A warbird materializes in Tampa Bay

A warbird materializes in Tampa Bay

The Navy’s own “Klingon warbird,” the littoral combat ship USS Independence, has at long last rejoined the outside world after months in the yard. The ship arrived Friday in St. Petersburg, Fla., where Navy officials are eager to get the word out about LCS and bring aboard as many locals as they can for tours. Visiting or just looking at the Independence is one of the top local “Things To Do” down there this Labor Day weekend — there’s no other warship in the fleet like it.

So what can the Independence do besides look cool? Good question. We can presume the ship’s corrosion issues are resolved since it was given the green light to leave Naval Station Mayport, Fla., and that it’s seaworthy because it made the trip around the state, and that it’s handling flight operations now — the ship stood into Tampa Bay with an MH-60 helicopter on its flight deck. We know that Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead just visited the Independence’s sibling, the USS Coronado, under construction in Mobile, Ala., and pronounced himself “very impressed” with what he saw.

Floating, navigating, and recovering aircraft — these are important abilities for a warship and its crew, but they fall well short of what the Navy brass has spent years saying it needed from the Independence and the other LCSes. At least the Independence is now available as a second test platform for the LCS interchangeable mission equipment, and the Navy brass has a choice about how it can move forward with integrating it into the fleet.

Last year, the Navy sent the first LCS, the USS Freedom, on what admirals called an “early deployment” — actually a drawn-out homeport change from the East Coast to San Diego — to show how far along LCS really was and how versatile the ship could be even without its unmanned accessories. On its cruise, the Freedom intercepted a few drug shipments in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific and got a chance for some of its first extended training with the fleet in the Pacific. But a congressional report last fall concluded that early deployment, however it may have helped the Navy’s sales pitch for LCS, actually had hurt the program overall: During the time the Freedom was on its “deployment,” it was unavailable to help test LCS mission equipment, which may have delayed the whole program, said the Government Accountability Office.

Now that the Independence is once again available for tasking, so to speak, Navy leaders are probably wondering how much time it should spent at sea demonstrating its on-board capabilities and how much it should be used to try to make up time and research on the LCS mission equipment. There was talk awhile ago about sending the Independence on a mission like the one the Freedom did –perhaps to the Mediterranean — but it’s hard to get a complete picture of the total LCS situation, and what effect that might have. For now, the ship’s crew is probably just very glad for the change of scenery.

Join the Conversation

The LCS program makes me nervous. It is possible to give these ships more offensive capabilities? Does the LCS compare more with a frigate or a Corvette class ship

Are they just keeping it there for a few years till funding for the LCS returns?

They damn well better get to testing and integrating those modules. They are literally a 4000 ton speed boat with a 57mm gun until those modules are working.

I agree, what’s with the lack of armament on this and even other proven USN ships? Ever look at the armament on a 80-s or 90’s Soviet ship? It’s like reading the phone book, they are bristling with weapons systems. But in the west, we have ships like this LCS with one piddly pop gun, and old Perry class FFG’s with 6 tiny Mk46 torps, a 3″ gun, and a helicopter.…ridiculous!

This LCS should have TWO dual mounted 57″ class guns to increase the fire rate which would make them actually useful for supporting troops on the beach or shooting at a/c/missiles/other ships. Then they should have a mini vls system with at least 20 weapons, a mix of antisub rockets/SM2/3etc and anti ship missiles. THEN it should have at least 2 of the 25mm class weapons. Now THAT would be a WARship.

I still can’t wrap my head around what they are trying to do with this class of LCS ships. A 44 knot 2500 ton ship that can act like an mini assault ship with all that cargo capacity, yet don’t give it any offensive weapons like anti ship/air/sub missiles, and only give it the SeaRam CIWS and a couple of 30mm mounts for defence? And then, no ship mounted sonar other than a piddly little mine clearing system, and rely completely on the towed array and helo’s for ASW? Insanity.

I think Phil is assuming facts not in evidence. I don’t believe the LCS-2 is fixed yet. The details he left out is whether the LCS-2 has been to shipyard for PSA and correction of corrosion issues

From the way the Corrosion “issues” were described, Lee, I highly doubt they could have taken her past the breakwater if she hadn’t been to the yard yet.

Think future, few people understand what the final capabilities of this this type of ship will present. We are in a time of great change, large guns and even larger bravado will not win the conflicts of the future. Old sailors, old mind sets will not be convinced, nor need we try. Think forward, we have some pretty bright and patriotic people making decisions that will effect this navy 20 plus years from now.

Damn right; these things aren’t as well armed as a stryker vehicle. Many of those have 105mm guns, some are 4.2 inch mortar platforms. We’ve got to start getting more bang for our buck.

Fred, happy happy thoughts does not a warship make

We NEED bravado not feel good thoughts about the glorious future in some vaporware do all be all modules that will save the day and ensure that the sun will always shine

The problem is that we have neither bright nor patriotic people in charge right now-we have STUPID people in charge

If the LCS is pointing the way to the future as you suggest then we are truly F..ked

My question is what happens when one of them get hit? That tiny crew is exhausted at the end of a normal cruise, what happened when you get in a real damage control situation and the workload doubles or triples? IN this case I am guessing they sink.

The LCS has on is current design no any battle value and nearly all Frigates of the Word War Two was better armed them this ship. All important world Powers like Russia and China and other smaller Nation equip their ship with massive arsenal of different weapons. For example the Russian Gepard class frigate/Corvette how is with just 1800 tons clear smaller them the LCS is equip with 8X SS-N-25 Switchblade Anti-Ship Missiles how are better them the Harpoon and also with 4 Torpedo tubes and the one RBU-6000 ASW system and one Osa launcher for Air Defense. And the real bad news is what for you can get 4 Gepard frigates for the price of just one unarmed LCS. But it is possible what the LCS can be armed with real weapons like ESSM or Harpoon but this will never happen, the LCs will remain a relic of a catastrophic of confusion and idiotic ideology of the War on Terror and Asymmetric fanatics how has waste hundreds billions for equipment how has never became operational or will never be good for something like the LCS.

The USA has spent hundreds of Billions to prepare their Armed Force for small Asymmetric Wars how will never take place and totally forget to prepare their Force for Wars against real enemy’s with real weapons.

There’s a Facebook page you can like “Sink the LCS”

Amen. People are stuck in the mindset that you only kill a tank with a tank (think Hellfire and F-35 Small Diameter Bomb II), a plane with a plane (think air defense and airfield attack), and a surface ship with a surface ship (think aircraft or sub). They act as if LCS is fighting in isolation with no overhead, larger surface, or undersea support.

Three LCS use the same crew quantity and procurement budget to be in three places instead of one, and the speed to reinforce one another and move the lily pad closer to the earlier launched helicopters. If a destroyer is sunk then 300 are endangered and need rescue. With LCS it is closer to 100 and they have their own on board evacuation helicopters and small boats with ample room for a larger rescue helicopter.

Would we prefer to move SEALS closer to shore in an Arleigh Burke with 300 Sailors or a dash-in and dash-out in LCS with 100 exposed for far less time. How shallow can that destroyer go?

I’m guessing the other 20 ships in the battle group will assist

Ok, please explain this
–the LCS is “fighting” with what? A 57mm gun! and what exactly are they fighting, other ship, subs, aircraft?
-“being in three places instead of one” again fighting what enemy with a 57mm gun
–in what scenario would you ever bring Seals to shore in a 3000ton ship? That’s just plain stupid. Seal are covert, they don’t advertise their presence with a 3000ton ship
–did the know the LCS-2 is all aluminum? Did you know aluminum burns or have you forgotten? That’s why we stop building ship with aluminum superstructures long ago but I guess we forgot that lesson
-“on board evacuation helicopters” what world are you living in, if the LCS gets hit with a missile most of it will be GONE, there won’t be any evacuation, most of the crew will be dead or disabled and the helo’s will be destroyed or blow overboard

Araya no can good english but point good makes!

The LCS-2 is a over-built muscle builder with a tiny shrunken “man-hood” and a glass jaw ;-D

Who are you fighting? What nations have numerous surface ships, aircraft, and subs capable of withstanding LCS’s back-up surface, sub, and air capabilities. Which aluminum superstructure FFG were sunk since 1975? USS Stark survived Exocets & Samuel Robert survived mines. Neither would have sailed so close with so large a crew if LCS existed. Some weapons will sink a LCS or Destroyer with equal ease. If you can launch equal air assets from either ship, why not limit the exposure and spread the helicopters?

The 57mm gun, plus whatever missile they replace NLOS-LS with will be sufficiently effective against most smaller boats in littorals and against pirates and drugrunners. Don’t forget the MH-60 Hellfires, counter-sub, and countermine capabilities and other unmanned systems. The Navy even plans to arm Fire Scout or its larger Bell 407 variant.

If a destroyer stays 100 miles from shore, wouldn’t an LCS dash-in to 8 miles help SEALS swim less distance? Can you land small Marine contingents in shallow water allied ports near enemy borders?

I guess the one gun would be good until it breaks, is taken out, or you have 50 Iranian speedboats coming at you.

At which time the LCS departs at 45 knots (FFG might get caught at 30 kts), continuing to shoot at chasing (and falling behind) speedboats while eventually getting to a point where helicopters can launch (if not already airborne in dangerous waters) to pick off boats one at a time. Of course the F-35s and F/A-18E/F also arrive and strafe. There also will be a NLOS-LS replacement.

Move_Forward I’m afraid is living in happy happy land

–Iranian boghammers are faster then the LCS, now what?
–how can you run away and engage the enemy on your stern when your 57mm will be masked by the superstructure, don’t tell me your going to zig zag-you’ll lose what little distance you have?
–a helo cannot stay airborne for long and it doesn’t have an endless supply of helfire missiles
–what is the helo going to do when it has 12 heat seeking MANPAD missiles streaking towards it from the speedboats?
–the carrier is not always going to be near, the carrier is not going to be in restricted waters, even it they were say only 100 miles away, it’s still going to take time to arm and launch the planes and to fly to the location, by that time the LCS will be sunk will all hands

3 Words: China, Iran, .…OK, 4 words: China, Iran, Muslim spring. 3completely different scenarios, 3 different needs. Each has a need for our Navy to be prepared and ready to defend OUR INTERESTS world wide.

In summary, there is a need for the Lattorials, as well as the good ole’ legacy craft.

Quick math exercise BigRick. If a Iranian boghammer is traveling 60 mph and an LCS 50 mph, and the LCS employs its speed and evasive action 10 miles before the boghammer is in range, how long will it be before the boghammer catches the LCS. Answer: one hour and 50 LCS miles later. By then all manner of Marine Cobras, & other LCS MH-60 will be all over those boghammers with other teamed LCS closing rapidly.

Of course the LCS will zig zag to engage the speed boats and create wakes that will make pursuit at 100 kms/hour impossible, probably sinking half the boats that try. Some manner of missile also will replace NLOS-LS. MANPADs are defeated by IR countermeasures. How many helicopters have been shot down in the latest wars by MANPAD. Ever wonder why that was?

Final math exercise, how long will it take carrier F-35s flying at 700 mph to reach the LCS/boghammer if for some crazy reason they are 700 miles away. Answer: one hour. How about the Marine carrier only 350 miles distant. Half an hour.…ain’t math great.

The LCS make also in Asymmetric Wars not sense. The Idea of the LCS was to create a small and cheap ship for a price of 220 Million and not the 800 Million how cost the LCS now to fight Asymmetric treatments how not really exist today.

And all this was part of the post 9/11 Ideology of the War on Terror fanatics how have decided what all Future Wars will be like Afghanistan. Now the LCS cost Four or Five time more them planed and can about nothing and the so called “treatments “ for what he was created are remain marginal or not existent. The Question is now them you really need an 800 Million ship to hunt Somali Pirates with AK47 and RPG7 in small 30 Dollar Boats? And for all other mission the LCS is not capable so you cannot fight other Ships how are better armed them a Patrol Boat and you can not fight large Groups of high Speed boats. In every Scenario the LCS fail, it is good for nothing but it cost a lot of Money. For the Price of 3 LCS you can get a Virginia SSN or a DDG51 how can fight real wars and defeat peer enemies. And then you really wish to fight the Iranian Islamists in there brown water better said in the Persian Gulf you will not need the LCS why a squadron of F18 can kill every Iranian ship without risk.

With other words why you need to fight with an Aluminum Hull LCS how is equipped with a small gun and short range missiles dozens of high speed Boats how are equipped with anti-ship rockets and driven by fanatics them you can eliminated this guys with F18 and later F35 fighters from safe range in short time ?

Also is the Idea of the LCS for ASW Mission impracticable. Simple why then you hunt Submarines in Littoral water you need a strong on Board ASW System or better said a much better Sonar and a ASROC System why your ASW Helicopters can be shut down by costal Air defense. The LCs has in sutch a Asymetric Scenario just is Helicopters how cannot still 24 Hours operational and how most be also in Air before they can attack the enemy and how are in the same time treated by Costal Air defense or MANPADS how can be fired form small boats.

My conclusion is what the LCs is simple idiotic and this on all aspects and he must be kill now!

Araya, In March 2011 the Navy awarded LockMart $376,6 million for LCS-7 & Austal/GD $368.6 million for LCS-8. So the Navy can buy three of each ship for around $1.1 billion, less the GFE, electronics, & mission modules. An April 2011 CRS report cited a 2010 Arleigh Burke Flight IIA price of $2.2 billion and a Virginia class sub is a similar price if not mistaken. The Flight IIA is closest to an LCS due to its hangar. It has a crew including flight detachment of 32 officers and 348 enlisted Sailors compared to an LCS crew of 70–100.

Second, aside from IR countermeasures, perhaps you can imagine the difficulty of trying to stand in a small speedboat attempting to use an RPG or MANPAD at 60 mph in heavy seas made heavier by the wake of the turning LCS. If coastal defenses are engaging our MH-60s, they have a lot more to worry about than the LCS.

LCS is all wrong. What is it for? __Iranian Speedboats__The Iranian speedboat threat is over rated and limited to … well the Iranians, and in anycase that is not really about the littorals. It is not sufficient cause to justify a whole class of expensive warships armed with several different types of tiny weapons. If such a threat were to present itself, surely we would be better to meet it with helicopters and UAV’s? That is what the LCS would do if it met a speedboat swarm. Why would it be in Iranian territorial waters anyway? If it was we would be in an entirely different ball game of high intensity conflict in which the LCS would be entirely out of its depth.__Pirates near the Horn of Africa__This is another threat which is limited to one location and may soon vanish altogether. Pirates do not sail in high tech speedboats and current practice is not to sink them but ‘capture and release’

“… we have some pretty bright and patriotic people making decisions that will effect this navy 20 plus years from now.”

There may be some not so bright people in the mix, too, that might be persuasive and push a plan forward for political reasons.

Absolut right, the LCS is the product of a totally stupid forecast how was done under the completely ignore of the Historic lessons (The USA has never get the War for what he was prepared) and the Facts what the largest part of the World are not Afghanistan, Iraq or Somalia with other Words the LCS is the product of Rumsfeld “War on Terror” ideology.

The problem of the entire US defense is the constant attempt to predict the nature of the next likely war and prepare for just this probably Scenario. As consequence the USA get never the War for what he is prepared but every time the War for what he is not prepared with bloody consequence. The entire thinking of the US Military is broken and this is the only explain for the incredible inefficiency of the US Military the LCs is just an example for it.

An intelligent strategy is based on the prevention of the treatment with the biggest potential to harm not on the most probably treatment. A hostage taking by Somali pirates is sure more probably them a World War 3 but the first is not a treatment for the USA itself a Word War 3 will possible bee the end of the USA as nation. So the USA has to prepare for the Scenario how is the biggest treatment the treatment how can cost the USA as most. With other Words the USA can managed a Pirates attack against US Ships with real Weapons like a DDG51 and beat also terrorist around the with conventional Weapons like a F16,A10, a Cruise Missile or other weapons. But the USA cannot manage with “weapons” like the LCS a war against red China, Russia or another Army with high capabilities. And exactly this Symmetric Scenarios has the potential to kill Millions of Americans or even to destroy the USA itself.

So the USA needs more SSN, more DDGs and new Fighters like the F35 and surly not expensive miscarriages like the LCS. A god and cheap alternative to the LCS is for example a Frigate based on the National Security Cutter or simply more DDG51.

But unfortunately it looks like what the DOD is unable to recognize the reality and also unable to change is insane thinking how are based on meaningless Words like “transformation”. So the LCS will continued a while longer and Billions will be waste and to the end the USA will not have enough SSN, DDGs and other useful Weapons but they will have a fleet of useless LCS.

Move_Foreward, are you being paid to come up this nonsense?

“LCS’s back-up surface, sub, and air capabilities” what the heck are you talking about?

did we just hear from the “dark side”? “All important world Powers like Russia and China”. Russia has-been fleet and China yet to be fleet

2 years from now the LCS will only be a memory…Pork only, brought to you by the empty hats at the Pentagon and by the idiots in Congress.

It simply means LCS will not fight in isolation. Teams of LCS will operate together from what I’ve read, and other larger carrier battle group destoyers, cruisers, subs and Marine amphibious ships will be in the relative vicinity. No, I’m unassociated with LCS but do live in Alabama. IMHO, we don’t need bad arguments robbing our state of jobs and the Navy of effective combat ships.

With war you must understand the game or situation if you will, with the flip of the coin you may choose offence or defense. which choice is better?

LCS compares with an average corvette, at BEST. It in no way approximates a frigate. The best ship to compare it to is probably the USGC National Security cutters, about the same overall set-up.

You’re making lots of assumptions
–you assuming the LCS can react when the bad are within ten miles? Well you’re already dead if they are that close
–you’re assuming that the badguys don’t get any hits on the LCS while it is running away
–you’re assuming that you have an unlimited supply of 57mm ammo and that you gun doesn’t break in the heat of battle
–you assuming you have UNRESTRICTED waters to make you maneuver
–you’re assuming the enemy is stupid and is coming from a single direction-not very likely
–you’re assuming you have a direction of escape
–you’re assuming you have a carrier nearby and with available aircraft
–you’re assuming you have Marine Cobras nearby
–you’re assuming you have NLOS– are hear the term“VAPERWARE” before
–you’re assuming A LOT when you say you can “sink half of them“
–you assuming A LOT when you say a helo can take out a lot of speedboats, this assumes that the helo is actually flying and armed already, and not sitting on the deck
–now let’s do some REAL math and tell me how fast the LCS will be disabled and sunk when it gets hit by rockets and missiles?

It’s nice to DO MATH when you have a PERFECT world isn’t it?

let’s hope for our sailors that you are correct, I certainly wouldn’t want to be stationed on one during wartime

USS Independence is 2800 tons but is aluminum (the other version is 3000 tons) and can carry much more internally than a too-old-to-upgrade FFG-7 Oliver Perry at 4200 tons. It is much faster and has a crew half as large at most. Bottom line: the Navy wants more $550 million LCS, not fewer $3 billion DDG-1000 or $1.8 billion Oliver Perry Flight IIA. National Security Cutter had its own problems.

I’m assuming that Navy LCS commanders are smart enough to deploy their helicopter and UAS when near potential threats & have back-up ships within reasonable range in deeper waters. I’m assuming they know that only one U.S. Navy ship has been attacked successfully by anti-ship missiles and that was back in 1987. If these are bad assumptions then it is little wonder so many Navy commanders are being relieved.

We know LCS can go much shallower than other Navy surface ships and shallow waters are adjacent to deeper waters. I’m also assuming the bad guys in little boats attempting 60 mph are getting rocked around so much by the wake that they become naseus, cannot stand to shoot, and quickly run out of gas. I know that a lot of what Iran and other nations claim to have is not as capable as claimed.…“Iranware.”

My comparison is solely based upon weaponry. The FFG-7s when new had a one-armed bandit forward for firing a variety of missiles, 2 triple torp launchers, the main gun amidships, and the capibility to support helicopter ops for missions from convoy protection to anti-submarine warfare. LCS has no organic missile capability, poor sonar, and very little in the way of weaponry on the whole. It’s only major advantage is in helicopter support.

Oh, forgot to mention an interview video on an August 3, 2011 “Danger Room” David Axe article that shows the LCS commander describing how the ship literally can run circles around pirates and use the wake as a weapon. However, the article while long & informative, is not necessarily accurate in its denigration. After clicking on links that implied it could not operate with carrier groups (exception, not the rule) the link said something completely different. Also, Admiral Harvey’s testimony was not critical at all despite use of the word “rebuked” in Axe’s article on page 7.

But the article successfully evokes imagining LCS being effective in the Straits of Hormuz, Straits of Mallacca, near Singapore, South China Sea, and Caribbean. My personal favorite not in the Axe article but potentially implied if operating with a carrier group is a Naval War College author that has written about LCS laying a smokescreen in front of carriers to thwart DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles. Paraphrasing Admiral Harvey’s actual testimony, learn from LCS…don’t expect it to fit into current Naval carrier group doctrinal expectations.

Is the Navy still relevent?

Lets see, 11 CVNs, 10 CVWs, 100+ AEGIS ships, 40+ SSNs, etc. We have plenty of high end ships, we need economical ships to handle everything else. The LCS is scheduled to replace the patrol ships formerly called FFGs, the MHCs, and the PCs. Its not a Frigate, its a patrol ship that can do missions that formally required a dedicated platform (MCM) and still do all the low end missions that don’t require a DDG. For instance, why do you need a CG to stop Haitian refugees or a DDG to deal with pirates?

So a really expensive DDG to chase pirates makes sense but a half that price LCS doesn’t? And if the DDG is chasing pirates, or worried about refugees, or carrying minewarfare gear, etc it is not where we need it when the ball goes up.

Take a look at a map. First, notice where Mayport is in relation to the track of the last Hurricane. Notice also that Panama City, FL is nearby as well. Hmmm… they are either doing hurricane evasion or, more likely (since the post inferred that they have been scheduled for the port visit for awhile), they are testing MIW modules. A quick check of the helo, if its a S instead of a R you are talking MIW module, would give some clarity.

LCS is nothing more than a frigate without teh offensive firepower. Keep the frigates and
dump the LCS.

You keep forgetting, the concept of the LCS was to have a “minimal hull mounted capability” and infinitely capable mission modules. Unfortunately the developers apparently ALSO forgot. If you wanted a shore bombardment LCS, it could easily be done (with two or three appropriate mission modules). If you wanted an ISR platform, again easily done. It would be the same, for ASW and potentially even ASuW or AAW, but you have to have the appropriate mission modules designed, working and “in stock”.

Is the bare bones hull for either design pretty anemic as it sits in the water? Yeppers, but it does have a billet for an “officer in command” and many billets for the acquisition folk! Until those mission modules are stacked on the docks to be loaded, does it have a credible USN wartime capability ..… . . Hmmmmmm….

You, sir, do in fact see the problem. Hopefully a few others, in positions to make a difference, will see the same, and that problem is most emphatically NOT closer and more rigorous management of SPI and CPI.

I agree that US ships, at least in the last 50 years or so, have been focused on a lot of things (creature comforts, comm and other electronics, etc) in place of weapon systems. Its not JUST the old Soviet ships that tended to “outgun” US equivalents (although theirs did seem to be the most weapon laden of all!).

As much as I like the “steel on target” there are competing concerns and SOME of the tradeoffs were certainly valid. The problem is, as often seems to be the case, that the logic “pendulum” tends to swing back and forth. At some point, hopefully in our past, we analyzed away much of the need to do physical damage to the enemy in exchange for being able to discern at 100 NM what was being served in his mess decks! Not sure that the LCS is the culmination, but certainly if some of those “steel on target” mission modules dont soon roll out, it is going to appear to be a cruise ship with a saluting gun!

dump LCS, sure. but dump the useless figs, too. Just buy a bunch of PCs.

Mr. Mover… math is good, but its a terrible two edged sword. For example, how long can an F-35 (or F-22, or F-15, or F/A-18, or just about anything but an SR-71!) SUSTAIN 700mph? Do the math! If those Boghammers are attempting to envelop the LCS and attack from all sides, all they have to do is stay “outside” of the zigs and zags, and the more exaggerated the zigs, the slower the line of advance! Do the math!. Also do the math, including the angle of incidence, for the interaction between the “wake” and the Boghammers. That LCS wake, taken bow on, is not even comparable to the natural sea state produced by even a small storm! Math is terrible if left undone and poorly understood.

National defense should be about the best way to keep the US safe, not about a jobs program. LCS has not been shown to be effective, and as a former fig sailor, I’ll flat out say they aren’t either. I’d feel safer with 3 PCs replacing each frigate, and the LCS capped at the currently commissioned boats. Study their cool new ideas, but don’t drain our funding for ideas that aren’t really ready to deploy yet, and save the money for boats that do work. Just because the PC is Not Made Here is no reason to double down on expensive toys that don’t work yet and that spiral out of fiscal control.

Those Iranian boats are certainly not as capable as some of the Iranian propagandists might claim but neither are they as incapable as some western propagandists would propose. LOOK AT THE SPECS for western equivalents including the commercial Boghammar motor yachts! It might not be COMFORTABLE to ride along at 70 knots (and that is nautical miles per hour!) in 6 ft waves, in any boat, but. .. . could it be done? Would it incapacitate the boat crew? I would consider some research into the unlimited offshore racing boats and their sea keeping abilities before I would make any such claims as the above. Not knowing is excusable, refusing to know .…. hmmmmm. .. .

UNLESS someone actually executes the original plan for the LCS and puts some meaningful mission modules in place.… .

LOL! Be very careful of what you read, particularly if you dont bother to think it through, both in terms of the technical content and the authors’ agendas. If you are just advocating jobs for Alabama, thats more than understandable in todays economy. Just dont make unfounded arguements for your objective, it damages your credibility on the legitimate issue, and this is probably the wrong forum anyway! :-)

Accepting that argument, which I do not, the mission modules planned do not give it a credible capability. It’s planned MCM capability module does not replace the existing fleet on a capabilities basis, the sonar aboard both LCS’s is not capable of confidently identifying an inbound torpedo and you can’t exactly count on a towed array for that; there are situations where you just can’t have that deployed. Don’t even get me started on the LCS air defense capability, or lack there of, though to be fair that is a fleet wide problem so that’s the Navy’s fault and not her designers. The LCS was not designed for war, she is designed for policing and anti-piracy alone. It is a peacetime feel-ggod craft.

Hehehehe! I do in fact agree with you with respect to the “planned” mission modules and the capability without some meaningful ones! The towed sonar is only a very partial capability. It goes SOME of the way but not all the way. Area air defense, even if the best of all situations, for a surface ship, has gotten very hard, on the other hand a credible air SELF defense is at least possible on a small warship.… but you have got to do something beyond a single 57mm deck gun. Take note that you COULD lash down a Patriot battery on the helo deck and have a pretty credible “mission module” albeit limiting that “helo capability” that some tout to high heaven! LOL! Mission modules developed around “off the shelf” USMC and US Army systems (Patriot, SLAMRAAM, Avenger, surface launched Hellfire, C-RAM, M-777, PTSD, AMOS, etc) could make LCS very credible in one role or another, particularly in the “littoral” where part of the battle space is by definition dirt, but.… . .why not? Perhaps a serious case of “NIH”? (Not Invented Here).… ….

Damage control is one of those “unpopular” areas of concern that had to be discarded to play to the “minimal crew” concept foisted on the USN by the accountants. The ugly fact is that no amount of “automation” can grab mattresses and railroad ties to plug holes and shore up bulkheads. Once the crew necessary for those functions is onboard, there is less reason not to put them to work in non-damage control scenarios, and therefore less justification for automating the rest of the ship’s tasks. No need for automation, .… …no justification for new ship…. :-(

If all of those other 20 ships are also “minimally manned” can they affort to send their own precious few damage control teams to any other ship?

Of course we replaced those archaic damage control partiess with “enlightened” analyses that show that the ships can never be hit, or are so inoffensive as to never justify an attack by any reasonable opponent.

What a bunch of B.S., The LCS’s are crap, admitt it USN!

I am not a navy guy but I would think any warship should expect to get hit. The LCS is made from Al. During the Fauklands action ships with Al. superstructure when hit burned so hot the fires were almost impossibe to contain. I believe the US Navy insisted that new naval ships should be steel after seeing the havoc on Brit ships. What happened to change this outlook ? I can not imagine the small LCS crew fighting a fire of this type and trying to fight the ship at the same time.
As an aside I recall a study was done about how vunerable(sp.?) a thin skinned ship was to .50 cal machine gun fire even ships larger than the LCS to the point of sinking. The LCS is not a good use of scant dollars

I don’t think anyone has a good word to say about LCS. One aspect I do get however, is the way it can employ a number of different platforms in order to cover a far wider area of sea for interdiction or mine clearance. That is all good and well. I reckon that if the LCS is about being a global policeman and picking up drug smugglers and pirates, it would be better and cheaper to build ocean going coast guard ships


LCS should be general purpose stealth frigates for blue water operations, equipped for high intensity conflicts, such ships will always take asymetic warfare missions in their stride.

A fast, Grey painted. Coast Guard cutter.……

I would refer you to this little article.… .

The HMS Ardent and HMS Antelope were Type 21 frigates, not grossly different from the LCS in terms of construction and size, and both were sunk, but through multiple, major hits, not just the aluminum fires. A significant shortfall for the HMS Sheffield as well as these two frigates was the limited damage control capabilities available after the hits, even through all three were “fully crewed” ships. If you want to poke at the LCS (and DDG-1000) look at the lessons that could have been learned with respect to manning and damage control capabilities.

Is that why we keep firing CO’s? They may not be as smart as you think?

Worse.…. A fast, grey painted, over priced Coast Guard cutter.

Better yet, Go to Bloom & Voss in Germamy. Buy one of their designs off the shelf. Even Sweden’s Visby class would make more sense.

Oh yes, should I point out that a pirate band in a wooden dory with an outboard can be and supposedly have been swamped with a fire hose from the deck of a supertanker or container ship? A “Boghammar” class, militarized patrol boat is a horse of a very different color, much more challenging to “run circles around” and not quite as fragile as that pirate dory.

Laying a smoke screen out in front of a carrier to distract a missile that comes screaming down out of space in a sub-orbital trajectory sounds a bit weak don’t you think? It’s all in the math and physics wouldn’t you say?

Yeah, the Samual B Roberts handled minesweeping pretty good!

The modular idea is a good one, but the LCS is a ship built NOW for a premise that MAY materialize in a few years, if we feed the development well enough. It LOOKs cool, but can’t really DO anything yet. I say use the welldeck of an old amphib to test the modules til they actually work, stop building LCS’ until then, and replace the useless frigates with more new PCs until that day. But I’d also slow-track the module work due to budget austerity — we’d keep plugging at it, but not try to push for too much, too fast.

I think more future than you, and I say the LCS is a good idea built before it should have been. Further, you not only must try, you must succeed in convincing the older sailors — without our buy-in, your younger sailors won’t succeed with their wild new ideas.

Do they have cookies? Seriously, though, we can still learn from them.

Nothing but a glorified PT boat, and about as effective as they were in WWII. Wonder why the DOD is facing drastic cuts? Boondoggles like this, the F-22 and F-35. Overpriced, and after the numerous snafus during acquisition, budget overruns, and the like, they are obsolete by the time they are successfully fielded!

Look at the F-22; billions spent, and they are grounded because the oxygen generation system is causing hypoxia in out pilots! Simply ridiculous!

The Problem is a LCS cost not just 376, 6 million only the aluminum hull cost this price and so it is booked in the DOD Budget. But you must add to this 376, 6 million the cost for the electronic how is not included and also the cost for the Mission Modules how are all in the moment in developing. So you will see what the cost will figure by about 600–700 million for are useless ship.

In compare a DDG51 or a Virginia SSN cost about 2, 2 Billions but these ships are enabling to fight symmetric and asymmetric wars. So a DDG51 can protect a carrier Group against a massive conventional Attack (ASW, Air, Cruise Missiles and also against Ballistic missiles) and he can also attack important targets on Land in 700 miles distance. A Virginia SSN can sunk every enemy ship beginning from a small boat to a carrier or another SSN or SSBN and also attack land targets in 700 miles distance and he can use also spec ops.

A LCS can in compare with these ships exactly nothing he cannot beat any other battleships starting from a 40 year old soviet corvette. The LCs is just an Aluminum hull with strong engines and a lot of unused place with a weak electronic and a small gun and all this to the price of a full armed Frigate. Hear a compare between the LCS and a smaller Russian build corvette of the Gepard Class how is sell to Vietnam.

Freedom class
Displacement: 3,000 t
Length: 115 m
Beam: 17.5 m
Draft:3.9 m

1X1x Mk 110 57 mm gun
1X RAM Launcher with 21x Missiles
2X MH-60R/S Seahawk or 2XMQ8

Gepard class Frigate/Corvette

Displacement: 1,500 tons (standard), 1,930 tons (full load)
Length: 102.14 m.
Beam:13.09 m
Draught: 5.3 m

8X SS-N-25 Switchblade Anti-Ship missiles
1X Osa-M Surface-to-Air missile system (one twin launcher, 20 SA-N-4 Gecko missiles)
1X 76.2 mm Canon
2X 30mm CIWS (AK-630)
4X 533 mm torpedo tubes
1X RBU-6000 12-barreled Anti-Submarine rocket launcher
And additional to this Arming 12–20 modern mines.

With other Words the Gepard is smaller them the LCs but enable to fight Air, See and Underwater Treatments and hypothetical to sunk a Carrier or a SSN. And a Gepard class Corvette/Frigate cost just about 250 Million Dollar.

The LCS is a design how was created under completely false requirements. Why the USN needs the LCS, you really need a Ship to fight Pirates how are just a local problem in Somalia or you really needing a ship to fight small Iranian Boats in the Persian Golf? The answer is no, to fight Iranian Boats you use better a Fighter like a F18E/F or a P8 or P3 Orion or Helicopters like the AH1Z and to fight Pirates you need just Helicopters or a small boat with a Cal 50. The USN needs netter Offensive and Defensive Weapons and more Ships like the DDG51 or the Virginia Class to deter the Chinese Buildup but not the LCS.

My opinion and you can get for the price of a LCS more them a Visby class Corvette. For the Price of a LCS you can rally get an Absalom Frigate (Multifunction’s Ships) how can everything from Ship to Ship fight, Air Defense to Landing Troops with tanks on the Enemy cost.

The LCS is less than a frigate why the LCS is not really blue water reedy and so designed what it will really hard to equip the LCS with real Weapons like ESSM or Harpoon Missiles.

thing is that every time it goes to sea it is a single purpose platform with a little gun, all of the mission modules cannot be loaded at one time. We got taken to the cleaners period — we should had coppied the visby class to some extent, at least it has more full time weapons along with interchangeable modules and it cost less to boot.

Yeah, the math/physics of IR/radar sensors trying to see through elevated multispectral smoke completely engulfing the carrier. Of course that is just countermeasure 5 or 6 since over-the-shore radars would quickly be jammed/gone, UAS shot down/lost, satellites blinded/destroyed, missiles jammed/infected/SM’d, the subs found/sunk, the J-20 destroyed by F-35s/F-22s, and their airfields/fuel destroyed by sub/destroyer cruise missiles and bomber JASSM-ER.…

Fast patrol boats are something like 0 and 40 in recent years. We sunk Iranian ones that tried in the 80s and destroyed several other ships and their gulf oil assets shortly after the USS Samuel Roberts incident.

Who has the more stable platform, the LCS .50 cal and 30mm/57mm gunners, the Griffin shooter using an elevated mast sensor, the MH-60s using standoff Hellfires, the Fire Scout laser Griffin/2.75″…

You don’t see too many sea-capable cigar boats attempting to shoot anything and none outrun military helicopters on ships. Both LCS versions have helicopter decks substantially larger than Arleigh Burke destroyers.

You are missing the point that many nations arm their Corvettes to the teeth because they have few to no destroyers. That’s all they got which is hardly the case for the U.S. Don’t see any mention of helicopters on that Gepard let alone MH-60 and CH-53/MV-22 sized. How fast are those small Corvettes? What would they cost if built in the U.S.?

The U.S. must be in many places facing many threats far from home and we can’t afford the destroyers to cover everything in numbers. I see the Saudis and Israelis still interested in our LCS. Let the R&D for upgrading the LCS go into those ships…get the cheaper LCS built as is right now. Can you put a 20’x8’ container on the deck of a Gepard and get it on an elevator leading down to an 11.000 square foot space? LCS can be a mini-LPD complete with Strykers/M-ATVs.

Ahem … Its “cigarette boats”, and yes an LCS equipped with any credible anti-tank guided missile system (Hellfire, Griffin, et al) would be a very different target for patrol boats than the “bare hull” LCSs that we see today. And I think I can safely assume that a couple of MH-60Rs, loaded out with precision guided Hydra missiles would make for a very difficult situation for patrol boats and any smaller attack craft. And IF the LCSs were loaded out with those kinds of systems a lot of this discussion would be moot.

Problem is.… … might as well hypothesize phaser beams! That is NOT what we’ve got!

LOL! There is a lot of speculation as to what the LCS “could” be, and Ive even engaged in that as well. However, the issue being discussed here should be what it IS or ISN’T! Does it have sufficient crew to execute damage control for a ship its size? Does it have the weapon systems commensurate to other ships of comparable size and cost? Does it have the sensor suite of other ships its size and cost? It has more speed, and a cheaper-to-maintain crew, and more deck space, and more cargo space, and more range, but.… those “combat support capabilities” only make sense if there are combat systems to exploit these advantages.

Guess you need to some more research online.…reference Griffin/APKWS and Fire Scout not to mention Griffin on LCS. Don’t forget the four Hellfire on MH-60R and door guns.

Oh, I did my research, quite a while back, during the concept development phase for the LCS. :-) My favorite answer back then (before Griffin was a gleam in someone’s eye!) was the Swedish, man-portable, single-rail Hellfire launcher; several copies of which could be posted up on deck when needed, along with some reloads, and hauled down into the hanger when topside clutter needed to be minimized.

As for the Hellfires themselves, dont forget to use the Swedish-designed Hellfires with the blast-frag warhead instead of the shaped charge anti-tank warheads. Id much rather shread the patrol boat’s bridge or that pirate dhow than just punch a nice little hole through the aft bulkhead.

I’m thinking that I can claim to have done my research; did you? :-)

Ummmm… I guess all 40 of those fast patrol boats you were thinking of were swamped by wakes? I could be wrong but I think that most of them were probably taken down by pre-planned air strikes from the CVNs standing down in the Indian Ocean. A Hornet, or even an A-6, with a load of cluster bombs is a wonderful fix for most any patrol boat! If you’ve got ‘em! I even know a fellow that beat up an Iraqi patrol boat in DS-I with a stick of Rockeyes!

USS Missouri as last upgraded…

Perhaps a good concept! Id latch on to one or two of the EASIEST but still useful mission modules and put an all-ahead flank rush on them. Who knows when those LCS’s already afloat might need to do something (anything?) other than politically expedient photo ops or shakedown cruises! :-)

You and I agree totally on what a “littoral combat ship” should look like! LOL! Gunboat diplomacy never had it so good! Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Sergey Georgiyevich Gorshkov even agreed with the two of us!

According to Adm Gorshkov, “The most difficult thing about planning against the Americans, is that they do not read their own doctrine, and they would feel no particular obligation to follow it if they did.

You Americans do not realize what formidable warships you have in these four battleships. We have concluded after careful analysis that these magnificent ships are in fact the most to be feared in your entire naval arsenal. When engaged in combat we could throw everything we have at those ships and all our firepower would bounce off or be of little effect. Then when we are exhausted, we will detect you coming over the horizon and then you will sink us. ”

Smart man!

Actually, what handled the “minesweeping” for a while was the tankers themselves. Run one of those big, double-hulled, deep draft behemouths through the shipping channel and then let the DDs and FFGs follow in its wake. :-) It worked!

The LCS is a pawn in Naval warfare. It is an important piece and does a job that is not battleships, pt’s/ Aircraftcarriers. Sure they are not armed to be recovery. If you arm a medic he’s an enemy. When you send recovery to fight, you are send marshmellows to a steak fry.

Lets fly a missi0n for servalence out in the ocean and to do that you need a port.If you have a nonactive ship in the area you have what you need. The enemy would not send to destroy or conflict with this. they would be trying to back side the Carriers. Prefect ship

this is why I wish we had built owr on versions of the KIEV class heavy cruiser carriers loaded with shore bombardment, AA, ASW, AS, and cruise missiles. with a dry dock for amphib or boat deployment, and loaded with harriers — cobras — ospreys — and such. THICK HULL — NUMEROUS WATER TIGHT COMPARTMENTS — LOTS OF FIRE POWER — SELF SUFFICIENT — FULL OF MARINES AND SEALS READY TO LAND AND FIGHT, talk about a 10pt spinkter factor sitting of your 3rd world country. Would be an OK LCS in mu opinion.

Wasn’t the point of less crew, more automation? From everything I read everywhere, the Navy was focusing on lowering crew requirements by making designs that actually need fewer sailors on station. I’m not saying they did it with this LCS. I’m just asking a question. I would also assume that these systems were way more redundant — armored power back bone with fiber optic circuit signalling, hull combat compartmentalization; all of which were supposed to be more battle damage resistant. But then of course we all know what ‘assume’ means.

Wonder how fireproof that vinyl and PVC core is.

Two problems — the manpower it takes to run obsolescent technology. — and the waterline draft of a gunboat like that is too deep to be called “littoral”.

Of course I knew you two were just kidding! :)

Too bad the cost of further modernizing those ships is more expensive than just building an aluminum ‘wunder’.

Burns good, just not as hotly as magnesium-alloyed aluminum! :-)

@BigRick You are wrong. Aluminum ship structures do not burn in a shipboard fire.

Rather than take my word for it, you can download SSC-452 ALUMINUM STRUCTURE DESIGN AND FABRICATION GUIDE from:

From SSC-452 section 2.1.4 “Properties at Elevated Temperatures” on page 2–4:
“There is a common misconception that aluminum will burn in a shipboard fire. However, because it will melt at about 1,100F (600C) structure involved in a fire will apparently disappear (reappearing in puddles of melted and resolidified metal) giving the appearance of having burned.”

Seriously, it did take a lot of people to run those three big turrets, but…if I remember from the Iowa turret explosion, it was about 45 men per turret without any sort of modernized ammunition handling from the original 1940-ish design. Now… if you applied the same kind of mechanization that allows totally unmanned 155mm turrets on the DDG-1000.… and updated the hoist and rammers to take advantage (even if you ended up still needing some men in the turret to oversee the mechanicals).… . . Oh yes, and one could have added RAP, dispenser rounds, and/or sabots to the 16″ ala carte menu… if you want to move mud, dont bring a gardener’s spade.… :-)

By the way, the Iowas’ draft was about 37 ft and the “land attack” DDG-1000 draws 28 ft! For what its worth the “firing line” for the heavy cruisers and BBs at Okinawa was about 3700 yards offshore, and I think even the most conservative definition of the littoral reaches quite a bit more than two miles out to sea! ;-)

ROTGL, with the 16″ main guns, the littoral begins from a lot further offshore! :-)

And who was kidding????

I know. Just crazy thinking…. :-)

Heh! Heh! There is always a trade off with expense. Maybe having more cheap ships will make up for lack of damage resistance? Seems like some chemistry in the fire retardant systems could sooner make up for that Visby Class hull than the metal one. Maybe not. Some innovation could help here. I don’t subscribe to Janes, so I can’t vouch for any of the new tech that supposedly makes it possible to man ships in the new Navy with fewer crewmen.

I think you must be talking about the KIROV-class battle cruisers? The Kiev that I remember was a rather strange looking helo/VSTOL carrier with a cruiser bow and a canted deck, either 76mm or 100mm main mounts and sort of “undergunned” for a Soviet warship?

The KIROVs for all of their awe-inspiring deck hardware were primarily “blue water” beasts with only basic aviation (helo). Their main gun mount was a very high rate of fire 130mm twin, so they could spit out some multi-purpose steel, but their weapon suite was aimed at anti-ship (primary) and anti air (secondary) with more or less a self defense ASW.

The “chemistry” with the Sherman tank that allowed Shermans to defeat Tigers was strictly in the numbers! We produced roughly 50 shermans for ever tiger and it normally only took 4 or 5 burning Shermans before the sixth Sherman in the tank company “lit up” a single Tiger! (at least according to the Discoverr Channel! :-) ) That particular “chemistry” was an accepted strategy for our leaders in WWII, but they did not have CNN bringing the carnage of five burned out Shermans into the living room on a nightly basis.

If “burning out” 4-man Sherman tanks sounds like unacceptable fare for nightly news, how about burning out LCS’s, each with a crew of 40+?

Not kidding? Okay. I know they spent a wholloping chunk of money re-outfitting the Iowa Class ships; mostly to get rid of obsolete AA assets, and put something more modern in for combat control, like computer aided fire control, and missles, of course.

I agree that if the word DOD weren’t stamped on it; any good company worth its salt could probably easily automate a lot of what goes on in these ships. The more crew you got rid of the more crew compartments could be permanently sealed for damage control, etc. In fact, in my experience with factory automation, the reduction in manpower becomes exponential the better you plan such a project. Using 16 ” guns is WAY cheaper than missiles, but the range can be limiting.

As heavy as this class was, I figured their draft was unacceptable, but they do have a wide berth, which may mitigate this. In most of the cases I studied where they were close in shore in WWII, the island they were bombarding was a volcano, so the deep water came in very close to shore. I will easily admit I’m wrong, as I’m no where near a Navy expert, or any expert at all, except in automation.

Oh! And that ammo that was involved in the fire was dated in the forties!! No wonder it went off! The longer a bag sits in storage the more unstable they get, those bags passed inspection, but still went off, probably from a ramming accident, when some fell off the storage shelf adjacent to the loading ways. I’ve read some reports that procedures should have been to wait until the bags were loaded on the ramming tray, to take the metal safety covers off.

The Japanese admirals were far less convinced than you that the WWII PT boats were ineffective (even if their torpedos were on the verge of useless), and planned specifically to avoid running narrow passages with their heavy ships where the islands provided nice PT “hidey holes”. Most agree that PTs played a significant role in countering the Japanese logistics efforts on and around Guadacanal and other island battlefields, quite successfully interdicting the barge and smaller ship traffic at night once air superiority made daytime logistics runs impossible.

Sorry to rain on the otherwise nice little rant! :-(

There is no more cruel a task master than a government bean counter.

Araya is generally correct. You plan and build for the worst case and adapt to anything short of that. However, you can cancel everything not yet on the contract and adapt what you’ve paid for for those littorial missions that do exist.. Upgun them, get some bolt on armor and develop only the modules that make sense. Then spend your future $$ on something that can actually compete in a full spectrum environment.


NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | Like us on , follow us on and join us on Google+
© 2015 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.