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 Post subject: Re: LCS disappointing
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 9:08 am 
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Defense News

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US Navy halts deliveries of Freedom-class littoral combat ship
By: David B. Larter   18 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy has halted deliveries of Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-class littoral combat ship, citing a design flaw with the ship’s transmission.

In a statement to Defense News, the Navy pointed to “a material defect” with the ship’s combining gear, a complex transmission that transmits power generated by the ship’s engines to its waterjet propulsion system, and said it is working to design a fix for in-service littoral combat ships while holding off on taking delivery on new ships.

The Freedom LCS was designed by Lockheed Martin and built by Fincantieri’s Marinette Marine shipyard. The combining gear with the defect was designed by the German firm RENK AG. The Navy, Lockheed and RENK AG have worked together on a fix, which will likely take months to install for each ship, according to a senior Navy official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The acknowledgement of the design flaw — early failure of the ship’s high-speed clutch bearings — confirms the Navy’s suspicions first reported by Defense News in December. Navy officials have expressed confidence, however, that the service is on a good path to fixing the defect and getting the ships to a useful place.

(...SNIPPED)

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 Post subject: Re: LCS disappointing
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:08 am 
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Forever on the drawing board:


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Commissioning of Navy LCS Minneapolis-St. Paul on Hold After Design Defect Discovered
2 Feb 2021
The Associated Press | By The Associated Press
DULUTH, Minn. — The U.S. Navy says the commissioning of the USS Minneapolis-St. Paul in Duluth is on hold after a design defect was discovered.
The high-speed combat ship was christened at the Marinette, Wisconsin shipyard in 2019. The commissioning ceremony was expected to take place this spring before a problem with the propulsion system was discovered.

(...SNIPPED)

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 Post subject: Re: LCS disappointing
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:26 pm 
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Defense News

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LCS shipbuilder president resigns amid US and Australian financial investigations
By: David B. Larter   15 hours ago
WASHINGTON – The head of Alabama shipbuilder Austal USA has resigned amid investigations from U.S. and Australian authorities into a $115 million loss the company posted in 2016 that was tied to the builder’s Independence-class littoral combat ship program.
The company announced in a press release Monday that Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle has resigned and been replaced in the interim by Rusty Murdaugh, the company’s chief financial officer.
Austal USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Australian shipbuilder Austal.
In 2016, the company posted a loss $120.9 million, down from a reported profit of $85.3 million the year before. At the time, the company attributed the loss to underestimating the costs associated with the littoral combat ship.

(...SNIPPED)

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 Post subject: Re: LCS disappointing
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:06 am 
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Super Corvette???? BUAHAHAHA!!! Who are they kidding?

Military.com

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'Super Corvette:' Former Navy Secretary Reveals He Pushed to Rename Littoral Combat Ship
17 Apr 2021
Military.com | By Gina Harkins
When the littoral combat ship was first delivered in 2008, former Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite said he was not a fan.
"I wasn't a fan of it at its inception, but I've become a big fan of it," Braithwaite said this week.
As Navy secretary, the retired flag officer spent time aboard the ships, interacting with their crews and learning about their capabilities. That gave him a different outlook on the LCS, which has long been unpopular on Capitol Hill.
Braithwaite said one of the reasons he feels the ship gets a bad rap is that it was misnamed.
(...SNIPPED)

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 Post subject: Re: LCS disappointing
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:59 am 
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Misnamed is at least fitting. "LCS" would fit better to a ship of the amphibious fleet.

"Super corvette"? That superlative appears to be inappropriate. Along these lines, CVHS (small helicopter carrier) would be another euphemism.

Frigate (FF) or corvette (FS?) would be ok.

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 Post subject: Re: LCS disappointing
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 1:08 am 
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Military.com

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After 15 Years, the Navy's Littoral Combat Ships Are Still in Search of a Mission
16 May 2021
The San Diego Union-Tribune | By Andrew Dyer

Almost 15 years ago, the U.S. Navy christened the first of a new class of warship designed to fight the Global War on Terror. The so-called littoral combat ships would be fast and agile, operating close to shore against missile-firing boats and small submarines.

Today, the Navy has a new mission — or rather, has returned to its old mission, facing off against more capable warships deployed by China and Russia. And the service is still trying to figure out what to do with its $16 billion LCS fleet.

It doesn't help that some of the ships have suffered embarrassing breakdowns in mid-ocean. Or that the Navy discovered recently that the transmission in one of the two classes of ships was defective and needed to be redesigned. And while Congress has eagerly funded construction of the two very different classes of ships, it cut funding from the mission modules needed by the ships to fulfill their missions.

That unfortunate combination explains the ignominious nickname assigned to the LCS by some sailors: Little Crappy Ships.

The Navy intends to spend an additional $61 billion to maintain and operate the ships, according to the Government Accountability Office. But at the same time, the service announced plans last year to retire four of the earliest ships — all based in San Diego — beginning this summer, well ahead of the end of their projected service lives.

(...SNIPPED)

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 Post subject: Re: LCS disappointing
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 2:55 pm 
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Criminal.

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 Post subject: Re: LCS disappointing
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2021 12:55 pm 
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Maybe its time to sell the ones that can be sold and scrap the rest in favour of building up the numbers of frigates? These small vessels are of such restricted utility and are relatively expensive that cancelling the ones on order and replacing them with frigates on a two-for-one basis seems like an obvious solution to the problem.

But, I suspect the LCS project was always more to do with providing work for the two shipyards and securing jobs than any real merit in the two designs.

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 Post subject: Re: LCS disappointing
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2021 2:51 am 
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According to Wikipedia, just two LCS are on order. Likely, some of their construction has also been started already. It is too late to think about cancelling.

The LCS built can be used as patrol vessels, similar to the old OHP frigates, which served without much armament as patrol vessels for their last decade. All major navies had in the past a type of patrol vessel to increase numbers. In case of the RN, they were called sloops.

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 Post subject: Re: LCS disappointing
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 5:36 am 
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Navy Times

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Here’s when the first two littoral combat ships will be mothballed
Geoff Ziezulewicz
3 days ago

The Navy's first littoral combat ship, Freedom, will be decommissioned in September, less than 13 years after it entered service. (Navy)
Just more than a decade after they entered naval service to great fanfare as the future face of the U.S. Navy, the first two littoral combat ships will be mothballed later this year, according to the Navy’s inactivation schedule for 2021.

(...SNIPPED)

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 Post subject: Re: LCS disappointing
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:28 pm 
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It's shame there's not money to use one or more of those first four for experiments, trials, and tests. The USN has a long history of using outdate ships for trials of new weapons and equipment, these might serve well to test updates for the remaining LCS and even planned equipment for the new FFGs.

I don't know if it was mentioned earlier, there was another proposal to make them service ships for the rest of the fleet - remove all but the self-defense weapons and load them up with spare parts, supplies, ammunition, and fuel to support the still-active vessels. They can even sacrifice some stealthiness to expand their capacity, since they won't serve close to the front line, such as one is at sea.

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 Post subject: Re: LCS disappointing
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:31 pm 
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These four were used for experiments, trials, and tests.

The question is what are their defects. Would it be economical to operate them for anything? It was to expensive to bring them to the standard of the later ships.

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 Post subject: Re: LCS disappointing
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 3:06 pm 
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JoeP wrote:

The USN has a long history of using outdate ships for trials of new weapons and equipment ...



.

Easy then, use them as targets versus helicopter and land based missiles that they would have met in combat - should be a laugh.

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 Post subject: Re: LCS disappointing
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 6:39 am 
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Defense News

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US Navy sees better LCS maintenance from sailors in ongoing Tulsa, Charleston deployments
By: Megan Eckstein   20 hours ago
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy is seeing improved maintenance on deployed littoral combat ships amid efforts to boost readiness and operational endurance, now that is has switched from contractor-based work to sailor-performed maintenance, the commander of a destroyer squadron said.

The two LCSs deployed to the Pacific are also carrying hybrid surface warfare and mine countermeasures systems — another deviation from original operational plans that called for using strictly defined mission packages that could solely perform in one warfare area at a time.

Capt. Tom Ogden, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 7, told reporters this month that the Navy is trying to maximize the capability and adaptability of LCS in the current deployments of Independence-variant LCSs Tulsa and Charleston.
(...SNIPPED)

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 Post subject: Re: LCS disappointing
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:28 pm 
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Another belated post:

Defense News

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US Navy accepts first Freedom LCS since discovering widespread defect in combining gear system
By Megan Eckstein
Thursday, Nov 18

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy is satisfied with the solution to its littoral combat ship combining gear woes, having accepted delivery of the first ship to receive the new system, service leaders announced.

The Freedom-variant LCS, made by Lockheed Martin at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin, has suffered several propulsion-related casualties over the years. In January, the Navy announced it would not accept any new ships from Lockheed following the identification of a classwide defect: The bearings in the combining gear failed when the ship tried to operate at full power, with the system unable to withstand the pressure of fusing max power from both the gas turbine and the diesel engine to help the ship reach speeds near 40 knots.

Since that time, subcontractor RENK, Lockheed and the Navy underwent a rigorous engineering and testing process, the program executive officer for unmanned and small combatants, Rear Adm. Casey Moton, told reporters Thursday. The parties involved agreed the fix was appropriate, and the Navy was ready to accept delivery of ships outfitted with a new bearing system in the combining gear.

“Based on the results of the land-based and at-sea testing, both Lockheed Martin and the Navy assessed that the combining gear design modification is satisfactory and, once installed, will allow unrestricted operations of Freedom-variant ships,” Moton told reporters in a teleconference announcing the end of testing and the acceptance of the LCS Minneapolis-St. Paul (LCS-21).

(...SNIPPED)

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 Post subject: Re: LCS disappointing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:47 am 
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Having sailed on a class of ships that had 2x LM2500 GT's and a Propulsion Diesel Engine, I will observe that we had the ability to drive with either GTs or PDE, but not normally both at the same time. There was always a transition period where they would all be providing power, but that was usually at a relatively low power setting - ie less than 18 knots.

I will guess that having the combining gears (we called it a Cross-Connect Gearbox) to tie power from all engines in together with multiple different engine speeds - that'd be a challenge. Sounds like the design wasn't up to the challenge.

One of the 'key' design features to the LCS concept was the speed - and having all engines tie in to generate that speed made sense, but if you can't tie in one of your main propulsion engines at the same time, it limits your speed - and thus the design will be a failure.

I always wondered about the light armament on them as well - as a ship designed to go 'into harm's way' in the littorals, having something more than a 57mm up forward would be handy, and having at least ESSM capability would, I think, be a minimum for entering that kind of dangerous space close ashore.

Just my thoughts though.

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