Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The Navy’s New Class of Warships: Big Bucks, Little Bang
Time.com ^ | October 5, 2012 | John Sayen

Posted on 10/09/2012 3:31:33 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

The Navy’s New Class of Warships: Big Bucks, Little Bang

The Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is not only staggeringly overpriced and chronically unreliable but — even if it were to work perfectly — cannot match the combat power of similar sized foreign warships costing only a fraction as much. Let’s take a deep dive and try to figure out why.

The story so far:

– Congress has funded the LCS program since February 2002. Its publically stated purpose was to create a new generation of surface combatants able to operate in dangerous shallow water and near-shore environments.

– By December 2009 the Navy had built two radically dissimilar prototypes, the mono-hulled USS Freedom (LCS-1) and the trimaran-hulled USS Independence (LSC-2).

– A year later it adopted both designs and decided to award block buy construction contracts for five more ships of each type.

– Since neither design had yet proven either its usefulness or functionality it seems that the Navy’s object was to make the LCS program “too big to fail” as soon as possible.

– It may be working: the 55-ship fleet is slated to cost more than $40 billion, giving each vessel a price tag north of $700 million, roughly double the original estimated cost.

Both LCS designs were supposed to be small (about 3,000 tons displacement), shallow-draft coastal warships that relied on simplicity, numbers and new technology to stay affordable and capable throughout their service lives.

he new technology was mainly robotics (unmanned air, surface and underwater vehicles) and modular weapons and sensors. The modular systems were a

(Excerpt) Read more at nation.time.com ...


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

Navy photo / Lt. Jan Shultis The first two Littoral Combat Ships: the USS Freedom, rear, and the USS Independence, off the California coast. The ships primarily are designed to engage in combat close to shore.

1 posted on 10/09/2012 3:31:47 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki
Obama wants to cut Defense.
Time Magazine is willing to help.
2 posted on 10/09/2012 3:35:42 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (ua)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

What a waste. There have been multiple failures (no other way to describe it) over the past couple of years, including the F35. Overpriced, over-engineered, over-reliant on technology and less value. I blame everyone involved.


3 posted on 10/09/2012 3:36:33 AM PDT by abercrombie_guy_38
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

What do they mean, little bang?

These ships can carry a full complement of a hundred community organizers.

Banging everything in sight, from mermaids to hula-people.


4 posted on 10/09/2012 3:37:33 AM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (I will fear no muslim))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

Time paints this as a fustercluck. Do we have any media sources besides the America-hating, Communism-coddling Time?


5 posted on 10/09/2012 3:43:16 AM PDT by Lazamataz (WAAAAAAAAAHHHhhhhh.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

I have seen LCS-2 Independence twice. Once at Mayport (Jacksonville) and also a second time getting some updates at the small shipyard just up river (St. Johns). LCS-1 Freedom has also been here as well but is not so noticeable.

It was impressive to look at considering it is a prototype. The one thing the author fails to recognize is as both are prototypes, they will require tweaking and while testing a prototype things are driven to fail just to find out what caused the failure. Its all a part of design and development.

This article reminds me of how the press was talking down the capabilities of the Apache and Abrams before the start of Desert Storm. The reality is that none of the naysayers knew anything about what they were talking about, other than trying to keep us from kicking Hussein’s ass or unwittingly spreading disinformation to the enemy.


6 posted on 10/09/2012 3:49:30 AM PDT by mazda77 ("Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" By: Hilmar von Campe. Everybody should read it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

As an aside, I was wondering when warships would begin looking different. Their design has been eerily similar since World War I.


7 posted on 10/09/2012 3:52:04 AM PDT by MuttTheHoople (Obama does not have the work ethic to be Anti-Christ.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

Another project that should be zedded.

The moment I read that these ships had an aluminum upper structure, I knew this was a boondoggle of the first order.

Then when I read the glowing reports of trying to weld aluminum upper structures to the steel hull, I knew it was time to kill this idiotic project.


8 posted on 10/09/2012 4:05:11 AM PDT by NVDave
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mazda77

Here’s what I see:

A project which was sold to the Congress with a cost of “X.”

A new revision puts the per-unit cost of these ships at double what was quoted to Congress.

In the private sector, we call that “bait and switch” and there are laws against it.

Here’s the new reality which everyone who clamors for new military toys needs to get their head around: We’re broke.


9 posted on 10/09/2012 4:07:55 AM PDT by NVDave
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: mazda77

Here’s what I see:

A project which was sold to the Congress with a cost of “X.”

A new revision puts the per-unit cost of these ships at double what was quoted to Congress.

In the private sector, we call that “bait and switch” and there are laws against it.

Here’s the new reality which everyone who clamors for new military toys needs to get their head around: We’re broke.


10 posted on 10/09/2012 4:08:00 AM PDT by NVDave
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki
Consider the source. Time is anti-defense and anti-American ... why, like our current administration, come to think of it.
11 posted on 10/09/2012 4:08:20 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Una bruja.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ClearCase_guy
Obama wants to cut Defense.
Time Magazine is willing to help.

And what part of the article was wrong?

12 posted on 10/09/2012 4:08:51 AM PDT by Delhi Rebels (There was a row in Silver Street - the regiments was out.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

I’ve been around the block a few times...therefore I know for a fact this is a POS !!!


13 posted on 10/09/2012 4:21:36 AM PDT by jmax (Full mag inserted, round in chamber, safety is off.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

Littoral Combat Ship?
Who named these thing? The average person doesn’t know what littoral means.
Even if they are an albatross, they need a name that an enemy can understand like, battleship or destroyer.
Why not just call them sissy ships and be done with it?


14 posted on 10/09/2012 4:32:07 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (Obama loved the poor so much, he created millions more.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NVDave

With all due respect to your argument, mine was all about the technical aspects that the writer was using to justify his tome. The cost issue goes wwwaaayyyyyy back when for some silly reason the cost of any government project from the local city to federal does not include solid time constraints as well. Many of the cost overs on this project were due to time because of change orders brought on by the customer (Pentagon).

I see this all too often, in that the governing body will commission a project and whether it is intentional or not, the specifications are not complete or up to date, mostly incomplete. The contractor can only bid on the specifications listed to get the job and only then start to point out where the specs are bad. So then come the change orders and in many cases, things need to be undone before they can be done again.

This all goes back to getting legal hacks the hell out of government and focus on electing citizen legislators who have real life experience at doing these things right the first time. Rejuvenate the calendar conditions on all contracts which stipulate penalties for late delivery and fire the people who write the bad specifications in the first place.


15 posted on 10/09/2012 4:32:57 AM PDT by mazda77 ("Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" By: Hilmar von Campe. Everybody should read it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki
I see a lot of negative comments and no real back-up for the negativity.
They are designed for a new type of approach to in-shore/shallow water combat and support.
What, specifically, is the problem with their fulfilling this mandate.

And yes, they are "expensive"....everything is "expensive" now.
16 posted on 10/09/2012 4:36:34 AM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

Those aren’t ships...they are boats.

What wonderful targets they make.


17 posted on 10/09/2012 4:54:01 AM PDT by DH (Once the tainted finger of government touches anything the rot begins)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lazamataz
Time paints this as a fustercluck. Do we have any media sources besides the America-hating, Communism-coddling Time?

There have only been about 7.9 Trillion articles in the Defense and Naval media (including Naval Institute Proceedings, etc.) about what a horrible concept and design the LCS is, and simply bringing the LCS up in conversation in naval or professional naval analysis circles up provokes snickers as the ships are widely considered a joke.

18 posted on 10/09/2012 5:11:40 AM PDT by Strategerist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: NVDave
Steel and aluminum are welded together with an explosive.

The Spruence (SP?) Class destroyers were half and half back in the 70’s.

19 posted on 10/09/2012 5:52:49 AM PDT by IMR 4350
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: All


Help End The Obama Era In 2012
Your Monthly and Quarterly Donations
Help Keep FR In the Battle!

Sponsoring FReepers are contributing
$10 Each time a New Monthly Donor signs up!
Get more bang for your FR buck!
Click Here To Sign Up Now!


20 posted on 10/09/2012 6:02:08 AM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Lazamataz; All
Papers Released Show Problems with Littoral Combat Ship (Severe hull cracks, speed limited to 15kts)

More LCS-1 Troubles: 6-inch Hull Crack, Leak…

21 posted on 10/09/2012 6:14:08 AM PDT by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: NVDave

I think we have a situation here similar to that of the old A-22 “Avenger” program. Specification creep. Someone wants to add “X”. So they add X. Then somebody else wants “Y”. . . it goes on an on until you have a platform that does anything, but nothing even close to “well”. . .


22 posted on 10/09/2012 6:36:30 AM PDT by Salgak (Acme Lasers presents: The Energizer Border. I **DARE** you to cross it. . . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: BuffaloJack

Littoral? I thought it was “Clittoral”. Whoops.


23 posted on 10/09/2012 6:43:50 AM PDT by QBFimi (When gunpowder speaks, beasts listen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: IMR 4350

And those had big cost overruns too.

I’m seeing a pattern here...


24 posted on 10/09/2012 7:07:19 AM PDT by NVDave
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

So it didn’t work the first time.

This is NOT the first time something like this has occurred. The US Navy’s first steel “protected” cruisers were completed in 1890. They were a catastrophe, too. Most of them were decommissioned by 1897 after about 6-7 years service. They then re-commissioned for the Spanish-American War because we were short on modern ships. But we learned from the mistakes pretty quickly and better cruisers were built.

As long as the USN and the Federales learn from the mistake and don’t continue to build the same defective ships, all is well.


25 posted on 10/09/2012 7:23:46 AM PDT by Little Ray (AGAINST Obama in the General.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BuffaloJack

You’re right.
They should have been called “Gunboats” and given a designation of “PG” instead of LCS.


26 posted on 10/09/2012 7:30:12 AM PDT by Little Ray (AGAINST Obama in the General.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

But do they help the Muslim world feel better about itself? That’s the key consideration. :)


27 posted on 10/09/2012 7:32:35 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Strategerist

7.9 TRILLION articles? Surely you exaggerate. I only count 7.4 trillion.


28 posted on 10/09/2012 7:34:38 AM PDT by Lazamataz (WAAAAAAAAAHHHhhhhh.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Lazamataz

This story reminds me of the Vasa, the swedish ship that sank about 5 minutes into it’s maiden journey around 1500 or so. It was discovered and raised and a portion sits in the museum. It has been determined that the failure occurred because of the constant changes the were added during construction. It was made longer, then taller, more guns, etc. Sounds eerily similar to this article in which changes were added without anticipating the impacts to other parts of the ship.


29 posted on 10/09/2012 7:56:37 AM PDT by midcop402
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Lazamataz
The are pretty much rubbish. A small corvette combine with the capability of a very light transport. minimal combal ability, minimal transport abilty.

That's not to say the role couldnt have been done right, as it was by the Danish Flexible Support Ship

Combat abilty: compared the the LCS self-defence only, each is the equivilent of a frigate, not a corvette.

Accomidation above basic ship crew 70 (compared to LCS 15), Add the accomodation modulle to the mission bays and ut goes up to 200 vs LCS 40.

Grippping Hand: cost. The two ships total cost a little over $US500M - less than one LCS.

Down side. The LCS is 14-20kts faster, but at that speed runs out of fuel after a day. At crusing speed they have twice the range of the LCS.

30 posted on 10/09/2012 8:24:58 AM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Monarchy is the one system of government where power is exercised for the good of all - Aristotle)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Little Ray
Actually the real classification is LPR (Amphibious transport - Small), 1947 reclassification of the Big One's APD (High Speed Transport)


31 posted on 10/09/2012 8:42:22 AM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Monarchy is the one system of government where power is exercised for the good of all - Aristotle)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

I like the concept of an in-close-to-shore vessel. We were discussing the concept way back in the Viet-Nam War era days as there was a definite need for them.

The problem as I and many others have said before is Mission-creep. The desire to do all things with just one platform. Ship/Aircraft/Vehicle etc. Also for the U.S. Navy there is the added need of Blue-water capability just to be able to get the LCS into a theater of operations outside of Continental U.S. Waters. All of these things add on to size and cost. Add in the inevitable modifications to the vessel while under construction and they become very expensive indeed.

As I remember the original war-gamed designs the vessels were Corvette sized. Now look at them, they rival the size of WW II destroyers.

Oh well, I am glad to be long gone from that world. It was fun in some ways, others though...


32 posted on 10/09/2012 9:05:02 AM PDT by The Working Man
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NVDave
A lot of that had to do with the unions.

I worked at Ingles when they were being built and IIRC the unions demanded 1/3 more workers on the job than were necessary.

They also refused to correct the mistakes found in the blueprint design. They continued to build the ships with the mistakes as laid out in the blueprints, then cut out the mistakes and rebuild it where it would work.

A lot of the mistakes were small mistakes because of equipment upgrade from the time the ship was designed. New equipment simply didn't fit the design.

A lot of the union workers were just plain lazy SOB’s too. What should have taken one person 2 hours took 2 people 8 hours.

They also did sloppy work that had to be redone or even rip out other work just do it for the first time then redo the work that had to be ripped out.

Because of the different unions the work could never be coordinated so things could be completed in any kind of order.

Simply coordinating the work with the different departments would have cut cost dramatically.

33 posted on 10/09/2012 9:15:41 AM PDT by IMR 4350
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Salgak

Watch the movie “Pentagon Wars” starring Kelsey Grammar. Particularly the scene that quasi-time lapses the development of the M2/M3 Bradley.

The Brad actually ended up (partly due to original design, partly due to evolutionary enhancements) as a really good platform for the wars we ended up fighting (Desert Storm to Iraqi Freedom) but it would gave been an expensive mobile coffin if used in a European conflict against the Warsaw Pact circa 1990.


34 posted on 10/09/2012 9:19:58 AM PDT by tanknetter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: IMR 4350
A lot of the union workers were just plain lazy SOB’s too.

I'm astonished! Just astonished, I tell you!!

Anyone familiar with unions can tell you that the word is synonymous with "lazy".

35 posted on 10/09/2012 9:23:54 AM PDT by TChris ("Hello", the politician lied.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: midcop402

You have no idea just how right you are. The LCS-2 design has had “water wings” (large sponons) added to the stern to compensate for the lack of reseve bouyancy and the placement of the main mission module bay too close to the waterline. If that bay were to flood, not just combat damage but also issues with the doors, the ship would be a repeat of Vasa and Mary Rose.


36 posted on 10/09/2012 9:27:00 AM PDT by tanknetter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: tanknetter

Sorry, should have been LCS-1 design above.


37 posted on 10/09/2012 9:28:48 AM PDT by tanknetter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki
Reminds me of these:


38 posted on 10/09/2012 1:23:51 PM PDT by nonsporting
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson