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Navy Has no Love for Small Ships

July 23, 2009
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There’s a shocker, eh? Small corvettes, fast attack craft, patrol ships, and riverine vessels have little to no place in Navy future plans, despite their usefulness in the wars we are fighting now. From the Danger Room:

The Navy’s love for LCS does not extend to other small vessels that could help the sea service in the littorals, however. According to our source, the sea service is only grudgingly accepting the shallow-water catamaran transports that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates endorsed in his April speech announcing major shifts in weapons investment.

As for new versions of the coastal patrol boats and river craft that have proved so useful in Iraq? “I believe in the end we will see these vessels built as an outcome of QDR deliberations, but the Navy will state that they were forced upon them, and attempt to ignore them,” the officer said. He added that the Navy might consign all future small ships to the “purgatory” that is the Navy’s new Expeditionary Combat Command — the same command that oversees Navy construction workers and port security guards.

Which is why they made the LCS into a useless crossbreed of Brown and Blue water abilities. Too big for the shallow waters, and not big enough for the blue water environment. In other words, not quite a patrol boat and far from a frigate. The poor planning that brought this on could be likened to the new steam battleships of the post-Civil War era, which still sported a full rig of sails just in case of breakdowns. This bad decision led to at least one disaster, including the capsizing of HMS Captain and most of her crew.

In other words, the Navy doesn’t love what it doesn’t understand.

HMS Captain 1869

HMS Captain 1869

9 Comments leave one →
  1. hokie_1997 permalink
    May 10, 2010 12:27 pm

    Solomon wrote: How can you be against the LCS. The LCS-2 promises to be a jack of all trades, able to handle a CH-53 on its big deck, mission modules to haul everything from troop compartments on it or MLRS pods…it appears to be the perfect fit in an imperfect Navy to your concerns. What exactly is the perfect ship in your mind. And please no Stelleto, it was a rough ride, had no weapons and little capability to fit them and was essentially just a patrol boat re-engineered when a simpler vessel could have done its job or rather its projected job.

    ****

    Solomon, are you serious? LCS is going to give us an expensive, low capability ship that will be great at running away at almost any threat it might meet. If we wanted a frigate, we should’ve built a frigate.

    I tend to categorize LCS as a great concept which was haphazardly planned, and then poorly executed. It’s the surface equivalent of A-12 Avenger II – a true debacle and misallocation of taxpayer dollars.

  2. leesea permalink
    July 27, 2009 4:57 pm

    No we both got it wrong! I meant LCS is mismatched hybrid of Blue and Green water~ not really great in either realm

  3. Mike Burleson permalink*
    July 26, 2009 8:13 am

    ” a useless crossbreed of Brown and Green water abilities.” ”

    That was an “oops!” I meant Brown and Blue. Thanks Lee!

  4. leesea permalink
    July 26, 2009 12:31 am

    Mike to start with the LCS are indisputedly “Jack of all trades, Master of NONE!”

    Then your statement that the LCS “Which is why they made the LCS into a useless crossbreed of Brown and Green water abilities.” has a higher level of authority than you know (email me)

  5. July 23, 2009 7:28 pm

    “In other words, the Navy doesn’t love what it doesn’t understand.”

    Oh yeah. tell me about it.

  6. Mike Burleson permalink*
    July 23, 2009 3:31 pm

    Solomon, you answered your own question “The LCS-2 promises to be a jack of all trades”

    Built to peacetime specifications, though its meant to go on harms way, the Navy tries to get too much economy on a single hull. The “jack of all trades” can do many things, none of them well, which is why it is over-weight, over-priced, and overdue.

    Meanwhile, China and the pirates build, borrow, or steal many small ships, which are good enough sailors and threaten to swarm our handful of Big Ships should we dare venture into the shallow seas with our Blue Water battleships, masquerading as “littoral ships”.

  7. solomon permalink
    July 23, 2009 2:55 pm

    How can you be against the LCS. The LCS-2 promises to be a jack of all trades, able to handle a CH-53 on its big deck, mission modules to haul everything from troop compartments on it or MLRS pods…it appears to be the perfect fit in an imperfect Navy to your concerns. What exactly is the perfect ship in your mind. And please no Stelleto, it was a rough ride, had no weapons and little capability to fit them and was essentially just a patrol boat re-engineered when a simpler vessel could have done its job or rather its projected job.

  8. Heretic permalink
    July 23, 2009 2:47 pm

    Hard to make Admiral as the skipper commanding a FAC/OPV/Corvette swarm. Can’t imagine why the Admirals wouldn’t want some of these then.

    Gotta have indians if you want to play chief …

  9. Distiller permalink
    July 23, 2009 12:39 pm

    I like to think of LCS as the naval equivalent of the B-45 Tornado. The one built to show off the new jet engines, the other one built for the first wider use of UxV. The history of the B-45 is known …

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