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Navy Frigate Requirements Will Be Finalized Soon, Will Inform Decision on Hull Downselect

The guided-missile frigate USS Gary (FFG-51), top, and the littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS-2) conduct a photo exercise off the coast of Central America in January. US Navy photo.

The guided-missile frigate USS Gary (FFG-51), top, and the littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS-2) conduct a photo exercise off the coast of Central America in January. US Navy photo.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Program Executive Office for Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) is working with both its shipbuilders to determine how to bring the current LCS designs into a more lethal and survivable frigate design, while it works with other Navy offices to finalize the frigate requirements.

The Navy decided the last 20 of its 52 LCSs would instead be a modified LCS, later renamed a frigate. Though many details are still being worked out, PEO LCS Rear Adm. Brian Antonio told USNI News in an interview at Washington Navy Yard that the frigate will be an LCS, plus more guns, a multi-functioned towed array for submarine detection, over-the-horizon radar and a light-weight torpedo countermeasure, plus the potential to add “capability enhancement” packages – either a 30mm gun and rigid-hull inflatable boats for visit, board, search and seizure missions, or additional sonars.

The program office is also working with the Navy’s Surface Warfare Directorate, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren, Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems and more to refine the frigate requirements and clearly document them. The Navy will need to work through how to integrate new systems into the combat management system, what hull, mechanical and electrical changes may be needed, how many people will be part of the core crew of the ship, and more.

Antonio said the requirements will be finalized “this year, as soon as we can.”

Surface warfare director Rear Adm. Peter Fanta will lead a series of requirements resource review boards for the frigate, the first of which will look at the combat management system and upgraded over-the-horizon radar, Antonio said.

“We’ll get into what the requirements are for those, and then that will sort of free us up [for] getting into the design work,” he said, adding that would happen “in a matter of weeks as opposed to months.”

The Small Surface Combatant Task Force estimated it would cost about $75 million more per frigate than LCS, Antonio said. The current LCS is about $100 million less per ship than the congressional cost caps, so he said he was confident the small surface combatant portion of the fleet would remain affordable.

One big question looming is whether both LCS designs – a monohull by Lockheed Martin and a trimaran by Austal USA – will move into the frigate program or if the Navy will downselect to one variant. Antonio said all options are being kept open at the moment, but he noted the advantages of keeping both designs in production.

“I have said as PEO, there are great advantages for competition,” he said.
“It provides the opportunity to make sure that we benefit from competition. I think industry actually benefits from competition, it keeps pencils sharp.”

To keep all options open, Antonio said his office has established contractual relationships with both shipbuilders to look at the LCS-to-frigate transition.

“We haven’t set an acquisition strategy in place that says we’re going to continue to build equal numbers of the variants going into the future, but we want to keep that option open as we get closer to FY ‘19,”Antonio said.
“So we’re working with both shipbuilders, saying, what do we need to do to each variant to make these changes to turn it into a frigate based on what the decisions were that came out of the secretary of defense?”

By 2019, when the Navy will need to issue its first frigate contract, two of each variants of LCS will be in Singapore, so the fleet will have the opportunity to provide feedback ahead of a contract decision. Though the sailors operating the ships won’t have the final say in the matter, “they’ll have a say in how the requirements go,” Antonio said.

Once the frigate requirements are set and design work begins, Antonio said he also expects some upgrades may work their way into the Fiscal Year 2017 and 2018 LCSs. The acquisition strategy for those years is not finalized yet, but “what we anticipate doing is combining those two years so we only have to do one solicitation. And we’re still coming through what that RFP [request for proposals] will look like and the overall acquisition strategy. We owe [Navy acquisition chief Sean] Stackley an acquisition strategy approach and will get that approved through the proper chains and be able to come out with an RFP in late 2016 timeframe so we can negotiate an award in ’17.”

In designing the RFP, Antonio said “we have opportunity to say, hey shipbuilders, we eventually want to incorporate as much of the frigate attributes back into LCS over time. We have an opportunity with those last six LCSs, if we’ve got high capability impact, low-cost changes that we can incorporate – armoring, weight reduction, configuration changes where they make sense and still retain the modularity – then let’s go ahead and get those priced in, and if we can afford it we’ll go do it.
“And then what that does, it has several advantages. One is, it gets the shipyard ready in terms of a learning-curve effect, it gets them ready to incorporation of the frigate when we award frigates, regardless of which shipbuilder it is, or both shipbuilders. …. For us, as we come to negotiations and awarding for the ’19, now we have actual return costs on some of these, so we both know across the aisle what some of these changes may cost. So that’s an affordability aspect that’s sometimes lost on people as we move forward.”

For the existing LCS hulls, Antonio said the Navy would look at taking out weight or adding in armor during post shakedown availabilities or other yard maintenance periods to help close the gap between the LCS and the frigate.

Also awaiting final requirements is a decision on which over-the-horizon missile to use on the frigate. Asked about a timeline for the decision, Antonio said “the first thing we need to do is get the requirements set from the Pentagon.”

Given time constraints, he said he was not interested in any kind of development effort; rather, the missile he picks will be a system of record in the U.S. Navy, a system used in other navies or one that industry has matured and could easily integrate with the frigate.

“The advantage of an over-the-horizon missile, though, is undeniable,” he said, saying the fleet has asked for it and it has proven itself in several wargames.
“It’s going to be successful, it’s just a matter of getting the requirements set down, taking a look at what material solution can meet that requirement, and then looking at the integration piece onto the ship,” Antonio said.

  • Tony

    Nugget: LCS-2 hull to be rotated to Singapore? I hadn’t heard that before – my last understanding was that LCS-1 hulls would be in Singapore, LCS-2 hulls in Bahrain.

    • Secundius

      @ Tony.

      If LCS-2, USS. Independence, is going to Singapore. Then she’s taking the “Scenic Route” there. Last reports, indicated that she left San Diego enroute to Florida…

      • Greg Lof

        I would expect Coronado to deploy overseas before Independence. I long suspected that the original design of the LCS-2 class had a major flaw, which is why it took so long to repair Independence after her dry dock incident.

        • Secundius

          @ Greg Lof.

          LCS-4, Colorado has a new skipper. A reverve officer, Lcmdr. Joseph Galka. Colorado, left San Diego 17 November 2014 for a 16-month deployment. In or around Singapore to conduct SUW (Surface Warfare) duties, and is scheduled to return to her New Home Port of Mayport, Fl…

  • Lazarus

    The press really needs to stop using such subjective terms like “lethal” and “survivable”. Both terms can be very misleading. The fin al product will not be another FFG 7 and should not be compared with that retiring platform.

    • mustard_gun

      A frigate is what we need… although I agree that any LCS mod will likely fall far short of that requirement.

      • Lazarus

        There is no requirement (service or COCOM) for a frigate. I am still at a loss what a ship 3/4 the price of a DDG 51 with less than half of that ship’s capability will do?

        • mustard_gun

          I thought LCS was running about 1/2 cost of DDG.

          I’ve seen one study that measured fleet capability in terms of deployed helo flight decks. Makes sense when you think about it. Just about every naval presence/wartime mission requires a helo.

          My point being if new frigate allows us to double number of Romeos/Sierras deployed per dollar invested, I think would be step in right direction.

          • Lazarus

            At 479 million a copy, that is correct, but LCS prices may further drop as production continues. I agree the help capability is a must. If we define a “frigate” in terms of heels, I could see a requirement being generated for such a ship. Perhaps not in dozens, but six to eight ships with a capacity for several helps/rotary wing UAV’s. Such a ship (as a modified DD 963) was debated during the late 1970’s. My concern about a European-style “frigate” (basically a light DDG) will not be sufficient for the emerging air and ASCM threat. If the DDG is not enough for modern air/missile defense, a new FFG will be even less effective.

          • Secundius

            @ Lararus.

            The LCS hull’s themselves are ~$200-Million USD. apiece, it’s the Plug-In Mission Modules that drive-up the price…

          • Secundius

            @ mustard_gun.

            1. Arleigh Burke class Destroyer, ~$1.843-Billion USD. apiece.
            2. Freedom class FF/LCS, ~$450-Million USD. apiece (~24.42%).
            3. Independence class FF/LCS, ~$437.5-Million USD apiece (~23.74%)…

          • Sigint

            But then tou would still ned another DDG ro protect the LCS from attack making the project not cost effective.

      • John Citizen

        I’m no expert but doesn’t the LCS baseline offer the size/systems/networks to drop down a limited AAW and ASW capability? I recently went back to read the basic specs of the Perry-class FFGs and, frankly, I was (surprisingly) underwhelmed. Part of that is that they removed the outdated SM-1 versions of the Standard Missile. But, frankly, the few OHPs we have left are tremendously behind the times. If nothing else, I would think that we could put out an “upgunned” LCS that is *at least* as good as the OHP.

        • Secundius

          @ John Citizen

          Their were 22 on the Decommission List, and as far as I know. Most, if no ALL have been SCRAPED…

          • John Citizen

            By my count, there are 5 left–Taylor, Gary, Simpson, Kauffman, and Roberts. All due to be decomissioned this year.

          • Secundius

            @ Joe Citizen.

            1. FFG-51, Taylor: to be decommissioned in May 2015 and sold to Taiwan for ~$10-Million USD.
            2. FFG-51, Gary: to be decommissioned in August 2015 and sold to Taiwan for ~$10-Million USD.
            3. FFG-56, Simpson: to be decommissioned in August 2015 and scrapped.
            4. FFG-58, Roberts: to be decommissioned in May 2015 and scrapped.
            5. FFG-59, Kauffman : to be decommissioned in September 2015 and scrapped…

    • Curtis Conway

      Survivable capability has a specific definition and DOT&E knows what the definition is, and tests to the standard. The LCS does not meet that standard because the US Navy sighed a waiver. THAT does not make the platform any more survivable than a Chevy is a Formula One race car just because I say so. Survivability on a surface combatant is directly related to water-tight integrity and compartmentalization. If it does not exist then the platform is not survivable when taking battle damage, and the argument is as SIMPLE as that regardless of what the experts say. For those of us who have been underway in similar circumstances, there is no substitute for all the safety requirements borne out in the US Navy Regs.

      Everyone has an opinion, and it is good to see the diversity of opinion. However, people who rode heavy armor, lived in tents or foxholes, or are land warfare combat experts should really remember that ‘Context Is Everything’, and combat at sea is very much different than fighting on land. The naval service has some long traditions, and a lot of experience in this matter. The Aegis platform is the most capable surface combatant on the face of the planet, short of a submarine. We should build on success, not create a new frankenstein.

      • Secundius

        @ Curtis Conway.

        Actually there is, it’s called Cobra King and it uses two AESA Radar systems which uses both “S” and “X” Band radar systems. Being test as we speak, as a Aegis replacement…

        • Curtis Conway

          When looking at long term force capability and cost (which is the name of the game today), logistical support and training pipelines provide greater savings over the long run, and facilitate maintenance and spares in the field because of the increased commonality, which increases combat effectiveness of the force, which increases likelihood of success. New programs provide development opportunities for new technology, but are very expensive, and that should be a dirty word today (expensive that is) at least for the near term.

          Also I don’t think we will be backfitting the radar on the USNS Howard O. Lorenzen onto any frigates. The developmental entity should look familiar and they look a lot like AMDR people.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            Can’t argue with you there. Example, the New tentatively called Louisiana class BMD/Arsenal Ship (based on the San Antonio class). Has doubled in price, so instead of getting six ship’s NOW were getting THREE…

          • Curtis Conway

            Well, we need six to maintain a presence in the Pacific and the Atlantic.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conwat.

            Agreed, but money has to come from somewhere. We can’t touch the LSC’s, so what else is there to cancel (Robbing Peter to Save Paul)…

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            I can think of three, right out of the top of me head. One, put the F/AV-35 on the “Back Burner” for the Marine Corps. Reason, Marine Corps. is planning upgrading AV-8B Plus Harrier’s as a secondary fall back force. And keep them in service until at least 2025. Two, “Back Burner” the Rail-Gun system, at least until the “Bug” are worked out. And three, lose the MPS’s or Maritime Pre-Positioning Ships and turn the role over to Retiring Tarawa class and aging Aircraft Carriers. Give them a new lease on life, even if it wasn’t what they were design for…

          • Curtis Conway

            Turning the retired LHA/LHD platforms into pre-positioning ships is a great idea, but I wonder how much it would cost. Having an extra flight deck in any theater is an awesome idea.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            Could also come in handy to avoid incidents like the Marine Corps. F/A-18C’s land in Taiwan, at least until were up to the level. Where we can “Bring Home An Argument To Bear”…

  • Doyle

    Here’s a novel idea, don’t try to make a “bad” platform “better”. Pull out the fresh sheet of paper and put the sweat equity into the platform up front.

    • 2IDSGT

      The USN doesn’t need a mini-AEGIS destroyer… I get the impression that this whole frigate thing is just to humor McCain for the next few years until he dies/retires.

      • The Navy needs both a new frigate AND a new general-purpose craft. Mine sweeping, coastal patrol, special ops, and mundane ops such as humanitarian missions and show the flag missions. The LCS is no frigate, by any stretch of the imagination.

        • 2IDSGT

          Never said LCS was a frigate. The Navy doesn’t need frigates, they’ve told us so. This entire FFG exercise is simply pandering to idiots in a vain hope they’ll shut up.

          • The Navy will indeed soon designate the LCS as a frigate. OHP Frigates have essentially been in the role cut out for the LCS. Albeit with increased seaworthiness, battle damage protection, and armament.

  • James B.

    Has any consideration been made of modifying the aviation capability of these ships?

    Both variants have giant flight decks and very little space for expansion elsewhere. At the most extreme, I could see flight deck and module space at the stern replaced by VLS cells for dozens of missiles. Such a change would limit them to operating the small Fire Scout drones, but would increase lethality by orders of magnitude.

    • mustard_gun

      The giant flight deck and oversize hangar is about the only thing on LCS that makes sense. Pretty necessary for an ASW combatant. Particularly one that doesn’t have Vertical Launch ASROC or even a torpedo launcher.

      • James B.

        But it makes the ships worthless for anti-surface work. Just proof that the modular idea for mine warfare and ASW was reasonable, but adding surface warfare was a stretch too far.

        • mustard_gun

          I don’t know about worthless. Helos are historically pretty good at killing small boat swarms.

          • James B.

            Attack helicopters especially, but in fleet defense situations there will be plenty of flight decks, including hopefully an LHA/LHD.

            Against larger targets, the LCS is useless, helos or not.

            The realistic next war will be either a “China” or “Iran” scenario, although it might not involve either of those nations. The LCS is useful, though not especially cost effective, in an Iran-type low intensity scenario, but it is overpriced and under-capable in a high-intensity scenario.

          • mustard_gun

            We’re a bit short on big decks. Not sure can count on LHA/LPD being there when needed.

            Concur 100%. LCS is a cluster. But we are apparently stuck with it. We shouldn’t “fix” the one thing on it which isn’t broken. If anything, LCS should be strengthened to embark two helos and associated personnel.

          • James B.

            The cheapest solution would be to dump the Surface Warfare mission, and make it primarily a sub-chaser. We need those desperately, and the LCS might do it well.

            I wouldn’t mind seeing a variant–different superstructure, same hull–as a missile corvette for ship-killing.

          • David Teer

            They should make the Independence a dedicated mine sweeper to replace the Avengers and the Freedom a dedicated sub hunter to replace our Perrys. The problem now is the navy are trying to turn these into major surface combatants, which they are not. They were not designed or built to take and withstand damage.

          • old guy

            When and where? I am very interested. THANKS

        • Curtis Conway

          Large flight decks would be good for a mine countermeasures ship. Mission change for the class?

          • James B.

            I think the LCS would make an over-priced and inefficient mine countermeasures ship. The speed that the LCS paid so much for is rarely valuable in mine clearance.

            I would rather see mine countermeasures being integrated in to amphibs: an LSD, LPD, or LHA/LHD can operate all the modular equipment they are giving the LCS, and all airborne minesweeping equipment, and anything conceivable as replacements. The LCS is too small for all that.

            Additionally, big ships, especially 25000 ton San Antonios, would survive a mine if the hit one; the LCS is also too small there.

            Given the woeful state of fleet ASW, a sub-hunting corvette is probably a good use of the hulls, and an area where speed could be useful.

          • Curtis Conway

            As a Blue Water Surface Combatant its a ridiculous joke. Every time I think of this platform I’m ashamed of my navy.

        • David Teer

          The problem is the ship “original” primary roles were sub hunting and minesweeping. They are not designed to fight. Their surface warfare role was limited to speedboats and pirate skiffs

        • Secundius

          @ James B.

          With 3P ammunition and a 57-deg/sec. turret traverse speed making a 180 (Port to Starboard) in just 3.158-second. Coupled with the fact of 220-rpm at 45-knots, And with a Maximum Effective Range (Point & Shoot) of 8,500-meters, I doubt any Go-Fast is going to get close enough too get “Under-the Gun” of the LCS -10’deg. depression range. And you don’t even have to hit the Go-Fast directly. A good Fragmentation Round, just in front of the Go-Fast will have the Desired Effect, too. The object is not to hit the target, but for the target to go through the “S@#t Storm” that awaits them. To get too you…

    • Secundius

      @ James B.

      The problem with the Fire Scouts is, that ~30 in service world wide…

  • Greg Lof

    The most important thing for the USN is be willing to abandon the current designs of both LCS classes and allow major changes to their size and configuration. The move to produce the LCSs came far to soon, freezing the design before any real testing was done. Simple things like allowing increase the LCS length, draft, or beam would improve their “survivability.” Developing a SSDS that can both works, and fits on the LCS also would provide real survivability. And of course increase the allowance for mission modules and electronics would make additions like VLS possible.

  • I’m hoping that the US Navy can come to it’s senses and realize that they are going to Need a REAL Frigate and the only Viable design is based on the US Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter design and turning it into a Frigate.

    • Secundius

      @ Nicky.

      Well Nicky, the PF-4921 design was dropped for being to “Radical”, which only leaves us with the “Sedate” PF-4501 design. Only ONE problem though, NO FUNDING at this time…

      • Which I think the Frigate should be based on the NSC design

        • Secundius

          @ Nicky.

          It is based on the NSC design, “wheelhouse” is a little smaller, Stern ramp removed for a ASuW Towed Array, 3-inch Deck Gun instead of 57mm Bofors, VLS and Torpedo Tubes, too…

          • That’s what I am think how the frigate should be

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            Only if Congress comes to it’s Collective Senses, but I not hold my breath of that one. I live within 10-minutes of the White House and 12-minutes of the Capitol. And honestly Nicky, this Congress is Truly F@#K-UP…

          • Which is why the Frigate program looks like it’s gona be put on ice

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            You got it, Malady…

          • old guy

            Once you get an Imperial Congress, as we have now, the order of importance becomes:
            1. My career
            2. My supporters
            3. My country

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Unfortunately, they weren’t there for me either…

    • old guy

      Good idea But, the armament and equipment are vastly different. It would take a completely new preliminary design, taking advantage of the NSC completed work, to gain full advantage.

      • That’s what I am talking about. Using the lessons learned from the LCS and apply it to the NSC.

        • old guy

          Right on!

        • Secundius

          @ Nicky.

          If you what to see images of the PF-4501 Design. Just Google pf-4501 design and then go from “web” to “images” it’s should be the second one down in Navy Grey. First one should be near 3D model (an upper, “port” 3/4 view)…

      • John Citizen

        I’m not a Navy man (though I do love the Navy), but looking at the NSC it could at least be a basline for a new FFG, could it not? And by “baseline,” i mean even if it was only 50 per cent commonality with a new FFG, that would still represent significant savings in dollars and time compared to designing a new FFG from scratch.

        Personally, I am much more concerned with our limited pool of cruisers and the (apparent) lack of a plan for a new CG

        • old guy

          What we REALLY need is a NAVY2040 study, NOW, like the NAVY2020 study we did in1990. The basis was wide open and THEN we narrowed down to the most likely scenarios which led to the best Order of Battle.
          It is too bad if the fear of some, that we have pushed wargaming to a minor role is real. I sure hope not.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            I think is more Political Greed then actual Naval NEEDS, “Who’s Congressional Finger’s are in What, Defense Industries Cookie Jars”…

          • old guy

            To repeat Congressman order of importance:
            1. My career
            2. My supporters
            3. My party
            4. My country

  • KellyJ

    Calling a Turd a Diamond will not convince the gal to put it on her finger.
    Cut your losses on this bad idea and either use an existing design or get something on the drawing boards asap. Or, now that Burkes are coming in around 600 million each, build more of them and put the design effort into a much needed CGX.

  • Fred234

    I like the Zumwalt destroyer. Get about 20 of those guys on the seas.

    • old guy

      IT is a LOUSY ship, PERIOD. LET them roll over and use them for stealth anchorages (but, PLEASE, save the crew)

      • Secundius

        @ old guy.

        All that does, is reduce our 272-ship strong US. Navy by 52-hulls. And giving us (the US Navy) a 220-ship weaker US. Navy…

        • old guy

          With respect, quantity IS important, but only if matched by quality.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Until they’ve been Bloodied, we really don’t know what they can’t do. The only ship that came near to being Bloodied, is Freedom. Who traversed a Category 5 Typhoon on her way to the Philippines in July or August 2013. Which came close to breaking her “Keel” and put a 6-inch “Rip” in her hull. Considering that Halsey had a Category 5 Typhoon experience in 1944, where he lost 3 Destroyers, Crippled an Light Aircraft Carrier and Badly damaged 82 other ships. For a lone “Crappy Little Ship”, she did pretty good considering…

          • old guy

            On that basis, we should build only submarines, which can ignore storms completely. I was out in 733 and we smoooooothed right under a CAT 5.

    • Secundius

      @ Fred234.

      The Zumwalt class Destroyers, cost ~$3.45-Billion USD. apiece. 32 were planned with a total cost of ~$110.4-Billion USD. With Congress being the Function, Disfunctional Entity it is, where do you think the other ~$101.5-Billion USD. is going to come from…

  • ed2291

    Down select? Don’t make me laugh. A down select should have been performed before we had three types of frigates – all expensive and ineffective and for the most part with their armament packages unavailable. As our fleet shrinks ever closer to 200 ships with no accountability I cannot but help wishing those navy “leaders” responsible should spend time in jail for this fraud, waste, and abuse.

    • old guy

      Wouldn, ‘DOWN AND OUT” have been better?

    • Secundius

      @ ed2291.

      One report, said that Navy pretty much decided before the fifth LCS was ever launched. And the Only Choice was, the Independence class base design…

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  • @NotRizzo

    This still feels like a platform in search of a requirement. The 40kt requirement makes zero sense to me, yet they kept that which makes a meaningful upgrade in range and weight almost impossible.

    • Secundius

      @ NotRizzo.

      The 40-knot requirement, was for a Rapid Reactionary Force Deployment, cut to 40-hours notice instead the standard 72-hour notice…

  • old guy

    BETCHA, it comes out a lot like an upgraded FFG-7, if they are honest. Go look at the Spanish F-81 (Santa Maria) class, to see what can be done to an FFG-7.

    • Secundius

      @ old guy.

      Three problems. One, No OHP class Frigates in operational condition, with the possible exception of Hatches Open and Closing. Two, the “Jones Act” of 1920, prevents the US Government or US Navy buying directly from abroad. Loophole, US. Air Force and US. Army not included in the “Jones Act”. That leaves problem number three, getting US. Navy to admit to STUPIDITY on their part to the Air Force and Army. And the chance of that happening is between Nil and None…

      • Sigint

        There is already far too much outsourcing of military components. If you can’t fight a war against a country you need parts from to fight, we wil only be able to fight with ourselves. Wait, maybe that’s the plan

      • old guy

        I have been a victim of the Jones act a couple of times. It is just another welfare program for the shipyards, like the other ones we have in place.
        In 1977 I was Keynoter at an ASC conference, and was loudly criticized by the audience for suggesting (in a rare moment of foresight) that the yards might get into the, then new, field of cruise ships. You would think I had advocated for the shredding of the Constitution. My only defender was Ellsworth Peterson. Needless to asay, I was never invited again.

        • Secundius

          @ old guy.

          Actually, I really don’t blame the Navy. I think they got “Blindsighted” by Congress. I think when the OHP reached retirement, that Congress would come through with the Budget Appropriations for a New Frigate class. And the DO-NOTHING Congress, blindsighted them and said F@#k You and Drop Dead. It took the “Wind Out Of Their Sail’s”, and with no back-up plan. They (the Navy) had to Improvise…

          • old guy

            with apologies for the correction “BLIND-SIDED”

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Apology accepted, but tell that to Auto Correction…

  • Secundius

    Caught in the Middle Again. Whatever you guy’s select, were going to be Stuck With and Have Too Live With ANYWAY. SO, SELECT…

  • Michael Nunez

    What’s it going to take ……The LC’S are more suited for our own Coast Guard than for deployments abroad . It’s plain sicking to see all this waste without consequences in our Military Procurement Process . THERE HAS TO BE CONSEQUENCES……!

    • Curtis Conway

      The US Coast Guard already gave the LCS a look, and determined they would go broke operating them, even if we gave them to the vessels.

  • Sigint

    Anyone remember when they made the DDs frigates, the frigates into cruisers and the DEs into DDs then claimed we now exceeded the Soviets?

    • Secundius

      @ Sigint.

      Technically speaking, we do exceed the Soviets (aka Russian Federation). At last count, they have only 73-operational ship’s in their fleet. Not being able to pay your Sailors, does seem to have that effect…

  • Southernfriedyankee

    As an ex navy destroyer radar man, I would say it is quite a challenge to produce the “perfect ship”: enough firepower, move fast, be able to launch troops, house air power, evade missiles traveling at 600 mph.
    The argument is: what good is it to move at 50 knots if the enemy missile is coming in at 600 knots ? You wouldn’t exactly run away at high speed. Any damaged ship in the Spratly Islands will not be easily repaired, which is why the Chinese are building repair bases there. It is a long way back to China !
    The challenges run in both directions affecting both us and the potential “enemy”.
    There is a serious debate right now as to whether US ships might be outgunned by the new Chinese ships coming out. Of course the rail gun could help, if produced and debugged.
    The French once had an interesting design concept, never put into production.
    What the naval architects drew up was the equivalent of a powerful destroyer/cruiser, with not much top structure (possibly fold down), that could quickly submerge to a level awash with the sea; or ten feet UNDER IT (I guess the idea being to leave little target area for radar to lock on to).
    In a design like that, you wouldn’t have to have a hull “tight” to 1,200 feet. It could be built to be tight to 100 or 200 feet, because it wouldn’t be a true submarine.
    Supposedly, it would only submerge when it saw four or five ship destroyer missiles coming, but could do so in two or three minutes.
    Now that will make a radar signature disappear !
    The USS Hunley was built along similar lines.
    It is important to be creative.

    • Secundius

      @ Southernfriedyankee.

      How about a Narco-Submarine Hulled, Arsenal Ship, Cruiser or Destroyer. Like with the USS. Monitor of the Civil War. Where very little is above the Surface of the Water, about 5%, like a Coning Tower. On the Great Lakes their called “Whalebacks” or “Whaleback Deck” Ships…

      • old guy

        The DD1000th tendency to roll over, might give you a head start on that notion.

        • Secundius

          @ old guy.

          Why don’t we (US. Navy) have a “Radical” approach to shipbuilding and set a future trend to Shipbuilding Designs. Submersible Cruisers, Destroyers, Frigates, Aircraft Carriers, etc. The Enemy would never expect it, until its to late. A “Wolf Pack” Task Force, Marine Expeditionary Unit or even a Carrier Battle Group. All Underwater, instead of a Center-Line Plain like on the Surface. A 3-Tier Boxed Formation operating at staggered depths, like a WW2 B-17/24 Bomber Group. It would give Enemy Sonar Operators a “fit” trying to figure out what coming…

    • old guy

      We avoided Mach 1 missiles with the PHMs by the simple device of a hard turn and a dive stop. Missile guidance and control could not react to hit. True, we only did it in simulation, but it works perfectly.

  • Secundius

    According to Information Dissemination, the Independence class LCS/FF is going to be used as the baseline study for the New Fast Frigate class…

  • Big-Dean

    Let’s just call the LCS the new LDS or Littoral Destroyer Ship, that will scare the Chinese so bad that they’ll never go to sea again. But just remember, it doesn’t work on Saturdays LOL

  • Dan

    They are not guided missile frigates, they are FF’s. There is no weapon system of any importance on board a Perry and they have been long ago obsolete.

    • Secundius

      @ Dan.

      Correst me if I’m wrong, but isn’t a SeaRam a Guided-Missile…

      • Dan

        You are correct sir indeed. I assume you are saying SeaRam was installed on Perry’s and I cant find anything to support your statement. Gun CIWS torpedo is all I see, I would love to eat crow. Show me your example.

        • Secundius

          @ Dan.

          I wasn’t even talking about the OHP class. But, FFG-13, USS. Samuel Eliot Morison had her Mk. 13 Launcher removed and replaced with the RIM-116 (21-cell) RAM Launcher. But it was never actually tested. Turkey acquire the ship, and renamed it the. F 496, TCG, Gokova. Your call…

  • Allen

    The Legend Class cutter already has a vendor base and is still under construction. Just expand this operation and have them build navy frigate versions. Save money and expedite deployment!