It looks to me that there is presently no clear pathway for the MCM within the LCS program.THE PENTAGON — The Navy has officially canceled the Remote Minehunting System acquisition program, but the AN/AQS-20A advanced minehunting sonar within the RMS program may live on in another capacity, a senior defense official told reporters Thursday.
The Navy . It has bought 10 so far and will not award a contract to Lockheed Martin for additional vehicles, . Service officials said then that the Navy would upgrade most of the 10 Remote Multimission Vehicles – the unmanned vehicle at the center of RMS – and ultimately compete it against the Textron Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV), which is already slated to join the LCS mine countermeasures package as a minesweeping vehicle, and the General Dynamics Knifefish unmanned underwater vehicle, which will join the mission package for buried and high-clutter minehunting.
On Thursday the senior defense official said that future Navy budget requests would contain funding lines for an unmanned vehicle to tow minehunting sonar, since the requirement for an unmanned vehicle to search for mines still exists, but decisions haven’t been made yet about what that future vehicle might be. Though the AQS-20A sonar has performed well in testing, the Navy has not formally decided if the future unmanned vehicle will tow the Q-20 or another sensor.
Still, the official said it was likely that the sonar could live on. The Navy and Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall are in discussions about whether the sonar would become its own program within the mine countermeasures mission package, be folded in with another existing acquisition program, or something else. There are no immediate plans to buy more sonars, the official said, giving the Navy and Defense Department time to figure out the best path forward.
The official said canceling the RMS program after just 10 vehicles saved the Navy about $750 million, though the Navy will still have to buy more vehicles eventually. The cancelation technically triggered a Nunn-McCurdy breach, since curtailing the program led the per-unit cost to spike – initial development costs were spread over 10 instead of 54 vehicles – though the official said the breach is in name only.
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An article that appeared in Digital Battlespace (May/June 2015 edition) that featured the TRS-3D/4D radar on the LCS. Whilst the 4D has greater surveillance range, there seems to be a retrograde in capability against AShM and Combat aircraft. Strange.
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words:
I've been aware of the following options:It looks to me that there is presently no clear pathway for the MCM within the LCS program.
(it's from last year
- Northrop Grumman’s
- AUVAC’s Mark 18 unmanned underwater vehicle, in both its
... Navy fires Fort Worth commander amid investigation into engine damage... about LCS-3 now:
source:The skipper of the littoral combat ship Fort Worth was fired Monday, more than two months after the ship's propulsion gears were damaged in port amid a high-profile deployment to Singapore.
Cmdr. Michael Atwell was removed Monday after an investigation into the Jan. 12 engineering casualty that has sidelined the forward-deployed ship, according to a Navy release. The breakdown was one of two high-profile mishaps for the embattled ship class within a month and one that has marred the Fort Worth's maiden deployment; Atwell is the first LCS skipper fired since the ships entered the fleet in 2008.
He was fired "due to a due to loss of confidence in Atwell's ability to command," according to a Pacific Fleet statement.
"The loss of confidence followed an investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding an engineering casualty that occurred Jan. 12 in Singapore," the release said. "While the investigation is still under review by leadership, sufficient findings of facts emerged during the investigation to warrant the relief of the commanding officer."
The investigation found evidence that operators violated engineering instructions during the testing, but a Pacific Fleet spokesman would not elaborate.
"The casualty appears to have been caused by a failure to follow established procedures during maintenance, but the investigation is still under review," Lt. Clint Ramsden said.
PACFLT was unable to say whether other crew members have been disciplined as a result of engineering mistakes.
The investigation concluded Atwell bore some responsibility for the engineering accident and found other instances where he'd failed to hold subordinates accountable, according to two sources familiar with incident reports.
He has been reassigned to Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1, according to the release.
Atwell was relieved by Rear Adm. Charles Williams, head of Task Force 73, which is the Singapore area coordinator, where Fort Worth is currently based. He has previously served on the frigate Gary and the carrier Carl Vinson, according to his official bio. He was the plank-owning chief engineer for the destroyer Gridley He is a Connecticut native and graduate of Tufts University.
Atwell did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.
Cmdr. Lex Walker, deputy commodore of Destroyer Squadron 7, has temporarily assumed command of LCS crew 101, formerly led by Atwell. The LCS is manned by a rotating crew to keep the ships forward as much as possible, while giving crews a rest.
Navy Times' sister publication Defense News broke the story in January that Fort Worth had been damaged during in-port engineering testing. In February, sources told Defense News that the ship would need six to 12 months in the yards to repair the combining gear that was "wrecked" when the ship's gears were run without lube oil.
The ship is in such poor shape that it may need to be heavy-lifted from Singapore to San Diego so it can be fixed during its scheduled overhaul there, according to the two Navy sources. More expensive options include fixing it in Singapore or Japan before sending back to a stateside shipyard. The repairs are expected to cost between $20 and $30 million, a defense official said.
"Several options for the repair are under review," said Pacific Fleet spokesman Lt. Cmdr. William Knight in a statement. "No decision has been made yet. As Fort Worth demonstrated through continuous operations in 2015, littoral combat ships provide an important capability in this region and planning continues for future LCS deployments."
Cmdr. Michael Atwell, commanding officer of LCS Crew 101 (left), observes Engineman 1st Class Silvano Becerra make the necessary engineering adjustments for USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) to operate at high speeds in response to a man overboard reported by a merchant vessel in the South China Sea in late 2015. US Navy Photo
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE SEAN J. STACKLEY
ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY
(RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND ACQUISITION)
VICE ADMIRAL JOSEPH P. MULLOY
DEPUTY CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS FOR INTEGRATION OF CAPABILITIES AND
LIEUTENANT GENERAL ROBERT S. WALSH
COMBAT DEVELOPMENT AND INTEGRATION &
COMMANDING GENERAL, MARINE CORPS COMBAT DEVELOPMENT COMMAND
BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON SEAPOWER OF THE SENATE
ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE ON DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
APRIL 6, 2016
It looks to me that there is presently no clear pathway for the MCM within the LCS program.