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Thread: Littoral Combat Ships

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought
    Ever try burning aluminum or galvanized with a oxy/acety torch? The gases released are just nasty to humans.
    I'm sure, but those gases are not from the burning aluminum.
    I enjoy being wrong too much to change my mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumrunner View Post
    Her Aluminum-heavy construction is a major drawback for the Independence. Regardless of what it releaseses when it burns, it still burns. One would think the USN learned it's lesson after the Belknap disaster - something caused by human error, not combat.
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    they did.. the result is the USS Arleigh Burke class destroyers.. the only aluminum in them is the mast..

    guess they think the LCS's won't see combat

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    Quote Originally Posted by dundonrl View Post
    they did.. the result is the USS Arleigh Burke class destroyers.. the only aluminum in them is the mast..

    guess they think the LCS's won't see combat
    Yeah thats what I was getting at, after the Belknap all-aluminum superstructures were out the window till now. An odd change of course or Navy brass not learning from history, I guess time will tell. Austal also just received a multi-ship contract for fast ro-ro ships for the MSC as well.
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    USS Freedom set for Early Deployment

    From: Navy.mil

    USS Freedom to Deploy Early
    Story Number: NNS091013-22
    Release Date: 10/13/2009 5:57:00 PM

    By U.S. Department of Defense

    WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy announced Oct. 13 the decision to deploy the USS Freedom (LCS 1) in early 2010 to the Southern Command and Pacific Command areas ahead of her originally scheduled 2012 maiden deployment.

    According to Navy leaders, littoral combat ships (LCS) are needed now to close urgent warfighting gaps.

    "Deploying LCS now is a big step forward in getting this ship where it needs to be – operating in the increasingly important littoral regions," said Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations. "We must deliver this critical capability to the warfighter now."

    The Freedom will have an immediate impact on fleet readiness and global reach as an asset with unique combat capabilities and the ability to meet littoral tasking not previously seen in the modern cruiser or destroyer fleet.

    "The Navy plans to build a considerable number of littoral combat ships which will form the backbone of our future fleet," said Adm J. C. Harvey, Jr., commander, U.S. Fleet Forces, charged with executing the early deployment. "The sooner we integrate them into our fleet, the sooner we can incorporate them in the order of battle. This deployment offers a golden opportunity to learn by doing. Employing the USS Freedom in theater two years ahead of a normal timeline allows us to incorporate lessons that can only be learned in a deployment setting more quickly and effectively in the LCS fleet integration process."

    In evaluating options for deploying the Freedom earlier than originally scheduled, the Navy took into consideration several key factors including combat systems testing, shakedown of the ship systems and overseas sustainment with a new concept of operations and crew training. To facilitate the early deployment, the Navy adjusted the Freedom testing schedule, prioritized testing events needed for deployment and deferred others not required for the missions envisioned during this deployment. The Freedom recently completed Industrial Post Delivery Availability 2, which also supported an early deployment.

    ====================================

    Either this is a ringing endorsement of the Freedom Class design or a back-to-the-wall last chance for the ship to prove its worth in combat. Personally, given the price tag of this ship I'm glad to see it heading for service, but for the price tag of the ship 'learn by doing' 2 years early makes me think the USN has no f'ing clue how to use these ships.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumrunner View Post
    Yeah thats what I was getting at, after the Belknap all-aluminum superstructures were out the window till now. An odd change of course or Navy brass not learning from history, I guess time will tell. Austal also just received a multi-ship contract for fast ro-ro ships for the MSC as well.
    So what is the world's capabilities with rocket-launched napalm? )

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    Quote Originally Posted by rj1 View Post
    So what is the world's capabilities with rocket-launched napalm? )
    Bring back "Greek fire?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    Bring back "Greek fire?"
    Or the 21st-century version of that: a missile-guided Molotov cocktail.

    I love inventing weapons in my head, it's fun.

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    BATH, Maine (AP) - The Navy's need for speed is being answered by a pair of warships that have reached freeway speeds during testing at sea.

    Independence, a 418-foot warship built in Alabama, boasts a top speed in excess of 45 knots, or about 52 mph, and sustained 44 knots for four hours during builder trials that wrapped up this month off the Gulf Coast. The 378-foot Freedom, a ship built in Wisconsin by a competing defense contractor, has put up similar numbers.

    Both versions of the Littoral Combat Ship use powerful diesel engines, as well as gas turbines for extra speed. They use steerable waterjets instead of propellers and rudders and have shallower drafts than conventional warships, letting them zoom close to shore.

    The ships, better able to chase down pirates, have been fast-tracked because the Navy wants vessels that can operate in coastal, or littoral, waters. Freedom is due to be deployed next year, two years ahead of schedule.

    Independence is an aluminum, tri-hulled warship built by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala. The lead contractor is Maine's Bath Iron Works, a subsidiary of General Dynamics.

    Lockheed Martin Corp. is leading the team that built Freedom in Marinette, Wis. It looks more like a conventional warship, with a single hull made of steel.

    The stakes are high for both teams. The Navy plans to select Lockheed Martin or General Dynamics, but not both, as the builder. The Navy has ordered one more ship from each of the teams before it chooses the final design. Eventually, the Navy wants to build up to 55 of them.

    Speed has long been relished by Navy skippers. Capt. John Paul Jones, sometimes described as father of the U.S. Navy, summed it up this way in 1778: "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way."

    Eric Wertheim, author and editor of the U.S. Naval Institute's "Guide to Combat Fleets of the World," said speed is a good thing, but it comes at a cost.

    "This is really something revolutionary," Wertheim said. "The question is how important and how expensive is this burst of speed?"

    Early cost estimates for Littoral Combat Ships were about $220 million apiece, but costs spiraled because of the Navy's requirements and its desire to expedite construction. The cost of the ships is capped at $460 million apiece, starting in the new fiscal year.

    Both ships are built to accommodate helicopters and mission "modules" for either anti-submarine missions, mine removal or traditional surface warfare. The modules are designed to be swapped out within 24 hours, allowing the ships to adapt quickly to new missions.

    While they're fast, they aren't necessarily the fastest military ships afloat. The Navy used to have missile-equipped hydrofoils and the Marines' air-cushioned landing craft is capable of similar speeds, Wertheim said. And smaller ships are capable of higher speeds.

    Nonetheless, the speed is impressive, especially considering that other large naval vessels have been cruising along at a relatively pokey 30 to 35 knots for decades.

    Loren Thompson, a defense analyst at the Lexington Institute, noted that Independence sustained 44 knots despite a 30-knot headwind and 6- to 8-foot seas in Alabama's Mobile Bay. "For a ship of this size, it's simply unheard of to sustain that rate of speed for four hours," he said.

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  9. #69
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    LCS 1 Freedom



    You want to go to Youtube and see the video in HQ
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    LCS 2 Independence





    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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    From NavyNewstand

    LCS 2 Completes Acceptance Trials

    WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The future USS Independence (LCS 2) successfully completed acceptance trials this week, after completing a series of graded in-port and underway demonstrations for the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV).

    Acceptance Trials are the first opportunity for INSURV to test the ship and its systems.

    During two days underway, the ship completed demonstrations of the combat systems suite, steering, anchoring and propulsion. The ship achieved a top speed of almost 45 knots during the full power demonstration.

    "Independence performed extremely well during trials," said Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program Manager Rear Adm. James Murdoch. "LCS 2 conducted two outstanding days at sea. We look forward to delivering this critical asset to the fleet."

    The ship was presented to INSURV with high levels of completion in production and test. The official results of the trials, including the type and number of trial cards, are currently being reviewed by the Navy.

    Members of the LCS 2 pre-commissioning unit were on board Independence during trials to see how their future ship will perform.

    "It's going to change the way we do things, particularly in the surface force," said Cmdr. Curt Renshaw, Independence Blue Crew commanding officer. "This ship allows us the flexibility to complement almost all the pillars of the Maritime Strategy."

    "This is a significant milestone for the surface warfare community and the Navy at large - the impact that Freedom and Independence will have on the fleet will be immediate. We are another step closer to having this important capability as part of the surface force, and I applaud the team effort - Sailor, civilian and contractor - that went into making this happen," said Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis, commander, Naval Surface Forces.

    Acceptance trials are the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the Navy. Ship delivery is expected to occur next month, with the ship's commissioning Jan. 16 in Mobile, Ala.
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    From the Navy Times 'Scoop Deck' blog:
    In defense of LCS: The skipper’s own words

    There are defense programs more controversial than the Navy’s littoral combat ship, but not many. The smaller, faster, modular ships represent a break from U.S. Navy convention in almost every way, and they have had skeptics and critics from the beginning. LCS has its champions too, and few are as outspoken or as passionate as the first captain of the first LCS, Cmdr. Don Gabrielson.

    Gabrielson, who commanded the littoral combat ship Freedom’s Blue Crew after the ship was commissioned last November, gave a spirited defense of LCS in mid-November at the Surface Navy Association’s annual communications forum at the Army-Navy Country Club. But he spoke only to a small audience of SNA members and reporters, so Scoop Deck asked for a copy of his remarks that everyone online could read and discuss. We recommend getting another cup of coffee, clicking on through to the jump, and taking a close look at Gabrielson’s take on LCS. Then let’s hear what you think in the comments.

    Cmdr. Don Gabrielson’s remarks on LCS, delivered Nov. 12:
    A year ago this week, LCS 1 was commissioned in Milwaukee. And in a handful of weeks, she will deploy. What a year this has been.
    Many observing the pace of operations in LCS have noted that it is moving fast. But it has always been that way with this program — and that has been the point. The world has changed, and we need new capabilities to help deal with the challenges of the future. It’s easy to continue building what you know, and it’s easy to advocate the tools we are comfortable with because they worked in the past. But our combat experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan have driven home the point that our enemies have studied us, they’ve studied our equipment and tactics, and they know how to maximize their opportunities. Look at how our tactics, training and equipment on the ground have changed in eight years. LCS is the Navy’s opportunity to get ahead of that learning curve at sea.

    The whole point of LCS has been to turn the tables on those who seek sanctuary in very shallow waters, those who rely on speed and maneuver with small craft in large numbers, with rapidly changing tactics and capabilities that directly counter the systems they watched us consume years developing. These are not things we think someone might do — these are things they’ve already been doing for years, essentially unchallenged until now.
    It’s almost impossible to put into words what my sailors and I lived through, how much LCS changed our view of ourselves and what ships can do. But LCS is like that — if you allow it to fulfill its potential, you have to fundamentally alter the way you think about ships. And that is the real challenge — to let go of what we’ve come to believe and instead focus on the opportunities presented by modern technologies. The things that so many focused on as Achilles’ heels were, by and large, complete non-issues to us on the ship — because we weren’t constrained in our way of doing business. And that set us free.

    I’d like to offer a few observations about my experience at sea with LCS:
    Size. People talk about LCS as a ‘small ship.’ Last December, we tied up in Norfolk across the pier from an FFG. My first reaction was, “Who shrank the frigates?” From our bridge wing, we looked across the top of the superstructure of the FFG — and we had two more decks above our heads. Small is a relative term — LCS isn’t small to anyone but us.
    Modularity. This means we’re never stuck with an outdated capability longer than it takes to develop a new one — as soon as it’s ready, we can bring systems to the ships, wherever they are, and install them overnight. No other ship can do this. Period. We are barely coming to grips with what this will do for us.
    Warfighting capability. When you compare what LCS brings with its mission packages along with core systems that are always onboard, it’s hard to see these ships as anything but incredible war machines. These are three thousand ton ships that are packed with warfighting teeth. They aren’t DDGs because they don’t need to be DDGs.

    Maneuverability and access. Shallow draft opens more than five thousand ports to LCS that other US Navy ships can’t enter. We commissioned FREEDOM in Milwaukee — in 17 feet of water. We tied up in a river that was 150 feet wide in Buffalo. We backed into a 75-foot wide dock in a river in Norfolk — without help. The hullforms allow maximum speed in shallow water — FREEDOM exceeded 45 knots in 26 feet of water; waterjet propulsion brings incredible maneuverability — FREEDOM can do a zero-radius turn and reverse course from 15 knots in about 90 seconds, and is incredibly smooth riding at full speed. This will bring huge advantages in warfighting and humanitarian missions, as many small ports lack tugs and other infrastructure associated with larger ports, which means that LCS’ inherent maneuverability will be a distinct advantage. We were able to undock in a river, in 7 knots of current, at night, rather than waiting 24 hours for a tug. In forty sea details, we used tugs far less than half the time, and mostly because they were there. That is unique in my experience on five ships.

    Speed. When was the last time you saw a football field go 60 miles per hour and turn on a dime? Every single time we demonstrated what speed combined with phenomenal agility bring, the conversation changed. Skeptics became believers. No other vessel on the water can overtake or outrun LCS in waves above 5 feet. There is no equation that says how much speed is enough – that’s like asking a fighter pilot how fast is too fast, or an army tanker, or an amphibious ops boat driver. If speed didn’t matter, we’d still be flying biplanes and driving tractors with guns, bringing Marines ashore in landing craft instead of LCACs and V-22s. Speed alters the tactical situation and the strategic impact is huge. No one can outrun a bullet. But speed, with agility, can surprise and outrun its aim. Speed will save lives and improve our ability to outmaneuver adversaries.

    Crew Size. We could have cut a few bodies here and there from a legacy manning model, or we could force ourselves to rethink how we operate by manning the ship around new technological capabilities. Crew size, more than any physical feature, is a capability driver. I’ve taken to describing the crew size as 40+35, the core crew plus mission package, plus the shore support. It will work, because everyone has the freedom (pardon the pun) to approach their work from an entirely new perspective, and the ship was designed to be operated by a small crew – an important point. We will continue to learn how to do this better – nothing we could conceive of will teach more than the upcoming deployment. But it is working very well. And the crews love it.
    A noted MIT futurist named Ray Kurzweil wrote a book called “The Singularity is Near” that discusses the rate of change of knowledge over time. He theorizes that the sum total of knowledge created in the last hundred years exceeded the thousand years before it — which means that in order to stay ahead, you have to work faster.

    We consumed over twenty years developing the AEGIS Weapons System, a truly incredible and still important capability — but we took that long in part because we had that long. Our only real adversary was the now-former Soviet Union, and AEGIS technology was part of a broader strategy, an arms race that contributed to their demise. Even now, we have challenges keeping pace with the changes, and we don’t live in that world any more. We don’t have twenty years to respond to new challenges — we don’t even have 20 months if you think about it. Modularity, combined with the access and maneuver delivered in both LCS designs, gives us, for the first time, a real opportunity to stay in front without requiring massive overhauls that require decades to complete.

    Yogi Berra, another noted futurist, had another favorite saying of mine — “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future…”

    I’d rather have a portfolio of capabilities that puts more options on our side, and more guesswork on the other side. That is what LCS is about.
    I was directed to this specific blog post from Information Dissemination, another navy-centric blog.

    It looks like Cmdr. Gabrielson is a very capable skipper, but none of his arguments are going to protect his billion dollar ship from a bunch of speedboats loaded with explosives. Designed as a screening force against asymmetrical threats, the LCS is a miserable failure. If the Navy wanted a seizure and boarding platform, which seems to be the only mission profile the LCS is good for, I'm pretty sure they could do it for less than a billion dollars a pop.

    The good Cmdr. says LCS doesn't need to be a DDG (aka AAW platform) because it doesn't need to be. Fine. Maybe the Navy has that base covered already. How about as a ASW platform? Nope. No dedicated, effective sonar set-up exists for the LCS at this point. What is the Navy going to do with these ships that current capability can't do, or a more extreme leap of imagination couldn't accomplish much more effectively?

    I realize that these are the same arguments that have been going around since 2002, but it's almost 2010 now, and they still haven't been addressed yet.
    Last edited by Masada; 03 Dec 09, at 23:00.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Masada View Post
    From the Navy Times 'Scoop Deck' blog:
    In defense of LCS: The skipper’s own words



    I was directed to this specific blog post from Information Dissemination, another navy-centric blog.

    It looks like Cmdr. Gabrielson is a very capable skipper, but none of his arguments are going to protect his billion dollar ship from a bunch of speedboats loaded with explosives. Designed as a screening force against asymmetrical threats, the LCS is a miserable failure. If the Navy wanted a seizure and boarding platform, which seems to be the only mission profile the LCS is good for, I'm pretty sure they could do it for less than a billion dollars a pop.

    The good Cmdr. says LCS doesn't need to be a DDG (aka AAW platform) because it doesn't need to be. Fine. Maybe the Navy has that base covered already. How about as a ASW platform? Nope. No dedicated, effective sonar set-up exists for the LCS at this point. What is the Navy going to do with these ships that current capability can't do, or a more extreme leap of imagination couldn't accomplish much more effectively?

    I realize that these are the same arguments that have been going around since 2002, but it's almost 2010 now, and they still haven't been addressed yet.
    1 - What difference would it make if a bunch of bomb-laden speedboats were coming at a DDG? Or a CG? or a CV? Layered defenses are all well and good, but if a true mass attack was organized and well executed, I would think they all have the same odds.

    2 - If the LCS is going to be operating in a truly shallow water environment (e.g. <50ft) what subs would she encounter? Throwing a sonar dome underhull would kill her shallow water capabilities, and the Burkes, Ticos and myriad of SSN's can probably provide enough cover in the green waters offshore.

    Of course, all this will be sorted out sooner rather than later when the Freedom heads for duty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumrunner View Post
    1 - What difference would it make if a bunch of bomb-laden speedboats were coming at a DDG? Or a CG? or a CV? Layered defenses are all well and good, but if a true mass attack was organized and well executed, I would think they all have the same odds.
    The LCS has its high top end speed to complicate boat swarm egagements.

    The DDG, CG and CVNs have sheer size, warship-level survivability attributes and defensive armaments.

    So the answer is, they would have "different" odds. What they would be depends on the engagement circumstances.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rumrunner View Post
    2 - If the LCS is going to be operating in a truly shallow water environment (e.g. <50ft) what subs would she encounter? Throwing a sonar dome underhull would kill her shallow water capabilities, and the Burkes, Ticos and myriad of SSN's can probably provide enough cover in the green waters offshore.

    Of course, all this will be sorted out sooner rather than later when the Freedom heads for duty.
    LCSs will sometimes operate in <50ft waters. They are also expected to operate in deeper littoral, waters. The detection ranges shrink in these shallows shrink, so a DDG, Tico or SSN in there pinging away might make for an easy SSK target. The LCS is supposed to stand off at a "safe" distance and let its U*Vs and helo do the work. How they can ensure the distance is "safe" is, IMHO, a bit sketchy. SSKs can and do move, after all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Masada View Post
    The good Cmdr. says LCS doesn't need to be a DDG (aka AAW platform) because it doesn't need to be. Fine. Maybe the Navy has that base covered already. How about as a ASW platform? Nope. No dedicated, effective sonar set-up exists for the LCS at this point. What is the Navy going to do with these ships that current capability can't do, or a more extreme leap of imagination couldn't accomplish much more effectively?
    It is supposed to use offboard ASW sensors which are part of the ASW mission module, not organic sensors.

    So when configured for MIW, it won't be capable of ASW (and vice versa).

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