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?