Thursday, May 22, 2014

The CNO and the Compelling Attractiveness of Maturity

We have been waiting over a decade for a CNO to say this. Admiral Greenert, BZ.
The ship that was to revolutionize surface warfare has been controversial since its inception 12 years ago. But the firestorm over the littoral combat ship might have been avoided had the Navy better explained the rationale for the ship and answered critics' questions more clearly, said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert.
When you boil down the arguments made and and other places since the second Bush43 administration, this is one of the cornerstones of the critique;
Former Deputy Defense Secretary Christine Fox called LCS a "niche platform" that can only operate in "permissive" environments.
The CNO is, as the position demands, a bit of a politician. As such, we have to allow him some running room to give a little hug and kiss on the cheek,
"I don't think we made any mistakes per se, but I think we could have been more clear on our intention for taking the sea frame and evolving it through the life of the ship," he said. Greenert noted that some of the Navy's most successful ship classes grew in fits and starts, not unlike LCS. The Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate had four flights, he said, using the Navy term for technology updates. The Spruance-class destroyers went through two flights and the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers had four.
... before slipping the knife in between the ribs;
"We never really articulated formally or discussed the feasibility of having flights" in the LCS program, nor has the Navy explained "how we intended to upgrade it for survivability," said Greenert.
Sigh. Should I give him a pass on this old and busted "oldthink?"
"This is a very transformational concept," said Greenert. "As with any first of class ship and aircraft, complications emerge."
Gives me hives just reading that for the 1,000,000 time.
Why the ship ended up being the subject of relentless criticism is not anyone's fault in particular, said Greenert, who declined to point fingers. "I don't want to be judgmental."
That's OK CNO; we've got that sector covered for 'ya.
One of the reasons why the Navy did poorly at selling LCS within the Defense Department and to Congress, he said, was turnover and difficulties managing changes that were made over the years to ship designs and to procurement strategies. "People change offices. It was very difficult to keep up, I think."
This argument is valid, but weak. What was the turnover for SPRU and OHP? VIRGINIA SSN? Taht being said, I think the CNO is again trying not to hurt feelings too bad, but then ...
Now, he added, "We've reached a node where people are saying we need to take a deep breath and take another look at this."

This last little pull quote from the article should give everyone pause, and a smile;
“If we go to a new design, it has to be mature,” Greenert said. “If something is compelling, but would take more time, we'll relay that to the secretary.”
Verily. Verily. Verily.

The return of the evolution - and putting the revolution back in Disneyworld's Tomorrowland where it belongs.

Hat tip C.

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