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LCS Alternative Weekly

November 4, 2009
Flyvefisken

Flyvefisken class patrol ship in service with the Lithuanian Navy. (Author-Ministry of National Defence Republic of Lithuania)

From Streetfighter to LCS

At what point did the Streetfighter, a 1000 ton corvette proposed by 2 naval greats Admiral Arthur Cebrowski and Capt. Wayne Hughes, morph into the over-weight, over-priced, under-armed littoral combat ship (LCS)? From reading this 2001 proposal for the unique craft more suited for COIN at sea than giant warships, it may have been the way the vessel was sold to the public:

The U.S. is at war with China, and U.S. Navy commanders are using a new breed of ship called Streetfighter to sail perilously close to the Chinese coast.

There, the small, fast, inexpensive warships — designed to go into harm’s way and, if necessary, be lost — hunt down Chinese subs and missile launchers hidden among fishing boats and cargo ships. Some Streetfighters are sunk by enemy fire, and casualties are high, but they help the U.S. win earlier than the military pros had projected…

Their performance in that mock battle was enough to convince the war college’s director, Vice Adm. Arthur K. Cebrowski, that a fleet of Streetfighters could give any foe fits — provided the Navy is willing to endure casualties.

His ships, derided by critics as “throwaway boats,” have forced the Navy and the Pentagon to confront the question of whether the military has become too fearful of casualties, and whether a
hesitancy to put troops at risk is making the world’s most formidable fighting force vulnerable…

That hardly means Streetfighters are a sure thing. Some top Navy commanders have grave doubts. “I look at the Streetfighter concept and worry that we are saying, ‘It’s OK to lose ships,’ ” says Vice Adm. Michael Mullen, commander of the U.S. 2nd Fleet in Norfolk, Va.

That was some 8 years ago, and you see who is our top man at the Pentagon? That’s right, JCS Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, and such views as his is that only very large, exquisite vessels can survive modern war at sea. However, as we often point out, this fails to take into account the countless tales of small ships surviving great battle damage and returning to the fight. A recent post we did on the Battle of Okinawa, where warships of 2000 tons or less received the bulk of the casualties, tells us a different story:

The USN lost 34 small ships with 300 damaged. Of these 26 were sunk and 164 damaged by kamikazes. Thanks to the tiny but essential picket ships, no US carriers, battleships, cruisers, or large troop transports were lost, though Enterprise, Franklin, and Maryland were out of the war.

We see then only 10% of the small boys were lost to enemy action. All the more amazing was the replacements readily available, since with smaller ships of lower costs, many more can be purchased than large ships. We noted this from the same post in a book exert by Hanson Baldwin:

But the traffic across the Pacific is two-way.The cripples steam home; replacements of flesh and steel move steadily westward; destroyer divisions from the Central Pacific, the North Pacific, the Atlantic are ordered to Okinawa to take up their stations in the battered picket line.

Unlike the apparent central theme of the WSJ article, I don’t see the more affordable, more relevant for low tech warfare Streetfighter as “a ship meant to die”. Of course, all warships are vulnerable to an extent, but how can we expect Congress and the public to buy something considered a “forlorn hope”? In fact, it was a vessel for ensuring others would live, the large carriers, cruisers, destroyers, and amphibious ships which we put to great risk operating close to shore in the Missile Age. and it could only perform this mission by surviving itself as much as reasonably possible.

*****

India expands its Coast Guard

This information of a major increase in India shallow water abilities is from Combat Fleet of the World. The expansion includes:

  • 3,000 new Coast Guard personnel
  • 20 fast patrol vessels.
  • 41 interceptor boats.
  • 12 Dornier coastal surveillance aircraft
  • 7 off-shore patrol vessels
  • A chain of 46 new coastal radars
  • 9 new Coast Guard stations

We see this news of far greater significance than India’s ongoing trouble trying to replace its aging aircraft carrier arm. While carrier wars have been few and far between, most recently in the Mumbai attacks we saw how a handful of terrorists operating from the sea could affect one of the world’s great powers, with force in great disproportion than supercarriers or nuclear warships.

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The Original LCS

The littoral combat ship’s modular design is based partly on the Danish Flyvefisken Class (SF 300) Multi-Role Vessels, 14 ships built since 1989. Naval Technology provides details:

Also known as Standard Flex 300 (SF300), the Flyvefisken Class is based on a modular concept – using a standard hull with containerized weapon systems and equipment, which allows the vessel to change role quickly for surveillance, surface combat, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), mine countermeasures / minehunter, minelayer or pollution control.

Standard equipment for all roles includes the command system, radars and hull-mounted sonars.

Also note it’s armament within the respective modules:

SSM-8 x Harpoon missiles (combat role)
SAM-Mk 48 mod 3 vertical launcher for six SeaSparrow missiles (combat / minelayer / MCM role)
Gun-1 x 76mm Oto Melara Super Rapid
Torpedoes-2 x 533mm tubes for TP613 torpedoes (combat role), anti-submarine torpedoes (ASW role)
Mines– 60 (minelaying role)
 
 

Interestingly, at a little over 10% the American vessel’s weight, it carries a much heavier weapon’s load. Sigh.

*****

Germany May Transfer Corvettes to Israel

While Israel balked at the exorbitant cost of updating the LCS to their own high standards, they are definitely interested in 2 German MEKO corvettes currently in the eastern Mediterranean. As promised last week, here is an update from the UPI:

German daily Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung reported Saturday that the Israelis had requested two MEKO-class corvettes, which are built at the Blohm und Voss shipyard in the northern port city of Hamburg that is owned by the industrial giant ThyssenKrupp.

As far as is known, Berlin has not yet responded to the Israeli request. But the Hannover daily reported that “influential politicians in northern Germany” were secretly supporting the deal on the premise that it would help German shipyards get through the global economic crisis.

That is really amazing that the Israelis’ once most vehement foe would be responsible for that tiny nation to deploy its most powerful surface warships yet. A much better deal than they would have gotten from Lockheed:

The 2,200-ton, 275-foot MEKO has a helicopter deck and carries formidable firepower, 16 launchers for land-attack missiles and eight for anti-ship missiles as well as missile defenses and automatic rapid-fire guns.

It carries a crew of 94 and has a range of 4,600 miles with a maximum speed of 30 knots.

According to media reports, the Israeli Defense Ministry had originally considered a corvette built by Lockheed Martin but rejected the $600 million price tag as too expensive.

We’ll keep you posted on these intriguing naval developments.

*****

109 Comments leave one →
  1. August 29, 2014 2:24 pm

    My home computer is hooked up to a router. I would like to have access to my home computer’s webcam through my work computer. . My home computer is hooked up through a DSL modem and is always on.. My work computer obviously has access to the Internet..

  2. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 8, 2009 12:57 pm

    Al; L. said:

    “Chuck H.: ‘There isn’t just one best answer, it’s very scenario dependent’

    “Simple wisdom. I can’t agree more. The corollary is: what are the most common or likely scenarios?”

    The mathematics to define what you need and how you need to do it were developed during WWII. It was one of the first Naval Operations research problems. The Axis was running a very successful blockade running operation between Germany and Japan, transporting technology and essential raw materials. The Allies finally set up a standing patrol between Brazil and West Africa where the Atlantic is narrowest. Using fixed wing aircraft and cruisers that were mostly old or otherwise unsuitable for fleet operations they effectively shut down surface ship blockade running and the Axis had to turn to submarines for this mission.

    Variables in the calculations are desired POD (probability of detection), speed of the target, speed of the search vehicle, and effective sweep width (which is a function of target size and the search technology used).

    There are of course problems with using these models for force planning since there are so many potential scenarios, but if we plan for a worst case scenario, then all the others will be possible.

    Worst case scenarios are probable because the opposition is intelligent and will respond to what we do, just as drug smugglers have turned to semi-submersibles.

    We may also find that another more difficult problem requires all these forces an more. For instance, if we had a requirement to block all Chinese submarines from transiting to open sea, then the same assets that conduct this mission would presumably also locate all the surface traffic.

  3. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 8, 2009 7:34 am

    Al L-You make some good points but I still don’t see how a smaller fleet of hard to build warships is taking us where we need to be. When China can double her fleet of submarines in a decade while we build 3-4, it seems we are on the death spiral.

    You might argue that ships are so much more capable, taking the place of many other ships. I still can’t see how this can help in an outbreak of piracy in several places at once, also while we are watching for conventional threats elsewhere. You get stretched thin fleets and overworked sailors I don’t care how cool your battleships are.

    Neither would a strategy of high end only vessels work in wartime because you have attrition of ships. Just see the battles of Guadalcanal or the Mediterranean where often the Allies were minus a capital ship available, this back when they had lots of carriers and battleships. You must plan for the unexpected and this means numbers of all kinds.

    Reduce the size of missile battleships, your carriers, your frigates, and let the new weapons, or extra numbers make up for any loss in individual capability.

    You would think the Navy would be making this argument for more ships instead of a blogger. They are a Navy. They do ships. What is wrong with this picture?

  4. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 8, 2009 5:11 am

    In a blockade recon scenario, one helo with sensors little better than the human eye can not, with a high degree of probability, search an area much wider than the ship would search on it’s own because if you try to cover a search area significantly wider than the ship would sweep, there is a good probability that the target will get by when the helo is not airborne. For this reason, I don’t think multiples of one ship with one minimally equipped helo is a good investment for that scenario.

    Faster assets, significantly better sensors, or more than one aircraft start to make using air assets worthwhile. But there is also an upper limit where additional assets of a given type just don’t add much.

    Even for aircraft using the Mark 1 eyeball, you probably reach that point once you can maintain two aircraft (searching in opposite directions from the mother ship) airborne 24 hours a day. For assets with significantly better sensors, assuming there is not a lot of traffic that will require constant departures from the search pattern to investigate, you can reach a maximum useful number even quicker.

    So if you are using helos, you probably need at least two, but probably no more than 6. If the sensors are particularly good you may reach a point of diminishing returns well before 6 units.

  5. Al L. permalink
    November 8, 2009 1:37 am

    Since this thread is still active I’ll take the time to comment on this by Mike B.:
    “I am against the idea that individual warship must do every mission possible at sea, and nothing well. This is why we have dramatic rise in costs and reduced force fleet numbers.”

    In an ideal world so am I. In WWII this was easy: the enemy was the Axis, build ships to defeat them. The hard part was “build”(faster than the enemy) the easy part was “decide”. Today the easy part is “build” the hard part is “decide” (who is the enemy, what will be their strategy?)
    Lets assume we decide to build focused mission ships. How do we decide which missions are most important? How do we decide to take a risk by not building ships to defeat possible capabilities of our opponents?

    Let’s say we build several classes of 1000 ton limited mission ships designed to serve only 15 years. How smart will our decision be in 15 years? I would contend that it’s likely to be far off. Here is Wiki’s page for 1994: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994. Note the easily missed item on Dec. 11th. in the Events listing.

    Perhaps “multimission” results from the realization that humans don’t have “future vision” and it is better to partly cover the “what ifs” than to ignore them.

    It’s easy to blog about making such decisions, it’s hard to do it.

  6. Al L. permalink
    November 8, 2009 12:56 am

    Mike B:”With a mothership, you don’t need LCS. Using more smaller warships gives you a greater footprint, as you say. What they lack in capability (there’s not much requirement for coastal patrol), the mothership would make up for, even aviation facilities.’

    Fooey! No matter how big, small, cheap, capable, lean or gold plated a mothership is, it’s influence is limited by the mission radius of its assets. Put 50 helicopters on a mothership and it will be less effective than a few smaller ships carrying many less aviation assets. You need a small ship with the aviation capability equal to LCS or you are just doing a different version of Big Blue Navy.Call it Big Blue Lite. Kind of like lite beer: less effect, looks like you’re doing somthing, just as much piss down the drain (or more if one wants the same effect).

    Chuck H.:
    “There isn’t just one best answer, it’s very scenario dependent”

    Simple wisdom. I can’t agree more. The corollary is: what are the most common or likely scenarios?”

    Mike B:
    “You would think, with practically ever frigate currently operating in the Gulf possessing a helicopter or two, we’d have this problem managed,”

    The problem is not every ship is a frigate operating a helicopter or 2, many operate next to nothing except their own hull.Some can operate multiple boats or copters but can only be in 1 place at one time. So I will reiterate: efficient full time DISTRIBUTED operation of aerial assets are the key to sea control in low end conflict in the 21st century.

    “An MV-22 with a good radar and electro-optic system would be a real asset, particularly if it could do the AEW function. That would make small VSTOL carriers much more useful as well.”

    Hard to argue with that statement. However if you are refering to anti-piracy operations, it would be an excessively concentrated and expensive arrangement. Better to rely on ships which are more distributed but still have substantial aviation capability. After all you can disrupt a pirate attack with a copter, but you need men in boats to shut it down and they can only wander so far from “mother” no matter how many tons “mother” is. As good as MV-22 is for long range transport of Marines and their gear, there are UAV’s which can easily match or exceed the MV-22 in reconnaissence assets and weapons load.

  7. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 7, 2009 5:08 pm

    Something else we found when the smugglers were using “go-fast” boats was that it was not enough for the helos to locate the target, they also had to get it to stop, because otherwise our boats could not catch them. Arming the helos with a machine gun for signaling by firing across the bow and a .50 cal. sniper rifle for shooting out the engine of the recalcitrant has proven effective. Looks like a good fit for the counter piracy mission too.

  8. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 7, 2009 5:04 pm

    During WWII when the Brits were blockading Germany (before radar, and before the Germans took over the French ports as well) they formed a line of auxiliary cruisers within sight of each other. During the day they would advance toward the German ports. At night they would sail in the direction the German would be sailing so that they would not be passed at night. Very simplistic but effective.

  9. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 7, 2009 4:32 pm

    An MV-22 with a good radar and electro-optic system would be a real asset, particularly if it could do the AEW function. That would make small VSTOL carriers much more useful as well.

    I spent a lot of time on scenarios like this when I was in the Coast Guard, Thought putting an LPH and patrol boats in some of the Caribbean Straits would have made a lot of sense.

  10. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 7, 2009 4:32 pm

    You would think, with practically ever frigate currently operating in the Gulf possessing a helicopter or two, we’d have this problem managed, but as we see with continued and even bold attacks on shipping, it isn’t enough. Now the Eu is saying it needs even more, so clearly helicopters alone is not an adequate solution, but helicopters and more small craft would solve your problem.

    As Chuck says, the helos direct while the warships take out the targets. In this scenario, there is clear justification for less expensive and hard to build aviation ships, correct? Then you could build many more non-aviation ships at lower cost and raise your fleet numbers. We see these Cold War era specifications we put on frigates and corvettes making them increasingly cost prohibitive (i.e. we get fewer ships) as an unnecessary burden.

    As I often compare the war on piracy with the war on terror on land, more boots on the ground, using aviation as a force enhancer, but not a substitute. We have the best planes and tanks and even new UAVs but they are still crying for more troops. And more boots on the ground also means more hulls on the water are required.

    New land strategies eventually makes its way to the sea. History comes full circle, but no one is saying these things you guys are saying, even as their fleets are vanishing before them.

  11. B.Smitty permalink
    November 7, 2009 4:04 pm

    Well put Chuck.

    However a ship capable of operating fixed wing aircraft like OV-10s, Harriers or F-35Bs could cover a much larger area.

    Of course land-based MPAs could perform the same mission, perhaps cheaper, assuming you have local basing rights.

  12. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 7, 2009 2:31 pm

    When you look at the task of maintaining a blockade and you compare a homogeneous fleet of helicopter equipped frigate sized ships like the LCS or the new National Security Cutter, with a fleet consisting of small units without helicopters supported by a smaller number of aviation capable ships which supply helicopters for recon, the density of traffic of interest, the possible speed of that traffic, and the endurance and speed of the helos become important determinates of what is the best solution. The sweep width of the helo’s search, the transit speed of the target of interest, and the desired probability of detection determine the maximum width of the search area. The Farther the helo has to go to get to the search area the less on scene time it has and the smaller its search area.

    What is optimum depends on a lot of variable. At some point there is simply no point in adding more helos because the area near the mother ship is already being searched and the helos have inadequate endurance to extend the width of their search area, it would be better to have a larger number of helo platforms, each with fewer helos.

    As the the traffic density increases there is more justification for the small vessels being directed to their targets by the mother ships helos, but if the traffic density is low, then the ship that supplies the helo may be able to handle all the boardings, particularly if it has a boat like the Coast Guard’s long range interceptor:

    http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/boats/features.asp

    There isn’t just one best answer, it’s very scenario dependent.

  13. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 7, 2009 5:25 am

    With a mothership, you don’t need LCS. Using more smaller warships gives you a greater footprint, as you say. What they lack in capability (there’s not much requirement for coastal patrol), the mothership would make up for, even aviation facilities.

    Some would say “if you lose your mothership, your whole squadron is useless”, but don’t we risk this with giant aircraft carriers all the time? That would certainly be a great loss compared to a 10,000 ton LHD.

  14. Aaron permalink
    November 7, 2009 2:11 am

    exactly. a mothership running a large number of smaller craft.
    I think the m craft might be good for ASW using an active array and doing sweeps with multiple units.
    anti-mine warfare working a string of anti mine drones.
    operating special forces.
    yes, a small lhd.
    would you rather send a bunch of stilletos on a coastal patrol or a single, much larger LCS? 4 stilletos can have a much larger patrol footprint while putting substantially fewer sailors at risk. a couple of guided missiles can f–k up any larger ship.

  15. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 6, 2009 8:32 pm

    Aaron, what you have here is a mothership! Or a small LHD.

  16. Aaron permalink
    November 6, 2009 6:31 pm

    My suggestion for the LCS- ditch the current versions and make new ones as follows:
    around 10,000 tons,
    slightly better then mercantile standard of construction but not full Ship of the line
    flush deck heli carrier in design,
    oversized well deck.
    CIWS- with
    multiple 50 cal stations around
    8-16 anti ship/land attack missiles
    some short to medium range anti air missiles.
    limited radar set
    command center for local operations
    craft load out-
    4 medium lift helicopters- blackhawks for transport
    2-4 attack helis- ah64 or super cobras
    small coin aircraft- 2-4 such as ov-10 bronco’s for surveilance/ground attack
    multiple types airborne UAV
    2 LCAC-
    2-4 stilleto M-craft with remote weapon system of 20mm stabilized canon plus tow launcher and 2-8 tow missiles.
    multiple ribs.
    a bunch of those unmaned sea based RIBS with RWS.
    vehicle deck with 20 hmmv’s, 2-4 abrams, 10 pcs construction equipment/bulldozers, cranes, front loaders.
    30-100 troops/marines on board for boarding/antipiracy.
    cost 300-500 million each.
    The goal is not to have a ship that engages but instead is the center of an offshore network of smaller craft. operate maybe 25-100 miles offshore.
    ideal off somalia, disaster relief, humanitarian missions, port visits.
    estimated 30 days plus on station without resupply.

  17. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 6, 2009 6:03 am

    Smitty said “Not sure where you get the idea that I was ever enthusiastic about the LCS.”

    Scott may have meant yours truly. I was a staunch defender from the beginning, seeing it as the only USN ship coming in under $1 billion each, the only hope to rebuild ship numbers. Then all the troubles and setbacks and price increases came and sanity quickly returned.

    The USN as currently configured is on a death spiral. It has some good points but the failure to come to terms with shipbuilding costs and construction flaws tells me it is ignoring the problem. The current CNO is obsessed with social issues, so he too is ignoring the dramatic concerns facing the fleet in this new century.

    I thought the LCS offered hope, but now I see only drastic, dramatic change occurring. It may come about only through war, as happened with the Army and Air Force. I hope not, but we could do worse in studying the problem of piracy and trying to eliminate this current outbreak. Asymmetric warfare at sea in all its forms (ASW, anti-mine, anti-small baot) and this would be the antidote for shrinking operating forces, over-worked crews and worn out ships, plus the continued decline in our shipbuilding capacity and expertise. Many more, lower cost hulls in the water and a new doctrine for their use. Problem solved.

    Al L said “We also must be able to do COIN, hybrid warfare, first world weapons proliferation, piracy, “nipping it in the bud” and etc., etc.”

    I am against the idea that individual warship must do every mission possible at sea, and nothing well. This is why we have dramatic rise in costs and reduced force fleet numbers. It is better to have a good vessels available when needed than a “perfect” one constantly in port for repairs. The LCS is a perfect example of over-engineering, and add to this list the LPD-17 class, the DDG-1000, heck all of them. Built for peacetime cruising, with every attempt to economize over a ship’s lifetime rather than building one meant to fight. That last reason is a warship’s only reason for existence and should be priority #1 over savings.

  18. Scott B. permalink
    November 6, 2009 2:12 am

    B. Smitty said : “I have no problem spending millions to review a struggling program

    A struggling program ? We’ve past that stage loooong ago.

    Let’s call a spade a spade : LCS is a failed program, as far as the seaframes are concerned.

    And there’s no need to spend millions to kill this failed program : the stroke of the pen will do !!!

    The little crappy ship MUST die : the sooner, the better.

  19. Al L. permalink
    November 6, 2009 1:32 am

    Mike B.:
    “Oh sure, but back then, nearly a decade, piracy wasn’t seen as much of a threat. I insist that a 1000 ton warship is better used for COIN, even if it was built to fight the conventional Chinese military, than a 10,000 ton guided missile destroyer or 50,000 ton helicopter carrier.

    I understand the difference between COIN and asymmetrical warfare, only the contrast is starting to blur when your insurgents get their hands on First World weapons. The fallout of not nipping it in the bud. Unless we grapple this problem of piracy soon, we may see this phenomena of Hybrid Warfare spread to the high seas.”

    1. Your post is not about why a 10k ton or 50k ton ship is bad it’s about a 2800-3400 ton ship called LCS. I agree 10000+ ton ships are not the sole solution to COIN, asymmetrical warfare, hybrid warfare, first world weapons proliferation, piracy or “nipping it in the bud” but I don’t see how your arguments support a 1000 ton vessel over a 2000 ton or 5000 ton or 500 ton vessel.

    2. Perhaps LCS evolved from Streetfighter because somewhere along the line someone said “fighting China one on one is a small part of what we must consider. We also must be able to do COIN, hybrid warfare, first world weapons proliferation, piracy, “nipping it in the bud” and etc., etc.”

    3.The line between COIN and asymmetrical warfare is not starting to blurr. COIN and insurgency are asymmetrical means of warfare by definition.

  20. Al L. permalink
    November 6, 2009 12:52 am

    Navark:
    “The specs for the Sea Stallion list a max. takeoff weight of 19,100kg, or 22% heavier than a Merlin and 79% heavier than a Seahawk.

    Btw, even using your figures, the Merlin is 46% heavier than the Seahawk…”

    Your wiki reference is for the CH-53D. It’s in limited use by the USMC and soon to be retired and replaced by the MV-22. The Marines will soon operate only E models and will replace them with the 84700lb K model.The Navy only operates MH-53E(similar to CH-53E) and will soon can them. The stats for the D model are irrelevant for future ship capabilities.

    You need to check your math. The 22% and 79% are close but 46% is off.

  21. B.Smitty permalink
    November 5, 2009 10:26 pm

    Scott B said, “There’s no need to spend millions of $$$ and many more years to re-invent the wheel.

    I have no problem spending millions to review a struggling program that will eventually cost tens of billions and last decades.

  22. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 6:19 pm

    B. Smitty said : “Now obviously, the Absalon […] would cost significantly more than an LCS to buy and operate. “

    Obviously, an Absalon DOESN’T cost more than an LCS to buy and operate.

    This is the kind of fallacy that you’d hear from pro-LCS hardcore supporters like Mr. Raymond Pritchett.

    Which may be one of the reasons why I was under the impression that you were a pro-LCS enthusiast, at least in the early days of this failed program (i.e. where rosy-colored PPT were flying all over the place and it was supposed to be a *cheap truck* or whatever the spin doctors es-Transformation might have called it at the time).

    If that’s not the case, then accept my apologies.

  23. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 5:53 pm

    B. Smitty said : “At the end of the review, we may still picking Absalon or something like it, but I think we need to do the intellectual leg work to get from here to there.”

    There’s no need to spend millions of $$$ and many more years to re-invent the wheel.

    What’s wrong with LCS is pretty obvious :

    1) Prohibitive cost;

    2) Extravagant sprint speed;

    3) Skeleton manning;

    4) Inadequate survivability;

    5) Insufficient on-board capabilities;

    Injecting an Absalon derivative into the equation solves all the above and preserves whatever made sense (and continues to make sense) in the LCS program : that sounds like a decently reasoned plan in my books.

    But perhaps it’s just me…

    Or perhaps you need more time to think about it…

  24. B.Smitty permalink
    November 5, 2009 5:50 pm

    Scott B, “I understand you were very enthusiastic about LCS at the beginning of the program and must be very disappointing by this failed program, but trying to reinvent the wheel as you seem to suggest is definitely NOT the best path to stop the train wreck…

    Not sure where you get the idea that I was ever enthusiastic about the LCS.

    http://www.strategypage.com/militaryforums/8-9952.aspx#Reply1_commentDataList_ctl16_LinkButton1

    That’s from 2006.

    If you Google on “B.Smitty LCS” you’ll find a lot of posts on various boards and blogs criticizing the same LCS issues you have mentioned over the years.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1C1GGLS_enUS291US305&q=B.Smitty+LCS+&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

  25. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 5, 2009 5:46 pm

    Scott B., When prices are quoted we often don’t know what is included.

    Even considering weapons costs which are different for each ship anyway. the Absalon was a bargain and I generally agree with the “think big,” steel and air are cheap approach.

  26. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 5:40 pm

    Chuck Hill said : “The discussion was part of this thread:”

    With the exception of one guy making undocumented and largely fallacious claims in a discussion on an internet forum, I still don’t see what might support your claim that “a lot of her weapons and sensors were recycled from older ships so were “free.””

  27. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 5:35 pm

    B. Smitty said : “If we are going to start ignoring requirements we don’t like,”

    It’s not a matter of like or dislike. The question is whether the requirements make sense / are reasonable or not.

    From there, my point is that :

    1) Speed : nobody ever came up with a justification for the extravagant sprint speed requirement, and in fact, the USN conceded many times that it was not needed for ASW and MIW.

    2) Manning : the skeleton crew was not realistic from Day 1, and numerous analyses have shown that a crew of at least 90-100 was needed (I posted the numbers and references over at Mr. Raymond Pritchett’s place many times, but it’s a complete mess over there right now, so I can’t find the posts).

    Otherwise, an Absalon is likely to meet (or exceed) all other requirements and doesn’t cost an extravagant $650-700 million per seaframe.

    In my books, an Absalon is the best way to avoid throwing the baby (i.e. requirements, missions, needs) with the bath water (i.e. LCS abject failure on the seaframe side).

    I understand you were very enthusiastic about LCS at the beginning of the program and must be very disappointing by this failed program, but trying to reinvent the wheel as you seem to suggest is definitely NOT the best path to stop the train wreck…

  28. B.Smitty permalink
    November 5, 2009 5:25 pm

    Scott B,

    I still think a thorough review of the LCS concept and requirements is due in light of our change in strategy and lessons learned with the LCS program. Just plugging in an existing foreign design that both greatly exceeds the LCS requirements in some areas and fails them in others doesn’t seem like a well reasoned plan.

    At the end of the review, we may still picking Absalon or something like it, but I think we need to do the intellectual leg work to get from here to there.

  29. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 5, 2009 5:22 pm

    2009 November 5,
    Scott B.

    “Chuck Hill said : “I did learn at least part of why the Absalon was so inexpensive. A lot of her weapons and sensors were recycled from older ships so were “free.””

    “I’d like to see your sources for that claim.”

    The discussion was part of this thread:

    http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.com/topic/1405/t/SMART-S-Mk2-now-installed-on-HDMS-ABSALON.html?page=1

  30. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 5:15 pm

    Chuck Hill said : “Thought you might be interested in this if you haven’t seen it yet.”

    1) Thanks for the link.

    2) Yes, I have seen it already.

    3) This is an article on the Ivar Huitfeldt-class.

    4) It doesn’t support your earlier suggestion that “a lot of her weapons and sensors were recycled from older ships”.

  31. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 5:12 pm

    B. Smitty said : “Plus draft and lack of module integration.”

    1) Absalon has a draft of 21 feet at full displacement. The LCS threshold is 20 feet. I can live with the 1 foot difference, but maybe it’s just me.

    2) Using an Absalon as the seaframe, module integration would largely be a matter of software and as such shouldn’t have much impact in terms of recurring costs (if any at all).

  32. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 5, 2009 5:12 pm

    Scott B.,

    Thought you might be interested in this if you haven;t seen it yet.

    http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.com/topic/6465/t/Interesting-article-about-the-new-danish-frigates.html

  33. B.Smitty permalink
    November 5, 2009 5:02 pm

    Scott B said, “There are requirements for the LCS program, and Absalon is likely to meet (or exceed) all of them.

    With the notable exception of the extravagant sprint speed and skeleton crew of course…

    Plus draft and lack of module integration.

    If we are going to start ignoring requirements we don’t like, why not just take a step back and reevaluate the whole LCS concept in light of CS21 and what we’ve learned from LCS-1 and 2?

    That may drive us in a completely different direction.

  34. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 4:39 pm

    B. Smitty said : “Of course the problem is here, there are NO real USN requirements for an Absalon like vessel, so I am just speculating on what might be possible.”

    There are requirements for the LCS program, and Absalon is likely to meet (or exceed) all of them.

    With the notable exception of the extravagant sprint speed and skeleton crew of course…

    And an Absalon doesn’t cost $650-700M per hull (without the modules)…

  35. B.Smitty permalink
    November 5, 2009 4:31 pm

    Scott B said, “It seems to me that you’re just pulling some imaginary requirement out of nowhere (just like with this need to save weight).

    Yes, I am. Of course the problem is here, there are NO real USN requirements for an Absalon like vessel, so I am just speculating on what might be possible.

  36. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 4:30 pm

    B. Smitty said : “Having the potential to carry two H-60s means one will be available more often. Carrying Fire Scouts seems useful regardless of the number of helos.”

    Why just 2 H-60s and not three, or four or five ?

    Why just 3 Fire Scouts and not 10 or 20 ?

    It seems to me that you’re just pulling some imaginary requirement out of nowhere (just like with this need to save weight).

    Rule #2 : Better is the enemy of good enough

  37. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 4:27 pm

    B. Smitty said : “Having the potential to carry two H-60s means one will be available more often. Carrying Fire Scouts seems useful regardless of the number of helos.”

    Why just 2 H-60s and not three, or four or five ?

    Why just 3 Fire Scouts and not 10 or 20 ?

    It seems to me that you’re just pulling some imaginary requirement out of nowhere (just like with this need to save weight).

  38. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 4:23 pm

    B. Smitty said : “Of course if you just want to fly the standard LCS load of 1xH-60 and 3xFire Scouts, you’re no worse off than they are going with Absalon.”

    Why would you need more ? The *more is better* philosophy is what’s killing the Navy.

    Rule #1 : Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken !!!

  39. B.Smitty permalink
    November 5, 2009 4:17 pm

    Scott B said, “Why would it need to carry 2 x H-60s and 3 x Fire Scouts exactly ?”

    Having the potential to carry two H-60s means one will be available more often. Carrying Fire Scouts seems useful regardless of the number of helos.

  40. B.Smitty permalink
    November 5, 2009 4:16 pm

    Scott B said, “Why would you want to save weight ?

    Why would you need two landing spots ?

    You may not need to save weight. I’m giving it as an example of a potential change the USN might want to make.

    I have to imagine having five aircraft (2xH-60s and 3xFire Scouts) competing for one spot would be inefficient.

    Of course if you just want to fly the standard LCS load of 1xH-60 and 3xFire Scouts, you’re no worse off than they are going with Absalon.

  41. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 4:10 pm

    B. Smitty said : “Or shrinking the hangar to save weight. Or lengthening the design to provide two landing spots.”

    Why would you want to save weight ?

    Why would you need two landing spots ?

  42. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 4:09 pm

    B. Smitty said : “Carrying 2 x H-60s and 3 x Fire Scouts might be.”

    Why would it need to carry 2 x H-60s and 3 x Fire Scouts exactly ?

  43. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 4:07 pm

    Chuck Hill said : “I did learn at least part of why the Absalon was so inexpensive. A lot of her weapons and sensors were recycled from older ships so were “free.””

    I’d like to see your sources for that claim.

  44. B.Smitty permalink
    November 5, 2009 4:05 pm

    Scott B said, “Qualifying H-60 and/or Fire Scouts on an Absalon would NOT be a design change.

    Carrying 2 x H-60s and 3 x Fire Scouts might be. Or shrinking the hangar to save weight. Or lengthening the design to provide two landing spots.

  45. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 3:53 pm

    B. Smitty said : “A pair of H-60s plus Fire Scouts is an example of a design change the USN might want.”

    Qualifying H-60 and/or Fire Scouts on an Absalon would NOT be a design change.

  46. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 5, 2009 3:44 pm

    I did learn at least part of why the Absalon was so inexpensive. A lot of her weapons and sensors were recycled from older ships so were “free.”

  47. B.Smitty permalink
    November 5, 2009 3:43 pm

    A pair of H-60s plus Fire Scouts is an example of a design change the USN might want.

    I’m sure we could come up with many others.

    Of course operating five aircraft from one spot may be a challenge. Alternatively, they could shrink the hangar, enlarge the flight deck and save some weight. Or lengthen the design.

    Larger is better, but is 6,000 tonnes the right size? Why not 12,000? Or 20,000? A larger vessel could be double- or triple-hulled and have more usable payload space and weight.

    Or maybe we should be looking at foreign LPD designs.

    Adding ESSM to an Enforcer variant shouldn’t be too hard. Rotterdam can carry 6 H-60-sized helos with two spots. A full well deck would let you carry larger or more numerous MCM or patrol craft. And one could easily carry a reinforced Marine company without resorting to flex deck container berthing.

    It may not be as fast or have the same level of signature reduction as an Absalon, but for MCM and littoral anti-small boat warfare, I have to think the extra helos and boats would be more valuable.

  48. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 2:05 pm

    B. Smitty said : “Since the USN doesn’t operate the EH101 or CH-47D, this is an example of a feature they may wish to modify. Can it operate 2 x H-60s plus 3 x Fire Scouts instead? How much would it take to strengthen the flight deck to handle an H-53? V-22?”

    1) AFAIK, H-60 has not yet been qualified on Absalon. Neither has Fire Scout obviously.

    2) Absalon’s hangar is much bigger than LCS-2’s (~495 square meters for the former vs ~350 square meters for the latter).

    3) V-22 on Absalon is probably a non-starter for a variety of reason. I’ll have to dig up the details regarding H-53.

    4) Because the USN doesn’t operate H-47 doesn’t mean that H-47 don’t operate from USN ships : MH-47 on USS Wasp, August 2005

  49. Hudson permalink
    November 5, 2009 1:50 pm

    The Absalon and its attendant frigate class, Ivar Huitfeldt, are not motherships unless your idea of a m-ship comes from sci fi and those monsterous star ships with photon torpedos and the like. It’s a powerful frigate with Harpoon and ESSM though not TLAM.

    Let’s face it, short of a national campaign featuring Tom Hanks in naval uniform pleading before Congress, the LCS program will go forward with one of the two designs though probably not both. My guess is that LCS-1 will make the cut. The Navy will jump through whatever hoops are necessary to keep the program alive. If Congress kills it, the Navy will need two new designs, or to import existing designs like MEKO or Absalon for the frigate, and a new class of minesweeper, and I very much doubt that will happen.

    Yes, smaller in-shore vessels are needed and ships in the 2000t+ variety, as we often discuss. My fantasy close-in boat would have twin 40mm DARDO and twin 120mm mortars, plus stern launch for rigid inflatables and Trophy to protect against anti-tank missiles fired from shore, plus assorted .50 caliber mounts. I’ll sell you one cheap.

  50. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 1:37 pm

    Navark said : “Do you think a smaller vessel is also necessary and if so, what would it look like?”

    Smaller specialized vessels might remain necessary for MCM.

    Otherwise, helicopters, boats (e.g. the SRC-90E, two of which can be carried in an ABSALON in addition to the usual RHIBs) and UxVs will do the job.

    IOW, there’s absolutely NO need for the mythical 1,000-ton corvette, which is yet another ÜBER-EXQUISITE solution looking for a problem.

  51. B.Smitty permalink
    November 5, 2009 1:33 pm

    Scott B said, “BTW, did I ever mention that an ABSALON can accommodate two EH101 helicopters in the hangar and that the 850 m²flight deck was rated for take-off and landings of helicopters up to 20 tons such as the CH-47D Chinook ?

    Since the USN doesn’t operate the EH101 or CH-47D, this is an example of a feature they may wish to modify. Can it operate 2 x H-60s plus 3 x Fire Scouts instead? How much would it take to strengthen the flight deck to handle an H-53? V-22?

  52. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 5, 2009 12:53 pm

    Absalon sounds like a good ship and effective for some missions, but we don’t need an all-mothership navy anymore than an all-battleship navy. Where does the flotilla come in, those essential escorts vessels which can venture in harms way close to shore, so important in all our wars? The world wonders.

  53. navark permalink
    November 5, 2009 12:40 pm

    Scott B., you make a convincing argument for an Absalon type vessel.

    But doesn’t building these 6000t+ motherships still leave a gaping hole at the small end? Do you think a smaller vessel is also necessary and if so, what would it look like?

  54. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 12:19 pm

    Chuck Hill said : “The wildly different weights quoted for CH-53s is because there are actually two different airframes designated CH-53, the first a two engine, and the second a much larger three engine helicopter.”

    Of course, you won’t see an H-53 on LCS-2 any time soon…

    BTW, did I ever mention that an ABSALON can accommodate two EH101 helicopters in the hangar and that the 850 m²flight deck was rated for take-off and landings of helicopters up to 20 tons such as the CH-47D Chinook ?

  55. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 12:12 pm

    B. Smitty said : “If it results in two completely different sets of sensors and combat systems, and we decide to procure both ships simultaneously over the life of the program, then I think it’s a Navy requirements problem.”

    In that case, the requirement is wrong, or more specifically, the entire program philosophy is wrong. But, we already know that, don’t we ?

    Of course, once you drop both LCS designs in favor of one Station Wagon Frigate that costs MUCH LESS and can do MUCH MORE (except parading at high speed and guzzling gas), the problem disappears…

    BRING ON THE STATION WAGON !!!

  56. Chuck Hill permalink
    November 5, 2009 12:08 pm

    The wildly different weights quoted for CH-53s is because there are actually two different airframes designated CH-53, the first a two engine, and the second a much larger three engine helicopter.

    You have to refer to a specific model. Think all the ones in service now are the three engine models.

  57. B.Smitty permalink
    November 5, 2009 12:04 pm

    Scott B said, “As long as the contractors’ choice meet the USN requirements and fit within the budget allocated, I don’t see why it would be a problem.

    If it results in two completely different sets of sensors and combat systems, and we decide to procure both ships simultaneously over the life of the program, then I think it’s a Navy requirements problem.

  58. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 11:58 am

    B. Smitty said : “Doesn’t seem like the right way to do it, IMHO.”

    As long as the contractors’ choice meet the USN requirements and fit within the budget allocated, I don’t see why it would be a problem.

  59. B.Smitty permalink
    November 5, 2009 11:48 am

    Scott B said, “However, you did not answer the question I asked. So I’ll ask again : what are the sensors / electronics systems that the USN picked in either LCS designs ?

    Not sure, but my guess is the contractors picked the systems, with guidance and performance requirements from the USN.

    Doesn’t seem like the right way to do it, IMHO.

  60. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 11:39 am

    B. Smitty said : “Do we want to use the LCS as an example of how to run a program?”

    Certainly not.

    However, you did not answer the question I asked. So I’ll ask again : what are the sensors / electronics systems that the USN picked in either LCS designs ?

  61. B.Smitty permalink
    November 5, 2009 11:32 am

    Scott B, “And the sensors / electronics systems that the USN picked in either LCS designs are ?

    Do we want to use the LCS as an example of how to run a program?

  62. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 11:29 am

    B. Smitty said : “I just think the USN will want to pick WHICH foreign systems they use, if any.”

    And the sensors / electronics systems that the USN picked in either LCS designs are ?

  63. B.Smitty permalink
    November 5, 2009 11:19 am

    Scott B said, “1) So it’s fine to have two different sensors suite for the current LCS design (or one after downselect), but it becomes a problem as soon as you replace LCS with Absalon ?

    No it’s not fine. That was my point. We should have had a short list of components going in (as Lee said).

    Scott B said, “3) Again, the Mark-92 FCS on the Perrys was a development of the WM series from Signaal. Northrop’s ICMS (on the GD design) is a derivative of TACTICOS. The TRS/3D-16 fitted to LCS-1 is a vanilla TRS-3D/16, and the Sea Giraffe AMB fitted to LCS-2 is a vanilla Sea Giraffe AMB. But it again becomes a problem as soon as you replace LCS with Absalon ?

    I don’t have a problem using foreign systems. I just think the USN will want to pick WHICH foreign systems they use, if any. After all, they have to operate these ships for 30+ years.

  64. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 10:21 am

    leesea said : “Wild card: a completely different ship design could be allowed to be? i.e. Incat (ugh) or Austal cat especially IF they lower the speed rqmts? Sounds like another dumb plan to me?”

    Sounds like more taxpayers $$$ down the drain, on yet another exquisite HSV design that will eventually fail to deliver…

  65. leesea permalink
    November 5, 2009 10:03 am

    As should be obvious to all, its the various sensor systems which can drive up the costs of building warships. While the Navy has more of less standardized the weapons systems (some were specified for LCS), it has NOT limited the number of sensor systems and probably the ship components in the LCS designs. All those mulitiple, redundant and new systems cost more money in terms of engieering into ship, ILS/logsitic support, crew training etc.

    While I am not for going back to the old NAVSHIPS NSTM model, the Navy could have decided on a short list upfront to help bring down LCS and other ship program costs. Oh wait a minute, was LCS a performance contract?? Gee you roll the dice and look what you got!

    It will be very interesting to see IF the Navy specs different systems or components in the “next-gen” RFP? It would be even more interesting since the Navy will put out an RFP BEFORE OT&E has been sompleted on those systems on LCS-1 & 2!

    Wild card: a completely different ship design could be allowed to be? i.e. Incat (ugh) or Austal cat especially IF they lower the speed rqmts?

    Sounds like another dumb plan to me?

  66. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 9:57 am

    Re: B. Smitty’s answer

    I don’t understand your logic :

    1) So it’s fine to have two different sensors suite for the current LCS design (or one after downselect), but it becomes a problem as soon as you replace LCS with Absalon ?

    2) Same as 1) above. It’s fine to have people trained on TRS-3D/16 and/or Sea Giraffe AMB but it becomes a problem as soon as you replace LCS with Absalon ?

    3) Again, the Mark-92 FCS on the Perrys was a development of the WM series from Signaal. Northrop’s ICMS (on the GD design) is a derivative of TACTICOS. The TRS/3D-16 fitted to LCS-1 is a vanilla TRS-3D/16, and the Sea Giraffe AMB fitted to LCS-2 is a vanilla Sea Giraffe AMB. But it again becomes a problem as soon as you replace LCS with Absalon ?

  67. B.Smitty permalink
    November 5, 2009 9:49 am

    B.Smitty said, “Given that the sensors / electronic systems on the Absalons are (at least) as good (if not better) than what’s fitted to the existing LCS designs, it’s not clear why you think *they* would demand changes.

    1. To minimize the overall number of systems under development. Choosing two different combat systems for LCS-1 and 2 (if we intend to produce both) is a mistake IMHO. Every time you want to add a capability to the LCS program, you have to pay to add it to both combat systems. Pick one, and run with it.

    2. To minimize crew training. I’m sure operating TRS-3D is not the same as operating Sea Giraffe AMB or SMART-S or SPS-48E. The Navy “understands” SPS-48E. It is already in the fleet and has a spares, support and training pipeline in place. SMART-S doesn’t. Same goes for the other non-USN standard systems mentioned on Absalon.

    3. Danish requirements are not USN requirements. “Flexible Support Ships” are not “Littoral Combat Ships”. The requirements may be similar enough to use the Absalon as a starting point, but I have a feeling the USN would want to put their own stamp on anything they have to operate for 30+ years.

  68. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 9:32 am

    Mike Burleson said : “Here are two actions AEW cannot do once it has discovered an attacker, and they are important to a fleet: #1-Draw the enemy away from the main fleet.”

    No offense intended, but again, you fail to understand what picket radars are for.

    1) Radar pickets are NOT some sort of buffer or slack meant to absord the first waves of enemy attacks, as you seem to suggest.

    2) Radar pickets, in the absence of AEW, are the eyes of the Fleet, and as such are often a primary target by themselves, especially in a picture-centric warfare.

  69. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 9:22 am

    B. Smitty said : “My point wasn’t specifically which systems the Navy would want, just that they would likely demand changes to the Absalon’s combat systems, which would drive up prices.”

    Given that the sensors / electronic systems on the Absalons are (at least) as good (if not better) than what’s fitted to the existing LCS designs, it’s not clear why you think *they* would demand changes.

  70. B.Smitty permalink
    November 5, 2009 9:12 am

    Mike said, “Anonymous-Here are two actions AEW cannot do once it has discovered an attacker, and they are important to a fleet:

    #1-Draw the enemy away from the main fleet.
    #2-Shoot down the attackers.

    Actually that’s not entirely true. AEW, as you say, can vector CAPs to disrupt and destroy inbound raids. Plus E-2D with CEC will be able to guide ship-launched SM-6s.

    As far as drawing enemies away from the main fleet, AEWs are prime targets, so you can bet an enemy worth its salt will be gunning for them. Plus, AEWs don’t have to orbit directly over their carriers. They can be hundreds of miles away on a different vector to confuse the enemy’s targeting picture.

  71. B.Smitty permalink
    November 5, 2009 9:06 am

    Scott B said, “1) 3D radar : any of the existing LCS designs using SPS-48E ? Nope. LCS-1 has TRS-3D/16, LCS-2 has Sea Giraffe AMB.

    2) ESM : any of the existing LCS designs using SLQ-32 ? Nope.LCS-1 has WBR-2000 ESM, LCS-2 has EDO ES-3601.

    3) Decoys : LCS-1 uses SKWS / SRBOC launching system from Terma of Denmark, much like ABSALON and her near-sisters.

    4) CMS :

    a/ SSDS has no capabilities whatsoever in terms of ASW or MIW.

    b/ COMBATSS-21 is a derivative of AEGIS, which has no capabilities whatsoever in terms of ASW or MIW.

    c/ OTOH, C-Flex was designed with the experience accumulated on the SF-300, including ASW and MIW.

    d/ And it’s not like the US Navy will never adopt a CMS made in Europe : the Mark-92 FCS used on the Perrys is a derivative of the WM series developped by Signaal (now Thales), and the ICMS (Integrated Combat Management System) used on LCS-2 is a derivative of the TACTICOS CMS made by Thales.

    My point wasn’t specifically which systems the Navy would want, just that they would likely demand changes to the Absalon’s combat systems, which would drive up prices.

  72. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 5, 2009 7:20 am

    Anonymous-Here are two actions AEW cannot do once it has discovered an attacker, and they are important to a fleet:

    #1-Draw the enemy away from the main fleet.
    #2-Shoot down the attackers.

    This the importance of the picket line off Okinawa and the Falklands. Without destroyers and escorts to impede their attack, your carriers and support ships will bear the brunt. Something we also know, that no matter how good your CAP, some of the enemy will get through. Without pickets, a greater number of the enemy will get through. Also, the Kamikazes normally attacked the first warship it saw, and the missiles can be equally distracted.

    Aircraft certainly are an asset to surface ships, but never should be seen as substitute.

  73. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 5, 2009 6:42 am

    Al L wrote “Streetfighter was a narrowly focused concept. It had nothing to do with COIN and everything to do with using an asymmetric strategy in a STATE ON STATE conflict. ”

    Oh sure, but back then, nearly a decade, piracy wasn’t seen as much of a threat. I insist that a 1000 ton warship is better used for COIN, even if it was built to fight the conventional Chinese military, than a 10,000 ton guided missile destroyer or 50,000 ton helicopter carrier.

    I understand the difference between COIN and asymmetrical warfare, only the contrast is starting to blur when your insurgents get their hands on First World weapons. The fallout of not nipping it in the bud. Unless we grapple this problem of piracy soon, we may see this phenomena of Hybrid Warfare spread to the high seas.

  74. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 4:31 am

    Mike Burleson said : “But I don’t think a giant 6000 ton warship should be in the littorals with so many missile, mine, and small boats threats.”

    What makes you think the 2,000- ton mythical corvette you seem to be proposing will perform so well in the littorals ?

    E.g. remember what Bill explained back in July 2009 :

    **********************************************************************
    B. Smitty asked : “I have to wonder though, how many places Freedom can go at 3.7m draft that an F125 can’t go at 5m draft.”

    Bill replied : “Not many. The simple fact of the matter is that waterjet propulsion still requires a considerable amount of draft below the keel (more corectly, the jet intakes) or big trouble ensues. This is particularly true if you need to maintain the ability to back down or conduct low-speed maneuvers; in that case the reverse bucket flow looks and acts exactly like one of Mel Fisher’s salavage boats..everything/anything on the bottom…as much as 3-4m BELOW the keel..gets nicely ‘recovered and filtered’ through the intake for future removal by a diving crew (with that propulsion line tagged out, of course.

    I can personally tell ya how long it takes a team to extract a steel-belted radial tire from a 63SII KaMeWa (4.5 hours) ..oh..and a Persian carpet too (2.5 hours). The load of large (4″-8″ diameter) rocks we picked up in Pusan..we didn’t bother to remove since the impeller was trashed.

    Intake grates kill jet performance and are seldom employed on any jet vessels designed and built by the ‘competent guys’ (e.g. thems not here in US) but even with intake grates, the jet impeller erosion and damage is till great when using buckets in ’shallowish’ water conditions.

    **********************************************************************

  75. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 4:13 am

    leesea said : “navark what do you think of Austal’s MRV or MRC concept? A smaller tri with helo deck, boat davits and quarter ramp.”

    Two words :

    1) Aluminium

    2) Exquisite

    Nuff’ said…

  76. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 4:07 am

    Mike Burleson said : “I won’t argue with you over a few hundred tons here or there.”

    That’s exactly what Cebrowski and his folks used to respond when they were told that what they wanted wouldn’t fit on a 600-ton ship. And that’s how we ended up with the 3,000-ton LCS.

    Again, you’re merely trying to rerun the exact same software that led to the LCS debacle, and you’re hoping that merely re-booting the system will make all the bugs disappear. It won’t !!!

    What’s needed is a new software : THINK BIG, not small !!!

  77. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 4:01 am

    B. Smitty said : “The USN would likely ask for many changes to the Absalon design to conform with existing practices and systems. (e.g. SPS-48E instead of SMART-S, SSDS/COMBATSS-21 instead of C-Flex, SRBOC/Nulka instead of Terma, AN/SLQ-32 instead of ES 3701, ramp boat launch/recover instead of crane).”

    1) 3D radar : any of the existing LCS designs using SPS-48E ? Nope. LCS-1 has TRS-3D/16, LCS-2 has Sea Giraffe AMB.

    2) ESM : any of the existing LCS designs using SLQ-32 ? Nope.LCS-1 has WBR-2000 ESM, LCS-2 has EDO ES-3601.

    3) Decoys : LCS-1 uses SKWS / SRBOC launching system from Terma of Denmark, much like ABSALON and her near-sisters.

    4) CMS :

    a/ SSDS has no capabilities whatsoever in terms of ASW or MIW.

    b/ COMBATSS-21 is a derivative of AEGIS, which has no capabilities whatsoever in terms of ASW or MIW.

    c/ OTOH, C-Flex was designed with the experience accumulated on the SF-300, including ASW and MIW.

    d/ And it’s not like the US Navy will never adopt a CMS made in Europe : the Mark-92 FCS used on the Perrys is a derivative of the WM series developped by Signaal (now Thales), and the ICMS (Integrated Combat Management System) used on LCS-2 is a derivative of the TACTICOS CMS made by Thales.

    At the risk of repeating myself once again : don’t fix it if it ain’t broken

    And THINK BIG, not small.

  78. Scott B. permalink
    November 5, 2009 3:25 am

    Mike Burleson said : “And Scott, the reason the pirates are expanding their operating radius, is because we have no real littoral ships,”

    The reason pirates are expanding their operating radius is because juicy targets are hundreds of miles away from the coast lines, and NOT in the littorals off Somalia !!!

  79. Anonymous permalink
    November 5, 2009 3:17 am

    Mike Burleson said : “Scott-Concerning the lack of light picket warships within the fleet, those ships were there to defend the bigger ships, to blunt the waves of Kamikaze attacks”

    You fail to understand what picket radars are for, so at the risk of repeating myself once again, allow me to repost what I’ve already explained back in September 2009 :

    *********************************************************************************
    Here is an important lesson that you’ve not mentioned so far :

    1. The US Navy used picket destroyers off Okinawa in April 1945, because, in the absence of AEW, it was the only way to cut reaction time by extending radar horizon against low flyers and decentralizing control of CAPs. Note that the picket destroyers were not the vanilla DDs, but were “destroyers with sophisticated radars and enlarged CICs” (Norman Friedman in Net-Centric War, page 59).

    2. Likewise, the Royal Navy had to organize a picket line during the Falklands War because of the lack of AEW, and again, the Royal Navy had to assign the most advanced AAW destroyers (the Type 42) to the picket line.

    No AEW means that you need radar pickets. A warship on a radar picket assignment is pretty much tied to the picket station. Being tied to a picket station means the ship cannot use its mobility to evade threats. An individual ship can be saturated, no matter how sophisticated it is. So you end up building ships for the sole sake of numbers, to raise the saturation threshold at key picket stations and/or cope with attrition. And you start to look for something to sacrify for the sake of numbers…

  80. navark permalink
    November 5, 2009 1:08 am

    Ok Al, I’m certainly not a helo expert – but as you choose wikipedia as your source, please see the link below for alternative figures to those you have presented.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CH-53

    The specs for the Sea Stallion list a max. takeoff weight of 19,100kg, or 22% heavier than a Merlin and 79% heavier than a Seahawk.

    Btw, even using your figures, the Merlin is 46% heavier than the Seahawk…

  81. Al L. permalink
    November 4, 2009 11:18 pm

    I have to pick a bone with a couple of things I read in this thread:

    Mike B. re: Streetfighter:
    “…for the unique craft more suited for COIN at sea…”

    This is a distortion. Streetfighter was a narrowly focused concept. It had nothing to do with COIN and everything to do with using an asymmetric strategy in a STATE ON STATE conflict. It ignored any consideration of non-state or hybrid conflict, as did much of the “transformation” philosophy of the late 90s’ into the the early 2000s’. One of its adherents even managed to keep his job as SecDef for years after it was an obviosly flawed concept. Streetfighter ignored 90% of what the Navy actually does today, for the convenience of focusing on conventional conflict.

    ” hunt down Chinese subs and missile launchers hidden among fishing boats and cargo ships.”

    This is not COIN. This is countering infiltration. Read about Chinese tactics during the Korean war. It is not a strategic consideration it is tactical one.

    Navark:

    “They’re even advertising an EH-101 capable flight deck (Merlin, almost as big as CH-53), stronger than the pricey USN version that’s only certified for SH-60.”

    This is a distortion.

    From Wikipedia EH101 article:
    Max takeoff weight: 15,600 kg (32,188 lb)

    From the Sikorsky data shheets for MH-60s:
    Maximum takeoff gross weight 23,500 lb 10,659 kg

    From the wikipedia CH-53E article
    Max takeoff weight: 73,500 lb (33,300 kg)

    So a CH-53E is 2.28 times the weight of a EH-101 at full load but EH-101 is only 37% heavier than the MH-60s

    An EH-101 is a toy compared to a CH-53E.

  82. Bill permalink
    November 4, 2009 8:36 pm

    It is also interesting..to me, at least,.. to hear (directly) what the Danes and Scandinavian navies nearby think about the use of mission modules in a ‘modular’ warhip design. Very interesting….if LCS follows the Danish experience, whatever module gets installed in any LCS, if any module at all, it will be the most versatile one available or a very focused single-mission module..and will never be changed again, excepting perhaps during routine availability overhauls.

    Hmmm…but I’m sure our approach is easier/better/works, right?

  83. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 4, 2009 8:18 pm

    Thanks DE!

    Scott-Concerning the lack of light picket warships within the fleet, those ships were there to defend the bigger ships, to blunt the waves of Kamikaze attacks and they successfully prevented worse casualties among the carriers, battleships, and cruisers, troops transports. None were lost off Okinawa because of the sacrifices of the tin cans.

    Today, we have the wrong strategy, where we think light vessels must be huddled around the mighty sheltering wings of naval air, or the space age Aegis weapons system. For this false assumption we have no small craft to take the first wave of attacks in the next war at sea, with thousands of precision missiles pointed at our shrinking number of Big Ships. They are now effectively on their own because there are no pickets there.

    This is like the Army saying they don’t need any infantry, just give them all the tanks they can afford. How did the British fair, seeking to protect their shrinking infantry reserves and launching their Sherman’s unsupported in a mechanized Charge of the Light Brigade against the German 88’s in Normandy, 1944? It is not smart and it won’t work.

    I won’t argue with you over a few hundred tons here or there. Those ships back then were good. I think with all our technology we can make a 1000-15000 ton ship even better. The threat as far as chasing pirates and smugglers isn’t as bad as the German U-boats or the Japanese Kamikazes. We need new cruisers, we need them bad and we need them now.

    Scott, I think we agree on some things, that the Navy needs more ships, and they should be affordable ones. Also that low cost doesn’t mean for a ship to be poorly armed. But I don’t think a giant 6000 ton warship should be in the littorals with so many missile, mine, and small boats threats. It would be suicide except it have support and protection for other small craft.

    The original DD’s, the torpedo boats destroyers of 100 years ago owes their very existence for the protection of the battleships from then new small threats like numerous torpedo boats and submarines. The new Greyhounds will be these corvettes and OPV, which are low costs, easy to build, though currently nothing in US frontline service matches this description.

  84. November 4, 2009 7:54 pm

    Mike,

    The shortest of the seven classes of MEKO A-200 frigates built to date was the 110.50 meter MEKO A-200 TN class built for Turkey in 1991. A MEKO design warship of only 90 meters is certainly a MEKO A-100 design. Malaysia and Poland both have MEKO A-100 class corvettes of 91.10 and 95.20 meters length, respectively.

    The report that you’ve referenced has the two classes / types of corvettes versus frigates mixed up. Go to the three links I provided in my earlier posting and you’ll see that this is so.

  85. navark permalink
    November 4, 2009 7:33 pm

    navark what do you think of Austal’s MRV or MRC concept? A smaller tri with helo deck, boat davits and quarter ramp.

    I like the looks of the MRV90, that seems to be their LCS-only-better design as it ticks a lot of the same boxes. The boat launch facilities look far more sensible than the ‘extensible booms’ as used on the LCS. They’re even advertising an EH-101 capable flight deck (Merlin, almost as big as CH-53), stronger than the pricey USN version that’s only certified for SH-60.

    Not sure about the choice of waterjets though, as the ~35kt speed range they’ve chosen is a bit awkward for current propulsors. Maybe use of the RR AWJ-21 would help efficiencies at the <30kts that would be required for EEZ patrol, boat launch/recovery, SAR, ASW, etc.

    Also, the range looks low – might be a product of only having the jets, not much use at slower, supposedly more economical speeds.

    There's a lot of empty space in the 127m LCS, so a more compact design with similar endurance, accommodation, firepower, helo ops, etc, whilst capturing the inherent advantages of the hull form would seem to make sense.

  86. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 4, 2009 7:31 pm

    Here is more on the Israel/German corvette deal. Apparently they want new-build MEKO A-200s, but would settle for A-100s?

    http://combatfleetoftheworld.blogspot.com/2009/11/news-israeli-aaw-corvettesfinal.html

    And Scott, the reason the pirates are expanding their operating radius, is because we have no real littoral ships, and certainly not enough to keep them in the narrows, the shallow seas where they are less a menace.

    Keep building only battleships, expecting them to act like cruisers, and pretty soon the gap in your defenses becomes unmanageable.

  87. leesea permalink
    November 4, 2009 6:23 pm

    navark what do you think of Austal’s MRV or MRC concept? A smaller tri with helo deck, boat davits and quarter ramp.

  88. navark permalink
    November 4, 2009 6:12 pm

    It is understandable that a crew of 90+ on an 84m corvette grew ‘stale’ on an extended deployment to the Gulf.

    When the concept of this modern, smaller Streetfighter meets LCS vessel comes up I usually imagine some type of unconventional hull form that can provide greater capability than traditional ships for a given displacement. I think advances in endurance, seakeeping, versatility/adaptability, etc, can be made with non-traditional vessels such as the LCS-2 trimaran. The fundamental problem with the current LCS-2 is that the ship is too big and far too expensive for the original concept of operations.

    A smaller trimaran (maybe 1000-1500t) with a reduced crew (maybe 30-40) could provide most of the operational capability of the larger ship, including gas turbine driven high sprint speeds, at a significantly reduced cost. Possibly back into the ~$220m ballpark. After all, weapons systems normally drive much of the cost of a warship and our glorified OPV isn’t exactly brimming with firepower.

  89. Byron permalink
    November 4, 2009 5:05 pm

    “but were “destroyers with sophisticated radars and enlarged CICs” (Norman Friedman in Net-Centric War, page 59).”

    And thus were primary targets as the Japanese found out.

    Still waiting on you to explain how you can build endurance, sea-keeping, crew sustainment, room for electronics, weapons, ammo storage, bunkerage (for that endurance stuff) and still stuff it into 1,000 tons. Hell, just cut to the chase: we’ll just go with over-sized PT boats loaded with high explosive on one-way missions since your attitude towards bringing the crew AND the ship home is a bit cavilier.

  90. Scott B. permalink
    November 4, 2009 2:11 pm

    Hudson said : “BTW, USS England was a DE not a DD, so of course it was lighter.”

    Exactly.

    Furthermore, at the risk of repeating myself once again, the picket destroyers lost off Okinawa were not the vanilla DDs, but were “destroyers with sophisticated radars and enlarged CICs” (Norman Friedman in Net-Centric War, page 59).

  91. Scott B. permalink
    November 4, 2009 2:04 pm

    In what Mike B. calls *the missile age*, why are the Danes building 6,000-ton Station Wagon Frigates like the ABSALON and her near-sisters Ivar Huitfeldt, with so much emphasis on *platform-centric attributes* like :

    1. endurance : the ability to operate at sea for an extended time without replenishment or service.

    2. seakeeping : the ability to operate in or transit rough waters while maintaining not only safety, but also operational effectiveness.

    3. versatility : the ability to solve several different tasks in differing circumstances.

    4. adaptability : the ability to reconfigure the ship’s capabilities in order to meet changing circumstances.

    5. air defense : not only for self-defense, but also for local area defense.

    6. interoperability : including C3I and replenishment at sea

    7. survivability : being able to take a hit from a RPG or even a SSM, without undue casualties and while remaining not only afloat but also able to operate.

    8. crew comfort : quite important during extended deployments, especially with an all-volunteer crew.

    9. free spaces : for additional elements, functions or equipment.

    10. embarked helicopter : at least one medium-sized helo.

    In other words, why is it that the Danes, given their past experience with the Flyvefisken and Niels Juel classes decided to THINK BIG, not small ?

    Food for thought…

  92. Scott B. permalink
    November 4, 2009 1:55 pm

    Mike Burleson said : “The littoral combat ship’s modular design is based partly on the Danish Flyvefisken Class (SF 300) Multi-Role Vessels, 14 ships built since 1989.”

    Speaking of the Danes (at the risk of repeating myself again and again

    The Danish Navy have been operating 1,000-ton corvettes for about 30 years, with their Niels Juel class comprising 3 units, which displace 1,100 tons (standard) / 1,320 tons (fully loaded).

    Back in 1991, the Danes sent one of these corvettes in the Gulf, OLFERT FISCHER (F-355).

    This is how Dr. Friedman summarized this operational deployment during a recent conference on Naval Strategy in Sweden (emphasis added) :

    “Sustained operations involve, first of all, endurance. That means not only the paper endurance of a ship, which depends on her fuel load and her stores capacity, but also the endurance of her crew.

    For example, after the Royal Danish Navy participated in the 1991 Gulf War, it concluded that its ships were too small. The crews grew stale too quickly. Hence the much larger ships the Danes are now placing in service, which they associate with the new world of expeditionary operations.”

  93. Scott B. permalink
    November 4, 2009 1:25 pm

    Byron said : “You must have room for the crew; you must have adequate propulsion; you must have tankage to fuel the propulsion.”

    (ironic mode on/)

    Don’t you know that such *platform-centric* attributes as crew comfort, seakeeping, endurance, etc… have become totally passé in the missile age ?

    (ironic mode off/)

  94. Scott B. permalink
    November 4, 2009 1:15 pm

    Mike Burleson said : “In other words, keep on doing what we’ve been doing.”

    On the one hand, you’ve been kind enough to allow me to use some bandwidth to explain soooo many times on this blog what THING BIG, not small meant for me.

    On the other hand, I’m reluctant to believe that you’re being disingenuous when you suggest that what I’m proposing is to keep on doing what we’ve been doing.

    So I’m left with the conclusion that I’ve been away for too long and you’ve already forgotten what I was modestly trying to suggest. Here are some threads to refresh your memory :

    https://newwars.wordpress.com/2009/05/30/only-one-ship/

    https://newwars.wordpress.com/2009/05/31/meddling-with-the-lcs/

    https://newwars.wordpress.com/2009/06/08/pirates-have-little-to-fear-from-stiletto/

    https://newwars.wordpress.com/2009/09/23/royal-navys-6000-ton-patrol-boat/

    In short : BRING ON THE STATION WAGON FRIGATE

    (Thanks for the warm welcome BTW)

  95. November 4, 2009 1:04 pm

    There is a new discussion regarding Israel’s interest in German warships over at Militaryphotos.net. It starts out with Israel having upgraded their request for two new warships from corvettes of the MEKO A-100 type to frigates of the MEKO A-200 class. Here’s that discussion – ignore the poorly conceived title:

    http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?t=168162

    It would seem likely that Israel would acquire ships similar to the South African MEKO A-200 SAN Valour class. These frigates displace 3700 tons and have an overall length of 400 feet (121 meters). Israel’s intent is to arm the two new warships with a mix of US and Israeli weapons systems (Standard SM-2 and/or SM-3, Barak, Harpoon, Gabriel, Tomahawk, guns, helos). Here’s a description of the South African Valour class:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valour_class_frigate

    Here’s a page listing the various MEKO types and classes of warships:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meko_A-200

    Note that there are seven different classes of warships based upon the basic MEKO A-200 hull type already in service.

  96. Scott B. permalink
    November 4, 2009 1:02 pm

    Mike Burleson said : “Scott also, your numbers are several hundred tons too high. Please see the Dictionary for American Fighting Ships.”

    1) The figures I quoted are straight from such reputable sources as Norman Friedman’s (US Destroyers) or Robert Sumrall (Sumner-Gearing-Class Destroyers).

    2) The displacement given in the DANFS for the Sumner is the light ship displacement, i.e. without such mundane things as the crew (!), fuel & various fluids, ammos and stores/PW.

    3) Below are the numbers given in Friedman (pp. 472-473) :

    USS Leutze (DD-481), Fletcher-class, March 1944 :
    * light ship : 1,974.6 tons
    * standard : 2,406.1 tons
    * full load : 3,005.5 tons

    USS Barton (DD-722), Sumner-class, December 1943 :
    * light ship : 2,134.6 tons
    * standard : 2,535.6 tons
    * full load : 3,145.4 tons

  97. Byron permalink
    November 4, 2009 11:46 am

    Mike, the United States military does not accept that we purpose build ships with the concept that the ship and more importantly the men are throw-away or “expendable”. As citizens we must always give these men and women a fighting chance to come home to their loved ones. To do less is dishonorable.

    Second, you love to toss these numbers out, but never address the real math of what it takes to build a ship to a specification. You must have room for the crew; you must have adequate propulsion; you must have tankage to fuel the propulsion. You must have auxillary engines to provide electical generation, and this is a non-insignificant number. It’s not about providing the comforts of home to a sailor. Even on these “battleships” as you are so fond of calling them, your average sea man has very little room to sleep and store his uniforms, underwear, toilet gear and maybe one or two sets of civilian clothes for liberty. All that power also goes into communications, ECM, IFF, satellite, fire control, radar, etc. You have absolutely no idea how many miles of wire goes into even a small warship, and that’s not counting redundancy due to battle damage.

    Your lower limit on size is going to be in the 3,000 ton and if you have plans for these sailors to come home, that’s the smallest for a blue water navy.

  98. llses permalink
    November 4, 2009 11:37 am

    Mike you got to do a better job of distinquishing between PBs, OPVs, FACs, corvettes and frigates before I start buying your logic.

    Basically a warship meant for attack or strike is NOT in the same category as one built for patrol and escort. When those facets are combined, one gets into bigger hulls.

    I say buy less than 1500 ton ships for green water ops which are appropriately configured. I believe that the “next-gen” LCS will become a mostly blue water platform. We’ll see which design wins the award?

  99. Hudson permalink
    November 4, 2009 11:05 am

    Streetfighter became LCS (somewhere in the Congressional Record), when the Navy decided to use it to replace its remaining frigates and minesweeepers (30 + 25), which accounts for the 55 number of LCS the Navy intends to build. So the Flex 300 concept was sunk because it had no airlift capacity to match that of a frigate.

    There was mission creep, or leap, big time (adding survivability to the design, lately twin 30mm mounts to already launched LCS-1)and the open budgeting process. This was what the builders said to Congress in their testimony, that the Navy wanted this and that extra, so naturally the cost went way up.

    BTW, USS England was a DE not a DD, so of course it was lighter.

  100. Matthew S permalink
    November 4, 2009 10:22 am

    I think the LCS morphed into todays bloated, underarmed mess when someone decided they could add the anti-submarine mission and the mine sweeping role onto a littoral warfare platform. I mean hasnt the USN for years been trying to rid itself of the mine sweeping role? I thought i remember them having some of the newer small NATO countries specialize in mine sweeping.

  101. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 4, 2009 10:18 am

    Scott also, your numbers are several hundred tons too high. Please see the Dictionary for American Fighting Ships.

    http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/a6/allen_m_sumner.htm

    USS England (DE-635) was 1400 tons light.

    http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/e4/england.htm

  102. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 4, 2009 10:09 am

    Scott said-“THINK BIG, not small !!!”

    In other words, keep on doing what we’ve been doing. The Navy has proved with the LCS it can’t even build a frigate on time and under budget. So we try again with something smaller, and build it in large numbers. More survivable too, because with larger numbers you increase the percentage of survival for individual ships.

    Oh, and welcome back Scott!

  103. Scott B. permalink
    November 4, 2009 9:25 am

    On a sidenote, I am under the impression that Mike B’s mythical 1,000-ton corvette has recently morphed into a less-than-2,000-ton (war)ship.

    Which pretty well illustrates what I’ve been telling to this blog owner for some time now, i.e. that what he’s suggesting is merely re-running the exact software that led to the LCS disaster : starting with a mythical less-than-1,000-ton (war)ship and gradually moving towards the 3,000-tons mark.

    Mike, I’ll tell you once again : merely re-booting the system won’t discard the innumerous bugs in the software.

    What you want to do is change the software !!!

    In other words : THINK BIG, not small !!!

    But, hey, it’s not like you’ve not been told before, is it ? ;)

  104. Scott B. permalink
    November 4, 2009 9:17 am

    Mike Burleson said : “A recent post we did on the Battle of Okinawa, where warships of 2000 tons or less received the bulk of the casualties, tells us a different story”

    Quick fact-check :

    13 US destroyers were sunk off Okinawa in April-June 1945 :

    * 11 of them were Fletcher-class destroyers, with a standard displacement of 2,300-2,400 tons and a full load displacement of 2,900-3,000 tons.

    * 2 of them were Sumner-class destroyers, with a standard displacement of 2,500+ tons and a full load displacement of 3,100+ tons.

    Incidentally, both LCS designs are similar in terms of displacement…

  105. Defiant permalink
    November 4, 2009 7:52 am

    The k130 are non operational because the gear sets had a lot of problems, they are to be repaired/exchanged by the swiss manufacturer, forcing the k130 to stay in port for another year.
    As I said in the post last week, The FACs are unlikely to be transferred with 25 years of age, weapon systems to be used for future vessels of the german navy and the non-existence of a vessel which could replace the FACs.

  106. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 4, 2009 7:28 am

    This is the second time I heard this story. Also here:

    http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=6343

  107. Anonymous permalink
    November 4, 2009 7:25 am

    According to the German Navy there are no corvettes in the med. Just a frigate, two FACs (will be replaced by minesweepers) and a tender.

  108. Mike Burleson permalink*
    November 4, 2009 7:02 am

    Well, the term “transfer” was mentioned so I’m assuming it was the ships already in service.

    I see what you mean about the specs which do seem inflated for this class.

  109. Endre permalink
    November 4, 2009 6:54 am

    I’m confused, do the Israelis want new builds, or do they want the ships off Lebanon?

    Because if it is the latter, that would be the “Braunschweig” K130 class, which has NOTHING like the specs above – only 2 RAM launchers and 4 RBS 15 missiles.

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