great opportunity for expanding commonality.

I don't think a common missile will happen but there will hopefully be a lot of common systems and components. You are correct that common fuel would drive us to a larger missile but since ORP will have 87" tubes the missile can't be any larger than D5.

Also, SSP is committed to not needing a new missile R&D program while ORP R&D is still going. Soonest a new missile program could start is 2018-2020 to avoid overlap of large amounts of R&D. ORP Hull 1 and UK-1 will deploy with D5LE, all others are unknown at this point. It is a fair bet that something like what happened with OHIO could occur again (first few boats were C-4, TENNESSEE on was D-5).

-Anon @7:25

6/23/2012 5:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get off this useless topic and onto something more interesting, the current procurement plan is what it is and your pointless rants will do nothing to change it:

Report: Submarine hazing centered on homosexuality ....

6/23/2012 6:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"useless? really dude? this is one of the major decisions facing the sub force as well as our strategic posture and i think all points need to be brought up. start your own blog if you want to talk about homosexuality in the military

6/23/2012 7:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all ORP and New START have nothing to do with each other. New START with a potential extension, still would expire numerous years before the first ORP comes into service.

The number of boats and tubes, well thats just what we could afford, and then we back strategy out of it. Happens all the time during tight budgets, just accept it.

As for Cartwright, talk to anyone familiar with him, he has frequently said the U.S. only needs 50 nucs, and thats it. He is a true road to zero believer and you can guess where his loyalties lie. Even in the military, the politicians, know what party you align with.

Virgina's would be better if they could do something about the heat developed from the photonics mast, same issues at the 688's with the window heater except they could turn it off. My P-3 buddies say VA cl always light up like giant christmas trees, and visually 688's are harder to find, but just a nuc, so I'll take their word for it.

Nuclear deterrence is not merely about more or better weapons, its also about perception and a willingness to employ them.

Finally, my best CO's/XO's operators/tactical were the ones with the most stuff messed up in their personal life. Worked hard, played harder. My politically correct CO's typically had very little fundamental knowledge, were yes men to the commodore, and frequently clueless about the most basic engineering operations or tactical finesse. For the bad boy CO's I would go to H@#$ and they would bring me back, for the PC guys I would count the days til he or I transferred. Who would you rather go to war with, the goody2shoes or the guy who knows his stuff, plain and simple.

6/23/2012 10:08 PM

Anonymous MJ said...

Unfortunately, IMHO, it is very unrealistic to think we could ever get to, or would really want to get to, zero nucs (Unless we could assure there was none anywhere in the world). If we really had zero, all someone would need is 1 nuc and they would be able to take advantage of our inferior position rather freely.

There is a determined minimum number of warhead inventory (not sure of exact number) below which an adversary could think that it may be worth it to strike the U.S. because we only have a small inventory to potentially retaliate with.

6/24/2012 8:31 AM

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