Surface Warfare On Wings
AUTHOR LCdr Brian T. McCann, USN
SUBJECT AREA Strategic Issues
TITLE: Surface Warfare on Wings
THESIS: The US Navy needs to procure more PHMs.
ISSUE: The Navy has entered an era of blue dollar and manning
reductions, yet there has been no appreciable change in maritime
strategy--only the enemy. As a maritime nation, the US relies on a
strong Navy to maintain freedom of the seas. Loss of trade lanes and
SLOC's because of Third World contingencies could adversely effect US
economic growth, particularly in the areas of raw materials and
petroleum. The US Navy has been tasked with this mission of SLOC
protection, taking the fight to the enemy (via power projection and
forward deployment),and, most recently, with a defined role in the war
against drugs. Can the Navy reduce its manning and capital ships, and
fight a coastal drug war, in the years to come, while still fulfilling
the politically directed projection of power, naval presence, and
CONCLUSION: The US Navy can continue its maritime strategy and reduce
both manpower and blue dollar requirements by procuring more PHMs.
These vessels, at present, project an enormous quantity and quality of
power against hostile surface threats. The PHM costs one half to one
third the cost of a capital ship (DDG-51 or CG-47 class) and requires
one tenth (about 21 men) the crew of a capital ship. With some
adaptations of off-the-shelf technology, the PHM platform could perform
the total surface warfare mission and bring speed and firepower to a
deployed battlegroup. The PHM platform, with its 48(+)knot speed, is
ideally suited for drug interdiction and, with its 76mm Oto Melara gun
and Harpoon missiles , is highly effective against the FPB-heavy Third
Surface Warfare on Wings
A. Soviet threat reduction
B. New US military contingencies
C. DoD drug interdiction msn
D. Future applicability of maritime strategy
1. the strategy
2. the weakness
E. PHM history
D. 76mm gun
2. Israeli use of gun
2. ascm defense
III. Support ship/tactical mobility
A. present baggage
B. proposed baggage
C. prpd tacsup ships
D. msn of PHM
IV. Cost and Improvements
SURFACE WARFARE ON WINGS
With peace breaking out all around us, many believe that the war
machines of the military are no longer needed. Following that belief,
many government factions espousing huge military budget reductions. One
has only to read the newspapers about "perestroika", "glasnost", and the
Soviet Union's internal problems to be thoroughly convinced that we
really should reduce and redirect our defense dollars. With the Soviet
Union's new government and internal disharmony, how it possibly be a
viable foe? But before we celebrate and spend all the money, is the
USSR-vs-US the only reason the military exists?
The US military has been tasked with being able to respond across
the wide spectrum of conflict. The wide spectrum of conflict can be
simplistically reduced to three basic categories: high intensity
conflict (HIC), medium intensity conflict (MIC), and low intensity
conflict (LIC). War with the Soviet Union falls into the first and most
massive category--HIC. Logically, that means that the military has two
other areas it has to take care of and, at the same time, reduce its
budget. It is important to be mindful that these other two areas, MIC
and LIC, were, and are, most probably the types of conflicts to which
the United States would have to react. That means, we still need the
On 29 September 1988, even before prerestroika, Congress passed
legislation that authorized [read, "directed"] the Department of
Defense's (DOD) drug mission1--yet another task for the military. This
mission focuses on drug interdiction--finding, closing, chasing, and
catching drug smugglers before they can reach the US coast. Generally,
these smugglers use air or sea as the means of transportation to the
United States. Interdiction of the drug sea lines of communication
(SLOC), within DOD, falls to the Navy; so the war machine still needs
Even before 29 September 1988, the Navy had begun assisting the US
Coast Guard in this drug SLOC interdiction mission. One such
combination of effort occurred on the night of 7 April 1987.
...the Coast Guard Cutter...was being left behind while in
pursuit of a 31-foot Midnight Express offshore powerboat
suspected of smuggling drugs from the Bahamas to Florida.
Fortunately, the USS Gemini was patrolling th Florida
Straits with USCG LEDET Two embarked. When called to assist,
the Gemini intercepted the suspect vessel, pursued
it for more than 30 minutes at classified speeds in excess
of 40 knots, and successfully apprehended the vessel.
Sixty-five bales of marijuana, a total of 2,250 pounds,
were prevented from reaching the United States...2
It should be obvious that with MIC, LIC, and drug interdiction
around, some parts of the war machine are still needed, and in
particular, a Navy. Even without the above discussion, the fact that
the United States is a maritime nation whose economic base depends on
freedom of the seas and protection of the SLOC's, demands we have a
Navy. The oceans are literally our economy's lifeblood; we must
guarantee access to them. The point to be made is that as we reduce the
naval war machine, we must ensure we spend dollars wisely to procure and
preserve the proper ship mix.
The US Navy's maritime strategy of power projection, forward
deployment, naval presence, and alliance solidarity remains sound.
Though geared toward a Soviet enemy, the strategy possesses flexibility
to deal with any spectrum of conflict. But as we look to more to the
MIC, LIC, and drug interdiction roles, can our ships support the
strategy? For the most part the answer is yes; however, there are three
notable weak areas.
The first, our amphibious capability, is being corrected with the
introduction of the LHD-1 class, the LSD-41 and LSD-41(CV) classes, and
the LCAC. The second, our mine warfare capability, could be corrected
with the acceleration of the MCM-1 class countermeasures ship and the
building of the MHC-51 (coastal mine hunter) class. Both programs have
been slowed by contract problems.3 We need to get both programs moving
more smartly. The third,our fast patrol boat (FPB) capability, has
received a lot of rhetoric and some research and development dollars,
but remains unfunded while the Navy serves "the blue-water Navy first."4
When one considers our maritime strategy, MIC, LIC, and drug
interdiction, our FPB/patrol craft (PXM) capability is the one that
needs to be pursued. Consider that almost every Third World navy has
FPB's capable of 35-37 knots. Consider that drug smugglers have
cigarette-type offshore powerboats that cruise at 40-60 knots. Consider
that few of the Navy's blue-water ships can make over 35 knots.
Consider that the USN will need to be able to conduct surface choke
point operations to ensure freedom of the seas. Consider that reduced
manning will require smaller crews on USN ships. Consider that fewer
dollars will mean fewer ships and less expensive ships. Consider that
fewer ships available will require greater capabilities--more "bang for
the buck--on those ships. Consider that the Navy wants a patrol craft
110-140 feet long and a full load draft of no more than eight feet for
coastal patrol, naval special warfare support, and interdiction
operations.5 And, consider finally, that the Navy already possesses a
132-ft 9-in craft capable of 48 (+) knots with an 8-ft draft designed for
surface interdiction and choke point operations armed with ship killing
missiles. What craft could possibly fill all these considerations???--
the PHM (patrol combatant missile [hydrofoil]).
The apparent solution fades when it is pointed out that the Navy
has only SIX PHMs--hardly enough to simultaneously facilitate the above
considerations. Notwithstanding its present numbers, the PHM is the
platform that can carry the Navy into the future with the appropriate
high-low ship mix. As such, the US Navy needs to procure more PHMs.
The merits of this platform and its role in present and future naval
operations will be seen in the following discussion
Perhaps the first question that comes to mind is, "If the PHM is so
capable, why didn't the Navy buy more initially?" A valid question with
a less than simple answer. As mentioned above, the US Navy is a blue-
water navy. Many saw (and still see) no place in the Navy for patrol
crafts or PHMs.
The PHMs shaky birth was funded in FY 1973. Originally the Navy
planned to procure 30 PHMs over FY 73-77. The PHM was a NATO/US project
that suffered partner bailouts and increased costs. Under Secretary of
Defense Harold Brown, the PHM program saw numerical reductions and near
cancellation. In his FY 1979 Annual Report, Secretary of Defense Brown
wrote, "Contracts have been awarded for completion of the second through
sixth PHM. I continue to think the program is of very limited value,
but will consider what operational experience the six ships may be able
to provide for further evaluation."6 Thus, the last four PHMs received
funding and the program was put on the shelf. Later, attempts were made
to reallocate the funds, but under Nixon the funds went as originally
intended. In annual reports to follow FY 79, none of the other SecDef's
really addressed the PHM issue; it was dead. The last of the six PHMs
was commissioned in early 1983. So what did the Navy buy?
The PHM is a very capable and maneuverable ship. It has two
methods of propulsion. The single LM-2500, used for foilborne
operations and the twin Mercedes Benz 8V331TC80 diesel engines, used
when hullborne. The LM-2500 has a the potential to deliver 30,000hp;
however, the PHM uses only 17,000hp (PHM-1 uses 16,200hp). The LM-2500
is attached via two sets of reduction gears to a waterpump rated at
90,000 gallons per minute (gpm). Each Mercedes diesel is rated at 800hp
and is connected to a waterpump which operates at 30,000 gpm, thus
providing 1600hp at 60,000 gpm for hullborne operations. Whether
hullborne or foilborne, the pumps discharge water through waterjets
which physically move the PHM through the water. The PHM uses the
diesels and two hullborne waterjets to attain 11 knots (hullborne) and
uses the LM-2500 and a single waterjet to attain speeds in excess of 50
knots.7 Exactly what speed the PHM can make is classified, however,
PHM-1 was observed at 55 knots during her sea trials.8
The PHM's hull and superstructures aluminum (AL 5456 alloy). The
foils and struts are constructed of hardened stainless steel and
designed to allow foilborne speeds of 40 knots in 10-12 foot seas. Some
feel the PHM's weak link or "Achilles heel" is the foil assembly.
However, the foil assembly incorporates a titanium shock absorber bolt
system that has actually incurred the striking of a 25 ton object
without losing foil capability9--laying spoil to this "fragile" myth.
The PHM obtains approximately 31.8 per cent of its lift from the front
foil and 68.2 per cent from the aft foil. Through a system of flaps,
rotating foil struts, and an automatic control system, the PHM achieves
its maneuverability and foil stability. The PHM ride has been compared
to that of a train.10
The PHM uses two gas turbine powered Ships Service Power Units
(SSPU) to supply electrical power to the ship. A 3000 psi hydraulic
system is used for foil control and extension/retraction of the foils.
The Mk92 fire control system (FCS) mod 1 is used to control the
76mm (Mk75) dual purpose gun. This lethal combination can place up to
80 rounds per minute on an unfortunate enemy. The Mk92 mod 1 is a
modified version of the Dutch-made Hollandse Signaalaparaten WM-28 FCS.
The system allows simultaneous multiple target tracking and is effective
against both surface and air threats.11 It is through this FCS that the
PHM derives some degree of antiair defense, though slight. The SPS-63
radar of the Mk92 FCS can also be used for surface search and
The 76mm (Mk75) gun weighs 7.5 tons and is one piece of
equipment that both the PHM squadron and Boeing personnel have mentioned
removing in favor of a 40mm or lesser caliber weapon. The squadron
spokesman contends that the 76mm gun is not the weapon of choice against
an enemy FPB when fighting inside 5000 yds (2.5 nm) because of its rate
of fire. Enemy FPBs are usually armed with a gun that can fire between
120-400 rpm. He further stated that because of the 76mm's rate of fire,
the PHM has to stand off (outside of 5000 yds) to safely kill a hostile
FPB.12 While the 76mm gun does have a slower rate of fire, it should be
noted that it can be used for shore bombardment and that it has a
maximum range of 8.7 nm (17,400 yds).13 Though its maximum effective
range is around 7 nm, note it is still well outside the gun engagement
zone of enemy FPBs (ex.-Soviet Nanuchka class 76mm gun's maximum range
is 3.8 nm).14 The PHM usually carries between 320-400 rounds for its
Before moving on, it is important to note that the PHM squadron
spokesman (and Boeing) might view this gun differently if the PHM's 76mm
gun were combat tested. While the spokesman advocates a different
weapon, the Israelis had this to say about the 76mm's performance during
the 73 Arab-Israeli War.
On their way north, about 40 miles from the Syrian port
of Latakia, the Sa'ars detected a small radar target,
later identified as a P-4 class Syrian torpedo boat on
patrol. The P-4 tried to escape, but the Sa'ars destroyed
her with gunfire. The chase drew the Sa'ars closer to the
Syrian Coast, and another target was detected and identified
as an ex-Soviet T-43 minesweeper, about ten miles from
Latakia. But as the Sa'ars closed the T-43, three Osa boats
poised near the coast south of Latakia fired a salvo of Styx
missiles....The Styx missiles did not score one hit. The
Sa'ars quickly closed the gap in firing range and began
shooting Gabriels. They hit two of the Osas. A third Osa
ran aground and was then set on fire by the 76mm guns.
Gabriels sank the T-43 as well.15
The distance to Alexandria was too great for the Osas to evade
the much faster Sa'ars. The Osas ran for shore to avoid radar
detection, but the Sa'ars closed on their fleeing prey. The
first Osa to come within range was hit by four Gabriels from
three different Sa'ars. A third went aground and was destroyed
by 76mm gunfire. The fourth managed to break radar contact and
escape along the coast.16
The Sa'ars' gunnery capability was employed differently than
originally had been intended. The Gabriel missile proved
effective against the Komar and Osas, and the guns were
employed to destroy Gabriel-damaged targets, plus smaller
vessels and targets ashore. The Sa'ars also provided gunfire
support for ground forces in the Sinai. The Sa'ars also
harassed radar installations, surface-to-air missile batteries,
and transportation networks....17
The Israelis used the 76mm gun to stand off and destroy the Syrian
and Egyptian FPBs. Additionally, as the last account depicts, they used
the gun for harassing fires. From the above accounts, it would seem
that the 76mm Oto Melara (the above 76mm and the one installed on the
PHM) might be worth keeping.
One last point about the 76mm gun concerns its ammunition. The USN
uses PD and VT fuses on its 76mm HE rounds. The ammunition does pose
limitations on employment of the 76mm gun and, as such, could be a
reason for the less than favorable endorsement of the weapon. Italy has
been developing different types of ammunition for the 76mm gun. Two
developed rounds are the MOM and the SAPOM. The MOM ammunition is a
pre-fragment tungsten projectile fitted with a proximity fuze that is
effective against sea skimmer missiles and aircraft. During shore
bombardment, the MOM round can be used in an antipersonnel capacity.
The SAPOM antiship munition is a semi-armor piercing projectile with a
base detonating fuze for use against hard surface targets.
Additionally, the Italians are working on a guided projectile and a
round with an extended range.18 Procurement of the aforementioned
ordnance would greatly enhance the US Navy's 76mm gun capability.
The PHM's electronics package incorporates an array of UHF, VHF,
and HF radios. At present the Navy is equipping the PHM with Link 11
(naval tactical data system-NTDS).19 Once this system is fully
operable, the PHM's ability to follow the battle picture and to strike
the enemy without using own ship sensors will be drastically increased.
The ESM (electronic support measures) capability on the PHM is only
adequate and could be substantially upgraded. The present system, the
AN/ALR-66, is an automatic classification device installed for hostile
missile warning and to assist in over-the-horizon (OTH) targeting of
To round out the PHM's capabilities, it is fitted with eight
all weather, surface-to-surface RGM-84 Harpoon missiles. This 60(+)nm
antiship missile is the principal ship killer in the US Navy arsenal.
The missile incorporates a frequency agile active radar homing system
with a turbojet cruise engine to fly a payload of HE (blast penetrating)
down rang and into its target. Initial launch data is passed to the
missile via the onboard Harpoon data processor (AN/SWG-1A(V)4). The
initial data can be inputted from own ship sensors or from a third party
targeting source to facilitate an OTH launch. The US Navy has
successfully combat tested the Harpoon missile against the Libyans.21
The PHM squadron of six ships could theoretically saturate a critical
area with 48 missiles in a relatively short time span--a truly awesome
display of firepower.
To counter incoming enemy antiship capable missiles (ASCM), the PHM
ascribes to the concept that "speed is life", and relies on quickly
executed maneuvers and bursts of speed to dodge the threat. In
addition, the PHM is equipped with IR flares and chaff to decoy the
It should be evident by the above that the PHM possesses a
formidable weapons suit. In order to use these offensive weapons'
platforms properly, the PHM must be tactically mobile. Forward land-
basing is possible in a benigned environment, but otherwise poses severe
security problems. As we continue to reduce manning, it is doubtful
that bodies will exist for the security of land bases. The most
practical and effective method of employment parallels that of the
Navy's capital ships; finite deployments from a known friendly port
(Japan, Italy, the US), at sea replenishment, and naval presence (and
crew rest) via port visits. The PHM community does not embrace this
concept. They seem to suffer from a prima donna syndrome that proclaims
a "we do it our way" mentality. This outlook has clouded the way they
view assuming a mission--though the smallest, lightest, and fastest ship
in the fleet, they are burdened by more logistical baggage than any
other ship. The question is, why?
Whenever PHMs deploy, they bring along a mobile logistics support
group (MLSG). Much of this support entails spare parts, workshops, and
crew habitability items--because of their size, PHMs have little room
for extras. When asked if the PHM has a greater than average break-down
rate, the squadron spokesman, the Boeing personnel, and numerous
authors, all reported that the PHM is a highly reliable platform. Why
then, does the PHM squadron deploy with its own "ship tender" (repair
shops)? The point of this question is that the PHM squadron deployment
becomes a major exercise in workshop container (vans) movement. Few
ships in the fleet, aside from LSTs, LSDs, and other amphibs, are
capable of carrying all the vans the squadron wants to bring.
Amphibious ships have a different task, and generally require escorts
for protection--so let's re-think this.
It is true that PHMs need extra parts--things do break. Bringing
your own spare parts is an old navy idea that works well. What is not
true is that the PHM squadron needs to bring along its own workshops.
No squadron in the fleet, aside from the PHM squadron, brings its own
repair ship when it deploys. The PHMs could use the fleet tenders
during scheduled maintenance periods within a deployment--just like the
rest of the Navy! This seemingly small point is really large, as
removal of workshop vans would increase the number and types of ships
that could deploy with (and sustain) a PHM squadron. The fact of the
matter is that PHMs, to be tactically mobile, need some form of support
ship. Aside from logistical support, these ships provide crew comforts
like medical care, food, places to sleep, and rest.
The issue of what type of ship to use as the mobile base for PHMs
has been a long debated one. The PHM squadron advocates using an
amphibious ship--because it has the room for all the vans and fuel
storage space to sustain the PHM squadron. While PHMs do need to refuel
more often than most other ships, they do not need their own floating
fuel farms. Again, the rest of the fleet uses oilers or takes a "drink"
from a larger capital ship (like a CV). The fuel receiving rate of the
PHM is such that it could take drinks from almost any capital ship of
opportunity. How could this be accomplished?
When queried about fuel replenishment characteristics, the squadron
spokesman indicated that the PHM could refuel via the standard 3 inch
hose or through a smaller (HIFR--helo in flight refueling) hose. Almost
every capital ship in the US Navy is HIFR capable; therefore, almost any
USN ship could refuel a PHM. This, in turn, means that the support ship
really doesn't have to carry all the fuel required by the PHMs.
When one removes the crew comfort vans, the workshop vans, and the
total refueling responsibility from the support ship, we can start to
look at a truly tactical (self-defending) support ship/PHM team. The
PHM's present antiair capability is limited. The antiair capability of
an amphib is also limited. The synergistic sum of the two is still a
limited antiair capability. As air attack is the PHM's worst enemy, the
choice of an amphib as a support ship is not a good one. But, if the
support ship were an FFG-7 class equipped with an SM-1 surface-to-air
missile (approximate 25 nm range), a 20mm Vulcan phalanx for ASCM
defense, a spare hanger for spare parts, a helo (SH-60F), an
antisubmarine (ASW) weapon (Mk46 torpedo), an ASCM (Harpoon), a medium
range sonar (SQS-56), an NTDS package, an ESM capability (AN/SLQ-
32(V)2), a 51 platform choice, a little room for extra bodies, and a
speed of 28 (+) knots--we really are talking tactical employment.
Using a FFG-7 platform reduces some of the parts support details
because the PHM and FFG-7 share similar equipment. Both vessels use F76
for propulsion fuel, 76mm ammo, 76mm guns, Harpoon missiles, Mk92 FCSs,
and LM-2500 propulsion turbines. The PHM does have unique part
requirements and some metric components, but that's what the supply vans
are for. Additionally, the PHMs can safely come alongside the FFG-7 to
refuel, change crews, or hook up to a towing hawser because of the FFG-
7's antiair umbrella and its antisubmarine sensor screen. With this
beautiful match-up, why is there still a problem? It resides in
The PHM community wants its own way of life and the FFG-7 community
doesn't like being a support ship while being tactically employed. Both
groups must swallow their egos and get with the program. The PHM (if
the Navy had more) is ideally suited for choke point operations,
operations against enemy patrol boats (the best weapon against an FPB is
another FPB), LCAC escort operations, sonobuoy laying endeavors, stealth
insertion and withdrawal of special operations teams, drug interdiction,
and anti-surface ship operations. The caveat is that the PHM must be
mobile and requires a support ship to perform these missions...enter the
In this day of budget cuts and reductions in shipping and manning,
our Navy must have deployable power projection teams (PHM/FFG-7, DDG-
51/CG47/CV/DD-963, SSN/SSBN). The Navy cannot support prima donnas or
communities that envision a single mission for themselves.22 The PHM is
a less expensive (about $100 million a copy), lightly crewed (about 21
men), power packing offensive alternative. It is an excellent ship for
forward deployment, projecting power, dealing with manning reductions,
and dealing with reductions in ship building dollars (ball parking it,
you can build 2 or 3 PHMs for 1 DDG-51, and the PHM is constructed from
off-the-shelf technology--sparing new research and development dollars).
Does this mean that the answer to the Navy's future is the PHM? Of
course not; however, it does provide an avenue to preserve offensive
capability while suffering losses in manning and blue dollars. What's
the problem then? The problem is that the PHM has not received the
support it needs from the upper echelon. Many believe that the PHM's
mission is too narrow, even though when viewed objectively, it supports
countering the most probable US military contingencies (Third World MIC
or LIC engagements) and, is aptly suited for drug interdiction (along
with its already stated ability to take the fight to the enemy and to
strangle surface operations at choke points). The issue becomes, then,
what can be done to give the PHM program the support it needs from the
upper echelon and Congress? In answering this, one must keep in mind
that a minimum of development cost should be incurred and that it must
be rapidly implemented. Basically, we're talking off-the-shelf
In reality, there are a number of items that could be added to the
six existing platforms and subsequent production models. one must be
mindful, when adding equipment, that ships require stability, that
stability is related to total weight, and that equipment has weight.
Before going further, it should be noted that the addition of
equipment to subsequent models would not throw off the production scheme
at Boeing. For all intents and purposes, Boeing is out of the boat
building business. The company has not been re-tooling or gearing up
for PHM production. With regard to PHMs, Boeing sees its present and
future role as one of providing systems managers to the various
shipyards that are awarded the PHM building contracts.23
The most intelligent approach to the equipment issue would be a
modular change-out. The PHMs could bolt in "black boxes" to fit a
particular mission. This would enable any PHM to be configured as
required. The modular changes would have to be quick and fairly light
weight so that extensive lift equipment would not be required. All PHMs
would have to be pre-wired to facilitate installation. Items which lend
themselves to this concept are communications packages (radios), ESM
gear, sonobuoy monitoring equipment, and global positioning system (GPS)
gear. With some lifting gear, the PHM's fantail could be fitted with
bolt-on/bolt-off torpedo tubes or an AN/AQS-18 dipping sonar, wench, and
processor (a 538 lbs ASW capability used in helicopters) could be brought
aboard and bolted in. Of the aforementioned, the torpedo tubes (and the
subsequent torpedos) would be the most lift intensive.
The equipment above would enhance the PHM's ASW value, increase its
ESM exploitation ability, and pinpoint its location (with GPS, the units
location is known within 16 meters and, of the receivers available, the
one channel model can be carried by one man in a backpack, i.e.,it's
small and light weight24). The GPS and sonobuoy monitoring
equipment/processor would work in concert when plotting sonobuoy
locations for ASW prosecutions, allowing precise charting of the
receivers of lines of bearing from the target of interest. The GPS
would also be extremely useful with Link 11 (NTDS), ESM triangulations,
and coordinated Harpoon shots.
Thus far, the antisurface and the antisubmarine enhancements have
been looked at. As mentioned before, the antiair aspect is a great
limitation. Ideally, a close in weapon system (CIWS) like the Vulcan
phalanx would correct this limitation; however, the physical weight
prohibits its use. Use of Stinger missiles has been experimented with,
but the accuracy and the field of vision are not totally acceptable.
While the antiair capability appears to be the "Achilles heel", vice the
foil assembly, there are three possible solutions.
The first, and least desirable, would be to replace some of the
76mm gun mounts with Mk15 CIWS mounts and enable the CIWS with a surface
engagement mode. The CIWS would degrade the ASUW capability for gun
engagements. The second, which would also degrade grade the ASUW
capability, but not as severely, would be to replace the 76mm gun with a
40mm Bofors (or US equivalent). Finally, the third and most desirable,
would be to adapt a mini-gun found on aircraft, like the AH-1W Cobra, to
a port and starboard placement on the PHM. The Mk92 FCS could designate
its air channel to these mini-guns or to the 76mm gun. This solution
would give the PHM a defensive antiair capability commiserate to that of
many USN warships.
The above ideas would broaden the combat power already inherent in
the PHM. Should cost constraints dictate that no further armament be
allocated to the PHM platforms, the PHM still remains an awesome
fighting machine. The US Navy does need this blue-water patrol craft to
enhance the Navy's adaptability in future threat contingencies. We have
the technology and the resources. With some innovation, a little
ingenuity, and almost no budgetary increases, the Navy could project
power in the true Surface Warfare fashion (up, out, and down) on the
wings of the PHM warriors.
1 James C. Irwin, "DOD Now Becoming a Major Player in
National Undertaking," Sea Power, January 1990,p.75.
2 Jonathan R. M. Coile, Commentary, Proceedings, December
3 Scott C. Truver, "Tomorrow's Fleet," Proceedings, May 1989,
6 U.S., Department of Defense, Annual Report Fiscal Year 1979
(Washington, D.C.:Government Printing Office, 1978),p.
7 Jane's High-Speed Marine Craft and Air Cushion Vehicles
1986 (London: Jane's Publishing Ltd, 1986),p.167.
8 A.D. Baker III, Editor, Combat Fleets of the World
1982/1983, English Language Edition (Annapolis,MD:
Naval Institute Press,1982),p.897.
9 Jonathan R.M. Coile, Commentary, Proceedings, December
11 Jane's Weapons Systems 1983-84 (London: Jane's Publishing
12 Interview with Marvin E. Butcher, PHMron Two COS,
(PHONCON), Quantico, Va., 22 March 1990
13 Jane's Fighting Ships 1989-90 (London: Jane's Publishing
15 Eli Rahhav, "Missile Boat Warfare: Israeli Style,"
Proceedings, March 1986,p.112.
18 Jane's Weapons Systems 1987-88 (London: Jane's Publishing
19 Interview with Marvin E. Butcher, PHMron Two COS,
(PHONCON), Quantico, Va., 22 March 1990.
20 Jane's High-Speed Marine Craft and Air Cushion Vehicles
1986 (London: Jane's Publishing Ltd, 1986),p.167.
21 Jane's Weapons Systems 1987-88 (London: Jane's Publishing
22 Marvin E. Butcher, "Fighting the PHMs," Proceedings, April
23 Interview with Robert Feutz, Boeing Marine,Project
Manager, (PHONCON), Quantico, Va., 21 March 1990
24 J.S. Graczyk, "Global Positioning System for the MAGTF,"
Proceeedings, November 1989, pp. 116-117
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