Navy: ‘Solid’ LCS 1 will be ready to deploy

Navy: ‘Solid’ LCS 1 will be ready to deploy

The littoral combat ship USS Freedom will be ready for its deployment next year, the Navy says, although it acknowledged the ship didn’t get a completely clean bill of health.

It’s still suffering from some of the oft-discussed problems its crew has discovered in the years since its commissioning, but nothing so serious the Navy can’t get it squared away in time for its planned 10-month trip to Singapore and the Western Pacific.

The Board of Inspection and Survey “found Freedom fit for service and on an appropriate readiness glide slope,” said Vice Adm. Richard Hunt, the head of Naval Surface Forces, in an announcement. “There are clearly identified issues to work on in the Post Shakedown Availability (PSA) this July, many of which were known, some which were new as is expected in a special trial. Freedom is solid, all of the issues are fixable, and none of the issues would prevent her from deployment this spring.”

Continued the Navy:

During the Special Trial, the ship and crews were rigorously evaluated. Main propulsion and the electrical plant were fully exercised for hours. The ship’s combat systems were stressed to verify full tactical capability. Communication systems were demonstrated at long range, and deck equipment used to the maximum extent. During the second day in port, inspectors conducted a space-by-space survey, verifying Navy technical standards were fully met, and noting discrepancies for correction if they were not. The ship’s documentation and safety programs were also fully evaluated to ensure both the crew and ship’s equipment are kept safe. “The deficiencies will be corrected and Freedom will stay on the path to deployment,” said Hunt.

He went even further in an extensive telephone interview with the commodore of the naval press flotilla, Christopher P. Cavas of Defense News. Hunt described the Freedom’s successes and challenges in great detail, boasting about its performance in a crash-back drill, when a crew takes a ship up to speed and then reverses its engines in a major test of its propulsion plant. He also acknowledged that the Freedom’s stern doors are still admitting water and causing rust, and that inspectors could not test the Freedom’s boat-launch equipment because the hydraulics were not working.

But the fleet will fix those and other problems, Hunt said — the Navy’s point is, no matter what California Rep. Jackie Speier and POGO and AvWeek’s Michael Fabey all say, the Freedom is not a lemon of the seas. It’s a “WAR-ship!” and ready, at long last, to go out and seek its fortune.

LCS-builder Lockheed Martin also was very pleased.

“Completion of INSURV’s recent special trial onboard USS Freedom means that she has passed another critical milestone and remains on schedule for her spring deployment to Singapore,” said a statement from Joe North, the company’s vice president of Littoral Ship Systems. “Freedom has a sound design, and our team remains pro-active on utilizing all lessons learned from the lead ship testing, to incorporate into the future Freedom variants, thus decreasing costs and improving efficiencies.”

At one time, the Navy might have been able to answer all its critics by releasing INSURV’s actual report about inspectors’ visit to the ship, but those documents are classified. Adm. Jonathan Greenert, now chief of naval operations, ordered them kept secret in 2009 when he was head of Fleet Forces Command, because if the Chinese found out that a certain gator’s soft-serve ice cream machine was inoperative, game over. INSURV reports had been public documents for decades, available under the Freedom of Information Act. The classification decision had nothing whatsoever to do with embarrassing reports by Cavas and others about the poor material condition of ships in the surface force. Absolutely nothing to do with that. That’s crazy!

So as it stands, the Navy finds itself in an absurd situation of its own making: Hunt wants to prove to the many LCS skeptics that the Freedom is in fighting shape. He can’t reveal the document that says so, which would be as simple as forwarding a PDF. Instead, the Navy must describe the contents of an ostensibly classified report. In fact, a three-star admiral is doing so. Maybe the Navy will do it again if INSURV inspectors once again find that cruisers and destroyers are in such bad condition they can’t fight, or their Aegis systems — the key to the European missile defense shield — are at low readiness. Then again, maybe not.

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When I was on new construction, INSURV and PSA happened immediately after commision followed by loadout, TRE and then deployment all happening within months of commision rather than years otherwise the CO was held accountable and his career trashed. And yeah that applied to first of class ships as well. This alone tells me how bad the LCS program design and program management is.

Sadly, I actually like LCS…

“The Board of Inspection and Survey “found Freedom fit for service and on an appropriate readiness glide slope,” said Vice Adm. Richard Hunt” Wow. The DoD is getting way too much in love with their jargon. If I didn’t know better, I’d say they were obfuscating to cover a problem. Nah. They wouldn’t do that…right?

As yourself, I liked the original ideal just not what it evolved into. I also thiink that the program would had been better off that once they realized that the planned modules were not going to mature and that once they decided to go with two variants that they had set different requirements for the primary mission and off the shelf weapon requirements of the two designs. (both maintaining the anti pirate, drug interdiction, mine sweeping and SPECWAR OPS secondary missions)

Wouldn’t it be great to have a fast small frigate/corvette size of ship for littoral work, capable of multiple missions that was well built, packed a moderate punch and cost less than $300,000,000? No?

The up-side is that LCS-6 and out, the average Austal price is supposed to be ‘just’ $352m. Add $45m for weapons modules and change orders, and they just get under $400m.
For a ship that can’t fight anything but pirates, so far. H***, even a Mk-13 with 20 year old missiles would look good right now.

Can’t release the report? Not even a sanitized version? As if the USN needed to sow more doubt(s) about this “warship”? We sometimes are our own worst enemies.

Who is INSURV trying to fool, the US Navy, congress or the Taxpayers. We all know the LSC is a disaster from day one and Congress really needs to pull the plug on the LCS program. What we need is a multi role frigate with littoral capability and it would not break the bank.

why was my commet deleted? I just asked if they have a mssion for the LCS yes or are they still trying to pull one out of a hat

I have never been able to wrap my mind around why the USA spends so much more for it’s hardware than anyone else. The world abounds with OPVs, Corvettes, and Frigates, all costing substantially less than the approx. $700 million per copy of either class of LCS . The original “Street fighter’ concept was for lots of small, inexpensive combatants to cover lots of water. The tiny 250-ton Pegasus Class missile boats (now retired and scrapped) had way more punch than LCS at a tiny fraction of the cost. That is what ‘Street fighter’ was conceived to be.

Note: Unit cost of a Pegasus Class was $40 million http://​www​.dtic​.mil/​d​t​i​c​/​t​r​/​f​u​l​l​t​e​x​t​/​u​2​/​a​0​6​8​5​2​3.p… (pg 33)

“lemon of the seas”

+1 internets to you.

What we really need to be asking is why the LCS being pushed so hard in spite of it’s worthlessness and negative affects on the Navy

Why are our ‘leaders’ pushing so hard for this disaster. Do they really want too castrate our Navy, and if so, what’s the long term agenda?

Some small fast boat will put a missile into one, and a lot of our guys are going to get hurt or killed because of this disaster called the LCS. That is the really sad part. For some Admirals pet project.

Sounds like a bunch of comments from people who will try to fit square pegs into round holes no matter how many times you tell them they can’t. Open your minds to the possibilities that these platforms will bring in the future, not the perceived inability to fit into the traditional role of a FFG, MCM or some other ship from your storied past.

Actually it is on page 31 of the document, 33 of the ‘.pdf’. It is also $41.4M in 1974 dollars, which, using ‘economy cost’(impact on the economy and taxpayers) inflation adjustment is equal $414M in 2012 dollars. For a fast patrol boat witha 500 mile range on the foils. So aside from entertaining, your point is?.…..

I hope for all Navy and Lockeed’s bluster that the USS Freedom can carry out its mission, whatever it is. There been ships with poor material condition that continued to serve in the service in the past, but there still not been much talk about the LCS’s key feature. The modules that suppose to be make these ship take on differient missions with plug and play ability has not been mention lately. Older reports have said these modules for the Freedom and Independence haven’t rolled out yet. Make me wonder if Freedom is oversize Cyclone Patrol Craft verses LCS. I still feel these ships are under-equipped for the tasks their suppose to under take.

So the Navy has spent $ 400 million for a ship that leaks,can’t launch it’s own lifeboats, has been judged combat-unsurvivable, and it’s armed with the same 155mm howitzer as an existing Marine artillery battery… clearly Adm Greenert classfied the documents due to sheer embarrassment.

I would rather have the US Navy go with two options to replace the LCS program. The first one is to go with a modified Patrol frigate out of the US Coast Guard’s National security cutter. In the same way they did with the Spruance class and Tico’s. The other is to go to Europe and by the rights for the Fridtjof Nansen class frigate,Álvaro de Bazán class frigate,Brandenburg class frigate and the Sachsen class frigate.

If the US Navy is dead set on a corvette, they should have gotten involve with the German Navy and gotten in on the Braunschweig class corvette. The other option would have been to go with the Knud Rasmussen class patrol vessel,Holland class offshore patrol vessels or the Kedah class offshore patrol vessel. The other is to revive the Israeli’s Sa’ar 5-class corvette and maybe build a version of the Sa’ar 5-class corvette.

Ye stop thinking warship, start thinking ferry

Because we’re the USA. And spending unholy amounts of treasure and time on weapons has paid off constantly. We don’t want what everyone else has. We don’t want the economical cheaper ship. We don’t want to use older tech. We are Americans.

We are pioneers of technology and design. We are the best there is at killing things. Leave it to the rest of the world to hang onto what works. Let them stagnate in proven technology.

What wins wars is the next big thing. The tank. The carrier. The nuke. The LCS probably won’t win the next war, of course, but the tech that will spawn from it will lead us towards the next big thing. And so on and so forth until we run into what will win the next war.

That’s how we roll.

original concept was supposed to be fast ferry (a.k.a. HSV-X2 SWIFT), but naval designers were not happy with damage control concept of put fire out in 1 hour and / or abandon ship within one hour. imposition of additional ‘design improvements’ reduced speed and capacity. an airframe concept for maritime platform…yes — square peg in a round hole!

We got involved with NATO on the PHM class…we were the only ones who bought one (hydrofoil)…

While I am not a fan of the LCS for different reasons than many (mostly for not having 24/7 multirole capability and being too big for littoral and too undermanned) Some of you keep harping on the surviability issue (some of which would be negated if properly armed 24/7), Folks there is not a ship on the ocean right now — including the BB museums that can withstand multiple torpedo or cruise missile hits, and there are no effective countermeasures for modern torpedos despite the Tom Clancy movies. While the old BB’s and carriers would stand the best chance of surviving a hit — anyone attacking one will launch multiple which it cant out manuver, out run, or counter. This is why I continue to argue that every nevy US Navy ship should have below the waterline 21″ tubes for MK48 ADCAP torpedos along with the deck mounted tube for MK46-50 torpedos. Torpedos will be the most effective ship to ship weapon on the ocean.

+1 and agreed! This isn’t the 40’s-70’s. All these old men want is the latest and greatest that would fit their glory days. The next war will not be faught by naval cannon and rocket, I assure you all.

Have faith. In the little known modules is where I keep my hopes for the LCS. The ability to quickly adapt to threats would give the ship one hell of an edge. The LCS could very well be the most dangerous thing in the water. If only we knew more about the modules…

The rail gun and lasers are in development, or may already be combat capable but held in secret. I’d imagine the LCS would be the only ship with the level of technology capable to operate the weapons. We will see, of course. Railgun and Lasers would completely dominate the air and sea.

We will see soon enough. Peace only lasts for so long.

There are counter-measures to torpedoes like the Israeli Torbuster hard-kill system.

Thanks for playing.

Must disagree. You have to get in close to use torpedos. And when you do every sonar for miles is going to hear it. You won’t get close enough to use one, if you’re a surface ship. Conventional weapons will see to that.

Keep in mind this isn’t the old days. Even modern submarines would be hard pressed to launch a torpdeo attack against a surface ship. These days getting found is almost certainly a death sentence.

I’ll stick to my missiles and aircraft, thanks. It’s 2012, not 1970. Come to think of it, and I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure all of our modern torpedos are for the roles of ASW.

hey Techno.……your comments are always good for a huge laugh-thanks for getting my day going

“have faith“
“quickly adapt“
“one hell of an edge“
“most dangerous thing in the water”

and my favorite, this might actually be the quote of the year

“LCS would be the only ship with the level of technology to operate the weapons (rail guns and lasers)”


Not the design, but Program Mgmt is definitely not up to Par.

I believe the US navy is coming up with the High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Concept called Fish Hawk

pray tell Tehno, what do you mean by “front line hardcore combat”

if the LCS isn’t fit for “combat” what good is it, and don’t reply with any of these double-speak words:

“high tech“
“showing the flag“

speak in plain English, man to man, and tell us all what it’s really capable of today, not tomorrow, not next year or even ten years down the road, what we we getting for the billions we are spending here?

it’s more like “Sir Robin” of the seas” ran away, ran away ;-D

here’s some words .….

jobs stimulus .… corporate welfare .….

shipbuilding infrastructure .…

congressional districts.….

countless retired Naval officers working in high paid positions at General Dynamics, Raytheon, and of course the company that will always hire retired Navy: Lockheed Martin.

tiny flaw by “Technoweapon”

LCS has 4 itty bitty, tiny, unreliable, always breaking down Electrical Generators.

Quite lucky to have 2 of their 4 actually up and running for a whole 10 day “deployement”.

even if all 4 miraculously work, the total electrical power output is pitiful.

other than insufficient electrical power (and a 1 day supply of fuel onboard), it appears that LCS-1,3,5,7,9 could be adequate ships. For the Fishery Patrol Service of Namibia. And all this for only $600,000,000.00 a pop. Perhaps if the Navy sails USS FREEDOM back into the St. Lawrance River, up thru all the Great Lakes, and docks in Marinette, Wisconsin, they can return the keys and get their money back ??

( you know, the Lemon Law.… California is their home port, so I’m sure the Attorney General of the Great bankrupt State of California will enforce the Lemon Law if asked ).

you’ve head upon an excellent idea for LCS ASW:

put torpedoes on them !! And every so often, shoot one over the side.

As Technoweapon correctly points out, every sub for many miles around will instantly hear the torpedo noise in the water. And this would result in any nearby subs instantly having to change their shorts. So this would be a good ASW tactic for LCS.

PROBLEM SOLVED !! See, that was easy. LCS ASW module = carry 4 dozen torpedoes onboard and no sonar at all.

It’s all about the tomorrow. We’ve got the ships for today and for the next ten years. We’ve got 13 carrier groups out there to fight with. If the LCS is designed for fighting, and I’m hoping it’s not, then it’ll take some sort of support role.

Everyone wants the ultimate ship due to the costs. And we hate it to death because it’s incredibly underarmed and paper thin. My idea is that it won’t rely on cannons or missiles. I’m still waiting to hear more about these modules.

We’ve got today covered. It’s not like we’ve got any danger or competition from rival Navies. I’m putting my chips on the LCS being the testbed for future ships and weapons.

We’ll see. Hopefully my theories are incredibly correct, no matter how hopeful and science fiction-esqe they are.

If I’m wrong I’ll buy the drinks until my faith and pride in the Navy is erased. Lol

I’ll look into it. Sounds wild. Damn subs can’t catch a break these days. Lol!

Lol! I don’t even want to know how much a torpedo costs today. About a hundred thou each? This is the potential beauty of the modules, you know. Having a multitude of different weapons on tap capable of being stowed to retain deck space for helo’s.

I’d imagine the LCS would have a towed sonar array. Plus the helo’s it can carry would amplify sonar capabilities and, potentially, pick out a hostile sub long before it was able to get within range to launch torpedoes.

Find a sub, roll out the ASW module, put hurt on said sub, roll the module back inside for reloads, helo’s come back for fuel then go back out, and you’re ready for round two.

so Guest you say it CAN“T fire friken lasers, now I’m really disappointed!
But I have HOPE and FAITH in the leadership that they can figure this out once we get the 55 sea bass I mean frames floating, and our entire fleet is comprised of sea bass I mean frames.

I certainly don’t want to mount my friken lasers on sea bass.….

Instead of actual torpedoes, how about a big underwater speaker that plays recordings of torpedo launches! “Defense by Bose” is what they will call it.

LCS-1,3,.… have 4 very small electrical generators. 750kw each. made by Caterpillar. so you know they are reliable forever. oop’s, my bad. they are made by Fincantieri Isotta Fraschini… hard to spell, much less pronounce. So, if all 4 actually work simultaneously ( do NOT hold your breath), then you get a whooping 3 mw power plant for the entire ship and all “stuff” to be added, carried, improved upon in future. Note there is Physically no more room to build a bigger capacity electrical generator, at least not without major redesign and giving up some space for the alledged mission modules. Reality check: since only 2 of the generators can be counted upon to work for 2 months in a row, then the entire ship gets a 1.5 mw power plant. No room for growth unless you want to cut out some mission module. And do NOT plan on addiing anything like SPY-1F, or VLS, or .…. ??? OK, this Limitation is sorta like the hull design of LCS-1. It cannot be changed (easily) much. $$$$$$$$$$ time.…. money sink.….. send more of the National Treasury to Lockheed Martin since they have overlooked room to grow.…. but don’t tell the Lockheed marketeers.… who continue to push powerpoints with all sorts of IMPROVED LCS with missiles galore, SPY radars, etc. Baloney.… can we taxpayers get our money returned please ? And GIBBS and COX is equally to blame for all design flaws .… All amateurs in the shipbuilding industry have collaborated for LCS 1,3,5,7,9… Not certain about LCS 2,4,6,8… we shall see soon.

Techno, we haven’t had “13” carriers since 1993

we have 11 now and soon we will only have 10 when the Big E retires

the reality of ASW is that a surface ship will rarely if ever get an opportunity to fire it’s torpedoes at at sub, that’s assuming the sub is real close and that the sub driver is really stupid-not very likely.

Most ASW engagements will be with helo or ASROC at 10+ miles away

If a sub is close enough for a surface ship to engage it with a torp then that ship is already dead.

Torpedoes on surface ships basically act as a last ditch defense against sub attacks. Drop a torp in the water and it might be enough to mess up the fire control solution or to cause the sub to cut the wire and evade.

The is no module in the world that can make the LCS a ASW platform. ASW ships are build from the keel up with systems and weapons designed for ASW, massive sonars and related equipment, sonar arrays, lots of computer, and not to mention quieting of the machinery and power plants-none of which the LCS can ever have. Just look at the Spruance class destroyers.

The only way the LCS will ever find a sub (module or no module) is if it hits one.

Ah.….. Well that kind of sucks. It’s still 11 more than everyone else has. :]

You mean like how the Germans tried to build Tiger tanks to counter T-34–85’s and found that they could only produce one-tenth as many tanks as the Allies?

To al the above — my comment was to use torpedos against other surface ships and not subs. Surface ships have little chance of detecting a submarine, true if a sub launched a torp they would hear it running but the sub would go silent pretty darn quick. I have been in too many war games where 1 sub was put up against a surface group and the sub won every time even though they were required to breech every now and then to let the surface ships know where they are. The only thing a surface ship has going for it against a sub is its speed, but if it slows to use its sonar the sub will close in and take it out — the range of a sub torp is more than most would like to believe and lets not forget the ability to launch harpoon and tomahawk from 21″ tubes. Helos with towed arrays cant pennetrate the thermal layers to catch a deep running sub either.

Adm Buckley would never let the “glide scope” mentality become part of the INSURV process. Either you are ready or you are not…PERIOD. A round peg in a square hole, nope, a 100 pound bag of crap in a 10 pound can. I feel for my shipmates that have to man these Little Crappy Ships…MMCS(SW)(SS) USN Ret.

if you Google the SeaHake mod4 ER. This torpedo will put the LCS in a huge heap of trouble with a a range of over 140 kilometres (75.6 NM). This is why we need ships with survivability.

Would explain why we havent won a war since 1945 too.

So I see the USN would like to base some of its Pacific LCS fleet around Singapore.…
I can see it now: an LCS pulls into pierside near an ~old~ Singapore Navy Victory-class corvette,
and the LCS says, “Whoa, what’s with all those guns, missiles, and torpedoes you have?”

Says the RSS ship, “This is the armament you WISH you had.“

“Helos with towed arrays can’t pennetrate the thermal layers to catch a deep running sub either.”

Since when and in what universe are you living in? One you obviously made up yourself.

nah, the LCS will say “you hurt my feelings, I’m going to tell.…”

24 yrs in the NAVY, fair amount of it riding subs. Subs are always restricted to an operation box 1/2 the size of the surface group and required to go to PD at designated intervals and breech the surface or snorkle on the diesel(even though we dont even need to go to PD) and not allowed to rig for silent running in order to give them a chance of locating the sub. BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT TOO MANY TIMES.

When 2 of the primary planned missions are carry anti-mine helicopter, carry special forces… and another is anti-submarine and fight asymetrical threats.… does it need to be more than what it is?

If you were to define what you mean by “survivability” I bet you those requirements would completely eliminate the ability of LCS and many other ships from performing theirs assigned tasks.

I wonder if the USN has an equivalent form for that?

It needs missile armed metal storm, modern multiple torpedo launchers, modern radar, MTHEL and CWIS.

Torps on ships these days are not an actual defensive weapon, but a avenging weapon… ship hears a sub launch a torp and launches their own back on a recipriocal track set on search and seek mode. So while the ship is dealing with either foxing the torp with decoys, running damage control on the hit, or sinking, they do not have to deal with tracking and evading the sub which is now playing dodgem with the torps.

Serious ASW is done at long range with towed array sonar and sending a helo out to the location with torps or by deploying helos with dipping snoar and torps onboard the helo. Hull mount sonar is limited in range compared to both the above

Such a pretty little ship, Basically pretty useless, but pretty. Well, while they are in Singapore they can at least look at a real frigate in the Singapore Navy’s “Formidable” class.

They shoot spitballs for weapons?

and the capability to strike inland. Harpoon missles are a good idea too. Damn a ship that can’t bring the hate. Wtf?

wo wait a minute Lockheed Martin is involved I would all fittings and galley ways to make sure it right. Lockheed Martin always puts in a cost plus catch so if the navy finds something new thenavy will be billed not Lockheed Martin, go catch, They got away with in the F22 program.

Technoweapon, you live in another world, lasers and rail guns on an LCS get real. Where would you get the huge amounts of electrical power required to power those kinds of weapons.
For those of you asking about why LCS is unsurvivable. Two reasons. One, it is a crappy design for a warship and poorly built, the people who designed it believe that a missile or a torp will never hit one thus no reason to design it with survivability in mind. Two, there are not enough crew (40 to 50 only). After a missile or torp hit a good amount of the crew are going to be dead or wounded and there will not be enough crew to tend to the wounded, do damage control and fight the ship. The only recourse after a hit will be to abandon ship if anyone is left to give the order.

bro we won the Korean war and we won the Vietnam war not according to the government but militarily we won 400 million Vietnamese compared to 40k Americans seems like a win to me oh and we won the Iraq and afghan war so yea USA USA

I look at these ships as compared to the PT BOATS of WW2. A quick strike ship but not survivable. The only hope of the ships is that they attack in numbers so possibly some survive. I have read the Chinese are building these type of ships as well, so I guess they may be used to defend the bigger ships or commercial traffic against the PT BOATS of other countries.
To me, why the weapons modules? Mount weapons (ASW Torpedos,Harpoon or next generation anti-ship misslesas well as ECM electronics.) If there is enough room in the hull for VLS put it in so you can add in air defense and and anti balistic missle defense so we can shoot the missles down over enemy territory instead of ours. So she would be a small coastal destroyer not a expendable pt boat.


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