Could Boeing give LCS more punch?

Could Boeing give LCS more punch?

Our distinguished colleague John Reed had a very interesting item this week that could potentially mean good things for the Navy’s littoral combat ship — Boeing wants to build it a new missile.

As John wrote over at Defense Tech, Boeing has a thing it’s calling the Joint Air-Breathing Multi-Role Missile, a concept for “a surface engagement weapon enlisting air breathing propulsion capabilities for greater range  than some current solid rocket propelled missiles. It could be used as an air interceptor or surface engagement weapon against fast moving vessels,” as Boeing’s spokeswoman told him.

It’s early days for this weapon and LCS does not have a good track record with missiles — the Army cancelled its Non-Line of Sight missile and now the Navy is trying to make the Griffin work as a stopgap — but if Boeing can deliver, it might go a long way toward shoring up some of critics’ biggest arguments against LCS.

Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-class ships have a standard Rolling Airframe Missile launcher aft on the superstructure, and Austal’s Independence-class ships have a SeaRAM. But those are for ship self-defense, not for heavy-duty anti-air work, so if LCS got several crates of new heavier-duty missiles it could use against red air, it might give Navy commanders more flexibility in the types of scenarios in which they felt comfortable using LCS. By some measures, these ships could make up half of tomorrow’s surface force, so a beefed up anti-air capability might have been inevitable anyway.

At very least, Boeing’s concept could restore, or even expand, the ships’ ability to attack surface targets. Back in the old days, the idea was an LCS would launch its Fire Scout unmanned helicopter, use it to pick out bad guys and then direct the missiles to their targets. If the Navy gets that back, it’ll restore its onetime baseline for the LCS’ ability to fight on the surface, and if it gets a longer range and a bigger punch, so much the better.

The problem, of course, is making all of it a reality. Moreover, Boeing’s promises could begin to create tension for LCS right at the moment when its supporters want it to start building momentum. LCS wasn’t supposed to be a cruiser, rolling in with heavy weapons to try to outduel other warships. The Navy specifically wanted it to fight down, for lack of a better term, assuming the enemies would be illiterate pirates or suicidal swarm-boat attackers or small groups of bad guys near a coast. The prospect of new heavier weapons on ships that will form so much of the fleet could create pressure to continue up-gunning LCS to compensate for the projected gap in major combatants — especially if the Navy is confident about developing weapons while continuing to struggle in fielding the ships’ unmanned accessories.

That idea would please the people who have been saying all along LCS is way too under-armed to call itself a U.S. Navy warship. And even LCS advocates have said all along the beauty of the ships was that they could evolve and adapt as the Navy needs. Still, the Navy could find itself in a situation where it was shoehorning a destroyer-type mission onto a platform that was built for a very different vision, and which was not built for major combat.

Then again, the standard LCS caveat always applies: It’s all so far in the future no one can say what will happen.


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A stealthy replacement for the Tomahawk is a great idea. Im never a stealth nut about planes but for missiles this can be a game changer.

More punch? Sorry the LCS has in the moment no punch! The JABMM can be a glim of hope for the LCS them this missiles is better them the canceled Non-Line of Sight missile. But the problem of the LCS is what this ship remains also with a weapon like JABMM just a product of an elapsed time. They are now in the Time of a Rising Chinese Empire, in the time of the Air-Sea Battle doctrine and a pacific focused USA not in them Rumsfeld War on Terror Era. The LCs is not Blue Water/High Sea capable and the largest part of the Pacific is Blue Water/High Sea !

A USN warship without weapons to defend itself is just a target. A Griffin SuW module will only invite attack. We owe it to the crew to do better.

The LCS is in commission; this missile is still a Power Point concept. If the F-35 is any indication, the missile might be ready by.…2030?

Imagine that you’re a USN helo pilot, returning to your ship after a 2 hour SSSC mission, carefully tagging the ID of many surface craft within 75 nm of ownship. So, you’re pretty tired after all this intense flying.

So, as you approach your mother ship, the seas and winds have picked up somewhat since you launched 2 hours ago. As you approach your “home” at sea, would you rather be attempting to land on a:

1. AEGIS DDG ? Very, very small deck !
2. LCS-1 class ? a larger deck, but located down next to the water with spray.
3. LCS-2 class ? a much, much larger deck, located way high off the water.

So, if future LCS are going to use helo’s to do 50 to 90 percent of their missions, then LCS-2 would clearly be the helo pilot’s choice for a safe platform.

hey Retired Now, the LCS bucks like a wild horse even in calm seas, so it doesn’t really matter how big the flight deck is, the helo only really needs so much space to land on. When I served, pilots were able to land successfully in rough seas on my Knox class frigate with it’s small flight deck, much smaller then on a Burke destroyer.

Secondly, I think the pilots would sleep better at night on the “mother ship” if they knew their ship wasn’t such an easy target to take out like the LCS is.

Lastly, related to the second point, is the fact that the pilot is much more likely to have a “home” to fly back to if it was a warship and not a big piece of aluminum foil like the LCS is

“By some measures, these ships could make up half of tomorrow’s surface force,” We are screwed if that’s true!

“evolve and adapt as the Navy needs” My fishing boat can evolve and adapt better than the LCS can. We need something today-not something twenty years from now.

We need warships, not power point presentations about future capability this and future awesomeness that.

The Chinese are building warships by the dozens with real weapons on them, and we building “feel good” aluminum foil speedboats with no weapons, and no capabilities.

And NO the 57mm, optically guided, single target attacking, 7 mile range, tiny projectile shooting mount does not count. Any corvette or patrol sized warship with their 76mm gun can easily sit back 14 or 15 miles and blow the LCS out of the water if they wanted to.

It’s about quality, quantity and price to make a great punch.

Why does such a (relatively) large sized ship “buck like a wild horse” even in calm seas ? Supposedly, it will be around 3,000 tons fully loaded up when deployed. Will it buck like a horse if she is fully loaded with fuel, water, boats, helo’s, ammo, food, UAV’s ? Those GD web site drawings often times paint LCS-2 as operating and fighting in some pretty rough seas. And that radical tri-maran type hull form is supposed to do well even heading directly into large swells, at high speed, according to AUSTAL. What’s the scoop ? To date, has USS Independence LCS-2 even loaded up fully and sailed into any rough seas yet ? Wondering if all the General Dynamics and Austal PR is fiction ?

And some very important parts of the Pacific are cluttered with islands and reefs and choke-points and natural resources and shipping lanes, and some very nasty people (all pirates are NOT in the Indian Ocean). The LCS would no more be suitable for facing off against a “then-year” Chinese fleet than a Carrier Battle Group would be appropriate for chasing pirates and gunboats around the Malay archipelago.

Put some appropriate weapons modules onboard and the LCS can easily work the edges and islands of the Pacific, even if the “blue water” is a bit empty and wide.

You have the idea, my friend! The crew of a USN WARSHIP is not supposed to be fearing attack but rather inspiring that fear in others! The ship, and its weapons suite, must enable that capability, and YES the crew does deserve better.

True, but there ARE other missiles, currently in the USN inventory with some even fully qualified for operation onboard surface ships, that could at least provide an “interim” capability. At LEAST, thank goodness, someone is thinking about putting some more bite into this fairly toothless hull.


Semi-active Laser guided:
Hellfire (AGM-114-K, –M and the thermobaric warhead)
APKWS w/Hydra70 rocket
APKWS w/Zuni rocket

Note that all of these COULD be used with an Avenger turret which can ALSO pack Stinger air defense missiles and a sweet little .50 Browning as well.


Note that you only need to carry this one onboard! LOL!

NONE of the above are ideal but they could easily be put onboard and I really dont think that the captain of any hostile coastal corvette would be happy with the humbling prospects of a blast/frag AGM-114M or laser guided Zuni flying through his bridge window! LOL!

“flat-bottomed Freedom has a decided roll at slow speed.” from the Navy’s own mouth http://​www​.navytimes​.com/​n​e​w​s​/​2​0​0​9​/​0​5​/​n​a​v​y​_​l​c​s​_05

here’s more from the same source
“achieve their high sprint speed by gulping fuel like Kool-Aid. A deployed LCS could need to refuel as often as every three days,”

so the LCS can’t stray far from the milk cow, this puts both the LCS and the oiler in a difficult situation, and that precludes independent ops for the LCS

The range of the the 57mm with standard projectiles is 8.6 miles.
The range of the the 76mm with standard projectiles is 11.4 miles.

Besides, contrary to what some here are implying, the LCS is NOT a gunboat. Its 57mm gun is intended for significanlt smaller targets than corvette or patrol sized warships…

We DO very much need to get a WORKING anti-ship/anti-surface missile (something smaller & less expensive than a Harpoon) for the LCS however. The Griffen is just a stop-gap…

North Korea and Iran concentrate more on missiles and fast speed missile boats for their defense. Maybe we need to add these kind of development additions for our defense development to meet the current and future threat and for the country’s self defense.

Why can’t they throw on a Barak 8 missile system as a permanent addition?

That way you will have both Anti-Sea and Anti-Air capability in a box that can hold up to 64 missiles.

You are distressingly right in your assumption that a corvette or patrol gunboat (76mm to about 105mm) deck gun could shell the LCS from well outside the range of the 57mm, which is a very probable combat scenario if either the LCS does not have assigned air cap, or an onboard missile (ATGM or ASCM) that outranges those gunboat deck guns. The 57mm gun is good for “police operations”, i.e. drug interdiction, anti-piracy, and such, and of course for dealing with those small boat attacks that we keep fretting over. It even has a pretty credible “CIWS” capability against airborne targets (Better than a 76mm perhaps due to the rate of fire and the better ammunition.)

If you look at the order of battle for N. Korea, there are a LOT of smaller to medium sized coastal gunboats that could definitely outshoot the LCS (as configured) and that does bother me. For all of the different “pairings” vs the LCS, its the N. Korean threat that perhaps grates against my sensibilities the most, if for no other reason than their demonstrated willingness to use their capabilities.

That’s talking about the FREEDOM, BigRick…INDEPENDENCE is quite a different animal.

The elegance of a modular system.…


Please. 1. This thing damn sure is no Tomahawk. It’s MUCH smaller. 2. LCS has no VLS so how will it launch it? DOH!

I do believe that I remember seeing something about the LCS-2 being able to conduct fairly routine air operations in Sea State 5. Not being all that nautical, unless there’s provisions for canvas aloft (!), I had to look up Sea State 5 and translate into language that airdales understand. Thats 2.5 to 4.0 meter waves (in English, 8.2 to 13.1 feet). Someone in the know will have to tell me if a Burke can work helos with 13 ft waves, but Ive got that funny feeling it might be pretty sporty. That trimaran hull has other issues with big waves (based on what I know about sailing cats and tri’s) but perhaps some advantages for air ops?

Not sure what the LCS-1 capability would be, but I suspect that it might have some “happy” speed that stabilized it a bit on its semi-planing hull. Have been to sea for a short while on an old Amphib (LPD) with a round hull forward and a “shoebox” aft, and it did have some peculiar, and for some of the more lubberly folk, quite interesting, motion with different angles into the waves.

Crazy thought, but they might need to consider doing that “unrep” a bit different, i.e. let the oiler match the LCS at that “stable/optimum speed” in order to keep things copasetic.

Correct me if I’m wrong… but didn’t the Iowa Class battleships deploy with Tomahawk launchers mounted in containers on the deck (superstructure amidship)? Upon launch… the “package” would angle upwards and launch the missle.

Perhaps some smaller surface to air missle can be mounted in a “blister” pack mounted flush on the side of the ship? Launch an air-intercept missle just like the F-22 Rapter does.

Heck… just an idea.

Long ago and far, far away, we used to say that a tank had to do three things: Shoot, move and communicate. When asked which of these things were most important, the answer was “shoot”. A tank that couldn’t move could still provide fire support if in communication, a mobile tank without radio can talk to to ground pounders and provide fire support, but a tank that can’t shoot is just a 60-ton portable radio.

The Iowa’s had a thing called an “armored box launcher” as did a few of the Spruances, but.… the good ole USAF also had the ground lauched Tomahawks, so… if you wanted to put Tomahawks on LCS, just drive one of the mothballed (actually I think that they were officially scrapped!) GLCM lanchers on to the flight deck and lash it down! LOL!

In the same vein, why put rails on the sides of the bridge for AMRAAMs if you can just drive it aboard.… call it the SLAMRAAM or something! LOL! Again, just drive it aboard and lash it down. That way you have the full “battery” including the necesary radars radios etc, and all you have to do is figure out how to bed down and feed the crew!

I know, except for the ABL above, none of these are painted “haze gray” but that can be fixed with a few cans of spray paint if anyone really wanted to do so.

If the modular approach to the mission modules had been carried through as originally proposed, and the mission modules had been selected from AVAILABLE systems, we would not be having this conversation! :-)

So right…

“ex” USAF at this end.

President Thomas Jefferson believed that a suitable naval force would consist of small gunboats LCS of that day) that could defend the home waters of the United States. He ordered cutbacks in the regular navy and had constructed of a fleet of small gunboats. They were about fifty feet in length with a eighteen foot beam, and a shallow draft for use in the shoal waters of America’s harbors. Rigged with sails and oars and a crew of about twenty. If the wind failed or if they were engaged in close combat, they could be propelled by oars. Each carried two to three guns: 18– to 24-pound swivel-mounted guns or 32-pounders on traversing carriages. Each gun could weigh as much as seven thousand pounds, which meant that a shallow-drafted gunboat would not fare well in heavy seas.

By February 1805, fifteen gunboats had been built. These small vessels were favored by the Republicans, who saw a $302,000 ship like the Constitution as an unnecessary drain on the nation. First estimates put a gunboat’s cost at $5,000; in actuality, costs totaled over $10,000. Nevertheless, Congress authorized 25 in 1805, 50 in 1806, and 188 in 1807.

Gunboat battle on Lake Borgne. >From the collections of The Mariners’ Museum. They were to be built at various ports around the nation. Jefferson and other Republicans knew that gunboats posed no threat to the British navy and thus would not provoke a preemptive strike. Gunboats could be distributed to many American ports and provide defense to a larger territory for less money than a frigate navy. Jefferson envisioned gunboats used in conjunction with land batteries, movable fortifications, and floating batteries to repulse attacks. One frigate had the gun power of forty gunboats, and with their thin planking and low decks exposed to gunfire, gunboats stood little chance of survival.

Following the inauguration of James Madison in March 1809 the situation started to change but slowly. When the United States went to war with Great Britain in 1812 the the U.S. Navy had seven frigates, four schooners, four ketches, and 170 gunboats to pit against the greatest naval power the world had ever seen.

When, not if, the United States goes to war against the PRC we’ll have x number of carriers, y number of cruisers, and z number of destroyers, and a heck of a lot of shallow draft, under gunned, under manned, LCS’s.

And maybe we can park a future president’s LCS under the nose of the Chinese carrier; history repeats itself ad nauseum.….

While the number of zero’s attached to the price tags has changed a lot, and we’ve traded steel and aluminum for wood, it would seem that very little else has! In Jefferson’s defense, at the time the US was close to a month of sailing away from Europe and the only conceivable enemy was Great Britain. The fledgeling US could not, even in the most idealistic terms, hope to face the Royal Navy alone. Even after the frigate building, (and at the time a frigate was at a very different place in the naval hierarchy than today), we had a handful of 44-gun frigates and even though the British 36-gun frigates might not fare well against the US versions, the RN had three or four 60– or 70– gun ships of the line for each US frigate!

In an all out naval engagement, those gunboats may have taken more time and effort for the Brits to send them to the bottom than all of the frigates! LOL!

The idea to send a ship how cost 700 million Dollar to hunt Pirates how use 20 dollar boats and are equipped with 30 Dollar AK47 and 100 Dollar RPG7 are insane. You can get for 700 Million an entire Fleet of modern Boats with well equipment Contractors to hunt the Pirates. Pirates are a think for the Coast Guard and the Police of the local authorities and not for the Navy how has not enough money to get enough ships to satisfy their main tasks like to deter the Chinese from an Invasion on Taiwan or other Asian Ally’s or to stop the Iran to block the Global Oil Supply. The problem of the Navy is what he has mead the attempt to do everything but in the time of austerity you need to put priority’s one core missions and the hunting of pirates in 20 Dollar Boats are certainly not a core mission of the Navy.

The LCS is incapable to operate as carrier Escort in the pacific and it is incapable to beat Chinese Surface or Underwater threats in coastal waters. To clarify why the LCS is helpless against modern Chinese Littoral forces hear some characteristics of a Chinese Houbei class missile boat how are used by the PLA Navy along their entire coast.

Houbei class missile boat

Displacement: 220 long tons (224 t) full load
Speed: 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph)
Crew Complement: 12
Sensors and processing systems:
Surface search radar: 1 Type 362
Navigational radar: 1
Electro-optics: HEOS 300
Range: 600 Miles?

8X C-801/802/ Anti-ship missiles or 8X Hongniao missile-2 long range land attack cruise missiles.

1X FLS-1 surface-to-air launcher with 12 QW class MANPAD missiles

1 × licensed copy of KBP AO-18 6-barrel 30 mm gun (AK-630) by ZEERI (CIW System)

Coast: 40 Million

With other Words this Boat has enough fire Power can sink a Destroyer or Cruiser.

they could put a 5in gun on the LCS and still have plenty of growth and stability. Heck, WWII destroyers were the same size or smaller (in tonnage) and they had multiple 5in, 40mm and 20mm guns, and racks of torpedoes.

As it is right now the LCS is a liability in any scenario, and the crews who man them I’m sure are feeling pretty vulnerable.

I wonder how many Admiral’s sons and daughters are serving on them? Probably not any.

maybe the Navy should adopt that motto.

Here’s an idea for the Littoral combat mafia. Drop the monster 3000ton LCS and build a real littoral ship along the lines of the WWII PT boat

here’s it’s goals
–low rcs (it will look very small on radar)
–low cost
–small size
–small crew
–long endurance (at cruising speed)
–it’ll be able to patrol for 7–10 days
–massive firepower
–able to outgun or outrun anything it meets

–hull and superstructure made out of wood, masts etc made out of plastics
–the bridge and engine room will have lightweight kevlar armor and/or ballistics protection
–turbo diesel engine for endurance and small gas turbine for burst speed
–single screw (to sound like a fishing boat)
–no more then 100 feet in length
–no more than 500 tons
–endurance for 1 week at cruising speed
–top speed 40 knots, cruising speed 12 knots
–crew of 20
–armed with 76 mm gun
-(2) auto 25mm guns
–4 Harpoon
–2 lightweight torpedoes
–mortors (for shore bombardment)
-(1) SeaRam
–and lots of small arms
–and it’ll have 2 or 3 UAVs for area surveillance
–it’ll use commercial radar suites (to make it look like a fishing boat)
–but it’s have some ESM capability, like FLIR, and optical sights (for stealth)
–chaff and flairs for ECM
–sonar buoys for ASW work

all these for <$50M a piece

and Capt Picard said “Make it so.”

The LCS, as currently armed, isn’t any better than a CG cutter that only rarely leaves US waters. Why isn’t one of the “mission packages” something similar to to VLS? Or how about a bigger gun? W/r/t littorals, during WW2 the Germans and Japanese had some pretty big stuff defending the shore. If you’re going near shore or other boats — then maybe a few 30MM gatling guns might help. Some sort of ship-killing standoff weapon is required — unless of course the LCS isn’t supposed to be transiting anywhere (which defeats the purpose)>

Well, if NetFires hadn’t come up short, they’d have a VLS.
Problem is, these ships are totally lacking in any credible AA systems. The 57mm gun only works against moving targets only when the ship is standing still or moving very slowly (not stabilized like a tank cannon). The RAM was never intended in any other installation to be a primary anti air weapon, but with the latest Block 2 missiles, they are nearly twice as capable range-wise.
The ships have ample deck space for a capable anti air system, as we already know AMRAAM can be surface fired (NASAMS, Humvees and FMTV/MLRS surrogates). The latest AIM-9X Sidewinders can be surface launched (Humvee AMRAAM launcher trials) and software can be programmed to engage surface targets.
We perfectly now have the capability to fit the LCS with credible SAMs ranging beyond 10km and SSMs ranging 50km or better.
Who here really thinks these Boeing missiles will be adopted anytime soon?
When it’s seen they reach into near-AGS capabilities, then any USN ship can carry them and why do we need DDG1000s (same reason POLAR got pushed aside) ?
I’m grabbing the popcorn and sitting this one out.

So why haven’t we killed the LCS and start building Frigates again. I’m all for the US Navy either taking the USCG’s NSC and building it up to Frigate Standards or going to Norway and buying the plans and rights for the Fridtjof Nansen class frigate. As for the US Coast Guards OPC project, transfer the remaining LCS’s to the US Coast Guard because the remaining LCS’s in their current state is about as armed as a 210 and 270 WHMEC.

Hmm… would be very interested to know why you think that the 57mm Bofors is not a stabilized mount. Naval guns have routinely been stabilized since… in some cases, that first “war to end all wars”. RAM is a self defense weapon against ASCMs with a secondary capability against aircraft and helos. Its selling point is a somewhat longer range than the CIWS guns (9km vs perhaps 2km). Id also like a reference on how the software for either AMRAAM or RAM might be modified for surface targets.

Those WWII 5″ guns were 5″/38’s with less than 1/2 the recoil load (and weight) of a modern 5″/62, and the ship structure was STEEL! If you want to upgun the LCS, and I think that would be a darned smart thing to do, you have got to accept the limitations of the platform. Minimize weight and recoil with lighter weight guns with lesser recoil or with missiles. I know it sounds like a broke record, but. . . a twin-barrel AMOS turret is a darned useful weapon system, if you are willing to accept a 7km EFFECTIVE range. ONE AMOS turret as mounted on the Swedish CB90H can put about 14 rounds into simultaneous impact trajectories on a target 7km distant where each of those rounds has the destructive force against an unarmored target comparable to an 8″ round off of the USS Newport News. THAT my friend is steel on target, and to an innocent it would look like nothing more than a funky two barreled tank turret! LOL!

In a direct fire mode shootout with a 75mm gunboat, the hostile gunboat captain would fire his ranging rounds only to see a shower of laser guided 120mm mortar rounds headed his way. Any “gunboat” hit by the explosive equivalent of a broadside from the Newport News would not be a happy gunboat.

“With other Words this Boat has enough fire Power can sink a Destroyer or Cruiser.”

Sounds like a very good reason to nominate the Houbei’s for a visit by a flight of F-35s with CBU-86s before they even leave harbor! LOL!

Seriously, for its size and cost, it IS a very impressive and capable littoral combatant, so long as its owners own the coast. Its just not ‘expeditionary’.

I think besides the Mk110 57 mm, the LCS Freedom also has two Mk44 Bushmaster II 30mm chain guns. These are mounted just above and behind the RAM.

Nicky, any idea what they cost?

I guess what Mr Danny Ross was saying it would be better if the country would have modern PT boats for the country’s self defense.

If so, the Chinese have a fine candidate in the Houbei missile boats! Essentially the same concept as the WWII PT boats and German E-boats, tweaked for modern technology.

It all does come down to how much we are willing to pay. Sadly, but no bright idea goes very far without budget behind it.

Those would be great in-close for anti-piracy and anti-smuggling operations. The trick is exactly as I mentioned. These have a MINIMUM impact on the platform on which they are mounted. In fact I could easily imagine a pair of these becoming pretty standard fittings on any large merchant vessel plying some of the less friendly seaways.

Nice to meet you, my friend. Perhaps together we can persuade a few folks that ALL AF folk are not just political parrots.

As the saying goes, “Check Six!” though. :-)

I’m all killing the LCS and turning over the remaining LCS’s to the US Coast Guard as their future OPC. With the LCS as is, it’s about as armed as a 210 or 270 WHEC today. As for the what would fill the void, I suggest two ways, the first would be to take the US Coast Guards NSC cutter and upgrade it to frigate standard and using off the shelf ready to go infantry based weapons. The other is to go to Norway or Navantia and buy the rights & blueprints for the Fridtjof Nansen class frigate and have it built in the US. Congress should have killed the LCS when the price started jacking up and should have killed it or put a cap on the cost.

The way I see it, the projected thinking of the Navy is headed in the right, but wrong, direction. Not only do we need the LCS, but we also need to reconsider the evolution of the frigate, or bring back some sort of DDG that can defend and attack all in one package. I was stationed on an Adams class DDG (DDG 23, Richard E. Byrd), and saw first hand that it could be an offensive and defensive weapons platform. The Tartar missle system has proven itself in surface to air combat, the 5″-.50 cal. design deck guns packed an incredible punch, and the ASROC system was 2nd to none. Just saying.….….….….

The only problem is that an NSC upgraded to what we need would cost the same as what an LCS with hopefully working modules does. I don’t mind going with a new frigate but there aren’t any cost savings in doing so. Coming down in size and some capabilities would probably fill the role we need it to and save us money, but that isn’t the NSC option.

The 57mm isn’t stabilized like a tank gun, with respect that it cannot stay “locked on target” while the ship pitches and rolls about like a tank can do moving cross country. And since no one is building guided shells for the 57mm, it’s a point-shoot-miss weapon that we can only hope that US-licensed-produced Bofors 3P fuze can det the shells and give enough frag spray to disable whichever target it goes against (in the LCS’ case, dhows and pirate riffraff should be easy prey).

And please read closer: it ISN’T the AMRAAM I said was surface-attack capable. It’s the AIM-9X.
Is it so hard to research something yourself?

And this is exactly the Problem of the LCS look a small boat like the Houbei has far more fire power them a Fleet of LCS and this of a price how is 18 time lover them that cost a single unarmed LCS. The Houbei isn’t Expeditionary but it is the enemy what the LCS will face in Littoral Combat in the Pacific and I see no chances for the LCS to survive an encounter with a Group of Houbei even if the LCS get a weapon how is comparable with the Non-Line of Sight missile.

The best strategy against large groups of high speed and heavy armed stealth boats like the Houbei class is to stay out of there Range. So do not go in littoral water with surface ships and use Mobile Mines, Submarines, Cruise Missile Attacks and them possible (strong enemy Air Defence) fighter like the F35 to kill the enemy in the littoral area. But the question is for what you need now the LCS?

So the LCS was created only for Littoral Combat and for a tactic what exactly mean to go in Littoral area and beat so the enemy in is oven Littoral Water. And this tactic is hopelessly to succeed against an enemy how has a ship like the Hubei class and costal batteries with modern Anti-ship missiles. And the enemy can get also for the cost of an unarmed LCS nearly 18 full-armed Hoube Missile boats so you lose on all aspects with your LCS. The LCS suffer under unrealistic requirements. So the LCS cannot survive in a Symmetric environment for example in an area with real enemy anti-ship weapons or large groups of enemy missile boats and the fact is what nearly all potential enemies have such weapons so the Iran, Syria, Nord Korea, Venezuela, Russia, Red China and even the Hezbollah have modern anti-ship weapons so only the Somali and Indonesian Pirates don’t have the right weapon to combat the LCS. So why you think what the navy needs the LCS how coast 700 Million Dollar? Only to face Pirates?

My opinion is what the LCS will never become a useful ship why is still unable to operate in Blue Water as Frigate replacemend and also unable to survive in Littoral Combat. The LCS is a shame for the US Navy and for the USA itself an idiotic failing not more.

You’re comparing things in too much of a narrow one on one fashion. I am no fan of the LCS but there are things it can do that Chinese missile boats can’t that are fairly important, one of them is to carry persistent high endurance ISR capability. Those Chinese boats are of extremely limited range as well, to say nothing of the fact they have no room for stores to maintain a crew at sea for any length of time at all, completely unsuited to any kind of long term presence/patrol mission or force projection. It is purely a layer of access denial and no more to the USN. It’s offensive role is limited to attacking Taiwan’s navy. This vessel in no way projects China’s influence more than 300 miles from it’s bases.

Its actually quite easy to research things with Google! For example, I find http://​www​.baesystems​.com/​P​r​o​d​u​c​t​s​S​e​r​v​i​c​e​s​/​b​a​e​_pr
to be very interesting. Note that the gun is “gyro stabilized” even when in “local” mode. Local means that the onboard optics are being used to “lock on” or more appropriately “track” the target. The fire control computer then calculates an azimuth offset angle and elvation angle with respect to the line of sight and positions the gun barrel for the shot. “Gyro stabilized” means that the gun barrel stays on this aimpoint in spite of any ship pitch and roll. Is that close to what you were talking about when you say “locked on”? As for the rest…

The AIM-9 family of missiles are all heat seekers, and for the most part, any heat source is a good heat source. When fired from an aircraft against a hot ground target, like the engine of a small boat, or the engine of a tank (in S. Vietnam during the assault on Saigon), the missile will guide quite nicely. When fired from a surface platform at another surface target, the missile would have to maintain altitude or it will likely hit the water. Most autonomous ASCMs accomplish this with some form of radar altimeter. To the best of my knowledge, the AIM-9X does not have a radar altimeter or any other sort of ground avoidance system. If launched at a sufficiently high “off angle” in elevation, it MIGHT be possible to avoid hitting the waves, but… Im thinking that firing an AIM-9x at a boat from a ship would have to be a last ditch measure not likely to succeed.

Google “missile proportional guidance laws”. :-) Given the AMRAAM data link capability, it might be much easier to imagine the AIM-120 being used in a surface launched ASCM mode.

The problem with the LCS is that it’s a gas guzzler like our SUV’s. I wonder if the US Navy plans to build Oilers (aka Mobile gas stations) to accompany the LCS. Maybe they should have built a Multi-Purpose Frigate or scale up the NSC to a Frigate Standard. I know Europe has frigates that would make it well in America

Its most assuredly a gas guzzler IF the commander insists on zipping around at top speed with the turbines on full bore. Slow it down to a more normal “patrol speed”, run on the diesels, and you might be surprised how far it can go and how long it can delay between refuelings.

Just as with the most complex and most trivial weapon system, its got to be operated correctly.

I wonder which skipper will try it before the US Navy decides to put Oilers as part of the LCS package. Maybe they should see how long can an LCS go from San Diego to Guam before it needs to be refueled either in Hawaii or at sea. I just think the LCS is almost like our SUV’s .

Oilers are maintained at sea already for the entire USN. I read they plan on stationing several in Singapore. I wouldn’t be shocked to see some in Australia at some point. I’m sure there will be some in Guam. I would expect some to be in Diego and Bahrain. I seriously doubt we will only deploy these ships from US home ports.

As the UK government likes to say, “Fitted for, but not with.”

Get back to me when the LCS vessels have completed all their at-sea, under-operational-conditions ship gunnery trials proving their implementation of the gun mount to its offboard optical sensors (“slaving”) actually functions AS ADVERTISED, against the complete target set its supposed to.
auantil these are completed, like much other LCS tech: it only exists on paper until proven.

Biting my own tongue, I’ll suspend proposing surface-launched AIM-9Xs derivatives as anti-surface weaponms until they’ve been shown capable of engaging surface targets from a surface launch.
But then again, there was Sea Chaparral (I think only the Philippine Navy used a few mounts…),
and the ground-based Chaparral more than proved AIM-9s are surface-launchable (even if those early generation AIM-9s were loathesome).
But then again, with this Boeing proposed missile, why again do we need to use our precious ant-iair AIM-9s against surface targets.

As for using AMRAAM as a surface-launched, anti-surface weapon, why would I?
Any cell suitable to a single AMRAAM, or more ideally, the SL-AMRAAM-ER body, would readily accept a G-MLRS+-sized munition, preferrably fitted with the uncooled trimode seeker Raytheon has been mastering off of tech gleaned from NetFires (or even a variant of the HARM/AARGM seeker if we want to get nasty with an ARM).

No: just like the Mk 41 VLS system utilizing more than just Standard missiles (is also compatible with Harpoon, VL AsRoc, Tomahawk, and quad-packed ESSMs), we also need a smallform VLS for ships the likes of LCS, combining multiple missile types to cover the threat envelope.
The length and width footprint of a Mission Module more than grants sufficient volume necessary. It’s the allowable height that gives us limits.

Surface lauched Chapparal vs AIRBORNE targets, and with considerable super-elevation to avoid impact with ground even then. Against very low altitude, mid to longer range targets there was still a chance of sliding under the target LOS and hitting dirt! :-)Sent from my iPhone

Please read carefully. This is how the mount works on ALL of its host platforms, not just LCS!http://​www​.baesystems​.com/​P​r​o​d​u​c​t​s​S​e​r​v​i​c​e​s​/​l​_​a​n​d​_​a​_​s​e​a​_​m​k​1​1​0​.​h​t​m​l​R​ead the part about sea states.…..Sent from my iPhone

yes your right Bill, the Burkes are a bit one dimensional, flight II and IIA don’t have any AsuW weapons (no Harpoon) and their ASW suite has been neutered (no tails).

The LCS boats are refueling on average every 3 days (from the Navy’s own lips). Using speed on the LCS is like using aferburner on a jet, your fuel goes very quickly

I suspect since they are more or less testing them they would be working them hard. It’s not really a surprise though, the stated specs called for 1500 nmi at 50 knots, so it would only take a little over a day at full speed to burn a ‘tank’. People post those numbers here like it’s some shocking secret the navy was hiding.

Bahrain to the Straits is about 350 nmi, so seems like being able to go 1500 nmi on one tank full speed should be just fine for some kind of swarming boat Xbox level. For sub and mine hunting they certainly aren’t going to do either at 50 knots, and more than likely slower than even ferry speed, so with a 4000ish nmi range at those speeds I don’t think it would be a huge issue.

Why can’t we do something to NSC that the Indian Navy has that is almost similar to the NSC such as the Indian Navies Sukanya class patrol vessel. Which is a patrol ship that can be upgraded to Light frigate Standards in a hurry. If the Indian Navy can do it, why then can’t the US Navy do the same thing to the NSC and upgrade it to Light or Heavy frigate standards

We can, it won’t save any money though. I read a piece on it, you realize the NSCs were coming in the mid $600 million range and to get it to something the USN could use would put the price tag at probably close to a billion a copy.

What’s the point of using an AAM missile [AMRAAM] with a tiny warhead (18KG) against surface targets? At least a missile like the Barak 8 carries (reportedly) a 52KG warhead which even that is not too much by itself but at least you can fire 64 of them.

I’d still want a modern 57mm or 76mm automatic cannon as well. Those provide an excellent secondary anti-missile/aircraft capability.

With something the size of the LCS it’s probably better to keep targets farther away than 7km too. The 120mm naval AMOS mortar was designed for smaller patrol boats and such. The original LCS/Streetfighter concepts would have been the right size, but the actual LCS may be a bit too big.

All things are relative, including range. 7 klicks is pretty modest in terms of range, but when those things that you worry about, il.e. small boats and such, have to stand in closer, .…. :-)

ALSO, you have got to differentiate between maximum and effective range. For a naval gun without guided projectiles, i.e. 57mm, 76mm, and even 5″/50, small targets (and the LCS is not exactly small, but certainly isnt BIG!) are not always hit with every round. In a ship-to-ship mode, the AMOS can use laser designated rounds with a CEP measured in inches even against evasively maneuvering targets. With precision guided projectiles, putting one through the bridge window (or into a box launcher, or into a gun turret, or.… .) at 7km on the first shot, is not just a vague possibility.

Second, for any sort of naval gunfire support, an AMOS has it hands down over a 57mm, 76mm or even 5″ naval gun(! ), EXCEPT in that long range case where the naval gun has the legs that a mortar just does not have.

Now if you had suggested a Russian AK-130 twin mount with its laser guided rounds .… .… … :-) But that son of a gun, with a full magazine, probably weighs more than the LCS in total! LOL!

Also I would ask, which offers the BEST AA and Anti-ASCM capability, a 57mm, a 76mm or an equal weight (or equal cost!) of Stingers and Stinger gunners to be trotted out on the flight deck when the threat is present? All could be augmented with a CIWS for that last ditch effort.… :-)

And at a BILLION a copy we would be saying, “Geez for that price I could almost have had a Burke!” LOL!

But you see, if the Navy was “hiding” the facts it makes for so much more of an interesting conspiracy discussion! LOL!

I wonder what else the US Navy is “hiding” about the True cost of the LCS. Maybe that’s something they are keeping a secret.

ROTFLMAO! Think for a minute about what you just said! :-) Have you ever thought about the irony of “Guilt until proven innocent!”? Maybe the LCS is a communist/right wing plot! Maybe it was designed by little green men looking to eviscerate the USN before they invade from the dark side of the moon! Maybe.…

I was trying to let my comment DRIP with sarcasm… Obviously I didnt do a very good job. Sorry!

You have to wonder, what is the sail away cost going to be for the LCS and how much is the taxpayers are going to foot the bill on that one.

LoL! Was not EVEN suggesting that an AMRAAM was a suitable ASCM , just that it’s guidance package might be better than a RAM in that very unusual mode.Most anything would be a better ASCM if you consider the warhead, but this was a total hypothetical!Sent from my iPhone

I would only raise a flag if the base hull went up. Lockheed said production was locked in and stable. If costs do rise on the hull it would probably be from changes the USN orders. The modules aren’t prime time yet, their costs are $100 million-ish each. We’ll see if they shoot up.

I agree with you Nicky. For the country’s self defense we need more Fridtjof Nansen class frigate on our navy perhaps we buy 2 Fridtjof Nansen class frigate from Navantia shipyard and its rights and mass produce the rest here in our country (USA).

They should have killed the LCS the minute the price started jacking up. I wonder how much the grand total will be once it’s fully completed, outfitted and sailing away from the dock to do it’s job.

Start here: http://​www​.dote​.osd​.mil/​p​u​b​/​r​e​p​o​r​t​s​/​F​Y​2​0​1​1​/​p​d​f​/ot
(it’s rather big at ~40MB).
LCS starts on p139.
Care to enlighten us on why the USN wants the Raytheon Griffin as its ~NetFires replacement~, a weapon whose current surface launched confifuration from its Wedge launcher barely ranges to 6km, an engagement envelope that SHOULD BE PERFECTLY COVERED BY THE 57mm gun? So why exactly do we a precision missile to cover that range? Isn’t the gun supposed to be able to handle that territory? http://​www​.designation​-systems​.net/​d​u​s​r​m​/​a​p​p​4​/​grihttp://​www​.raytheon​.com/​c​a​p​a​b​i​l​i​t​i​e​s​/​r​t​n​w​c​m​/​g​r​oup
This DOT&E report isn’t classified, butconsider what ISN’T yet Cleared For Public Release.
I’ll give you a hint: flaws in the gunnery system chain are part of the reason the Griffin is wanted to cover ranges the main gun should be able to handle.
For the record, BAe/Bofors’ 57mm gun also is capable of hfiring 16000m range HCER rounds, and the developmental Base Bleed round with a range approx 21000m, but the USN hasn’t expressed interest in either for LCS.

That’s why I am all for killing the LCS and transferring the reaming LCS to the US Coast Guard so they can use it as their future OPC. The US navy should get back into the Frigate game and buy more Fridtjof Nansen class frigate. Have two built by Navantia and the rest with rights to build the rest in the US. The LCS in my opinion and in it’s current state, is as armed as a US Coast Guards 210 and 270 WMEC.

And we need a lot of Finnish Hamina class missile boat say 500 of them. Iran have 100 fast attack boats. Say we buy 2 Finnish Hamina class missile boat from Aker Finnyards in Rauma, Finland and buy its right and mass produce it here in the country (US). A conflict with Iran could lead to a war and a war with Iran could create some crises in the region and may lead to WWIII. We also need these boats for the defense.

But the 210/270 WMECs will, almost certainly, never be equipped appreciably better.

At least in principle, the LCS will have a “pick and choose” list of options, tuned to the mission. While Im somewhat skeptical given the lack of progress so far, Im a tad short of trying to throw out the baby with the bath water. The LCS, both variants by the way, CAN be made into credible warships if the USN just simply follows through with the mission modules. The other platform options all look nice.… until you start figuring out exactly what would need to be done to them to make these “ideal platforms” that you hypothesize. There, I think that you are perhaps a bit too idealistic, too optimistic and on the verge of being “different” just for the sake of being different and gratuitously slamming the current situation.

HARD FACTS can go a long way, well supported opinions MIGHT go a long way, pipedreams and “contrarian rhetoric” which we see a lot here, just dont fly.

And we need 1000 Mark V Spec Ops Craft armed with M-240B Machine Gun,Mark 38 25mm Machine Gun System,Stinger Weapons System and Torpedoes: Mark 46 for self defense if a war with Iran erupted.

Just did the “google” as Nicky rather stridently suggested to me! LOL! The Hamina class is a very nice design, pretty much optimized for the Finnish AOR. Even the seekers on the surface to air missiles have been tweeked for Baltic operations!

This is a boat designed for the “Baltic” not the Atlantic or Pacific or Indian oceans. Might be VERY useful in the area around Korea because of its cold water design features and even as an anti-piracy vessel off of Somalia, but.… … not sure I would want to be down in the Malaccan straights or even the Arabian Gulf in a big blow and it had better have a “milk cow” pretty close by in all cases!

When the price starts jacking up, we should have started looking at getting a frigate and one that is off the shelf ready to go frigate.

Do you know the difference between pure ballistic weapons and precision guided munitions?

Touched on it a bit in another post. The ability to fire a shell to a given range, does NOT mean that you can hit the target you are shooting at, at that range. Let me give you a basic example. Lets say the target is the hypothetical “small boat” at 35 knots or so, inbound and weaving evasively. Just for the sake of numbers, lets say that the muzzle velocity of the gun is 1000 meters/sec and we open up at 7km. In the seven seconds between the firing of the round and it arriving on target, the velocity vector of the target has changed quite a bit. (and the shell was launched with the “predicted” velocity vector at time of firing). Even a 3P shell only has a limited “lethal miss distance”. On the other hand, that poor old Griffin is terminally guided. Get it on the way, and even if the initially predicted impact point changes because of boat maneuvers, the mid-course and terminal corrections crank in and you get a “hit”! :-)

You can re-work the numbers for whatever range you want. When the target is 10m or so in size and maneuvering radically, its very hard to hit at extended ranges with unguided projectiles.

LOL! I give up. I dont agree, but I do give up.

Do you know what a Mk-46 torpedo is good for or does it just sound impressive? A Mk-46 is an ASW torpedo. How is a boat like the MarkV going to even know where to drop it? It does not have a sonar and goes too fast to use one anyway!

The Mk-38 cannon makes a LOT of sense if the boat is going to be going in to “knife fight” with the Iranian small boats, and it can probably be bolted into the Spec Ops boats fairly easily. the 240-Bravos are nice, a MaDeuce is better, and the Mk-19/M-2 mix that they often mount today is even better yet.

Im thinking that you and Nicky need to get together and play some of the online wargames, maybe catch some Rambo movies, eat some popcorn and drink a soda or two! Let me know if my matchmaking works! LOL!

Pizza and beer with a Havana stogie sounds better to me, but.… not sure you can buy the beer or the cigar. :-)

And instead of a single tube Stinger Weapons System modify it to 8 tube Stinger Weapons System attach to each unit of Mark V Spec Ops Craft.

Make it miniaturize version of Mk-46 to handle the wight and size for the Mark V Spec Ops Craft.

Size is NOT the problem, and the Mk-46 is already a “lightweight”. This is starting to sound more and more like an arguement over the features of one of those computer wargames and NOT a discussion even vaguely based in reality. “Miniaturize” is sort of like saying “here there be magic!” as a tactical solution. Engineering weapon systems with magic is done in video games not the real world.

Have fun! And Im outta here! :-)

Or just attach 3 tubes of torpedo launchers on its sides.

The Frigates I’m looking at that the could replace the LCS are the Fridtjof Nansen class frigate,De Zeven Provinciën class frigate,De Zeven Provinciën class frigate,Formidable class frigate,Valour class frigate or the FREMM multipurpose frigate. Us Navy needs to get the heck out of Littoral Warfare and just simply hand over littoral warfare to the US Coast Guard.

Have fun! BCNU! …_._ …_._

The new block of tomahawk cruise missles (RGM/UGM-109B ) are now capable of both land attack and antiship. As well the upgraded sm2 (rim-67) can be used for land attack against smaller targets

I am left with 2 questions. 1. Why isnt the Coast Guard more heavily armed. Aren’t they supposed to be our first maritime defense CONUS?
2. Can the 2 LSC types utilize a railgun?

Make that LCS types. Oops!

I am sorry but hasn’t the Navy outlived its usefulness??? Other than their subs aren’t their ships just sitting targets that can be taken out very easily. They are slow, they can’t hide, they can’t camouflage, they are very visible to satellite. Stop building new ships and maintaining obsolete buckets of junk and investing more cargo aircrafts and longs range missiles, fighters and bombers. Take out the enemies capabilities fast and them send in the ground troops to maintain the piece.

(And Cleared For Public Release,.….)
This one’s for Thinking_ExUSAF and any of you other guys who have met my concerns over the 57mm’s problems (mostly with the Spanish DARNO sight and command chain)…

Make these 50mm projos in 57mm, mount those directional antennae on the turret, and we have a winner (that should be able to command-steer those 57mm shells all the way to their >16km range…

Just sayin’…

Lots of things COULD be done to increase the lethality of the Bofors 57mm against all sorts of different targets out to the maximum range of the gun. Hopefully, given the number of 57mm’s that we will have deployed, at least some of those improvements will be fielded.

Take note that the “spike” nose on the experimental 50mm round significantly decreased range to gain stability. >16km range will likely not be possible. Still, I would say that some of the ordnance folk responsible for the 57mm should at least “sit up and take notice” of the capability.OBTW, precision guidance is now demonstrated with projectiles down to 12.7mm (.50 cal). See:

The Coast Guard is rather proud of their “police” role as opposed to combat role. As the smugglers and such become better armed, dont be surprised if that pride shifts to caliber envy! LOL!

As for the railgun.… IF the LCS prototypes had sufficient electrical generation capability you would still have to deal with the gun’s recoil. Just because you are using electrical energy instead of chemical energy does not give you a pass on F=MA, so… if you accelerate a projectile of given mass to a certain velocity (muzzle velocity)over a certain distance (barell length) you get the same recoil. If the LCS’s are stressed to withstand the recoil of a 57mm Im thinking that the rail gun would have to be really modest in terms of capabilities and “throw weight” to avoid bending the ship! LOL!

What is needed is an uncompromising stealth design like Visby or Skjold, only bigger. Forget about speedboats and pirates and aysmetric warfare. It needs endurance more than an eye-watering top speed. 35kts would be fine. Fundamentally, a warship needs to do more than just defend itself, especially against the phantom speedboat menace. I suggest that the main armament should be something like the Norwegian NSM which is designed for littoral combat and can strike high value land based targets as well. 3,000 tons is a minimum but I would not go much bigger.__ Now then if the Visby (600 tons) was five times bigger.…

A ship like the LCS wants to do certain things.
* It is the tip of the spear and should go into harms way and so needs to be stealthy
* It should be robust
* It needs endurance so it can stay on patrol
* For amarmament I suggest the following; -
4 x 30 mm cannons
VLS RAM 2 ( 36 cell)
16 x NSM or equivalent
1 helo + UAV’s

Yes, lets build a whole new weapon system for the brand new boat we still dont know what to do with. i know im just a wrench turning navy electrician, but how bout we use somhting that we already works. on the Independence-class, remove the third empty weapon box (dont know that they are called) in the bow behind the gun, and install a E-sea sparrow box launcher. instant anti-air and small anti ship missle to 20nm.

maybe quad pack them like the VLS cells? go from 8 to 32 missles? or a redisign of a 4 missle per cell, 4 cell launcher? i like the Griffin but prefer the full size helfire. thing is the Griffin is lazer guided. swap out the lazer seeker with a radar seeker off the longbow helfire, and add in one or two long bow radars on the mast. (sealed for sea spray of cource, plus tarigiting for, ESSM) instant 360 degree mutly targeting for small ships out to 4nm. fill one or both upper weapon boxes with radar Griffens. Or if needing a real anti ship/shore missle, the quad launchers for harpoon/SLAM missles, topside, using the weaapon boxes (now covered by the harpoons) to hold the required computer equipment. can have a mix of all three. so thats, 8–16 ESSM, 25 radar Griffens (a guess, 5 rows of 5) and 4 Harpoon or SLAM (the norm carried today anyways) and for self defence, C-RAM, WITH 57MM. if you like to max out, 50 griffen, or 8 harpoon/SLAM. is that too easy?

For those of you who are not familiar with the current navy systems you should investigate the MK56 VLS system, and the STIR tracker/illuminator by Thales industry. I am a FC in the Navy, this is a very good system, giving all of the capabilities you would want out of a medium/short range surface and air system.

The true cost of each LCS is fifty United States sailors.


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