Home » Sea » LCS Defends Against Swarm Boats in Live Fire Tests

LCS Defends Against Swarm Boats in Live Fire Tests

by Kris Osborn on November 12, 2013

REFILE - CORRECTING SPELLING OF LOCATION WHERE PICTURE WAS TAKENThe future USS Freedom (LCS 1), the first ship in the U.S. Navy's new Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) class, undergoes builder's trials on Lake Michigan near Marinette, Wisconsin in this picture taken July 28, 2008. LCS is a focused-mission ship designed to defeat threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The 378-foot future USS Freedom is being designed and built by a Lockheed Martin-led industry team. Picture taken July 28.   REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Lockheed-Martin/Handout   (UNITED STATES).  FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.The U.S. Navy’s third Littoral Combat Ship fired its 57mm and 30mm guns against mock enemy targets while moving quickly through the water and coordinating with an MH-60R helicopter during its recent live-fire test of the surface warfare mission package aboard the USS Fort Worth, service officials said.

The live-fire exercise aboard LCS 3, which took place at Point Mugu Range, Calif., was designed to place the ship’s surface warfare weapons in a combat-like scenario in order to assess its ability to defend the ship from fast-moving small boats, said Capt.  John Ailes, an official with Program Executive Office, Littoral Combat Ships.

“We demonstrated in day and night environments that the optical sights would slew to the target, hit the target, and destroy things despite the high speeds of maneuvering small boats. From a fire control standpoint, this showed that you have an end to end capability and can bring ordnance on targets,” Ailes told Military​.com in an interview.

The surface warfare mission package on the LCS will improve the Navy’s existing ability to counter the swarming small boat threat, he added. The LCS has endured rounds of criticism following a report by Defense Department’s director of operational test and evaluation that the ship is “not expected to be survivable” in combat.

The LCS’ maneuverability, speed and ability to identify and destroy fast-moving approaching threats such as small boats speaks to the ships’ overall survivability in combat, Ailes added.

The testing at point Mugu represents the second phase of developmental testing for the surface warfare mission package, a suite of  technologies designed to integrate with the boat’s infrastructure and give the LCS an ability to use speed, munitions, helicopters, radar and other things to bear upon a potential surface-combat scenario, Ailes said.

“This is a final verification that all challenges were behind us. Daytime and nighttime firings were spectacular. The 57mm and 30mm guns destroyed the targets and an MH-60R helicopter provided radar data which we then passed to the fire control system,” he explained.

The surface warfare mission package draws upon air assets such as the MH-60, but also integrates 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boats and a full suite of on-board weaponry and munitions, Ailes said. The mission package contains gun mission modules firing a MK 46 gun weapons system with a MK 44 30mm automatic cannon and surface-to-surface missiles capable of engaging fast-moving small boat threats.

The surface warfare mission package also includes a a 19-person surface warfare detachment and a 23-person aviation detachment, Navy officials said.

The LCS mission packages, which also include mine-countermeasures and anti-submarine warfare configurations, are designed to improve the ship’s offensive and defensive capabilities, as they are engineered to bring a new level of technical ability to the Navy fleet, service officials explained.

The mission packages and the LCS seaframe are engineered to be able to accommodate technological advances in areas such as electronic systems, weapons, electronic warfare equipment and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance as they emerge.

These live fire tests for the USS Fort Worth will be followed by technical and operational evaluations designed to finalize development for the technology, Ailes said. The initial operational test and evaluation for the surface warfare mission package will be conducted in early 2014, service officials said.

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{ 93 comments… read them below or add one }

hibeam November 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm

This will only work if you have the stones to enforce an exclusion zone around the boat. The Iranian "Fishermen" will learn to keep their distance.

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srivatsan March 23, 2014 at 12:44 pm

good

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Andy November 12, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Need to add 4 Phalax gun. see if any body can come close.

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blight_ November 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm

The dependence on guns against combatants in the missile age is the worrisome part. First guy to shoot gets the chance to wound or kill before the other guy does. That's why rifles replaced smoothbore muskets and why carriers replaced battleships.

Throwing more guns on LCS makes it a anti-speedboat frigate. It's also rather costly, and if we expect them to be modular as all heck, then they will likely be prioritized for minesweeping, and might not necessarily be operating in surface warfare mode. Or if they are, they will be operated in a surface warfare mode to defend the fleet or defend the minesweepers; but unlikely enough LCS' procured to do both.

That said, until they start throwing anti-ship cruise missiles at it, anybody know what will happen? The Stark incident makes you wonder…

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EW3 November 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Not exactly how useful the modularity will be.
Suspect that of the ships will be configured with the same module 95% of the time and module changes will only tweak the ratio of types of modules around the edges. Figure a base line of something 50% SUW, 30% ASW and 20% MIMW, then fine adjustments made based on the strategic picture.
One thing modules may provide is easier upgrades to the modules themselves, thus reducing yard time.

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blight_ November 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Indeed, in the old days the promise was quick plug and play, and the promise has shifted to days, or weeks. Which isn't bad if you compare to the yard time it would take to do serious upgrades.

I've heard mixed messages about carrying more than one module aboard, which would suggest being able to change modules on the go, which sounds infinitely more promising. Not sure how that works out in practice though…

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hulo November 14, 2013 at 5:15 pm

The modularity allows for quick updates of the mission package. When the Surface Warfare 2.0 module is done in the future the ship could be upgraded in two weeks.

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PolicyWonk November 12, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Regarding the USS Stark – as a frigate, she was built to the navy's level-2 standard (the same as a common fleet oiler).

The LCS is only built to the navy's level-1 standard (only slightly better than commercial). Hence – for an LCS to survive the same punch the USS Stark did, she'd have to be shot (pardon the pun) with luck.

One might think that with a weak sea-frame, a real stand-off OTH kinda weapon might be a good thing. But the LCS lacks even a single box o' harpoons. Since all weapons on LCS are close range (and there aren't many of them), no serious naval adversary is likely to even slightly hesitate to attack.

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Killer November 14, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Helo's are OTH

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Hunter76 November 12, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Not surprising that modular weapons carriers have modules that can eat swarmers. Just leave room for the payload.

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blight_ November 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Well, close-ranged swarmers.

Kind of wish they'd kept the export-grade LCS for stuff like this. Pity we are not seeing it that way.

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Weaponhead November 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm

The anti-ship missiles on these boats will have already launched by the time these short range systems are employed.

These boats will be sitting ducks until they get longer range SuW systems to engage these boats.

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Jester November 13, 2013 at 8:56 am

Nah, they can do 45 Kts so they can just run away.

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EW3 November 13, 2013 at 6:05 pm

They will not be used in an environment like that. If there are missile threats they will be supported by DDGs.
They will be used in low threat environments replacing DDGs which cost a tone mroe to operate.

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d. kellogg November 14, 2013 at 11:19 am

And the USN, in all its finite wisdom and infinite stupidity, has decided its needs half a billion dollars worth of warship to accomplish that.

Dozens of them, too.

Half a billion bucks that can't really fight on its own…
Just wow.

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AJH November 12, 2013 at 1:23 pm

For a real good look at what happens during LFO (Live Fire Operations) and qualifications, be sure to check out the 1.5 hour National Geographic Documentary on “Navy’s Modern Warships.” http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=014_1379537545

It features CDR Pat Thein, who is the current Blue Crew CO on Freedom deployed in Singapore. Funny guy. It takes a LOT of work to zero the Mk 44s and they had a few component failures that stopped the test for days. Also, the other half of the documentary featured LCS2 and it’s challenges with the Mine-Countermeasure (MCM) package, particularly the very complex RMMV mine detection drone. Good stuff.

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platypusfriend November 12, 2013 at 3:13 pm

The best part of that video was at 23:12, shipmates.

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Lance November 12, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Yeah think this little boat can do it if they get a DDG-1000 ship there I like to see those results.

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Weaponhead November 12, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Also, for refernce here is info on what we think the Iranians will be carrying:
http://defenseupdates.blogspot.com/2012/11/c-701-

Good from as far as 38km (= 20 NM) for the C-704.

And LCS has Griffin and a few guns. So how will it survive?

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Ben November 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm

If we end up fighting Iran or any other middle eastern country, we've got other problems.

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EW3 November 13, 2013 at 6:08 pm

You ignore the use of ECM and other tools to defeat incoming missiles.
EW3 was my job in the USN (Electronics Warfare operator 3rd class)
BTW – don't ignore the RAM missile. They have a 98% hit rate on incoming missiles.

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blight_ November 13, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Editing my post. Looks like LCS uses the SeaRAM. Not sure if someone would expend more than 11 anti-ship missiles to cause SeaRAM to expend…

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EW3 November 14, 2013 at 3:46 am

Have never understood why someone would select an 11 tube launcher instead of the 21 tube launcher. There is safety in numbers.
For swarming boats, the laser guided Hydra might be a winner. A pair of M261 launchers on the same deck as the SeaRAM would give the ship 38 more missiles.

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blight_ November 14, 2013 at 8:41 am

My understanding was that the SeaRAM mount had integrated radar, like the CIWS; but that the larger 21-pack tied into shipboard systems.

That said, the more immediate solution to give LCS more punch is to ask what can be fired from that space NLOS was supposed to go? Tactical-length VLS or any number of rockets?

TonyC. November 12, 2013 at 1:58 pm

The LCS is aluminum, the anti-ship missiles will go right through it and make a hole.
That is how they will survive. When they get real missiles, then they can go on the offecsive.

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d. kellogg November 12, 2013 at 2:07 pm

A big drawback for the LCS concept is that they are overly dependent on their 2 helicopters, which will be hard-pressed to be available 100% of the time (and if the USN DOES go ahead with the -C model FireScout, that Bell 407 airframe is NOT going to increase the number of helicopters carried).

Let's make these live fire exercises actually realistic: let's add swarms who are shooting back (not just with AKs and RPKs), including the possibility of MANPADS carried by the raiders' crews, or even some several-kms-range ATGMs.
Whatever low observability the USN claims the LCS hulls possess, the SeaHawk variant helicopters they carry are NOT those "StealthHawk" models used in the binLaden raid (one of which crashed…so obviously they aren't the perfect choice, neither).

Seems the USN is asuming that these raiders will only ever be pirate dhows trying to pull off another Captain Phillips, not bonafide anti-ship-missile-and-MANPADS-equipped fast attack craft possibly fitted with medium-caliber autocannon as well.

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PolicyWonk November 12, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Great test with the results already known before the tests began (sarcasm intended), and the US taxpayer spent over $400M (before "mission packages") to prove an LCS can destroy a handful of speedboats (for all of which the combined cost less than 1/100th of an LCS)? This isn't what's known as spending the taxpayers money wisely.

Note that:
1. None of the "enemy" boats were shooting back, and there weren't very many of them.
2. A Cyclone class PC would've cleaned the clock of this swarm without difficulty at a fraction of the cost.
3. If the LCS went up against any similar sized modern naval adversary's offerings, it would be annihilated before it got within sight of said adversary. Other navies have been building similar sized ships with stealthy designs, full military grade hulls, far heavier armament and protection, with mission packages for ~1/3 less than the US taxpayer is being charged.

Hence – this is not an impressive result.

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blight_ November 12, 2013 at 2:45 pm

It's a pity we didn't acquire more Cyclones for Littoral Combat, along with some Mk V and SOC-R variants for conventional forces usage. Fight speedboats with speedboats; though there is greater attritional risk doing it that way.

Unless we expect waves of drones from LCS' to just mop out speedboat swarms like M-1's mowing down Fedayeen?

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blight_ November 12, 2013 at 2:52 pm

The old Surface Warfare system documentation from 2009:
http://www.navsea.navy.mil/nswc/dahlgren/ET/LCS/L

(Note it still mentions NLOS)

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PolicyWonk November 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm

I've seen the SUW system marketing sheet before. NLOS died a long time ago (as you mention), but even if it was successful, it still didn't provide sufficient punch to make a difference for either LCS variant.

Regardless, for a naval ship who's theoretical intent was to go into harms way (the "C" in LCS still stands for "Combat", doesn't it?), the armament for LCS (even with the SUW mission package) is far weaker than any other modern navy's similar sized ships (without their "mission packages"), that as I mentioned before, cost FAR less per sea-frame than LCS does.

Hence – it is no surprise that all the other navies that initial had interest in the concept of LCS have long since walked away.

As a taxpayer – it makes me ill at the very thought that our sailors would be sent into battle against a real naval adversary in one of these.

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blight_ November 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Littoral…Controller…Ship? Considering how much focus is on it being a drone mothership.

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Talosian November 12, 2013 at 5:33 pm

PW makes a very good point here that should be difficult for LCS supporters to overlook:

"it is no surprise that all the other navies that initial had interest in the concept of LCS have long since walked away."

Why does the USN insist on sticking with failed designs from a failed concept? Isn't a good measure of weapon system effectiveness the number of countries that wish to field it? LCS rates zero.

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d. kellogg November 12, 2013 at 8:08 pm

(P.W.): "…NLOS died a long time ago (as you mention), but even if it was successful, it still didn't provide sufficient punch to make a difference for either LCS variant. "

Not necessarily.
The finalized warhead for the NetFires missiles were EFP (Explosively Formed Penetrator) designs that focused the lethal fragments in a forward cone (cannot offhand recall the specifics, but numerous docs exist over in many of the DTIC.MIL/NDIA website's articles).
Any relatively thin-skinned light naval vessel would not fair well to multiple hits from NetFires: in addition to the multiple holes the NetFires makes in said target (depending how far from the hull it detonates, if it even could proximity burst), the molten pieces would easily cause all sorts of fires, and to this day it's still argued, "does the aluminum hull burn, melt, or combust however?"

I think a very formidable round that could be developed for the ships' main 57mm gun would be either an outright guided munition like the EAPS/C-RAM is developing, or if not, utilize the tried-and-true 3P fuze of the current 57mm round but employ it with a shell with the EFP fragment warhead the EAPS 50mm is operating around: that would enable a proximity burst at a distance from the hull to spread the molten EFP frags into several locations.

JCross November 12, 2013 at 11:30 pm

What we need is an actual patrol frigate. There's already a reasonable design based off of the Coast Guard's legend-class cutters available, the PF4921. Although foreign designs are probably better in cost/efficiency, this one will satisfy those demanding an all-american design and still be pretty good.

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BlackOwl18E November 12, 2013 at 4:27 pm

I want to see these tests for myself.

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d. kellogg November 12, 2013 at 8:22 pm

So would I.
The most convincing would be several remote-operated speedboats (with NO radar enhancing reflectors and NO add-on IR sources) steered directly at the LCS (not turning/crossing at the last several hundred yards ala PT boat style) in differing attack vectors (not all to one side),
with the crew being given no advance warning by anyone in the testing other than the ship's own systems (to simulate the element of surprise).

Of course, Navy brass wouldn't even consider it: can't risk having a fleet combatant damaged during training and gunnery quals.
But if we DO want the systems to prove they're capable of real-world threats, shouldn't we actually be mimicking real world threat tactics?
Depending on its operating distance from shore, we could throw in the very possible scenario of a combined assault from raider craft, land-based systems (ATGM types or light SSMs similar in size to Sea Skua or even Harpoon), and possibly even distant helos as well.

No, don't ever expect such a scenario to exist anywhere beyond software simulation that can always be "Kobayashi Maru'ed", rewritten to suit the preferred outcome.

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blight_ November 18, 2013 at 11:27 am

Of course, then a drone flies into a ship over the weekend…

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Bill November 15, 2013 at 9:36 am

All you need to do is enlist and you can be part of the test!

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Michael Shatto November 13, 2013 at 3:15 am

Goodie.
I would like the number of attackers doubled.
Then doubled again. And maybe doubled again.
And get rid of the chopper.
Then we could know if it can defend itself.

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blight_ November 13, 2013 at 9:10 am

If only it were that easy.

"Lets throw more dhows at the LCS…but change their putative armament from RPG's to AK-47's. Look, we can kill them from a distance, America wins!"

As long as your opponent plays by your rules, like a cow doing through the chute in a slaughterhouse…

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eric November 13, 2013 at 5:15 am

Aren't DefenseTech reporters allowed to ask critical questions? I am only reading PR stuff here.

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blight_ November 13, 2013 at 7:52 am

What reporters?

The problem with modern "journalism" is that it is a quest to deliver the same content before everyone else. To do so, the quality and extensiveness of the investigation drops in the name of getting there first. It's a big lose for everyone.

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Kim Scholer November 13, 2013 at 9:25 am

A weblog like this can't afford journalists, unlike a magazine or a newspaper. If you want in-depth reporting, pay for it.

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Big-B November 13, 2013 at 5:22 am

Build at a lower level than an oiler? Serious? oh-oh…

I say again LCS should be used as a remote controlled drone. Get rid of crew and their stuff, put some more weapons like harpoon, phalanx or ram on it. Remote controlled by a zumwalt.

Or leave it like it is, dont add more modules, paint it white and call it Coast Guard patrol vessel.

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CEdgar November 15, 2013 at 1:18 am

As a Coastie, I would like to DECLINE your offer.

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Han Solo November 13, 2013 at 9:36 am

Is it just me or do these have less warfare capabilities than your average Coast Guard vessel.

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galloglas November 13, 2013 at 11:52 am

HELL, There are Bass boats with more warfare capabilities than this PoS.

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JCross November 13, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Not less, but are quite similarly armed to the current Legend-class cutters built for the USCG. There is a proper frigate version available of that USCG design, but has not been purchased yet.

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Chadman AST November 14, 2013 at 11:05 am

Here we go, picking on us puddle pirates. That thing looks like it can stay out to sea WAY too long for me to want to be on it. Paint'em white, home every night I always say :)

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AJH November 13, 2013 at 10:46 am

As much as I dislike LCS, at least the Navy’s story around the platform has changed, especially thanks to the last round of Congressional Analysis papers by the ever-vigilant Ronald O’Rourke. I encourage all of you who are griping about why this isn’t a Frigate to read them.

That being said, the truth has emerged and everyone in the program acknowledges that the CONOPS is for LCS to NOT go head to head with peer opponent corvettes and frigates. LCS does need the help of an Arleigh Burke or a Tico for AAW coverage and hard-core SUW. Let’s face it, the idea of LCS is a truck. Payload, not fixed weapons. It’s really designed to let us retire the very tired Avenger MCMs and maybe the Cyclone PCs. I repeat, it is NOT and never was intended to take on a Type 054 Jingkai corvette or even the newer Jianghu and Luda platforms. Send in a Burke if you need to whack one of those.

For those of you bemoaning the lack of SUW – Griffin I-B is currently being considered as an “interim” solution. It’s a short-range missile by Raytheon and will be deployed on the Patrol Coastal Cyclones – there’s a Youtube video of LFO quals and a press release floating round; naming a MK-60 launcher. From the videos, it’s a four-round mount. Now this will drive the SUW advocates really crazy – Griffin requires designation pretty much all the way in. That makes multiple target engagement questionable unless you have more than one designator available. PEOShips has acknowledged they need to move on but 2015 budget is not set – there have been signals that the likely candidates could be MBDA’s Sea Spear, or even better, Rafael’s Typhoon mount with an 8-round launcher of NLOS, which gives a heck of a better reach than Griffin. But it will be a loooong while before the Missile Mission Zones on the LCS will be filled with ordnance. MCM and ASW have to be successful on LCS first. SuW is sexy, but isn’t the biggest threat when you look at trends across the hotspots. Iran can close the straits with mines if they really tried, and everyone in Asia who can afford it is buying into quiet, very capable subs, especially China who is upgrading all their old boats. Between the current fleet units and the real big stick of Naval Aviation, the USN has enough ASuW/Strike capability.

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Talosian November 13, 2013 at 11:12 am

Sounds like a bit of revisionist history here. Don't know which specific vessel classes the Navy may or may not have intended LCS to tackle, but the marketing was pretty clear that it was intended to consistently go in harm's way. Don't recall a lot of talk about it needing significant protection. Reference, the 'street fighter' term previously mentioned numerous times. To me, this sounds like a term that would used to describe a vessel that would go head to head with peer-sized ships, not one that would rely on others for most of its protection. I suppose the good news is that at least they're finally owning up to the design shortcomings.

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d. kellogg November 13, 2013 at 12:24 pm

"That being said, the truth has emerged and everyone in the program acknowledges that the CONOPS is for LCS to NOT go head to head with peer opponent corvettes and frigates…"

Sadly, the USN is spending an awful lot of money on a ship that can't fight vessels that don't cost half as much.
It's not the near-peer, 3000-ton threat vessels it has to worry about.
It's the under-1000-ton FACs that can be armed to the teeth.

For the price an LCS is costing, add in a set of mission modules, 2 crews (Blue, Gold), and all the foreign support from the contractors for forward-basing the mission modules that the USN will have to fund,
they might as well just have bought more of the Burkes that are obviously going to need to be around to protect the LCS from most of the threats it will face.

So basically, the LCS is then just going to be a forward picket for the Burke's longer-ranged weapons?

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PolicyWonk November 13, 2013 at 5:06 pm

So basically, the LCS is then just going to be a forward picket for the Burke's longer-ranged weapons?
=================================
Hmmm. Are you suggesting the LCS is little more than a decoy? If thats all the navy really wanted, they could build 'em a lot cheaper than $400M/hull…

The navy could've bought up-armored/up-gunned versions of the NSC for a lot less money if they needed something with legs. Otherwise, the PC design with a few mods could've been a formidable asset…

But that wouldn't get anyone any jobs with defense contractors later…

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d. kellogg November 14, 2013 at 11:27 am

"Hmmm. Are you suggesting the LCS is little more than a decoy? If thats all the navy really wanted, they could build 'em a lot cheaper than $400M/hull… "

Um, no.
The US Navy NEVER builds anything cheaper.
Any number of other nations could've pulled this off, but half a billion for what equates to an over-priced cutter…?

THIS is a littoral combatant with armament to be proud of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steregushchy-class_c

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blight_ November 14, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Or the one that VT Halter builds for Egypt.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambassador_MK_III_Mi

Blast from the past:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pegasus_class_hydrof

On the minus side, craft in the mass of the Pegasus, the Hayabusa, or the Egyptian Ambaassador Mk III can't do much more than go fast and shoot, and perhaps launch small-craft. I'd be interested to see if an FAC could operate drones…and thus steal the thunder from the much larger Littoral Combat Ship, which would become more of a fast-moving tender of drones and small craft.

blight_ November 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Good grief, if all we're going to do is replace minesweepers…buy new minesweepers.

Even then, the LCS only minesweeps by the virtue of its drones; so theoretically any COTS ship or barge operating LCS modules could do the minesweeping task.

(What /would/ be cool is if an LCS module could be transported by aircraft anywhere on the planet, and bolted onto any available merchant vessel, which could then also carry the drones and do the same job.)

Hmm.

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Tad November 13, 2013 at 10:48 am

So based on this, will the Navy change its mind and declare that the LCS is capable of being used in combat without the protection of a fleet? Or will they stick with their current story that the LCS will remain under the umbrella of fleet protection in the event of combat?

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galloglas November 13, 2013 at 11:51 am

Last I read this marvel of Naval live fire tests could not even get out of port to go help in a humanitarian crisis in the Philippines.
Some ship ya got there Navy, yes sir some ship not an effective ship but hell it looks all Hi tech kinda like the new Navy cammies all show, bells and whistles and winking, blinking lights.
To bad it can't sail the high seas though.

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d. kellogg November 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm

AIUI, steering system malfunction is the latest cause of being stuck at port in Singapore.
I'm sure the crews hates that.
And I'm sure the contractors are making no small fortune being on site for all the actual technical work.

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galloglas November 14, 2013 at 10:07 am

No Bout a Dout it!

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blight_ November 14, 2013 at 10:19 am

I thought they were /done/ with the fixes?

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blight_ November 14, 2013 at 10:11 am
notmyname November 14, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Perhaps they cut some wires accidentally while cutting the cake.

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Guest November 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Whatever happened to the Boeing JABMM, that was supposed to give these ships
more firepower?:
http://defensetech.org/2012/01/18/boeings-new-mis

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Big-Dean November 13, 2013 at 9:30 pm

This if for AJH and all of the LCS mafia out there

A navy ship designated a "warship" WILL go into harm's way. If the LCS is a warship and needs the protection of a destroyer then you really can't call it a warship anymore, call it a support ship and quite kidding yourself

Secondly, a destroyer will not always be near by when the shit starts to fly, especially it we actually build 50 of this crappy little ships.

Third, an Aegis umbrella is only effective at moderate distance. Good luck to the LCS it it's over the horizon from the destroyer.

Forth, how in the heck are you going to protect the LCS from subs, the LCS makes more noise than an aircraft carrier and the only way it'll know if a submarine is around is when the torpedo warhead explodes

Last and most important, the enemy does not know the LCS is NOT a warship. They will treat it as one and promptly sink it and then machine gun the survivors.

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Francisco March 25, 2014 at 4:12 am

**** How’s the cars coming ? Life has been a lltite disruptive the last couple of months so I haven’t been around BUT . I think I have found the sponsorship money to pay for the new motor, With high hopes I’ll have the money in hand by early next week and have the #20 Sportsman back at the track within a few weeks, Hate to miss Opening night but it will be worth it in the long run

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Steve Hartman November 13, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Now all the Navy has to do is is fix the saltwater intrusion into its engines and everything will be hunky dory!

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Steve Hartman November 13, 2013 at 10:10 pm

You really censored salt water as one word? Loverly! Me thinks you're a bit over sensitive.

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AJH November 13, 2013 at 11:14 pm

I find it quite hilarious that someone referred to me as the LCS Mafia. Clearly you're not a regular on Naval Enthusiast sites like NewWars or any of the defense boards out there. You'd know that I was one of the most vociferous critics of the platform, especially when the Navy made possibly one of the most silly procurement decisions I've ever seen, and paid for the Army's NLOS launcher before the branch even had a full-up round developed.

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AJH November 13, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Looks like I'll have to break up my feedback into paragraphs. Just fine. Next line:

I find it quite hilarious that someone referred to me as the LCS Mafia. Clearly you're not a regular on Naval Enthusiast sites like NewWars or any of the defense boards out there. You'd know that I was one of the most vociferous critics of the platform, especially when the Navy made possibly one of the most silly procurement decisions I've ever seen, and paid for the Army's NLOS launcher before the branch even had a full-up round developed.

That being said, I also realized that it's here to stay. And criticizing a platform because it doesn't meet the "Frigate" mafia's needs is equally as useless. I'm trying to find out exactly how the Navy intends to use the platform, and use it well. Because like it or not, it will replace the 50 or so Perry FFGs and the 30 odd Avengers in the fleet. And we'd better find a way to use it right, because the Chinese or whoever become the peer competitor in the next several decades will make life really difficult for us otherwise.

Buying a minesweeper to replace a minesweeper is not cost effective, even before the Sequestration hit. Have you ever seen the weapons fit on a sweeper today? An Iranian Boghammer with 122mm artilerry free-flight rocket tubes welded to the roll cage could give it fits. If I was a type commander, I'd want my COs to at least have a reasonable chance of fighting off that kind of threat as they're hunting mines in the littorals. At least a pair of Mk44 30mm Bushmasters is an equalizer of sorts.

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AJH November 13, 2013 at 11:24 pm

21C Strategy Paper – three words – Building Partner Capability. Google that and LCS and you'll see why it's valuable in that role. Can we afford to answer the bugle everytime, no matter where? No. The budget clearly and painfully makes that obvious.

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AJH November 13, 2013 at 11:28 pm

And last but not least. I'm not sure why people think that the US Navy still operates like the movie Master and Commander, but that's sure the way that a lot of people on this thread are thinking by their comments. New flash – Independent Action/Steaming, the behaviour shown in the movie? Died off in the 1920s. No fleet unit today can take on all threats possible. LCS is supposed to operate with other units. In much the same way we would NOT send a Burke or even a Tico into an area where air superiority is contested, because they could be sunk easily. At some point, the fleet units need other branches or services' assistance. LCS isn't an exception to that.

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jffourquet November 14, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Do we really need a 3000 ton ship for this? Seems like existing patrol craft and the old Asheville class patrol craft are ideal for this and a lot cheaper.

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Dfens November 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I guess using actual, remotely controlled small boats for this test would have cost too much after the billions the Navy spent both to have this crappy boat designed and billions more to have it built. I'd be interested in seeing if one could get within range of a deck mounted .50 cal machine gun, since that's all it would take to sink this thin skinned wonder ship. I wonder if they ever did tests like this on Iowa class battleships? You know, the pinnacle of America's Naval might that we built back in the 1940s. Yeah, probably not. I mean, what would a small boat do to the Mighty Mo? Hell, they couldn't carry enough explosives to do more than mess up the paint. But the LCS and the defense contractor that designed it are the future of cutting edge naval vessels, just ask anyone making money from this scam.

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William_C1 November 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm

I don't like the LCS either, but how the hell are you going to sink one with a .50 caliber machine gun? Again you blame the big bad defense contractors but it was the United States Navy who asked for this ship.

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Dfens November 15, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Hmm, yeah, how would a series of half inch holes in the hull of a boat make it sink. You got me on that one.

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big daddy November 15, 2013 at 4:54 pm

The gun won't sink it, I ask will those half inch holes knockout the electronics for the defense system and radar? If it does than the missiles will sink it or a small ship loaded with explosives designed to detonate slightly below the waterline.

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Dfens November 16, 2013 at 1:26 am

Sure, and the iceberg didn't sink the Titanic too.

William_C1 November 16, 2013 at 3:22 am

You do realist that this is a 3,000 ton ship right? A few half inch holes below the waterline aren't going to send it to the bottom. Of course you'd have to be damn close to create a hull under the waterline. And is the LCS not going to be firing back?

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Dfens November 18, 2013 at 9:12 am

You know that for sure, do you? Your expertise knows no bounds, well, except for that "how to make a hull under water," thing.

Rosmo November 17, 2013 at 4:45 pm

The LCS is a joke. It has little armarment, little self defense or offensive capability, and it seems to be a ship that the Navy does not want need. It reminds me of when the Navy took the missile launcher off all of the Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates.They basically had a small 76mm gun on a fairly large ship. I say build shallow draft frigates with 5 inch 54's and modern SM2.+ missles or at least the improved Sea Sparrow misile. I would also mount Harpoons and Mark46/50 torpedoes on the ship.

LCS will sometimes carry VERY SHORT RANGE GRIFFIN MISSILES, it has 57 mm pop gun and a some 30mm guns. Truth be told this ship has true no offensive or defensive capability against, aircraft, missile or submarine
This LCS program show die a very swift death so the money can be spent more capable and cost effective platform. The LCS program is sad, sick joke but no one is laughing but the Russians and Chinese.

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Dfens November 18, 2013 at 9:17 am

The cheaper Iowa Class battleship had 9 – 16" guns (406 mm), 50 – 5" (127 mm), and was ringed with hundreds of 40 mm Bofors, and yet it cost less to both design and build. Must have been magic involved. Oh wait, not magic, just some good business sense.

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David November 19, 2013 at 5:34 pm

you might want to adjust for inflation on the cost of an Iowa :)

Also, the Iowa's CREW would cost more than 2 LCSs :)

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David November 19, 2013 at 5:35 pm

The Russian navy is a pathetic joke mostly rusting away in port.

Their 20 or so new ships won't be ready to go until 2020 or so.

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blight_ November 18, 2013 at 10:56 am

Without the drones, does LCS have organic minesweep/minehunt capability with or without its magic modules?

Navy has Sea Fighter, Sea Slice, both LCS classes and the JHSV in the pipe. Hmm…

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PolicyWonk November 12, 2013 at 9:19 pm

I see you point, but NLOS was a fairly short range weapon from what I recall. Against a pirate or a speed boat, that might be one thing. Against a real naval adversary, the LCS would be likely trounced by the other boats longer range ASM's before it got near enough to do anything.

But the 57mm gun failed miserably to damage a military hull in Canadian testing, and that target wasn't shooting back. The boats with the 75mm gun got the job done. I understand the navy was concerned about swarming speed boats, but a $400M+/per sea-frame solution that cannot adequately protect itself (or its crew) against a similar sized naval adversary is a waste of time and taxpayer money (see my original comments on this thread).

The LCS sea-frame isn't even built to the same standard that a fleet oiler is. Hence – the platform is hardly worth arming and sending into harms way.

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d. kellogg November 13, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Looking at trends in the latest Remote Weapons Stations for ground vehicles, a new-build Cyclone (slightly larger) could be equipped with some quite formidable firepower options.

I'll refer back to this pdf, pp 29-32,
a system offering multiple calibers suitable to cover a wide range of threats.
I personally would consider upping the main gun to 50mm, or even see if we could make a beefier Bushmaster gun capable of firing the 57mm shells.
http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2003gun/boren.pdf

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JohnnyRanger November 14, 2013 at 11:04 am

I think it's 11 rounds because it uses the same mount as the CIWS and that's basically what would fit where the M61 used to be.

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EW3 November 16, 2013 at 12:34 am

You are right about using the space that was planned on for the NLOS. There are certainly something that is available now or will be available in 5 years that will give an offensive punch.
Heck, for now you could mount a harpoon launcher (or 2 or 4) on the flight deck to add some punch to a 3 LCS flotilla.

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EW3 November 16, 2013 at 12:40 am

Suspect you are right, but the Freedom class has the 21 round launcher, and since this class has much larger deck space, it's likely they could mount the 21 round version.
As to shipboard systems for the 21 round version, these generally are adaptable. We're only talking azimuth and elevation data to the launcher.

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blight_ November 16, 2013 at 7:55 am

Would the Armored Box Launcher (a feature on the CGN's and the BB's) be possible for LCS? I suppose the ABL's would complicate landings like they did on the CGN's…

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David November 19, 2013 at 5:31 pm

That Egyptian boat has an endurance of 8 days, which is tiny. It is never supposed to leave sight of land.

It is also only 500 tons, and wouldn't be able to handle trans-Pacific crossings well.

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blight_ November 19, 2013 at 6:48 pm

They're "littoral combatants", and are probably best transported by another vessel (much like present day MCM's are frequently transported by other vessels because they are painfully slow).

LCS is a very strange duck. It's meant to self-deploy over long distances, operate in deep water and shallow water and deploy drones to do its dirty work. Whether or not it itself does these things is beside the point.

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