“Here she comes, Miss America...”

Willin'

Super Anarchist
4,152
1,809
The Burg, Maine
I remember attending a little brown bag lunch seminar at the local maritime museum about 15 years ago where the BIW PR dept. had some engineers explain the concept, design and execution of the class shortly after the contract had been announced.

Needless to say that unusual bow raised some questions about handling and sea keeping in large seas, but they were very clear about this class being strictly for littoral combat and support ops so our concerns about heavy weather characteristics were unfounded, and of course the hull form had been thoroughly tank tested. Interestingly, they never revealed the below the waterline profile and even having watched all 3 being built I don't think I ever caught a view of the lower hull while out of the water.

Later, when the budget cuts and BRAC closures started, the class was  reduced from, IIRC, 29 ships to, eventually, 3, the costs per ship naturally skyrocketed. Then, eventually the littoral combat designation was dropped from the news blurbs, and the mission changed to I'm not sure exactly what now. I'm still wondering if they modified the hull any for more open water conditions?

Back in the early 80s I worked for an offshore seismic survey company that did a lot of work in the Gulf of Mexico. Came a time all the easy to explore and drill leases had been done, it came time to develop new gear to explore the littoral zone and deep water (depths greater than 1000') leases that had previously been impractical.

The Co. designed and built a 60' self propelled flat bottom barge that only drew 3' for the inshore work and a deep water sidescan/ sub bottom profiler for offshore work.

Of course, at some point, the call was made to send the barge to evaluate a lease about 100 miles offshore wherein it got caught in a storm and sank. No loss of life but the crew had to be rescued by breeches buoy and they were all pretty traumatized.

My point being it's not nice to change missions or uses without adapting the design appropriately. Perhaps that's why the Zumwalts have had such miserable reliability issues.

 

maxstaylock

Anarchist
703
407
Stealth destroyers are a really bad idea, tankers and freighters will have no way to avoid running them over when they are sleeping on the surface at night, it was often hard enough to miss the old ones, with their loose attitude to watch keeping and their foggy grasp of the International Regulations for the Prevention of Cruelty to Ships.

 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
6,150
1,198
worldwide
The USS Michael A. Monsoor in the ‘hood nearby today.  Your tax dollars hard at work.

Y’know, the $1.4bn (way over us get, naturally) US guided missile destroyer.  105,000 horsepower.  Fully radar evasive hull design.  600 ft long, 30 knots.  All mechanical gear separated from the hull to make it more silent above and below the water.  Air conditioned exhaust to avoid thermal imaging cameras. Radar-invisible hull, of course.

Your tax dollars at work :)

View attachment 468421
Makes plenty of good jobs 

 

weightless

Super Anarchist
5,607
583
Somehow I am reminded:

"They were initially intended as coastal bombardment vessels, submarine monitors..."

"The guns were 12-inch (305 mm) 40 calibre Mark IX... The mounting allowed them to elevate by 20 degrees, depress 5 degrees and train 15 degrees in either direction from the centre line. The weapon was normally fired from periscope depth... The exposure time of the gun above the surface was around 75 seconds... The concept was not very successful and only three of the ... boats ordered were completed..."

HMS_M1_from_air_port_bow.jpg


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_M-class_submarine#Background

 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
44,189
9,576
Eastern NC
Somehow I am reminded:

"They were initially intended as coastal bombardment vessels, submarine monitors..."

"The guns were 12-inch (305 mm) 40 calibre Mark IX... The mounting allowed them to elevate by 20 degrees, depress 5 degrees and train 15 degrees in either direction from the centre line. The weapon was normally fired from periscope depth... The exposure time of the gun above the surface was around 75 seconds... The concept was not very successful and only three of the ... boats ordered were completed..."



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_M-class_submarine#Background
I've heard of the French submarine cruiser which IIRC was armed with a twin 8" gun mount, intended for surprise attacks on surface vessels. Would have worked fine for shore bombardment too, an 8" shell is not a 12" but it still packs a mighty wallop.

I imagine the M-class real weakness is that they had no good aiming system. From the above link: "The weapon was normally fired from periscope depth using a simple bead sight on the end of the gun aligned with the target through the periscope at a range of around 1200 metres. ... The submarine had to surface to reload the gun, which would take about 3 minutes." A 12" shell arriving by surprise would be most unwelcome too, but short range and no way to repeat fire without exposure. I wonder if they had a bunch of extra battleship guns and a few extra submarine parts laying around, and dreamed up this impractical use for them.

FB- Doug

 

Ishmael

52,311
12,160
Fuctifino
I've heard of the French submarine cruiser which IIRC was armed with a twin 8" gun mount, intended for surprise attacks on surface vessels. Would have worked fine for shore bombardment too, an 8" shell is not a 12" but it still packs a mighty wallop.

I imagine the M-class real weakness is that they had no good aiming system. From the above link: "The weapon was normally fired from periscope depth using a simple bead sight on the end of the gun aligned with the target through the periscope at a range of around 1200 metres. ... The submarine had to surface to reload the gun, which would take about 3 minutes." A 12" shell arriving by surprise would be most unwelcome too, but short range and no way to repeat fire without exposure. I wonder if they had a bunch of extra battleship guns and a few extra submarine parts laying around, and dreamed up this impractical use for them.

FB- Doug
It looks like an Italian idea modified by the French and adopted by the English.

 

Crash

Super Anarchist
5,073
1,007
SoCal
Wiki says they used spares from the then outdated "Formidable class ... of pre-dreadnoughts." I suspect these odd boats and the general class of submarine-cruisers was motivation by arms treaty limitations and excess naval artillery. 
Like in many fields, but certainly in Navies, experimentation is key to future success.  Many of those experiments don't work out.  Some succeed.   If the USMC hadn't started seriously experimenting with amphibious warfare in the 1930s, there would have been no island hopping campaign in the Pacific, and no D-Day invasion of France/Europe.  One could posit that Hitler lost his chance to win WWII in the summer of 1940, when he had no efficient way to transport his Army to England and no effective way to land them on a contested beach...

 

weightless

Super Anarchist
5,607
583
Like in many fields, but certainly in Navies, experimentation is key to future success.  Many of those experiments don't work out. ...
I think there's a law that says that 90% of everything created is crap but without that 90% the good 10% wouldn't be discovered. Maybe that was 99.9% is crap? Perhaps, though, both as institutions and individuals it's best not to get comfortable with that idea.

 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
44,189
9,576
Eastern NC
I think there's a law that says that 90% of everything created is crap but without that 90% the good 10% wouldn't be discovered. Maybe that was 99.9% is crap? Perhaps, though, both as institutions and individuals it's best not to get comfortable with that idea.
Sturgeon's Law, proposed by sci-fi author Theodore Sturgeon (one of the less-appreciated greats IMHO but that's another thread). "99% of everything is crap." He was originally talking about the emerging post-WW2 consumer goods but the principle can be widely applied, with slight variation in the number.

FB- Doug

 

ProaSailor

dreaming my life away...
6,105
791
Oregon
One could posit that Hitler lost his chance to win WWII in the summer of 1940...
Godwin's law, end of thread.

"there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that, when a Hitler comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever made the comparison loses whatever debate is in progress."

 

gewoon ik

Member
351
82
Flora
Thank you for not quoting the troll.

The US Navy has had a run of poor development programs lately and the DDGX is one of them, unfortunately. Several useful technologies have come out of the program but as mentioned, the ammunition for the guns ended up being prohibitively expensive so the vessels are essentially "neutered."  They will serve as development platforms for other weapons technologies as they are developed. The whole class will end up being only 3 vessels.

The US Navy pursued an actual laser weapon for a time that enjoyed limited success. They were forced to abandon it because lasers do not work well down in the marine layer. Millions wasted trying to thwart the laws of physics.

The US Navy recently, finally canceled the rail gun project after 10 years and 500 million dollars. The weapon suffered from limited range, slow rate of fire and the barrel essentially destroyed itself after only two dozen shots instead of the advertised 600 shots.

I love Mother Navy but... (sigh). We must do better.
sorry for laughing, but the kind of guns they work on, they get the ideas from a bond-villian?

 

IStream

Super Anarchist
10,860
3,040
One could posit that Hitler lost his chance to win WWII in the summer of 1940...
Godwin's law, end of thread.

"there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that, when a Hitler comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever made the comparison loses whatever debate is in progress."
I don't think that law means what you think it means.

The idea is that comparing another poster to Hitler or calling them a Nazi (assuming they're not an actual Nazi or neo-Nazi) signifies the end of productive debate. 

The mere mention of Hitler or Nazis in a thread, especially if it's relevant to the discussion, does not a Godwin's Law example make.

 

ProaSailor

dreaming my life away...
6,105
791
Oregon
I don't think that law means what you think it means.
I know exactly what it means and am well aware of its uses and exceptions.  It is absurd to make that analogy here while ignoring the folly and waste of failed military projects that continue for decades because the money is dear to a few people in congress and the corporations that benefit from these boondoggles.




 
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