One way or another, we will have LCS in the Fleet as for the myriad of reasons we have discussed here - Big Navy is committed. The big question is how we will mitigate the design flaws many identified years ago.
Unlike larger ships though, there simply is not enough performance "white space" to fix problems in such a tightly engineered and arrogantly designed ship. Performance and stability will suffer first as everything they do will impact one of three things; center of gravity, weight, reserve buoyancy - none of which LCS has much wiggle room in.
How long were we told range wasn't an issue?
Another change incorporated into LCS 3 will be the addition of 43 metric tons of fuel to expand the ship's range.Comments about "exquisite vs. robustness"?
After the original handling system contractor filed for bankruptcy, a new vendor, Oldenburg, was contracted earlier this year to build the overhead cranes, launching systems, elevators and hatches.Weight and stability --- did someone mention that?
"We overcomplicated" the original system, North admitted. "We probably got a little too complicated in how we thought we needed to do it, with special servo unloaders and stuff like that."
Another change that could be made to the ships is the removal of the fin stabilization system, which could eliminate as much as 28 tons of equipment. Sea tests will determine whether the fins stay or go, North and Reidel said.... and shut up Front Porch .... the windows are fine.
One of the more visible changes beginning with LCS 3 is the use of a smaller centerline post in the bridge windows. The wide, triangular metal in the middle of the Freedom's bridge was found to be a distraction.Basic seamanship isn't Transformational. You "Gen X type" people don't get modern warfare and systems.
At least for now, one change requested by the crew of the Independence will not be made - the installation of bridge wings to make it easier to navigate the ship in tight spaces.... and so on.
Shouldn't we at least get a consultancy contract retroactively?
Like everything, if you throw enough money at a problem you can make it functional at the lower end of the acceptability spectrum. Even then - she still does not have enough personnel to keep her in proper condition or at sea for long enough. You can fix that too ... as long as you give up speed, range and survivability; but we knew that from the start.
At least the Navy will have fat budgets over the next decade or so to make it work. Ahem.
What a horrible program. A money sponge, huge opportunity cost, and if ever challenged at sea will needlessly kill our Sailors by the score. No accountability.