One of the ship concepts, in terms of its performance characteristics corresponding to LAW and with an appearance similar to that discussed in the Navy and Marine Corps
May 5, 2020 NAVSEA, one of the commands of the American Navy, responsible for the creation of warships and their subsystems (Naval Sea System Command, the command of naval systems with ten research centers for the combat use of various subsystems, weapons and ships and four shipbuilding enterprises included to the so-called Washington Naval Dockyard), held a briefing in which he confirmed that a series of massive, simple and cheap landing ships would be created for the US Navy and Marine Corps to conduct amphibious operations. Wartime ships.
As part of the reform of the Marine Corps
Such ships are required for the reform of the Marine Corps by its current commander, General Berger (see article “Step into the unknown or the future of American Marines”).
The plan of the commander of the American Marines, General Berger, among other things, provides for the dispersal of the US amphibious forces at sea, on ships smaller than the usual DVKD and UDC, which Berger considers necessary to have about 38 units.
And today we can see what these ships will be like. It became known that the US Navy issued requests to potential suppliers of a new type of amphibious assault ships to be created under the LAW program (Light Amphipious warship, or, in Russian, “Light amphibious warship”). True, so far we are not talking about 38 ships requested by Berger, but about 28 or 30 units. But this is for now.
The design of this ship will allow it to be produced in virtually any quantity, anywhere.
Interestingly, the concept of the ship completely coincides with the one that the author once considered necessary to develop, however, not for the US Navy, but for the Russian Navy.
The article “Attack from the sea. How to return amphibious capabilities to the fleet “published on November 27, 2018, a new type of medium landing ship (SDK) was proposed, capable of landing up to a Marine Corps company with equipment, having a landing ramp in the stern instead of a gate with a ramp in the bow, and an ordinary, “one-piece” stem, optionally – a helicopter landing pad (without a hangar) and a number of weapons.
Such a ship would be able to land second echelons on a cleaned coast or be used where resistance is not expected, it would be cheap and massive. At the same time, he would have surpassed the classic BDK in seaworthiness and could switch from fleet to fleet along inland waterways (if necessary). It would not be a pity to lose such a ship: it is small, cheap and there are few people on it even in comparison with the large landing craft.
Today, a year and a half later, the US Navy is planning to order a similar ship for the same purpose. Recall that according to General Berger’s plans for reforming the Marine Corps, the task of the Marines will be high-intensity combat operations to establish supremacy at sea in the interests of the Navy and advancing the enemy on unoccupied or poorly protected islands, with the rapid deployment of anti-ship missiles on them, and a further offensive.
At the same time, the first wave of amphibious assault, traditionally for the Americans, can go by air and on floating armored personnel carriers AAV, but the second – on those very middle-class cheap landing ships that would fit so well into the structure of the Russian Navy.
And which will now be used by General Berger’s American Marines.
According to the requirements of the US Navy, the ship should have a length of approximately 60 meters and a cargo deck of approximately 740 square meters. Its crew must be no more than 40 people, and the minimum number of paratroopers that it must carry for a relatively long time is 75 people.
The cruising range at a speed of 14 knots should be 3,500 nautical miles, the fuel supply on board should be approximately 390 tons.
The ship must be capable of being used in waves of up to 5 points, and its navigational equipment and habitability must allow it to operate autonomously, outside of the naval groupings, if necessary.
One 13-ton crane is required.
For the sake of fairness, it should be noted that the appearance of the ship has not yet been determined, and, possibly, the landing from the stern will be revised. This particular issue is under discussion between the Navy and the Marine Corps. However, the likelihood that the architecture of the ship will be just like this is high.
The requirement that the service life of the ship should be 10 years looks very curious.
This goes against normal practice when a ship is built for 20-40 years of service, and it looks like the Americans are not planning long-term service for these ships. And this is a very disturbing fact.
As mentioned in the article on the Berger reform, the staffing of the Marine Corps battalions is currently being revised: they will decrease. The composition of the amphibious group of 75 people can tell how much. As a rule, the military tries not to “split up” the subunits. On the other hand, there will definitely not be more than one company on such a ship. Thus, the minimum composition of the company, which the Americans consider, can be 75 people. This number “beats” on platoons of 25, and they are on squads of 8 people plus the platoon commander. True, there is no room left for individual units subordinate to the battalion commander, but the number of 75 people is indicated as the minimum possible.
Thus, the battalion will “lose weight” due to the possible cutting of the mouth. It becomes possible to predict in which direction the revision of the battalion’s staffing will go.
But all this is a trifle against the background of a 10-year service life. The Americans have experience in the mass construction of “disposable” ships. An example is the cargo ships “Liberty”, which became one of the symbols of the Second World War. Some of them ran for quite a long time, but were mostly written off in the first post-war years. The reason: their design, in principle, did not provide for long-term operation, their task was to live for several years and no more.
These service life requirements were made possible because the Liberty was built specifically for the war.
Now we are witnessing the construction of amphibious assault ships “specially for the war”, such as are simply meaningless for peacetime conditions.
Those who track sentiment in American “patriotic” circles know that the idea of war with China in the near future has already become mainstream there – it is simply not discussed. A war with China seems inevitable in American society.
However, until recently, these were just words, and the words of people “from the people” who do not have real power.
But on May 5, 2020, it became a request for information from the US Navy. And this is a completely different matter.
Both Berger’s plan and this ship, which is meted out to live for only a few years on a tactical and technical assignment, are a characteristic sign that America is preparing for war. Today, there are already many signs of such preparation: these are nuclear warheads of reduced power on ballistic missiles of submarines, and new fuses for them, which increase the accuracy of hitting targets, and preparation for the deployment of medium-range missiles in Europe, and much more. But until now, there were no intelligence signs that would accurately set the time frame for a future big war.
Now there is one such sign.
And the beginning of the production of these ships can tell us the time during which the Americans plan to start their next big war.