Command ship

Command ships serve as the flagships of the commander of a fleet. They provide communications, office space, and accommodations for a fleet commander and his staff, and serve to coordinate fleet activities.

An auxiliary command ship features the command and control components prevalent on landing ships (command) and also feature the capability to land troops and equipment. These forces will be slightly less than those on a pure landing ship due to the nature of the ship as a command vessel and hence will also house the assault commander, the flotilla commander or someone of similar status (generally of NATO OF-7 or OF-8 rank—such as a major general or vice admiral).

Currently, the United States Navy operates two command ships, USS Blue Ridge and USS Mount Whitney, both of the purpose-built Blue Ridge class. USS La Salle was decommissioned in March 2005 and sunk as a target in support of a fleet training exercise on 11 April 2007. USS Coronado was decommissioned and sunk as part of live-fire exercise Valiant Shield 2012.[1]

The Soviet Union operated several space programme command ships, Akademik Sergey Korolev, Kosmonavt Vladimir Komarov, Kosmonavt Yuri Gagarin, and the Soviet communications ship SSV-33 Ural. These ships greatly extended the tracking range when the orbits of cosmonauts and unmanned missions were not within range of Soviet land-based tracking stations.[2] Similar U.S. vessels included USNS Observation Island.

See also


  1. ^ "U.S. Navy conducts SINKEX as part of Valiant Shield 2012". Pearl Harbor, Hawaii: Commander, United States Pacific Fleet. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  2. ^ Tracking sites and ships, Komsmonavtka Website, Retrieved 6/13/2008 Archived 14 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine

External links

Absalon-class support ship

The Absalon class are support ships of the Royal Danish Navy, commissioned in 2005. The two ships in the class may be described as a hybrid between a frigate and military transport ship with multiple role capabilities, with the capacity to be transformed from a combat ship with the firepower of a traditional frigate to a hospital ship within a day.

Amphibious command ship

An amphibious command ship (LCC) of the United States Navy is a large, special-purpose ship, originally designed to command large amphibious invasions. However, as amphibious invasions have become unlikely, they are now used as general command ships, and serve as floating headquarters for the various combatant commands. Currently, they are assigned to the 6th and 7th fleets as flagships.

Chinese oceanographic research ship Xiangyanghong 5

Chinese oceanographic research ship Xiangyanghong (向阳红, meaning facing the sun in red) 5 in service with the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). In addition to performing oceanographic research duties, the most important mission of Xiangyanghong 5 is acting as a command ship for Chinese intercontinental ballistic missile trials in 1980.

Originally build as a Francesco Nullo class cargo ship by Paris Commune Shipyard in Poland, the predecessor of current day Stocznia Gdynia, the ship was launched in 1966 and purchased by the Guangzhou Ocean Shipping Co. Ltd. (广州远洋公司) subsidiary of COSCO and named as Changning (长宁). In 1970, it was decided to convert a cargo ship to oceanographic research ship in support of Project 718, the Chinese project of developing its own intercontinental ballistic missile. The design for conversion work was completed by China Ship and Maritime Engineering Design and Research Academy (中国船舶及海洋工程设计研究院). also more commonly known as the 708th Institute of CSSC. Work begun on June 1, 1970 at Guangzhou Shipyard International and was completed on December 20, 1972, costing ¥ 2,500,000. Changes included increasing ballast and fresh water storage, and equipment needed for scientific research, such as communication gears including fax machine. Various research labs were added and navigational system was upgraded. Because Changning was a cargo ship with only minimal crew, large personnel quarters were added to house hugely increased crew due to researchers assigned on board. Upon completion, the ship was renamed as Xiangyanghong 5 and was immediately put in use.

However, due to the political turmoil in China, namely, Cultural Revolution, each mission were relatively short and close to Chinese coast, because Chinese economy at the time could not provide sufficient support for prolonged missions further away from Chinese coastline. Prolonged mission finally became a reality after end of the Cultural Revolution, and majority of them were concentrated in 1977 and 1978, with the four longest missions spreading out between the two years. Experience gained from mission deployment mandated another major upgrade of the ship which begun in December 1978, with over 860 upgrades and modifications total. Guangzhou Shipyard International was once again selected as the primary contractor and work was completed on December 17, 1979. After this major upgrade, Xiangyanghong 5 was assigned to participate in Task 580, the transfer of Chinese intercontinental ballistic missile. Xiangyaonghong 5 also carried out many research missions to assist the selection of suitable test areas in the Pacific Ocean. In June 1980, Xiangyanghong 5 became the command ship for Chinese intercontinental ballistic missile trials. Xiangyanghong 5 still remains in service after decades of enlistment. Specification:

Displacement (t): 14500

Length (m): 152.6

Width (m): 19.5

Draft (m): 8.8

Speed (kt): 16

Range (nm): 15000

Propulsion: 1 diesel engine @ 7200 hp*

French ship Mistral (L9013)

Mistral (L9013) is an amphibious assault ship, a type of helicopter carrier, of the French Navy. She is the fourth vessel to bear the name, and is the lead ship of the Mistral-class amphibious assault ships.

French ship Tonnerre (L9014)

Tonnerre (L9014; lit. Thunder) is an amphibious assault helicopter carrier of the Marine Nationale. She is the eighth vessel to bear the name and the second ship in the Mistral-class amphibious assault ship series.

Tonnerre was laid down in two parts. On 26 August 2003, the aft part was laid down by Arsenal de Brest at Brest and the bow part was laid down 5 May 2004 by Chantiers de Saint-Nazaire at Saint-Nazaire. The vessel was launched on 26 July 2005 and began active service in December 2006.

KRI Multatuli

KRI Multatuli (561) is a command ship operated by the Indonesian Navy.

List of Military Sealift Command ships

This is a list of Military Sealift Command ships. The fleet is made up of approximately 130 ships which are divided among eight programs: Fleet Oiler (PM1), Special Mission (PM2), Strategic Sealift (PM3), Tow, Salvage, Tender, and Hospital Ship (PM4), Sealift (PM5), Combat Logistics Force (PM6), Expeditionary Mobile Base, Amphibious Command Ship, and Cable Layer (PM7) and Expeditionary Fast Transport (PM8).

Military Sealift Command

The United States Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) is an organization that controls the replenishment and military transport ships of the Navy. Military Sealift Command has the responsibility for providing sealift and ocean transportation for all US military services as well as for other government agencies. It first came into existence on 9 July 1949 when the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) became solely responsible for the Department of Defense's ocean transport needs. The MSTS was renamed the Military Sealift Command in 1970.

Military Sealift Command ships are made up of a core fleet of ships owned by the United States Navy and others under long-term-charter augmented by short-term or voyage-chartered ships. The Navy-owned ships carry blue and gold stack colors, are in service with the prefix USNS (United States Naval Ship), rather than in commission (with a USS prefix), have hull numbers as an equivalent commissioned ship would have with the prefix T- and are primarily civilian manned by either civil service mariners or contract crews (see United States Merchant Marine) as is the case of the special mission ships. Some ships may have Navy or Marine Corps personnel on board to carry out communication and special mission functions, or for force protection. Ships on charter or equivalent, retain commercial colors and bear the standard merchant prefix MV, SS, or GTS, without hull numbers.

Eight programs compose Military Sealift Command: Fleet Oiler (PM1), Special Mission (PM2), Strategic Sealift (PM3), Tow, Salvage, Tender, and Hospital Ship (PM4), Sealift (PM5), Combat Logistics Force (PM6), Expeditionary Mobile Base, Amphibious Command Ship, and Cable Layer (PM7) and Expeditionary Fast Transport (PM8).

MSC reports to the Department of Defense's Transportation Command for defense transportation matters, to the Navy Fleet Forces Command for Navy-unique matters, and to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) for procurement policy and oversight matters.

Oregon City-class cruiser

The Oregon City class was a class of heavy cruisers of the United States Navy. Although it was intended to build ten, only four were completed – one of those as a command ship. The three ships completed as cruisers were in commission from 1946 to 1970.

Saipan-class aircraft carrier

The Saipan-class aircraft carriers were a class of two light carriers Saipan (CVL-48) and Wright (CVL-49) built for the United States Navy during World War II. Like the nine Independence-class light carriers, they were based on cruiser hulls. However, they differed from the earlier light carriers in that they were built from the keel up as carriers, and were based on heavy rather than light cruiser hulls. Completed too late for the war, they served as carriers until the mid-1950s, then were converted into a command ship (Wright) and a major communications relay ship (Saipan) in the late 1950s, and in those roles served until 1970. They were both scrapped in 1980.

Soviet communications ship SSV-33

SSV-33 Ural (ССВ-33 Урал; NATO reporting name: Kapusta [Russian for "cabbage"]) was a command and control naval ship operated by the Soviet Navy. SSV-33's hull was derived from that of the nuclear powered Kirov-class battlecruisers with nuclear marine propulsion. SSV-33 served in electronic intelligence, missile tracking, space tracking, and communications relay roles. Due to high operating costs, SSV-33 was laid up.The onboard radio reconnaissance system was called "Coral"; this involved two computer types: "Elbrus" and several "EC-1046" computers.

SSV-33 carried only light defensive weapons. These were two AK-176 76 mm guns, four AK-630 30 mm guns, and four quadruple Igla missile mounts.

SSV-33 was assigned to the Pacific Fleet, but there was no pier large enough for the ship. She was forced to anchor out. Machinery had to remain running while at anchor to support other systems and its crew; the ship became a floating barracks. She never went to sea, while her powerful radioelectronic equipment gradually began to decay.The initial value of the ship's disposal contract is $310 million and the work must be performed in the Bay of Bolshoy Kamen in Primorsky region by 30 November 2017.

USS Adirondack (AGC-15)

The third USS Adirondack (AGC-15) was laid down on 18 November 1944 under a Maritime Commission contract by the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company in Wilmington, North Carolina; launched on 13 January 1945, sponsored by Mrs. E. L. White; transferred to the Navy on 4 February 1945; towed to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for conversion; and commissioned on 2 September 1945, the day Japan surrendered on board the battleship Missouri (BB-63) in Tokyo Bay, with Captain R. O. Myers in command.

USS Appalachian

USS Appalachian (AGC-1) was the lead ship of the Appalachian class amphibious force flagships of the United States Navy. She was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 200) on 4 November 1942 at the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Company in Kearny, New Jersey; launched on 29 January 1943, sponsored by Mrs. John Frank Mclnnis; acquired by the Navy on 27 February 1943; converted at Brooklyn, N.Y., by the Todd Shipbuilding Company for naval service as an amphibious flagship; and commissioned on 2 October 1943, with Captain James M. Fernald in command.

USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19)

USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) is the first of the two Blue Ridge-class amphibious command ships of the United States Navy, and is the command ship/flagship of the Seventh Fleet. Her primary role is to provide command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) support to the commander and staff of the United States Seventh Fleet. She is currently forward-deployed to U.S. Navy Fleet Activities, Yokosuka in Japan, and is the third Navy ship named after the Blue Ridge Mountains, a range of mountains in the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States. Blue Ridge is the oldest deployable warship of the U.S. Navy, following the decommissioning of USS Denver. Blue Ridge, as the U.S. Navy's active commissioned ship having the longest total period as active, flies the First Navy Jack instead of the Jack of the United States. Blue Ridge is expected to remain in service until 2039.

USS Coronado (AGF-11)

USS Coronado (AGF-11) (originally LPD-11) was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named after the city of the same name in the U.S. state of California. She was designed as an Austin-class amphibious transport dock (LPD), one of seven fitted with an additional superstructure level for command ship duties. The ship was launched on 1 July 1966, commissioned 23 May 1970, and became the most advanced command ship in the world. The ship was the first combatant ship in the United States Navy to integrate women as full-time crew members.Coronado was decommissioned on 30 September 2006, was used for target practice during Valiant Shield 2012 exercises, and was sunk in the Marianas Island Range Complex on 12 September 2012.

USS Hawaii (CB-3)

Hawaii (CB-3) was intended to be the third member of the Alaska-class large cruisers. It was the first United States Navy ship to be named after the-then Territory of Hawaii. Because Hawaii's construction was delayed by higher-priority ships like aircraft carriers, her keel was not laid until December 1943, about two years after her sister ship Guam.

Hawaii was launched in late 1945, but post-war budget cutbacks necessitated her cancellation in 1947. The Alaska-class large cruisers were seen as requiring a crew almost as large as a South Dakota or Iowa-class battleship, while the armor and protection of the capital ship-sized Hawaii was no better than a Baltimore-class cruiser and this was particularly significant as the underwater protection designed into Hawaii was poor. In a famous Proceedings article in January 1949, Frank Uhlig, dismissed the performance of the class in 1944–1945 and concluded the battlecruiser had no place in the postwar USN For a time, the US Navy planned to convert the ship into the US' first guided missile cruiser, but this did not come to fruition. A conversion to a large command ship was later contemplated and planning went far enough that money was allocated in the 1952 budget for this purpose. However, with one command ship already completed, Northampton, and a second already chosen, Wright, no work was started upon Hawaii. Having been laid up for twelve years, the still incomplete ship was towed to breakers to be scrapped in 1959.

USS Mount McKinley

USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7/LCC-7) was the lead ship of the Mount McKinley class of amphibious force command ships. She was named after the highest mountain in North America. She was designed as an amphibious force flagship, a floating command post with advanced communications equipment and extensive combat information spaces to be used by the amphibious forces commander and landing force commander during large-scale operations.

USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20)

USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20) is one of two Blue Ridge-class amphibious command ships of the United States Navy and is the flagship and command ship of the United States Sixth Fleet. USS Mount Whitney also serves as the Afloat Command Platform (ACP) of Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO). The ship had previously served for years as the COMSTRIKFLTLANT(NATO Designation) / US Second Fleet's command ship. She is one of only a few commissioned ships to be assigned to Military Sealift Command.Mount Whitney was classified as LCC-20 on 1 January 1969, and her keel was laid down on 8 January by Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Company, Newport News, Virginia.

At the time of her commissioning, Mount Whitney joined her sister ship Blue Ridge as having the distinction of carrying the world's most sophisticated electronics suites. It was said to be some thirty percent larger than that of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy, which had been the most complex. Mount Whitney was armed with a "main battery" of computers, communications gear, and other electronic facilities to fulfill her mission as a command ship. An extremely refined communications system was also an integral part of the ship's radical new design. Through an automated patch panel and computer-controlled switching matrix, her crew could use any combination of communication equipment desired. The clean topside area is the result of careful design intended to minimize the ship's interference with her own communications system. US Navy long-range communications were heavily reliant on high-frequency radio systems in the 1970s and have evolved to predominantly satellite communications in the 2000s. This is illustrated by the long wire antennas and the directional HF yagi or log-periodic antenna initially installed on Mount Whitney and later removed and replaced with a number of satellite communications antennas.

Ukrainian command ship Donbas

Donbas (Ukrainian: Донбас) is a former Soviet repair ship that was converted to a command ship of the Ukrainian Navy, Project 304 (NATO reporting name: Amur). She was built on Szczecin Shipyard in Poland in 1969 for the Soviet Navy and entitled PM-9. "PM" is a Russian abbreviation for a repair ship (Russian: Плавучая мастерская, Plavuchaya masterskaya), and literally means a floating repair shop.

The ships of this company were considered the most durable, they were actively applied in military campaigns since the early 1970s.

As a result of the distribution of the Black Sea Fleet, PM-9 changed her name to Krasnodon. In 2001, she was renamed the Donbas. During her service in the Ukrainian Navy, the ship has repeatedly participated in international exercises, as well as in local military parades and cruises. On 11 November 2007, the ship was caught in a hurricane near Sevastopol, but suffered minor injuries and remained intact due to the assistance of the Russian tug MB-160.The ship Donbas marked her fourth decade of naval service on 4 December 2009. On this occasion, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine allocated on 6 December 2010 around 4 million UAH for the ship reconstruction. On 25 January 2011, she successfully passed the first stage of sea trials.

On 20 March 2014, the ship was captured by the Russian Navy during the Crimean crisis. On 17 April 2014, she was transported from Sevastopol to Odessa by the Ukrainian tug Hennadiy Savelyev. On 4 September 2016, the ship was damaged by fire at Odessa.The search and rescue vessel Donbas (A500) and the sea tug Korets (A830) got underway from Odessa on September 20 and transited the Kerch Strait on September 23, escorted by a number of Russian Navy units.

Ukrainian Navy Gyurza-M-class artillery boats Kremenchuk (P177) and Lubny (P178) got underway from the port of Berdyansk to meet the two vessels as they entered the Sea of Azov.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko congratulated the crews of the two ships on a successful transit on his Facebook page, adding that they would become part of a newly-created base in the Sea of Azov."The rescue ship Donbas and the tugboat Korets have arrived in Mariupol. Two small armored artillery boats, the R177 Kremenchuk and the R178 Lubny [which were previously redeployed to the Azov Sea and set out to meet the other two ships on September 23] arrived together with them," as stated at the Ukrainian Military Portal.

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