Best warships that should have been built

Some of my top choices have already been mentioned but one class that not only should gave been constructed, but STILL needs to be resurrected in a hurry is the CG(N)-X.

25,000 tons, 512 VLS tubes, BMD capable, nuclear powered so it can operate current and forcast 2nd and 3rd Generation Rail Guns and Directed Energy systems.. Plan was for 19, I'd argue for at least 26, two per CV(N)BG and three for independent SBG use as floating THAAD with two-three DDG-51 Block III/IV. The world is still a very unfriendly place and the U.S. is riding too hard on 1990s tech into the third decade of the 21st Century.

Another gaping hole in the USN inventory is shore bombardment. The fleet needs to come up with at least a 155mm armed design, although a 208mm would be better that can provide useful naval gunfire support, not just with the gee-wizz 100 mile deep strike but with conventional rounds as well. Ideally a variant of the CG(N)-X but with a much smaller VLS, say 96 compartments, four 155mm/208mm guns and space/weight saved for both rail guns and directed energy. Need at least one of these, ideally two+ for each 'Phib group.
Wonder just what the price tag for them would end up being given what we've seen out of the USN procurement so far?
 
Wonder just what the price tag for them would end up being given what we've seen out of the USN procurement so far?
Easily 5 to 7 billion per ship at the minimum(and another three quarters of billion for all the missiles each ship would need)and good luck paying for the things while the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are going on
 
Easily 5 to 7 billion per ship at the minimum(and another three quarters of billion for all the missiles each ship would need)and good luck paying for the things while the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are going on
Even without said wars given teh production run would we see the same as the Zumwalt with the production being cut anyway once the price tag is exposed?
 
Even without said wars given teh production run would we see the same as the Zumwalt with the production being cut anyway once the price tag is exposed?
In fairness the Zumwalt class's production run being cut at 3 units was as much about the USN realizing that the mission they were designed for was highly unlikely to occur as it was about the rising per unit cost
 
Some of my top choices have already been mentioned but one class that not only should gave been constructed, but STILL needs to be resurrected in a hurry is the CG(N)-X.

25,000 tons, 512 VLS tubes, BMD capable, nuclear powered so it can operate current and forcast 2nd and 3rd Generation Rail Guns and Directed Energy systems.. Plan was for 19, I'd argue for at least 26, two per CV(N)BG and three for independent SBG use as floating THAAD with two-three DDG-51 Block III/IV. The world is still a very unfriendly place and the U.S. is riding too hard on 1990s tech into the third decade of the 21st Century.

Another gaping hole in the USN inventory is shore bombardment. The fleet needs to come up with at least a 155mm armed design, although a 208mm would be better that can provide useful naval gunfire support, not just with the gee-wizz 100 mile deep strike but with conventional rounds as well. Ideally a variant of the CG(N)-X but with a much smaller VLS, say 96 compartments, four 155mm/208mm guns and space/weight saved for both rail guns and directed energy. Need at least one of these, ideally two+ for each 'Phib group.
I have a problem with a nuclear powered shore bombardment platform. Do you want such a ship getting that close to the enemy shore batteries? And I don't see much future need for conventional high volume shore bombardment. I think that weapons such as cruise missiles or even laser guided drone launched shorter range munitions have more potential in the future allowing the high value ships to stay further offshore. If we need close in conventional artillery I think solutions such as the 8" (203mm) gun that was tested on the Hull (DD-945) on smaller (but larger than the Hull) would be a better solution. Having a CG(N) as the center of the SAG with several ships with an 8" gun and a VLS that could move in for shore bombardment with the CG(N) providing cover from further out would be a better solution. Does having a single 8" gun make the ship a CA?
 
I have a problem with a nuclear powered shore bombardment platform. Do you want such a ship getting that close to the enemy shore batteries? And I don't see much future need for conventional high volume shore bombardment. I think that weapons such as cruise missiles or even laser guided drone launched shorter range munitions have more potential in the future allowing the high value ships to stay further offshore. If we need close in conventional artillery I think solutions such as the 8" (203mm) gun that was tested on the Hull (DD-945) on smaller (but larger than the Hull) would be a better solution. Having a CG(N) as the center of the SAG with several ships with an 8" gun and a VLS that could move in for shore bombardment with the CG(N) providing cover from further out would be a better solution. Does having a single 8" gun make the ship a CA?
By the time the ship moves in, the heavy stuff that could hurt it would already have been killed. The HE rounds fired from 6-8" guns is needed to keep enemy infantry under cover while the Marines land. You don't want the enemy machine gunning you while you're trying to get out of a landing craft. A few rounds of 8" arty works wonders for that
 

CalBear

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I have a problem with a nuclear powered shore bombardment platform. Do you want such a ship getting that close to the enemy shore batteries? And I don't see much future need for conventional high volume shore bombardment. I think that weapons such as cruise missiles or even laser guided drone launched shorter range munitions have more potential in the future allowing the high value ships to stay further offshore. If we need close in conventional artillery I think solutions such as the 8" (203mm) gun that was tested on the Hull (DD-945) on smaller (but larger than the Hull) would be a better solution. Having a CG(N) as the center of the SAG with several ships with an 8" gun and a VLS that could move in for shore bombardment with the CG(N) providing cover from further out would be a better solution. Does having a single 8" gun make the ship a CA?
The world may well have moved past the ability to mount an amphibious assault, but if it hasn't there is nothing in this world that can replace naval gunfire for support. Missiles cost a million bucks a pop, even Paveways run into the mid 5 figures, not to mention the $100 million dollar plane carrying them, but conventional artillery rounds? Couple hundred bucks each and you can toss them at the bad guys all day long.

The main advantage of using a nuclear powered design is that it proves gobs of electrical power so newer systems like rail guns (which will have a very useful shore bombarmwent role once the reach maturity) and directed energy weapons can be managed.
 
By the time the ship moves in, the heavy stuff that could hurt it would already have been killed. The HE rounds fired from 6-8" guns is needed to keep enemy infantry under cover while the Marines land. You don't want the enemy machine gunning you while you're trying to get out of a landing craft. A few rounds of 8" arty works wonders for that
The day of the opposed landing has passed. there is no chance there will be another beach assault such as Iwo Jimo or even Inchon. It was shown over and over that no preliminary bombardment has defeated an entrenched beach defense.
 
The world may well have moved past the ability to mount an amphibious assault, but if it hasn't there is nothing in this world that can replace naval gunfire for support. Missiles cost a million bucks a pop, even Paveways run into the mid 5 figures, not to mention the $100 million dollar plane carrying them, but conventional artillery rounds? Couple hundred bucks each and you can toss them at the bad guys all day long.

The main advantage of using a nuclear powered design is that it proves gobs of electrical power so newer systems like rail guns (which will have a very useful shore bombarmwent role once the reach maturity) and directed energy weapons can be managed.
So use the high value nuclear ship as cover for the less expensive gunships. There is also the possibility of the larger offshore ships lcarrying semi-autonomous drones that could be launched in swarms each carrying a lower cost bombardment round (Think airborne guided katyushas) to provide the close in work.
 
Had the 1913 Dutch battleships been built and sufficiently modernized, they could have been helpful when the Japanese invaded.
 
Fisher's HMS Incomparable.
Only a concept, not a full design like others mentioned here, but 20" guns and 35 knots ... you want to see it, don't you.
(I would never argue this was 'the best warship' concept, but I note use of the descriptor 'cool' in the OP).
Its interesting thought exercise about what 46,000t gets you on 1916 tech. Move the guns down to 18", 2 knots off the speed, with that weight on additional armour, for a more realistic 'global battlecruiser' concept. Fisher though was ultimately right - that displacement (with no WNT) would have been the new minimum standard effectively in the K, J and I designs in 1920-21.
 
The day of the opposed landing has passed. there is no chance there will be another beach assault such as Iwo Jimo or even Inchon. It was shown over and over that no preliminary bombardment has defeated an entrenched beach defense.
So use the high value nuclear ship as cover for the less expensive gunships. There is also the possibility of the larger offshore ships lcarrying semi-autonomous drones that could be launched in swarms each carrying a lower cost bombardment round (Think airborne guided katyushas) to provide the close in work.
The Navy built the LCSs because they thought the days of peer conflict were over, and look where we are now. Naval bombardment does the same thing any other artillery does by denying mobility to anybody who's being targeted, so the fight on the beaches is between the assault force and the beach defenders and not the defending reaction force. Warships have been bombarding land targets with naval artillery since naval artillery was invented and long before opposed landings were practical; there's no reason to think that it's magically over right now.
 
Not necessarily saying the CSGN was good (though I do think it was cool), but I think the 8" gun developed for it could have been useful in other applications.
 
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Any thoughts on a conversion of the Iowa class to cruise missile platforms? Tomahawks are much less glamorous than 16” guns, but they could carry a lot of them. The proposal included a 320-cell VLS, a flight deck for Harriers and Ospreys, and short-term accommodations for 800 Marines. It would be fantastically expensive, but it’d offer a lot of force projection in a form adapted to the post-Cold War era.
Rather than ruining a museum piece, I'd prefer the proposal to fit a new San Antonio-class with 288 VLS cells.
 
Two British built copies of this to replace HMS Ocean and RFA Argus, plus escorts. If only the Treasury took defence seriously.

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Not necessarily saying the CSGN was good (though I do think it was cool), but I think the 8" gun developed for it could have been useful in other applications.
The Navy almost mounted them on the Spruance-class destroyers; they were all built with the reinforced foundations forward to use it. And they considered mounting the gun on the Ticonderogas as well.
 
The original over haul of the four USN BB in the 1980s was an excellent response to the threat of the KIROV missile battle cruisers . Politically the IOWA mods provided the instant response and yet retained the flexibility of the 16" gun battleship. Any need for even more tomahawk missiles, could be covered by mounting more ABL around the hull deck; even if all the 5" guns have to be removed.

OP WW-II..... the German KM invested in two dozen medium-/large sized warships built through early 1930s into the early 1940s, but half were never completed and became" pipe dreams" for bigger monster battleships to feed Hitler's ego. The gun tonnage/ armor tonnage /engine tonnage etc invested in the historical program could instead build a dozen improved PBB by wartime - with hull form/transom stern sufficient for 28 knots at max displacement and investing in improved diesel instead of improved turbines promise higher speeds.

A follow on dozen enlarged Panzerschiffe -big enough to mount better main batteries and more armor and radars etc. These could then be also completed , early in the war . This force should be sufficient to disrupt transatlantic shipping through cooperation with B-Dienst code breaking and the growing wolf pact fleet to find and target allied convoy routes more effectively. Combined this should slow allied combat operations in Europe by 6-12 months. The main stumbling point would be the Krupp big gun industry through out this time frame.

This Krupp gun industry was building limited naval guns for the historical navy , but they also building big guns for the army and adapting a number of older WW-I naval guns to fill a crash railway gun programme. As it was the first 1/2 of these guns were just medium calibre in the 6-8" calibre range and not really valuable as railway guns with limited range and throw weight. On the other hand the KM had warehoused dozens of big heavy long range 11" & 12" naval guns from WW-I . They would make much better batch of railway guns.

A KM/HEER/LW deal could be struck through the 1930s to focus all new Krupp big gun construction on building enough new 11" naval guns for this growing fleet of surface raider . Meanwhile the railway carriage AXLE construction could be adapted to build 60-70 railway guns of 11-12" calibre. By the early 1940s ; new 13" naval guns could be built to up grade those surface raiders.
 
The day of the opposed landing has passed. there is no chance there will be another beach assault such as Iwo Jimo or even Inchon. It was shown over and over that no preliminary bombardment has defeated an entrenched beach defense.
Noone knows that for sure. There are several scenarios when this necessity may resurface (Taiwan for instance).
 
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