Littoral Combat Ship - Freedom/Independence

Triton

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Is the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) dead after Lockheed-Martin's USS Freedom (LCS-1) and General Dynamics/Austal USS Independence (LCS-2). The last I heard the US Navy was going to re-open bidding. Has the Navy decided to not resurrect this program or has it just not gotten around to sending its bid requests?
 

Just call me Ray

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That doesn't make a lot of sense (but then again rarely anything in politics does anymore) the whole point of having LockMart and NG two their separate ship designs on their own would be so that the Navy gets to try out each ship design on their own, and then start the bidding process.
 

Triton

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Just call me Ray said:
That doesn't make a lot of sense (but then again rarely anything in politics does anymore) the whole point of having LockMart and NG two their separate ship designs on their own would be so that the Navy gets to try out each ship design on their own, and then start the bidding process.
The last I read, the plan was that the winning bidder would make two ships while the loser would make only one of the next three units. General Dynamics Bath Iron Works/Austal, not Northrop Grumman, and the Lockheed Martin ships designs are so different, who dreamed up this idea and for what reasons?
 

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Back in 2007, these were some of the the main robotic systems (not entirely accurately referred to as USVs) that the Navy was planning to use.

The Navy wants to develop four main classes of USVs. Three of them would be armed.

The three-meter long "X-Class" machines would be for "low-end" snooping and reconnaissance; like a robotic jet ski, with a camera attached.

The "Harbor Class" would be based on the Navy’s seven meter long rigid-hulled inflatable boats, or RIBs. These unmanned Zodiacs would be used for dropping mine countermeasures, and fending off boat-borne bad guys with a mix of "lethal and non-lethal armament."

The "Snorkeler Class" is a stealthy, seven-meter submersible that would stay in the water for up to a day at a time, tow ing mine- and sub-finding-gear — and maybe even carrying a torpedo or two.

Lastly, there’s the "Fleet Class," capable of staying in the water for 48 hours straight, and reaching speeds of up to 35 knots. The eleven-meter long USV would be used to do everything from carrying commandos to shore, jamming enemy communications, neutralizing mines, and delivering a "Harbor Class" drone. Naturally, it would carry its own guns and torpedoes, too, so it could conduct ‘high end’ surface warfare missions."
The original USN 'USV Master Plan': http://www.navy.mil/navydata/technology/usvmppr.pdf

The “Harbor Class” is based on the Navy Standard 7m RIB and is focused on the
MS Mission, with a robust ISR capability and a mix of lethal and non-lethal
armament. The “Harbor Class” USV can be supported by the majority of our
Fleet, since it will use the standard 7m interfaces.
 

Grey Havoc

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http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com/2011/09/lcs-wtf-of-week.html

Abandon Ship! All Hands, Abandon Ship!
 

Grey Havoc

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A little more info on some of the USN/Industry development efforts regarding robotic systems: http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=713
 

Grey Havoc

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Via Maritime Memos:

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-03-22/fastship-live-nation-google-vw-ca-intellectual-property

The closely held company plans to use bankruptcy to create a trust that would pursue a patent-infringement lawsuit against the U.S. government and repay creditors with any proceeds, Bullard said. A new $650 million U.S. Navy combat ship relies on designs owned by FastShip, Bullard said.

“The debtors believe a strong claim exists against the U.S. government for patent infringement,” the company said in court papers.

EDIT: FastShip dry docks in Ch. 11 (The Deal Pipeline)

FastShip believes the U.S. Navy violated its patents by building $650 million worth of high-speed combat vessels at the same time the debtor's business plan was failing. FastShip said it attempted to reach a settlement with the Navy when it filed an administrative claim against it in April 2008. Two years later, the Navy summarily denied FastShip's claim.


[IMAGE CREDIT: MARINE LOG]​
 

Grey Havoc

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Lockheed Martin' Surface Combat Ship, export variant of the Freedom class LCS, equipped on this scale model with AEGIS, MK41 VLS, Oto Melara 76mm and Millenium 35mm guns.

Link to LMACS (Lockheed Martin Agile Management System] entry over on navyrecognition.com (part of their DIMDEX 2012 coverage).​
 

Triton

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Grey Havoc said:

Lockheed Martin' Surface Combat Ship, export variant of the Freedom class LCS, equipped on this scale model with AEGIS, MK41 VLS, Oto Melara 76mm and Millenium 35mm guns.

Link to LMACS (Lockheed Martin Agile Management System] entry over on navyrecognition.com (part of their DIMDEX 2012 coverage).​
The model is of the LCS-I configuration that was offered to Israel.
 

Grey Havoc

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http://www.informationdissemination.net/2012/05/still-working-out-kinks.html

http://www.cdrsalamander.blogspot.com/2012/05/lcs-1-no-go.html

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_05_09_2012_p0-456228.xml

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=%2Farticle-xml%2Fawx_05_09_2012_p0-456237.xml


Words fail me.
 

Arjen

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Grey Havoc said:
Words fail me.
How about Terminal Optimism When Facing Adversity? Or Stone Soup?
 

Grey Havoc

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From Maritime Memos:

More on Austal USA

The word from my man on the ASX, (the Australian Securities Exchange), is that Austal's bankers are all in a tizzy about the huge sums of money that Austal USA is losing on the LCS and JHSV programs, at a time when their Australian yards are not generating enough to make up for it. So, step up and move in, please, General Dynamics. June 27, 2012.


News from Austal USA

Austal USA's President, Joe Rella, has indeed resigned and Austal says that he has been replaced, on an interim basis, by Brian Leathers, the company's CFO. In addition, Craig Perciavalle has been promoted to Senior VP, Shipyard Operations. Read the announcement here. This change is described by Austal as "a natural step". I don't see what's natural about it, but who knows? I don't think this saga is over yet. June 26, 2012.


GD Taking Over Austal USA?

Upheaval in Mobile this week, with the resignation of Austal USA's President, Joe Rella, and the presence of Austal Chairman and Founder John Rothwell, accompanied by several members of the company's Board of Directors. The hot rumor is that a majority interest in the yard is being sold to GD, with ex-BIW President Dugan Shipway coming in as interim President. Probably not a bad idea, depending on how the company is restructured. Lots more to come on this topic, no doubt. Never a dull moment! June 26, 2012.
 

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From the same source:

Jamming Them In

Oh my, here's yet another fiasco involving the LCSs. Defense News reports that the Freedom-class boats are to have 20 additional berths installed to allow for an increase in the size of the core crew from 40 to 60. Read the story here. Note that these boats are already deficient in berth space, with extra berths being provided in containers located in space currently designated for mission modules. Great planning, guys! July 2, 2012.
 

pathology_doc

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Time to raise Sir William White from the dead, give him a crash-course in modern shipbuilding and design methods, and let him loose. :p Surely he couldn't do any worse than this lot.
 

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Via gCaptain's Facebook page (Flickr Favorites Album):


[IMAGE CREDIT: US Navy/gCaptain]
Original Caption: USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) sea trials, photo courtesy US Navy
 

Arjen

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Planners originally envisaged the LCS as a replacement for the fleet’s frigates, minesweepers and patrol boats, but the new assessments conclude the ships are not equal to today’s frigates or mine countermeasures ships, and they are too large to operate as patrol boats.
The LCS, according to the assessments, is not able to fulfill most of the fleet missions required by the Navy’s primary strategy document, the “Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower,” and included in a 2011 revision of the LCS CONOPS document.
Equipped with a surface warfare or maritime security mission package, the ships were judged capable of carrying out theater security cooperation and deterrence missions, and maritime security operations, such as anti-piracy.
But the LCS vessels cannot successfully perform three other core missions envisioned for them — forward presence, sea control or power projection missions — and they can provide only limited humanitarian assistance or disaster relief operations, sources said.
Jack of all some trades, master of none. Expensive, too.
 

pathology_doc

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forward presence, sea control or power projection missions — and they can provide only limited humanitarian assistance or disaster relief operations, sources said.

Perhaps it's time to reinvent the category of "second-class cruiser" that the Victorian-era Royal Navy found so useful. A rapid-fire five-inch up front, OTO-Melara 76mm behind, CIWS somewhere handy and a 32-cell VLS for quadpack Sea Sparrow or some variant thereof and some SSMs, a platoon or so of Marines, some RHIBs and one or two large-ish helicopters. An armour belt that will keep out smallarms, man-portable recoilless rifles and RPGs.

And a yardarm, from which to hang pirates when caught.
 
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