You claimed there would be no VLS for LCS. I do read. It is, in fact being actively considered by the program. The money you mention Congress cutting is only funding for module testing. VLS installation is a separate issue. Regardless of what happens with the modules, the ships can still be given a VLS. So, I posted this.
You have stated LCS will be moved to reserves. There is no basis to support that claim with any certainty, especially in light of the fact that--as you say--the frigate has not even been built yet. While we wait for it, LCS is in production, and entering the fleet, and actively serving. By the time we have any numbers of even the first 20 frigates in service (let alone any further numbers above that) the LCS will have served for a decade. Here's a little something from that reading I actually do:
"The Navy wants to procure the first FFG(X) in FY2020, the next 18 at a rate of two per year in FY2021-FY2029, and the 20th in FY2030."
So, while you imagine some sort of flood of them, we won't even have 20 of them until 10 years from now. During that decade, 35 LCS will serve. So, again I simply posted this info. After that decade of both steady LCS service, and the arrival of the first 20 frigates, the world will be a different place, and I am not into predicting the future as certainly as others. We may already have gone to war with China by then. Or, not. Who is to say? Make any exotic claims you'd like about the year 2030. I won't challenge them. Hell, I may not even be alive.
Finally, here's something you might have missed, so I will share it with you. The frigate suffered its first "bureaucratic scare" this past Summer, when the House put out their version of a defense bill: https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/06/19/the-navys-new-frigate-program-is-careening-toward-a-roadblock/
I find no followup, so I assume this indeed got killed in the Senate. But, it demonstrates that the frigate program is as vulnerable to capricious political winds as the LCS program was, and could become just as messed up in a heartbeat. Another good reason not to be thundering out bold predictions of what will be in the future. Had this above actually happened, and that year long delay occurred, there is a bill in effect in which Congress must authorize the building of more LCS hulls to keep both the Austal yard, and the Wisconsin yard open.
Basically, I read your post, saw some inaccuracies, and added additional info.
I said the NSM is not a strategic missile ( think Tomahawk) and here you go attacking the FFG that is not even in the water yet defend LCS. Really Ralph you should stop reading the articles and start reading Navy blogs of actual going ons
The Navy will sideline LCS because its mechanically unreliable ( the only 2 deployed had to deploy with civilian techs aboard and more are flown in when it reaches its port of destination). There is no money for the infrastructure to maintain it (meaning no tenders) or enough oilers to feed it.
Now you attacked the systems not I . LCS is probably the most advanced auxiliary afloat unfortunately all within hull that probably will not survive one hit. A hull that propulsion is unreliable, gas guzzling and lacks enough crew habitation and endurance to address its problems.
See Ralph the Navy is gearing for a real fight on blue water against possible peer nations and not Somalia pirates . Nobody needs a short legged unreliable patrol combatant that will guard the port of Singapore. You can add all the weapons you want and waste more money on a hull whose mission was over before it even hit the water.
Now that is common sense. But you keep singing its praises?Why donít you tell us all how LCS is going to contribute to a fast moving combat fleet other than providing local security and possible containment of enemy combatants provided its hosting nation permits that action?
LCS is the most advanced auxiliary the Navy has but its not a combatant for the 21st century. The new FFG will replace it and the Navy will find the money or be given it. Thanks to our no peers nations. You remember them?
PS if you havenít heard they finally got operational 4 weapons elevators on the Ford. Oh boy! Only 7 more to go in how many years do you think? What will happen when they start breaking down and need maintenance is the next question? $$$$ is probably the answer.
And what missile will be on the mighty new frigate? NSM. Except there might be 16 of them vs. the 8 on an LCS. I have read ZERO so far on the 32 cell Mk 41 launcher being of strike length. All I have read for it points to tactical length. If so, the mighty frigate will not be able to fire Tomahawk.
Should you ever care to compare the systems listed for the frigate in the RFP with the equipment on an LCS, and in any of the modules, you will see they are both pretty nearly identical, and further, most all the major systems being used for the frigate were developed in the LCS program. COMBATASS, NSM, SeaRam, Mk 46 gun, Mk 110 gun, Hellfires, Fire Scouts, the variable depth sonar to be used, and so forth. The frigate will have a different hull, and a 32 cell MK 41 VLS of unstated length (but all I have ever read that it will fire is Standard missiles and ESSM, making it tactical length.) It will also have "beefier" electronics, but most of those are planned as upgrades for the LCS, including a better air search radar, and the SEWIP light ECM system and Nulka decoys.
This is being done for commonality reasons, for both easier logistics, and training. If the systems everyone claims are crap on the LCS, then they will be crap on the new frigate...it is using the self same systems. And if they had not undergone all their teething troubles in the LCS program, they would not be the currently working systems "off the shelf" for the frigate program to use.
As far as LCS being put into reserve... The total force requirements for the US Navy call for 55 Small Surface Combatants. There will be 20 frigates, and 35 LCS. If more frigates are constructed beyond the 20 currently planned, the Navy has stated they would be in place of greater numbers of the still-in-planning Large Surface Combatant. As long as the Navy remains committed to the 355 ship goal, and as long as funding for the new ballistic missile subs eats up half the ship building budget, it is a pipe dream to think that the Navy will drop 35 newly built vessels in favor of more numbers of more expensive frigates. The reason the frigate numbers would increase--to replace Large Surface Combatants--is because they are cheaper than those ships. Most stuff I am reading is saying that funding of a 355 ship fleet is pretty troubled. Dumping 35 new ships to buy something else more costly won't make those troubles reduce.
And further... Lockheed has ALWAYS claimed they could put strike length VLS on their LCS version, and at this year's show in January, they had a model out with 8 MK 41 VLS cells. 4 of those were strike length. Lockheed said they were in talks with the Navy about it, and I read that the program is indeed considering adding them. True, it will depend on funding, and I am not holding my breath. But, if they can convince enough key congressmen of the logic/value of paying to put that feature on them, then it is not in the realm of the impossible that one day there could be LCS firing some Tomahawks. AND...that might also actually be more than the frigates can do...
Time will tell. I expect that--after the winning frigate design is announced this coming Sumner--we MIGHT finally be told what length the VLS system will be (??)
The ship fired one in a sinkex exercise.Strategic the missile is not, basically similar to Harpoon with better speed and electronics. Congress drastically cut weapons funding for LCS so no VLS. Truly the mouse that roared.
As the new FFG comes about even more funding will be diverted away from LCS. Navy is hoping the new FFG will be purchased in greater numbers than originally planned and replace LCS . If that is true LCS is bound for the reserve fleet with few active hulls.
Probably the worse purchase the Navy ever made with exception of electro-magnetic weapons elevators
Cyberhobby /Dragon is coming out with a new 1/700 scale Independence class LCS kit of the USS Gabrielle Giffords LCS-10 that shows a modification to the design .
Instead of a deck mounted vertical launch system
in front of the bridge it has 2 boxes mounted on stands. Called Sea Strategic missiles system.
So is this an updated version of the old Armored
Box Launcher system of the 1980's for cruise missiles?