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Surface Forces: LCS Mission Package Modules Ordered
   Next Article → SURFACE FORCES : LCS Competition Ends In A Tie
November 9, 2010: The U.S. Navy has ordered the first three Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)  mission package modules. These are the sets of equipment that can be quickly swapped in or out of an LCS. One of the three will be a Mine Countermeasures package, while the other two will be Surface Warfare packages.

The Surface Warfare package contains a 30mm Mk 46 autocannon turret, an MH-60R helicopter, two Fire Scout helicopter like UAVs, two 11 meter (35 foot) rigid hull inflatable speed boats, and three launch containers, each with fifteen NLOS-LS Precision Attack Missiles. This is a 178mm diameter missile that weighs 55 kg (120 pounds), and has a range of 40 kilometers. PAM attacks from above, with a 13.2 kg (28 pound) warhead.

The Mine Countermeasures package contains several mine detection sensors. Some of them are towed by the ship, or an MH-60 helicopter. The package also contains two Fire Scout UAVs and a remote controlled underwater vehicle for destroying bottom mines.

 

Next Article → SURFACE FORCES : LCS Competition Ends In A Tie
  

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AThousandYoung       11/10/2010 4:35:31 AM
Neeto.  What sort of opponents is the Surface Warfare Module supposed to fight?
 
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eldnah       11/10/2010 8:57:16 AM
Surface warfare module..........Other corvette missiles:  Exocet 350lb warhead, Harpoon 475lb warhead, NLOS-LS 28lb warhead.  Seems like the LCS is outgunned by the types of ships it would meet in coastal water. BTW didn't the army which is the prime developer of the NLOS-LS missile terminate the program six months ago?
 
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mabie       11/10/2010 9:44:03 AM
It seems configured to defend itself primarily against small, fast attack vessels. It would rely on other ships in its task force to handle larger opponents. 
Neeto.  What sort of opponents is the Surface Warfare Module supposed to fight?


 
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eldnah       11/10/2010 4:26:34 PM
Building the LCS, a $500,000,0000 ship, not counting module costs, to fight small fast attack craft but unable to out fight a comparably sized enemy coastal patrol corvette is irrational. The Europeans are building their multi-role FREMM's, each a more capable ship, at almost twice the displacement for about the same cost. Is there really a need for a 50kt minesweeper?
 
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mabie       11/10/2010 6:28:31 PM
If it was a gunfight at high noon between 2 combatants then it would be an uneven fight. But obviously the Navy intends that the LCS won't be alone operating in a networked environment.. sweeping for mines will only be one of its roles.
Building the LCS, a $500,000,0000 ship, not counting module costs, to fight small fast attack craft but unable to out fight a comparably sized enemy coastal patrol corvette is irrational. The Europeans are building their multi-role FREMM's, each a more capable ship, at almost twice the displacement for about the same cost. Is there really a need for a 50kt minesweeper?


 
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Juramentado       11/12/2010 1:06:38 PM
The problem with LCS is two-fold;
 
It can't operate in anything less than a permissive environment. If it's up against FACS equipped with multiple SSMs, it's not designed for a hard-core missile engagement. Yes, NLOS is dead and the Navy put up a proposal on the FBO site in June for replacements. At this point, It's down to GD, LM and MBDA who have submitted bids, but no information has been made public as to the details. As for self-protection, it was relying on the assistance and coverage of a CSG or other platforms with better AAW abilities. But how does one scout for a CSG when trailing a big Burke behind it? Anything bigger than a helo with a gun represents a very big air threat for the vessel. Having spoken at length with serving line SWOs as well as instructors at SWOS fresh from a tour, it's quite apparent the Navy has no idea how to build the TTP for this vessel.
 
The premise of LCS to work as a multiple mission platform is now hampered by the lack of maturity in the modules. The August GAO report all but put a nail in the coffin for the modules to be ready by the time we have ten of these vessels in the water.  There's even issues with radar integration of the 30mm gun; good thing it'll work in local control, but there goes about 50% of your lethality envelope by not being able to tie it back into the combat systems.
 
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YelliChink       11/12/2010 1:24:27 PM

The problem with LCS is two-fold;

It can't operate in anything less than a permissive environment. If it's up against FACS equipped with multiple SSMs, it's not designed for a hard-core missile engagement.

How hard is it to weld 4x Harpoon launchers and incorporate fire control to combat system? I don't remember any OHP in USN service had dedicated Harpoon launcher (not counting shared Mk.31). It doesn't stop Taiwans from putting 4xHF-3 box behind the mast (still with another 4xHF-2).
 
Plus, MQ-8 can be used in Kamikaze style when it runs out of missiles against FACS. BTW we both know that what British did with their helicopters during Falkland War. ECCM and target ID capability of those FACS aren't that good. Imaging guided missiles such as C-701 would be more dangerous.
 
Before the mission modules are ready, they can be used to chase pirates or as fast armed transport. Much cheaper to operate than Burkes.
 
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