Littoral Combat Ship - Freedom/Independence

Grey Havoc

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Most notably, the Navy did not seem to have many answers as to what changes it would make to avoid costly mistakes such as the Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle, an unmanned system that was expected to form the backbone of the littoral combat ship’s mine-hunting mission package but was canceled in 2016 with hundreds of millions of dollars already sunk into the effort.

High-profile failures, such as the RMMV, are at the core of the Navy’s credibility problem on Capitol Hill. And if the Unmanned Campaign Plan released to the public was part of the effort to restore Congress’ trust, it’s unclear how many were swayed.
“With the recent acquisition failures on the last several ship classes, those of us on this committee are skeptical of the Navy’s ability to shepherd this new technology into employable assets that contribute to the lethality of those forces,” Luria said at the hearing.


The document also outlines that the Navy is shifting away from a focus on building large, expensive platforms and instead focusing more on fielding capabilities with an eye to how unmanned systems can be useful in meeting naval requirements.
“Through a capabilities-based approach we can build a future where unmanned systems are at the front lines of our competitive advantage,” the document read. “The Naval force needs to move toward a capability-centric proactive environment able to incorporate unmanned systems at the speed of technology, to provide maximum agility to the future force.”
That approach may differ from the approach taken with the RMMV, which was conceived from the outset as means to “get the man out of the minefield” by having an unmanned system find and neutralize a mine. The technology proved unreliable and unworkable, and the Navy has yet to field its replacement system for the LCS mine warfare mission package.

The subject of the RMMV came up at the hearing Thursday, after Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., used it to illustrate a point about preventing programs from lingering long after it appears unlikely they’ll succeed.

“The program went on entirely too long, we didn’t take lessons learned and we sacrificed needed capability based on the promise that something better would be coming along,” Wittman said.

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ORIGINAL CAPTION: The littoral combat ship Independence deploys an RMMV while testing the ship's mine countermeasures mission package off the southern California coast. (Courtesy of Austal USA via U.S. Navy)
 

aonestudio

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shin_getter

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David B. Larter of Defense News reported this latest development in the LCS saga today. Budget data obtained by the publication reveals that the annual cost of running a single LCS is currently around $70 million, compared to approximately $81 million for an Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer (DDG).
 

Colonial-Marine

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Amazing how much money has been burned by that silly speed requirement.
It really seems like nobody had noticed that it had grown from a 1,000 ton ship to a 3,500 ton one and reconsidered some of the requirements.
 

Grey Havoc

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TomS

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So, now we know why there is no capacity to built NSM for the Marines (https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/usmc-doctrine-changes.32998/post-453757), if they need 240 in the next 18 months to equip LCS.
 

Grey Havoc

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aonestudio

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GAO investigators found that the Navy doesn’t even know how to repair many commercial systems onboard LCS and is starting to pay the manufacturers of such systems for the required data to troubleshoot and fix issues on the ships.

In one instance, a broken part aboard one LCS was replaced by a cannibalized working part from another LCS because the part’s manufacturer “did not have a procedure to fix it,” according to GAO.

“As a result, the Navy had to take the part from another ship to fix the first ship and put the broken part in storage,” the report states.

www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2021/05/10/cannibalized-parts-systems-that-sailors-cant-fix-lcs-maintenance-woes-could-get-worse-watchdog-warns
 

Foo Fighter

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Typical of all service units probably. Out of control for the current decade though.
 

Apophenia

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This bit jumped out at me:

"Because it relied heavily on commercial systems onboard LCS and allowed contractors to determine which systems were used in their designs, the Navy doesn’t consistently have access to technical information necessary to maintain such systems, according to GAO."

Has incorporating existing commercial systems been an issue for Denmark's Standard Flex designs or Sweden's Visby class?
 

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uk 75

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The UK went down a similar path with the Type 21 frigate
They helped the RN bridge the gap between the Leander Type 12s and the Type 22s in the 1970s.
7 of the 8 ships built went to the Falklands leaving Leanders to carry out NATO duties.
The 6 ships left were transfered to Pakistan after the Cold War.
On balance rather more successful than the LCS. But the earlier Knox class (equivalent to Leanders) were not very good either.
 

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7th Fleet CO: Deployed LCS USS Gabrielle Giffords ‘Pretty Much Owned’ South China Sea

By: Sam LaGrone
May 27, 2021 8:56 PM • Updated: May 27, 2021 9:22 PM

 

aonestudio

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The Navy has installed a one-star admiral to oversee a task force focused on refining the employment, maintenance and reliability of the Littoral Combat Ship program, the service announced today.

Kitchener said the study he led fed into the new task force focus, which has four lines of effort.
A) How do we make them more reliable?
B) How do we sustain them forward into the future, as we looked at sort of some expeditionary maintenance concepts?
C) We looked at the lethality – can we make them more lethal?
D) we looked at the force generation piece, which was really, ‘okay how do we train them and then how do we properly man them and how do we move them forward?

 
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Jimmo952

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This is just the Navy's latest attempt to find some use for the LCS.

They make up a good percentage of the fleet today and provide very little utility or combat power.

I predict they will be retired, especially the Freedom class, before the Navy figures out how to make them reliable and useful.

The operating costs associated with these things is way out of whack with the utility they provide.
 

bring_it_on

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This is just the Navy's latest attempt to find some use for the LCS.

Still waiting on the Freedom class to deploy to Bahrain at any cadence. With Iranian activities picking up in the region, one would think that the LCS with its surface warfare and mine packages would be in high demand in that theater. I doubt we'll see the Freedom class doing that any time soon which does make one ask the question on why we are paying to keep and operate these (FC) ships, and why are they eating into precious O&S and capital budgets when they offer next to nothing in terms of utility in either PACOM or even CENTCOM.
 

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Archibald

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Honestly replacing the C with a P on day one would have been the best.

Littoral PARTOL Ship is a pretty solid discribor on what these things were to do.

Littoral Combat Ship... one could replace the final "P" with another letter ("T", just in case you wonder...) Litterally, Combat Shit - anybody ?
 

Grey Havoc

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As a quick reminder, this contract aims to procure 4 new frigates, with two interim solutions and the modernisation of the in-service MEKO 200HN frigates. It follows the failure of the previous negotiations with Lockeed Martin and their Freedom class against Naval Group’s Belh@rra frigate, an export version of the French Navy’s FDI.


This time, the contract increased its scope to achieve even more and thus is open to more compagnies.


Competitors include the Dutch Damen with the Sigma 11515HN, the Italian Fincantieri likely with the FREMM, Lockheed Martin again with the HF2 (the Greek version of the MMSC / Freedom class), Babcock of the UK with the Arrowhead 140 (basic design of the Type 31 of the Royal Navy), Navantia from Spain with their F110 design, and Naval Group with the FDI-HN.
 

aonestudio

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I bet there going to be a Sinkex for the LCS in a few years.

I will die of laughter if the ships do far better then the naysayers say.
 

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