This is just sad to read. Really - sad to read.
Critics say ... the ship will be limited to doing only one thing at a time.No sir, actually you can't. That is all theory and unfunded promises.
That’s not the way Roughead looks at it. He sees more of a quick-change operation. The Navy can stock spare modules at strategic ports, or airlift them in via large C-17 cargo planes.
“Within 24 hours, I can shift from a very good mine countermeasures ship to a very good anti-submarine ship,” he said. “I submit I can change the capabilities in a region faster than if I have to sail in other capabilities.”
The 24-hrs just doesn't stand the follow-on question test. Maybe in VACAPES, but ...
1. How many places will you have all these "spare" mission modules and fully qualified crews on a "ready 1" status? Do you have enough that a LCS in the South China Sea or Horn of Africa can realize - "Shoot, there are submarines here. Bad guys, stay right there I'll be right back." - then transit to a location having those mission modules and fully qualified crews (NB: more than one you know, LCS will not be going solo) - take the old mission modules off, put the new ones on, gas-go and return onstation to pick up where they were? Oh, and now that they are looking for submarines now - what about the mines they were looking for before?
2. Where is the funding coming from to enable this 24-hr turn around time from South America, to Africa, to Southern Asia, to Europe, to the Yellow Sea? Stationing agreements, BA/NMP, spare airlift, storage and maintenance facilities, all funded - right?
3. Has the USAF signed an agreement for priority lift WRT the number of C-17 sorties that will be needed? Do we have the equipment and personnel in place to move and support these personnel and equipment from the airhead to port?
The CNO repeats the most easily debunked spin of LCS - I guess he has never read the debunking over the years, or Naval history for that matter. Wait, scratch that - perhaps he doesn't think anyone else has? I don't know - but this stale spin is some weak cheese. This never stands up to the light of day.
“The LCS will afford us opportunities to operate in places we haven’t been able to go because of its draft and speed,” he said. “With the numbers we are able to buy, at the cost we are buying them, we couldn’t do it with any other ship class.”Even a 5-minute review of surface ship actions in Vietnam, The Falklands, to the invasion of Iraq shows the inaccuracy of this statement. It insults the intelligence of all who reads it.
Almost as insulting as this excuse.
Roughead said that the littorals have fewer growing pains than some of the Navy’s past ships.I am confused. With the "I" and "me" is he talking about his tenure as CNO - or is he using the Royal "I" and "me?" If he is talking about his tenure as CNO - then he may have a point. LPD-17 and DDG-1000 have quite the record, I guess.
“I have introduced several classes of ships in my career, and we had far bigger problems than that,” said the admiral, who retires next month.
“If you look at how long we spent in development of previous ships classes -- the (destroyer) DDG-51, and say the Ticonderoga-class cruisers, they were in development for 12 to 14 years,” he said. “So that means you are paying money into developing that ship for that period of time. We did LCS in about five.”
Hmmm .... let's see. If he is using the Royal "I" and "we" then let's look closer at that statement.
Let's start with the largest crime of the Lost Decade - the decommissioning of all the SPRUANCE Class. I will even be generous with the timeline.
- The study that outlined the need; 1967 (or 1965).
- Ordered; 1970.
- Laid down; 1972.
- Commissioned; 1975.
- First Operational Deployment; 1979.
- Timeline in years: 5, 7, 10, 14.
- The study that outlined the need: ~1971 (hard to tie down).
- Ordered; 1973.
- Laid Down; 1975.
- Commissioned; 1977.
- First Operational Deployment; 1981 (Great Lakes in 1979 doesn't count).
- Timeline in years: 2, 4, 6, 10.
- The study that outlined the need; 1973-75 depending on your call.
- Ordered; 1978.
- Laid down; 1980.
- Commissioned; 1983.
- First Operational Deployment; 1984.
- Timeline in years: 5, 7, 10, 11.
- The study that outlined the need: ~1982.
- Ordered; 1985.
- Laid down; 1988.
- Commissioned; 1991.
- First Operational Deployment; 1993.
- Timeline in years: 3, 6, 9, 11.
- The study that outlined the need: ~2001.
- Ordered; 2004.
- Laid down; 2005.
- Commissioned; 2008.
- First Operational Deployment; TBD.
- Timeline in years: 3, 4, 7, TBD.
It is the first operational deployment that is the key. Until then, all you are is an funding sponge. The Caribbean cruise on the way to San Diego doesn't count.
When will they be ready? Even if LCS made an operational deployment today - that would be 10 years, in line with OHP. When will LCS be able to deploy for ASW, MIW, ASUW? 2013 at earliest maybe? That makes first deployment at .... wait for it ... 12 years. More than TICO, OHP, and BURKE. Only two years better than the SPRU. Grab you bag of pixie dust and make it next year? Congrats, you are worse than OHP and tied with BURKE and TICO.
I can hear some people now - "Your timeline is wrong!" OK - we can all pick a start date of our choosing which will impact the timeline. I think I have been more than fair and consistent. If you have ligit corrections or other dates - post them in comments and we can adjust if needed. I could have been rougher. As a matter of fact - and I think VADM Cebrowski would agree - that the concept for LCS pre-dates 2000. In that case - LCS is plodding along worse than even SPRU.
Let's look at the CNO's comment again.
“If you look at how long we spent in development of previous ships classes -- the (destroyer) DDG-51, and say the Ticonderoga-class cruisers, they were in development for 12 to 14 years,” he said. “So that means you are paying money into developing that ship for that period of time. We did LCS in about five.”Someone help me out here - I just don't see it. Where is he getting his numbers? I don't see an appreciable delta even with the most pro-LCS spin to justify the hype. There are better reasons to show support for LCS - but timeline from concept to being of use to the Fleet? No. Fail.
As we have mentioned before, many people have too much invested emotionally and career wise in LCS. As a result, they see nothing but rainbows and unicorns - or their command climate is such that their Staff only produces reports of rainbows or unicorns. Either way, its embarrassing.
Hey, I have always said that if you are willing to throw enough money at LCS and move your timeline to the right - in the end you will have something the Fleet can use. Sub-optimal, but useful in some narrow, defined ways. We need to have fact based discussions if we are going to make it work. We have more work to go there.
One reason I have little patience with the Church of the LCS is the fact that few are willing to even discuss actual facts on the ground. If you even get close to that point, they go in to wish-land, or speak as if just because something is on a PPT - that means that it will be.
I don't live in that land. I live in the land of "is." In my world, you see, Unicorns don't actually ride on rainbows and shi'ite Skittles. No, they ride on the backs of Sailors and consume funding lines.
The fleet is waiting and the coal bunker is getting low. Call for more coal when there isn't doesn't mean it is there.