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Subject: GAO Report on Littoral Combat Ship - August 2010
Juramentado    9/1/2010 3:56:50 PM
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-523 The one damning paragraph out of the GAO report reads: "Until mission package performance is proven, the Navy risks investing in a fleet of ships that does not deliver its promised capability. As the Navy stated, the underlying strength of the LCS lies in its innovative design - interchangeable mission equipment that allows the ship to used for different missions. Fundamental to this approach is the capability to rapidly install interchangeable mission packages into the seaframe. Absent that significant capability within its mission packages, seaframe functionality is largely constrained to self-defense as opposed to mission-related tasks." (Page 25 GAO-10-523 Littoral Combat Ship)" Coupled with the analysis that the report has on Mission Package delivery - none of them are complete and MP development is now projected out through 2017, it confirms that LCS will not be able meet the combat requirements of the Fleet for a significant period of time. So what to do now?
 
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eldnah       9/1/2010 4:18:46 PM
Not only are the mission packages not developed but no decision have been made on how many of each are to be procured. Will there be enough of each so the right one will be available in the area when needed? Will the packages be forward based and/or are they air transportable? Right now the ships are very expensive glorified coast guard cutters
 
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earlm       9/1/2010 7:20:03 PM
What to do now?
 
It's just an impression I get from reading posts on a number of forums and hints here and there that I can grab but I am convinced there is a system or system of systems that has the number of the vaunted diesel sub.  So, if LCS can't contribute to the ASW fight it's probably not a problem.
 
My question has always been and always will be why the high speed?  It's an outlier from every trend we've seen for 60 years.  What gives?
 
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gf0012-aust       9/1/2010 9:16:48 PM
Maybe some should be looking at other solutions such as the Danish Navy's Absolom.
 
too much pork barreling by some of these companies, plus scope shift and poor project management = shifting costs
 
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Juramentado    Apologies for the mulitple posts   9/1/2010 10:14:38 PM
Darn proxy server I was sitting behind at the time kept telling me there was an error when I hit post message, yet it obviously succeeded. Sigh (Face Palm).
 
Perhaps if the NLOS replacement gives the vessel a reasonable AAW  above and beyond SeaRAM/RAM, as well as SuW- similar to ESSM, then this increases the viability of deploying the vessel in a non-permissive environment with a moderate two-axis threat. As it is right now, the TTP for this asset is about the same as deploying a Cyclone class PC except it also has a helo.
 
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LB       9/2/2010 2:50:18 AM
Actually the paragraph in the report that in my view contained the sentence "analysis of the anti-submarine warfare systems has shown the planned systems do not contribute significantly to the anti-submarine warfare mission."

It doesn't do asw very well.  It might do anti surface vs low intensity threats well, if they get the missile system to work, but it's extreme overkill in cost terms.  A very fast 3,000 ton minewarfare ship is of course ridiculous on myriad levels.

What the USN needs are new minehunters, a gunfire support ship (2 AGS on a survivable 20 knot platform), a new frigate to replace some of the Perry's because sending a DDG every time is not always going to be the best option, and a patrol boat.  For the patrol boat the USN need only go back to the original streetfighter concept where LCS was a 500 ton ship.  

Hauling around 2 helicopters at 45 knots was always going to be too expensive for words.  The entire concept is irrational.  ASW and minewarfare ships do not go fast.  Building a 3,000 ton 45 knot frigate to hunt speed boats is simply a ridiculous concept in terms of cost effectiveness.  In any case GAO makes the case that the LCS does nothing well and is hideously expensive- how can the program justify it's continued survival?
 
 


 
 
 
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doggtag       9/2/2010 7:53:33 AM

Darn proxy server I was sitting behind at the time kept telling me there was an error when I hit post message, yet it obviously succeeded. Sigh (Face Palm).

 

Perhaps if the NLOS replacement gives the vessel a reasonable AAW  above and beyond SeaRAM/RAM, as well as SuW- similar to ESSM, then this increases the viability of deploying the vessel in a non-permissive environment with a moderate two-axis threat. As it is right now, the TTP for this asset is about the same as deploying a Cyclone class PC except it also has a helo.



WRT posting new threads,
that Error is as commonplace on StrategyPage as are errors on its front page articles.
Get used to it: best bet is to open another window into the same thread category and see if it posted up BEFORE you hit refresh and try again...
 
WRT an NLOS replacement:
that's an even bigger problem...
If it's being speculated that service-ready Mission Modules can't be expected until the 2017 timeframe,
take into effect also that a new missile (NLOS replacement) will itself take development time (the US is too proud to just port over something like Jumper from the Israelis),
then we have to marinize the weapon (materially suited to sea environment conditions),
and still yet develop an LCS-compatible Mission Module for it, plus all that time integrating its specialized crews into standard ship operations...
 
Yup, what a nightware the USN gains in LCS.
But hey, as long as the defense contractors' shareholders are happy, that's all that matters anymore, right?
 
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Juramentado       9/2/2010 4:15:46 PM
Thanks Doggtag - good advice re: posting practice. I'll learn eventually. :-)
 
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JFKY    DogTag   9/2/2010 4:26:16 PM
Just a quibble...Not Invented Here is long over in the US military.  If "Jumper" can find a US partner and it's competitive I'd argue you're wrong.
 
The Mission Modules I haven't the foggiest about....without them, though, doesn't the LCS lose its raison d'etre?  The point of the system WAS that it was a multi-role vessel, with them.  WIthout them it's, as someone already said, a Coast Guard Cutter.
 
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doggtag       9/3/2010 6:37:04 PM

Just a quibble...Not Invented Here is long over in the US military.  If "Jumper" can find a US partner and it's competitive I'd argue you're wrong.

 

The Mission Modules I haven't the foggiest about....without them, though, doesn't the LCS lose its raison d'etre?  The point of the system WAS that it was a multi-role vessel, with them.  WIthout them it's, as someone already said, a Coast Guard Cutter.


Generally,
I'd agree with you about the whole NIH issue.
There's a plethora of systems in US service whose design has roots outside the US gold-plating system (everything from small arms, AFV guns and sensors, artillery designs, avionics systems and entire aircraft, naval components, etc).
 
Considering that one of the LCS variants is courtesy of an Australian firm,
and the 57mm deck gun is Swedish in origin, that alone says something (someone somewheres I think reminded us of Euro involvement in some of LCS' other systems as well...).
 
But with such big US defense names involved in most of our missile programs,
I just don't see many Welcome mats laid out for the Israelis to bring Jumper into the LCS program...
I am seriously starting wonder if US engineers in some aspects literally are that inept falling behind the curve when compared to what other nations' engineers have successfully devised,
or if they were directed by their executives
(more likely by subtle suggestions rather than outright written directive) 
to drag out program development and testing as a means to rake in government money over a longer period.... (war profiteering, I think is the general term for it) ?
 
One more area I'm just trying to wrap my mind around: how a country with as few engineers, and much smaller budgets, that Israel has (when compared to the US), can design and development systems that actually seem to at least deliver something usable, when US defense firms trip and stumble over countless delays and unexpected difficulties (and in part, espec. judging by the recent GCV developments for the Army, a military leadership system that itself isn't even sure of what exactly it needs over what it thinks it would like to have).
 
As for pretty much being little more than an over-glorified USCG cutter,
well, I am curious about USCG ROEs as to when was the last time a cutter used its main deck gun to engage a threat/target...?
That 57mm seems more overmatch than the USCG needs, especially considering that many of its current busting/seizure operations employ helos (or supporting fixed wing recce),
and high speed RHIB-type small surface vessels armed with little more than MGs and the crews' small arms...
 
LCS: not enough for the Navy, but too much for the USCG.
 
 
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eldnah       9/3/2010 7:34:53 PM
The new Bertholf WMSL-750 class U S Coast Guard cutters are armed with the same 57mm gun and 50 cal. machine guns as the LCSs. The cutter also carry two helicopters, the some what smaller MH-65C Dolphins and have a CIWS instead of  the RAM missiles. Pretty comprable.
 
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