Tuesday, July 07, 2015

LCS and the Copybook Headings

Our friend James Holmes is helping keep up the thumping of LCS.

Like we did here last week - he fold in the new and the tired-and-true issues that have been with LCS from the start. Again, this ongoing critique is essential in order to push back against the spin, excuses and apologia that will not stop as this snake-bit ship program takes up more and more space pierside - diluting the per-unit tactical and operational utility of our fleet.

As you should with all of Jim's work - read it all;
Has the U.S. Navy become the Haight-Ashbury of sea power? In a way. Service leaders, it appears, sometimes succumb to the urge to start from zero—dispensing with long-accepted verities. Exhibit A: the newfangled littoral combat ship, or LCS. Ever notice how often you hear about “new” innovations relating to these fledgling surface combatants? This week over at DOD Buzz, for instance, Kris Osborn reports on how USS Fort Worth is “launching a new expeditionary maintenance capability designed to improve the ship’s ability to conduct repairs in transit while on deployment in the Pacific theater.” The world is made new.

Except no. It turns out that Fort Worth is innovating by … carrying spare parts for its machinery. And tools to install those parts! Who’d’ve thought the crew of a 3,400-ton ship—bigger than a World War II destroyer—could make routine repairs and conduct maintenance without putting into port?

The answer: every generation of American sailors until this one.
—the guardians of fixed truths about human competition and war—should turn out in force when radicals maintain that the nature of war has changed, that high-tech wizardry can dispel the fog of war, or what have you. Devil’s advocates should do their damnedest when proponents of gee-whiz technology claim to have been liberated from fundamental principles that rule naval warfare. Naval warfare has not been made anew. No one can start out from zero. That’s the lesson from the littoral combat ship.
Next up - let's discuss the fact that the PSYOPS and national prestige utility of a warship is significantly handicapped when, brand new, it looks like a 53-yr old tramp steamer.

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