Littoral Combat Ships (LCS)


Jeff Head

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Burke-LCS.jpg

Naval Today said:
US Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106) and the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) took part in a group sail exercise while they were in the Pacific Ocean.

The operation was conducted on April 28.

The ships are underway conducting an independent deployer certification exercise off the coast of Southern California.

The exercise provides a multi-ship environment to train and certify independent deployers in surface warfare, air defense, maritime-interception operations, command and control/information warfare, command, control, computers and combat systems intelligence and mine warfare.
Nice to see them conducting these exercises to work up the LCS into inclusion with the Burkes and exercising how the two can operate together in the various war fighting modes.

The LCS, as they receive upgrades to their weapons packages, and the new SSC will be used like frigates in these groups.
 

Jeff Head

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Whatever else may be said of them, it is good to see the LCS out there exercising with the big boys. These vessels are frigates, and with the principle task forces, that is what they will be used for. Time to arm them accordingly.

LCS-RAS.jpg
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WATERS TO THE WEST OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), left, and the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) conduct a replenishment-at-sea from the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Pecos (T-AO 197) during exercise Foal Eagle 2015. Foal Eagle is a series of annual training events that are defense-oriented and designed to increase readiness and maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula while strengthening the Republic of Korea-U.S. alliance and promoting regional peace and stability of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
 
news of the USN LCS mine-sweeping ("which I tried to cover here"
https://www.sinodefenceforum.com/littoral-combat-ships-lcs.t3993/page-75#post-336653
SASC Cuts LCS Mine Countermeasures Funding Citing Concerns About Upcoming IOT&E
The Senate Armed Services Committee wants to cut funding for the Littoral Combat Ship’s (LCS) mine countermeasures (MCM) mission package until the program can prove it meets all requirements in its initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) this summer.

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on Thursday, and in it is a $55.8 million cut from the MCM mission package and a $65.6 million cut from the Remote Minehunting System (RMS).

A committee aide told USNI News that both the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation and the Government Accountability Office had expressed concerns about the RMS and the mission package as a whole meeting its requirements. The Navy already has more than enough equipment to conduct the tests this summer – the Navy needs four Remote Multi-Mission Vehicles (RMMVs) and has 10, and it needs three AN/AQS-20A mine-detecting sonars and has six, the aide said – so the funding cut will not affect the Navy’s test plan.

Program Executive Officer for LCS Rear Adm. Brian Antonio
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that he expects to begin IOT&E in July and, if successful, declare initial operational capability by the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30.

The SASC aide, however, said the committee wanted Fiscal Year 2016 to be pause for the program while everyone digested the results of the testing.

In many cases, Congress includes provisions in its defense bill stating that a program may only spend its allotted money once it provides a particular report, meets a milestone or passes a test. However, the aide said the committee is still unclear what metrics the Navy plans to use to declare success, and the committee did not want to find itself in a situation where the Navy says they passed the test and should be able to spend the money while SASC disagrees.

Additionally, the Navy hasn’t bought any RMMVs from Lockheed Martin since 2008, so the production line would be starting cold. Rather than investing in getting the line up in FY 2016, the committee believes the program – which has received more than $700 million to date and suffered a Nunn McCurdy breach in December 2009 when the Navy cut its planned buy in half – should wait until FY 2017 once everyone is comfortable with its success. The aide added the committee would be willing to accelerate procurement in FY 2017 to make up for the delay in production.

So, the committee will allow only $22 million in spending for the RMS in FY 2016, which pays for upgrade kits for the existing RMMVs.

The remainder of the mission package took a funding hit as well for the same reasons. However, the committee aide said the AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) and AN/ASQ-235 Airborne Mine Neutralization Systems (AMNS) are both in production now. So SASC cut both programs down to the minimum sustaining rate, for a total of $29.4 million in funding, to keep the production line moving while officials sort through the test results.

These cuts would only go into effect if the full Senate agrees to them and the House agrees during a conference committee later this year.

Antonio acknowledged the concerns about the MCM mission package during the April interview but said there was a difference between the system being successful in an end-to-end test – finding and destroying all the mines, which is what matters – versus each individual component of the mission package meeting all technical requirements every time they are tested.

“I want to match the expectations of a successful test, and what a successful test really means, compared to people nitpicking, going ‘yeah but you weren’t able to recover that in 15 minutes, it took you 17 minutes.’ Or something to that effect,” he said.
“There are test requirements that we have to get through that show capability of the entire system from end to end. … There are individual systems that have their own specification requirements, and on any given day one might be having a bad day – the individual system itself may not do particularly well, but in terms of the bigger picture of the end-to-end capability” that one component failure might not matter much, he explained.

Overall, though, he was optimistic about achieving IOC by the end of September.

“We’ve proven that the systems work,” he said.
“Will we have issues every now and then? Yes we will. Some of these systems have been in development a long time, it’s time to bring them together and do the end-to-end run and prove them out.”
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FORBIN

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here's my catch :)

I found it on the Facebook Profile of the Italian Navy, and since my Italian is really poor :) I asked them what it is (my main problem was I didn't understand the acronym "PPA" ... the caption says something like ) and today (after two months :) they responded!
PPA stands for pattugliatore polivalente d'altura (google translation is reasonable: multipurpose offshore patrol vessel); displacement 5000 tons; currently seven is being built, the plan is to have 16

does anybody have info in English?
Déjà vu :D ( in European Thread ).
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6 Planned but combat and OPV variants with different armament.
 
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Jeff Head

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here's my catch :)

I found it on the Facebook Profile of the Italian Navy, and since my Italian is really poor :) I asked them what it is (my main problem was I didn't understand the acronym "PPA" ... the caption says something like ) and today (after two months :) they responded!
PPA stands for pattugliatore polivalente d'altura (google translation is reasonable: multipurpose offshore patrol vessel); displacement 5000 tons; currently seven is being built, the plan is to have 16

does anybody have info in English?
We have been discussing that vessel at length in the European Military News thread.

I will move your post there.
 

Jeff Head

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AUstal-Rolls-Out-USS-Gabrielle-Giffords.jpg

Naval Today said:
The future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), launched from the Austal USA shipyard Feb. 25, marking an important production milestone for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program.

The ship is named after former United States Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. LCS 10 will be the 16th U.S. naval ship to be named for a woman, and only the 13th ship to be named for a living person since 1850.

Gabrielle Giffords was rolled out of her assembly bay onto a barge for transfer down the Mobile River to a floating drydock Feb. 24. The ship entered the water for the first time the following day when the drydock was flooded for the ship launch. The ship will return to the shipyard to continue final outfitting and activation until her christening later this year. She is expected to deliver to the fleet in 2017.

Gabrielle Giffords is the third ship in a block buy contract with Austal to build 10 Independence- variant LCS ships. Sister ship Jackson (LCS 6) is preparing for builder’s trials, and Montgomery (LCS 8) was christened in November 2014. The LCS program is ramping up in 2015 to deliver two ships per year from the Austal shipyard, as well as two Freedom-variant ships from the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin.
So, for the next few years, the two builder will produce four LCS per year. That's a nice production rate.

If they will go ahead and add either the Naval Strike Missile, or the new Advanced Harpoon to the ships as standoff ASMs, they will end up being decent vessels with a strong ASW capability, a decent self-defense AAW capability, and a decent ASuW capability.

One can only hope.
 

advill

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Earlier I had my doubts about the LCS, but now I am quite convinced they are suitable for Asian waters, and more Navies in the region are adding the LCS to their fleets. They are cheaper & cost effective when compared to destroyers & frigates, and also less crew to man them. The test is however to see them in real action.
 

Bltizo

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Earlier I had my doubts about the LCS, but now I am quite convinced they are suitable for Asian waters, and more Navies in the region are adding the LCS to their fleets. They are cheaper & cost effective when compared to destroyers & frigates, and also less crew to man them. The test is however to see them in real action.
Err, no other navies are adding LCS to their fleets. Only USN has bought LCS.

They might be cheaper than a Burke and require less crew to man them, but I can't say they're much better than a large corvette/light frigate... especially in terms of armament not to mention the trade off where their propulsion and hullform seems to be sacrificing range and endurance for speed.
In terms of cost and capability, there are a number of asian navies with more capable frigates that are both cheaper and feature heavier armament (such as Incheon class or even 054A). Of course, there are some unique capabilities that LCS can offer outside of speed (which arguably isn't that useful in most situations) -- such as a large helipad, UAV, UUV and MCM capability -- however one can't help but wonder what they have sacrificed in order to achieve everything in the hull design the ended up with... Not even any fitted-for-but-not-with provisions for Mk-41 VLS or even true AShM. Even a reduced crew isn't necessarily a good thing because automation can only do so much during damage control.
 

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