ILSM on the Littoral Combat Ship

ILSM sends on this information about the Littoral Combat Ship:

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a small specialised variant of the DD(X) family of future surface combat ships. LCS complements, but does not replace, the capabilities of DD(X) and CG(X). The Littoral Combat Ship will take advantage of the newest generation hull form and will have modularity and scalability built in. It focuses on mission capabilities, affordability, and life cycle costs.

The LCS is an entirely new breed of U.S. Navy warship. A fast, agile, and networked surface combatant, LCS’s modular, focused-mission design will provide Combatant Commanders the required warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to ensure maritime dominance and access for the joint force. LCS will operate with focused-mission packages that deploy manned and unmanned vehicles to execute missions as assigned by Combatant Commanders.

LCS will also perform Special Operations Forces (SOF) support, high-speed transit, Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO), Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), and Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection (AT/FP). While complementing capabilities of the Navy’s larger multi-mission surface combatants, LCS will also be networked to share tactical information with other Navy aircraft, ships, submarines, and joint units.

Secretary of the Navy Gordon England described this new ship as “a small, fast, maneuverable, and relatively inexpensive member of the DD(X) family of ships, which began construction in FY 2005. The goal is to develop a platform that can be fielded in relatively large numbers to support a wide range of joint missions, with reconfigurable mission modules to assure access to the littorals for our Navy forces in the face of threats from surface craft, submarines, and mines.”

LCS will transform naval operations in the littorals: The littoral battlespace requires focused capabilities in greater numbers to assure access against asymmetrical threats. The LCS is envisioned to be a networked, agile, stealthy surface combatant capable of defeating anti-access and asymmetric threats in the littorals. This relatively small, high-speed combatant will complement the U.S. Navy’s Aegis Fleet, DD(X) and CG(X) by operating in environments where it is less desirable to employ larger, multi-mission ships. It will have the capability to deploy independently to overseas littoral regions, remain on station for extended periods of time either with a battle group or through a forward-basing arrangement and will be capable of underway replenishment. It will operate with Carrier Strike Groups, Surface Action Groups, in groups of other similar ships, or independently for diplomatic and presence missions. Additionally, it will have the capability to operate cooperatively with the U.S. Coast Guard and Allies.

LCS will be a “Network-Centric,” Advanced Technology Ship: The LCS will rely heavily on manned and unmanned vehicles to execute assigned missions and operate as part of a netted, distributed force. In order to conduct successful combat operations in an adverse littoral environment, it will employ technologically advanced weapons, sensors, data fusion, C4ISR, hullform, propulsion, optimal manning concepts, smart control systems and self-defense systems.

LCS will be a Modular Ship. The platform will support mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface boat modules. The LCS concept is presently being defined and is envisioned to be an advanced hullform employing open systems architecture modules to undertake a number of missions and to reconfigure in response to changes in mission, threat, and technology.

The comments that follow are by ILSM:


All this for a mere $12 Billion dollars over an objective number of 60 ships. If the costs rise like the F-22 the 12 B will buy 18 ships. Of course, there are no real missions for the things that are supposed to be done in the quote above. The development strategy has been to start two designs, both with different hulls and approaches to launching aircraft and speed boats. One is the storied Bath Iron Works of Maine and the other Lockheed Martin Maritime.

So far the Navy ordered two ships from each commercial yard. So far the Navy has cancelled the second ship from each designer due to cost, performance and schedule delays. This type of expensive ship means the Navy will never achieve more than the current number of ships and those will age.

Soon you will hear we have been neglecting the Navy because they do not have a blank check to design unneeded ships, that cost too much and are not very good at doing what the Navy desired, even though what the Navy requires this class of ships to dominate a quagmire like Iraq.

They are always paying too much, to fight either the last war, or some imaginary war that means nothing other than keeping shipyards making money.

It is jobs and profits.


These comments were by ILSM.