Navy Plans New Future with 32-Ship LCS Fleet

Navy Plans New Future with 32-Ship LCS Fleet

Navy leaders say the service will re-examine the future of its Littoral Combat Ship in light of recent Pentagon direction to halt the buy at 32 ships and not acquire the full amount of 52 planned vessels.

Vice Adm. Joseph Mulloy, Deputy Chief of Naval Operation for Integration of Capabilities and Resources, said the Navy will work on alternative proposals for the ship in response to guidance from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

“I view this as a chance for the Navy to re-engage on what’s important to us on the last part of the class.  We know we need mine hunting, we know we need ASW (anti-submarine warfare), we know we need a few of what’s called the surface warfare module – but what do we really need? We are going to go back and take a hard look and respond to the Secretary of Defense in the fall,” said Mulloy.

Navy engineers, shipbuilders and requirements experts will conduct research, identify concepts and come-up with alternative design proposals for the LCS.

The alternative proposals, which could include a modified LCS or new platform altogether, were directed by Hagel – who said that new contract negotiations for LCS will not go forward beyond 32 ships.

“We must direct shipbuilding efforts toward ships that can operate in every region and along the full spectrum of conflict. At my direction the Navy will submit alternative proposals for a surface combatant consistent with the capabilities of a frigate. New ship designs and a modified LCS– proposal are due at this time next year to inform budget submissions,” Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon Feb 24.

Acting Deputy Defense Secretary Christine Fox added some detail to this in a speech Feb. 25, saying that Hagel also directed the Navy conduct a study with DoD’s testing agency of the ship’s capabilities and survivability.

The Navy had been planning on building 52 of the multi-mission, shallow water vessels which are now under development. Now, the service will go to work on new proposals and ideas designed, among other things, to improve the survivability of the ship.

When detailing his rationale for reducing the fleet by 20 ships down to 32 and asking the service to produce alternative proposals, Hagel and Fox both echoed criticisms often heard of the LCS program.

“We need to closely examine whether the LCS has the independent protection and fire power to operate and survive against a more advanced military adversary and emerging new technologies,” Hagel said.

Hagel also added that he was concerned that the Navy was relying too heavily on LCS to meet its goal of achieving a 306-ship fleet.

In recent months, Navy officials and senior leaders have countered these criticisms by saying the ship’s speed of 40-knots, combined with its sensors, weapons, aircraft and technology packages will bring substantial advantage to the fleet. They also emphasize that, while survivable, the LCS is not intended to function as a destroyer or heavy warship but rather perform littoral missions and bring next-generation mine-hunting, surface and anti-submarine technologies.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom and Independence — designed and built by two industry teams, respectively led by Lockheed Martin and an Austal USA-led team. Contracts were awarded to Lockheed Martin and Austal USA on December 29, 2010, for the construction of up to 10 ships each.

So far, the first three LCS ships have been commissioned and the fourth, the USS Coronado, is slated for commissioning in April of this year, Naval Sea Systems Command officials said.

LCS 5 and 6 launched in December of last year, and ships 7 through 16 are in some stage of production, Navy officials added. The Navy plans to wind up delivering 4 LCS ships per year.

In addition, Mulloy said LCS 3, the USS Forth Worth, is getting ready for a 16-month deployment which will include trips to Singapore and parts of Asia.  He said that the LCS is ideally suited for high-speed patrols and counter-piracy missions. Also, he added that with its shallow-water ability and multi-mission approach, the LCS can go places most other ships cannot.

“Right now if we want to go to Cambodia we have to have an ARS (rescue and salvage ships). [LCS 3] will be able to go to Cambodia and Bangladesh and bring a Naval presence to places that are difficult for us to go,” Mulloy said.

Tags: , ,

Join the Conversation

Now that they are capping the LCS at 32 and realizing that the LCS is never going to be a Frigate. Maybe now they can ARM the LCS like a Corvette that is so common in Europe, Middle East and Asia. I’d arm the LCS in similar fashion to the Braunschweig-class corvette, Steregushchy-class corvette, Sa’ar 5-class corvette, or the MILGEM project. At the same time, start looking at buying a Frigate Design from Europe Such as the FREMM Frigate, F-125 Frigate, Blohm+Voss MEKO® A-200 Class Frigate, Blohm+Voss MEKO® 600 Class Escort Frigate or the Type 26 GCS

See, the next program really is always better. You can be sure they won’t make the same mistakes next time, because the system works. It only seems to work better for some than for others.

What mission would you outfit an LCS like a corvette for? The navy has plenty of ships that are armed to the teeth with big missiles and large caliber guns. That’s not what the LCS was intended to do. Not to mention the LCS’s Weapon Stations aren’t designed to handle any of the missile systems that are used by the corvettes you mentioned. Thankfully.

You’re still getting 32 LCS’s. This isn’t like the Zumwalt cut 32–24-7–3.

So the LCS is dead. Changing the platform is an admission of defeat. They just don’t want to change the corrupt contractual arrangements so the same bunch of losers will be given yet another chance to fail.

You don’t need a crystal ball to realize that LCS 2.0 is going to be even worse. Take away the speed and the draft of the LCS make it slower and deeper and yet cost even more that is what LCS 2.0 will be.

That’s actually a good point. All that money developing the Zumwalt, it comes out on time, costs go down by 500 million a ship, but they cut it anyway for the “affordable” Flight 3 Burke. Nevermind that we have no idea how much a Flight 3 Burke is really going to cost.

The idea of a follow on of more heavily armed LCS is fine, problem is it probably won’t get built. I love how people now propose a frigate NSC and call the LCS a mess. The LCS may have been a mess, but the NSC has been even more of a mess, and at least the costs on the LCS are under control now. Costs on the NSC were higher for the last one than the first one. And of course people are sure if we just use a foreign design, all would be wonderful.

I don’t think a frigate will get built anytime soon. Money won’t be there.

Navy needs to look at buying some new large patrol boats, maybe something of that scale will escape the political and budget problems. We know there is a need in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Mexico based on current deployments, and there sure as hell aren’t going to be enough warships to go around.

If only they could only get the espresso module working all would be well with the MIGHTLY LCS program

but I hear that LockheadMartinStarbucksPeets Inc. is having problem with the outsourced code again

a spokesman said “We’re up to 25 million lines of code with only 5 million more to go on the MIGHTY espresso module, once we are done this ground breaking gen 5.2 coffee maker will be leap and bounds ahead of any potential gen 5.0 the Chinese could possible build in the next two weeks. Of course when you pushing the boundaries of technology there will always be challenges. But we are confident that we are close to solving the ‘stealth” coffee bean problem.”

I’m not familiar with the cost breakdowns, but I’d rather have an NSC than an LCS any day…

It’s not dead. They’re still building 32. They’re just not pinning one sixth of the fleet on that class. I don’t knock it. I just hope they better define what they want in the remaining 20 ships they need. A “big brother” LCS to protect an LCS surface action group may be pretty interesting. Somewhere along the lines of 5000 tons displacement. More weapon stations and upgraded power systems to handle future railgun and laser additions.

No you wouldn’t. The NSC costs more (still needs to be upgraded to the patrol frigate) and believe it or not has more issues than the LCS. Also the NSC costs are on the rise while the LCS costs are falling.

They are always worse, and the US taxpayer who has a memory about 30 seconds long is always so damn thankful that the programs get cancelled. Whew, we really dodged a bullet by having that program cancelled, we almost got a useful weapon out of one. I mean, hell, at first it is, “shame on the defense contractors,” but after a few dozen programs end this way don’t you have to say that the US taxpayer is just too stupid to be allowed to keep their money? I mean, how many f’ing programs have to get cancelled before someone is accountable for all the money that’s been wasted? And the damn contractors laugh at these people all the way to the bank.

Ha, you can add that module to the f’ing “rail gun” we’ll never see in our life time. You can be sure that just about the time the “espresso module” is ready it will be cancelled among much fan fare from the US taxpayer who clearly saw that module as being a relic of the “coffee wars” of the late 20th century.

I think you’re right about the NSC Frigate (it’s a joke), but I also think that a beefed up LCS is the only financially viable option. Call it what you will, you can support it with the existing training pipelines (currently being stood up for the LCS), and the shipyards have the existing manpower to support it. Just refine the design (5,000 ton displacement, additional berths, upgraded power, etc.) and you’ll have a smoother adoption than LCS while still leveraging some lessons learned. Something like the Spruance to Kidd classes perhaps.

If the Navy adapted the NSC as a frigate they would 100s of millions in development cost vs developing a new ship entirely. The NCS patrol frigate would be a good interim frigate until the Navy has the money to develop it’s own frigate design.

Also, the LCS without mission modules would make a fair off shore patrol cutter. BY adapting the LSC design for the off shore patrol cutter the USCG can save millions in development cost.

Both of these ideas are not ideal for the Navy and the USACG, but they would save the tax payer 100s of millions!

Yeah, I’m sure the Navy is going to save us rich any day now. They aren’t just a corporate welfare system, you know!

Simple, look at the current Corvette’s that are out their right now such as the Braunschweig-class corvette, Steregushchy-class corvette, D’Estienne d’Orves-class aviso, Khareef-class corvette and Sa’ar 5-class corvette. I would Arm them up to their level as a Corvette. If the LCS was armed properly liked a Corvette, then they would be on their level, but right now, the LCS is armed to the level of a US Coast Guard Medium Endurance cutter. An example of a well armed Corvette is the Khareef-class corvette She’s armed with;
1 x 76mm Oto Melara Cannon
2 x 30mm MSI DS30M 30mm cannon
8 x MM-40 Block III Exocet SSM
12 x MBDA VL Mica SAM

Even the German Braunschweig-class corvette is armed with
1 x Otobreda 76 mm gun
2 x MLG 27 mm autocannons
4 x RBS-15 Mk.3 Anti-ship missiles
2 x 21-cell RAM CIWS missile launchers

Right, they’re bound to cost less than an Iowa class battleship any day now (yes, cost adjusted for f’ing inflation).

The way I see it, I think the US navy will have3 options such as buying a Frigate Design & license rights from Europe such as the FREMM Frigate, Type 26 GCS, F-125 Frigate, Blohm+Voss MEKO® A-200 Class Frigate, The Álvaro de Bazán class or the Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate and have it built in American Shipyard. The other is to build a Burke frigate based on the Spanish Navy’s The Álvaro de Bazán class Frigate & the Norway’s Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate design. The last resort would be to take the US Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter design and build a Multi Role Frigate that HII is advertising.

Or they could design their ships themselves like they did back when we had a 600 ship naval force for the price that won’t even buy us 200 ships today.

It’s all relative right? An LCS costs less than an NSC. The NSC patrol frigate cost will rise even more when redesigned as a warship. Who cares what an Iowa costs. Back then the shipbuilding industrial base was huge and we had 3 times as many ships as we’re Congressionally mandated to have.

You’ll never see a European design built. The US ship designers will never allow it. Not with viable domestic options (including an LCS redesign). As for HII NSC, well I personally think it would be disastrous. I’m hoping for a beefed up LCS. Longer, bigger crew, and larger weapon stations. That should answer the concerns. Although ultimately, show me the operational need for a frigate. The 10 Perry’s we have right now aren’t exactly capable of a whole lot.

With what naval archs? The knowledgebase simply doesn’t exist. Plus, the navy isn’t exactly known for managing itself very well.


Again what mission? A corvette’s mission is to pack a big punch quickly on larger ships. This was never the role of an LCS (otherwise it’d be called a Corvette). Navies without naval air wings need corvettes to buffer larger navy ships from getting close to shore (hence their relatively short range).

The LCS was designed to counter (with an SUW mission package becasue that’s what the combat suite type you’re comparing) swarms ( 10 or more, often several swarms) of Fast Attack Craft (FAC)/Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC). These are 50–60 ft go fast boats with 1 or 2 anti ship missiles, unguided rockets, and maybe a .50 cal or two.

Putting aside the simple fact that you can’t carry even close to the amount necessary to stop one of these waves, the cost per kill would turn the navy bankrupt. Let’s go ahead and sink 5 figure boats with 6 figure missiles. Secondly, the overkill situation is laughable. An RBS-15 is designed to disable a destroyer and you want to scuttle Johnny “go-fast’s” little bog hammer with one? The LCS program is still on the right track developing a smaller missile designed for the threat. Griffin is not the answer, but the fact that they’re looking at making sure they can carry tens of the ordnance shows they understand their requirement even if the solution isn’t quite there yet.

Even the 76 mm gun is over kill. A single 56 mm HE round will disable FAC/FIAC easily. Not to mention it can track an agile target better, fire more rounds per min, and carry more ammo. Granted, you lose SOME range, but you can’t keep at range forever.

With regards to your suggestion of 30mm and 27mm guns, the LCS has two proven 30mm guns (in addition to the organic 57mm).

Lastly, and probably most importantly, Corvettes lack the capability to perform the LCS’s two most urgent missions. Mine Counter Measures and AntiSubmarine Escort. It sounds like you, as well as others on this board, want a Corvette because they look cool on paper. Without ever having a need. You can fault the LCS for not delivering enough of the capability, but you can’t argue that the Navy didn’t know what it needed. It doesn’t need Corvettes.

Kudos to the SecDef for making this prudent decision. However, I cannot help but wonder what ulterior motives may have prompted this move. There’s an old saying in Washington that goes: ‘nothing is ever as it seems’.

LOL. They can sink an LCS with no problem at a stand-off range.

How do you figure? Define stand-off range. China can launch ballistic antiship missile at stand-off range and sink a CVN too. Make a point.

in all due respect Tomcat, the LCS mission is “AntiSubmarine Escort” oh really, with what sensors, with what weapons and Pleeeeeeessse don’t tell me it’s going to be the fabled and mystical “anti-submarine module,” I’m sure the ASW module will be a huge success just like the ASuW module (what a joke that is).

The LCS has NO sonar, no tail, no senors or any type and it has no weapons to engage a submarine, no torpedos, no ASROC, and neither does it have a Nixie, but but but what about the helo’s you say, well I have yet to read any reports about helo ops on the LCS, let alone helo ASW ops. But I’m sure help pilots hate the LCS since it bucks like a bronco in calm seas. Heck, it you put two helos on that thing it’s bound to be unstable and overweight.

The only way the LCS will ever find a submarine is the moment the enemy torpedo blows it to bits

I think xXTomcatXx is a part of the LCS mafia

Uh, I care, dumbass. It’s my money. I get to care.

Stand-off range, that would be the range at which a .50 cal mounted on the deck of a Somali pirate boat could hose it with 750 grain armor piercing rounds and cause the crappy thing to take on water.

Another defense contractor mouth. Never get tired of hearing that propaganda. Your tax dollars hard at work.

You’ll never get a ship at Iowa cost again. So contribute to the current cost like good boy and move on.

On the up side, it is so thin skinned there is a chance the torpedo might just pass right through and never know it hit a ship. Of course, it still leaves a really big hole. Those don’t grow back.

So anybody who defends any program is obviously working for the company involved? Good to know. So the talking heads who give the usual line of “(insert program here) is a disaster and deathtrap we don’t need that will bankrupt us” are doing it out the goodness of their hearts and patriotism to this country?

Oddly enough that is the same line that tends to get used by the media and critics to describe just about any military program from the 1970s onward, both successes and failures. Yet despite all of the times they have been wrong people tend to believe everything they say.

Most of the latest European “frigates” are significantly larger ships over weighing over 5,500 tons that in many ways could be considered destroyers. In some cases these new frigates are of a greater tonnage than the destroyers these countries were using back in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

This seems to be larger than what the United States Navy is looking for as we already have the excellent Arleigh Burke class despite the concerns over the planned Flight III. Something 3,000 to 4,000 ton range would probably be better suited for us and that would make improved LCS designs a possibility. Although considering we still plan on building 32 of them perhaps the Navy will decide they need something different.

We’ve already seen rail guns in our lifetime in experimental form.

William, we all know there are well ran programs that produced great platforms and/or weapons systems, there are many many examples of excellent bang-for-the-buck programs and systems/weapons that just work darn well.

But on the other hand, when a program or weapons system is clearly and beyond the shadow of the doubt deeply flawed, then it NEEDS to to criticized or else we end up with junk and our Soldiers, Sailors and Marines die needlessly.

If the LCS ever goes into battle, lots of our Sailors will die needlessly because some of us choose to support this fatality flawed program despite logic. Question for you William, would you want your son or daughter serving on a LCS during wartime, or would you rather have them serve on a Burke destroyer?. I think we all know the answer to that don’t we?

On the upside, when an ASCM shreds the LCS, you can see one huge gaping hole. The LCS is a worthless piece of JUNK for the BLUE water Navy. Though the LCS has it’s place for the PC & MCM fleet. Which is why the LCS is NEVER, EVER going to be a FRIGATE. It’s nothing more than a pop gun boat.

Oh I see another LCS FANBOY here. You wouldn’t know what a Real Corvette or a REAL Frigate unless one is shown to you. Clearly the LCS is a JOKE and it’s so called Modules is really the laughing stock. If the LCS wanted Modules, we could have simply went to the danish and brought their STANFLEX system instead of reinventing it.

What they need to do the LCS is cap them at 24 and split them between the PC and MCM fleet. Arm them in the same fashion as a Corvette and ban them from sailing with the big navy. They need to give up on the Module crap and Arm them like a Corvette with Corvette weapons and systems that is proven and ready to GO.

One thing xXTomcatXx doesn’t realize is that the LCS is NEVER EVER going to act like a FRIGATE. It’s over budget and the LCS equates to the F-35 program in money scales.

Not really, because Bath can partner with Navantia for The Álvaro de Bazán class Frigate & the Norway’s Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate design. Navantia can design the ship, but Bath can build it in America’s Shipyards. Their’s a difference between design and construction. Navantia can design the American version of The Álvaro de Bazán class Frigate & the Norway’s Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate design. Bath Iron works can build the Frigate based on the Navantia Design. The US has a history of buying foreign made stuff such as the B-57 Canberra, which was originally a British designed Aircraft.

xXTomcatXx is simply another LCS Fanboy who doesn’t know what a REAL Corvette or a REAL Frigate looks like.

Their are Frigate designs such as The Álvaro de Bazán class Frigate & the Norway’s Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate. Even Australia operates the ANZAC frigate, which is a Blohm+Voss MEKO® A-200 Class Frigate, would be a perfect frigate for the US Navy.

Actually it sounds like what the Navy needs is a WWII Fletcher class destroyer, minus one or two 5″ guns. It could do everything well except the anti-mine warfare, and would be very survivable in combat and should be inexpensive to build. A proven design. AMW can be conducted by small inexpensive ships.

I don’t like the LCS either, it seems as if firepower, crew size, and other areas don’t reflect that it is indeed a 3,000 ton warship, not the 600 ton or so design the Navy was considering back in 2000.

Despite its flaws the LCS has some good features like a large helicopter deck and hanger which would be useful on future designs. Various “export” LCS variants have been proposed with greater firepower so there is some room for improvement it seems. Yet first the various cost, quality, and systems related issues with the existing designs should be corrected if we are to buy any more of the 32 LCS hulls still planned currently.

LCS and the San Antonio class LPD have also shown a lot of problems with our shipyards, probably due in part to downsizing in that industry following the end of the Cold War. Constant changes in management almost certainly haven’t helped either. Getting those problems under control will be essential to the success of any new class of ship.

Really wouldn’t work well in most regards. Post-war rebuilds of many WWII destroyers gave them respectable ASW capabilities at a time when such technology was moving rapidly but by today’s standards all of that equipment was primitive. The size growth in destroyers since WWII is largely due to all of the systems required to be fully capable of doing tasks like ASW against designs far advanced of the slow and noisy WWII subs. Plus anti-aircraft work requiring large SAMs and their associated radar and guidance equipment.

It may be French but their La Fayette class “light frigate” is also worth a look at for inspiration. Some of the MAKO 200 variants are also in that size range. The Alvaro de Bazan class however is one those larger types of frigates with capabilities (SM-2 missiles) more in line with our destroyers. As we have a genuine destroyer the Enhanced Sea Sparrow and close in weapon systems should be good enough for our frigate or corvette.

LCS costs are still astronomical for what you get for $400M per sea frame. It doesn’t matter what it costs compared to an NSC: other navies are building LCS sized ships with full military hulls, stealthy designs, much heavier base armament/protection, and mission packages for 1/3 less that what the US taxpayers are being shafted for.

LCS also shares yet another dubious distinction with the F-35, besides being way over cost: it is and remains incapable of meeting its already reduced mission profile. Even with the surface warfare package, LCS is appallingly weak — and its 57mm pop-gun failed miserably in Canadian testing.

All of our formerly interested-in-LCS-the-concept allies (Israel and Saudi Arabia amongst others), have all since walked away — saying its far too expensive for so little in return. The US Navy is the only customer for this taxpayer-reaming corporate-welfare program, and even the Navy’s own inspector Generals report slammed the LCS in its review, saying there is heavy doubt the LCS can survive in a hostile environment, or for that matter the very missions it is likely to be assigned.

The best alternative, would be to scrap the keels that were just laid down. Yet the taxpayers will be getting bilked for another 20 worthless boats that aren’t even built to the same standard as a common fleet oiler (a non-combatant). Given the weakness of the sea-frame — whether its even worth up-arming the remaining LCS is dubious. We might as well give them to the USCG (though they probably don’t want them), because at least they aren’t as likely to get shot at by a real naval opponent.

That’s what I am thinking, maybe a frigate based on the La Fayette class or The Álvaro de Bazán class Frigate & the Norway’s Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate. Don’t get me wrong, the ANZAC class frigate and the Blohm+Voss MEKO® A-200 Class Frigate would make a good Frigate for the US navy. The US Navy simply needs a frigate, when we don’t require a destroyer or a cruiser. We certainly don’t need the LCS acting like a frigate, when in Reality it’s a Corvette than a Frigate.

I am no squid, so I can not comment on the armament on the ship, but I can say that when you start changing something from it’s original intent, it loses it’s effect. You have to make a platform from the start to do a job that you want it to do. That is why the Wart Hog is so popular of an air craft. it can take a lot of hits, and still do a lot of damage at low levels. In short, what do you want a ship to do, fight, or sink?

Survivability??? One of the class of ships the LCS is designed to replace is the MCM’s. Ships built of WOOD or FIBERGLASS. Obliviously this is part of the budget driven agenda that is also trying to lower the number of carriers. Oh and the LCS 2.0… we have only to look at our own technology history to see what that will get us…

Spoken like the defense contractor shill you are. Your day is coming.

Ha! Wrong side of the fence I’m afraid. Been on both to be fair though.

We are being threatened all over the world by old and new enemies so we MUST reduce the size of the Navy and Army and increase spending even further on domestic programs including shovel ready infrastructure and green technology. Ok. Makes sense to me. Maybe I should volunteer to join obama’s advisory staff.

The LCS lacks the capability to perform it’s two most important missions as well. Just a reminder.



I’m not an LCS fanboy. I’ll admit I fully support modularity, but that’s only because traditional ship design is no longer sustainable and modularity is a proven cost savings measure. You clearly don’t have a clue of what’s going on within the Navy. Allow me to enlighten you. The next ship will also be modular. That’s the only way the Navy can afford it. Just last week at ASNE Day the head Navy budgetor finally conceded that the LCS approach of modularity is superior to traditional ship design. Not because he was pursuaded, but rather because the numbers don’t lie. The LCS is the most affordable ship in the fleet when measured by capability, density, and weight. Just because some Admiral nearly a decade ago gave a bogus number to congress doesn’t mean the LCS is too costly. The Absalon Class costs the same exact amount as an LCS first of class. Sorry to tell you but your next ship is getting modules too. Even the DDG PM mentioned wanting to modularize Flight III last week. And we’re not the only Navy following suite.

The San Antonio’s aren’t built to the lowest naval standard, and LCS is (just above commercial grade). In fact, LCS isn’t even built to the same standard as a common fleet oiler (a non-combatant).

This foundational problem can’t simply be “fixed” without a redesign of the sea-frame itself.

But the reality is that LCS is tremendously overpriced given what you get in return — and the “export” versions were also insanely expensive — which is why all other interested allies took one look and walked away.

The prescription for repairing a lot of our economic problems was in the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office report on the causes of the Great Recession (the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression), which assessed the blame percentages as 10% democrat and 90% GOP.

1. Rescind the “temporary” Bush Tax cuts for the super wealthy
2. Rescind the massive load of corporate welfare programs created during the Bush years

These tragic mistakes not only failed to create any jobs — but they destroyed the economic base of the nation. And most notably — the GOP (then) didn’t care if they had a way to PAY for what they did.

We should cut welfare — for the wealthy and multi-billion dollar (and highly profitable) corporations as the first step to restoring our economic foundation. Then a lot of these cuts wouldn’t be necessary (regardless, LCS should die a fast death).


Are you trying to be cost analyst again PW?! Come on you know better. The $400M is perfectly on par with what you get around the globe with respect to size and capability. Same price as an Absalon, and the LCS cost is falling.

You quote the same garbage everyyy time. The ship continues to prove itself and the Navy know it. The next ship (you’re still getting 32 of these) will look very similar. The formula worked. What failed was they requirements. They were too vague at the beginning and where they were specific there was too much of a range for a single ship to perform all the missions.

The next ship should be a larger LCS (5,000 tons) with a larger hanger/flight deck to accommodate a second helo or CH-53 and a small 8 cell tactical VLS. That combinded with 2 or three of the current LCS would make a great surface action group in SE Asia.

Firstly, thanks for remaining object William_C1.

As for the cost. The critical mistake in this program was 10 years ago when an admiral was asked if he could get these ships for $250M, and he answered a resounding “yes”. Without ever checking with his cost estimators. Anyone who’s estimated a ship’s cost knows that there’s no such thing as $250M 3,000 ton warship. In fact if you compare the LCS to Absalon (a modular ship of similar size but slightly reduced capability), it’s the same price. And that’s when comparing it to the first of class, which is always the most expensive.

To some this cut seems like a fatal blow to the program, but the reality is the Navy bet too many ship (1/6th of the fleet) on a vague set of mission profiles and a lot of unproven systems. The cut is a good thing and hopefully allows the accelerated development of the remaining LCS hulls.

And the Harrier, and the M-249, and the M-240, the Rheinmetall tank guns and before that the Royal Ordnance 105’s…

Yep because LCS now just means any ship build by the same losers.

typical arse covering maneuver by another Lockheed shill

I’m not sure what to think. The current LCS designs are not what the Navy needs, but were stuck with them. They’ll properly be used same way the demissiled Perry Class ships are used for, Patrolling.

We do need a combatant that can get in close to shore but still have reasonable firepower. Cyclones were suppose to do that stuff, but their undergunned. Problem is Navy is dealing with budget flux. We do need a frigate, but we also need a Corvette that can go near shore. I don’t understand why we can’t have both. Costs need some how need be dealt with.

You do realize the ship were designed by Gibbs & Cox and General Dynamics, two of the most respected ship design firms in the world, right? The complaints for the LCS have nothing to do with the build quality. These aren’t the LPD 17’s popping welds. These have design shortages as a result of poor requirements definition.

The LCS only has the two 30mm guns IF it the surface warfare package happens to be aboard.

This is why everyone who has reviewed LCS says its base armament is incredibly weak — with or without mission packages. And it is notable, that the 57mm gun failed to even dent the target in Canadian testing.

Actually, given their size, the Cyclones are far more heavily armed than LCS:
–372 tons (fully loaded — USS Freedom is 3000 tons).
1 × Mk96 25 mm cannon/40mm grenade launcher
1 × Mk38 “Bushmaster” chain gun
Pintel mounts for Mk19 grenade launchers or .50 cal. (12.7 mm) machine guns
6 × FIM-92 Stinger SAMs

Hence — for its size (and at $25M each, compared to LCS $400M each), the PC-1/Cyclones are vastly more heavily armed.

Not ships though. It’s an industrial base issue. If you don’t keep the designer’s designing then the country’s capability atrophies. Much like it did for the Brits with their ability to design submarines.

The 30mm guns will be apart of EVERY MP. They weren’t originally intended to be by a CO will not leave without them. It makes no sense to leave 3 weapon stations empty on deployment.

“Base armament” is a ridiculous term. The ship will never be in that configuration. It will always have a MP on it and when it does you need to compare it to what the ships it’s replacing needed. Are Avengers armed? No, but the LCS will. The Perry’s are barely armed themselves too. Otherwise your not making any sort of a fair comparison.

A railgun? LOL The frame can’t handle that.

Typical LCS fanboy, can’t come up with proven FACTS or LOGICAL reasons.

They are also looking at arming the Legend Class Cutter as a new Frigate. Add bigger main gun, VLS, Harpoon launcher and Torpedoes.

$400M isn’t even close to the mark as is evidenced by all the other previously interested navies walking away. You still haven’t addressed the Navy’s own report that scorches the LCS as unlikely to survive the missions it is likely to get sent on, and isn’t likely to survive in a hostile environment.

So now you’re blaming the failure of the ship and concept on poorly considered requirements. That said — why do you still try to justify what you’ve already admitted is inadequate?

Whatever the next ship is, I would guess that it’ll be a blending of a Zumwalt architecture (depending on how well she fares in her sea trials, etc.) with perhaps the modularity ideas (which were sound) for LCS.

Why not, the NSC frigate would be the Nuclear option if no other designs are available. It would be the same as using the Spruance class DDG, which became the Tico CG.

Didn’t you get obamas Memo. Where pulling out of policing the World, so 32 will be plenty of ships to patrol the Gulf of Mexico.

Really, because the Danish navy estimated that it payed well over $800 million for the ABSALON, roughly the same as the first LCS cost. And please don’t quote what the ship cost to build by the shipyard because only really ignorant people use that number for the total cost as it doesn’t include any of the GFM like say weapons, radars, combat systems, aviation support systems, etc cost. Let alone the training development costs, support costs for crew training, program office overhead, etc that is included in the USN cost estimates but not by the Danish Navy. And I would be careful about the fanboy label.

The LCS seems like just the right vessel for the Austrian Navy

LCS therefore should be armed with VLS, Harpoon and additional torpedoes

I see your point — “base armament” is so ridiculous, that the navy uses it to describe the LCSs’ multitude of obvious shortcomings.

Thanks for clarifying that for us.

Even with the 30mm cannons, its *still* woefully under gunned/armed — according to the Navy’ Inspectors report.

BTW — what about the woefully inadequate 57mm gun? Fine for a USCG cutter that isn’t intended to fight a real naval adversary — but of little/no value for a ship that is supposedly designed to go into harms way (its middle name is “Combat” after all).

The Navy is better off to start with the Cyclone class, and build up/improve from there.

Several of them have been sent to the Persian Gulf, because LCS simply can’t do the job.

Should the Zumwalt’s prove to be successful (Sea trials starting later this year), we’ll see a lot of the design innovations from that class finding their way into other navy classes (similar to Seawolf, and the Virginias — which have turned out very successful).

They are built of wood and fiberglass because it makes them considerably more mine-resistent.

The LCS will be a fine minesweeper, but that isn’t saying much: every ship can be a minesweeper ONCE.

If we exclude a foreign frigate from consideration, we are left with 3 choices for a new frigate. They are:
1. national security cutter up-gunned patrol frigate
2. an improved/ redesigned Perry class frigate
3. a scaled down DDG 51

All of these will require additional cost to change the original designs to meet current requirements.

It’s done to confound magnetic mines.

Though the advanced mines of today are likely to be acoustics based, and considering how the USN deperms its ships every once in a while the strengths of the magnetic mine are mitigated considerably.

Good point. If the new radars and other fancy that are going into Flight III Burke go into massive cost overrun…pie on face. Again.

When the LCS is going up against Somali pirate dhows, the stabilized 57mm gun is trumpeted left and right. When the threat changes to a missile boat with Anti-ship missiles, narrative switches to “counter-missile capability”, “helicopter”, “UAVs” and “operating under umbrella of fleet defenses”

Amusingly, a Perry has CIWS, launches helicopters and can operate under the same umbrella. The only thing LCS has on the Perry is modules. And if the LCS is doing minesweeping, then they become valuable instead of expendable.

Not just design, production too. Design all you want, but when your shipyards are idle you’re dead.

This is why prolonged failure in procurement will doom the aerospace industry. The subcontractors are small enough to fail will fail and walk away.

For actual littoral combat, I wouldn’t mind seeing a mix of Cyclones and Ambassador class FAC’s.

LCS’ mission would then be that of a tender to the littoral combatants, with modules to perform support functions for the surface fleet.

How long do you suppose an LCS would last in the arctic? We may soon find out.

Totaly not a frame issue unless the railgun size is too large. What is the issue for a railgun would be electrical power supply. Railguns need a tremendous amoiunt of power to operate and LCS would need a very different generation/distribution scheme to be able to support a railgun.

Funny, I read the CBO report but never saw a scorecard or mention of 90% Republican to 10% Deocrat for blame. Please give the page number references to that.

What a surprise.

And the recoil? Unless a study show that a railgun only generate 10ft-lbs of recoil the frame will have to sustain torsion forces, likely significant.

Even worse, the electricity itself will induce a lot of vibrations. I have already worked in a steel factory they use electricity to melt steel in a 140tons furnance dating from the 80s. On each side of that were a 10 story column, that’s the transformer. The beauty is that when the two 6foot wide electrodes fire up you shake from the inside while standing hundreds feet away. Electricity at work.

How I am supposed to expect an aluminium build speedboad that’s cracking from everywhere? Simply put I bet it can’t handle all that power.

Now someone have to explain to me why all these “modules” can’t work inside an existing ship. The ship rely on stand-off robotized tools which does not seems to be so significant in size. The biggest modules I’ve seen is the helicopter itself, and it turn out that a lot of ship have docks for an helicopter.

And you know this based on what analysis and studies? Have you seen the current test railguns in operation as I have? The US has had other ships with aluminum structures and the issues with aluminum are pretty well undrestood. The forces for a rail gun are larger than a similar caliber conventional weapon but they are predicatble and repeatable so there shou;d not be any big surprises there. You may think that a gun is just bolted onto the deck and then tested but there is actually a lot of preliminary analyis and barge testing ahead of time. As for the vibrations that you mention, the exisiting railguns are not doing this when they are tested.

Exisiting ships are not built with the proper space, weight and interfaces to the existing networks. LCS has predefined mission bays for the modules and the ship’s systems are already set up to connect to the modules as if they were always there.

Sadly, these boats are too small for them. If the Independence didn’t have such a narrow bow and maybe they could get way with a shallow VLS launcher for close-in work. Deeper the launcher, bigger the capacity. Neither Freedom no the Independence have that unfortunately. They could add the torpedoes launchers to these ships, but would be the point? Unless they can add module which is able handle a tow-array to make up for lack of integrated sonar, the launchers would be a waste. They’ll need relay on the Helos to do that work. Harpoons properly be easiest thing unless they don’t mind loosing some of their Stealth qualities.

Yeah, trust the Navy’s contractors. They’d never lie or use stupidity as a means of putting profit before performance.

No, come on, they can always have China build them for us. Hell, they build everything else we use.

Hey John

If I was SecDef or SecNav, I would take the existing Perry and modify it and here’s why
–the hull form and engineering are sound
–it’s proven to be very tough and hard to kill or sink
–there will be no need to design a brand new ship

I would
–lengthen the hull by 75 feet amidship and put a VLS (ESSM, vertical launch ASROC and Harpoon) cell there
–move the 75mm gun to the bow and/or upgrade it to a 5in gun
–up grade electronics suite (there’s no need to Aegis here, just a powerful air and surface search radars)
–everything else is fine

lengthening the hull from would be some work but it’s a lot less work than a brand new ship and it would be a better platform than a modified NSC and modifying the Burke to frigate standards would be too expensive

The characteristics of aluminium might be well understood by scientist, that doesn’t make an implementation free of mistakes; it’s so easy to create a model that works, then use it to build something to finally find out that it doesn’t work as expected. As engineer are trying to extract every grams out of material –and the LCS is everything except pure aluminium– bad surprise happen. Nothing will guarantee that the LCS can handle a full blown railgun until they try for real.

I was trying to extrapolate the recoil from produced from a mach 10, 40 pounds projectile but I am getting scary number –though smaller than a 16inch gun. I will wait to get something consistent before posting this. The vibrations might not be felt like I did but they surely exist, my guess is that it’s bulky enough by design to make it not happen.

They could probably determine the biggest railgun that it can handle, my bet is that it’s going to be fairly small; at least it should have more range than its 57mm canon.

In a different perspective, if the LCS frame was designed from the start to receive a railgun in the future, wouldn’t its electrical system would be designed from the start for the task? That’s something that was definitely known decades ago during experimental testing. It was determined in the 60s that a 1kW laser can ignite inflammable substance miles away. The same thing apply for railgun. Both of us know that it’s not an all new idea from the mid 90s.

It already have turbines that could power up a railgun mighty enough to sink itself. The only reason I see would be that it doesn’t have the frame to handle that power because it wasn’t designed for that in the first place. May I suggest a smoother direct energy weapon, like a laser?

For the mission modules I have seen, they are not that bulky. The mine hunting package is not that big and could fit in any boat that got enough room for an helicopter. The computer used were taking a room, something that a reorganization can do just fine, and nothing forbid a reflected, modular approach here.

The LCS does have a big nice landing pad, but I’ve yet to see any of these modules to make use of all the room available.

I am sure there are other way.



The Navy did just fine managing itself and designing its own warships for 200 years without the help of these blood sucking defense contractors. Somehow I feel sure when this dark chapter of history is written, no one will miss the those leaches even a little.

>The forces for a rail gun .….. are predicatble and repeatable so there shou;d not be any big surprises there.

Right on. Even though the vibrations I’ve described can be explained by a array of theory, (they all tend around the fact that electron in movement vibrates, atoms vibrates) but at they end of the day they are part of the recoil itself, likely added vectorially. I was dwelling on that part that is likely not the most significant forces in play. That’s merely a partial cause of why the recoil is likely to not be exactly like a conventional cannon.

I think that the biggest structural stress is the speed at which the forces get in play, secondary vibrations may or may not require additional material; who knows. But as you said this is repeatable.

The electrical system would merely affect how fast the railgun could reload. I don’t know the exact implementation of the system as I seen on pictures they are using giant capacitor. As you may already know,. capacitor stock an electrostatic charge, there is no minimal current required as long as you have the tension to charge them; the times merely depend of the formula t=R*C and a full charge takes 5 unit of (t) seconds. A lawnmower engine could be used though it will takes months to charge the banks. The amount of capacitance also depend of the difference of potential in the capacitor ( E = 0.5*C*V^2 ).

In shorter terms, the electrical system required to fire a railgun depend of it required rate of fire.

The Fletcher was a great destroyer but was not sea worthy we lost three in a typhoon and a few months later we lost three more at japan

The USA wants steak on hamburger budget.

This whole sorry episode sure sounds to me like “Lets build a pretty, new ship, and then find something for it to do .. let’s look real hard for something it CAN do.” This direction from SecDef sure seems like more of the same. At least we won’t build 20 more of those Little Cute Ships .… sort of like limit the damage?

grab brain.…with the technology of today’s weapons no ship is survivable.……I served on a Spruance class destroyer.…the hull was roughly one inch thick.…all the superstructure aluminum.……it would never survive an attack by torpedo or missile.…..we don’t build sixteen inch ship hulls anymore people!!!

Instead of trying to develop a new ships, why not use off the shelf techology to improve current proved designs.
marvin s.

Unlike steel which becomes more brittle in very cold weather conditions, aluminum becomes stronger in very cold weather conditions. Not sure if the various systems are designed for use in very cold conditions, and that is a much bigger question.

Why not build onto and improve the Perry class? Admirals can’t seem to get rid of them fast enough. Trying to lock in the boondoggle?

The very fact that the vessel (LCS) can go places others cannot go is the death knell of the concept. It cannot defend itself because it is too lightly armed. So no one will be able to come to their aid. The mere fact that the LCS sea frame is not all ocean capable disqualifies it from consideration for the new frigate design. This new frigate must be an any ocean any time hull and combat system. Because this is so, some of the hull design rules for the DDG-51, along with some US Coast Guard rules for stability and rigidity will be required.


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.