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US Navy's Littoral Combat Ship

tomahawk6

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Congress is throwing money at the Pentagon ,money the administration doesnt want.Including money for another LCS.Eventually the Navy will work out the bugs and will have a capable class of ships.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/07/littoral-combat-ship-congress-navy-pentagon-400-million-pork-214009

In the nearly eight years since the first Littoral Combat Ship was delivered to the Navy, it hasn’t won many ardent fans beyond the Navy, its home-state lawmakers or the employees of the two shipbuilders producing dueling models. The ships’ maiden voyages have been marked by cracked hulls, engine failures, unexpected rusting, software snafus, weapons glitches and persistent criticism of how vulnerable they are to an attack.
“The ship is not reliable,” the Pentagon’s operational test and evaluation director said in a report released in January, only the most recent such judgment it has made. During 113 days of testing on one ship last year, some of the engines and water jets responsible for propelling the ship forward were out of commission for 45 days.


Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/07/littoral-combat-ship-congress-navy-pentagon-400-million-pork-214009#ixzz4DXubs53a
Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook
 

CougarKing

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FSST results:

Defense News

LCS Tests ‘Exceptionally Well’ in Shock Trials
Christopher P. Cavas, Defense News 6:38 p.m. EDT July 19, 2016
USS Jackson returns to port, while USS Milwaukee readies for another test series

WASHINGTON — A ten-thousand-pound explosive charge set off close to the littoral combat ship (LCS) Jackson caused minimal shipboard damage, the US Navy said today, and the ship is back at Mayport, Florida, for more detailed examination.

“The ship performed exceptionally well, sustaining minimal damage and returned to port under her own power,” the Navy said in a statement.

The July 16 test was the third and last Full Scale Shock Trial (FSST) to be performed on the Jackson, which had been outfitted with around 260 sensors and gauges to measure the effects of the explosion on the ship and many pieces of on-board equipment.

(...SNIPPED)
 

Kirkhill

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S.M.A. said:

From SMA's article

The Jackson is an all-aluminum trimaran, the first Independence-class variant and the first LCS to undergo FSSTs. The Milwaukee, of the steel-hulled Freedom class, is being prepared for another series of FSSTs to begin in August and continue into September.

Unofficially, the Jackson has been reported to have performed better than expected during the trials, in many cases meeting or exceeding modeling predictions done prior to the Florida tests.

While the Navy routinely performs FSSTs on all its combat ship designs, the timing of these tests came earlier than scheduled, driven by complaints about LCS survivability from Michael Gilmore, director of the Pentagon’s Office of Test and Evaluation. Gilmore had been expected to be aboard the Jackson for the last test, but his office confirmed he did not attend.


But the Jackson’s crew and dozens of technical representatives and observers from interested commands and offices — including DOT&E — were aboard.

So, will the Irving's be aboard the AOPS or CSC for their blast tests?
 

tomahawk6

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LCS passed the tests.

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense-news/2016/06/16/littoral-combat-ship-lcs-coronado-fort-worth-freedom-independence-milwaukee-rimpac-jackson-explosion-shock-test/86002384/

 

tomahawk6

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Now to better deal with surface threats like small Iranian boats,they are being fitted for Longbow Hellfire missiles.Another arrow in the quiver.It just wouldnt do to have an LCS captured by Iran.

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/us-navys-new-littoral-combat-ship-now-armed-hellfire-17120

1280px-the_littoral_combat_ship_uss_freedom_lcs_1_is_conducting_sea_trials_in_the_pacific_ocean_off_the_coast_of_southern_california_on_feb_130222-n-dr144-174.jpg


The Navy plans to have an operational ship-launched HELLFIRE missile on its Littoral Combat Ship by next year, giving the vessel an opportunity to better destroy approaching enemy attacks --such as swarms of attacking small boats -- at farther ranges than its existing deck-mounted guns are able to fire.

“Both the 30mm guns and the Longbow HELLFIRE are designed to go after that fast attack aircraft and high speed boats coming into attack LCS typically in a swarm raid type of configuration,” Capt. Casey Moton, LCS Mission Modules Program Manager, told Scout Warrior in an interview. said.
 

tomahawk6

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LCS 7 acceptance trials.

https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylc=X3oDMTFiN25laTRvBF9TAzIwMjM1MzgwNzUEaXRjAzEEc2VjA3NyY2hfcWEEc2xrA3NyY2h3ZWI-?p=LCS+7+sea+trials+video&fr=yfp-t-m&fp=1&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8
 

Colin Parkinson

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I suspect the firings of several Officers and NCO's will help sharpen their attention to details beyond the daily paperwork. There is something to be said for the Russian approach to arming vessels when you want to do gunboat diplomacy. A Russian ship looks downright mean and certain gets the message across. for areas like the Gulf a heavily protected and armed ship for showing the flag might be the ticket.
 

Kirkhill

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Conversely Colin - there are times and places where "concealed carry" is more appropriate.  No?

And just remember: Help is only a phone call away.  [:D
 

CougarKing

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The latest in a series of mishaps:

Defense News

LCS Freedom's Engine May Need Replacement
By: Christopher P. Cavas, August 28, 2016
WASHINGTON — This time it’s USS Freedom.

In yet another blow for its seemingly perpetually-troubled littoral combat ship program, the US Navy revealed Sunday that one of two main propulsion diesel engines on the San Diego-based Freedom has been damaged so badly it either has to be completely rebuilt or replaced.

It’s the third time since December that a Freedom-class LCS has suffered a serious malfunction. In December, the brand-new Milwaukee broke down at sea and had to be towed to a Virginia port. In January, the Fort Worth — in the midst of what was until then a remarkably successful deployment to Singapore — was severely damaged by an in-port accident to her propulsion system. The ship languished the last seven months in Singapore, and only got underway on Aug. 22. 

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CougarKing

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And another one:

Defense News

Another LCS Breaks Down, This Time in Mid-Pacific
By: Christopher P. Cavas, August 30, 2016
WASHINGTON — In yet another incident in what is turning out to be a bad year for the US Navy’s littoral combat ship program, the LCS Coronado is reported to have suffered a propulsion problem in the mid-Pacific and has turned back to return to Hawaii. The latest issue, this time with an Independence-class LCS variant, follows a series of problems striking ships of the Freedom class.

Sources said the Coronado is about 800 nautical miles west of Hawaii, proceeding at about 10 knots. The Military Sealift Command oiler Henry J. Kaiser is accompanying the ship. About 70 sailors are aboard the LCS.

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CBH99

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What is so special about the propulsion systems on these ships that they break down so frequently?

Is it a good system, but complex?  Is it the crew not understanding how to operate it?  Is it perhaps 2nd line or 3rd line maintenance, which is expected to be completed by the crew?  Is it a **** system that should be changed out in future builds?


Has the Alreigh Burke class ever had this kind of problem?  Halifax class? 
 

FSTO

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CBH99 said:
What is so special about the propulsion systems on these ships that they break down so frequently?

Is it a good system, but complex?  Is it the crew not understanding how to operate it?  Is it perhaps 2nd line or 3rd line maintenance, which is expected to be completed by the crew?  Is it a **** system that should be changed out in future builds?


Has the Alreigh Burke class ever had this kind of problem?  Halifax class?

This former USN officer has been following the LCS saga for years and he has never been a fan.
Here is a post on the latest woes.

http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.ca/2016/08/talleyrand-on-lcs.html
 

a_majoor

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The root of all these problems is the LCS is a massive design compromise. The USN wants/needs a shallow draft, very fast ship to patrol and fight in the littoral regions of the world. They also want the same ship to deploy from the United States to reach these littorals.

Navies which operate in littoral regions tend to have small ships with limited range, on station time and crew accommodations since they are generally operating near their home ports, and there is no expectation that they will be at sea for extended periods of time. Ships for transoceanic crossings are usually large (to deal with the sea states, as well as to have enough supplies and accommodations for extended cruises), which defeats the idea of small shallow draft ships for the littorals. Since the USN is essentially trying to force a large ship into a small ship's role, the compromises needed to make it operate effectively are going to cause problems.

Going for a small ship to cross the ocean to carry out a call ship's role has its own share of problems. Canada's WWII Corvette fleet were obviously capable of transoceanic crossings, but were reportedly miserable to be aboard and extremely uncomfortable in high sea states. I'm not sure modern weapons and sensors would work effectively from a bobbing, bucking platform like that.
 

Colin Parkinson

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They would be better to ship them to the theater via dedicated submersible ship and deploy from there. The Submersible could also act as a depot ship to a certain extent.
 

Kirkhill

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I would note that the majority of the reported problems are with the Monohull Freedom class.  It is the one with the cracking hull and the power problems.  The Trimaran Independence class had some early problems with corrosion issues but I gather that has been handled.

As I remember the early years of the saga the Trimaran was the original preferred solution but it was both non-American and non-traditional.

On practical terms I understand that it also suffers from a lumpy ride in crossing seas.  She can transit blue water but is most at home in the littoral.

The Austal designs, both the LCS and the JHSVs, seem to be standing up when employed appropriately.  The Martin-Marrieta Marinette Marine design - which I always got the feeling was a rushed, me too proposal for the LCS,  seems to be the problem child.
 

CougarKing

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Good news for one of the class members:

Defense News

LCS Jackson Completes Repairs, Is Back at Sea
By: Christopher P. Cavas, September 1, 2016
WASHINGTON – The littoral combat ship Jackson has completed post-shock trial repairs and returned to sea, the US Navy confirmed Wednesday. The repairs, carried out in a dry dock, were necessary after the ship underwent three full-scale shock trials (FSSTs) this summer off northeastern Florida. The tests were designed to reveal how the ship would perform in a realistic threat environment.

(...SNIPPED
 

FSTO

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Commander of Surface Warfare fed up with LCS construct (crewing, maintenance and employment) and is making changes.
(my headline)

Statement from Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Forces
Results from the Chief of Naval Operations Directed 60-Day Review of the
Littoral Combat Ship Program
Sept. 08, 2016

A joint memo from the Chief of Naval Operations and Assistance Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition directed the establishment of a Littoral Combat Ship Review Team on Feb. 29, 2016. Our task was to review crewing, operations, training and maintenance of the ship class.

Our core focus was to maximize forward operational availability, while looking for ways to increase simplicity, stability and ownership. It became clear the LCS crewing construct is the variable that most impacts the other factors such as manning, training, maintenance, and – most importantly – operations forward. As such, one of the main changes to the program will be establishing a “Blue/Gold Plus” crewing concept. This change maximizes forward presence and improves stability, simplicity, and crew ownership. With this change, the crew will now focus on a single mission (Anti-Submarine, Anti-Surface, Mine Countermeasures) for the entirety of their tour.

With Blue/Gold Plus crewing we will create three Divisions of four ships operating on each coast. The divisions will have a single mission (ASW, ASUW, MCM) and be commanded by a major commander identical in stature to officers commanding guided missile cruisers, amphibious transportation docks ships, destroyer squadrons, or amphibious assault ships. The 12 Freedom- variant ships will be homeported in Mayport, Florida. The 12 Independence-variant ships will be homeported in San Diego, California. One ship in each division will be designated as the “training ship,” manned by a single crew comprised of seasoned, experienced LCS Sailors. These training ships will be charged with knowing their mission, training to their mission and training/certifying the remaining six crews in their Division. The remaining ships of the squadron will be the ships that deploy and will be crewed with a “Blue-Gold” construct (similar to the crewing concept of our SSBN’s).

The deploying crews will consist of 70 Sailors plus the Sailors manning the aviation detachment. These 70 Sailors are a combination of what was previously known as the “core” crew and the “mission module” crew – ONE CREW focused on ONE MISSION.

The Division Commander and staff will oversee all aspects of manning, training and equipping their assigned ships and crews, building expertise, ownership and stability within the crews.

To simplify and stabilize the ongoing testing and evaluation program, the first four ships in the in class will be shifted to dedicated, single-crewed testing ships whose main mission will be test and evaluation of the modular systems being installed on our LCS. Like the training crews, these ships will be manned with seasoned, experienced LCS Sailors. These ships will be available on an as needed basis for training and deployment; however, their main focus will be on system testing.

For all of our new ships, a single pre-commissioning crew will remain with the ship through the completion of post-shakedown availability and preparations for the first deployment.

To foster increased ownership by our sailors, we will establish Maintenance Execution Teams within the Division structure. These teams comprised of LCS Sailors will augment the ship crews within the Division in the execution of both preventative and corrective maintenance.

Finally, as we grow the number of forward operating stations to support our operations forward we will establish Forward Liaison Elements to ensure the support for our LCS where they are operating.

As we implement these changes, we will continue to make iterative adjustments and improvements based on evolving fleet requirements and technological developments. Implementing the approved recommendations from this review and continuing to examine other areas for improvement will better position the LCS program for success – both now and in the future.
 

CBH99

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Either start deploying these ships to areas where there is increased access to ports, such as the Persian Gulf.

Or, since they aren't multi-purpose anymore, kit them out for advanced ASW.  They are fast ships, with smaller crews, and a helicopter capability.  This would be an excellent opportunity to develop a rather robust ASW/GP fleet for the inevitable conflict we are going to have with 'someone'.

Or, jump onboard the USCG cutter program & start procuring the same ships as the USCG.  Affordable.  Well built.  Smaller crews also.  Able to be kitted out with the same weapons as the LCS.


Someone please kill this program in it's current form.  Either fix the propulsion issues & build up your ASW capability, or abandon the program altogether & jump onboard the USCG fleet renewal/upgrade. 

At $500M per copy, the US Navy is getting a ship that breaks down frequently (major repairs, nothing minor about swapping out engine components), lacks sufficient firepower to do anything other than anti-piracy patrol & presence operations.  For that amount of money, they could buy a product that is far more sufficient.
 
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