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Littoral Combat Ship - Freedom/Independence

TomS

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Grey, appreciate the links but it sure would be nice to have some idea of their content. I'm a bit reluctant to just follow links blindly.
 

Grey Havoc

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Sorry! I'll try to be more careful in future.
 

bobbymike

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https://news.usni.org/2016/05/06/shock-trials-missile-launches-conops-refinement-await-lcs-program-this-summer
 

Grey Havoc

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http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.ie/2016/05/your-lcs-sad-of-day.html
 

bobbymike

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http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-navys-lcs-can-finally-take-other-ships-maybe-even-win-16174
 

bobbymike

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http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2016/05/lessons-littoral-combat-ship/128314/?oref=site-defenseone-flyin-sailthru
 

Moose

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That article has a couple glaring errors, and ultimately doesn't say anything particularly profound.
 

bobbymike

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http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2016/05/naysayers-are-learning-wrong-lessons-about-littoral-combat-ship/128502/?oref=d-topstory
 

fredymac

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I am putting this here since the LCS is essentially a drone command ship. A common maritime drone software interface and control system should help reduce complexity in operating the variety of different drone systems hosted on the LCS. They already do this for airborne systems.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9zLHLijNGU
 

bobbymike

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http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2016/06/could-bigger-gun-give-lcs-more-firepower/128768/?oref=DefenseOneFB
 

Grey Havoc

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http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.ie/2016/06/time-again-to-turn-lcs-compost-pile.html
 

bobbymike

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http://breakingdefense.com/2016/06/navys-klingon-bird-of-prey-passes-key-test-lcs-trimaran/
 

Grey Havoc

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https://blog.usni.org/2016/06/15/lcs-nudging-towards-adequacy
 

bobbymike

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http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-navy-could-turn-the-littoral-combat-ship-submarine-16691
 

Grey Havoc

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SpudmanWP said:
The missile is supposed to be for defending against swarm attacks.

I think they should go for Isreal's Spike-NLOS as it has a range of 25km, is sea-rated, can be command guided, and packs a much bigger punch than Griffin.

Via AttilaA over at Tanknet, a couple of images of a MLS-NLOS launcher installation on an OPV 62 of the Azerbaijani Coast Guard:
 

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Grey Havoc

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http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.ie/2016/07/another-lcs-test-another-lcs-money-run.html
 

bobbymike

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http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense-news/2016/07/19/lcs-navy-explosive-tests-jackson/87311792/
 

marauder2048

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bobbymike said:
http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense-news/2016/07/19/lcs-navy-explosive-tests-jackson/87311792/
While the Navy routinely performs FSSTs on all its combat ship designs, the timing of these tests came earlier than scheduled, driven by complaints about LCS survivability from Michael Gilmore, director of the Pentagon’s Office of Test and Evaluation. Gilmore had been expected to be aboard the Jackson for the last test, but his office confirmed he did not attend.
What a class act. Helps (in part) to explain the poor reputation of Gilmore's department.
 

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Arjen

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Mr Gilmore is a busy man. His presence would have been symbolic only. If you would rather do without DOT&E, prepare for nasty, costly surprises when new equipment reaches service.
 

fredymac

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“…prepare for nasty, costly surprises when new equipment reaches service.”

Or maybe not. DOTE was established in 1983-84 so it obviously wasn’t around to inform us that everything developed prior to that date was worthless and didn’t work. Of course the GAO already existed and as far as I know, it hasn’t transferred any responsibility to DOTE so now you have 2 agencies who score success in terms of program cancellations. The function of DOTE is fine in the abstract. Unfortunately, bureaucracies are always “captured” by their constituencies and in this case, it is the professional anti-military interest groups (POGO, et al). Since it is impossible to remove politics, a fully adversarial arrangement might be adopted where each agency is subject to cross-examination by its opponent.

I’m curious whether DOTE equivalents exist in other countries and if so, how much influence they have and if they publish reports attacking various programs and advocating postponements or cancellations.
 

Arjen

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I think the F-35 and LCS projects have amply proved the need for the existence of something like DOT&E - it provides real information to the politicians making the decisions.

European defence projects could have done with a dose of real information during development:
- NH90
- Boxer and Fennek armoured vehicles
- Eurofighter
- A400M
...all went grossly over time and budget.

My regular check of the car's oil level can be taken as a sign of an innate distrust of car makers. Alternatively, as a sign of simple caution.

When in danger or in doubt, blame whoever has found out.
 

fredymac

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Your response seems to imply there is no European equivalent of DOTE.

As I indicated previously, an independent evaluation group is desirable if it could be isolated from political pressure or from developing an internal "mission" which runs counter to the actual purpose. A "soldier's ombudsman" for example would be disposed to making sure a weapon works correctly, is fielded promptly, and is either de-bugged or at least properly documented for training so bugs can be countered by tactics and procedures. The personnel for this group would be drawn from front line troops and returned to service after a single PCS tour. In this way, the actual weapon operators are in the loop when problems arise and can help determine where tradeoffs can be made.
 

Arjen

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In what way is DOT&E doing a bad job? In your opinion?
In my opinion, they're judging performance against targets. Rightly so.
 

Moose

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Arjen said:
In what way is DOT&E doing a bad job? In your opinion?
In my opinion, they're judging performance against targets. Rightly so.
There's a bit more to it than that. Performance targets for a surface combatant shouldn't be pulled directly out of the DOT&E's rear end, test parameters and test results should all be based on good data not agendas.
 

Arjen

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Moose said:
There's a bit more to it than that. Performance targets for a surface combatant shouldn't be pulled directly out of the DOT&E's rear end, test parameters and test results should all be based on good data not agendas.
Examples please.
 

marauder2048

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Arjen said:
Mr Gilmore is a busy man. If you would rather do without DOT&E, prepare for nasty, costly surprises when new equipment reaches service.
Gilmore (who has zero experience in weapons design, development, operations, employment etc) personally insisted on these tests and got Congress to pass a law requiring them.

"Nasty, costly surprises" pretty much describes the introduction into service of just about every weapons system ever, DOT&E or no DOT&E.


Arjen said:
In what way is DOT&E doing a bad job? In your opinion?
In my opinion, they're judging performance against targets. Rightly so.
DOT&E is supposed to maintain modern ranges that can accommodate and challenge modern weapons systems but they've neglected them horribly because:

DOT&E invents tests and targets to satisfy their own concerns which often have absolutely no operational relevance since they have few people with operational experience in their ranks and rarely deign to consult end-users.

The classic example was DOT&E wasting colossal sums of time and money testing the fording capability of the Bradley and not conducting a single TOW missile firing.
 

Arjen

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marauder2048 said:
...got Congress to pass a law requiring them.
That's Congress's job.
 

fredymac

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I would preface by repeating that an independent test group would be good IF it could be kept honest. There is a saying that goes “personnel is policy”. For example, if you create an “Institute For Free Enterprise” but then hire a predominantly Marxist staff, you will not have an Institute For Free Enterprise.

If you look at the personalities in DOTE, you will see people who move about in the POGO/CDI world. That includes congressional staffers (working for leftwing politicians) and people associated with leftwing media (Mother Jones). This creates a pervasive ethos within the organization that views its mission not as way to assure weapons are working in a manner acceptable to end users but to simply kill them outright.

Example: Philip Coyle
Director of DOTE 1994-2001
and currently
Senior Member, “The Center For Arms Control”

The manner in which this works is systemic. Reports are timed for budget decisions and are coordinated with specific interest groups/politicians. The reports themselves are refuted by the DOD (whatever service is in the crosshairs) and usually the catalog of problems had already been identified and addressed by the service itself.

The F-35 is now in production and hundreds of pilots are flying it. Testimony from these pilots is now getting out (fortunately, foreign pilots are apparently able to talk more freely than American ones). Given all the DOTE reports on the F-35 and comparing them against what these pilots are saying, what would you have to conclude?

I wonder if Europeans in the various Defense Ministries are aware of all this and that is why you don’t see them rushing to set up their own DOTE’s?
 

marauder2048

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Arjen said:
marauder2048 said:
...got Congress to pass a law requiring them.
That's Congress's job.

Gee..I thought it was to "provide and maintain a Navy" but maybe I misread that clause in the Constitution.
 

sferrin

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marauder2048 said:
Arjen said:
marauder2048 said:
...got Congress to pass a law requiring them.
That's Congress's job.

Gee..I thought it was to "provide and maintain a Navy" but maybe I misread that clause in the Constitution.
This. The idea that it's Congress's job to pass whatever is shoved in front of them is absurd.
 

bobbymike

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sferrin said:
marauder2048 said:
Arjen said:
marauder2048 said:
...got Congress to pass a law requiring them.
That's Congress's job.

Gee..I thought it was to "provide and maintain a Navy" but maybe I misread that clause in the Constitution.
This. The idea that it's Congress's job to pass whatever is shoved in front of them is absurd.
And even worse passes legislation that contains dozens of "the Secretary shall" meaning the bureaucratic (re: unelected) discretion to write law.
 

Arjen

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Separation of powers.

1) Legislative: decides on major and not so major issues, passes laws - hopefully after due deliberation - in the USA, Congress
2) Executive: implements laws and decisions made by the legislative power - in the USA, on a federal level - the President and his/her cabinet
3) Judicial: sees to it that laws are abided by

To make any decisions, information is needed for all three powers. Institutions like GAO, DOT&E and many others provide that information. To cut off the flow of information because it slows down the executive power may seem opportune in the short run. In the long run it will lead to nasty, costly surprises(*), not to mention the decay of democracy. If applied to developing heavy equipment and/or weapons, lethal surprises. My father had bad things to say about inadequate equipment he was sent into war with. He returned minus some friends and one leg, plus physical pain that lasted for the rest of his life.

Simplifying the world may make life easier, but not always better.

<edit> (*) - Well, lots more of them. No matter what you do, there will always be some nasty surprises. To do away with feedback in any system simply insures it will grind to a halt quickly - if it doesn't explode first.
<edit 2> Is DOT&E doing a good job? I think so. Congress sets new targets (possibly after some convincing - if convincing fails, no new target), DOT&E judges performance against them. If you don't like the targets, take it up with Congress.
 

marauder2048

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I'm sure we all appreciate the "Civics 101" refresher but none of the above has any relation to the actual DOD acquisition process,
the role of DOT&E (as opposed to the actually useful Development testing and evaluation which did provide useful feedback and which DOT&E destroyed)
and the role of Congress.
 

Arjen

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It's not about Civic 101. It's about cybernetics - feedback.
 
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