Cold War-era modernization boosts FMS rates

Cold War-era modernization boosts FMS rates

U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command officials said the defense industry has seen a boost in foreign military sales (FMS) as allied nations and Middle Eastern countries look to modernize Cold War-era weapons and systems, service officials said March 8 at the Sea Air Space Exposition at National Harbor, Md.

NAVSEA’s FMS program, which currently manages as many as 793 active cases valued at about $20.4 billion, officials said.

“Our international partners who have indigenous platforms that they either built there or bought from another country and they want to modernize. They may have Cold War-era weapons systems with sensors on them and they want to modernize them and keep the platforms around for another 20 years,” said Matthew Sermon, the deputy program manager for PMS 326, the Navy’s FMS agency.

Pentagon leaders have promised the defense industry to work with the State Department to streamline what has often been described as a stodgy foreign military sales process.

U.S. foreign military sales more than doubled from $34 billion in 2011 to a record $69 billion last year in the effort to boost the ability of allies to counter regional and terror threats on their own, said Thomas Kelly, head of the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, in January.

“Countries increasingly want to partner with the U.S.” for their own internal security and to counter terrorism and rogue states such as Iran and North Korea, Kelly said. “More and more countries want to cooperate” and the cooperation was underlined by the increased interest from partner states in U.S. military systems, Kelly said.

The large example of such FMS programs is the U.S.-engineered Egyptian Navy Fast Missile Craft, a 210-foot long ship built with numerous technologies and weapon systems, Sermon said.

The 63-meter Egyptian Navy Fast Missile Craft carries a 76mm Super Rapid Gun, Harpoon Block II missiles, MK49 Rolling Airframe Missiles, and the Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) Block 1B. It can reach speeds of greater than 34 knots  and carry a crew of up to 40 sailors, according to NAVSEA.

“It is a highly capable platform,” Sermon said, citing a number of U.S. engineered weapons systems on board the ship, such as the Phalanx Close-In-Weapons-Systems (CIWS).

In addition to upgrading, maintaining and providing ships and technology platforms, the NAVSEA FMS office is also providing international customers with a range of small boats such as off-shore support vessels and patrol craft of various shapes, sizes and complexities, Sermon explained.

The NAVSEA FMS office is also managing  foreign military sales cases that include the Rolling Airframe Missile,  Aegis radar and 110 Standard Missile cases, said Linda Roberts, the deputy program manager for Integrated Warfare Systems 4.0.

Join the Conversation

Maybe the Navy should be buying these missile craft instead of the LCS, better armed, faster, and can operate in the same shallow waters.

It carriers a larger gun than LCS, it carries RAM (LCS doesn’t), and it packs an offensive punch with Harpoon. This thing sounds like a W-A-R-S-H-I-P. LCS might have longer legs, but it can’t fight it way out of a wet paper bag.

Why are we building that piece of crap LCS? Forget the money, which by itself is an obscenity, but if our people get caught on that thing during a shooting war and can’t get away, its going to be a political and military disaster. Stop this nonsense now while we can.

As botch classes of LCS ships do indeed carry RAM, you are no doubt just an ignorant troll.

Opps…yes, it does carry a little RAM launcher My mistake. Everything’s better now.

Its still underarmed, under manned, and over priced. In short: little crappy ship.

LCS is a POS but this patrol boat isn’t what we need. We need a new ASW frigate. We do buy short range patrol boats.

Nice call on the main gun. Same one mounted on Norway’s Skjold class.

Maybe a near-term upgrade could further include the newly popular MASS soft-kill defensive system?

Here’s a link for the FMC’s Key data.

Interesting perhaps too is the builder (VT Halter Marine) contracted to build ‘em, collaborated with, you guessed it, Lockheed Martin for the design phase! Apparently, the design phase contract was a mere $29m (including LM’s share?)…

For comparison, what were the total design budgets for LCS(s) just out of curiosity?

Personally, I’m not so much against LockMart as a supplier of various necessary defense equipment. Just look at the latest modern F-16s they are currently still putting out, testing and final assembling, all for a reasonable cost! It’s not that our main industrial contractors are unable or inept to do ‘good enough’ design work and deliver a ‘good enough’ final product out the other end… it’s more, I think, that the overall Defense Industrial acquisition process is simply so dysfunctional in rewarding/encouraging various unnecessarily overpriced Programs (with a must have leap ahead generation mindset, albeit delivering a product so far out in the future leaving massive capability gaps) and sometimes lured into pursuing unnecessarily complex and uncertain acquisition Programs altogether in the first place — due to this phenomenon of desiring such must have futuristic game-changing platforms.

That said, perhaps one possible simple ‘outside the box’ solution to the DoD’s currently ‘broken’ and ‘constipated’ acquisition process could be to re-import FMS buy deals through a foreign middle-man supplier, who could charge 1% fee if they can save 50% on the estimated full Program value?

Would it be possible to up-gun later LCS-2 class ships to use the 76mm Super Rapid gun? The Mk-110 57 mm gun weighs 15.5 t with 1000 rounds of ammunition, and the 76mm weighs 7.5t for the gun and mount, plus 13.5 tons for 1000 rounds. So we are talking about putting 5.5 tons additional weight on the bow of the Independence class LCS which is a big deal. But is a 76mm gun going to need 1000 rounds if that is the amount deemed acceptable for a 57mm gun? Would 750 rounds of 76mm be as effective as 1000 rounds of 57 mm? If so, a 76mm mount with 750 rounds in the bow area would only weigh 17.5 tons, which at 2 tons more than the 57mm might be reasonable, if the recoil doesn’t tear the bow apart over time.
It sure seems to be a pity to take a good idea, i.e. an inexpensive fast, shallow draft ship with a huge hanger deck and then ruin it by giving it a popgun and no standoff missile strength while increasing the price by 50%. A 76mm, if possible, and a tactical length VLS would alleviate a good bit of the LCS problems.

A 76mm Super Rapid with 592 rounds would weigh about the same as a Mk-110 57mm with 1000 rounds, as it is deployed on the LCS-2 and LCS-4. And the Israeli’s were offered an export version of the LCS-2 that had a full length VLS, not a tactical length, so it must be possible to mount at least a tactical length VLS on later versions of the Independence class. I just hate to see good money thrown after bad, if they are going to keep building these ships, maybe a 10 foot plug in the bow area would allow a larger gun. It seems like I remember reading about other ship classes getting plugs added mid-ships.

Wondering myself if a small VLS cell could be shoehorned into where the NLOS was supposed to go. Hrm.

W.T.F. , over ??!! give CIWS to Egypt ? arn’t those CIWS freq’s classified ? and how many RAM missile details to going to whomever is taking power in Egypt ? Hey, Navy, you are giving away all your SelfDefense SD jewels. soon, many Arab countries will know how to defeat CIWS andRam.


Sounds like a meaner version of the PC-1 Cyclones. Unfortunately, if we bought them they would have to be renamed Littoral Combat Ship.

Oh snap.

We have these largish fast-movers with a deck gun and modules, I guess we could call them something else. Fast Transport, Modular? Fast Modular Lighter?

What type of ship is in the picture at the top of the article?

That ship is the Fast Missile Craft that the US is building for Egypt.

Egypt, spending their money on our weapons? I don’t think this qualifies as a sale by any definition, Taiwan, the pay, the Egyptians? Doubtful

We probably should procure some FMC for ourselves for convoy duty. Free up Littoral Combat Ships for something other than Littoral Combat. Hah!


NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | Like us on , follow us on and join us on Google+
© 2015 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.