I learned recently that the Navy expects to decommission their 13 Cyclone class patrol craft in FY2021. Modified and modernized, a U.S. “Cheetah” class would be able to do everything the Cyclones do—and also operate in a moderate-to-high threat environment against larger enemy surface combatants as part of a networked, combined-arms team. The craft is the first of 10 patrol boats currently under contract with Safe Boats International in Tacoma, Washington. I personally think that the Coast Guard should replace the Cyclone class with Sentinel class cutters with a 40mm Bofors instead of the 25mm Bushmaster. “Later, Munsch said the service was working with the Marines and Coast Guard to release a new tri-service maritime strategy to the public later this year to update the 2015 document, A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower. It would have upgraded radars, an electronic warfare suite, communications equipment, and would be Link-16 or cooperative-engagement-capability capable. These vessels are slated to be replaced by the Littoral Combat Ship in the near future. Im please to hear the that three martime services are working together to creature a new or updated combined National Martime Defense Strategy. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Mark Barney. That wasn’t their intended role as SEAL delivery boats, but missile corvettes under 100m now offer ASW, AAW, and SSM deterrence that the Cyclones lack for relatively cheap. Consider: When Iranian forces seized a U.S.-flagged container ship in the Persian Gulf on April 28, for reasons that remain unclear, an American destroyer rushed to the scene, along with three Cyclone-class patrol boats. Five had been temporarily commissioned as Coast Guard cutters. The Hamina sounds like an excellent candidate as it is an improvement over the Cyclones. The Cyclone class were only included in the count one year (2014), so their loss will be largely invisible. There is no shortage of choices that the U.S. Navy can choose to replace these boats, such as the 75m Swiftships since the Cyclones are 55m long. They are not used as FACs. The Cyclones are heavily armed for their size and I’m sure there will be a huge gap when they are gone. ( Log Out /  The Swiftboat 75 could work, but bear in mind that it has more capital expenses and worth with the helicopter deck and embarked MH-60. With the already-extended service life of the Cyclone-class coming to an end between 2020 and 2025, the Navy should leverage the expertise of our NATO allies in coastal warfare and purchase a modified version of Germany’s Gepard-class (German for “cheetah”) PCs. This Channel does not Recieve Monetization for Anything ! The Cyclone class is a class of 14 patrol coastal boats (PC) built by Bollinger Shipyards and commissioned between 1994 and 2000. Such a design would require significant investment in research and development (R&D), which only adds to the final cost per hull—a problem already encountered with the LCS program, whose original target of $250 million per hull has more than doubled while projected capability has decreased. It is called channel conditioning. U.S. Navy patrol boats zip through the water during exercises of the U.S. east coast on July 12, 1942. The class would be equally at home in the Arabian Gulf, the South China Sea, or the Baltic Sea. Something better, new and improved is needed to replace them. Regularly we see a count of “Battleforce ships”“Battleforce ships” that includes everything from aircraft carriers down to civilian crewed, unarmed fleet tugs (T-ATF), salvage ships (T-ARS), and high speed intra-theater transports (T-EPF, really aluminum hulled, high speed ferries). It is a fast, maneuverable, shallow draft small combatant, capable of fulfilling all the roles of the PC. Working together also would improve allied navies’ integration with U.S. Navy doctrine development, helping to refine the distributed lethality concept. All eight commissioned ships listed above are to be decommissioned by March 31, 2021. LCS are supposed to replace the Cyclone class, but they still have not demonstrated the ability to sustain a reasonable number of vessels in a remote theater. The Patrol Coastal Combat Retrieval System (CCRS) program will modify the aft deck of Cyclone Class Patrol Coastal ships to be capable of retrieving various combatant craft. Published on 15 December 2015 SGT Dave Morley (author). Congress for once has a point. While the Webber class, that will be replacing the Island class, are a bit better armed than the 110s, unless they are extensively modified, they will not come close to replacing the missile armed Cyclone class. Modifying an existing, proven design has reduced R&D costs and sped the procurement process by shortening the timeline from order to commissioning compared to a clean-sheet design. The Mark VI Patrol Boats can’t replace the Cyclones due to the lack of extended endurance and berthing. According to a June 30 message from the chief of naval operations, four littoral combat ships (LCS), three coastal patrol ships (PC) and one dock landing ship (LSD) are to be decommissioned. I agree with you Leesea. DAHLGREN, Va. (Nov. 6, 2004) Coast Guard Cutter Shamal (WPC-13) . The relationship resulting from our purchase of these ships would therefore improve not only our own capabilities but also those of a critical ally. Exact ! In the 1980s, the US Navy developed a requirement for a replacement for the PB Mk III small (65 ft) Vietnam War-era patrol boats used to transport SEAL teams. @ Phil, Where did you see this information? The Cheetah-class would be a fast, agile, shallow-draft platform, capable of fulfilling the presence and MSO roles of the Cyclone­-class while also punching above its weight in support of the high-end fight as part of a networked combat team with manned and unmanned platforms. There is no direct replacement for the Cyclones but the navy is building 48 smaller Mk VI patrol boats for NECC. Would not be surprised if it is delayed to COVID. the information I was given seemed to indicate it would be relatively soon. The Cyclone-class PCs are small combatants capable of maritime security operations (MSOs), escort operations, and presence missions. A single fast attack craft (FAC) of the Chinese Navy’s Houbei-class could find and destroy an entire formation of Cyclone-class PCs with its antiship cruise missiles from a distance as the class lacks self-defense capability against a missile threat. Two gunners on a PT boat at Pearl Harbor were credited with the first Japanese kill by the U.S. in World War II when they downed an enemy plane. @Jake, The Coast had some Cyclone class at one time, but this is up to the Navy. Other than the far larger LCS, the navy has no plans to replace these little ships, that have reportedly been the busiest ships in the Navy. The plan not to replace the Cyclones is surprising, considering that the USA makes boats of that size and characteristics. USCG photo by Joseph P. Cirone, USCG AUX. In addition, the Navy’s Cyclone class patrol craft are coming to the end of their service life, and suitably modified Webber class might serve as a replacement. It has the firepower of a small frigate in the size of a PC. The Cyclone class patrol coastal ships were proposed in 1990 as a replacement for the Navy Special Warfare (NSW) Command’s aging MK III patrol boats for insertion of SEAL team members. Which seems reasonable to me as a taxpayer. Change ), Navy to Decommission Cyclone Class Patrol Craft, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xilYlZgqZl4, https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2020/august/guided-missile-patrol-boats-distributed-maritime-operation, http://cimsec.org/lifting-the-veil-on-the-lightly-manned-surface-combatant/44650. But simply buying more Cyclones will not suffice. They are going to decommission all of them. He holds a master’s in war studies from King’s College London and a bachelor’s in economics and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. (Significantly, this count of what many must assume is the National Fleet also makes no mention of Coast Guard assets either.). The four LCSs, all based in San Diego, will be placed in reserve status. Their decommissioning may put a greater load on the Coast Guard unit as it begins to receive Webber class as replacements for the existing six Island class patrol boats. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. 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