Thursday, June 08, 2006

Phestival of Phuture Phleet Phorecasts

Get a nice beverage, relax and head on over to Chap's latest snag; the CBO's May '06 "Options for the Navy's Future Fleet."

This thing is just loaded with good info, but I will let you dig out your own jewels. I will just quote from my favorite windmill - the Little Crappy Ship.
The Navy is determined to keep the costs of the littoral combat ship low so the service can procure them in large numbers. Specifically, it does not want the “truck” portion of the LCS system to cost more than $220 million apiece in 2005 dollars (or $235 million in 2007 dollars). However, the latest shipbuilding plan implies that the LCSs purchased through 2011 will have an average cost of around $300 million each just for the ships themselves.

Limiting the cost of the mission modules—some of which are still in development and whose costs are uncertain— could also be problematic. Relying on the Navy’s budget submission, this report assumes that one LCS with two mission packages would cost an average of about $450 million.

Observers have raised three key issues about the littoral combat ship:

Size. Different critics maintain that the LCS is either too small or too large. The Office of Force Transformation proposed several ideas for surface combatants that were one-third to one-30th the size of the LCS. Other analysts argue that the LCS will be too small to defend itself against missiles or larger surface combatants that it might encounter.12

Process. The Navy did not conduct a formal study to determine whether the LCS was the right ship to perform the missions of antimine, antisurface, and antisubmarine warfare before it decided to proceed with the program.13

Logistical Support. As a relatively small ship, the LCS may experience more wear and tear from the sea than larger ships do. Although the Navy wants to keep a large number of LCSs forward deployed, its plans for supporting and maintaining the ships are not yet clear.

Look at the charts in the paper, and see what a large part of the #s LCS has. That is based on a much smaller per-unit cost. We know how that changed. Knock that wedge down 40% or so. Yes, it is that bad.

There is also some good work being done over at EagleSpeak. Also, for an answer - look at the benchmark at Lex's place for some nice book learn'n. Say what you want about the Hornet/Super Hornet, but it is making shadows on the ramp. A great example of not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

You read it here first here, here, here, here, and here. On top of that, reader Byron A. has told you over and over in the comments section about the sea keeping challenges that have yet to be addressed on trials. Oh, there is a way out. Cry uncle and buy LCS-I instead.

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