Update: BAMmed this post, apparently: several typos and similar indignities fixed.
Those littoral combat ships (how did they come up with that naming convention?) look to be about the size of a small European frigate, give or take. Which is good, since we need something with helo capability. The
Swedish Danish Stanflex class has modularity that got people interested; it’s an interesting start to thinking about something small for the Americans. Page five of this PDF document is the first guess as to what the Navy wants; you can compare to the Stanflex.
Two different types of LCS are being built; this means one group of the two types will be orphans (but less so than, say, Seawolf, the ‘noun class’ SSNs.) Looks like the first four, perhaps of the LockMart flavor, will wind up in San Diego. LCS 1‘s keel was laid about a year ago; it looks a little more like a frigate than it does the Titan Sea Fighter prototype.
Okay, let’s look at this for a sec. LT/LCDR command. Mine warfare role, ASW too supposedly, in the same place the USW center is. LT/LCDR command. In San Diego. Almost makes one want to be a shoe!
(Fun Fact: they may have a strange naming scheme but they picked the right sponsor: Birgit Smith, SFC Paul Smith’s widow. Frankly, I woulda liked a USS Paul Smith, myself.)
LCS 2 (how did they come up with that naming convention?) is the General Dynamics design, keel laid January. It’s got a heck of a lot of room on the top to put two birds on it…and since the FFGs are getting rode hard and put up wet due to their air capability, this looks pretty stinkin’ interesting. 417 foot long trimaran, it sez here. That ain’t so little. Being built in Mobile at Austal; Austal’s the Australian company that made the aluminum ferries used there and ohbytheway one of the HSVs is an Austal. Interesting, and nice to see that a smaller shipyard gets at least some play, even if it had to team up with the big boys to do so.
I’m starting to think about these things a bit like the Kidd, or Ayatollah-class, destroyers. We were building them for Iran back in the day and didn’t put anything on them when we broke relations, so we had to deal with that a number of ways. Even stripped to the paint they were useful. Maybe the module thing is sort of like the older ships in that even a minimal hull, in theater doing a job, is better than nothing, and it’s easier to buy a new box of stuff than it is to get a new hull. Maybe someone will decide that a particular group of ships are the best at MIW and the stuff stays there–even if that happens we’ve now got a mine capability that will be able to replace the MHCs. That’s a bare minimum of success, but feasible.
And yes of course I’m only posting this to tweak CDR Salamander.
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