Sunday, February 26, 2006

Navy's New Brown Water Initiative

The U.S. Navy's new program for a coastal patrol ship has begun to bear fruit.

For those not familiar with the LCS (Littoral Combat Ship) the concept is a flexible, inexpensive vessel to operate that is intended to patrol coastal areas, perform ASW, ASUW, mine hunting as well as combat asymmetrical threats such as small craft born raiders and terrorists. The flexibility for the various missions is to be accomplished by changing out mission modules preparing the ship for whatever its next assignment is.

Note that there is no discussion as to how they are to accomplish this outside of a shipyard e.g. no tender ships for forward deployment.

This ship would not be intended to deploy as part of a Task Force in the deep oceans but to patrol close to shores.

This reminds me of an anecdote from the Falklands War where a Royal Marine squad is reported to have spotted and sunk a Argentine patrol vessel with an anti-tank weapon. This is to leave out the availability of truck mounted ASM (anti-shipping missiles) which could be positioned along any coast to take out the LCS, a threat for which the LCS is not well equipped to handle as it has no native air defense other than its 57mm gun.

Essentially the United States Navy has bought itself a smaller, less effective frigate than the Oliver Hazard Perry class of guided missile frigates. At least the Perry class included native anti-air as well as ASW capability.

While this vessel would be useful as a militarized Coast Guard vessel patrolling our shores it would not assist with power projection and protection of the Sea Lanes of Communication, traditional U.S. Navy missions.

I find one issue with the design; the use of aluminum. While aluminum is lightweight and particularly strong it does not armor a vessel sufficiently. In addition to this once aluminum begins burning it gives off a toxic gas. For those who do not remember this as a disadvantage see the Stark Incident.

CdrSalamander shared some of his insight into the LCS

And here we have an artist's interpretation of the LCS concept:


basscheez said...

Found your blog via Alphecca. Interesting, I'll look around a bit if you don't mind. But did you mis-spell "libertarian" in your banner on purpose?

roninaz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
roninaz said...

Apparently I didnt indeed mispell it and not deliberately.

Must be a carry over in my mind from Cuba Libre!

Thank you for the heads up.