Commandant Ponders HSVs
Not surprised to see the US Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway worried over the future of the large deck amphibious ships in the upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), according to Aviation Week and Bettina H. Chavanne. Of the 5 battleships currently dominating US Navy spending, these are the most unnecessary in my opinion, at least in sizable numbers. Thankfully, the General is also pondering on a “Plan B”:
Additionally, Conway said he is looking at various ways to take advantage of the capabilities inherent in the Navy-Army Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) and the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). “Is the [JHSV] a ferry? A troop carrier?” he said. Might the LCS host a module that would transform it into a Marine troop carrier? “We think it can,” Conway said. “We have to do more exploration to determine the utility of that type of vessel.”
He is speaking here of the light assault transport idea for the LCS, which we reported on earlier in the week. However, we can see the 1/3 less costly JHSV catamarans as being a better platform for Marine lift than the exquisite LCS, or even the cheaper Sea Fighter in a Marine commando role.