Home » Budget Industry » Document: Report to Congress on Littoral Combat Ships and Frigates

Document: Report to Congress on Littoral Combat Ships and Frigates

The following is the Jan. 30, 2015 Congressional Research Service report, Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress.

  • RobM1981

    Seems like an honest report. The LCS has serious limitations, period. It’s a small, aluminum hull. It’s not big enough to “take a punch.” Etc.

    All well known by now. Even so, it’s good to see it in writing.

    • johnbull

      Wow, its actual range is less than 2,000 miles, even at slow speed. Somebody, somewhere, must have been paid off handsomely to overlook the fact that you’ve got a ship that has no range, no offensive capability, and isn’t survivable. Other than the fact that it can’t fight, can’t survive, and can’t get where it’s supposed to go on a tank of fuel, it’s a great vessel.

      • grandpabluewater

        LCS Delende Est.

  • The_Usual_Suspect61

    This program needs to come to a full stop. The taxpayer is getting ripped off and the sailor is getting short changed. The admirals behind this abomination and former UNSECNAV Bob Work (quite possibly its biggest cheerleader outside of LMT and Austal) need to check their egos; they screwed up on this one. No more good money thrown after bad. LCS is not a Frigate. As they old saying goes, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.”

    • PolicyWonk


      Admiral Greenert admitted (on Breaking Defense Dot Com, several months ago), that LCS was never intended to go into the littorals (“L”) to get into a fight (presumably, this is what was meant by “C – Combat”).

      Hence – the description of LCS is now left with “S”, and “S” only, It is, and never was intended to be used for combat, which is why they are having problems trying to figure out how to up-arm a “Ship” that was never intended to fight much of anything.

      Calling this floating corporate welfare program a “Frigate” only doubles-down on the outright defrauding of the taxpayers.

  • Rob C.

    Navy must bee between a rock and hard place on this. They can’t come up up with enough money to replace the two boondoggles with halfway descent design. This is terrible. Only problem is they need solid replacement, still a ship that has enough firepower and mission capacity replace almost three completely different types of ships. MCMs, surveillance and escort.

    Should they still be making these things, absotuletly not. Politically, does the Navy have enough political capital to push a brand new design to replace these two ships. No, i don’t think they do. So Industry telling them we can’t make new design unless you pay for new design, or you can rework what we have for this amount and not wait decade for new one. That’s what SSC is about, making due or not have anything at all.
    @The Usual Suspect61, if you have wise course action aside “stop it!” I’d like hear it, because new design isn’t something you pull out of hat.

  • PolicyWonk

    “By avoiding a new class of ships and new system design costs, it also represents the most responsible use of our industrial base investment while expanding the commonality of the Navy’s fleet…”
    Well, LCS/SSC does expand the fleet – but the above comment, when combined with the fact that later in the document, DOT&E declares that the LCS-based/modified “SSC” (or “FF”) will be hardly any better than the original LCS design when it comes to survivability, indicates we are still wasting money and resources.

    Given the price increases – the USA is far better off either buying up-gunned/armored NSC designs – or alternatively – one of our allies designs. The base LCS design is simply inadequate – and most nations far cheaper missile/patrol boats would clean the clock of ANY LCS variant without fear of retaliation.

    The report is full of double-talk, and the SSC/FF variants do little to save the taxpayers any money (for example: the 40-knot requirement should be eliminated; and, ONE sea-frame should be chosen). The “low-cost” alternative rubbish is simply that: rubbish. It is only low cost in the context of purchasing a Zumwalt or Burke that LCS/SSC/FF/etc is “low cost”, while delivering little real value for the taxpayer.

    The “new” SSC/FF is simply a rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic – for a failed concept and design. The “LCS” designation didn’t “confuse” anyone – and magically changing the designation to “FF” fixes nothing.

    Our allies walked away from LCS, saying it was far to large an investment for far too little value. This important fact has not changed.

    Now all the taxpayers are left with, are two corporate welfare programs delivering minimal value at maximum cost.

    • old guy

      Terrific critique. When you start with a garbage can, its not likely you’ll be able to evolve into a palace.

  • Daniel Kunkle

    What a bunch of crap. This is a under-armored and under-gunned POS. Any Navy with a halfway decent coastal patrol boat armed with anti-ship missiles would wipe this overpriced boondoggle from the sea. The Navy needs a true frigate design and the LCS is NOT it.

    I’m also an advocate of cancelling the the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The President cancelled the wrong plane. We should’ve kept producing the F-22 fighter which despite some bugs which were somehow not worked out during development is a capable fighter. The JSF tries to be too many things at once and IMO isn’t good at ANY.

    Also, I’m not sure why the govt is obsessed with mothballing the A-10 Warthog but any and all steps need to be taken to keep that plane combat worthy. There is simply NO OTHER platform as capable as that plane in supporting our ground troops.

  • Secundius

    How can you rate a ship’s Lethality, if it hasn’t done anything yet?

  • CaptainParker

    Too many careers – both naval and post-active duty – are at stake to scuttle this dog. Too many people high up on the food chain have been bought to keep producing this maritime dog, It’s the American way – corporate America always wins at everyone else’s expense.

  • Secundius

    Right, tell the crew’s of these ship’s that their probably all going to die, before the battle even begins. Just put out the White Flags, NOW and tell the World you just surrendered without even ever firing a shot. And do that at the Graves of Taffy 1, 2, and 3…

  • Secundius

    Maybe the US. Navy can acquire some of that New South Korean Steel, which is Three-Times Stronger than Titanium and Cost Ten-Times Less…