Remember this hyperbole?
The Navy announced today the decision to deploy the USS Freedom (LCS 1) in early 2010 to the Southern Command and Pacific Command areas ahead of her originally scheduled 2012 maiden deployment. According to Navy leaders, Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) are needed now to close urgent warfighting gaps.As we discussed in detail here from the start, this was not a good idea, and the premise was silly at best.
"Deploying LCS now is a big step forward in getting this ship where it needs to be – operating in the increasingly important littoral regions," said Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations. "We must deliver this critical capability to the warfighter now."
From our buddy Phil at NavyTimes,
This year’s “early deployment” of the littoral combat ship Freedom, praised by commanders as proof of the ships’ potential, actually hurt the overall progress of the full LCS program, according to a congressional report issued Tuesday, which also found that LCS will not help the Navy hunt submarines as well as originally advertised.Read CDRSalamander today - and be six-months ahead of everyone else, maybe more.
Freedom’s extended homeport change from Norfolk, Va., to San Diego, and its participation in this year’s Rim of the Pacific exercises, meant the ship was not available to test the interchangeable “mission modules” that are key to the LCS concept, according to the report by the Government Accountability Office, and that caused delays.
“Mission package delays have also disrupted program test schedules — a situation exacerbated by decisions to deploy initial ships early, which limit their availability for operational testing,” the report said. “In addition, these delays could disrupt program plans for simultaneously acquiring seaframes and mission packages. Until mission package performance is proven, the Navy risks investing in a fleet of ships that does not deliver promised capability.”
Remember the ASW MOD video I linked to in JAN? Ahem.
GAO found that sub-hunting systems planned for LCS “do not contribute significantly to the anti-submarine warfare mission.”They are being kind. It is all sad, in a way. It is being done better - look at the Dutch and Danish shipbuilding programs for starters.