Arsenal ships and so on

Arsenal Ship Back from the Dead (Mar 3, 2004 entry)

Strategy Page has an excellent entry about the possible return of the floating missile barge known as an arsenal ship. The entry also discusses other missile-intensive possibilities for the future. Since I regularly rip off Strategy Page posts, I’m not going to quote anything this time. Go read it. You’ll be glad you did.

I’d just like to note once more that I support the idea of modifying a commercial airliner (a la the 767 tanker) into a sort of JDAM platform to provide ground support from five miles up once air supremacy has been established over the battlefield. This seems more valuable to me than re-activating some B-1B bombers as some members of Congress want to do over the resistance of military leaders.

UPDATE: And as far as the Air Force operating blue water ships? I say let them, as long as they let the US Army operate certain fixed-wing ground support aircraft. Can you say “A-10 Warthog”? Just a thought.


  1. Your 767 JDAM mothership suggestion certainly has merit from the perspectives of ready availability, and load carrying capacity. I wonder if the expense of modifying it for that, plus the cost of ruggedizing it to MIL standard won’t make it more expensive than reactivating the B1s. Also, if an enemy aircraft did threaten it; it would never have the speed and manuverability of a B1 to escape and evade. Plenty of room for jammers and decoys though! Just goes to show the Air Force may be a ‘little’ too dominated by the fighter jocks. I know congress got in the way when the air force wanted to purchase more B1s and B2s, but……. it’s the AF itself that seems to prefer loads of hot rod F22s and A/F35s (and they will be great at what they’re designed to do) to additional bomb carrying platforms. There’s no arguing the last few conflicts we’ve been in have illustrated the value of our aging and shrinking bomber fleet to perform the strategic bombing they were designed for, AND invaluable CAS (with JDAMs & other precision guided munitions) for our frontline troops and allies. The truth is, we really haven’t needed all that much ‘top cover’ lately, though that’s obviously not always going to be the case in future conflicts.