Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Littoral Combat Space Holder - I Mean "Combat Ship" Goes to War . . . for continued funding

CDR Salamander does the Full Monty of exposing the "The LCS Full Court Press".

Think continued funding and all will be as clear as The Emperor's New Clothes.

Well, as for me, I enjoy a fast ship as much as the next old SWO, but I think we ought to have some truth in advertising.

The single most valuable and powerful weapon system currently available to the LCS is . . . the MH-60 helicopter.

It seems to me then, the most powerful LCS is not the high speed little launch platform in the foreground of the picture below, but that big, slow thing next to it, which could hold a whole lot more MH-60's (with different mission packages) and other things like Marine Sea Cobras (which reminds me - why doesn't the Navy have it own Sea Cobras?).

I mean, if you want high speed and the ability to operate in the shallow waters of the world, those helicopter things work pretty well. And they don't cost $300 million each.

And if you want to go fast and look scary in shallow water, there is a school of thought that says you ought to explore this old technology:


  1. EKRANOPLAN, DA! There were plans for a Sea Apache at one time, but they went away.

  2. Anonymous7:04 AM

    I've wondered about the reasoning behind the lack Navy Cobras for some time. Everyone I know that had any dealings with the Vietnam era HAL squadrons was very complimentary about them. I don't know if their decomissioning was a function of errant bean counting or their association with the SEA war, but it shouldn't have been too expensive to retain a couple in the Reserves.

    I hear rumors that the riverines may go away, again, too. An extremely poor decision, in my opinion, every conflict we've been in has had a riverine componant, including the Battle of Lake Erie, the Navy's first battle. I've been reading a book called Tinclads, which covers a portion of these operations during the Civil War. Decent read. Also just finishing up South From Corregidor, quite a tale.

    As far as LCS goes, I find the pisture featuring a CONREP interesting, in that the "right sized" crew seems to me to present some problems in terms of having enough reserve manpower capacity to conduct strike down of stores and still have people fresh enough to stand a proper watch, afterwards. But hey, it's TRANSFORMATIONAL!!!!! so it's all cool.


  3. Every exchange of an Oliver Hazard Perry FFG-7 Frigate for a Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) makes the US Navy weaker.

    1. Anonymous7:45 AM

      Agreed, the OHPs are a far more versitile platform, a better option would have been to have built something along the lines of an improved OHP, with VLSwin screws, for escort and long range patrol work. LCS has neither the legs nor the punch for this work. I'm also dubious of such a radically reduced crew being able to sustain prolonged operations and a RAM launcher does not an AAW platform make.
      It's too big for inshore work and minesweeping/hunting operations, a combination of improved Cyclones and something along the lines of Swift PCFs would work better for inshore patrol/interdiction and LCS can't handle the H53s that aerial minesweeping requires, either from sleds or ROVs. The 57mm simply doesn't have the explosive volumn for an effective bombardment weapon and the 30mm is just a fancy machine gun. A better choice would have been to convert a couple of LSD/LPD ala the old Carronade, with ATCM launchers and magazines in the flight deck/vehicle deck areas and strengthening the forecastle to handle the Mk 71 8"/55.
      While this makes for more hulls than the seaframe/mission module concept calls for, most of them could easily be maintained and operated by crews from the Reserve, the way the old minerons and rivrons were.