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Thread: Littoral Combat Ships

  1. #1246
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    I wonder how much damage China's operatives in Panama will inflict on LCS-10 during passge thru the canal.

    Think they might have enough foresight to bring some big fenders this time?
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  2. #1247
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    Navy Finds $500 Million for a Second Littoral Combat Ship in FY2018

    by Anthony Capaccio
    ‎June‎ ‎19‎, ‎2017‎
    Bloomberg Politics

    The U.S. Navy has found $500 million to buy a second Littoral Combat Ship in next year’s budget after scrounging that was required because the vessel was left out of the Trump administration’s proposed budget sent to Congress last month.

    About $325 million will be freed up because the Navy has delayed the overhaul of an aircraft carrier that involves refueling its two nuclear power cores, according to officials who asked not to be identified before the White House will send the proposed budget amendment to Congress as soon as this week. An additional $100 million will be shifted from the Navy’s Infrared Search and Track program for installation on its F/A-18E/F fighters, and the rest from smaller programs.

    The Littoral Combat Ship, designed for missions in shallow coastal waters, has been criticized by the Pentagon’s testing office, the Government Accountability Office and internal Navy studies that have questioned its costs, small crew and potential vulnerability in combat. But it retains Navy support, and it would help President Donald Trump reach his pledge for a 350-ship Navy, up from today’s fleet of 275 vessels that can be deployed.

    Lawmakers added a third ship for the current year and are likely to back buying two in fiscal 2018 because that would guarantee shipyard work on both versions of the Littoral Combat Ship. One is built by Lockheed Martin Corp. in Wisconsin and the other by Austal Ltd. in Alabama.

    Finding Funds

    The budget that Trump sent to Congress included the Navy’s request for $636 million to buy one vessel. The White House Office of Management and Budget informed service officials after the submission that it would support a second vessel and asked the Navy to find funding for it.

    The Navy is delaying an overhaul on the USS John C. Stennis by about 10 months, “which would apparently shift the need for this funding from fiscal 2018 to fiscal 2019,” Ron O’Rourke, the naval analyst for the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, said in an email.

    The Senate Armed Services Committee’s seapower panel has scheduled a hearing on Navy shipbuilding on Wednesday, where the Littoral Combat Ship plans are expected to be discussed. In addition, the House Armed Services Committee plans to start formal work this week on its version of the fiscal 2018 defense policy bill.

    “The printed budget request included one LCS because the facts and need for a second came to us so late in the process,” Meghan Burris, an OMB spokeswoman, said last month in explaining why a second ship wasn’t included. “We understand that Congress is moving quickly to put together FY18 bills, and wanted to get the change in front of them as quickly as possible.”

    Lieutenant Kara Yingling, a Navy spokeswoman, said the Navy wouldn’t comment on the new funding arrangements until the proposal is submitted to lawmakers.

    Picking One

    The Navy has said it’s important to maintain the workforces of both Lockheed and Austal until it’s ready to pick one of the contractors in mid-2020 to build a better-armed frigate as the successor to the planned fleet of as many as 30 Littoral Combat Ships.

    Even as the White House adds another Littoral Combat Ship, the GAO reported in an April assessment that “deliveries of almost all LCS under contract at both shipyards have been delayed several months, and in some cases close to a year or longer.”

    “Delays that have occurred for previously funded ships have resulted in a construction workload that extends into fiscal year 2020,” the GAO said.

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  3. #1248
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    A sobering report on the state of the whole program. Many of the prescribed testing protocols have been postponed or canceled because the Navy fears the ships will suffer damage or otherwise expect test failures.

    https://news.usni.org/2017/07/18/doc...-lcsff-program

  4. #1249
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    Since I'm a new guy to the board, I cannot start a new thread. Since it's relevant here and likely to become a subject for some time, maybe someone would be interested to start a FFG(X) thread?

  5. #1250
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    There are certainly some dam good FFG designs out there as alternatives the LCS. I'm sure there a few 'navy types' around who could do so.

  6. #1251
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebard View Post
    Since I'm a new guy to the board, I cannot start a new thread. Since it's relevant here and likely to become a subject for some time, maybe someone would be interested to start a FFG(X) thread?
    Already done!

    Request for Information for New Navy FFG(X) released

  7. #1252
    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    LCS 18 Charleston has been christened.
    http://www.al.com/news/mobile/index....al_combat.html

  8. #1253
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    Cascade of errors triggered leak debacle on USS Freedom (LCS-1)

    Leadership failures, crew incompetence and bad advice about how to fix a simple leak doomed a key engine on the littoral combat ship Freedom during a high-profile 2016 mishap, a Navy probe found.

    Completed on Oct. 4 and released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the investigative report portrays multiple, serious and systemic problems on the vessel and in the larger littoral combat ship program.

    What began as a simple leak detected on July 11, 2016, triggered a weeklong series of problems, all of them exacerbated by lax shipboard standards, poor leadership and the faulty input of outside experts who should have known better, the report determined. “Some of this involved a crew making some bad mistakes. It started small but it never had to become a major engineering casualty,” said U.S. Pacific Fleet spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Nicole Schwegman by telephone. “But it’s also important to look at this report in light of a large number of reforms that were made since then. The report reinforces the need for the changes that were already being identified to the (littoral combat ship) program and that were made after the incident and which continue to be made.”

    Those reforms were kicked off by Coronado-based Vice Adm. Tom Rowden. The Naval Surface Forces commander has sought to overhaul how the warships are staffed, maintained and deployed to potentially wage war against increasingly capable 21st century enemies. Armed with the report’s initial findings, Rowden fired the Freedom’s skipper, Cmdr. Michael Wohnhaas, after losing confidence in his ability to command the vessel.

    In a letter attached to the investigation, Rowden, called the destruction of the engine “completely preventable” — partly because Wohnhaas and an engineering department officer unnamed in the report hid from superiors the truth about the engine’s real condition.

    Launched in 2006, the $670.4 million Freedom was the lead vessel in a futuristic fleet of nimble warships, but the program was plagued by cost overruns, design flaws, maintenance glitches and command snafus.

    Its engine failure off the coast of Southern California during Rim of the Pacific war games drew renewed attention to the problems bedeviling the littoral combat ship fleet.
    Held every two years off the coast of Hawaii, “RIMPAC” is the world’s largest multinational maritime exercise and it garners widespread coverage by the international press.
    In 2016, 26 nations sent 51 warships and submarines and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel to the maneuvers.

    The Freedom’s problems began with a sudden loss of firemain pressure. That’s the system that feeds seawater to fireplugs, sprinklers and foam stations on a vessel in the event of a blaze.
    Starting up a pump briefly restored the pressure but it fell when the device was shut off and sailors started snooping for the source of the leak.
    They discovered flooding in the Main Machinery Room. Water was gushing out of a hole in a seawater pump that was attached to one of the propulsion diesel engines.
    An unidentified crewman stoppered the gap with a plug and clamped it down, seemingly solving the leak problem but in reality setting in motion the decay that eventually would destroy the engine.

    The hole was what’s called a “telltale drain” — a vent that allows mechanics to continuously monitor a system for leakage or building pressure -- but the crew confused it with a different hole.
    By corking the vent and failing to isolate the engine’s seawater cooling system so that it didn’t contribute to more damage, pressure began to mount in the space between the pump and the engine’s crankcase and saltwater flowed into the engine sump — developments the crew failed to notice.

    Seawater corrosion often ruins equipment, but engines can be saved if sailors take quick corrective action — draining the water and then restarting the engine as soon as possible after contamination occurs.
    That should’ve started with the engineering department realizing the problem with the plug and removing it, but they didn’t, according to the report.
    After shutting down the engine to figure out what was going wrong, they should’ve secured a different pump that gushes lube into the oil system prior to restarting it, but didn’t.
    After the “galloping corrosion” of saltwater spread through the engine system, they should’ve inspected and properly flushed out the contamination with special lube, but they didn’t.
    Instead of wielding a “questioning attitude” to challenge bad assumptions, locate the true source of the leak and correct the looming mechanical failure, they didn’t.
    “Taken together, these failures demonstrate a departmental lack of knowledge of the engineering plant and of basic engineering fundamentals,” the report stated.

    The crew was not well served by Navy and contractor engine specialists consulted by sailors after the Freedom returned briefly to the pier in San Diego.
    They greenlighted a questionable method to flush the propulsion system and fix the damage, giving “false hope” to officers that the problem was solved, the probe determined.

    Although ongoing tests taken of the oil continued to show extensive engine contamination, they were disregarded — partly because the Freedom’s commissioned engineering officer feared informing leaders with “no appetite” to withdraw the warship from the maneuvers.

    After the Freedom’s unidentified senior enlisted engineer warned him that going to sea with a contaminated engine would destroy it, the officer took the oil test results to Cmdr. Wohnhaas, but the skipper never informed his superiors. That’s because he believed it was “crucially important” to make the maneuvers a success and, more proudly, to “deliver a ‘win’” — or at least avoid another littoral combat ship debacle — for the controversial procurement program, the probe found.

    The Freedom’s engine troubles came at what the report called a “sensitive moment” in the program, following the late 2015 breakdown of the Milwaukee and the early 2016 damage to the Fort Worth, according to the report. And it also wasn’t the first time the Freedom fell victim to a leak. In late 2013, the warship experienced a similar seawater contamination casualty.

    The Hawaii-based Pacific Fleet’s Schwegman called the skipper’s decision an example of “misguided goodness.” She said that his commanders deserved to know about the warship’s mechanical problems so that they, too, could make informed decisions about its participation in the war games. “In that moment, you need to make a command decision, but that was the wrong decision,” she said.

    The report listed 16 recommendations to ensure the engine failure would never happen again. These reforms included restoring a shipboard culture on the Freedom of integrity, formality, procedural compliance, knowledge, questioning attitude and risk management. The report also called on the Navy to develop better procedures for sailors to stabilize engines contaminated by saltwater before they returned to port; retrain littoral combat ship crews on the fundamentals of mechanical seals and how to fix pump leaks.
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    Things like this...no words. I have no words.
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  9. #1254
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Cascade of errors triggered leak debacle on USS Freedom (LCS-1)Things like this...no words. I have no words.
    Wow...

  10. #1255
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    With all the scrutiny and wary eyes on the program related to design, cost, and effectiveness, it certainly doesn't help that the crew shot themselves in the foot this way. I have been a critic of the program but the Navy has made great strides recently to get this program on track.

  11. #1256
    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    USS Little Rock is trapped in Montreal.
    https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-...k-in-montreal/

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