You can’t make this up. Because the comment is so hilarious, I’ll ignore for a moment why this article ran in Aviation Weekly, only to say that we have finally found someone who is very pleased about the costs of the LCS. Behold, a contract lawyer’s praise.

Commissioned in November, the ship is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy later this year. What was critical, according to analyst James McAleese of McAleese and Associates, is that the ship was commissioned before the Obama administration took office.

Now, McAleese said, the Navy needs to keep the cost between $550 million and $600 million per ship – a far cry from the $220 million the sea service initially contended the vessel would cost. But, McAleese and other observers say, the ship is worth the current and revamped cost. “It’s affordable and operational,” he said.

The article goes on to note that the Congressional Research Service estimates the total LCS price tag for the desired 55-ship buy at $29.4 billion.

$550 million x 53 more LCS = $29.15 billion

By my read CRS has apparently underestimated the total costs. First, imagine what alternative littoral warfare strategies the US Navy could develop with ~$29 billion in shipbuilding.

Now imagine a world where a weapon system is ~150% over cost for every unit and we celebrate the weapon system as “affordable” and “operational” thus worth it. Welcome to the world of the US Navy of today. At least he didn’t call the Littoral Combat Ship a frigate, a description that really annoys me.




Posted by galrahn in Uncategorized


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  • http://smadanek.blogspot.com/ Ken Adams, Amphib Sailor

    What annoys me is analysis that assumes the prototype unit cost will be the flat-line cost of every single production unit. There will be learning and efficiencies developed in a production run, yet everyone commenting on this program is in headless-chicken mode about the first ship cost.

  • Byron

    Ken, the cost was always secondary to me. My point of view was look at what this ship is REALLY capable of, what does it REALLY bring to the table as a warship, and is it really going to be a strong ship to carry her sailors into harms way and then be able to bring them back again. My results were: not much, not much, sucks to be her crew, and way too much money for what the Navy got.

    What we need is something that starts with an “F” and ends in “E”, and a shipbuilding program that sets the design in stone before the first plate is cut. Leave a bit of room for growth. Make sure she’s seaworthy (LCS looks like a fat lady in high heels to me, good for standing up for cocktails, dangerous on an icy street).

  • B.Smitty

    Does anyone know what costs remain to finish the 55 ship buy? This would help us understand the expectation for per-ship, recurring costs.

  • Bill

    Byron;

    Having got a pretty good calibration of your opinion of the current crop of LCS over the last couple of years from my trolling your posts (some opinions I share and others perhaps not..) I would pose the following ‘framed’ question: If we need something ‘frigate-sized-plus-some’ that is not the horrendously expensive and dubiously capable DDG-1000 (if the model would just quit rolling over…)and we need a capable littoral warfighting craft, but the current LCS sort of falls right between those two roles as a thin-skinned mini-frigate or an expensive littoral FAC on steroids, what DO you think we should be spending those dollars on?

  • Byron

    It has to be able to do three things:

    1) Give her sailors a fighting chance to get home
    2) Bring the fight to the enemy
    3) Accomplish the mission

    Which also says that we must design a ship that balances the need for reduced manning with realistic (not pie in the sky) damage control automation, have the teeth to really harm the enemy and defend itself, have excellent sea-keeping characteristics in the littorals (which are prone to really nasty weather), and intelligent mission definitions.

    LCS (IMHO) is undermanned for damage control. It looks like she has a way too high metacenter. She is grossly underarmed for both offense and defense. Mission packages? Here is my civilian take on “mission packages”: You will always find yourself in combat with what you brought with you, not with what is sitting on the LPD, or C-17. If you didn’t bring what you needed, sailors will be screwed. And that whole “speed” thing? 40 knots is not faster than the following: missiles, bullets, cannon shells, mortars, and torpedos.

    My recommendation might look like this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formidable_class_frigate

  • pred

    They keep referring to FFG 7 costs and claim that LCS compares favourably. In unit cost it does not I think. CRS has produced figures for the first of class at an inflation adjusted cost of US$670 million, and has separately quoted the average cost of the 25 CORT-equipped FFGs as US$650 million in FY09 dollars. The final Selected Acquisition Report for FFG 7 (1987) states a then year cost of US$9.47 billion for 51 ships, an average of US$185 million. That’s what, US$350 million now?
    On the other hand that SAR reports also shows that (in FY87 dollars) the total project cost went from US$3.24 billion to aforementioned US9.47 billion. A near trippling in cost, or am I reading something wrong here?

  • Byron

    Could be that FFG-7 turned out to be more than just a “outer ASW escort (and expendable)” into a Navy workhorse?

  • Byron

    I agree completely, Bill. I did say, “that balances the need for reduced manning with realistic (not pie in the sky) damage control automation”.

    My son-in-law is an ADC. I have every interest in making sure sailors lives arent’ wasted.

  • Bill

    Byron:

    I am not a big fan of ‘reduced manning’ initiatives in any of their current forms, having seen it in practive, up close and personal. What the technology wonks failed to anticipate was the unreliability (and/or poorly thought out implementation in the first plce) of the automated systems that are supposed to facilitate reduced manning…and the end result in practice has turned out to be a lot of ‘crew overtime’ to babysit the automated systems and a heavy reliance, even dependency, on the ‘sharpest tacks in the enlisted box’. Not good operational doctrine IMHO..and wasn’t paticularly good for crew morale either, as they gained the sense that the complicated ship fought them and not the other way around. And I didn’t even touch on the damage control issue.

    It might be of interest to note that the Royal Norwegian Navy, in typical fashion, was way out in front of the USN when it came to exploring reduced manning via increaed automation. They learned quickly that simpler systems with more crew still worked better overall and backed way off of their initial automation ‘schemes’ when the series MCMV and FPB vessels were built.

  • Bill

    “Looks like a rather ugly luxury yacht, actually”

    *chuckle*..well why wouldn’t she? ‘Destriero’ was to become a yacht after her record-breaking run(s) were over.

  • SSG Jeff (USAR)

    Is it just me or does it look like that ship in the photo took a couple hits to the side of the hull?

    Looks like a rather ugly luxury yacht, actually.

  • sid

    yet everyone commenting on this program is in headless-chicken mode about the first ship cost.

    The headless chickens are those claiming this conceptual abortion is a good deal for anyone other than those making a profit off it….

    How can you spend $37 MILLION in four weeks and call this travesty, “affordable and operational”…?

    The USS “Freedom”, (LCS 1), which was commissioned in October, is going into Colonna’s Shipyard in Norfolk this week for a $37-million four-month overhaul, before undergoing Acceptance Trials. A commissioned ship that hasn’t been through Acceptance Trials yet and already requires a four-month overhaul! What kind of nonsense is this? NAVSEA should be ashamed of itself. Oh and, by the way, the start of this overhaul has been delayed so that the ship can be at the Norfolk Naval Station pier during today’s commissioning of CVN 77, a ship which is even less complete. At least LCS 1 can move under her own power. January 10, 2009.

    STOP THE BUY AT THE CURRENT TWO HULLS!!

    ctrl-alt-delete all the spiffy powerpoints, and start over….

  • Big D

    IMNSHO, you split the mission.

    We need a peacetime ship that can survive going to war. Missions include detecting, tracking, and identifying ships in a mixed or heavy-traffic environment, and housing and supporting (including protection from light AAW/ASuW threats) fast boats for boarding operations.

    We need a wartime ship that can support the peacetime ship in peace or war, as well as perform blue-water and independent operations to back up the more expensive ships of the line. Missions include everything the Perrys have been used for, as well as escort and “big brother” to the peacetime ship and her boats.

    While I’d prefer to be able to combine these roles into a single ship, if the result is going to be LCS, then I’d like to think about 2 designs–call the peacetime ship a corvette, and the wartime ship a frigate, and give them enough crossover capability that they can operate in each other’s intended environment.

    For the boats, picture a large RHIB, or something akin to a Dvora or CB90. For the corvette, FSF-1, Skjold, Visby, or Sa’ar 5. For the frigate… anything from the Oz-style Perry refit/SLEP to Absalon–only, DC and survivability need to be more like a Perry than the various Eurofrigates.

    And, of course, to complete the pieces that neither the peacetime ship NOR the LCS as designed can handle, a large mothership is needed.

    And if you *can* find a way to combine the peacetime and wartime roles into a single hull that fixes all of LCS’s problems… then buy that in mass quantities.

  • sid

    (correction to post currently in the moderation locker…)

    How can you spend $37 MILLION in four weeks and call this travesty, “affordable and operational”…?

    Make that four MONTHS

    Still, how can anyone call the LCS a good deal for the Navy or the taxpayer?

  • B.Smitty

    Big D said, “We need a peacetime ship that can survive going to war. Missions include detecting, tracking, and identifying ships in a mixed or heavy-traffic environment, and housing and supporting (including protection from light AAW/ASuW threats) fast boats for boarding operations.”

    Do we really need a corvette for this? Or would a commercial-spec OPV work? How much protection does it need?

    A vessel like the UK River class or NZ Protector OPV only costs $60 million or so. They carry very light armament, but do support a helo and RHIBs.

  • Big D

    Let me put it this way… if you can sell sid on its survivability, I’ll probably buy it. :)

    The trick is that we are not operating in our own coasts; that’s the CG’s job. Anything painted gray is going to be expeditionary, and needs to at least have a chance to survive a foreign theater going hot with little notice.

    As an example, would you feel comfortable with a commercial-spec OPV operating unarmored RIBs to board and monitor dhow traffic in the PG near Iranian waters? For that matter, would you be happy with putting an Absalon on patrol near SOH?

  • Bill

    Having spent an awfull lot of time on board the predecessors to the HSV wavepiercers in their passenger ferry livery…well, I’ll just say that ‘sea kindly’ does not come quickly to mind. Beware of getting all caught up in what simply looks like a ‘really cool’ shape as it relates in reality to a capable and survivable naval asset. Or doesn’t.

  • B.Smitty

    Big D,

    110′ Island-class cutters patrol the Persian Gulf today.

    Is a 278′ OPV any less survivable?

    The Germans paid around $320 million for each of their first batch of 5 K130 corvettes, and that’s with a lot of the development costs shared with the F124 frigate (from what I’ve read).

    You could buy five Protector OPVs for that much.

    Certainly quantity has a quality of its own.

  • http://springboarder.blogspot.com Defense Springboard

    Don’t forget the HMS Endurance’s experience during the Falklands dispute, too. She started her life as a commercial vessel and did just fine. Got some battle action, too, if I recall correctly.

  • http://www.amiinter.com AMIGuy

    I’m saddened by this choosen topic.

    No other naval vessel has been built to the specifications of the Littoral Combat Ship. No other vessel meets the speed and outfitting requirements.

    Some over zealous Navy officials came up with a Cost As an Indpendant Variable (CAIV) target estimate of $220M that had no basis of reality given the initial specifications for LCS. When in actuality, compared to other USN historical ship costs (FFG7s), and European Surface Combatant ships costs the estimate was understated by $200M to $300M. That is the only major failure of the LCS Program. All the other elements are minutia comparatively.

    LCS is 26 percent cheaper than if our European competitors built it.

    I lead a study of the cost of the LCS compared with foreign designs. No ship exists that is designed to handle the mission modules that are the core of the LCS concept, or that provides the speed. So my team “normalized” the design in order to properly compare it with foreign ships.

    We used the Lockheed Martin design, because the Lockheed monohull is more sim­ilar to foreign designs. In our comaprative estimate we took out the modules and installed permanent radars, a vertical launch system with Standard and Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles, and used a standard frigate ­like outfit (hull mounted sonars, guns, etc.). We adjusted our comparative designs as well if they were missing elements of a standard frigate like outfit. We took the total cost of this final design and compared it to costs data we have on the following competitive designs;

    * From Spain, a design by Izar (now Navantia) for the Chilean Proyecto Fragata program.

    * From Italy, the Fregata Euro­pea Multi-Missione (FREMM).

    * From the Netherlands, the Luchtverdedigings en Commando FregatbyDamen- Schelde.

    * From France, the Frégate multi-mission (FREMM).

    * From Germany, Blohm+Voss’ MEKO 200 design.

    * From the United Kingdom, a combination of the BAE/Yarrow’s Nakhoda Ragam-class and Lekiu ­class corvettes.

    The LCS was about 20 percent cheaper than the next least expensive ship, the Spanish Proyecto Fragata design, and half the cost of the BAE/Yarrow corvettes built for Brunei and Malaysia.

    Surprising isn’t it. Especially given Dr. Winter’s fondness of pointing out how great European Shipbuilders are compared to Americans.

    So we need to get off the “extremly overbudget” bandwagon with LCS and get real with what ships cost today.

    Competition is relative. We should judge our greatness by how we compare to others.

    The real cost drivers of com­plex surface combatants today are systems, not ship construction costs. Items such as command-and-control systems, advanced radars and propulsion plants are what is driving the costs today. If we want to lower these costs we must remove some of the advanced systems/reduce capabilities.

    I’m convinced we can become a Navy with far more activie naval vessels than we have today. First, we need to win back the confidence of the Nation, OSD, and Congress by developing sound/realistic estimates for our future ships. Secondly, we should selectively apply some appetite supressants on capbilities in some of the ships.

    We need more numbers and a little less capability.

    Cheers!

    AMIGuy

  • sid

    No ship exists that is designed to handle the mission modules that are the core of the LCS concept, or that provides the speed.

    And I have yet to see a reason…other than survival…for all that quite expensive speed.

    Again, I pose the question: What does “40+” kts (new, empty, and on a lake) bring in terms of capability that, say, 33 kts does not?

    The concept of a very high speed “mothership” is a multi-billion dollar oxymoron.

  • sid

    110′ Island-class cutters patrol the Persian Gulf today.
    Is a 278′ OPV any less survivable?

    You ask the wrong question…Borrowing RADM(Ret) Gormley’s remarks on just this point (I took the liberty to slightly modify for context):

    In the survivability field, fiscal constraints can lead to a hyperfocus on susceptibility reduction since hit avoidance is without question the first thing one should do to enhance combat survivability. So, the logic might then go, let’s not attempt to improve damage resistance and damage tolerance of new (ships). Or alternatively, why not relax vulnerability requirements in order to save on development and procurement costs?
    I urge caution here. It seems to me that those who determine requirements and characteristics would do well to avoid being too quickly dismissive of vulnerability considerations.
    They need to look carefully at the full range of possible tactical employment scenarios for proposed new platforms, giving weight to the historical combat usage record. And before making a final decision on characteristics, into which the affordability factor must clearly weigh, requirements and acquisition officials should ask themselves two key questions relating to survivability:

    “If hit, do we really want this new ship to be more likely to be lost than the one it is to replace?” And, “Is there a need for it to be less vulnerable than the predecessor system?”

  • sid

    Don’t forget the HMS Endurance’s experience during the Falklands dispute, too. She started her life as a commercial vessel and did just fine. Got some battle action, too, if I recall correctly.

    She got lucky…unlike others.

    Just a few more breaks the other way, folks would be hard pressed to remember the name “Falklands” today….

  • sid

    Don’t forget the HMS Endurance’s experience during the Falklands dispute, too.

    Yes, lets not…By deciding to withdraw her the Brits emboldened the Argentines to embark on their effort to retake the islands

    Cautionary tale for these times…

  • Byron

    AMIguy, I won’t comment on the validity of your numbers, not because I disbelieve them, but because they don’t matter. What matters to me is your last sentence: “We need more numbers and a little less capability”. That’s exactly the kind of reason why our shipbuilding program sucks right now. Right now, LCS is nothing but a very expensive gunboat. It has no ASW, ASuW, MIW, or AAW capability. The “module” concept has yet to be translated from scatches on paper to operational reality. And we paid this huge amount of money for a gunboat that doesn’t have the manpower to save itself!

  • Bill

    Something just occurred to me..a question of perspective that should have been asked and answered a long time ago and maybe it has. What is the ‘cost of speed’ as it relates to the LCS designs? Even though the brute force approach was chosen over the more efficient SES options in the final down-select, even then how much money is really attached to the high speed objective? I don’t see much. What? a couple of gas turbines and the required gearbox to manage a CODAG arrangement and the machinery controls to go with. As a percentage of the total vessel cost..a pittance really. Do you know how many megyachts use the same propulsion configuration?

    I only throw this out there to poke a stick in the ‘speed is expensive’ bees nest, not to argue whether 40+ or 50+ knots has any specific tactical benefit. Or look at it another way..I’ll wager that the total cost of the turbine install in LCS-1 Freedom was less than the 37 million dollar ‘overhaul’ currently underway…

  • B.Smitty

    sid quoted, ““If hit, do we really want this new ship to be more likely to be lost than the one it is to replace?” And, “Is there a need for it to be less vulnerable than the predecessor system?”"

    Part of the problem here is, there really is no current USN vessel that meets Big D’s “peacetime ship” concept. IMHO, Coast Guard cutters come closest. They are built for peacetime operations, but are regularly used in wartime. These are the vessels that an OPV would supplant.

    Given this, I don’t think an 85m OPV will be more likely to be lost than a 33m Island. They are less vulnerable, IMHO, than the ships they would replace.

    If a new FFG(X) cost us $1 billion, for $1.3 billion, would you rather have,

    a) one FFG(X) and one K130-equivalent corvette (at ~$300mil)?
    b) one FFG(X) and five 85m OPVs?

    Personally, I think b) provides far more peacetime capability, even in hot spots like the PG and SOH.

    Does the corvette really add that much to warfighting situations to offset its disadvantage in peacetime?

  • Byron

    If I told you once’t, I told you twice’t: When the shooting starts, you go to war with what you have, rather than the building program you wish you had funded. This is the US Navy; other than RHIB boats, do we really want to turn into a gunboat Navy?

  • B.Smitty

    Bill,

    The true cost of speed go beyond the powertrain. They extend down to the selection of hull form and hull materials and, most importantly, overall capability.

    For the same amount of money, we could have a 33kt ship with greater seakeeping, better slow-speed ride (important for USV and boat launch/recovery), and most importantly, greater payload and endurance.

  • Bill

    I was pretty warm to the whole idea back when I thought LCS (or Streetfighter, to be more precise..what we thought LCS was going to be and not what it has become) was going to be an ‘in addition to’ rather than ‘instead of’ ship building program when it came to our overall naval capability.

  • Bill

    B. Smitty;

    Of course I understand that and I oversimplified my hypothetical on purpose..I design such fast ships after all and have for many years. But when it comes to cost, a hull is still a hull (another oversimplification..but steel and aluminum cost x$ per ton regardless) and you will be hard pressed to show huge cost differences between a displacement hull and a hard-chined semi-V semi-planning hull when it comes to construction cost and outfitting of hull alone.

    I guess what I’m saying is..what really would be the cost difference in LCS if the hull scantlings were increased, organic weaponry added and the turbines tossed out? That would not get it back to 220 mil a copy, of that I’m pretty sure.

  • B.Smitty

    Bill,

    I doubt it would too. A significant portion of the cost blowout was due to program mismanagement (e.g. deciding late in the game to adopt NVRs), and a lot was just hopeless optimism.

    Certainly, though, high speed requirements complicated the design and caused greater overall risk to the program. (This manifested itself with delays in receiving key powertrain components and shortages of high-strength steel, IIRC)

  • Bill

    B. Smitty;

    I agree. However, I would also postulate that most of those same issues are endemic thoughout ALL naval shipbuilding these days.

  • B.Smitty

    Bill,

    Yes, it seems like we do a terrible job of managing risk. If a program isn’t “transformational” (read “risky”), it isn’t deemed worthy of funding.

  • Bill

    Speaking strictly from my own perspective and experience with ANY naval ‘advnaced ship’ program going back many years..this is ‘deja vu all over again’. Historically, the single largest risk to advanced ship building (or call them ‘transformational’ if you wish..new term for an old game)has been the participation of NAVSEA and closely linked contractors. ‘Sunk by the weight of combined requirements’, ‘rice bowl’ project teams (everyone needs a piece of the pie and space/volume/weight allotments in every program) and the like have characterized past programs resembling the LCS for..a very long time.

  • sid

    As a percentage of the total vessel cost..a pittance really.
    As a summation of design compromises to enable that speed?

    …of the operating costs of 50 hulls?

  • sid

    I don’t see much. What? a couple of gas turbines and the required gearbox to manage a CODAG arrangement and the machinery controls to go with.

    Sounds a bit more complex to me. this from a Nov ’07 CDR Salamander post:

    (the) LCS 1 engineering plant … is a CODAG. It has 29 line shaft bearings with a forced lube system…and that is the least complex aspect of the plant.

  • Bill

    Some dollars to be saved here and there?..sure. But some really significant percentage of curent costs?..I do not think so.

    FWIW, the rather complex CODOG diesel/gas turbine plant in the prototype Skjold (very similar to what is now in the USN Sea fighter btw) was dumped for an all gas trubine COGAG solution in the series production. Maybe an apples to oranges comparison, but no money was saved…”only’ some weight. (Only is in quotes because weight is so very important on a fast vessel design…needless to say).

  • Bill

    LOL..two posts in a row comparing fruit. Hmmm…is it lunchtime yet?

  • Bill

    The comparison with a ‘bigger Skjold’ was done in depth during early phases of LCS design…I belabored that point in another thread I believe. IF (a contentious ‘if’ to be sure) speeds in the 40-50 knot range and beyond are desired/required, then a scaled-up ‘Skjold’ gets you that capability far more cheaply than an overpowered monohull or displacement catamaran/trimaran ever could. But so many other mission factors are in play, AND I have little confidence that the USN design community could successfully manage building a ‘big Skjold’..based on past failures to manage weight in such vessel types. More risk..risk, risk everywhere.

  • Big D

    O.K., AMIGuy, I am totally not an expert on shipbuilding costs… but I have to ask a gut-level civvie question here. How does this all add up?

    If I am understanding the gist of your analysis right, you added the cost of “real” sensors and weapons systems (a la LCS-I or LCS-MMC) to LCS, and you added the cost of making 50 knots and carrying modules (which, to a civvie, it looks like STANFLEX and the MEKO modules provide a basis for) to the Eurofrigates, and compared the two.

    If my understanding is correct, then I would say that you have successfully compared apples to kumquats, because the key complaint we’ve had here is that LCS as designed sacrificed far, far too much to achieve that speed, and it makes perfect sense that a traditional monohull Eurofrigate would face even steeper cost and performance issues *if you tried to push it over 50kts*.

    I also find it very interesting that you did not include Skjold or Visby. While they are both far too small for what you’re trying to cram into LCS, they happen to be the only warships afloat with similar speed and technology to LCS. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to do the math against larger versions of them rather than up-engined MEKOs?

  • Bill

    Galrahn;

    I don’t say this to belittle your (accurate) observations nor experience, but I measure the time I have spent on board vessels like the ‘Sea Fighter’, ‘Skold’, ‘Oksoy’ class SES minhunters, B&V MEKO SES Corsaire and many, many others, in months, not days, and the time I have spent helping design and build such vessels in terms of decades. Yes, weight is far and away the enemy of high performance and drives all decisions. You might be astonished to find to what degree the Norwegians (just one example) have gone to manage the weight of their advanced craft. But..manage it they did, and succcessfully.

  • http://informationdissemination.blogspot.com/ Galrahn

    Bill,

    The true ‘cost of speed’ goes well beyond money. I spent four days on Freedom, and you wouldn’t believe the sensitivity regarding weight, it drives every decision and is the restriction that prevents the platform from being more than it could be. This platform is born with a zero weight growth metric, meaning 25 years of capability that can only mature as long as replacements match weight of existing pieces.

    When the ship came out overweight, people played this down in public as no big deal, but seeing firsthand how big a deal every bit of extra weight is, how it is calculated to meet the almighty speed metric that many see as a determination of success, the costs go well beyond money.

    The ‘cost of speed’ is better measured by the emphasis for speed, and what is gained or lost in that measurement from the design of hull form all the way to what the ship can grow into. The ‘cost of speed’ may also carry a monetary value, but I don’t actually see the cost of the LCS as the real problem. I see the belief that the LCS is somehow a jack of all trades solution to littoral warfare, when it is appears well designed for only some areas of littoral warfare while also appearing very poorly designed for others, as the real problem.

  • Bill

    I must apologize for my posts showing up out of the order in which they should be…I have no idea what the heck is up with that. ?

  • http://informationdissemination.blogspot.com/ Galrahn

    “I’m convinced we can become a Navy with far more activie naval vessels than we have today. First, we need to win back the confidence of the Nation, OSD, and Congress by developing sound/realistic estimates for our future ships. Secondly, we should selectively apply some appetite supressants on capbilities in some of the ships.”

    I agree with your first sentence, but disagree where to start.

    Sound estimates may help credibility, but credibility begins with requirements with believability. Speed and stealth driving requirements for surface combatants? 3,000 ton corvettes to fight speedboats and 14,500 ton land attack, littoral destroyers?

    Even a perfect FY2010 estimate for LCS cost doesn’t raise the credibility of the Navy, because you are not going to have a hard time finding a naval officer ready to advocate that any ship built to fight at close range was designed with proper requirements when the bridge is surrounded by glass.

    And btw, the $37 million dollar overhaul is intended to remove even more hull and replace with more glass. You can’t make that up.

  • Bill

    Galrahn;

    Your impression was a good one..and certainly not surprising to me, although for LCS, the cat was long ago out of the bag with repect to her being overweight.

    Generous service-life weight growth margins will never be a part of fast ship design…IIRC we typically used a 10% lifetime growth allowance in the RNoN pograms and through strict mangement, that has worked. But it ain’t much, thats for sure.

  • http://informationdissemination.blogspot.com/ Galrahn

    Bill,

    My intent was to suggest the impression regarding weight i got from that crew regarding that ship, not in general. It was a serious consideration in every discussion regarding any aspect of the ship itself. My point was more in regards to being such a short time aboard, I should not have been given that impression.

  • Bill

    Another dim recollection..the weight growth that ocurred with the ‘Cyclone’ class PCs was, I believe, on the order of 70% (!!) calculated relative to the baseline design weight in the beginning. Ewww..and sadly typical, I’m afraid.

  • Big D

    Bill: It’s happening on several threads. I’m not sure what’s causing it; I’d say it was a result of storing and sorting posts only down to the minute, but I’ve seen posts that were apparently backwards with timestamps well apart. It’s got to be a bad DB sort somewhere, though.

  • sid

    I don’t think an 85m OPV will be more likely to be lost than a 33m Island. They are less vulnerable, IMHO, than the ships they would replace.

    You may well be right, but at this point its an assumption…Point I try to continually keep in the light is that “Vulnerability Reduction” is not a throwaway aspect of warship design. Nor need it be “too expensive”, if it is fully inlcuded in throughout the design and acquisition process.

    Indeed, in an era when attrition can longer be quickly replaced as could happen at Okinawa where Nimitz remarked he, “has more planes and ships than the enemy has bullets”, its is the most Affordable path….

  • Dee Illuminati

    The LCS is an expensive frigate that could improve Public Relations by having the next commisioned LCS frigate have a pool like Carnival Cruise line include.

    At 30 billion that of course would be a bargain to just buy Carnival.

    The Oasis Class (formerly known as Project Genesis[2]) is a class of Royal Caribbean cruise ships, the first of which was ordered in February 2006. The first ship is scheduled to be delivered in late 2009 and early 2010.[3] The two ships ordered in the class are to be named Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.[2][4]

    [edit] Construction
    The Oasis class will surpass the earlier Freedom Class as the world’s largest passenger ships. They will be 23 meters (69 feet) longer, 8.5 meters (29 feet) wider, have a slightly deeper draft than the Freedom Class ships, and a gross tonnage that is expected to be 43% greater.[5][6]

    Like the Freedom class, the Oasis class ships will be built by STX Europe (formerly Aker Yards) in Turku, Finland. They will be 1,180 feet (360 m) long, with a gross tonnage of 220,000, and will be able to carry 5,400 passengers. The first of the Oasis class, priced at US$1.24 billion (€ 900 million)[1] reportedly will be the most expensive commercial ship ever built.[1] It will be 118.1 feet (36 m) longer than the height of the Eiffel Tower and weighing 12 times more than the tower.[citation needed] It will also be 48 feet longer than the present longest ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2.

    The option for a second ship of the class was exercised by Royal Caribbean on April 2, 2007. The second ship is to be delivered by STX Europe in August 2010.[7]

    On December 11, 2007, the keel of the first vessel of the class was laid down in Turku. In early 2008, Royal Caribbean ended months of speculation by announcing that their two Oasis class ships would be based year-round at Port Everglades.[citation needed]

    On April 15, 2008, Royal Caribbean held a press conference in New York City to release the first official information and renderings of “Central Park”, a 5-deck high area in the middle of the ship, open to the sky and filled with lush tropical gardens, upscale restaurants and shops.[8] The area, one of seven “neighborhoods” onboard the ship, also features the Rising Tide Bar, which will move up and down through 3 decks. There will be 334 staterooms overlooking the Park, 254 with balconies – four of which are wheelchair accessible. Two arched-glass domes in Central Park called the Crystal Canopies will provide sunlight into the ship’s inner public spaces.[9]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oasis_class

  • pk

    just what is the work package for the $37m availability for freedom.

    is it a high proportion of hull repair, mechanical alignment work, after construction mods, ???????

    if its hull repair then the boat has really serious problems. realignment of the main shafts (those 29 spring bearings) would be expected……

    C

  • leesea

    I think we should crank more cost data and capabilities of SeaFighter into these discussions. There is a proven HSV whose size is more in tune with littoral ops and which could be weaponized to meet the mini-mothership role fairly easily. It should be noted that FSF-1 has already launched helos and RHIBs from stern in opeval, has the LCS-1?

    Unforunately the shipyard that built her went into Chapter 11. I guess they didn’t pad the project like LMCO and GD did?

    It cannot be overstated that weight is the prime design parameter in an HSV. IMHO current blue water officers have no idea how important. Comments about weight gain above baseline and weight gain during ship life are vestiges of displacement hull thinking. That being the case modifications to current designs may well be limited. One has to consider vunerablity and weapons systems and speed in the design up front. The NAVSEA projects I have worked on are not good about weight estimation or constraint during construction.

    Let us not forget that NAVSEA is about to put an new RFP on the steet for who knows what kind of ship? I have not seen a draft posted (but they are not good about doing that and it may be just sending it to current builders). Look at how out of date PEO Ships website is:

    goto http://peoships.crane.navy.mil/lcs/default.htm

  • Big D

    I still don’t understand why we need a HSV for the role, anyways. You need a fast ship to chase down speedboats and board them (as opposed to just sinking them). But a 3000-ton ship has no business boarding anything–it should carry speedboats that can make 50+kts and helos that can make double or triple that.

    30-35kts is an excellent speed range for a frigate–something that I think has been fairly well-proven over the last 70 years.

  • Byron

    And the fastest speedboat in the world can’t outrun a bullet, BigD.

  • Bill

    Speed where speed makes sense, IMHO. The RNoN CONOPS for the ‘Skjold’ for example, is little different than what has been in place for almost a century in Norway..’Skjold’, as with her predecessor FAC classes, just does what they want incrementally ‘more better’. In their littoral warfare environment (coastal defense and denial of entry), speed is a very important aspect of that.

    I can certainly see where speed would be an asset in some of the littoral environements that USN is expected to operate in, in addition to many other capabilities. Interstingly, having no credible littoral capability back on the 80s when faced with small fast combatants, the quick answer was helos…ARMY helos. But then I also assumed that the ‘right answer’ would have abeen a much smaller, cheaper vessel than the LCS has turned out to be.

    BTW, alcon do realize that the 260-ton, 60+ knot ‘Skjold’ deployed to the US from Norway on her own bottom, right? No heavy lift or mothership required. Her average trans-Atlantic transit speed was in excess of 40 knots.

  • B.Smitty

    Bill,

    I read a USCG report that FSF-1 had a bad ride at patrol speeds in anything but calm weather. Did you experience any of this?

  • Bill

    Leesea:

    We have not seen the last of FSF-1 ‘Sea Fighter’..she is undergoing a lot of mods at this very moment and will be back in the water this year with an expanded ‘mission portfolio’. I never heard the final tally, but IIRC, she was originally delivered for around 80 million or so. Keep in mind though, that she was not built to the newer NVR…

    A fun ride at 54 knots, she was.

  • Bill

    B. Smitty;

    As with her ‘kindred’ vessels like the HSVs, the motions in a seaway are spot-on the most sensitive fequency for inducing motion sickness. The ‘big cats’ are legend in that regard having garned nicknames like the ‘vomit comet’ vomit express’ and the like over the years as a consequence of that particular motion behavior. In addition, the large-amplitude resonant pitching leads to cross-deck slams and bow stuffing in the bigger stuff.

    That said, all such high-speed cat types, including ‘Sea Fighter’ have active pitch/roll motion damping systems fitted. When those are working properly, their motions in a rough sea at high speed are actually BETTER than they are if slowed way down. But those systems are fairly complex..and they don’t always work. When the active stabilization does not work, yes, the ride quality is bad.

    Both LCS variants have some form of active stabilization ..no word yet on how effective.

  • Bill

    Further cmment to B. Smitty’s question about ride quality:

    In my usual fashion, I read your question too quickly and missed your pecific reference to ‘at patrol speeds’. There, in the case of Sea Fighter and similar designs, you face a conundrum. At 20-22 knots (the patrol speed of Sea Fighter),there is not enough ‘bite’ available from the active stabilization system (control forces proportional to speed-sqaured and all that kind of nonsense Newton stuck us with). So…at ‘patrol speeds’, yes, there is a motions problem in many conditions.

  • Bill

    Correction: I can’t, in good conscience, blame ole Isaac for the poor performance of active control at low speeds..the blame for that actualy rests with the Italians..some fella named Bernoulli.

  • sid

    Keep in mind though, that she was not built to the newer NVR…

    The previaling feeling being she has…and I quote, “the speed and maneuverability to evade an adversary or danger area”…

    Exact same sentiment said by aviators prior and into Vietnam.

    The whole “Speed is Life” myth…

    What got proven…some 5500 times over…is that an over reliance on speed, WONT SAVE YOU!

    It didn’t work for Jackie Fisher’s Battlecruisers. It didn’t work for Mach 2 aircraft. It d[]ned sure won’t work for 40 knot ships!!

    SWO’s are a generation behind when it comes to the topic of Survivability.

  • Bill

    Sid;

    Perhaps I’m being presumptious, but you seem completely focused on the ‘speed is life’ aspect of high speed. Now I won’t argue that point at all and I cringe when I see it tosed around just as much as you do. But there are certainly many other things that speed can do for you.

    The Norwegians are not expecting to outrun bullets, missiles or aircraft with ‘Skjold’..quite the contrary in fact. Her speed is hardly focused on her defense. The speed of that design, and all that came before her, is specifically wanted so that she can go IN to harms way as fast as can be possibly managed. For that scenario, speed is a ‘force multiplier’ of sorts, allowing fewer vessels to cover more threat area.

  • B.Smitty

    Bill,

    The ride quality issue at loiter and patrol speeds makes me question the viability of any HSV as a patrol craft or mini-mothership. The costs just seem to outweigh the benefits.

    What good is it to get close to target of interest quickly, in higher sea states, if it’s too dangerous to deploy RHIBs because the ride is so bad? Same goes for deploying and recovering USVs in MIW or ASW ops. It would be nice if they were robust enough to just be tossed out at 54kts, but I don’t think this is the case.

  • Bill

    B.Smitty:

    Its not quite as bad as all that; i.e. some ‘HSV’s perform fine at low speeds or when loitering. The Coasties liked their WSES for exactly that reason and was the good litering motions of that ‘HSV’ that underpinned their ‘sprint and drift’ operational method.

    Problem is..most of the extant HSVs are catamarans..and catmarans are literally famous for their unkindly pitch behavior. That said..they aren’t that bad either when just loitering and hve gnerally quite low roll amplitudes compared to a monohull.

  • sid

    but you seem completely focused on the ’speed is life’ aspect of high speed.

    I take what I read about speed and the LCS at face value, but more on that after a little digression.

    Peg it on a legacy of my early upbringing…around one of the fastest aircraft the USN has ever owned…and which, when that pic was made in 1968, was incurring an extremely high loss rate.

    Indeed, the likelihood of loss was so bad that one of the then deployed TG commanders would write to DCNO(AIR) shortly after the bombing halt:

    “There is no question the RA-5C is extermely vulnerable under the conditions under which we must operate it out here. I personally knocked off all flights above 1830 North which keeps us out of the Vinh area.”

    So, the most capable RECCE asset, and the fastest aircraft the Navy owned at the time (in an operational setting anyway), wasn’t being employed where it was needed most because it was too vulnerable.

    Changes in tactics helped, but perhaps a few hundred knots off the top end in trade for a much more redundant and hardened hydraulic system (along with other internals) would have been the better buy up front.

  • sid

    The speed of that design, and all that came before her, is specifically wanted so that she can go IN to harms way as fast as can be possibly managed.

    Now wait a minute. What I see in print -like various Navy Times articles and Sea Power magazine- is that the robots this ship will carry, are intended to keep her OUT of harm’s way.

    “The use of unmanned technologies is advantageous in bringing the fight to the enemy,” said Capt. Mike Good, program executive officer for littoral combat and mine warfare. “This will lessen the cost of warfighting by keeping the ship and her crew out of harm’s way.”

    So, if that it to be believed, then wouldn’t a hull optimized for the launch and retrieval of these systems make much more sense?

  • Bill

    Sid;

    I’m with ya pal. We are on the same page with respect to the current incarnation of LCS and some of the odd justifications for what it is supposed to do..or not do..and what high speed has to do with any of it.

    I’m just trying, in my typically inadequate and spelling-challenged fashion, to keep the idea alive that there really are missions and places where speedy capable craft are/can be quite valuable. That’s my baby y’all are trying to toss out with that bathwater. ;-)

  • Byron

    The real question Bill, is how many billions of our shipbuilding and repair/conversion budget to we allocate to ships that are undermanned, underarmed, incapable of defending themselves in a hostile littoral, and poorly equiped to do more than one mission at a time.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    With all due respect to Capt Good, does that statement not seem like the silly group-think optimism that we always pay for once the enemy proves smarter than we gave him credit for?

    I am all for less time in the kill zone, but that still means having to be there. “Speed is life” just doesn’t seem to apply to surface craft in the littoral. It connotes the ability to outrun or out-maneuver an anti-ship missile or a well-aimed heavy machine gun or cannon. Making the ability to absorb battle damage and keep fighting, or at least afloat, a bit higher on the list than it seems.

    That said, am I missing something?

  • sid

    the idea alive that there really are missions and places where speedy capable craft are/can be quite valuable.

    And I won’t dispute that for a second…

    However, what is the marginal gain…given all the compromises it has taken to make happen…that those (empty weight, new, on a lake) 40 plus knots bring in terms operational capability that 33 knots would not in this 3000 ton warship?

  • Big D

    The speed of that design, and all that came before her, is specifically wanted so that she can go IN to harms way as fast as can be possibly managed.

    sid: Just to clarify, Bill was referring to *Skjold’s* use of high speed, not LCS’s. I don’t know if any Norwegian admirals have tried to sell the public on speed as armor.

    Byron: Err, I’m not claiming that speed will defend a speedboat any better than LCS. I’m just saying that the vessel that does the actual boarding needs to be able to run down another speedboat for those situations (i.e., most of the time) when sinking it isn’t the first choice. Once again, Bill’s quote above is exactly what I was getting at… and it applies to the boarding vessel, not the LCS. I just can’t see the LCS charging in to save the day with its light cannon and thin hull.

  • Byron

    Copy that, Bill.

  • Big D

    Let me throw something out and see if it makes any sense…

    Tactical speed should be considered an offensive asset to a ship, a force multiplier to its on-board weapons and sensors. On the defense, it should not be considered anything beyond a very minor asset, and only circumstantially (e.g., where contact has been fully broken and clearing datum in a hurry is useful–similar to a submarine, only without the inherent stealth granted by a few hundred feet of water).

    However, as a force multiplier, speed is only useful to the extent that the vessel has force to multiply. A boarding boat, laden with soldiers or Marines, has considerable force on hand for the boarding mission. A heavily-armed FAC, laden with ASMs, has considerable force for attacking intruding ships. A submarine carries a large battery of torpedoes and missiles.

    LCS has… a 57mm gun (and, sometimes, if configured properly, NETFIRES).

  • sid

    That said, am I missing something?

    I have yet to get the big picture in focus URR…Here is what the then PEO had to say:

    RADM Hamilton: As you know from reading the requirements documents, the survivability piece on LCS is different than DDG 51 or DDX or several of our other combatants. And what we’ve chosen to do here is couple high speed and maneuverability and situational awareness in ways that allow LCS to be in the right place at the right time and to be out of the right place at the wrong time. Okay?

    We have some modeling and simulation of the designs and know what effects different weapons might bring to those particular designs. But again, because our desire for speed gets us to alternative and lighter materials, the damage tolerance for large cruise missiles for example are not the same as those on a DDG 51.

    So am I remiss in distilling this so my little brain can get around it and say that: A. The intent is to use high speed to manuever around the enemy …and… B. The intent is to use superior observation to make that happen …and… C. We can’t build in the same amount of “Statying Power” into the LCS because of the above need for speed which required lighter construction.

    Does that sound close?

    Now, if, I’m right, then the above premise runs afoul of histroical precedent. From Capt Wayne P. Hughes’ “Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat”:

    “The period from 1865 to 1914 rivals even our present age for sweeping technological development in peacetime…

    Tactical analysis failed in two significant respects only: overvaluation of speed, and failure to forsee the effects that poor visibility would have on major fleet actions.”

  • sid

    Bill was referring to *Skjold’s* use of high speed, not LCS’s.

    Thanks, sorry for not making it clear that I was aware of that. Also, lets not forget the the Skjold is barely a tenth the size of the LCS…

  • Bill

    And, if you will pardon my unbridled hyperbole for a sec, a Skjold’ would be the last vessel an LCS would want to be facing in a hostile situation..even if Skjold is 1/10th the size, she packs a wallop and has a good 15-20 effective knots on the LCS to boot so LCS won’t be ‘running away’ to safety. Good thing the Vikings are still on our side, huh?

    Another interesting Skjold tidbit that relates to how I see the makings of true ‘littoral combat ships’: Any of you signature gurus ever happen to notice that all of Skjold’s signature reduction measures are concentrated on her approach and beam profiles? She is designed to close and fight, quickly and as sneakily as possible. I saw how fun that capability is up close and personal when she blew through Dahlgren’s Potomac river gun range while it was ‘hot’ The picket boats saw her on radar and visually all at about the exact moment as she wizzed right by them at 54 knots. Talk about some lively VHF chatter on the range radios moments later… ;-)

    This lively discussion about what our LCS is and may not be seems to be winnowing from the chaff the concept that I wanted to see debated the most: Speed can be a good thing..but ‘speed as defense’ is not proven to be one of those good things.

  • leesea

    Speed is an advantage in attack and retreat. Speed can help get to extremes of a patrol area fast or to close on a target. I think that the Navy has not done the tradeoffs bewteeen high speeds say above 35 kts and speeds in the range of 20 to 34 kts. All of that should have been done in robust AOA, want to bet it wasn’t?

    IRT to launching BHIB, I thought that the Navy has paid big bucks for boat/UAV launching systems on both FSF and LCS? I am not sure if that is a frill on the JHSV?

    This goes back to what is the ship to be used for. Only some of the mission modules of an LCS needs the hi-tech stern boat launch capablity – no SLADs that I have seen? Why does the JHSV need such a system IF its a tactical transport (since it is not intended as a raid support ship inArmy configuration). HSVs IF intended as mini-motherships should have those systems.

    Cost-wise you have to decide what the ship is inteneded for- I am sounding like a broken record!

  • Byron

    Retreat from what? Cannon fire? Skua? Exocet? I’d rather pay for something that can do the “fire suppresion” thing.

  • sid

    And, if you will pardon my unbridled hyperbole for a sec, a Skjold’ would be the last vessel an LCS would want to be facing in a hostile situation.

    That makes imminent sense…

    But… the LCS will see the Skjold coming and run away in time!!!

    ;-)

  • Bill

    Sid said: “But… the LCS will see the Skjold coming and run away in time!!!”

    Chuckle. They would need better radar than they gots now..and one heck of a head start! OK..scratch one Fire Scout then.”See ya little guy..we gots to ruuuuun!” Not to mention that NSM ASM Skjold carries is a nasty little bugger in its own right..rather long range for such a compact missile too.

  • sid

    What I wrote on jan 14 2004, in sci.military.naval

    If the LCS ends up being 3000 tons then the numbers of hulls that will get bought will keep the USN in the same dilemma it’s in now. Like the Perry’s, its inevitable something that size will gain a multi-mission capability and its cost will grow exponentially. And then there will be a real reluctance to put it up next to a dangerous beach.

    Still stickin’ to it…

  • Byron

    Hammer and anvil, Sid, hammer and anvil ;)

  • sid

    Something I forgot about Bill…

    In terms of survivability, the Orkla fire is way worrisome…

  • Bill

    “In terms of survivability, the Orkla fire is way worrisome…”

    Yup..and worrisome it should be. That event, while a ‘cascade of errors’ on the one hand, showed some real vessel vulnerabilities that had not been anticipated on the other. Many of lessons learned and rersulting design mods are incorporated in the remaining MCMVs, and even more so in the ‘Skjold’ class vessels.

    And I would much rather be on a properly designed composite vessel than an aluminum one if fire breaks out.

  • sid

    “Keep in mind though, that she was not built to the newer NVR…”

    The previaling feeling being she has…and I quote, “the speed and maneuverability to evade an adversary or danger area”…

    Here is the source and full quote. I beleive it is a telling insight into how speed relates to operational utility, and survivability within the current SWO community:

    From the July ’08 Proceedings, Comment and Discussion, replies to, Modern-Day Minehunting, Destroyer Style…

    Commander Robert K. Morrison III, U.S. Navy, Commanding Officer, HSV 2 Swift (Gold Crew)—Having precommissioned and later served as combat systems officer on an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, I can understand the desire to expound on the capabilities of a new weapon system and sensor package.

    Low-end, low-cost platforms without the need for extensive survivability systems must be considered for the MIW and ASW mission packages of the future. The High Speed Vessel (HSV), with its capacity to carry the package and the speed and maneuverability to evade an adversary or danger area, is a viable alternative. Additionally, the HSV has a small crew and while not considered “expendable,” does not have the weapons package of a destroyer that could be needed elsewhere.

    So, there you have it. A CO of the HSV says such ships do not need “extensive survivability systems”, and that he will use the high speed of his veseel “to evade”.

    “Speed is Life”

    And another littel glimpse into how the topic of Survivability -in particular “Vulnerability Reduction” and the attribute it creates, “Staying Power”, is held in low regard by the Surface Community- can be seen in this NWC thesis: Back to the Future: “Staying Power and Operational Protection of the Sea Base”, by CDR Mark Maglin:

    Staying power in warships has become a pejorative term conjuring up visions of battleships laden with heavy armor and torpedo belts on the hull.

    Lessons not learned…

  • UltimaRatioReg

    sid, et al.,

    Seems an absurdly optimistic assumption that speed is life, particularly as one gets closer to the beach. Low-tech weapons (firing over open sights w/o radar signatures, with flat trajectories below counterfire radars), properly camouflaged, would be exceedingly difficult to target and are capable of inflicting a great deal of damage to lightly constructed vessels.

    Some “back to the future”; anti-tank guns make great anti-boat guns. Many have ranges better than 4km. Even something as small as the ZU 23-2 can reach out 2km from the beach and would raise havoc with a combat vessel not built to survive battle damage.

    The less robust the ships are, the smaller the weapon systems need to be to prove effective. Sort of the armor/armament race in reverse.

    URR

  • leesea

    As someone who has spent time in a kill zone in a lightly armored craft, I can assure everyone that speed can save your ass! In witness I’m here to talk about it!

    Once again reasonable speed IS useful in the attack and during retreat. Speed in patrolling is imporant though not as much. That does not mean a mid-sized ship has to be as fast as a cigarette boat or as unarmed. Nor does it mean that a ships like the LCS can get by with its insufficient organic weapons or without survivability as sid points out. It does mean the ship must be designed with capabilites specific to its mission.

    I do not think high speed for quick trans-oceanic transits is a needed feature of LCS. If the ship(s) are not where you need them for upfront operations, getting there quickly means the ship will probably be too late. In this discussion, we must start separating which mission modules need hispd and which do not. And we must be very leary of how those modules are to be swapped out in forward areas which is probably what is going to happen.

    I will read the reference but ships operating in the littorals are more threatened than a seabase 25 to 250 nm at sea?

  • UltimaRatioReg

    leesea,

    No doubt speed is a useful component in getting a craft in and out of a kill zone. But if the LCS or like platforms are ships and not craft, and are supporting or executing a lodgement ashore, then the issue of speed in lieu of protection becomes an entirely different debate.

    Are ships in the littoral in more danger? Surely as they get closer to water’s edge, they wade into the range fans of an increasing number of weapons systems. But if the enemy knows our sea basing is our center of gravity AND critical vulnerability, then he will expend great effort to exploit. I am far from sold on the whole idea, as the discussions and wargames in developing the concept were, IMHO, badly flawed. And we haven’t even mentioned weather.

    URR

  • sid

    These dtic.mil links are squirrely…

    Try to open it from here:

    http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA426042

    Got to it from google: “staying power”

    If that doesn’t work, I can eamil it…

  • sid

    As someone who has spent time in a kill zone in a lightly armored craft

    As the Surface Navy has never really come up with a good analogue to the “Been There Done That Got The T-Shirt” stories you see in Approach, I would be really interested in hearing the details leesa…Such lessons learned are quite valuable.

    I’m always up for a good seastory ;)

  • leesea

    sid for sea stories perhaps you should email me?

    you could goto: http://www.tf116.org/

    Suffice to say in this forum that moving through a kill zone was SOP on the rivers of Vietnam for PGs and smaller craft. Speed was essential in manuevering in & out.

    By way of comparison, the slower assualt craft in ‘Nam were very heavily armed and armored alla the LCS(L) Mighty Midgets of WW2. You take your choice or strike a happy medium?

    Sure the LCS if it is used in the littorals (as opposed to blue water corvette that some are projecting) needs more weapons and survivablity, but reasonably balanced with speed to escape the dangerous waters as you have mentioned.

    Not to forget that at some point, the tradeoff between installed horsepower and hullform kicks in and back we go to the why HSV versus hispd displacement hull discussion.

  • http://www.amiinter.com AMIGuy

    Gahlran;

    Galrahn Says:

    “I agree with your first sentence, but disagree where to start.

    Sound estimates may help credibility, but credibility begins with requirements with believability. Speed and stealth driving requirements for surface combatants? 3,000 ton corvettes to fight speedboats and 14,500 ton land attack, littoral destroyers?

    Even a perfect FY2010 estimate for LCS cost doesn’t raise the credibility of the Navy, because you are not going to have a hard time finding a naval officer ready to advocate that any ship built to fight at close range was designed with proper requirements when the bridge is surrounded by glass.”

    Gahlran, I agree. That is the long term solution. Perhaps I am looking at this with a pragmatic perspective – “If I were ASN Shipbuilding what would I do first”.

    It’s interesting that both LCS and DDG1000 are from the Rumsfeld era, and we seem to be choking on them as they work there way through our acquisition and deliver process.

    Cheers!

    Nice photo of you on the LCS, the photographer must have been a very smart guy.

    AMIGuy

  • sid

    Suffice to say in this forum that moving through a kill zone was SOP on the rivers of Vietnam for PGs and smaller craft. Speed was essential in manuevering in & out.

    Actually, most of the Riverine force in Vietnam was composed of modified landing craft.

    A read of Friedmans “Small Combatants”, shows that of those components which did posess speed, it was a relative term.

    On page 315, he states: “The PBR would escape at full power then return firing at full speed.” However, PBRs in theater never operated anywhere close to their design targets. He continues, “The navy asked for 30 knots, but had to settle for 25, fully loaded on trials in the United States… By 1968 speed had plummeted. The average speed of twenty-one Mark I plastics examined in the delta was 14.6 knots (the worst 12.6, the best 19.5).

    And there was intial provision for Vulnerability Reduction as well. On page 314, “Unlike the Swift, which operated underfairly benign conditions, the plastic was armored against ambushes mounted in the narrow waterways it frequented.”

  • sid

    By way of comparison, the slower assualt craft in ‘Nam were very heavily armed and armored alla the LCS(L) Mighty Midgets of WW2.

    The LCI(G)/LCS(L) model sacrificed Unit Survivability, and instead relied on Force through numbers.

    But the USN is no longer in a position to absorb and replace that kind of attrition

  • sid

    But the USN is no longer in a position to absorb and replace that kind of attrition

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