Saturday, February 06, 2010

What's in a name...

The AAV.  Is it the Amphibious Assault Vehicle? Assault Amphibian Vehicle? Assault Amphibious Vehicle? I don't know and from what a Google search revealed, I don't think anyone is quite sure anymore.

Federation of American Scientist
Marines.com
BAE
Marine Corps Systems Command

All list the vehicle by different names. Its really no big deal but I'm curious. What is the official designation of it?

video

Bring back the LST!

Its time.

Time to bring back the LST that is.  According to Wikipedia an LST is...
Landing Ship, Tank (LST) was the military designation for naval vessels created during World War II to support amphibious operations by carrying significant quantities of vehicles, cargo, and landing troops directly onto an unimproved shore.
and
The commissioning of the Newport-class in 1969 marked the introduction of an entirely new concept in the design of LSTs. She was the first of a new class of 20 LSTs capable of steaming at a sustained speed of 20 knots (37 km/h). To obtain that speed, the traditional blunt bow doors of the LST were replaced by a pointed ship bow. Unloading is accomplished through the use of a 112-foot (34 m) ramp operated over the bow and supported by twin derrick arms. A stern gate to the tank deck permits unloading of amphibious tractors into the water or the unloading of other vehicles into a landing craft utility (LCU), onto a pier, or directly into the water. Capable of operating with high-speed amphibious squadrons consisting of LHAs, LPDs, and LSDs, the Newport-class LST can transport tanks, other heavy vehicles, and engineer equipment which cannot readily be landed by helicopters or landing craft. 
So why do I think that its time to bring them back?  Because with the use of its ramp it is instantly capable of being integrated into the Sea Basing Concept!  It can participate in the assault echelon by use of its stern gate or do the SB thing.

Its ability to carry up to 30 Main Battle Tanks would be a welcome addition to the fleet.  Unfortunately many of our ships have either been sold off or are awaiting destruction.

Pity.

They would fit perfectly into the Gator Navy of the future.

55ft Boa?

I know I'm late to this but although the pic is probably fake--can you imagine?  A 55ft snake would chill my bones!

Warrior Upgrade Program...

The US Army has started its Ground Combat Vehicle Program.

The British having seen the trends in armored vehicle development had a better idea.  Why not take what they have that works quite well and simply improve it.

That's what the Warrior Upgrade Program is all about.  The proven chassis of the Warrior is updated, its turret improved with a larger caliber weapon and its architecture is also modernized.  Its a winning combination that other nations should consider.  Including the US Army.  If aircraft like the F-15 can be updated to the point that they're still formidable then certainly the same applies to armored vehicles.

Amphibious Force 7th Fleet...

These photos are from Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Flickr Stream---all covering the Cobra Gold Exercises going on right now.

100203-N-6692A-154 GULF OF THAILAND (Feb. 03, 2010) Royal Thai Navy ship
HTMS Surin (LST 722) transits along side the amphibious dock landing
ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) during a "Leaf Frog" exercise. Harpers
Ferry is part of the forward-deployed Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG)
participating in Cobra Gold 2010, an annual exercise designed to train
Thai, U.S., Republic of Korea and Singaporean military personnel.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Geronimo
Aquino/Released)
PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 29, 2010) USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49) prepares for an
underway replenishment with USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199). Harpers Ferry is
part of the forward deployed Essex Amphibious Ready Group and is
conducting spring patrol. Essex ARG is comprised of Amphibious Squadron
Eleven (CPR 11), amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), amphibious
transport dock USS Denver (LPD 9), and amphibious dock landing ship USS
Harpers Ferry (LSD 49). The Essex ARG has the 31st Marine Expeditionary
Unit embarked, and this group reports to Commander, Amphibious Force
Seventh Fleet, Rear Adm. Richard Landolt, who is headquartered in
Okinawa, Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd
Class Casey H. Kyhl/Released)
 
100203-N-5538K-055 PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 3, 2010) A 31st Marine
Expeditionary Unit amphibious assault vehicle exits the welldeck of the
forward-deployed amphibious transport dock USS Denver (LPD 9). Denver is
part of the forward deployed Essex Amphibious Ready Group and is
participating in Cobra Gold 2010. Essex ARG is comprised of Amphibious
Squadron Eleven (CPR 11), amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2),
amphibious dock landing ship USS Denver (LPD 9), and amphibious dock
landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass
Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey H. Kyhl/Released)
 
100203-N-6692A-126 GULF OF THAILAND (Feb. 03, 2010) Republic of Korea
Navy ship Seonginbong (LST 685) transits along side the amphibious dock
landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) during a "Leap Frog" exercise .
Harpers Ferry is part of the forward-deployed Essex Amphibious Ready
Group (ARG) participating in Cobra Gold 2010, an annual exercise
designed to train Thai, U.S., Republic of Korea and Singaporean task
force personnel. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st
Class Geronimo Aquino/Released)
 
 PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 29, 2010) USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199) transfers fuel
to USS Shiloh (CG 67) as USS ESSEX (LHD2) prepares to disconnect after
completing a successful underway replenishment. Essex is part of the
forward deployed Essex Amphibious Ready Group and is conducting spring
patrol. Essex ARG is comprised of Amphibious Squadron Eleven (CPR 11),
amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), amphibious transport dock USS
Denver (LPD 9), and amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD
49). The Essex ARG has the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked, and
this group reports to Commander, Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet, Rear
Adm. Richard Landolt, who is headquartered in Okinawa, Japan. (U.S. Navy
photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey H. Kyhl/Released)
 
 100204-N-7843A-106 HAT YAO, Thailand (Feb. 4, 2010) An AH-1W "Super Cobra" attached to the Air Combat Element of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit provides close air support to US and Thai Amphibious Assault Vehicles during an amphibious landing demonstration at Hat Yao Beach during Cobra Gold 2010. Exercise CG10 is a regularly scheduled joint and coalition multinational exercise hosted annually by the Kingdom of Thailand. This year marks the 29th anniversary for the exercise. (US Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Denver Applehans)

 
100204-N-7843A-121 HAT YAO, Thailand (Feb. 4, 2010) Republic of Korea Amphibious Assault Vehicles release a smoke screen before hitting the beach during an amphibious landing demonstration at Hat Yao Beach during Cobra Gold 2010. Exercise CG10 is a regularly scheduled joint and coalition multinational exercise hosted annually by the Kingdom of Thailand. This year marks the 29th anniversary for the exercise. (US Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Denver Applehans) 

Ship Maintenance...

 
I don't know if this is fair or not but if you look at the ship above you'll tons of rust along the hull.  I don't know much at all about ship maintenance and how often the ships are painted --rust removed etc...but it appears that there has been a decline in the standards.  If you notice ships past, it appears that they were kept in better shape.
 
The ships above are the Iwo Jima class LPLH's.  They both appear to have been maintained to a much higher standard than the ships today.  Sadly, I've noticed that our allies and China also seem to maintain there ships better than we do today.  

 Is this a legitimate concern?  I don't know.  I do know that others state that our ships are actually underway and that's the reason for the sometimes ragged appearance of them.  I find that flawed reasoning though.  During the cold war the Navy had a high op tempo too and yet they were able to present a professional appearance with no problem.

I do know one thing.  Small issues usually appear before larger ones.  Could this be the canary in the coal mine of problems with our Navy? 

Just for comparison sake, below you'll see the HNLMS Johan de Witt L-801.