H-I pitches ‘Patrol Frigate’ as cheaper alternative to LCS

H-I pitches ‘Patrol Frigate’ as cheaper alternative to LCS

Many others have argued this case, but now shipbuilder Huntington-Ingalls Industries is making the pitch all on its own: A new “Patrol Frigate” version of its National Security Cutter would be as good as – or better than – the Navy’s littoral combat ships, it says.

In a commentary posted Wednesday on DoDBuzz, H-I’s customer relations director Patrick Stadt described how the company had commissioned computer modeling that put a naval version of its ship up against a notional LCS in a series of small-warship, “LCS-type” missions.

The twist: The simulation accounted for LCSes both with and without their interchangeable mission equipment – the offboard aircraft, boats and submersibles that the ships need to locate mines, hunt submarines, and take almost all the missions for which LCS was built. The results, given their origins here, will not surprise you, but here they are just the same:

The analysis determined that out of the 19 missions traditionally performed by small surface combatants, seven indicated the Patrol Frigate was the preferred ship. When compared against a non-missionized LCS, (just the seaframe, no mission systems), the Patrol Frigate was the preferred ship in 15 missions.

To compare operational costs (fuel and personnel), six modeled scenarios were run based on proposed scenarios in the [Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments] paper, ranging from securing loose nuclear weapons to maritime interdiction. For those two scenarios, the Patrol Frigate reflected an operational savings of approximately 29 percent and 33 percent, respectively, when compared to an LCS-type ship.  In all six scenarios (the two above and convoy protection, maritime stability operations, counter piracy/counter crime, and humanitarian assistance/disaster response), the Patrol Frigate reflected an operational savings of approximately 26 percent.

The modeling and simulation performed supports the premise that the Patrol Frigate would make an affordable and strong contribution to the low-end of a traditional threat spectrum.  By constructing a mixed fleet of high-conflict and low-conflict capable ships, navies around the globe can glean significant budgetary savings while better aligning ship capability with anticipated mission scenarios.

Yes, the deck is stacked when you pit a fully capable ship against one that’s not operating as intended, but it’s also possible that the ongoing technical problems with the LCS mission modules could mean the Navy has no choice but to field ships without some of the equipment it’s been counting on. For its first trip to Singapore next year, the littoral combat ship USS Freedom is set to carry a “demonstration” module, as opposed to a real one.

The problem for H-I is that no matter how many times or how many ways it makes the pitch for its “Patrol Frigate,” it can’t seem to get any traction. The Navy’s mind is made up – Navy Secretary Ray Mabus confirmed again to Congress this month that the service is locked into its program for 55 LCSes. Even though LCS has its critics on the Hill, no one, as yet, has begun to seriously champion the frigate.

Why the silence? Maybe the Navy pleased everyone in 2010 when it selected LCS designs by both competitors, Lockheed Martin and Austal USA. Happy vendors mean happy lawmakers, and twice the potential opposition to another small ship muscling in on the territory of two satisfied camps.

H-I has also pinned its hopes on the potential for international sales of the “Patrol Frigate,” forecasting a global demand for as many as 215 frigate-sized ships over the next 20 years. So far, that evidently has not translated into real orders. Don’t look for the sales pitch to go away, though: The company is trying to scare up work as soon as it can because the end of production on the National Security Cutter is in sight, and when it winds up, the “Patrol Frigate” concept probably will, too.

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In H-I’s simulation, their ship was preferable versus a non-missionized LCS in 15 of 19 missions. This is an outrage! Why not 19 of 19 missions? What incompetents are doing their modeling?

This is one of those “No duh” moments that everyone can clearly see but the Navy brass cannot.

A lot of us on the forums (retired and otherwise informed) has been suggesting this very path for a long time-LISTEN UP NAVY and get your head out of your LCS a s s .

I was under the impression that one of the problems with the LCS was that it had a rather low rating regarding how much damage it could take and protect it’s crew, let alone continue to fight. The Patrol Frigate appears to be as fragile as an LCS, or more so, but slower and it also seems to have a much smaller hanger deck, which may be a huge factor in the future. So if it is supposed to replace the LCS in many cases, what is the draft?

Indeed your are correct ziv “the ships will be built to commercial, rather than military, structural standards — meaning they’re lighter and less blast– and fire-resistant. Indeed, the Navy does not plan to subject the LCS to traditional blast-testing, “due to the damage that would be sustained by the ship,” the Congressional Research Service points out ” (http://​www​.wired​.com/​d​a​n​g​e​r​r​o​o​m​/​2​0​1​1​/​0​1​/​n​a​v​y​s​-​n​e​w​-​w​a​r​s​h​i​p​-​b​a​r​g​a​i​n​-​d​e​a​t​h​-​t​r​a​p​-​o​r​-​b​o​th/)

Patrol Frigate a.k.a. National Security Cuttter, is all steel constructed, it has Diesel/Turbine eng, 28kt top speed, and 12,000 mile range with 60–90 days endurance. Overall, I would say that it’s a much tougher ship, able to take damage much more so then the thin aluminum skinned LCS. I would imagine that if the Navy used this design that they would add kevlar armoring, more weapons and such. But as it is, it’s a very good platform, with a lifespan of 30 yrs. All they would need to do is lose the small boats, replace the 57mm with a 3 or 5in gun, add Harpoon on the back, replace Phalanx with SeaRam, add a couple of auto 25mm, add a tail and you have Navy Frigate with real capabilities (not powerpoint), speed, range, firepower and good electronics suite.

Overall I agree with HI BUT Navy brass has there little minds set on there pet project and spend tons of more money on a ship that this ship can outperform. Sad wish we had brains now days in the DoD and in the government overall NOT going to happen for years probably.

All that’s necessary to get the blessing for the H-I vessel is a contract for several (or a bunch) to the PRC. The downside is that the Pentagon will seriously try to put out of business or block a company that will sell to a foreign nation that might become an adversary. Think of the Northrup F-20.

The US Navy is out of the frigate business. The smallest vessel they intend on putting into a major high intensity conflict is a DDG, period. The LCS is for asymmetric threats, low intensity conflicts, anti-piracy, showing the flag, and disaster relief type missions. Once a situation starts to really heat up, you’ll see them pulled and a traditional force move in. For the tasks, it’s not a bad solution.

Just another comparison. The LCS isn’t a dedicated ship for one mission.
It’s too late to cancel everything. Get those LCS is the field (uh… oceans) and learn from it.

DanS is right, the navy will assess every situation and deploy the ships accordingly. And that too will go wrong ‚remember the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Then the sailors and aviators made the huge different, not the ships.

Yea except that the PRC are doing quite nicely selling frigates to our Asian allies these days already.

The LCS is not a heavy combat ship and an anti-ship missile would most likely go right through it without detinating the warhead. The LCS is intended to be light and fast, good fro running from trouble.

A notional ship can always be better then one that has been built. LCS has a place and a frigate may be able to perform many functions that do not require the speed of the LCS. BUT, for those of us who remember the FFG-7. The FFG-7 could not run at 30KTS, was under weaponed and had few redundant systems. We built 70 of these and then sold off and mothballed the majority of them. Let’s NOT repeat that mistake.

I think sooner or later the US Navy is going to have to take a look at the National Security Cutter as a patrol frigate. With the sail away price of the LCS now, it would probably sink any navies budget

Why is there 2 different LCS classes?

To keep both ship builders happy and their respective congressional delegations. That and they do have different characteristics. The Independence has more storage capacity, bigger helo deck, better seakeeping, but is terrible in port (hard to dock), and has much smaller crew accommodations. You can reverse the characteristics for the Freedom.

LCS 1 is steel, not aluminum. Both LCS’s and the NSC are built to commercial, not surface combatant, specs, so the damage survivability is likely the same.

The US Navy has designated only one class of LCS, currently with two variants. L-mart’s monohull and Austal’s trimaran are two variants in the same class of LCS.

Navy recently announced they will be acquiring LCS-10 and LCS-12 from Austal (trimaran variant) for $345.5M each, and will be acquiring LCS-9 and LCS-11 from L-Mart (monohull variant) for $357.5M each.

This is absolutly not true the Oliver Hazard Perry class (FFG-7) was from the begining far better armed them the LCS will ever be. So the calssic of 1977 Oliver Hazard Perry Fregatte was armed with a Mk 13 Missile Launcher (36 SM1 Missiles), 4X Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Two triple Mark 32 Anti-submarine warfare torpedo tubes.

LCS 1 is not steel. Its hull skin (suffering the cracking problems) is steel, but the superstructure is aluminum, much like USS Belknap (CG-26).

It is H-I’s simulation so they can not doubt make it say whatever they want in their favor. The obviously either did not submit a bid or did not win a contract when LCS was put out for bids so now they are crying over spilled milk.

Those low intensity conflicts you mention seem that they would be better suited for a vessel with some staying power and berthing for considerably larger crews for all of the VBSS and helo missions. What benefit is 40 knots in a low intensity or “show the flag” mission that isn’t outweighed by true endurance and better seakeeping at lower speeds?

If I was still a sailor, the LCS would be the last ship that I would want to be on if hostilities broke out. Fatigue that comes when all 40 of your crew have multiple jobs is not the way to stack the deck before you’re even in a combat scenario and your tin can is larger than a Perry FFG.

Why should the US Navy EVER build a ship to “run from trouble”?!

That statement alone indicates how far the last 10 years of Navy Brass has taken us away from where the US Navy started…

just want to point out that the National Security Cutter program is worse off than the LCS. The NSC programs service date has been delayed until 2017 as a result of discovering structural problems so severe that they leave the NSC with only a 3 year operating life. While the the LCS isn’t built to the normal standards of survivability for Naval ships, the NSC despite being steel is apparently built to an equal or lower standard. The NSC is a larger more expensive ship; I have no doubt that mission preference for it over the LCS is simply the result of physical size and the extra crew. The NSC is a larger, less structurally sound ship, with pretty much identical armament as the LCS. People complain the LCS puts lives at risk for not being armored and armed enough… this has the exact same problem except its a bigger ship with an extra 50 men on board to risk. People don’t think the LCS’ speed is enough to protect it, and this is slower.

To all the people wondering why an non-missioned LCS beat it in certain missions… NSC is built for endurance, not speed, being able to intercept at higher speeds was something the LCS hulls were built for and one reason why they required their unique hull configurations. Also despite the NSC being overall a larger ship… the Independence LCS has a flight deck thats almost 3 times as large, while the Freedom LCS is a little less than double… that difference in flight deck size give them the advantage in helicopter related operations. Even still its likely the added crew size that makes the NSC more “prefered” but thats probably its greatest liability in cost and risk.

I also have to question the H-I operations model. NSC is a more fuel efficient ship, but also requires 50 more crew members without significantly increasing performance over the LCS all the while the ship itself is more expensive. They are deffinitely hedging on fuel economy to make up the “savings”… how long does that cost advantage really take to make a return on the $100M price tag difference plus the salaries of 50 crewmen at what point does that break even with a smaller ship?-2/3 more cost in man hours to operate and $100M.

LCS2 is 100% aluminum

I actually took the 30 seconds required to answer my own question and the answer is a bit of a plus for the LCS. The NSC draws 30′ and the LCS draws 13′. Since a good deal of the work an LCS will be tasked with is going to be in or around shallow water, one of the requirements of the fleet was to have the ability to operate in shallow waters. So you have a shallow draft LCS able to work in areas the NSC will have difficulties in, but with issues regarding the mission pods selling for around $550m, now that they are past the first one which cost a lot more.
You have a Patrol Frigate that can’t do the littoral theater that well and is about as robust as LCS-1 and maybe slightly more robust than LCS-2, though with severe structural issues to be dealt with, and it has a price that will escalate a bit from the quoted $400m.
The LCS would look better if they could get a handle on the modules sooner rather than later, but within a few years they will be accomplishing a great deal in areas where our current fleet can’t operate as effectively.

Arghh… The NSC draws 21′ not 30′.

“Run from trouble” think about your statement TonyC. and tell me how fast “trouble” is

how fast is a gun shell traveling?
how fast is a anti-ship missile traveling?
how fast is a 50 cal bullet traveling?
how fast is a fighter-bomber flying towards you?

You can’t run from trouble simply because by the time your realize trouble is coming, it’s way way way way too late to try to run from trouble.

The whole idea of the LCS running from trouble is ludacris and insane. There are and will be situations where you cannot run away. So to say that the LCS will be ok because it’s really fast is just plain stupid. LCS will be sent in harm’s way and they will find themselves in bad situations and no, the calvary will not come to the rescue and they will not always be just right around the corner.

I just feel really sad for the sailors who have to man these death traps.

Nah Nicky, the Navy is not that smart. They are going to keep building these over-priced, big, aluminum shelled do nothing jet skis until the Chinese Navy cries uncle.

Also, the National security cutter has survived the Bearing Sea and has done a patrol in the Bearing Sea. I highly doubt both variants of the LCS would ever survive a patrol in the Bearing sea. I wonder if the US Navy is willing to send the LCS to the bearing sea for a heavy weather test. See if the LCS can survive the bearing sea. if it could survive the ride in the bearing sea, then it could survive anywhere.

Mr Picky says,
you’re forgetting the Perrys also had ASRocs, the 76mm gun, and a Phalanx…
Granted, all that stuff didn’ t prevent the Stark from being struck by an Exocet (because ROE’s had the ship’s defensive systems in standby mode to prevent risks to friendlies in the vicinity),
but the Stark didn’t sink because of it
and wasn’t written off after the incident.
It was repaired and continued in service a while longer.

Now hit either LCS in roughly the same location (forward bridge/foredeck area) with a similar weapon and see how well either LCS design fares under such an attack.
Immediately the 57mm and forward missio module would be out of commission.
The Perrys’ unique gun position would’ve allowed it to keep fighting.

and the 3 in gun :-)

so now let’s see what the LCS has:
–vaporware mythical modules that can destroy entire planets and wipe out entire fleets without batting an eye
–a very powerful and long range 57mm that can shred battleships
–a vast and overwhelming SeaRam with infinite rounds that can single-handedly take down mass swarms of Mach 3 sea skimming anti-ship missiles from all directions at the same time at ranges of over 50 miles
–oh and let’s not forget all of the aluminum foil all over the ship that is designed to block alien transmissions, if the crew wants extra protection then they would simply rip some foil off of the bulkhead, shape it into a cone and place it on their heads ;-D

I believe the deeper of the two LCS is 13′… 2/3 the NSC.

Your price on the mission modules is a bit of a misrepresentation. The $550M represents the price for a LCS ship and a full set of mission modules… both those on ship and left at base… Originally priced at ~$160M for the modules, the price climbed but not so much. Its now estimated at about ~$190M.

In considering the cost of the NSC, its important to consider its $400M price tag doesn’t include Government furnished items… such as whatever equipment they’d need to add to the NCS to perform its hypothetical missions.

good point Nicky, after all Coast Guard ships are supposed to survive anything and go anywhere.

reminds me of my days on my Knox class frigate, during massive storms, when our bow would come completely out of the water-NOT good times!

but Ziv, your got to remember the ‘dirty little secret’ of the LCS, they have massive seawater intakes (for those massive water jets ya know) and those massive intakes suck up massive amounts of water.

You do not want to take an LCS in shallow water or those massive intakes will suck up massive amounts of seaweed, mud, and other undesirable things in the water

The LCS may be shallow draft but it can’t go in shallow water!

Let’s see what happens when you send an LCS into the Bearing sea and the Gulf of Alaska. We all know the LCS would not survive the trip and it would smell like puke when they pull back into port. That’s why if the US Navy is serious about the LCS, let’s send one into the Bearing Sea and the Gulf of Alaska to see what would happen. I’ll be you the Crew would not be very happy and they would be fighting tooth and nail to get their hands on the National security cutter.

This is why if the LCS can’t survive the Bearing sea and the Gulf of Alaska, why should we buy into something that can’t handle rough seas in sea state 5. We should have then cancel the LCS and switch over to the National security cutters design. At least it’s in production and all the US Navy has to do is make some modifications to US navy Frigate standards

My first thought is, does the LCS have sufficient range to escort convoys? If not we need a ship to escort convoys and fight against submarines and patrol aircraft.

All of this reminds me of Fisher’s Battlecruisers. “Speed will be their armor”

How did the Royal Navy loose to slower, better armored German ships at Jutland alone?

I have read dozens of articles on the LCS class and not one of them has said anything that would indicate that they have any trouble with shallow water operations. In fact that seems to be what they are best at. Do you have a cite for that issue? The LCS is a compromise vessel but that does not appear to be one of the compromises.

The LCS is primarily designed to counter anti-access area-denial efforts through use of mines and diesel-electric submarines. Notably China, which possesses 40% of the worlds naval mines, and their tremendous investment in submarines that have improved the quality and increased the quantity produced.
China is going all out with it’s anti-access area denial efforts with the hopes taking Taiwan, controlling the south China sea, and pushing it’s defensive perimeter to the second island chain.
N. Korea is the other country with it’s substantial use of mini-subs and use of naval mines.

The LCS very effectively counters these systems, but has just been another typical weapon system the contractors are using to screw the government out of as much money as they possibly can.

Navy better begin building a LOT of new oilers for underway refueling !

LCS’s need to refuel very often, especially if they run at moderate speeds and do Helo op’s.

Glad to hear those new NSC’s can run from Mississippi to San Francisco without refueling at all. Let’s see an LCS travel up to 12,000 miles on a tank of gas ! Gee, lets see an LCS do 1,000 miles without hunting down an Navy tanker or pulling back into some (friendly ?) port.

IRONY ?? Navy is building lots of Aluminum into their 55 future LCS’s while the Coast Guard is building all Steel NSC ‘s !

Who’da thunk this would ever occur ??!

go to the waterjet manufacturer web site and read the duty cycle restrictions for operating those sexy waterjets. look at the spec’s for % operating time in the shallows and not-so-shallows.

so instead of the President asking “where are the carriers?” the new question will be “where are the oilers?“
the response from the Navy Admiral will be “ahhh, sorry Mr President, we sent our oilers in to milk cow the LCS fleet and they all got sunk and we don’t understand why” ;-D

I still don’t see the problem, they have limits on speeds and times at speed at certain depths but those are depths a destroyer or a frigate simply couldn’t operate in, at all. The only issues (other than the obvious shortcomings of the mission modules) I have seen are the pitting problems and the corrosion issues, and they appear to be in the process of being dealt with.
These LCS ships aren’t destroyers or even frigates, they are lighter than that. They fill a different role, one closer to that of a corvette despite their cost, and while I understand the irritation about them being to lightly armed and too lightly built to be able to take a hit and keep on fighting, that isn’t what they are built to do.

Then what exactly are they designed to do??? Does anyone really know?

I was always under the impression that warships were designed to fight, are you now saying that we aren’t building warships with the LCS but perhaps some type fast ferry service?

The Draft of the NSC’s is less than 15 feet DWL. IOW the keel is almost exactly 15 feet below the waterline. Except for the bottom part of each controllable pitch prop which increases the draft to over 20 feet. So, if anyone wants to compare apples to apples, then install waterjets on the NSC’s and their max draft will be just under 15 feet.

What’s the point of this anyways ? LCS or NSC must reduce speeds in shallow waters. No ship can use moderate or high speeds in very shallow waters anyway. The current crop of US Navy Charlie Oscars might not be able to safely navigate in littoral waters anyway. The CO of an AEGIS cruiser ran the newest cruiser in the Navy aground off Hawaii in broad daylight, while travelling at zero knots speed ! Please don’t tell us that a 3,200 ton LCS is going to be travelling fast in littoral waters ! Nonsense.

And add a minimum of 10 SAMs and 4/8 FIM-92 Stinger missiles with automatic reload on it ‚for it’s defense.

I wanted to reply that they are designed to go ripping along through the littoral areas at 40 knots all day, while firing their guns at max rate of fire until they empty the magazine, but they only have one halfway reasonably effective gun right now. But if they upgunned to a 76mm then they should go ripping along at 45 kts. all day.
Seriously, they will be cruising 90% of the time at their most economical rate of speed that gets the job done. So they cruise at 24 kts. most days and then when in action or when they need to quickly redeploy to a different area they can do so at 40–45 kts. No ship operates near their design max for long, why would the LCS?
There are a lot of reasons to hammer on the LCS, their shallow water performance does not appear to be one of them.

Just to nitpick a little.. that tiny 57mm gun mount holds 120 rounds inside it.
At the ready. Chances are, LCS will never need to man up their below decks magazine and feed up any additional 57mm rounds because.…

one giant weapons “limitation” (big oversight): LCS has no gun fire control radar. They must locate the one (1) single, sole tgt that the CO decides to engage-Guns, and then have the one (1) single, sole optical gun fire control system slew out and hunt for the (hopefully) correct target. After the one (1) single, sole optical gun fire control system (hopefully) locates the single correct target, then the fire control solution can begin: the optical FCS knows the bearing, but not the range to target until it uses its laser to determine range. And if LCS & 1 target have a fast relative motion between them, the range will change often and the laser must be used often. (these things seem to fail with lots of use). So, our LCS can shoot their one (1) single, sole gun mount at the one (1) single, sole surface target and kill it (if its within say, perhaps 10,000 yards or closer range). Then what ? start over, have your one (1) single, sole optical FCS slew to the new bearing and start acquiring tgt #2 for engagement as per CO’s orders. Sound slow ? that’s because it is slow. Unsat for real combat even vs 4 go-fast pirate/druggies. LCS gun weapons direction design has taken a giant leap backwards by 30 + years. And we paid $$$$$$$$$ for this showboat to put our future Navy sailors into certain danger within the next 30 years. Just use the LCS’s for recruiting posters and stop building anymore, please.

Now THAT is a legitimate reason to hammer the LCS! LOL!

Brutal comment… But I recall a destroyers commanders speech to his crew from WW2: “I intend to take this ship into harms way — any of you that can’t handle that should get off now…”. The LCS is way too lightly armed, even with its mission packages. Our navy needs to build ships that CAUSE trouble — NOT run away from it.

Slightly off topic, but what is now in the hatch that was supposed to be the VLS just aft of the main gun? Did they leave it empty? Why did they remove the tactical VLS, is it because that was where they thought they were going to put the NLOS? The export LCS model had another VLS starboard side midships, could this be added to the LCS-6 or later versions of the Independence class?

that “standard” module was to hold a self contained 30mm mount. USS Freedom has two of these 30mm mounts installed. LCS-2 could mount one of them up on their forecastle. BTW, they are only fired optically, by the expert firecontrol’s mk-1 mod 0 eyeball from his console down or up ?? in CIC. Same thing onboard all the LPD-17 class, which has 1 30mm mount forward and another one aft.

The LCS is a gooney bird that costs three times what was proposed for a low-end ship. Plus, name one battle in the last twenty years where major ship, shallow water capability was important. We have amphibious ships and their heavy back up for major assualt. If you want swat flies, well-armed helos and fixed wing aircraft do an excellent job.

This whole stupid LCS system (just like its FCS Army counterpart) will go down when sequestration takes hold and the Navy wakes up from its typical build-something-that-doesn’t-work-because-I-have-plenty-of-money insanity. The Navy needs a replacement FRIGATE for independent duty and needs to get back to basics. The National Security Cutter looks something like that platform. Everything else is a waste of time and just sunk cost.

I totally agree on that one, the US Navy needs to get back to the basics of Frigate duty and ditch the expensive LCS money pit. I wonder how much money the taxpayers have sunk into the Navy’s money pit. If they Taxpayers saw the bill for the LCS project, you know someone in congress will not be coming back in Jan after the election in Nov.

At least with the National Security cutter, it is very sensible and economical to the taxpayers. With the National Security cutter, you can put ready to go infantry based weapons on board.

The 57mm gun system itself WORKS FINE when it isn’t retarded by a subpar EO targetting system and an even more pissed-up fire control command loop (that’s SUPPOSED TO tell the gun how to function as effectively as the Swedish Bofors team originally designed it).
One LCS team got their integration right.
The other team is still backpedalling and trying to get their’s to work as originally preferred.

Needing one team’s ship to sit almost motionless just to hit targets (thanks only to the 3P fuze’ proximity effect) at barely half the gun’s effective range? Shameful. That’s a primary reason the short range Griffin has become so preferred for the precision missile part.

This is what someone who KNOWS 76mm guns plans to do with 76mm naval ammunition…

How is it those Pegasus hydrofoils, at nary a tenth the displacement of an LCS, were quite literally armed for bear with the 76mm and Harpoons, yet an LCS can barely throw spit,..?

With the capabilities of the newer RAM Block 2’s, I’m surprised they just don’t opt for an additional RAM system there in the forward mission module bay: it’ll add considerably to the ship’s close range anti-air/anti-missile/anti-surface raider capabilities.

As to those 30mm gun units, the 35mm Millenium gun and KETF fuzed frag ammo is a far better choice, offering a greater rate of fire, more lethal ammo, and greater effective range.
It was trialled on the High Speed Vessel catamaran, very compact.

The LCS-2 can cruise at 18 kts for 4300 nautical miles. So it can cruise for 5 days and still have more than half its fuel in reserve. If it needs to get somewhere quickly that reserve will get used up quickly but complaining about the LCS range is a none starter. Complaining about the lack of a VLS or the lack of a more powerful gun is understandable, but these are corvettes, not destroyers.

Corvette you say, not even. At 3,000 ton the LCS can be classified as a Frigate

Now let’s compare tonnage to tonnage
Displacement: 3,000 t
3,500 nmi (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)[4]
1x BAE Systems Mk 110 57 mm gun,
21x RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile Surface-to-Air Missiles
1 or 2 helos

summary, vary large, short range defensive weapons only, optically guided 57mm is ineffective, poor electronics suite, build to commercial standards, very small crew

now compare it to the much smaller:

Lopo Class Frigate at 2,506 tonnes!
Speed: 35 kn (65 km/h) with gas turbines
21 kn (39 km/h) with diesels
Range: 4,300 nmi (8,000 km) at 16 kn (30 km/h)
Complement: 185 (20 officers)
* 8 Otomat Mk 2 SSMs
* 1 Mk.29 octuple launcher for Sea Sparrow/Aspide SAM
* 2 Mark 32 triple torpedo tubes
* 1 OTO Melara 127/54 mm gun (this is 5″ gun!)
* 2 OTO Melara Twin 40L70 DARDO compact gun
Aircraft carried: 1 AB-212ASW helicopter

summary, longer range, much smaller in length and tonnage, it has capabilities in ASW, ASuW, AAW weapons, complete electronics suite and ECM, ESM, much larger crew. It even has a sonar and a 5″ gun!

Ziv, thats the problem your trying to defend 2 different ships. LCS-1 is far smaller and has far less range.

Over all a Absolon class can cruise farther with 5 times the firepower with the same crew for a cheaper price. NOW please explain why we cant build such a vessel? The only thing it lacks is the rediculous speed requirment. Thants it it can do every single thing the LCS is tasked to do but cant and do them better.

You both have good points. I have watched the development of the LCS-2 for years and it seemed like a very valuable addition to the Navy. I thought it would have the 57mm, SeaRam, tactical VLS and/or NLOS which would have made it reasonably capable of defending itself. With a fairly reasonable offensive punch that would grow over time, plus the capability of transporting a Striker company in one ship nearly 1000 nautical miles in a 24 hour period, with the capability of operating its own 2 MH-60’s and of staging CH53 off its flight deck, it just seemed like a decent corvette type of ship that brought a huge range of options to the Navy. And then one capability after another disappeared. I thought at first they would find work-arounds but obviously the problem is a bit complex for a simple work-around to work. 15,000 sq ft of mission bay, multiple lanes of Strykers, 44 kt speeds, 4300 nm range at 18 kts, 13 foot draft, plus mission modules that don’t work, galvanic corrosion, no NLOS, no VLS…
What the hell happened? It didn’t need to be a Burke or even a Perry, how did it end up nearly unarmed?

That is why the U.S.A. should close it’s stinking borders and have the Army on all borders and the Navy patrolling the Ports, and rivers along w/the C.G and the Marines to assist the Army in keeping all foreigners and Illegals OUT! We need to bring all troops home from Korea, and Afghanisatan and Iraq etc…GET em alllll back home and let the U.S.A to have a policy of Isolation! Quit selling this nation down the tubes and giving away OUR tax money and let em all just go away unless you want us as friends instead of a cash cow!

Ingalls will say anything, do anything to push their product. If this tactic doesn’t work, they will put out a camo version and go after the Swamp People market. Shades of Skeeter Weeks!

That’s all the Navy needs, FFG-7 type (in)ability with a Pascagoula pedigree.

What the Navy really needs now is some new tugs and tenders to tow and fix the LCSs until we can finally build some real ships. (Or will the LCS come with a “breakdown” module?)

nah, the breakdown module is already built in, just like the suck-down-gas-like-it’s-there’s-no-tomorrow module, they were both free of charge ;-D

ziv, now here’s the problem with whole flawed concept LCS1 or 2, is it a warship, a corvette, an amphibious ship, a mine sweeper, an anti pirate cruise ship, what is it exactly?

Secondly, what happens to all of it’s awesome warp speed when you load it down with a Striker company a couple of helos and what not in its vast 15,000sq ft colliseum? You lose it all that what happens.

Lastly, what are you planning on doing with the load once you get there, are the bad guys going to let you tie up in their port-I don’t think so.

My recollectin is that the new cutters (“National Seecurity Cutter) had some serious issues with hull strength and stability, typical of Gulf Coast built vessels. The Coast Guard was advertising for some one to fix them a few years ago — they have to go out, they don’t have to come back but they’d like to. If that has been fixed, it looks like a better platform for a robust coastal vessel.

there was a series of USCG Blog photo’s and updates during Bertholf’s NSC-1 deployment for months in a row way up North off Alaska and into the Bering Sea January, February, March, April 2011. Nothing sensational to report ever surfaced. Heard that they put stress and strain gauges all over Bertholf throughout that long test. So, let the facts speak for themselves.

But-but-but this patrol frigate doesn’t LOOK as cool as our littoral combat ship!

Cry me a river…. Back in the day, (1980) as an AK2, I done got stuck with the job of IMRL (aircraft special support gear) manager for my squadron just about the time we (VX-5) started the Opeval on the bomber version of the F/A-18. It was a mess – nobody prior to me had read the 13650 Inst. so as to be able to do it correctly for quite some time – and on top of trying to fix old problems, here comes all this new Hornet ‘push’ gear….. What a mess. Did I mention that I had just transferred from Light Attack – A-7’s? Not tooting my own horn – you guys would just laugh me off of this thread.

Well, there I am, hunched over my typewriter, banging out 306 custody cards for 1,375 line items (times three, of course) when into my cubby hole walks this suit. He introduces himself as a retired light commander working for McDonald Douglas and starts giving me a sales pitch for the –18, like I’m going to take out my checkbook and buy one for my carport and let my kid go without her milk…. Had five extended deployments under my belt, and knew most of the ‘Nam era carrier birds pretty well, and the A-7 extreamly well. This guy is extorting the virtues of the –18 like mad but made a tactical mistake – didn’t know his enemy (me — he interupted my worktime). Starts off telling me that it’d carry more ordnance than any other A/C on our fleet inventory, and by golly – had a shadow outlay of his pet to prove it. Did I mention five cruises – the last three Nam cruises of the Kitty Hawk, and seem to remember that VA-52 Knightriders with their A-6E Intruders made those same ones with me, plus one other, plus the two I had with VA-94 and our A-7’s. I didn’t need a shadow outlay of either attack bird to start asking him if the stations he was pointing to were mers or ters, and how many MK-84 iron bombs was carried on each station….. then we started discussing mileage and things really went downhill…. Back in the day, the 18 was good to go – only to the next gas station, that is. Dam good way to PROJECT power – build gas stations. He wasn’t a happy camper when he left – neither did he try to sell me a bird. Shame, I wanted to see what kind of discount he was going to give me. Have to admit, two motors are always better than one, bombing accuracy was a skosh better (-18 = 15ft, –7 = 25 ft, 500 pound (and bigger) bomb = doesn’t matter), pilot-pit (real word not allowed) laid out much better, maintenance access much better, goes to easier, faster maintenance.

One final thing – We knew the 18 didn’t have the legs that the A6 or A7 did, meaning the carrier had to get closer to the troops we were tasked to support, and sometimes the ship isn’t on-station to offer that support like at Yankee Station off of Nam when we’d have to respond with an Alpha Strike….. To ensure our Opeval report was correct on this, we few a Hornet with all stations loaded with external drop tanks, flew them till they were empty and jettisoned the tanks to lighten the load and reduce air drag. Just didn’t have the legs, and nobody had to doctor the books to state facts.

Now for the meat of all this –

A few years after I PCS’d, ran into an old shipmate and of course, played the opposite of mustard – ketchup. The pilot that flew that hop – passed over, dead end job, got out. Not only was he a sh_t hot pilot while I knew him, he was a good division officer to his troops, well rounded individual. The Navy Brass wanted this airplane, and no amount of truth was going to slow down its purchase. I actually, truthfully wondered how many admirals had copious amounts of McDonald Douglas stock, or was promised jobs on their board of directors after they retired….. especially when (I believe) APU’s started blowing up killing pilots.

This just doesn’t seem too different.

Now for the meat of all this –

A few years after I PCS’d, ran into an old shipmate and of course, played the opposite of mustard – ketchup. The pilot that flew that hop – passed over, dead end job, got out. Not only was he a sh_t hot pilot while I knew him, he was a good division officer to his troops, well rounded individual. The Navy Brass wanted this airplane, and no amount of truth was going to slow down its purchase. I actually, truthfully wondered how many admirals had copious amounts of McDonald Douglas stock, or was promised jobs on their board of directors after they retired….. especially when (I believe) APU’s started blowing up killing pilots.

This just doesn’t seem too different.

JimBobJoe, LCS effectively counters nothing today or tomorrow–they have no mission capability against the threats you note are A2AD. You need to get your facts straight on the capabilities of LCS not the marketing.

Kind of like the arguement for the F-35 as F-22 light but with more mission versitility. The LCS has one factor that drives it and that is it speed. Without speed the LCS is a Frigate! Getting 50 knots out of a large vessel is very costly. Ask the EFV program (25Kts). If your going after pirates, the effective water area covered by a 50 KTs LCS will be much greater then one that can be covered by a 25KTs Frigate.

I think that if they ever get the weaponry issue resolved, what you end up with is a good corvette that operates 98% of its time as a patrol vessel, but can perform well, not perfectly, in multiple roles.
For instance, it will spend months protecting the sea lanes, but if the Marines ever need to get to an East Timor type situation in a hurry like the Aussies did a while back, they would secure a port city via helos from an LHA from 100+ miles out while a squadron of LCS-2’s sprint to the port at 40+ kts, unloading a battalion of Marines and their LAV’s in short order. The full load of an LCS-2 is 210 long tons, (2700 tons fully laden) so it won’t affect their speed in any large way. They could also deploy sans LHA on low intensity op’s, drop 2 squads (up to 22 marines) into the port (using their MH-60’s) to secure the area while the ship docks and begins to unload.
Finally, if there is another Fukushima, a squadron of LCS-2’s would get to the stricken cities in half the time of a conventional surface force. And though that sort of stuff ain’t what the navy is for, it is something our allies appreciate.
But all of those ideas pale when you look at an LCS that doesn’t look like it can defend itself adequately.

Maybe concerns over the LCS’ range and duration at sea can be addressed by creating mission modules that are just big gas tanks.
Hey, it works for B-1s, carrying a fuel pod in a bay for greater range…

Big-Rick: Really? Using your logic, a fully loaded P-3 would be better than a completely disarmed FA-18 for air support. I think your post provided everyone with a No duh moment. H-I’s tipped the scales in their favor (as most contractors are wont to do) and came out with only a 15 of 19 victory. As @Slobberchops indicates — why was it not 19 of 19?

The LCS-2 class has four things going for it, speed, shallow draft, decent hangar deck size and a huge cargo bay. Then you have to deal with the lack of any firepower and the corrosion issues.


We’ve had LCSs since WW II…they were called LSTs…!!

hey ziv, what you have described is a platform looking for a mission, not a mission looking for a platform

when one tries to justify platform decisions upon very unlikely scenarios then something is totally wrong with the platform (the concept)

the ONLY way the LCS will ever find a sub is when the torpedo blows it up

the ONLY way the LCS will detect a mine is when the mine blows it to bits

well said dome22q, history is repeating itself with the LCS and there are many here who are getting buldging veins in the neck in their attempts to defend it “but it can go so super duper fast,” “it can be an amphibious ship,” “it can hunt submarines and mines,” blah blah blah

25 October 1944, LCdr. Ernest Evans, USS Johnston (DD-557), Taffy 3 screening destroyer, Battle off Samar.

Can’t seem to remember any fight that was ever won by running away – by design.

Looking back at the comments thread (never a fun task), I think we’re concentrating on the wrong issues here. If the LCS actually did everything is was originally designed to do and was on time & budget, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. It would have either proved it’s worth or would have flopped.

The problem that we should really be focused on, is that the process of designing, building, and acquiring these ships rewards contractors for doing a half-assed job tomorrow instead of an honest day’s work today.

The initial idea for these ships was a very good one, but for some reason the Navy allows contractors off the hook in situations that would never be acceptable for actual sailors and marines. What started off as a program to field some very capable little ships is becoming a goony bird of a program, but the fault isn’t the initial concept: it’s that the Navy doesn’t have the backbone to stand up and say the performance of LM and GD is simply not acceptable.

ASROC on a FFG7.… What ship were you on?

The FFGs were a disaster then and are nothing more than “tugboats” now. Yet the USN still has 29 of them! In my opinion it’s just to keep the “numbers” up!

After all, even though the navy is “authorized” 328 ships, they are down to 288? And Obama is cutting that to 230?

ASROC on a FFG7.… What ship were you on?

The FFGs were a disaster then and are nothing more than “tugboats” now. Yet the USN still has 29 of them! In my opinion it’s just to keep the “numbers” up!

After all, even though the navy is “authorized” 328 ships, they are down to 288? And Obama is cutting that to 230?

No longer are they “G ships” so why hasn’t the USN changed the designation? Their ASW capability against a Diesel threat is is practically non-existent. Ever hear of the Shkval?

None of Iran’s current submarine classes are capable of firing missiles but Iran has acquired or domestically produced a large number of mines and torpedoes that can be employed on most of its subsurface boats. In 2005 it reportedly launched two indigenous production lines of 533mm and 324mm wake-homing torpedoes with ranges of up to 20km. 9 Iran’s claims that it has developed a supercavitating high-speed torpedo called ‘Hoot’ with speeds of 230mph, which is allegedly based on the Russian VA-111 Shkval. Iran might have sourced the technology from China, which imported 40 Shkval torpedoes in 1998 from Kazakhstan and was successful in reverse-engineering them. The Shkval is a shallow-water, rocket-propelled, super-cavitating torpedo with a range of 3 to 5 NMs and is fired from a 533-mm torpedo tube. The torpedo exits the tube at 50 knots and then ignites the rocket motor, propelling the weapon to speeds four to five times faster than other conventional torpedoes. The weapon reportedly has an 80 percent kill probability at a range of approximately 4 NMs.

Of note, the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan in March 2010, reportedly by a DPRK Shkval torpedo most likely fired from a small sub has amply demonstrated the capability of this weapon.

As for the LCS? Duh! Littoral Combat Ship. How long does anyone think they would last operating off the DPRK or Iranian Littoral?

As for the “modules” Where are they?

Bottom line: Yup, an LCS or FFG would do a “bang up” job against this threat!! Yeh Right, probably just a bang!!!

You are correct AGP .. the FFG7’s did not have ASROC .. I served on one for 3 1/2 years. They had a 76mm pea shooter, a MK13 one armed bandit, phalanx and mk32 torp tubes.
Disagree with you calling them tugboats though .. these ships rode good for small boys and yes they could get above 30kts . trust me .. They were good platforms for both open ocean and shallows .. I’d take a FFG7 over an LCS anyday of the week ..

I saw this article linked on sci.military.naval — The FFG-7 update idea has been floated there too, and is infinitely better as a concept than the LCS, which is a money pit and needs to go, now. Heck, the Cutter upgrade is better too, in terms of utility and “Ready to build” aspects of much design work already done. However I like the updated Perry plan better. Upgrade the sensors, replace the single arm missile launcher with a forward VLS, tweak the hangars to accept fold up drones as well as a chopper, and maybe add a little stealthing to the superstructure if budget allows, and you’re ready to go. All much better than prolonging the LCS rigamarole that is eating money for no useful ship.

Your frigate has a Helicopter, which is faster than any ship. It also has missiles, pirate skiffs can’t outrun missiles or cannon shells.


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