MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AP) - The Defense secretary says the recent high-seas pirate drama shows the value of simple weapons, even in today's world. Robert Gates has been praising the Navy SEAL snipers who killed three pirate hostage-takers Sunday. He's also been noting the imbalance between high-tech U.S. warships and weaponry pitted against pirates in a tiny boat. As he puts it, the U.S. doesn't need "a billion-dollar ship to chase down a bunch of teenage pirates."
Gates is pushing a plan to reorder the Pentagon budget by canceling some big programs and scaling back others. He says the goal should be larger quantities of affordable and versatile systems, instead of machines "so costly and complex" it takes a long time to just build a few of them.
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I agree.. I advocated building a fleet of 50 Innumerable times.
I think a good specification is:
Buque de Acción Marítima [BAM - Ship of Action Maritime]
In early 2005 the Spainish government gave approved the Buque de Acción Marítima [BAM - Ship of Action Maritime] for a run of four ships and a possible total of sixteen. The BAM is 2,500 ton modular ship, with a length of 93.5 meters and a beam of 14.2 meters. Its capabilities include anti-terrorism missions, illegal immigration patrols, and protection of the EEZ. BAM's modular construction will allow it to replace older ships in electronic intelligence missions, hydrography or diver support.
Description: The Meteoro, originally known as Buque de Accion Maritima Oceanico (BAM-Oceanico) or Oceanic Maritime Action Ship in English, is a new class of corvette-sized ship intended as a replacement for a variety of Spanish Navy's patrol boats which are reaching the end of their projected service life. Their primary goal will be to protect Spain's Economic Exclusive Zone (EZZ) and to provide humanitarian relief. The Meteoro-class ships feature oceanic capability, high reliability, low life cycle cost, automated ship's sub-systems and reduced manpower as well as an outstanding at sea mission endurance. Beginning in mid-2009, four BAM-class ships will replace existing Barcelo-, Anaga-, Conejera-, Toralla- and Descubierta-class vessels.
The Meteoro-class ships will be provided with a 76mm 62-caliber dual purpose gun, two 25mm automatic guns, and two 12.7mm machine guns. An aft flight deck enables operation of a single AB212/SH-3D/NH90 helicopter. The 2,500t class ships feature a CODOE (Combined Diesel Or Electric) propulsion system which combines two diesel engines developing 4,500 KW each with two electric engines developing 2x750 KW. The propulsion system allows a top speed in excess of 20 knots. The Spanish Navy's plans call for the development of a family of surface ships based on the BAM design to fit non-Oceanic missions such as hydrographic, intelligence gathering, and submarine rescue.
Accommodation: Crew 35, Passengers 80
Guns: Main Gun Caliber 76 mm
Dimensions: Beam 14.2 m, Draft 4.2 m, Length 94 m
Weights: Full Displacement 2,500 t
Performance: Cruise Speed 19 kt (35 kph), Economical Speed 10 kt (19 kph), Endurance 35 day, Max Range 3,500 nautical mile (), Top Speed 21 kt (38 kph)
Power: Power 9,000 kW
I was also impressed with the SECDEF and SECSTATE addressing the challenge as a failed state issue. Importantly both seemed to be attuned with the challenges that we are both facing currently and will increasingly confront. The SECSTATE visiting Haiti, addressing Somalia, and discussing an international effort combined with USN and military aid to address a challenge was something that sadly we didn't see for quite some time........
I'm NOT (I repeat Not) and naval expert.. And by following alternatives to the LCS suggest that we not replace the larger destroyers that are contracted for delivery..
But as an economist and a person who watches what facts will affect tomorrow suggest that we commit to an additional 50 vessels to promote responsible supply side spending that will create jobs and promote peace.
I specifically like the module approach to the BAM so the politics of Pork do not preclude needed job creation occuring short term where it is needed most.
But all of the emerging threats seem to be capably handled by a craft such as this.. we are late in progress with this challenge... These crafts should be shared between the USCG and the USN and be an almost apollo project for jobs.
I genuinely belive this, see this as an over the event horrizon fact, my intuition screams we should be doing this...