Littoral Combat Ships (LCS)


Jeff Head

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Both of the LCS will make very good ASW escorts, pickets, and patrol vessels. In an ASW situation, they would have the extra ASW gear and carry two helos.

If they do get the quad canister Harpoons or NSMs, then they will also have a very decent ASuW capability.

Their AAW capability is clearly for self defense and not suited for even small area coverage...but the RAM missiles are very good for close in defense.

That, to me, is kind of a shame. I believe they could easily add an 8=cell VLS to each and thus have 32 ESSMs available. But it does nt look at this point like they will do that.

The Independence Class will offer very good MCM and SpecOps capabilities on top of this...particularly with the ability to carry a MH-53E Sea Dragon and the extra MCM gear..

The Freedom class, with the ASW equipment and ASuW armament will be a decent multi-purpose frigate sized vessels suitable for escort duties (CSG, ARG, or other Task Force) and for anti-piracy, show the flag, or general patrol duties.

They will be built in numbers.

I expect in any Littoral mission that was expected to be potentially difficult you would see two or four of them operating together if they expected to encounter like forces.

And, with now ten of them launched, and with them going to building four a year...I expect they will get first to the 24 vessels for LCS fairly quickly, and then move on to another 30 of the modified SSC version as well.

If the US builds 50+ of these and couples that with an eventual 90+ Burkes, the US Navy will be able to fashion task forces of their liking and composition/capability for pretty much any eventuality.
 

Jeff Head

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Navy Assessment: LCS Fort Worth Needed 90 Percent Less Maintenance than Freedom in First 3 Months of Deployment
Not all that unusual for a first in class to experience significantly more issues than the second in class. Particularly when it is an all new class.

They send that first one out and learn a LOT, then they try and retrofit it into the still building 2nd in class and make it a standard part of the 3rd and forward.

In this case, they clearly learned a lot from the Freedom, addressed it, and then worked it into the Ft. Worth when she went into service.
 

Bltizo

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Not all that unusual for a first in class to experience significantly more issues than the second in class. Particularly when it is an all new class.

They send that first one out and learn a LOT, then they try and retrofit it into the still building 2nd in class and make it a standard part of the 3rd and forward.

In this case, they clearly learned a lot from the Freedom, addressed it, and then worked it into the Ft. Worth when she went into service.
That is indeed some good news, I wonder if they can fix the range problem for future ships of the class...
 
the article doesn't say that much ... but I think is interesting:
No Acquisition Strategy Yet for LCS Frigates
Details of the new Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) frigate program's acquisition strategy are still being reviewed, the US Navy said, and the service will likely fall more than a month behind a deadline to submit the strategy to senior Pentagon officials.

In his directions last year to the Navy to develop an enhanced, frigate version of the LCS, then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the service to submit an acquisition strategy to the office of the secretary of defense (OSD) by May 1.

Left open, however, were exactly what details the strategy would include. Navy officials have not committed to specifying what details would be provided, and they continue to evade a commitment.

"The Navy has drafted an acquisition strategy framework that outlines plans for the frigate's design and procurement," Cmdr. Thurraya Kent, spokesperson for the service's acquisition directorate, said earlier this month. "It has also prepared an assessment for forward and back-fitting LCSs with frigate capabilities where it makes the most sense. Both of these actions are pre-decisional and are being reviewed by senior Navy leadership prior to submission to OSD.

"The Navy will not comment publicly on specific elements of the acquisition strategy or assessment," Kent added. "However, the Navy looks forward to continued dialogue with Congress through the coming months on the latest developments of the frigate acquisition process."

LCSs beginning with hull number 33 are now officially referred to as frigates, a decision announced in January by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. Not yet clear — and perhaps something that might be in the new acquisition strategy — is whether the next eight LCSs to be ordered, hull numbers 25 through 32, will be classed as frigates or LCSs. The Navy is working to backfit many features of the LCS frigate into earlier ships, including the eight interim ships, but the design of the frigates remains an ongoing effort.

"Pre-preliminary design and system selection for the frigate will be completed in October 2015," Chris Johnson, a spokesman with the Naval Sea Systems Command, said May 28. "Preliminary and contract design will occur after pre-preliminary design, ultimately resulting in a technical package that will support a shipbuilding contract in FY 2019."

Numerous questions about the ships' designs remain to be answered, including the selection and configuration of armament and sensor packages.
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Jeff Head

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US-Navy-to-Christen-Future-USS-Gabrielle-Giffords-1024x682.jpg

Naval Today said:
The US Navy will christen its tenth littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), during a midday ceremony June 13 at Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. LCS 10 is named after former United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

During the event, Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden, the ship’s sponsor, will break a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow thereby christening the ship in a time-honored Navy tradition.

The LCS class consists of the Freedom variant and Independence variant, each designed and built by different industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for odd-numbered hulls, e.g., LCS 1). The Independence variant team is led by General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works (LCS 2 and LCS 4) and Austal USA (for the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

Purchased under the innovative block-buy acquisition strategy, there are 12 ships currently under construction.

While capable of open-ocean tasking, LCS is intended to operate in the littorals — shallow, coastal waters. As such, the ships can operate in water as shallow as 20 feet deep and can travel at speeds in excess of 40 knots. USS Freedom (LCS 1) and USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) recently demonstrated these critical capabilities as part of their operational deployments to U.S. 7th Fleet in the Asia-Pacific region.
So far, the US Navy has christened the following vessels this year:

USS Gabrielle Gifford, LCS-10, June 13, 2015
USS John Finn, DDG-113, May 2, 2015
USS John Murtha, LPD-26, March 21, 2015
USNS Lewis B. Puller, MLP 3 AFSB, February 2, 2015
USNS Trenton, JHSV-5, January 10, 2015

The following vessels are currently planned for christening later in the year:

USS Little Rock, LCS-9, Summer
USS Illionis, SSN-786, Summer
USNS Brunswick, JHSV-6, Fall
USS Washington, SSN-787, Fall
USS Portland, LPD-27, Fall
 
now I was checking on how's the Malaysian LCS Project going
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found:
ESSM for LCS
at
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(below it, Related Posts and the discussion are interesting, too)

by the way, the distances within Malaysia are huge for example Penang to Labuan:
Distance 1111 nautical miles
Vessel speed 15 knots
time 3 days 02 and hours
(I entered 15 knots as this should be the economic speed of the LCSs I talked above; the rest is by
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)
 
now I was checking on how's the Malaysian LCS Project going
...
... and a coincidence occurred :) as
Boustead Naval Shipyard To Build 6 RMN Warships
LUMUT, June 12

Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd today began construction of six Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) warships costing RM9 billion under the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) project.

Defence Deputy Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said the LCS project was one of the government's efforts to strengthen the country's maritime defence system, apart from boosting the economy, especially the shipbuilding industry.

"This is a step in the right direction for the country to strengthen its defence assets and technology while construction capability of the defence industry would place Malaysia as a defence industry player," he said.

Abdul Rahim was speaking at a media conference after launching the first welding of the LCS project at Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd here today.

Also present were the ministry's secretary-general, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi and Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd managing director, Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor.

The ships built under the LCS project will have various warfare capabilities.

Among the main features of the ships are their maximum speed of 28 knots and weapon capabilities such as torpedo launcher, anti-surface missile launcher system, anti-air missile launcher system and medium calibre guns to tighten security control on Malaysian waters.

The construction, integration and tests on the LCS ships would be carried out completely in Lumut where modular construction would ensure improvement at every stage.

The first ship identified as First of Class Vessel is expected to be delivered in April 2019, and thereafter, each ship will be ready every 10 months.
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Jeff Head

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Really good video/documentary about both initial vessels for the two classes of the LCS., USS Freedom, LCS-1, and USS Independence, LCS-2.


Long, but worth watching. Lots of really neat eye candy and lots of really good information
 
the most recent report (dated June 12)
"Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate
Program: Background and Issues for Congress"
became available at
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I pull out just this exchange (p. 32; 36 of 54 in the PDF) related to "Other Program Issues" in the March 2015 GAO Report (sorry about formatting):

(GAO):
The Navy continues to procure LCS seaframes, even though the sub-systems necessary to
meet full mission package requirements have not yet been fully developed, demonstrated,
and integrated with either seaframe class. Integrating these systems on the LCS seaframe is
challenging because of limitations on space and weight inherent in the seaframe designs. The Navy will not achieve the capability to meet full requirements for all three of the mission
packages until 2020, by which time it plans to take delivery of 24 ships.
(USN):
The Navy states that it is purchasing the quantity of mission systems and packages needed
for system integration, crew training, developmental testing, operational testing, and LCS
operational deployments. The mission packages have all been demonstrated in a relevant
environment prior to mission package integration, and therefore, the LCS program is
purchasing the mission systems in accordance with DOD guidance and regulations. Further,
the Navy is following its plan to incrementally deliver operationally effective mission
package capability to the fleet rather than waiting years to acquire all mission systems
needed to meet the threshold requirements.For example, initial SUW capability has been
fielded and initial MCM capability will be fielded in fiscal 2015.
(GAO):
The systems that comprise the Navy's mission packages have yet to work successfully
together to achieve results. For example, none of the mission packages for any increment
have achieved interim requirements on the Independence variant, or meet its threshold
requirements for either seaframe. In the absence of a defined increment-based approach to
sequentially gain knowledge and meet requirements, the Navy's acquisition approach is not
in accordance with best practices.
and you can tell me who's right and who's wrong :)
 

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