Friday, October 24, 2014

Now That's a Littoral Combat Ship

I have never believed that the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) has any business fighting in the littorals where shore-based artillery, helicopters, aircraft, and small boats could overwhelm the expensive ship. Now we are getting vessels we can afford to lose in combat in littorals.

Our Navy could buy nearly 50 of these boats:

The 85-foot long MK VI accommodates a 10-person crew and up to eight additional passengers. It can sprint in excess of 35 knots and is equipped with a covered fly bridge, reconfigurable main deck cabin and shock mitigating seating that offers greater comfort in high sea states.

This says that the vessel is potentially well-armed:

She is bristling with weaponry, including a pair of remotely operated and stabilized 25mm chain guns and six crewed 50 caliber machine guns in her primary configuration.

Seeing as the Mark VI was built to be armed depending on the mission, other weapons such as mini guns, grenade launchers and smaller caliber machine guns can also be installed. Guided missiles, such as the Griffin or Spike, are planned for the Mark VI in the near future as well.

Hand-held air defense missiles could be carried, too, I'll note. And should be for Persian Gulf missions.

The idea of fighting in the Persian Gulf with ships even as small as the LCS--let alone putting large destroyers or even carriers there--has always seemed like madness.

The Cyclone-class patrol vessels we are putting in the Gulf should be the largest thing we put in there until the Iranian threat is greatly reduced. Okay, this is okay, too.

And minesweepers and barges, of course.

If we want anything larger, try a Modularized Auxiliary Cruiser, eh?