Achieving Mass With Fewer Forces Posted on 2/2/2020 at 22:50:46 by Bill Crawford, (14)
The above-named article appeared in what was an otherwise pretty dull February issue of the Naval Institute Proceedings. The article discussed various steps that the Navy could take to solve the problem of being able to concentrate sufficient forces around the globe in the current era of force draw-down. (See below-link).
One of the proposed steps was one which has been proposed in an earlier Proceedings article; namely, that the Navy purchase merchant ships and arm them with remotely controlled missiles.
Here is an excerpt:
"..Another potential solution surfaced in a Proceedings article entitled “Converting Merchant Ships to Missile Ships for the Win.”7 The authors propose that the Navy purchase existing merchant hulls and mount various types of missiles in them, turning them into commissioned warships. Missiles tend to be platform agnostic, so the issue becomes number of missiles rather than strictly the number and type of ships, which was the determinant of naval power in previous eras.
Converted merchants, being outside the Navy’s normal fleet architecture, could be used strictly for strategic concentration purposes. Moreover, if, as the article suggests, they were manned by reserve or even hybrid crews, they could be forward positioned with only caretaker personnel until circumstances called for their use, much like current Marine Corps and Army prepositioning ships. There would be less need for them to participate in fleet battle experiments, as their missiles would be controlled remotely and training could be accomplished via simulation..."