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Thread: The Navy's Next-Generation Warship Gets Two Critical Defensive Boosts

  1. #46
    the internet is serious business! Ought Six's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lt-Col A. Tack View Post
    Very interesting.

    Sounds reasonable, but I would submit (of course, I feel the need to contradict the Navy ) that if any of these smaller ships (LCS, JHSV, HSV 2) get hit with even a small anti-ship missile, it is going to be in trouble.
    Perhaps. The Stark absorbed two hits by Excocets without sinking. While only one of the 360 pound warheads exploded, the missiles were fired so close-in that they both retained most of their fuel, which caused a horrendous fire. Yet the ship survived. I would hope that an LCS would be tough enough to survive a hit from a smaller AShM like an Iranian Kowsar or Chinese TL-10, with their ~30kg warheads. Obviously there could be quite serious damage, depending on where the ship was hit, but it would have to be a lucky hit on a really critical area to take the ship out of action entirely, much less sink her.

    A torpedo hit, though, will break the back of a quite large ship, and there is little hope for a corvette-sized vessel surviving that. Only MCM vessels have the kind of incredibly tough hulls that are designed to survive the detonation of that much explosives under or next to them.

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    Senior Member Elbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
    As I have repeatedly said, the only additional electronics required for Mk.56 VLS tubes is a single 500 pound control module mounted somewhere below decks. The existing LCS RADARs already support ESSM, so no other equipment is required. AIG's 'would require much more electronics space' claim is patently false. The Mk. 56 VLS system's power requirements are also quite sp****.
    I have a strong suspicion that a neat ESSM pack (like on the Halifax or Murasame) will be one of the first things that the Navy will be adding once more LCS hulls are in the water.

  3. #48
    Senior Member PMI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
    We can agree to disagree on that.
    ----------The LCS is taking on far more than just those roles. They are, in fact, expected to take on some frigate roles as indicated by the ASW and Mk.41 VLS mission modules.
    So the LCS is underarmed for specific roles and to prove that it may be used in those roles you state the possibility that it will be carrying a weapon system (Mk41) that will more than adequately arm it for those roles?

    ----------This is false 'either/or' two-choice paradigm. In fact, there were lots of other choices and ways to break down the various roles into different hulls.
    Umm no. It is the real world paradigm. It's what is actually occurring. The LCS will replace Avengers & Cyclones while the Burke has been taking over most of the roles of the OHP.

    Dreaming that something else was procured does not make more choices available. The above are the real world platforms either currently in the Navy or in the pipeline. Those are the choices. Right now one of those groups (Avenger, Cyclone & OHP) are carrying out real world missions in the future the other group (Independence, Freedom & AB) will carrying out those same missions. That is not conjecture, it's a fact.

    As I have repeatedly said, we could have bought something like the Milgem frigates (stretched versions of their existing corvette with a 16-cell Mk.41 behind the main gun). Sorry if you are tired of hearing it, but it makes sense. The draft is less than existing LCSs, it already has a mission bay which could be easily enlarged, and it would be quite inexpensive and capable of filling the same roles as the LCS. They will likely be just under 3000 tons, and thus much smaller than most of the European frigate designs. They could be built here, and partnering with our NATO ally Turkey could have significant political advantages if handled deftly.
    Talk to folks in the industry and see if they believe that a MILGEM could be built in US shipyards significantly cheaper than the LCSs. I've done it & they don't. And that's before you start adding costs for major redesign work (ie your suggestion to expand the mission bay).

    ----------I am not, but the commercial fast ferry water jet drive used by the LCS could be integrated into any smaller vessel design fairly easily.
    Now this is just flat out wrong. Getting that bleeding edge speed isn't as simple as strapping another 50k HP turbine & some water jets into the hull. Hulls are optimized for specific speed bands. Take a look at the bow & keel of the MILGEM you proposed. You want to get that up to 45+ knots? Think that will ever be able to plane and if not how much HP will you need to push it to ludicrous speed? You have to completely redesign the hullform. In the end what do you think you'll end up with? Something that looks a heck of a lot lot like the underside of USS Freedom.

    ----------This is really a false comparison here as well.
    Again, no. What is a false comparison is comparing an LCS in US service that will be the low end of the fleet with ships in foreign navies that are at the high end of their capabilities.

    In the past we had a far larger navy, and we built specialist ships designed to work with escorts. The modern reality is that we have so many fewer hulls that we can no longer afford to make what is supposed to become the most numerous warship in our navy a vessel that requires escorting whenever it goes into harm's way. This is the real bottom line for me.
    Right now there are more Arleigh Burkes in the fleet than the the total number of LCSs planned. That does not inlude the remaining 4+ Flight IIAs being built nor the upcoming Flight IIIs.

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    the internet is serious business! Ought Six's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elbs View Post
    I have a strong suspicion that a neat ESSM pack (like on the Halifax or Murasame) will be one of the first things that the Navy will be adding once more LCS hulls are in the water.
    That is Mk.48 module, which is probably too big and heavy for existing LCS designs as permanently installed weapons. The Mk.56 is the smallest and lightest variant of the original Mk.41, and likely the only one they could fit on our LCSs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMI View Post
    So the LCS is underarmed for specific roles and to prove that it may be used in those roles you state the possibility that it will be carrying a weapon system (Mk41) that will more than adequately arm it for those roles?
    I have said all along that the problem is the unexpected threat. LCSs set up for roles other than air defense are vulnerable to air attack. LCSs set up for roles other than ASW are vulnerable to submarine attack. This is obvious, no?
    ----------
    Umm no. It the real world paradigm. It is what is actually occurring. The LCS will replace Avengers & Cyclones while the Burke has been taking over most of the roles of the OHP.

    Dreaming that something else was procured does not make more choices available. The above are the real world platforms either currently in the Navy or in the pipeline. Those are the choices. Right now one of those groups (Avenger, Cyclone & OHP) are carrying out real world missions in the future the other group (Independence, Freedom & AB) will carrying out those same missions. That is not conjecture, it's a fact.-
    I do not get your point. This is exactly what we have been talking about; what is (the LCS), and how well it is or is not working, and how to address its problems. And as I said, if the LCS is deemed a failure after a conflict reveals its shortcomings, we may well end LCS production and be looking at a whole new ship sooner rather than later.
    ----------
    Talk to folks in the industry and see if they believe that a MILGEM could be built in US shipyards significantly cheaper than the LCSs. I've done it & they don't. And that's before you start adding costs for major redesign work (ie your suggestion to expand the mission bay).
    I think I already said several times on this thread that our naval procurement system is a major part of the cost issue.
    ----------
    Now this is just flat out wrong. Getting that bleeding edge speed isn't as simple as strapping another 50k HP turbine & some water jets into the hull. Hulls are optimized for specific speed bands. Take a look at the bow & keel of the MILGEM you proposed. You want to get that up to 45+ knots? Think that will ever be able to plane and if not how much HP will you need to push it to ludicrous speed? You have to completely redesign the hullform. In the end what do you think you'll end up with? Something that looks a heck of a lot lot like the underside of USS Freedom.
    Fair point.
    ----------
    Again, no. What is a false comparison is comparing an LCS in US service that will be the low end of the fleet with ships in foreign navies that are at the high end of their capabilities.
    Frigates are 'the high end' for the Royal Navy? And as I have pointed out before, I am talking about an under 3000 ton vessel to replace the LCS, not the 6000 ton destroyers that European navies call 'frigates' these days.
    ----------
    Right now moment there are more Arleigh Burkes in the fleet than the the total number of LCSs planned. That does not inlude the remaining 4+ Flight IIAs being built nor the upcoming Flight IIIs.
    Are we to use most of them to escort LCSs during wartime? Because every nation on the planet is weaker than us. Any opponent or coalition of opponents is going to be using asymmetric warfare. That means lots of specops, mines, diesel subs, attacking our sea supply lines and so on. The LCSs would definitely have to go into harm's way and would require escorts. How many destroyers is that going to pull away from other duties? A whole lot of Burkes are already dedicated to carrier groups and some would also be tasked to protect in-transit amphib groups and supply ships. Having to dedicate so many to escort LCSs is a really bad plan.

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    Senior Member Halidon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lt-Col A. Tack View Post
    I wonder whether vessels like the USNS Spearhead (JHSV-1) could be adapted to combat roles the LCS is intended to fill. Fast, lots of cargo capacity.

    Or preferably, the Sea Fighter:
    We did that, it's called the Independence LCS sub-class.

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    Senior Member Halidon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lt-Col A. Tack View Post
    I would genuinely be grateful for any information indicating what modules are a priority.

    Given that piracy still gets headlines, I would think the surface warfare module would be a priority.
    If you want to know the module the USN wants as soon as possible, its the MCM module. Piracy is geographically confined and limited in overall impact, it's not driving fleet composition for anyone but its neighbors and some NGOs. The small boat swarm threat is a greater worry, especially if Iran gets hot, but Mines really worry the Navy.

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    the internet is serious business! Ought Six's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halidon View Post
    We did that, it's called the Independence LCS sub-class.
    Trimaran =/= catamaran. I believe the JHSV design traps the airflow between its hulls. The shape of the tunnel compresses the air, creating an upward force on the bottom of the connecting structure between the hulls and lifting the hulls out of the water somewhat at higher speeds. This reduces drag and increases speed and fuel economy. The Independence design does not use this principle.

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    Senior Member PMI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
    I have said all along that the problem is the unexpected threat. LCSs set up for roles other than air defense are vulnerable to air attack. LCSs set up for roles other than ASW are vulnerable to submarine attack. This is obvious, no?
    Sure...see below.

    ----------I do not get your point. This is exactly what we have been talking about; what is (the LCS), and how well it is or is not working, and how to address its problems. And as I said, if the LCS is deemed a failure after a conflict reveals its shortcomings, we may well end LCS production and be looking at a whole new ship sooner rather than later.
    Remember I wasn't directly replying to you in the initial post. I was pointing out that when people scream that the LCS is underarmed it's important to ask "in comparison to what?".

    The LCS is replacing:
    Cyclone: a couple of 25mm Mk.38s & a couple of Mk.19s, it's air defense suite consists of man portable Stingers.
    Avenger: a wooden hulled boat with nothing larger than a couple of ma deuces.

    Is the LCS underarmed & less survivable compared to those two craft? If it is so imperative that the LCS be a micro-battleship then why in the hell have we been sending those two virtual rowboats into harm's way for the past twenty years?

    The LCS will also be taking over some (but not all) of the duties that the Oliver Hazard Perrys now fulfill. How heavily armed are the OHPs? They have a single 76mm Oto Melara (compared to the LCS 57mm Bofors) a single Mk.38 (vs two Mk.44) & a Phalanx (vs SeaRam).

    Yes the 3" outranges the Bofors but in every other respect the LCS is arguably an upgrade over the OHP (as currently configured) in fire power. The primary defensive weapon (SeaRam) is far more capable than that it is replacing (Phalanx). That's all before you count the Griffin (short legged as it is). For the record I'm ignoring ASUW as the LCS suite isn't finalized.

    Going back to your first point....yes unexpected attacks are a danger but the LCS isn't at much more risk than the OHP and certainly it is far better equipped to face them than the other types it's replacing.

    ----------I think I already said several times on this thread that our naval procurement system is a major part of the cost issue.
    Sure but if you are talking about alternatives you have to take into account the difference in cost that being built in US shipyards will entail. Even without the usual political rigamaroll adding overhead & counting on everything gong perfectly it's going to be more expensive due to labor costs alone.

    ----------Frigates are 'the high end' for the Royal Navy? And as I have pointed out before, I am talking about an under 3000 ton vessel to replace the LCS, not the 6000 ton destroyers that European navies call 'frigates' these days.
    Don't be disengenous. The RN is arguably the second most capable in the world and even there the Type 23s fill a higher end role than the LCS will. The closest analog to the LCS in the RN is arguably the River class patrol boats. How do they compare in firepower to the LCS?

    But outside of the Royal Navy (hell even in the RN, just not to the same extent) the frigate tends to be much higher in the pecking order for most European navies. For example in Denmark one of the favorite LCS alternatives, the Absalom is their primary warfighter. Fridtjof Nansens are the main surface combatants for Norway likewise their F100 sisters in Spain. For France & Italy the FREMM ships will be the heavy lifters for everything beside AAW duties. We'll just say the German F-125 is above the tonnage limit.

    I know you've clarified that you are specifically looking more for something in the Corvette range as an alternative, similarly I'm just clarifying my original post. All of the above ships are ones commonly listed by folks as examples of what the Navy should be buying instead of the LCS. Thankfully I haven't seen anyone state that a Russian Udaloy would make a perfect replacement yet.

    ----------Are we to use most of them to escort LCSs during wartime? Because every nation on the planet is weaker than us. Any opponent or coalition of opponents is going to be using asymmetric warfare. That means lots of specops, mines, diesel subs, attacking our sea supply lines and so on. The LCSs would definitely have to go into harm's way and would require escorts. How many destroyers is that going to pull away from other duties? A whole lot of Burkes are already dedicated to carrier groups and some would also be tasked to protect in-transit amphib groups and supply ships. Having to dedicate so many to escort LCSs is a really bad plan.
    I don't disagree but I think it's important to remember that virtually all of the long solo patrols that an OHP would be tasked with will instead now have a Burke instead. The types of jobs the LCS will be handling are either a) relatively low threat environments that don't pose threats beyond it's capabilities & b) areas where they will either be attached to or in relatively proximity of larger squadrons of ships. The lone LCS overwhelmed by a saturation sneak attack by a flotilla of Chinese missile boats is way down on the list of probable threats.

    I'm not saying the LCS is my perfect solution, I'm just pointing out that many of the criticisms leveled against it are based on trying to compare it to ships whose roles it isn't designed to fill.

    Personally I think that if they are going to go ahead and go with two hulls, they might as well make one of them something that fills a different niche. Keep the LCS-2 to preserve the unmatched capability of the big flight deck and interior storage space. Replace the LCS-1 with something like the Ingalls frigatized National Security Cutter. Of course the NSC costs more (although I think it mostly evens out when you add the price of the modules) and you'll lose the ability to play the two builders off one another to keep prices down (but I think that lever has already been lost with the across the board 2x2 purchases). The one area where the NSC has a massive advantage over the LCS is in endurance, it would be a much better fit for the long distances that need to be covered in WestPac.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
    Trimaran =/= catamaran. I believe the JHSV design traps the airflow between its hulls. The shape of the tunnel compresses the air, creating an upward force on the bottom of the connecting structure between the hulls and lifting the hulls out of the water somewhat at higher speeds. This reduces drag and increases speed and fuel economy. The Independence design does not use this principle.
    I believe Halidon is referring to the fact that ships like Sea Fighter & Joint Venture were used to test the feasibility of the concepts that came out of the Streetfighter studies. It was during the eval of those concepts that the Navy realized (or arbitrarily decided, depending on who you talk to) in order to be survivable & also have enough space to carry out the required missions the LCS needed to be much larger than originally proposed. That is why it grew to 3,000 tons compared to the original 500 or so tons.

    So in effect the Independence (& Freedom for that matter) ARE the result of adapting Sea Fighter for the envisioned combat roles.
    Last edited by PMI; 03-07-2013 at 07:45 AM. Reason: corrected some typos

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    Senior Member Halidon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
    Trimaran =/= catamaran. I believe the JHSV design traps the airflow between its hulls. The shape of the tunnel compresses the air, creating an upward force on the bottom of the connecting structure between the hulls and lifting the hulls out of the water somewhat at higher speeds. This reduces drag and increases speed and fuel economy. The Independence design does not use this principle.
    JHSV doesn't use surface effects to my knowledge, it's a fairly standard Austal ferry hull configuration. Independence, also based on an Austal high speed ferry, is much larger and heavier yet beats the JHSV by a little bit in maximum speed. Efficiency is harder to compare, other than both designs claim hit range requirements in their contracts.

    There actually was a Surface Effect Ship bid for LCS, by Raytheon, but it didn't make the program.

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    I prefer a VLS on the LCS. It would be great if the LM LRASM can fit into the shorter versions.

    But I can understand why some forum members feel it's unnecessary.

    In a high intensity warfare scenario. Let's say , against the Chinese in SCS/ECS , the LCS most certainly wont work alone. There is bound to be Burkes/Ticos/Atagos/Kongos nearby providing coverage. In those low intensity , pirate hunting/drug interdiction mission , there is simply no need for any missile/VLS system.

    The concern at the moment are the problems with mine hunting and ASW modules. But give it a few years and see how they'll mature.

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    Purveyor of intelligent reading material Lt-Col A. Tack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halidon View Post
    If you want to know the module the USN wants as soon as possible, its the MCM module. Piracy is geographically confined and limited in overall impact, it's not driving fleet composition for anyone but its neighbors and some NGOs. The small boat swarm threat is a greater worry, especially if Iran gets hot, but Mines really worry the Navy.
    Interesting, sir. Many thanks.

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    Senior Member PMI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
    Trimaran =/= catamaran. I believe the JHSV design traps the airflow between its hulls. The shape of the tunnel compresses the air, creating an upward force on the bottom of the connecting structure between the hulls and lifting the hulls out of the water somewhat at higher speeds. This reduces drag and increases speed and fuel economy. The Independence design does not use this principle.
    Are you thinking of the 'M' hull on the Stiletto?

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