Tag Archives: LCS

Navy Defends Monday's LCS Contract Award

Navy Defends Monday’s LCS Contract Award

Sean Stackley at a June 15, 2012 ceremony at the Pentagon. U.S. Navy Photo

Sean Stackley at a June 15, 2012 ceremony at the Pentagon. U.S. Navy Photo

The U.S. Navy’s chief shipbuilder is defending Monday’s $1.4 billion awards for the next four Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) in the midst of the current congressional battle over military funding, the service told USNI News on Monday. Read More

Camouflaged Ships: An Illustrated History

Camouflaged Ships: An Illustrated History

Friday’s deployment of USS Freedom (LCS 1) will revive a tradition of camouflaging warships. Outside of smaller patrol boats, the U.S. largely abandoned elaborate color schemes and stuck with haze gray. 

USS Freedom in its new paint scheme on Feb. 22. US Navy Photo

USS Freedom in its new paint scheme on Feb. 22. US Navy Photo

But with the advent of the Littoral Combat Ship, a combatant designed to operate close to shore, the concept has returned. To put Freedom’s new look in context, the following are some examples of patterns from the past.

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LCS CO: Freedom is 'A Mean Looking Ship'

LCS CO: Freedom is ‘A Mean Looking Ship’

USS Freedom will deploy March 1 for Singapore with a new paint pattern inspired by World War II ship camouflage. US Navy Photo

USS Freedom will deploy March 1 for Singapore with a new paint pattern inspired by World War II ship camouflage. US Navy Photo

USS Freedom (LCS-1) leaves Naval Station San Diego, Calif. on Friday for a new deployment with a new camo paint job, courtesy of Cmdr. Pat Thien and his crew. Read More

Guardian Salvage Continues

Guardian Salvage Continues

Salvage operations of the USS Guardian in the Sulu Sea, Feb. 26, U.S. Navy Photo

Salvage operations of the USS Guardian in the Sulu Sea, Feb. 26, U.S. Navy Photo

The U.S. Navy has begun the dismantling process for a minesweeper caught on the Tubbataha Reef off the coast of the Philippines Jan. 17, 2013. Read More

Hunt: LCS Council Has Had 'Positive Impact'

Hunt: LCS Council Has Had ‘Positive Impact’

The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) departs San Diego harbor to conduct operations off the coast of Southern California in October. US Navy Photo

The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) departs San Diego harbor to conduct operations off the coast of Southern California in October. US Navy Photo

The Director of U.S. Navy Staff is recommending to service leadership to extend the life of the council of admirals appointed to oversee the development of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program, he said in a letter obtained by USNI News on Friday. Read More

Letter to CNO on LCS Council

Letter to CNO on LCS Council

Navy Staff director Vice Admiral Rick Hunt’s letter to Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert on the progress of the LCS council. Read More

USCG's Adm. Papp on Arctic Operations and Caribbean Drug Runners

USCG’s Adm. Papp on Arctic Operations and Caribbean Drug Runners

Even as the Coast Guard gets a grip on the Arctic, drug smugglers in the eastern Pacific are slipping through its fingers, Commandant Adm. Robert Papp acknowledged Thursday.

At the Surface Naval Association Symposium, Papp told reporters he has been forced to give some things up as demands on the Coast Guard increase in the warming Arctic. As he has sent the service’s new National Security Cutters into the frozen north, it has been at the expense of man- and ship-hours for other missions, including drug interdiction in the eastern Pacific.

The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf sails in the Arctic Ocean near Barrow, Alaska, Aug. 28, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf sails in the Arctic Ocean near Barrow, Alaska, Aug. 28, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

“We don’t have enough ships out there to interdict all the known tracks that we’re aware of,” he said. “We intercept as many as we can.”

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Navy Responds to Pentagon LCS Survivability Claims

Navy Responds to Pentagon LCS Survivability Claims

Navy leadership responded Wednesday to a Tuesday Pentagon report saying both variants of the littoral combat ship (LCS) are “not survivable in a combat environment.”

Rear Adm. Tom Eccles, Deputy Commander for Naval System Engineering at Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and Director Navy Staff, Vice Adm. Rick Hunt both defended the survivability of the ships during a Wednesday panel discussion on the LCS at the 2013 Surface Navy Association Symposium.

A Pentagon report claimed both versions of the Littoral Combat Ship were, "not survivable in a combat environment." U.S. Navy Photo

A Pentagon report claimed both versions of the Littoral Combat Ship were, “not survivable in a combat environment.” U.S. Navy Photo

“Survivability issue is one that comes up quite a bit. The question: Are all ships survivable to the same level? Clearly they are not,” Hunt said.

“That’s where tradeoffs come in. Do you have smaller things or do you have single massive ships across the board? The scaling has been different throughout the history of navies and continues to be different today.”

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World Naval Developments: Royal Navy's Type 26: One Ship, Many Missions

World Naval Developments: Royal Navy’s Type 26: One Ship, Many Missions

Proceedings, Oct. 2012

In August, the Royal Navy released details of its next surface combatant, the Type 26, a modular ship. Announced plans are to build 13 of these vessels to replace the surviving 13 Type 23 frigates. All were intended primarily for antisubmarine warfare (ASW); the Type 23s were conceived as minimum towed-array ships to work in the Greenland-Iceland-UK (GIUK) Gap mainly in support of maritime patrol aircraft. With the end of the Cold War, this mission disappeared, and the Type 23s found themselves carrying out a wide variety of peacetime missions, such as drug interdiction in the Caribbean and anti-piracy work off Somalia. An incidental effect of the change from harsh GIUK waters to calmer ones is that the ships’ hulls have lasted far longer than expected. (Cynics may suspect that the ships’ longevity is really the consequence of successive governments’ reluctance to buy replacements on a timely basis.)

type26_0Comparing the Type 26 to the U.S. Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) shows how wide a range the concept of modularity covers. The Type 26 is a 5,500-ton frigate that can be built in one of at least two versions. In appearance it is a scaled-down Type 45 destroyer with the same sort of tower foremast, in this case topped by the Artisan three-dimensional radar rather than the big Sampson of the Type 45. The Type 26 was conceived as part of a long-running project to design a Future Surface Combatant, which was originally to have been built in three versions of varying capability (and cost).

The Type 26 is apparently the ASW variant, presumably a direct replacement for the current Type 23, with much the same systems as the projected modernized Type 23. They include the Sea Centor vertically launched suface-to-air missile (replacing the current Seawolf) and the Type 2087 low-frequency active-passive sonar (towed pinger plus array plus medium-frequency bow array). Sea Centor is an active-radar-guided derivative of the current British short-range air-to-air missile, also known as CAMMS (Common Modular Missile System). It uses an uplink for mid-course guidance. The ship will have a single gun, either the 4.5-inch currently standard in the Royal Navy, or perhaps a derivative of the U.S. 5-inch/62 (BAE owns United Defense, which makes the U.S. gun). There may be provision for a more powerful gun; in the past BAE has advertised a 155-mm gun within the footprint of its 4.5 inch.

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Birth of the Littoral Combat Ship

Birth of the Littoral Combat Ship

Proceedings, September 2012
In a series of 1990s simulations, the LCS concept was born; the Strait of Hormuz was the hypothetical scenario, and ‘the fight against sea and shore’ became the mantra.

The first of class littoral combat ships USS Freedom (LCS 1), rear, and USS Independence (LCS 2) maneuver together during an exercise off the coast of Southern California on May, 2 2012.U.S. Navy Photo.

The first of class littoral combat ships USS Freedom (LCS 1), rear, and USS Independence (LCS 2) maneuver together during an exercise off the coast of Southern California on May, 2 2012.
U.S. Navy Photo.

The recent findings of the Perez Report and related coverage in Defense News enumerated significant problems with the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). It therefore seems worthwhile at this point to take a look at how the LCS was conceived and ask, “Is it up to the tasks it could soon face?”

In the mid-1990s, the Navy conducted a series of war games in which the LCS concept was born. The wargaming process was called the Joint Multi-Warfare Analytical Game (JMAG). The computer models included all areas of joint forces: command-and-control, intelligence, environment, political-military actions, land warfare, air warfare, sea warfare (including antiair, antisurface, antisubmarine, mine warfare and mine countermeasures), and special warfare. JMAG employed experienced subject-matter experts (SMEs) at the flag/general level in all the services for “Blue” and “Red” forces.

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