On Balance, the battleship should be reinstated as the flagship of navies and fleets.
Debate Rounds (4)
The debate is pretty straightfoward - on balance, the Battleship should be the flagships of navies like how it was before world war II. I will argue for it; my opponent argues against.
-No kritiks, trolling, etc.
-Con must stop arguing/rebuttal at the last round
-Obama is a llama
-You must PM or comment on this debate in order to actually get on. I have the right to say "no" for whatever reason.
-Con conceeds that Obama is a llama.
Battleship - A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. (1)
The modern battleship concept as defined by pro in round one was most predominant during the first and second world wars. During this time the most defining feature of Battleship armament was their huge artillery guns, whose shells were typically over a foot wide. Battleships made up for their slow speed and inability to dodge such devastating attacks with thick armor which covered most of the ship in early designs before the all-or-nothing armor scheme was developed. However, even in the glory days of the battleship there were major problems. These problems exploited the battleships reliance on armor alone for survivability and took the form of unguided torpedoes and mines.
Armor schemes were limited not only by cost, but also by the fact that too much armor on the bottom of a ship has a vast negative effect on displacement and drag of said ship. Because of this, the underside of a ship tended to be one of the most vulnerable spots of a ship (besides perhaps the top deck, depending on the design.) Obviously having such a vulnerability is not too much of a problem against enemy artillery fire, but against enemy weapon systems specifically designed to target this weakness a slow moving battleship was completely defenseless. A huge, multi-hundred-million dollar ship with hundreds of lives being crippled by a single well-aimed torpedo shot from an enemy submarine or plane was a huge risk navies of the time had to take just by bringing a battleship to battle.
Despite all this, Battleships did have their uses at the time. Due to that eras reliance on artillery for ship-to-ship warfare, bigger ship meant bigger guns. Bigger guns meant more firepower. Bigger ship also meant more armor, something that is a reliable defense against artillery if you have enough of it. So, at the expense of speed and maneuverability, as well as vulnerability to certain threats, the battleship did have some advantages during the height of the age of naval artillery.
Now enter the age of the guided missile.
So, the main reasons to want a bigger ship are more firepower and more armor (or more energy production, but I'm sure my opponent will bring that up in a future round.) Missles don't require huge ships to be brought to battle the way old artillery guns required larger ships for larger shells, and so in a battlefield dominated by missiles bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to offense. As for defense against missles, armor is far and away NOT the best choice when compared to electronic countermeasures and anti-missile guns which are easily mounted on smaller ships, therefore meaning that in a battlefield dominated by missiles bigger isn't necessarily better for defense either.
Well that about does it for now. Allow me to sum up point by point:
- Using artillery as a main weapon system, bigger ships mean bigger firepower.
- Using artillery as a main weapon system, bigger ships mean better defense.
- We don't use artillery anymore, we use missiles. Bigger isn't better for firepower or defense when it comes to missiles.
- No matter what technology is popular at the time, bigger is more expensive.
- On top of all this, bigger ships are still more vulnerable to threats such as planes and submarines, both of which are still in use today.
In the next round I will address whatever arguments my opponent brings up. If I have time to do so after dealing with whatever my opponent brings up I will go into detail about naval fire support of shore operations and how that topic affects the current debate. (I didnt want to bring that up yet as with the burden of proof and my points made here, my opponent has enough to deal with for now. No need to overwhelm anyone just yet.)
Before turning the debate over to round 2 I would like to thank my opponent for coming up with a debate topic that is actually unique and interesting. It is not often that I see both of these things in one title.
Apologies for being late. Thank you to my opponent for accepting the debate, and have fun!
I wrote a wall of text, then this got deleted. To keep this simple.
-My opponent says that "literally every" navy adbandoned the battleship. This is not true; America has the Iowa class (7) battleship, while Russia is working to completely bring back the big guns of the fleet. (1)
- My Opponent said that the battleship is to expensive, however, I belive it is actually cheaper by a long shot. Compared to the ten billion dollars needed for the Gerald Ford aircraft carrier, the Iowa only cist the US 100 million. (7) (6) In fact, some destroyers are more expensive than the IOWA. (8)
- Because we are debating that the battleship should be a FLAGSHIP of fleets, it is likely it will be at the center. Thus, the battleship would be at the center of fleets. Unfortunately for submarines, this means it would be rather hard to get close when there are dedicated anti-submarine destroyers that will handle such a threat. There are also MAD systems and sonar , not to mention battleships themselves have anti-submarine missiles. (3), (4) Lastly, battleships including the Kirov can host helicopters, to which submarines cannot fight.
- Battleships not only can fit MORE missiles, they can fit bigger, better missiles with better range than the small ship. This means that the small ship would likely be killed before it gets in range. Thus, bigger is better for offense.
Likewise, the battleship can fit for more SAMs and countermeasures than the small ship can. Lastly, the countermeasures are not advanced enough yet to deal with huge amounts of missiles coming at once - which only battleships can do. Bigger is better for defense.
The battleship can hash out huge amounts of missiles that carriers, the current flagships, cannot. The FA-18 is more expensive (10) than the Tomahwak, (9) but the missile has superb range than the aircraft. To quote a think tank (11)
“Operating the carrier in the face of increasingly lethal and precise munitions will thus require the United States to expose a multi-billion dollar asset to high levels of risk in the event of a conflict,” the report says. “An adversary with A2/AD capabilities would likely launch a saturation attack against the carrier from a variety of platforms and directions. Such an attack would be difficult — if not impossible — to defend against.”
As I said, bigger is indeed better for offense due to the capabiltiy to fit not only more, but longer and bigger missiles. Battleships can easily have A2/AD capabilities as well since as I also said, bigger is better for defense.
Furthermore, the battleship can provide better defense to the WHOLE of the fleet. The aircraft carrier cannot simoutaniously defend and attack; it has too bad of defense systems and not enough aircraft to do so. This makes them a terrible idea as a flagship. Lastly, the aircraft can't intercept missiles, which would be fired far before the F-18 could even get in range.
On the other hand, the SAMs can have the range to protect the entire fleet from such air attack. Consider this one statistic - the S-400 can engage up to 80 targets at once. Since the Gearld Ford carries 160 aircraft, it would take outright second to annailiate a full load of aircraft. Lastly, the battleship can carry two S-500s and aircraft. In a second, battleships can literally wipe out the entire naval air wing of enemy fleets.
Brownwater navies should also consider the battleship due to how cost effective the ships are compared to carriers. My opponent said that battleships have superb artillery, which is good if a nation seeks to defend it's own land. Longer range would mean that the battleship with more missiles can simoutaniously engage other small ships of the enemy, especially when facing local conflicts with other reigonal powers. Argentina or Thailand are two examples of countries that can afford the battleship, and use it better.
Pro starts round two by pointing to my statement about the world abandoning the battleship and bringing up the Iowa and Kirov ships as examples of this being untrue. The Iowa class has not seen ship to ship combat since WW2 and were decommissioned for the last time in 1992 about 25 years ago after being put out of and back into service several times. The Kirov article he links is a similar case, except that Russia has recently decided to start a program to un-abandon the Kirov, just as many advocate the U.S. un-abandoning the Iowa. This doesn't change the fact that both were abandoned though.
Pro cites the Iowa class battleship as having cost about 100mil USD. However, pro neglects to mention that this figure is not adjusted for inflation. These battleships were first commissioned in 1943, and according to the calculator.net inflation calculator one 1943 dollar equals about 14.5 2016 dollars. This means that according to pros figure of 100mil the Iowa would have cost nearly 1.5 billion in today's terms, and that is just for construction. Crew size was anywhere from 1800 to 2700 (pros source 7) which is only slightly less than an aircraft carriers crew. This is especially important in light of the fact that today's military spends about 1.5 times more on personnel than on equipment procurement.(2)
To top it all off, that was with technology now over 70 years old that the cost got to that point. Pro later proposes a number of modern refits that could make the Iowa potentially competitive on the modern battlefield, all of which will increase this cost dramatically.
So yes, a WW2 battleship built over 70 years ago with 1940s technology is indeed cheaper than the brand new high tech nuclear powered carrier pro uses as a comparison, but not quite as cheaper as pro would have you the voter believe.
Missiles, Artillery, and Radar
Okay, bear with me a bit on this one. This section will be a combination of a rebuttal to some of what pro has said and a positive case for con.
First, I concede that battleships in the age of guided missiles would have more missiles per ship, but this is not as great an advantage as it may seem as it also means putting more eggs in each basket, so to speak. The real advantage would be if larger ships indeed had longer ranged weaponry than smaller ships. This is certainly the case for the age of artillery as bigger ship = bigger guns = longer range. But is it the case for the age of guided missiles? Well, let's see. In order to engage a target at any range with any weapon system you must first know where the target is. In world war two even the longest range artillery still shot within visual range so this was not a problem. In the modern day this is not the case. Guided missile and sensor equipment far exceed visual range, with the max range of most cruise missiles far exceeding the most powerful ship-mounted radar systems ability to detect and track targets. This is why when it comes to moving targets radar and sensors are more important to determining the actual range of any guided missile system than how far the missile can actually travel. (With stationary targets whose position is known, this is not necessarily the case, but I would like to address ship to ship and surface to air missiles first)
The question then becomes, would a new class of battleship necessarily have greater capability to track targets at longer ranges than its smaller counterparts? I don't think so. It seems that there are a lot of cases of the same radar systems being used on two ships of vastly different sizes, such as the UK's Daring class destroyer at 500 feet in length and 8000 ton displacement and the UK's Queen Elizabeth carrier at nearly twice the length and nearly 10 times the displacement both using the S1850M long range radar. (3 and 4) I fully admit to not being a subject matter expert on naval technology, but this seems to indicate to me that the size of a ship doesn't greatly affect its ability to mount different sensor/radar equipment. If pro can find a clear case of a certain radar system requiring a large enough ship to be put to use then I will reconsider this point in my next round.
Anyway, the conclusion for part three is that the effective engagement range of a naval vessel in the modern age is primarily limited by the range of its radar, which is in turn not primarily limited by the size of the ship. Ergo, The effective engagement range is no longer greatly affected by the size of a ship as was once the case during the golden age of naval artillery, but rather is most strongly dependant on the technology level of the ships radar systems.
That is my response to my opponents points up to the beginning of their 'counterattack' section. After that point my opponent strongly steps up his comparison of battleships to carriers, so for my next sections I will do so as well.
Massed Missile Saturation Attacks and SAMs
So-called missile saturation attacks are correctly identified by pro as a very important topic in modern naval military doctrine. For those unfamiliar with the concept, the idea is that such a large number of missiles are fired on a target simultaneously, or as close to simultaneously as possible, that the targets anti-missile capabilities are unable to deal with the threat simply due to the sheer number of incoming missiles. In a conventional war between two high tech navys of any highly industrialized nations in the present day, the outcome would likely rely heavily on strategic and well-timed use of massed missile saturation attacks by both sides.
Now that the intro to the concept is complete, we look at pros claims. Namely, that such an attack would, if properly executed, be capable of quickly disabling any aircraft carrier unlucky enough to be targeted. Well, after an intro like that I suppose you are expecting me to tell you exactly why modern nuclear carriers and their escorts easily have enough anti-missile capability to defend against such an attack and that it is not as devastating as pro claims.
Ehhhhh... hmmm... weeeelllll... kiiiinda?
Hm. Let me explain.
We do have a pretty good idea of what would happen if this scenario ever did take place.
Basically if a suficiently advanced enemy is able to sucessfully pull off such a move in the form of a suprise attack on your fleet then really, it doesn't matter if your flagship is a carrier, a battleship, or a beluga whale. The end result is the same: RIP fleet. Game over. You have a few thousand death notifications to write and sign so you better get to it.
My opponent seems to imply that a fleet lead by a hypothetical modern battleship would not be as susceptable to such an attack because the ship itself would have greater anti-missile capabilities than a carrier. While this may or may not be true, the fact is that the anti-missile capabilities of a single ship isn't going to make much of a difference against such an attack against a fleet. Pro is free to argue otherwise in his next round, of course.
Really the best way to prevent a massed missile saturation attack from erasing thousands of lives in the space of minutes is just that: to prevent it. Identify what the enemy is doing while they are still positioning their assets to do so, then neutralize enough of those assets before the attack is ever launched that such an attack becomes impossible. Now as to which ship would be better at this strategy between a battleship and carrier, I think the answer is obvious. An F/A-18 has an operational range of over 3300 km (5) Cut this in half for the post-attack return flight, round down a bit to be on the safe side, and we get a carrier attack group able to strike a target while the carrier maintains a standoff range of 1500 km plus the range of the planes missiles (which can vary depending on loadout) compare this to my oponents SAM of choice, the S-400 missile system (I am using this rather than some anti-ship missile due to the fact that missile saturation attacks are far and away more likely to come from an enemy air attack group rather than an expensive enemy fleet) which has varying ranges depending on the type of missile being used, the longest ranged being about 400 km (6)
This means that, assumimg the enemy is detected preparing a massed missile saturation attack, a carrier fighter wing has more standoff distance and therefore more time to intercept and neutralize the threat than a battleship. As I said before, if you are unable to intercept the enemy before their saturation attack is launched then you are pretty much done anyway. Also like I said pro is free to try and argue that point in the next round if they wish to do so.
Furthermore, I would like to point out that my Commander in Chief is a llama.
Well there you have it. I have less than 900 characters left now. Not much I can do with that as far as making a new section so I guess I will leave it at that for my part of round two.
5. https://www.google.ro... range
Similarly, Con cannot decisvely refute that the Kirov IS going to be revisited, or that Iowa was revisited before. Secondly, Con engages in the badwagon effect - Con can argue all he wants that the Armoured Car was dumb because pre-WW1 armies were motorized but it just wouldn't be true
Firstly, Con has no way of proving that my source mentioned 1940 and not 1992. But even so, Con admits that the Iowa is less expensive than the Gerald Ford, 75 - 150 FA-18s concerned. Furthermore, Con conceeded that personnel of the aircraft carrier is great than the battleship, not to mention the pilots themselves.
RADAR AND MISSILE ATTACKS
It is true that OTH radars tend to be bigger, and have greater range. For example, the Duga was so effective televsion had to make "Duga Blankets" against them. (1)
Secondly, even if you know where a target is; it's not going to change the actual engagement assuming the ships have the same radar. Your Frigate may have a better radar then Yamato with missiles; but in the end Yamato with missiles will crush your frigate by overwhelming defense systems first.
Thridly, the "all eggs in one basket" applies to carriers as well. However , the battleship with a cr@p ton of missiles sinking is alot more cheaper than the FA-18. (See previous sources) An Iowa sinking would also be less deadly for human life as the armour will negate the blast and because there are simply less people to kill.
Lastly, Con neglects the FA-18's firing range as opposed to flying range. I strongly dobut fighter planes can shoot missiles with 400 kilometers. Such missiles are only availible in Russia, and even then it is pitifully doboutful many missiles will hit the target. (2)
To continue on, shooting missiles to it's maximum range on aircraft has proven to be a terrible way of inflicting damage, and is considered a begginer's mistake. For instance, the tatic was tried in the Ethiopian - Eritrean war and the results were fiasco. (2)
Shooting missiles at maximum range also force the enemy too be in high altitute, allowing dozens of loopholes for saturation attacks to go on. Simply put - your FA-18 Hornet with Russian weapons cannot go on intercept missions. The "effective" range of missiles would cut it's range by 1/5th, which is way lower than the S-400.
While you can *try* using aircraft with Russian weapons on maximum range, it's inpractical do so better than anything a S-400 can do. Furthermore, you high altitute FA-18 with Russian missiles has a very high chance of error against low flying targets or even an enemy fleet, and kets just say they wont have an ajrstrio to land in.
The first thing catching my eye is pros continued insistance that a modern battleship would be signifigantly cheaper than a modern aircraft carrier, and his continued insistance that the fact that a certain battleship built over 70 years ago costs a bit less than a modern nuclear powered aircraft carrier proves his point. Yet he goes on after that to say that his vision of these new modern battleships would include advanced technologies never before heard of at the time that WW2 was occuring, such as:
- Cruise missiles
- Surface to air missles
- Magnetic anomaly detectors
- Anti-submarine torpedoes
- Electronic warfare suites
- Anti-missile countermeasures
- Modern damage control systems
- Modern communications systems
- Modern power generation systems
- Modern engines
- Just about all the other naval breakthroughs in the last 70 years that are taken for granted, but don't just appear out of nowhere without being paid for.
Pros claim that huge warships weighing tens of thousands of tons are relatively cheap compared to other warships simply because you label it as a battleship is a fantasy. It is an illusion. It is wishful thinking which has its origins in the fact that the last ships to carry said label existed nearly three quarters of a century ago, when such expensive technologies did not exist.
A modern destroyer is not expensive because it is a destroyer, a modern destroyer is expensive because it has these modern technologies I have mentioned. A modern aircraft carrier is not expensive because it is an aircraft carrier, a modern aircraft carrier is expensive because it has these modern technologies I have mentioned. Lastly, a WW2 battleship is not relatively cheap compared to modern warships because it is a battleship, a WW2 battleship is relatively cheap compared to modern warships because it lacks these technologies.
I touched on this previously with my comment near the beginning of round two in which I pointed out that pro was comparing the cost of 70 year old gun-toting ships to the cost of a modern nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Pro never addressed this fact.
Indeed, pro never addressed just why he says a huge warship would be relatively cheaper than another huge warship simply because one of these warships is labeled by its creators as a 'battleship' and the other huge warship is labeled by its creators as a 'cruiser' other than his falacious comparisons with battleships of old. Instead pro tries to convince you the voter that I conceded battleships are cheaper than aircraft carriers. No, I conceded that battleships built three quarters of a century ago are cheaper than modern nuclear powered ships. This is not the same, and I hope you can now see clearly why it is not.
Now, I thought I had a decent point about radar and missiles, let's see how pro responded to it. Mm. Hmmm. Here we are... Ah, yes. Yes I see. It seems pro conceded the main points of that section, but did take me up on my challenge to identify a radar system that coud both be preactically used on a large ship and at the same time be impractical for a small ship. Let's google this Duga he speaks of.
No, no. Gonna cut my response to this one short. That monster isn't going to fit on a ship, I don't care how large the ship is. Nope, not touching this one. Nothing more needs to be said. Google the damn thing and decide for yourself if that looks like a practical piece of naval technology, voters.
What's next... battleship would beat a frigate 1v1? Yeah, probably. So would a carrier. GG no re.
Next up we have another repeated claim that it's cheaper... Already addressed that falacy.
Offhand remark about armor? Yeah, if armor doesn't keep you alibe then it functions as nothing but a liability, as I detailed in depth in round one. There's a reason that modern carriers can vastly outpace other modern warships despite being so much larger. It's because their vastly more powerful engines are not held back by armor configurations that do nothing in the modern age to help the survivability of your ship.
Okay now we're back to the good stuff. Check out this quote of my opponent:
"Con neglects the FA-18's firing range [over 3000km 'there and back'] as opposed to flying range. I strongly doubt fighter planes can shoot missiles with 400 kilometers."
Which I assume is meant as a response to my argument about carrier launched fighter planes giving fleets an increased standoff distance from saturation attack threats. But this misses the point entirely. My argument was that an airplane would, as I said, give an increased standoff from the airplanes constituting said threat simply by virtue of the fact that it could fly nearly four times the distance of a long range SAM, engage the enemy at that distance from the fleet, and have enoigh fuel to return. Even if the air to air missles had a range of 100 meters (its a bit more than that) then my point would still stand because the standoff distance from the fleet where the engagement takes place would still be nearly four times the range of the longest range SAM.
The fact is that a modern battleship would bring nothing new to the fleet, simply being a larger version of missile-based warships already in service such as missile destroyers. Carriers, however, have the ability to bring in the new factor of air support and vastly increases standoff distance against ait threats, along with the ability to strike the enemy at those ranges as well. I'm also glad my opponent references the importance of air strips in his last sentence too, carriers basically being floating airstrips that can go wherever you need them.
Reminder that Con cannot post this round.
Here, we see that Con has used as an argument that "literally every" navy has adbandoned the battleship in round one. After constant proof this is not true, he has reverted to "it's not important." While it is up to the voters to decide, I take this as a concession.
Firstly, almost if not all the things Con listed HAS already been there. The Iowa class battleship has gone under extensive upgrading already and has been in use up to the ninties, and the Kirov doesnt have much to upgrade either. In fact, the only thing I see that has to be added is electronic warfare; but that isnt expensive as 180 FA-18s.
Secondly, Con's second paragraph cites nothing to *prove* that the battleship is more expensive then it's worth. Although he argues "it's a fantasy", there are no siurces or even arguments to back such up and well, he cant post this round.
Con then backtracked and said he only conceeds that a 1940s battleship is cheaper than a modern nuclear carrier. However, Con negelects that the battleship in question was renwed to 1990s standards (Or 1990s if your some Kremlin paid troll). Furthermore, as I said electronic warfare or a slightly better radar does not cost the same as 180 Fa-18s. To prove my point , (1) the marine crops of the US uses electronic warfare plane (to keep it fair) that costs an astounding 8 million less than the Fa-18 hornet. It also has the added benefit of NOT having the need of 180 planes per boat.
Lastly, I would like to point out that unlike my opponent I had a solid stat from a real source that outlined my source. Not only has my opponent not refuted it with anything but theory, con tries to implicate that I have not provided the facts.
Unfortunately for Con, Con cannot argue next round and it is forbidden for the voters to vote on somethinf other than the debate. Secondly, the Duga and other subsequent radars prove that OTH radars have greater distance and greater size.
Lastly, there was no such conession on the "main parts of the section." If con would be so kind though, I would ask him in the future to not generically state I "conceeded" or "dropped" some argument; I have tried to be decisive on what Con refuses to answer in my rounds.
Well, I lied. Now lastly, my opponent totally ignores the fact that I did not argue thaf the Battleship would beat a frigate (Even though it can), I argued that bigger the ship can acheive saturation much faster. Con did nothing to reture this so I take it as case settled.
. . . . .
Seriously, I'm done with my internet that keep deleting my arguments. I do not have any Irl time, and whilst I will be getting a newer device soon, I only have 20 hours.
I hope Con understands why I cannot finish this debate, and ultimately has enjoyed this debate.
This concludes this debate. May the best win, and thank you in advance to any voters who provide interesting feedback.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Skepsikyma 6 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: In my opinion, this debate hinged on two main points. The first is cost, the second is the ability to function in combat. Con was right about the Iowa-class price being from the early 20th century, but the Ford has a cost of 10 billion, according to his opponents R1 source. There was really no sourcing by pro to back such a heavy price disparity, and Con's inflation argument holds, so the conclusion seems to be that battleships would be a bit less expensive, but not by much. When it comes to combat, Pro's case is crippled by his inability to counter Con's argument about an aircraft's larger operational range (he actually countered his own position by arguing that SAMs have a lower missile range), and probably above all else by basing his radar disparities on OTH radar, which as Con pointed out cannot feasibly be mounted on a ship due to the nature of the beast (huge arrays which reflect off of the ionosphere). Arg to con, since the latter point outweighs the scant price difference.
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