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  • thebard
    replied
    We could sell them some--
    https://news.usni.org/2021/05/17/nav...ater-this-year
    Oh, wait. Then we would be getting something useful for them. Silly to think that.

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  • JRT
    replied

    Originally posted by Seapower

    Lockheed Martin Offering Greece New Frigates, Based on Freedom-Class LCS

    by Edward Lundquist, Special Correspondent
    18 May 2021

    The United States and Greece are actively discussing a potential acquisition of four Hellenic Navy Future Frigates (HF2s) from Lockheed Martin, based on the company’s for-export Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) and Freedom-class variant of the littoral combat ship (LCS).

    Saudi Arabia has ordered four MMSCs and signed a Letter of Intent for four more. The first two are under construction at Fincantieri’s Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin, where the Freedom-class ships are built.

    Fabrication for the first MMSC, HMS Saud, began in October 2019. Steel was cut for the second as-yet-unnamed MMSC in January of this year.

    “We’ve integrated these capabilities with the Saudi MMSC, focused across those multi-mission warfare areas, and we see the Hellenic Navy asking for similar capabilities to this configuration,” said Lockheed Martin’s LCS program vice president Joe DePietro, who is also responsible for the MMSC and HF2.

    According to DePietro, these differences show the tremendous flexibility of the seaframe. “We’re able to achieve that with our COMBATSS 21 combat management system, which is a derivative of our Aegis combat system, found on U.S. and international platforms, which come from the same common source library. We can quickly integrate different or new warfare capabilities from a systems perspective.”

    The common combat management system and weapons, with the ability to share information between the platforms allow them to maximize capabilities in many domains.

    What LCS does not have but will be common with the RSNF MMSC and HF2 is an eight-cell MK 41 vertical launch system (VLS). However, unique to the HF2 will be three additional single cell VLS tubes, giving it a total of 11 cells. Missiles like the Evolved SeaSparrow Missile or Sea Ceptor common anti-air modular missile – maritime (CAMM) can be quad-packed, giving each cell the ability to have four missiles in any one cell.

    To make room for the VLS in the MMSC and HF2, the gun moves forward, which also makes the room for the additional cells.

    “The beauty of single cells is that you can place them in multiple areas of the ship. Because of the flexibility of our hull form and the combat management system, we can accommodate those capabilities that our international partners want to include on their ships.”

    DePietro said that Lockheed Martin invested in the capability to utilize multiple VLS cells on different platforms, especially for ships that did not have existing space for a full eight-cell system or larger configuration (some Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers have up to 32 cells forward and 64 cells aft).

    The Greek ship will have some variations from the basic MMSC design, such as a larger 76mm instead of the 57mm gun. The Saudi ship will have eight canister launchers for Harpoon anti-ship missiles, where the Greek ship may carry the Naval Strike Missile (NSM).

    LCS is a focused-mission ship that allocates a significant amount of its volume to the mission packages. About 40 percent of the ship is set up to receive mission packages that can be connected to the ship’s computing environment to become part of the ship’s overall system. “That gives us a lot of flexibility to also integrate a more traditional multi-mission combat system — to include anti-air, anti-submarine and self-defense capabilities,” said DePietro.

    For the Freedom-class LCS ships, LCS 1 through 15 carry the MK 31 RAM launcher, while LCS 17 and following ships will have the Sea-RAM installed (all of the Independence-class LCSs already have Sea-RAM). SeaRAM combines the radar and electrooptical system of the Phalanx CIWS Mk-15 Block 1B (CRDC) with an 11-cell RAM launcher to produce an autonomous system—one which does not need any external information to engage threats. The 11-missile SeaRAM will equip the Royal Saudi Navy’s multi-mission surface combat (MMSC) based on the Freedom-class littoral combat ships, but the Hellenic Future Frigate will employ the 21-missile MK 31 system.

    “As with the Freedom class LCS, we’ve moved from the TRS 3D to TRS 4D AN/SPS-80 solid state radar with longer detection ranges and accuracy. That, along with the AN/SLQ-32C (V)6 electronic warfare system, gives greater capabilities with regards to the employment of the RAM missile,” said DePietro.

    The HF2 will have a robust ASW capability. “We’ve looked at hull-mounted sonars for the MMSC for different customers,” DePietro said. “We believe a variable-depth sonar (VDS) paired with the MH-60R helicopter, which the Hellenic Navy has already bought, will give them a significant capability. We’re also looking at how we can maximize the capabilities of their upgraded MEKO-frigates and HF2s working together. We think the VDS will give them much needed sonar coverage of the areas where they expect to operate. We’re looking at the Thales CAPTAS 2 right now.”

    The HF2 is designed to embark and operate multiple UAVs — depending on size — along with a minimum of one MH-60R, although the ship can carry two. The ship’s datalink will allow communication between the ship, the helicopter and whatever UAVs they choose, at the same time.

    Like the parent LCS design, the MMSC and HF2 have Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines and Fairbanks Morse diesels for propulsion. DePietro said the new ships will benefit from all of the modifications, upgrades and improvements in survivability, as well as the substantial testing and validation from the LCS program since the beginning.

    The export variants will have the same steel hull and aluminum superstructure. But, he said, Lockheed Martin also offers flexibility. “We can tailor the ship and the systems to meet the requirements of our customers.”

    The four Saudi ships will be built at Marinette, and Lockheed is currently reviewing options to build a number of the HF2 hulls in Greece, providing an opportunity to revitalize the Greek shipbuilding industry’s capability and capacity, and to advance Greek industries.

    DePietro sees more export opportunities. “We’re seeing interest from navies, particularly for ships with this Hellenic Navy configuration,” DePietro said. “There are a number of navies who would like to build them locally, in their shipyards. So, we have to go and assess the capability, and understand how that would work from a construction and contracts perspective.”

    “We’re looking at the international arrangements with Fincantieri as our partner. Lockheed Martin partners around the globe for design and integration of ship platforms. Together you get a team that knows how to do this.”

    Fleet modernization

    New ships are needed to modernize the Hellenic navy. The HN currently operates four Hydra-class MEKO 200 frigates, built between 1992 and 1998, and nine Elli-class frigates, formerly Dutch Navy Kortenaer-class frigates, commissioned in the Royal Netherlands Navy between 1978 and 1983, and transferred to Greece between 1993 and 2002. (A total of 10 Kortenaers were acquired, but one has been decommissioned and is currently used for parts.)

    While some news reports claim that Greece has made its decision on the Lockheed Martin solution for their new combatant, the actual process is complicated and not yet final.

    There are other proposals being offered for consideration. British shipbuilder Babcock, partnered with Thales UK, is proposing its Arrowhead 140 design, based on the future Royal Navy Type 31 frigate (which is itself based on the based on the Danish Navy’s Iver Huitfeldt frigates. Dutch Shipbuilder Damen is reportedly offering its SIGMA 11515 frigate. A French group with Naval Group, Thales and MBDA, is proposing the Frégate de défense et d’intervention (FDI). A German team led by TKMS is proposing its MEKO A200NG or A3000 frigate. Spain’s Navantia is offering its F-110 and Fincantieri is proposing the FREMM, although they are also partnered with Lockheed Martin on the MMSC variant of LCS.

    Greece wants more than ships. It wants a partnership that also includes modernization of its shipbuilding capability, upgrading of its four MEKO frigates and other considerations. The MEKO frigate upgrades offer an opportunity for the Hellenic Navy to drive commonality between MEKO frigates and HF2. Under consideration is the use of the AEGIS based COMBATSS-21 combat management system that streamline training pipelines and leveraged existing integrated systems on both ships such as the MH-60R.

    “We are very committed to our Navy-to-Navy partnership with Greece,” said U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt, speaking to reporters in Athens March 4.

    Pyatt noted key programs where the U.S. is supporting Greece. “We want to see the Hellenic Navy be as capable as possible because that makes NATO stronger. The MH-60 Romeos are part of that. The P-3 upgrades are part of that. The Mark-5s for the Special Forces are part of that. So, we are already demonstrating our commitment to enhancing Greece’s naval capabilities. The next big step is going to be the frigates. This is a big decision for the Greek state. It’s a sovereign decision that Greece is going to make.”

    .
    ...

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  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    JRT,

    I was being hyperbolic.

    My point is stop throwing money away, plow it into new FFGs and perhaps some PCs.

    If push comes to shove the LCS's will have to fight...but I don't hold out much hope for their crews surviving.

    The LCS for the Navy is like the idiocy we did in the Army under the Future Combat System...the Navy fielded it and we just sunk $32 Billion into no systems.

    Both should have been killed earlier in their lifecycles.

    The OHP replacements should have been a competent surface combatant and the LCS isn't.

    Leave a comment:


  • looking4NSFS
    replied
    Originally posted by JRT View Post
    [*]There is nothing filling the gap between LCS and DDGs, and DDG resources are already stretched too thin. LCS will offload at least some of that burden. Removing LCS leaves the DDGs at the precipice. Not everything requires the expensive capability set of a DDG.[/LIST]
    All practical points, especially viewed in a "some hull in the water if better than no hull in the water". The attached article would indicate the Navy agrees.

    Navy Sticks With LCS Despite Engine Troubles; Lockheed Races To Make Fix

    https://breakingdefense.com/2021/01/...to-make-fixes/

    "In practical terms, [the delay] has almost zero impact because the LCS has, for the most part, not been deployed," much in the past 15 years said Bryan Clark, an analyst at the Hudson Institute.

    Of course if the LCS is built but not deployed do the hulls count?

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  • JRT
    replied
    Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

    Under armed, under armored, engineering nightmares....

    Sink them as reefs and go to no kidding frigates.
    I disagree.
    1. There is nothing filling the gap between LCS and DDGs, and DDG resources are already stretched too thin. LCS will offload at least some of that burden. Removing LCS leaves the DDGs at the precipice. Not everything requires the expensive capability set of a DDG.
    2. The USN currently has no FFGs in commission, or anywhere nearly ready for so. The last of the OHP FFG-7s, Simpson FFG-56, was decomissioned in 2015.
    3. Reportedly CNO's recent comments on 11 January 2021 stated that the first in class Constellation (FFG-62) class frigate, previously FFG(X), is projected to reach IOC (initial operating capability) sometime in 2025. If modern history is any guide, planning will be overly optimistic and they will be late to arrive at the party. IOC is not FOC (full operating capability). For example, DDG-1000 has not yet reached IOC, much less FOC (report).
    4. Also according to the same reporting of CNO's recent comments, the first few FFGs will be operated with one crew each like a DDG, not utilizing the blue and gold dual crew schema previously discussed. So likewise I suspect that the FFG will be operated in four cycle rotations like DDG, requiring four ships to keep one continuously deployed (one actively deployed, one returning, one working up to go out, and one in the shipyard between deployments receiving minor repairs and tech insertions, ship alterations). So, only guesstimating, maybe near 2030 to get the first four new FFGs at FOC with ability to keep one continuously deployed in a surface warfare group?
    5. According to 22 December 2020 revision of CRS report R44972, "Navy Constellation (FFG-62) Class Frigate (Previously FFG[X]) Program: Background and Issues for Congress", on page 3, under the heading "Number of SSCs in Service", the report states that, "Under the Navy’s proposed FY2020 budget, the Navy projected that it would have 30 SSCs in service at the end of FY2020, including no frigates, 19 LCSs, and 11 mine warfare ships. Under the Navy’s FY2020 30-year (FY2020-FY2049) shipbuilding plan, the SSC force is to grow to 52 ships (34 LCSs and 18 FFG[X]s) by FY2034." The preceding paragraph in that CRS report states that, "On October 6, 2020, in remarks made in Washington, DC, at an event held at a private think tank called the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), Secretary of Defense Mark Esper provided some details on the Trump Administration’s new Navy force-level goal, which it calls Battle Force 2045. This new force-level goal, which appears generally consistent with the more distributed fleet architecture outlined above, calls for achieving a fleet of more than 500 manned and unmanned ships by 2045, including 355 manned ships prior to 2035. Esper stated that the Battle Force 2045 plan will include 60 to 70 SSCs—an increase of 8 to 18 ships over the 52-ship force-level goal in the current 355-ship plan." So maybe 18 FFG by 2035, and perhaps more by 2045. By then most of the LCS will be nearing end of useful life. Note that 18/4= 4.5 FFGs continuously deployed, which doesn't seem like much against the rapid buildup of the PLA(N).
    6. There is an ongoing push toward increased use of unmanned systems. Austal's trimaran LCS seems like a good platform for working with unmanned systems, having Linux workstations dedicated to that task, large mission bay, large flight deck (relative to other surface warfare ships), hangar, and a lift interconnecting the mission bay to the hanger, and a twin boom mission bay crane able to extend out over the water through large hatch doors in the stern.
    Last edited by JRT; 27 Jan 21,, 02:32.

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  • tbm3fan
    replied
    Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

    Under armed, under armored, engineering nightmares....

    Sink them as reefs and go to no kidding frigates.
    This is what happens when you use the Mark 14 method of procuring

    Leave a comment:


  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Vis-a-vi the Chinese man-made islands, I'll take the LCS any day of the week.
    Under armed, under armored, engineering nightmares....

    Sink them as reefs and go to no kidding frigates.

    Leave a comment:


  • thebard
    replied
    It's hard to even comprehend how far behind the development/testing/deployment curve these ships are. Even with the design deficiencies, it should have still been possible to find some value in them. 12 years later, it's decided that numerous propulsion failures are the result of a design flaw? It seems to me that even with the design flaw, those parts might not fail until the units are slated for sinkex. However, I'm certain that significant cuts are pending for military acquisition, so that would mean the navy will be using these for some time.

    Leave a comment:


  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Originally posted by looking4NSFS View Post
    Xi Jingping has to be laughing his behind off while watching the LCS story unfold
    Vis-a-vi the Chinese man-made islands, I'll take the LCS any day of the week.

    Leave a comment:


  • kato
    replied
    Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    [...]
    The modified combining gear will be tested at the RENK AG factory and on a new ship at sea before it is accepted, said Rear Adm. Casey Moton, the head of the unmanned and small combatants office at Naval Sea Systems Command.
    [...]
    One thing to mention here...

    The gearboxes for (Independence) LCS were built by MAAG, those for Freedom by RENK. RENK bought MAAG in 2009, however the technical documentation and IP rights for these LCS gearboxes was notably explicitly excluded from that deal. Renk then won the supplier deal from the US Navy in 2011 for all ships (Independence and Freedom) built from then on.

    MAAG effectively exited the market after the K130 debacle in Germany, where they didn't just need to completely replace the faulty gearboxes they'd bought in Eastern Europe and sold to the Navy with newbuilt, proper units, but had to throw in compensation in the form of free bow thrusters for all ships into the hat.

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  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
    They can try all they want but there is no way they will make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Not ever, despite what the Vice Admiral thinks.
    A POS is still a POS....

    Leave a comment:


  • tbm3fan
    replied
    They can try all they want but there is no way they will make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Not ever, despite what the Vice Admiral thinks.

    Leave a comment:


  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Rant away, bro.

    I am with you.

    Leave a comment:


  • looking4NSFS
    replied
    Very frustrating reading, at least the parts about the LCS:

    https://news.usni.org/2021/01/18/nav...ating-concepts

    From the article:

    Commander of Naval Surface Forces Vice Adm. Roy Kitchener says things like:

    “I talk a lot with [U.S. 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Bill Merz] out here, a big fan of LCS. If you look at the things we want to do in the 7th Fleet warfight, and you look at LOCE (Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment) and EABO and things like that, that’s what he wants to use them for,” Kitchener said.
    “And there’s a lot of capability there. Every LCS now is getting NSM, the (naval) strike missile, so that’s a capability that we’re really excited about. … In the fight out here, that’s exactly what we’re looking at, is integrating there in the littoral, bringing that strike capability.”

    and

    SOUTHCOM Commander Adm. Craig Faller said:

    "In the coming years, the LCSs will only grow more lethal and survivable to take on whatever mission fleet commanders ask of them.

    then:

    In a separate panel at the SNA symposium, Program Executive Officer for Unmanned and Small Combatants Rear Adm. Casey Moton said that a lethality and survivability package of upgrades would be coming to the LCSs soon."

    Navy leadership making these ships sound indispensable and cutting edge.

    These ships shouldn't even be used for FMS, because friends shouldn't let friends use the LCS.
    LCS 1 was introduced to the fleet 12 YEARS ago! They are not new platforms that are getting tested out to see all the whiz bang "stuff" they can do. 12 years and the mission modules they were supposed to be built to accommodate are....... where? Performing what missions???

    Xi Jingping has to be laughing his behind off while watching the LCS story unfold.
    I apologize for what became a rant....



    Leave a comment:


  • Albany Rifles
    replied

    Little Crappy Ships keep on underperforming....

    https://www.defensenews.com/breaking...l-combat-ship/


    Breaking News

    US Navy halts deliveries of Freedom-class littoral combat ship


    By: David B. LarterThe Freedom-class LCS Detroit sails through the Caribbean Sea. Detroit suffered a casualty to its propulsion system in October 2020. (MC2 Anderson Branch/U.S. Navy)

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy has halted deliveries of Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-class littoral combat ship, citing a design flaw with the ship’s transmission.

    In a statement to Defense News, the Navy pointed to “a material defect” with the ship’s combining gear, a complex transmission that transmits power generated by the ship’s engines to its waterjet propulsion system, and said it is working to design a fix for in-service littoral combat ships while holding off on taking delivery on new ships.

    The Freedom LCS was designed by Lockheed Martin and built by Fincantieri’s Marinette Marine shipyard. The combining gear with the defect was designed by the German firm RENK AG. The Navy, Lockheed and RENK AG have worked together on a fix, which will likely take months to install for each ship, according to a senior Navy official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    The acknowledgement of the design flaw — early failure of the ship’s high-speed clutch bearings — confirms the Navy’s suspicions first reported by Defense News in December. Navy officials have expressed confidence, however, that the service is on a good path to fixing the defect and getting the ships to a useful place.


    It's the latest effort to help put the littoral combat ship's troubles to rest.

    By: David Larter
    In a statement, the Navy said it is working to ease the burden on commanders and enable them to still make use of the ship, even as the Navy works through the process of testing the proposed fix.




    “A design fix has been developed and is in production, to be followed by factory and sea-based testing,” a Navy statement read. “The Navy is determining the plan to install this fix on ships in the Fleet.

    “The fix will be installed and tested on new construction ships prior to the Navy taking deliveries of those ships. Measures have been implemented to mitigate risk to the in-service Freedom variant ships while the Navy moves swiftly to correct the deficiency and minimize operational impacts.”



    The modified combining gear will be tested at the RENK AG factory and on a new ship at sea before it is accepted, said Rear Adm. Casey Moton, the head of the unmanned and small combatants office at Naval Sea Systems Command.

    “The planned redesign of the defective bearings will be rigorously tested both on land at the manufacturing facility and at sea on a new construction ship before it is accepted and installed in-service,” Moton said in a statement.

    The Navy told Lockheed Martin it believes the combining gear issue was a “latent defect,” meaning the service expects the company will be responsible for the repairs, according to a senior Navy official. Lockheed has not yet responded to the the Navy and no agreement has yet been reached over how those repairs will be paid for.


    But just how much those repairs will cost is not yet know, said Capt. Danny Hernandez, spokesman for the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition.

    “The cost of the repair will be determine once a government-approved solution has been identified,” Hernandez said.

    Lockheed Martin said in a statement that it is committed to fixing the combining gear issue.

    “In partnership with the U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin is aggressively pursuing a resolution to the gear issue the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship is currently experiencing,” the statement read.

    The Navy has put out a class advisory on the Freedom variant, which restricts some operations of the ship. But a source familiar with the issue told Defense News that as designed, it can operate up to 34 knots even with restrictions in place in various configurations. The advisory restricts certain configurations that put stress on the failing clutch bearings, two sources confirmed to Defense News.

    The Freedom-class LCS has been bedeviled by issues with its combining gear, which is arguably an imperfect solution engineered to meet the 40-knot-plus speed requirement.


    The string of combining gear casualties dates back to at least late 2015, when the LCS Milwaukee broke down on its maiden voyage to its home port in Mayport, Florida, and had to be towed into the Little Creek base in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Early the next year, the LCS Fort Worth suffered a casualty to the combining gear in port when sailors accidentally ran the system without lube oil running through it.

    The early issues, however, are likely not the same as the clutch bearing failures that prompted the Navy to halt deliveries, however.

    Early in 2020, LCS-9 (USS Little Rock) suffered a breakdown of its combining gear, which was followed in October by the casualty to LCS-7 (USS Detroit). Detroit was forced to hobble back to port from a deployment to Latin America, but a power failure en route, forcing the Navy to have it towed to port.

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