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Diogenes of NJ

The Pacific is an exceeding large ocean. Nuclear power allows for high speed transits and permits SSNs to get to where they are needed quickly. Such as been a major part of the US Navy's rational to employ an exclusively nuclear submarine fleet for the latter part of the 20th century, up to the present day.

As talented as a modern nuclear submarine is, the one thing that it is unable to do is to be in two places at once (whereas the enemy can). If we could have significantly larger numbers of modern capable SS attack boats as opposed to many fewer SSNs, then I'd agree with GBW. With many more boats and modern communications we could experience a revival of wolf pack tactics.

A less distinguished man once stated: "Quantity has a quality of it's own."


Unless you can man five SSs with the same number of men it takes to man one SSN, this is not a good deal. Now add in the cost of the new oilers and tenders these SSs will require. Those new support ships have their own new crew requirements. Now add in the new shore establishment required to equip and manage the hardware, train the crew, and create/refine the doctrine for the skippers of these new SSs.

Yes this puts more boats in the water, but its by no means a "cheap" solution. I imagine Laz would have a stroke at just the increased personnel costs alone. :) I don't see how this would be a wise move for an SSN-equipped Navy to embrace in a time of budgetary woe.

Diogenes of NJ

@Krag - some excellent points. Fighting a war, especially a war at sea is by no means an economical endeavor. There is nothing more expensive however, than losing a war. The economic ramification persist for generations (the Confederate South comes to mind). That said, I think that most here will agree that that current world conditions and the outlook on the horizon dictate that US Military forces MUST be increased; especially our Navy and most of all our Submarine Force.

One of the most intensive areas of training in submarining is the care and feeding of the nuclear reactor. Fully one half of an attack boat's crew are nucs. Elimination of the nuclear reactor also eliminates the need for this training regime. As you know submariners are the best trained of all crews. The safety of the boat requires thorough and extensive crew cross training. WWII diesel boat crews were slightly smaller than modern attack boat crews, and there was a time when the number of non-nucs dominated sub personnel (not sure if that’s still the case, but clearly the nuc ratio has increased). As for maintenance and shore establishment, IMHO it's about time that the Navy bring back tenders (both sub and surface craft); an invaluable asset for forward deployments.



The crew size for a Type 212 is between 28 and 30, while a new Virginia is about 135. The ratio is about 1:4.5 for crew sizes. One has to wonder how many boat spaces can be freed up by reducing the number of Flag Officers by a third, with their concomitant staffs. Ditto the Diversity Directorate at Millington. And Diogenes makes some excellent points about crew training for reactors.


Glad of the tag at the end. I was pretty sure it wasn't URR pinning on Captain that mattered here. :-)

You gonna be around more Gramps? Good to see you again!


Ahh, well. Part of the Navy's biggest problem set is that their Captains increasingly don't matter. Whereas a Marine Captain does...


Which is to say that I wrote the piece, referencing something I got from GPBW, which is why he gets the hat-tip.


Typepad does not automatically append the author's label to a post. So, Howm I supposed to be able to tell it was just URR and not the distinguished GBW?


That you cannot tell the difference between GPBW and URR is very bad news for GPBW!!!!


GPBW old. URR middle age. GPBW not small. URR BIG. GPBW has unpredictable and weird twisted sense of humor. URR humor usually below detectable threshold values. GPBW real Grandpa. URR...green amphibious monster.

I could go on....


Quartermaster: Here every day or so...have been for long time.

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