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Thread: Littoral Combat Ships

  1. #1261
    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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  2. #1262
    Military Professional JCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    I'd like to denounce the title as hyperbolic tabloid sensationalism worthy of the New York Post...Unfortunately it's pretty much on point.

    55 originally planned. 29 now projected. 11 "in service". The rest authorized or building. Worthless. Basically worthless.

    And this new FFG(X) program will likely wind up the exact same way.
    5 competitors, 2 of which are basically enlarged versions of the piles of garbage already built.
    Gee, I wonder which of the 5 will win. It'll be one of the two enlarged piles of garbage, knowing the Navy.
    I'm very happy they didn't buy all 55 planned LCS platforms.

    However, I wouldn't give up on the FFG(X) competition just yet. The system I work on will be incorporated into the design of the FFG(X), so I've had to provide some technical information on our system that will be incorporated into the formal RFP that is released to industry (so I cannot get into details that could be prejudicial.) As a result I've had a chance to look at some of the U/FOUO material being developed. I'm (very very) very cautiously optimistic that the Navy has learned its lesson. This ship will not be a platform for the Revolutionists in Military Affairs to push their agenda - I think they've been effectively neutered. This looks to be a nice evolutionary design, using proven systems, or at least a natural increment of an existing system, to provide a good capability to the Fleet. It looks like certain systems will be specifically called out for integration, but the winner of the contract will have a significant say in some the subsystems chosen. I do not have a lot of LCS experience, but I have chatted with some officers serving on a couple of LCS. This design looks to correct many of the deficiencies of the LCS, to include many that are not necessarily reported by the press.

    The design won't be perfect and I imagine that there will be enough for people to quibble about, but I think that this ship should be a step in the right direction. There are some things that I wish they had chosen differently, like the gun system. I'd love to see a 76mm fast firing gun up front. I hope that they pick a nice long range OTH SSM. Cost will have a huge impact on the ship's final capability and weapons/sensors load, so we'll have to see how it all turns out.

  3. #1263
    Senior Contributor JA Boomer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post
    That's cool. Why wasn't the RAM missile/launcher given a secondary surface attack capability rather than developing a vertical launched Hellfire that adds another launching platform onto the hull?

  4. #1264
    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    The RAM does have surface to surface capacity. But the unit cost is nearly a million dollars.
    The Hellfire costs about as much as the boats that it meant to destroy about 25 grand.

  5. #1265
    Senior Contributor JA Boomer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post
    The RAM does have surface to surface capacity. But the unit cost is nearly a million dollars.
    The Hellfire costs about as much as the boats that it meant to destroy about 25 grand.
    Wow! Makes more sense then.

  6. #1266
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    Aside from the cost RAM in HAS mode does not have target discrimination - that's why it's not considered as a "preferred" armament against surface targets. You point it at a vector and fire it, and it'll remove any boats along that vector within its preprogrammed target database whether they're hostile or not.

    RAM Block 2B will add a datalink, but that's missile-to-missile for attack coordination, not ship-to-missile.

  7. #1267
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    LCS-14 USS Manchester’s big event in Portsmouth coming soon

    By Hadley Barndollar
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 12:08 PM
    Updated May 17, 2018 at 11:58 AM
    Seascoast Online

    PORTSMOUTH — The U.S. Navy’s newest littoral combat ship, the 419-foot surface warfare vessel LCS-14, will become the USS Manchester at the State Pier in Portsmouth on May 26.

    Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer called the ship “a modern marvel,” honoring the city of Manchester and New Hampshire’s continued support for the nation’s military.

    Admission to the tradition-laden commissioning ceremony is free and open to the public, but tickets must be reserved in advance. The USS Manchester Commissioning Committee is advising people to reserve their tickets as soon as possible, at ussmanchester.org. Five-thousand attendees are expected.

    The official sponsor of the ship, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., is considered a permanent member of the ship’s crew, and her initials are welded into a part of the hull.

    The Commissioning Committee is inviting local businesses and individuals to help support the cost of the community welcome for Manchester Cmdr. Emily Bassett and her crew of 140 sailors and their families during the week leading up to the commissioning. A number of activities, including visits to the ship’s namesake city of Manchester and to the USS Constitution in Boston, are being planned and paid for by the Commissioning Committee.

    In addition, the week leading up to the ship’s commissioning will include several events around Portsmouth, getting Bassett and her crew acquainted with the city and its history. Bassett will be the guest of honor at a Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth luncheon honoring women and leadership, and she and her crew will take in the annual “Hit The Decks” day May 24 from a seat on the Gundalow Company’s Piscataqua, ultimately arriving at Martingale Wharf.

    Several sponsor participation levels are available and donations of any size to the USS Manchester Commissioning Committee are welcome. Local sponsors so far include Austal, Optics One, Granite State Manufacturing, General Electric Marine Solutions, Revision Military, Ltd., Sig Sauer, Optima Bank & Trust, Leading Edge and the Manchester York Rite Masons. For details, visit www.ussmanchester.org/donations or contact Porter Davis, chairman of the Commissioning Committee and president of the Navy League of the United States, Portsmouth Chapter, at president@portsmouthnavyleague.org.

    “The Seacoast has a rich and deep connection to the U.S. Navy because of the history that preceded even the creation of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, now the nation’s oldest, in 1800,” Davis said. “Portsmouth was selected again as a commissioning ceremony host because of that history and the strong local commitment to the Navy. We want to ensure the crew of the USS Manchester carries those memories and reputation with them when they leave Portsmouth and encourage anyone interested to take some part in the commissioning week efforts.”

    The U.S. Navy initiated the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program in 2008 with two different designs. The Manchester is one of seven ships in the Independence Class of LCS, distinguished by the trimaran hull of the first in the class, USS Independence, commissioned in 2010. The Manchester uses water jet propulsion. Her mission is to be close to shore or littoral areas and involved in anti-submarine, mine countermeasures and special warfare. The Manchester has a flight deck and hangar for housing two SH-60 or MH-60 Seahawk helicopters, a stern ramp for operating small boats, and the cargo volume and payload to deliver a small assault force with fighting vehicles to a roll-on/roll-off port facility.

    LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation, according to the Navy. It is designed to defeat asymmetric “anti-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

    The ship has a dead weight of 608 tons.

    USS Manchester will arrive in Portsmouth May 21 and the ship is expected to be open for public tours later in the week prior to the commissioning ceremony


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  8. #1268
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    Below has been copied/pasted from:

    CRS-RL33741
    Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program:
    Background and Issues for Congress
    July 3, 2018
    Congressional Research Service

    ------------

    At an April 17, 2018, hearing on Navy shipbuilding programs before the Seapower subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the following exchange occurred:

    SENATOR COTTON (continuing):

    Admiral Merz, we have 11 littoral combat ships [in service]. A story recently in Naval Institute said that zero of those will deploy this year in 2018. Could you talk about why that’s the case?

    VICE ADMIRAL WILLIAM MERZ, DEPUTY CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS FOR WARFARE SYSTEMS (OPNAV N9):

    Yes, sir. So, we're still—total numbers [of LCSs planned] is 32. They have a third of the class [in service?], particularly deploying models [sic: the typical deployment model is] three to five ships [in service] to one to keep deployed, so this is really just math and there’s going to be gaps [in deployments]. That will fill in over time. We’re not—we’re not concerned about it.

    We’re learning a lot about the maintenance of the ship. We’re going to a dual crew model over the next several years, so we feel like it’s on track. We’re not concerned about not deploying in [20]’18. That’s going to catch up over time as we fill in the rest of the class.

    COTTON:

    Was that anticipated? Pretty sure, OK.

    MERZ:

    Yes, sir, absolutely.


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    At an April 19, 2018, hearing on the Department of the Navy’s proposed FY2019 budget before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the following exchange occurred:

    SENATOR COTTON (continuing):

    Admiral Richardson, I want to discuss the littoral combat ship and what I view as some concerning news. According to a U.S. Naval Institute story published this week, the Navy will not deploy an LCS in 2018. Eleven LCS ships have been delivered to the Navy [as of] yesterday (ph), but we'll have none deployed (ph).

    Two days ago, at a Seapower [subcommittee] hearing, Admiral Merz testified, quote, “The typical deployment model is three to five ships to one, to keep one deployed. So this is really just math. There’s going to be gaps that will fill in over time. We're not concerned about that,” end quote.

    However, in September, just eight months ago, the commander of Naval Surface Forces in the Pacific Fleet said that (ph) you can maintain three to four littoral combat ships deployed when you take on the blue-gold crew system.

    What is the answer here to the actual deployment ratio?

    ADMIRAL JOHN RICHARDSON, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS:

    Senator, I’ll tell you, as you know, the littoral combat ship has been a program that has been through some troubled times. And I would say that, in the past, we probably pushed that ship out forward deployed a little bit ahead of its time, before the system had—the program had stabilized and we’d done the appropriate testing and gained the confidence.

    As soon as I got in as the Chief of Naval Operations, I directed the commander of Naval Surface Forces to take a look at that program, rationalize it and make it look a—a lot more like a normal shipbuilding program and a ship-operating program.
    So this is what led to changes in the maintenance approach, changes in the blue-gold crewing, the way that we are going to homeport these squadrons and forward deploy them.

    2018 is really a reflection of that shift, and so it is—well (ph), starting in 2019, we’re going to start forward deploying those. They’ll be sustainable. They'll be more lethal by virtue of the enhancements we’re putting on those littoral combat ships.

    We have 24 [LCS] deployments planned between [20]’19 and [20]’24. And so, you know, it—it really—[20]’18 is a—is a reset year to get maintenance and manning in place so that we can deploy this in a sustainable fashion.

    COTTON:

    So—so, starting in 2019, then, which of those ratios will be correct? Will we be able to keep three out of four ships deployed, or one-fifth to one-third of those ships deployed?

    RICHARDSON:

    Sir, I'll tell you what: There’s a little bit more to the math. If I could get back to you, for the record, on exactly how that ratio works out, I'll be happy to show you the—the way this all manifests itself.

    COTTON:

    I would—I would appreciate that for the record.

    There’s a second question I want to ask, as well. Even by Admiral Merz’s statement of one-fifth to one-third of ships deployed, we should still have two or three LCS ships deployed this year.

    I think you may have just answered that question, though, by saying this is a reset year to try to get to your future model.

    RICHARDSON:

    This—this is part of that plan that Surface Forces put together.

    COTTON:

    We've spent $6 billion, now, on these ships. I think the taxpayer deserves to have them out, performing their job.

    RICHARDSON:

    Could not agree more.

    COTTON:

    I hope that’s the case, starting next year.

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  9. #1269
    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    The USN is making the right choice here imo. The whole 3:2:1 (3 crews rotating between 2 ships with 1 deployed) manning concept was silly. It incentivizes crews to gundeck maintenance, and on a brand new class of ships you're going to have plenty of teething issues to iron out without creating more for yourself by experimenting with how to reduce crew requirements.

    Reorganize things under either a single crew or Blue/Gold concept, spend a year ironing the bugs out of these things and get all the kinks worked out of these things so they can go do their jobs without creating headlines the USN doesn't need.

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