Navy tests future amphibious attack strategy

The future of the amphibious attack could consist of thousands of unarmed, manned or unmanned surveillance vessels, armored connectors, minesweepers, large bridge amphibs and small attack vessels operating in tandem as the Navy and Marine Corps are perfecting their new strategic approach and maintaining their position towards a new high-threat environment.

The concept is to configure a dispersed but connected fleet of next-generation connectors and other small boats launched from “large bridge amphibious master ships”. Larger host ships are designed to operate in command and control capability while providing sensors, long-range fires and 5th generation air support in combat.

The second USS Tripoli, the US Navy’s second US Large Beach Amphibs, has completed the manufacturer’s testing, an essential step in operational deployment. The Tripoli team will carry an entire Marine Corps attack unit and will be armed with F-35B.

The Future “Tripoli will be the first large bridge amphibo to reach the fleet fully ready to integrate the Marine Corps air combat element to include joint strike fighters.” Tom Rivers, head of the amphibious warfare program for the program’s executive office, said in a written statement from the Navy released by the Naval Sea Systems Command.

The first American amphib, USS America, has been operational for some time.

The American-class amphibs are designed to carry more F-35B rapid take-off and landing strikers, an Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, CH-53 super-standards and UH-1Y Huey helicopters.

Designed as aviation-based amphibians, the first two America-class ships do not have a bridge for amphibious vehicles, but rather are designed with a larger aircraft hangar, increased storage for parts, and more. support equipment and additional fuel capacity for aviation. tempo, the navy officials said. The third US-class vessel, the LHA 8, currently under construction, will bring back the well bridge.

Technical adjustments were made to the USS America cockpit to allow the vessel to withstand the heat generated by the take-off and landing of the F-35B; these changes are also incorporated into the USS Tripoli.

USS America’s cockpit modifications have resulted in the addition of intercostal structural members under cockpit landing points 7 and 9, Navy officials said. The Navy’s developers explain that these well-adjusted spoids allow for carefully programmed cyclic flight operations without putting too much strain on the cockpit.

The USS Tripoli is designed with the naval high-tech naval computer network called Consolidated Afloat Network and Enterprise Services, or CANES. Overall, the USS Tripoli is 84 meters long and 106 meters wide and weighs more than 44,000 tons. A fuel-efficient gas turbine propulsion system brings the vessel’s speed to over 20 knots, said a statement released earlier by Huntington Ingalls.

The Tripoli carries 1,204 and 1,871 soldiers, which means the ship is designed to carry a naval expeditionary unit, the statement said.

The America class ships are equipped with a group of technologies called ship self-defense system. This includes two missile launchers RIM-116 Mk 49 for missiles with aircraft; two CIWS supports Raytheon 20 mm Phalanx; and seven twins .50 cal. machine guns, said naval officials.

Amphibious assault strategy of the USS Tripoli and the New Navy The

progress made with Tripoli is in line with the evolving modern amphibious attack warfare strategy, which includes high-capacity amphibs armed with F -35, as launching platforms and sometimes fleets of amphibious assets.

“We are looking at fleets of smaller, multi-mission ships operating with surface warfare leadership. People talk about a navy of 355 ships, what about a navy of 35,000 ships? Said General David Coffman, director of the Naval Expeditionary Warfare, to an audience at the Surface Naval Association Symposium in January of this year. Although earlier this year, Coffman spoke of her strategic direction, she is aligned with the plans of the US Navy for USS Tripoli, which will lead and support future amphibious assaults.

Coffman explained that it was a “family of combat gear, inhabited and uninhabited, integrated into a distributed maritime operation”.

As potential adversaries now have longer range weapons, better sensors, targeting technologies and faster computers, amphibious forces approaching the shore may need to disperse to make it more difficult for enemy forces to target them. As a result, the notion of a disintegrated, but nevertheless intermingled, attack force, less vulnerable to enemy fire, will be launched to hit “several landing points” to exploit the enemy’s defenses.

“It does not mean that we are abandoning the big ones, (American class amphibians like Tripoli), that means we use them more efficiently. They are an important part of our ability to project combat power, “explained Coffman.

New ships, such as future air bag for landing craft (LCAC), unmanned surface ships (UAV), amphibious combat vehicles, underwater drones launched by ships and even newly equipped PC boats , will allow the emerging strategy to introduce a new, more effective and more deadly, “ship over the horizon” attack capability.

Future LCAC replacements, such as Textron’s ship-to-shore connectors, currently under construction, are expected to play an important role in the planned missions. They introduce an unprecedented ability to transport 70-ton Abrams tanks at war and bring an integrated suite of new technologies to amphibious attack missions.

The execution of this new strategy will also depend on the 5th generation of aircraft, depending on the threat, said Coffman; The F-35B Corp, now operational with the Marine Corps air-ground task forces aboard the USS Wasp and USS Essex, is intended to provide close-to-air support to the escalating attacks, to use its sensors to perform advanced reconnaissance and to launch strikes. The success of an amphibious attack requires or even requires air supremacy. By extending this logic, an F-35 would be positioned to deal with enemy air-to-ground and air-to-ground threats such as drones, combat aircraft or even anti-ship missiles and ballistic missiles. The idea would be to use the F-35 in combination with surveillance drones and other nodes to find and destroy land-based enemy defenses, opening the way for an onshore assault.

The overall strategic and conceptual change is also influenced by an increased focus on the “sea”. According to this new strategy, small multi-mission ships will be reinforced by larger amphibs operating as sovereign entities at safer distances. Coffman said these ships would function as “seaports, hospitals, logistics warehouses and naval bases for maneuver forces.”

A 2014 article from the Marine Corps Association, the professional journal of the US Marine Corps, states that the naval base is the base the navy will move away from the traditional amphibious war.

“Offshore operations allow the Marines to perform stealthy and highly mobile, specialized and small-sized amphibious landings in multiple locations of our choice chosen defenseless,” the paper writes.

Indeed, future ship-to-shore amphibious attacks will not resemble the more linear and aggregated Iwo Jima assault. An essay by Naval War College on this subject predicts and reinforces Coffman’s thinking.

“The basic requirements of amphibious assaults, long considered vital to success, may no longer be achievable. Unlike peaceful landings of amphibious target areas from the Second World War, it may be impossible to isolate them, “says the paper” Blitzkrieg From the Sea: Maneuver Warfare and Amphibious Operations “. (Richard Moore, 1983)

This essay, written in the 1980s at the height of the Cold War, seems to anticipate the future threats of the opponents of the great powers. Interestingly, drawing on some elements of the Cold War mentality, the essay foreshadows the current “big power” strategy of competition for the Navy as it moves from more than a decade of counter-insurgency to a new threat environment. In fact, when discussing the “distributed lethality” strategy currently underway, Navy leaders often speak of the need to revisit heavily fortified sea defenses and open warfare in blue waters against an adversary close to the sea. peers – as having roots in the Cold War era.

Naval War College’s essay also seems to anticipate modern thinking by citing LCAC as essential to amphibious warfare, indicating that LCACs can “land at multiple locations along enemy coasts, looking for weaknesses and strengths. moving. ” The

LCAC can access more than 70 percent -for coasts worldwide, the new SSC will do the same. Designed with exceptional speed and maneuverability on the horizon, LCACs are capable of traveling long distances, landing on rocky terrain and climbing the shoreline. Referring to a more dispersed or disaggregated emphasis of amphibious attack, the Naval War College text describes the modern attack from the point of view of “empty holes” to be exploited as a means of circumventing or avoiding “centers of resistance”. . The

dispersed approaches using air coordination and monitoring nodes positioned forward may increasingly use synchronized assault tactics, identifying the areas advantageous attack. As the test says, not only can this exploit the weakness of the enemy, but it also has the advantage of avoiding more condensed or configured approaches that are much more vulnerable to enemy sensors and long-range weapons. . Having a SSC, which can carry a heavier load of ground firepower, weapons and Marines, helps to meet this identified need to assemble the assault forces on a wide range of attack locations . None of this, though intended to destroy technologically sophisticated enemies, removes major risks; Russian and Chinese weapons, including 5th generation emergent fighters, DF-26 anti-ship missiles claimed to be 900 miles, and emerging weapons such as drones, lasers and rail guns are a variety of systems of concern .

New amphibious attack platforms

The effort of integrating a large number of small multi-mission vessels naturally depends on the continuous development of ships made possible by new advanced technologies. Textron’s improved ship-to-shore craft includes lighter composite materials, increased payload capacity, upgraded engines and automated computer controls. In addition, SSC’s new Rolls Royce engines have more power and specialized aluminum to help prevent corrosion. Textron engineers also stated that the SSC is built with digital flight controls and computer automation to replace the traditional yoke and pedals used by current connectors. As a result, the onboard computers will quickly calculate relevant details, such as wind speed and navigation information, based on Textron information.

The 72 existing LCACs in the Navy, in service since the 1980s, can only carry 60 tonnes, reach a speed of 36 knots and travel distances of up to 200 nautical miles from amphibious vehicles. The first first SSCs, which were built and launched, bring a new level of computer network, combat power transport technology and emerging elements of advanced marine propulsion systems. The new SSCs have also shifted to a lower frequency for ship electronics from 400 hertz to 60 hertz to better synchronize ship systems with common naval standards. In addition to these properties, the new business uses a hardware footprint that reduces advances to reduce the number of transmissions from eight to two.

As part of this global attack aircraft, the Corps is preparing to deploy new amphibious combat vehicles built by BAE by 2021. By integrating a new, more powerful engine, larger weapons and digitized C4ISR systems, the VCA should bring a new mechanized firepower to Amphibious Assaults – compared to the current AAV – Amphibious Assault Vehicle. BAE is now starting initial low-rate production as part of a Marine Corps plan to build hundreds of new vehicles. Unlike existing tracked AAVs, VCAs are eight-wheeled vehicles designed for increased speed, maneuverability and survivability. By eliminating the need for torsion bars, a wheeled vehicle such as the VCA can build a v-shaped hull for added protection, according to BAE Systems developers. “Thanks to advances in automotive technology, the Marine Corps has gone from track to track,” said John Swift, director of Amphibious Warfare.

These vehicles, if upgraded with advanced AI-enabled network and computer technologies, could help identify threats, protect SSCs and, of course, provide the firepower needed for amphibious landings. BAE and the Corps are now gearing up to use the new vehicle with weapons until the actual shooting attacks reach “total destruction” as a means of preparing the vehicle for combat, Swift said.

Threat Mine

Coffman also explained that he envisioned the unmanned but networked LCACs, among other things, that could limit the risks to the Marines from a range of enemy attacks such as deep-sea mines.

“We have significant gaps in our ability to defeat 100,000 Russian and Chinese mines that will not be laid in shallow waters,” Coffman said. When accompanied by a fleet of small attack and reconnaissance ships, the SSCs will operate with increased protection against mines and other enemy threats.

Although this emerging Navy strategy is, of course, aimed at implementing a much more effective attack strategy, it is also intended to save more lives during the dangerous attack by heavily defended enemy areas.

“Amphibious landings are characterized by extremely high costs and heavy losses, and are considered one of the riskiest and least desirable operations to conduct,” says the Marine Corps Association essay.