Home » Aviation » Raytheon Awarded LCS Over-the-Horizon Anti-Surface Weapon Contract; Deal Could be Worth $848M


Raytheon Awarded LCS Over-the-Horizon Anti-Surface Weapon Contract; Deal Could be Worth $848M

An undated photo of a Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile in flight. Kongsberg Photo

The Norwegian-designed Naval Strike Missile has been officially selected to serve as the Littoral Combat Ship’s over-the-horizon anti-ship weapon, according to a Thursday Pentagon contract announcement.

The $14.8 million contract awarded to Raytheon will purchase the first round of missiles that will be incorporated on to the Freedom and Independence variants of the Littoral Combat Ships as part of Fiscal Year 2018 funds for OTH weapon research and development. The value could grow to $847.6 million if all contract options are exercised.

The award calls for the delivery of the Kongsberg designed, “encanistered missiles loaded into launching mechanisms; and a single fire control suite.” The contract did not specify how many missiles were paid for in the contract, but USNI News understands the Thursday award buys about a dozen missiles.

The subsonic NSM has been in service with the Royal Norwegian Navy since 2012. The weapon has a range of about 100 nautical miles with a cost of slightly less than the Raytheon Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile (the Navy quotes the price per round of the TLAMs at $569,000 per round in FY 1999 dollars (about $868,000 in 2018, adjusted for inflation)).

The companies announced they would pair together to compete for new U.S. anti-ship missile contracts in 2015. In 2016 Raytheon and Kongsberg agreed to assemble and test the Norwegian missile’s components in Raytheon’s Tucson, Ariz. facility and the launchers at Raytheon’s plant in Louisville, Ky.

The award to the Raytheon-Kongsberg team comes as little surprise as the Naval Strike Missile was the only competitor for the OTH contract. The Boeing Harpoon Block II Plus and the Lockheed Martin Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) were both withdrawn by their respective companies from the competition last year. Both Boeing and Lockheed complained that Navy requirements for the OTH missiles did not value the networking capability of their offerings, several sources confirmed to USNI News.

The OTH program for LCS emerged in tandem with the U.S. surface navy’s distributed lethality push in 2015.

Raytheon Image

The following is the complete May 31, 2018 contract announcement.

Raytheon Co., Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, is awarded a $14,856,016 firm-fixed-price contract for Over-the-Horizon Weapon Systems. This contract will manufacture and deliver Over-the-Horizon Weapon Systems, which consists of encanistered missiles (EM) loaded into launching mechanisms (LM); and a single fire control suite (FCS). This contract consists of EMs (tactical, telemetered and inert operational); FCSs; LMs; mission support equipment, training equipment and courses; engineering services; and travel and other direct costs. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $847,611,857. Work will be performed in Kongsberg, Norway (75 percent); Tucson, Arizona (15 percent); Schrobenhausen, Germany (4 percent); Raufoss, Norway (3 percent); McKinney, Texas (2 percent); and Louisville, Kentucky (1 percent), and is expected to be completed by May 2020. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding; and fiscal 2018 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $14,856,016 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with one offer received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00024-18-C-5432).

  • Kypros

    Great! Some teeth for these ships! But at 400% the Harpoon’s cost with only a 30 mile range advantage. Just sayin’!

    • Ser Arthur Dayne

      I agree with that … at the price, doesn’t seem like a great deal. Although I think the big difference between these NSMs and the Harpoons is these new NSMs can use datalinks in multiple ways and be retargeted in flight, or be programmed to do some autonomous calculations, course adjustments, and target selections. I am pretty sure that Boeing had PLANS to do those things with the Harpoons, but none of them actually got built / sold to the US. (On Harpoons Wikipedia page, it seems like it’s suggesting FOREIGN customers are buying upgraded Harpoons, but ours are primarily the regular-old ones I think.)

      I mean at this point, the LCSs need missiles. I’m happy to hear they’re at least getting weaponized.

      • ElmCityAle

        I am curious about why the US navy has been so far behind the curve with respect to such anti-ship weapons – arguable several decades behind. Why haven’t they even kept up with newer Harpoon versions used by International customers, never mind pushed for more and better upgrades? Whatever the answer, this is (finally) a good step forward.

        • Al L.

          The assumption was that the number of potential opponent ships and boats capable of conducting a stout defense against the over abundance of US air assets was so small that a ship based ASM was a waste. Just let Navy and AF aircraft tackle the threat. Now the number of opponent ships and boats and their surface and air attack and defense are more, better, longer ranged and growing so the Navy needs more counters off of more platforms.

          • Duane

            Exactly! An air launched ASCM has effectively unlimited range with aerial refueling, and aircraft, both land based and carrier based, are far cheaper and faster to engage the enemy. Finally, the sensor range of airborne radar against surface targets is far longer than any surface based radar can see.

            Nevertheless, arming all of our surface ships with modern, stealthy and lethal OTH missiles greatly complicates the challenge to our adversaries.

          • NavySubNuke

            Agreed – the realization by the Navy that air-launched ASCMs were not longer going to be able to get the job done (despite Duane’s incorrect fawning over them in his reply) was a true watershed moment for the modern Navy. The realization that enemy air defenses – things like Dragon Eye radar – had advanced to the point we could no longer count on our air based ASCMs to get through really caused a strategic rethink and is a big push behind the current renaissance in ASuW the navy is currently going through.
            It will be interesting to see the final results but the LRASM program and the the FFG(X) procurement are both positive signs.

          • Duane

            Poppycock! As always you are full of yourself, and full of BS … but hey, I repeat myself!

            Air launched ASCMs have far longer range (both the inherent range of the air launched missile itself, as compare to a surface launch missile of the same design), added to the aerially-refueled unlimited range of the aircraft. These are proven facts.

            Air launched ASCMs also can sense and track surface targets from vastly longer range, while surface radars can sense out only to a few miles beyond the horizon. That is a proven fact.

            And aircraft are, or can be operated to be, stealthy. But for 2 Zumwalt class ships, and 3 eventually, we (and the rest of the world) have no stealthy ships.

            These are humongous advantages for air launched ASCMs. And that is why our CVNs are the most effective surface ship killers today, just as they and their embarked attack aircraft have been since WW2. Everybody (but you, apparently) knows that

            Still there is significant value in putting OTH ASCMs on every naval warship in the fleet. Overwhelm any enemy with incoming missiles from all around the compass, on and under the sea and land and the air.

          • NavySubNuke

            Really? Because Al. L said “The assumption was that the number of potential opponent ships and boats capable of conducting a stout defense against the over abundance of US air assets was so small that a ship based ASM was a waste. Just let Navy and AF aircraft tackle the threat. Now the number of opponent ships and boats and their surface and air attack and defense are more, better, longer ranged and growing so the Navy needs more counters off of more platforms.”
            You of course then replied “Exactly!”
            Had you actually read and understood Al’s statement you would realize that he and I are in agreement and it is you who are (once again and as always) out of touch with what the Navy is doing and thinking.
            Nice try though!
            Just work on your reading comprehension next time and you can avoid these little embarrassments.

        • NavySubNuke

          The trouble started when we won the cold war and the Navy got really drunk at the celebration. While we were passed out we let more than 50% of the fleet be retired without replacement and we also decided that the world was such a safe place we wouldn’t ever need to directly confront a great power Navy ever again.
          Thus the Navy shifted its efforts from being the premier blue water combat force on the face of the planet to being a force that could support Blue to Green operations in/near shore. Rather than worrying about fighting another Navy we focused almost exclusively on taking the fight directly to their coast. We were so confidant we would be able to fight them at their own shore at little to no risk to ourselves we started buying platforms with little to no ability to fight other ships and we didn’t “waste” money on anti-ship missiles.
          The anti-ship TLAM was (TASM-B) was pulled from service. This was particularly silly since the Burke flight II’s didn’t even have an ASCM launcher and we lacked any other dedicated anti-surface missile. We also started buying ships like the LCS that are optimized to take out large swarms of small suicide boats – but not really anything else. We even retired the harpoon from submarine service leaving our SSNs without an ASCM capability. And lets not even discuss DDG-1000 and its amazing land bombardment cannon…..
          Only in the last 5 years or so has the Navy awoken and realized the need to actually fight other nations on the high seas and win. The Navy also realized at the same time that counting on our jets to fight and win that battle wasn’t goign to cut it – especially in the face of anti-ship ballistic missiles. That is why we are buying things like NSM. Why we are pouring money into LRASM – which can be fired from a DDG’s VLS. Why we are adding a limited anti-ship capability to TLAM. And why DoD directed and the Navy eventual accepted that we stop buying (or at least tried to stop buying – congress keeps forcing more of them down the throat of DoD/Navy) LCS and start actually buying real warships.
          The next few years – particularly the mid-2020s when the fleet is at its lowest point in both submarines and surface craft are not going to be easy. But we are at least turning the corner. That is what makes FFG(X) such a critical program to the Navy – we need to staunch the bleeding and start building actual warships again.

          • PolicyWonk

            Yo NSN,

            I fully agree that FFG(X) is super critical to the USN.

            And while I think you’re right that they decided to concentrate on the long-neglected littorals, putting their faith into these LCS classes to carry the fight to the shores was obviously a tragic mistake. Again, if that was really their intent, then why would both classes of littoral combat ships be designed lacking the ability to “venture into the littorals to engage in combat”?

            I think we can safely conclude they didn’t have the slightest idea of what they were trying to accomplish (I prefer to consider them incompetent, as opposed to traitors).

            But the real concern is that despite the clown posse (a.k.a PEO LCS) earning the dubious distinction of running “the program that broke naval acquisition”, and delivering two classes of poorly conceived, poorly designed, and poorly built ships: the USN, instead of punishing those responsible and holding them all accountable, basically gave them a promotion by putting this same bunch in charge of acquisition of all SSC types and smaller – including the FFG(X).

            This bunch isn’t above doubling down on their blatant mistakes. When the USN finally decided to terminate the program at 32 sea-frames, and decided to build frigates to fill out the rest of the fleet – then it became time for “Super-Duper-Frigate-LCS”.

            Even the more serious commanders in the USN balked at that idea, which is why the USN is now looking at a variety of alternatives. That said, we’re not out of the woods by any stretch: the PEO that “broke naval acquisition” is still in the rack with the same folks that designed and built these floating corporate welfare programs. Personally, I have little doubt they will try to find some way to justify the continued rewarding of those who clearly built inferior ships that have no business in the US Navy.

            They already have those working relationships, which unfortunately is a large part of the proverbial battle. If anything has been proven conclusively, is that: it doesn’t matter to them that both classes represent an all but total failure; it doesn’t matter that they’re endangering our sailors lives; it doesn’t matter the lousy sea-frames lack room for growth; it doesn’t matter to them that our sailors have been stranded mid-ocean due to propulsion system failures; it doesn’t matter that US national security gained a $36B fleet of floating liabilities instead of assets.

            Given the history of this program, I see little reason for optimism: the loonies are running the asylum.

    • airider

      Follows in line with the “minimize development costs and get the thing out there” mantra that FFG(X) is using as well. Need to follow this model for acquisition of large quantities of items.

      Based on the current contract terms, the number of missiles being bought falls in line with the Penguin ASM the Navy bought back in the 80’s. The numbers are so low, lets hope we never need to shoot any.

      • NavySubNuke

        I agree on the need to minimize costs in the near term – we need to focus on getting combat power back out into the fleet.
        But we also need to continue to invest in strategic R&D that supports future development programs and we need to accept that much of that R&D is going to be spent on things that don’t ever make it into the development pipeline. The trick is handing the R&D at the S&T level and letting it fail there cheaply rather than trying to do major acquisition programs on the bleeding edge and having the failure either delay for years or outright kill an entire major development effort.
        I also agree that we will hopefully never have to shoot these. The idea is to keep deterring conflict in the first place. Though we need to be ready to fight and win should deterrence fail. Upgrading our ASCMs enhances both our deterrent and the ability to fight and win should we have to.

    • Duane

      You’re way off on costs. Harpoon are way more expensive at about $1.4M a copy, while these NSM are under $1M per missile out the door.

      NSM not only has 50% longer range, it is far “smarter” than Harpoon, with a multimode stealthy sensor/tracking system, ability to distinguish targets in a multi-ship formation, and the ability to pick out a particular spot in the target (the bridge, or the magazine, or the engineroom) and hit that particular location within a radius of 2.0 feet.

      NSM has extensive countermeasures including the ability to radically maneuver to avoid defensive counterfire, and it’s also much smaller and lighter than Harpoon – 900 pounds vs. 1,300 pounds. The 276 pound warhead is sophisticated with programmable void sensing so that it can be set to detonate within a specific compartment within the target ship.

      Like Harpoon NSM can also be deployed on carrier based attack aircraft, and has been specifically designed for use on Super Hornets and F-35A and C models (internal weaps bay) and F-35B (external hard points).

      NSM is far more capable than existing Harpoons, though Boeing is nearing completion of development of their upgraded Block II-ER that will be similar to NSM.

      • Kypros

        I was comparing it to the large supply of old Block I Harpoons already in the inventory. I’ve read that it costs around $600,000 to update each one to Block II+ standards, which may or may not be a good deal compared to this NSM.

        • Duane

          The old Harpoons are what I am talking about. Even as far back as 2011 the delivered unit price of a Harpoon was $1.2M. The Harpoon is a much heavier weapon at 1,300 pounds than a NSM. Even ignoring the value of clear superiority of a much newer and more sophisticated design, in large measure you pay for missiles by the pound.

          The latest generation missiles have much more efficient engines … and the much more sophisticated precision-guided warhead designs enable reduced warhead weight to deliver the same or better effects on targets. NSM, being very smart and using a built in digital database of enemy ship designs, and being targeted to within 2.0 feet of the desired point on the target, and with void sensing that detonates the warhead only when it reaches the intended interior compartment, can be more effective with a 286 pound warhead than is a Harpoon with a 496 pound warhead.

    • Secundius

      100nmi range! It uses JP10 Jet Fuel NOT JP8 as in the Harpoon…

      • Graeme Rymill

        NSM can use either JP-10 or JP-8 according to several online sources

      • USNVO

        Harpoon has never used JP-8. Either JP-5 or JP-10 based on the specific missile.

        • Secundius

          I stand corrected! The “Harpoon” uses a Teledyne CAE-J402-CA-400 Turbojet, with a fuel requirement of MIL-DTL-5625, NATO F-40, JP4 fuel…

          • USNVO

            Correct engine, wrong fuel.
            In the Harpoon, depending on the missile (I am dating myself because you used to have to look it up in the missile book because it made a difference in the maximum range. Modern versions have probably all been updated years ago) it either was JP-5 (which is basically the same as JP-8 (or Jet A1 for that matter) and can be either with the stroke of a pen) or JP-10.
            No one uses JP-4 anymore.

  • DaSaint

    The winner from a competition of 1!
    Good missile though. Glad to get them on the LCS and the FFG(X).
    Hurry up and deploy!!

    • NavySubNuke

      Easiest way to win is to not play at all.
      It certainly helps when all of the competition withdraws.

  • Desplanes

    So the Kia Forte of warships will now outgun the Flight IIa…

    • PolicyWonk

      If LCS were as good as the Kia Forte, that might be a decent description.

      At best, LCS has more in common with the Yugo, or perhaps could be referred to as “The Edsel of the Sea…”

  • Duane

    The multi year Navy budget request is a dozen NSM missiles this fiscal year, then 20 a year for the next 3 years, and then 24 in FY-2022.

    We should also anticipate another OTH missile procurement for LCS and eventually FFG(X) to buy LRASM, likely in about 18-24 months. LRASM has been adapted to a modified Mk 141 angled cannister deck launcher for LCS, FFG(X), Arleigh Burke Flight I, and the several classes of amphibs. The Navy is also developing a “flat” deck mounted launcher that raises to a firing position.

    All of our surface combatants larger than a PC will soon be armed with a combination of NSM, LRASM, and possibly an upgraded Harpoon.

    • ElmCityAle

      Why the slow procurement cycle? I would think the navy could use the current “downtime” well to install the launchers on ALL LCS units and would need more than a dozen rounds once the ships get back into action.

      • Jrggrop

        Probably a lack of money to it more rapidly.

        • proudrino

          Or years of figuring out just what mission the LCS can perform. The original “Surface Package” was designed for dealing with small boats only. Since then the Navy has been (unsuccessfully) trying to sell the idea that the LCS is really a frigate. Frigates need missiles while coastal gun boats do not.

      • Duane

        The Mk 141 angled cannister deck launchers are mounted in two, four-cell cluster per ship, 8 cells total (see the Raytheon figure above). Same as on AB Flight I. A full load is 8 missiles per ship.

        However, despite this award going only to Raytheon/Kongsberg, we still have a relatively large supply of Harpoon Block Is that can be loaded.

        Also, as I wrote above, the Navy and LM have developed a modified Mk 141 launcher that accommodates LRASM, and successfully tested it last August at White Sands. The modified launcher will be sea tested on LCS later this year. The Navy has been holding off on installing the old Mk 141 launchers on LCS in anticipation of the availability next year of the modified launcher.

        The Mk 141 uses a cylindrical tube. If you look closely at the Raytheon figure posted above, the launcher is illustrated as a rectangular box tube. I suspect that that shape is neccessary to accommodate LRASM, since that missile has a sort of triangular shaped body that provides a lower RCS and possibly improved aerodynamics.

        • Graeme Rymill

          Are you saying that LCS will carry both NSM and LRASM?
          Will LRASM though fit into the Raytheon manufactured NSM LMM (Launch Missile Module). The LMM is, according to Konesberg, 4.1 metres long (161 inches). LRASM is 4.3 metres long even without the booster it will need to be surface launched. Is Raytheon modifying the LMM to accommodate LRASM? Or will there be two separate sets of launch cannisters on the LCS?

          • Duane

            LRASM is already being integrated on Super Hornets, F-35s (internally on A and C, externally on B models), and on B-1Bs (which can deploy as many as 24 LRASM). Air launches dispense with the boosters that are only needed for surface launches.

            Ditto with NSM integration on attack aircraft. NSM and LRASM will become the primary air launched ASCMs, while up til now Harpoons fulfill that role.

            It is quite likely that LCS and all other naval warships will eventually carry a high-low mix of ASCMs. Not every target needs or deserves an LRASM, with its 350nm range and 1,000 pound warhead. If the target is a Chinese aircraft carrier or cruiser a long ways off, LRASM is perfect. If the target is a Russian or Chinese or Iranian frigate or corvette, and is only 50 to 100nm out, NSM is perfect.

          • Desplanes

            LRASM is based on JASSM, which is too long to fit in any F-35. Currently, only the Super Hornet and B-1b are in the program of record.

            F-35 may be able to carry LRASM externally in the future. Of course, the A and C models can carry NSM internally.

          • Duane

            Nope … JASSM is 14 feet long and is a 2,000 pound class weapon, both of which fit inside the internal weapons bay of the A and C models. The B model internal weaps bay won’t handle JASSM or LRASM, though. Any of the three F-35 models easily handle LRASM and JASSM on the inboard external hard points. Though doing so increases the RCS, remember that both missiles are themselves low-RCS stealthy weapons. And it really isnt important that an aircraft deploying either missile have a low RCS, due to the very long standoff range (in excess of 350 nm).

          • Desplanes

            Nope Duane…neither can fit in the F-35 internal bay. I’ll take defenseindustrydaily’s word over yours. It’s a close fit, but too close.

          • Duane

            Nope. The internal weaps bay on A and C is 14 feet long and was designed specifically by LM to deploy JASSM, which of course was also designed by LM. JASSM-ER uses exactly the same external dimensions as JASSM; the ER upgrade was achieved by installing a newer much more fuel efficient engine, not by changing the length of JASSM. JASSM fits F-35 A and X internal bay, therefore so does JASSM-ER. LRASM, like JASSM-ER, is identical to JASSM externally, so therefore fits internally in the A and C model internal weaps bay. The only difference between LRASM and JASSM-ER is in the electronics, in terms of sensors and targeting and flight programming that is specific to killing ships rather than land targets.

            It is silly to argue otherwise. Not only do all three missiles fit internally on the A and C models, but all three missiles are deployable externally on all three F-35 models. It has little to no effect on the RCS of F-35, given that all 3 missiles are stealthy with very small RCS. Also, given the long standoff range of both JASSM-ER (500 nm) and LRASM (350+ nm), RCS really doesn’t matter.

            None of JASSM, JASSM-ER, or LRASM have yet to be integrated into F-35, internally or externally. That appears to be a Block 5 task to be completed in about 3 to 4 years.

          • Desplanes

            So it’s silly to dispute your B.S. Duane ?

          • Secundius

            Maybe there is ones, as in the ( https : // sputniknews . com / military / 201803221062811766 – us – special – forces – powerful -missiles / ) …

          • SolarWarden

            USN SH have not been integrated with JASSM only Ozzy SH can deploy JASSM.

    • Refguy

      96 missiles in 5 years? How many ship sets is that?

      • Duane

        I don’t know, as it depends upon how the tubes get filled with some combination of NSM, Harpoon (which we still have a lot if in inventory), and LRASM which the Navy is already buying in annual increments.

        One possible mix on each LCS
        (and eventually each FFG(X)) might be 4 NSM, 2 Harpoon, and 2 LRASM. Over time the older Harpoons will be retired, with gradual replacement by NSM and LRASM, or possibly also with an upgraded Harpoon Block 2-ER.

  • proudrino

    So they can be fired from pierside?

    Seriously, Congress has taken the DoD to task for the slowness of its acquisition process and this would seem a good example of why there is cause for complaint. The Navy commited to the LCS program in 2003 and yet it was only 2015 that they decided to include OTH capability to the “Surface Package.” Three years later they finally award a contract to install a missile that has been in operational use since 2012. This is not how the program should be run and shame on Navy leaders past and present for this debacle.

  • Ed L

    Well they need to buy a thousand for start to outfit all our warships. A hundred mile range! Say 2 rounds per target that’s a DDG or smaller. 40 rounds per Chinese carriers

  • James Bowen

    Why don’t we develop an anti-ship missile that has the speed and the punch of an SS-N-19 or something like that? Our anti-ship missiles are a joke compared to what the Russians and Chinese have.

    • Duane

      Speed is not what is important. Supersonic cruise missiles are very easy and cheap to build and launch … and they are equally easy and cheap to shoot down.

      What matters to lethality are sensors, stealth, countermeasures, precision, sophistication of warhead exploders, and reliability. Those things are hard and expensive to develop, which is why we (and our allies) develop such lethal ASCMs as NSM and LRASM, while the Russians and Chinese develop cheap supersonic ASCMs that don’t get the job done.

      Fact – in late 2016, Yemeni/Iranian crews fired multiple Chinese C-802 ASCM salvos at American DDGs and escorted allied fast transports Only one ASCM managed to connect with an allied transport, unarmored and unarmed, but failed to destroy or sink even such a small and soft target as that because it detonated at the bow in a non-critical part of the boat. One missile was possibly taken out by a single ESSM that was fired. All the rest of the Chinese ASCMs splashed down short of any target, either due to ECM on the American DDG, or due to poor targeting performance by the missiles, or some combination thereof.

      ASCMs don’t suceed by winning hypothetical speed contests.

      • James Bowen

        Speed is absolutely important. A faster missile is more difficult to shoot down, and it also reduces the time window in which defenders can react. There is no reason why a fast missile cannot also have good sensors, countermeasures, and reliability. A large number of fast missiles is even better in that that has a better chance of overwhelming defensive systems. As for stealth, I am a major skeptic. Stealth systems are very expensive, and nothing with a jet engine that flies is truly stealthy. In the end, “stealth” in principle buys the same thing that speed does, reduced reaction time for defensive systems, but at a considerably higher cost. I would rather have 10 fast cruise missiles for the price of one slow but “stealthy” cruise missile.

        Also, I am not aware of any great track record of success for our own anti-ship missiles. We did sink some Libyan patrol boats with Harpoons in 1986, but that’s not saying much. And for the last 20 years, we have barely deployed even those.

        • Duane

          Nope you have it all wrong … it is no harder to shoot down an incoming cruise missile at supersonic speed than it is to shoot down an incoming subsonic cruise missile. Firstly, an incoming SS cruise missile is by necessity a pop-up missile. You can’t do SS at wavetop. By popping up in the terminal phase of the flight the weapon becomes easily sensed by radar and radar sensors (all existing Russian and Chinese ASCMs use radar sensors) … which turns them instantly into big, fat juicy targets for our counterfire – all of which are themselves supersonic missiles guided by both active and passive radar trackers .. and easy pickin’s for ECM and physical countermeasures.

          The achilles heel of all SS cruise missiles is the need to pop up in terminal phase.

          Subsonic cruise missiles don’t need to pop up at all. Staying low at wavetop makes an incoming cruise missile very hard to detect and even harder to shoot down. Particularly if that missile is a NSM or LRASM that uses only passive (i.e., non-detectable) target sensors, and have their own passive sensors able to sense and dodge enemy defensive counterfires.

          Speed is an enemy to effective ASCMs, not a friend.

          • James Bowen

            Saying it is no harder to shoot down a supersonic cruise missile than a subsonic missile does not check with the laws of physics. It means that your defensive missile has to be faster and have better sensors, that you have less time after initial detection to deploy countermeasures, and that the missile is harder to stop by virtue of its momentum alone. Additionally, the kinetic energy of a supersonic missile contributes to its destructive power and ability to penetrate a hull.

            If you get to the point where the missile pops up, impact is just a few seconds away and you are not going to get a missile off in time. Your only hope at this point is decoys or the Phalanx. If there is a whole salvo of them, the likelihood of these last ditch systems stopping all of them is pretty low. Also, I’m not sure why it would be that supersonic cruise missiles have to pop up. I thought the pop-up was an option that helps to 1) evade defenses and 2) achieve a likely mission kill by destroying a ships bridge and sensor suite.

            Again, I am not at all convinced that stealthy missiles are all that hard to detect. They are undoubtedly harder to detect than non-stealthy missiles, but anything that flies and has a jet engine can be detected. As I said earlier, stealth at most probably buys the same thing high speed does, later detection, but at a considerably higher price which we could ill afford in a naval war where we are actually taking losses.

          • Secundius

            By which means! “Catch Up”, by Intercepting from behind. “Barrier”, by simply being in the way…

          • Scott Ferguson

            Hilarious!

            Cite some credible studies to prove your claims.

            Supersonic missiles are LESS maneuverable, have HIGHER IR signatures, and LARGER RCS.

          • Duane

            We’ve been shooting down supersonic aircraft and missiles for decades, as have our near peer enemies. It literally is no big deal. We’ve (and our middle eastern allies Israel and Saudi Arabia) been shooting down hypersonic (Mach 5+) ballistic missiles for nearly 3 decades, going back to Desert Storm, using Patriot PACs 1 thru 3. ALL of our anti-missile missiles are specifically designed to shoot down supersonic and/or hypersonic missiles … that includes the SM series, ESSM, SeaRAM RIM-116s, PAC series. Ditto with all of our air to air missiles, including AIM9X, AIM120C and D, and all of the new AAMs currently in development.

            It literally is no big deal to sense, track, and shoot down a supersonic missile or aircraft, and hasn’t been a new or big deal for decades.

          • James Bowen

            That doesn’t mean they always work. It’s not impossible to shoot down supersonic missiles, but it is not all that easy either. The record of the Patriots in the Gulf War was mixed at best.

          • Duane

            You obviously don’t understand how SeaRAM RIM-116 or ESSM works. Both are light weight short to medium range supersonic interceptors designed especially to track and intercept a popup SS missile. That is their job and they do it very well.

            The instant a cruise missile goes supersonic and pops up it becomes the fattest and easiest to sense, track and shoot down by a fast, agile, radar equipped interceptor.

            Also, your argument on physics completely falls apart. Both ASCM and interceptor are supersonic, the interceptor is not tail chasing the target but rather both are converging at hypersonic speeds. The interceptor being far smaller is much more agile than a long range ASCM on terminal profile. The blast frag warhead and proximity fusing means that the interceptor does not have to hit to kill … it only needs to come close. Finally, our warships will not limit themselves to a single interceptor to single incoming. It will likely be at least two interceptors fired, plus other defenses as available incl. CIWS guns, aircraft (i.e., a Super Hornet or F-35 can launch AAMs, and jam the sensors on the incoming, and MH-60s and MQ-8s also have great sensors (AESA look down radars with synthetic appurture) to track inbound ASCMs. Remember, even the SS ASCMs spend most of their flight profile down low at subsonic speed), and such can then provide targeting data to our AEGIS destroyers to launch long range SM series interceptors long before they get close enough to pop up.

            Plus our ships can jam the missile sensors and launch physical countermeasures.

            That’s a whole lotta layers for any ASCM, SS or not, to penetrate.

        • USNVO

          As with anything, everything is a trade off. A supersonic missile is inherently larger than an equivilent payload subsonic missile (more fuel per mile). It also generally cruises at a much higher altitude, has a shape that is easier to detect, and has a giant thermal signature. So for a similiar size and weight a subsonic missile is stealthier and has a longer range or carries a bigger warhead. For LCS, given the size of the launch platform, the expected targets, and the desired effects, subsonic and lightweight makes the most sense. Other countries have different priorities which leads them to develop different missiles.

          The track record of the Harpoon is as good or better than any other ASCM. They were used in Praying Mantis as well (by both sides!) but there hasn’t been a whole lot of need since then. But what ASCM has? By you criteria, the SS-N-19 or SS-N-25 is even more suspect since they have never been used in combat, let alone most of the other world ASCMs.

          • James Bowen

            You might be right about it being a good match for the LCS. Also, you are right about Praying Mantis. I remembered that after my last post. Part of what I was getting at is that we don’t really know how the Harpoon would do against a ship like a Kirov-class battlecruiser that is tough and has formidable defense capabilities. We do know that Soviet-build Styx missiles sank an Israeli destroyer that was built by the Royal Navy in World War II, which was larger than anything we have sunk with a Harpoon.

            Supersonic missiles are likely easier to detect, but they are also a lot faster, tend to have bigger warheads, and reduce the defense window. While we wouldn’t know for sure unless actual combat occurs, my knowledge and instincts tell me that a large number of heavy supersonic cruise missiles would be more reliable than a smaller number of lighter, slower missiles whose great advantage is their complexity (which history has shown is often not an advantage in battle).

          • Scott Ferguson

            “…my knowledge and instincts tell me that a large number of heavy supersonic cruise missiles would be more reliable than a smaller number of lighter, slower missiles…”?

            Well, so much for your credibility…

        • Scott Ferguson

          LOL!

          So cite their combat records.

    • A single SS-N-19 weighs roughly 8 tons, a Tomahawk weighs 1.75 tons and an NSM weighs less than 0.5 tons. So for the weight of 1 Shipwreck, you can have 4 Tomahawks or an incredible 16 NSM’s. Sure the SS-N-19 would do more damage if it hit, but against anything short of a CVN, it’s simply overkill. Even the Russians have now recognized the superiority of small missiles, and are planning on modernizing the Kirov’s to carry the 3 ton SS-N-26 instead of the SS-N-19.

      • James Bowen

        I agree that it would be better for the overall weapon to be lighter. However, it is wishful thinking to deny that high speed and large warhead size are advantages. Despite these heavy weights, Soviet/Russian warships typically still managed to carry more anti-ship missiles that our ships did. The U.S. Navy, since the Cold War began, has never truly given the attention to development of anti-ship missiles that is needed, and these recent developments tell me that still has not changed.

        • Actually, during the 1980’s, the USN took surface launched antiship missiles extremely seriously and American ships carried far more missiles than their Soviet counterparts. We forget this today, but nearly 30% of Tomahawks procured during the Cold War were the antiship variant. Thus, while the Soviets had a small number of Slava’s and Kirov’s with 16 or 20 missiles each, every VLS Spruance and Ticonderoga likely carried around 16 TASM as well as 8 Harpoon and could have had even more if desired. Further, the heavy weight of the Soviet weapons meant that vast majority of Soviet ships only carried 4-8 missiles – the same as the number of Harpoon mounted on the non-VLS American ships.

          Thus, while high speed and large warheads are undeniably advantageous, I believe the US policy of more numerous small missiles was the correct choice. Unfortunately, with the end of the Cold War and the demise of the Soviet Navy, we then neglected AShM’s for 30 years because there were no enemy ships to shoot at. Today, I think the best idea is probably something like SS-N-27/YJ-18 that combines the small size of a subsonic missile with the terminal velocity of a supersonic one.

          • James Bowen

            That is a good point about the TASMs. However, the Spruances and Ticos, the latter of which were still building when the Cold War ended, were just two classes in a fleet that also included frigates of the Knox and Perry classes, destroyers of the Adams and Farragut classes, and cruisers of the Belknap, Leahy, California, and Virginia classes. Most of those ships carried no TASMs at all. Also, while the TASM did have a greater punch than the Harpoon, it was even slower. The Ticos and Spruances (and Perrys too) were just the newest in a surface fleet that largely consisted of ships built in the late 1950s and 1960s and still mostly hadn’t been upgraded to carry anti-ship missiles. One other thing to consider is that early on the Spruances and Ticos did not have the VLS launchers which enabled them to carry so many Tomahawks (many of them did not get those upgrades until the Cold War was over). Soviet ships and smaller patrol craft, by contrast, were all bristling with anti-ship missile armaments. This is why I say the post-World War II U.S. Navy has never taken anti-ship missiles as seriously as they should.

            I am inclined to agree with you that smaller missiles, so long as they can still carry a large warhead at a fast speed, are probably the best choice.

          • Scott Ferguson

            “Soviet ships and smaller patrol craft, by contrast, were all bristling with anti-ship missile armaments.”?

            WERE.

            Since the Russians have to sail with a rescue tug escort, there’s no need for heavy missiles.
            Their navy is self-sinking.

          • What must be remembered is that a Soviet surface launched OTH AShM wasn’t in service until SS-N-3 in the late 1960’s. Up until that point, the USN had the upper hand, as it would be using Talos/Terrier/Tartar against gunfire and a small number of primitive, short range, AShM’s. When the Soviets started deploying SS-N-3 in numbers, the US immediately responded, putting Harpoon into service in 1977 and TASM in 1983. Both reached the fleet extremely quickly, as Mk141 launchers and ABL’s were easily backfit to a number of classes.

            By 1989, the USN had 9 ships with 8-130 missiles (Ticonderoga VLS), 8 ships with 8-69 (Spruance VLS), 4 ships with 16-48 (Iowa), 74 ships with 0-40 (Adams, Perry), 10 ships with 8-16 (Virginia, Spruance ABL), 62 ships with 8 (Ticonderoga Mk26, Kidd, Spruance, California, Truxtun, Leahy, Farragut), 46 ships with 4 (Knox), and 19 ships with none (Brooke, Garcia, Bronstein).

            In contrast, the Soviet fleet of 1989 had 4 ships with 20 missiles (Kirov), 7 ships with 16 (Slava, Kynda), 1 ship with 12 (Baku), 47 ships with 8 (Kiev, Sovremenny, Udaloy, Kara, Kresta), 32 ships with 4 (Krivak), and 49 ships with none (Moskva, Kashin, Kanin, Kotlin, Sverdlov). However, the missiles on the 64 Udaloy, Kara, Kresta, and Krivak were SS-N-14 Silex (a 50nm subsonic ASW weapon with a secondary ASuW capability). Not counting those, the Soviet fleet had just 27 ocean going ships with an average of 12 missiles each.

            I don’t have good numbers for the Soviet coastal craft, but they weren’t all that impressive – a large portion of them were sub-hunters with no missiles, and those that did carry missiles were mostly armed with 4x SS-N-2 (a 50nm, subsonic, medium altitude weapon).

          • James Bowen

            This is a very interesting list. The U.S. did indeed have a larger blue water surface fleet and thus overall may well have had a greater count of anti-ship missiles deployed in the fleet’s magazines. Nonetheless, with a couple of exceptions, it does look like individual Soviet blue water warships tended to be more heavily armed with anti-ship weapons than their U.S. counterparts. There is also still the question of whether slower, lighter, and more complex missiles like the U.S. had or the faster, heavier missiles the Soviets had and the Russians have are the better weapons. I think it would be prudent for the U.S. to experiment with the latter.

        • Scott Ferguson

          At the expense of survivability, endurance, versatility, etc…

    • Scott Ferguson

      LOL!

      For WHAT, exactly?

      The Russians and Chi-coms are aiming at our CVN’s.

      What do they for targets, that Western navies need supersonic missiles for?

  • PolicyWonk

    So now the USN has purchased the toothless littoral combat (pfft!) ship a set of dentures, but decided to buy only one (1) missile for each “commissioned” LCS (12 missiles, 12 LCS).

    I’m not sure how to take that part of the news, given we know they work. This could be merely a token purchase as a weak attempt to tamp down the critics. The reality is that the NSM would be every bit as useful mounted to a merchant ship as it is with these overpriced and otherwise defenseless utility boats.

    OTOH, the purchase of these 12 missiles, one for each boat, could be an indication of a lack of faith in LCS, in that they could soon be referred to as the “Barney Fife Fleet”. On the old Andy Griffith TV show, Andy Griffith played the part of the local, small town sheriff, he had a deputy/sidekick named Barney Fife. Andy never carried a weapons, but Barney wanted to carry a service pistol. Andy, being aware of Barney’s ineptness, only allowed Barney to carry ONE bullet (and it wasn’t loaded into the service pistol!), to prevent him from getting carried away with himself.

    Could this be a repeat of history? 😀

  • Marc

    Another subsonic missile, when all the possible opponents have supersonic missiles. Reminds me of when after the Falklands we rushed to put CIWS on deploying ships, even though there were no spare parts available to keep them running, nor funding for any.

    • Duane

      Supersonics are all hat, no cattle, very easy to build and shoot, and very easy to shoot down even if they make it to a target, which much or most of the time they don’t, if Russian/Chinese/Iranian built.

      What is difficult and expensive to do but which works wonderfully is to build and shoot ASCMs that are stealthy, have multimode targeting systems that cannot be jammed (GPS or radar), have countermeasures to overcome defensive fires, are smart and can differentiate high value targets from low value targets and can precisely pinpoint the most vulerable parts of targeted ships, and are highly reliable.

      It was no accident that 100% of the missiles recently fired at three Syrian targets all worked flawlessly and hit their intended targets. The Russians and Chinese and Iranians can not come remotely close to that level of reliability with their ASCMs or land attack missiles.

      • waveshaper1

        100%? IMHO, with that many launched I wouldn’t be surprised if a few went astray (a few going astray/duds are normal).

        In the past we have had our cruise missile go astray and crash in; Syria, Turkey (at least 6 ), Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, etc. This type general info is open source (in the news/Pentagon released info/etc).

        Here’s a few “very general stats/open source only” on the Tomahawk malfunction rate from DoD/Pentagon (note; this info doesn’t include missiles that hit the target and dud/there normally always are a few duds). Excerpts;

        – During the Gulf War in 1991, 297 Tomahawks were attempted to be fired by the US Navy. Nine failed to leave their launch tubes, and six suffered booster malfunctions which caused them to fall into the water shortly after launch, representing a 5% failure rate on launch. Of the 282 missiles successfully launched, 245 hit their targets; 37 did not. The Pentagon claims that Iraq shot down between two and six Tomahawks, meaning that between 31 and 35 Tomahawks went “astray”, or around 12% of the missiles launched. These calculations are consistent with the Pentagon’s claims of an approximate 85% success rate for the Tomahawk during that conflict.

        – 46 were attempted to be launched against a manufacturing plant outside Baghdad in January 1993 (42 left their tubes, 34 of which hit their intended target).

        – 25 were fired at the Iraqi Intelligence Service’s headquarters in June 1993 (23 of which launched, 16 hitting their target).

        – 44 launched against Iraqi air defense sites in August 1996 (31 hitting their target).

        – 325 against a wide variety of targets in December 1998 (there is no data on how many of these actually hit their target – the Pentagon assigned a success rate of around 90%, meaning less than 300 did so.

        – In the late 1990’s, the problem with missiles going awry did not go away when Tomahawks were fired into Bosnia in September 1995, and later, in 1999, when some 219 Tomahawks were fired at targets in Serbia. Similar issues with malfunctioning Tomahawks plagued US cruise missile attacks against Sudan, Libya, Afghanistan and Yemen over the years. And, more recently, ISIS has recovered the remains of two Tomahawk missiles launched on 22-23 September 2014 that failed to reach their targets (out of 47 launched).

        • Duane

          As one would expect, the reliability of cruise missiles improves over time as design flaws are addressed and sensors and targeting mechanisms grow more capable and “smart”. This last salvo in Syria had 100% success (DOD released photos documenting 104 on target craters for 104 missiles fired). A year earlier the previous salvo suffered 1 failed launch out of 60 attempted.

          • waveshaper1

            I have never seen “any” missile perform at 100%. Some tidbits (only open source info); I supported both ALCM and Tomahawk launches and was part of the team responsible for chasing stray missiles down. I personally responded to the crash site of 2 Tomahawk cruise missile that went astray here in the CONUS that landed on civilian turf, we recovered both missiles. Also. others in my line of work responded to at least 3 other Tomahawk cruise missile crashes on civilian turf here in the USA. These Tomahawk missiles are launched from USN/UK subs and USN ships in the Gulf or Atlantic and they fly over water, then Florida, up into Alabama, and they end their journey on one of the Eglin test ranges (note; they only launch a couple of these Tomahawks a year down here). The last one that went astray (officially) and crashed on civilian turf was 2016/see below). During my time I remember 5 Tomahawk cruise missiles (ONLY THE ONES THAT MADE THE NEWS) that didn’t make it to their intended destination on EAFB property; Dec 85 one hit the ground near Freeport FL, 31 Aug 91 one hit the ground a few miles east of Jackson AL, Feb 92 one hit the ground near Rome AL, also one hit the ground near Dorcas FL, and the last one that was in the open press crashed in 2016 near Hogtown Bayou in Walton county Florida. Google the following for the news stories;

            – 2016 crash; ” Tomahawk missile crashes near fisherman” or NWF Daily News UPDATE: Missile recovery complete, investigation continues”, etc, etc,

            – 1985 crash; New York Times “ERRING TEST MISSILE TAKEN MOSTLY IN STRIDE IN FLORIDA AREA TIED TO MILITARY”.

            – 1991 and 1992 crashes; Orlando Sentinel 9 March 1992 “Missile Flights Still Planned For N. Florida”.

            – etc, etc.

            Additionally I responded to the crash sites of 3 US cruise missiles (2 Tomahawks and 1 ALCM) that went astray in the middle East/conflict zone and we destroyed all 3 (note; others in my line of work also responded to numerous cruise missile crash sites in the conflict zones).

    • SolarWarden

      Supersonic missiles are huge IR and RCS beacons and Russia and China still make subsonic anti-ship missiles. Our missiles rely more on stealth and passive sensors like JSOW, JASSM, LRASM, etc etc.

      Don’t forget the USN has been shooting down supersonic anti-ship drones for decades going back to TALOS (modify TALOS missile), MA-31 (KH-31 Krypton missile), and GQM-163 Coyote.

  • Ken N

    So does this mean the LRASM is dead?

    • delta9991

      Absolutely not. The LRASM was originally developed from JASSM-ER to be an air launched ASCM for the Navy as an urgent operational need. Lockheed saw this opportunity and developed a surface launch option to compete (both canister and vertical launch). LRASM is very much alive and both AF/Navy have taken delivery of missiles

    • tteng

      The article kinda imply the Navy just want to put some teeth on LCS (conceived before the rise of PLAN and A2AD), but not expecting LCS to ‘network’ into an high end anti-A2AD fleet (thus not requiring NSM to be ‘networked’, but as a stand-alone weapon.) LRASM, on the other hand, will be expected to be ‘networked’ for high end naval war in post-LCS ships.

  • delta9991

    Why? LCS does not have a VLS capable of handling a missile of this size. The Navy would likely mandate deck launchers for Burke/Tico ships as a 100mi cruise missile is nice, but not as valuable or employable as more SM/Tomahawks etc in the cells

  • Al L.

    Vertically launched ASMs can be a liability.
    2 100 foot tall ships can’t target each other visually or on radar at 25nm
    Launch a giant 1000lb flare straight up 500-1000 feet into the sky and that goes to 50 miles.
    Kind of defeats the purpose of building a stealth missile.

    A VL ASM has to be intended for use at long range or very fast to avoid counters.

    NSM is capable of very low angle launch and low level flight. Its a sneak attack weapon. it may be the best littoral surface to surface weapon in existence.

  • Secundius

    What of it? The “Kirov” has sent almost 15-years in Drydock, and won’t be seaworthy before 2023, if then. One of her Steam Boilers blew in 2017, in a Powering Up Test of her newly replaced Reactor Core…

  • Secundius

    Unfortunately the RuFed Navy is forced to use UEC Saturn Gas Turbine Engines as their Powerplant, which to Soviet equivalent to using the Model V-2-34 Aluminum Diesel used on the T-34 Tank (i.e. A “POS”). Zorya-Mashproekt Marine Gas Turbines, some of the best in the World and that use to Supply the Soviet Navy. Is located in the Ukraine Republic…

  • Secundius

    And the Principle Reason that the Ukraine Republic DOESN’T to be in Putin’s Loving Embrace…

  • Secundius

    Unfortunately, those that live near the Zorya-Mashproekt Marine Gas Turbine Work “Don’t”. Their Better Paid as Ukrainian Citizens, than as Russian Citizens…

  • Secundius

    Your trying to tell me that you’re incapable of doing a Google Search on Zorya-Mashproekt! Or just to LAZY to look it up…

    • Scott Ferguson

      Jimmy is a busy FSB drone.

      No time to look up silly little “facts”.

  • Secundius

    I suspected as soon as I mentioned both UEC Saturn and Zorya-Mashproekt you would have made a Google Search of Both. For those unfamiliar with either would have done so. But: 42A Zhovtnevy str., City of Myokolayia, 54018, the Ukraine Republic…

  • USNVO

    Am I the only one who thinks it is ridiculous to compare the price of the NSM today to the price of a land attack Tomahawk in FY99? It is not like the cost of the latest contracts aren’t known (well over a million a piece). A better comparison would be the latest Harpoon (price also known) or LRASM (again, the price is known) ASCMs.

  • Centaurus

    Bluto, go find Popeye to steal some spinach from for your following replies.

  • Leroy

    I’d prefer a missile with greater range. 100 nm seems short.

    What anti-shipping missile is is going to be loaded in the Virginia-class Payload Modules? These? Will they fit?

    F-35 “A” & “C” will be getting a fine missile in the Kongsberg NJSM, but what about the “B”? No ASuW capability? I hope that’s not the case. Heck, you could disperse and hide “B”s on an island or a jungle in the Philippines, have it pop-up and attack surface targets. I hope the Navy is considering it. After all, Marines landing on a beach need protection from ships as well as ground targets.

  • Scott Ferguson

    No, they don’t.

    You clearly have no clue what those “carrier killer” missiles were made for….

  • Scott Ferguson

    LMAO!

    Clearly, you missed the last debacle of the Kuznetsov.

    An escort rescue tug…belching black smoke….crashing fighters…

    • James Bowen

      There is nothing wrong with the Kirov class battlecruisers, Sovremmeny class destroyers, etc. They have much more powerful anti-ship weaponry than our ships have.

  • Scott Ferguson

    Come on now…

    How many Russian subs SUNK?

    Surely you can cite something from this century?

  • Scott Ferguson

    “I think…”?

    Almost, but not quite.

    “They have a lot of surface combatants.”?

    List those that are seaworthy and when they were last at sea.

    Yeah, since Harpoons aren’t used by a LOT of navies… *snicker*

  • Scott Ferguson

    “The point is the Russians are capable of building and deploying good ships.”?

    Hilarious!

    They WERE able to do so….

    How many new warships have they built and deployed?

    New carriers?
    New cruisers?

  • Scott Ferguson

    You ADMIT the INVADED a sovereign country.

    Won’t help.

    No country with previous “experience” of Russian invasion and occupation wants to relive it,

  • Scott Ferguson

    100% lies.

  • Scott Ferguson

    Your “understanding” is biased by Russian brainwashing, sadly.

  • Scott Ferguson

    No need for you to troll, yet here we are…

  • Scott Ferguson

    So much trolling, so little time, right Jimmy?

  • Secundius

    Unfortunately the Russian Federation Navy ISN’T getting the Badly Need “Zorya-Mashproekt” Marine Gas Turbines either…

  • RobM1981

    If I have to kiss the pig, the lipstick helps.

    It’s a welcome addition, but only because the alternative is essentially nothing.

    The LCS is supposed to be stealthy, remember? We paid for stealthy. Two different hull designs, with all kinds of funky angles to reduce radar cross section – remember? This cost a fortune, and clearly makes fitting out more expensive and difficult. Those aren’t easy hull shapes to stuff things into, but if they improve the ship’s survivabilty? That’s a fair trade off.

    Now, however, we slap eight missile tubes right up there on the forecastle. As stealthy as a freight train. As exposed to the weather as anything can be on that hull.

    The weapons should be stowed in VLS cells. You know it; I know it; everyone knows it.

    There’s not enough SPACE in these Quasi-Patrol-Craft, and no amount of patching and redesign will change that fact.

    Of course we are all glad that these ships finally have *some* kind of punch, but this ship will forever be a massively expensive boondoggle.

  • Retired

    Awesome, our littoral combat barges (LCB) are sorely in need of some offense. Now they will be more powerful than an Arleigh Burke Destroyer, and the Littoral combat ships too!

  • Scott Ferguson

    Wrong.

    Back up your claims, suka.

    Answer the question.

    The Harpoon and Exocet are combat proven.

    What’s the record for your sub-par Ruskie junk?

  • Scott Ferguson

    Answer the questions…

  • Scott Ferguson

    They “only” INVADED and OCCUPIED a SOVEREIGN country.

    Where, oh where has your FSB trolling disappeared to?

  • Scott Ferguson

    They INVADED a sovereign country.

  • Scott Ferguson

    Answer the questions.

  • Scott Ferguson

    LOL!

    Last CENTURY….

  • Scott Ferguson

    Wrong.

  • Scott Ferguson

    Lies.

    Still ILLEGAL.

  • Scott Ferguson

    LOL!

    Proven INVALID by the UN.

  • Scott Ferguson

    Hilarious!

    “It is basic physics…”?

    “…a large number of…”?

    Clearly, the education standards in Moscow have sunk to the bottom, since you can’t tell the difference between physics and statistics…

  • Scott Ferguson

    Back up your claims.

    Show me the UN approval of that illegal invasion.

  • Scott Ferguson

    Lies.

    Proven in international venues.

  • SDW

    Not to quibble, but… rather than read “Deal Could Be Worth $848M” shouldn’t it be “Deal Could Cost $848M”? After all, there is an estimate of sorts only for the contract cost (how accurate that is anyone’s guess). What it turns out to be worth, given that it has anything to do with the LCS program, is a complete unknown and not likely to be good.

  • Scott Ferguson

    The best you can do is from the 50’s-60’s…

    Hilarious!

    • James Bowen

      The last Harpoon and Exocet attacks weren’t all that much more recent. From our perspective, it is absolutely foolish to assume that their missiles would be defective. There performance and power far exceed ours, and it is prudent that we assume they will work and develop our own accordingly.

  • Scott Ferguson

    The last Russian AShM attack was OVER HALF A CENTURY ago…

    Were those supersonic missiles EVER used?

  • Scott Ferguson

    LOL!

    So, NO use in combat… EVER.

    • James Bowen

      Same is true of ours.