Navy officials in the Pentagon and Fleet Forces Command are studying the possibility that the Navy’s first littoral combat ship, Freedom, could make a short deployment earlier than planned, on the orders of Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, the Navy confirmed Friday.Good googly moogly - if they were to do this before the ship's capabilities from engineering, habitability, to damage control are yet to be figured out ... then hey, interesting concept. She will be shooting blanks.
Roughead ordered the studies after Freedom finished the second half of its acceptance trials May 22, Navy spokesman Lt. Clay Doss said.
“The CNO is interested in employing the unique capabilities of this new class of warship as soon as practical, taking into consideration the milestones associated with a first-of-class warship,” Doss told Navy Times.
The fact will remain that she will deploy "slick" i.e. no mission modules. Just her base loadout.
The only thing she can do is chase pirates with a 57mm gun up front, operators in RHIBs and .... well ... that is about it. That is what we are getting?
Oh well, good luck with that --- by doing that you just validated all your critics. In the end you are going to deploy it as a traditional gunboat - a very expensive traditional gunboat .... the size of a large corvette/small frigate.
Under its initial schedule, the ship was not to deploy until 2012. First it must complete batteries of tests at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., then experiment with its multi-use mission modules at Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City, Fla., and then sail to its homeport at Naval Base San Diego.Experience says that if you go to soon you are taking a huge risk for minimal reward. Good luck to the crew. They deserve a ship ready to go, not one that is half-baked.
But the Navy needs LCS now, Doss said.
“As we have said before, LCS is needed now to close urgent war-fighting gaps that our Navy faces today.”
There is nothing in the pirate world that cannot be done without LCS. If so, then the Fleet is in worse shape than we are telling the public. If not, then, well, I'll let you figure it out.