Some Links from the Phone Call

An embarrassing view of the harbor outside Seventh Fleet HQ.

China has a “new” missile boat.  Eighty of them.

Guam still uses the old (and great) Civil Defense logo.

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5 Responses to Some Links from the Phone Call

  1. MLHMLH says:

    Big boats on bigger boats (didn’t know USNI has a blog!)
    Nifty little boats!
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Do they use the same system when the island capsizes?

  2. ctlaw says:

    Soon All DDGs will have their own heavy lift ships. Sort of like Russian carriers needing dedicated tugs.

  3. Xennady says:


    I’ve read a bunch of books about WWII over the years. One of them- I forget which, perhaps one by H. P. Wilmott- made the point the Imperial Japanese Navy fought the USN that existed in 1941 to a standstill, only to be swamped by what came after.

    I think about that when I see stories about China, and all ships they’re churning out, while here we are told it will take decades to go from 280-ish to 355 ships.

    I hope y’all see the problem.

    Friction stir welding, too- that’s from the link about the Chinese missile boats, used to weld aluminum without melting it. More here, just in case anyone’s interested:

    Gosh, experience suggests that any US defense program using anything so advanced as that would be billions over budget and would never actually work without continual infusions of cash, but maybe I’m just cynical. In any case I don’t really think using aluminum for warships is a good idea, in light of what happened to the USS Belknap in 1975, not that I’m any sort of expert. But if you’re going to do so using it to build small cheap missile boats seems a much better idea than using it for large and expensive designs like the US Navy’s Little Crappy Ship.

    Being old, I remember reading about the inspiration of what became the LCS, circa 2000. It was going to be something small and cheap enough to be built in large numbers, and expendable enough so that losing one wouldn’t be a big deal.

    Basically, it was going to be much like these type 22 missile boats.

    Instead, we got the LCS, which is none of the above. One of those links goes to CDR Salamander, so I suggest anyone interested in the glorious, steaming pile of FAIL that comprises the LCS program look up the threads there about the it, if you haven’t already.

    But hey, at least the US Navy can still rent heavy lift ships to take its latest embarrassments to the yard.


    • ctlaw says:

      The LCS had numerous fundamental problems.

      It was too small to be truly multirole.

      So the idea was to have mission modules to allow the ship to be reconfigured for specific roles. That fundamentally ignores the logistics costs of maintaining and using the modules in any effective way.

      Also, it was lightly crewed but maintenance-intensive. A bad combination.

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