Monday, December 31, 2012

LCS, Swarms, and the Smallness of our Problems

While working on the orchard at my Dacha/bolthole this weekend, acreage so far off the grid I can't even get broadcast TV unless I get a 20' tower, I had a little revelation when thinking about a video I saw last week.

What is one of the breathless reasons we seem to have disgorged so much intellectual, professional, political, and real capital on LCS over the last decade? What is the panic button ... ah yes; "the swarm." Sure, you hear MIW and ASW wishfull chattering of "make it work" about; but the swarm is the driver.

The fear of a bunch of expendable guys in small expendable boats with unguided weapons or suicide packages attacking ships in relatively confined waters. Yep, to some, that is the billion dollar tactical challenge of this generation.

Excuse me if I am not impressed.

Not content with doing the logical thing, which would be to plus-up existing ships with everything from .50cal crew served weapons, to the well developed 25mm and 30mm manned or remote weapons out there that are "bolt and go" with a few minor alterations and training (which we have done some, here and there) - no - instead we had to throw away decades of solid experience in shipbuilding, repeat the vice of our ancestors with speed fetish, and squash anyone who spoke against the buzzword named Littoral Combat Ship.

Now we have a sub-optimal Tiffany China Doll of a ship with nothing but shame and excuses to show for it. All of this for what is really only a very small, and frankly, a relatively easy tactical problem to solve in just a couple of years of pondering; if that for a partial solution - heck, WWII could have been fought twice+ in the time we have been trying to find "the" solution.

If you need any evidence of how broke our system is - look at the inability to efficiently address the smallness of our problems.

You want a tactical problem to solve?

How about a regiment sized horizon of these guys?

A couple-three generations ago, those who came before had significant challenges with the TU-22M and the older bombers with newer ASCM. From the F-4 to the F-14 and Aegis, they found solid solutions to that tactical challenge. A challenge that was from a serious peer competitor.

Those who drove the Pop Warner level LCS clown car over the last decade+ were JO's when the varsity-level challenge of long-range naval aviation and the ASCM came to the front - along with the submarine threat, and the .... etc.

In the large scheme of things, look at the exquisite dog's breakfast that is the attempt to confront a 3rd-rate power's suicide fleet and terrorist bomb laden clusters of Carolina Skiffs.

Next time you hear someone make excuses about how "hard" it is to get a WWII DD sized warship to get more than a 57mm to work with a couple of Bushmasters, ask them, "Hard compared to what?"

Until then, just be glad we didn't have to face these guys - after all, it looks like someone just got their qual.



WMDOwl said...

Multiple Vampires inbound! That phrase brings back memories.

Anonymous said...

the solution to the swarm problem is to give every sailor that comes from montana, idaho, n & s dakota, wyoming... a pintle mounted bmg with two or three boxes of belted rounds, and tell thm to have a ball "don't stop shooting until there aren't any of them liddle boats out there".

aside from it being one helluvan afternoon i don't see the problem.