Arsenal Ship Lessons Learned Report

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TAB C

ARSENAL SHIP
CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS

The arsenal ship concept is a direct outgrowth of the Navyís shift in focus from the open ocean to the littoral. It is fully consistent with "Forward...from the Sea", and "Operational Manuever from the Sea", and addresses current as well as anticipated future requirements for more decisive, responsive and varied naval support to the land battle. Through concentration of massive firepower, continuous availability and application of netted targeting and weapons assignment, the arsenal ship will increase dramatically the scope and relevance of surface strike and fire support. Tailored specifically to meet the heavy support challenge in the opening days of conflict, arsenal ship will bring firepower to bear in support of Unified CinCís and ground commander plans and schemes of manuever as well as provide significant leverage during the early phases of crises response and control.

OVERVIEW

As the foremost world power, the United States will continue to maintain global interests, and therefore must be able to influence and respond to events with credible military presence and power projection capabilities. In the face of steadily decreasing overseas basing and a shrinking military budget, the United States must maintain the ability, in concert with allies, to execute timely combat operations across the spectrum of conflict. Naval forces, sustaining forward presence, will be key to successful introduction as well as early employment of ground forces.

Arsenal ship represents an affordable and much needed enhancement to our existing force of carriers and land attack capable combatants and submarines. It is not a replacement for these or for land-base air. Instead, it is part of the whole-just as the Battleship was a part of the whole for nearly a century. Operating under the control and umbrella of regularly deployed Aegis combatants, arsenal ship will supply substantial firepower, early: giving unified Commanders-in-Chief (CinCs) the capability to halt or deter invasion and, if necessary, enable the build-up of coalition land-based air and ground forces to achieve favorable conflict resolution. With a force totaling about six, arsenal ships will be stationed continuously forward, always available for rapid movement upon receipt of even ambiguous or limited strategic warning. Much like our maritime pre-positioning force, they will remain on station in support of a Unified CinC for indefinite periods without dependence on host nation support or permission.

OPERATIONAL CONCEPT

With about 500 missiles and space for future extended range gun systems, arsenal ships will be capable of launching many current and planned Department of Defense weapons across the warfare spectrum. Arsenal ship can be positioned to destroy the enemyís critical infrastructure at or near the inception of hostilities. Using precision guided missiles equipped with advanced penetrating warheads and sub munitions, this ship will serve as an additional maneuver element in the landing force or ground force commanderís plan by isolating, immobilizing, or destroying enemy forces, including enemy armored fighting vehicles, as well as providing fires in direct tactical support of ground forces.

Employing the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) "remote magazine" launch concept, the Arsenal Ship will provide additional magazine capacity for Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD) and Air Supremacy missiles. This concept allows for remote missile selection, on-board missile initialization and remote launch orders, and provides remote "missile away" messages to the control platform.

To meet mission goals at affordable cost, ship design will be based on commercial practices and rely extensively on automation in engineering, damage, ship and weapon control systems to achieve a crew size of no more than 50. Berthing spaces for special evolution detachments will enhance operational flexibility.

Arsenal ship and associated weapon control systems will have the flexibility to be responsive to multiple commanders and to conduct simultaneous Long Range Strike, Naval Surface Fire Support, and Theater Air Defense missions. Tables 1 and 2 are representative of the type of capabilities desired.

  Halt Invasion Long Range Strike Battlespace Dominance Surface Fire Support
Complex Adaptive Armed Forces Air Land Maneuver Battle Groups (e.g., OMGs) National / Regional C4I Space Control Manned A/C TBMs, UAVs Cruise Missiles. SAM/AAA Long-Range Artillery TBMs Logistics Assets
Armored Mech Armed Forces Armor-Heavy Comb. Arms Formations Divisions/BDEs National and Regional C4I Manned A/C TBMs SAM/AAA Long-Range Artillery
Infantry Based Armed Forces Armor/Mech "Pure" units (BDEs/BNs) Military Region District C4I Manned A/C SAM/AAA Medium-Range Artillery Logistics Assets
Internal Security Light Force Transportation Railroads Trucking, Light Vehicles National CMD Authority Military Concentrations OP Bases Light A/C Coastal Patrol Craft Logistics Assets Economic Asset Local Forces
Table 1. Target Sets to be Countered by Arsenal Ship

  Halt Invasion Long Range Strike Battlespace Dominance Surface Fire Support
Complex Adaptive Armed Forces SM-2/ATACMS-BAT SLAM TLAM-BAT TLAM-C TLAM ATACMS TLAM-C/D SM-2 Blk III A/B and Blk IVA SM-2 LEAP ATACMS, SLAM, STRIKE-SM TLAM-C/D NAVAL GUNFIRE (VGAS/SCRAM)
Armored Mechanized Armed Forces SM-2/ATACMS-BAT TLAM-BAT SLAM STRIKE-SM SM2/ATACMS-BAT TLAM-BAT SLAM STRIKE-SM ATACMS TLAM-C/D SM-2 Blk III A/B and Blk IVA ATACMS, SLAM, STRIKE-SM TLAM-C/D NAVAL GUNFIRE (VGAS/SCRAM)
Infantry Based Armed Forces ATACMS SLAM STRIKE-SM TLAM-D ATACMS-ER ATACMS ATACMS, SLAM STRIKE-SM TLAM-C/D NAVAL GUNFIRE (VGAS/SCRAM)
Internal Security Light Force NAVAL GUNFIRE (VGAS/SCRAM) TLAM-C ATACMS NAVAL GUNFIRE (VGAS/SCRAM) ATACMS NAVAL GUNFIRE (VGAS/SCRAM)
Table 2. Weapons to Counter Target Sets

OPERATING ASSUMPTIONS

Arsenal Ship is a firepower multiplier that, in conjunction with other naval forces, increases decisively the options available to the theater CinC. The operational concept for Arsenal Ships is based on the following assumptions.

CinC Requirements. Arsenal Ships will be assigned to theater CinC to provide:

  • Conventional Deterrence against regional aggression inimical to U.S. interests,
  • Flexible response for demonstration of power independent of diplomatic limitations,
  • Credible forward firepower support to joint and coalition land forces early in a regional contingency if deterrence fails. The forward theater arsenal ship weapon loadout will be robust, flexible and tailorable to CinC requirements in order to expand CinC options for use of assigned joint forces.
Joint Warfighting. Arsenal ships will be fully integrated into the joint warfighting force structure. The ships will be capable of firing a variety of weapons in support of a land campaign, including Long Range Strike, Invasion Stopping, Fire Support to Joint Ground Forces, Tactical Ballistic Missile Defense and Air Superiority.

Forward Operations. Arsenal Ships will be stationed, operated and supported in forward theaters for conventional deterrence and to provide immediate responsiveness upon onset of hostilities. The three forward theaters currently envisioned for arsenal ships are:

  • Central Command (Southwest Asia / Persian Gulf),
  • Pacific Command (Western Pacific)
  • European Command (Mediterranean).
COMMAND AND CONTROL

Arsenal ships will operate in both peace and war as integral fleet units within the chain of command under Joint Combatant Command (COCOM). Peacetime Operational Control (OPCON) will normally be exercised by numbered fleet commanders. Within a Joint Task Force structure, OPCON will normally be exercised by the Joint Force Maritime Commander. Tactical Command (TACON) will normally be assigned to a naval commander.

JOINT CONNECTIVITY MISSION PLANNING AND TARGETING

Key to both arsenal shipís affordability and operational flexibility is off-board integration of all but the most rudimentary C4I. Joint connectivity, including targeting, mission planning, and weapons control will be provided to arsenal ship through the existing fleet of Aegis cruisers and destroyers. Employing an advanced, CEC-like weapons link, the wide array of joint connectivity needed for netted operations will be hosted through an assigned control ship. The role of target and user integration will similarly be performed off-ship, thereby significantly reducing arsenal ship manning, cost and developmental risk; while leveraging the extensive joint C4I investment (Link 16, CEC, etc.) already programmed for the majority of the Surface Navy.The complexity of varied tasking will be reduced to highly reliable, jam resistant targeting, weapons, and launch orders.

SURVIVABILITY

Though arsenal ship will operate in any threat environment under the protective umbrella of battle force combatants, it must be survivable against 21st century anti-ship missiles, torpedoes, and mines. Passive defense should capitalize on the benefits of mass (tonnage), innovative applications of multiple hull integrity, and signature reduction. Active self defense if required should be roughly equivalent to that of a combat logistics force ship.

MAINTENANCE

Arsenal ships are to be forward deployed for the large part of their operational lives. Low maintenance and high reliability must be engineered into ship design to assure high operational availability.

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Last revision: 10 March 1998