Military Defense News: The Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship Disaster

The key part of this story is the linked phrase below “CANNOT EXPECT TO SURVIVE”. Boy, that is exactly the phrase I want to hear when talking about the Next big thing in Naval Military Hardware with China getting more and more froggy by the day! -SF


In the late 1990s, the U.S. Navy became entranced by the idea of high-tech, modular warships that would fight close to shore, where the service anticipated future naval battles to most likely occur.

The present-day outcome of that trance, the 30,000-ton Littoral Combat Ship, has not worked out as well as the designers planned. The Navy intended to buy 52 of them — but since trimmed the number to 40. (Six are currently in service.)

The modular design, allowing the vessel to swap different sets of weapons and sensors for different missions, takes more time to adjust than first envisioned. The cost has roughly doubled. The ships are also lightly-armed and cannot expect to survive, by the Pentagon’s own admission, in a shooting war with China.

Recognizing the problem, the Navy changed direction in 2014.

A portion of the total 40-ship LCS force was redesigned as “frigates,” and will be larger, with more armor and better-armed (with a longer-range anti-ship missile) than the standard LCS. This “frigate-LCS” will also carry improved countermeasures, a towed sonar array and a bigger radar.

But the frigate is hardly a major improvement, according to the Government Accountability Office. For one, the frigate jettisons the modular structure — the mission modules now cannot be swapped out — but keeps and combinesthe surface and anti-submarine warfare modules. However, the Pentagon is being vague about the specifics.

“Frigate program officials told us that the Navy has not yet determined if all frigates will be equipped with both ASW and SUW mission package equipment at all times, or if the decision about the mission equipment to be carried will depend on specific situations or other criteria,” the GAO noted in a report released June 9.

Read the Original Article at War is Boring


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