Think Tank: Cancel the Littoral Combat Ship

Think Tank: Cancel the Littoral Combat Ship

A research group is calling on lawmakers to cancel the Littoral Combat Ship, the U.S. Navy’s newest type of surface combatant, months after the Pentagon cut the number of vessels it plans to buy.

The Center for International Policy, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that promotes global demilitarization and dates to the Vietnam War, on Tuesday released a report, titled, “Cancel the Littoral Combat Ship, A Warship that Can’t Go to War.”

Two types of LCS vessels are being built by Lockheed Martin Corp. and Austal, respectively. While different in design, they’re both meant to patrol coastal waterways and hunt for mines, small boats and submarines.

Regardless of whether it’s Lockheed’s conventional hull or Austal’s trimaran, the vessel is too lightly armored to survive a direct hit from a cruise missile, too heavy to easily accommodate future upgrades and too far behind in development, according to Jacob Marx, a research associate at the group and the author of the analysis.

“The LCS was meant to do a dozen things, and it has ended up doing none of them well,” he said in a press release. “It’s an overpriced, under-performing vessel that does not meet current needs.”

His colleague, William Hartung, director of the group’s Arms and Security Project, which tracks the international weapons trade, agreed. “At $780 million per mission-ready ship, the LCS is a bad deal for taxpayers,” he said.

Due in part to federal budget cuts known as sequestration, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in February announced that the Pentagon would slash the number of ships it planned to buy, from 52 to 32. “No new contract negotiations beyond 32 ships will go forward,” he said.

Both contractors are building ships — Lockheed in Marinette, Wisconsin, and Austal in Mobile, Alabama — under a pair of ten-ship, block-buy contracts awarded in 2010, according to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service.

The Navy had previously planned to buy a total of four ships per year, two from each contractor, but reduced that figure to three in its budget request for fiscal 2015, which begins Oct. 1.

The Senate Appropriations Committee, headed by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, in July voted to agree with the service’s budget proposal for three ships — and to add $80 million for the advance procurement of materials for a ship to be built the following year. However, the House Appropriations Committee, headed by Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers, R-Kentucky, the month prior voted to further reduce the quantity of ships to two, noting it was “extremely concerned” by Hagel’s comments.

The panel “believes that if the current LCS is not the correct small surface combatant of the future, the Navy should correct its course sooner rather than later and begin purchasing the correct ship well before fiscal year 2019,” according to a report accompanying its version of the defense spending bill. The committee “was surprised that the Secretary of Defense allowed so much time to pass before ensuring the correct small surface combatant begins construction,” the document states.

Congress is currently on recess and hasn’t yet passed either a defense policy or spending bill for next year.

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For once I agree with these hippies, but for different reasons. LCS is a major drain of money and resources we need for a larger and more blue water navy. Just like JSF is draining away resources we need for other planes. Time to kill this boondoggle.

The Navy could lengthen the current ship design easily. With more space they could carry, more spare parts and on-boat repair equipment, more food & water for the crew. Plus have some weight growth potential for a VLS or other missile bays. Fielding this ship with out SM-2 and Harpoon missiles was a mistake.

I hope they can come up with something sooner. 32 ships seems to much for ship that isn’t really combatant that replacing some combatant and auxilary ships. Multipurpose ships sound great on paper, but i don’t see them being good in practice unless there really well made. This isn’t the case sadly.

LCS is a “shipbuilder full employment/maximum profits” program. No real warfighting capability here. No “financial benefit” as promised to the taxpayers. And the Navy knew it, but couldn’t help themselves. Shame on OSD for approving this “major acquisition systems” experiment gone awry. When we operationally “test” it, let’s send some high-speed, small boats up against it in a swarm attack. That’s the most likely scenarios it will face. And since it won’t be able to pass the test, we should just start giving them away and start building a real frigate. Pick any existing design as a way to save money and get them out there. Admit defeat and move on.

They are talking about lengthening Freedom 7 meters and adding Standard missiles and AEGIS radar. Austal kept the current length but added the Standard VLS with either AEGIS or ADMR plus a 75mm gun to replace the 57mm. Which begs the question, why did the LCS come to be built without these common sense base level armaments?

Per Wiki, so take it for what it is worth.
” Lockheed’s response was a modified version of their Freedom-class LCS, which they had the benefit of proposing to foreign customers for years. … with an advised increase in length to 125 m (410 ft). Proposals include incorporating vertical launch systems to house Standard Missile 2 missiles, with the extended length versions able to carry the Standard Missile 6. They can add the SPY-1F Aegis radar or a derivative of the Air Missile Defense Radar. Austal USA kept their Independence-class ship’s length, but added permanently-installed systems like a towed array sonar, torpedoes, vertical launch anti-submarine rockets, and aviation capability to support the MH-60 helicopter in place of mission modules. Like Lockheed’s submission, it also has a VLS for Standard missiles, a 76 mm gun in place of the 57 mm gun, and can take on an Aegis or ADMR radar. ”

I think that is supposed to be AMD Radar or AMDR, but that is what I get for quoting Wikipedia.

The LSC as it is cost too much, and is not built to take battle damage and continue the mission. An upgrades to the LCS is a waste of money. At $780miilion dollars for a mission capable ship now, it is too expenssive. Buy a foreign frigate of the USCG’s national Security Cutter frigate model. It would be cheaper and more efefctive.

The next program will be better. We will do it right next time.

Right, because the next program will be better. We will do it right next time.

You forgot to say the magic words: the next program will be better. We will do it right next time.

And so it goes, program after program we get right up to building the ship or tank or airplane and then madly clamor to have it cancelled because the next program will always be better. Everyone knows that. After all doing the same thing over and over again, each time hoping for a better result is what America is best at.

In Dfens world the joke goes like this

Man to Dr: “Dr it hurts my head when I hit it with a hammer“
Dr to Man: “Well keep on hitting your head with the hammer because things will get better if you do it long enough”

It seems that there is two thought paths going on here. One wants a deep water small combatant for escorting things and the other wants a small coastal littoral combatant to chase things. I think, that these are two very different and complex ships…one being somewhat larger then the other. The fact of being hit by an enemy, is not good with any ship with todays weapons, most small combatants will be blown in half. I think that the Navy is on the right path here, for the four areas, of chasing things, that they want to cover.

I was under the impression that the third ships of each class had gotten their prices below $500M each, and that the mission modules are going to have an APUC of $112M, but that includes the R&D. So LCS-6 will cost around $500m + $224M = $724M, with R&D costs on the modules included. And the LCS-8 and LCS-10 cost just $684M combined, so with two mission modules they will cost around $566M each. Which is expensive but a lot less than $780M.
And the trend is the LCS friend on this. Their prices are dropping and given their makers response to RFI on upping the base armament, it looks like the later LCS will have Standard missiles with some form of AEGIS/AMDR and probably the 76mm gun, both of which should have been the bare minimum from the start.
And if they actually build the Gen II LCS, they may be able to drop the total cost of a ship and two modules well below $500M, which considering the gold plated nature of American defense acquisition, is probably as good as it gets when it comes to getting a new small warship in the US.

Let me get this straight, an organization that “promotes global demilitarization” opposes the Littoral Combat Ship because it doesn’t have sufficient lethality? What the hell? These clowns sound like those other bozos, the Center for Defense Information.

Any new program is going to have problems. Oldsips and or other militay equipment needsto be replaced at some point. I see the problemas being that critics abound as a new system is being developed and just as all the bugs are being worked out and per unit costs of manufacturing and quality levels are improving. The programgets cancelled for the next wondertoy. The B-1 fleet got cancelled for the B-2 which got cut because the cold war ended, were now still flying b-52’s WTF ??? Alsoit seems the only reason the F-22 was able to be cancelled is because themore fouled up f-35was put forward.

Well, this isn’t much of a surprise: all of our allies who were initially interested in LCS walked away, saying it was far too much money for too little benefit. Every agency that audited the LCS scorched it, including the US Navy’s own inspectors report.

Too big for the littorals; the design ignored the hard-learned lessons of littoral warfare; too small for blue water operations; too lightly armed to give a real naval opponent even the slightest bit of pause (even with the “surface warfare” package); no ability to “reach out and touch someone”, and fantastically expensive.

The US navy needs a littoral ship — this makes sense. But they should’ve started with the Cyclone class (far heavier armament for its size), stayed below 1500 tons, keep the modular design idea, and build the hulls to the navy’s level-two standard. What LCS was supposed to be vs. what it turned into (“Franken Ship”) is a sad testimony to our acquisition system gone awry, at tremendous expense to the US taxpayers.

What gets me about the LCS (aside from the designation) is that it’s a hybrid warship. As a platform it’s an expensively agile and shallow draft but short legged vessel suitable for chasing things. Offensively it’s a carrier, primarily dependent on it’s helicopters, SEAL boats, UAVs, and USVs to deliver payloads to targets. This feels like those interwar designs trying to combine guns and airplanes despite the opposite requirements.

It is false to compare the F35 with the LCS. The F35 is despite of all is critic’s (and I was for a long time one of this people) a great airframe. I’m came to this conclusion after I take a closer look and speak with people with more knowledge like pilots about the F35 and is concepts.

But the LCS instead is a total disaster and this is somewhat that nearly everyone admits and it is a shame what the Navy will buy 32 of this Little Crappy Ships (LCS).

Cancel the LCS and use the money for Arleigh Burke class upgrades. Too many of these fine ships are being left behind and everyone of them is worth a dozen LCSs. See: http://​news​.usni​.org/​2​0​1​4​/​0​6​/​0​3​/​n​a​v​y​-​a​l​t​e​r​e​d​-​d​est… We need a good smaller combat vessel, but clearly the LCS is not it and every dime spent on the LCS now is simply a waste. Until we find an effective solution, we need to keep everyone of the Burke class ships — and the cruisers too — up to peak performance capability and combat ready.

The comparison is, like the F35, the LCS is a nice thing that doesn’t work because it’s too complex and fragile for combat.

Perhaps we should buy “off-the-shelf” designs from e.g. Europe or South Korea, after cancelling the LCS. That way it’s not necessary to again go in to this development cycle, and there are bound to be very cost effective options out there. Furthermore, the ship LM and Austral had their dollars already, you could say that the aspect of supporting the industry has been completed sufficiently…

So you’ve spoken to the crews then, right? I mean because that would be a fair comparison. Otherwise you’re just another keyboard admiral.

Hull costs are below $350 million beginning with LCS 8 I believe. And they’re falling. Mission Package costs are difficult to nail down as each iteration adds capability (missiles, UUVs, VDS, etc.) , is a various stages of development, and goes from LRIP to FRP.

My hope is that the program begins to perform like the Virginia Class does (albeit a slower pace). By hull 15 I’d like to see a costs savings on the hull itself. Combining the two costs (Mission package and Seaframe) is a bit misleading as they’re completely separate programs under different companies.

I agree about the F-35 in most respect, but now matter how you cut it, the plane is to expensive and will not do the mission that it will be asked to do, primarily the CAS mission.

We still need those auxiliary ships. A frigate sized minehunter is an even bigger waste. Additionally, I’m not sure how well a larger ship’s going to be able to perform ASW in the littorals. Destroyer’s can’t do it right now and frigates are equally ill-suited for the environment. I could see the LCS passing up its SUW work to a larger combatant (more/larger missiles and larger guns), but the other two missions are sized well for the LCS. Not to mention that if you go larger you won’t get nearly as many. If they stop at the current contract of 24, I can’t imagine the Navy getting more than 16 larger displacement (5,000 ton) ships. That’ll be well below the planned 52 for the LCS to contribute to the makeup.

My thoughts exactly. Why is this news? Buzz is so biased, they’ll hoist anyone’s opinion (regardless of whom it may be) as if it came from the POTUS himself so long as it opposes the program.

Well said!

The Freedom class (LCS 1) should have never been built because it did not meet requirements from the onset. LCS 2 is a completely different story and the so called “keyboard admirals” who provide their opinion simply based on what the media feeds them are at best misinformed and doing a diservice to our Nation. The concept was never meant to operate alone but under the AEGIS umbrella of protection. Had the Pentagon downselected to one version (LCS 2) and focused its limited resources into fine tuning its kinks as EVERY new development program has, we would now have a formidable platform to do exactly what it was developed to do.

Agreed! But given the current state of affairs, I think we’ll still end up with two useful ships. The difference is it’ll take longer and they won’t perform identical missions. Just my prediction.

Have their dollars already?! What do you think happens to those shipyards and the thousands they employ once the LCS contract disappears? See Avondale Shipyard for a lesson learned.

The cruisers and older Burkes are money pits. You sink in hundreds of millions of dollars per hull for literally a handful of years extension. Spend the money on fixing the LCS and accelerating the development of the larger hulled ships’ replacements. The Aegis mafia needs to be set straight once and for all.

When isn’t an ASW or MCM ship dependent upon it’s Helos and offboard vehilces??? People keep making this ridiculous argument about the LCS depending upon all these organic vehicles as if it’s the first ship to do so. Just because it does it in spades doesn’t mean all the other ships don’t already do it. How do you think the FFGs and DDGs currently perform ASW? With Helos! How do you think the Avenger Class hunts mines? With UUVs! The difference here is the LCS is designed from the bottom up to do this better than the former ships. But by all means lets go back to antiquated ship design because we can’t understand the direction of progress.

So that invalidates the ENTIRE aircraft. Because it presumably can’t preform ONE of it’s SEVERAL missions. That’s logical.

What’s so complex about an LCS? You want to look at complex, look at any Aegis equipped ship and what it took to get that. The challenges of LCS pail in comparison to what it took to get Aegis up and running.

Same old out of touch arguments PW.

The LCS 2, Independence Class should be turned over to the Coast Guard. This craft is far better suited to their work in the Gulf and Caribbean type waters, high speed, extremely maneuverable and long legs with choppers, drones and assault boats out the back. These are more aligned to their needs then the blue water NAVY. Leave them gray and upgrade their radar and night vision capabilities as an interdiction craft, not search and rescue. Pirates, Drug Runners, Smugglers and Terrorist will learn to fear them.

Yes, for once, the hippies get it right.
Cancel the turkeys before it drains any further scarce resource.

come on Tomcat, your smarter than that, or are you playing dumb in a bid to boost the LCS?

the FFG and DDG all have sonar suites and TACTAS, the helo are only send out AFTER they are detected with the ship board systems

a helo cannot FIND a sub on it’s one, they need to have a place to start looking, secondly, helos have limited range and payload, they only carry so many sonarbouys, and sonarbouys are used to get a firm enough fix to drop a torpedo, they are not used for initial detection which many times is at very long range.

the ONLY way the LCS is going to know a sub is in the area when the torp blows it out of the water

You’re joking, right? How do you think the LCS detects subs? The same exact way FFGs and DDGs do! A variable depth sonar. Just like the FFGs and DDG. You detect with your on board sonar, then you track and prosecute with the helo. Same way it’s always been done.

I agree with your mission needs assessment (although it’s capable of much more), but why wouldn’t you run the same exact missions in the Gulf of Aden as a Navy ship? Right now the US Navy has to use FFGs, DDGs, and CGs to do those missions. It’s the Navy’s mission depending on where they are.

We have come too far to cancel this boondoggle. Instead of canceling the ship, why not do the smart thing and simply stop ordering them until they meet the requirements set forth by the Navy. I find it mind boggling how the DOD can continue to fund R&D into a product, and then purchase a product, that has design flaws and has yet to meet the requirements of the fleet. The same goes for the JSF. The Navy does not need the aircraft as the Super Hornet more than meets the needs of our fleet. Instead of buying that plane, why not instead replace all legacy Hornets with Super Hornets and continue to purchase Growlers to replace an aircraft long overdue for retirement, the EA-6B.

Why not build new proven OHP FFG’s with current sensors and weapons (AEGIS combat system and VLS) and be done with it.

Give the vessels we’re obligated for to the Coast Guard. Take a life or death look at the vulnerability of all surface ships. Build technologically advanced state of the art subs.

I agree with you. The FFG is a known platform and with some modernization in sensors and armament could perform as well. But crew size might be a problem.

Not sure that is completely accurate. An FFG with Helos is every bit as capable-probably more-than the LCS.The 56 sonar stunk, but there are form fit function replacements with better range and processing capabilities. And isn’t the OHP in the 3200–3600 ton range, not 5k. I doubt the hull form plus upgraded armament approaches 600 mil.

So tell me, why do you think the next program will be better? I see a trend here, and it isn’t toward ships that are better and cheaper.

From everything that I have read about WWII, there was a boat that they commented about in the same way. It is too small. It is made of wood. one shot from any of our cruisers or destroyers, and it is kindling. But that boat went on to have one of the most notorious records of that war. It was the right boat, at the right time. It was the infamous P T Boat. Some say that we could not have won the war without it. It did the right job, at the right time. The speed and handling were second to none. They could get right in close and deliver those torpedoes where they would do the most good.

Same relevant, factually based comments, summarizing what every navy, including our own, has to say about LCS.

Time to get over it, Tomcat. The execution of LCS is/was a failure. Period.


This problem is that it isn’t inexpensive, and that it isn’t even constructed to warship standards: LCS isn’t even built to the same standard as a common fleet oiler.

Furthermore, it isn’t armed remotely like a warship even with its “surface warfare” mission package. And, if the Cyclones (at a mere 600 tons, with far less draft) were deemed too big to support SEAL activities, then how it is that a 3000 ton LCS is going to be found acceptable?

Can you point to even ONE remotely favorable report w/r/t to LCS and its capabilities? Even ONE?

Every other navy (including our own) scorched the LCS and walked away. Its a failure. Too expensive, too complex, too weak, and too little bang for the buck.

The taxpayers already took their reaming from the irresponsible dolts that designed and built this poor-performing misfit.

Let the courts martial and prosecutions begin!


So how big are the flight decks on your “technologically advanced state of the art subs”? Are you going to super sortie every flight for everything flying?

How large are the radars on your submerged “technologically advanced state of the art subs”? How are you going to do ABM without the big powerful radar in operation?

Navy needs more subs, no doubt.

But if you spend your entire piggy bank on subs, then the other guy has a much smaller problem set to deal with, can focus a much larger fraction of his limited resources on an undersea sensor net to detect, locate, and track your submarines. Electronics are getting very much cheaper quickly, and the other guy has proven himself very good at mass producing low cost electronics. He can focus another large fraction of his limited resources on a large number of long range ASROC to swarm your subs and break them violently. Now what are you going to do?

Every time they pull into port, they need repairs. They were a nice idea that does not work. Cut out wasting money on them.

Frigates are real shitty at mine warfare …we will need mine sweepers as well.

The LCS 2, Independence Class is very capable; however it has a special capability of handling most vertical (VTOL) aircraft that few if any ships of its size can do. The V22, Harriers and F35s to name a few. Its large flight deck is unique to say the lease and with its high speed, extreme maneuverability night interdiction is its name. These strike aircraft close in means surprise as no carries can get that close and under most radar. I have to wonder what those mission planning people at the head-shed are doing some times, think out of the box for once.

Except: aluminum hasn’t proven itself well when it comes to getting shot at…

Sure, with CADD it’s easy to add additional frames, but additional weight could mean a larger propulsion units. Again we may not get the so savings we might be hoping for. The naval architects and engineers would have to crunch the numbers.
We need to remember that these are prototypes and that the platform as well as the systems are under review. What works and what doesn’t. Hopefully the next ships will have less bugs. It’s just part of the design method.
Ok, say we do away with the LCS program, we still need new platforms so what are we to replace them with?
Same goes for the JSF.
Being an AFB dependent I was witness to the lack of coordination and waste.
my father worked as an enlisted and later as an officer in aircraft maintenance/management, supply and instructor for 30 years, as well as the flight line for 18 years.
He jobs were to keep birds in the air and run a smooth flight line. He would constantly tell me how difficult it was to stock parts and/or see who in the system had them collecting dust on a shelf.
One of the concepts behind the JSF is precisely is to keep parts moving and be interchangeable between the different branches. As more bases are being combined this will coming more evident. Only that, aircraft maintenance will be shared knowledge as well.
Of course, each branch/units will have their own flight packages on the JSF for their particular missions.

PT boats were mostly used against other small boats and barges and they weighted less than one 100 tons. There is no comparison between a WWII PT boat and a 3000 ton LCS.

Maybe these ship can be upgraded. But that will just add weight and cost to an already over priced ship, and it will not be any more survivable than before. Just end the program now and use thgese things for a few years and then retire them.

I don’t think the comments section is getting the joke.

Can the larger guns be manned manually if the Fire Control system goes offline?

Sorry Jay, USCG primary mission is SAR, so it’s going to be tough convincing them that the new platform isn’t suited.

Gee Thanks. Just what the Coast Guard needs, a money pit.
The Coast Guard has always operated on a shoe string budget. It will be difficult for them to meet mission goals if they are constantly breaking down. This is what occurred with the 378’s. Lots of bells and whistles, but took years to correct those systems, as they were new and unprovened. Although it’s true they need replacement bad.
Thanks for the hand me downs. Hahaha!

We have 1970’s airplanes. We don’t need any from this century.

The important thing is that we keep developing and then cancelling ship programs. That will show those greedy contractors! It will show them how stupid we really are.

Well said Leon.
Maybe we should look at those old PT design criteria files.

Some, too many, never will.

Their opinion is whatever the defense contractors tell them their opinion should be.

But the next program will be better! We will do it right next time.

We don’t need no stinkin’ shipyards. All we need is office buildings full of cubicles full of engineers on computers. After all, that’s what makes the most money for the big defense contractors that design these ships.

But the next one will be made out of better stuff…

Because the next program will be better. We will do it right next time.

Neither does GRP. Does that stop the Avenger Class from clearing minefields?

“too lightly armed to gibe a real naval opponent even the slightest bit of pause“

Sure thing PW. Toothless isn’t it?

Like infantry.….…

” Fielding this ship with out SM-2 and Harpoon missiles was a mistake.…why did the LCS come to be built without these common sense base level armaments? ”

It was part of the tradeoff for getting the price below $1 billion, which seems to be the consensus for a Nansen-style SPY-1F+VLS fit. Don’t forget that these things are not intended to be battleships — they are replacing minesweepers and patrol vessels.

” the USCG’s national Security Cutter frigate model” –which costs $735m in Coastguard form, with less weapons than a $500m LCS and less scope for eg minesweeping operations.

Nope — consensus is that the monohulls are best suited to the confined waters of the Gulf, trimarans are less manouevrable and better suited to the more open waters of the Pacific.

The modern equivalent of a PT boat is the helicopter — and the LCS’ prime mission is as a helicopter carrier.

Not going to happen. Bob Work has estimated the cost of a Perry at $757m in FY2010 dollars. That’s before any upgrades — and the Perrys are real pigs to upgrade because of the way their compartments are arranged, which is why many of them lasted little more than 15 years in US service. The Australians upgraded their Perrys with modern sensors and VLS and it turned into a nightmare for them, way over budget. Noone sensible would attempt a VLS Perry if they had any other realistic options.

Is that sonar deploy w/o the ASW module? If not, Big Dan is right.

The VDS deploys as a part of the ASW Mission Package. That Mission Package is made up of several Mission Modules. How does that validate BD’s point? His point is that the LCS relies’ upon the helo for detection, which simply isn’t true.

Furthermore, TACTAS is merely a passive system. In other words, if the sub is quiet the only thing you’ll ever hear is a torpedo upon launch. Conversely, the LCS VDS is an active system. That doesn’t even count that the LCS will also be towing other sensors simultaneously.

So no, BD is completely wrong.

So did LPDs, but then the design flaws were worked out. They’re called infant moralities in the reliability world and EVERY system has them. Not to mention the only ones that have “come into port” are prototype models. Not very familiar with ship construction, are we?

“The LCS was meant to do a dozen things, and it has ended up doing none of them well,” he said in a press release. “It’s an overpriced, under-performing vessel that does not meet current needs.”

The military needs to pay more attention to this right here. This is the theme of current R&D policy and time has proved again and again that it does NOT work. The Bradley IFV ended up not being a deathtrap because of sheer luck. The F-35 is going to be a “success” purely because of the edge in avionics. Stop trying to have one platform do everything.

“Maybe these ship can be upgraded”?

Are you not familiar with the concept of modularity that the LCS uses? The whole reason a ship’s total life cycle cost (which is ALWAYS far above the cost of construction) is that the cost of upgrading is astronomical because the ships were’n’t designed to easily accept upgrades. It’s why the FFGs are toothless. It’s why the LCS is able to accept the NSM:

And more importantly, it’s why the LCS will survive the short sighted critics.

OHP is 4,200 tons leaving the yard. After 30 years I’m sure it’s well above that at this point.

Why would an LCS with 3 towed sensors and helos be LESS capable than an FFG with only 1 towed sensor (assuming it got upgraded to the latest MFTA)?

No matter how you cut it, the math doesn’t add up.

LCS should kept solely for the non-surface warfare missions. Buy up the MMC export variants for surface combat and call it a day. LCS’ other problems are its functionality and readiness are dependent on the drones being developed for it. If they come out in a timely fashion and do their jobs well, the LCS will shine. If they fail, then the LCS is a horse without a cart.

The export LCS variants are generic corvettes, and may suffer against larger FAC’s with long-range anti-ship missiles. Against small speedboats they should be adequate.

So long as the LCS has the correct mission package with associated modules it’ll be fine (assuming the stuff in the modules works as intended).

But you don’t send a MCM to do an FFG’s ASW work. Similarly, sending a MCM LCS to do ASW work is a silly idea.

LOL. Thanks, Dfens. Your comment made my day!

If anything, boats the PT’s size are the intended target of the LCS. Modern radar, a stabilized 57mm, a helicopter and stabilized 30mm’s will make life interesting for small combatants that can’t strike from missile range.

Actually, doing it over and over and getting the same result is the definition of insanity.

BTW, the lesson learned is that we never learn the lesson.

Some powerpoint/brochure vaporware for everyone.

Export version of the freedom class: http://​www​.lockheedmartin​.com/​c​o​n​t​e​n​t​/​d​a​m​/​l​o​c​k​hee

Export version of the independence: http://​www​.austal​.com/​R​e​s​o​u​r​c​e​s​/​P​r​o​m​o​t​i​o​n​S​l​i​d​e​s/d

Generally, they are proposed to have short-length VLS to launch SM-2’s, plus Harpoon missiles. Similar to small craft like the Ambassador class FAC (American built for Egypt) but presumably with more legs and far more versatile.

I don’t expect that the Navy would ever change a ship away from a combat loadout for a non-combat loadout. Thus a good portion of the LCS fleet would spend its lifetime being configured for surface warfare, and only be changed in a dire emergency. In which case it would make sense to procure surface combatant variants, and preserve the 32-ship buy for the specialist missions.

Who the fuck in the military “decision” world would care less about the opinion of a group that chapters global demilitarization as a core goal. Only Obama would (but maybe not even that idiot) maybe listen to them

I don’t think people got this was a joke. Or the meaning of it.

So, according to you, we should get rid of every sub, carrier, cruiser, destroyer, and etc. in our Navy, because they need repairs? Sometimes, some of these crafts come back from a tour with things held together with bailing wire and bubble gum. But that is due to the ingenuity of it’s crew to keep it in action. They refuse to take “NO”, for an answer. They Find a way to make it work, half way around the world. It is obvious that you have never been on a combat deployment, where every crewman works their back off, until it is breaking. There is no such thing as it is not my shops job, you work wherever the help is needed.

Have you ever met an engineer that thought his project was a total disaster? or a Pilot that said he’s plane was a POS? If so that would be the amazing part. I have met neither. Mainly because those are great ways to get fired. No matter what the truth yours is ALWAYS the best! and will only get better! Thats call creating job security. The truth is that many of the recent programs have been way to ambitious for their own good and many of the programs are taking so long to develop that they are technologically obsolete when they enter service. The F22 uses computers that are less powerful then my iPad. The B1s computers are equivalent to a ti-82 calculator (slight exaggeration, but not much)! LCS and JSF are both products of a flawed concept. That a single platform can be a do all platform all the time, is simply not feasible yet. The JSF should have been a low production X plane to push technological boundaries instead we ordered 3,000 of them before the first one ever flew. Thats the equivalent of buying a car that the first model hasn’t even been built yet (but the manufacture swears it’ll be awesome!).
Anyway, not saying you’re wrong. I just don’t agree with you that either program is justifiable.

LCS is dead. Get over it.

But of course, you know better than each of the allied navy’s that walked away, all the auditing agencies, and the navy’s own inspector general.

Fortunately for the taxpayers, and all the unfortunate sailors that might’ve been ordered to man them: the damage LCS could do to our navy is going to be limited. If only it had happened sooner.

Upgrading the weapons and sensors would certainly help but the hull itself is still a problem. It is designed to Level 1 survivability. That is unacceptable.
The Navy should update the OHP FFG design and start building them again. At least the design is robust and can be updated. Drop the VLS system and install a box launcher midships moving the 76mm to the forecastle where it has a better of fire.

Yes, those hammer jokes are so very subtle…

Here’s a thought, come up with a procurement system that does not encourage these huge “one size fits all” development programs and then you won’t see so many of them. It’s kind of like that whole, paying “for profit” defense contractors more to f up a design, you get what you provide the profit incentive for.

We don’t need weapons. What we need is one development program right after another, each one producing exactly 0 weapons. Everyone here is 100% behind that goal.

Hell yeah, we don’t want the cost of ship building to interfere with the allocation of funds for the next great ship design program. After all, Lockheed wouldn’t like that.

No. The WW2 era PT boat’s torpedos have fallen out of favor as weapons for surface warfare, and the modern interpretation of the WW2 PT boats is the new Mark VI patrol boat (as well as the older Mark V special operations craft).

but at what additional cost? The Navy should focus on the incredibly successful DDG ships. They are capable, survivable, upgradable, and lethal. They are a jack of all trades and master of all. Why can’t the Navy take a good thing and just keep it good. Typical of government, “If it aint broke, keep fixing it until it is”.

Littoral: of or related to the shore of a lake or sea.

So, if the name accurately reflects this ship’s function, it operates along the shoreline? Isn’t that what the USMC is for?

Or the Coast Guard?

They’re also pricey and slated to become even more expensive. The latest blocks with the more powerful radars and additional upgrades will make people weep and cry for more Zumwalts.

I guess the good thing about the LCS controversy is that it exposes the present model of doing business. Our present day ASW and MCM seems a little…20th century.

That was exactly my point about leaving well enough alone. Stop the requirement creep and build what works. Stop chasing bright shiney objects that drive incredible cost.

Avondale was a crappy shipyard whose LPDs consistently had major problems, unlike the exact same ships built in Mississippi. They improved our national security by disappearing.

Korea’s “FFX” Incheon Class is a fine example of a littoral corvette/ frigate that could be adapted, and they’re already working on an enlarged “Batch II” version that could offer full frigate capabilities.

As for the minehunters, keep building them as unique ships. Turns out LCS won’t have enough space and weight allowance to deploy the entire module, according to the latest GAO report. If you need support from UUVs, etc., put them on a JHSV as needed. It’s a cheaper ship that doesn’t pretend to be a combatant, is designed for cargo so has lots of weight margin, and has way more space.

Sure, get rid of shipyards so we can keep the really good defense contractors that designed ships like the LCS.

A war ship not built for combat on the high seas, now that’s a expensive experiment and a good way to get a lot of folks killed fast.…..

This is just one more in a very long line of reasons as to why Washington is broken, especially in military appropriations. This “ship” has been a white elephant from the getgo and was known as a mistake. It can’t fight and can’t take a hit. You might as well re-designate the entire contract as the Kamikaze Class. Years later, it takes a “think tank” of educated idiots to state what has already been known, but no one had the courage to stop! InFreakin’Credible!!!

The ship is replacing Perrys which were anything but Littoral: they were high-seas escorts and ASW ships.

The littoral aspect of the name reflects where they hope to use the ship, but probably won’t because the risks are too high.

with Aegis they first developed the system before the ship, with LCS its the exact opposite,

ONTIME, kc, Defens are all right. What need to do is change our acquisition system. Why not do what they do in the commercial world. Defense contractors design and build a ship, aircraft, tank, electronics, etc. Pentagon stenuously field tests it. If and when it works, we buy it. Al the R&D cost is carried by the contractor. If we eventually buy it, we pay them back via amoritized recoupment over the procurement buy. If it doesn’t work, we don’t pay. That’s the way the private sector works. Let’s apply it to defense contractors. If they don’t like it, we bring back all R&D work into government labs.

You know that’s how it will go. The next program will be trouble-free, under budget, and ahead of schedule. All while delivering superior performance and lethality. Clearly you haven’t been to Keyboard Warrior University. These idiots make money off selling the “grass is always greener” angle. Doesn’t matter who the contractor is, what the project is, it’s always better somewhere else.

DOD Buzz seems to have figured out that the best way to generate clicks is to put “LCS” or “F-35″ in their thread titles to lure all the keyboard warriors here.

how about a low end FFG to replace the perry class FFG’s to achieve a high– low mix. not aqs expensive or capable as an arleigh burke, but you can build more of them, and they are a real warship capable of dishing it out AND taking it.

Not every destroyer will be fighting ballistic missiles. And don’t forget new-build DDG’s will also incorporate upgrades intended for the Zumwalts, adding cost pressures and capabilities when they come online.

There’s still a place for a multirole surface warfare combatant to destroy ships, attack subs and attack land targets. Whether or not it needs full Aegis to do so is an open question. Even pairing one or two non-Aegis ships with an Aegis-capable ship leaves more than enough redundancy in a fleet; especially considering the Fords are supposed to carry the full AMDR upgrades that got cut for the new destroyers (and from the Zumwalts).

Correction…that would be SPY-3 and SPY-4 for the Ford (SPY-3 is MFR, SPY-4 is the volume search). SPY-4 removed from Zumwalts to comply with cost overruns. AMDR was supposed to go to the Zums but got cancelled, will go on mature platform (Flight III DDGs, with design tradeoff).

This ship should never have even been considered since it is too lightly armed. There’s nothing special about it. About 3 dozen countries could easily make something similar and probably better. The various interchangeable mission packages make no sense either. Imagine having to return to port to be equipped for an ASW mission. What the USN needs is a good multi-role frigate that is reasonably priced.

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