January 06, 2023

Open Thread 121

It's time once again for our regular Open Thread. Talk about whatever you want, so long as it isn't Culture War.

With 2022 behind us, it is time for the William D. Brown Memorial Award, for the biggest naval screwup that didn't kill anyone. This year, the jury decided to give the award to a non-naval party, Evergreen Marine, for the Ever Forward grounding, on the basis that they have broken William D. Brown's record for the worst grounding ever in Chesapeake Bay, managing to run a bigger ship aground and keep it there for twice as long. For the second year in a row, the runner-up was the US Navy, this time for the disaster that was the prosecution of the sailor eventually acquitted of setting fire to the Bonhomme Richard. It looks like NCIS is up to its old tricks again.

Also, a reminder that Naval Gazing now has a discord, which has seen some interesting discussions over the last two weeks, including Johan's aliens and me complaining about various aspects of the writing process.

Overhauls are New Year's Logs, Naval Bases from Space - Hawaii and for 2021/2022 NWAS - British Polaris, Naval Video Games and Coastal Defenses and the Battleship in the 19th Century.


  1. January 06, 2023Ian Argent said...


    "Two major vessels of the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet – the heavy nuclear cruiser Admiral Nakhimov and heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov of the Soviet Union Fleet – are deemed inoperable. This was reported by Guildhall referring to a source in Ukraine’s intelligence community, according to Ukrinform."

    < sarc >Were they ever operable in the first place?< /sarc >

  2. January 06, 2023bean said...

    You put sarcasm tags out, but the serious answer is no, they weren't. Kuznetzov has been in yard hands since 2017, and was runner-up for the 2018 Brown Award after her drydock sank out from under her. Nakhimov hasn't been operational since (checks Wiki) 1999. Both were supposed to be back in service soon, but I'm not surprised that there are delays.

  3. January 07, 2023Kit said...

    Question: How would you compare the Type 26 vs the Constellation class frigates. I've seen the wikipedia stats.

  4. January 07, 2023Lambert said...

    Is it true that the RN avoids using the time 00:00, instead scheduling things for either 23:59 or 00:01?

  5. January 07, 2023ike said...


    That wouldn't surprise me, as that is standard practice in the civilian world. Two parties to a contract getting confused when exactly 'midnight, 25 January' is has lead to more than its fair share of hurt feelings and court cases. Scheduling for 23:59 is virtually effortless and can save serious headaches.

  6. January 07, 2023AlexT said...

    Foreigner question: I can see how "midnight" might cause confusion, but how can 00:00 of a given day be interpreted as the last infinitesimal time interval of that day, instead of the first?

  7. January 07, 2023ike said...


    It is more confusing if you are using 12-hour time (Which almost everyone will be converting to inside his head). At 12, the AM/PM switches while the numbers keep counting up. Thinking 12PM comes after 11PM is very, very, very easy mistake to make if you are a little distracted or tired.

    I wouldn't be suprised if someone thought, "00:00 - that's basically 24:00, the last moment of the day." (instead of the first)

  8. January 07, 2023bean said...


    They're broadly similar, and the main reason that Type 26 wasn't an option for the FFG(X) was that the rules required the ship to be in service. The Constellation looks to have more air-defense capability, and probably isn't quite as good at ASW.

  9. January 08, 2023Anonymous said...


    It is more confusing if you are using 12-hour time

    Don't do that then!


    The Constellation looks to have more air-defense capability, and probably isn't quite as good at ASW.

    Given that the FREMM is designed as a platform that can be customized for the needs of different customers they probably could have chosen that trade off as well.

    So which trade off makes the more sense.

  10. January 08, 2023Emilio said...

    And the Italian Navy is buying 6 AAW FREMMs and 4 ASW FREMMs.

    In someone's drawer there are also the blueprints for a land attack version...

  11. January 09, 2023Bernd said...

    I still wonder about the concept of an AAW frigate for nations that already operate AAW/multi-role destroyers.

    You would want to use a more capable ship to defend carriers or landing forces, so what jobs are left? Escorting lone tankers through the Persian gulf?

    I feel like the best frigate variants would be ASW and a cut-down "budget cutter" version with some flex space.
    You can even tell Congress they're well-armed, because empty VLS cells are mostly air, and air is cheapish even for the US military.

  12. January 09, 2023arielby said...


    Showing the flag, protecting against terrorists, boarding ships, and encouraging dictators to not do anything too stupid. Which the US likes to do 24/7/365 all around the world.

    Let the Burkes actually train for a war against China, not patrol around the ass-end of the world.

  13. January 10, 2023FXBDM said...

    How do you power ground based mobile laser weapons?

    The new Stryker based shore range air defense system look quite cool (in drawings) but I wonder how much power they use up.


    They're 50kW systems. An old chart on Atomic Rockets claims that the Navy's 60-100 kW were expected to require less than 400kW of ship power and 68 tons of coolant capacity, so can we deduce that the land systems would use around 300kW of power and corresponding cooling? BOTE using the first google results, that would seem to mean a 500HP generator running at peak power, plus the cooling system? Secondary comment, if I understand my Newton right, that would mean that approx 250kW of power have to be converted to heat and exchanged to the outside. Would that make the Stryker extremely easy to detect using IR sensors?

  14. January 10, 2023John Schilling said...

    @FXBDM: 200-300 kWe power would probably be about right for that system. An industrial diesel generator in that range would weigh 2-3 metric tons and would easily fit inside a Stryker (displacing 2-3 passengers). Or, if your vehicle has an electric drivetrain, you probably have about that much electric generating capability already, with load-leveling batteries.

    The IR signature will be substantial, but not that much worse than the same vehicle on the move. And if you need to be stealthy, evaporative cooling would only require 1-2 gal/min of water while you are firing (or moving).

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