From the Congressional Research Service Sept. 27, 2013 Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) report:The LCS program has become controversial due to past cost growth, design and construction issues with the lead ships built to each design, concerns over the ships’ ability to withstand battle damage, and concerns over whether the ships are sufficiently armed and would be able to perform their stated missions effectively. Some observers, citing one or more of these issues, have proposed truncating the LCS program to either 24 ships (i.e., stopping procurement after procuring all the ships covered under the two block buy contracts) or to some other number well short of 52. Other observers have proposed down selecting to a single LCS design (i.e., continuing production of only one of the two designs) after the 24th ship. Read More
Some potential builders of the Navy’s planned Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) are worried a shift in focus to the requirements of the program will negate years of private research into fielding the carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), according to a Sunday report in Flight.
The Navy undertook a non-traditional route in acquiring UCLASS. Instead of developing a list of requirements and holding a competition early in the program, the Navy instead waited to issue an outline for the aircraft’s requirements leaving companies to develop plans for the aircraft in a vacuum using their own funds for about three years. Read More
The reduction in strike capability of the Navy’s next generation carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle was born of fiscal realities, said Dyke Weatherington, the Pentagon’s director of unmanned warfare and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Unmanned Systems 2013 conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
The generator problem that sidelined USS Freedom (LCS-1) earlier this month is “the most significant design deficiency that we’re dealing with today,” the Navy’s top acquisition official told a congressional panel on Thursday.
Speaking before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection forces, assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition, Sean Stackley singled out the widely publicized July 20 generator failure as the largest design challenge faced in the class of Littoral Combat Ships. Read More
The Navy has successfully launched its second satellite as part of its Mobile User Objective System (MUOS), designed to provide U.S. troops and allies with higher bandwidth communications options, according to the service.
On Friday, an Atlas V rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. to send the second of five planned Lockheed Martin-built satellites in the MUOS constellation into orbit.
The launch comes, however, amidst a dispute in Italy over one of the four planned ground stations and a lack of next-generation radios able to utilize the higher bandwidth features of the new systems.
The Navy aims to build a system of stealthy pilotless aircraft to patrol at a minimum range of 600 nautical miles around an aircraft carrier at a maximum cost of $150 million per orbit, according to May Navy requirements documents obtained by USNI News.
The Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) so-called key performance parameters (KPPs) outline an aircraft that will primarily fill information, reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting (ISRT) roles for the service’s carrier strike group with a limited ability to strike targets at a range of 2,000 nautical miles from the strike group in lightly contested environments, according to the documents. Read More
The Navy has outlined the specifications for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) in a requirements document obtained by USNI News.
A UCLASS system should be able to conduct two orbits at 600 nautical
miles or one orbit at 1,200 nautical miles. The system should also be
able to conduct a strike mission at 2,000 nautical miles. Read More
Naval Sea Systems Command has completed a reliability program on a key component of Littoral Combat Ship mine countermeasure (MCM) package, NAVSEA told USNI News on Thursday.
Lockheed Martin’s Remote Multi Mission Vehicle (RMMV) — the autonomous semi-submersible designed to enter mined waters instead of a ship — is now cleared to continue developmental testing with the LCS MCM package. Read More