Navy Close to Choosing Griffin Missile for LCS

Navy Close to Choosing Griffin Missile for LCS

The U.S. Navy is moving towards selecting Raytheon’s Griffin missile as the replacement for the cancelled Non-Line of Sight missile on its Littoral Combat Ships, according to the director of the service’s surface warfare division.

After evaluating its options for replacing one of the key parts of the LCS’ surface warfare mission systems for six months, the surface warfare division settled on the Griffin due to the fact that it can hit targets at acceptable ranges for less money than the NLOS system, said Rear Adm. Frank Pandolfe today during a speech at a Surface Navy Association convention in Arlington, Va.

The Griffin — with its launchers pictured above mounted on a Humvee — will also be cheaper to install on the LCS than the larger NLOS system, according to Pandolfe.

Top Navy brass must now sign off on Pandolfe’s recommendation to buy the Griffin.

The service is hoping to field a short-range version of the weapon around mid-decade followed by a longer-range version of it a couple of years later, according to a chart he showed during his speech. The missile, which uses parts of the Javelin anti-tank and AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, was originally designed as a replacement for the Hellfire antitank missile used by UAVs.  It’s equipped with a 13 pound warhead and semi-active laser seeker.

This comes a little more than a week after the Navy moved to buy 10 each of the Freedom and Independence class LCSs over the next five years. The sea service says this move will save $2.9 billion over the original plan to buy 19 of one class of LCS in the same time period.

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How and where will they be mounted?

Army .….…. Are you paying attention? Why can’t we buy this? It works too well? Doesn’t cost enough?


Anybody know the range of these Griffins?
As I understand it, the UAV-launched ones are/were somewhere quoted as having an air-launched (from altitude) range of several km.…the NetFires had a range in DOZENS of km…this thing will have to have a booster, won’t it?
That then makes it longer than what’s shown on the Humvee, if we expect it to be of any use on the LCS (how close to the beach do we want to put these 3000ton ships?).

Still, a 13pound warhead (equivalent to TOW) is plenty good for all the little stuff what ails you (FACs, AFVs, gun positions, etc).
I’m still concerned with its range: so too should the Navy.

For those interested:

This missile is only 43 inches long, and 5 inches in diameter how much range could it have? The NLOS was a foot and a half longer (probably mostly additional fuel) and had a range of 40 km. So this this thing will most certainly have much less range.
They had an old saying about this: Penny wise pound foolish. I hope our troops don’t pay the price.
By the way the army bought these more then a year ago.

This just means the fraud known as the LCS will display more fireworks when they are engaged and sunk by any moderately credible threat.

LCS is a peace-time ship only. Just have 5 Boston Whalers jump an LCS one night as it passes near some island, and the “contest” will end badly for America. First, the LCS-1 can only assign a total of one (1) contact to its 57mm Gun system, and then the CO must wait for ___ minutes to have its Spanish Gun Fire Control System acquire and track this first Boston Whaler. And don’t forget it is acquired and “tracked” optically by a human operator ! Wow, this is 2011 and LCS-1 cost $500,000,000.00 plus, and it must manually acquire and track each Boston Whaler one at a time.

So, back to the Tactical Picture in CIC: unfortunately for the LCS-1, these 5 little Boston Whalers are not steering a steady course and speed at all times. Amazingly, all 5 of these terrorist boats are actually maneuvering !! LCS designers never expected that any craft attacking them would be so dastardly as to change course and speed fairly often ! So, the first little Whaler boat changes course abruptly and the primitive GFCS system loses its gun track and must wait until the craft settles down and steadies up on its new course and speed for a while, so that this pitiful Gun Fire Control System can once again get it back in track ready to open fire. Unfortunately for the LCS, all 5 of these Boston Whalers are ALL maneuvering, quite often ! So, the 57mm gun, if lucky, might (but don’t bet on it) get a few rounds fired at the 1st Boston Whaler, before they all arrive close aboard: the result ?

We have a $500 million dollar LCS crammed full of command and control and radios and crypto gear and .…. fighting 4 or 5 Boston Whalers using short range 30mm guns and .50cal weapons. And this is 2011 ! What’s the point of this scenario ? For $500 million, an LCS should be able to rapidly destroy 5 Boston Whalers at ranges beyond 30mm and .50cal guns ! The 57mm should be able to engage out to say, around 10,000 yards reliably and accurately. That’s 5 miles for a decent probability of kill with 57mm gun. But this assumes that LCS carries a decent GFCS !! Which it doesn’t. How are these GRIFFIN missiles targeted ? Let’s hope that the incoming boats have the stupidity to steer and straight course at steady speeds while attacking the LCS. A $500 MILLION dollar LCS should not end up in a very short range gun battle with terrorists in cheap speed boats !!

OK, I’ll play. You do realize that these ships have .50 cal and others will have 30mm, correct? How much armor are those Boston Whalers packing these days? Are you also aware the on board helicopters also have Hellfire missiles?

Meanwhile LCS 1 or 2 is circling said Boston Whalers at high speed, taking their own evasive action as required, and picking them off one by one with .50 cal and 30mm, and the ones that get away get a Hellfire missile.

Hmmm, how long does it take your.hypothetical round to travel 6 miles as the tiny Boston Whalers are turning. Do these rounds make multiple mid-course corrections? Can your hypothetical fire control system predict which way the Boston Whalers will turn? Isn’t it easier to launch the helicopter and chase down the Boston Whalers or hit them with Griffins, perhaps fired by Fire Scouts (speculation)?

I’m a bit lost on this one. Wikipedia calls the Griffin hellfire-sized missile with a a semi-active laser seeker. Where is the guidance coming from, and what is the surface combatant class that the LCS is intended to engage?

UAV’s or helo’s could provide the lasing. Although the range of the Griffin missile could be short enough to be lased by the ship itself, considering that the range would be reduced comparing a ship launch versus an aerial launch.

That’s a good point.

Good Idea you have here. Let’s just react to these 5 little attacking craft in the Littorals by doing what you say (above): “Isn’t it easier to launch the helicopter … “. OK, Try that. First call away FLIGHT QUARTERS (assuming you already have the helo outside the hanger, already fueled, already armed, and the Pilots at the ready). Now while the pilots man their helo, and the fire party gets into their protective gear, the CO will have computed the correct course and speed that he needs to launch the helo. So, the LCS will change course and speed to create the correct relative wind to enable this helo to successfully take off. So, what are the attacking craft doing while the LCS prepares to launch its ready helo ? (lucky for LCS it was already armed, fueled and out on deck !!).

The LCS design does not support rapid, armed defensive actions against a surprize situation, which no doubt will arise inside the Littorals, where hundreds and hundreds of surface contacts are always present. Unless LCS is redesigned with more radars, several decent Gun Fire Control Systems, and more than one 57mm Bofors/BAE gunmount, then LCS is just an expensive tempting target, cruising around the usually very crowded coastal waters. But, Hey, your idea to quickly launch the helo (assuming it carries at least 5 air to surf missiles) is a great fall back plan. Hope the LCS (while rapidly maneuvering into the wind for launch) doesn’t accidently make itself a closer tgt for the 5 little Boston Whalers. Also, hope no fishermen are in the path of LCS as she holds her course and speed steady while launching her own Helo. LCS needs to stay WAY out to sea or it is doomed inside cluttered coastal waters.

The Point is NOT to get into small arms (.50 cal or 30mm) engagements with little boats. That 57mm gun with its terrible GFCS is not going to protect LCS against even a little 5 boat Terrorist attack. Of course LCS can turn and run. It cannot fire both of its 30mm mounts directly aft, and it’s lone 57mm gun is blind for 180 degrees aft, while the two single 30mm are blind also for over 180 degrees. It is highly unlikely that LCS will ever be able to fire both of its 30mm guns at this 5 boat Boston Whaler attack, due to such large blind zones. Soon, every 2-bit gang that can find 5 go fasts with RPG and .50cal can effectively drive away an LCS. And it there happen to be 2 LCS together, then just send out 8 or 10 little boats to drive away America’s (once) mighty Navy. Please remove the middle letter “C” from the acronym LCS.

Ever been on a frigate or destroyer that attempted to keep a helo airborne 24/7 ?? I have. It is impossible. One FFG did keep a helo flying approx 20 hours per day for 10 days in a row. Of course they had 240 crew and 6 pilots onboard. Can you imagine an LCS with less than 100 man crew attempting to even keep a helo flying and ready for defense , for say even 10 to 12 hours per day, for 10 days in a row ? Never happen.…. Least Capable Ships are doomed in combat.

The Griffin has a range of 15km when launched from air and 5.5km when launched from surface launcher. So thats a pretty significant difference. Then again (better or worse) the LCS is partially meant for irregular warfare, just as the Griffin, so when will this ship ever need to shoot pirates from further than 5.5km? Also with the Army testing the waters launching these from helicopters, there is the potential for commonality of munitions between the LCS and its helicopters.

You seem to be forgetting that the LCS is faster than nearly all small boats it would face and can turn very well. Blind spot you say? Uh turn? Something more serious? Uh accelerate away and then launch your helicopters, as if you wouldn’t have one flying already in a tense situation or in congested littoral chokepoints..

You just admitted that Naval commanders are not so stupid as to be unprepared. They will have helicopters flying or ready when the threat demands. The FFG has 240 men on board because it is trying to do everything at once. There also will be more LCS to cover a given stretch of shore line or piracy area because you can man two LCS for less than the manpower of one FFG. Bet it won’t be hard to find living quarter modules for 6 pilots and additional maintainers in 15,000 square feet of LCS 2 bay space.

Now what happens when your FFG faces these same 5 small boats and can’t accelerate away or turn rapidly? Forgot, it’s farther out at sea where its helicopters are not as effective in support of beach forces and its small boats and SEALs must travel a long way to shore..

BTW, you seem to be forgetting the UAS that are built for greater persistence to cover longer periods of coverage. They often carry laser designators as Trophy mentioned even if they are not armed. But they will be armed eventually. It’s good to have common ordnance for your ship’s fixed defenses and its UAS and helicopters.

They should just accept the fact that this was a bad buy period, a tug with no known mission or required capabilities. Now that they are stuck with it unless they grow a pair and tell the contractors to eat it they should just stick a number of BOFORS — CIWS — Avenger — Dual 50 BMG — and MK19 anywhere they can mount one and call it a fast coatal gun ship (FCG). It will never be a sub hunter or air defence platform period, need to face the facts and make it useful for one job.

Whilst its an interesting scenario, your looking at a beast that, largely, is going to happen. Given that, how do ship-borne Griffin’s add anything to the LCS’ capabilities?
The short answer is that they don’t really: with 5500m surface-to-surface range they have less range than the 57mm and approximately the same as the 30mm.
So either the USN designs a LR Griffin or you live with UAV+Griffin for dealing with any threat identified at greater than 4nm. In any event I see zero point in spending the money to integrate an onboard Griffin variant at this time.

Spike BLOS missile raises its effective range from several km of base model up close to 20 km. I say technically a long range Griffin is feasible.

So let me get this straight, Raytheon designed the NLOS-LS system which was canceled because the missile couldn’t hit targets within a 25 km accuracy which wasted billions of taxpayer dollars. So now the Navy is awarding Raytheon the replacement missile contract? How does this make any sense. Contractors should be punished for such failures, not rewarded.

in one truck like the picture…

Because ADM Pandolf wont be going to work for Ratheon or one of thier subsidersry companies within the next couple of years Unless they get a contract from the Navy, that is how the deals are set now days and why the brass pushes for certain items. Until they make it illegal with no loop holes for fleet/line officers to go to work for defense contractors period, this will continue to happen.

Or perhaps we should buy the best replacement system, instead of playing politics with a serious issue.

As Earlydawn so readily points out the defense contractors are so far gone that graft and corruption are business and usual.

The issue isn’t politics it’s law enforcement. Until we see defense contractors and corrupt senior officers in jail serving 20 year sentences for defrauding the American people they will continue with their criminal mindset.

Judging from the size this can’t have all that much range. If Raytheon can get this working, why not NLOS-LS? If GPS guidance isn’t working why not something like EFOGM?

I.I. , Well summarized. Well reasoned. We are agreed.

some post-er’s (not you) seem to think it is oh-so-easy to launch a helo from LCS. Forgetting that it must be fueled, and carefully armed (hopefully) with a lot of weapons. Then the helo must be moved out of the hanger onto the flight deck, and started and after the LCS achieves the correct C/S for relative wind, only THEN can the helo be launched. It can take a long time, especially to re-arm and re-fuel and re-launch. Won’t ever work for a surprize attack in the Littorals by 5 tiny Boston Whalers. How embarrassing for a $500 million LCS to shoot it out with go-fasts at very close ranges ! At least give each LCS more than one 57mm Gun Fire Control System so that it can track and shoot at more than just one surf contact at a time ! It takes a while to get the GFCS into tracking before shooting the gun.

I was postulating a “surprize” attack in these scenarios, with 5 little Boston Whalers emerging suddenly out of a mass of ____ dozens and scores of little fishing fleets and “jumping ” the $ 500 million dollar “warship”. Face it, at some time in the next 30 years, if USN deploys LCS’s all over the World, at some time, they will be “surprized” by terrorists. And helo/UAV play no part whatsoever in reacting to surprize surface action engagements. Period. so, LCS reverts to her organic (know what that means ?), GUN FIRE CONTROL SYSTEM (singlular). It can process a grand total of ONE (1) count them, one surface contact for engagement. And LCS can shoot her littlebow mounted gun mount (only AFTER she has dropped all the life lines on the forecastle), at only ONE surface contact until it is destroyed. BTW, very hard if it is maneuvering rapidly.

Furthermore, the little LCS’s (both classes) can ONLY fire the little 57 mm gun based upon optically “tracked” GFCS. (so far). Yes LCS-1 has plans to actually purchase and install a ( are you sitting down ?) a real RADAR than can function as the Gun Fire Control system (GFCS). Of course just to purchase this SPQ-9B radar, install it, and buy and install the GFCS computer will add around $20 million more to the cost of each vessel and (even worse) add more WEIGHT !! ( a terrible idea for LCS’s ). Just remember, having a gun is no value when you have a toy, ancient pitiful GFCS (which is optical only) onboard your “war” ship. Ha, $500,000,000 dollars and LCS can not even fire their tiny 57mm gun at any radar contact ! What a disgrace, NAVSEA should be flogged.

It becomes clear you work for someone who makes 57mm gun fire control systems.;) No big. You still ignore that this beast rapidly will outrun 30 knot Boston Whalers or fishing boats and in doing so could give the crew quite a chuckle by capsizing them in its wake or water jet thrust.

You don’t address that even with two GFCS, you only have one gun expending 220 rounds a minute with a 120 ready round magazine. That implies you may not wish to shoot at small maneuvering targets at 10K meters (MER 8.5K m presumably against a non-maneuvering tgt) since the rounds will take 10 seconds to arrive by which time the BW is elsewhere. In addition, it would seem pretty idifficult to assess hostile intent at 10K would it not…unless your clever skipper has airborne Fire Scouts or MH-60R scouting ahead in dicey situations.

Way not to buy the Israeli’s missile “jumper” that look similar to the NLOS-LS?

Hi. I have 4 x griffon mk 57a\50 engines I would like to sell I am from south africa can someone please advise me who will be keen to purchase them
Thank you

I thought the LCS was close to being scrapped? Or hasn’t anyone read the latest USNI Proceedings?

Absolutely its technically feasible. That’s not the point.
The point is that once you have a Griffin armed UAV, fitting it to the LCS gains you nothing.
1. You have to redesign its guidance system; or you need a UAV to lase for it. At which point, just fit it to the UAV.
2. You have to spend money on developing an LR Griffin.
3. It will have very limited tactical functionality (you get surprised by several small vessels able to engage you from beyond 8700m and are unable to either tactically withdraw, close to gunnery range or launch the Alert UAV before taking sufficient damage that you are crippled).

You end up with an awfully expensive hull to have that many weapon systems with that short a range. CIWS, .50cal and MK19 give you no range advantage over cheap ATGM repurposed for use onboard small vessels. Whilst ATGMs do not possess large payloads, if your firing them agaisnt an optimally manned ship built to civilian standards you have the potential to do a lot of damage.
So ff you go that route you may as well cancel the project, buy more DDGs and go back to the drawing board. Wearing the hurt in ASW and MCM until workable solutions are developed.

5500m maximum range.
Because all the technology for it is MOTS, put together in house by Raytheon to fufill a need it identified (possibly in consultation with USAF/CIA).

The Griffin will be an interim solution against small surface targets at longer ranges than a gun can hit.
The use of a small inexpensive missile means they can mount a large number of them and if you
use them up, so what. Larger more expensive missiles will restrict their use due to high costs and low numbers.
Besides, if you are using the LCS close to shore, it is a target for the enemy missiles and will divert attention away from more important targets. Low cost usually translates in to expend ability!!

The best solution is to use two Israeli missiles:
1.The “Jumper” missile. This missile can replace the NLOS-LS system, it has 30 miles range and it looks it use the same type of container.
2.The Spike-NLOS. This missile with range of 15 miles and TV guidance can shoot down those small attack boats from far away and with great accuracy.
Link for the “Jumper”: http://​www​.army​-guide​.com/​e​n​g​/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​.​php
Link for the “Spike-NLOS”: http://​www​.rafael​.co​.il/​m​a​r​k​e​t​i​n​g​/​S​I​P​_​S​T​O​R​A​G​E​/​FIL

I’m not knocking any who are under the impression that the LCS speed is going to be thier greatest asset, because in reality that is one of the best things about it — BUT — even though I cannot give specifics I can tell you that the larger more heavily armed Perry class frigates can obtain speeds a lot faster than the LCS which is maxed out at it’s actual specified speed. Even carriers have exceeded the LCS speed for short distances, they just have never been released to the public for obvious reasons. For its size and sleekness the LCS is a dog in the performance category.

What the Navy can do is to buy or built the Israeli missiles. One missile is the “Jumper” that looks very similar to the NLOS with range of 30 miles, and the 2nd one is the “spike NLOS” with range of 15 miles and TV guidance. The Jumper can hit target far away, and the Spike will hit the small boats.

Sadly, I agree. While I’m glad to hear these ships [may] be getting some teeth, I don’t think these are gonna cut it.

if LCS-1 runs low on its GAS TURBINE type fuel (which on that ship is different than regular diesel fuel), did you know that max speed of LCS-1 on her 2 huge diesel propulsion engines is just over 15 knots at full deployed load ? 15 knots assumes the seas are not too heavy also. Of course everyone knows that LCS-1 at max throttle on her 2 giant gas turbines, can run her fuel state from 100 percent down to zero (0) percent in just under 12 hours. Assuming the CO wants to maintain some sort of reserve fuel state, he probably wouldn’t run his gas turbine fuel all the way down to empty (zero percent); rather, he would get to maybe 30 percent and then switch over to his 2 big diesels to conserve fuel. Then, the LCS-1 has a max speed of just over 15 knots, at full deployed weight.

Here’s a contest: take an LCS-1 fully fueled to 100 percent load. and race this LCS-1 with an old DDG-51 AEGIS class destroyer. Line up these 2 warships and start the race. Finish line will be a friendly port 700 miles away. Guess which ship will win ? (assume that sea state is flat so that LCS-1 won’t pound its tiny crew into exhaustion). Who will win ? ANSWER: the old DDG-51 will win because the LCS-1 will be forced to switch from big gas turbines, back to big diesels when she runs out of gas turbine fuel. The old classic TORTOISE and the HARE race. The little LCS-1 carries just over 50,000 gallons of fuel for the 2 largest gas turbines onboard any ship in the World. The old DDG-51 carries just over 450,000 gallons for her turbines, which have proven to be more reliable than those MT-30 monsters onboard USS FREEDOM, which has had one fail already. ENDURANCE matters.

You are woefully misinformed on the gas turbines and diesel engines on FREEDOM. Both work fine on DFM (F-76 for the NATO types) or JP-5 (or JP-4, JP-8, or JET A1 for that matter). The problem of range on the FREEDOM has nothing to do with anything about needing two fuels, but rather the requirement to have a really high sprint speed which always takes a whole lot of horsepower and thus fuel. Even your DDG-51 can go roughly 90% of max speed on 50% of the horsepower, and would need well over double the shp and a significant design change to get the same speed as the LCS-1 and would have an equally short range at max speed. The range of LCS-1 at speed isn’t very great, and that is a problem, but please get your facts straight.

So, all agree that the LCS is the wrong decision for the Navy in littorals. So why would the Navy buy 20 of them ASAP? I postulate because if they don’t buy something, and soon — no matter how ineffective — they will get nothing, and we will be talking about the 200 ship Navy. So, is a bad decision better than no decision?

The Point was twofold: LCS can never use any UAV or HELO in a surprize attack. Also, LCS is far to expensive to ever permit it to have a street fight with punks, using tiny, short range terrorist weapons.

For crying out loud, LCS-1 has the full AEGIS COMMAND AND CONTROL CND suite, latest version along with other expensive, sophisticated sensors, tactical data links, satellite comm’s, etc.

And the USN is going to have these $500 million dollar vessels up close and personal with cowardly terrorists in Boston Whalers ? ! Oh come ON… Navies just don’t do such stupid op’s. Would you let street punks with rifles onboard FORT MEADE to walk up next to the National Security Agency (NSA) buildings ? NSA has (relatively speaking) just as poor self defense weapons as LCS vs Boston Whalers armed with a rifle. You just don’t permit any LCS to duke it out with an ordinary street gang in 5 tiny speed boats.

Besides, since USS FREEDOM would have her helo safely tucked away inside her hanger, that reactive weapons would be Not Avail to this surprize skirmish.

As far as LCS-1 or LCS-2 actually firing their sole 57mm gun, too bad these “warships” cannot even detect a contact on radar, and assigned it to a Gun Fire Control System, and then have it open fire. Not for $500,000,000 !! Nope, you must first “ask” the optical “GFCS” to go search for the one (1) surface contact that you wish to destroy. After it is located optically, only then can the LCS operator down in CIC begin to engage it. Meanwhile.… what are the other surf craft doing ? If they are terrorists, they will continue to approach the LCS while it is busy engaging the one and only contact that it can simultaneously engage. Get it ? $500million and this “warship” can process a grand total of one (1) contact for 57mm shooting “simultaneous”. GFCS needs to spend another $20 million per ship (which will also increase weight), just to give LCS any chance at all vs. 5 cowards each in an old speedboat.

Is LCS now operating so that the 2 giant MT-30 gas turbines can not only have access to the roughly 52,000 gallons (that used to be reserved just for them), but also to the remaining fuel tanks (which were for helo’s, 6 diesel engines, UAV’s, VBSS boats down the well deck, the little RHIB rescue boat, dewatering pumps, etc ) ? If so, then this is even more disconcerting than carrying a woefully small total amount of fuel. If what you’re saying is correct, and LCS does not now segregate the large ~52,000 gallons for GAS TURBINES from the remaining diesel fuel (which was a much smaller total than 52,000 gallons), then the MT-30’s could easily drain all the fuel set aside for 2 DIESELS (propulsion), 4 diesels (electricity), helo/uav, VBSS, RHIB, pumps). Wow, that is even more concerning than the way they used to separate fuels.

I guess if a thirsty helo is required to fly often (since most weapons and even sensors will be onboard helo’s), the LCS has an even worse fuel problem than they used to have. If what you say, Cole, is correct, how will the little LCS ever be able to conduct anything more than token short HELO op’s ? Even worse, how will the LCS be able to run 3 of her 4 tiny electrical generators constantly to supply power to this warship ? And those 2 giant main propulsion diesels also need significant amounts of diesel fuel as well. 33 foot long VBSS boats and the little 7 meter RHIB, and any UAV’s, and having any sort of small reserve fuel loadout for emergencies (like how does this ship refuel in Sea State 3 or higher ?). Wow, this change in fuel usage to permit MT-30’s to also drink from the previously separated diesel fuel load is very disturbing. As I recall, the MT-30 fuel loadout was over twice the amount carried for all those HELO, 6 diesel engines, boats, etc. Wow is all I can say. The OOD better stay very close to an oiler all day long, 7 days per week underway.

It’s just as much about keeping jobs in the Congressmen’s districts, which keeps the Congressmen in their jobs for another election…

I thought for a time these were decent ships,
but I woke up: a frigate-sized ship armed more poorly than anything else of comparable size and mission?

If we wanted a Perry-class replacement, the Northrop Gumman International Frigate looks like a better design. http://​www​.secretprojects​.co​.uk/​f​o​r​u​m​/​i​n​d​e​x​.​p​h​p/t

If we wanted a coastal gunboat capable of fighting FACs and Boghammers, it didn’t need to be a 3000ton beast too overly-dependent on MANPADS-vulnerable helicopters.

The skipper of your putative LCS only had had to go to full speed ahead to thwart the bad guys plans. Or better yet what happen if he decided to use the ship to ram the little boats.

HELO’s are most often Reactive platforms. That means they don’t just fly around sensing out dangers, unless, of course, there is reason (INTELL) that says (something) is up very soon. US Navy has flown LAMPS helo’s for over 30 years now. Normal usage is often wait until a sub or _____ (surf craft or ??) are detected within range, and then launch your helo. Afghanistan and Iraq and other high tempo op’s have run so many USN helo’s into extreme totals of flight hours. LCS had best hope (insist?) that they receive an almost brand new 60 helo since who has free time onboard to do repairs to their primary sensor/weapon ( their Helo) ?? And if little Boston Whalers are shooting at the LCS helo, they might need more than just refueling and rearming and new pilots when they return to the woefully undermanned Littoral Ship ( let’s just drop the ‘C” from LCS and be honest for a change).

I’m not an LCS fan, but some of these comments miss the mark with regard to fighting a ship at sea. The 57mm and 30mm gun and LCS’s speed will combine to be a potent combination in fighting fast attack and fast inshore attack craft. Missiles will only enhance that effectiveness. It will be very interesting to see if they equip the Griffin missile with the AIM-9X’s seeker, since it already uses Sidewinder components, which has proven its effectiveness against surface targets.

Anyone who thinks an FFG-7 is going to have a faster sprint speed than LCS is mistaken. I also see the CVN speed myth lives on.

They go boom and he has a gaping hole in his bow and serious DC issues. Serious suggestions anybody?

Griffin has less range than a 57mm sytem, it has much the same range as a 30mm mounted to an LCS. Give the GFCS the ability on the 57mm to track several target simultaneously and engage in rapid succession and you have (pretty well) no reason to have a missile with a range of 5500m.

LCS is not low cost. LCS is not survivable. Therefore NOT a missile spunge.

57mm and 30mm are great weapons, but a missile with roughly the equivalent range of a 30mm doesn’t add much to the mix.
57mm and 30mm are also great weapons on a Corvette or even a FAC but on a $500million, 2000–3000 tonne white elephant you are not getting much bang for you buck.
Compared to a Houbei (ie a cutting edge FAC(M)), LCSs are a target not a threat.

One mission of LCS was to operate in the shallow coastal waters where FFG/CG/DDG cannot. So, will Navsea provide LCS with a real Gun Fire Control System ? GFCS needs to be able to shoot at surface contacts detected and tracked on RADAR ! D’uh… something WW-II ships somewhat. LCS can only shoot at Optically detected and tracked contacts. Even worse, LCS cannot be processing 6 different surface craft all for the eventual assignment to the GFCS. LCS can only send 1 (one) contact to GFCS for assignment and eventual engagement. If LCS kills a surf contact, it must re-start from scratch, the process to engage a 2nd surf contact. Time.… and your post mentions taking out Fast Attack with 30mm guns. I would rather not risk my $500,000,000 Cadillac LCS in a street fight at close ranges. I would prefer to risk maybe a $200,000,000 shallow water USN vessel in a street fight and VBSS ops. Using LCS-1 for VBSS and slugging it out a 30 mm ranges is ridiculous.

Posted this earlier but never saw it appear. Reference 57mm guns and other missiles:

1) Wikipedia says the muzzle velocity of the 57mm gun is around 1000 m/s. Obviously the round slows the farther it travels. At 10,000 meters it is past effective range and requires 10 seconds to get there. The small turning target is no longer there no matter how good and how many GFCS you have.
2) It is erroneous to assume you can start shooting at boats before you have established hostile intent. To establish that requires visual confirmation much closer than 10 kms.
3) Laser-designated missiles follow the laser spot that moves at the speed of light. If the target is turning, the laser spot and missile can be adjusted accordingly, unlike the gun round at long range.

Which is smaller ? LCS-1 or 2 broad on the beam, or a Fast Attack Craft / boat ? In order for USS FREEDOM, for example, to bring it’s one 30 mm gun mount to bear on a boat/craft, the LCS must turn so that most or all of its beam is exposed to the attacking craft. Have you ever looked at LCS1 or 2 on its beam ? They are monstrous, both visually as well as on radar. Same goes for the little Bofors / BAE gunmount on the bow, which is blocked 360 degrees until someone goes up on the forecastle and then lowers all the lifelines. Then the 57mm is only blocked for about 145 degrees. I would put my money on a small boat/craft vice an huge tgt like an LCS in any close-in gun battle. Once again, LCS should not be risked in a street battle since it so incredibly expensive.

BTW, in case you’re wondering why I wrote above “bring it’s one 30 mm gun mount to bear”, that’s because LCS cannot bring both of its 30mm gunmounts to fire on the same side of the ship at the same time. So, one mount could conceivably be firing at 5 little Boston Whalers all on the same side of the LCS. Not really much firepower, after all ! But, for only $500,000,000 each, if a fast attack craft was approaching on the LCS-1 port quarter, stern, or stbd quarter, that nice 57mm gun would never be able to open fire. And only 1 of the two 30mm mounts could be clear to fire. Not really so much firepower, agreed ?

Here is a “REAL” missile, proven to work against surface contacts:

Depending upon which so-called expert source you read, this NATO SEA SPARROW MISSILE has an effective range of probably around 20,000 yards ( which equals 10 nm roughly ). I realize that installed Nato missiles onto existing LCS designs would not be easy. But that terrible topside “design” needs to be totally re-done anyway to eliminate huge blind zones on passive, active sensors as well as the few actual weapons that this 3,100 ton “war” ship carries. Nato is a proven surf to surf and also surf to air missile that should be onboard LCS “war” ships that go into “Combat” within shallow littoral waters.

Cost prohibitive. Sea Sparrow missiles are expensive. Its the $1miillion dollar missile, $1000 boat and RPG scenario.

If 2 is correct then 1 is redundent. (If your not allowed to shoot at them, it doesn’t matter that you can’t hit them).
2 is not correct in all circumstances. Given good intel, good ISR assets and a hard manoevring target closing at 10km hostile intent can be established.
I also have issues with 1). A good GFCS decreases the time between acquisition and engagement, allows good tracking to be maintained at longer rangers. This forces a closing target to maneouvre harder. This complicates their targetting (imagine trying to fire an ATGM from a go-fast under hard wheel approx every 5 seconds) and delays the time it takes them to close the gun-gap (or conversely, increases that opportunity for the LCS to tactically withdraw).
In marginal conditions, at long range, (high sea-state, poor visibility. IE the conditions in which you cannot use a UCAV) these tracking issues will almost certainly also affect a Laser designation system based on an LCS.
A Griffin only has an adverstised 5500m surface-to-surface range, so in its current iteration your looking at a, roughly, 5.5 second reaction time for a small target agaisnt a 57mm. The 57mm is rapid firing PD/proximity fused ammunition agaisnt light craft.
Whilst your point about the ability to correct in flight with missiles is an important factor, I still don’t think it outways the cost of integrating the current iteration of Griffin into LCS. A Griffin ER is, perhaps, a different question (I’d also argue that an ER, non-Laser Designated Griffin, isn’t a Griffin missile). But, I tend to believe the best medium range defensive option for an LCS is a Griffin armed UCAV.

The Army bought these for Air to Surface applications — not surface to surface which is what NLOS was for. The bottom line is; this is what the Army can afford under the current budget constraints — penny or pound. Remember the NLOS System was for the BDE level — will 5km work for that? Maybe — maybe we can extend the range?

LCS = Little. Crappy. Ship.

$700M for a hull that does … well … nothing, really. $300M more than the hull and mission module was supposed to cost.

This missile won’t solve anything. The NLOS system concept assumed a lot — pretty much exact knowledge of how many small boats and where they were WELL before they could get close. I assume the concept behind the Griffin assumes the same thing, just without the range to hit them before they get too close to handle.

The ship did not have to meet survivability standards of other Navy warships, and believe me it doesn’t. So…expensive, check. Zero mission capability, check. Near zero survivability, check.

Congratulations, America. Let’s all enjoy our floating POS.

AQ Khan likely sold the Iranians the Urenco designs for both the P1/P2 and G4 ultrafuge, way back in the 90s. If the Iranians have the G4 up and running since 2001 or whenever it was that they acknowledged the hidden site next to Natanz, they have the bomb. They may not have it assembled but they have the bomb. Anything else is just semantics.

The USCG as discovered that running down 110+knot gofasts with a 120–130 knot MH-60R is just shy of impossible. They bought the MH-68 _specifically_ to have a platform that could ‘run up alongside’ and start popping engines on these long distance drugrunners with an AMR or M240 out the side door.

The Iranians already have several designs for followon PCIs that are just shy of being submersibles with RAM and shaping to go with a very fast looking hull form. Not yer daddy’s boghammars folks. Given–

1. The U.S.S. Cole.
2. Not every one of those ‘boston whalers’ has to be manned by children with plastic keys around their
3. The Iranians aren’t going to be running away and can choose their ambush point.
4. They already have the ability to put the straits of Hormuz under continuous rocket fire.
5. Rayleigh Taylor.

Add it up. It spells disaster for the LCS. And any inshore mission it is supporting.

Netfires originally incorporated a LAM to provide persistent surveillance cueiing of the PAMs. What is missing here is something similar and better performing than an RQ-8 (more speed, more altitude = longer surveillance horizon, I’m thinking Sea Ferret).

Drop the Estes toy rockets and go microturbine on the kill effector. Something like the LOCAAS (200nm flyout, match bearing, top attack= no miss) comes to mind here.

Assuming sanity prevails in the Navy with the departure of Brother Obama, these ships are likely going to be employed as replacements for the aging PC-class Cyclones which are nearly all snake eater boats. As such, I see a need to support ‘unacknowledged’ STOM/RAT type operations well into the trans-littoral, not just a bunch of dark and uglies coming out through the white water with indigs shooting into the waves.

The entire LCS landattack/ASUW system should ideally be able to support both mission sets out of the same roro deck can.

Little ***** sheed


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