Home » Budget Industry » SNA: Surface Leaders Make the Case for the Modified Littoral Combat Ship


SNA: Surface Leaders Make the Case for the Modified Littoral Combat Ship

USS Freedom (LCS-1), left, and USS Independence (LCS-2) in 2012. US Navy Photo

USS Freedom (LCS-1), left, and USS Independence (LCS-2) in 2012. US Navy Photo

CRYSTAL CITY, VA. — The director of the Navy’s Surface Warfare Division said the Navy is making choices in three areas in planning: How to “hit the bad guys first,” how to “keep from getting hit,” and how to “make sure you can back-fit” as new technologies emerge or existing ones are modified to meet new threats.

Speaking on Tuesday in, Rear Adm. Peter Fanta said the Navy had the option of building, “to four to six exquisite ships” with all the advances in technology possible, while knowing such a program “will take the next 15 to 20 years” to complete.

“Or I can build 20 modified LCSs in less than half the time,” a plan the Navy is following in its small surface combatant program. He said those ships would be more survivable in air and surface fights and not only recognize a submarine operating nearby but know when a torpedo is heading her way than the current LCS. The ship also would be better armed for offensive operations and capable of operating in small surface groups.

The idea is to make sure an “enemy has to worry about me coming to get him,” Fanta said at a session on the opening day of the Surface Navy Association’s 2015 symposium.

Fanta said the Navy was actively engaged with warfighters and shipbuilders in the program. “What do you need to make an enemy sweat?” was the question asked of warfighters. “We make those trades at the warfighter level” in a context of affordability.

“Look at what [LCS or the small surface combatant] is susceptible to. What we found is that the things that can kill an aircraft carrier . . . can kill an LCS.”

Among the steps taken to improve survivability, he said, was adding armor around the magazine. “We’re still firming up requirements” for the new ship.

Fanta said that the two shipbuilders – Austal USA and Lockheed Martin – offered us an option for everything.” When the request for proposals comes out “before summertime,” he said, “it won’t be a surprise” to them.

As for its reception on Capitol Hill, especially in the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), Fanta said historically the costs for the first ships in a program are higher than estimates for the total class buy, but as in other programs, the LCS is now coming in at estimated costs when adjusted for inflation. Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been a longtime critic of the LCS on a number of issues, including costs.

“If it floats, it fights,” he said about the Navy’s concept of how to distribute lethality in a time of constrained resources. The fleet will number 284 ships in the coming year; in the Korean War, the Fleet had about 1,000 ships.

Maj. Gen. Robert Walsh, USMC, director of expeditionary warfare, said jokingly that “we welcome you to the party” in the Navy’s emphasis on lethality. Becoming more serious, “We have to have the power of the cruiser-destroyer force [and carrier battle groups] in a contested environment.”

The demand on amphibious forces and platforms is continuing to rise, he said. After more than a decade of hard use with frequent extended deployments, “we need to reset the force” and keep it on a scheduled maintenance course.

“We’re under pressure to do the right thing” in defining requirements and keeping costs down in new buys and overhauls. Using the decision to go with a wheeled Amphibious Combat Vehicle as an example, Walsh said that the variant that skimmed across the water was too costly. That same decision to go with a wheeled vehicle, however, also meant that the Marines needed to extend the life of its air-cushioned landing vehicles and other ship-to-shore connectors.

He called the MV-22 and F-35B game-changers in how Marines operate. The Navy and Marine Corps are seeking other at-sea platforms from which to fly MV-22s, but he said for now the Joint High Speed Vessel will not be among them. He cited the weight of the aircraft and the heat it generates as damaging to decks in takeoffs and landings.

For the Corps, there would be an added benefit of flexibility in having more Marines afloat to respond to crises or disasters or training with foreign forces. That would eliminate the need for the land-based Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Forces.

Walsh said it is essential to “maintain the shipbuilding plan” for the amphibious force. “We start with cost first.” Coupled with that was “achieving ship expected-service life and improving operational availability” while leveraging where possible advances in technology.

Echoing Fanta, he added, “We can’t have those exquisite systems” that take more than a decade to design and build.

  • Long term, the US Navy should be working with the USCG on building a patrol frigate out of the NSC design.

    • Secundius

      @ Nicky.

      Agree’d, but build them at US. Navy Yards. To much “graft” at Civilian Shipyards…

      • James Hasik

        Graft?! That’s a serious charge. Or do you just mean that those yards charge too much? That’s a reasonable assertion. But more broadly, which naval shipyard do you think can build a ship these days?

        • Secundius

          @ James Hasik.

          I mean $10-Million CEO signing bonuses before the first “keel” in even laid out.

          • James Hasik

            Please be specific. Which CEO? Which company? Which year? Did you see this in an annual report? If the boss isn’t delivering, that’s scandalous—but only if he’s getting the quan. I’ve heard this allegation before, but I want to know more.

          • Secundius

            @ James Hasik.

            Leonard Glenn Francis of Glenn Defense Marine…

          • James Hasik

            Let’s be fair. Leonard Francis isn’t American; he’s Malaysian. He’s not a shipbuilder; he’s a ship-chandler. So, citing him as evidence that American shipbuilders are involved in graft just doesn’t work. I will not suggest that our guys are efficient, but you need something stronger than “look at Fat Leonard” to call them corrupt.

          • Secundius

            @ James Hasik.

            He’s an American of Malaysian ancestry, who decide to move to Singapore and “Set-Up Shop” there. And you didn’t specify locations…

          • James Hasik

            Thanks for the clarification on Fat Leonard. The issue was shipbuilding, and US naval ships are required by law to be built in the US. If we can agree that there is no evidence of bribery at private sector shipbuilding yards in the US, I’m satisfied.

          • Secundius

            @ James Hasik.

            The commonly known, The “Jones” Act or Merchant Marine Act of 1920. Will be rescinded or materially modified in the foreseeable future. This also applies to US. Naval Vessels…

          • James Hasik

            I do favor repeal of the Jones Act (46 USC 50101), but that’s not actually the restriction on construction of naval vessels. That’s found at 10 USC 7309. Title 10 is the military stuff.

      • The NSC can be the basis to build a frigate from and gain the lessons learned from the NSC.

        • Secundius

          @ Nicky.

          I’ve seen preliminary drawings of the NSC/Frigate concept. Outwardly it looks just like the NSC, but with added features both internal and external. 57mm Bofors replaced with Oto Melera 76mm/62-caliber auto cannon, two-guad Harpoon/ArcLight ASM’s canister launchers on fantail, and a Mk. 41 VML with SM-2ER SAM’s just behind 3-inch gun. Internal arrangement speculative with an additional gas-turbine engine, but reducing range to ~8,000nm to ~9,000nm. Also two 11-meter Rib Boats…

          • Even the NSC’s hull can be modified to fit the US Navy Frigate standard

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            There’s an enlarged version of the Independence class (purpose-built) FFG proposed.
            Length: ~475-feet
            Breadth: ~110-feet
            ~Wet Draft: ~18-feet
            Displacement: ~4,000-tons (~4,800-tons, full-load)
            Complement: ~150 peacetime + 19 aircrew (~200 wartime)
            Speed: ~38 to ~40-knots
            Range: ~6,000nm to ~8,000nm
            Armament: (20×4-cell) Mk.57 VLS (80-missiles), (1) Oto Melara 3-inch (76.2mm/63.3-caliber) auto cannon, (2) SeaRam SAM Launchers, (2) 25x137mm Mk.38 Mod.2 auto cannons, (4) Mk. 15 6-barrel 20x102mm CIWS,
            Aviation Assets: (2) MH-60S Sierra/Knighthawks and (2) MQ-8 Firescouts

    • Curtis Conway

      Amen!

  • John Dunkelburg

    As the Perry-class frigates reach the end of their life-spans, the USN is going to need a replacement frigate; the modified LCS sounds like its time has come.

    • old guy

      Why not refurbish, upgrade and up gun the FFGs? If you can stick modules on an LCS, you can put that equipment on an FFG. Oh, I’m stepping on thew shipyard welfare program.

      • Secundius

        @ old guy.

        What I find interesting, is why the ChiCom’s are so opposed to this ROC Frigate deal. After all, the OHP class is 40-years old or 11-years young, depending on how you look at it. So why are ChiCom’s afraid of this ship…

      • John Dunkelburg

        You’re talking about ship platforms where the oldest were built back in the early 1980s. There’s a limit to how long a ship’s hull will last, even with the best preventative maintenance; that limit is being reached now. The Perry class were not built for the long haul to begin with; they were supposed to be easily replaced anti-submarine convoy escorts in a conventional naval war with the Soviet Union during WWIII. The LCS is undergunned and needs better anti-submarine weapon systems, but more to the point its an existing hull platform with an open architecture that can be adapted easily.

        • old guy

          Good point, EXCEPT, the even the oldest FFGs are in first class, seaworthy condition, If you want to see how good FFGs could be, look at the Spanish F81 (FFG) class of the early 90s which look like new and are almost 2 knots faster than ours, fielding the SQR19 (export version) ASW gear. What we need aren’t new ships but a heavy injection of Esprit de Corps and some BURKE/ZUMWALT type Admirals that can restore the Navy, we all love. If you want some new capability croak the DD1000s and the LCS and build some 25,000 ton attack carriers (e.g. French, Spanish and Italian designs) and some heavily armed 65 knot hydrofoils, for example.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            The “Jones” Act of 1920, prevent the US. Government from directly buying Naval Ship’s from other countries, but i does allow repairs from other countries. May/may not repealed or modified at latter future date. But same does allow the Purchase of Ship Construction Plans from other countries. I agree F81, 100, and 110 classes are great looking and doable Frigate contenders, as is the ANZAC and Meko classes…

          • old guy

            WAR STORY: I was sitting in on a naming conference in SPAIN and since the f81s were going to be part of Grupe de Combate Primero With the carrier “Princepe de Asturius”, which was to be activated in 1992, on the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America, the 3 first FFGs should be called the NINA, the PINTA and the SANTA MARIA. All concurred until a Captain Gamboa said,” Gentlemen, remember NINA means little girl, PINTA means painted lady
            (read tramp). The names were promptly changed to SANTA MARIA (St Mary), VICTORIA (Magellen’s ship and NUMANCIA (First Metalclad). A laugh for history.
            INCIDENTALLY, the f84 was to be named “AMERICA” because of all our help, but the Queen felt peevish over this, so it became the REINA SOPHIA. O TEMPERA, O MORES.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            I’d really love to see a couple dozen R11 class (SCS-75 concept) Light Aircraft Carriers flying the USN. colors…

          • old guy

            The “Principe” was supposed to come out at 15,000 tons, but the material rollers wanted to make sure they wouldn’t get reject lots, so all plates were rolled to high side tolerance, adding almost 1000 tons to the ship.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            If memory serves, actual displacement was ~17,100-tons. 29 aircraft air group, standard and 37 aircraft maximum w/complement of ~760…

          • old guy

            I was at the the inclining experiment, 15,888 tons. Later weight added could raise that #. Remember, CV41, USS Midway, went from 46k to 72k, causing the ill-fated “sponsons” to be added. Your A/C complement (Mostly Sea Harriers) is correct. Not bad for a small carrier. We could use a few.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Three (6) aircraft USMC F/AV-35B’s Strike/Fighters, (3) EV-22C’s AWACs, (3) KV-22C’s Texico’s can “Sea Control” a fair size area until bigger Ford/Nimitz class Large Aircraft Carries arrive on the scene. And make their presences be “felt”…

  • Navy Analyst

    They need to add a 30-50 kW laser to the LCS. Help with situational awareness in crowded waters, and provide defense against small boats, rockets, mortars and UAVs that proliferate in such an environment. Throw it on the back deck over the helo pad. It would help keep costs down not just in ammo, but in providing a much larger mission set.

    • J_kies

      So which Navy are you advocating for? Putting a non-lethal / non-useful laser on a non-threatening vessel advances some naval interests, just not ours.

  • Pops

    Money pit

  • J_kies

    Dear RADM Fanta; “What do you need to make an enemy sweat?” isn’t the right question. “What do you need to kill that SOB despite his best efforts and his best defensive actions?” is the meaningful question. Go big or stay home; our soldiers and sailors deserve no less.

    • Machia0705

      Heavy naval artillery is what we need in the fleet. While I’m not advocating the return of an Iowa class BB, those ships struck fear in the hearts of the enemy. Just ask any Iraqi soldier who was on the receiving end of a 16 inch shell in 1991. Something’s are timeless.

      • Secundius

        @ Marcd30319.

        While not actually a 16-inch/50-caliber Mk.7 (406mm) Naval Gun. The 6.1-inch (155mm) Rail Gun has the hitting power of a 11.1-inch/54.5-caliber (280mm) Krupp SKC/34 German Naval Gun. Still a decent “Can Opener”…

  • onspeed

    Either a Rail Gun or the 155 AGS from the Zumwalt if it’ll fit! That should do it with a couple armed Fire Scouts.

  • Secundius

    I read that 284-ship’s figure, is actually looking more like 274-ship’s. With the potential of dropping even lower…

  • CaptainParker

    The “modified” LCS represents nothing more than the Navy can’t admit the original LCS was, and is, a dog that can’t do its mission. Unfortunately, the business interests again prevail – and I don’t see serving officers objecting and endangering their potential post-service second careers. The French have a marvelous frigate design – the Godown – which meets all requirements and costs millions of dollars less.

    • Secundius

      @ CaptainParker.

      So does Spain, and so do WE. Just have to blow dust off of them (the “plans” that is), maybe some of the admiral’s too and modernize the weaponry and equipment packages…

      • CaptainParker

        For the missions they want done, why not just dust off the plans from the last class of frigates – the ones that are disappearing – and build a new generation. Lot cheaper – and more mission capable.

        • Secundius

          @ CaptainParker.

          During WW2, Shipbuilder’s CEO’s got $1.00 USD. bonus check for every ship they produced. What do think the odd’s are the’ll do the same time in today’s economy. I’d say between NILL & NONE…

          • CaptainParker

            I agree 100%. Today, they look for opportunities to steal pennies off dead men’s eyes. Of course, where’s the oversight – Congress is bought and paid for.

          • Curtis Conway

            Amen, the LCS is a disposable ship which means the crews are considered disposable. Sad state of affairs. If the LCS ever goes into combat by itself, it has a NIL chance of survival. That AWESOME NEW AND IMPROVED AAW CAPABILITY has half the missiles (21 => 11), whose effectiveness begins at about 1,000 yards, and goes ALL THE WAY OUT TO about 3 miles, with a FANTASTIC 25lb blast fragmentation warhead. How’s them apples?

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            Why do you think soldiers in the US Army are called G.I.’s (aka, Government Issue). When I joined the Army, I knew I had a 50/50 chance of NOT getting out alive…

          • Curtis Conway

            General Omar Bradley hated the term GI and though it was disrespectful to our soldiers. I follow him in that practice. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Our soldiers, sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsman, and airman are not disposable. As a practical matter, one of the safest jobs one can do today is serve in the United States military. We lose about the same number of citizens at work in a year due to accidents in the workplace, compared to the accumulated casualties over a decade of GWOT. The LCS being built to its survivabilty level BREAKS THE FAITH with the American Sailor. This retired sailor is ashamed of this activity. So much for Righteousness in the sight of G-d!

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            The Freedom class and the Independence class haven’t even seen combat yet. I think they said pretty much the same thing about the OHP class Frigate, when it was introduced into the US. Navy. And that ship proved the skeptics wrong too…

          • old guy

            When they dropped the bomb the 1st Cavalry guys at Camp Stoneman, CA were ready to invade Japan with an expected casualty rate of 70+%. Let’s hear it for “Fat Man” and “Little Boy”.

          • Curtis Conway

            I fear someone out there already has their hands on an intercontinental transport and will build that same basic functionality (Little Boy) within the fuselage and fly it over a US city . . . then pull the lanyard.

          • old guy

            Too heavy. I would think that they would opt for a TACNUC size.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Are you sure 2KT, I thought “Little Boy”, was 63-Tera Joules or ~15KT and “Fat Man”, was 88-Tera Joules or 21KT. And “Trinity” was a “Fat Man” copy…

          • old guy

            WHOOPS, lost a zero. note revision

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            A better bet, is either the B61 @ ~700-lbs, 11-feet 8-inches long by 13-inches in diameter. And yielding between 0.3KT to 340KT. Or the B83 @ ~2,400-lbs, 12-feet long by 18-inches in diameter, and yielding 1.2MT…

          • Curtis Conway

            Yes – Truth. Goodness they taught us this in High School. Today we can no longer trust our High School students with the knowledge(?) or we taken so much of G-d out the equation, where they no longer fear Him.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Actually it might have been FAR worse, considering Imperial Japan exploded their first Atomic (Uranium-235) Bomb. On 12 August 1945, in Konan, Korea (now known as Hungnam, North Korea) killing ~70,000 Korean’s in the test…

          • old guy

            I didn’t know that they had actually done that. Reference please.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Look up WW2 Japanese Ni-Go Project and F-Go Project…

          • old guy

            Thanks a million. Definitive lead. I will research.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            In 3 April 1945, Nazi-Germany detonated a “Dirty Bomb” in Thuringia, Germany. It was a “small” bomb, which destroyed a “Allied” POW camp. Killing all the prisoners of war, most Russian’s. The area destroyed was only ~500-sq.meters, called “Bright Light”. There were two detonations, the first exploded the “dirty bomb” and the second, more powerful detonation distributed the radioactive material over a greater area. Several hundred POW’s were killed. Later, just be D-Day radioactivity was discovered around the Normandy Beach area. Report that an unknown number of British soldiers got sick. The “Allied” Project Peppermint, called it “A mild disease of unknown etiology”…

  • cc_guy

    Editor: Crystal City is a “neighborhood” in Arlington, VA. CC is not a proper city/state name, prolly by your editing standards, not a proper lede.

    • Curtis Conway

      And I though the “Crystal City” was in the Wizard of Oz, which is where the LCS should be used anyway. Forty+ knots is nothing compared to a supersonic ASCM.

  • cc_guy

    LCS v. USCG NSC … STOP! It is Apples v. Oranges. LSC = speed and potential kinetic power of it’s weapons. NSC = Presence, Domain awareness & defensive dominance. Other than draft.. no commonality. I shall vomit in my mouth now.

    • J_kies

      CC – I merely ask “what weapons” and the LCS speed is less than the artillery and ASCMs that will be shot at it so the speed is not terribly relevant.

      • Secundius

        @ J_kies.

        I agree, it is easier to hit a stationary sea-going target, then it is to hit a moving one.

        • J_kies

          Neat thing called ‘terminal guidance’; effectively the LCS is stationary.

          • old guy

            You bet. We in the high speed (60 to 95 Kts) consider a 5 Kt.
            increase “in the Noise”.
            Think of it in light of approximate speed change with time:
            (say the year ~1900 to ~2000):

            Aircraft (1903) 30mph to 3000mph
            Autos 70mph to 450mph
            Projectiles 1100 fps to 11,000fps
            Ships 31kts to 31.5kts (apologies to Don Blount)
            WOWIE!!!

      • cc_guy

        From my CG experience.. I once spent ‘months’ putzing at 7 knots in the Carib (for good reason, and proper response in that op).

        LCS is short duration: amazing sprint speed, and awesome kinetic energy.

        NSC is long term, unsustained presence, domain awareness and a bit of kinetics.

        The e3c and engineering plants for those missions are quire diff.

        • J_kies

          Cc – we missed each other- I don’t see a valid military mission rationale for the LCS sprint speed. Given the pathetic weapon capabilities on the LCS; the only ‘awesome kinetic energy’ the LCS could deliver would be via ramming.

        • Secundius

          @ cc-guy.

          I would think with all those Navy and Marine Corps aircraft in the air. The enemies collective minds are goings to busy on other things, like staying out of harms way and getting killed. Then to worry on what actually launched those aircrafts…

    • Secundius

      @ cc_guy.

      By adding a second gas-turbine you can increase speed from 28.5-kts. to 35-kts. Ohhh, by the way its called officially Crystal City/Arlington, only the “local’s” like me call it Crystal City. Because WE know where Crystal City IS…

      • Curtis Conway

        The NSC has a lot of room for Kinetic Weapon growth. The LCS can BARELY (if it can at all) contain the upgrades proposed. Of course ‘survivability’ compartmentalization and watertight integrity seems not to have been addressed at all, which was congress’ primary gripe. Bring on the hearings!

  • Secundius

    Aviation Week/ARES 11 April 2014 edition, talks about converting San Antonia class LPD into Arsenal Ships. With single forward Rail-Gun, LaWS and 288-cell VLM’s.

    • J_kies

      Or if you want something that could work in our world; 288 cells of VLS; the AGS off the Zumwalt and some decent Gatling’s. We don’t get to revoke the physics that govern lasers in the atmosphere. When we spend the dollars and R&D time to achieve workable ammunition for a Railgun, then we can talk about other options.

      • Secundius

        @ J-kies.

        If you were keeping up with the LaWS program, the reason for the large “focal-point apeture” to compensate for atmospherics, like Rain, Fog, Snow, etc…

        • J_kies

          Mr. number two; I analyzed HEL propagation issues from the ALPHA/SLBD and the ABL (and GBFEL-TIE). That rationale is nonsensical as the innate clear air turbulence as well as cited particles in the path limit the useful range of a HEL without adaptive optics/sounding to something similar to a 20 mm cannon range. I do such physics professionally and I am not selling anything – its still No.

          • Secundius

            @ J-kies.

            We’ll just have to see if the actual system works, don’t we. Considering, what else is there…

          • J_kies

            What else is there …
            How about cannons with proximity fused shells and decent target leads? A better FC/targeting system on the existing CIWS Gatling? Given your cell phone is smarter, has better communications and a better sensor than the RAM; perhaps modern cheap SAMs?
            Many workable; useful near term solutions are being deprived of resources by the LaWS opportunity cost.

          • Secundius

            @ J_kies.

            The problem with proximity fusee are their set at 2, 4 and 10-meter ranges and fired from a projectile traveling at ~3,000-ft./sec. at a target traveling at near sonic speeds. Anything flying at Mach 2.0 or faster will overfly the intercepting shell before the proximity detonates the explosive charge. You going to have to put a “Wall of Lead” up and have the enemy fly through it to get to you…

          • J_kies

            Now you are describing an engineering problem that is within skills and determination of your team to solve. Choose this problem.
            The Laser issues are physics problems where the natural and combat environments are not subject to mitigation or control by your engineering skills and investments.

          • Curtis Conway

            In the absence of empirical data everything is conjecture. Why don’t you guys go conduct a test?

          • J_kies

            We did a lot of tests; we spent upwards of 7 billion between Airborne Laser Lab, ABL, and the navy’s Sea Lite Beam Director/ Alpha laser. We spent tens of millions on laser lethality testing on parcels in the 1970s/80s.

            When you have empirical data that you spent a lot of money to collect that refutes every claim made for the future potential of something related to the Ponce demo, why is it too hard to visit the data archives/library or have technically competent personnel that actually learn from tests?

          • Curtis Conway

            “Deliberate waste and mismanagement is disloyal to the interests of the US.” I wish you threw these kind words at those who champion the expendable LCS and their crews. To send our sailors into the Dragons Teeth knowing they cannot defend themselves borders on the illegal and immoral.

          • J_kies

            As always expressing my opinion here – yep – the LCS is profoundly unwise and I would chalk the overall program as waste and mismanagement. If asked in my professional capacity that would also be my technical put.

          • Curtis Conway

            No offense taken. Keep up the great work. I still believe that Buck Rogers (directed energy) will arrive one day. We may not know how to do it yet.

      • Secundius

        @J-kies.

        The problem with the Mk. 15 20x102mm 6-barrel Phalanx CIWS, magazine only holds 1,550-rounds of ammunition. You going to be changing Magazines a lot, during a battle, if more than a couple of enemy ASM’s are coming at you. Not to mention “cooling cycles” of the barrels, when they get too Hot…

    • Curtis Conway

      Good idea. Technology will catch up with the shortcomings shortly.

      • Secundius

        @ Curtis Conway.

        There’s a DARPA study plan to build an Arsenal/Bombardment Ship with a minimum of ~500-cell VLS and a maximum of ~1,000-cell VLS by 2020…

        • Secundius

          @ Curtis Conway.

          I forgot to add. The 500-cell variant would also be equipped with Rail-Guns. A 21st century Battleship…

        • Curtis Conway

          I think that is overkill and a fault in planning. All you have to do is sink one platform for maximum effect.

  • Tellenthetruth

    The LCS which I looked over for several hours in my opinion, are a great ship but really limited in its bang for the money. I do know a command where they would fit in as smooth as a gravy sandwich though, and that is the SEAL Commands on both east and west coasts. These ships would add a new dimension to them and also keep them in blue waters, as SEALs have been grossly mismanged this past 8 years, with huge losses of seasoned men. Yes, they are good enough for mountain warfare, but the other branches are trained extensively in this area. I believe regular Navy can operate the LCS, but let SEALs dream up how to use them effectively. I also believe there should be a moratorium on bulding more carriers, as they are much more open to complete destruction than the Navy will never admit. It is only a matter of time before one is sunk in Persion Gulf, and only God knows why that has not happened. We are going bonkers with drones and these need to be scaled dow a bit, but they make sense at 6 feet long, but only the Pentagon could dream up the helo drone that just was tested on the Independence recently. Are you Adimirals mad, or has this CIC fired all the good ones? Lets get this Navy refocused on large fast cruisers with missles galore, and of course our best weapon, the boats that are our aces presently when it comes to deterrence. The sea will always be the sea, and some of the ships they have envisioned will be destroyed by the angry ocean. Speed and cruise missles are the Navys future, and believe we can scale that branch down, while bumping Air Force budget up. This 6 year hiatus we have been on make enemy subs our main concern, so what say you? It made me ill saying the above about my beloved carriers, but they have served this country well.

    • Secundius

      @ Tellenthetruth.

      Actually the two words I came up with is “Bonkers” and “Meshuggah”.

  • Kevin Brent

    LCS = Lockheed Cash Sack.

    • old guy

      LCS=
      Literally Crummy Slop
      Lovely Cruise Site
      Likely Costly Spending
      Laboriously Cobbled Scenarios

  • Curtis Conway

    “He [Rear Adm. Peter Fanta] said those ships [improved LCS] would be more survivable in air and surface fights”?! The LCS-1 Flt 0+ has half the AAW weapons it had before the change!!! I understand the difference between RAM and SeaRAM, and I like the organic radar capability, BUT one does not take away half the weapons and then claim you have given them greater capability!

    “Look at what [LCS or the small surface combatant] is susceptible to. What we found is that the things that can kill an aircraft carrier . . . can kill an LCS.” This comment sounds like it came from the same mindset that thought building surface combatants that are limited in speed and operate in a 2D environment could be built to aircraft design criteria, which operates in a 3D environment and ‘speed is life’. Speed on the surface just makes you an easier target. Have you ever heard of a ‘larn’ target?

    I would like to see the test data on Thermion covered Joint High Speed Vessel [aluminum] decks.

    Our Expeditionary Strike Groups (ESGs) will need an AEW&C asset. EV-22 Osprey AEW&C anyone?

    • old guy

      RADM FANTAstic sounds like the typical “SOCIAL ADMIRAL” we’ve been plagued with since “BIG Z” retired. Say it isn’t so!

      • Secundius

        @ old guy.

        Only been RAdm. 16-months, Gator Ops Specialist…

    • Secudius

      @ Curtis Conway.

      Thermion, is simular to “parkerization”, but much faster. Instead of dipping into various acid solutions, your using “heat” instead. Just think of it as applying Krylon or Rustolium Paint with a Leaf Blower…

  • Secundius

    ATTN. ALL: It’s official, so before you get DRUNK and stumble out to you favorite VOMITORIUM. January 15/February 1, 2015 issue of AW&ST announces that NAVSEC. Ray Mabus. Has declared and reclassified LCS L-classes or Freedom/Independence classes, as FF for FAST FRIGATE’s…

    • old guy

      ATTENTION! The Iranians have countered. They have designated their KOMAR and OSA boats as DESTROYERS, outnumbering the US fleet.

      • Secundius

        @ old guy.

        So, where did you do it. Flower Bed or Bushes???

  • Secundius

    That’s what I like a NICE SWIFT REDDITMENT…

  • Secundius

    There’s another problem in which nobody has touched or even discussed about. What to call the LaWS system, is it a “Naval Cannon” or a “Naval Gun”. The only reason I’m bring this up, is because the Montreux Convention of 1936 restricts any ship from entering the Black Sea that has a Naval Gun with a bore diameter of 8-inches (203.2mm) ot greater. Well the LaWS systems, Focal Aperature is 600mm (23.266-inches) 295% greater then the restriction allows for…

  • Secundius

    ATTN: 15 January 2015, issue of AW&ST. THAAD-ER, being “Zoombie’d” resurrected from the died to counter ChiCom, Supersonic ASM’s…