"Budget Cuts Marine AV-8B, Restricts Navy to Small Carrier"
(See G. C. Wilson, p. 107, March 1979 Proceedings)
Captain Thomas H. Suddath, U. S. Navy (Retired)—We're into another budget cycle and the still unanswered question among military planners is what should be the U. S. Navy's plan for shipbuilding in the immediate future. Traditionally, it seems that the groups within the Navy who have been able to yell the loudest have gotten the lion's share of the yearly shipbuilding program. I strongly urge the aviators, submariners, surface ship groups, and lastly, a forgotten but a potentially strong and effective group in naval warfare operations, i.e., the offensive and defensive mine warfare people, to get themselves together and present a balanced shipbuilding program this year.
Let it never be forgotten that the ultimate objective of any war is to be able to place a U. S. foot soldier on selected enemy territory of the United States' choosing and to have the power to keep him there until the diplomats take over.
Scott C. Truver, Technical Staff Assistant for Maritime Affairs, Santa Fe Corporation—President Carter's fiscalyear 1980 budget announcement that he had refused to approve $203 million for continued development of the advanced Harrier AV-BB vertical or short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) aircraft not only clouds the future of Marine Corps close support tactical air, but brings into serious doubt Mr. Carter's commitment to fashion a bold new approach to Navy aviation. Such a new direction was to be embodied in the medium-sized conventional and V/STOL aircraft capable carrier (CVV) that Navy Secretary W. Graham Clayton, Jr., during hearings last year on the Navy's aircraft carrier program, consistently referred to as a "transition ship" to a new era of V/STOL aviation for the Navy. However, the President's rejection of the AV-BB, and, presumably, the proposed "navalized" version of the Advanced Harrier, the AV-BB-Plus, indicates an unwillingness to consider completely the lessons to be learned from the 1978 carrier controversy and, in turn, creates some doubt as to his true commitment to the Navy of the future.
Over a year ago, in November 1977, reports were circulating that the Navy had become very interested in a "navalized" Harrier. Weapon systems then under development for the Navy/McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 aircraft would be used for the AV-BB Plus, prompting some senior Navy officials to remark that the new V/STOL aircraft would be a highly credible light attack aircraft for land attack, close air support and interdiction, anti-ship attack, cooperative antisubmarine warfare, and subsonic limited air defense missions in the fleet. The Navy tentatively planned to operate the AV-BB-Plus from small, V/STOL capable ships, perhaps as an independent V/STOL task force, or as part of a large carrier task force.
The Marine Corps also saw the Advanced Harrier as a new approach to providing close air support. Operating very close to the forward edge of the battle area (FEBA) from facility-size support units at primitive sites, the Marine Corps' AV-BB concept has the advantages of (1) providing rapid, responsive air power to the ground commander, (2) improving basing flexibility, (3) facilitating aircraft dispersal, and (4) creating independently deployable units. Despite recent Navy and Marine Corps analyses that have shown the AV-BB to be both cost- and combat performance-effective using ground loiter close to the FEBA for quick response to support infantry needs, Defense Secretary Harold Brown has remained unconvinced of the plane's capabilities and Navy/Marine Corps needs for it. This Administration's reluctance to continue funding the AV-8B stems, in part, from the fact that the Advanced Harrier program competes directly for scarce resources with the Carter-favored F/A-18 Hornet program.
Perhaps more critical from a naval aviation perspective, however, is the apparent Administration myopia regarding lessons that should have been learned from last year's DoD authorization process about the future program of Navy TacAir and the role of Congress in shaping that program. These lessons have significant import for both the future development of V/STOL aviation and the evolution from an all-large carrier Navy to a fleet comprised also of small, air-capable platforms embarking V/STOL aircraft. Without an explicit commitment by President Carter to pursue V/STOL aircraft programs, Congress may refuse to fund other programs, including the CVV, that the President wants. And, once this impasse is reached, further cooperation in the evolution of ship types, weapons, and force levels toward a Navy conceived to meet the naval threats of the 1990s and beyond may be jeopardized.
Indeed, President Carter's dogged advocacy of the CVV carrier is evidence of a rejection of the major lesson of 1978. Congressional debate on the Navy's FY 1979 carrier program resulted in a "package deal" approach. Although President Carter did not want a carrier included in the FY 1979 budget, thinly veiled Navy enthusiasm for funding a fourth Nimitz-class carrier (CVN-71) and the Navy's Assessment of Sea-Based Air Platforms Project Report convinced both the Senate and the House that building the CVN-71 was in America's national security interests. However, congressional assent on a final Nimitz CVN was predicated upon Navy acceptance of other elements of a "carrier package plan" sponsored by Senator Gary Hart: the conversion of two LPHs to V/STOL support ships (VSSs), the construction of a sixth LHA for the Marine Corps as a quid pro quo for its agreement to provide LPHs for VSS service, and the funding of 18 "navalized" AV-8B-Plus Harriers to be embarked on the first LPH/VSS. This proposal received the firm support of former CNO Admiral James Holloway, Marine Corps Commandant Louis H. Wilson, and Navy Secretary Claytor who viewed the LPH/VSS as a "good way to get started" toward a Navy V/STOL carrier program. Claytor believed that the Navy could learn a great deal about how to build and operate a new design VSS by using the LPH/VSS conversion with Harrier aircraft as an operational test program. Nevertheless, because it incorporated the nuclear-propelled CVN-71, the "carrier package plan" was the cause of President Carter's veto of the FY 1979 DoD Authorization Bill in August.
Now, at the beginning of the DoD authorization/appropriation process for FY 1980, President Carter has not only rejected the Advanced Harrier AV-8B for the Marine Corps-and, by extension, the AV-8B-Plus for the Navy as well—but he also failed to include any of the remaining elements of the 1978 "package plan" in his FY 1980 Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy, requests. Apparently, President Carter is relying upon Navy and congressional acquiescence to the CVV alone, despite Navy, DoD, and congressional advocacy of a follow-on John F. Kennedy (CV-67)-design carrier as an alternative to the CVV.* President Carter has thereby circumscribed the opportunities for political compromise among the principal actors in the aircraft carrier drama. Only by proposing a similar "package deal" to the Congress on a FY 1980 carrier program that includes elements that will satisfy all parties—the CV-67 for the large-carrier admirals; a VSS-type ship for proponents of small, air-capable ships; and conventional propulsion in carriers for White House officials intent on keeping a lid on costs—can any program garner the necessary support to be successful. At this early date, President Carter has not done this.
*EDITOR'S NOTE: For a discussion of the debate among the Navy, DoD, and the White House on the FY 1979 CV program see S. C. Truver, "The 1978 Carrier Controversy: Why Not the Kennedy?" Naval War College Review, Spring 1979.
"Time Out for Tactics"
(See M.A. Libbey, pp. 52-57, January 1979 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander Cornelius F. O'Leary, U.S. Navy, College of Naval Command and Staff, Naval War College—I certainly concur with Lieutenant Commander Libbey's call for a resurgence in tactical thought. "Think tactics" has lately become a much bandied slogan in various official and unofficial publications. However, tactical doctrines and "bull" sessions, although valuable in providing insights and stimulating individual thought, do not overcome one significant shortcoming in current tactical readiness-evaluation. Greater emphasis must be placed on systematic tactical evaluation, whether through war-gaming or at-sea operations. Only by testing our tactics can we fully evaluate our current capabilities and develop options to improve them.
Tactical doctrine can provide the guidelines. Evaluation through dynamic in-port-at-sea tactical training exercises can develop the skill.
"Setting Shipboard Priorities"
(See K. R. McGruther and J. P. Morse, pp. 36-41, February 1979 Proceedings)
Admiral David L. McDonald, U. S. Navy (Retired), Chief of Naval Operations, 1963-1967—Lieutenant Commanders McGruther and Morse have written an excellent article. I agree 100% with shipboard priorities #1—personnel management—and #9—special programs—and have no particular argument with the others.
However, I'd like to comment, on the conclusions. Although II agree, in general, with item 4—wherein it is stated that "the harder you work, the luckier you will be"—I believe that this statement should be qualified. First, the work must be productive. Second, and most important, one should remember that the amount of work isn't necessarily measured by the number of hours on the job. To me this most important element is too often overlooked. I think that one of our greatest problems today is that the long working hours, which some seem to think so essential, make it almost impossible to (a) keep oneself fit and fresh (item 7), (b) prevent one from being consumed by one's job (item 8), and (c) enjoy the naval profession (item 9).
(See D. M. Fort, pp. 123-127, December 1978 Proceedings)
Captain A .M. Osborne, U.S. Navy—The ultracarrier described by Mr. Fort represents some intriguing concepts. It is hard to fathom a ship of that size, 500,000 tons, being comparable in cost to a Nimitz (CVN-68)-class carrier. It is less difficult to be persuaded that there are substantial advantages in the design. The freedom to design to requirements with the severe constraints of space and weight inherent in the present carrier designs provides a new dimension on the drawing board.
One particularly intriguing concept is the combined nuclear and conventional propulsion system. Although Mr. Fort mentions a nuclear propulsion plant similar to the Nimitz's with a conventional boost, an even greater realization of cost savings, survivability,and economy could be realized with a combined nuclear and gas turbine propulsion system.
A single nuclear plant could provide 140,000 shaft horsepower and speeds up to 18-20 knots in the proposed ultracarrier. This would be adequate for most transit steaming.
Boost propulsion up to and beyond 30 knots could be provided by gas turbine propulsion units that are already approved for service use. The present PHM gas turbine system uses a two-stage water jet propulsion system capable of 18,500 horsepower. Full realization of the 22,500 horsepower LM-2500 gas turbine is available simply by strengthening the gearbox that is weight-limited in the PHM.
With proper ducting for the waterjet, the LM-2500 and water pump units could be located anywhere on the skin of the ship. Ten such units could provide a total of 365,000 horsepower when combined with a single nuclear plant. The number of units installed could be flexible dependent on the desired ship's speed. It is significant that modular propulsion units of this type could be added or deleted in future ships without a significant design change.
By arranging these propulsion units along the entire hull, survivability could be significantly improved. Even though the propellers in Mr. Fort's proposed design are heavily armored, they are still grouped at the stern and therefore vulnerable to damage by a single torpedo hit.
Ducting for water jet engines could provide a problem for the designers, but not a baffling problem. The high water velocity of the second-stage pump could withstand a reasonable amount of ducting and, since the propulsion unit would be located on the skin of the ship, this should not be an insurmountable problem.
Another inherent advantage of this concept is the maneuverability to be realized by installing gas turbine propulsion units (GTPU) near the bow, or at least forward of the pivot point. Bow thrusters would no longer be required, and even steering control could be maintained in the event of loss of the ship's rudders. The possibilities are staggering.
Although the GTPU application has thus far been discussed with regard to the ultracarrier, the concept can be applied to almost any surface ship of reasonable size. The present minimum size considered feasible for nuclear cruisers is 8,000 tons. With nuclear propulsion and GTPU, the overall propulsion weight factor should be considerably reduced. By using nuclear propulsion for the majority of the steaming time, estimated at 85% of the underway time, both energy conservation would be realized as well as long life for the gas turbines, which would be operated only 15% of the underway time. In the Nimitz-class CVN, the nuclear unit could be cut in half, along with the number of nuclear-trained personnel.
The GTPU should prove more economical (requiring less fuel than conventional propulsion), should provide better reliability and survivability through greater redundancy, and appears to have wide application.
"The First Horse Out of the Firehouse"
(See B. R. Linder, pp. 127- 130, December 1978 Proceedings)
Lieutenant L. M. Kryske, U. S. Navy, former navigator, USS Parsons (DDG-33)—Lieutenant Linder's excellent article accurately described the advantages of forward deployment in Japan. One significant omission, however, was the absence of any reference to the host nation's navy, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). The seafaring tradition of the Japanese is legend, and while their present navy may be small in physical size, their professionalism, pride, and dedication are as noteworthy as those of their predecessors.
One of the most rewarding activities in which the ships of Destroyer Squadron Fifteen participate is the sister ship program with the JMSDF in which each American vessel and her Japanese counterpart engage in both professional and social functions. Shore-based ASW team training, blue-water ASW exercises, junior officer exchange ship cruises, and social outings enrich the normal shipboard operations of the forward-deployed units. The cultural gap, which is manifested in both differences in language and in customs, is bridged by a common bond—the officers and men of both navies make the sea their livelihood.
The strategic benefits accrued by forward deployment mentioned in Lieutenant Linder's article need reemphasis. Although Japan's navy is entirely defensive, it forms an integral component of the Free World's defense of Japanese waters in the Western Pacific. The tactical expertise and shiphandling proficiency of the Japanese during joint ASW exercises audaciously demonstrate that the JMSDF is a capable and extremely professional organization.
The Overseas Residency Program in Japan offers a variety of professional and personal contacts with the host country's naval forces. The bonds of friendship which develop are great. An American destroyerman living in the land of the Samurai and the chrysanthemum acquires a profound respect for the officers and men of the JMSDF. More importantly, as stated by
Commander James E. Auer, U.S. Navy, and Commander Sadao Seno, JMSDF (Retired), in their chapter of Guide to Far Eastern Navies (Naval Institute Press, 1978), "…if Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force continues its gradual buildup, it would continue to be an efficient, well-maintained naval force capable of cooperating with and assisting the U. S. Seventh Fleet in the Western Pacific."
"Punishment, Discipline, and the Naval Profession"
(See J. B. Bonds, pp. 43-49, December 1978; E. E. Bracken, p. 20, March 1979 Proceedings)
Commander Rudolf Hradecky, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, District Judge Advocate Headquarters, Ninth Naval District, Naval Base Great Lakes, Illinois—Commander Bonds' article is a thoughtful analysis of concepts inherent in discipline and the philosophies of punishment designed to enhance discipline. Readers should consider in proper context, however, Commander Bonds' criticism of the involvement of military judges and judge advocates in the administration of the military legal system.
Commander Bonds correctly notes that judicial processes are unsuited to minor offenses. Judicial processes of the court-martial are designed for the disposition of serious offenses, and captain's mast is an excellent device for dealing with minor behavior infractions. However, neither is adequate nor effective for chronic unauthorized absence, particularly where the offender had not voluntarily returned to his parent command.
It is nonsense to blame lawyers for breakdowns in discipline, while ignoring the reasons why carefully selected young volunteers become demotivated and desperate enough to commit the offense of unauthorized absence in order to get off a ship, or even out of the Navy. Unauthorized absence is, has been, and will continue to be the manifestation of personal distress and psychological maladaptation to the rigors of military life.
Resolution and improvement of the "dropout" problem instead are going to require an innovative approach and a comprehensive review of recruiting practices and separation policies, continuing identification and early elimination of marginal performers before they become administrative burdens, assessment of command environment, and a review of the role and policies of correctional centers. As an alternative, the Navy should institute retraining commands and programs where absentees will be sent for classification, appraisal, retraining, and remotivation, with the view toward their eventual restoration to duty as a substitute for our present reliance upon the disciplinary and administrative procedures set up under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Simply put, the unauthorized absentee who is apprehended or returns to a command other than his parent command would immediately be administratively assigned to a retraining command where he would receive the equivalent of postgraduate "boot camp." Judicial intervention would not be required for a duty assignment of an administrative nature. The services, and in particular the Navy, have made marked inroads into handling of alcoholics and drug abusers by setting up treatment centers which deal with the status of the offenders. Unauthorized absence, as the manifestation of a specific type of maladaptation, fits more into this category as a status offense, rather than as a criminal offense.
Unless innovative approaches are sought in dealing with the problem of unauthorized absence, the problem will continue, and traditional disciplinary procedures will offer neither solution nor improvement.
"The Recovered Sunken Warship: Raising a Legal Question"
(See A. D. Wiegley, pp 26-32, January 1979; J. Drahos, p. 22, March 1979 Proceedings)
Alfred Straub—The major problemwith the proposal is not in the stylized writing but in the suggestion that the United States should think to abandon its right to gain advantage over an implacable enemy—one who is sworn to overthrow our way of life—in any way it chooses short of hostilities. There is simply too much of the philosophy that we have become impotent—self-induced castration of national will—abroad on the land today. Certainly professional military officers should not contribute to that strident ring which makes the enemy feel good about its chances.
Of course nations must balance the risks involved in any intelligence collection operation, including the placing of satellites in space for such purposes. Certainly too, we have the inalienable right to prosecute such collection. However, one of the highest priorities in making such a decision should be the relative national gain. If it is judged by the responsible authorities that the significance of the gain outweighs the risks, then there should be no doubt as to undertaking the operation.
I feverently hope that if the Soviets lost a "Yankee"-class SSBN or some other equally important warship in waters of unrestricted access that we would not hesitate to conduct an intelligence collection operation, especially if events so transpired as to indicate the Soviets had no better idea as to its location than they apparently did of the "Golf" which the United States found.
I hope that this will not be the first in a long list of articles/proposals of this ilk that could include such titles as Attacks on Satellites: The Legal Consequences or The Moral Turpitude of the North Koreans: The Pueblo is Not" Taken Lightly.
Finally, the art work of the bear spearing the sub was terrific.
"Toward a National Merchant Marine Policy"
(See L. C. Kendall, pp. 42-47, February 1979 Proceedings)
N.E. Vacakis, President, Seamodal Transport Corporation—My interest inColonel Kendall's article ceased abruptly when I came to the next to last sentence: "For the first time, it would prescribe penalties for slothful performance on the part of ship-owners who failed to exert adequate efforts to meet foreign competition."
It is difficult to reconcile such statements with present-day realities in the shipping industry, worldwide, and as they apply to the United States. The recent bankruptcies of two old well-established American steamship companies cannot be attributed to "slothful performance," nor do the unusually heavy fines imposed by the Federal Maritime Commission against Sea-Land indicate a lack of will by this carrier to "exert adequate efforts to meet foreign competition" in an arena where competitive forces are made unequal by archaic laws of Congress and its creature agencies.
The best that can be said about such government agencies is that they create jobs for the legal profession, and in fact they spend most of their productive time defending their positions, fighting each other, and creating chaos in our economy. President Carter's order deregulating the Civil Aeronautics Board has created a healthy and profitable environment for the airline industry; in the face of this reality Colonel Kendall is proposing another government agency to regulate—and regulate ad infinitum—without carefully researching the present agencies and their vast choking regulatory authority over the shipping public.
For those of us in the transportation industry involved with all three modes-land, air, and sea-making daily decisions of survival and facing two formidable foes, the U.S. Government agencies and foreign competition, Colonel Kendall's article is frustrating reading.
"Misuse of the Fast Battleship in World War II"
(See M. Muir, pp. 57-62, February 1979 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander Guilliaem Aertsen, III, U. S. Naval Reserve, flag lieutenant to Rear/Vice Admiral Willis A. Lee, Jr., 1942-1945—While Dr. Muir does me the honor of quoting my observations on the fast battleships in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, I must disagree with his conclusion. He is right in pointing to some missed opportunities to bring about surface engagements, but I feel he is assuming too much in his overall charge of misuse of the fast battleships as a type. The presence of a "fleet in being" often prevents the enemy from acting. The big ships in the South Pacific served in that capacity. It would have been foolish planning to send battleships up the slot in the Solomons where confined waters shielded small craft from radar detection. We lost many cruisers and destroyers in that area for that reason. Big ships need room to fight. Rear Admiral Jesse Oldendorf proved this in the Philippines when the Japanese tried to use large ships in the confined waters of the Surigao Strait.
"The Through-Deck Cruiser: The Navy Capital Ship"
(See M. A. Cairl, pp. 34-42, December 1978; R. J. Schneider, pp. 26-27, February 1979; T. S. Hoback, p. 81, March 1979 Proceedings)
Midshipman Fourth Class John Buziak, Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, Tulane University—Eversince the Kiev made her first deployment to open waters, I have been anxiously awaiting an article that proposes we build a similar class of ship. For this reason I was pleased to see Mr. Cairl's article. There has been a great deal of clamoring for a sea control ship, and there is probably no better ship to operate in this role than Mr. Cairl's through-deck cruiser.
Mr. Cairl, unfortunately, envisions the through-deck cruiser as a replacement for the aircraft carrier. This type of ship simply cannot take over the air superiority role. Once the high-performance conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft leave the skies, there is no way we can hope to control the air space within range of shore-based aircraft.
As a sea control ship charged with protecting a convoy on the open seas, there is no other reasonable alternative. Some strategists will doubtless claim that the convoy is an outmoded concept, on the basis that it is hopeless to believe we could resupply NATO by sea in time. But now NATO is taking a hard look at itself, and General Alexander Haig is talking about holding a line at the Rhine. In view of these recent changes, we must be prepared to resupply NATO by sea.
Small task forces set up around a well-designed through-deck cruiser and operating with the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates would be very capable escorts. Such a task force would be able to combat surface, submarine, and air threats. Mr. Cairl's proposed ship could easily be that through-deck cruiser.
For the cruiser's escort role, a complement of 12 helos and an equal number of Harriers would be in order. In addition to the cruiser's 12 helos, we can add the LAMPS helos stationed on board the frigates. The escort force could have as many as 26 helicopters to maintain a 24-hour ASW helicopter patrol. Add to this force the ASW capabilities of the ships themselves. Another possibility that might be studied is the addition of catapults and arresting gear to the cruiser in order to accommodate the S-3 Viking. Attaching this aircraft to the group would provide a long-range capability against submarines.
Not only could the cruiser provide repair and maintenance facilities for her own aircraft, but she could also serve as a service center for the LAMPS helicopters of the group.
The wisdom behind putting the Harrier on board may not at first be apparent. To clear up this point I recommend William D. O'Neil's article entitled "Backfire: Long Shadow On the Sealanes" (March 1977 Proceedings, pp. 26-35).
The Harriers could provide a moderate interdiction capability against Soviet long-range aircraft armed with antiship missiles. Twelve Harriers would not be able to stop a determined attack, but they could possibly disrupt it enough to prevent it from devastating the convoy.
An American through-deck cruiser is certainly no replacement for the aircraft carrier. If she is thought of in such terms, the ship will never be built. But she is a more than satisfactory replacement for such programs as the strike cruiser and the makeshift air-capable Spruance designs. If the through-deck cruiser is built, she will plug many gaps in our capabilities that sorely need to be filled.
Vice Admiral J. T. Hayward, U. S. Navy (Retired)—AsI have said often, "weapons make a warship." Let's look at the armament of Mr. Cairl's proposed ship. His aircraft complement is composed of vertical or short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) aircraft or helicopters. As a former Deputy CNO for Development, I can testify that V/STOL has proven an elusive technology. In 1959, the Navy put $11,000,000 into the development of the present Harrier engine. An air wing flying these marginal attack aircraft, from the standpoints of range and payload, won't offer much offensive power. (The present CVN's air wing can deliver 250 to 400 tons of weapons.) Precision-guided weapons and cruise missiles have increased the battle area at sea by several orders of magnitude. The six OTO Melara 76-mm. guns will be of little use in such a vast battle area. And the Harpoon is only a cruise missile with a 60-mile range and a 500-pound warhead. Let's face it; Mr. Cairl's through-deck cruiser isn't much of a capital ship!
Seymour J. Deitchman's recent article, "Designing the Fleet and Its Air Arm" (Astronautics & Aeronautics, November 1978), is a real analysis of our Navy's problems and presents important data which can be used to judge the through-deck cruiser. His comparison of Task Force 58 at the Battle of the Philippine Sea and a typical 1980 CVN task group illustrates what has happened to weapons at sea. Task Force 58 had 112 ships (416 aircraft [dive bombers and torpedo planes]; guns, 100 3-inch, 350 5-inch, 156 6-inch, 72 8-inch, 57 14-to-16 inch, and several hundred 20- and 40-mm. antiaircraft guns). Task Force 58's attack aircraft payload of an all aircraft sortie was 400 tons. A typical CVN task group of 1980 will have nine ships (36-48 attack aircraft; 14 5-inch guns; missiles, 2 Aegis long-range surface-to-air missile [SAM] systems, 2 twin Terrier medium-range SAM systems, 2 Tartar short-range SAM systems, and 8 Harpoon missile launchers for surface-to-surface missiles). The CVN's attack payload of an all aircraft sortie would also be 400 tons. And these statistics do not reflect the increased effectiveness of today's weapons because of advances in precision guidance and terminal homing technology. A force of so-called capital ships as proposed by Mr. Cairl would stand little chance against Mr. Deitchman's force.
Among other things, Mr. Cairl's cost percentages are open to question, and his proposal to do away with the service life extension program for the large carriers and replace all CVs with his proposed ship does not make good operational sense from any angle. The author's lack of knowledge of just how a naval force operates at sea is quite apparent.
It appears that the Navy has little "corporate" memory. Wasn't Rear Admiral William A. Moffett's "flight-deck" cruiser a forerunner of this through-deck cruiser concept?
As usual, I enjoyed the Proceedings, and hope that the Naval Institute will continue to publish articles that will invite comment and discussion. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the Editorial Board members discussed this one.
Norman Friedman—It would indeed bewonderful if, as Mr. Cairl appears to believe, less (in an airplane or a ship) were far better, and if currently nonexistent systems would cost almost nothing. However, in the unpleasant light of reality, many of his interpretations of current practice and of future technological probability begin to seem less and less believable.
Mr. Cairl looks at the carrier and sees only a flat deck; he does not see the air group which uses that deck and which requires the maintenance facilities inherent in the large carrier to keep it flying. He sees the guided weapons of the escorts, and somehow concludes that they can be amalgamated with aircraft. What he fails to see is that most of the escorts' cost is in weapons-associated electronics. For example, it is not the Mk-26 launcher that contributes essentially to the cost of a DDG-47; it is the missile fire control system—Aegis—which he dismisses as probably obsolete by the time his ship would be ready. If that is the case, then the replacement system will be as large and probably far more expensive. It must be, because Aegis is the means of handling large numbers of incoming Soviet weapons which have evaded carrier interceptors, such as the SS-N-7 fired from "Charlie"-class SSNs inside the interceptor zone. The vertical-launch system does simplify ship design in some ways, although in fact it is probably far less efficient in using space than is the magazine-and-twin-arm type. However, there is no way that it can sidestep the radar and computer requirements, and those are the ones which generate the costs. Does Mr. Cairl really imagine that a big carrier has any less electronics than his cruiser? Is he really ready to incorporate the major air search and carrier-controlled approach radars into the crowded island of his cruiser? Do such electronics figure in his rather optimistic cost data?
I wonder whether Mr. Cairl is aware of the long history of attempts to design hybrid carriers, and of why those attempts have generally failed. During the early 1930s, the U. S. Navy came quite close to building a flight-deck cruiser (CF) with two or three gun mounts forward and a flight deck aft. Detailed designs were prepared, but the concept was ultimately rejected because it was both a poor carrier and a poor cruiser.
Not counting several Japanese ships, one might refer to a series of British designs for carrier-cruisers and carrier-battleships, which the British Director of Naval Construction described about 1941 as "abortions born of a disordered mind." Once more, they were lousy carriers and not too good as anything else. The lesson of warship development is almost always that the general-purpose ship loses. It costs too much per unit capability—and that is the measure Mr. Cairl should have used. The problem is that, confronted by the fiscal miseries of the Navy and the known problems of existing ships, paper concepts are often very attractive—until they are subjected to serious analysis.
Mr. Cairl can, however, be comforted. He is not the first in the post-World War II Navy to feel that the carrier task force should be reduced to a few superships. In 1955, when it appeared that the V/STOL problem had been solved, the then Bureau of Ships design organization produced a series of studies of "self-escorting" carriers: V/STOL ships with powerful surface-to-air missile batteries, generally Talos. They were impressive, if ugly, ships, bur succumbed ultimately to the bottom line—too few aircraft for too many dollars—and they were too inflexible. Indeed, inflexibility is what ultimately kills most special-ship concepts.
Now let us look at the present. The British Invincible is a cruiser because in Britain politics rule over reality: the British Government decided that there would be no more "carriers," so sea-based air had to move to something with a less politically inflammatory name. Perhaps we should take a leaf from the British book and call CVN-71 instead CGN-42, or CGN(V)-42. In fact, if we ever build a lightly (rather than un-) protected sea control ship (SCS)-sorry, I forgot, now she is a V/STOL support ship (VSS)—she will bear a surprising resemblance to the Invincible. Both will resemble an updated escort carrier: they are limited-capability ships because of limitations on the aircraft (and on the ordnance and fuel stowage) they carry.
The French Jeanne d'Arc is a fast but limited helicopter ship. Her helo capability is almost certainly predicated on the kind of limited intervention role France has always found interesting in its former colonial possessions. She is best compared to the U. S. Navy's LPH or LPD, and indeed is less flexible than the latter. Also in her generation are the Soviet Moskva and the Italian ASW cruisers. In each case, the ship is an attempt to take an ASW unit of fairly conventional design and wed to her a helicopter capability for the prosecution of contacts at ranges made possible by new long shipboard sonars. Neither capability is really satisfactory, which is why there are only two Moskvas: there are not enough helicopters to keep enough aloft continuously, and the conventional end of the ship could fit in a far smaller hull. Why, Mr. Cairl, has the Italian Navy decided to build a helicopter/v/STOL carrier if the Vittorio Venetos are such great bargains?
Ah, but then there is the impressive Kiev. On about 40,000 tons she combines something less than the capability of the 20,000-ton Invincible with a bit more than the Soviets get out of a 1O,000-ton cruiser like the "Kara." And, again, the Kiev has those impressive antiship missiles , which for some reason count as so much more effective than, say, 20 A-7s with Harpoons. Of course, what does not show in the Kiev equation is the elaborate Soviet targeting system (including "Bear Os") required to fire her weapons; and it is comforting to know that without an airborne early warning capability, the Kiev will have a wonderful time against low-flying U. S. attack aircraft. But she is terribly impressive and clearly capable of so many alternative uses. For example, many readers will undoubtedly believe that with her variable depth sonar and her many ASW weapons the Kiev is the ideal convoy escort, and with her big surface-to-surface missiles she may be just the thing for nuclear shore bombardment. Does Mr. Cairl know that many analysts of Soviet warship design find Soviet ships rather specialized, and suspect that the Kiev was designed rather for a very specific task in wartime, closing off the Greenland-Iceland-U.K. Gap to Allied ASW forces? In those seas, she may well be cost-effective, but for other missions it is probably a very different question. The Soviet production machine forecloses the option of many different classes of heavy warships, so we will be seeing more Kievs. And they will be used in other than their designed roles. But no one ought to make the mistake of imagining that they are an optimal solution, especially for the U. S. Navy.
These are just a few comments on what I must feel is a fatally flawed argument. Mr. Cairl does not appear to understand the roles of the carrier and the carrier task force, and his concept of warship and weapon system costs is grossly defective. For example, he does not understand the fundamental truth that ship steel is cheap, but that warship costs result from the specialized equipment, especially electronics and weapon systems. Indeed, the Spruance design was justified on just this basis: the Spruance is a specialized ASW ship built in such a way as to permit later refit to a more capable AAW/ASW configuration. To build a ship without margin for later growth is to build in early obsolescence, and such an approach often saves very little money in the process. The new patrol frigates (FFGs) may turn out to be an extremely unhappy illustration of this sad truth, as they were deliberately designed with little future growth margin.
The history of U. S. warship development since 1945 is strewn with ships which proved to be cost disasters because they incorporated too much technology which had not as yet been worked out prior to their design. Mr. Cairl's superconducting turbo-electric drive is a candidate for this kind of sticky end.
I would submit that more historical study and less vague guesswork as to the technology of the future would be a better way of attacking the severe problems of the naval building program of the future. Most new ideas have old forebears, and it is always useful to see whether in the interim we have developed technology or tactics to invalidate the fatal counter arguments of the past. In the case of Mr. Cairl's through-deck cruiser we have not overcome the old problems, and he has not even begun to perceive the real problems. I hope that we will not abandon the big-deck carriers merely because they seem rather staid and un sexy, which is what Mr. Cairl is really saying. It is too bad that they don't mount heavy guns; we gave that up about 1941. Maybe we ought to put one Mk-71 on each carrier, just to call them cruisers and evade critics like Mr. Cairl.
"V/STOL Design for Tactical Aircraft"
(See C. A. Lindell, pp. 119-125, September 1978; J. F. Schork, pp. 93-94, December 1978; C. A. Lindell, p. 87, January 1979 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Brendan J. O'Donnell, U. S. Navy, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67)—I believe that Lieutenant Colonel Lindell has overstated the case for V/STOL aircraft. His "Myth #1," the weight penalty paid by V/STOL aircraft, is more often described as a weight and/or performance penalty. The weight penalty is much greater with lift-plus-lift-cruise designs than with lift-cruise designs such as the Harrier. However, such features as enlarged air inlets and centrally located wing and engine in lift-cruise designs involve some performance penalties, particularly in supersonic flight.
The weight penalty incurred in adapting CTOL aircraft to carrier use is described; however, it is implied that no modifications are required to adapt V/STOL aircraft. Since vertical and short landings on a rolling and pitching deck produce greater forces than do landings ashore, it is probable that additional structural strength, and hence weight, is required. This is particularly true if operations from small ships are envisioned.
Regarding "Myth #2," fuel consumption on takeoff, V/STOL aircraft consume large amounts of fuel in vertical flight, and the small amount of fuel used by the Harrier on takeoff is the result of spending the minimum amount of time possible in vertical flight. Improvements in fuel consumption and payload capacity are two reasons why the STOL mode of the Harrier is so widely discussed.
Although the Pegasus II engine appears to be well-balanced between vertical and cruise flight requirements, could the cruise specific fuel flow be improved if vertical takeoffs and landings were not required?
In "Myth #3," the author compares the Harrier with the VAK-191B without mentioning that the VAK-191B did not meet design requirements and that further development was not pursued. The Harrier, conversely, went through about ten years of development. A better example of a lift-plus-lift-cruise design is the Soviet Yak-36 "Forger" but, unfortunately, only limited data are available on it. Interestingly, when the Soviets first displayed a V/STOL aircraft ("Freehand") at a 1967 air show, they used a lift-cruise design which, for unknown reasons, was changed to a lift-plus-lift-cruise design before the Yak-36 entered production.
The statement in "Myth #4" that "vectored thrust aircraft may have passed the conventional aircraft design in performance potential" is highly optimistic. In making this statement, the author is comparing a V/STOL aircraft using mid-1970s' technology with CTOL aircraft using mid-1950s' to mid-1960s' technology. In comparing the empty weights of the AV-8B and the A-7, he fails to mention that the AV-8B incorporates such advances as the super-critical wing and lightweight composite materials. Even with this technology improvement, the author's chart of performance efficiency index (PEI) shows only a small improvement in the AV-8B over the A-7. When the author's Figures 6 (V/STOL-CTOL Payload Efficiency Trends) and 9 (Ship-Based Aircraft Performance) are examined, it is evident that not until 1990 will a V/STOL aircraft (AV-XX) match or surpass the payload and range capabilities of CTOL aircraft introduced in the early and mid-1960s.
The author's use of the A-10 to extend and extrapolate the CTOL efficiency trends is misleading since the A-10 is designed to operate in an exceptionally lethal environment. The armor, systems redundancy, and separation of essential components incorporated in the A-10 significantly improve its survivability in combat but also increase its empty weight. This design philosophy is not featured in any of the other aircraft on the author's charts and the A-10 is not representative of CTOL capabilities in the areas he is measuring.
The purchase of the AV-8A by the Marine Corps resulted from its experience in Vietnam and reflected a desire to reduce the time required to get dose air support to the scene of action by expanding the number of bases from which its air arm can operate. To achieve this, the Marine Corps was willing to accept the reduced range and payload of the V/STOL aircraft. It is this possibility of greatly expanded basing which is the greatest attraction of V/STOL aircraft at present. Even in this area though, there is a limit to how widely aircraft may be dispersed because they must be supplied with fuel, ordnance, spare parts, and maintenance personnel. V/STOL has a promising future, but the performance gap between it and CTOL aircraft is not as small as Colonel Lindell believes.
"An Advanced Attack Airplane Design"
(See J. M. Verdi, pp. 130-135, December 1978Proceedings)
Captain J. Todd Miles, U. S. Marine Corps Reserve—Colonel Verdi's advanced attack airplane idea and specifications represent the type of fresh thinking we need. I do, however, question the design he proposes. Four engines add a big margin of safety, but that margin is lost when those engines are combined into one gearbox and one fan. They also add significantly to the cost.
"Women in Warships: A Right to Serve"
(See J. F. Kelly, pp. 44-54, October 1978; K. G. Hensel and R. Lane, pp. 86-87, January 1979; J. L. Byron, C. O. Cook, and F. R. Hamlett, pp. 82-84, February 1979; J. P. Simpson, pp. 81-83, March 1979 Proceedings)
Commander R. Marvel, U. S. Navy (Retired) and Mrs. Marvel—We would add a postscript to Admiral Hensel's fine discussion item. It doesn't take much imagination to realize what happens when female combatants are taken as prisoners of war.
Lieutenant J. McMonagle, U. S. Navy, USS Mississippi (CGN-40)—I was distressed to read Captain Kelly's article urging the placement of women on our Navy's ships. His rank and experience certainly haven't made him closed-minded to new ideas—nor have they made him immune to bad ones.
Captain Kelly makes two valid points in supporting his argument for placing women on ships. First, it is true that women are physically and mentally capable of performing duties on a combatant vessel. As Captain Kelly affirms, certainly there would be women who perform inadequately; so have there been and will continue to be men who perform inadequately. Second, the concern of sexual promiscuity on board ships is not an eliminating one. The Navy has traditionally shown little concern about this issue with its men when they are in port. So, it would be wrong to use this argument to prevent women from going to sea. Again, as Captain Kelly affirms, men or women who wish to be sexually promiscuous will have ample opportunity in port and the crowded conditions on board ship will discourage, not encourage, sexual promiscuity.
However, as Captain Kelly also points out, there are several practical problems to be solved in order to admit women on ships. He does not make light of them for they are serious and would consume a large amount of a ship's and the Navy's resources. I have three questions: Is it all worthwhile? What is the Navy gaining from the admission of women on board ships? Most importantly, is the combat readiness of the Navy enhanced?
Parallels have been drawn between the controversy of admission of women on ships and recent ones with regard to blacks and other minorities gaining their equal rights. Certainly in each case the Navy is and was dismissing the services and talents of a large group of individuals. The latter was motivated by human hatred and prejudice. What has motivated the Navy's heretofore exclusion of women on ships? Are hatred and prejudice against women fostered by the Navy? I believe there are few who would argue in the affirmative.
The overwhelming reason advanced by the proponents of women on ships is that the right of women, to be equal with men demands they be placed on ships. Certainly equal rights for all persons regardless of race, sex, creed, or national origin are principles which justify the drastic changes required to place women on ships. But does equality between men and women mean sameness? Does the fact that women are not permitted to serve on ships mean they are unequal? Obviously, they are not the same physically and the differences continue into the mental and psychological ones. These differences have led to the adoption of a policy by Western cultures that the men will take the risks and bear the hardships of combat. This does not leave women without a role. Indeed, they have a more important one. They provide the future for a culture which makes the sacrifices involved in defending one's nation worthwhile. Placing women on warships or in combat would profoundly alter these roles. Is it all worthwhile to lose the elevated role of women in order to support the principle of sameness (not equality)?
The other reason advanced for admission of women on ships is that the Navy's manpower shortages demand it. Certainly women in combat are not new. In Communist countries and in nations whose survival is severely threatened, such as Israel, women, although to a limited degree, regularly take their place alongside men in combat. Do we as a nation desire to emulate the practices of some Communist nations? Is our survival as a nation currently threatened so dangerously that women must be placed in combat? Is the Navy's manpower shortage so acute that women must be placed on ships? If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," then we as a nation face serious problems that placing women in combat or on ships cannot begin to solve.
The weakness of the arguments for admitting women on ships is further demonstrated by consideration of the question of will all women be required to serve. The reluctance to answer strongly in the affirmative by the proponents of placing women on ships indicates the inevitable confusion and prejudice generated by considering placing women on ships. This reluctance is also another affirmation of our nation's innate reverence for the elevated position of women.
Is it time for all this to change? Is it time to attempt to enforce an unrealistic sameness between men and women? Is it worthwhile to disrupt our nation's warships and have them devote their energies and precious few resources to making room for women? No, Captain Kelly! Let the Navy get on with the business of national defense, not unrealistic social reform. Leave the women ashore and vive la difference!
(See R.H. Fisher, pp. 88-90, February 1979 Proceedings)
Lieutenant (junior grade) J. G. Stavridis, U. S. Navy, ASW Officer, USS Hewitt (DD-966)—Command it sea is the Final Frontier, the lure that pulls an officer through the first three quarters of his career, undulating like a dream at the edge of tomorrow. Each surface line officer should aspire to command at sea, by the very definition of his commitment. We each await the day, be it a hot and dry June in San Diego or a rainy winter's morning in Norfolk, when we say the magic words: "I relieve you, Sir." The gig and the star, the sense of fulfillment that comes from taking the responsibility for the ship and the men, for the people and the mission, are all keys that drive and motivate our officer corps in the surface line.
But we now face a crisis in the surface community. We are building sophisticated platforms—Spruance-class destroyers, Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates, DDG-47s, and Tarawa-class LHAs—demanding high performance from a cadre of superior officers. The crisis: we are not retaining enough surface line officers to man those ships with the experience and the expertise they demand.
The best and the brightest of the junior officer corps are leaving the surface line Navy, either for the civilian world or for the support corps of the Navy itself. The indicators are apparent: the high selection rates to lieutenant commander, the ease of acceptance to Surface Warfare Officer Department Head Course, and the split touring of division officers (whether surface warfare officer [SWO] qualified at their first command or not) and department heads to second sea commands. Fewer officers at sea mean longer sea tours for those who do stay, especially the high-quality officers. This in turn means less shore duty and greater pressures from the domestic side of a Navy man's house to depart the Navy, or to shift to a less sea-duty oriented side of the Navy.
The solution to the problem is to retain junior officers by a building of incentives. One of the greatest incentives to retention of quality junior officers is being slowly phased out of the Navy: early responsibility, in the form of early command at sea, lieutenant executive officer billets at sea, and division officer fleet-ups to department head. These forms of early responsibility give a young officer an idea of what it is all about, and can become a hook that can hold him through a long career.
As junior officers, many COs and XOs throughout the fleet today had the opportunity to hold command as lieutenants. Others were afforded command as lieutenant commanders or tours as executive officers as lieutenants in smaller combatants or even "Mod Squads." Many had the chance to fleet-up to a department head billet on their initial sea tours. The accelerating effect of the Vietnam War, along with a good service record, allowed this sudden increase in responsibility at the four- to eight-year point in their career patterns.
The opportunity for increased responsibility for the junior officer early on is diminishing, if it is not altogether gone today. A few oceangoing tugs, reserve patrol boats, a handful of smaller craft, not really rivaling the opportunities of 10 or 15 years ago, remain. Instead, the junior officer who comes aboard a ship, attains a rapid SWO qualification, stands command duty officer watches early on, acts as a tactical action officer, and in general displays a proclivity toward early advancement, can look forward to another division officer job. Such programs do round out the junior officer and are necessary to balance the Navy's at-sea officer manning. But compared to the options facing a "hot runner" of some years ago, the offering is not very positive from a retention standpoint.
If the current thrust for quality junior officer retention is to succeed, it must consist of many different programs, with an appeal at a variety of levels, both professional and personal. One important means of retaining the quality officer—who aspires to command at sea—would be to reinstitute a program to get the top of the year groups into early command opportunity. Equally beneficial for retention would be other early responsibility scenarios, including lieutenant executive officer billets, fleeting-up from division officer to department head on initial sea tours, or lieutenant commander command opportunities. The fast frigates seem to offer a fine proving ground for this sort of concept. The concept of sequential command tours to the larger Spruance-classDDs would be a logical next stop for a lieutenant commander so billeted. The chance to take early command, to have greater responsibility at the four- to eight-year point, and to assume greater responsibility early on would be worth more than many of the material benefits touted by retention experts. The job satisfaction that seems built into a command-at-sea tour or an early position of high responsibility would be well placed at the early center point of an officer's career in terms of retaining the caliber of officer who signed on to sail.
"Command Authority and Professionalism"
(See J. F. Kelly, pp. 26-32, August 1978; K. M. Smith, pp. 24-27, October 1978; J. Bussett, pp. 115-119, November 1978; C. H. Gnerlich, p. 95, December 1978; D. J. Hackett and B. V. Tiernan, pp. 89-90, January 1979; B. J. Barry, pp. 80-81, March 1979 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander Bruce K. Johnsen, U. S. Navy—In response to Captain Kelly's article, Master Chief Bussert has not only delineated the agonizing problem of a never-ending procession of inspections, but has offered a feasible solution. During my most recent tour, as weapons officer in a cruiser, I witnessed an extremely unhappy sight. In preparing for deployment, this ship was assisted and inspected into a lowered state of morale and operational readiness. Fortunately, she was able to get under way and transit to her new home port and assignment as a forward-deployed flagship. During the next 18 months, I witnessed and was part of a remarkable transformation. With each passing month, the ship's material readiness rapidly improved, while the vessel's operational edge was honed by participation in frequent fleet exercises. Routine inspections had been cut to the absolute minimum. In this relatively free atmosphere, strong leadership at the command level rapidly transformed a 30-year old hull and a disillusioned crew into the best ship in the fleet. This position was affirmed in the numerous "E" awards and letters of commendation received by the ship. I know that Chief Bussert's concept of minimizing the numbers and compressing the time frame of inspections will result in growing operational readiness, improved material condition, and high morale. I've watched it happen!
"Tactical ASW: A Case for a Non-Nuclear Submarine"
(See A. Van Saun, pp. 147-151, November 1978 Proceedings)
Captain Whitney Hansen, U. S. Naval Reserve—Commander Van Saun's rationale for a non-nuclear submarine development program, in my opinion, is flawless, and his methods of achieving his goals—i.e., by a shifting of construction funds from less effective ASW surface platform programs—also make sense. However, the vested interest politics in the Navy and the Department of Defense would probably object to his approach and prevent the achievement of his goals.
About a year-and-a-half ago I submitted a suggestion to the Director of Naval Technology, Naval Sea Systems Command, which relates to this discussion. It involves a slightly different approach for the acquisition of a nonnuclear submarine from Commander Van Saun's, and one which I thought would be politically more acceptable and, therefore, achievable. Rather than a direct frontal assault, I proposed an inexpensive trial program which would demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of state-of-the-art diesel submarines and also help the government to achieve some of its other commitments.
The Netherlands acquired the Barbel-class submarine design from the United States, and the Dutch have constructed their own version of the submarine, called the Zwaardvis class. I believe that they improved on the design in the initial boats which they constructed. In any event, they plan an improved Zwaardvis class which will be ordered from the builders in 1979. I believe that the advanced Zwaardvis will have sound-mounted engines and high-capacity battery installations. My idea is to reverse the past process; the U. S. Navy would purchase two Zwaardvis-classboats (or improved Zwaardvis-classboats) from The Royal Netherlands Navy or the submarines' constructor. The designs would be modified as necessary to include those items which should be manufactured domestically, i.e., main engines, sonar, and weapon suits. The purchase, including the plans, would help the government to discharge its commitment to purchase more military hardware from our NATO allies.
One of the boats would be assigned to SubLant and the other to Sub Pac. I further propose that the two modern diesel submarines be manned by nucleus crews only, and that they be used to train several augmenting crews, with the primary manpower being provided from a reorganized and revitalized submarine reserve. Much of the submarine force talent which has not been retained in recent years has migrated to the Naval Reserve, and many of those individuals who have not yet affiliated with the reserve would be attracted to such a hardware program. This would give us an experienced and trained-force-in-being to man an expanded diesel submarine force in the event of hostilities.
In the long run, I visualize the following development. The performance of the two Zwaardvis submarines should be exemplary and their worth demonstrated beyond reproach. It should then be possible to commence a program of construction of a similar improved diesel SS in our country. If a major construction program is not possible, it should be possible to convince the "budgeteers" that we should at least get ourselves prepared to construct such submarines in the event it becomes apparent that the whistle is going to blow. If we do a good job of getting ready we might even be able to build an effective fleet of boats after the start of hostilities. We should try, at least, to stockpile the necessary equipment, steel, and perhaps even prefabricated hull sections for this new class of submarines. We should also commence a program to identify shipbuilding facilities which are located in areas of low Soviet targeting interest, train supervisory personnel in these yards, and be able to turn out these submarines, in a mobilized economy, in time to counter the Soviet submarine offensive.