Home » Budget Industry » House Defense Appropriations Bill Supports 3 LCSs, Single Carrier Buy


House Defense Appropriations Bill Supports 3 LCSs, Single Carrier Buy

A helicopter from the Philippine navy prepares to land on the flight deck of the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) during an exercise for Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Sama Sama 2017 in June 2017. US Navy photo.

The House Appropriations Committee’s defense funding bill for Fiscal Year 2019 would buy a dozen new warships for the Navy, including two Littoral Combat Ships beyond the service’s request, according to the text of the bill that was released on Wednesday.

The $22.7-billion shipbuilding account includes three LCSs, three Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers (DDG-51), two Virginia-class attack submarines (SSN-774), two John Lewis-class fleet oilers, an Expeditionary Sea Base and a fleet tug.

Absent from the bill is money to accelerate the procurement of a Ford-class aircraft carrier (CVN-78), which the House Armed Service Committee’s National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2019 supported doing. The Navy has proposed buying the planned Enterprise (CVN-80) and the yet-unnamed CVN-81 in a two-carrier contract to achieve some savings, and HASC further supported this by allowing the Navy to bump CVN-81 procurement up to FY 2019 to create additional workforce efficiencies by having the ships centered closer together.

The defense spending bill also sides with the HASC and opposes SASC and the Navy when it comes to LCS. Navy leaders have been split on the need for additional LCS buys to maintain the shipbuilding industrial base ahead of the transition to the next-generation FFG(X) guided-missile frigate. The Navy plans to buy 20 frigates from one of five companies competing for the program – including both current LCS builders.

Rendering of the third ship in the Ford class of aircraft carriers, Enterprise (CVN-80).

The bill also includes $2.9 billion for advanced procurement of the Columbia-class nuclear ballistic missile program, $41 million for the LCU landing craft replacement program and $507.8 million for the Ship-to-Shore Connector program.

In addition to the shipbuilding budget, the bill authorizes $20.1 billion for new aircraft, including $1.9 billion for 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighters, $1.1 billion for 13 MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and $1.8 billion for 10 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, according to a news release from HAC regarding the defense spending bill.

The bill also appropriates $9.4 billion for 93 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters, split between the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

In total, the HAC bill funds $674.6 billion on defense: $606.5 billion in the base budget and $68.1 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) spending.

  • DaSaint

    Really surprised that House Appropriations broke with HASC regarding acceleration of carrier construction.

    Not surprised that they would add 2 LCS. Question is whether there is still an even number of ships procured, and is it still split evenly, because if not, they would either have to skip a number or assign one out of turn. Thus far, all the odd numbers are Freedom variants, and all even numbers are Indys.

    • Duane

      The total LCS buy will now be 34. Presumably one more of each variant to keep both yards humming while the FFG(X) design selection is underway.

      • NavySubNuke

        We’ll see – the Senate still gets a vote on whether or not we will waste another $1.6B on an extra two unneeded and unwanted LCS.
        Hopefully they will decide there is better things to do with that money then spend another:
        $649M per bare hull
        $169M per hull on outfighting and post delivery modifications
        At least, so far, they aren’t going to add any extra mission modules so there is some savings there.

        • Duane

          The Senate will not be voting for or against unwanted or unneeded ships. The Navy wants and needs all three ships. It is not a choice between zero and three ships. It is a choice between 1 LCS and letting both yards grow cold and unable to meet the Navy’s requirement to deliver FF(G)X by 2025 at an average cost of under $800M per ship … or buy 3 LCS which the Navy wants and needs while also keeping the two yards hot and delivering new frigates on schedule and to budget.

          BTW … everyone should take this decision to mean exactly as it is intended: a very strong hint that LM or Austal is extremely likely to win the FFG(X) design competition.

          Furthermore, it is likely that BOTH LCS yards will each win a 10-ship production contract based upon one of the existing LCS hull designs, modified as needed. That would be the most sensible decision. Either design can be built at either yard. All of the required GFE is common between the two variant designs, and ONLY the two LCS builders are experienced at integrating all of that equipment and systems into their hull designs.

          NAVSEA has already stated publicly that that is an option they are considering (hint, hint!), and further evidence that the Navy believes the winning frigate design will be one of the two LCS variants, stretched a bit as needed to add a VLS and increase the fuel capacity. Just as LM did on its Freedom-based Saudi frigate, the MMCS.

          And it would be a pleasure to to see you react to such a head-exploding outcome. Then you and your tiny little band of little trolling brothers will go merrily trolling and ranting along for the next 20 years about how the Navy got it all wrong, and blaming it all on contractor subterfuge.

          • NavySubNuke

            “The Navy wants and needs all three ships”
            -Demonstrably false. The Navy doesn’t want them and they certainly don’t need them.
            “everyone should take this decision to mean exactly as it is intended: a very strong hint that LM or Austal is extremely likely to win the FFG(X) design competition.”
            Wishful thinking at best on your part but certainly possible that the Navy will make the easy decision rather than the right one
            “it is likely that BOTH LCS yards will each win a 10-ship production contract based upon one of the existing LCS hull designs, modified as needed. ”
            -LOL.
            “Either design can be built at either yard”
            If you actually knew anything about ship construction you would realize that is false
            “Just as LM did on its Freedom-based Saudi frigate, the MMCS.”
            -You mean just as LM is planning to do for the Saudi frigate – the work isn’t actually done yet
            “And it would be a pleasure to to see you react to such a head-exploding outcome.”
            It is hardly a head exploding decision. The Navy has already procured 32 of these failed vessels so it wouldn’t be too much a surprise if they decided to buy 20 more pier queens.
            “Then you and your tiny little band of little trolling brothers will go merrily trolling and ranting along for the next 20 years about how the Navy got it all wrong, and blaming it all on contractor subterfuge.”
            Who said anything about subterfuge? Both contractors are very open about the fact that both LCS hull types are all about jobs at this point. Nice fantasy though.
            As I said though it will certainly be interesting to see what frigate does actually win the FFG(x) competition. I still have hope that the Navy will do the right thing and pick a design that will actually add capability to the fleet and make the Navy more capable of fighting and winning the Nations wars. But there is a very real chance they will instead decide to buy a stretched LCS because that is the easy decision. Either way we should know in a few months!

          • ElmCityAle

            A model of what is claimed to be the final version of the Saudi MMCS was shown publicly in January that backed away from a stretched version with 2 x 8-cell MK 41 VLS in the hangar area and instead used the same hull size with a single 8-cell MK 41 about where the 57mm gun is usually located and the gun moved forward. This makes me wonder if the US Navy’s version might incorporate both design ideas: 8-cells (likely of limited length, perhaps “self-defense” size only for ESSM) up front AND 2 x 8-cells (full length) in the hangar area with a slighted elongated hull, which would accommodate the extra fuel as well. That would give 32 ESSM in the front VLS and 16 cells for whatever. Whether that is enough improvement for other aspects of the LCS design to satisfy the various criticisms remains to be seen.

          • NavySubNuke

            Possible but we will see. For now, despite the claims of certain pro-LCS trolls LM hasn’t even finished the detailed design work on the Saudi LCS variant never mind actually started construction.
            The only contract actually awarded to LM so far was for just over $20M to actually finish the design. At that point the Saudi’s can decide whether to walk away or move forward to the next step.

          • Duane

            I will certainly enjoy watching you flip out. As you will, both when all three LCS get funded and when the two LCS yards get selected to build an LCS-derived frigate design.

          • NavySubNuke

            And if the Navy does the right thing and picks a real frigate rather than a jobs program I will certainly enjoy rubbing it in your face.
            Though since everything you say is either wrong (only US has CVNs for example) or a lie it won’t be new or surprising to be rubbing your face in it.
            As to 3 LCS this year – I fully expect it. It is an election year and it won’t surprise me in the slightest if all 3 end up in the final budget and NDAA even though the Navy has no need or desire for them.

  • omegatalon

    Both decisions doesn’t make much sense since the LCS still have shortcomings that have yet to be fixed while the cost of the Ford class of carriers will continue to go up unless there’s some type of major breakthrough.

    • proudrino

      Both decisions are made to keep shipyards in operation. The premise is that these shipyards are strategic assets that need to be protected, even it it means throwing more business their way than the Navy has requested. The reality is that the Navy has legitimate requests, based on fleet needs, that are unfunded but do not deliver a visible result (i.e. continued employment of shipyard workers) Congressional pork trumps fleet needs every time.

      • Rocco

        Bingo spot on!

    • Duane

      There are no “shortcomings” of the LCS that need fixing. The LCS perform very well and meet all Navy requirements for the ship type.

      • NavySubNuke

        No shortcomings?
        You mean besides the fact that mission modules are years behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget?
        Or besides the fact that one LCS variant doesn’t meet the range requirement the Navy created and one variant doesn’t meet the speed requirement?
        Or how about the fact that we have to spend over $100M after delivery to modify the ships to include an ASCM launcher so that they have even a basic combat capability?
        Or what about the fact that a fully modified and outfitted LCS with a mission module now costs over $900M instead of the $150M they were supposed to cost according to the original cost requirements in their CDD?

        • Desplanes

          C’mon NavySubNuke, please quit using facts in your arguments, you know he can’t stand that.

        • ElmCityAle

          Are you aware of how many modifications/additions were made to the FFG-7 ships over time? Would you rather have them as-built or in final form if you had to take them into a fight?

          • Curtis Conway

            The issue is the problems were Actually Fixed, and the platform was able to steam on its own ISE, and handle whatever it came up against. The LCS, even enhanced with NSM will never do that.

          • Duane

            “Fixed” to the extent that the OHPs ceased to be useful warships. Their missile launchers became obsolete and could no longer function with modern missiles.

            Apparently that is something you prefer over a ship design that has already proved its modular approach can accommodate major changes in roles and sensors and battle management systems and drone aircraft and autonomous surface and subsurface craft while easily adapting the world’s two most lethal antiship cruise missiles (NSM is already adapted, and LRASM awaits only sea testing of our new LCS cannister deck launcher that was successfully ground tested at White Sands last year).

            One of these two ship types has been retired as no longer a functional warship, and the other leads the way in adapting new and disruptive systems. You seem to prefer the former …. while the Navy clearly prefers the latter.

          • ElmCityAle

            Fixed too late to help the USS Stark, as the most obvious example. Wouldn’t it have been good if the radar and fire control systems were upgraded, integrated, and capable of detecting and defending against those inbound missiles? That work all happened later, motivated by the systemic failures on that day of the older technology as-fitted to those ships.

          • NavySubNuke

            I’d rather we built them correctly from the start rather than paying 1/2 the cost of DDG for (at best) 1/10th of the capability.
            I’d also rather that the Navy had done the right thing and cancelled this program over a decade ago when it realize how much money it was going to spend for so little return rather than doubling down and selecting both under performing hull forms thereby for every doubling the “tail” cost associated with ships that barely have any teeth.
            Also, there is no “take them into a fight” with LCS — the Navy has already acknowledged they aren’t meant for hostile zones. When a fight comes the LCS will quickly evacuate the area and allow ships actually meant for combat to get into the area. They will then (hopefully – assuming they can make it that far without a tow) go somewhere more safe.

          • ElmCityAle

            Let’s go with the claim than LCS isn’t intended for “a fight” – and by “a fight”, let’s define that as something involving more than a swarm of small boats in littoral waters. Was that not exactly the Navy’s concept of high/low ships – that the “high” ships are made for real/serious combat and the low ships for the other 99%+ of use? If so, why denigrate LCS for following that concept? It’s the Navy’s philosophy that you guys are arguing with as much as the specific details of the LCS program.

          • NavySubNuke

            I have no issue with LCS as a concept – the problem is in what was actually delivered.
            If we are going to have a “low” capability ship it should be delivered at a low cost.
            Right now each hull costs $640M, the post delivery modifications and fitting out are another $169M per ship and the average cost for the mission modules (which instead of taking days to swap out actually take weeks to months) at $134M.
            So for 1/2 the price of a DDG we are getting a vessel with (at best) 1/10th the capability.
            Had LCS actually met its cost goals for being $80M – $150M or even stayed somewhere close to the congressionally mandated cost caps of $220M (in 2006 dollars or $277M in 2019 dollars) it would be a different story.

          • ElmCityAle

            It may well be that the simple linear approach to cost you are expecting does not reflect the more complex realities of the quantum of size/cost involved for building a ship large enough to transit blue water. One half the cost doesn’t mean one half the capabilities. I’m completely ignorant of the economics involved, so I can only guess as well.

          • NavySubNuke

            If money were no object than this wouldn’t matter. But the fact of the matter is that there is a limited amount of money in the pot for the Navy. When we are spending 1/2 the cost to get less than 1/10th the capability we are losing. Especially when you consider the sustainment costs based on the Navy’s cowardice in moving forward with two unique hull designs – both of which failed to meet the Navy’s initial requirements – rather than down selecting to one under performing “winner”.
            This lost money and opportunity is especially galling when you see what the French and Italians have done with the FREMM program. We could have a whole stable of FREMMs in the fleet by now if it wasn’t for LCS.
            Alas, all is not lost – the Navy still has a chance to do things right with FFG(X).

          • Duane

            Every claim he makes is wildly false and preposterouss.

        • Duane

          You stated untruths in every single thing you wrote, wildly so.

          • NavySubNuke

            Well thank you for providing that well reasoned and fact based argument backed up with plenty of evidence to support your accusations.
            It is everything I have come to expect for the LCS fan club.

        • Robert Goodell

          There are hamburger meals and there are steak dinners. I expect more from the latter. But not every day is a steak day. Not every ship has all the functionality we might wish.. I wonder why, instead of bashing these classes, we aren’t having a discussion of lessons learned from their deployment. Which Hull shape is better? Which propulsion system is better? Which electronics and armaments work well?

          • NavySubNuke

            Which deployment? They have only made 3 in their entire history as a class and 1 of them trapped the crew in Asia for 9 months. Also, none of those involved the mission modules since PEO LCS has failed to deliver a working ASW or MCM modules and the ASuW module is a shadow of what it was supposed to be since the NLOS missile was cancelled.
            Maybe in another 3 – 5 years we will actually have enough data to determine some lessons learned and move forward but that won’t really happen until we can un-weld them from the pier, get them operating for a few months without a major engineering casualty, and send them out with a working mission module. But even 3-5 years is probably optimistic at this point for that to actually happen.

  • airider

    Definitely an election year.

  • Kypros

    The Navy just plain doesn’t want any more LCSs. Yet Congress is forcing them down their throat.

    • Fred Gould

      We need ships to protect the piers.

      • waveshaper1

        The LCS is now officially the worlds most expensive pier bumper/fender.

      • Curtis Conway

        Harbor defense . . . that’s the ticket!

    • Duane

      The Navy has never said they “don’t want” the two additional LCS. The Navy proposed just 1 vs. 3 based on the Navy’s assumption that the pause in ship buying would not harm the two yards’ capacity to build small surface combatants. The two yards disagree, and the HASC and the House Armed services and Appropriations committees agree with the two yards. The SASC requested more information on the effects on the yards of buying 1 vs. 3 LCS as a condition of agreeing to a 3-ship buy in 2019. The info will be provided and the 3-LCS but will be funded.

      The Navy will be very happy to have an additional 2 LCS plus the 20 frigates to come thereafter.

      • Kypros

        As long as we agree that the two additional LCSs are make work projects to keep two yards working. I’m not sure if the Navy is “happy”, though. They’d probably want to roll those funds into something else.

        • Duane

          What you call “make work” is what most others call “sensibly keeping the two yards as hot production lines, which keeps production costs low and clearly supports delivery of FFG(X) by 2025 as the Navy has specified.”

          • Kypros

            So essentially we agree, beyond semantics. Keep the yards open and working. I’m sure the Navy would prefer spending the money on 1.5 FFGs or training or maintenance, rather than another two LCSs.. But they don’t control the purse strings

          • NavySubNuke

            Exactly – the Navy is trying to get away from building virtually unarmed pier queens but all congress cares about is keeping the yards open.
            We’ll see who ultimately prevails but I still have hopes FFG(X) will make the decision to buy an actual warship instead of just a slightly larger pier queen but we’ll see if the Navy actually wants to do the right thing or if they just decide to do the easy thing.

          • Kypros

            Who wins FFG(x) will answer your question. I sure hope HII has something great under wraps.

          • NavySubNuke

            Having done operations over at CTF-69 and seen the capabilities of the FREMM in action I am still hopeful we will be adding those to our fleet but I agree that a Frigate version of the NSC would also (likely) make a great alternative.

          • BorgWorshipper

            My bet is on FREMM or Huntington Ingalls Industries NSC.

    • NavySubNuke

      The Navy has made it clear that they want actual warships and not virtually unarmed pier queens but congressmen and senators – particularly in an election year – need jobs in their districts. Adding these two extra unnecessary and unwanted ships buys us no less than 4 more votes in the Senate and a number of votes in the house.
      As much as I hate congress forcing 2 extra LCS onto the Navy (and $1B more debt onto taxpayers) that is a small price if it buys the votes needed to fund the military on 1 Oct 2018 instead of wasting an entire quarter (or more) operating under a continuing resolution.

    • Secundius

      Both Shipyards are in Republican Voting Districts (i.e. Pork and Jobs)…

      • Kypros

        Thankfully, the Dems are above all that pork barrel stuff! LOL!

        • Secundius

          Mid Term Elections are coming up and Republican votes are in State of Flux (i.e. In the Crapper) and every vote counts…

          • Kypros

            I wasn’t aware only Republicans were on the ballot this year! Interesting!

          • Secundius

            As I recall Paul Ryan’s term expires in 2019…

          • Kypros

            He’s retiring. So?

          • Secundius

            And who replacing his “Republican Representative Seat” if any Republican…

          • David Oldham

            another delusional.

          • Secundius

            I live just outside WDC! The News is Fresher closer to the Source of the STINK. Than what is reported on FOX News to the Rest of the Country…

        • PolicyWonk

          Heh – the Dems are more about welfare for people, as opposed to welfare for profitable corporations, or the uber-wealthy. Exhibit 1: the recent budget-killing, debt increasing, deficit exploding, open class warfare declared on the poor and middle class to enrich the GOP’s super-wealthy constituents and corporate interests, disguised under the transparent fig-leaf of “tax reform”.

          Every politician is about bringing home the bacon. The GOP seems to be more interested in giving the bacon to a very small constituency, and the expense of the economic security of this nation, and the large majority of our citizens.

          • David Oldham

            Delusional as ever. After 8 years of Obama you need to shut up and feel your shame but alas you are incapable so by all means keep up the propaganda.

          • PolicyWonk

            Wow – you’re pretty funny.

            Delusional? Surely you jest! I’ll give you a small assignment just to see if you’re still lucid, and able to do basic math. Simply compare:
            1. State of the Union inherited by George W Bush.
            2. State of the Union inherited by Barack Obama (see where this is going – or are you ready to shut your pie-hole?)
            3. State of the Union inherited by Donald J Trump.

            Any questions? Or, do you really want to continue playing the fool?

            Your choice.

          • Centaurus

            I’ll play the fool. I always wanted a USS John F. Kennedy model Aircraft Carrier in my Battle Group Collection / Mobile .

          • Lazarus

            Democrats are crony capitalists who unlike their New Deal or Great Society forbears, have allied themselves with big medical and big insurance to jack up health care costs at the expensive of working people. It is a party dominated by wealthy, elite (and effete) social liberals intent on building their brave new world on the financial backs of the rest of us.

          • PolicyWonk

            You’re no conservative, and you’re no American. Your tolerance and support of blatant incompetence (and possible treason) renders your opinions less than useless.

            And blatant lying does neither you nor this forum any service.

      • Duane

        Actually, both shipyards are located within Republican Congressional districts. Both states have at least 1-GOP Senator, and both states have GOP governors. Both states voted Trump in 2016.

        For those trying to make the LCS purchase a partisan political issue, sorry, no go. Ditto nationally, with Congresses being controlled by both parties since 2004 when the program was authorized, and with both parties controlling the White House while still supporting LCS, the program is clearly not a partisan issue. It is not an issue at all except amongst a tiny, tiny cadre of persistent internet commenters at USNI.

        • Secundius

          Yes I know! I explained it to someone else on another website about a month ago (i.e. “The Hill”)…

      • BorgWorshipper

        Ship yards are too important to not use. Every yard should be producing ships at max capacity.

        • Secundius

          Ahhh Huhhh! Welders have to have a Minimum of 7-years as a Journeymen to qualify to be a Welder in a Naval Shipyard. Longer if the Vessel is Nuclear-Powered…

          • BorgWorshipper

            Indeed, skilled workforce is huge constraint. I have no idea how much innovation and inefficiencies can be squeezed out.

          • Secundius

            Unlike Chinese Shipyards where Wages are Fixed, and have Three Shift Crew Rotations (i.e. 24-hours). US Shipyards, have to contend with Time and Half Wages and Daylight Only Hours (i.e. 2-Shifts)…

    • BorgWorshipper

      The USN never liked offshore patrol craft nor corvettes, even though they badly need them, so they deserve the LCS. A hot production line is more important than bad ship building strategy. UNTIL they start putting a new heavy Frigate in the water like hotcakes, there is zero reason to stop buying LCS. That is several years away. 3 new LCS per year right now, or zero new ships until late 2020’s when the Frigate comes online? You can put NSM on a LCS, can’t put a NSM on a paper Frigate.

      I myself would still take a 47m missile boat and 75m Corvette.

  • Bailey Zhang

    I think we should spend more on technology development

  • PolicyWonk

    Sure – what a fabulous idea: lets buy more Ford-class carriers that cannot be certified battle ready, because EMALS and AAG are unreliable. So unreliable, that the USN is talking about bringing a mothballed carrier out of retirement (saying the fixing EMALS will be neither cheap, quick, or easy); and, how ’bout some more littoral combat ships, the same ones that former CNO Adm. Greenert (himself!) declared, “were never intended to venture into the littorals to engage in combat (whoo-hoo! we’re cookin’ now!)”.

    If we don’t have good weapons of varying types, such as nuclear carriers and real SSCs, we might as well: build what we know is lethal, buy more Virginia class SSN’s, invest in AIP boats, a few more LHA-6’s, modified to act as light carriers, maybe some more amphibs? The smart thing to do: buy what we know works. Don’t buy garbage, and hold those responsible for failed programs accountable when justified (there’s been a lot of justifying going on, and little/no accounting).

    Acquisition, if it continues this way, will kill/defeat this nation long before any potential adversary, because we spend money stupidly.

    • sferrin

      “Sure – what a fabulous idea: lets buy more Ford-class carriers that cannot be certified battle ready, because EMALS and AAG are unreliable. So unreliable, that the USN is talking about bringing a mothballed carrier out of retirement (saying the fixing EMALS will be neither cheap, quick, or easy); ”

      Jesus, you’re either completely uneducated in the way technology works or you have an agenda. Which is it?

      • DG1988

        I think most people conveniently forget the teething problems of earlier programs when discussing current ones. One rarely sees references to the fiasco that was the SCANFAR radar and many of the other advanced systems on Enterprise (CVAN-65) and Long Beach (CLGN-160), how many years it took to make the three-Ts work anything like reliably, the laundry list of issues that attended the entry into service of almost every high performance naval aircraft, etc.

        It would be nice if we could somehow learn from these experiences, both to improve current and future programs and to give us the perspective to avoid chicken-little syndrome when everything doesn’t go perfectly with the introduction of a new system or platform, but I guess it’s much more emotionally satisfying to b***h about how the sky is falling while letting the past dissolve into rosy tints of nostalgia.

        • sferrin

          Yep. Was reading an old document written in the late 80s about the horror stories surrounding the Hornet’s development. Could have swapped out “F/A-18” with “F-35” and they’d have read similarly. (Delays due to technology and politics basically.) Nothing high tech works right out of the gate, and the bigger jump one makes the longer it takes. Oh, don’t want to take risks? Great, you can take 2nd place on game day.

        • Lazarus

          Sadly, history at best gets a paragraph or two in most Navy studies. It is necessary to constantly re-educate these people on even the history of the last 25 years.

          • PolicyWonk

            I’m glad you concede this point – only maybe you should go back further than a mere 25 years.

            The PEO LCS clearly learned nothing from the hard-learned lessons w/r/t littoral combat, and couldn’t even be bothered to consult NECC. How do we intend to turn the “littoral combat ship”, that CNO Greenert declared was “never intended to venture into the littorals to engage in combat”, into an SSC, when it’s built to commercial standards and has no business venturing into a contested environment?

            The resulting fleet of pier queens has been growing since 2008, yet not even one presence (or sea control) mission has been conducted. Being unable to reliably propel the sea frame from one port to another does have a way of killing any sea-going ambitions LCS might have, which is why their natural habitat seems to be anywhere but open ocean – let alone the littorals they cannot reliable get to.

            LCS, like any new ship, is expected to have some problems. But failing to live up to virtually ANY of the many promises made, with new and serious design issues still popping up, even after 10 years, is just sad.

          • Lazarus

            It’s PEO USC. Look, I AM the historian trying to teach people to look back more than 25 years. Guess what; EVERY US surface combatant built in the last 50 years has been at one point or other been labeled, “The worst ship ever bought for the Navy ever.” That includes the FF 1052, the DD 963, the FFG 7, and the CG 47. The DDG 51 wasn’t so tagged, but it has been criticized time and again for cost.

          • PolicyWonk

            Its PEO USC now. It was not PEO USC then. The criminal incompetence that infested PEO LCS (evidenced by the disastrous and obvious results) was bad enough for the USN to take a page out of the business disaster handbook, and simply change the name to protect the guilty.

            As if a name change somehow makes the incompetence go away.

            The whole lot of ’em should’ve been court-martialed, demoted, and drummed out of the service, for dereliction of duty, incompetence, and dishonoring the USN by deliberately lying to/defrauding the taxpayers and HoR’s.

          • Lazarus

            Look, if you have a beef with one PEO, then you have a beef with the whole of NAVSEA and ASN RDTA. You likely have a beef with Congress as well since the legislature continues to buy LCS despite your complaints.
            The “they all ought to be court-martialed” argument is the standard, groundling one that loses me every time.

          • PolicyWonk

            It’s really appalling how you selflessly support the rewarding of these obvious incompetents who’ve wasted more than $36B taxpayer dollars on useless death traps, and don’t think anyone should be held responsible for their flagrant deceiving of the taxpayers and HoR’s. You’re entire line of reasoning points to no one being held accountable – small wonder you keep defending the indefensible.

            Clearly, you’re part of the problem. And as such, you will never be part of the solution, and your loyalty to the United States is doubtful, to be generous.

            As as I’ve pointed out in the past when discussing acquisition, the legislative branch IS part of the problem. They and the DoD share the blame for putting their short-term (or self-rewarding) interests above those of national security.

          • NavySubNuke

            Of course if you’ve read the National Defense Strategy, the Nuclear Posture Review, or the National Security Strategy you would realize the next 25 years is expected to be nothing like the last 25 years which is a big part of the reason the Navy is pushing for FFG(X) to be a real combatant rather than an LCS. I realize you are still stuck in the mindset of a uni-polar/US Hegemonic world but in reality things have changed very drastically from the sunshine and optimism of 20 to 25 years ago.

        • PolicyWonk

          I think most people conveniently forget the teething problems of earlier programs when discussing current ones..
          =========================================
          Teething problems are one thing, and to be expected. The fundamental problems in the Ford bring a whole new dimension to incompetence, because now we’ll have to blow as of yet unknown billions of dollars into merely fixing EMALS, let alone AAG, or removing the single point of failure where all of EMALS is taken out if only one catapult is taken out of service. This renders a $14B asset all but useless for combat purposes, until the redundancy problem is fixed (that’s according to the USN).

          The depth of the screw-up is such that the USN is openly considering reactivating an old flattop out of the mothball fleet, which will add a LOT more dough to fixing some painfully obvious architectural problems (I expect better than this from the USN, although I concede there are folks with vastly lower standards than mine).

          LCS is almost impervious to teething problems, as the brilliant designers neglected to provide the gums required to grow teeth in. But that this nation continues to blow money into a blatant, monstrously expensive (given the lousy sea-frames) corporate welfare program, with a laughable/nearly non-existent ROI, is simply shameful.

          • DG1988

            I was under the impression that the issue with EMALS wasn’t with the cat itself but with blown voltage regulators further back in the system tree, part of the issues we’ve been having with the advanced integrated electrical systems on some more recent classes. The upside is that that’s (probably) a lot easier to solve than a fundamental design problem with the catapult itself. It would also fit with the fact that there’s no crash program to swap out the cats on the next few Ford-class ships with steam ones.

            Also, I’d caution against getting too worked up about things based on the limited UNCLASS information we have to work with. The reality could be worse or better, but our window is very narrow. And like I said, have perspective. To revisit my example ships, LONG BEACH went almost 30% over budget and ENTERPRISE much more so.

            I would consider LCS one of the stinkers mentioned in my earlier comment, so no substantial disagreement there.

          • Curtis Conway

            The carrier shortage can be filled in the short term with the Light Carrier Concept for limited applications. The FORD fixes will come, it will just take some more treasure and time. Too many technological advances in a single platform attempted at one time.

            As for LCS . . . well, they ought to give Laz and Duane pom poms and a skirt. The end analysis of their argument is we can get our sailors killed less expensively on an LCS.

          • PolicyWonk

            I would rather see us building CVL’s along the lines of the LHA-6 (America) class, using that proven sea-frame. Given the advent of smart weapons, a CVL can carry an impressive amount of destructive power – more for example – than a Nimitz could dish out when they first went to sea.

            And indeed, the USN concedes that they’re going to have to spend of lot of money to fix the Ford’s problems.

            W/r/t LCS: outside of the usual 2 cheerleaders, we pretty well all (including the USN) concede its a disaster.

          • Secundius

            Always assuming that the US Congress has the whereforall gift of hindsight and actually fund a Light Carrier concept…

          • Curtis Conway

            They actually already have with the LHA/LHD upgarde/replacement program, and all the Navy has to do is change the content of the order (aviation-centric with no well-deck). I bet the House would do that in a heartbeat. The Senate would approve it. Its paid for, and the same yard builds it. Congress would have to buy more F-35Bs, and this would be the time to make the USAF truly Joint, and have them operate off of them too. But that requires clear joint thinking keeping, and Allies in the mix. Don’t see a lot of that today, with an eye to the future. Think out of the box ladies/gentlemen.

          • Secundius

            Sorry, USNI News won’t let me answer your question…

          • Duane

            How many US sailors have been killed on LCS in 10 years of operations?

            Besides zero, I mean.

            A record that cannot be claimed by any other US warship type. You keep bringing up that argument, despite knowing it fails every single time when my question gets posed.

            Something reminds me here from reading many of your wrongheaded easily debunked comments … about the definition of insanity is repeating the same act over and over and over again, while expecting a different result each time.

          • Duane

            Light carriers will never happen. Unlike the LCS, the Navy has made it clear it doesn’t want light carriers. With the America and Wasp class amphibs, we already have a platform for the world’s most lethal attack aircraft, the F-35. So we’ll keep buying aviation amphibs and CVN supercarriers. We’ll leave the baby carriers to others.

          • Curtis Conway

            The Light Carrier IS an Aviation Amphib, and the Marines have already demonstrated it capability off the California coast. We already have two. ciao.

          • Duane

            No … A “light carrier” is not an aviation amphib. They are medium carriers, while “light carriers” displace less than 30,000 tons. Our America and Wasp class ships are equal to or larger in displacement (over 40,000 tons) than other nations’ medium carriers. And far more lethal.

          • Curtis Conway

            “…the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 2Cor 3:6. You are as dead as a hammer!

          • PolicyWonk

            Well, the Ford was designed from the start to generate a LOT of power, because of EMALS, AAG, and the eventual addition of directed energy weapons (for defensive purposes). As such, there cannot be a “crash program” to alter the ship to use steam catapults because the infrastructure required to support them doesn’t exist.

            In short – they’d have to rip the ship apart to do it, and that isn’t going to happen.

            I appreciate the comment w/r/t UNCLASS information, but I read voraciously from a lot of resources, and all of them point to the Ford being a much larger than usual collection of problems: the level of risk and number of entirely new technologies required to build this carrier was in a word irresponsible. By any standard.

            Even so, in this case, I’d far rather be wrong.

          • Lazarus

            Yes, and DD 963 and FFG 7 both doubled in cost from first estimate to first delivered unit.

          • NavySubNuke

            Meh – you need to learn to better separate PR fluff to show people how bad an idea is from actual serious plans.
            The idea of taking the Sh*tty Hawk out of retirement gets batted around every few years because of the Navy being below the minimum level of carriers as required by Law. Congress comes and asks what the Navy can do to actually start meeting the requirement and they give them a plan to build an extra new carrier and a plan to bring Sh*tty Hawk back to life. Both cost a pile of money and congress says – never mind just keep breaking the law we forced on you.
            This is the same thing as all the articles you read on the Gotland class submarine “sinking” a carrier and how the Navy should waste money building SSKs/AIP boats. They are good PR tools but hardly a a real attempt at discussing what should/should not be in the fleet.

          • PolicyWonk

            I’m well aware of the notion of the Kitty Hawk’s resurrection, and generally agree that at this time its probably not worth it. We’d be better off building more LHA-6’s, with some more gear to make it walk and talk like a CVL. But to hear the USN discuss it as a potential way of offsetting the loss of the USS Ford until they can figure out how to get her combat certified, that is pretty concerning. Its a rare public admission on the part of the navy, to admit its that screwed up.

            I know you’re opinion w/r/t SSK’s/AIP boats, but in that case we’ll likely have to agree to disagree.

          • NavySubNuke

            There is no talk anywhere of bringing back the Sh*tty Hawk to do anything about Ford. Even with Ford the Navy is below the minimum threshold for carriers.
            Ford’s issues really aren’t anywhere as bad as you are making them out to be by mixing these messages.

      • PolicyWonk

        I know a good deal about how engineering works, but thanks for asking. Please inform me w/r/t what mighty knowledge you might impart so’s I can be educated! But you’ll have to forgive me if I’m unimpressed with these monstrous acquisition failures.

        When the USN is openly discussing taking an old carrier from the mothball fleet, and dropping a billion dollars (probably more) into restoring it to service because EMALS isn’t getting fixed for years to come, this is a problem. Furthermore, EMALS also has a single -point of failure: they lose one catapult (due to accident, battle damage, or maintenance), and ALL of them are taken out of service with it. Is that your idea of awesome engineering? If so, your opinion isn’t worth much to this or any other forum – or are you going to try to tell me this depth of incompetence is to be expected with ALL new ships (that always have teething problems)?

        And then we have LCS: the program that cannot be described without overuse of the term “cluster”.

        The USN is burning money: all we have in the Ford is a nuclear powered LHA, or the most expensive training ship in history – and no one is being held accountable for MASSIVE, and fundamental design flaws.

        Go ahead and tell what you think I don’t know. I’m hoping to be impressed with your intellectual superiority, compelling prose, grasp of engineering, acquisition policy, and logic.

        • Sir Bateman

          While I share many of your concerns there’s one small correction. The only reason the USN gave any consideration to taking the Kitty Hawk out of mothballs was to get the carrier fleet back up to 12 in a quicker fashion than would otherwise be possible. At any rate it’s a moot point, the Kitty Hawk was struck from the Naval Register back in October of 2017, and the USN no longer has any CATOBAR carriers in reserve even theoretically available for reactivation.

          However, I have run across a couple of articles of late where the idea of keeping Nimitz around past the half century mark has been bounced around. As to the practicality of that proposal I’ll leave to others figure out.

          • PolicyWonk

            I’m aware of the idea to extend the life of the Nimitz. Unlike the old Big E (alone in a class of one), the Nimitz class is alive and well, and will be for decades to come.

            Hence – while I’m not deep into the reactor design and its lifecycle problems, it seems on the top to be a much better (more pragmatic) idea than trying to revive a very old CV from the mothball fleet.

            W/r/t to wanting to get the fleet up to a dozen carriers (this has been a lot of folks dream for a long time, similar to those who want to bring back the Iowa class BBs), the articles I’d read strongly indicated the motivation was due to the length of time and difficulty of fixing EMALS, and AAG, among other problems, on the USS Ford.

            Cheers.

          • Duane

            The problem with extending the service life of any nuclear vessel is one of residual nuclear fuel. When the fuel is used up, an extremely expensive and lengthy refueling overhaul is necessary. Typically that cost is in the neighborhood of $3 plus billion dollars for a CVN and taking the ship out of action for about 4 years. All the Nimitz class CVNs were programmed for a single mid life refueling at around the 25 year mark. Unless we’ve been conserving fuel on the Nimitz by reducing the number of deployments and other training and such sea days, which seems unlikely given the very high rate of deployments post-9/11, then this refueling overhaul cannot be postponed.

            Also, there are other components in the reactor power plant that are life limited by exposure to heavy neutron radiation, particularly steel components such as the reactor vessel, piping, valves, etc. Even if the reactor is refueled, these other components may not be safe to keep in service beyond 50 years. To replace all of that might add billions to the overhaul cost.

            Naval Reactors is very well aware of all that. If NR agrees to a second mid-life refueling then it should be OK. Nothing to that effect has been stated yet by the Navy.

        • Duane

          EMALS works fine.

          • Secundius

            Yeah? Approximately 89% of the time!

  • proudrino

    Two more LCSs than requested…… Investing in the next generation of target ships now. Thanks Congress! Nevermind all that stuff that was requested and went unfunded. Gotta keep those shipyards pumping out a marginal platform with no discernible warfighting capability.

    • Curtis Conway

      “target ships” . . . no . . . artificial reefs and fish habitat.

      • PolicyWonk

        New source of fodder for needy scrap yards. I’m surprised we don’t send newly commissioned LCS’s directly to the breakers to save on maintenance expenses and pier space.

  • M Yates

    WRT the LCS buy and CVN – as usual, Congress got it mostly back-asswards. It should be a two carrier buy and zero LCS buy.

  • Curtis Conway

    Increased numbers of LCS has to do with numbers and jobs. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with capability. THAT is why FFG(X) is necessary, and a Blind Man can see it. Politicians and industrialist are alive and well . . . but Patriots ? . . well the jury is still out on that question.

    • Duane

      The entire USV Navy is blind while only a single retired chief and a few of his tiny little cadre of internet commenters know the truth.

      Right. Your little band of former barracks bitchers, the type we all knew all too well, those of us who actually served back in the day, are not persuasive.

      • Curtis Conway

        When our sailors start dying at sea because they have not the tools to defend themselves, and discover that one cannot outrun a supersonic ASCM, then we shall see. I’ve been there and done that. How about you?

        • Duane

          Better tell me when that time comes because the big heavy ships you like have killed many dozens of sailors by failing to protect themselves from light watercraft and colliding with big slow merchantmen on patrol. We know those as facts.

          The death toll for LCS is zero. No doubt some LCS sailors will eventually make the supreme sacrifice, as do the sailors of all other warship types have done from time to time. What we also know is that LCS are far better equipped to defend themselves from the very real threats in the littorals than any other warship on the planet, by a very large margin.

          • Curtis Conway

            “The death toll for LCS is zero.” One has to get underway before one can engage in combat, and attempt to cheat death.

            Poorly trained/lead sailors can die on any class of vessel regardless of circumstance. The recent collisions prove that. Then bad leadership empowering policies that get our sailors killed, was foreseen, and many of us said so at the time (elimination of the SM Rating that removed the extra set of eyes for the bridge), has also contributed to these recent deaths.

          • Lazarus

            Duane perhaps means that the LCS training model where a whole crew (including officers) trains as a team and stays together for their whole crew rotation is better than the traditional SWO/crew model that allows frequent rotations. You also cannot hide gapped billets or unqualified people in a rotational crew that cannot relieve the existing crew until all requirements have been met.

          • Curtis Conway

            My G-d Man!!! We did that at REFTRA (remember GITMO?) . . . before it was eliminated by those who KNEW BETTER. How far we have come. Now it’s the blind leading the blind. No good destination there!

            As for your ‘crew rotation model’, it may work on the Bridge, Deck, and in Combat, but not in Engineering.

            Passive systems (particularly multi-spectral) are more important than ever before, and we need our Signalman back (passive communications).

          • Lazarus

            You still had people rotating in and out of engineering in the 1980’s. Your PRECOM CG may not have had many crew rotations, but other ships in the 1980’s fleet did. My 1991 PRECOM CG had few rotations until 1993. Larger crews could more easily manage those rotations and everyone had less admin back then than now.

          • Curtis Conway

            We had a Merchant Marine graduate in Engineering who was one of our better OODs.

          • Curtis Conway

            So much for the efficiency of electronic reacords.

          • BMC retired

            I also heard that not a single LCS sailor has even gotten a ‘hang-nail.’ I say give the entire crew a Purple heart.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Well, if they’re not being deployed, they certainly don’t face much danger from collisions. Right? Hmmm?

          • Duane

            They do deploy … just not at this snapshot in time due to stateside requirements to support crew training, new systems integration testing, and new construction post shakedown availabilities. As was made very clear, deployments in FY 2019 and beyond will greatly accelerate with four going overseas in just a few months. After FY2019 at least four of each variant will be forward (continuously) deployed to each of Singapore and to Bahrain, plus additional deployments from San Diego and Mayport as necessary to support Navy needs.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Yeah Duane, that’s the plan, or more to the point, the hope! The Navy announced that NONE will be deployed this year. That’s a disgrace for a ship class that has been in commission for 10 years now. ‘Crew training’ and ‘new systems integration testing’ doesn’t sound like a class ready to do what is hoped from it. The Navy will be devoting well over 30% of ALL LCS vessels to training only. I DO hope that all the bugs are worked out, and the sooner the better. I really do. But there is nothing in the way of actual results that proves that’s the case. So far…

          • Duane

            No hope involved. Reality.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Well, you’re actually correct about that, for once. it is the ‘reality’ that is so disappointing. The record is what it is.

      • Retired

        Thank G o d that you are here Gollum, to save us from our logic and experience, ’cause who knows where are collective wisdom might’ve taken us. Now that you proven that we, the majority (like 99.999%) are not worthy of this forum, and are complete idiots, “we’re not worthy, we’re not worthy,” of you superior intellect, can we all come over and huddle in your ‘safe place’ for awhile? We need to think about our feelings and reflect upon your greatness. Perhaps we could borrow your teddy. Just tell your mom to whip up about 1,247 lattes for us, tell her we’d like extra foam, and maybe some cookies, and…

      • Chesapeakeguy

        You mean like those ‘Internet commenters’ who label the people who do the actual TESTING on Navy ships as nothing but ‘auditors’ and ‘desk jockeys’ and ‘Russian trolls’? Like THOSE kinds of people?

        • Duane

          Yes .. I proudly disdain the auditors whi snipe for a living, and honor instead the actual warfighters who actuallt put their lives on the line goung down to the sea in ships. Which I rather expect based on your commentary you never did the latter.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            You ‘proudly disdain’ those who do the testing who arrive at results that are contrary to what you routinely shovel on venues like this. If a staged, controlled ‘test’ is ‘successful’ involving any aspect of the LCS, you proclaim it all as ‘legit’. But if test results are NOT successful, you resort to your childish hissy-fits that ‘they are just sniping’, etc. It got old long ago Duane. Yawn..

          • Duane

            Time for bed then little one. In your dreams the pointy headed auditors with pocket protectors are the real super heroes. While those poor dumb schmucks who man the ships and aircraft need nit be listened to, for they are but cannin fodder withour brains.

            It must suck to have your attitude.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Well, I see that hissy fit I mentioned is still in full bloom. When you hear and read what you WANT, it’s all on the ‘up and up’. But when results you do NOT want pop up, all those conducting the actual testing are ‘corrupt’, and ‘pointy headed’, well, the usual manure you are famous for on here. I can see you now in your bathtub with your little plastic ships and planes, and you splashing the water making explosion and propulsion sounds. LOL.

  • DG1988

    Yes, they were successful – in the end, after years of hard work (16 of them in Bumblebee’s case) and tackling multiple issues that tested the science and technology of the day to its limits. Hindsight is 20-20; would you be commenting positively on, say RIM-8 Talos in 1960? I seem to remember that Kennedy observed a test early in his administration in which all of the several missiles fired at a target malfunctioned.

    I don’t want to make too much of an equivalency here and say “because X worked after troubled development in the past, Y will definitely work now despite it’s currently troubled status,” I think there are definitely some stinkers being pushed through the pipeline and that we seem to be having a harder time with getting now hardware into the field now than in the past. My post was just a plea to remember that it’s always been a damned hard thing to do, that there was no golden age of military acquisitions where everything met spec requirements the first time out of the gate.

    • Lazarus

      The DoD Acquisition History series does a good job in covering problem programs like the Terrier/Tarter/Talos. Too bad no one seems to read them, even though they are free on the DoD Historian’s webpage.

      • DG1988

        I also recommend “Black Shoes and Blue Water” by Malcolm Muir Jr. as a good look into the surface navy of the 1950s, 60s and 70s that covers many of the triumphs and tribulations of the new hardware being introduced in that period.

        • Lazarus

          Agree that is also an excellent book and available on line.

    • Secundius

      Both the “Bumblebee” and “Lark” were High-Tech by WWII standards, as a One-On-One Aerial Kill. Instead of Hundreds of Thousands of Ammunition expended to bring down one Kamikaze. But the Electronics of the time, just wasn’t up to that Tasks that their respective manufacturers had envisioned…

    • Curtis Conway

      “some stinkers being pushed through the pipeline” . . . I smell LCS!

  • DG1988

    Not sure I understand the statement on hull numbers; I used the original designations rather than the final ones because I wanted to emphasize their early service, before all the kinks were worked out. My apologies if I misunderstand your point.

  • Dennis Moore

    Just look at the two LCS being forced on the Navy as a “goodbye kiss” to the whole putrid program and the choice of a much superior vessel ( any one of the other designs is a massive improvement ) for the 20 FFG’s.

    • Duane

      The LCS was never forced on the Navy. The Navy developed the LCS, requested it, built it, proved it, and requested and has been building it at full rate production under 2 block buy contracts since 2014.

      The Navy requested another LCS for 2019, filling out the planned program run of 32 ships, and made clear to appropriators that if an additional 2 more LCS were needed to keep the existing production lines hot in anticipation of an award of FF(G)X to one of the two LCS yards, the Navy has no objection to building 34 LCS instead of 32.

      • WhiskyTangoFoxtrot

        “Prove it” Yep, proved it to be massively expensive, prove it to be massively unreliable, prove it to be massively un-seaworthy, prove it that the module system doesn’t work at all, prove it that in fact there are no current modules that actually work after 10 years and untold millions of development, prove it that the LCS can’t defend itself, it needs the protection of a destroyer at all times, prove it that it’s combat systems have massive problems, prove it that basically the LCS is nothing but a ‘make-work’ project designed to enrich Lockheed. Now everyone, stand by for a slobbering broadside from adm Dueneee of “you don’t understand, you’re too old, you don’t get it, sheesh, sheesh, sheesh…”

      • Dan O’Brian

        The only LCS the Navy “wants” are the toy ones in your bathtub, at least they can ‘fight.’

  • Robert Goodell

    These ships have sufficient flexibility that they can be augmented or refitted for integrated close support of amphibious operations. Yes, I know they lack a decent caliber gun, but they do have some anti air capability and the the 3500 ton version floated (sorry) by Lockheed would accommodate a 10 cell VLS.
    Also, in this period of diminishing seamanship and poor operational practices, these smaller vessels give junior officers an opportunity to learn the sea. With a smaller number of surface combatants, the current rotations do not allow officers to integrate the twin concepts of authority and responsibility that will prepare them for command at sea.

    • Curtis Conway

      There is some wisdom there, but Earning your SWO Designation at your first command teaches them the INTEGRATION of ‘the twin concepts of authority and responsibility that will prepare them for command at sea’ in a very practical way. Why would we change THAT model? Bad message, and smells of Academic Credentials, not practical experience AT SEA which is what counts.

      • Robert Goodell

        Absolutely agree that seamanship and command responsibility are best learned underway. The USN had to grow tremendously in WWII and reserve officers faced a steep curve but ultimately a much larger Navy did learn its lessons.

    • ElmCityAle

      I wonder how many HIMARS units could be carried to be used from the flight deck?

      • Secundius

        Approximately 50! But if HIMAR Launch Vehicle is Fixed (None Moving) ~60…

    • Duane

      The 57mm Mk 110 gun system is the world’s deadliest gun against aircraft and swarming small craft – exactly the type of threats most common in the littorals. It is vastly superior to the naval 5-in gun in all important respects. It has a sustained firing rate 13 times higher, more than 4 times the ready rounds in the mount, and unlike the 5-in, uses precision guided rounds with 1-meter accuracy.

      That is why 22 navies and the US Coast Guard use the 57mm gun. That is why the US Navy spec’d the 57mm gun for both the LCS and for FF(G)X.

      • Robert Goodell

        Agreed. It is the Marines who want, traditionally, more gunfire support. That service tends toward tradition and history. But there is nothing larger than 155 mm in anyone’s thinking in this day of rapidly maturing delivery systems for precise munitions.
        I think the two classes have been interesting test beds for technologies. If nothing else they can be transferred to the Coast Guard. The Navy has always had trouble with the High/Low mix of escort type ships. I agree with others we need to keep shipyards operating. If welding skills must be learned OJT, better on these classes than on first line surface combatants.

        • Centaurus

          I also want more gunfire support. Especially in the Goddamn S. Cal. freeway traffic ca-ca.

      • WhiskyTangoFoxtrot

        Using your ‘logic?’ my air-soft gun is “vastly superior” because it has a much higher sustained firing rate and more than 100 times the ready rounds with a 1 inch accuracy. Minus ten points for the admiral…next question.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        It’s so ‘deadly’ that it was rejected for the Zumwalts whose testers declared it, and I quote, “over rated”. Though originally designed in for the Zumwalts, when they conducted realistic testing of it, they found it came in THIRD behind the two other systems tested, the 76mm Oto Melara and the Mk 46 30mm, which is what is now fitted on the Zumwalts. AND the LCS for that matter. Funny how that works out, ain’t it?

  • Curtis Conway

    The General Dynamics 13 1/2 airframe Standard Missile after infancy (Tarter) grew and matured with the Aegis Combat System, more specifically with the Aegis Weapon System. Build a little and test a little, always building upon success and greater understanding of where you were coming from. A corollary of ‘learn from HiStory or you are bound to repeat it”.

  • Curtis Conway

    Lockheed Martin’s dream was $$$, not capability. Mutiple baseline development guarantees that, maximises costs, and works against the Readiness equation. What an eithic ? . . Patriotic? I will leave it to you to discern.

  • Ser Arthur Dayne

    My nightmare scenario is that we wind up getting an awesome FFG(X), with a perfect combination of size, equipment, technology, armament, and cost/value, and the Navy says something along the lines of, “Wow , we really could have used more than 20… we would have much rather have had 50 of these…. But, oops, too many LCSs, so … sorry, no more FFG(X)s for you!”

    The FFG(X) cannot come soon enough.

  • John McHugh

    Those who can’t…….control the checkbook.

    Give Marinette and Austal decent work and the LCS experiment can finally end.

    Give Marinette the contracts for the replacement Rescue / Salvage T-ARS(X), Fleet Tug T-ATF(X), and the T-AGS(X) platforms. The LCS-1s most likely can’t be “up-gunned” enough to justify the engineering cost and NO Coast Guard in the world (other than China) has a fuel budget big enough. Glorified gunboats for developing countries.

    Give the new Utility craft LCU(X) contract to Austal and maybe, going out on a limb with this but, redesign / repurpose the LCS-2s into MCM(X) replacements if that skid ever gets sorted out. The waterjets at low speed could offer some reasonable maneuverability and the flex deck and flight decks would be great for deck gangs.

    Reallocate the CVN-81 funds towards the 60,000t CV / CVE platform. More decks for same money (2-1, 3-1 ?). Forward base the CVEs at Yokusuka and Naples and maybe keep one domestically at Mayport.

  • NavySubNuke

    Actually LCS don’t spend anywhere near the amount of time at sea that other ships due – just look at the amount of time they spend tied to the pier getting major engineering casualties repaired or wintering in Canada.
    Never mind the fact that not a single LCS will actually deploy in 2018 even though two were supposed to.
    USS Independence couldn’t even make it up the coast to Portland for fleet week this year because of yet another mechanical breakdown.
    Good attempt though. Gold star for effort.

  • NavySubNuke

    It really is funny when you of all people accuse others of lying or being a propagandist.

  • Ziv

    The Independence Class LCS is overpriced, isn’t currently as reliable as needed and is undergunned, even with the 8 Kongsberg NSM’s that it is slated to receive. But given the size of its flight deck and hanger, I think it could end up being a useful corvette type vessel that will be useful in ways that we will be happy to see in the years to come.
    Given the need for a smaller ship to show the flag, the heavied up LCS class (SSC) could be a better choice than the more expensive FREMM, especially given the smaller crew size required by the LCS.
    I look at the Osprey and recall its horrific development process and hope that the LCS will end up being as useful as the Osprey is now.

    • Lazarus

      The FFG 7 never carried more than 4 Harpoon missiles so not sure how 8 NSM’s constitutes being “under gunned?”

      • Ziv

        I thought that the Mk 13 launcher had a 40 missile magazine, half SM1s and half Harpoons? I have never heard that the Perry’s had just 4 anti-ship missiles.
        To add to that discrepancy in missile magazine numbers,the Harpoon has a 488 pound warhead and the NSM warhead is just 276 pounds so 8 missiles is just 4 salvos of 2 each. And it might take 2 salvos of 2 each to disable a ship of any size whatsoever. 8 NSM’s is a minimum for a corvette type of warship to carry.

        • Secundius

          The “Harpoon” uses a DESTEX type High-Explosive, while the “NSM” uses a PBXIX-135 Thermobaric Fragmentation High Explosive…

        • ElmCityAle

          In this comparison, warhead size has little to do with the missile’s effectiveness. The Harpoons used by the US Navy are stone-aged technology compared to NSM.

        • Lazarus

          The FFG7’s primary mission was limited, area anti air defense of convoys against Soviet SSGN’s. ASUW was an afterthought at best.

        • Kypros

          I thought the same on the OHPs. A fully loaded magazine must have been impressive firepower for the day. USS Simpson crippled an Iranian vessel in 1988 which fired a Harpoon at US ships, with several SM-1 hits.

          • Lazarus

            Nope, just 4; Mostly SM-1’s.

          • Secundius

            I don’t remember off hand, but did the “One Arm Bandit” carry the ASROC Missile…

          • Kypros

            I also thought they could, but I’m not sure.

          • ElmCityAle

            I don’t recall even seeing ASROC mentioned in the context of FFG-7 ships, although I think it worked on some versions of that style launcher. I wonder why?

          • Secundius

            They were equipped with Two Triple Mk.32 324mm Torpedo Launchers. Maybe the US Navy thought that was more then adequate for the types of Mission that they were assigned…

          • Lazarus

            The most significant ASW system on the FFG 7 was the LAMPS 3. Bad guy submarine torpedoes outranged US MK46 ASW torpedoes fired from SVTT; even during the Cold War. ASROC not much better.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            They also carried up to 24 torpedoes for their helos, as well as Penguin missiles that the helos could fire.

          • Secundius

            And how effect were “Penguin’s” against Submerged Submarines…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Well, how ‘effective’ were those small anti-sub torpedoes against big surface ships?

          • Secundius

            Don’t know! Never heard of one being used against a Surface Vessel! At least not by the USN…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            And thus the question about how effective Penguins are against submerged subs is dealt with.

          • Secundius

            Original question was about “ASROC’s” used if any on OHP class, which was answered by Mk.32 TT. I already know about “Harpoons” usage, but really wasn’t thinking about Helicopter’s deliverable ordnance until you brought it up…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            No, the original question was about how many Harpoons were carried by the Perrys. Given how Harpoons are for firing at SURFACE ships, I thus volunteered the undeniable fact that those ships also carried Penguins for their choppers to utilize to augment the ships ASM firepower.

          • Secundius

            You’re question maybe? But mine was about “Asroc’s” carried aboard, if any…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Not mine. I responded to such. And it’s all relevant given what has transpired throughout the thread.

          • Lazarus

            Nope. No ASROC on FFG 7.

          • Secundius

            OK! Thanks…

          • Kypros

            What you’re saying is that 4 Harpoons were part of the chosen load out in a 40 missile magazine.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Per an online site called destroyerhistory dot com (this site strangely does not permit the posting of links!), the usual load out for OHPs was indeed 4 Harpoons and 36 SM-1 missiles. Remember though that for much of the time the Perrys were in commission the Harpoon was among the, and in some instances was THE, premier ASM in the world. Also, the Perrys carried Penguin ASMs that were fired from the LAMPS III helicopters, as well as a large torpedo load for those helos for when they were after subs. Those on here who routinely denigrate the Perrys when compared to the LCS always conveniently ignore what some of our allies have done with them. They upgraded and updated sensors and fire control systems over and above what the US Navy versions were stuck with, because all the money that should have been used for maintaining the US Navy’s Perrys was diverted to other ship classes, specifically the LCS and the Zumwalts. The Australians modified the Mk 13 launcher to handle the more capable SM-2 missile, and added a Mk-41 VLS as well that is used for ESSM.

          • Kypros

            Interesting, that in the ’80’s when an OHP was fired on by an Iranian vessel with a Harpoon, it responded with the launch of several SM-1s with along with naval gunfire sank it.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Yep. And they could take enormous punishment and survive, as the Stark and Roberts (not to mention the USS Thach) all proved.

          • Secundius

            I’m sort of curious to know which US Naval Vessel was hit by an Iranian “Harpoon” missile!/? USS Stark was hit by two “Exocet” missiles launched by a modified Dassault Falcon 50 on 17 May 1987. And the MV Bridgeton on 24 July 1988 by a Russian-made M-08 Sea Mine. And the USS Samuel B. Roberts by an M-08 Sea Mine on 14 April 1988…

          • Kypros

            None. The Harpoon missed.

          • Secundius

            Thank you! I though I may have missed an incident in the Persian Gulf that wasn’t recorded…

    • disqus_CbFK3MPhJu

      am I wrong?, both freedoms and indi’s are armed basically the same?
      and aren’t the freedoms found dead in the ocean, not the indi’s?

  • Secundius

    Who!/? As I recall “Tartar” and “Terrier” were developed by Convair, that use to be Consolidated Aircraft Corporation and Vultaire Aircraft Corporation in 1942…

  • Kenneth Millstein

    As much as I dislike Trump he is keeping his word about strengthening our forces and especially the Navy. It’s a bit curious that if we by two more Ford Class Carriers we save some money buy committing to two instead of one. Maybe a solid negotiator would get the builder to commit to the same price for one each every few years instead of having to make a two buy commitment. The builders should be real happy that they are getting so much work. Just jawbone them down…PERIOD!

  • Chesapeakeguy

    “….including two Littoral Combat Ships beyond the service’s request,…”

    These things always bother me, regardless of whether the subject matter is ships, planes, tanks, etc. The actual SERVICES request what they need, and Congress forces another set of numbers on them. Just more proof that career politicians, regardless of their party, views the military more as a ‘job corps’ than anything else. Sad, but true…