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CNO: U.S. Still Committed to Littoral Combat Ship Deployments in Southeast Asia

Manchester (LCS-14) rests in the Port of Los Angeles during during a scheduled visit for LA Fleet Week on Aug. 31, 2018. US Navy Photo

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – The Navy is still committed to resuming rotational deployments of the Littoral Combat Ship to Southeast Asia, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said, though he declined to specify when the deployments would resume. 

Speaking to reporters in the Asia Pacific region, Richardson told USNI News he did not want to get into specifics of future deployment dates.

“I can tell you that that the United States Navy is committed to the rotational deployment of the Littoral Combat Ship to Singapore in Southeast Asia. We look forward to using this to engage with our allies and partners, to continue to advocate for freedom of navigation as we have done with the Littoral Combat Ships and other classes,” he said.

The Navy is now focused on ensuring that the follow-on deployments of the LCS incorporate the lessons learned from earlier deployments, he said.

The U.S. and Singapore had agreed in 2011 to rotational deployments of up to four Littoral Combat Ships to Singapore. It was envisaged that by 2018 up to four Littoral Combat Ships would be operating from there; however, issues with the LCS program have led to only three single-ship deployments being carried out so far in the program’s history. The Navy planned for two LCSs to be deployed in Singapore in 2018, but a readjustment of the LCS program led to shifting deployment schedules.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John M. Richardson speaks with reporters on a trip to Australia on Nov. 1, 2018. US Navy Photo

Richardson also stressed the need for nations operating in Pacific waters to adhere to the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) and avoid miscalculations and escalations. While encounters between the U.S. Navy and Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) in the region have largely been professionally conducted according to CUES, the recent encounter between USS Decatur (DDG-73) and a PLAN destroyer marked a departure from these safety practices.

“We would certainly advocate for a return to the consistent adherence to the agreed-to code that would minimize the chance for a miscalculation that would possibly lead to a local incident and potential escalation, and so what we want to do is avoid those type of scenarios, stick to the code and maintain safe and professional behavior,” he said.

Richardson stressed that the carrying out of Freedom of Navigation operations were part of a broader scope of contesting excessive maritime claims around the world – and not solely limited to the South China Sea – and that the Navy would continue to conduct such operations in conjunction with its allies and partners globally. On the recent passage of guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54) and guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG-54) through the Taiwan Strait, Richardson said the mission was meant to demonstrate free and open navigation in international waters and was executed in a safe and professional manner by all parties involved.

Richardson was in Australia as part of a regional tour that also included visits to the Philippines and Indonesia. He is scheduled to visit New Zealand next on his tour.

  • Ed L

    I am all for deployment of the LCS to Southeast and Southwest Asia ports. A squadron of freedoms lcs’s together and a squadron of independence lcs’s together. To simplify the logistics. Plus a squadron each station out of Sicily, Cadiz and either Cyprus or Israel. They will need repair ships to take care of them

    • Bubblehead

      All the Freedoms are East Coast, I think in Florida if I remember. All the West Coast are Independence. That has already been decided.

      • Ed L

        I see no mention anywhere of repair ships being setup for LCS. In fact was there any reason that the navy brass got rid of repair ships over 20 years ago. Other than the brass felt that logistics and service vessels were not really needed in great numbers.

        • Secundius

          There are still two Destroyer Tender in service. Both are slated to be decommissioned in 2039 and 2040 respectively…

  • Ser Arthur Dayne

    Well, that’s a relief!

    • Kypros

      LOL!

    • Bryan

      LOL…

      We it would be nice to get some small amount of use out of the boondoggle. Perhaps a year or two of deployment can work out more problems. Then be ready for a MCM module? Holding my breath. Getting red, getting redder. Pewwwww…..well maybe not.

      • Ser Arthur Dayne

        I agree. And I think it would actually be much more simple than the Navy wants to admit. So let us take the facts- the ships, both classes, have no ability to resist damage, absorb warfare, or continue fighting once hit. I am not trying to “talk smack” against the LCS, those are pretty much accepted facts. HOWEVER, it seems to me, it would be very simple and fairly economically-easy to do some ahem “upgunning” …. Let’s first take away the MCW package, the LCS is not going to do Mine Countermeasure Warfare. Not happening. Next. But we can easily adapt both the Freedom AND the Independence classes to what amounts to “missile ships” and “torpedo ships” … I would immediately, IMMEDIATELY, add 16 Naval Strike Missiles to the ships … 2x 4NSMs fore, 2x 4NSMs aft. Additionally I would add those “vertically launched Hellfire modules” to every ship, and make sure there are reloads in the storage space. Then I would figure out at away to add an 8-cell VLS to each ship- probably fore on the Freedom-class and aft on the Independence-class … and that would be 4(x4, quad-packed) ESSMs and 4 ASROCs [with MK54s] … combined with MH-60s (which can have 3 torpedoes or Hellfire missiles) you would then have a ship that can launch a lot of hurt relative to it’s size , defend itself relatively well (relative to its size) , and conduct a little ASW and do some sub-hunting / sub-“hurting” relative to it’s size. This would be easy to do, relatively quick, relatively easy, relatively cheap. And big-time effective when you consider the LCS is basically worthless at the present.

        • DaSaint

          I agree in principle with what you’re proposing. My recommendation on armament, however for the existing/planned LCS would be:
          – Replace the 30mm guns with Phalanx CIWS (P/S) to increase the defensive capability of the ships, a good complement to the SeaRAM launcher.
          – Replace RAM on Freedom w/SeaRAM – which I think they are planning on anyway.
          -Keep VL Hellfire module
          -Add 8 NSM
          -Convert Independence class CMS to COMBATSS-21 as was proposed.

          Of course, this is all dependent on growth and stability margins.

          • Bubblehead

            I wouldn’t spend a dime on these worthless to increase their defensive or offensive weaponry. Its a waste of time & money. Just keep what they have now (including NSM) and get them all ready to roll as MCM. Or even offensive Mine laying. In a fight in Pacific mines are going to play a significant role.

        • muzzleloader

          You know that they could double the firepower of an LCS for just a few hundred dollars. Just add two additional shotguns to the MAA weapons locker.

          • Ser Arthur Dayne

            This is true, and they wouldn’t even need the 590A1s, they could use the regular 590s, because they wouldn’t need the “heavy-walled barrels” of the 590A1s, which were designed to prevent Navy hatches from slamming down on a barrel and snapping it or bending it or breaking it off. I have a feeling the aluminum and alloy LCSs would not exactly be breaking many standard 590 barrels! Money saved, so there’s that!

          • Secundius

            I don’t think a Mild Steel Hatch ~1/2″-inch thick will do the same, without considerable force being applied to the Hatch and the Shotgun Barrel…

        • Lazarus

          No US combatant of frigate size will “take a hit” and keep fighting. You do remember Stark and Roberts? The

          • Chesapeakeguy

            No doubts. But those actual frigates have a darned good chance of remaining afloat so they can get their crews out of harm’s way. Stark and Roberts stayed afloat. No one has any confidence the LCS of either class will be able to do that. I say again I hope we never have to find out.

        • navaldoc

          I agree that the LCS class is a aluminized PT Boat. At least the PTs were a threat to the enemy. I am astounded that nobody has mentioned the issue of combat system design and complexity to interface all the proposed systems and have the combat system integrate with a netted “information” system. To put many of these systems on board world require upgrading the software, and may increase the crew size by 50 percent. All this adds up to more space, more power requirements, more weight and probably reduced top speed, thus removing the best part of the current class—speed. Please do not tell me this is untrue. I worked the first phase of the combat system requirements for the Arliegh Burke Class. The Burke class is a COMBATANT!

          • vetww2

            If you worked the first flight, you know that the sllyness of going from the DDX, which was the preliminary design designation of the ship, caused it to come out without the aircraft support capability that was the basis of the innovative design, in the first place. It had to be retrofitted.

  • NavySubNuke

    Yikes, CNO isn’t even willing to commit to deploying them in 2019 either after the two who were planned to deploy in 2018 failed to sail.

    • NavySubNuke

      Re-posting since Duane flagged it for some reason:
      It was envisaged that by 2018 up to four Littoral Combat Ships would be operating from there; however,”
      We should start a pool on when the US will actually have 4 LCS deployed to Asia at the same time — and actually operating there not just limping their way over.
      Pool Rules: Entries are $5 and winner takes all (minus a “minor” pass-through fee of 50% of course) — Make your checks payable to NavySubNuke and mail them to your mom’s house — I’ll pick them up the next time I am there. All entries must be a specific month and year, no day required. Limit 1 pool entry per commentor.
      My personal guess is Dec 2023, just in time to miss Christmas.

  • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

    A dozen in service…. none in use.

    A most perfect failure.

    • Ser Arthur Dayne

      But they have plenty of Mission Module Equipment Space in them.

    • Lazarus

      All in use. Training crews for extended deployment of multiple ships. That takes time.

      • PolicyWonk

        Right – its been 10 years since the first commissioning. USS Freedom was commissioned in 2010, did one whopping (and highly unfortunate) deployment to Singapore in 2013, and has done little since. The other LCS class hasn’t fared much better.

        The complex operational aspect and “that takes time” excuse pales in comparison to that (for example) of the USS San Antonio, which was commissioned in January 2006, and has been conducting missions benefitting the nation since 2009.

        At this rate by the time LCS does anything of use, both fleets will likely be more than halfway through their service lives, and scheduled for their appointment at the scrapyard. And thats only after performing a pathetic, tiny fraction of the missions its few remaining apologists still have the gall to claim it can do to this day, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

        But I will agree that If LCS is doing anything, its “taking time”. Far too much time, for far too much money, for far too small ROI.

        • Lazarus

          LPD 17 was not an experiment as were the first two LCS. Big difference. The LCS experiment was the first 4 ships.

          • CHENG1087

            When did the Navy first officially describe these first four ships as “experimental”?

          • Al L.

            When they were requested and paid for with money from the R&D budget rather than the SCN budget. Hard to get more “official” than than the legally binding commitment of funding.

            The first four were planned to be experimental testing ships from when the congress first budgeted for the program. They were to be “Flight 0” and used operationally only after the testing phase was done. They were to inform the build of flight 1 ships and the support the testing of operations and modules.

            The problem is the Navy stopped treating them as experimental and started treating them as combatant force ships almost immediately which screwed up the whole concept of build – test – adjust – build and damaged the schedule, budget and credibility of the concept. And after 15 years where are we? Back to the first 4 being test ships just as was originally conceived.

          • CHENG1087

            Thank you. I believe your “experimental” explanation is the first I’ve ever heard on the subject. I’m an old goat, and I admit that I haven’t immersed myself in this ongoing LCS debate to the depth that some of you have, but after all these years (is it 15, really?) and all this money, what does the fleet have to show for it (and spare us the wonk-speak, please)? Thanks.

          • Secundius

            The LCS concept isn’t a New Concept! It was first thought up in 1934! But because of the Depression it was never properly funded or researched. In WWII the LCS came up again as a High-Speed Cargo carrying Destroyer and Assault Ship. Several were either converted from pre-WWII Destroyers or patterned on the “Fletcher” and “Allen M. Sumner” class Destroyers…

          • CHENG1087

            Thanks. Are you referring to the APDs?

          • Secundius

            Yes…

          • CHENG1087

            APDs were “high speed transports” converted originally from old pre-war “four pipers,” and then, as WW2 progressed, they were converted from Destroyer Escorts, not FLETCHERs or SUMNERs. They were Amphibious ships, and there were scores of them, if not a hundred or more. Although they retained some of their original depth charges and 5’, 3’, 40mm, and 20mm guns, they really didn’t have ASW, AAW, ASUW, or Mine Warfare as primary missions (of course, you can say that every ship can be a minesweeper — once). They were meant to deliver small units of UDT, Marines, and Army Rangers ashore prior to and during Amphibious assaults, and then remain in the immediate area to provide short range on-call gunfire support. They were brave little ships. If those old APDs had anything in common with today’s LCSs, it is the mission to land and support spec ops troops. And, of course, all Amphibious assaults take place in the “littoral,” by definition, right?

          • CHENG1087

            Wow… those were some huge guns! I meant 5” and 3”, of course.

          • Secundius

            I’m aware of the pre-war conversions of Flush Deck Destroyers being used. “Freedom” was designed with a Flat Bottom Hull to allow the Vessel to beach itself for Amphibious Assault, Resupply and Support Missions when needed. What’s the point of having an ~6,500sq/ft mission bay, if it can’t be used for other duties. Also as a High Speed Ambulance Ship also comes to mind…

          • CHENG1087

            Interesting. How would FREEDOM “land the landing force” once she was firmly beached? Jacobs’ ladders? Cargo nets? And what provision is there for maintaining the ship at right angles to the beach? Does the FREEDOM have a stern anchor to pay out, as the LSTs had? What is to keep FREEDOM from broaching once her flat bottom bow touches sand? How would she retract? Thanks.

          • Secundius

            The same way it would if it were to deploy a Sensor Package. Out the Mission Deck. Or perform a “Belly Flop” extraction…

            ( https : // www . popularmechanics . com / military / weapons / a19685292 / amphibious – vehicle – belly – flop – ocean / )

          • CHENG1087

            Thank you. As you suggested, I watched the Indonesian Marines’ demonstration of the “Belly Flop” method of Amphibious vehicle water entry on the Poular Mechanics site. Very entertaining. Are we selling the FREEDOM class to Indonesia? I don’t think you understand my question. By “extraction” I mean the removal of FREEDOM from the beach after the assault is done; not the launching of amphibious vehicles out the “Mission Deck.” Again, my question: how will FREEDOM stabilize and secure herself at a right angle to the beach while she is aground, and how will she pull herself off the beach (i.e., “extract”) when it’s time to go home?

          • CHENG1087

            For “extract” and “extraction,” read “retract” and “retraction.”

          • Secundius

            The “EPF” has an Jointed 50-foot Aluminum Ramp rated at 100-tonnes. Which could also be carried by the “Freedom” and/or the “Independence” classes. But replacing Mission Modules with USMC “ACV 1.1’s” are doable, and a 10 to 15 foot drop like in the “Pop Mech” video show’s that it can be done if necessity for a Fast Extraction is called for…

          • CHENG1087

            I think we are talking about two completely different things. I’ll try again: Here’s the hypothetical situation — your FREEDOM is hard aground on the beach, thanks to her flat bottom (?), at a 90 degree angle to the surf, stern to the sea, and bow up on the sand. Question #1: why are you up on the beach in the first place if you don’t have bow doors or an over-the-bow ramp? Q.#2: how do you prevent broaching if you don’t have a stern hook set seaward of the surf line? Q.#3: Are you serious, or are you just pulling our collective legs?

          • Secundius

            How is a Mission Module deployed! There’s a Stern Hull Opening with a Overhead Gantry Crane used to deploy the Contents of the Mission Module. The same could be used to deploy a ACV 1.1 by lifting it and lowering it into the water. Or an Articulated Ramp extended into the Water, to allow ACV 1.1 to simple drive down into the water. Or Beachhead…

          • CHENG1087

            Ha! That’s really funny! Thanks for the good laugh.

          • Secundius

            I defer to your “Expert Judgement” as a Littoral Combat Ship EXPERT. So these ‘YouTube” Videos are Patently False in Make-up and Scope (i.e. FAKE News). And NONE of these Video’s were make and/or EVER took place…

            1. https : // youtu . be / PNFXAids 6 GA

            2. https : // youtu . be / me QYFp 0 PmZl

            3. https : // youtu . be / KKM 6c 8qjigo

          • CHENG1087

            One of my favorite movie lines is, “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” Please answer my previous questions. Is FREEDOM designed to be beached, hard aground, as standard operating procedure? If so, how will she avoid broaching? I know that she can launch “things” through her transom and over her sides, either at sea or alongside a pier. But can she do the same thing while hard aground on a beach? And if so, why???

          • Secundius

            You noticed as to how much water was within the Hull as when the RHIB was being Launched. Which means “Freedom” has the ability to Flood it’s “Transom/Well Deck”. Or how little water there was when the RHIB was entering the Transom, which also means that Freedom can Flood just above the Waterline or when beached…

            Fourth paragraph down
            https : www . militaryfactory . com / ships / detail . asp ? ship _id = USS – Freedom -LCS1

          • CHENG1087

            One last try…. Can we simplify? Q#1: Can she be safely beached? Q#2: Can she avoid broaching? Q#3: Can she retract from the beach?

          • Secundius

            As you said, we’re neither reading from the same “Page” or from the same “Script”…

          • CHENG1087

            I agree. So, I’ll answer my last three questions myself: No, No, and No.

          • Lazarus

            Boats and MH-60R helos.

          • vetww2

            Could be, but the basic concept was the one, my guys in SEA003/03R did, in 1078, called SEAMOD.

          • Secundius

            “1078”?/! You’re showing your age, lol…

          • Secundius

            Wasn’t SEAMOD applied to DD-963, USS Spruance…

          • PolicyWonk

            Uh-huh. I see. The USN decided to “continue experimenting” by opting to purchase both classes.

            Got it. We’re just “experimenting”…

            With $36B taxpayer dollars.

          • Lazarus

            Only the first 4 were experimental. $36b is small change compared with the billions wasted in social spending each year with zero return.

          • PolicyWonk

            This comment of yours is both the most asinine, and one of lamest attempts at a deflection/justification for one of the most worthless (if not blatantly criminal) corporate welfare programs in acquisition history.

      • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

        Yep…. a dozen in service… none in use.
        Some nearly half way through their service life and never deployed…. and will never be deployed now they are designated “training” ships.

        1/3 of the entire 32 ship fleet will be permanently moored as “training ships”

        The highest ratio of any class of ship in this state

        A perfect failure.

        • Lazarus

          Again, check your facts. Not being deployed is not the same as not in use. There were just no deployments this year. The LCS division training ships are CONUS based units supporting crew rotation forward. They can be surged as needed. The first 4 developmental LCS units in CONUS can also be surged with their single crew if needed.

  • vetww2

    I know several involved in the LCS fiasco, who,as the CNO stated, shold be committed.

  • vetww2

    Pray for peace.

  • Lazarus

    Fort Worth and Coronado accomplished good things in their Singapore deployments and it is a good idea to continue such when enough rotational LCS crews have been trained. Crew rotation ultimately saves $$$ as there is no need for dependent housing and other expenses that would have been required if the ships were overseas homeported.

    There will be 34 LCS in the fleet and their crews will soon be just as influential and an integral part of the Navy as were FFG7 and FF 1052 sailors. There is lots of potential for use of this class. Their limitations are known and the Navy is seeking to fix those. No warship is perfect.

    • thebard3

      I agree with you, but some are more imperfect than others. LCS has a long way to go before you can compare to Perrys and Knox.

      • RobM1981

        I’m sorry, but even if the LCS was 100% reliable, with 100% crew proficiency, it still can never be compared to a Perry or a Knox. Those were frigates; the LCS is an amped up gunboat.

        • Bryan

          I think you are correct. I believe the best place for lcs is the fisheries of SCS. A semi permanent presence there will help the most and lower the risk to the ships while getting some use out of them. We will need to be careful when the Chinese destroyers show up. Maybe run circles around them with the speedboat? Definitely don’t want to bump gunwales…

        • Lazarus

          I agree that the Perry’s were effectively destroyers with one screw. If modular capabilities are added, LCS becomes more capable than a 1052. Whether 127mm or 57mm, it takes a lot of gun hits to inflict much damage (assuming that you suggest a 5 inch gun matters.)

        • PolicyWonk

          More like an armed yacht/ferry conversion, that’s just enough of a nuisance to more easily justify an adversary sending ordnance in its direction.

        • Hugh

          Corvette?

      • Lazarus

        It is worth noting that the FF 1052 and the FFG 7 were both heavy criticized in the defense media of the time and by the usual Congressional watchdogs. This is just more public and widespread due to the internet. LCS was a big leap in terms of technology, manning and operational concepts. It has had challenges getting integrated into a fleet that has significantly reduced training and intermediate maintenance. LCS’s challenges should be a signal to the entire surface navy leadership to fix its training and maintenance issues.

        • thebard3

          I think the LCS problems are much greater than you intimate, but I hope the Navy gets the kinks worked out soon and assigns a mission befitting of the platform. They will never fill the role they were intended, not meet the capabilities promised. Unfortunately, that isn’t too uncommon with new weapons systems today.

  • RobM1981

    “Adjusted for their era,” you are wrong.

    Perry’s had significant ASW, ASuW, and AAW capabilities – far in excess of the LCS, adjusted for their era.

    Yes, the LCS also outguns the USS Constitution, which is inarguably a frigate… from a different era.

    • Lazarus

      The LCS’s modular space has great potential for a number of missions as well. The Perry’s were an open ocean escort designed to meet a Soviet SSGN/Backfire attack on convoys to Europe. There is no large ground force in Europe these days to resupply; the Russian Navy is less than 1/5 the size of its Soviet-era counterpart and still has the same bad strategic geography; China’s strategic geography is different and like Japan in WW2, the PRC is more vulnerable to US submarine attacks on their trade than the US is to PLAN submarine attacks on its trade. Its not 1985 and the US does not necessarily need the same capabilities. LCS has challenges but has potential for many uses.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        So, finally an admission that the LCS is not designed or expected to face a threat from a peer/near peer adversary! Unlike the Perry’s. So that “LCS is the superior ship” claims are thus SUNK!

        • Lazarus

          That is a simplistic assessment. Any warship from carrier to patrol boat can be assigned to combat against peer competitors. LCS has weight within the modular space to take on more capabilities. While integrating modular components into a package has been a challenge (especially since the Senate never seems to fund Navy mission package testing requests,) it has been demonstrated that ASCM’s and smaller weapons can be added piecemeal to LCS.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            ‘Added’ after the fact. After the criticism has and had been leveled about how woefully unprepared they are for modern combat. And while I personally hope that weapons and sensors and decoys and tactics and whatever else that can be brought to bear prevent any of them from getting hit, the fact remains that no one associated with the program expects them to be able to sail away after receiving a hit. While other ships might be ‘mission killed’, they at least have a good chance to get their remaining crews to safety, like those Perry class FFGs the Stark and Roberts were able to do.

    • Curtis Conway

      One of the more coveted items today by our Allies is acquiring our old FFG-7s.

      • Lazarus

        For spare parts to keep their others going.

        • Curtis Conway

          I guess that is why they are modifying them and getting them underway . . . HUh? Not all are scrapped for their parts.

  • BubbaLama

    Save sailor’s lives and taxpayer dollars-Change the entire class to LRA’s (Littoral Reef Artificial).

    • Secundius

      I suspect the “Gerald Ford” makes a better Artificial Reef”…

  • PolicyWonk

    Richardson also stressed the need for nations operating in Pacific waters to adhere to the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) and avoid miscalculations and escalations.
    —————————————————————-
    Its a good thing LCS has the ability to do 50 knots: it’ll need it to run away from the PLAN at the first sign of danger!

    If the ChiComs are ready to recklessly maneuver within a hundred yards of a heavily armed US DDG: LCS doesn’t stand a snowballs chance in Hades. CUES had better be in place – because the obvious “miscalculation” w/r/t the weakly armed/protected LCS (on the part of the USN) is that its a good idea to send a glorified ferry/yacht conversion to cruise on a major, potential adversaries doorstep.

    The navy seems well on its way to another “doubling down” on the reckless delusion that it has anything in common with a warship (beyond its integrity-lacking designation), only this time it could cost the lives of the sailors who man them.

    • Lazarus

      LCS 4 already interacted with PLAN frigates on a FON ops and had zero issues. You really need to update your talking points.

      • NavySubNuke

        Pretty sure LCS 4 did exactly as he described — ran away at the first sign of danger and hid out in waters that were too shallow for the PLAN vessels to follow.

        • Lazarus

          That’s called following a FON op plan. I think I first brought that operation to your attention as well.

  • Lazarus

    Again, LCS has 100 tons of weight for growth and is supposed to manage growth/change over time within that weight. It is perhaps confusing to some. Weight was an issue in the ASW package but equipment changes have been the primary MiW module issue.
    I think you need to at least update your negative LCS talking points to at least reflect the reality of the class.

    • PolicyWonk

      When the reality of the class demonstrates some improvement, I’ll adjust accordingly.

      Regardless of the equipment aboard either class of LCS: it was never intended, designed, or constructed to be a warship. Pretending otherwise is reckless and irresponsible.

      • ElmCityAle

        In reality, it seems that there is sufficient growth margin to accommodate the weight of the 8 new NSM launchers on each ship. Any other dramatic additions, besides the planned modules, seem unlikely. The “solution” to most of the proposed criticism remains: don’t send an LCS to do the mission of a DDG, use it for the missions of an LCS. One could even argue adding the NSM launchers works against keeping that mission clarity.

        • PolicyWonk

          While one could perhaps add 8 NSM’s/launchers to LCS, all that does is enhance the chances someone will shoot at them.

          Otherwise, they’re barely worth expending valuable ordnance on, when there are far more threatening/tempting targets (Burkes, Carriers, Tico’s, etc.).

      • Lazarus

        So you agree that LCS has 100 tons of growth weight and will drop that from your talking points. I hope POGO is paying you a decent salary for all this.

        • PolicyWonk

          I agree that the 100 tons is there – but that the 100 tons has been proven insufficient. More than once.

          Thats what you seem to have a very difficult time accepting.

  • Hugh

    Including such as NULKA.

    • Chesapeakeguy

      Hugh, I apologize for replying to your post in the way I am, it is intended for Duane, but Duane’s post has no means for responding to it.

      Duane, here you go again taking shots at a truly worthy workhorse for the USN to justify your obsession with the LCS. And no one will yet call the LCS a ‘workhorse’, because they can’t. The Stark was hit by TWO Exocets, not one. The Stark did not properly EMPLOY the systems it had available to detect and prevent the missiles from hitting them. I won’t mention the Roberts taking a direct mine hit as you will no doubt be confused by such facts. Given how the LCS was built to a ‘standard’ that even its cheerleaders have to admit is ‘non-survivable’, I hope we never have to witness how a LCS fares if and when hit by a ASM, or more. It looks like everyone acknowledges that it won’t be able to even float after such a hit. A NEW Perry built with the updated systems available today would be a far superior and survivable platform than your beloved LCS ever will be. A modern Perry would have VLS, a dependable and reliable 76 mm gun (that can NOT be said about the LCS Mk 110 57 mm gun!), room for two Seahawk helos, any and all missiles the LCS can carry, and then some, point defense systems, ECM, decoys, ASW torpedoes, etc. The Perry’s were DEPLOYABLE, which put them in harm’s way. No one can say that about the LCS, not yet.

      So keep on taking shots at a tremendous vessel that rendered magnificent service to this country. The LCS has been found wanting on so many things that the Perry’s routinely crop up as an alternative to them. The Perry’s weren’t perfect, because no ship is. But they delivered. Until the LCS can ever say that the comparisons will never be close. And that is a fact.

  • Secundius

    At least 150 cases of “Piracy” take place on the South China Sea each year. USS Freedom chased down Three Cocaine laden’d Columbian Go-Fasts during Sea Trials in 2010, that “weren’t” part of “Freedom’s” Sea Trial Tests…

    ( https : // www . theepochtimes . com / pirates – strategies – and – countermeasures – in – the – south – china – sea _ 2562419.html )

  • Lazarus

    Your conditions are hardly fair as even if 4 LCS are forward in the Indo Pacific, you will say they are limping.

    • NavySubNuke

      Not sure why Duane flagged this but reposting anyway:
      I only consider them limping when they are being escorted by their own personal oiler to try to make it all the way across the pack without running out of gas or having their engines eat themselves. If they actually have 4 in theater at the same time and none of the 4 have suffered a major engineering casualty I’ll consider the conditions satisfied

  • Secundius

    Just exactly how did either “Fitzgerald” or “McCain” Limp Away after be T-Boned? They Didn’t! A Lift Ship was required to move them…

  • Lazarus

    I told Policy wank to update his/her talking points. I view you as a thoughtful poster who does not say the same, inaccurate things every time.

    • NavySubNuke

      I always strive to be accurate though I do admittedly put the factual statement through my own lens of interpretation.

  • Lazarus

    Ok that’s fair!

    • NavySubNuke

      I thought so — that is why I was surprised when Duane flagged it. God only knows what goes through is dull and uncomprehending mind when he decides what to flag though.

  • muzzleloader

    Geez Duanne, it’s called humor. Relax.

  • CHENG1087

    The current price of scrap aluminum is about 32 cents per pound. Just a thought….

  • vetww2

    Adm Richardson’s words (almost) “The Navy is, or should be, COMMITTED.