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U.S. Navy Discovers That Sailors Need Sleep (LCS Troubles)
War is Boring ^ | 07/11/2014 | Michael Peck

Posted on 07/11/2014 10:51:02 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

Undermanned and overworked crews can’t keep Littoral Combat Ships running

Did you ever work a job that required two people, but your stingy employer insisted that one was enough? Then you understand the problem with the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship.

One of the LCS’s supposed advantages is its much smaller crew compared to other vessels. Where a Navy frigate might have 200 sailors, the frigate-size LCS has just 40—although, to be fair, two different 40-person crews take turns running the ship.

LCS is a jack-of-all-trades warship that can carry different modules for various missions—anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare or mine-hunting.

The idea was that automation would enable fewer sailors to operate the $400-million LCS for all these missions. This saves on manpower costs as well as on precious shipboard space for crew accommodations.

But a new Government Accountability Office report proves what any Burger King worker already knows—cutting your workforce by 80 percent without also decreasing its workload … isn’t always a great idea.

When the GAO studied USS Freedom’s recent 10-month deployment to Singapore, the auditors found that crews worked too hard. “Freedom crews averaged about six hours of sleep per day compared to the Navy standard of eight hours,” the GAO stated.

“Some key departments, such as engineering and operations, averaged even fewer.”

And this happened despite the Navy temporarily adding 10 extra sailors to the crew and sending contractors aboard.

Missing sleep isn’t exactly a new problem for Navy sailors. But the sailing branch has workload standards for a reason. “Crew members told us that their sleep hours decreased significantly during major equipment casualties, particularly those affecting the ship’s diesel generators and other engineering systems,” the GAO explained.

Warships naturally have to periodically return to port for replenishment and repair. But with its small crew and limited on-board maintenance capability, the LCS is particularly dependent on shore-based support. If something needs to be fixed, the LCS either returns to port or maintenance teams—supplied by private defense contractors—fly out to the ship.

During the Singapore deployment, Freedom had to report to port for five days of preventative maintenance every 25 days, plus two weeks of intensive maintenance every four months.

The result was that the Freedom spent lots of time on the sideline. Ships of the Seventh Fleet—the Navy’s Pacific force—typically spend about 20 percent of their time in port. Freedom spent 58 percent of her tour docked in Singapore.

Mechanical problems were so common that the Freedom lost 55 days at sea, which in turn limited the amount of useful data that the Navy could collect about how reliable the LCS is in the first place.

Nor was Freedom the only problem ship. Another LCS, USS Independence, spent eight months of 2013 in dock or in maintenance.

The Navy wants at least 24 LCS. But critics worry that the vessel is too fragile and too expensive. Freedom’s maintenance issues suggest that such a small crew can’t maintain the ship, let alone cope with emergencies. And one wonders how many contractors would be eager to fly out to fix an LCS in the middle of a combat zone.

The Navy might want to sleep on this. Even if the LCS’ sailors can’t.


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

USS Independence. Photo via Wikipedia

1 posted on 07/11/2014 10:51:03 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki; blueyon; KitJ; T Minus Four; xzins; CMS; The Sailor; ab01; txradioguy; Jet Jaguar; ...

Active Duty ping.


2 posted on 07/11/2014 10:54:07 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Resist in place.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Is it me, or is that thing ugly as sin?

[Yes, I know that appearance is not an issue in designing a warship, but...damn.]


3 posted on 07/11/2014 10:56:26 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Modernize the Fletcher class destroyer instead.

4 posted on 07/11/2014 11:03:05 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
"Mechanical problems were so common that the Freedom lost 55 days at sea, which in turn limited the amount of useful data that the Navy could collect about how reliable the LCS is in the first place."

To the contrary, sounds to me like they got all the useful data they needed...

5 posted on 07/11/2014 11:12:52 PM PDT by Ready4Freddy
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To: Slings and Arrows

I think it’s one of the sexiest ships alive.

Not very reliable, tho.


6 posted on 07/11/2014 11:14:24 PM PDT by Ready4Freddy
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Too many guns, did you not get the memo that guns are dangerous?

The LCS is a much more PC type of ship, with far fewer scary guns and stuff on borad to hurt people with!

7 posted on 07/11/2014 11:15:16 PM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: sukhoi-30mki

It is littorally a disaster.... (duck’n & runn’n!)


8 posted on 07/11/2014 11:15:34 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: doorgunner69

Don’t they open up those windows and point cannons through them?


9 posted on 07/11/2014 11:16:36 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: Ready4Freddy

Sexy, to what? A platypus?


10 posted on 07/11/2014 11:17:10 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: doorgunner69

You want to see guns? Look at any dreadnought battleship.


11 posted on 07/11/2014 11:17:35 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

It’s a BUFF. Big Ugly Floating something or other.


12 posted on 07/11/2014 11:19:18 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: Moonman62

How about BUFCF? No i can’t explain as i would get my post deleted.


13 posted on 07/11/2014 11:29:10 PM PDT by DariusBane (Liberty and Risk. Flip sides of the same coin. So how much risk will YOU accept? Vive Deco et Vives)
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To: Ready4Freddy

Different strokes, etc.

Truth be told, I’m more worried about whether it can fight.


14 posted on 07/11/2014 11:29:27 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: DariusBane

Big Ugly Floating Charlie Foxtrot?


15 posted on 07/11/2014 11:30:30 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Typical work day at sea on a carrier 1977-80. 7:00am Muster on Station go to work. Two men have been on watch in the shop since 0400 that morning. Work till about 6:00pm including time for lunch. The typical 24 hour routine was working and standing 2 four hour watches. The morning 0400-0800 watch would likely also stand the mid watch 0000-0400. Next morning your watch time rotated. You'd likely get the 4:00pm-8:00pm watch and hit the rack at 9:00pm. That was under ideal conditions nothing broke down requiring extra time working. It was more likely you'd get at most 6 hours sleep in 24 at sea.

The snipes in The Hole {Boiler Rooms} did 6 on and 6 off. Only 6 hours in 24 was sleep the another 18 was work and watch or you did 4&4 of same.

Ship readiness evaluations on some days off of GITMO you got an hour of sleep. That was 30 days of whatever the inspectors wanted to do like General Quarters at 2:00am till noon the next day.

Due to Murphy's law I believe an undermanned ship is begging for trouble and an automated combat shipis just that. Undermanned except in ideal conditions.

There are other serious considerations besides just the work. Breakdowns requiring extended at sea repair times, Fire, mass causalities, illness, God forbid taking a hit requiring Repair Teams {Damage Control Teams}. The numbers mentioned in the article seem too low. Several losses of critical skill persons could put the ship in trouble. Cross training does not replace experience.

16 posted on 07/11/2014 11:33:09 PM PDT by cva66snipe ((Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?))
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To: Slings and Arrows

Exactly


17 posted on 07/11/2014 11:34:42 PM PDT by DariusBane (Liberty and Risk. Flip sides of the same coin. So how much risk will YOU accept? Vive Deco et Vives)
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To: Slings and Arrows

It is fugly.


18 posted on 07/11/2014 11:37:03 PM PDT by laplata (Liberals don't get it .... their minds are diseased.)
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To: cva66snipe

They don’t have enough people to service the turbines and clean the heads at the same time. God forbid cleaning up the chow hall (or whatever the navy calls it) and working the sonar suite at the same time.


19 posted on 07/11/2014 11:42:03 PM PDT by DariusBane (Liberty and Risk. Flip sides of the same coin. So how much risk will YOU accept? Vive Deco et Vives)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

It sounds poorly thought out by brass that wanted all thing to other brass. A ship requiring that much maintenance with no crew at sea is not reliable in combat. It isn’t a plane that can be easily replaced when it is down. It is a warship.

With the crews forced inside they have no access to sun and fresh air. It is vital to moral on a ship. Submariners are trained and rewarded for months of underwater duty. Sailors on this ship are not.

You won’t find too many complaints about six hours of a hot rack. Any good sailor can grab a nap on light duty but it sounds like this ship is so undermanned sailors are pushed to exhaustion. Exhausted humans make mistakes. If this story is true that is....


20 posted on 07/12/2014 12:02:15 AM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: laplata

We are agreed.


21 posted on 07/12/2014 12:03:24 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: DariusBane

Do I win a prize? ;^)


22 posted on 07/12/2014 12:03:51 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: cva66snipe

A submariner told me that our sub strategy has always been the opposite of this. Said the Ruskies (back in the day) were trying to automate more and have fewer men, that the US realized that thinking was critical to operating a nuke sub, so they had more men on board relatively speaking. They said the “more human brains” strategy worked far better, since you’re dealing with complex equipment and potentially complex situations.

Now we’re going completely in the opposite direction ???

My tech background tells me the reasoning is simple: vendors who sell hardware are always trying to get you to buy more expensive hardware. Way more than you need, features you don’t need, complexity that winds up being more expensive, etc., etc.

The revolving door is so pervasive, and lately political corruption and ties with socialist elite financiers is so out in the open, that FedGov seems to think that any wacky idea they embark on will be largely unreported and thus unchallenged by Congress or anyone else.

It’s like the spending at NSA for data storage to store every email, phone call, etc.

Do you know how computer FAST hardware depreciates in value - and becomes completely obsolete ?

Buying that much storage is doomed to looking like a ridiculously old-fashioned computer museum within a decade.

But it’s the sheeple’s money, and the vendors are inviting us to all those parties and what not, so...


23 posted on 07/12/2014 12:28:06 AM PDT by PieterCasparzen (We have to fix things ourselves)
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To: PieterCasparzen

Somehow, the Simplest Tool Theory has been forgotten. “The simplest tool that’ll get the job done is always the best tool”. They’re pretty much 180 out of phase.


24 posted on 07/12/2014 1:29:06 AM PDT by ArmstedFragg (Hoaxey Dopey Changey)
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To: PieterCasparzen

I am working at Electric Boat. I am assigned to the massive engineering pooled hired to design the OHIO Class replacement project. I specifically work in propulsion plant fluids. I am one of 2 former submarine sailors in that department. I was both an operator and an officer.

My first assignment was to perform a complex study regarding the manning of the engineering department. The OHIO class had 4 more watching stations in the engineeroom than the new VIRGINIA Class submarines. In the initial concept phase the Navy wanted to take it a step further, and only have 1 person in maneuvering and an officer, and only 2 people in the spaces, as opposed to the 6 in the VIRGINIA.

The operator in maneuvering, said he felt like he was playing “whack a mole”, when we introduced him to the prototype under a casualty situation. The operators in the spaces were completely overwhelmed to do the initial response to fire/flooding/steam leak drill. In short the proposed watch team was inadequate, and the Navy elected to keep the same as VIRGINIA.

I will take this a step further. I had to estimate the work hours of the engineer department sailors, and confirm the Navy’s proposed engineering crew size would not work anymore per person than the OHIO class. I spent over a year and half collecting data. I sent 3 surveys with every preventive maintenance item for their equipment, time spent paint and cleaning, and time for corrective maintenance. As it turns out the proposed crew size will have fewers hours spent on maintenance due to the efficiency of the system.

With this, the Navy, at least on this project took a large consideration about their crew size, and their ability to effectively meeting the engineering department duties.


25 posted on 07/12/2014 1:36:55 AM PDT by castlegreyskull
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To: Organic Panic

The minesweeper instrument on my project got moved to the LCS so they could add another mission to the ship’s capability. But the instrument weighed 1,000 pounds and was helicopter towed by a MH-53. To move it they had to tow it with the much smaller LCS’ MH-60. Towing with the 60 meant the helicopter had to go so slow that if there was a problem they’d drop in the drink before recovery. So, they regularly towed it faster which put them at the edge of their stress level. The pilots regularly guillotined the $150k tow cables and lost the multi-million dollar package thereby requiring a $300k deep dive recovery. So, the political decision to move the mission to a ship it was unsuited for led to the Navy losing a potentially good minesweeping device. Pure politics.

I have to wonder what other mission were moved to the LCS for which it is also unsuited. For example, Hezbollah has Chinese made, Iranian supplied anti-ship missiles it fires from shore. They have hit five Israeli patrol boats resulting in loss of life. The Israeli boats are MUCH smaller and harder to hit.

Also, a single mine would destroy the LCS’s very light hull. I think this is another idea-fart from a planner who spent his career at a desk.


26 posted on 07/12/2014 3:44:45 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: castlegreyskull

Thank you for your service, sir, and that info.

Good to know that something appears to have worked out.

Based on my software experience as a programmer, I get what you’re saying.

I can’t stand when there are “shortcuts” made for the wrong reasons when we’re spending so much money already and we know in advance that we need to handle battle conditions as the norm.

I’m very skeptical of the whole idea of transforming to littoral and backing away from blue water, since transforming back, if need be, can not be done at a moment’s notice. And, IMHO, the military needs to be ready on a moment’s notice.

IMHO, the whole littoral thing is aimed at making our military useful to financial elites who influence our gov’t at the highest levels in their manipulations of revolutions, covert ops in undeclared wars, etc.

Invariably when you focus on something other than your real job, your real job has a way of popping up when you least expect it, and then you’re not prepared.


27 posted on 07/12/2014 4:11:24 AM PDT by PieterCasparzen (We have to fix things ourselves)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Use Gearings instead of Fletchers, the 2250s had longer legs and greater firepower with the same engineering plant and a slightly larger hull.


28 posted on 07/12/2014 4:12:29 AM PDT by X Fretensis
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To: sukhoi-30mki

LCS stands for Little Crappy Ships.


29 posted on 07/12/2014 4:15:25 AM PDT by X Fretensis
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To: Gen.Blather
The LCS is supposed to deploy helicopters and unmanned vessels closer to shore, with the unmanned vessels doing tasks like mine sweeping and submarine detection.

What do you think of the idea of just building additional San Antonio class amphibious transport dock ships, capable of fielding a variety of manned and unmanned vessels and mission packages? The ships could sit further out at sea, out of range of shore-based anti-ship missiles, while being able to haul and support larger vessels for close littoral work.

And when not needed for LCS-type tasks, the ships would be available in case we again needed amphibious capability again.

30 posted on 07/12/2014 4:48:01 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: PapaBear3625

“What do you think of the idea of just building additional San Antonio class amphibious transport dock ships, “

You’re thinking like somebody who is paying for it rather than somebody who wants a promotion. Nobody along the chain would get promotions or good effectiveness ratings by suggesting we re-apply an existing cheaper solution. But a new class of ships and lots and lots of contract money which can be leveraged to political advantage, now there’s a reason for a totally new design. Plus, the LCS was touted as the new eNavy that would make everything so much cheaper and so much more useful than those crew-intensive old heavy blue water ships.


31 posted on 07/12/2014 5:06:49 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Little crappy ship is FLAMMABLE and built to kill Americans.

No surprise actually since the Pentagon
now works for, and reports to, and protects,
al Qaeda OVER THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.


32 posted on 07/12/2014 5:30:29 AM PDT by Diogenesis (The EXEMPT US Congress remains COMPLICIT)
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To: Slings and Arrows

It’s not just you.

Regards,


33 posted on 07/12/2014 5:34:04 AM PDT by VermiciousKnid (Sic narro nos totus!)
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To: Gen.Blather
You’re thinking like somebody who is paying for it rather than somebody who wants a promotion.

LOL!

34 posted on 07/12/2014 5:45:14 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: Organic Panic

I hate to think what would happen if it was badly damaged by something...like a direct hit. Who would keep it afloat?


35 posted on 07/12/2014 7:03:29 AM PDT by virgil (The evil that men do lives after them)
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To: DariusBane

In polite terms, CF is a cluster failure. :=)


36 posted on 07/12/2014 7:14:10 AM PDT by Bob
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To: cva66snipe
.


Well, you're certainly NOT "MBA material" ... after reading that mean-spirited and judgemental critique of yours ...


In other words, "Well Done", Sailor !!!


.
37 posted on 07/12/2014 7:34:21 AM PDT by Patton@Bastogne (.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Actually, LCS stands for Little Crappy Ship. At $400 million it is oversold, overpriced, underarmed, undermanned, and not survivable in a fight. USS Freedom (LCS-1) is the closest to a full armament package but still lacks its surface-to-surface missiles. USS Independence (LCS-2) lacks its Mk 46 Mod 1 30mm guns (2x) or their SSM battery. Conversion modules are still being procured and neither ship has an air group of Fire Scout UAVs yet.

The overweight problem for LCS-1 remains unsolved and LCS-2 still has corrosion control problems. Both ships were designed to do 45+ knots, but someone at NavSea forgot that anti-ship cruise missiles got a minimum of Mach 0.8 or faster. Good luck outrunning one of them and surviving. LCS crewing is so small they do not have damage control ability. As far as I can see, the LCS is a $400 million target.

38 posted on 07/12/2014 10:45:41 AM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: Ready4Freddy

Yep, but it was the wrong answer.


39 posted on 07/12/2014 10:59:02 AM PDT by NonValueAdded ("The Arab Spring is over. Welcome to the Jihadi Spring." Jonah Goldberg)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Looks like the Disco Volante. Where’s Largo?


40 posted on 07/12/2014 11:01:09 AM PDT by NonValueAdded ("The Arab Spring is over. Welcome to the Jihadi Spring." Jonah Goldberg)
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To: NonValueAdded

Data is data


41 posted on 07/12/2014 5:45:12 PM PDT by Ready4Freddy
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To: Slings and Arrows

Not really a fighting machine, more of a drop them off quick and get out of the way.

Survivability is low in both LCS models, sacrificed for speed (in the mid to high 40s kn). Considerably slower when at dock for repairs, of course.


42 posted on 07/12/2014 6:24:37 PM PDT by Ready4Freddy
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To: Ready4Freddy

I’m starting to get the impression that this ship was not a good idea.


43 posted on 07/12/2014 6:33:37 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki; All
As a former ship driver I am concerned about the number of people available to stand watch while underway with only 8 officers and 32 enlisted for a crew.

Since the CO and XO aren't going to be standing watch, that leaves 2 officers per watch. Are they both on the bridge? I hope so. If they are, who is in CIC (Combat Information Center) and Engineering? No officers available if they are both on the bridge.

Now we get to the enlisted watch standers. You need at least one each for Quartermaster, Helmsman, and Boatswains-mate. You also need 2 lookouts (fore and aft), two in Combat Information Center, and two in engineering. Times 3 watch sections gets you to 27 enlisted. That leaves only 5 non-watch standers such as TWO Culinary Specialists (cooks), ONE Corpsman, ONE Logistics Specialist (storekeeper), and ONE other.

Now try keeping this up with half on and half off watch just for wartime steaming. If the ship takes damage and/or casualties you can forget about fighting it. There will barely be enough manpower to get it back to port.

In that case, you are worse off than if you had NEVER BUILT IT because it has sucked up other scarce resources that could have been better used elsewhere.

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

44 posted on 07/12/2014 6:35:39 PM PDT by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

“Mechanical problems were so common that the Freedom lost 55 days at sea, which in turn limited the amount of useful data that the Navy could collect about how reliable the LCS is in the first place.”

I’d say they got their data.


45 posted on 07/12/2014 6:36:30 PM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Humans need sleep?

Huh!


46 posted on 07/12/2014 6:40:26 PM PDT by AFreeBird
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To: PieterCasparzen

A lot of the ideas as far as software goes, on this project are being decided on now. The first submarine won’t be completed until 2026. It is estimated that the last one will be in service till 2078. So you can only imagine how that software will contrast to what will be in 2078.

I am not a software guy, but I always found it interesting how the computing technology on a submarine such as a LOS ANGELES Class compared to what we have now.

I will ad that the radio room was always refitted with the best the military could find.


47 posted on 07/13/2014 4:08:31 AM PDT by castlegreyskull
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Kill it dead. Kill the whole project, walk away, take the loss and hopefully learn some valuable lessons in how NOT to design a combat vessel. The Little Crappy Ship has been a failure but too many egos in Big Navy are involved to admit it.


48 posted on 07/13/2014 10:24:06 AM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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To: castlegreyskull

Good “old-fashioned” principles of modularity.

In the sofware design, hardware handling is separated out in an abstraction layer, i.e., a library of routines/classes/etc.

The rest of the sofware is built on that.

For hardware, at the lowest level, it “should” be just that - hardware.

Then their is “firmware” on top of that, controller devices that are actually small computers running sofware. Like a disk drive controller.

Any of those three layers should be able to be replaced, and as long as the new one supports the old interface, and works “as advertised”, the other layers need no changes. Meanwhile, it can have a new interface that it also supports. When the other layers get to supporting the new interface, which is typically required to use new features, new features can be used.

It becomes like the 150-year-old axe that was my great-grandaddy’s - it’s had 3 new heads and 4 new handles.


49 posted on 07/13/2014 1:21:22 PM PDT by PieterCasparzen (We have to fix things ourselves)
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