Home » Aviation » Senators Want More Details on 2-Carrier Buy, LCS Requirement Before Supporting Additional Shipbuilding Funds


Senators Want More Details on 2-Carrier Buy, LCS Requirement Before Supporting Additional Shipbuilding Funds

A crane moves the lower stern into place on the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) at Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va. on June 22, 2017. HII Photo

The Senate Armed Services Committee is looking for more information from the Navy before it will support buying additional ships in Fiscal Year 2019, which its House counterparts wholeheartedly endorsed doing.

The Navy requested 10 ships in its FY 2019 request. The House Armed Services Committee earlier this month added the authority to buy three more – two Littoral Combat Ships and an aircraft carrier – and paved the way for additional ships in the Future Years Defense Program.

The Senate committee is taking a more measured approach in its version of the bill, which the committee marked up this week and will be filed with the full Senate for a floor debate and vote after the Memorial Day holiday. SASC’s bill, according to a bill summary, supports only the 10 ships the Navy requested, as well as some additional advance procurement and long lead-time material funding beyond the budget request.

Speaking to reporters on background today, SASC staffers said the committee wanted to better understand the current status of the aircraft carrier and LCS programs before supporting any spending beyond the Navy’s formal 2019 budget request.

On the LCS program, of which SASC Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been among the most vocal critics, the House sided with industry and added two ships to the Navy’s request for one LCS – totaling three ships for FY 2019. During last year’s budget talks, the Navy said buying three ships was the minimum sustaining rate for industry. Both shipyards in the LCS program are competing for the follow-on guided-missile frigate program and maintain that anything less than three LCSs a year before the downselect will hurt their workforce and suppliers and put them at a disadvantage for the frigate competition.

McCain’s longstanding LCS concerns aside, a SASC staffer noted that the Navy, by the end of the current fiscal year, FY 2018, will have bought 32 LCSs, which is the current total program of record. The staffer said the committee is interested in moving on to the more capable frigate instead of funding more LCSs. As a compromise for 2019, the committee included language that will require the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment to certify three things before any LCSs could be bought: one, that there is a national security requirement for LCSs to be bought in 2019; two, that there is an industrial base need for LCSs to be bought in 2019; and three, that buying additional LCSs would not exceed the allowed low-rate initial production (LRIP) quantity.

The staffer told USNI News after the background briefing that the LRIP quantity and the acquisition plan have been changed repeatedly and that changing the LRIP quantity to allow for more LCSs in 2019 wouldn’t be a burden on the Navy and DoD. The certification of national security and industrial base requirement, though, are important to the committee. If the Pentagon comes back and says industry requires just one LCS to be bought in 2019, SASC would support buying one – which is what the Navy requested for 2019. If the Pentagon certifies that industrial base needs dictate buying two or even three, like HASC wanted, then the senators would support that. If the Pentagon said there was no industrial base need at all, then the committee would support zeroing out the program ahead of the frigate transition, the staffer said.

On the Ford-class aircraft carrier program, which McCain has slammed in the past for cost-overruns and system development setbacks, the Navy in March released a request for proposal (RFP) to carrier-builder Newport News Shipbuilding for more information on how allowing a two-ship buy for ships CVN-80 and 81 would create efficiencies and cost-savings.

The Navy hopes to have the information it needs to make a decision about pursuing the two-carrier buy by late summer or early fall. Newport News Shipbuilding has already said it expects it could achieve $1.6 billion in savings by combining CVNs 80 and 81, and the Navy could see more savings beyond that in the government-furnished equipment it buys in separate contracts.

The Navy has not conclusively decided it will pursue the two-carrier buy, though, it looks to be a likely outcome. Still, the House bill is aggressive in aircraft carrier procurement, buying CVN-81 in 2019 and including a provision that carriers be procured on three-year centers going forward, instead of the current five-year gap between buying them.

A SASC staffer said the committee was silent on the issue of additional carrier spending in 2019 beyond the Navy’s request. The staffer said the Navy is still waiting for responses from industry to the RFP and hasn’t sent Congress a formal proposal to change its acquisition strategy – which SASC would consider once it receives a proposal with cost and schedule details. For now, though, the Senate committee isn’t embracing the dual-carrier buy or other acceleration measures in the absence of all the facts.

Littoral Combat Ship Tulsa (LCS-16) is heading back to Austal USA after launching from the drydock at BAE Ship Systems. She’s passing Austal’s vessel completion yard where USNS Yuma (EPF 8), future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) and future USS Omaha (LCS 12) are docked in 2016. Austal USA Photo

The House version of the NDAA also lays out a clear path of growth for the Virginia-class attack submarine program, setting up the Navy to go from buying two a year to adding a third boat in 2022 and 2023 and potentially in 2020 as well. A SASC staffer said the Senate committee chose to be more hands-off, instead supporting the two requested hulls in 2019 and adding an extra $250 million to support either economic order quantity procurement for future subs or initiatives to expand the submarine industrial base – supporting second- and third-tier vendors who either can’t ramp up to support growing submarine construction, or to bring in new companies where a sole-source supplier of an important component exists.

Overall, the SASC bill authorizes $23.1 billion for shipbuilding, which funds the 10 ships the Navy requested – three Arleigh Burke-class destroyers; two Virginia submarines; one LCS; one Lewis B. Puller-class expeditionary transport dock; two John Lewis-class oilers; and one towing, salvage and rescue ship. The bill also adds $1.2 billion beyond the administration’s request to support future ships, including the $250 million for the attack subs, $250 million for long lead material for the destroyer program, $650 million for advance procurement for LPD-31 or economic order quantity procurement for the upcoming San Antonio-class Flight II amphibious ships (formerly the LX(R) program, now called LPD Flight II), and $25 million to accelerate the replacement of Yard Patrol training ships at the U.S. Naval Academy.

In aviation, the bill authorizes buying 117 naval aviation aircraft, including 24 F/A-18 Super Hornets, 10 P-8A Poseidons, two KC-130J Hercules, 25 AH-1Z Cobras, eight CH-53K King Stallions, seven Marine Corps MV-22 and Navy CMV-22B Ospreys, six VH-92A Presidential Helicopters, three MQ-4 Tritons, and five E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes – which fully meets the Navy’s aviation procurement request plus adds one additional E-2D.

On the Joint Strike Fighter, the bill supports all 20 F-35B Marine Corps variants but cuts one F-35C carrier variant, allowing just eight instead of the Navy’s request for nine. The staff said one Navy and one Air Force variant were cut, with that funding being moved to support program sustainment instead of new procurement.

The bill also allows for $100 million for Marine Corps unmanned aerial vehicles. A SASC staffer said the Marine Corps has a shortfall of its Group 3 RQ-21A Blackjack capability, and its large Group 5 UAV is still early on in its development. The committee supports the Marine Corps using a fielded Air Force or Army large UAV system as an interim capability to meet operational commanders’ needs and to potentially help inform the requirements for the Group 5 UAS.

Additionally, the bill includes measures to reform the surface navy in the aftermath of last year’s four surface fleet mishaps in U.S. 7th Fleet, two of which were fatal and killed 17 sailors. The Surface Warfare Enhancement Act was introduced back in February, and 10 provisions and three pieces of report language from that act were included in SASC’s version of the NDAA. The House committee seeks to address the same surface readiness issues but in a different way. SASC calls for a clean-sheet review of the command and control structure and asks for an unclassified summary of the Navy’s the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV)’s reports – whereas the House wants to declassify each individual INSURV report.

The full SASC bill language is not yet available and will be released after the holiday recess. Once the full Senate passes the NDAA, the HASC and SASC will have to meet for a conference committee to work out the differences between their bills.

  • PolicyWonk

    the committee included language that will require the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment to certify three things before any LCSs could be bought: one, that there is a national security requirement for LCSs to be bought in 2019; two, that there is an industrial base need for LCSs to be bought in 2019; and three, that buying additional LCSs would not exceed the allowed low-rate initial production (LRIP) quantity.
    ===========================================
    They should add: four, that these LCSs are good for something other than being tied to a pier.

    They should have to justify why these ships are not doing a single deployment during 2018 – not even a mere “presence mission” for a single LCS, equipped with the (obviously terrifying) SUW mission package, when the first was commissioned 10 years ago. The navy is starved for ships and resources – yet LCS has revealed itself capable of….nothing useful.

    Before building/funding new Ford-class carriers, the USN should be required to demonstrate and certify that EMALS and the AAG work as advertised, and that neither represent a single-point of failure due to maintenance, or damage due to battle or accidents.

    • Duane

      No … the SASC did not require those conditions be satisfied before “any more LCS can be bought”. The conditions apply only to the two additional LCS that HASC authorized beyond 32 hulls. The Navy requested one more ship in 2019 bringing the total authorized LCS to 32 ships.

      This will all get worked out in conference, but there is a 99% chance that SASC’s requests for information will be satisfied and the buy will be 3 LCS in 2019. Bet on it.

    • Lazarus

      As usual, this is just the senior Senator from AZ mucking things up for his own benefit. If he had wanted to be an admiral he should not have retired and gone to the Senate.

      • Ctrot

        So you believe the US Legislative body should not have oversight of the military? Interesting.

        • NavySubNuke

          Yesterday he admitted the primary members of the LCS fan club are Putin, Xi, Duane, and himself so anything is possible.
          I just wonder how much money he has made from his unwavering support of this failed program.

        • Lazarus

          Not in the caustic, confrontation and self-serving way that Senator McCain does of the surface navy whilst giving his own aviation alma mater a complete pass.

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            I seriously doubt Senator McCain is thinking brown versus black shoe. Besides he has come down pretty hard on the Ford class.

            I would propose that Senator McCain is exercising his investigative duties as the Chairman of the SASC. The string of critical reports by GAO, CRS, and DOT&E are giving him plenty of reasons to ask questions.

  • Ed L

    LCS needs to be able to work with a Carrier battle group or a surface action group. If an LCS can get underway and do UNREP then it should be able to stay at sea as long as it can be resupplied. In mid-2001 the Office of Naval Research was considering construction of a Littoral Combat Ship with a displacement of 500 to 600 tons. The LCS would have a draft of about three meters, an operational range of 4,000 nautical miles, and a maximum speed of 50-60 knots. The cost per ship might be at least $90 million. Now the Clylone clas PC’s. These 179-foot-long boats, armed with guns and missiles, are now viewed as among the Navy’s most important ships. They also refuel underway (astern refueling method) Remarkably, they’re also some of the least expensive — setting U.S. taxpayers back just $20 million apiece when the Navy originally bought them in the early 1990s. Most Navy ships — admittedly far larger — cost hundreds of millions, even billions, of dollars. And are expected to operate into the 2020’s.

    • Lazarus

      PC’s are useful for very very low end patrol work and not much else. I know; I precommed one. Great ships but no substitute for a ship with a helo hanger, flight deck, multiple weapons and space for more like….LCS!

      • Ed L

        Then the LCS should not be limited to an endurance of 21 days. Remember Sailors belong on ships and Ships belong at Sea

        • Lazarus

          LCS can in fact remain at sea longer if needed. There are such things as RAS and VERTREP. Maintenance can be conducted at sea with some equipment off line; just as other ships do.

      • NavySubNuke

        But PCs don’t cost well over $600M. Nor are they stuffed full of “contractor proprietary” gear that only the builder is allowed to perform even basic PMS on.
        How much do you think each LCS would cost if it wasn’t for those sweetheart maintenance deals that guarantee the ship builders will continue to line their pockets for the next 20-30 years “maintaining” these failed designs?

        • Duane

          Neither do LCS cost well over $600M. The average delivered cost per hull under the 11 ship block buy for the Freedom class LCS was/is $350M. The cost for the mission modules including R&D varies from less than $34M for both SuW and ASW to under $100M for MCM.

          • NavySubNuke

            Liar liar pants on fire. Come one sweetie – at least look at the budget documents and try to use a figure that is close to the truth.
            Just google Navy budget documents and look under ship building and conversion.

          • Duane

            Any person even passibly familiar with Federal budget documents knows that they do not give accurate statements of individual unit costs because they compound numbers from multiple hulls in a single budget year. No ship is delivered in any single budget year but is spread across many years. The truth of a unit cost is in the contract documents. And the contract documents provide for the Federal government to pay LM an average $350 M per ship. That is a fact.

          • NavySubNuke

            LOL – the excuses you come up with to try and convince people your lies are actually true really are impressive.
            Oh and let’s not forget that the $600M+ wasted on each LCS doesn’t even include the “after market” costs of welding on a ASCM launcher so that it at least has some sort of offensive armament. That is just a nice little extra cost to the taxpayer.
            Nice try though troll.

      • PolicyWonk

        PC’s might be useful for low end patrol work – but that makes them considerably more useful than LCS has proven to be, at a tiny fraction of the price. The PC’s were in fact upgraded and sent to the Persian Gulf, because LCS simply cannot do the job. It seems that LCS’s best virtue is that of a large, and easy to kill target.

        LCS also has its many weight problems, prohibiting the addition of weapons or protection of substance without severe impact on their performance, and (proven unreliable) propulsion plants. Even if it didn’t, its lousy engineering and commercial grade construction would render it a poor choice for investment: its never wise to build on a poorly laid foundation.

        LCS isn’t exactly considered a success story by the USN, who refers to it as the program that “broke naval acquisition”. A dubious honor, at best…

        • Duane

          LCS does not have “many weight problems”. It has a specified gross weight as expressed in any of several ways, just like every other ship on the planet. The ASW mission module several initially reported that its weight was greater than allowed, so portions were redesigned and now, the ASW MM is complete, within weight limits, and is now undergoing final integration this year.

          ALL ship types with new equipment will experience challenges in managing the weight of installed gear. The Arleigh Burke Flight III design required years of effort to accommodate the larger size of the AN/SPY-6 radar array and the much larger and heavier AC plant to cool it. That was a “problem”, to use your term, that had to be addressed, and it was. Ditto with integrating the F-35B into the America class amphibs … it required a special heat resistant deck coating, but the huge increase in lethality of the F-35 over the Harrier certainly is not a “problem”.

          Your “problem” is that you and a small handful of persistent internet trolls … cough cough, I mean “critics”, furiously spin the heck out of everything to paint as “problems” or defects things that are actually major advances in naval technology. Navy leaders have proclaimed that what they have learned from the LCS program is that ALL new naval warships must henceforth become modular and adaptable to technological change, as is LCS. That is 21st century thinking, while you and your ilk are still stuck in the 20th century.

        • Lazarus

          LCS is a USN success story; it is only a failure for 1980’s era folks detached from current budget and operational issues, and perhaps certain members of Congress intent on stealing $$$ from the surface navy in favor of the aviation community. Funny how those “poly wonks” from the SASC staff who want to micro-manage the surface fleet ignore all of the aviation navy’s many problems. LOL!

          • Bryan

            Question for you Lazarus, And I’m not trying to yank your chain here…

            If I spend 30-35 years in the Navy going from an O-1 and ending as the CNO and I made the statement about Congress that you just made, would it be wrong for someone to ask, “So what did you do about it?”

            You see it’s not a binary question. Can Congress be negligent in their jobs for real reason some years and for political reasons in others? Of course the answer is yes.

            If it consistently happened over the CNO’s carreer and what he did to save money, divert money ect ended up hollowing out the force and driving the ability of the low end of the high/low mix to be so inferior that it stopped actually saving money while still giving the Navy the risk, he failed right along with Congress. That’s true, IF there was a way for him and other leaders to be more resilient and cope better due to the uncertain future with their long term strategy. That sir is what we’re talking about here. That is the decades long institutional failure of the Navy.

            Want to see what a more conservative military strategy looks like in the short term? Just listen to the recent ideas of General Neller of the USMC. He takes a lot of flack for his priority list. But it is founded in an understanding of the government’s boom and bust budget, projected budget pressures in the 20’s and a proper risk reduction strategy to deal with it.

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by (a reaction to) stupidity.

            Here’s a quote from Paul Francis from GAO (Dec 2016). I imagine you will denigrate the messenger rather than deal with the substance.

            “The bottom line on the LCS is we’re 26 ships into the contract and we still don’t know if the LCS can do its job. Over the last 10 years, we’ve made a number of trade-downs. We’ve accepted higher cost, construction delays, mission module delays, testing delays, reliability and quality problems, and lower capability. To accommodate the lesser performance of the ship, we’ve accepted a number of work-arounds: higher crew loads, more shore support, … reduced mission expectations for the ship. It will be 2020 before we know that the ship and all of its mission modules will work.”

          • Lazarus

            Dude you really need to get your information straight. Costs for LCS have gone down, not up. Capability of the ship has improved with the provision for ASCM’s. Delays happen to all programs and sequestration has hurt most. You don’t get how smaller ships with smaller crews operate and shore support has in fact decreased and not increased.
            If you are going to comment on LCS you really ought to become more conversant with the program beyond a mere cursory, outsider look.

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            You really need to read more carefully (I’m not Paul Francis (GAO)). I’d also urge you to stop cherry-picking short term accomplishments and look at the overall trend since Milestone A (May 2004).

            The 2016 quote says costs have gone up in the last ten years. How much have costs increased from the original projection of 2006?

            Four non-integrated ASCMs is hardly eye-watering for a 3,000 ton ship. And that is one of three required missions. What is the Navy getting relative to the UxV-centric ASW module that was projected in 2006? Or the MCM module that was projected in 2006?

            What happened to the module-swapping CONOPS that we were told in 2006 was absolutely vital to the LCS concept? Heck what even happened to the modules themselves? Has the delivery schedule slipped since 2006?

            Have there been problems with LCS construction? Were there frequent LCS reliability and breakdown issues in 2006?

            I know you are not a big fan of GAO – so here’s what Ray Mabus said in 2016. He is an ex-SWO so by your rationale is perfectly qualified to comment:

            “…[b]ecause [LCS] can deploy with a carrier strike group, because they have such robust anti-mine and anti-submarine capabilities we’re redesignating them as frigates… a group of small surface ships like LCS is still capable of putting the enemy fleet on the bottom of the ocean. Now that’s the success story.”

            I cannot find one true or logical statement in that entire paragraph. And that’s literally coming from the Secretary of the Navy! You can understand why many of us raise the BS flag at your unsubstantiated claims.

          • Lazarus

            Ray Mabus served one brief Vietnam era tour before the SWO career path existed.

            You raise a lot of BS flags about a warfare community of which you are not a member. I call that BS!

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            I put away my brown shoes a long time ago. I am just a concerned taxpayer.

            You have an annoying habit of reverting to personal sidebars vice addressing the matter at hand. Stop it.

            PS – SECNAV Mabus was made an honorary SWO back in 2016. You guys own him.

      • Bryan

        Ummm….the LCS is a large PC. If the Navy decides to up gun a Cyclone something along the lines of an Ambassador IV would work just fine. We need to use the LCS as a mcm and the other class as the glorified cutter. That would help in the SCS, Sadly it will meet a Chinese response from one of their warships. Thus returning the need for an overwatch ship. At least we will get some good use out of them.

        • Duane

          No – LCS is a ship. PCs are boats. Read Lazarus’ comment above for a summary of the world of difference between the two vessel types.

        • Lazarus

          Really? The 57mm gun of LCS is far and away superior to the 25mm weapons of the PC. LCS has extensive aviation capabilities, Sea RAM, two 30mm guns, Hellfire, etc. Not sure how anyone could even remotely equate the classes.

      • MATTHEW COSNER

        I do agree the Navy needs a small surface combatant for patrol and constabulary duties. Something smaller than a DDG but more capable than a PC.

        LCS is a poor choice for that role. Given it’s cost, it is severely lacking in firepower, defensive capability and (critically) range/endurance.

        The fact that we are buying two distinct types (Freedom and Independence) – each with their own logistics and training tail – is mind-bogglingly stupid.

        • Simon

          Agree but politics wins every time.

        • Duane

          No lack of firepower at all. You guys who make that criticism need to read something post 2013. Since 2014 we’ve installed the Mk 141 angled cannister deck launcher – the same one installed on Flight I Arleigh Burkes – on the Coronado, and tested and certified both Harpoon – again, the very same ASCM deployed on DDGs – and the Naval Strike Missile, a far more advanced, smart, stealthy ASCM with longer range – on LCS. The OTH missile procurement will finish next month, with NSM the apparent winner, and the Navy has budgeted OTH missile buys and launcher buys for LCS for each of the next 5 years.

          Additionally, the Navy and Lockheed Martin developed a modified MK 141 launcher for LCS to integrate LRASM, it was tested successfully last August at White Sands, and shipboard launch of LRASM on LCS is scheduled later this year. LRASM is the most capable ASCM on the planet, combining the stealthiness and smartness of NSM with a much larger warhead and longer range.

          No surface warship on the planet will have more lethal firepower for SuW than our LCS.

        • Lazarus

          I don’t think you understand surface ship design and operation, or the concept behind LCS. The ship is built with a corvette’s armament, but has space/weight/power/cooling for additional weapon systems. It is this modularity (and not necessarily discrete, programmatic modules) that is the strength of the LCS program. The endurance of the first two Freedom class ships was low, but all of the Independence class ships have made their endurance requirements. The follow-on Freedom class ships (5 and forward) need additional endurance measurement, but are closer to 3500nm than previous units. Read the history of ship design and production; few if any ships meet all of the requirements.

          • NavySubNuke

            LOL – corvette’s armament?
            Come on Laz – who are you trying to fool here? Not to mention no corvette out there costs over $600M — and that doesn’t even include the extra $134M for mission modules and another ~$100M in post-delivery modifications.

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            Laz – you would have made a heck of a public affairs officer. Your ability to spin a negative into a positive and generate new “talking points” is astounding.

            I’ve read the NPS papers and Bob Work’s white paper. The mission modules and the ability to swap them were always the key strengths of the LCS concept.

            Unfortunately, the modules are many years behind, grossly undercapable, and swapping between ships has been abandoned by the Navy as unworkable.

            But according to you – we should not worry. The LCS concept is no longer dependent on the modules. No, the really important thing is all that empty space where the modules should’ve gone. We’ll fill it up. With something. Someday.

          • Duane

            The modules are not “behind”. Obviously you don’t understand what is involved in developing brand new cutting edge technologies in unmanned systems rather than just recycling old obsolete stuff.

            The ships that you weirdlt love to hate were fully developed years ago and unlike all prior ship classes, easily integrates all this new tech and cutting edge systems without having to redesign the platform, or to have to shitcan the ships and start over again.

            You guys are simply clueless, and stuck in the 80s as Laz says.

          • NavySubNuke

            Duane: “The modules are not “behind””
            Duane – do you not understand the concept of behind schedule and over budget or are you just paid to not understand it?
            You do realize the MM’s just had a Nunn-Mccordy breach right? As a result they now cost $134M each even if you include the 4 that will never deploy. The numbers only get worse when you consider only the 44 that will be deployed.

  • NavySubNuke

    “The staffer said the committee is interested in moving on to the more capable frigate instead of funding more LCSs”
    Well both the Navy and the Senate agree it is time to stop wasting money on this pier queen – hopefully they can get the house to agree rather than flushing more money down the toilet on these virtually unarmed death traps.

    • Duane

      No, you obviously cannot read with accuracy. The Navy still requests one more LCS buy in 2019, as well as continued spending on all the other LCS on order and under construction, and funding to complete development of the ASW and MCM mission modules (SuW is now IOC, with a bit more work to complete this fiscal year on the new Hellfire launcher). And the Navy had also programmed requests for OTH missile buys under the contract to be awarded next month, for LCS.

      And no, LCS is no “pier queen” as the LCS trolls love to repeat, following Vlad Lenin’s meme that “a lie repeated often enough begins to seem like the truth”. LCS spend as much time at sea as any US Naval warship.

      • NavySubNuke

        LOL – oh Duane it really is funny to see you accuse other people of lying. Your complete and utter lack of even the slightest shred of personal integrity is well known and displayed here yet again.
        As has been reported on USNI news not a single LCS will deploy in 2018 – NOT A SINGLE ONE – but go ahead and keep lying about how much time those pier queens spend at sea. Go ahead and pretend those virtually unarmed death traps are actually warships. Go ahead and pretend the Navy is still wasting money on them because they want to and not because they are just trying to scrape something from nothing and realize they can’t admit to congress the whole multi-billion dollar program is nothing but a failed jobs program.

        • Duane

          You’re terrible at debate … you really need to give it up. You wrote a comment that clearly isn’t true, I called you on it, and then you say I lie.

          Facts are facts. Your problem is that you don’t like the facts.

          For instance your ridiculous charge that because this calendar year no LCS are deploying that makes them “pier queens”. Huloooo! You need to get some schooling on what constitutes a “deployment”. The LCS in commission are spending lots of time at sea doing crew training, and weapons and other systems integration and certification operations AT SEA. Just like any other class of ship with new cutting edge systems do and have always done. Those LCS that are not routinely going to sea on such ops are new ships in their post shakedown availabilities, which all new ships undertake.

          You and the LCS trolls like you are masters of stupid sounding political spin, not intelligent and honest assessors of fact. Comes from your weirdly emotional state of ship hate.

          • Pacemaker4

            On 2 December 2016, it was reported that the GAO was critical of the LCS’s ability to complete a navy requirement of 30 consecutive days underway without a critical failure of one or more essential subsystems. Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation states that the current LCS fleet have a “have a near-zero chance” of meeting this requirement.

          • Lazarus

            The same Dr. Gilmore also said that Navy crews provided no damage control enhancement. It is good that he resigned.

          • Bryan

            I’m not familiar with the report. What is the context of Dr. Gilmore’s statement?

            I ask because that statement can be spot on correct or the most ignorant depending on the context.

            Example: Manning is not important to a ship with level 2 or 3 survival. That is an ignorant statement. It’s the damage control parties in the surrounding compartments that control the minor flooding and keep the ship from listing over and sinking.

            Example: On a ship that is rated level 1 survival due to compartmentalization deficiencies manning does not matter. That is a true statement. If the compartments that flood within seconds after a blast by design will list the ship enough to roll it over and sink it, manning to control flooding in surrounding compartments will not matter. It will not save it.

          • Lazarus

            That is one opinion of how manning supports or does not support DC and a theoretical one at best. Sailors have historically been able to save 3500 ton ships like LCS due to damage control efforts.

          • Bryan

            So if we support our DDG-51’s properly with manning are you suggesting we can make the newer DDG-51’s level 1 survival and not incur strategic and tactical risk?

          • Curtis Conway

            Mostly in the great wars, and they were built with surface combatant watertight integrity and compartmentalization standards, not commercial standards.

          • Bryan

            No sir, that is the very definition of level 1, 2, 3 survival. What you don’t seem to understand is that you are arguing the history of which ships actually rolled over and died, slowly sank, and survived during WWII. For you to expect me to believe your statement is like asking a WWII sailor, “Who you going to believe, Lazarus or your lying eyes?” Well you shouldn’t be surprised at the answer.

            Lazarus, are you Chinese or Russian? Because no one should be arguing the basics of history as it relates to damage control. Rules written in blood isn’t a navy slogan. It’s the institutional memory related to keeping sailors alive and winning wars. Physics hasn’t changed since WWII and not even since the 80’s. Flooding water weighs the same. Gravity, buoyancy use the same math.

          • Lazarus

            Those levels are constructs based on susceptibility to attack, vulnerability to damage and recoverability from damage. LCS gets a level 1 for a variety of reasons including her size, lack of the same sort of defensive weapons a much larger DDG has, and crew complement. My point is that ships under 450 feet in length and 3500 tons displacement have been saved from crippling damage in the past by the efforts of their crews (both large and small.) It is also worth noting that no ship under 600 feet in length and 10k tons displacement has ever been very “survivable” if hit my multiple missile/torpedo sized warheads. It takes a large number of cumulative gun hits to sink a ship, but one or two torpedoes/ASCM’s will. Gilmore outright rejected that crew DC had any role to play in survivability.

          • Bryan

            The fact that not every ship of lower level sinks when someone says, “Boo” has nothing to do with the survival levels. It’s a strategic level where 1 has a tendency to make hull numbers disappear in short order and the 2 keeps them around to be fixed.

            At the tactical level we don’t need to have the experience of sinking to understand that it’s not a good thing to be on a ship that sinks at a greater rate than another.

            Put another way, the survival difference between 1 and 2 is huge. The difference between 2 and 3, not as much. Fighting for increased level 1 makes people legitimately question your motives.

          • James B.

            I don’t expect an LCS-sized ship to absorb multiple hits and survive in any useful condition, but what about one?

            If a single leaker gets through, a DDG will survive, and an old Perry-class FFG will probably live but no guarantees. Something LCS-sized is probably going to sink with proper hit placement.

            Betting everything on 100% effective defensive systems is audacious if it works, but stupid if it doesn’t.

          • Lazarus

            The LCS sized JHSV that was hit by a Houthi ASCM survived.

          • James B.

            Swift stayed afloat long enough to be salvaged, but was declared unrepairable and decommissioned.

            A similar outcome for an LCS would only be “survival” because the modern US Navy is rich and stubborn enough to spend years and hundreds of millions of dollars “repairing” a ship rather than officially write it off due to battle damage.

          • Pacemaker4

            ” By design, the ship’s small crew does not have the
            capacity to effect major repairs. Instead, the Navy’s support concept depends on the use of remote assistance in troubleshooting problems and the use of Navy repair organizations and contractors for repair assistance. However, the Navy’s limited stock of repair parts for LCS systems, many of which were sourced from offshore vendors, can result in long logistics delays and occasionally forces the Navy to resort to cannibalization of another ship in order to expedite repairs. Because of the planned reliance on shore-based contractor support, in many cases the LCS crew lacks the documentation, training, test equipment, and tools required to troubleshoot and repair serious problems as they emerge. An example of this limitation occurred during LCS 4’s operational testing during 2015 and 2016, where the ship’s primary air defense system,
            SeaRAM, suffered from seven long periods of downtime (greater than 48 hours). Each repair required the delivery of replacement components that were not stocked aboard the ship, and most required assistance from shore-based, subject matter experts. These failures left the ship defenseless against ASCMs, and would likely have forced it to return to port for repairs if it had been operating in an ASCM threat area. During the LCS 3 operational test period, the crew was unable to repair multiple critical systems, such as the ship’s navigation data distribution system, the air search radar, and Link 16 tactical link, each of which resulted in multiple days of downtime while awaiting assistance from contractors to troubleshoot and repair the systems.
            The limited ability of the crew to effect repairs became particularly acute during the 2015 MCM technical evaluation period; the LCS 2 crew relied on shore-based maintenance personnel to complete repairs of the ship’s twin boom extensible crane, main propulsion diesel engines, 6 electrical systems, boat davit, straddle lift carrier, and air conditioning units and the mission package’s Remote Multi-Mission Vehicles (RMMV) and Airborne Mine Neutralization System (AMNS) Launch and Handling Systems. ”

            sounds like the crew wasnt able to fix anything..because they had no parts and they needed to call home for instructions too…
            wow.

            “Along with the V-22 Osprey, the F-22 presents a case study for the Pentagon’s procurement pathology: call it the buy-before- you-fly syndrome. “One of the oldest tricks is putting off testing until production has begun,” says Danielle Brian, director of the Project on Government Oversight. “As a result, the contractor gets paid twice: once to make a flawed system and once to fix it.”

            Seems the course for every new weapon system and platform. Especially the LCS

          • Lazarus

            POGO is a bunch of angry old aviation experts who do not understand ship construction. Most ships not rely more on shore based maintenance than in previous decades as it has often been assessed as less expensive. Also, the MCM module was much less developed in 2015 and still undergoing significant modification. Additional repairs and work were inevitable in that process.

          • Pacemaker4

            yup… fixing a broken weapons system thats already in production. Thats the game. $$$

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            Hard to say what is or isn’t cheaper when we (still) don’t understand LCS Operations and Support (O&S) costs.

          • Lazarus

            Something usually not known until the first 6-8 ships are fully operational in their designed CONOPS.

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            It has been 14 years since Milestone A was declared. We have 30 of these ships built or under contract.

            Insisting that we shouldn’t expect to know what it will cost to operate and support LCS is ridiculous.

          • Lazarus

            Not if the CONOPS gets changed multiple times.

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            Seriously? Your argument for the costs being unknowable is that the CONOPs are unpredictable?

            Is this a DOD acquisition program or a Dilbert comic?

          • Lazarus

            Changing a warship’s CONOPS multiple times delays deployment schedules and therefore limits the data available to accurately assess costs.

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            If you don’t know what something is going to cost – you should probably stop building them.

          • jetcal1

            Oh sh!t! Facts! Please refrain from using them.

          • Bryan

            You hit on a military trick that is being used in more extreme ways. We see this with the LCS (no not the only problem) and Ford. The problem is the extreme use is because they are fighting for money. When the tricks don’t work, we are left with extremely dysfunctional products.

            Why would the Navy put a tech on a $14B warship when they could mature it to 100% at pax? Simple if they left it at pax we would probably hear about it’s cancellation. The Navy protected it from cancellation by putting it on a 14B warship. But because it was not a mature tech we are paying more and more for the development of it.

            Sooner or later the Navy will run into a tech that needed to be cancelled, not because of congress politics but because it can’t be matured enough to actually work to the level the Navy needs. When that happens we will have wasted not only a lot of money, but perhaps a strategic asset. But wait, we have two carriers with those EMALS. So if they are not able to be matured to at least get close to the Nimitz sortie rate then we have two sub par super carriers for the price of 28-32B.

            But hey just ask Laz, it’s the 80’s procurement that caused that. Or you can ask Bryan: it’s really Navy leadership that lacks honor and is more concerned about getting a star with the, bigger is better plan. Admiral needing a star: “Real world strategy? Pffft….get real Bryan. I’m making Admiral baby. What? You mean it won’t even work as well as Nimitz? So, we never actually use anywhere near that sortie rate. That’s just what we tell people so I can make rate. Did I mention I’m making admiral. Hey, can we get someone to blame the procurement system for this? Oh, Chinese agents will do that for us? Awesome!”

          • Lazarus

            Do you have any idea how often ship systems go down? It happens. The testing process for LCS has been flawed from the start and rightly criticized by PEO USC for being arbitrary and not in line with the vessel’s design as a shore-supported combatant.

          • Duane

            He was forced out

          • NavySubNuke

            Was he forced out or was “Gilmore was fired 18 months ago for malfeasance”
            because there is a big difference.
            I realize you don’t have even the slightest shred of personal integrity but you should at least try to stick to the same lies in a single thread.

          • Duane

            Gilmore was fired. Whether he was allowed to submit a resignation letter in lieu of a full bore firing under civil service rules, nobody cares. He was forcrd out for malfeasance, as he clearly abused his job reaponsibilities.

          • NavySubNuke

            So claims a proven liar with no evidence to the contrary.

          • Pacemaker4

            So you’re just making it up… i see.

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            “The same Dr. Gilmore also said that Navy crews provided no damage control enhancement. It is good that he resigned.”

            When all else fails – shoot the messenger.

            So are you saying that LCS does in fact have a greater (than near-zero) probability of meeting its 30-day underway requirement? If so – show the data.

          • Lazarus

            I said that Dr Gilmore suggested that the same Navy damage control efforts rated so effective in saving FTZ and McCain in the aftermath of recent collisions was in his words ineffective in reducing ship vulnerability. Shame on him for saying such!

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            Well… kind of apples and oranges on your part. DDGs and LCSs simply are not designed to the same survivability standards. Nor are they manned to same levels.

            It wouldn’t be “the same” damage control efforts if an LCS and DDG took the exact same hit. It’s hard to see how JSM and FTZ incidents actually apply.

            And again: this doesn’t address the original question of LCS reliability to meet it’s 30-day underway requirements. Is there any actual data that proves it can?

          • Lazarus

            The 30 day underway requirement has nothing to do with the damage control conversation here. Why bring that up at all? LCS was nominally designed for 21 day at sea patrols.

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            See pacemaker4s comment.

          • Bryan

            FTZ and McCain….Hmmmm level 3 survival….numbers, number what do they mean. Well level 2 means when a OHP gets hit it does what it did. Good job following rules written in blood. Hmmm….FTZ and McCain hit, did what was expected of as a level 3. Level 2 and 3 ships seem to work as advertised even under foolishly caused accidents.

            Level 2 and 3 work…what does the Navy level 1 suggest will happen? Far greater chance of damage and sinking. Far greater loss of life. Far greater chance the ship will be a total loss under water or not worth fixing if it doesn’t sink…..

            Oh yeah Vladimir gives making more ships level 1 to save money a, Two Thumbs Up. Sailors that actually have seen why the saying, rules written in blood is used? Two Thumbs Down.

            There is a better way. The old way isn’t working in this budget environment and the projected numbers for the budget is getting worse.

          • jetcal1

            Link please.

          • Lazarus

            USNI does not allow links. Look up Dr. Gilmore’s last SASC testimony before his departure; December 2016.

          • jetcal1

            Thank you.

          • Duane

            Gilmore was fired 18 months ago for malfeasance He openly stated on the record on multiple occasions that he considered it his mission to kill off new weapons systems like the F-35 and LCS. He clearly violated his duty to be an honest quality assurance tester and long overdue, he was duly fired.

          • Pacemaker4

            source please.

          • Pacemaker4

            presidential appointees arent fired usually… again got a source?

          • NavySubNuke

            The real answer is of course he wasn’t fired he just left when the administration turned over just like 99% of the other political appointees.
            Seriously though – don’t hold your breath on that source – he is a proven liar who likes to make absurd claims.
            He told me recently that the US is the only country with CVNs and that you can’t tow a towed array at flank speed. He also claimed that over the horizon radar doesn’t exist – physics makes it impossible!!!
            If you comment here long enough you will get used to his nonsense.

          • Pacemaker4

            Thx I come and go ….but always run into the troll duane…lol

      • jetcal1

        April 11th 2018.

        Here on this blog.

        “Navy May Not Deploy Any Littoral Combat Ships This Year”

        • Duane

          Yes. I read the whole post which made it extremely clear that that is not due to any deficiencies of the LCS, but a combination of most of the in-service vessels still going to sea to train crews, and doing certification and integration testing on systems like the VDS, MCM components, Hellfire launcher, etc.etc. and having 4 new LCS simultaneously undergoing required post-shakedown availabilities that all new construction ships must do.

          • jetcal1

            Yes sir, 10 hulls in commission. Six or seven of them for over THREE YEARS and not even two of them can deploy.
            If I was up for sea duty, I’d be all over this.
            Pre-comm, shakedown, certification….figure 60 month rotation with no more than 10 months actually under way?
            Plus LCS is only for “front runners”? Come as a First and leave as a Senior Chief!

          • Bryan

            Great plan, unless there’s a war. Maybe leave as a First or Chief? It’s the leaving early that sucks…

          • jetcal1

            Well, I don’t believe the LCS supporters are all that worried about it.
            1. Like me, they’re too old to deploy
            2. SGLI comes out of a different pot of money. (Their LCS OPTAR is safe.)
            3. They’re using the same logic that brought us the B-18 instead of the B-17.
            4. Secretly, they think most of them will be sunk pierside.

        • Lazarus

          That’s because the next two in line to deploy were instead beat up in needless shock trials. Such events have historically damaged smaller ships including the original USS Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG 7) that was retired early and the MHC 51 class ship that was shocked and suffered major damage to her GRP hull that took years to repair. Shock trials are a “fantasy football” exercise that really do not prove or disprove a ship’s survivability. They make members of Congress feel good that they did “something” to ensure national security. Instead, shock trials just delay deployments and shorten ship lifespans.

          • jetcal1

            We will continue to disagree.

    • Lazarus

      The navy cannot afford a more capable light destroyer in the numbers needed. SASC is extremely delusional.

      • NavySubNuke

        Considering even a single FREMM is worth at least 3 if not 4 LCS both in terms of combat power and the ability to actually get off the pier and go to sea it is hardly a delusion.
        When you include the $134M we are spending – on average – on the mission packages and the $600M plus each LCS costs (never mind the logistics tail thanks to the sweetheart maintenance deals) a FREMM really isn’t all that much more than an LCS in actual costs.
        We certainly won’t be able to get them for $800M — but $900M – $1000M (aka $1B) is certainly doable and isn’t really all that much more money for a ship that can do so much more.

        • Duane

          There is no such comparison as you suggest. A FREMM makes a lousy littoral combat ship … too big, too slow, too deep draft, and its slow shooting gun and no Hellfires it would quickly lose a battle against a small surface craft or aerial drone swarm.

          As a competitor for FFG(X), which is another matter, it fails in all respects per the published requirements:

          1 – too big and therefore too expensive … the single biggest driver of ship costs is size/disolacement

          2 – No FREMM has ever been built in a US shipyard, meaning no hot production line exists in the US with fully installed systems or trained workers or contracted, experienced supply chain contractors in place. Bottom line: there is no way a US built FREMM can meet the required first ship delivery date in 2025.

          3 – The FREMM has never integrated nearly all of the required GFE systems for FFG(X). Zilch experience with the radar, COMBATTS-21 battle management system, Mk 110 57nm gun, Mk 46 30mm gun, the Mk 141 angled canister deck launcher, the Hellfire launcher, the NSM, the MH-60R and MQ-8B or C, the VDS, etc. etc. etc. Yes, there is no doubt that all that GFE can eventually be integrated onto the FREMM, but the Navy made it very clear that they highly value actual experience with the required systems. As with point no. 2 above, there is no way a FREMM can meet the 2025 first ship delivery with its non-existent specific systems integration experience.

          FFG(X) is virtually a lock for either of LM or Austal. The only way FREMM can win is if the Navy decides to throw away all of the requirements.

          • NavySubNuke

            Please, an LCS also makes a lousy littoral combat ship since it isn’t even meant for combat.
            As to your specific points:
            1) It might be too expensive that is true – we don’t know what it would actually cost to build in a US shipyard but for an extra $100M more the US could get a ship that can actually get underway and go on deployment rather than just a stretched out pier queen the Navy is terrified to deploy because of how often the engine rooms self destruct. Oh and it actually has weapons – a nice touch for any ship actually meant for combat.
            2) We have 7 years – this is easily correctable. Especially since hot lines for FREMM already exist — and FREMMS build more recently than many of our LCS have already successfully deploy.
            3) Again, we have 7 years to correct this. The LCS doesn’t even have it’s ASCM launcher integrated into the fire control system at this point. It is welded on after the fact – for extra money over and above the already ridiculous cost – and then the ship has to manually provide inputs to the missiles since they aren’t connected in.
            Nice try though.
            FFG(x) is really a good choice point for the Navy. We can continue to procure ships that aren’t going to do what the Navy needs and actually makes us weaker and more likely to not only face war but to actually lose that war.
            Or we can make a decision to buy a real frigate. To buy something that will make our Navy stronger and our nation safe.
            Certainly the easy choice – and the more political choice – is to continue to waste money on more LCS. But I hope that the Navy’s new leadership realizes that terrible mistakes made during the Mabus error and corrects it by picking a real frigate for FFG(X) – a ship that can actually sail into harms way in the spirit of John Paul Jones.

          • ElmCityAle

            That’s assuming it’s actually possible to produce a ship that meets all of the requirements for the proposed cost – something entirely unclear to me. The navy might have been correct in the high/low approach and understood better some people the quantum steps of cost involved.

          • NavySubNuke

            Certainly it will be a challenge. But FREMMs are rolling off the line for ~$800M so it isn’t impossible to build a ship that is actually capable of deterring our enemies and fighting and winning the nations wars should deterrence fail at reasonable cost.
            I just hope the Navy actually does the right thing for FFG(X) rather than doing the easy thing. Doing the easy thing is what created the entire mess that is the failed LCS program – hopefully people have realized by now the long term costs of the easy way and are ready to change.

          • Curtis Conway

            French FREMM is 15′ draft. No sonar dome.

          • Lazarus

            These are all good points!

        • Lazarus

          Number matter. One FREMM sinks and takes all of the ASCM’s with it. One of three LCS sinks and 2/3 of the fighting potential remains.

          • NavySubNuke

            True but the FREMM on the on the bottom of the ocean has about as much fighting potential as any 2 LCS.
            And in a fight between 1 FREMM and 3 or even 4 LCS it is virtually impossible to imagine a scenario where the FREMM is on the bottom and 2 LCS remain. The much more likely scenario is all 4 or 5 combatants end up mission killed and limping home at the end of the fight. The difference being the FREMM took out $2.4B – $3.2B worth of investment while the 3-4 LCS took out what will probably be ~900M – $1B worth of investment.

          • Curtis Conway

            In that case not every LCS would limp home. The sailors would be fish food.

          • NavySubNuke

            Probably true – but I’m willing to give the crew some credit on saving their ships until proven otherwise. It is actually kind of hard to sink a ship with just a few missiles.

          • Curtis Conway

            We haven’t done a SINKEX on an LCS yet. It will go down much more rapidly than a FFG-7 fully buttoned up. Recent FFG-7 SINKEX(s) apply. You know the French FREMM has a draft (15′) comparable to the LCS (12.8′). The Itallian FREMM has that big sonar dome on the front (29′ draft). Ice-harden the French hull and strengthen the bow, and we can easily fit everything aboard with plenty of room to grow. When the radar is upgraded to 9-RMA it will have the equivalent radar search volume of current cruisers. The FREMM already has two large hangars, but organic torpedoes are missing. Not a lot of freeboard aft for the tail and VDS, but plenty wide to accomodate the configurations.

          • NavySubNuke

            French FREMMs already have VDS and it is downright amazing what they are able to do. I did a stint out at CTF-69 and we had a French FREMM supporting the action and I was blown away.
            That experience more than anything showed what a waste the LCS program has been and how much damage it has done to our national security. Hopefully we correct the mistake with FFG(X) but it is going to be a hard sell – I’m really worried the Navy will do the easy thing rather than doing the right thing.

          • Curtis Conway

            I’m with you. Amen to that!

          • Lazarus

            hypothetical matchups of friendly ships are relatively useless exercises. 3 LCS attacking with STOT would make short work of any FREMM.

          • James B.

            The baseline LCS with ASuW module has Hellfire missiles and light cannons, so three of those would struggle to take on a WWII destroyer, much less anything modern.

            If you are granting them bolt-on ASCM canisters and access to real-time OTH targeting feeds, then it’s a different story.

            However, if that is the case on the other side, LCS will be easy prey for nearly anyone, so I wouldn’t be crowing very loudly.

          • Curtis Conway

            Laz keeps going to the Armor argument because he knows its a winner. Nobody is talking about adding armor. We are talking about SURVIVABILITY Standards – watertight integrity and compartmentalization. That is why those pesky FFG-7 SINKEXs take so long. THAT is a winner of an argument, but adds cost, and he won’t go there. THAT dishonors our sailors, which tells me all I need to know about his ethics/morals.

          • NavySubNuke

            Certainly that is the truth in the powerpoint slides of the LCS contractors and their paid supporters – but anyone who is reasonably familiar with both platforms and has even the slightest shred of personal integrity knows that is complete nonsense.
            No worries though Laz – your statement checks with chart.

          • Duane

            The anti ship missiles on LCS today are as good as (NSM) or much better (LRASM, already being integrated on LCS) than any ASCMs now deployed on any FREMM (Exocet Block 3). The volume search radar on LCS is as good as or better as what is now on FREMM. The COMBATTS-21 combat management system (AEGIS derivative) on LCS is far better than that on any FREMM … mainly because FREMM doesn’t have anything remotely akin to AEGIS. The 3 or 2 aircraft deployed on any LCS (1 MH-60R plus 2 MQ-8B, or 1 MH-60R plus 1 MQ-8C) are far superior to the 1 or 2 N60 in the FREMM, being networked via CANES (which network of course does not exist at all on a FREMM), with better sensors, and having far superior endurance (8 or 12 hours vs. only 3 and a half hours).

            LCS also has point defense (own ship) ASCM defenses equal to or superior to the FREMM’s Aster with SeaRAM.

            The only area of superiority of FREMM vs. LCS is that it has a medium range area air defense missile … but that is entirely irrelevent to head to head combat between 2 ships. In such combat in the 21st century it comes down to sensors, networking (i.e., off platform sensors and munitions), battle management systems, anti ship missiles, and point defense systems. LCS is superior to FREMM in every one of those key factors, today. And an LCS-based FFG(X) will eliminate the FREMM advantage in protecting escorted ships.

            In every way the LCS is more than a match with the FREMM as it sits today. LCS is far superior in long range sensors, battle management, aviation, and in a class by itself among all the world’s small surface combatants in networking not only with its own deployed aircraft but with F-35 and other ships via CANES. Most of the time in today’s 21st century real world, LCS will defeat a FREMM equivalent frigate, at far lower cost and delivered many years faster than a FREMM meeting Navy requirements can be delivered to our fleet.

            FREMM is a 20th century frigate stuck in a 21st century world. LCS, and the LCS-based frigate variants, are 21st century naval warfighting all the way.

          • NavySubNuke

            Sorry sweetie but I stopped ready at your first obvious lie which happened right in your opening sentence – “The anti ship missiles on LCS today are as good as (NSM) ”
            I realize personal integrity and being a support of LCS are mutually exclusive but you should at least try to realize the difference between a one off test shot and a weapon system actually being deployed in the fleet.
            Good try try though – for a proven liar and a known hater of America you almost said an entire sentence that was truthful.

          • Duane

            You can’t help but act like your hero Trump and lie every time you communucate.

            Every single thing I wrote is a verified truth and fact.

            But you are a snowflake who melts in the presence of truth and facts, so you just shout “lies!” like the little Russian troll that you are.

          • NavySubNuke

            There you go with more of your elaborate fantasies and lies.
            I don’t like Trump and I didn’t even vote for him so he is far from my hero.
            And you are a liar.
            There is not a single LCS that is equipped with NSM today. And there won’t be tomorrow or even next year.
            Nice try though troll.

          • Bryan

            Numbers certainly are part of the equation. But the fact that it might take more hits to sink a FREMM and less to sink a LCS could factor in also.

        • Curtis Conway

          Lazarus is fixated on Budget, not the wellbeing of the fleet, our sailors, or their ability to accomplish whatever mission coming down the pike, particularly an LCS on a Presence / Show the Flag Mission in a ‘not so safe’ place, and operational budget is short so they send the Little Guy, instead of a Burke.

  • Lazarus

    The Navy is unlikely to afford many more capable “frigates.” If anything, the Navy should build larger numbers of less capable ships like LCS to ensure enough ships are available for the presence and patrol missions that needlessly occupy the DDG Force. LCS will get into a regular deployment cycle when enough crews get trained to allow for crew rotation. Changing CONOPS and crewing so many times (often at the behest of SASC critics like McCain) has slowed the process. Blame his “maverick…ie annoying) interference for the slow down in LCS deployments. It is sad that the SASC and especially their staffs are so stuck in a 1970’s and 1980’s mindset.

    • Bryan

      I am right there with you when discussing the Navy’s budget problems. You lost me big time with, buy more LCS. Right now I can’t drive LCS by Yemen without risk of it being hit by a missile. You’re right it’s not the 80’s. The danger to every ship has increased with missile and mine proliferation. Level 2 survival is a must.

      You are correct that many of the screw ups to the LCS were driven by the Navy itself and are/can be fixed. The Level 1 can’t. The ship will be a liability if rammed by a fishing vessel, let alone a mine, missile, etc. It’s just unacceptable. Sadly it started as a great concept. Then was run into the ground by the brass.

      The real problem with your budget concept is, it won’t work and there is a better way. When the state of danger to our ships is forcing the Low end ships to start to act like mini-Burkes it’s time for a new strategy. Don’t settle for a low end that is a liability. Move to the middle instead of high/low fleet structure.

      • Duane

        Any US Navy ship is at risk of a missile hit in the Persian Gulf area. USS Mason fought off such an attack in that area in late 2016 using its ECM and an anti-missile missile. LCS also have capable volume search radars, a derivative of AEGIS called COMBATTS-21, anti-missile countermeasures, and the world’s finest point air defense missile system, SeaRAM. The only capability difference between the two ship types for ASCM defense is that SeaRAM is shorter ranged than ESSM, intended for point defense only, while DDGs provide longer ranged anti-missiles like ESSM capable of area air defense (i.e., defending other escorted ships).

        SeaRAM Block 2 was successfully tested shipboard last year, which more than triples the range of Block 1 RIM-116 RAM missiles to 16 nm, while the newer LCS are now getting the larger 21-cell SeaRAM launchers used on the Fords and the Flight III ABs, meaning that LCS will also be able to provide ASCM defense for escorted ships in a convoy or fleet action.

        And last but not least, LCS deploys up to 3 aircraft (1 MH-60R and either 2 MQ-8Bs or 1 MQ-8C) equipped with long range AESA synthetic apperture radars – ideal for detecting and tracking inbound sea-skimming ASCMs from very long range, far beyond the horizon … a capability that none of our Flight I ABs have.

        • ElmCityAle

          Not 16 NM, perhaps 16 KM.

          Here is a formal description of the two launchers used on the two different LCS classes as quoted from an official government site:

          The Navy can launch RAM Block 2 from the 21-round RAM Guided Missile Launch System resident on LPD 17, LHA 6, LSD 41/49, LCS Freedom, and CVN 68 ship classes. It can also be launched from the SeaRAM standalone self-defense system, which is composed of the Close-In Weapon System radar/electronic warfare sensor suite and command/decision capability combined with an 11-round missile launcher.

          The SeaRAM system is resident on selected Aegis DDG 51 destroyers and the LCS Independence ship class.

          • While actual figures are of course classified, RAM Block I is widely claimed to have a range of 10 miles and RAM Block II a range of 15 miles.

          • ElmCityAle

            Hmmmm, that’s significantly more that I thought. Thanks for the correction.

      • Bryan

        I know Duane chimed in here, but I blocked him and all the LCS pro and con people. It’s really boring. Make no mistake about it folks, saying LCS is totally useless makes a person ignorant. But make no mistake about it, trying to advocate that the LCS can be a frigate makes that same person ignorant. No. Just no. If you think that is a good idea, you’re either stupid, an enemy agent or just plain ignorant that desperately needs to educate themselves on the realities of modern warfare.

        • jetcal1

          Bryan,
          Having been an intial supporter of a need for an inexpensive ship to go play in the littorals I was at the beginning, happy to a hull being developed.
          It’s reached a point where I have become seriously concerned when someone does support the ship.
          As a deckplate white-hat there are things that seriously concern me about these ships. Things that I could even see, and I’m a brownshoe 20 years past my last at sea time. The faults were or continue to be that obvious.

        • Lazarus

          The term “frigate” can describe a ship from 8000 to 3000 tons. A US frigate need not be a light destroyer. The all-high end fleet that you seem to desire is unaffordable.

          • NavySubNuke

            Losing a war because we turned our fleet into a presence based paper tiger is a lot more expensive than building a fleet capable of providing both presence and capability.
            Especially when the virtually unarmed death traps you are advocating for cost over $600M to start and need mission modules with an average cost of $134M to even do anything.

          • Bryan

            The Navy had 50+ OHP frigates that is used as a low end out of a fleet that was ballpark 400 hulls. That of course went down to our 274 now. But the Navy got rid of the OHP. The Navy not only didn’t get rid of the need for the OHP, because the cold war is starting back up, the need has increased.

            Is the ratio of our fleet including the use of LCS when it is fixed, affordable right now? The answer to that question according to the Navy is no. Give us more money. How much risk will the Navy incur if we get into a near peer shooting war? Will it have to use the LCS as an asw picket on the outer ring of the CAG? If it doesn’t will how much risk will the CAG incur from submarines?

            So do we incur the risk of trying to use a level 1 ship without much firepower or do we spend the money to buy a larger ship that is level 2? Do we decrease the purchase of DDG’s slightly to trade that money for more DDG lite? You seem to suggest that it’s better to risk the level 1 instead of 2. No that big a deal during peace time. We can use row boats for presence. But during war having a fleet of level 2 and 3 is far less risky than having a fleet of level 1 and 3. The strategic difference is massive.

            So take a poll of our naval leadership, civilian experts and use the phrase, hollowed out force. They will quibble about the semantics but not the degree to which the problem effects the nation strategically.

            What you are suggesting we do has already failed. The Navy has already admitted that. What the Navy did and what you support, whether you know it or not, is to optimize the fleet for peace time presence at the expense of war time ability. That is not only backwards but it’s the very definition of a hollowed out force. That makes the entire fleet a total waste of tax dollars during a war.

          • Lazarus

            Why is there a need for an overly-expensive medium sized combatant that costs 2/3 that of the DDG with less than 1/2 that ship’s capability?

          • Bryan

            Let me run you through what has happened:

            Lots of DDG’s (level 3), 50+ frigate (level 2). No level 1. A fleet that tends to survive even when you blow the heck out of it.

            Less DDG’s, get rid of frigate.

            Buy 52 lcs(level 1). Accept danger in peace time of hitting ships, mines, etc. They continue to count the LCS in their ship count. But know it can’t do as many missions that the previous small ships did.

            cold war starts up in early days of lcs.

            Navy tries to up gun lcs. Now they are calling it a frigate. They are trying to use a level 1 corvette as a blue water fighting ship. Accept the risk to sailors of ships sinking, more damage and greater loss of life during any battle. Accept strategic risk of losing even smaller regional war due to loss of hulls.

            People in and out of government suggest strongly that even without the program problems that is a really stupid idea.

            LCS curtailed.

            Navy makes ffg(X).

            What will Navy buy? We don’t know but I strongly suspect they have not learned a thing. It’s all about a new ddg(x)/cg(x) with a, “laser” on it.

            The Navy will go down fighting trying to buy an up gunned LCS and call lit a frigate. They may even try to spin the numbers and call it a level 2 survivable frigate.

            The answer?

            NO. Just no.

            Now consider what our government is suggesting will happen to our budget during the 2020’s due to SSN/medicare/interest on the debt….

            It will at least go back to sequestration levels if they put an even hurting on old people and extend age of SSN. If the political folks suggest we hurt the pentagon more than the old folks, it will go down more than that. If the pentagon takes evenly from all services, it will go down even more than that.

            If they keep on the LCS path, what will they do? Buy 100 lcs and 60 ddg? That’s about where they are going to be at with your plan. Or will they get rid of LCS early and buy a different frigate? That would be my suggestion.

            We still will have a quality fighting force for wartime. We will still be able to put smaller SAG out during peacetime with almost no risk. The LCS? Not so much.

            Get level 1 out of our fighting fleet NOW!

            Take same money, trade quality frigate for ddg numbers. If budget predictions occur as advertised, we will have to change how we deploy. But we will be doing it with level 2 and 3 ships. If war breaks out we will fight and win.

            Do it your way and we will have to pull back from our allies due to risk from China and Russia. If war breaks out there will be a good chance we will either lose or kill a lot more Americans while winning.

      • PolicyWonk

        Part of the justification of the skyrocketing (and now staggering) cost of LCS (the costs and budgetary impact of which the USN stopped publishing 2 years ago) was due to modifications supposedly being made on the slipways to upgrade the initial sea-frames to the Level 1 standard, according to the PEO LCS.

        Defense Industry Daily published an article (~2 years ago) in which the PEO LCS finally admitted that no version of LCS, past, present, or future, will EVER meet the USN’s Level 1 standard for survivability.

        Hence – the PEO LCS quite simply LIED to the HoR’s and US taxpayers to keep the money flowing. The “littoral combat pier queens” are merely hyper-expensive commercial-grade utility boats with a bit of weaponry bolted on, because they were NEVER intended to carry weapons or be sent into battle.

        The denizens of PEO LCS should’ve been court-martialed, reduced in rank, and drummed out of the service for lying to the HoR’s and taxpayers, which could’ve also been easily done/or justified alone for running what the navy itself calls “the program that broke naval acquisition”. Instead, the USN decided to reward these incompetents with expanded responsibilities, by adding all SSC’s, including FFG(X), and all other small craft, to their portfolio.

        This is why acquisition needs to be taken away from the USN (and arguably, all of the other service branches). If they cannot act in the best interests of US, and be responsible stewards of the taxpayers hard-earned money, then they don’t deserve the responsibility unless they’re willing to suffer the consequences for failure.

        • Lazarus

          Really? No one lied about anything and LCS’s costs are governed by a Congressional cost cap.

          • NavySubNuke

            Hence the proprietary maintenance agreements that make sure the ship makers continue to rake in tax dollars for decades to come even if they can’t charge “full price” for the ships anymore.
            Oh and lets not forget all the aftermarket add-ons such as welding on the ASCM launcher so that the ships have at least a minuscule combat capability (even if all of our potential adversaries out-range it) —- those add-ons also aren’t included in the price.
            Neither is the mission modules – which as of their latest Nunn-Mccurdy breach now cost ~$134M EACH!!

          • Facts? What Facts?

            ASuW Module: $23.1 million each
            ASW Module: $19.1 million each
            MCM Module: $86.9 million each

          • NavySubNuke

            Not sure where your made up numbers come from but mine are directly from a DoD report to congress:
            Under section A: “A. Nunn-McCurdy Unit Cost Breaches for 2017”
            “Significant Breach: (Unit cost increases of 15 percent, but less than 25 percent, to the current APB or of 30 percent, but less than 50 percent, to the original APB)
            Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Mission Modules (MM) (Navy) – This program has a significant Nunn-McCurdy unit cost breach because the current estimate breached the PAUC against the current APB (+16.6%) due primarily to a reduction to Mission Package (MP) quantities of 16, from 64 to 48 MPs (a mix of 44 deployable and 4 non-deployable engineering development model MPs) which increased the average MP cost. The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment certified these quantities for the FY 2019 President’s Budget based upon the Navy LCS MM program of record. Program costs decreased $1,352.4 million (-17.3%) from $7,831.1 million to $6,478.7 million, due primarily to the decrease of MPs (-$1,832.3 million). ”

            The math works out to:
            6478M / 48 = $134.95M for all 48
            or 6478 / 44 = $147M for the deployable 44

            Source: “Department of Defense Comprehensive Selected Acquisition Reports (SARs) For the December 31, 2017 Reporting Requirement as Updated by the President’s FY 2019 Budget” (Note: link not provided due to USNI rules)

            Nice try though!

          • Lazarus

            What you are saying is that because the number of mission module buys was decreased that the cost of the remaining modules went up and broke the ceiling. That is just a matter of accounting and not real cost. It is not really fair to the LCS program if the module costs were predicated on purchasing a specific number to keep costs low.
            Nice try though again trying to attack the LCS program on a financial technicality.

          • NavySubNuke

            I love how you choose to deliberately ignore the fact that mission modules are years behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget.
            And because of this delays – and the delays and cost over runs of the LCS program itself – DoD is not going to buy as many mission modules and thus the average cost per module has increased.
            Never mind what they would have actually cost had they arrived on time and on budget…
            But no worries – I realize it is impossible to be a person of integrity and a supporter of LCS so I can understand why you choose to lie by omission in that manner.

          • Lazarus

            Missions modules are behind schedule yes bit not over-budget. There cost per unit has not significantly changed in the last 5-7 years.

          • NavySubNuke

            Except for that whole Nunn-McCurdy breach…. Never mind what they were actually supposed to cost 10 years ago vs. what they are actually costing now…..
            But feel free to continue lying by omission.

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            Congress doesn’t see it as a “financial technicality”. It’s called an acquisition program breach for a reason.

            If you reduce the number of units bought, the non-recurring costs gets spread among the remaining units. And the cost per unit goes up.

            It is a pretty basic math concept. You’re spending more to get less.

      • Lazarus

        You can drive LCS off Yemen. It has a point defense missile system. The “middle” of which you speak is frankly too expensive and not a good use of taxpayer dollars. A “frigate” that costs 2/3 that of a Burke but provides less than 1/2 that ship’s capability is a poor choice. No US surface combatant will remain operational after even on ASCM hit, and more “survivability” in the form of armor, structural, etc is a waste of space and weight that can be used in active and passive systems.

        • Bryan

          I believe you have mixed two different strategies and are suggesting that is okay with no downside to the Navy as a whole.

          Mission kill is addressed with layered defense. Example is ESSM and any leaker get caught up with SeaRam.

          Level 1 and level 2 talk about ship sinking or just listing if any of the missiles get a strike at or below the waterline. That’s a fairly big difference if you’re on the ship or at the strategic level if you’re trying to win a war (even a small war).

          So with point defense even the Navy doesn’t believe they will escort a ship with just the SeaRam. They understand that is not a mission it will be able to do. Another ship will have to do it. That fact changes the monetary savings. So can I change my strategy and buy a large frigate/lite DDG but it will cost more. But I can trade space that by having it do more missions that the LCS cannot. And I can buy less high end DDG’s. As long as the balance is there I’m not only fine, I’ve actually made my Fleet far more resilient by making it a level 2 and 3 Navy. In the end I’m spending the same amount of money that you would on DDG and low end LCS. I’m just changing the missions of each and overall numbers. I get far less risk with the middle way I suggest.

          The Navy can calculate the odds with a layered defense and come up with a minimum number of VLS and load out to do that. So we can add VLS to an LCS and expect it to do the escort mission. No problem. What cannot be done is make the LCS a level 2 or 3 without essentially making another ship that cost 1B+.

          Essentially the Navy problem comes down to money and the fix you seem to support actually will either cost too much because we have to replace the missions that it can’t do with a DDG or we have to pay more money and accept the risk of a level 1 ship.

          • Duane

            LCS also has a mult-layer ASCM defense, not just SeaRAM. The Mk 110 57mm gun is a multi-purpose gun that is highly capable AA – in fact, that was why it was developed in the mid-1950s, as an AA gun designed to shoot down jet fighters, as an upgrade to the venerable Bofors 40mm AA gun of WW2 fame. The 57mm has a max effective range of 10 nm, uses mount-selectable proximity fusing for AA work, has a very high rate of fire (220 rpm), and also can use precision guided shells with bi-mode targeting (semi-active laser or imaging infrared).

            Then, for close in work (2 nm), the two Mk 46 30mm mounts, directed by the ship’s radar and COMBATTS-21 batle management system (a derivative of AEGIS) also have a high rate of fire (220 rpm).

            Finally, the Hellfires that are launched either from the LCS 24-cell deck launcher or from the embarked aircraft are also capable anti air missiles within 5 nm range. The Longbow features an all weather mm-wave radar seeker, is supersonic and can engage and destroy an incoming ASCM or low altitude aircraft or surface craft.

            That is more layers of ASCM defense than virtually any other surface warship on the planet.

          • ElmCityAle

            That’s not a reasonable position. Both LCS models have a single layer, point defense system using systems that launch the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM). Those other systems have never been tested or used for ASCM defense. LCS lacks other layers because they were not considered necessary for the missions designed for it. I think an argument for a lightweight ESSM system could have been made using the MK 56 VLS, but for whatever reasons – likely cost – that’s not what was designed and built.

          • Lazarus

            You are thinking tactically and not strategically. The Navy cannot build enough high or medium capability ships to fill all global needs. Not all threat areas are high enough to require “escort.’ The Bavy must build a number of low end ships for presence and low end combat. The fact that LCS has mission module weight up to 100 tons to support additional equipment makes it much more flexible than a single mission combatant.

          • Bryan

            The Navy is stripping off fireproofing and replacing it in order to save weight. There is no margin on the LCS. The modular concept on the LCS is just that, a concept. The more we trade modules the less the ship has to defend itself. It’s a strategic flaw.

            It can’t do the missions that the OHP used to do. Because of that we need more 1.8B Burkes to do those missions. We have to buy a ship that is almost 2B to escort ships. So Burkes are escorting ships as we speak. During a war we will not have enough DDG’s to escort. Strategic failure at that point. The strategic screw up that gave the Navy a ship with less ability has cost the Navy money and made itself weaker strategically if a war starts.

            As far as strategy and tactics; if you don’t understand the strategic value of why we would want to avoid making 52 out of 274 of our fleet have a higher propensity to sink when struck full on I’m not sure how the conversation can continue.

            If I’m an enemy of the U.S. I would love to see a higher percentage of their force at a level 1. Those ships sink more often both suddenly and slow motion sinking. Those ships have a tendency to have more damage even when they don’t sink. That is a strategic problem for the U.S. during war. At the tactical level a level 1 ship becomes a liability during battle. Ships in a Group have to do more to help it during/after battle.

            If we suggest that the LCS was not going to do escort and be in battle, then how big is our fighting fleet during war? How much money did we spend for a peace time ship at the expense of war time ability? That’s a real strategic concern right now and not just with the LCS.

          • Lazarus

            There is 180 tons of excess weight on LCS!!! 80 tons of that may be fuel for helicopters and UAV’s, but it certainly beats the 19 tons that the FFG 7 had for growth over its service life.
            The escort mission really depends on the threat. The FFG 7 was never going to “escort” much with its short-ranged, ancient SM-1 weapon and small number of fire control channels.
            People also do not seem to get that LCS essentially comes incomplete and can be modified with additional weapons and sensors for different missions. Why? Because building a full on frigate was and is just too expensive!
            There is much more to LCS than the quick headlines here and on other defense news sites. I suggest that all would-be LCS critics try to do some deeper research before going off on the program.

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            Some might consider LCS as 3,500 tons of excessive weight.

          • Curtis Conway

            “…”survivability” in the form of armor, structural, etc is a waste of space and weight that can be used in active and passive systems.”

            This statement Breaks the Faith with our sailors who deserve so much more. I would not serve under such a commander with this attitude, for its closer to ‘death wish’ than it is ‘service to our G-d, Country, and Families’.

            “The Navy cannot build enough high or medium capability ships to fill all global needs.” NO . . . but between our Allies, and the 1,000 ship navy concept we can meet the need. We already shoulder the responsibility to LEAD! So, I will let YOU run from it.

          • Lazarus

            You cannot save sailors by putting some spalling armor on a small surface combatant. Even a medium-sized ASCM will make a CG a mission kill. No amount of armor; not even 12 inch battleship main belt armor, is going to defeat a modoen, shaped-charge ASCM.

    • NavySubNuke

      Yes of course – clearly it is the fault of the SASC that the LCS is a complete pier queen and won’t make a single deployment in 2018.
      It is of course in no way the fault of the utterly incompetent PEO LCS… I’m sure eventually the Navy will trust the crews enough to let them un-weld their ships from the pier and actually get underway again – but we all know it is only a matter of time until they suffer yet another major engineering casualty.

      • Lazarus

        Have you EVER done and acquisition tour? I don’t think you are in a position to be critical of PEO USC.

        • NavySubNuke

          I’ve participated in several actually successful programs so yes.
          As to you idea that only an acquisition expert can recognize the incompetence – if not criminal negligence – of the PEO LCS — I reject that notion.
          Just because you aren’t an expert at something doesn’t mean you can’t be critical — especially when that “something” is a public entity wasting tens of billions of dollars for absolutely zero return except to their own pocket book.
          Any bets on how many former PEO LCS workers who helped negotiate those sweetheart maintenance deals are right now working for one of those ship builders?

          • Lazarus

            When you start suggesting “corruption” within the PEO system (one examined by Congress with a microscope for impropriety in a regular basis,” it suggests you have not done a coded acquisition tour.

          • NavySubNuke

            When you continue to suggest it is wise for the Navy to spend $600M plus for virtually unarmed death traps while at the same time admitting that the only fans are you, Duane, Putin, and Xi it suggests you hate America.
            Honestly graft and corruption within the PEO office would actually help your cause of advocating for this failed program – at least then you would have something to blame for the fact that these death traps cost almost as much as real warships even though they can’t leave the pier, carry next to nothing for weapons, and are only still being built to appease the politicians.

          • Lazarus

            Its not 1985! $600m is actually very inexpensive for a ship of LCS’ size and capability. LCS is no “death trap” any more than any other ship. In any case, the Navy cannot afford to build a fleet of entirely $1.8b DDG’s. There has to be a low-end component to the fleet. LCS, with a large helicopter facility and 100 tons for additional weapons and equipment is an excellent choice for this role.

          • NavySubNuke

            It is true it isn’t 1985 anymore but it also isn’t 2000 anymore and either. Just because you refuse to acknowledge the world we live in today doesn’t mean the world hasn’t changed.
            The real truth is that LCS is a bloated monster when it comes to budget and a little lamb when it comes to armaments. At over $600M per copy, plus another $100M+ in “post delivery modifications” and another $100M+ for mission modules the LCS costs as much – if not more – than a FREMM and provides a fraction of the actual capability.
            I agree we certainly need a low end component to the fleet but the virtually unarmed death trap LCS doesn’t even fit the requirement of a low end combatant. The best we can hope for is that the Navy will some day get the engineering issues solved and we can send them off to SOUTHCOM and Africa to chase NARCOs and Pirates — a mission that vessels a fraction of the size and cost could also accomplish. Even the Navy admits the vessels aren’t actually designed or meant for combat – thus the only “combat” an LCS will ever see is the “combat” in their name. All that for the low low price of over $800m for the complete package….

          • Lazarus

            Where do you come up with $100m per ship in post-delivery costs? FREMM are other navies’ version of the DDG 51; not “small” surface combatants. Why would the US buy a ship with less than 1/2 the combat capability of a DDG 51 yet costing 2/3 that ship’s pricetag?

          • NavySubNuke

            From the Navy’s own budget documents — check out the SCN budget line for LCS. It has a nice little “Plus Outfitting and Post Delivery” budget line of $169M per ship. In addition to the $~640M cost per unit.
            640+169+134= $943M per ship though not all of that $169M is actually the modifications — that is why I went will just $100M as a talking point.
            The better question is why is the US wasting 2/3 the cost of a DDG for a ship with 1/25th (at best) the capability of a DDG when it could spend nearly the same amount of money and get a ship with 1/2 the combat capability?
            Especially when the ship with 1/25th the capability is a pier queen who is subject to galvanic corrosion and sudden self-destruction of the engine room.

    • PolicyWonk

      Well, at least you got the “less capable” part right. Unfortunately, utterly useless at horrifying cost is more accurate.

      The most expensive ship in the navy is one that was never intended, designed, engineered, or constructed to fight. If it cannot fight, take a punch, or reach out and touch someone: its not an asset – its a liability.

      Such is the crime against US taxpayers, that is deceitfully designated the “littoral combat ship”.

      The USN would’ve been better served to create a class of versatile, modular SSC’s, built to the Level-2 standard. Modestly armed initially, with solid electronics and communications, and room for growth. LCS’s most miserable failure, is its lousy and unreliable foundation: the sea frames.

    • Kypros

      LCS-1, USS Freedom was commissioned in 2008. That’s a decade ago. It’s now nearing 50% of it’s useful life cycle. Yet, these ships are still being “tested”, don’t have enough crews trained, and NONE will deploy in 2018. I mean, come on! I’m all for keeping our industrial base funded, but again, come on! I hope these ships can one day be given a mission which contributes the security of the United States and that the US taxpayer gets SOMETHING for their money.

      • Duane

        They aren’t deploying this year only because the operating ships are either fully employed in integrating the MMs, training new crews for deployment next year, or are in their scheduled post-shakedown availabilities which all new ships go through. A minimum of 4 LCS will deploy in FY2019, starting this October.

        Multiple LCS have already completed several successful and long deployments to the South China Sea, operating out of Singapore.

        • Kypros

          I would totally agree with you if this were 2010. By the time MMs are ready, crews are trained, ships are armed, more than a handful are ready to be deployed, the early builds will be ready for decommissioning. I get that the Navy is trying to “fix” them, but this whole program has been run in a disastrous fashion. I’m surprised heads have not rolled. Because they should have.

          • Duane

            Simply not true. LCS have already been deployed every year since 2013, including this fiscal year (Coronado completed a very successful 14 month deployment to Singapore last fall). At least four LCS are going to deploy in FY2019, to both Singapore and to Bahrain. The mission module integration work will wrap up next year, with ASW MM going IOC by the end of this calendar year and MCM by the end of FY 2019. SuW is already IOC.

          • Kypros

            See what I’m saying? 11 (ELEVEN) years after the first one was commissioned, there is a PLAN to HOPEFULLY deploy 4 (FOUR) out of the 30-ish built. That’s fairly pathetic.

            I hope when useful MMs like ASW or MCM are finally available, they can deploy more than 4 at a time.

          • NavySubNuke

            Especially when you contrast it against the combat proven FREMM and the deployments they have been able to undergo while the LCS sit welded to the pier with the Navy too scared to deploy them!

          • Kypros

            Can you imagine in WW2, if a class of ships could FINALLY deploy 4 of them by 1956, guess what language we’d be speaking? Heads should roll. Not kidding, this is serious business.

          • Duane

            You are a lying ridiculous piece of work.

            Pray tell us all about how many surface engagements FREMMs have won “in combat”. How many enemy submarines have FREMMs targeted and sunk “in combat”? How many aircraft or ASCMs have FREMMs engaged and shot down “in combat”?

            Firing a couple of long range land attack missiles into Syria does not count as “combat”. If successfully firing a missile thar detonates in an unoccupued building to make a political point counts as “combat” then the word no longer has any meaning.

          • NavySubNuke

            I’m not lying in the slightest. While the LCS sat home tied to the pier and unable to deploy the French FREMMs were proving themselves in combat by launching missiles into Syria.
            At the same time they were doing that the Russians were braying about sinking any ship that shot missiles into Syria and yet they launched anyway.
            That would never happen with LCS 1) because they have no weapons to actually launch 2) the Navy would never risk them in actual combat – which they aren’t even designed for – and would have sped them out of the region as fast as their self-destructing engines could carry them —- at least until they needed a tow to get the rest of way.

          • Lazarus

            Not every ship need be a land-attack cruise missile launcher.

          • NavySubNuke

            Certainly – but if we are going to spend $600M+ for a bare ship that doesn’t even include an ASCM launcher or mission modules (remember those are extra!) it should at least be capable of doing something. Especially when the price of making the ship capable of doing “something” now makes it cost on parity with a FREMM.

          • Bubblehead

            You just made our point for us. At the least the FREMM has the capability to launch land attack missiles. A ship that has at a minimum the capability means adversaries have to respect that capability. Having MK41 VLS gives the FFGX the capability. Adversaries do not know (hopefully) what is in the Mk41 cells. The LCS brings nothing to the table but headaches & vulnerability.

          • Lazarus

            The LCS program was paused from 2008 to 2010, and crew training severely restricted until 2013. There has not been a sustained LCS program for 11 years!!!!

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            Well, yes… but it was “paused” because the program was extremely screwed up.

            Milestone A (program initiation) was May 2004. So there has been an LCS program for 14 years.

          • Lazarus

            Agree the program was a mess. It was poised to break Nunn McCurdy lines and the Navy rightly cancelled the original LCS 3 and 4. The delay was significant but resulted in much less expensive follow on ships.

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            Actually: it looks like LCS just had a Nunn-McCurdy breach for the mission modules.

            Cost is in itself an incomplete measure. The system has to be able to perform it’s intended missions and fit into the larger Fleet architecture.

            (As an aside: any experience analyst will probably tell you that picking “the cheapest option” often ends up being the most expensive because of all the modifications needed to upgrade the system).

            The more important metric is “cost-effectiveness”. Can the LCS perform its missions as intended? What is the Fleet and taxpayer actually getting for the billions of dollars invested?

            I would say that right now the military utility of the LCS class is still a big question mark in many folks minds. This wouldn’t be a problem if it were still 2008 – and we just had two ships. But it’s 2018 and we have several dozen.

          • Lazarus

            LCS is not an aircraft with a very narrow mission set that can be rated up or down by “analysis.” Warships are infinitely flexible platforms making their analysis with methods designed for aircraft, armored vehicles and other discrete systems problematic at best.

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            There is plenty of precedent for analyzing multi-mission platform including surface ships. It is complex but not undoable. Talk to N81.

            Just because LCS skipped most of it’s foundational analysis doesn’t mean it could not have been done!

          • Lazarus

            Warship analysis has not been as effective as aircraft, vehicle and discrete systems efforts. LCS skipped some joint analysis that would not have mattered in the final program decision.

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            The Navy skipped the Capability Based Assessment (CBA) which defines the requirement and mission need BEFORE you start the program.

            This is the foundational analysis. Without it you cannot know what you need to acquire or why. Kind of a big deal. GAO, CRS and others have called out LCS many times for skipping the CBA.

            The Navy was fixated on a small, fast, shallow draft surface combatant as the (only) answer without first defining the problem. Hence the analysis that was done was largely window-dressing.

            A CBA – had it been conducted as required by JCIDS – might very well have identified better materiel solutions. At the very least, it would’ve forced the Navy to stop and ask questions vice rushing into design and production. Questions that could have been addressed:

            – What gap are we trying to solve?
            – Can we address the gap with a non-materiel solution? Or simply buying more of current systems?
            – Is a small, fast surface combatant the best/only materiel solution?
            – Is high speed really important?
            – What is the CONOPS?
            – Are the seaframe mission module technologies achievable?

          • Lazarus

            The CBA would have made little difference in 2003. The other choices were and remain too expensive to be built in the numbers the Navy desired. I somehow think that if the Navy had made a different choice in 2003 that you and others would be chastising it for not picking a modular system.

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            Good lord, Steve. How on earth can you know what the appropriate solutions might be until you adequately define the problem?

            A CBA would’ve articulated the problem a lot better than the vaguely defined “littoral combat”. And it could have opened the aperture to many potential solution sets. Existing ships, new ships, family of systems, etc. You don’t seem to get that the solution didn’t have to be a single ship class.

            Nor was there any reason to jump into design and production when there were just so many unknowns (e.g. technology, CONOPS, cost).

            There is an old adage in aviation. Slow is fast. Translation: rushing into something leads to mistakes that can often take years to correct. Exhibit A: LCS will be a decade late in reaching FOC.

            An extra year of thinking about the problem would’ve done some good. And given how long it has taken to field LCS, that year was definitely available.

            Perhaps the Navy would’ve figured out the modularity concept was unworkable (which it turned out to be). And that high speed was not worth the design penalties (which turned out to be the case). And that its costs estimates were way off (which they were).

            Which brings me to the circa 2003 LCS cost estimates. They turned out to be completely bogus. How could the other options be “too expensive” if LCS costs 2-3x what was originally projected?

          • Duane

            You continue to ignore 6 years of prior successful deployments to the South China Sea, the world’s hottest and mist contested and busiest seas, from FY 2013 to FY2018

            If your argument is based upon ignoring clearly established and well known facts, then your argument fails.

            Facts are what count, not prejudiced opinions on internet comment pages.

          • Kypros

            You continually hang your hat on the Singapore deployments. As far as I know, only one ship at a time has ever been able to be deployed there and currently none. The USS Fort Worth spent several months languishing pier side in Singapore thanks to an engineering casualty. What a successful deployment might look like to me is when 6 or 10 LCSs can be deployed to Singapore to patrol the SCS with their functioning ASW and MCM modules. That so far, is merely a pipe dream.

          • jetcal1

            One mission of the LCS is presence. The F/Worth was indeed present in Singapore, in fact it was an extended presence. Mission accomplished!

          • Bubblehead

            Yeah present as in sitting idle at the dock.

          • jetcal1

            Think of it as making morning muster while on a light duty chit.

          • Kypros

            Yes!

            If I were a big fan of the LCS, I’d say:

            1) The LCS was “present”.

            2) While the LCS was present pier side, China didn’t invade Singapore.

            3) Therefore, FFG(X) should be based on an LCS, even though we don’t need FFG(x), since LCS was SOOOO effective in Singapore.

          • Bubblehead

            Very well put Kypros.

            Its a pretty simple concept. If the LCS was anywhere near a success, and I mean anywhere, the USN would not be looking at a Frigate. The entire reasoning behind the Frigate is because the LCS is a complete failure.

          • Kypros

            True, even the inertia of the Navy’s acquisition system had to change course. No small feat, but the LCS did it.

          • Lazarus

            Three LCS have deployed to Singapore (Freedom, Fort Worth, and Coronado.) No other LCS has been ready to deploy this year due to shock trials taking out the next two in the order (Milwaukee and Jackson) and the others still being in the PSA process.

          • jetcal1

            Duane,
            I’d love to do my sea-shore rotation on an LCS!

          • Lazarus

            You are thinking 1980’s/1990’s again; LCS has its own rotational system. Rates and sea/shore rotation; not ships and sailors are no closed-loop detailed to LCS.

          • jetcal1

            Rotating Crews. All sea frames will have rotating crews
            with three crews per two ships, with one ship on deployment in
            order to extend hull operational availability and on station
            time.

          • Bryan

            Blue/Gold rotation is an 80’s thing. The 80’s/90’s was when the other manning schemes failed. It’s one of the experiment/already failed as an experiment in the 80’s/90’s that should not have begun for LCS program in the 1st place. i.e. these were not actually experiments, they were less than optimal manning that the Navy accepted as known program risk in order to divert more money to the high end ships. Of course we know the outcome of that.

          • Duane

            Blue-Gold has worked great for the last 58 years on our SSBNs.

            Where have you been the last 6 decades?

          • Lazarus

            Not for the surface fleet. The surface force did not rotate crews until the late 1990’s and that was for very small units like the MCM and for a while the PC.

          • Bryan

            Dude you are definitely full of it. I was was bloody well there mate.

            Take a sub, do experiments, some experiments fail.

            Out come of experiments: Changing crews to different hulls will not work. Even subsequent hull numbers are different enough to cause the need for extensive work up.

            That’s where the Blue/gold came from. What in your pretty little head do you think would change on a ship vs sub?

            Dude use your common PLAN Admiral head. Nothing would change. They didn’t do it for an experiment. They tried to hollow out the low end force more to save money for high end. Unfortunately the budget didn’t bounce back like it had done in previous decades.

            When you hit LCS rock bottom there is no where to hollow out the low end fleet. So they started hollowing out the high end fleet.

          • Bryan

            And with that sir, our level of discourse has hit Duane level. I will leave you to be a cheerleader for the PLAN’s strategy for America. Good day sir.

            Block on…

          • Lazarus

            Whose surface Navy? Not mine other than MCM’s and PC’s. Not until a couple experiments with retiring DD 963’s in the early 2000’s.

        • Bubblehead

          Successful deployment is a stretch. I guess if you go in with the low expectations of leaving port and returning 3 days later without breaking down, as successful, then yeah by all means call it successful.

          10 years, and they still cannot deploy. Proof is in the pudding.

      • PolicyWonk

        Indeed – by the time any of these “littoral combat ships” have workable MM’s, and the crews are trained and ready for IOC, if history is any indication whatsoever: they’ll long done with mid-life upgrades and have their slots reserved at the scrapyard.

      • Lazarus

        Service life is largely dependent on miles steamed much more than just age. LCS units are designed to be deployed for longer periods overseas in order to avoid those ship-killing, trans-oceanic voyages that contributed to the shorter life spans of many Cold War-era ships like the DD 963 and FFG 7 classes.

        • Kypros

          With that in mind, considering that only 3 have ever been deployed in 10 years, they’re lifespans might be 100 years.

          • Lazarus

            Getting a ship beaten to death before ever seeing combat is no measure of “success.”

          • Kypros

            But having ships which are deployable is.

          • Lazarus

            There is a difference in being “non-deployable” verses a conscious decision to not deploy even though ships are capable of such.

          • Kypros

            Are you saying that these ships are not being deployed in an effort to keep them low mile, factory fresh and pristine, in case they are needed for combat?

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            Laz – you’ve continually argued that one of the key strengths of LCS is increased forward presence.

            If an entire year with zero LCS deployments is no big deal – it begs the question of the value deployed LCS actually provide to COCOMs, Navy and taxpayers.

    • James B.

      I think we all agree on the requirement for a warship smaller, less capable, and cheaper than a DDG. Beyond that, your support for the LCS passes all understanding.

      Presently, the LCS can’t perform any combat tasks to a level worth mentioning. It can’t hunt mines. It can carry a few light cannon and Hellfire missiles, and even bolt a few unstealthy missile launchers to the flight deck, but so can nearly any alternative imaginable. It can’t replace a DDG in the battle group. The LCS is a very capable coast guard cutter, but too expensive for the US Coast Guard to operate, so whatever the use–non-combat patrol, training ships, or pier queens–they will be overpriced.

      Between high-end fleet combat and low-end patrol, the LCS split the difference and ended up in the sh!tty middle. The sooner we all accept that, the sooner we can adopt one or more designs that actually meet our needs.

      • Ser Arthur Dayne

        HEAR, HEAR.

      • Bubblehead

        I beg to differ calling the LCS a high end CG vessel. The NSC puts the LCS to shame. Besides numerous other examples, look at range alone. The LCS is a drag on the entire fleet with its puny range. Keeping it gassed up would be a massive burden to the USN fleet in time of war.

        As of this date there is not a single mission the LCS can accomplish. In the near future it will one day make a worthy MCM ship, which is something the USN drastically needs. One day it might also make a good ASW platform. But if the LCS is a littoral ship, ASW would be counter productive. ASW is needed to protect the Battle group, not a tiny island in the Pacific.

        As far as fast boats goes, there is only 1 country that uses fast boats in any demonstrable ways, Iran. And putting a LCS in Persian Gulf would make it immediately vulnerable to other Iranian weapons, IE ASM. There is a reason the USN has not even attempted to place an LCS around the Persian Gulf. Its too vulnerable. Look at the UAE ship, which in many ways is similar to the LCS, that was destroyed by ASM from Yemen. This would be the fate of a LCS in the Persian Gulf region.

        • James B.

          The LCS does have huge range issues which need to be fixed before it will be useful as a patrol vessel, but most coast guard vessels around the world are barely armed, so the LCS is about even there.

          The NSC does put the LCS to shame, but that’s because the NSC is one of the biggest, most capable coast guard cutters in the world. I’d even be careful talking an NSC into the Red Sea or Persian Gulf, so I’d never take an LCS there without an escort.

    • MATTHEW COSNER

      Actually, the last major LCS CONOPS and manning change was driven by then-VADM Rowden.

      LCSs problems rest by and large on the Navy’s shoulders. Non-existent requirements definition, and poor program management.

      • Lazarus

        No, LCS’ problems, along with those of the F35, and the Zumwalt class DDG are the fault of an old fashioned, inflexible DoD acquisition and Test and evaluation system that is opposed to innovation and cannot support “fail, forward fast” programming. It is not surprising given that PPBE is the 1950’s, output budgeting system of the US automotive system that ultimately failed to support innovation in the 1960’s and 1970’s and was cast aside.

        • MATTHEW COSNER

          It is curious to me that you continually blame “the system” for LCS failures – when the folks in charge of LCS followed few if any DOD acquistion practices.

          Poor foundational analysis. Unrealistically optimistic cost estimates. No CONOPS prior to Milestone A. Heavy reliance on immature technologies. Concurrent design and production. And then… top it off by buying two vastly distinct ship types… each with their own logistics and training tails.

          • NavySubNuke

            It isn’t possible to be logical and accurate while also being an LCS supporter.
            There just isn’t any possible way.
            The only way to support the failed program is to check your integrity at the door, ignore everything that anyone has ever learned about ship building, naval warfare, and the shape and outlook of future conflicts. Once you have done all that then you can start supporting LCS as well.

          • Duane

            First of all, LCS is an unqualified success, not a failure. That it has been in development for a long time is the result of radically-redefined requirements midway thru development, due to changing threats as the Navy shifted to “distributed lethality” to deal with newly aggressive near peer adversaries … and due to the technology being cutting edge 21st century systems instead of relying on old obsolete 20th century system. The payoff of the shift in requirements and move to 21st century systems is now being felt and will continue to deliver dividends to the Navy for decades to come … while the majority of USNI commenters remain stuck in their 20th century mire of thinking.

          • Lazarus

            The “system” Itself is not a measurement of whether a program is good or not. The Navy conducted functional analysis of alternative ship types before LCS and the other choices were too expensive up front. It is unlikely that another ship type would have been chosen. Rumsfeld’s greatest error was in not transforming the Acquisition and Test and Evaluation systems before undertaking transformational programs.

          • MATTHEW COSNER

            Actually cost, schedule and performance are well-accepted measures of how well a DOD acquisition program is performing.

            Your statement that a “functional analysis” was conducted makes very little sense. A functional analysis looks at how you are going to perform a CONOPS. The problem was the LCS CONOPS – indeed the overall mission need – was not well defined. In laymen’s terms: you have to thoroughly understand the ”what” and “why” before you try to answer the “how”.

            I’d also note that LCS now costs several times more than what was originally projected. Any decision to remove alternative ships based solely on their costs is more than a bit suspect.

            Lastly, it seems like you are saying the only thing that held back LCS success is a complete rewrite of the entire DOD acquisition system!!! If so – that’s a pretty ridiculous planning assumption. It is akin to planning your retirement based on the assumption that you will win the lottery.

          • Lazarus

            Warships above all other military platforms are multi mission assets, making the sort of discrete analysis used for aircraft and vehicles largely inapplicable to warships. All warships increase in cost from initial estimates. The FFG7 went from $50m to $215m in less time than LCS has been a program. LCS has dropped in price from the first two overpriced units to costs carefully managed and within Congressional concerns. Warship CONOPS also sometimes change . This latest “ review” is just John McCain’s staff looking to steal $$& from LCS to support aviation programs.

            Again, “analysis” only takes you so far.

    • Pacemaker4

      I would say more of every ship so when the next war…one of attrition… will be a fight instead of a stomping.
      Hehe look what a nuclear triple meltdown in fukushima and 2 cargo ships did.

      18 ships out of commision…well not quite commision. but ronald reagan and 15 ships resulted from fukushima
      and the 2 aegis destroyers.

      Imagine a real shooting war.

  • Duane

    Funny – you and your ilk ALWAYS fail to mention that the group supporting the LCS just happens to include the entire active US Navy. Highly inconvenient to your “everyone else” political spinning. Your tiny little group of old fart retirees still stuck in the 1980s and 90s is outnumbered by tens of thousands to one. Reality bites you yet again.

    • NavySubNuke

      See there you go making up more lies to try and make yourself feel better.
      I’m not retired —- I’m still in.
      The entire Navy is in no way behind the LCS —- the Navy doesn’t even want to waste more money on LCS – they just keep buying more to keep congress happy.
      Nice try though fan boy – keep spinning the lies maybe eventually you will say something actually correct.

      • Duane

        Yeah, you’re still “in” the employ of Putin’s chef.

        • NavySubNuke

          Projecting again sweetie? At least Laz owned up to the fact that the only remaining LCS fans are the two of you along with Putin and Xi.
          Someday I hope you will be honest enough to admit what it is about the America, and specifically the lives of American servicemen you hate so much.
          I know you claim to have served on an SSN but it is hard to imagine someone like you actually making it through power school and prototype – never mind actually surviving a tour on a boat. I’m betting you ended up with some kind of less then honorable discharge and that is why you are so bitter.

  • tiger

    This is as bad as ordering tanks just to justify keeping hands busy. But we would rather keep the pork flowing than buy from Germany or Sweden. Shipbuilders good at making small ships.

  • Lazarus

    Yes, those of us who do not live exclusively in the 1980’s and get that conditions actually change.

  • NavySubNuke

    Please Duane – you out yourself as a Putin troll every time you advocate for one of these unarmed death traps instead of wanting to see the Navy correct its mistake and buy an actual warship like the FREMM — or really any other Frigate rather than a welded to the pier LCS.
    Given the way you try to silence anyone who dares to point out your lies by flagging their posts it is clear you hate free speech so being a paid shill for Putin and Xi would not be a surprise.
    Nice try though troll.

  • NavySubNuke

    LOL – hate to break the news to you sweetie but just because you hate America and American service members doesn’t mean we all do.
    You can claim all you like that I am some paid shill for Putin but I’m the one arguing for us to build a Navy that can actually deter the Nations wars and should deterrence fail to fight and win them.
    You are out here shilling for us to buy more virtually unarmed death traps. I realize you don’t have even the slightest shred of personal integrity so that doesn’t bother you though so no big deal.

  • jetcal1

    Moderators,
    Could you please contact Duane and provide some him with a little guidance on how to post with the decorum associated with the USNI?
    Thank you,

    JC1
    25 year + USNI member

    • ElmCityAle

      Like the decorum shown by several of the other members who argue with him?

      • jetcal1

        I’ll claim some ignorance and apologize if needed; all I’ve seen is this one thread.
        “You are a lying ridiculous piece of work”
        “Maybe he helped Putin’s Chef recruit and train internet trolls … that would be the closest to acquisition he ever got.”

  • Ed L

    I used to read the All Hands Magazine all the time. So did some searching and found this article written over 10years ago about the LCS’s

    LCS Mission
    LCS fulfills a crucial role in the six core areas of the Navy’s Maritime Defense Strategy, “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.”

    FORWARD PRESENCE- With half of the LCS fleet deployed at all times, the LCS Blue/Gold crew rotation provides more stability and ownership while also providing greater forward presence.

    DETERRENCE- LCS is suited to build and strengthen maritime partnerships by training and operating with smaller, regional navies, as well as entering previously inaccessible, shallow-water foreign ports. Operational commanders will have an ideal asset available for Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) tasking, freeing large surface combatants for other missions.

    SEA CONTROL- LCS will use its modular mission packages to control Sea Lines of Communication by defeating swarming surface craft, enhancing the Fleet’s ASW capability, both in littoral waters and in concert with current ASW forces in the open ocean, and counter mine threats to sea lines of communication, particularly in global commerce chokepoints.

    POWER PROJECTION- LCS will defeat anti-access threats such as mines, small surface craft, and submarines, to gain and sustain maritime supremacy in the littorals.

    MARITIME SECURITY- LCS is ideally suited to conduct Maritime Security Operations (MSO) including countering piracy, terrorism, and drug trafficking. LCS is a cost effective means to fulfill maritime security missions as compared to larger, multi-mission surface combatants

    HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE/DISASTER RESPONSE (HA/DR)- The forward presence of LCS operating in theater ensures Geographic Combatant Commanders will always have several ships available to respond to HA/DR tasking. Each LCS is aviation capable, allowing it to conduct search and rescue (SAR) and airborne logistics. The 40+ knot sprint speed of LCS allows for quick, intra-theater positioning. With a shallow draft, LCS will be able to access a wider range of littoral water space than any other combatant.

    • Lazarus

      Most of those points are still valid for LCS.