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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday November 04 2014, @06:00AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the c4-c5-c6 dept.

Kris Osborn writes at DefenseTech that the US Navy is outfitting a prototype Virginia-class attack submarine platform with a series of upgrades designed to improve sonar detection and make attack submarines less detectable and more stealthy with upgrades including the addition of a large vertical array, special coating materials for the exterior of the submarine and special noise-reduction technologies for the engine room. “The USS South Dakota is a platform for three crucial aspects of our efforts to work on acoustic superiority. The large vertical array is about 60-percent designed with a preliminary design and we are installing a similar array on the USS Maryland that is 75-percent complete,” says Rear Adm. Joe Tofalo, director, submarine warfare. Virginia-class submarines will be acquired through 2043, and are expected to remain in service past 2060. Mainly aimed at dominating the world's littoral and deep waters, the Virginia-class submarines are capable of conducting anti-submarine; anti-surface ship; strike; special operation forces; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. The idea is to stay in front of fast-moving technological progress on the part of potential adversaries and help ensure undersea dominance for the US Navy and provide a technological advantage to US submarines looking to operate beneath or behind barriers erected by the weaponry and sensors of potential adversaries.

Many countries such as China, North Korea and Iran have or are developing long-range anti-ship missiles designed to prevent surface ships from operating within a certain distance of the shoreline. These technologies and weapons could be intended to deny access or deny an area to US forces, making it much harder to operate and project power. “We need to be ready for a Russia, China, Iran or whoever else who – recognizing the superiority we have today – seeks to develop an A2/AD like network underwater to match what many of them currently have on the surface and in the air. We know that is going to happen,” says Vice Adm. Mike Connor, commander of the Navy’s Atlantic submarine force. "We are the folks who are expected to get in underneath and – at the time and place of our choosing – do what needs to be done. A significant part of our ability to do this is an acoustic advantage."

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  • (Score: 2) by Ryuugami on Tuesday November 04 2014, @06:11AM

    by Ryuugami (2925) on Tuesday November 04 2014, @06:11AM (#112873)

    China, North Korea and Iran have or are developing long-range anti-ship missiles [...]. These technologies and weapons could be intended to deny access or deny an area to US forces

    I didn't realize Captain Obvious was an actual captain in the US Navy.

    --
    If a shit storm's on the horizon, it's good to know far enough ahead you can at least bring along an umbrella. - D.Weber
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 04 2014, @07:14AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 04 2014, @07:14AM (#112882)

      You'll need clearance to hear from Commander Ambiguous

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 05 2014, @08:23AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 05 2014, @08:23AM (#113170)

      Many countries such as China, North Korea and Iran have or are developing long-range anti-ship missiles designed to prevent surface ships from operating within a certain distance of the shoreline.

      Such countries are more likely to be developing those tech for _defence_. Guess whose shoreline they are defending? Certainly not yours or mine. So who are they trying to defend against? Possibly the USA and with their huge Offence budget.
      Of course China etc might use it for offence, but when Team USA keeps making you a bogeyman and does some unfriendly stuff it's not unexpected that you would want more defence. It's not like the USA hasn't attacked countries on their own (and for bad or even false reasons).

      Have you noticed how many aircraft carriers the USA has? These are very expensive to maintain since you need a whole group of ships and planes around each one. But what are they for? Certainly not defence. They are for "projecting power" aka offence.

      These technologies and weapons could be intended to deny access or deny an area to US forces,

      Yeah for encouraging the USA to not stick their noses into other countries.

      But yeah should worry about those upcoming chinese carriers...

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 04 2014, @06:45AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 04 2014, @06:45AM (#112878)

    Fap fap fap fap.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Hairyfeet on Tuesday November 04 2014, @07:25AM

    by Hairyfeet (75) <bassbeast1968NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday November 04 2014, @07:25AM (#112884) Journal

    As you really only have TWO scenarios that can play out, 1.- You enemy is on the level of Iraq or NK, in other words a bad joke that we could stomp with 40 year old tech, or 2.- You are dealing with an equal foe like Russia or China, both of which have nukes so its over, you're fucked.

    But of course we all know what this REALLY is, the giant worthless POS that is the F35 is gonna have its plugged pulled sooner or later, I'd bet sooner as the fact it "can't fight, can't turn, can't run" is becoming even MSM fodder, so this gives them another place to funnel mountains of money so that billions can disappear into the right pockets and get funneled into black ops."

    BTW is it just me or have others noticed we are becoming the Axis powers of WWII? Leaning more and more fascist right and betting everything on a handful of "wonder weapons" that just like Germany we'll never be able to field in enough numbers to turn the tide and which spend more time being fixed than actually working? Meanwhile Russia and China can just spam us with the Mig 29 and 31 (cost less than $30 mil and $60 mil respectively, which means they can have nearly a dozen for the cost of 1 F22 or F35) and thanks to the new Chinese Sea Skimmers they will be able to take a handful of 50+ year old trawlers and turn our uber expensive carrier groups into artificial reefs faster than you can say Peking Duck.

    You think we'd have learned from WWII that betting on wonder weapons is a bad way to go but I guess not.

    --
    ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
    • (Score: 2) by rts008 on Tuesday November 04 2014, @07:48AM

      by rts008 (3001) on Tuesday November 04 2014, @07:48AM (#112890)

      You think we'd have learned from WWII that betting on wonder weapons is a bad way to go but I guess not.

      I think the USA viewed the atom bomb as a 'wonder weapon' that ended WWII.

      What we seemed to have learned from that was to build weapons so destructive that we are afraid to use them, and we(USA) are not the only nation to have such.

      • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Wednesday November 05 2014, @04:05AM

        by mhajicek (51) on Wednesday November 05 2014, @04:05AM (#113140)

        Germany had been defeated and Japan was trying to surrender before the Bomb was deployed. It had to be deployed anyway to justify the expense of the program and to try to claim dominance over the world.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Sir Garlon on Tuesday November 04 2014, @12:29PM

      by Sir Garlon (1264) on Tuesday November 04 2014, @12:29PM (#112932)

      BTW is it just me or have others noticed we are becoming the Axis powers of WWII?

      Definitely just you.

      Yeah OK invading Iraq was unnecessary and wrong but it you compare it, for example, to the Japanese occupation of Manchuria it looks downright humanitarian. The torture at the Abu Ghraib prison was inexcusable and there should be high-ranking officers in prison for it, but compare for a second to the Bataan Death March [wikipedia.org] and you will see a whole different depth and magnitude of atrocity.

      Before you throw around comparisons between any modern country and the Axis powers, I suggest you take a moment to reflect on what the Axis powers actually did. Perhaps you need a refresher on history, or perhaps you've lived too long in the privileged West to be able to imagine what a real fascist state is like.

      If the modern United States resembles any WWII power, it resembles the WWII-era United States. That is not intended as a compliment [wikipedia.org].

      "We," meaning the United States government (which does not include me, and doesn't behave as I would like, so I don't claim to be part of it has a very long way to go before it becomes like the Axis powers. I will grant you it has been taking baby steps in that direction and need to turn around and start heading boldly the other way.

      If you're referring just to military doctrine, then I don't agree there either. I reject the premise that the Axis relied on "wonder weapons" as the means to victory. The Germans for example had excellent tanks and aircraft, far superior to the Allies' at the start of the war. Their problem was that after the Allies had rolled up North Africa and Sicily, while simultaneously achieving air superiority over northern Europe and bombing factories and railways around the clock, the Germans could no longer replace or resupply their excellent tanks and aircraft and they just collapsed trying to defend three fronts. At that point, yes, there were a few advanced weapons Germany tried to field to hold back the tide. That's not how their strategic posture started. Their original plan was blitzkrieg: capture territory so fast there is no time to organize resistance, and rely on the other countries' lack of military readiness and political will to prevent them liberating Poland (or France) after it has fallen. It worked great in the short term.

      --
      [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 04 2014, @01:13PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 04 2014, @01:13PM (#112938)

        Definitely just you.

        Unfortunately, you are wrong. Many around here have certainly made observations like this, but as you pointed out so well, they are wrong.

        Aren't you aware we are living in the worst of times? Aren't you aware that your neighborhood police stations are worse than the Stasi? The pendulum swings between the US having a fascist defacto-king (we are in the fourth term of King GWB, after all), and being controlled by the shady oligarchy. The pendulum is certainly on the oligarchy side as it seems that a while ago someone read it on their Word-A-Day calendar and now it is de rigueur to toss that about if you want to sound "insightful". And pretty much every story, regardless of topic, now has to have input from all the armchair Henry Stimsons and Neville Chamberlains on the optimal intelligence and foreign policies the US should take.

    • (Score: 2) by AnonTechie on Tuesday November 04 2014, @12:44PM

      by AnonTechie (2275) on Tuesday November 04 2014, @12:44PM (#112937) Journal

      Reminds me of a wonderful story ... Superiority - by Arthur C. Clarke http://www.mayofamily.com/RLM/txt_Clarke_Superiority.html [mayofamily.com]

      --
      Albert Einstein - "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday November 04 2014, @02:50PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 04 2014, @02:50PM (#112962)

      Why does it only have to be two options? Why not a proxy war. Korea II perhaps. Or the Russians and Chinese fight it out over Siberia or whatever and we somehow get roped into proxying Taiwan, assuming we'd be on the Russians side instead of the Chinese/Walmart alliance side. Just because we haven't had a proxy war recently, doesn't mean they're somehow impossible.

      Other than that observation I more or less agree with you.

      • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Wednesday November 05 2014, @01:37AM

        by Hairyfeet (75) <bassbeast1968NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday November 05 2014, @01:37AM (#113118) Journal

        Uhhhh because we HAD proxy wars, remember Vietnam? Korea? At the end of the day BOTH sides send in second stringers to keep from risking WWIII. in fact the closest either side got to first stringers was the USSR pulling a "flying tigers" and having WWII vets fly the Mig 15 in civilian getups. in that case pilots carried a pistol with strict orders to blow their brains out if they were shot down behind enemy lines, which they did just FYI.

        If you bring in the first stringers and are still losing? One side or the other WILL go nuclear, this is the very basis of MAD and the reason we haven't had another world war, nobody wants to risk putting a nuclear superpower against the wall because the risk is simply too great. But because of this spending insane amounts on "wonder weapons" is totally fucking pointless as you just won't go head to head with another equal for fear of the bombs falling, the closest you'll get is another Korea.

        And again even if you buy into "wonder weapons" the simple fact is we just do not have the money to fund enough of these extremely temperamental things to make them a "war winner" because as Stalin said in WWII "quantity has a quality all its own". I am reminded of an interview I saw with the commander of a PAK-88, the most deadly anti-tank gun of WWII in Italy. he had set up his unit in the perfect spot, a choke point where the American tanks HAD to go single file and where he could see and fire on them with pinpoint accuracy while they couldn't get even a single shot anywhere close to his unit....he lost. When asked why he ended up retreating he said simply "we ran out of shells, the Americans didn't run out of tanks" and THAT is what we'd face in a proxy war, we'll have a couple dozen F22 and F35 fighters while the enemy will have a half dozens of Mig 29 and 31 fighters for the cost of a single one of ours!

        Now I'm sorry but as we saw in Kosovo stealth tech isn't magic, in fact its really not that hard to beat by switching wavelengths and when we are talking about planes that would be facing 30 to 1 odds? Planes that can't carry but a couple of missiles because it'll fuck up the stealth? Yeah its not hard to guess who will come out on top and it ain't the USA. At the end of the day we are looking at a fleet of 30+ year old planes because the DoD is trying to make one plane that will work in EVERY branch of service for EVERY role....we already tried that in Vietnam and it didn't work out so hot there, but here it'll be 10 times worse as we won't be able to build the numbers required to even replace what we have, much less have any growth. Remember with military gear the price shoots waaaay up as the number drops because you start running into serious problems with spares and trying to keep the lines going long enough to build up enough spare parts to keep 'em in service. From the looks of things most of NATO is gonna pull out of the F35 program which will leave us with another F22, less than 500 units that will dwindle rapidly in combat as you run out of parts...NOT a good way to be.

        --
        ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 04 2014, @10:20AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 04 2014, @10:20AM (#112918)

    i've seen pics of the insides of these virginia class subs

    two questions that immediately come to mind after seeing the multitudes of electronics:

    what happens if the power gets cut? (it is a war machine, the possibility of power failure surely couldn't be inconceivable)

    what happens if it gets wet? (should be obvious)

    also, with increased dependence on automated systems, is the intuition of the classic submariner being degraded to the point where limited predefined signals indications from a computer system may be blindly trusted, leading to the possibility of an incident that could otherwise be averted with more reliance on human judgment? case in point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Soviet_nuclear_false_alarm_incident [wikipedia.org]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 04 2014, @12:08PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 04 2014, @12:08PM (#112930)

    What fantastic news!
    Now we can be more stealthy and deadly.

    Thank God we have all our money funneling into these programs.
    Can you imagine if we were stupid enough to be putting this money and tech into humanitarian needs?

    God bless America!

    • (Score: 1) by deimios on Tuesday November 04 2014, @05:14PM

      by deimios (201) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 04 2014, @05:14PM (#113003) Journal

      Humanitarian needs? Nonsense! That would at most save a few million people from an Ebola or starvation. That's nothing compared to what {China, Iran, NKorea, Russia, Candlejack} would do to you. Support our latest bombing of $MIDDLE_EASTERN_COUNTRY! Think of the children (preferably not the ones being bombed)!

  • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday November 05 2014, @01:30AM

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday November 05 2014, @01:30AM (#113114)

    Why did they have to name these things "Virginia-class"? Yes, I know it's a state, and one of the 13 colonies, but it's still a crappy name, it's the name of a British monarch, and the name itself celebrates virginity, which is prudish and stupid. The other names the UN Navy picks for ships these days all suck too: they name them after cities or states or worst of all, politicians (like John C. Stennis, who has an aircraft carrier named after him).

    The US Navy did a little better back in WWII, when they had a few cool names like "USS Hornet", "USS Wasp", "USS Intrepid", plus various submarines named after sea creatures like "SS Narwhal" or "SS Stingray". The British have done better with ship names, with things like "HMS Invincible".

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 05 2014, @09:15AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 05 2014, @09:15AM (#113181)

      They obviously should have named it the "USS Vagina".