AHC: Better warships over the LCS?

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.
Given the major manning and retention problems the Navy has, it shouldn't expect its ships to have the same sort of war complements they had in the past when designing vessels. The LCS went too far in that direction, but general trend is for smaller crew sizes.

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?
No modern warship (with the possible exception of a carrier against lighter missiles) can stand up to multiple hits by anti ship missiles. Even one strike will most likely mission kill a destroyer or cruiser. Improved structural strength and light antifragmention armor in key areas might make survival more likely, but no warship in the same weight range as the LCS (a frigate or corvette) is going to withstand multiple ASMs.
 
Every time the LCS comes up I can’t help but wonder how the Absalon/ Holland would have turned out with that amount of money poured into it. The Holland’s are supposed to be$150M or so a pop for light weapons, basic radars and a helo.
Another $50m per unit of sensors and $50m of extra mission modules seems like it would give a more useful low-end combatant than the LCS, and would let you buy/refit individuals ships with different configurations e.g. primarily MCM with secondary surface strike, surface strike with secondary ASW, ASW with secondary AA etc etc. so you can optimise for mission if you want. Churn out cheap base ships with no extras as actual OPVs for the coast guard or flag-showing. Lots of platform economy. Would sell like hot cakes abroad if the US is funding development of the hull and modules and ordering enough to get some scale going.
 
Every time the LCS comes up I can’t help but wonder how the Absalon/ Holland would have turned out with that amount of money poured into it. The Holland’s are supposed to be$150M or so a pop for light weapons, basic radars and a helo.
Another $50m per unit of sensors and $50m of extra mission modules seems like it would give a more useful low-end combatant than the LCS, and would let you buy/refit individuals ships with different configurations e.g. primarily MCM with secondary surface strike, surface strike with secondary ASW, ASW with secondary AA etc etc. so you can optimise for mission if you want. Churn out cheap base ships with no extras as actual OPVs for the coast guard or flag-showing. Lots of platform economy. Would sell like hot cakes abroad if the US is funding development of the hull and modules and ordering enough to get some scale going.
I thought the Holland had a significantly better sensor suite than most OPV's?
 
I thought the Holland had a significantly better sensor suite than most OPV's?
My understanding is that the radars are good by OPV standards but not by actual warship standards, they have only basic rock-dodging sonar and I’m not sure if it has an actual Combat Management System to integrate radar+guns+missiles.
But mainly I was making a WAG that a ship with no missiles is unlikely to have been fitted with an expensive radar able to make good use of a VLS full of expensive whoosh-bangs.
 
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).
Increasingly, it sure does look that way. The Navy could do worse.

At any rate, it will be more useful than the LCS ever has been.
 
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.
The loss of that frigate seems likely to have doomed the General Dynamics F100 bid in the FFG(X) competition, be it fair or not: it is what it is.

It's a fair point about crew size, though of course that's about more than just money, and it's not just a problem for the USN.
 
Increasingly, it sure does look that way. The Navy could do worse.

At any rate, it will be more useful than the LCS ever has been.
At the very least it will have room for future upgrades in both physical space and spare electrical generation capacity and it be able to do much of the peacetime tasks the LCS supposed to be able to do like anti piracy activity and thus free up more valuable destroyers
 
The loss of that frigate seems likely to have doomed the General Dynamics F100 bid in the FFG(X) competition, be it fair or not: it is what it is.
Not to mention the fact that the USN wants to maintain its industrial base and well Bath Iron Works has enough Burkes on order that it will busy for the foreseeable future unlike the Yards that built the LCS
 
Or maybe get the modules working.
If the basic concept is UAVs operating from a mother ship who cares how competent the mother ship is.
Working modules can be used by more than just the LCSes.

Every time I see one of these I come back to "decide what you want". A LCS is a highly mobile mother ship. That was the spec. They built the spec. You want a modular frigate? Build a frigate. Why is anyone surprised that a LCS isn't a frigate?
 
Not to mention the fact that the USN wants to maintain its industrial base and well Bath Iron Works has enough Burkes on order that it will busy for the foreseeable future unlike the Yards that built the LCS
True enough.

And not just the Navy, but Congress is very sensitive to this point.

Of course, as that report notes, one alternative *could* be to shift some DDG work to the LCS yards, if they really decide they want the F100 instead. I'm not sure how well that would work, or sell itself to the decision-makers, though.
 
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Or maybe get the modules working.
If the basic concept is UAVs operating from a mother ship who cares how competent the mother ship is.
Working modules can be used by more than just the LCSes.

Every time I see one of these I come back to "decide what you want". A LCS is a highly mobile mother ship. That was the spec. They built the spec. You want a modular frigate? Build a frigate. Why is anyone surprised that a LCS isn't a frigate?
To be fair the LCS's main problem is the fact that much like the Ford class the design team decided to take a risk and assume some new technologies would be ready by the time the hulls were and in the case of the LCS that Congress would be willing to shell out enough cash to purchase sufficient numbers of modules. As we all know it hasn't panned out quite yet but such risks are inherent when making long term decisions in procurement especially as related to technology being ready.
 
So… would the development have been more successful if it had come down landing and logistics rather than combat stream?
 
True enough.

And not just the Navy, but Congress is very sensitive to this point.

Of course, as that report notes, one alternative *could* be to shift some DDG work to the LCS yards, if they really decide they want the F100 instead. I'm not sure how well that would work, or sell itself to the decision-makers, though.
No matter who wins I get the feeling that both LCS yards will get enough work to stay open be it from DDGs or building the FFG(x) or some of its components
 
To be fair the LCS's main problem is the fact that much like the Ford class the design team decided to take a risk and assume some new technologies would be ready by the time the hulls were and in the case of the LCS that Congress would be willing to shell out enough cash to purchase sufficient numbers of modules. As we all know it hasn't panned out quite yet but such risks are inherent when making long term decisions in procurement especially as related to technology being ready.
The design team didn't exactly decide to take a risk with the Ford class, they were told from on high (Rumsfeld) to do it that way. Ford was supposed to be two ships with the higher risk technologies on the second one to give more time for development. I'm pretty sure LCS was just rushed through without time for a full analysis of what it was supposed to do (Rumsfeld again)
 
Perfect time to insert Farragut famous quote "DAMN THE TORPEDOES FULL SPEED AHEAD"
I'm still waiting for the inevitable pulp sci fi novel involving the USS consitution being upgraded with a fusion reactor, rail guns, and nano armor. And then being sent to fight the bloody martians.
 
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