Monday, December 05, 2005

How the Navy wants to screw the Marines

This is just wrong:

The Navy, for unquantifiable political reasons and not for military ones, wants to get rid of the US's two remaining battleships and turn them into floating museums in California and Virginia. The Navy wants to replace the battleships with the DD(X) Destroyer -- a design that costs $4.7B each and will not be ready until 2015. The Marines, who actually make first landings on enemy soil and need the best support possible, consider the battleships essential. Why? The battleships, with refurbishment that would cost less than 1/3 the destroyer's price that would be ready long before 2015 would have ". . . 18 big (16-inch) guns [that] could fire 460 projectiles in nine minutes and take out hardened targets in North Korea" according to the Robert Novak column linked above. The destroyer "will fire only 70 long-range attack projectiles at $1 million a minute. Therefore, the new destroyer will rely on conventional 155-millimeter rounds that Marines say cannot reach the shore."

The Navy has had an anti-battleship animus since Pearl Harbor, but the Marines and Army both know how valuable battleships have been in providing artillery support. Ultimately, if the Navy gets its way, the Marines and Army infantry will be the men who suffer the most.

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