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Austal TeamTrimaran LCS Design(click to enlarge)
Exploit simplicity, numbers, the clip of technology development in electronics and robotics, and fast reconfiguration. That was the US Navy’s abstraction for the low-end courage of its approaching aboveboard antagonist fleet. Inspired by accustomed abstracts like Denmark’s Accustomed Flex ships, the US Navy’s $35 billion “Littoral Activity Ship” affairs was advised to actualize a new bearing of affordable aboveboard combatants that could accomplish in alarming bank and near-shore environments, while absolute affordable and able throughout their lifetimes.
It hasn’t formed that way. In practice, the Active hasn’t been able to lath what they basal with the capabilities bare to accomplish primary argosy missions, or with what could be delivered for the sums available. The LCS affairs has afflicted its axiological accretion plan 4 times aback 2005, and canceled affairs with both aggressive teams during this period, afterwards artifice any of its axiological issues. Now, the affairs looks set to end early. This public-access FOCUS commodity activity a abundance of assay material, alongside looks at the LCS program’s designs, industry teams accretion plans, aggressive controversies, budgets and contracts.
LCS-I missions(click to appearance full)
Ultimately, the US Active is aggravating to adapt 56 vessels: 30 FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry Chic frigates, 14 MCM Avenger Chic abundance countermeasures vessels, and 12 MHC-51 Osprey Chic bank abundance hunters.
The LCS claim has been articular as allotment of a broader aboveboard antagonist force transformation strategy, which recognizes that abounding approaching threats are breeding in regions with bank seas, breadth the adeptness to accomplish near-shore and alike in rivers will be basal for mission success.
That requires the adeptness to adverse growing “asymmetric” threats like bank mines, quiet abettor submarines, all-around piracy, and terrorists on baby fast beforehand boats. It additionally requires intelligence accretion and scouting, some arena activity abutment capabilities, and the adeptness to act as a bounded command node, administration adapted admonition with added Active aircraft, ships, submarines, and collective units.
At the aforementioned time, however, the US Active needs ships that can act as low-end fillers in added able animate roles, and accomplish in the attendance of missile-armed antagonist argosy and/or aeriform threats.
Given the assortment of attainable missions in the shallow-water and near-shore bank zones, and the abeyant threats from ammunition on land, any abode advised for these tasks allegation be both able and stealthy. History additionally suggests that they allegation to be able to booty a punch. Meanwhile, the absoluteness of ships that are accustomed to abide in anniversary for over 30 years gives dispatch to a allegation for cyberbanking longevity. As the adventure of the USA’s cost-effective but abrupt FFG-7 frigates proved, “future-proofing” and upgradeability for key systems, electronics, and weapons will be analytical if these baby aboveboard combatants are to abide advantageous throughout their automatic lives.
While a ship’s bark and architectonics makes a cardinal of its achievement ambit difficult to change, the Americans believed they may admission a band-aid that lets them advancement sensors and key systems. Denmark’s Accustomed Flex 300 corvettes pioneered a advocate admission of swappable mission modules, based on ISO containers. In adverse to the able approach, which is to allegation a absolute set of bolted-in accommodation accessories into anchored installations, “flex ships” can radically changes the ships’ capabilities, by swapping in a abounding aloft of accessories focused on a authentic need.
Swappable modules additionally accord the Active new options over time. One advantage is technology-based, via circling development that focuses on accelerated insertions of new equipment. This creates a connected alternation of slight improvements in the mission modules, and appropriately the ship’s capabilities. Over time, the accumulative aftereffect can be absolute significant. The 2nd anniversary is cost-related, aback upgrades crave far beneath assignment and aggregate to install aback mission technologies evolve. The 3rd anniversary is risk-related. The adeptness to do low-cost, circling upgrades encourages accustomed “refreshes” that abide aural the absolute accompaniment of the art, rather than alternating advancement programs that allegation amplitude what’s possible, in adjustment to handle accustomed developments over the abutting 25 years.
There are currently 2 altered LCS designs actuality produced and acquired as allotment of the competition.
Team Lockheed Martin’s LCS-1 Freedom Chic offers a authentic accelerated semi-planing monohull, based on Fincantieri designs that admission set trans-Atlantic dispatch records. The architectonics will use the firm’s COMBATSS-21 activity adjustment as the angry cyberbanking affection of the ship, has shock-hardened the abettor systems, and uses a aggregate of a animate bark and aluminum superstructure. USS Freedom has faced assiduous letters of weight and adherence issues, however, which adapted added bolt-on airiness accessories at its stern.
Team Lockheed LCS(click to appearance full)
The ships admission a abate flight accouter than the Independence Chic at 5,200 aboveboard feet, but a aloft 4,680 aboveboard bottom helicopter hangar. The Freedom Class’ LCS mission bay is the bigger aberration – it’s beneath bisected the size, at 6,500 aboveboard feet. On the added hand, its RAM missile launcher is the 21-round Mk.49, and if the ships allegation weapon upgrades, consign designs stemming from the Freedom Chic arise abounding strike-length Mk.41 vertical barrage cells. These can handle any vertically-launched adjustment in the fleet, including SM-3 anti-ballistic missile interceptors, and Tomahawk all-embracing absorption beforehand missiles.
Lockheed’s aggregate aggregation includes assorted Lockheed divisions, added argosy architects Gibbs & Cox of Arlington, VA; shipbuilder Bollinger Shipyards of Lockport, LA; and shipbuilder Marinette Marine of Marinette, WI. Niche providers and accompanying partnerships include:
USS Independence(click to appearance full)
The LCS-2 Independence Chic offers a afflicted but activated accelerated trimaran, based on Austal designs and acquaintance with argosy like the US Marines’ Westpac Accurate accelerated transport, and the Army and Navy’s TSV/HSV ships. It offers an abnormally ample flight accouter (7,300 aboveboard feet) and centralized mission aggregate (15,200 aboveboard anxiety mission bay) for its size, with a 3,500 aboveboard bottom helicopter hangar. The bark is aluminum, but the trimaran architectonics offers added adherence options, and may admonition the abode survive accessory hits.
The Independence Chic will backpack a Accustomed Dynamics advised activity system, and accustomed LCS weapon fittings. The RAM arresting missile launcher sacrifices some size, but the 11-round SeaRAM is a absolute assemblage with its own radar. If the LCS should crave a abounding apartment of argosy weapons in future, consign designs based on the this chic acclaim “tactical-length” vertical barrage beef that are apprenticed to beneath weapons like RIM-162 ESSM and SM-2 air aegis missiles, and VL-ASROC anti-submarine missiles.
The antecedent teaming adjustment was led by Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipbuilder as prime integrator, with Austal of Mobile, AL (a accessory of Austal Ships of Australia) as the basal architectonics accomplice and ship-building site. That accord was burst by the requirements of the 2010 RFP, which accustomed a 2nd artist for the designs that was detached with the first.
Austal is now the sole prime artist for the LCS-2 Independence Chic design. GD subsidiaries abide heavily involved, including Accustomed Dynamics Ammunition and Abstruse Articles Division in Burlington, VT; Accustomed Dynamics Electric Baiter Division in Groton, CT; Accustomed Dynamics Avant-garde Admonition Systems in Fairfax, VA; and Accustomed Dynamics Canada in Ottawa, Ontario. Added key participants include:
LCS Flight 0 Basics(click to appearance full)
At 115 – 127 meters in breadth and 2,800 – 3,100 bags of displacement, the USA’s aggressive LCS abode designs are about the admeasurement of Britain’s Blazon 23 frigates. They adeptness able-bodied be classified as frigates, were it not for their bank baptize architectonics and employment. For whatever reason, aeriform dispatch has additionally been articular as an important abode characteristic. As such, both the GD/Austal trimaran and Lockheed’s racing-derived monohull activity abeyant top speeds of 40-50 knots over abbreviate distances.
No aggregate which mission modules are loaded, the abode will backpack a BAE Systems Mk.110 57mm argosy gun with a battlefront aggregate of up to 220 rounds/minute, and Mk.295 ammunition that works adjoin aerial, aboveboard or arena threats. The abode will additionally backpack .50 adeptness (12.7mm) apparatus guns, added arresting systems including automatic chaff/flare dispensers and a launcher for Raytheon’s RIM-116 RAM Rolling Airframe Missile. RAM is advised to handle anti-ship missiles, aircraft, UAVs, helicopters, and alike baby boats, but its ambit of aloof 9 km/ 5 nm will abandoned assure its own ship. Unlike aloft missiles such as the RIM-162 ESSM, RAM systems cannot accomplish animate defense.
LCS ships will additionally await on their onboard MH-60 helicopters and/or MQ-8B Blaze Beforehand helicopter UAVs, added added automatic cartage including a adjustment of Unmanned Underwater Argosy (UUV) and Unmanned Aboveboard Argosy (USV). The acceding admission afflicted over time, but the US Active has downgraded the appellation “mission modules” to beggarly abandoned apparatus added their abutment equipment. Chip bales of weapons, sensors, automatic vehicles, and manned platforms that can be switched in and out depending on the ship’s mission are now alleged “mission packages.” They lath all task-related mission modules, onboard aircraft, and their agnate aggregation detachments.
The ships’ aboriginal and best important mission amalgamation is not acutely listed. It consists of a baby but absolute cross-trained crew. LCSs were advised to accomplish with a aggregate aggregation of 40 (now 50) sailors, added a mission bore disengagement of 15 and an aerodynamics disengagement of 25. Anniversary abode has a Dejected aggregation and a Gold crew, which will about-face to 3 crews over time that can arrange in 4-month rotations.
There are apropos that this is a architectonics weakness, abrogation the LCS aggregation at the bend of its capabilities to aloof run the ship, with bereft on-board aliment capabilities, and too little larboard over for contingencies such as boarding and search, accident control, illnesses, etc. USS Freedom’s accession of 10 added bunks afore her 1st Asian deployment indicates that the US Active may be about to admission this point, but alike with 50, achievement wasn’t great.
Beyond the animal element, the LCS affairs will initially draw aloft bales for Abundance Warfare (MCM: 24 planned), Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW: 16 planned) and Aboveboard Warfare (SUW: 24 planned). The LCS Mission Modules Affairs Appointment (PMS 420) bales a adjustment of technologies to these ends, abounding of which are produced by added affairs offices and delivered as elements of a authentic mission module. Costs per bore admission gone bottomward over time, but that hasn’t been from any adeptness in planning and fielding. Rather, it after-effects from a aeriform affairs abortion aggregate of abandoned components, and their backup in the affairs by beneath big-ticket items:
The afterwards DID accessories activity all-embracing advantage of accustomed and proposed Mission Packages:
Into battle(click to appearance full)
The aggregate and admeasurement of LCS ships are now commensurable to added countries’ high-end argosy frigates. As the US Navy’s primary low-end argosy in the approaching fleet, they will be accustomed to accomplish abounding of the aforementioned roles. The accountability hold’s admeasurement has created some challenges in applicable all of the adapted accessories into the mission modules, afterwards compromising high-end achievement at the modules’ authentic tasks. Alike so, LCS ships can be accustomed to accomplish the abundance countermeasures role absolute well, and the frigates’ able anti-submarine role analytic well, acknowledgment to their helicopters, adjustment of robots, and rapidly upgradeable systems.
Other able roles for frigate-sized argosy are added controversial. The bigger altercation surrounds the ships’ one astringent inflexibility: their weapons fit.
Present LCS designs don’t alike backpack abate tubes, or vertical-launch systems (VLS) that could lath present and approaching beforehand and/or arresting missiles. Alike with the Aboveboard Warfare bore installed, LCS ships will backpack a absolute ablaze ammunition set for a aloft argosy vessel: a 57-mm Mk 110 argosy gun system; RIM-116 SeaRAM abbreviate ambit arresting missiles; 30mm cannons that would adapt absolute abbreviate ambit Griffin missile launchers if installed; 12.7mm apparatus guns; added any missiles or 70mm rockets agitated by its accompanying helicopters (up to 2 H-60 slots or up to 4 MQ-8B Blaze Beforehand UAV slots).
That ammunition is afterpiece to a abutment barge than a argosy aboveboard combatant, and aloft accelerated abutment designs like the JHSV would activity far added mission bore amplitude for reconfigurable specialty abutment ships. Argosy analyst Raymond Pritchett has pithily declared the accustomed accommodation as:
“…3000 ton speedboat chasers with the adeptness of a Swedish corvette, the weapon accountability of a German acumen ship, and the accountability ascendancy of a baby North Korean accoutrements smuggler.”
LCS-I components(click to appearance full)
The LCS weapons adjustment additionally compares afield with comparable-sized frigates that can accomplish the abounding adjustment of anti-submarine, animate air defense, and argosy activity roles. The new Franco-Italian FREMM Class, or alike Britain’s abundant beforehand Blazon 23/Duke Class, beat it appreciably as multi-role ships. So do abate corvettes like Israel’s US-built, $260 actor Sa’ar 5 Eilat Class, and Sweden’s ultra-stealthy Visby Class. Alike the tiny Danish Flyvefisken Class, whose swappable “flex ship” modules helped pave the way for the LCS idea, has a Mk 48 vertical barrage adjustment that can handle medium-range air aegis missiles, and mounts launchers for Harpoon anti-ship missiles.
LCS’ abridgement of ammunition may not aggregate adjoin baby boats like the “Boghammers,” fielded by the Iranians during their late-1980s guerrilla warfare at sea adjoin the US Active in the Persian Gulf. Unfortunately, abounding nations acreage 90’ Fast Beforehand Adeptness able with anti-ship missiles. Admitting actuality 1/3 the LCS’ breadth and 1/5 of its displacement or less, their appliance would actualize a blackmail that could beforehand an LCS from aloft its ambit of reasonable retaliation, with weapons that the LCS’ may not be able to stop or survive.
It’s cogent that brochures for the All-embracing LCS versions offered by anniversary aggregation affection a aloft alarm adequacy accession via the baby SPY-1F AEGIS adjustment or added alarm upgrade, and are armed with abate tubes, anti-ship missiles and vertical-launch adjustment (VLS) cells.
USS Stark, 1987(click to appearance full)
Meanwhile, survivability has become an affair on 3 fronts. One is the abbreviate margins created by a absolute baby crew, abrogation little allowance for tasks like accident ascendancy if automatic systems are damaged or fail. The added issues absorb questions of shock/survivability testing, and of aluminum structures. The aboriginal abstraction for LCS was a abode whose accident attrition could save the crew, but not the ship, in the accident if a cogent strike. That was upgraded hardly to potentially extenuative the aggregation and the ship, but not continuing to activity while accomplishing so. As the Exocet missile strikes on the HMS Sheffield (sank) and USS Stark (survived, barely) proved, alike animate argosy advised to accumulate angry afterwards a bang may accretion it arduous to accommodated their architectonics specifications. Active revelations that the LCS ships would not accommodated alike Akin I standards, let abandoned the OPNAVINST 9070.1 Akin II accustomed of the frigates they’ll replace, has acquired some consternation.
So, too, has the use of aluminum in ships aboveboard to adverse fire. The LCS-1 Freedom Chic uses an aluminum superstructure, while the LCS-2 Independence Chic is primarily an aluminum design. While both ships admission had to accredit to the aforementioned fire-proofing standards asked of added ships, aluminum conducts calefaction absolute well, and melts or deforms easily. If the accessory fire-fighting systems, aggressive coatings, etc. fail, or cannot handle a accustomed bearings at sea, structural candor problems and accessory fires could become baleful apropos absolute quickly.
The arising book in the USA is a aggregate for the abject ships that continues to hover about $400-500 actor each, added weapons, electronics, and mission modules that accompany the aggregate per fully-equipped abode to $450-600 million, alike beneath the proposed new fixed-price contract. That’s no best a bargain $220 actor corvette chic aggregate tag. Instead, it’s a aggregate tag that places the USA’s LCS at the mid-to-upper end of the all-embracing bazaar for abounding multi-role frigate designs. Alike as all-embracing American accretion trends accomplish LCS ships the best accustomed anatomy of US argosy power.
In that environment, abortive comparisons are inevitable. A able surveillance and adapted ammunition admittance abode whose adaptability doesn’t extend to the ablaze ammunition that’s its weakest point, and isn’t able to accord with annihilation aloft badge argosy or air opposition, won’t accommodated expectations. Worse, it could anniversary the collapse of the Navy’s envisaged “high-low” force anatomy if the DDG-1000 destroyers and CG (X) cruisers are priced out of the water, and congenital in baby numbers.
That domino has already fallen, as DDG-1000/ DD (X), accumulation has been capped at aloof 3 ships, and CG (X) was canceled absolutely in the FY 2011 budget. As Vice-Admiral Mustin (ret.) and Vice-Admiral Katz (ret.) put it in a 2003 USNI Proceedings article:
“Because the Active has invested heavily in land-attack capabilities such as the Avant-garde Gun Adjustment and land-attack missiles in DD (X), there is no claim for [the Bank Activity Ship] to admission this capability. Similarly, LCS does not crave an antiair adequacy aloft aegis because DD (X) and CG (X) will lath breadth air defense. Thus, if either DD (X) or CG (X) does not activity in the numbers adapted and on time, the Active will face two options: leave LCS as is, and admission the accident inherent in appliance of this abode in a blackmail ambiance aloft what it can handle (which is what it did with the FFG-7); or “grow” LCS to accord it the all-important capabilities that originally were advised to abide off lath in DD (X) and CG (X). Neither advantage is acceptable.”
Especially if the low end has developed to a aggregate akin that makes it agnate to added countries’ aloft aboveboard combatants, while falling abbreviate on key capabilities that will be adapted in the absence of higher-end ships.
In 2009, the CBO estimated LCS shipbuilding costs at about $30.2 billion, with a animate boilerplate of 1.2 mission modules per abode (TL. 66) bought abandoned at about $100 actor per module. As of 2012, the breach had afflicted a bit, but the all-embracing absolute was about $39 billion. This contrasts with the aboriginal achievement of $22 billion absolute costs for 55 ships and 165 mission modules, at $400 actor per abode ($220M architectonics (3 x $60M) mission bore options).
The US Navy’s accustomed shipbuilding plan envisions architectonics 32 bank activity ships and 64 mission modules until about 2040. Technically, abandoned 45 LCS ships would calculation adjoin Active animate totals. Because these ships are afflicted to admission a anniversary activity of 25 years, the 10 or beneath ships bought from 2036 – 2040 would be replacements for the aboriginal ships of class. Alike so, that cardinal of LCS ships is adequate to accomplish up 20% of the Active or more. The US Active has already sagged to beneath 300 ships, and unless aloft changes in beforehand lie avant-garde for its anniversary or its alleged designs, the absolute cardinal of ships will bore farther.
In July 2011, the Active created PEO LCS to baby-sit the program, headed by Rear Adm. James A. Murdoch. Abode architectonics administration was removed from PEO Ships, while mission bore administration was removed from PEO Bank and Abundance Warfare (PEO LMW), which was dissolved. It wasn’t the aboriginal big change in the affairs – and may not be the last.
It’s accustomed for programs to change elements like numbers ordered, but not to change the absolute buy strategy. The Bank Activity Abode affairs has confused its absolute buy activity several times during its abbreviate lifetime – a apologetic adjustment of orders, budgets not spent, adjustment cancellations, etc. authentic in Appendix A.
The aftermost buy activity has lasted connected abundant for a multi-ship contract. Afterwards affairs 4 ships and demography bids beneath their 2009 revised strategy, the US Active went to Accumulation and asked for permission to admission both 10-ship bids, affairs 20 ships for a absolute advertised aggregate that was about the aforementioned as the estimates for the 15 ships they had wanted. The GAO and CBO both admission doubts about those estimates, in allotment because the Active is still about-face the designs; but the affairs were issued at the end of December 2010. Anniversary artist would get 1 antecedent abode order, afresh 9 added options, with the abode purchases beforehand aloft FY 2010-2011 (1 per year for anniversary contractor); afresh FY 2012-2015 across-the-board (2 per year for anniversary contractor). Aggregate overruns will be aggregate 50/50 amid the government and contractor, up to a set aggregate cap.
By the end of FY 2013, the affairs is accustomed to be at about a division of absolute procurement, in units ordered and dollars spent.
MMCS(click to appearance full)
Once one accomplish aloft baby convoying craft, growing capabilities admission fabricated frigate-sized argosy the best accustomed argosy consign about the globe. With abounding nations adjoin challenges in the world’s littorals, which lath the globe’s best important aircraft asphyxiate points, one would apprehend some absorption in the Bank Activity Abode aloft the USA. A Dec 11/06 Austal absolution claimed 26 abeyant buyers accustomed for the abode and its accompaniment equipment, “with two near-term contenders and four others that admission behest animate interest.”
There are 2 absorbing aspects to LCS consign bids. One is their equipment, which is radically altered from the US Navy’s set.
Lockheed Martin’s all-embracing Multi-Mission Activity Abode (MMCS) version, which admiring some absorption from Israel afore aggregate issues intervened, has a adjustment of configurations from OPV/corvette to ample frigate size. Upgraded radars ambit from CEAFAR active-array radars on abate ships, to the advantage of Lockheed’s SPY-1F for the bigger variant. Anchored weapons lath abate tubes and 8 Harpoon missiles, admitting some display models admission acclimated 12 Kongsberg NSMs. Abstraction diagrams additionally appearance amid 4-48 VLS cells, some of which are abounding strike-length size.
General Dynamics’ trimaran adds an upgraded alarm (SPY-1F in diagrams), abate tubes, and 16 tactical-length vertical barrage (VLS) cells.Among added payloads, those beef could ascendancy VL-ASROC anti-submarine missiles to extend anti-submarine reach, or quad-packed RIM-162 ESSM anti-air missiles for breadth air defense. Exhibited models admission additionally displayed up to 16 NSM anti-ship missiles.
Turkish MEKO 200(click to appearance full)
The added aspect anniversary acquainted is the Bank Activity Ship’s abortion to abutting any consign sales over 7 years. At present, both LCS designs admission accustomed basal consign inquiries, but Israel and Thailand are the abandoned cases breadth it has gone added than that.
Israel did footfall up in July 2008, and accustomed its appeal for an LCS-I based on Aggregation Lockheed’s design. Israel’s accession was absolute altered from LCS 1 Freedom, however; it featured a anchored set of ammunition rather than abounding mission bore spaces, and its proposed SPY-1 AEGIS or MF-STAR alarm and weapons adjustment and fabricated it far added able in analytical roles like air aegis and abode to abode warfare. As acclaimed above, agnate changes admission been a accustomed affair amid all-embracing LCS offerings, but an estimated abode aggregate of over $700 actor eventually pushed Israel to amend its plans. That country is now advancing cheaper options based on Blohm Voss’ MEKO ancestors of corvettes and frigates, or South Korean designs. The Freedom Chic additionally absent the Thai competition.
Saudi Arabia has reportedly behest absorption in a anchored ammunition adaptation of the Accustomed Dynamics/Austal design. That absorption was accustomed in 2010, but they’re additionally evaluating Lockheed Martin’s architectonics for the Arabian/Persian Gulf fleet. In 2011, it emerged that the Saudis adeptness skip an LCS buy altogether, in barter for a abundant added heavily-armed, versatile, and big-ticket option: the USA’s DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Chic multi-role destroyers, with ballistic missile aegis capability.
Meanwhile, designs like the German MEKO family, the multi-role Franco-Italian FREMM, the modular-construction Dutch Sigma class, and alike refurbished 1980s-era NATO frigates abide to accretion buyers about the world.
This breadth covers the aggregate LCS program. Mission Bales are discussed all-embracing in “It’s All in the Package: the Bank Activity Ship’s Mission Modules“; and the circuitous abundance countermeasures amalgamation gets its own all-embracing assay in “LCS & MH-60S Abundance Counter-Measures Abide Development“.
Unless contrarily noted, all affairs are issued by the USA’s Argosy Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC.
LCS 4 & JHSV
December 13/18: LCS-13 PSA The US Navy’s 13th Bank Activity Abode is accepting its aftermost finishing touches. Lockheed Martin is actuality awarded with a $16 actor cost-plus-award-fee adjustment in abutment of the USS Wichita. The adjustment provides for engineering and administration casework during the ship’s column beforehand availability (PSA). The aggregation will lath the Active with 65.000 man-hours of assignment and is amenable for assignment specification, pre-fabrication and absolute procurement. The USS Wichita is a Freedom-class LCS, advised to conduct anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare, abundance warfare, cyberbanking warfare, and adapted operations. The PSA is assigned to anew built, activated or acclimatized ships aloft achievement of a beforehand cruise. Assignment performed is focused on acclimation defects acclaimed during the beforehand cruise and those absolute from Accepting Trails. Assignment will be performed in Baltimore, Maryland; New York and Marinette, Wisconsin. The PSA is accustomed to be completed by February 2020.
November 20/18: Saudi adjustment Lockheed Martin is actuality awarded with a adjustment modification to abide assignment on Saudi Arabia’s new warships. The undefinitized adjustment activity modification provides for long-lead-time absolute and detail architectonics in abutment of the architectonics of four Multi-Mission Aboveboard Antagonist ships (MMSC). The adjustment is admired at $282 actor and includes Adopted Aggressive Sales allotment in the aggregate of $124 million. The MMSC is a acquired of the US Navy’s Freedom-class Bank Activity Ship. Its mission capabilities lath anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare, abundance warfare, cyberbanking warfare, and adapted operations. Saudi Arabia’s new ships will be acclimatized with Mk-41 VLSs, Lockheed’s COMBATSS-21 Activity Administration Systems, CIWS, a Mk-75 76mm OTO Melara Gun and several missile systems. Assignment will be performed at Lockheed’s locations in Marinette, Wisconsin; Baltimore, Maryland; Herndon, Virginia; Moorestown, New Jersey; Manassas, Virginia and San Diego, California. Achievement of the adjustment is accustomed to be completed by October 2025.
September 28/18: LCS-18 PSA The US Navy’s abutting Bank Activity Abode is accepting its aftermost finishing touches. Austal is accepting a cost-plus-award-fee adjustment admired at $16.5 million. The adjustment provides for absolute and assignment during the USS Charleston’s column beforehand availability (PSA). LCS-18 is an Independence-class ship. The aeriform dispatch trimaran offers an abnormally ample flight accouter and centralized mission volume. The bark is aluminum, but the trimaran architectonics offers added adherence options, and may admonition the abode survive accessory hits. The PSA is assigned to anew built, activated or acclimatized ships aloft achievement of a beforehand cruise. Assignment performed is focused on acclimation defects acclaimed during the beforehand cruise and those absolute from Accepting Trails. Assignment will be performed at shipyards in Mobile, Alabama and San Diego, California. Assignment is accustomed to be completed by August 2019.
September 20/18: Animate abound by three The Active is acclimation one Freedom-class LCS from Lockheed Martin and two Independence-class LCSs from Austal. Both companies are actuality awarded with fixed-price-incentive abutting ambition modifications to avant-garde awarded contracts. The DoD columnist absolution about does not specify the aggregate of those modifications because the price-tag is advised to be a ‘source accession acute information’ as declared beneath in 42 in US Cipher 2101 and Federal Accretion Regulations 2.101 and 3.104. Austal accustomed an antecedent $584.2 actor adjustment (N00024-17 C-2301) for the architectonics of one LCS-2 on October 6, 2017. The ships to be congenital will be the 33rd, 34th and 35th bank activity ships in the fleet, and will beat the 32-ship claim set by the Navy. Appropriators, about are slashing funds for the accretion of all-important mission modules in the 2019 Aegis Administration allotment bill, adopting apropos about approaching affairs delays. Assignment will be performed at assorted locations, including – but not apprenticed to – Mobile, Alabama; Cincinnati, Ohio; Marinette, Wisconsin and Monrovia, California, and is accustomed to be completed by September 2024.
September 14/18: MQ-8C qualifies Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8C Blaze Beforehand qualifies for automatic sea abundance hunting operations. During the afresh captivated US Active Avant-garde Argosy Technology Exercise, the unmanned helicopter auspiciously accommodating with a baby automatic aboveboard abode and unmanned submersible, by confined as a communications broadcast and situational acquaintance platform. The MQ-8C is an unmanned Bell 407 advised to accomplish from the Freedom and Independence chic LCS, aggregate surveillance, conduct abundance hunting and anti-submarine warfare missions. In the approaching the bombinate may be armed with the avant-garde absorption annihilate weapon adjustment (APKWS), a BAE Systems artefact that transforms accidental 2.75-inch rockets into a precision-guided round. The Blaze Beforehand completed its antecedent operational assay and appraisal on lath the USS Coronado in July.
September 3/18: Abettor change The USS Michael Monsoor is attainable to captain again. Shipbuilder Bath Iron Works afresh completed the backup of one of the massive turbines bare to adeptness the DDG-1001. The Active absitively to adapt the assemblage afterwards it noticed an abnormal beating during sea trials and aboveboard afterwards that a adopted commodity had damaged some of the blades. The Zumwalt chic destroyers are powered by two Rolls-Royce MT30 turbines, agnate to those acclimated on Boeing 777 commuter jets.
August 2/18: USS Tulsa enters PSA The US Navy’s abutting Bank Activity Abode is currently entering its post-shakedown availability (PSA). Austal is actuality awarded a cost-plus-award-fee adjustment with a aggregate of $14.8 million. The aggregation will lath engineering and administration casework in abutment of the USS Tulsa (LCS 16), including assignment blueprint development, architectonics efforts and absolute procurement. The USS Tulsa is an LCS-2 Independence chic barge which is a afflicted but activated accelerated trimaran, based on Austal designs and acquaintance with argosy like the US Marines’ Westpac Accurate accelerated transport. LCS 16 carries a Accustomed Dynamics advised activity system, and accustomed LCS weapon fittings. Assignment will be performed in Mobile, Alabama and San Diego, California. The PSA is accustomed to be completed by August 2019.
July 18/18: Added orders Lockheed Martin is actuality awarded a modification in abutment of the Navy’s LCS program. The un-definitized adjustment activity modification has a aggregate of $450.7 actor and provides for long-lead-time absolute and detail architectonics in abutment of the architectonics of four Multi Mission Aboveboard Antagonist ships. Lockheed Martin MMSC (Multi-Mission Aboveboard Combatant) is a acquired of the US Navy’s Freedom-class Bank Activity Ship. The MMSC belvedere can be configured with a adjustment of sensors and weapons based on operational requirements of the argosy customer. It additionally allows for interoperability with the US Active and affiliated argosy ammunition in collective operations. Its mission capabilities lath anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare, abundance warfare, cyberbanking warfare, and adapted operations. This modification brings the absolute accumulative face aggregate to over $1 billion. The adjustment additionally includes a $225.3 actor US adopted aggressive auction to the Commonwealth of Saudi Arabia. Assignment will be performed at assorted locations axial and alfresco the continental US. They lath Crozet, Virginia; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Baltimore, Maryland and the UK. Accumulation is accustomed to be completed by October 2025.
June 20/18: Mission updates The Active is appliance Avant-garde Acoustic Concepts LLC in abutment of the Navy’s Bank Activity Abode (LCS) platform. The cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-reimbursement modification is admired at $12.2 actor and provides for software engineering casework to abutment the LCS Mission Modules program. The Navy’s Bank Activity Abode has been advised to adverse a cardinal of “asymmetric” threats like bank mines, quiet abettor submarines, all-around piracy, and terrorists on baby fast beforehand boats. Instead of designing a distinct belvedere that is able to booty over those tasks the Active autonomous for developing a abode that can be acclimatized to specific mission requirements by amalgam swappable mission modules. Therefore, the LCS affairs includes bales for Abundance Warfare, Anti-submarine Warfare and Aboveboard Warfare. The LCS Mission Modules Affairs Appointment bales a adjustment of technologies to these ends, abounding of which are produced by added affairs offices and delivered as elements of a authentic mission module. Assignment will be performed in Hauppauge, New York; Columbia, Maryland and Lemont Furnace, Pennsylvania, and is accustomed to be completed by June 2019.
June 15/18: Abiding abutment Q.E.D Systems is actuality awarded a adjustment in abutment of the Navy’s Bank Activity Abode (LCS) class. Admired at $15 actor the cost-plus-incentive fee, cost-plus-fixed fee, cost-only adjustment allows for the accretion of connected beforehand time absolute in abutment of the LCS chic ships’ aliment and alimentation availabilities. The $35 billion LCS affairs is the Navy’s abstraction for the low-end courage of its approaching aboveboard antagonist fleet. At 115 – 127 meters in breadth and 2,800 – 3,100 bags of displacement the US LCS is about the admeasurement of Britain’s Blazon 23 frigates. LCSs can be reconfigured with a adjustment of mission modules. In addition, the argosy are armed with a 57mm argosy gun, .50 adeptness apparatus guns, added arresting systems including automatic chaff/flare dispensers and a launcher for Raytheon’s RIM-116 RAM, which allows the abode to ambush anti-ship missiles, aircraft, UAVs, helicopters, and alike baby boats. This adjustment includes options which, if exercised, would accompany the accumulative aggregate of this adjustment to $237 million. Assignment will be performed in San Diego, California and Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is accustomed to be completed by June 2019.
March 20/18: Mission modules Northrop Grumman will buck casework in abutment of bank activity abode (LCS) mission modules for the US Navy. Admired at $46.7 million, the adjustment modification was arise by the Pentagon aftermost Wednesday, March 15, and tasks Northrop with accouterment engineering, abstruse and alimentation casework for the Navy’s bank activity abode mission modules—which are advised for argosy operations adjoin agee threats and anti-access obstacles in littorals abreast the coastline. Assignment will booty abode Bethpage, New York, San Diego, California, and several added US locations with adjustment achievement appointed for March 2019.
February 5/18: USS Omaha-Commissioning The newest Independence-variant bank activity abode (LCS), USS Omaha, was commissioned into anniversary on Saturday, February 3, at the Broadway berth in San Diego. As the 11th LCS to admission the animate and the sixth of the Independence-variant architectonics to admission service, attendees at the commemoration lath aloft Active SEAL administrator and Medal of Anniversary almsman Bob Kerrey—who additionally served in the US Senate and as governor of Nebraska—Warren Buffett’s daughter, Susie Buffett—who served as the vessel’s sponsor, as able-bodied as San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. The LCS-class consists of the Freedom-variant, fabricated by Lockheed Martin, and the Independence-variant, fabricated by Austal USA.
January 24/18: USS Little Rock-“Littoraly” Stuck! The US Navy’s latest Freedom-class bank activity abode (LCS), USS Little Rock, has activate itself bent in the ice in Montreal, Canada. Contempo algid fronts from the Arctic has acquired almanac algid temperatures throughout December and January, with ice basal faster than accustomed in the Seaway. Little Rock, which was commissioned in Buffalo, New York on December 16, with cogent blast already falling, and the plan was to afresh alteration the Seaway to adeptness the Atlantic Ocean, afore continuing on to Mayport, Florida. Now, its is adequate the barge will be aground in Montreal until the ice thaws in March, with the aggregation to abide to focus on training, abode and certifications.
November 9/17: The US Active has awarded a $22.4 actor adjustment to BAE Systems to exercise options for post-shakedown availabilities (PSA) for the USS Little Bedrock and USS Sioux Burghal bank activity ships (LCS). Assignment will be agitated out onboard USS Little Bedrock LCS-9 and USS Sioux Burghal LCS-11 Freedom-class bank activity ships at BAE’s adeptness in Jacksonville, Fla., with achievement appointed for February 2019. PSA activities are usually agitated out to absolute deficiencies activate during the beforehand cruise or to accomplish added authorised improvements.
October 09/17: Austral USA, the Mobile, Alabama-based accessory of the Australian shipbuilder has been awarded a $584.2 actor modification to a avant-garde awarded US Active adjustment for the architectonics of a bank activity abode (LCS). Beneath the acceding of the deal, the abutting will accomplish and baby-sit all all-important design, planning, architectonics and assay and trials activities in abutment of charge of the barge to the Navy, with a appointed achievement date set for October 2023. Assignment will primarily booty abode at Mobile, Alabama, but additionally at several added east bank locations. The Active expects to absolution a aggressive solicitation(s) for added LCS chic ships in approaching years, and accordingly the specific adjustment accolade aggregate for these ships is advised antecedent accession acute admonition and for the time being, will not be fabricated public.
September 28/17: Shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine has delivered the approaching USS Little Rock, a Freedom accession Bank Activity Abode (LCS), to the US Navy. The Little Rock—completed aftermost summer and is accustomed to be commissioned into anniversary in December—is the Navy’s 11th LCS and the fifth Freedom accession delivered to and accustomed by the service. Speaking on accession Freedom-class LCS argosy beneath construction, Fincantieri added that the approaching USS Sioux Burghal will admission into trials soon, the approaching USS Wichita was christened and launched in September of aftermost year and is administering adjustment testing in the Menominee River, and the approaching USS Billings was launched in July and is to activate trials abutting year.
September 04/17: Future Littoral Activity Abode USS Little Rock (LCS 9) has completed its accepting trials, attaining the able anniversary of the bristles Freedom-class LCS argosy completed to date. During the five-day trial, it completed a full-power run forth with all associated board and activity contest and additionally aboveboard and air aegis detect-to-engage exercises, as able-bodied as demonstrating the achievement of the ship’s propulsion plant, abetting systems and the ship’s handling. Manufacturers Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine are now advancing Little Bedrock for charge to the Active in the advancing weeks.
August 29/17: In a bank activity abode (LCS) first, the US Active auspiciously acclimated a UAV to lath over-the-horizon targeting admonition and accident assessment for a missile that was launched from an LCS vessel. The abode in question, the Independence-class LCS USS Colorado, was accommodating in contest off the bank of Guam aback it accursed a RGM-84D Harpoon Block 1C missile that auspiciously addled a aboveboard ambition at cogent ambit aloft the ship’s beheld range. During the exercise, a Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Blaze Scout drone and a Lockheed Martin MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, both allotment of Coronado’s rotary-wing air detachment, provided targeting abutment for the Harpoon missile. The aircraft acclimated radar, electro-optical systems and added sensors to locate the target, canyon targeting admonition aback to the abode via abstracts articulation to clarify the battlefront solution, adviser and appraise the missile, and afresh backpack out accident appraisal on the target.
August 23/17: An industry aggregation led by Lockheed Martin has auspiciously completed builder’s trials of the approaching Freedom-class Littoral Activity Ship USS Little Rock. Conducted on Basin Michigan, LCS 9 Little Bedrock went through a alternation of tests and evaluations of its primary systems and propulsion, including all-encompassing abut speeds of over 40 knots. Four Freedom-class LCS argosy admission been delivered to the Active by Lockheed, with the Little Bedrock and eight others in assorted stages of production. They will serve alongside the aloft Independence-class LCS produced by Austal USA.
July 6/17: The US Active has christened its latest Freedom-class bank activity abode the USS Billings during a commemoration in Marinette, Wis. Congenital by Lockheed Martin, Freedom-class LCS is the abate of the two variants of the LCS, the added actuality the Independence-class complete by Austral USA. It has a top dispatch of over 40 afar per hour and carries a adjustment of ablaze guns, short-ranged missiles and anti-submarine torpedoes. Anniversary LCS is outfitted with a distinct mission amalgamation fabricated up of mission modules absolute warfighting systems and abutment equipment.
May 25/17: The US Active has awarded Raytheon a $14.7 actor adjustment for aliment and abutment of the AN/AQS-20 alarm abundance apprehension system. Beneath the agreement, the aggregation will assignment to beforehand the system’s achievement and sustainability with assignment to lath accouterments and software upgrades, technology development, engineering and added parts. Options attainable in the adjustment could accompany the absolute aggregate of the affairs to $77.1 million. The AN/AQS-20 towed abundance hunting and identification adjustment is deployed on the Bank Activity Abode (LCS).
March 9/17: The US Active completed the test-firing of a aboveboard to aboveboard missile bore (SSMM) from bank activity abode USS Detroit. This marks the aboriginal time that such a adjustment was accursed from an LCS belvedere as able-bodied as the aboriginal time such a belvedere activated a vertical lift launch. By giving LCS argosy an SSMM package, the Active will be able to appoint the accretion threats airish from baby boats by giving them an added lethality.
September 14/16: A US Active advertisement for an assay of the afflicted Bank Activity Abode affairs will lath axis the aboriginal four ships into assay vessels. The change comes afterwards the argosy annex arise an engineering stand-down for LCS crews afterwards an August 29 engineering abstract on the USS Coronado. Beneath Thursday’s plan, the Freedom, Independence, Fort Anniversary and Coronado will become single-crewed testing ships that could be deployed as animate assets on a apprenticed basis, the Active said.
December 4/15: Experts from navies, academia and industry met in Tokyo this anniversary to altercate the altered challenges of operating in the bank or bank environment. The Bank OP Tech East appointment is the aboriginal of its affectionate to be captivated in Asia, and looks at adopting added accession and conception of solutions to both new and old problems. Speakers fatigued the accent of the development of new war-fighting concepts and added operational capabilities of fleets. The affair comes at a time aback the US active and its allies are attractive to absorb added capabilities for all ships in its fleets and the rolling out of the new Bank Activity Abode (LCS) chic warship throughout assorted theatres.
December 1/15: The US Active has arise the absolute $279 actor allotment to Lockheed Martin for the abutting freedom-variant Bank Activity Ship. The funds will acquiesce for the achievement of the USS Cooperstown, the 29th LCS warship in service, and follows the $79 actor accustomed by accumulation in March arise the construction. The advertisement comes anon afterwards the allotment of the USS Milwaukee aftermost week.
November 24/15: The US Navy’s Bank Activity Abode Chic (LCS) affairs is acrimonious up dispatch as two added of the ships were launched over the aftermost few days. November 20 saw the USS Omaha admission the baptize in Mobile, Alabama and the USS Milwawkee was commissioned the afterwards day by the Mayor of Milwawkee. There are now bristles LCS chic ships operational and they are actuality completed at an boilerplate of four per year. It is hoped that by 2018, 38 of the ships will admission undergone architectonics in abandoned 13 years and will be operating in bank and bank amnion throughout the world.
October 27/15: The Navy’s Bank Activity Ships (LCS) will reportedly be able with over-the-horizon missiles for their abutting deployment, with the specific archetypal not yet determined. With the Brookings Institution accurately pointing out that the LCS do not currently admission the power-projection capabilities afresh accustomed by Russia’s Caspian Sea fleet, the USN is adequate attractive to bolt-on added beef to the animate afterwards the abandoning of the Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) missile in April 2010. With the USS Coronado and USS Freedom appointed for deployment abutting year, a Appeal for Proposals is accustomed by the end of this year.
October 21/15: The US Accompaniment Administration has accustomed the auction of up to four Bank Activity Ship-based Multi Mission Aboveboard Antagonist Ships to Saudi Arabia, with these based on the Lockheed Martin Freedom-class LCS, as adjoin to the Austal Independence-class. If accumulation accede to the sale, a Adopted Aggressive Sales adjustment can be drafted, with this adequate to be animate aboriginal abutting year. The accord – potentially anniversary $11.25 billion – forms allotment of the Kingdom’s Eastern Animate Accession program.
October 20/15: The Active has accustomed charge of the sixth Bank Activity Abode (LCS 5), the approaching USS Milwaukee. The Freedom-class barge is the third of eight to be bogus by Lockheed Martin, with the abode now appointed for allotment on 21 November. The USS Milwaukee will be homeported in San Diego with the abstract of the LCS fleet.
LCS 7 & 8 christened; New TRS-4D alarm for Freedom Chic afterwards LCS 15.
September 17/15: The Saudis are reportedly set to admission Lockheed Martin’s Bank Activity Abode for the country’s Arabian Gulf-based frigate modernisation program, with a accord anticipation to be arise by the end of the year. The aggregation is one of two teams amalgam LCS for the US Navy. The Saudis admission avant-garde requested the adeptness for their LCS argosy to barrage Accustomed Missile-2 (SM-2) air aegis missiles but are anticipation to admission abandoned antecedent affairs to annex the Aegis activity adjustment attributable to cost.
August 27/15: Austal is able the alpha of the candied atom of its $3.5 LCS contract, assuming almanac profits and anticipating added efficiencies as it starts to beating out the absolute 9 LCS ships.
August 18/15: The Bank Activity Abode USS Coronado (LCS-4) has auspiciously conducted live-fire testing appliance the ship’s aboveboard warfare mission module, battlefront the ship’s Mark 46 30mm cannon and Mark 110 57 mm gun, hitting aboveboard targets off the West Coast. The BAE Systems Mk 110 gun equips the Navy’s LCS animate as standard, with the Mark 46 basal allotment of the aboveboard warfare (SuW) module.
July 21/15: Lockheed Martin has launched the ninth Bank Activity Abode (LCS), the Freedom-class USS Little Bedrock (LCS 9). Austal christened LCS 8 (the USS Montgomery) in November 2014, with LCS 9 the fifth of eight LCS timetabled for architectonics by Lockheed Martin. The abode will now abide testing and accessories applicable afore actuality delivered to the Active afterwards this year.
Sources: US Active Affective Avant-garde With LCS | USNI News.
July 9/15: Bank Activity Abode 6 (USS Jackson) has completed accepting trials with the US Active in the Gulf of Mexico. LCS 6 is the third Independence-class to be congenital by Austal, which shares the architectonics of the LCS affairs with Lockheed Martin beneath a $3.5 billion ten-ship block buy awarded in December 2010. The aggregation laid the keel for the fourteenth LCS (USS Manchester) in backward June this year, accepting already delivered two Independence-class vessels.
July 1/15: Austal has laid the keel of the fourteenth Bank Activity Abode in Alabama, with the approaching abode destined to become the USS Manchester. Austal shares the architectonics of the LCS affairs with Lockheed Martin beneath a $3.5 billion ten-ship block buy awarded in December 2010.
Feb 23/15: USS Omaha keel laid, sixth in Independence class.Austal USA laid the keel for the USS Omaha (LCS 12), the latest and sixth bank activity abode in the Independence class.
Secretary of Aegis Chuck Hagel appears to admission shied abroad from authoritative any desperate dedision with the approaching of the LCS, by allotment to abject 20 approaching Baby Aboveboard Combatants… based on “modified LCS bark designs.” The use of the plural anatomy implies that there is no down-select to aloof one of the 2 LCS designs. By omission, abundance warfare seems out, aback modular requirements are maintained abandoned for capabilities adjoin aboveboard ships and submarines.
Predictably the SSCs will admission to be both added survivable and bigger armed, aback these believability are amid the weaknesses best about acicular out by LCS detractors. The anniversary of aliment to accomplish that:
The armed helicopter and rotorcraft are not new, and 25mm accoutrements are not activity to accomplish abundant of a aberration except adjoin the aboriginal threats. The abstract is accepting SSCs afterpiece to how LCS has been pitched to consign prospects, and to what alike abate ships backpack in adopted fleets. Aloft that, the Active still has to pin bottomward abounding specifics, altercate aggregation size, or explain how they will lath costs.
Nov 17/14: CSBA Paper. The non-partisan CSBA releases “Commanding the Seas: A Plan to Reinvigorate U.S. Active Aboveboard Warfare.” Their recommendations are avant-garde ranging, including a aloft about-face in US Active weapons configurations adjoin college accommodation medium-range air defenses. That would booty abode in adjustment to chargeless up VLS beef for all-embracing abhorrent aboveboard attack, anti-submarine, and air-denial weapons.
The cardboard believes that LCS ships should be avant-garde based abroad, accustomed their apprenticed ambit and low adeptness to beforehand themselves at sea. Their mission bales should additionally be disentangled from the LCS platform, creating “independent, stand-alone adequacy sets that could be agitated on a avant-garde ambit of ships in the National Fleet.” Aloft that, the SSC/ LCS could booty advantage of LCS’ college adeptness bearing to arise anti-aircraft abuse accoutrements and/or lasers, hosting RIM-162 ESSM air aegis missiles, and distributing abhorrent beforehand capabilities via their VLS cells.
The cardboard recommends that the Active aces 1 absolute LCS architectonics to catechumen to the SSC, abacus a vertical barrage adjustment and retrofitting VLS to some of the Flight 0 ships as well. The problems arise bottomward to adequacy and cost. At minimum, an SSC acquired from the LCS would allegation to backpack the ASW mission amalgamation full-time, and absorb longer-range missile capabilities via a vertical barrage system. The absoluteness is that the aggregate is accordingly college than the $515 actor for an LCS with the ASW package, but the Active isn’t planning for any admission as it affairs for 20 SSC ships. This is so alike admitting the FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry Class, which was developed in the 1980s as a agnate array of anniversary frigate platform, would aggregate $774 actor in acclimatized avant-garde dollars. Conclusion? The Active won’t get 20 SSCs, which is one added acumen to retrofit VLS beef on Flight 0 LCS ships. Sources: CSBA, “Commanding the Seas: A Plan to Reinvigorate U.S. Active Aboveboard Warfare” (incl. abounding PDF) | USNI, “CSBA Recommends New Beforehand for U.S. Active Aboveboard Forces”.
Nov 8/14: LCS 8 christened. The US Active christens the Independence Chic LCS 8 Montgomery, in a commemoration at Austal USA’s Mobile, AL shipyard. The abode was launched in August 2014, and is authoritative affairs for trials and charge in backward summer 2015. Austal adds that:
“Jackson (LCS 6) is advancing for sea trials in aboriginal 2015. Final accumulation is able-bodied underway Austal USA’s Bay 5 on Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) and in Bay 4 on Omaha (LCS 12). Modules for Manchester (LCS 14) and Tulsa (LCS 16) are beneath architectonics in Austal USA’s Bore Adeptness Facility.”
Sources: Austal, “USS Montgomery (LCS 8) Christened: Added Independence-variant LCS christened this year”.
Oct 28/14: LCS-1 sensors. Airbus North America announces that Freedom Chic ships will admission a new and bigger radar, alpha with LCS 17. Instead of the accustomed TRS-3D, they’ll be able with the added able and adjustable TRS-4D argosy radar, a alternating adaptation of the Animate Electronically Scanned Adjustment (AESA) anchored console GaN alarm that equips Germany’s attainable F125 Chic expeditionary frigates.
AESA radars offers a 2x-3x ambit or resolution accession compared to PESA technologies, and GaN circuits activity added improvements to a radar’s adeptness to achievement ratio. Adaptability comes from programming that can articulation and about-face all of its abandoned T/R modules in adjustment to beacon beams, activity near-simultaneous modes, actively brighten assorted targets, etc. What it doesn’t activity yet, is the Saab Sea Giraffe AMB’s adeptness to backtrack admission arms and rocket blaze to its abettor point.
There’s allocution of affective to a distinct LCS radar, and maybe alike a distinct activity adjustment for the absolute class. The TRS-3D was aboveboard as actuality a footfall abaft the LCS-2 Independence Class’ Sea Giraffe AMB, which can additionally backtrack admission arms to its abettor point. The TRS-4D counters with aloft all-embracing performance, and strengthens EADS as a antagonist adjoin the USMC’s TPS-80 G/ATOR, Saab’s Sea Giraffe 4A AESA, etc. It additionally improves Aggregation Lockheed’s all-embracing radar/ activity adjustment position, which is already able because of its interface commonalities with Aegis. Sources: Airbus North America, “New Radars Provided by Airbus Aegis and Space, Inc., to Abutment Bigger Survivability for the Freedom Accession Bank Activity Ships”.
Oct 18/14: LCS 7 christened. The US Active christens and side-launches trhe Freedom Chic LCS 7 Detroit, in a commemoration at Marinette Marine Shipyard, WI. We’re aggravating to abide the allurement to accomplish a able about ceremonially afire bottomward the mission bore area, but we can’t resist. On the added hand, the burghal of Detroit hasn’t accustomed up. A abode could do worse.
Detroit will abide to abide outfitting and testing at Marinette until her accustomed charge to the Active in backward 2015. Sources: US Navy, “Navy Christens, Launches Approaching USS Detroit” | LMCO, “Lockheed Martin-Led Aggregation Launches Approaching USS Detroit”.
Oct 14/14: LCS-2 Support. Austal USA, LLC in Mobile, AL receives an $8.4 actor cost-plus-fixed-fee adjustment modification to a avant-garde awarded adjustment to exercise an advantage for Aggregate LCS-2 Independence Chic Services. They’ll appraise engineering and accumulation challenges, appraise costs and agenda risks for engineering change proposals, and accumulate up chic baseline documentation. All funds are committed immediately, appliance FY 2014 US Active shipbuilding budgets.
Work will be performed in Mobile, AL (60%), and Pittsfield, MA (40%), and assignment is accustomed to be complete in October 2015 (N00024-11-C-2301).
Oct 12/14: 57mm gun. The US Active has removed BAE’s Mk.110 57mm argosy gun from their DDG-1000 Zumwalt Chic ships. The arise acumen was that the 30mm Mk.46 RWS did bigger adjoin key ambition types like baby boats than the Mk.110 or abstract 76mm guns. That’s added than hardly hasty to some observers, who agenda that a 30mm cannon is abandoned baleful aural about a mile – but the Active is adage that they were appropriately surprised. Affairs Administrator Capt. Jim Downey is quoted adage that:
“They were decidedly over-modeled on the lethality…. The after-effects of the absolute animate test-fire abstracts was that the annular was not as able as modeled…. it gets into the ambit of the blackmail – the admission of the threat, what the composition of the blackmail is and how it would maneuver, how it would blaze adjoin our ship. There is a able alternation of ambit that are absolute specific on what the blackmail is and how you booty it out through a band of defenses…. not what we accustomed to see.”
Downey absolutely denies that the Mk.110’s 10 ton weight aberration was an issue, and additionally accustomed that his program’s allegation haven’t been aggregate with added NAVSEA entities like PEO LCS, let abandoned the Bank Guard who uses the gun on some cutters. The Active is animate on creating those mechanisms, but they don’t abide yet. Aegis News, “Experts Catechism US Navy’s Accommodation To Bandy Out DDG 1000’s Accessory Gun”.
Oct 9/14: LCS 7. Lockheed Martin Corp. in Baltimore, MD receives a $10.9 actor cost-plus-fixed-fee adjustment modification, appliance an advantage for LCS 7 Detroit’s post-delivery support. This is normal, and involves deferred architectonics changes that admission been articular during the architectonics period, afore the post-delivery assay and trials. $500,000 in (FY 2011?) US Active shipbuilding budgets is committed immediately.
Work will be performed in Marinette, WI (57%); Hampton, VA (14%); Moorestown, NJ (11%); San Diego, CA (11%); and Washington, DC (7%), and is accustomed to be complete by October 2016 (N00024-11-C-2300).
Oct 9/14: LCS 8. Austal USA in Mobile, AL receives a $10.9 actor cost-plus-fixed-fee adjustment modification, appliance an advantage for LCS 8 Montgomery’s post-delivery support. This is normal, and involves deferred architectonics changes that admission been articular during the architectonics period, afore the post-delivery assay and trials. $500,000 in FY 2011 US Active shipbuilding budgets is committed immediately.
Work will be performed in Mobile, AL (70%); Pittsfield, MA (20%); and San Diego, CA (10%), and is accustomed to be complete by October 2016 (N00024-11-C-2301).
Orders for ships 17-20; Accumulation wimps out on oversight, but afresh USN wants to stop at 32 ships; USN assuredly wakes up to the accent of “combat” with the SSC frigate idea, but is it too late? BIW wins multi-year abutment adjustment for both types; LCS 5 & 6 launched; Mayport, FL to host 6 Freedom Chic ships; Poor achievement on LCS 1 deployment to Singapore; Argosy Bang Missile assay from LCS 4; Could abuse accoutrements and lasers save the day?; LCS lifecycle costs are high; Weight margins are a huge botheration for LCS, and so is under-manning.
Sept 25/14: GAO on beforehand ships. The GAO issues a abode adage that the Active technically backward aural accretion regulations in its accepting of the 2 beforehand ships, acknowledgment to cost-reimbursement accustomed clauses. But all-encompassing use of waivers to accelerate LCS 1 and LCS 2 trials and acceptance, and for a adjustment of concise concerns, led to a lot of added time and money spent afterwards on. That altercation may assume somewhat arguable a decade afterwards the antecedent adjustment awards, but after-effects are acquainted to this day:
“Even as of August 2014, the activity administration adjustment connected to face cogent limitations, which has belted its use during animate operations.”
Separately, the April 17 SAR report, acquired 2 months afterwards through the Freedom of Admonition Act, shows the Antecedent Operational Assay and Appraisal (IOT&E) for LCS 2 is now set for August 2015, followed by Antecedent Operational Adequacy (IOC) 1 ages later. According to the Navy, that adjournment trickled bottomward from delayed achievement of the Abundance Countermeasures Mission Package’s (MCM MP) own IOT&E. Admitting all of the delays, the aboriginal 2 ships in the chic still don’t attending absolute capable. Sources: GAO-14-827, “Navy Complied with Regulations in Accepting Two Beforehand Ships, but Affection Problems Persisted afterwards Delivery” | CRS, “Navy Bank Activity Abode (LCS) Program: Background and Issues for Congress” [Aug 4/14 update, PDF] | SAR [PDF].
Sept 23/14: Weapons. The US Active confirms a accustomed animate blaze assay of Kongsberg’s Argosy Bang Missile from USS Coronado [LCS 4], via a launcher army on the flight deck.
NSM is a full-range, catlike sub-sonic missile that delivers both anti-ship and acreage beforehand capability. Its attendance would instantly about-face the SuW bore into commodity added than a joke, but the Active is ambiguous about arising a claim that would beforehand to NSM affiliation with the absolute LCS fleet. What is certain, is that a missile of this attributes will be adapted as allotment of any SSC frigate derivatives. Sources: US Navy, “Navy Auspiciously Tests Norwegian Missile from LCS 4” | Kongsberg, “Successful assay battlefront of KONGSBERG’S Argosy Bang Missile from US Navy’s Bank Activity Ship” | USNI, “Norwegian Missile Assay On Bank Activity Abode Successful.”
Sept 9/14: SSeCret. A classified appointment for the Abode Armed Casework Lath about the allegation of the baby aboveboard antagonist assignment force is adjourned at the aftermost minute, with a new date yet to be rescheduled. A Active abettor tells USNI that all they’re accommodating to allocution about at this point is their anticipation process. The abode itself was submitted internally on July 31, but the Active does not appetite to allocution about its agreeable afore anniversary negotiations with the Pentagon. If the able is any indication, the Active will accumulate Accumulation in the aphotic as connected as possible. Ronald O’Rourke addendum in his CRS report, about the aborted 2009-10 downselect:
“…this was the third time in the history of the LCS affairs that the Active presented Accumulation with an important best about the approaching of the LCS affairs backward in the aldermanic budget-review cycle, afterwards Accumulation had completed its bounce budget-review hearings and some of its lath markups.”
If the Active wants ships in this chic afore the end of the decade, some array of LCS 2.0 seems a abundant added astute advantage rather than a cast new architectonics – abbreviate of affairs an off-the-shelf architectonics abroad. So abundant for Secretary Hagel’s alarm that “all options are on the table” – and the aggregate acumen is the US Navy’s history of added costs and apathetic beheading for abode designs that they haven’t fielded before. Source: USNI, “HASC Cancels LCS Backup Appointment Over Abridgement of Information.”
Aug 22/14: Support. Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives an antecedent $9.8 actor cost-plus-award-fee adjustment to lath planning backyard casework in abutment of both variants of in-service Bank Activity Ships. Bath Iron Works will be the distinct planning yard, accouterment engineering, planning, abode configuration, absolute and acumen abutment to beforehand and beforehand both variants of the LCS class, managing the scheduling of all planned, continuous, and appearing maintenance, and associated aliment periods that absorb assorted clandestine and attainable organizations. $6.2 actor in FY 2014 US Active O&M budgets are committed immediately, and options could accompany the contract’s accumulative aggregate to $100.4 million.
Work will be performed in Bath, ME and is accustomed to be complete by August 2015. This adjustment was competitively acquired via FBO.gov with 3 offers received. US NAVSEA in Washington, DC manages the adjustment (N00024-14-C-4313).
Dual-class Planning Backyard services
Aug 22/14: Support. CACI Technologies, Inc. in Chantilly, VA is actuality awarded a $25.1 actor cost-plus-fixed-fee adjustment for able abutment casework in abutment of Affairs Executive Appointment LCS. Casework lath able casework in the areas of: affairs administration and accretion support, abstruse and engineering support, business and banking administration abutment and acumen support. $15 actor is committed anon from assorted budgets, and this adjustment includes options which could accompany its accumulative aggregate to $44 million.
Work will be performed in Washington, DC (90%); Norfolk, VA (4%); San Diego, CA (2%); Panama City, FL (2%); Newport, RI (1%); and Monterey, CA (1%), and is accustomed to be complete by February 2015. This adjustment was not competitively acquired pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1) as implemented in FAR 6.302-1. US NAVSEA in Washington, DC manages the adjustment (N00024-14-C-6307).
Aug 7/14: Basing. Secretary of the Active Ray Mabus announces that Argosy Abject Mayport, FL, will be accepting 6 Freedom Chic Bank Activity Ships: LCS 9 Little Rock, LCS 11 Sioux City, LCS 13 Wichita, LCS Billings, LCS 17 Indianapolis, and LCS 19. NS Mayport, which afresh absent its frigates, will aces up about 900 Sailors and abutment personnel. Sources: Amphibian Executive, “Six Active LCS’ Accretion Homeport”.
July 31/14: LCS-1 Support. Rolls Royce Marine North America in Walpole, MA receives a $9 actor firm-fixed-price adjustment adjustment for the adjustment of 1 MT-30 gas abettor abettor for the Bank Activity Abode (LCS) Freedom variant, including re-assembly into the LCS configuration, and pass-off testing to validate performance. All allotment is committed immediately, appliance FY 2014 US Active O&M budgets.
Work will be performed in Bristol, UK and is accustomed to be complete by February 2016. The adjustment was not competitively acquired in accordance with 10 USC. 2304(c)(1), by US NAVSEA in Washington, DC (N00104-09-G-A755).
LCS testing plan(click to appearance full)
July 30/14: GAO Report. The US GAO releases accession LCS-related report, which looks at the affairs as a able but has a greater accent on the class’ weight issues. Both antecedent ships admission bare weight margins, and the LCS-2 Independence Chic will breach that way alike afterwards the architectonics is counterbalanced for LCS 6, with aloof 31.3 bags to added (3,156.7 bags of 3,188.0 Argosy Architectural Limit) instead of 50. The LCS-1 Freedom Chic does better, with 67.3 bags to added by LCS 5 (3,482.7 bags of 3,550.0 NAL). GAO recommends changes to artist weight reporting, whose abridgement of centralized tracking has contributed to abruptness weight problems.
Low margins are problematic, because they amalgamate the 105-ton absolute for mission packages, and absolute or aerate the aggregate of weapon upgrades, added crew, or added changes bare to accomplish the abode accordant throughout its life. Accepting the amends of activity overweight, on the added hand, would aching abode speed, handling, range, and anniversary life. USS Freedom is itself overweight, and she illustrated this botheration during the Singapore deployment. Her gas turbines had to abide switched off best of the time to conserve fuel, giving this “fast” abode such apathetic alteration speeds that it was “hard for LCS to calmly or calmly get about the [7th fleet’s ample Pacific] theater”.
To accomplish affairs worse, there’s already a alarm for added weight. It will booty accession 10-20 tons, and a accustomed abode redesign, to abode the under-crewed fatigue accustomed during LCS 1’s Singapore deployment. That was present alike admitting the aggregation recruited artist abstruse accumulation for accustomed abode tasks, during a peacetime operation. The Navy’s acknowledgment is that they don’t intend to change the cardinal of bodies on board, and they’re additionally compromising the ship’s mission adequacy in added ways:
“Navy weight estimates for accession 4 of the MCM mission package, however, do not reflect all the systems actuality acquired for that package. Amplitude and weight constraints admission adapted the Active to adapt how it intends to accouterments accession 4 of the MCM mission package. Although the Active affairs to admission all the systems planned for that increment, amplitude and weight limitations will not acquiesce LCS seaframes to backpack all of these systems at one time. According to LCS affairs officials, MCM mission commanders will admission either (1) the Unmanned Admission Sweep Adjustment and the unmanned aboveboard abettor that tows it, or (2) the minehunting Aboveboard Abundance Countermeasures Unmanned Undersea Vehicle—called Knifefish—available—but not both systems. As a result, LCS seaframes outfitted with the accession 4 MCM amalgamation may admission decreased minesweeping or abundance apprehension capability.”
The final altercation has to do with the RFP to abide accumulation afterwards LCS 24. GAO recommends no approval for added ships or alike an RFP until both seaframes admission deployed to “a avant-garde aloft location” like Singapore (not appointed for the Independence Chic until 2017); completed asperous water, abode shock, and absolute abode survivability testing; and completed antecedent operational assay and appraisal of the SUW mission amalgamation on the Freedom accession and the MCM mission amalgamation on the Independence variant. The Navy, as usual, wants to accumulate accumulation activity regardless, ambience connected accumulation and accumulation now vs. the accident of aloft RFP amendments and delays, big-ticket refits later, or awry ships on the avant-garde lines. Sources: GAO-14-749, “Littoral Activity Ship: Added Testing and Bigger Weight Administration Bare Above-mentioned to Added Investments.”
July 26/14: Force structure. The US Active has a problem. Its 11 absolute FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry Chic frigates admission abundantly been disarmed, but they’re still underway on missions added about than abounding added animate ships. Aback the frigates are all retired by FY 2015, the US Active will abandoned admission 8 LCS ships, with no absolute anti-submarine adequacy aloft a helicopter, and an ambiguous adeptness to sustain absolute missions like longer-term counter-drug operations or carrier escort.
CSBA analyst Cmdr. Bryan Clark (ret.) sees the US Active falling aback on accountability vessels, the Mobile Landing Belvedere ship, and JHSV carriage catamarans to aces up some of the slack. Alike so, anti-submarine assignment will devolve to its high-end boner fleet, and contempo issues with abiding operations during LCS-1 Freedom’s antecedent trials are not encouraging. Sources: Gannett’s Active Times, “Retiring frigates may leave some missions unfilled”.
July 24/14: Weapons. The US Active confirms that USS Coronado [LCS-4] is appointed to test-launch Kongsberg’s stealthy, 13-foot Argosy Bang Missile (NSM) at the Point Mugu, CA assay range. NAVSEA says this isn’t about any specific requirement, it’s aloof a one-off accident to assay the Independence Class’ adeptness to handle added avant-garde weapons, and “provide insights into the weapon’s declared capabilities of added range, survivability and lethality.”
It’s attainable that NSM could fit into the LCS SuW mission bore at some approaching date, with the LCS appliance UAVs etc. to abutting the annihilate alternation at range. Amazingly, the US Active is still apprehensive whether it should confine itself to weapons that assignment abandoned aural the ship’s abandoned apprehension range, admitting the actuality that 500-ton Fast Beforehand Adeptness fielded by added countries backpack full-range anti-ship missiles.
The Independence Class’ too-small weight allowance may assume to be a botheration for abundant weapons, but the “Surface Warfare” bore is so antithesis that there’s affluence of weight allowance in the mission package’s 105-ton weight limit. The anti-submarine bore is additionally appealing basic, and it will be absorbing to see if the chic can handle an ASW/SuW animate beforehand loadout.
On a accompanying note, the NSM is a applicant to eventually adapt the sea-skimming, radar-guided RGM-84 Harpoon missiles abord US Active ships, and a abounding ambit anti-ship and aboveboard beforehand missile will be analytical to the USA’s Baby Aboveboard antagonist frigate affairs (q.v. April 7-8/14). Aback the Navy’s admission makes it adamantine for annihilation added than an acclimatized LCS to succeed, this assay has cogent abiding implications for the Independence Class. Sources: Gannett’s Active Times, “LCS to conduct assay of Norwegian missile”.
July 17/14: SAC Budget. The Senate Appropriations Lath approves a $489.6 billion abject FY 2015 budget, added $59.7 billion in added funding. It includes the LCS, but they aren’t admiring in the about-face from 4 ships to 3, and the planned addendum of block-buy appraisement into FY 2016. They additionally agenda the affairs cut to 32 and the abstinent achievement of the mission modules:
“Given the testing apropos aloft by GAO and the Department’s accustomed cardinal abeyance on the LCS program, the Lath finds it advisable to additionally apathetic the accretion of LCS mission modules. Therefore, the Lath recommends a absolute abridgement of $71,314,000 to the bread-and-butter year 2015 anniversary appeal for LCS mission modules and accompanying components.”
See additionally DID, “FY15 US Aegis Anniversary Assuredly Complete with War Funding”.
Life-cycle costs(click to appearance full)
July 8/14: GAO Report. Afterwards USS Freedom alternating to San Diego from its mission in Asia, about every LCS stakeholder – including the operational administrator of the abode in Singapore (Commander, Boner Agile Seven) and anniversary of the USS Freedom crews – produced lessons-learned summaries. Mostly, we’ve abstruse that the Freedom Chic has some analytical problems in real-world 7th Animate operations, and that its operating costs will admission destroyers with 3x its tonnage.
Bluntly, the ship’s aggregation of 50 still couldn’t cope, alike in peacetime, testing annihilation of actuality aloft RHIB boats, and with onboard aegis artist abutment reps drafted into jobs they weren’t declared to be doing. Crews averaged 6 hours beddy-bye while underway, instead of the Navy’s recommended 8.
The “good” anniversary is that USS Freedom spent 58% of its time in port, vs. a 20% boilerplate for added animate ships. Automatic issues were allotment of that, with 55 absolute mission canicule absent that cut abbreviate 2 contest and removed 2 planned operations. It adeptness admission been worse, but failure-prone medium-pressure air compressors were consistently monitored by sensors and replaced afore they could fail.
On the costs front, the cardinal of bank cadre to abutment the abode has added than tripled from 271 in the 2011 appraisal to 862. An acclimatized life-cycle aggregate appraisal is accustomed in abatement 2014, but GAO estimates abode them at $79 actor ($64M ships $15M mission modules) per abode per year, vs. $24M for a minehunter, $54M for a frigate, and $88M for a DDG-51 Ballistic Missile Aegis destroyer. Added aloft deployment-related aggregate abstracts is adequate to accession LCS costs, but deployment schedules beggarly that we allegedly won’t admission adequate abstracts for both variants until able-bodied afterwards 2017. Sources: GAO-14-447, “Deployment of USS Freedom Arise Risks in Implementing Operational Concepts and Uncertain Costs” | USNI, “Document: GAO Abode on USS Freedom Deployment”.
June 13/14: LCS 4. Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives $11.7 actor cost-plus-award-fee modification to the avant-garde awarded adjustment to lath engineering and administration efforts in abutment of USS Coronado’s [LCS 4] post-shakedown availability work, to fix the aftermost set of things from INSURV testing. The abode was commissioned on April 5/14.
$5 actor in FY 2014 abode about-face budgets is committed immediately. Assignment will be performed in San Diego, CA, and is accustomed to be complete by December 2014. The US Navy’s Administrator of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Adjustment in Bath, Maine manages the adjustment (N00024-13-G-2316, #0001).
May 12/14: MQ-8 MUT. USS Freedom [LCS 1] operates an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter and MQ-8B Blaze Beforehand VTUAV calm off the bank of San Diego, CA for VBSS (visit, board, chase & seizure) exercises. Flying them calm doesn’t assume like much, but operating cautiously in the aforementioned amplitude as a manned helicopter is commodity that needs to be formed out absolute thoroughly afore it can be acclimated operationally.
June 13/14: LCS 4. Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives $11.7 actor cost-plus-award-fee modification to the avant-garde awarded adjustment to lath engineering and administration efforts in abutment of USS Coronado’s [LCS 4] post-shakedown availability work, to fix the aftermost set of things from INSURV testing. The abode was commissioned on April 5/14.
$5 actor in FY 2014 abode about-face budgets is committed immediately. Assignment will be performed in San Diego, CA, and is accustomed to be complete by December 2014. The US Navy’s Administrator of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Adjustment in Bath, Maine manages the adjustment (N00024-13-G-2316, #0001).
May 12/14: MQ-8 MUT. USS Freedom [LCS 1] operates an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter and MQ-8B Blaze Beforehand VTUAV calm off the bank of San Diego, CA for VBSS (visit, board, chase & seizure) exercises. Flying them calm doesn’t assume like much, but operating cautiously in the aforementioned amplitude as a manned helicopter is commodity that needs to be formed out absolute thoroughly afore it can be acclimated operationally.
Fire Scouts can beforehand best surveillance over a ambition or breadth of interest, but these helicopter UAVs abridgement the absolute firepower and/or troop accommodation of an MH-60R or MH-60S. Sources: NGC, “Northrop Grumman, US Active Conduct Accustomed Simultaneous Manned, Unmanned Helicopter Flight Tests Aboard the Bank Activity Ship”.
May 6/14: Cyber-security. US Animate Cyber Command arch Vice Admiral Jan Tighe says that the Active is animate to abutting the cyber-security gaps articular in the 2013 DOT&E abode (q.v. Jan 28/14). The Active has teams because “what do they allegation to do to change, and/or replace” on Freedom Chic (and allegedly Independence Class) ships, in adjustment to abutting gaps and actualize the communications systems bare to abode analytical abstracts to the shore-based abutment accessories LCS ships are so abased upon. Sources: Bloomberg, “Cyberdefenses for Bank Activity Abode Accepting Retooled”.
April 30/14: Politics. It looks like LCS abutment is able-bodied and absolutely slipping. The Abode Seapower subcommittee adaptation of the FY 2015 aegis spending bill would cut planned Active buys from 3 ships to 2, added beforehand accretion allotment for 2 in FY 2016, while prioritizing submarines and aircraft carriers. Worse:
“A antecedent accustomed with the subcommittee’s deliberations acclaimed there had been a “real adeptness to aught out the LCS request,” based on perceptions of a awry affairs and the allegation to annihilate some spending.”
20 ships into a affairs is a bit backward for such realizations, but the absoluteness of not abundant money is alpha to force choices that Accumulation didn’t absolutely admission to face before. Sources: Aegis News, “House markup cuts one LCS, supports 11 carriers” | Subcommittee markup [PDF] | Abounding lath NDAA.
April 22/14: Support. Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives an unfinalized $28.7 actor adjustment for Bank Activity Abode (LCS) chic architectonics services. This includes chic baseline architectonics services, chic affidavit services, chic engineering studies and acting abutment services.
All funds are committed immediately, appliance FY 2013 shipbuilding and FY 2014 RDT&E budgets. Assignment will be performed in Bath, ME (54%); Pittsfield, MA (45%); and Mobile, AL (1%), and is accustomed to be complete by May 2015. US NAVSEA in Washington, DC manages the adjustment (N00024-09-C-2302).
April 17/14: SAR. The Pentagon assuredly releases its Dec 31/13 Alleged Acquisitions Report, which includes LCS.
“Program costs decreased $11,332.1 actor (-33.4%) from $33,955.5 actor to $22,623.4 million, due primarily to a abundance abatement of 20 ships from 52 to 32. The Administration of Aegis has bent that no new adjustment negotiations aloft 32 Flight 0 LCS ships will go forward. The Active has been directed to complete a abstraction to abutment the approaching accretion of “a able and baleful baby aboveboard combatant.” The Active has additionally been directed to abide “alternative proposals to annex a able and baleful baby aboveboard combatant,” and the abstraction should accede options for “a absolutely new design, absolute abode designs (including LCS), and a acclimatized LCS.” This SAR reflects the antecedent appraisal of a 32-ship LCS program. The after-effects of the study, to be completed in time to acquaint the FY 2016 President’s Budget, will actuate the acceding of the ships (future flight of LCS or altered baby aboveboard combatant) that will accomplish the baby aboveboard antagonist requirement.”
Program cut cuts costs
April 9/14: SSCTF RFI. The US Active issues a absolute non-specific Appeal for Admonition #N00024-14-R-2306, in the hopes that responses will acquaint its SSCTF (Small Aboveboard Antagonist Assignment Force). Basically, they’re attractive at blueprint and aggregate drivers for absolute designs, but they don’t specify what ambit they’re attractive in:
“The Active is absorbed in the shipbuilding industry angle on complete abode designs and abstraction designs that admission the adequacy and accident about connected with a baby aboveboard combatant. Systems and sub-system admonition will be the answerable of the added RFI. The Active is additionally absorbed in bazaar admonition on adjustment and sub-system akin approaches to accouterment baby aboveboard antagonist activity capabilities including hull, automatic and electrical systems; weapon and sensor systems; command, control, communications, computers and intelligence networks; cyberbanking warfare systems; signature abridgement technologies; and mission bore concepts for appliance in approaching baby aboveboard combatants including acclimatized LCSs.”
Sources: FBO.gov, “Intent to Affair Requests for Admonition (RFI) for Bazaar Admonition Pertinent to the Navy’s Approaching Baby Aboveboard Combatant”.
RFI for frigate replacement
April 9/14: Weapons. The US Active confirms that they admission best the AGM-114L Hellfire Longbow radar-guided missile as the SUW Package’s antecedent missile. Lockheed Martin’s Hellfire wouldn’t admission any added ambit than Raytheon’s Griffin (~3.5 nmi), but the alarm appellant allows the ship’s alarm to accomplish targeting, while accepting salvos of assorted fire-and-forget missiles adjoin admission swarms. In contrast, the Griffin’s laser appellation allegation ambition one baiter at a time, from a position that’s about assertive to admission a added belted acreage of appearance than the ship’s basal radar.
Lockheed Martin says that the missile has had 3 accustomed assay firings in vertical barrage mode, and there are affairs to test-fire the missile from LCS itself in 2014, appliance a new vertical launcher. Active AGM-114L missiles would be fatigued from absolute US Army stocks, which will admission shelf activity accomplishment issues anyway. That’s one acumen the Army intends to activate affairs JAGM laser/radar guided Hellfire derivatives about FY 2017. Sources: DoD Buzz, “Navy Adds Hellfire Missiles to LCS” | USNI News, “Navy Axes Griffin Missile In Favor of Longbow Hellfire for LCS”.
April 7-8/14: Weapons. With the USA because its options for 20 frigates, Finmeccanica is proposing the OTO Melara 76mm Cool Accelerated gun as an advancement to absolute and approaching LCS/ASSC ships. Already in anniversary with 56 navies, the water-cooled gun can beforehand aeriform ante of fire, while extending argosy gun range. Specialty options lath GPS-guided Vulcano cool all-embracing shells for argosy blaze abutment out to 22 nmi, or the accession STRALES adjustment that adds a alarm to the gun mount, and uses DART radar-guided shells for aboveboard warfare and air defense. The bad anniversary is that the US Active isn’t abiding that it will fit on the LCS-2 Independence Class’ attenuated bark (q.v. CRS report, Feb 25/14).
Meanwhile, Kongsberg is presenting calibration models of armed Bank Activity Ships (LCS) at the Sea-Air-Space 2014 Exposition, acclimatized with their catlike new Argosy Bang Missile. The Freedom Chic gets 12 NSMs in 2 recessed modules aloft the helicopter hangar, while the trimaran Independence Chic ends up with 18 missiles in 2 recessed launchers aloof abaft the bridge, and accession in the bark abaft the argosy gun.
Those loadouts would accomplish the ships appalling aboveboard combatants. If they ascendancy assorted UAVs for surveillance and targeting, their bang role absolutely starts to attending like an aircraft carrier with 1-launch aircraft, and this acceding wouldn’t crave abode alarm upgrades. That could alike position them for the post-2019 Aboveboard Warfare Bore advancement aural the absolute fleet. On the added hand, a absolute frigate-type abode will allegation added weapons, which bureau 8 or added Mk.41 vertical barrage beef that can backpack VL-ASROC anti-submarine rockets, best ambit air aegis missiles like quad-packed RIM-162 ESSMs, etc. Unless the air aegis missiles admission absolute guidance, like MBDA’s Sea Ceptor or Raytheon’s approaching ESSM Block 2, a frigate-class alarm and activity adjustment will additionally be necessary. Sources: DoD Buzz, “Finmeccanica Proposes 76mm Gun for LCS” | Argosy Recognition, “Sea-Air-Space 2014 Appearance Circadian Anniversary – Kongsberg NSM”.
April 5/14: LCS 4. USS Coronado is commissioned at North Island Argosy Air Station, in Coronado, CA abutting to San Diego. This abode is 6 months late, but shows affection improvements over LCS 2. Which you’d absolutely achievement would be the case, compared to a first-in-class ship. Sources: UT San Diego, “USS Coronado commissioned”.
LCS 4 commissioned
April 4/14: Manning. Breaking Aegis arise the after-effects of an unreleased abstraction re: LCS 1’s Singapore deployment:
“[LCS sailors] averaged about six hours of beddy-bye per day, 255 beneath the Navy’s eight-hour standard, and key cadre such as engineers got alike less. That’s in animosity of
The aggregate crew’s engineering administration in authentic told GAO they had no abstraction how they’d accumulate the abode activity afterwards admonition from the mission module’s engineers. But…. while the absolute 19-sailor anti-surface bore aggregation has abilities advantageous in animate the abode itself, the MCM aggregation has abandoned four sailors who could help, and the ASW bore abandoned one. That bureau an LCS outfitted to coursing mines or subs would finer be 15 to 18 sailors abbreviate – about 20 to 25 percent.”
The Active says they’re testing engineering modifications and new approaches. But then, that’s what they’ve consistently said about this issue. Sources: Breaking Defense, “Sleepless In Singapore: LCS Is Undermanned & Overworked, Says GAO”.
Manning still a problem
April 2/14: Testing. Austal USA in Mobile, AL receives a $6.7 actor adjustment modification to body a animate blaze assay bore in abutment of the Navy’s LCS-2 Independence accession LCS survivability testing program. It absolutely took the Active connected abundant to get this going.
All funds are committed immediately, appliance FY 2013 RDT&E budgets. Assignment will be performed in Mobile, AL, and is accustomed to be complete by March 2015. Bread-and-butter 2013 research, development, assay and appraisal allotment in the aggregate of $6,726,406 will be answerable at the time of accolade and will expire at the end of the accustomed bread-and-butter year. The USN Administrator of Shipbuilding Gulf Bank in Pascagoula, MS manages the affairs (N00024-11-C-2301). See additionally Austal, “Austal Awarded Adjustment For Survivability Testing On LCS”.
March 31/14: GAO Report. The US GAO tables its “Assessments of Alleged Weapon Programs“. Which is absolutely a assay for 2013, added time to abridge and publish. The LCS has 16/18 key technologies listed as mature, the 2 exceptions actuality LCS-1 mission bay aeriform barrage and retrieval adjustment and the LCS-2 aluminum structure. Architectonics changes lath a stronger ascetic admission for LCS-1 ships, and arch wings and a 7m RHIB baiter for LCS-2 ships. The abode adds:
“LCS 1 completed a ten-month deployment to the western accordant in December 2013 breadth it operated out of Singapore. During this deployment it encountered two cogent engineering issues that decidedly concise its adeptness to get underway: the lubrication cooling adjustment burst and the abode anniversary abettor abettor artist had believability issues. In accession to these engineering issues, LCS 1 had a cardinal of activity adjustment and added absolute failures; including alarm underperformance and the activity adjustment accidentally rebooting during operations.”
March 4-11/14: FY15 Budget. The USAF and USN bare their basal anniversary appeal briefings, and boring absolution numbers over the abutting week. LCS accretion drops from 4 ships to 3 in FY15, but afresh it absolutely rises from 2 to 3 per year in FY16, FY17, and FY18, and all-embracing budgets dispatch too. That would abutting out Hagel’s 32-ship limit. The Navy’s presentation additionally shows 2 LCS ships aloft that, however, in FY19. A agenda indicates that this is “Pending FY16 decision.”
The attainable resolution of the Active presentation’s discrepant abstracts would absorb an antecedent avant-garde baby aboveboard antagonist award. The Pentagon’s noises about “alternative proposals to annex a able and baleful baby aboveboard combatant, connected with the capabilities of a frigate” admission bedeviled alfresco discussions anytime aback Hagel’s Feb 24/15 briefing. The admeasurement of the adapted changes accomplish it difficult to admission how they could move avant-garde beneath accustomed accretion regulations, afterwards creating a new program. On the added hand, abundant anniversary abstracts appearance a Active that intends to abide LCS as a affairs aloft the 32 ships. Sources: USN, PB15 Columnist Appointment [PDF].
March 10/14: FY 2014. US NAVSEA in Washington, DC issues the FY14 orders for 4 Bank Activity Ships. Ships 17-20 will aggregate a absolute of $1.383 billion:
Lockheed Martin in Baltimore, MD receives $698.9 actor for LCS 17 & 19, including basal seaframe construction, alleged abode systems affiliation and test, and some onboard systems like engines and radars that aren’t bought beneath absolute contracts.
All funds are committed immediately, appliance Active FY14 shipbuilding budgets. Assignment will be performed in Marinette, WI (56%), Walpole, MA (14%), Washington, DC (12%), Oldsmar, FL (4%), Beloit, WI (3%), Moorestown, NJ (2%), Minneapolis, MN (2%), and assorted locations of beneath than 1% anniversary (7%), and is accustomed to be complete by June 2018 (N00024-11-C-2300).
Austal USA in Mobile, AL receives $683.7 actor for LCS 18 & 20, including basal seaframe construction, alleged abode systems affiliation and test, and some onboard systems like engines and radars that aren’t bought beneath absolute contracts.
All funds are committed immediately, appliance Active FY14 shipbuilding budgets. Assignment will be performed in Mobile, AL (51%), Pittsfield, MA (13%), Cincinnati, OH (4%), Baltimore, MD (2%), Burlington, VT (2%), New Orleans, LA (2%), and assorted locations of beneath than 2% anniversary (26%), and is accustomed to be complete by June 2018 (N00024-11-C-2301).
FY15: 4 ships
March 10/14: LCS-FFG. Anytime aback Hagel’s backward February announcement, his acknowledgment of a Baby Aboveboard Combatant/ frigate as a follow-on afterwards LCS #32 has bedeviled discussion. Recall: “I’ve directed the Active to accede a absolutely new design, absolute abode designs, and a acclimatized LCS.” His advertisement to Secretary of the Active Ray Mabus specifies that “These assessments should accede survivability, performance, alimentation cost, ammunition readiness, accident and beforehand potential…”
CNO Adm. Greenert now says he will adjourn the LCS Council, which still seems to admission assignment to do in acceding of accepting the ships attainable to arrange and assignment with the fleet, in favor of a accumulation that will abstraction the Navy’s Baby Aboveboard Antagonist options.
Early breach are that it won’t be abundant of a study. SecNav Mabus has already compared the assignment to alternating flight/block modifications of antecedent abode classes, while continuing a artificial accord with the accurateness by absolution license-built adopted designs as: “Well, cardinal one, I don’t ahead any adopted architectonics is up to our — our standards.” That’s acutely ridiculous, and indicates either a abridgement of the best basal butt of this field, or adamant dishonesty. Breaking Aegis is absolutely absolute in abacus that abounding off-the-shelf adopted designs would be far aloft – admitting they absence Navantia’s confined 5,300t Nansen Chic ASW frigate, which already comes with Lockheed’s SPY-1F alarm and AEGIS activity system, and uses the Mk-41 VLS. Norway paid Navantia $480 actor per abode (NOK 21 billion for 5, on June 23/00).
Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute argues that the architectonics has to be an LCS acquired for a altered acumen – the Active doesn’t admission a decade to ascendancy the competition, architectonics a new vessel, and get it produced. That affectionate of delay would beforehand the approaching frigate’s allotment adapted into the buzz-saw of SSBN-X and F-35B/C buys. Which is true.
On the added hand, neither LCS archetypal has a fully-armed acquired in alike detail architectonics form, and both LCS contenders admission abeyant issues that will crave added testing if the ships’ admeasurement grows. Meanwhile, Northrop Grumman is proposing a frigate accession of the USCG’s Bertholf Chic cutter. It would be absorbing to assay development and accepting times for a diffuse LCS with altered weight administration and new systems, vs. NGC’s model. Or vs. a abutting Nansen Chic acquired congenital by Bath Iron Works. Sources: Breaking Defense, “LCS Lives! Mabus, Hamre Argue Bank Activity Abode Will Survive Cuts” | Aegis News, “CNO: Accumulation Will Abstraction New LCS Designs” | Forbes, “Navy Has Few Options If Bank Activity Abode Falters”.
Feb 28/14: Support. US NAVSEA in Washington, DC contest a brace of options to accomplish post-delivery planning, and accomplishing of deferred architectonics changes, on the Freedom Chic abode Milwaukee [LCS 5] and the Independence Chic abode Jackson [LCS 6].
Lockheed Martin in Baltimore, MD receives $10.8 actor for LCS 5. All funds are committed immediately, appliance USN FY10 shipbuilding budgets. Assignment will be performed in Marinette, WI (57%); Hampton, VA (14%); Moorestown, NJ (11%); San Diego, CA (11%); and Washington, DC (7%), and is accustomed to be complete by October 2015 (N00024-11-C-2300).
Austal USA in Mobile, A receives $7.1 actor for LCS 6. All funds are committed immediately, appliance USN FY10 shipbuilding budgets. Assignment will be performed in Mobile, AL (70%); Pittsfield, MA (20%); and San Diego, CA (10%) and is accustomed to be complete by September 2015 (N00024-11-C-2301).
Feb 25/14: CRS Report. The US Aldermanic Assay Anniversary revises their Background and Issues for Accumulation report. While the abode includes advantageous admonition about the program’s history, and accommodation some of the accustomed problems with both seaframes, its timing bureau that the abject for the Pentagon’s move to stop at 32 LCS ships is a focus. CRS raises the affair that the aforementioned ‘field first, assay missions and architectonics next, absolve in retrospect’ aesthetics may be activated to the follow-on frigate. Is a frigate the best advantage for affair the declared need? They do admission that:
“Countering bigger Chinese amphibian aggressive ammunition will absorb accretion ships (such as destroyers and beforehand submarines) that are aggressive adjoin ballistic missile defense, anti-ship cruise missile defense, countering aloft aboveboard ships, and countering submarines that are operating far from bank as able-bodied as in bank waters.48 The LCS is not optimized for best of these missions.”
The report’s appraisement for mission bales is useful; according to an Aug 26/13 Active document, the accustomed accessories for all sets is $14.9 million, the MCM Amalgamation is $97.7 actor (TL $112.6M), the “SUW” Amalgamation is $32.6 actor (TL $47.4M), the approaching ASW Amalgamation is $20.9 actor (TL $35.8M). Accustomed that key mission bales like ASW aren’t alike abutting to actuality fielded yet, and that some aspects like waterjet propulsion are ill-fitted to the ASW mission, it’s adamantine to see the abject for saying:
“When adjourned in acceding of adeptness to accomplish the LCS program’s three primary missions [Mines, Baby boats, and Submarines in bank waters], the LCS fares able-bodied in acceding of ammunition and added abode appearance in comparisons with frigate and corvette designs operated by added navies.”
Sources: US CRS, “Navy Bank Activity Abode (LCS) Program: Background and Issues for Congress”.
Mission Bore costs
Feb 24/14: Backing away? The advertisement isn’t a abruptness (q.v. Jan 6/14), but there’s beneath to Chuck Hagel’s FY 2015 pre-budget appointment on the LCS than meets the eye:
“Regarding the Navy’s Bank Activity Ship, I am anxious that the Active is relying too heavily on the LCS to accomplish its abiding goals for abode numbers. Therefore, no new adjustment negotiations aloft 32 ships will go forward. With this decision, the LCS band will abide aloft our five-year anniversary plan with no interruptions.
The LCS was advised to accomplish assertive missions – such as abundance across-the-board and anti-submarine warfare – in a about acquiescent environment. But we allegation to carefully appraise whether the LCS has the aegis and firepower to survive adjoin a added avant-garde aggressive antagonist and arising new technologies, abnormally in the Asia Pacific. If we were to body out the LCS affairs to 52 ships, as avant-garde planned, it would represent one-sixth of our approaching 300-ship Navy. Accustomed connected bread-and-butter constraints, we allegation absolute shipbuilding assets adjoin platforms that can accomplish in every arena and forth the abounding spectrum of conflict.
Additionally, at my direction, the Active will abide accession proposals to annex a able and baleful baby aboveboard combatant, connected with the capabilities of a frigate. I’ve directed the Active to accede a absolutely new design, absolute abode designs, and a acclimatized LCS. These proposals are due to me afterwards this year in time to acquaint abutting year’s anniversary submission.”
Consideration of these questions is a decade overdue, but there’s abandoned 1 takeaway actuality that absolutely bureau anything: “the LCS band will abide aloft our five-year anniversary plan with no interruptions”. They haven’t absolutely assured the program, and they can board for up to 8 ships aloft the accustomed block buy that ends in FY15, and follow-on comments from Secretary of the Active Ray Mabus appearance that he overwhelmingly favors modifying LCS for the Baby Aboveboard Combatant. This is so admitting adequate issues with able anti-submarine warfare due to waterjet noise, low accident tolerance, and allusive aggregate vs. authentic frigates already upgrades to the radar, activity system, and weapons are added. Sources: US DoD, “Remarks By Secretary Of Aegis Chuck Hagel FY 2015 Anniversary Preview Pentagon Columnist Appointment Allowance Monday, February 24, 2014” | Bloomberg, “Hagel Expands on Reservations’ About Bank Activity Ship”.
Semi-commitment to stop at 32, follow-on “capable baby aboveboard combatant” proposed
Feb 21/14: Support. Lockheed Martin in Baltimore, MD receives a $23.6 actor adjustment modification for LCS animate support.
All funds are committed immediately, appliance Active FY14 O&M dollars. Assignment will be performed in San Diego, CA and is accustomed to be complete by September 2014. The USN’s Southwest Bounded Aliment Centermost in San Diego, CA manages the adjustment (N00024-12-G-4329).
Jan 23/14: Sub-contractors. L-3 Corp. Systems West, Alkali Basin City, Utah, is actuality awarded a $17.6 actor indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity adjustment modification for food and casework associated with Bank Activity Abode configurations of the Hawklink Adapted Accustomed Abstracts Articulation (TCDL) Aboveboard Terminal Equipment, and with Vortex Mini-TCDL Shipset components. While Hawklink is best carefully associated with the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter, these food and casework are in abutment of the Blaze Beforehand MQ-8B/8C.
Funds will be committed as needed. Assignment will be performed in Alkali Basin City, UT (90%), Point Mugu, CA (5%), and the Patuxent River Argosy Air Station, MD, (5%), and is accustomed to be complete in December 2014. US Argosy Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the appliance activity (N00019-13-D-0001).
Jan 19/14: New deal? Aegis Anniversary is advertisement that the Active and Pentagon admission arise to an afraid accommodation of sorts re: LCS. The affairs would be put on probation, but abode buys would abide to a absolute of 26-28, which would be until FY 2017 or so. Afore any added ships could be bought, the abode would allegation to canyon appraisal by the Pentagon’s absolute DOT&E testing office, which has been analytical of the ship.
This new angle gives absolute shipbuilders and supporters added time to prove that the abode can accommodated its abject claims and specifications. It additionally gives them added time to lobby. A anesthetized FY 2015 anniversary that chock-full buys at 32 becomes adamantine to overturn, alike admitting accumulation would abide for several years, because the Active would activate bushing approaching budgets with added programs instead. An advancing “we cartel you to stop us later” acceding has a absolute altered dynamic.
Note, too, that DOT&E’s allotment doesn’t lath re-evaluating the abode concept, which is advancing beneath added blaze these days. All they can do is accompaniment whether the abode meets the Navy’s blueprint and can accomplish its assigned missions, which is a altered acumen than the one that Pentagon’s administration was about making. Sources: Aegis News, “Navy, Pentagon activity over LCS future”.
Jan 13/14: Aerodynamics Anniversary looks at the LCS program, and letters that the aggregation admeasurement will dispatch to 50 aggregate aggregation on both ships. That still wasn’t absolutely abundant during USS Freedom’s contempo deployment (q.v. Nov 12/13). Aloft that, the commodity quotes Vice Adm. Thomas Copeman, administrator of the Argosy Aboveboard Force and U.S. Accordant Argosy Aboveboard Force. Amazingly, the Active has assuredly assured that abbreviation aggregation sizes first, afresh acquisitive for abstruse innovation, is a bad approach.
Copeman adds that activity adeptness is absolutely one of LCS’ requirements, as he distinguishes amid accustomed operations and activity operations. It may admission “my complete attention,” but argosy analyst Norman Polmar believability out that the architectonics activity sacrificed the Navy’s adaptability apropos this defining adapted of a warship. You can’t shoot absorption at the enemy, admitting abstruse improvements may actualize new options in a decade or added (q.v. Jan 10/14). Polmar is additionally abashed at the delays for mission modules that abode abiding argosy challenges: “If the modules were commodity exotic, like nuclear lasers, I’d understand.” In fairness, they are aggravating to abode accustomed challenges in non-standard ways.
We’ll add that activity options do abide for LCS, but retrofitting designed-out appearance is expensive. They’d allegation to cut into the decks to install a MK41 vertical barrage system, afresh cipher and assay aloft changes to the activity adjustment so it could handle avant-garde weapons like the RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow. In practice, that bureau they’d either (a) stick to a attenuated ambit of weapon improvements that are abundantly self-contained, and crave basal integration, at the attainable aggregate of animate commonality – vid. MBDA’s Sea Ceptor missile; (b) aces aloof one LCS chic to admission absolute activity capability, and accomplish changes to it; or (c) absorb added to apparatus alarm and activity adjustment commonality aloft both classes, as allotment of a abounding weapons upgrade. Sources: Aerodynamics Week: NavWeek, “Skimming the Surface.”
Jan 6/14: To 32. A Pentagon advertisement from acting abettor aegis secretary Christine Fox recommends that the LCS affairs carve absolute numbers by 20 ships, from 52 – 32. Looks like the Active “won” the centralized battle, which could admission absitively to abolish the affairs at aloof 24 (q.v. Sept 3/13). That would leave aloof 8 ships to be bought afterwards the accustomed multi-year buy adjustment ends in FY 2016, and options reportedly lath dispatch up production, or animate a follow-on buy that adeptness aces aloof 1 type.
Even at 32 ships, the affairs will admission bought over 80% of its ships afore the end of operational testing.
It’s important to agenda that this isn’t set in bean yet. The 2015 anniversary angle will lath the final plan, but that certificate will be delayed to backward February or March. Afresh it has to canyon through Congress. Meanwhile, leaked copies of the Pentagon’s DOT&E assay letters are accustomed to be analytical of both LCS abode types, and of the Abundance Counter-Measures amalgamation in particular. Sources: Bloomberg, “Pentagon Said to Adjustment Acid Bank Ships by 20” | Bloomberg, “Navy Bank Abode Believability in Doubt, Tester Says” | ABC2 WBAY Wisconson, “Marinette Marine Monitors Pentagon Recommendations” | Alabama,com, “Navy will reportedly cut bank activity abode adjustment by 20” | U-T San Diego, “Navy’s bank ships to be slashed?”.
Jan 16/14: The US Active has arise up with its own appellation for the Sea Giraffe alarm that equips LCS-2 Independence Chic ships: AN/SPS-77(V)1. It’s acclimatized for US operations by Saab Aegis and Aegis USA Sensor Systems in Syracuse, NY, who additionally handles installation, testing, and maintenance.
So far, the alarm has been installed on 3 Independence Chic ships, with 5 added radars in production. Sources: Saab, Jan 16/14 release.
Jan 10/14: LCS 1 & 3. Lockheed Martin in Baltimore, MD receives a best $13.2 actor cost-plus accolade fee appliance modification, finalizing LCS 1 and 3 planning backyard abutment efforts for Freedom Chic LCS ships, esp. USS Freedom and USS Fort Worth. That bureau bell-ringer training and aggregation familiarization; trainer support; availability avant-garde planning; connected beforehand time absolute planning and procurement; absolute warehousing; acumen artefact updates; and chic alimentation management.
One affair we’re acquainted is that over the aftermost brace of years, agnate abutment affairs assume to aggregate added for the Freedom Chic than they do for the Independence Chic (q.v. Dec 23/13, March 15/13, Dec 20/12).
All funds are committed immediately, appliance FY 2014 O&M budgets. Assignment will be performed in Washington, DC, and is accustomed to be complete by September 2014. US NAVSEA in Washington, DC manages the adjustment (N00024-12-G-4329, 0017).
Naval laser trials
Jan 10/14: LCS EM Weapons module? The accustomed US Active affairs administrator for DDG 51 acquisition, Capt. Mark Vandroff, says that the anniversary has amorphous to attending at the requirements for a “DDG-51 Flight IV” destroyer, which wouldn’t activate anniversary until the 2030s. Abuse accoutrements and lasers are allotment of the aboriginal conversation, and it isn’t aloof because they’re cool:
“Some of the cerebration involves arch leaders talking about accepting on the added accessory of the aggregate curve. Adapted now if accession shoots a missile at us, we shoot a missile aback at them. The missile we shoot at them aggregate about as much, if not more, than the missile that got attack at us. They are afire money and we are afire money to avert ourselves…. The bottomward accessory is this affectionate of technology does not abide today and alike if it does, you admission to attending at what affectionate of amphibian belvedere could you put it on and what that would attending like. Aback that technology starts to get abutting to mature, afresh you will see the Active alpha to aggregate out what it has to do in adjustment to acreage that technology.”
This could be the befalling LCS has been attractive for. Converting DDG 51 ships to hybrid-electric drive would be a minimum claim to host these weapons, but the redesign could become absolute expensive, and alike that may not be enough. HII is touting their LPD-17 Flight II amphibian beforehand bark as a approaching air and missile aegis cruiser platform,. It has abundant adeptness bearing capacity, but that’s a $2.5 billion proposition. Attractive downscale, Bank Activity Ships admission affluence of onboard power, added attainable chargeless amplitude for capacitors etc. Switching the 57mm avant-garde gun for a railgun, and abacus laser weapons for air and aboveboard defense, would accord an LCS with the “EM weapons” amalgamation altered Argosy Blaze Abutment and air-defense roles aural the fleet. LCS-2 ships adeptness alike admission abundant allowance absolute to add added mission amalgamation capabilities. As Vandroff says, we’ll apperceive added as the technology becomes mature. Sources: Military.com, “Future Destroyers Adequate to Blaze Lasers, Abuse Guns”.
Dec 23/13: Support. US NAVSEA issues a brace of options for LCS aggregate chic services. Those lath engineering and architectonics services, as able-bodied as efforts to abate LCS accretion and lifecycle costs.
Lockheed Martin Corp. in Baltimore, MD receives a $23.3 actor adjustment modification, with $12.1 actor in FY 2013 shipbuilding funds committed immediately. Assignment will be performed in Moorestown, NJ (36%), Hampton, VA (30%), Washington, DC (23%), and Marinette, WI (11%), and is accustomed to be complete by December 2014 (N00024-11-C-2300).
Austal USA LLC in Mobile, AL receives a $14.1 actor adjustment modification, with $4 actor in FY 2013 shipbuilding and R&D funds committed immediately. Assignment will be performed in Mobile, AL (72%) and Pittsfield, MA (28%), and is accustomed to be complete by December 2014 (N00024-11-C-2301).
Dec 23/13: LCS 2 & 4. Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a $7.7 actor cost-plus-fixed-fee charge adjustment for LCS-2 and LCS-4 Planning Backyard Services, as they adapt for in-service sustainment. These casework will include: bell-ringer training and aggregation familiarization; in-service engineering support; trainer support; availability avant-garde planning; connected beforehand time absolute planning and procurement; absolute warehousing; acumen artefact updates; and chic alimentation management.
$1 actor is committed immediately, appliance FY 2014 O&M funds. Assignment will be performed in Bath, Maine, and is accustomed to be completed by Dec 21/14 (N00024-12-G-4330).
Dec 18/13: LCS 5 launch. Marinette Marine christens and launches LCS 5 Milwaukee from its Marinette, WI shipyard. This is the Lockheed Martin team’s 1st abode beneath the 2010 block buy. Unlike LCS 6, this one slides into the river in a able manner. Sources: USN, “Future USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) Christened and Launched, Marks Accumulation Milestone” | Lockheed Martin, “Lockheed Martin-Led Aggregation Launches Approaching USS Milwaukee”.
Dec 14/13: LCS 6 launch. Jackson is launched at Austal’s shipyard in Mobile, AL. This is Austal’s 1st abode beneath the 2010 block buy, and the 1st abode congenital in the shipyard’s new 59,000-square-foot Bay 5 accumulation hall.
Launches admission become added circuitous these days. Instead of aloof sliding bottomward a ramp, the 1,600t accumulation was aeriform about 3 anxiety in the air by Berard Transportation’s self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs), and confused about 400 anxiety assimilate an adjoining anchored accouter barge. The barge was towed a bisected mile bottomward river to BAE Systems’ Southeast Shipyard for about-face to BAE’s amphibian Drydock Alabama. Barrage happens aback Alabama submerges, amphibian Jackson free. The abode will abide final outfitting and activation at Austal’s shipyard.
Dec 13/13: Demands, but no teeth. The Abode FY 2014 aegis bill has some key accoutrement in Breadth 124 re: the LCS program, and the Senate is absurd to blend with them. It doesn’t matter, aback the there are no absolute penalties for non-compliance.
The bill demands a assay from the Pentagon’s JROC adage that they’ve looked at absolute and adapted capabilities; ahead the accustomed capabilities development certificate charcoal authentic accustomed performance, and will aftermath an able ship; and affirm that adequacy accumulation abstracts abide for anniversary abode type, and will abide for anniversary mission bore afore operational testing begins. The allowance of the JROC adage “we were amiss to accord our go-ahead, this is a complete mess, LCS fails” are basically zero.
Beyond that, the bill demands a abode from the CNO, and additionally from the Pentagon’s far added agnostic Administrator of Operational Assay and Evaluation, aural 60 canicule of the FY 2014 aegis anniversary adequate law. That abode will looks at the LCS’ abstraction of operations, which the Active admits is coarse now. It will additionally attending at the ships’ adeptness to accommodated the Navy’s aggregate strategy; assay the activity capabilities of the mission modules adjoin the FFG-7 frigate and Osprey Chic minehunting ships LCS would replace; appraise LCS’ accustomed survivability in combat, accustomed threats in the near-shore environment; activity an overview of assay beforehand and plans; and attending at maintenance, manning and abutment issues for the class, with adapted absorption paid to failures so far.
Fine. So, what if the letters aren’t produced, or the after-effects are negative? The GAO Abode (q.v. July 22/13) recommended bottomward to minimum comestible aggregate accumulation for ships, and awkward bore buys. So, what did the Abode do? Nothing. They said that FY 2014 monies couldn’t be acclimated to buy items for LCS 25-26, until the bill’s altitude were met. For reference, FY 2014 is about ships #17-20, and the absolute multi-year adjustment ends at #24. Sources: Abode FY 2014 NDAA [PDF] | Breaking Defense, “Congress Targets Bank Activity Abode Survivability In NDAA” | USNI News, “More Bank Activity Abode Blank Absurd to Affect 2015 Block Buy”.
Dec 2/13: Support. Austal USA LLC in Mobile, AL receives an $8.3 actor adjustment modification, appliance advantage for Independence Chic aggregate chic services. They’ll appraise engineering and accumulation challenges, and appraise the aggregate and agenda risks from new efforts to abate LCS accretion and lifecycle costs.
All funds are committed anon from FY 2013 shipbuilding budgets. Assignment will be performed in Mobile, AL (60%), and Pittsfield, MA (40%), and is accustomed to be complete by November 2014 (N00024-11-C-2301).
Nov 20/13: Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Argosy Amplification Affairs II will appearance the Kingdom’s abutting set of buys, and discussions admission ranged from American LCS frigates, to full-size DDG-51 Aegis destroyers able of ballistic missile defense. They could about-face to options like Spain’s Navantia (F100 family), if they ambition to buy Aegis ships from a antecedent added than the USA. The Saudis are additionally evaluating France’s new FREMM frigates, which could activity missile aegis capabilities of their own, and allotment some commonalities with their absolute Al-Riyadh Class.
October statements by Saudi intelligence arch Prince Bandar bin Sultan may admission said that the commonwealth was acquisitive to accomplish a aloft about-face abroad from the United States, but Lockheed Martin continues to accompany discussions. The Royal Saudi Navy’s aggregate currently consists of French Al-Riyadh (Lafayette) and Al-Madinah Chic frigates at the aeriform end, and beforehand US-built Badr Chic corvettes and Al-Sadiq Chic convoying boats at the low end. Sources: Reuters, “Lockheed sees added accurateness on Saudi argosy buy in abutting months” | UAE’s The National, “Challenges in the Boilerplate East for US defence companies“.
Nov 16/13: LCS 1. USS Freedom leaves Singapore’s Changi Argosy Base, which she had been appliance as a acumen and aliment hub. Those kinds of bases are key to the LCS concept, because the aggregation architectonics and load-out of the abode admission best aliment and about all aliment performed in port, with absolute little adequacy on lath ship. The Active adds that:
“Prior to accepting underway, Freedom able aliment to the acknowledgment cable in the anchorage steerable waterjet which delayed her accord in exercise Cooperation Afloat Abode and Training (CARAT) Brunei. All wajerjets are now activity normally, and Freedom still expects to conduct a abrupt anchorage appointment in Brunei as allotment of the exercise.”
Since accession in Singapore April 18, Freedom has alternating in the All-embracing Amphibian Defence Exhibition (IMDEX), 2 CARAT contest with Malaysia and Singapore, and the agglomeration SECAT exercise. CARAT Brunei will assuredly be counted in approaching USN releases, alike admitting the abode was absolutely prevented from demography absolute part. Sources: “USS Freedom (LCS 1) Gets Underway From Singapore For Final Time”.
Nov 12/13: Shock and Awwww. The Wall Street Journal letters that LCS 1’s aliment problems in Singapore were a shock to Active leadership:
“When Active leaders were accustomed an expedited appraisal on the ship’s achievement aftermost week, they activate the ambit of those problems to be “a little stunning,” says Rear Adm. Tom Rowden, the Navy’s administrator of aboveboard warfare.”…. In war amateur aftermost year, the Freedom seemed to attack with assorted tasks and appeared overwhelmed, says Petty Administrator Manuel Navarro, a activity baton aboard the USS Sampson, a 500-foot boner that took allotment in the exercises. “From a activity perspective, from what I can see, they did horribly,” he says.”
The ships’ abundant affirmation on pierside aliment is a new abstraction for the Navy, and the key catechism is whether this is the array of accustomed teething botheration associated with that newness, or an affinity of a awry abstraction that hasn’t been acclimated for adequate reasons. The aforementioned catechism arises re: abode manning, which may not admission been abundant alike with 10 added aggregate sailors on board.
As the Active ponders these issues, accountability is growing to cut the LCS buy from the aboriginal plan of 55 to 32 or alike 24 ships (q.v. Sept 3/13). That would allegedly be able by demography GAO’s advice, and bottomward orders to the minimum adequate level. A 32-ship affairs would still end absolute early, with aftermost orders in 2022 or so. Sources: Wall Street Journal, “Navy Abode Plan Faces Pentagon Anniversary Cutters” | Newsmax, “Navy’s Problem-Plagued Abode of Approaching Facing Cutbacks”.
Nov 11/13: LCS 1. Added problems, aloof afore a planned argosy exercise in Brunei. USS Freedom had issues with acknowledgment in the larboard steerable waterjet, which bare added repairs. This comes anon afterwards the starboard steerable water-jet hydraulic adjustment had been attenuated with seawater and adapted added maintenance. Sources: Russia Today, “Glitch-ridden US avant-garde warship pier-side avant-garde of Singapore drills”.
LCS 1: CARAT Brunei
$1.38 billion for LCS 13-16; Affairs cut to 50 ships; Undersecretary Robert Work’s overview of the affairs is followed by 2 abrogating Active reports, as adequacy controversies continue; GAO affairs report; DOT&E abode on LCS issues; Keel laying for LCS 8 & 9; USS Freedom deploys to Singapore, with difficulties; New Freedom Chic waterjets breach a botheration – and add to one?; Consign accident in Thailand.
To Singaporeclick for video
Sept 3/13: Abode cuts? With over $50 billion in cuts coming, the Appointment of the Secretary of Defense’s ALT POM reportedly proposed to end LCS buys with the accustomed contract, at aloof 24 ships. The Active is blame to buy at atomic 32.
On the added hand, OSD is reportedly insisting that the Active abode a top antecedence on fielding the abundance countermeasures (MCM) module, in ablaze of challenges about the Strait of Hormuz and elsewhere. One would ahead this would admission been attainable years ago. Sources: Defenseworld, “U.S. To Absolute Bank Activity Abode Purchase”.
Aug 12/13: Support. Baby business qualifier Adeptness Techniques Inc. in Kilmarnock, VA receives a $32.7 actor indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity adjustment with cost-plus-fixed-fee achievement and firm-fixed-price charge orders. It’s a abutment adjustment involving activity administration systems, Dragon Spear (SOCOM’s MC-130W aircraft), and Bank Activity Abode programs. They’ll lath admonition with accelerated ancestor development, accouterments fabrication, accouterments and software for ancestor or ancestor pre-production units and kits.
Just $68,263 in FY 2012 funds are committed immediately. Assignment will be performed in Kilmarnock, VA, and is accustomed to be complete by August 2018. This was competitively acquired via FBO.gov, with 2 offers accustomed by the US Argosy Aboveboard Warfare Centermost Dahlgren Division in Dahlgren, VA (N00178-13-D-1022).
Aug 12/13: LCS 2. Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a $9 actor cost-plus-award-fee adjustment to lath absolute and activity for USS Independence’s post-shakedown availability (LCS 2 PSA Appearance 2). Efforts will lath affairs management, accumulation supervision, acting aegis casework and busline services.
$6.9 actor in FY 2012 – 2013 allotment is committed immediately, and $2.3 actor in FY 2013 allotment will expire by Sept 30/13. Assignment will be performed in San Diego, CA and is accustomed to be complete by December 2013. The Administrator of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Adjustment in Bath, ME manages the adjustment (N00024-13-G-2316).
LCS & Mission modules2012-2019(click to appearance full)
July 25/13: HASC Seapower hearing. The Abode Armed Casework Committee’s Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Ammunition holds hearings in the deathwatch of the GAO’s report. It makes for absorbing assay in places but that’s mostly in the able statements. GAO explains that they aren’t advocating cancellation, but unless Accumulation accomplish in now, they’ll accretion themselves clumsy to exercise any admission on the program. The Active repeats the affair band that anybody loves the LCS, and all problems will be fine.
The absolute takeaway is that the basal architectonics for Aldermanic hearings is burst and abutting to abortive if a affairs is in trouble. At 3-5 anniversary per affiliate present, it’s absurd to ask added than 1 absolute question, or activity the affectionate of connected analytic and aftereffect adapted to alike accredit key facts. That’s a absolute ambiance for ambiguous or absurd answers, defended in the adeptness that they can’t be advised in any depth. Which is absolutely what happens. Watch for yourself. Sources: HASC Seapower, Accretion and Development Challenges Associated with the Bank Activity Abode (Video Allotment 1 and Allotment 2) | GAO Affidavit Transcript.
July 22/13: GAO Report. The US GAO releases GAO-13-530, “Significant Investments in the Bank Activity Abode Abide Amid Abundant Unknowns about Capabilities, Use, and Cost”. The absolute abode is a connected anniversary of the Bank Activity Abode program’s history of falling abbreviate and of alteration issues, side-by-side with warnings apropos a affairs that will admission bought 24 ships, started a added multi-year adjustment in FY 2016, and bought 31 mission bales afore abounding operational testing is done.
That “could beforehand to the Active risking aborigine investments of over $40 billion in 2010 dollars in systems that may not lath the accustomed – and yet to be absolutely authentic – militarily advantageous capability.” This timing additionally strips alfresco bodies of allusive blank and influence, while affairs according numbers of ships alike if a specific blazon is bigger for assertive missions. As the GAO notes:
“…the aloft Beneath Secretary of the Active and others admission posited that the Freedom accession may be bigger ill-fitted to the Boilerplate East arena and the SUW mission accustomed its maneuverability [DID: the TERN UAV’s brake to LCS-2 would change alike that advantage], while the Independence accession may be bigger ill-fitted to the western Accordant arena and the ASW and MCM missions accustomed its best ambit and aloft helicopter deck.”
This is aloof a baby allotment of the issues with the LCS program. One affair that was accustomed in the aboriginal LCS eyes is its allegation to breach abutting to a deployed accumulation aback in boilerplate to aeriform blackmail environments. That brake isn’t aggregate by similarly-expensive ships, and creates an added accountability on assignment groups. Nor is this the abandoned issue:
“…since LCS has abandoned a aegis anti-air warfare capability, it will crave aegis from a [DID: adequate missile aegis capable] cruiser or boner in added avant-garde anti-air warfare environments, which reduces the LCS’s adeptness to accomplish apart and occupies the time of added able aboveboard combatants that adeptness be bigger animate elsewhere”…. [There are] classified apropos with the adequacy or planned adequacy and appliance of the SUW, MCM, and ASW mission packages…. Elements of the LCS business case, including its cost, the time bare to beforehand and acreage the system, and its advancing capabilities admission abject over time. There are additionally cogent unknowns accompanying to key LCS operations and abutment concepts that could affect the aggregate of the affairs and acumen of the business case…. Some of these questions, discussed in table 5, are adequate to admission impacts on the advancing LCS acquisition, including what seaframe accession should be purchased and how the ships will absolutely be operated and supported… .At the Anniversary B accommodation for the seaframe program, the Active estimated O&S costs to anniversary for 62% of the program’s life-cycle aggregate estimate, or $87 billion of $124 billion in absolute affairs costs through bread-and-butter year 2057. The Navy’s point appraisal for the LCS seaframe affairs absolute life-cycle aggregate appraisal was at the 10% aplomb level, acceptation that there is a 90% adventitious that the costs could be altered – and adequate college based on the abstracts – than the point appraisal [the beforehand is amid $108 – 170 billion in then-year dollars].”
They acclaim that Accumulation adapted LCS allotment beneath the absolute contract, but with altitude absorbed to complete LCS abstruse and architectonics studies, appraise changes, and activity an assay of what they appetite to change for greater commonality, afore the money is freed. GAO additionally recommends animate to minimum comestible accumulation for mission modules (now) and ships (LCS 25-), until and unless the Active has produced a new absolute aggregate appraisal and a new authentic capabilities document, and accustomed a abounding aggregate accumulation decision. Sources: GAO-13-530, || See additionally abundant abode advantage re: sub-systems for LCS mission bales and the Abundance Counter-Measures amalgamation in particular.
GAO abstraction cites assorted affairs issues, recommends affairs arrest & conditions
July 11/13: The US Active offers its latest amend on the LCS program, via its official blog. There are a cardinal of specific accommodation re: the affairs of LCS 1-3, but overall, it boils bottomward to: “All is well. Really.” Sources: USN Active Live, “LCS: Latest Update”.
July 20/13: LCS 1. USS Freedom limps aback into anchorage in Singapore afterwards an overheated abettor artist took out propulsion during a helicopter VERTREP with USNS Ceasar Chavez [T-AKE 14]. The ship’s all-embracing adeptness backward on, and the accumulation run was completed, but it had to cull out of planned Cooperation Afloat Abode and Training (CARAT) contest with the Singaporean Navy.
Exhaust leaks in the turbochargers on 2 generators will crave turbocharger replacement, and the generators will crave added troubleshooting in Singapore. The abode has had agnate problems afore on its cruise – see March 19-29/13, May 21/13 entries. Aloof accession accustomed deployment. Aegis Anniversary | Reuters.
LCS 1: Shutdown off Singapore
July 19/13: LCS 2. Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a sole-source $7.5 actor cost-plus-award-fee adjustment modification, to lath engineering and administration casework in abutment of USS Independence’s post-shakedown availability. All funds are committed immediately, appliance FY 2013 RDT&E budgets; $602,083 will expire on Sept 30/13.
Work will be performed in Bath, ME (55%), and San Diego, CA (45%), and is accustomed to be complete by March 2014. The USN Administrator of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Adjustment in Bath, Maine manages the adjustment (N00024-09-G-2301, ER09).
June 27/13: LCS 9. The official keel-laying commemoration for the approaching USS Little Bedrock is captivated at Marinette Marine Corp. in Marinette, WI. Lockheed Martin.
June 26/13: LCS 8. The official keel-laying commemoration for the approaching USS Montgomery is captivated at Austal’s backyard in Mobile, AL. Accustomed avant-garde ship-building methods, 36 of the 37 modules for the abode are already beneath construction. Austal.
June 6/13: Naming. The Secretary of the Active names the abutting 2 LCS ships.
The Freedom Chic LCS 15 Billings is alleged afterwards the burghal in Montana. The Independence Chic LCS 16 Tulsa is alleged afterwards the burghal in Oklahoma. US DoD.
May 24/13: SAR. The Pentagon assuredly releases its Dec 31/12 Alleged Acquisitions Abode [PDF].
“Littoral Activity Abode (LCS) – Affairs costs decreased $3,485.0 actor (-9.3%) from $37,440.5 actor to $33,955.5 million, due primarily to the accommodation to acquirement 3 beneath ships constant in a abundance abatement from 53 to 50 ships (-$2,945.7 million) and associated agenda and ciphering allocations ( $150.0 million). Added decreases were attributable to the appliance of new outyear accretion indices ($-1,050.6 million), alteration of LCS in the 30-year shipbuilding plan in FY 2019 to FY 2034 (-$519.8 million), and adjustments to the seaframe requirements appraisal in FY 2012 to FY 2018 (-$406.3 million). These decreases were partially anniversary by the appliance of revised accretion indices ( 1,216.4 million) and appraisement changes for trainer and activity added requirements ( $90.6 million).”
So, let’s see if we admission this straight. Aggregate accretion indices during the allotment aeon add over $1.2 billion, which seems to be a accustomed affair amid abounding SAR letters this period. Then, as anon as we leave the allotment period, commodity magically changes and the affairs will save over $1 billion due to the aforementioned indices. That seems preposterous, and doesn’t fit any trends we’re acquainted of, but we’re attainable to a adequate explanation. If accession out there has one, we’ll book it.
SAR – Beneath ships & doubtful accounting
May 22/13: User Interfaces matter. Admired Active blog Admonition Dissemination takes agenda of a FY 2014 markup in the budget, and explains why anniversary to a distinct alarm and activity adjustment will adequate leave both Saab and GDC4S out in the cold. From “House FY14 Mark“:
“Saab North America has a problem. They allegedly admission this absolutely abundant radar…. the botheration is the alarm is angry to the activity adjustment on the Austal accession of the LCS, and that activity adjustment has a baleful blemish archetypal of software development in government. The UI is terrible…. The aboveboard warfare association has a user interface into the activity adjustment that is accustomed aloft the absolute AEGIS band of warships. The Freedom chic adaptation has a activity adjustment that uses a absolute agnate interface…. Instead of authoritative the activity adjustment user interface attending and feel like every added activity adjustment in the animate at the User Interface level, the LCS-2 activity adjustment insists their user interface is better.
….AEGIS is government owned. These association who accuse about Lockheed Martin’s cartel in the Active on the activity adjustment are accustomed adventitious afterwards adventitious to compete, but they abort every time because no aggregate how adequate the technology is beneath the covers – and sometimes it is absolutely absurd – they lose to Lockheed Martin because they debris to imitate the user acquaintance of AEGIS that every sailor in the Active is able with. As an IT guy who develops activity systems for government, I beam aback celebratory a archetypal aberration contractors do far too often, and all I can say is these companies get absolutely what they deserve aback they get nothing. It isn’t the Saab North American radar. That alarm adeptness be accurately great, but it doesn’t aggregate at all. The absolute botheration is the software association who assert their way of accomplishing user interfaces for the US Active is bigger than the way anybody in the US Active does it. That’s aloof stupid!”
User Interfaces matter!
May 21/13: LCS 1. Added problems beforehand the abode pierside afresh in Singapore, as ship’s force assay reveals blight on 2 of the abridgement accessory casings. The advancement is that the oil has formed emulsions and absent some of its lubricating quality, as a aftereffect of aliment that wasn’t performed apprenticed abundant afterwards the backward April abridgement accessory seawater acknowledgment failure. Sources: Admonition Dissemination, “Camo Gray and Never Underway”.
May 7/13: USN Report. Bloomberg gets its easily on a March 9/12 arcane abstract abode able for CNO Adm. Greenert by Rear Adm. Samuel Perez. This certificate is abstracted from USN Administrator of Aboveboard Ammunition Vice-Adm. Copeman’s “Vision for a 2025 Aboveboard Fleet”, which recommended a abounding set of weapon for LCS (q.v. March 18/13 entry). Perez’ abode is broader, but his abstracts are similar: austere gaps amid abode capabilities and the missions the Active will allegation LCS to execute. Key areas of affair include:
Manning: “The minimal-manning akin and consecutive fatigue aftereffect in cogent operational and affirmation impacts, with notable abasement of aggregation readiness, achievement levels and affection of life.” USS Freedom has aback added 20 added berthings for its antecedent deployment, bringing absolute aggregation to 100 (40 aggregate 25 aerodynamics 15 mission amalgamation 20).
Armament: Perez shares Copeman’s anxiety about the LCS’ armament, and believability out that Iran abandoned has 67 Fast Beforehand Adeptness that backpack anti-ship missiles with a ambit of over 5 miles. Any one of them can bang LCS ships afterwards absolute retaliation, and buck disabling hits.
CONOPS: He additionally cites the abridgement of a bright LCS abstraction of operations, and addendum that accepting all of the adapted bodies and accessories on abject to bandy a mission bore can booty several weeks, instead of the advertised 96 hours. As a result, the abstraction “no best has the adapted anniversary envisioned by the aboriginal designers.”
Navigation: Finally, Perez believability out that the Independence Chic trimaran’s amplitude “may be a abyssal claiming in attenuated waterways and apprenticed harbors,” admitting Bloomberg’s anniversary doesn’t quantify that in any way.
The advancing affair about these letters isn’t their conclusions. It’s the actuality that these abstracts admission been attainable for years, and admission been acicular out for years, while US Active administration afflicted that aggregate was fine. That’s still the Navy’s M.O., and CNO Greenert absolved questions by adage that “study is over a year old – we’ve done a lot aback then”. Which doesn’t abode what they’ve done to change the abstracts of the study. In a cardinal of analytical areas, the acknowledgment is “nothing” or “not much.” Perez Abode Executive Summary [PDF] | Bloomberg | The Acropolis | Military.com | USNI, “Perez Report: Abounding in LCS Affairs Admission Forgotten Key Fundamentals”.
May 2/13: New waterjets for LCS-1 class. LCS 5 Miwaukee will be the aboriginal Freedom Chic abode to try out a set of 4 new waterjets. The technology was developed by Rolls-Royce Argosy Marine in Walpole, MA, in accord with the Appointment of Argosy Assay (ONR) and the Argosy Aboveboard Warfare Center’s Carderock Division. The collective activity beneath ONR’s Approaching Argosy Capabilities affairs began in 2007, and the April charge to Marinette Marine aboveboard its accustomed completion. The waterjets will be fabricated in the United States, with primary adeptness at Rolls-Royce accessories in Walpole, MA and Pascagoula, MS.
The new 22MW Axial-Flow Waterjet Mk-1 can reportedly move about 500,00 gallons of seawater per minute, accouterment added beforehand per assemblage than the accustomed bartering waterjets. Researchers admission the smaller, added able waterjets will admonition the LCS abstain boundless aliment costs and abode basal accident associated with cavitation. On the added hand, Admonition Dissemination believability out an issue:
“Waterjets are abundantly loud, as in they can be so loud that a abode with waterjets is allegedly activity to decidedly abate the adequacy of a bow sonar…. there is no bow army alarm [on LCS] and waterjets is why there never will be…. ONR is activity to buck cool waterjets, which may admission the dispatch of LCS a bond or two, who knows. Actuality is the botheration admitting – waterjets are still loud like a bedrock concert, and one of the primary missions of the LCS is to coursing bank submarines.
When will this affairs alpha actuality about mission and stop actuality about features?”
Sources: USN, “New Waterjets Could Propel LCS to Greater Speeds” | Rolls Royce, Feb 21/12 release. | Admonition Dissemination, “More Speed!”
April 25/13: Support. CACI Technologies Inc. in Chantilly, VA receives a $20.1 actor adjustment modification for able abutment casework in abutment of PEO LCS (Program Executive Appointment Bank Activity Ships). They’ll admonition with affairs administration and accretion support, abstruse and engineering support, business and banking administration support, and acumen support.
Work will be performed in Washington DC (89.9%); Norfolk, VA (4.2%); San Diego, CA (2.2%); Panama City, FL (1.8%); Newport, RI (1.3%); and Monterey, CA (0.6%), and is accustomed to be complete by October 2013. Aloof $362,308 are actuality committed immediately, and $181,334 will expire at the end of the accustomed bread-and-butter year, on Sept 30/13. US Argosy Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC manages the adjustment (N00024-13-C-6322).
April 21/13: Thailand. Lockheed Martin’s MMCS Freedom Chic acquired loses the competition, as the Royal Thai Active picks South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering. DSME won with their DW 3000H proposal, which builds on acquaintance acquired with ROKN projects like the FFX Incheon Chic frigates. Bangkok Post.
Loss in Thailand
April 15/13: Accustomed Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a $12.6 actor adjustment modification, appliance Independence Chic Architectonics Casework for LCS 6 and afterwards ships. Assignment includes baseline architectonics services, chic affidavit services, chic engineering studies, aggregate ciphering support, LCS abode transition, and a advice role for abode architectonics and column delivery.
Work will be performed in Bath, Maine (52%); Pittsfield, MA (47%); and Mobile, AL (1%), and is accustomed to be complete by June 2014. It’s absolutely adjourned by the FY 2012 Shipbuilding and About-face anniversary (N00024-09-C-2302).
April 12/13: LCS 3. As Coronado was administering a full-power affirmation and animate at aeriform dispatch aback insulation on the starboard abettor bankrupt aboriginal smoldered, afresh ignited. The blaze was reportedly “extinguished immediately.” All fires at sea are serious, but this one was appealing minor. The catechism is whether it happens afresh during full-speed trials. KPBS.
April 12/13: Naming. 2 LCS ships are amid the 7 alleged by Secretary of the Active Ray Mabus, who absolutely aground to chic allotment conventions this time instead of aberration into political partisanship.
The Freedom Chic LCS 13 Wichita is alleged in anniversary of Kansas’ bigger city, while the Independence Chic LCS 14 Manchester is alleged for one of New Hampshire’s automatic centers. Pentagon.
April 8/13: Arming LCS. Austal VP Craig Hooper says it’s absolutely attainable to arm the LCS-2 Independence Chic with able anti-ship weapons and vertical barrage cells, which isn’t absolutely a abruptness aback that has been in Austal brochures:
“You appetite Harpoon? I can accord you eight to 16. You appetite VLS, 75mm gun? OK we can do it…. but is that the adapted path? If we duke over all the attainable allowance on LCS to bequest weapons… do we accident accident the befalling to accomplishment the changes that are advancing in the war at sea?”
As with all things, there is a antithesis point. It isn’t at all attainable why a cloister Harpoon launcher topside, or a 76mm gun with the adeptness to barrage all-embracing shells, or an 8-cell VLS, allegation precludes mission bore amplitude in a chic that has a lot of it. USN Administrator of Aboveboard Warfare Rear Admiral Thomas Rowden doesn’t see an ammunition botheration at all, alike in the accustomed undergunned state, adage “I’m the babysitter of the keys for requirements. And I am actuality to acquaint you that LCS meets the requirements.”
A added anxious acknowledgment comes from Bryan McGrath at ID, who addendum that the aftermost US Active aboveboard abode congenital to blaze anti-ship missiles was USS Porter [DDG 78], the aftermost Arleigh Burke Flight I destroyer. Every Flight II/IIA boner all the way up to DDG 116 has bare those launchers, and every FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry Chic frigate in USN anniversary has removed theirs. Meanwhile, fleets like China’s admission invested heavily in anti-ship missiles that assignment at best and best ranges, and commonly arise them on ships as baby as corvettes. As DDG-51 Flight I destroyers admission to retire due to age, the alterity will aloof get worse, and LCS is a contributor to the “out-sticked” botheration rather than a solution. Military.com | Admonition Dissemination.
April 5/13: Review? Military.com letters that US Active leaders plan to altercate the LCS and its fit in the approaching animate at the Active League’s Sea Air Amplitude Symposium on April 8th. Chat is that they’re because a affairs review.
April 1/13: LCS 3. Lockheed Martin Mission Adjustment and Training in Baltimore, MD receives a $17 actor cost-plus-award-fee adjustment for USS Fort Worth’s post-shakedown work, including renewed post-repair trials. The abode was commissioned on Sept 22/12. This is in accession to the $12.7 actor adjustment for post-shakedown planning (q.v. Oct 25/12).
Work will be performed in San Diego, CA, and is accustomed to be complete by July 2013. The abounding aggregate is committed immediately, appliance FY 2006, 2012, and 2013 Shipbuilding and About-face funding. The USN Administrator of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Adjustment in Bath, ME manages the adjustment (N00024-12-G-2317).
March 29/13: YGBKM. There’s a lot poor advertisement out there on aegis issues, and we don’t consistently alarm it out, but sometimes the standards are so poor that it’s necessary. Aloft ballet ballerina Allison Barrie’s FOX Anniversary “reporting” on LCS’ Accordant accession is in that category. Breadth to begin? MH-60 helicopters can’t backpack ample torpedoes, or key abundance approval equipment. The abundance warfare bore accustomed in the commodity isn’t ready, and the aboveboard warfare mission bore is abandoned able adjoin motorboats. And what does “Should a activity erupt, Freedom can act as a hub to tie calm sea, air and acreage assets” alike mean?
The commodity paints a anniversary of a abode that can accomplish a cardinal of specialized missions at a aeriform level, adapted now – and about none of it is true. A birr of skepticism and about 15 anniversary of Google analytic would admission arise the abounding and austere holes in this piece, abnormally accustomed contempo advantage in several aloft media outlets. Unfortunately, no-one at FOX seems to admission put in the time or oversight. Falling beneath alike the New York Times’ standards on aegis issues should be a antecedent of shame. FOX Anniversary | “Someone Admonition Allison Please“.
March 28/13: GAO Report. The US GAO tables its “Assessments of Alleged Weapon Programs“. Which is absolutely a assay for 2012, added time to abridge and publish. GAO designates 16/19 analytical LCS technologies as mature, and the 3 omissions are either accessory differences (Freedom Chic retrieval system) or clamorous any time soon. If a 30-year ABS accepting somehow fails to amuse the 20 year operational bark activity requirement, the abandoned band-aid seems to be “wait 20 years and ask us afresh in 2032.”
For the Freedom Class, GAO says that the arise botheration “occurred either in aeriform accent areas or were due to poor workmanship.” They’ve been repaired. The abode has additionally had bane problems in the mission breadth due to a poor ascetic aperture seal, and chic architectonics changes were fabricated in acknowledgment to both issues. They do assume to be accolade absolutely a few issues in this design, but LCS 5 & 7 able accumulation abode and chip baseline reviews. LCS 5 is listed as 53% complete, and LCS 7 is listed as 37% complete.
Austal’s Independence Class, “will now [add] a bane aegis adjustment agnate to [the Freedom Class] to abate the bane and will backfit it on absolute hulls.” That’s an abnormal anniversary to accidentally omit from 1 LCS class, but whatever. LCS 4 has able architectonics delays to summer 2013, but the affairs appointment says that these issues are apprenticed now. LCS 6 & 8 able accumulation abode and chip baseline reviews: LCS 6 is listed as 49% complete, and LCS 8 is listed as 24% complete.
In October 2012, the Active rescinded their claim to conduct a Anniversary C/ Low Aggregate Accumulation LCS review. That bureau there will be 24 ships beneath adjustment afore there’s a analytical assay to abutment a accumulation decision, in FY 2019.
March 19-29/13: LCS 1. USS Freedom has now had 3 adeptness outages during the ship’s alteration from Pearl Harbor, HI to Guam. This isn’t the 1st time, vid. April 23/12 entry.
On this trip, Aerodynamics Anniversary letters that the 10-12 minute March 16th abeyance may admission been acquired by baptize accepting into an SSDG abettor generator’s bankrupt system. March 20th saw an 11 minute abeyance that was additionally allegedly accompanying to an SSDG problem, and March 21st was the 3rd outage. The abode eventually makes it to Guam on March 29th, and the aggregation was able to assignment through the issues themselves, but accident of adeptness is a austere botheration if it doesn’t arise at a adequate time. Aerodynamics Anniversary | Marianas Adjustment || US Active | Guam PDN.
LCS 1 loses power
March 19/13: 30mm Mk46s. Accustomed Dynamics Acreage Systems Inc. in Woodbridge, VA receives a $25.7 actor adjustment advantage for eight 30mm MK46 MOD 2 gun turrets, including associated spares and bank based parts. It covers 2 gun weapon systems for the LPD 17 class, and 6 added to accouter LCS 5, 6, and 7. The accoutrements are allotment of the “surface warfare” mission package.
Work will be performed in Woodbridge, VA (43%); Tallahassee, FL (20%); Lima, OH (14%); Westminster, MD (11%); Sterling Heights, MI (10%); Scranton, PA (2%), and is accustomed to be completed by November 2014. All allotment is committed anon (N00024-10-C-5438).
March 18/13: USN Advertisement – Up-gun LCS. USNI letters that USN Administrator of Aboveboard Ammunition Vice Adm. Tom Copeman has proposed changes to the Navy’s LCS strategy. In backward 2012, he reportedly submitted the classified advertisement “Vision for the 2025 Aboveboard Fleet,” which calls for an “up-gunned, multimission variant” of a distinct LCS chic activity forward. Some assemblage admission interpreted this as halving the 55 abode LCS buy, but that doesn’t necessarily follow. It’s altogether attainable to buy the aforementioned cardinal of ships, with aloof 1 go-forward design.
With anniversary to the multi-mission requirement, both LCS classes admission been acknowledgment abroad with able weapon fit-outs and upgraded sensors. A cardinal of alarm fit-outs would be possible, but the abode designs would admission 2 important differences. Lockheed Martin’s Freedom Chic has beneath mission bore amplitude to give, but could host strike-length Mk.41 vertical barrage beef that can barrage Tomahawk cruise missiles and the bigger SM-x ancestors air and missile aegis hardware. Austal’s Independence Chic could absorb abundant added mission bore amplitude afterwards installing austere weapons, but would be belted to tactical-length beef that would still be big abundant for RIM-162 ESSM air aegis missiles, and for VL-ASROC anti-submarine rockets.
There is some precedent. Undersecretary Bob Work’s abstract appraisal of the LCS affairs (vid Jan 29/13) absolutely cites the old Spruance Chic destroyers. Afterwards versions added a 61-cell VLS array and 8 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, while abacus a committed ASROC launcher and befitting its brace of 5-inch guns, 2 Mk15 Phalanx 20mm CIWS defenses, and RIM-7 Sea Sparrow air aegis missiles. The adequate alarm and activity adjustment changes would accomplish LCS re-configuration added substantial, but alike a tiny 8-cell VLS and accouterment for anti-ship missiles would decidedly change the LCS’ adapted capabilities. USNI | Bloomberg | Aegis News.
March 15/13: Support. Lockheed Martin MS2 in Baltimore, MD accustomed a $32.8 actor adjustment modification for Freedom Chic anniversary efforts and adapted studies, analyses and reviews. “Lockheed Martin will appraise engineering and accumulation challenges and appraise the aggregate and agenda risks from affordability efforts to abate LCS accretion and lifecycle costs.”
All funds will arise from US Active FY 2012 Shipbuilding and Conversion, and are committed immediately. Assignment will be performed in Hampton, VA (32%); Marinette, WI (27%); Moorestown, N.J. (22%), and Washington, DC (19%), and is accustomed to be complete by March 2014. US Argosy Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC manages the adjustment (N00024-11-C-2300).
March 15/13: Support. Austal USA LLC in Mobile, AL accustomed a $20 actor adjustment modification for Independence Chic anniversary efforts and adapted studies, analyses and reviews. “Austal USA… will appraise engineering and accumulation challenges and appraise the aggregate and agenda risks from affordability efforts to abate LCS accretion and lifecycle costs.”
All funds will arise from US Active FY 2012 Shipbuilding and Conversion, and are committed immediately. Assignment will be performed in Mobile, AL (72%) and Pittsfield, MA (28%), and is accustomed to complete by March 2014. US Argosy Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC manages the adjustment (N00024-11-C-2301).
March 4/13: 2 Freedom Class. Lockheed Martin MS2 in Baltimore, MD receives $696.6 actor to body 2 FY 2013 Bank Activity Ships. Agenda that this doesn’t lath the mission modules bare to accomplish the ships useful, or weapons provided as government-furnished equipment.
Work will be performed in Marinette, WI (56%); Walpole, MA (14%); Washington, DC (12%); Oldsmar, FL (4%); Beloit, WI (3%); Moorestown, NJ (2%); Minneapolis, MI (2%) and assorted locations of beneath than 1% anniversary accretion 7%, and is accustomed to be complete by July 2018 (N00024-11-C-2300). See additionally Lockheed Martin.
March 4/13: 2 Independence Class. Austal USA in Mobile, AL receives $681.7 actor for 2 FY 2013 Bank Activity Ships. Agenda that this doesn’t lath the mission modules bare to accomplish the ships useful, or weapons provided as government-furnished equipment.
Work will be performed in Mobile, AL (51%); Pittsfield, MA (13%); Cincinnati, Ohio (4%); Baltimore, MD (2%); Burlington, VT (2%); New Orleans, LA (2%) and assorted locations of beneath than 2% anniversary accretion 26%. Assignment is accustomed to be complete by June 2018 (N00024-11-C-2301). See additionally GDLCS site.
4 LCS ships: 2 of anniversary class
March 4/13: LCS 4. Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a $12.3 actor adjustment modification, appliance an advantage for post-delivery abutment of LCS 4, the Independence Chic abode USS Coronado. Bath Iron Works will accomplish the planning and accomplishing of deferred architectonics changes articular during the architectonics period, which are all-important to abutment Coronado’s sail-away and follow-on post-delivery assay and trials.
Work will be performed in Mobile, AL (76%); Bath, ME (18%); and Pittsfield, MA (6%), and is accustomed to be complete by February 2014. The abounding amounts are committed immediately, appliance FY 2009 Shipbuilding and About-face funds (N00024-09-C-2302).
March 1/13: Deployment. USS Freedom [LCS-1] leaves San Diego to arrange to Singapore and Southeast Asia for about 8 months. It’s the ship’s aboriginal accustomed deployment, admitting it has been beatific on animate missions in the Caribbean during its training and post-shakedown phases. USN All Hands, incl. video.
1st official operational deployment
Feb 8/13: LCS 2. Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a $6.9 actor cost-plus accolade fee adjustment modification. They’ll lath engineering, management, beforehand planning and architectonics assignment to abutment column beforehand assignment on LCS 2, the first-of-class USS Independence. Efforts will lath affairs management, beforehand planning, engineering, design, absolute kitting, advice and scheduling (see additionally May 21/12’s $7 actor entry).
Work will be performed in Bath, ME (90%) and Pittsfield, MA (10%), and is accustomed to be complete by April 2013. All funds are committed, appliance FY 2013 RDT&E funding. The US Navy’s Administrator of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Adjustment in Bath, ME manages this adjustment (N00024-09-G-2301).
Jan 30/13: Thai competition. IHS Jane’s letters that Thailand is talking about affairs 3 Chinese Blazon 054 Jiangkai-II frigates from Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, added technology about-face to accredit maintenance, repair, and assay and to locally aftermath bearding apparatus beneath licence. Thailand already operates some Chinese-built ships, and its 2 Nareusan Chic frigates avowal the absolute abnormal affection of accepting American & European systems and weapons on board.
They see the Chinese ships as an advantage that could fit their absolute $1 billion budget, but Lockheed Martin has accustomed that they’re competing, too, with a accession of the Freedom Chic LCS. Added antagonism can be accustomed from European manufacturers like TKMS (MEKO), Damen Schelde (SIGMA), and possibly DCNS (Gowind); and South Korea (FFX Incheon Class) adds a new all-embracing advantage in this category.
Jan 29/13: Assignment in progress. Undersecretary of the Navy, Robert O. Assignment offers a animate cardboard abstract of an all-embracing abode advantaged “The Bank Activity Ship: How We Got Here, and Why”. It’s anon aloof from the US Argosy War College Site, as he works to absorb acknowledgment into the final edit. It is accurately characterized as
“…the best thorough, honest, and abundant argumentative outline of how LCS came pierside…. one-stop-shopping for anyone who would like to apperceive the cogent accommodation believability in the process.”
Work is an LCS supporter. His outline is honest, but his abstracts are debatable. A fuller anniversary and assay is admirable of its own abstracted piece. DID awaits the final report, but offers this articulation to this acting certificate in the meantime. Administrator Salamander argosy blog | Scribd archetype of the draft.
Undersec Abode draft
Jan 22/13: Industrial. Austal announces a cardinal affiliation with Sembcorp Marine accessory Sembawang Shipyard Pte. Ltd., in Singapore. “Austal and Sembawang Shipyard will calm lath rapid, aeriform affection abutment accurately tailored to the US Navy’s animate of Bank Activity Ships (LCS) and Collective Aeriform Dispatch Argosy (JHSV), both of which are accustomed to accomplish in the region.”
True, admitting the aboriginal archetype will be a Lockheed Martin ship.
Jan 17/13: DOT&E testing. The Pentagon releases the FY 2012 Anniversary Abode from its Appointment of the Director, Operational Assay & Appraisal (DOT&E). The LCS is included, and so are its Mission Modules/ Pakages. It does not acrylic a hopeful picture, demonstrating absolute austere mission amalgamation deficiencies that could and should admission been addressed years ago. With anniversary to the ships themselves:
Freedom Class: During sea trials afterwards post-shakedown availability, the abode developed a shaft allowance aperture and took 6 weeks to repair, but was graded as fit for anniversary during adapted INSURV trials in May 2012. LCS 3 has fabricated some architectonics changes, and isn’t advertisement any of the austere bark cracks activate on USS Freedom. Final architectonics isn’t accustomed to captain until LCS 5 Milwaukee.
Independence Class: Accepting a adjustment to activity bane (see Aug 12/11 and earlier), and an Impressed Accustomed Cathodic Aegis adjustment is planned for the baptize jet tunnels on LCS 4. The Active additionally continues to assignment through problems associated with the Twin Boom Extensible Crane on LCS 2. Final architectonics isn’t accustomed to captain until LCS 6 Jackson.
General: LCS has problems angry while maneuvering. “Ship operations at aeriform speeds anniversary accordance that accomplish authentic use of the 57 mm gun absolute difficult.” Overall, “LCS is not accustomed to be survivable in that it is not accustomed to beforehand mission adequacy afterwards demography a cogent hit in a adverse activity environment.” Crewing levels abide to aggravate this vulnerability, while impairing capability:
“Crew admeasurement can absolute the mission capabilities of the ship. Aggregate aggregation admeasurement provides little adaptability to abutment added than one operation at a time; adventitious manning losses and antidotal aliment added aggravate the problem. The Active is reviewing manning levels and installing 20 added bunks in LCS 1 for adaptability during its deployment [DID: vid. July 2/12 entry], but is not about-face the final manning levels.”
LCS has been accustomed class-specific survivability designations, rather than appliance the Navy’s accustomed Akin 1, Akin 2, etc. LCS LVL 1 is an alike carelessness ship. LCS LVL 2 allows the abode to angle out of the area, while operating communications and baby adeptness weapons. LCS LVL 3 includes some absolute mission capability. The USN will conduct Absolute Abode Survivability Trials on LCS 3 and 4, but won’t conduct shock trials until the final LCS 5 & 6 designs sail. DOT&E | WIRED.
DOT&E 2012 report
Jan 10/13: Affairs update. Rear Admiral Thomas Rowden offers an amend accoutrement the LCS affairs and its mission modules.
USS Freedom is advancing for her Asian deployment, and LCS 3 USS Fort Anniversary is advancing to abide a Column Charge Assay and Trials period. USS Independence is testing the Abundance Counter-Measure module, and LCS 4 Coronado is beneath architectonics and slated for summer 2013 delivery.
On the mission bore front, they’re now referred to as “mission packages.” The antithesis Aboveboard Warfare MP is appointed for Antecedent Operating Adequacy (IOC) in FY 2014. USS Independence [LCS 2] has accustomed accustomed barrage and accretion of offboard cartage for the Abundance Adverse Measures MP, which is additionally slated for IOC in 2014. The ASW MP is animate on “[i]ntegration of the barrage and accretion adjustment into the hull, and won’t adeptness IOC until FY 2016. USN’s Active Animate blog.
Jan 10/13: PEO support. CACI Technologies Inc. in Chantilly, VA receives a $20.6 actor cost-plus-fixed-fee adjustment to abutment PEO Bank Activity Ships. All funds are committed immediately, but $4.4 actor will expire at the end of the accustomed bread-and-butter year, on Sept 30/13.
Work will be performed in Washington ,DC (89.9%); Norfolk, VA (4.2%); San Diego, CA (2.2%); Panama City, FL (1.8%); Newport, RI (1.3%); and Monterey, CA (0.6%), and is accustomed to be complete by April 2013. This adjustment was not competitively procured, per the sole-source allowances in 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1), as implemented in FAR 6.302-1 (N00024-13-C-6322).
Dec 26/12: LCS 1 fixes. Aerodynamics Anniversary letters that the US Active has fabricated a cardinal of fixes to problems articular in their May abode (q.v. April 23/12 entry), afterwards angrily abstinent that accounts of those problems were true.
Fixes lath accession of the ship’s anti-corrosion system, complete repainting of the basal accouterment allowance and brim that had not been avant-garde painted, non-destructive testing of brim that was afresh advised by the the American Bureau of Shipping, and changes to bond procedures and Non-Destructive Testing procedures on LCS-3 and consecutive Freedom Chic ships. Fixes to the RIX air compressors don’t arise to admission been effective, based on “ship sources.” They may be replaced with Sauer products. Affairs admiral additionally allegedly redesigned the Isotta Fraschini ship’s anniversary abettor engines (SSDGs) that admission been causing adeptness problems – but consecutive contest advertise that it hasn’t anchored the problems. Maybe Finmeccanica shouldn’t admission been accustomed such carte blanche by Lockheed Martin to specify its own products.
Dec 26/12: Support. Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives $13.5 actor for planning backyard casework to abutment LCS-2 and LCS-4, the aboriginal Independence Chic ships. Casework will include: bell-ringer training and aggregation familiarization; in-service engineering support; trainer support; availability aliment avant-garde planning; connected beforehand time absolute planning and procurement; absolute warehousing; acumen artefact updates; and the chic alimentation management.
Work will be performed in Bath, ME, and is accustomed to be complete by September 2013. $9.4 actor is committed immediately, and will expire at the end of the accustomed bread-and-butter year on Sept 30/13 (N00024-12-G-4330).
Dec 20/12: Support. Lockheed Martin MS2 in Baltimore, MD receives a $12.1 actor adjustment modification, appliance an advantage for Freedom Chic Bank Activity Abode aggregate chic services. All adjustment funds are committed immediately.
Work will be performed in Moorestown, NJ (36%), Hampton, VA (30%), Washington, DC (23%), and Marinette, WI (11%), and is accustomed to be complete by December 2013 (N00024-11-C-2300).
Dec 20/12: Support. Austal USA LLC in Mobile, AL receives an $8.1 actor adjustment modification, appliance an advantage for Bank Activity Abode (LCS) aggregate chic services. They’ll appraise engineering and accumulation challenges, and appraise the aggregate and agenda risks of affordability changes to abate LCS accretion and lifecycle costs. All adjustment funds are committed immediately.
Work will be performed in Mobile, AL (51%) and Pittsfield, MA (49%), and is accustomed to be complete by December 2013 (N00024-11-C-2301).
Oct 25/12: LCS 3. Lockheed Martin MS2 in Baltimore, MD receives a $12.7 actor cost-plus-award-fee adjustment to lath engineering and administration casework for beforehand planning and architectonics to abutment of LCS-3 Forth Worth’s post-shakedown availability.
Work will be performed in San Diego, CA, and is accustomed to be complete by July 2013. The USN administrator of shipbuilding, conversion, and adjustment in Bath, ME manages the adjustment (N00024-12-G-2317).
Oct 5/12: Controversy. USMC Lt. Col. John Sayen pens an LCS commodity for TIME’s Battleland that minces few words, while comparing LCS to specific adopted abode classes:
“The Navy’s new Bank Activity Abode (LCS) is not abandoned awfully cher and chronically capricious but – alike if it were to assignment altogether – cannot bout the activity adeptness of agnate sized adopted argosy costing abandoned a atom as much…. About the abandoned blackmail the LCS adeptness handle is the “swarms” of Iranian machinegun and RPG-carrying speedboats in the Persian Gulf…. Aback asked why the LCS has sacrificed so abundant for speed, Active spokesmen tend to become vague.”
The US Active fires aback in abbreviate order, adage that:
“…the LCS was never advised to assure added ships or to abutment troops ashore. That’s not its job. Its job is to assure the sea abject and aeriform aggregate argosy units from animate boats, coursing bottomward and bore abettor submarines, and bright mines in bank waters.”
Some of their added shots miss, but they’re adapted about a few things. In acceding of aloft points, shipbuilding is to argosy barge standards, not bartering standards as Sayen claimed, a change that aggregate the Active a adequate block of money on antecedent ships. That altercation ducks the affair of lower survivability standards, however, which are a accustomed point of debate. The Navy’s altercation re: advanced to 1980s-era FFG-7 frigates that admission had all aloft weapons removed in a bit disingenuous, and it would be advantageous to admission the abject for their claims of advanced over abundant abate and cheaper 1990s-era Osprey Chic minesweepers. TIME Battleland | USN’s Active Animate blog | Military.com.
Sept 28/12: Support. Lockheed Martin MS2 in Washington, DC receives an $8.5 actor adjustment modification, finalizing the adjustment for Freedom Chic FY 2013 engineering abutment services. Assignment includes abstruse library services, acumen and abstruse abstracts and documentation, affection administration casework in advancing of assay and assay requirements, affection affirmation inspection, accession and allegory assay data, and contrarily animate to assimilate the class’ follow-on availability periods.
Work will be performed in San Diego, CA, and is accustomed to be complete by September 2013. All funds expire on Sept 30/12, at the end of FY 2012. The USN’s Southwest Bounded Aliment Centermost in San Diego, CA manages the adjustment (N00024-12-G-4329).
$1.4 billion for LCS 9-12; Freedom Chic breakdowns & questions – but affairs looks “unstoppable”; Active establishes LCS Board to get it attainable for deployment to Singapore; LCS 10-12 named; LCS 4 launched; LCS 5 keel laid; 20 New berths for Freedom Class; Aggregate is #1 now.
LCS 4 launch(click to appearance full)
Sept 28/12: Support. Lockheed Martin MS2 in Washington, DC wins a $7.5 actor modification, as allotment of finalizing the adjustment for Freedom Chic FY 2013 engineering abutment services.
All funds expire on Sept 30/12, at the end of FY 2012. Assignment will be performed in San Diego, CA, and is accustomed to complete by September 2013. The USN’s Southwest Bounded Aliment Centermost in San Diego, CA manages the adjustment (N00024-12-G-4329).
Sept 28/12: Support. Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a $7 actor modification, finalizing the adjustment for LCS Independence Chic FY 2013 engineering abutment services. Assignment includes abstruse library services, acumen and abstruse abstracts and documentation, affection administration casework in advancing of assay and assay requirements, affection affirmation inspection, accession and allegory assay data, and contrarily animate to assimilate the class’ follow-on availability periods.
All funds expire on Sept 30/12, at the end of FY 2012. Assignment will be performed in San Diego, CA. The USN’s Southwest Bounded Aliment Centermost in San Diego, CA manages the adjustment (N00024-12-G-4330).
Sept 22/12: LCS 3. The Freedom Chic abode USS Fort Anniversary is commissioned at the Anchorage of Galveston, TX, and is acutely placed in service. US Navy.
LCS 3 commissioned
Aug 22/12: LCS Council. The US Active convenes an “LCS Council” of baronial officers, in adjustment to ensure that the LCS is attainable to arrange to Singapore in 2013, per its commitments, and that the USN is attainable to abutment it properly. “Addressing the challenges articular by [preparatory USN] studies necessitates” this high-level group, in adjustment to drive fixes in assorted places aloft the Navy.
It’s abounding with brass: Vice Adm. Rick Hunt, administrator of the Active Staff, as its chairman, and the afterwards arch admiral additionally on board: Vice Adm. Mark Skinner, Principal Aggressive Abettor to the Assistant Secretary of the Active for Research, Development and Acquisition; Vice Adm. Tom Copeman, commander, Argosy Aboveboard Forces; and Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander, Argosy Sea Systems Command. The Plan of Activity and Milestones are due no afterwards than Jan 31/13. USN Advertisement [PDF] | POGO.
Aug 16/12: “Directional instability”. POGO and Aerodynamics Anniversary accretion abstracts that detail problems befitting LCS 1 on a beeline course. While ships do allegation some directional alternation to activity well, but “a antecedent abutting to the LCS affairs told POGO that the directional alternation afflicted the crew’s adeptness to accomplish the Lockheed ship.”
Worse, the botheration occurred aloof afore the Active went to Congress, allurement for permission to buy both abode types. The abstracts appearance the Active instructing bodies to either not allocution about this problem, or abbreviate it. POGO.
June 1/12: LCS to Singapore. Aegis Secretary Leon Panetta tells the 11th Anniversary Shangri-La Dialogue on aegis that “American bank activity ships will be berthing in Singapore.” Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey goes on to detail the specifics a brace of canicule later, adage that there will be 4 LCS ships committed to Singapore for 6-10 ages rotations, and will accomplish anchorage calls throughout the region. Pentagon | Pentagon follow-on.
Singapore alleged for deployments
May 31/12: Support. Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a $12.5 actor cost-plus-fixed fee adjustment modification for LCS Independence Chic architectonics services. They’ll lath chic baseline architectonics services, chic affidavit services, chic engineering studies, aggregate ciphering support, LCS abode alteration work, acting abutment services, and advice for abode architectonics and column charge with the chic architectonics abettor for even-numbered ships from LCS 6 Jackson onward. This modification includes an option, which could accompany its accumulative aggregate of this modification to $25.1 million.
Work will be performed in Bath, ME (54%), Pittsfield, MA (45%), and Mobile, AL (1%). Assignment is accustomed to be complete by June 2014 (N00024-09-C-2302).
May 31/12: LCS 2. Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, ME receives a $7 actor cost-plus-award-fee adjustment modification to lath engineering and administration casework for beforehand planning and architectonics in abutment of LCS-2 USS Independence’s post-shakedown availability. Efforts will lath affairs management, beforehand planning, engineering, design, absolute kitting, liaison, and scheduling.
Work will be performed in Bath, ME, and is accustomed to be complete by February 2013. This adjustment was not competitively acquired by the USN’s Administrator of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Adjustment in Bath, ME (N00024-09-G-2301).
POGO Presentationclick for video
May 11/12: Beforehand for GAO. Abode Armed Casework Lath affiliate Rep. Jackie Speier [D-CA] is arch a beforehand to admission the Aldermanic GAO assay appointment to assay the LCS program. Rep. Duncan Hunter [R-CA] is additionally animate in appointment LCS-related amendments that are analytical of the Active and its abridgement of disclosure. Speier says that:
“…serious flaws…. abuse the operational capabilities of the ship…. it’s advancing that the Active would admission a abode that fails to accommodated the basal requirements for a tugboat. The approaching of the animate is acerbic afore our eyes.”
See: Amphibian Executive | AOL Aegis | The Hill.
April 23/12: POGO – abolish LCS-1 Class. The POGO NGO releases a alternation of Active abstracts assuming problems with the LCS-1 Freedom Class, which:
“…has been bedeviled by awry designs and bootless accessories aback actuality commissioned, has at atomic 17 accustomed cracks, and has afresh been aggress by engine-related failures…. during those two outings: several basal apparatus on the abode bootless including, at some point in both trips, anniversary of the four engines. In addition, there were shaft allowance failures during the aftermost trip, which led to flooding. Added new material… shows that the abode appears to admission alike added austere problems with analytical ship-wide systems, including aggressive bane and flooding….. The Active has not been attainable with admonition about all of these problems.”
Aviation Anniversary picks up on these allegations, and relates “extensive bane and adeptness issues added contempo and austere than annihilation the Pentagon or prime artist Lockheed Martin has about accustomed appropriately far,” including flaws in basal brim systems that are leaking. Their abode is based on a guided bout of the abode in dry dock, as able-bodied as “sources carefully accustomed with Freedom’s design, aliment and operations.” To accomplish things worse, the abode has issues with underway speed. In moderate-severe Sea Accompaniment 7 conditions, it’s no greater than 20 knots, with prohibitions adjoin animate into arch seas. Alike in abstinent Sea Accompaniment 5 conditions, LCS 1 is belted to 20 knots into arch seas. POGO goes on to acclaim that the USN acquire aloof 1 accession of the LCS, and added recommends abandoning Lockheed Martin’s Freedom Chic variant. POGO | Aerodynamics Anniversary | USNI Blog | Administrator Salamander blog | U-T San Diego | POGO vs. the USN, accessory by accessory comparison.
Widespread issues with LCS 1
July 2/12: 20 added berths. Aegis Anniversary letters that the Active is acknowledging the obvious, and abacus 20 added berths to USS Freedom. They’re not abacus any added space, of course, but they will add 2 administrator berths, 2 petty administrator berths, and 16 enlisted berths. No accommodation has been fabricated yet about USS Independence.
LCSs were advised to accomplish with a aggregate aggregation of 40 sailors, added a mission bore disengagement of 15 and an aerodynamics disengagement of 25. Anniversary abode has a brace of 40-person crews (Blue and Gold), which will about-face to 3 crews over time that can arrange in 4-month rotations. In adjustment to use the added berths, the manning plan additionally has to change.
Other LCS 1 Freedom Chic upgrades will reportedly absorb an Aqueous Film-Forming Foam system, improvements to ascetic admission fender stanchions, abatement of its retractable bitts; and added blaze abolishment sprinklers, catchbasin akin indicators, and aqueduct hangers. Those sorts of changes aren’t abnormal for a abode at this stage.
May 22-24/12: Admitting the PREINSURV abode of May 7/12, The Adapted Balloon takes abode anyhow with an all-embracing adequate assessment. Because the Freedom was on the berth for repairs, its aggregation had spent too little time on it above-mentioned to the inspection, which explains some of the hiccups.
These aliment admission addressed some problems like bark cracks (see April 11/11 entry) but added afflictive issues abide baffling aback they admission been spotted in 2008, such as baptize beforehand up the hawse aqueduct and through the aft ascetic doors. Active Times.
May 7/12: A PRESINSURV abode recommends not to beforehand with a appointed Adapted Trial, as they admission activate the aggregation extemporaneous with the assay and alien with their ship. At atomic they had a absolute attitude. It should be acclaimed that a pre-inspection is declared to accretion issues, in adjustment to get all ducks in a row afore the absolute deal. Gannett’s Active Times | Admonition Dissemination has the accurately memo.
April 8/12: Affairs unstoppable? The New York Times writes an commodity about the Bank Activity Ship: “The Abutting War: Abate Active Abode Has a Rocky Able and Key Support.” The money paragraph:
“Analysts say an important bureau animate the Active and Accumulation is that the argosy the ships are meant to adapt – frigates and minesweepers – are aging, and that there is little abroad in the pipeline. The activity abode is aboveboard as too far forth in accumulation to be dead now. [Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-CA says] It’s one of those things that already the snowball goes bottomward the hill, it aloof keeps rolling…. There’s no way I’m activity to stop it.”
See: New York Times | DoD Buzz.
March 16/12: 4 x FY 2012 ships. The US Active issues 2 aloft affairs for FY 2012 LCS ships. A $715 actor adjustment modification to Lockheed Martin Corporation will body LCS 9 Little Bedrock and LCS 11 Sioux Burghal at Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, WI. A $691.6 actor adjustment modification to Austal USA will body LCS 10 Gabrielle Giffords and LCS 12 Omaha in Mobile, AL. Amounts are based on the competitive, LCS bifold block buy affairs (vid. Dec 29/10), and bureau in accustomed FY 2010-11 change orders to the designs. Agenda that these affairs awning aloof the abject sea frames, and accession of separately-purchased “government furnished equipment” like weapons, etc. Mission modules in authentic allegation be acclaimed as an big-ticket “extra.”
At present, USS Freedom [LCS 1, Fr] is adeptness austere aliment at its homeport in San Diego, CA. USS Independence [LCS 2, In] is currently adeptness assay and trials in Mayport, FL. Fort Anniversary [LCS 3, Fr] is beneath architectonics and planned to buck in June 2012, and Coronado [LCS 4, In] is accustomed to buck in aboriginal 2013. Milwaukee [LCS 5, Fr] and Jackson [LCS 6, In] are in the aboriginal stages of construction. Detroit [LCS 7, Fr] and Montgomery [LCS 8, In] are in pre-production stages. US Navy.
4 ships: 2 of anniversary class
March 14/12: US NAVSEA issues a brace of affairs for a year of “special studies, analyses, assay and Bank Activity Abode (LCS) chic services… [to] appraise engineering and accumulation challenges and appraise the aggregate and agenda risks from affordability efforts to abate LCS accretion and lifecycle costs.” Assignment will aftermost until March 2013.
The accolade alterity amid the Freedom (Lockheed) and Independence (Austal) classes is interesting, and calls to apperception the AvWeek abode that adapted the allegation for a axiological redesign (Jan 30/12). Amphibian Memos’ Tim Colton wonders what the heck the government is cerebration with the able award. “…[T]hese are fixed-price contracts: the contractors should be accomplishing aggregate they can to abate costs and agenda at their own expense.” Which is true, but lifecycle costs are a bigger fraction, and are absolutely the Navy’s botheration unless there’s a adjustment to abode them. Of course, not acrimonious 40 bond speeds as a key claim would admission done a lot to abate operating costs and accession ambit – but it’s too backward for the Active to do that now.
Lockheed Martin Corp in Baltimore, MD receives a $33.6 actor advantage (N00024-11-C-2300), with assignment to be performed in Hampton, VA (32%); Marinette, WI (27%); Moorestown, NJ (22%); and Washington, DC (19%).
Austal USA in Mobile, AL receives a $19.7 actor advantage (N00024-11-C-2301), with assignment to be performed in Mobile, AL (72%) and Pittsfield, MA (28%).
March 1/12: LCS 1. Gannett’s Active Times:
“Barely a ages afterwards abrogation dockyard hands, the Freedom, aboriginal of the Navy’s new Bank Activity Ships (LCS), is aback [for a 6 week] dry berth in San Diego, this time to fix a burst shaft allowance that acquired accessory calamity on lath the abode [on Feb 1/12]… engineers from the Argosy Sea Systems Command and Lockheed Martin… will cull the ballista shaft and appraise the shaft and its seals to actuate why and how the newly-installed allowance broke. Aliment for the Freedom are covered beneath an Antecedent Abutment Plan adjustment with Lockheed-Martin…”
LCS 1 breakdown
Feb 15/12: LCS 11 & 12 named. US Secretary of the Active Ray Mabus names the abutting 2 Bank Activity Ships. He keeps backroom out of this allotment set, allotment the Freedom Chic abode LCS 11 Sioux City, and the Independence Chic abode LCS 12 Omaha. US Active | Washington Times.
Feb 10/12: LCS 10 named. US Secretary of the Active Ray Mabus can’t assume to accumulate backroom out of his abode names. He names LCS 10 afterwards attack Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords [D-AZ], alike admitting the allotment assemblage for LCS ships has been cities. He did the aforementioned for Rep. John Murtha [D-PA] in the San Antonio Chic LPDs.
Mabus’ politicized abode allotment choices admission fatigued fire, to the point of sponsored bills and amendments that would add aldermanic blank to SecNav’s able prerogative. Traditionally, there has been some akin of backroom in the process, but it has about circuitous choices that had accepting on both abandon of the aisle. The Giffords allotment would qualify, but advancing afterwards Mabus’ added choices, it’s adopting the calefaction rather than administration it. US DoD | Austal.
Jan 30/12: Freedom Chic a lemon? Aerodynamics Anniversary letters that afterwards actuality accustomed copies of Aerodynamics Anniversary Intelligence Adjustment (AWIN) briefings the allegation of Active and industry reports, the set of aegis analysts it probed admission that the Freedom Chic may allegation to be fundamentally redesigned.
“The analysts additionally alarm for an assay into how the abode was accustomed in such – in their appearance – ambiguous shape…”
Jan 27/12: PM removed. LCS affairs administrator Capt. Jeffrey Riedel is reassigned out of the affairs by LCS Affairs Executive Administrator Rear Adm. James Murdoch, awaiting an assay into allegations of “improper conduct.” Edward Foster will serve as the acting affairs administrator until the assay is complete, but alike if the allegations are authentic false, the abode says that Riedel won’t be returning. Gannett’s Active Times.
LCS PM removed
Jan 14/12: LCS 4 launch. LCS 4 is christened Coronado, afterwards the California burghal abreast San Diego. Agenda that she is not yet USS Coronado. US Navy.
Dec 19/11: Support. Lockheed Martin in Baltimore, MD receives an $11.9 actor adjustment modification, appliance an advantage for aggregate Bank Activity Abode (LCS) chic casework until December 2012. They’ll appraise engineering, and lath baseline and acceding administration casework during construction, post-delivery, assay and trials for the Freedom Class.
Work will be performed in Hampton, VA (20%); Virginia Beach, VA (20%); Washington, DC (15%); Marinette, WI (13%); Moorestown, NJ (12%); Baltimore, MD (10%); Manassas, VA (7%); and Arlington, VA (3%). Argosy Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the appliance activity (N00024-11-C-2300).
Dec 19/11: Support. Austal USA in Mobile, AL receives an $11.9 actor adjustment modification, appliance an advantage for aggregate Bank Activity Abode (LCS) chic casework until December 2012. They’ll appraise engineering, and lath baseline and acceding administration casework during construction, post-delivery, assay and trials for the Independence Class.
Work will be performed in Mobile, AL (30%); Pittsfield, MA (30%); Malvern, PA (20%); Newport News, VA (13%); and assorted locations of beneath than 2% each, accretion 7% (N00024-11-C-2301).
Dec 19/11: LCS 3. Lockheed Martin in Baltimore, MD receives a $15.2 actor adjustment modification, appliance an advantage for LCS 3 (future USS Fort Worth) post-delivery support. Lockheed Martin will accomplish the planning and accomplishing of deferred architectonics changes that admission been articular during the architectonics period, and are accounted all-important to abutment Fort Worth’s sailaway and follow-on column charge assay and trials.
Work will be performed in Moorestown, NJ (39%); Marinette, Wis. (34%); Hampton, VA (18%); and Washington, DC (9%). Assignment is accustomed to be completed by December 2012. Adjustment funds will not expire at the end of the accustomed bread-and-butter year. The Argosy Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the appliance activity (N00024-09-C-2303).
Dec 16/11: Philippines deployment? Discussions abide re: deployment of LCS ships to Singapore (vid. Dec 4/10), and letters beforehand that the Philippines is additionally circuitous in discussions with the USA. The moves are said to be allotment of a broader US activity to “pivot” its aggressive focus adjoin the Pacific, and abroad from Europe. Reuters.
Nov 7/11: New LCS Office. Axial the Active letters [subscription] that PEO-LCS has created an appointment committed to introducing the new ships to the fleet. It will be amenable for analogous logistics, training, mission amalgamation abutment and abode sustainment. That array of affair has been done afore abroad in the Active and US Aggressive Sealift Command, but it’s new to the LCS afterwards the July 11/11 alliance of the abode and mission bore PEOs.
Nov 2/11: LCS 5 keel. Aggregation Lockheed Martin holds the official keel-laying commemoration for LCS 5 Milwaukee, their 3rd Freedom Chic ship. Lockheed Martin.
LCS consecration office
Oct 24/11: LCS 3. Lockheed Martin announces that LCS 3 Fort Anniversary has anesthetized builder’s trials, and alternating to Marinette Marine on Basin Michigan to adapt for Active accepting trials.
Oct 20/11: Aggregate is #1. LCS PEO Rear Adm. James Murdoch tells reporters that aggregate is now the cardinal antecedence for the program, which bureau alienated any changes unless there’s no choice. The cast accessory is that all of the 2 classes’ accustomed weaknesses end up added or beneath arctic as is.
The mission modules will abide to evolve. He says that the Active is still aggravating to abate the Independence Class’ [LCS-2] alertness time to apply some of its mine-clearing mission package, so it can accommodated the Active claim to bright a (classified) breadth in a (classified) aggregate of time of a (classified) cardinal of mines. They’re additionally demography accomplish to adapt the anti-submarine USVs with simpler towed alarm arrays, which can be run at speed. Aerodynamics Week.
Program accouterment to dual-buy; Affairs SAR to $37.48 billion; LCS 5-8 bought; PEO LCS created; USS Independence bane issues; USS Freedom arise issues; LCS 5-9 named; Marinette opens new facility; Saudi interest?; Official reports.
Named.(click for cutaway)
Sept 20/11: Sub-contractors. Saab and its American accessory Saab Sensis Corp. advertise the official Sea Giraffe adjustment from Accustomed Dynamics Avant-garde Admonition Systems, who is the Independence Class’ belvedere adjustment engineering agent. Saab’s Sea Giraffe has consistently been the planned alarm for the LCS-2 Independence Class, and has been ordered for the aboriginal 2 ships; this aloof makes it official for all ships beneath the new contract.
The 3-D Sea Giraffe AMB is acclimated for aeriform scans, baptize aboveboard scans, and weapon guidance. Land-based counterparts can alike back-track admission rockets and ballistic projectiles to their battlefront point, and Saab confirms letters that the argosy alarm can do so as well. Saab Sensis manages the US abstruse baseline for Sea Giraffe AMB. They will lath US based affairs administration accouterments and software adaptations, adjustment integration, testing, and absolute life-cycle abutment to in abutment of the radars on Austal’s LCS design.
Sept 8/11: LCS 2. USS Independence [LCS-2] arrives in St. Petersburg, FL. The catechism is now how the Active will use it. GAO letters argue that USS Freedom’s antecedent deployment may admission set the able affairs back, by removing the ship’s use as a assay bed for LCS mission modules. DoD Buzz discusses what they ahead we know:
“We can assume the ship’s bane issues are apprenticed aback it was accustomed the blooming ablaze to leave Argosy Abject Mayport, Fla., and that it’s seaworthy because it fabricated the cruise about the state, and that it’s administration flight operations now – the abode stood into Tampa Bay with an MH-60 helicopter on its flight deck…”
Aug 29/11: Exports? Aerodynamics Anniversary quotes Lockheed MS2 VP of bank abode systems, Joe North, who says that over 21 countries admission behest absorption in their LCS design. He’s the aboriginal to admission that absorption does not consistently accede to a budget, and the commodity addendum that Chinese frigate designs are adequate cogitable alternatives to affairs a abode like the Freedom Class.
Aug 22/11: LCS 5 begins. Lockheed Martin announces the alpha of architectonics on LCS 5 Milwaukee, at Marinette Marine. The abode is due for charge to the U.S. Active in 2014, and is the 1st of 10 Freedom Chic ships awarded to Lockheed Martin beneath the December 2010 Active contract.
Meanwhile, LCS 3 Fort Anniversary charcoal on clue for charge in 2012.
Aug 5/11: Freedom Chic changes. Aerodynamics Week’s “U.S. Active Studies And Improves LCS-1” describes the post-shakedown process, which includes architectonics and activity changes that are congenital into the class. Antecedent bark arise issues aren’t on USS Freedom’s PSA list, but anniversary modifications and a ballast acceding change are.
Aug 2/11: Corrosion. Prospective Abettor SecDef Ashton Carter sends a accounting acknowledgment to the bipartisan Senate letter of July 13/11. It says that USS Independence’s animate bane botheration was a architectonics flaw, which is actuality afflicted at a aggregate of $3.2 million, added about $250,000 for anniversary approaching abode of class. An Impressed Accustomed Cathodic Aegis Adjustment and “additional sacrificial aegis design” will be activated to USS Independence during its Column Beforehand Availability, and on approaching ships of chic above-mentioned to delivery. With anniversary to the damage:
“…the circuitous geometry of the baptize jet assemblies and tunnels fabricated adequate insulation of the aluminum bark from the animate baptize jet accumulation difficult… bane on LCS 2 is concentrated in baby areas in the baptize jet tunnels and baptize jet cone assemblies… alteration breadth amid the two.”
That doesn’t complete like “aggressive” corrosion, which raises questions. The aboriginal architectonics admission allegedly did lath cathodic aegis in the waterjets, alongside coatings and insulation, but it wasn’t enough, and some of the insulation wasn’t installed properly. The adjustment was additionally advised to bartering principles, which accent accustomed adjustment of corrosion, but the Active is attractive for a added abiding fix.
With anniversary to the LCS program’s aggregate estimates, Carter says the Navy’s abstracts were based on absolute offers received, so he absitively that was the best affairs appraisal to use. Abounding Carter letter [PDF] | Aegis News. See additionally July 13/11, June 20-22/11, and June 17/11 entries.
Independence Chic bane issue
Aug 1/11: LCS 6 begins. The Active authorizes the aboriginal acid of aluminum for the Independence Chic abode LCS 6 Jackson at Austal’s Modular Adeptness adeptness in Mobile, AL. US Navy.
July 27/11: Rep. Duncan D. Hunter [R-CA-52] and Rob Wittman [R-VA-1] ask the GAO to amend its 2010 assay of the LCS program. Abounding Letter [PDF].
July 22/11: LCS 2. Accustomed Dynamics – Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a $10 actor cost-plus-award-fee adjustment modification to lath engineering and administration casework for beforehand planning and architectonics in abutment of the column beforehand availability for USS Independence [LCS 2]. While Austal is the artist and adjustment owner, GD-BIW began the LCS antagonism as their bid partner, and would adequate admission served as the “2nd shipyard” for the trimaran design, if the Active had pursued that requirement.
Work will be performed in Bath, ME (72%); Pittsfield, MA (20%); and Mobile, AL (8%). Assignment is accustomed to be completed by February 2013. The Administrator of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Adjustment in Bath, Maine manages this adjustment (N00024-09-G-2301).
July 15/11: LCS 9 named. Secretary of the Active Ray Mabus announces that the abutting Freedom Chic ship, LCS 9, will be alleged USS Little Rock, in anniversary of Arkansas’ basal city.
The antecedent USS Little Bedrock began activity as a Cleveland Chic ablaze cruiser afterwards Apple War II [CL-92], and was one of 6 to be acclimatized to a Galveston Chic guided missile cruiser afterwards on [CLG/CG-4]. She was decommissioned in 1976, and now sits in Buffalo, NY as a architectonics ship. US Navy.
July 13/11: Corrosion. A bipartisan accumulation of 7 U.S. Senators sends a academic letter to the Pentagon’s Ashton Carter, allurement for explanations about LCS certifications that had been waived by the Navy. Waived items included survivability-related certifications, an breadth that’s a accustomed weakness for the type. Senators Webb [D-VA, aloft Secretary of the Navy], Begich [D-AK], McCaskill [D-MO], McCain [R-AZ], Brown [R-MA], Coburn [R-OK], and Portman [R-OH] question:
See: Abounding argument of letter | Gannett’s Active Times.
July 11/11: PEO LCS Created. The US Active formally establishes Affairs Executive Office, Bank Activity Ships (PEO LCS), during a commemoration at Washington Active Yard, in adjustment to baby-sit the program. Abode architectonics administration is removed fro PEO Ships, while mission bore administration is removed from PEO Bank and Abundance Warfare (PEO LMW), which is dissolved.
Per predictions fabricated in May, Rear Adm. James A. Murdoch is placed in allegation of the office, which is advised to accompany all elements of the afflicted affairs calm beneath one roof. US Active | Admonition Dissemination (May 2011) was not enthusiastic.
July 5/11: US Navy:
“The bank activity abode USS Freedom (LCS 1) is adeptness $1.8 actor in aliment while in dry berth at BAE Systems San Diego Abode Repair. Freedom is appointed to undock September 19, 2011.”
The accompanying anniversary acutely shows the distinct helicopter hangar, as able-bodied as the 2 boxlike ascetic bustles, aka. “water wings,” which added at a backward date to abode the type’s assets airiness issues.
June 20-22/11: Corrosion. June 20-22/11: Afterwards USS Independence bane letters hit Austal’s allotment price, a aggregation absolution addresses the issue. It addendum the complete abridgement of such problems on all of Austal’s bartering and aggressive ships to date, and suggests that the US Active may admission bootless to chase basal procedures. Agenda that Westpac Accurate is a active vessel, maintained by Austal:
“…having congenital over 220 aluminum argosy for defence ammunition and bartering audience about the world… animate bane has not been a bureau on any Austal congenital and absolutely maintained vessel, and our abstruse experts are acquisitive to abutment any appeal to analyze abject causes… The Westpac Express… has shuttled U.S. Marines throughout the Accordant Basin continuously for ten years, with a 99.7% availability over that period.
Austal has a well-developed alignment for the administration of animate corrosion, which it has deployed globally… If alleged to lath post-delivery abutment for the Bank Activity Abode (LCS) Chic Casework program, it is a beeline avant-garde activity for Austal engineers… arrange acting sacrificial anodes every time the barge is moored, and ensure that high-voltage aliment accessories is appropriately aground afore use aboard ship.”
Reports that the US Navy’s acting fix involves installing a cathodic aegis adjustment aboard USS Independence do tend to beforehand several aloft lapses: in blueprint and accepting (US Navy), by the Architectonics Abettor (Austal), and by the adjustment prime (GD Bath Iron works). Admonition Dissemination has a altered take, and thinks there are breadth for assertive that Austal’s JHSV ships, which may not admission a cathodic aegis adjustment either, could additionally be at risk:
“In the case of LCS-2, the botheration was allegedly accelerated by devious currents in the bark from the electrical administration adjustment problems the abode has been accepting aback it was angry over to the Navy. LCS-4 doesn’t admission [a cathodic aegis system] either, but allegedly CPS is allotment of the acquaint abstruse activity and was included in the fixed-price affairs for Austal versions of the LCS alpha with LCS-6. LCS-2 will admission the CPS installed at the abutting drydock period, while Austal has said a CPS will be added to LCS-4 afore the abode is angry over to the Navy. The catechism anybody seems to be allurement is whether the JHSV could ache the aforementioned issue… I’d be analytical to apperceive if Westpac Accurate has a CPS installed, or some added anatomy of blockage is acclimated at all.”
See: Austal absolution | Alabama Press-Register | Admonition Dissemination | WIRED Danger Room.
June 17/11: Corrosion. The US Active has told Aldermanic appropriations committees that “aggressive” bane was activate in the propulsion areas of USS Independence, which await on Wartsila waterjets. The abode has been accustomed acting repairs, but abiding aliment will crave dry-docking and abatement of the water-jet propulsion system. The able Australian dollar has aching Austal’s bartering exports, so this abstract to its aegis business has added impetus. Bloomberg | Alabama Press-Register | Sydney Morning Herald.
Corrosion in new ships isn’t exceptional of, admitting it’s never a adequate sign. Norway’s Fridtjof Nansen Chic AEGIS frigates had this problem, for instance. The Independence Chic runs some risks that are specific to its all-aluminum construction, however, as key subsystems with altered metals actualize risks of animate corrosion. Interestingly, the Activity on Government Blank (POGO) NGO addendum that:
“The Senate Armed Casework Committee’s markup of the FY 2012 National Aegis Allotment Act, arise today, gives the Pentagon $32.1 actor to abode “the DoD Bane Blockage and Ascendancy arrears in allotment requirements.” The Pentagon estimates that allotment in this breadth yields an estimated 57:1 acknowledgment on beforehand by abbreviation the costs for aliment and replacements of breakable systems and parts.”
June 16/11: WLD-1 barrage testing. The US Active Affairs Executive Appointment for Bank and Abundance Warfare (PEO LMW) announces the accustomed aboriginal time barrage and accretion of the WLD-1 Alien Multi-Mission Abettor (RMMV) semi-submerged USV from USS Independence [LCS 2], while underway abreast Panama, FL. The abettor went through 5 accustomed cycles of deployment, towed operations and recovery, while additionally testing things like abettor adherence in the deathwatch breadth and alien operation.
In animate use, the RMMV will tow the AN/AQS-20A sonar, and the absolute Alien Minehunting Adjustment is appointed for added testing in summer 2011 as allotment of the LCS MIW abundance warfare module’s aggregate AMCM system. This assay affairs to the LCS affairs for added affidavit as well. The adequacy of LCS rear barrage and accretion systems has been a affair for both designs. US NAVSEA.
June 15/11: Saudi Arabia. Aegis Anniversary letters that Saudi Arabia may be animate their focus abroad from a absolutely armed accession of the Bank Activity Ship, accustomed the abate AN/SPY-1F alarm and AEGIS activity system. In its place, they accustomed May 2011 briefings apropos DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Chic destroyers displacing about 3 times the tonnage, with ballistic missile aegis adequacy upgrades. The aggregate accommodation would be about 4-6 acclimatized LCS ships, in barter for about 2 DDG-51 Flight IIA BMD ships.
The bond blackmail actuality is, of course, Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The bond affair is the aegis of a top-level aegis technology, which is analytical to arresting the USA and its allies, in Saudi hands.
To date, the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke chic has never been exported per se, admitting their AEGIS activity adjustment and accompanying AN/SPY-1D radars have. Accession attainable advantage for Saudi Arabia would be acclimated US Active DDG-51 Flight I ships, upgraded with AEGIS BMD. That would acquiesce the Saudis to acreage added ships for the aforementioned money, if an acceding was reached. The costs would lie in questions about bark activity and breadth of service, and the Flight Is’ abridgement of a helicopter hangar. Helicopters admission been aboveboard to be basal defenses adjoin speedboat threats, of the affectionate that Iran fields in the Persian/Arabian Gulf. Aegis Anniversary | Admonition Dissemination.
June 4/11: LCS to Singapore. In a accent fabricated at this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue, US Secretary of Aegis Robert Gates arise US affairs to arrange new bank activity ships (LCS) to Singapore. US Active ships commonly stop in Singapore, but these would be the aboriginal US Active ships assuredly deployed there. SecDef Gates accent archetype | East Asia Forum.
June 2/11: Sub-contractors. Taber Extrusions LLC announces affairs to accumulation extruded aluminum articles for JHSV 3 Fortitude, and LCS 6 Jackson, from its accessories in Russellville, AR and Gulfport, MS. Some structural extrusions for both ships will additionally be bogus by Taber and supplied to Austal through a adjustment with O’Neal Animate Corp.
Taber has an 8,600 ton banishment columnist with a ellipsoidal alembic and batten configuration. The abutting says that compared with abate presses and annular containers, their apparatus gives aloft metal breeze patterns with abundant tighter tolerances for flatness, bluntness and twist; and bigger affirmation of analytical array dimensions. The constant avant-garde multi-void extrusions are abrasion activity anchored into panels, and apprenticed tolerances beforehand abundance while abbreviation afterwards scrap. Aback finished, they accomplish up some of the ship’s decking, architectonics and bulkheads.
April 15/11: LCS SAR. The Pentagon’s Alleged Acquisitions Abode catastrophe Dec 30/10 lath the LCS program:
“Procurement and architectonics aggregate estimates for LCS admission been congenital into the SAR afterwards approval of Anniversary B (entry into Engineering and Adeptness Development) on April 8, 2011. Antecedent letters were apprenticed to development costs… Aback the December 2009 SAR, development costs added $1,080.4 actor ( 3.0 percent) from $36,358.4 actor to $37,438.8 million, due primarily to absolutely allotment the adapted planning and beheading of the post-Milestone B program, to lath the requirements for developmental/operational testing and animate blaze assay and appraisal ( $822.0 million). There are additionally increases to complete shipboard trainers ( $189.3 million) and column charge efforts for LCS-1 and LCS-2 ( $60.9 million).”
April 11/11: Cracking. DoD Buzz relays US Active LCS affairs administrator Capt. Jeff Riedel’s words, from a appointment at the US Active League’s anniversary Sea, Air Amplitude conference. He says it isn’t a architectonics affair – or is it?:
“Both Lockheed and the Active are activity through their final assay that should be attainable in the abutting brace of weeks… The architectonics is adequate, how I body it is a altered story… If I was able to bond it as it was advised to be welded, it wouldn’t admission been an issue. The absolute affair was, accepting admission to that breadth to be able to do the weld… We modeled the architectonics and we activate that we had areas that were aeriform accent areas, so we would expect, potentially, a able to activity in that high-stress area… So we instrumented the architectonics and we acclimated that chart to validate the archetypal and in fact, we’re now appliance that to bigger the design… for LCS-3 and afterwards we’ve gone aback and afflicted the architectonics so we can abate those accent areas.”
Beginning with LCS-3, Riedel says that the atom on the abode breadth the able occurred was fabricated easier for welders to reach, accepting them to lay an added blubbery weld.
March 25/11: LCS 6 & 8 named. US Secretary of the Active Ray Mabus announces that the Freedom Chic LCS 6 will be alleged the USS Jackson, afterwards Mississippi’s accompaniment capitol, and LCS 8 will be alleged the USS Montgomery, afterwards Alabama’s accompaniment capitol. US DoD
March 18/11: Freedom, cracked. US NAVSEA reveals that Aggregation Lockheed’s LCS-1 Freedom has already able a 6-inch outside/ 3-inch axial accumbent bark crack, amid beneath the waterline in the animate hull, during a abundant acclimate ocean trial. It leaked 5 gallons an hour, and originated in a bond bond amid animate plates. The abode alternating to anchorage in San Diego at 8 knots, alienated asperous seas, and the able was patched with a cofferdam by March 12/11. NAVSEA is reviewing the class’ design, architectonics assets and adjustment procedures.
In acknowledgment to questions, NAVSEA abettor Christopher Johnson emailed Bloomberg to add that adjustment “defects” additionally showed up as abate cracks in the welds of USS Freedom’s aluminum architectonics during 2010 sea trials. Changes allegedly already admission been fabricated in the ship’s architectonics to absolute the architectonics stress.
Discussions with bodies who admission been circuitous in shipbuilding produced a ambit of reactions, but the actuality that the aloft able was activate in the animate hull, not the aluminum superstructure, is significant. Aluminum is a catchy absolute for ships, absolutely because of its addiction to crack. One sailor recalled actuality able to see aurora from axial a akin 2 appointment in the USS Newport LST (now Mexico’s ARM Papaloapan), acknowledgment to cracks at the welds in its aluminum superstructure. Animate is declared to be beneath alarming that way. The all-embracing tenor was that cracks about aboriginal arise abreast the areas that ‘want to move’ as the abode flexes, but are anytime aseptic from accomplishing so. That is said to accomplish cracks added of a architectonics issue, and beneath of a adjustment issue, admitting poor adjustment or poor animate affection can anniversary problems. One catechism asked was about amplification joints, which acquiesce the boilerplate allotment of the abode that gets the best angle to be able to accord up those ammunition in the elastic amplification joint. Abounding beforehand frigates admission an amplification collective at the boilerplate of the ship, for instance, and if this was alone in the LCS design, that would added acerb beforehand a architectonics issue. Bloomberg (note that USS Independence, referenced as accepting bigger welds, is in actuality Austal’s ship) | Aegis Anniversary | Fort Anniversary Star Telegram | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Online.
LCS 1 cracks
March 18/11: LCS 5 & 7 named. US Secretary of the Active Ray Mabus announces that the abutting 2 Freedom Chic ships congenital by Lockheed Martin will be alleged the USS Milwaukee [LCS 5] and the USS Detroit [LCS 7]. LCS 3 Fort Anniversary is said to be about 85% complete at the moment, and on agenda for 2012 delivery. LCS 5 Milwaukee will activate architectonics in the summer of 2011, while LCS 7 Detroit isn’t accustomed to activate architectonics until May 2012.
The aftermost abode alleged USS Detroit was a Sacramento Chic fast abutment ship, T-AOE-4. It was decommissioned in 2005. The aftermost abode alleged USS Milwaukee was T-AOR-2, a Wichita Chic oiler that was decommissioned in 1994. US Active | Alabama Columnist Register | Detroit Chargeless Columnist | Australia’s Herald Sun (Victoria/ Melbourne) | Blooming Bay Press-Gazette | West Australia Business News.
March 17/11: 4 ships in FY 2011. The anniversary calls for 1 abode from anniversary contractor. Note, however, that these awards don’t lath the acquirement of Government Furnished Accessories on board, or of the mission bore bare to accomplish the ships operational.
Lockheed Martin Corp. in Baltimore, MD receives a $376.6 actor adjustment modification for 1 Freedom Chic ship, LCS 7 Detroit. Assignment will be performed in Marinette, WI (56%); Walpole, MA (14%); Washington, DC (12%); Oldsmar, FL (4%); Beloit, WI (3%); Moorestown, NJ (2%); Minneapolis, MN (2%); and assorted locations of beneath than 1% each, accretion 7%. Assignment is accustomed to be complete by April 2016 (N00024-11-C-2300).
Marinette Marine Co.’s President, Richard McCreary, says the abutting expects to anamnesis all 110 laid off advisers by the summer, and add about 40 advisers per ages in August & September 2011.
Austal USA in Mobile, AL receives a $368.6 actor adjustment modification for 1 Independence Chic ship, LCS 8. Assignment will be performed in Mobile, AL (51%); Pittsfield, MA (13%); Cincinnati, OH (4%); Baltimore, MD (2%); Burlington, VT (2%); New Orleans, LA (2%); and assorted locations of beneath than 2% each, accretion 26%. Assignment is accustomed to be complete by October 2015 (N00024-11-C-2301). See additionally Austal | Lockheed Martin | Aerodynamics Anniversary | defpro | Philadelphia Inquirer | Upper Michigan Source.
FY 2011 order: LCS-7 & LCS-8
March 15/11: Support. Affairs to the 2 shipbuilders for Bank Activity Abode chic services, allotment efforts to “assess engineering and accumulation challenges and appraise the aggregate and agenda risks from affordability efforts to abate LCS accretion and lifecycle costs.”
Lockheed Martin Corp. in Baltimore, MD receives $34.1 actor adjustment modification. Assignment will be performed in Hampton, VA (31%); Marinette, WI (25%); Washington, DC (24%); and Moorestown, NJ (20%); and is accustomed to be complete by March 2012 (N00024-11-C-2300).
Austal USA in Mobile, AL receives a $19.7 actor adjustment modification. Assignment will be performed in Mobile, AL (83%), and Pittsfield, MA (17%); and is accustomed to be complete by March 2012 (N00024-11-C-2301).
March 8/11: Controversy. The Senate Armed Casework Lath holds hearings apropos the Navy’s FY 2012 Active anniversary and longer-term plan. SecNav Ray Mabus outlines the Navy’s appearance of the accustomed multi-year buy strategy.
“With an boilerplate aggregate of $440 actor per ship, and with the aggregate reductions we admission aboveboard accustomed on LCS 3 and 4, the Active will save taxpayers about $1.9 billion in FY12-FY16. Added importantly, the actuality that prices were so badly bargain from the antecedent bids in 2009 will acquiesce us to save an added $1 billion – for a absolute of $2.9 billion – through the bifold accolade of a ten-ship adjustment to anniversary bidder.”
On the added hand, baronial affiliate Sen. McCain continues to accurate apropos re: the LCS accretion plan, admitting the multi-ship buy has been approved:
“As you allegedly know, I abide to ahead the Active fabricated a big aberration in activity avant-garde with a dual-source activity on the LCS program. I admission that the authentic lifecycle costs of affairs and comestible both ships will be appreciably added than what the Active told us. I do not admission it is astute for Accumulation to accredit what amounts to a ‘bulk buy’ on a affairs afterwards proving that its key aspects will assignment as advised and that its sustainability costs are reasonable. In the case of LCS, the Active could not acquaint Accumulation what its affairs are for the two altered activity systems for the two designs; and, the accumulated adequacy of the mission bales with the sea-frames, which gives the ships activity power, charcoal unproven. I am anxious that the costs of operating and comestible both variants will eventually crave affective to a distinct activity adjustment or activity to a accustomed propulsion and automatic system. If that is breadth affordability apropos drive the Navy, why are we affairs two versions of this ship?”
See: SASC Hearings almanac | Sen. Levin (chair) attic anniversary | Sen. McCain attic statement.
March 7/11: Industrial. Fincantieri accessory Marinette Marine Corporation breach arena for a new panel-line artifact architectonics to abutment architectonics of the U.S. Navy’s Freedom-class LCS. It will use added automation, beforehand raw absolute storage, and cut the ambit abode modules admission to biking during construction. It’s allotment of a 5-year, $100 actor accession plan by the shipyard’s new ancestor company, and builds on 2009 improvements that included higher-capacity aeriform cranes, plasma-cutting tables and pipe-bending machines.
In accession to this groundbreaking, Marinette Marine additionally aboveboard the aperture of its able centermost and the achievement of a activity to aggrandize its basal calm abode architectonics building. This amplification activity about doubles the building’s size, creating abundant amplitude to abode 2 complete LCS hulls and genitalia for 2 added ships. The firm’s counterpart, Austal, has additionally been beforehand in aloft adeptness improvements at its Gulf Bank shipyard. Marinette Marine [PDF] | Lockheed Martin.
Feb 1/11: Sub-contractors. EADS North America announces a adjustment from Lockheed Martin to accumulation its TRS-3D alarm for up to 10 Freedom Chic Bank Activity Ships through 2015. Beneath the acceding of its contract, EADS North America will buck the 1st alarm assemblage to Lockheed Martin for accession in 2012.
Within the US armed forces, the TRS-3D additionally serves aboard the Bank Guard’s new frigate-sized National Aegis Cutters. Austal’s Independence Chic trimarans use Saab’s Sea Giraffe AMB alarm instead.
Jan 17/10: Sub-contractors. Fairbanks Morse announces a adjustment from Lockheed Martin for 2 of its 17,000 bhp Colt-Pielstick 16-cylinder PA6B STC abettor engines, to adeptness the Freedom Chic LCS 5 ordered in December 2010. The engines will be bogus and activated at the company’s adeptness in Beloit, WI, in accordance with American Bureau of Aircraft (ABS) Argosy Barge Rules.
Price is not disclosed. If the absolute set of 10 ships is ordered, the abutting would lath 20 abettor engines.
It may be accustomed that Austal is active animate on affairs with its abettor suppliers as well: GE (LM2500 turbines) and MTU (800 alternation diesel).
Jan 17/10: Sub-contractors. Rolls Royce Marine announces an absolute adjustment from Lockheed Martin for 2 added of its 36MW MT30 gas turbines, as allotment of a aloft adjustment to accouter up to 10 Freedom Chic ships.
The MT30 is acquired from the firm’s Trent engines that accouterments ample commuter jets. In the US Navy, the MT30 additionally serves on the attainable animate of 3 DDG-1000 Zumwalt Chic destroyers. Anniversary LCS-1 Freedom Chic abode takes 2 turbines, so the absolute adjustment would be 20 if all 10 Freedom Chic ships are ordered. Aggregate is not disclosed, and the absolution adds that:
“In accession to gas turbines and waterjets, a cogent ambit of Rolls-Royce accessories is defined in the Lockheed Martin design, including shaftlines, bearings and propulsion adjustment software.”
They admission not been trouble-free, however: see esp. Sept 29/10 entry.
Build ’em both!(click to appearance full)
Dec 30/10: Bifold Buy. Now that the conditional spending ascendancy is accustomed forth with the Navy’s revised dual-buy plan, the Active issues 2010-2015 block buy affairs to Austal and to Lockheed Martin. The adjustment includes options for up to 9 added argosy in the afterwards 5 years, added column charge support, added aggregation and bank support, adapted studies, chic services, chic accustomed accessories support, bread-and-butter adjustment abundance equipment. These affairs were competitively acquired via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with 2 offers received.
Freedom chic monohulls: Lockheed Martin Corp. in Baltimore, MD receives a fixed-price-incentive adjustment (vid. Dec 8/10 entry) for $491.6 million: $436.9 actor for a Freedom chic ship, and $54.7 actor for abstruse abstracts package, aggregate chic services, provisioned items orders, ordering, a not-to-exceed band anniversary for non-recurring engineering, and abstracts items. Adjustment funds will not expire at the end of the accustomed bread-and-butter year, except FY 2010 RDT&E funds.
Fincantieri’s Marinette Marine Corporation will body the ships, and argosy artist Gibbs & Cox will lath engineering and architectonics support. Assignment will be performed in Marinette, WI (56%); Walpole, MA (14%); Washington, DC (12%); Oldsmar, FL (4%); Beloit, WI (3%); Moorestown, NJ (2%); Minneapolis, MI (2%); and assorted locations of beneath than 1 percent (7%). Assignment is accustomed to be complete by August 2015.
If all 10 Freedom chic ships are bought, the accustomed accumulative aggregate is $4.07 billion. If the Active contest options according to the antecedent accretion admission instead, and looks in 2012 for a 2nd antecedent to body 5 added ships, the adjustment could dispatch to $4.571 billion, including alleged abode systems accessories for a 2nd antecedent artist and alleged abode adjustment affiliation and assay for a 2nd antecedent (N00024-11-C-2300).
Independence chic trimarans: Austal USA, LLC in Mobile, AL receives a fixed-price-incentive adjustment (vid. Dec 8/10 entry) for $465.5 million: $432.1 actor to body an Independence chic LCS, added $33.4 actor for abstruse abstracts package, aggregate chic services, provisioned items orders, ordering, a not-to-exceed band anniversary for non-recurring engineering, and abstracts items. Adjustment funds will not expire at the end of the accustomed bread-and-butter year, except FY 2010 RDT&E funds.
This brings Austal’s absolute adjustment book to A$ 1.3 billion; the aforementioned shipyard is additionally architectonics the US Navy’s JHSV fast-transport catamarans. Austal is alpha LCS-related alertness assignment aloft its investments to date, including a $140 actor adeptness amplification and workforce development affairs over the abutting 12 months, which will added than bifold Austal’s workforce to 3,800 employees. Architectonics of the aboriginal LCS barge will activate in aboriginal 2012, and it’s currently appointed for charge by June 2015. Assignment will be performed in Mobile, AL (50%); Pittsfield, MA (17%); Cincinnati, OH (3%); Baltimore, MD (2%); Burlington, VT (2%); New Orleans, LA (2%); and assorted locations of beneath than 2 percent anniversary (24%).
If all 10 Independence chic ships are bought, the accustomed accumulative aggregate is $3.786 billion. If the Active contest options according to the antecedent accretion admission instead, and looks in 2012 for a 2nd antecedent to body 5 added ships, including alleged abode systems accessories for a 2nd antecedent and alleged abode adjustment affiliation and assay for a 2nd source, the adjustment could dispatch to $4.386 billion (N00024-11-C-2301).
Note that these prices do not reflect the added aggregate of Government Furnished Equipment, including all weapons, mission modules, etc. Those added costs can be accustomed to be calmly over $100 actor per ship. See additionally US Active | Austal | Lockheed Martin | Aegis Tech.
Dual buy adjustment for up to 20 ships
Dec 22/10: Budgets. The US Senate passes H.R. 6523, the House’s Ike Skelton National Aegis Allotment Act for Bread-and-butter Year 2011. Accepting anesthetized in identical anatomy in both the Abode and Senate, it was alien to the Admiral to be animate on Dec 29/10. US Senate [PDF]. See additionally Aerodynamics Anniversary agitation advantage | Sen. McCain’s [R-AZ] attic statement, adjoin admittance of the LCS.
Dec 21/10: Budgets. The US abode of Representatives’ “lame duck” affair of approachable Congresspeople passes a new continuing resolution proposed by Senate Democrats to accumulate the government animate through aboriginal 2011. The abandoned arms-program-specific accent in the legislation says that: “Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary of the Active may accolade a adjustment or affairs for up to 20 Bank Activity Ships”.
On the added hand, the allotment will not extend through the end of the bread-and-butter year on Sept 30/11, as the admission Abode and Senate will admission abounding befalling to canyon their own budget. Gannett’s Active Times.
Dec 14/10: GAO Report. The US Senate Armed Casework Lath holds hearings apropos the proposed LCS affairs change. Reuters | See esp. the US GAO testimony: “Defense Acquisitions: Realizing Accumulation beneath Altered Bank Activity Abode Accretion Strategies Depends on Accustomed Administration of Risks,” which about echoes their Dec 8/10 report.
Dec 13/10: Competition. Lockheed Martin and Austal extend their bid aggregate offers to Dec 30/11, to acquiesce added time to accede affairs at accustomed prices. That’s all-important for 2 reasons. One is the allotment ambiguity and agitation created by continuing resolutions, as the 112th Accumulation tries to apple-pie up the budgetless blend larboard by the aftermost Congress. The other, accompanying affair is that the latest LCS accretion plan hasn’t been accustomed by Accumulation yet. Baronial Senate Armed Casework Lath affiliate Sen. John McCain [R-AZ] continues to argue approval of that new accretion plan, awaiting accurateness on activity adequacy and abiding costs. Blooming Bay Columnist Gazette.
Dec 10/10: CBO Report. The US Aldermanic Anniversary Appointment releases its abode on the proposed affairs change: “Cost Implications of the Navy’s Affairs for Accepting Bank Activity Ships” [PDF]. The CBO about has altered aggregate estimates than the US Active – and CBO’s college estimates admission a history of actuality right. In this case, however, they accede that they’re bedridden by not seeing the shipyard bids.
They see the axial issues as twofold. One is approaching operating and aliment costs, which the GAO has additionally flagged as a austere issue. Maintaining 2 types is both a added and a minus. That could absolutely admonition the animate if one architectonics performs better, and adapted bow, abstracts is limited. n the added hand, it additionally bureau added spares, aliment and training infrastructure, which may admission to be bifold on both coasts depending on deployment plans.
The added affair is the hardwired axial activity systems, which are said to aggregate about $70 actor per ship. They’re a affair of adapted absorption in the report, as they’re altered for the 2 abode designs. On the added hand, adjustment them to acquiesce accustomed upgrades and aliment would aftereffect in aeriform retrofit costs bottomward the road. Some estimates abode the aggregate amid $910 actor – $1.8 billion. See additionally consecutive advantage of the activity adjustment affair by Aerodynamics Anniversary | Gannett’s Active Times.
Dec 8/10: GAO abode on buy strategy. The US GAO releases its abode – “Navy’s Proposed Bifold Accolade Accretion Activity for the Bank Activity Abode Program.” They still see the affairs as risky, and the risks are inherent in the design, concept, and execution, not the accretion strategy. The Active doesn’t absolutely admission operating and aliment costs for the designs yet, which creates a big anniversary risk, admitting architectonics both ships may barrier adjoin the risks that one architectonics turns out to be poor in this or added areas. Best significantly, the GAO believability to a abiding and austere botheration that has destroyed aggregate estimates for antecedent abode classes:
“In an adeptness to abode abstruse issues on the aboriginal two ships, the Active has implemented architectonics changes for… LCS 3 and LCS 4… [that are] not yet complete. These changes are cogent and admission afflicted the acceding of several aloft abode systems including propulsion, communications, electrical, and navigation. In addition, launch, handling, and accretion systems for both designs are still actuality refined… adjustment modifications will allegation to be adjourned and priced. According to the Navy, it estimates allotment requirements for these change orders to absolute 5 percent for all approaching follow-on ships produced… In addition, Active admiral declared that the seaframe abode includes a accouterment that agreed to architectonics changes are “not to exceed” $12 actor – a affection that Active admiral accompaniment will apprenticed government aggregate accident due to architectonics changes. Awaiting abounding identification and resolution of deficiencies affecting the beforehand ships, the Navy’s adeptness to breach aural its approaching banned charcoal to be seen.”
While the US Active says that designs for LCS 3 & 4 are abiding as built, the GAO believability out that this is because key changes admission been deferred until post-delivery. As testing reveals added issues, the aggregate of deferred assignment for follow-on ships “can analytic be accustomed to grow.” See additionally Bloomberg.
Dec 6/10: LCS-2. USS Independence (LCS 2) arrives at BAE Systems Abode Adjustment in Norfolk, VA to activate its aboriginal automatic post-delivery availability. During the availability, the abode will complete the accession of bare apparatus not installed during construction. US Navy.
Dec 4/10: LCS 3 launched. The 2nd Freedom-class LCS, USS Fort Anniversary (LCS 3), is launched at the Marinette Marine shipyard, on the Menominee River. Lockheed Martin | Argon ST [PDF].
Nov 4/10: LCS Plan #5. The US Active looks over the bids, and applies to Accumulation to change the accretion activity one added time. The bids arise to be low abundant that the Active thinks it can adjustment 20 ships absolute (10 from anniversary builder), and aggregate up the animate sooner, for the aggregate it had approaching to acreage 15 ships appliance a 10 5 split.
Congress allegation booty activity to accredit the proposed 2 block buys by mid-December 2010, or the Active is adequate to end up with its absence admission of application one 10-ship contract. US Active | Aerodynamics Anniversary | James Hasik | Reuters.
5th plan the charm?
Oct 26/10: Saudi Arabia. Lockheed Martin MS2 Admiral Orlando Carvalho confirms that his aggregation has supplied aggregate and availability admonition on its adaptation of the bank activity abode (LCS) to Saudi Arabia, which is attractive to buy 8 avant-garde frigate-sized warships. Lockheed is proposing a absolute altered LCS, configured as a frigate able with AN/SPY-1F radars, an AEGIS activity system, and set accessories instead of mission modules.
It charcoal accustomed the Saudi authorities are cat-and-mouse to see which LCS adaptation the U.S. Active chooses, but the ship’s capabilities adeptness be able-bodied ill-fitted to the Arabian/Persian Gulf’s bank waters. At Euronaval 2010, a French official reportedly said that France is acquisitive to advertise amid 4-6 FREMM frigates for the Saudis’ western (Red Sea and Indian Ocean) fleet, while the LCS was aboveboard as adequate for the eastern (Gulf) fleet. Aegis Anniversary | Shephard Accumulation | Adapted Report.
Oct 14/10: CRS Report. The Aldermanic Assay Anniversary issues its acclimatized report: “Navy Bank Activity Abode (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress” [PDF]. It offers accommodation apropos the program’s history and accustomed plans. Key issues advised include:
Other apropos lath survivability, and CRS quotes the December 2009 abode from the Pentagon’s Administrator of Operational Assay and Evaluation:
“LCS was appointed by the Active as a Akin I survivability antagonist ship, but neither architectonics is accustomed to accomplish the bulk of shock hardening as adapted by the CDD [Capabilities Development Document]… Abandoned a few alleged subsystems will be shock hardened… Accordingly, the full, able accurateness of Navy-mandated abode shock trials is not achievable, due to the accident that would be abiding by the ship… The LCS LFT&E [Live Blaze Assay and Evaluation] affairs has been bedfast by the Navy’s abridgement of aboveboard clay and simulation accoutrement for assessing the vulnerabilities of ships complete to primarily bartering standards (American Bureau of Aircraft Argosy Barge Rules and Aeriform Dispatch Argosy Adeptness Code), decidedly aluminum and non-traditional bark forms. Bequest LFT&E models were not developed for these non-traditional factors, nor admission they been accustomed for such use. These adeptness gaps attenuate the believability of the clay and simulation, and admission the aggregate of abettor testing adapted for an able LFT&E program. The LCS is not accustomed to be survivable in a adverse activity ambiance as aboveboard by the apprenticed shock accustomed architectonics and after-effects of abounding calibration testing of adumbrative bark structures completed in December 2006.”
See the US Argosy Institute blog’s booty on the abode as well, with a authentic focus on survivability and the acquaint of bank argosy combat. One extract from the abounding abode discusses an important procedural point:
“The Active had beforehand planned to accomplish the bottomward baddest accommodation and accolade the adjustment to body the 10 LCSs ancient this able summer, but the accommodation was delayed and reportedly will now activity aural 90 canicule of September 15 – the date by which the two industry teams were told by the Active to abide new angle revisions. On this basis, it would arise that the accommodation could be arise as backward as December 14. On October 12, 2010, it was arise that a Aegis Accretion Lath (DAB) assay affair on the LCS affairs that was appointed for October 29 has been adjourned to a afterwards date that has not been set. The Active states that it cannot advertise its bottomward baddest accommodation and accolade a adjustment to the champ until afterwards the DAB affair occurs.”
RFP released, but accommodation delayed; Accurateness on LCS 3-4 costs; LCS “not survivable in a adverse activity environment”; LCS abstraction fails in Persian Gulf war game; USS Freedom [LCS 1] deploys with US Bank Guard aboard; USS Independence [LCS 2] commissioned; LCS 1’s MT30 abettor problems; Austal/GD aggregation splits; Official reports.
MT30 turbine(click to appearance full)
Sept 29/10: MT30 improvements. Rolls-Royce Argosy Marine, Inc. in Walpole, MA accustomed a $9.8 actor cost-plus fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity adjustment for “engineering and abstruse casework on the Rolls-Royce gas abettor abettor artefact beforehand program. This adjustment is actuality awarded to assay abeyant improvements to Rolls Royce gas abettor engines. Charge Adjustment 0001 will be issued on the aforementioned day of adjustment accolade with antecedent adjustment allotment in the aggregate of $800,000.”
Work will be performed in Walpole, MA (70%), and Indianapolis, IN (30%), and is accustomed to be complete by September 2015. $800,000 will expire at the end of the accustomed bread-and-butter year, which is Sept 30/10. This adjustment was not competitively acquired by the Argosy Aboveboard Warfare Centermost Carderock Division, Abode Systems Engineering Abject in Philadelphia, PA (N65540-09-D-0016).
DID has not angry this adjustment anon to the LCS affairs yet, but a chase through US Active abode types didn’t acknowledge any ships appliance Rolls Royce gas turbines, except LCS 1.
Sept 23/10: MT30 problems. Gannett’s Active Times letters that USS Freedom [LCS 1] shut bottomward its gas abettor engines on Sept 12/10, while operating off southern California. The Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines had “high beating indications” in the starboard engine, and the abode alternating to anchorage appliance its abettor engines. Consecutive assay showed that abettor blading had burst off, damaging the turbine.
Lockheed Martin’s monohull architectonics uses MT30 engines, instead of GE’s beneath able LM2500 which is acclimated in the Austal trimarans, and in best accustomed US Active aboveboard combatants. The US Active will conduct USS Freedom’s abettor changeout in Anchorage Hueneme, CA, which is aboveboard as actuality agnate to the adequate locations in which a deployed LCS would admission to do this array of operation. The Active has appointed a week’s time for the complete procedure.
LCS-1 abettor issues
Sept 15/10: Bids in. Final bids for the latest apotheosis of the Bank Activity Abode adjustment are in from Lockheed Martin and Austal USA. Lockheed Martin | Aegis News.
Sept 14/10: Politics. The Senate aegis appropriations subcommittee votes to armamentarium aloof 1 Bank Activity Abode in FY 2011, instead of 2. That’s a connected way from actuality the final chat on the matter, but administrator Sen. Daniel Inouye [D-HI] reportedly says that:
“…two ships adjourned in 2010 admission not yet been contracted. Beneath the new plan, the Active would seek to accolade four ships to a distinct artist in the advancing year. There is about no way that the adequate artist would be able to activate architectonics of four ships in 2011.” Allotment for one abode in 2011 “is added than adequate,” he said. And it saves $615 million.”
See: Gannett’s Active Times | Admonition Dissemination.
Sept 14/10: Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia may be absorbed in the LCS as allotment of its accounted $60 billion weapons package. Admitting antecedent focus on Austal’s trimaran design, a Washington Column abode says that:
“The official said the Saudis abide to admission centralized discussions about those purchases and are watching to see the aftereffect of a antagonism to body a new Bank Activity Ship.”
Sept 9/10: LCS a Lemon? In a allotment alleged “Red Flags Everywhere,” affecting argosy blog Admonition Dissemination, which has about been agilely admiring of the program, says:
“There isn’t aloof one affair amiss with the Bank Activity Abode affairs – every affair is amiss with this program. There are so abounding red flags waiving aimlessly in the face of Congress, the Navy, and any accidental eyewitness in commendations to the Bank Activity Abode I feel like I am continuing roadside in Beijing during a Affair advertising parade… The Bank Activity Abode has traded survivability, armor, endurance, weapon payloads, aggregate efficiency, and bargain operational capabilities aloft the lath for the advantage of speed. What is this advantage of dispatch that makes the barter off anniversary it? What is 40 knots giving the Navy’s new baby antagonist that 28 knots can’t?”
The allotment comes in acknowledgment to a about admiring Lexington Institute piece:
“More recently, the Active seemed to admission the LCS affairs beneath control… Understanding the accent of the LCS, the Active responded to antecedent problems with the basal ships or sea frames with the all-important attention, adeptness and resources. The aforementioned adeptness allegation now be adherent to the development of animate mission packages. This additionally includes developing the adapted unmanned systems, decidedly for subsurface operations.”
Sept 1/10: War Bold Fail. Aegis Tech reports:
“A contempo Pentagon war bold that ran the Navy’s new Bank Activity Abode through apish activity in the Gulf didn’t disentangle absolutely as expected, according to participants… The war bold featured the trouble-making Iranian Advocate Guard Corps navy… Seeing their baby baiter army shot-up, the Iranians accomplished a agglomeration of small, air-breathing submarines to beforehand the LCS flotilla. The LCSs were affected to beef bottomward to Diego Garcia to about-face out the aboveboard warfare modules with the anti-submarine warfare packages. That book afresh itself every time the Iranians afflicted up their beforehand and wrong-footed the LCS active [due to the connected change-out times].”
Designing the mission modules to be swappable by helicopter, and accepting medium-lift helicopters in the Active with college lift accommodation afresh the planned H-60 models, adeptness allay that problem. Neither admission has been taken.
LCS fails in war game
Aug 31/10: GAO Report. US GAO abode #GAO-10-523 on the LCS affairs sees problems. “Defense Acquisitions: Navy’s Adeptness to Affected Challenges Facing the Bank Activity Abode Will Actuate Eventual Capabilities.” Key excerpts:
“The Active affairs to beforehand over $25 billion through bread-and-butter year 2035 to admission LCS. However, alternating aggregate beforehand and agenda delays admission jeopardized the Navy’s adeptness to buck promised LCS capabilities… abstruse issues with the aboriginal two seaframes admission yet to be absolutely resolved… Challenges developing mission bales admission delayed the adapted fielding of promised capabilities, absorbed the ships’ anniversary to the animate during antecedent deployments… Key abundance countermeasures and aboveboard warfare systems encountered problems in operational and added testing that delayed their fielding…”
With anniversary to the ships themselves:
“The Active has adapted LCS seaframes to accommodated Akin 1 survivability standards. Ships congenital to Akin 1 are accustomed to accomplish in the atomic astringent environment, abroad from the breadth breadth a carrier accumulation is operating or the accustomed war-at-sea region… Accustomed ships in the animate congenital to the Akin 1 accustomed lath absolute abutment ships, mine-warfare vessels, and convoying combatants.”
“…In our assignment on shipbuilding best practices, we activate that accomplishing architectonics adherence afore alpha of artifact is a key step… Addressing [LCS 1 and 2] abstruse issues has adapted the Active to apparatus architectonics changes at the aforementioned time LCS 3 and LCS 4 are actuality built… Our assay of the accretion breadth of the LCS absolute affairs aggregate baseline activate the appraisal lacks several characteristics basal to a high-quality aggregate estimate.”
See additionally the LCS Ancillaries: Mission Bore & Weapon Affairs & Key Contest breadth for added excerpts accompanying to those areas, and “MH-60S Airborne Abundance Counter-Measures Continues Development” for all-embracing letters on the abundance warfare mission bore components. See also: Aerodynamics Anniversary | Admonition Dissemination on the aloft cultural issues this abode speaks to.
Aug 29/10: LCS 3s. DoD Buzz letters that “Lockheed Martin, with aloof a five-week arch start, has completed 60 percent of LCS 3, compared to Austal, whose LCS 4 is abandoned 26 percent complete.” Why is that? It’s partly because Lockheed Martin reused assignment done on the aboriginal LCS 3 contract, which was canceled mid-stride. Lockheed Martin MS2 business development administrator Paul Lemmo:
“Lemmo additionally acicular out that Lockheed Martin has kept genitalia and abstracts larboard over from the avant-garde assured LCS-3. The Active originally assured Lockheed Martin’s added LCS in April 2007… [but] the aggregation absitively to abide adeptness about 50 to 55 systems all the way to their completion… “Those systems admission been in accumulator either at the artist or at some of our accessories and they will be brought to buck on the ship,” [Lemmo] said. “The aggregate of that absolute is about at atomic bisected of the absolute aggregate of the absolute on the ship. Bisected the absolute bare for Fort Anniversary was already purchased. Generically a lot of it is long-lead propulsion machinery–the engine, the gas turbines, diesels, gears, baptize jets, shafting, those kinds of things…what was on order.”
See: DoD Buzz | Aegis Daily.
Aug 23/10: Accession delayed. The US Active delays its final accession for the new Bank Activity Abode contract. The accommodation appears to admission been pushed aback to Dec 30/10, but the exact date in unclear. Aegis News.
April 12/10: Competition. Lockheed Martin announces that its industry aggregation has submitted its angle for the Bank Activity Abode (LCS) bread-and-butter year 2010-2014 adjustment to the U.S. Active today. The Active will accolade the adequate aggregation a fixed-price allurement fee adjustment to lath up to 10 ships with activity systems, as able-bodied as activity systems for 5 added ships, to be congenital at a added shipyard.
April 1/10: LCS SAR. The Pentagon releases its April 2010 Alleged Acquisitions Report, accoutrement aloft affairs changes up to December 2009. One of the changes involves the Bank Activity Ship, while accession involves an accessory adjustment and is covered in that section. For the LCS “seaframe” itself:
“Program costs [DID: for the antecedent development effort] added $883.9 actor ( 31.0%) from $2,848.6 actor to $3,732.5 million, due to added development and abutment for the mission amalgamation assay program, seaframe testing, and aggregation training ( $241.5 million). There were additionally increases for the accretion of added mission bales ( $183.6 million), a revised appraisal for development, planning, and beheading of Flight 0 and Flight 0 ( $157.2 million), a revised appraisal for seaframe appraisement due to aggregate beforehand ( $131.5 million), changes to mission bore development and phasing ( $77.8 million), added allotment for a abstruse abstracts amalgamation ( $59.8 million), and the re-phasing of assignment due to a change in the agenda for Flight 0 ( $44.8 million).”
March 31/10: LCS 2. Aerodynamics Anniversary Ares describes the accustomed accompaniment of USS Independence [LCS 2]. At this point, its captain says that she’s still in the pre-tactical accident acknowledgment stage. The aggregation is adequate accustomed with the ship, and assuming basal tasks like air aegis testing, fast dispatch and deceleration, putting fast boats in the baptize while at sea, etc.
March 30/10: GAO Report. The US GAO issues abode #GAO-10-388SP, its 2010 Assessments of Alleged Weapon Programs.
With anniversary to the Bank Activity Ship, the abode places the affairs far beneath the adapted akin of technology and adeptness adeptness for a affairs at this stage. Compared to its 2004 baseline, which was itself about 150% of aboriginal cost-per assemblage estimates, LCS R&D costs admission added by 169.2% of baseline. Accretion aggregate for the antecedent adequacy ships is up by a beauteous 505.3%, absolute affairs aggregate for antecedent fielding has risen 285.9%, and accretion aeon time rose 139% over the aboriginal baseline. The abode additionally flags LCS weight increases that admission led to LCS 1 adherence issues due to a college centermost of gravity, and mission modules that are abandoned partially capable.
Mission Bore allegation are abundant in the Ancillaries section, but the key takeaway is that they’re not attainable for able anniversary yet – and the ship’s alleged missile ammunition could become a austere problem.
March 22/10: Support. Lockheed Martin Amphibian Systems & Sensors in Baltimore, MD receives a $14.1 actor modification to a avant-garde awarded adjustment (N00024-09-C-2303) to lath engineering, program, and abstruse abutment for LCS chic ships. This includes chic baseline architectonics services, chic acceding administration services, chic affidavit services, abode acting support, abode systems development, and added abstruse and engineering analyses.
Work will be performed in Norfolk, VA (41%), Moorestown, NJ (16%), Baltimore, MD (15%), Marinette, WI (14%), Washington, DC (8%), Arlington, VA (6%), and is accustomed to be complete by December 2010.
March 20/10: Costs. Axial the Navy:
“The Active does not ask aggressive Bank Activity Abode builders Austal USA and Lockheed Martin to admission at an exact dollar aggregate for how abundant anniversary bidder’s abode will aggregate over its lifespan in the accustomed appeal for proposals for what will be the adequate LCS design, sources told Axial the Active aftermost week. Yet, the sea anniversary wants the competitors to “qualitatively: explain how they will administer “total affairs costs” in the future…”
March 16/10: Cracking. Reuters letters on a contempo US Active SBIR assay solicitation, aimed at added apprenticed and cheaply diagnosing arise in aluminum abode structures. From US Active SBIR N10A-T041: “Fracture Appraisal and Architectonics Apparatus for Anchored Aluminum Abode Structures Subjected to Impulsive Activating Loading” :
“A new assay apparatus accumulated with an alpha validation acceding is bare to accurately characterize the activating acknowledgment and breach behavior of anchored aluminum abode structures subjected to acute loading events. The ambition of this adeptness is to beforehand an absolute activating abortion anticipation toolkit for breach appraisal of anchored thin-walled aluminum structures. To calmly characterize a ample admeasurement abode structure, avant-garde clay techniques appliance burst carapace elements are bare forth with a cobweb absolute able admittance and advancement capability. In accession to avant-garde able simulation in a carapace structure, avant-garde basal models admission to be implemented in the toolkit to abduction the aggregate affirmation and anisotropy in strength, artificial breeze and ductility. Developing and demonstrating atypical accident simulation and breach anticipation methods has cogent abeyant appulse on architectonics and operation of accustomed and approaching Active anchored aluminum, abode structural systems.”
US Active Administrator Victor Chen accustomed the Navy’s aplomb in the JHSV and LCS ships; the JHSV baiter is aluminum construction, as is the LCS-2 Independence Class, and the LCS-1 Freedom Chic uses an aluminum architectonics on a animate hull. He adds that:
“We already admission a akin of aplomb in how to assignment with aluminum. The Appointment of Argosy Assay is aggravating to aggrandize the adeptness abject and body on what we already know.”
March 16/10: Biologic busts. On her antecedent deployment to the Caribbean, the US Active highlights USS Freedom’s [LCS 1] conduct of biologic busts. The fast boats were intercepted with admonition from Freedom’s boarded MH-60S helicopter – a adequacy that is not altered to the LCS, by any means. Aerodynamics Anniversary Ares.
March 13/10: Industrial. New Fincantieri accessory Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, WI breach arena on an amplification that will about bifold the admeasurement of its basal calm abode architectonics building. The amplification will lath abundant calm amplitude to accompanying abode 2 complete LCS hulls and genitalia for 2 added ships. It will additionally acquiesce greater use of added able modular architectonics processes. The amplification is allotment of ancestor aggregation Fincantieri’s 5-year, $100 actor plan to beforehand its U.S. shipbuilding operations and abutment the LCS program. Blooming Bay Gazette | MarineLog.
March 4/10: Austal & GD breach up. Aegis Anniversary letters that shipbuilding ally Austal USA and Accustomed Dynamics admission agreed to abjure their teaming adjustment on the Bank Activity Abode (LCS) program: “We are now acting as prime activity avant-garde on the LCS program,” Austal admiral Joseph Rella told Aegis Anniversary March 4.
The positions accomplice Accustomed Dynamics to bid on the 2nd set of 5 ships beneath the accustomed accretion plan, if the LCS-2 Independence trimaran architectonics wins. Aggressive with a battling prime bid is unrealistic for Accustomed Dynamics at this point, accustomed the investments that would be adapted in aluminum-related adeptness accessories and techniques. Accustomed Dynamics has accustomed that it does not intend to bid on the antecedent 10-ship competition, admitting the firms will abide their collective accord aback architectonics the Coronado [LCS 4]. GD Avant-garde Admonition Systems will abide aloft that as an Austal aggregation partner, and subcontractor for systems integration.
Austal & GD end partnership
LCS 1 & LHD 6(click to appearance full)
March 3/10: CSBA Report. The USA’s non-partisan Centermost for Cardinal and Bread-and-butter Appraisal puts out a paper: “Littoral Activity Ship: An Assay of its Attainable Concepts of Operation” [PDF]. While the abode is about absolute about the LCS, and alike offers several operational scenarios that use the ship’s capabilities, it does accession a few issues. Aggregation admeasurement is one, but the added chronicle to the accustomed leash of speed, armament, and sustainability:
“The disadvantage is that dispatch requires abundant power. By allotment dispatch the Active has carefully alleged to admission lower accustomed accommodation and endurance. The appulse on adeptness is illustrated by the actuality LCS’s canoeing ambit of about 4,000 abyssal afar (nm) at 20kts reduces to 1,500 nm at 45kts. This compares to an adeptness of about 12,000 nm at 9kts for the US Bank Guard’s Legend- chic National Aegis Cutter. Consequently, any mission that requires all-encompassing use of dispatch will decidedly absolute the ship’s unrefueled time on station. Restrictions on accountability and ammunition accommodation (including aerodynamics fuel) beggarly that the LCS will crave ample logistical abutment for the accessories of fuel, ammunition, decaying foods and added consumables. The Active will about absolutely allegation to accord greater anticipation to how the LCS can be accurate aback operating at ambit from abject areas.
…While demography due anniversary of the actuality that none of these nations accomplish carriers or all-embracing bang forces, the adeptness of the LCS to avert itself aback compared to agnate ships advised to undertake agnate tasks appears to be limited, abnormally adjoin air attack, behindhand of which mission amalgamation is carried… The abode currently lacks a abate apprehension capability. The Active is now demography burning accomplish to adjust this awkward omission… appliance needs to be accustomed to accouterment a “mother ship” or breakable in abutment able to resupply not abandoned ammunition but additionally added consumables, such as ammunition, perishables and added parts, and lath medical assay and branch facilities. The LCS is advised to be absolute for amid fourteen and twenty-one canicule but in affairs aback it is operating at aeriform dispatch this could conceivably bead to as little as four days. Branch admission may be decidedly important because, as allotment of the drive to bind aggregation size, abundant of the aliment about conducted by a ship’s aggregation has, in the case of the LCS, been transferred ashore.”
…NWDC laid according accent on “frequently conducted” or “continuous” missions including SOF support, amphibian interception operations/ SLOC(Sea Ambit of Communication) patrol, and logistics. It acicular out that in the 29-year aeon above-mentioned to 1999, 60 percent of all argosy missions were of this type… The association of these statements is that the primary use of the LCS is added advised to be as a argosy badge barge (which all argosy argosy are to a degree) that is additionally able to undertake best argosy address tasks and alleged missions at the boilerplate and lower ends of argosy war fighting.”
Note that abounding of the scenarios to allegorize the ships’ account depend on abiding accelerated operations, adjoin the accomplishments of a US Active that is already abbreviate on oilers. Accession involves escorts through the Persian Gulf, adjoin fast beforehand adeptness armed with anti-ship missiles whose ambit the LCS cannot match, and whose strikes the LCS is ill-equipped to survive.
March 3/10: Ammunition & Range. Axial the Active publishes abstracts about the about ammunition adeptness of the 2 LCS contenders (Source). There’s a cogent difference, with implications for both operating costs and range, but the Active proposes to amusement them as equivalent, vid. Feb 25/10 entry:
“The Accustomed Dynamics accession of the Bank Activity Abode (LCS) uses beneath ammunition per hour during college ante of dispatch than the Lockheed Martin vessel, according to a Active document. The one-page LCS Consumption Curves shows that both ships use about the aforementioned aggregate of fuel, or barrels, per hour amid aught and 16 knots. At bristles knots, the Accustomed Dynamics aluminum trimaran uses 3.2 barrels per hour adjoin 3.9 for Lockheed Martin’s semi-planing monohull [DID: 21%]. At 14 knots, the Accustomed Dynamics abode uses 11.3 barrels per hour while the Lockheed Martin abode uses 12.7 [DID: 12.4%]. At 16 knots, the Lockheed Martin abode uses 18.4 barrels per hour while the Accustomed Dynamics abode uses 15.5 [DID: 18.7%], according to the document. At 30 knots, the Accustomed Dynamics trimaran burns through 62.7 barrels per hour, while the Lockheed Martin monohull uses 102.9 barrels per hour [DID: 64.1%] … At 40 knots, the Lockheed Martin abode burns through 138 barrels per hour while the Accustomed Dynamics abode uses 105.7 barrels per hour [DID: 30.5%].”
The LCS-1 Freedom Class’ weight issues could change these figures, abnormally aback absolutely loaded. The LCS-2 Independence Chic additionally has greater ammunition capacity.
Feb 25/10: Competition. US Sen. Sessions [R-AL] questions belief for Bank Activity Abode RFP, pointing out the RFP’s aggregate as sole account approach, admitting adequacy differences. The Active responds that they accede both ships to be equivalent, and says that the ships will absorb a low allotment of their time at aeriform speeds. AL.com |
Feb 19/10: LCS 3. Lockheed Martin backer Kim Martinez says that the Fort Anniversary [LCS 3] “is actuality adjourned to avert the aforementioned catchbasin design,” and may be acclimatized to abstain the allegation for USS Freedom’s bolt-on rear “water wings.” Gannett’s Active Times blog Scoop Accouter adds:
“Neither LockMart nor the Active will say the aboriginal LCS 1 architectonics included too little assets buoyancy, but Martinez fatigued that Freedom “meets all the Navy’s requirements, including for assets buoyancy.” So does that beggarly the Active aboveboard problems with its own requirements afterwards accepting charge of the Freedom? “That’s a catechism best answered by the Navy,” Martinez said.”
Feb 16/10: Freedom Chic change. Gannett’s Active Times’ blog “Scoop Deck” addendum an absorbing change to USS Freedom [LCS 1]:
“There is one big change, however: In a backyard aeon backward aftermost year, Freedom acquired two ample ellipsoidal metal boxes on its transom, on either accessory of the ascetic aboideau its aggregation uses to barrage and antithesis boats. The sailors alarm these “buoyancy tanks,” although they attending about like a baby’s baptize wings for the pool… Do baptize wings added afterwards the actuality beggarly the Freedom – and Lockheed Martin’s architectonics for the LCS 1-class – suffered from too little assets buoyancy? “I can’t absolutely allocution abundant added about that,” [Gold Aggregation skipper, Administrator Randy] Garner said.”
Feb 2/10: GAO Report. The US Congress’ GAO submits official abode GAO-10-257: “Littoral Activity Ship: Accomplishments Bare to Beforehand Operating Aggregate Estimates and Abate Risks in Implementing New Concepts.” Key excerpts:
“GAO’s assay of the Navy’s 2009 estimates showed that the [LCS] operating and abutment costs for seaframes and mission bales could absolute $84 billion (in connected bread-and-butter year 2009 dollars) through about 2050 [divided $64.1B seaframes, $20.8B packages]. However, the Active did not chase some best practices for developing an estimate… The costs to accomplish and abutment a weapon adjustment can absolute 70 percent of a system’s costs… With a accommodation awaiting in 2010 on which seaframe to buy for the butt of the program, accommodation makers could abridgement analytical admonition to appraise the abounding costs of the alternatives. The Active has fabricated beforehand in developing operational concepts for LCS, but faces risks in implementing its new concepts for personnel, training, and aliment that are apprenticed by the baby aggregation size… an boilerplate of 484 canicule of training is adapted afore advertisement to a [LCS] crew, decidedly added than for commensurable positions on added aboveboard ships. Moreover, the Navy’s aliment abstraction relies heavily on ambit support, with little aliment performed on ship. The Active acknowledges that there are risks in implementing its new concepts… If the Active cannot apparatus its concepts as envisioned, it may face operational limitations, admission to reengineer its operational concepts, or admission to adapt the abode design. Abounding of the concepts will abide ambiguous until 2013 or later, aback the Active will admission committed to architectonics about bisected the class… Active admiral from two accommodation aural the Appointment of the Arch of Argosy Operations – the Aboveboard Warfare Division and the Assessments Division – said they were blind of any assay acknowledging the absolute planned quantities for either the aboveboard warfare amalgamation or its amphibian aegis module. Also, Active admiral said that the Active has not performed a force anatomy assay on the antisubmarine amalgamation because the accommodation are beneath development.”
GAO’s aggregate recommendation, amid several:
“To beforehand accommodation making, we are advising that the Active conduct a accident appraisal and accede the after-effects afore committing to buy LCS ships in adjustment to articulation accretion with affirmation that the Active is advanced in its adeptness to apparatus its new operational concepts.”
Jan 27/10: RFP. The US Active releases the revised Bank Activity Abode RFP. See Sept 16/09 and Jan 11/10 entries; the champ will acquire affairs for 10 ships over the abutting 5 years, and accession antagonism will be captivated in 2012 for a 2nd shipyard. The 2nd shipyard will body 5 ships of the aforementioned architectonics over 3 years, but can’t be associated with the adequate shipyard. FedBizOpps Abode #N0002410R2301:
“For the requirements synopsized herein, the LCS aggregation associates are the abandoned sources, with the requisite adeptness of LCS design, construction, systems, and all-encompassing adeptness of, and acquaintance with, mission bore interface requirements to calmly and finer assemble these added follow-on ships aural the adapted architectonics period, and accomplish the associated services. The claim advised is for up to ten (10) ships with two (2) ships in Bread-and-butter Year 2010 and for two (2) ships per year in Bread-and-butter Years 2011 through 2014; up to bristles (5) added Baddest Abode Systems to be lath to a Added Antecedent in FY12; affiliation of up to bristles (5) sets of Baddest Abode Systems for a Added Antecedent in FY12. The adjustment will be awarded through a apprenticed antagonism pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1), abandoned one amenable antecedent and no added food or casework will amuse bureau requirements. Companies absorbed in subcontracting opportunities should acquaintance the LCS teams directly.”
The RfP lists 3 primary bid items (basic seaframe/ ship; activity & non-combat equipment; and the systems to handle the affiliation and testing. Abstruse and administration factors in adjustment of alternative are: affordability and accumulation approach; management; abstruse abstracts amalgamation adequacy, and rights in abstruse abstracts and computer software; architectonics change impact; able performance; and life-cycle aggregate abridgement initiatives. Active statements acerb indicate, however, that this will about alone be a cost-driven competition. Aegis Anniversary | Gannett’s Active Times.
Revised RFP issued
Jan 20/10: No LVL 1 Survivability. Reuters offers abstracts from the Pentagon’s administrator of Operational Assay and Evaluation. They lath the abortion of either architectonics to accommodated Akin I survivability belief except amid some sub-sections, and that neither abode could be accustomed to “be survivable in a adverse activity environment.”
Lockheed Martin’s Freedom Chic monohulls had problems in aboriginal air ambition tracking tests, which arise deficiencies in the TRS-3D radar’s adeptness accumulation and reliability, and austere problems with the activity system. The abode added that the abode could face adherence problems aback absolutely loaded. Lockheed Martin backer Jen Allen claims that adherence is no best a botheration for this class, and Reuters letters that the Active affairs to install alien tanks to finer amplify the ship’s stern, and admission its buoyancy.
General Dynamics/ Austal’s Independence Chic trimaran had its builders trials delayed due to arise leaks at the gas abettor shaft seals, and added testing articular deficiencies in the basal propulsion abettor engines. Reuters
Jan 11/10: Affiliation break-up? Aegis Anniversary letters that Accustomed Dynamics and Austal are set to breach up their LCS partnership, which has GD Bath Iron Works as the prime artist but best of the structural shipbuilding assignment done by Austal in Mobile, AL. Beneath the new accretion rules, the US Active will crave a second-supplier shipyard for the adequate design, that can’t be associated with the primary builder. Afore they booty any final actions, however, the GD/Austal aggregation is cat-and-mouse to see the Navy’s latest RFP, which is a bit abaft agenda but is still accustomed in January 2010.
General Dynamics had reportedly aboveboard Bath Iron Works as the analytic shipbuilding adeptness to booty on shipbuilding assignment if their team’s trimaran architectonics won, but there is some belief that this may about-face to T-AKE shipbuilder GD NASSCO in California, instead.
LCS 2 christening(click to appearance full)
Dec 18/09: LCS 2 delivered. The Accustomed Dynamics Bank Activity Abode Aggregation delivers Independence [LCS 2] to the US Navy. USN Commanding Administrator Administrator of Shipbuilding, About-face and Adjustment Captain Dean Krestos acutely accustomed aegis of Independence in Mobile, AL, breadth the abode will abide afore its allotment as USS Independence on Jan 16/10. That date will mark the aboriginal time a US Active abode has been commissioned in Mobile aback 1945. The abode will afresh adapt for its abutting set of trials, in the summer of 2010. US Active | GD release.
Dec 17/09: LCS 4 keel. A abrupt keel laying commemoration is captivated in Mobile at Austal USA’s Accumulation Bay 4 to almanac achievement of the aboriginal aloft architectonics anniversary for Coronado [LCS 4]. As one adeptness expect, the centerpiece of the commemoration was the ship’s keel module, a ample outfitted breadth of the aluminum centermost hull. GD release.
Dec 12/09: Bank Guard on USS Freedom. Gannett’s Active Times letters that USS Freedom [LCS 1] will admission US Bank Guard VBSS teams on lath aback it ventures into the Caribbean:
“The bank activity abode Freedom is to booty aboard a Bank Guard law administration disengagement for allotment of its balloon deployment aboriginal abutting year, Active admiral said, with the Coasties substituting for allotment of the Active boarding aggregation added to the LCS crew. Freedom is demography 20 sailors in two visit, board, chase and admission teams…”
Dec 3/09: Adjustment clarity. The US Active assuredly releases the aggregate abstracts for contempo Bank Activity Abode contracts. Agenda that the aggregate of a fully-outfitted abode would add about $100 actor for the installed mission module, in accession to added “government furnished equipment”. As such, absolute costs to acreage operational ships are adequate to end up aloft $600 million:
“As a aftereffect of the Navy’s change in accretion activity for the Bread-and-butter Year (FY) 2010 Bank Activity Abode (LCS) program, the Active can now absolution the pricing… The absolute aggregate of the LCS 3 contract, awarded to Lockheed Martin Corporation on March 23, was $470,854,144 which includes abode construction, non-recurring architectonics and added engineering effort, acceding administration services, added aggregation and bank support, adapted studies and column charge support.
The absolute aggregate of the LCS 4 contract, awarded to Accustomed Dynamics – Bath Iron Works on May 1, was $433,686,769 which includes abode construction, non-recurring architectonics and added engineering effort, acceding administration services, added aggregation and bank support, adapted studies and column charge support.
The adjustment ethics do not lath government costs which lath government furnished equipment, change orders, and affairs administration abutment costs. The adjustment ethics do not lath the aggregate of assiduity assignment and absolute acclimated from the assured aboriginal adjustment options for LCS 3 and 4. The aggregate of the assiduity assignment and absolute from the assured LCS 3 was $78 actor for Lockheed Martin Corporation and $114 actor from the assured LCS 4 for Accustomed Dynamics/Bath Iron Works.”
FY 2009 costs
Nov 13-21/09: LCS 1. USS Freedom [LCS 1] additionally conducts absolute abode deployment training and accepting at sea, operating with ships from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower [CVN 69] Carrier Bang Accumulation during their Composite Training Assemblage Exercise (COMPTUEX). That was allotment of the Amphibian Aegis Surge accepting for the ship’s Gold Crew, which will arrange aboard Freedom in aboriginal 2010 to U.S. Southern Command.
Nov 19/09: Testing. The US Active announces that LCS 2 Independence has auspiciously completed accepting trials, afterwards commutual a alternation of graded in-port and underway demonstrations for the Navy’s Lath of Assay and Survey (INSURV).
Acceptance trials are the aftermost cogent anniversary afore charge of the abode to the Navy. Abode charge is accustomed to activity with the ship’s allotment as USS Independence on Jan 16/09 in Mobile, AL.
Oct 18/09: Testing. LCS 2 Independence auspiciously completes builder’s trials in the Gulf of Mexico. The trials included added than 50 affirmation contest in alertness for final assay by the Navy, including abiding flight accouter achievement and abode ascendancy in Beaufort Sea Accompaniment 5 conditions, abiding speeds of 44 knots, tests of the ship’s attainable architectonics OPEN CI cyberbanking backbone, and apprehension and assurance of a apish cruise missile blaze by an baby jet aircraft. Austal absolution | GD absolution | Gannett’s Active Times.
Oct 14/09: USS Freedom to deploy. The Active announces the accommodation to arrange the USS Freedom [LCS 1] in aboriginal 2010 to the Southern Command and Accordant Command areas avant-garde of her originally appointed 2012 alpha deployment (see additionally June 9/09 entry). Military.com says that:
“In evaluating options for deploying the Freedom beforehand than originally scheduled, the Active took into appliance several key factors including activity systems testing, beforehand of the abode systems and aloft alimentation with a new abstraction of operations and aggregation training. To facilitate the aboriginal deployment, the Active acclimatized the Freedom testing schedule, prioritized testing contest bare for deployment and deferred others not adapted for the missions envisioned during this deployment.”
Another affairs shift; LCS 3 & 4 ordered, again, but we won’t acquaint you how much; LCS 4 named; LCS 2 launched; Argosy Blaze Abutment module?
LCS 2, builder’s trials(click to appearance full)
Sept 16/09: LCS Plan #4. The Pentagon reiterates its charge to 55 LCS ships, but changes the LCS program’s accretion structure, again. There will be no Appearance II for the FY 2009 buy. Instead, accession of the final architectonics would activity in FY 2010, afore operational trials of both ships could booty place. Both industry teams would abide proposals beneath a new solicitation. The champ would acquire a 10-ship adjustment animate from FY 2010-2014, and lath the activity systems for their 10 ships, added 5 more. They would additionally buck a abstruse abstracts package, accepting the Active to attainable a “build to print” antagonism for a added artist of the alleged design, alpha in FY 2012. That “build to print” adjustment would be for up to 5 added ships.
This timeline would not accord the Active abundant time to absolutely appraise the ships about claim afore it makes its selection, about removing the absolute account for architectonics 2 types of Flight 0 ships. It would additionally leave the ships’ all-embracing operational anniversary an attainable question.
Colton Company’s Amphibian Memos adds that the envisioned anatomy may face challenges, depending on which architectonics wins. It sees Aggregation Lockheed’s animate bark as acquiescent to Northrop Grumman Pascagoula, GD Bath Iron Works, and GD NASSCO, added VT Halter Marine; and possibly Todd, Bollinger in a break-away bid, or anyone who buys Bender in liquidation. The GD Bath Iron Works/Austal aluminum-hull architectonics requires a added specialized set of skills, however, and those ships are too avant-garde to be congenital on the Abundant Lakes and alien out through the seaway. Colton believes a shipbuilder would admission to beforehand in a new yard, or accomplice with an accustomed aluminum boatbuilder, such as Swiftships or megayacht builder, such as Trinity Yachts. Colton adds:
“In essence, there adeptness not be any aboveboard antagonism for a second-source contract. Aback about anybody now agrees that the Austal architectonics is acutely aloft to the Marinette design, this could accord the Active a new problem.”
It could absolutely accord the Austal/GD aggregation a new problem. US DoD | The Acropolis anniversary | Alabama Press-Register | Associated Columnist | Reuters | Admonition Dissemination op-ed: “The LCS is Still a Mess.”
Acquisition plan #4
July 30/09: Politics. At the Abode Armed Casework Seapower and Expeditionary Ammunition Subcommittee’s “Hearing on Efforts to Beforehand Shipbuilding Effectiveness,” Armchair Gene Taylor [D-MS] states in his aperture animadversion that:
“The LCS affairs is still a disaster, there is no way to amoroso covering it, the affairs is still a disaster. Those aboriginal argosy were complete in the best inefficient abode possible, aloof like my abode architectonics analogy, and now we are actuality told by both the contractors that the aggregate of these ships absolutely is in balance of a bisected a billion dollars. I am not abiding the Accumulation is accommodating to go avant-garde with that affairs unless cogent beforehand is fabricated on aggregate control, and I do beggarly significant.
With the challenges actuality faced by all the Casework in aggravating to displace from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the Active cannot calculation on added allotment for abode construction. We all allegation to aggregate how to clean our Animate with the accretion dollars available. To do that all costs allegation arise beneath control. Adamantine decisions allegation to be made. Soon.”
June 15/09: Axial the Navy, Vol. 22, No. 23:
“The Abode Armed Casework seapower and expeditionary ammunition subcommittee has proposed to restructure the congressionally allowable $460 actor aggregate cap for the Bank Activity Abode to abandoned lath the aggregate of anniversary barge [DID: and not its weapons, radars, and “mission equipment”], but if shipbuilders cannot accommodated the aggregate cap, accumulation would crave the Active to rebid the ship.”
June 10/09: Testing. Austal announces “light off” of LCS 2 Independence’s 4 propulsion engines: 2 GE LM2500 22,000kW gas turbines, and 2 MTU 20V 8000 M71 9,100kW diesels. The ablaze off followed ammunition loading and testing of all 4 generators.
Activation and testing of the activity and added systems onboard Independence is continuing at Austal’s US adeptness in Mobile, AL. The alpha of sea trials is accustomed aural a few weeks.
June 9/09: The Aggressive Officers’ Association of America’s “Inside the Headquarters” blog says that the US Active is cerebration of deploying the LCS early:
“According to a antecedent at Lockheed Martin, the Active wants the USS Freedom (LCS 1) to arrange anon and able-bodied avant-garde of schedule. Allegedly the arch of argosy operations himself, Adm. Gary Roughead, has alleged for the move. Currently, the Freedom is not appointed to arrange until 2012.”
The Somali bank would be the best adequate destination. Efforts to move endangered weapons programs to the avant-garde lines, in adjustment to defended a program’s future, admission a connected history in the US military.
June 9/09: Support. Alion Science and Technology Corp. in Washington, DC accustomed an $8.6 actor modification to avant-garde awarded adjustment (N00024-09-F-B008) for abutment to the Bank Activity Abode (LCS) affairs office. This will lath affairs planning and management, business and banking administration planning and execution, systems engineering, assay and appraisal engineering, activity aeon engineering and support, acumen and operation support, acceding and abstracts administration engineering, and activity systems development.
Work will be performed in Washington, DC, and is accustomed to be complete by September 2009.
June 1/09: Costs. Gannett’s Active Times letters that based on FY 2010 anniversary absolution documents, the aggregate to build, accouterments and buck Aggregation Lockheed’s USS Freedom [LCS 1] now is $637 million, up from aftermost year’s appraisal of $631 million. The aggregate tag for the GD/Austal abode Independence [LCS 2], however, rose from $636 actor to $704 million. Best of the aggregate beforehand on the LCS 2 is listed beneath Basal Architectonics Cost.
LCS 1, builder’s trials(click to appearance full)
May 22/09: Testing. The USS Freedom wasn’t able to accomplish a cardinal of key Active accepting tests on Basin Michigan, breadth she was built. A 2nd annular of INSURV testing was required, and the US Active PEO Ships absolution states that:
“There were no aloft affirmation issues or operational restrictions bent during the trial, although the abode allegation complete a cardinal of appointed adjustment certifications afore it can conduct complete operations.”
INSURV inspectors acclaimed that aback the August 2008 basin trials, the abode has fabricated improvements to its propulsion plant, accouterment ascendancy system, advice systems, and admonition systems. The new alkali baptize tests accustomed inspectors to assay the ship’s cathodic protection, degaussing, and about-face assimilation system. Ocean altitude let them assay surveillance and identification systems at a adequate ambit from acreage afterwards bound issues. And dispatch out of a basin acclimated for bubbler baptize let them authenticate the ship’s blaze abolishment and decay acquittal systems. Added aloft systems and appearance accustomed for INSURV this time included aerodynamics support, baby baiter barrage administration and recovery, fin stabilizers, in accession to the full-power run.
May 15/09: LCS for NFS? Aerodynamics Anniversary letters that US Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway is animate with his Active counterpart, Adm. Gary Roughead, to aggrandize the abstraction of appliance the LCS as a argosy blaze abutment advantage for Marine landings.
Conway is quoted as discussing “a box of rockets” as the Marnes’ adopted option, which would assume to advertise the LCS aboveboard warfare module’s planned NLOS-LS/NETFIRES “missile in a box” system. On the added hand, the abode adds that:
“The casework are still analytical accumulator and elevator accommodation aboard LCS, and Conway said “we don’t admission [the] box we need.”
May 1/09: LCS 4. “US Active Sinks LCS-4 Construction” actual the blast of the aboriginal program’s accretion plan, and abandoning of the 2nd ships from anniversary adeptness team. Now, Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME has accustomed a FY 2009 adjustment to body the USS Coronado [LCS 4]. The adjustment includes construction, chic architectonics services, acceding administration services, added aggregation and bank support, adapted studies and column charge support. Appearance II could absorb up to 3 added LCS Flight 0 Chic ships.
What the US Active will not do, is acknowledge those acceding of Lockheed Martin and Accustomed Dynamics’ contracts, alike admitting the aboriginal alibi that the Active was in negotiations with Accustomed Dynamics for its allotment of the 2-phase buy no best applies. The Active artlessly says that “the accolade aggregate is advised antecedent accession admonition (see FAR 2.101 and 3.104) and will not be fabricated attainable at this time.” The LCS program’s aggregate overruns admission been cogent contributors to the program’s political troubles, and it absolutely is adequate not to admission to altercate that any more. One antecedent of inference is that the accolade represents the 2nd bisected of the 2-vessel, $1.02 billion FY 2009 anniversary allotment for the LCS program, but able LCS affairs and budgets admission had little predictive aggregate with anniversary to final outlays.
Austal had remained optimistic apropos the LCS program, but afresh laid off 62 advisers in Mobile, AL, due to slower assignment in the bartering bear sector. There is no chat yet on whether they will be rehired as a aftereffect of this contract. Assignment will be performed in Mobile, AL (50%); Bath, ME (17%); Pittsfield, MA (14%); California, MD (1%); Baltimore, MD (1%); Leesburg, VA (1%); Burlington, VT (1%); Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (2%); and assorted locations of beneath than 1% anniversary accretion 13%. Assignment is accustomed to be complete by June 2012 (N00024-09-C-2302).
Meanwhile, sea trials of Austal’s aboriginal LCS, the 127m Independence [LCS 2], are appointed for mid-2009, with charge accustomed afterwards in the year. Austal | Accustomed Dynamics | Mobile, AL Press-Register | Mobile, AL Press-Register re: layoffs.
LCS 4 ordered, again
April 6/09: Budgets. Secretary of Aegis Robert M. Gates announces his FY 2010 anniversary recommendations, which lath 3 LCS ships. Admitting issues with the program, and affair about the ship’s activity capabilities, Gates reiterates the ambition of eventually affairs 55 of these $500 actor specialty abutment ships. The advertisement bolstered aplomb at Austal, which had been watching the anniversary deliberations closely.
March 23/09: LCS 3. US NAVSEA awards Lockheed Martin Amphibian Systems & Sensors in Baltimore, MD an bearding sum for “LCS FY09 Flight 0 abode construction, chic architectonics services, acceding administration services, added aggregation and bank support, adapted studies and column charge support.”
The Active annulled Lockheed Martin’s aboriginal LCS-3 adjustment in 2007, but new negotiations reportedly accustomed at an able adjustment for a fixed-price adjustment with incentives. The Fort Worth’s [LCS-3] aggregate tag is arise to be in the $500 actor range, which would represent a aggregate bead about to LCS-1.
NAVSEA is still negotiating with Accustomed Dynamics for LCS-4, so the accolade aggregate is classified antecedent accession admonition beneath Federal Accretion Regulations 2.101 and 3.104. Beneath the Navy’s FY 09/10 activity (see Oct 17/08 entry), the Active will attack to buy 2 LCS ships in FY 2009, with advantage for up to 3 ships in 2010. Beforehand accretion strategies had focused on FY 2010 as the down-select date; that is still possible, but the Active reportedly has the advantage of allotment accession breach for the FY 2010 buy.
Work will be performed in Marinette, WI (63%); Moorestown, NJ (12%); Washington, DC (11%); Clearwater, FL (4%); Baltimore, MD (4%); Arlington, VA (3%); Brunswick, GA (2%); and Eagan, MN (1%), and is accustomed to be complete by December 2012 (N00024-09-C-2303). See also: Reuters report.
LCS 3 ordered, again
March 12/09: LCS 4 named. US Secretary of the Active Donald Winter announces that LCS 4 will be alleged USS Coronado. A 4th LCS abode had not been ordered yet aback the advertisement was made, admitting some funds had been allocated in the FY 2009 anniversary for 2 ships. The Navy’s absolution has a anniversary of the GD/Austal trimaran architectonics abutting to the announcement, but the advertisement does not affirm that blazon as LCS 4.
Coronado, abreast San Diego, CA is home to Argosy Air Abject North Island (NASNI) and Argosy Amphibian Abject (NAB), Coronado, and has been home to the Active aback 1917. Coronado hosts 2 aircraft carriers, the west coast’s aloft SEAL adapted ammunition facility, and over 120 addressee commands amid the 2 bases. US Navy.
March 11/09: Politics. Bill Sweetman of Aerodynamics Anniversary letters that one analytic aftereffect of a “build to [blue]print” admission is that adopted shipyards adeptness become acceptable to attack for LCS construction:
“[Taylor] additionally acclaimed to the appointment that he’s visited added shipyards – Hyundai in Korea, Maersk in Finland – and assured that “our yards admission to get up to their [DID: awful automated] standards.” So if LCS goes to attainable bidding, would those shipyards be acceptable to bid? “Traditionally the Abode has adopted to body our weapons domestically,” Taylor said, “but we’ve had a adamantine time accepting it able Senator McCain. If I had my way I’d absolute it to American shipbuilders. But I about don’t get my way.”
That anniversary can adequately be declared as cryptic. Sweetman’s assumption re: adopted architectonics is unlikely, for a adjustment of political reasons. Government allotment for shipyard improvements, meanwhile, did not arise in the “stimulus” bill, and would be best adequate to be funneled to the aloft aggressive shipyards if it was granted.
March 10/09: Politics. MarineLog letters that the Bank Activity Abode affairs receives accession bi-partisan asperous ride at the Abode Armed Casework Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces. Administrator Gene Taylor [D-MS]:
“When I attending at the plan from aloof two years ago, we should by now admission at atomic 4 ships delivered, 3 added advancing achievement from a bread-and-butter year 2008 authorization, 6 beneath adjustment from a bread-and-butter year 2009 authorization, and today we should be discussing the allotment of 6 added ships for bread-and-butter year 2010. That would be a absolute of 19 ships. So instead of accepting 13 delivered or beneath adjustment with accession 6 in this year’s budget, we admission one abode delivered that will adequate tip the scales able-bodied aloft two and a bisected times the aboriginal appraisal and one abode that adeptness adeptness this summer, with agnate if not college aggregate growth… Anybody should admission that the accustomed bearings of these argosy costing in balance of a bisected billion dollars cannot continue… There are too abounding added needs and too little assets to cascade money into the affairs that was advised to be affordable.”
With anniversary to Taylor’s admiration for a “build to print” approach, the acknowledgment appears to be that the government owns the rights to the ship’s concrete design, but affiliation of all the sub-systems like the radar, Mk110 argosy gun etc. is accession matter. Rep. Todd Akin [R-MO] was analytical of the Navy’s accretion strategy, from the afresh changes over the aftermost 2 years to the accustomed strategy’s sustainability:
“We cannot analytic apprehend the industry teams to accomplish the investments in accessories and designs for affordability we demand, if we cannot bright what we appetite to buy. Further, we cannot analytic apprehend the taxpayers to abide to armamentarium ships that we cannot definitively say we want… We allegation to be absolute alert about accretion accommodation for which the Active lacks the aggregate to support… We allegation ensure that we are not creating two added shipyards that await on a sole chump for support. The activity for architectonics LCS at mid-tier yards was absolutely to abstain this phenomenon, aback these yards had bartering work. Now, we apprehend that these yards may admission angry abroad bartering assignment and are because basal investments with the absorbed of amalgam LCS only.”
See: MarineLog | Admonition Dissemination.
March 6/09: New LCS 3 named. US Secretary of the Active Donald C. Winter announces 6 that the LCS 3 will be alleged USS Fort Worth. A 3rd LCS abode had not been ordered yet aback the advertisement was made, admitting some funds had been allocated in the FY 2009 anniversary for 2 ships.
The Active says that the advertisement continues the convenance of allotment the animate LCS argosy afterwards American midsized cities, baby towns and communities. Fort Worth, TX, abreast Dallas, is an abnormally important hub of aerospace manufacturing, but a cardinal of added defense-related activities go on there. US Navy.
March 2/09: Industrial. Lockheed Martin Amphibian Systems & Sensors in Baltimore, MD accustomed a modification to a avant-garde awarded adjustment (N00024-03-C-2311) for “LCS affairs assiduity efforts all-important to bottle accumulation adequacy at its industry aggregation shipyard facility.” Assignment is accustomed to be complete by April 2009, and will be performed in Marinette, WI (56%); Moorestown, NJ (13%); Clearwater, FL (11%); Brunswick, GA (10%); Washington, DC (8%) and Baltimore, MD (2%) beneath adjustment (N00024-03-C-2311).
Lockheed Martin has already delivered USS Freedom [LCS 1] to the Navy, and the Navy’s above-mentioned abandoning of LCS 3 has larboard that shipyard with a assignment gap. Accustomed Dynamics and Austal, meanwhile, abide to body LCS 2 Independence at their Gulf Bank shipyard. This accolade allegation be at atomic $5 million, or the Active would not admission arise it at all, but no aggregate was given. With anniversary to this award, the US Active cites this absolution for its abridgement of transparency:
“As this accolade represents efforts integrally accompanying to Appearance I of a aggressive two-phased accretion admission to annex FY09/FY10 LCS, with Appearance II including abeyant accolade of up to three added LCS Flight 0 Chic ships, the accolade aggregate is advised antecedent accession admonition (see FAR 2.101 and 3.104) and will not be fabricated attainable at this time.”
That translates as “we’re still negotiating with Lockheed Martin and with Accustomed Dynamics for fixed-price awards, and are abduction these funds to buy beforehand abstracts and abstain layoffs at Marinette.”
Feb 24/09: Politics. Senators McCain and Levin, who admission authored legislation to ameliorate the US military’s accretion system, distinct out the LCS affairs in their comments. CNN:
“Levin said the ships are “way beyond” their projected architectonics time of two years, and the affairs has developed from a aggregate per abode of about $220 actor to added than $500 million, according to a November abode from the Aldermanic Assay Service. “We can’t admission a abode that’s a baby abode that’s declared to be congenital in two years run absolutely out of ascendancy to bifold or amateur or quadruple its aboriginal aggregate estimates,” McCain said.”
Jan 28/09: LCS 2. Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME accustomed a $37.75 actor basal acclimation acceding for Post-Shakedown Availability (PSA) of the USS Independence [LCS-2]. Assignment will lath the ship’s PSA efforts, testing, and materials, from affairs administration to beforehand planning, engineering, absolute kitting, liaison, scheduling and accord in PSA planning conferences and architectonics reviews, alertness of affidavit as adapted by the Adjustment Abstracts Claim List, and adapted fixes.
Work will be performed in San Diego, CA (53%); Norfolk, VA (24%); and Mobile, AL (23%), and is accustomed to be complete by December 2012. This adjustment was not competitively acquired (N00024-09-G-2301).
Dec 29/08: NVR cert. The American Bureau of Aircraft (ABS) in Houston, TX is a congressionally accustomed abettor of the government, and accepting to set standards is one of their services. They acquire a $55 actor aggregate no fee, indefinite-delivery/ indefinitely-quantity adjustment to lath for abode allocation and classification-related casework appliance Argosy Barge Rules (NVR), which anatomy the aggregate of the accepting activity for aboveboard ships bought by US NAVSEA.
New architectonics affairs crave the ships to be advised and complete in accordance with ABS Rules for Architectonics and Classing Argosy Vessels, and added referenced ABS Rules and Guides as all-important to accede with the appointed chic notations. Readers of this abrupt will anamnesis that the about-face to NVR rules during LCS architectonics was one of the key factors that aggrandized the costs of the aboriginal ships, and aloft costs aloft the lath for the class. On the added hand, ships congenital to NVR standards can be accustomed to survive accident bigger than commensurable non-NVR ships.
Approximately 46% of ABS’ casework will be performed in abutment of new DDG ships in Bath, ME (GD-BIW); Pascagoula, MS; and Gulf Port, MS (NG-SS) and about 46% in abutment of approaching LCS new architectonics ships in locations to be determined. The absolute 8% of casework will be performed in Norfolk, VA; San Diego, CA; and assorted accustomed believability as defined in assignment orders to be issued. Assignment is accustomed to be completed by December 2013. This adjustment was not competitively acquired by the Argosy Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in Washington, DC (N00024-09-D-4208)
Dec 17/08: Weight. Admonition Dissemination relays an Axial the Active abode hat covers advancing belvedere issues in “LCS Weight Affair Revisited“. From Axial the Navy:
“In October, Active abettor Lt. Clay Doss accustomed that antecedent tests by the Active were assuming the barge to be six percent overweight, but maintained that it was not anniversary for concern… “There’s actuality on lath that I don’t ahead we need,” Gabrielson said. “There’s some appealing big things on lath that I ahead we could animate without.”
Oct 31/08: Lockheed Martin Amphibian Systems & Sensors in Baltimore, MD accustomed a $37.5 actor Basal Acclimation Acceding for Post-Shakedown Availability (PSA) on the Bank Activity Ship, USS Freedom [LCS-1]. The orders to be issued will beset casework include, but are not apprenticed to affairs management, beforehand planning, engineering, absolute kitting, liaison, scheduling and accord in PSA planning conferences and architectonics reviews, and alertness of affidavit as adapted by the Adjustment Abstracts Claim List. The orders will additionally beset absolute and activity to accomplish the PSA for LCS 1, all testing, including column adjustment trials adapted to verify the accurateness and achievement of all shipyard automatic work, non-standard accessories aback approved, and abstruse manuals for non-standard equipment.
Work will be performed in San Diego, CA (53%) and Norfolk, VA (47%), and is accustomed to be completed by January 2011. Adjustment funds will not expire at the end of the accustomed bread-and-butter year. This adjustment was not competitively acquired by the Argosy Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C. (N00024-09-G-2300).
Oct 24/08: The Freedom [LCS 1] sails abroad from the Marinette Marine Corp. shipyard in Marinette, WI, en avenue to Duluth, MN for a four-day anchorage appointment alpha Oct. 27. This will be the aboriginal leg in the ship’s boating of allotment and alteration to Norfolk, VA, breadth she will abide animate testing and appraisal abroad from the Abundant Lakes’ ice buildups. Amphibian Reporter and Engineering News.
Oct 17/08: LCS Plan #3. The NY Times’ All-embracing Herald Tribune letters that the U.S. Active has canceled affairs to buy a 3rd new activity abode in FY 2008 from either Lockheed Martin Corp. or Accustomed Dynamics Corp., citation anniversary shortfalls. The commodity adds that:
“The Active now affairs to accolade one abode to anniversary artist beneath the bread-and-butter 2009 budget, and ascendancy a antagonism for accession three argosy with allotment in bread-and-butter 2010 to accumulate aggressive accountability amid the two companies. Anniversary of the 2009 affairs will arise with options for approaching ships. However, the Active said it will appraise appraisement of the bread-and-butter 2010 ships afore authoritative a decision, and envisions application two ships to a adequate artist and one abode to a accident bidder, the aforementioned as its aboriginal plan.”
Acquisition plan #3
Oct 4/08: LCS 2 christened. The Austal/General Dynamics abode LCS 2 Independence is christened in a commemoration at Austal’s Mobile, AL shipyard. US Active PEO Ships absolution | Austal release.
No ships this year; LCS 2 launched; LCS-4 canceled; Aggregate beforehand continues; Israeli request.
Team GD LCS Concept(click to appearance full)
September 2008: The US Active has the appointed funds to body an added LCS ship, but decides not to affair that contract. Source.
No FY 2008 ship
Sept 30/08: Infrastructure. R. A. Burch Architectonics Co., Inc. in Ramona, CA accustomed $6.5 actor for a firm-fixed-price assignment adjustment beneath a avant-garde accolade assorted accolade architectonics contract. They will be amenable for beforehand Architectonics 57 for the new Bank Activity Abode (LCS) agile authoritative address at Argosy Abject San Diego. The assignment adjustment additionally contains one option, which if acclimatized would admission accumulative assignment adjustment aggregate to $8.7 million.
Work will be performed in San Diego, CA, and is accustomed to be complete by April 2010. Adjustment funds will expire at the end of the accustomed bread-and-butter year, and 3 proposals were accustomed for this assignment adjustment by the Argosy Accessories Engineering Command, Southwest in San Diego, CA (N62473-08-D-8607, #0005).
Sept 18/08: LCS 1 delivered. The Lockheed Martin-led LCS aggregation delivers LCS 1 Freedom to the U.S. Navy. The charge anniversary marks the Navy’s basal accepting of LCS 1.
Sept 4/08: CSBA Cool to LCS Concept. WIRED Danger Room’s column “Navy Already Animate Abroad from Bank Waters?” assiduously an assay by Bob Work, argosy analyst at the respected, detached CSBA ahead catchbasin in Washington. He sees the aforementioned pressures that angry the Active adjoin the DDG-1000 Zumwalt Chic boner affairs abutting on the approaching of the Bank Activity Ship:
“The amphibian breadth over which a able bank adeptness can now admission with multidimensional, combined-arms argosy reconnaissance-strike complexes is expanding. The aggregate of space-based sensors, over-the-horizon radars, amphibian [Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance], convoying and bang aircraft, nuclear and [Air-Independent Propulsion] submarines armed with wake-homing torpedoes and anti-ship cruise missiles, and now anti-ship ballistic missiles, poses astringent threats to any aboveboard ship. Beneath these circumstances, the Active has to beforehand its adeptness to activity from range, in the attainable ocean.”
July 31/08: CRS report. In affidavit afore the US Abode Armed Casework Committee’s Seapower and Expeditionary Ammunition subcommittee, Dr. Eric Labs of the Aldermanic Anniversary Appointment discusses the LCS affairs to date [PDF]:
“The Navy’s 2009 shipbuilding plan envisions architectonics 55 bank activity ships amid 2005 and 2019. Because those ships are afflicted to admission a anniversary activity of 25 years, the Active would allegation to activate accretion their replacements in 2032… The Active expects to buy 64 mission modules for the 55-ship program.
…Originally, anniversary sea anatomy was accustomed to aggregate about $260 actor (in 2009 dollars, or $220 actor in 2005 dollars). The Navy’s 2009 anniversary would acquiesce the acquirement of 18 LCSs during the 2009-2013 period, at an boilerplate aggregate of about $450 actor per sea frame. That is 11 beneath than the 2008 plan envisioned… In the 2009 budget, the Active estimates the aggregate of LCS-1 at $631 actor and LCS-2 at $636 million… appliance the beforehand abode of the FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry chic frigate as an analogy… The aboriginal FFG-7 aggregate about $670 actor to body (in 2009 dollars), or about $250 actor per thousand tons, including activity systems. Applying that metric to the LCS affairs suggests that the beforehand ships would aggregate about $600 actor apiece, including the aggregate of one mission module… CBO estimates that the aboriginal two LCSs could aggregate about $700 actor each, including outfitting and postdelivery costs… As of April 27, 2008, LCS-1 was 87% complete and LCS-2 was 72% complete. So, added aggregate beforehand is possible…”
July 30/08: What happened to LCS? Argosy Technology’s commodity “Littoral Activity Abode Runs Aground” offers a attending at the affairs apparatus and assumptions that admission led the affairs to its accustomed state. In brief, it states that:
“Distilling the adventure yields the afterwards adviser to botching development projects in bristles accomplish […];
1. Accomplish the ambition as difficult as possible2. Impose a administration appearance alluringly ill-fitted for commoditised products3. Aback sourcing, be penny-wise and pound-foolish4. Architectonics and body simultaneously5. Aback you’re in a hole, accumulate digging
[…] Perhaps the moral of the LCS adventure is this: the US can aftermath bigger ships, or aftermath ships bigger – but it can’t do both at the aforementioned time.”
July 28/08: Testing. LCS 1 Freedom begins builder’s trials on Basin Michigan. US Active absolution | Reuters Aug 12/08 follow-up.
July 15/08: Israel request. The affairs with Lockheed Martin et. al. could be anniversary up to $1.9 billion for 4 ships, and would be the aboriginal LCS consign sale. The architectonics will be absolute altered from the American Freedom Chic LCS, however; mission modules will be replaced with vertical barrage systems and anchored weapons, and the abode will activity an AEGIS alarm system.
The Israelis eventually adjudge that the costs are prohibitive, and activate attractive elsewhere. As of 2013, they still don’t admission a adjustment for new ships, admitting they are beforehand the Sa’ar 5 Eilat Chic to a Sa’ar 5.5 acceding in the meantime. See “A Bank Activity Frigate For Israel” for details.
April 28/08: LCS 2 launched. Austal USA’s Mobile, AL shipyard launches LCS 2 Independence. The abode will be anchored alongside the Austal USA adeptness for activation and testing of activity and added onboard systems is completed. Sea trials are accustomed to arise in backward 2008. Austal release.
April 7/08: LCS SAR. Aggregate beforehand for the LCS affairs acreage it on the Pentagon’s Alleged Accretion Letters for this period:
“Program costs added $909.7 actor ( 46.9 percent) from $1,938.9 actor to $2,848.6 million, due primarily to a revised appraisal in Seaframe appraisement that reflects abundant aggregate beforehand and column charge assignment ( $496.1 million) and a revised appraisal for Mission Bore development and phasing due to maturation of the analogue of the Mission Modules ( $271.2 million). Costs additionally added due to a accession of the Flight 0 agenda to absorb added adeptness ( $71.3 million), a revised appraisal for affairs development of Flight 0 and Flight 0 planning and beheading ( $42.3 million), and added ambit for Mission Bore development ( $40.7 million).”
March 14/08: Controversy. The allowance don’t attending adequate for the US Navy’s FY 2009 appeal of 2 Bank Activity Ships. The abode Armed Casework Committee’s Seapower & Expeditionary Ammunition subcommittee took affidavit apropos that request, and the LCS appeal came beneath blaze from both abandon of the aisle. See “US Navy’s 313-Ship Plan Beneath Blaze in Congress” for abounding links etc. Administrator Rep. Gene Taylor [D-MS], a able backer of added argosy shipbuilding:
“So, instead of actuality asked to armamentarium programs that are architectonics ships on time and at projected cost, we are asked to armamentarium programs which are not… [the LCS] will go into the textbooks to alternation approaching accretion admiral how not to run a program. The LCS will be at atomic alert as big-ticket as advertised, it has taken alert as connected to body the beforehand ships, neither barge has been underway on its own power, and the Active annulled two adjustment options aftermost year, which were already funded, because of aggregate overruns.
Yet this year we are asked to accredit two added ships – why? What has afflicted amid afresh and now that indicates that this affairs is in any way attainable to body added ships? We admission been told the acknowledgment to this catechism is that there is an ’emergent need’ for these ships in the fleet. If that is authentic why did the Active abolish two of the ships? At some point we allegation stop throwing money at this affairs until the Active can prove that at atomic one of the ships can get to sea and do its mission.”
Ranking boyhood affiliate Roscoe Bartlett [R-MD] was appropriately skeptical:
“And how abundant accident are we affairs bottomward if we annex two added Bank Activity Ships, the year afterwards we annulled two, and the year in which the Active affairs to conduct an operational appraisal and attainable downselect of LCS-1 and 2? Alike if there is no downselect, the Active has declared that there will be architectonics changes fabricated to the Flight One ships. So the two we buy now will be altered than the absolute 50. Is that anniversary it, if those funds could accumulate a abiding affairs like LPD-17 alive?”
Feb 4/08: Costs. FY 2009 anniversary abstracts arise by the Active accord the accustomed final aggregate for its LCS-1 and LCS-2 ships: $631 actor and $636 million, respectively. First-of-class ships usually aggregate added – but anamnesis that clear-sighted July 24/07 appraisal of $630 actor from the Aldermanic Anniversary Office.
Nov 1/07: LCS-4. The US Active cancels architectonics of LCS-4 by the Accustomed Dynamics/Austal team, abrogation its LCS accretion activity afloat amidst abysmal proposed allotment cuts from Accumulation in the FY 2008 budget. There was additionally the accessory botheration of a added artist who banned to admission a “deal” that let the Active accomplish any cardinal of architectonics changes, while the artist was abandoned amenable for costs, and would pay for overruns aloft the proposed fixed-price contract.
The Active eventually decides to alter its absolute approach, and use planned FY 2007-2008 accretion funds to get LCS 1 & 2 built, rather than affairs added ships.
LCS-4 adjustment canceled
Oct 11/07: Israel. Jane’s Defence Weekly letters that the Israeli Active “has launched a added abstraction apropos the abeyant accretion of the United States Navy’s (USN’s) Bank Activity Abode (LCS) focused on Lockheed Martin’s semi-planing monohull architectonics accustomed as LCS-I (Israel). “That architectonics appears to be the best acceptable for our needs,” a arch IN antecedent told Jane’s…”
See “An LCS For Israel?” for abounding coverage.
LCS-3 cancelled, LCS-4 ordered but capricious over aggregate growth; LCS Affairs Administrator dismissed; LCS 2 assay issues; ALCOA weight abridgement work; Official reports.
GD: Helicopter space(click to appearance full)
Sept 27/07: Sub-contractors. Baby business qualifier ALCOA Inc. in Alcoa Center, PA accustomed an $8.3 actor indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee achievement adjustment to lath engineering casework in abutment of the re-design of absolute aluminum structures to beforehand achievement and survivability of the Bank Activity Abode (LCS) via weight abridgement of alleged assemblies or components. Assignment will be performed in Alcoa Center, PA (84%); Johnstown, PA (11%); Columbus, OH (3%); and assorted shipyards (2%), and is accustomed to be complete in September 2010. Adjustment funds in the aggregate of $3.7 actor will expire at the end of the accustomed bread-and-butter year. The adjustment was not competitively acquired by the Argosy Aboveboard Warfare Center, Carderock Division, West Bethesda, Md., is the appliance activity (N00167-07-D-0010).
This adjustment will armamentarium the Alcoa Collaborative Architectonics Admission (ACDA), a phased affairs admission in which the afterwards tasks will be activated to the LCS: accession of applicant assemblies and components; development of conceptual designs and bottomward accession of architectonics concepts; appraisal of architectonics concepts and final selection; development and appraisal of prototypes; and abode integration. The apparatus for beforehand may lath bark sections, doors/hatches, amount floors, foundations, ample apertures or agnate structures.
Alcoa has ample adeptness in this area, accepting formed carefully with Lockheed Martin on a absolute agnate adeptness re: the F-35B Lightning II STOVL fighter.
Still, one wonders why, exactly, this has become a antecedence for the LCS program? The Dec 17/08 admission suggests that weight abridgement was the goal.
Sept 24/07: LCS 2 issues. Newhouse Anniversary Anniversary letters that “Navy inspectors admission authentic abundant problems with architectonics of a next-generation barge accustomed as the bank activity ship, or LCS, according to government annal acquired beneath the federal Freedom of Admonition Act.” They are apropos accurately to the Accustomed Dynamics/ Austal ships, and beforehand to detail these issues in “Navy Inspectors Accretion Abundant Problems With Abode Project.”
Some of these items are “normal” issues that inspectors abide to catch, others are beneath so. Note, abnormally the time frames of the issues raised, as abounding date from 2006 and predate consecutive reports.
Sept 21/07: LCS 4? Gannett’s Active Times letters that the US Active and Accustomed Dynamics are accustomed to accommodated abutting anniversary to altercate the LCS program:
“GD abettor Kendall Pease accustomed the Active had asked for the affair but provided no added details, added than to say a specific date had not been set. Added sources, however, said the affair was to altercate slowing architectonics on LCS 4, the added abode GD is architectonics at its Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala.”
The Active was affected to balance Aggregation Lockheed for a cardinal of costs afterwards abandoning LCS-3, and they are reportedly aggravating to restructure the accord with the GD/Austal aggregation to abstain advantageous those costs in the accident that LCS-4 is canceled. If the parties cannot agree, the Active could consistently admission to abolish LCS-4 on those grounds, and pay the accessory acceding fees that would be circuitous at this aboriginal stage. The downside is that a added abandoning accommodation would leave the absolute LCS affairs in tatters, either axis it into a 1-ship anniversary “sail off” competition, or throwing the absolute affairs aback to the cartoon board.
Aug 8/07: Aggregate growth. US Active accretion arch Dolores Etter said in an account with Reuters that Accustomed Dynamics is about 54% done with its aboriginal abode [LCS-2], which is due to be delivered in mid-2008. She additionally declared that “We … abide to see challenges with the affairs and with anniversary platform, accurately with the propulsion adjustment on LCS-1 and systems affiliation on LCS-2.”
With anniversary to the GD/Austal team’s adeptness to rein in costs, she said that “We do admission believability at which our affair will go up. You can’t adumbrate what will happen, but things are affective avant-garde in a adequate direction” in acceding of the firm’s efforts to rein in costs.
Meanwhile, Reuters adds that US Active admiral admission asked accumulation to acquire a 55% admission in a aggregate cap for the 5th and 6th LCS ships, to $460 million. They additionally said costs for the aboriginal Lockheed abode and GD’s LCS-2 could be up to 75% college than expected. Reuters article: “US Active sees beforehand on Accustomed Dynamics LCS ship.”
July 24/07: CBO Report. In a anniversary afore the US Abode Armed Casework Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces, Aldermanic Anniversary Appointment accumulation affirm that [PDF format]:
“Experience had adapted that aggregate beforehand was adequate to activity in the LCS program. In particular, actual cost-weight relationships – appliance the beforehand abode of the Oliver Hazard Perry chic of frigates (FFG-7) as an affinity – adumbrated that the Navy’s aboriginal aggregate ambition for the LCS was optimistic. The aboriginal FFG-7, including its activity systems, aggregate a absolute of about $650 actor (in 2008 dollars) to build, or about $235 actor per thousand tons. Applying that per-ton appraisal to the LCS affairs suggests that the beforehand ships would aggregate about $575 actor apiece, including the aggregate of one mission bore (to accomplish them commensurable to the FFG-7). In this case, attractive at cost-weight relationships produced an appraisal beneath than the aboveboard aggregate of the aboriginal two LCSs but essentially greater than the Navy’s aboriginal estimate.
As of this writing, the Active has not about arise an appraisal for the LCS affairs that incorporates the best contempo aggregate growth, added than its appeal to accession the aggregate caps for the fifth and sixth ships. CBO estimates that with that beforehand included, the aboriginal two LCSs would aggregate about $630 actor each, excluding mission modules but including outfitting, postdelivery, and assorted nonrecurring costs associated with the aboriginal ships of the class. As the affairs advances, with a acclimatized architectonics and college anniversary ante of production, the boilerplate aggregate per abode is adequate to decline. Excluding mission modules, the 55 LCSs in the Navy’s plan would aggregate an boilerplate of $450 actor each, CBO estimates.”
DID background: The FFG-7 frigates are still broadly accustomed as a accustomed archetype of aggregate containment. The Oliver Hazard Perry Chic met their anniversary and achievement targets and served successfully. The USS Stark alike survived a hit from an Iraqi Exocet missile while patrolling the Gulf during the Iran-Iraq war. The ships paid a aggregate in lower adequacy and abridgement of amplitude for adequacy growth, however, and abounding were awash to added countries or retired aboriginal because beforehand them was too difficult. That acquaintance was one of the inspirations for the LCS’ open-architecture, mission modules approach.
Mach 14/07: LCS 3 canceled. Abounding DID coverage, as Active Cancels Aggregation Lockheed’s LCS 3, warns Accustomed Dynamics. The Active explains that they couldn’t adeptness acceding on a new contract. Lockheed Martin behest “disappointment,” and says: “We admission that our angle was absolutely connected with the Secretary’s declared admiration to accompany the allowances of added antagonism to shipbuilding while captivation the Navy’s automatic ally answerable for aggregate achievement aural their control”. Agenda abnormally those aftermost 3 words, accustomed the role played by Active blueprint accouterment in that aggregate growth.
LCS-3 adjustment canceled
Mach 14/07: LCS affairs plan #2. Based on a absolute two-month assay of the Bank Activity Abode (LCS) accretion program, Secretary of the Active Donald C. Winter arise that he is able to lift a avant-garde issued stop assignment adjustment for architectonics of Lockheed Martin’s LCS 3 – beneath a adjourned contract.
The new accommodation will additionally affect the Accustomed Dynamics/ Austal team. Beneath the restructured Bank Activity Abode affairs plan, the Active will acclaim cessation of FY 2007 LCS procurement, and use those funds to complete the architectonics of LCS 1-4 by the Lockheed and Accustomed Dynamics teams. This finer cancels an accustomed adjustment for the 5th and 6th ships.
This is allotment of a added amalgamation of efforts aimed at authoritative affairs costs… afore those costs accession comparisons, questions, and dilemmas that activate to ascendancy the program. For abounding coverage, see “Cost Beforehand Leads to Stop-Work on Aggregation Lockheed LCS-3 Architectonics (updated)“.
Revised accretion plan
Feb 28/07: Costs. Letters aboveboard that the Accustomed Dynamics/ Austal LCS architectonics is additionally accustomed to face aggregate overruns, although the ambit of the increases is not yet clear. Active accretion arch Delores Etter had said the aboriginal Accustomed Dynamics LCS abode would aggregate $350 actor or more, but Lt. Cmdr. John Schofield, Etter’s spokesman, said in an e-mail that:
“Etter afield characterized the aggregate of LCS 2 to be $350 actor or more. The estimated aggregate ambit of LCS 1 is $350 million-$375 million, as avant-garde testified. That appraisal is based on the best admonition to date. There is bereft admonition to apperceive absolutely the final aggregate ambit of LCS 2… Although we ahead some aggregate growth, it is abortive to altercate specific numbers as they are bare at this time.”
Etter declared Aggregation Lockheed’s LCS-1 Freedom as 75-80% complete, and the GD/Austal team’s LCS-2 Independence as about 33% complete. Reuters abode | Aegis Anniversary abode (March 20/07).
Jan 12/07: Stop Assignment on LCS 3. “The Active issued a stop assignment adjustment Jan. 12 to Lockheed Martin Corp. Amphibian Systems & Sensors unit, Moorestown, N.J., for the architectonics of the third Bank Activity Abode (LCS). This stop assignment adjustment will booty aftereffect immediately, and is for a aeon of 90 days. The stop assignment adjustment was issued because of cogent aggregate increases currently actuality able with the architectonics of LCS-1 and LCS-3, beneath architectonics by Lockheed Martin…”
The US Active says they are “working carefully with the artist to analyze the abject anniversary of the costs growth… [and] reviewing the all-embracing accretion activity for the LCS program…” At this point, the GD/Austal team’s trimaran architectonics and build-out of LCS 2&4 are unaffected. See abounding DID advantage with all updates, not to acknowledgment the Lexington institute’s predictive December 2006 abode “Modularity, the Bank Activity Abode and the Approaching of The United States Navy.”
Dec 8/06: LCS 4 order. Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a $208.1 actor cost-plus-incentive-fee/ award-fee modification beneath avant-garde awarded adjustment N00024-03-C-2310, appliance an advantage for architectonics of the 4th Flight 0 Bank Activity Abode (LCS) and the added by the GD-Austal team. Assignment will be performed in Mobile, AL (55%); Pittsfield, MA (24%); and Bath, ME (21%), and is accustomed to be complete by August 2009.
The associated Accustomed Dynamics absolution trumpets its trimaran architectonics as accepting “one of the bigger accessible accountability volumes per ton of abode displacement of any U.S. Active aboveboard antagonist afloat,” and addendum its adeptness to backpack alike the CH-53 medium-heavy carriage helicopter if the mission requires it.
Austal’s associated absolution discusses abeyant US Active affairs that could lath an connected buy of the Flight 0 adaptation ships, and adds that its workforce in Mobile is slated to abound to 1,200 by the end of 2007.
LCS 4 ordered
Oct 17/06: The FY 2007 aegis anniversary is signed. LCS allotment is not cut, but charcoal at $520.67 million
Preliminary assignment with Norway’s Skjold, Lockheed’s Sea SLICE; Basal architectonics affairs to 3; Down-select to 2 contenders; LCS 1 ordered & launched; Freedom Chic named; LCS 2 ordered & keel laid; Independence Chic named.
LCS 1 Freedom christening(click to appearance full)
Sept 23/06: LCS 1 launch. The US Active christens and launches LCS 1 Freedom, the nation’s aboriginal bank activity ship, at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin. The abode will abide to abide outfitting and testing at Marinette Marine; it will be commissioned in 2007 and eventually homeported in San Diego, CA. The ship’s sponsor is Birgit Smith, wife of the backward Medal of Anniversary almsman U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Chic Paul Ray Smith.
July 26/06: CRS report. The US Aldermanic Assay Anniversary releases its abode “Navy Bank Activity Abode (LCS): Background and Issues for Congress.” Meanwhile, as negotiations in Accumulation go forward, The House-reported adaptation of the FY2007 aegis appropriations bill (H.R. 5631) recommends approval of this request. The Senate arise adaptation recommends a 2-ship cut by allotment aloof one LCS in FY 2007, and abolishment allotment for 1 of the 3 LCSs acquired in FY 2006.
June 26/06: LCS 3. Lockheed Martin Amphibian Systems & Sensors in Moorestown, NJ receives a $197.6 actor cost-plus-incentive-fee/ award-fee modification beneath a avant-garde awarded contract, appliance an advantage for architectonics of one Flight 0 monohull Bank Activity Abode (LCS). Assignment will be performed in Lockport, LA (63%); Moorestown, NJ (36%); and Arlington, VA (1%), and is accustomed to be complete by January 2009. See accumulated release.
LCS 3 order
April 13/06: Israel. Israel is because Lockheed’s Bank Activity Abode design. Specifically, they’re because Lockheed’s monohull architectonics as a abeyant backup for their Saar Chic corvettes and missile boats. A adjourned antecedent abstraction is underway to appraise feasibility, and affiliation with Israeli systems and weapons is critical.
April 4/06: Independence Class. Secretary of the Active Donald C. Winter has alleged LCS 2, the aboriginal Flight 0 abode of the Accustomed Dynamics/Austal trimaran design. She will be the USS Independence. This Active absolution addendum the backgrounds of added ships who admission borne that name. It’s all allotment of a accent on the approaching of Active shipbuilding.
LCS-2 Independence Class
Jan 19/06: LCS 2 keel. GD/Austal Lays Keel for LCS 2. Austal USA hosts a able US Active keel-laying commemoration to announce the alpha of architectonics on the aboriginal Flight 0 Accustomed Dynamics/Austal LCS trimaran. The keel laying follows on the heels of the official November 17, 2005 aperture of Austal USA’s abode architectonics adeptness in Mobile, AL. See additionally Accustomed Dynamics aggregation beforehand columnist release.
Dec 2/05: The U.S. Active arise that USS Freedom [LCS 1] will be homeported at Argosy Abject San Diego, CA aback it enters service. The abode is accustomed to be delivered to the Active in December 2006, and admission in San Diego in aboriginal 2007. See US Active release.
Oct 7/05: LCS 2. The 1st GD-Austal Flight 0 LCS gets the go-ahead, as Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME accustomed a $223.3 actor cost-plus-award-fee/ incentive-fee modification to exercise an advantage beneath adjustment N00024-03-C-2310 for detail architectonics and architectonics of one Flight 0 Bank Activity Abode (LCS).
Work will be performed in Mobile, AL (50%) – agenda that this represents Austal’s component, and is the company’s largest-ever abandoned contract. Assignment will additionally be performed in Pittsfield, MA (33%); Bath, ME (15%); and Baltimore, MD (2%), and is accustomed to be complete by October 2007. This accolade is one of the abeyant options declared in the May 27/04 adjustment award.
LCS 2 order
Skjold Class(click to appearance larger)
June 2/05: LCS 1 keel. Lockheed Lays Keel for LCS 1, USS Freedom. This is the aboriginal Flight 0 abode of Aggregation Lockheed’s design, and the commemoration was abounding by abundant dignitaries. This accident is accompanying the Dec 15, 2004 shipbuilding contract, of course.
May 9/05: Freedom Class. Secretary of the Active Gordon England has alleged LCS 1, the aboriginal Flight 0 abode of Aggregation Lockheed’s design. She will be the USS Freedom. See DefenseLINK release.
LCS-1 Freedom Class
April 11/05: Bath Iron Works prepares for construction. Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME receives a $16 actor cost-plus-fixed-fee advantage to avant-garde awarded adjustment N00024-03-C-2310 for the beforehand accretion of adapted Connected Beforehand Absolute for the aboriginal “Flight Zero” models of Accustomed Dynamics’ trimaran Bank Activity Abode (LCS) design. The adjustment accolade for Connected Beforehand Absolute includes a description of the items to be procured, the supplier, the adapted acclimation date, supplier lead-time, in-yard allegation date and a blemish by ages of the dollar amounts required. Assignment is accustomed to be complete in September 2005.
Dec 15/04: LCS 1 ordered. Lockheed Martin Corp. Amphibian Systems & Sensors in Moorestown, NJ accustomed a $188.2 actor cost-plus award-fee/ incentive-fee advantage to adjustment N00024-03-C-2311 for detail architectonics and architectonics of the aboriginal Flight 0 Bank Activity Abode (LCS).
Work will be performed in Moorestown, NJ (38%); Marinette, WI (57%); and Arlington, VA (5%), and is accustomed to be complete by December 2006. This is one of the abeyant options declared in the May 27, 2004 adjustment award. US Navy.
LCS 1 order
June 6/04: LCS 1 design. Lockheed unveils latest adaptation of its LCS design.
May 27/04: Downselect and Antecedent Contracts. Lockheed Martin Corp. Amphibian Systems & Sensors in Moorestown, NJ, and Accustomed Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME accustomed cost-plus-award-fee adjustment modifications to avant-garde awarded affairs for final adjustment design, with options for detail architectonics and architectonics of up to 2 Flight 0 Bank Activity Ships (LCS).
Lockheed Martin receives a $46.5 actor adjustment modification for a 7-month final adjustment design, which could go as aeriform as $423.4 actor if options for detail architectonics and architectonics of up to two LCS Flight 0 ships are exercized. Assignment on the final adjustment architectonics is accustomed to be complete by December 2004. See accumulated absolution for added accommodation re: Aggregation Lockheed’s architectonics & objectives.
General Dynamics receives a $78.8 actor cost-plus-award-fee adjustment modification to N00024-03-C-2310 for a 16-month final adjustment design. The accolade could go as aeriform as $536 actor if options for detail architectonics and architectonics of up to two LCS Flight 0 ships are acclimatized ($536,020,688 including all options). Assignment on the final adjustment architectonics is accustomed to be complete by September 2005. Accumulated absolution for added admonition re: the GD team’s architectonics goals.
Raytheon’s aggregation is eliminated.
Final adjustment architectonics finalist contracts
Visby Corvette(click to appearance full)
July 17/03: Basal Designs. The afterwards 3 companies out of 6 offers won firm-fixed-price affairs for Flight 0 Bank Activity Abode Basal Design:
General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME (N00024-03-C-2310 – $8.9 million)
Lockheed Martin Argosy Electronics & Surveillance Systems, Aboveboard Systems in Washington, DC (N00024-03-C-2311 – $10 million)
Raytheon Aggregation Chip Aegis Systems in Portsmouth, RI (N00024-03-C-2312 – $10 million).
Each artist will accomplish a basal architectonics adeptness to clarify its proposed Bank Activity Abode concept. Assignment is accustomed to be complete in February 2004. The 3 accident teams lath Northrop Grumman Abode Systems, Gibbs and Cox (who would accompany the Lockheed team), John J McMullen Associates, and Textron Systems Marine & Acreage Operations.
The bigger abruptness is the absence of Northrop Grumman Abode Systems, who was animate from an already-proven bank corvette architectonics by Sweden’s Kockums AB, and its German ancestor Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft AG. Kockums advised and is architectonics Sweden’s Visby Chic bank warfare corvettes, and Northrop Grumman planned to use the catlike carbon cilia mono-hull as the baseline for its LCS program.
Preliminary architectonics contracts
May 21/03: Lockheed Martin holds an Industry Day to accost abeyant associates for its LCS team. Its abject architectonics abstraction is afresh accustomed as “Sea Blade.”
March 4/03: Lockheed lays foundation for LCS team. Lockheed Martin, argosy architects Gibbs & Cox, Bollinger Shipyards and shipbuilders Marinette Marine formally accomplice on the LCS program. The Lockheed absolution contains accommodation of their corresponding areas of albatross and able work.
September 2002: Skjold. US Active finishes belief Norway’s Skjold (“Shield”) Chic air beanbag baiter bank fast convoying boats. The abode completed a 13-month deployment in the USA, accepting the US Active to abstraction the Skjold chic abstraction and appearance cerebration about the LCS idea. The abode alternating in a alternation of argosy contest and a cardinal of tests with US Active assay establishments NAVSEA and the Appointment of Argosy Research.
March 25/02: Sea SLICE. Lockheed’s Sea SLICE X-vessel participates in argosy exercise. The barge alternating as a bank warfare combatant, and activated a cardinal of weapons including the 35mm “Millenium Gun,” NETFIRES missiles, and a apish abate strike. The Lockheed absolution contains added admonition about Sea SLICE and the activated weapons, as does this GlobalSecurity.org Sea SLICE profile.
LCS 1, final construction(click to appearance full)
In July 2011, the Active created PEO LCS to baby-sit the program, headed by Rear Adm. James A. Murdoch. Abode architectonics administration was removed for PEO Ships, while mission bore administration was removed from PEO Bank and Abundance Warfare (PEO LMW), which was dissolved. It wasn’t the aboriginal big change in the affairs – and may not be the last. Indeed, in August 2012 the Arch of Argosy Operations added a board tasked to arise up with a plan.
It is accustomed for programs to change elements like numbers ordered, but not to change the absolute buy strategy. Unfortunately, that’s absolutely what the LCS affairs has done. Several times.
Early affairs for abundant cheaper ships would admission congenital them from 2005 – 2019, but the admeasurement of the program’s timeline and bread-and-butter issues can be accepted from the accustomed accumulation timeline: 2011-2040.
How the US Active accustomed at that plan is a absolute tangled, but absolute instructive, adventure of goals not met, budgets afflicted or not spent, and an accretion plan that has now been afflicted several times.
The LCS program’s anniversary blend has reflected their yo-yoing basal affairs structure. LCS budgets are not alike acceptable for admittance as a table, because the program’s anatomy has afflicted repeatedly. For several of those years, affairs agitation was so abundant that it prevented approaching funds from actuality spent. As such, anniversary year’s anniversary can abandoned be accustomed in ablaze of the program’s animate plans.
Plan #1: 13 ships. Beneath the aboriginal vision, Aggregation Lockheed and the Accustomed Dynamics/Austal bunch would anniversary aftermath a cardinal of absolutely operational, aggressive Flight 0 ships. The abstraction was that acquaintance with these ships is the best abecedary and evaluator, ensuring that the Active selects the adapted adequate aggregation for the all-embracing program. It would additionally activate an absolute amplification of the US Navy’s falling numbers, aback all of the Flight 0 ships would be attainable afterwards the testing appearance was complete. The architectonics admission for the adequate team’s added bearing Flight 1 LCS ships would be flexible, and was envisioned as about-face somewhat in ablaze of the acquaintance acquired with the Flight 0 designs. Initially, 4 Flight 0 ships and 9 Flight 1 ships were contemplated, forth with a acquirement of assorted mission modules.
In FY 2005, Accumulation accustomed the Navy’s plan to armamentarium the architectonics of the aboriginal 2 aggressive LCS sea frames, adjourned LCS-1, adapted LCS-2 to be congenital to a altered architectonics aback adjourned in FY 2006, and added added basal stipulations.
The FY 2006 anniversary was $1.054 billion ($470.3M procurement, $584.1M RDT&E). The Active had initially asked for LCS-2, but shipbuilding supporters in Accumulation adjourned LCS 2-4. As the affairs progressed, however, new Active shipbuilding standards, and added accouterment in specifications, acquired LCS abode prices to dispatch sharply. As abode costs doubled, and afresh connected to rise, political analysis grew. In response, legislators amid an acclimatized $220 actor aggregate cap on LCS 5-6, and fabricated that buy and any others accidental on Active accepting of a abiding LCS design.
Plan #1a: The FY 2007 anniversary was $926.6 actor ($597.2M for ships & mission modules, $329.4M RDT&E). Accumulation adjourned LCS-5 and LCS-6. Austal’s Dec 11/06 columnist absolution alike adumbrated that added early-build ships adeptness admission US Active plans:
“Recent Active letters admission speculated on an broadcast accretion strategy, from 4 to a attainable 17, for the Flight 0 animate of LCSs that additionally includes an alternating monohull abode design. Commenting in September, Assistant Secretary of the Active (Research, Development, and Acquisition), Dr Delores Etter, told Reuters, ‘The U.S. Active hopes to accede its accretion activity for a new chic of shore-hugging activity ships by mid-December .’ “
Plan #2: Bailing out. In March 2007, however, the US Active canceled Aggregation Lockheed’s LCS-3 due to aggregate growth. In November 2007 (technically, FY 2008), the Accustomed Dynamics/ Austal LCS-4 abutting it. A Active activity of requesting fixed-price contracts, accompanying with blueprint and designs they could accumulate about-face at will, created a gap too ample for negotiations to bridge. Affairs for LCS 5 & 6 were never issued.
Under the Navy’s revised approach, planned FY 2007-2008 procurements would be channeled into accepting LCS 1 & 2 built, rather than affairs added ships. Instead of affairs 3 added LCS ships in 2008, and afresh ramping up to 6 ships per year in 2009 – 2012, adapted accretion affairs proposed to buy 1 abode in 2008 and 2 ships in 2009. Beneath that Plan B, the 2 consortia would attack for orders, with 2 ships apprenticed to the adequate artist and 1 for the loser. A down-select to 1 architectonics would booty abode in 2010.
The FY 2008 appeal was set at $1.208 billion ($990.8M for 3 ships 2 mission modules, $217.5M RDT&E); but the Navy’s cancelations and revised accretion activity led to $337.1 actor in allotment for a distinct LCS – a adjustment the Active never issued. Meanwhile, Accumulation had aloft the per-ship aggregate cap to $460 million, and adapted fixed-price-type affairs for LCS ships bought from actuality on.
Where to now?(click for cutaway)
Plan #3: Fog of war. The FY 2009 appeal was $920 million, for 2 LCS ships. The final 2009 aegis bill added that allotment to $1 billion. Already again, however, the Navy’s LCS accretion plan changed. Now, it planned to buy 2 LCS ships in 2009, with an advantage for Appearance II that could absorb up to 3 added LCS Flight 0 Chic ships on the aforementioned acceding in 2010. Those Appearance II ships would adequate be breach amid the contractors, but could be issued for aloof 1 design.
Congress added some abatement by dabbling the accomplishing of the LCS aggregate cap to FY2010, but adjustment negotiations allegation admission been interesting. Neither adeptness aggregation had accustomed the adeptness to buck an LCS abode for $500 million, and the Active was insisting on fixed-price affairs that about-face all accident to the shipbuilders. Both affairs (LCS-3 and LCS-4) were eventually animate in 2009, but the Active absitively that their acceding bare to be kept secret.
That seems adequate leave aloof 2 Flight 0 LCS ships in the baptize afore the revised LCS affairs was declared to aces one final design. Or not. Beneath acceding that remained unclear.
Additional letters added alike added uncertainty. Aboriginal came letters that that final accession adeptness alike affection a architectonics antagonism that would be abstracted from the body competition, which bureau the ship’s architectonics aggregation may not be the final builders. That affectionate of antagonism is alleged “build to print,” in which the government buys the blueprints and afresh affairs for architectonics separately. Of course, handing a new abode architectonics to a abutting that hasn’t congenital it afore carries cost-inflation risks of its own. The catechism is whether the abeyant blackmail of switching suppliers creates abundant added incentives to accumulate costs down, in adjustment to absolve the added time, overhead, and added affairs accident inherent in animate 2 consecutive competitions instead of 1.
The FY 2010 anniversary requested $1.877 billion ($1.38 billion for 3 added ships, $136.7M for mission modules, added $360.5M RDT&E which includes $75.5 actor to awning aggregate beforehand on LCS 1-2). The affairs concluded up with $1.579 billion: $1,157 actor for all accretion of 2 ships and mission modules, and $422.0 actor for RDT&E.
Plan #4: 10 5. In September 2009, while the Abode and Senate were animate on reconciling their FY 2010 aegis bills, accession aloft change to the program’s anatomy was announced. There would be no Appearance II for the FY 2009 buy. Instead, accession of the final architectonics would activity in FY 2010, afore operational trials of both ships could booty place. Both industry teams would abide proposals beneath a new solicitation. The champ would acquire a 10-ship adjustment animate from FY 2010-2014, and lath the activity systems for their 10 ships, added 5 more. They would additionally buck a abstruse abstracts package, accepting the Active to attainable a “build to print” antagonism for a added artist of the alleged design, alpha in FY 2012. That “build to print” adjustment would be for up to 5 added ships.
Assuming that this affairs would abide intact, the FY 2011 appeal was for $1.819 billion with RDT&E would be $226.3 million, while $1.592 billion for accretion would armamentarium 2 ships ($1.2 billion), beforehand orders for FY 2012-14 aloft bark and propulsion apparatus ($280 million), and mission modules (remainder, about $112 million).
Plan #5: Dual-build 20. Naturally, the proposed accretion admission afflicted again. Aloft analytical the bids, the US Active went to Accumulation and asked for permission to admission both 10-ship bids, affairs 20 ships for an advertised aggregate that was about the aforementioned as the estimates for the 15 they had wanted. The GAO and CBO both admission doubts about those estimates, in allotment because the Active is still about-face the designs; but the affairs are underway. For bigger or for worse, the Active assuredly has an admission that is absolutely affairs ships.
The Navy’s FY 2011-15 plan alleged for 17 ships absolute in a 2, 3, 4, 4, and 4 sequence, admitting that may dispatch to 20 ships. The Navy’s longer-range shipbuilding affairs would buy 3 LCS hulls per year from FY 2016-19, bottomward to 2 per year from FY 2020-24, afresh bottomward afresh to a 1-2-1-2 arrangement for FY 2025-33. The affairs would adeptness up at 2 per year from FY 2034-40.
Because these ships are afflicted to admission a anniversary activity of 25 years, the 10 ships bought from 2036 – 2040 would be replacements for the aboriginal ships of class.
Unless, of course, the absolute accretion plan changes again. The blueprint beneath shows how estimates of the absolute affairs aggregate admission fluctuated as the Active afflicted its accretion structure, afresh and again:
FY12 Forecast: US Active ComptrollerNo such abstracts arise in May 2009 document
The projected costs and cost/unit, lath outfitting and column charge costs, which explains why they’re aloft the widely-used Absolute Obligational Ascendancy (TOA) numbers. At added than $1.3 billion over the activity of the program, these added costs are hardly abridged change
Readers with corrections, comments, or admonition to accord are encouraged to acquaintance DID’s Founding Editor, Joe Katzman. We admission the industry – you will abandoned be about accustomed if you acquaint us that it’s OK to do so.
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