Home » Budget Industry » Navy Could Extend Life of Amphibs to 50 Years, LCS for 35, If Navy Invests in their Upkeep


Navy Could Extend Life of Amphibs to 50 Years, LCS for 35, If Navy Invests in their Upkeep

The Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47), foreground, the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), middle, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) transit the Pacific Ocean during Dawn Blitz 2017. US Navy photo.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Navy could keep its amphibious ships in service for more than 50 years and its Littoral Combat Ships for up to 35 years, as the service looks for ways to increase the size of the fleet in the nearer term by extending the life of today’s ships, according to Naval Sea Systems Command.

NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. Tom Moore said the Navy would not reach its goal of having 355 ships until 2052 if it got rid of in-service ships at the usual pace and relied on increasing the pace of new shipbuilding to grow the fleet. If all of today’s ships remain in service longer, though, the Navy could be operating a 355-ship fleet by 2032 – a full two decades sooner.

“If you want to keep all the classes out to as long as you can keep them – and there’s cost associated with that – we think we can get to 355 now in the early 2030s, 2032 to 2035. That’s a significant improvement, and it’s something that we’re looking at pretty seriously,” Moore said while speaking at the American Society of Naval Engineers’ annual Technology, Systems and Ships event.
“The budget that just came out funds to keep the cruisers around a little longer, and the Navy’s taking a serious look at do we want to keep the other ships around, in particular the DDGs, going forward.”

Vice Adm. Bill Merz, the deputy chief of naval operations for warfare systems (OPNAV N9), already committed to keeping Arleigh Burke-class destroyers around for 45 years, instead of the planned 35. But Moore said that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

According to a memo Moore wrote to Merz in late April, Wasp-class amphibious assault ships could be extended from 40 years to between 46 and 53 years, San Antonio-class amphibious transport docks could be extended from 40 to between 47 and 53 years, Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships could be extended from 40 to between 45 to 52 years, Littoral Combat Ships could be extended from 25 years to between 32 and 35 years, Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ships could be extended from 40 to 50 years, and more.

The blog Cdr. Salamander first noted the existence of the memo last month.

“The bottom line is, if you’re willing to do the maintenance, from a naval architecture standpoint… we can manage all that. So I’m not worried about the service life of it,” Moore said.
“I’m more focused on the combat systems side of it, but I believe in this era of open architecture, Aegis, vertical launch systems, that the combat system can maintain its relevance for a long period of time. That was not the case when I was a young officer serving on a DDG-2 Adams-class destroyer. … The opportunity is there, and I think we’re going to work on that.”

Merz told USNI News in April that the Navy keeping all its destroyers around until 45 years of service would get the fleet to 355 ships by 2036 or 2037, though it would be a destroyer-heavy mix of ships compared to the Navy’s ideal composition of a 355-ship fleet. In particular, that fleet would be lacking attack submarines and some amphibious ships compared to the Navy’s stated need.

The Navy hopes to extend the life of up to five Los Angeles-class attack submarines, though the SSNs have to be extended on a hull-by-hull basis instead of the class-wide extension the Navy agreed to on the DDGs. Due to strict engineering requirements to submerge, those hulls must be in very good shape; and due to the need to refuel the SSNs after their planned service life, and the Navy having only five spare reactor cores to devote to SSN life extensions, only up to five could be extended.

The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) maneuvers into position to conduct a fueling-at-sea with Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) during an amphibious squadron and Marine expeditionary unit (MEU) integration (PMINT) exercise. US Navy photo.

On the amphib side, Moore told USNI News he was confident they could serve in the fleet for 50 years or more, though top Navy leadership has not publicly committed to extending their service life the way it did for the DDGs.

“We sell our FFGs to other countries and they keep them for another 20 years. We keep carriers, Enterprise, around for 52, 53. And we’re going to look at service-life extensions for Nimitz-class [aircraft carriers]; Congress asked us to do that. So from an HM&E standpoint, steel hulls, we know a lot about them and we’re pretty confident we can operate them for the intervals we gave to the Pentagon,” Moore said after his speech.

  • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

    Me thinks the USS Missouri still has merit and it’s WW2 era. 17 inch armor makes a formidable weapons system. Airframes are much more fragile than ships, B52 is still in service and so are Chinooks.

    • Rocco

      Never happen !!!

    • Bubblehead

      Check out the manning requirements for one of those battleships and that is the biggest reason of several the battleships will not be put back into service again. This isn’t the movie Battleship where Rihana can steer, run the diesels and fire the shells all by herself.

      • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

        I understand. My main argument is that if airframes can be kept flying for 2 generations, a ship should be able too.

        • Duane

          At 30 to 40 years life for most of our ships as planned now, that already comes to 2 generations.

        • Al L.

          There is no parallel between a vessel which floats on the salty ocean for almost all of its life vs an aircraft which might live its life mostly in dry air.

          When was the last time a carrier based aircraft was active for 2 generations?

          • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

            Carrier based airframes take a lot of abuse from launch and recovery. Not really a comparison.

            As to dry air, no. Not salt either. Nuclear power vessels also have a issue. They can only be refueled so many time as radiation causes changes to the containment vessel and shielding over years of exposure making them unsafe.

            However, I see no reason a well maintained diesel electric surface ship could not serve for 30 to 50 years.

            The cost of construction is so high, it is insane.

      • Lazarus

        Modern ASCM’s will penetrate a BB’s 12 inch armor belt. They can also be programmed to aim for vital points like magazines.

    • Duane

      The Missouri was already obsolete when it was commissioned. BB’s were easy targets even for primitive naval bombers as early as 1941, when old Brit biplanes did in the Bismark (Swordfishes knocked out her steering gear making her a sitting duck for Brit battleships). A few months later all of our BBs in the Pacific were sunk or knocked out of action by tiny Japanese carrier aircraft in the first 90 minutes of the Pacific war.

      • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

        Yes, because those were mostly WW1 era ships at dock to? I presume you are referring to Pearl Harbor? If our carriers had been there on Dec 7th, they would have been sitting ducks and primary targets.

        No battleship was sunk in the US fleet after that date I am aware of. The Bismark had no escorts to speak of, had no air support and if you remember, utterly vaporized the HMS Hood and it sank in 3 minutes before the Brits made it a mission to destroy it.

        Define obsolete?

        • Duane

          Battleships were, as their name suggests, “line of battle” warships designed to carry out 17th century sea battles, the likes of which have not happened since the Battle of Jutland in 1916, back when cavalry charges were still standard land warfare tactics. BBs are useless in sea combat, and have been since 1941. After Pearl Harbor we never again dared to send a BB into harm’s way without an air cover screen provided by multiple carriers and a ten or twelve destroyer ASW screen.

          The carriers and the submarines, however, accounted for about 75-80% of all enemy shipping sunk, with mines accounting for another 10%, and all surface warships combined, including BBs, cruisers, and destroyers accounting for the last 10- 15%, of which share the BBs accounted for but a point or two. A truly pathetic result for a ship type that was by far the largest and most expensive and most crew intensive ship in the US fleet.

          And the outcome has been that not a single BB has been built by the US or any other nation since the end of WW2.

          • Vanguard and Jean Bart were both commissioned after WWII and the Soviets went great lengths in attempting to assemble a battleship force. The reason the US did not build anymore battleship after WWII is because we had 15 ships with 16″ guns and our enemies had nothing.

          • Duane

            No we didnt build BBs because they were obsolete and a terrible value for the Navy.

            For some crazy reason there are still BB fans despite proof in 1941 that they were just as vulnerable to air attack as the lightest, smallest, cheapest warship afloat. We did not even send them out to do battle in WW Two unless we had total control of the air. Ditto with the Brits.

          • Saying battleships were vulnerable to air attack is like saying an Aegis cruiser is vulnerable to air attack – during WWII they were the premier AAW platform and were commonly used to screen the carriers from air attack (see North Carolina at the Eastern Solomons or TG58.7 at the Philippine Sea).

            Further, up until the development of all-weather reconnaissance and attack aircraft, carriers were extremely vulnerable to surface attack. Thus, the battleships filled a vital role in protecting our carriers from enemy surface combatants and in attacking enemy carriers directly (something that was planned for both the Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf). It was not until the Talos and Terrier ships with their long-range missiles hit the fleet that the battleships were obsolete at this task.

            If the USSR had built a sizable surface fleet early in the Cold War as Stalin had desired, I am certain that the demise of the battleships would be viewed in a very different light today.

          • Duane

            Argue all you like. All I do is explain the the reasoning behind the undeniable fact that no Navy on the planet has built a battleship since World War 2. And never will again. They are vastly too large, expensive, manpower intensive, and indefensible against air attack, even by the most primitive of 1920s era bombers like the British Swordfish that disabled the Bismark. Any ship that can fire a Tomahawk or LRASM delivers far longer ranged, precision guided and more lethal fire than even the largest of BBs, which could only range out to 20 some miles with no precision. Yet a DG-51 needs a crew of only about 300 vs. 2,600, and displaces 8 thousand an some tons vs. 58 thousand tons.

            Yes, of course you can take an Iowa class BB and retrofit it with AEGIS, AN SPY 6, and a 200 cell VLS, and it would he just as capable against air and missile attack …for about an order of magnitude higher cost. Its massive belt armor still won’t protect it from modern shaped charges, nor from missiles plunging vertically, nor from torpedoes that will detonate under the keel to break its back.

      • The battleship remained a vital part of naval combat throughout WWII (every major navy saw the as being just as important as the carriers right up until 1945). Indeed, it did not become obsolete until the widespread introduction of guided missiles in the early 1960’s.

  • Ed L

    Sad the brass hats and political appointees of the last 20 years sunk all the 30 Spruance class DDG hulls and most of the Perry’s FFG’s that weren’t sold to other navies. The Brass could have done a Belknap on them. Then there would be at least 90 hulls available for a Belknap superstructure conversion

    • Lazarus

      Those 963’s were an-HM&E mess and were more expensive to operate in a presence role.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Those DD-963s WORKED. They were THE premier anti-submarine surface platforms in the world. The Navy kept them updated and upgraded for some number of years before that ‘peace dividend’ crap deflected the money normally used to keep effective platforms like the Spruances and the Perrys running into future programs like the Zumwalts, LCS, and Ford’s that STILL aren’t giving back an acceptable return on this country’s investment. That is fact.

        The Spruances started with two five-inch guns, an ASROC launcher, some ASW torpedoes, and a hangar for LAMPS 1 helos. In time, (and this isn’t necessarily in order) they received Harpoon missiles, Phalanx CIWS, Sea Sparrow missiles, Tomahawk missiles (in armored box launchers), and finally the Mk 41 VLS. Not to mention the upgrade to the LAMP III. Not to mention the systems installed that provided unprecedented quieting of the ship as it did its missions. The F-14 was expensive to maintain. The Navy still has not replaced the capabilities it delivered.

        • Lazarus

          The 963’s were a great ship in their day. We destroyed them in a series of rough deployments over 25 years. The DDG 51 replaced them.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            I know all about their history. They were not ‘destroyed’, the truth is that they were not maintained. A HUGE difference. Do we keep our carriers current? How about the Ticos? The first Burke was delivered what, 27 years ago? Obviously the Navy is confident about being able to keep ships mission capable if given the funds to do so. At east the Navy and this country got superb service from the Perrys and the Spruances. That cannot (yet) be said about the LCS, the Zumwalts, and the Fords, in which the usual maintenance money designated for the Perrys and Spruances was diverted to!

      • Ed L

        Okay the Hull, Mechanical, & Electrical systems were a pain. Could not have been worst than a 30 year old Austin Class LPD. I loved going on water hours (without the marines onboard) So if the navy had gut the 963’s and rebuild them as flag configure double ended destroyers with an ageis superstructure VLS, etc. would it had cost about 500 million dollars for each destroyer?

        • USNVO

          Probably not. Something like 10pct of a cost of a ship is actual structural work. What you are talking about would be more in line with the Billion or so spent on each Tico. If anything, they would have been more expensive because tearing out all the systems that required replacement (most) and then re-fabricating everything while keeping the empty ship together would have been more expensive. Retrofitting is usually more expensive than building it that way to begin with.

        • Lazarus

          Agree classes like LPD were rough. DD 963’s performed well for 20 years but then shrinking fleet size, less maintenance, and more deployments ran them into the ground .

    • Al L.

      The Spruances even at just 20 years old cost ridiculously more to operate annually than the DDG-51s did. While providing far less capability. The Spruances were designed for a different era: the draft era and so all their systems were dependant on having lots of low cost sailors to do lots of tasks. There was no way to make them cost effective in the all volunteer high crew cost era.

      In 1996 it cost about $35 mill to operate a Spru, $20 mill for a Burke and $16 mill for a Perry. By the time most of the Sprus were decommissioned their op cost was eye wateringly bad and their capability marginal. Keeping the Spruances when looking at those numbers would have been among the dumbest things the Navy could have done for its future.

      • Ed L

        The navy has been volunteered since the mid 70’s. Anyway the point on the 963’s is moot since they are gone and beyond salvage

        • Al L.

          The Spruances’ requirements were set in the 60s during the draft. And what happened with them offers a substantial lesson relative to retaining ships today.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Geezz, where did you come up with that? The Spruance, at the time of its introduction, was fitted with the very latest and sophisticated of electronic systems and propulsion, not to mention with the highly capable systems that masked the noise they generated while underway. It remained THE preeminent anti-sub platform in the world, and one of the most versatile ships the Navy ever produced right up until they were retired. They are THE basis for the most capable anti-air platforms ever produced, the Ticonderoga class. At no time was it constructed or employed as a venue for dummies. .

          • Al L.

            You apparently have a penchant for emotional reaction vs rational analysis.

            Where did you get any idea I thought there were “dummies” on the Spruances?

            Apparently you also are uneducated in the dynamics of the draft.

            The Sprus were designed for a period where the Navy got highly qualified people at low cost because they joined the Navy to avoid other undesirable drafted commitments. Its exactly because the Navy had to start paying market rates for those same number of people that the Sprus became untenable.

            “It remained THE preeminent anti-sub platform in the world, ”

            Great it was a mostly one mission ship perfect for a challenge that had declined to nearly nothing at an exorbitant cost.

            “They are THE basis for the most capable anti-air platforms ever produced,”

            No they are the common HULL for the Ticonderogas. They lacked everything but the Ticos hull and guns when it came to AAW.

            You are the anti-Duane. Put you and Duane together and the 2 of you would disappear like matter and antimatter.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            And you seem to have a penchant for finding anything to whine about! I am responding to YOUR own words. YOU are the one who used the term ‘low cost sailors’. That certainly implies that they would not be the best and/or the brightest. So do not lecture me about what your OWN words result in.

            ‘Dynamics of the draft’? The draft ended in 1973. The Spruance entered the fleet in 1975. Obviously history is not your strong suit.

            “Great it was a mostly one mission ship perfect for a challenge that had declined to nearly nothing at an exorbitant cost.” As they say, “ignorance is bliss”. Enjoy your contentment. The Spruances had a fine combat record, belying your slur that they were a ‘one mission ship’. But by YOUR definition, the Burkes and the Ticos are ‘one mission’ too, given that they are there to provide MAINLY anti-air protection. The upgrades done to the Spruances while they were in the fleet kept them at the forefront of capabilities for any surface ship sans Aegis, which was and remains a truly specialized equipment set for a truly specialized mission, that of providing AREA air defense.

            They have EVERYTHING the Ticos have except Aegis. Thus they are THE basis for that magnificent class of ships. All your WHINING will not change that.

            Per Duane or anyone else you obsess with on here, go whisper sweet nothings onto is ear. I’m not him and he’s not me. Obviously you deem your own arguments so weak that you have to resort to dragging others into them.

            Run along now…

          • Al L.

            “That certainly implies that they would not be the best and/or the brightest. ” Only in your mind. Its a factual statement.

            The Spruance was designed starting in the late 60s and was ordered in 1970 well before the draft ended. More importantly the huge cost rise of the all volunteer enlisted service membership was unanticipated at that time.

            In 1970 the basic starting pay for an E-1 was $113.32, by 1973 when the draft ended that rate was $307.20. By 1980 when most of the drafted sailors would have left service that rate was $501.30 nearly a 4 fold increase in a decade. $113.32 is low cost compared to $501.30. (All from historical charts.)

            Overall the pay rates of enlisted service members went up by about a factor of 3 between 1970 and 1980 making the Spruances with their relatively large complement untenable as they cost nearly as much to operate as a very capable TICO and about twice as much as the then introduced FFG-7. (from 1996 operations cost data at the FAS website)

            Though they had excellent ASW characteristics, the ASW challenge rapidly declined after the Soviet Union collapsed and therefore the Spruances lost their main advantage over other platforms and the mission that justified their high cost. Hence they became obsolete and were retired.

            Bottom line: the Spruances were a draft era design that became obsolete by the rapid changes that occurred through the mid 70’s to the mid 90’s. Had the draft and the Soviet sub force not gone away, the Spruances probably would have had a full life span.

            And thats all I’m going to say. Have a nice day.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            It’s all still over your head, ain’t it? The Spruance was designed with THE most advanced sensors, propulsion, and equipment of that time. The LAST thing anyone involved with that was concerned with was how much to pay the sailors manning those ships. At the time of development and initial construction, other advanced systems and weapons were on the drawing board or further along that were anticipated to be installed on the class. Harpoon missiles, Sea Sparrow, CIWS, LAMP III, cruise missiles, VLS, etc., were all developed without the slightest concern about how much the sailors would earn. While efforts are made to anticipate pay rates and other things (like the costs of fuel) for new ship classes over their projected/anticipated lifetimes, other things sometimes interfere with those projections. Those are facts.

            Ciao…

  • Chesapeakeguy

    In this month’s Proceedings Magazine there is an interesting article that is titled “Would Nimitz Win A Midway Today?”. It makes a comparison of the forces Nimitz had at his disposal in June of 1942 and the three carrier force that was deployed in the western Pacific in the fall of 2017. One of the more interesting points was about the actual age of the respective ships in each force. The author made a good point about how the lack of wear and tear on many of the escorting ships in 1942 contributed to the victory at Midway, i.e., they weren’t nearly as ‘old’ as the ships in that task group of 2017. It’s a message worth heeding.

    • Rocco

      Those ships were fresh off the assembly line!!! We had the infrastructure back then to spit ships out like we make cars today. Today a hand full are museum’s!!

      • Michael Hoskins, Privileged

        Check your timeline. Midway was fought 7 months into the war. No new construction had hit the fleet. Midway was fought with pre-war assets. And yes, the carriers were relatively new.

        • Ziv Bnd

          Both the Enterprise and the Yorktown were launched in 1936, so they weren’t brand new. But they are a lot newer than most of the carriers the US Navy has today. I believe that the Hornet was just 2 years old at the time of the Battle of Midway, if you count the time between launching and commissioning too.

          • Michael Hoskins, Privileged

            Yep, I said the carriers were newish…the aircraft, not so much…and the ships themselves were nowhere near as complex as todays. “course the ultimate question, who else has a large deck CVN?

    • Duane

      What mainly won Midway for us, besides the bravery of our torpedo bomber crews, was sheer luck. We managed to stumble on the IJN carriers when they were in the middle of rearming and refueling their fighters and thus they had no effective fighter screen to defend against our divebombers.

      Luck, both good and bad, had a huge impact on many of our most important battles in both theaters in WW Two. Hitler was very lucky in the weather that protected his Panzer divisions in the first couple of weeks of the Battle of the Bulge … our attack aircraft could not go after the German columns due to socked in weather, nor could our transports supply our troops on the front line with ammo, cold weather gear, etc. The result was the most disastrous battle of the war that we eventually won.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Read the article. Nowhere in it did it say that the battle was won because of the age of the ships. The message is about keeping abreast of engineering and technological developments. Those newer ships ‘contributed’ to the victory. It’s a good article. ‘Luck’ cuts both ways in battles and campaigns. How lucky for the Japanese that they encountered a mindset that did not apply any urgency to the warnings they were receiving, like that of submarines being FIRED UPON in a restricted area and radar reports that were not to be challenged.

      • I would recommend you read the book “Shattered Sword” – it thoroughly demolishes several myths about Midway, including the idea that we caught the Japanese reloading. Instead, the dive bombers came in unopposed mainly because of extremely poor Japanese fighter direction.

        While there was a lot of luck involved in Midway, the reason the US did so well was because we had a far superior doctrine than the Japanese on virtually every level (planning, scouting, air combat, damage control), which meant that we recovered from our mistakes while they fell ever further behind.

        • Duane

          People will always attempt to rewrite history.

          Luck is the factor that is always minimized after the fact by the winners. It’s human nature.

          We actually suffered from rather poor leadership by many of our top generals and admirals, even right up to the end of the war. But our overwhelming advantage in war materiel production and the performance of field officers and enlisted men managed to overcome huge blunders committed even by celebrated leaders like Eisenhower, MacArthur, and King … unfortunately our field fighters and merchant marine paid the price for their blunders with their lives.

      • Retired

        In our next “Midway” we’ll have the mighty LCS battle fleet to win the day. After all, there is nothing more powerful on the seas than the LCS battle frigate. Submarines? Ha! It can detect them 100’s of miles away and blow them out of the water with it’s AsW module. Sheesh! MIssile boats and corvettes? It can take them out 50 miles away with it’s one shot one kill 57mm gun-double Sheesh!. Stealth aircraft-it can see then 1000 miles away and shoot them down with it’s 30mm gun, Sheesh! Destroyers? they are nothing but a little fly the mighty LCS, it can easily sink them with it’s RAM. Sheesh! Mach 5 anti ship missiles? Ha! The mighty LCS can simply run away, sheesh sheesh.

        • bob

          I’m a few days behind, but you did make me snort coffee damnit!!

          (I’m a Coastie; our “little” boondoggle was the Island class cutters of the Integrated Deepwater System Program, which some genius decided it was a good idea to extend the length of the hulls of eight of them by actually cutting the hull and adding steel. The result was that the hulls were unstable, prone to cracking and in total, a huge waste of money. The ships were constructed in 2002, and by 2006 all eight became pier speed bumps. Just goes to show the Navy doesn’t have the lock on dumb ideas. Somebody else will always say “here, hold my beer”

      • bob

        Not only were the Japanese in the middle of rearming and refueling, Nagumo sealed his fate when he ordered his freshly rearmed aircraft to swap out combat loads after his reserve aircraft were spotted and ready to go. It added more time for the Americans to find his fleet and catch them on the deck. Luck all the way around, good and bad.

  • Kypros

    The LCSs may last 100 years if they never deploy them.

    • Rocco

      Lol

    • Retired

      I hear the heavy footsteps of fleet admiral Gollum, “who dare disparage my precious LCS, who I say? Sheesh, Sheesh, Sheesh.”

  • What’s the LCS worth for another 50 years

    • Fred Gould

      Two bits

      • Curtis Conway

        And that’s a little much.

    • Bubblehead

      The LCS is worth more sunk and used as an artificial reef.

      I dare the USN to use one of the LCS as a target ship to see how it could hold up to an NSM missile. And it has one of the smallest warheads for a ASM.

      • Lazarus

        The former USNS Swift survived a Chinese C802 hit. Any ASCM hit will seriously damage/disable any current USN combatant. Real “survivability” is in a ship’s self defense systems that work to decoy/destroy a missile before it hits.

        • Duane

          Unlike the LCS trolls here, Lazarus, you understand actual naval combat.

          The multiple failures that led to the severe damage and loss of life on the Stark exhibit exactly your points (see my response above to another ship hater who completely whiffed on what did in the Stark).

          • ElmCityAle

            To be fair, there is room for significant improvement on both LCS models in exactly the areas you’ve correctly articulated: better detection (upgrade radar, like the 4D model), better decoys (upgrade from low-end active system), and better destruction (better field of fire coverage – like the front, for example, and better, longer range weapons like ESSM). In addition, the state of integration with the fire control system(s) is unclear to me from public data; there may be more development required in that critical area as well (this was one of the things completely lacking in the original FFG class, for example). It will be interesting to see what improvements happen over time, as they have on many other classes of ships.

    • PolicyWonk

      This depends on the context of who is asking the question. For example, if the question is being posed by:
      1. The US taxpayer: a upturned middle finger (with love!), from PEO LCS (now UCS)
      2. The USN: its a liability draining maintenance funds and manpower from war-fighting assets
      3. The crews: an enduring death trap, designed (with love!), from PEO LCS (now UCS)
      4. LockMart or Austal: an enduring cash-cow, set up by PEO LCS (now UCS), to ensure cushy retirements for its denizens, and for them – its priceless!

  • TheFightingIrish

    “We sell our FFGs to other countries and they keep them for another 20 years.”

    That really says it all.

    • Kypros

      It does!

    • Lazarus

      Those FFG’s operate at a minimum level of capability at best.

      • PolicyWonk

        Neither LCS class is operating at any level of capability.

        • Lazarus

          Provide a reference for such?

          • TheFightingIrish

            Excluding the first two ships of each LCS variant, there are 8 LCS and none have a fully capable mission module. The SuW module IOC is sometime in FY 2019 and the ASW and MCM modules follow in FY 2020. And, this is just IOC and you know there will be teething problems and probably production delays. In a few years, we could have 10-12 LCS in service with just a handful of mission modules.

          • Duane

            SuW went IOC in FY 2017. The surface warfare missile module (24 cell vertical Hellfire launcher) was a very late addition (2017) and has been tested satisfactorily and will undergo final integration in a couple months preparatory to its first deployment this fall. ASW mission module is in final integration testing at this time, preparatory to IOC in early 2019. MCM module likewise is in final testing and integration for IOC in 2020, as always scheduled (to coincide with scheduled retirements of our minesweepers beginning in 2021).

          • Lazarus

            LCS works as a small combatant without the modules. The SUW module has been IOC for a number of years.

          • TheFightingIrish

            “The SUW module has been IOC for a number of years.”

            Please. You know that is not true. They’re still testing the darn thing.

          • WhiskyTangoFoxtrot

            SUW which consists of what a RHIB?, wow!!! That battle RHIB really really scares the Chinese Navy, that’s why every time the LCS has deployed they stopped all of their activities and run back to port.

          • Duane

            He can’t cite any references … he just blindly hates ships, weird as that is.

        • Duane

          Like Pavlov’s dogs … And just as intelligent

      • Ed L

        They could have built a deckhouse that would have enable the magazine to be extended to house the SM-2 missiles. But it’s interesting that the counties operating Perry FFG continue to use the SM-1MR missile which is still available built by Raytheon and other missile builders

        • The Mk 13 launcher could handle SM-2 without any changes – the problem was you would have needed an all new combat system to actually use the missiles.

          • ElmCityAle

            As done by the Australian navy, but at significant cost for the entire upgrade package (which also included installation of an 8-cell MK 41 VLS for ESSM).

          • Lazarus

            And they got less than 10 years more life for each vessel tommidified.

    • SmallBizGuy

      The USS Stark was struck by an Exocet missile in the Persian Gulf in 1987. A second missile struck and failed to explode but caused kinetic damage. The ship survived and was repaired. It was a mistake to retire the entire Perry class early. Especially since there was no replacement planned.

      • Duane

        The OHP was designed primarily as low end surface escort for trans-Atlantic merchant convoys in support of a prolonged European ground battle in the Cold War. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, the OHP’s primary mission disappeared, and no such need has re-appeared.

        Additionally, the OHP’s missile launchers were obsolete, as were her sensors and her SuW and countermeasures systems.

        The Navy just went through the exercise last year of figuring out what it would take to modernize a OHP just to get another 10 years of life, and it turned out to be greater than the cost of a brand new LCS with greater capabilities and a life of at least 25-30 years.

        • John Rapisarda

          No brand new LCS can hold a candle to an OHP.

          • Duane

            The LCS is vastly more capable and lethal than the OHPs ever were, in every meaningful way (weapons, sensors, aviation, ASW, battle management systems, speed, maneuverability, you name it).

          • John Rapisarda

            OHP: Proven 3″ gun. LCS: 57mm deleted from DDG1000 for inaccuracy
            OHP: 36 Standard missiles (with AD radar to make use of them) LCS: 21 RAM
            OHP: 4 Harpoons LCS: Some have Hellfires
            OHP: 6 12.75″ torpedo tubes LCS: None
            OHP: Towed array and bow sonar LCS: Eventually towed array
            OHP: 2 x SH60 LCS: 1 x MH60, 3 x Fire Scout
            So maybe that last one is draw…

          • Duane

            You aren’t keeping up. The Mk 110 57 mm gun has already been selected for FFG(X), and 22 other navies of the world plus the USCG also selected that gun. The Zums switched to the vastly lighter and cheaper Mk 46 30mm guns because the Zums were overweight – especially topside, with concerns over the roll stability of the tumblehome hull design – and way over budget. The 57mm gun is vastly superior to the 30mm, as well as over existing 3-in, 4-in and 5-in naval guns, for purposes of fighting typical littoral surface and air threats. The 57mm has a firing rate 13 times higher than the 5-incher, carries 4 times as many ready rounds in the mount, and has its choice of two competing precision guided multi-seeker rounds, while none of the larger guns have any such rounds.

            The bow sonar and towed array of the OHP are both definitely inferior to the LCS variable depth sonar, which can penetrate thermal layers below the ship which is impossible for the OHPs to penetrate.

            The OHPs had no missiles in the last years of their service (the launchers were physically removed) because their launchers were obsolete and no longer supported the current Navy inventory … and the Harpoons were ans are clearly inferior to the Naval Strike Missile, recently selected by the Navy for both LCS and FFG(X). The NSM is a smart (able to distinguish among targets, and aim to a particular point on the target) autonomous long range (50% longer than Harpoon), multi mode stealthy (doesn’t need to emit RF) seeker, with countermeasures and extreme maneuverability to avoid enemy counterfires, and precise to within 2.0feet of aiming point.

            LCS has a far superior radar, and unlike the OHP, has an AEGIS-derived combat management system (COMBATTS-21).

            OHP never had the Firescout (MQ-8B or the newer C) – just the LAMPS I and III manned choppers. LCS deploys one MH-60 and up to three unmanned Firescouts.

            LCS IS fully networked with airborne, land, and shipborne external sensors via CANES, which did not exist when the OHPs were in service.

          • John Rapisarda

            There is absolutely precision ammo available for the 3-inchers. Everything else you mention is theory until actually installed or supported (ie what use is a great radar if it has no missiles to guide?), except for the aviation capability.

          • Duane

            Precision Mk 110 57mm rounds (BAE’s ORKA) have already been successfully field tested on LCS, demonstrating “one shot, one kill”. A competing munition is under development. No other naval round under 155mm exists with a multi mode targeting sensor (choice of laser guided or all weather passively cooled imaging infrared).

          • Lazarus

            While the FFG retains its gun and 1970’s era ASW sensors and weapons, all of its AAW and most ASUW capability was removed in 2003 due to obsolescence. LCS does not have its gun tied to its CS system in the integrated way the FFG has. As a result, not much difference between the two classes in terms of combat capability.

            LCS has the space and 100 tons of weight (plus 80 tons of fuel) to support a large number of drones that are the next emerging combat capability; a conventional surface combatant can’t do that.

          • Lazarus

            Other than a slightly larger gun and old ASW capabilities, there is not much difference in capability from an FFG to an LCS.

      • Lazarus

        The Perry’s were obsolete over 15 years ago and were only retained for presence missions and patrol work. Their HM&E has been disintegrating for years, but you seldom read about those events.

      • You’re ignoring the fact that those missiles only hit Stark because the Perry combat systems were woefully inadequate.

    • Al L.

      Non of those sold FFGs have to be prepared to conduct deployments across the world with sailors paid like US sailors or ship yards paid like US ship yards to do repairs. If the US Navy could take a Perry, permanently dock it in Turkey, operate it with sailors paid at Turkish rates and maintain it with workers paid Turkish rates and use it mostly in the Med for presence missions, then it could probably keep the Perrys for another 20 years.

  • Lazarus

    Planning to keep ships indefinitely is not a good plan. The British had planned to keep HMS Hood around until 1953 and US modernized old BB’s from the 1920’s were supposed to stay until 1957. Anyway, NAVSEA is just doing its job and suggesting what might be done. Secretary Spencer ought to be out campaigning for new and improved force structure as SECNAV Lehman did.

  • Leatherstocking

    Here we go with the magic fairy dust again to extend ship life. Many of the systems aboard are no longer produced, the vendors have disappeared and/or lack parts to extend/.maintain the items aboard. Look through the “sources sought” in FedBizOps to produce obsolete items and imagine how you maintain electronics and electromechanical parts without components or manufacturing equipment.

    • Michael Hoskins, Privileged

      Roger that. My first ship was commissioned in 1944. When I was gunnery Officer, in 1972, we needed a specific electric part. Our SupO found the last one in a warehouse at Subic Bay. It took a couple of days to get it to Mayport. If we lost the other one we would have been hard down.

      A real bummer for an all gun Sumner class.

      • Leatherstocking

        I remember my hangar queens during the Carter years as we scavenged parts off of our aircraft to keep the rest flying. Not patting myself on the back, but my company is now building multiple assemblies for products that weren’t ours at a financial loss because the Navy couldn’t find a source and my CEO believes it’s irresponsible to not help. I have to X-ray PCBs to confirm the scanned drawings match the actual boards (they don’t), we have to source gray-market components from all over and have to do individual part testing, design test equipment and develop procedures that were destroyed when the original vendor exited the market (one was flooded and never rebuilt their operation).
        It’s an uphill battle to keep ’em floating and flying.

  • JDC

    The leadership of the US Navy has become a bunch of yes men/women.

    We melted the Belnap to the waterline when she hit the Kennedy. The USS Stark incident with the Iraqi exocet missile required billions of dollars in Kevlar armor retrofit. “Never aluminum superstructures again” was the mantra.

    Then the CNO falls in love with the “minimum manning, minimum cost” concept, and suddenly we’re building two classes of “Little Crappy Ships.”

    Here we are again, pursuing a bad idea instead of cutting our losses. LCS’s tied to the pier, undermanned, no Kevlar armor, and no combat capability, and the Navy won’t abandon the failed concept. How about those cracks in the even numbered LCS’s aluminum flight deck? How about the bow ripped off the odd numbered class when they tried to tow one?

    A 355 ship Navy is meaningless if the ships can’t go in harms way.

    • Duane

      The Stark was hit in the hull in the vicinity of crew berthing quarters, not in the superstructure, by two Exocets. Any warship taking two direct hull hits by such missiles will be damaged severely. She survived and was repaired and returned to service.

      The failure of the Stark (to defend against the attack) had exactly nothing to do with its aluminum superstructure, but had everything to do with the failure of her sensors to detect the incoming missiles (first reported by a human lookout), and the failure of her Phalanx CIWS to engage either missile, and the failure of her ECM to engage either missile.

      • ElmCityAle

        This incident prompted multiple programs that provided significant upgrades to the failed systems – certainly a day late, possibly a dollar short (only some ships received the complete upgrades).

      • Kypros

        Correct it me if I’m wrong, I’m sure you will, but if memory serves, the Stark had it’s air defense sensors and Phalanx TURNED OFF in order to not accidentally shoot at commercial traffic.

        • The Phalanx was shut down because it hadn’t been properly calibrated. However, all the radars were active and they completely missed the missile launch.

    • PolicyWonk

      This is due to the fact that what was called PEO LCS created a corporate welfare program that emphasizes MAX/LOW concept, by being charged the maximum cost for the lowest possible ROI, and in this did an outstanding job. Our allies who were initially interested in LCS all chose to walk away from it, saying it was far too costly given the lousy ROI (our own USN forgot to ask themselves the age-old question: “what makes us the only smart ones?”).

      The USN seemingly now prefers acquiring LIABILITIES, as opposed to war-fighting ASSETS.

      Hence – there is simply no good reason to extend the life of either LCS variant.

  • eddie046

    Having served in my time on a 25+ year old DDG I cannot imagine the maintenance that is going to be required of the crew to keep a 35 to 45 year old LCS or DDG going.

  • Epictetus

    The headline spells out the reality of this proposition “…if Navy invests in their upkeep.” With the possible exception of CVNs and SSBNs, the Navy rarely performs preventative maintenance per the class maintenance plans. It’s all done “legally” with approved deferrals of major inspections to save a little bit of money in the current year’s maintenance budget. However, after 10+ years of deferred maintenance on un-sexy systems such as ballast tanks on LSDs, the Navy is faced with a repair crisis that costs far more than the preventative maintenance that was deferred. Could this change? Of course, but I expect it never will. There’s just too much pressure in the “now” to get a ship out of the yard on-time and anything that isn’t fixed is papered-over with a Departure from Specification, Deferred Maintenance Action, or simply ignored by no inspecting systems that are known for high risk to the availability critical path. This approach could yield a 355-ship Navy, but I expect that if the “go” signal was ever given without a heads up that the actual number of functional ships would be far, far less.

  • Duane

    The Navy should maintain all warships in top condition period.

    As to whether it is cost effective to maintain an older ship instead of buying a new ship, that depends upon factors like technological obsolescence, potential enemy fleet and weapons capabilities, ditto with our allies, and the geopolitical situation at the time that a given class of ships is coming up on a planned retirement schedule.

    In this entire discussion, it is being driven by political sloganeering (“355 ships!!”) rather than by what really matters, which is fleet capability. It is far better to have 300 ships that are all capable of functioning as a lethal, survivable force than to have 355 that are not.

  • Curtis Conway

    The Wasp rehab before, during, and after F-35 shipboard testing underway periods must have been very encouraging, and is paying big dividends.

    Rehabbing existing survivable platforms makes a lot of sense. Bring them up to a more reliable, less unique (easier to logistically support), more common to man, maintain, and support across the board, and ‘make everyone a Shooter’.

    Upgrade all the LHD combat systems to the Open Architecture equipment racks and consoles, upgrade the radar to a non-rotating 9-RMA AN/SPY-6(v) AESA radar, Mk41 VLS, and install Magic Carpet. The helos need one too. The next helos on board will be digital flight control systems, and the F-35B is already Magic Carpet capable. On the engineering side upgrade the propulsion systems, and the new A/C for the A-gangers to the system on DDG-51 Flt IIIs and Technology Insertion DDGs, and upgrade all systems where it increases commonality for lifetime logistical support advantages, and simplifies training schools.

    I would replace the LSDs apace with the LX(R) with their better systems, and increased space, and make them all common. The LPD-17 Class should be migrating to a common configuration as well.

    Don’t forget to simplify the Integrated Bridge Systems to more common ship-sets of displays, controls, and systems…with redundancies. Get CANES on every platform, which facilitates so many more capabilities like situational awareness tools for all departments that increase readiness by reducing ignorance because you can see it as it happens. Install more EO/IR surveillance and tracing devices like WESCAM MX-(xx) products for PASSIVE detection, tracking/fire-control, and SIMONE (Ship Infrared Monitoring, Observation and Navigation Equipment) to support navigation situational awareness throughout the ship, not just the Bridge.

    …AND… put Thermion on EVERY flight deck for our F-35Bs who need a Ready Deck of Opportunity.

    If there is construction monies left, build more FFG(X). You will get two for one for every DDG. A V/STOVL AEW&C Platform would be nice to support MAGTF/MEU operations, and for Arctic tasking in the future.

    You might want to consider that Regional Conventional Submarine (perhaps an Australian Collins Replacement Class).

    Just my 2ȼ.

  • ElmCityAle

    They aren’t sitting around doing nothing. For example, a news report yesterday indicates that USS Coronado (LCS 4) is testing the MQ-8C Fire Scout, a piece of equipment that I suspect will be a major part of some LCS deployments in the future, especially with a good radar set added to the drones. As these components of the “packages” mature – and yes, it’s taken more time than predicted for that to happen – the value proposition of LCS as a micro-carrier will become more clear.

    • PolicyWonk

      Great – so they’re being used to test a platform that we can test on any other floating object with a flat deck. In short, we could use a barge to do the same work, with only tiny modifications, at a tiny fraction of the price. Or, we could use an EPF, for example, also at lower cost.

      But barges and EPF’s are in demand, while LCS languishes with assignments of relatively small consequence.

      It remains a waste of an asset that costs $635M/sea-frame, not counting the additional $100M+ yard work that has to be done once the ship is completed, or the mission package (adding another $135M on average). In short – a very expensive test bed.

      But I appreciate the input.

      • ElmCityAle

        I would assume that integration with native ship’s systems is a part of the testing, which would differentiate LCS from any old floating platform, but I have no information to confirm that thought. See? It’s not that difficult to admit when you are offering an opinion rather than a fact.

        • PolicyWonk

          Take note of the constructive criticism I’ve offered, which would be to use an EPF to conduct such testing, at far lower cost. The systems, should be the same, providing the USN isn’t doing the same things to our new ships as they did to garner the USN 23 different types of steering systems.

          And if LCS were designed to be modular, and its systems are the same, then testing those systems whether present on a barge or an EPF shouldn’t matter.

          Nothing should be LCS specific, partially to protect the taxpayers investment into the mission modules, let alone any other ancillary gear, to salvage something of use from the program tagged by the USN as the one that “broke naval acquisition”. Their words – not mine.

          See?

        • Lazarus

          It is. The bureaucracy is so bad that any addition /deletion of equipment from LCS; even at a low level requires a complete module re-test.

      • Duane

        $350M per hull on the 11 ship block contracts.

        Annual budget numbers include lots of line items including weapons, spares, mission modules and other stuff that also is required in any new warship, apples to apples.

        • NavySubNuke

          Nice try but the actual cost of a fully equipped LCS with mission module is actually over $900M.

          Mission Module Average Cost comes from the DoD SAR Report on the Nunn-McCurdy breach by the mission modules:”… 48 MPs (a mix of 44 deployable and 4 non-deployable engineering development model MPs)…. $6,478.7 million
          6478.7M/48 = $134.97M
          Not that is actually a lower cost than the true cost since 4 will never actually be used.

          Procurement Cost: 646.244 is broken down in the SCN budget as follows
          Basic Construction $459.774M (NOT $350M as you continue to claim)
          Change Orders: $9.195M
          Electronics: $20.6M (you kind of want these don’t you?)
          HM&E: 4.56M (also kind of important)
          Ordnance: $12M
          Other Costs: 75.807M
          Total: 646.244M

          And then of course the “Plus Outfitting and Post Delivery ($ in Millions)”: $169.265M

          And there you have it. Total cost for a single LCS and a mission module (average cost) — over $900M!!!

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Don’t forget one other important item. The first FOUR (4) LCS ships are for TESTING/TRAINING only. Add to that every 4th ship delivered will be a tester/trainer only. That’s over 30% that ARE NOT to be deployed except in absolute emergencies, if then! Imagine if almost 1 in 3 Burkes, or Ticos, or carriers, were not to be deployed because they are dedicated to testing and/or training ONLY!

          • Al L.

            Under the conventional Navy ship workup model about 1.5 out of every 4 ships are not deployable because they are in testing and training. (and another 1+- are in maintenance) They just rotate the training/testing cycle from ship to ship instead of dedicating certain ships to it. This is one reason why the conventional ship deployment model only allows about 1 out of 4 ships deployed at any time while the current LCS model is set up to allow about 2 out of 4.

            Dedicated training ships is something the Navy should consider with all its more numerous ship classes considering the abysmal record lately of ship handling and operational condition.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Really? You really want to present this along these terms? I say ‘horse manure’. Ships other than LCS are ‘training/testing’ FOR DEPLOYMENT. Per the Navy’s own statements, these ‘dedicated’ LCS might only be deployed in an emergency. The Navy’s problems with ship handling has nothing to do with ‘dedicated training’ assets.

      • Lazarus

        Deployment is not necessarily an up/down measurement of success. I suggest the Navy has not yet trained and certified enough crews for the planned, 2 ship LCS deployment to the Far East. That is a function of Navy and Congressional inaction but not a criticism of the ship(s) themselves.

        • PolicyWonk

          Laz,

          Its been 10 very long *years* (count ’em!).

          Our DDG’s are being wasted on mere presence missions; their crews are undermanned and exhausted; the USN is starved for resources and coverage. Even our mere PC’s are being run down in the Persian Gulf, from overwork.

          This is way past reasonable. The USN has a lot of experience training crews and getting new ships to sea – they’ve been doing this for hundreds of years.

        • Dan O’Brian

          Yep, just like “ability to fly” is not necessarily and up/down measurement of success for air force aircraft. I really get my daily laughs coming here to the forum.

          • Lazarus

            I get laughs from the level of LCS ignorance I encounter here.

      • Al L.

        Its operational testing. Hard to test operationally on a platform that wont be used for operations.
        Convince DOTE otherwise.

        • PolicyWonk

          Fair enough.

          But seriously, LCS has been around for a decade now, and its lack of activity and/or usefulness (even for presence missions) has a way of attracting a lot of undesirable attention.

  • Sir Bateman

    I’d be curious to hear all the details of what will be necessary to keep a CVN in operation much longer than the mid century mark, not counting an additional year or two. It’s my understanding that any CV, nuke or otherwise, that’s approached 50 years has been pretty clapped out by that point. I suspect that if congress and the USN want to get significant service beyond 50 years out of any of the Nimitz class that they’ll need a refurbishment bordering on a full on RCOH.

    Which begs the question, does the U.S. even have the infrastructure/facilities to simultaneously build a Ford class carrier, while at the same time performing a RCOH on two Nimitz class carriers?

    • James B.

      As I recall, Newport News Shipbuilding has two carrier-size docks, so we can build one CVN and overhaul one, and that’s it.

      The 50-year live on a CVN is for two 25-year reactor cores, so a further life extension means conserving neutrons to stretch each core a bit further, or another RCOH to 75 years, which doesn’t make good sense. It also means that early retirement of a carrier only makes sense at the 25-year mark, and won’t save much after the sunk cost of the RCOH.

      • Sir Bateman

        That’s my understanding as well, that is that Newport News’s Dry Dock 12 builds CVNs and Dry Dock 11 is where they go for their midlife RCOH. I don’t believe any other yard in the U.S. has ever refueled a CVN, I think even the Enterprise’s refuelings were done all done at Newport News.

      • Ed L

        Back in the day the non nuclear carriers (America, independence, JFK, etc. use to go to Norfolk Naval Shipyard for overhaul.

  • Kypros

    Sounds like they are advocating actual maintenance, instead of deferring forever and then decommissioning when deferred repairs get too expensive.

  • Ed L

    Just take a dozen of the newest LPD hull and load it for Bears and Dragons. While building 6 new Repair ships and buy some floating drydocks

  • USNVO

    A discussion on extending service life has to start with the desired makeup of the fleet, industrial capacity, manning, and numerous other factors.

    If more amphibious capability is desired, than keeping the LSD, LPD, and LHD classes around longer makes sense. As long as they can carry the desired equipment, then they would provide useful capability. However, you also have to man those ships, both with Sailors and Marines, buy enough other equipment to fill them up (like LCACs, Helos, USMC stuff, etc), and pay more to keep them operating for longer.

    Done as part of a holistic approach that realistically maintains the shipbuilding base, mans the fleet, and provides all the resources required to do the job, extending the service life of some ships makes sense. But just doing it for the sake of meeting some number will make the problem worse.

  • thebard3

    I expect foreign navies to operate their newly acquired Perrys for longer than the U.S. did. I’m sure they would have loved an opportunity to procure some of the Spruances that we scrapped or sink-exed. BUT- keeping the hulls in the water is (relatively) easy. Keeping them relevant to oppose the dynamic threat environment is not.

  • NavySubNuke

    Nope – I pulled all of my numbers directly from the DoD SAR report on the mission module Nunn-McCurdy breach and from the SCN budget.
    God only knows where your made up numbers come from but they in now way represent the truth.
    Nice try though!

    • PolicyWonk

      Careful NSN,

      You keep tossing truth-bombs regarding the ever-so-mighty, most baddest, most versatile (BAR NONE, baby!), battleship-bashing, carrier-crushing, destroyer-demolishing, frigate-fragmenting, cruiser-conquering, missile-mangling, etc, military platform of all time: the “littoral combat ship” (guaranteed fearsome enough to cause our potential adversaries to lose control of their bowels): and you too will be joining the list of those of us who Duane claims simply “hate ships”.

      😀

      • NavySubNuke

        This gutter trash actually questioned my dolphins on another thread. Pretty funny considering I was the guy sitting behind guys like him telling him to mind their panel when they got too lippy so I know exactly how limited his actual naval experience is since he was a reactor operator — all he did was boil water and had nothing to do with fighting or driving the ship.

        • PolicyWonk

          I know – I remember seeing it, and couldn’t believe it. Disgusting.

          If anyone deserves to have their creds questioned, its a blithering idiot that lives in an obviously “fact-free” zone.

          I had to block him: My mother told me years ago to not waste time arguing with idiots.

          • Lazarus

            You have not demonstrated any naval, acquisition or other defense experience beyond what you may have read here and other places.

          • PolicyWonk

            blah Blah BLAH…

            The experience you’ve shared/posted here has done little for your credibility, let alone that of PEO LCS/UCS.

    • Lazarus

      I thought this was already discussed on another thread: if the number of modules procured is substantively reduced then the individual price per module goes up in the absence of numbers provided by a larger block buy.

      • NavySubNuke

        Exactly correct — which is why the average cost per mission module is now over $130M.
        The issue is Duane’s refusal to accept reality and him calling me a liar for stating the correct cost as noted in DoD’s own reports.

        • Lazarus

          No. Not correct! SuW module is very cheap ($50-$67m,) and MCM module is less than $100m. The ASW module may reach $110m to $122m.

          • NavySubNuke

            Laz you are lying when you say that.
            Look at DoD’s own SAR report — the report clearly states that the cost of the mission modules is $6,478.7 million
            When you divide that number by the 48 mission modules you get: 6478.7M/48 = $134.97M
            I’m not sure where you are pulling your made up numbers from but mine is accurate to this year.

  • Chesapeakeguy

    You should take the time to read an article titled “It’s All in the Package: the Littoral Combat Ship’s Mission Modules” on the site insidedefense dot com. Very telling.

  • NavySubNuke

    Nope – my numbers are straight from the reports unlike trolls like you.