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Storm In A Teacup, Or Rn Vs. Iran


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There was a good article about what we were looking at here.

http://www.hisutton.com/Royal_Navy_Littoral_Strike_Ships.html

 

Its based on the MV Craigside, or the Ocean Trader as its now known, which has been acquired for the US SOF community.

CRAGSIDE_674968.570x1140.jpg

Doesn't look like a good design to me. I've operated vessels as SF FOBs, landing ships and motherships with and without docks. Dock has more flexibility and can operate in higher sea state than davit or crane launching. Davit launching is limited to craft designed for the specific davit. Single crane is single point of failure if using that to launch irregular size boats (arguably also true of dock door).

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You can JUST about see them on here, although its not a fantastic angle.

 

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/20959/photo-of-shadowy-u-s-special-operations-ghost-mothership-appears-on-twitter

 

Its not quite clear all of what they have done to her.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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You can JUST about see them on here, although its not a fantastic angle.

 

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/20959/photo-of-shadowy-u-s-special-operations-ghost-mothership-appears-on-twitter

 

Its not quite clear all of what they have done to her.

 

Odd that the life boat portside aft is missing. It looks rather uhm weathered. And is that big black spot an RPG hit or a generator exhaust?

 

 

What one can see is the added boxes in front of the bridge and behind it next to the big yellow exhaust and the new helo pad. Portside there seem to have been no new openings been cut. I wonder if it has a connector for replenishment of water and fuel at sea?

 

 

this photo is from construction at the shipyard in 2015:

 

1920px-MV_Cragside_in_Mobile%2C_AL_on_Oc

 

Looks like they welded up the openings on the starboard side and added new openings for launching boats.

 

 

 

another set of photos can be found here: https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/21261/americas-elusive-special-operations-mothership-is-packing-stealth-speedboats

Edited by Panzermann
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Odd that the life boat portside aft is missing. It looks rather uhm weathered. And is that big black spot an RPG hit or a generator exhaust?

She was in a shipyard for maintenance and/or certification. Landing a lifeboat for maintenance or testing of the boat or davit is routine in such circumstances.

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It is equipped to take underway replenishment. The requirement was that it sustain itself with 200 personnel for 45 days and be able to replenish and continue at sea for another 45 days. The idea seems to be that it can stay at sea over the horizon supporting special ops for extended period of time independently. Besides having a lot of 13m boat launches, it apparently can handle any helo SOF uses including CH-53E. No armament though outside a half dozen removable 50 cals. While it looks a little ugly, to some extent this may be desirable and to some extent unavoidable, given the amount of time it spends away from port. There are few photographs of it in port or in sea lanes and it has only reported itself on AIS several times - it's a modern day ghost ship.

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The US conversion has eight davit positions, but of course these will still be sea state dependent.

Looks like she only has 4, all on the starboard side, but that has a possible operational advantage over 2 on each side. She won't need to turn to create a lee on the opposite side to launch the second pair, allowing for simultaneous or near-simultaneous launches.

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I guess its not an entirely new idea, the US hired some maritime barges for operations in the Persian Gulf in 1988, as a FOB for operating the Little Birds in operations against the Iranians. Worked very well, but it nearly came a cropper to a silkworm attack. There are some confused reports that claim it either missed, or was shot down by a Stinger.

 

 

I guess they would probably be carrying stinger teams if they needed them. A phalanx is going to stand out a bit.

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The Iranians have their own version parked in the Red Sea currently. The USN also has the two somewhat more conventional MSB subtype of their mobile transfer docks, and before that Ponce.

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Well one thing is for sure, they would have a hell of a job rappelling from a Helicopter onto it. :D

 

 

 

I guess they would probably be carrying stinger teams if they needed them. A phalanx is going to stand out a bit.


Stinger or any other MANPAD is ineffective against modern or modern-ish AShM.

 

 

Im sure you are right, but Iran still seems to use Silkworm (or at least Iranian built versions of it). Well, its better than nothing....

 

 

There is an interesting article here on the Iranian equivalent to the above ship.

http://www.hisutton.com/Saviz.html

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Im sure you are right, but Iran still seems to use Silkworm (or at least Iranian built versions of it). Well, its better than nothing....

Iran may still have Silkworm in inventory, but they have a lot of newer AShMs.

 

It's worse than nothing if it is ineffective, wastes resources and offers a false sense of security.

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Realistically, you're on a bit of a losing wicket trying to defend a missile magnet from even Silkworm era AShMs. IMHO it would make sense to make it clear that such an attack, whether successful or not, would invoke a suitably punitive response.

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As we are no proposing at least one of these vessels, one has to ask what we would do in those circumstances.

 

Don't send it into AShM range. If you are going to send it into AShM range it needs at least one towed or otherwise floating decoy, rapid bloom overhead chaff and IR decoys, an integrated ESM and ECM system connected to minimum fit radar/EO system that can acquire and direct CAMM with some bolt on launchers thereof and at least one Block 1B Phalanx, together with an AIS/FCS to integrate them all. Anixtu could elaborate, but I'm pretty sure even RFAs sent into dodgy places (and I don't mean Plymouth :) ) are fairly bristling with automatic weapons including at least one Phalanx, 30mm DS30B cannon, miniguns, GPMGs, and chaff and IR decoy launchers. I still don't think the plan would be to drop anchor within range of a Silkworm battery or obvious launch site for one though.

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I'm pretty sure even RFAs sent into dodgy places (and I don't mean Plymouth :) ) are fairly bristling with automatic weapons including at least one Phalanx, 30mm DS30B cannon, miniguns, GPMGs, and chaff and IR decoy launchers.

At least two Phalanx. They come in pairs or threesomes for 360° coverage. Some RFAs still have 20mm GAM-B01. At least one is lucky enough to have DS30M/ASCG which is vastly better operationally than the manual DS30B mounting.

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Realistically, you're on a bit of a losing wicket trying to defend a missile magnet from even Silkworm era AShMs. IMHO it would make sense to make it clear that such an attack, whether successful or not, would invoke a suitably punitive response.

 

If they sink your warship, that opens the door to you sinking all of theirs. The only reason they can do what they do is plausible deniability and pseudo non warfare. Putting an AShM into someone's FOB is an overt act of war that would demand a fairly simple and easy response, even from the RN.

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Realistically, you're on a bit of a losing wicket trying to defend a missile magnet from even Silkworm era AShMs. IMHO it would make sense to make it clear that such an attack, whether successful or not, would invoke a suitably punitive response.

 

If they sink your warship, that opens the door to you sinking all of theirs. The only reason they can do what they do is plausible deniability and pseudo non warfare. Putting an AShM into someone's FOB is an overt act of war that would demand a fairly simple and easy response, even from the RN.

 

 

DPRK sank an ROK warship and ROK didn't respond in kind.

 

The UK would do the same.

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If they sink your warship, that opens the door to you sinking all of theirs. The only reason they can do what they do is plausible deniability and pseudo non warfare. Putting an AShM into someone's FOB is an overt act of war that would demand a fairly simple and easy response, even from the RN.

 

The Iranians are unlikely to venture out of the friendly confines of pseudo-warfare, as that is all they can afford. If they are smart, they will seek a diplomatic solution before the situation escalates beyond their means.

Edited by Nobu
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I'm pretty sure even RFAs sent into dodgy places (and I don't mean Plymouth :) ) are fairly bristling with automatic weapons including at least one Phalanx, 30mm DS30B cannon, miniguns, GPMGs, and chaff and IR decoy launchers.

At least two Phalanx. They come in pairs or threesomes for 360° coverage. Some RFAs still have 20mm GAM-B01. At least one is lucky enough to have DS30M/ASCG which is vastly better operationally than the manual DS30B mounting.

 

 

Wow! Which RFAs have three?

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Realistically, you're on a bit of a losing wicket trying to defend a missile magnet from even Silkworm era AShMs. IMHO it would make sense to make it clear that such an attack, whether successful or not, would invoke a suitably punitive response.

 

If they sink your warship, that opens the door to you sinking all of theirs. The only reason they can do what they do is plausible deniability and pseudo non warfare. Putting an AShM into someone's FOB is an overt act of war that would demand a fairly simple and easy response, even from the RN.

 

 

And what would the regime in Iran care if all ships are sunk?

 

However how would the public in a Western nation care if one of your warships is sunk close to Iranian waters in a pointless conflict.

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Realistically, you're on a bit of a losing wicket trying to defend a missile magnet from even Silkworm era AShMs. IMHO it would make sense to make it clear that such an attack, whether successful or not, would invoke a suitably punitive response.

 

If they sink your warship, that opens the door to you sinking all of theirs. The only reason they can do what they do is plausible deniability and pseudo non warfare. Putting an AShM into someone's FOB is an overt act of war that would demand a fairly simple and easy response, even from the RN.

 

 

And what would the regime in Iran care if all ships are sunk?

 

However how would the public in a Western nation care if one of your warships is sunk close to Iranian waters in a pointless conflict.

 

 

 

They might when they realize they have nothing left to support the war in Yemen.

 

I think it far more likely Iran would push Hamas to launch an attack in the UK, than sink a warship off the coast of Iran. Thankfully they would have to demonstrate a degree of competence to do the latter.

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