Home » News & Analysis » SECNAV Memo: Navy Won’t Reactivate Perry Frigates for SOUTHCOM Mission; Will Send Ships to Fight Drug War in 2018


SECNAV Memo: Navy Won’t Reactivate Perry Frigates for SOUTHCOM Mission; Will Send Ships to Fight Drug War in 2018

Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Thach (FFG-43) in 2011. US Navy Photo

The Navy won’t reactivate any Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates in support of operations in U.S. Southern Command, according to an internal service memo obtained by USNI News.

Instead, the service will support SOUTHCOM’s anti-trafficking missions with Littoral Combat Ships and Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transports (T-EPF) through a commitment to support the Joint Interagency Task Force South by next year, according to the Dec. 5 memo from Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson.

“We discussed the idea of reactivating FFG-7 ships, but the process of evaluating alternatives identified better solutions using LCS and T-EPF ships,” wrote Spencer.

Spencer called for four ships to be deployed to the region by next year.

“Multiple demands will require prioritization, but this mission must be in the top priority category for these ships, reversing the prior decision to eliminate support [to SOUTHCOM],” he wrote.
“Since the training areas are close to the operational areas covered by the Task Force, it is likely possible that part of the training profile can be real maritime security tasks likely to be encountered many places in the world.”

Earlier this year, Spencer and Richardson both said the Navy was examining the idea of reactivating some number of the decommissioned frigates as a low-cost solution to support the anti-trafficking operations by JIATF South.

Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer tours the inactive Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate Ex-USS Elrod (FFG-55) during a visit to the Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility at The Navy Yard in Philadelphia. US Navy Photo

However, an internal CNO memo obtained by USNI News found the cost to reactivate the ships could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars per hull. The memo recommended putting more funds in modernizing the Navy’s guided-missile cruisers and into the development of the next-generation frigate program (FFG(X)).

The Navy has not been an active player in the anti-trafficking mission since the Perry’s left the fleet.

Well past their warfighting prime, these frigates provided presence and reconnaissance support to the effort. The ships also hosted U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDET) that had the legal authority to interdict and detain suspected traffickers on the high seas.

USS Freedom (LCS-1) underway in August 2013. US Navy Photo

“This Task Force is a very important element in the control of illegal drug transportation. Navy ceased providing surface ship support at the end of 2015 when the FFG-7 class was retired,” wrote Spencer.
“Since then maritime events have doubled and more growth is expected by the Task Force in the coming years. Clearly the presence of Navy ships had a deterrent effect on the drug transportation process. We must restore this impact now in this vital national priority program.”

Trafficking was considered a mission for at least the Freedom-class LCS early in the program’s history. USS Freedom (LCS-1) transported a Coast Guard LEDET team as part of its first deployment in 2010. As part of the Navy’s shift in the LCS operational vision, all of the LCSs based at Naval Station Mayport, Fla,. will be Freedom-variant hulls.

In addition to committing the ships to SOUTHCOM, Spencer called for equipping both the LCS and the T-EPFs with additional unmanned aerial vehicle capabilities similar to the Scan Eagle UAV arrangement the service used on the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15) to provide additional reconnaissance and communications capabilities.

  • MarlineSpikeMate

    Seems like a great missed training opportunity to have defanged ships doing drug ops / training cruises.

  • DaSaint

    It’s a smart decision. They’re paid for. They’re operating out of Florida. Training combined with real-world drug interdiction makes sense. These are in effect the Littorals after all.

    • MarlineSpikeMate

      I can agree, they certainly are stationed in the two best spots (San Diego and Florida).

  • Old Salt

    Right! They finally found a mission the LCS can actually do-chasing drug trafficers. It’s a good thing they finally got that $374 Million anti-drug trafficer module finally working, it’s took much too long to get the voice of Tony Montana just right (admiral duane would be so proud).

    • Rocco

      Lol!!!⚓️

      • Curtis Conway

        I wonder where SECNAV got the idea from?

        • Rocco

          From us!! I’m actually surprised ! But happy to see some use for the Perry’s ⚓️

    • Duane

      Apparently the Navy thinks the LCS would be more cost-effective to do this one particular mission – supplemental to its other missions of SuW, ASW, and MCM – using a modern ship than an old obsolete frigate. For those LCS homeported in CONUS at Mayport or San Diego, this would seem to be an obvious mission. For those forward deployed to the SCS and Persian Gulf, they’ll serve their original missions as assigned.

    • Rhino601

      Yup, LCS is right up there with that other fierce surface combatant…the T-EPF.

      • leesea

        You jest of course? For the T-EPF is a naval auxiliary with more payload than the LCS~ And a big flight deck

        • Rhino601

          Yes, I jest.

    • Secundius

      USCG order Ten “Freedom” class LCS’s as High-Speed Drug Interdiction Cutters in 2013. The US Congress Turned Down the Request of the order…

  • PolicyWonk

    Might as well give these LCS crews something to do where they won’t as likely be put into mortal danger.

    They are armed about as well as the NSC’s are, and won’t likely improve much in that area until just about the time they’re ready for decommissioning/scrapping.

    • Duane

      Yeah, just the same as the NSCs because the NSCs have long range OTH anti ship missiles with integrated NIFCCA and CANES sensor and fire control systems, along with 24-cell Hellfire launchers and twin Mk 46 30mm mounts and SeaRAM anti-ASM systems, and aircraft deploying Mik 54 torpedoes and 30mm gun mounts and Hellfires and laser designators for the precision guided 57mm gun rounds..

      LOL!

      • Rhino601

        Now do you really think those weapons well be used against drug smugglers?

        LOL!

        • Duane

          That’s not what I wrote in response to the previous commenters untrue statement that the LCS are about as well armed as NSCs – they are clearly far better armed than the NSCs.. The point is that NSCs are not warships, and LCS are warships. It’s all the difference in the world.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            I mean, whether or not you like Duane and LCS, the man is right.

    • Jon

      NSCs actually have a decent FCS…unlike the LCS.

  • Curtis Conway

    The authority has spoken, and a mission for the LCS has been found . . . in SOUTHCOM.

    • Rocco

      Waste to begin with!! LCS

      • Curtis Conway

        I hope they don’t break down off of Venezuela.

        • Rocco

          Why’s that?? Rough ocean?? Or bad guys!

          • PolicyWonk

            Lots of shipping activity near Venezuela – a broken-down LCS would quickly become a hazard to navigation.

            And that’s not a good place for them to be towed to these days (providing their TowBoat US subscription is current).

          • Rocco

            Copy that!! If it happens a Perry can come to it’s rescue!! Lol

        • Lazarus

          There has not been an LCS “break down” since Milwaukee’s computer failure in JAN 2016. That is the only case of an LCS breakdown (unable to make way) underway.

    • Duane

      No – the missions for the LCS remain SuW, ASW, and MCM. This is a supplemental mission, not a replacement mission. Something to do for CONUS-based ships not forward deployed to war zones. The same mission that was previously assigned to the now-retired Perrys when they weren’t forward deployed.

      • @USS_Fallujah

        Not much difference between counter-narcotics and anti-piracy missions. This is a valuble training and proof on concept opportunity for the LCS SuWa package. If successful the an LCS squadron can be deployed to the horn of Africa and provide valuable service, and reduce the need to deploy a far more valuable Burke DDG or Tico CG on that mission. Not saying your getting full value on what has been spend on the LCS being deployed, but it is the role SSC are intended for, so doing it is a value to the fleet.

        • Curtis Conway

          Hear Hear. West Coast of Africa, Straits of Malacca, a few places in the Med, and both coasts of the US, Central and South America. Send the Big Dog Destroyers to do some real work somewhere else.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            A squadron of LCS would likely be a nice capability boost to a SAG/ARG or even at CBG in the SCS or Eastern Med, where they’ll have robust AAW support from Aegis escorts, but putting them up against a near peer adversary alone in a shooting war would be a court-martial offense.

          • Curtis Conway

            Exactly, and ISE in a hot, contested, or even difficult AOR is out of the question. Intel would be the determining factor.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            Not just sending the DDGs elsewhere, but allowing a much better maintenance/training/deployment schedule built around high profile/high value deployments instead of being pulled off training/maintenance periods to fill in COCOMM requests. Not only gives you more availabilities, but a ship better prepared for that deployment and much cheaper to keep up (and also less likely to burn through valuable and expensive to replace crewmen)

      • Curtis Conway

        That’s right. The mission forgotten about when the FFG-7 OHP was withdrawn from service, and all the LCS proponents could talk about was justification for missions on the High Seas. About time the LCS is used in the environment for which it is suited, and its facility can support in a stellar manner. The US Coast Guard still does not want them.

        • Duane

          Of course the USCG does not want to have to pay for warships that actually cost less to buy and operate than their NSCs, because the Navy steps in and says, here’s ours, use them, for free! What a deal.

          I don’t think that this supplemental mission of drug interdiction should be a US Navy mission at all, it is a USCG mission that the USCG should pay for out of their own budget, whether they were free-riding on old obsolete Perry’s or on the new leading edge LCS. That is my opinion, but not apparently the Navy’s opinion.

          And no, the defined mission of the LCS was never law enforcement, which is the USCG’s primary mission, along with safety at sea. The LCS’s prime missions were always, and remain, surface warfare, antisubmarine warfare, and mine countermeasures warfare.

          • Curtis Conway

            Cost less to procure? I’ll give you that one. Own, operate and maintain . . . not on your life, and that is the basis upon which the initial analysis by the USCG rejection was bassed. Not long enough legs, berthing and survivability (watertight integrity & compartmentalization) not up to USCG standards, and not built for 40+ years, can go into the Northern Lattitudes? No, the USCG was not interested in the LCS. They are more than happy to place a LEDET on board, and maybe bring a helo, and small boat crews.

          • Duane

            Operating cost doesn’t get any lower than “free” courtesy of the US Navy and the US taxpayer.

          • Curtis Conway

            The United States Coast Guard is part of the team too. If we are not to build them enough High Endurance Cutters, then we will have to support them as we did with the FFG-7 OHPs . . . a support mission of which the LCS is PERFECT. There are a lot of shallow water parts in and around the Caribbean Basin that is just perfect for them.

            Duane, do you actually know anyone in the US Coast Guard that is command qualified, or ever stood a watch on the bridge of a Cutter?

          • Duane

            The LCS is perfect for this mission, you say, and then in another comment you say the Coast Guard doesn’t want this “perfect ship”.

            I disagree that the LCS is “perfect” for law enforcement missions. It is a warship, not a cop car of the oceans. You don’t send in the Third Armored Division to handle neighborhood policing, and you don’t send in a warship like the LCS to do cop duty on the high seas.

          • Curtis Conway

            Duane, how easily and soon you forget. An LCS ‘Survivability’ is not up to standard, and cannot defend itself in a contested environment, therefore it is a Surface Combatant in NAME ONLY because the US Navy, breaking Faith with our Sailor sons and daughters, has declared it to be so. I would NOT live in a world you would define, create, and try to defend. It is unrighteous to represent the LCS in any other light.

            The US Coast Guard MUST operate within a law enforcement environment, achieve more tasking than they have resources to meet, and operate within the confines of a BUDGET . . . and therefore does not create the ULTIMATE Platform for the task, but have created, manned, and fielded one (the Legend Class High Endurance Cutter) that is Very capable in the task, and that is why the US Navy must provide support.

            Confusing ‘Law Enforcement’ with ‘Combat Operations’ is a mistake OFTEN made by the Liberal Left, and that group that call themselves Moral Democrats, which more often than not is an oxymoron when the truth of the matter is revealed, experienced by our sailors, airmen, soldiers and Marines . . . and that is all I have to say about that.

          • Duane

            No – the LCS most certainly CAN defend itself in a contested environment today. It could not defend itself in an A2/AD environment without area air defense support from CGs or DDGs way back in 2012 when Admiral Greenert made his oft-misquoted statements that always leave out the qualifiers. In the nearly six years since, in case you’be been Rip Van Winkling your way along, the Navy adopted a new naval strategy to counter near-peer navies called “Distributed Lethality”. In adopting that strategy, the Navy upgraded the LCS’s air defenses with SeaRam, far superior to the old Phalanxe, easily handles supersonic ASCMs fielded by any navy … the exact same own ship air defenses now installed on the Ford and will be installed on all new amphibs and even the Arleigh Burke Flight IIIs. And the Navy has added long range offensive firepower with OTH missile integration, fully completed now, on the LCS using a combination of existing inventory medium range Harpoons and this fiscal year (assuming Congress eventually passes a FY-2018 funding bill for DOD) adding long range Kongsberg Naval Strike Missiles, and the year after adding our longest legged ASCM, LRASM.

            So quit repeating your constant untruths about the survivability of LCS in contested environments. It’s fully settled – they are survivable.

          • Curtis Conway

            When one has to parse the argument and definition of details (Letter of the Law) then we KNOW no Spiritual component is in the argument. You Sir would burn our people up like cord wood. When bad things happen, Who is THERE MUST RESPOND. YOU can redefine it in any terms you want, but Combat is COMBAT (period). The front lines on the sea is most often discovered by those on an ISE patrol. Plan for the worse and hope for the best.

          • Duane

            You simply refuse to recognize the facts. You’re so invested in your old outmoded, obsoleted anti-LCS arguments that you simply close your mind to reality. The reality is that LCS is very well defended in contested waters, with both highly effective defensive and offensive weaponry and state of the art sensors and networked comms.

          • Curtis Conway

            Quite to the contrary, I am more than willing to adopt an opinion that the LCS may be able to ‘defend itself’ in some contested environments when sufficiently upgraded, and the Saudi version may be one version of that improvement. That however does not change the construct of the hullform, its seaworthiness in heavy weather, or improve the survivability standard.
            The argument of ‘multi-warfare’ vs ‘greater mission focus’ in one area via mission package installation . . . in this current environment where the responsibilities of, and tasking for the Unified Combatant Commanders have significantly grown . . . combined with the fact that the US Navy Surface Combatant Force Levels are lower than it was at the end of WWI, is compelling me to be more prudent in my judgment and attitude. SAFETY OF OUR CREWS is paramount! Mission effectiveness in WHAT EVER CIRCUMSTANCES they find themselves in, is the issue, and neither you or I are in control of that. Plan for the worse, and hope for the best. Otherwise, you are just gambling with the safety of our forces.

          • El Kabong

            What SAM systems does your Little Crappy Ship carry?

            It can’t defend itself, let alone anyone else.

          • Curtis Conway

            This is what is called being ‘pedantic and argumentative’.

          • leesea

            A dead issue, the USCG already has two major cutters, NSC and OPC, as their Program of Record

          • Rhino601

            I just spoke to the CNO about your concerns…you should expect a call from him in the morning.

          • Duane

            I’m sure he cant wait for your expert advice.

      • kye154

        What Duane is failing to mention: In the navy’s report to the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee, the LCS is not survivable enough for long-range threats, like what China has. (to LCS crews, are you listening? Your navy considers you expendable)! LCS ships are built to the Navy’s survivability category Level I+, higher than Level I patrol craft and mine warfare ships, but lower than the Level II Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate they are replacing. The Navy has said the LCS was designed to pull out of combat upon sustaining damage, (assuming they had no hull breaches or engineering damages). So, forget about all the propaganda about their intended mission assignments. They can only do that when they ask permission from the enemy to return to port to have their pods are switched out. so they can come back to resume the fight with the right weaponry.

        • Duane

          The survivability is based upon the old LCS that lacked both SeaRam, our Navy’s most capable own ship’s anti-ASCM system, and that LCS used to lack offensive weapons to attack ships capable of launching ASCMs, and before NIFCCA and CANES existed that provide networked target sensing and distributed fleet defenses. Those facts have been totally changed around in the last 5 years since old retired Admiral Greenert made his statement that continually gets misquoted and taken out of context.

          • NavySubNuke

            “SeaRam, our Navy’s most capable own ship’s anti-ASCM system”
            That is certainly an interesting opinion. I wonder if we polled 100 SWOs on what they would rather have defending their ship from an incoming ASCM barrage an AEGIS system backed up by SM-6’s or a SeaRam how many (if any) would actually prefer the SeaRam?

          • Duane

            First of all, you’re touting the wrong missile as used on DDGs and CGs.

            The long range (150 to 300 nm) high altitude (up to 110,000 ft) two stage SM 6s are for area air defense, protecting escorted ships, or non-escorted ships operating in the same theater, or other facilities to be protected, from aircraft and ballistic missiles. Or it can also serve as an anti-ship missile. It’s not much good at all for taking out sea skimming ASCMs.

            You do realize, don’t you, that sea skimming ASCMs cannot be sensed by the AEGIS system beyond the horizon? AEGIS is a volume air search sensor for aircraft and ballistic missiles. For surface or near surface targets (measured in a few meters above the waves) beyond the horizon, like sea skimmer ASCMS, AEGIS and the SM-6 simply don’t work. Meaning, all that additional range is useless without airborne look down, synthetic aperture AESA radar sensors on aircraft like the MQ-8 to provide targeting data.

            SeaRam is designed to detect incoming sea skimming ASCMs from the horizon, using a self-contained sensor taken from the Phalanx CIWS, and fires up to 11 supersonic rolling airframe missiles that are highly maneuverable (far more maneuverable than the big heavy SM-6), capable of engaging sea skimming ASCM that remain at wave top, or that popup to go supersonic and drop down to the target, for engagement within 5.1 miles from the ship.

            The anti-ASCM missile on DDGs and CGs is the short to medium range(up to 27 nm) ESSM, which unlike the SM-6, is actually designed to shoot down highly maneuvering ASCMs. Being longer ranged than SeaRam, ESSM provides area air defenses to nearby escorted ships – specifically the CVNs that DDGs and CGs are primarily tasked with escorting as part of CSGs. But, to defend only one’s own ship, SeaRam is more than enough.

          • ElmCityAle

            Duane, I’m not an LCS basher or troll by any accounting, but let’s not oversell the value of a single layer of defense serviced by a single weapon, no matter how good that weapon. LCS would be far better defended in a hostile environment of AS missiles if there was a second layer of defense that extended the perimeter to 20-30 miles as available with ESSM. And, only one variant uses the SeaRAM setup, the other has a RAM launcher with 21 cells and uses the main radar and FCS. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages.

          • Duane

            I’ve not mentioned it before, because SeaRam is the most capable ASCM defense of the LCS, but it is by no means the only ASCM defense.

            Additionally, LCS features the 57mm precision guided ORKA rounds, with 1 meter accuracy and proximity fusing with blast frag warhead, guided by either IR sensor (all ASCMs have large heat signatures) or laser designation (can be provided either shipboard or from any of the three aircraft deployed on LCS), the effective range is 9 nm, and the gun has a very high firing rate (220 rpm, with 120 ready rounds), and is equipped on all LCS regardless of mission module. The ORKA round is demonstrated effective against aircraft as well as surface craft, and a ASCM is an aircraft.

            LCS also features (in the SuW equipped ships) the 24-cell Hellfire launcher. Hellfires, contrary to what many think, is an anti-aircraft missile also, good out to 5 nm, with a dual mode seeker (semi-active laser and mm wave radar) for “fire and forget” operation in all weather, and being supersonic will be effective on sub-sonic ASCMs (as all are when in normal cruise). These missiles are also deployed on the MH-60.

            Also, the LCS carries twin 30mm Mk46 guns, also with high rates of fire (220 rpm) and 400 rounds in the magazines, for short range fires (up to 2 nm). With both electro-optical targeting and laser range finder, integrated with the ship’s fire control system.

            So the LCS actually has four layers of anti-ASCM protection.

          • ElmCityAle

            That is a fascinating perspective that I don’t think would be shared by many people with knowledge in this area of defense. I would offer you the thought that, with the exception of the 57mm gun against a target drone, I don’t believe there has been any testing of those weapons systems in the manner you’ve described. I’ll leave it at that.

          • Secundius

            The 57mm Bofors entered Service in 1962, and is In Use by at Least 22 Countries. I doubt that ANY Navy would Buy a 55-Year Old Gun Design if it Didn’t have any Merit in Performance…

          • Duane

            Yup Secundius. Not only what you said, but the 57mm gun was just an advancement of a much older and highly effective 40mm anti aircraft gun used on our destroyers, cruisers, and battleships very successfully in World War Two. It’s the latest iteration of a very long line of successful anti-aircraft and anti-small surface craft guns that the US Navy has operated with confidence for more than 75 years.

          • Secundius

            As I recall the 57mm Bofors, was “Heavily” Influenced by the British Ordnance QF (Quick Fire) 6-pdr. Class M Auto Loader Mk.III. Which was rated at ~55rpm…

          • Duane

            A cruise missile is an inbound aircraft, just like any other. It has a radar return, and a very large IR signature. It travels just above the waves, and travels at subsonic speeds and does not maneuver. It is a relatively easy target to shoot down when detected. CIWS are specifically designed to shoot down incoming ASCMs. Any ship that comes under fire from ASCMs, once detected, will employ any and all weapons at their disposal.

          • El Kabong

            Wrong.

            Missiles have LO coatings and design features.
            IR signatures?

            Of a small turbojet? LOL!

            “… and does not maneuver.”?

            HILARIOUS!

            Never heard that AShM’s have pop-up, or terminal dive options, have you?

            It’s adorable how you utterly fail to comprehend a multiple missile attack intended to swamp a ship’s defences.

          • NavySubNuke

            “A cruise missile is an inbound aircraft, just like any other. It has a radar return, and a very large IR signature. It travels just above the waves, and travels at subsonic speeds and does not maneuver”
            You should try to familiarize yourself with the attributes of Russian, Chinese, and even Indian cruise missiles sometime. It will prevent you from making such embarrassingly ignorant questions as this.
            Oh and I’ll note that on this threat ECA, EK, and Chesapeake Guy have all chimed in in agreement with me about how you are wrong. I realize that matter to you since your ego prides itself on your willful ignorance but it is certainly rather telling…..

          • Secundius

            Other than the Fact that None of Them are “Surface Skimmers”…

          • Duane

            I’m very familiar. The so-called “supersonics” only go SS in the terminal phase, they spend 95% of their time at subsonic speed. And stupidly, they pop up high and go SS in order to, well, mosly in order to claim they go supersonic, but it only turns them into a big fat juicy target for ESSM or SeaRam, which are also SS and it is far easier to sense and track a high flyer than a wave hugger. Going SS and high completely negates the stealth capability of ASCMs.

            Like you should be talking about ignorance, when in this thread you claimed that the SM-6 was an anti-ASCM weapon. You need to do a lot of penance for that particular goof up, which I took you to school on, only for you to even more foolishly claim I was playing “Captain Obvious” when it was you yourself who didn’t think it was obvious that the SM-6 is not that kind of weapon.

            SMH … NSN never fails to fail in his arguments.

          • NavySubNuke

            Well Duane, thank you for admitting that (yet again) you were completely and totally wrong when you said that “A cruise missile….travels at subsonic speeds and does not maneuver”.
            And instead acknowledging that their missiles do in fact both maneuver and travel at supersonic speeds.
            I’m glad to see that, yet again, when your willfully ignorant lies are challenged you completely change your answer and start singing a different tune.
            Also, this statement “The so-called “supersonics” only go SS in the terminal phase” is completely wrong. Check out the Brahmos (India-Russia) and the KH-31 (Russia). Both of these missiles use a solid rocket motor to accelerate to supersonic speed initially and then transition to a ramjet and continue to travel at supersonic speed the rest of the way to the target.
            I look forward to how you will lie and change your tune to say you aren’t correct on that one since it seems pretty definitive to me.
            ** break **
            As to you, yet again, trying to say I was wrong remember the context of the post was if we were to poll 100 SWOs and find out what they would prefer to defend themselves with when a cruise missile is on the way in — Aegis with SM-6 or a SEARAM — what would they say?
            Contrary to your repeated assertions the standard missile series, both SM2s and SM6s is more than capable of shooting down incoming cruise missiles just as they are also capable of shooting down incoming enemy aircraft.
            And, although you have dodged the question repeatedly, I think we both realize that the vast majority of SWOs would be much happier to engage an incoming cruise missile repeatedly, if necessary, starting at the limits of Aegis detection range and continuing the entire way in rather than just sitting and waiting for the missile to be <5 miles away and hoping SEARAM works.
            The fact that you have dodged the question repeatedly and are now misrepresenting the context of the statement in yet another feeble lie to try and say I said something incorrect is really all the proof we need on who was wrong.
            Nice try swoosh troll…..

          • Duane

            A subsonic cruise missile in cruise maneuvers only slightly in vertical, a few meters up or down at most to maintain designed height above the waves to account for sea state, and maneuvers on line not at all. They are like the easiest of targets to target and track with the proper radar. From the air, all it takes is a current generation synthetic aperture AESA radar. From the surface and within the horizon, any standard surface/air radar, especially the ones we have on our surface warships (including the stand alone built in radar sensor on the SeaRam) will sense, track and direct counterfires to the inbound ASCM. The only signiifcant maneuvering they perform is, if they are “pop-up” missiles like some are, they’re even fatter, easier to track and kill targets than those that remain at or near wavetop height, or that dive at an extremely shallow angle (like the Chinese C-802s) that aim for the waterline of the target ship.

          • NavySubNuke

            Blah blah blah — more nonsense to try to distract from you, yet again, being wrong.
            What a shock to see you dodging yet again and refusing to acknowledge, yet again, that you were wrong….
            No worries, I’ll just add “A cruise missile….travels at subsonic speeds and does not maneuver” and “The so-called “supersonics” only go SS in the terminal phase” to the ever growing list of obviously false/easily disproven statements you have made.

          • El Kabong

            “…because SeaRam is the most capable ASCM defense of the LCS…”?

            Hilarious!

            The range of a RIM-116?

            What EXACTLY will it do against a SS-N-26?

            Zipping along at M2.5, weighing 3000 kgs, you do the math regarding that kinetic energy.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            You conveniently forget the same kinds OTH sensors that will hopefully provide targeting info to the LCS’s that will no doubt be supplying info to the DDGs/CGs to intercept ASMs. Virtually everything on the LCS is a point defense system. ASMs are getting more sophisticated, and hence capable. If multiple missiles are converging on a LCS at the same time, the odds are not very good for it coming out unscathed. The same can no doubt be said about a DDG, IF there is no accompanying capability like that provided by a Hawkeye or other OTH platform. The LCS will ALWAYS require overage from a Burke or Tico, and ALL will always be better off if OTH sensors are providing for them.

          • NavySubNuke

            And yet when the USS Mason was attacked it responded with standard missiles (though in the case of the Mason it used -2s instead of -6s since it likely didn’t have any -6s on board).
            Nice job dodging the question to cover up your own foolish statement in yet another failed attempt at making yourself look intelligent and competent though!
            Next thing you know you will be telling me you can’t fire SM-6’s while the towed array is out or some other falsehood….

          • Duane

            News flash – the SM 2 is not the SM-6. The SM-2 is a medium range surface to air missile, for use against aircraft and ASCMs for lower altitude intercepts.

            The Navy has not divulged exactly what weapons or countermeasures were used in the Mason attack last year. There have been reports by some that the incoming ASCMs (Chinese C-802s) simply splashed down, which is suggestive that the ECM did its job, but again, nothing is confirme.

          • NavySubNuke

            Wow thanks master of the obvious. I notice you are still continuing to dodge the question though. It is ok though, I didn’t really expect you to answer truthfully.
            After all it is impossible to be both truthful and an LCS partisan.
            You should look up what is the same about the SM-2 and the SM-6 sometime though before you go running off and claiming it isn’t maneuverable enough to go against ASCMs but the SM-2 is — not that you will admit you are wrong anyway….
            Luckily the SOUTHCOM mission will keep the little crappy ships, over priced death traps that they are, out of too much danger and they might actually manage to accomplish something which is a net positive for both the crews and the Navy.

          • Duane

            There is nothing to admit on my part. You posted a silly response that made no sense, and if my setting you correct was so “Captain Obvious”, then why did you state such an obviously wrong thing?

            All you have is your ridiculous prejudice against a fine warship that the Navy has the effrontery to build and operate successfully in spite of your hate of it. How dare the Navy ignore you, is what you are meaning here.

          • NavySubNuke

            LOL. Oh Duane it really is amazing to see the lengths you will go to in order to not admit you are wrong despite nearly everything you say being wrong.
            And I have far more than ridiculous prejudice — I have actual knowledge and understanding of the subject matter and a willingness to learn more. That is why I’m not the one running around saying things like Virginia’s don’t have a pump jet propulser or that you can’t tow a towed array at flank speed.
            Nice try though.
            At any time feel free to stop dodging and actually answer the original question. I’d love to see how many SWOs you think prefer shooting down incoming ASCMs <5 miles out with an 11-shot SEARAM vs. shooting it out at the limits of detection range with a 40+ shot magazine of standard missiles.

          • Duane

            No lengths gone to at all, NSN. You simply won’t admit it when you (frequently) write something that is patently false, if not dumb, or both.

          • NavySubNuke

            Liar. This very response is yet another attempt to not admit you are wrong by yet again dodging the question.
            Just as you are lying about my supposed refusal to not acknowledge when I am wrong.
            You can’t cite a single example of when I have said something wrong and not admitted it and your supposed examples of when I have said something dumb only appear dumb to you because you lack understanding of the subject matter or are deliberately misrepresenting what I said.
            Nice try though. I give you have a point for effort but once again your willful ignorance and your ego leave you far short of full credit.

          • Duane

            No admission of wrongness is called for when I am right, and as nearly always, you are wrong.

          • NavySubNuke

            You are correct, there is no need to admit you are wrong when you actually do say something correct.
            But considering the whoppers you regularly come out with:
            SEARAM is the best anti-ASCM system, the army developed the MRAPs, the virginia doesn’t have a propulsor, you can’t have a towed array out at flank speed —- you really should stop lying about always being right.
            Especially since you can’t even cite a single example of something I have said that is wrong.

          • Secundius

            Both RAM and SeaRAM are programmable to Engage ANY Target Types. It Wasn’t Designed Specifically as a SAM System. Though that’s what the USN gave it to do as a Stand-Alone Lightweight SAM system…

        • Lazarus

          No US surface combatant is terribly “survivable” if hit by even one cruise missile. A ship’s survivability is better assessed today by its susceptibility to attack in the first place and the active and passive countermeasures it deploys to counter those attackers who locate it. Recoverability is not what it once was. You cannot just run casualty power cables from a load center to a weapon and restore capability.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Actually, these kinds of missions are what were envisioned for the LCS when they were developed. Anti-drug running, anti-piracy, etc., are the very kinds of missions that the Navy wanted to free up Burkes and Ticos from doing.

      • leesea

        You gents might be arguing terminology. What counts is the ROC and sub-ROC defined in the latest ROC/POE instruction.
        I am pretty sure the LCS are required to perform maritime control missions (not sure since it has been awhile since I read the ref)

        Have you?

      • Rhino601

        the missions for the LCS remain SuW, ASW, and MCM…..but one at a time

        • Secundius

          No! That’s what the US Congress Gave to the LCS class DURING the 2011 Sequester and with No Suitable Replacements for the Duties of Frigate and Minesweeper in ANY of the Defense Appropriations Budgets until 2021…

        • Duane

          Yes, that is correct. The LCS is officially a single mission ship as originally designed. However, all LCS regardless of mission module carry most of the SuW weapons like the Mk 110 57mm gun, the twin Mk 46 30mms, and SeaRam air and missile defense. It hasn’t been decided yet, but it is quite likely that all LCS will also be fitted out with the new modified Mk 141 OTH angled deck missile launcher, as part of the Navy’s declared “distributed lethality” strategy (which will also put the same missile launchers on our amphibs too). So in other words, it’s very likely that all LCS will ultimately be two-mission ships – SuW plus either ASW or MCM.

      • El Kabong

        “… the missions for the LCS remain SuW, ASW, and MCM.”?

        With what?

    • PolicyWonk

      Sir,

      You called it on these very pages – its almost as if you’re psychic!

      ;-D

      • Duane

        No – this supplemental mission is not the LCS’s prime mission, which remains unchanged. Which is why the Navy will forward deploy 4 LCS to Singapore, in the world’s most dangerous war theater of the Western Pacific and South China Sea … and 7 more LCS to the Persian Gulf, the worlds second most dangerous naval theater. None of that is changing. All that is changing is the Navy is now adding a supplemental mission to CONUS-based non-forward deployed LCS.

        • Rhino601

          yawn

        • El Kabong

          Zzzz….

    • leesea

      Fourth Fleet has been asking for additional surface assets for Five years. SOUTHCOM have endorsed that including Genl. Kelly (retired to WH)

      • Curtis Conway

        OH . . . there are many of us who are aware of the situation on the ground (on the water in this case) particularly since the FFG-7s went away. The last missions for several of them were drug interdiction operations with a US Coast Guard LEDET embarked.

  • James Simms

    That’s too bad.

  • Chesapeakeguy

    Interdicting drugs should provide invaluable experience for wartime missions along the same lines. Insurgencies will try to run supplies via any means they can. Brown and blue water naval operations to prevent supplies from getting to the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War come to mind. The LCS’s were developed for these very kinds of missions, to free up more capable ships from such tasks. They were ‘up gunned’ afterwards to justify their high costs and thus try to get more out of them. But lessons learned in this will no doubt benefit them in pursuing anti-piracy ops, as well other low intensity endeavors that can turn ‘hot’. I do think the LCS’s offer some real possibilities as far as inserting small numbers of ground troops into certain operations that require them. “Proceedings Magazine” recently ran an interesting article about bringing back APDs. Given their sprint speeds and shallow drafts, being able to get up close to deliver some number of troops (perhaps up to a company per ship) seems, to me anyway, to be a great capability to have.

  • Old Navy Doc

    Check to make sure the Navy’s BOAT US towing subscription is still current. I would hate to have the taxpayers charged real money to tow these worthless LCS barges back to port when they break down.

  • Southcom gets some news in the headlines—maybe.

  • Tony4

    Of course, the counter drug mission does not materially reduce the amount of drugs on US streets and is an ineffective waste of tax/defense dollars, but it feels good, and gives LCS something to do…

  • Bubblehead

    Wouldn’t be too surprised in the near future if the LCS needs protection from the drug runners because the drug runners will have the LCS outgunned.

    • Duane

      Yeah, because drug runners have long range OTH antiship missiles with sophisticated sensors, deployed aircraft, fire control systems, and NIFCCA with CANES deployed. And the world’s only precision guided bimodal seeker one shot/one kill ORKA rounds fired at 220 rpm from a 57mm computer controlled gun.

      LOL

      • Rhino601

        yawn….Duane is a paid troll

      • Duane-aka Sir Lockmart

        Yep, we’re all read the reports about your mighty wet-dream “one-shot-one-kill pop gun that is unreliable, breaks down after a few shots, can’t hit anything, vibrates like crazy and can’t shoot straight when the LCS is up to speed, etc. So plus stop it already with all of the BAR NONE stuff about your ‘little friend.’

        • Duane

          Not true. Any of it.

          • El Kabong

            These same old same old critics simply refuse to acknowledge facts. They prefer their stories and memes instead.

      • El Kabong

        The cartels have submarines…

    • kye154

      The LCSs are going to need overhead air protection anyway. Although they may be fast, they are not well suited for much of anything, and certainly too expensive to operate in a low-tech rug war. And, it will be really interesting to see whether or not they can seize and board another ship anyway.

      • Secundius

        During Sea Trials off the Colubian Coast, “Freedom” went into Hot Pursuit of a Columbia Drug Boat. The Freedom exceeded 47kts. Forcing the Colombian Go-Fast to Dump it’s Bail’s of Cocaine in order to Get Away…

        • kye154

          If Freedom exceeded 47 knots, and the boat it was chasing got away from it, then it is apparent the LCS is not fast enough or good enough to capture it, with or without the cargo. This is a good example of a Navy’s overpriced ship, being deployed for a war it was not designed for, and wasting taxpayers money in an operation it can’t handle, much less catch the Columbian drug boat.

          • Secundius

            Columbian’s had to Ditch ~1,000-Kilos of Cocaine to Lighten the Boat in order to Get Away. Because the Boat Chase wasn’t part of the Sea Trial of “Freedom”, the Speed wasn’t entered into the Log Book for the Sea Trials. But Unconfirmed report was said that Freedom achieved ~47.5-kts. on the Chase…

          • kye154

            If the Columbian vessel could outrun the Freedom, then I wonder what the outcome would be, if the Columbian boat had a SSM onboard. Would the Freedom be able to counter that? The other question would be, why wasn’t the 57mm gun not being fired?

          • Secundius

            Most likely reason being “Rules of Engagement”! The Columbian’s DIDN’T Fire at “Freedom”…

  • RobM1981

    I feel bad for the crews.

  • Hugh

    Ex-HMAS DARWIN has just paid off after 33 years service, and one option is to sell her as an active warship – she has been extensively upgraded and could be returned to the USA for the cost of a refit, to serve in more significant roles for several more years.

    • Duane-aka Sir Lockmart

      great idea, and at a fraction of the cost of a bare bones LCS, but with multiple of capabilities. Just don’t let Fleet Admiral Duene find out, he might give us all a broadside of “BAR NONE’s”

    • Curtis Conway

      There is more than one of that class, and there are spares kits, all for a bargain.

    • Lazarus

      The Australians basically paid $1b US to modernize 4 of their 6 FFG’s (two were cannibalized for spares) and get about 8 years more service from each ship. They had to do that as the Hobart class DDG’s were not yet in service. The US does not need more air defense ships.

      • Hugh

        That money included 6 shipsets. However the older 2 were not upgraded because the program was running so late (well beyond 1/2 life) – so those 2 were paid off early and their spares were warehoused. As upgraded they are multi-role, but lack 3D radar for enhanced air defence as in the old DDGs or the current FFHs and AWDs.

        • Curtis Conway

          Truth, and to put it in perspective, those FFG-7s would barely qualify as a AAW NTU upgrade in US terms, but still very effective. The money was spent. The platforms are mature, function, and still have lots of time left on them. If nothing else we should fix them up for an Standing Caribbean Force supporting the US Coast Guard, patrol both of our coasts, or go to the Arctic (Pacific Coast and Alaska Regions) with them.

  • TrustbutVerify

    Color me skeptical. Love the Navy, but cooking up some numbers to inflate the price of Perry reactivation so that the estimate “confirms” their decision on the LCS by finding a mission and keeping money for their shiny, new shipbuilding programs (which they don’t want to have threatened by budget diversions) seems a little fishy.

    • kye154

      You have hit the nail on the head! The navy has absolutely no interests in giving up either the expensive but less efficient LCSs or the DDX1000s. So, they funnel as much money into to those programs by cannibalizing everything else. It’s why they don’t want to refurbish the ships they got, and its also the reason why sailors don’t get trained properly anymore too. The navy is contractor driven, and the leadership is too weak to take control of itself, or its resources. The more important story about how the way DoD and the navy allocates funds was reported last sunday. Headlines reads: “Pentagon To Undergo First Ever Audit After Decades Of Sloppy Accounting And Missing Trillions”

    • Curtis Conway

      Bingo!

    • ElmCityAle

      Doesn’t that perspective completely ignore a realistic evaluation of the condition of the Perry ships available? Not exactly spring chickens. People who served on them in later years have reported many issues. Perhaps it really would cost a significant sum to get them in safe running condition?

      • TrustbutVerify

        Undoubtedly! I would just like some numbers from a more impartial third-party. My major point is this should be, given our need to enlarge the surface action fleet, an “in addition to” budget item and not an “instead of”. They are talking about putting missile packs on everything that floats…I would think the Perry”s could be at least as useful and dangerous as converted merchant vessels in that role.

  • 10Rightestjihad12

    Damn-I was actually hoping to reactivate the Perry’s just see if we could do it. I would rather send the Perry’s to see of Japan with updated weapons/electronic suites just to be there to take the brunt of an NK assault instead of our billion dollar destroyers.

  • Bob467

    Ok Duene, everyone here wants you to publically state that you are not a paid Lockheed troll. But we know you won’t because you signed a non-disclosure and you’re afraid you’ll lose your paycheck.

    • Duane

      I’ve stated it several times. No I have no financial relationship with any military contractor, period.

      But you can always spot the loser in any argument over facts … he’s the one who resorts to ad hominem, personal attacks, rather than deal with the inconvenient facts.

      • BlueSky47

        “I did not have relations with that military contractor…” LOL

      • El Kabong

        These same old same old critics simply refuse to acknowledge facts, they prefer their stories and memes instead…

  • USNVO

    LCS was envisioned as a platform that could do single mission ships roles, MCM, MHC, and PC, and do maritime security roles, FFxG, so that other ships like DDGs and CGs don’t have to. What a surprise that it ends up that they can do that. I wonder when they will start using them for MIO, counter piracy roles, and other maritime security roles as well.

  • T W Morison

    Interesting that we get a NAVY “not invented here” answer to this problem. The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has offered up a solution to the coverage issues. But, it’s not a NAVY solution! NAVY says that MARAD is “too expensive”, since naval assets are “free”. As a taxpayer, I question that.

  • kye154

    I know this would get a lot of flak from a lot of people and old salts who like to wrap themselves in the American flag, but the only way to get the older destroyers refurbished and reactivated for the drug war, is to invite the Chinese to do the job instead. That would certainly rile the contractors and politicians here at home, but it might be a logical way of forcing them to reduce costs and expenditures if they had the competition, in order to have a fleet of these old ships ready in a reasonable amount of time to do patrols in the drug war.

    And you don’t need to refit these ships with advanced technology electronics and weapons systems to fight a low tech war, and risk loosing your sensitive weapons systems to the Chinese either. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is little of the technology onboard a lot of these old ships, which our navy discards, that the Chinese don’t already know about or have anyway. And, unlike a lot of people, I have actually seen their ships, know what they have, and watched how the Chinese train for piracy in the South China Sea. The Chinese have revamped old Soviet ships that are 40 and 50 years old, essentially doing the same job we could be doing with the same vintage of Perry class destroyers, and be very effective. The Chinese don’t waste anything, like we do here in this country.

    Its really a shame the way our navy misuses and discards our resources, that could be used for other purposes. And, it is absolutely criminal the way the Navy allows naval contractors to get away with inflated costs and overruns too. Sometimes, you really have to wonder who the real enemy is: Is it the drug runners, or is it the contractors? So, why not give the task of refurbishing these ships to the Chinese, and kill two birds with one stone?

  • Lazarus

    The FFG 7 recommissioning plan was likely doomed from the start due to lack of resources, schools, training etc. LCS is perfectly workable for CD ops.

  • John B. Morgen

    The Navy probably felt drug enforcement role is the best fit for LCS type warships.

  • El Kabong

    All you spew is nonsense.

    *yawn*