Monday, September 05, 2011

LCS WTF of the Week


LCS just continues to give and give and give and give.
Roughead downplayed competition between the builders to secure contracts to build addition ships by the middle of the decade.

The ships "are different and they have different attributes, different strengths, different capabilities … and that's going to allow our operators to take those different capabilities, blend them together … and get the most out of the total littoral combat ship concept and system," Roughead said.
"I don't see the two variants of LCS as competitive, I see it as complementary."
OK, that 's a new one on me.

Another data point why Navy has so little credibility on The Hill. So, where can we take this logic?
"Sure I have two girlfriends I am dating right now. I am going to marry one of them soon, but I don't see them as competitive, I see them as complimentary."
Yep; try that - it works about as well.

Let's go back, literally, just a couple of years.
The Navy announced today it will down select between the two Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) designs in fiscal 2010.
...
"This change to increase competition is required so we can build the LCS at an affordable price," said Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy. "LCS is vital to our Navy's future. It must succeed."

"Both ships meet our operational requirements and we need LCS now to meet the warfighters' needs," said Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations. "Down selecting now will improve affordability and will allow us to build LCS at a realistic cost and not compromise critical warfighting capabilities."
I know Ralph said,
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, ...
... but really.

What will it take to have an honest conversation about LCS from someone in uniform O-8 or above? Good people can disagree on LCS - even though I may pull their tail now and then - I am willing to be proven wrong and convinced otherwise.

That being said, when the CNO of all people puts out a lame spin like that - the more and more I am convinced that even the true believers don't have confidence, they are just trapped by their own past and don't know what to do.

Like I said a few years ago - the LCS true believers continue to remind me of the sled dogs from The Thing. This is just another drop, flop, and foam --- and as a result our Sailors miss another day to having a future Fleet that you can fight and win with.

72 comments:

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

What we need as a complimentary force is a 21rst Century FLETCHER, and a 21rst Century JOHN C BUTLER. Not a pair of Little Coffin Ships.

Outlaw Mike said...

I sometimes have the impression the LCS was built only because it looks cool.

Does anyone have a hunch of what is seagoing capabilities are? I mean, a frame like that, how would it behave in a really heavy storm?

ewok40k said...

I am afraid it will take losing dozen LCS in combat to replace them with real fighting ships...

LT B said...

So the USS Independence was in town this weekend.. It is like a politician visiting. Some friends went to see it and all talked about how "cool" it looked but one of them Wiki'd it and found it really didn't have any punch but the pop gun forward. The CO was on the news with a whole bunch of static displays of equipment preaching the LCS gospel. My friend asked what it could actually do and how it could be used. He found there is not much there.

Surfcaster said...

The Hurlability Factor is high.

Roughhead: "When asked about potential budget cuts to the Department of Defense, Roughead said he was "very comfortable with where we are with our shipbuilding programs."

Shipbuilding could only feed a dwindling fleet and now billions will be cut from those programs leaving less to support LCS, DDG1000, CVNx. But in the process we've cut DD963, early Ticos, Perrys, Minesweepers to make it happen. What's next? Burkes?

Optical Rectumitis.

Byron said...

Actually, the LCS program is military corporation welfare...

Scott Brim, USAF Partisan said...

Since there is little real possibility <span>of building more T-AO MSC oilers specifically to service the LCS fleet, why not develop a Tanker Module for the LCS that carries fuel for resupplying other LCS while they are involved in a combat engagement? </span>

Think of the benefits of using the LCS as a tanker in a networked environment.

<span>Rather than having an LCS which needs fuel leave the engagement zone for resupply, these tanker LCS could dash in at high speed whenever a call comes that another LCS is running low on fuel.  </span>

<span>Hopefully, the tanker LCS wouldn't encounter a mine on the way in; or else one of those pesky antiship missiles while refueling of the second LCS was in progress; or else shore-based long range artillery; or else swarms of RPG-equipped small boats, or else ..... </span>

<span>..... Ooops, wait a minute ..... </span>

<span>While the notional LCS tanker is dashing around at high speed refueling other LCS, it is also consuming its own fuel at a greatly accelerated rate. 
</span>

<span>OK, never mind, back to the drawing board. 
</span>

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Badly.

BUTCH said...

Remember - that $500M does NOT include mission modules.

MR T's Haircut said...

<span>"<span>Sure I have two girlfriends I am dating right now. I am going to marry one of them soon, but I don't see them as competitive, I see them as complimentary</span>."</span>
<span></span>
<span>Phib, you are making an assumption that the Navy intends to make an "Honest Woman" out of either of these ladies.. </span>

DeltaBravo said...

Win.  Don't write anything else today.  You will not top yourself.

Wait.  You might, knowing you.

(still chuckling.)

Thanks.  Needed the humor hereabouts.

CDR Salamander said...

Come on Scott - that makes almost as much sense as having one fighter aircraft serve as a tanker to another.  Only an idiot would take away a strike asset to make a light tanker ... wait ....

Skippy-san said...

"Sure I have two girlfriends I am dating right now. I am going to marry one of them soon, but I don't see them as competitive, I see them as complimentary."

You say that like it's a bad thing. On the contrary- enjoy it while it lasts, cause it never does. ;) ;)

Skippy-san said...

You, of course are referring to the "self licking ice cream cone" of the Hornet.

CDR Salamander said...

Skippy,
I thought you would have a more colorful way of describing that ... but this is a family blog ... ;)

Casey Tompkins said...

Caption from an old cartoon, wherein a man & a woman are getting ready for whoopie; the man says "Tomorrow morning? Heck, I don't respect you now..."

leesea said...

Scott, in point of fact the planned buy for T-AO(X) has been moved up, but see Tim Colton's comments on that.  I brought 3 Kaisers into MSC service and am quite familiar with them.  It is regrettable that the Navy did not go for a quick SLEP program for the the remaining Kaisers.  It is equally regreattable that the US Navy does NOT see the need for a different forward logisitic ship more of the handy-size for ALL the smaller warships about to be deployed (assuming the OPN budget is not gutted?).

I presume you are being cynical in suggesting an LCS tanker since both LCS have limited logistics capacity and damn little by way of UNREP/RAS and NO cargo gear!

The situaton you describe can be solved by something like the Berlin class Type 702 which have both POL and dry cargo capability and a flexible deck to store mission packages AND the cargo gear to land those on an LCS.

The issue about CLF/NFAF ships hitting mines is always broached but historical data from WW2 in the Pacific at least does not indicate a *significant threat* threat.

leesea said...

of course CNO cannot say bad things about his two girlfriends, otherwise the dual buy decision would be nullified, as will the Navy's marriage to which either girlfriend becomes a spouse in the future~

Eagle1 said...

Once upon a time, the Navy had 40 knot ships with small crews  . . . and killed them.

http://www.eaglespeak.us/2011/09/old-time-lcs-pegasus-vanguard-of-new.html

Byron said...

Those things were maintenance nightmares. Every yard bird that had to work on them hated everything about them except the overtime they generated. But they were pretty to watch up on the foil!

Eagle1 said...

And the LCS is so far . . . ?

On a technical note, which is correct: "Pier Queen?" or "Shipyard Queen?"

UltimaRatioRegis said...

The USN also had a number of ships that approached or exceeded 40 knots a way back when, with a number of them being lost in combat in the littorals.

They were much more heavily armed and robustly built than either LCS 1 or LCS 2.

Just sayin'

ewok40k said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdiel_class_minelayer

I can see the future for the LCS as a fast transport... delivering troops and supplies to some future Malta or Guadalcanal. Note that speed didn't save quite a few of the Abdiel class from sining,   (who would have guessed?) in the littorals...

Anonymous said...

Funny how each generation of Admiral thinks he's smarter/better than those that went before.  We have almost exactly the same mainteance concept for LCS as for the PHM's, except everyone thinks the LCS are so revolutionary.

Cant really afford to not have them succeed though when we decom all the FFG's next year, cancel modernization of remaining CG/ FLT 1 DDG, and decomm them early along with who knows what else.  We cant afford to fix the CGs with superstructure cracks, and with the cost of CG mod, we wouldnt have finished modernizing them until right before the end of the service life.

We also cant afford Fleet Support for LCS with all the new equipment we allowed the contractors to pick.  God help us when they are past SCN funding and the fleet is responsible for the maintance bill.  I'll put money on some 3 star, a few years down the road, asking how we got here, when he's likely in a position where he should already know better now.  Heck, we cant even afford to man and train them with the closed loop detailing that will be required to put 40 specialists on each hull.  It's easy now when there is only 4 and they are hand-picking folks to succeed, but what happens when you need 600 or 1200 of them?

Surfcaster said...

Then it will be too late.

The Usual Suspect said...

<span> </span><span>"I don't see the two variants of LCS as competitive, I see it as complementary."  </span>
I think Admiral Roughead made the comment in regard to the towing ability of each LCS.  They are complimentary in getting each other back to the pier and nothing more.

Bubba said...

I am getting so very discouraged; our hatred of immigrants, our drug war and the huge prison population.  

Perhaps the LCS is a sign we are a second-rate nation. 

Teddy had the Great White Fleet, we have the LCS; how fitting. 

Bubba said...

Find out the price of a PHM; then compare with the LCS.  

A PHM had a stronger punch than the LCS; for what a sixth the price. 

But, hey, corporations are people too; they need the LCS. What is good for corporate america is good for us. 

Bubba said...

But, they are NETWORKED!

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Hatred of immigrants? 

You gotta be kidding. 

UltimaRatioRegis said...

So's my printer.

CDR Salamander said...

Is that Bubba or is that something from the Autorant Moonbat or the Progressive Truth Generator?

Salty Gator said...

Roughead once commented that CG(X) "would be his legacy." It was cancelled.  That might have been a decent legacy, to be honest...an admiral having enough sense to cancel a $9B per hull cruiser.  Except he didn't cancel it.  Dad had to do it for him (Gates).


Neigh, the LCS will be his legacy.....

Salty Gator said...

Side note:  the man leaves with 35+ years of service this month.  We disagreed with a lot of what he did as CNO.  Let's not forget 35 years of outstanding service to his nation and following his heart.  We can disagree with the man, but I never doubt for one minute that he wasn't doing what he thought was in the best interests of his Nation and his Navy.

Salty Gator said...

LCS is the El Camino of ships.  Ugly, not fast enough to be a real car, can't hold enough stuff to be a pickup truck, not durable enough either.

Anonymous said...

As soon as the senior folks decide what company they want to work for, they'll down select.

Casey Tompkins said...

Extra speed didn't help Jackie Fisher's battle cruisers either, back in WW1.

You really have to wonder about some of these "visionary" planners; "I have a ship that will go 60 knots!!" That's great; I have a missile that can go 466 knots. Wanna play?

ewok40k said...

hatred of immigrants? it's nothing new, really... and xenophobia is part of the human nature, I guess...

Warrant Diver said...

Hatred of immigrants? Where, when? That's a liberal lie, repeated by liars. What we dislike is lawbreaking ILLEGAL immigration. Because we are, you know, a nation of laws. Or at least we are supposed to be.

Tanya2 said...

Eagle, have you ever served your country?

Tanya2 said...

I wonder if Eagle has ever servied his country?  If not, then let the Navy do what they need to do to protect.

SouthernAP said...

The American Navy has always wanted a gold-plated Navy while fighting with Congress/politicos who don't want to spend a dime for defense. In turn there has been some smart cookie who wanted to build small and less capable so that the costs would be down, overhead would be down and if the units were lost in combat they could be easily replaceable. Anyone of our history fans remember Jefferson's Punt Boats? What about the Navy that was composed strictly of Monitor class iron ships? Then we have the torpedo boats (which did begot the Torpedo Boat Destroyers which begot the Destroyer), the wooden sub chasers of WW1? How about the MTB/PT boats? Then we have the attempt to produce a cheap and simple ocean convoy escort; the Claud Jones class or Bronestien class ring bells to anyone? If not that then we have attempts to produce a coastal combat class or Seal Support vessel; The Cyclone class, the Asheville class, Peagus class, etc.

All of these were attempts to do it cheaper, faster, quicker, but also had issues with either mission/weapons creep or no mission identified since the staff in BuShips could only think of large ships (like carriers, battleships, cruisers,etc). In the end they became either test platforms or were sold off to friendly nations for a loss

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Eagle is Captain USNR, hence the Eagle, the collar device of a USN Captain.

leesea said...

The LCS are NOT transports, not designed to have cargo capacity nor POL tankage nor cargo gear.  Missions deck while open space are highly specific to mission modules.  For transport role ship bust be designed to lift a significant variable payload unlike LCS.

The JHSV has all of that and will probably do it better than LCS

Salty Gator said...

Bad form, Tanya.  I would be more guarded in the future.  Plenty of folks on the porch can whip it out and out-measure thou, but that would get us nowhere.

Bubba said...

<span> </span>Does the character of our ships match the character of our nation?  Did the small but strong nature of the <span>Constitution</span> match the nation that built her?  Were the <span>Monitor</span> and the <span>Merrimack</span> harbingers of the steam and steel soon to pour out of our nation?   Was the <span>Fletcher</span>, slicing through the sea with a bone in her teeth at flank speed in a night battle slugging it out with enemy destroyers, the symbol of our technological superiority?  Were the eight reactors of the <span>Enterprise</span> the atomic symbol of our victory in the cold war?

<span> </span>By that measure, is not the <span>Freedom</span>, the ironically named symbol of who we are today?  

steeljawscribe said...

^WIN!

Bubba said...

As the offspring of ILLEGAL immigrants, let me just point out that when our borders were open we grew rich and powerful.  Now that you nativists are in control, we are fat, stupid and weak.  

<span>"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
</span>
<span>Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, . . </span>

I'll lock 'em up at Crome and send 'em back." 

Bubba said...

So, man up that LaserJet and send her to sea.

Surfcaster said...

El Camino? Or Subaru BRAT?

UltimaRatioRegis said...

It is more capable of absorbing battle damage than either LCS.

LT B said...

The borders are open.  Money flows from the federal government which refuses to enforce the laws on the books.  State budgets are sucked by non tax paying immigrants.  So, yes, maybe you are right. 

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Homeless, tempest-tossed Ecuadoran and Guatemalan gangs?  Transiting back and forth across the borders? 

I didn't realize the Lady with the Lamp was welcoming MS-13.  Or the Mexican Mafia.  Or the Latin Kings.  Or the other Cholo gangs that murder indiscriminately.  Or the 9/11 hijackers. 

No more than it welcomed IRA members in the 1960s and 70s.

Salty Gator said...

<span>"Give me your tired, your poor,  
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,  
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore."</span>
<span></span>
<span>This applied to LAWFUL entry into Ellis Island.  Crossing El Rio Grande into Los Estados Unitas is NOT LAWFUL.  Your parents were criminals.</span>

sid said...

Bubba, you make some interesting points...

One can do the same with aircraft...

Look at the A-5 and the F-4...Aircraft that came to life during the era of muscle cars.

Big. Noisy. Fast. Exuded Power.

Then the F-18...

An econo aircraft that came to life during the era of econo cars (Sorry Capt'n Lex...but its true).

But I must say that there was no gurantee we could win the Cold War when the Enterprise was built. If anything, it was the sense that this country was an industrial juggernaut that could conquer any technological problem, and people by a people with the collective b-lls to shove it anybody's face.

Now, we are unsure of oursevles. Unable to come to any consensus. Ashamed of our past glories. And lack any sense of moral courage.

So what's getting built?

A ship which embodies an effeminate, feel good, Everybody Gets A Trophy mission philosophy...

Which makes it completely ineffective in achieveing any one of them.

Everything is "EQUAL" that way.

And a ship that, when challenged...

Can only...<span>RUN AWAY</span>!

sid said...

<span>But I must say that there was no gurantee we could win the Cold War when the Enterprise was built.</span>

I would say its the attidue which produced the Big E is why we ended up winning the Cold War...Not the other way around.

And, how come it took -with pencils and slide rules- only four years to get the Enterprise built...

Along with ...count 'em...5 new aircraft types (H-2 A-5 F-4 A-6 E-2) to festeoon her decks.

And today...with all the super computers...and Six Sigma... we can't even get a functional (oxymoron I know) LCS in 8?

The Modern USN:

We Cannot <span>Afford</span> To Fight!

(but Damn! We sure look cool in the powerpoints!)

Retired Now said...

All our USN warships like CVN, LHD, DDG, CG, LPD, and now LCS are already "networked" using good old Link-16, JTIDS. Have been for many years. Yes, even the few LCS warships can join into this existing Link-16 network.

What's so "transformational" about an existing USN Fleet network ?

Some day, if they actually deploy 2 LCS at the same time, there will be an additional link just between those LCS that have not yet run out of fuel. But no non-LCS can join this additional LAN. Why bother ? Our Fleet including every LCS already has Link-16 !!

Quit doing PR on a minor additional new, private network just for LCS. Enough already.

sid said...

<span>All our USN warships like CVN, LHD, DDG, CG, LPD, and now LCS are already "networked" using good old Link-16, JTIDS. Have been for many years.</span>

Retired...Thats been so, since well before JTIDS and link 16.

Heck.

Nelson used "networking" to great benefit...

Wanderer said...

Open borders = freedom.

We love a free market, until we see one.  

Let them cross the border; maybe americans would work harder if they had more compitition. 

cdrsalamander said...

Let me stop this threadjack right now.  Do not go down this road on an LCS post.  Fullstop.

steeljawscribe said...

El Camino looked better doing nothing (and that's not saying much)  - the BRAT, not so...
w/r, SJS

SouthernAP said...

Leesea,

Yea but they could be the modern version of the APD though. With just enough space to carry either a reinforced platoon or two of SEALS, Rangers, Marines, Force Recon, Delta and other spec war operators. Though I don't think it might be powerful enough to pull off this stunt of the APD class that they were most famous for doing

Bubba said...

I thought about adjusting the comment to be about cars, but, we have not been builing them as long as we have been building ships.  

The Dodge Super Bee vs the Dodge Neon?

Surfcaster said...

El Camino was also not maxed out upon leaving the showroom floor - even with the crappy soft cammed 305 ;) .  At least you could fool yourself into thinking it was a Chevelle SS with a swap here and there and some Rally Rims.

LCS is already maxed out. A pricey, high maintenance, occasionally gorgeous and occasionally homely, high-maintenance, bi....

Boat School Grad said...

Must the CNO view everything--including shipbuilding it seems now--through a "diversity and inclusion" prism?  My God man...worry as much about the operator as you do the contractor will you please.

pk said...

yes but she guarded ellis island.

the man that looked in the mouth for bad teeth and into the eyes for a host of things was a horrible step to get by far tougher than a contemporary immigration hearing.

C

pk said...

good substitute for the campbeltown.

C

pk said...

during the democrats first depression the navy built a couple or three destroyers per year. they were different because the gang was feeling out the usefulness of the various weapon mixes. such as was a five tube elevated torpedo mount better than 5 guns. just what would they get if they used the weight of the torpedo tubes and directors for speed, for range..........

currently we are betting the farm on two designs that have taken what 20 years to develop and one of them is in the water and turns out to be grossly inadequate for anything and probably having a trunkated life span and way to expensive to risk in battle.

then we have a couple of "large fighting ships" comming down the pike that probably will be to expensive to do anything but anchor in the patomac to protect the nit wits in the round house.

on top of that we have a shadowy bunch that is trying to get rid of pretty good ships so that they can build crappy little ships at a horrible price to replace them which they will have to do because the good elderly vessels are being used for reefs in florida.

so whats to do when a group of ships appears off of the east or west coast and starts to lob missiles into the political contributors back yards, send marines in rowboats out to "negotiate".

of course we could send the air farce out to deal with them. but yes thats the bunch that could only scramble what 4 aircraft on 9/11 in the morning.


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

C

ewok40k said...

Hey! Maybe it is time to change the laws? And pursue tax-evading immigrants for tax evasion, not being immigrants? (worked for Al  Capone...) Oh, but that could inconvenience those that employ those immigrants and pay for politico's campaigns... This is so fscked up just like feminists employing latino nannies to pursuit own careers.
AAAARGH!

pk said...

when i was doing my chemotherapy the guy in the next chair was an ex BM2c who had been a coxwin on one of those things. he said that they were very good and could out run the competition from other countries because they could bank into a turn just like an airplane. everybody else had to slow down and tippy toe around a corner at reduced speed.

he mentioned the whale strike (said it was another boat than the one he was on) and said that it really got their attention and they cut back on some of their more radical maneuvers.

C

leesea said...

SAP, I have already sent Sal et all my comments on using a modified JHSV as the transport for NECC or NSW units.  If you look closely at the loads put on APD and what JHSV are suppose to carry, you will find the LATER has more capacity at higher speed.  The Marines were part of the project from the beginning and are already planning to use a basic version for littoral transport.

BUT when I say modified I mean completely i.e. Armed Naval Auxiliaries crewed by sailors and with significant self-defense weapons and sensors.

My comments are at USNI Proceedings article.

SouthernAP said...

Leesea,

I believe you competley. I was just doing some free thinking while going through my morning routine of reading the blogs and comments