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Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:13 PM

Navy’s $670 Million Fighting Ship Is ‘Not Expected to Be Survivable,’ Pentagon Says



In less than two months, the Navy will send the first of its newest class of fighting ships on its first major deployment overseas. Problem is, according to the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester, the Navy will be deploying the USS Freedom before knowing if the so-called Littoral Combat Ship can survive, um, combat. And what the Navy does know about the ship isn’t encouraging: Among other problems, its guns don’t work right.

That’s the judgment of J. Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department’s director of operational test and evaluation, in an annual study sent to Congress on Friday and formally released Tuesday. Gilmore’s bottom line is that the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is still “not expected to be survivable” in combat. His office will punt on conducting a “Total Ship Survivability Test” for the first two LCSes to give the Navy time to complete a “pre-trial damage scenario analysis.” In other words, the Freedom will head on its first big mission abroad — maritime policing and counter-piracy around Singapore — without passing a crucial exam.

The systems the LCSs will carry, from their weapons to their sensors, compound the problem. The helicopters scheduled to be aboard the ship can’t tow its mine-hunting sensors, so the Navy is going to rely on robots instead — only the robots won’t be ready for years. And the faster the ship goes, the less accurate its guns become.

These words have haunted the Navy ever since Gilmore’s office uttered them in December 2011: “LCS is not expected to be survivable in a hostile combat environment.” At a Navy expo in April 2012, Secretary Ray Mabus insisted that LCS is “a warship and it is fully capable of going into combat situations,” while heralding the LCS’ 2013 deployment to Singapore.

more

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/01/littoral-combat-ship/

Yep, I sure feel safer knowing these babies are going to be 'protecting' us!

18 replies, 1386 views

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Reply Navy’s $670 Million Fighting Ship Is ‘Not Expected to Be Survivable,’ Pentagon Says (Original post)
n2doc Jan 2013 OP
burnsei sensei Jan 2013 #1
Turbineguy Jan 2013 #2
darkangel218 Jan 2013 #3
Gin Jan 2013 #4
jberryhill Jan 2013 #5
Autumn Jan 2013 #6
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #7
JaneyVee Jan 2013 #8
Indydem Jan 2013 #9
Sherman A1 Jan 2013 #10
baldguy Jan 2013 #11
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #12
DirkGently Jan 2013 #13
Recursion Jan 2013 #14
okaawhatever Jan 2013 #15
freshwest Jan 2013 #17
kenny blankenship Jan 2013 #16
OldDem2012 Jan 2013 #18

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:16 PM

1. Isn't money wonderful?

You can't buy excellence, just like you can't buy elections.
The Pentagon hasn't gotten the news yet.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:17 PM

2. It needs to be replaced

by a ship 5 times its cost that's all. Only $670 million? I'm amazed they can get somebody to command it. What a career killer.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:18 PM

3. What a waste of money..

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:18 PM

4. I feel for the crew....this sounds like

A dooms day prediction for them.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:19 PM

5. Fortunately, not too many pirates and smugglers have missiles

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:21 PM

6. Only $670 Million? That's couch change to the Pentagon.

They can throw that away.

Fucking disgraceful, any of our illustrious politicians going to throw a fit about that? Of course not, there are programs that provide a safety nets for the vulnerable that can be cut.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:29 PM

7. Something is wrong when ...

I buy a new $20,000 car that doesn't work and I can send it back to the dealer/manufacturer; but I buy a $670 million ship that doesn't work and ... oh well, the money's spent?

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:30 PM

8. That one boat could wipe out almost all student loan debt in America. Sickening.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:38 PM

9. Um, no.

$670M =/= $1 Trillion

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:48 PM

10. And it is

ugly. Just my opinion, but it does not look like a fighting ship.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:50 PM

11. Ah, the wonders of the MIC! Where a billion dollars can disappear w/absolutly nothing to show for it

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:52 PM

12. Freedom was built in WI suspiciously like a bacon brought home project

I don't think the electronics and guns are from Wisconsin, but the hull is, and IIRC it developed cracks during sea-trials and had to be reinforced.

Speed is this vessels special trait, allowing it to operate in coastal waters where threats are common. Having guns that don't work when the characteristic that makes the vessel special is probably not a good thing.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:53 PM

13. Must be built in the right legislators' districts.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:58 PM

14. Still better than the LCAC (nt)

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:04 PM

15. Guns don't work? Not to worry, Rep. Blackburn will send hammers. They're just as deadly she claims.

Post of Congresswoman Blackburn on breaking news.

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Response to okaawhatever (Reply #15)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:54 PM

17. Or some cars. Get them going fast enough, and they can shoot right off the deck and whamm!

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:10 PM

16. They should do what they did for the banks

Let the ship's constructor choose who will "test" it for survivability. A much better result would be assured, and then we could have a Navy as sound as our banking system!

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 08:58 PM

18. Hate to be contrary to the tone of this thread, but....

...what ship in the US Navy is expected to be totally survivable in a combat environments? The LCS will normally operate in foreign waters close to shore which tends to increase the probability of taking damage from hostile fire. The totally new hybrid will be capable of doing the following:

* the capabilities of a small assault transport,

* a flight deck and hangar large enough to base two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters,

* the capability to recover and launch small boats from a stern ramp,

* enough cargo volume and payload to deliver a small assault force with armoured fighting vehicles to a roll-on/roll-off port facility,

* standard armament for the LCS are Mk 110 57 mm guns and Rolling Airframe Missiles

* ability to launch autonomous air, surface, and underwater vehicles.

Although the LCS design offers less air defense and surface-to-surface capabilities than comparable destroyers, the LCS concept emphasizes speed, flexible mission module space and a shallow draft for operating very close to shore.

Additionally, the comment about "the faster the ship goes, the less accurate its guns become" has been true for as long as ships have carried weapons capable of long-range fire.

Sounds like someone is trying to offer up the LCS program as part of the Defense Department cuts. Why didn't Gilmore simply say that instead of whining about what normally happens to all new US ships in their first 5-10 years in the fleet? There have been far worse problems for several new ship models entering the fleet over the last 50 years.

I can actually see the need for a small, fast, multi-mission ship like the LCS instead of some of the slower bigger targets we currently have in the fleet. Just my opinion.

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