Tuesday, April 09, 2013

T.X. Hammes Goes Salamander on LCS

Hey ... via the latest issue of Proceedings, this should ring a bell on the Front Porch;
The Littoral Combat Ship is overpriced and underperforming, yet the Navy continues to support it. It’s time to abandon the LCS and replace it with a comparable vessel that costs the same, but is far more capable. There are several great candidates in other navies, but one we might consider is the Danish-built Iver Huitfeldt –class frigate.
Welcome aboard for Plan Salamander since ~ 2005, though we have often offered up from the Swedish VISBY, Norwegian NANSEN, Dutch SEVEN PROVINCES, or the other Danish ship ABSALON - anything but the Little Crappy Ship ... but IVER HUITFELT is new for 2012 ... and it sounds like a player.
... a Huitfeldt carries 16 Harpoon missiles, with a range of 124 kilometers, and a warhead of 227 kilograms. It also has two 76-mm guns that reach 16 kilometers. One of the 76-mm guns can be replaced with the U.S. 127-mm gun, which has a range of 24 kilometers. For close-in defense, each ship also has a 35-mm Oerlikon Close-In Weapons System and four 12.7-mm machine guns or two 20-mm cannon.

For air defense, each Huitfeldt has 32 standard SM-2 missiles with a range of 167 kilometers in a Mark 41 VLS launcher. This system is backed up by 24 Evolved Sea Sparrow RIM 162B anti aircraft missiles with a range of 16 kilometers and four Stinger missiles.

For ASW, each Huitfeldt carries two twin-torpedo tubes for the Eurotorp MU 90 active-passive homing torpedoes with a range of 15 kilometers. Like the LCS, the Huitfeldt has a hangar that can house two light helicopters or a mix of helos and drones.

The Huitfeldt can sail 9,000 nautical miles at 15 knots, compared to the LCS’s 3,500 nautical miles at 14 knots. Crew sizes are similar.

In short, today’s Huitfeldt outclasses all three versions of the 2017 LCS in every category. The Danish ships provide vastly superior antiaircraft, long-range strike, and ASUW capability, while also providing equivalent ASW capability and the flexibility inherent in 65 additional billeting spaces.
You should read his summary takedown of LCS's failures, simply exceptional. Nothing we haven't done here, but good to hear from some like Hammes, and to see it done so cleanly.
It’s time to cancel the LCS program and build ships of comparable cost and capability to those of our European allies. If Denmark can figure it out, the U.S. Navy can, too.
Can we have an amen? Oh, one wee snark - Denmark has a population of 5.5 million and they can do this (a little more than Minnesota).  Ponder that.

Oh, and if you didn't catch Hammes when he was a guest on Midrats last December - give it a listen.

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