Monday, June 29, 2015

Remember: With LCS, Every BB is Golden

In eratic spasms of alternating manic celebration followed by depressive confession, LCS continues to struggle up crest towards mediocracy - consuming vast stores of Sailors' careers, money, credibility, and opportunity along its course.

Why keep bringing this up? Simple; the next generation of program managers and leaders need to see over and over again what they need to avoid. What not to do. The LCS program has all those lessons in two different hull types. The LCS debacle has always been a failure of the mind and leadership, not the worker and Sailor.

Halfway through 2015, I think everyone accepts now that LCS is a warship, but a warship-in-being only.

Like a fleet-in-being, it is useful mostly in peace and to fix opposition forces during war.

Long gone is the concept that a ship needs to fight hurt. One that has redundant systems and multiple batteries to bring fire on the enemy and project national will ashore. Ships like the USS Samuel B. Roberts (DE-413) - of 1,370 tons, 306 ft length, and 6,000NM range that could,
"We're making a torpedo run. The outcome is doubtful, but we will do our duty." With smoke as cover, Roberts steamed to within 2.5 nmi (4.6 km; 2.9 mi) of Chōkai, coming under fire from the cruiser's forward 8 in (203.2 mm) guns.

Roberts had moved so close that the enemy guns could not depress enough to hit her and the shells simply passed overhead. Many hit the carrier Gambier Bay. Once within torpedo range, she launched her three Mark 15 torpedoes. One blew off Chōkai‍ '​s stern. The American sailors cheered "that a way Whitey, we hit 'em" as if it were a ballgame, as shells were still incoming. Roberts then fought with the Japanese ships for a further hour, firing more than six hundred 5 in (127.0 mm) shells, and while maneuvering at very close range, mauling Chōkai‍ '​s superstructure with her 40 mm and 20 mm anti-aircraft guns.[citation needed] At 08:51, the Japanese landed two hits, the second of which damaged the aft 5 inch gun. This damaged gun suffered a breech explosion shortly thereafter which killed and wounded several crew members. With her remaining 5 in (127.0 mm) gun, Roberts set the bridge of the heavy cruiser Chikuma on fire and destroyed the "Number Three" gun turret, before being hit by three 14 in (355.6 mm) shells from the battleship Kongō. The shells tore a hole 40 ft (12.2 m) long and 10 ft (3.0 m) wide in the port side of her aft engine room.

Gunner's Mate Third Class Paul H. Carr was in charge of the aft 5 in (127.0 mm) gun mount, which had fired nearly all of its 325 stored rounds in 35 minutes before a breech explosion.
Instead, we have the USS Fort Worth (LCS-3), a ship of 3,900 tons, 387 ft length, and 3,500nm range that can ... do ... well, over to gCaptain;
Weeks before one of the U.S. Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ships departed for Asia, tests had exposed its vulnerability to a potential enemy attack, according to the Pentagon’s testing office.

A “total ship survivability test” of the USS Fort Worth conducted off of Southern California in October “highlighted the existence of significant vulnerabilities” in the design of vessels built by Lockheed Martin Corp., according to Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s director of combat testing.

“Much of the ship’s mission capability was lost because of damage caused” by the simulated effects of a weapons attack and a hypothetical fire that followed, Gilmore said in an assessment for Congress obtained by Bloomberg News.
Come now ... we've all been wrong here. We have advanced so much, things like range, armament and survivability was of a different age. War in new! ELEVENTY!
Kent, the Navy spokeswoman, said the test on the Fort Worth “was a successful event that allowed the Navy to demonstrate that the inherent ship design features and applied LCS tactics, techniques and procedures provided the crew with the ability to contain damage, restore capability and care for personal casualties given the expected damage.”

Post-test analysis “identified potential system, equipment and procedural improvements which could further enhance ship and crew survivability,” she said.

But Gilmore’s unclassified summary said damage during the simulated October test “happened before the crew could respond and the ship does not have sufficient redundancy to recover the lost capability.”

“Some of the systems could be redesigned or reconfigured to make the ship less vulnerable” and faster to recover from damage “without requiring major structural modifications,” he wrote.
Well, at least we're quick on the uptake. LCS-1 was only commissioned seven years ago.

Please, I hope beyond hope we never have to ask our Sailors to go to war in this Frankenstein of a concept playing warship.

Shipmate will do his best to get his Sailors ready though;
Commander Rich Jarrett, the Fort Worth’s commanding officer, said in an interview Monday from the ship moored at Palawan that he’s also sailed on the first vessel of the class, the USS Freedom, since 2008. From that ship “to Fort Worth, we’ve made a number of substantial improvements,” he said. “A lot of improvements to the machinery system.”

The first ship “went from cocktail napkin to commissioned warship in five years, which is unbelievably fast in terms of producing a new machine of this complexity,” Jarrett said. “So there were a number of improvements that should have been made, just because it was built so fast,” he said.
That last bit just cracks me up. At last, my Navy has gone complete Salamander on LCS. We told them this a decade ago ... but ... what the h311; welcome to the front porch, there's a chair over there between to Sid and Byron;
A draft of a revised Navy concept of operations “indicates the Navy’s original vision of a nimble, mission-focused ship has been overcome by the realities of the multi-mission nature of naval warfare” in high-intensity conflicts, Gilmore wrote Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in a summary memo, also on April 29.

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