Littoral Combat Ships (LCS)


Tam

Major
Registered Member
That's labor for the shipbuilding itself. There is a labor cost in the development, coding, assembly and integration of weapons and electronics, that's already part of the those systems themselves. It will only cost you $90 for an FPGA chip, but what is the manhours required and the cost for the developers doing the microcode on it for a particular application?
Cost of software engineer in China.

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Cost of software engineer in the US

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Tam

Major
Registered Member
This is accurate the primary sources for the US are France for high quality and Russia Kazakhstan for low quality.
Based on 1996, if you are reading the USGS page. They have not updated the wording on this page since then. That's why they link PDF with the updated information instead.

High grade gallium is produced from refining low grade. China produces both, with more than 80% of the world's low grade supply coming from China. The main drivers for these consumption are lighting, TVs, LED screens, smartphones, wifi routers, and network base stations.


Screenshot 2019-06-01 at 1.00.19 PM - Edited.png

In China you can buy GaN RF amps commercially. This is useful for prototyping devices.

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TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
You are correct however the PDF is more detailed and states only 39% of US imports are from China prior to 2018. And we do not know the trends post. Farther more there is also Gallium salvage now emerging.
Resource mining can change as time progresses remember in 1996 the US was the globes largest LNG importer now its almost an exporter.

Of course all of this is far off topic for a thread dedicated to Littoral combat ships not economics.
 

Tam

Major
Registered Member
You are correct however the PDF is more detailed and states only 39% of US imports are from China prior to 2018. And we do not know the trends post. Farther more there is also Gallium salvage now emerging.
Resource mining can change as time progresses remember in 1996 the US was the globes largest LNG importer now its almost an exporter.

Of course all of this is far off topic for a thread dedicated to Littoral combat ships not economics.
You are not going to expect Gallium shortages in the US and there is no trade threat in this but if less Gallium are imported to the US, the prices will rise. Actually my point is showing that China's GaAs and GaN industries are helping to power China with a new generation of radars, and these may already started to be equipped. If they are selling GaN SSPAs in the open market, that means universities and institutions are buying them for prototyping, and students are making their own home made radar modules and arrays to pass their course. There is going to be an intensifying of students taking engineering courses in China.

To give LCS a GaN touch, they will be the first USN ships to have GaN radar starting with the next block of Freedom class ships from LCS 17, in the form of the Cassidian TRS-4D radar from Germany, also used on the F125 frigates.
 

Brumby

Major
That's only who are making the devices. The US does not mine a single ounce of it.

China accounted for the vast majority of mining and refining of Gallium.

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View attachment 52487
Semi conductor business is capex intensive and value is driven through economies of scale. Over time the business model is structured in the form of a value chain collectively known as the “Global Supply Value Chain”. As such your argument that China being a major producer of the raw material is entirely irrelevant because each sector in the chain is maximising value within its own operating environment. The final end product whether in the form of device or chip is subject to market demand and supply pricing mechanism. In other words, end product pricing in China has no direct relationship to its being a major supply of raw materials. Competitive advantage in cost is derived from cost structure and economies of scale.

While China might be a big consumer of semiconductor, its contribution in the value chain is significantly under represented. This is one of the main driver behind China 2025.

According to two different sources :
Today only 16 percent of the semiconductors used in China are produced in-country, and only half of these are made by Chinese firms. It is dependent on foreign suppliers for advanced chips. China aims to produce 40 percent of the semiconductors it uses by 2020 and 70 percent by 2025. (Page 2 China’s Semiconductor Independence_CSIS)
In 2017, China consumed $138 billion, or 38%, of the world’s chips, according to IC Insights. IC production in China reached $18.5 billion in 2017, equating to 13.3% of the world’s production, according to the firm. “This is the number that drives the Chinese government crazy. They look at this metric and say this number needs to be bigger,” said Bill McClean, president of IC Insights.
A picture of the Global Supply Value Chain.
upload_2019-6-2_15-31-14.png

The advantage in generating value within the chain and by default cost competitiveness rest with the US and others as represented by their dominance in several key sectors in the value chain
upload_2019-6-2_15-32-17.png

China is solely represented by HilSilicon in the above ranking.

upload_2019-6-2_15-32-56.png

Competitiveness through innovation in the semiconductor business is via R & D and there is no Chinese company in the top ranking.

In summary your argument about economies of scale and dominance by China are not reflected by actual facts on the ground.
 
funny this thread has recently become a place for US x China bickering, actually it's ironic considering the USN LCSs are trash that benefits the interest groups which churn them out, and the USN LCSs are trash that cripples the USN surface forces

Friday at 6:14 AM
the USN has been commissioning aluminum scrap in the form of LCSs for more than ten years now,

and the USN has been operating without lighter surface forces for more than five years now,

so I of course won't be surprised if they cancel the FFG(X), as I predicted Oct 30, 2018, and

I won't even be surprised if they keep commissioning some more aluminum scrap in the form of LCSs, going beyond 35 hulls Sep 18, 2018,

and I wouldn't be surprised if they kept operating without lighter forces in decades to come:

the USN transformation in progress
 

Brumby

Major
Cost of software engineer in China.

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Cost of software engineer in the US

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Based on the above data there is a 3.65 X factor between the two.

If I take the Diplomat article on the Type 054A labor cost it works out to about $23.4/hour.

A destroyer requires approximately 4.2 million labor hours.

upload_2019-6-2_15-45-38.png

If I apply the base of $23.4/hr X 2.65 (differential) against 4.2 million hours, relative cost increment is approximately $260 million. Please explain to me how do you account for the Billions in difference.

I can give you two plausible explanation rather than labor costs being the key driver.

Firstly, adopting commercial standards vs military specs accounts for doubling of cost as evident by cost differential between Europe and the US. However survivability is an issue that generally is ignore until you have a collision problem. I would claim that Chinese standards are closer to the European approach than the US in terms of survivability
Secondly, the main driver in cost trend in naval ship is in the ever improvement in capabilities driven by systems and weapons. A Type 052D is not a Burke in capability and that is reflected in the building cost between the two. You get what you pay for.
 

Brumby

Major
US Navy eyes additional combat power for the Littoral Combat Ships

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Posted On Thursday, 23 May 2019

Shipbuilders are studying how to add additional combat power, through combat upgrades or additional combat systems, to the U.S. Navy's Littoral Combat Ships (LCS).

Senior executives from Lockheed Martin, builder of the Freedom variant LCS told USNI News that they have been working since 2017 on a two-phase plan to add greater “lethality” to the two LCS designs – the Independence-class, a traditional mono-hull built by Austal USA, and the trimaran-hulled Freedom-class.

The first phase is adding the Naval Strike Missile, a subsonic anti-ship missile with a 100 nautical mile range, the Nulka decoy system help defend against advanced adversary anti-ship missiles, an improved electronic warfare suite, upgraded fire control systems for the ship’s 57-millimetre main gun, and possible radar upgrades.

The second phase is examining adding laser systems and vertical launch systems that could fire a range of weapons. Both an eight-cell vertical launch system and single-cell bolt-on systems are under consideration.

The U.S. Navy has been trying to “up-gun” the LCS design for years, acknowledging that the ships offered too little combat utility for their size. Without additional weapons, the LCS would be unable to contribute to combat operations against a peer navy like China’s, and could even become a liability that would need more formidable ships like destroyers to help defend them.

Even with these upgrades, the LCS would still lack the capacity of the PLA Navy’s Type 054 frigates. To get greater combat capacity and capability, the U.S. Navy recognized that it needed a larger, frigate-sized ship. The future frigates are envisioned to have 32 vertical launch cells, carry either four or eight long-range anti-ship missiles, and have potent anti-submarine capabilities. After selecting five designs to compete last year, bids are being solicited this year for plans to build 20 frigates. The Navy wants to award a contract to build the new ships in 2020, with the first hull to be delivered in 2026.
Note the content about a 8 cell or single cell bolt on consideration in the works. Having seen the USN slow walk approach to the LCS program, I have my doubts until I actually see a program of record. I am doing a "Jura" on this.
 
16 minutes ago
funny this thread has recently become a place for US x China bickering, actually it's ironic considering the USN LCSs are trash that benefits the interest groups which churn them out, and the USN LCSs are trash that cripples the USN surface forces

Friday at 6:14 AM
and in a separate post I'll tell you whose success the LCS Project is:

it's a success for The People's Liberation Army Navy
 

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