Navy Engineers LCS Changes

Navy Engineers LCS Changes

The Navy is implementing specific design and engineering improvements to its Littoral Combat Ship following the construction of the first two vessels, the Freedom and the Independence.

The changes to LCS span a range of areas from adjustments to water jets to efforts to fight corrosion and improve the ships elevators, deck extensions and inflatable rafts.

Vice Adm. Willy Hilarides, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, said the first two LCS ships were built with a specific mind to continued development of the platform for the long term.

“We forget that we decided to take LCS 1 and 2 and deliver them as ships to the fleet, long before the design was mature — so that we design the right class of ships for the long term,”  Hilarides said. “There are 10 to 12 big changes to the ships that are in place. That is what we intended to do.”

The Navy plans to build and acquire as many as 32 of the controversial shallow-water, multi-mission ships engineered for surface warfare, countermine warfare and anti-submarine warfare. The LCS has come under fire from lawmakers, analysts and even members of the Navy for not sufficiently meeting mission requirements or being survivable enough to withstand anticipated threats.

However, proponents of the platform have long maintained the ship brings substantial mission-enhancing technologies to the Navy. Most of all, they say the platform has been engineered to adapt, meaning it is built to accommodate new technologies as they emerge.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom and Independence — designed and built by two industry teams 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 four ships have been commissioned with the fourth, the USS Coronado, being commissioned in April, 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 spokesman Matthew Leonard added.

The Navy hopes to build as many as three LCS per year, however that remains unclear in light of Congressional mark-ups of the budget, some of which have lowered the amount to two per year.

Some of the improvements to the Freedom variant of the LCS emerged as a result of experiences on-board the Freedom during its recent deployment. Identifying and fixing problems with the ship is part of what the deployment was designed to accomplish, Hilarides explained.

The Freedom experienced problems with its ship service diesel generators, or SSDGs, which resulted in a temporary power outage during a trip to Guam in the summer of last year.  The ship also experienced problems with a corroded cable and faulty air compressor, Navy officials added.
Overall, LCS 1 continues to receive a series of modifications which will improve the USS Freedom as well as the remaining LCS Freedom–class ships now being built and developed.

One such change resulted in what’s called an anchor windlass replacement, said Naval Sea Systems Command spokesman Dale Eng.

“To prevent water ingestion in the anchor windlass room, the existing anchor winch, hydraulic unit and mooring capstan were replaced with a single electric capstan (chain) winch on the main deck.  In addition, the existing towing chain was replaced with a lighter chain,” he said.

Also, to improve corrosion protection, the ship’s Impressed Current Cathodic Protection system was modified by adding protections to the water jet inlet tunnel; Cathodic Protection is a technique used to control or minimize the corrosion of a metal surface.  This change, designed to improve reliability and maintainability, was put into effect on LCS 3, LCS 5 and follow on ships, Eng said.

Other changes put into effect starting on LCS 3 include the lengthening of the stern transom and the integration of the buoyancy tanks into the stern of the hull. The transom stern is the bottom tip of the surface of the stern that approximates the waterline.

“These changes increase the weight service life margin and enhance the ship’s stability characteristics,” Eng added.

The ship’s water jets were modified as well, changing from a mixed flow design to an axial flow in order to reduce cavitation (air pockets) and improve efficiency.  With an axial flow, water is pushed in a direction parallel to the shaft of the impeller, a type of propeller.

The end result of implementation of the axial flow water jets is improved operation efficiency with reduced maintenance intervals, Eng said.

Also on the Freedom variant of the LCS, engineers have moved to a significantly less complex gas turbine electric start system on LCS 5, in order to reduce costs and lower ship weight, he added.

There have been substantial changes to the Independence variants of the LCS as well, including the installation of what’s called bridge wings, narrow walkway extensions designed to improve safety.
Also, the 5.1 meter Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat, or RHIB, on the Independence variant was replaced with a Navy standard 7 meter RHIB. The new Navy RHIB is designed to provide improved performance and supportability, Eng said.  The change was made to LCS 4 and follow on ships in the fleet.

Similar to their Freedom variant counterparts, the Independence-class ships of the LCS are also getting an improved cathodic protection system designed to combat corrosion. This effort is  being built onto LCS 4 and follow-on Independence variant ships.

The Independence-variant ships are also getting upgraded water jets quite similar to their Freedom counterparts. The jets are being upgraded to handle the horsepower provided by the gas turbine, Eng said.

The Navy is also improving the anchor on the Independence ships through what’s called the winch control system, an effort to modulate the motion of the anchor and reduce the reliance on manual hand brakes.

“The variable control will make it safer to operate for the crew and the equipment.  Other changes enhanced the ability to safely spool anchor cable and have reduced the wear on the ship’s bolster and anchor winch,” Eng added.

The Independence variant has also redesigned the mission bay side door of the ship to improve reliability and reconfigured the platform lift elevator such that it can better handle weapons and ordnance, Eng said.

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It’s a good thing the LCS has it’s “Water jet noise cancelling module” in place and working well. After all, we wouldn’t want the bad guy’s submarines to hear it coming 5,000 miles away would we?

Program should have been cancelled a long time ago, along with the F-35! Too many retired mil, and politicians getting rich!

You might here it some 5000miles ? away, but you wouldnt know where it was exactly

There have been too many ‘exercises’ where both the LCS and the F-35 took a beating without inflicting more than a scratch on the adversary. Scrap them both. (I do see the LCS as perhaps a USCG patrol vessel thought.)

Too many officers O5 and above tend to be politicians first looking toward their civilian futures hoping to get rich at the expense of the nation. Surely there must be more than a handful of officers (and civilian pols) that think first of their country’s welfare and the oath that they took.

That is so true JJ. There should be a law written that prohibits retired military officers from working for active defense contractors for a period of 5 years after their retirement date. That would put an immediate end to all of the stupidity, deceit, and fraud, wasting of billions and billions and billions of dollars.

Plenty of room for criticism, but what part of “…ship’s water jets were modified as well, changing from a mixed flow design to an axial flow in order to reduce cavitation…” did you not understand?

Cavitation is caused where local regions on the propellor or impellor see a reduction in pressure below the vapor pressure of the water and the water exhibits a phase change from a liquid phase to a gas phase, causing bubbles of water vapor. As each bubble is forced along in the flow and pressure on an individual bubble returns above the vapor pressure, then that bubble collapses analgous to a small clap of thunder, and with large numbers of bubbles collapsing a better analogy would be large numbers of small claps of thunder overlapping in close succession. The collapse of these bubbles concentrates the kinetic energy of the water moving into the collapsing volume into a very small region with enough force that when they occur on or very near a metal surface the water can erode that metal surface. That sound can travel great distance in water, especially in open deep water, but not so much in the cluttered shallows of the littorals where reradiations from reflections and diffractions can destructively interfere with the source and mask it with sound radiated from other sources.

The Prairie system (name derived from “Propellor Air Ingestion Emission”), first developed on post WW2 diesel subs and later also used on surface ships, is a system that emits fine streams of compressed air bubbles near the edges of propellor blades. The air bubbles combine into the cavitation water vapor bubbles and provide a cushion of air to the water at the surface of the bubble as that bubble collapses inward. The water vapor changes phase to liquid water very quickly in that collapse, but the air bubble remains a gas bubble for the duration of that event of the collapse. The effect is a drastic reduction in SPL radiated from the cavitation. The remaining wall of bubbles significantly attenuate the transmission of sound radiated from the ship through the bubbles because there is a drastic change in acoustic impedance at the boundary between air and water.

I do not know if the LCS pumps include some variant of the Prairie system, but it would be no less technically practicable than doing so through the shafting and variable pitch propellors of an Arleigh Burke.

User input is vital. The USN made such progress with aviation because it adopted an organized policy of user contact with aircraft manufacturers. The same was true of our shipbuilding, especially submarines.

I think we’d do better to look at the other end of the equation, reducing the power of military officers to steer funds to the companies to which they hope to move after retirement. It is not easy, but it is a different focus.

Hopefully “more dakka” is on the list of required improvements.

The problem Mark is that this is all also steered about by the politicians. Which do you think helps a politician more. A Standard frigate who’s crew does most of the maintenance while aboard or a ship which has a smaller crew and requires a ton of contractors in the district meaning jobs, etc.

The whole thing is screwed up.

However the big problem starts in the Navy. A ship capable of doing everything requested was impossible. Whats more its impossible for it to be worth a damn and be cheap.…….

The problem is the ship has no more displacement to give up to more weapons. Its designed to work at high speed. Their hulls are made for it. Everything is sacrificed for it. And in the end no more tonnage is available to give for weapons sense its designed for a very narrow range.

It quite literally is the worst requirements design we could have picked.

BTW any increase in equipment means a increase in crew which also decreases top speed and range…

See how much fun it is.

I really do not want to post a comment. I have worked for the Navy as a civilian in the past. I also took an oath for my country. I was not in a high end G-S position just a blue collarless person. Seems that I specialized with each assignment and was awarded with so many awards. I loved my positions that I held but not the needless B.S. that came with them. Seems like the Navy needs another Admiral Rickover to get that spark that some have lost. These items that others mentioned as a problem is a step away from solving them. Soon they just might be stepping stones for a great Navy defense substance that is needed for the U.S. N.

The problem is a Rickover or a Nimitz were neither faultless or willing to destroy those around them to cover up things.

The new faultless navy kicks sailors and men out for things that many of our Admirals did…

But then the New navy considers only Power Point Projections and Diversity films as learning experiences.

The problem isn’t the contractors but the politicians and the Navy.

There are ethics laws like that. Unfortunately, they only cover a 1–2 year ban, depending on what kind of influence you had and what position you are going to. The rules for O-7 and senior are a bit more restrictive than for O-6 and junior.

Essentially, for LIFE you can not be employed by a defense contractor to work on a specific project that you were responsible for as a government employee, and you cannot represent a defense contractor to your previous office for a 1–2 year period.

I do not think that even increasing this cooling-off period to 5 years would solve the waste, fraud, and abuse problems in acquisition.

Claiming that retired officers are solely responsible for this is simplistic nonsense. While some of those individuals are part of the problem (as seen by AF acquisition officials going to jail over fraud in giving out contracts), I think the larger responsibility goes to the all-to-close relationship between defense contractors, lobbyists and politicians, and the revolving door that allows ex-politicians to go make millions as consultants to the defense industry.

Here’s a simply way to end the LCS travesty

Put an active duty admiral on each one and have then sail into Harm’s way.…detached.

First the LM LCS design needs to cancelled; The 60 MT ballast did not do much to keep safe engineering separation of the center of buoyancy and center of gravity. This added weight also reduced the mission module growth flexibility of 180MT

In order to be transferred from an from Austal LCS to a LM LCS, a crew member has to go to school. DUMB.

Two different LCS ship/classes performing the same mission, doubles the cost of the training and supply train.

One LCS builder is all that is required. Choosing Austal to build the LCS class ships, allows the Navy to sail the JHSV (Austal) and LCS as a mutual support force with limited mission.

LCS program is an example of Navy leadership protecting their backsides

You’d think with LCS-1 costing as much as an Iowa Class Battleship, it wouldn’t need a whole bunch of fixing. I wonder who got the contract to fix what was screwed up? Probably the very people who screwed it up in the first place.

Exactly what I was wondering, too. A bit like the proverbial fox guarding the henhouse.

Better yet save money by scrapping this crap and go for real warships not some small stealth boat like this.

Good to recycle into Reynolds Wrap

Hell, if the LCS was worth a crap they’d be using axial waterjets with blades that purposely cavitate with stable bubbles that cut down on both the noise and the power lost to viscous friction.

It’s not the jobs that make the contractors look so good to the politicians. It’s that rich dude who runs the contracting house. He makes all those big campaign contributions to the right people, because he’s got way more than enough money to feed and house his family and he can afford to buy some favors from his “representatives” in congress.

The whole reason the Navy used to have people like Rickover and Nimitz is because the Navy used to be run by engineers. They used to design their own ships — like, for hundreds of years they did that. Then more recently they used to design their own reactors too. The Navy would actively recruit some of the best minds in the nation to become nuclear engineers. These people had a big influence on how the Navy was run. Now they outsource everything to the defense contractors. Now the morons are in charge and it shows.

Question, how are the LCS mafia and the JCS mafia related

–Lockhead Martn is their GodFather and
–they both say they are “made’ men (untouchable and too big to fail)

Too little, too late. The navy knew it was going to have problems with LCS (especially when it came to getting a horrible review from its own inspector — let alone every other inspection agency in the government). It should’ve gotten a clue when all the other nations initially interested in LCS walked away, deeming it far too expensive for such little benefit.

But instead of submitting hulls they claim are far stronger than what the Level-1 standard calls for, they continued to stall, while making no material changes to either LCS sea-frames survivability. Furthermore, one of the dubious accomplishments of the LCS is like its flying cousin, the F-35, is that it has also had its mission profile downgraded, et still cannot meet the requirement.

It didn’t take a genius to figure out that this program would end up on the chopping block. Both LCS sea-frames should be immediately shock tested. If they fail, the program should be ended for any ship not on the slipways — and those involved should be prosecuted for defrauding the US taxpayers.

Ye only our enemies should have newer aircraft & warships… Heck it would be like 1941 Pacific all over again… I wonder if North Korea or China would allow us to play catch up like Japan did?

Well that’s fantastic improvement keep it up

Lets see in the North Korean & Chinese Navy they say we need this to do this & counter the Americans that & they get it. you want to pout us 5 years BEHIND our enemies. Better start learning Korean & Chinese then dude.

Wasn’t the design speed something like 50 knots? Maybe a reduction to 40 knots would be worth giving the ships the equipment to do stuff once they get somewhere.

It really does seem like somebody forgot to take notice that the LCS was over 3,000 tons as opposed to the 800–1,200 ton craft they were looking at earlier concept studies.

I wonder how many thought the A-10 should have been canceled as a Failed experiment.

JCS? Did you forget that Austal makes one of the LCS designs too?

They have on this something the Iowa’s didn’t High tech gadgets… These ships most likely run on Software.

To what and whom are you replying to?

The problem is the ships are made to operate at 55kts. Yes even though they are only going to do that about 0.05% tops of their entire life.

So basically the entire thing needs to be re thought. Most of all they only need to make 32–35 kts tops ever. The speed is worthless for what the sacrifice for it requires.

The A-10 was a obvious need and a logical program. The A-10 has ONE job does that job better than any other aircraft and has countless times proven to be a great asset. The LCS is based upon a idea that was then high jacked and messed up entirely by the Navy.

So this is nothing like that. btw I accidentally up voted you. so…

The Ironic part is when Big Navy isn’t making up BS and isn’t part of it people like Bath and others build great ships that work fine and cost the right amount.

The problem is both the insane ways the Navy leadership is messing up and the contractors who say yes its possible to only come back in 2 years and say it isn’t ready we knew it wouldn’t be and so did you.

An entire political system and Navy upper echelons filled with yes men.

It’s about Time that the Navy changes some of the design of these Ships cause the present design isn’t working out as planned.I’m glad that someone has figured out some of the problem’s that have plagged these ships.

That is typical of our fascist approach to government procurement. Saying “yes” is what makes you money. Saying “no” gets you nowhere.

The Navy has pretty much always outsourced the building of their ships. It’s the design of them they always kept in-house. Outsourcing ship design has lead to an explosion in both development and construction costs and resulted in thin skinned crappy ships with fake stealth that only delivers extremely high costs.

When is the last time you paid more for a software package that had fewer features than the previous version? Only in the world of military procurement do they try to convince you that crap like that makes sense.

They could go much faster than 35 kts with much less impact on the overall design if they used hydrofoils to lift some or all of the hull out of the water during high speed travel. The really cool technology is in super-cavitating hydrofoils where they develop a stable steam bubble over the top of the foil. Air bubbles can be injected at the lower surface to reduce drag there too, plus there are materials that trap air such as the US swimmers used to wear in Olympic competition that made them look like water bugs in the underwater shots. The same technology that makes these ships faster also makes them quieter. It’s a real win-win technology.

Who is going to pay for these fixes. The designed who screwed it up in the first place, the admirals who orderer new ships before the development was completed on the prototypes, or the tax payers? Lest not forget these thing are nothing more than 3000 ton patrol craft suitable for use against pirates and drug runners only.

That probably wouldn’t be a bad law to put in place for both military and civilian outfits. I would imagine that an equal number of civilians reach back to make their wages from the folks that they were letting contracts out to just last week.

how about some additional weapons stations for small boat defense, shore battery engagement and incoming missiles? Not even a functioning VLS system when the SM1 manufacturing ended. The Israeli Sa’ar 5 packs three times the offensive punch for a third the price of these LCS, sailor-killing, budget-bursting ferry boats.…

I’ve got a better idea, put four F(uckup)-35’s on the helo deck of each LCS and see how they faire in a first engagement with the Chinese Navy if we’re forced to honor our commitment to the Japanese to help them defend the Spratleys.

I’m just a dumb former USN corpsman here.…but enough is enough! Quit wasting my money on unsurvivable, multi-mission incapable, never should have left the drawing board, under-armored, too expensive PORK!!!

What do they mean by “being survivable enough to withstand anticipated threats”? How far can it sink in shallow water?

LCS is a disgrace. Once again we are paying to simultaneously do design and construction and it does not work. Neither design performs the three mandatory missions that the entire program is predicated on. Finally, there was supposed to be a “sail-off”: between the two deigns before any further procurement and neither design can perform as required. Of course all the comments about a revolving door are so much to the point.

The LCS is a great program as long as it never has to deal with a serious air threat. I find it to be less capable than the early Knox class DE/FF’s. The idea of having a single vessel with multiple capabilities is a good one as long as the ship doesn’t need to enter a ship yard to alter its ability to respond to a threat. I just don’t think the enemy is going to wait till the ship is able to defend itself.
I submit that if the LCS were to be operating with a DDG of the 60’s that the DDG has a much higher survivability factor than the LCS. They may be a great idea in the mind of some politician or defense rep but that is an idea to pad their wallets.
As far as ex military working for contractors. I have no problem with it as long as their new position does not interact in any way with their old one. Creating some kind of 5 year restriction means the loss of current experience in those companies developing new systems.

Having spent a while aboard, and in company of, the Knox, I have to agree. I was aboard a FRAM-2 Can, the Blue, and we did quite a bit of near-littoral shore bombing in the 60’s. We also had great sonar, great anti-sub, anti aircraft, and great food!

Northrop Grumman, who had a better design than either of the others, was knocked out in the first round! Why? Because they already had “too many contracts”!

The Navy says that naval warfare is entering a revolutionary state of change, chose two separate designs and then fielded what are tantamount to prototypes. These ships will have enough electrical generation capacity to field the two upcoming weapons, both game changers. I think that many or most critics are looking at the last war and negatively judging both the F-35 and the LCS, both of which represent huge technology advances. For example, the F-35 is less capable in the air than the now-old F-22, but in terms of computer power and the ability to communicate with older fighters, it is unsurpassed. It is taking far too long to field, but most of that delay has to do with code, not the three airframes. The Navy is finding its way with the LCS, but I think that this approach will demonstrate the way to go with a ship class that is absolutely necessary. Meanwhile, the Navy is building a lot of ships that aren’t being called aircraft carriers but are fully capable of operating F-35’s. It is already clear that China (for example) can potentially swamp the Ford’s defenses, but the U.S. Navy already has a lot of decks out there, ready to field both the F-35 and those future weapons, the rail gun and the laser.

Fewer ‘features”? There are currently only two Navy ships capable of fielding the rail gun and/or the laser — the Zumwalt and the Ford. Oh, make that three, the LCS’s, both of which will have the electrical power necessary. Which would you rather have, a limited number of missile launchers and a popgun with a range of ten or so miles, or a rail gun with 110 mile range and superb accuracy, and/or a laser that can just keep shooting down missiles ALL DAY? You want to fight the last war? You lose the next.

And who said that the LCS can field a railgun? Her tinfoil aluminium frame had encountered structural issue only to withstand the sea itself, and you think it will handle a railgun?

Beside reducing its operating speed, very little can be made to make it more aluminium friendly. Reduce its diameter and you loose its relative efficiency up to a point where no solid metal remain. So unless you are looking for a nuclear detonator it’s a big no-no.

AFAIK even the land based railgun has yet to achieve its objective to reliably shoot 10 rounds per minutes, and the extreme HEAT generated is part of the problem, if not the problem. The LCS could be well past half her service life before it became practical to have one.

And then it’s important to understand what kind of damage a railgun may inflict. A hole smaller than my head through her hull –above the waterline– will hardly sink a destroyer or a frigate; a well placed shot will seriously incapacitate her but I don’t expect a devastating effect with an order of magnitude of an anti-ship missile.

And don’t be delusioned about laser, it does generate heat as well. It doesn’t have any recoil but it’s not necessarily the miracle solution to all the problems.

>For example, the F-35 is less capable in the air than the now-old F-22, but in terms of computer power and the ability to communicate with older fighters, it is unsurpassed.

That’s a very bad example. To say that the f-22 is old is like saying that you are due for retirement because a new generation came to birth. Yes its computer system are from a different era, did you know that the f-22 got a dedicated clean room for upgrading its avionics. And since the f-35 re-use the code from the f-22, its very likely that its more powerful processor or part of it can be used by the f-22.

>I think that many or most critics are looking at the last war and negatively judging both the F-35 and the LCS, both of which represent huge technology advances.

Looking at the future while ignoring the past **is** THE receipt for failure. In 21st centry the infantry is still there; beside all the technology designed to take it down tank are still present; beside the advent of missile aircraft are still flying –some people in the 50s thought it would make aircraft irrelevant.

Ignoring the past because of some game changer technology that will make everything obsolete have already happened before, and you might want to look at history and learn from it.

People dog-cussed the PT Boats too … They turned out to be more formidable than most anyone expected …

For life. And it should be for anyone that worked in the government.

It’s an equal mix. But, to be fair, nobody even implied it was all just retired officers.

Actually, as reactivated the IOWAs blended old and new technology. Ironically, one of the (still) advantages of the IOWAs is that they’re very adaptable platforms–apparently a design feature of the LCS.

They’ve adapted them to suck a lot of money out of the defense budget, that’s for sure.

I bet they would have cussed them for a whole nother reason if they’d have cost as much as the Mighty Mo’ or nearly that each.

Well, unlike the IOWAs I didn’t say that design, uh, goal, was successful as of yet in the LCS.

The mission of this ship class is clear: To spend money and line politicians’ pockets. BT Out!

If the PT boat was meant to go from San Diego to Japan and fire four torpedoes at the size of a pre-WW2 destroyer, people would’ve raised holy hell.

(IntenseDebate is being problematic for me)

Steam ships are More reliable. At sea casualty recovery no problem. Gas turbine emergency Generators great power recovery.
Gas turbine ships May be fast. But, at sea when your gas turbine down your Shit out Luck.

Do you mean triple-expansion reciprocating steam engines, or steam turbines for your “Steam ships vs gas turbine” comparison? And there’s diesel as well.

LCS’ has both engine systems aboard, which presumably complicates things.

It’s all Green Hills RTOS. Lockheed would love a chance to upgrade the F-22’s avionics…on your dime, of course.

Some flight control code would likely have to be updated if you migrated the F-35 hardware over. They are different aircraft, and flight control regimes such as those that can come from thrust vector were likely not accounted for when written for the F-35.

They started procurement too soon. FSF-1 was intended to accommodate modules as well. Maturing the modules before picking ships would’ve made things go much more smoothly. FSF-1 is also far smaller than the LCS of today, so it would probably have been scaled up if picked for serial production. The most obvious deficit is the lack of weapons on FSF-1, which would have provoked howls of derision.

However, going with someone who theoretically simply has to scale up the design is far cheaper than paying LM and GD to design new boats from scratch. Unfortunately, LM and GD would have tied up the contest in litigation if Nichols was allowed to produce more than a demonstrator.

I didn’t realize Northrop submitted a design. As far as I can tell it was LM, GD and Raytheon. Haven’t been able to find much information on the Raytheon bid.

I got:
http://​www​.thefreelibrary​.com/​R​a​y​t​h​eon Leads Team in Bid to Design Navy’s New Littoral Combat Ship.-a0100067634

Which simply mentions “Team LCS” with Raytheon, SAIC, Umoe Mandal (which builds the Skjold for Norway).

Amusingly, a blurb on defense-update says “The Skjold design provides a basis for the proposed US Navy future Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), proposed by the Raytheon-led Team LCS.” The Skjold is a tiny little littoral combatant, and looks nothing like either of the winning contestants. I suppose a scaled up version is probably what would’ve been sent in, but no information is forthcoming.

Edit: Found some pictures.

With the LCS America will finally have a major warship that a third world country can sink.After all, we wouldn’t want to be exceptional.

Could you do that with a ship as large as the current LCS?

For the 10–12 years that Northrop-Grumman was in the Shipbuilding business (They bought Litton and a couple of other smaller yards), they bid on the LCS, built a couple of Carriers and a few of the newer Support craft (in the Pascagoula Shpyd), even trying to build a passenger liner. Classic fail! Tried to sell it to the Navy as a Hospital/Disaster Recovery ship, but the last time I saw it, it was rotting in the Mississippi shipyard.

Northrop finally decided that they had no business in the shipbuilding arena and sold the division, right after the Bush was launched.

It looks like all the High Tech people are in charge. All are cheap kills. We need people who were in and saw combat to design and man our ships. Unfortunately we are all retired and tired of reading about our Navy going to Hell. All Navy ships should be designed for combat and to service in combat. We need to man ( woman ) our ships with the idiots that are designing them.

The LCS mission and program is indicative of trend of the shift of the Navy from a “Blue Water” strategic concept to a “Coastal Defense” concept. Basically taking over the mission of the Coast Guard which has now been placed under Homeland Defense. I agree that there needs to be nimble warships but that doesn’t need to be in a design like the LCS which has limitations to weapons systems and area of operations. The new Zumwalt class DD would meet the Littoral mission requirements but with a robust weapons system and the ability to operate in both Littoral and Ocean environments. The cost of the LCS program is impacting the warship fleet like Carriers and Aircraft.

Look and sound like one missile or torpedo hit will put them at the bottom of Davie Jones’ locker in minutes. Damage control teams won’t have time to break out their gear. Waste of money that could be spent building a much more worthwhile class of vessels that people won’t laugh at!

>Lockheed would love a chance to upgrade the F-22’s avionics…

As I said the air force launched a clean room for the f-22… and probably some other sensible stuff. It’s build in partership with Lockheed (and likely partially operated as well), the whole clean room belong to the air force which mean total control. At least it make the possibility of fake hardware and sub par manufacturing much less likely.

Bright move air force!

River rat, you are dreaming, now.
As someone who has been both military and civilian defense contract person (and worked for one of the “acquisition officials” who went to jail), I can assure you that there plenty of “old friends” in the Pentagon and the systems commands who will welcome you into their offices and be interested in what you are doing now, but they will not entertain “negotiations” if you will, on matters that would put either party in conflict. There certainly are some who might. I have watched a lot of this from several positions and perspectives, and seen it beyond the DoD, in the realms of city and county governments, as well.
If the terms FYDP, FAR, DAR, D/FAR, PPBS, etc sound like subjects from an under graduate program you might have gone to, then you can skip DAU and get right into a government contracting position or manage proposals from a major defense contractor. Getting good results from an acquisition process requires knowledgeable people on both sides of the table who understand the systems being bought / sold, and the field the game is being “played” on; specifically, the ground rules.

The ethics must meet the highest standards, and on both sides of that table. The dollar values alone can make a lucrative target for personal gain or professional advancement for some unscrupulous individuals.
It is not unheard of on the contractor side for a person who can bring in the new work to be made the project / program manager for that effort. If that happens to be some recently retired government person, then there can be appearances of impropriety. All hands need to be vigilant to avoid any such appearances, much less the actual possible illegal activity. There are rules, there are statutes, there are policies in place, and they have been for years. Just abide by them, and use a bit of common sense. It does not have to be that hard to do it right. I have been witness to some bad management practices in the past, and eventually the most egregious of them did catch up in the end. Kharma is slow, but she’ll come around sooner or later…
Sorry for the rambling post..

>Some flight control code would likely have to be updated if you migrated the F-35 hardware over.

Honestly for very good reason I have never seen that source code. They claimed that they re-used its Ada code of its flight control, which I suppose have been used as a base block and put the f-35 flight characteristics in it.

Unless they use the low level programming features in that part of the code, Ada code is fairly portable … usually it goes to the limits of the compiler. So I think it’s a safe assumption that this part of the code can run on both hardware –since it seems to be an heterogenous system.

At least, by supposing that they use the L-3 ICP then it’s very likely that it’s merely an older generation of power PC, though by being an open architecture nothing forbid the use of ASICS; code will need to be re-certified but compared to the daunting task to design an all new system it’s very reasonable … as long as there is a concrete use for that increase of computing power.

As for the newer hardware introduced with the block 3, I know little about it. Something have changed for sure, but it’s not clear whether they are incorporating ASICS or a completely different instruction set, the latter seems extremely unlikely.

We’ve made rosy projections that the LCS is not going to be attacking (or be attacked by) Fast Attack Craft armed with powerful antiship missiles. The LCS can probably defend itself from casual attack by same craft, but the ability to engage them will probably come from its aerial complement. Of course, if it gets closer it can use whatever missile they load aboard or the 57mm…any closer and it’s down to the 30mm in the SUW which should still somewhat outrange ATGM’s, cannons and heavy machineguns. Total overkill for tiny dhows and fishing boats, but anything FAC-sized in the 200+ ton range could be problematic.

Wow, the things you learn.

Turns out that Northrop owned Ingalls and Newport News before spinning them out as HII. Ingalls built “Project America”, a boondoggle of a plan to revive American civilian shipbuilding that didn’t quite work out all that well.

As a prior LCS ASW Mission Package sailor of which I have Pre-commisioned one of the LCS platforms. These ships are some the loudest in the Fleet PERIOD. The generation of “self noise” is counter productive in ASW search and prosecution. Not to mention speed doesn’t help the sensor suite. Basic ship building design and knowledge didn’t seem to have been applied to these ships.

I don’t pretend to be a naval architect, just a hammer-smashing technician whose usefulness is probably long past, but it seems that all these “improvements” are pretty much cosmetic, except for the thrust tunnels… not sure what’s going on there anyway.

I don’t see much in improving the weaknesses concerned by a bunch on this forum: combat sustainability, and range and versatility of firepower. It looks like they’re still Little Cute Ships …

Yep you’re mostly right about that, I’m afraid there’s probably too many conflicts of interest. It’s like that with most of the new technology. The horse is pushing the cart, wish it was different but that’s the Military Industrial Complex for you.

You can do that with an aircraft carrier. The thing is, the heavier and slower the vehicle, the bigger the lift surfaces required to get it out of the water. That America’s cup sailboat that was so fast in the last race used non-cavitating hydrofoils. When you add cavitation it takes you to a whole new realm in terms of speed and lift.

Little Crappy Ships. Come on, get your acronyms right!

Yea, lets go back to PT Boats and P-51s, new technology is way to complex & expensive.

“F-35 took a beating”

provide one case/exercise that this happened, I say you are a liar !!
the only jet that can beat the F-35 is the F-22. Also, F-35 is a ground attack strike fighter and not an air-dominance fighter. Please get educated before making silly statements like yours !!

Yours is an interesting comment. With which platform did you have direct experience underway, Fincantieri’s monohull, or Austal’s trimaran?

Wow, I’m impressed with so many reasons you provided.

Right, only politicians and bureaucrats should make military decisions like the obama administration does now in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This is a contractors dream. Bid low on a contract to get the award knowing that you can “get well” via engineering re-design and manufacturing change orders to fix the stuff you “knew” wasn’t going to work when you bid the contract. A long time and industry honored practice when it comes to contracting with DOD and Congress. With the approach that they’re taking with the LCS program (continual re-design and retrofit) each block of ships almost becomes a class of by itself. This makes cross-platform personnel transfers (qualification) more difficult.

“Vice Adm. Willy Hilarides, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, said the first two LCS ships were built with a specific mind to continued development of the platform for the long term.”

I believe both lcs use a set of diesels for normal running then gas turbines for high speed burst.

LOL Fascist has nothing to do with yes men. That’s just corruption from people where corruption is normal. Washington is the source of a lot of our problems and it has taken on many of the problems of those we associate with.

The Europeans don’t like to listen to anyone not a General so naturally a ton of generals started appearing. There had to be a reason for them so more little BS projects appeared. So it goes on and on and on.

Yes but the PT boat wasn’t supposed to be the foundation of the Future navy, fulfill several non related roles which interfere with each other, Had for more fire power than the LCS was.

Also the PT boat was built for a time when the US found casualties to be accepted as part of warfare and also had only a few people on them.

The LCS has NOTHING in common with the PT boat.

The Mark V special operations craft and the new Mark VI patrol boat are the modern boats with size and displacement comparable to the various WWII era USN PT boats. The Mark V makes roughly double the speed over the water as compared to the old PTs.

All of those are boats, very much smaller than an LCS, a ship which has flight deck, hangar, mission bay, etc.

Strike the speed comment. Double excessively exaggerates the difference.

BELESARI: Not tryi8ng to draw any comparison between the LCS Ships and the PT Boats … Just remarking that the Bugs had to be worked out of PT Boats also, but when all was said and done … they proved to be an invaluable and formidable Weapon for the Navy .…..

Actually, in the Air Force case, it was civilians who worked for the dept of the Air Force, not officers.

You should stick to your first sentence.

I can’t wait to see the F-35 and the Euro Fighter go head to head in in Air to Air combat Training. Just to see what it can do.

The best thing do do now is upgrade the Freedom Class with a 76 mm gun, 30 mm gun, Anti-Ship missiles, the Hellfire for swarm attacks and anti-submarine torpedo’s and let is serve as Surface and Anti-sub package. Take the Independence class upgrade the gun to 76 mm, add the Naval Strike missile for anti-ship or land attack, add mine warfare package and use it for Mine/Anti-mine and small USMC transport ship. Build the sixteen planned of each and then build a new frigate.

The ships seem to be quite good actually, but the weapons are really poor.

I can’t believe a ship that size can’t carry a 155mm or 6″ gun instead of the 76mm. With copperhead and excalibur rounds it would have a one shot per kill capability at long range and could even support marines on the ground. The helicopters and drones could also be used to designate targets for the gun.

The LCSs are supposed to be effective against small fast boats, but can they really shoot on the move with their guns? If they have to be at full speed to avoid small boats, how are they supposed to kill them if they don’t have a really good shoot on the move capability?

“specific mind to continued development of the platform for the long term”

Technical demonstrators?

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