Via the Israeli Navy…. click here if the video doesn’t work right.

More on the Typhoon stabilized gun here.

Posted by CDRSalamander in Maritime Security

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  • SeniorD

    To parphrase a line from Tom Clancy’s Red Storm Rising:

    ‘Damn! We gotta get us some of those!’

    I heartily agree, Commander, THAT is what littoral combat is all about.

  • Eagle1

    A stabilized gun that needs no through deck fittings?

    Looks like a winner for a cheap inshore fleet.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    I sort of envisioned an 8″ or so caliber cannon firing a 460-pound rocket-assisted, fin-stabilized, GPS-guided projectile upwards of 40km. Something capable of destroying hardened command bunkers, gun emplacements, radar installations, and anti-ship missile bunkers…. and NOT a missile that costs more than $1 mil per copy. URR

  • UR2,
    You’re talking about my buddy, the MK71.

  • Bill

    How about that? I was involved in a short-lived development effort to adapt the stabilized and remotely directed mount from the LAV for use on small comabatant craft back in the 80s. The similarities between that mount and the Typhoon are..natural enough. It was a short-lived development effort with one small demonstration firing at sea (including Hellfire….) short-lived because…we didn’t then and do not now build small capable combatant craft, we only burn money developing concept designs for them every decade or so and then shelve them.

  • Our USN employs this stabilized gun system as the Mk 38 Mod 2 Gun……..

  • @AMIGuy but not the missile component, which would make for a very nice force multiplier.

  • Ken & Bill speak with big medicine.

  • Big D

    $1M per missile? I doubt it. Isn’t that a SPIKE-ER?

    Would be interesting to see us try a similar lash-up with Javelin or Hellfire, although to be honest, NETFIRES will provide similar capability with a large VLS magazine.

  • Bill

    Best I recall from our playtime with LTV’s mount, it would support various combinations of Hellfire missiles, a 50-cal, Stingers, a 30mm gun, and the 19-tube 2.75″ rocket launcher. We did not test all combinations and the Hellfires we did test were not the standard helo version which, as it turned out, had a little ‘trouble’ with backscatter from the sea surface that necessitated a change of fruits order for all hands. ;-^

    Suffice to say, however, we did demonstrate that a lot of ‘mission configurable’ firepower could be supported by one light-weight robotic mount, with integral FLIR, laser and other acquisition and tracking sensors with minimal deck penetration or foundation requirement, suitable for small craft in the 80′ to 140′ LOA range we were considering it for.

  • Bill

    oops..that should have read “were the standard helo version”..not “were not the standard helo version..”

  • B.Smitty

    I believe there was work to integrate Javelin with the Stryker RWS. Not sure about any naval mounts though. Hellfire has been tested from an RWS mounted on a CB90 patrol boat. But, IIRC, if the RWS carries Hellfire, it can’t carry a gun. Hellfire also requires laser designation, which adds additional complexity.

    With Javelin, I’d be worried about firing it against moving vessels. The seeker might be distracted by wake and spray. Plus it’s fire and forget, so you better be sure there are only bad guys downrange. If there are friendlies nearby, you wouldn’t want to risk the missile deciding to change targets on you.

    The nice thing about Spike LR/ER is even if you can’t get a lock, you can still fly the round into the target manually.

    UltimaRatioReg, I don’t think an 8″ gun will fit on any vessel in the Israeli Navy, let alone the Shaldag or Super Dvora patrol boat that probably took these videos.

  • Bill

    B.Smitty noted “Hellfire also requires laser designation, which adds additional complexity.”

    Yes, but. If your ‘end user’ community likes the idea of being able to have their ‘little boat’ be capable of tossing Hellfires up and toward some very specific or ‘over the horizon’ target that one of their guys will be busy lasing from an appropriate vantage point on shore…..

    And there was planned a sea-variant of the missile that had a seeker head more suited to the anit-ship role.

  • Byron

    Don’t forget your “little boat” being able to deploy Firescout.

  • sid

    Note that it doesn’t take a half billion dollar 3000 ton (bareboat price) ship for this kind of work

  • Bill

    Toys like Firescouts and USVs were barely being thunk of when we were trying to develop that gun mount I spoke of. Heck, SDVs were new then and a rib was something Adam gave to Eve. Being old and senile, I forgot to mention, that LTV mount had the benefit of being completely retracted down in to its own shallow compartment, something the signatures guys were all hot and slobbery about.

    Besides, fast ferry’s carry Firescouts…

  • Bill

    Bingo, Sid. Superb craft are also those of similar size and capabilities produced by Abeking, B&V and others in Germany, Damen in Holland, Umoe in Norway..

    But we don’t need those.

  • B.Smitty

    Bill and Sid,

    Those are nice craft, but how do we deploy and support them in forward areas with no friendly land basing nearby?

    Supporting a handful might not be a problem, but once you get past that, they’ll need dedicated motherships to transport and support them.


    Hellfires would be an interesting capability, but maybe we should just wait for Netfires, which will give you all of that and a lot more in a convenient VLS.

    Plus, who wants to manhandle a 100lb Hellfire up on the deck of a pitching patrol boat to reload the launcher?

  • You can get a detailed assessment of the enhanced version of the Typhoon combining the Spike ER missiles and remotely controlled stabilized gun, on defense Update news.

  • Bill

    All good points Smitty..and I have handled enough Hellfires and 2.75 ordnance to know I wouldn’t want to be doing it on the deck of a small boat in a seaway. In fact, I’d rather not have anything at all in my hands so that both are free for grabbing..

    Netfires looks good to me…more ‘new stuff’ that wasn’t around as an option when we were contemplating how to ‘put big bangs on small boats’. Looks a lot like the (cancelled I believe) Titan/L3 “Affordable Weapon System” but smaller…

    Various ‘mother ship’ concepts and conops have certainly been kicked around. We always seemed to run up against the same brick wall where the capabilities and payload wanted/specified always, in the end, drove a small craft design that was too large to be ‘mothered’.

  • B.Smitty


    That seems to be the general problem with motherships – their daughters get too big for them.

    The best proposal I’ve seen is to use a FLO/FLO like the Dockwise Yacht Express ( or Dock Express ( to transport and support significant numbers of boats of various sizes. Such a ship could also carry barges of various types for refueling and supporting the boats and their crews.

    If you just considered square dimensions, the Yacht Express could carry up to 30 Super Dvoras. That’s a nice little squadron.

    The big, open deck also lets you vary the types of craft to match the situation (e.g. LCACS, LCUs, LCMs, Cyclones, Mark Vs, or USCG RB-Ms).

  • sid

    Excellent point B Smitty, but do you risk a half billion dollar (bareboat), 3000 ton ship…built to the lowest survivability standard…in a a battlespace where this can happen in a heartbeat?

    That particular engagement wasn’t the most sucessful…

    Wanna take bets on the next one?

  • Render

    Sweden has been using Hellfire as a shore based coastal defense missile since the late 80’s.

    “As a result of this development, the US Navy announced in October 1988 that it was to conduct a series of test launches to evaluate the Hellfire as an anti-ship system.”

    What happened with that program?


  • UltimaRatioReg


    You’re right, of course, the 8″ tube probably weighs more than the Shaldag. But you know us fire supporters, the bigger the hole is, the happier we are…


  • B.Smitty


    An LCS would have to stand off at a safe distance and use its USVs and UAVs to approach the target. They could then designate targets for Netfires fired from the LCS.

  • sid

    An LCS would have to stand off at a safe distance…

    “Safe” would mean beyond visual range, as Hezbollah obtained their intital targeting information with the good ‘ole Mk1 Mod0 Eyeball

    The right kind of netted assests can extend that stealthy targeting ability out to NLOS range and beyond…

  • B.Smitty

    Certainly sanitizing the area of “netted assets” would be a precondition for any attack of this type.

    Using Fire Scouts and Netfires, the LCS could stay over the horizon and still mount this type of strike.

    OTOH, the patrol boats in this video had to get within ATGM range to launch their Spikes and fire 30mm.

  • Smitty,
    Chanting from PPT does not add to the conversation. 😉

  • B.Smitty

    CDR Salamander,

    The LCS IS supposed to use standoff afforded by unmanned systems as part of its defense, right?

  • Byron

    And if you believe that I have some beautiful waterfront property in the wonderful nation of Afghanistan. LCS: Little Crappy Ship. Or as the CDR puts it, Tiffany Navy.

  • Bill

    Render; The answer to your “what happened” to the anit-ship Hellfire is hidden in the article you linked to:

    “The second option covers the integration of the missile in a stabilized platform for installation aboard a naval surface effects ship. Four ship launches are planned this Summer to demonstrate the weapon’s coastal, harbour and shiplane defence capabilities.”

    We conducted the tests described..we designed the “naval surface effects ship” and she was commissioned as the specwar craft “Origami”, keeping alive the name given to a long succession of similar ships. Only her ability to inflict paper cuts…..oops, sorry..have not taken my cynicism medicine yet this morning.

  • sid

    Certainly sanitizing the area of “netted assets” would be a precondition for any attack of this type.

    That won’t happen smitty…For one thing, its against maritime law

  • sid

    Hit the button too soon…

    Set up a cordon sanitaire in the littorals, and you have just solved the issue of continuous surveillance for your enemy…He will know where to tweak his targeting solution.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    If we are discussing littoral combat, we should also take a look at requirements for amphibious operations, projecting combat power either across a beach, or into an SPOD. Sid’s point that the enemy knows you’re coming speaks to the survivability of any platform involved. Amphib ops has been described as “subtle as a loud belch at Communion”. So we need to ensure that we are not relying on being able to locate, target, and have effect on every single enemy weapon system as a precondition for execution. Despite our technological sophistication, this is nearly impossible to achieve.

  • sid

    URR, so happens I was just reading a NWC paper on this very subject

    Back to the Future: Staying Power and Operational Protection of the Sea Base

    Additional survivability needs to be built into the assets as more combat power is concentrated in the Sea Base and as a potential enemy’s tactical success can have strategic implications. A single hit not only has the potential to be a probable mission kill, but may have significant political effect and deny access or question Sea Shield effectiveness.
    Staying power in warships has become a pejorative term conjuring up visions of battleships laden with heavy armor and torpedo belts on the hull. This type of staying power was essential in the large caliber gun age prior to missiles and fire control radar. Staying power today, as promoted by this paper, is a design where a vessel does not have to withstand a barrage attack, but one where it must not succumb to a mission kill after a single missed point attack.

  • UltimaRatioReg


    Interesting. Maybe we will go back to the future enough to conclude that the “iron mountain” isn’t such a bad idea. After all, conditions for failure of US amphibious operations have seldom been defeat by the enemy in combat ashore, but rather the loss of support capability for the landing force.


  • sid

    the enemy knows you’re coming…

    When it comes to operating in the littorals somebody is going to see you.

    Here is an example

    Several reasons for the lack of interdiction and counter-drug activities in the Colombian area were given by interviewees. Some suggested that Colombian police and Navy vessels were in the region at the same time, either warding away potential suspects or apprehending them without Stiletto’s assistance. Others suggested that people in Colombia knew Stiletto was in the area because of information leaks. As an example, the crew stated that one could “Google Stiletto and find updated data, pictures etc. The Saturday evening before Stiletto deployed [we] painted the roof a white color; by that Monday, pictures of Stiletto with a white roof were on the internet.” When the crew researched Stiletto, they found deployment dates and port stops listed online. Additionally others suggested that the lack of interdictions may be due to the stealth-like appearance of Stiletto because it attracts a lot of attention. “It was impossible for Cartagena citizens to not know about Stiletto. To pull into port there, you have to pull by all the high rises. We deployed at all hours, day and night; it was too cool looking for people not to know we were there.”

    Seems the USN was surprised by this fact of life…

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Wow, Sid. Every 2nd Lt is taught to consider your unit under observation at all times… One would think the lesson would stick.


  • Bill

    Reminds me of the ship’s crest allowed by RSwN for ‘Smyge’..a blank one with nothing but the blue background. It was a joke of sorts..”Attention. We are a stealth craft so you cannot see us. That is an order” 😉

  • sid

    After all, conditions for failure of US amphibious operations have seldom been defeat by the enemy in combat ashore, but rather the loss of support capability for the landing force.

    Well URR, seems the mentality is, “We haven’t been shot at in 60 plus years, therefore it won’t happen…Besides, due to our superior systems and tactics, we will always be able to avoid the threat.”

    Or perhaps the idea that war is even a factor isn’t even getting recognized at all, due to fiscal “realities”

    Although plans call for the Navy to buy another ship similar to the America — which will form the “America class,” a spokeswoman with Naval Sea Systems Command confirmed — the second ship could nonetheless be radically different. It could have a similar design, but not be a warship. Instead, the second America could be built to civilian standards, not military; have a civilian crew and master; and operate under Military Sealift Command.

    Under that scenario, it would have no built-in weapons, likely have a radically different internal design from the first America and be operated more like an MSC auxiliary than a Navy warship.

  • UltimaRatioReg


    Seems we will never learn how silly “fiscal reality” sounds when it collides with “warfighting reality”. Throughout the ’90s, one could watch “think outside the box” often morph into “stupidly ignore warfighting fundamentals” for budgetary reasons.

    An outstanding book is “The Amphibians Came to Conquer”, about Adm RK Turner and the maturing of USN amphibious doctrine in the Pacific War. Should be required reading for those proposing non-warships in our amphib fleet. Will look very much forward to the panel at AFCEA West on shipbuilding this year…


  • sid

    Seems the calculus is a bit flawed

    Or… lies, damned lies and statistics

    “If its not resolved in the model, it doesn’t exist…”

    Development of a heterogeneous model that goes past the uniformity of platform, weapon system, and unit targeting inherent in the present Littoral Combat Model. Given the complex and multi-faceted nature of littoral naval combat, especially those that concern amphibious warfare, a model that can deal with destruction of amphibious ships not involved fundamentally in the firing process would be an important step.

    Bein’s that prior to debarkation amphibs are the most valuable assets, that should be an imperative step….

  • sid

    conditions for failure of US amphibious operations have seldom been defeat by the enemy in combat ashore, but rather the loss of support capability for the landing force.

    Here is another paper pertinent to the discussion…

    The positional superiority of sea-basing over lodgement is also questionable. Does sea-basing truly provide a stronger positional advantage than a lodgement? Such a perceived
    advantage is suspect, given that the very littoral threats–submarines and anti-ship missiles, if not mines–that OMFTS proponents argue justify and necessitate a shift from traditional
    doctrine, would also certainly threaten sea-basing, the logistic bedrock of OMFTS-STOM.
    The loss of the Atlantic Conveyor and the subsequent impact on lift (with the loss of Wessex helicopters, U.K. Marines had to walk to Port Stanley from San Carlos Water)
    [most noteworthy is this was a mission she was never “intended” to perform…but Woodward had to go with what he had…and lost the bet] for U.K. forces in the Falklands Conflict certainly bears this out.30

  • UltimaRatioReg

    I will enjoy reading that.

    At EW07 in Md, I had an Aussie LtCol ask why we insisted on this “silly-ass OMFTS nonsense”. He asked if we were really trying to have our most valuable assets destroyed with least valuable enemy weapons. In fact, he cited the Falklands and the loss of the Atlantic Conveyor as his example. Despite the funny hat and the Crocodile Dundee accent, he had a point. URR

  • MR T’s Haircut

    LCS is a ponzi scheme. The way procurement and fleet “requirements” hhave become, the US Navy couldn’t order a Boston Whaler with out paying over 1,000,000,000 a copy! Come on didnt we send a lot of officers to business school? Where is the profit from that shore duty detour?

    As far as resupply for the LCS and Hellfire or whatever… I wouldn’t be too concerned about resupply for missiles at sea. Even in a pitching sea. We always got the crew back aboard after liberty!

  • sid

    As far as resupply for the LCS and Hellfire or whatever…

    I will have to defer to URR on this one…

    What doctrine is in place for dispersal of munitions for a deployment of, say, NETFIRES?

  • sid, are you asking about logistical “doctrine” here? If so, I’d wager that the current answer is little to none. There may be something written on paper, but it won’t be real until the fleets get their hands on it, try it, and find out it doesn’t work.

  • sid

    sid, are you asking about logistical “doctrine” here?

    I was actually referring to deployment in the field to mitigate the threat of counterbattery fire.

    Sorry, just don’t know all that jarhead lexicon so much, except for “Fire Mission Target Number”, “Shot!”, and “Splash Out” 😉

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Sid and Ken,

    The original tactical deployment advantage of NETFIRES was to be able to mass fires quickly from dispersed firing units. Not a new concept, as this is what a Battalion and Regimental FDC does in the good ol’ cannon FA. But the system of target acquisition and engagement is much slicker and can be done from a bunch of platforms, including the AC-130, theoretically. NETFIRES is now called something else, which escapes me at the moment, but the LCS was considered to be a participating platform, carrying a modular missile “box” of 16 (?).

    The logistical challenge begins immediately, as resupply of these “missiles in a box” doesn’t appear to be an easy task, and the numbers available for prolonged combat are questionable. In addition, the missiles are EXPEN$$$IVE, and C2 remains a challenge. Not from a functional sense but from a warfighting sense. Who controls? What echelon? And then, what is left for the other echelons?


  • UltimaRatioReg

    NLOS. That is the new name for NETFIRES. NLOS LS is the missile in a box system. NLOS C is the excaliber and 155mm howitzer. URR

  • B.Smitty

    sid said, “Set up a cordon sanitaire in the littorals, and you have just solved the issue of continuous surveillance for your enemy…He will know where to tweak his targeting solution.”

    Sid, doesn’t this depend on which assets establish the cordon?

    Assuming we can bring a sizable number of small combatants with us (not the 3000 ton LCS speedboat), couldn’t we ask them to do the job? Will an enemy risk exposing a launcher or sub to fire an AShM or torpedo at a 250 ton vessel?

  • B.Smitty


    Will resupply of NLOC-LS missiles really be that bad? You can move and replace missile boxes individually, you don’t have to move an entire 15 cell VLS.

  • Big D

    Resupply of NETFIRES (honestly, does *anybody* like the name “NLOS-LS”, especially since there’s also “NLOS-C” and “NLOS-M” running around?) shouldn’t be that big a deal. My primary concerns WRT NETFIRES are the comms (since the entire concept is dependent on working, secure datalinks) and the price (which, I believe, we have *never* seen any kind of unit price for). As your “horizon-and-beyond” speedboat-popper and single-target or emergency light NSFS, it should work well-enough, though. Just note that it will *never* really work as a Harpoon replacement–anything big enough and mean enough to be worth using a Harpoon on will probably be big enough, mean enough, and point-defensed enough to hurt or kill you before you can successfully pincushion it to death (I’m not saying it can’t be done, but I would never recommend relying on it… it’s Plan B or Plan C at best).

    FCS deployment of NETFIRES is based on two general concepts. One is a version of the common tracked vehicle that carries 4×15 launchers in the back, and can avoid counterbattery better than SP guns. The other is as a stand-alone launcher deployed away from troops, where counterbattery might trash the launcher, but wouldn’t hurt anything else. This heavily-dispersed model would also serve as something of a missile minefield against an armored force.

    Against opponents without a counterbattery capability, it would just be hauled around on a truck and dropped off wherever it needed to be. I would like to note that such a weapon would be *extremely* useful for small motorized units in Afghanistan, where platoon and company-sized units could pack one in the back of an open-bed Hummer and have 15 rounds of Hellfire-equivalent pain to support them in the critical minutes of a contact or ambush before friendly air arrives. That’s probably the best model to think of when pondering littoral usage, as well.

  • UltimaRatioReg


    The number of missiles needed to have target effects will likely mean expenditure rates above current estimates. The logistics “tail” of the NLOC LS system will be a challenge, getting them produced, from CONUS, to theater, and to the using unit(s) in a timely manner and in sufficient quantity.

    In addition to the NLOC LS, a weapon system and projectile with a more substantial payload (such as a 203mm naval rifle version of the NLOC-C) is, IMHO, ALSO required. Not an either-or, but both, to achieve capability across the NSFS spectrum. URR

  • PeteS

    As far as loading missiles (Hellfires?) at sea goes, there is a currently viewable video of a Nazi U-Boat loading torpedoes from a supply U-Boat. Torpedoes were transfered by swimming them and loaded through the hatch by block & Tackle. A calm sea, but nevertheless…

  • sid

    Assuming we can bring a sizable number of small combatants with us (not the 3000 ton LCS speedboat), couldn’t we ask them to do the job?

    First off, there is no plan to buy any “sizable numbers” of small combatants…unless you want to count the unmanned boats the LCS carries. And those are nowhere near ready -for a couple of generations at least- for that particular kind of work.

    Next, you can’t sweep the littorl seas free of otherwise nonhostile traffic, besides the dubious legality, all you will do is just create more targeting assets.

    Lastly, you make it known that there is a box of water described by lat/longs that is so important everybody is getting chased out, then all an enemy need do is concentrate on that box as soon as the aforementioned disaffected boatmen say something has shown up there…

  • sid

    The logistical challenge begins immediately, as resupply of these “missiles in a box” doesn’t appear to be an easy task

    This is something I’ve pondered since the days of being on the gun line here
    (not me in front of the launcher. also, pic taken right near where the Ahi Hanit got her surprise)

    Do you really want exposed ordnance -like the ‘poon and ASROC on that old boat- on a ship engaged in NSFS?

    And if the CLUs are carried internally, what kind of ballistic protection will be afforded?

    After all NSFS is at some degree a mission which conflicts with Nelson’s admonition “A Ship’s A Fool To Fight A Fort”.

    It can be done, If, its done smartly.

    And sending a ship designed for the “least severe environment anticpated” into such a mission doesn’t seem so smart…

  • UltimaRatioReg

    But Sid,

    “you make it known that there is a box of water described by lat/longs that is so important everybody is getting chased out”

    In amphibious operations, anyway, that is precisely the task of the CATF, to establish a Maritime Exclusion Area (MEA) which will have one or more Amphibious Operations Areas (AOA) contained therein.


  • B.Smitty


    I realize there is no program in place to buy a large number of small combatants. I was merely exploring a line of thinking started by this blog posting (Israeli patrol boats shooting up Hamas targets) and your comment earlier, “Note that it doesn’t take a half billion dollar 3000 ton (bareboat price) ship for this kind of work…”, with a link to a Super Dvora III page.

    So I begain thinking about how an LCS would perform the strikes shown in this blog posting. The use of Fire Scout- and/or USV-targeted Netfires from an LCS 20+nm away seemed at least as safe as sailing Super Divoras to within a couple thousand meters of shore to attack with 30mm and Spike ER. Within cannon range, virtually everything in Hamas’ arsenal larger than an RPG could be brought to bear.

    My thoughts then went to how to get an LCS in close enough when the enemy had irregular “netted assets” in the form of small, innocuous vessels performing targeting. Thus the talk of Maritime Exclusion Zones.

    So what’s your answer sid? Replace the LCS with a frigate? Or just don’t approach close to shore, and let airpower take these targets out?

  • sid

    Well…fell into that one…

    I would argue though that “Manuever” must play a bigger role in 21st Amphib Ops, and this is where OMFTS gets it at least a bit right.

    Therefore, OMFTS needs to be expanded into a more realistic and
    pragmatic concept. Strategic and operational constraints, such as the risk of escalation and unconventional warfare, need to be accounted for. The resulting doctrine needs to address overcoming enemy resistance in an intense combat environment risky for dispersed units. Most importantly, the broad concept of multiple formations maneuvering on huge fronts without pause to the operational objective needs to be developed into a focused concept designed to cope with the both the high probability of intense combat and the logistical dilemmas that exist.

    The way Wooward and Clapp played it at San Carlos is both the model and the cautionary tale.

    While maneuver allowed their meager force (which is all any USN commander can hope for any time soon) to deliver “maximum net effective combat power” ashore, they were greatly hindered in the effort by the vulnerabilites inherent in their Economy B fleet.

  • sid

    So what’s your answer sid? Replace the LCS with a frigate?

    Protestations to the contrary, the LCS is the replacement Frigate…At least according to the authors of, The Navy’s ‘Tipping Point’ in this month’s Proceedings…

    The demands on our Navy call to mind Lord Nelson’s plea: More Frigates! And that’s just what the LCS is—a frigate for the 21st century.

  • There is a time and place for standing off and lobbing in precision munitions. There is also a time and place for getting in close and personal. There is a Naval equivalent to “boots on the ground.” Although we need to plan for fighting a Blue Water war, we also need to have the ability to fight brush wars, proxy wars, WOT, etc. This will often mean operating in the midst of legitimate civilian shipping where establishing an exclusion zone is not politically acceptable. Protecting the Iraqi oil platforms and fighting pirates in the GOA are just two examples where we would be better served to have something like the Dvora IIIs than the LCS. Sure, the Israeli Navy has to come within the range of Hamas gunmen to shoot, but that allows them to identify and kill those same gunmen with counter fire when they expose themselves.

  • ELP

    Good thread. Got here via CDR Salamander.

    I think it is time to stress more red-force simulation via computer exercises and such, done by an organization that doesn’t report to any LCS fanboys, (in or out of uniform). I think there is a cheaper way to do this. How you get by Rocko and Moose (the shipbuilding mafia) who want their cut every year out of the budget is anyones guess.

    Or when an LCS or two get smashed in a real nasty WWII Narvik Fiord like battle by any other name… maybe we will learn that gold plated weapons systems for this mission aren’t such a hot idea.

  • sid

    In amphibious operations, anyway, that is precisely the task of the CATF, to establish a Maritime Exclusion Area (MEA) which will have one or more Amphibious Operations Areas (AOA) contained therein.

    That is the classic role. It is entirely possible that except for the briefest of raids, or in the most oblique of full landing operations, it may not be feasible for any duration. Might add to, this is also the achillies heel of seabased logistics.

    Remember what happened to Vandergrift

    But I’m no expert, as I am a victim of this bias trap.

  • sid

    My thoughts then went to how to get an LCS in close enough when the enemy had irregular “netted assets” in the form of small, innocuous vessels performing targeting. Thus the talk of Maritime Exclusion Zones.
    So what’s your answer sid?

    My answer would be to employ a ship into the environment which did not demand a sanitized area in which to operate.

    Tactics would play a big part, but also a ship that is built to the optimum -and that does not mean “maximum possible”- survivability standard appropriate to the battlespace.

    Also, as The Custodian discusses in the thread above, a distributed system amy well prove to be the correct course…provided the C2 complexities can be resolved.

    Given that ships which provide covering fire to amphibious forces have historically taken the worst punishment, the Level I survivability standard LCS isn’t it.

    You can’t afford to “attack a fort” using best business practices.

  • leesea

    LCS is a solution, BUT what the USN has NOT done is correctly identify the problem.
    As for Tippin Point, I last heard Natter pimping a USV for some company. His current employement alone should have screamed conflict of interest (if not intelligence to the USNI editors – what are they thinking?)
    On this topic I side with sid. sucko ship, program needs rework from keel up.

  • leesea

    Smitty the Yacht Express while faster does not have a clear work deck as does the DE10 nor does it have the heavy lift gantries which could support larger boats perhaps even a Cyclone PC.

    Combined with the previous comments about how to resupply LCS and mission modules, it should be noted that I see NO organic means of getting the modules off an LCS except inport using shore cranes. The DE10 could do that at sea. just a thought not a rationalization for a bad design.

  • Byron

    Forgive the grumpiness, but the LCS as a replacement FFG? As politely as possible, LCS can barely replace the Figs RHIB boat. It has no organic sonar, no tail, no Nixie. It doensn’t have AAW missile (and you can bet your sweet dumb ass that when you haven’t got the AAW module is when you’ll REALLY need it)and its barely got a gun. Any pair of decently equiped gunboats could slice that bathtub toy up to a fair-thee-well, and no 70 odd super-sailors is going to keep it floating, much less fighting. And what do you have when you have officers doing officer-ing, and all the hands on stuff done by what amounts to chiefs and warrants? The Russian Navy. Worked real well for them, huh? Galrahn, I know you’re in love with this ship and the concept. But.It.Sucks.Large. Build something large enough, with enough teeth and survivability that it sends the message, “we’re here, and if you want us to leave, it’ll cost ya dearly”

    Time for another cup of mud. Did NOT need to wake up to LCS.

  • B.Smitty


    I agree.

    You are probably the most qualified here to answer this question: How do you sustain small craft in forward areas where you have no land basing?

    It seems to me they need some sort of tender/transport to move them to the theater and support them upon arrival. Super Dvoras could be carried by cargo ships with appropriate cranes or davits, but larger PCs may need something more specialized (thus the FLO/FLO suggestion).


    I agree the DE10’s configuration is more suitable for the role, but I prefer the speed and dimensions of the Yacht Express. So perhaps a combination of the two fits the need.

    It seems to me such a ship should be able to keep up with an amphibious task force, which suggests a 20+kt top end. Sizing depends on the number and type of craft carried, and the level of accommodations and stores needed to support them.


    What does such an “optimum” ship have to survive? Small AShM? Medium or large AShM? A mine hit? Or just cannon fire and ATGMs?

    If it has to survive a large AShM and remain in the fight, it may have to be significantly bigger than the LCS.

  • sid

    What does such an “optimum” ship have to survive?

    It is spelled out here in broad terms.

    Browse through and I’d be interested if you think Level I, which the LCS is built to, is the right standard.

    Or that Littoral COMBAT represents represents the least severe environment anticipated and excludes the need for enhanced survivability for designated ship classes to sustain operations

  • Byron

    Smitty, what do you think an RPG (or several) fired into LCS would do? Anthing good? How about a auto-cannon, in the +20mm range? You could probably put a fairly hot 30 caliber through the deck house. What if the computer that controls all the fancy DC stuff gets whacked, what’s your 40 chiefs and super-sailors going to do? Save the ship, or keep fighting? Can’t do both.

  • B.Smitty


    I’m not trying to defend the LCS. It is a lightly-armed, high-speed ferry with a fancy name.

    My question was honest. What type of damage should a littoral combatant be built to survive?

  • B.Smitty


    So, going by this PDF, if the Navy wants to call it a frigate, then it should be built to Level II. If they want to call it a patrol combatant or minesweeper, then it can be built to Level I. Right?

  • sid

    If they want to call it a patrol combatant or minesweeper, then it can be built to Level I. Right?

    Show me where anyone on watch, from SECNAV to the Freedom’s XO, is calling the LCS anything other than a 3000 ton WARSHIP destined to fight.

    From the ‘Tippin’ article in this month’s Porceedings…

    So, our Navy’s LCS fleet is now putting to sea. Years from now these authors are convinced that this fleet of very capable, fast, flexible, and agile ships will be widely known as the U.S. Navy’s 21st-century frigate.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “Littoral COMBAT represents represents the least severe environment anticipated and excludes the need for enhanced survivability for designated ship classes to sustain operations…”

    “hips which provide covering fire to amphibious forces have historically taken the worst punishment…You can’t afford to “attack a fort” using best business practices.”

    Excellent points, Sid. I can hear my Dad telling the stories of the hundreds of holes in his LCT from Japanese 20mm fire in the “lightly defended” Hollandia landings.

    Big D, when you start matching up wheeled lift capacity to haul requirements for resupply of widely dispersed NETFIRES agencies ashore, I think logistical considerations become a VERY big deal. Not to mention very large FSCOORD issues throughout the battlespace.

    Give me something a shade less capable but much more survivable. I don’t want to have to go SCUBA diving for my unit’s next CSR of ammunition. URR

  • Byron

    It gets down to this: A warship has to be able to inflict damage upon it’s enemies comensurate with it’s size, i.e., of equal or near equal size, and it has to be able to take damage and be able to stay in the fight. LCS can do neither, BY DESIGN. Calling it a warship is a damnable lie.

  • sid

    I don’t want to have to go SCUBA diving for my unit’s next CSR of ammunition.

    Guess this is a view* you would not want from the beach…

    I think I am going to make one of those posters using this pic and the caption:

    When Affordable Strategies Meet Cutthroat Competition

    Or something like that.

    *Actually, the rest of that story is worthy of consideration into CDR Salamander’s FbF, and is a testament to robust and well trained DC efforts.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “…robust and well trained DC efforts.” By more than 50 super sailors, I presume….

    That’d be a great poster.

    The USMC despises Frank Jack Fletcher to this day, but in retrospect regarding Guadalcanal, what would have been the effect of him getting the amphibious task force shot to hell? Or maybe that’s a whole new blog.


  • sid

    The USMC despises Frank Jack Fletcher to this day

    The Alchiba was after Fletcher…

    There is some new work that suggests Fletcher got a bad rap.

  • UltimaRatioReg


    Fascinating story of the USS Alchiba (AK-23). THOSE guys had some brass ones…. Thanks for tipping me to that! URR

  • Systems Adict

    Like the thread, & want to add my tuppence, for wot it’s worth…

    LCS, nice ship though it is, it’s a mongrel !
    Too many ideas thrown together (speed, capability, littoral useage, etc), with not that much thought.

    She is of no defined heritage/lineage, although if you look thru her “DNA” she links back to numerous other designs.

    It’s not as if she’s a follow on from an Arleigh Burke or OPH, hence the mongrel moniker.

    The other issue is the cost. If you wanna spend oodles of cash on “new technology”, it should have a defined capability. LCS is trying too hard to be all things to all sailors, & failing miserably.

    As a “Concept” it will be used to prove certain things, such as more automation, less manpower, more adapatbility of the sailor, rather than defined/rigid role within cast iron demarkation lines.
    All of this will pay off in the future, but won’t help them right now.

    It’s a sad state of affairs, but methinks the USN should be looking @ European designs, like this….


    Both are really OPV’s but can be called Corvettes, or Frigates(because of the armament / firepower(something that LCS doesn’t real have !)), but lineage links straight back to the UK RN’s Type 21 / 22 / 23’s Designs.

    They have firepower, they have self protection capability, low draft, reduced manpower/increased automation & with some rehashing in the engine dept (with possible addition to the LOA for fuel tanks / engine space to turn them into all electric drive), could achieve speeds well over 30 knots, more than enough for litoral operations !

    Wot d’ya thunk ??


  • leesea

    B.Smitty flo/flos and dockships typically don’t make much speed 16 kts maybe afterall they are designed for safe reliable transport. Yacht Express was specifically designed to move WOC toys around quickly.

    One of the things which kicked the NAVSEA designed flo/flo cost to over $225 mil was they wanted it to do 20kts and its hull form was like a brick and they also wanted it as stiff as a brick, like a floating drydock which could move at 20 kts. Think of the HP needed to move that thru the water? Then triple down the idea to get to the even more screwed up MLP