Navy's Littoral Combat Ship Issues

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by USMCGrunt, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    I would be curious to hear informed opinions on this issue. Starting to sound similar to the F35 program.

    "After 16 years and billions of dollars, the Navy may have finally acknowledged that its Littoral Combat Ship program looks like a miserable failure.

    The service "may not" deploy any of the dozen small surface combatants this year despite officials'
    previous plans to deploy several to join the 7th and 5th Fleets in Singapore and Bahrain respectively, the U.S. Naval Institute first reported on April 11."

    http://www.businessinsider.com/us-navy-littoral-combat-ship-problems-2018-4

    https://www.military.com/daily-news/2016/08/29/third-freedom-class-lcs-breaks-down-in-12-months.html
     
  2. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    There are many issues with the LCS program and unfortunately, hyperbolic reporting is one of them. I can assure you that LCS's do not cost $1.8 B per ship.
    The Navy made some huge mistakes in setting up the requirements for LCS and compounded them by making continual changes even as the ships were under constructing causing constant rework of already built sections, etc. The early promise of a fast but lightly defended ship to do some of the nations business has been largely muddied by the realities of a (far) too small crew and necessary Mission Modules that quite frankly went too far with technology risk and have been delayed over and over again.
    .
    The engineering issues listed sound bad but are no worse than what other ship classes experience early in their service lives.
    .
    Bottom Line, as an experienced Surface Warfare Officer, I would not consider them to be a miserable failure but nor are they a rousing success. How and where they will end up being used will evolve over time and how successful they are will be more easily determined 10-20 years from now.
     
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  3. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    Thank you @OldRetSWO for the perspective. I wondered if this was a "mission creep" issue. As I reflected on the new platform roll out I wondered how this compared to previous roll outs. I guess none of them go smoothly at the beginning.
     
  4. greeneagle5

    greeneagle5 10-Year Member

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    The mega-expensive Zumwalt class "stealth" destroyers currently joining the Pacific Fleet have major issues also.....such as no ammo for their "special" AGS 6 inch guns. DDG-1000, commissioned 10/2016, hasn't left the pier in San Diego for over a year as contractors continue installing, repairing, upgrading equipment and software. Is this SOP for Big NAVY ??
     
  5. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 10-Year Member

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    I can't speak for "Big Navy" but I do remember the issues we had with the B-1B when it first arrived...you wouldn't believe it unless you were there; and the solutions took years.

    However...look now...the "BONE" is doing great work!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  6. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    Problems continue in the Zumwalt class. The USS Michael Monsoor DDG 1001 will have one of two Rolls Royce engines replaced due to damaged turbine blades. The damage occurred during acceptance trials.
     
  7. THParent

    THParent Member

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    I second the issues with the B1-B. That dragged on forever. It appeared at several points, that they would never be operational.

    Look at the V-22 program as well.
    It took decades to make those things reliable, but they did it to the point that I would rather climb into an Osprey as opposed to a CH-64 any day of the week.

    I think that the problem these days is that they try to make every new thing do everything, rather than one or two things really well.

    The same thing that @USMCGrunt refers to as "Mission Creep".
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  8. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    I agree that their are growing pains with almost all weapons systems , be it aircraft or ships ...but to some degree this is a "high/low" mix issue which comes up in all weapons procurement decisions. There is a lot of criticism of the LCS program overall, including questions about mission capability, survivablity, and manning protocol -- some warranted and some probably driven by old timers reluctant to change . The truth is we can't afford and don't need to field of fleet of Zumwalt's or other high end DDG's to perform a lot of the show the flag , low risk operations (anti-pirate patrol for example). The key is finding the right combination of high end ships to support the CVBG and low end ships to do the rest of the work. That was the purpose and mission of the LCS.

    Now as to the LCS design itself, there is a lot, and I presume mostly valid, criticism of whether we got as much bang for the buck with the LCS program as we would have gotten with a slightly larger, more capable ship like a frigate. I think Big Navy is recognizing this, and looking at new frigate designs, and if they go with it...then the LCS program will be a dead end.
     
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  9. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    "I think Big Navy is recognizing this, and looking at new frigate designs, and if they go with it...then the LCS program will be a dead end."

    I hope so.

    My first ship as ship's company was the USS Forrest Sherman DD 931. She was the first ship built after WWII and was the first of her class. The Forrest P. as we called her, still had first in ship class problems 20 years after commissioning. She and the others of the class had a long history though of strong service to global freedom. My last of four ships as ship's company was the USS Bowen FF-1079. She was a little bad @$$ with a proud history to include being the first to do NGFS on Lebanon. Bowen's relief on the gun line was the New Jersey. I wasn't aboard then.

    Anyway, Knox class frigates could do it all with the 5 inch 54, the ASROC, the C-Whiz, the helo deck and hangar. My second ship was DDG 21, the Cochrane, a movie star. The Adams class was loaded to the gills. What a monster. For you who like ship museums and wish the Barry had not been removed from the Washington Navy Yard, The Charles F. Adams will soon be moored in Jacksonville. The info is easily found by searching on your favorite search engine. A great man who I coached high school baseball with, retired Navy captain, Annapolis class of 1966, is a former CO of the Adams. He has been a huge driver in the effort to "bring Adams home."
     
  10. THParent

    THParent Member

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    "First to Shoot in Beirut!"
     
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  11. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    Every Oct 23rd I pay homage in various ways to the victims of the barracks attack. I was deployed in the WESTPAC on that day. I had been previously stationed with HM1 Ronny Bates and HM2 George McVicker.

    Two of the finest men and Corpsmen you'd ever imagine meeting.
     
  12. BTCS/USN

    BTCS/USN Member

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    Think I may have been part of the relief ships in Lebanon during that time Doc. I spent quite a lot of time at sea sitting off the coast of Beirut with the New Jersey steaming with us shooting at the same targets.
     
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