In the early 2000s, the US Navy launched the LCS program - "littoral [literally -" coastal "] combat ships", the cost of which at that time was estimated at $ 37 billion and included the supply of the fleet at least 52 fast [with a speed of 40 knots] and multi-purpose ships.
They had to perform a wide range of tasks by adding "mission modules" depending on the tasks assigned: ASW and ASW, trawling, reconnaissance, coastal surveillance, special operations. And all this with a crew reduction of up to 40 sailors thanks to their powerful automation.
However, this program has since failed.
- says the Opex360 edition.
Planned economies of scale fell short of expectations: the unit cost of the ship, estimated at $220 million, more than doubled. Reducing the number of crew turned out to be a bad idea, since it affected the maintenance of ships, the operation of which was accompanied by constant malfunctions. The most problematic was the PLO module from Raytheon.
Ultimately, the US Navy decided to write off several pennants that had recently been put into service ahead of schedule.
We decided it was best to decommission these ships and invest [saved] resources into making units more maneuverable and more suitable for future combat operations.
- said the Minister of Defense.
The ships USS Freedom (LCS-1), USS Independence (LCS-2) and Coronado (LCS-4) have already been decommissioned. These were the oldest of the series. A fourth has just joined them: USS Sioux City (LCS-11), which entered service exactly 4 years and 9 months ago, that is, not even up to five years of service.
According to Pentagon budget projections, the operating costs of the LCS will be as significant as those of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. Therefore, their write-off will continue.