San Anton Class ‘Not Survivable’

San Anton Class ‘Not Survivable’

Northrop Grumman’s shipyards may have become a bit harder to sell in the wake of a story that the $1.7 billion San Antonio class it built would not be effective in combat. The story was broken by my colleague Tony Capaccio at Bloomberg.

The Department of Defense’s top testing official, Michael Gilmore, told Tony, according to his story, “that critical systems, such as electrical distribution, ship-wide fiber optics and voice– communications networks, are not reliable.” Perhaps even worse, Tony reports that “the ship’s armaments can’t effectively defend against the most modern anti-ship weapons.”

Raytheon does not come out of this very well either. They supplied electronics, a fiber-optics network and an anti-missile system that Tony reports “the testing office concluded had ‘persistent engineering deficiencies.’”

Bottom line: Gilmore told Tony in an email that the ship is “not effective, suitable and not survivable in a combat situation,” he said.

What this says about Navy oversight and Northrop’s management would appear to be obvious. We wonder how much these deficiencies, which the company has known about for several months as they were provided in a classified report to Congress, played a role in the company’s decision to put its shipbuilding business up for sale. The Navy told Tony is aware of the problems and will correct them on all ships in the class.

Join the Conversation

And who has been fired ??????? And who will pay the bill to fix them — bet NG won’t. Totally unacceptable CNO.. Resign now like any other responsible/irresponsible CEO would and go to work with a torch cutting these garbage ships up.

OK — read between the lines folks, this is nothing more than a set up for we need this new ???? right now gimmick that has been played & replayed so many times in the past. Note they are only talking about the San Antonio class but know what — it’s the samr fiber optics systems and com systems that is on the LCS, and other recently built ships, It has more armament and anti ship/air capability than an LCS but is less survivable. Plus the weapons defense systems on here are newer and more advanced than many other ships we have so what is it saying about them. Realisticly there is no need for fiber optics on ships/subs or for digital coms either which has been the norm for over 10 yrs now in new construction, there is more than enough room on these tugs to run cables and not be a trip hazard. No there is something afoot here other than someone being upset with NG for not getting a good job offer after retirement.

You are horribly cynical! I’m enjoying/appreciating that immensely.

Yeah but in reality a submarine can make a mess outta any ship it hits except maybe a BB62, folks have to remember that the sail on a submarine is heavily reinforced to be able to surface through ice, HY80 is pretty strong material unlike the materials used on surface ships so you have to add that into the mix. Remember back in the 80’s the Washington sunk a Japanees transport when they tore a hole in its bottom while comming up to PD at night in rough seas.

Good Morning Folks,

Forgot to mention the March 20, 2009 collision between the USS New Orleans (LPD-18) and the Los Angeles Class Submarine the USS Hartford (SSN 768) in the Gulf.

The brush of the New Orleans with the Hartford’s conning tower caused a gash in the New Orleans bottom armor plate about 30 feet long by 20 feet wide and ruptured an fuel tank and required extensive repairs. The USS Hartford’s conning tower was a mess to be sure, but was still connected to the submarine.

One statement from a Naval officer when the New Orleans was dry docked, the gash made by the Hartford’s con looked like a dull knife culling through tissue paper.

So what has the Navy done about the San Antonio Class, it problems have been known since hull number one had to be nearly rebuild, engine problems in USS New York, well on October the Navy placed an order with NG Pascagoula for LPD 27 with a contract for long lead items, due to launch in August 2014.

These defective LPD’s are not the exception in defense acquisition. Yes the DoD procurement budget can be cut by 20% annually, a $ trillion savings over ten years, and the military would be the better for it.


Byron Skinner

SAN ANTONIO and the LCS. What a pair of floating fiascos! Does the USN know how to do quality control anymore? Perhaps they need to bring back some of the retired engineering officers and do some refresher training? No, they’re probably too arrogant to admit that they messed this one up?

No wonder Northrop Grumman wants out of this business.

Any quality problems the San Antonio class may have are inexcusable as is all the waste that occurs in the system. Yet cutting the DoD procurement budget like that is unacceptable. Hardly enough of the DoD budget goes to procurement as it is now anyway. If anything we should be spending more in procurement and R&D and less on building sewers in Afghanistan that some terrorist will blow up a week later.

Remember, the LPD-17 was originally meant to have the ESSM to compliment the RAM.

Well, the Navy cancelled the ESSM mounts to save money, and guess what, the ship really can’t protect itself.

This ship class has been both pathetic and revealing, pathetic for the innumerable faults and revealing for the mindset of a military service which allowed such ships to be built. The class has promise and especially the idea of a stealthy AMPHIB instead of a big floating target, but you have to execute the promise and not cut corners for the sake of saving some money immediately.

As for what the Navy should do? Define a minimum level of protection for all combat warships, instead of insisting that a single CIWS weapon system can defend a ship against threats.

Quite the boondoggle this class is. Of course since it’s meant for storming beaches and I seriously don’t see that ever happening again it probably isn’t that big a loss operationally, a real mess financially though. In reality these things were only going to sail around and wave the flag and bail out the next shoreline natural disaster. Seems like we could buy some modified OTS commercial hulls that would do that for less and probably be better at it.

ESSM as standard along with a closer range CIWS system perhaps? ideally those ships would be under the umbrella of our destroyers and cruisers with their Standard missiles, but that may not always be available.

Just make it work, survivable, competative against Chinese 022 Catamaran missile boats. Don’t waiste it. It’s already been built. Just refine it .Make the necessary adjustment, repair and improvements to make it survivable and competative..

and the USN is buying more of these ships why? oh yeah they are going to fix the box later?

Cancel LPD26 and buy two of Absalon class FSS, at least we know they work reliably and are better armed.

Or sell it to asian country like Singapore, Phlippines or Taiwan to cut the loses and build a new competative catamaran / fast missile/ torpedo boats to counter any future threat against Chinese 022 Catamaran missile boats.

If ESSM is what is needed then they should add that to the ship to make it work. If this is part of the design on the ship then this should be added too. Just make it work and competative against the Chinese 022 missile boats.

It’s just comforting to know that Navy contracting and acquisition is just as screwed up as the Air Force’s. Can the Pentagon do anything right?

Over-engineered, yet incapable. Also, no CIWS?

@fitzwillie — New era. Amphib ships now sail as Amphibious Readiness Groups (ARGs) no longer as Expeditionary Strike Groups (ESGs). In other words, they are missing escorts.

Good Evening Folks,

Well enough about what the problems are. I will agree with the defense problems as stated especially after the Falkland Is. War. These transports can find themselves in secure harbors, where attacks can’t happen, a single A4 shows up with a missile, and in a few seconds leaves in its wake a bunch of dead Sailors and Marines and a ship that has to be scuttled. It has, can and will happen again, these amphibious transports need to be able to defend themselves.

So let find the next problem child. I pick contract # N00024-10-C-2229 from the Navy Sea Systems Command to NG ‘s Pascagoula yard for LHA 7.

Today a “change order” was given to NG for $48,107,835.00 Fixed price, with economic adjustments (that’s what is says) for additional planning and advanced engineering in support of LHA replacement (LHA{R}) flight O for LHA 7.

In short the Navy ordered a multi $ billion ship and doesn’t know what the he** it is getting and has to keep adding more money to the contract. This is how things get screwed up.

It wasn’t always like this though. Believe it or not the Navy actually in the 1930’s (during the Great Depression where wasting money was considered serious) did in fact order new classes of ship that were built on budget and on time. This happened under the old Bureau of Engineering lead by Rear Admiral Harold Gardner (1883–1965) on the Navy’s side and a company called Gibbs and Wilcox lead by William Francis Gibbs (1886–1967) who did the design and engineering BEFORE the contracts were placed with the shipbuilders.

When WW II started the US Navy already had the best and most advanced Destroyers and Carriers in the world and could and did build all classes of ship once the war got started. It is noted that after Pearl harbor the Japanese didn’t lay down a single Carrier.

But in those days the Admirals we not soliciting contractors for post service seven figure incomes that involves peddling their influence to congress and there former assistants not in their old jobs at the DoD. A recent example of this is Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who was dangled on a string by BP and screwed up the disaster management of “BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico”. Admiral Allen is now employed by Rand Corp in Fairfax Va as a lobbyist. Admiral Allen should be testifying before Congress on his behavior rather then lobbying Congress for the customers of Rand, like BP?

To deal with this problem the Navy has to take back control of the ship building process. When an order is placed for a ship at a price that price means something. One way to do this is to make the max. length for a DoD contract at five years, then it must be renewed by only after approved by an outside auditing agency of the progress on the benchmarks, and if the project is still needed. Contract can only be extended if benchmarks are made and the platform and system is considered needed.

A prohibition of five for employment by a former military officer with any firm she/her had contact with during their service. All companies would have to be required to list former military officers in their employment and would be disqualified for bidding a job where there appeared to be a conflict of interest.

Byron Skinner

The GAO audit of San Antonio when it was first delivered had the best line ever:
“the quality of the workmanship is such that the watertight compartments are not now, and probably never will be, watertight.”

Glad to be a soldier and not a Marine in this case.

Or any it person familiar with terminating cable. Maybe the armed forces should try to get some real IT people instead of baby sitters.

Honestly it just seems like NG should have stuck to building planes rather than ships.

Just a comment on fiber optics, it is non-trivial to manage high amounts of bandwidth with cables, not to mention the weight and power costs. Alternatively, fiber and easily be path redundant (improving survivability), upgradable in bandwidth for future-proofing, and is less expensive to install and maintain. With new sensor systems creating ever more bandwidth of data, and computers needing to fuse this data, having a fiber backbone only makes sense. Every military platform is moving in that direction: aircraft, ground vehicles, ships, and submarines. It really is a case of more for less. Now, why NG can’t install a reliable fiber optic system on the ship is beyond me, maybe they ought to call AT&T…

Turn the San Antonio into a pirate hunter and rescue ship for natural disasters.
paint her white and use her for floods, earthquakes and tsunamis in the CONUS or OCONUS.
Fill her with specialist and construction equipment , make the San Antonio a SeaBee ship.

the chi-coms have missles, and this ship is “naked” it better have a picket line of destroyers and guided missle cruisers. that seems to be the only defense, wat was this ship built for?

Thus the loophole of big budget defense contracts and politicians lining their pockets with pay-offs. Who’s left with the sub-par equipment? The operators. American servicemembers. We have become a nation of dollar whores. Whatever happen to pride in workmanship?

Send all the work to a shipyard that really works and has pride in their work. P.S. They also bring the dam things under budget and on time. Bath Iron Works, Maine.

Here is my 2 cents that means a lot !! Im not one to ever go off on a blog , post or amything like that. after reading this article and various posts i had to comment. I commissioned and served on the USS NEW YORK LPD-21 as well as pre-com that ship . I agree with the fact that there are and have been issues with the ship. I can recall on our first underway for builders trials i saw that the combat systems part would vary on the day. The fiber communication system is better that the old fashion systems though each system has it ups and downs but it works when it counts.

Who here has served on one other than myself reading and living it is always going to be different. Speaking from an active engaged component i see the advantages that those behind a desk creating the ideas in there heads. Go on deployment with one and you will see for yourself that that have a relevent use they might not be like the old gators or the super carriers but they matter in my eyes. I was impressed with the ships ability to detect and track and fire before a threat hits the engagement zone scoring 95% overall kill rate highest in the years over destroyers and cruiser and the various ships in tow. Weapons systems on the ships is good for the ship it might not have all the bells and whistles like the small boys but it works . I have seen contractors say over and over again and tech reps included of these fortune 500 companies be amazed that the systems work as well as they do. We created a how to guide to go around faults and gliches in the systems that the company men had no clue how to fix there systems over and over again . So cry me a river for ho they suck and i will prove to you they work !

do you not really know what you’re putting out here on the site? i work aboard one of these ships, i know first-hand what problems we face, but you must realize this: we as a crew are doing our best to get the job done. all of your negativity and blasting out the class is not only making the job harder, it’s also out there for anyone (and i do mean ANYONE) to see. our enemies look around on these unsecure sites, and for your comment about us being unable to defend ourselves makes us an easy target when we do go underway!

Thank you! We prize nothing more than a confirmation of these articles from the people they concern.

Good Evening Folks,

To Lt. Col. Fritts. I not going to bore you with the apples and oranges answer to you statement, I’m pretty sure you know the answer.

What the problem is if they is one is how the United States and Europe see their roles in this issue. The United States navy is Power Projection, Forward. The Europeans see themselves as Power Presence. Our answer to sea control is the Carrier Battle Group. The EU’s is a 13K-20K Swiss Army knife of a ship.

When the EU’s have to go into a situation the stay long enough to calm things down, stabilize the existing Government and the depart. When the US goes in we over throw the government, wipe out the opposition and attempt to install a US friendly Government. Note before all the wingers jump in on this yes I know its an exggeration, I’m illustrating a point.

The USN see the world as it AO, the EU see the Mediterranean, Red Sea and the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden as AO. In the future maybe they will expand into the Black Sea and the West Coast of Africa. The EU deploys ships occasionally for a couple of months the US send out two or three CBG’s and MEG’s for six months or more all year round. More time at sea requires more robust ships.

To sewergator and SAN Class. If there is one thing that all of us agree on I’m sure is that when the United States sends a platform or a weapon to our military we want it to be the best, to work and to be build to the highest standards. We don’t think that the San Antonio nor the Wasp Class amphibious ships meet those standards and expectations.

Scrap them? No, these problems can be fixed easier than building a whole new ship to replace something built only a couple of years ago.

Good Morning Folks,

Before my alloted 14 minutes are up I will be quick on a number of items.

On the Marine amphibious mission I got a readers post that kinda helps justify the expense of this operation as it currently is configured.

The reader I think was with 15 MEG and he/she noted the humanitarian mission of which the Marine MEG’s do a lot more of then combat missions. I won’t o on to outline the capacities the MEG’s have, don’t have the time but I doubt if the EU’s ships can even come close. Why the marines are not using this argument I haven’t a clue, it quite rational and makes sense?

Next CMC Amos. Reader of’s early brief last Friday were treated to a peek at what the DoD report due out on DADT on 12/1/10. I won’t go into details, don’t have time, but you can read it yourself. What article does show is that general Amos is clearly out of step and is out of line along with General Conway on their comments on DADT. Get rid of Amos and get the General who is the real heart and soul of the Corps as CMC, General Mattis, who has a vision for the future, something that General Amos is not burdened with.

For you out there look under the bed for Chinese boogymen, on last Tuesday the PRC announce an new formation the SOA or State Oceanic Administration, with the launching of the Surveillance 75 the first of a fleet of 1,000–5,000 ton ships to secure “China’s Maritime rights…maritime surveillance…and law enforcement…” This formation had direct authority from the CCP CMC and some of its leadership appears to have come from the PAP which is as I post in the process of forming Fast Reaction Battalions. Exactly what is the SOA all about?

A friend who is a DoD China expert was unaware that this was in them making and rather upset about what it could mean. The possible connection with the PAP is rather worrying.

I’m not posting on the XM-2010 because it’s a mil​.com story, but Colin, these nuts would love it. It a success a new weapon, asked for by the troops in Afghanistan developed, approved and ordered all in three months and delivery stating in December, that’s some good news

Well my 14 minuted are about up.


BYRON Skinner

Part 1 / 2

To Byron Skinner

You wrote: “I’m not posting on the XM-2010 because it’s a mil​.com story, but Colin, these nuts would love it.”

Not this nut here.
XM2010 = a simple M24 upgrade that costs ( 28 million $ : 3.600 upgraded M24s = ) 7.777 $ , to use a MARGINALLY stronger .300 Win Mag bullet that takes the .308 M24s’ former M.O.A.s (precision) only 100 or 200 meters farther…

That’s even more expensive than (for example) a complete .50 cal (12,7 mm !!!) EDM Windrunner M96 sniper rifle for 7.500 $

or even than an Anzio 20 anti-matériel sniper rifle (calibre: 2 cm !!!!! Accuracy: 1.500 meters, range: 5.000 meters. Nothing less than an F-16’s firepower!) for EVEN LESS money: 6.800 $ .
(Look at the last picture at the bottom, then look again at an “XM2010”, then weep heart-rendingly)


Part 2 / 2

Did the U.S. Army have something lighter AND something INCOMPARABLY MORE ACCURATE in mind, maybe even a superlative?

There it goes: The World’s MOST precise-firing sniper rifle EVER , the DSR-1

now also comes in .300 Win Mag AND in .338 Lapua Magnum, for only 8.000 $ each (that’s because so far only three small batches were made, for three European anti-terrorist units. Imagine the unit price if 3.600 units were ordered…).
But it wasn’t invented in the U.S.A., so it can’t be good enough for regular U.S. grunts.

The design seems to be lacking something. Pros and cons does’nt matter as long it works, defend itself and save lives. How can this ship or boat survive if it faces a threat against a flotilla of Chinese 022 catamaran missile boats. These are the conserns many americans like myself have.

If China and the U.S.A. went to war with each other, I don’t believe that there will be Salamis-, Trafalgar-, Jutland– or Leyte-like naval battles between their surface vessels: The other, way more mobile or more covert naval assets (missiles, planes and submarines) won’t even let them swim halfway across the Pacific, or they’ll catch them off guard.
That’s why I personally don’t have great hopes about the survivability of large surface warships ( = about sea control in general), at least not against a technologically advanced enemy… They’re NOT a rational investment!

Good Afternoon Folks,

To FFB. I don’t see that much value in the XM-2010 and the 28 lbs. generated by the 300 Win. Mag with a 220 grain bullet or so of recoil vs. 14 lbs. for the M-24 in 7.62x51 NATO will be quite punishing to the shooter. But the order was placed for 3,600 of the from Remington. The first 36 to be delivered to Ft. Benning in December.

On large Naval battles, I agree we have seen the last of them. No country can afford to build 50–100 major surface combatants at current costs let alone risk that much capital in one engage regardless of the significance of the outcome.

The SOA appears to be all about the coastal waters and zone of China’s economic influence, what ever that is?.

It would appear that the PRC is attempting to up the ante for South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam the Philippines and any other countries that may have interest in the exploitation of resources in these areas.

Regarding Submarines FFB, just last week I got to go onboard an old Soviet Foxtrot and have a good look see as well as a US diesel for the same era. There is no question that the US was at least a generation ahead of the Soviets. The US submarine the Dolphin was the last US diesel, the Russian Federation and Chinese are still trying to catch up with the US on late 1960’s technology.

The Foxtrots during the Cold War were advertised as “Carrier Killers” looking at the real thing its rep. was grossly over stated. The system was so backwards that the only time the crew got hot food was when the sub was on the surface recharging batteries, which was at least once a day (24 hours). The ship operated with a small crew on a two watch system. The normal combat load of torpedos when a Fox trot went on patrol was two, although the boat could carry over twenty.

I would guess that that two launches was all the Foxtrot was able to get off before US ASW was on top of it, why send good torpedos to the bottom.

I would say that the US is at this point way ahead of the Russians and any other country in submarine technology.


Byron Skinner

I think we should use our head and not anger on this. This is already been built. We cannot return it to the manufacturer and get refunded unless it has warranty. All it needs are adjustments, repair, installation of ESSM, and upgrades to make it survivable against enemy small missile craft and submarines.

What is happening is the regular ARMY is playing catch up to SPECWAR operators but way behind the curve, WHile the operators have already moved onto other calibers (408 Chaytec vs 50BMG, 6.7 Lapua vs 7.62mm for the M40 sniper system) and SPECWAR is still looking at other calibers as well. The 50 or even the 408 are heavy and cumnbersome, Weight is an issue when you are miles into enemy territory in a two to 6 man sniper team. The 300 mag is far superior to the 7.62mm, the 6.7 lapua is better than the 7.62mm, The 7mm 08 is better than all of them and why it is being looked at right now as well.

YA know, we do a lot of artifical reef building off the coast — I know were in tight times but to me it would be worth the funding to install these defense systems on hulls we are planning on sinking anyways to see what really works in the real world and not under controlled simmulations. It would be better to find out if it really works before we put it on 10 or 20 ships to find out it doesnt work when one of them gets hit (a lot cheaper in the long run in my opinion). But in reality there was something to be said about the old school construction techniques of building for survivability after a hit compared to trying to put enough stuff on one to keep its paper hull from being hit in the first place. CVN’s are the only thing afloat these days that can take a

I would agree if it wasnt for the fact that (1) they do not always transit in a convoy, (2) todays convoys have quite fewer ships in them thus reducing the screen size, (3) once the escorts take a hit they are pretty much done for. Even merchant marine ships these days are being armed more and more, many backfitted with CIWS. (4) current plans of reducing the number of NAVY ships means more and more ships will have to fend for themselves.

wel it is nice to know that all the money that was saved kicking people out on bs rules realy helped out. as we know the cno will have a job when he gets out. maybe president? typical navy. looking for the tech and not the people.

To the poster “BOOMER”

You wrote: “What is happening is the regular ARMY is playing catch up to SPECWAR operators but way behind the curve”

I think you overlooked the elephant in the doorframe: The U.S. Army is way behind the curve with the standard 5,56 mm calibre, too!

Part 1 / 2

ONE great use to which every Navy should systematically put some old (or inviable) civilian or military ships is to cram them with the newest and even experimental technology (sensors, weapons, constructive safety features, communications, etc.) and then use them as live (but unmanned), self-defending targets against all sorts of old and modern ordnance and drones, starting with single attacks with primitive, slow ammunition first, then gradually stepping up the quality and quantity of the incoming rounds, the amount of simultaneous attack angles, the meteorological conditions, too, etc. etc. . Everything linked to a black box, or transmitted live to the experiment’s controllers.

Why? As you absolutely brilliantly put it: “…before we put it on 10 or 20 ships to find out…” And since we don’t have proxy wars between Super-Powers anymore, and now “Israel” has the nuke, too, so unfortunately we can’t use its wars as a petri dish for Western military technology either…


Part 2 / 2

Although… that would be the day of all truths, and this idea could give the military-industrial complex – which already sold billions, if not TRillions worth of these technologies, and maybe advertized them wrongly, too – A HEART ATTACK ! It “could” also compromise national security a bit, if Russian and Chinese satellites overhead videoed comfortably that ~ 80 % of all “modern” Western ship systems fail catastrophically, and even under which exact conditions.

Naah, I think that NOBODY is EVER going to have the courage to use ship carcasses for such expensive, but rare and extremely revealing experiments! They prefer to pray for peace (and good businesses)… until their retirement, at least.


To Byron Skinner


Part 1 / 16

In relation to the XM2010: Do you think that the U.S. Army at least waited until it spent ALL its last purchased (former) M24s’ barrels before introducing the XM2010, instead of letting them rust away unused in some godforsaken depot? Or don’t they even care, because they’re all drowning in money?

Any news already about eventual 10.000 $ XM2010 “upgrades” in the 2020s to… “7 mm Remington” ?

The Pentagon must think that arms acquisitions are like mall marketing, where always the same products’ dispositions are constantly reshuffled on the racks, with some periodical liquidation sales of tried and trusted designs in between, to keep the users “interested”.


Part 2 / 16

I confess, sometimes I myself buy (for example…) a new screwdriver or drill bit not out of sheer need but out of prodigality or greed, but NOT at the price of a complete de luxe 200-pieces electric drill set!!! And not because I couldn’t afford it (I even take pride in my garage’s tool collection), or before I’ve worn out my current drill, but because with this basic, wasteful attitude soon I couldn’t afford it anymore!


Part 3 / 16

You wrote: “The (Foxtrot) system was so backwards that the only time the crew got hot food was when the sub was on the surface recharging batteries, which was at least once a day (24 hours). (…) I would guess that that two launches was all the Foxtrot was able to get off before US ASW was on top of it, why send good torpedos to the bottom. I would say that the US is at this point way ahead of the Russians and any other country in submarine technology.”

Qualitatively, the Soviet Armed Forces always lagged behind the West, and the Soviet Navy was also the LEAST developed of the U.S.S.R.‘s Armed Forces’ four branches, a junior member which suffered from a dire lack of (home) ports and seafaring tradition, but what you just wrote is simply grotesque:


Part 4 / 16

You visited an ex-Soviet diesel-electric Foxtrot submarine (first launched in 1957), compared it to the “U.S.S. Dolphin” tied next to it = to the U.S. Navy’s O-N-L-Y (post-War) diesel-electric submarine, launched in 1968 ( = 11 years AFTER the Soviet Foxtrot, and which only became an “experimental” submarine on top of that, too! My God, HOW OBJECTIVE you are today…), and derided it: “Sooo, that’s the Soviet Navy’s top technology! We’re better.”

What would happen to the ( REAL ) image which all other posters of this Web-site have of ME , if I ever talked about the diesel-electric 1968 “U.S.S. Dolphin” like that, and seriously pretended that “THIS IS STILL the U.S. Navy” ?!


Part 5 / 16

The Foxtrots were diesel-electric, long-range, conventional attack boats, and follow-ons to the Zulu class. Easily fabricated boats, they were built in floating drydocks in 90 days, using relatively unskilled labour. (By comparison, your much-vaunted “U.S.S. Dolphin” needed 6 Y-E-A-R-S to be completed, from keel-laying in 1962 to launch in 1968 !!! EAT THAT !!!!!) From 1958 on the Soviets built 60 Foxtrots merely as a SMALL COMPLEMENT to their nuclear-powered subs (back then: Only the “Yankees”, “Victors” and “Charlies” classes) ! And why on Earth should any other Navy in the World even emulate the bizarre U.S. Navy and build ONLY nuclear-powered submarines?? Did you maybe discover something we haven’t?


Part 6 / 16

As Red Navy specialist Arthur Bakes noted: The CONVENTIONALLY-powered counterparts to Soviet nuclear-powered attack, cruise missile and ballistic missile submarines might be thought of as “second-rate” designs in the traditional Soviet fashion, not so much as programs to flesh out force levels due to resource constraints but rather conscious designs to produce a lesser ship for less demanding, specialized missions such as barrier operations.

(How to defeat the tall and towering Byron Skinner on his own turf: Open a famous expert’s book while you post on the Internet – asymmetrical warfare, HE HE HE !!! )


Part 7 / 16

How “sophisticated” were Western anti-submarine capabilities anyway in the late 1950s? Too sophisticated for contemporary Foxtrots to attack N.A.T.O. convoys crossing the Atlantic, just “because their sailors ate cold meals”, as you “astutely deduced” ? How many well-nourished U.S. sailors would they have turned into shark meals, back in these days? Were there even any A.S.W. helicopters on U.S. carriers in the ‘50s?

I bet that during the Cuba Crisis (1962), when the U.S.S.R. sent (only?) 4 Foxtrots to play hide and seek with the U.S. Navy’s blockade without firing even a flare at the amassed armada, you didn’t feel ballsy enough to laugh about Foxtrots, yet.


Part 8 / 16

And about the Soviet Navy in the ‘50s – ‘60s: At the outbreak of World War II, the Soviet Navy already had the largest submarine fleet in the World, at 66 units, but the Germans left all the Soviet Western fleets (in the Baltic, in the North and especially in the Black Sea) in crumbs, including their shipyards. Directly after World War Two, Stalin’s last years weren’t exactly conducive to realizing Five Year Plans either, no matter how grandiose the dictator’s desires. But as a victor nation, the U.S.S.R. could immediately increase the size of its Navy with former German and Japanese ships and submarines, and, more importantly: It gained access to advanced naval technology in areas such as submarine design and construction!


Part 9 / 16

Have you already forgotten that when the FIRST post-War Soviet submarine, the 1.300-ton diesel-electric Whiskey-class medium-range patrol submarine was ready for service in 1950, 7 years BEFORE the Foxtrots, it was chracterized as probably the most advanced submarine design in the World at that time? Whisky and Zulu class submarines were DIRECT descendants of the lastest Nazi U-Boats and caused a considerable stir in the West, which feared a renewed Battle of the Atlantic! (Although the Zulus were better suited for mercantile warfare than the Whiskeys)

And that was even BEFORE the beginning of the massive build-up of the Red Navy!


Part 10 / 16

Historically, the “modern” Soviet Navy was only born in 1956 ( = 2 years before the Foxtrot’s launch) with the appointment of Admiral Sergey Gorshkov, at the age of 45 (I’m almost as old as that, too. I just didn’t like ships…). His thesis, which convinced his superiors, was that the Soviet Navy solely existed to fire nuclear missiles. As simple as that. Gorshkov then (initially) REDUCED the Soviet Navy quaNTitatively to increase it quaLitatively (budget limits…) and built the FIRST S.L.B.M.-firing submarines in the World (the “Golfs”) in 1958, 2 years BEFORE you U.S. Americans! During the whole Cold War, they lied in front of the U.S.A.‘s two coasts, waiting for the signal.


Part 11 / 16

Despite the national trauma of the successful Nazi Blitzkrieg against the Soviet Union, Gorshkov didn’t believe for a second in Western amphibious assaults (Normandy-like invasions) against the Soviet Union. That’s why he kept conventional missions for the Red Navy marginal (why would the U.S.S.R., which bordered directly on so many threats and opportunities, need for example an amphibious navy?) and designed
1) a mostly offensive, long-range, sea-denying Navy
2) long-range (tactical and strategic) cruise missiles carried by surface ships, submarines and aircraft (Soviet anti-shipping missiles and cruise-missiles soon became second to none – still are!)
3) S.L.B.M.s,
all to be fired at maximum range in a single, preemptive salvo (typical Soviet doctrine).


Part 12 / 16

Gorshkov’s behemoth submarines soon contained 40 % of all Soviet strategic missiles (too many, some said) and ~ 25 % of all Soviet nuclear warheads. And at a top speed of 44,7 knots and a dive depth of 800 m, his Alfa submarines scared the living daylights out of N.A.T.O. by outrunning and outdiving any Western torpedo for several years (in terms of pure performance), but N.A.T.O. couldn’t outrun theirs… And in a drive to make Soviet SSBNs even more survivable, Gorshkov also revolutionized launching nukes from under water, and later even through thick polar ice! And since the Soviets famously distinguished less than the West between conventional and ABC (total) warfare, and between strategic and tactical nuclear war, imagine the effect of two or three nuclear torpedoes on each U.S. carrier group, even if fired from “cold-meals-only” Foxtrots!


Part 13 / 16

Gorshkov and papa Khrushchev also, and INTELLIGENTLY , SCORNED AND REFUSED the idea of large, high value surface vessels for mere “power projection”, even purging (preferably “liquidating”. Good times!) all dissenting navy commanders who dreamt too loud about an obsolete, Mahanian style battlefleet. Gorshkov made every penny count: 1 buck = 1 bang! That’s why Soviet warships were soon bristling with more weapons and sensors than ANY OTHER NAVY’S warships in the World, absolutely redundant systems, in case one technology failed in the middle of a firefight. Soon, even civilian Russian ships (including trawlers!) were modified for spying for the U.S.S.R., too, which then centrally controlled the intelligence – LONG before you Anglos built your global Echelon espionage network! It seems that you have forgotten all this.


Part 14 / 16

In the end, ONLY the Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty’s (S.A.L.T.) ceilings tailed off Gorshkov’s submarine-building rage, much to his psychological misery. Nevertheless, by the mid-1950s the Soviet naval airforce already grew to 4.000 aircraft, and it was none less than Gorshkov again who spotted all that potential still lurking inside the failed, original Tupolev Tu-22 “Blinder” and spurred its transformation into the feared Tu-22M “Backfire” long-range maritime strike bomber! He REALLY wanted to exterminate the whole West, and worked hard on “getting it all over with them”, but you actually believe that the Soviets only spared us because they were still missing something?


Part 15 / 16

I won’t bother you with facts about the Soviet Navy from the 1970s onwards, long after the Foxtrots’ heydays. It suffices to remind you that in only 20 years Admiral Gorshkov turned the Red Fleet from smoking or sunk wrecks into the World’s biggest Navy, despite its constant lack of resources, and in many ways into an innovative fleet, too. Even the insipid Czarist Navy invented the first purpose-built amphibious ship in the World, the Elpidifor class (I’m telling you lots of things today you’ll hardly find on “Google”…) and the Krab, the first submarine specifically built for mine-laying, etc. !

Compare that to the U.S. Navy’s irresponsible, autistic squandering of money and human resources today.

But I really expected a bit more historical knowledge and technical, apolitical discernment from YOU than this redneck-like burp. And this in a thread about the San-Antonio-class L.P.D.s! (“Not survivable”) Tsk tsk…


Part 16 / 16

I truly wonder: Did Russia deliberately send its oldest surviving, LEAST seaworthy Foxtrot on a World-wide disinformation tour or something, and you giddily took the bait? Had you roamed through the Kirov battlecruiser or a Typhoon SSBN (did the U.S.N. ever own a bigger sub?) instead of through a Foxtrot and then looked at a F-35 Zumwalt docked behind it, you would feel… rather glum now! (“Those baby-head-devouring Communists”, “Does a leopard change its spots?”, etc.)

Don’t worry: If U.S.-Russian relations continue to thaw, you’ll have your chance: Nowadays Russia even offers paid rides in its best MiG fighters to civilians! The U.S. …?

But if you feel sooo superior to everybody else, then why don’t you one day, when the P.L.A.N. achieves parity with the U.S. Navy (courtesy of some incognito Chinese Admiral Tirpitz, Yamamoto or Gorshkov?), climb to the top of some San Antonio’s or Littoral Combat Ship’s mast and call China’s bluff?!

The tension between China and Taiwan; And Japan and China with Russia could made us think otherwise.

Darn, a person who knows their history. In my opinion, you are correct on all accounts. Question is will it matter? Both sides of the aisle are wedded to large corporations so nothing will probably change until the system comes crashing down.

S/F Goron

If the electrical and fiber optic systems are not reliable, these are the lifeblood of a ship’s ops!! Somebody should go to jail for this!

This is just another Bushism that needs to be corrected.

I suspect ‘ol “Boomer” was about to say CVN’s can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’. I have my doubts about a CVN’s ability to defend a large number of sea-skimming super-sonic missiles in-bound to its position. CVNs deploy far from shore.…good, and convenient given the reach of their Air Group. I’d be careful about suggesting what a CVN can and cannot sustain in terms of damage. And, no, I’m not even a Sailor.

Signed with Objectivity, A Marine Veteran

The USN has wasted a LOT of money over the past 15 years going after concepts made of dreams. Their planes such as NATF and A-12 never got to fruition. DD21 and DDX, CX, etc never happened. The LCS might be a good idea but it needs basic armament, One major gun is not enough. A battery of missiles is not the whole answer. There are not enough CVAs and the planes to fill them. The F-35C is going to be their first stealth jet and the only one that can offer strike capabilities on Day One of the next skirmish. Forget F-18 in that role; it’s a big radar target. That’s why Boeing/Northrop Grumman is pushing the EF-18. The LPD can be a good ship with the proper fixes, not just yet with the way it is.

The reality is that the Navy has so many platforms in ships, subs, and jets with more internal fighting than its disagreements with the USAF, Army, and even Coast Guard over funding. It needs senior management to set its priorities based on concrete requirements and real dollar and cents common sense. Problem is that the guys in charge change jobs every 2 — 3 years that wear the stripes on the sleeves along with the senior, politically appointed civilians. Add a Congress that gets elected every 2 years or 6 years, and so is always campaigning, to the mix. Plus the funding is done on an annual basis and never by Oct 1st. It is a wonder that anything is actually accomplished.

With today’s weapons systems and of course, submarines, there are NO SHIPS which are survivable in combat situation . . not even other submarines. The best any ship can expect to do is to complete it’s primary purpose. Even Carriers will be lucky to get their planes in the air although those planes might not have any place to land upon completion of their mission. There is no such animal as Naval survivability in a serious combat situation today.

not sure how aware you are but the current CNO didn’t hold that title when the these ships were created and first built.

Someone, of authority, had to apporve these untis PROIR to their purchase, and installations??? Where does the buck stop in this form of stupidity? If this is part of the overall moderization plans for future weapons systems, then we are in DEEP DOO DOO.….Accountablility, responsibility, should still be the key words here, or nothing will ever get solved? In closing, doe anyone pay the full price of this type of BLUNDER? Do we continue to allow them to escape punishment? How far up does iot go, we already know how far down it goes, because that is where investigators always seem to end up???


Point taken — but at the same time it has been shown that due to thier size and numerous watertight compartments that they can take way more hits than regular ships can withstand, and those videos were shown on TV documentaries. I will say it takes more than 1 MK48 torpedo to sink one which carries way more explosives and power than any surface or air launched missile. 1 Mk 48 will split ships in half and send them to the bottom within minutes with not much chance for any survivors to be found. Also I dont think there are anyships out thier today that could defend against a salvo of incoming missiles which is why I feel they should be sturdy enough to take the hits as much as possible.

The blame will fall on the wardroom and goat locker although I suspect the CO was the big push to get his new command to sea as soon as it would float and drive, everything else can be done after he gets his command at sea time in for his next promotion, and the Xo has to get his at sea time in so he can get a CO billet and promotion. The junior officers — goats — blue shirts always pay the price, The builders will say it was built to your specs and accepted by you, the CO will say it was never brought to his full attention. The way of politics as usual.

It’ll make a nice reef for the fishies one day!

It’s not all NG fault you go through trials i.e. builders and final contract trials for this very reason. The new equipment that is installed that has faults, the suppose to be experts can’t figure some of the problems out. The navy is down sizing so the 300 member crew barely has time for anything change besides trying to document and correct these faults which most of the equipment has a school for you to attend to help give you some idea of how to correct the problems. Taxpayers dollars going to waste!!

Goes to show that this great country is falling apart piece by piece.

Allegedly, their Electronics Technicians are able to cross-train into telecommunications which includes terminating fiber optics, and should be up to speed on the maintenance and repair of any optical network, shipboard or otherwise. If the schools are nearly the same as when I went through them, though, my confidence drops several notches.

It appears, like its predecessor the LST, it’s built to be an easily sinkable target. I think the pentagon really likes placing marines in unnecessary danger. The Land Support Tank carrier was also known as the Large Slow Target, for a good reason. It seems the designation still fits…

Do you mean Landing Ship, Tank, Richard? I believe that’s the designation.…

The real culprit here is the fact that this present CNO and MCPON only care about how well a sailor “looks” in uniform and that they place a higher reguard to fitness scores than on whether the sailor is truly capable of performing their job correctly. Getting an average in techical expertice will NOT prevent a sailor from being advanced but an average score on the fitness test will. Plus in order to be able to be considered for SCPO the candidates must have aan AS or AA degree and to be considered for advancement to MCPO a BS or BA is now required thus taking effective deck-plate supervision away leaving the Junior officers to run the divisions without effective guidance. And you wonder why the Navy has these problems??No one has the balls anymore to just say no when a problem is seen so it can be corrected..If you file a complaint you get fired or demoted for cause.You can believe these deckplace personel saw what was going on and were shut down from telling anyone till it was too late now the taxpayer has to pay. NG should be responsible for any cost overruns and be penalized for any late delivery.

We don’t waste a 1.7 billion dollars ship because it lacks defenses. We should bring it back to the builders and have them make the updates and repairs. If this is new it should be covered by manufacturer’s warranty.

LOL! Shipbuilders don’t have or honor warranties! That’s part of the problem. The government assumes all risk. It self-insures, which is why these ships cost so much. No design discipline, no management, camel designed by a committee.


NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | Like us on , follow us on and join us on Google+
© 2015 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.