Materials & Assembly

Navy Provides Sneak Peek of Next-Gen Warship

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Beth Stackpole
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What's the life span for next-gen?
Beth Stackpole   5/2/2012 6:05:09 AM
Very sci-fi looking and the idea of shooting laser beams--that certainly puts the warship in a next-gen class. I'm curious as to how often the Navy rolls out a next-generation ship and what the typical life span is on these vessels. Any one have any clue?

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Re: What's the life span for next-gen?
naperlou   5/2/2012 9:45:18 AM
Beth, these are good questions.  Navy ships last a very long time.  In the 1990s we were still using battleships built during WWII.  They could still be in use, but the decision was made to produce new ships instead of keeping the old ones.  These are large machines and it is easy to fit them out with new equipment over time.  The battleships I mentioned, were outfitted with cruise missles and Phalanx gun system, which were not even concieved of when they were built.  Frankly, with something as large as a combat ship, putting laser weapons or rail guns is not a big deal.  They could be put on existing ships today, and probably would be.

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Re: What's the life span for next-gen?
NadineJ   5/2/2012 11:19:03 AM
Good question.  I'm curious about the cost too.  The article says that less manpower can be used in these more powerful vessels.  Is the lower payroll balanced out by the higher cost or is there long-term savings?

This next-gen warship is sooner than expected but right on time given that we move faster through cycles-fashion, innovation, etc.-than ever before.  It's good to see the navy addressing noise pollution in the ocean.

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Next Warship Durability / Reliability
JDT   5/2/2012 11:49:57 AM
Naval warships take a lot of beatings, whether it be from Mother Nature, pounding seas, storms, etc. of from NGS. I worry about automation, and builders trying to cut corners to save on the budgets. It will be the crews that pay the price for their oversight.

These ships MUST be tested in all types of conditions to the fullest extent possible, and the longest time possible.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Next Warship Durability / Reliability
Beth Stackpole   5/2/2012 11:57:32 AM
@JDT: I agree. I bet there was and still is a serious simulation aspect to this ship to test all types of conditions whether related to the weather or to different types of at-sea battle scenarios. It would be interesting to inside the war-room of sorts to see what is being conducted.

Rob Spiegel
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Factory-like Ship
Rob Spiegel   5/2/2012 12:11:27 PM
Nice article, Elizabeth. When Bath rattles off details such as  "electric drive/integrated power systems, automated ship control and damage control systems, and a totally integrated, ship-wide command and control system," it sounds like a modern factory.

Larry S.
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Amazing Technology
Larry S.   5/2/2012 4:32:17 PM
It looks like something out of Star Wars!  Does it need a crew or can it be operated like a remote control video game?

Is there any information on who developed and tested the materials used for the hull?


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Straight line?
LouisDE   5/2/2012 4:54:14 PM
I should think that both the laser and rail gun are line of sight "straight shooting" weapons, while naval battles can be fought over the horizon, so perhaps these are defensive weapons. 

@NadineJ   I can't see where the military was ever concerned about cost control, why start now ;-) 

As for deplying these weapons on older ships, @naperlou  had it right - it should not be an issue.

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Rail Gun
tekochip   5/2/2012 5:03:56 PM
Does anybody know if this is the first ship outfit with a rail gun?  ANy details on the projectile?

Jerry dycus
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Re: Rail Gun
Jerry dycus   5/2/2012 8:38:22 PM

 i seriously doubt a rail gun will ever be deployed as a standard weapon as it tends to destroy itself in a few rounds.  With all the problems with it guided rockets are a far better weapon.

An the real future weapon should be a low pressure cannon launching guided projectiles or missles  we already have, just modied to launch from th 50-80', 24'' dia fixed at 45deg or so gives  warheads 100-500 mile range at a % of the cost of a cruise missle.

Next we just can't afford the oil to run these. They need a small nuke like the Hyperion 100Mw heat source steam generator powering the propulsion and house. When docked can supply the base with electric.

Facts are this too big and easily damaged. Better go to a Tri hull with the outer ones protecting the inner one from fighting damage.  Other advantages is on a 500' Tri you can do  an aircraft carrier as so much deck.  Destroyers, Cruiser like above only 250-300' long.

No Navy can bring up 10% of ours so greatly increasing size, numbers, tech makes no sense when smaller, more economical,  survivable craft able to put far more ordnance on target farther away run on mini inherently safe nukes would make a better future we might be able to afford. 

And maybe a gov that stops starting wars over oil so the navy can do things like diaster relief, etc instead so we might be better received in other lands and less wanting to kill us. Just a thought.  PS Saves a lot of money too.

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