New U.S Navy combat ship sucks at defending against little attack boats

Click to enlarge — Navy strategists still travel in Cold War circles

The U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship struggled in drills at sea to fend off a swarm of small attacking vessels like the Iranian boats it could encounter in the Persian Gulf, according to the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester.

The fast-attack boats were ultimately defeated by the USS Coronado during three mock engagements in August and September to test its guns and targeting gear. But in two exercises an attacker came too close, penetrating the vessel’s “keep-out” zone, Pentagon testing director Michael Gilmore said in his annual report on major weapons submitted to congressional defense committees.

While Gilmore didn’t mention Iran as a threat, its Islamic Revolutionary Guards operate small boats with crews trained for swarming attacks in the contested waters of the Persian Gulf. The Coronado’s “inability to defeat this relative modest threat beyond ‘keep-out’ range routinely under test conditions raises questions about its ability to deal with more challenging threats…”

“Challenging threats” like military trained for years in tactics using these small attack craft – and fighting to defend their homeland.

The report adds to questions about the vulnerability and reliability of the ships, designed in two versions by Lockheed Martin Corp. and Austal Ltd. and intended to operate in shallow coastal waters…

Gilmore also cited reliability issues with both versions of the ships, from troubles with generators and air-conditioning units to “cybersecurity deficiencies that significantly degrade operational effectiveness.”

That’s a particularly serious problem for the Littoral Combat Ship because its ability to survive in combat depends on communicating with better-armed vessels and support on shore through a maritime battle network linked by computers and sensors.

The lightly manned vessel also relies on ship-to-shore and satellite communications to help crews monitor the ship’s condition, perform repairs and order medical supplies. At least 245 functions traditionally performed aboard a Navy ship will be done onshore.

Of course, this is a discussion about a vessel designed solely to attack the coastal defenses of another nation as part of our crap foreign policy, military policies — which says we’re “defending” the United States by invading countries all around the world.

10 thoughts on “New U.S Navy combat ship sucks at defending against little attack boats

  1. Santayana says:

    ● “US watchdog questions littoral combat ships’ survivability” “The GAO report said that the lethality and survivability of the LCS are yet to be proven, six years after the delivery of the lead ships {and} the US Navy is trying to cover-up the shortcomings by redefining the missions of the LCS.” (The LCS is a $34 billion dollar program)
    ● “Iran’s fast attack craft fleet: behind the hyperbole”
    ● “Learning Curve: Iranian Asymmetrical Warfare and Millennium Challenge 2002”
    “…Unfortunately, the U.S. thinks of nations with weak conventional militaries as no match for the technological and modern behemoth that is the U.S. military. This was evident in Iraq and Afghanistan, where insurgents with little resources utilized out-of-the box thinking and nonlinear tactics to inflict heavy damage on U.S. forces, culminating in eventual retreats. U.S. strategy rests on technological and conventional dominance as well as engaging in non-traditional conflicts using traditional strategy and doctrine.”

    • Jonah says:

      Lockheed Martin Corp. is under orders from the U.S. Navy to correct quality control failures in building its version of the Littoral Combat Ship, an issue that has delayed deliveries and resulted in three citations from the service’s shipbuilding inspectors. The quality questions, which hadn’t been disclosed previously, add to concerns about the $29 billion program that Defense Secretary Ash Carter has reduced to 40 vessels from 52. The citations also could hurt Lockheed’s chances in a future competition with Austal Ltd., which builds another version of the ship. Broader questions about the Littoral Combat Ship also persist. In a draft report stamped “For Official Use Only,” the U.S. Government Accountability Office recommended that Congress “consider not funding” either of the two vessels requested by the Pentagon for next year “because of unresolved concerns with lethality and survivability,” the Navy’s lack of funding “to make needed improvements and the current schedule performance of the shipyards.” The Navy is reviewing the report.” Related story: “Crippled U.S. Littoral Ship to Sail Home From Asia.”

  2. Heave-ho says:

    The U.S. Navy is seriously considering reactivating as many as seven recently-decommissioned Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigates in order to quickly boost the size of the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet. …The downside to bringing back old Perrys is their limited utility. While perfectly adequate for intercepting drug smugglers, the frigates wouldn’t be capable of defending themselves in a major shooting war — to say nothing of performing an offensive role against a well-armed foe.
    The same problem has plagued the Littoral Combat Ship, the vessel class that has begin to replace the Perrys in the Navy’s force structure. Initially entering service without a major anti-air or anti-ship missile system, the LCSs were ill-suited for frontline patrols in potential war zones.
    In early 2016, U.S. senator John McCain, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the LCS was incapable of sinking an opposing force “unless the enemy fleet consists of a small number of lightly-armed boats at extremely short range.”
    Under pressure from Congress, the Navy announced in 2015 it would to cut the LCS class from 52 ships to just 40 and acquire a new guided-missile frigate with significant missile armament. U.S. and foreign shipbuilders are competing to build as many as 20 of the new frigates starting in 2020.

  3. Gobsmacked says:

    “U.S. Navy’s Newest Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Stuck in Ice for Winter” (Jan 24, 2018) “The USS Little Rock, which was commissioned in Buffalo, New York on December 16, should be well on its new homeport in Mayport, Florida by now, but a delayed departure and colder-than-normal temps across the region means the ship is now stuck in Montreal indefinitely.” [in part because of the lack of available icebreakers see ] Also: The U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ship USS Montgomery had its hull cracked for a second time after hitting a lock wall during a transit of the Panama Canal on Oct. 29. The incident was the third involving the USS Montgomery since it was commissioned Sept. 10, 2016. USNI News noted in September that the ship’s engine trouble was the fifth LCS casualty within the last year.

  4. Ahoy says:

    “Meet The US Navy’s New ‘Affordable’ $1.2 Billion Ship”
    The successor to the $30b troubled littoral ship project was billed as affordable but the Congressional Budget Office projects $12.3 billion for just 10 new frigates.
    The Navy also warned CBO there’s a 50% chance the first two ships would exceed their cost estimates

    “US Navy needs to have more than 500 ships by 2045 to have edge against China and Russia”

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