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Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado Arrives in Singapore

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USS Coronado (LCS-4) arrives at Photo by Mike Yeo Used with Permission

USS Coronado (LCS-4) arrives at Changi Naval Base on Oct. 16, 2016. Photo by Mike Yeo Used with Permission

CHANGI NAVAL BASE, Singapore — USS Coronado (LCS-4) has arrived in Singapore to begin a scheduled rotational deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific, marking the first time the trimaran-hulled Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship has been deployed to the region.

Coronado berthed at Singapore’s Changi Naval Base in the late afternoon on Oct. 16, and is the third LCS to be deployed to Singapore following the previous deployments of the USS Freedom (LCS-1) and USS Forth Worth (LCS-3)respectively. Coronado takes the place of Fort Worth, which returned to its homeport of San Diego in early October after almost 23 months away.

Speaking to USNI News, Captain H. B. Le, commodore, Destroyer Squadron 7 said that the Independence’s deployment is scheduled to last 16 months, adding that “having an Independence-variant deployed to South and Southeast Asia will further expand the operations we can conduct with regional navies, as well as the rest of the AOR.”

“The rotational deployment of littoral combat ships is an important part of our nation’s rebalance efforts to the Indo-Asia-Pacific,” said Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson, Commander, Task Force 73. “Littoral combat ships are ideal for South and Southeast Asia, easily integrated into exercises and operations in the shallow and congested sealanes, enhancing U.S. presence and deepening ties with allies and partners.”

In a press release, CTF 73 noted that “the Independence variant boasts a larger flight deck than the Freedom variant, allowing for expanded aviation operations including dual helicopter-UAV operations, and has more fuel capacity providing increased operational capabilities.”

The ship is outfitted with the Surface Warfare (SUW) mission package, comprised of two 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIB), two visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) boarding teams, two 30mm machine guns, two Northrop-Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicles, and, for the first time deployed on board an LCS to Southeast Asia, a Lockheed-Martin MH-60S Seahawk helicopter.

This deployment also marks the first deployment of the MQ-8B fitted with the Telephonics Corporation AN/ZPY-4(V)1 radar, which will be used to improve the situational awareness of the Fire Scout operators and the ship’s crew in maritime and littoral environments.

According to Northrop-Grumman, the radar gives a beyond the horizon broad area search and track capability to track up to 200 targets and operates in surface search, terrain mapping, emergency beacon detection, and weather avoidance modes. Previous Fire Scout deployments have only utilized the FLIR Systems Brite Star II day/night Electro-Optical turret with a laser target designator.

The Fire Scouts and Seahawks are part of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two Three (HSC-23), which forms part of the Coronado’s combined crew of about 100 sailors. Prior to the deployment to Singapore, Coronado and her crew took part in the multinational Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise off Hawaii, where Coronado conducted the first LCS-based launch of an RGM-84 Block 1C Harpoon anti-ship missile.

Singapore, which will host the U.S. Navy’s LCS deployments to the region, is not a formal ally of the United States, although it is a strong supporter of the U.S. security presence in the region and is also an important port of call for U.S. military ships and aircraft transiting the region.

  • Lazarus

    It’s good to see a positive LCS article.

    • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

      A ship arrived on deployment. In a friendly port. Weeks late. On second try. With a missile that missed in its only (known) test.

      Yes, a hearty round of back-slapping is clearly in order!

      • Lazarus

        Ships break all the time. Missiles also miss targets.

        • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

          Other ships also arrive on deployment with little fanfare. All the time actually.

          Missing with a missile shot during test is perfectly understandable.

          Missing at an exercise in which you invited allies and potential enemies to observe is ridiculous.

          And to then claim you have an operable, functioning weapons system is simply ludicrous.

          • Lazarus

            I have done 3 RIMPAC’s and have seen missile “misses” on two of them. It happens. Perhaps some ordnance officer did not ensure correct maintenance was done on the Harpoon in question. They have a shelf life and require regular maintenance.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            Certainly. And that’s why you do multiple tests – to understand the root cause failure. Reliability? Fire control? Something else?

            You don’t assume that the system of systems works when your single test event was a failure (miss). You test and figure out if it works.

          • Lazarus

            Canister launched harpoon is a 40+ year old capability, so not sure what other “testing” needs to be accomplished. My NAVSEA sources suggest the weapon failed. Sorry to disappoint you if you were hoping LCS failed in some way to launch it.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            You clearly don’t understand systems-of-systems engineering or test.

            The missile failed. Would it have hit the target if it worked? We don’t know – because we only conducted one test.

            To assume it would have worked because you want it to is simply ludicrous.

          • Lazarus

            You don’t seem to understand LCS combat systems. It’s pretty limited as many suggest, to the point of saying that it is pretty easy to determine that the missile and not the CS failed in this case. You also do not understand that ships cannot just be made available for multiple rounds of testing. The surface navy does not operate like the aviation navy.

            Testing proves that testing works.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            How is it easy to determine that missile failed? And since you are a credentialist how many instrumented Harpoons have you shot?

            My core problem is you and other proponents trumpet that the capability works when the one datapoint we have is not a success.

          • Lazarus

            I have fired 2 instrumented Harpoons from two different ship classes in my career (cruiser), one as OOD and one as CICWO. The reports I have seen suggest the missile failed. The LCS combat system is relatively simple and its interface with Harpoon even more so.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            Laz – it is fascinating to me that you cannot separate assumptions from facts. Or recognize your own bias.

            It is doubly fascinating that you are also apparently an academic.

          • Lazarus

            I am a SWO, and surface warfare was my business and not a bias. LCS has a number of faults to be sure. My continuing point however is that the current and potential benefits of LCS outweigh the downsides. I have made an academic case in support of that reasoning.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            You were a SWO. I was an NFO. I don’t hang my hat on it or see it as limiting or even defining.

            Bob Work was a USMC artilleryman. By your own rationale he is unqualified to comment on LCS.

            Your bias is you ignore the LCS downsides and assume if something is supposed to work, then it will work.

          • Secundius

            ALL Firearms, Whether Pistols, Rifles, Howitzers, or Naval Guns are Considered “Percussion Artillery”. I Worked on Attack Helicopter Ordnance Systems. So I Guess that make’s me a Qualified as “John Work”. Those that Have and/or Still Do Work with “Percussion Artillery”, have a Working Knowledge of What THEY Can and Can Not Do…

          • Lazarus

            Where have I not listed actual LCS shortcomings? Also, one has to distinguish between real problems and media-hyped ones that are not.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            If you don’t think a continued breakdowns are real problem – I guess we’re on pretty different pages.

    • old guy

      Would bet better if we had a couple of positive
      “ships.

  • Ed L

    Crossing fingers nothing breaks.

  • Samuel Bernstein

    Is that a harpoon launcher on the deck?

    • Marjus Plaku

      it is indeed, 2 x 2, too bad they didn’t just add VLS there from the get go in the design.

      • Ctrot

        I wonder what effect those launchers have on the ships vaunted “stealth” profile?

        • Lazarus

          LCS has only a basic “stealth” capability according to Bob Work.

          • Donald Carey

            Stealth on a 10,000 + ship? Don’t make me laugh – it can be tracked 24/7.

          • Ctrot

            The original specification didn’t call for “basic” stealth, so another fail.

          • Lazarus

            They did not call for stealth much at all.

  • RobM1981

    Two rigid hull inflatables, two 30mm guns, a pinch of Harpoon’s…

    Yeah, that’s an intimidating presence. China must be terrified to see an LCS in the neighborhood. North Korea will almost certainly stop their nuclear program.

    When do we name one “Panay?”

    • Ctrot

      You forgot the 5 lb projectile slinging, optically aimed, awe inspiring 57mm “main” gun!

      • Lazarus

        And the 76mm is really much more?

        • Donald Carey

          A shell from a 76mm gun is about three times the weight of a 57mm and the gun has a longer range, so, YES!

          • Lazarus

            The 76mm is prone to jam and the max effective range difference is not much better than the 57mm. The main battery of LCS remains the potential weapons in her mission bays rather than a gun or even a Harpoon missile.

          • Donald Carey

            As time passes, jamming issues will be ironed out – as for the range, 1,400 meters is 1,400 meters, over a nautical mile. The main advantage is the greater effect a hit will cause.

          • Lazarus

            It takes a lot of cumulative shell damage to sink a warship. The 57mm round is as good as a 76mm in this regard.

          • Ctrot

            So why does anyone put 76mm on their ships?

          • Jon

            Advantage with 76mm besides throw weight is that the 76mm can be made a dual purpose mount effective in the anti-missile role out to around 10k.
            Then, of course, virtually every comparable PLAN ship mounts a 76mm DP mount capable of OTH engagement.

          • Lazarus

            If we are planning to fight the PLAN in a gun engagement we have some serious problems. No one planned to fight the Soviets with guns either.

          • Jon

            The 76mm with the Strales/DART upgrade gives you an additional PD weapon out to 10k, the 57mm…does not.

            Even mounting the generic 76mm mount give you the option of upgrading it later as desired, the 57mm…does not.

            If we gave the 57mm mount a PD capability similar to the Oerlikon/AHEAD 35mm, I’d probably otherwise agree with you.

            IIRC, they didn’t build the F-4 with a gun, because no one was planning on fighting in a gun engagement…the enemy, had other ideas.

            If the LCS was going to be used solely in the ASW/MCM/APD roles it wouldn’t be an issue IMO…but increasingly it appears they intend on using it as a front line combatant. Where just about every possible opponent has more missiles, better sensors, better FCS, and a bigger, longer ranged gun.

            Instead, the LCS has a 57mm with optical fire control, that really isn’t good for much of anything. It can’t fire OTH. It can’t engage small craft successfully. It can’t function in the anti-missile role.

          • Lazarus

            Gunfire with any of our current weapons (30mm, 57mm, 127mm and even 155mm on DDG 1000) is a lousy method of sinking an opponent. It takes dozens of hits to sink even a corvette, let alone a larger frigate or destroyer. The guns have been present since 1945 for three primary purposes: NSFS (for 127mm and larger,) AAW and small craft action (sinking suicide speedboats/small craft.) Guns are not a primary ASUW weapon system. They can be used to finish off cripples but not much more. If the gun is so important why doesn’t the USCG NSC have a 76mm or 127mm as opposed to the 57mm? It is because the gun is not a significant anti-surface weapon.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            There is a vastly different threat regime between what USCG and USN are expected to face. Law enforcement is not the same as war at sea.

            The fact that you conflate weapons requirements for a USCG cutter and what should be a surface combatant shows you have lost sight of that.

          • Jon

            I’m making the point that we traded off an additional and valuable point defense weapon for a weapon that is, as you point out at length, totally useless. The 76mm with appropriate upgrades has a useful, ranged PD capability, the 57m does not.

            Once an LCS uses up its 4x hypothetical missiles it’s effectively unarmed except at LOS ranges. While being out-ranged by every possible threat bigger than a FIAC. A 76mm mount with Vulcano rounds has a max range of 40k…which is nothing to sneeze at. As far as it taking “dozens of rounds”, you’ve got a firing rate of 120RPM with 80+ rounds in the mount.

            A weapon that is flexible enough to be used in any role at need, from point blank ranges to 40 kilometers is extremely important. If you’re going to use up valuable cubes and weight margin, you should get max use of them.

          • Secundius

            WW2 Physics? Hitting a Bullet with a Bullet is Virtually Impossible, Especially when the Firing Platform your Firing from is Pitching in the Sea on ALL Three (X,Y & Z) Axis at the Same Time. The Object is to Put A Wall of Lead Between You (the Target) and the Enemy Threat (Missile). Where the Threat (Missile) HAS Too Fly Through that Wall to get to You (the Target)…

          • Lazarus

            Weight considerations and lack of an AAW mission for an LCS gun drove the 57mm vice a 76mm fitting for LCS. The gun was and is just not that important outside the anti-small boat weapon. Such craft are not usually detected until they are in visual range anyway. If outside visual range, then they are a better target for air assets.

            I agree that a 76mm gun could work and could be useful for what you suggest, but the Navy did not desire such a capability for LCS. The modular space and the interfaces it contains is the real focus of the ship. LCS is also sked to get Hellfire starting in CY 17 which fills in a medium range threat capability currently missing. LCS was supposed to get the Army NLOS missile in the first place, but that system was cancelled. The Navy has been looking for a replacement ever since.

          • Jon

            Snort. With missiles being the primary threat, there’s always an AAW threat/mission for a $3/4 billion platform stuffed with 100 sailors that is intended to operate in dangerous waters. Not going for a true multi-purpose gun is/was asinine. Having an effective 10k range backup to the current 11 round missile launcher with a 9k range is most definitely “important”.

            As far as the Hellfire goes…it’s a $150k missile with an 8k range. I’ll take the $5k guided gun round with a 40k range, fired from a mount with a magazine hundreds of rounds deep. Or at twice the Hellfire range, the $100 round with a 14k range. Or at even shorter ranges, the proximity fuzed frag round.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            You sound startling like naval aviation in the years prior to Vietnam. No more guns on fighters. Missiles only.

          • Lazarus

            The Ault report? Vietnam-era air to air missiles were not reliable and also expensive. The Air Force (not the Navy) decided that it was a gun issue. the Navy responded by a more systematic approach to improve air to air combat in general. Now even the USAF does not support strafing targets (other than with the A-10) as the results are minimal. Moreover, missiles have accounted for many more air to air kills than guns since Vietnam. I never said to get rid of guns, but suggest they are not a primary weapon.

          • Secundius

            That’s True with ANY Projectile Fire Weapon System, Including a Handgun…

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            Laz, I am starting to wonder if you even know what you are talking about.

            Littoral combat (supposedly what this ship was designed to do) is very likely to occur quickly and at close range. And may involve the use of guns.

            A 57mm round weighs about 13 lbs. A 76mm round weighs about 26 lbs. Logically, twice the throw-weight per salvo can make a difference.

          • Lazarus

            No, rate of fire and cumulative damage is what matters.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            Uh huh. And you think an optically directed 57mm gun is going to score a lot of hits? DOT&E doesn’t seem to think so.

          • Lazarus

            It was one test on one immature LCS. I thought you analysis folks went for in for multiple tests in order to achieve higher levels of statistical certainty. I see that you swing both ways on this; one test is fine so long as it denigrates LCS, but if one test shows the LCS successful you are dismissive and demand more (probably in hopes that the ship will fail and support your opinion.)

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            In my defense: I’ve seen few if any test data that shows that the LCS is successful at anything!

            I’m not ready to say something works or doesn’t work based on one test. You seem spring loaded to assume the positive and dismiss the negative.

          • Lazarus

            The period from a ship’s delivery through the end of its post-shakedown availability is one where problems are expected and in fact desired in order to iron out problems in the class. A class also needs to reach a stable production design before the bulk of the faults end. Milwaukee had her software fault in that delivery to PSA period so not surprising. The first 4 ships all represent early, less than stable versions of the class. Trouble should be expected. LCS has plenty of origin problems I agree, but the current issues are standard for a class seeking a stable design. LCS has also now finished the vast bulk of all DOT&E testing and that agency’s next report should have an overall positive evaluation of LCS.

          • Secundius

            Neither is a Radar Controlled One, especially if Target is Moving on it X, Y and Z Axis ALL at the Same Time…

          • Donald Carey

            No, it is NOT.

          • Ctrot

            Ah, the also mythical “mission bay” armament. Apparently about as useful as the “45 knot” dash speed.

          • Lazarus

            Repositioning at 45 knots forces and enemy to consider a much wider area of uncertainty in planning an attack on an LCS.

          • Ctrot

            The length of time that an LCS can sustain that 10 knot advantage over a WWII era DD is so short as to make the “wider area of uncertainty” trivial given the nature of modern search radars, patrol aircraft, satellites etc.

          • Lazarus

            Is one whole day a “short” period of time? Even 12 hrs can mean 120nm greater distance.

          • Secundius

            My Money is on the LCS! Armor on a WW2 Destroyer was ONLY 1/2-inch Thick of Common Steel, NOT even “RHA” Armor…

          • Lazarus

            Explain why you say this? Where are the fuel figures in support of what you are saying?

          • El_Sid

            More important is as a response to swarms, and the USS Pueblo kind of situations. Sometimes it’s what you can do without firing a weapon that is more important.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            Hard to outrun a missile.

          • El_Sid

            It is – but by that logic there’s no point making fighter aircraft manoevrable. As the Cole and Pueblo found out, there’s other challenges than being attacked by a missile.

            The USN doesn’t have many goood options when swarmed by the maritime version of a Toyota army – suicide boats, jetskis carrying RPGs, that kind of thing. Individually they’re not sophisticated, the problem comes from having to deal with so many at one time – and only one has to get through to cause big problems.

            In the face of a swarm, the most precious weapon is time. Having time to deal with each member of a swarm makes it less likely that defences will be overwhelmed by having to deal with so many at once. An extra 10 knots may not allow one to avoid a missile, but it lets one hold the distance for that bit longer from attacking platforms, and so give one more time to take out the archer.

            High speed isn’t the be-all-and-end-all, and the LCS may well have made too many compromises to achieve it – but I can understand why the USN was prepared to make those compromises.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            I get that speed matters. My problem is essentially what is stated in your last paragraph. There was an awful lot sacrificed to get that additional 10 knots.

          • El_Sid

            Speed doesn’t just matter, if you game swarming scenarios speed really, really matters in a way that I suspect few LCS critics understand. Hence my sympathy for the USN in making all those compromises in order to achieve that potentially decisive extra speed.

            The LCS makes sense if you regard its mission as sanitisation, cleaning out “Toyota” boats and mines ahead of the main force in the maritime equivalent of Afghanistan or Iraq. Existing units of the USN aren’t well suited to that kind of low-level stuff, whether it’s the Firebolt being harassed by an Iranian FAC in the Gulf or the Cowpens nearly colliding with a Chinese vessel in the SCS. You don’t want to fire missiles in that situation, you just need speed and manouevrability

            Personally I see more danger in trying to make the LCS something that it isn’t with half-baked attempts to turn it into a frigate that will make politicians think it is suitable for environments that it isn’t. At least if it is relatively unarmed, then it will be regarded as a successor to the MCMs and patrol force, with older Burkes taking on the high end of the Perry mission as was always the plan going back to the 90s.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            Speed matters for just one LCS mission (SUW vs swarms). A mission that is arguably very niche.

            It is largely irrelevant for the other two missions (ASW, MIW) and for general patrol and presence.

            And optimizing for high speed led to big compromises in things that really matter for a multimission warship. Like range, durability, and organic firepower.

            It also required an overly complex drive train that is causing the Navy a lot of problems in terms of reliability and maintainability.

          • Lazarus

            But higher speed allows you to present a more favorable asset faster than a conventional combatant.

          • Lazarus

            The mission bay exists and has the potential to support all kids of weapons/outfittings. If the Navy wanted a Perry succesor it would have bought one.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            “Potential” doesn’t win battles. As a historian, you should know this.

          • Lazarus

            Many things can fit into the LCS mission bay. We may not know until we try. We didn’t think a B-25 bomber could be launched from a carrier and did not have time to operationally test that before Doolittle’s raid, yet it was a big success. I suggest you try to think beyond the narrow system confines that you inhabit.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            If you are counting on a stroke of genius to discover a use for LCS, this is perhaps even more hopeless than I thought…

            We’ve had nearly a decade of peacetime development and haven’t fielded any of mission modules. Empty concept and empty ships. Poetic.

          • Lazarus

            Some things take time, and given the number of attempted “great leaps” the Navy tried to take with LCS (modularity, CODAG, new hulls, minimum manning, new systems, rotational crews, etc” it is not surprising that it has taken time to develop LCS. If you cannot see the warfare potential of an open bay where any number of drones, or other weapons might be fitted, then you are indeed a prisoner of your process, and I cannot offer further explanation that would remotely suit your closed world view.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            I think I understand modularity, incremental improvement and open systems architecture both from an operational and acquisition perspective better than you imagine. I’ve seen it work. And LCS has done it all wrong.

            Take a look at P-3 Orion program. We jammed just about everything we could into the tube and on the wings. We are doing things with this plane that no one in 1962 could have even imagined.

            The difference between P-3 and LCS are myriad. The P-3 was designed and able do its primary job (ASW) from day one. And could always do it very well throughout its service life. In contrast: the reason we are buying LCS was never well articulated. And it cannot do any of its primary mission areas yet.

            The much vaunted LCS mission bays are empty. Your continued insistence that we will fill them with wondrous things like drones, weapons, etc. ignores reality. We haven’t even gotten the first increment fielded in nearly a decade. Wishing that the acquisition system will work better doesn’t make it so.

            The fascination with speed is really the LCS’s principal downfall. It’s nonsensical and led to what are essentially irrecoverable compromises: organic firepower, range and endurance, structural integrity, and most important reliability and maintainability due to an overly complex drivetrain.

            The icing on the retarded cake was buying two different ships to do the exact same mission. There goes all your savings in parts, manpower, training, etc. It’s beyond comprehension how someone could think that was a good idea.

            I really hope LCS eventually works, but the signs are not promising. I guess it is at least a lesson plan in exactly how not to do acquisition. I’m sure DAU students will be studying it and shaking their heads ruefully for decades to come.

          • Secundius

            Get Use To It? ALL Future Naval Vessels, are Going to have Some Sort of “Modulization” in it’s Design Plan. Regardless of Size…

          • El_Sid

            Warhead size and rate of fire are important – if you compare surface target ammunition, the 57mm HCER versus 76mm SAPOM, then 57mm has greater range (17km vs 16km, although obviously no option for Vulcano etc), and 76mm only has slightly more bangy stuff (455g versus 410g). Couple that with the greater rate of fire (220rpm for 57mm versus ~80rpm for the USN version of 76mm) plus bigger magazines for 57mm, and you’re delivering signficicantly more explosive with a 57mm.

          • Lazarus

            The new 57mm ALAMO round (being procured for US 57mm guns) should add additional capability by improving terminal accuracy.

          • El_Sid

            I was trying to keep away from the really fancy (ie expensive!!) rounds – 57mm is always going to lose out to 76mm on that front, just with Vulcano. Super Rapid gets 76mm up to 120rpm and so on. But 57mm is nearly there or there abouts, it’s certainly not the no-brainer that some would make it out to be.

          • Secundius

            The Mk.295 Mod.1 ORKA (Ordnance for Rapid Kill of Attack craft) “One-Shot, One-Kill” Round with a 3P Fuse is also being Tested for the Mk.110 57mm Deck Gun. Specifically Designed for BOTH “LCS” classes…

          • Secundius

            the Mod “0” of the Mk.75 is rated at 85-rpm. And the 57mm Bofors can make a 180* Traverse in less than 1.5-seconds. The US Navy, doesn’t Use “Vulcano” in Either 127mm or 76.2mm…

          • Donald Carey

            The lighter 57mm shell is more like a flash-bang than a real killer like the 76mm shell. A lighter shell body means much less shrapnal (also lighter, less able to penetrate). There is a reason so many navies have chosen the 76mm.

          • Secundius

            Really? Outpost ‘Snipe” of the British 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade, part of the British 7th Motor Brigade. Consisting of 13 6-Pdr. (57x441mm/r) Towed Anti-Tank Guns took on a Mix of German Panther/Tiger I Tanks and an Assortment of 57 Light Skinned German Vehicles. On 26/27 October 1942, Destroying 15 Tanks (2 of which were Tiger I tanks) and 52 of the 57 Soft Skinned Vehicles at Ranges exceeding 1,500-meters. The BAe/Bofors in a 57/438mmR Smaller Gun Round. Pretty Good for a Static Defense Outpost.

            There’s a YouTube video of a Canadian Frigate being Sunk By Naval Artillery. One by 20mm Vulcan from F-18’s, Second by 57x438mm/R and Third by 76.2/636mm/R. EVEN the 3-inch Gun had Trouble Sinking the Canadian ALL Steel Hulled Frigate at Near Point-Blank Range…

          • El_Sid

            It depends what you’re using them for. “Most navies” are using 76mm as a cheap 5″ main gun, whereas the USN uses the 57mm more like an overgrown 30mm, for swarm defence.

            In that anti-swarm role rate of fire and reliability are more important, generating lots of shrapnel is less important. I can see why they went with the 57mm.

        • Ctrot

          At 14 lbs, yes. Of course the US used to build 3500 ton naval vessels with multiple 5″ guns that fired projectiles weighing 70 pounds. Seems like we should be able to manage to find room for one modern 127mm gun on a 3500 ton LCS, along with more than a token number of long range missiles and a decent fire control radar. Other countries have that solution figured out. Oh I forgot, we sacrificed everything else in the LCS to obtain that mythical 45 knot dash speed.

          • Lazarus

            First, who puts more than one gun on a surface combatant these days? Answer: those folks who cannot afford missiles. A 127mm has a much slower rate of fire. Gun damage is at best cumulative in nature. The math suggests that a lot more 57mm rounds can be fired faster and achieve the right amount of cumulative damage than a slower 127mm weapon.

          • Ctrot

            First, where did I state that more than one gun should be placed on a 3500 ton vessel? What I stated was that it was, in the past, possible. Therefore given that it was possible to place 6 or more 5″ guns on a 3500 ton vessel 70+ years ago (plus numerous smaller caliber guns, depth charges and torpedoes) why can’t we put even ONE such weapon on a similarly sized vessel today?
            As for your preposterous claim of 57mm superiority to 127mm, why do we put 127mm on Burke’s if that be the case?

          • Lazarus

            Take a look at any recent SINKEX event on youtube. Multiple ships fire large numbers of gun rounds (127mm, 76mm and 57mm) at the target with minimal results. Missiles are the real, ship/mission killing weapons of choice. GFCS of the present are much more accurate than those of the past, so that more than one gun is really overkill. Adding more guns takes away from other desired armaments, sensors and capabilities.

          • Ctrot

            Can you read and comprehend the english language? Really, can you? Where did I say any frigate sized vessel should have more than one gun?

            My point was (I’d use a crayon font here if it would help you “get it”) that we used to put a comparatively huge weight of weaponry on 3500 ton vessels and now we have apparently forgotten how to do that.

            And you’ve yet to explain your claim of 57mm superiority over 127mm. And it seems you’ve now gone over to “all guns suck only missiles matter” with your SINKEX comment. Well guess what, LCS isn’t armed with a legitimate missile battery either. Four harpoons strapped to the deck as an afterthought is a joke.

          • Lazarus

            As has been pointed out numerous times, LCS is not a conventional “frigate.” It’s “main battery” is its modular space. If guns were so important, why did the FFG 7 have a 76mm? Why doesn’t the USCG NSC have a 76mm or a 5 inch? Guns are just not that important a weapon. As to missiles, the nominal FFG 7 Harpoon load was also just 4 birds.

          • Ctrot

            No the LCS is not a conventional frigate, but it is being called / will be upon to do a frigates job in many cases. Your solution to that is operate in “flotillas” of 2-3 because we supposedly can’t afford a real frigate, even though 2-3 LCS cost as much or more as a real frigate and still don’t have the firepower of a real frigate.

          • Lazarus

            A distributed flotilla of smaller LCS is less susceptible to missile attack (the now apparent primary threat weapon) than a single frigate. If that one frigate is lost, its entire capability is lost as well.

          • Ctrot

            Any modern true frigate would have much better defensive capacity vs missile attack than any LCS, or flotilla of LCS. Taking your “logic” further why not just build dozens of Pegasus class missile boats? They also had a quad pack of Harpoons and a 76mm gun, all on a less than 300 ton hull.

          • Lazarus

            You are thinking in 1980’s terms. LCS grew from a pegasus sized craft (streetfighter) because it lacked helo facilities which the Navy regards as essential to a host of manned and unmanned warfare capabilities. One modern frigate is going to attract a lot more attention and larger salvos than would distributive LCS. It has been wargamed successfully and works. Pegasus was also another example in a long line of Navy projects that attempted to elevate a tactical concept (missile combatants attacking with ASCM’s) to a strategic one. Unlike most nations who employ FIAC’s, the US deploys ships outside home waters, conducts extensive presence operations beyond mere attack, and fights as a joint and allied team. A nation with a force of FIAC’s usually does not coordinate them with other forces and little else in terms of warfighting capability.

          • PaulSevere

            Naval Institute Proceedings carried the same argument in 1967. 2 spec. purpose cheap DD’s vs 1 expensive multi-role DD.

          • El_Sid

            we used to put a comparatively huge weight of weaponry on 3500 ton vessels and now we have apparently forgotten how to do that.

            No, we’re just using the space for things like aviation, and better HVAC, and computers, and better habitability standards. Plus a lot of signature reduction means that you have more bulk to enclose antennae etc that previously just stuck out.

          • Ed L

            The South Koreans usually have more than one gun on most of there warships.

          • El_Sid

            who puts more than one gun on a surface combatant these days? Answer: those folks who cannot afford missiles.

            Or the owners of Spruance/Tico/Zumwalt….

          • Lazarus

            ZUM is unique due to her NSFS mission. Other than that, the US has not put two major caliber LW guns on a ship since the last TICO.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            Not that simple. Depends on P-hit, weapons range, target size and a host of other factors.

            If I can shoot and hit you from 2x the distance you can shoot me (which a 127mm gun can) it is over quick.

            Plenty of analysis in Hughes and other sources to back that up.

        • PaulSevere

          The Oto Melara 76mm can shoot down missiles.

    • KenofSoCal

      “Pueblo”

      • Lazarus

        That’s sad…

    • Lazarus

      The FFG 7 had little more in terms of weapons. You left out the Coronado’s helo and two firescout UAV’s. One LCS is a limited presence tool, but a squadron or two (3-6 ships) will be more so a presence.

      • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

        A FFG could carry two SH-60s. And had a lot more firepower than CORONADO.

        • Lazarus

          Coronado can also carry 2 embarked helos. The FFG’s mission included limited air defense of convoys which accounted for most of its additional weapons and associated sensors.

          • RobM1981

            I believe that is still a good set of requirements. Limited air defense is a bigger deal than ever, with UAV’s and SSM’s proliferating. The LCS is, charitably, and anti-pirate vessel – but a weird one.

            It is virtually defenseless against any kind of serious air threat.

            It is virtually defenseless against an SSK or SSN

            It is virtually defenseless against any surface foe that ships an SSM that out-ranges a Hellfire, or a main gun larger than 57mm. Essentially: anyone larger than a pirate.

            Essentially it serves as a low observable helicopter platform. If the Helo can defeat a submarine, solo, that’s great. If the Helo can defeat a surface threat, solo, that’s great too. If not, the LCS is a target. It brings essentially nothing of consequence to the equation, as initially designed and deployed.

          • Lazarus

            The retired FFG 7 was equally defenseless against major air/missile attack. The LCS sea frame is not an ASW platform, bu the ASW mission module is designed to make it one. LCS 4 was equipped with Harpoon and is sked to get Hellfire next year. That’s a fairly robust anti-surface armament. LCS is designed to be operated as a flotilla and not as just individual ships. The inevitable comparison of LCS with other nation’s warships sounds much like those of the Cold War when every Soviet warship appeared to totally out-gun every US surface vessel. Those Soviet warships turned out to be unreliable, and unable to employ their armament as planned.

            If the US has problems with its warships (and the US tests everything to the nth degree and more), can you imagine what other nations’ warships are really capable of doing?

          • RobM1981

            The Perry’s were not defenseless, compared to their contemporaries. They had, for the day, an impressive AAW suite: Standard SM1, an OTO 76, and a CIWS. They had a sensor suite comparable to Soviet destroyers (even better) both for AAW and ASW. They carried Harpoon. They had a hangar. They had a powerplant that would get it near 30kts, and a backup if something went wrong.

            All on a hull not much larger than an LCS.

            That’s 40 years ago.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            “LCS sea frame is not an ASW platform, bu[t] the ASW mission module is designed to make it one.”

            ************

            Modularly proponents don’t get that platform capability matters. No matter how good the gear, in the end the module has to be carried by something.

            Bolting a capable sonar suite onto a short-legged, unreliable, undermanned corvette that cannot defend itself seems unlikely to result in a particulary effective ASW combatant.

            If one looks at LCS seaframe(s) – they have few of the attributes that one would expect from a “traditional” ASW combatant. It’s high speed also doesn’t make a ton of sense if the plan is to utilize a towed sonar system.

          • Lazarus

            Again, LCS is no more “unreliable” than past combatants; the internet-based defense news system live-streams every fault. At one point in the 1990’s 10 DDG’s were dry-docked in one year for CRP issues. Pretty damning of the DDG’s engineering capability, but never made the defense news sheet.

            Modern ASW is not about surface ships and has not been for some time. A towed array, cross-referenced with others for a fix, an supported via MPA and ship-based ASW helos is the right way to conduct ASW. As to LCS, it is a lot faster than other surface ships ad might actually be capable of making torpedo evasion tactics work.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            Well, at one point this year, over 75% of the LCS force was broken for various reasons. That’s hardly what one would expect out of a ship that has been in production for the better part of a decade. Hence the headlines.

            What good is an ASW combatant that is undermanned and overworked in normal peacetime ops? And can only deploy for 2-3 weeks at a time? It’s called awfully slow warfare for a reason. It takes time.

            High speed makes little sense either operationally or tactically for ASW. Why do you think the Navy never designed a 45-knot ASW escort previously?

            Tactically: sonars don’t tend to work well at high speeds. Nor can ships launch and recover helos at high speeds. So unless the LCS wants to drive around blind and unarmed, it will likely need to go slower.

            Operationally: LCS operating at high speed burns a lot more fuel. This logically means more underway replenishments… which means more tankers… which in turn will require more escorts. It’s a vicious circle that LCS proponents clearly haven’t really though through.

          • Lazarus

            LCS has not been in stable production for a decade. LCS 1and 2 were one increment and LCS 3 and 4 a second. Only with 5 and 6 has the Navy achieved a relatively stable design. Even then, some bugs happen. LCS’s are only more visible due to the great difference between it and past US ships which incites both greater interest and greater scorn.

            LCS was only designed for limited ASW and its 21 day nominal underway stay time reflects that. LCS can operate on diesels at 14 knots and lower, so the ship is capable of reasonable slow speed. The Navy is working on a lightweight, fiber optic towed array that will work well on the LCS design.

            DOT&E screwed up the operational range test on LCS-3. They failed to take into account that the LCS sea frame does not have compensating fuel tanks. As the semi-planing monohull rides higher, she has less squat and greater range. DOT&E’s test was conducted at full load displacement and its range calculation was done on that figure and not the lighter displacement expected in an LCS with less fuel. The Navy now estimates that the LCS 1 variant (at least Fort Worth and follow-on) can make 3500nm at 14-15 kts.

            The whole “lack of range: thing is a myth spawned by one test conducted by non-operationally oriented physics PhD’s who did not understand how the ship worked at sea.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            “Limited ASW” is not an actual thing. At least not in wartime. You may spend days searching, then stay with a target as long as you can, or until you sink it.

            So the Navy says that the DOT&E screwed up operational range on the LCS. Do you have any sources on that?

          • Lazarus

            Limited ASW in the littoral is a mission. NAVSEA says DOT&E screwed up the range test . You work in that world, ask those you know.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            I’ve read ROC/POE. Show me where limited ASW is listed and defined.

            You made the claim on DOT&E – please provide the evidence.

          • Lazarus

            My sources at NAVSEA say DOT&E screwed up the test. Each ship’s level of ability to accomplish a specific mission varies.

          • Lazarus

            Agree with all. The Perry’s were at the top of the frigate lineup and were more capable than most Allied nation destroyers (such as the UK type 42.) LCS is nearly as large, but designed to a very different set of requirements. There was not a requirement to provide limited area air defense (as the Perry’s were designed around,) and the modular space is designed to receive much of the mission armament (rather than the sea frames which are indeed not much more than Corvette armament.)

          • RobM1981

            I think you’ve hit the nail on the head: the requirements were silly from the beginning. What is this “LCS Thing” really meant to do? What is the mission, other than “stealthy gunship with a helicopter?” Take away the hangar, and it really doesn’t punch much harder than a Cyclone.

            There was so much focus on “efficiency,” we ended up with a hull that does very little. OK so it is fast and doesn’t ship a large crew. At what cost? Weak armament and low reliability?

            I wouldn’t be so angry about it if the Navy was now saying “Hey, we made a mistake – the whole concept is a bad idea.” Instead they are saying “let’s rename it ‘frigate.'” That’s an insult. It’s not a frigate, it won’t grow into a frigate, and it’s an insult to claim otherwise.

            The “tell” was when two different hull types were contracted. Talk about a government boondoggle. I’m quietly certain that many retired admirals and bureaucrats made a pretty penny off of this.

            Shameful. The LCS is shameful.

          • Lazarus

            The Navy had clear requirements for LCS IN 2004 and has clear requirements for the ship now. I cannot help if you do not like the Navy’s requirements. Take it up with N81.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            The key problem is the requirements in 2004 were ridiculous and unachievable. And don’t look anything like the ship that is bein delivered.

            Also note that N81 doesn’t actually write requirements. OPNAV resource sponsors like N96 do.

            Normally N81 takes a role in shaping the analysis that leads to requirements. The problem is there was very little formal analysis wrt LCS. No CBA nor AoA.

          • Lazarus

            There was a great deal of analysis from N81, NAVSEA and a number of contract agencies on LCS. The 2004 requirements were a bridge too far I agree. Capabilities-based analysis was frankly brand new in 2003. I know, as I worked in the acquisition system in the period of the changeover. Many programs did not go through a CBA. The current strategic system will likely soon end CBA’s as threat-based analysis is likely to now be the new norm. An analysis of alternatives could have produced any number of “solutions” but these fail to take into account service missions like presence (something that aircraft, which are a better weapon against littoral combatants than a surface ship. cannot perform.) Strategy, not tactics is the sound basis for force structure formulation. The analysis community frequently forgets that.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            A lot of analysis was done. Prima facie – it probably wasn’t very good or formalized since nothing that was predicted has been fielded.

            Capability Based Assessments (not Analysis) have been around for decades.

            They’ve been called other things at other times, but that’s how requirements are developed and identified.

            An analysis can and often does look at Phase 0 / Presence requirements. I’ve been involved in one that did exactly that. It is not magic.

          • Lazarus

            Capabilities-based analysis only became required during Rumsfeld’s tenure at the Pentagon. It was either 2002 or 2003 that we switched from threat to capabilities-based assessments (at my intel agency anyway.)

            There are subtle differences in joint, Phase 0 and service-based presence requirements. LCS fits for presence requirements, for example, where a larger number of smaller, heavily-armed missile combatants without a helo hangar would not.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            I’m not sure you know what a CBA is. The ones I’ve worked on or seen were all threat (i.e. scenario) based.

            Regardless, LCS has not yet proven much value in anything beyond presence. And even that is questionable given its Ao. Which according to SASC is probably something like 50%. There goes presence.

      • Ctrot

        So how much does a squadron of LCS cost to own and operate? You always say we can’t afford a true frigate so how is it we can afford multiple LCS to do the job one true frigate could do? Yes I do get tired of asking you this same question over and over, but then you’ve never answered it.

    • Joey Joe-Joe Junior Shabadoo

      Picture the bridge of a Chinese Type-54 frigate.

      “target enemy vessel” snaps the Chinese Captain.
      “But sir….. the US vessel…. they have deployed their Rhibs!”
      “Dear god” the Captain muttered to himself…… “Radio the enemy vessel” he barked… “tell them we surrender”.

      When Rhibs are the cornerstone of the navy’s future warfighter ASuW capabilities one can see the whole thing is screwed.

      • Lazarus

        Ever heard of the sea control mission? It sometimes involves conducting boarding missions. The same sort of ship on ship arguments were once deployed during the Cold War in favor of Soviet warships over their US counterparts. While not as heavily armed, US ships proved more adept and capable. Our process for evaluation of warships is open and largely transparent where that of our potential opponents is cloaked in secrecy. Criticize LCS if you wish, but don’t assume that the opponent stands 10 feet tall every day.

        • Donald Carey

          Don’t view them as midgets, either.

          • Lazarus

            Never said they were, but they (the PLAN) are inexperienced. They have not fought an actual full on naval conflict since 1895 (Sino-Japanese War.) They are in effect an army organization taken to sea and called a navy.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            We haven’t fought a full on naval conflict since 1945.

          • Lazarus

            The Cold War experience and numerous naval interventions and conflicts that the US has engaged in since 1945 constitute a vast wealth of experience in comparison with all current potential adversaries, with the possible exception of the Russian Navy. They however have been largely dormant for the last 25 years, where the US has fought Gulf War’s 1 and 2 among several conflicts.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            The Cold War ended in 1991. Most current O-6s were commissioned in ’92 or later. Not much experience left.

            Gulf War 1 and 2 were hardly contested naval operations. Particularly for surface force.

            Sometime in early 2000s we lost sight of what sea control means and requires. We assumed that we would always maintain unfettered access to high seas and that protection of the maritime SLOCs would be unnecessary.

            LCS is the poster child for that misplaced belief. And so the Navy will spend years and countless dollars trying to bang the LCS peg into a frigate sized hole in our fleet architecture.

          • Lazarus

            As usual, you are wrong.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            So the Cold War didn’t end 25 years ago? And Gulf War 1 and 2 were stressing maritime scenarios? If you’re a history teacher: remind me not to send my kids to whatever 3rd rate vocational school you end up teaching at.

            As for my opinions on LCS, they are just that. But to claim that LCS has thus far been a resounding success is delusional.

          • PaulSevere

            What didn’t get reported in all the hoopla of Gulf War I were the number of ships that hit mines, and the subsequent operations that were hindered. One type of asymmetrical warfare that the LCS was meant to solve. Another is the swarm of small boats, this LCS with a 57 mm, a twin 30mm (or 2?) and a brace of 25mm cannon, plus 4 x .50 cals, can deal with that. At the end of WWII the Japanese had swarms of suicide boats, the US answer was DE’s, fitted out with swarms of twin .50 cals, see the one in Albany that the NY naval militia got back from the Greeks, her WWII armament still in place.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            No one is claiming mine warfare is unimportant. The question is whether you need a half-billion dollar speedboat to deal with it.

            As for small boat swarms, far easier and more effective to address tgis threat with airborne assets. Helos and strike-fighters.

    • PaulSevere

      I gotta OTH SSM missile, you gotta OTH SSM missile. I gotta OTH radar, you gotta OTH radar. But I have helos that see you at and beyond the max range of the SSM’s. Who wins?

  • publius_maximus_III

    Don’t forget to step on the clutch, and say a little prayer, before changing gears.

  • Paul

    Different variant, but the USS Detroit is in Detroit, MI for her commissioning this week. She is bare bones at the moment with just the 57mm and the RAM launcher, not sure what mission package she is getting but she definitely doesn’t have the 30mm cannons installed as of today. I was in line for a tour but there was no way I was going to make it in the time I had…

    • Lazarus

      The Sea Frames are only delivered with the 57mm and the SeaRAM as installed weapons. The 30mm guns are part of the interim surface warfare package. They are to be supplemented with Hellfire missiles by the beginning of 2017.

      • Paul

        Ah. Thanks for the clarification, I wasn’t sure if the intention was to add the 30mm guns as part of the standard weapons load-out for the whole class from now on due to all the criticism or if the 30mm guns are only ever intended for the Surface Warfare Module. The Detroit doesn’t have the SeaRAM yet, just the regular RAM launcher, maybe they will switch it out in the near future. As much as these ships are maligned it was rather interesting to see the Detroit close up. I would have loved to have gotten on board for a tour.

  • John B. Morgen

    It would have been better if two DDGs were assigned to the Singapore Station, and not one LCS. The LCS is no match to go up against the modern PLAN.

    • Lazarus

      Is any one US ships “a match” for the PLA (single or multiple ships?) Ship verses ship engagements happen in video games, but not much in real life. Basing two DDG’s in Singapore would require a major revision to the status of forces agreement. It would cost big bucks to base the crew families there as well. LCS with rotational crews (who don’t need a housing area, an NEX, a bowling alley, ect) is a much better choice.

      • John B. Morgen

        Basing two or more DDGs is not an issue because such agreements can be amended that reflects the new changes. As for building a base that has family housing, etc., that is really immaterial, if not irrelevant—a non-issue because national security overrides such issues. Next, video games, really? No one cannot predict any naval engagements on the high seas; however, a PLAN DDG is a lot more powerful than one LCS. As for basing LSC in Singapore, is really about sitting up a trip-wire that the PLAN might be force to attack; thus, drawing China into a war with the United States.

        • Lazarus

          SOFA’s are NOT easy to change and major base additions are not “immaterial.” Try getting Japan or Singapore to accept more US sailors. Try building new facilities in these places (some of the most expensive in Asia.) I am really surprised by the number of people who really think that “ship verses ship” engagements are remotely possible except perhaps when one of the ships is a submarine.

          Any US/PRC war has the potential to escalate to a nuclear conflict, something I do not believe Chinese authorities have any desire to undertake.

          • John B. Morgen

            As for bases in Asia, and yes, Singapore is quite expensive but not impossible to overcome. Of course, then we have Vietnam as a possible candidate, for basing American warships.
            Then we have the last issue which is quite laughable, there is [no] reason that there might not be ship to ship engagements— besides involving submarines. During World War II there were many ship to ship engagements besides squadrons vs. squadrons.

          • Lazarus

            Overcoming status of forces agreements (or creating new ones in Communist states) is far from easy. LCS is not designed to be operated as a single combatant but rather as a flotilla of 3 ships. Modern warships (and LCS in particular) rely on network connections to augment its own limited on-board sensors and weapons.

          • John B. Morgen

            A flotilla or squadron of three warships is not the best method for naval operations because a four warship formation or diamond shape formation offers a much better protection. As for the LCS itself, it is poor design or concept if it cannot operate alone than one Burke DDG. The Navy has no business of sending alone LCS into areas that could easy turned into hot zones. Therefore, the White House Administration is just using the LCS as a trip-wire against the aggressive PLAN.

          • Secundius

            Depend on WHAT the Make-Up of the “Flotilla” Actually Is? The LCS’s are having a “Identity Crisis”, because Nobody Knows EXACTLY What They Are? If Each of the Three Ships are Given Duty Assignments, and Yet Act as a Single Ship with the SAME Capabilities of “All Three Ships Combined”. So a Two Ship Protective Consort of One Ship Assigned to Perform a Single Task (or Each Protecting the Other)…

          • John B. Morgen

            I have said this before, and I will say it again, the LCS are actually ocean going gun boats (PG), or sloops. The Navy should review history of the ocean going gun boats’ mission statements from the last century, and those records will answer the Navy’s question; plus, also resolved this [“identity Crisis”].
            As for three ship formations, it reminds me of typical B-17 bomber formations that were used during World War II. We lost many B-17s during the war.

          • Secundius

            Saw a Recent article where Mabus wants to buy at Total of 80 LCS’s. Three Stagger Groups of 18 planes each, with a Separation between Groups of ~2,000-feet. At Least Three Gun Ship’s per Group (Double Gun Armament, but NO Bombs).

            One of my Uncles was an “8 Baller” (Ball Turret Gunner) in the 8th Air Force, Europe…

          • John B. Morgen

            The Secretary of the Navy is much better off building more Arleigh Burke class DDGs than building 80 sloops/gun boats. A DDG is far better than one LCS. What the good Secretary of the Navy should be doing is designing an a new but better Burke class DDG class; maybe an enlarge variant for a new cruiser class. What I see is throwing away good taxpayers’ dollars, for something the was tried during the 1930’s which failed because the Navy realized such small warships were no match to the Imperial Japanese Navy cruisers. Therefore, the Navy cut their losses short, and started building cruisers. And now the Navy is facing the same problem all over again. The Secretary of the Navy is about to repeat naval history all over again…..Sorry!

          • Secundius

            Let’s Face It! If you want a 600-ship Navy, or Something Approaching that “Magical Number”. Your going to Build Small, Cheap, and Mass Producible. Which Certainly Leave Out the “Arleigh Burke’s” with their “Near Two Year Construction Runs”…

          • John B. Morgen

            The Arleigh Burkes DDGs are the central core for any new Navy; therefore, those DDGs would be required. However, any eccentric warships, such as the Admiral Zumwalt, Ford and also LCS would not be part of the new Navy in large numbers due to many reasons that could [not] be affordable. The Navy must review all other navies, and take prudent action by building counter-part warships that are slighly superior than the foreign counter-parts; and no more eccentric [Starships]. The new Navy should only build diesel or gas turbine powered warships, and not eccentric powered warships like the LCS.

            For submarines, two types of submarines: one nuclear powered submarines will continue; however, two (AIP) submarines will be the majority built. The newer SSBNs would be increase to 24 hulls, but with fewer SLBM tubes. More hulls at sea the better for our enemies to guess.

            Next, 15 super aircraft carriers (CVB), but would have three [standardized] aircraft carriers (CVs) per one CVBN. The CVs will be powered by gas turbines, and will be about the size between the Essex (CV-9) and the Midway (CVB-41).

            As for the costs, the Navy budget would be slightly higer than what it is now, but no more expenive eccentic warships that may or may not work.

            For costal patrol craft or fast attack craft (FAC), copy Allied counter-parts, or revist the PHM Program.

          • Secundius

            My Understanding is the NEXT 15 Aircraft Carriers, has been reduced to JUST 10.

            Also as a Side Note British Aircraft Carrier WON’T be Commissioned until 2020 and 2023 respectively. Because Aircraft Elevator Modifications to accept the Weight of a CH-47F Chinook Helicopter. Also Peacetime Air Complement has be reduced from 48 BK.3’s (F/AV-35B’s) to JUST 12 plus an Assortment of Westland WAH-64 Apaches and Westland Wildcat (Sea Lynx) Helicopters…

          • John B. Morgen

            I read somewhere from one of my defense journals that the Royal Navy has decided to give their two aircraft carriers dual roles: strike and amphibious assault missions. A big sign that the Royal Navy will be scale down even more. The British are not going to have much of a Royal Navy, if this downsizing of the Fleet continues even further.

          • Secundius

            There DELAYING Commissioning Dates for the QE until 2020 and POW until 2023. To Strengthen Flight Deck and Lift Elevators to Accommodate the CH-47F Chinook Helicopter. As in the Assault Ship Role, Wing Group Complement is Reduced to Just (12) BK.3’s (F/A-35B’s) and a Assortment of Chinooks, Apaches, Merlin’s and Wildcats (Sea Lynx). And Maybe a Flight Deck Accommodations for Some “Type” of LST’s. Either THAT, or WE (the USA) Making Up the Differences to the Air Complement…

          • John B. Morgen

            I wonder these two CV/LHAs will be able to operate our CH-53Es, for joint operations.

          • Secundius

            Unless they Changed the Air Group Configuration, the Assault Ship Role is to Include (4) Sikorsky CH-53K’s. But as in a Sea Control Ship Role NO Helicopters and with up to (22) F/AV-35B’s…

          • John B. Morgen

            Twenty-two strike/fighter complement is a bit small for SCS operations; the British must be reducing the size of the hangar deck to take on troops.

          • Secundius

            Nay,Nay! I was referring to Wasp/America classes as a SCS’s. Because that WAS and/or IS their Secondary Mission Requirement Role. As to WHY the UK decided to a Peacetime Complement of ONLY 12 BK.3’s (F/AV-35B’s) is Any Body’s Guess. But I Suspect that Israel Getting Theirs First, Had a Lot to do about the Decision Making Process. Considering the F/A-35A’s and “B’s” Share Many of the Same Components in Production…

          • John B. Morgen

            If that is the case, then the Royal Navy should have purchased two modified USS Americas than changing construction details during mid-point for their two nearly completed aircraft carriers; because such changes will delay the Royal Navy from having an affective striking force.. As for aircraft, the F-35B is the much better aircraft than the other variants because the F-35B does not really need a full flight deck for taking off. The Navy should cancel its F-35C program, and switch over to the F-35Bs

  • Notice the Harpoon canisters on the fore deck behind the gun mount. Cheap and easy fix for more fire power.

    • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

      Cheap and easy perhaps. The verdict is still out on whether it actually works.

      Four ASCMs on a 4,000 ton ship is hardly impressive. Not when ships that are much smaller carry 2x as many missiles.

      • Lazarus

        Yes, but other 3500 ton ships are not equipped to carry two helicopters or have massive mission bays where a number of other systems might be installed. Different ship, different mission.

        • Secundius

          Their probably going to Have to Reduce Module Size from Existing TEU’s (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) to a More Manageable “Stanflex” Module. For the Simple Reason of Maneuverability Aboard Ship. The “Indy” has a Edge on the Freedom class, because of it’s Inter Deck Module/Cargo Elevator…

        • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

          LCS have not deployed with two helicopters. It is unclear if both ship types can do so.

          The mission module bays are largely empty. And are unlikely to be filled with anything useful for high-end warfare for some time.

          Modularity without working modules is just empty space.

          • Secundius

            Second Helicopter Bay is for Two MQ-8B Drone Fire Scout Helicopters. Two Flight Crews are Carried Aboard Ship, One for Each Helicopter Platforms Carried…