After the Freedoms, the US Navy's Independence LCS are facing major failures

The more time passes, the more the US Navy's Littoral Combat Ship program, supposed to prefigure developments in littoral naval combat, seems to join the long list of technological and operational impasses which the Pentagon has made a specialty of over the past 30 years. . After having, in 2014, abandoned the principle of combat module which was to allow the two Freedom and Independence classes constituting the program to have advanced operational flexibility by equipping themselves, according to needs, with anti-ship warfare capabilities, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence and electronic warfare or mine warfare, the staff of the US navy has never ceased to…

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The US Navy offers 3 options for the future of its naval force

For many years, US Navy shipbuilding planning has been chaotic to say the least, with successive plans and objectives diverging, sometimes even contradicting. The subject is also the subject of fierce opposition between Republican senators and representatives, supporters of a massive fleet, and their Democratic counterparts who wish to keep the defense budget under control. Beyond the sometimes fanciful ambitions presented in recent years, and the many tussles that have opposed the Pentagon to American parliamentarians, particularly regarding the withdrawal of certain buildings, it was therefore necessary for the US Navy to present a coherent strategy...

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12 aircraft carriers, 50 frigates: the US Navy returns to its fundamentals

To say that US Navy planning has been chaotic for the past 30 years would be an understatement. Between calamitous and chronically overcost programs such as the Zumwalt destroyers, the Littoral Combat Ship corvettes, or the Seawolf submarines, significant technical difficulties such as for the Ford-class aircraft carriers, and objectives marked by political considerations and economic, and not by operational needs, the prospects and options of the world's leading naval force have been irremediably darkened, while at the same time, the naval powers of its main competitors such as Russia and especially China, have developed with rigor…

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The US Navy Coastal Combat Ship Mine Warfare module has been validated

The concept that led Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England (Bush Jr administration from 2001 to 2003) to give birth to the Littoral Combat Ships in the early 2000s was innovative to say the least: rather than having to build several ships specializing in different types of mission, it was sufficient to rely on a modular structure allowing the dynamic integration of the capabilities required on demand, in the form of complementary modules integrating the technology and equipment required for the mission. In fact, the LCS had to be able, by changing modules, to carry out alternately and effectively anti-submarine warfare missions, countermeasures…

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These 4 drifts that handicap the Western defense effort against China and Russia

While the competition between the West and the Sino-Russian bloc is becoming increasingly fierce on the international scene, numerous simulations carried out in recent years show that despite Western defense spending 6 times greater than that of the China and Russia combined, the latter are constantly increasing their relative military power, to the point of probably overtaking their competitors in the decade to come. One can naturally be tempted by trivial explanations, such as the very different labor costs between countries, or the much firmer control imposed by these regimes on their respective populations. However, these…

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Deadlines, additional costs, lack of parts: the outsourcing of the maintenance of the LCS of the US Navy is a failure

In the wake of the cuts in defense appropriations linked to the end of the Cold War, many armed forces gave in to the sirens of outsourcing the maintenance of major equipment to private service providers. While some contracts were framed from the start in the form of capacity commitments, as in the case for example of the maintenance of the Dax EALAT fleet, the majority of them, relating to potentially deployable equipment, were limited to commitments of means. However, this approach opens the door to significant deviations in terms of costs and deadlines, with the key, the reduction…

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What are modern Corvettes worth?

During the Second World War, corvettes were ships of limited tonnage, 1000 tons for the very prolific Flower class of the Royal Navy, intended to escort convoys against underwater threats and secure the coasts. Over the years, corvettes disappeared from the majority of large modern navies, replaced by heavier and more versatile frigates or less expensive missile patrol boats, while the threat on the coasts faded and that anti-submarine warfare needs were dealt with more by the submarines themselves, and maritime patrol aircraft. However, in recent years,…

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The US Navy wants to quickly arm and specialize its Littoral Combat Ship

At the end of the 90s, two officers of the US Navy, Vice-Admiral Art Cebrowski and Commander Wayne Hughes, developed the concept of "Streetfighter", a light combat ship (1000 tons), well armed, maneuverable and economical. (less than $100m per unit), to advantageously replace part of the OH Perry frigate fleet and even certain destroyers in the inventory of the US fleet. These ships compensated for their low tonnage by their number, and should make it possible to meet the deployment needs of the US Navy, particularly in low and medium intensity zones. This concept quickly evolved into the definition of a new type of ship, the Littorals…

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The US Navy is experimenting on a large scale with cooperation between ships and autonomous systems

According to Admiral Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations for the US Navy, the exercise involving the heavy destroyer USS Michael Monsoor (Zumwalt-class), 4 Burke-class destroyers, 2 Littoral Combat Ship, the submarine USS USS Hampton and the LPD USS Anchorage, as well as the two robotic ships Sea Hunter and Seahawk (in illustration of reception with the USS Monsoor in the background), off the coast of California, represent a decisive step in the implementation of cooperation between automated systems and piloted systems for the US Navy, and will profoundly influence the very conception of the evolution of the US fleet in the years to come. Named Pacific Fleet's Unmanned…

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US Navy recognizes design flaw in Freedom-class LCS

When the first Littoral Combat Ship, the USS Freedom, entered service, the US Navy was full of praise for its new technological nugget. The coastal multi-purpose warship program, which is based on two distinct Freedom and Independence classes, was to constitute a revolution in the field of modern naval combat. Highly automated, the LCS notably incorporated a modular structure allowing the ship to embark, in the form of containers, various tactical modules, whether to implement commando units, to carry out mine warfare actions, or to conduct anti-submarine warfare operations. In addition, class corvettes…

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