Brown Water Warship Shines in Sea Trials (07/11/2005 entry)
The SEA FIGHTER, noted previously on MO, has been handed over the the Navy.
This ship was originally intended as an experimental ship, to test out a number of new technologies. But the sea trials were so successful, that pressure is building to put this class into mass production. That won’t be hard to do. Sea Fighter took only twenty months to build, and cost only $50 million. Ships like this are meant for a new force, the “brown water (coastal) navy.” The “brown water sailors,” who are agitating for more emphasis on small ships, and operations in coastal waters, are no longer considered a fringe group. This is mainly because a larger brown water force would get the navy more involved with the war on terror.
Go read. Despite the fact that I am a believer in naval airpower (and, therefore, carriers) I’m excited about the Littoral Combat Ship program. Especially this little cousin.
Also see this Strategy Page post (07/10/2005 entry) about possible plans to retire one carrier (but not an air group) to help fund the brown water navy.