USN Large Surface Combatant - Delayed

jsport

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Lets hope they make the right and unconventional choice emphasizing aircraft and Marines as well as a deep magazine for missles and DEW shots.
 

Moose

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bring_it_on

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The schedule has changed from FY23 award, to FY25 award and now late 2020's award. This reflects the Navy's approach of investing in a development process that builds and de-risks sub-systems. Plus it also gives them a little more freedom in the budget. By the Late 2020's, both the DDG-51 Flight III's, and the FFG(X) would have de-risked and the same for the carriers and possibly even the Columbia Class.
 

jsport

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Plenty of time to de-risk a VGS which can place various types of payloads in near space (and alot of them). :oops:;)
 

Dilandu

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even the Columbia Class.

Frankly, I never understood the role of Columbia-class. Why not just build a ballistic-capable variant of "Virginia"? Yes, it may lose a bit in capabilities, but it would be an order of magnitude cheaper, and gave a great commonality in maintenance and crew training.
 

Moose

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even the Columbia Class.

Frankly, I never understood the role of Columbia-class. Why not just build a ballistic-capable variant of "Virginia"? Yes, it may lose a bit in capabilities, but it would be an order of magnitude cheaper, and gave a great commonality in maintenance and crew training.
"A bit in capabilities" is an understatement. This has been studied, extensively, and it never really competes with the large SSBN. The greater affordability would not offset the loss in capability, endurance, and survivability. In a no-treaty environment, one could argue a large fleet of far less-capable SSBNs would adequately preserve deterrence. But in a treaty-limited environment, not a chance.
 

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even the Columbia Class.

Frankly, I never understood the role of Columbia-class. Why not just build a ballistic-capable variant of "Virginia"? Yes, it may lose a bit in capabilities, but it would be an order of magnitude cheaper, and gave a great commonality in maintenance and crew training.
I would think that by the time Virginia is modified that the costs and requirements basically lead it to become close enough to a Columbia that the Columbia makes more sense. Are we not arming Virginia now with nuclear tipped tomahawks or isn't there talk about that?
 

Moose

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Senators Reed and Inhofe laying out the case for well-made plans, prototypes, and testing.
We believe this is a critical juncture and opportunity for all of us to do better on lead ships. To this end, we call for—and are encouraging with this year’s National Defense Authorization Act—the return to an Aegis-type development model in which critical subsystems are matured before the Navy procures the lead ship of a new class. This development should be based on a detailed understanding of the systems engineering necessary to mature the subsystems and the technical integration needed to achieve overall platform performance. Without such an approach, we are convinced the cost overruns, schedule delays, and substandard performance that have defined Navy lead-ship development over the past two decades will continue. It does not have to be this way.
 

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bring_it_on

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Following congressional concern that the Navy was moving too fast on the program, the service delayed the acquisition timeline for the first LSC. Previously, the Navy had been planning on buying the first LSC in FY-25.

Despite the LSC program's "repeated delays," the Navy's plan calls for buying fewer DDG-51 Flight III destroyers in recent budget submissions, the explanatory statement accompanying the Senate committee's bill reads.

"The Navy . . . has not delineated a clear acquisition path for large surface combatants following the conclusion of the current DDG-51 Flight III destroyer multi-year procurement contract in fiscal year 2022," the explanatory statement adds.

The committee does not support the proposed increase in funding for the LSC program, "to include $17,100,000 in preliminary design efforts," without a clear understanding of the program's force structure requirements and acquisition strategies, the panel's report reads.

The committee wants the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition to provide lawmakers with updated acquisition strategies for each element of the service's Surface Capability Evolution Plan in the FY-22 defense budget request.

The committee also calls on the Navy comptroller to provide updated cost estimates for each element of the SCEP, and to certify that full funding is in the budget request for each respective acquisition strategy of the SCEP elements.

The Navy is only planning to procure four DDG-51 Flight III destroyers from FY-23 to FY-25, the committee stated, which is below the 2.4-ships-per-year multiyear procurement deal the Navy currently has.

"The Committee finds this inconsistent with previously stated shipbuilding objectives and believes that the lack of a predictable and stable acquisition strategy for large surface combatants undercuts naval maritime superiority and injects risk into the industrial base," the explanatory statement said.

The committee recommended an additional $130 million in advance procurement for an additional DDG-51 Flight III destroyer in FY-22.

 

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This is the Senate acting, but the Navy and DoD leadership is to blame. Sitting on the fleet architecture studies, being completely unable to articulate their goals, vision, or plan in a meaningful way, frequently resetting the new combatant program, generally looking like they're spinning their wheels or worse for years. This isn't the kind of leadership that gets rewarded by the people holding the purse strings. As much as I want a new combatant program to actually get in gear, I don't want it suffering the fate of certain other programs. If making sure it's done right takes Congress remembering that oversight is a thing they can do, so be it.
 

MihoshiK

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This is the Senate acting, but the Navy and DoD leadership is to blame. Sitting on the fleet architecture studies, being completely unable to articulate their goals, vision, or plan in a meaningful way, frequently resetting the new combatant program, generally looking like they're spinning their wheels or worse for years. This isn't the kind of leadership that gets rewarded by the people holding the purse strings. As much as I want a new combatant program to actually get in gear, I don't want it suffering the fate of certain other programs. If making sure it's done right takes Congress remembering that oversight is a thing they can do, so be it.
It's like... They got shit done with the frigate program, but don't seem to have taken any reasonable lessons from that. Don't aim for the sky. Be realistic. Have a clear idea of what you want before you start, and don't deviate from your plan.

Of course the Senate is not going to sign of on what has all the hallmarks of another multi-billion boondoggle.
 

bring_it_on

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They got shit done with the frigate program, but don't seem to have taken any reasonable lessons from that.

Not much has been done yet. They promised that a foreign design was mature enough to be produced affordably and fielded operationally in about 10 years. That still has to pan out and it is too early to book those lessons and savings.

On the LSC, they've continued to move the needle on the AMDR (with production ramping up), on SEWIP, on directed energy, power systems and hypersonic weapons. All things that are going to be the foundational elements of the LSC. The USN leadership has been quite clear that the intention with the LSC Flt I is to take these (and other) mature or rapidly maturing systems and integrate them on a new hull that has the size and capacity to accommodate these with plenty of room to grow. That is a very realistic and common sense approach. The only approach that is less riskier than that is to completely ditch the LSC and just buy a few dozen more Flight III DDG-51's.

As they continue to mature these individual items in their portfolio they do eventually also have to start figuring out what an appropriate hull looks like. Sitting on mature (and demonstrated) technologies while waiting for an appropriate hull is quite bad and would allows for others to catch up. So to some degree these things have to move in sync so that the technology can come out of the labs, testbeds and into the fleet. That would require some design contracts and some sort of acquisition plan that pays for it. Barring a sudden increase in funding for shipbuilding, the only likely bill payer for the LSC is the transition from buying the Flight III DDG-51 in favor of the LSC. Yes that entails risk but there are only a few ways you can do it and unless the Congress wants them to buy the Flight IIIs indefinitely at some point they have to transition or fund both programs concurrently (while also funding the Columbia, more SSN's, the Frigate and all the other goodies the Navy and Congress want). There is already some talk in Congress about pushing for a yet another MYP/Block Buy of the Flight III DDG-51. So unless the shipbuilding budget grows we may end up pretending to be working on an LSC while actually buying more Flight III DDG-51's.

I agree with Moose, that the Navy has probably done a bad job of articulating what it wants and where all the challenges and opportunities lie. And the Senate is essentially asking to see all that homework before it green lights an increase in spending. They better sort this out by FY22 or we are likely to see yet another delay for the contract award which, IMHO, is going be bad for the Navy. The USN badly needs to get going with the design work for the LSC. While we can all look back and critisize the service for decisions made on prior programs, that in and of itself shouldn't be the reason to delay the LSC as the sheer number LSC's the Navy intends to buy over the next 2-3 decades means that the success of this class is going to be pivotal to the effectiveness of the USN. Better make peace with the Senate and get going.

LSC-Proc-Table.png
 
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Josh_TN

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For the larger combattant, there really isn't a foreign equivalent outside the Type 55 to base it on. There Burke like ships out there among US allies, but the general direction of the LSC seems to be more of a cruiser sized platform with massive power requirements for much more energic radar, plus the ability to employ DEW weapons in the future. I wonder if the power and drive train systems of the Zoomies are salvageable? Or if that super structure could mount a sufficiently powerful SPY-6? How has that hull shape been performing in terms of sea keeping and hull stress? I haven't heard of propulsion problems, unlike say LCS.
 

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I'm not fully sold on the idea of a DDG-51 III like combatant (systems) on a "less dense" hull. If this is going to become operational in the mid 2030's then it needs to be a little more ambitious than that otherwise it will always be lagging behind in what we want or need to have vs what we actually deliver to the fleet within a reasonable timeframe.

Navy Large Surface Combatant (LSC) Program: Background and Issues for Congress (Updated November 11, 2020)
 

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Foo Fighter

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Zumwalt hull and power/generation systems but new systems elsewhere please, and make it any colour they like.
 

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The Zoomies were an abject failure as a deployable platform, but perhaps the power management system and propulsion are viable. Possibly even the low RCS hull. But I'm not sure they've had enough time in the deep end of the pool to prove any of that yet.
 

sferrin

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I'm not fully sold on the idea of a DDG-51 III like combatant (systems) on a "less dense" hull. If this is going to become operational in the mid 2030's then it needs to be a little more ambitious than that otherwise it will always be lagging behind in what we want or need to have vs what we actually deliver to the fleet within a reasonable timeframe.

Navy Large Surface Combatant (LSC) Program: Background and Issues for Congress (Updated November 11, 2020)
Yeah, that idea is already inferior to the Type 055. God help it 15 years from now, when the Type 055's replacement comes online.
 

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Or if that super structure could mount a sufficiently powerful SPY-6?
Up to a 21-foot radar per BIW. Given the claimed margins for SPY-6(v)1 that could very well put in in the SPY+30dB or above range; the original AMDR req was for a second radar in the SPY+40dB range.
 

jsport

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I'm not fully sold on the idea of a DDG-51 III like combatant (systems) on a "less dense" hull. If this is going to become operational in the mid 2030's then it needs to be a little more ambitious than that otherwise it will always be lagging behind in what we want or need to have vs what we actually deliver to the fleet within a reasonable timeframe.

Navy Large Surface Combatant (LSC) Program: Background and Issues for Congress (Updated November 11, 2020)
Yeah, that idea is already inferior to the Type 055. God help it 15 years from now, when the Type 055's replacement comes online.
A vertical gun system firing rocket assisted rds could accomplish most missile missions and save a hell of alot of hull and deck space
 

Dilandu

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A vertical gun system firing rocket assisted rds could accomplish most missile missions and save a hell of alot of hull and deck space

Why do you need vertical gun to launch rockets?

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A turnable launcher, feeded from Mk-41 VLC cell (used as rocket magazine) would be much simpler solution.
 

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TomS

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A vertical gun system firing rocket assisted rds could accomplish most missile missions and save a hell of alot of hull and deck space

Why do you need vertical gun to launch rockets?

View attachment 647128
View attachment 647129
View attachment 647130

A turnable launcher, feeded from Mk-41 VLC cell (used as rocket magazine) would be much simpler solution.

Also much more complex and less capable. Those simple bombardment rocket launchers managed a range of around 5000 yards/meters. New technology could improve that, but not to 80 nm/150 km, which is roughly what a vertical gun arrangement was expected to achieve. That improvement comes from the greater propulsive efficiency of guns compared to rockets, as well as the ability to lob shells to high altitudes where reduced drag would allow them to glide out to extreme range.

For rockets with range performance comparable to a vertical gun, look at GLMRS derivatives like POLAR. A 64-cell VLS with POLAR quadpacks would have 256 rounds. A 6-inch VGAS module fitting in the same space with a pair of gun tubes was expected to have 1200+ rounds.
 

sean hunter

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jeeeeeezzuuuzzzz. i never seen that launcher before. definitly wouldnt take the place of the missle boxes on an arlegh burke class
 

sean hunter

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jeeeeeezzuuuzzzz. i never seen that launcher before. definitly wouldnt take the place of the missle boxes on an arlegh burke class
but i do have to say that horizontal launchers give for better protection i would put some on the extreme sides and put verticals twards the middle for longer range targets.
 

TomS

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But useless. A range of 3-5 miles won't even target beach defenses anymore.

Modern artillery rockets could easily get to 100+ km.

Yes, things like GMLRS, which I mentioned. Vastly simpler to pack the rocket into a VLS cell and add a tail control unit (which is what was proposed to turn GMLRS into POLAR) rather than to build a dedicated naval launcher.
 

Dilandu

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Yes, things like GMLRS, which I mentioned. Vastly simpler to pack the rocket into a VLS cell and add a tail control unit (which is what was proposed to turn GMLRS into POLAR) rather than to build a dedicated naval launcher.

Actually no. Vertical launch is energy-inefficient; it would require adding booster to the rocket, which would skyrocket (sorry for the pun) its cost.

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This is how Russian Navy done this. "Grad-M", for the placement on amphibious ships and small artillery ships. Twenty-tubes, reloadable launcher (for reload it's turned vertically to the deck hatches). Maximum range - 40 km, could use precise guidance rockets.
 

sean hunter

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Yes, things like GMLRS, which I mentioned. Vastly simpler to pack the rocket into a VLS cell and add a tail control unit (which is what was proposed to turn GMLRS into POLAR) rather than to build a dedicated naval launcher.

Actually no. Vertical launch is energy-inefficient; it would require adding booster to the rocket, which would skyrocket (sorry for the pun) its cost.

View attachment 648640

This is how Russian Navy done this. "Grad-M", for the placement on amphibious ships and small artillery ships. Twenty-tubes, reloadable launcher (for reload it's turned vertically to the deck hatches). Maximum range - 40 km, could use precise guidance rockets.
heeeyyyyyy that's pretty good!
 

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