Tuesday, September 20, 2016

LCS - Annus Horribilis

Well ... I guess is time to look at LCS this week.

This time I'm going to keep it a bit short. "Mr.T'sHaircut" and I were exchanging emails where I stated, frankly, that I was having a hard time keeping track of the fail. I may be missing a detail or two below, so help me correct if needed.

In a quick bulleted list, let's look at the annus horribilis that has been the last year for PEO LCS.

If we had to go to war, exactly what would the LCS we've commissioned over the last eight years be able to contribute?

Well, we've commissioned LCS 1 through LCS 8 - minus LCS 7 that won't be commissioned until 22 OCT 16. That is seven.

Where are they?

  • USS FREEDOM (LCS 1): Unavailable due to mechanical failures from JUL 16. San Diego.
  • USS INDEPENDENCE (LCS 2): Available, PMC ASUW. NMC all other PMA.
  • USS FORT WORTH (LCS 3): Unavailable due to mechanical failures from JAN 16. Limping to San Diego.
  • USS CORONADO (LCS 4): Unavailable due to mechanical failures from AUG 16. Pearl Harbor.
  • USS MILWAUKEE (LCS 5): Unavailable due to mechanical failures from DEC 15. Mayport.
  • USS JACKSON (LCS 6): Unavailable due to post-shock test repairs. Mayport.
  • USS DETROIT (LCS 7): Not commissioned until 22 OCT 16.
  • USS MONTGOMERY (LCS 8): Not available due to mechanical failures from SEP 16. Limping to Mayport.
I'm sorry, there is no excuse here. 8-yrs after commissioning of LCS 1, and only one of the ships are available, and that one is the first in class "test ship" that is PMC. Pick any class of warship in the post-WWII era - there has never been this record of failure 8 years in.

There are a lot of smart people in hard jobs trying the make the best of this, but just look at that board.

In a few months, we might have JACKSON and perhaps one or two others available, but just look at it.

What to do? We can keep trying to make the best of it. That is an honorable option, I guess. We could also go DDG-1000 on it and stop the bleeding - but that would take Congress and the ability to swallow a much more bitter pill than doing it a few years ago.

Yes, I know, we need the Fleet numbers, but one has to consider the following; if only 1 of 7 ships can even get underway, much less contribute to the fight - off the PPT, what good are they? All those Sailors on "Sea Duty" can't even get underway.

Could this be, "Peak LCS Sucks!"? For our Navy and its nation, we should all hope so. Sailors belong on ships; ships belong at Sea. Both should have a better than 1 out of 7 chance. This is mid-1990s Russian Navy levels of readiness.

For those who will be involved in the next class of warship; take a cold, sober look at what other generations did here ... and don't do that.

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