Friday, October 31, 2014
Posted by The Conservative Wahoo at 3:48 PM
Posted by The Conservative Wahoo at 3:47 PM
|USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000)|
|DDG 1000, Note pronounced tumblehome hull form|
|Armored cruiser USS Brooklyn, a US example|
of late the 19th century tumblehome hull
|French battleship Bouvet sinks during 1915 Dardanelles attack|
|USS Lexington (CV 2) using her turbo-electric|
engineering plant to provide power to
Tacoma, WA in 1929
|Advanced Gun System|
|Side view of Zumwalt|
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Ingredients of Counter-DeceptionHow could a U.S. Navy battleforce then—or now—avoid defeats at the hands of a highly capable adversary's deceptions? The first necessary ingredient is distributing multi-phenomenology sensors in a defense’s outer layers. Continuing with the battleforce air defense example, many F-14s were equipped during the 1980s with the AN/AXX-1 Television Camera System (TCS), which enabled daytime visual classification of air contacts from a distance. The Navy’s F-14D inventory later received the AN/AAS-42 Infrared Search and Track system to provide a nighttime standoff-range classification capability that complemented AN/AXX-1. Cued by an AEW aircraft or an Aegis surface combatant, F-14s equipped with these sensors could silently examine bomber-sized radar contacts from 40-60 miles away as meteorologically possible. As it would be virtually impossible for a targeted aircraft to know it was being remotely observed unless it was supported by AEW of its own, and as the targeted aircraft’s only means for visually obscuring itself was to take advantage of weather phenomena as available, F-14s used in this outer layer visual identification role could help determine whether inbound radar contacts were decoys or actual aircraft. If the latter, the sensors could also help the F-14 crews determine whether the foe was carrying ordnance on external hardpoints. This information could then be used by a carrier group’s Air Warfare Commander to decide where and how to employ available CAP resources.
Tomorrow, some concluding thoughts.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
The Great Equalizer: Backfire Raiders’ Own Use of Deception
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Part I available here
Was U.S. Navy Tactical Deception Effective?
Tomorrow, an examination of the deception tactics that might have been employed by Backfire raids.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Most recently, we've seen a set of 3 photos coming out of CFTE testing center at Yanliang. The test aircraft in question were J-20 prototype No 2012, Y-20 prototype No. 783 and Y-8FQ (ASW variant) prototype No. 731. All 3 of these projects are obviously very important, but J-20 has the special distinction as China's first 5th gen fighter jet project. This entry just provides a quick look at where China is with its 5th generation project.
Earlier this year, J-20's Prototype No. 2011 came out with significant changes from the earlier prototypes. It was quite clear at that time J-20 project has advanced from the demonstrator stage to pre-production prototypes. When prototype No. 2012 came out in July, PLA followers compared the new prototype to No. 2011. As expected from previous analysis, not much has changed from No. 2011 to No. 2012. As this projects continue to progress, it's likely that no further major changes will be made before certification unless problems are detected in flight tests. I would expect some changes to be made at the rear when domestic 5th generation engine becomes available for testing, but we are a couple of years away from that. No. 2012 had its maiden flight on July 26th and was delivered to CFTE recently for PLA flight tests. At the time No. 2012 appeared, there were a lot of rumors online that 2 more prototypes (No. 2013 and 2014) are likely to come out before the end of the year for flight testing. I would also expect there to be a couple of more prototypes built for static testing. Based on J-10 project where 4 pre-production prototypes (No. 1013 to 1016), this might be all the prototypes that are needed to complete the flight tests. Of course, J-10 had more initial prototypes, but CAC at that time probably needed more time and prototypes to settle on the final design. After these pre-production flight test prototypes are delivered, CAC will probably start producing initial production variant and then deliver them to FTTC for developing combat tactics, flight techniques, training programs for new aircraft and conducting certification of J-20. Further prototypes for the J-20 project will be delivered to CFTE if any major changes are made to the aircraft or when new engine (like WS-15) becomes ready.
More recently, we have seen a bunch of flight testing photos of prototype No. 31001 posted online. This led to a lot of speculations online surrounding the status of the project. I've even read online that some Chinese military expert proclaimed serial production will start within five years for this project. Now, I personally think that's complete nonsense. At this point, this project still seems to be at demonstrator phase. It looks like No. 31001 or a model might appear at Zhuhai air show for export interest. I do expect PLAAF to pick up this project to create a high-lo combination with J-20. While it will most likely be given the designation of J-31, I try not to settle on that name yet in case it gets a different designation in the end. The problem with this project is the lack of available engine options. We know J-20's final production variant will be using WS-15. Even though that engine is not ready, it has been worked for a while and should become available for flight testing in a few years. Until then, upgraded variants of WS-10 engine could be used in the first batch of J-20s. For J-31, there is no current domestic option for flight testing, since WS-13 is not certified yet. The development for this next generation engine in its class began more recently and is not given the same level of importance as WS-15. Even if PLAAF picks up this project in the next year, all of the initial testing would be done using an engine whose power and propulsion will be quite different from the eventual engine. So, I always thought that this project will go into service probably 5 years after J-20 does.
Posted by Feng at 9:11 AM
The following contribution comes from Captain Henry (Jerry) Hendrix, Captain (ret.). Jerry Hendrix is a Senior Fellow and the Director of the Defense
Strategies and Assessments Program at the Center for a New American
On the morning of December 7, 1941, the USS Arizona, with 13.5 inches of armor at her waterline, 18 inches of armor on her turrets, and watertight compartments throughout her hull, was one of the most survivable ships in the world, that today continues to rest upon the bottom of Pearl Harbor with over a thousand honored dead still onboard. The USS Cole, equipped with the Aegis defense system, represented a $1.3 billion dollar investment in survivability in today’s dollars. She was designed to defend herself and other ships around her against the latest in air, surface and subsurface threats. Yet on October 12, 2000, a small motorboat filled with explosives nearly sank the ship as she refueled in Yemen.
There is no such thing as invulnerability. Many defense investments are misplaced, but near the top of the list are the billions spent chasing the illusion that ships can take a hit in a modern, hypersonic warfare environment and keep fighting. DOD must face the unpleasant reality that we will never build an indestructible ship.
This drama is playing out with the Navy’s overdue decision on the Small Surface Combatant (SSC) that will follow the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The decision will have a significant impact on the next Navy budget submission. One of the prime contenders for the SSC design will be a modified LCS with more armament. Another should be the Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter (NSC). Both will fly in the face of critiques who carp about reliability and survivability. Issues with reliability for both ships are being addressed and are in line with other previous “first in class” ships ranging from the Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7) to the San Antonio (LPD-17), all of which experienced significant mechanical challenges. However, it is the issues of survivability (LCS and NSC were built to the basic Level 1+ standard) that has triggered the most concerning debate.
To be sure, we try. It is incumbent upon Defense officials, naval officers, and the nation to attempt to preserve the lives of our fighting men and women, and no one wants to take a position where they could be accused of supporting the idea that service members are “expendable.” Rules and requirements are written into procurement documents in an attempt to create platforms that can take a hit and preserve the lives of the crew inside. Much of this protection comes with a downside, generally complexity and weight, which in turn results in decreased range (as weight goes up, fuel mileage comes down) and ultimately in cost, which also has the net effect of lowering the overall number of platforms purchased.
Both of these ships illuminate persistent questions regarding survivability and the proper level of investment in it. History reveals war as a science that ebbs and flows between the offense and the defense. Offense had the upper hand when the first rock made contact with a forehead, but armor granted wearers an ability to shrug off blows and strike the unarmored with their swords, at least until the longbow showed up. One hundred and fifty years ago advances in metallurgy granted the advantage briefly to the defense, giving rise to ironclads, but soon the offense regained its advantage with the advent of the large rifled projectile and the high-speed missile.
Today’s military research and development attempts to defend by shooting down the projectile rather than building armor because physics dictates that there is nothing that can shield you from a hypersonic missile when it has you in its sights. We cannot make any platform invulnerable to attack.
The point here is not whether platforms can be made survivable or not. The Arizona and Cole tell us that on day one of the next conflict, given our form of government, we are going to take the first blow. No one likes the sad simple truth that in war that men and women will die. This is also not to say that we shouldn’t invest in survivability or that we should stop buying high-end platforms. We should, but in a balanced high-low, manned and unmanned mix with an eye to the realistic return on investment in a wartime environment and its impact on the number of platforms we can ultimately purchase to comprise our frontline force.
On day two of the next war, after we have been struck first, we will adjust to the new reality and redeploy our remaining forces to deal with the threat. Given this fact, existing platforms like LCS and the NSC should be in the mix for the Small Surface Combatant selection. They are basic designs, relatively cheap, rapidly maturing, and here. We cannot afford a pause in shipbuilding. We need numbers. Quantity has taken on a quality all its own. Over emphasis on survivability in the face of a hypersonic reality represents hubris and an attempt to ignore the reality of modern war. We chase pleasant illusions over unpleasant realities at our own peril.
Deception and the Backfire Bomber: Reexamining the Late Cold War Struggle Between Soviet Maritime Reconnaissance and U.S. Navy Countertargeting
Last winter's Naval War College Review contained a must-read article on the
Soviet Navy’s doctrine from the 1980s for employing its TU-22M Backfire series of bombers against U.S. Navy carrier groups. In “Kamikazes: the Soviet Legacy,” former Soviet Navy officer Maksim
Y. Tokarev reveals many details regarding Backfire capabilities and tactics
that, to my knowledge at least, have not been previously disclosed within
English-language open sources.
What Kind of Reconnaissance Support did Backfire Need?
One of the key historical questions regarding Backfire involves the reconnaissance support the bombers’ crews needed to effectively employ their missiles. The earlier TU-16 Badger series of Soviet maritime bombers depended upon targeting cues provided by scout aircraft. These so-called ‘pathfinders’ penetrated an enemy’s battleforce ahead of a raid in order to locate and positively identify aircraft carriers or other high-priority target ships. This was necessary because a standoff bomber like Badger simply could not tell whether a large contact held by its onboard radar was an aircraft carrier, a surface combatant or other ship configured to simulate a carrier, an artificial decoy, or a large and perhaps neutral-flagged merchant vessel. Even if a surface contact of interest made ‘telltale’ radiofrequency emissions, the vessel’s type could not be determined with high confidence because of the possibility that the emissions were deceptive. Visual-range verification of contacts’ types (if not identities) was consequently a prerequisite for the Badgers to be able to aim their missiles with confidence. Yet, because the Soviet pathfinder aircraft necessarily had to expose themselves to the entirety of a battleforce’s layered defenses in order to do their jobs, they represented single-points-of-failure that could easily doom a raid if neutralized before they located, classified, and identified desired targets.
He later amplifies this, noting that Backfire crews
Tomorrow, just how effective was U.S. Navy countertargeting?