IAFM - Key Concepts - New Task Force Types


The core of each IAFM task force revolves around a two-ship element consisting of an aviation ship (CV55 in the CVCOM, CVL-150 in the SAGCOM) and an SC-150 cruiser.  Most navy missions benefit greatly from having an aviation ship at their core, even a limited one like the 15-20,000t CVL-150, and everyone benefits from a high-end IAMD missile cruiser.

Consider the number of helicopter sorties per day required just for ASW. From the CNA's report entitled "Future Helicopter Force Requirements Analysis".

CNA - Pg 28

When a separate task force also has to contend with Surface Warfare in addition to ASW, and has no supporting assets like P-3s, the number of helicopters needed in the task force could go up to 27 H-60R/ Ss or more, 19 MH-60Rs and 8 that can be either Rs or Ss.  If the number of false contacts is high, or sonar conditions are poor, the number of helicopters needed could be twice that.

CNA - Pg 38

Assuming external assets like P-3s and TACAIR are available, the requirement goes down somewhat, but the task force still needs 19 H-60R/Ss.

CNA - Pg 40

So an independent task force, consisting of only surface combatants, without outside help, would need at least fourteen Flt IIA DDGs, with two MH-60s each to meet the requirement.  In the IAFM, a SAGCOM based around a CVL and CG, starts with 10 helicopters already, without attaching an escort squadron (assuming 10 F-35Bs and 8 H-60s on the CVL and 2 H-60s on the CG).  

To fill out a viable task force, the IAFM combines a CVCOM/SAGCOM and with an of escort squadron consisting of Frigate Platform Docks (FPD), Frigate Arsenal Ships (FMG), and Patrol Frigates (FF), notionally 4 ships per squadron. By tailoring the attached squadrons, different missions can be emphasized.  

For example, a CVCOM with attached FPD squadron (CV55, CG, and 4xFPDs) could perform the full ARG/ESG role.  
CVCOM with FPD Squadron

A CVCOM with attached FMG squadron (CV55, CG and 4xFMGs) can perform high-end, high-capacity strike missions.

CVCOM with FMG Squadron

Hybrid task forces can have a tailored mix of ships.  The picture below depicts a SAGCOM (CG and CVL), accompanied by a hybrid squadron of escorts (1 x FPD, 1 x FMG, 2 x FF).

This task force, while not including a full-sized CV, still has some impressive capabilities including,

Naval MLRS4
Large MCM USV8

It also has one high-end BMD combat system on the CG and three SPY-1D(V)-equivalent combat systems on the FMG, FPD and CVL.  It has enough helicopters to handle the combined ASW/SUW mission set above, assuming external assets are available, or using its own F-35Bs.  

This ability to mix and match components with different capabilities allows commanders to tailor their task forces to meet the demands of the mission set.


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