Tuesday, January 15, 2013

LCS: Fit for Duty, Ready for Action


  1. Still no dice on making a workable mission package? i understand and like the concept, and its great on paper, but what went wrong between the paper and the shipyard i wonder?

  2. Same thing that always does: stupid specs and bad program management. For example the Danish have been operating a modular, ROV oriented mine sweeping system from their STANFLEX line of modules since 1995. The Stanflex 300 MCM concept employs two remotely-controlled MRD minehunting drones each equipped with a Thomson Sintra Activites Sous-Marines TSM 2054 towed sidescan sonar.

    Is it as cool as the USNs proposed "sharks with lasers on their heads" system? No. Has it been at sea and working for over 15 years? Yes. Did the USN system crater so badly that they have scrapped the whole thing and are just now starting over? Yes.

  3. One thing that was done wrong was that since the ship was so based around mission modules, they should have waited to build the ships until they at least got prototype mission modules working. Instead they built the ships first and then built mission modules based on the available space, power and manpower available on the LCS.

    Its like doing a math problem but most of the numbers are unknown. You can come up with good answers if a few are unknown but with the LCS so much was new tech that had not even been prototyped yet that most of the numbers were just estimates. And building something works best if you have hard numbers, not estimates.

    They should have kept the program at two ships and worked out the tech and tactics. Then once they got hard numbers then build more ships of an appropriate design.

  4. Well, they sure managed to win the war of buzzwords. Let's see, “Sensors and effectors”, check. “Information management”, check. “ Technology synergization”, check. “Minimal Manning”, check. “ Nanotechnology”, check. Cool Music, check.
    Hmmm.. did we forget anything? How about weapons and damage control!? Nah. Too old school.

    I always thought the mission of the Navy was O.O.T. (ordinance on target) How does the LCS accomplish this? Am I missing something? What is the commander supposed to do with this cool new toy?

    Just asking.


    1. zoom away at 40 knots...not that it will help much against an anti-ship missile. i am amazed that they could get this so wrong.

  5. I'm not. Once upon a time the USN rebuilt 160+ ships to carry DASH and built 755 DASH drones and the program was pretty much a total failure. Why LCS went wrong is actually rather easy to see. Basically they took Street Fighter and decided real surface combatants had to be blue water and hence turned a 500 ton missile boat into a 3,000 ton helicopter carrying frigate. The speed requirement was actually so the ship could race back and swap out modules which according to the USN is never ever going to happen. The entire concept of LCS is flawed on so many levels it's impossible to see how anyone could ever have expected it to "work". It's a total joke.

    A 3,000 ton 40+ knot mine warfare craft is ridiculous on too many levels to even begin with, leaving aside the module doesn't actually work. The original surface warfare requirement of a 40km missile was a joke and replacing that with a new 5km missile is simply ridiculous and the module doesn't work yet. No module does. They are so expensive the USN has stated it's not going to build many so the silly ships will be single mission for the most part. LCS can't do convoy escort because it can't protect itself against aerial threats. It can't do shore bombardment and exploit it's shallow draft because it has no weapon to employ in that role. I'm pretty sure at top speed it will use all it's fuel in less than one day. Every day it's not cancelled is a huge embarrassment.

    Oh did I mention that on top of all this the USN decided to buy two different ships with different systems gaining no economy of scale and making upgrades and maintenance that much more expensive. It's just stunning multiple flag officers didn't lose their jobs and a star or two over this.