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Bring on the Frigate: LCS Is Outgunned, Outclassed
Real Clear Defense ^ | March 6, 2014 | William A. Price

Posted on 03/06/2014 6:14:29 AM PST by C19fan

The future of the littoral combat ship is anything but certain.

In January, Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox issued a classified memo ordering the Navy to reduce planned purchases of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) from 52 to 32. In a preview of the FY15 defense budget proposal, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel backed that decision saying he was “concerned that the Navy is relying too heavily on the LCS to achieve its long-term goals for ship numbers.” Hagel directed that the Navy begin studying “alternative proposals to procure a capable and lethal small surface combatant, consistent with the capabilities of a frigate.”

(Excerpt) Read more at realcleardefense.com ...


TOPICS: Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: frigate; lcs; navy; pos
Another weapons system with major cost overruns and not delivering the capabilities promised. Although it made the contractors with the offices overlooking the Potomac River happy.
1 posted on 03/06/2014 6:14:29 AM PST by C19fan
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To: C19fan

Another fine product by Lockheed-Martin. Between this and the worthless F-35, its indicative of the type of company they are.


2 posted on 03/06/2014 6:56:40 AM PST by Salvavida (The restoration of the U.S.A. starts with filling the pews at every Bible-believing church.)
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To: Jeff Head

Perhaps of interest.


3 posted on 03/06/2014 7:17:21 AM PST by Joe Brower (The "American People" are no longer capable of self-governance.)
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To: Salvavida
I have said it before and I'll say it again: the LCS is a crappy little ship. it is a “swoose” — part swan and part goose — that cannot perform either role. The LCS is under crewed (though “habitat modules” are being added for more crew, but the ship's sanitation and messing remain unaffected at 45 officers and enlisted); the LCS is under armed with one 57mm Bofors gun, two 30mm guns, one rolling airframe missile (RAM) launcher, and several .50 machine guns; the LCS cannot absorb additional weight without affecting stability and performance; the LCS “modules” for mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare, etc. cannot be installed without going to a port with a crane.

The NLOS-LS missile was canceled in 2010. A new missile system using the light weight Griffin (AGM-176) missile is in development, but deployment is uncertain. In short, the LCS is a very easy target once it is outside the protective bubble of the carrier or amphibious battle group. The USN hierarchy considers this multibillion dollar craft expendable. That's not a cheerful thought for the poor sailors assigned it them.

4 posted on 03/06/2014 7:21:14 AM PST by MasterGunner01
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To: C19fan

Probably the best bet would be to make a modular fleet of boats that could be deployed by a “mother ship.” The boat equivalent of a Hummvee. Each boat would carry only one or two weapons systems. Either manned or drones, like an upgraded version of the drone fast attack boat.

The advantage is that numerous small boats could secure a very long coastline, with warships in a second echelon.


5 posted on 03/06/2014 7:45:54 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (WoT News: Rantburg.com)
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To: C19fan; Jeff Head
I can honestly claim to have been an advocate for scrapping the LCS and building 100 "Frigates" of 3,000 tons instead.

The biggest problem with the US Navy today is not enough platforms. We just don't have the coverage we need.

These 9500 ton "Destroyers" (Full-sized Cruisers historically) are capable in the extreme and are the best combatants at sea today, bar none. We just can't afford to build enough of them AND for many missions such a platform is not required.

A 3,000T ship with an 8,000nm range, 32 VLS tubes (12 Harpoon, 12 ASROC and 8 SM-3), one of the newer 5inch guns and a 100 man crew is THE solution to our surface combatant shortage.

Toss in 50 DE subs of about 2,000T and we are in very good shape at sea.

Not that anyone would challenge us directly now...but we're not everywhere we need to be now.

6 posted on 03/06/2014 7:54:20 AM PST by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: Mariner

I always thought cruisers ran to about 18 thousand tons

Thinking of Desmoines class or Baltimore class here


7 posted on 03/06/2014 8:56:55 AM PST by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: C19fan
Stop, Reset, Redesign: We Need Frigates

Why? Frigates were always stripped down destroyers needed to escort convoys to Europe in the face of a Soviet invasion. That threat has long since passed. Instead of spending your money on less capable ships, shouldn't you be spending it on more capable ships? Burke destroyers and a replacement for your CGs?

As for the littoral combat ship, it's primary purpose has always seemed to be to provide a billet for navy commanders to fill rather than serve any useful military purpose.

8 posted on 03/06/2014 9:04:24 AM PST by Lower Deck
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To: Mariner
...and building 100 "Frigates" of 3,000 tons instead

For the money you spend building your 100 frigates you could probably build 50 DDGs and have far more capable and survivable platforms.

9 posted on 03/06/2014 9:06:59 AM PST by Lower Deck
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To: Mariner

Need more anti-air, but otherwise looks good.


10 posted on 03/06/2014 9:15:38 AM PST by ClayinVA ("Those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it")
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To: Lower Deck

Build a few of these http://tinyurl.com/pdfjbjm


11 posted on 03/06/2014 9:19:58 AM PST by minnesota_bound
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To: Joe Brower; C19fan; Mariner
The LCS suffered from severe mission creep, and from flawed ideas about naval warfare.

The vessels we will have, both existing vessel types (Freedom and Independence), could still be made into effective multi-rile vessels, and I hope they do.

But now we will look at a frigate design to replace the Oliver Hazard perry frigates, which is what the LCS should have been.

I put in the following proposal a couple of years ago, and then updated it last month when it became clear that the current decision was actually going to be made:


12 posted on 03/06/2014 9:57:42 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: Lower Deck
I don't think so.

You can build those Frigates for about $250mil each.

The new Ageis DDG is in the $1.5bil range.

At least 4-1.

And, 50 of those magnificent DDGs (perhaps the finest ships the US has ever floated) would still not give us the coverage and ships at sea that we require.

The National Security Patrol Frigate by Ingolls is a good start.

13 posted on 03/06/2014 11:10:53 AM PST by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: Mariner
You can build those Frigates for about $250mil each.

And you base that on what? The LCS's are exceeding $500 million a copy. Your frigate will likely cost that much at a minimum. Likely more. Your Burke class will have over 4 times the missile capacity, twice the helo capacity, and many times the capabilities.

And, 50 of those magnificent DDGs (perhaps the finest ships the US has ever floated) would still not give us the coverage and ships at sea that we require.

And what role will this frigate be filling?

14 posted on 03/06/2014 11:24:14 AM PST by Lower Deck
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To: Jeff Head
2800 tons.

Back when a Frigate was a Frigate.

Hell, I've served on Destroyers in the 3200 ton range.

Now they approach 10,000 tons and cost a boatload of bucks.

That said, the DDG-51 class is arguably the most capable surface combatant ever built. They are worth every penny of the $1bil+ price tag. They just need a little help for routine, brown-water presence.

A formidable task force could be built of a single DDG-51 and 3-4 modern Frigates.

Modern being the key word.

Personally I like the National Security Frigate proposal by Ingalls. Great platform, EXCELLENT range and duration...just needs a few more VLS tubes and a bigger gun.

15 posted on 03/06/2014 11:27:45 AM PST by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: Lower Deck; Jeff Head
"And what role will this frigate be filling? "

First, I'm not arguing that the Frigate should replace the Ageis OR it's current procurement schedule. 4 per year is the right number.

However, 6 Frigates in the Persian Gulf at any given time with another 6 patrolling the South China Sea would give us PRESENCE we don't currently have.

AThe mission would be the same as the LCS...Presence, Interdiction, ASW, AAW AND the ability to reach out with Harpoons.

They can also augment the protective shield around force projection groups centered on Carriers.

It IS possible to "Link" them with Ageis for common Fire Control.

And to REALLY tweak you, I'll also advocate for 50 DE subs for "brown water" roles. Again, not to supplant the Virginia Class hulls, but to augment them.

The basis of the US Navy platforms today is Blue Water control and Power Projection.

We could use a "brown water" component that many of are Blue Water platforms are performing today.

The only reason the Navy doesn't advocate for them is they are afraid they'll lose funding for the core mission.

16 posted on 03/06/2014 11:39:52 AM PST by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: Mariner
However, 6 Frigates in the Persian Gulf at any given time with another 6 patrolling the South China Sea would give us PRESENCE we don't currently have.

But still you have offered no real purpose for the frigate. You want to build 100 of them, but then you're stuck with 100 less capable platforms. You say you want to put 6 in the gulf and 6 in the South China Sea but how can they operate without air cover? You want them to replace the LCS, but the LCS is really a platform without a mission either. And your frigates would be just as vulnerable with just as poor survivability as the LCS is. So you're not really offering an improvement; you're just replacing one target with a larger one.

They can also augment the protective shield around force projection groups centered on Carriers.

That's what you have Aegis destroyers and cruisers for. Right now you could conceivably put several Burkes and a couple of Ticonderoga cruisers with each carrier and still leave a bunch over to screen the amphibs. Again, your frigate isn't needed for that.

And to REALLY tweak you, I'll also advocate for 50 DE subs for "brown water" roles. Again, not to supplant the Virginia Class hulls, but to augment them.

Augment what? Again, you advocate spending billions on a large number of less capable platforms without any real role in today's navy.

The basis of the US Navy platforms today is Blue Water control and Power Projection.

Your DE subs are best suited for costal defense, and your frigates project little power. Certainly no more than your LCS is

The only reason the Navy doesn't advocate for them is they are afraid they'll lose funding for the core mission.

You seem to be admitting that your idea is outside the Navy's core purpose.

17 posted on 03/06/2014 3:29:57 PM PST by Lower Deck
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To: Lower Deck
You ignored the mission statement in my response.

"The mission would be the same as the LCS...Presence, Interdiction, ASW, AAW AND the ability to reach out with Harpoons.

Additionally, I recommended the DE subs specifically for "brown water" operations.

Third, while the Navy's core mission is Blue Water Control and Power Projection, it's tying up some mighty expensive platforms for it's numerable other secondary missions.

And don't think a bunch of modern frigates with SM-3s receiving fire control from a Burke need air cover. Even with less capable radars and no Burke in company they could protect against most air threats.

18 posted on 03/06/2014 4:28:48 PM PST by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: Jeff Head

just a hair smaller than an Allen M. Sumner class destroyer during WWII.


19 posted on 03/06/2014 5:15:41 PM PST by X Fretensis
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To: Mariner

The Frigate design I showed is larger based on the hull of the Legend class.

t does not include an integrated mast, the AEGIS system or a 76mm+ gun. All of those drive up the cost substantially.

But is would include Mk-41, a less capable 3-D and 2-D search radar and data link for cooperative engagement.

The fact is now, the LCS is severally under armed in the ASuW role. If it goes into the littorals and runs up against corvettes and light frigates of our adversaries, which are armed well for ASuW, it will be in trouble. for example, the new Chines Type 56 vessels (which in the last two yeas they have built 20 of) which diplace around 1,500 tons, are armed with four very modern, very capable ASMs with over 120 km range, two 30mm auto cannons and a 100 mm naval gun. Their role? Littoral patrol.

Anyhow, IHMO, we should build 30 such frigates. We should also, as you indicate, built a good 30 very decent, very stealthy SSK (AI{ diesel electric subs). They would work very effectively as hunter killers in the littorals to clear them of our adversaries SSKs.

Right now, we are sending a much larger, 1.2 billion dollar SSN in to do that role...and in the littorals, with today’s modern, quiet, AIP diesel electrics, that is a very dangerous position to put one of our large fleet SSNs in.


20 posted on 03/07/2014 6:16:09 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: Mariner

Couple of suggestions:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khareef-class_corvette

Might be a bit light for what you’re after, in which case, what about a joint build with the UK on its Global Combat Ship?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Combat_Ship

Elsewhere in Europe, there are any number of decent ideas from Dutch and German firms.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holland_class_offshore_patrol_vessels


21 posted on 03/07/2014 8:42:06 AM PST by Smartisan
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To: Jeff Head
"Right now, we are sending a much larger, 1.2 billion dollar SSN in to do that role...and in the littorals"

They don't belong there, are sitting ducks while there and they cost about $2bil last report I read for a new Virginia Class.

The DDG-51's (Burke) are now up to $1.2bil and nearly 10,000 tons.

Makes no sense to me why any of these vessels are within 100miles of any coast but ours.

22 posted on 03/07/2014 12:18:37 PM PST by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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