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Report to Congress on Littoral Combat Ship Program

The following is the April 5, 2018 Congressional Research Service report, Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background and Issues for Congress.

From the Report:

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a relatively inexpensive surface combatant equipped with modular mission packages. Navy plans call for procuring a total of 32 LCSs. The first LCS was procured in FY2005, and the Navy’s proposed FY2018 budget requested the procurement of the 30th and 31st LCSs. As part of its action on the Navy’s proposed FY2018 budget, Congress procured three LCSs—one more than the two that were requested. Thus, a total of 32 LCSs have been procured through FY2018.

The Navy’s proposed FY2019 budget, which was submitted to Congress before Congress finalized action on the Navy’s FY2018 budget, requests $646.2 million for the procurement of one LCS. If Congress had procured two LCSs in FY2018, as requested by the Navy, the LCS requested for procurement in FY2019 would have been the 32nd LCS. With the procurement of three LCSs in FY2018, the LCS requested for procurement in FY2019 would be the 33rd LCS.

The Navy’s plan for achieving and maintaining a 355-ship fleet includes a goal for achieving and maintaining a force of 52 small surface combatants (SSCs). The Navy’s plan for achieving that goal is to procure 32 LCSs, and then procure 20 new frigates, called FFG(X)s, with the first FFG(X) to be procured in FY2020. Multiple industry teams are now competing for the FFG(X) program. The design of the FFG(X) is to be based on either an LCS design or a different existing hull design. The FFG(X) program is covered in another CRS report.

The LCS program includes two very different LCS designs. One was developed by an industry team led by Lockheed; the other was developed by an industry team that was then led by General Dynamics. LCS procurement has been divided evenly between the two designs. The design developed by the Lockheed-led team is built at the Marinette Marine shipyard at Marinette, WI, with Lockheed as the prime contractor; the design developed by the team that was led by General Dynamics is built at the Austal USA shipyard at Mobile, AL, with Austal USA as the prime contractor.

The LCS program has been controversial over the years due to past cost growth, design and construction issues with the first LCSs, concerns over the survivability of LCSs (i.e., their ability to withstand battle damage), concerns over whether LCSs are sufficiently armed and would be able to perform their stated missions effectively, and concerns over the development and testing of the modular mission packages for LCSs. The Navy’s execution of the program has been a matter of congressional oversight attention for several years.

Issues for Congress for the LCS program for FY2019 include the following:

  • the number of LCSs to procure in FY2019;
  • the Navy’s proposal to procure a final LCS in FY2019 and then shift to procurement of FFG(X)s starting in FY2020; and
  • survivability, lethality, technical risk, and test and evaluation issues relating to LCSs and their mission packages.


via fas.org

  • Mr. Speaker

    TAO: Bridge we have a swarm of boghammers at 090 closing fast.
    Bridge: ‘Gator, get us back to port to swap out the ASW module for the SUW module.

    • Ed L

      That’s funny and sad

    • Desplanes

      Since 3 ships are needed to (barely) do the job of one, we really just bought 10 $2-billion ships with the range of a corvette and the durability of a yacht.

      Super !

      • D. Jones

        Has Canada attacked us since we parked an LCS on their doorstep?

        I rest my case.

        • Desplanes

          Maybe verbally, which still might be too much for an LCS.

          • D. Jones

            The ATM (Anti-taunting Module) will handle their worst!

          • PolicyWonk

            Monty Python would be proud!

          • Rocco

            You don’t say blot!!

          • Ser Arthur Dayne

            The Keyboard-Launched Hellflamer Missile is essential to the Anti-Taunting Module and integral to the Littoral Chatting Sheit mission package.

        • PolicyWonk

          Perhaps its time to deploy the highly vaunted CBC (Carrier Bottom Cleaning) and FSP (Fleet Septic Pumping) mission packages. At least then they can appear to be friendly, while providing useful services for the taxpayers!

          • Rocco

            Lol !! 2jg with a mop!!

          • PolicyWonk

            Rocco – the heaviness of the mops would probably violate the mighty littoral combat ship’s weight limitations!

          • Rocco

            Lol ….But wait there’s more.! Your boy Duane has a fix to compensate!!

          • PolicyWonk

            heh – I can hardly wait!

          • muzzleloader

            And don’t forget the steel beach module. You know, propane grills and ice chests for making sliders and weenies!

          • PolicyWonk

            Now that’s a worthy mission package!

        • Scott Ferguson

          We deployed our anti-LCS weapon and neutralized that much feared ship.

          AKA: Winter

          • D. Jones

            Canada deployed “winter” in 6 billion B.C.

            Maybe when the sun becomes a red giant and engulfs the inner planets, Canada will deploy “spring”

            Until then, Hockey time! 😀

          • Scott Ferguson

            Agreed!
            Canada has two seasons.

            Nine months of Winter and three months of lousy skiing. 😉

          • PolicyWonk

            Were you fearing it’s high price? It’s utter uselessness? Its potential to be deployed? Its ability to take up pier space? Its inability to hurt a fly? It’s potential to illegally poach the ever-so-deservedly-famous Digby scollops?

            If I had to guess, it would be the latter.

          • Scott Ferguson

            LOL!

            According to Read Adm. Duaney, its mere presence is enough to make opponents surrender.

            Great.
            Now you’ve done it!

            Now I want scallops for lunch.

        • Rocco

          Why would they?

      • Dan O’Brian

        Hey don’t insult my yacht, it’s can do 3,500 nautical miles 😛

        • Ser Arthur Dayne

          Yes yes yes, but does it have the largest flight deck in the world other than a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier?? That’s what I want to know!

        • Desplanes

          Not in a row !

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            Not in a row, but in definitely in a great circle.

    • Ser Arthur Dayne

      Conn, Sonar: Crazy Boghammer!!!

    • NavySubNuke

      *** 4 – 6 days after pulling into port ** Ok Skipper – the new module is on and we are ready to get back out to the fight….

      • Chesapeakeguy

        I think 4 to 6 days would fill the Navy with joy at this point. I’ve seen a couple of official ‘estimates’ that 3 weeks is now the expected turnaround. I don’t know of that includes transit times into and out of the bases where such swap outs will occur, but it was my impression that the 3 weeks cited was for the base/ yard period alone..

        • NavySubNuke

          Yikes – hadn’t realized things had gotten that bad!!

          • Chesapeakeguy

            I know. I about fell out of my chair when I read it..

          • PolicyWonk

            Its now measured in *months* – 3 (count ’em!) months.

            A far cry from 3 days…

    • James B.

      Or: Launch the helo, it’s better armed than we are.

  • Ed L

    From the report: The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a relatively inexpensive surface combatant. Really? What are they smoking in the Pentagon and Washington

    • Kypros

      Everything is “relatively inexpensive” when you are using other people’s money!

      • Ser Arthur Dayne

        Well said my brother! And the problem with that is you eventually run out of other people’s money to spend.

      • D. Jones

        It’s peanuts compared to bailing out Goldman & JPM.

        Thank our relatively honest congress and then-potus for that.

    • NavySubNuke

      Come on now Ed —- in comparison to a FORD class carrier or the new COLUMBIA SSBNs an LCS is “relatively” inexpensive — but that doesn’t mean it is in any way inexpensive but with a failed program like this you have to grasp every straw you can and hope for the best!

    • MarlineSpikeMate

      Compared to a DDG maybe?

    • Lazarus

      Well, compared to a $1.8b DDG 51 and a likely $1.2b FFGX, a $568m LCS is an inexpensive surface combatant.

      • Ops45

        LCS is an expensive target, and there’s very little combatant wrapped inside those hulls.

      • PolicyWonk

        Except that the so-called and monstrously expensive “littoral combat ship” was never designed to “engage in combat”, according to Adm. Jonathan Greenert. If it can’t fight, protect itself, take a punch, or reach out and touch someone – its not a surface combatant of any kind.

        It’s a liability. And that’s FAR too expensive: the USN desperately needs ASSETS.

  • DaSaint

    There is no way Congress will approve a 33rd LCS. Either they will end procurement at the FY2018 level, which would total 32 (16 each), or they will request 2 for 2019 for a total of 34. They will NOT allow one yard to be awarded more than the other. That’s not how Congress works.

    • Kypros

      Agreed. My sense also is one each or none. I vote none and use that money for 1.5 FFGs.

  • PolicyWonk

    The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a relatively inexpensive surface combatant equipped with modular mission packages.
    ========================================
    Of which only one has been deployed: the ultra weak SuW package, that magically transforms the mighty “littoral combat ship” from an almost completely unarmed ferry/yacht conversion, into a questionable and laughably armed ferry/yacht conversion (doomed if it has to fight a naval opponent).

    That first statement is a killer though, in the sense that use of the term “relatively inexpensive” is deliberately misleading. As I’ve pointed out in the past (as have others), that any ship in the navy that cannot fight, protect itself, take a punch, or reach out and touch someone – is way too expensive.

    • D. Jones

      Read the 2014 report linked above and it was “relatively inexpensive” then. Gotta wonder how many of these Congressional Reports are cut n paste rehashes.

      The program has been an unmitigated disaster, and the shame of it is the porkers who pushed it will get reelected. Honestly, I think the only way to salvage it is put them in drug interdiction duty with robust RoE and some arrangement with the Coasties to traverse turf with ease. Don’t know where the lines are there. Considering some drug busts get into the hundreds of millions of dollars (Stratton nabbed 34 tons worth $1B 2 yrs ago) they might actually earn their keep.

      • PolicyWonk

        Considering some drug busts get into the hundreds of millions of dollars (Stratton nabbed 34 tons worth $1B 2 yrs ago) they might actually earn their keep.
        ================================================
        Possibly, if they started re-selling the drugs to recoup the taxpayers wasted money ;-P

        “Relatively inexpensive” is only true if/when comparing these “littoral combat ships” to a Burke or Zumwalt. But when you consider the firepower they carry is vastly less than other navies ships of similar (let alone even half) the tonnage, calling these commercial-grade utility boats “small surface combatants” is a flagrant misrepresentation of the facts.

        Look at the PHM-1 (Pegasus) class, or the Skjold-class (which weighs 1/10th of an LCS, and would clean its clock before LCS even knew it was in the same hemisphere). I can’t imagine what our USN was thinking.

        • D. Jones

          Since MJ is now being produced domestically, one would expect the imported drugs to be primarily coke, heroin & meth. If the supply of those gets turned off all the better for society.

          • PolicyWonk

            Indeed – ridding the planet of cocaine and heroin would be good for society. Meth, however, is easy to make locally, and for the most part that’s what some folks apparently do.

            And there’s no need for anyone to import MJ – the USA grows *plenty* of it – and Canada is fully legalizing. Hence, the North American continent will have its own monstrous supply (assuming it doesn’t have it today).

          • D. Jones

            Meth I understand is being made on an industrial scale south of the border, coke, heroin and carfentynal (sp?) are routed in through MX and other central Americans and even them sneaky hockey heads up north. Most comes across the southern border, so seal it up and let the Navy & Coast Guard get some target practice on drug runnin boats and mini-subs. I expect air and other assets would be needed. Let the Marines & SEALS loose on some of the private islands in the drug-riddled VI & Bahamas. Good practice.

            Our population is getting decimated by drugs, especially military age. Look at places like WV or KY where the usual routes up were the mines or the military. Well the mines are toast and the surviving kids can’t pass a drug test. It’s everywhere. The overdose rates are through the roof. It’s bad.

          • Rocco

            Interesting

        • Lazarus

          Well, the only other surface combatants the navy has are the Uber-expensive DDG51 and DDG 1000. The PHM class is 50+ years old and was attacked by World War 2 guys as fragile, too complicated and useless just as you attack LCS for similar reasons now. The Norwegian ship is largely for coast defense.

          • PolicyWonk

            You’re right – the PHM class is old – but its still a better solution for littoral combat than LCS is. And unlike LCS, it posed a real threat to anything that came within range of its much bigger gun and/or its substantial missile load.

            The WW2 guys were afraid of anything new and/or nontraditional, but that had little/no bearing on the usefulness of the boat, its capabilities, or design. It was in its own way, very similar to that of the PT-boats, as it was fast, very heavily armed, and an extremely dangerous opponent (note: the WW2 guys didn’t like them in WW2 either – they were only deployed when they became desperate).

            And you might argue that the case is the same with the non-traditional intent of LCS, but that argument pales in light of the fact that the PHM’s delivered on virtually all the promises made – while LCS isn’t even remotely close to meeting a decent fraction of it’s many design goals.

            W/r/t the comment regarding Skjold’s being built for “coastal defense”: thank you for making my point for me. This is merely a euphemism for what we refer to as “littoral combat” – entirely reflective of the very type of adversary an LCS can count on locking horns with in a near-peer environment.

            1/10th of the size of LCS, much stealthier, vastly more difficult to hit, and far more heavily armed. As the Skjold sailors will tell you or anyone else – LCS would be on its way to the bottom of the littorals before it even knew a Skjold was in the region.

      • Sir Bateman

        My hope is that we’re somehow able to pawn them off on other countries. Wishful thinking perhaps.

        • Curtis Conway

          Since the US Coast Guard dissmissed the design as too expensive, and not effective enough, to give them to anyone would be a kiss of death for their navy and operation and maintenance budget.

          • D. Jones

            So we give the LCS to the PRC?

            Diabolical!

          • PolicyWonk

            Which then begs the all-important question: What makes the USN the only smart ones?

    • NavySubNuke

      I always laugh at how LCS supporters need to resort to weasel words to defend this failed program. Seeing it in reports to congress is just icing on the cake.
      Certainly in comparison to a FORD class carrier or the new COLUMBIA SSBNs an LCS is “relatively” inexpensive — but that doesn’t mean it is in any way inexpensive!

      • Kypros

        Relatively is a relative word. I mean they are relatively inexpensive in the same way that they are relatively useful.

        • NavySubNuke

          Weasel words are the basis for the entire LCS failure – well that and money. Lots and lots of money for next to no return.

      • Rocco

        Just like Congress!

    • Rocco

      I remember about 12 yrs ago the military channel did a documentary on The future of surface warfare. I haven’t seen it in 10 yrs!

  • Kypros

    The USN/US taxpayer will NEVER get good value for the money on these ill conceived ships, but at some point I hope they might deliver “some” value. If the $100 million MCM module ever becomes fully operational maybe half of them can do that mission, while the other half are being repaired/refitted/retrained/whatever.

    • Stephen

      It’s the political wing of our Armed Forces; they don’t wear uniforms & are elected to represent the people of the US. Yes, Congress found it necessary to protect the shipbuilding assets. Hence, two variants, built in two protected shipyards. LCS designs were simply up-scaled versions of 85 foot patrol boats. The propulsion system appears to have been designed by the ‘Osprey’ engineering team. In-flight transitioning is terribly complex & a shipboard nightmare. Far more complicated than the clutch/gear/shaft arrangement on subs.

  • thebard3

    I agree that the LCS program deserves a lot of criticism, but to declare the program a lost cause is shortsighted. The Navy is stuck with these ships, if you want to put it that way, and they WILL make them work. Detecting the root causes for some of the program failures has occurred only recently, no small part of that being attributed to staffing and training. This was also a major contributor to the destroyer collisions that occurred recently. The nautical threat environment is ever-changing, as is the technology needed to address it. The Ford aircraft carrier program has no fewer stinging issues to deal with than the LCS, but there is no doubt that the program will be a success. The Navy is trying to fill a huge hole in fleet size to counter the perceived threat. The extended availabilities that are keeping the LCS fleet in port this year should mean they are going to be ready for sea when complete.

    • D. Jones

      Put them on drug interdiction duty in the Carib & Pacific Coast. That’s really the only place they can be productive. Group one variant in the East, the other in the West. This simplifies logistics.Would be good for enlistment to.

      • Ser Arthur Dayne

        I agree totally. An aluminum hulled go-fast corvette with a 57mm gun and Hellfire missiles plus a helo and 30mm cannons make for a very satisfactory maritime border patrol and coastal defense ship. A warship not so much. Into the worlds hottest areas not even plausible. But for the USCG, I think they could really make them work.

        • D. Jones

          In the summer months, send one up each coast for PR duty in Regattas and races. Great recruitment tool.

          If the border wall goes up, lots of drug traffic will divert to the water, so timing for the new assignment is a natural.

          • PolicyWonk

            The $1.3T budget didn’t include even one red cent to buy the property necessary to put up/build the wall. Nor have any of the thousands of legal challenges regarding eminent domain even been filed.

            This is the clearest indication that no wall will ever be built. If self-described deal maker can’t sell the wall to his own party – who have majorities in both HoR’s – it isn’t happening.

          • D. Jones

            It’s a National Security issue. That makes many things go away.

            Eminent domain was no problem when Pfizer wanted dumpy land in New Haven (and “convinced” SCOTUS to help em out). In the end they never used the land, but by gosh it’s law now so let’s kick the one-eyed spotted newts and burrow owls out of the desert and start a pourin concrete.

          • Stephen

            It was New London; yes, Pfizer got a sweet deal & then reneged on the agreement. So, little beach cottages were razed in preparation for a redevelopment scheme that simply vanished with the Great Recession. Pfizer got a better deal in NY.

          • PolicyWonk

            Whether its a national security issue is a matter of opinion – and most of the nation isn’t buying. Only 32% of the nation supports building the wall, while well over 60% opposes it.

            That makes it a hard sell no matter how you look at it.

            The US government still has to purchase the land – and as I pointed out not one penny has been allocated in the $1.3T budget (that Mr. Trump admitted to signing without bothering to read). So even the GOP doesn’t buy your argument, and Mr. Trump (the self-anointed ultimate deal maker) has failed to make his case to his own party, who have clear majorities in both HoR’s (though perhaps – not for much longer if current trends continue).

            And even if Mr. Trump were able to sell the wildly unpopular wall to his own party, the eminent domain battles over millions of acres of land would still take years to get through the courts under the best of circumstances.

            Cheers.

          • Ed L

            put a couple LCS on the Amistead Reservior Texas Mexico border

        • PolicyWonk

          Except, the coasties don’t want them. They were initially interested, until they found out what they cost to operate, weren’t arctic capable, etc.

          I feel awful for the USCG – they always get shafted with other’s unwanted hand-me-downs. They got it right with the Legend-class NSC, and don’t want the USN’s pier queens.

          • Ser Arthur Dayne

            PW, I realize that most Coast Guard men & women who comment on the subject don’t express much interest at all in the LCS. Certainly not here. And I am not — repeat not — trying to insult any Coast Guard members nor force something on them that is considered “a piece of junk” etc. It’s simply that in my humblest of opinions, while the LCS has absolutey few if any redeeming values for the US NAVY, it has absolutely many possible uses and pluses when considered in a USCG role. Frankly, if you remove the National Security Cutter from the equation, you could argue the LCS versions would be serious upgrades to what the Coast Guard could and did normally field (certainly prior to the reorganization and “up-gunning” of the USCG immediately after 9/11) … I just think giving the Coast Guard the LCS’s (or at least a good portion of them) and buying the Navy more FFG(X)s would be the best overall value – for -dollar AND a very smart weaponry/ship organizational move. Just my feelings.

          • PolicyWonk

            Point taken.

            You’ll have to pardon me – as an avid fan of the USCG I firmly believe they’ve been given the budgetary shaft, despite their mission sets tremendous expansion since 9/11/2001. The budget increase they got, is nowhere near the increase in the size of the missions they’ve since acquired.

            I know you’re looking for a way (just like all of us) to find *something* useful for LCS to do. But given they drink fuel as if we owned every oil well in Saudi Arabia and aren’t arctic capable, they’d be relegated to places south of the Mason-Dixon line (especially during winter months). That would free up the NSC’s for cold water tasks, but the budget would still have to be radically increased, especially given the tremendous maintenance burdens LCS imposes.

            Compared to where they were prior to 9/11/2001, LCS would be an upgrade. But you gotta admit, that’s setting the bar mighty low.

            Cheers.

            PS – no offense taken by me. But I can’t speak for the Coasties 😉

          • Ser Arthur Dayne

            Nono brother we’re all good, I enjoy discussions with you as you’re obviously not only very educated and intelligent but you’re capable of civil, serious discourse while discussing a topic we all (I assume , although some here make me wonder) have keen interest in and can have fun while doing it. I would never want to mess with the Coast Guard… In addition to being a nominee to the USNA, I was also a finalist to the USCGA. Didn’t happen. But I would have been proud and honored to serve in the Coast Guard and certainly wouldn’t want to harm or insult them by suggesting the LCS. And you’re right, I don’t mean to compare to 9/11 and set the bar low. All I’m saying is that it’s hard to just take a blanket position like “Ohhhhh Nononono…. you’ve already given us NSC’s with good guns and weapons systems and lots of great features — and big ships at that — we don’t want no puny LCS’s!” seriously when some time ago (but not THAT much time ago) the LCS could and would have been an ideal Coast Guard platform that I could see them make excellent use of. Seems to me that with all that speed & cargo room and the whole “modular” concept, the USCG could put them to outstanding use on our borders, territorial waters, and even the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and Pacific areas. But yeah, I understand the idea that no one wants a hand-me-down.

          • Rocco

            Agreed

        • Ed L

          From reading all the reports the engineering on the LCS is a nightmare. water jets? really. They worked okay on PBR’s but the bigger the vessel the more things that can go wrong

        • MarlineSpikeMate

          You forgot the harpoons and sea ram. Now it sounds more like a solid corvette.

          • Ser Arthur Dayne

            No you’re absolutely right Boats, but they are “supposed” to be “standard equipment” on both classes of LCSs so while you’re 100% right I didn’t mention them, I was thinking that it was just accepted they’d be on there. And again, I think that while I and many others on here don’t have much use for the LCS as a NAVY warship, I think it could make literally outstanding sense as a Coast Guard corvette.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            The coast guard doesn’t need a corvette. The navy has always had use for corvettes, patrol craft and larger frigates. Not everything should be an DDG. .

        • Rocco

          Did we try to do this already!!!! 2 versions!!

          • Ser Arthur Dayne

            *Obviously* genius I was describing the Littoral Combat Ships, you sure do catch on quickly! Sharp as a tack, this one.

          • Rocco

            Easy goes it dude!

    • Dean687

      No we’re not “stuck” with them (for the next 20 years). We can sell them, re-task them (use as anti drug platforms in the gulf of mexico), use them has Sinkex targets (of course they won’t be good test subjects because they are so fragile), or we can give them away to allied navies.

      • Rocco

        Not even.. just melt them down sell the aluminum to China to make bicycles!

        • BMC retired

          Reynolds would be interested, they could take all of that shiny foil and sell it as it is “aluminum foil”

          • Rocco

            Ok

    • Ed L

      Keep them in the caribbean homeporting them in Mayport 4, Keywest 4, Gitmo 4, Puerto Rico 4. And homeport them out of Guam 4, Midway 2, Pearl Harbor 4 and Diego Garcia 4. Move the 57mm to the stern of the flightdeck and put a 76mm in the bow.

  • Scott Ferguson

    And no sign of our local LCS-cheerleader.

    It’s nice.

    • Todd

      Perhaps the fleet admiral hiding in his safe place, crying in his latte, from all the bad news (or good from our perspective)

      • PolicyWonk

        I wish I could consider any of this good news. The worst news is that the USN wasted $36B on all-but-useless commercial grade utility boats they’re trying to pretend are SSC’s.

        I personally wouldn’t mind if DOT&E came with with something *positive* to report regarding either class of LCS – then I might not feel quite as terrible for the sailors that are ordered to man these boats. And every LCS sailor there is, is acutely aware of how LCS stacks up to other navies ships of similar (let alone a fraction of) tonnage. I have no doubt they’ll do their duty if ordered into combat – but they’ll do so knowing all too well their chances of prevailing against a peer (or near peer) opponent are very remote indeed.

        But the only “good” news coming out of the LCS program either comes from the criminal enterprise known as PEO LCS (the name recently changed as a marketing gimmick), or the recipients of this blatant corporate welfare program.

        These LCS classes have their defenders – who’s claims look more ludicrous as every day passes – but they are a tiny minority.

      • Scott Ferguson

        Could very well be.

        I suspect his mommy took away his ‘puter.

    • NavySubNuke

      He’s at an LCS fan club meeting with Putin and Xi to decide how best to lie about this.

      • Retired

        He got called to the XO’s office (aka Cmdr Lockmart) over the 1MC “Fleet Admiral Dueeenee, report to the XO’s office asap-sans Vasoline”

      • D. Jones

        The prospect of a walking National Security Asset being nabbed by the Russians or Chinese is sobering indeed.

        With such knowledge & insight, they could build some sort of colossal “Super LCS” which could terrorize the high seas.

  • Tom N. Burke

    1.) Give each of the LCS to the USCG as each FFG(X) is procured.

    2.) Build a “Fighting Ship”! This can easily and QUICKLY be done w/ “off the shelf” procurement.

    3.) Find and use true “War Fighters” to design and then command her in the “fight”

    4.) Missiles, give the FFG(X) a self reload capability after the basic load is expended.

    5.) As someone previously wrote, “up-gun” to a minimum 127mm or better yet the 155mm! Keep your 57 & 30 mms….

    Hmmmm, guns, ASW, anti-air…ya might have a true “fighting ship”!

    • Ser Arthur Dayne

      One of the reasons I really love the FREMM FFGH, (there are many reasons) — is that as you said about up-gunning, the FREMM has several different variants (both France and Italy have slightly different spec’ed builds, and there are General Purpose (GP) and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) variants within) — but the Italian GP variant has an awesome 5″ gun fore and an even awesomer 76mm aft … and the ASW variant has 76mm guns fore and aft. I think an American FREMM with a 5″ up-front and a 3″ in the back (which is elevated on the Italian FREMM) would be amazing… Although apparently the Navy has absolutely refused to budge from the 57mm BAE fascination…. But if there was even a chance they could do the 76mm fore and 57mm aft that would be better. Still, I think a 5″ would be best, especially with the 76mm in the back. I could certainly live with a 5″ up front and 57mm in the back (with the 30mms also, of course). Plus certainly need 32 VLS (16 fore and aft), 8 SSMs, and that Longbow Hellfire VLS module, and now you have a real frigate.

      • D. Jones

        Put CIWS & missiles on the LCS.

        Conduct drug interdiction like a war, not coastal defense. Use all assets.

        Any boats start dumping stuff on the run, sink em.

        • Rocco

          Go back to wall Street!

      • Ed L

        I for keeping the 57mm but mounted in the position the Italians have the Aft 76mm. With a Burke DDG 127mm on the ForeCastle.

        • Ser Arthur Dayne

          Ed as usual I agree with you, 100%. In fact I think that the “most likely to occur other than the Navy just doing a single 57mm” is as you said, the 127mm/5″ DDG-51-style gun up front and a 57mm aft (which again, is raised up on top of the structure which eventually becomes the enclosed helo-area) … In fact if I recall correctly, that is exactly what the Zumwalt was supposed to have, it was supposed to have the two 155″ AGS up front, and two 57mm batteries raised up aft. They -in a ridiculous ridiculous explanation — explained that the 30mm were better than the 57mm — but simultaneously rejected 76mm (or even bigger) guns for the LCS, because the 57mm gun was perhaps the best overall gun on the planet. So, it’s good enough for our best little ships but not good enough for our most expensive ship ever. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Seems perfectly legit. Anyway, the one thing I would stress about how the FREMM is ideal for our Navy FFG(X) is that it can carry two main gun -type batteries, in addition to two smaller auto cannons, plus deck-mounted auto cannons. The Navy needs real, good old fashioned GUNS. Boom boom noisemakers capable of launching lead. In addition to being the most technologically advanced AND sexy-smoothest design, the FREMM has the most & best guns.

          • Ed L

            Remember the Belknap class configuration before the Belknap collision? It had the missile launcher forward a 5 inch after and two twins three inch 50’s port starboard side. Which would later later replaced with two CIWS

      • Rocco

        Then go on a blog for that class ship! It’s not in our Navy!!

        • Ser Arthur Dayne

          Are you mentally ill?

          • Rocco

            Yes

          • Ser Arthur Dayne

            Fair enough, the struggle is real, God Bless my brother.

          • Rocco

            Thank Sir!

          • PolicyWonk

            Rocco –

            Its good to be self-aware!

            😀

    • cutterman75

      Why do you hate the U.S. Coast Guard? Hey Navy you bought it, you keep it!

      • Ed L

        Those Big Coast Guard cutters stay out longer than 21 days.

  • WhiskyTangoFoxtrot

    NEWS FLASH: the Fleet Admiral is AWOL! Send out the search team, do a man-overboard drill! Perhaps he’s hiding in the LCS new armory module? Come back fleet admiral-we miss our jokester.

    • D. Jones

      The last time this happened he was found in a bar outside Kadena Gate 2…

  • Dan O’Brian

    No matter how much Dueanee polishes this t u r d, it’s always going to be a t u r d.

  • Desplanes

    Yoohoo !!!! Duane ?!?

    • Rocco

      Shhh …..He’s sleeping!!🤐

      • D. Jones

        He’s defending the LCS in the LPD Flight II comments section.

        Odd…

        • Rocco

          Odd…..Yes ….But normal for him!!

  • Curtis Conway

    In order to be successful in combat in the Modern Battlespace, the LCS must be to the current naval warfare context, what the USS Constitution was in the naval context of its time.

  • drjon4u2

    If only they worked then they might be worth the money. They are simply a giant boondoggle, a money pit, and it would be better to scrap the program, give them to Japan and let the Japanese make them work and concentrate on more submarines of all kinds and Arleigh Burke class ships.

    For a billion dollars drop a high energy system in a Burke and test it until that works also, before it is distributed to an entire unreliable fleet.

    A hundred row boats with numbers on their sides would also get the fleet to 350, but, at least row boats have a function and work!

  • WhiskyTangoFoxtrot

    Oh where, oh where, can my Frigate be?.
    The Du ean ne took it away from me
    he’s gone to Lockmart, so I’ve got to be good
    So I can see my Frigate when I finish this tour

    We were out on a patrol in my littoral ship
    We hadn’t sailed very far
    There on the horizon, straight ahead
    A destroyer, their guns blazing on
    we couldn’t fight, so I steered to the right
    I’ll never forget the sound that night
    The screemin’ metal, the bustin’ seams
    As we took hit after hit

    When I woke up, the water was pouring down,
    There were de ad sa ilo rs all around.
    Something warm flowing through my eyes,
    But somehow I found my Due an ee that night.

    I lifted his head, he looked at me and said,
    “Can we fight, just a little while.”
    I dropped his head, ha r d on the deck,
    I yelled at him, “you’re such a s tu pid s h i t.”

    Well now he’s gone even while my ship is s un k,
    I lost my crew, my life that night.

    Oh where, oh where, can my warship be?.
    The LCS took it away from me
    he’s gone to appropriations, so I’ve got to be good
    So I can see my Frigate when a get real old