Very nice video. Had to back it up in several places, and have it repeat to catch some things, and I am still not sure I either comprehend all parts of it completely, nor fully agree with every single thing she says. But, it is certainly informed! And it lays out the issues well, and shows the complexities of the situation very clearly.
So, from Jim's post above comes this:
" “One of the great losses in outsourcing expertise was the invaluable preliminary design function of the Naval Sea Systems Command; therefore, it should come as no surprise that while the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer’s preliminary design was accomplished in-house, it was not for LCS or the Zumwalt class.” "
In other words, he is saying (correctly) that the Burke was designed "in-house" (by the Navy) but LCS and Zumwalt were not. (And I looked Zumwalt up in Friedman. By golly it was not designed by the Navy. It was outsourced.) Certainly the LCS designs were creations of their respective companies in response to Requests for Information, and Mission Needs Statements, etc.
So, if the Navy did not generate the designs--they came from outsourcing--why is the Navy to blame?
Again from Jim comes:
" “This ability to prototype was possible largely because that Navy had greater “control” over shipbuilding decisions and therefore its warfighting capability. First and foremost, Navy engineers were engineers, not contract managers. Interbureau rivalries notwithstanding, the General Board, and later the Ship Characteristics Board (SCB), used the Navy’s well-established preliminary design capability to develop configuration studies and evaluate trade-offs. The Navy then could contract with independent firms (e.g., Gibbs & Cox) to prepare detailed designs for use by industry. The option to build prototypes in naval shipyards was available as leverage to induce private yards to participate.” "
Meaning, the Navy nowdays has less control over the design process than in bygone days. It has lost in-house engineers and its own yards, and is being "managed" from the outside with personnel on the inside assigned to run the program, not create anything. (And those personnel will dutifully testify that the program they are assigned to is "all that, and a bag of chips!" Which is their job. So, again, Congress is blameless because it is too stupid to recognize a snappy sales pitch?)
Which is then exactly part of the problem. Now, who exactly did away with NAVSEA I have not looked into. If the Navy killed its own institution, the "foundational blame" can then be laid right there. But, if it was eliminated by other factions, then they would then be the "root" guilty party(ies.)
Again, there is blame aplenty. Congress played a large role. They are mad because they are hypocrites, and they sense public anger, and wish to capitalize on that for votes. There are certainly others to blame. It was a "group effort." Unless the Navy self-destructed its own design bureau, only a portion of the blame lies with them, and not necessarily the fundamental blame.
Congressmen know pork and politics but would not know a CG from a DDG if shown pictures side by side. Nor do they have an in depth view of naval war fighting. They know numbers and weapon systems.
The Navy is fully to blame. Regardless of prototypes, what they knew or did not know it was a poor concept that was built poorly. They blame is theirs and you can read from the article Congress is mad .When you sell BS as flowers but deliver BS. Opps!
It wasn’t like the The Navy was not asked to testify before both HASC and SASC. They testified this was the best thing since slice bread and on the cheap too!
Past the blame to Congress if you wish but the true blame starts with the Navy.
Ohh and thank you for the belly laugh “we are seen to be in some sort of arms race with China”. We are decommissioning and they are continuing to build. No arms race. We were out raced when Zumwalt, San Antonio, LCS and Ford became revolutionary.instead of evolutionary.
Quote: "All what you say is true of Congress but then stupidity and pork was handed to them on silver platter courtesy of The Department of the Navy."
So, despite being told it was a bad idea by others (including their own budget office,) and having other ideas available, Congress is blameless because "The Navy said so, so we just did it." ??
There is blame aplenty. Congress played a very prominent role in the game, but since very few are keeping any real track of what's happened, it can make completely hypocritical pronouncements of its own blamelessness, and many will swallow that, because..."ships are a Navy thing, right? So they must be the ones who are wrong."
In Jim's remarks above, he notes that the Navy addressed uncertainty in the past with technology demonstrators. If you go back and look, the Navy's declared intentions at the outset were to build two of each of two types, then experiment.
Also in Jim's remarks are a comment on pressure to restore force structure and "business imperatives." As I have noted here before, all shipyards need work to remain in business. Lockheed and General Dynamics had just introduced two new yards to "the scene." Told that the Navy only wanted two ships from each of them, then they might just come back later after they tested everything demonstrated a lack of basic comprehension of the process by the program managers. The reply to them was that the yards may or may not still be around and able to produce what was desired "later."
There are differences in the construction of the production ships from the first 4 test ships, so some lessons had been learned and were incorporated, but--to keep new shipyards open--production HAD to begin. Or else, there were just 4 test ships, and if the idea had proved to be great, then getting it into production could be very troublesome. And if you read the arguments in favor of concurrency (there are actually some) it takes new tech out of a lab environment and puts it directly into the field, into the hands of actual users in actual environments it is to be used in. Problems get identified faster, and solutions come up quicker. We are seen to be in some sort of new arms race against China, and our biggest obstacle is how slowly we evolve new systems. (China has it easy...they just copy us. They're making us do all the work.) Quicker is then "a good thing."
The flip side is costs are decidedly higher, and the public perception is (correctly) one of "troublesome builds." Which makes for a "target rich" political scene.
Congress did not have to fund them, and certainly not "because the Navy said so." Congress chose to fund them because Lockheed and General Dynamics told them that they needed to get to work if we were going to have these ships, and NOW, not a decade from now. Opportunity/money dangling. Too irresistable (again as Jim has noted above.)
So, I DO blame Congress...for their part in it, which was not minor.
Don’t blame Congress for one has to wonder what the Navy was smoking when LCS was evolving into this disaster of an acquisition. Many spoke out and said multi-role Frigates . You own the blue water, you own the brown water (littorals). Be ready to fight a peer enemy on day 1 not day 6. The Navy lost its vision of sea power as a world power.
All what you say is true of Congress but then stupidity and pork was handed to them on silver platter courtesy of The Department of the Navy.
Now to see if the Ford delivers on its promises of lower maintenance and higher sortie rate. Probably not but a telling tale will be if The Navy hides or classifies the maintenance costs as they did for LCS.
Let us keep our fingers crossed,
Ever read the reports to Congress from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO?) I have read a handful. Full of warnings, cautions, issues Congress should look into, etc. Congress doesn't go by such logic.
Congress bought them beause...
A) They were cheap. Congress cost-capped them at around $500 million each. That's roughly 1/4 what a Burke costs. Then they ordered them in bulk, and exclaimed they were growing the Navy affordably. Looks good at election time.
B) They brought two new shipyards into the (tiny) pool of available defense yards. Marinette and Austal had previously been civilian yards. This added yards to the military side. We only have one which builds carriers (Newport News,) two which build destroyers (Huntington Ingalls and Bath,) and two which build subs (Electric Boat and Newport News.) If we had a major war tomorrow, those yards are all there are for warships. (It ain't like the WWII days...) Getting two more yards into the mix, and all the work/money those yards bring to their districts is "what Congressional politics is all about!" Hey Wisconsin, **I Senator Soandso** got you all that defense work up at Marinette! Vote for Me!!!
C) Add to these two new yards a whole new supply chain of parts, etc. from all around the nation required to have these ships.
THAT'S why Congress voted for them. If you think otherwise, you are as in the dark as a good 99% of this nation.
(Churchill is quoted to have said the best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.)
Because the Navy said they were great platforms and served the needs of the Navy and the Nation. Turns out they were full of it.
Pentagon leadership in every service branch is broken and needs to be shitcanned en masse.