Monday, 16 July 2012

LCS: U.S. Navy abandons the concept of "quick change of mission"

For the U.S. Navy, the idea was that the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) mission modules available that could be exchanged quickly, so that LCS can easily change mission: the fight against mines in the fight anti-submarine for example, during a single deployment.

But instead of taking only a few days as originally planned, it now appears that the change of mission modules could take several weeks. It is therefore likely that LCS assigned to a transaction to maintain its mission module until the end of the deployment, requiring other buildings, equipped with other mission modules, to provide flexibility initially expected.

This is one conclusion that the Navy has fired a series of exercises and progress reports on the actual capabilities of LCS. The LCS is also criticized because they fail to reach the capacity level of the buildings they replace. These evaluations are intended to determine that the LCS can and can not do, how it should be used, what type and level of support it needs, and changes that are needed for these buildings can sail and fight.

Initially, the U.S. Navy LCS replaces provided that the frigates, minesweepers and patrol vessels. But these new evaluations conclude that the LCS can not replace in terms of capacity frigates or mine hunters today, and they are too large to operate as patrol.

The LCS, according to estimates, is not able to accomplish most missions planned by the specifications.

Equipped with a mission module for anti-surface and maritime security, the LCS were deemed capable of conducting security cooperation mission of theater and maritime security, as the fight against piracy.

But the LCS can perform three main tasks provided for them - forward presence, sea control and power projection - and they can provide only humanitarian assistance or support to relief operations in natural disasters limited.

A significant gaps identified by the report is its inability to defend against cruise missiles, anti-ship, a weapon yet embarked on hundreds of small fast boats, implemented by most hostile marine. These are Chinese missiles and C-801 C-802, Russian SS-N-2 Styx, as the European missile and the Exocet and Harpoon U.S..

And the situation is improved by the fact that some possible solutions that could be installed on the LCS 1 Freedom can not be on the trimaran LCS 2 Independence, closer to the hull.

Another concern is the autonomy. Although the original specification called for an autonomy of 21 days, the two types of LCS does have room to store that 14 days of food.

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