Military Review

Littoral Combat Ship Program: Problem on Problem

41
The goal of the American Littoral Combat Ship (Coastal Warship) program was to build a large number of ships capable of solving various tasks at short distances from the coast. Serial construction of two types of ships was launched, having a standard set of equipment and capable of receiving specialized equipment. However, from the very beginning of the tests, the LCS ships began to face various problems. This time, as reported by the American media, the technical and administrative difficulties prevent the deployment of the ships planned for 2018.


Most interesting news April 11 published the website USNI News - the official publication of the US Naval Institute. From a representative of the Pacific surface command fleet The publication learned about the current problems with the maintenance and organization of the combat operation of ships of the LCS family. Due to a number of unresolved problems, the fleet has to revise the approved deployment schedule for such ships at the bases. In addition, military service in remote regions is at risk.



The current situation for USNI News has been described by Commander John Perkins, who is the spokesman for the surface forces in the Pacific. According to him, of the four LCS ships built on the very first order, three are currently under maintenance. Also on the small and medium repairs there are four of the eight newer ships, which entered service a little later. Thus, of the dozen ships built, only five, less than half, continue to serve. All others are in the process of Post Shakedown Availability (repair and recovery after a hike). This markedly hits the potential of the surface forces.

The situation is complicated by the specific approach to the operation and service of ships. In 2016, the command introduced new methods for training crews and distributing ships between formations. In accordance with this decision, the first four ships of the series were to remain at the San Diego base (California) and take on the training of new crews. In addition, with their help it was planned to test new types of equipment and weapons for other LCS. All other ships were proposed to be reduced to squadrons of four units.

As part of each such unit, one ship must perform the functions of combat training. The three remaining LCSs get their own tasks: combating coastal targets, anti-submarine defense, and search for naval mines. Thus, the three ships of the squadron must constantly serve, and the fourth is involved in the solution of combat missions, if necessary, as a means of strengthening the group.

It is easy to see what the implementation of such plans looks like at the moment. Of the four ships in San Diego, only one remains, capable of continuing the training of sailors. Two squadrons suitable for deployment, half "bloodless" and also can not fully solve the tasks assigned to them. In this situation, the naval forces must fulfill the approved plans for the transfer of ships to new bases in certain areas. Obviously, they will not be able to do it in a timely manner.

USNI News recalls that earlier the Executive Office of the program of unmanned and small warships (Program Executive Office for Unmanned and Small Combatants) managed to announce plans for the deployment of combat units. So, in 2018, it was planned to transfer one Freedom-class LCS ship from Mayport, FL to Bahrain. This ship was to be the first LCS in the US 5 fleet. In addition, two LCSs of type Independence should have been sent from San Diego to Singapore. It was assumed that sending three ships to new bases would increase the combat capability of US surface forces in the coastal zones and seas of the Indian Ocean.



The latest news on the status of available ships, announced by Commander J. Perkins, allowed USNI News to draw some less than optimistic conclusions. The publication claims that in the current situation this year, the US Navy will not be able to send the first LCS to Bahrain. The two ships that are scheduled to be sent to Singapore will first have to complete the PSA procedure. Then they will need training and certification of crews, after which they will be able to leave for a new base. There is every reason to doubt that at least one LCS will arrive in Singapore on 2018.

As it turned out, problems with the maintenance of ships affect not only the deployment, but also the training of crews. Moreover, such difficulties only exacerbate the situation with combat service. For the full and timely training of seafarers on the West and East Coast, the first ships of the LCS project should be deployed, which are now training ships. However, they are still in scheduled maintenance after the hikes and are not ready to continue their service. In addition, the program of their modernization continues with the correction of deficiencies revealed during the operation of all ships of the series.

As a result, it turns out that, at the moment, the US Navy cannot send “Coastal ships” to new duty stations due to the insufficient number of active groups, as well as due to low rates of personnel training. As a result, the LCS service on foreign bases, originally planned for the 2018 year, will start no earlier than 2019.

However, USNI News calls for an understanding of the current situation. There are a number of objective factors that in one way or another affect the work of the fleet and can worsen the situation. However, in this you can find positive moments.

Firstly, the publication reminds that any new and complex project always faces difficulties that, among other things, negatively affect the timing of the work. The second factor is the difference between the LCS ships of the new series from the first four. According to the results of testing and operation of early ships projects were reworked. In this regard, eight new ships are different from the four older ones in design, equipment and combat capabilities. Naturally, different and training crews. J. Perkins also indicated that already after the start of service, LCS ships could receive new equipment and weapon. For such innovations also have to pay time.



Finally, after the well-known events of the past year, which had tragic consequences, the US Navy began to pay more attention to security issues. In the context of maintenance and repair, this is realized in the form of more accurate work of specialists and enhanced quality control. As a result, the service under the standard PSA program takes longer, and therefore the ship remains at the dock longer, without being able to enter combat service.

Mentioned and another problem directly related to the organization of repair. LCS ships of the Independence type have a three-body design, which imposes certain restrictions on their maintenance. For most of the work required, including maintenance after hikes, they have to be put into dry dock. All such ships serve on the West Coast, where currently there is a real shortage of docks. Shipbuilding and ship repair enterprises are loaded with naval orders, and they cannot always accept another ship for repair. This circumstance is another factor with a negative effect.

At the moment, the situation with the ships Littoral Combat Ship is as follows. The San Diego base is served by the LCS Squadron 1 (LCSRON-1) division, which consists of the USS Freedom (LCS-1), USS Independence (LCS-2), USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) and USS combat craft Coronado (LCS-4), built on two projects. Ships with side numbers from one to three are in service. Coronado recently returned from Singapore. In the foreseeable future, he will take part in the next test of mine action systems. A little later, after leaving the docks, other ships carrying other equipment will join the tests.

The second squadron includes ships USS Jackson (LCS-6), USS Montgomery (LCS-8), USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) and USS Omaha (LCS-12), designed by Independence. "Jackson" is a training ship, while others are designed to solve real problems. However, the connection potential is limited, since half of its ships have not yet been entered into the fleet combat composition.

The base in Florida is the LCSRON-2 connection, which has already received the ships USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) and USS Detroit (LCS-7). The launch of two new ships, USS Little Rock (LCS-2018) and USS Sioux City (LCS-9), was scheduled for 11 year. In this squadron, the role of the training ship is assigned to the ship USS Milwaukee (LCS-5). All others, in turn, should be involved in solving real combat missions.



The current plans for the Pentagon include the construction of two types of 30 Littoral Combat Ship. A dozen have already been deployed in the fleet or are preparing for this, and there are already orders for new ships. Last fall, the naval forces signed the last contract providing for the construction of ships with aircraft numbers LCS-29 and LCS-30. Their construction will begin no earlier than 2020 of the year, and no later than the middle of the next decade they will go into service. This completes the LCS shipbuilding program. The US military does not plan to continue construction and acquire new ships in excess of the 30 already ordered.

***

It should be noted that the current difficulties in the preparation of crews and the deployment of ships fill up the already considerable list of problems of the LCS program. This program was launched at the beginning of the two thousandth, and its goal was to build a large group of small multifunctional ships capable of conducting combat operations in the coastal zone. Several dozen such ships should be deployed along both coasts of the continental US, as well as at remote bases.

Several companies participated in the development of the project for a promising coastal zone ship; The Pentagon accepted two projects for implementation. One of them was developed by Lockheed Martin, the second - General Dynamics. By the names of the lead ships, the projects were designated as Independence and Freedom, respectively. General Dynamics offered to build a trimaran ship, while the Lockheed-Martin project used the traditional single-hull scheme.

In accordance with the requirements of the customer, the ships of the LCS family had to solve a wide range of combat missions. They had to carry artillery and rocket weapons to combat coastal or surface targets, and should also develop anti-submarine and anti-mine weapons. If necessary, the ships were to participate in rescue or humanitarian operations. The fulfillment of such requirements was associated with certain difficulties that adversely affected the course of projects.

By the end of the last decade, a new problem was fully revealed. The development of two projects and the construction of the first four ships turned out to be prohibitively expensive, and they left the planned estimate. In this regard, there were proposals to abandon the LCS program due to its unacceptable cost. However, after some break, the construction of serial ships continued. However, before this project was seriously reworked in the direction of cheaper.



The proposed technical appearance of the ships was also criticized. The technical task for them stipulated the solution of the main combat missions, but according to the real characteristics and capabilities of the built ships were far from ideal. In this regard, the development of two projects continued, and the ships began to receive new equipment or weapons. This process is still ongoing.

Current plans include the construction of 30 ships, and all new ships correspond to the updated and cheaper projects. About a third of these plans have already been implemented, but the program faces new challenges. Due to technical difficulties, the need for regular maintenance and the specificity of personnel training, about half of the ready-made ships cannot yet go to sea and solve assigned tasks. In the future, the situation may change for the better, but still for some time the US Navy will face problems.

In the current 2018 year, the Pentagon planned to deploy three LCS ships to remote bases. One ship must go to Bahrain, two more - to Singapore. As the current situation shows, such plans are shifted to the next 2019 year. Not earlier than the end of 2018, it will be possible to return the cash ships from repair and put into operation new ones. And only after that LCS will be able to serve not only in their native bases, but also in remote areas.

The command of the naval forces sees and understands the problems. Possible measures are being taken to solve them, which are expected to allow all the ordered ships to be built, to accept them into the fleet's combat strength and to distribute them between the bases. However, there may be new difficulties, to get rid of which again will require time and effort. In addition, the program Littoral Combat Ship over the past years, and so bears the loss of reputation. It is unlikely that the success of the program will be able to completely eclipse all known failures, which at one time almost led to its closure.

An interesting and promising project Littoral Combat Ship fairly quickly faced technical and financial difficulties. Then began the problems associated with construction and operation. The latter lead to the disruption of the implementation of plans for the deployment and combat service. Apparently, “Warships of the coastal zone” for a long time will not be able to become a full-fledged component of the naval forces, as well as get rid of their bad reputation.

On the materials of the sites:
https://news.usni.org/
https://taskandpurpose.com/
http://fas.org/
http://globalsecurity.org/
http://navy.mil/
http://defenseindustrydaily.com/
Author:
Photos used:
US Navy, Wikimedia Commons
41 comment
Information
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. YELLOWSTONE
    YELLOWSTONE April 19 2018 05: 35
    +1
    why Russia does not have ships of this type?
    1. Waltasar
      Waltasar April 19 2018 06: 38
      +5
      We have in such a displacement corvettes of the project 20380, "Stereguschiy".
      Comparing weapons, Oleg is immediately remembered that they crammed into their ships that they have more displacement and less weapons?
      1. YELLOWSTONE
        YELLOWSTONE April 19 2018 06: 55
        +2
        Americans have a displacement and speed of about twice that, but the draft is the same
    2. Cherry Nine
      Cherry Nine April 19 2018 10: 12
      +2
      Quote: YELLOWSTONE
      why does Russia have no ships of this type?

      Because the guard, the frigate PLO and something like a gunboat in one hull is not the most sensible idea.
      1. YELLOWSTONE
        YELLOWSTONE April 19 2018 11: 15
        0
        it's not a guard
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA April 19 2018 15: 24
          +1
          Quote: YELLOWSTONE
          it's not a guard

          And a guard, including:
          anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, homeland defense, maritime intercept, special operations, and logistics.

          That is, the LCS had to carry out the tasks of anti-aircraft defense, mine defense, anti-surface ship control, reconnaissance and surveillance, coast guard, intercepting sea targets, special operations and supply. And without involving normal EM.
          1. YELLOWSTONE
            YELLOWSTONE April 19 2018 18: 46
            0
            these are all tiny options placed in replaceable modules and there can only be one container
            with involvement, aviation also covers the mk from its serious weapons
            the guard is guarding his area, this is a high-speed floating platform for a tiltrotor or two helicopters and two semi-rigid inflatable boats
            1. Alexey RA
              Alexey RA April 19 2018 19: 10
              +2
              Quote: YELLOWSTONE
              with involvement, aviation also covers the mk from its serious weapons

              This is now and in fact. And initially LCS was conceived precisely for independent work - in order not to drive expensive EMs to different fifth places of the world.
              Now, even on the shores of Third World countries, LCS require cover by Burki or Zamvolty. Or re-equipment - and the last proposed option under the USN TK included the already trimmed Aegis. smile
              Quote: YELLOWSTONE
              these are all tiny options placed in replaceable modules and there can only be one container

              However, with one of these containers, LCS becomes ... well, more precisely, had become a watchdog.
              1. YELLOWSTONE
                YELLOWSTONE April 19 2018 19: 21
                0
                no, there’s just no reason to sacrifice expensive weapons systems with full contact
                so that he becomes an independent watchdog containers db almost everything, and this, in addition to price, will increase draft and reduce speed
                these ships for raiding operations
                1. Alexey RA
                  Alexey RA April 19 2018 19: 26
                  +2
                  Quote: YELLOWSTONE
                  no, there’s just no reason to sacrifice expensive weapons systems with full contact

                  So for LCS, full contact was not initially envisaged. The Americans stepped on a rake named "Fisher's cats" - "we will work because of the radius of fire of the enemy."
                  So far, the Zusuls had D-30s on the shore, and various artillery boats with 20-40 mm in the sea - everything was fine. But serial LCSs began to enter service when the Zusuls acquired SCRC. And the whole concept went to dust ...
                  1. smaug78
                    smaug78 April 19 2018 19: 37
                    0
                    Tell me, please, what Zulus off the coast of the United States with SCRC?
                    1. Alexey RA
                      Alexey RA April 20 2018 10: 19
                      +1
                      Quote: smaug78
                      Tell me, please, what Zulus off the coast of the United States with SCRC?

                      And what does the US coast have to do with it? LCS were originally planned for use in coastal waters around the world - since EMs were considered too vulnerable for this. And then they were also hung on the tasks of the "open ocean", such as PLO and the fight against piracy.
                      1. YELLOWSTONE
                        YELLOWSTONE April 21 2018 04: 31
                        +1
                        there are no open ocean tasks on them
                  2. YELLOWSTONE
                    YELLOWSTONE April 19 2018 19: 43
                    0
                    were initially made for him, maybe the Zulus got aviation that can embed,
                    from PCR began to put ciws on ordinary
                    from the Zulu torpedo from a boat or pl, too, it turns out to run away faster
              2. Cherry Nine
                Cherry Nine April 20 2018 07: 50
                +2
                Quote: Alexey RA
                And initially LCS was conceived precisely for independent work - in order not to drive expensive EMs to different fifth places of the world.

                It, of course, anything can happen, but from my couch it seems that you are trying to refine an ordinary mess with a cunning plan. Uncle Fedor wrote a technical task to replace the old OHP, but then the Balls got hooked and painted his whole life.
                Because for independent Action a separate ship USA against not stubs with Kalash on a fishing boat, but an organized force that can provide overseas target designation - too many people should go crazy.
                1. Alexey RA
                  Alexey RA April 20 2018 10: 30
                  +2
                  Quote: Cherry Nine
                  Because for the independent actions of a separate US ship against not stubs with Kalash on a fishing boat, but an organized force that can provide overseas target designation - too many people should go crazy.

                  So at the time of the design and construction of the first LCS in the areas of their planned application there was no an organized force capable of providing overseas target designation. The maximum possible is coastal artillery with field artillery systems of 122-155 mm caliber and visual adjustment of the type "Zusul with binoculars on a palm tree." And against them, UAVs and universal systems based on the Hellfire seemed quite sufficient.
                  Quote: Cherry Nine
                  It, of course, anything can happen, but from my couch it seems that you are trying to refine an ordinary mess with a cunning plan. Uncle Fedor wrote a technical task to replace the old OHP, but then the Balls got hooked and painted his whole life.

                  Uncle Fedor wrote TK on a small "consumable" ship for operations in the coastal zone, where EM is better not to meddle. A sort of gunboat in a new way.
                  And then they started to improve this concept, hanging on it all new tasks. In general, everything is classic:
                  1. Cherry Nine
                    Cherry Nine April 20 2018 12: 54
                    +1
                    Quote: Alexey RA
                    And against them, UAVs and universal systems based on the Hellfire seemed quite sufficient

                    Yes, there were such conversations. But this is a specialized anti-Somali option. Where there are Termites - and there are many where they are, and for a long time - the topic is not working. Consumable ship? And the crew is also "expendable"?
                    Quote: Alexey RA
                    A sort of gunboat in a new way.

                    Then I would recall Munchausen. At first they planned the celebration. Then the arrests. Then they decided to combine. With regard to the LKS, the topic of gunboats overlapped with the decommissioning of Perry, which is a fact, not a projection about gunboats. Due to the real need of the Navy for frigates, the topic has not yet drowned, like Zumvolt.
    3. nemoXX
      nemoXX April 20 2018 11: 18
      +2
      Usually, Russia goes through 2 stages of creating this type.
      1) pouring mud and ridicule of Western developments "lagging behind domestic 10-20 (maybe more) years"
      2) the creation of similar samples
      In principle, this is normal practice ... if we consider normal the attempt to win the "cold" (and even more so the "hot") war by a total arms race lost to the much richer USSR, in much better conditions.
      1. YELLOWSTONE
        YELLOWSTONE April 21 2018 04: 37
        +1
        only now why did you decide that they were really expensive, and that the USSR had lost something there?
      2. evgeny68
        evgeny68 April 22 2018 18: 39
        0
        Why did you decide that the USSR lost the arms race. I’m already tired of listening to this nonsense, the arguments are that the USSR fell apart, but the reasons for the collapse are completely different, hundreds of volumes will be written about them in the future.
  2. Sergey985
    Sergey985 April 19 2018 07: 07
    +2
    One gets the impression that whatever the Americans build, the complexity of the aircraft carrier turns out.
    1. NIKNN
      NIKNN April 19 2018 14: 17
      +1
      Quote: Sergey985
      One gets the impression that whatever the Americans build, the complexity of the aircraft carrier turns out.

      Looking for guys ... looking for effective weapons ..
      Littoral Combat Ship Program: Problem on Problem
      Well, whoever does not do anything, that one has no problems, except how to protect himself with nothing ...
    2. Petrol cutter
      Petrol cutter April 19 2018 20: 52
      +1
      It just needs to be finalized by the "grinder" bully .
  3. Rurikovich
    Rurikovich April 19 2018 07: 10
    +3
    Learn how to cut loot wassat
    So I wanted to be ahead of everyone in exceptionalism, that instead of riveting relatively cheap classic-type ships, they invented stealth trimarans, such that neither normal weapons nor normal returns during service are observed fool
    Scha defenders of Western infallibility will begin to say that everything new takes time to finalize, that a look into the future is always dangerous with pitfalls, etc.
    In this case, Primakov’s phrase “they wanted the best, it turned out, as always,” is applicable to the situation.
    The same crap happens with American ideological and technical thought and with the F-35, and with the "Zamvolty" request
    1. Sergey985
      Sergey985 April 19 2018 07: 18
      0
      On the other hand, there is a financial opportunity to realize any, even the most crazy ideas.
      1. YELLOWSTONE
        YELLOWSTONE April 19 2018 13: 01
        0
        if by delirium was meant a trimaran, that is, a littoral and with a usual body.
    2. Cherry Nine
      Cherry Nine April 19 2018 10: 16
      +3
      Quote: Rurikovich
      Scha defenders of Western infallibility will begin to speak

      Not at all. LKS, like the zumvolt, is, apparently, another costly failure. Combining a patrol boat with a frigate PLO, adding stealth and 50 knots, was initially a rather strange idea. It is a pity that the Americans did not limit themselves to demonstrators.
      1. YELLOWSTONE
        YELLOWSTONE April 19 2018 11: 18
        0
        what besides 50 knots there can be expensive?
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA April 19 2018 15: 25
          +2
          Quote: YELLOWSTONE
          what besides 50 knots there can be expensive?

          The alloy housing, on which they put water cannons from stainless steel and threw out the cathodic protection. laughing
          1. YELLOWSTONE
            YELLOWSTONE April 19 2018 19: 40
            0
            the body consists mainly of superstructures, which are always light alloy
            1. Petrol cutter
              Petrol cutter April 19 2018 21: 00
              +1
              I'm afraid not. Hull - consists of the hull itself (sheathing sheets and a set covered by a deck). And add-ons are a separate ring. And not always (why did you decide that?) They are alloy. I will say more, they can also be composite.
              1. YELLOWSTONE
                YELLOWSTONE April 19 2018 22: 39
                0
                the case can be composite, at the same time non-magnetic
                heavy alloys worsen stability; superstructures have lower loads than on board a ship
    3. Olegi1
      Olegi1 April 21 2018 17: 32
      +1
      In this case, Primakov’s phrase “they wanted the best, it turned out, as always,” is applicable to the situation.


      This Chernomyrdin said, learn materiel :)
  4. Alexey RA
    Alexey RA April 19 2018 15: 21
    +1
    As part of each such unit, one ship must perform the functions of a combat training. The three remaining LCS get their own missions: combating coastal targets, anti-submarine defense and finding sea mines.

    Universal ship - they spoke, modular construction - they spoke ... smile
    But in fact, I again had to return to narrow specialization.
    Ah, yes - also order frigates. The very ones whose grave digger was to become LCS.
    1. YELLOWSTONE
      YELLOWSTONE April 19 2018 19: 26
      0
      it didn’t just be easier to get financing
  5. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh April 19 2018 18: 55
    0
    I already wrote, these are the ships of the future: a small crew, saturation with instruments, great speed,
    large helicopter and unmanned aerial wing. Therefore, a completely different level of crews is needed. What the Americans were not ready for.
    1. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA April 19 2018 19: 22
      +4
      Quote: voyaka uh
      I already wrote, these are the ships of the future: a small crew, saturation with instruments, great speed,
      large helicopter and unmanned aerial wing. Therefore, a completely different level of crews is needed. What the Americans were not ready for.

      The Americans were not prepared for the fact that during the design and construction of the LCS, the boundary of the LCS safe maneuvering zone would be moved 50 miles offshore. And they built a cardboard ship without constructive protection, which now should work under fire.
      According to the plan, LCS was supposed to work remotely - abroad the fire of standard means of BO countries of the third world. The problem is that now this border has moved so far from the coast that the LCS airborne weapons even from the border of this zone do not reach the coast. The reason is simple: coastal SCRCs, the same Iranian copies of Chinese SCRCs, began to creep into third world countries.
      1. YELLOWSTONE
        YELLOWSTONE April 19 2018 22: 36
        0
        LCS airborne armament is a tiltrotor and helicopters
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA April 20 2018 10: 35
          +1
          Quote: YELLOWSTONE
          LCS airborne armament is a tiltrotor and helicopters

          But what about the Hellfire-based SSMM module? wink
          1. YELLOWSTONE
            YELLOWSTONE April 21 2018 04: 35
            0
            "hellfire" is an easy aviation missile, and this is a module, it may or may not be,
            and the platform and the hangar are 2/3 of the length of the LCS and up to 5/6 of its area, and the tiltrotor extends from it far beyond the coast.
  6. viktorche
    viktorche April 23 2018 11: 16
    0
    here is something I don’t understand that everyone measures its capabilities by modules? about drones and tiltrotors that everyone forgot? How long should they be equipped with strike weapons? then he will get 50 km and 250 km