26 October 2016

OK Navy Guys

There was once a time when I almost began the process of becoming a naval architect.

I was even hired by Electric Boat to do as-built's.  Then laid off before my first day because the boat I was going to work on had been cancelled.  Remember when boat four of SSN-21 was going to be named Scorpion?  Ach, Scorpion is a bad luck name!  Remember when it was going to be built in the early nineties?


I am looking at the debacle that is LCS.

I am looking at the lack of Frigate.

I am looking at the eyewatering price of DDG-1000.

Then I wonder...

Dust off the old Gearing class plans.

Replace the forward twin 5" turrets with single 5" Mk45 Mod4's from a DDG-51.  Replace the mid-ships torpedo tubes with a vertical launcher.  Or put the VLS forward and one of the 5" mounts mid-ships.  Keep the hanger and flight deck from the FRAM upgrades.  Add some CIWS.

Nuke the steam plant and go diesel-electric (or gas-electric).  Just look at all the free space in the hull now!

Upgrade the deckhouse to look all modern and geodesic, so nobody will see you just dusted off the old Gearing FRAM I plans.  Add in modern amenities like air conditioning and he/she berthing.

Sensors and electronics can be pulled off the shelf, heck didn't we spend a lot on LCS stuff?

I'll bet there's even room for ASW junk too.

PS: 15k tons is NOT a destroyer!  Zumwalt is a cruiser.

PPS: I've an alternate plan for the "module" idea from the LCS.  The ships are designated as whatever they are at building and the modules installed then, never left blank.  That way you never lose the training and tribal knowledge by swapping modules willy-nilly.


  1. FRAM 1??? Geez, at least upgrade to a FRAM II... :-) Actually the best option is Flight 5 of DDG-51s...

    1. I'm trying to spend less money than a DDG-51/5 to bolster numbers.

      It was my understanding that FRAM II was an ASW specialization package on top of FRAM I.

  2. Restarting a line would cost jut as much. You'd have a hull that would need to be transferred into Catia, every nut ,bolt, and flange. Every piece of structure would have to be rechecked by Navsea and the design house. The old hulls wouldn't meet the new standards for lifecycle growth, you'd have to redesign all the raceways and services. The modern Navy runs on cat 6. Repowering the hull would require a whole new set of marine engineering systems. It'd be a good hull that would go overweight real quick. Was EBI BMDA then? Did they make you pay the initiation fee even though you never actually worked there?

    1. I am talking build new to a spec similar to the old hulls.

      I did several phone interviews, drove out from Iowa twice, got called in Iowa that I'd gotten the job and would start "all the paperwork" in six months when the opening opened for real.

      Then got a call two months later, before my procrastination had even started looking for a place to live, and got told the job was cancelled; sorry.

      If there was a union to join, I didn't get that far on the in-processing to be presented with joining. Stirring up the old memories, I am not sure if I was going to be working for Electric Boat or _AT_ Electric Boat.

    2. I think I might also be saying that the Navsea standards for growth might be part of the problem in getting something that does the job, getting it soon and getting it affordable enough to buy more than a couple dozen.

    3. I'd agree. Navsea involvement guarantees it won't be affordable, simple, or produced in adequate numbers. By the time all the bureaucrats in the organization get their little piece of the pie study done or their personal favorite requirement incorporated there aren't any dollars left to actually build a ship.

  3. Everything that a LCS does (or is supposed to do) could be done by a 1179 class LST (except go fast) and the LST would be much more versatile.


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