Greenert Defends LCS Survivability

Greenert Defends LCS Survivability

The ability of the new Littoral Combat Ships to survive combat was comparable to other surface warships despite criticism that the aluminum-hulled LCS class would be prone to fires from a hit, the chief of Naval Operations said Friday.

All surface combatants acting independently, as the LCS was designed to operate, were vulnerable, given the increasing range and lethality of modern anti-ship weapons, Adm. Jonathan Greenert said.

“There isn’t really even an Arleigh Burke (class destroyer) that I would say you just go anywhere — anywhere in the world and you will be able to encounter all kind of threats” without risking survivability, Greenert said.

“I don’t know of any right now” — other than possibly submarines — “where you can say you can go out there and be very much on your own in all threat environments,” Greenert said. “My point is, we have to be vigilant and smart where we deploy this ship, and that includes understanding its survivability capabilities.”

Greenert added that the two designs in the LCS program – the single-hull Freedom class and the trimaran Independence class – were never meant for slug-it-out surface combat.

“We believe that they should be built to operate and, if damaged in combat, to survive and then to withdraw, if you will. That’s the design from the very beginning,” Greenert said. “They have been built and tested to that level, and so far, I’m satisfied with that.”

Greenert’s remarks came ahead of what was likely to be a crucial week for the future of the LCS program, in which the Navy envisions building 52 of the ships for a projected cost of about $37 billion.

The Government Accountability Office was expected to release a report on the cost projections and performance problems of the LCS class in the coming week, and the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces will hold a hearing on July 25 on the acquisition and development challenges of the LCS.

Vice Adm. Richard S. Hunt, director of the Navy Staff and chairman  of the Navy’s LCS Council for oversight of the program, was scheduled to testify.

In a wide-ranging Pentagon briefing, Greenert spoke to the Navy’s current inability to support the U.S. Southern Command in Latin America and the Caribbean, the growing piracy threat in the Gulf of Oman, and the scrapping of the two-carrier policy in the Persian Gulf for the forseeable future.

The effects of the sequester process, estimated to cut $14 billion from Navy spending in Fiscal Year 2014, loomed over all of his planning, Greenert said.

Marine Gen. John Kelly, head of the Southern Command, has warned repeatedly that the lack of Navy ships in the area was directly related to the increase in drug trafficking from South America to the U.S. and also to East Africa, where the drug money funds elements of Al Qaeda and other radical groups in Mali and Nigeria.

Greenert acknowledged that currently “zero ships” are committed to Southcom. He said “I don’t know” when asked when the Navy had ever in the past left Southcom without a surface combatant.

Officials at the Fourth Fleet in Jacksonville, Fla., which supports Southcom, couldn’t recall either. “We can’t remember for the life of us when we didn’t have a ship presence,” said Lt. Cmdr. Corey Barker, a spokesman for the Fourth Fleet. “Usually, we’d have four or five,” he said.

To compensate, “in the future we’ll have patrol craft” in the Southcom area, “but these don’t count in our combatant ship category,” Greenert said. “There’s reduced presence there, and we need to find innovative ways to help Gen. Kelly out,” he said.

Barker said that the frigate Rentz will also go on station for Southcom for six months starting in August, and added that the Fourth Fleet was eager to have a high-speed LCS to take on Trans-National  Organized Crime duty going after small-boat drug runners.

“We’d surely love to have one,” Barker said. “We can take an LCS as is,” without the modular additions designed to allow the LCS class to switch from anti-mine to anti-submarine warfare, Barker said.

Greenert also said he was planning to deploy the Spearhead, the first Joint High Speed Vessel, to Southcom for several months in FY14.

As a catamaran, the Spearhead, “can get around. It’s very nimble, as well,” Greenert said. The ship has excellent “troop carrying capacity, but behind that is also a backbone to do command-and-control for things like counter-piracy, maritime security,” and there’s also room for a law enforcement detachment, he said.

In his Pentagon briefing, Greenert also noted an uptick in piracy in the Gulf of Oman at the southern end of the Persian Gulf, and he suggested that the increase could be due to the successful efforts at combating piracy in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia.

Greenert could not provide numbers on the piracy incidents but said “I would call it an increasing trend, not yet as bad as the Gulf of Aden once was.Why is this happening? Is it the migration of Somali pirates to the north, smugglers turning now to piracy? We need to look into it to see what that is,” he said.

On the Persian Gulf presence to counter the threat from Iran, Greenert said the Navy could only afford to keep one carrier battle group there, as opposed to the two-carrier presence before sequester went into effect in March.

As a result, the Navy will be restricted to a single carrier battle group in the Gulf and one in the western Pacific at least through FY14 which begins Oct. 1, Greenert said.

The Navy currently has 95 of its 286 ships deployed, along with 3,700 aircraft, but “I’ll tell you, since sequestration sort of set in with the impact of a continuing resolution, we’re down about 10 ships from, say, about a year ago or actually several months ago, forward deployed. So there is an impact,” Greenert said.

Normally, the Navy would have three carriers in reserve stateside to act as a surge force in case of a crisis, but because of sequester the reserve has been reduced to one carrier, Greenert said.

Join the Conversation

If it’s about putting air wings near Iran, compensate with land-based units. Department of Navy can move Marine aviation to land bases instead, then cross its fingers.

Then again, a carrier wandering around the Persian Gulf is a target. A carrier in the Indian Ocean is not. And a fair amount of Iran is away from the Gulf…

I’m sure there is a job on ‘The LCS PAC team” waiting for im at retirement!

If Admiral Greenert thinks the LCS is safe and survivable in Combat, is he willing to put his kids on the LCS and let his kids sail them into Harms way. If Admiral Greenert is so sure that the LCS can survive combat, why not let him put his kids in the LCS and sail it into battle. Then let’s see if Admiral Greenert cares about the LCS or the safety of navy personnel that sails in the LCS.

Greenert added that the two designs in the LCS program – the single-hull Freedom class and the trimaran Independence class – were never meant for slug-it-out surface combat.
The claims made in the article above simply do not add up. In saying a Burke cannot go wherever it wants is immaterial in the sense that a Burke is built to a much higher standard than an LCS (which is only built to the lowest navy standard — level 1).

Fleet Oilers are built to the navy’s level 2 standard, as were the Perry class frigates. W/r/t “slugging it out”, the LCS most certainly isn’t designed for much more than small swarms of speedboats or anti-piracy operations. But nor is it built to participate in fleet actions (like an oiler). If the navy was concerned about swarms of speedboats in the Persian Gulf — a $400M-per-sea-frame speedboat is horrifying overkill — and seriously under gunned.

Compared to general size — the PC’s are a far less expensive solution.

A Skjold-class patrol boat would clean the LCS clock — at least it has a 75mm gun and some anti-ship missiles. The LCS has no stand-off weapons capability, and wouldn’t give a naval adversary any pause whatsoever.

Since it can’t participate seriously with a battle fleet — its also guilty of under-kill. It can’t shoot (at much), it can’t defend itself (against a real adversary) or take much of a punch — but thanks to high speed it can run away.

I’m delighted that Southcom wants one — but since they have nothing thats setting the bar as low as it can possibly get.

Ah, American engineering prowess. So beautiful, even with the world’s biggest defense budget by far, you guys can’t design anything. Know why? Your government allowed those greedy pos CEO’s to squander and waste all the precious engineering know how and resources you’ve learned after ww2, right around the early 80’s. Now you can’t even design a hamburger. Yes, Reagan and his ‘outsource all you can’ ideology is biting you back. I applaud it. A wounded animal can sometimes better be re-incarnated, instead of nurtured back to health. Think about it. The Japanese can field any ships they like, they just restrain themselves, same for the Koreans (They have two of the biggest shipbuilding industries in the world). China won’t restrain. They are the biggest shipbuilder, and we’lll see what they come up with. Those days the US could build 1 ship a day during ww2 will look like a joke compared what they can do if they’d need to. It a sad sight. Building and refurbishing old designs constantly, while having the richest military (still using 1950’s/60’s rifles, armored vehicles, little more modern aircraft (new designs can hardly get off the ground), and your ships (Nimitz was very innovative, now you’re just building 50 year old designs. Only a different launch mechanism.

Guess what’s at the core of this? A lack of engineers, and a drying stream of new ones. Yes, let China graduate a million engineers per year, while you graduate 28.000. That’ll make this a very quick cold war:)

What standard was the Avenger Class built to (Honest question I’m not entirely sure)? This is the ONLY direct Class replacement the LCS program is required to meet. Every other mission SUW and ASW are intended to be supplementary to existing DDGs and FFGs.

There is no size (or armament) comparison between PCs and an LCS. PCs are roughly 300 ton displacement (Skjold @274 and Cyclones @331). An LCS is at least 10 times that size (USS Freedom@3,000).

Comparing the LCS to a Skjold makes no sense. A Skjold is essentially a missile boat for coastal defense. Its designed to work in groups with others of its class, overwhelm defenses with shear numbers, pack a hard punch relative to it’s size, and have little with regards to survivability. Agreed it has more teeth, but so do Iranian go fast boats. Until a longer range missile is integrated into LCS it’s over the horizon offensive capability is it’s air detachment. Not saying it’s ideal, but for it’s current SUW mission (countering Fast Attack Craft) it’s effective.

In response to your statement that “it can’t participate seriously with a battle fleet.” With it’s MCM mission it has no need to shoot or take a punch. Yet in both those areas it’s superior to it’s predecessor (the Avenger class). With SUW it’s intended to counter the go fasts. Would you prefer an Burke do that with 1.2 million dollar a piece Harpoons? Doesn’t seem wise does it? If a go fast is within range of your guns it’s too late. Most carry anti-ship missiles that out range gun systems. As for those that don’t carry missiles a 57mm and two 30mm systems out range any gun system you’ll find on those.

Lastly, if you recall USS Freedom’s short stint with SOUTHCOM was resounding success with respect to SOUTHCOM’s mission in it’s AOR of the Caribbean of stopping smugglers.

The LCS can’t even survive a waterline burst from a .50 cal machine gun such as you might find mounted on the deck of any high speed pirate ship. Yeah, they are a model of survivability. Let’s continue to have contractors design our ships. It is working out so well. We used to churn out Iowa class battleships for less than an LCS costs. Sure, you can buy better, but you just can’t pay more.

The LCS program isn’t suffering from a lack of good engineers. I agree that the shipbuilding foundation that once was great in this country has since suffered greatly, but that’s a product of several laws that incentivized company’s to build (and crew) ships in other country’s to avoid the high cost of labor here.

Korea and Japan still rely almost exclusively on US engineered, tested, and proven systems for their ship’s. AEGIS for radar, LM2500s for propulsion, the entire VLS system for missiles. They may design the hulls, but everything else required support from the US. Few countries (US, UK, France, Russia, and China) have all the capabilities to build a blue water navy indigenously. Otherwise everyone would be building carriers and nuclear powered submarines.

Which brings me to my next point. You clearly have little understanding of the nuances that go into a Carrier’s design if you think the only differences between Fords and Nimitzs are the launch systems.Electrical, propulsion, the deck house, manufacturing techniques, the list goes on. If it were so easy than many other countries would be doing it as well.

Additionally, not sure if you realized it, but an unmanned aircraft was launched and recovered from the deck of carrier for the first time ever 2 weeks ago. Meanwhile other countries are trying to train pilots on difficult carrier landings so they can launch their first ever 27 year old carrier.

So yes in numbers of vessels the US has all but lost it’s manufacturing capability. But a Navy isn’t built out of container ships and tankers. A Navy is built from warships and there are no such things as Warship Engineers.

The carrier in the gulf isn’t for keeping an eye on Iran so much as it is for protecting the straight. Additionally the threats the LCS would counter in the Gulf are ones that carrier’s (or CSGs altogether) can’t do effectively. That’s the Fast Attack Craft swarms. It’s too close to Iran’s air defenses to send in air wings and too expensive to launch a Harpoon at each of them. Secondly a mined straight would most certainly force a carrier group into deep water. LCS is the only means of countering that as the Avenger class is being taken off line.

More Brass getting money off of a BIG project clamoring to sell it to the men of the Navy and the American people who pay for it. Its not working we dont need a Stealth patrol boat which malfunctions all of the time. We need a real “Blue Water” Navy ships like Carriers and dear I say again a new ship like DDG-1000. Not little light boats for coastal defense.

WOW, Adm Greenert has now gone to the dark (LCS) side. I thought he was one of the more
intelligent CNOs to come along lately, but apparently the appeal of the dark side was too much for even him.

If we are fighting in littoral land then we shouldn’t be risking our swiss army fast transport minesweeper drone motherships, should we?

Dusting off export-grade LCS, nope.
Dusting off Vosper Marine export fast-attack boats, nope.
Hypothetical minesweeper without the minesweeping drones ready to go? Check.
Down one minesweeper because of grounding? Check.

Not a good time for the Navy of the Great Satan. Even the Little Satan has better littoral combatants. At least we can slug it out from ashore with TLAM.

with all due respect Alex, you have seriously dunk the LCS koolaid, perhaps a gallon or so

you say the LCS is

a minehunter so it has no need to “take a punch” then you say
it’s a anti surface warfare platform that’s going to duke it out with fast craft?

highly contradictory of you isn’t it?

In an MCM role there is no need (look at the Avengers). Countering FAC does not mean duking it out at all. An LCS is little reward for a coordinated attack. FAC and FIAC attacks are designed to hit where it hurts, capital ships like carriers, CGs, and LHAs. This is where significant attrition of your units may be acceptable because of the reward of sinking/disabling a large ship. As with every other class of ship in a CSG the goal is to protect the carrier as this is your adversaries target.

As a comparison, with the Exocet (arguably the most prolific and successfully employed modern Anti Ship Missle), it took only one hit to disable the HMS Sheffield which is comparable to an Arleigh Burke Class. The same size warhead, approx 150kg, is carried by the NASR-1 (Iran’s favored AShM for it’s FAC/FIAC). Would you rather consolidate your defenses into a handful of larger and higher value ships like Arleigh Burkes or distribute that defensive capability among more numerous less desirable targets? Not to mention an Arleigh Burke’s preferred method of neutralizing FAC/FIAC is a 1.2 million dollar missile. The missile costs more than the target!

Even an RPG hit above the waterline would put the LCS in serious trouble. Which is why they need to cancel the LCS before it ever goes into battle

They should remove offensive weapons from the LCS, to ensure no commander gets funny ideas. Use your drones to fight, smoke and run away if the fight gets to you. Otherwise, what ships will be available to spend two weeks in port to add MCM modules?

The LCS may have a future fighting drug smugglers, but chances are it’ll die a prototype’s death when the modules become a standard embedded onto the next generation of warship.

At what point does a hole to a compartment above the waterline threaten a ship’s survivability? You sink ships by compromising watertight compartments and subsurface penetrations. The ship doesn’t sink if it’s not taking on water.

“Greenert’s remarks came ahead of what was likely to be a crucial week for the future of the LCS program, in which the Navy envisions building 52 of the ships for a projected cost of about $37 billion.“

2010 CRS estimates the cost of the next Ford as 10.4B. A Bloomberg news article (–06-19/u-s-navy-bets-42-billion-on-carriers-in-china-s-sights.html) calls it at 12.4B.

So…37B would be two or three Ford class carriers?

How many LCS is a Ford worth? 10, 12, 15? Bear in mind that the air wing isn’t included in these projections, though LCS construction numbers likely don’t include the magical drones. Both numbers are likely to keep climbing north…

Sure the US can build ship ‘systems’, well, manufacture previously designed systems anyway. Buy what if it can’t build hulls anymore (new advanced ones). Willl it order skeleton hulls from China, and (systems integrate it’s way to a blue water navy?) That has been of a company Boeing, ‘prides’ itself in being a systems integrator. Good, now integrate batteries onto the 787. My anger is pointed toward DUMB Americans (mostly politicians and CEO’s, and the stupid populace who allows their stupidity). I guess it’s a vicious cycle.

About the x-47b, that’s cool and hats off indeed! But my point is, when a country doesn’t keep or expand it’s engineering capabilities, you are still running 5mph in a race. Even if you are in front by a mile, this race is never ending. So the others, who run at 15mph will catch up. Even the B-2 could be duplicated easily by Europe and perhaps even China. Nothing too challenging about the engines, the shape etc. Just the coating. Be honest, wouldn’t you be frightened to know what we could build in Europe if we had near unlimited funds as you do? Not to be a mine is bigger than yours contest. Just trying to point out the inherent corruption and lack of skills, as a result of decades of outsourcing and throwing huge amounts of cash at problems. Sure there won’t be a ww3 or something, so the problems aren’t fatal.

But isn’t it just a bit pathetic that Europe’s companies have become much more advanced and skillfull, IN SPITE of having MUCH lower defense budgets? It means that we coped and learned. Heck, many ‘American’ weaponry is European. Just look at all the small arms, anti tank weapons, tank barrels, helicopters etc. Why is it that we develop better things with less money. Unless that is answered and solved, you guys are exporting huge amount of defense money to foreign continent. I would rather spend my money at home right?

Any votes of which company Greenert works for when he gets out? #revolvingdoor

Let’s see, loss of structural integrity and rigidity, flooding from incoming spray, possibilities of fire. Since it is built to such a low standard of durability, a well placed RPG to an area such as fuel or munitions would have a good possibility of catastrophic secondaries as well.

let’s boil the LCS down to a bare facts
–it has NO offensive weapons
–electronics suite is only fit for a cruse ship
–a tiny optically guide 57 mm gun, compared to a standard 127mm (5 in gun) or even a 3 in gun on the Perry class
–very small crew
–all or mostly aluminum construction
–no electronic warfare
–the only defense it has is a Sea Ram or a Phalanx mount
–its ASuW module consists of a 30mm gun, heck an Apache helicopter carries a gun that size!
–it’s a peer queen
–it require a huge shore maintenance crew to keep it going

So there really is no aspect of the LCS that is worth while, so the answer to your question is there is no
amount of LCS that you can trade for a carrier, not even 10,000!

apparently he’s thinking ahead to his next gig) :-(

“it took only one hit to disable the HMS Sheffield which is comparable to an Arleigh Burke Class”

And in Falkland Islands War alternate history, the capital of Argentina was hammered by TLAM for days until the victorious Intruders and Skyhawks dropped bombs all over them. Yummy.

Let’s all pray sequestration does the Navy a big favor and kills off this turkey! The only reason this doo-doo bird is being built is to keep two small shipyards in business. Now THAT’s Congressional pork.

Imagine putting the LCS in the Falklands war and see it survives combat

It would probably do alright defending itself. Either a TRS 3D from EADS or a Saab Sea Giraffe radar (depending on the class); with CIWS and RAM.

But when it comes to taking the fight to the General Belgrano, or against an Argentine carrier? Not sure. Only a handful of Exocets worked at the time, and A-4 dumb bomb attacks against an LCS would be suicidal. Short of WW2 skip-bombing, but I’m not sure anyone still does that anymore.

Europe develops arms for export to foreigners now, just as the United States is. Neither country is spending enough domestically on weapons to satisfy shareholders of those companies.

As I have said it many times over, the LCS is a disaster from the day it was drawn on a napkin. The LCS should have been canned and cut the moment the price tag started going up. It’s why Congress needs to grow a pair and tell the US Navy the LCS is getting canceled. The LCS is No frigate or a corvette. Even Corvette ship captains around the world are laughing at us and making jokes out of the LCS in the bar room & Wardrooms & staterooms. Which is why we need to cancel the LCS and move all the remaining LCS money into a high end Multi Role Frigate. Should make a deal with Spain, France or Germany for Multi Role Frigate designs and hire BIW to build them. If were stuck with the LCS, the only thing they should only be replacing is the Cyclone class PC & avenger class MCM. That’s why we need a High end Multi Role Frigate to Replace the Perry’s. If Admiral Greenert is so sure about the LCS is he willing to risk his kids in sailing the LCS into Harms way. Is he willing to allow his kids to work on the LCS.

The DEMONSTRATED gunnery capabilities of both classes of LCS still leave a lot to be desired. Neither of the types have yet proven they can accurately hit anything they shoot at while on the move (oddly, a main battle tank, or even an IFV like the Bradley, has a stabilization system AND a well-trained gunner that can consistently hit targets while on the move, and often not on the smoothest terrain).
Both LCS can hit stationary and low speed targets while the ships are at a standstill, or moving at low knots across calm seas.
Get back to us when they can do it at speed, in a higher sea state, in less-than-clear-sunny-skies weather.

As such, I sure wouldn’t bet my life the LCS crew is going to prove capable enough to down a fast-moving jet that came within the guns’ range:
yes, the Bofors/BAE 57mm and its phenomenal 3P fuze are very capable…just in the LCS application it remains to be proven as such.
I won’t even suggest using the 30mm guns on anything faster than a helicopter: at a maximum rate of 200rounds per minute (theoretical: these Bushmaster chain guns never fire sustained rates, but bursts and single shots only), the Chain Guns are just too slow firing, and the turrets are not adequately equipped (fast servos), to engage credible threat jets.

Fact check:
The M230 gun on the Apache may be the same 30mm diameter, but its shells are the NATO-pattern 30x113mm, generally of the HEDP and HEI types. The 30x173mm of the Bushmaster MK44 the LCS uses are a different beast: the same shells utilized by the A-10’s GAU-8, they pack more kinetic energy due to their higher velocity. Plus side of the Apache’s 30x113 gun is its ~600rpm fire rate (burst), and the fact that that HEDP rounds aren’t reliant on kinetic energy and penetrate the same thickness of plate regardless of range (supposedly 6inches of aluminum “armor”).
But plus side of the 30x173 is its higher velocity make it more suitable for faster-moving targets.
There would’ve been a considerable gain in shell performance and range if instead would’ve adopted the 35x228 pattern ammo, well-known in Oerlikon guns but also in the Bushmaster III used in the CV9035 IFV.
Considering the increase in capability for minimal extra investment, it’s odd that the 30x173 was the preferred choice instead of the 35x228.

Considering how bad it was that corrosion issues became apparent in one of the LCS class,
seeming to have totally ignored the naval engineering learned in a century and a half of metal ocean-going warships,
both LCS types should’ve been limited to technology testbeds: proof-of-concept ships designed to quickly configure new technologies that arise, and be further refined into a true and proper multi-mission next-gen frigate.

> Meanwhile other countries are trying to train pilots on difficult carrier landings so they can launch their first ever 27 year old carrier.

Meanwhile UK is working on a supersonic drone, the taranis. And there is the nEUROn. Yes you still got a technolical edge but it got thinner over the times.


I am not sure whether I should put the blame on an educational system on a downhill (look at the number) or to unrealistic projects giving a ridiculous reduced return like the f-35 and the LCS.

The X-47b have nothing to be compared with the LCS or the F-35.

“GAO Recommends Navy Pause LCS Program” and I quote ( Congress should freeze money for building new Littoral Combat Ships until the Navy can prove the program has righted itself.)

I still don’t get the concept of the LCS.

A boat whose only virtue is speed at cost of everything else, designed to operate on the littoral yet it seems that the concept of ground support is immaterial. Its goal is apparently to “conquer by the number” yet it’s a quite expensive drone launch platform. Short range, low survivability in bad weather; wtf they were thinking at? Usually when you can’t discern the difference between two fundamentally different approach it’s not a good sign.

After all I expect a canon like the 76mm to offer ground support at lower cost than an airstrike considering that a vulcano round got a range of up to 40k; I thought that solving a problem at the lowest cost possible is a good thing when you’re at war.

It’s only virtue is that after two weeks it can change its loadout. For all the jazz about being able to carry multiple modules and change on the fly…maybe it’ll go down, but if we haven’t figured that out yet, why are we committing 37 BILLION dollars already?

If we needed a modular ship to do MCM and be a drone mothership, a normal draft frigate that could deploy drones into shallow water would work. If we needed to fight in the littorals, a separate ship that could actually fight would be appropriate to. Of course, now we have an LCS, meant to do many things and enabled by a fairly flexible drone fit, but by itself, not the best little cute ship ever made.

Ideally, we would have taken a Perry as a demonstrator for this “Module” nonsense…or even another hovercraft, or the FSF-1 prototype. We still need a littoral combatant, so we could have bought what we now call the “export” LCS for the littoral fighting. But now I’m not sure what we’re supposed to have at the end of the day. Instead, we are spending so much effort on designing the horse, that short shrift is paid to the cart. What if the carts suck? Our LCS horses will get cancelled prematurely, and the carts without horses will get trashed too, and we’re out 37B with a few horses without carts to show for it and a dead program with a pressing unresolved need.

I’m surprised we don’t just throw money at the combat model. Then we can dump the remaining Perrys, sell some to the Aussies and reinvest the money in the modular LCSes.

The LCS should be turned over to the Coast Guard. They could use them for counter-drug operations, at least there the ship stands less chance of being shot at.
We should start building Perry class frigates again with updated weapons and systems.

lit·to·ral  (ltr-l)


Of or on a shore, especially a seashore: a littoral property; the littoral biogeographic zone.


1. A coastal region; a shore.

2. The region or zone between the limits of high and low

This is the definition used to define the area of operations of the LCS. Another words, it is an oversized patrol boat. Look at the history of patrol boats/gun boats since the 20th century. The majority of the designs never met the standards of the Navy in combat. The PBR is a noted exception. Going back to the definition of LCS that operational requirement falls under the Coast Guard and DHS. Give the completed ones to them, the ones under construction will be funded by them or canceled. The only near coast or intercoastal areas the Navy is required to operate are those that are foreign combat zones or if some country decides to invade the US by naval amphibious operations or a warring power operating inside the US territorial waters.

Lack of engineers is not the reason why the US keeps using old platforms. The reasons are first, with the demise of the USSR there hasn’t been a worthy competitor to the US that would make it necessary to produce completely brand new weapons platforms across the board. Without a real threat the US has chosen not to invest nearly as much money as we did during the height of the Cold War (we used to spend 8–9% GDP and now spend less than 4%, its pretty simple math). Second, unless your head has been in the sand the last 20 years there has been a revolution in intelligence gathering, targeting, and strike capabilities so instead of developing new delivery systems the US has developed new weapons systems to take advantage of these new capabilities. With budget realities what they have been since the demise of the Soviet Union what the US has done is probably the only logical course of action.

The Europeans use the same procurement model we do. Hell, they pioneered this system. It goes all the way back to feudalism. The government picks the winners and losers from the courtiers. Look at Washington DC today and tell me if it isn’t the same damn thing. Read War and Peace, the feudal government under the Czar just before Communism is exactly what we have today in our federal government. The only thing that’s missing is the titles (Baron, Prince, etc.).

I had not thought of it in exactly those terms but.… you basically are right in the analogy to a feudal empire. If you go back no further than the 1980s, procurements were SUPPOSED to be decided objectively, i.e. performance parameters were weighted, performance was measured, and a “score” given. Total up the scores and the winner is the winner. Today the procurement system is completely SUBJECTIVE, i.e. the procuring official is held only to his/her “best judgement” and anything that could appear to be quantitative performance metrics are banned! (Cant risk contradicting anyones best judgement, can we?). The system caught up with Ms Druyan, but.….…..

You may be correct in most of your assumptions. If you dont have the dollars to produce the systems, you dont get new systems. On the other hand, the supposed “boon” of ISR and C4 will start to become less productive, and we will have to strain mightily to remember how to develop and field those “platforms”. … But then.… Im old enough to remember the mad scurrying and sad faces when it came time to repair the USS Iowa’s turret after the explosion. We built it but could no longer even repair what was relatively minor damage. Admittedly some of the issue was that the machinery to handle those magnificently massive components had been turned into beer cans, but.… some of it was just plain loosing the technical expertise to do it. (And if you question the previous ability, remember how many BBs, each with much more grievous damage, were raised out of Pearl Harbor and returned to the firing line!)

Not just in Washington.

I’m not disagreeing with you, I think if budgets permit we should develop new weapons systems. Unfortunately they just haven’t allowed for that. Not to be political but entitlement spending in the US has exploded over the last 50 years and because of that US defense spending has declined. Even the Reagan buildup did not match the highs of defense spending during the 1960’s. I was just trying to correct Concerned European’s flawed analysis. One other thing is that I feel for all our current sailors if we ever get into a real shooting war with a near peer nation because those tin cans they float around today couldn’t take a hit from a bb gun. Unlike the ships of old which could take a hit(s) and keep on fighting.

Lets face it, the last ships built to slug it out were built during WW2 or just after. While the Carriers are built to survive (only because they are floating bombs) the rest of the fleet is a bunch of tin clads, where survivability is only through multiple compartments and some systems redundancy. The last war “modern” ships fought in was nearly 40 years ago and if the Argentinians had better fuses for their bombs they would have won. The 1000 pounders when they went bang were devastating to destroyers and frigates. Granted air defense is better now but the basic vulnerability of the ships to damage hasn’t changed much. An example was the Stark, a near miss gutted the ship. the only thing that “saved” it was that it was at the dock. It’s a good thing all they only have to deal with are pop guns, and missiles that aren’t overly penetrative. My nickels worth, Beverly C. MSGT RET ANG

Eh? Stark was underway and got hit with two Exocets, which is probably more damage than many of the ships at the Falklands endured.

“let China graduate a million engineers per year, while you graduate 28.000″

And even then, a good number of our science and engineering slots in American schools are filled with international students. The education systems overseas are much better at cranking ‘em out?

It is interesting to read the reports of both the Stark and the Sheffield.
Reportedly, Sheffield’s Exocet did not detonate, but ruptured onboard fuel lines and hot rocket parts started the fatal fire.

Stark was hit by 2, the 1st reported not to have detonated also, but again, hot rocket/missile fragments contributed to damage.

As the Sheffield was the more heavily-displacing ship, was it better compartmentalization and/or better fier control training on behalf of the USN vs RN personnel that saved the Stark, even with more personnel killed and injured?

Could’ve been luck: what did you hit?

“The Exocet missile which hit Sheffield did not detonate, but the missile severed the high-pressure fire main on board. The resultant fire caused by burning propellant ignited diesel oil from the ready-use tanks in the engine room, and other inflammable materials used in the ship’s construction. These fires burned unchecked for a number of days after the ship was abandoned.”

Sounds like golden BB to me.

They can’t have the unwashed masses sharing in the profits. The defense contractors hold strictly to the laws because it is the laws that make the rich. Those very laws keep that cash going to the select few anointed contractors (those with the proper titles). Tolstoy goes into a long dissertation about how the nobles are granted bureaucracies by the Czar. In the book he says that each bureaucracy was given a budget and the portion of that budget granted the bureaucracy but not spent went to the noble. Our system is even worse because every time our nobles cry that they are having unforeseen technical problems, we give them more budget so they can skim more money.

And for that shameless liar Adm. Greenert.

“The ability of the new Littoral Combat Ships to survive combat was comparable to other surface warships.”

Yeah. My ass.

Excellent comment!


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.