Monday, August 31, 2015

LCS and MIW ... You Knew This Was Coming ...

The Navy had an opportunity last decade to regain its credibility and to save us all this waste by killing LCS when it had the chance, but no ... too many people had too much of their ego tied up with it. 

Better or worse, we are stuck with it and its wedontneedfrigatessowewillcallitafrigate spawn FF.

Too many people had no concept of sunk cost - both financial and political capital wise; they had to splite their eights and double down.

Too many people believed their own FITREPS, their own press releases ... or decided to hunker down until their PCS cycle was complete and it became someone else's problem.

So many cared not that we were building a huge percentage of our future fleet in the form of a platform that couldn't even defeat a WWII era destroyer ...  or even clear a WWI era minefield.

Still, with enough money, time, and a willingness to unnecessarily put Sailors in a sub-optimal ship to go in harm's way ... we'll have something to get underway in. 

Let us hope for a long peace.

Via our friend Chris, whose spies are better than mine;
“Recent developmental testing provides no statistical evidence that the system is demonstrating improved reliability, and instead indicates that reliability plateaued nearly a decade ago,” Michael Gilmore, director of the Office of Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), wrote in an Aug. 3 memo to Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall.

A copy of the memo was obtained by Defense News.
This is Transformationalism made flesh;
“The reliability of existing systems is so poor that it poses a significant risk to both the upcoming operational test of the LCS Independence-variant equipped with the first increment of the Mine Countermeasures (MCM) mission package, and to the Navy’s plan to field and sustain a viable LCS-based minehunting and mine clearance capability prior to fiscal year 2020,”
The RMS system has been in development since the 1990s, and 11 RMMV vehicles have been produced. The Navy plans to restart production next year, and in February hopes to choose a producer for the next round of low-rate initial production RMMVs.
The problem-plagued program has routinely failed or delayed test and evaluation programs and encountered a Nunn-McCurdy breech in 2010. Gilmore noted that reliability has improved since then, but continues to fall far short of the threshold of 75 hours’ mean time between operational mission failure (MTBOMF).

But despite all the efforts to improve reliability, Gilmore assessed the RMS system’s current overall reliability at 18.8 hours between failure, and the RMMV vehicle at 25.0 hours.
In many cases and for a variety of reasons, the LCS was unable to recover the RMMV and it was towed back to base by support craft — an option, Gilmore pointed out, unlikely to be available to an operational LCS using the system in a real minefield. On several occasions, the ship requested support personnel to come aboard to fix an RMS problem.
As everyone knows here, I left active duty at the end of the last decade as a Commander. Well,
The RMS system has been in development since the 1990s, and 11 RMMV vehicles have been produced.
Yes ... RMMV has been in development since I was LT Salamander ... and still can't do squat.

That is way past, "first in class problems" or "normal part of the technology cycle" and other excuses.

I want to finish up this post with an example of the entire LCS program and its greatest fault; accountability.

Who is going to be held accountable for even this little bit? Who directed the fudge - who benefits?
He took consistent issue with Navy reliability data, pointing out that in some instances, “the Navy inflated operating time estimates for the MTBOMF calculations by assuming that post-mission analysis time (when the vehicle is not in the water and not operating) could be counted.”
Gilmore, in his memo to Kendall, urged against relying on Navy reliability data.

“I continue to recommend strongly that the Navy’s estimates of RMMV/RMS reliability not be reported to the Congress or used for any other purpose,” Gilmore wrote. “To do otherwise could lead many observers to incorrectly conclude that all significant RMS development and fielding challenges have been conquered.”
What is also not used for any purpose once discovered?

A lie. Is that what we have here, simple lies? It is either that or gross professional malpractice. One or the other - but both require someone to be held accountable.

H/T Jim.

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