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Personally, I wouldn't say their value is for when "airpower was unavailable". Seapower has a different set characteristics from airpower. In many ways, they are complementary.jua wrote: Isn't it a bit of a circular argument to say these would be for when airpower was unavailable knowing that any fighter with a guided rocket could sink it? If you have air superiority, it seems to me you can launch AShMs from aicraft. Four missiles = 1-2 tactical aircraft or one MPA. If you don't have control of the air, your small boats are doomed. If we're talking about the SCS, which we are since no one else is a legitimate competitor, I don't see where you would base these and I don't see how they would be effective firing subsonic cruise missiles in small batches. A type 54 frigate could probably engage a dozen subsonic weapons and survive. You'd have to round up a half dozen of these things or coordinate a ToT strike from different angles to make them effective, and they're still vulnerable.
I agree. I'm not in favor of the old single-focus FAC. I think we'd be better served with "fighty" patrol vessels that have endurance and can do MIO as well as missile combat.jua wrote: I don't think a FAC is a very persistent seapower asset. Perhaps compared to aircraft it is, but endurance is relatively short. There has to be a better way to show the flag than a single purpose, short endurance vessel that is likely incapable of performing its singular mission.
Except there will only be a handful of LCSs, and they have limited range and endurance themselves. Not exactly a flotilla swarm.jua wrote: Use the LCS for the role then. All they need is NSM and they fit that part, and they have little practical use outside that.
Combined arms. Tanks are also very vulnerable to air attack, yet everyone still relies on them. Don't send small combatants somewhere without an adequate air defense plan.Odysseus wrote: Small ships are extremely vulnerable to air attack as Argentina discovered in the Falklands. Air launched missiles would destroy them very quickly. No AAA gun they could carry would provide defense and they could not mount adequate SAM defense with enough reloads to be effective.