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  • JRT
    replied
    Here’s how much the US Navy saves by cutting the first 4 LCS more than a decade early

    by David B. Larter
    05 March 2020
    Defense News

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy’s top requirements officer said in testimony Wednesday that other budget priorities have crowded out the first four littoral combat ships, leaving them on the cutting-room floor in 2021.

    In total, the service saved about $1.8 billion over five years with the move, said Vice Adm. James Kilby, the deputy chief of naval operations for war-fighting requirements and capabilities.

    “As we looked at our budget for [fiscal 2021], we looked at how much it would cost in the FYDP [Future Years Defense Program] collectively — $1.2 billion — and how much it would cost collectively to upgrade those first models — $600 million total — and we determined that money could be applied in other areas,” Kilby told the House Armed Service’s Committee’s Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee. “We didn’t want to do it.”

    Kilby said the service prioritized the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine and readiness above maintaining older force structure.

    During the Navy’s budget rollout in February, the service’s budget director, Rear Adm. Randy Crites, told reporters that the ships were unique and not like the other LCS in the fleet, making them special cases in the LCS class. They had previously been designated test ships for crewing models and the long-delayed mission packages.

    The hulls — Freedom, Independence, Fort Worth and Coronado — have accrued between six and 12 years of service, but their usefulness as test vessels is waning and they’re no longer worth a deeper financial investment, according to Crites.

    “Those four test ships were instrumental to wringing out the crewing, the maintenance and all the other things we needed to learn from them,” Crites told reporters during the Feb. 10 budget rollout. “But they’re not configured like the other LCS in the fleet, and they need significant upgrades. Everything from combat [systems] to structural, you name it. They’re expensive to upgrade.”

    Still, Kilby said, the Navy is committed to the class, adding that they were necessary to ease the burden on the fleet’s beleaguered destroyers.

    “I think there is great capability in the LCS class,” Kilby said. “And we need those ships in the future to have a mix to allow those ships to do what they are designed to do.

    “When I deployed in 2017 as a strike group commander, I used a destroyer to do maritime fisheries enforcement. That’s not a great use for a DDG [destroyer]. That’s a good use for an LCS.”

    .

    ...

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  • thebard
    replied
    Originally posted by ghost792 View Post
    Seems like the perfect mission for LCS.
    Those Zumwalts would make some really cool looking targets too.

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  • ghost792
    replied
    Seems like the perfect mission for LCS.

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  • surfgun
    replied
    A new term for LCS? Little Crappy Sinkex: https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...l-combat-ships

    https://www.defensenews.com/naval/20...-us-navy-says/
    Last edited by surfgun; 13 Feb 20,, 02:30.

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  • JRT
    replied
    LCS without mission modules is a little like buying a farm tractor with a 3-point hitch, but without any of the implements.


    Congress slashes funding for the Navy’s LCS sensors — again


    by David B. Larter  
    December 19, 2019
    Defense News

    WASHINGTON — Congress again slashed funding for the littoral combat ship’s mission modules in this year’s defense appropriations bill, which will likely create further delays in fielding capabilities designed to plug into the hulls that would enable the ships to hunt submarines or destroy mines — the missions they were built to perform in the first place.

    With 35 ships funded, Congress has every year since at least 2015 cut funding to the long-delayed mission modules. As the program is currently structured, each ship is either a mine sweeper, submarine hunter or small anti-surface combatant, all made possible by mission modules still under development.

    Appropriators are set to slice 77 percent from the Navy’s mine countermeasures module, shuffling part of it to another section of the budget. But the bulk of that slicing involves cuts to Knifefish minesweeping drones and unmanned surface vehicles that are intended to deploy sensors, according to a readout supplied by appropriators.

    The surface warfare mission module, which has partially met its initial operational capability goal but not fully, saw a 45 percent cut, or $12 million, coming from surface-to-surface missile modules. And the anti-submarine warfare mission module saw a more modest 11 percent cut to address cost overruns with the variable depth sonar.

    In total, Congress slashed about $145.5 million from the mission modules when you include general equipment that comes with all the modules, or 52 percent of the total Navy request.

    Sources familiar with the impact of the cuts have told Defense News for years that Congress’ annual cuts cause delays in testing the long-overdue mission modules. This creates a merry-go-round effect whereby Congress cuts funding because of delays, which causes further delays, prompting more cuts the next year. And a source confirmed this year’s cuts will likely have the same effect.

    But despite that, the Navy has begun to make some strides. According to testimony in March, the Navy reached initial operational capability with all the components of its anti-surface warfare module. Last December, the Navy took delivery of Raytheon’s Dual-mode Array Transmitter Mission System — which joins the MH-60R helicopter, the multifunction towed array and the SQQ-89 acoustic processing; the Navy now has the complete anti-submarine warfare mission package and is ready to start integration.

    And all the aviation components of the mine countermeasures module package have reached IOC, but the unmanned surface vehicle paired with drones that can first find and then destroy mines are among the components that were hit with cuts in this budget.

    The Navy is planning to field 10 anti-submarine warfare, 24 mine countermeasures module, and 10 surface warfare mission modules. Originally the program was envisioned for each ship to be able to rapidly switch out mission modules pierside, but the Navy reorganized in 2016, making each ship singled up on a mission.

    Last year, Congress bought three more LCS than the Navy asked for, and it is unclear whether the legislative body plans to support the purchase of more mission modules, according to the Congressional Research Service.

    The Navy has been fielding parts of the mission modules as they become available. In September, the Navy deployed the LCS Gabrielle Giffords with the Kongsberg-Raytheon Naval Strike Missile, along with Northrop Grumman’s unmanned MQ-8C Fire Scout helicopter for over-the-horizon targeting, a significant step forward for the program.
    ...
    Last edited by JRT; 29 Jan 20,, 05:06.

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  • JRT
    replied
    Click image for larger version

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    "The littoral combat ship Gabrielle Giffords launches a Naval Strike Missile during exercise Pacific Griffin. (U.S. Navy)"

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  • JA Boomer
    replied
    Originally posted by HKDan View Post
    I haven't yet been able to find photos that indicate the configuration, but will keep looking.
    Click image for larger version

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  • HKDan
    replied
    The U.S. Navy just deployed its new ship-killer missile to China’s backyard

    https://www.defensenews.com/naval/20...inas-backyard/


    It can travel more than 100 nautical miles, passively detect an enemy through imaging stored in its computer brain, and can kill a target so precisely that an operator can tell it to aim for a specific point on the ship – the engine room or the bridge, for example. And it’s heading to China’s stomping grounds.

    The littoral combat ship Gabrielle Giffords deployed Tuesday from San Diego packing the U.S. Navy’s new Naval Strike Missile, transforming the LCS from an under-gunned concept-ship gone awry to a legitimate threat to Chinese warships at significant ranges.

    Giffords is the second LCS to deploy this year. The LCS Montgomery deployed also from San Diego in June after a 19-month lapse in LCS deployments as the Navy reworked the way it mans and trains crews for the ships.
    It appears that the Gabrielle Giffords just deployed with NSM on board. I haven't yet been able to find photos that indicate the configuration, but will keep looking. After all these years, an LCS that is a threat to another ship deployed for the first time.

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  • SteveDaPirate
    replied
    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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  • JRT
    replied
    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.


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


    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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  • JRT
    replied
    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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  • kato
    replied
    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.

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  • JA Boomer
    replied
    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.

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  • surfgun
    replied
    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.

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  • JA Boomer
    replied
    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?

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