AHC: Better warships over the LCS?

If the US decided it wanted a mean as hell coastal defence force and a 355+ ship navy, dropping four billion-ish on a hundred Skjold class corvettes could be fun. Eight "Wolfpacks" of four stealth corvettes armed with eight anti-ship missiles, a 76mm gun and capable of up to 60kts constantly patrolling both coasts might present a fairly formidable hurdle for surface ships.

Though you'd need a lot of oilers to keep them out there. :winkytongue:
It sure would be very effective against drug runners
 
If the US decided it wanted a mean as hell coastal defence force and a 355+ ship navy, dropping four billion-ish on a hundred Skjold class corvettes could be fun. Eight "Wolfpacks" of four stealth corvettes armed with eight anti-ship missiles, a 76mm gun and capable of up to 60kts constantly patrolling both coasts might present a fairly formidable hurdle for surface ships.

Though you'd need a lot of oilers to keep them out there. :winkytongue:
Ah the Skjold. Probably my most favourite modern warship.
 
And that one DDG packs more firepower than all 6 LCS combined. So it's still a better option to buy one DDG than it is to buy 6 LCS. Plus, lifetime costs are lower on the DDG since you're only maintaining one ship, not six.


Only when they all work. Which given the program track record, won't be that often. And as previously mentioned, they don't have the firepower (or survivability) for independent operations. So you'll probably end up having to send a DDG anyway.


Such as? They don't carry Tomahawks, so they can't conduct land attacks. They don't carry ASMs so they can't conduct ASUW. They don't have sonar so they can't do ASW. And they don't have AAMs, so they can't escort a flattop. That leaves anti-piracy. And they don't have the reliability for that kind of deployment.
And, yet, because of the idiot design flaws of both LCS classes, the Navy has flatly stated that they will need to be protected by a DDG or CG because they can't protect themselves even in a medium threat environment. So now you are spending $350M a pop for a ship that can't protect itself, can't withstand the standard USN shock test, lacks many of the mission module that were supposed to make it useful, and STILL needs that $3B a pop DDG to make sure some fool with a WW II surplus Fletcher class DD doesn't blow it into the afterlife (which, BTW it could do to half a dozen LCS before they even got into range of their entirely ineffective against WW II destroyer hull 57mm gun (one per ship). God help them if the enemy has actually managed to add some sort of SAM, then their helos won't even be able to resuce any of the survivors from the "littoral waters". Good news is that the survivors will probably drift to shore, assuming the enemy is playing by the rules (just how often do enemies of the U.S. play by any rules, at all?).

Every single LCS that is commissioned is 350M USD thrown into a hole in the water.
This is exactly my point - mission creep - the ships were not built to escort CBGs or hunt subs - the purpose of the classes was to defeat asymmetrical threats.

Got to raise an eyebrow at the reliability problems they have had but then the RN had some power issues with the Type 45s - also there was a point where some of the units were not yet equipped with Harpoon - which according to some on the interwebs and the bring back the harrier brigade - means that the class is totally useless - forevermore.

I do wonder if the Littorals have been tarred with the same brush?

For me something like the British River class OPVs - particularly the batch 2s would serve this sort of mission - although with a speed of 25 knots......?

The FFG Oliver Hazard Perry Class was built as part of the High Low Navy in order to be able to provide enough ASW escorts for North Atlantic Convoys with limited SAM and Helo capability in the face of Hundreds of Soviet Subs and Long Range Bombers during the height of the cold war.

Is that a requirement for the Littorials?
 
The USN would probably prefer to have a well balanced ocean going vessel, although the thought of zerg rushing your opponents with Skjold class corvettes is undoubtedly hilarious.
May not be so hilarious when you think about the fact that that is exactly what the Chinese Type 22 missile boat is designed to do.... :neutral:
 
As I said in another thread yesterday, I'd look at something like the Formidable class Frigate from Singapore, but yeah I don't see how the "not designed here" gets avoided back in the 00's.
 
This is exactly my point - mission creep - the ships were not built to escort CBGs or hunt subs - the purpose of the classes was to defeat asymmetrical threats.

Got to raise an eyebrow at the reliability problems they have had but then the RN had some power issues with the Type 45s - also there was a point where some of the units were not yet equipped with Harpoon - which according to some on the interwebs and the bring back the harrier brigade - means that the class is totally useless - forevermore.

I do wonder if the Littorals have been tarred with the same brush?

For me something like the British River class OPVs - particularly the batch 2s would serve this sort of mission - although with a speed of 25 knots......?

The FFG Oliver Hazard Perry Class was built as part of the High Low Navy in order to be able to provide enough ASW escorts for North Atlantic Convoys with limited SAM and Helo capability in the face of Hundreds of Soviet Subs and Long Range Bombers during the height of the cold war.

Is that a requirement for the Littorials?
Considering that the LCS is supposed to serve as the replacement for the OHP class, yes they should have been designed with those threats in mind. (Not specifically Soviet bombers, but the threat of operating in a hostile environment where air attack is a real possibility). And it's not really even mission creep. The LCS were expected to do these missions from day one in the fleet.
 
Personally I'd have joined the French and Italians in the FREMM project and use the same hull with different weapons and sensors since that is basically what the USS is possibly going to do anyway in the FFG(X). That or team up with the RN and build the TYPE 26. As for the LCS if it was up to me the entire program would be scrapped and in their place a decent minesweeping platform made to fill the one role a decent frigate can't do of all the roles the LCS's were supposed to do. Although assuming you drop the very high speed of the design to say 24 knots to lower costs and make the design more robust and have a longer range using the saved weight the Independence class design does have the space for a minesweeping helicopter and mine hunting UUV/AUV(if the USN developes/buys one that is)with a limited ability for self defense with a CIWS and a 57/76mm gun
The problem with the FREMM (or any European design) is the need to re-design it for American weapons and electronics. The Alvaro de Bazan avoids this by using AEGIS and mostly American weapons and systems. (The Type 26 was designed for the Mark 41, so it too is a possibility.)

I've always felt the Independence class would actually be usable for the minesweeper/ASW/surface protection job if they avoided mission creep and actually designed it to be capable of surviving an environment with hostile surface and air threats.
 

CalBear

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This is exactly my point - mission creep - the ships were not built to escort CBGs or hunt subs - the purpose of the classes was to defeat asymmetrical threats.

Got to raise an eyebrow at the reliability problems they have had but then the RN had some power issues with the Type 45s - also there was a point where some of the units were not yet equipped with Harpoon - which according to some on the interwebs and the bring back the harrier brigade - means that the class is totally useless - forevermore.

I do wonder if the Littorals have been tarred with the same brush?

For me something like the British River class OPVs - particularly the batch 2s would serve this sort of mission - although with a speed of 25 knots......?

The FFG Oliver Hazard Perry Class was built as part of the High Low Navy in order to be able to provide enough ASW escorts for North Atlantic Convoys with limited SAM and Helo capability in the face of Hundreds of Soviet Subs and Long Range Bombers during the height of the cold war.

Is that a requirement for the Littorials?
From the Wiki:

The concept behind the littoral combat ship, as described by former Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England, is to "create a small, fast, maneuverable and relatively inexpensive member of the DD(X) family of ships." The ship is easy to reconfigure for different roles, including anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, homeland defense, maritime intercept, special operations, and logistics. Due to its modular design, the LCS will be able to replace slower, more specialized ships such as minesweepers and larger amphibious-type assault ships.[14]

There is some evidence that it can be a useful ASW platform in some sea states, and it is very fast so it can do intercept (which is why they would be better served as Coast Guard Drug Interdiction vessels). The mine countermeasure is something of an open question since they are steel hulls and can't pass the USN Shock Trest.
 
Considering that the LCS is supposed to serve as the replacement for the OHP class, yes they should have been designed with those threats in mind. (Not specifically Soviet bombers, but the threat of operating in a hostile environment where air attack is a real possibility). And it's not really even mission creep. The LCS were expected to do these missions from day one in the fleet.
I cannot find anywhere that says that the Littorals were built as a replacement for the OHPs

In fact my search of the interwebs actually says it was intentionally designed as a level 1 surviviable ship (OHP was level II)

So now we have various people decrying the design for not being a level II vessel and not being capable of missions it was not designed for.

Mission creep surely?

For me their mission is the same as the coast guard where the coast guard does not operate

Now if your argument is that the Navy needs a Level II FFG capable of doing more then fine - but then that's not the ship they built nor the mission it was built for

In that case then yes something like the Type 26 is more in keeping - but you are looking at a $billion each probably and a crew of 150+

Perhaps a more High - Medium - Low approach?
 
Personally I'd have joined the French and Italians in the FREMM project and use the same hull with different weapons and sensors since that is basically what the USS is possibly going to do anyway in the FFG(X). That or team up with the RN and build the TYPE 26.
The Type 26 team up would have turned out to be particularly opportune for the US defence industry given that Australia and Canada are also building them. Lockheed Martin is one of the partners in the Canadian build and BAe have a relatively large footprint in the US defence market already, so I think that it could have worked out very well with the US since Australia and Canada (at least) would likely be very receptive to greater commonality with the USN variant and the decreased cost of following a US-funded upgrade programme.
 
The Type 26 team up would have turned out to be particularly opportune for the US defence industry given that Australia and Canada are also building them. Lockheed Martin is one of the partners in the Canadian build and BAe have a relatively large footprint in the US defence market already, so I think that it could have worked out very well with the US since Australia and Canada (at least) would likely be very receptive to greater commonality with the USN variant and the decreased cost of following a US-funded upgrade programme.
And with the reduced costs caused by the USN joining the program New Zealand(and maybe two or three other nations)would probably join the project and the RN would have probably gotten a 1 for 1 replacement of its Type 23 fleet
 
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From the Wiki:

The concept behind the littoral combat ship, as described by former Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England, is to "create a small, fast, maneuverable and relatively inexpensive member of the DD(X) family of ships." The ship is easy to reconfigure for different roles, including anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, homeland defense, maritime intercept, special operations, and logistics. Due to its modular design, the LCS will be able to replace slower, more specialized ships such as minesweepers and larger amphibious-type assault ships.[14]

There is some evidence that it can be a useful ASW platform in some sea states, and it is very fast so it can do intercept (which is why they would be better served as Coast Guard Drug Interdiction vessels). The mine countermeasure is something of an open question since they are steel hulls and can't pass the USN Shock Trest.
Modern mine 'sweeping' involves UMVs and sensors etc not dragging a sweep as such

I would imagine that a large mission bay adapted to operating servicing and launching/recovering such 'robot vehicles' would be perfect for such a role.

I also understand that the modular nature intended for them to have a towed array and Variable depth Sonar?

Is that no longer the case?
 
I cannot find anywhere that says that the Littorals were built as a replacement for the OHPs

In fact my search of the interwebs actually says it was intentionally designed as a level 1 surviviable ship (OHP was level II)

So now we have various people decrying the design for not being a level II vessel and not being capable of missions it was not designed for.

Mission creep surely?

For me their mission is the same as the coast guard where the coast guard does not operate

Now if your argument is that the Navy needs a Level II FFG capable of doing more then fine - but then that's not the ship they built nor the mission it was built for

In that case then yes something like the Type 26 is more in keeping - but you are looking at a $billion each probably and a crew of 150+

Perhaps a more High - Medium - Low approach?
I agree. They're great for dashing around the Persian Gulf telling everyone to do what they say or their big brothers will kick the shit out them, but they're never going to be great at mine countermeasures or anti-submarine warfare. Basically, one or two dozen LCS's would be fine for low-intensity ops like the Persian Gulf patrols and the Caribbean, but the USN does actually need ships that can tackle ASW and MCM. You can probably do something with unmanned surface vessels that allows the LCS to operate as a mothership to them for the MCM mission, but I don't think that it can do ASW because it doesn't appear to be a particularly quiet hull.
 
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And with the reduced costs caused by the USN joining the program New Zealand(and maybe two or three other nations)would probably join the project and the RN would have probably gotten a 1 for 1 replacement of its Type 23 fleet
Perhaps, and in that ATL I'd be fully supporting expanding the fleet with five to seven Absalon derived Type 31's for lower-intensity operations. :)

As it is, I think that they landed on the Arrowhead 140 is the least worst option because at least it's got plenty of room for expansion.
 
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No love for the Type 31e?
I've got plenty of love for it as the least worst option. As I've just said, I'd have prefered them to be in addition to thirteen Type 26's, but as it is they're better than the competing designs if only because they've got plenty of room for expansion.
 
I've got plenty of love for it as the least worst option. As I've just said, I'd have prefered them to be in addition to thirteen Type 26's, but as it is they're better than the competing designs if only because they've got plenty of room for expansion.
As much as I'd have loved that to happen, I think that the necessity of refitting them with an additional diesel engine has eaten up that budget and means that the best shipboard gym in the world will continue to be just that.

I would have loved to see a Type 45 with 8 Anti-ship missiles, 48 Aster 30's and 64 Sea Ceptors though.
 
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Given the first one hasn't even had steel cut I wouldn't put her forward, though if the design does manage to hit the cost/performance perhaps. Though isn't she reusing some of the hardware from the Type 23's to keep her price down?
AIUI, the only way that they got any of the designs under the £250m price cap was to persuade the Treasury not to include the hardware transferred from the T23's. Though equally, AIUI once that was agreed the more austere BAe designs fell by the wayside.
 
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