Navy praises LCS 3, but more storm clouds gather

Navy praises LCS 3, but more storm clouds gather

Navy inspectors have praised the fleet’s third littoral combat ship, the Freedom-class USS Fort Worth, but the rest of the program continued its whirlpool churn.

LCS program boss Rear Adm. Jim Murdoch told reporters Wednesday that the Fort Worth had fewer than ten “starred cards” — significant problems found when the Navy inspected the ship before taking delivery — as compared to the more than 50 the Freedom had back in its day.

But even at the very moment he and another admiral were talking to reporters on a conference call, California Rep. Jackie Speier was blasting LCS, becoming the latest lawmaker to urge Congress’ watchdog, the Government Accountability Office, to look into the state of the program.

“It’s disturbing that the Navy would accept a ship that fails to meet the basic requirements for a tugboat,” Speier said in a statement. “The future of the fleet is corroding before our eyes. I find it troubling that it takes whistleblowers and the press to bring these problems to light. It’s time for an independent assessment to find out what’s really going on with this program.”

That skepticism could not have contrasted more with the upbeat picture painted by Murdoch and the Navy Staff’s surface warfare boss, Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden. They convened their conference call to push what they called a string of good news about LCS: The Fort Worth’s high quality; the arrival of the second ship, the USS Independence, in San Diego; and the Freedom’s return to sea to prepare for its deployment next year to Singapore.

With LCS, however, progress often isn’t progress. Although Murdoch and Rowden said the Independence had a good transit from Florida to California, they acknowledged the Navy had deliberately decided not to attempt a “trial deployment” branding as it had with the Freedom, giving the ship more days at sea to chase drug runners or operate with other American warships. That’s because the Navy is under the gun to complete operational testing of the LCS mine countermeasures module to meet the terms of a deal its leaders made with DoD’s test and evaluation gurus. It’s going OK, Murdoch said, but it means that there is apparently no deployment, even a pretend one, now on the radar screen for LCS 2.

As for the Freedom, inspectors from Naval Surface Forces panned it earlier this month in a visit to see if it was ready for the real make-or-break visit by the Board of Inspection and Survey. INSURV is a dread power in the fleet, as its inspectors and reports give painful details about whether ships and crews are ready to fight. After a few bruising years of INSURV failures, fleet commanders began setting up their own pre-training and pre-inspections to make sure ships were ready, or at least to give a good preview about how a ship might do. When SurFor visited LCS 1, it concluded the ship was not ready for prime time.

As posted Wednesday by Galrahn, the Freedom’s “TYCOM material inspection” report deemed it was a “no-go” and described confusion between the ship’s company and its contractors over who was responsible for which elements onboard. LCS is novel, among many other ways, in that it relies much more on contractors to help keep things running, to account for the smaller crew. Murdoch and Rowden said Wednesday they didn’t think the report “set off any alarm bells,” but they did acknowledge it showed that the ship still is figuring things out, feeling its way along, and so on.

“We’re making it up as we go” and “We don’t even know what it is yet!” are two Big Navy rallying cries for LCS, and they’re also two reasons why the program continues to have so many skeptics in and out of uniform. People want a ship to be a ship, not for a multi-billion dollar defense program to be a free-form jazz odyssey.

Murdoch and Rowden, for their part, said they welcomed criticism and they understood why there remain many pockets of resistance to LCS. The ships are so different, they said, it’s no wonder why they have trouble winning converts, but the constant friction surrounding the program “Helps us sharpen our focus on what we need to go work on,” Rowden said. The admirals’ bottom line remains that LCS is the right ship, end of story.

The next big priority is getting the Freedom and its crews ready for their deployment next spring. The ship will be away for about 10 months, Rowden said, operating out of Singapore. It’ll be a trial for swapping crews, changing mission modules — or at least simulating as much — and supporting and sustaining LCS according to its evolving concept of operations. Rowden acknowledged the surface Navy does not have much experience in doing the things it’ll need to do to make LCS work, which is why the Freedom’s trip will be so important. It’ll require about 40 people, sailors and contractors, working in Singapore to support the deployment, he said.

The stakes are high. As we’ve observed so often before, the Navy needs LCS to do something; even its biggest booster, Navy Undersecretary Robert Work, acknowledges it still must prove itself in the real world. The program is not in danger — “Our sense is, congressional support for the block buy remains solid,” Murdoch said — but everything would sure go a lot smoother if the Navy could placate many of the LCS critics. Even so, these ships may never fully shake controversy.

The point of LCS was supposed to be flexibility and modularity, but there’s a case to be made that actually the Navy has built something that does just the opposite – puts it in a straitjacket. The flush-years, Rumsfeld-era Navy that created LCS is long gone, and now second and third generations of leaders are trying to take something sold as “adaptable” and actually shoehorn it to their different needs.

Navy leaders shrug and smile and say, hey, we can do whatever we want: So we won’t run the ships at their high speeds and, if we need to, yeah, we’ll add more crewmembers. But this can start to sound like a new father making excuses to keep his sporty convertible after the baby is born — yes, you might be able to squeeze a car seat back there, but it’s never going to be a Volvo station wagon.

Adding more sailors and getting rid of speed may sound like “adaptation,” but it’s also “compromise:” The Navy has already had to concede that LCS will only take four-month deployments, instead of the surface Navy’s standard six. Each new reduction in speed, change in design and addition of crew makes LCS a little less LCS and more of a standard surface warship. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if that’s what the Navy wants, why not build it? (The answer is that the program is too far along and the brass can’t turn back now.)

Some Navy leaders, including Fleet Forces Command boss Adm. John Harvey, have warned against exactly this mentality – we can’t force LCS to come to us, he argues; we’ve got to go to it. Still, he and the rest of the leadership are hamstrung by how slowly the program is playing out. The Navy dropped the onetime urgency it attached to the program, choosing instead to sit back and relax. At this rate, it can feel like the future LCS was supposed to deliver might never arrive.

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“We’re making it up as we go” and “We don’t even know what it is yet!” are two Big Navy rallying cries for LCS,”

if even the Navy brass doesn’t even know what “it” is, why are they pushing this massive fraud of a program so hard?

I am banging my head against my desk trying to forget what I just read…

They should do away with the PRT age brackets and make everyone do the same PRT as our junior enlisted complete. maybe then we will get brass that actualy have oxygen going to thier brains and can think straight. Trade the front gun for a 155 howitzer so it can shoot excaliber rounds among others, loose the helo and convert the hanger into more berthing and VLS tubes, then mount tripple torpedo tubes and AA missiles aft of the old hanger. At least then it will be able to conduct war time operations.

WHY are we funding this crap. It’s like paying money to a money pit that is not working. For the love of God, someone please pull the plug on the LCS pipe dream before some sailor get’s killed. We need to come up with a sensible frigate and I’m all for going to Europe for a frigate with Littoral capability.

If you really want to cry read this article posted today on Aviation Week ” What Price Freedom?: LCS-1 Leaves Dry Dock Amid Questions About Worthiness” Why are we spending “Buckets and Buckets of Money on this!!!!!!!!!


Praise and criticism, two paragraphs of praise and twelve paragraphs of criticism; which sells better, Ha! Blah, Blah, Blah, only one of each type is on the water and already the sky is falling. Neither type has completed OT&E and entered IOC. If the boat is tied to the dock, can it be criticised for not travelling at full speed? Are all mission modules designed for operation at full speed, if not then why can’t the boat throttle back to the normal module operations speed? Travelling around in most littorals at full speed is stupid, travelling from blue water to the littorals at full speed is to be expected. “Much ado about nothing!”, only face time with the media!

This is very well written. Great work.

Lockheed is the Enron of the defence industry, it is pushing the envelope on fruad to see how much money it can make by delivering as little as possible.

Its not surprising that the Lockheed bosters sound like Enron traders confident that they can screw America and get away with it forever.

No boomer. It wont. First the vessel is so lightly built the 155 would tear the vessel apart upon firing.

We know what we need. We or sould i say the Navy and the congress critters who are supporting this jobs program. Which is all it is.

We need a frigate. Absolon or other such vessels are built and do the job actucally asked. For less money the same manpower, and 20x as well.

You do realise these vessels have had problems constantly right? That reguardless of what it has done yet the concept itself is so flawed its obvious? That neither vessel can or will ever meet the speed requirments? That these vessels litteraly cannot perform the jobs they are built and counted on to do?

This isnt Much ado about nothing. This is what people including myself have been looking at for over 5 years at the least. People from naval officers persently and retired, ship builders and designers, EVERYONe.

This isnt about face time. This is about national defense and the lives of those who will serve on a vessel and DIE on this vessel if it ever faces combat. This is about a flawed ship, flawed program, flawed system and flawed concept.

No sir this is very much Something.

Well all I can say is less time over little LCS ships and more into building the DDG-1000 ships over this little boat.

I know how you feel. I’m trying to invent a Batforgetterang as we speak.

In typical Navy (US Government) fashion, buy TWO different unproven, 3000 ton, $500+ million, under-armed seaframe designs before developing solid rationales for their mission modules and deployment. Then when you experience problems with both the seaframe and the mission modules, pump in as much money as necessary to salvage the programs, justify sunk costs, and save face.

It has been over a decade since the LCS procurement program started and still do not have an operationally deployable ship or completed mission module. A more measured approach would have been to invest in a modern FFG back then to replace the Perry’s. At the same time start with the 1000 ton Sea Fighter (FSF-1) for evaluation and experimentation and then build a series of larger experimental vessels (say 2000 tons (HSV-2 size) and 3000 tons (LCS size)) to refine and test concepts and equipment.

Agree the fleet sailors know what they need, I would also like to see this program go away. Right now we have 4 of these things commited, they could be modified to be useful. A palidan type 155 system could be installed that would not rip the hull up (a 6′ H x 9’w x 12’L box to simmulate the transporter with turrent mounted on top _ All shock mittigated mounted). In reality what was wanted was a strech hull Visby, that is why the specs and requirements so closely copy it/ issue was that it is a sole source product so thanks to our mandatory competition requirements we could not simply buy them and had to find some one else to build them. If we still had a fully functional govt yard here to offer the sweeds they probably would had come in on the deal but the contractor yard wanted too big of the cut for them.

Said it before and will say it again — should had built modern 100 foot long range torpedo gun boats as used in WWII, The old plywood boats were sea worthy enough to transport Mc Arthur and his family on, not to mention our grandfathers and great uncles so why are they not good enough for us now days? I sailed from HI to GA on a 42′ boat with no issues so anyone saying a 100′ motor boat built for such cant do it aint much of a sailor.

Boomer there are many but here are a few.

The problem with those small 100ft boats is that warfare has changed. Most importantly the economics of war has changed.

Personel are the most expensive part of the fleet. So to get those 100 ft boats you’d need what? 10 men maybe? Well then what are you going to arm them with? Maybe a light autocannon and some .50s? Maybe just maybe a stinger AA system.

Ok now ten of those are going to take away 120 or so men. Your ships can do light patrol in basicly law enforment duties.…..thats right you’ve made a coast guard short range ship. Whats more your going to tie up replinishment vessels so another 100 or so people and a ship worth 100mil or so.

Whats more these ships dont represent a threat to modern surface combatants unless in vast swarms. In the end you end up with 100 or so light patrol boats capable of only a single mission in calmer waters.….

Or you can invest in a frigate which if its a absalon can:

Perform all of those duties demanded of the LCS anywhere needed. As well as carry either 300 infantry or 7MBT to a front.……

At a price of 250-400mil per ship.

Its all about flexability and cost. Patrol boats have none of those things. Not in modern america.

Thats the problem You cant do that.

The design itself is worthless. To light, to shallow of a draft.

We dont need a 155 for a Frigate. A 5in will be fine for its duties.

Visby has some of problems also. Whats more it doesnt do all we need.

Why? Its simple — the Navy Brass sold themselves to Lockheed Martin. If Lockheed’s cash-cow .. or pig … goes away, their post-retirement paychecks go bye-bye. And I would have to think that the only reasons why the trash in Washington haven’t stuck a boot to the Navy’s brass over this is that part, if not most, of them are probably as crooked at the guys keeping this lame duck on the books.

SOLUTION TO THIS MESS: Invent a mission that will fit these new platform capabilities.

ex: since they are built on the Great Lakes, just permananetly homeport them out there. You know, just in case Canada gets squirrelly.

END OF PROBLEM: Now these little LCS warships are perfectly matched to a mission. Finally, eh ? Who cares that this is all backwards. At least it will have a happy ending for LM, USN, GREAT LAKES.

Why are there two different classes of this ship..?

I think it’s interesting they’ve made a ship that, supposedly, will replace both existing frigates AND minesweepers. It would almost certainly be cheaper to build a new class of minesweeper, and a new class of frigate than it would be to make a “multi-role platform.” The old rule is when you try to do everything pefectly you end up doing nothing very well. The F/A-18E SuperHornet is certainly an example. It is in no way in the same class of “fighter” as the F-14 Tomcat was, yet it replaced the F-14 and has the additional attack role of the A-6 Intruder. It is too short-range to equal either of them. Yet, the Navy is now trying to do the same thing with ships.

did you ever serve in the Navy RunningBear, because if this is the new norm for ship operations
we we have truly sunk to a new low (ref AviationWeek).

“Few of the equipment failures cited by POGO, the Navy says, were mission critical. While the ship did experience a “brief loss of power,” the Navy says, “many commercial and U.S. Navy vessels have periods of power loss due to plant set-up and operator control.”

“periods of power loss” what the h e l l? you’re never supposed to lose power on a warship!

I love how people talk out their six when they are not even involved in the program.. Most of you never even been on lcs. Keep talking…

All pretty funny folks since the crew of the LCS is 120 now too. 40 to run the ship and 80 to do maintainence.

12 patrol boats far outmatches a single LCS in capability.

Those that have are not impressed — shoddy slipshod workmanship, poor design, and no concept of operations.

The crews are resorting to wrapping equipment in plastic to try stop everything from rusting away.

This no rush to get them deployed in my opinion speaks to the knee jerk over reaction that led to the design in the first place. Once people calmed down from the hysteria years later after Millennium Challenge they began to realize aside from the stacked deck that was used for the red force, that the threat of the swarming boat isn’t much of a threat at all. We had plenty of systems to address that threat already, they are called attack helicopters and cluster bombs. We’ve now come to understand the real threat is mines from a low tier pain like Iran and subs from a peer adversary like China, so we don’t really care about the 50 knots speed anymore.

What we need are a number of hulls. We need plain old simple new mine sweepers. We need some type of OPV for places like the Straits of Hormuz and Malacca. We also need a low cost, robust multi-mission frigate. I think LCS and the F35 have both clearly shown the folly of “commonality” and “modular”.

I have to agree with Belesri. A 155 will not work on the LCS. NGFS fires rounds at a much higher muzzle velocity putting more strain on the structure of the ship supporting it. You can not just take a 155 howitzer and weld it to the ship. I am not sure how the software works for existing 5inch guns but I would think it would have to be totally rewritten to account for the different round, ballistics, powder, and any other matter of stuff that goes into getting a round on target.

I’m loving your Lockheed derangement syndrome. What exactly has the GD/Austal design done better? Both designs are rather lacking direction at the moment.

At least it beats obsolete on completion.

You’re putting words in their mouths and then insisting that its fact. I think they know what LCS, its a modular platform. If you take an 18-wheeler big rig truck and ask the manufacturer what is it going to pull they will give you a variety of answers based on what they imagined, the truck driver will have another list, and the company looking to hire a truck will have a third. The “brass” have built a ship to carry a mine counter-warfare package, anti-submarine warfare package, or surveilance package, while acting to transport Special Operations units with a capacity for maritme interception. They have built an assymetric war-fighter that is an open platform flexibile enough to change and adapt to the ever-changing landscape of those kinds of threats. It is a ship that is designed to be easily upgraded.

LCS is an overacheiving corvette not an under performing frigate… The intent was simply for it to carry some capability normally only available to a frigate sized ship. The failure of the program is that it was sold as a surface warfare frigate. It isn’t that and for all intents and purposes there is very little in what the Navy has required of the ship that puts it in a position to be used that way.

People talk about sailors on the LCS getting killed… but 2 of the 3 classes of ships the LCS is replacing were wooden hulled ships armed only with 1 or 2 .50 cal machineguns. No sailors on those ships ever died, since a speedier and metal hulled ship with a cannon is better than those, in this role I don’t see any sailors dying. If the Navy is stupid enough to use a corvette as a frigate, thats a different issue.

I think it just shows that when you put performance parts into a ship, those components drive the price of the ship, regardless of the size.

When you look at European ships of a similar size and class to the LCS most cost in the same ball park. For example the German’s corvettes would cost $222M a piece when adjusted for inflation… as it stands the contracts are for the LCS to be built for $270M.

I have no problem with commonality — or designing a ship for future expansion. But the LCS is really expensive for what you get, and what the ship doesn’t get — is armament. There is no way for an LCS to “reach out and touch someone”, and even the planned armament (the now cancelled NLOS program) was weak and short-ranged.

A number of our european allies have built stealth frigates for far less money. But our Navy can’t control itself when it comes to acquisition, by changing the design changes from the beginning — and even during construction. Simple is good and reliable — and our military isn’t into simple.

We need an off the shelf FFG solution and soon, even if it means contracting to build an existing design in US shipyards with some upgrades such as the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen or German F124/F125. There is simply no way LCS is going to pick up the slack of the Perry class, including wartime convoy escort, ASW, anti-piracy/Littoral operations, operating as part of a larger SAG as needed, etc.

Outside the conventional CBG role the Frigate is a backbone ship that should be capable enough and survivable enough to operate independently. LCS is simply too much shine and too little substance.

Well I did say modern version didnt I, A 100′ boat with 4 mk48 ADCAPS = 4 dead surface ships or subs. They are shallow draft enough to get into intercoastal waterways — armed with avenger AA system as well as stingers, a 106 and MK38 cannons, dual 50’s, 120mm mortars and hedgehog it would outgun the current LCS, especialy running them in packs of 4. Yes we need frigates but for what the LCS was originaly intended for (green & brown water combat, anti piracy, specwar support and anti submarine) patrol boats would had been better. We will never buy absolons for the same reason we didnt buy visby or the german corvett because they are sole source and our regs require a competition. Force landings will always be done by the fleet, and the LCS will require the same logistics support for susstainment as patrol boats would. Oh and yes MK48’s can be surfaced launched, they quit because the tubes were mounted so high on cruisers that it damaged the early transducers on the torp, plus they were not really needed with subroc &asroc on surface ships.

Ah the A6, sure do miss that high payload long range beast along with the bronco — two platforms that proved themselves well during desert storm and should not had been phased out until replacements were developed instead of the f35 that will never fill the role of either of those two. And the 14’s ability to carry and launch tomahawks was noteworthy as well for surgical stand off strikes.

The LCS (like its predecessors) the WWII Destroyers (DD) and Destroyer Escorts (DE) is in reality an expendable warship. The WWII era DDs and DE’s were in no way as survivable as the battleships (BB) and cruisers (CA) of the day and were considered “expendable”. During WWII we needed a large number of surface combatants for sundry duties such as patrolling, escort work, anti-submarine warfare, etc, tasks not suitable for large and expensive BBs and CAs, and building large numbers of DDs and DEs was the only affordable and timely way to achieve building a fleet of sufficient size to win WWII. Today, we also need a large number of affordable “low end” ships for “sundry duties”

The basic concept of the LCS (equipped with interchangeable mission packages and modular weapon systems) is sound. However, in addition to the difficulty of getting these ships built due to bad contracting and specification decisions made in the 1990’s, the naval leadership oversold the utility and timeliness of achieving credible mission packages, and it may be years and millions of dollars more until the original LCS concept reaches full fruition. At the present time, the navy is grappling with maintenance support for the current fleet, so another area of major concern is: will the navy actually deliver on the shore side maintenance support envisioned for the LCS class ships? If not, the small primary crew of approximately 40 is going to burn out fast. With only a crew of 40, each LCS member will also need to must be a “jack of several trades”. The recently released Type Commander Material Inspection (TMIT) report on LCS-1 that addressed crew readiness is not encouraging, it stated that “ THERE WAS CONFUSION BETWEEN CONTRACTOR AND CREW RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF EQUIPMENT CHECKS. When the LCS’s deploy, the crew will not have the contractors to depend upon.

Who was it that said: “Beware the Military-Industrial Complex”? Ike as I recall, nothing has changed. Want to bet the key people that are supporting this Rube Goldberg designed ship will be working for the company that builds them.

LCS — new designation(s) — Little Crappy Ship or Little Contractor Ship — a total cluster _____. I feel for the crew members who must be working 24/7 to attempt to correct a complete failure of Navy shipbuilding leadership. I am sure the ships?? will include, officer, cpo, and crews berthing along with contractors berthing. Maybe should reclassify them as X craft, water barges, garbage scows, net tenders, etc. At least the modules for those tasks would be cheaper. The only resemblance the LCR’s have to Navy ships is the haze gray paint and big numbers on the bow. Bet many a retired or soon to be retired surface type zero is planning his or her post retirement employment as a LCR ship and or module contractor. Remember when you get sick and want to puke, puke over the lee side.

Jeff, I do believe that you are the only one (outside of Navy brass) that thinks the LCS is a great idea

Are the LCS 1,2, and 3 match or more competitive than the Chinese Type 021 class missile boat and the Russian Osa class missile boat? Because these could be the questions that will hunt us in the future if conflict arises and if we come face to face with these boats on sea battles.

Ok Chuck please define the dollar amount where we go past the “expendable” point of no return. $400M, $500M,$ 600M, $700M, $800M, keep going you say…(have we hit the true cost of the LCS yet?)?

I’m truly glad we have so much money (and people) that are “expendable.”

I totally agree with you, the US Navy needs to kill the LCS crap and go with either the upgraded patrol frigate from the US Coast Guards National Security Cutter design or go to Europe and buy the rights to build a version of the Fridtjof Nansen class frigate or the Álvaro de Bazán class frigate or the Sachsen class frigate.

The LCS as it is, is nothing more than a glorified gun boat or more correctly is as armed as a US Coast Guard Medium Endurance cutter such as the Famous class cutter & the Reliance class cutters. In my Opinion, I think the LCS fits the role of a Medium Endurance cutter and should be Decon and sold to a country like Iraq Dominican republic or the Philippines.

The problem is by the time the PC got to where they could launch they are dead. Any modern vessel will detect and destroy them before hand.

Remember everything is based off the crew. By the time you put all those weapons on there the crew is looking to be in the 20’s which will give this ship a short leash.

Then to get all of that weaponry and equipment up to a fast speed say 20–30 or so kn is going to be hard so bigger engine less range or larger ship.…

Then it wont be able to operate in rough water sense its now to top heavy and cant fight in that water anyways.….…

You see the problem. America’s service men are insanely expensive. I think it was made that way keeps their numbers down which some people see as good. However it means the Navy and other services need to find the best balance of:

Firepower/weapons systems/time on mission/ships and missions etc.…

Which the small boats just dont give. They would in the end become just like the LCS. TO big from what they were ment for. To short legged so they would require a tanker everywhere. Not powerful enough.…..

In the end America’s location and the ways and places we deploy ships dictate how we build and design them. Thats why many ships the Euro’s use just wont work for us.

LOLZ people scream the military industrial complex. You do realize that congress which is voted in by the people controls that right? And that while you scream EVIL!!!! one minute tomarrow you will tell you neigbor Im sure glad we have that company building those missile parts here!

Thats right.……you made it this way. Ourships cost so much because every other senator wants a peice of it built in his district. A union demands the jobs pay a certain way. A congressman wants it stationed in his district so it provides jobs.….….

Money=jobs=votes. Modern Politics.

Bullshit. The moduals dont work or are canceled or are “on the way” sometime next decade…

The ships because of the STUPID speed requirement (which they cant make like within even 15kn of it with a actucal mission set up).

There is not enough room for the men on board to work the ship and weapons. No room to install aditional systems as they come about. A hull and structure so thin that any damage even a pirate with a RPG is a instant kill. Oh yea lets not even mention the fact that both vessels are showing severe strain already and that the crew is so over worked they cant take ANY casualties or sick or the ship is screwed.….…..

Litteraly the list of not working or wrong or broken or simply not possible on this ship and entire concept its insane.

The Danes did the thing in the 80’s the Absolong meets all the actucal requirments and is perfect battle tested and CHEAPER.

No this is a POS. Oh i forgot to add. At roughly 400+ mil a ship and VERY expensive to operate sense they need a army onshore to fix when its breaks (often) they are insanely expensive.…

But what happens if you are suddenly ingaged in surface warfare while you have the mine package installed? Dead men.

It is my sincere regret to inform you your.……

cite your references Jeff, because you are way way off

“The amount awarded to Lockheed Martin Corp. for fiscal 2010 littoral combat ships is $436,852,639. The amount awarded to Austal USA for the fiscal 2010 littoral combat ships is $432,069,883.”

Ref: http://​www​.globalsecurity​.org/​m​i​l​i​t​a​r​y​/​s​y​s​t​e​m​s​/sh

I like the sea“frame” idea, it makes a lot of sense and I think all of the services should adapt it, just think

In the Air Force we would have “airframes” a really fast fighter, with a radius of 150 miles, with no weapons or radars, but they are really really automated, so much so that they only need 1/8 of a pilot, but don’t worry they are working on the weapons and radar ‘modules’ due to be out in 2037, and they only need a ground crew of 247 to maintain them, and better still they only cost 1 billion a piece (excluding modules of course)

In the Army we could have “landframes” these would be tanks without a turret and because they are so automated they only need one crewman to fire it’s 7.62mm main battle gun with 50 rounds of ammo. Don’t worry because it’s protected with lots of aluminum foil armor, and they are so fast that they can simply run away when they see the bad guys

In the Marines we could have “amphibiousframes” they are massive 1,000 ton vehicles that can go 30 knots for 10 minutes before they run of of gas, they likewise are so automated they don’t even need a crew, just a shore staff of 100 to maintain them because they rust out so quickly and develop cracks everywhere

and for the Coast Guard we have.…. ;-D

But the whole ideal is littoral combat in the green and brown waters, niether a frigate or the lcs can op in brown water or get in close enough to provide transport or fire support for specops, or patrol choke points for submarines, they are too large. Unconventional hull vetilation will increase the boats range and speed dramaticly, these boats could cruise at 30knts in sea state 5 and run at 60+ knts full speed. You do away with redundant spaces such as seprate space for officers & crew and you can carry the the extra fuel you need. The lcs cant do what it was designed for so now the Navy is looking at using it as a frigate which it is not and never will be, I agree we need more frigates. But for littoral a PT not a PC is what is needed. Check out Bently Marine, they have a 70mph corvett, 60mph patrol boats and other decent off the shelf items that we cant touch until we get rid of the sole source restriction in acquisistion.

Thanks for the Aviation Week link. I think that’s the best single article discussing shortcomings of the LCS that I’ve read. One of the things I found particularly disturbing was the Navy’s commitment to a very small crew, and “deferred maintenance”. Doesn’t that also imply about zero capability for damage control? Just in case the LCS ever fights anything that shoots back? Oh, but wait: “as the Pentagon Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) puts it, “LCS is not expected to be survivable in a hostile combat environment.” Honestly, what more could you want in a warship?

LOL No they would just be annhilated.

The LCS would be useful as a station ship in low threat operational areas. As for being a true combat vessel, I am glad that I am retired and don’t have to worry about that assignmnet. I have spoken to inspection teams that have worked on both variants and I have no confidence in the design or concept. It was not that long ago that massive shore side support and interchangeable equipment was to be available for the Perry Class. Never materialized. My opinion is that the ships are for the benifit of Lockheed, and Lockheed alone.

Probably we should take a look at this new Chinese Ships and boats and its new weapons and compare it to our LCS if it matches or competitive.

See: http://​www​.csmonitor​.com/​P​h​o​t​o​-​G​a​l​l​e​r​i​e​s​/​I​n​-​P​i​ctu

Haze gray paint ???? Huh ???? totally eliminated from the all aluminum variant (LCS-2 Class) and mostly missing from the LCS-1 deviant class.

Perhaps Newport News shipyard will stop painting all their aircraft carrier CVN islands haze gray ? And just let all 11 CVN’s cruise around the World without any paint whatsoever on their topside Islands ?? Not a chance. NAVAIR is not stupid like NAVSEA.

Why did we not just go to professional Small ship builders like Bloom & Voss?? Decades of proven FAC’s, Covettes, OPV’s. Even Sweden has off the shelf designs that. were better than the LCS.

The navy probably need a bigger modern type of M80 Stiletto Stealth or a modern version of Visby Class Stealth Corvette boats and more modern type of FSF sea fighters made of grass– carbon material armed with anti submarine SAAB ASW 601, 50+ tube harpoon missile launchers with multiple missle reload capable, 6 torpedo tube launcher, CWIS, laser, modern radar system, long sea distance capable boat, nuclear or electric engine to add to the navy boats arsenal for effective defenses against asymmetric future threats.

Better watch it, nightwing. Obviously someone already used a Batforgetterang on the Naval officers responsible for this mess. I take it the SGLI for sailors on this whattayacallit is doubly expensive over the guys in the “rigid inflatables” fleet, which, at least, were built to purpose and turning out to be very useful. Anyone know where we can get a 100-foot-long rigid inflatable which can tow mission-suitable LTA modules behind it? I mean, we could’ve upgraded the Tarawa, put aboard three Higgins PT boats, and ended up with a REAL Multimission ship… and the PTs could carry the same 30MM.

The LCS is just an oversized PT boat. JFK must be rolling in his grave.….

The NSC is far better than the LCS and if the US Navy went with the NSC than the LCS. The US Navy would have had a true Multi-role Frigate with littoral capabilities. The NSC can be up armed on the cheap and with current off the Shelf inventory including Harpoon, ESSM in quadpack, 5 in gun, (2) 25mm auto mounts, Phalanx, Torpedoes and, Air Search Radar, towed array sonar. On top of that the NSC could possibly have room for STANFLEX as well. If the US Navy went with the US Coast Guard’s NSC design and upgraded the NSC design to Frigate standards. The US Navy would have a true Multi role Frigate with Littoral capability and room for STANFLEX.

Speaking as a person that has worked on LCS-3 this is a very deifferent type of warship. I’m sure the first aircraft carrier underwent the same turmoil. For those who try to compare this with other surface ships it’s like apples and oranges, it can’t be compared like that. From the first ship to the second we’ve cut defects by 80%. Another two ships down the road and it with have issues comparable with the other types of surface ships that we’ve been building for twenty years, not three as with LCS. The program is rapidly evolving contrary to what the watchdogs think.

it’s not a surface warfare ship. That’s what the rest of the task force is for. Get it right!

Until you understand what the mission is please remain silent


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