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Thread: Littoral Combat Ships

  1. #1126
    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    I still believe this is a mini LPD or an APD on steroids.
    Agreed, I tend to think of them primarily as fast helicopter carriers.

  2. #1127
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    Just because the ship was designed to carry 2 helos doesn't mean that she has to have 2 helos aboard at all times. It's a large open space inside and out. That makes the ship very flexible to carry other things. She could carry one helo with supplies or some modules that I haven't the faintest idea about.

    I still believe this is a mini LPD or an APD on steroids.
    Doesn't matter if it carries them, but the influence on hull size and mass.

  3. #1128
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Our four last warship designs* with procurement are 90m ("corvettes"), 143m ("frigates"), 150m ("frigates") and 150m (... probably "frigates") in length and 1900, 5600, 7200 and about 7500 tons in weight. They all have about the same draft as LCS and are intended to - also - operate in a similar "littoral" environment.

    A Burke is 154-155m and 8300-9800t depending on flight with twice the draft of a LCS.

    We've used 40+ knot boats on anti-piracy duty (Atalanta) and on surveillance/overwatch/intercept (UNIFIL) as well as chokepoint patrol (Gibraltar straits). Aside from the problem that they were not suitable to the environment around the equator, they never used that speed.

    * aside from auxiliaries and submarines.
    The difference is USN has a year round global reach/responsibility. All major warships need to keep up with the carriers. Most ships operate in blue water for extended periods. They need the space for machinery, fuel, and people, hence the deep draft.

    I'm not quite sure abut this but does deep draft help a ship in the ocean during rough sea states?
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  4. #1129
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlvfr View Post
    Doesn't matter if it carries them, but the influence on hull size and mass.
    Right. Extra space also makes them more flexible.

    Think about naval warfare for the next 30 years. What navy in the world is a threat to the USN? Anything that can be a threat will be destroyed by the carrier group. What remains will be small boats and possibly shore threats. Do you want to risk an amphibious group to deliver a small special ops team ashore, wherever that maybe?

    An APD delivering Marine raiders...I mean LCS delivering SEAL teams onto the shores of some 3rd world country to take out whatever they need to take out makes a lot more sense than having Burkes escorting an LPD to drop off the same team, but using much more resources.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  5. #1130
    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    LCS-5 USS Milwaukee is to get underway from Little Creek, this week (with restrictions).
    http://news.usni.org/2016/02/16/litt...n-as-wednesday
    Last edited by surfgun; 17 Feb 16, at 20:28.

  6. #1131
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post
    LCS-5 USS Milwaukee is to get underway from Little Creek, this week (with restrictions).
    http://news.usni.org/2016/02/16/litt...n-as-wednesday
    Thanks for the link.

    Interesting read.

    Most in-depth explanation yet that I've read. A result of two failures, it says. A fuel valve failure during a full power run caused both gas turbines to shut down, and then the clutches in the combining gear failed to disengage due to a software error? Then, pieces from the damaged clutches contaminated the lube system. Four days later, lube oil pressure was lost.

    Now it's headed out for shock testing?

    I want to believe the Navy knows what it's doing, but they're really making it hard to keep the faith.

    Oh well, I suppose the fact that lube oil pressure hung in there for 4 days should be a good sign of toughness...

  7. #1132
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    Looking at what the Navy is buying, they are probably thinking along similar lines. Here some of the relevant stats on the F-14 compared to the F-35, they actually aren't as different as I would have guessed. With the AIM-120D supposedly being able to achieve a similar range as the AIM-54, I think the Navy will have the ability to really reach out and touch hostile bombers once again.

    F-14D F-35C
    Empty Weight 43,735 lb 34,800 lb
    Max Takeoff Weight 74,350 lb ~70,000 lb
    Max Speed 1,544 mph 1,200 mph
    Combat Radius 500 nmi 615 nmi
    Hardpoint Capacity 10x External (6 heavy, 4 light) 14,500 lb total ordnance 6x External (4 heavy, 2 light) + 4x Internal (2 heavy, 2 light) 18,000 lb total ordnance


    It's clear that range is a priority again, and the announcement of the UCLASS as an unmanned refueling asset fits right in with that philosophy. Let's hope the F-35 turns out to be a little easier on the maintenance guys than the F-14 reportedly was!
    Interesting.... for some reason I still had a limited combat radius and (stealthy) loadout for the F-35C stuck in my head when I typed that for some reasons....

    Plus the Uclass tanker......

  8. #1133
    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    After two months pier side, USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) departed Virginia at reduced speed bound for Naval Station Mayport, Fla. and shock trials, USNI News has learned.

    The Navy would not confirm any details of the departure, but USNI News understands the ship is operating on under propulsion limitations and moving slowly down the East Coast on its diesel engines with restrictions placed on its Rolls Royce MT30 gas turbines engines. The ship suffered damage to its combining gears – the complex mechanism that links the output of the diesels and turbines — in mid-December that sidelined the ship for two months.

    An amateur photograph provided to USNI News shows the ship leaving Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek – Fort Story on Wednesday.

    Typically the transit for a Navy destroyer or cruiser – which the LCS are faster than — operating on all its engines would make the transit in about two days. Operating only on diesels, the transit could take stretch into next week or longer.

    Repairs to the ship are almost complete and will be finalized in Florida, sources told USNI News. In addition, Lockheed Martin and Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) are continuing to examine the ship’s control system software.

    Press reports point to a faulty fuel valve that prompted the emergency stop of the MT30s, triggering a chain reaction in hardware and software that resulted in the grinding of high-speed clutch plates and ultimately the propulsion systems failure.

    The failure of the control system software to disengage the clutch in time is thought to be the prime culprit for the resulting damage.

    Once in Mayport, Milwaukee will undergo shock trials to test how the ship’s systems will perform under combat conditions.
    http://news.usni.org/2016/02/18/litt...t-on-wednesday

  9. #1134
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    I still believe this is a mini LPD or an APD on steroids.
    You really got me thinking about this concept. A ship designed for lighter amphibious operations where a L-class ship is overkill.

    Going above and beyond the LCS designs is the Absalon-class. Where the flex deck allows a significant force to be embarked. Of course this is a larger more capable ship then the LCS, so you may not want to risk it in the littorals. Like the LCS, it's available space lend itself to be used in many other missions such as command and control or a limited hospital ship.

    I believe, like the Absalon-class, the LCS may still be too valuable to use as a troop insertion platform in the litorals. Which brought me to the FSF-1 Sea Fighter. Isn't this the true modern day version of the APD?

    With the addition of a few weapons it would seem the ideal troop insertion platform with smaller size, high speed, large flight deck, boat insertion capability, and RORO deck. Not bothered with other missions like the LCS it would be a true troop truck.

  10. #1135
    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JA Boomer View Post
    I believe, like the Absalon-class, the LCS may still be too valuable to use as a troop insertion platform in the litorals. Which brought me to the FSF-1 Sea Fighter. Isn't this the true modern day version of the APD?

    With the addition of a few weapons it would seem the ideal troop insertion platform with smaller size, high speed, large flight deck, boat insertion capability, and RORO deck. Not bothered with other missions like the LCS it would be a true troop truck.
    I bet the Coast Guard would love to get their hands on some FSF-1s.

  11. #1136
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JA Boomer View Post
    You really got me thinking about this concept. A ship designed for lighter amphibious operations where a L-class ship is overkill.

    Going above and beyond the LCS designs is the Absalon-class. Where the flex deck allows a significant force to be embarked. Of course this is a larger more capable ship then the LCS, so you may not want to risk it in the littorals. Like the LCS, it's available space lend itself to be used in many other missions such as command and control or a limited hospital ship.

    I believe, like the Absalon-class, the LCS may still be too valuable to use as a troop insertion platform in the litorals. Which brought me to the FSF-1 Sea Fighter. Isn't this the true modern day version of the APD?

    With the addition of a few weapons it would seem the ideal troop insertion platform with smaller size, high speed, large flight deck, boat insertion capability, and RORO deck. Not bothered with other missions like the LCS it would be a true troop truck.
    Keep in mind the USN has a global reach and the LCS is that size for ocean going capability. They have to be able to self deploy half way around the world without using tenders. A 3000t hull is probably as small as it can go with these various constraints.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  12. #1137
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    Took a drive out a little further than I usually go on my way home from work...

    BAE Systems Jacksonville plays host to USS Jackson (LCS-6) and and the recently arrived USS Milwaukee (LCS-5)

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    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  13. #1138
    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    I have a feeling that the LCS's will be keeping little old BAE in Jacksonville busy for the forseable future!

  14. #1139
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post
    I have a feeling that the LCS's will be keeping little old BAE in Jacksonville busy for the forseable future!
    I'm afraid you're right.

    But good for my photo collecting lol
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    Some related news...

    In Memo, Top Navy Officials Direct LCS Office, N9 to Develop Mine Countermeasures Plan

    02/26/2016 | Valerie Insinna | Defense Daily

    The Littoral Combat Ship program office and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems (N9) have one month to develop an implementation plan that will put recommendations made by the Remote Minehunting System’s independent review team into action.

    According to a memo signed by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and the service head of acquisition Sean Stackley earlier this week, “The plan will coordinate experimentation, technology maturation, concept of operations and concept of employment development, and industry and fleet engagement leading to a supportable MCM [mine countermeasures] capability, tested and delivered before legacy systems reach end of life.”

    The memo also establishes a governance board co-chaired by N9 and the principal military deputy to the Navy’s acquisition directorate, which will “ensure all elements within the Navy are aligned and on track for delivering an affordable and capable” mine countermeasures module to the fleet.

    The Navy opted not to proceed with low rate initial production (LRIP) 2 of the Remote Minehunting System after reviewing the recommendations of the team, Defense Daily learned on Tuesday (Defense Daily, Feb. 23). RMS, which is manufactured by Lockheed Martin [LMT], consists of a diesel-powered semi-submersible called the Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV) that tows the AN/AQS-20A sonar made by Raytheon [RTN].

    The service planned to incorporate RMS as a key element of the Littoral Combat Ship’s (LCS) mine countermeasures mission package and use the system to detect and identify bottom and moored mines. However, during technical evaluations last year, the RMMV did not meet reliability requirements, encountering a far greater number of operational failures than expected.

    “This thing can find mines, it can fix them, and it can eliminate. [But] we are not satisfied with the reliability of the RMMV [in the] Remote Minehunting Vehicle,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Friday at the Brookings Institute. “So we’ve got 10 of these. We’re going to upgrade them to make them more reliable, but it’s not a long term answer.”

    According to the memo, the implementation plan will address “clear lines of accountability” for delivering MCM capability, cost and recommended budgetary actions, concept development and testing for LCS and non LCS systems, and the employment of expeditionary MCM capability for LCS and other Navy ships.

    It will also focus on how the service can use the RMMVs to gain operational experience, as well as a future “fleet assessment” for MCM capabilities—including RMMV, unmanned surface vehicles and unmanned underwater vessels—that could be incorporated into the program of record.

    “We appreciate the work done by the IRT [independent review team] and will this opportunity to reset the Navy's approach to mine warfare,” the memo concluded.

    The problems the Navy has had with RMS is emblematic of why rapid prototyping and experimentation needs to become a critical part of the service’s acquisition strategy, Richardson said Friday at Brookings.

    “If we had some kind of a rapid prototyping approach earlier in this program, I think we would be in a different place with respect to this tow vehicle,” he said. “We would have rung that out a lot faster, and we would have gone to a different solution earlier.”

    .


    No Second Batch of LRIP for Lockheed Martin’s Remote Minehunting System

    02/23/2016 | Valerie Insinna | Defense Daily

    After reviewing the recommendations of the independent team charged with assessing the Remote Minehunting System (RMS) program, the Navy has decided not to move forward with a second round of low rate initial production, essentially keeping the fate of a key asset in the Littoral Combat Ship’s (LCS) mine countermeasures mission package in limbo, sources involved with the program told Defense Daily.

    Instead, the Navy’s preferred path forward is for RMS manufacturer Lockheed Martin [LMT] to upgrade its existing systems in preparation for a “swim off” two or three years from now. During those demonstrations, Lockheed Martin will have to prove the system’s performance and reliability against other mine countermeasures (MCM) platforms, including Textron’s [TXT] Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV) and the Knifefish unmanned underwater vehicle manufactured by General Dynamics [GD], one source said.

    Those other companies, however, will also be awarded funds meant to accelerate development of MCM capabilities that could replace RMS, should they outstrip its effectiveness, the source said.

    At issue is the RMS’s Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV), a diesel-powered unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) that tows a variable depth sonar used to detect bottom and moored mines. During technical evaluation last year, Navy officials expressed dissatisfaction with the performance and reliability of the RMMV, citing frequent vehicle failures.

    The minehunting system has had a history of reliability problems since the program was started in 1993, and its performance has not improved, stated the 2015 report from the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation (DOT&E). RMS experienced 17 mission failures during the technical evaluation, which lasted from April 7 to Aug. 30. Of those, 15 failures were attributed to the RMMV. The system as a whole had only a 15.6 hour mean time between operational failures, falling well short of the 75-hour requirement.

    “On six occasions, an RMMV could not be recovered aboard LCS 2 and had to be towed to port by test support craft, and then shipped to the remote operating site,” the report stated.

    Following a scathing memo from DOT&E that highlighted the system’s reliability deficiencies during technical evaluation and the resulting criticism from members of Congress, the Navy announced that it had chartered an independent review of the program on Sept. 25. The review team was tasked with assessing the RMS’s technical risk, schedule and cost; validating the service’s requirements and the system’s ability to meet them; and evaluating potential alternatives. The team would then make recommendations, which would help Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and the Navy’s top acquisition official Sean Stackley determine whether to continue procurement (Defense Daily, Oct. 14).

    The independent review also delayed a Milestone C decision to move forward with low rate production—a decision that is now on hold indefinitely, pending the results of the “swim off” that will pit the RMS against Knifefish, the CUSV and potentially other systems, the source said. The demonstrations—which would likely take the form of shore-based tests—will likely not occur until two or three years from now, in part because the Navy’s 2017 budget request does not reflect the service’s plan to upgrade the RMMV and accelerate other programs. The service will have to make a reprogramming request to Congress to redirect funding from other parts of the budget.

    Lockheed Martin has produced 10 RMMVs so far, some of which are a decade old. Only the four vehicles used during technical evaluations have received the most recent 6.0 upgrades that replace components that are worn out, obsolete or prone to failure. As a result of the independent review, the remaining six vehicles will be upgraded at the Navy’s direction in the hopes of boosting their reliability, said another source familiar with the program. Instating more frequent maintenance availabilities could also increase the time between vehicle failures.

    The Navy may also require upgrades to the RMS’ sonar system, the AQS-20A manufactured by Raytheon [RTN], and the government-furnished communications suite, which experienced difficulties establishing a connection with the ship during DOT&E tests, the source said.

    Some companies have already begun positioning their products as potential replacements for RMS. Textron’s CUSV, a unmanned surface boat, is part the LCS mine countermeasures package and is slated to provide minesweeping capability under the name Unmanned Influence Sweep System.

    Wayne Prender, Textron Systems’ unmanned systems vice president of control and surface systems, told Defense Daily in January that if the Navy decided not to move forward with RMS procurement, UISS could offer an alternative.

    “RMS is specifically designed to tow a side scan sonar, which is one of the capabilities that this system certainly has. We've demonstrated the ability to pull a side scanned sonar before,” he said, referencing a 2012 demonstration at Trident Warrior exercise, where the CUSV pulled an L-3 [LLL] side scan sonar and the SeaFox mine neutralization system. “As we move forward with the U.S. Navy customer … we'll [further] develop that capability" (Defense Daily, Jan. 21)

    A Navy spokeswoman declined to comment on the findings of the review team or the service’s path forward.

    "The Chief of Naval Operations and the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) are reviewing the results of the independent review of the Remote Minehunting System,” Capt. Thurraya Kent said in a statement. “The results of the review will be thoroughly analyzed by Navy leadership and will inform Navy recommendations to OSD on the way forward. The Navy will not comment publicly on the analysis or any recommendations until decisions within DoD are finalized."

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    Last edited by JRT; 29 Feb 16, at 23:36.
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