How could the Navy begin to remake LCS?

How could the Navy begin to remake LCS?

The only thing that’s clear anymore about the Navy’s littoral combat ships is that they haven’t turned out as hoped.

As Defense News’ naval man Christopher P. Cavas has revealed in a series of extraordinary reports, the bottom has dropped out of the LCS stock inside the service, which quietly worries the ships can’t do several of the key things for which they were designed: Deploy with small, highly expert crews; quickly and easily swap their mission equipment in foreign ports; or keep the ships in fighting shape on an extended voyage at sea.

Cavas’ latest report references an internal Navy study that found it’ll be more difficult than anyone thought for LCS crews to do maintenance on deployment. They rely on American contractors who must fly in to help. U.S. law prohibits foreign workers from doing the kind of work LCS needs — a fact that, incredibly, seems to have escaped Navy leaders despite the years and billions they’ve spent on the program. This means taxpayers must pay for a team to fly from the U.S. to meet an LCS in, say, Busan, South Korea, to help the crew with the ship’s upkeep.

Wrote Cavas:

The limited ability of the LCS crew to perform onboard maintenance, and the need to return to port for even basic repairs, “negatively impacts” the ships’ availability to operational commanders, according to sources familiar with the classified report.

Further, the contractor teams handling maintenance duties are not performing up to snuff or being held accountable for their work. Many contractors are doing the work twice — the second time to correct problems with their initial work — avoiding penalties and billing the Navy twice for the jobs.

According to some LCS crews, the reliance on contractors actually results in more work for the crew, which is too small to supervise the contractors. Navy sailors often have to fix the problems after the contractors have left.

Extensive contractor services also are required to maintain spare parts inventories for the ships, since each of the two ship designs features a number of non-standard systems and the vessels are too small to carry many spares. Ships will be based on either the Lockheed Martin Freedom-class design or Austal USA’s Independence class.

But the reports note the parts and work requirements need to be identified and ordered well in advance, so they’re available when needed — a situation that severely limits the flexibility of the LCS.

You don’t get to see the actual report itself, of course, even though you’ve paid for the ships and the contractors — twice — who phoned in their work here. It’s possible the congressional anger that LCS stirred up earlier this year could result in more disclosures about what the Navy has learned, but do not hold your breath for that.

As for now, the Navy has already conceded it’s adding 20 more racks to its LCS the USS Freedom, and in another Cavas report, that LCS can’t take many of the missions the Navy needs and can’t do the relatively quick toe-touch port swap of mission modules that was to have been its ace in the hole. In that story, Cavas wrote this:

The shortcomings are well known in the fleet, prompting a perception that service leaders are looking for missions to fit LCS, rather than the other way around.

And in Monday’s story, he wrote this:

The OPNAV report, according to sources, concluded that, in light of what the ships can and can’t do, the entire LCS concept of operations needs to be reviewed, along with the minimal-manning requirements and the contractor-based maintenance schemes.

The studies make plain the Navy’s concern with exhaustion and fatigue among LCS crews and the need to improve their quality of life, and cite “the reality of the workload” to bolster those positions.

The review efforts also highlight the extreme complexity of the LCS program — the multiple crews, additional mission module packages and aviation detachments, and two distinct ship classes — as major factors in developing solutions.

So: The Navy has boxed itself into a program that it apparently cannot execute as it once planned. Despite years of criticism and skepticism from the outside, the service is at last reaching this conclusion for itself. Its leaders are acknowledging the need to take another look. Which makes the next question: Where could LCS go now?

Maybe Norman Polmar will win his dollar bill and the Navy will not order any more ships. Ending the current run at 22 vessels, instead of 55, could let the fleet field more sailors per ship and get more good out of each — “wholeness” being a favorite goal of Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the chief of naval operations. Building fewer ships also could theoretically free up money to better equip them, since it appears the Navy may be forced to rely more than it first wanted on built-in weapons and equipment, as opposed to the interchangeable gear.

(Cavas wrote that Navy leaders have acknowledged they’re looking at installing Harpoon anti-ship missiles and a 76 mm gun, to upgrade from today’s 57 mm — though the larger gun may not fit onto the Independence-class ships’ narrow bow.)

It’s not difficult to imagine the Navy dividing up its smaller but fully manned LCS fleet into dedicated squadrons with permanent missions. Some ships could be rigged for surface patrols, others for mine countermeasures and others for anti-submarine warfare. The Navy would get some of the ships it says it needs, though sacrificing each individual ship’s ability to be a wild card.

The Navy brass, under its LCS-Is-A-Phish-Concert Doctrine — nobody knows where the groove will take us, bro! — would probably say the beauty of the program is its ability to accept these changes. The challenge is that LCS can only change so much; the ships are what they are, and altering them too much, to improve their endurance or increase their size, would spoil the progress of the Navy and its vendors in reducing their costs as they have. Whatever the heirs of the Freedom and Independence become, they probably cannot be true frigates or destroyers. Wrote Cavas:

Range is still another concern, because of capacity for both fuel and crew provisions. Although the original [concept of operations] called for ships to operate at sea for at least 21 days, the ships have storage capacity to only carry enough food for 14 days, according to sources familiar with the classified report.

So LCS could become something other than LCS we thought we’d get, but the ships that today’s Navy is inheriting may only be able to do so much.

Join the Conversation

Ditch the LCS and give those contracted for to the USCG to chase drug runners down south — and give the ex-USAF C-27Js to them while were at it. The USN could then procure a licensed built frigates ala the Dutch De Zeven Provinciën, or the Danish Absalon or Iver Huitfeldt class.

I thought that was the whole idea, sticking close to ports…you know what Littoral means ?. Leave the open ocean patrols to the existing vessels.
Asfor flying in contractors to Busan… of course that will happen as its a new ship. If there were 8–10 vessels based around Japan-Korea they could fly in experienced naval techs from Yokosuka. That makes sense to me.
Looks to me like someone is setting up the initial trials with first of class to fail, instead of what it is supposed to lead the practical deployment and such things as the maintenance requirements ( from actual needs not some study).
The so called up gunning from 57mmm to 76mmm has all the hallmarks of mission creep and gold plating

my god. Contrast this with the IOWA class’s ability to not only repair itself underway but serve as a repair service station to the rest of the battle group. Which they did regularly in the 80s and 90s…

Really good comment! I would also like the cool one to patrol Lake Michigan and fish for Walleye.

You see the entire program can be turned around by renaming the shits I mean ships

here are some proper names for the LCS

USS Sir Robin
USS Bob Work
USS Super Chicken
USS Dumb&Dumber
USS Fire marshal Bill
USS Made in China
USS Impotent

Know wonder why, the LCS is a disaster from day one. Were going to be forcing every Taxpayer in America to pay for a $700 Million dollar Death trap that is going to put the lives of Sailors, CPO’s and officers in danger. The fact that the LCS can’t defend itself from small boats to ASCM attack. Show the LCS is a miserable failure, a money pit and a contractors welfare. We can buy frigates that cost less than $700 million per copy and have all the features and protection from small boats to ASCM attack. Even have the Sea legs to keep up with a carrier battle group to an Amphibious Ready group, with capability to operate in the littoral region while the CBG and ARG play quarterback.
It’s why I have always said and advocated, it’s time to kill the LCS program and admit that we screwed it up. We need to go back to a Multi-Role Frigate with Littoral capability and their are frigates around the world that have the capability to operate in littoral regions of the world including the Baltic sea, Mediterranean Sea,Adriatic Sea, Black Sea and Strait of Malacca. I have said it before and their are options that the US Navy has.
1)Take all the Flight I and Flight II Burkes and convert them to oversized Frigates in the same configuration as the Álvaro de Bazán class frigate by removing the aft 64 VLS missiles and putting a hangar for either a helicopter or for a UAV. You don’t need Flight I and Flight II Burkes doing BMD all the time. That’s what Flight IIA’s and above are for. You redeignate the Flight I and Flight II burkes as FFG’s. You save money from having to finance, develop and build a new frigate and instead, take the existing Flight I and Flight II Burkes and convert them to an oversized Frigate.
2) The other option is to take the US Coast Guard’s National Security cutter design and build a modified patrol frigate that is based upon the US Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter. The idea is to take the design and beef it up to a Light Frigate standard. all you would add is TB-29 towed array sonar, ASEA radar, ESSM in Quadpack VLS, torpedos, Sea Ram and Harpoons. The main deck gun can stay or be upgraded with capability for Naval Gun fire support. You would have a light Figate that can keep up with the Carrier Battle group, Amphibious ready group and have the capability to work in the littoral region. At least with the NSC Patrol Frigate design, it would be easy on the taxpayers wallets and it would not break the budget. For me, I would be comfortable with a $400 Million per ship than a $700 million per LCS

Comparing apples and oranges. Up till the 60s and 70s that was a major difference in design of cruisers and destroyers. ( as well as the firepower and size)
Cruisers had double hulls and more crew and could be deployed for longer periods as they would self– maintain. The current DDG is essentially a cruiser design.
The LCS is going back to the destroyer self repair capability of the 40s and 50s. As well the modern Navy has less naval bases so you would call into a ordinary port and bring in specialist maintenance people.

AS the LCS is supposed to be a littoral ship this is a good tradeoff.

The reserve navy all ready does drug patrols in the Caribbean and down the west coast of South America

The days of a Frigate costing $400 mill are gone and arent coming back.

Certainly it’s not fair to literally compare an IOWA with an LCS but my point is valid. I believe the average WWII/Korea era destroyer had more self repair capability than the LCS. Efficiency is a virtue. But at some point damage control and self repair simply have to drop off the table as requirements because the crews are too small…

Wow. Original thinking. I especially like Option 1 and wonder what other cognizant readers think…

There is far greater electronics/ communications equipment in modern ships. Even the modern galley would put to shame the end of war destroyers radar equipment.
AS well the factor is that a lot of modern equipment is more reliable — think modern cars compared to their predecessors– but that may be a bit slower happening on the LCS , but they will get there.
But I keep getting back to the main point, they are designed to be frequent port visitors.

So we turn ships built from 89 to 97 into Frigates ? Using 20 year ( average) old ships like this doesnt make sense.
For the same ‘conversion cost’ you can make them effective DDGs until the end of their life.

This is hardly a professional assessment, but “designed to be a frequent port visitor” seems counterintuitive. At the end of the day, you have to be able to fight and save the ship…

Overall dump LCS and concentrate on DDG-1000 and SSNBNX.

The Maintenance of the LCS is going to be so expensive we need to junk it. From ” Defense News ” yesterday
” Maintenance Hurdles Mount for New USN Ship ” and I quote ” The limited ability of the LCS crew to perform onboard maintenance, and the need to return to port for even basic repairs, “negatively impacts” the ships’ availability to operational commanders, according to sources familiar with the classified report.“

Arrogance, group-think and/or the Dunning-Kruger effect, won’t let the incompetents (and their mind-guard/sycophants) stand up and say, “We made a big mistake with the LCS. It is not the way to go.”

The days of putting plenty of amour on a ship are over, the same goes for being able to fix everything while underway at sea. There is a balance to be found.
Remember aeroplanes arent designed to be fixed in the air, they once could have some adjustments made during flight. But of course that is the other extreme and they do land every few hours

No money for that as the only shipbuilding strategy. Nor is it desirable if you want more hulls for littoral combat missions

Ditch the LCS ASAP and buy Dolphin subs from Germany, the ultimate lethal littoral combat ships.
China will have hundreds of subs.

So, your trying to equate an 88,000 ton 800 sailor dreadnaught with a 3,200 ton, 40 sailor ship designed to (1) provide force protection to a Battle Group from small, go-fast boats; (2) deliver a remote mine hunting vehicle; (3) Lay an anti-submarine detection system; (4) have as its main battery off-board vessels and helo?
If so, then you have to agree that a CVN is also a failure b/c ti can’t submerge and be stealthy & can’t go in harms way without 4 escorts; and oh by the way has (discounting the Air wing) exactly twice the fire power but can’t out maneuver nor run from a small boat swarm of suicide bombers.

You also have to agree that an SSN and SSGN are failures b/c they can’t go in close to shore, can’t launch air craft, can only engage a max on 22 targets due to limited weapons capacity, oh can’t survive on the surface against CGs/DDG/DD or FF/FFGs — they have no topside gun. But they can run and hide — uh oh, wait that is what the build Specs are for the LCS. The contractors were allowed to sacrifice everything except speed.

The DDG-1000 is $3.5 BILLION a copy, has nowhere near the speed, can’t shoot at other ships with its major gun system, and has seakeeping issues. But you like it better???? Question — How many Sailors crew the DDG-1000?? The ship is 14,000 tons and Crewed under the same concept as LCS. The crew is just over 100. Hmmm????

Over one year ago I said the LCS was a waste of money and could be defeated buy a small boat with a 50 cal. My idea was to build costal patrol boats as other navy’s do. This means to man and arm them to the teeth. Again we have the naval version of the F35, A program out of control and a terrible waste of money. All the navy wanted to do was put hulls in the water and all congress could see was ” PORK ”

Yes and you would turn all the Flight I and Flight II Burkes into a version of the Spanish Navy’s Álvaro de Bazán class frigate. You just remove the 64 aft VLS missles and replace it with a Hanger for a helicopter or a UAV
Turning the NSC into a light Frigate, it would pretty much be a version of the Floréal class frigate, the La Fayette class frigate or even the Almirante Padilla class frigate. All it would take is beefing up the hull to Naval standards. Putting any off the shelf ready to go technology such as the TB-29 Towed array sonar that is being used on US Submarines, ASEA radar for ships, Harpoons, ESSM missiles in VLS quadpack of 12, Lightweight Torpedoes and Sea RAM. The Main deck gun can be upgraded to Otobreda 76 mm or to 5″/54 caliber Mark 45 gun

Mr. Polmar is quite correct. Ship size matters…

Relax. Have a beer. Never mind the IOWAs are 58000 ton ships with 1800 man crews… My point was that the mania for crew reduction has its severe downside: virtual elimination of damage control and self repair capability. The LCS, thus far, seems incapable of neither running nor surviving. That may be a bit harsh. To your point, it’s no dreadnaught…

The 57mm never made any sense when your typical off shore patrol boats mount the Oto 76mm rapid fire gun. Oh and regarding the cure for those ‘swarm tactics’ http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​T​J​p​q​N​F​k​d​9gI

That Danish Iver Huitfeldt Frigate looks to be one helluva ship… just checked it out now. Although I can’t imagine a US Frigate with the firepower capability of such a ship as this (eg 76mm gun, Hull mounted sonar, torpedo, SM-6 VLS, as well as ESSM VLS, as well as Harpoon AShM launchers). It would clearly be too much capability for any navy to have. Would be far better to buy something of a lighter class without any provocation to anyone and perhaps save a hundred million per ship.

Another alternative Frigate to the Iver Huitfeldt, and one being slightly lighter-class and likely cheaper would be the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen class.

Supplement a full-bore Frigate procurement Program with additional JHSV, upgraded and equipped as need be to fulfill any additional or support role. Overall a much cheaper and better performing ship with far greater modular potential than the LCS. As I see it.

World War II destroyers were smaller than the LCS and had much more firepower, and could make 36 knots.
Here is an article from 2008 that explains why the LCS would become a disaster http://​www​.g2mil​.com/​L​C​S​.​htm

It still today blow my mind. They put me through boot camp, through A & C schools as an Engineman and then when something broke (anything from an engine to refridgeration, hydraulic’s … you name it) they ALWAYS called in the contractors. What a waist of money. Train your Sailor’s NAVY… let them do what they are trained. We need more companies held accountable for their screw ups. Granted these are “new” ships compared to the old tried & true FFG, DDG, Cruiser platforms but being new shouldn’t mean floating pieces of crap that continue to break.

Is there a Navy Ship LEMON LAW ??

Long past time to kill this thing already. Last thing the Navy needs now is a bottomless pit sucking vital funding dry in a time when the US surface fleet is in dire need of maintenance & upgrades. Also makes absolutely no sense at all for the navy to have a void between the DDG and LCS, we need a conventional off-the-shelf frigate design to replace the stellar Perry’s. Give the LCS to the USCG and contract a European design to be built in US shipyards.

Giving them to the Reserves is even a better idea than the USCG. They (CG) just need the original 16 420’s instead of only the six they’re getting now thanks to Obama.

Note House of Representatives (HR5856) would appropriate $1,784,959,000 for LCS in FY 2013.

The answer is going old school rather than looking for new designs to fill the gaps. These thing dont need helos for thier missions, Navy ships opererated just fine without them up until the 80’s. Then the hangars can be used for more crew space and equipment needed for the upgrade.(you could get two large area levels out of the hangar). Use currently avail and proven systems already in use. MK48/MK56 Mod 3 SEASPARROW VLS which mounts to the hull, MK32 surface launched torpedo tubes(2 port & 2 stbd), one BGM109 quad ABL aft of the hangar, MK38 mod 2 25mm (qty 4 two aft of hangar & 2 on stern port & stbd ), CIWS 1 on the bow and port and stbd on top of the hangar, TB29 thin line towed array sonar mounted on the stern. This would make the LCS a true LCS with the upgraded 76mm main gun already mentioned and the NAVY already owns all the required gear and upkeep knowledge. The weight would be spread out enough that it would not affect the draft much mor than having helos and proposed modules added anyways and they would be full time capable for most mission not needing to pull into port for refitting for a mission.

Wait until one of these gets in a fight, loses and sinks. These vessels were built to commercial specs with little compartmentation and we never designed to get very far from shore and rescue facilities

If the Navy made you do what you were trained to do, then you wouldn’t have enough time to “get involved” in all of those other community and self-improvement programs that help your career. Today’s services, not just the Navy, don’t seem to place nearly as much emphasis on technical skill specialization. It’s too bad really. They’re really going to wish they had folks that know the ships systems inside out if a significant naval engagment should take place somewhere. But then again, that’s a whole other topic…

The LCS concept came from a different time when the Navy was trying to define itself in the post cold war situation. We are now faced with an emerging and serious challenge in the Pacific. (That’s a polite way of saying China). Most of our shipbuilding programs are now on track after years of inadaquate funding but, given the potential of the developing submarine threat, we need to deploy a force of frigates or destroyers with strong ASW capabilities. We should terminate the LCS program as soon as possible and start the construction of these new shps. There are plenty of designs from our allies around the world to use as a start. The sooner the better.

If we could, I’d say ditch the LCS crap and buy into the Danish Navy’s Iver Huitfeldt Frigate or the Norwegians Fridtjof Nansen class

On top of buying Dolphin subs that are a version of the type 212 & Type 214, I would buy a Multi role frigate from Europe as well

I think giving the LCS to the US Coast Guard would be a good idea, but they would have to swap out the LCS engines for a CODAG engine, add more fuel tanks and make it more economical for the US Coast Guard

This program was always a knee jerk response to the alleged swarming boat threat that was highlighted in the Millennium Challenge war game. The problem was never a lack of capability or resource to address that threat, the problem was lousy officers that used crummy tactics. We have even more resources aplenty now absent the LCS to address any swarming boat challenge in the Persian Gulf even more so now. What we need are new mine hunters and ASW capability. A solid all purpose frigate for waving the flag in port visits and training with partner countries that can also be used for lower threat missions like counter piracy off Somalia are also needed. We should have just built purpose built ships for each mission. None would have cost upwards of a billion and we would be sailing all of them by now.

Ditch the future LCS, use the already built LCS and modernize it, and make more Virginia class, SSGN-727,
USS Asheville (SSN-758), USS Santa Fe (SSN-763) subs for the country’s and allies self defense.

One issue in changing over Arleigh Burkes is the crew size of an Arleigh Burke is 300 instead of around 100 + for most frigates. Although clearly off the rails one of the goals of the LCS prgram was to reduce crew requirements to save on operational costs. Also the maintance costs for a larger vessel and correspondingly larger fuel bill. I’m not sure the Navy would go for a ship which is essentialy overkill for the intended mission.

Jeeze, Upgrade the armament.….Give them a couple of pistols.

I’m not saying that buying and modifying to requirements an existing frigate design from Europe wouldn’t be the most versatile and cost effective way to a multi-role frigate but you only have to remember the s**t fit that accompanied Northrop Grumman/EADS (Airbus) first winning the aerial tanker RFP before the protest. And whats happening with the Super Tucano buy for A-Stan. I just don’t see them buying any ship/design from another country.

I wish Canda would start with an off the shelf design for our upcoming frigate replacement program but we won’t either…

So that means they can build one and then pay for the tech reps to go out and fix it for 6 months?

The LCS can defend itself from small boats and ASCMs. The 57mm bofors proximity and timed rounds will shred small boat attacks and the RAM mount will take out ASCMs. However, besides taking out Somali pirates, I don’t see the ship being an offensive platform.

You need surface ships for a political presence that subs can’t provide.

How about a triple 16″ turret?

> They put me through boot camp, through A & C schools as an Engineman and then when something broke … they ALWAYS called in the contractors.
That is the new military. Contractors and privatization. It is sad as the skills a man learns in the military helps the civilian world. Soldiers that were trained in repairing equipment in Iraq were given rifles and put out on patrol while their jobs were taken by contractors that didn’t know what they were doing. When I mentioned this to a friend, he stated, “They shouldn’t be learning skills. They should be protecting me”.
One thing to remember is when the poop hits the fan, contractors can always run back home. If we have soldiers and sailors that can’t maintain equipment when it takes damage, we will all suffer.


no, wait, delete “Silverfish” since that’s some kind of bug, not even a fish.

Sure there is. Just drive it back to the dealer / builder, and turn the keys back in, and get a refund.

Money back guarateed.

Get real. You know that each LCS is really just an R&D lab. A bldg that can float. Just tie them up to a pier and do “research” on them. Big, expensive R & D projects. You know in your heart, that this is true.

That’s a very good point. Everyone lost their minds when Millennium Challenge happened, and when you put that together with the “Save Taxpayer Dollars At Any Cost” mindset, what you get is LCS.

What ever happened to you build it, we test it, then we buy it?

What nonsense, the U.S. taxpayers should be informed of this debacle. We can get better bang for our buck than this. Anyone reading this should contact their reps and tell them to vote no, and conduct an investigation as to who is profiting from this mess and nail them to a cross.

The Navy should cut the numbers and build out the remaining ships of the class (whatever is decided) to the LCS-I standard. Remember the beefed up versions of the LCS that both shipbuilders proposed for international sales? They had much better armament and ditched the modular concept. Sounds like what we need now. I know they’d be more expensive, but I’d rather have fewer hulls that are more capable than 55 LCS’s in their current configuration.

I hate to say it but I don’t think we can halt production and go back to the drawing board. I think it would have too much of a negative impact on the industrial base. Also, we need more hulls in the water now, especially as we turn our focus to the Pacific.

Build the LCS-I now and in smaller numbers until we can design a REAL frigate. Just my two cents.

Don’t throw more money at this mess trying to fix it. Drop the LCS and start over. It’s too flawed!

ok, here’s an idea, JUST PICK 1 FOR CHRIST’S SAKE. engineer it to death to be the next-generation frigate — low-cost, small, fast. is that so hard?

I went over to LCS-4 to take a look at the electricians workshop’s bench and was told there was no electricians workshop or bench because maintenance and repair are expected to be done when in port by contractors. A career engineer here (35+years), I always have or combine a space for several functions to include a welding shop, electrician shop, machine shop, piping shop, Refrigeration and AC and I.C. Navigation repair areas. Probably the LCS will end up with multiple Conex Boxes for this purpose, I was surprised in Bahrain during my 5 years there aboard a fleet tug that I spent much time helping the minesweeps perform many repairs because I had it all; drill — mill, lathe, welding equipment and more.

The US navy should have killed the LCS program and simply go with what Huntington Ingalls Industries calls for a Patrol frigate based upon the designs of the US Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter

Too bad they couldn’t have just refurb’d and updated the Oliver Perry class Frigs and maybe swapped out the single rail missile launcher with VLS ESSM (32x)? Maybe replaced the 76mm gun with an 8x shot VLS w/ Red Shark (ASW missile)… if ROK would export? Replaced the deck torpedo tubes with a 30mm rws gun (1 each side) for close-in surface defense?

dear god MK38 torp launchers are a complete joke, who the hell thinks a surface ship would have a chance against a sub, post WW2 design, with a conventionally launched light weight torpedo on the surface? ASROC(with NDB) yes, MK32 hell no.

Then again they could have done the same to the Fletcher class from WW2. The LCS is stealthy and capable of about 45kts (LCS1). Try doing that to the FFGs

Last one like that was the WW2 Mustang, and the Brits were the only ones interested at first.

Exactly, try hitting FAC with a submarine. These FAC are common in ME/ Med/ Far East

The contractor built just what the Navy agreed to. Whoever was in the Navy planning department should be thrown in jail for ineptitude. Someone also bought off on the designs, throw them in jail as well.

Really. Would you put your son on one of these in the South China Sea?

I didn’t think so.

Uh — ASROC uses the same torpedo as do helos. Speed and sensors are what it takes to kill a sub not explosive weight, a Mk46 or MK50 torpedo can do the job against most subs. They can also be used against surface ships as well dont forget. Now if you were actualy thinking SUBROC which drops a nuclear depth charge then youe on to something, it wouldnt only take care of subs in the area but could also handle any boat swarms, I would be OK with thier use but I doubt our government would.

oh dear god no! another program to kill is the DDG-1000. its Sea Wolf ssn all over again! make one or two of those things, (hopefully one,) to be used as a proof of concept / test bed, then like the Virginia class, find a way to make a smaller, cheaper easier to use module. as the LCS, I’m for total redesign, with requirements for war ship, not a armed speed boat. or, like others have posted, using an existing frigate design built under license, or USGC cutter upgraded to a frigate. the goal, be a frigate, 150 man crew, no more then 500 million. oh, as for the taking out swarm attacks,
the self defense or tactical launchers should be enough, with multiple small diameter (5in?) laser / radar guided rockets ripple firing from each tube.

Need to correct myself — SUBROC NDB was submarine launched, ASROC was conventional with torpedo (still used) or NDB. So I somewhat agree with MGC about nuclear depth bomb ASROC but as I said before — the current govt even more than the previous who outlawed its use wont let it come back.

My favorite: USS Dumb&Dumber

Add these one on the list:
USS Sheep
USS Malediction
USS Alzheimer
USS Bernard Madoff
USS Nonlethal
USS Great depression

Or in the name of the worst roman emperor?
USS Caligula
USS Elagabalus
USS Commodus
USS Caracalla
USS Nero

Sadly, that one does not refer to an american entity.
USS MADD (Mother Against Drunk Driver)

For those of you concerned about the 57mm gun, please do a YouTube search on “Mark 110 57mm Naval Gun” The gun is quite impressive.

> The US navy should have killed the LCS program

With the LCS, I think the USN was trying to keep its hand in on “The War on Terra”.

Absolutely, the coasties could use these ships, to overcome their tremendous gap in new ships. the Navy, should just buy proven foreign design for now.

The ship has no weaponry. How will it defend itself? Strike inland? Hit other ships? Defend against air attack? Swarming Iranian missle boats? A real frigate with firepower is wat most are saying. Did we buy a lemon? Wow.

Well, the taxpayers have taken a hit in a big way. What about the Navy brass that concocted this lovely lemon? Are their careers going to have a spectacular crash n’ burn too?

Maybe its time for the US Navy to take the “Patrol Frigate” route, ala the article linked to DoD Buzz?

The CBO just hammered the Navy for and I Quote ” DoN is significantly underestimating how much their plan will cost. CBO’s estimate of $20 billion/year for new-ship construction is about 40% above the historical average funding,” and also said ” CBO for instance challenges the Navy’s estimate that it will be able to buy the next-gen LCS under much better terms than the current generation, and likewise doesn’t buy that a successor to DDG-51 Flight III ships would deliver more technology for the same price.”

The CBO’s ” Analysis of the Navy’s Fiscal Year 2013 Shipbuilding Plan” ( OUCH )

I vote for licensing one of the numerous NATO and European corvettes and build them in US yards. Hell, the Israeli Saar clas corvettes WERE built in US yards (Northrop-Grumman) for $200M each. Multi-mission, shallow draft, 75 men, and what can’t you do at 33 kts that you can at 40?

USS Pierbound
USS Joker
USS Target
USS Command Opportunity
USS Sittingduck
USS Tentative
USS Noshow
USS Babcock’s Folly
USS Moneypit

Gee that mount is always loaded ! you don’t have to put sailors down below in some magazine and pass up bullets. All the first 140 rounds are always inside the mount itself, 24/7. Now that’s quick on the draw.

neither of those 2 designs for lcs is stealthy by any extent.

> The ship has no weaponry. How will it defend itself? Strike inland? Hit other ships?

.. and there is no place for 16 Trident ICBMs!

Design has always been a matter of compromise. No matter what is designed or built, it seems that someone will complain. From reading some of the posts here I get the impression that most people would prefer the LCS be an American version of the Russian Kirov class and cost $100,000. This is not going to happen.

As far as the failure for the LCS to be able to swap missions within an hour, that is a major failure of the design. However, what I see is a force of ships that could change missions depending on what the crisis du jour is. Covert support of SOG teams, a month later ASW patrols around Taiwan, a month later refitted to defend against Somali pirates.

Yes, the LCS is not a Burke class DDG, but it is not a Perry either. Would the patrol frigate be a better, cheaper alternative? Maybe, but I see it’s costs ballooning too.

I think the LCS will be cancelled part way through it’s production. I do see it as a ground breaking ship. However, I also see the carrier battle group as the primary strategy going into the future until a carrier is sunk in battle.

If the US Navy want a Corvette, maybe if they ask nicely to the German Navy they can get a Corvette like this one http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​R​X​X​h​w​a​R​N​-Gw

What ever happened to the crew making repairs to the ship like we did in the real navy that I was in we would repair it and it came done to the point where we needed a vendor then we called one, but we exhausted everything we know to make the repairs before we did that. I remember a WO-4 who told the generator crew that I was in “I have 24 tech reps standing in front of me now fix it. You exhaust everything you know then then let me know and we will go from there” we knew the problem and we worked on it until we repaired it.
The new navy is not trained to do any repair work, just keep it going until you reach the next port. That is not way to run a railroad let along a navy.

To quote Scotty from Star Trek III, “The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.”

This exactly what happened to both LCS ships. They were suppose to be modular, they were suppose to be plug and play, and automated. Yet somehow they US Navy didn’t stick to what idea they had or it was unrealistic to begin with. Dutch had simple design that inspired US to come up with LCS, but somehow didn’t work. I guess it works better when there less a bureaucracy in charge of designing and developing.

What a crime the US Navy can’t even design a ship without it going to pieces when they finally convince Congress to agree to it. DDG-1000 least would have been functional warship in comparison to this thing.

The Navy used to have 6 functional and proven “Littoral Combat” platforms in the PEGASUS CLASS PHMs that were fast, armed to the teeth and could go essentially anywhere!

General characteristics:

Displacement: 255 long tons (259 t)
Length: 133 ft (41 m)
Beam: 28 ft (8.5 m)
Propulsion: 2 × Mercedes-Benz marine diesels (hullborne), 1,600 bhp (1,193 kW)
1 × General Electric LM2500 gas turbine (Foilborne), 18,000 shp (13,423 kW)

12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) hullborne
48 knots (89 km/h; 55 mph) foilborne

Complement: 4 officers, 17 enlisted

Sensors and processing systems:
LN-66 navigation radar
MK 94 Mod 1 (PHM-1)
MK 92 Mod 1 (PHM 2–6) fire-control system
Armament: 2 × quad RGM-84 Harpoon
1 × Mk 75 76 mm OTO Melara
62 cal. Gun

Why have we made this war fighting concept so difficult and expensive?

So if it breaks, we airlift a Korean technician 250 miles off whatever coast we’re “patrolling”? Or we tow it home? Or is the new classified propulsion system a set of oars? In a hot zone, you fix yourself or you get sunk/captured/scuttled, and sometimes a hot zone is just “in the way of” a 100-foot wave. Or is the idea that a serious hit on the boat will just remove the whole thing from the RISK board and we won’t have to recover it? As for planes, check the history of the P-51 pilots who escorted B-29s back and forth to sushiland. Or even check the attrition history of the B-29s themselves.

I’m taking Boomer down a point for his comment about surface ships not needing helicopters. That remark is so wrong in so many ways. It makes my blood boil.

Irrespective of the validity of the anecdotal evidence that was Millenium Challenge — a sample size of one — to say, in the same breath, that LCS is misconceived due to poor tactics and training, and then in the same breath states that we need better countermine and ASW capability…it just reminds me how very compartmentalized Navy thinking is about war. You buy a system that deals with a warfare area, and you just can’t get your head around the idea that that system could or should do anything else. Balderdash. We need to build agility into this force.

> Gee that mount is always loaded !

Did you notice how the fused shells took on the small boats mentioned earlier? The boats were still afloat, but I doubt anyone would have been alive on them.

> neither of those 2 designs for lcs is stealthy by any extent.

Care to elaborate?

Sure. We aren’t at war and war between the US and China would be mutual economic suicide. Business makes the the junk China makes to sell here, China needs our money to keep hundreds of millions of people employed.

Same thing applies to nay ship. Can the Nimitz fix a steam turbine while in the Arabian Gulf?. Thats why they have redunancy is some critical systems.
And if you are worried that a attack will disable one of your ships, well that has happened to USS Cole — it was a speedboat from memory and the Cole had to be carried home on a sea lift ship. Not likey to be repeated in the open sea, but a torpedo or even small missile could do similar damage.

The best description I have seen of LCS is that it is a ‘corvette’ in a frigate sized hull.
This would explain the small crew, limited offensive capacity etc. ITs well known than steel is the cheapest part of a ship, and you dont save hell of a lot of money by going down from 3200t to 1500t

But LCS came into being after the war game. The hysteria was that the swarming boats had gutted an American task force. You certainly don’t need to go 50 knots per hour to hunt subs and sweep for mines. That scenario was the main driving force behind the LCS. The war game was 2002, the LCS RFP was 2003. The direct results of that war game were a main driver to the creation of this ship. The ASM and MCM missions were an after thought and tacked on. So the concept was derived as a solution to poor tactics.

I also don’t discount the basic idea of LCS is attractive, Just as I don’t discount the idea of a common air frame for the F35 is a ‘good idea’. The problem is they aren’t working.

I beg you to consider the case of the Danish Absalon class ship, and its frigate spawn.

Absalon class costs a quarter billion a pop. And the idea is similar, but different from LCS — a common chassis, reconfigurable for multiple missions. First time I saw a picture of this thing, I said to myself,
“Shazzam — that looks like a LCS”. And so it does. Look at that superstucture. There are a lot leaner, more aesthetically pleasing corvette designs out there, no ? But the United States better not build ships as if we were, or ever could be a coastal defense force. We need a fleet keeps the seas across all the seven seas.

Nifty, but the Navy had some very strange speed and low draft requirements that made LCS difficult to build out.

I think the Navy has gotten rid of all of its destroyer tenders.

I suspect they need them for the LCS. Oh well, that means it’s time to let another contract for a special LCS tender…!

Um, we could always go back to the PT boat [and on this site, this is anything BUT an original idea]. Patrols the coast, can take out a destroyer, operates in 10 feet (?) of water, has been equipped with cannon, might not be hit by a standard Bofors, and has open-ocean capabilities. More than that, it’s made out of plywood. Oooh, needs torpedoes. Got a screwdriver and some angle iron… The variability of the basic craft gives it versatility; the LCS, on the other hand, has a huge on-board volume reserved for “god knows what, but here”, and so far only the SEALS and SF would have the right ideas about what– and how– to pack it.

If the Navy wanted anti-Boghammars, they would make Torpedo Boat Destroyers instead of wannabe cruisers to populate the surface fleet.

That said, an LCS should be renamed to Shallow Draft Fast Transport.

The Aussies put a 8 cell Mk41 into their Perrys. They retained the Mk. 13 for the interim.


Not fully equipped. Fully equipped they cost close to $600 million.

The Ivar Huitfield is a nice price but the class itself isn’t what we need. We have plenty of air defense.

Prices for ships tend to be the cost to build the ship. They don’t include weapons and sensors at times. That’s why this extremely low price for the Absalon class is constantly bandied about.

I think honestly the just need to develop a decent mine sweeper, and then make the frigate an ASW focused platform. That platform could still have a decent weapons suite for patrol duties. If they want more for simply showing the flag and a more cost effective way to engage in counter piracy type asymmetric ops, then they should just partner with the USCG and buy some NSCs beefed up to a naval standard. Pouring money down the LCS hole is dumb.

The way I see it we should down-select to one LCS class and reduce the planned buy of it. Maybe they can fit some launchers for Mk.50/54 torpedoes somewhere.

Then, take some of that money and get a more proper frigate/corvette similar to several of the European designs on the market. Load the VLS cells up with ESSM, give it some Harpoon launchers, etc.

Then we operate these frigates in conjunction with the LCS, with the latter deploying helicopters, unmanned craft, and performing other specialized tasks, as well as supporting with what firepower it can.

The NSC’s have their own problems. But not as bad as LCS I think.

One does wonder how much Stemplar, one of the most isolationist and cheapskate on defense spending here, is willing to expand the DHS mission offshore. Not that the Coast Guard’s acquisition programs have been that stellar in this time of constrained budgets. I really don’t understand the mania that lives on this board to kill programs. We need to both make our program of record work AND usefully exploit what our allies are doing. And certainly this applies to asymmetric warfare, which is neither cheap nor easy. Focusing frigates on ASW is even dumber than Boomer’s “don’t need no stinkin helicopters” quip.

that new 76mm is bad ass, your right MGC the 56mm is pathetic, it doesn’t have the range nor the power
to stop anything plus it optically guided-WTF?

there no reason on earth a 4000TON vessel can support the 76mm, heck much much smaller WWiI ships have 4 or more 127mm guns!

Why do all surface ships have to have a helo? especialy smaller ships? if they need to do a supply drop or personnel transfer they can use the helos from the larger ships or shore facility– You can put a larger towed sonar array on a ship than you can a helo — Cruisers, destroyers, amphibs yeah but not every ship in the fleet and giving up the helo hangers on these LCS platforms opens up a lot of useful space for the crew and gear.

I’m not isolationist at all and if by cheap I am tired of seeing 100% cost overruns on programs and $60 billion plus spent on procurement that never resulted in a single weapon system then I’ll wear the cheapskate mantle with honor thank you sir.

Spending money on systems that don’t work is dumb, period. Spending money on systems that do work is smart. Explain the cheap part to me I’m confused. In this piece alone I advocate for a quality ASW frigate that no doubt would cost somewhere between $500 million and 1 billion.

I repeatedly call pigs pigs. I regularly call for a new bomber which would be a system that gives us real deterrent, not $400 billion on a tactical fighter than lacks the range to be of any use against China without a great deal of shaping of the battle field.

I’m just not some brainless fan of systems that have clearly demonstrated through both their tardiness, as well as, capability gaps they do not suit our needs.

From the Seminole Wars:

“An inquiry into extravagance in naval operations found that the navy had spent about $511,000 on the war. The investigation did find questionable expenditures. Among other things, while the army had bought dugout canoes for $10 to $15 apiece, the navy spent an average of $226 per canoe. The number of army, navy and marine regulars who served in Florida is given as 10,169. About 30,000 militiamen and volunteers also served in the war.”

From wikipedia, citing

Mahon, John K. (1967) History of the Second Seminole War. Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press.

If you don’t understand that, just on account of geography and the fact that we operate worldwide — and this is a function of strategy — American systems need more “reach”, then you are mirror imaging little two-bit nations with coastal navies (or worse, commerce raiding fleets) and territorial defense forces for armies. Personally, I don’t have anything against corvettes and fast attack boats — the systems have their uses in context. But don’t be thinking that you can just change these out for the larger ships and you’ve done a “good” thing. Small can be beautiful, but mainly it is just smaller.

After having worked on a couple of the LCS Modules, coupled with my over 40 years in Navy R&D and Systems Engineering and Integration, I can personally attest to the fact that it is the least capable, most vulnerable, biggest waste of money I have ever seen. Cut our losses and give it to the Coast Guard.

Bigo, can you post what you would like to see in place of the LCS?

I’m tempted to ask you about the short-comings from an insider’s perspective, but not if you will get into trouble over it.

Where did I say we didn’t need reach? I called for a purpose built ASW frigate and some sort of navalized version of the NSC. You realize the NSC has more than twice the range of the LCS and the ability to remain at seal longer without replenishment.

Why not use National Security Cutters planned for the USCG ?

wasn’t that part of the deepwater project that got cancelled?

i wonder about the possibility of buying la fayette class frigates from france. stealthy, not quite as fast as lcs, but much more proven.

or the singaporean version, the formidable class

The Navy has NO destroyer tenders in commission. The LCS is a cash cow for defense contractors. Solve the problem: Re-commission a destroyer tender with a Navy/civilian MSC crew. Station her in a forward deployed area, Singapore, etc. — problem solved. No contractors on board just Navy for upkeep and repairs and civilians to sail the tender. MMCS(SS)(SW) USN Ret

Unfortunately, those aren’t Frigates, they’re Destroyers, only that for political reasons(sounded cheaper), were called Frigates.

LMAO.….…Funny comments…all true..I work on the Independance class..(note: my father was a submariner for 21 yrs..and my brother for 10..)..I never join the service..I’m to old now.. but I’ve worked in the yards over the years Building Navy warships..DDG,LHD,FFG..and I fully support our troops..God Bless Them…but as one comment states..I wouldn’t want my family member on a lcs…I think the Upper Navy Brass need to go back out for sea duty on the tried and true STEEL warships we have and rethink what we can do with what we have..after reading the comments sounds like alot of good Ideas to me..reconfigure some and keep building whats worked for as long as I can remember…(this is just my simple opinion ..the lowly You to all of the Military Personel retired and active for your Service…

More LCS joy-joy,
LM’s has difficulty steering, too.

Off Course: Did Navy Underplay Steering Problem Before Awarding Ship Contract?

Other than their missiles programs, ir seem LM management and leadership doesn’t have a clear heading other than pleasing shareholders,…so is it any surprise their ship can’t steer a straight course, either?

Fire somebody. Somebody important. Then start flogging the next few tiers down.
Then when it sinks in (pun intended), maybe LM will re-recognize the importance of having engineers lead a business built on, what, engineering?
Not bookkeepers and business “experts” who think that success is primarily measured in profit moreso than product reliability.
Ultimately somebody(ies) somewhere signed off on all these shortcuts and failures LM (and other d.c.s) have thrown out upon the DoD.
Someone needs to be held accountable and axed for it before good fighting men and women pay the price for such corporate ineptness.
Do we just not know how to design and building ships that actually work right anymore?

When I compare our ship and boats to Russian and Chinese ship and boats, I found out they have bigger bullets and missiles attachments.

The Iowa class (BB-61) was a great set of blue water naval warships, that could play hell with shore bombardments from the deeper outer littorals. Regardless the arguments about the relevence of their capabilities in modern warfare, I would have liked to have seen them kept active for showing the flag in foreign ports, engaging in real battleship diplomacy at its finest.

But Iowa’s draft was in excess of 32 feet, not very suitable for tending UUVs in the mid littorals as LCS is supposed to do, and certainly would not be an efficent use of resources in that role.

The F117 Nighthawk was a stealthy ground attack aircraft, not a fighter. It needed the fighter designation to get funding. LCS is a platform for deploying, operating, and tending offboard systems, manned and unmanned, airborne, surface, and subsurface. It needs the combat designation to pretend it is a real warship to get funding.

The Zumwalt class (DDG-1000) destroyer is the new littoral warship. They should give Zumwalt better radar and more C2 capability, redesignate it as a CG, and use it to command and protect a squadron of LCS operating in the littorals.

A-stan’s biggest export comes from their highly profitable poppy crop. A-Stan should be able to afford to buy their own fleet of Air Tractor AT-802 militarized dual-purpose crop dusters, rather than have the US pay to supply them with Brazillian made Embraer Super Tucanos, primary/basic flight trainers militarized for light ground attack.

OK… So I’m kidding about the dual-purpose crop dusters. But I am not in favor of the US supplying aircraft to Afghanistan that we can’t seem to afford to buy for ourselves, much less buy them from Brazil to ship to Afghanistan.

So did the USSR…

The article is correct.. Lcs as much as i want it to succeed has a flawed plan with this contracter based team. The major contractors are not even concerned with reliability of systems… Only profit.. They will use the cheapest help and justify it later.. I really want 80 year old farts or 300+ overweighters working on systems in the middle or thailand.. Good luck..

Its good that they are considering the long-range strike problem — and looking into upgrading the gun. However, the reliance on “contractors” is troubling on a number of levels. We’ve got our number of people in the service in reduction mode — why not staff up the LCS (and related infrastructure) if we’re stuck with LCS? — keeping the people who WANT to be in the service and get rid of the “contractors”?

Build for deterrence, presence, affordability, survivability in a low threat environment. Time on station and the ability to steam with battle groups should be inherent in all combatants. It seems many good foreign and US designs are already on the shelf. WW11 destroyers could control the Somalian theater!

More vessels should be built that serve both peace and scientific purposes. http://​www​.slovak​-translator​.com/​e​x​p​e​r​i​e​n​c​e​.​h​tml

LOL! Makes me think about that old adage of being careful of what you ask for. In the case of the LCS (and DDG-1000) the accountants took point and identified crew size as a major driver in O&M (which it is, by the way). Now we are finding that the “bloated” crew size of older warship had a major advantage, i.e. bodies to be put to work!! A modern, well-designed ship can be conned and even fought with a remarkably small crew. Triple that “operating crew” and you have the necessary 24/7 staffing.… Right? Well, if you do that, where are all of the brand new E-2s that used to be scraping and painting, and lifting timbers and mattresses when the ship is holed, or putting out fires, or…? If the manning plan does not make sense even for routine peacetime operations, how can it make sense if you ever get into a tussle and have to keep a damaged ship afloat?

“Although the original [concept of operations] called for ships to operate at sea for at least 21 days, the ships have storage capacity to only carry enough food for 14 days…” WHAT!?! Please, someone tell me that this isn’t correct, please! How S T U P I D or C R I M I N A L can our Naval leaders possibly be?

What’s the big deal? The LCS probably won’t even meet the 21-day spec. Chances are they can only really operate at sea for 8 to 10 days (for reasons other than food), so carrying food for 14 days is probably more than they need.

I think I’ve just had a stroke. Is procurement really this bad? The Army’s former Future Soldier, FCV, the Marine EFV, the Navy’s LCS and the AF’s F-22 and especially F-35 over runs. These systems are not only waaaaay over budget they don’t work. How did we win WW2? I’d be disheartened if it wasn’t for the brilliant service and the terrible sacrifices being paid by our young men and women in uniform.

Because we’re in pursuit of perfection.

Imagine waiting for the M26 Pershing, and fighting Europe with the M3 Lee while designing the Pershing.

Scary, eh?


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