В пресс-службе Fincantieri отметили, что при строительстве "Констеллейшн" реализуются меры по экономии средств, чтобы снизить риски и повысить эффективность. В частности, в отличие от ранее построенных кораблей, этот фрегат к моменту спуска на воду будет готов на 90%, что позволит сократить сроки передачи заказчику.
Планируется, что постройка и испытания "Констеллейшн" завершатся до конца 2026 года.
Проект "Констеллейшн" базируется на фрегатах типа FREMM, которые Fincantieri строила для итальянских ВМС. Длина корабля составит 151 метр, ширина – 19,7 метра, осадка – 5,5 метра, водоизмещение – 6112 тонн (полное – 7408 тонн). Фрегат оснастят комбинированной энергетической установкой типа CODLAG (газотурбина, два электродвигателя и четыре дизель-генератора). Максимальная скорость – 26 узлов, дальность плавания – 6000 миль. Экипаж – 200 человек.
Корабли оснастят 3D-радаром AN/SPY-6 с активной фазированной антенной решеткой с цифровым сканированием. Установка вертикального пуска Mk.41 на 32 ячейки предназначена для зенитных ракет семейства SM-2 и RIM-162 ESSM, а также для противолодочных ракет ASROC. Арсенал фрегата "Констеллейшн" включает 57-мм арткомплекс Mk.110, зенитные ракеты RIM-116, новейшие противокорабельные ракеты NSM и 12,7-мм пулеметы.
Ангар рассчитан на размещение многоцелевого вертолета MH-60R "Сихок" и беспилотника типа MQ-8C "Фаерскаут".
С бортовым номером DDG-123 новый корабль формально считается 73-м эсминцем в составе ВМС США, однако на данный момент фактически "Лена Сатклифф Хигби" – 71-й американский корабль данного типа. Это связано с тем, что второй поставщик эсминцев класса "Арли Бёрк" – завод Bath Iron Works – задержал поставку DDG-120 "Карл М. Левин" и DDG-122 "Джон Бейзилон". Их собираются ввести в строй до конца 2023 года.
Новый эсминец назван в честь первой американки, получившей Военно-морской крест. Лена Хигби присоединилась к американскому флоту в октябре 1908 года в составе недавно созданного Корпуса медсестер ВМС – группы женщин, которые впоследствии стали известны как "Священная двадцатка". В январе 1911 года Хигби стала вторым суперинтендантом Корпуса медсестер ВМС.
"Лена Сатклифф Хигби" – 34-й эсминец класса "Арли Бёрк", построенный на верфи в Паскагуле для ВМС США. Корабль заложили в ноябре 2017 года, спустили на воду в январе 2020 года. Это последний эсминец, выполненный в модификации Flight IIA: Technology Insertion. После ввода корабля в строй в составе американского флота находятся восемь таких эсминцев.
Сейчас на верфи Huntington Ingalls Industries продолжается постройка четырех эсминцев новой версии Flight III: "Джек Х. Лукас", "Тед Стивенс", "Джеремайя Дентон" и "Джордж М. Нил".
Полное водоизмещение эсминца класса "Арли Бёрк" версии Flight IIA: Technology Insertion достигает 9500 тонн, длина корпуса – 155,29 метра, ширина – 20 метров. Максимальная скорость превышает 30 узлов. Дальность плавания – 4400 морских миль. Экипаж – 300 человек.
Главное ударное оружие эсминца – две универсальные пусковые установки Mk.41, которые могут применять как зенитные ракеты семейства SM, так и крылатые "Томагавки" и противолодочные ASROC. Арсенал корабля дополняют 127-мм артустановка Mk.45, шестиствольная 20-мм зенитная артустановка Phalanx и две 25-мм пушки M242 Bushmaster, четыре 12,7-мм пулемета, а также два трехтрубных 324-мм торпедных аппарата и противокорабельные ракеты "Гарпун". На борту базируются два вертолета SH-60 "Сихок".
Last week, the Senate passed its version of the FY24 NDAA. The Senate’s version of the bill authorizes $844.3 billion for the Department of Defense (DOD), a $8 billion increase over the President’s request and $10 billion over the enacted amount for FY23.
The bill allows the US Navy to procure 10 battle force ships:
- one Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarine (SSBN),
- two Virginia-class attack submarines (SSN),
- two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers (DDG),
- two Constellation-class frigates (FFG),
- one John Lewis-class fleet oiler (T-AO),
- one submarine tender (AS),
- one San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock (LPD).
The future USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD 2 moored in Port Everglades, in its name-sake city Fort Lauderdale, Fla., gets ready for its commissioning ceremony. (U.S. Navy Photo by Sgt. Gavin Shelton, USMC)
The funding for the extra San Antonio-class amphibious ship (LPD 33), has been a highly contested issue between the Navy, Marine Corps, Industry, and Congress. The original plan called for buying 13 Flight II ships, but the US Navy requested the eighth and last ship (LPD 32) in FY22. It did not request follow-on ships in its FY23 and FY24 budgets due to a pause in amphibious ship buys to carry out a study to reassess force-level requirements.
US Secretary of the Navy, Carlos Del Toro, has stated that the study was directed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and added that the Navy plans to resume buys in FY25.
According to the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Gilday, the study was spurred by recent cost increases associated with the Flight II ships. Speaking at the McAleese Defense Programs Conference on March 28th, Gilday stated “The cost of that ship has gone from $1.47 billion (LPD 30) to the second ship (LPD 31) at $1.5 [billion]. The third one (LPD 32) that we’re contracting for right now is probably going to be between $1.9 and $2 billion — so that increase will be somewhere between [21%] and 25%”
However, in a comment to Defense News, Huntington Ingalls officials stated that the LPD 32 contract was awarded within 5% of the LPD 28’s cost “In 2016, LPD 28 was awarded for $1.47B (shipbuilder cost), and 7 years later LPD 32 was negotiated with additional scope for $1.54B (shipbuilder cost), or within 5% of the LPD 28 award.”
PASCAGOULA, Miss. – The future USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD 2 departed Huntington Ingalls Shipyard to conduct Acceptance Trials in the Gulf of Mexico. Acceptance Trials are the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the Navy later this year. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dustin Knight/Released)
The former Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger has repeatedly emphasized the importance of continuing the buys. “…the 31 combined amphibious warfare ships are vital components of our Nation’s seven ARG/MEUs. This number of ships allows the Nation to maintain at least two ARG/MEUs at sea, with the option to surge to five. Assuming our present trajectory, we will fall below the congressionally mandated floor of 31 amphibious warfare ships. From my perspective, this is a result of divesting these platforms faster than we are procuring their replacements. The result of not meeting this requirement became most acutely visible when we were unable to provide traditional disaster-relief response following the earthquake in Turkey earlier this year.” said Berger in a statement before the Senate Armed Services Committee in April this year.
When combined with the $32.4 billion for national security programs within the Department of Energy (DOE) and $9.5 for Defense-related Activities outside NDAA jurisdiction, the total funding for the fiscal year comes out to $886.3 billion.
The joint test, known as Vigilant Wyvern, demonstrated the capability of a ballistic missile defense-configured Aegis ship to detect, track, engage and execute intercepts of two short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) targets while concurrently demonstrating an Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) engagement of two subsonic anti-ship cruise missile drone targets.
This realistic, live-fire raid scenario represented one of the largest IAMD events ever conducted in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Area of Responsibility and demonstrated for the first time a concurrent Ballistic Missile Defense and Anti-Air Warfare raid.
The test, designated Flight Test Aegis Weapon System-48 (FTM-4 by the MDA, demonstrated the IAMD engagement of two SRBM targets with two Standard Missile 3 Block IA (SM-3 Blk IA) interceptors, and engagement of two subsonic anti-ship cruise missile drone targets with four SM-2 Blk IIIA interceptors.
“The success of Vigilant Wyvern is a huge milestone,” said RDML Seiko Okano, Program Executive Officer Integrated Warfare Systems. “The Navy and MDA successfully demonstrated the tremendous capability of Aegis ships defending against an IAMD raid scenario. This test event is the first of its kind and an excellent example of collaboration between organizations, further progressing a unified mission to increase capability. Congratulations to the joint test team and the ship’s crew for an excellent event.”
As part of the IAMD Priority Mode, ships can integrate classic air defense with new discrimination and tracking capabilities to defend against coordinated, simultaneous missile attacks.
“The success of this joint test represents a critical step in defending against multiple targets in a realistic raid scenario,” said RDML Douglas Williams, MDA Acting Director. “The Aegis weapon system successfully defeated multiple concurrent attacks, showcasing the incredible versatility of both this system and the crew of the USS CARL M. LEVIN. My congratulations to the entire test team in achieving this milestone.”
PEO IWS and the MDA jointly executed Vigilant Wyvern/FTM-48. Targets were launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, located on Kauai, Hawaii.
19 Nov 2023RAND Corporation’s Dr. Bradley Martin, a retired U.S. Navy captain, and Director, Institute for Supply Chain Security, returns to answer a Naval News question, “What does the U.S. Navy really need in the future?”Read More
The first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 7 steams in the Atlantic Ocean, Nov. 7, 2022. Exercise Silent Wolverine is a U.S.-led, combined training exercise that tests Ford-class aircraft carrier capabilities through integrated high-end naval warfare scenarios alongside participating allies in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group is conducting their first deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson Adkins) RAND: What the U.S. Navy Really Needs, by Dr. Bradley Martin RAND Corporation’s Dr. Bradley Martin, a retired U.S. Navy captain, and Director, Institute for Supply Chain Security, returns to answer a Naval News question, “What does the U.S. Navy really need in the future?”
Dr. Bradley Martin has been featured in Naval News in his January 2023 RAND commentary on the “DDG(X) Next-Generation U.S. Navy Destroyer.”
The U.S. Navy in late 2023 faces many challenges with budgetary Continuing Resolutions, the burden of demanding logistics, Readiness, and requirements, missed recruitment goals, and peer nations’ military buildups, pacing threats, and pressure. Furthermore, Admiral Michael Gilday recently retired from his four-year term as the U.S. Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and Admiral Lisa Franchetti was elected to CNO in August 2023. Thus, I asked Dr. Martin what does he believe the U.S. Navy really needs in the future. My question was open-ended and can include anything from more amphibious ships to more shipyards to more smart munitions, or newly designed warships, seaplanes and floatplanes, to innovative technological concepts. What does the analyst suggest for the U.S. Navy five, ten, and fifteen years into the future? Dr. Martin responded with this exclusive insightful answer for Naval News.
What the US Navy Really Needs by Brad MartinThe US Navy is a worldwide force that carries out a variety of different missions. It is in some ways a victim of its own success in that for decades there has been no Navy comparable to it in terms of reach and overall capability. The relative number of ships does not tell the whole story. For example, a US Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier can readily generate 100 to 120 strike sorties per day, which no other navy could even begin to match. Similarly, while some competitors such as Russia and China have capable submarine forces, no Navy comes close to the US submarine force in terms of technological sophistication, giving it major advantages in sea control, and power projection capability.
However, the US Navy does face challenges that require resolution in next three years and then in the next decade, and many revolve around the overall lack of ready force structure.
First, the US Navy has not overall developed a strategy to guide force structure development and to a very large degree is effectively on “auto-pilot” for force development and force planning. The Department of the Navy identifies key missions in documents such as its “navigation plan” SECNAV STRATEGIC GUIDANCE_100721.PDF (defense.gov), but these do not suffice as guidance as to how the force might be used and the kinds of threat it is likely to face.
So, to a degree, we on the outside are inferring things about what the Navy might actually need and use rather than specifying what a strategic vision might tell us. However, some things do appear to be clear.
The immediate term (0-3 years)Building a bigger or more capable fleet is not done overnight. Ships take years to construct and deliver. Aircraft have a shorter timeline but they are still not equivalent to mass-produced vehicles. To a very large degree, the Navy as it exists is the Navy that will be available for the next five years at least. The biggest challenge with the current Navy revolves around the readiness of the fleet to complete even simple missions.
Our research over the last several years has found that surface ships have consistently been delayed finishing shipyard maintenance periods and almost always experience growth in the size and extent of maintenance periods. Among the reasons for the recently publicized failure of the Navy’s cruiser modification program is a lack of industrial capacity for performing the work, as well as conditions that were found on Ticonderoga-class ships as they were worked on.
USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) arrived at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula MS 19 for a major 2-year modernization that will see large launch tubes for hypersonic Conventional Prompt Strike missiles replace the two 155mm Advanced Gun Systems. HII photo.
To a very large degree, the issue with surface ship maintenance, with its knock-on effects on other readiness, revolves around simply not following the plans that the Navy itself promulgated for conducting essential maintenance. Part of doing better overall is to identify and fully fund the ship repair requirement. This is neither glamorous nor will it be inexpensive. But, the alternative is for ships to get older and in worse repair at exactly the time that a robust fleet presence is needed in multiple theaters.
Nuclear attack submarines have experienced maintenance delays also – sometimes quite significant – but the causes are different from the surface fleet. Here the issues are associated with a shortfall of experienced personnel in government-owned naval shipyards. Through a process that goes back to the 1990s, shipyards lost capacity and shed personnel and only began adding them back in the last decade as it became clear that the workforce was aging and not being replaced. The Navy has been working to rectify this situation over time, but we are again facing a situation where the current force might not be ready for some very plausible near-term challenges.
Also in the immediate term, the Navy tries to maintain presence in areas of interest, but the cycle of extended deployment, followed by deferred maintenance, leads to more deployment extension, with predictable impacts on material readiness. This cycle reached a level of unsustainability during the COVID-19 pandemic, where ships were sometimes underway continuously – as in not even stops in liberty ports – for over eight months at a time. Naval presence can be an extremely valuable addition toward the nation’s ability to deal with crises, but presence without some clear purpose simply is not sustainable. The Navy’s normal impulse is to “say yes” to demands for activity essential to security. But, in doing so without clearly stating the overall readiness impact, it may take forces away from more essential missions.
Finally, the Navy desperately needs to ensure that the nation has an adequate industrial base to support a surge in munitions demand. We saw from the war in Ukraine that the demand for some kinds of munitions may be far beyond our existing inventory and indeed far beyond our ability to refill that inventory. In the immediate term, the Navy must identify its more critical munitions and parts and ensure that an adequate supply is available to the deployed force. More importantly, the Navy has to identify whether the suppliers even have the capacity to meet the demand. Adding missing capacity is not something that can be done in the short term, but it is possible to at least identify the scale of the problem.
These all point to a need for investment in infrastructure, maintenance, and whatever kinds of readiness-promoting activity that can be generated without necessarily demanding time underway or out of homeport. Virtual trainers [can help] for replicating events that might previously have been covered in underway training periods.
The mid-term (2-7 years)The Navy can provide unique value to the nation, but doing so requires connection between national goals and the desired outcomes. The brings us back around to the problem of the Navy not having formulated a clear connection between its force structure and the nation’s strategic goals. Establishing this connection will remain a priority in future years.
But, a few things can be inferred even without well-developed guidance. First is that the challenges of operating in a contested environment will not diminish but likely increase. In areas such as the East Asian littoral, the People’s Liberation Army is likely to retain the capability and capacity to track and engage almost any surface ship. Submarines will be a key capability for operating in these kinds of environments, and there will also be an increasing need to rely on unmanned systems that can be generated in large quantity.
However, even as capability to track and engage targets will increase, the need for world-wide presence likely will not decrease, and this points toward a need for more ships that can operate in a variety of environments, not just in the most heavily contested. These kinds of vessels will, moreover, likely require crews to carry out events such as engagement or potentially activities relating to ensuring – and possibly restricting to adversaries – international commerce, such as visit, board, search, and seizure.
The Littoral Combat Ship was intended to be a “low-end” combatant that could be used in environments where a Navy presence might be desired but would not require the full capabilities of a combatant such as a destroyer. The Constellation-class frigate may serve well in the role of an all-purpose smaller combatant but there is a distinct danger of it becoming only a little less expensive than already existing surface combatants. The propensity to move the capability away from a frigate to a destroyer should be strongly resisted.A major shortfall for the Navy, which should be addressed in the mid-term even if not fully realized until the longer term, is the lack of logistics and sustainment shipping. The strategic sealift fleet is old and needs to be recapitalized, or at least replaced with foreign-made carriers capable of being modified to move military cargo over inter-ocean distances. The Navy combat logistics force, which is specifically intended to support deployed Navy ships, also faces issues of age and capacity.
However, one area of joint interest that does not seem to have gained much attention is water-bone intra-theater lift, which refers to the movement of materiel from a strategic port of debarkation – a major transportation node – to points of actual need in theater. This is not solely a Navy but a joint requirement, and unfortunately one that no service has seen fit to address. In theaters that involve mostly land operations – such as in Europe or the Middle East – the US Army routinely performs this service. Similarly, in every case where air delivery is the preferable option, responsibility falls to the Air Force. However, when the natural mode of transportation is sealift, as is the case in the Pacific, no service has claimed the mission. Looked at simply from the perspective of the mode and the environment, it is difficult to explain why the Navy is not the lead service.
Related to the issue of in-theater logistics and sustainment, the Navy also needs expeditionary repair and refit capabilities, similar to destroyer and submarine tenders that it had at one time in ample supply. For issues ranging from repair of specifically military gear to ordnance reload, deployable tenders are essential. While completely new hulls are unlikely to be available in the mid-term, some vessels, such as the expeditionary fast transport class, may work as an interim solution.
Amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA- 7) , departs Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., April 7, 2022. Tripoli completed flight deck operations with 20 F-35B Lightning II jets from Marine Fighter Attack Squadrons 211 and 225, Marine Aircraft Group 13, and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, as well as Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1, as part of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Lightning carrier concept demonstration. The Lightning carrier concept demonstration shows Tripoli and other amphibious assault ships are capable of operating as dedicated fixed-wing strike platforms when needed, capable of bringing fifth generation Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing aircraft wherever they are required. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Samuel Ruiz)
We have not yet discussed amphibious capabilities nor carrier aviation. This is not because they do not represent important parts of naval force architecture but because to a degree their future is relatively well determined. Up through the periods we are discussing, the Navy will keep nuclear-power carriers with integrated air wings and escorts, and the Navy will operate ships embarking Marines organized into Marine Air Ground Task Forces.
However, as both the Navy and Marine Corps evolve toward more distributed concepts of operation, there may be value in considering how aviation platforms might be used interchangeably between Navy and Marine missions. The F-35B short take-off vertical landing variant gives amphibious assault ships a level of aviation capability never previously available. This alone does not bring the capabilities of an integrated air wing, such as airborne early warning or electronic attack which are at present available only on catapult equipped full-size aircraft carriers. But, it does bring a level of capability for sea control and limited strike that was previously not envisioned for amphibious forces. As unmanned capabilities evolve to allow airborne early warning or electronic attack payloads, these may require less deck space and might not require catapult launch. This may even further expand the flexibility and value of smaller aviation support ships.
The long-term (5-15 years)Advances in autonomy and in the endurance of unmanned systems will likely result in these becoming more and more a part of fleet architecture. For example, there are missions where it would be very hazardous to use submarines – such as port surveillance or mining – and missions where a proliferation of unmanned surface targets would reduce the chances of detection and engagement of a manned surface ships. Small aerial drones may greatly improve the ability of ships and aircraft to target potential enemies attempting to exploit littoral cover.
Unmanned aerial systems launched from ships in large numbers and networked with one another and manned systems may reach the point where they can carry out a large portion of air-air missions and some strike missions in contested areas.
Submarine strike will also grow in importance as submarines add capacity for a variety of different missiles. US submarine ability to avoid detection by adversary anti-submarine systems is likely to remain robust.
Artist rendering of Columbia-class submarine (US Navy image)
However, what will still remain a challenge is having sufficient numbers of every kind of vessel to maintain a worldwide presence. This includes in places where the unique advantages of Marines operating from amphibious shipping are likely to remain important for decades to come. Clearly these will not be useful capabilities in areas where nations maintain a significant capability to target and engage ships. But, they will continue to be helpful in places where some amount of military force may be needed, but not necessarily at a level necessary to assault and occupy contested territory.
But, for both amphibious ships and smaller surface combatants, the need to be present and able to react to disruptions in worldwide supply chains will become even more important as the world continues to rely on trade. Even if trade diminishes between the US and China, supply chains have become so widely distributed and subject to interruption that a worldwide military presence may be advisable to possibly respond to instability in areas where instability can have broad effects. As a point of reference, navies and trade routes have long been associated. This is not to suggest that the US Navy could or should react to every instance of instability. It’s to suggest that a worldwide Navy with adequate numbers is essential to a country with worldwide trading and financial interests.
This brings us back to questions of logistics and sustainment. The Navy has historically designed ships to last decades and manned them with sufficient crew to perform maintenance between industrial availabilities. This has proven to be a difficult system to operate in the face of deferred maintenance, difficulty recruiting people for sometimes very tedious watchstanding and industrial labor. Ships in particular must become less maintenance intensive, which involves designing ease of maintenance into the ship from the time of delivery. This practice can add to the expense of delivery. If the ship has multiple functions automated and uses advanced materials to make parts, external surfaces, ducting, piping and the whole range of peripheral systems longer-lasting, the ship will likely be more expensive at delivery. But, it will over a life cycle, ultimately be less expensive in terms of manpower and maintenance expense. More attention to sustainment in design is not something that can readily be done with ships in service. It will be a long-term process.
Conversely, some things will be best thought of as disposable and bought with only enough to last for a limited number of missions, maybe one. This adaptation will require use of civilian technology, for example in autonomous drones, and does not rely on the cumbersome process of requirements development and acquisition that govern Major Defense Acquisition Programs.
Future planning does need to recognize that some of the assumptions concerning industrial base and labor availability that guided the United States through its 20th century wars, including the Cold War, no longer obtain. That world changed. The Navy must change as well to meet the new challenge.
Naval News also asked Dr. Martin’s RAND colleague, Dr. Scott Savitz, the same question.