4th

Lyons in winter

February 2009

By

James Lyons, Admiral USN (ret.), has an interesting bit up concerning LCS. Read the whole thing for a solid review of the problems we have had with the LCS program – no shocker to anyone who has been reading what Sid, Byron, myself, and others have been commenting on for the last few years.

What makes his article from 01 FEB worth a spin here though is a possible solution he offers, one that I have liked for a long time because it feeds into my #1 issue with LCS; in war you have to bring your multi-mission capability with you inside the skin of the ship – not a few days away in a CONEX box ashore or floating on a MSC ship somewhere.

Anyway – here is the idea from a guy who I am just qualified enough to open a door for.

What should be done? The current Navy leadership inherited the LCS program. With the budget constraints Navy ship acquisition programs will face, we simply cannot afford to build a class of ships with the limited capabilities of an LCS. We should step back, acknowledge the LCS shortcomings and look at alternatives currently available.

The Norwegian Aegis frigate, which is a derivative of the Spanish F-100 Aegis frigate, is a candidate that should receive careful consideration. It has a speed of 28 knots; is stealthy and is capable in terms of area AAW and ASW with its Aegis combat system, electro-optical director; hull mounted and towed array sonar, two MK82 fire-control radars, and 127MM and 76MM guns. It also has the capability to host organic manned and unmanned air and surface vehicles. The cost for this very capable warship is about $600 million. Its draft is 5 meters, which also compares favorably with the LCS.

Worth a ponder?




Posted by CDRSalamander in Uncategorized
Tags:

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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

    The argument that every ship must have a robust multi-mission capability that includes air defense is what’s lead us into the death spiral of not being able to buy enough ships. What ever happened to the idea of having role-players on a team?

  • Byron

    When we had a 600 ship Navy, you could have role players. With a 300 ship Navy, you better be able to hand the situation with what you got. Also, when you’re in the littorals, you better be ready for anything from RPGs, mortars, shore AAA, attack helos, and attack aircraft. The F100 design allows for use of offboard sensors (read UUV/UAV, etc.).

    What caused the death spiral was the design goat rope we got right now. We’ll never build a decent surface warfare vessel when you got thousands of blind men trying to build an elephant by feel.

  • FOD Detector

    Washington Times?

    BTW, ADM Lyons was last seen in the <part of comment redacted by post owner to remove commenter’s religious smear> accusing (part of comment redacted by post owner to remove commenter’s unrelated political commentary).

    But I digress.

    The LCS program has its faults, to be sure. Unfortunately, ADM Lyons barely touches on them in his effort to complain the lawnmower does a poor job of making his milkshake. IOW, Lyons ignores the focused mission capabilities of LCS and zeroes in on just about every mission/scenario the LCS would not engage.

    Lack of professional oversight? Nope. The mistake Lyons ignores is LCS was sold to Congress on the basis we could turn them out at $225M per copy and almost as fast as Liberty ships in WWII. Of course, eager contractors gleefully rogered up to this fantasy.

    I’m really unsure if Lyons truly doesn’t understand the need for speed within the context of the LCS CONOE or he’s simply trying to score cheap points. He seems to imply LCS speed is mandated to outrun or evade missiles/torps. No. The sprint speed is needed to rapidly respond to some hotspot to clear mines, prosecute small boats, conduct ASW or some other contingency op.

    ADM Lyons speaks of a stated “stealth requirement.” In reality, LCS has a pretty generic requirement for a low visual profile. Not the same thing. Besides, “stealth,” in the littoral environment? That’s a diet coke with your Big Mac and super-sized fries. Both hull forms have inherent large/noisy acoustic signatures? No, plus waterjets make both hulls less susceptible to sonar or acoustic mine detection.

    Lyons takes swipes at the USN’s technical capabilities; I suppose there’s anecdotal evidence to support this. But you’re not going to get there from here with a two year MIT tour. A more fundamental change is needed in career paths. A radical change in our spec development is needed. Performance-based specs–we just don’t do ‘em well. OTOH, the other choice is to continue to build ships or other weapons systems that are obsolete by the time they’re deployed.

    (Note to post readers by post owner CDR Salamander: I have redacted portions of this comment because this commenter, ignoring warnings in the past, has injected unrelated political comments on a non-political post. On top of that, he used a derogitory term for religious denomination – again unrelated to the subject of this post. Usually two trollish hijack attempts would result in an immediate deletion of this comment, but being that many of the readers have already responded, I have left most of the comment to give context to the comments that follow.)

  • Byron

    Couple of points to make: LCS uses waterjets as you said. But will an acoustic torpedo know the difference between prop wash and waterjet wash, or will it be all the same, I’m coming home. And sonar? A subs sonar looks for two things, prop noise and engine noise. Are the main engines, jet orifices and auxileries rafted to reduce noise signature? And sonar and mines don’t matter a lot, when you minesweeper has a STEEL hull. As I understand it, most of the mines availble in second and third world nations are either influence or contact (like the one that blew the bottom out of Princeton).

  • Spade

    Hey FOD, weren’t you complaining a couple posts back about the interjection of politics into this blog would cause bad things (like becoming LGF2)?

    I really don’t see the connection between the Admiral’s politics and his ideas on LCS and technical issues.

    Also, you take issue with some of his complaints, saying LCS wouldn’t have that mission/scenario. Examples of this in the article would be what?

    As far as I can see he complains about it’s utility in counter-piracy. I’m pretty sure it would end up there. He talks about it’s survivability against SSMs. Of course, nobody’s been shot at while close to shore by a SSM in the past couple years, yes?
    On sprint speed, yes, the Navy has said that part of the reason for it is so that LCS can ‘get out of trouble’ quickly. I’d lump “evading threats” in with that.

  • FOD Detector

    Byron: If the torp is in the water, it doesn’t matter. The idea behind acoustic sig reduction is to avoid sonar detection so you’re not a target. Waterjets also bring lower noise and vibration. The engines are mounted on resilient mounts.

    Also, remember LCS’s minesweeping is conducted by the 60S.

    Spade: Goes to credibility. Besides, it torques the good CDR.

    Re missions/scenarios, LCS has 3 focused mission capabilities: ASW, SUW, and MIW. Period. There has been talk of a fourth (EMIO) but it’s just talk so far. Lyon’s talks about the Falklands and the loss of HMS Sheffield because of its aluminum construction. HMS Sheffield was performing the duties of destroyer-missile picket duty. Lyons is wrong, anyway, since the Sheffield’s superstructure was of steel contruction.

    Feel free to point out where in the LCS CDD it requires sprint speeds to outrunning torps/missiles.

  • Chap

    It doesn’t matter if the torp is in the water?

    What kind of seeker and guidance system? Might change what matters.

  • sid

    FOD….how will the LCS know there is a torpedo in the water?

    Feel free to point out where in the LCS CDD it requires sprint speeds to outrunning torps/missiles

    That the speed of the LCS is integral to its survival has been thrust forward from the very beginning FOD…Some badly misinformed folks latched onto Cebrowski’s “Speed if Life” myth and ran hog wild with it:

    Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Characteristics Task Force
    Final Report 31 July 2002

    “In order to survive and accomplish its missions, LCS must be
    considerably faster and more agile than current surface combatants. The speed and agility of LCS will be critical for efficient and effective conduct of the littoral missions envisioned. … Further, the survivability of LCS will depend in part on its speed, maneuverability, and stealthy design. It may be sufficient that it be able to cruise at 30 knots and sprint at 50 knots — possibly to avoid a small boat or sub threat, intercept a potential terrorist smuggling vessel over the horizon, or retire from a SOF extraction mission. The requirement for speed may necessitate tradeoffs in size and weight of permanently installed weapons systems.” CNSP 010200Z MAR 02

    And from that point on…the LCS has been a multi-billion dollar oxymoron.

  • sid

    Lyons is wrong, anyway, since the Sheffield’s superstructure was of steel contruction.

    You are misquoting Lyons. He doesn’t specifically mention the Sheffield…

    One is almost all aluminum. We continue to ignore the lessons drawn from the Falklands war where British ships with aluminum superstructures burned to the gunwales in a littoral sea fight with Argentine aircraft-delivered iron bombs

    The flimsiness of the interior bulkheads of the Sheffield absolutely came into play…and the Belknap was fresh on everyones’ minds during the period he speaks of.

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

    FOD said:

    “Besides, “stealth,” in the littoral environment? That’s a diet coke with your Big Mac and super-sized fries.”

    Stealth in the littoral was the most utilized tactical capability at sea exploited for success in 2009, and I’m not talking about submarines.

  • Byron

    Galrahn, could you explain that? 2009 is kinda young yet.

  • FOD Detector

    Sid: The Task Force report is OBE. After all, in the late 90s, a task force report stated the Navy was going to base its MIW capability off carriers.

    The CDD: “incorporate a total ship approach to survivability that addresses susceptibility, vulnerability and recoverability, with crew survival as the primary objective. The principal means to be employed will be to minimize susceptibility through speed, agility, signature management and the core self-defense weapon suite.”

    Susceptibility is a key word.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    FOD,

    What does “susceptibility” mean in the Navy sense? It is a medical term normally associated with living organisms in its strictest use.

  • Byron

    Guess they forgot that whole damage control thing in that “susceptibility management” process. Wonder what the wonder boys of LCS are going to do if the ships gets holed in the middle of a running gunfight, and it’s either break away from a key combat system, conn, or engineering station to go patch a hole the pumps can’t keep up with the water coming in.

    There’s a reason why warships are overmanned.

  • sid

    The Task Force report is OBE.

    You need to read the Taaks Force Report in full FOD. The participant had little regard for speed…but speed was “a political line in the sand”. Paint the side the Admiral sees…

    Susceptibility is a key word.

    It certainly is.

    And how it differs from Vulnerability. And how speed contributes to the overall equation. Are all topics many a SWO would do well to understand better

  • FOD Detector

    Sid: The Brits don’t believe it. I believe you can get the MOD report online.

  • FOD Detector

    but speed was “a political line in the sand”.

    Regarding LCS, there have been many, many political lines in the sand that have gone away. At one time, $225M was a hard line in the sand. As was the two year construction cycle. As was a 20-man air det for the helo and UAVs. As was the ship manning. I could go on.

  • sid

    You need to read the Task Force Report in full FOD. The participant had little regard for speed…but speed was “a political line in the sand”. Paint the side the Admiral sees…

    Even though speed fell near the bottom of the votes at the integration workshop, those favoring high speeds are a vocal and unwavering minority. It may be a political reality that the ship has to achieve 50 knots, but for our working groups it was certainly not a highly valued operational requirement.

    So in one respect you are right FOD. The Task Force particiapants’ view about speed was overridden by those who declared a “Need for Speed”…

    Now there is a a speedy ship in the water (well, in the yards getting another 37 mil spent on her) that can do little else other than go fast.

  • sid

    Sid: The Brits don’t believe it. I believe you can get the MOD report online.

    It? What is it?

  • Byron

    Wonder what adding 2-5 tons at the stern will do to weight and stability, not to mention additional stress at the metacenter.

  • sid

    Wonder what adding 2-5 tons at the stern will do to weight and stability, not to mention additional stress at the metacenter.

    Especially in a ship that has taken other structural damage. The Sheffield finally sank because she broke up in heavy seas. Also, her attempted recovery took away assets the Brits could ill afford to spare from the offensive effort.

    Fod, back to your point about the Brits not believing “it”.

    Ever hear of the HMS Amazon and what happened during her fire? Or how the lightweight construction of the class was a continuing source of stress problems?

    Or what happened to her interior ladders?

    But they were good looking ships though…

    Also, the results of battle damage on a sister of the Amazon are evident here

    To this untrained eye, sure looks like aluminum is involved in that particular blaze.

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

    Byron,

    Meant to say 2008, but 2009 seems to apply too.

    I’ll fold it into my next article, was going to anyway.

  • sid

    What does “susceptibility” mean in the Navy sense? It is a medical term normally associated with living organisms in its strictest use.

    Good synopsis (applies to ships as well as aircraft) here

  • sid

    “Staying Power” is a vital attribute in major warships…and does anyone really think the 3000 ton, half billion dollar plus, LCS will be regarded as anything other than a “Major” warship…that has proven to be the deciding factor in battle.

    Only problem is, it doesn’t factor so well in an MBA derived spreadsheet.

    By all accounts, even with the addition of NVR specs, neither LCS design will have much in the way of “Staying Power”, which is the ability to fight hurt.

    Indeed, the plan is to use her speed and run from threats.

    And the way the fiscal and political realities are shaping up, the only combatant ship type (G, they will be by default; no matter your call for something otherwise) that is liable to get wet over the next decade is the LCS.

    So, if current plans for 55 of these ships to be built hold, the USN surface combatant fleet will possess little “Staying Power”. A situation that will manifest itself to an ever greater degree as the first of the Burkes and the rest of the Ticos go away.

    Here is what Wayne P. Hughes had to say in The Value of Warship Attributes in Missile Combat, an NPS thesis from 1992:

    o Fleets weak in staying power relative to their combat power are in an unstable condition. They are subject to destruction and defeat at the same time their ordnance is delivered. Such fleets must operate in a highly risk-averse mode, as if tactically paranoid. Conclusion 8 specifies unstable conditions.

    This well describes a fleet composed primarily of LCS’s…

    An Affordable that cannot AFFORD to fight…

    Thats what your MBA solution will buy.

  • sid

    This well describes a fleet composed primarily of LCS’s…

    An Affordable Fleet that cannot AFFORD to fight…

    Thats what your MBA solution will buy.

    there

  • sid

    Sid: The Brits don’t believe it. I believe you can get the MOD report online.

    Good stuff here about design tradeoffs…

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

    “And the way the fiscal and political realities are shaping up, the only combatant ship type (G, they will be by default; no matter your call for something otherwise) that is liable to get wet over the next decade is the LCS.”

    Lets not pretend the world is square, the same applies to our minesweepers out in the Gulf on a daily basis.

    Everything changes when the first bullet is fired, and for the record I have a lot of faith that the Navy is in for a splash of cold water, and soon. My hunches are usually pretty good too…

  • sid

    Lets not pretend the world is square, the same applies to our minesweepers out in the Gulf on a daily basis.

    By the way things are shaping up, its ever more likely the LCS will be replacing Burkes a few years hence…along with MHC’s…

  • sid

    Some of these units are BRAND NEW, and the oldest is not yet twenty.

    Money…or more precisely, the lack thereof.

    How old was this ship when she was decommissioned?

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Sid,

    Why, exactly, would we be withdrawing the Burkes from service? Some of these units are BRAND NEW, and the oldest is not yet twenty.

  • sid

    Not sure why those comments got discombobulated…

    URR, the LCS is being touted as the “Field of Dreams” warship. And the only one -to his credit- that sees this ship as anything other than a comabatant is Galrahn.

    To those who view such matters through the lens of an MBA’s calculus equation, this concept, and others like it, are sure to be compelling.

    No matter Hughes’ admonition about the ensuing lack of Force “Staying Power” cited above…

  • sid

    URR, the LCS is being touted as the “Field of Dreams” warship.

    “It’s the Field of Dreams of warships,” Doyle said. In other words, if you build the ship, potential “customers” ranging from the Marine Corps to humanitarian workers to battle groups sailing into a shooting war, will come.

    (emphasis added)

  • UltimaRatioReg

    I am sure the Commander, Landing Force (CLF) will be positively thrilled with a littoral combat platform that has no staying power and uses “speed” for survivability.

    So, if there is no money for operating costs of the DDG-51s, how is there money to build platforms that cost a hundred times those operating costs?

    I can’t afford to keep driving my good (not so old) ’03 Buick, I just don’t have the money. So, got any Escalades? Especially the ones with all the expensive options?

  • Byron

    Maybe…just, maybe.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Damage control, as mentioned a bunch of times, might be a challenge without a crew.

    …and how can 40 people hold a decent shellback ceremony?!?!?!?

  • sid

    So, if there is no money for operating costs of the DDG-51s, how is there money to build platforms that cost a hundred times those operating costs?

    I’d bet once you add in personnel costs, the numbers would go in favor of the new build -manned by mny fewer souls- over a 30 year span.

    And Hughes’ notes that “Staying Power” does not compute well from the standpoint of direct costs:

    Staying power, the ability of a ship to absorb hits and continue fighting, is a major attribute of warships. Developing ways and means to enhance staying power is a matter of detailed engineering design. The naval architect is faced with two dilemmas. First, if the history of combat at sea is any guide, when similar quantities of ordnance strike similar warships, the variation in the amount of damage is quite large. Second, even if one could predict with a high degree of accuracy the effect of, say, hits by Exocet missiles on a DDG-51, the difficult question would still remain: What is the military worth of staying power to the DDG-51 relative to its other combat attributes? For both reasons, the warship designer who knows how to toughen a ship does not know whether doing so will pay off in battle and be worth the cost.

    So its easy to see how suits sitting in a conference room can decide to dispense with it…

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Sid,

    Maybe so with the 30-yr TCO equation, but I am still not sure. Jan PROCEEDINGS had an excellent point on re-capitalizing. In it, the author noted that the LPD-4 class still in commission were operating at a $15 mil per annum cost, and the LPD-17 was about $1.4 billion per unit.

    Perhaps the DDG-51/LCS comparison is not an order of magnitude of 100 as with the LPDs, but I suspect that it would take a hell of a lot longer than 30 years to realize any savings from replacing an existing unit with a brand new $500+ million platform.

    And, of course, one would need to add the cost of the decommissioned unit’s unrealized remaining service life to the calculation, would you not?

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Oh, and your point about the suits in a conference room is salient….

  • sid

    Maybe so with the 30-yr TCO equation, but I am still not sure

    Dunno. Paraphrasing from Chief Dan George in “Little Big Man”, such ciphering “causes a great pain between my ears.”

    I found this little tidbit in the Feb 09 Proceedings Professional Notes quite interesting:

    Operations Analysis Guides LCS Employment
    By Lieutenant Ben Abbott, U.S. Navy

    For a SUW mission that may contain a submarine threat, the squadron should use tactics that maximize ASW sensors and weapon systems-especially a low speed of advance.

    Now, wait a minute…A LOW SOA is best?!?!?

    Soooo, please explain to me again why this ship design is so compromised to do just the opposite?

    And there is this little tidbit from Lt. Abbott as well:

    Due to the inherent risks entailed by littoral combat, the Navy should effect a paradigm shift so that casualties of both ships and personnel are expected and accepted.

    Been a long time since that has happened to the USN in any scale, so a little reminder:

    Here is what it looks like.

    Are you ready?

  • FOD Detector

    Sid: Again, the notion of the high sprint speed is to rapidly respond to some hotspot. It does not necessarily mean LCS’s focused mission operations will occur at high speeds.

    Here’s a f’r’instance: Let’s say LCS is part of a CSG. It is discovered (or suspected) a chokepoint along the CSG’s transit route is mined. Wouldn’t it be a good thing if the LCS could hook ‘er up, get there well in advance of the CSG and do its MIW thing (as MIW often involves a not insignificant amount of time)?

    Or we could have the LCS steam alongside the CSG until it reaches the mined area and then commence MIW ops, while the rest of the CSG does lazy eights.

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

    FOD Detector,

    No major mine operation has been conducted by the US Navy since WWII without a major aviation platform, either amphib or carrier. I assure you, the LCS will be waiting for the carrier to help with the job in your scenario as described.

  • FOD Detector

    Galrahn: I’ll bite. How will the carrier or amphib conduct MIW without an organic AMCM capability?

  • sid

    Sid: Again, the notion of the high sprint speed is to rapidly respond to some hotspot. It does not necessarily mean LCS’s focused mission operations will occur at high speeds.

    FOD, for years now, I have made it a point to reflect what the Navy is saying about the LCS. Here is the most seminal quote I know of about speed in the concept (from a NAVSEA link that is now taken down):

    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.

    And, no, what he said is not OBE…What he said sits in the water in Norfolk and Mobile today.

    So there you have it. Superior visiblity will allow the LCS to use its very high speed to maneuver and engage the enemy where desired, and to retire when confronted with the threat.

    And, because of the overarching desire for speed, design compromises were made in terms of lightweight construction, therefore, “Staying Power” has been reduced.

    What is OBE -historical precedent actually- is the overarching insistence on speed, and presumption of good “visiblity” to divine an enemy’s intentions in the concept.

    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

    Wouldn’t it be a good thing if the LCS could hook ‘er up, get there well in advance of the CSG and do its MIW thing (as MIW often involves a not insignificant amount of time)?

    How long can they stay before they have to unrep?

  • Southern Air Pirate

    FOD,

    The CSG or ASG will do what they have done in the past. Load up one or more of the HM outfits into C-5′s and fly them to a friendly airfield that is within range where local tanker (whether USAF KC-XX or a onboard Superhornet) assets could pass gas to get them onboard the carrier or large deck amphib. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see someone in the pipeline coming down to ask for some H-53K’s to be converted to a MH-53 variant. The reason being is they are finding during testing the MH-60S is having issues pulling the old school sleds and even the new sleds that are being designed for it. Issues such as torsion stress on the bulkheads where the tow ropes are secured to, shorter ranged then even the RH-53D, faster wear on the T-700 from the fact that they need to run it at higher RPM’s then the, inability to carry the EOD team and thier dive gear along with recovering them. The other issue is just operational, that is the sled is towed just off the side instead of directly behind (like in the H-53) so the sleds aren’t being pulled in a straight line but rather like a drunken sine wave depending on the sea state.
    Finally, when was the last time that the AMCM wasn’t already in position to do its mission? I will tell you it wasn’t. During the Suez Canal operation in the mid 70′s the RH-53′s were flown to Suda where they then redeployed to 6th fleet assets outside Port Said. For the clearance of Vietnamese harbors and rivers in 1973 as part of the Paris Accords, the RH-53′s were flown to Subic and then loaded onboard an LPH to begin clearance ops, during Desert Shield the MH-53′s were deployed to Bahrain and then loaded onboard the Inchon to help support mine clearance ops post conflict.

    Oh and what about using the Avenger class MCM’s to do the mine clearing while under protection of the guns of the carrier or large deck phib? We have these ships prepositioned all with in 96hours of a major chokepoint or conflict zone; such as in the Gulf, near Naples, and on a rotational bases between Japan and Korea. If the regional commander is that worried before begining an operation, then by god he would probably request mine warfare elements to be on station before the start.

  • sid

    Maybe so with the 30-yr TCO equation, but I am still not sure.

    I would bet though, that in a comparison with the Ticos, the numbers would definitely look good for the LCS based (ersatz) “G” ship…

  • FOD Detector

    SoAP: There’s something about using the Navy’s most valuable asset to clear mines that strikes me as ludicrous.

    But, once more with feeling, the current Navy posture is that there will be one platform with an organic AMCM capability. And it’s LCS. The amphibs (read: USMC) don’t, well, won’t have it. The CVNs aren’t going to have it unless they want to give up something else.

    Are there issues with AMCM? Sure. Tell me about any Navy program that doesn’t have ‘em.

  • Southern Air Pirate

    FOD,

    I have heard the statement that organic AMCM capability was only going to be on the Mine Countermeasures Command and Support Ship as well. What happened to that idea? Oh that is right, mine warfare was allowed to wither on the vine post cold-war. The MCS-12, USS Inchon, deployed I don’t think she even deployed once not even as part of a NRF training requirement. Beyond that she hung around the City of Corpus Christi rotting at the pier. The gator freighters belong to the CTF-22, CTF-36, CTF-51, CTF-61, CTF-76, those are the commanders of the Amphibious force in the various fleets. The USMC rides on them to be delievered to the beaches. So if some of MEB needs to be sacrificed to fly in and marry up with MPS because a LHD or LHA is needed to become the flight deck that the MH-53′s will fly from then that will happen. Look at all the times that AMCM has been used since it was introduced in the 70′s. When was it done under fire? As to mine warfare in general who were the last people to actually lay concentrated mine fields in the last fifty years? Just the US during Linebacker I and Linebacker II. Both the Iraqis and Iranians were using drift mines during the Iran-Iraq war. Don’t mention Iraqi Freedom, because the only place that I know of which had a serious mine field was the port Umm Qusar. That was cleared via a combined RN and USN EOD teams. To my knowledge the port was too shallow to effectively use AMCM. Rather it was done the hard and slow way of putting divers over the side to rig the mines with explosives and then detonate them at a safe distance.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Sid,

    “I would bet though, that in a comparison with the Ticos, the numbers would definitely look good for the LCS based (ersatz) “G” ship…”

    Let’s hope the LCS at 3,000 tons has a smaller operating cost than a near-10,000 ton CGN. The missions are radically different, as are the capabilities. There is certainly a great deal of sentiment expressed here that the LCS is wanting when compared to the FFG, so I imagine that very few would propose a combat capabilities comparison with a Tico.

    Also, with a “Blue” and “Gold” crew arrangement being proposed for the LCS, the crew size would in fact be closer to 100 than 50, would it not? I will also wait to see what the repair bill might be if one of the fancy gadgets on LCS breaks at the wrong time.

    But your point that it could be made to seem like a good deal to the suits in the boardroom is a good one.

    See, if they were smart, they would read our blog here and do exactly what we tell ‘em!! :-)

  • Southern Air Pirate

    Another question that I haven’t heard answered about the LCS program. How are these ships going to be able to switch modules when they aren’t near a friendly port? Is there going to be a mother ship that will carry some of these modules and swap them out as needed? Will the LCS have to try and high line a module back and forth? Have we attempted to answer these questions in a prototype(s) before investing huge amounts of $$$ before finding out that unreping modules aren’t feasible? Why hasn’t anyone in the SWO community pulled off the 100 questions like Captain Reeves and his 100 question thesis that was posted on the USS Langley?

    There are still too many questions and not enough answers about this ship and its roles. Everything I have read from Proceedings, Surface Warfare, blogosphere, and even Janes seems to say that the LCS is the greatest thing to surface warfare since the HMS Dreadnaught.

  • FOD Detector

    So if some of MEB needs to be sacrificed to fly in and marry up with MPS because a LHD or LHA is needed to become the flight deck that the MH-53’s will fly from then that will happen.

    Uh huh. I’ll believe when I see it.

    RE swapping MPs; there’s no hard consensus on that issue. You can’t highline ‘em. My best guess is that we’ll eventually see dedicated mission (ASW, SUW, or MIW) with short deployment (< 21 day) cycles. The MPs will be forward deployed in the usual places.

2014 Information Domination Essay Contest