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LCS "Ugly Duckling" Turning Into A Swan
Lexington Institute ^ | October 26, 2011 | Daniel Goure

Posted on 10/31/2011 5:00:50 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

LCS "Ugly Duckling" Turning Into A Swan

17:17 GMT, October 26, 2011 Until recently, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) has struggled to overcome the impression that it was the U.S. Navy's "ugly duckling." There were questions regarding the mission for the LCS -- operations in littoral waters, the possibility of building warships in commercial shipyards according to commercial standards, and the plausibility of equipping the LCS with plug-and-play mission modules. There were complaints about the designs of both variants. There was the crisis of rising prices as the cost for each ship rose when the builders were required to meet the design requirements set by the Naval Vessel Rules. There have been delays in fielding several of the initial mission modules.

Slowly but steadily the LCS program is morphing into a pair of swans. When the first two LCS went to sea, both demonstrated tremendous capabilities. Design changes have been implemented to address problems experienced with the first two ships. As a result, when both variants go into serial production they will be able to go faster, carry more fuel and be easier to maintain.

Progress is being made on the mission packages. The first generation mine countermeasures package is undergoing testing. Candidate unmanned underwater vehicles are currently being developed. A redesign of the antisubmarine warfare package will be rolled out soon. New mission modules for the Marine Corps and Special Operations Forces are being considered. There is even the possibility of a missile defense variant with a downsized radar for the foreign market.

One of the truly transformational changes in the LCS program was cost. The competition between the two LCS teams for what was supposed to be a single award to produce the new warship resulted in each team proposing a price so good that the Navy decided to buy both LCS variants and got an extra ship in the bargain. This effect was the result of innovations in ship construction by the two builders, Marinette Marine and Austal. But it was also the result of LCS program office's absolute determination to constrain the corporate Navy's attempts to add requirements and hence costs to the program. The program office is being ruthless when it comes to engineering design changes. There are no changes not necessitated by safety issues or to enhance affordability.

Mother Nature wrote the biological rules that govern how an ugly duckling turns into a beautiful swan. The LCS program office and the two LCS teams have shown that by rewriting the acquisition rules the same transformation can be achieved on a major weapons program.

---- Daniel Goure, Ph.D.

Early Warning Blog, Lexington Institute


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: lcs; littoralcombatship; lockheedmartin; navair; usn

Lockheed Martin

Speed is a major ingredient of littoral combat ships such as the future USS Fort Worth, designed for flexibility and agility.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/10/30/3486502/first-sea-trial-goes-according.html#ixzz1cMMDnQ5W

1 posted on 10/31/2011 5:00:52 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Freedom class:

Independence class:

A Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a type of relatively small surface vessel intended for operations in the littoral zone (close to shore). It is "envisioned to be a networked, agile, stealthy surface combatant capable of defeating anti-access and asymmetric threats in the littorals."[1] Two ship classes are the first examples of the LCS in the U.S. Navy: the Freedom-class and the Independence-class. LCS designs are slightly smaller than the US Navy's guided missile frigates, and have been likened to corvettes of other navies. However, the LCS designs add the capabilities of a small assault transport with a flight deck and hangar large enough to base two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters, the capability to recover and launch small boats from a stern ramp, and enough cargo volume and payload to deliver a small assault force with armoured fighting vehicles to a roll-on/roll-off port facility. The standard armament for the LCS is Mk 110 57 mm guns. It will also be able to launch autonomous air, surface, and underwater vehicles.[2] Although the LCS designs offer less air defense and surface-to-surface capabilities than comparable destroyers, the LCS concept emphasizes speed, flexible mission module space and a shallow draft. The first Littoral Combat Ship, the USS Freedom (LCS-1), was commissioned on November 8, 2008 in Veteran's Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[3] The second ship and first of the trimaran design, the USS Independence (LCS-2), was commissioned on January 16, 2010, in Mobile, Alabama.[4]

2 posted on 10/31/2011 5:09:53 AM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Travis McGee

One of the smartest guys in my high school is on the engineering team for the Independence.


3 posted on 10/31/2011 5:36:02 AM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Traditional surface combatants are just fine for doing the Navy's constitutional functions of protecting our foreign commerce during peacetime and destroying an opponent's navy during time of war.

These crappy little things are designed for furthering our insane policy of foreign meddling.

4 posted on 10/31/2011 5:58:07 AM PDT by LIBERTARIAN JOE (Ron Paul 2012)
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To: Incorrigible

My hat is off to him and his peers.


5 posted on 10/31/2011 6:04:08 AM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) has struggled to overcome the impression that it was the U.S. Navy’s “ugly duckling.”

Gee, if a LCS is an “ugly duckling” what would have they have called a LSD (Landing Ship Dock)?


6 posted on 10/31/2011 6:50:57 AM PDT by BilLies (ABCBSNBCNN, NYTimes, WaPOSt , etc., hates your Traditional American guts!)
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To: magslinger

ping


7 posted on 10/31/2011 7:09:57 AM PDT by Vroomfondel
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To: Incorrigible

My husband was responsible for the diesel engines in Freedom and after commissioning the ship, followed it all the way from WI to Norfolk to make sure all was well with engines.


8 posted on 10/31/2011 7:11:51 AM PDT by matginzac
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To: sukhoi-30mki

I just wish they’d used the traditional categorization for ships like these and called them Corvettes.


9 posted on 10/31/2011 7:16:06 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: sukhoi-30mki

In the future, I’m looking for new ships such as “recoverable UAV carriers”, “expendable UAV carriers”, and exotic craft like “recoverable USV” craft.

In the first case, a ship that can launch and recover a large number of Reaper-type UAVs, along with maintenance-repair, refuel and rearm.

In the second case, a lower tech ship that can carry and launch what amounts to “buzz bombs”, with a similar mission to cruise missiles, but at far lower per-weapon cost.

The third ship would release and recover large numbers of torpedo-like, but low energy consumption unmanned submersibles, that can then patrol a wide sector of ocean, making it impassible to enemy ships and submarines.


10 posted on 10/31/2011 7:23:13 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: tanknetter
I just wish they’d used the traditional categorization for ships like these and called them Corvettes.

The trditional categorization is APD (High Speed Transport), or LPR (Amphibious Transport, Small)


11 posted on 10/31/2011 7:40:45 AM PDT by Oztrich Boy (New gets old. Steampunk is always cool)
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12 posted on 10/31/2011 8:48:51 AM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE
These crappy little things are designed for furthering our insane policy of foreign meddling.

That's odd. Isn't the Coast Guard interested in these?
13 posted on 10/31/2011 10:52:11 AM PDT by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
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To: rmlew
Isn't the Coast Guard interested in these?

Not that I'm aware of. I remember hearing that a couple of foreign navies were interested but backed off due to the price.

14 posted on 10/31/2011 11:38:58 AM PDT by LIBERTARIAN JOE (Ron Paul 2012)
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To: rmlew
That's odd. Isn't the Coast Guard interested in these?

No. In fact Northrup Grumman is pitching a greyfunnel version of its Coastie National Security Cutter (an actual blue water not littoral ship) to meet the Patrol Frigate requirement.


15 posted on 10/31/2011 11:55:02 AM PDT by Oztrich Boy (New gets old. Steampunk is always cool)
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16 posted on 10/31/2011 3:36:45 PM PDT by magslinger (To properly protect your family you need a Bible, a twelve gauge and a pig.)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Unmanned vehicles is the way things are going. I know the next class of British frigates will have provision for 4-8 UAV’s.


17 posted on 10/31/2011 4:58:11 PM PDT by Vanders9
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To: sukhoi-30mki

“LCS program office’s absolute determination to constrain the corporate Navy’s attempts to add requirements and hence costs to the program.”

Wow it’s getting deep.

At $1B a ship when an aircraft carrier costs $6B I don’t think of the LCS as cheep.


18 posted on 11/01/2011 4:49:15 AM PDT by MontaniSemperLiberi (Moutaineers are Always Free)
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To: MontaniSemperLiberi

Or cheap for that matter.


19 posted on 11/01/2011 4:50:03 AM PDT by MontaniSemperLiberi (Moutaineers are Always Free)
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To: MontaniSemperLiberi
At $1B a ship when an aircraft carrier costs $6B I don’t think of the LCS as cheap.

Haven't spent much time around Defense contracting or new system development, eh?

If each CVAN went through the same process as the LCS, you could multiply that cost you quoted by at least a few orders of magnitude.

Even if you manage to keep the Bright Ideas Brigade back inside The Beltway from sticking every bell and whistle known to mankind on the thing during the preliminary design.

What's a billion dollars more or less anyway, with the trillions that are being thrown around like party confetti? /sarc

20 posted on 11/01/2011 6:27:30 AM PDT by Unrepentant VN Vet ((445 and a wakeup) Truth, I know, always resides wherever brave men still have ammunition.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
[Article] There were complaints about the designs of both variants. There was the crisis of rising prices as the cost for each ship rose when the builders were required to meet the design requirements set by the Naval Vessel Rules.

I'll bet you won't hear too many complaints about Naval Vessel Rules from men who made it out of burning aircraft carriers and cruisers in 1942 and 1943.


21 posted on 11/01/2011 12:20:16 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus (Concealed carry is a pro-life position.)
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To: Oztrich Boy
The trditional categorization is APD (High Speed Transport), or LPR (Amphibious Transport, Small)

When I was at the Orange, Texas, Naval Inactive Ship Facility toward the end of 1971, I saw a group of APD's, all in dark paint, sitting at a pier -- they were on the new "stricken" list, along with about 55 DD's and DE's, all WW II construction, some with low steaming hours, nearly-full SK cages, and one with a brand-new boat motor sitting atop a big coil of 5/8" wire rope in the after quarters, in the deckhouse. The waste that Nixon committed was immense, and I always suspected that it had to do with Litton Industries and their newbuild shipbuilding programs.

One of the stricken ships was a CLAA, reclassified AG: it was the USS Spokane, CLAA 120 iirc; the senior chiefs working in the facility told me that her 36-knot hull had been subjected to large blast waves as part of the Navy's nuclear warfighting research.

22 posted on 11/01/2011 12:41:41 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus (Concealed carry is a pro-life position.)
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE
These crappy little things are designed for furthering our insane policy of foreign meddling.

You must not have been reading your newspapers for the last 10 years.

If you don't go kick their ass in their back yard, they'll come over here and kick yours in your back yard. But then, you're still making exceptions and excuses, aren't you, for refusing to accept what's as plain as the nose on your face.

23 posted on 11/01/2011 12:47:13 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus (Concealed carry is a pro-life position.)
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To: Unrepentant VN Vet

$6B is for a new aircraft carrier with all the new technology.


24 posted on 11/01/2011 3:53:07 PM PDT by MontaniSemperLiberi (Moutaineers are Always Free)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

LCS is being defunded. A combination of Obama and the Dems’ rabid hatred of the military and of an overwhelming number of problems with the class. I don’t know what the author’s connection to the project may be. The US Navy is being quietly euthenized as was tried in 1947.


25 posted on 11/01/2011 6:11:46 PM PDT by pabianice (")
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To: MontaniSemperLiberi
>>At $1B a ship when an aircraft carrier costs $6B I don’t think of the LCS as cheep.

Original budgeted cost: $220M. Rebudgeted cost: $420M. Now $1B and they still don't work. In a war they will serve as targets for enemy SSKs.

26 posted on 11/01/2011 6:16:45 PM PDT by pabianice (")
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To: pabianice

Lexington Group lobbies for several major contractors including Lockheed Martin.


27 posted on 11/01/2011 8:01:15 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Lexington is nothing but a paid industry shill. If they had existed in the 50’s, they’d be doing press releases about how great the F3 Demon was (a plane that was notoriously bad because of its rotten engine).

Really, when you post this stuff, you’re literally just posting a paid-for press release.


28 posted on 11/02/2011 8:45:11 AM PDT by DesScorp
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To: DesScorp

Umm, isn’t pretty much most defense-industry related news paid-for in one way or the other?? Most of the anti and pro- JSF reports keep hashing and rehashing the same lines.


29 posted on 11/02/2011 7:21:25 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: DesScorp

Just read back issues of Navy Times. LCS is a dud. So may problems. It’s a too big coast guard cutter with too many bells and whistles for way too much money carrying way too few sailors and mission modules that don’t work. The traditional hull one also cracks in half in rough seas.


30 posted on 11/02/2011 7:24:59 PM PDT by pabianice (")
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