Thursday, October 02, 2014

LCS: From Tragedy, to Farce, to Insult

Before it scrolls off the page, I would like to quote in full a blurb from Austin Wright & Trevor Eischen's Morning Defense over at Politico on everyone's favorite Greek tragedy, the Little Crappy Ship (LCS).

Let's take it in two blocks;
NAVY WON’T RELEASE LCS REPORT, CITING 'CHILLING EFFECT:' The Navy has rejected a public-records request for the results of its Small Surface Combatant Task Force, findings that could affect the future of the Littoral Combat Ship program. Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request from Morning D, the Navy declined in a letter to provide the final report being produced by the task force, which was put in place after Hagel in February expressed concerns about the LCS program and ordered the Navy to study alternatives.

In its letter, the Navy said the task force findings would be considered as part of the fiscal 2016 budget deliberations — and that releasing them ahead of the deliberations could be “detrimental to the Navy's decision-making process by creating a chilling effect on the expression of candid opinions.” The Navy’s rejection of the FOIA request comes as members of Congress continue to press for a briefing on the task force’s findings. Earlier this month, HASC canceled a classified briefing on the issue after the Navy made clear it wouldn’t share the findings and would only discuss the processes the task force used, as USNI News reported.
This tells me that this about trying to find one more way to create a wall of strawmen and excuses to justify a complete dog's breakfast of a program. They do not want Congress or the American people to have enough time to be again unimpressed with an exquisitely unimpressive warship.

It still cannot conduct any warfighting primary mission areas. It is actually less combat effective than our USCG cutters at exceptionally higher costs, but that won't start the defense of the program.

Want to know how bad and undefendable the program is? Simple, they start making stuff up.

I let it pass last month - but no longer.
— Yesterday, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said the task force review had been “thorough and exhaustive,” but declined to say anything more about the findings, according to POLITICO’s Philip Ewing. He also praised the overall situation with the LCS, noting recent accomplishments including the USS Coronado successful test firing of the Norwegian-built Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile.
Here is the ground truth, and in some ways is a mash-up of a few conversations I've been part of the last few weeks SEPCOR: this was nothing but a PR stunt.

All that happened was they loaded a missile on a truck. They drove it to the pier. They put it on the flightdeck of the LCS and utilizing a laptop disconnected from the ship's combat systems and launched it. All the guidance and tracking was done off-board.

Look at the pic. That setup is not ready for shipboard use, isn't designed for it, and this really has nowhere else to go.

What does this demonstrate? That LCS can be used to fire the NSM? No - this could have been done from almost anything that floats that has the square footage. That NSM is a good missile? No. All this proves is that you can bolt on a NSM on anything. NSM is a nice, proven weapon - and it would be outstanding if we could find a way to have 4-8 NSM installed on our LCS.

Is there a plan to do this? No. Is there money to do this? No. Is there anyone in the Navy trying to make this happen? Perhaps ... but generally speaking, no.

The fact that they did it off a LCS shows you just how desperate they are to put some positive spin on this plague ship. The fact the SECNAV said what he said? I'll let you figure it out.

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