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LCS boondoggle


Angrybk

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Paywall. What does it says? That the Navy wanting to be relevant in "low level" expeditionary war in failed states that  was supposed to be XXI Century conflict got different century instead?

If it is about "social spending" then you should know that USA have been building M1 tanks for years while US Army says it do not need any.

 

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1 hour ago, lucklucky said:

Paywall. What does it says? That the Navy wanting to be relevant in "low level" expeditionary war in failed states that  was supposed to be XXI Century conflict got different century instead?

If it is about "social spending" then you should know that USA have been building M1 tanks for years while Obama-appointed generals* say it do not need any.

 

As for paywalls, there are ways around one, allegedly...
 

Quote

 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The 387-foot-long warships tied up at the Jacksonville Navy base were acclaimed as some of the most modern in the United States fleet: nimble, superfast vessels designed to operate in coastal waters and hunt down enemy submarines, destroy anti-ship mines and repel attacks from small boats, like those often operated by Iran.


But the Pentagon last year made a startling announcement: Eight of the 10 Freedom-class littoral combat ships now based in Jacksonville and another based in San Diego would be retired, even though they averaged only four years old and had been built to last 25 years.


The decision came after the ships, built in Wisconsin by Fincantieri Marinette Marine in partnership with Lockheed Martin, suffered a series of humiliating breakdowns, including repeated engine failures and technical shortcomings in an anti-submarine system intended to counter China’s growing naval capacity.


“We refused to put an additional dollar against that system that wouldn’t match the Chinese undersea threat,” Adm. Michael M. Gilday, the chief of naval operations, told Senate lawmakers.

 

Focusing on the impending sea battle with the PLAN makes basic sense, and with the talent hemorrhaging out of DOD, no sense operating hulls for which we haven't enough sailors. But wait, there's more...

Quote

 

The Freedom-class ships were first conceived of after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks as part of an effort to combat nontraditional threats. They ended up costing more than twice what had been expected, about $500 million per ship, compared with an early estimate of $220 million. It had taken a dozen years longer than expected to get them operational, at which point the Navy’s war-fighting needs had shifted back to countering global rivals
The Navy and Lockheed are still negotiating how much the contractors should have to pay to resolve design flaws in the ships’ propulsion systems.


But having largely won the battle, at least for now, to keep the Freedom-class ships operational, the contractors who built them have already returned to promoting a new class of vessels with an even higher price tag.


Fincantieri has already started work on the first of 20 new ships that will be known as the Constellation-class frigate, a $1.1 billion vessel that will eventually replace the troubled Freedomclass ships.


“Now let’s deliver the frigates,” Robert Tullar, a sales executive at Fincantieri, said during a Navy conference last month.

 

We need to scrap the LCSes and instead build frigates, now that the Important People in DC have invested in the defense contractors involved.

 

* I.e. fans of the PRC...

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Saudi Arabia is buying four "Multi Mission Surface Combatants" based on the "Freedom" class LCS. These seem to have significantly upgraded capabilities compared to the baseline Freedom design. Still, given all the adverse press generated by the LCS I'm not sure why Saudi Arabia wanted to roll the dice with these. 

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Thanks... that is bad article. Which is to be expected from NYT and journalists at large...

The LCS started in 90's in the Navy , it was a Navy creation when it had no competitors to stay relevant, Russia was in the doldrums post Soviet breakup, China was not the industrial powerhouse that is today . At that time was smaller than 1000t ship 40kt ship proposal to police  pirates and failed states. Then other offices in the Navy started to add stuff like oceanic range, "modularity" , helicopters... Soon it was the size of XX Century Frigate but with 40kt speed...  The Renk gearshift seems to have been a big issue with this LCS version which probably have to do with huge power 2xMT30 (96000hp) +2 diesels ( 16000hp). It is a big black mark in project, but the crucial failure is the weak armament/sensors for peer combat - which was defined by the Navy. 

Note that the article implies that the ASW module was responsibility of shipyard and not by the Navy. And that none in article posted says there are 2 LCS variants which would have the same failed ASW module, or MCM module that is also been a failure. There are some noises that after 20 years the MCM  might become operational albeit it seems in not all capacity.

The Navy started the FFG programe because it realised that armament/sensor is a strategic failure . The shipyard in meantime was bought by  Fincantieri in 2009  and they have their FREMM Italian frigates so they entered and won the FFG competition with a variant.  In other words the 1B$ ship "promotion" was done years ago when competition was running.

If this article was done by a journalist bring the AI to replace them.

 

Edited by lucklucky
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8 hours ago, lucklucky said:

Thanks... that is bad article. Which is to be expected from NYT and journalists at large...

The LCS started in 90's in the Navy , it was a Navy creation when it had no competitors to stay relevant, Russia was in the doldrums post Soviet breakup, China was not the industrial powerhouse that is today . At that time was smaller than 1000t ship 40kt ship proposal to police  pirates and failed states. Then other offices in the Navy started to add stuff like oceanic range, "modularity" , helicopters... Soon it was the size of XX Century Frigate but with 40kt speed...  The Renk gearshift seems to have been a big issue with this LCS version which probably have to do with huge power 2xMT30 (96000hp) +2 diesels ( 16000hp). It is a big black mark in project, but the crucial failure is the weak armament/sensors for peer combat - which was defined by the Navy. 

Note that the article implies that the ASW module was responsibility of shipyard and not by the Navy. And that none in article posted says there are 2 LCS variants which would have the same failed ASW module, or MCM module that is also been a failure. There are some noises that after 20 years the MCM  might become operational albeit it seems in not all capacity.

The Navy started the FFG programe because it realised that armament/sensor is a strategic failure . The shipyard in meantime was bought by  Fincantieri in 2009  and they have their FREMM Italian frigates so they entered and won the FFG competition with a variant.  In other words the 1B$ ship "promotion" was done years ago when competition was running.

If this article was done by a journalist bring the AI to replace them.

 

Well done!

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8 hours ago, Dawes said:

Saudi Arabia is buying four "Multi Mission Surface Combatants" based on the "Freedom" class LCS. These seem to have significantly upgraded capabilities compared to the baseline Freedom design. Still, given all the adverse press generated by the LCS I'm not sure why Saudi Arabia wanted to roll the dice with these. 

Because Saudi Arabia doesn't give a shit about military effectiveness. Arab sheiks in general buy stuff based on prestige. It is important that it is top-level stuff, and if it ends up rusting in a garbage yard... meh, sheiks have money.

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8 hours ago, lucklucky said:

The LCS started in 90's in the Navy , it was a Navy creation when it had no competitors to stay relevant, Russia was in the doldrums post Soviet breakup, China was not the industrial powerhouse that is today . At that time was smaller than 1000t ship 40kt ship proposal to police  pirates and failed states. Then other offices in the Navy started to add stuff like oceanic range, "modularity" , helicopters... Soon it was the size of XX Century Frigate but with 40kt speed...  The Renk gearshift seems to have been a big issue with this LCS version which probably have to do with huge power 2xMT30 (96000hp) +2 diesels ( 16000hp). It is a big black mark in project, but the crucial failure is the weak armament/sensors for peer combat - which was defined by the Navy. 

As USN was scrapping or retiring huge amount of serviceable ships in the '90s, it probably would have been difficult to gain funding for anything which was not radically different to what they had before. And not building any ships at all was bad option, because at some point the legacy fleet would have hit block obsolescence. Maintaining shipbuilding/design skill base must have been also a factor.

Still, it didn't probably work out as hoped... :huh:

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