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You have 500/1000 Navalized ATACMS or LRFP

Discussion in 'History & Military Discussion' started by Louis Babycos, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. Louis Babycos

    Louis Babycos louisb Suspended


    ATACMs and LRFP follow on missels are being retrofitted and fitted respectively with seeker technology to go after ships .ATACMS has a range of 160 kilometers. LRFP has a range of 500 kilometers.

    Design a platform & doctrine to support current American Naval force projection & control of the sea using ATACMs in the south China Sea.

    Cost is an issue in so much that you want to be practical in placing these missels.
    How many platforms would you use ?
    Would you use the littoral combat ships ?
    Would you you design something else or use barges?
  2. ussnimitz1968

    ussnimitz1968 Not an Actual Servicemember

    Ummm...shove 'em down the existing Mk 41 launchers on destroyers?

    What exactly is the main advantage or difference between slinging Block IV Tomahawk which has multi-modal anti-ship capability? Or LRASM for that matter, which is a low-RCS missile?

    Why are you trying to field so many anti-ship missiles, even if that's only their secondary capability? Are you looking to start a fight? A leader who's just out looking to start a fight is a leader who doesn't deserve to be one. That's what people are afraid of Trump being.

    This has all the trappings of "I think this weapon system is tacticool and we can pwn China with it" which is not the thing the USN is currently into, and hopefully will continue to not be into. Not that I want to criticize your OP, and I hope this doesn't come across as such, but it doesn't seem to be a terrific force "addition" nor is there a lot of tactical flexibility for such an addition compared to current systems or an extant strategic demand of any sort.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
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  3. willyvereb

    willyvereb Migratory Thinker

    Ballistic missiles aren't really fit for anti-ship role to begin with. I think my thread with the "MLRS Ship" made that clear enough.
    I also don't think 1000 more missiles would make a sufficiently big difference. Ships lining up close to China? Absolutely!
    Not necessary in the good way, though.
  4. Louis Babycos

    Louis Babycos louisb Suspended

    To prevent a war from starting. Sometimes you got to got to walk quietly and carry a big stick. I was thinking of these missels being a force add to the navy structure rather than a force substitution. The reason for so many of these missels is that they would technically be a threat especially in large numbers but would make it easier for Tomohawk and LRASM to penetrate defences if they had to .

    I would use them in concert with existing ASHM capability. Basicly cheap effective Macross style missel spam in an early salvo of a full scale naval engagement.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  5. ussnimitz1968

    ussnimitz1968 Not an Actual Servicemember

    Nowadays that's not so much Teddy Roosevelt-like as it is Donald Trump-like. Carrying a big stick as an implicit threat is only going to get you so far against someone with an equally big stick carried around as an implicit threat against you. At a certain point you either have to grow up and practice actual diplomacy or be prepared to whack each other to death and let the rest of the world point and laugh at what a pair of morons you were post-mortem.

    Well they're kind of a lousy force addition if they add dubious and redundant value. It's like saying, "hey I know we have a bunch of B-52s but wouldn't it be awesome if we took a bunch of old airliners and loaded them up with bombs?"

    A threat against what in large numbers? Tomahawk and LRASM are configured in such a way that beyond a salvo flight of 'em and some beyond-the-horizon data feed they really don't need any assistance. That's kind of the whole point. Having a weapon system just to absorb interceptors for another weapon system isn't exactly pointless or unheard of but it seems overly-complicated in this case despite trying to have an alleged simpler system take the hits for a supposedly more complex, more expensive one.

    I'm having a very hard time discerning any real strategic or tactical goal in mind here other than "well I think it'd be cool to have MOAR DAKKA pointed against China." Pointed at China for what reason? To maintain a military presence and protect our sphere of influence? You don't do that with tactical weapons systems deployed off platforms; you do that with strategic platforms, and for the US that means very specifically aircraft carriers. Aircraft carriers are essentially roving mini-spheres of influences as they can destroy logistic pathways on land or seaborne or protect those under US influence. A single CVBG, collectively, has more firepower than many if not most entire militaries. There's a reason why the Soviet/Russian Navy and PLAN are so obsessed with countering them.

    And if not, then for what other reason? To counter PLAN numerical superiority? The PLAN has something like 30-50 destroyers in the same class as an AEGIS destroyer, collectively, and many of those are still building. The USN has over 100 of a single type. We have something like two dozen active AEGIS cruisers. When it comes to aircraft carriers we have 9-11 to their one. Because you plain old don't like China? That's just plain old very stupid.
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  6. Louis Babycos

    Louis Babycos louisb Suspended

    China is building their navy to counter our carriers. This isn't just making sure their is redundant dakka ,this is about protecting the carriers by giving the Chinese something else to calculate into their force projection.Move counter_move , move counter_move ad nauseum.
  7. DonBosco

    DonBosco Dread Lord of the Luddites

    To hell with neutral shipping, my Osa is fight!

    But seriously, a navalized ATACMs with terminal seeker would be a rather good anti-ship missile. Throw a couple quadpacks on some destroyer sized hulls and integrate with P-8s, EP-3s, and MQ-4s to find and target enemy ships.
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  8. willyvereb

    willyvereb Migratory Thinker

    Albeit for some reason ATACMS without even the terminal guidance costs only half or third that of the already expensive Tomahawk. At the capability of an anemic Harpoon. I don't see how it'd be a good idea rather than using Harpoons and its equivalents which have superior range, can only be intercepted at shortish distance rather than their full path and has a proven combat record?
  9. ussnimitz1968

    ussnimitz1968 Not an Actual Servicemember

    But there's more to force projection than just "well if they're going to have lots of firepower than I have to have even more firepower and so on." That's why I keep asking targeting what? Here, let me address that and @DonBosco at the same time:

    How so? I'm not familiar with next-gen ATACMs/LRPF but I'm assuming as it's primarily artillery it's going to be coming in on a ballistic path. That's fine for artillery but as an anti-ship weapon it's been somewhat out of fashion since the waning days of the battleship. Tomahawk and LRASM can assume pretty much any maneuvering flight path an aircraft can, because they are aircraft. They can strategically target ships at the waterline, hit a specific part of the superstructure or assume a diving/ballistic profile if that's what you really want, while ATACMs can only pull off the lattermost. Plus, Tomahawk Block IV has a reduced RCS compared to Block I and LRASM is specifically a low-observable missile. Why worry about putting up so much crap for them to shoot down when they can't even see you?

    I mean, sure, if you can shove ATACMs down a Mk 41 or Peripheral VLS then why not but it's not going to magically make the USN so overwhelmingly better than the PLAN. Again, it's like thinking that B-52s used to carpet bomb ISIL is a massive waste so you're just going to roll a bunch of dumb bombs off old airliners to do the same thing. It's certainly not worth the effort to install a clunky box launcher on a DDG-51 hull and take up valuable deck space that chances are was doing something more important before-hand.

    Again, when you're trying to counter an OPFOR nation and protect your sphere of influence, you have to think it through carefully. That's not only in how those weapon systems are employed but designed as well. Is this weapon system going to integrate well with existing platforms? Is this weapon system going to offer a significant advantage over what you already have, even if you can churn out a butt-load of them? Would churning out a butt-load of them be worth it, even if the weapon system is individually cheap? Tomahawk isn't cheap (you can pay for a brand new frickin' high school with a single shot, and needless to say there are a lot of people who justifiably would want to see that money spent differently) but it's a preferred weapon for many good reasons and at least as a weapon system it justifies that cost. You could probably spam a lot of guided ATACMs for the cost of a single Tomahawk but would it actually be an effective weapons system in comparison? To quote @Richardson from the Zumwalt thread, it isn't about the goddamn cost effectiveness!

    I'm kind of at a loss as to how else to explain it if you still don't understand it at this point so I'm going to tag @Apocal and defer to him.

    Also, I'd really like to see ATACMs being lugged around by an MQ-4 because that'd be a real trick. Hell I'd like to see how you plan to fling them from P-8s and other very large tactical aircraft.

    But...in order to at least answer the OP to the spirit of the thread...I'd just roll out a modified version of an LCS hull (take your pick which of the two versions) and see if I can somehow fit a launcher (it's got a lot of deck space to play with, although most of it is taken up by helicopter spots which more or less justify LCS's entire initial being). The littorals would probably be the place where they'd be most effective because again, artillery, and it'd address a lot of the misguided complaints about LCS having too little anti-ship firepower.
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  10. DonBosco

    DonBosco Dread Lord of the Luddites

    The answer, quite frankly, is, as @Apocal can explain, Tomahawk anti-ship missile was crap and posed serious targeting issues because over the horizon targeting is a bitch and a half. I'd prefer navalized ATACMs over Tomahawk because it significantly reduces the time to target, minimizing the search footprint and potential to strike Green shipping instead of the intended target.

    It's not my ideal solution mind you (which is a 70,000 pound carrier based UCAV), but this thread is about tossing a bone to the surface warfare officers.

    I don't. I said to use them for targeting enemy ships.
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  11. ussnimitz1968

    ussnimitz1968 Not an Actual Servicemember

    Are you talking about the original Tomahawk AShM or the Block IV? The Block IV is the current version of Tomahawk and is multi-modal/multi-mission that can target land and sea targets and switch if necessary and has an albeit slightly reduced RCS. The original Tomahawk AShM seems like it would've been more prone to the targeting problems you mentioned, although it wouldn't have been as big an issue as you think because it was armed strictly with a nuclear warhead.

    Besides, if over-the-horizon targeting is that much of a bitch, what makes you think ATACMs is going to have better luck with it than Tomahawk?
  12. Louis Babycos

    Louis Babycos louisb Suspended

    I know they would be at least nominally competent in that function as the army is going full tilt turning ATACMs in a sort of an ad-hoc land based ASHM.
  13. ussnimitz1968

    ussnimitz1968 Not an Actual Servicemember

    But again, if it's going to be the case for ATACMs why isn't it the case for Tomahawk Block IV and LRASM (or the other way around)? Over-the-horizon targeting doesn't become more easy or special just because of the weapon system, unless like in the case of first-gen ASM Tomahawk there's that much of a technological generational gap between them (and considering that all of these weapon systems are equally on the cusp of operational service and are thus "the latest and greatest," I doubt that).
  14. Apocal

    Apocal Alpha Technoblack Moderator

    It was the original Tomahawk anti-ship missile.
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  15. ussnimitz1968

    ussnimitz1968 Not an Actual Servicemember

    I also want to point out that next-gen ATACMs/LRPF wouldn't be a bad thing to have ship-board either, provided they can fit into Mk 41. Artillery's useful for naval fire support (that thing the Navy is obsessed with, or at least other people want the Navy to be obsessed with) but anti-ship is at best a secondary role, and there are better weapons for that.
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