The outcome was pre-determined. You have a lame-duck SECDEF who is not known for his maritime expertise whose #2 is Bob Work - the strongest advocate of LCS there is.
For reasons both defendable or not; well meaning or otherwise - if anyone seriously thought we would get anything but a glittered and plastered up LCS, they were fooling themselves.
Of course the result was going to be some modification of LCS. I'll give everyone credit - they managed to finish what they started;
Today’s announcement simply means 32 of those will be the original LCS design and 20 will be the upgraded version. (At least some of the original 32 will eventually receive at least some of the upgrades, but the current design can’t accommodate all the changes).Yep, 32+20=52. Close enough, I guess.
This is just a Gruberesque attempt to get industry the LCS hulls they wanted. This is also a demonstration of the complete lack of imagination and vision we have when it comes to our surface fleet. Heck, they still can't downselect.
The Navy remains committed to buying both the speedboat-like Freedom hull, built by Lockheed Martin and Marinette Marine in Wisconsin, and the space-age-catamaran Independence, built by General Dynamics and Austal in Alabama.I love this nugget - again proving the decade long Salamander critique of LCS right. I should never have to buy another beer again;
The one real sacrifice in the new LCS design is the ability to clear mines. That mission will be left to the 32 original-model Littoral Combat Ships — which, Greenert insisted, was enough to handle “the most stressing” possible scenarios.Yep. And like Chap and others said even before me - when it was all said and done, those missions modules will simply be bolted in place on designated ships and that will be that.
I have to check myself though. Five years ago when industry was out pimping their LCS-International version - I said this;
This has inherent multi-mission capability. Can defend itself adequately and though a lot will have to be shoe-horned in - it is a tough 'lil uber-Corvette. Still a china doll with a glass jaw - but one that might get in a hit or two in a fight.As this looks like not the full LCS-(I) version, but a bit more modest, they'll keep it under $1-billion. We'll just have to deal with it until a different set of leaders decide to build a real small surface combatant.
If you are going to force the LCS hull on me - then give it to me in this package. Sure, it will cost $1 billion+; but it is what it is and gets you more than a LCS + two mission-modules and logistics tail it needs ever could.
At least with this ship - if you send the CO and his Sailors in harm's way they will at least have the tools to be able to put up a fight against whatever comes their way.
I don't have more to say than that. What a complete baby shambles.
Via Sam over at USNINews, here's the factsheet;