Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Oh, that history ....

From the June 2010 Naval History, our friend Claude Berube has a little article on a certain ship.

Can you name it?
"It seems as wisely and certainly adapted to its end as any plan of its kind." The report complimented the ... vessel's many attributes: simplicity, mobility, comparative invulnerability, safety and small size of her crew, "certainty of operation," and low cost- .... A fleet of (the ships) could protect the coastline and inland waters for far less than (present methods).

... the ship "is so simple, so easily understood, and so capable of reduction to mathematical certainty, that it can hardly be denominated an appropriation for 'an experiment.'" However if it did fail, then "much valuable and needed information" would be obtained. "Experiments, for purposes like these in view, no private individuals or corporations are interested or able to make; this government is interested, able, and competent to make them." The crew size would be unlike any other: ....
Ah, the joy of history - it gives you such warnings, if you want to hear them.

Sound like LCS? No, 18th Century Ram Ships. Good spin, sellable ideas, some actual utility in certain respects - but perhaps over sold as a desire to find an alternative to the reality of requirements for naval warfare. Everyone wants a quick fix - but it doesn't exist.


AW1 Tim said...

  Ya know, if I remember correctly, a similar argument was made about USS MOnitor, and the idea of transitioning to an entire fleet of ironclads. At that time, the United States was more concerned with Littoral warfare, blockade actions, etc.  It was felt that these ironclads could reduce coastal forts and shore batteries with near impunity. Such turned out to NOT be the case.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 (New International Version)

 <sup>9</sup> What has been will be again,
       what has been done will be done again;
       there is nothing new under the sun.

The Brickmuppet said...

I'm guessing USS Katahdin.

The Brickmuppet said...

Posted too fast.....EIGHTEENTH century rams.

Has to be Jefferson's millitia galleys.

Anonymous said...

The LCS, if you get right down to it, was a sop thrown to the ship procurement world when the Arsenal Ship crumped and the DD-21 fizzled. Afraid that its destined to be a "point design" inspite of the modularity mantra. Point designs, like the steam powered rams, look good when operated precisely at the design point. When the point disappears or evolves, and the solution does not have the flexibility to find a new mission, it disappears. (Counterexample is of course the old BB's. Once the "line of battle" lost out to the CBG, we realized that they could still move a LOT of mud!) LCS COULD use that modularity concept to evolve, but then it would end up scuttling the next "ship project to end all wars"! LOL!