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   PastimesThe United States Marine Corps


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From: TimF10/6/2020 11:33:13 AM
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US Marines wants to move fast on a light amphibious warship. But what is it?
By: David B. Larter

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Marine Corps is moving as fast as it can to field a new class of light amphibious warship, but it remains unclear what it will do, where it will be based or what capabilities it will bring to the fight.

The idea behind the ship is to take a commercial design or adapt a historic design to make a vessel capable of accommodating up to 40 sailors and at least 75 Marines to transport Marine kit over a range of about 3,500 nautical miles, according to a recent industry day presentation.

While the presentation noted that the ship should have few tailored Navy requirements, that also creates a problem: If the Navy is going to pay tens of millions to develop, build, crew and operate them, should it not provide some additional value to the fleet?

Analysts, experts and sources with knowledge of internal discussions who spoke to Defense News say the answer to that question is a source of friction inside the Pentagon.

The idea of the warship arrived on the scene in 2019 with the ascension of Gen. David Berger as commandant of the Marine Corps. His planning guidance called for a smaller, more agile amphibious force that could operate inside the Chinese anti-access, area denial window in the South China Sea.

In a recent virtual meeting of the Surface Navy Association, the chief of naval operations' director of expeditionary warfare, Maj. Gen. Tracy King, emphasized that above all, the platform must be cheap and come online quickly.

“I see the efficacy of this [light amphibious warship] is really to help us in the phases and stages we’re in right now,” King said Aug. 27. “We need to start doing things differently, as an extension of the fleet, under the watchful eye of our Navy, engaging with our partners and allies and building partner capacity: We ought to be doing that right now. I think we’re late to need with building the light amphibious warship, which is why we’re trying to go so quickly.”

When asked whether the ship should contribute to a more distributed sensor architecture to align with the Navy’s desire to be more spread out over a large area during a fight, King answered in the affirmative.

"[But] I really see it benefiting from [that architecture] more,” he said. “We need to build an affordable ship that can get after the ability to do maritime campaigning in the littorals.”

The unstated implication appeared to be that if the ship is loaded up with sensors and requirements, it will slow down the process and increase the cost. Analysts who spoke to Defense News agreed with that, saying the Navy is likely trying to put more systems on the platform that will make it more complex and more expensive.

The Navy has said it wants to keep the price under $100 million per platform and begin purchasing them as early as the latter half of 2022.

“The hardest part is going to be appetite suppression, especially on the part of the Navy,” said Dakota Wood, a retired Marine officer and analyst with The Heritage Foundation. "This is what we saw in the littoral combat ship: It started out as a very light, near-shore, small and inexpensive street fighter. And then people started adding on requirements. You had ballooning costs, increasing complexity of the platform, and you get into all kinds of problems.

“The Marine Corps wants this quickly. It needs it to be inexpensive so you can have 28-30 of them over a three- to four-year period.”

There is the additional challenge of where the ships will be based, since they will probably not be built to the kinds of standards of normal Navy vessels built to last for 30-40 years in service. The minimum service life for the light amphibious warship will be about 10 years, according to the industry day presentation.

Wood said that would be a challenge for the Marines and the State Department to work out in parallel with the effort to get the hulls quickly built.

Jerry Hendrix, a retied Navy captain and analyst with the Telemus Group, agreed with that assessment, saying the Marines are eager to move forward to get something fielded, in part to make sure this transition to a lighter, more distributed force being pushed by Berger actually happens.

"The commandant can’t divest of some of the legacy platforms he’s building — these big, expensive and vulnerable platforms — until he has something that replaces it in the water. And so he’s anxious to get going with something else so he then has a reason to move away from what he has.

“The commandant is well aware he has a four-year clock and its ticking. So if he’s going to make changes, he’s got to get moving to get those changes in place and commit the Marine Corps to them to make sure it’s going to last. And right now I’m not sure there’s a lot of high confidence that they are going to last.”

Hendrix acknowledged that the Navy has good reason to want the light amphibious warship to have more capability, but added that the Corps is more interested in something simple than something costly and elaborate.

“What that does,” Hendrix said, “is drive up unit cost and drive down the numbers that can be purchased.”

defensenews.com

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From: TimF11/19/2020 4:32:37 PM
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U.S. Marine F-35Bs Embark on U.K. Carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth


youtube.com

Marine F-35 Squadron Details Training Deployment Aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth
news.usni.org

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From: TimF12/12/2020 8:13:34 PM
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Marines board a landing craft air cushion inside the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan

reddit.com

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From: TimF2/9/2021 2:21:40 PM
1 Recommendation   of 6223
 
What We Did Was Real - WW2 Marine Recalls Island Combat | Memoirs Of WWII #13

youtube.com

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From: TimF2/19/2021 5:11:51 PM
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Marine Corps Reveals It Has Tested A New Anti-Ship Missile Launcher Truck
thedrive.com

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To: TimF who wrote (6210)2/19/2021 5:14:36 PM
From: LindyBill
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Anti-Ship Missile Launcher Truck

It's going to sit on what shore and launch at what ships? Sounds redundant to me.

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To: LindyBill who wrote (6211)2/19/2021 5:40:11 PM
From: TimF
   of 6223
 
I'm not sure I understand what your getting at with the question. Like any weapon's system it sits were you put it and it launches at your target.

Its not a new concept, other countries have mobile ground based anti-ship missile launchers, but I think it is new to the USMC.

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To: TimF who wrote (6212)2/19/2021 7:33:25 PM
From: LindyBill
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I just can't imagine a situation where the Marines would be firing from shore to hit enemy ships.

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To: LindyBill who wrote (6213)2/19/2021 8:10:36 PM
From: TimF
   of 6223
 
Such a situation would be unlikely. It would presumably require a peer or near-peer conflict (which would be unlikely mostly but not only because they would probably have nuclear weapons). Any conflict against a lesser power (or in particular against some militia, insurrection, or terrorist group) would either be against someone without ships or with ships that would probably never threaten the USMC mission because they would be destroyed before coming close.

Potentially if you had some small USMC deployment near the coast or on an island off the coast of South Korea it could be used against North Korea's navy, but North Korea's navy (at least if they try to use it actively rather than hide it) would not likely be long for this world in any 2nd Korean War. You could also get scenarios against the Iranian navy but the same point holds for them as well.

Even among neer-peer powers Russia is not likely to present the type of threat that this would deal with, their conventional threat would mostly be deployed across land. There are some possible scenarios for small scale use against Russia in maybe the Baltics or potentially Norway, but the Russian surface fleet would probably stay on defense in any potential war.

So at the moment its pretty targeted to China. If the US tried to stop some Chinese attack against Taiwan, or the Japanese islands that the PRC claims, or you had some other island based conflict in the East China Sea, or South China Sea, or potentially further from China than that (but still in the Pacific) if the naval balance between the US and China shifts significantly, and China becomes more aggressive further away from their shores.

I don't think the capability would be worth developing if it was extremely expensive but this isn't an extremely expensive capability for military equipment. The launchers are just variants of vehicles that the USMC is going to have anyway, and the missiles are already developed.

I think having the capability makes sense for the US. It makes even more sense for other countries that are close to potential threats like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Finland, Sweden, Vietnam, Israel, Iran (who would want to use it against the US or against countries that we are allied to). And a number of them already have mobile ground based anti-ship missiles launchers.

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To: TimF who wrote (6214)2/19/2021 8:57:13 PM
From: LindyBill
   of 6223
 
The Marines have not impressed me with their weapon's choices. Their vertical lift planes sat on the decke of the carriers in the Indian Ocean during Afghan one because they didn't have the range to loiter. They still went ahead with them on the F-35.

They would do better spending their research on how to better protect and help their troops to fight.

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