AHC: Better warships over the LCS?

CalBear

Moderator
Donor
Monthly Donor
The problem I see with the Frigate sized alternatives is they become too valuable to risk. Can anyone imagine a 4-5000t billion dollar ship cruising up and down Falkland sound looking for mines by bumping into them and locating the enemy by bring shot at? That's what a Type 21 Frigate did back in 82, sure times have changed but that's the sort of expendability that makes fir a useful warship and useful warships win wars
As opposed to a 3,000 ton warship that costs $350-450M that is not only unable to defend itself but is not even up to basic USN warship survivability standards?

That is the LCS. The initial idea was to get a Swiss Army Knife of warship, except with interchangeable blades. Instead all the USN got was the frame of the Knife with no blades at all, not even the cork screw, and only the plastic toothpick.
 

Marc

Donor
IDK about that, have you been to IKEA? The Scandinavians definitely have some nice furniture.
And great stereo equipment, speaking of someone who has owned some B&O and Hegel components - and those are sold in the States, even if only audiophiles or Silicon Valley types know them.
And they do make some very nice guns, in fact, I have to take back my never/ever, I believe that Bofors are used by the Coast Guard and on those Navy littorals?
 
The USN doesn't need an LCS - it needs an FFG with plenty of ASW capability, and it needs about 50 of them. Preferably more.

What it needs instead of an LCS, for coastal security and low intensity missions, are either more missile/gunboats like the Cyclones but a bit heavier (maybe even with a 57mm), and dedicated minesweepers.
 
As opposed to a 3,000 ton warship that costs $350-450M that is not only unable to defend itself but is not even up to basic USN warship survivability standards?

That is the LCS. The initial idea was to get a Swiss Army Knife of warship, except with interchangeable blades. Instead all the USN got was the frame of the Knife with no blades at all, not even the cork screw, and only the plastic toothpick.
If it was a 1000t FAC-corvette it would be fine, but its the size of a frigate and therefore worthy of the attention of a fighter squadron the way a small FAC or corvette isn't.
 
The USN got rid of those hydrofoils too soon, they're perfect for littoral conbat; fast, cheap, too small to be easily found and attacked, too small to bother about , heavily armed.
 
One of the best, if not best in class, the Skjold. Add on the Visby-class corvettes, and for a modest amount you get one hell of superb small ship navy.
Then, the United States would never/ever adopt systems not made here - politics and profits would prohibit that - and admitting that the Scandinavians do anything better than we do? Not a sorry chance.
Like the Canberra, Hawk, 105mm L7 tank gun, 105mm light gun, 120mm smooth bore tank gun, m240 gpmg, m249 lmg, m9 pistol, m27 IAR. 🥳😉
 
One of the huge mistakes being put into warships right now is the automation of just about everything to reduce crew numbers. This satisfies bean counters but fails to allow for the occasions when you need to fight to save the ship and critical manpower is missing. The Norwegians recently lost a ship that had a crew of 120. a collision tore a large gash in the ship and the damage was severe. The loss can not be directly attributed to crew size but must be taken into account. A 5,000 ton warship sinking from a collision is hard to believe with all the modern sensors. A roughly comparable sized ship the Hobart class has nearly double the crew on a slightly bigger ship. ie 1000 tons.
 
The problem for the LCS concept in the USN is that for other navies the L would mean their own litoral, but for the USN it means somebody else coast.
So a USN LCS must first cross an ocean and only then fight on a hostile litoral.
That ruins the whole concept, the getting there part making it impossible to use small enough ships to be expendable.
 
And great stereo equipment, speaking of someone who has owned some B&O and Hegel components - and those are sold in the States, even if only audiophiles or Silicon Valley types know them.
And they do make some very nice guns, in fact, I have to take back my never/ever, I believe that Bofors are used by the Coast Guard and on those Navy littorals?
On sea the 40mm Bofors was a USN mainstay for years.
On Land the US bought the Carl Gustav AT. The "Swedish K" 9mm SMG was a US special ops favorite in the Viet Nam war.
 

Marc

Donor
On sea the 40mm Bofors was a USN mainstay for years.
On Land the US bought the Carl Gustav AT. The "Swedish K" 9mm SMG was a US special ops favorite in the Viet Nam war.
Quite so. Then countries do tend to be pragmatic about equipment during war time conditions. Far less so when it's about peace time profits.
Best in class isn't a primary consideration, particularly when you can rationalize your decisions to hell and your next promotion.
 
The USN got rid of those hydrofoils too soon, they're perfect for littoral conbat; fast, cheap, too small to be easily found and attacked, too small to bother about , heavily armed.
Also totally helpless in ASW and MCM, and has almost no endurance. Not to mention, as soon as it’s detected by an enemy it has nothing but a 76mm to defend itself against enemy missiles (other than trying to dodge a missile). With 8 Harpoons, it’s an actual threat and would be treated as such by any enemy.

It’d be even worse than the LCS in survivability (as in, enemy swarm craft armed with RPG’s and machine guns have a chance of doing serious damage) , and in an age where every life lost is a PR disaster, the USN just can’t afford to risk lives like that.
The Norwegians recently lost a ship that had a crew of 120. a collision tore a large gash in the ship and the damage was severe. The loss can not be directly attributed to crew size but must be taken into account.
IIRC the ship had some structural issues, and the whole affair was a huge mess. An investigation revealed that after limiting the flooding, the crew unexpectedly “found that water from the aft generator room was running into the gear room via the hollow propeller shafts and that the gear room was filling up fast. From the gear room, the water then ran into and was flooding the aft and fore engine rooms via the stuffing boxes in the bulkheads. This meant that the flooding became substantially more extensive than indicated by the original damage. Based on the flooding of the gear room, it was decided to prepare for evacuation.”

No amount of additional crew could’ve made up for that.
 
We need them for ABM linebackers.

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.
THAT was what the LCS was supposed to do.
 
Also totally helpless in ASW and MCM, and has almost no endurance. Not to mention, as soon as it’s detected by an enemy it has nothing but a 76mm to defend itself against enemy missiles (other than trying to dodge a missile). With 8 Harpoons, it’s an actual threat and would be treated as such by any enemy.

It’d be even worse than the LCS in survivability (as in, enemy swarm craft armed with RPG’s and machine guns have a chance of doing serious damage) , and in an age where every life lost is a PR disaster, the USN just can’t afford to risk lives like that.
I don't deny any of that, however where the LCS falls down is that trying to make an ocean going ASW frigate into a minesweeper and FAC (or whicher chicken and egg came first) hasn't worked and at least the old hydrofoil could do one of those roles in the past.

Perhaps PR isn't a very good warship design metric.
 
I don't deny any of that, however where the LCS falls down is that trying to make an ocean going ASW frigate into a minesweeper and FAC (or whicher chicken and egg came first) hasn't worked and at least the old hydrofoil could do one of those roles in the past.
Yeah, the issue of mission creep and the utter failure that the modularization ended up being is a huge problem, but I’m just saying that the hydrofoils aren’t a good solution, or even a better solution than the LCS. They can’t fulfill the role of swatting down small boat swarms (no 30mm or Hellfires, unless you want to sling Harpoons at speedboats, at that point a Burke would be better in almost every way), which was the main goal of the LCS, and as you acknowledge it can’t perform the other functions that the LCS can (albeit at varying levels of efficiency), and it doesn’t have a helicopter to boot.

Perhaps PR isn't a very good warship design metric.
Having PR as a design metric won’t make you the best warships, that’s true, but it is an important factor that must be considered. There’s a reason the LCS evolved from the old “street fighter” concept, and became the bloated pseudo-frigate it is today. Crews and their ships can't be considered expendable anymore. Glass cannons are a thing of the past.
 
I would think something like Danish Absalon -class would have been the best choice. The design is sufficiently big to house numerous goodies, and it can be modularry upgraded to a full blown combatant if the money arises. For interception etc. duties the ship is large enough to have helos, RHIB's, USV's, CB-90 boats, 7 MBT's etc.
 

DougM

Donor
We have a few problems here.
First off is the god awf believe the military (and its political oversight) gets every so often and that is the one size fits all believe in combining multiple rolls into one item. we see this most often in aircraft. (F111, F35 and Super Hornet) They think that combination of tasks in one box makes things cheeper but it just makes each box more expensive and not work as well. The LCS is this in navel form.

The second issue is the mission creep facto or the while we are at it. Well we have this device so we may as well toss this in again. It ends up with trying to add to much stuff to any given thing. Ironically the more money you have the worse this gets. Smaller counties with smaller budgets suffer less because they can’t afford to buy as much junk to put on the new device meanwhile the US can afford to buy EVERYTHING to dump on the new item (in this case a ship) so it becomes overloaded with stuff it does not need.

These are problems that everyone has to one degree or another but the US has it worse because any other country would have looked at the cost of adding all these features and said the could not afford it at the planning stage. But the US CAN afford it so these over priced over build over stuffed badly designed toys get built and then when they don’t work or are so expensive that folks start bitching they get cut. So we end up with one or two. We see this countless times. Again more often with aircraft. Can you say B70, the original B1 the B2. The F22 the Comanche helicopter and countless other? In the navy side you get Seawolf and it’s supposedly cheeper replacement. Or going back a ways Alaska. A ship that once its obvious roll ended and we entered a shooting war with other needs we still built when any other country with less money would have pull the plug on.

So the issue is the false belief that combining multiple rolls in one platforms saves money. As well as the mission creep and while we are here we may as well add this. Compounded by the huge budgets the US can afford Not stopping this rediculus stuff in the design phase.
 
What's the deal with all this aluminium in modern ships? How can a ship such as an LCS stand up to a couple of anti-ship missiles?
 
Top