May 27, 2009

Vikings VS Pirates: Round 1

Round one goes to the VIKINGS!

Early this morning, suspected pirates attacked a Greek Bulk Carrier in the Gulf of Aden.  The pirates fired upon the ship with small arms and RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade). A distress call was picked up by the EU NAVFOR Swedish warship HSwMS MALMO which immediately proceeded to the area.

HSwMS MALMO made visual contact with the attacking skiff and fired warning shots and flares. The skiff stopped after pursuit and was boarded by a VPD (Vessel Protection Detachment).  Weapons, GPS equipment, grappling hooks and barrels of fuel were found on board the skiff. 7 suspected pirates were captured and are at present being held for further investigation........

The Swedes have stationed two Stockholm class corvettes in the area since last year. The tiny vessels are supported by a tender.

Stockholm and Malmo with their tender
The Stockholm class are interesting. These little ships are intended to operate in the Swedish archipelagos as coast defence craft.Their stats via World Navies Today are as follows:

Displacement: 335 tons full load
Dimensions: 50.5 x 7.5 x 2 meters/165.7 x 24.6 x 6.6 feet
Propulsion: 3 shafts; 2 cruise diesels, 4190 bhp, 20 knots; 1 boost gas turbine, 6,000 shp, 32 knots
Crew: 30
Radar: Sea Giraffe 50HC air/surf search
Sonar: SS304 Spira hull mounted, TSM 2642 MF VDS
Fire Control: 9LV 300 missile control
EW: EWS-095 intercept, Philax decoy RL
Armament: 8 RBS-15 SSM, 1 57mm/70cal DP, 1 40 mm AA, 2 21 inch torpedo tubes, 4 LLS-920 ASW RL

 These numbers are a few years old. They have recently had their ASW capability upgraded with a big variable depth sonar and several 40cm ASW torpedoes in place of the 21 inchers . In any event it is very likely they have landed most heavy weapons for this deployment. This would make them very economical to operate in comparison with any other full fledged warships. In theory quarters normally used by the technicians for the heavy weapons could be utilized by boarding teams.

  The fact that a tender supported vessel of this size is meeting success on the other side of the world goes a long way to validating some of Admiral Cebrowski's Streetfighter concepts.

A slightly larger vessel able to be fitted with with ASROC or ( perhaps more realistically)  and some light AAA weapons like Evolved Seasparrow or RAM might very well be a good fit for the USN.

With their heavy weapons removed they would be fairly cheap to operate in "warm war" operations like this but they might be quickly fitted  with their variable depth sonar and ASW weapons (presumably attended to by reservists) so they would act as sub chasers in a hot war  Such a vessel would be much closer to the original "Streetfighter" concept than the LCS it eventually evolved into.

RDNS Skaden of the Flyvefisken class

The closest to this idea is actually the often mentioned  FLYVEFISKEN class in service with Denmark. It's easy to see something like this fitted with the the Franco-Italian MILAS ASW missile in lieu of their Harpoons acting as sub chaser in a hot war. It would be a comparatively efficient  little gunboat in warm ones. The broad work deck could be used for various cargoes such as relief supplies or the drones the LCS prototypes are now testing....In Coast Guard service such a vessel might also tend bouys.

Vessels able to act as tenders for these vessels already exist. Some of the 'gator navy' amphibious vessels could be modifid to do so and most could provide helicopters as well.

It certainly beats ending up with 200 or fewer ships...

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 06:28 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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