Tuesday, January 27, 2015

When You Start to Kill the LCS, Kill the LCS

I've long been concerned about the Littoral Combat Ship. It has low survivability and low lethality. And it is expensive. Go figure. Renaming these ships "frigates" has done more to enhance survivability than any design measures will do.

If they are no longer considered littoral combat ships--having been renamed frigates--at least they won't face a multitude of threats close to the shore.

This wouldn't be fatal if we simply faced power projection missions against land powers without the ability to strike our fleet out at sea.

But we face a rising naval power with growing sea control capabilities, don't we? (tip to Defense Industry Daily)

Yes, we rightly count on our personnel and training superiority to counter China's increasingly capable and increasingly numerous, blue water fleet.

But the numerous flaws in the new LCS frigate make it more likely that we will lose a lot of those highly trained sailors as their lousy ships go down in large numbers in a real fight for control of the sea. (tip to Defense Industry Daily)

Which will also tie up other ships and make them vulnerable to attack as we rescue crew floating at sea.

Good God, people, the friggin' ship can't even anchor itself properly? Shouldn't we have gotten that down pat by now?

Our Navy knows the ship is crappy. They have decided to try to fix it and have even renamed it to disguise the taint of failure on this new class of ships. So the Navy knows the bad path they are on.

But as Napoleon might have said, when you start to take Vienna, take Vienna cancel a little crappy ship, cancel a little crappy ship.

I've hoped that teething problems were all we faced. At this point we need to cancel further production of the LCS/frigate and relegate it to duties in SOUTHCOM and AFRICOM where we don't face major sea control threats and where the simple nature of crisp newness and cool looks (for the trimaran variation, anyway) will impress locals who won't know how crappy they are.

They will at least save the real Navy warships for real combat zones.

Kill the Littoral Combat Ship program in fact as well as name. It is more lethal to our highly trained sailors than it will be to any enemy. We no longer have the luxury of a wide margin of error to afford these abominations.