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Document: SASC Asks Navy For Further Littoral Combat Ship Program Changes

The following is a Sept. 15 letter from Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and ranking member Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) regarding the Navy’s review of the Littoral Combat Ship program. 

  • Horn

    Good luck with requests #2 & #4.

    • NEC338x

      #1 is easy. Just flood all the ballasts tank bringing the gun closer to sea level. Eventually you get to the point where your rounds will land OTH.

      #3 modify the fuel line diameters so that you’re sucking through a straw. Voila, fuel economy!

    • Ed L

      I surprise that is did not say that no more funds for LCS build will be provided until the current problems have been address and requests 1 through 4 have been fulfilled.

  • PolicyWonk

    LCS (either class) is expected to Get double the use of a destroyer (that has a simpler propulsion system)?

    Seriously? With a propulsion system that is ultimately far more complex than a Burke – that has already been demonstrated to be unreliable (to be nice about it)?

    The fundamental flaws in LCS are pretty well exposed for all to see. And now with the navy dropping the quick change mission module requirement (it’ll still have to do it – but its going to take a lot longer than 3 days), there’s no reason for the ultra high speed. Therefore, LCS can now have a diesel propulsion system, which would be far less expensive, far simpler to maintain, and vastly more reliable.

    This gets us to the point to where we have a sea-frame that can reliably sail from one place to another. The poor survivability, lack of armament/protection, lack of room for growth, etc., all remain outstanding issues.

    The fundamental problems remain ignored, but the very troubled LCS program still sails on.

    • Sons of Liberty

      We have ships that can fill this role we may need to ask the nation we gave our Perry’s too for them back but if we were to refurbish and upgrade the Perrys with a flight II Perry design we would have what we need.

      • PolicyWonk

        While the OHP’s were fine ships, and in many respects still better than what is called the “littoral combat ship”, given the cost it would take to refurbish/overhaul/update them, we’d probably still be better off (in the long run) to go with the HII Legend-class National Security Cutter design (up-armed/protected).

        They’ve got the legs, room for growth, are seaworthy/tough, arctic capable, and building on the slipways. And, as an added bonus – the USN/USCG would then have parity, could share training facilities, and reduce costs in the long run.

        • tpharwell

          Of course.

        • MrInvestor

          Agree…for many years I have been arguing for giving the LCS’s to the CG (before it became clear they may not even be reliable enough for that mission) and using the NSC design instead. This debate is wasting time and money….Mabus, bite the bullet, cancel LCS, get people cracking on arming/strengthening the NSC and get production underway in 6 months. If you don’t your replacement will.

  • Sons of Liberty

    #1,2,3&4 sounds a lot like just using a Perry.

  • RobM1981

    But, Senator McCain… 50% deployment rate is core to the whole boondoggle, remember? Since you’ve been a Senator since Millard Fillmore was in the White House, surely you recall being involved in this charade, no?

    “Using new miracle technology we can take a hull the size of a fishing boat, arm it like a frigate, and cycle it twice as hard as an old-fashioned destroyer. This will save the taxpayers zillions of dollars – we promise.”

    Or something like that.

    Wasn’t that the promise? The government saving the taxpayer money, while improving our defense?

    Our enemies tremble at the sight of an LCS, that’s for sure. If they don’t, then the crew – particularly the engineering team – surely do.

    Nice work, Senator. You guys in DC are the best.

  • tpharwell

    Mene, Mene, Tekel; Upsharim. I sincerely hope the CNO and asst. Sec. Stackley can read the writing on the wall. How much clearer could it be ? The SASC is coming down on top of their recently concluded in house review conducted by VADM Rowden, and telling them to try again, for they have not gone far enough. Of course, the Senators do not want to withdraw funding for a shipbuilding program. But neither do they like this one, and they are now giving what is at least a second warning to the Navy: “Don’t push us too far”. They are doing this because they are feeling pressure to pass on a compromise 2017 bill that includes money for an extra LCS (making three for the year), and they are signaling that as things stand right now, they might do just the opposite.

    Most of the letter consists of advice that the Navy face reality. The talk of manning and “planned operational availability” is nothing more than that. Operational availability is based on readiness. And at this time, that is zero for the entire LCS roster. The recommended on-shore propulsion training facitility though perhaps a good idea, is a concession to House supporters of the program and will neither do anything to fix the problems with the ships, nor be greeted with enthusiasm by the admirals, as it will result itself in an expensive new procurement program that will take years, while they have just announced that four LCS will be dedicated to “training and testing”.

    The important message of the letter is a little different. And it is simple. “Get to work on a replacement vessel. Now. The days of the LCS are numbered.” Indeed, it is interesting and remarkable that the Senators would specify “for delivery in the 2020s, as early as possible”. That would be January 1, 2020.

    If they start now, they can meet that deadline with a navalized NSC. It clearly means something like that, and not another attempt to perpetuate the LCS. That should be limited to ships currently under construction, and that should not be liberally construed to include “advance procurement” of things like circuit boards and life rafts. As they say, Admiral Rowden’s plans are “DOA” on Capitol Hill.