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  • jlvfr
    replied
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    [B][SIZE=3]
    low cost and greater numbers.
    Oops...

    2 sugestions to lower costs: drop the "40knot" mania, and carry only 1 Seahawk.

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  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by gunnut View Post
    Let's bring back battleships, A-10, and F-14!!!
    No need to bring back the A-10, it never left :-D

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  • gunnut
    replied
    Let's bring back battleships, A-10, and F-14!!!

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  • TopHatter
    replied
    1980’s Era Test and Evaluation Organization Seeks 1980’s Vintage Warship

    The Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E’s) latest (2015) report on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program would at first glance appear another in a long line of damning reports suggesting the Navy end the troubled littoral combatant effort. A deeper examination, however, suggests a test and evaluation organization hopelessly locked in a 1980’s era of naval design. DOT&E demands the highest levels of physical survivability for the LCS sea frame as if this part of the LCS system alone was to be exclusively employed in high-end naval conflict. It excoriates the lack of progress in mission module development and sea frame reliability, and demands greater levels of testing, but sometimes grounds its disapproval of some LCS program elements on the result of just one test. The test and evaluation authority is unhappy that the sea frame crew cannot diagnose and repair all equipment casualties. This is not surprising as the LCS concept places a substantial portion of the system’s maintenance with shore-based facilities and units. The rest of the report is a “gotcha” list of details on the progress, or lack thereof in the various LCS mission modules and two sea frames. Perhaps it is time for DOT&E to leave the 1980’s and realize that a modular warship cannot be so directly compared with and tested to the same standards as its multi-mission, unitary capability predecessors.

    The first paragraph of the DOT&E report states, “The now-planned use of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) as a forward-deployed combatant, where it might be involved intense naval conflict, appears to be inconsistent with its inherent survivability in those same environments.” The report also says, “DOT&E does not expect either LCS variant to be survivable in high-intensity combat because the design requirements accept the risk that the crew would have to abandon ship under circumstances that would not require such action on other surface combatants,” and “Much of the ship’s mission capability would have been lost because of damage caused by the initial weapons effects or the ensuing fire.”

    DOT&E personnel must not have read or disagree with the descriptions and concepts of operations published by various authorities on the LCS program. Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work’s 2013 Naval War College paper on LCS makes it very clear that the Navy has always accepted limitations in the LCS’s survivability in favor of low cost and greater numbers. Both sea frames are larger and more physically survivable than the Avenger class mine countermeasures ships (MCM’s) and Cyclone class patrol coastal ships (PC’s) that they replace. They are still robust ships in that they can survive upwards of 15% of their floodable length being compromised while remaining afloat.

    They are smaller and less physically survivable then the previous Perry class frigates but have equally robust active and passive defense systems. Unlike the FFG’s, the LCS is not intended to operate alone in high threat environments. If damaged in battle the LCS is designed to limp back to base and not attempt to” return to the fight” as are so-called high-end U.S. surface warships. Large cruise missiles and torpedoes are the likely weapons of an enemy in what the DOT&E report describes as “intense naval conflict.” It remains to be seen, however, that any warship could meet the test and evaluation authority’s demands for “survivability.” The DDG-51 class USS Cole was completely disabled in an October 2000 terrorist attack by what some experts described as a 400-700 pound shaped charge warhead. The Russian supersonic P-270 Moskit cruise missile has a warhead estimated to be 700 pounds of which 300 are actual explosive. The impact of even one such weapon at supersonic speed would likely disable any U.S. surface combatant, making DOT&E’s criticism of LCS survivability in “intense naval conflict” a moot point if physical resistance to damage is the primary concern. The Navy has accepted limitations in the LCS design from the inception of the program. DOT&E is welcome to disagree, but they need to say that in their report and not compare LCS to higher capability warships that are little more survivable if hit by cruise missiles likely to be employed by U.S. opponents.

    In a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on LCS released last month, DOT&E was very critical of the lack of testing within the LCS program. It suggested that, “The sparse data available do not allow a strong statement about LCS’s ability to meet requirements in other operational scenarios.” One month later, DOT&E’s year-end report on LCS questioned the suitability and reliability of the Independence sea frame based on testing of one representative of the class. The DOT&E report lists a number of equipment casualties and other problems, but does not compare these faults against previous ships under similar test circumstances. A laundry list of equipment faults encountered during a testing cycle is useless without comparison to a deployed, functional unit of the class, or another ship engaged in a similar test and evaluation cycle. Despite this, the operational test and evaluation authority seems content to fault the LCS program based on the same limited testing they recently deplored.

    DOT&E criticizes the LCS sea frames crews because, “they do not have adequate training, tools, and technical documentation to diagnose failures or correct them when they occur.” The testing agency acknowledges the emphasis on off-board LCS maintenance when it states, “By design, the ship’s small crew does not have the capacity to effect major repairs. Instead, the Navy’s support concept depends on the use of remote assistance in trouble shooting problems and the use of Navy repair organizations and contractors for repair assistance.” Despite this admission, DOT&E makes the superficial criticism that, “the Navy’s limited stock of repair parts for LCS systems, many of which were sourced from offshore vendors, can result in long logistics delays and occasionally forces the Navy to resort to cannibalization of another ship in order to expedite repairs.” These comments sound more like the usual criticisms of the LCS program from the GAO and CBO, rather than observations on operational testing of LCS capabilities. This is perhaps not surprising given that DOT&E Director Dr. J. Michael Gilmore is a veteran of the CBO and was a critic of the LCS concept while serving in that office’s National Security Division. Dr. Gilmore may very well continue to object to the idea of off-board maintenance support. If so, he should make that clear in his report, and not blame parts shortages. As with its survivability definition, DOT&E’s concept of proper ship maintenance seems grounded in past decades where a warship’s operational and repair capabilities were resident on a unitary hull. The LCS concept tries to limit the costs of maintenance by separating some aspects of the ship’s missions and capabilities from its hull as suggested in a 2006 RAND report commissioned by the Navy to investigate the spiraling cost of naval surface combatants.

    The operational test and evaluation office puts on a different “public face” when its 1980’s-era testing methods are criticized. In a recent response to an article by Sidney Freedberg Jr. on the breakingdefense.com website entitled, “LCS Test Vs. Fast Attack Boats ‘Unfair”, DOT&E fell back on a familiar defense to justify its criticisms. The office stated that it accepted that, “LCS is being introduced in an incremental manner,” and that it, “accepted the Navy’s defined success criteria to assess these events.” Despite this, DOT&E goes on to say that, “In a real battle, there would be a good chance LCS might have sustained damage at that point that could have affected its subsequent capability to successfully repel the attack.” This statement shows the test and evaluation office insists on measuring the Navy by its own standards and not those the Navy desired, in spite of accepting the Navy test criteria. It would be helpful for DOT&E to publish a list of their experts involved in monitoring the LCS program to assess whether or not the test and evaluation authority has the operational experience to be as critical as it has been of the littoral combat ship program.

    The 2015 report includes substantial material from past years’ reporting which makes the laundry list of LCS faults appear more dangerous and distressing. Such reports on warship faults have been the stock and trade of Congressional watchdog groups like DOT&E, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) since the early 1970’s. They are absolute requirements for organizations whose primary mission and reason for continued funding and existence is finding fault.

    LCS was never intended to be as survivable in high-end naval combat as previous warships were designed. The modular warship was designed as a component of a joint, networked battle force whose payloads are more important than the platforms that carry them. LCS is a compromise platform that included elements of previous frigate, patrol and mine warfare platforms. It sacrifices some of the physical survivability of the previous frigate design in achievement of numbers of ships. It forgoes redundancy and other physical characteristics of survivability in favor of active and passive defenses that maximize its ability to field modular payloads. It does not have to replicate the physical and capability-based survivability of larger warships. To do so would increase its price, limit its modular capabilities and needlessly replicate what is already provided by high- end combatants like the DDG 51 class destroyer. Demanding that LCS be more physically "survivable" in order to play a role in high end combat, and retain maximum maintenance and repair abilities aboard represent past naval designs whose costs are not sustainable in building a low end surface warship for present need. In demanding legacy, expensive capabilities in LCS, DOT&E is in effect demanding that MTV play music videos, even when every such program is available in seconds to a customer on youtube. DOT&E is clearly locked in a 1980's assessment of a 21st century battle network force. Link
    _______________________________________

    A spirited rebuttal of the "LCS is not survivable" accusation

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  • JRT
    replied
    Live fire exercise:

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  • JRT
    replied
    Originally posted by JRT View Post
    Look below.
    What I had meant was to suggest looking at the photo in the news story that was quoted below my comment.

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  • JRT
    replied
    Originally posted by surfgun View Post
    Notice Jackson is missing her Sea Giraffe radar.
    Look below.


    Susie Buffett christens USS Omaha (LCS 12), the newest member of Navy's fleet

    By Steve Liewer - World-Herald staff writer
    Omaha.com
    Tuesday, December 22, 2015

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]40799[/ATTACH]
    [ATTACH=CONFIG]40800[/ATTACH]
    Omaha philanthropist Susie Buffett smashes a bottle of Champagne against the breaker bar of the USS Omaha on Saturday in Mobile, Alabama, christening the Navy’s newest littoral combat ship. “May God bless this ship and all who sail on her,” said Buffett, sponsor of the ship with a futuristic trimaran design.

    MOBILE, Ala. — In a burst of bubbly, the U.S. Navy on Saturday sealed a bond with the city of Omaha that is expected to last for decades.

    Philanthropist Susie Buffett smashed a bottle of Champagne against the bow of the Navy’s newest littoral combat ship and named it the USS Omaha, following a centuries-old tradition.

    “I christen thee USS Omaha!” said Buffett, the ship’s sponsor, just before striking the blow. “May God bless this ship and all who sail on her.”

    About 20 Nebraskans were among the 500 people attending the pier-side ceremony at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, where the ship had been under construction since the keel was laid down last February.

    “It was a very impressive sight,” said Rick Holdcroft, a retired Navy captain from Bellevue, who is vice president of Nebraska’s chapter of the Navy League support group.

    The ship is the fourth naval vessel to bear the city’s name, a chain dating back to the commissioning of a sloop-of-war in 1869. The last USS Omaha was a nuclear attack submarine that served in the Navy from 1978 to 1995.

    It’s the sixth in a line of Independence-class littoral combat ships with a futuristic trimaran design that sits high above the water. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work once compared it to a Klingon Bird of Prey ship in “Star Trek.”

    “We built you a great ship, the coolest ship on the planet,” said Craig Perciavalle, Austal USA’s president. “Fair winds and following seas.”

    The ship incorporates many labor-saving devices, allowing it to run with a crew of just 50 sailors. It also has replaced the customary twin-screw, twin-propeller propulsion system with a group of water jets. They can propel the Omaha and its sister ships sideways or around sharp turns.

    “She can sit in the water and spin like a top,” said Command Senior Chief Christopher Farrar, the Omaha’s senior enlisted sailor.

    Saturday’s christening was a joyous day for a ship program that’s been beset with controversy throughout its 15-year history. In its early days, LCS was plagued with cost overruns, and some of the first models of the ship suffered engine and corrosion problems. Last weekend the USS Milwaukee — a littoral ship of a different design, produced in Wisconsin — broke down en route to its first home port. And on Thursday, news broke that Defense Secretary Ashton Carter had directed Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to cut the planned number of LCS vessels from 52 to 40, and to choose one of the two manufacturers to produce it.

    Mabus took a wait-and-see approach. But Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., who represents Mobile and serves on the House Armed Services Committee, offered a full-throated defense of the LCS program.

    “There’s going to be a broad-based coalition in Congress to push back against what the Secretary of Defense has proposed,” Byrne said. “This will not stand.”

    The Omaha has been in the water only a few weeks, but its crew — which doesn’t include any Nebraskans — already is working together in the ship’s future home port of San Diego, said Cmdr. Matt Scarlett, who will be the ship’s commanding officer.

    They are honing their skills aboard the USS Coronado, another ship in the Independence class, as part of a new manning concept the Navy has developed for LCS that rotates three crews between two ships. That allows the ship to stay at sea longer.

    Three members of Scarlett’s crew, called the Vikings, joined him in Mobile for the christening.

    “We’ll always be tied to Omaha because we’re plankowners,” said Scarlett, 43, using the Navy term for sailors on a ship’s first crew.

    Landlocked Omaha may seem an odd choice for the name of a Navy ship. Mabus has named many LCS ships after cities in the U.S. interior. An LCS under construction in Wisconsin is scheduled to be named the USS Sioux City next month.

    “One of the ways we connect our nation to the ships of the Navy is through their names,” Mabus said. “The name ‘Omaha’ will be carried throughout the world for decades.”

    It was Mabus who selected Buffett as the ship’s sponsor. Buffett is well-known in Omaha for her philanthropic efforts involving children, education and families.

    On Friday, Buffett’s party toured Austal, the fifth-largest shipbuilder in the nation, and the largest builder of aluminum ships in the world, Perciavalle said.

    The Omaha group viewed the Module Manufacturing Facility — larger than a dozen football fields — where the blue-green glow from torches illuminated the masks of welders working on pieces of future ships. They also saw the building where the modules are assembled into a complete ship a few blocks away.

    They also got a rare tour of the ship’s interior, which is still largely unfinished. Foil-backed fiberglass insulation lines most of the walls. Pink sheets of canvas cover equipment in the engine room and on the bridge. Interior work will be completed before the ship is delivered to the Navy — probably in about a year, Perciavalle said.

    “It’s almost impossible to describe how amazing this is,” Buffett said. “It’s even cooler than I thought it would be.”

    She has warmed to the job of ship’s sponsor, a role in which she will serve as a permanent link between the city and the ship. The city is expected to organize a sizable celebration for the commissioning ceremony in 2017. She is looking forward to spreading the word back home about the new ship.

    “Omaha is full of people who would be really excited about this sort of thing,” Buffett said. “I hope everybody is really proud of it.”
    Attached Files
    Last edited by JRT; 23 Jan 16,, 19:59.

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  • surfgun
    replied
    Some sort of system integration is obviously required as 2/3's of the class have been damaged by running the gears dry.

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  • bfng3569
    replied
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    No argument here. The entire LCS program was, has been, and probably always will be, a gigantic clusterf--k.

    And now Fort Worth has suffered a massive engineering casualty, although shockingly it doesn't appear to be a design or manufacturing fault.

    http://news.usni.org/2016/01/21/litt...-system-damage
    “During startup of the main propulsion diesel engines, lube oil was not supplied to the ship’s combining gears,” according to the memo. Running the dry gears “resulted in high temperature alarms on the port and starboard combining gears"

    if one of the key selling points of these ships are their reduced man power and automation.... how is it possible that this system isn't automated?

    without being at all familiar with how the lube oil is supplied to the combining gears (I have to assume some pumps are involved) how hard is it to automate the system? "when combining gears are in use, lube oil pump is on".

    or hell, even a warning. if the combining gears are in use, and the lube oil pump isn't on.... how about a few little flashing red lights and a horn....?

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  • jrb1537
    replied
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    No argument here. The entire LCS program was, has been, and probably always will be, a gigantic clusterf--k.

    And now Fort Worth has suffered a massive engineering casualty, although shockingly it doesn't appear to be a design or manufacturing fault.

    http://news.usni.org/2016/01/21/litt...-system-damage
    Another failure of the combining gears, though.

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  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by JA Boomer View Post
    Fair enough. It just seems unnecessary. Unless they feel that the two designs complement each other in some way, they should have down-selected long ago.
    No argument here. The entire LCS program was, has been, and probably always will be, a gigantic clusterf--k.

    And now Fort Worth has suffered a massive engineering casualty, although shockingly it doesn't appear to be a design or manufacturing fault.

    http://news.usni.org/2016/01/21/litt...-system-damage

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  • JA Boomer
    replied
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    Difficult, perhaps. Though hardly unprecedented. Plenty of separate classes built postwar with only a handful of ships.
    Most glaringly, every nuclear-powered surface ship class. Also several SSN's.
    Fair enough. It just seems unnecessary. Unless they feel that the two designs complement each other in some way, they should have down-selected long ago.

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  • surfgun
    replied
    Notice Jackson is missing her Sea Giraffe radar.

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  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by JA Boomer View Post
    Is there no concern that the fleet of 12 will be difficult to sustain with such few numbers?
    Difficult, perhaps. Though hardly unprecedented. Plenty of separate classes built postwar with only a handful of ships.
    Most glaringly, every nuclear-powered surface ship class. Also several SSN's.

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  • JA Boomer
    replied
    I'm I correct that currently the Navy is planning on ordering 40 LCS in total, but will down select to a single hull design by 2019? Which will result in a fleet of 12 vs 28 in terms of hull type. Is there no concern that the fleet of 12 will be difficult to sustain with such few numbers?

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