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LCS Alternative-Victory Class Corvette

June 16, 2009
RSS Victory

RSS Victory

From the Republic of Singapore and built by Germany are this class of 6 shallow water combatants from the 1990’s. They are very heavily armed for their size, much more so that the 2000+tons heavier USS Freedom littoral combat ship. The following are specs from the Singapore Navy website:

  • Length
    62 meters
  • Beam
    8.5 meters
  • Displacement
    600 tonnes
  • Speed
    In excess of 30 knots
  • Range
    2,000 nautical miles
  • Crew
  • Weapons
    HARPOON Missiles
    BARAK Surface to Air Missile
    WHITEHEAD Torpedoes

Forward deployed, she seems extremely well armed to deal with most any threat in a littoral environment, sustained by mothership support, or local naval ports.


Joking the other day, I mentioned the MK 110 57mm cannon on the LCS was a “patrol boat gun”. As you can see, actually the Oto Melara 76mm cannon is a real patrol boat gun!

It is sad that a nearly 20 year old design has all the qualities needed for Green Water warfare, well armed without the frills, than the newer and more advanced LCS ship, the latter related more to an old escort-style frigate now outdated in modern navies. 


Thanks to Lee Wahler!

25 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2011 3:31 pm

    arm boats.. those are freaking me out!

  2. Ex NSF permalink
    December 19, 2010 7:34 pm

    The Victory corvetters may be top heavy because the Barak system were fitted later.

    An equally good ship of the same tonnage could be found in the Malaysian Laksamana corvette.

    Some Finnish warships pack a huge punch despite being 200-plus tonnes. This is because they are made with much composite materials, which also gives them stealth properties.

  3. Mike Burleson permalink
    June 18, 2009 11:18 am

    Well, I like the RSS Formidable better than the LCS, and she might even be an affordable replacement for the giant DDG-51s, but I mainly promote the 1000 ton corvette here as a solution to the USN’s numerous warship woes and her rapidly sinking fleet.

  4. Heretic permalink
    June 18, 2009 10:45 am

    That is a good question Mike. Could the LCS-2 trimaran operate with an AGS mission module occupying the aft deck?

  5. OPSSG permalink
    June 18, 2009 9:10 am

    If you guys like the Victory-Class (which is top heavy) and designed for green water ops, you should see what the Singapore navy packs into a 3,200 ton class hull, with the Formidable-Class.

    Length — 114.8m
    Beam —- 16.3m
    Draught – 6.0m

    HARPOON Missiles
    Aster Surface to Air Missile (32 cells)
    WHITEHEAD Torpedoes

    For more details see this blog:

  6. Mike Burleson permalink
    June 18, 2009 6:38 am

    So I guess we are talking about a Monitor type version of LCS. What about these catamarans, or trimarans like USS Independence, whose wide beam might be wide enough for a gun platfrom?

  7. Distiller permalink
    June 18, 2009 3:57 am

    AGS weighs around 350 tonnes (not counting re-enforcement) and is ~ 75 feet long under deck (with ~400 rounds). Instead of the flight deck? A light ship like LCS isn’t a stable gun platform. Better spend the money to finally build naval versions of MLRS and ATACMS. AGS would better go onto NFS Burkes instead of the fowards VLS and the 5″ gun.

  8. Mike Burleson permalink
    June 17, 2009 8:51 pm

    So would LCS be a better candidate for the advanced gun system than the disgustingly over-priced DDG-1000? LCS Gunship anyone?

  9. Mike Burleson permalink
    June 17, 2009 3:14 pm

    Scott, I have no problem with the 57mm as a weapon, just think the 3000 ton LCS is the wrong platform for its use. With many smaller craft that could potentially carry such a weapon, you would have very many 57mm’s to send against the enemy.

    This is my continuous point here on the blog that the larger and more expensive the platform, the fewer number of the new weapons you can send to sea, and the less battlefield coverage you have. The waste of a really good weapon is to place it on a giant platform.

  10. Chuck Hill permalink
    June 17, 2009 3:10 pm

    A 3,000 ton ship should be able to take a 5″. The original 5″ Mk45 weighed the same as the old 5″/38, and it use to be common for 2,000 ton ships to have four of them, plus some very heavy torpedoes (WWII cruise missiles).

    Then you would have something that could take on hardened targets on land. Armed with either a 57mm or 76mm, The LCS would lose a duel with a tank.

  11. Scott B. permalink
    June 17, 2009 11:24 am

    Mike Burleson said : “Scott, so we set our standards now by Canada’s Navy?”

    I don’t think their standards are much lower than ours when it comes to the 57-76mm MCG variety.

    You’ll actually find quite a lot of people in the US Navy (and CG) who’ll tell you that the 57mm Mk3 is superior to the 76mm SR for the kind of missions envisioned for LCS, owing, for instance, to its higher rate of fire.

    My conviction remains that the 57mm vs 76mm is very much SSDD, because :

    a) without a dedicated FC radar (like CEROS-200 on Skjold, Visby or Hamina), neither will be particularly effective against fast aerial targets.

    b) back in February 2006, NWDC found the 57mm to perform poorly against fast surface targets, especially in one of the two tactical situations tested at the time.

    The new guided round under development for the 76mm may (or may not) temporarily tip the sclaes in favor of the Italian gun. We’ll find out when more test results become available.

  12. Heretic permalink
    June 17, 2009 9:52 am

    Bill said: The witty bitty Skjold sports a 76mm auto cannon…..

    And the Skjold weighs in at under 300 tons fully loaded!

    Kinda makes you wonder what a “range optimized” Skjold weighing in around 500-600 tons would be capable of doing around foreign coasts.

  13. Distiller permalink
    June 17, 2009 9:11 am

    No helo on a monohull of that displacement.
    ScanEagle/KillerBee-Bat would be enough.
    And instead of a Harpoon I’d put a KBP Hermes on it …
    Looks mighty top-heavy.

    Re “what LCS needs”: Barak-8 it needs. To protect its MQ-8 and Willard Boats when on those “scouting ahead” missions outside the AEGIS umbrella.

  14. Mike Burleson permalink
    June 17, 2009 9:09 am

    Doc-So we introduce the Aviation Corvette! Doing away with ships which do everything, but nothing well, drastically reducing the price of shipbuilding, increasing the fleet, enhancing our global presence.

    Scott, so we set our standards now by Canada’s Navy? No offense to our Allies,but Canadian Warships are mostly geared for North Atlantic ASW operations or defending their territories, or peacekeepiong missions in conjunction with NATO/UN forces. LCS is to be forward deployed near to shore, where you have to deal with multiple land, undersea, and especially air threats. A 76 mm or even a 5 inch gun sounds about right.

    But even taking to account that the gun isn’t the most important armament on warships these days, neither do these small ships carry offensive cruise missiles such as Harpoon or Tomahawk. I recall the small Leander’s of the British Navy of being rebuilt to load Exocet in the 1970s.

    Again I have to repeat the Navy’s own words, that the purpose of these ship we are building “is not to fight“.

  15. doc75 permalink
    June 17, 2009 7:25 am

    I don’t see a helo.

  16. Scott B. permalink
    June 17, 2009 12:49 am

    leesea said : “And YES the 76mm gun should be on the LCS, not that the 57mm is a bad weapon, just that a 3000 ton warship needs a larger gun.”

    The Canadian Navy uses both the 76mm SR OTO Melara (on the Iroquois) and the 57mm Mk2 Bofors (on the Halifax), and they seem to have come to the conclusion that there isn’t a whole lot to pick between them (or so I’m told by Canadian Navy SWOs).

  17. Scott B. permalink
    June 17, 2009 12:43 am

    leesea said : “How it the world do they stay upright with the tall mast?”

    The Victory-class corvettes are indeed said to be top-heavy and it’s highly doubtful that they would meet the US Navy damaged-stability requirements designated in MIL-STD-1625C.

    The Victory-class corvettes rarely sail with more than 2 Harpoon missiles onboard, and I very much doubt they carry more than half of their notional Barak SAMs (i.e. 16 missiles), much like their Israeli counterparts BTW.

  18. leesea permalink
    June 16, 2009 10:04 pm

    This is the type and size small surface combatant the USN should be building in addition to larger corvettes for all those “other” missions.
    And YES the 76mm gun should be on the LCS, not that the 57mm is a bad weapon, just that a 3000 ton warship needs a larger gun. LCS needs several more “things” I think like ALL the weapons fitted to RSN Victory (or there US equivalent).

    How it the world do they stay upright with the tall mast?

    BTW I like the photo of RSN ships in column screening the carrier with the USN ships astern!!

  19. Mike Burleson permalink
    June 16, 2009 9:26 pm

    This is killing me! Pretty soon the pirates in speed boats will fit a 76 mm. But not LCS.

  20. Bill permalink
    June 16, 2009 9:04 pm

    The witty bitty Skjold sports a 76mm auto cannon…..

  21. Mike Burleson permalink
    June 16, 2009 7:22 pm

    “600 tons is “Visby weight” territory.”

    Yeah, you’re right! What impressed me was the armament, as compared to the LCS.

  22. Heretic permalink
    June 16, 2009 5:13 pm

    600 tons is “Visby weight” territory.

    And you’re absolutely right Mike about how 2000 nmi is “plenty” for a green water corvette, since it’s 5.5 days of sailing at a constant 15 knots (back of the envelope calculation, ignoring factors a real world ship has to deal with, like currents). Still, 4-5 days of cruising endurance before needing to refuel is “not bad” for a ship that is intended for green waters, rather than blue.

    Kinda makes you wonder what sort of range you’d be able to get out of a 1000 ton hull, all other variables remaining *relatively* unchanged.


  1. The New Green Water Navy « New Wars
  2. LCS Alternative Weekly « New Wars
  3. Corvettes and the Failure of the LCS Pt 1 « New Wars

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