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  • Originally posted by kato View Post
    To me, the article mostly reminds me that the USN has an entirely different idea what "coastal" waters are.

    To them, "coastal" starts where the 10m draft of a CVN would let it run aground. To us, "coastal" starts when a submarine drags up a sand wave behind it pulled from the ground half a meter beneath (and yes, we still operate em in these coastal waters).
    I just think the USN doesn't know how to build small & cheap. It's against their nature. /grin

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    • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
      Still a savings of nearly a billion dollars.
      Don't Forget, you still have to pay for the "mission modules"...

      Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
      Well I don't think anybody is saying that the LCS is a Transformer that can instantly shape-shift on the fly.
      True, but a proper escort/light ship should be able to do more jobs without having to cost so much and needing extra gear... almost everyone else has multi-purpose frigates/corvets for a fraction of the cost...

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      • Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
        Don't Forget, you still have to pay for the "mission modules"...
        True, but a proper escort/light ship should be able to do more jobs without having to cost so much and needing extra gear... almost everyone else has multi-purpose frigates/corvets for a fraction of the cost...
        No argument from me that the LCS program is and has been something of a trainwreck.

        For starters, splitting the class between both designs was one of those moments where you wanted to bang your head against a wall
        My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

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        • I thought LCS is a novel concept, worthy of exploring. My biggest doubt is the 45kts requirement. That's a lot of machinery space which could go to other things.

          I still think LCS is a miniature LPD, or an APD on steroids.
          "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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          • Originally posted by gunnut View Post
            I thought LCS is a novel concept, worthy of exploring. My biggest doubt is the 45kts requirement. That's a lot of machinery space which could go to other things.
            And the 2 Seahawks... 2 such big helis in such a small room represente a lot of space...

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            • Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
              almost everyone else has multi-purpose frigates/corvets for a fraction of the cost...
              That's relative. We have slightly smaller 1900-ton corvettes that have all the same stuff except for the extensive helo support of the LCS, and that are meant for broadly the same kind of ASuW patrol mission. They even have the same radar. They're not modular though. They still cost us half as much as an LCS, procured in the same timeframe.

              And it took a decade till they had working gear boxes (originals were subcontracted out to Eastern Europe, bad choice), until the air conditioning didn't grow mold, until the machinery rooms could be used without a breathing apparatus while under full NBC citadel conditions, and until they were certified with cruise missiles that don't fall into the sea after launch. Now we're only missing the UAVs to be used from them...

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              • I found this quote to be rather enlightening.

                Let’s be honest. LCS was never intended to take on another fleet all by its own, and nobody ever expected it to bristle with weaponry. LCS was built to counter submarines, small surface attack craft, and mines in coastal areas. Thanks to its size and shallow draft, it can also conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations, maritime security and intercept operations, as well as homeland defense missions. It can support Marines ashore, insert special operations forces and hunt down pirates in places we can’t go right now.

                Let me say that again … in places we can’t go right now.
                Rear Admiral John F. Kirby

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                • Originally posted by bfng3569 View Post
                  Funny, but with the navy now looking at the longer range and faster anti ship missiles and the everyone paying more attention to the pacific.... seems like something with the range and ability (long range aam's) (modernized) of the F-14 is pretty attractive.....
                  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!
                  Last edited by SteveDaPirate; 12 Feb 16,, 06:06.

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                  • Originally posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
                    Let's hope the F-35 turns out to be a little easier on the maintenance guys than the F-14 reportedly was!
                    Supposedly, these 5th Gen aircraft are all about quick and easy maintenance, for a variety of reasons.

                    We'll see if that actually comes true.
                    My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

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                    • Originally posted by kato View Post
                      That's relative. We have slightly smaller 1900-ton corvettes that have all the same stuff except for the extensive helo support of the LCS, and that are meant for broadly the same kind of ASuW patrol mission. They even have the same radar. They're not modular though. They still cost us half as much as an LCS, procured in the same timeframe.
                      (hate overnight discussions... damn time zones...)

                      1900 is far too small for the USN's needs, specially considering range requirements. But, in a 3kton hull, they should be able to fit a pretty decent set of equipment... provided they cut speed down and take 1 Seahawk...

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                      • Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
                        (hate overnight discussions... damn time zones...)

                        1900 is far too small for the USN's needs, specially considering range requirements. But, in a 3kton hull, they should be able to fit a pretty decent set of equipment... provided they cut speed down and take 1 Seahawk...
                        I'm not sure I agree with this line of thinking. The LCS was designed to fill some gaps the current USN lineup isn't very good at. Namely sweeping littorals for mines and subs, and hunting packs of armed speedboats, counter-piracy, etc.

                        High speed is what allows the LCS to bring those speedboat packs into gun range, act as a screening force for capital ships, or avoid combat with larger surface threats.

                        Similarly, the aviation facilities really make the ship what it is. Sweeping for mines and Subs in littoral waters will be conducted in large part by the embarked aircraft. The Independence class has demonstrated the ability to sport a Seahawk and 2 Fire Scouts, cutting that down to a single Seahawk is a dramatic reduction in capability. How many other small ships can put 3 aircraft into the air to go sweep for mines?

                        Remember all the predictions of doom and gloom regarding Iran after a naval exercise where capital ships lost to swarms of speedboats packed with explosives in confined waters? A few LCS with 3 AH-1Zs apiece would tear through a swarm of speedboats like a hot knife through butter.

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                        Do we really need to build a frigate to fight surface threats and escort a convoy of ships? We already have 60+ destroyers that are pretty damn good at that.

                        The Germans build a lot of surface warfare capability into their Frigate and Corvettes because they haven't got any destroyers. (Although Sachsen sure straddles the line)

                        For the US I think it makes more sense to send a few LCS in to a littoral area to do their thing with helos/commandos/etc., while a Burke or two tag along to keep any of the local navies from coming out to play.
                        Last edited by SteveDaPirate; 12 Feb 16,, 16:27.

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                        • Originally posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
                          I'm not sure I agree with this line of thinking. The LCS was designed to fill some gaps the current USN lineup isn't very good at. Namely sweeping littorals for mines and subs, and hunting packs of armed speedboats, counter-piracy, etc.

                          High speed is what allows the LCS to bring those speedboat packs into gun range, act as a screening force for capital ships, or avoid combat with larger surface threats.

                          Similarly, the aviation facilities really make the ship what it is. Sweeping for mines and Subs in littoral waters will be conducted in large part by the embarked aircraft. The Independence class has demonstrated the ability to sport a Seahawk and 2 Fire Scouts, cutting that down to a single Seahawk is a dramatic reduction in capability. How many other small ships can put 3 aircraft into the air to go sweep for mines?
                          Modern guided weapons make such high-speed useless. You can't outrun a missile. Or indeed a shell. As for the notion of "bring those speedboat packs into gun range", afaik, such packs would be attacking... no need to "chase" them, they'll come to the LCS.

                          And I understand the thinking behind the 2 helis, but the problem is that it makes the ship a lot more expensive. Also, how long does it take to deploy and launch a second heli? Because the ship has only 1 helipad; you mentioned 3 Cobras, but that would take a lot of time. The boat swarm would be on the LCS before that.

                          As for mine sweeping.... imho, the USN should buy a few dedicated light ships for that, something like the Sandown-class minehunter, which is still pretty well armed, for a 600ton hull. At 60 million USD per ship, a single LCS would pay 11 and leave change. Maybe make it big enough to load a drone, and raise the speed to 20knots?

                          Bottom line: the LCS is trying to be a jack-of-all-trades and master-of-all. You can't do that in such a small hull.

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                          • 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.
                            "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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                            • Originally posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
                              The Germans build a lot of surface warfare capability into their Frigate and Corvettes because they haven't got any destroyers. (Although Sachsen sure straddles the line)
                              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.
                              Last edited by kato; 12 Feb 16,, 20:16.

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                              • Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
                                Modern guided weapons make such high-speed useless. You can't outrun a missile. Or indeed a shell.
                                If there are a bunch of Boghammar's loaded with piles of explosives and some suicidal drivers, the higher your speed, the sooner you will be able to bring them to action, and the longer you can keep them there. Alternatively, if you are up against a bunch of missile boats, high speed will allow you to send your airborne assets to go attack them, while the ship itself is fast enough to play keep-away and prevent the missile boats from closing the distance to the point that they can achieve a firing solution for their missiles.

                                Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
                                As for the notion of "bring those speedboat packs into gun range", afaik, such packs would be attacking... no need to "chase" them, they'll come to the LCS.
                                They may be attacking something, but that doesn't mean they will be headed towards the LCS itself. A destroyer for example is a much juicer target, and it would essentially have to empty its VLS magazines to engage such a threat despite the massive overkill against each boat. If a slower frigate isn't in position to intercept such an attack and isn't fast enough to get into position, it may as well sit the whole thing out.

                                Originally posted by jlvfr View Post
                                As for mine sweeping.... imho, the USN should buy a few dedicated light ships for that, something like the Sandown-class minehunter, which is still pretty well armed, for a 600ton hull. At 60 million USD per ship, a single LCS would pay 11 and leave change. Maybe make it big enough to load a drone, and raise the speed to 20knots?
                                I was under the impression that the USN conducts much of their minesweeping with these.Click image for larger version

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