Home » Budget Industry » UPDATED: Pentagon Requests Just 1 Littoral Combat Ship in FY 2018 Budget Despite Navy’s Industrial Base Concerns


UPDATED: Pentagon Requests Just 1 Littoral Combat Ship in FY 2018 Budget Despite Navy’s Industrial Base Concerns

Sioux City (LCS-11) during the ship’s moveout at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine yard in Wisconsin. Lockheed Martin photo.

This post has been updated to include information from the Pentagon and Navy press conferences on the FY 2018 budget.

THE PENTAGON – The Navy intends to buy just one Littoral Combat Ship in Fiscal Year 2018 – in line with its previous long-range shipbuilding plans but not enough to keep the two yards currently building LCSs open and competitive in the upcoming frigate competition.

The Navy has repeatedly said it would have to buy three LCS hulls a year to sustain the workforce at Austal USA and Fincantieri Marinette Marine. However, its long-range shipbuilding plans were previously trimmed to two this current fiscal year and one a year going forward to keep in line with a December 2015 Pentagon decision to truncate the LCS program and move to a new frigate instead. The frigate program was recently pushed back by a year, though, from a planned 2019 start to 2020, putting Austal and Marinette in a precarious position if the Navy were to follow through with the Pentagon’s plans to only purchase one ship a year in 2018 through 2020.

Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley told USNI News earlier this month that Austal and Marinette would have to compete in a full and open competition for the frigate contract in 2020, but he noted they may have an advantage in that they have hot production lines with the reduced costs that come along with that – giving them a potential quality and cost advantage over other bidders without production experience. Breaking their production line, however, would put people out of work and hurt their chances of winning frigate work.

In December 2016, when Stackley was serving as the Navy’s acquisition chief, he told USNI News that having a continuous, steady backlog of work was vital to the health of the shipyards.

“If the shipyard doesn’t have a backlog, it’s out of business,” he said, adding that the 2017 contract awards keep the yard busy through 2020 or 2021 but that new ships must continue to be awarded to keep the workforce and the suppliers busy.

“What that means is, the day you award that last ship, you’re going to start laying people off, and you’re going to lay them off until they’re gone. You’re going to lay them off in the sequence in which you build the ship. So when you are going to build another ship, if you are going to stop production and build another ship, you’ve lost your skilled labor and you’ve got to rebuild it,” he said, which would apply to the LCS to frigate transition, as an Marinette- or Austal-built frigate would be based off the Freedom- or Independence-variant LCS, respectively.
“Where that [pause in production] has occurred [in previous shipbuilding programs] we have experienced extreme cost delays and quality issues. So that is something that we as a Navy, we as a nation do not choose to do. We do not want to lay off skilled labor and then try to rehire them a couple years later to restart production.”

Asked to confirm that LCS and frigate contracts would have to be awarded heel-to-toe, Stackley replied, “unless you want to put the shipyard out of business.”

Littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) patrols the Pacific Ocean during flight operations in the 7th Fleet area of operation on Oct. 6, 2016. US Navy photo.

Program Executive Officer for LCS Rear Adm. John Neagley said at a conference in January that keeping the hot production lines would be important for the frigate program – though at the time the competition was still limited to just Austal and Marinette.

“Leveraging a hot production line is kind of a key strategy for us. In terms of LCS, we have two production lines at two shipyards; taking advantage of that investment that already has occurred in the shipyards both from a people standpoint and infrastructure standpoint is important,” Neagley said.

In a budget rollout briefing today, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Budget Rear Adm. Brian Luther told USNI News that the decision to buy only one ship was not meant to affect the industrial base. Rather, he said, the Navy is still counting on both yards remaining viable for the frigate competition.

“The intent is to have two shipyards competitive in 2020. The Navy seeks to have a competitive bidding process,” he said.

Asked about balancing industrial base health concerns with Defense Secretary James Mattis’ directive to focus on fleet wholeness and readiness in 2018 and growth only in 2019, Luther said, “the guidance was fix, fill the holes for ’18, but the industrial base is a consideration, for the shipyards, for airplanes, for weapons. So we – the direction was clear – we filled the holes first. And as we go forward for the future we will look at the industrial base. And we will conduct a review to ensure we understand truly what a minimum sustain rate is for an acquisition program, and then we will review what is sustainable. The goal for the Navy is to have both shipyards available to compete for the [frigate] competition down the road, so we would respond accordingly in the out-years if it was necessary.”

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), who represents the Marinette Marine shipyard that builds Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-variant LCS, wrote a letter directly to President Donald Trump on May 12 to request funding for three ships in 2018, and the letter implies that reduced funding now would lead to rapid layoffs – meaning that the Navy trying to address industrial base health concerns in 2019 or later would be too late.

“In Wisconsin, only two LCS in FY18 would result in approximately 450 direct shipyard worker layoffs, or 20 percent of the workforce at the yard, and a total of 1,200 jobs lost across the state. Only one LCS in FY18 could result in up to 800 layoffs at the shipyard, or 36 percent of the workforce, and a total of 1,850 jobs lost across the state,” reads her letter.

“Layoffs of this magnitude would have dire impacts on the ability of the Marinette shipyard and supply chain to compete for the Navy’s Frigate, which will soon follow the LCS,” she continues.
“That would result in reduced competition in the Frigate acquisition, driving up costs to the taxpayer, and harm to our national security by undercutting the strength of our domestic industrial base. Indeed, Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley has testified about the importance of preserving industrial base jobs, noting that a failure to do so will ultimately harm the American taxpayer in the form of increased cost and decreased quality.”

Lawmakers like Baldwin may be able to force the Pentagon’s hand, though. This current fiscal year, the Navy requested just two LCSs, in line with the trimmed-down long-range shipbuilding plan. Lawmakers added funding for a third to sustain the industrial base. With the House and Senate armed services committees already pushing for much more defense spending than the Trump administration previewed in its “skinny budget” in March – HASC chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said he wanted to see about $40 billion more for defense than the administration called for – LCS spending is sure to be a hot issue to watch this summer.

  • PolicyWonk

    The fault for the budgetary outlay for only 1 of the so-called “littoral combat ship” variants falls squarely on the shoulders of the LCS program office (and therefore the USN itself).

    Always controversial due to: staggering costs; poor ROI; high complexity; lack of room for growth (either to enhance protection or additional weapons); less-than stellar reliability; questionable survivability characteristics; and ill-considered design choices.

    Astonishingly, despite the designation of these ships, the nation is still left (after spending $34B) without either a littoral combat platform or the basis for a reasonable frigate.

    The only justification for keeping two hot production lines open for these floating white elephants is to keep people employed, when the USN, if it were at all serious, would’ve downsized to one of these sea-frames by the time the first four (“experimental”) hulls were built when the differences became clear.

    Granted, the choices are between one highly innovative and simpler approach built from aluminum, or a more traditional, but more complex/unreliable mono-hull built with a lot more steel. But two completely different logistical tails, training facilities, etc., represents gross negligence and a careless disregard for the wasteful spending of taxpayer funds.

    Those responsible should be held accountable.

    • Rocco

      Agreed kudos!

    • Lazarus

      There is no fault in PEO LCS re the budget outlay. LCS is being produced well under mandated Congressional cost caps and as designed in the mature (post LCS 5/6) design. Your comments are just repeating GAO’s criticisms of the class. Those critiques represent a different design philosophy and are not inherently right or wrong. The navy made a different choice in LCS (as opposed to past ships) with modular weight/space (SWaP-C) margins rather than built-in ones. Preserving the nation’s shrinking shipyard industrial base is also of value, if it wants to ever build large numbers of ships in wartime.

      There is no negligence or malfeasance at work here; only a different choice than the 1950’s-era design concepts supported by GAO.

      • PolicyWonk

        Hogwash.

        The cost caps are all but irrelevant when it comes to spending money on a pair of sea-frames that are so woefully inadequate. I’m not merely repeating the GAO’s criticisms – I’m also repeating the comments of the former CNO (Adm. Greenert), and the concerns of the USN’s own inspector general, DOT&E, and other industry analysts (let alone my own).

        I just love how people claim they’re saving money by insisting that the so-called “littoral combat ship(s)” are “cheap” compared to a Zumwalt or Burke, as if thats some kind of justification for spending so much money on such an ill-conceived waste of taxpayer funds (unless of course, you’re one of the recipients of these obvious corporate welfare programs – which you are, or were).

        I don’t blame you for wanting to defend what could be years of your work – and you’re clearly a bright guy – but sooner or later you’ve got to realize that the LCS program is a bona-fide stinker that costs a huge amount of money that ultimately delivers a very small benefit to the taxpayers (let alone the navy).

        The idea itself wasn’t a bad one – but the execution was horrible by any standard. And absconding with the funds intended for the streetfighter program to build a pair of sea-frames that simply aren’t suitable for littoral combat is (IMO) an unconscionable act on the part of the LCS program office (let alone not including NECC in the requirements definition for a supposed “littoral combat” platform).

        I believe the USN in some cases had the right idea w/r/t modularity, etc. But the execution of the idea was simply awful – especially in this case. And here we are after blowing $34B, and we still have no littoral combat platform.

        Sad.

        • Lazarus

          Woefully inadequate for what? High end combat? DOT&E has suggested that the CG47 and DDG51 are inadequate for “high end combat.” LCS is an excellent value at $479m a unit, as compared with $694m for the latest NSC, and the projected $1b+ costs for even a moderately-armed ASW/ASUW frigate. ADM Greenert never said that LCS was a problem; where do you get that? I will not argue that execution of a modular combatant has been difficult, but many of the organizations you mentioned (GAO, DOT&E, etc) are responsible for resisting that concept regardless of LCS’s status. The cost has been very light in comparison with other historical efforts such as the AEGIS program that was 10 years late and $1b over budget for the first ship in 1979!

          • PolicyWonk

            Woefully inadequate as warships – that’s what. Or weren’t you paying attention?

            LCS is a complete waste of money: the program should’ve been shut down over a decade ago, and those responsible prosecuted for defrauding the taxpayers. That price you quote doesn’t include any “mission package”, the cost of which significantly increases the price to exceed that of our allies high-end frigates.

            Adm. Jonathan Greenert himself, admitted in an interview on Breaking Defense, that the so-called “littoral combat ship” was “never intended to venture into the littorals to engage in combat”. Go and look – its probably still in their archives.

            Then go an read the assessment from the naval arms expert (which followed soon after) w/r/t what kind of improvements could be made to LCS regarding increasing armament or protection. The answer there was equally disturbing, because very little can be done without severely compromising the performance of these hideously expensive admirals water-skiing barges.

            As I and others have told you, and as has been reported by every auditing agency that have reviewed these so-called “littoral combat ships” and scorching them every time in the process, they simply aren’t worth the price.

  • NavySubNuke

    I fully expect congress to add at least one hull back in as part of their mark up but that is simply to preserve jobs and add a little pork to the pot and get more votes.
    At least DoD is doing the right thing and trying not to waste too much money on these over priced and under capable wastes.

    • Rocco

      If you ask me the allocation should of went to a sub!!

  • Javafanatic

    Didn’t Saudi just ink a deal for LCS? Me thinks thou may protest too much. I suspect whichever hull the saudi’s buy the other yard will get the US order. Not rocket science.

    • The one armed man

      They bought the Freedom variant.

      • PolicyWonk

        A heavily modified, extended, far better armed and protected version, which is also at a better price point.

        • tpharwell

          They have not bought anything yet. The announcement is of a deal that includes presidential approval of a 4 ship sale. That approval had already been given by Obama. So it has merely been ‘re-presented’ as it were. And apparently the Saudis have yet to rise to the bait, as there is not so much as a letter of engagement between the parties, or non-binding “Letter of Offer and Acceptance”. See the Defense One article on the subject. Not surprising, since the ship will have to be completely redesigned.

          In the meantime, it has been reported that the Saudis are negotiating with the Turks to buy the upcoming Turkish MILGEM corvette which bears more than a passing resemblance to a Freedom LCS.

          “Not rocket science”, indeed. Simply an arab playing one foreigner against another.

          • PolicyWonk

            This is what’s known as “negotiating”. The Saudi’s are not obligated to buy from the USA, and it is fully within their rights to seeks another deal, or purchase from someone else.

        • The one armed man

          I know.

  • ElmCityAle

    Despite all the calls for more analysis of the requirements for another class of ship like a frigate (and whether such a class is needed – simmer down, frigate fan-boys, simmer down), the momentum of the Saudi selection of Lockheed Martin’s Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) upgunned LCS may be a strong push in that direction for the US Navy’s choices. One would hope that design will de-emphasize top speed and improve survivability.

  • RobM1981

    Take a look at that picture of Coronado.

    It’s pretty “Low Observable,” wouldn’t you say?

    Except for one teeny detail. You see those harpoon tubes, slapped on as an afterthought, on the foredeck? You might as well hang a radar reflector from the yardarm.

    At what point is anyone going to hear us when we say “This is a Class A Bad Design?” We don’t care if the builders “aren’t competitive.” It’s not the the taxpayers’ job to keep a shipyard competitive. It’s not our responsibility to bail them out if they go bankrupt. We can’t fire the USN, even though this was their specification, but that doesn’t mean that we taxpayers have to eat all of this madness.

    Saudi Arabia is buying this? I’m sure glad that this isn’t a purely political move by them… ahem.

    The Hull Is Too Small for any reasonable definition of a worthwhile mission. It is weak against other hulls. It is weak against aircraft. It is weak against submarines. If it didn’t have a hangar, it would have very little value beyond a Cyclone.

    Good grief, now we’re supposed to feel bad that it’s not a success?

    • Rocco

      The ship was never intended to be stealth. Saudis aren’t buying that version!!

    • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

      It is just 20% shorter than a Burke, yet is 60% wider.

      this ship is huge!

      Sure, it cannot do anything, but one thing it isn’t is small.

      • RobM1981

        The larger of the two LCS’s displace about 3,500 tons. The smaller, more like 2,500.

        A Burke displaces around 9,000 tons or more.

        Thus it is fair to say that the LCS is usually 1/3 the size of a Burke.

        The old OH Perry’s displaced over 4,000 tons.
        The Knox’s did, too.

        It is absolutely fair to say that the LCS is too small to be a Frigate. It is hardly better armed than a Cyclone, once you remove the hangar. Without the hangar the LCS – either design – is a gunboat. It cannot effectively engage any blue water threat, and would struggle in the Littorals if confronted with a modern submarine.

        Stop building them; convert the remaining units to minesweepers and armed auxiliaries, and be done with this nonsense.

        • Lazarus

          Having served on an FFG 7 and a Cyclone I disagree with your comparisons. LCS is not a “light destroyer” such as the FFG 7’s were when completed. The perry’s were in fact the largest “frigate” class ships of any navy (including that of the USSR) in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s. LCS is a step back toward an actual low end surface ship, but it still rates as a frigate. Its 57mm and 30mm guns, SeaRAM, and now Harpoon and Longbow Hellfire certainly qualify it as a frigate.

          • RobM1981

            Frigates have been Light Destroyers since Destroyers stabilized as a concept. In the post-sail world, that’s what a frigate is. We even referred to them as Destroyer Escorts through WWII.

            You define it as what I would call a gunboat, or perhaps a small corvette.

            A 57mm main armament is a gunboat weapon. Check the Wiki for that particular unit and see what hulls it is normally mounted on. Minelayers, Gunboats. Missile boats. Patrol craft.
            Corvettes. OK, so Canada uses it as the main armament on their Halifax class… c’mon, really?

            The Harpoons were added only after pressure from the public and, as I opened this discussion, significantly reduce one of the main design principles of LO. You can, as has been shown many times, bolt the harpoon quad-tube-launcher onto just about anything.

            SeaRAM is a PDS, not an AAW system. Only on LCS is it referred to as anything more than a CIWS/PDS.

            Hellfire is an anti-tank weapon, with the range of an anti-tank weapon, and the warhead of an antitank weapon. .

            There is no standard sonar suite on either design. “There’s room to add that module” is all we get.

            If you define these capabilities as being a frigate, then you define it as a frigate. I do not.

            The FFG 7’s were successful, even if their AAW armament proved to be unreliable and expensive. You served on one – was all of the press wrong? They had a great reputation.

            They shipped both hull mounted and towed array sonar. They could steam with the fleet. They could escort merchants and provide protection against anything on, above, or below the waves – certainly more than the LCS can.

            The Burke’s are the benchmark against which all destroyers are measured, at this point. What’s wrong with wanting a smaller, less expensive version?

    • mrbinga

      While I agree with much of what you say and your overall sentiment the issue of maintaining our industrial base, vis-a-vis the procurement of high end military hardware, is a huge, huge concern, it really can’t be overstated. It’s an issue that most lay people seem to have absolutely no concept of. There’s only a handful of facilities located in the entire U.S. with the necessary infrastructure and trained workforce to build surface combatants. You allow one or two to go into bankruptcy then the DOD has even fewer options when it comes to procurement.

      • RobM1981

        I understand, and I have more than a concept of it. I’ve worked in the industry.

        I also know that it leads to abuses. Lockheed, just today, decided to take their ball and go home wrt the OTH ASuW missile. Boeing did the same thing awhile back.

        I expect and demand more from my Congress and the Navy that they fund. As it is, we have not one but two insanely specified LCS designs. Why? Because we need to keep the industrial base whole… or at least that’s the reason given.

        OK, but what about the debt? The National Debt? We are in a $20 Trillion hole (charitably counted). Most lay people have no concept what this means, either – even though they are on the hook to pay it, or suffer the consequences of the “innovative ways” it will be defaulted on without calling it default. Euphemisms like “haircut,” and “soak” will be used, for sure.

        More than ever, the United States needs extreme accountability on choosing weapons systems. Keeping the industrial base whole can factor into it, but not at the expense of our children’s economic future. What is the Navy defending, again? An economic wasteland?

        The LCS is a loser. It’s a gunboat with a hangar. It’s not even, charitably, a Corvette. It was never meant to be a Frigate, and to paint it as one now is madness.

        No, cut the losses and end it. Shift production to a new design.

        Has Ingalls been designing their own replacement, without being asked? Have they taken any of the treasure that they have been given, and it is a mountain of treasure, and invested it in a follow on? Everyone knows that LCS is a badly specified idea. Whether it is well built or not, it’s a bad idea.

        History is replete with weapons designed without first being specified by the government. Ingalls has more than enough money to be ahead of this, and to offer their employees work on a true Frigate by fast-tracking the idea through procurement.

        Not that this would ever happen. No, the process is different now. Many palms must be “shaken.” Many processes must be met. Much bureaucracy must be waded through, if just to keep the bureaucrats employed. They, like the industrial base, must be kept whole, right?

        And the net is that the taxpayers add another boulder to their kids’ backs. More debt for less Navy.

        Yeah, I get the concept just fine.

        • mrbinga

          Like I said in my prior post there’s not much, if anything, that I really disagree with you about. Rather it’s just that often times I see individuals, not necessarily you, make flippant comments about how some particular aspect of the budget or a specific program should be cut some arbitrary number that they pulled out of thin air without consideration to the consequences on the industrial base.

          On a related note, since the industrial revolution how often do defense companies actually design and put into production high end weapons without some sort of hard proposal put forward by a government, U.S. or otherwise? I seem to remember that the Northrop F-5 was a private venture and hasn’t Ingalls floated a couple of frigate variants based upon their National Security Cutter?

          The incredible deficits that the U.S. has incurred aren’t a byproduct out of control defense spending or weapons procurement. Last time I bothered to look of the $4 trillion or so in total annual expenditures by the federal government well less than a fifth of that goes towards the Pentagon and of that somewhere around $100 billion or so actually goes towards the procurement of new hardware.

          That all being said I don’t believe that Congress and the Pentagon have been as good of stewards of the taxpayer’s money as they could or should’ve been. I’m as dubious on the LCS and the F-35 as the next guy.

  • @USS_Fallujah

    Intelligent gamble by the Navy to fully fund the O&M accounts and count on the appropriators to add in the additional ships. I expect they’ll eventually get 3 LCS for FY18 and maybe another DDG, of course the eventual appropriation might not be signed into law for 9-12 months from now given recent success in funding the government, and a CR would continue at the FY17 number that included 3 DDGs and 3 LCS (though the CVN & LHA procurement would be a mess).

    • @USS_Fallujah

      Correcting myself, the 3 DDGs were in FY16, not FY 17 – so no help there.

  • Angie Nathan

    I assure you that the last group of people that any decision maker cares about is “skilled labor”. It appears that a company rating site Glass Door dumped most of the entertaining employee feedback reviews of Marinette Marine about a year ago . If anyone wanted a good laugh (or cry) one could read an individuals reaction as to how that company treats its employees. In fairness to Glass Door, Marinette Marine went through a name change adding Fincanieri recently which may have caused old posts to disappear.
    How many of these “skilled laborers” are actually skilled? Does time on the job account for an increase in skill level? Anyhow does a “hot production line” need protection if it produces a lacking product? It makes me sick that these mega corporations abuse their workforce as their elected representatives do nothing to advocate for better working conditions. But as soon as the purse strings appear to be closing on a white collar gravy train there is a chorus of wailing to have pity on the poor working man.
    Tammy Baldwin, since the NLRB has traditionally treated the construction of a new Navy ship as a public works why have workers at Fincantieri Marinette Marine been making less than $12.00 per hour? I guess Davis Bacon is of no concern and they should just be lucky to have a job.

  • vincedc

    The sad part is that one of these companies is still going to walk away with a hefty profit, in spite of this corporate welfare.

  • Joe Tenaglia

    Since the thread on ship names has been closed, I am respectfully requesting the Navy reconsiders the criteria for the naming of new class of TAO’s. I think many would share my opinion there are more appropriate names than Harvey Milk, Lucy Stone or Sojurner Truth for naval vessels.. Maybe we should consider naming them former logistic ships or by the merchant mariners who were who were killed in the service of their country during past wars.

  • @USS_Fallujah

    Interesting side note as OMB/DON look at adding a 2nd LCS to the FY18 budget, the future year projections for the FFG(X) program have estimated “Gross/Weapon System Unit Cost” of $1,201m in FY20, $1,155, in FY21 (both 1 ship only) and $1,030m for 2 ships in FY22.

    Only asking for 1 LCS/year for ’18-21 and an outlay of $1.0-1.2B per year for the FFG tell me they hedging their bets on the FFG(X) being a NSC or Foreign-based design rather than LCS (given the Gross/Weapon System Unit Cost for the last 3 LCS are $562m, $636m & $655m, respectively.
    In fact based on rumors of the previous AoA an FFG derived from the DDG-51 program would have a per hull cost of ~$1b (I’m assuming Aegis “light” and removal of aft VLS, but retaining VDS & Aviation capability), but equally likely a NSC based FFG(X) with the above capabilities added would cost about the same (plus significantly greater range than the DDG-51 version, but not utilizing the existing DDG logistics train – also no idea what a comparison on the manning requirements would be for a DDG vs NSC based FFG).

  • Curtis Conway

    Just like the new emphasis in the national budget is assuming a position and perspective of the payers into the program receiving a reasonable benefit (return on their investment in our defense), so too this Defense Budget should look at the US Navy (one of the custodians of the customer’s treasure, and caretaker of the nation’s security) and its ability to make sure we are receiving combat capable vessels in the most likely scenario that these vessels will be required to face in the future. Crying in ones soup about welders and ship-fitters jobs that are building a ship that cannot defend itself in combat is NOT a good investment, and does nothing to increase the nation’s defense, and in fact will cost our most precious blood (soldiers, sailors, airman, and Marines) when combat comes. “Leveraging a hot production line…” is not an argument or advantage when the platform in question will fail in its mission in combat and cost our sailors lives.
    Is the nation’s shipbuilding industrial base important? Absolutely, for those who build Surface Combatants that can actually perform their function as a ‘Surface Combatant’ doing the job. The LCS cannot, even in the frigate configuration currently proposed, except within the context that was the redefinition of a Small Surface Combatant by the US Navy in that old and no longer valid assumption of the ‘safer world’ we were supposed to be fostering and defending. The planet is a much more dangerous place, and was started to become so BEFORE the last administration took the reigns, then the last administration added its aberrant definition of what national defense was, and we are living with the results. Hopefully, this new administration, and its instructions to the mechanism Defense, will take a new direction of actually defending These United States, meeting our Treaty Obligations, and NEVER placing our sailors in danger, rather placing in their capable hands the tools required to meet the challenges of the future, even in the Arctic/Antarctic.
    If these new shipyards on the Mississippi, and Lake Michigan, truly want to survive as a Small Surface Combatant builder, then they must build something that is worthy, and combat ready in reality, not as currently (aberrantly) defined by the US Navy requirement for the LCS/FF, for that craft was built to cost, and the mission was ill defined.
    A new multi-warfare frigate, based upon a projected 40+ year lifespan hull of the National Security Cutter, of which a half dozen units are already performing superbly in multiple oceans, further strengthened with an Ice-hardened hull for Arctic/Antarctic service, will provide the survivable and upgraded platform with capable systems, for which we are looking.

  • Robert E Walker Jr

    Turn over the Perry class FFG’s to the coast Guard do a refit we already have the hulls use them my question is why two different types of LCS ships looks like no parts interchangeable there I’m sorry but I used to work as a claims adjuster brought up in body shops that FFG with a 5-inch 54 in place of the forward weapons system would give the coast Guard a ship with quite a punch