Navy Has no Love for Small Ships
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.