IAFM - Ship Types - Frigate Platform Dock (FPD-150)
The Frigate Platform Dock (FPD-150) is the most flexible ship in the IAFM. It came about when I was mulling over how to provide enough escorts for SAGCOMs and CVCOMs, while still supporting forward deployed Marine forces. The existing US Navy force model splits amphibious vessels (LPD, LSD, LHD/A) and escorts into distinct pools. However you still have to provide escorts for ESGs as well as CVBGs. But if you look at a modern amphibious ship, like the LPD-17, the systems aboard aren't that far off from those on a frigate. It has an air defense radar, short-range SAM systems and C4ISR.
So my thought was, why not smash together the capabilities of a guided-missile frigate and a modest-sized LPD and make a self-escorting "Frigate Platform Dock"? This way, every ESG is always self-escorting. Also, an ability to perform strike with VLS-based munitions, and Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS) with Multiple Launched Rocket System (MLRS) and the gun mount.
There is also discussion about using amphibious ships in non-traditional roles that cater to their size and flexible spaces. In fact, a ship with LPD characteristics could be the ultimate modular vessel. The Littoral Combat Ship modularity ultimately failed because the LCS's couldn't carry the weight and crew desired for different modules. The FPD, on the other hand, excels at carrying weight and crew.
(U.S. Navy photo by Electronics Technician 2nd Class William Weinrich, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
The flight deck and hangar are similar in size to Galicia.
- 64 x strike-length Mk 41 VLS cells in the bow
- 2 x Mk49 RAM launchers
- 1 x Mk45 Mod 4 5" gun (or new 155mm "No Rocket Science" mount)
- 2 x Mk41 Mod 1 30mm cannons
- 4 x Naval MLRS (NMLRS) launchers
- 8 x Naval Strike Missile launchers (optional)
Naval Multiple Launch Rocket System (NMLRS)
|Fire Shadow (ThinkDefence)|
Tuchkov explains: "The rocket is aimed at its target (vessel or torpedo) using information about its location received from the ship's sonar station. After splashdown, the gravitational projectile separates and, with the aid of an acoustic homing head, finds its target and directs itself toward it. The 90R has a contact fuse." The 90R1, meanwhile, features an inductive noncontact fuse what goes off when the projectile reaches a certain predetermined distance from its target, thus further improving its efficiency.
Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) - Tactical
The FPD has a built-in hull sonar, and can house and operate towed sonars in the well deck. It isn't limited to LCS-sized or destroyer-sized towed sonars, it has the capacity to carry multiple towed arrays, VDSs, and/or larger arrays. It can carry six MH-60Rs, which contributes significantly to the voracious appetite for task forces ASW sorties. Its internal spaces allows carriage of large quantities of sonobuoys and ASW munitions. Future semi-disposable sensors, such as the Boeing SHARC Wave Glider, could be carried, deployed and recovered.
Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) - Theater
Given their large payload capacity, FPDs could carry a modular variant of the Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS). The Vertical Line Array portion may not be straight forward to adapt for well deck deployment, but the multiple towed arrays could be.
Marine Air Ground Task Force
Mine Countermeasures (MCM)
In the '60s, the Navy experimented with two Mine Countermeasures (MCM) support ships, USS Catskill (MCS-1) and the USS Ozark (MCS-2), each carrying 20 small, minesweeper launches (MSLs). These MSLs were too small and lacked seaworthiness to be a viable system, but the concept of a mothership deploying a group of smaller boats (or USVs) to perform MCM is sound. MCM is inherently parallelizable. The more platforms hunting or sweeping, the faster it will go.
The National Research Council released a study entitled, "Naval Mine Warfare - Operational and Technical Challenges for Naval Forces". In it, they recommend an MCS-like vessel with the following characteristics,
The ideal support ship should have a flight deck and a well deck and be able to transport, at fleet speeds, the number of the small SWATH MCM platforms tailored to clearing the necessary number of lanes in a specified time (perhaps up to 10, if space is available in the well deck), and a similar number of MH-60S (or more capable follow-on) airborne MCM helicopters. Additionally, serious consideration should be given to providing space to carry the VSW detachment and mammal systems, along with UUVs when they become available.
The small SWATH platform they envisioned was the MHS-1.
However, there are a variety of Unmanned Surface Vessels such that could be used instead of, or in addition to, an MHS-1-like vessel.
The FPD's well deck is large enough to carry eight MHS-1s. It's hangar is large enough for six MH-60 helicopters or four EH-101 MCM helicopters. This fits well within the NRC concept for an MCS. FPDs with the MCS module augment the dedicated MCMV class in the IAFM, when there's a need for greater clearance rates close to shore.
|AIAA Manta and Swedish Rockan bottom influence mines|
|M139 Volcano System (US Army)|
The Volcano uses modified Gator mines, the same that were developed to be dropped by aircraft inside the CBU-78/B (Navy) and CBU-89/B (Air Force). The entire system is made of four main components, which are the mine canister, the dispenser, the dispenser control unit (DCU) and the mounting hardware. The latter includes a jettison subassembly to be fitted to the Black Hawk to detach and propel the racks and canisters away from the aircraft in the event of an emergency.
The M-139 uses M87 and M87A1 mine canisters which contain five Anti-Tank (AT) mines and one Anti-Personnel (AP) mine or six AT mines, respectively, plus a propulsion device to scatter them 35 to 70 meters away from the helicopter. The mine canisters are capable of dispensing mines with 4-hour, 48-hour, and 15-day self-destruct timers.
Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) / Marine Riverine Support
USS Harnett County (LST-821)
|http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/16/160821.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11437959|